Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire has been writing Lovecraftian horror fiction since the early 1970s. His work has appeared in such magazines as Weird Tales, Deathrealm, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Fantasy Macabre. These past two years have seen him writing like a lunatic, and his four books to be published this year are The Tangled Muse, Some Unknown Gulf of Night, Depths of Dreams and Madness, and The Strange Dark One – Tales of Nyarlathotep. He is working on his next two books.
IFP: How did you become interested in writing horror stories?
WHP: I was a Mormon missionary in Ireland and loved horror films, but my authorities wouldn’t allow me to cinema. I was in correspondence with Robert Bloch and so, I began to buy books by Bob or anthologies in which he was one of several writers, and that’s how I got hooked on reading horror. Then I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing it.
IFP: What was the inspiration for your story?
WHP: I remember wanting to try and write something as cool as the weird fiction of Bloch – but of course, that early stuff of mine was utter garbage. I’m a slow learner and it took me a long time to find myself as a writer. Bloch has continued to be a major influence all these years, along with Lovecraft, Wilde and Henry James.
IFP: If you were a Lovecraftian monster or character, who would you be and why?
WHP: Nyarlathotep. He really gets to me; I am absolutely obsessed. He is so sinister and intriguing. One of my books to be published this year is a collection of stories all about Nyarlathotep.
IFP: What is the scariest story you’ve read?
WHP: “Mysterium Tremendum” by Laird Barron; it’s in his second collection, Occultation. Great Yuggoth, what a story!