Meet Author — Bo Chappell

Talk about yourself—Who are you? Where are you located?

Hi. Thanks for having me. My name is Bo Chappell. I’m a writer and artist out of South Carolina. Alongside books I’ve published, I’ve written for APHOTIC REALM, KENDALL REVIEWS, THE GREY ROOMS, and THE NO SLEEP PODCAST. I also co-hosted a podcast called GEEK-MEN AND THE MASTERS OF THE THUNDERNERDS with Aphotic Realm co-founder Dustin S. Yoak.
You can find all my relevant links at my WordPress or follow me directly on Twitter and Instagram.

What are you currently writing and what inspired it?

At the moment, I’m currently focusing on the upcoming 5th Anniversary of my first novel, “Year 47”. I’m still really proud of that book. It was my way of working through my relationship with God. I just chose to do it as a survival horror western. Haha. Anyway, I have something fun planned for October. I hope it will be interesting to old and new readers.
After that, I plan on releasing a collection of my short stories thus far, along with some previously unreleased material. Maybe I can get that out by the holidays.

What genre do you write?

Well, the majority of my work over the years has been horror, but I tend to mix it up with another genre. I’ve also gone to the opposite end of the spectrum and written a children’s book as well. And recently I had the pleasure of illustrating “Goodnight Monsters” by Dusty Evely.
I’m looking to expand my writing though to, not only different genres that I enjoy, but different mediums as well, including some comic book work.

Have you been published/are you working towards being published?

Yes, both self and through submissions to other publications. I was first published in a book of fan essays about Doctor Who entitled “The Doctor and I”. It all kinda snowballed from that first acceptance.

What author inspires you the most?

My writing heroes span all facets of entertainment. Paul Dini, Charlie Kaufman, Max Brooks, and Alan Moore. So many talented writers who write in different mediums, and I find inspiration in them all.

And truth be told, my peers in the indie community like A.A. Medina and BP Gregory, to name a couple, really push me to want to write better when I read their work. In fact my last release, “Our Biggest Fears”, happened specifically because of their work and assistance.

What books are your favorite and what would you recommend for others?

I’m always hard pressed not to mention “Watchmen” by Alan Moore. Such an amazing amalgamation of literature in the guise of a superhero graphic novel. I also really love “World War Z” and the companion “Zombie Survival Guide”, both by Max Brooks. And again, anything by A.A. Medina and BP Gregory who have some amazing work out there.
Seriously. So many talented people whom I am acquainted with or have collaborated with in the past.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

It’s a simple one but write what you wanna read and not what you think an audience wants. The work is more fun, more genuine, and the audience will find you.

What is your perfect setting for writing?

As in an ideal setting to write? Hmm. All I really need is a quiet space and some inspiration.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Oh definitely a pantser. I can have a game plan, but I always find myself stuck if I write in order or to a structure.

What is your favorite written piece and if it’s published, where can one find it?

I do love them all (I think. Haha.), but I don’t know if I’ll ever write something as important to me as “Year 47”. So much went into it and it’s deeply and spiritually personal to me. If it had been the only thing I ever wrote, I could have been okay with that. I’m fortunate that’s not the case though.

As an author of horror, I need to know, why do you write horror?

To me, horror is a conduit to the things we tend not to address. Fears, doubts, failures, shortcomings. All those existential feelings we often have trouble addressing directly, especially death and transformation. They become oddly approachable when we dress it up as monsters. And I enjoy those discussions. They sort of become essays to me, allowing me to approach a topic and give my thoughts on it in the hopes it will open up a dialogue with the reader or listener.

What was your first experience with horror growing up? Something had to spark your interest. (My favorite stories are about the day someone got exposed to a scary movie.)

I tell this story often, but my mom sparked that joy of monsters. Apparently, my first movie was “Cujo”, and I was a baby. Haha. She said I was glued to the screen and didn’t make a peep. From there, my mom just knew what I could handle, and I watched a lot of great films with her. That trust has such an impact on my life.
It was likely “Friday the 13th” that pulled me in though, to memory, in particular “Jason Lives (Part VI)”. One of my favorite movie going experiences as a kid.

What is the scariest thing you’ve read or seen?

Man, I don’t think anything has bothered me as much as “Candyman” or “The Blair Witch Project”. Those stayed with me a while. As far as books, it was a Batman graphic novel called “Arkham Asylum” by Grant Morrison (another amazing writer). It’s dark, disturbing, and quite honestly scary.

Have you written about a personal experience and turned it into a horror story?

Oh for sure. My novella “Our Biggest Fears” is based on growing up with my kid sister and some personal hardships we had as separate adults. Of course some of it is embellished (we never did battle a serial killer in a tiny home community. Sorry if I ruined the illusion), but more often than not, the truths were scary enough. That was a hard book to write.

Favorite horror movies (books too if you haven’t stated those yet or have more horror specific)

“28 Days Later” comes out on top for me. Perfect blend of existential dread and survival horror. Top notch. I love “Psycho”, “Candyman”, and “Night of the Living Dead” as well.