Join us as we peek behind the scenes of our upcoming anthology, ON TIME. Learn more about Benjamin Blake in his featured interview.
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
“Something in the Way” was heavily influenced by the Silent Hill series of videogames. An ordinary man, travelling to a quiet town in search of a missing love, and finding that something is terribly off . There is also a of Lynchian inspiration in how the story is executed. It jumps around a lot, in a kind of surreal dream.
Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
Henry Beaufort is an everyday kind of guy, somewhere in his early thirties. He has a lovely wife and a sweet kid, and spends his spare time working on old guitar amps. He also holds a darkened, tragic secret close to his heart.
What is the most interesting thing about the world you’ve created?
Surprisingly, I think it’s something that’s not terribly profound. For me, it’s the musical references found throughout the piece. Music plays a huge part in the story (the title obviously coming from the ending track of Nirvana’s Nevermind), and I really think that it gives the story a dimension perhaps not-so-commonly found in prose.
What genre or mix of genres does your story fit into?
“Something in the Way” has the ominous quality found in weird fiction, but executed in an extremely visual style. The story had gone through many incarnations before it morphed into the version published in the anthology: from flash fiction, to radio transcript, to screenplay, and eventually the final short story. I truly think that it took some small part of its respective past lives with it in regard to style, tone, and execution.
How have your personal experiences influenced this story?
I grew up playing Silent Hill and listening to 90’s alternative rock, so without that piece of personal history, the story would likely never exist. Also, the concept of lost love and its tendency to resonate throughout the years, is something I am all too familiar with.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
A visceral feeling of displacement.
What was your favorite part of the story to write and why?
My favorite part of the story to write, was the rewrite I undertook before it was accepted. I was never truly happy with the way the initial short story was transcribed from the screenplay, and rewriting it in a style that was much closer to my heart, was a real treat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you write your first story, how old were you, and what was it about?
I was about five years old, and it was a story about a mouse, which I received an award from the headmaster for. It had something to do with cowboys, I think. Either way, one of the next stories I penned was an epic western that ran about ten pages long. I’m glad I grew out of that particular genre pretty quick.
What is your writing survival checklist? (Aka, what helps your write the best: music, snacks, coffee, complete silence, a stress ball, a cat, or an outline, etc.)
Cigarettes, music, coffee, and to a lesser degree, the absence of other people.
What has influenced you most as a writer?
Music. For me, everything came from music. Before I started getting published as a poet, I was scrawling out lyrics on paper-scraps (I wasn’t even in a band at the time). Everything went from there.
What font do you prefer to write in?
Times New Roman, 10 point. With no spacing after. God, writing this down makes me realize how OCD I am about that.
Do you have any writing blogs/vlogs/podcasts, etc. that you would recommend?
I have a couple of books, if those count. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, and On Writing by Stephen King.
What is your favorite and least favorite word, and why?
My favorite word is “cigarette” – probably because it’s borrowed from the French. My least favorite, is any text or Internet slang and/or abbreviations – people seem intent on killing the English language these days, and that’s something I want no part of whatsoever.
Benjamin Blake is the author of the novel, The Devil’s Children, and the poetry/prose collections, Southpaw Nights, Standing on the Threshold of Madness, All the Feral Dogs of Los Angeles (with Cole Bauer), Dime Store Poetry, and the forthcoming Tenebrae in Aeternum – to be published by Hippocampus Press in 2020. He lives in a small mountainside village in Abruzzo, Italy. Find more of his work at www.benjaminblake.com.
ON TIME is coming in Summer 2020. Be sure to follow us on Amazon.