For the upcoming anthology, Twisted Tales Tea Party, we have another interview with one of the story writer’s – Nickola Furr
You’re in the book, Twisted Tales Tea Party. Can you give us a sneak peak about the story?
Not really. It’s called “Bad,” which I suspect at some point I’ll wish I saved for a longer story or a book, but I like it. It’s probably the shortest story I’ve written, and it’s about a wolf. If you need more than that… I can’t help you.
Do you write books or do you stick with shorter pieces?
At the moment, I’m just doing short stories, but… I’m more of a novelist and would rather do that. I’ve actually written one novel, a sort of combination of high and dark fantasy. It ended up at about 70,000 words. Then I rewrote it. Then I started to rewrite it a third time, but stopped about halfway through. Then I rewrote it a fourth time. It ended up at 180,000 words. Now I’m in the process of considering rewriting parts of it for the last time and cutting it to between 140-150,000. Which is really, really hard for me.
Because I’m wordy. I think in 5,000-word chunks. A short story is harder for me to do than it is to write 50 or 60 pages in a novel. It’s not just that I’m wordy in fiction; I’m also that way with my non-fiction and journalism. “Hey! I finished that piece on corrupt construction firms!” “Great! Can you stretch it to 2000 words?” “How about 7000?”
What got you into writing horror?
I don’t think I do. I think I write dark fantasy. To me, horror isn’t about vampires, demons, zombies, Old Ones, boogeymen, or ghosts and haunted houses – ghosts and haunted houses are my favorites of that style, I need to say – but about the guy down the street with a freezer full of coeds or that crazy woman at church who is slowly poisoning her children to death. I think that’s horror. I think of the others as dark fantasy, but that’s just me.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like?
I don’t have a writing day. I never have. Work, finding work, going to school, home life – that’s all kept me from having one. Right now I’m woefully underemployed so my “spare time” is used trying to get more and better work. When I do get a free hour or so, I just sit down, open a file, and start typing. I don’t have any problems coming up with ideas. To me, ideas are easy. In fact, I’ve considered going into business selling ideas for 40 bucks a pop. It’s just finding the time to actually write that kills me.
What is your favorite book and why?
I can’t answer. That’s an impossible question. At any point, it might be one of the Sherlock Holmes collections, or an Agatha Christie novel. It might be a Nero Wolfe – I like a lot of Rex Stout’s mysteries; actually, I like a lot of old mysteries. But it might be Stephen King’s “The Stand” or any number of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books – “Small Gods” falls consistently at the top – or Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” or Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” or George RR Martin’s original “A Game of Thrones.” But I can tell you why. They are all masters of the English language, and every one of them is able to tell a fantastic story.
What are you doing next?
Desperately trying to finish a short story. I’ve only had a few pieces of my fiction published, but I’m happy that they’ve all been in really good markets. My most recent published story, “In the Wardrobe,” was in Cycatrix Press’ A Darke Phantastique: Encounters With the Uncanny and Other Magical Things. I got some notice and attention for that piece and managed to get my first invitation to an anthology. That’s why I’m desperate to finish a story for them. I’d hate to be that guy who bungled his first invitation and came up with nothing.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Run! Run while you still can! Aside from that… read. Read anything you can, particularly books that aren’t in your genre. Write horror? Read some historical fiction. Write science fiction? Read drawing-room mysteries. Write romance? Read horror? Write fantasy? Read a biography. Just read.