Interviews from the Void: Episode #38 – Matthew William

Highlights Bringing a story to different formats for our audiences. Why writing for the audio drama is different than writing a novel. Why conflict is essential to our stories, no matter what the format. The act of creating something was thrilling. Here’s a world that exists now and it didn’t a moment ago. Welcome to the thirty-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 audio drama writer and screenwriter Matthew William. From Matthew’s short story, THE MORE I DISAPPEAR: “It’s hard to remember that he’s not me. Not exactly anyway. Genetically speaking, yes, he’s a perfect match. But since the moment he was born our experiences have been slowly and steadily forming us into different people. Driving us further and further apart, like two roads diverging in the woods, never to cross paths again.” Arthur: Tell me more about your writing journey. What is your background and how did you come upon the writing craft? Matthew: I wrote my first story in school when I was about 7 or 8. It wasn’t a writing assignment or anything like that, just something I decided to do on my own. And I discovered that the act of creating something was thrilling. Here’s a world that exists now and it didn’t exist a moment ago. And even though it was just a crappy Wizard of Oz knockoff, I was hooked. For some reason my[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #37 – Josh Hughes

Highlights Discussing the basic outlining process for a screenplay. Conflict is what drives the story onward. How to write great dialogue. I craft extensive outlines for all my writing. Welcome to the thirty-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 screenwriter Josh Hughes. Arthur: Tell me more about your writing journey. How did you learn the format and craft of screenwriting? Josh: I can remember back to when I was 9 or 10 I would tag along with my mom to her office on Sunday’s to “help clean.” The only reason I wanted to go was to play around on the computer. I ended up just writing these extravagant stories which were basically re-writes of the movies I watched with my parents. That pretty much started my interest in crafting a story. I got really interested in writing screenplays when I got to college. I had just switched from a marketing to a film degree and I wanted to be a director because I thought they had total control over films. Turns out they don’t and writing is where the real magic happens… well at least to me. I wrote my first short film to be produced based off the Stephen King short story Strawberry Spring. Here is a link. In my last couple years of college I wrote some Beavis and Butthead specs and started my first feature.[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #36 – Rick Hoffman

Highlights Finding the right ending is often a matter of discovery. How writing with pen and paper makes us think of every word as we write. Deliberate practice and how it helps us improve our prose. My experience with writing plays helped to train my ear for human voices. Welcome to the thirty-sixth 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 fiction Rick Hoffman. From Rick’s short story, THE INITIATION: Christmas Eve and the eight-­year-­old boy wakes to darkest midnight. He has been dreaming about heroes and monsters, and their battles have frightened him awake, as they often do. Eyes open in the blue­-black of his room, he sits up alert to noises downstairs. He stumbles to the window, opens it to crisp night air and a quiet wind in the pines. He hears again the noise that startled him, clearer now with the fog of sleep fading. A shuffling downstairs. Someone is awake. Arthur: Has your experience as a playwright helped you in your novel writing? How?  Rick: First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to have a voice on your platform. I think this it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing to allow emerging writers a chance to be heard. But back to your question. My writer friend Adam Bjelland says he loves my dialogue. I think my experience with writing plays helped to train my ear[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #35 – Jonathan Whitelaw

Highlights Being creative when it comes not only to writing, but finding time to write. Understanding the publishing industry will create more opportunities for us writers. The importance of making writing a daily habit to better your success as a writer. And all the while writing, writing and writing. Welcome to the thirty-fifth 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 Jonathan Whitelaw. From Jonathan’s book, HELLCORP: Steepling his fingers, The Devil prepared to make his pitch. “Okay, are you ready for this?” he asked.  The Pope did not reply. Not to be undeterred, The Devil pressed on. “I’m going to make Hell a legitimate business.” The old man remained silent. For a moment, he thought over the words and then, still dumbfounded, thought how best to put across his confusion.  “How do you mean legitimate?” I mean legitimate legitimate,” said The Devil. “I’m going to make it a business, a one-stop shop for anybody and everybody who wants to get on in life. Arts, culture, business, anything and everything. It’ll be a school, a place for education, somewhere the mortal soul can go to learn all the tricks of the trade and be a success in this life. Going to call it Hellcorp. What do you think?” Arthur: Tell me about your writing career. What is the history behind your writing journey? What did you start writing and[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #34 – Reg Monroe

