I’m delighted to welcome Brian Bogart to Kendall Reviews. His passion for writing is unquestionable and his support of my blog and other sites like mine is massively appreciated. I felt it was time to find out a little bit more about Brian.
Book Of Shadows is on the jukebox and I’m getting the beers in…
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I’m originally from Florida but recently engaged and moved to Carnlough, Northern Ireland. I’ve been a fan of Horror and sci-fi/fantasy since I was first able to read. I used to dream of making comic books, I can draw and sketch a bit, but over the years arthritis have made me go back to mainly writing.
While my focus of my writing has been in the horror/supernatural vein, I hope to venture into science fiction and dark crime thrillers eventually.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
Family stuff. Reading. Xbox. Watch all types of horror movies, good and bad. Lately, me and the ladies of the house have been bingewatching every single X-files. Sometimes, I just go down to a pub or other local place and study people. Ireland can be an interesting and beautiful place. When all else fails to entertain, just throw on some rock and roll and grab a pint.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
I’m going to cheat. I’ll give one from two phases of childhood.
Youth: Sherlock Holmes. Had an amazing hardcover of the complete stories, given as a gift.
Teen: Stephen King’s… PET SEMATARY. Thought I was going to say IT? Don’t get me wrong, that’s right behind… But how real and horrific everything felt in SEMATARY makes it my favorite. Devastating and dark.
KR: What are you reading now?
Right now, DAWN OF THE DEAD. In the pipeline: Graham Masterton’s DEAD MEN WHISTLING and Robert McCammon’s THE LISTENER.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
Sometimes. I ask myself occasionally what a character would listen to and follow suit. Put myself in their head. I’ve found that when I’m writing, having it on in the background can either work or distract. I never know. I DO know, that wearing earbuds and music I really love, does not at all. Can’t hear those voices in my head clearly.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
I grew up on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Lovecraft, Graham Masterton, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman and countless others. One of my first loves: Sherlock Holmes.
Honestly, there are too many to list. Heck, I even enjoyed my mom’s old Agatha Christie books she collected. Inspiration is a many-tentacled beast, Cthulhu be praised.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I usually just see where the words lead me, but lately I keep a loose notebook with possible scene ideas, character descriptions and things I want to avoid or approach certain ways.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Sadly, I don’t research enough. I do, however, peruse the Net on the fly as writing. Technology is very helpful today. I also keep some favorite scenes bookmarked in ebooks for technical stuff, small details, etc.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
Wake. Get kid off to school. Breakfast. Read a bit, glance through my “ideas” notebook. Rewriting from previous day. Try to write a few more pages. If successful, grab a drink. If not, listen to some tunes or video games. Try again later. I usually don’t head to bed until I have 1500 to 3000 “decent” words. Not always great, but that’s tomorrow’s problem. I’m slow some days, but getting better since I’ve started writing in a notebook first and typing later. I’ve also only been seriously writing stuff the last year. Yeah, excuses. Forget I said that. Old habits die hard.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
LILY. It was my first idea I felt confident enough to write as a full fledged short novel. Alcoholism. Loss. Depression. Writing. Supernatural temptress. There may be too much of myself on the page for some people, but it felt like therapy to me. And gave me the confidence to write more stories, and appreciate the process of it all. As a reader- and as an author.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I would love to. And I will, if I had any. I take all the opinions very seriously and love feedback. Without criticism, good or bad, nothing ever improves.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Write. Read. Not just the good stuff, but badly written things as well. Daydream. But don’t let any one of those things stop you from the first one. Write. It’s the only way to learn, to get comfortable- kick yourself in the ass and if it’s bad writing? Try again. And again. Eventually, you’ll either get better or give up. Or, maybe consider editing. I know two people who have done that instead and been pretty successful.
KR: What scares you?
Drowning. I had two instances when I was young. That lack of oxygen and chest tightening… It’s never left me completely. Close second: losing the few loved ones I keep close. Getting older, I’ve lost many people. Worst part isn’t when it happens: it’s later, sometimes much later, when it hits you… No one’s there.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
All of the above. Nothing beats the smell of a new book. I prefer hardcovers, but honestly paperbacks are easier to come by. Ebook as a last resort. But, I’ll admit: for ease, my digital copies grow in number every year.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
Last year, I joined the One Million Project, an endeavor to combine the works of creative people, authors and artists of all types, and raise money and awareness for cancer research and homeless charities. The brainchild of Jason Greenfield and the hard work of many other people, we have just launched three new Anthologies (Fiction, Thriller, and Fantasy) with future projects on the way. All kinds of stories, no matter your preference and in the name of charity. It’s win/win for everyone.
My contribution is to the Thriller Anthology entitled TOCSIN. I originally wrote it for an Alice in Wonderland anthology and after consideration, instead offered it towards the One Million Project.
KR: What are you working on now?
Fools In The Flesh is my current project, my attempt at a zombie-style story, with a focus on both the children and adults succumbing to a primal or rage state of mind: the kids revert to a zombie/feral mindset, the adults caving in to their voilent and paranoid delusions. Who are the real monsters? I’ll have to write- and you’ll have to read- to find out.
As always, any critiques are welcome. In fact, encouraged. I love hearing people’s opinions, positive or otherwise. Helps a writer improve and create more interesting stories and characters. Or we can just chat about Horror or genre films. Books. Whatever. That’s fun, too.
KR: I can only echo Brian here. Please make sure you leave reviews/feedback. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one word critique or pages of text. Negative or positive is of no consequence, your feedback as Brian states can help an author improve and is encouraged.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
In seventh grade, I wrote about an adventurerer named Orion. Filled an entire school notebook. Then lost it. He was a skilled gunsman, a space pilot and a leader of a band of rebels fighting a rival alien Armada. I’d love to revisit that one day, older and wiser. Plus, he could tell me what really happened so I could write the damn thing.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Roland Deschain. Maybe convince him that the island is just another level of the Tower… And see where it goes from there.
c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
Let’s see. Might need some tunes for our adventure. I’d send out a call to guitarists Zakk Wylde or Jerry Cantrell- see which ones down for some jamming.
KR: Thank you very much Brian.
KR: Book Of Shadows was no where near as heavy as I thought it was going to be.
You can follow Brian on Twitter @DreamsDarkly
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