Shaun Avery, a Featured Interview

If you haven’t heard of our new project,  the On Fire anthology, this interview series will showcase our authors and their writing lives beyond their ignited tales. In Shaun Avery‘s “The Conception Artist,” an artist falls victim to his dream of making it big and his music descends his home town into chaos.

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How long have you been writing?

Ever since I was a kid – I remember being five or six and trying to write my own Judge Dredd stories in this little yellow jotter I had, only setting those tales in a place called Mega-City Three instead of Mega-City One, as even back then I wanted to put my own stamp on things. Before, of course, I realized there actually was a Mega-City Three in the lauded 2000ad   Ho hum.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Within prose? Bentley Little and Ed McBain, without a doubt – both perfect at building living, breathing worlds, though those two worlds are very, very different.  In comics, Garth Ennis – because he’s awesome at writing in pretty much every single genre there is.  And also, because he created Crossed, one of my all-time favourite things.

 Who are your favorite authors and why?

Within prose? Bentley Little and Ed McBain, without a doubt – both perfect at building living, breathing worlds, though those two worlds are very, very different.  In comics, Garth Ennis – because he’s awesome at writing in pretty much every single genre there is.  And also, because he created Crossed, one of my all-time favourite things.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Within prose? Bentley Little and Ed McBain, without a doubt – both perfect at building living, breathing worlds, though those two worlds are very, very different.  In comics, Garth Ennis – because he’s awesome at writing in pretty much every single genre there is.  And also, because he created Crossed, one of my all-time favourite things.

 How many stories have you written?

About – fifty? That’s across the mediums of prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and comic-scripting, of course.  Because I’m greedy, and I want to do everything.

 How long does it usually take you to write a story?

It varies from story to story. You’d think that the shortest pieces would take the least amount of time to write, but I’ve often found that’s not the case – when you’re dealing with a limited amount of space, things have got to be concise, which often means tough editing.  Luckily, though, I quite like editing.

What interesting thing did you learn while writing your last story?

That sometimes you’re writing even when you’re not writing. I mean, technically I had the summer off, wasn’t officially working on anything.  But I kept tinkering every now and then, and in the end, I somehow had a story that I’m pretty fond of.

How do you choose your character’s personalities and names?

I hate thinking of surnames! So that’s something I try not to do, and with short stories that’s easy.  Personality comes to me via the dialogue a character comes out with and the way I see them moving – which is why my longer stuff is always in the visual mediums: comics, scripts.

What marketing techniques do you find most effective?

Just writing good stories . . . oh, and being prepared to work with editors. First off, when they ask you to make changes to your work – you can’t be too precious about things, you know?  I’ve found that all the editors I’ve worked with have only wanted to make your story as good as it can be – and that should be what you want, too.  Secondly, by sharing the work you’ve done with that editor, whether it be for an anthology or a magazine.  You have to show your interest did not end with the cashing of a cheque.

 

Shaun Avery writes horror and crime fiction in a number of mediums, often with a satirical approach to fame and media obsession.  He thinks his cynicism is healthy.  Though perhaps “The Conception Artist” takes it to extremes.

Follow our Amazon page for On Fire’s release this December 1st!

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