AOL Chat with F. Paul Wilson

This is a transcript of a chat session that was on American OnLine with F. Paul himself. This transcript was donated by Kevin Workman. You can mail him at

NOTE: I have edited this page so it looks best in a fixed width font like Courier.

RONB            : Hi shell!
Gruesome        : :)
JMcilveen       : He's quite friendly, with a good sense of humor
DarkEcho        : he's super, JMc
Blackwood       : ****** Drumroll *******
DarkEcho        : da DAAA
Blackwood       : Ladies and Gentledarklings
DarkEcho        : Welcome to the Dark Fiction/Horror Workshop
Blackwood       : HI  AND WELCOME   F. PAUL WILSON !!!!!!!!
DarkEcho        : Hi Paul:)
Zipnicked       : Clap! Clap! Clap!
LBleser         : Welcome FPaul.
ShellCP         : clap clap clap calp
ShellCP         : oops-clap
DarkEcho        : Darklings greet our guest:)
Blackwood       : !!!!!!!!!        !!!!!!!!!!!
DarkEcho        : Marc, glad yer here...
Gruesome        : Hi Paul...welcome
MarEllG         : Welcome Paul
BlakkSoul       : Hello!
JMcilveen       : Hello Mr. Wilson!
MBuhmann        : I wouldn't miss it! :-)
Vampyre881      : welcome
FPAUL46   : Hello all.  Please have patience with a chat room virgin.
MBuhmann        : Hi Dr. Wilson
DarkEcho        : We will be doing protocol tonight...
DarkEcho        : type a ? for a question a ! for a comment.
FPAUL46   : Only my patients call me "Dr."  It's Paul.
DarkEcho        : I'll keep track and call on you. Remeber to indicate
 		  the end of a question with a /GA
DarkEcho        : We maybe SHOULd be patients Paul
John Bradt      : can we sacrifice him since he's a vir?gin
JMcilveen       : Paul NECON Wilson
DarkEcho        : No John
ShellCP         : No one told me we were having a sacrifice tonight!
DarkEcho        : sheesh always with the plugs
JMcilveen       : Sorry
DarkEcho        : put the ritual tools of death away pleas
DarkEcho        : let's get going
DarkEcho        : *protoco;*
DarkEcho        : Paul want to introduce yourself?
DarkEcho        : Or do you need no introduction?
DarkEcho        : WE all know who you are...
FPAUL46     : Okay.  Not much to add to what you said in the newsletter.
	      That pretty much said it all.
DarkEcho        : I usually do, thanks:)
DarkEcho        : Okay, I have only ONE qustion...
DarkEcho        : what does th F stand for? GA
DarkEcho        : SOrry I HAD to ask!
FPAUL46     : The F. Stands for Francis.
DarkEcho        : We see.
FPAUL46     : There was already a FRank in the house so I became Paul
JMcilveen       : ?
Vampyre881      : ?
NightRiter      : ?
John Bradt      : ?
JBAXSC          : ?
MarEllG         : ?
DarkEcho        : Okay -- Marc--You get first question:)
MBuhmann        : Thank you Dark. Let me first say thanks for coming here! :-) 
                  Okay... the question. Can you
DarkEcho        : (MBuhmann first wrote to Paul Inviting him)
MBuhmann        : tell us a little about "The Implant"? Why was it 
		  released in Britian first? 
BlakkSoul       : ?
FPAUL46     : It's complicated.  Has to do with the Common Market and
 	      the UK's inability to keep US ...
FPAUL46     : editions out.  So they rush novels from Americans into print.
DarkEcho        : (line up on questions. . .JMc, Vamp, NightR, John B...)
DarkEcho        : (we will get to you)
FPAUL46     : IMPLANT was part of a 2-book deal with Headline
FPAUL46     : I was only a year late delivering.
FPAUL46     : By the's under my "Colin Andrews" psuedo. 
DarkEcho        : thanks. . .JMc
JMcilveen       : Is VIRGIN your wife's novel or a collaboration by both 
of you?
FPAUL46     : VIRGIN is a collab -- but issued under Mary Elizabeth Murphy...
FPAUL46     : It;s a "religious thriller" and I didn't want to mess up my
              regular readers' heads. (end)
DarkEcho        : Vamp?
Vampyre881      : What's your typical workday like? Also, do you plot out
		  characters/plots or just dive in? /ga
DarkEcho        : Well first hewakes up. . .
FPAUL46     : I start at the keyboard at 7:30 a.m. -- right after morning coffee... 
DarkEcho        : smile :)
Vampyre881      : (before bed for me)
FPAUL46     : and keep going until lunch.  Somethines I work out...
	      keep going till dinner...
