Today’s interview is with Christopher Opyr, author of the horror novella Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh. You can find the full review of the novella here and pick up a copy for yourself using the affiliate link here: Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh
Questions about Writing
Is writing your full time job? Do you also consider it a passion?
Christopher Opyr: Writing is absolutely a passion for me, but no, it is not my full-time job, even if that is the dream. I spend the bulk of my working hours shifting between my most important job as a stay-at-home father (even before the pandemic had me housebound) and as a programs’ director working with social impact programs primarily in the education space – and if that sounds like jargon it basically breaks down to this: I help design, implement, and manage informal education programs. This runs the gamut from water conservation competitions to non-profit awards and educational resource programs. At the end of the day, I just hope that the work I do is putting some good out into the world.
What is your schedule for writing like? Do you make time for writing or do you squeeze writing in when a moment becomes free?
CO: As per my working arrangements already discussed, sadly my writing is mainly squeezed in when a moment becomes free. There have been years where I’ve been able to establish early morning writing hours (my most productive writing time), or where I would write daily on lunch hours, or set aside a weekly trip to a coffeehouse where I would perform a writing sprint, but current circumstances have not been conducive to a formal writing schedule, although I’m always looking for opportunities to reinstate a formal regimen.
For wrapping up Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh for instance, my final sprint on the novella came in September 2020 when my work office offered everyone a week-long holiday. The novella had been so close to done for so long, I decided to seize that off time to integrate the final notes and prep it for publication.
Amanja: Well it seems to have paid off! It’s a very impressive novella.
How much planning goes in to writing before you actually write a sentence? Or do you just let the words flow and do heavy editing later?
CO: I am a planner, through and through, but I also believe in the benefit of letting the story find itself as you write. While the two attitudes may seem contradictory, they work quite well for me in tandem.
So, typically how my stories come together fits into a very regular pattern. I either A) have a terrible nightmare (that I jot down upon waking), or B) am struck at random with a story idea while just going about my day (and immediately write it down in one of my notebooks). From there that idea lies dormant for typically 1-6 years (which I admit is a ridiculously long time), as I let it simmer and continue working on other already established projects. As it simmers, I take notes on potential story direction, characters, etc., until I feel confident, I have a full-fledged story.
Once I know the beginning and the end, however, and have found that confidence in my story, and believe that the details have aligned to do the idea justice, then the outlining begins. I start with broad strokes detailing out major chapter beats or arcs. From there, when the overall story movements feel complete, then I will outline the first 2-3 chapters in extreme detail, beat by beat, action by action. This part can be a slog, but it makes the writing easy.
With the early chapters fully detailed, I finally put words on the page, and that’s where the story really comes to life. While I have a strict outline, and I adhere to it, I let the characters begin to speak, and as I find their voice, those chapters may shift slightly, but moreover, that voice now informs the next few chapters. So, in essence, while I outline in a very detailed manner, that detail is never more than a few chapters ahead of where I am writing, with everything else only laid in as a malleable sketch that can shift with the emerging voice of the current story.
I hope that makes sense to someone other than me. My creative process has always been a bit at odds – a delicate balance of left brain and right brain, rigid structure and free-flowing voice.
A: You definitely have the most structure to planning I’ve seen on one of these interviews but it reminds me of my own style. I take heavy and well organized notes and have everything thought through in advance before I actually sit down to write. I think frontloading the work makes it easier for me overall.
How do you handle criticism or negative feedback on your writing?
CO: I embrace criticism. In fact, I request it.
In my collegiate career I studied architecture, art, writing, and film. One thing that every last one of those pursuits required was a thick skin. In art school, for instance, each week you’d tack up or hang your latest work, the whole class would gather, then the critique would begin. Every student, the professor, they’d all chime in. You stood, you listened, and you had to take in that criticism. Same in writing classes. You’d pass out your story, then the next week you’d receive 10-15 sets of your story back all covered in notes and red ink. Same thing in architecture. Same thing in film.
In the end what I learned was that whether you agree with the notes or not, you need to hear them, and you need to welcome them. My process now is to send my works to trusted readers that I know will not shy away from telling me even what I don’t want to hear. Moreover, I look to online writing communities that offer the chance for readers to add feedback and I ask my readers to add as many notes as they want.
