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 #11 – Benjamin Shelor

Highlights The magic of the first draft. Finding time to write when we have a family and a full-time job. Experimenting with our prose to find our own voice. I am of a mind that there should be an abundance of magic in the first draft. That’s where the story is born, and as with any life, inception is a work of wonder. Welcome to the eleventh episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process and the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’ve asked Benjamin Davis Shelor about his writing process and what draws him to fantasy and science fiction. Arthur: You’ve been writing for a long time. Since childhood. Is writing now a full-time occupation for you, or do you have another full-time job and or a family? What is your writing schedule and how do you find time to write? Ben: For me, writing has always been more a way of life than a way to make a living. If it ever became an income to support a family I’d be all for it. But I’m a pragmatist and so I have a full time job (in a field that I like even) to pay the bills and support a family. Which means my writing comes in sentences and paragraphs strewn throughout a chaotic day. It also means I have plots thickening on back burners while family time and work time are happening. That way, when the elusive[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #10 – Adam Inglis

Highlights There are no hard rules to writing. Managing all the tasks associated with being a writer. Strategies for our writing productivity when we only have 20-30 free minutes per day. It has an adventurous and hopeful feel, which fits my attitude to writing.  Welcome to the tenth 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 short fiction writer, Adam Inglis, about how he focuses during his writing sessions. Arthur: Your website is very well maintained. Do you run it yourself? Adam: Thank you, it has taken quite a lot of work to get it looking the way it does. In short, yes I run it. I own the domain from one company (fasthosts) but the hosting and design tool comes from wix.com. They have a rather bold claim that “It all starts with your stunning website.” There is, however, some restrictions on what you can and can’t do. If you can live with that, then it’s a decent service. It took a while to accept that what I wanted was too complex. The website as it can be seen today is a happy compromise. Arthur: How do you create the images on your site? Adam: I created all the artwork using free-to-use images that I’ve either manipulated in an editor, or cropped and filtered. It is an obsessive compulsion to give every story, or poem, a sort of “cover[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #9 – Bryan Aiello

Highlights Why we need to write more than one novel to improve as writers. Being brief in our prose while keeping the flow of the story interesting. The importance of setting goals for ourselves and doing what we say we’re going to do. Writing a singular novel is not going to make you a good novelist. Writing many novels will though. Welcome to the ninth 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 speculative fiction writer Bryan Aiello about finding more time to write and where he finds his inspiration. Arthur: You’re an Army Veteran. I want to personally thank you for your service. You discuss on your blog that you’re working on a military science fiction novel for 2019. Will your military experience have any influence in the story? Bryan: I enjoy writing about soldiers. If I was forced to boil it down, most of the work I have done is fictionalized military history. I use my experiences digging foxholes to imagine what life is like for people under the gun. I do have a military fiction short story collection I would like to publish. I have not done so yet. Is there ever a right time? It’s got about nine stories in it at the moment. I am debating whether there might be a more concise way to construct a collection. Hopefully within the year I will have decided[…] [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 #6 – A. F. Stewart

Highlights Using maps and world-building for our stories. Cover design and self-publishing. How being part of a writing group is a great way for us to get feedback as writers. I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pen; scribbling stories and poems since I was a kid. Welcome to the sixth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process and the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’ve asked horror writer A. F. Stewart about her writing process and where she finds her inspiration for her stories. Arthur: You recently published “Ghosts of the Sea Moon,” which is a great read. I’ve always thought a great book starts with a map. Is there any inspiration behind your maps? The shapes of the islands and their placement? Stewart: The maps came about because I need reference points for all the sailing my Captain and crew were doing in the book, and so I could figure the distance and speed for the story’s timeline. Their creation was basically me sitting down and squiggling some lines until I had some reasonable looking island shapes. However, as Crickwell Island turned out looking a bit like a sheep to me, I added wool as one of the town exports for the island in the second book of the series. Arthur: In Ghosts of the Sea Moon, there’s a lot of description about the ship, the Celestial Jewel. Did you have to go on a[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #5 – Christopher Ryan

Highlights Why failure is not only normal, but necessary. Charting our own paths as writers instead of following the crowd. Why being a writer is worth our time, even when it seems difficult to continue. In a way, writing allows you to live forever and that is worthy of your time. Welcome to the 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’ve asked fantasy Christopher Ryan about his writing process, self publishing, and turning failure into a means for finding success in writing. A. Macabe: On your blog, you discuss “killing” drafts of your previous novel, The Godkiller Chronicles – which is an awesome name. What did you learn from this process? What are you doing differently now for Children of the Void? Ryan: I had spent so many years drafting what wound up being Godkiller Chronicles that I could have published three books from the sheer amount of pages I had. But, all in all it came down to, would I read this? The brutal answer was, hell no. The work was crap. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself for a long time. When I was able to finally say to myself “this is dreck and needs to be abandoned,” I didn’t want to just shelve the work and walk away. I wanted to be proactive about it. So, I took the characters and themes and the fictional[…] [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 #3 – Andrew Hope

Highlights Story mechanics and the importance of character-driven stories. Setting a goal each time we sit down to write will help us increase our productivity. What inspires us to write weird fiction. You can’t just sit down and “write a screenplay.” It’s a very mechanical discipline; a science all by itself. Welcome to the 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 had beers with local writer Andrew Hope, bonding over movies, screenwriting and H. P. Lovecraft. A. Macabe: So, you wrote Fantomex. I understand you had to do a significant re-write. Did you feel a lot of pressure when doing the re-write on your first big project? Especially of someone else’s work? Andrew Hope: It was definitely a more conceptual rewrite than just changing some characters and elements. When Axel sent me the plot, it was a pet project of his and he wanted to get it off the ground – I suspect to maintain hold of the property, since Grant was the creator. My biggest two questions were, how closely do I need to stick to both the original plot, and Grant’s 616 creation. The answers to both were do anything you want. Which was good, because I hadn’t read X-Men since Vince left the art and if I didn’t have to sink myself into continuity that was fine with me. The Fantomex you see in the series was not[…] [Keep Reading]