FPAUL46     : sometimes after dinner...and YES I OUTLINE!!!!
FPAUL46     : Can't afford getting stuck 200 pages into a book and not
 	      knowing how to end it (end)
DarkEcho        : Night?
NightRiter      : I first want to say what a thrill it is to have you
	're great!! Now, I've read...
NightRiter      : ..most of the Adversary Cycle and was wondering how The 
                  Tomb and The Touch figure...
FPAUL46     : You've read them ALL of course
DarkEcho        : (of course)
NightRiter      : into the Cycle...I haven't read NightWorld or The Touch...
DarkEcho        : (and the rest of us are buying them tomorrow)
NightRiter      : Sorry...but I have them and plan on it!!
NightRiter      : Just finished Reprisal...great book!!!
FPAUL46     : Again, it's complicated.  BUT I didn't start out with 
              the plan of linking them...
Blackwood       : *** WELCOME TO HORROR WRITERS WORKSHOP *****
NightRiter      : Sort of loosely linked then?
FPAUL46     : THE KEEP, THE TOMB, THE TOUCH we all considered 
              stand-alones at writing time...
FPAUL46     : BUT when I plotted out REBORN, I saw that the EVIL I needed 
              to fuel the plot...
FPAUL46     : already existed in THE KEEP...and somehow, they all fit together...
FPAUL46     : Maybe I'd been working on a link-up subconsciously all along...
FPAUL46     : But it was a thrill when I saw that they all meshed. A very 
              cool feeling to wow yourself.
FPAUL46     : NExt?
DarkEcho        : Perhaps a higher, or lower power, Paul influenced you. 
                  . .John your turn GA
John Bradt      : New writers spend a lot of time writing short stories for
                  magazines and anthologies . . .
John Bradt      : before they try and sell novels,
John Bradt      : What do you feel is the most productive approach . . .John
                  Bradt : & BTW one of my favorite stories is "Lipidleggin. GA
FPAUL46     : I started writying shorts in the late 60s -- after many
              rejections, started selling...
DarkEcho        : (rejections. . .see darklings?)
FPAUL46     : to John W. Campbell.  Expanded one of those stories into my
              first novel, HEALER.
FPAUL46     : I think that's a good way for someone not comfortable with 
              his/her ability to sustain...
FPAUL46     : a narrative, which is no easy task.  (end)
DarkEcho        : James?
FPAUL46     : Matters what you're comfortable with...where your strengths lie...
FPAUL46     : If you're a Poppy Z., the short form was obviously the best 
              way to build a rep...
FPAUL46     : But if your strength is with a larger story arc and extended
              scenes, go for the novel.  (end)
JBAXSC          : How often do you stray from your original outline. GA
FPAUL46     : Fairly often.  A scene which works well in an outline 
              paragraph may not work at all when...
FPAUL46     : fleshed out.  Plus, there's the house-of cards effect:  You 
              change one element at the..
FPAUL46     : beginning of a story -- a little ripple, shall we say -- it can
              become a Tsunami by..
JBAXSC          : follow up ?
DarkEcho        : Go on
FPAUL46     : story's end.  OR -- you can come up with things you like 
              better. The ...
DelJ            : ?
FPAUL46     : best thing it to use the outline as a road map, but 
              don't be afraid to take interesting ..
FPAUL46     : side trips (end)
Vampyre881      : ?
DarkEcho        : follow up, JBax?
JBAXSC          : nah.  he answered it.
DarkEcho        : Mary Ellen
MarEllG         : I just read that you should go ahead and do multiple
                  submissions, even if publishers say no,
MarEllG         : because your job as a writer is to sell your work. Your opinion? 
FPAUL46     : I shouldn't answer that.  My agent makes those 
              decisions.  But I see nothing...
FPAUL46     : wrong with making multiple submissions. (end)
DarkEcho        : Shell you had a question anda comment...
ShellCP         : I just started The Keep - am halfway through it. Can't 
                  put it down. I love new twists w/...
ShellCP         : vampires...excellent..I'm sure the end is just as good.
ShellCP         : Do you do tons of research?
FPAUL46     : Thanks.  There are LOTs of twists in the KEEP..
ShellCP         : Yes, I've noticed.
FPAUL46     : Yes.  I have to believe I know..<
FPAUL46     : all about a subject/time/area before I write about it..
Delta Wire      : ?
FPAUL46     : It's a matter of confidence.  BLACK WIND took the most 
              research. (end)
DarkEcho        : Blakk--
BlakkSoul       : First of all, I must tell you that THE KEEP was one of the
                  first horror novels I ever read.
