Join us as we peek behind the scenes of our upcoming anthology, ON TIME. Learn more about Scott Harper in his featured interview.
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
I’m a huge vampire geek. I’m so old now that I can remember a time in speculative fiction and film when a stake through the heart only immobilized vampires rather than outright destroy them. I wanted to play around with that concept – what would it be like both physically and emotionally to be paralyzed yet aware and buffeted by hunger and regret? What thoughts would go through the creature’s head, things he/she could have done differently?
Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
Roland is your typical bad boy – full of himself, very cocky. He’s good looking and he knows it, and fancies himself quite the ladies’ man. He also happens to be one of the deadliest swordsmen on the planet. His overconfidence causes him to greatly underestimate the woman who changes his life, Amala.
What is the most interesting thing about the world you’ve created?
It’s basically a darker version of our world. Events like World War II and the dawning of the nuclear age parallel our own reality, while legendary monsters prey on humans in the background.
What genre or mix of genres does your story fit into?
It’s horror/dark fantasy.
How have your personal experiences influenced this story?
Unfortunately I’ve been injured numerous times in my life and been forced to undergo many MRIs. My shoulders are wide so I don’t fit in the machines well. I’m also highly claustrophobic. I tried to channel some of that sense of dread and discomfort when describing Roland’s miserable existence while lying staked in his coffin.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
I would like them to have fun with the wonder of the vampire mythos. It’s such a rich genre that unfortunately has been dumbed down over the years by people who’ve never actually read Stoker’s novel (hint vampires don’t spontaneously combust in sunlight). I take my vamps seriously. No pencils through the heart resulting in exploding dust.
What was your favorite part of the story to write and why?
I enjoyed creating the battle scene with Roland and Amala fighting off the sheriff and his men. I pictured Roland at the apex of human fighters of his time, even before his substantial martial abilities were magnified exponentially by the strength, speed and durability of vampirism. Comic books accounted for a large portion of my reading material when I was younger. Tales of battling heroes mesmerized me. I tried to add that comic book feel to my fight scenes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you write your first story, how old were you, and what was it about?
I wrote my first story way back in elementary school, around the age of twelve. I had just discovered Marvel’s Tales of the Zombie magazine and was fascinated with the zombie mythos. I wrote a short series of journal entries for my English class that rather blatantly ripped off elements of a zombie movie (Sugar Hill, the one with Robert Quarry and not Wesley Snipes) I had read about in TOTZ.
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.)
I write best in the morning when it’s quiet in the house and my mind is fresh, a calm few hours while my liquid meal digests prior to hitting the gym.
What has influenced you most as a writer?
I love the works of Bram Stoker, John Steakley, Marv Wolfman, and Roy Thomas.
What font do you prefer to write in?
Times New Roman.
Do you have any writing blogs/vlogs/podcasts, etc. that you would recommend?
Not really. I’m no spring chicken, so I’m a little behind the times on keeping up with all the latest tech. Like most writers, I’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing and used that as my general base of reference.
What is your favorite and least favorite word, and why?
I love the word “vampire,” that’s my favorite genre. Least favorite would be “insomnia” – it’s miserable.
Scott Harper’s stories have been published in a number of speculative fiction venues as well as indie comics. The works of Bram Stoker, John Steakley and Marv Wolfman have inspired his writing. He lives in California with his wife, son and two dogs.
ON TIME is coming in late September 2020. Be sure to follow us on Amazon.