Inevitably some people are going to hate your work, or maybe they love it, but they still have criticism. That’s fine. First off, I don’t like every book I read, but it doesn’t mean the writer is a bad writer, just that the writer isn’t writing for me.
Secondly, however, and I feel this is more important, all the criticism should never just be discounted as ‘oh, that reader is not my audience.’ No, I try to look at my criticism in aggregate.
Did a very small minority provide that criticism or even only one person? Okay, does your gut tell you that the criticism is right? If so, look at the note and really think about it. If your gut doesn’t agree and most readers are not noting the problem, then ignore that criticism and accept it may not work for that reader.
The real trick is if the offered criticism is coming in a plurality. If I receive the same note over and over again, then agree or disagree, I have to admit something is not working. From there I study the criticism and look for the root cause. This doesn’t mean I just take whatever suggestion that I am given, but I consider all the dissenting voices to figure out what they all have in common and then think about how I can address that in my own voice.
And again, I’ve rambled on for far too long. Anyone that gets to know me quickly becomes familiar with one of my favorite sayings, ‘brevity is not my strong suit.’ This is perhaps second only to the similarly themed, ‘I’m a writer in need of an editor.’ And, aren’t we all? That’s the whole point of accepting criticism. There is always room for improvement. There is always a need for a second set of eyes (and a third, and a fourth, and on and on).
A: This is all fantastic and thorough advice for other writers. I think that knowing brevity is not your strong suit is also a testiment to how impressive Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh is. It captures a very scary story in a relatively short page length. One of my major complaints for many popular horror novels *cough stephen king cough* is that they’re wayyyyy too long. Pacing is important and you seem to have demonstrated a full understanding of the concept.
Do you have any tips and tricks for aspiring writers?
CO: Tips and tricks, well, there’s a quandary. There are so many books on writing advice out there, so many writers giving their guidance, but it is all subjective and none of it is one size fits all. So, the first advice I’d give is please don’t hold anyone’s advice as dogma. Christopher Vogler is going to lead you on the Hero’s Journey based on the mythological work of Joseph Campbell, McKee will provide you with his elements of story design, screenwriting books will go on ad nauseum about the proper number of sequences, and whomever you are studying is going to have their own tailored advice as to how you should write. It’s not a formula. It’s not dogma. Advice is for when you’re stuck. When you’re not, just write.
However, if you absolutely need advice on writing, the best advice I’ve ever read is from Stephen King’s On Writing. Like him or hate him, he doesn’t sugar coat anything. To loosely paraphrase him (because I can’t quote anyone for a damn), ‘you can’t make a bad writer great, but you can help a good writer be better.’
Now, everyone that has read that book, please tear into me about misquoting King. Then when you’re done, just understand that my point is this: go to the advice and use what works for you to help when you’re stuck, but please don’t read all the advice and try to decipher the proper way to write. You’ll just stifle your own voice.
And that being said, here’s my main bit of advice that you can choose to take or ignore: please, whatever you do, don’t write for the market – write what you want to read. When you do, quite often your passion will show.
A: Yes! Please don’t write for the largest audience possible. This is how we get cookie cutter boring books that I’m very sick of. The true joy of writing my reviews here is that I get to read unique stories that may not be for everyone but they’re far more creative and rewarding.
Questions about Reading
Do you think it’s necessary for a good author to also be a prolific reader?
CO: Absolutely. This is part of my constant struggle. I love to write, and I love to read, but I’m terribly slow at both, which makes that balance a true battle. That said, any writer that tells you that they don’t read, that should be a red flag. I’ve heard the ‘I don’t want to be influenced by other writers’ ideas’ line before, but it doesn’t come off as profound and make one a unique artiste. It comes off as lazy. If you don’t enjoy reading, why are you writing? Conversely, if you enjoy writing, why aren’t you reading? I don’t see how one can have a passion for writing and not also share a passion for reading.
All that aside, if you want to be a good writer, outside of writing, reading is your next best way to learn. Read great books and learn what you love. Read terrible books and learn what you don’t like (then get back to reading great books). Just read. There’s always something that you can learn that can infiltrate your own writing, whether it is an economy of words (you’ll pick that one up from other writers – not me), or a lyrical quality of description, tips on avoiding the passive voice, King’s hatred of adverbs, or a distaste for parentheticals (which I’ve come to realize I’ve used way too much in this interview). No matter what you take away from it, even if it’s just the pure enjoyment of the story, it can help you be a better writer.
