Demain welcomes author E.C. Hanson and his dark novella (and slasher inspired) Wicked Blood. The book (with a cover by Adrian Baldwin) will be published March 25th 2022 but is currently available for pre-sales.
After the unexpected death of their parents, three teenagers must fend for themselves in a farmhouse.
Marina, the lone daughter of the Florin family, assumes the reins of the family. But her brothers start to display weird habits and their penchant for violence gets out of control.
Will Marina be able to contain them or will she submit to their power in an attempt to prolong her young life?
E.C. Hanson Talks To Demain Publishing
(Originally featured on the Demain Publishing Blog, 16th February 2022 HERE)
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Welcome to DEMAIN E.C. Hanson, let’s get down to it, can you tell us all a little about Wicked Blood.
E.C. HANSON: Hello and yes, of course. It is interesting how this one came about. An old rumour passed through our family that a set of parents (on my father’s side) killed each other, leaving a handful of small children behind in their farmhouse. I have never been able to prove whether it is fact or fiction. Even if nothing happened, it provided me with the premise here. The only change made was to make the children be teenagers. As for the content itself, I am proud of it because I got weird with it and played around with form. One of my favourite professors at NYU always told us to “get weird.” So, I applied that advice here by having tons of short chapters and then one lengthy one at the end. I think and hope that the contrast works. It should feel like a moving train that gets faster and faster until a huge crash.
DP: Personally I loved the way you set out the book and wow, what a family story! I’m wondering then did you find Wicked Blood difficult to write (considering the possible family angle for example)
ECH: The content was not difficult to write. But deciding what it should be was a bit of a challenge. I started writing it because a publishing house put out a submission call for family-related stories. The max word count on that was around 5,000. And while I am not one that produces large texts, I thought to myself: “This story is feeling like a novella.” So, I trusted my gut, played it as true as I could make it, and ended with the final product we have here. There is a valuable lesson to learn, too. Had I not generated an idea related to someone else’s submission call, this content would not exist.
DP: I love when that happens. It’s always about the muse/inspiration. What books/authors do you read and do they have an influence on you?
ECH: I don’t love every single work produced by Sylvia Plath or Ernest Hemingway. That said, I admire Plath’s ability to be vulnerable and I marvel at Hemingway’s (deceptively) simple prose. I might review their work to inspire me and then start cranking on new material. But it is important for me to grow and challenge myself. One goal: useless dialogue. Second goal: keep avoiding flowery language. I’ll never be good at it and don’t want to be!
DP: So what does horror mean to E.C. Hanson?
ECH: Horror encompasses everything, right? It’s the monster in the closet, the spider on the ceiling, the waiting period for doctor’s results, the drunken text, etc. It’s important for writers to take the pain in their lives and incorporate it into the content. It will ring true and be scarier or more heartbreaking because the readers can relate to it. That’s what forms the bond between writers and readers.
DP: Indeed, and I was having this very discussion with an accountant the other day! Is there a horror book or film that you’re looking forward to catching?
ECH: The Black Slide by J.W. Ocker. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, he cranks out gems. Also, I’ve heard it pitched as a Hellraiser for kids.
DP: As somebody who loves Hellraiser, I’ll be checking that out for sure. What about new writers?
ECH: Ruthann Jagge is someone to watch. She has been publishing a lot of short stories and just released her first novella called The New Girls’ Patient. She’s kicking the door down, booting the men aside, and letting everyone know she’s here to dominate. Everyone should track what she’s doing. She takes big risks.
DP: Is there anything that E.C. Hanson is scared of?
ECH: Well, I am terrified of any spider that exceeds the size of a quarter. I’m 6’3 and around 240 pounds, so it shocks people that this is my number one fear. The fear is so significant that I can’t even write about them. Spiders aside, my newfound fear is not being able to take care of my daughter. She entered this world eleven months ago. That fear will certainly make it into a future text because it’s almost paralyzing to think about. Then again, it would make good drama/horror. Translation: future readers will benefit from my daily terrors!
DP: I hope they do! Okay, last one: what is something your readers might be surprised to find out about you?
ECH: I think they might be surprised to learn that horror isn’t my favourite genre. It’s Westerns. But ever since I started teaching a horror-themed writing course at college, I have developed a love for the genre. It’s Westerns all the way, though. Anything with Wayne, Cooper, Brennan, Murphy. And I am sold. Give me a beer, snifter of whiskey, a wood stove, and that’s a perfect night.
DP: Sounds like bliss. Thank you so much for your time and all the best with Wicked Blood.
E. C. Hanson earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU and was the recipient of an ‘Outstanding Writing For The Screen’ certificate.
His work has been published by Smith & Kraus and Applause Books in 8 play anthologies. More than 35 of his plays have been developed and produced in the United States.
Curious Blue Press, Trembling With Fear, Ghost Orchid Press, Collective Tales, and The Parliament House have published his fiction. D&T Publishing released his first collection, All Things Deadly (Salem Stories), in 2021. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association.
You can follow E.C. Hanson on Twitter @ECHanson21