When deciding on the direction to take with this blog, the creators thought including interviews of interesting people would be enjoyable by us. Today will be our first interview and I chose to go with a person I know. He is an author of horror stories. The things he puts on paper evoke the baser nature of man. His words have given me nightmares and I believe someday the disturbing things his mind creates will be found on large screens to terrify teenagers pretending to be brave.
Fair warning, this interview does discuss adult topics which may make some individuals uncomfortable.
So, I am honored to introduce my friend, Edward Lorn
Domoni: “Good Morning! OK, let’s start with a silly question. What is your preferred nomenclature? Ed, Edward, Mr. Lorn or just E?
Edward: “My friends call me E. Keeps everything simple. No one ever knows if they can call me Ed, Eddie, Edward, or whatever, I just drop all the other useless letters and call me E. Then I can say cool things like, “Today’s message is brought to you in part by the letter E.”
D: “That’s a fun catch phrase. good way to embrace and also disturb a common childhood memory. Should set the tone nicely for the work you do. Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk with me. I am very excited to have the chance to go all official in this interview. We have been acquainted for quite a few years, and I have read many of your books, but I have never sat down and really talked about your writing with you. So, to get some of the clichés out of the way, how did you decide to be an author?“
E: “One of my first storyteller memories is when I was 6. First grade show and tell. I told the class my baby brother died over the weekend. I had the whole class sobbing by the end of the story. Of course, I’ve never had a baby brother, so when my teacher (Mrs. Kratz) called home to express her condolences, my mother was not happy. But that instance led to Mom buying me a Brother typewriter, a couple reams of paper, some ink and eraser tape. I’ve been writing in some way ever since. I started writing professionally on a dare. My wife told me I should submit something to a magazine (Spectacular Speculations, which is no longer in business) in 2011 and they bought it. I haven’t looked back since.”
D: “Sounds like your wife knows when and where to push you.”
E: “You are correct. She also keeps me grounded lest my head inflate and I float off somewhere.”
D: “That’s always good to have in life. So, is your family a big influence in everything you do or are they just the thing that keeps the dark noise at bay in your mind?”
E: “I’d say the writing keeps the darkness at bay. My family has more of a decompression role. They can tell when Dad’s gone too far into bleak territory, and then they swoop in to cheer me up. Chelle (my wife) is the best at that, mainly because it’s the end of the day when I need it the most. She’s always there to listen, but sometimes she’ll just talk and I’m able to relax and decompress by listening to her problems. My characters have a crap time of things in my stories, so it’s nice to sit and remember how good I have it by comparison. I think that’s the draw of disturbing literature period. No matter how bad it gets, at least it’s not as bad as what’s in the book.”
D: “I can absolutely understand that notion. Sometimes reading about someone having a crappy go of things makes a bad day easier to digest. The first book I read of yours was Bay’s End. I loved the book. Very much a coming of age in a real world. Though the story had some gruesome dark scenes, the unfortunate reality is that is an actual reality for some kids. How did you come up with the dark themes behind that one?”
E: “Oh, boy. This is a heavy one. I should prepare your readers for spoilers, though. This next bit deals with actual happenings that I fictionalized, so to describe the inspiration I have to semi-spoil the book. So… SPOILER ALERT!”
E: “When I was a boy, about four years old, we had a family that lived three houses down and across the street from us. A father, mother, and twin boys. One of the boys had a learning disability. The summer I was to turn five, it came to light that their father had been molesting them and several other neighborhood kids. My sisters, who are 12 and 14 years older than myself, are rumored to have allowed this man to mess with them to keep me safe. Something to the effect of “You can do whatever you want to us, but leave our brother alone.” He was eventually arrested, but not before one of the girls on my street who was 12, came up pregnant. After he was released from jail months later (this was before the sex criminal registry) he’d come back to the block and park at the end, get out, and walk up and down the street waving at whoever happened to look out of their window or be in their yard. I heard about most of this after the fact, as I was so young, but I do remember the guy. I recall him being so damn normal. He didn’t look like a weirdo or freak or even halfway strange. He was just some dude. I’ve never confirmed with my sisters if the rumors about what they did to protect me was true. We don’t talk about him, for obvious reasons. I do know that they were molested by him, though. That much is accurate.”
D: “Wow, that’s a pretty intense situation and having read the book it is easy to see how you were able to catch that horror, without the strange aggrandizing that quite a few books that touch on such a subject seem to do. Though you held back no punches, you captured the small-town reaction well in my opinion.”
E: “Thank you. That book will always hold a strange place in my heart.”
D: “My favorite of your works is probably the short story World’s Greatest Dad. As a parent, it struck a hard blow to the heart. I loved the whole concept. How did you get the inspiration for the guiding mug?”
E: “A trip to Walmart inspired that one. It was around Father’s Day and they had the usual displays of dad gifts. I saw the end cap on the way in and didn’t pay it but a passing glance. When we came back up front to check out, I saw that someone had knocked over several mugs. They lay in pieces, and me being the weirdo I am, I starting toeing the pieces around, to see if I could form words while Chelle went and got someone to clean it up. I can’t even remember what I wrote, but one of the pieces said “World’s Gr” and another one said “attest Dad”. The E in “Greatest” had been chipped away completely. I thought to myself, “That’s how a kid might misspell it “Gratest” and the rest of the story kind just fell out of me when I got home. I’ve always been a fan of messages-from-beyond stories and that story remains one of my favorites to this day. My wife complains to this day that I couldn’t find a way to use only the words on the mug in the story. She doesn’t like that the mug’s messages use letters that shouldn’t be there.”