FPAUL46     : I'm sooooo old
BlakkSoul       : I was at an impressionable age, and wanting to express myself. 
                  I want to thank you
BlakkSoul       : for keeping me out of my mother's Harlequin romances.
FPAUL46     : A creaky "You're very welcome."
DarkEcho        : (he is tooooo young, Paul)
DarkEcho        : Was there a question ther Junior?
BlakkSoul       : In the keep, you build an antagonist who is open but at the
                  same time mysterious.
DarkEcho        : These kids...
BlakkSoul       : Do you find that not expalining an antagonist makes 
                  for a better story?
FPAUL46     : I've alway felt letting the reader fill in the blanks is 
              better than showing him everything.
FPAUL46     : My favorite example is the blood running under the door in
              THE LEOPARD MAN  (end)
BlakkSoul       : Thank you.
DarkEcho        : Marc--
MBuhmann        : When did you decide to enter the world of multimedia 
                  games? Did you approach Time Warner
MBuhmann        : or did they approach you with the "Mirage" project? Also...
                  will the novel to it be put in
MBuhmann        : book stores or will it be sold with the game?
FPAUL46     : I teamed up with MAtt Costello for our Sci-Fi Channel 
              gig in 1992...
FPAUL46     : In the interval, he wrote something called THE 7TH GUEST 
              which sold ...
DarkEcho        : Sold a FEW copies. . .
FPAUL46     : a million plus copies on CD-ROM.  Suddenly, everybody in
              multimedia wanted to...
FPAUL46     : talk to MAtt.  We work VERY well together -- do the work of 
              3 or 4 -- and he wanted us to
FPAUL46     : form a multimedia partnership.  MIRAGE was our first project...
FPAUL46     : Actaully it's teamed with another called MIME.  And 
              yes, the novel and CD-ROM will be...
MBuhmann        : Follow up, Dark?
FPAUL46     : published toigether, marketed together, but sold as separate
              units. (end)
DarkEcho        : please quick follow
MBuhmann        : Quickly... So you're planning more projects for games, 
                  or not yet?
FPAUL46     : Oh, yes.  Many more in the pipeline. (end).
FPAUL46     : Which writers?  Got an hour?  Let me see...
DarkEcho        : in chronological order by birthdate please, paul...
FPAUL46     : Lovecraft, of course.  Not for his style, but his vision of
              Cosmic Horoor...
FPAUL46     : (Love Dat Kozmik horr)...
FPAUL46     : And such diverse folks as Ludlum, Dickens, Niven, Poul 
              Anderson, CM Kornbluth,
FPAUL46     : (pant-pant) enough?
DarkEcho        : OH i guess
DarkEcho        : JMC GA
JMcilveen       : Why do you use the Colin Andrews pseudo in UK, and keep 
                  your name in America?
DarkEcho        : 'Cause Colin is SUCH a Brit name...
FPAUL46     : I sold THE SELECT all over the world (incl. US) under the
              Andrews pseudonym...
FPAUL46     : because it was a departure from my horror...
FPAUL46     : and I was so damn sick of being down on the bottom shelf...
DarkEcho        : LOL
FPAUL46     : where nobody with a back problem ever sees your books...
JMcilveen       : until they fall
FPAUL46     : THe Brits liked the name so much (obvious reasons) they 
              kept it. But get this:
FPAUL46     : They publish me as "F. Paul Wilson writing as COLIN 
              ANDREWS. (Go figure).
DarkEcho        : Who can figure publishers...
DarkEcho        : either side of Atlantic.
JMcilveen       : at least they didn't spell it Colon, being a doctor and all.
FPAUL46     : HA!
DarkEcho        : heheehehe
DarkEcho        : Interjecting here . . .how do peers in medical 
                  community take your literary work?
DarkEcho        : or  injecting....
FPAUL46     : They're very envious.  There's not a Dr. out there today who
              would quit in a minute...
FPAUL46     : if he thought he could make a living writing....
Gruesome        : !
FPAUL46     : Plus there's a lot of writers who'd love to be Drs. (go 
DarkEcho        : that may be a good future topic, paul:
DarkEcho        : Del, go ahead...
DelJ            : Were you happy/satisfied with the film adaptation of 
                  "The Keep"? 
DelJ            : ooops
MBuhmann        : Take that as a big, "NO"
DarkEcho        : oh Del...tsk tsk...
JMcilveen       : Good going Del
Blackwood       : heheheheh
DarkEcho        : I think our guest has fainted...
John Bradt      : Lock the door!
DelJ            : Thanks...
DarkEcho        : is there a doctor in the house?
FPAUL46         : No...just getting off the floor.
