‘I still have a loss from my dad, but I’m able to deal with it better through writing.’
“My dad was a huge influence on me. He was a teacher in Brentwood for 28 years. He was an inspiration to a lot of students and he was always encouraging me to write. We’d see a movie together and he’d say, ‘You can’t write anything better than that?’ I wrote a play, and he was supportive of that. He was supportive of me entering play competitions, one of which I won for. He was supportive of my Disney Screenwriting Fellowship.
“He was the Long Island Ducks public address announcer, a teacher and a longtime radio DJ for WGLI and WGBB. They built this incredible block around him and a few other guys. Then he went into teaching and had a family and he ended up running the radio station at Brentwood High School.
“I teach English and English-as-a-new-language at the high school level in Great Neck and to adults to take the high school equivalency class. Teaching English as a new language is so rewarding. I’ve never had students who work harder trying to learn a new language.
Horror is cathartic – I exercised a lot of fears with my second book and a lot of my emotions with my first book.
“I came out of college and I was a journalist, covering the Long Island serial killer for a couple years and then I started producing a podcast called “Voices from Gilgo” and I’m doing a library lecture series about the killer. That started at the end of my father’s life. He was in-and-out of the hospital, and I was doing this podcast to take my mind off of it. He was encouraging of that too. Even when I would see him at the rehab facility, he’d ask me about it and say, ‘That’s great, good luck, be safe.’
“When he passed away, I was having a really hard time. I was very broken with his passing; thanks to therapy I’m a lot stronger than I was. I needed to have an outlet for my heartache, so I put together a group of short fiction horror stories that I published under my own publishing company, Spooky House Press.
“Horror is cathartic – I exercised a lot of fears with my second book and a lot of my emotions with my first book. I still have a loss from my dad, but I’m able to deal with it better through writing.”