Greetings from the Ether,
With Hinnom 008 releasing tomorrow, we thought we’d interview some of the authors involved to help get the word out about their pieces. Join us as we interview Kurt Newton for the second time, and as we dive into the making of his Lovecraftian poem “Whispers Beyond the Glass.”
CP: For those who didn’t get the chance to read your first spotlight with G&H, can you tell us a little about yourself? How you came to write dark fiction and poetry?
KN: I grew up in a small town in Connecticut. Corn fields, barbed wire, stone walls. Riding bikes and swimming at the lake in summer, raking leaves in the fall just to jump in the pile, snow forts and sledding in winter. I started writing fairly young. In grade school, I had a friend who introduced me to Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany. I remember those paperback covers. The artwork alone was inspiring. He was a budding writer, his brother was an artist. I remember one day hanging out in his basement, listening to The Moody Blues and King Crimson. I think I may have had an out-of-body experience. It was my first glimpse at something other.
CP: “Whispers Beyond the Glass” is a wonderful Lovecraftian poem with beautiful language and some great references to the mythos. Can you tell us how it came to fruition? What inspired the piece?
KN: Years ago, the trio of poems that make up “Whispers Beyond the Glass” were to appear in an illustrated poetry anthology that centered on the theme of a snowed-in town and the horrors that might result. The anthology never happened. The original publisher folded. The editor in charge tried to shop it around to other publishers but couldn’t garner any interest. The poems were finally released, and so here they are.
CP: Your work has appeared in a plethora of great publications. Where exactly do you hope your writing takes you? What goals do you hope to achieve?
KN: Eventually, I’d like to see most of what I’ve written collected into volumes, a library built to house said volumes, and a statue of myself erected in front to point the way. . . Seriously, I still get a thrill out of finding homes for my odd tales and peculiar poetry. Just knowing there are total strangers out there enjoying what I’ve written is enough. (Although, the volumes and the library would be a nice addendum.)
As for where I hope it will take me. . . To be honest, out of everything I’ve written, if I happen to produce just one piece—be it story or poem—in my lifetime that finds its way into the Halls of the Perpetually Reprinted (i.e. Best Of collections or English 101 course materials) I’ll know then I’ve succeeded.
CP: Do you have any other projects you’re working on? What does the future hold for Kurt Newton? Anything new since the last time we spoke?
KN: This past year’s been a very productive year for short stories. I have a young son that will soon be four. The past three years have been filled with playtime and diapers, so not much time devoted to writing. But I intend to get back to longer forms—novels, novellas—very soon.
At the moment, I’ve got an older novel and a short story collection under consideration by publishers who shall remain anonymous. Earlier this year, my first two published novels, The Wishnik and Powerlines, were rereleased in both print and ebook by Digital Fiction Publishing. Nice to have those made available again.
CP: What has been your favorite moment thus far, as an author?
KN: What a great question. Favorite moment? Wow, I’d have to say reading the same books to my son that were read to me as a child. As a writer I know all the creative ways to enhance the reading experience. Now, if only my son will sit long enough to appreciate it!
CP: What writer do you find the most inspiring, living or dead? Why?
KN: Lucius Shepard. He wrote great heartfelt scifi/fantasy/horror all rolled into one. His prose style was amazingly literary and imaginatively rich. He was a prolific writer that was still writing up until he died in 2014. I miss reading new stories by him.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a little tidbit of advice for the many readers who are writers themselves. What’s the best advice you could give to a new author?
KN: Acceptance. I see many young writers wasting their time writing to specific markets. A call goes out for train stories. Young writer says, “I have to write a train story!” Then a call goes out for Cthulhu in Outer Space stories. Young write says, “I have to write a Cthulhu in Outer Space story!” Pretty soon young writer has two dozen works-in-progress, none of them finished in time for their respective deadlines, and no stories that actually have any meaning to them as an individual. I think the best writers out there have accepted who they are as a writer, they have specific interests and strengths, and exploit them to the best of their ability. They might not have two dozen Cthulhu on a Train in Outer Space stories under their belt, but at the end of the day they’ll have written something that’s representative of who they are, something they can be proud to share with the rest of the world.
Kurt Newton’s dark fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Weirdbook, Dark Discoveries, and Shroud. He is the author of two novels, The Wishnik and Powerlines. He is a lifelong resident of the Connecticut woods.
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