Who are you? Where are you from? What are you working on these days?
My name is Patrick Whitehurst and I’m a guy from the California Central Coast who now lives in the oven called Tucson, Arizona. These days I’m working on short crime and horror shorts, a faux vampire crime novel, and nonfiction research for an Arizona legends and lore book.
What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?
I spent a lot of my childhood looking at books written by my great grandfather, Ben Whitehurst. He wrote a long out-of-print murder mystery and some episodes of the Shadow radio show (don’t know which ones). I’d like my great grandkids to nerd out over my stuff, even if no one else does.
Who are some of your influences? How have they influenced your work?
Influences include Stephen King, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Poe, Doyle, Erle Stanley Gardner, Alan Dean Foster, Agatha Christie, Shirley Jackson, and gobs more. I’d say they’ve had an influence on me when it comes to making my evening reading time something to remember. Occasionally I might channel their vigor when writing and certainly I’ve taken what I love about their individual talents and tried to follow along similar lines. For King it’s using the mundane in a horrific way. For Doyle and Christie, weaving a mystery that is brilliant in its simplicity.
Many, many, many contemporary influences. Here’s a few: Dietrich Kalteis, Tom Pitts, Tori Eldridge, Serena Jayne, Tom Pitts, Eric Beetner, John Lansing, Christa Faust, and oodles of others.
What are some writing tips you’ve received over the years you feel have helped you improve your writing?
Western author Gary McCarthy once told me to put descriptors before someone speaks rather than after. Dietrich Kalteis taught me the beauty of brevity. Kathe Koja the importance of smells and sounds. John Lansing the importance of persistence. And an erotic author taught me how to spend less time on social media and more time getting words on the page. I don’t remember her name since she’s not on social media. Alan Dean Foster made me realize how fucking cool black canvas slip on shoes can be.
What are you currently reading? How’s it going—recommend, or no?
I’m currently reeling from a book crisis. Started many, finished only a few. The one New Year’s resolution I made is to finish everything I’ve started, which includes Louis L’Amour, Joe Hill, William Peter Blatty, and one of those enormous “Wheel of Time” fantasy novels by Robert Jordan. I recommend reading one at a time, but pandemics… what ya gonna do?
If you had the chance to see one musician/group live in concert, living or dead, who would it be and at what point in their career would it be?
I’d want to see Dr. Know just after they released their 1988 thrash album, Wreckage in Flesh, and get my ass kicked in the pit after drinking half a bottle of Hennessy. I’d sleep in the next day and munch a whole pizza to recuperate.
What should we look for from you in the near future?
I’m going to use the word gobs again. That okay? Gobs of stories out for approval from 100-word horror shorts to a few new Sam the Thug stories. In the near future my nonfic book, “Murder and Mayhem in Tucson” is slated for release, with a forward written by crime writer Tom Pitts. Still cranking out book reviews over at Suspense Magazine. Otherwise, you can look for me at any one of the three mini golf courses in Tucson. That’s my jam.
Patrick writes both fiction and nonfiction, the latter of which includes the books Haunted Monterey County and Murder and Mayhem in Tucson. His stories range from true crime to thriller fiction reminiscent of Tales from the Crypt. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, including Pulp Modern, Hoosier Noir, Switchblade Magazine, and Shotgun Honey. He’s been featured in the anthologies Bitter Chills, Wild Violence, and elsewhere. His reviews and author interviews can be found in Suspense Magazine.