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Brad C. Hodson

answers the Usual Questions

photograph; Brad C Hodson, photograph courtesy of the author; 220x298

Brad C. Hodson

Brad C. Hodson is the award winning author of the novel Darling and two dozen short stories. He co-wrote the screenplay for the cult comedy George: A Zombie Intervention and is currently at work adapting Darling into a screenplay for Jupiter Films. His play about the poet Lord Byron, A Year Without a Summer, is also being adapted for the screen. He currently lives in Los Angeles and writes for The Horror Channel.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

It's given me a larger appreciation for my own work. I know that sounds strange, but I still feel like I'm in the upward swing of my development as a writer. Every day I learn something new about the craft and storytelling, which means that I'm a much better writer today than I was when I wrote my first novel or first film. Combine that with an artist's inherent talent for being hyper critical of their own work and I'm constantly looking down on some of the things I've done. Embarrassed, even, by certain passages I reread or certain scenes I rewatch. But when I talk to readers or fans of the films at cons, I realize I must have done something right, even if I feel I could do it much better today. That keeps me motivated to work and helps me trust my instincts.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I've been lucky enough to have a few pieces of my short work be taught in classes. In the Halls of Elsinore, a sort-of follow up to Hamlet that reframes the ghost as something much worse, has been used in a few high school classes to supplement teaching the play. And Slaying Dragons, an editorial piece I'd written about the positive impact violent media can have on children, has been used by a few college professors. That touched me in a weird way. I suppose, pretentious as it is, it made me feel I was on the right track. Writing's a hard job. It beats you up day in and day out. Having these little successes keeps you moving forward rather than throwing in the towel.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Salem's Lot is one of the most frightening books I've ever read and I do find myself pulling my old, tattered paperback copy down from a shelf every now and then. It's become fashionable to bash King lately, but the genre would dried up and blown away without the man's early work. And those books have staying power for a reason: they're good. I hear people bash him all the time while exalting someone like Lovecraft. Lovecraft deserves his place in the horror pantheon for his insanely brilliant mythos but, let's be honest, he wasn't a good writer by any stretch of the imagination. And yet the stories worked. Even if you don't like King's writing, when he's on fire the stories work. And work well.

As for just greasing the gears for prose, when I'm heavy into writing a novel these days I tend to return to the novels of Fitzgerald and the short fiction of Hemingway. I know it's old hat to exalt the two, but just like watching a training montage from a Rocky flick helps get you motivated to workout, those gentlemen perfectly prime the prose producing pumps in my brain (minus the alliteration, of course).

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

A lift? Kurt Russell. Just so I could recite his dialogue from the elevator scene in Big Trouble in Little China. A spaceship? Kate Upton. You know why.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Either: Joan Rivers. You know why.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

A loaded Kindle, blocks of Parmesan cheese, and a gun. You never know.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Writing is one of the very few ways that someone can achieve a form of immortality. Write a phenomenal books and three hundred years from now people will be still be reading it. If I can create just one book or short story that does that...

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Touching someone else. And not in a way that would send Chris Hansen after me. But whenever I get an email from someone who read one of my stories and they say it made them laugh, or cry, or that they had to sleep with the lights on, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Just one of those a year would be enough to keep me at it for the rest of my life.

submitted by Brad C. Hodson

11 July 2014

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