John Bradt      : :)
Gruesome        : <---Nurse
DarkEcho        : Vamp--quick--GA
LBleser         : He said he was a virgin, Del.  Did you have to be so rough?
Vampyre881      : How did the idea for THE KEEP come about?
BlakkSoul       : Sorry all of my medical equipment is for inflicting pain. 
FPAUL46     : It came from two things:
JMcilveen       : ???
DarkEcho        : calm down you darklings. . .
FPAUL46     : Quinn Yarbro's HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA which I thought was 
              well done but 
FPAUL46     : I couldn't get past the idea of a benevolent vampire...
FPAUL46     : The second thing was the idea of wondering how ...
FPAUL46     : the idea of a vampoire fearing a cross might strike someone 
              who's Jewish.
DarkEcho        : (oy vey iz mir)
FPAUL46     : The two ideas collided, and so I had to thinkup
FPAUL46     : something that might =resemble= a cross that the evil being 
              would fear.
Vampyre881      : Thanks -- BTW, I'll start tripping people in the horror 
                  aisles now...     ;^)=   /ga
FPAUL46     : The result was a midnight rush from bed to find a pen 
              and a pad. (end)
DarkEcho        : Gruesome you had a comment?
Gruesome        : pass
JMcilveen       : the popcorn
DarkEcho        : Delta?
Delta Wire      : What do you feel is the most important element to 
                  develop in your books? How do you go about ......
Delta Wire      : creating it?  GA
DarkEcho        : (watch those midnight rushes...)
FPAUL46     : I insist on two things before I'll commit to writing a book:
LJ Bothell      : hello
FPAUL46     : plot and character.  If I've got a plot but no one I 
              care about in it,
DarkEcho        : (-->Line for ?Shell, Marc, JMc--last  question)
FPAUL46     : what's the use?  And we've all read great character sketches
              masquerading as novels.
FPAUL46     : You need both.  (end)
DarkEcho        : Sheel?
ShellCP         : Did you have an agent before your first manuscript was
                  accepted? GA 
DarkEcho        : or Shell
FPAUL46     : I sold my first novel on my own.  And this illustrates the
              benefit of short story sales:
FPAUL46     : I sent HEALER to Sharon JARvis at DD as a partial based on an
              ANALOG story.
FPAUL46     : This gave me credibility, even though she'd never heard of 
              me. After all,
FPAUL46     : John Campbell had bought the original story.  I made some 
              mistakes with the contract...
FPAUL46     : and later wished I'd had an agent.  If you sell a book, 
              have an agent settle the contract.
ShellCP         : zanks
FPAUL46     : It'll be worth it in the long run, (end)
DarkEcho        : MARC?
MBuhmann        : Since the release of "Soft and Others", you have 
                  released many new short stories and .......
MBuhmann        : novelletes. I'm wondering if you're planning a second
                  collection of short stories? /ga
FPAUL46     : Yes I am.  I'm gathering them now.  I'm planning ...
DarkEcho        : (McIlveen you will be the LAST questioner)
FPAUL46     : on calling it PELTS & OTHERES or
FPAUL46     : THE BARRENS H& OTHERS>  Also planning
FPAUL46     : a separate Repairman Jack colection.
FPAUL46     : Just need one more story. (end)
DarkEcho        : McIlveen?
MBuhmann        : That'd be cool
JMcilveen       : Many of your novels have religious tones (THE TERY, THE 
                  KEEP, REBORN) are you religious...
JMcilveen       : or rebellious?
DarkEcho        : Does he cuss when he plays softball?
FPAUL46     : I'm a devout agnostic.  I had a Jesuit..
JMcilveen       : cool
FPAUL46     : education.  They tought me to question.  Consequently
FPAUL46     : I no longer go to church.  But religion fascinates me.  
              Thus, the upcoming VIRGIN. (end)
DarkEcho        : Darklings. . .I'd like to thank Paul Wilson for joining 
                  us. . .you may do likewise:)
NightRiter      : I think organized religion is out-dated anyway
DarkEcho        : Paul -- anything you would like to add?
Gruesome        : Thank You
DelJ            : THANKS
Blackwood       : ***********  Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CoBost          : Thanks Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!
LBleser         : Thank you Paul.
MBuhmann        : Thanks, Paul! It was great chatting with you! :-)
JMcilveen       : Thanks, See you at NECON!
ShellCP         : thank you thank you thank you thank you
NightRiter      : Thanks, Paul
DarkEcho        : We DO like to let our guests say what they want!
Vampyre881      : THANK YOU PAUL
FPAUL46     : YEs.  This was fun, but weirdly grueling.  I'm SWEATING!
Aenz            : Thanks, Paul!!!!
