ARW Week Day 5 – Interview with A R Wise

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Your book series; 314, has a hint of Silent Hill about it, is this a coincidence or are a you a fan?


It’s a coincidence. I’m familiar with the game and movie series, but I haven’t played the games or watched the movies yet. I know there’s a foggy town, and I recall pictures of nurses with messed up faces, but that’s about it. That’s a game series I’m definitely going to have to delve into at some point!

Of all of the Characters involved in this trilogy, who do you feel you can most relate to?


Myself, I’d probably have to go with Paul. He’s a genuinely good person who’s made more than a few mistakes in his time. I think most of us can understand that. And he’s being forced to contend with the insanity of his girlfriend’s family, which I think a lot of us can relate to!

Who is your favourite Character in the 314 Trilogy?


The Skeleton Man and The Watcher in the Walls. For me, whenever they were involved it felt like all restraints were lifted. I could delve into whatever nightmarish situations I could dream up, and that freedom was liberating. When I first started 314, my goal was to create a horror story where there were no limits to what could take place, and those two characters were the key to that.

What inspired you to bring The Skeleton Man to life?


I’ll revert back to the last answer. When I first began the series, I knew that I wanted it to tie into a single event (which isn’t revealed until book three), but I wanted to use that event to build a universe of terror that would be memorable for readers. The Skeleton Man is a monster that could only exist in that sort of nightmarish world, and he crafts everything to torture the residents of Widowsfield in ways that hearken back to his own suffering.

How long did you spend writing the trilogy?


Tough to say, honestly. I was splitting up the writing of this trilogy with other books, so it’s hard to say exactly how much time was spent on each of them individually. Normally, it takes me around 3 – 4 months to finish a book, so I guess it would be fair to say that I spent around a year total on the 314 series.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Absolutely. Ever since I was young, I knew that I wanted to either be a writer or director. I’ve always loved crafting stories for people, and have been doing it in some form or another for my entire life.

What made you choose to write Horror?


I’m a fan of the genre, although I always expected to start writing Fantasy novels before ever delving into horror. Fantasy and Horror have been my favourite genres for years, and while I still plan on delving into Fantasy at some point, I’m rather fond of scaring people. I think Horror fans are more appreciative of a writer that chooses not to tell stories that feel limited by social norms. Personally, I want my entertainment to focus on story, and not on what will or won’t offend people. Horror is at its best when you’re not sure what’s coming around the next corner!


Do you feel your feet are firmly planted in the Horror Genre, or do you see yourself venturing into other genres?


I plan on jumping into a Fantasy series at some point, and look forward to it, but at the moment I’m writing a Thriller that my agent is going to shop around with publishers. While I love the Horror genre, I’m not planning on sticking to it exclusively.

Do you have a favourite book/author?


My favourite book has been To Kill a Mocking Bird for a very long time. The way Harper Lee creates such a living, breathing town for her characters to live in astounds me. In second place (and always vying for first) is The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, which absolutely changed my view on the craft of writing. The ending of that book stands as a testament to the importance of writing, and will always be very important to me. As a writer, I always struggle with the desire to tie everything up in a nice little bow for the reader, and to provide them with exactly what they want out of a book. The Grapes of Wrath has no interest in happy endings, or giving the reader what they want. Instead, that book gives the reader what they need, and I will always revere the book for that.

Do you have any words for aspiring authors?


This is the best time in history to be a writer. Don’t listen to anyone that claims that writing is a dying craft, and that all the book stores are closing down. We’re in the middle of a revolution in literature! New voices that would’ve never been heard are now reaching best seller lists, and an astounding number of authors are earning a living wage by self-publishing. I know of several people that have turned down offers from major publishers because they stand to make more money off their self published works than what the big guys are shelling out in advances. Get out there and write, write, write. Then edit, edit, edit. And finally, publish! If you’ve always wanted to be a writer, there’s no one stopping you but yourself.

Are you working on anything right now? If so what can you tell us about it?


The thriller I’m working on at the moment is about a Coronal Mass Ejection (basically a massive solar flare), and the effects it has on the world. Once our modern society crumbles, where will that leave us? A father and son, each on polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, are forced to work together to save their family. As the book goes on, it becomes clear that neither of their belief structures were entirely accurate.


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