D: “That’s a great way of showing how inspiration can come from the most mundane of things.”
E: “I’ve gotten inspiration from a toilet. I’m not picky where I find my muse. Ha!”
D: “I know you have a few things in the works, can you tell us anything about those?”
E: “Whew. How much time do you have? I have four novels done: PIG (a collab with author Craig Saunders), SLASHER LIVE (think The Running Man meets Friday the 13th), THE SOUND OF BROKEN RIBS (staying tight-lipped on that one), and a literary novel that’s not horror in the slightest entitled MONO & AGORA. Unfortunately, I have to remain quiet about the last one’s contents, too. I’m working on a hardcover deal with a major publisher but I cannot at this time announce anything. I have to wait on the contracts to be signed. But I am hoping to have at least two of those novels out in 2017. Keeping my fingers crossed, anyway. It’s been three years since my last full-length novel, and I was pumping them out two a year for a while there, so I’m anxious for people to read the new stuff.”
D: “Wow that is a full slate to keep your fans on pins and needles. You have published through companies as well as self-publishing, which do you prefer? Are there pros to self-publishing that you feel are beneficial over signing with a company?
E: “Most definitely. I think the biggest pro is the royalties. If you publish through Amazon, you get 70% of anything between $2.99 and $9.99. The only down side to self-publishing, really, is that, as of right now, you can’t get into the big chain stores unless you’re already selling thousands of copies, and even then, you need a distribution deal with one of the big publishers. I prefer indie because I have total control over the final product and I make the most off sales, but a publisher will get you into places you cannot reach on your own, and to me, right now, reaching new readers is an absolute must.”
D: “What advice would you have to authors looking to get their work out there?”
E: “The indie publishing movement is dying. Whether it be because booksellers are favoring the big publishers or indies have finally flooded the market with so much garbage that people are tired of reading unedited material I’m not 100% sure. But I would not suggest anyone take the indie route nowadays. Write your book, clean it up as much as you can, maybe even hire an editor, and start submitting to agents or small presses that don’t require solicitation. Honestly, though, an agent is the way to go, and a good agent is priceless. Find someone who will fight for you and not just your book. You’re gonna need someone in your corner because no one can do this by themselves. The old saying goes, “It takes a village to write a book, but it takes an agent to sell one.”
E: “Oh, and whatever you do, don’t give your novels away for free. I did that nonsense. I feel it hurt me over the long run. Maybe give away a short story, but never a full-length work. It teaches people not to value your work. I mean, why pay for anything when you know someone’s gonna give it away sooner or later?”
D: “I can see how that is true. I’ve been somewhat disenfranchised with quite a few indie authors lately. It seems to be a trend to churn out “Series” that would really just be better off as one book but seem to be stretching themselves out just for the sake of making more money off the next one. It makes it harder to trust the self-published books for quite a few people.
D: “You also run a blog that you post on daily. I have found some fairly profound opinion pieces on there quite a few times. Is it harder for you to express your emotions about the world we live in or to release your creations of fiction out to the public court of opinion?”
E: “This one is pretty simple for me. I stopped caring what other people thought a long time ago. My work and my opinion are for people who want to read them. If you don’t like the way I write, there’s absolutely nothing I can do to change that. If I change to make one person happy, I’d be betraying all the people who like me just the way I am. It’s a no-brainer where I’m concerned.”
D: “Knowing the type of stories you write, I assume you have had your share of bad reviews. Being a reviewer myself, I often read reviews and find it interesting the small things some people will focus on and it would make them hate the whole book based on one scene. Do you ever struggle with that and what would you like to say to those single-minded reviewers?”
E: “That’s a damn good question. The only time I’ve ever been upset by a review is with Bay’s End. I had a lady contact me personally about the filthy language the children speak in the book. She was also “mortified” (her word, not mine) by a scene where the boys watch an adult movie. She told me she was going to leave a one-star review, and she did, which I would never respond to, but I did email her back. I told her very plainly that I was more “mortified” by her acceptance of the child molestation in the book, seeing as how everything else seemed to bother her but that. It all seemed horrible to me; being upset at naughty words and consensual sex but having zero problem with child abuse.”
D: “changing direction, 2016 has been a brutal year for the creative community. As we speak the news that Carrie Fisher and Richard Adams passed this morning is filling news articles, newsfeeds and trending on twitter. What has hit you most personally?”
E: “David Bowie and Prince. I grew up listening to those guys and I will miss them terribly. I just hope Stephen King is in protective custody somewhere, because I’m not prepared for his passing.”
D: “Final question, you don’t just write, you also read a lot. What is your favorite novel that everyone should read?”
E: “Back to Stephen King. I wish everyone could make it through IT and see what I see in that book. That gargantuan novel is bottled childhood. It is the one novel I have reread more than five times and can still find something new.”
D: “Thanks for taking the time out of your day to indulge my questions.”
E: “This was big fun. Thanks for having me.
~~More about the author~~
Edward Lorn is a reader, writer, and content creator. He’s been writing for fun since the age of six, and writing professionally since 2011. He can be found haunting the halls of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Goodreads.
Edward Lorn lives in the southeast United States with his wife and two children. He is currently working on his next novel.