Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Interview With Edward Lorn

CHHR: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

E:  I don’t think I ever consciously decided to be a writer. I was a horrible liar as a kid. I liked letting my imagination run wild, no matter where it took me or who was listening. I only started writing everything down because I was constantly in trouble for telling stories during Show-and-Tell that weren’t real. Believable, but fiction all the same. For instance, I told my first grade class how my baby brother had died over the weekend. There I was, little six-year-old me, telling a story so convincing that I had the teacher crying. Unfortunately, the story was so compelling and believable that my teacher called my mother to express her condolences. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, not only did my baby brother not die, but I never had a baby brother to begin with. Boy, did I get my ass beat that night. But the next day my mother bought me a typewriter and told me she and my teacher had spoken at length about my stories, and they both felt it was a good idea if I wrote this stuff down instead of telling my stories as if they were true. That was thirty years ago, and I haven’t stopped writing since.

CHHR: What does your writing schedule look like?

E: Up at five. Watch Good Mythical Morning on YouTube (any Mythical Beasts in the house?). Once my morning shows are over, I head out to the office. Write/edit until the words stop coming, or my back starts hurting from sitting in my chair, and then I go inside. My office is on the same property as my house, but removed from the main structure. Like a shed, but with all the perks of an office: electricity, books, computer, heat and air, etc. If anyone reading this has seen my YouTube videos, the set in those videos is my office. Anyway, there’s nothing special about my process. I have to get my words out before I play on social media or I write less, I’ve found. That’s the only reason I get up so early, because not many people I associate with are up at that hour, including my family.

When I’m done with a book, it goes into a cyber-trunk for a few months while I write the next one and edit the one I completed before the one that’s now in the trunk. So, no matter what, I’m always editing something old, writing something new, and letting one marinate, all at the same time. Been doing it that way for almost a decade and don’t plan on changing any time soon.

CHHR: Do you have any interesting writing quirks? If so, what are they?

E: Not sure if this is a quirk, but most writers strip away during the editing process, at least I’ve found that to be the case. Whereas I’m constantly adding details I didn’t catch the first time through. Because of this, I’m one of those rare writers whose final drafts can be double the size of the rough draft, or at the very least, half as more. There’s only been one exception to this, and that was with Cruelty. The original draft was 175,000 words, but publishing as a serial required much trimming and rearranging, and the book lost 20,000 words in the process.

CHHR: Do you use outlines or do you go with the flow?

E:  That varies from book to book. I used to be a dedicated pantser, meaning I went entirely with the flow, but more recently I’ve had to pitch ideas to publishers, which required plotting everything out in a detailed synopsis so that the acquisitions editor can get the gist of the entire novel before they decide to contract with me or not. If the book varies too far from the idea they purchased, I run the risk of having to repay my advance and the book never coming out.

I did, however, just finish a book for NaNoWriMo that wasn’t plotted in the least. I feel that’s still my favorite method of writing a book, so here’s hoping I’ll one day have a publisher that will allow me to write only by following the natural flow of the story.

CHHR: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

E: After publishing Bay’s End my hobby quickly became a profession. Problem was, I continued to treat it like a hobby.  I don’t think I really started taking the business side of things seriously until Cruelty because I ran into so many budgetary problems trying to publish that series. Since then, I’ve completely restructured how I go about publishing. There have been some hiccups, but it’s finally, this year, starting to run smoothly.  In the end, I think that’s the only thing that changed. My hobby became my job, and I now take seriously something I’ve been doing my whole life simply for the joy of doing it.

CHHR: What do you think makes a good story?

E:  For me it’s something original blended with a passionate voice and understandable characters. I can even take one if there’s not the other. For instance, I hate vampire novels, but ‘Salem’s Lot is a favorite novel of mine due to the way it’s written and the characters whose journey I’m following. Same with Jo Nesbø: cookie-cutter detective novels, but the way he writes is like no other (or perhaps I should be giving that credit to the dude who translates Nesbø’s books…) But every once in a while, I’ll come across a book that’s nothing special in the writing department, but the story blows my mind. Hasn’t happened in a long time, but it has occurred. For me, I think clarity of language and characters you can relate to make the best story, because if you cannot understand what the author’s saying, or a character’s motivation, what’s the use of a good plot?

CHHR:  What are you currently working on?

E:  I’m currently editing a novel entitled Everything is Horrible Now, for Thunderstorm books. It’ll be the fourth release of a limited-edition-hardcovers series they’re doing called All Things Lead To the End, which revolves around my fictional town of Bay’s End. I’m currently writing a mermaid story set on a crab-fishing boat. It’s probably the farthest outside of my comfort zone I’ve ever travelled, but I’m having a blast. And I just published my seventh novel, The Sound of Broken Ribs, on 19 December. That’s one’s currently available, if any of your readers wanna grab it.

CHHR: What authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

E:  Craig Saunders and Gregor Xane are both good friends and inspirations to me. Craig because he’s the only author I know who writes more than I do while maintaining a certain level of quality. Gregor, on the other hand, publishes very little, because whatever he publishes is near-fuckin-perfect. Together, Craig and Gregor both make me wanna strive to be quicker and slower, all at once, which might sound crazy, but let me explain. I speed through a first draft. Getting the story out is my only mission. After all, you cannot fix what doesn’t exist. I resemble Craig in that manner. But then I dwell over the story, sometimes completely forgetting about it while I’m writing the next one, and in that way, Gregor’s influence on me shows.