Highlights Identifying our writing weaknesses and working daily to overcome them is important to improving our craft. Having trust and confidence in ourselves as writers is vital to our success. How to approach description and scenes. Write something worthwhile, then treat it as such. Welcome to the thirty-fourth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. I’m very excited for the interview this week. In this episode, I chat with writer, digital artist and personal friend Reg Monroe about his writing and artwork. Synopsis of Reg’s primary character, Tinker, who is featured in many of his short stories: Tinker’s quest – his Amendment – is to find a way to go back in time and prevent [amend] the Accident. His only companion – a cat with no name that he simply calls Cat. Wearing only the pendant containing Enola’s rose, bouncing from planet to planet, system to system, together they would haunt the halls of time. Arthur: Tell me about your writing journey. When did you start writing? What have you learned most from the craft? What are your major writing accomplishments?  Reg: You know, it’s funny, I remember attempting to write something in junior high. It was horrible, some kind of teen romance thing. But as far as anything mature I started writing notes for a novel soon after I got out of the Viet Nam era Navy. I was taking an English course at[…] [Keep Reading]

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 #33 – Hugh Howey

Highlights The importance of cover art. How we can write “remarkable” stories by pushing out of our comfort zone. How real-life adventures can serve as great sources of inspiration for our writing. I always took cover art seriously from my experience as a bookseller (and as a reader who would avoid a book with a terrible cover). Welcome to the thirty 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 Hugh Howey. From Hugh’s short story, THE WALK UP NAMELESS RIDGE:  At sixty thousand feet—the height of two Everests stacked one on top of the other—man and machine alike tended to break down. We were at the limit of my regimen of steroids. The gears in my hiking pants could be heard grinding against one another, even over all that wind. And the grease smeared over the parts of my face not sheltered by the oxygen mask had hardened until it felt like plaster, like blistered and unfeeling skin, but to touch it and investigate it was to invite exposure and far worse. Arthur: I’m fascinated with your career, as are many writers and readers. There’s the actual writing required to get a book out there, then there is the cover design. I’m also curious about your covers. Do you have a process for each of your books when it comes to designing a great cover? Do you have any[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #32 – Kellie Parker

Highlights Finding meaning in our lives by looking right in front of us. Improving our writing craft takes time, patience, and perseverance. An ending requires a conflict to be resolved. The process was rather reflective of my writing journey – being willing to experiment, learn through trial and error, and persevere until I was satisfied with the story. Welcome to the thirty-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 YA fantasy and adult romance writer Kellie Parker about her writing and short stores. From THE SECRETS AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE: At the end of the universe, on an obscure planet resembling a floating chunk of rock, there is a cave containing a long, underground passage. If you find this secret place, and follow the winding, twisting way through the rock past the requisite number of booby traps, you’ll find yourself on the threshold of a room. And in this room, in a large file cabinet, are stored the secrets of the universe. Arthur: Tell me about your writing career. What are the small successes which have lead you to this point? Kellie: I’ve always loved reading and writing fiction, but I didn’t dive seriously into writing as a career until about four years ago. At that time, I had one mediocre completed manuscript for a romantic suspense that I’d finished a few years prior and a lot[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #31 – Sarah Beth

Highlights Why it’s important to finish our work before sharing it with readers. How being in touch with the world and our lives can help shape our writing. Resources for digital art and book covers. Feed your imagination, don’t try to reign it in. Welcome to the thirty second 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 YA and urban fantasy writer Sarah Beth about her stories. From THE FAYE’S SECRET:  “It’s impossible to stay focused on her homework with a ghost staring at her. Every time Abby lifted her eyes from the page in front of her, the woman would be standing there, blood covering her white lace blouse.” Arthur: This is a very engaging first line for a book. In another interview with fantasy writer Bill Ricardi, he talks about the first line and paragraph being his promise to the reader. How did you come up with your starting line and paragraph for THE FAYE’S SECRET? Sarah: Honestly, it takes a lot of time for me to solidify the opening pages of a story. Some people have trouble with the middle, or the end, of books. For me, it’s always been the beginning. The first chapter of TFS evolved a lot, the first chapter now is completely different to the first draft. The presence of a ghost was always there, but even that has changed a lot since draft one.[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #30 – Allison Mullinax

Highlights How our upbringing, favorite restaurants and vacations can have influences on the settings for our stories. The importance of the inciting incident and why it needs to happen as soon as possible. How dialogue is essential to character development and relationships. I have always been over-imaginative, and I think this is a quality that all writers share. Welcome to the thirtieth 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 Allison Mullinax. From BREAK THE LINE: “The weight of the rod handle rests firmly in the palm of my hand. The feel of it always reminds me of coming home. I may have fished on hundreds of lakes across this nation, and won my share of tournaments, but the feel of a rod in my hand when I cast out the line never gets old. The anticipation of what could be waiting for me under the murky waters sends a wave of chills underneath the seat pooling on my forearms.” Arthur: Tell me about your journey to becoming a writer. When did you start and what would you consider to be a few of your major accomplishments as a writer?  Allison: Thank you so much for having me! I have always been over-imaginative, and I think this is a quality that all writers share. Often times, an author’s day dreams make the best novel premises, and this is exactly[…] [Keep Reading]