DarkEcho        : I TOLD you it was tiring, Paul. . .
MBuhmann        : It was "The Keep" question... wasn't it? :-)
StrigoiVii      : Thanks Paul!
BlakkSoul       : Thanks Paul.
FPAUL46         : YEs.  NECON.  Everyone come to NECON
DarkEcho        : Worse than writing:)
DarkEcho        : <--going to NeCon.
LBleser         : Now that you're "experienced," please come back.
NightRiter      : I'm going to go to the bookstore and DEMAND they put 
                  your books on top!!
JMcilveen       : It's the best!
Delta Wire      : Thank you Paul
Liven           : I'll be there.
Delta Wire      : Is Necon in RI?
Liven           : yes
DarkEcho        : Yup, Marie
JMcilveen       : Yes, Roger Williams College 
DarkEcho        : IT IS AFTER 11:30
Delta Wire      : Are you in New England, Paul?
CoBost          : Paul, You were the best guest we've had in awhile.
MBuhmann        : I vouch with you on that one, CoBost!
JMcilveen       : When will we se IMPLANT in US
FPAUL46     : Put all my books infront of Kings.  He said it was all right.
StrigoiVii      : <--- became reborn horror fan in 1982 after reading The Keep
DelJ            : Did you mourn the Knicks loss today like I did?
Vampyre881      : groovy!
Blackwood       : ---------  What a great bunch of Darklings! -----
NightRiter      : Cool!
Vampyre881      : Can I drink now?
DarkEcho        : <--puts Del's book in front of Koontz...
FPAUL46     : AARRGGHH!  The Knicks.  Whatta shame
JMcilveen       : I'm getting a proof, Are you Paul.
NightRiter      : Go Magic!!!!!
DarkEcho        : Not of our guest, Vamp
Vampyre881      : Rats!
DelJ            : I's still stunned!
FPAUL46         : I hope so.
MBuhmann        : Are you still a practicing physician, Paul?
DarkEcho        : Paul you may stay and chat with this bunch of adoring darklings...
Gruesome        : Paul, what is your medical specialty?  Are you practicing, still?
DelJ            : Figures a Vampyre would di those "redwings"
FPAUL46     : Gotta go, Folks.  It's been fun, but I've got to be in 
              NYC early for an FTL shoot.  Bye.
DelJ            : dig
DarkEcho        : Thanks again....
MBuhmann        : Bye, Paul!
CoBost          : Bye, Thanks again
MBuhmann        : Thanks again
JMcilveen       : BUY
ShellCP         : bye and thanks
Vampyre881      : Yes, it is sort of symbolic, isn't it?...
BlakkSoul       : Bye!
StrigoiVii      : Bye Paul!
Gruesome        : Wahhhh on the Red Wings.  Rangers all the way!!
Blackwood       : ----laters Paul!!!!!! and thanks ----
JMcilveen       : BUY WILSON
DelJ            : Uncanny even?
LBleser         : Thanks Paul.
RONB            : Bye!
Vampyre881      : Heh, heh, heh
DelJ            : Devil you around?
Devilgal2       : yup.
ShellCP         : <----going to tomorrow's Rockies game at Coors Field.
MBuhmann        : Man... what a great guy he is
Blackwood       : Colorado Rockies?
Vampyre881      : yeah, that was great
ShellCP         : You bet!
Blackwood       : Yup good guest huh MBuhmann!
DelJ            : Sacrificed any small children lately?
NightRiter      : Hiya Del!!
Blackwood       : heheheheeh
RONB            : So who's going to the HWA banquet next month?
DarkEcho        : me
ShellCP         : I thought about getting rid of mine...scared of prison.
MBuhmann        : So... how much do these long conferences cost?
CoBost          : not lately, Del
SHughes512      : You  can have mine if you can catch them
RONB            : It looks like it's just us DE!
JMcilveen       : Not me, unfortunately
ShellCP         : I know that feeling.
DarkEcho        : NeCon is CHEAP
DarkEcho        : Tell em McIlveen
DelJ            : Went to Type O Negative last night.  They rule and are very
                  cool people offstage
JMcilveen       : $180 per person Approx.
ShellCP         : why? (dare I ask)
StrigoiVii      : Where will NECON be held?
Blackwood       : Type O Neg....del they are great!
Vampyre881      : goodnight
DelJ            : Yes they are!
ShellCP         : bye vamp
JMcilveen       : Roger Williams College, Warwick RI
Blackwood       : Wonderfully unconcerned with what people think, huh?
StrigoiVii      : Thanks JM.
DarkEcho        : thr $180 covers room too

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KPC 8 February 1996