By the way, if you’re not reading either of these guys, you really should fix that. They’re both excellent and bizarre in the best possible ways.

CHHR: What’s in your TBR pile.

E:  Bruh, sometimes I wanna answer this question by asking a question of my own. What isn’t in my TBR pile? But, seriously, I need to read more Ronald Malfi (Bone White is one of my favorite releases this year), and I need to finish the Timmy Quinn series from Kealan Patrick Burke (his novella Blanky is another favorite of mine from 2017). I only have Nemesis left to read, but I’ve been putting it off because Burke publishes so damn little. I also have a load of non-fiction to read for my next project after the mermaid book, so The Beatles, by Bob Spitz, and Life, by Keith Richards, is also on my TBR. The new Caroline Kepnes book Providence… the new McCammon novel The Listener… Dude, there’s sooooooo much.

CHHR: What’s the horror scene like in Alabama?

E:  This I honestly have no idea about. I stay pretty much to myself around here. I know Robert McCammon lives around here, as does Blu Gilliard (managing editor of Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online), but other than that, I don’t think there is much of a horror presence here. Now I could be wrong, because I don’t get out much, but there you go. That’s the extent of my local-horror knowledge.

See, now I feel like I’m forgetting something or someone…

CHHR: How did you get involved with National Novel Writing Month? Has it helped your writing?

E:  Way back in the before times, before I published Bay’s End, I published a lot of short fiction on a certain writing website who will remain unnamed. Sorry, but I refuse to give them any promotion due to me being removed from their site for disagreeing with how the moderators ran things: deleting people’s stories without allowing them to be backed up first, censoring writing without the author’s permission, etc. Anyway, my point is, everyone on that site was doing NaNoWriMo the first year I was a member, so I decided to jump in. If nothing else, NaNoWriMo taught me that a rough draft doesn’t need to be any good. You have one goal: finish the book. You can decide later if it’s good enough to clean up and publish. But always finish because you never know what kind of beautiful statue is hiding in that stone you just extracted from the cliff side of your mind.

CHHR: If you could have a beer with one horror author, who would it be?

E:  Whenever this question is asked, my first response is always Stephen King, but I think that would be awkward, given that he quit drinking ages ago. So, if King were still a cocaine-addled alkie, I’d pick him. But out of plausible choices, I’d rather share a beer with Kealan Patrick Burke. The dude’s a hero of mine: from his writing to his cover designs to his pleasant persona to his work ethic. I mean, the dude is great at everything he does, even when it comes to simply existing. And I’d like nothing more than to have a drink with the guy and argue about whether or not Rob Zombie is a good filmmaker. (Spoiler alert: Burke is not a fan of Zombie’s films, yet I am.)

CHHR: What is your spirit animal?

E:  Raccoon. Without a doubt, my spirit animal is a trash panda. I’m nocturnal, perpetually-uninvited, and I’ll eat damn-near anything. I’m unbearably curious, and I feel like the dark circles around my eyes are a testament to that. I want you to go to YouTube and search for “Raccoon running away” and allow it to be an accurate representation of me fleeing reality when I write.

CHHR: Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out and trying to get published?

E:  As I’ve said numerous times in this interview, finish the damn book. Don’t tweet or DM or PM or snail mail copies of your unfinished manuscript to published authors or close friends or even family members. That rough draft is for you and you alone. Nothing kills momentum better than showing off what isn’t completed. Because if one person offers a criticism, even constructive criticism, that wily beast Self Doubt will creep in and destroy all forward progress.

Finish. The. Book.

Then find someone you trust to be honest with you and ask them to read it. Tell them you want them to hurt your feelings. It’s the only way you’re going to get better. A pat on the back helps no one grow. It might inflate your ego and/or give you motivation to try again, but it’s never fixed anything.

When you’re all done, and the manuscript is as tight as you can possibly make it on your own, hire a professional editor (not your buddy who once got an A+ in English the last semester in high school, and not someone who moonlights as a poet/publicist/editor). You need someone who’s going to be honest with you. If you want to survive in this business, you’re going to have to realize that there’s a million other people seeking the same career path. You will be discouraged to see lazy authors finding success, and surprised at how little money amazing writers make, but all that matters is the quality of your own work.  Create something you can be proud of, something that you want representing you in the public eye.

Oh, and drink coffee. I hear it basically writes books for you. Or at least that’s what a Facebook meme told me.

Thanks for having me, Curtis. This was a lot of fun.


Author Bio:
Edward Lorn (E. to his friends) is a reader, writer, and content creator. He's been writing for fun since the age of six, and writing professionally since 2011. He can be found haunting the halls of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Goodreads. 

E. lives in Alabama with his wife and two children. He is currently working on his next novel.


Lei Duncan has it all: the ideal life, the perfect career, a loving husband. What more could someone ask for? It is with this in mind that Lei takes her morning run. 

Belinda Walsh has lost it all: her home, her husband, her mind. She thought she knew Dan, but one phone call changed all that. Now everything she’s known to be true is a lie. It is with this in mind that she goes looking for something—or someone—to destroy. 

When the lives of two strangers intersect, something will be born of the connection. For one of these two souls, the truth of the world will shift and morph into something powerful and dangerous. A darkness of the mind, a tear in sanity. 

And something will peek through that darkness, beckoned by the sound of broken ribs.

No comments:

Post a Comment