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LAIMO, Michael 1966-

PERSONAL:

Born February 18, 1966; married; children: one daughter. Education: Attended State University of New York at Geneseo. Hobbies and other interests: Ambient and progressive rock music.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Long Island, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Dorchester Publishing, Leisure Books, 200 Madison Avenue, Ste. 2000, New York, NY 10016. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, editor, and sales professional. Works as a sales representative for a swimwear company in New York, NY. Assistant fiction editor, Space and Time magazine.

MEMBER:

Horror Writers Association.

WRITINGS:

The Twilight Garden (chapbook), Miranda-Jahya Publications, 1998.

Demons, Freaks, and Other Abnormalities (short stories), introduction by Tom Piccirilli, illustrated by Keith Minnion, Delirium Books (North Webster, IN), 1999, revised edition, 2002.

Within the Darkness, Golden Eyes (chapbook), Flesh and Blood Press (Bayville, NJ), 1999.

Dregs of Society (short stories), Prime Books (Canton, OH), 2001.

(Editor) Bloodtype (CD-ROM anthology), art by Ron Leming and Matt Lombard, music by John Everson, Lone Wolf Publications (Oklahoma City, OK), 2001.

Atmosphere (novel), Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Deep in the Darkness (novel), Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor of short stories to periodicals such as Delirium Magazine, Edge, Hoodz, Electric Wine, Cabal Asylum, Dread, Deadbolt, Crimson, Twilight Showcase, Epitaph, and Crossroads.

Short stories have appeared in volumes such as The Book of All Flesh, edited by James Lowder, Eden Studios, 2001; Whispers and Shadows, edited by Jack Fisher, Cosmos Books, 2002; Extremes: Darkest Africa, edited by Brian A. Hopkins, Lone Wolf Publications, 2002; Vivisections, edited by William P. Simmons, Catalyst Press, 2003; and Best of Horrorfind 2, edited by Brian Keene, 2003.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Two additional horror novels, The Demonologist and Sleepwalker.

SIDELIGHTS:

A writer of horror, mystery, and thriller fiction, Michael Laimo started writing in 1994 and maintains his discipline even though he holds a full-time job as a sales representative. He "even had the cover of Clive Barker's Imajica tattooed on my back (see, I am dedicated to my craft)."

Atmosphere, his first novel, was published in 2002 by Leisure Books, and is "a satisfyingly slick blend of noir, horror, and SF" genres, remarked William D. Gagliani on the Chiaroscuro Web site. After wrapping up a grueling high-profile murder case, New York police detective Frank Ballaro is looking forward to a few days of vacation. Rest and relaxation have to wait when Ballaro walks into a crime in progress in his own neighborhood. A young man, his genitals horribly mutilated, runs out of an alley in front of Ballaro and is struck by a car. His dying word, "atmosphere," gives Ballaro little to work with, and the mystery deepens when another similarly mutilated boy is discovered in the alley. Before Ballaro's startled eyes, a bald man clad in black leather and sunglasses abruptly appears and drags the body into a hole. Ballaro and his old friend, police captain Hector Rodriguez, investigate the connection between bald men in sunglasses and black leather, the abductions of young male fans of techno music around the country, and the first victim's inexplicable last word.

In Atmosphere, "Laimo borrows equally from pulp and mainstream traditions, concocting a heady, fast-acting brew that will satisfy fans of mystery, horror, and science fiction alike," remarked Garrett Peck on the Dark Fluidity Web site. "Some may snicker at the final revelation of the need for all the deaths; others may find it a brilliant, unique twist," commented reviewer Lisa DuMond on the Hikeeba Web site. "Whatever your reaction, the enjoyment of Atmosphere is in the clear, straightforward prose, the well-shaped characters, the urgency of the pacing that pushes you rapidly toward the climax, in addition to the harrowing story." Gagliani concluded that Atmosphere "is a strong, stylish debut."

