Perry Prete is a native of Sudbury, Ontario, but grew up in London, Ontario. After graduating as a paramedic from the Ambulance and Emergency Care Program at Fanshawe College, Perry worked part time for various EMS agencies before settling in Brockville, Ontario. He continues to work as a full-time paramedic and is also the owner of Sands Canada, a medical equipment company dedicated to the pre-hospital care community, and founder of Sands Press, an independent publishing company that is committed to assisting new and established authors publish their books – and keep all of their own rights – at affordable costs. Using the vast amount of knowledge that he has gained over his thirty years working as a full-time paramedic, Perry crafts gripping and suspenseful stories based on actual calls and full of realistic details.
After I reviewed Perry Prete’s Highway Seven (review live on April 14th), I was given the opportunity to engage him in an interview. He had some honest, sometimes fun answers that I think you all will appreciate. Thanks, Perry!
S&S: I noticed when reading your book of short stories, Highway 7, that they had that sort of mystical/mysterious atmosphere that you find in old episodes of The Twilight Zone. Are/were you ever a fan of that series?
If yes – what’s your favorite episode?
PP: I was a closet fan of The Twilight Zone. When I was young, my parents refused to let me watch it so I would sneak down and watch the show while sitting on the steps. I would grasp the railing like jail bars, press my face between them, and strain to hear the audio. That allowed for a quick escape if my parents did turn around during the show. Unfortunately, I don’t think I ever saw a complete episode and I’ve never seen them in reruns. So no favourite episode. Sorry.
S&S: Do you feel like you’ve written your grandest work yet? Or is that story still to come?
PP: LOL My grandest work! If I had already written my grandest work I would hang up my hat, buy an island, and retire on the residuals from the book. So, to answer your question, no, I don’t think I have. I have much more to tell. My head is full, of something. Time is my nemesis.
S&S: Dark, Milk, or White Chocolate? (“None” is not an option. It just…isn’t.)
PP: That’s easy. Milk chocolate, soft milk chocolate. And if I can add caramel to that, even better.
S&S: That’s an acceptable answer!
S&S: From your bio I know you write stories based on actual calls… Have you ever written someone a better ending?
PP:That is a great question. My first publisher didn’t like my writing style. He wanted everything in my “Ethan Tennant” mystery series tied up in a pretty purple bow with a happy ending for everyone. Real life can be cruel. I usually have ended the story with a slightly happier ending. If I ended the calls in my books the way they end in real life, no one would read what I have to say.
S&S:What does (or would, if you aren’t the proud owner of a snarky one) your coffee/tea mug say about you? (Mine says: I don’t like MORNING people. Or mornings. Or people.)
PP: I was given a mug by a good friend with pictures of my dear departed pet squirrel, Kiwi, on it. It was and still is one of the most treasured gifts and means the world to me. I wouldn’t part with it for any money. So what does mine say about me: I loved my little girl Kiwi and I’m a sucker for orphaned squirrels. Besides, everyone knows I hate people. I don’t need a mug to tell people that. LOL
S&S: Without stating author name or book title – tell us about your favorite book.
PP: A single favourite book. OMG. That is next to impossible to do. Let’s see: dead people, scary scenes, strong characters, town in Maine, good ending. Have I given too much away?
S&S: Doesn’t that describe almost every single Stephen King book?
S&S: If someone asked you to take them to your favorite place – and you could literally take them only one place, with no sightseeing stops along the way – where would you take them?
PP: If I could ask Scotty to beam me anywhere and bring a friend, I’d have him beam us to Paris. I’ve never been but I want to go.
S&S: Garfield or Grumpy Cat?
PP: Grumpy Cat for sure. Although Soft Kitty is more my style.
S&S: Are you the type of writer who works from an outline? Or do you just write the pieces as they happen, and connect them together?
PP: Neither. I have a rough idea for a story, start at the beginning, and just start typing. The story changes a million times by the end and it never ends the way I intended. So it surprises even me. I like being surprised and I find that characters change as the story develops, which brings an entirely new perspective to the story.
S&S: What’s your favorite story in your Highway 7 collection and why?
PP: I think the title story. I can sympathize with the main character, his life, and what happened to him. I see the town in “Highway 7” as life. Events and circumstances can change in a moment and it can turn your life around in ways you never envisioned. There are not always reasons for what happens; things seldom go your way and you’re forced to make do. Then again, “The Reunion” has a great monster in it. Can I change my answer?
S&S: If you could get one of your stories (whether just a short or a novel) made into a movie, who would you choose to direct it?
PP: Where is J.J. Abrams??? Get him on the phone. Anyone have his number? The “Highway 7” title story would make a freaky Cloverfield type movie.
A terrifying tale of claustrophobia reveals a dark secret even more disturbing than the present ordeal. What should be an idyllic family reunion turns to trauma when a demon from the past reappears to claim its victim. An innocent girl investigating a series of brutal murders becomes warped in ways one cannot imagine. And a pit stop along a long highway drive may lead to love, or it may be the final destination in a bizarre twist of fate…
Award-winning mystery novelist Perry Prete returns with Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales, an anthology of unsettling horror stories that are sure to leave you shivering as you triple-check your locked door. Get ready to experience a weird world as you journey along Highway 7!
Click here to check out Highway 7 on Goodreads now.
Publishing Company: www.sandspress.com