I met Luther through my #horrorbestie Angel, after she recommended his Fever Dream series. There are five separate volumes full of stories that will drag you into all the dark and worrisome places we tend to avoid, and ones we didn't even realize we should steer clear of! Stories of serial killers, brief lights exposing what's really in the shadows, and a violent race to save a loved one are just a few of the crazy tales that'll have you on the edge of your seat. I look forward to checking out The Toad Road Chronicles!
He's been a great friend, a knowledgeable resource for self-publishing, and a solid sounding board for crazy ideas. He's showing his versatility more every day with the new projects he's taking on, and his passion for his art is plain as day! I'm super proud of how much he's expanding his horizons, and we're all in for a treat as he continues to reach out in new ways!
1. Do you prefer writing short or longer length stories, and why?
I much prefer writing short stories. A well-crafted short story is like a rollercoaster ride. There's a short build-up in the beginning, then the action peaks, sending you through a whirlwind maze of twists and turns. And then, just like that, the ride's over and you're left shaking, but ready to ride again.
2. I know you’ve been involved in a lot of new things lately – what are some of the projects you’ve gotten into?
I recently met a Creepypasta narrator through Reddit. He turned two of my short stories into radio drama masterpieces. So, I asked him if he'd like to collaborate and create a podcast. So far, it looks like a go, but for now we're in the drafting and planning phase. I'm excited to see what the future holds.
3. You have to choose between camping in the woods with a creature on the loose, or being stuck in a haunted house with a ghost who is definitely not Casper. Go!
I've watched enough Supernatural to know that you don't want to take on a ghost if you don't know where their remains are buried. I think I'd take the flesh and blood creature in the woods. If it bleeds, it can die.
4. What was the most challenging part of self-publishing for you?
Finishing my first novel, hands down. I've always been perfectly comfortable writing short fiction. But, for some reason, finishing a project of about fifty thousand words was intimidating. I suffered with a great deal of Imposter Syndrome as well. Once I finally finished that beast, I felt free.
I'm about halfway into the first draft of a sequel to that novel. This time around, I've managed that in about six months' time, as opposed to two or three years. So, I've benefitted greatly from overcoming that struggle.
5. Do you turn any of your own fears into stories? (I could never write stories about spiders. My skin would constantly be crawling!)
Abso-freaking-lutely! On the 4th of July a couple years ago, I was hit with a scary idea as I laid down to bed. My wife and I had called it a night early because we had already seen the fireworks show put on by the local fire department. Our neighbors had decoded that they would like to put on their own fireworks displays. So, as we laid down, their fireworks were going up. It was hard to try to sleep with the lights flashing through our bedroom windows. The darkened corners of the room were momentarily fully lit by the flashes of the fireworks. I was hit with the terrifying notion that, one of those flashes of light would reveal the horrifying figure of a dead woman. Her hair, black and stringy, would hang down over her face. Then the room would grow dark and she would disappear. When the fireworks would flash again, she'd become visible once more, but she would have drawn closer, her grotesque face and claw-like hands revealed.
That terrifying vision became the story known as 4B in Fever Dreams: Volume 4.
6. What would be your biggest tip to anyone looking to self-publish?
The whole point of this writing thing is to share our work with the world. Focus your energy on that goal. Enjoy the magical transaction that is the writer to reader relationship. It takes both the writer and the reader to truly bring a story to life. It's like a form of telepathy, really.
Anyway, my point is this, if you're truly passionate about your craft, things like sales numbers and dollars earned won't matter as much to you. You'll find fulfillment in the simple fact that one or two people left you rave reviews, instead of finding disappointment in the fact that you haven't even made a hundred bucks from your side venture. Do it for the love of the craft, and not for the love of money.
7. Where are some of the places you find inspiration? Is there anything really random that you remember contributing to a particular story?
Shoot… I find inspiration everywhere. If you watch the people around you, sometimes you observe the craziest things. Things that will make you stop and ask yourself, "What is this person's story? How did they end up here, in this moment, where our lives intersected?"
I think the single most random thing that contributed to a story, is my own spiritual journey. The story, N.D.E., is a direct reflection of my own questions about the meaning of life. I hadn't realized it when I wrote it, but when I read it now, it's very clear to me where that story originated.
8. What is something you’d like to achieve with your writing?
The older I get, the more focused I've become on the idea of leaving a legacy. For me, that legacy comes in the form of words written to entertain others. So, my goal is to leave some piece of myself behind through the writing that I share.
9. If you had to pick one of your stories to turn into a film, which would you love to see most on the big screen?
I think my story, 4B, would make an awesome short horror film. The scenes with the ghost in the bedroom would look fantastic on film.
10. What’s scarier: monsters/creatures, or real people?
Real people win this one, hands down. No contest, really. History shows that strange, unknown creatures may or may not exist. But, it's also shown that human beings can become grotesque monstrosities that boggle the mind. I mean you've got Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy, Son of Sam, The Zodiac, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, etc., etc. And don't even get me started on the corruption and greed that abound throughout the world. Human beings are terrifying.
Luther can be found damn near everywhere, so go check his hy.page!