Short Story: THE SCHLIKT

Super happy to announce my short story, THE SCHLIKT, was published this month in Kyanite Press’ special Halloween addition. A lot of great writers have their work in this publication, including Benjamin Hope and Eric Lahti. I’ve interviewed both of these great writers and can’t wait to see more of their work. Benjamin’s piece in particular reminded me of M. R. James, one of my personal favorites. A very special thanks needs to be given to B. K. Bass, for putting this all together. In addition, thank you Sam Hendricks for her editing and proofreading work. Thank you so much. And of course, thank you to the writers who contributed their work for the rest of us to read and enjoy. It’s all about the story and the creative minds behind it. [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #23 – Benjamin Hope

Highlights Performing research to finding the balance between mood, theme, and story. Upholding our writing craft and storytelling methods in the modern world. Deciding on point-of-view (POV) and striking a balance between the character arcs. That’s what’s wonderful about storytelling – there are no boundaries! Welcome to the twenty-third episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Benjamin Hope about his approach to writing and his new book, THE PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. Arthur: There are many ways we can identify genre in writing based on the words we use. For example, science fiction might include things like spaceships, planets, warp drives, and protomolecules. Fantasy might include warlocks, alchemy, wyverns and scabbards. You’ve chosen steampunk for PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. How were you able to write the imagery so well to illustrate the steampunk atmosphere and what drew you to write steampunk as opposed to other fiction sub-genres? Benjamin: In terms of developing imagery for the reader, I tried to strike a balance between providing enough detail for the world to be imagined with clarity; and giving space for the reader to co-create the world as they read. I tend to think that overly descriptive passages have a tendency to turn off a reader’s interest, especially in this sort of genre. As such, although I am partial to a metaphor(!) and enjoy the poetry of language, I did a lot of research[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #18 – Bill Ricardi

Highlights Developing maps and world building for fantasy stories. The importance of a book’s first line and how it is a promise to the reader of what’s to come. Our writing space and setting rules to free ourselves from distraction. I’m a proponent of the short, sharp paragraph. Welcome to the eighteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with fantasy writer Bill Ricardi about focus and the importance of writing a books’ first sentences. Arthur: I always love a book that starts out with a map. In ANOTHER STUPID SPELL, how did you develop Panos? How much world-building did you do before (or during) the writing of the book? Bill: Panos had about a month of backstory work before I wrote a single word that appears in the actual book. I started with the major gods, since I knew that they would be pivotal to the story. Then the Orc nations, because that was going to be my character’s main focus. The magic system came next, which is a mix of Kabbalistic principles and gaming tropes. Then the rest of the races, which in turn determined the landscape, the politics, and everything else. Arthur: The first line of ANOTHER STUPID SPELL is: “Me smart orc.” You had me right there. There’s a lot of writing theory about developing a great first line of a book, even beyond that to first[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #12 – Kristina Mahr

Highlights Pursuing our dreams as writers. The traditional publishing process. The importance of writing weekly short stories to improve our writing craft. This is my dream, and that I am lucky to have the opportunity to pursue it. Welcome to the twelfth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with young adult writer Kristina Mahr about finding more time to write and growing her brand with her first book, ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM, coming out on May 15, 2018.    Arthur: Your first book, “All That We See or Seem,” is coming out on May 15. Congratulations on your first book! What a great accomplishment! How did you just decide “I’m going to do this” and push through all the obstacles of writing a book? Kristina: Thank you so much! Honestly, it was years in the making. My New Year’s resolution had been “write a book,” or “try to write a book,” or some variation of that with increasing frustration with myself since college. I would chip away at an adult contemporary novel that lived in my head, but I was very sporadic and inconsistent with my writing time. Until my sister had a dream one night about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams, and I couldn’t shake it. I have been an avid Young Adult reader for years, and[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #8 – Paul Huxley

Highlights How we learn the writing craft. Starting a publishing company and building a writing business. Writing tools and self-publishing. I believe you learn the craft mostly through osmosis. You have to submerge yourself in the best writing and then let that accumulated knowledge pour out when it’s ready. Welcome to the eighth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with fantasy and weird fiction writer Paul Huxley about developing the craft and how he started his own publishing company. Arthur: You mentioned to me that you’re a part time writer, and your other job is looking after your kids. Are you a stay at home Dad? How do you find time to write being a full-time Dad? During naps? Late at night? Early in the morning? Paul: I do have at least a couple of days a week to myself, those are often taken up with writing commissioned work. That is to say things I’m paid to write whether that be screenplays, ghostwritten novels or simply editing other people’s work. I do try to squeeze in some time to work on my own stuff. Recently I’ve taken to writing on my phone on the fly, which has lead me to produce a lot more short fiction. Arthur: Do you have a daily word count you try to achieve? How do you manage your writing schedule?  Paul: I tend to schedule[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #7 – Eric Lahti

