Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Interview with Diane Doniol-Valcroze, co-author of '41 Strange'

Diane Doniol-Valcroze was born in Paris, France. As a young girl, she developed a passion for writing from her father, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, co-founder of the New Wave magazine CAHIERS DU CINEMA, and from her grandfather, French filmmaker André Cayatte (original THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES). She earned a B.A. in English literature from the Sorbonne University, and an M.F.A. in film from New York University while apprenticing on the Lauren Hutton show. She has co-written screenplays for such films as Lionsgate's PENNY DREADFUL, starring Mimi Rogers, and MGM's HIT AND RUN, helmed by Enda McCallion and starring Kevin Corrigan. 41 STRANGE is her debut book. She lives in Los Angeles.

For More Information

About the Book:

41 STRANGE, a first-of-its-kind e-book anthology devoted exclusively to “short-short stories of the strange and horrifying,” awaits just a couple of clicks away for Kindle readers who enjoy a good shiver up their spines.

41 STRANGE is the bizarre debut collection of authors/screenwriters Diane Doniol-Valcroze and Arthur K. Flam, who deliver a reading experience in the spirit of such masters of the macabre as Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock, and Rod Serling. As Doniol-Valcroze and Flam put it, the tales were written “in the lonely hour of the wolf … in the pre-dawn darkness when you get those ‘waking nightmares.’”

Doniol-Valcroze and Flam are screenwriters working in Los Angeles. They met at New York University's film school and started collaborating, first on short films and then on screenplays. That working relationship forged a natural path to writing stories.

“We're both very passionate about short fiction,” says Flam. “It's our favorite form to read and write. After working together for many years on film projects, we realized we had a lot of ideas … that could only be done as short stories, so we decided to finally pull the trigger.”

The short-short story format makes a perfect fit for the authors' strange visions. They immediately set up surreal and terrifying situations, which lead to even stranger conclusions. The stories can be read in their entirety in the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee and settle in with the book.

“Neal Edelstein (producer, MULHOLLAND DRIVE) has endorsed the book, and we’re excited because his new horror app HAUNTING MELISSA was the main inspiration for us to release the stories direct-to-audience,” says Doniol-Valcroze.

One of the authors' favorite stories in 41 STRANGE is “Frank’s Wash,” in which a man finds himself stuck on the conveyor belt of a car wash. All attempts to get the car wash operator's attention fail. Where Frank finally ends up becomes a chilling dissection of the parent-child relationship.

“We think (the stories) all embody that unnerving atmosphere,” Doniol-Valcroze and Flam say. “You're not quite sure if the events unfolding around the character are happening for real, or are they just a figment of the character's overactive imagination. We love that ambiguity.”

Doniol-Valcroze and Flam believe that 41 STRANGE will appeal to a general audience of film lovers and short story readers, as well as fans of science-fiction, horror and crime, and readers looking “for a quick dose of strange stories for commuting, or just curling up for a chilling night read before bed.”

For More Information

  • 41 Strange is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love watching film noir on a rainy night. I love watching high-risk sports, especially downhill skiing.

When did you start writing?

I started writing little stories at 13, bedridden with stomach flu.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Reading The Unknown Masterpiece by Balzac as a kid. And biggest, finding a writing collaborator who’s on the same wavelength.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I’d love to write in a log cabin somewhere in the Swiss Alps… hopefully not snowbound. I wouldn’t want to freeze to death like Jack Torrance in The Shining.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Work as a clown in a children’s hospital.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

In the mysterious Land of the Thunder Dragon in Bhutan.

Back to your present book, 41 Strange, how did you publish it?

We decided to self-publish. We truly wanted as much control over the content and artwork as possible. We were also inspired by a friend, Neal Edelstein (producer, Mulholland Drive), who released the new horror app Haunting Melissa direct-to-audience, and we thought it could be neat to control the distribution with the short-short stories direct-to-readers.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?


Why was writing 41 Strange so important to you?

To purge out those inner demons!

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I’m not sure which ideas are the “best” but I get inspiration from observing people in the streets, and insects. I also use films.

Any final words?

I hope I can share those demons with the readers, I’d feel less lonely!

No comments:

Post a Comment