Monday, November 7, 2011

Roy Hudson gives us a fantasy

Roy Hudson
What sparked you to begin writing? 
I started writing, no joke, when I was four years old. It started with comics drawn and lettered in crayon on my sister’s bond paper. I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was about 15 or so, when I received a compliment from an English teacher whose class I didn’t have. That made me think I must be pretty good.

Will you share a portion of The Odic Touch with us?
It’s basically about the world of psychic vampires, a group I first read about in Vampires: The Occult Truth by Konstantinos. Rather than drinking blood, psychic vampires feed on energy spiritually, through touch or astral bodies. My protagonist, Dusty Foster, doesn’t know he has this power until after his wife dies. The reader knows from the first page that her death is the work of supernatural forces, but it takes a while to reach that reveal!  

What do you find challenging in your writing?
I still find it difficult to write realistic dialogue for female characters. It seems we men like to think of the ideal woman (or our own respective mates) while writing female characters, but no man really knows how to put thoughts in a woman’s head. I’m sure that’s true of any writer, regardless of sex. Gender can be a handicap sometimes, and I’ve always been too shy to ask the right questions!

What are you most proud of in your writing career?

Being published for the first time or gaining fans or earning comparisons to popular authors is always an accomplishment, but as for my personal best? This has nothing to do with my fiction whatsoever, but you said, “writing,” and this counts: I wrote an article on the University of South Carolina-Aiken’s poetry club event for the USCA Pacer Times last Spring and the faculty advisor appreciated it so much, he cut both the article and the picture I took out of the newspaper and hung them up for the entire club to see. It’s not as glamorous as publishing a novel or having a short story accepted for an anthology, but that was the first time that a random person really appreciated something I had printed, even if it was just in the campus newspaper.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Very seldom do I write with any particular message in mind. If the reader interprets a message from my work that I hadn’t thought about, then that’s great! But in The Odic Touch, life itself and the concept of aging is in focus, as is the topic of family and relationships. Family relationships are strongly tested, and often broken through the course of the novel. There is a scene in which one of the members of The Odic Center reveals that his father had been violent and abusive toward him because of how he was different from others, and while the father doesn’t get a happy ending, the lesson readers can gain is, “Accept your family even if they’re not just like you.”

Are there any books that have really influenced you? 
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Last year I read Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization and Julia Cameron’s The Writing Diet back-to-back, and that really changed my perspective. Another book that greatly influenced me was Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, but only because I had just read his book Zen in the Art of Writing. In Zen, he says the only way to be a good writer is to write 1,000 words a day. I can’t make myself write 1,000 words a day; sometimes I’m lucky to write that many words creatively in a week! So needless to say, that book depressed me. I seriously thought about giving up my goal to be a writer; until I reread Something Wicked, and it struck me. “Of course you can’t live up to Ray Bradbury’s standards… Nobody can! He’s the master!” So naturally, I no longer worried about not measuring up after that. It’s all about perspective.

Are there any new authors that you enjoy?
It seems I’m always the last one to read a new author. Just last October, I personally discovered Neil Gaiman’s work for the first time in The Graveyard Book, and absolutely loved it. More recently, I’ve purchased The Night Circus and Ready Player One, each by an emerging author, but I haven’t begun reading either yet. Every Autumn, I have to read an old familiar favorite, Ray Bradbury or Edgar Allan Poe, but I have a feeling I’ll start on The Night Circus very soon. It sounds right up my alley.

What is your formula for preparing to write?
If inspiration strikes when I’m not at home, it doesn’t take any special preparation. I reach into my messenger bag and pull out the notebook and a pencil. When I’m at home, I get as comfortable as I can. Turn on a fan, music. Sometimes I stretch out on my bed with a notebook and a pencil, but I usually save that for poetry. It’s funny how I can separate my fiction habits from my poetry habits, when it’s all the same thing: writing.

To learn more about Roy Hudson click the links below.

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