13 Questions with Peter Cooper

Hey Horror Addicts, this week on 13 Questions I had the honor of interviewing Peter Cooper. If you’re wondering where you recognize that name from, he is the man behind The Peter Cooper Band. This is actually Pete’s first time to be interviewed on Horror Addicts. “I’m very exited to be here. I honored that you find me interesting enough to want to do an interview. Let’s get it on.”

The story for episode 55: Slasher is entitled Red Rain. Cooper mentioned, “It was actually written a couple of years ago, and I pulled it from the archives. I have quite a few short stories that I have written over the years that have never seen the light of day, that I hope to maybe put out as a collection one day. It is the story of a Penn State co-ed who is alone in her secluded Pennsylvania country home on Halloween. Needless to say, mayhem and suspense ensues as a result. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that this story will have more facets of it to come. Definitely a prequel at some point; and I don’t want to give away the ending. You will just have to listen.”

While Red Rain is Peter’s first podcasted story, he has several self-published works on his blog. “I’m actually going to set up a new blog pretty soon and will not be posting any more work on the literaturecoop blog.” But don’t panic fans, you will still “…find some of [his] fiction and non fiction work; everything from [his] short stories, to work on female sexuality, aikido, existentialism, humanism, eastern philosophy and of course music.”

Now I was curious, with all these fiction and non-fiction projects…how often does Cooper write? His answer was simple and very direct,It depends. There is not a universal process for me. It also depends on what genre you are talking about. In terms of non-fiction, I write solidly every day. Being a PhD candidate in psychoanalysis, I write a great deal on matters psychological everyday. In terms of fiction, I write when I am inspired and/or in a very dark mood.”

Being a PhD candidate, it comes as no surprise that Pete is “currently interning as a therapist at a substance abuse facility.” “However, [he has] worked with all sorts of populations from all aspects of psychiatric clinical work, to geriatrics, developmentally disabled, juveniles, sex offenders and substance abusers. This has certainly given [him] a wealth of knowledge in which to base some characters and ideas from. In addition, although it definitely helps in planting ideas and stories based on what [he has] worked with and seen, as well as builds [his] non fiction body of work. It does not afford [him]as much time as [he] would like to in terms of actually sitting down and writing.” He then added, “I do need to start making the time though.”

When questioned why he liked the horror genre so much, Peter replied, “I like the flexibility of it. I like that it is a genre where you can take it almost anyplace. Comedy is almost like this, but not quite. In other words, you can’t have hardly any horror in a comedy without the comedy suffering; it gets too serious. However, you can put comedy into horror and it still works. Drama is pretty limited in what you can do with it. Horror can have so many elements woven into it and still be effective. With most other genre’s, if you put too many things into the soup it tastes like shit. With horror, you can add many different things, and you can still make it work.”

As I mentioned before Pete is the man behind The Peter Cooper Band which, if you didn’t know, is a one man band. What is it like being in a one man band you ask? Let’s find out…

“It has its positives and negatives. I certainly love playing in bands as you can bounce and develop ideas with others. However, it is also a quasi-democracy where your vision and ideas are not always included. So, being a lone wolf has its creative advantages as well as its disadvantages for the reasons I just described. I have taken formal music theory and performance on guitar and voice, and taught myself bass. I can hold down a solid 4/4 or 2/4 on drums as well as other swing and shuffle beats. I can map out and do some composition on keyboards/piano. All of these things were a combination of formal study and self. Unfortunately, I can’t play everything in the literal sense!”

And the hardest thing about being a writer and musician? “For me it’s the solitary existence. Also, having to communicate these types of ideas and creativity to people in everyday life who just don’t get it or understand or appreciate it. Motivation and inspiration are sometimes hard to come by when you have to make a living and that can be a drag. I would think that being a rich musician or writer is awesome; not in the sense of being rich per se, but rather in the respect that now you can focus all of your energy on your craft rather than having to worry about paying rent and bills and all that fun stuff.”

Cooper’s talent and interest in music and writing seemed to manifest around the same time. “I was a late bloomer with both, not starting to do either seriously until I was about 18, but when I did, the bug bit me big time. Both are sources of expression and both are forms of catharsis for me. They are both so interrelated that it’s hard for me to even tell the difference anymore. I’m coming up with a story that I’m going putting music too.”

Currently, “nothing is or will be in actual production for some time as money is just not there right now. However, ideas are always cooking and work is always being done. Not to give away any ideas, I will say that a futuristic intergalactic sci-fi story is being cooked up. Songs are always being written and the psyche and dreams are always being analyzed, which lends to some very interesting work. Female sexuality is always being explored.”


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