Diane Doniol-Valcroze was born in Paris, France. As a young girl, she developed a passion for writing from her father, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, co-founder of the New Wave magazine CAHIERS DU CINEMA, and from her grandfather, French filmmaker André Cayatte (original THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES). She earned a B.A. in English literature from the SorbonneUniversity, and an M.F.A. in film from New YorkUniversitywhile apprenticing on the Lauren Hutton show. She has co-written screenplays for such films as Lionsgate’s PENNY DREADFUL, starring Mimi Rogers, and MGM’s HIT AND RUN, helmed by Enda McCallion and starring Kevin Corrigan. 41 STRANGE is her debut book. She lives in Los Angeles.
Arthur K. Flam was born in New York City and graduated from JohnsHopkinsUniversity with a B.A. in writing, and from New YorkUniversity with an M.F.A. in film. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Johns Hopkins’s oldest literary magazine, ZENAIDA, and worked as a journalist for the BALTIMORE CHRONICLE. He started in the film industry as an assistant on Abel Ferrara’s vampire film, THE ADDICTION. He has co-written screenplays for the films PENNY DREADFUL and HIT AND RUN. 41 STRANGE is his first book. He lives in Los Angeles.
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What made you decide to become a published author?
DDV: I’m a screenwriter and the chance to do something very personal was very appealing and liberating.
AKF: After doing research, we realized there wasn’t an e-book yet that was devoted exclusively to short-short stories of the strange and horrifying. It was exciting.
Where is your writing sanctuary?
DDV: In a corner away from windows and outside distractions!
What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?
AKF: I don’t think a writer should compromise on the prime content of a book; for instance, the end of a story, which carries the point.
What inspires you?
DDV: Film is a major inspiration. Especially Tod Browning’s Freaks and The Unknown.
What is one thing you learned about your book after it was published?
DDV & AKF: It’s a long process! Patience is truly a virtue.
Why do you love to write suspense-horror stories?
DDV: Hopefully to shock, shake the reader!
You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book. What’s the first ingredient?
DDV: 357 Mad Dog Hot Sauce. A killer sauce that takes your breath away…
AKF: The cob with no corn.
What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?
DDV & AKF: The “41” comes from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Cary Grant is attacked by the airplane at Prairie Stop on Highway 41.
Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?
AKF: I hope not. That might be gruesome!
Aside from writing, what’s your passion?
DDV: Film noir. Alpine skiing.
AKF: Film noir. Chess. Biathlon.
What’s next for you?
DDV & AKF: Among other things, the next volume. Thanks for having us!