An interview with Hemanth Gorur

As part of the awesome Indie Block Party, I had the opportunity to interview Hemanth Gorur, a paranormal thriller author! Say hi to my zombie and sci fi loving entourage, Hemanth! This is the first interview I’ve ever given, so please forgive me if the questions are weird. I wanted to delve into the nature of speculative fiction, and have some fun.

What draws you to the thriller genre in particular? When does a guy wake up in the morning and say, “You know what, I’m going to write a paranormal thriller. This is the best idea ever!”?

It’s the opportunity to set the pulse racing in your reader. Especially in the paranormal genre, there is immense scope for portraying the fictional as real, the supernatural as something that can have an impact in material life. There is scope to stretch the definition of ‘fiction’.
You’re clearly quite drawn to the psychological elements of your genre. How does adding a paranormal element to your stories complicate this? Are there cases where it gets easier?
Normally psychology as we know it extends to the here and now. We probably use it to understand human beings living in our lifetime, or in some cases dead ones. When I add psychological elements to a paranormal thriller, especially in themes like reincarnation, there is suddenly a vast new sphere of psychological profiles you can draw up. There is a certain tartness, a certain tanginess when you can get your story to revolve around the psychology of living beings but from a vastly different era.
What are the biggest challenges facing you as an author?
I think the issue facing most authors, including me, is that, suddenly you have everybody writing. Not that that’s bad in itself, but what that has done is create a huge slushpile out there in the market. Add to it the various self-publishing mechanisms you have today and suddenly it’s difficult to pick out the good stories from the bad. There is no single policy or policy-making body to my knowledge that is the universal gate-keeper of writing quality, wherein if your writing sucks you have no chance of drowning out that one good story by a deserving author by just dumping 20 badly written stories out there into the market.
What author do you draw the most inspiration from?
That would be two of them actually: Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown. Yes, they’re not paranormal authors, but they do know how to tell a story!
What’s your favorite and least favorite paranormal entity? Would you ever willingly join the realm of the paranormal?
My favorite would be the character in X-Men who shapeshifts to imitate people she sees. I don’t think I have a least favorite. And yes, I would join. It would be fun to be there yet not be there and things like that!
Pick your two favorite authors. Who wins in a barfight?
That would be Ludlum again and Arthur C Clarke. I’d place my money on Ludlum (he was a US Marine!).
Would you live in any of the worlds you’ve created?
I’ve created just one so far – the world in Aymaran Shadow. Though there is a dip back into 18th Bolivia, the world centers around modern India and of course the travel paths of the two antagonists who come South America and England to India. So, I guess I would.
What’s your dream writing location? Coffee shop, bar, library, writing shack, the moon?
I like the last one – moon! But, that sounds dramatic sitting here. I don’t think you could actually write there. I’d go for the beach – a moderately warm sunny beach, with people frolicking around in the distance, while I’m under the shade of beach groves in a recliner, sipping my apple juice and pounding out those pages.

The Zombie Bedtime Stories blog tour continues with a stop at Chaos and Insanity

The wonderful Coral Moore over at Chaos and Insanity was kind enough to interview me as part of the Zombie Bedtime Stories blog tour.

Head on over, see what I have to say about zombies, writing and more zombies.If zombies aren’t your thing, Coral has some excellent insights on werewolves and shape-shifters.

PS. Bedlam, part 4 of Zombie Bedtime Stories, is looking good.

Weekend news: I got interviewed, Zombie Walk Video and more!

So it’s been a dismal week productivity wise. That happens, I’m told. I’ll just redouble my efforts next week. It’s a pain editing halfhearted crap into good material, so it’s probably for the better. I’m getting good feedback on Locked Out, which is very encouraging to make me sit down and crank out Deadlocked. I want to have it out before NaNoWriMo.

I promised you a video. Here is the footage Kyle  took. He got some great shots of the zombies swarming a Justin Bieber display.

Montreal Zombie Walk 2011 video – skip to 1:16 if you only care about seeing Bieber get eaten (there are two waves, second is at 1:50ish)

Goals for this week: Deadlocked to 5000 words. If I get Locked Out back from editor (hi mom) then new draft. I’m hoping to have some nice cover art to show off at some point in the nearish future, but that might not be this week.

Finally, I have an interview about Locked In posted. This is happy news. Thanks to 1st Author Interviews, you guys rock.



Reviewing brainmush is worse than writer’s block

At least with writer’s block there’s no pressure. I have to have this review perfect by Wednesday morning. I was hoping I could get it done today so no more stress, but it never seems to work that way.

