AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: JACK LOTHIAN

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!

JackHeadshot
Photo of Jack Lothian

CP: Could you first tell us a little about yourself? Why you find the darker side of fiction intriguing?

JL: I primarily work as a screenwriter in films and television and reading “The Rats” by James Herbert at a way-too-young age screwed me up in a good way.

 

CP: “Jennifer Brings it to Work” has a very hypnotic tone, an original premise, and a good dose of Cosmic horror. The story also holds some very disturbing and dream-like visions. Can you delve into your inspirations for the story? How it came to fruition?

JL: I think it started with the title and a general sense of unease at someone bringing “something” to work, then once I started to dig into it a bit more it all began to fall into place. I’m quite fond of end-of-the-world stories with protagonists who are slightly ambivalent about whether the end of everything is a good or bad thing.

 

CP: While speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to become a writer? What authors helped carve your path?

JL: I was a big fan of the UK comic 2000AD as a kid. Unlike the glossy spandex superheroes of the US, 2000AD had a kind of punk ethos to it with a great mix of sci-fi, action and horror tales — not to mention a glittering line-up of writers like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Pete Milligan. Each issue was a mini masterclass in story-telling.

 

CP: You are currently a screenwriter in addition to your fiction writing pursuits. What challenges do you face balancing the two, if any?

JL: Prose is definitely harder. Screenwriting has its own challenges but is mostly about creating a blueprint for production and is very much a collaborative form of writing in that way. In prose all the success and failures lie in the text alone which is far scarier.

 

CP: Tell us something that not many readers know about you.

JL : I was accidentally a radio DJ on a small station for a year or so. I went to visit a friend who worked there as a temp and the regular DJ hadn’t shown up for their shift so they put me on air instead and somehow that ended up as a weekly show. I was terrible; I sometimes played records at half-speed to see how they sounded, or if it was a song I particularly liked that week I’d just play it three times in a row.

I came in one day and the station manager had smashed my prized copy of Dana’s “Fairytale,” a 1976 disco smash that I’d always try and find space for at some point in the show. This is pretty much the disc-jockey equivalent of waking up to a horse’s head in the bed.

 

CP: If you could converse with any person, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

JL: My dog Chalky passed away earlier this year and he is very much missed. I would love the chance to let him know that yes, whenever I asked him who’s a good boy, I was really implying it was him.

 

CP: What does the future hold for Jack Lothian? What can our readers look forward to?

JL: I’ve got some short stories coming out in various anthologies over the next few months, including Down With The Fallen from Franklin/Kerr Press, First Came Fear from New Salon Lit and Out of Frame from Omnestream.

TV-wise the show I currently run — Strike Back — kicks off on Cinemax in the US on February 4th 2018. It’s basically a high-octane action movie squeezed onto the small screen each week. We filmed it in Jordan, Hungary and Croatia and tried to blow up as many things as we could along the way. 

I’m also writing an episode of a new sci-fi horror series called Origin which is shooting early next year — that’s been a blast to work on.

 

CP: If you could give advice to any new and aspiring authors, what would it be?

JL: I wrote a script once for a show called Shameless (the original UK one, not the US remake) and the producer called me to tell me how much he enjoyed it, and also how I’d have to write it again from scratch. When I asked why, he gave me some writing advice which seemed so obvious but had never occurred to me before and has proved invaluable ever since — “If the characters don’t care about what’s happening, the audience won’t care either.”

Best advice I ever got and the best advice I could probably ever give.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Lothian works as a screenwriter for film and television and is currently show runner on the forthcoming HBO/Cinemax series Strike Back. His short fiction has appeared in Helios Magazine Quarterly, Parsec Ink’s Triangulation : Appetites, Omnestream Entertainment’s Out of Frame and Down With The Fallenfrom Franklin/Kerr Press.

Thank you as always for stopping by and please make sure to share and follow us on social media!

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