1. How long have you been writing?
I still have a little hardcover book I wrote and made when I was in about the fourth grade. It's nothing but blatant ripoffs of eighties horror movies, complete with bloody, gory, illustrations. If a kid wrote that in school today that have him and his parents evaluated. Since then I've dabbled off and on throughout the years, but I've been writing seriously for about four years now.
2. Do you write full time or do you have a day job? If so, what is it?
I'm a full time writer, and I'm thankful for it every day. Most of the bills get paid through freelance nonfiction stuff that's supplemented by the fiction, but the scales are gradually starting to tip.
3. Do you have a "writing routine"?
It's the only way I'd ever get anything done! I start writing at around 7 AM and work on the freelance nonfiction until about four or five. After dinner and a little time with my wife and kids I pour a nice tall craft beer or a good whiskey and then work on fiction for a few hours. I try to set a word count quota and stick to it, then celebrate with another drink when I reach it.
4. Is this the first work you've had published?I also have a novel published through Permuted Press titled "Containment Room 7". It's a sci-fi horror tale with zombies, a crazed cult, and an alien creature that may or may not be a god.
5. Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?
Since I was old enough to form memories. I remember watching Halloween and Friday the 13th before I even started school and reading Stephen King and Clive Barker when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. Lucky for me, I had a lenient upbringing…although it may have really warped my mind.
6. What scares you? Any silly phobias?
I've always been terrified of death. Not so much the manner of dying, just the great black unknown that lies beyond it. I've gradually started to realize that it's actually a kind of silly phobia in and of itself.
7. What other authors inspire you?
Clive Barker and Stephen King really made me want to write, but as for my writing now I really love Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, and Bentley Little just for their fearlessness. Honestly my biggest inspirations work in comics. Garth Ennis, Alan Moore, and Neil Gaiman's Sandman really opened up my eyes to what was possible in a story and still amaze me every time I read them.
8. What is the best piece of writing advice you've been given?That's a tough one, but if I had to narrow it down to just one I'd say that it's to just write. No matter whether or not you think it's crap, no matter what else is going on, no matter what you'd rather be doing, just write. I know that one gets brought up constantly, but there's a reason it does.
9. What is your favorite part of the Indie movement? Your least favorite?
Favorite part? That it's possible for people who would never have gotten noticed before to get a book out there to the masses. Even if they don't make a million, just having the chance to get your work read is tremendous.
Least favorite? The flipside of that. Now the market is so flooded with books by people who don't know the difference between 'they're' and 'there' that it's hard for readers to sort the wheat from the chaff, which in turn makes the indie movement harder to respect. There's a lot of good stuff out there, but it's getting buried beneath a lot of really bad stuff, too.
10. What advice would you give to newbie writers?
Grow thick skin, listen to criticism, and learn from it. Just because someone points out flaws with a story doesn't mean that they're calling you an idiot - they're trying to point out areas that you very well may need to work on. It's not personal, and people seem to forget that. If you can't listen to honest criticism without feeling your blood boil, it's going to be a long, hard road to walk.
Bryan Hall is a horror and dark fiction writer living in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and children in a one hundred year old farmhouse which he truly wishes was haunted. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines as well as in his own collection "Whispers from the Dark". Bryan's debut sci-fi horror novel "Containment Room Seven", is available from Permuted Press. To visit him online, take a look at www.bryanhallfiction.com
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