Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,
Let the interview commence!
CP: Can you tell us a little bit about your story “Nothing but Dans, All the Way Down?” What inspired it and how did it come to fruition?
KP: I’ve always had a thing about the multiverse. Fell in love with the idea when I stumbled onto Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone, but nothing had quite hit me like when I got my hands on Alan Moore’s run of Supreme, where the Superman pastiche ended up in an endless void, populated by every possible variation of himself. Then Rick & Morty did it again and I thought . . .
“God, a world full of yous, huh? That’s gotta suck.”
Everyone kept saying how amazing it would be, to be forever surrounded by the one person you can trust and like, but Dan isn’t a guy who likes being around these kinds of weirdos. If anything, Dan wants to be out of the loop. He wants to no longer be surrounded by this strangeness and maybe, just maybe, put a stop to it. I wrote the entire story in a week, but it took at least two months of constant rewrite to trim it down to its current size. And if you ask me, I think it could do with an expansion sometime in the future.
CP: While speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to become a writer? And what authors helped carve your path to horror?
KP: I actually decided to start writing after meeting the Captain, a regular at a sandwich canteen I used to work in during the summers in Rhodes. The man had been a ship captain, a business owner, a treasure hunter and a part-time polygamist. I actually wrote down the gist of his life in another book, SORRY, WRONG COUNTRY which I published recently and, after jotting down as much as I could from the guy, I knew I had to find a way to become just good enough to preserve his story. Hell, even just make up people who lived through a fraction of his story would work for me.
I didn’t start out as a horror writer, believe it or not. What I wanted to do, soon as I’d knocked out the captain, was write for comic books. But horror is a flexible genre and she will let you do all sorts of naughty stuff with her if you push her buttons just right. For horror, I like to think back to Chuck Pallanhiuk or Ward Moore or the quiet, unrecognized genius of Thomas M. Disch. They aren’t known for writing creepy stories, but damn it, they know how to unsettle you.
CP: What are your goals and aspirations as a writer? What does the future hold for Konstantine Paradias?
KP: Honest to goodness? There’s a few things I need to finish up: first, a book I’ve put off for way too long, about the blue-collar stories of Horace Pacey Lovecraft, the true defender of the Earth and then, maybe find a publisher brave or weird enough to let me try out editing an anthology. I don’t think it would rake in any awards, but goddamn I know I’d love every second of doing it.
And, if that doesn’t work, I think I really, really should plop my butt down and try to learn some coding. I’ve put off trying to work with videogames for too long and I think I need to do something about it or get off the bowl.
CP: Tell us something that not many readers know about you.
KP: Don’t laugh, but I love making pickles. Cabbage, dill, cucumber, kimchi. Woden willing, maybe this year I can pickle eggs and maybe cure some meat. I can’t stand drinking and am the closest thing to Mozart when it comes to procrastinating. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how much stuff I’ve given up on.
Oh, and I never tell people that I’m writing. I’m guessing I’m just self-conscious about it.
CP: Amidst the dark and gloomy atmosphere of Hinnom Magazine Issue 002, “Nothing but Dans, All the Way Down” is a breath of respite. The story is hilarious and ridiculous in so many great ways. What hurdles did you face when crafting such an amusing story?
KP: I think, the biggest problem, was how to start the story. I was going to set it all up in medias res, during an epic action scene, but then I realized that Dan wouldn’t want that. Heck, Dan would want to be in his house, on his couch, trying to live despite the alternate versions of himself mooching off him and the hole in reality where his TV used to be.
I thought of how I, you, or anyone would deal with this kind of a mess, when the initial terror and awe would have worn off and they’d just be stuck with an infinity of weirdos, bumping into their life. I wanted for the reader to see Dan as the kind of guy who’s stuck in an endless line of crap jobs and to see things from his point of view.
I mean, can you imagine, having to go through that for the rest of your life? Yeesh.
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?
KP: I’ve recently published my first book in an action horror series, titled VIOLENCE DAVE-HEARTLESS. It’s 86 pages of chest-thumping, demon-killing action and it’s the first of five books! Also, I’ve got my nonfiction book, SORRY, WRONG COUNTRY out by Rooster Republic Press, which is a collection of short stories about everyday weirdness.
Currently, I’m slowly trying to put together my very first blue-collar Horror book and after that . . . man, I have no idea. I guess I’ll wing it.
CP: If you could meet and converse with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
KP: Ward Moore, Thomas M. Disch and Robert Bloch. I’d love to have them all in the same room with me, but I’ll have them separately, but in that order. Bitter, outrageously funny men who worked magic on the page. I’d have them tell me the story of every rejection, every disappointment they want through, how they got so mad at everything they just decided to get better and show everybody they didn’t know what they were talking about.
I’d probably end up drinking myself halfway to death, but my grandpa didn’t drink a drop in his life and told me it wasn’t worth it, so it’s worth it, I guess.
CP: What is your favorite novel or work, and/or author? Why?
KP: Hands down, Greener than You think. Ward Moore’s ecological post-apocalyptic novel. it’s dark as hell, it’s funny, occasionally drifts into hilarious immaturity, the narrator is an unreliable jerk and the ending . . . oh God, the ending.
Sure, it’s not perfect and it tends to drift somewhere round the halfway point, but what do you expect? The man was paid by the word. Also, the thing is in the public domain and Libirvox has adapted it into audio for free so go get it.
CP: What is your writing process?
KP: First, I try to think of an idea. I never get one that way, so I tell myself that I am human garbage, wallow in existential horror for a few hours, then go out for a walk. Then, I come back and open a word file. I write up a title. I always put a lot of thought into those but hate them anyway.
Then, I go over the opening. I like to establish a story as soon as possible, since I’m also a fickle reader and know people won’t bother. Soon as that’s done, I write the story then let it stew for a few hours, before deciding to read through it.
It’s an absolute mess that I hate, of course, so I edit. And edit and edit again. Pause for lunch. Edit again. Hate every single word of it. Submit anyway.
Then, get rejected and shout “I knew it!” and get back to writing.
CP: If you could give advice to new, young authors concerning the publishing world, what would it be? And why?
KP: There are so many things I want to go over, but in the interest of keeping this answer under the 3k word mark, here are some bits of advice; follow them at your own peril:
- Stop writing for your own sake
- know thine editor
- keep at it
- write the story people won’t be expecting from you
- don’t stick to what you know
- keep at it
- get yourself a beta reader who hates your genre, guarantees objectivity
- don’t write a novel before you finish that short story
- rejection is like Russian prison: it builds character
- there’s no such thing as a bad idea
- keep at it
Read Konstantine Paradias’s “Nothing but Dans, All the Way Down” today in Hinnom Magazine Issue 002!
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