Author Interview – Rick Hudson – Shrapnel & The Horror Express Anthology Series

Hello there everyone.

I have a very interesting guest to see us off into the welcome arms of the weekend tonight.

May I present to you all horror and thriller author extraordinaire Rick Hudson, as he spills the beans on his writing techniques, fills us in on the wicked details of his incredible novel and scares us silly in spine tingling anthologies that will chill you to the bone (or at least the parts that other beers can’t normally reach).

Have a fun time friends and thanks for reading, enjoy the interview 🙂

Hi there Rick, a pleasure to be speaking with you today to find out more about your writing processes and habits.

Let’s kick off with your novel “Shrapnel”. You mention that it is not a conventional thriller by any means and having read the description, I’m inclined to agree but have instantly added it to my shopping list. Please give us your best interpretation of the events that unfold in this heady cocktail of conflicting narratives, as you deliver a thriller, psychological horror story, a comedy and a love story for us to wrap our brains around.

What Shrapnel does is take a fairly standard, not particularly original plot and riff on various intellectual and, if you like, philosophical ideas that arise. So, in basic plot terms, Shrapnel is just a thriller in which the hero tracks down a serial killer who is murdering women. However, it differs from a regular thriller in a number of ways. It has two narrators: the hero and the villain, who take turns in telling the story. What I’m trying to do here is explore how both characters’ identities and psychologies have developed. Also Paul Lomas – the hero – and the novel itself refer to a number of other fictional texts which centre on heroism. These are very varied and include classical mythology, Marvel comics, popular fiction, detective novels and a whole load of other stuff. My aim in this is to demonstrate how Lomas’ notion of himself and my identity as a writer have been shaped by the texts that we (albeit Lomas is a fictional character) ourselves have consumed.

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You also have a lot of stories published in Horror Anthologies, specifically the Horror Express Series. (“The Horror Express Volume 4 : 10th Anniversary Special” particularly caught my attention with mentions of contributions from Clive Barker, John Carpenter and even an interview with Bruce Campbell!) How do you go about being involved in these collaborations? Do you spearhead any yourself? And have you been able to meet/chat with any of the authors/contributors that you have been rubbing shoulders with?

What happened here is that I used to contribute short stories to Horror Express magazine, which was edited by Marc Shemmans. Round about 2012 Marc changed strategy and produced Horror Express as a series of paperback anthologies rather than a magazine. It was Marc who also published the first edition of Shrapnel under the aegis of Horror Express Publications in 2012. Marc is pretty well connected in the horror world and well respected. It is entirely down to him and his hard work that Horror Express features such prestigious writers. I can claim no glory here, all I do is send Marc my weird messed up fiction. I’ve not met any of these guys through Horror Express, but horror as a business is not just a genre, it’s a community. You get to meet people who are known in the trade at conventions and other events, it’s pretty open like that – there is quite a lot of interaction between the professionals and the fans. I got to have quite a long chat with Doug Bradley (who played Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies) once. He was a very interesting chap, really smart and very knowledgeable about art, theatre and literature.

If your novel or Horror stories were to be made into movies, who would you cast in the lead roles?

Hmmmm. Interesting question. I think, generally speaking, my heroes tend to be cerebral characters rather than tough guys, so someone like Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard E Grant, or any of the actors who have played Dr Who recently would be good choices. Richard E Grant would probably be first choice, he can do frenzied weirdness quite well.

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What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?

I’m going to answer your question the wrong way round. The easiest thing about writing for me is writing itself. Writing is my passion, I have to do it and I love doing it. Not writing is the problem. I get twitchy and fidgety if any period of time has passed and I haven’t written anything. The most difficult thing about writing is that people you don’t know are always coming up to you and asking you to read their work. I only agree to do this in very exceptional cases because, in most instances, what these people have written is utter shit and tedious. Most of these people have no talent. If that makes me sound like a bit of a twat, well, I guess I’m a bit of a twat.

Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?

I actually read very little horror fiction. I mainly read literary fiction and my list of favourite authors would include: Martin Amis; Ian McEwan; Virginia Woolf; Kurt Vonnegut; George Orwell; Vladimir Nabokov; Toni Morrison; Milan Kundera; Graham Greene; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Joseph Conrad; Albert Camus; Sartre; Kafka; Herman Hesse; William Faulkner; Joyce Carol Oates; Georges Bataille; Julian Barnes; Ian Banks and Lorrie Moore. I also love plays – including Shakespeare, who is brilliant. I also read a lot of poetry, particularly Ted Hughes; Alice Oswald; Sylvia Plath and W.H. Auden.

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What sort of research do you do to write your books?

On the whole, none at all. I just make shit up. Nevertheless, there have been specific instances when I have done quite a bit. So, for Shrapnel, in order to get the ‘voice’ of the villain and understand a psychotic mind I read quite a bit of psychology and psychoanalysis. I retro-engineered the work of Jacques Lacan to create the character. Also, I’m working on some scripts about the first and second world wars at the moment, so I’ve read up on the background and personalities quite a bit.

Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

Because I love it. Writing, as I have said, is my great passion. I wanted to be a writer with the craving and desire that some guys want to be footballers or rock stars. I have always written and always read. I guess my inspiration came from the books I read. Even when I was very small I knew it was what I wanted to do and I knew I was going to do it, the universe didn’t have any say in the matter.

I also think that – at the risk of being wearyingly ‘Northern’ about things – coming from Manchester had an effect. First of all, in terms of character, the place gives you an attitude of ‘I’m going to do what I want to do, it’s going to happen. If you think you are going to stop me, you can fuck off. I don’t need anyone’s permission for anything’. And also, as a city it is a hugely intellectual and innovative environment which some people don’t realise. So, you grow up surrounded by artists, and scientists, and musicians – this stuff is all around you, you can’t escape it and it gets into your bones.

Also, because the people around you are doing artistic or scientific stuff you don’t grow up thinking that artists, scientists, intellectuals (or whatever phrase you want to use) are another species of being, they are just men and women like you and I who are good at what they do and have put the time and effort in and become successful as a result.

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What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

I just do something else. Writer’s Block I think is a kind of performance anxiety in that you can be worrying too much and the worry itself is what is stopping you. Or, it can be that you have run out of ideas. In either case not writing is the best response; whether it’s to clear your head or refill your bucket of ideas. As a writer you need to be involved with the world and people not isolated from them. So, going to the pub is a perfectly legitimate activity. But also walking, going into town, listening to music, going to art galleries are all good cures.

I also work as an academic and do photography as a bit of a side-line. So, if I’m stuck for ideas I just concentrate on those areas of work until my batteries are recharged.

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

I’m quite a sociable person, so just goofing around with my friends is one of my major activities. But I’m quite lucky where I live because it’s right on the edge of Manchester which means I have the best of both worlds. If I go in one direction for twenty minutes I’m slap bang in the centre of one of the world’s greatest cultural and artistic cities. If I head in another direction for twenty minutes I’m in the Peak District, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth. So, I’ve got quite a lot to do on my doorstep.

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Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

In terms of prose I’m editing a collection of my previously published short stories and trying to find a publisher for a couple of novels I’ve already completed. One’s a kind of fantasy novel, which is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The other is a novel which is more my usual Avant Garde strangeness. I’m also working on a couple of scripts, one TV and one film, so we’ll see if anything happens there. I’m also trying to get into writing for computer games, but that’s a project in its very early stages. The next thing that’s going to hit the shelves of your local Waterstones by me is two chapters in a book about the Monty Python team published by Pan MacMillan coming out later in the year. My chapters are on Jabberwocky and Ripping Yarns. The book is called Python Beyond Python: Critical Engagements with Culture, so keep your eyes peeled for that one. I’ve also started producing journalistic articles for a web magazine: http://www.weeklybeeper.com