Highlights How we make time for the things we want to pursue. The type of experiences we are hoping to create for our readers. How listening to people talk helps us write great dialogue. I sincerely believe you make time for the things you want to do.  Welcome to the seventh episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Eric Lahti about his writing process, finding more time for the craft and why he writes. Arthur: On your blog, you mention you started writing five years ago. What made you start writing? And what has been the most rewarding experience you’ve taken from your writing experience? Eric: In late 2013, I was watching TV and playing Saints Row for the umpteenth time. Something clicked and I wondered if there wasn’t more out there than just watching things happen. I’d had the idea for Henchmen pinging around in my head for a while at that point (although it was quite a lot different from what that book eventually became) so I cracked open Word and started writing. About six pages in, my wife asked me what I was doing. That was a sheer panic moment – not as bad as handing her those pages to read, I hid in my office while she was reading them. Finishing that book was rewarding in and of itself. Writing a book is a[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #4 – Tobias Klausmann

Highlights The use of names in our stories and their importance to the story’s world. Strategies for self-publishing. Why writing daily is important. Writing isn’t “I have an idea, now I’ll just write it down,” but “I have an idea, I’ll start writing and see where it takes me.” Welcome to the fourth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’ve asked science fiction writer Tobias Klausmann to tell us more about how he found his writing voice and his approach to writing character-driven science fiction. A. Macabe: You mention on your website you moved to Switzerland. What’s the history behind the move? Is English your first language? Do you think speaking multiple languages has helped your writing? Klausmann: I moved to Switzerland for work. Before June,  2010 I lived in northwestern Germany for twelve years, after moving there from the very southwest. Despite now living abroad, I am much closer to the town I grew up in. My mother tongue is German, but my father used to be an English teacher and in general – English-language media, especially music and books – were easily available to me as a kid and teenager. As for whether it helped with writing, it has definitely influenced how I think about language. Sometimes you know the perfect idiom or turn of phrase in one language, but come up empty in another. For me, that usually[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #2 – Avrin Kelly

Highlights The benefits to regularly writing short stories. Writing horror helps us understand fear, our strongest emotion as human beings. Various strategies for overcoming writers block. The possibilities are endless. Welcome to the second episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. I’m fascinated with writing as a physical effort and the perspectives of other writers on the process itself. In this episode, I’ve asked horror writer Avrin Kelly about her writing process and where she finds her inspiration. A. Macabe: Tell me more about your #52weeks52stories journey? What made you want to start? Is it helping you improve as a writer? Avrin Kelly: So far this year, I’ve written ten stories. #52weeks52stories is something I knew I wanted to take part in because short stories are life, for me at least. They’re like literary Robot Chicken, or teleporting somewhere new for a short time. The possibilities are endless. With every story I write, I feel like I get a little bit better at the craft. A. Macabe: When did you start writing? Avrin Kelly: I’m 30. I didn’t start writing in earnest until last year. I wrote my first short story in April of 2017. It was horrible (laughs). A. Macabe: Why was it horrible? Avrin Kelly: It was horrible because – at the time – I didn’t know the first thing about story structure and the ending was confusing. So, I decided to try again – now with[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #1 – S.P. Carter

Highlights Where do we find inspiration for our horror stories? It’s never too late to start writing. As writers, we need to know when to listen, but also when to trust ourselves. Everyone loves a good scare. Welcome to the first episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. I’m fascinated with writing as a physical effort and the perspectives of other writers on the process itself. In this first episode, I’ve asked horror writer S. P. Carter – whose debut horror novel, “Unraveling” is set to release later this year – about his writing process and where he finds his inspiration in the horror genre. A. Macabe: Tell us more about “Unraveling” S. P. Carter: When people commit mass shootings and other atrocities, they don’t snap; they spiral. “Unraveling” explores this transition in a man living an outwardly banal, middle-class family life who struggles against these demons. Hallucinations and paranoid delusions give you a front row seat into a mind fighting to hold itself together, and the destruction left in its wake. A. Macabe: Where did you get the idea for this story? S. P. Carter: As a survivor of childhood trauma, I’ve grappled with people’s motivations to harm each other, and often wondered if one day, a switch would flip in my head. By exploring what I would do in a fictional world, free of legal repercussion, I had an outlet. This led to[…] [Keep Reading]