On the verge of a new anthology, we are celebrating IN THE AIR with a behind the scenes view of authors and their stories. Here’s a look at Lawrence Berry and his story “Abra.”
ABOUT THE STORY
Tell me a little about your story and the world you’ve created.
A mutant is made into a soldier by the military and taught the art of Black Ops. As a private operative, he uses his abilities in teleportation, which is why he, and the story, is called Abra.
What came first, the plot or the characters?
While I usually wait for a plot to develop before writing a story, in this instance the title character came to me in a dream, a nightmare really, and I wrote it in one sitting. It was as if the story had always existed, and I discovered it.
If you had to describe your protagonist in three words, what would they be?
The power in infinite loneliness.
What is something about your protagonist that only you know?
There are no limits to Abra’s abilities. He can teleport between worlds and move entire cities.
Which scene was the most difficult to write and why?
The story hinges on the bar scene, and I used bad companions from earlier days, everybody into their angle of the deal. Getting this right and true to life. In America today, life is an angle on a changing deal.
What were you trying to achieve with this story?
To extend horror into the cyber-universe in a way that’s gritty enough for Elmore Leonard to like.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
In a sense, a writer is always partially in some story and is seldom able to fully escape the engine of imagination. That said, dinner parties with good wine and informed conversation on great dark fiction always feels like paradise.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers? If so, what are they?
Believe in your unique ability and be tenacious in spirit. Everyone has a story to tell. Don’t give up. Everything worthwhile extracts a cup of blood.
What do you think makes a good story?
The best stories have an intangible quality that seems greater than the writers who created them. This kind of writing is a product of much hard work and polish, but when such inspiration comes, ink flows easily and the pen seems like a divine instrument. It’s a simple equation—a thousand hours of practice for one hour of magic.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I can’t say I was able to see myself doing anything but write.
What is your favorite writing tool or technique?
Finding the desire to write and write well, forgetting everything else in life. In a sense, to be overcome by the demands of imagination. Complete possession by a waking dream.
How would you describe your general writing voice and tone?
If I am worthy of the reader who picks me up, I should be invisible. It should be as if the world itself was telling the story.
Share something fun or interesting:
The bloody brain shot recipe:
Pour a shot glass half full of peach schnapps.
Using a straw, dribble Bailey’s Irish cream into the shot glass making a brain.
Squeeze lightly with fresh lime to make your new brain coagulate.
Splash in grenadine to simulate blood.
Toast Victor Frankenstein and drink in one swallow.
Lawrence Berry sold his first story to Cavalier Magazine and went on to have a ‘best of’ in that publication. Specializing in horror stories, in his work can be found in a number of new anthologies and podcasts. Lawrence specializes in horror fiction.
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