Interview: Sergio Pereira

The Bookie Monster Interviews Sergio Pereira, author of Don't Steal from the Devil.

Great responses Sergio! I love when an interview strikes my funny bone! I hear ya on being stuck on the next chapter...I'm totally there myself! Between your choice in music, and sticking for sale sins outside a friends house (I totally pulled that move as a teen!) I feel like I interviewed myself! Love it =)

Sergio Pereira is a South African born writer. His debut horror novella, "Don't Steal from the Devil," shot into the Top 100 horror sections of Amazon, Amazon UK, and Amazon Canada. Recently, his short story, "The Crucifix Killings," was chosen by Death Throes magazine as one of the best of 2013.
Tell us a little about yourself, your work and how you got into writing.
I am a 28-year-old writer and freelance journalist from Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently, I am very grumpy, because I cannot figure out the next chapter of my new project - but, apart from that, I'm an OK guy who enjoys a good conversation and laugh.

I have been writing my own stories ever since I was a young boy - but never taking it too seriously. After I finished university, I found a job as an entertainment journalist. While at this job, I made up a series called "Days of our Deadlines," where I would parody the day's events for my fellow colleagues and managers. Everyone seemed to love it and suggested that I should write my own stories - and I actually took their advice. So far, I have completed 3 books, which are all still in the cogs of the publishing machine, and a whole bunch of other short stories.

At the moment, I am heavily promoting my latest project, "Don't Steal from the Devil." The novella is a paranormal horror story that combines the horrors of possession and housebreakings. Personally, I think it is great - but hey, I could be bias!
What five words best describe you?
Determined, resilient, stubborn, funny, Batman.
Do you have a most embarrassing moment? Do tell!
Oh, plenty! My entire high school career could be turned into a sitcom - but there was one incident that really made me cringe... In class, I used to have this bad habit of putting my ruler in my mouth and spitting on it. One day, our art teacher was giving us a long, boring lecture, and I dropped my head to sleep. As I did this, the ruler popped out of my mouth, which resulted in a huge spitball being flung towards my teacher. The spit splattered right in the middle of her shirt, and the class burst out laughing. Yet, somehow, someway, the teacher never noticed the spit, and only scolded me for burying my head in shame and not listening to her. To this day, I still don’t know how I survived this. By the way, if Mrs. Kukard is reading this, I really am sorry for that.
Are there any critiques in particular that you just can’t seem to shake?
Not really. I believe that everyone has the right to an opinion, and you should at least read/listen to constructive criticism.

In fact, constructive criticism is important, and helps writers learn. One critic, in particular, pointed out something to me that I hadn't realized before, and I truly believe he actually helped my next story.

Being confident is important, but there is no room for arrogance in the creative arts. The fact that someone just took the time to read your work is a privilege and an honour - not a right.

However, if someone is just trolling, you should never "feed the troll."
If you were to create a writing soundtrack, what artists would be on it?
Phew! I have so many favourites, but these are definitely the most played when I am writing:

Wednesday 13
Climate Control
Still Remains
Deity's Muse
Rise Against
Motley Crue
Bring Me the Horizon
Avenged Sevenfold
Black Sabbath
How do you come up with the character names in your books?
They normally just come to me, and I go with my gut feeling.
How many people have you killed off over your career as a writer? Ever offed someone off then kicked yourself for it?
I have killed off tons of characters. In fact, in one of my short stories (SPOILER ALERT!), I killed off the two main protagonists and it was fantastic.

In response to the second part of your question, no. I mean, you can always revive characters if you want. That's what is great about being a writer; you're in control. Listen to me now...I sound like Dr. Frankenstein now.
Have you ever written yourself or people you know as a character in one of your books?
All of the time - but I will never tell them. Haha!
Do you laugh at your own jokes as you write them?
Of course. I am the official ruler of the kingdom of lame.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do. I am quite active on my official Facebook and Twitter accounts, and engage with readers about questions and their thoughts.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I'm not writing, I read, play video games, hang out with my girlfriend and dogs, and watch/play football.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
It is really a merger of the two, but I also take a lot of liberties.

Plus, I will never reveal what is true and what isn't. It's a secret and adds to the mystique of it all.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Two things: 1. Write about what you know. 2. Keep on pushing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Humble yourself, learn, and keep on improving.

Also, if someone offers you a job as the president, take it. It kind of is a job in fiction, too.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?
"Do you think Ben Affleck is a great choice to portray Batman?"
Who are you reading right now?
Right now, I am busy with Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series. I love the whole noir approach to it.
OK, so, what’s next, do you already have a new project in the works?
Yes, I do. In the month of January, I have already completed and submitted two short stories to publishers and magazines. I am also 4 chapters into a children's story, which I believe is going to be awesome.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
When I do suffer from writer's block, I step away from the writing and do something completely different for a while. If I begin to get ideas, which I can't quite write yet, I just sketch or jot them down.
Did any specific author(s) motivate you to begin writing?
Roald Dahl is perhaps my biggest motivator. He changed the way that I saw stories and writing. I love all of his books.

In ten words or less:
  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?
    • Morning person.
  • Biggest fear?
    • Heights.
  • Favorite TV Show?
    • Breaking Bad.
  • First item on your bucket list?
    • Live.
  • If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?
    • For them to destroy toll roads.
  • If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • The ability to be ridiculously good looking.
  • If you could meet anybody in history, past or present, who would it be?
    • Nelson Mandela.
  • If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    • Butternut soup.
  • If you realized that you got a free item by accident after leaving a store, would you go back and pay for it?
    • Yup. I've done it before.
  • Last thing you dressed up as for Halloween?
    • Jason Voorhees
  • Quirk that annoys your spouse/friends?
    • Snoring.
  • The zombie apocalypse has begun. What zombie fighting badass would you want on your team?
    • Daryl Dixon
  • What is one thing that you can’t live without?
    • Happiness.
  • What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
    • Steal for-sale signs and put them outside a friend's house.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?
    • Ignorance.
  • Who is the most famous person you have met?
    • Probably Rob Trujillo from Metallica and Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
  • Who’s your favorite blogger? (cough)
    • The Bookie-Monster, of course!
  • Would you rather be homeless for a year or be in jail for a year?
    • Jail.

Where can readers stalk you?