Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Home Help Search Login Register

+  The Horror Drive-In
|-+  Horror Drive-In
| |-+  Drive In Theater By Night (Moderators: among736, RonClinton)
| | |-+  John Saul musing
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: John Saul musing  (Read 211 times)
markgunnells
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 4134


View Profile Email
« on: April 13, 2017, 03:49:15 PM »

I was a casual reader of Saul. I didn't read all his books, and I wasn't a huge fan. His tales were a bit too formulaic and light on characterization for me...and yet once in a while I did enjoy picking up one of his books. I consider them the literary equivalent of B horror movies, and sometimes that just hits the spot. My favorites were Second Child and The Unwanted.

I was thinking about him today, and how he used to publish a book a year and was a real presence in the horror field (and a gay horror author, which inspired younger aspiring horror authors who happened to be gay like myself) but hasn't had anything out since 2009. I don't know that he made a formal announcement but it would seem he has retired from publishing.

Which sort of makes sense based on some interviews I read with him where it seems clear writing for him was a business, not a passion. He expressed that he had little interest in the horror and thriller genres in which he wrote, just that they were an easy sale. In fact, in an Advocate article it was revealed his partner is an uncredited collaborator (though the contracts for the books are in both men's names), actually coming up with ideas and outlining them and then leaving the actual writing to Saul. So if Saul saw the writing as just a money-making venture, with no real inner drive to create, it would make sense that if he got to a point where he knew the money he had would support the lifestyle he wanted for the rest of his life, there would be no reason to continue.

I was just musing on this, how someone who was once, love him or hate him, a major name in the horror industry could just drop completely out of it. No real point I guess, just thinking out loud.

Anyone else have any thoughts on it?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 03:50:51 PM by markgunnells » Logged
BrianKeene1
Triple Feature
***
Posts: 146


View Profile Email
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 04:01:49 PM »

Some people do see it as a business. I can't definitively speak to whether or not that was Saul's case, of course, but I know of others who have dropped out for that reason -- it is very, very hard to make a living this way year after year. Add to those concerns the stuff that has come with the rise of social media (humanity having instant access to you -- and fully half of humanity are dicks) and it's easy to ask yourself "Why am I doing this?"

There are also a number of people who just lost the passion for it, for various reasons -- William Schoell (who was a mass market titan back in the 80s/early 90s), Geoff Cooper, etc. Sometimes, they come back after some time away. Other times, they find they are happier without the muse. 
Logged
markgunnells
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 4134


View Profile Email
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 04:08:32 PM »

I am basing the assumption that it was just a business for Saul on the interviews I read by him, but I don't mean it as a judgment. We all do our work for different reasons, and I'm fascinated by learning how others do it.

I looked him up and saw that he just turned 75, I didn't realize he was that old. Maybe he just figured he had worked on these books every year since the 1970s, made good money, and was just going to enjoy the rest of his life with his partner.
Logged
RonClinton
Moderator
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 7013


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 05:24:56 PM »

I read an article years ago -- an interview, as I recall -- where he discussed his view on his craft (and you pegged it, Mark (again, as I recall)) and his thoughts on retirement, etc.  Would have been a good discussion point for this thread...but I've no idea where I read it.  A quick Google search didn't turn it up, unfortunately.

I was never a fan, but like probably most, if not all, of us here, I've read a few of his novels.  He was the right author at the right time in the industry, and probably did quite well.  Good for him.
Logged
markgunnells
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 4134


View Profile Email
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 05:36:27 PM »

I can't remember exactly where I read some of this either. This is the article, an interview with him and his partner, where I got the information about how he and his partner work together on the books.

https://books.google.com/books?id=22IEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=does+john+saul%27s+partner+help+write+his+books&source=bl&ots=zePOKc7ZcT&sig=IVo4uTnq48lzC-Cl8h9S8_2_KuY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPlPby2aLTAhVG4oMKHUpjCBcQ6AEILjAC#v=onepage&q=does%20john%20saul's%20partner%20help%20write%20his%20books&f=false
Logged
Shocklines.com
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 1942



