The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with… @BrianKeene
Welcome to the tenth installment of LAST WRITES.
The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.
Today’s guest is Brian Keene, a writer of novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres.
Keene also oversees Maelstrom, his own small press publishing imprint specializing in collectible limited editions, via Thunderstorm Books.
He has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 World Horror Grandmaster Award, 2001 Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction, 2003 Bram Stoker Award for First Novel, 2004 Shocker Award for Book of the Year, and Honors from United States Army International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and Whiteman A.F.B. (home of the B-2 Stealth Bomber) 509th Logistics Fuels Flight.
A prolific public speaker, Keene has delivered talks at conventions, college campuses, theaters, and inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, VA.
The father of two sons, Keene lives in rural Pennsylvania.
My last meal would be a bit of a buffet, consisting of my mother’s cornbread, my second ex-wife’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes, author Mary SanGiovanni’s mother’s sausage and peppers, my grandmother’s venison tenderloin — and my grandmother’s fruitcake, various flavors of Turkey Hill ice cream, and a large pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese — but it’s got to be good cheese. Real mozzarella. Not that fake shit the pizza chains call cheese..
If I don’t die until I finish reading the book, then I’m going with all seven volumes of Stephen King’s DARK TOWER because in my opinion (and his) they make up one sprawling epic novel. (laughs). No. There’s a children’s book called A TEENY TINY TALE, based on an old folk story. I have a Little Golden Book edition of it from the late Sixties, that was read to me as a small child. I’ve read it to both of my children (now ages 25 and 8). I’d pick that, because if I was dying, thinking of my boys when they were little would help ease the pain and fears.
Mike Judge’s OFFICE SPACE. It’s my all-time favorite comedy. I can quote the damn thing by heart, and yet it never fails to make me laugh. That movie has legitimately saved my life more than once. Maybe it would do so again…
“Purple Rain” by Prince, but it has to be the album version, with the guitar solo at the end. Not that radio edit that cuts off before the best part. That guitar solo makes the damn song, you know? Here’s a little something people (except for Mary) don’t know about me — since I was a teenager, I always thought that if I ever had to commit suicide — I mean like in a situation where the zombies are busting down the door or I’m in the same physical shape Hunter S. Thompson was in — that I would do it to “Purple Rain”, and I would squeeze the trigger right at the end, as the violins begin their drone before fading out. Seriously. That would be an okay way to die, far as I’m concerned. Not as adventurous as, say, being the first human to die on Mars, or as epic as blowing up in the Goodyear Blimp over the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, but we can’t always get what we want.
FIRST PERSON YOU’D LIKE TO MEET ON THE OTHER SIDE
I have a very firm belief that the afterlife is sort of like the series finale to LOST. Everybody that was important to you waits together in a self-manufactured dimensional space until you arrive, and then you all move on together. I believe that the afterlife is a hotel convention bar, and when I walk in, I’ll see J.F. Gonzalez, Tom Piccirilli, Richard Laymon, Rick Hautala, and a bunch of other writer friends hanging out there. And that’s what we’ll do until the last person to die arrives. It’s going to be one hell of a party.