Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,
With the release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 003, we would like to spotlight the authors involved. There will be seven interviews in total, including this one. We would like to thank these fantastic writers for believing in Gehenna & Hinnom and for submitting such amazing works.
Alas, without further ado, let the interview commence!
CP: Could you first tell us a little about yourself? Why you find the darker side of fiction intriguing?
AL: I am the program director and midday host of a classic rock radio station. I also work for the local AA hockey team doing in-game entertainment during timeouts and intermissions. All this work in the public eye makes me cherish my private, “me” time. I like to read more than anything else.
I was an avid reader growing up, but the books that stuck with me the most were the Alfred Hitchcock Presents anthologies. That’s where I first read Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, Roald Dahl, Robert Bloch, and Joseph Payne Brennan, among others. Most of what I’d read elsewhere was formulaic and predictable. Those stories weren’t. Decades later, those were the stories I still remembered. Haunted me, you might say. Those were the kinds of stories I wanted to write.
CP: “Home Again” is an interesting tale, hallucinogenic in certain scenes and at other times heartwarming. Can you delve into your inspirations for the story? How it came to fruition?
AL: It’s a personal story for me because I envisioned my tiny hometown. That’s essentially my grandfather in the story, too. I only lived there through first grade so all my memories are hazy and almost hallucinogenic. I have early memories of visiting my grandparents after waking from a nap, and feeling like the house wasn’t right. In retrospect, all my memories match, except for a few which seem out of kilter. I wanted to explore that feeling of “sameness” versus “strangeness” in this story.
I wanted to describe an afterlife from a ghostly perspective. There is good and evil in the world we live in. Why couldn’t there be good and evil coexisting in an afterlife? And the idea that all chronological time could exist simultaneously at a fixed location popped into my head while writing the story, so I explored that a little bit as well.
CP: While speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to become a writer? What authors helped carve your path?
AL: I started writing as a means of escape and to get through some tough times. Then I started setting goals (get published, get paid, share a table of contents with an author I admired, etc.) and tried to improve my writing with each new story. I’ve been fortunate to achieve several goals, while others have eluded me thus far.
As far as early influences, I think the list above is a good start. I respect Poe, and Lovecraft has given me nightmares (the only author to do so), but my favorite authors now include Joe R. Lansdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, Tom Piccirilli and Kelly Link among many others. I love Stephen King too. I am one of his “Constant Readers.”
CP: Without revealing too much, “Home Again” has an interesting twist at the end that is cleverly kept away by your talent for visual imagery. What challenges, if any, did you face when writing this story?
AL: I am flattered to read that. I was afraid readers would see the ending coming right from the start. The biggest challenge for me was spending too much time in town. I wanted to explore more of my hometown, but to what end? In a situation like the one I present in the story, I imagine the time spent would be short and unceremoniously interrupted, so picking one location and drawing the line there was probably the toughest part.
CP: Tell us something that not many readers know about you.
AL: I have an irrational hatred for people who routinely break the speed limit.
CP: If you could converse with any person, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
AL: I’d tell my grandparents I appreciated and loved them more than I ever showed.
I’d also like to give Stephen King a copy of my latest book. I know he is an avid reader, and if he enjoyed it, what a thrill that would be!
CP: What does the future hold for Adrian Ludens? What can our readers look forward to?
AL: Besides my story in Hinnom Magazine, I have new stories in several anthologies, including Zippered Flesh 3, Blood in the Rain 3, HWA Poetry Showcase IV, The Misbehaving Dead, and Perceived Realities.
My newest collection is called Ant Farm Necropolis. I am very proud of it. I hope if people like my story in Hinnom Magaine they’ll seek out that collection. Your favorite online bookseller should have it.
CP: If you could give advice to any new and aspiring authors, what would it be?
AL: Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Bounce back, learn from each rejection. There’s no magic formula for success, but you can increase your chances of publication by following guidelines, proofreading your stories multiple times (also read them aloud!) and always being polite and professional. Some editors are looking for big names, or are looking for a very specific, almost esoteric style. Don’t kill your zest for the game by taking these rejections personally. Keep trying. And, even though it’s tempting, don’t give away your work just to get published. Submit to paying markets, and support those markets by subscribing to or buying their products.
Read. Voraciously. Vary your subjects. Enjoy what you read, and read what you enjoy, but try to learn something along the way. Sometimes you will think, “I will never write that well.” Other times you’ll find yourself thinking, “I could come up with a better ending than that.” It seems to me that in BOTH instances, you have the opportunity to sit down and challenge yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adrian Ludens is the author of Ant Farm Necropolis (A Murder of Storytellers LLC), and is a member of the Horror Writers Association with Active status. Recent and favorite publication appearances include DOA 3 (Blood Bound Books), HWA Poetry Showcase IV, Blood in the Rain 3 (Cwtch Press) and Zippered Flesh 3 (Smart Rhino Publications). Adrian is a radio announcer and a fan of hockey, reading and writing horror fiction, swimming, and exploring abandoned buildings. Visit him at http://www.adrianludens.com.
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