View Profile Email
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 07:13:33 PM »

I think some of the books he did were brilliant. The God Project, in particular, remains one of the most horrifying and brilliant horror/tech mashups I've ever read (and it's shocking there hasn't been a movie, but maybe it's just too horrifying). From my small dealings with him, he is incredibly nice and smart.
Logged
jimallcorn
Triple Feature
***
Posts: 155


View Profile Email
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 09:53:51 PM »

Wow Mark, talk about a blast from the past.
I haven't thought about Saul or his work in many years. And & used to be a fan of his stuff from the late '70s when his SUFFER THE CHILDREN came out right up until the mid-'80s. If I remember correctly, the last book I read of his was NATHANIAL.
I think of his novels as being very formulaic & I stopped reading his work right about the time that he began to really rehash his earlier plotlines. And, I guess I just grew a bit tired of all the horrible things that he'd do to kids. It just grew tiresome to me.
I was somewhat intrigued by his serialized novel that came out after King's THE GREEN MILE was such a success, but just couldn't get into it & I stopped reading after the first two installments. It seemed to really require that the reader be very familiar with his early novels & even though I usually have a near eidetic memory, I just couldn't remember much about them other than the Conger girls from SUFFER THE CHILDREN whose story I just found to be depressingly sad.
Still, Saul was a huge part of the horror novel boom of that period & was at one time only second to King in popularity & sales. That is until Koontz came along & knocked him down a peg or two.
Logged
Shocklines.com
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 1942



View Profile Email
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 07:13:41 AM »

One of the areas that Saul excelled in is that, similar to YA fiction, Saul was not afraid to let bad things happen to children, and no character in the book was ever safe. Believe it or not, that's rarer than you think in mainstream adult fiction. My favorites by him, in addition to The God Project, were Creature and Brain Child. Richard Matheson wrote a very interesting screenplay for Creature that ended up in one of the Gauntlet limited editions.
Logged
wcr01gsr
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 1171


View Profile Email
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 07:37:00 AM »

One of the few books of his that I read was SUFFER THE CHILDREN, back in the day.  His first, I believe.  And for some reason it has stuck with me all these years, so much so, that I reread it a couple years back.  Just a sad, depressing tale that I thought, surprisingly, was quite good.
Logged
markgunnells
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 4134


View Profile Email
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 07:43:42 AM »

I just watched an old clip from the Travel Channel on how Saul and his partner (called a friend, assistant and collaborator here) used to travel around in a large state of the art Winnebago complete with writing nook, looking for creepy places to inspire the stories.
Logged
wcr01gsr
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 1171


View Profile Email
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 08:53:04 AM »

I just watched an old clip from the Travel Channel on how Saul and his partner (called a friend, assistant and collaborator here) used to travel around in a large state of the art Winnebago complete with writing nook, looking for creepy places to inspire the stories.

Very interesting...and probably quite helpful.  Stimulate your imagination while passing through different locations and venues once all your old haunts are basically dried up. 
Logged
RonClinton
Moderator
Dead By Dawn
*****
Posts: 7013


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2017, 08:53:28 AM »

I remember reading an interview with him where he said that his primary fan base / buyer were teenage girls.  As a father, avid reader, and a bibliophile, it's kind of sad now to look back on that time-not-so-long-ago as the Good Old Days, when kids actually read for pleasure instead of being eye-locked with their cell phones.
Logged
Authorfan
Second Feature Veteran
**
Posts: 71



View Profile Email
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2017, 08:49:18 AM »

I love John Saul. I still hope he'll deliver a new novel one of these days. I agree some of his titles are better than others, but he does have a way of bringing you into the story right from the start. Plus, he's a super nice guy. Kind of a bummer he never got the recognition he truly deserves from the horror community.  So he's a gimmicky novelist.  Who the hell cares. As long as he is entertaining at what he does, more power to him I say.


Martin
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  




Login with username, password and session length
  Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines