Welcome to the ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers and more. Today’s is with horror writer Trevor Hallam. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hi Trevor. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Trevor: I’m a Scorpio, I have a dog and cat who play reverse roles, I aspire to be a filmmaker as well as a novelist, and I’m engaged to be married to a wonderful lady. My love for writing stories was brought on by my mother, who helped me write my first short. After that, I couldn’t stop.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Trevor: I love horror. All horror. The more unsettling, the better. It doesn’t have to be gory, but it can be. As long as it’s well written. I love writing horror. I love writing about dark things. I have written stories that weren’t strictly horror, but that element has a way of sneaking into my writing. I’ve considered writing erotica.
Morgen: Ooh, erotic horror perhaps? 🙂 What have you had published to-date? How much of the marketing do you do?
Trevor: I got published this year by All Things That Matter Press. The book is called God Complex. It’s about two men, one who is a paranoid schizophrenic recovering from tragedy, the other a psychopath with delusions of divinity. Through circumstances they have little control over, they team up to find a missing little girl who has been hidden away by a religious cult in order to bring about the Second Coming. It feels like I do most of the marketing. I’m sure I do. Which is fine, because when I signed the contract that was the understanding. It’s also unfortunate, as I’m not very good at selling myself.
Morgen: Let’s hope lots of people see this. 🙂 Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Trevor: I don’t have an agent. I queried some agents in the beginning because I thought having an agent would solve everything. I no longer believe that’s the case. I think you can do just as well without one if you are willing to put in the effort. At this time, I don’t have use for an agent. My book has been published. There’s nothing else an agent can do for it.
Morgen: 🙂 Are your books available as eBooks? If so what was your experience of that process? And do you read eBooks?
Trevor: It is available in that format. I can’t really comment on my experience. It just is, you know? That’s the format that’s been made available. I don’t have any insight into the process. I can only hope that readers will enjoy the book in whatever format they choose to read it in. I’ve only recently read a couple of eBooks and I can only say that doing so was sufficient. I was able to read the stories. It was not, altogether, a comfortable experience. It caused strain on my eyes after a while and it’s harder to lie down with a laptop on your chest than a light and floppy paperback. But, you know, they’re cheaper, I guess.
Morgen: Most are (unless you’re a big name and then there’s not a lot of difference, I’ve found anyway). What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?
Trevor: Well, because I’ve only been accepted once, I can’t fully answer. It was definitely a thrill to be published, and I can’t imagine not feeling just as good the next time. Perhaps, even more so.
Morgen: And have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Trevor: I received a lot of rejections. I filed the letters away because I’ve heard of successful writers doing that. In retrospect, I feel like a hoarder.
Morgen: I had a father like that (only not with rejections). 🙂 What are you working on at the moment / next?
Trevor: I’ve begun work on a new novel, a much darker story than God Complex, but not too far off in terms of theme. I’ve also been in talks to work on some upcoming independent films shooting in the Summer and in the Fall, so I hope that will keep me busy. And continuous marketing of God Complex, too, let’s not forget.
Morgen: I’ll try not to. 🙂 Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
Trevor: When I wrote God Complex, I had no routine or discipline, whatsoever. I wrote when the mood was right. It was not a very productive strategy and is the reason why it took a full year to complete the book. I’ve since changed my ways. I have made an effort to schedule my writing time. I write for a minimum of one hour every day, Monday to Friday. If I have some extra time on the weekends, I write then, as well, but it’s okay to have those two days off and spend the time doing other things. I don’t keep track of how much I write. It’s too much of a distraction to think about it. I write until I have nothing else to say or I run out of time because of life’s needs.
Morgen: A year for a book sounds pretty good to me. What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
Trevor: Writer’s block is tricky. I never lack ideas. I often lack the motivation to write those ideas down. If that is a form of writer’s block, then yes, I suffer from it. Not always. It can depend on a lot of things. If there’s personal turmoil, stress. A lot of times, I’m just lazy and would rather watch a movie or play a video game. I’m still working on that discipline thing. So sometimes I have to work a little harder to motivate myself. My ‘cure’ isn’t much of a cure. If the idea resonates strongly with me, I will force myself to write, even if it comes out as crap, which it often does on the first pass. That’s the glory of the rewrite, which is so much easier.
Morgen: And always easier to do to a ‘crap’ page than a blank one. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Trevor: I collect ideas and when I have a bunch of ideas, I work out ways to combine them and build on them. I’ve attempted to simply write with a single notion. Sometimes, a decent short story comes out of it, but usually it results in an underdeveloped piece of crap. I prefer to take time developing a story, especially for the undertaking of a novel.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Trevor: Absolutely! A part of me likes to think that I’ll go back to those old stories I started or outlined and pick up where I left off, or rewrite it from scratch, but the other side knows that there was a reason I never did anything with those ideas. I sometimes read old stuff that I never finished just for inspiration. I’ve been able to strip some of the better ideas and use them in other works. Also, I wrote a lot of poetry, some bad, some good, that I don’t think will ever be seen by most people.
Morgen: And make you realise how much you’ve improved (hopefully). What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
Trevor: At this point, marketing. Like I said, I’m not very good at it, though I am making an effort. At the same time, there are things I could be doing to improve upon it. Everyone says to start a blog. I’m torn by that. For one thing, I have no idea what I would blog about. For another, if I’m going to spend what little time I have in a day to do some writing, it’s going to be on a new novel, or story, or screenplay. I don’t know, maybe that’s my problem [laughs].
Morgen: It is sometimes hard, and time-consuming, to find blog content that is interesting and different but I have to say that, apart from being really enjoyable, it makes all the difference to people knowing that I exist (on average ten-folding views to my website) and now thanks to my fellow writers, I have plenty of content to share. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Trevor: Write to write. Write for the joy that it gives you and make it the best you can. Don’t worry about anything else until you’ve written the best thing you’re capable of.
Morgen: Absolutely, unless you’re the sort of person to spend a month editing a paragraph and end up changing one word – I know someone who’s done this, to a point anyway. What do you like to read?
Trevor: All kinds of stuff, really. I like horror, as I’ve said before, but I like crime thrillers and comedies and biographies, too. Fiction, non-fiction, mixed genres, bizarro, Graphic Novels, you name it. I don’t read a lot of Romance or History, admittedly.
Morgen: Me neither. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
Trevor: I’m on the usual suspects: Facebook, Twitter, as well as reading sites, Goodreads and Shelfari, and recently opened a Linkedin account. At this time, I can’t really say if it’s been effective, as I’ve only just started to really get involved. I can say that my network seems to be growing daily, which could mean more potential sales, but I can’t comment on that yet.
Morgen: Fingers crossed. It’s a very popular genre. Where can we find out about you and your work Trevor?
Trevor: People can learn more about me through my personal website http://www.derangedserenity.com or any of the listed sites here:
God Complex (Paperback and Kindle) Amazon US
God Complex (Kindle) Amazon UK
Facebook: Come FRIEND me!
Facebook Fan page: Please LIKE
Twitter http://twitter.com/Deranged2 I FOLLOW back!
Morgen: An online presence and a half. 🙂 Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Trevor: I am always willing to gift copies of God Complex via eBook to reviewers. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you!
Morgen: This is where I wish I had more time to read. Yes, if you read horror do take Trevor up on his offer. 🙂
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