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Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Men in Horror: BRYAN ALASPA
I first picked up Bryan Alaspa's book, AFTER THE SNOWFALL a few years back and was immediately impressed with his writing style. I read a few more books and each one impressed me with his ideas, clarity, and thought process. Each story dealt with characters and plot. These are the two most critical things I a drawn to, as a horror reader and reviewer. Some books had a few technical issues, but that was because of my job and I pick up on things most readers won't. I wrote Bryan to point them out and the reasons why these points did not work. BUT that did not distract from the entertainment value of his work. Bryan writes like most people drive; with ease, flair and a comfort level that belies the inner anxiety most of us feel about our writing. Give him a try, if you haven't already.
1.When did you start writing
I have been interested for a long time. The
first novel that captivated me (before I could even read it) was Jaws. I wrote
my first short story in the third grade and it was a rip-off of Jaws, so I
guess I started way back then. I quickly went from writing about sharks and
such to writing about ghosts and other horrific things.
2.Have you written in any other
Yes. I have written thrillers, mysteries,
romance, suspense, hard-boiled detective novels and more. I have also written
non-fiction books in history and true crime.
3.What makes you uncomfortable?
Good lord! What a question! So much. I hate
things like thunderstorms and fear enclosed spaces. When it comes to writing,
things done to animals and children make me uncomfortable. If it’s excessively graphic or gross, that ain’t for me. I am not into extreme horror and I am not a fan of torture
porn horror, either.
4.Does your family read your
Yes they do.
5.Does your writing make you
Hmmm, tough question. I guess I have to say
yes. There have been times when my own writing has scared me or creeped me out.
6.Who would you say you write
Another hard question. I have been very
influenced by writers such as Stephen King and, more recently, Blake Crouch. I
would say I write like myself, but I incorporate elements of others. I suppose
7.Who are your favourite authors?
Stephen King, Robert R. McCammon, Peter
Benchley, Blake Crouch, Thomas Tryon, Patrick Greene, Iain Rob Wright, Allison
I know there’s more, but those are the ones I can come up with off the top of my
8.Who influences you as a writer?
Lots of things do and it’s hard to pinpoint one source. My family, the world around me, news
stories, television, the internet. My wife has been a huge influence and my
muse for years now.
9.Do you remember what your first
horror book was that you read?
The first one I really remember was Stephen
10.How old were you?
I was in the 6th grade, so whatever
age you are here in the U.S. when you’re
in that grade.
11.Is there any subject you will not touch as an author?
Extreme horror and torture are not things I
enjoy, so I stay away from that. I stay away from abuse of animals unless, like
with my novel VICIOUS, it is a key element of the story.
12.What was the best advice you were given as a writer?
remember being given any specific advice other than, “Well, you’d better study
something as a backup because it’s
really tough to make a living as a writer.” I guess the best thing I was told is the same thing I often tell
young writers: keep writing.
13.If you had to start all over again, what would you do different?
I would have majored in Literature and
Languages with an emphasis in writing as a profession – which was an actual major at my university. Instead of wasting my
20s trying to get into the radio biz, I would have spent that time writing and
struggling instead of doing that in my 40s.
14.How many books do you read a year?
Quite a few, but probably not as many as others
and it varies from year to year. Half a dozen, maybe?
15.Do you write every day?
I try to. I try to write 1,000 words every day,
but sometimes weekends can be tough.