What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?
This past week I finished the first draft of a short story for an anthology I was invited to submit a story to. I can’t go into too many details yet, but it sounds like I’ll be in good company for this particular anthology. And I’m pretty excited about the story I’ve put together. More on this later.
What does the future hold?
As you may or may not have noticed, this week’s post was supposed to be in response to my being awarded the Versatile Blogger and Kreativ Blogger awards. However, this interview with Bryan goes along with a book blast organized by his publisher, and time was of the essence. So next Friday I’ll be posting my seven (hopefully) interesting things about me.
But without further ado…
I’m not exactly sure where I first met Bryan. Perhaps through a horror group of which we are both members on Facebook. But what sticks in my brain is another interview he did at Stacey Turner’s blog.
Without going into too many details, I will say that I posed a question to Bryan and received much more information from him than I would’ve guessed. We’ve had several correspondences since, and I’ve really appreciated how open he has been with sharing his insights and experiences.
Just another example of how horror writers are actually really nice people, just with twisted imaginations.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, today marks the release of Bryan’s short The Vagrant, a teaser for his Southern Hauntings Saga series. I was able to get a “pre-screening” of The Vagrant courtesy of Angelic Knight Press, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having lived in Georgia for six years, I could definitely pick up the nuances of the setting. There’s just something about the South that makes it great for storytelling. But beyond that, he has created an intriguing character in Crate Northgate.
But I’ll let him talk about that.
So NOW without further ado…
Seven Questions with Horror Writer Bryan Hall
1- As far as writing is concerned: a- your favorite pastime, b- your fiery passion, c- your full-time profession, or d- a combination of the above. Feel free to expand.
All of the above, really. It started out as a pastime but I quickly started selling stories. Now I write full-time, albeit a combination of fiction and freelance stuff, and am doing okay with it so far. I’ll have to say it’s a passion now as well since those days when I don’t write I start to feel a little bit odd…like an alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in a day or two.
[PDD: Great analogy. I think it’s good that you’ve reached that point… so long as it’s just with your writing and not with the drinking :) Sounds like you’ve turned passion into practice.]
2- What was the last book you finished reading? What are you currently reading? If it doesn’t seem obvious by title, what are the genres? Do either of these fall under your favorite genre (you know, the book you pick out when you’re going on vacation)?
I finished up a re-read of Salem’s Lot and a book called Finding Poe by Leigh M. Lane at right about the same time. Both are excellent. Right now I’m reading A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin. I usually stick to horror and nonfiction when I read, but Martin is an absolute genius.
[PDD: George RR Martin is on my list. About 99% of what I’ve heard about his storytelling is very complimentary. And interesting that you include nonfiction in your normal reading. I’d be curious to know what type of nonfiction. Some truth is not only stranger, but also more horrific, than fiction.]
3- What is the TV guide synopsis of your most recently completed project… or whatever project you’d like to talk about today? (I’ve heard several people say you should be able to hook someone in 25 words or less, but I’m not offering to represent your work professionally, so 30 words will be accepted)
4- Okay, now your book jacket version (200 words or less).
For this, I’ll do the entire Southern Hauntings Saga instead of just the first book – Creighton Northgate is a man haunted by his past as well as by the dead. He sees spirits and walks the line between this world and the next, making a living as a vagabond and moving from town to town helping those facing the supernatural…for a fee. For years he’s ran from the ghost of his brother and from the things that happened in his hometown, drowning his memories in booze. But now the past is beginning to catch up with him. His brother’s spirit is growing restless, and while he continues to help others with their problems he know that soon he’ll have to return home and face whatever evils lurk there. The Southern Hauntings Saga follows him as he makes his way across the south, encountering a wide collection of characters living and dead. All en route to a homecoming he dreads.
[PDD: The good thing for potential readers to know is that The Vagrant gives hints of this overall picture, with just enough left to the imagination to make you want to keep reading. It hooked me.]
5- What is one of the biggest obstacles you have to (or have had to) overcome in regards to writing? Could be about content, your process, or any other way you interpret the question.
Probably me overthinking my writing – worrying too much about how it will be received. I try to put a lot of subtext within my writing – each book of the Southern Hauntings Saga actually deals with different themes (redemption, acceptance of mortality, loneliness,etc.) – and I often struggle to make sure that it’s only there and noticeable for people who like to spot that sort of thing. I want to be sure that those who just want a good scary story that will entertain them can read my stuff without feeling like I’m beating them over the head with the subtext. Because of that I end up taking longer to finish a book than I should.
[PDD: I know many will differ with me (especially those in the industry), but I think writers are better to err on the side of taking too long on a story than rushing it out. And adding in that subtext takes a horror story from being just brain-candy to being a story that people talk about after they’ve finished.]
6- What is something that your readers might be surprised to find out about you?
How about…my bees? I keep honeybees and have for a few years now. It’s an amazing hobby and one that still fascinates me.
[PDD: Awesome. I’ve wanted to keep bees. Hopefully one day. And it’s good for the environment too, right? I’ve heard that’s the best thing your average Joe can do to help the disappearing bee populations.]
7- This interview is being posted on the day that Angelic Knight Press is releasing your short story “The Vagrant” as a teaser of your “Southern Hauntings Saga” series. This question will be two-fold. For me, ghosts are like aliens and God… I want to believe, but I’m still waiting for my proof. So how about you? Do you believe in spirits on our plane of existence? And have you ever had an experience to back up that belief?
I am a skeptic of the highest degree. Like you, I have to have some sort of tangible proof before I can believe in anything – whether it’s God, aliens, ghosts, or Sasquatch. All of the stories of ghosts and monsters and cryptoids have always fascinated me since I was a kid, and I’m always disappointed when something is proven to be a hoax – but not surprised. I really want to believe because I’m terrified of the great nothing that I think comes after death (that probably shows through in a lot of my writing). Seeing a ghost would be proof that there’s something else, and I’d have a much easier time accepting death. Sadly, even though I live in a 100 year old home and have visited numerous ‘haunted’ locations, I haven’t seen a single thing that can’t be rationally explained. I’ll keep looking, though.
[PDD: I remember reading a blog post somewhere about a haunted hotel someone visited where they had some pretty serious unexplained phenomena happen to them. Hopefully it will be one of my readers and they can comment here. Keep searching.
And thanks for taking the time. Good luck with the release of The Vagrant.]
Now for Bryan’s Bio:
Bryan Hall is a fiction writer living in a one hundred year old farmhouse deep in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and three children.
Growing up in the Appalachians, he’s soaked up decades of fact and fiction from the area, bits and pieces of which usually weave their way into his writing whether he realizes it at the time or not.
He’s the author of the sci-fi horror novel Containment Room 7, the collection Whispers from the Dark, and the upcoming Southern Hauntings Saga. You can find him online at www.bryanhallfiction.com and learn more about the Southern Hauntings Saga at www.whoiscratenorthgate.weebly.com.
What do I want from you?
Any responses to Bryan’s comments? Just want to say “hi”? Or maybe you can give some recommendations of good haunted locations.
Check out Bryan’s links from his bio. The weebly site has a fun, Blair Witch feel in its promotional sense.
Also, to find The Vagrant on Amazon, click here.
Finally, don’t forget to check back next Friday for my response to the Versatile Blogger and Kreativ Blogger awards (perhaps it’s more of a blogosphere acceptance speech?).
Please subscribe to this blog to receive posts via email or RSS feed (on the right hand column). NO SPAM, I promise.