In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Franklin Charles Murdock and his story “Craving Death.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
Craving Death was inspired by a distinct fear of parasites. I’ve always been freaked out by stories of parasitic worms that swim around in your eye or twenty-foot tape worms hanging out in your guts. What could be worse than that? Parasitic worms with a dark intelligence. I also took inspiration from The Feather Pillow by Horacio Quiroga, a short story I’ve always loved.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
No research besides my deepest, creepiest nightmares. I did learn, however, that I was able to stop my skin from crawling long enough to finish writing the story.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
Harlan is a man who thinks he knos what his life is. I wanted to give the impression that he is someone who errs on the side of safe, a man who thrives in a slow, mundane life void of surprises.
Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
The events of Craving Death take place at night on the bank of a dark lake, the cabin behind it once bustling with a happy family. The dark water and the image of a dim moon illuminating a sobbing man with a gun to his head was a picture I just couldn’t shake, so I eventually fleshed out the story.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
I wanted to peel back the layers of evil in this story and what it means to do terrible acts of violence. Is Eddie to blame? Harlan? The monsters within? Was murder a mere suggestion or an act that only needed a nudge to pursue? We see evil every day in many difference aspects, but do we truly understand what evil is or why it exists?
Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?
“Away! flooded Harlan’s thoughts, his mind frantically pairing the concept with look and get and run…” I wanted to translate Harlan’s shock in a way that genuinely captured the fractured thought process of someone who is gripped by real terror.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I purchased a Neo2 Digital Typewriter many years ago and it has served me well with its portability and ease of use.
If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?
I recently finished the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (many years after the hype, I know), and I was enthralled by how she structured her story and her general aptitude for word choice and characterization. As I’m becoming drawn to writing Young Adult Fiction nowadays, I would love to write something as great as those stories.
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
When I was just starting out, I submitted a science fiction story to Asimov without a real understanding of the business. The story was mildly interesting, not something I’m ashamed of, but not proud of either. Even so, months later I received a rejection letter from the editor, noting that it was hand-written with a quick word of encouragement. I knew editors were terribly busy people, so that simple note and its “try again” message was important. From then on, I put in the back of my head to keep me going.
If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?
Necromancy, so I can finally be in the boy band I’ve always deserved.
Franklin Charles Murdock is a fiction writer from the Midwestern United States. Though most of his work is harvested from the vast landscapes of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, Franklin strives to spin tales outside the conventions of these genres.
His work has appeared in Dark Fuse, Under the Bed Magazine, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, MicroHorror, Liquid Imagination, Yellow Mama, Heavy Hands Ink, WEIRDYEAR, Phantom Kangaroo, PrimalZine, and various other publications. Most recently, he’s been coauthoring the serial epic BEARD THE IMMORTAL on swordandportent.com and maintaining franklinmurdock.com.
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