Greetings from the Ether,
With the release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 004 just on the horizon, we’d like to spotlight some of the authors involved. Timothy G. Huguenin’s story “Fischer’s Mouth” is a one-of-a-kind tale, crossing dark humor and visceral horror. Huguenin recently released a novel, Little One, which we will be reviewing in the near future. We’re proud to present our interview with the author and we hope you’ll enjoy.
Timothy G. Huguenin writes horror from the dark Appalachian hollers of West Virginia. He is the author of the novels Little One and When the Watcher Shakes. You can find out more about him and his writing at http://tghuguenin.com/.
CP: Could you tell us a little about yourself? Why you find yourself called to the darker side of fiction?
TH: I grew up in a small town in West Virginia. My Mom and Dad read all the time, and every month we would make a big trip to a library half an hour away from us and bring back a mega load of books. As a kid I was mostly drawn to detective stories and then later, science fiction and fantasy. For some reason I got hold of Edgar Allan Poe early on, and I loved it. I don’t really know why. But reading and writing horror and weird stuff like this is very interesting to me. Maybe it’s because we can learn a lot about ourselves by what makes us afraid. Honestly, I could give you all sorts of intelligent-sounding bull crap for why I write and read horror, but the truth is like that old Apple Jacks commercial, in which some uncool dad asks his kids why they like Apple Jacks cereal even though it doesn’t taste like apples. The kids’ answer: “We just do.”
CP: Your story “Fischer’s Mouth” is an incredibly unique tale, visceral while filled with dark humor. Can you delve into the inspirations for the story? How it came to fruition?
TH: My whole body breaks out in hives every time the season changes. I don’t know what I’m allergic to, since it happens just before winter as well as just before spring, so I don’t think it’s the pollen. You can imagine how freakish and alienated this made me feel around other kids when I was young (why couldn’t I just sneeze a lot like everyone else). Now that I’m older, I realize that there are all kinds of embarrassing things that happen to kids’ bodies that make them feel lonely. So that was the main inspiration for the story. Unfortunately for Fischer, his ailment is much stranger than hives. The rest of the story is about our efforts to shake off the dark nature within each of us.
CP: Back in July, you released your novel Little One. Can you tell us a little about the release? The challenges you’ve faced and accomplishments you’ve had since it was published?
TH: Well it’s always a challenge to figure out effective marketing strategies to reach new fans. However, I’ve heard from a lot of readers who said they really enjoyed it, so that is good. It is set in the same area where I grew up, but when I was writing it, I was living in Wyoming. So at first, the challenge was going to be how would I really make people in West Virginia aware of this, because I know those are the folks who will appreciate it the most. Thankfully, my wife and I were able to move back to WV before the release date, so I was able to get the word out in person.
CP: If you could meet and converse with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
TH: I wish I could meet the late Davis Grubb. He was from Moundsville, WV. He had what I would call a very successful career, but these days he’s unknown by many people. He wrote a number of short stories and novels, as well as some screenplays for Night Gallery and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. His novel The Night of the Hunter was made into a movie which is now considered a classic piece of noir cinema, and his Fools’ Parade was turned into a movie starring James Stewart and a young Kurt Russell. I’ve only recently discovered him so I haven’t read a lot of his stuff. So far, his writing strikes me like Ray Bradbury mixed with John Steinbeck, but if Steinbeck was from West Virginia instead of California.
CP: What can readers look forward to from Timothy G. Huguenin in 2018? Do you have any stories brewing?
TH: I just finished writing a novel about a boy trying to protect his town from an evil traveling hypnotist. It is kind of a mashup of King, Bradbury, and Poe, and I really love it. Hopefully an agent and a big publisher will really love it too, sometime soon. I’m also trying to get started on a Bigfoot novel, but I want to write a little more short fiction in 2018 than I did in 2017.
CP: Tell us something not many readers know about you.
TH: On any given movie night, I am more prone to want to watch a chick flick than my wife is.
CP: What is your writing process?
TH: Generally it starts with an idea for a character or some kind of scary scenario. I turn it around in my head for a while and see what kind of other characters and conflict would fit well with it, and how the beginning might go. This could take anywhere from a week to several months. Sometimes I’ll even have an idea for how I want to end something, but I don’t generally plot things out. If I do have any plot in mind beforehand, it is a very, very loose structure that I don’t religiously hold myself to. When it comes to writing the thing, whether it is a short story or a novel or something in between, the beginning is always the most painful part. But once I get a feel for the characters, as long as I’ve set up the conflict well enough, then it starts clipping along at a quicker pace. So far, for my novels, I’ve found the first 5,000 to 10,000 words the hardest to get down, but after that it usually comes pretty easily and starts to get fun. Here and there I’ll get hang ups, of course, but in general it’s that first chunk of words that I don’t get much pleasure from.
CP: If you could give any tidbit of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be, and why?
TH: I guess everyone else says this, because it’s true: read a lot, and write a lot. I would add this: even if you just want to be a novelist, write short stories and submit them to magazines, and do it as much as you can find time. I say this so that you get rejected a lot. Next to reading and writing, rejection is what I think helps you to grow the most as a writer, as long as you don’t let it overwhelm you. For one thing, you need to get used to rejection, develop a thick skin—and you will, after a while, though you’ll never like it. Furthermore—this is the most important result of rejection, in my opinion—it makes you a better self-editor because it teaches you not to be so enamored with your own words. So, welcome rejection and criticism, and keep writing.
Catch Timothy in Hinnom 004 with his tale “Fischer’s Mouth,” releasing on the 31st!
Thank you so much for stopping by, as always, and make sure to pre-order Hinnom 004 and check out Timothy’s other works. Follow us on social media!