An Interview with Dan Keohane
by Dan Keohane
We in the HWA have a commitment to bring you up close and personal glimpses of the people shaping the horror industry, to talk with these sculptors of words and pictures to see what makes them tick. When the chance came to interview none other than horror master Dan Keohane, we felt the only person qualified to carry such a conversation off was Dan himself. That, and no one else wanted to do it. Both interviewer and interviewee deeply regret any lack of professional-ism this article may display, horror being such a serious business after all. Comments or suggestions in the vein should be sent to lightenupalittle@ horror.org.
We met up with Mr. Keohane at a quaint, overpriced coffee shop in Massachusetts.
HWA: I have to admit, one doesn’t see too many Hawaiian horror writers out there.
DK: No, no. I’m not Hawaiian. My name is pronounce "Ko-Hayne" ... rhymes with "slow train," sort of. It’s Irish, though to add to the confusion it’s pronounced much differently overseas. In Ireland, my name would rhyme with "bunches of mackerels pointed skyward," sort of.
HWA: Let’s talk about your writing, then. The last couple of years have been banner ones for you, at least according to a questionable bio someone handed me. I have to admit that I’ve never read anything you’ve published.
DK: But ... you’re me ...
HWA: Work with me on this.
DK: Sorry. I mostly get comments on my historical accounts of British government, which is always nice, except I’ve never written any of those. That’s the other Dan Keohane.
HWA: I’m afraid you’re mistaken. I didn’t write those.
DK: No, no. The other other Dan Keohane.
HWA: I understand you’re also the Webmaster for the Horror Writers Association. Anything exciting going on?
DK: Things have been mostly quiet on that front, which is nice for a change. I get to answer the Web-phone when it rings, but I still have to call Steve Dorato if it ever breaks. However, the big news is the addition of Anthony Beal to the Web team! Anthony has taken on the reins of HWA Web news anchor, keeping the long-neglected news pages up-to-date. Everyone say "hi" to Anthony!
HWA: (after the restaurant patrons nervously mutter "Hi, Anthony" over their food): So, the team is growing by leaps and bounds. That’s always nice.
HWA: That’s great, but I think we should get this interview back on track.
DK: No problem. Oh, and though it’s been up there for a while, I still have yet to mention that the multi-talented Edo van Belkom has his article "So, Who Wants to be a Horror Writer?" up on our Writing Tips page! A great piece and something we all should read. Thanks, Edo. And don’t forget Amy Grech has Kathy Ptacek’s updated Market Listings loaded every month as soon as the newsletter comes out, and even maintains an archive of every Internet Mailer!
HWA: You know, I can’t help but feel that your agreeing to do this interview was a ruse to get your Web site article past the editors.
DK: (laughs) Don’t be ridiculous. Go ahead—ask me a question.
HWA: It’s been said many times that the market for horror fiction is in a slump, yet other people say the horror industry has never been stronger. Is the socio-economic make-up of the genre’s readership expanding, or contracting, and if the former rather than the latter, is it due to maturing readership once hooked on Goosebumps now "coming of age" as it were, and—
DK: (interrupting) You be sure and let me know when it’s my turn to talk, OK?
HWA: Of course ... and with such an influx of additional constituents emerging from the dungeons of Harry Potter, slowly traveling along the road of dark fiction, do you think—
WAITER: Excuse me, sir.
WAITER: (after a pause). I have to insist you order now. And the manager has asked that you stop talking into that mirror. The other customers are becoming agitated.
HWA: Oh ... sorry.
DK: I think he was talking to me. Let’s seeeee .... I’ll have the fifteen dollar bowl of soup with a ham and cheese half-sandwich.
WAITER: Of course.
HWA: And I’ll have what he’s having ...