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

Yes. Read. And read a lot. Read a lot of different stuff. The way to learn to write is to read, and read literature. You’d be surprised how many people I meet who say they want to be writers don’t read, and are surprised when I tell them they need to. Some people are even affronted by the suggestion. To me that’s like saying you want to be a footballer but never watch any matches, or you want to be a rock star but don’t listen to any music. Fucking retarded, in other words. Good and successful writers know how to use language and how to manipulate language to its greatest effect. You need to develop your style and skill at writing, what I call the card tricks of writing. You need to be able to use words to make people feel what you want them to feel. You need to excite people with words. You need to be able to seduce people with words and make them fall in love with your work. You can only learn this stuff by reading. Put that ‘How To’ book down and stop looking at those bullshit websites that tell you how to write and are written by unpublished or self-published writers. Read some literature – and I mean literature.

I would also suggest that you go to university and study Literature either by itself or in conjunction with Creative Writing. University is not for everyone, and there are many writers who have become successful without going to university, but as a general case it is what I would suggest.

Also, you need to ask yourself whether writing is truly your passion. The fantasy writer Michael Moorcock said something along the lines of there are two types of people in the world who say they want to be writers: people who love writing and people who want to hang around in wine bars telling people they are a writer. If you are in the first category you might succeed, if you are in the second category you are going to fail – go do something easy instead, like become a footballer or astronaut.

You need to be determined. You need to be tenacious. You need to have the spine and the guts for it. Everyone is going to tell you that you will fail; everyone is going to think you are stupid and wasting your time and day dreaming. If you succeed you will be criticised and shat on and have people pull your work apart. You will be bitched about, nagged and subjected to relentless snide attacks and character assassinations from talentless fools of lesser intellect. So, you need to ask yourself if you have the grit for the job. Other than that, it’s great.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for being our guest Rick, can’t wait to read your books, especially with Halloween on the horizon, as we hunt for new things to give us scares 🙂

Bio:-

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Rick Hudson has been writing professionally since leaving school and has seen his fiction published alongside that of writers of the status of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Fiona Pitt-Kethley, John Carpenter, Bentley Little, Shaun Hutson, Graham Masterton and Guy N. Smith as well as broadcast by BBC Radio.

The author is also an English Literature academic who has seen his critical articles published by a number of reputable companies such as Bloomsbury on subjects as diverse as Medieval Literature, Monty Python and Marvel Comics.

Shrapnel is a highly literate psychological horror story that has won fans amongst readers of thrillers and psychological horror fiction as well as those of more ‘serious’ literary fiction. On its original publication it gained the author numerous accolades: one magazine describing him as ‘The most significant writer Manchester has produced since Anthony Burgess’ whereas another critic decreed he was ‘an author whose writing displays Hendrix like ability, skill and panache’. The publisher themselves describe Shrapnel as ‘Silence of the Lambs meets The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy’, a description the author acknowledges with a smile as ‘fitting’.

You can connect with Rick on the following Social Media channels:-

Facebook:- Rick Hudson – Writer (FB)
LinkedIn:- Rick Hudson – Author (LinkedIn)

You can buy his books here:-

Buy Shrapnel in the UK/Europe/Rest of the World

Buy Horror Express Anthologies featuring Rick Hudson’s stories in the UK/Europe

Buy Horror Express Anthologies featuring Rick Hudson’s stories in the US/Rest of the World

Still want more? Well, the protagonist in Rick’s novel is obsessed in his mission to find a serial killer. Also we are often obsessed with our passions and writing is no exception if we want to excel in them. For more articles relating to the theme of ‘Obsessed’ then check out the links below:-