How do you find time to read?
CO: I find time to read about the same way that I find time to write, I squeeze it in during my spare moments. Sometimes that means I’m reading every night before I fall asleep, other times it means I squeeze in a chapter every few days or week. I try not to berate myself if either the writing or the reading slips, but I always try to get back to it as soon as I can. To that end, I also keep a check list on my white board in my office with activities I should be doing to help my writing: read, write on a story, edit on a story, work on publication of a story, market on social media, submit stories for review, things of that nature. Usually the generic ‘story’ is replaced with the titles of 2-3 of my works in progress. My aim is to accomplish 2-3 of those tasks every day. If most of the week I manage that mark, then I count it as a win.
Does reading give you inspiration for writing? If so what books have inspired you?
CO:If you’ve made it this far through my answers and not come to the conclusion that reading inspires me, then I’d be surprised. Yes, it absolutely inspires me. As for particular books, many inspire, but those that inspire me most are likely those that I’ve read again and again, so let’s get this list started, in no particular order:
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
1984 – George Orwell
Carrie – Stephen King (oh look, he made it into this interview again… as did my parentheticals)
Heart–Shaped Box – Joe Hill
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
It – Stephen King (sorry, he shows up a lot)
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
That said, there is inspiration to be had everywhere, and in any book, so one of things that I do to try to make sure that I’m not living in an echo chamber is to search for new writers, especially in the horror genre. To that end I subscribe to a monthly horror subscription called Night Worms, which sends out 2-3 horror books each month, and also periodically search through recent horror book reviews to see what strikes me as interesting. Some of those books that have provided recent inspiration, but with whom I have not been acquainted long enough to form a repeat relationship like with those above, include:
The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle
Hex – Thomas Old Heuvelt
Harbour – John Ajvide Lindqvist
The Ritual – Adam Nevill
Unspeakable Things – Jess Loury
Penpal – Dathan Auerbach*
* Added after completing the next question.
A: Well I’m starting to feel foolish for calling out Stephen King earlier but I stand by my remarks, his books are too long for my taste.
Who’s an author that you think is criminally under-read?
CO: Whoa, and you’ve thrown me.
Ok. After a moment’s thought I arrived at this question: does Dathan Auerbach of Penpal have a following, yet? I actually had to stop and immediately go check to see if he had a follow up to his debut novel, and turns out he does have a second book out: Bad Man. So, thank you for that. It looks like I have to go place a book order now.
But before I move on, I want to note that I now find myself laughing at myself. Here we are ‘talking’ about inspiration, and underread authors, and I immediately (well, almost immediately) throw out Dathan Auerbach, who I completely left off my inspiration list. He deserves to be there. Hell, I am adding him now.
But what I find funny about all of this is that Auerbach represents a huge segment of underrated authors – self-published authors (or at least authors that began as self-published), which is exactly the segment of authorship in which I find myself. He’s there with Andy Weir of The Martian, E.L.James of Fifty Shades of Grey, Blake Crouch of Wayward Pines, and Hugh Howley of Dust, among so many others. This segment is an authorship ripe with potential if the authors can just find their readers. So, if I’m going to talk about criminally underrated authors, let’s talk about some self-published authors (or originally self-published authors) on the cusp whose works I find to be exceptional:
The Fallow by Alicia J Britton
Poor Things by Daniel Barnett
Any short story collection by Elford Alley (and his novel Apartment 239, that I really want on Kindle or print already if you’re reading this Elford)
And if you’re in the online writing communities, find Amy Marie Z. Her work isn’t published in print or digital yet, but what’s out there is amazing.
A: I’ll have to check these out! Penpal has been on my list for quite some time, will bump it up.
What’s a book from your childhood that holds a special place in your heart?
