Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself:
Brady: I’m a dad and a writer. A rural, southern Ohio boy who is stuck in the suburbs for a while. I also love Reds baseball and horror films and Waylon Jennings and AC/DC.
Bec: What first got you interested in writing?
Brady: My folks were both big readers. Mama always read to me and took me to the library. Pop would tell me these “make-up” stories at bedtime, where I’d have to fill in the blanks and help him.
Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face, writing and marketing?
Brady: With writing, I’m not sure. I guess some folks get writer’s block, but I’ve never had that issue (knock on wood). Maybe reading too many “how to” books and not just reading fiction and writing. Marketing? Decisions! There are too many to make. Agent, big publisher, small press, indie press . . . ? How do you know where your writing fits? None of us have time to explore every angle and avenue. Researching markets and all takes up a lot of time, writing time!
Bec: Tell us about your book:
Brady: Back Roads & Frontal Lobes is a short story collection. I love short stories. There’s a lot of horror, but much more, too. This is what the description on the book says: These 23 short tales take you along dark, unlined roads and into dark minds less traveled. Held together by themes of isolation and loneliness, existentialism and hope, and choice versus fate, and at turns both disturbing and darkly comical (while often tinged with sadness), this collection of stories explores both speculative fiction and realism: horror and dark fantasy, road stories and crime, dark drama and soft sci-fi, and surrealism and magical realism.
Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?
Brady: I have a lot of other short stories set in Stairway Falls, Ohio, my fictional town (many in the collection are set there), but not a sequel, really. Some familiar characters, maybe. Or places.
Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?
Brady: Several short story deadlines. I can never seem to stop writing them. I’m doing a ghost story, a sword & sorcery tale, another horror story—man, a bunch of them. Plus, I’m working on rewrites for a novel called The Disharmony of Frogs, and—and I’m excited about this—I’m part of a new group organized by friend and author D.A. Adams called “The Outlaws of Fiction.” D.A. Adams, James R. Tuck, Steven Shrewsbury and I are each writing a weird Western novella for a book we’re gonna pitch.
Bec: If glitter was made out of ground up unicorn bones, what would glue be made of?
Brady: No comment. (My mind went immediately to X-rated monsters and sticky, uh, substances.)
Bec: What’s your favorite color?
Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?
Brady: I can go either way. I listen to Waylon and AC/DC a lot, but when I get into the work, I lose track of the music. I love this CD called Tango Ballet, this crazy-ass classical music. Horror writer Rain Graves turned me on to it.
Bec: If a dinosaur offered to trade you a six pack of beer and a dozen tacos for a meal, who would you feed to it?
Brady: Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals (hey, I’m a Reds fan!), an ex-landlord, an ex-sister-in-law, or . . . Naw, I’ll be good. Any of them.
Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?
Brady: Horror holds a special place, but I’ll read about anything but straight-up romance. A lot of speculative fiction. Literary and classics, too. I like dark stuff, weird stuff, character-driven stuff, stories about real folks, blue-collar folks . . .
Bec: If you had a fairy in your pocket that provided you with limitless money, where would you go and why?
Brady: Well, what you don’t know is that that is a fairy in my pocket.
Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?
Brady: Not anymore. I’ve made so many friends on Facebook and at conventions. I can’t say enough about attending workshops, book fairs, and conventions. We’re all in this together, writers.
Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?
Brady: A shot of whiskey. Seriously. But, also seriously, anything they wanted to ask. I teach fiction writing, have for 13 years, and I’m proud to have a great number of published former students who get back with me and thank me for writing and publishing tips. I guess that’s what I’d share—that there is no golden ticket or key or condom that helps you get all up in publishing. If you write well, write a lot, and research markets diligently and carefully, so you can submit appropriately, it can very well happen for you. There are more opportunities to publish now than ever. And I’m not talking about vanity presses.
Bec: If you were stuck in a car with an angry mountain lion, what would you do?
Brady: Is it angry with me?
Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?
Brady: “Get your ass in gear and get serious.” And the piece of advice I got years ago but have only started adhering to in the last couple of years was, “Write what you need to write. Stop apologizing for your subject matter.”
Bec: A two-year-old holds your fate in his little hands. What would you tell him in an attempt to convince him to let you live?
Brady: “Look. I do great armpit farts!”
Bec: Do you think having other writers as friend is a good thing for your growth as a writer?
Brady: There is no doubt in my mind. None.
Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?
Brady: Just one? One? Can’t do it. I love short stories, so I treasure collections by Charles L. Grant, Robert McCammon, Ray Bradbury, Elizabeth Massie, Stephen King, Kelly Link . . . and on and on. How about any “best-of” horror anthology?
Bec: If you could be one female character you’ve seen in a movie, who would you be?
Brady: Be? Or be with? ‘Cause I’d have fun with Sheri Moon Zombie’s character, Baby, in House of 1,000 Corpses. What is it she says? “We like to get fucked up and do fucked-up shit.” I own the T-shirt.
Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?
Brady: Robert McCammon. He made me love reading so much that he made want to try writing.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Brady: I love fruit pie. It’s a weakness.
Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Best of luck with your book and future project!
Brady: Thanks, Becca! To you, too.
©Rebecca Besser & Brady Allen, 2012. All rights reserved.