*The following interview was carried out by Stacey Lannigan and can also be found on The Nerd Daily website*
If you’re a fan of the horror genre, then one author’s works which you should definitely add to your TBR pile is those by Andrew Lennon. As well as his bestselling novel ‘Every Twisted Thought: Volume One‘, Lennon has featured works in many anthologies. We had the opportunity to ask Andrew Lennon a couple of questions regarding his works as well as his own personal preferences and opinions, so check out his answers below.
When did you first realise that you were interested in becoming a writer?
Well I didn’t even start reading until I was in my mid-twenties. My wife was an avid reader and had a huge Stephen King collection. After a while of her constantly trying to convince me to read, I gave them a go, and I enjoyed them! From there I stumbled upon Goodreads and had various books recommended to me. One of those books was “The Summer I Died” by Ryan C Thomas. Man, I loved that book so much, I just wanted to make something like that. So that’s when I decided to give it a go myself. It’s a bit surreal now when you think about it. Years later, and I actually work alongside Ryan quite often. He edits most of my work, and he rebranded and republished my debut book for me.
What inspires your writing?
If I’m awake then I’m thinking about horror usually. Whether it’s watching a scary movie, or reading a scary book. It doesn’t matter, it’s pretty much the only thing I do. My mind is always active and I have a very short attention span, so I often think of stories several times during the day. When I actually realise that I’ve drifted off into dreamland, I grab my phone and quickly make notes of those stories for future reference. My phone is full of notes (complete gibberish) which will hopefully be translated to stories someday.
What was your favourite childhood author/book and what did you enjoy about them/it?
As stated earlier, I didn’t really enjoy reading until my mid-twenties. One book I do remember reading at school, though, and absolutely loving it: “Of Mice and Men”. It’s the only book I’ve read multiple times. I adore that book. I love everything about it. It’s written beautifully, the relationship between George and Lenny, you can feel that. The fight sequences, the death sequences, everything really hits you hard. It’s the perfect example of storytelling.
Do you, personally, prefer to write drafts on paper or on the computer?
Initial ideas are usually scribbled on scraps of paper, or written in the notes section of my phone. From there with longer pieces I usually plan out chapter by chapter handwritten on paper, then I write properly on the computer. For shorter pieces, I usually have the whole thing pretty fresh in my mind so I just go straight onto the computer and get going.
Describe your typical writing day!
I don’t really have “writing days”. In an ideal world, I’d write every day and be really productive, but the truth is I sort of fall in and out of it. I’ll have months in which I’m doing great and I’ll probably get enough down to release a new book. Then it could be months again before I write anything. At this moment I’m spending a lot more time reading anthology submissions than I am writing, but hopefully that’ll change around again very soon.
When you’re not writing stories, how do you like to spend your time?
I mostly enjoy spending time with my family. Other than that I watch movies, read books, and play xbox. Nothing particularly different really.
Are you working on any pieces of fiction at the moment?
I’ve got many, many pieces of fiction in the works right now (refer back to my short attention span). I’m currently working on several short stories and a longer piece. When I can find the willpower to just focus on one thing at a time, I’ll have a big flurry of releases.
Out of the number of stories you have published, which was your favourite to write?
That’s a difficult one. It had always been a toss-up between TIME and DADDY’S GIRL. I always just felt that both of those pieces were much stronger examples of my writing. Recently though I’ve taken more of a liking to HOUSE OF ILLUSION. I’ve always been a fan of Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, and my story is sort of an homage to that. Just thinking of that story makes me smile.
What do you find the most difficult task of writing?
Definitely starting. I find it’s like going to the gym. You do everything you can to avoid getting there, but once you get started you don’t want to stop. Once you take that initial step, everything just follows suit. It’s just taking that initial step.
Do you have any words of advice to anyone who is wishing to become a published author?
First step. Just write it. So many people spend far too much time worrying about what others will think and questioning how things are done. The end product of all that worry and trying to please everyone else is that….. there is no end product. You won’t get your story written. Just ignore everything and everyone else, sit down and write your book. Once it’s done, go back through and add/takeout as necessary. After that, do it again. THEN you can start looking for people to read it.