1. The green gown – life is great despite its troubles
2. shame – I am my mother’s wild future
3. The green gown – life is great
4. Madeline Scribes – mirror, mirror on the wall
5. May Be…! – mahakkhurana
6. Miss Pelican’s Perch – The Great Wave
7. THIS KITTY WENT TO NEW YORK – Angela Montijo
8. The Rules of Thoughts – jessicasblog45
9. Dialy Prompts August 2016 – My Garden Biodiversity
10. Love Thyself – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
11. Obsessions, Filters and Portraits – Adventure Hounds…
12. space oddity – free writing #6
13. Song-Bird – StrangeLander2015
14. Obsessed – Nomadic Adventurer
15. artifiswords – OBSESSED
16. Mainline_Matter – War Obsessed
17. Obsessed: On Writing Life – onlifethingsandthoughts
18. This, On Purpose – Embracing the Crazy
19. Obsessed? I think not… – MissusDoubleYew
20. Obsessive Nature of Les Mis – Meg’s Magical Musings
21. burntbreakfast – Day 16-27:My Complicated Muse
22. Baby Boomers: Obsessed with Staying Young? – Writings from the Heart
23. kwesi – Obsessed
24. Light Motifs – Disorders While U Wait [repoast]
25. Le Drake Noir – Pain as calculated passenger
26. Sonder Stories – Hold Onto Fire
27. Fluffy Pool – Obsession
28. Writing Web – Daily Prompt for August 12, 2016
29. The Mess (Part 2: Drilling Down) – Making Sense of Complications
30. HISCOLUMN – Obsessed
31. Obsessed – Morrighan’s Muse
32. Obsessed with Gardens – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
33. poemcollision – Obsessed
34. Narutomath96 – An obsessed mind
35. Retro Radio Podcast – Burns and Allen – Gracie Allen, Inc. 470227
36. Obsessed – CrossGear
37. do insects have feelings? – guavarilla
38. Good , Bad and The Evil – LIFE,LOVE &MUCH MORE
39. obsessed – fanatic_creative
40. Obsessed – Katalogue
41. MY ENDURING BONES – The Sad Fate of A Twisted Guy
42. Purposive Writer – My Most Awesome Encounter With A Butterfly
43. THE ICONOPHILE – The Fears of a Clown
44. Eden of Knowledge – Obsessed
45. babble2015 – Obsessed
46. Words, words, words – Pinda Pineda
47. Tear the Blind Fold – Un-communicated Lightning
48. Annette’s place – Daily prompt/obsessed/8/12/2016
49. Meet Me in Nevada – Something I’ve Never Told Anyone
50. Finding Answers In the Silence of Wisdom and Faith – Lance Price Blog 2016
51. Impromptu Promptlings – Obsessed by a Journey
52. Cage Dunn: Writer and Author – Eight days a Week
53. Life in a Few Words – Obsessively Inspired
54. Distracted – Single Mom In Dallas
55. Porto’s Graffiti – Don’t hold your breath
56. My Mixed Blog – Obsessed With Life
57. Finding Hope Ness – Phil’s got corn
58. Pondering – Bolognese’s Blog
59. witchlike – Anne Boleyn Speaks
60. Silence – World Through My Eyes
61. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – OBSESSED AGAIN
62. Vivid Dreamer – Burn you Life Away
63. Repurpose Your Home-Obsessed – rachelthewinoneighbor
64. Angry Angel – Language Learning
65. April’s Perspective – A Terrible Night, a Good Day
66. Obsessed With Being Obsessed – Kiwiontheloose
67. the scar – know my heart
68. Slimy assassin!! – BookmarkingTheDays
69. The Obsessive Nature of Our Online Personalities – Ellies Little Adventure
70. Jaded Psychodelicide – Possessed
71. Daily Post Prompt: I am Obsessed – Sumyanna Writes
72. Kelly O’Dog’s Great Obsession – Where’s the Windmill?
73. Axis of Action – The Right Movie Obsession
74. Writing Natural – Osessed
75. Life is great – The green gown
76. Obsessed? – Jem’s Gems
77. Obsessed with you – Karuchan
78. dinamicdynasty – Obsessed
79. Making it write – Heart
80. Obsession can bring success if you control it. – wizard3417
81. Obsessing – A Thomas Point of View
