The horror and thriller genres have appealed to me since I was a boy. I remember being eight years old in a theater watching the original Halloween movie. It probably wasn’t the most appropriate movie for a boy that age, but it did leave a lasting effect. By that time, I was already hooked on Twilight Zone, Star Wars, and KISS.
When I began to write as an adult, the horror genre just seemed like a natural fit. I like how someone can be so immersed in a story, that he or she could imagine being the one chased through the dark woods by the maniac. It’s amazing how a writer can give someone an experience like that from an idea he or she probably thought of while shopping for groceries.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
For me, like other writers, was to remember to show not tell. I had to remember not to write “Her sweater was red.” It’s better to write “She pulled the trigger and watched the bullet explode outwardly through smoke and flash. The projectile entered her assailant at center mass with a force that pushed him onto his back. When she looked down, she saw her white sweater had new red splotches on it.”
The best way to deal with writing challenges is too keep writing. I still slip a lot, but at least now I can catch mistakes in the editing phase. Sometimes it’ll be 24 hours later and the error pops into my head. “Oh, man, I did it again.”
When and where do you do your writing?
Ideas can pop into my head wherever I am at the moment. If I don’t have something to write on, I’ll do my best to remember it when I get home. If needed, I’ll grab something; napkins or Post-It notes usually do the trick. When I write full drafts, I’m at home with my laptop. Currently, I live in a studio apartment, so my writing table is in my kitchen/living room. There’s a picture on the Blog Post List page on my website at petecastillo.com. The times vary from early to late afternoon. I have to exercise in the morning, because a long day of sitting has been proven to take a toll on the body. We writers have to remember to stay active.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
Promoting is tough, especially for first-time authors who are trying to build a brand. I’m no expert when it comes to promoting, but what I have learned is people have to get to know you before they’ll think your work is something worth their time. Bloggers are best for Indies to partner with for early and ongoing promotions. Do your homework and make your lists. If your work is good enough, it’ll find its way.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I’ve been a blue collar all my working years, and only dabbled in writing until 2005 when I began to take a serious interest in it. My first full work was a screenplay. I learned the format from surfing the Internet and learned to use the Final Draft software. Just because screenplays are shorter than novels, doesn’t mean they’re easier to write. Screenwriting still has a process, but I enjoy it. In blue collar work I’m only challenged physically. When I write, it’s all mental. My mind is stretched beyond its limits, and that’s a good thing. As long as the mind is active, the body will follow.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would have dinner with Stephen King after he read one of my manuscripts. When we sit down to talk about it, he seems like he would dissect it in a comical way.
About the Author
Since before he knew it, Pete Castillo had a foot in the paranormal door since he was a boy. He has memories of being captivated by reruns of the original Twilight Zone. At the time, he may not have had a complete understanding of the story lines, but there was something about the genre that held his interest. The imagery of Star Wars and the rock band KISS also added to the beginnings of his creative thinking.
As an adult, he dabbled in writing. He learned from “How To” books on sculpting fiction, feedback from various editors, as well his favorite books and films.
Later, as another urge to write crept up on Pete, he decided to sit down and follow through with a project, no matter how many rewrites. The result is his first published novel called Breach Of Consciousness. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He can be reached through his website: petecastillo.com or Twitter: @atpetecastillo