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?
JH: I’m a writer and artist from the Netherlands, though I’ve lived my fair share of years outside of the country in such places as Thailand and the USA. I’ve studied animation in the Netherlands and Cartooning in the USA at the Kubert School.
What attracts me to darker fiction? I’m not going to say that it’s because I don’t like happy stories. Happy stories are just as fun as any. But there’s always something there, isn’t there? Something underlying? A closet without a light. A shadow casted into a weird form. Something that lingers in the background, and you’re too scared to look directly at it.
CP: “Reflected in the Eyes of Wolves” has an interesting structure and a moral basis that parallels a cautionary tale. Can you delve into your inspirations for the story? How it came to fruition?
JH: For a few years, I lived in a small town with a relatively large elderly population. I would often find myself waiting in long lines, anxiously wanting for older gentlemen and ladies to get a move on already. This led to a point where I was biking through the woods, and had to wait for a long group of elderly people slowly moving along the road to finally cross it. I jokingly thought to myself (inspired by reports of wolves migrating from Germany into the northern Netherlands for the first time in centuries and a line from the Simpsons) that if these geezers didn’t get home before dark, the wolves would get them. But as I pondered this, I realized I would be in the same position in a few years. Not could. Would. I would be thirty in a few years. Forty ten years after that. I came to face my tendency for ageism as well as my own mortality. It was a big moment where I had to reflect on some things and how I viewed the world, really causing me to question what kind of person I was. But it also made me learn to appreciate wolves even more, so that is another plus.
CP: While speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to become a writer? What authors helped carve your path?
JH: I can’t really pinpoint a moment when I decided to become a writer. In elementary school, I wrote short little fables about animals (which teachers decried as violent, though even now I must disagree as I was taking inspiration from classic Anansi stories). As I moved to high school, I tried my hand at screenplays (all miserable failures) and short comics (which I did a better job at), before deciding I wanted to write and draw comic books. Somewhere in college, I started writing short stories to hone my writing skills. I’d been writing scripts, but these were intended for me to supply the art for. I realized that while my ramblings might make sense to me, other artists wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of it all. That’s when I actually decided to sit down and embrace myself as a writer, mostly by making it all up as I went along. I’ve been writing ever since, pausing only to draw.
The authors that inspired me range from such people as Haruki Murakami, Jan Wolkers, Neil Gaiman, W. Sommerset Maugham, Alan Moore, Osamu Tezuka and Ray Bradbury.
CP: What are your aspirations and end goals for writing? Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
JH: My most basic goal is to have my novel(s) finished and published, which might happen once I stop jumping into them between writing stories and creating art. I also want to have written several comic book series, with either the art by myself or someone far more talented than I.
CP: Tell us something that not many readers know about you.
JH: I love collecting toys. I have a collection of plastic animals in the several hundreds, many figurines from the Pokemon series, Godzilla series, a variety of robot toys and far too many Kinder surprise toys that someone my age should have. Sorry, that is incorrect. Kinder egg toys transcend age, nor can you have too many.
CP: If you could converse with any person, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
JH: I would love to have been able to meet and speak with Osamu Tezuka. I find his work fascinating and I marvel at the lengths of his imagination. I envy his work ethic and the speed at which he produced his stories, and I look to his artwork as the blueprint from which master-storytelling can be produced from. He would watch film upon film while working on his manga, a similar work style I apply to my artwork (writing I do in a quiet room without distractions). While it would be tempting to study his creative progress, knowing me we would probably geek out over classic movies and great ink brushes.
CP: What does the future hold for Joachim Heijndermans? What can our readers look forward to?
JH: In 2018, my short story “Dragonspire” will be featured in Ares Magazine, which is a very personal story for me. I will also be pushing to find a publisher for my children’s book Someone Like Me, and a short comic The Red Wind I wrote and drew will be featured in the dutch magazine Aniway. I will also be completing many more short stories, ranging from dragons adopting babies, men and robots wrapped up by their Sergio Leone obsessions, bounty hunter panthers that talk like lolcats and poachers who transport dark creatures of the night for just the right price.
CP: If you could give advice to any new and aspiring authors, what would it be?
JH: Always write, every day. It doesn’t need to be a lot. Just set a minimum amount of words, and then stick to that. Doesn’t even matter what you choose to write on. If I can’t find the time to write because I’m on the move, I use my phone instead. If the phone has low battery, I write in notebooks. If the notebook is full, I gnaw my fingers to points and carve into stone (not really though. Concrete is a much better canvas).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joachim Heijndermans is a writer and artist from the Netherlands. His work has been featured in Gathering Storm, Mad Scientist Journal, Kraxon, Storyteller, Every Day Fiction and Asymmetry Fiction, with upcoming publications with Ares Magazine, Metaphorosis and the anthology Enter the Aftermath. He likes to read, travel and collect toys, and is currently completing his first children’s book.
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