Peter lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and three cats. He stays busy but always has time for readers at his website.
Peter, thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview for Bibliophilia, Please. Just looking at your bibliography speaks volumes about how busy you are. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
For as long as I can remember. My dad, a respected historian, is a writer. The scent of aging paper, the sight of overflowing bookshelves and manuscript pages strewn all over the floor—good memories. I used to write and illustrate by own little books as a kid, mostly James Bond and Star Wars fan-fiction. I’m sure my mom kept all that stuff. Hope she keeps it away from me.
When did you write start writing things that you intended for other people to read?
I took the plunge a couple years ago.
What was the first novel that you ever completed? Was it published? ?
It wasn’t. It was a science fiction novel that I wrote in college called The Evolution of Elwood’s Liberty . I found it a few years ago and reread it. The damned thing was a total Philip K. Dick rip-off, and not a very good one. When I started writing seriously a couple years ago, I completed a novel called Dark Echoes. It was terrible, but I did learn a lot about structure. Anon was the third novel I ever completed, and, though I had to rewrite it more than twenty times, it was the first piece of long fiction I ever submitted. It was published last year.
Which one of your works was the most difficult to write? The most enjoyable? ?
Anon was the most difficult. I kept getting new ideas during the process that were better than ones I’d already written. I really struggled with that book. The most enjoyable book I wrote was the sequel, Beyond Anon, which is coming in June from Hydra Publications, the same house that published Anon. I also had a blast writing The Dark with Bram Stoker nominee Scott Bradley.
Has there ever been a time during your brainstorming/writing process that you could not sleep or had nightmares because of your ideas for your stories? If so, what do you do to unwind or get the dark thoughts out of your head? ?
I get up and write them down. I can’t sleep with ideas rattling around in my head, so I forgo a lot of sleep during “respectable” hours. Nightmares are great. I wish I had more of them.
You partner with other authors on some of your work – do you find it more difficult to write with someone? ?
For the most part, yes. But it’s a vital and beneficial process. A lot of people think collaboration means getting the job done in half the time. Not true. The real benefit of collaboration is best articulated with the old cliché “Two heads are better than one.” But nothing about working with someone is easy, at least not for me and Scott Bradley, my frequent writing partner. But our arguments, in my humble estimation, make for some great storytelling. We just sold a story titled “Straycation,” set to make its debut in John Skipp’s Psychos anthology alongside tales by Thomas Harris, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and many other greats. We can’t wait for people to read it. We also have a story called “Eyeballs and Assholes in El Paso” that’s hitting the world by way of Alvaro Rodriguez’s Border Noir anthology. That one’s a lot of fun.
In addition to your co-authors, you have also had work in compilations with some pretty big name authors. Who were you most excited to share the title page with? ?
Psychos will mark the second book where I’ve shared a TOC with Neil Gaiman. He’s one of my literary heroes, and American Gods is one of my favorite books. Scott Bradley, my writing partner, is over the moon (and I’m jazzed, too) about sharing literary real estate with Thomas Harris. Joe R. Lansdale is in both Border Noir and Psychos—he’s terrific! Scott and I, in fact, wrote a feature-length screen adaptation of Lansdale’s “The Night They Missed the Horror Show.” Lansdale has endorsed the script, and we’re trying to find a production deal for it.
What do you do when you’re not writing? ?
Edit. Sometimes I go outside. Twice a year I go to conventions.
Which books/authors have been your biggest inspiration in writing and in life? ?
Philip K. Dick; Joe R. Lansdale; Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; Stephen King; John Steinbeck.
The most terrible question that anyone can ask me is “What is your favorite book?”, so I’ll ask you instead – if you could choose one novel (other than your own) that you think everyone should read at some point, what would it be? ?
I don’t mind the question at all. My favorite books are Ubik by PKD, Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Since everyone reads Mockingbird anyway, I’d say that Ubik is the one great novel that everyone should read. I’ve read that book more than twenty times, and I swear it’s a slightly different book every time. It’s freaking alive! Everyone should also read The Ninth Configuration by William Peter Blatty, and they should see the movie, too.
What are you currently reading? ?
Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem. And I’m enjoying the hell out of it!
What are you working on right now, if you can tell us about it?
I’m editing a number of novels for other writers, and I’m working on a production deal I can’t talk about. Lots of stuff on the horizon, so everyone should connect with me on Facebook--that’s the best place to keep up with me. You can also check out my website: www.petergiglio.com.
Peter has been kind enough to offer up copies of his zombie novella, Balance and Evil Jester Digest, Volume One, a book he edited with quite a few authors, featuring Rick Hautala, Gary Brandner, and David Dunwoody to one winner. Here's how you can enter:
- Live in the US or have a US mailing address
- Like Anon on Facebook
- Visit Peter's Website
- Tweet about the giveaway