Today I am interviewing Steve Rasnic Tem, author of the new horror novel, The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack.
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DJ: Hi Steve! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Steve: I’m a transplanted Southerner from Lee County Virginia, now a long-time resident of Colorado. My collaborative novella with my late wife Melanie Tem, The Man On The Ceiling, won the World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and International Horror Guild awards in 2001. I have also won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, and British Fantasy Awards for my solo work. My last novel UBO (Solaris, January 2017) is a dark science fictional tale about violence and its origins, featuring such historical viewpoint characters as Jack the Ripper, Stalin, and Heinrich Himmler. My novel Blood Kin (Solaris, March 2014), won the 2014 Bram Stoker Award. A handbook on writing, Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing, also written with Melanie, appeared in 2017 from Apex Books. I’ve also published over 430 short stories. The best are collected in Figures Unseen: Selected Stories, which came out this year from Valancourt Books.
DJ: What is The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack about?
Steve: The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack is a middle-grade novel set during Halloween, about a strange shop and its stranger proprietor. Now that she’s a teen, Laura wants to skip trick-or-treating to go to this year’s Halloween party with her classmates. But Mom insists she take her 7-year-old brother, Trevor, trick-or-treating first. The two travel to a new shop at an otherwise abandoned old mall–Doctor Blaack’s Mask Shop, overflowing with masks and costumes of all kinds, many of them quite peculiar. Trevor wanders off and when she and Blaack finally find him he is wearing a mouse mask that refuses to come off. Doctor Blaack reassures them it will fall off precisely at midnight tomorrow—Halloween. But all the next day the mask gradually takes over Trevor, talking on its own and dragging Trevor wherever it wants to go. And if Trevor isn’t in a specified place by midnight, the mask will stay on his face forever. Continue reading