I used to read books secretly during classes. I remember crying quietly during math because Sirius Black just died. After school, I’d usually visit the library. There’s this cherry tree next to the building. In summer, I’d borrow a book, climb the tree until I found a good branch, and I’d read while snacking on the cherries. Good times.
Were you an avid reader while you were growing up?
Yes! R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series is what really got me into fiction, and horror in particular. I remember having most of the series and just devoured them. They gave me that initial want to write fiction. I remember writing my own—probably very bad—imitations at the time. It was picking up my first Stephen King book that really gave me the push to want to be a writer though.
Absolutely! I used to read books secretly during classes. I remember crying quietly during math because Sirius Black just died. After school, I’d usually visit the library. There’s this cherry tree next to the building. In summer, I’d borrow a book, climb the tree until I found a good branch, and I’d read while snacking on the cherries. Good times.
What’s your background, what compelled you to start writing?
I think many writers (and artists in general) struggle with this question, and I’m no different. There are people, stories, and worlds in my head, and I feel the urge to share them. For readers’ entertainment, at the very least—but if someone finds more in them, like inspiration, or even some sort of realisation, that would be wonderful.
What’s your most favourite under-appreciated novel?
For me, when you mention Stephen King, people think The Shining, It, The Stand, but my favourite stories are those in the underrated The Dark Tower series. It may be eight books long (plus a short), but it’s all one very long story. It’s a bit of fantasy, horror, western and a touch of sci-fi all mixed in. It’s driven me to want to write a magnum opus like that, that then even stretches into every story you write, no matter how small the relationship.
There are so many amazing works (and artists) that don’t get enough recognition. To pick one is difficult, but I’m going to mention Craven Manor by Darcy Coates. It’s a gothic horror story about a young man, a failure, who’s looking for a fresh start. He gets offered the position of a groundskeeper at an abandoned manor, and he takes it; he only has to obey certain bizarre rules. The novel may seem like a run-of-the-mill haunted house story at first, but it’s not.
What kind of research do you do?
All depends on the story I’m writing, but research is one of my favourite parts of the process. Learning about new things. I recently wrote a short story based in ancient Rome, specifically the reign of Caligula. Having been to Rome, I was able to draw a lot of inspiration from that. It gave me an excuse to delve deeper into the history of the mad emperor. I had a blast writing that one; taking the history and building an otherworldly horror around it.
What one thing would/did you give up to be a writer?
If someone would pay me, I’d give up work in a heartbeat!
What inspires you?
Mostly people, but really everything. This universe is full of inspiration.
What sparked the idea for this The Bookworm?
Andreas and I were chatting about doing a collab at some point. I remember I’d just had a drabble rejected elsewhere, around the same premise of this story (no spoilers). Even though it got rejected, I knew the premise had legs, so I mentioned my idea. It sparked a long chat between us, which lead to this short. From my side, it’s my first collab piece, and I am so happy with how it turned out.
I loved the basic idea the moment Luke suggested it, and we immediately agreed on who’d write what. We had no outline, instead, we bounced off each other’s ideas, developing the characters and story as we were writing. It was such a blast, and I’m so happy with the result. It was my first collab, and one of the best writing experiences I’ve ever had.
Is there a particular message that you hope readers will take from The Bookworm?
There wasn’t, until I thought about this question. I don’t enjoy writing with a message in mind. I like to follow characters as they create their own stories, and, sometimes, a clear message is developed along the way. I don’t always agree with it, but in the case of The Bookworm, there is this moment when a character overcomes their fear and steps out of their comfort zone to do what they believe needs to be done. I didn’t know it was going to happen until I wrote the scene, but I love that it did. I think a lot of people have the desire to do the difficult thing they believe needs to be done but are too afraid of the pain that comes with it. If, somehow, that moment in the story pushes at least one person a hair’s width closer to the edge of their comfort zone, that would be great. Maybe someday, that person’s desire will be stronger than their fear.
Which of The Bookworm’s characters do you relate to the most? Why?
It’s gotta be Gerald! He loves books, is awkward around people and has a home library! I’m two out of those three—I wish I had a home library!
And, lastly, what’s brewing, what projects are you working on?
I have a lot of things in the pipeline. I have my first solo novella, Sunshine, releasing in December; which I’m really excited about. I’m also heading up an author-lead superhero anthology, which a dream team bunch. Plus, I’m working on my own novel, and another collab. Plus, whatever other short story calls take my fancy. I need more hours in the day!
What projects are you working on? So many! I was fairly passive for more than a year due to severe chronic insomnia, but I’m at the point where I’m more tired of my own passivity. I have too many interesting ideas to remain unproductive, so it’s time to soldier through. Luke mentioned an author-led superhero anthology—I’m one of the authors. Everyone has amazing ideas for their stories, and I have to make sure to pull my own weight. Then I’ll focus on publishing longer short stories and novellas on Amazon. Also, it’s about time I have my own website. Right now, I can only be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, which isn’t enough. I also want to do more collabs. I’m not sure how I’ll reach out to other authors as I’m worse at socialising than our story’s protagonist, but my intuition is telling me that it will work out. Plus, there are some submission calls I want to be part of. And, when I’m feeling ready, I’ll resume work on my novel: a YA fantasy mystery romance. So much stuff to do! Isn’t it amazing?
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by Andreas Hort Every day they trudge around the city on their endless journey for satiation of their hunger. I can imagine their suffering; I’m starving, too. Only not for flesh. For human contact. For the last six years, day after day, I’ve had no one to talk to but myself. I… I think […]
by Andreas Hort “Mm, Liam,” purred the raspy voice. “You look so delicious…” “Daddyyy!” Thunderous footsteps. Dad barged into the room. “What’s going on? Liam?” “Bogeyman!” “Again?” Sighing, Dad switched on the light. “Where do you want me to look first?” Liam wanted him to look in the closet. Empty. Under the bed? Also […]
Gerald prides himself on his librarian skills—he’s a teacher, a researcher, a human database, and the one he coined himself, a recommender; with just a few details, he knows the perfect book for every customer.