82. Chronos – november child
83. Compulsion – Caillen James –Author
84. Stop overthinking – @Peter’s Blog
85. Blog Blogety Blog. – He always stared.
86. The Girl With Sparkles In Her Eyes >_< – Pumpkins for Days my Loves. Pumpkins for Days!
87. Obsessed – KangaWithoutRoo
88. wordsareallihavesite – Obessed
89. Falling into obsession – Odyssey In Atlantis
90. Music: An Obsession – Written Between The Lines
91. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – This Week, I’ve Launched Several New Websites – I Feel Like I’m in A Chariot Race
92. The Masks that we Wear – Dreamer’s Paradise
93. What Happened – Who I Was
94. Salvation – indisputably inconclusive
95. Rock Bottom – cirque de la nuit
96. Trying To Breathe – It’s The Time Ms. Wolf
97. Vengeance is Mine – The Untold Want
98. Obsessed – Awordseeker
99. Obsessed – Her Snippets
100. Passion through Poetry – Obsessed
101. Writcrit – Obsessed with the thought of Grief
102. The Untreated Eye – psychedelicwizard
103. kindergartenknowledge.com – Obsessed With A House.
104. hoosiersunshine13 – On the Cellular Level
105. I Love Other’s Work… But not Mine. – thepathtocreativity
106. thejasminegate – Bug attack
107. One forgiving chance… – maybeiamsure
108. I-read – To be water…
109. The Poetry Channel – Love is Not Obsession
110. Unmotivated Enthusiast – “Jack of all trades, master of none”
111. Unmotivated Enthusiast – Doom’s day
112. Shell Games – Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?
113. Lisa’s Journal Blog – My Obsessions
114. Indira’s Blog – Obsessed-The Daily Post
115. Obsessed – Bloggers Paradise
116. Chris Writes – She Reads
117. Poster Boy – Dangerspouse
118. Feeding Fire – A lot from Lydia
119. River bird – Ayoka
120. Obsessed is the Prompt of the Day – Saint P. Blogging
121. A Clear Mind Blog – My Current Obsessions
122. My Friday #Diary Entry: The Power and Pitfalls of Obsession – Take #Coffee for Example – Damien at the Speed of Life WP
123. The Gad About Town – Edison Obsessed
124. Obsessed With WordPress Leads to a Full-time Career
125. Obsessed Over Image – eddaz
126. Obsession – KarynDimpho
127. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – My Obsessions
128. Nightly Infestation – Writing is Communication
129. How to find a Husband! – The Constantly Puzzled Mind
130. Tiffany Higgins, writer – Peter Dinklage is a wise man
131. Crossing Colorado – How to Tell if You’re Obsessing Over Food
132. Musings of a Random Mind – Could I Be A Space Alien?
133. Musings and My Two Cents – Leaves Me Obsessed
134. Life with Jess – Hanging Tough With The Right Stuff
135. Morbid Obsession – Postcard from a Pigeon
136. Obsessed – Scott’s website
137. rhymeagination – THE CURRENT INTEREST
138. Obsessed – Covert Novelist
139. 83 Unsung Heroes – Obsessed With Loving Obsession
140. Fed finally made their move! – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
141. Why We Love-Hate Labels – DaringToJess
142. Sandmanjazz – The Thin Grey Line
143. Is it Wrong? – littleflamesblog
144. Zombie Flamingos – It’s here…
145. recovery to wellness – Living a Life with OCD
146. Success Inspirers’ World – Are you obsessed by football?
147. Mind Palace – My Obsession
148. Carpe occasionem – Wordsmith
149. multiplemyelomaandme – Our Greatness within
150. Writer Sanctuary – 7 Realities You May Be Overlooking as a Writer
151. prompt: obsessed – Cannon Fodder and Apple Pie Lies
152. Love Grows – Onto My Next 40 Years
153. even love. – lemonadeletter
154. Insach – OTD
155. Michael J. Fite – Are You Obsessed To Succeed Or Make Excuses?
156. Derelict Heart – Obsessed, Yes
157. Martha L Shaw – OPPONENT VERSUS TEAMMATE