Deep in the Darkness, Laimo's second novel, appeared in 2004 and is "a more traditional story of small-town horror," Gagliani noted on the Chiaroscuro Web site. "Though it begins in familiar territory," Gagliani continued, "Laimo twists and turns it into unexpected areas that ultimately make it nicely creepy and downright terrifying in spots." Seeking the greater safety of a less urban setting, Dr. Michael Cayle moves his medical practice, and his wife and daughter, from Manhattan to a small New Hampshire town. Nearly from the moment of his arrival, however, Cayle finds reasons to be suspicious. The previous town doctor was mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs. Fireflies inexplicably swarm his house at night, causing peculiar reactions from the family dog. His wife's personality begins to change for the worse. And a mysterious stone circle in the woods hints at secrets the town and its inhabitants have not yet divulged to their new physician. Soon enough, Cayle encounters the hideous, underground-dwelling Isolates, who control the town and require him to become their personal physician—if he wants to keep his family safe.

Drew Williams, reviewing the book on the Feo Amante Web site, wrote that "Deep in the Darkness is a rather uninspired novel that never seems to get out of first gear." Williams also remarked on inconsistencies in the plot. Gagliani, however, commented that "Laimo manages a lot of mileage from what is arguably a very insular setting and limited cast of characters," and asserted that "Cayle's portrayal as almost Christ-like among the diseased, grotesque Isolates borders on sheer genius."

Laimo also served as editor of Bloodtype, an anthology on CD-ROM containing works of extreme horror by more than a dozen genre notables. The collection presents "fifteen tales that gleefully tap dance on society's greatest taboos," Peck wrote. Laimo is a prolific short-story writer. Demons, Freaks, and Other Abnormalities contains stories such as "Bite of the Meso," which Peck called "a very different take on lycanthropy," and "The Alley Man," which "features one of the wickedest twist endings I've read this year." The collection Dregs of Society, reviewed by Judi Rohrig on the Feo Amante Web site, "allow[s] the reader to consider the monsters within." In "The Smart Society," Gary Riddell becomes a living repository of information, able to absorb and recall any tidbit he has ever encountered, no matter how trivial. "Big Bertha" provides "an eerie consideration of the cost of being locked in a giant freezer," Rohrig wrote. And "Anxiety" explores the inner landscapes of fear. "All in all," Rohrig concluded, "it's a fairly strong collection of tales finely and sensitively told."

Michael Laimo told CA: "I got interested in writing at age twenty-seven, after I decided to pack in my music career and needed a creative outlet. I was a big horror fan, both movies and books, so I decided to give it a shot. So far, it's paid off. I write two hours a day, five to six days a week, mostly on my commute to and from the real job. I edit as I write, so sometimes my output isn't as great, but I end up with a 'third' draft after I'm done with my work. One more read through is all it takes before I hand in my work. My influences are primarily other writers I admire. The list is endless, but most write in the horror or suspense fields. My favorite books are the 'Rama' series by Arthur C. Clarke, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, Imajica by Clive Barker, and all books by Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

"What is the most surprising thing I have learned as a writer? At first it was how little money most of us make. I've also surprised myself as to the abilities I had in me that I never knew existed. It's fun to see what ends up on paper from a simple idea. It's always very different.

"I want people to read my work and enjoy themselves. I'd like to hear that all my work has paid off in that respect."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

ONLINE

Buried.com Web site,http://www.buried.com/ (June 30, 2004), interview with Michael Laimo.

Chiaroscuro Web site,http://www.thechiaroscuro.com/ (June 30, 2004), William D. Gagliani, reviews of Deep in the Darkness and Atmosphere.

Dark Fluidity Web site,http://www.darkfluidity.com/ (June 30, 2004), Regina Mitchell, interview with Michael Laimo; Garrett Peck, reviews of Atmosphere, Demons, Freaks, and Other Abnormalities, and Bloodtype.

Feo Amante's Horror Web site,http://www.feoamante.com/ (June 30, 2004), Drew Williams, review of Deep in the Darkness; Judi Rohrig, review of Dregs of Society.

Hikeeba Web site,http://www.hikeeba.com/ (June 30, 2004), Lisa DuMond, review of Atmosphere.

Michael Laimo Home Page,http://www.laimo.com (June 30, 2004).

SFReader.com Web site,http://www.sfreader.com/ (June 30, 2004), Bobbi Sinha-Morey, interview with Michael Laimo.

Laimo, Michael 1966-

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