Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself –
Jeff: Hi, Rebecca, first thing first let me say it’s a great honor being interviewed by one of my favorite authors, and a pretty lady, too.
Me? I’m nobody; I’m the guy you notice seating alone in a corner at the great party. He’s sharp dressed, reserved, and alone. Come closer and you find a different guy. He never shuts up, is full of weird stories to tell, likes to share everything he knows, and has a good sense of humor.
Have you figured that guy? Come on there’s one at every event.
Bec: What first got you interested in writing?
Jeff: I was blessed and cursed with a bright imagination from birth. I’m a creative person; my studies were in the Arts, and I practiced drawing, painting, and writing. I wrote many stories, but was too afraid to publish them. Some were good, some … well, they were just awful, but the ugly truth is that I grew up in a family which didn’t believe in me. I was never encouraged in anything which I cared for. So, ended doing an odd job or the other, before finding my own way, and finally find some peace. However, five years ago there was a steer of direction in my life and I decided to believe in myself, by applying for everything I loved. Writing was one of those things.
Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face, writing and marketing?
Jeff: First: lack of patience. Hurrying up, creating stories on the fads of the moment because that will surely bring attainment in the earnest, leads to nothing. Success, if it ever shows up, is something you achieve only with dedication and love for what you are writing.
Write a story because you want to read it; do not write it because it will be the next Harry Potter or Twilight, but you don’t like either.
Second: Marketing. Today’s writers need good marketing skills or someone else who can do that for them. Self-promotion sells more than potential best-sellers, sadly.
And editing, editing, editing. Never underestimate editing.
Bec: Tell us about your book/s –
Jeff: ‘Feeding the Urge’ is a complex story. The main character, Axel J. Hyde, is a weird individual, a big boy with the soul of a ten-year-old kid. Pacific in appearance, Axel hides a second personality; that of an impulsive serial murderer. Yet, it’s easy to sympathize with him once you discover he slices and dices only pedophiles, rapists, and stalkers. Apparently, he has an obsession for wiping out those he feels responsible for his traumatized infancy. Nonetheless he’s not Batman, he kills people because he feels an urge to do it. In fact, he believes that a spirit of murder and revenge rides him as Voodoo’s Loas do with their hosts, feeding from the ‘Essence’ of their pain. To better understand this concept I should reveal many parts of my novel, so better leave the rest for the reader to discover.
Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?
Jeff: Not now. It took seven months to pen down ‘Feeding’, with a lot of revision and changes in the middle.
A 90,000 words novel can be tiresome. From start I decided that it would be a self-contained story with no possibility for a sequel, but the thing had its own plans in the final draft, so with this new ending I devised there’s clearly space for eventual sequels. The fate of Axel hangs in the hands of the readers; if there will be enough enthusiasm over this character I’ll surely extend his life.
Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?
Jeff: I just finished and submitted to a publisher a short story set in the Golden Age of Piracy. It is a zombie story in an alternate timeline, yet I can’t disclose more. Can just say it is based on the legend of the Black Freighter. One year ago I novelized a graphic novel to test my writing skills. Obviously, to avoid any copyright infringement I offered it for free to my Facebook fans and friends. I called it a serial chiller, because I released it one chapter a week as a parting gift before leaving for Thailand. It was very successful, but it even resulted in one of my followers to delete friendship as she judged my writing too graphic and ‘ghoulish’.
I’m also working on an anthology of tales set in my fictional town of Prosperity Glades and another one based on Urban Legends from Thailand.
Bec: Shower or bath?
Jeff: Bath, absolutely! Pleasure is something which is best achieved slowly.
Bec: What’s your favorite color?
Jeff: Black. I love dark nights, bats, panthers, and black clothes. Besides, in my teen years I was a headbanging Heavy Metal fan, and later went into Goth culture.
Bec: Dance or sing?
Jeff: None of the above. Yet, would you believe I was selected at 8 to sing in a kid’s chorus. I hated it and did all my best to be thrown out. As for dancing … I have two concrete shoes at my feet.
Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?
Jeff: I’d love to have complete silence, but here in Ao Nang it’s almost impossible. There’s no privacy, and Thai are active 24/24. Add to that the hundred of tourists who come here to enjoy a good time, and you get the picture. Excuse me a minute … I have to get out and chainsaw that darn German who keeps talking loudly at his cell phone under my porch.
Bec: What’s your favorite food?
Jeff: You should ask the contrary. There’s only one thing I can’t stand and that’s melon. The rest goes into my stomach.
Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?
Jeff: Horror for writing. As for reading, anything I find interesting, paying special attention to science fiction.
Bec: What time of day do you like to write?
Jeff: Night. My wife sleeps, that German guy SHOULD sleep, and those pesky Thai are out jumping from bar to bar.
Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?
Jeff: No. It depends by your character. I know writers who are quite extroverted, and others who are shy. In itself, the act of writing is, and must be, an inner working; however once you close your laptop you can share your experience with other people for suggestions and criticism.
Bec: Clowns or mimes?
Jeff: Do not even mention them. Clowns are scary to me and mimes … I do not want to offend anyone, so let’s just say I do not have sympathy for both, as you can see in the first chapter of my novel. Kamp Koko is a clown-themed summer camp.
Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?
Jeff: Anything. I have no secrets. I strongly believe in sharing, that’s one of the things which make our life worth living. My best suggestion is to believe in what you do. Perseverance and faith.
Bec: Loud or quiet?
Jeff: Usually quiet. Yet surrounded by LOUD people.
Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?
Jeff: Four words: I believe in you.
Bec: Chocolate or strawberry?
Jeff: What about strawberries covered by hot chocolate while having a hot bath?
Bec: Do you think having other writers as friend is a good thing for your growth as a writer?
Jeff: Absolutely. I like to get criticism from fellow writers, and their praises, too.
Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?
Jeff: ‘Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus’. I’ve felt like Frankenstein’s monster for much of my life. Lately, during the creation of ‘Feeding the Urge’ I’ve felt some sympathy for Victor, too.
Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?
Jeff: Mary Shelly. She wrote that unreachable book and was a courageous woman. Next come Michael Slade, even if that is just a collective pen name of various Canadian writers. I was heavily influenced by their writing style: lot of details, passion for history and some morbid stuff.
Also, loved Michael Crichton and Stephen King.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Jeff: Yes. I host a blog where I try to post interesting issues on Horror and writing by me, other authors, editors, and readers. I even interviewed an Esperanto aficionado once, nothing to do with horror, but I felt it was a fascinating topic. I like offering space to people who want to share something.
Here goes the link, if you care: http://jeffreykosh.blogspot.com/
You can also follow my tweets at: twitter.com/#!/JeffreyKosh or add me to your circles on Google + and visit my novel’s fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/feeding.the.urge
If you want to know more about Prosperity Glades, Dr. Axel Hyde will be your host at: http://www.facebook.com/axel.j.hyde
Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Best of luck with your book and future project!
Jeff: Thanks Rebecca, and keep on writing. We need to know what’s going on in California.
©Rebecca Besser & Jeffrey Kosh, 2012. All rights reserved.