CO: From my childhood, there can only be one: Lord of the Rings. Yes, I know it’s three books, but Tolkien submitted it as one book. It was his publishers, afraid for how much money they were going to lose on an adult fantasy novel (unheard of at the time) when they were seeking a sequel to a children’s story (The Hobbit), that decided to split it into three books so that they could publish fewer books with each subsequent release as his readership dropped off, thus printing fewer overall pages and minimizing their losses. Obviously, that turned out different than their expectations, but that’s irrelevant to the overall question.
Anyway, as may be clear, I was obsessed with this book. As will come up later (as I have skimmed ahead in this interview), I have Asperger’s, which many may associate with a strong tendency to form a narrow and specialized interest. In my teens, that interest for me was Tolkien, and specifically The Lord of the Rings. I probably knew more about that book and about Middle Earth than I did about world history. I’m not saying I’m proud of that fact, but it definitely defined a large portion of my childhood, and even though I read much less fantasy literature now than I did then, that work will always have a special hold on me.
Questions about Your Book
You’ve mentioned that you personally struggle with anxiety disorders. How much of you is in the protagonist Nelson Pugh? Is any part an exaggeration?
CO: Personally, I believe it’s necessary to write a little bit of myself into all of my characters. At the same time, I hold equally to an essential tenet of animation from my days in art school: ‘exaggerate what is important, sublimate what is not.’ For my characterization this means that I will place a piece of me into each character, exaggerating those aspects most relevant to the narrative, while minimizing the focus on those least relevant.
As this pertains to Mr. Nelson Pugh, I imbued him with my anxieties, but then exaggerated them in order to focus the story more closely to the chronic struggle with anxiety that was at the narrative’s core. So, where I am anxious when I travel, and I suffer as well from chronic anxiety, mine does not impede my everyday functioning on nearly the same level that it impedes Mr. Nelson Pugh. Part of that, however, is due to one inherent difference between his character versus myself. Whereas Nelson Pugh still struggles to accept his anxiety, only reluctantly medicating himself, and finds himself to be somehow deficient, unable to cope not only with his anxiety but also with the likelihood that he is on the autistic spectrum, I accepted both facets of myself many years ago. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, something I only came to understand as an adult much like Nelson Pugh, but I’ve come to understand it as a part of who I am, not as a deficiency or weakness. Moreover, rather than struggle to fight my anxiety without aid, I sought treatment over a decade ago and gladly take medication and seek therapy when possible. Seeking aid to maintain one’s mental health is something that I fully believe needs to be destigmatized, a cause which I hope that I can aid in some small part through my writing.
All of that being said, Nelson’s struggle with his anxiety is real, and I do understand it all too well. I know from past experience the fatigue of waking up day after day in a state of tension, anxiety, and panic, one that quite often has no proximate external cause. I also know his fear of the telephone, so often dreading what news it might bring, or the forced social contact that comes upon answering, something for which I am not always prepared. But that’s okay. I don’t dislike people, but social interaction can be difficult, especially when stuck deep in one’s own anxiety, and like with any change for me, it can take a moment for me to process. The rambling point here is that myself and Mr. Nelson Pugh, can be hard to untangle, because at both of our cores is a real struggle with anxiety and with being neuroatyipcal in a neurotypical world, but at the same time our personalities diverge with our ability to accept that difference.
A: I agree completely that seeking help needs to be de-stigmatized. I myself attend therapy and have finally found a combination of meds that at least mostly works. It’s a far better method that just accepting panic attacks as part of life.
In the forward you mentioned doing several rewrites. Can you give us an example of a substantial change you made?
CO: Yes, of course. The most substantial change that I made was shifting the point of view for the narrative voice. When I initially wrote Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh, I wrote the entire novella in third person past tense. The entire thing. Then one day, I was sitting there thinking over some notes and working on some edits, and it occurred to me that I wrote this entire novella from one person’s point of view, which I did very intentionally, and I wrote it in such a way as to connect the reader with his unique anxiety, but I had written the whole thing at a distance, because I almost always write in third person past. So then as I’m thinking about this, I realized that if I really wanted the reader to connect with this singular character, the story had to be his perspective; it had to be a first-person voice. That was the only voice that would match thematically with the isolation of the story.
