Welcome, everyone. It's the Myth Master here and we have a special treat for you today; an Interview with R.H. Stavis, author of the novel "Daniel’s Veil" and newly released comic, "Demons of Mercy." I would also like to welcome Ms. Stavis to "The World of Myth."
M.M.: Ms. Stavis, when did you first start writing stories?
R.S.: When I first learned to write! I spent most of my school years writing short stories during class and begging for a good grade at the end of the year, regardless of my actions. At first, I did this only for myself, but then my classmates began asking for the stories. They seemed to like them, and so I kept writing. Now, here I am.
M.M.: What writers, if any, have influenced your own writing?
R.S.: Countless numbers of writers have influenced me. I am obsessed with reading. Huxley, King, and Saul were who I read most growing up. Now I read Bentley Little, and my friends’ works: Scott Nicholson, Chris Golden, Nancy Holder, Michael Laimo. The list goes on…
M.M.: Do you have a specific genre you prefer to write in, and why?
R.S.: This is tricky for me. I like to write what I like to write. I realize this is vague, but it’s the truth. I really love horror, but sometimes I write things that are “paranormal” rather than straight horror. Sometimes I like to write dark fiction with romantic undertones. Mostly, I stick to attempting a good story, no matter what it is, genre-speaking.
M.M.: What type of books do you enjoy reading in your spare time?
R.S.: Horror. Straight in-your-face horror. Horror that makes you think. For example, Bentley Little writes gruesome pieces, yet his work usually has an observational undertone I can’t resist. It’s very smart horror.
M.M.: Do you ever use any personal experiences in working out plot lines for your stories, and in a second part to this question, does your own personality ever crossover into a character’s makeup?
R.S.: I think I’d be lying if I said no. Authors do this all the time, intentionally or not. My personality definitely is ingrained in my works of “kick butt females.” I’ve been told that I am strong and confident, yet a big pile of mush underneath. Usually my heroines are this way too. And sometimes I do take experiences and throw them in. In a trilogy I’m working on, lightning plays a big part. I was almost hit by lightning once, and that kind of sparked everything (pun intended!).
M.M.: I heard that your first big writing job was at the age of eighteen with the development of a screenplay with Sony Pictures called, "Honor's Price." Is that so, and what was it like to be tossed into that type of work at such a young age?
R.S.:Yes, and it was crazy. I had no idea what I was doing, and I did everything wrong. Lucky for me, the people I dealt with were really patient. It was difficult and exciting, and I learned a ton from the experience, even though the film was never made. My piece was a Revolutionary War story with a female lead, and later on “The Patriot” was the Revolutionary War film made – with a male lead. Unfortunately, my liaison at the studio committed suicide a few months after, which makes this time in my life very painful.
M.M.: Oh, sorry to hear about that. Sometime later your popularity expanded when you started working on "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider." Would you care to give us a little insight into that project?
R.S.: I wrote the character’s memoirs – basically my take on how Lara became a “Tomb Raider.” I love Lara Croft, and I always will, so it was easy for me to come up with storylines. Her memoirs were on the web at one point, and there were many, many readers – over two million. People even used my storylines in their own fan fiction! It was great.
M.M.: Okay, so a project you are working on is for a video game by Maxum Games called, "Demons of Mercy," which is to be published by comics giant, Marvel Comics. What exactly is your roll in this?
R.S.: I created the concept and characters. I write the script for every comic issue, and I will be writing the script for the game. I’m also a part of the game’s design – they’re really working with me to bring my vision of the characters (from visuals to speech patterns) to life.
M.M.: And while we’re on the subject of comics, do you think that comic books are a medium that is still somewhat overlooked by the general public as 'kiddie material?'
R.S.:Yes, and they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, I think comics are becoming darker, edgier – more adult than ever. Especially when it comes to graphic novels. Another thing that upsets me is when I hear people say things like, “Comics are not a form of literature.” These people have obviously never written a comic! It’s a lot of work. You have to convey your story in few words – that’s not easy!
M.M.: All right, now if I may, we’ll do a complete 360 and take a look at you career as a novelist. You new book is "Daniel’s Veil." Can you give our readers a brief synopsis of the novel?
R.S.:"Daniel’s Veil" focuses on the concept, “If you found a bridge to the other side, would you cross it?” The book follows two men, Michael and Daniel. They discover that they are connected in a way that defies time and space. There are paranormal elements, and science elements to this story, and it is how these two concepts work together that makes the difference.
M.M.: My understanding is that "Daniel's Veil" has been on shelves since last year, and from what I understand it is your bestselling book yet. Is that correct?
R.S.: Yes, so far. It was on Amazon’s Top Selling Ghost List for almost one full year.
M.M.: Do you have another project that you are working on now, or is there something coming in the near future we should know about?
R.S.:I am currently working on several novel series right now. I’m also toying with some graphic novel ideas. I’m hoping to see these on shelves by 2007. In the meantime, it’s "Demons of Mercy" all the way!
M.M.: If any of our readers might wish to reach you, how would they go about that, and where are your books available for purchase?
R.S.: The best ways to contact me are through my website: www.rhstavis.com or my myspace: www.myspace.com/rhstavis The books are available pretty much everywhere books are sold, plus Amazon – don’t forget Amazon!
M.M.: What do you do with your life when you are not writing?
R.S.: I read. I go to conventions and do panels and then get silly with my other author friends. I work on HWA (Horror Writers Association) things. And I love the holidays, so I’m already gearing up for Halloween.
M.M.: All right. I really want to thank you taking the time to talk to us, today. Is there anything we didn't cover that you would like to share with our readers?
R.S.: Just that "Demons of Mercy" issue 1 will be in comic stores in December. And thank you!
M.M.: Great. Well, thank you again, Ms. Stavis. I hope to see more of your work soon, both here at "The World of Myth," as well as in our local bookstores and we wish you continued success with your writing.
Okay, gang, that's it from the Myth Master. I'll 'see' ya next time.