Author Interview: David C. Hayes

Hi, guys. I have another author interview for you. It’s been so much fun putting these all together, and my reading list grows with each one. The good news is I’ll have plenty of books to read over Christmas break. This next interview is more in spirit of the season. Today, we will be chatting with author David C. Hayes. He’s here to tell us about his graphic novel, Kringle.

If you aren’t in the know, David C. Hayes is a writer type that used to act, do stand up comedy, and sometimes wrestled professionally. He teaches college as well, so be afraid for the future. David Hayes Online (davidhayes.com) is where all the updates, news, and other fun stuff will be as well as a virtual resume with photos, posters, trailers, and more. Click around. Have a good time; try not to leave a mess.

“Hayes is fast establishing himself as the new top-drawer of hardcore horror!” -Edward Lee

EB: Welcome, David. Thanks for being here today. Can you tell us more about Kringle and what inspired you to write it?

David: Thanks for having me here! Kringle tells the sordid tale of a Santa-Gone-Wrong. After a plane accident, Santa is grounded in the small town of Hearth, Michigan. He trudges off on foot for help when some militia-type poachers kill the reindeer. Santa snaps, of course, and visits a magical, bloody vengeance on the town. It is gruesome. This, like all of my other work, takes time-honored traditions or societal perceptions and turns them on their head. Tradition murders innovation, right? So I murder tradition! We did a similar thing with the Rottentail graphic novel at Easter (and the film version that came out in theaters last April). In something like The Rot, I have my character use cancer as a superpower. I’m a one trick pony, but it’s a good trick.

Here is the link for Kringle for those interested:

EB: You’ve written quite a few graphic novels and comics. What makes writing a comic different from writing a novel?

David: The biggest difference in writing a novel or a comic is the idea of collaboration. At the end of the day, once you finish a novel, it is a product. Once you finish a comic script (or a screenplay, or stage play, or whatever), it needs more hands to shape it. By its nature, it is a collaborative medium, and that collaboration is important. I look at a comic writer as a director, painting the scene with words that are then translated into actual paint, sometimes. I find it a perfect medium for the things that I like to do.

EB: The artwork featured in your comics and on your book covers is amazing. Do you come up with the ideas for them?

David: I do. Like I said, it is collaborative, but that collaboration needs a leader, and the writer is that leader. Everything from the marketing of the book, the ad copy, how it is presented and perceived, to the cover and interior artwork, the writer needs to be the overall director of the project. Now, this is just my opinion, of course, and I am a notorious ‘my way or highway’ type, but that is from my past role as film producer and current role in academia. There needs to be a big picture approach. Kringle‘s art, for example, intentionally pays homage to the Rankin and Bass Claymation holiday specials. It’s on purpose, so the feeling of familiarity is there… then we gut ya.

EB: What’s your next project and where can readers find out more about you?

David: Out at the same time is Dial P for Peanuts from Source Point Press, the same publisher. In that one, the grown-up Peanuts Gang (as trademark-free as I could pull off) is invited to an Agatha Christie-esque murder house and bumped off, one by one, for sins in their adult lives, stemming from their childhoods. Another case of taking tradition and turning it upside down. This is a big, 80-page graphic novel with art by Kurt Belcher.

Here the link if you would like to check it out:

EB: Where do you get the ideas for your work?

David: Oh. The big question. I think I just love challenging what we are told to accept as good and benign and right. Whether it is populist nationalism or, like a project for next year, talking about the great lie of Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, I have issues with being told things are black and white. They aren’t. There is nuance and gray. I love living in the gray. Add to that my penchant for splatter and things get goopy.

EB: What kind of research, if any, do you do? How long do you spend researching before beginning a project?

David: The research varies. Kringle was born from my love of Rankin and Bass and classic holiday films like “Silent Night, Deadly Night.” Something like The Rot is pure fantasy, so not much research. I am a forensic psychologist, as part of my degree set, so you can say I’ve been researching behavior for a decade to include!

EB: What a great source for writing material. If only we could all have your knowledge. Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?

David: So much to know! It has been a strange journey, so check out some of my horror movie adventures in Hollywood, the novels, my professional wrestling hobby, or anything else at www.davidchayes.com!

EB: Thanks for being here on the blog. It was a pleasure working with you!

That’s I have for you guys this week. The interviews will start up again on Monday, so make sure to save the site and visit again soon. Thanks as always for your support, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  -E.B.

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