Author Interview: Seven Questions with Horror Writer Edward Lorn

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

A little bit of stupid pie, that’s what.  I need to apologize to C.W. LaSart from my post last week.  I’ve already done this personally, but thought I should do it publicly as well.  I misspelled (like I almost just misspelled mispelled) the title of her book.  It is Ad Nauseam: 13 Tales of Extreme Horror.

Sorry, Caren.  Feel free to kill me in a future story.

What does the future hold?

This last week, I was in Austin, Texas, visiting a good friend for his 40th birthday.  So next Friday, I’ll be posting a short photo journal/travelogue commentary for the trip.

Also came up with a good story idea based on the trip.  And voila!  Write-off.

But without further ado…

As a blog owner, I’m a little leery of random solicitations to appear on my blog.  Thus was the case with Edward Lorn.  Actually this tour was set up by Michelle Rever at Red Adept Publishing, and she did it the right way in my opinion.  She actually showed up at my blog, checked out a few posts, and even commented.  This shows me that she’s not just blog hopping and hitting up as many people as possible.  Well, she might be doing that, but at least she is taking the time to research the blog.

But I digress.  Back to Edward Lorn.  He has just released Dastardly Bastard.  I read an excerpt and was definitely drawn in by it.  My TESSpecFic group mate Aniko Carmean actually read and reviewed the whole book at her blog (click here).

And after reading his great responses to the Seven Questions, I’m pleased to be featuring him here today and look forward to reading the rest of the novel.

There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway involved, which includes Amazon (or B&N) gift certificates, signed copies of Lorn’s book and other items.  To participate, follow this link to the blog tour page and scroll down past the tour dates to the Rafflecopter badge.  Like the Dastardly Bastard Facebook page to unlock more options to earn raffle points.

And NOW without further ado…

Seven Questions with Horror Writer Edward Lorn.

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.

First, thanks for having me, Paul. Now, let me answer your question.

I’ll take all of the above with a dash of something extra. I write partly for fun, so “favorite pastime” fits like a glove. I’m passionate about the stories I tell, and hopefully, people feel a bit of that passion while reading my stuff. As far as writing as a full-time profession, my stories don’t pay the bills in full yet, though they have paid a few of them. There’s no better feeling than your imagination keeping the lights on for another month.

That something extra I mentioned earlier is my sanity. So Choice E would have to be waylaying my own demons. I go places in my fiction, taking much needed vacations and perusing different lives. Inside my head, I’m stuck with me, and I’m not a pretty sight. Without my writing, I’m the nut-job in the alley or the straightjacketed man in the asylum. Every night, I go to sleep talking to myself, playing characters and their reactions. My wife used to just suffer through it. Now, she can’t sleep without my nightly gibberish.

[PDD: Good point about the bills.  As long as it pays some, that’s a good start.  And I can relate about those demons.  My twitter profile says that I write so my nightmares will let me sleep. Good thing we have our writing. Glad your wife has come to terms with it :)]

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 Mara McBain’s Club Justice recently. That was one heck of a read. Genre? I really couldn’t pinpoint it. I know she has the book under Suspense, but the novel is quite a bit more than that.

I just started Blake and Jordan Crouch’s Eerie, which is most definitely in the horror genre. I love a good scary story, so yes, Eerie fits into my favorites. I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons, though. There are so many terrific authors out there that do not write your typical “horror,” so I have missed out over the years. But I just keep shambling back to horror. I’ll read a thriller or a comedy, and then it’s right back to the scary stuff.

[PDD: I agree that it’s good to read outside of the genre, but horror is also my fallback.  I also think it’s good for a writer if a novel is a little hard to pinpoint.  Seems like the book could appeal to a wider audience if it’s not restricted by one definite genre.]

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)

Twenty miles east of Bay’s End lies Waverly Chasm. Inside, an evil hides, old and terribly lonely.

4- Okay, now your book jacket version (200 words or less).

Mark Simmons is a wartime photographer. He’s seen plenty of horrific happenings in his day, but nothing will prepare him for the journey he’s about to take.

Donald Adams is an author living a secret life. When a good friend threatens to expose him, he decides to lay low. The trail at Waverly Chasm seems like the perfect place to hide.

After the death of her husband, Paul, Marsha Lake is struggling with how to handle her introverted son, Lyle. Could a hike, like the ones father and son used to take, help the boy cope with his dad’s passing?

Justine and Trevor are on vacation. Justine isn’t the outdoorsy type, yet she acquiesces to the trip to placate her boyfriend. She has no idea someone else will be joining her on the trail, someone she thought dead and gone.

Jaleel Warner is the group’s tour guide. Another day, another hike is how he sees it. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Seven individuals, one scenic vista, and a conniving entity that can bend memories to its will make for one hell of a trip.

The Dastardly Bastard awaits.

[PDD: And as I mentioned in the introduction, I await reading Dastardly Bastard.]

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.

I haven’t really hit any speed bumps in my writing. I’m a free-flowing kind of guy. Wherever the story goes, I go along with it. My process is quite simple. I write. There’s not much else to it. Content only becomes an issue when I write myself into a corner, or fail to describe something well enough. But that’s why I have an editor. The only obstacle I’ve really faced with my work is not being able to type as fast as my brain works.

[PDD: Ah, the Writer’s Corner.  Kind of an entertaining challenge when we find ourselves there, but also kind of a face-palm moment.  Sort of like, “Dammit.  Now what?”]

6- What is something that your readers might be surprised to find out about you?

I had a really good childhood. My father was crap, but for the most part, I was one happy kid. I was never really afraid of much, but I realized from an early age that fear is a powerful thing. So are lies. Luckily, with the help of one frustrated teacher, I was able to channel my lying into creating stories. Once I realized I had complete freedom over what ended up on the page, I was hooked.

