Horror Author Interview – Patrick Rutigliano

Nov 19, 2023

Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

Hi. I’m Patrick Rutigliano. I’m a lifelong horror fan, cat wrangler, amateur cook, metalhead, adventure game enthusiast, and general geek. I also write fiction and poetry.

Which one of your characters would you least like to meet in real life?

Probably Alice Creedy. I don’t much fancy getting used for parts.

Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?

My work experiences. None of them were good, but they all definitely left an impression.

The term horror, especially when applied to fiction always carries such heavy connotations.  What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?

For me, horror is an umbrella term for so many things. Lovecraftian existentialism, slashers, gothic tales, ghost stories, splatterpunk–it all fits in. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people just equate the term with blood and guts. 

As to breaking past that assumption, it’s the writer’s job to make sure people actually care if the blood and guts start flying and to not roll their eyes on a path of nonsense getting there. A well-told horror story is a well-told story–period–and that’ll do the job.

A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate, considering the current state of the world where do you see horror going in the next few years?

It’s really difficult to say as we’ve never been at a point quite like this before. We have the mass proliferation of advanced technology at the same time people are hotly debating established scientific fact like we’re hurtling back to the Dark Ages. World War III has become a real possibility again, and future economic prospects over here are increasingly dire thanks to corporate influence over our government. Even for our species, everything seems horrifically political and tribal now. 

Perhaps there’ll be a gravitation toward stuff that’s a bit more fun and simple in response–a new wave of creature features, maybe. I’d actually really like that. That said, I think at least a short run of material coping with new AI technology is probably going to happen.

Given the dark, violent and at times grotesque nature of the horror genre why do you think so many people enjoy reading it? 

I think it’s both a cathartic release and an escape. It’s nice to spend a little time in a place where things are going even more to hell than they are in real life and to then just walk away unscathed.

What, if anything, is currently missing from the horror genre?

Innovation. Way too many dead horses have been flogged into pudding at this point.

What new and upcoming authors do you think we should take notice of? 

I’m admittedly biased as I know the guy, but Ben Eads. I really admire that he disregards trends and always strives to do his own thing with his work.

Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?

I can think of two. One was from an editor comparing the piece I sent him to Arthur Machen’s work. The other was from a beta-reader and fellow writer who described the monsters in my story as being more horrible than Lovecraft’s pantheon. Needless to say, I was deeply flattered by both!

What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?

Definitely character writing. I’m a plot/narrative guy, and that’s the part that gets me excited when I’m writing. I usually have to layer my characters over multiple drafts to really flesh them out the way they should be.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? 

Two: animal abuse and rape. I’m not touching either of those.

Writing, is not a static process, how have you developed as a writer over the years?

I started out writing bad Lovecraft pastiches. It took years of dealing with editors (and especially my chief beta-reader) to slowly refine my own style.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received with regards to your writing?

To break up my sentences more and to stop using “as” all the time are up there.

Which of your characters is your favourite?

Frances Borelli from Surviving the Crash (sadly out of print now). She all but wrote her story for me.

Which of your books best represents you?

I think each book I write represents the version of me that wrote it at that present moment. So right now, The Last Look.

Do you have a favorite line or passage from your work, and would you like to share it with us?

“In his imagination, George Cooper’s heart didn’t stop at his throat; it leapt from his mouth and dove twelve stories to the sidewalk below. The organ struck the cement with a wet splat, leaving a red smear that stood out like the first blush of autumn.”

Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?

My last book, “The Last Look,” is about a photographer who unwittingly photodocuments what may well be the catalyst that begins the end of the world. Currently, I’m wrapping up the last few short stories for a collection. I’ll be starting a novella collection after that.

If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?

Repetitive use of loud stinger jumpscares. They’re cheap and they suck.

What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?

The last one I really enjoyed was Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows. The last one that disappointed me was Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

What’s the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?  And what would be the answer?

May people believe that self-publishing has done away with the gatekeeping perceived in traditional publishing. Do you believe this to be the case?

In my experience, having self-published a book some years ago, absolutely not. The gatekeepers just changed. Instead of editors and publishing mandates, you have reviewers who refuse to even read self-published works and a heavy reliance on a tiny number of (quite expensive) paid promotion sites.

The Last Look Kindle Edition
by Patrick Rutigliano (Author)

The Last Look by Patrick Rutigliano

Hamstead House was Jordan’s favorite city landmark, mourned even as it was reduced to rubble in his camera’s lens. In the wake of the demolition, other structures inexplicably fall to join it, disintegrated to the last atom.

The enigmatic architect of these buildings looms large in Jordan’s mind, a character of old Chicago, shrouded in mystery. Clearly, the mind that created those structures was either visionary or consumed by madness… or something otherworldly.

As Jordan races to record the spreading chaos from behind his camera lens and uncover the buildings’ secrets, the force they held at bay is stirring. Each crater left by the destruction marks a tomb, a broken lock… with something monstrous on the other side.

Something clawing its way out to stake a claim on our world.

Patrick Rutigliano

Patrick Rutigliano resides in Indiana with his wife and a medically challenged cat. He found work there as a stockman, fry cook, cart monkey, and freelance proofreader. Alas, writing is still the only job that suits him.

During his off time, Patrick can usually be found attempting to recreate foreign cuisine, performing the solemn duty of feline waterbed, and having spirited debates with his wife over the failings of Disney villains.

Patrick’s collection, Wind Chill, is currently available via Crystal Lake Publishing. His next, The Neonate and Other Anomalies, will be published by Cemetery Dance Publications in the near future. His newest novella, The Last Look, is currently available via Bleeding Edge Books.


Website/Blog: https://patrickrutigliano.wordpress.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Patrick-Rutigliano/author/B006WSAVUS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4572968.Patrick_Rutigliano

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/patrick.rutigliano.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatRutigliano

Newest Release (The Last Look): https://www.amazon.com/Last-Look-Patrick-Rutigliano-ebook/dp/B0BX6Q21ZD/

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