Next thing you know I am rewriting the first few chapters in both first person past and first person present so that I can compare the difference and get a feeling for which of the two voices connected best. After much deliberation, I shifted the entire novella to first person past, which meant a rewrite of every sentence. Of course, shifting a work from third person to first isn’t as easy as just shifting some he’s to I’s; no, it meant rechecking the flow of every sentence and every paragraph to make sure the rhythm still worked with the voice change. It meant more internal reflection from Pugh and honing every ounce of description from his perspective, rather than that of an outside observer.
It may just have been the most laborious rewrite that I have ever done. It was also 100% the right thing to do for the story.
As for a more traditional change, I originally did not highlight any flashbacks. The story was so entirely in Mr. Nelson Pugh’s head that even if I talked about his past, it was a fleeting moment that he recalled, but never that the reader truly lived with him. The idea had been to keep Nelson Pugh always in the hotel room, always listening to that phone, but the more that I read and reread the story, and the more notes that I received, the more that I realized that the first few chapters had pacing concerns, and that’s because staying inside his head and never living in an active moment had created a passivity that was losing readers. By engaging his flashbacks, I could not only provide more active moments during his initial anxieties to help keep the reader invested, but also I could plant suspicion on members of the supporting cast early on as an added bonus.
A: Now that is a substantial rewrite!
Did you always intend for Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh to be a novella? It’s exactly as long as it needs to be but where you tempted to pad the page length?
CO: Please, never tempt me to pad page length. I know that I’m wordy enough as is.
No, I never attempted to pad Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh. If anything, I attempted to reign him in. When I started the book, I intended to write a short story. I did my usual. The idea came to me in a particularly long bout of work travel about ten years ago, so I jotted it down, and so many months passed (my queue of ongoing projects was shorter then) and I started the broad strokes outline, and thought to myself, sure, I can make this a quick 5,000 word story: no problem. Then the detailed outlines began, and the writing took over, and quickly it was clear that to establish the tension that I wanted, I needed the investment in Mr. Pugh and the focus on the minutia of his anxieties. From there, there was no going back. I wrote the story until it was done, realized I’d written myself into a novella and cursed myself because I absolutely realized how hard of a market I had just cornered myself in. Always short stories or a novel, short stories or a novel. Once you have a novella, well crap, typically you need two to three more for a decent collection. So, I sat on Mr. Pugh for years while I worked on the first drafts of other projects, until one day I decided that enough was enough and it was time to polish off the manuscript, do some hard edits, and either publish it or be done with it.
Your book is one of the scariest I think I’ve ever read. Do you have any plans to branch out from realistic psychological horror to more traditional or supernatural stories?
CO: Oh yes, most definitely. Mr. Nelson Pugh is in many ways an outlier for me. While I place the psychology of my characters at the core of all my writing, my typical work is in supernatural horror. To that end, I am currently drafting an anthology collecting roughly a dozen supernatural short stories that I have written over the last fifteen years. The structure is already laid in, and the bulk of the work is finished, but I am in the editing process now. Additionally, as most of my supernatural horror occurs in my own imaginary connected universe, I am hoping to create an epistolary framework to contain each of the stories within the anthology. With any luck I will stop waffling on the title, wrap up the anthology, and have it published by the end of 2021.
Once that is finished, I’m about 90,000 words into my first full-length horror novel, Radio Waves of the Macabre, and after that I have at least two supernatural horror scripts from my screenwriting days that I would like to adapt into novels, one, a more traditional werewolf story, and another about a familial curse in a small Italian village. Beyond that I have at least another two-dozen supernatural story and novel ideas simmering in various notebooks, awaiting their time to be written. So, if you know of any patrons that want to help a hobbyist writer shift his writing into his full-time career, I’ve got enough supernatural horror waiting to keep me busy for years to come.
A: Please keep me posted on all of these! I’d love to see more from you!
Do you have any advice for others who are struggling with anxiety, emotional, or mental health disorders?
CO: Yes. Don’t be ashamed, and don’t be afraid to seek help. Accept yourself for who you are. Whether you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, and need immediate help, or if you’re on the spectrum and tired of feeling different, there is nothing wrong with you or with your struggle. It is okay to be different, and it is a strength to seek help when you need it, not a weakness.
