I met Sam Williams through email. I edited his new short story collection, Tales from The Swollen Corpse. It was a great experience. Sam was easy to work with and he's very talented. You can read my review of his book over at See Spot Read. For those of you who enjoy short story collections I highly recommend this one. And it's currently priced at 99 cents. So worth it!
Now, about Sam~
1.) How long have you been writing?
A long time but only the last two years seriously with the desire to put it out there for everyone to see.
2.) Do you write full time or do you have another job? If so, what is it?
I wish. During my 9 to5 I work in customer service/sales for a major prosthetic manufacturer, specializing in lower limb prosthesis. Also my wife and I are the proud parents of a rambunctious three year old, which is a full time job in itself.
3.) Is this your first published collection?
Yes and hopefully not the last.
4.) What made you decide to go the Indie route?
A few things: Short stories have the limited market of genre mags and anthologies with multiple authors. I have had some luck getting into both but wanted my own collection and to be a no name and have a collection you pretty much need to go indy. Also I am big fan of the indy movement. The abundance of new fresh voices was what converted me from the closed minded (if it’s not paper it’s not a book) person I used to be. Now I understand (and preach) eBooks are an addition to your reading diet and any good diet should have variety. And like the indy music stores I spent so much time in in my youth, if your are up for the task of digging you’re bound to find something that blows your mind.
5.) What is it you like about writing short stories? What would you say the challenges with this form are?
I like the freedom, the freedom to be more abstract and leave a little more to the imagination, which is very important to horror. The challenges like conveying a lot with little, is part of the fun for me.
6.) What scares you personally? Do you have any silly phobias?
Anything that would jeopardize the health or safety of my son. I think becoming a parent puts priorities and fears in a broader selfless prospective.
7.) What is your writing routine?
Late at night in front of my old desk top, door closed, kid in bed and headphones on listening to two songs (always the same two) on repeat.
8.) Have you always been a fan of horror?
Oh yeah and that’s where the love for it comes from, it’s a form of nostalgia. Horror at its core is about fear. As an adult you know real fears and they are not entertainment. But in a scary story you are trying to recapture those feelings you got watching the midnight movie as a kid, that weird mix of excitement and mystery.
9.) What other authors inspire you?
The guys that everyone mentions (and deserve it so): King, Barker, Lovecraft. I also love and read a lot of horror comics from writers like Steve Niles. And I love cult classic lit like Hunter Thompson and Jack Kerouac. A huge inspiration from childhood are the stories and are in the three original “Scary stories to tell in the dark” by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.
10.) What advice would you give to newbie writers out there?
Always appreciate criticism it’s invaluable. But be aware of where it comes from. It should be a tool for improvement but criticism that’s negative for the sake of being negative as well as overly positive is useless.
Oh and get a good editor.
A little back-story on me and TSC
I grew up reading and watching the creature feature. I loved reading things like Scary stories to tell after dark, the old EC/creepy comics, and magazines like Monsters Attack. Of course my tastes grew as I did but I never lost love for these types of stories.
In October 2010 after having a hard time (outside of comics) finding the pulp horror stories I craved, I started writing my own. I created a blog called Theswollencorpse.blogspot.com
The stories found in it are for grownups and range from lighthearted to very dark.
Tales from the swollen corpse can be found at:
And on iTunes.
Hope you enjoyed meeting Sam as much as I have.