The only reason I think people will be surprised to hear that is that many people look at horror writers and say, “What the heck happened to them? They must’ve had a horrible childhood!” With me, it was the exact opposite. I think that outlet—my stories—saved me from a bad childhood. Anytime I felt down or was thinking bad thoughts, I could just write it all away and forget about things for a while.

[PDD: Great response.  I wonder how many people think that same thing about horror writers.  Most of my friends know I also had a good childhood.  As to your teacher, I love that story.  I had a professor who once said the great thing about writing fiction is that you can take something that actually happened to you and if you didn’t like the way it ended, change it.]

7- I read the review of Dastardly Bastard at Aniko Carmean’s blog (and look forward to reading the actual book).  In her first paragraph, she mentions how the characters in the book have all had some pretty rough things happen.  If you don’t mind sharing (and getting a little personal), how close to home are these experiences to any of your own?

Well, you kind of put me on the spot, Paul. If I am to answer honestly, I’d have to say that none of what has happened to the characters in that book even remotely mirrors anything in my own life. There is, however, a piece of myself in each of the characters on the page.

But no, I’ve never been through anything like what they’ve witnessed. Tragedy is part of what makes us human beings. I understand the sorrows of loss and violence. I grew up in California during the peak of Colors. I grew up hearing about kids getting killed over what they chose to wear, so I understand mindless violence.

I’ve come to realize that death is always senseless. Whether someone dies in their sleep, peacefully, or ran through with a hook and hung from some sicko’s basement wall, there’s no sense to it. Why do we die? Population control? Is our mortality built in so that others may come after us? I don’t pretend to know the answers, but I know that every death is a tragedy. Life is a fleeting thing. I think that’s why horror appeals to me. That sudden, unexpected stop at the end scares me, just as it does everyone else.

[PDD: Again, good response.  Yes, I think empathy is the greatest of a writer’s tools.  We may not have experienced certain things, but if we can understand the impact, then we can make it real.  And fascinating thoughts on death with a very simple question you’ve posed.  “Why do we die?”  My toddler would probably say “the circle of life” (Lion King, you know?) but that still doesn’t really answer the question.  I’ll be thinking on that one.

In the meantime, thanks so much for your responses.  I hope you have continued success with Dastardly Bastard as well as future endeavors.]

What do I want from you?

What do you think about any of Edward’s responses?  Please throw in your two cents.  As always links to your blog/website are welcome.

You can find more about Edward and Dastardly Bastard at the following links:

~ Red Adept Publishing

~ Dastardly Bastard at Amazon

~ Edward’s blog

Finally, don’t forget to check back next Friday for my photo travelogue.

Please subscribe to this blog to receive posts via email or RSS feed (on the right hand column).  NO SPAM, I promise.

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12 responses to “Author Interview: Seven Questions with Horror Writer Edward Lorn

  1. What an interesting perspective..not that I thought horror writers were damaged people…I always thought of the genre as written by very brave people willing to tap into what I run away from!
    Bravo qreat Q and A.
    Best of luck to both of you 🙂

  2. Thanks for having me, Paul. Maybe I was in error, though. People might not suspect us horror writers had bad childhoods. Maybe we create our terrors to add some excitement to the banal reality that we faced as kids. Who knows.

    And I’ll accept “circle of life” as an answer to “Why do we die?” But I would like to change that to the docedcahedron of life. Still looks like a circle, but it’s full of corners, walls and hard edges. Just like the real world.

    • Yeah, I’ll be curious to see if other people thought that about horror writers (of course, I have a lot of horror writers who read my blog, so maybe this won’t be the best barometer :)).

      And I like your change to the “circle.” Although, even the circle of life doesn’t satisfactorily answer the question. You’re probably closer with the biological aspect of “just making room.” But still, there’s something else. At least in my opinion. We’ll see if others chime in on this one.

  3. Thanks, Paul. You’ve discovered my secret — I spend way too much time enjoying the blogs I discover in the course of my work. And this is a good ‘un. (Thanks for having us.)

  4. Nice to see you again, E! I enjoyed your entire interview, but the part about what people must think about horror writers resonates with me. Many of my co-workers bought my book, something I never expected to happen. The response after the fact: people watch me verrrry carefully when they think I’m not looking. I’ve heard comments along the lines of, “What is she really thinking?” and “She smiles a lot, but did you read her book?” The apparent clash between how I am and what I write probably did more to spread the book than any contrived marketing. I think you’re right that people wonder what is “wrong” with us that we can think dark things (and share them). It’s all part of the mystery.

    Paul, thanks for linking to my review! A second helping of thanks for asking Edward about if any of the experiences are close to his own. I was wondering the same thing!

    -aniko, @anikocarmean & ready to tweet, tweet!

    • “She smiles a lot, but did you read her book?”- That’s awesome. If one of your coworkers ever asks you about it, you should just smile and say, “Well, I write these things so I don’t carry them out in real life.” Then walk away. I’d love to see that.

      All kidding aside, I think that has been supposed about Edgar Allan Poe. If nothing else, he definitely brought his own fears to the page, especially premature burial.

      Thanks for the comments (and kind words to Michelle about my blog). And tweet away, sister!

      • I know my mother and sisters “worry” about me. My wife and kids know I’d never do anything “Jack Torrance-ish.” Other than that, no one else in my everyday life even knows I write. 😉 So, all I can do is assume 😛

        Thanks for dropping by over here, Aniko. It’s ALWAYS a pleasure to see you. Your unbridled enthusiasm is needed in the indie/small press world. I’m glad we met 😉

        E.

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