One of the greatest gifts that I ever gave myself was the understanding that I am on the spectrum and that being so is okay. Once I accepted that part of myself, I understood so much about the so-called quirks and idiosyncrasies for which I had always been called out, and I no longer felt guilt for not being normal nor blamed myself for those differences. That acceptance is a blessing, and while I still struggle, often on a daily basis, I can do so without shame clouding my vision. So, if you’re struggling as well, I only hope that you can grant yourself that acceptance.
Questions about You/ Just for Fun
What is something mundane that doesn’t seem to bother most people but drives you absolutely insane?
CO: From a writerly perspective, the lack of an Oxford comma bothers me to no end. I cannot stand how acceptable it has become to leave off that final comma in a sequence. It can make all the difference in clarity, a fact that has been a point of contention with me in my professional career every time that I have been asked to refrain from its use.
On a more everyday perspective, Asperger’s can come with certain sensitivities to sound, touch, or other sensations. Two sensations in general cause me particular problems. One, the sound of a balloon. I can’t be around balloons and definitely not around anyone attempting to make a balloon animal. The sound of fingers across a balloon’s surface is literally painful, and not in the new literally means figuratively sense (another mundane matter of language that drives me crazy). Two, touch: I need touch to be balanced, especially the more anxious that I find myself. So, for instance, if someone were to tap my right shoulder, I find myself either having to touch my left shoulder and balance out the sensation or having to fight the urge. The more anxious that I am, the less likely that I am going to be able to resist the impulse.
That may not be exactly for what you’re looking, but hopefully it is in the ballpark.
A: Nope, that’s all perfect. I too am a big fan of the Oxford comma. I also really hate that balloon sound. It makes me feel like spine is going to condense into a singularity.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
CO: I studied abroad in Florence, Italy over my last summer of undergraduate education. I applied for the loans, saved up the money, and made the trip happen completely on my own, and while it was a shorter duration than I would have liked (six weeks), that time was well spent. I studied photography, explored the architecture and art of Florence, brushed up on my Italian, located and traveled to the village from which my great grandparents emigrated, and even spent some time hosteling around Italy, visiting Rome, Venice, and the Cinque Terre. As much as I loved immersing myself in the history, the culture, and the art, I believe that it was the reliance on myself sans safety net that I enjoyed the most. The trip built up my confidence and gave me courage to take risks that I might otherwise not have ever been willing to take.
What’s your favorite present you’ve ever received?
CO: Two presents stand out – the first was my dad’s 1969 Minolta camera that he purchased in Vietnam and gifted to me before I left to study photography in Italy. The second was a gift from my wife who surprised me with a new “laptop” – a 1929 Remington Portable typewriter in working order.
If a stranger wanted to win you over, how would they start the conversation?
CO: My first instinct is to say, ‘by not being a dick,’ but if I were to give it more thought, then probably by striking up a conversation with me around one of my topics of interest: the horror genre, space travel, Marvel, woodworking, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, linguistics, Nintendo, or the validity of science over opinion. Those would all be good starts. Then said person would have to follow it up by still not being a dick. That last part is really important to winning me over.
A: We would most certainly get along. I’d be there with my matching space themed kindle case, tablet, case, face mask, and bag holding a marvel or Buffy comic with my nintendo tattooed arm. We just became best friends.
What’s something you would scream at your younger self until you were sure they heard you?
CO: “There is nothing wrong with you. You’re different and that’s okay.”
I might also give myself a head’s up on the Asperger’s diagnosis so that I could perhaps learn some management strategies a bit earlier in life.
Oh, and “Watch out for Seth (name changed). That bastard is going to stab you in the back!”
A: Damn you Seth!
Where Can People Find You?
Website: https://www.christopheropyr.com (This site is a work in progress, but I hope to have it running more smoothly soon)
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
CO: I don’t know. The interview was pretty thorough. I suppose if I were to say anything else, I’d say, thanks for reading – for reading this interview, the review of my book, my book, or for reading anything at all. We need more readers in this world, so keep it up!
Also, if you’re confused by the multiple last names in my social handles, I write under my wife’s last name, Opyr, rather than my own name of Hutton. This is purely for name recognition – as there are too many existing writers named Christopher Hutton – and not because I have any particular interest in hiding under a pseudonym. Although it doesn’t hurt that my wife’s last name means vampire. Added bonus for genre appropriateness.
A: Okay readers! Please go find Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh, link at the top!