Brent Abell is a horror author from Indiana who seems to project his plans for world domination onto his dog. Fortunately, he is willing to claim the credit for his writing, with short stories such as Stonewall and As I Crossed Lincoln Bridge. He has just released his debut novella, In Memoriam. Brent recently answered my questions.
1) What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?
I think that being able to create my own worlds and characters is really cool. I have also had the pleasure to meet other authors and publishers who I have become friends with and we never would have met had it not been for my decision to give the writing career a go. it has opened many new door s for me and I’ve been able to some awesome things like read at conventions, seeing your name in print, and signing books for people is fun.
2) How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?
The writing career was a long slow path. I loved to write when I was little and I would write short stuff to read to my friends in high school, but once I got in the real world and had to work, I lost my way. When I got the job I have now, I met someone to expanded my horror reading list and got me interested in writing again. He asked if I wanted to go to a horror writing convention close by and I agreed. Friday night at Mo*Con in 2010, I read the first short story I’d written in about ten years at the open mike readings. It went really well and one of the authors there tried to get the story sold that night at the after party. Once that weekend was over, the bug bit me and I was off to the races. Now at this point I have 15 stories in 13 books and coming up I have the novella and a short story collection.
3) What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?
My wife and two sons. They are everything to me and all three make me proud to be called their husband or their dad. I want this to work so I can do more for them. I work constantly at my other job and I am not home a lot, so I hope this thing can take off and I can spend more time at home with them. Oh, I forgot my pug. If Cody found out I skipped over him, he’d never forgive me.
4) What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?
I am really a shy person. I’d rather be in a quiet room by myself then with a bunch of people. I can be a social butterfly when I need to be, but I’d rather keep to myself.
5) If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?
I would change the divisions that separate us. It seems we all keep digging the ditch bigger and we can only go so far out before we all fall in. In reality, I’d not fall in and it’s just easier to be nicer to each other anyway.
6) If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?
What ever you want to shoot for, do it! I wish I’d stuck with the writing. If I hadn’t been drug back kicking and screaming into the fold, I’d never have come back. Those years I could have been working and refining my craft are lost years I can never have back. Do it! Do it now and don’t let others dictate your path.
7) What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?
Right now would be finish my first full length novel. I have the outlines done for two of them and the first couple of chapter are complete also. I really haven’t moved forward on them because I feel I’m not quite ready yet. I set goals of starting with short stories. Once I got the feel for those and had some success, I moved on to novellas. Now that one of those has sold and the second has interest from a publisher, I have to write the three or four novella backlog. When those are complete, I’ll be ready for the novel. I wanted to build up to it. By working through the different forms and word counts, I’ve learned so much about my voice and writing style that will set me up better to succeed when the first novels roll around.
8) What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?
I’ve sworn to never sell myself short again. I can have some low self esteem problems and when I put my soul out for the public, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle it. My skin grew thick surprisingly fast. Don’t get me wrong, a bad review or comment sucks, but I look past it and focus on the people who liked it. Keeping positive I believe will keep the bad low esteem away.
9) If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?
I’m a completist. From my book collection to my Star Wars collection…I must have it all. It is expensive to be like that too! No, really in the last few years I’ve been able to pare back some of the stuff and even get rid of some. I cut back on the authors I buy everything from and sold off my extra copies of things. If I had to get rid of a habit I still have though, it would be my sarcastic attitude. I would break it so people wouldn’t think I’m such a jerk sometimes. Sometimes I mean it and some times I don’t. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which way I mean it…
10) If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?
Painting. I love art, but I’m terrible at it. Being able to create with a brush the same images I can create with a pen would be awesome. Since I want to script a comic or so one day, good art would make it easier. I could just do my own art for a comic instead of finding someone else.
11) Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?
Lots of scary stories for older kiddies! Next year I hope should see a couple more novella releases and I hope to complete the first novel next year. To keep up with what’s going down you can follow the blog at http://brentabell.wordpress.com. From there you can find my links to Twitter, Facebook, and my Amazon.com Author page. I’d like to see everyone stop by and say hi, because the next few years are going to be a hell of a ride!
Next Week: Jay Wilburn