Lee Pletzers is a displaced New Zealand writer of the weird, wonderful and grotesque.
Since 2001 he has made an impact on the genre world and thrives within its limitless boundaries. Over seventy shorts stories have slammed his name on anthologies and magazines across the globe. Five novels impacted humanity and two novellas were the icing on the cake.
He still sends his books out to independent publishers, looking for that elusive million dollar cheque.
1. Tell us about yourself - who you are as a person and as a creative...and anything else you think people might want/need to know about you and your life (personal AND writing life!)
-- why is the first question always the hardest? Who am I? Who are you? Why are we here? Ah, yes. Horror. The erotic beauty of horror and the tantalizing taste of fried flesh sliding across your fat, wanton tongue. Heaven. I write in this genre called horror, a lot of my work is religious based; I'm talking devils, demons, things we can barely grasp that go bump in the night. I often freak myself out, and I feel like someone is watching me, I've had cups of coffee fall off the desk, get cold shivers and sometimes smell toast. Which is why you'll never see a ghost story written by me. Best to leave that shit alone. Though I did once write a ghost story for raging horrormones. I don't believe in ghosts, demons or the like. What I do believe in is the subconscious ability for the mind/body to be able to project abundant energy and knock my coffee off the computer desk, send a shiver down my back and cook toast. Way back in 2002/03 new years eve I was on the verge of sleep and had, for lack of a better word, a visitation from Mephistopheles. He had a purple face and many red jagged lines (like veins) running diagonally across his features. He smiled. I smiled (has to be a dream right?), then I fell asleep with him watching me. The next day I wrote this in my blog (pre-MySpace) and some people I know started a serious email discussion about this. I never read all those posts. Too many. And everyone seemed to be talking to each other. I was already out of the picture. A little while later a shadow darker than the night appeared next to my bed. It hissed. Freaked the fuck out of me, so I rolled over planning to ignore it and a moment later my shoulder spasmed and it felt like tapping. The next morning I wrote a short story to get that out of my system. It is the only short story I have never placed. Meeting me in general would be hard, 'cause I don't usually hang out. I'm not a social bee, never have been. I do truly enjoy being by myself and sitting at the computer. My writing world is always more fun than reality.
2. When did you first become interested in the horror genre?
-- The horror genre found me when I was eight. I remember it clearly. I was watching TV and a preview was shown for a Saturday night movie. The preview excited me but I did not know why. I asked if I could watch it and was told straight out: No. Being eight, I asked again, again and again. Always the same answer returned. (side note: I was raised by an elderly lady who was deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other and she was always in bed by 8pm). I was told if I watched this movie I would go mad. Now, telling that to an eight year old just increased the need to watch this movie. As my care giver and I had different tastes in movies, I was allowed an old black and white TV in my room. I don't even remember when I first got it. I decided I would watch the movie anyway when my care giver was in bed. Finally the time arrived and I turned on the TV (keeping the volume low as I understood deaf people could hear vibrations. I also darkened the screen to cut the light). The movie just started and my care giver barged into the room and turned off the TV, yelling bloody murder if I dared watch this movie. She left. I turned on the TV again. She barged in again and threatened to cut the plug if I watched turned on this TV again. She pulled the plug from the wall and stormed off. I waited, heard her go into her bedroom and I turned on the TV again and watched an excellent movie that hooked me into horror. Some of you might know this movie, it was called: The Omen. It freaked out this eight year old. I later discovered the Sunday night horrors not long after and that was it. No turning back for this young lad. Thank you David Seltzer and Christopher Lee.
3. Who or what has influenced you most in the horror genre thus far?
-- David Seltzer for his 5 Omen books, which I have read hundreds of times. I've always wondered why Hollywood didn't follow the books when they made the squeals. I started reading King when I was ten. The first book was Christine (I had just seen the movie -- on a Beta tape, remember them? -- and knew the book had bad words in it. Kind of like looking in a dictionary for those fun 'F' words) but I have to admit, at ten, the movie was better. I became a bit of a reading freak a year earlier when I asked if I would buy a book advertised at school called, The secret of Nymph (also known as Mrs. Frisbee and the rats of nymph). I was told: No and I was getting very tired of that word. So I bought the book from my pocket money and read it secretly. This apparently was another book that would send me to hell -- so I was all for it.
4. How long have you been interested in the horror genre (if you're a professional, how long have you been writing/making music/filming, etc.)?
-- Since I was ten and had a short story read out in front of the class, I have been writing horror. I have been serious about a career in writing for the past 10 years, before then I was mainly feeling my way around and learning by doing. Trying to find outlets for horror in NZ is near impossible way back then and even now. Then in 95 the Internet popped up and I discovered a wide range of horror lovers. Email was a godsend when my writing first started to get noticed in the USA.
5. Top five favorite horror authors/filmmakers/musicians/screenwriters, etc?
--Authors: King / Koontz / Pike / Laymon / Little / John Dark -- check out his coming books (our very own Bob Morgan Jr.) Filmmakers: Carpenter / Hitchcock / Craven / Indy filmmakers and the studios that support them. Musicians: Iron Maiden / Marilyn Manson / WASP / In Flames (The Quite place rocks) / Linkin Park / Three Sixes / (newly discovered) Mushroom / MSI / Cradle of Filth (the imagery of lyrics are fucking amazing) / there's a host of other music I enjoy as well, even radio music (Oh My God!!!).