Today on The Flipside, I’m featuring an interview with Brent Abell, author of The Calling. So let’s take a moment and let Brent introduce himself…
Brent: I reside in Southern Indiana with my wife, sons, and the spirit of my beloved pug who still hangs out at my desk looking for treats. I have a degree in History and Education, but I really don’t do anything with either one, except write historical zombie fiction. I enjoy anything horror related. At this point in my writing career, I’ve had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. My books Southern Devils, Reconstruction of the Dead: Southern Devils 2, In Memoriam, The Calling, and Wicked Tales for Wicked People collection are available now. I also a co-authored of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series with Armand Rosamilia, Jack Wallen, and Jay Wilburn. Currently, I’m working on the third book in the Southern Devils series and an upcoming novel set in Armand Rosamilia’s Dying Days landscape.
Julianne: What is your writing process?
Brent: I’m not sure if I have a set process. The way my work schedule is, I write when I can. Story-wise, I like to come up with the opening paragraph and the ending. The middle is wide open and I let it grow organically. Sometimes, the characters will do things I didn’t plan on and I’ll have to alter the end, but it works for me. I want the characters to surprise me and make have to change things.
Julianne: Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
Brent: I think the one genre I’d want to work in would be sci-fi. I am a huge Star Wars nerd and I like tons of other sci-fi franchises. If a chance to work on something like that came up, I’d take it in a heartbeat.
Julianne: What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?
Brent: This is a hard one to narrow down. I believe everything you read has the ability to influence you in some way, shape, or form and I’ve read hundreds of books. However, I shall give narrowing it down a try.
The Rising by Brian Keene – This was the first book I read when I was re-introduced to the new wave of horror that sprang up in the early 2000’s. I learned the old troupes could really be turned on their ears and taken for a new ride.
The Shining by Stephen King – This was the first King book I read and it freaked out my sixth grade teacher. When I closed the book at the end, I knew I wanted to write. Not to chase my family around with an axe, but to bring the darkness to light and give it a voice. It’s been a long road, but I made it.
Night Chills by Dean Koontz – Koontz is a guilty pleasure of mine. This book showed how you make a scary novel without using a monster. Man is the monster and what man can do with technology can be far worse than any vampire or zombie could ever be.
The Books of Blood by Clive Barker – Barker’s tome of short stories is at once beautiful and horrific. It illustrated the power a short story can have and is what helped me decide to try my hand at short stories to start this path off. I love his long fiction too, but damn his short form work is flawless.
Header by Ed Lee – Ed has showed us all how down and dirty horror can be. He is our extreme horror god-father and this book opened my eyes to a new way to approach horror. If it gets gory and crazy, it’s the Ed influence coming out.
Julianne: If you could cast The Calling, who would you choose to play your main characters?
Brent: Let us say The Calling is going to become a movie, I would cast Sam Elliott to play Frank Hill, Mitch Pileggi as Carl, and Robbie Amell as Pratter. Nobody else would even be let in the door to audition as Frank.
Julianne: What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?
Brent: See how it translates to long-term sales and prepare to quit the day job to write full-time. I would also have to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day, that would suck…
Julianne: Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?
Brent: I drink gallons of Diet Mt. Dew when I write. The vices show up when I finish a project. When a novel or novella is finished, I have a special beer on hand and I also smoke a celebratory cigar. I have been known to do the same thing for publication day. I have no problems celebrating twice.
Julianne: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Brent: I work a regular job. When I’m not writing, I read, maintain my comic collection, and I am a huge vintage Star Wars collector. I don’t mean like ten or so years ago, I mean the 1977-1985 era vintage. I also am a member of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming charity group.
Julianne: How do you define success in the realm of writing?
Brent: Being published by a press is success enough. Over the past few years, I’ve seen things grow, but I’m still trying to get to the point where I can go full-time with it. But, I have books with my name on them that people have read and I made some beer money along the way, so it hasn’t been too bad. The people you meet on this journey are also nice. I’ve been to cons and met readers who enjoy my words and that is worth a ton to me.
Julianne: In 10 words or less, describe The Calling to me.
Brent: Small town sheriff has to deal with some evil shit.
Thank you Brent for taking the time to answer my questions. If you`d like to know a little more about Brent and The Calling, keep reading!
Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard. As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.
Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.
White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.
As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are available now. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.
Facebook: Brent T. Abell
Keep up to date with the rest of the tour – The Calling Blog Tour