Trick-or-Treat Thrillers is very pleased and honored to present our interview with author Brian James Lane of the Fright Feast series.
The Fright Feast books are a series of four anthologies. As the introduction of his first book states, his stories are written in the classic horror story style, devoid of sex, profanity, and torture. The books focus instead on delivering the chills and thrills of a spooky tale. And they do indeed deliver as promised! Each story is unique, haunting, and often startle the reader with a twist ending.
Brian has just recently published the fourth installment of his series and he was kind enough to take a moment to answer a few of our questions.
1) What gave you the idea of the Fright Feast series?
I have been writing stories all my life. Putting them together in a presentable form as an anthology seemed like a natural fit. The ideas for the stories themselves are what consumes me.
My everyday life is impacted by the “what if” monsters. Then, the concepts are born and I cannot seem to get rid of them unless I purge them as a story sketch in an idea bank. I have several pages of ideas that I jot down. Then, later I may develop them as stories if they are promising enough.
I have always enjoyed reading horror, as well, which is a prerequisite to writing in the genre. The more I could read, the better. The short story format was particularly appealing. I would gorge myself on anthologies from classic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to contemporary selections from Stephen King to Dean Koontz. Having that appetite for scary tales, I thought that I would offer treats to readers a similar format – let them feast on the frights!
2) Are these the first books you published?
I have had success in traditional publishing. I had a one-act stage play published and produced. I recently had a short story published in a print book. I prefer, however, the control and ease by which electronic publication offers authors today.
The Fright Feast series is the first books I have polished enough to be published in that format. There are more coming. I have rough drafts of complete novels as well as ones swimming around in my head, waiting to be born.
3) What got you into writing horror?
Horror is my genre of choice. I have always thoroughly enjoyed the entire spectrum of horror, from the extremely ludicrous and laughable to the bone-chilling and terrifying. It is a genre that is fascinating and fun to watch, read, and especially write.
One of the big influences which inspired me to write are the Amicus horror anthologies. Films such as Tales from the Crypt, The Monster Club, and the House that Dripped Blood are fantastic morsels of entertainment. They are so rich in their production and telling, as well as the superb acting of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. They don’t take themselves too seriously and consistently deliver chills and chuckles equally. I strive to achieve the same in my tales.
I have always been creative. I want to share the sense of wonder and excitement I get from horror. Hopefully, writing horror is the best way I can share my appreciation for the genre.
4) What are you doing next?
I completed a mystery novel that I want to get edited, polished, and published. I have a young adult horror fantasy also completed, which I would like to rewrite and get out there. I would also like at least one more book in the Fright Feast Series. I am thinking of calling that one “Fright Feast V”, what do you think?
Also, I started writing a “high concept” horror anthology called “Three Six Five”. This would be a horror anthology of 365 stories, one for each day of the year. They would be flash-fiction pieces of exactly 365 words each.
5) What is it like being a published horror writer? What does your family think?
I have always considered myself a horror writer. The distinction between published and not-published is simply a matter of perseverance. Passion dictates the drive, but ambition completes the project.
My family consists of my wife and three kids. My wife appreciates the creativity and is amazed by the wellspring of ideas, though horror would not be to her particular taste. My children are too young to read my stuff, but the like the idea of Daddy being a writer. They are all aspiring authors in their own right, as well.
6) What advice would you give aspiring authors?
When I was growing up, I would buy the latest copy of the Writers’ Market book and find the publishers who would most likely publish horror shorts. It was all consuming on resources, both time and financial with very limited success. Times have changed. We live in a day where authors have more choices than ever. The information age has opened the door for new avenues to publication and exposure.
Being a writer is one of those things that most people think they could do. I don’t believe that is the case, but it is a stigma that is attached to the profession. It takes away credibility from those who are driven to write.
My advice to aspiring authors, then, is to develop a community of like-minded individuals. This can help give you a sense of belonging as well as a measure of accountability. Facebook groups, NaNoWriMo, and other events are great places to be a writer who writes.
A heart felt thank you to Brian for speaking with us today. The Fright Feast series is one of our favorite book series and we look forward to your future works!
Please check out his books at Amazon.