I’m so excited! First, I get to interview Eric Trant, the author of WINK, where he gave me the ~for reals~ about writing. Then he gave me (and you) a sneak peek at his next novel. Isn’t it fun being an insider? Remember you read it here first!
Author: Eric Trant
Paperback: 275 pages (also available in e-books)
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (May 7, 2013)
In this thriller set in a rural Gulf Coast town, Marty Jameson finds refuge in the attic from his mother’s abusive rages. But only during the day. At night the attic holds terrors even beyond what he witnesses in his home. With a family made up of a psychotic mother, a drug-dealing father and a comatose older brother withering away in the spare bedroom, Marty feels trapped.
Next door, wheel-chair bound Sadie Marsh obsessively watches Marty’s comings and goings from her bedroom window, despite her mother’s warning about the evil in that house. Evil which appears to Sadie as huge black-winged creatures.
Marty, emotionally torn by the violence and dysfunction in his family, is drawn to Sadie and her kindly mother. But if he is to save his new friend from the supernatural horror threatening them all, Marty must transform himself from victim to hero. And to do so, he must first confront what lurks hidden in the shadows of his attic.
5Ws with Eric Trant
I would meet Ray Bradbury. We would meet not in life but in some other dimension on the planet Mars, in his bionical and maniacal House of Usher II remix with the robots serving us and the great ape destroying our guests while everyone laughs. Something Wicked would Come our Way, and we would ponder how the Martians used to look and whether the Earth would blow up and if anyone would even notice, and if they did notice, would they care. I would walk with him on the wettest, driest, farthest planets, and we would launch into space while we Sang the Body Electric and drew the Illustrated Man on the inside of our visors. I cannot claim to have read or even discovered all of his works, but we would discuss every one, and he might ask me about mine and not laugh.
What is your favorite type of writing? WINK feels like horror but I know you don’t write that exclusively. Science fiction, fantasy, short stories. Do you have a favorite? Or would you like to tackle something you haven’t yet?
My favorite type of writing is freestyle. You’ll notice I would meet Bradbury, and he was a freestylist as well. Neil Gaiman is another, and I won’t go on because you get the point. Neither of them wrote or write exclusively in one genre, and they would say the same thing I would say, and maybe I say it because they said it: I write the story the way it was meant to be written. If it turns out to be sci-fi, horror, short or long, fantasy or whatnot, that is because this is the story’s shape as much as a lion is shaped like a lion and not like a seagull. That said, I tend to stick with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, owing to the freedoms you enjoy as a writer. This way I don’t have to be bothered by rules.
Why did you choose to set WINK in the South? Does the Gulf Coast add something to the story that you couldn’t accomplish with say…Pennsylvania or Minnesota?
I am from the Gulf Coast, ergo a southern gothic horror is my preference, but I don’t see why WINK could not have been set in another location, so long as it was outside of town. Horror is better served by a rural location. There is this sense of timelessness and isolation that you cannot achieve in the city. This is why most horrors are in a small town, a cabin, a suburb, or someplace outside of the main city, away from the clusters of people and the background noise of all that chaos.
Where do you find the inspiration to write? If you don’t have inspiration, what makes you get up each day and write, never knowing if it will be published or not?
My stories inspire me. They are their own reward, like a baby is its own reward despite all the work it takes to make and raise them, and you call this work? I see the blank page as a challenge to be conquered, and I write furiously and delete most of it and re-write and slug that away for future generations, and I publish what few things I deem worthy to send out into the world. I read the stories I wrote and enjoy them, and I hope one day someone else might read and enjoy them as well. As for publishing, it is my goal to do this full-time within the next five years. If you want to be inspired to write, make that your goal, and I mean a ~for-reals~ goal, and see what happens.
When will we see another book from you? Any sneak peeks for us at your WIP?
I am in the last throes of my first draft of my next novel, and assuming I land a publisher that should put me into mid-2014 for a release date. It is an apocalyptic cross between McCarthy’s The Road and AMC’s Walking Dead, with a supernatural and literary undertow that will drag the reader deeper into the story (much like WINK). Despite the cliché of the apocalypse story, it is my goal (~for-reals~) to write something original and thought-provoking that will linger with the reader long after the story is read. Here is a sneak peek from Chapter 1. Read it now, because I may delete it later. That’s part of the revision process, which is better termed excision.
CHAPTER: Cabin Fever (Edwin)
Edwin Kale Peacemaker flipped the switch to the generator and it coughed, kicked, and died. Silence filled the cabin like a held breath, and it went dark but for a few candles left burning, one on the kitchen counter, another on the coffee table in front of the couch, and several more upstairs in the bedrooms. Their yellow flames flickered, and the cabin suddenly felt very haunted and very old.
Outside the rain fell in a darkness that had lasted fifteen days running. It raked along the windows in blurry fingers and streamed off the un-guttered rooftop in a steady waterfall that dug a trench around the cabin as deep as Edwin could stick his hand.
“Lord,” Edwin said. It was all he could think to say, and he said it again, and his wife and children waited to see if he would say anything more.
There was Amalie in the leather love-seat, hunched over her knees, staring at her husband with deep thoughts in her eyes.
There was Perry on the couch, leaned back, socks on the coffee table beside propped bare feet, looking out the window in a falsetto of adolescent bravado.
There was Shelly Lynn, sitting cross-legged beside her brother, so much younger, struggling to understand why a one-week vacation had dragged on for over a month, and where had the food gone?
Here was Edwin, standing in the hallway beside the front door, his hand on the generator switch, his thoughts churning into a slurry of food, water, and generator fuel.