Praise for Ronald Malfi and his novels
“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books
“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon
“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly
“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”—Suspense Magazine
Ronald is a 38, a native New Yorker who transplanted to Maryland when he was just a kid, married to a psychologist (read into that what you will), and the father of two young girls. His newly released book “Little Girls” is amazing and you should check it out!!
(Click on the book to read my review!)
(Click on the book to read my review!)
Sierra: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
Ronald: I started writing, at least with some sort of discipline, when I was around 10 years old or so. I had an old manual typewriter and would hammer out scores of short stories, for which I would draw covers and staple the “books” together so I could pass them out to friends and family to read. My first published book was released in 2000, a year after I graduated college—it was a desperate attempt to stave off having to get a real job after graduation—but I had written several novel manuscripts much earlier than that. I was probably in my early teens—maybe 13 or so—when I finished my first novel-length manuscript. I still have all of these stories packed away in steamer trunks in my basement.
Sierra: Tell us a little bit about your newest book, “Little Girls.”
Ronald: Little Girls is about Laurie Genarro’s return to her childhood home after the apparent suicide of her mentally unstable and distant father. Along for the ride are her husband Ted and daughter Susan. While staying in the house, Laurie begins to uncover secrets about her family’s past while Susan befriends a peculiar little girl living next door—a girl who is the spitting image and, as Laurie comes to believe, the possible reincarnation of a terrible little girls who had lived (and died) next door when Laurie was a child.
Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Ronald: I’m not sure any writer actively “chooses” their genre. I’ve always been attracted to dark things, even when I was younger and afraid of those very same things that also piqued my curiosity. I’ve written some more “mainstream” fiction in the past, but even these stories tend to have a darkness about them.
Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?
Ronald: Very interesting question! There’s a section late in the novel where Laurie ruminates on the fears she had when she first learned she was pregnant with her daughter Susan. There’s a passage where I relate those fears, and describe how she began to see young children in the wake of those fears—children as horrid, disgusting, tiny people, so strange and unappealing that they’re depicted almost like aliens or monsters. For some reason, I love that passage. I think I managed to touch on some of the things childless people might think about other people’s children—the rudeness of them, the brazen effrontery, the grubbiness of their little hands and dirty clothes. It was a lot of fun to write.
Sierra: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Ronald: There’s always a little bit of real life that seeps in—the occasional anecdote or character trait, something like that. But for the most part, the characters are wholly fictional creations, and the stories that they populate come from that place where all stories come from—which is to say that, perhaps subconsciously, there are parts of real life tucked away beneath the veneer of fiction. But I rarely use real life experiences in my fiction.
Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Ronald: Oh, there are so many. I’m still influenced by authors and books, almost every time I read a new author or a particularly wonderful book. Early on, Stephen King was a huge influence, of course. Later, I grew to love the works of Peter Straub. And while I still adore Ernest Hemingway’s fiction, there was a period of time, right after college and a few years thereafter, that I was obsessed with his work and reread his novels until the pages of the books fell out. “The Sun Also Rises” still stands as my favorite novel.
Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?
Ronald: You know, I used to joke that I was too unimportant to suffer writer’s block. I think maybe that was a glib answer at the time. I’ve gone through periods of stagnancy, questioning what I’m writing, if it’s good enough, if it fits what my current editor is looking for, that sort of thing. But at the end of the day, I somehow manage to get over that hump and get back to the stories. And once I start writing, I’ll go off and knock out maybe 20 or so pages at a time. When I’m really cooking, I can finish a whole novel in about two months.
Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
Ronald: I guess it would be something to meet Stephen King, more for bragging rights than anything else. I’ve met Peter Straub, albeit very briefly, a few years back in New York, but I would certainly welcome the opportunity to sit down with him and pick his brain about his books. His writing is very layered and seems to allude to hidden truths between the lines, and I’d love for him to wink conspiratorially at me and let me in on all the little secrets that make his books so brilliant.
Sierra: Will you have any new books coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?
Ronald: Next year will see the release of a novel called The Night Parade. It’s about a father and daughter on the run from the government and police during the final stage of a disease epidemic that has wiped out much of the population. While it’s arguably an end-of-the-world novel—something I thought I’d never write—it’s much more intimate in its scope and is really about the relationship between the father and his daughter. I’m very happy with how it turned out.
Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?
Ronald: I think my drive for having a book published superseded my ability at the time. My first novel was a thing uncooked, and should have remained in the steamer trunk with the other early attempts. However, it was published and was instrumental in starting my career, as it helped me gain a small audience and ultimately led to my second book deal with a better publisher. Thankfully, that first novel is long out of print, though I’ve been alerted to a few copies for sale out there on the secondary and tertiary markets for exorbitant and ridiculous prices. Save your money, folks.
Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Ronald: The advice is always the same—if you want to write, you must read. Read everything, and read a lot. And when you’re not reading, you should be writing, of course.
Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Ronald: I’ve just been overwhelmed by the positive responses from my readers and with the wonderful emails I receive from fans. The horror community is a wonderful brotherhood (and sisterhood) of supportive peers and dedicated fans. It’s great to be a part of it. And thanks for your time, too, Sierra. Much appreciated!
Links to Purchase
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