Seems I need a new strategy for deadline reviewer’s blocked. It only seems to happen when I enjoy what I’m reviewing. The negative reviews always write themselves. I’ll remember that for when a reviewer tears me a new one at some point in the future.

But, it seems like my reviewing days are over. I had a falling out with one of the places I review for. It’s no big loss, but that leaves my internship which ends at the end of summer. If I want another writing gig, I’ll pick one up.

However, I do take requests and do interviews. You just need to ask. 🙂


Another Interview, I need to do these more often

This summer I’m interning as a backbeat reporter for The Warehouse, and one of my assignments is to review the play 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived at its Saturday premiere. I managed to score an interview with the girl in charge on the one-woman show. I’m not sure when it will be published, but I am so stoked about the play. I love theater, and I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a one-man show before.

I’m working on some real content for my blog, other than news flashes and rambling. I’m going to write a little in the upcoming days about how to transition from reviewing to writing fiction. There are many skills and techniques that cross over, and a few pitfalls to avoid. I also hope to get back to podcasting and back on a routine.


Podcasts, my sexy, sexy voice and catchup

Working weekends bring me back to my time studying physics. The 8+ hours of studying/cramming/grinding and that fuzzy brain feeling mixed with hyperactivity from sitting still too long. I have since managed to kick the caffeine, so at least I’ll be able to keep a normal bedtime. I shouldn’t complain too much. If this project goes through I will be catapulting myself out of the ranks of the underemployed.

I played around with my audio recorder to check podcast potential because I usually just do interviews for transcribing and I wanted something better than my Blackberry. I have an Olympus DM-520 Digital Stereo voice recorder. I am blown away by the audio quality in a quiet room. It seems that I’m setup for some amazing audio books. Hopefully some of mine will wind down or conclude so I can get started. For some inexplicable reason, this recorder makes my voice sound really, really good. Lower quality recordings can make me sound squeaky, or worse, like a 5 year old, but I seem to be firmly set in the adult range. I’ve also determined that I can read the most disgusting, hilarious stuff aloud with no stuttering or inappropriate laughter. (It helps if you re-read the problem bits once of twice before you make the recording pass. Again, another great thing about my recorder is that I can seamlessly pause.)

So, podcasts and audio books are on! It’s going to be awesome!

Tomorrow is massive review catchup. I have two due Tuesday, and Tuesday morning I’m going to an advance screening of a movie that may prove to be very exciting and is very hyped. I’m happy, I usually don’t get the good ones (unless they only show at 10am, then I get them.)

I can start writing again.

Zombies and rain don’t mix. New review!

This weekend my boyfriend and I had hoped to make a bunch of fake blood, soak ourselves in it and make book covers. Sadly, the rain would have made it rough to do our favorite idea with his good camera, so that’s on hold. I need to come up with more excuses to drench myself in fake blood. (No, not writing vampire stories. I’ve read Dracula and some old book by Christopher Pike, which is about as far as my interest in the subject goes.)

I received an excellent critique on Friday. I’m supposed to get a few more back Monday, and I’m excited to get to work straightening things out and polishing off my draft. It’s been a busy few days so my interesting work productivity has been low. I find I don’t take criticism personally. I’m only human, and after staring at the same piece for so long I’m bound to miss a lot of things, in addition to never having written fiction before. I really appreciate all the support my friends and family have been giving me, they’re very literate people and I’m lucky to have their help and patience. You guys rock. Especially you, Mom and anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend.

Friday night I went to review the punk bands Dead and Divine and The Architects UK. The review is live on Orcasound. Thanks again to my awesome boyfriend/cameraman for getting pictures for me. I’ve been trying to convince him to get a blog of his own, so many amazing shots go unused and it’s a real shame. I’ve been tossing around the idea of writing a “What I really think while reviewing Punk Shows” blog entry, but it just might get me lynched.

The more interesting part of the evening was when I was approached by the manager of Calgary band Fall City Fall and was requested to do an interview. This was my first solo interview, and it went very well. I was impressed by their thoughtfulness and very insightful answers. I’ll post a link to it once I have the audio and transcribe it. It was such a cool experience. I’ve assisted/sat in on interviews before, but this time I was asking the questions. Maybe someday, somebody will be asking me the questions. That’s a scary thought.

Rain is nasty, I have a bunch of plants to go into the garden and now it’s supposed to drop to 9C tomorrow. I guess they’re coming in for the night. I don’t want my tomato, cucumber and super chili plants getting chilled and dying. I need my sunny day outdoor ambiance.

A new week is coming, and I’m going to rock it. Maybe I’ll even have time for some yoga.