1. Do you think the works of such classic horror writers as H.P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe still have appeal in today's society, to horror and cult enthusiasts?
Absolutely, but I'd take it further than that. I think that most modern readers would find Poe fascinating if they gave him a chance. Lovecraft requires a bit more of a fondness for the bizarre, but I'd say anyone who enjoys modern horror who hasn't read Lovecraft is cheating themselves, and may in fact be less capable of appreciating the texture of the work of more recent writers.
2. What do you think are the essential ingredients when writing a novel to keep readers enthralled and ensure they will come back for more?
If I could boil it down for you like that, I'd be a billionaire. To me, every compelling work of fiction is an intricate weave of character, structure, and theme. Without characters the reader can identify with in some way, you're lost. Without a structure that draws the reader on from page to page, you're lost. Without some underlying theme or purpose . . . well, perhaps you aren't lost, but you've certainly lost me.
3. You've written a great many BtVS and Angel novels and comic books, are there any episodes that are your favourite to watch?
"The Gift" "Hush" "Passion" "Phases" "The Body" Not necessarily in that order, I think those are the best. Also, pretty much everything Faith was in.
4. As you have worked with both Amber Benson (Tara) on 'Wanna Blessed Be' and James Marsters (Spike) respectively, who enormously enjoyed the experience. Can you tell us a little more about that , and do you have any plans to collaberate in the future?
The pleasure in working with both Amber and James is that each is an extremely creative individual in her/his own right. Both have written screenplays, Amber has written plays, James writes songs and performs, Amber just wrote/directed/produced/starred in her own movie. While many actors who dabble in writing are often reputed to have done none of the actual work, Amber and James both MORE than held up their end of the bargain. They are talented writers, without a doubt, and it was an honor to work with both of them. I'd love to do it again. As for future collaborations, who knows?
5. We know you're a huge comic book fan Chris, can you remember the first ever comic book you bought?
Probably not, but the first one I ever remember buying with money out of my own pocket was Tomb of Dracula #12. That explains a lot, doesn't it?
6. Your Spike and Dru novel 'Pretty Maids all in a Row' is one of my favourites. What was it like to explore Drusilla's mind and come out the on other side unscathed(!)?
Who said I came out unscathed? Actually one of the biggest challenges in the book was trying to figure out WHY Drusilla says the crazy shit that she does. My attitude was, well, if she says it, it must make perfect sense to HER. So from that perspective, I had to figure out how she could possibly be experiencing the sorts of things she talks about. It was a challenge, but it was also quite entertaining.
7. Would you like to explore Giles's earlier years as Watcher, and maybe the years he was known as Ripper in future works?
Oh yes. More than you know. Tom Sniegoski and I have a pitch in to Dark Horse now dealing with an early Giles adventure, but I have no idea if Fox will allow it. If Joss would let me, I'd love to tell that whole story in novel form, the Ripper years. But I hear there's a BBC series in the works for Giles, so I have a feeling he's off limits for a while.
8. Pocket books have recently released 'Prowlers' in the UK . A new and exciting approach akin to the lycanthropic myth with a chilling and edge of your seat storyline, care to expand on this a little?
Actually, it's not out 'til later this year in the UK. Prowlers is the story of Jack Dwyer, a young guy who co-owns an Irish pub in Boston and has done ever since their mother passed ten years before. When Jack's best friend Artie Carroll is murdered, he investigates and discovers the existence of an ancient race of monsters called Prowlers. Prowlers are not werewolves, but they are the creatures whose existence inspired humanity to create the legends of werewolves. They were NEVER human beings. Rather, they are a pre-human race of sentient beasts who have evolved the ability to take on the appearance of humanity. And they're among us . . . Heh heh. I'm halfway through book four of the series now, and it's really nice because the four books are designed much like the first season of a television series, so that what I'm working on now could be considered the season finale.
There's also a nice little love triangle with two humans and a ghost which I'm told is reminiscent of one of the subplots in Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, a show I've never seen but have been told I ought to watch.
9. In your recent publication 'Straight on 'til morning' character Kevin Murphy's fearful journey into the unknown is both fascinating and nostalgic. A rites of passage story with a kick! What was your inspiration behind the story?
The first half of the story is largely based on my own experiences at that age. I was thirteen, nearly fourteen, and in love with an older girl who was one of my best friends and who had no idea how I felt. She went through a series of complete jerks as boyfriends, and yet I never had the guts to tell her how I felt. I think the story resonates with a lot of people who remember what they were like at that age. Of course, in real life, that situation didn't lead into an otherworldly, horrific war, but I like to think it could have!
10. There has been mention of your 'Body of Evidence' books, starring Jenna Blake, being brought to the big screen. Can you tell us how this is developing and who would be your personal choice to play Jenna?
Viacom Television had optioned the rights for a year. They picked the option up for a second term, but did not follow up for a third, so the rights have reverted and now we're hoping someone else will do it. Ever since I first saw her on Buffy, my choice has been Amber Benson.
11. Do you have any theory as to why, despite the things we fear and that give us night terrors, we still find horror and fantasy so addictive?
Oh yes. I believe that as long as we can believe, even for a moment, in demons and ghosts and vampires, then we can believe in angels and the afterlife and the eternal soul. If there are such things in the darkness, we can conversely have just a little faith that there are also things to combat them. If they represent death, they also offer us hope that there is life beyond it.
12. So, what actually sends chills down your spine, Chris?
Real life horrors, honestly. Columbine and OJ Simpson and child molesters and domestic violence. Those are the things that chill me.
13. If you had the chance to be made-up as a Vampire or a Demon by the BtVS make up dept, which one would you choose and why?
Easy. I'd want to be Kulak of the Miquot clan. Cuz, hell, who wouldn't want that big yellow fin on their head?
-- Interview questions by Sarah