October 23, 2008

INTERVIEW - Jack Ketchum's True Hollywood Story

In this week's Web Stalker, veteran horror author Jack Ketchum explains to me why he thinks his novels have only recently been adapted to film, nearly thirty years after his debut novel Off Season refreshed America's healthy fear of wanton cannibalism.

I also asked Jack about his use of a pseudonym despite the fact that his real identity isn't exactly a guarded secret. Is it weird for him to have to juggle names at this point in his career? Here's what what's-his-name had to say on the matter:

"I lied my way into the novel-writing business. I'd been known to book editors as an agent for a number of years, but then I quit to work for the magazines. Some three years later I wrote Off Season and went to Judy-Lynn del Rey at Ballantine and said, 'Remember me? I found this really great novel by a guy named Jack Ketchum.' I confessed when she bought the book. But then because it was SO extreme, I decided to hide from my extended family behind the pseudonym just in case it embarrassed them. It didn't. Quite the contrary. Still, the book sold a lot of copies so I figured nobody'd be looking for a book by Dallas Mayr, they'd be looking for another Ketchum novel, so I kept it. But nah, it's not weird. I doubt that Evan Hunter ever minded being called Ed McBain now and then."

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