Greetings from the Ether,
With the upcoming release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 005, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight some of the authors involved in the project. Frank Oreto’s story “All God’s Creatures Got Reasons” is an insane tale with loads of humor and a very unique premise. Join us as we dive into the crafting of the story, and what the future has in store for the author.
CP: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How you came to write horror fiction?
FO: I was a weird a kid from a small town. I inhaled books. Starting with mythology then following the darker paths of literature through Poe and M.R. James to Lovecraft, Beaumont and King. I had my own stories bouncing around my head. Weird sculptures made of everyday life pulled apart and rearranged in strange wonderful ways. Eventually I began writing them down.
CP: “All God’s Creatures Got Reasons” is an insanely weird tale, with enough twists and turns and shocking events to glue any reader’s eyes to the pages. What inspired the story? How did it come to fruition?
FO: My stories usually start with an image. Often from me just imagining what’s the worst or at least weirdest thing the elements around me could add up to. For “All God’s Creatures Got Reasons” the starting image was about as disturbingly transgressive as it got. But I only had an image and, I wanted a story. So, I started thinking how you could justify someone doing this horrible thing I had in my head. Could it be justified? Could I even make the person doing it somehow sympathetic? That’s when I started laughing and wrote the story.
CP: Your work has appeared in a lot of great publications, including Pseudopod and Metaphorosis. Where do you hope writing takes you? What goals do you hope to achieve?
FO: I just hope my stories keep finding places where they can be read. They’re really only half finished until someone else experiences them. Also buckets of money would be nice.
CP: Do you have any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? What does the future have in store for Frank Oreto?
FO: My stories “Dueling Ground,” and “Secret Ballot” are in the publishing pipeline and should see release shortly. The first as an audio from Centropic Oracle and the second in the upcoming horror anthology Terror Politico. My roadside attraction tale of terror, “The God of West Kansas,” will be in the June issue of Disturbed Digest. I’m also co-editor (alongside my partner in Crime Douglas Gwylim) of the long running yearly speculative anthology Triangulation. The fourteenth edition of which will be coming out this summer.
Finally, I’m in the midst of editing my first novel, The Rising Dark. And look forward to sharing it with agents, publishers, and someday soon, the world.
CP: What has been your favorite moment so far, as a writer?
FO: A large part of my novel, The Rising Dark, takes place in a fictional public park based on one within walking distance of my home in Pittsburgh, PA.
Every day as I wrote the novel, I would take a walk in that park and think of the characters I was creating. Who would become a hero, who would commit atrocities? Who would die? Who would fall in love? The day I finished the last page, I closed my laptop and walked straight to the park. And I’ll be damned if all those characters weren’t there to say goodbye. It was the closest thing to an authentic mystical experience I’ve ever had, and I treasure it to this day.
CP: What writer do you find the most inspiring, living or dead? Why?
FO: Charles Beaumont wrote a novella called Black Country. It was a horror story that packed more emotion than anything I’d read up to then. The kind of story that makes you catch your breath after reading it. Ever since I read it, my dream has been to write something half as good. I’ll probably be trying for the rest of my life. Which isn’t such a bad thing at all.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a little tidbit of advice for up-and-coming writers, as most of our readers are writers themselves. What’s the best advice you could give to someone new to the craft?
FO: 1) Get that magnificent dark beast of a story galloping through your head on paper. It won’t seem nearly as impressive corralled there between the margins. But that’s always the first step.
2) Join a writer’s group filled with people who want to get published. They’ll break your heart, but you’ll be better off for it.
3) Clever plot twists and turns of phrase are great, but in the end, you’re telling someone’s story. Make sure you know who that person is and do right by them.
Frank Oreto is a writer and editor of weird fiction living in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and many children. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Metaphorosis, Owl Hollow Press, and Pseudopod. You can follow his exploits both literary and otherwise on twitter @FrankOreto or check out his author page at fb.me/FrankisWriting.