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Meet An Author Friday: Peter Molnar


Peter Molnar has been writing genre fiction for over twenty years and he is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association. He is a VIP Author for Stitched Smile Publications as well as a member of its editorial staff. His work has sold to such genre markets as City Slab: Urban Tales of the Grotesque, Necrology Shorts, and most recently Hydrophobia: A Charity Anthology to Benefit Victims of Hurricane Harvey, among others. He works in the Philadelphia secondary school system as an English teacher and Creative Writing Coach.

What works/authors have had an impact on you professionally or personally? How?
-I read "Pet Sematary" by Stephen King for the first time when I was twelve-years old and it scared the hell out of me, to put it mildly. I had been writing since I was eight, little shorts here and there, but it was that book that set me on a path to write horror and suspense. I wanted to scare other readers like that book scared me, and I have been working towards that ever since with everything I write. Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" saved me from severe writer's block which set in just after my child was born eighteen years ago. I was trying to balance my artistic life with being a father and could not effectively achieve it. I learned the power of practices like "Morning Journals", "Artist dates" (dates with your inner artist), and "Narrative Timelines", which involves writing about yourlife from earliest memories to the present time. As far as I'm concerned, Julia Cameron saved my life back when I was twenty-four. When an artist can't create, nothing makes sense and the world tilts too far over. Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" taught me how to embrace minimalism as well as dark humor in writing. Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" influenced me in terms of embracing the weird and wild in literature, so much so I ended up writing my thesis paper on the novel at Temple University. And Dennis Lehane's "Mystic River" taught me how to construct characters so vivid that you hurt when they hurt and you anguish when they die. Oh, and "Mickey Mouse and the Spooky House", first book I ever read.

If you could be a famous person (living or dead) for a day, who would you be and why?
-I would want to be Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan, and co-creator of HBO's "Westworld". He also co-wrote my favorite movie "The Dark Knight" with his brother. But I would want to be Jonathan back when he was writing the first draft of what I consider to be one of the most ingenious short stories ever written, 'Memento Mori". The story later went on to be made into a movie titled "Memento", directed by (you guessed it!) his brother, also. "Memento Mori" is the type of short story I hold up as the ultimate shining example of a writer at the top of his or her form, and firing on all cylinders. I would want to live out the day Jonathan actually sat down and started to write that short story, so I could sit in and get a feel for where his mind was at when he started crafting this amazing short work of fiction.

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
-Frozen string beans. I feel really bad for frozen vegetables. All too often, they go into the freezer and their buyer had the best intentions for buying them ("I'm going to start eating healthy!!!"), but then those intentions go to pot and the frozen veggies pay the price with freezer burn and abandonment. The age of my frozen string beans? Sometime around the Renaissance Period.

Dessert or no dessert? Why? If dessert, what is your fave?
-I don't know if a frothy espresso counts, but that's what I like after a good meal. I try to stay away from the sweets. I like bold, sour, and highly-caffeinated.

What is your favorite motivational quote?
-In terms of writing: "God, You take care of the quantity, and I will take care of the quality." -Julia Cameron