Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,
Let the interview commence!
CP: Can you tell us a little bit about your story “Vessel?” What inspired it and how did it come to fruition?
IC: Well, as it tends to happen, I had this story going around in my head for years. Back when we were in art school, I half-jokingly told one of my friends, who was an aspiring filmmaker at the time, that we should make an Alien-type monster movie but told from the creature’s perspective, which would make it a kind of horror/Die Hard crossover, with the main character crawling through air shafts and hiding in dark corridors while a bunch of overzealous humans try to kill him. Then, years later, I read that an online magazine was looking for stories with a Lovecraftian vibe to them and it all sort of coalesced together (the bookish and socially awkward main character, the pre-human race that had mastered consciousness transfer technology, the exotic location . . .)
CP: While speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to become a writer? And what authors helped carve your path to horror?
IC: I guess writers tend to be loners with a huge imagination, and that describes me pretty accurately. One day, I just felt the need to put the stories and characters that I made up to entertain myself on paper. As for the authors that inspired me, I guess I won’t be too original if I mention Stephen King as my main inspiration to become a writer. There are other, more obscure guys like Steve Aylett, whose surrealistic insanity I love, and the late Thomas M. Disch, who taught me to never take myself too seriously. A special mention goes to Clive Barker and how unpredictable he can get.
CP: What are your goals and aspirations as a writer? What does the future hold for Ibai Canales?
IC: Oh, man. If only I could make enough money to live comfortably by either writing or drawing (which is my other great passion as I’m a gigantic comic book nerd), I’ll be the happiest guy in the world. As for my future, I can tell you that there’s a movie coming out this fall here in Spain that will feature my name in the credits since I helped write it’s first draft. Also, the friend of a friend of a . . ., well, you get the idea, managed to slip one of my spec scripts under a producer’s door, so let’s keep our tentacles crossed!
CP: Tell us something that not many readers know about you.
IC: I work as a kickboxing instructor during the day and even if I earned enough money as a writer/artist to pay the bills, I wouldn’t give it up because I love being able to punch my customers when they annoy me. Also, Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” always makes me tear up.
CP: “Vessel” is told in an interesting narrative, concerning the nature of the protagonist. What struggles did you face when writing a story with a protagonist who can’t outwardly speak?
IC: Actually, it probably made things easier for me since I find writing credible dialogues the hardest, especially if they’re not in my native language. Since I first began writing, I became obsessed with making the characters sound like people you would meet on the street on any given day, so in that aspect, it’s been liberating.
CP: Do you have any other works releasing soon that our readers can look forward to? If not, are you currently working on any pieces?
IC: I keep writing and submitting short stories to every horror/sci-fi out there, so we’re bound to meet sooner or later. If you can’t wait, you can always check my ongoing webcomic Decimators, which deals with a Politically Correct Zombie Apocalypse, or my finished graphic novel Weregun, which is about how war will turn people into monsters, sometimes literally. You can find both in the online comic platform Tapastic. If you’re interested in seeing how I illustrate other people’s script, be sure to check cunexttues.com!
CP: If you could meet and converse with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
IC: Without a doubt, H. P. Lovecraft. I find him to be one of the most peculiar people ever to be born, and I would consider myself privileged if I could have a chat with him about astronomy, seafood, or any other subjects that might come up.
CP: What is your favorite novel or work, and/or author? Why?
IC: If you forced me at gunpoint to pick just one, I’d go with Stephen King’s It. Not only is it one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read, the discipline required to write it the way it’s written strikes me as superhuman. If you’ve read it, maybe you get what I mean.
CP: What is your writing process?
IC: I don’t really have a routine I follow, I use several tricks, so to speak. This time, it was just a funny comment that stuck with me. Other times, I will spend hours browsing the Internet looking for articles on scientific breakthroughs, urban folklore, true crime, until I feel that “click” inside my head.
CP: If you could give advice to new, young authors concerning the publishing world, what would it be? And why?
IC: In my limited experience, never listen to naysayers. Don’t pay any attention to those who say you’re not good enough, even if they’re only inside your head. Keep writing, keep learning, keep improving. On the other hand, never think of yourself as better and smarter than your readers.
Read Ibai Canales’s “Vessel” today in Hinnom Magazine Issue 002!
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