158. Obsessed with an Obsession of Obsess? – Food, Wine & Spirit Guru
159. Who is Unebelle? – Unebelle’s Musings
160. Obsessive Compulsive Writer – SUCCESS STRATEGIES
161. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Obsessions.
162. Kimberlee K. – 2016 Favorites (So Far)
163. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – Harlem Crush: Queen Katie
164. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Mom obsessed with cell phone cam
165. Once Upon Your Prime – How Being Obsessive (and taking acting lessons!) Ruins Sex Roleplaying!
166. vertical combustion – full hearted; heavy hearted
167. Obsessed – disue
168. Why Miniatures? – Jennifer Nichole Wells
169. Sorry, Chicken Little. – The golden years revisited
170. Being a geek – Geek Ergo Sum
171. hijacks and passwords. Dronexit#24 – a nerd’s confession: when-iam-68
172. somawrites – bittersweet
173. You{Self}-Care – Lemonade Press
174. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Obsessed, no never
175. The Cat Chronicles – Obsessed, no never
176. kStan(ly) kSays – his what?
177. Obsessed – Mimisme
178. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Obsessed
179. Think About It – Confessions of a TV Addict
180. Summer Obsessions – Mettle Mom
181. Queen of a Full House – Obsessed
182. Be you! – LIVING AND LEARNING
183. WP Obsession – lovelyricism
184. Obsession – My Drug – mySestina
185. theblackwallblog – Go Away Grumpy
186. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – I Will Fight Site
187. The Fiction Cafe – Daily Prompt – Obssessed
188. hard rain – themanbehindtheglass
189. Alpha Butler Charlie – Daily Prompt – Obsessed
190. Shattered – A Short Conversation
191. sixty, single and surviving – The Seven Kingdoms
192. Obsessed! – pins & ashes
193. Obsessed – The Bloglodek
194. Devil Doll Musings – Out Of My Head
195. I-read – Guess What My Obsessions Are?..
196. Get Lost Giveaway: India Edition – Get Lost
197. Random Brain Musings – My Guide to Ending It…
198. Where’s Waldo? – Monkebus
199. La Tour Abolie – The Life of Laura
200. thelonerose – Not savvy just comfortable
201. Obsessed With… – Lilly’s View
202. April love letters – Painted in words
203. I-read – Deepened Surface of Love
204. Resisting the Seven-Year Itch – Unlearning
205. Mine – writemebad
206. The Time Suck – My Second Act, Scene One
207. obsessed? no thanks ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
208. Are we obsessed with being obsessed? – yasminmay
209. The possessed obsession – rupalislale
210. Lost Property Repository – Big Bear episode 13
211. Alienora Browning: Early Days, Part Two – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
212. CRAVE – The Barkley Marathons-my recent obsession
213. Le Happyone – Is your parent suffering from OCD?
214. Designer Sophisticate – The Dark Side of the Moon
215. A Vibrant Palette – Are you obsessed?
216. Be Obsessive. Done. – Creating K.I.N.G.S
217. OCD (You probably DON’T have it) – Just Writing!
218. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Obsessed Absurd
219. OBSESSED OR POSSESSED? – My QuotesVilla
220. OBSESSED – My QuotesVilla
221. Obsession – indisputably inconclusive
222. Frank Prem – obsession at the start
223. Time counts – zorazebic
224. Are we bloggers, or merely collectors? – PsychPerspectives
225. kStan(ly) kSays – Will Work for Work
226. Hot White Snow – The Circus of Life
227. Lost Property Repository – musical Interlude in the Icehouse
228. Finding Favor – Pete Gardner Psalms
229. Obsession – …Illusive…Road…
230. Carlos Cunha – The Whine Glass Generation
231. Lantern Words – My Obsession

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