Charlie Huston Bibliography
Joe Pitt Vampire PI Novels (in reading order)
Already Dead - Reviewed by LoveVampires
No Dominion - Reviewed by LoveVampires
Half The Blood of Brooklyn - Reviewed by LoveVampires
Every Last Drop - Reviewed by LoveVampires
My Dead Body (Dec 2009)
Charlie also writes crime novels in the noir / pulp style.
LoveVampires Author Interview with Charlie Huston:
Charlie Huston on Charlie Huston
I was born in Oakland, California and raised in Livermore, California. When I was six or seven one of my older cousins was hooked on The Lord of the Rings. He told me the whole story in installments, a little more at each visit, and quizzed me on who the characters were. That's how I got hooked on genre fiction. I started writing little stories around the time I was eleven or twelve. I think I was thirteen when I wrote my first real short story: a science fiction noir. The more things change.
Several years later.Find me with a graduate degree in acting and a bartending job. And a need to fill the time that was no longer being used putting my MFA to work. So I scribbled. And my feet hurt. And these two factors collided. Several months later I had written a novel. Really, it happened like that. There is an interlude after that, a couple years while the novel sat in a drawer, but the story of my brief "career" as a writer is very light on blood, sweat and tears.
Charlie Huston on Joe Pitt the vampire PI protagonist from Already Dead and No Dominion
He’s a former squatter punk from Manhattan’s East village who got infected by a Vampyre while giving him a handjob in the bathrooms of CBGS’s during a Ramones concert in the late 70s. He’s a sociopath who has little interest in anything but filterless Lucky Strikes, Old Grandad bourbon, his girlfriend Evie, and that vein throbbing in your neck.
Before writing Already Dead, you had written two hard-boiled novels Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, what made you decide to write a vampire novel?
More than anything, fun. I’d actually started ALREADY DEAD well before any of my crime novels were published. And, having burned through the advance money for those books and facing a return to bartending, I dusted off the 100 or so pages I had and passed them to my agent and asked if I might get some money for them. Lucky me, he said yes.
In Already Dead the causes of vampirism and zombification are scientific rather than supernatural. Where did your inspiration for your vampire mythology come from?
Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but in retrospect I was clearly ripping off Mathison’s I AM LEGEND. He goes into far greater detail with the idea of a virus as the agency for vampirism, and never entertains a supernatural alternative, but I read the book years earlier and it was boiling in my subconscious. I put my own riffs in there, but I’m a red handed thief on this one. No court of appeals.
Reading Already Dead, it is obvious the influence that the noir detective novel genre and the likes of Raymond Chandler has had on your work. What vampire/horror fiction has influenced you?
I’m not terribly well read when it come to horror. The only vampire books I’ve read are DRACULA, I AM LEGEND, SALEM’S LOT and…I think that’s it. Mix in most of Lovecraft and a few odds and ends, and that’s the sum total. Chandler is the relevant influence. The structure, style and tone of the books is straight up old school noir. The horror aspects are more the costumes and props that make it extra fun for me.
How many books are you planning to write in the Joe Pitt series?
Right now I’m planning on five. Each book is meant to stand alone and have a self contained Joe Pitt adventure, but there is a master arc running through the series that will lead up to revealing what the Vyrus is. Also, I tend to look at the series as a love story, and Joe and Evie’s relationship is the real anchor for me that will pull through to the last page of book five.
The movie rights for Already Dead have been optioned by Phoenix Pictures. Who would you like to see playing Joe Pitt? As this is a wish fulfilment question you can have any actor, alive or dead!
Ooooh, alive or dead. OK, now that’s tough. I’ve had a hard time answering this question in the past. I really like Peter Sarsgard. He has great creepy energy and always seems like he’s trying to detach himself from life. That would play great for Joe, but I’m not sure he’d be right physically. Still, he’s the best I’ve come up with. As for the dead, no question: a young Robert Mitchem. Was there ever a man so morally ambiguous? And just plain big. Mitchum doing a cross between his characters in OUT OF THE PAST and NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, that’s Joe for me.
Who is your favourite fictional vampire - from TV, film, literature or comics?
Why go any further than the source? Dracula. Both in the novel and in Lugosi’s original interpretation.
What are you currently working on?
I’m wrapping up edits on the third Pitt novel and warming up a new stand alone crime novel that will be set in Los Angeles.
What made you get into writing in the first place?
Well, I always loved writing from way back. As a kid I loved to write stories for myself. But I really just stumbled into it as a profession. I wrote my first novel, CAUGHT STEALING, as an exercise more than anything. It was a series of bizarre coincidences that lead to it being published several years later. After that, I just kept working my ass off. The alternative is bartending, and I’ve had more than enough of that brand of the undead life.
As a reader what book have you most enjoyed reading recently and why?
The best thing I’ve read in ages was Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD. I’m a fan to start with, but this is one of the most terrifying and beautiful books I’ve ever read. A vision of post-apocalypse America without a shred of the usual sense of adventure that usually informs that sub genre. Merciless and credible and utterly fucked up. The prose is both stripped and poetic. Best to be in a very good mood before you start it.
What next for Charlie Huston? (Do you have any personal or professional plans that you would like to share?)
As I say, I’m starting a new stand alone crime book, and I’ll also write the fourth Pitt novel this year. I’ve been writing MOON KNIGHT for Marvel Comics, and, while my run on that book will come to an end this summer, I expect to do some more work for them. Other than that, I’ll be trying to get a little sleep and maybe take a look at the sun every now and then.
27th January 2007
A big "Thank You" to Charlie Huston for taking part in the LoveVampires Interview. Already Dead will be available in UK book stores from February and No Dominion will be released in the UK on 5th July 2007, both books are published in the UK by Orbit.