|Andrew Cyrus Hudson|
Thanks for joining us Andrew, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I'm not one of those people who dreamed of being a writer since I was four. But I always wanted to be a storyteller. There was a time in my life when I wanted to write movie scripts. Then another time when I wanted to make video games and another time when I wanted to write songs.
As far as writing books go, it was actually during the early part of my college years. Like I said, I always wanted to tell stories but it never occurred to me to write novels. Then I took a class in 20th Century English and had a wonderful professor (Professor Kramer). Long story short, I got into writing prose (starting with short stories) and learned in that class that a story is much more than simply having a good idea.
In your novel Drift Travis Benson was a music producer and you mention bands like Pearl Jam and Guns 'N' Roses. Do you personally like these bands? Do you listen to music when you write?
I think in some ways it was an unconscious nod to the later part of my high school years and the beginning of my college years. When I first started college, I wanted to be a music producer and I was into bands like Pearl Jam and Guns N' Roses. Not to say that Travis Benson is similar to myself but a lot of the music such as the Foo Fighters were a huge influence on the story.
Actually, I don't listen to music when I write. I have a hard enough time focusing on one thing, let alone two things at the same time. Although music definitely is a way for me to tap into a creative well and set the tone for things.
When do you do your best work?
There isn't any rituals I need to do or places I need to go in order for me to do my best work. All it needs is three factors. One, is that I have to have a good night's rest. Two, is that I have to be in a good mood. And three, is that the passage needs to be emotionally engaging for me. The last factor is the hardest because I can't control it. Some passages are emotional while others are simply a necessity to the story. But when I do find something that grips me and I'm in a good mood, then I try to ride that wave as best I can.
Recently Australian author Tara Moss Tweeted that she used the program Scrivener to assist in her novel writing. What tools or program/s do you use as a writer to manage your manuscripts?
Actually, I'm pretty unorthodox with my manuscripts. I write the first draft in longhand with notebooks and pens and then write the subsequent drafts on Microsoft Word (which is the easiest to send to a formatter or editor). The only time I use a special program is Movie Magic Screenwriter for scripts or comic books. However, now that you mention it, I might give Scrivener a look.
You mentioned to me that Stephen King was one of your biggest influences; can you tell us some more about this? Did he influence your writing in Drift?
My two favorite elements in a story are characters and character relationship, which is why Stephen King is one of my biggest influences. It's not about the horror as it is about the characters in his stories and how their horrific circumstances change the characters and their relationships (The Stand is a good example of that). Not to mention that On Writing was very helpful in teaching me how to write a novel/short story.
I never said to myself "Hmm...I think I'll write a Stephen King story today" when I sat down to write Drift. And I think there's a lot of other influences and styles to where I feel comfortable enough to say that it's not a Stephen King tribute. However, there are similar elements such as characters being affected by a violent circumstance, a small town, and how the story is just as much about the internal struggles as it is about the external struggles. Not to mention that I was reading a lot of Stephen King novels during that time.
What are some of your other favourite books/authors?
Even though he's not an author, John Hughes is perhaps my biggest influence. I love his films (Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueler's Day Off, Home Alone, etc.) and his characters. My other favorite authors are Philip K Dick, Bret Easton Ellis, Neil Gaiman, you can check out my Goodreads Profile for more favorites.
Recently I've read L.A Confidential by James Ellroy which I loved, Cancelled by fellow indie author Elizabeth Ann West. Plus, I've really gotten into Jay McInerney's works, which I'm sure will be influential with my third novel.
What are you working on now?
I'm writing a science-fiction collection of short stories called Strange Happenings that will hopefully be released mid May. It's kind of science-fiction but most of it takes place during the present day and is Twilight Zoneish.
Then there's the second novel I'm working on (near the end of the second draft as of this interview) called Poem for the Wolves. It's twice as long as Drift and is epic in scope (even though the events of Poem for the Wolves cover about a month and a half). This one's going to be action packed and will contain a lot of poetry. Hopefully it'll be ready to be published mid December or early January 2013.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for interviewing me. Aside from giving a shameless self promotion I'd also like to recommend comicattack.net, which is the site I occasionally review for and is filled with awesome people.
Also, if anyone wants to contact me to give/receive book recommendations, ask questions, or talk about anything else, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Andrew, and thanks for being my guest.