About Chris Gotham Winter

Chris Gotham Winter

Dark and Sinister Suits Me...

Scooby Doo. Playing Clue. Unsolved Mysteries. Nancy Drew. From Hardy Boys to Ghostbuster toys, since early childhood I've always gravitated toward spooky murder mysteries. Seriously. 

As early as two years old, if ever I went missing, my mom knew she'd find me exploring the graveyard behind our house*. (I wonder if I ever spooked anyone — a tiny tot wandering amongst the tombstones...) My cemetery obsession has never waned — to the point that my siblings know to schedule graveyard detours into our vacation plans. (Our most recent graveyard haunts: Sleepy Hollow, NY & Venice, Italy!)

Dark stories have always drawn me in, too. Two particularly terrifying little girl ghosts cemented my fascination with the frightening: Emily in Patricia Clapp's novel "Jane-Emily" and Alice in Amanda Sykes' "Mirror of Danger".

I soon went from reading "The Westing Game" to absorbing all forms of Hitchcock (his movies, TV shows, and collections of creepy short stories), and even delving into the bubbling trouble in Macbeth, all before I hit my teens. I soon graduated to crime writing, from great detective writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler to the serialized pulp of the 1930s and '40s. My favorites always wrapped a little dark comedy, like the "Midsomer Murders" mystery series and one of my all-time favorite films: Neil Simon's "Murder by Death".

I aim to honor the golden era legacy of macabre movies, sardonic noir novels, and graveyard humor in my own work.

By the way, about my name: It's pronounced "Goh-tham" as in stop and go, not like Batman's Gotham City. Gotham honors the maiden name of my maternal grandmother and Winter honors the maiden name of my paternal grandmother.

(* Relax, I wasn't in any danger. On those rare occasions when I managed to Houdini my way out of the house, I always wandered my way into the graveyard. And we lived way out in the country, completely surrounded by farmland, where there was only the parsonage, the church, the school, our house, the playground, and the cemetery just beyond the softball field.)