What a wonderful surprise for me when Edward Lorn agreed to this interview. If you are into horror, Edward should be at the top of your “want to read” list. As we got to know each other, I also found that he could branch off into comedy! It was a fun interview.
The most important question! Are you a coffee drinker?
I’m a little more than a coffee drinker. I’m a caffeine addict. Most kids can’t stand the taste of coffee, but I started drinking it around fifth grade, without my parents’ permission. I’d smuggle a mugful from the carafe to my room every morning. This backfired, though, as I was soon diagnosed with ADHD after my teacher requested I be tested due in part to how I bounced off the walls of his classroom then became borderline zombified toward the middle of the day.
What is your favorite coffee drink?
I like French roast, but my current favorite is Pike Place Roast, which is available in K-cups for the Keurig. It’s under the Starbucks brand, but I don’t care much for their coffee overall. Still, Pike’s a delicious medium roast that perks me up better than ice cubes on my nipples.
How many books have you written in your career?
This is an interesting question because I can answer one of two ways. If you mean novels I’ve published, the answer is four. If you’re talking about in my lifetime, I believe the total is close to thirty now. I only publish a tenth of what I write, and that percentage is based on short stories, novellas, and full-length outings combined. It’s all practice until you hit that publish/submit button.
What genre is your favorite?
It’s a tie between literary fiction and horror. When combined, I’m in readers’ heaven. Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Kealan Patrick Burke, Marisha Pessl, and Joe Hill will always be favorites of mine. Genre horror (horror novels without any literary flair) is fun, but it tends to lack the emotional depth I look for in fiction. Point in fact, Jack Ketchum writes terrifically gory, nausea-inducing books, but his word choice and sentence structure is stripped down to its simplest form. This doesn’t detract from my Ketchum fanboy status, though, as sometimes, I just want a little dumb fun. Action over depth, and all that. This is why Michael Bay movies are so successful.
I see you write horror. What got you interested in writing in that genre?
My sisters (who’re twelve and fourteen years older than I am) were huge horror fans. They’d be allowed to stay up nights to watch the thrillers and chillers on cable, and I would watch with them, albeit from the crack of my bedroom door, where I could see the living room television down our short hall. When they moved out, I jumped into my mother’s rather extensive horror novel collection: King, Saul, Straub, Koontz, Laymon, and the list goes on. Reading horror fiction changed the way I saw horror overall. In the movies, the killer was always the focus (Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers, Pinhead, Leatherface), and rarely did I ever have an emotional connection with the victims. They were simply stalks in a corn field to be sliced through, whereas most literature values character development over story arc, at least the good stuff does, anyway. I soon found that I appreciated getting to know the cannon fodder, and my love for books was born. Overall, though, I believe I’m just a thrill seeker, and if I wasn’t throwing words together in an attempt to scare the masses, I believe I’d be a roller coaster engineer.
What is the most embarrassing thing you have done?
This one time, at band camp…
Hmmmmm…..I really want to ask for you to continue, but I am just a little bit afraid to!
Describe your writing in one word?
What would be your dream vacation?
I’m too out of shape for this, but I’ve always wanted to do the Horror Campout. You’re given a tent and supplies, and told to survive the night. Those that stay in their tent are certain not to survive, and there’s multiple “killers” roaming the woods as well. Either that, or Hawaii. Yeah, Honolulu sounds nice.
I think I would pick Hawaii.
What is the most dangerous thing you have done?
I once called a woman The Pensioner. Long story…
We will leave that story alone, I have a feeling it could get you into MORE trouble!
Are you married?
Yup. I’ve been married to the same woman for thirteen years. She’s my best friend, and she loves video games. I really couldn’t have found a better match.
Do you have any children?
My daughter Autumn is eight, and my son Chris is two. Autumn is proving to have her father’s love of storytelling and reading. As far as Chris is concerned, he loves Netflix and Thomas the Train toys. I have high hopes that he’ll one day rule the world with those qualities.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had all the normal career wishes: doctor, policeman, fire fighter, sailor wrench, and so on. But writing was always a part of those things. I wanted to be a doctor who wrote medical novels, a cop who wrote crime fiction, that kinda thing. My love for the written word started early. Shortly after I learned to read I became obsessed with being the one who wrote the stories. I started my illustrious career by lying, because it was much easier than grammar and spelling and junk, but no one appreciated my lies as much as I appreciated books. I suppose this was because people know going into a novel that the story didn’t happen, whereas I never prefaced my lies with, “This is a piece of fiction.”
Sailor Wrench, huh?
Describe your outlook on life in one word.
Do you like reality TV programs?
I don’t watch much television these days, but when I do, I try to steer clear of those train wrecks. Still, I’ll stumble across one every now and again, and I find myself ogling, like any normal person passing a terrible car accident, to see if there’s blood, if there’s a Reebok sticking out from under the sheet that blankets the motionless lump on the gurney. But, like a ten car pile up on the interstate, I try my best to avoid them, and when I can’t, I think little of myself after having rubbernecked
I was going to ask which one is your favorite, but after THAT answer, we will just move on.
What’s the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had? (besides this one)
I was sitting in a Coffee Kettle in Troy, Alabama (the knock-off Waffle House has since been torn down and a Popeye’s erected on the site), when an older man in a mechanic’s jumper sat down next to me at the bar, which overlooked the cooking area. He ordered breakfast and a coffee, nodded a hello to me, and began rolling a coin across the back of his knuckles with fluid ease. I told him what a nifty trick I thought that was, and he smiled. “I learned it in prison,” he said. Having never been in the joint, I didn’t know it was improper to ask a con (ex or otherwise) what they had done, so I inquired as to what landed him in the clink. He shrugged, told me I shouldn’t ever ask a question like that, then added that he was a “short eyes”, and that he hadn’t faired well inside, but he’d eventually made a friend, and this friend had taught him several coin tricks, one of which was the quarter-over-the-knuckles routine he was currently performing. I had no idea at the time what the hell a “short eyes” was, nor was I going to ask, seeing as he’d just told me how rude that was, so we continued talking. He knew card tricks as well, but didn’t have a deck on him, so he proceeded to instruct me without visual aids. I forgot everything he told me mere seconds after he stopped talking, but I assured him that I’d try when I got home. We spoke for another hour or so about how I was an aspiring author, and how he’d always wanted to write a book, but didn’t think anyone would like to hear his stories. I remember very clearly asking him if he thought prison had taken, if he felt he’d been rehabilitated. He offered me a broad smile and shook his head. “It wasn’t all for naught, though,” he said, still grinning. “I learned these new tricks, and the kiddos love tricks.” I figured he was talking about his own kids, and we lapsed into a silence until his food arrived, and I left. It would be four years before I found out that “short eyes” was prison slang for “child molester.”
As an Indie author, how do you promote your books?
I don’t do much in the way of marketing, other than a free promo or giveaway or a blog tour here and there, but I don’t purchase ads or spam potential readers. I figure I’ve made enough of a name for myself by now, and people are either going to read me or they’re not. I’ve always felt that the best tool for any author is word of mouth, and if my writing is good enough, my readers will talk about it.
Do you always wear identical socks?
Who wears socks anymore? They’re so last year. When I do use foot gloves, I make sure to wear open-toed sandals as well. It’s very chic.
To get the total look, make sure the foot gloves are black. Just helping you out, I am sure your wife will appreciate it.
Tell me the one character in your books that is most like you.
Larry Laughlin, from my novel Hope for the Wicked and its upcoming sequel, Pennies for the Damned. He’s one of the easiest characters to get into because he’s me. Well, aside from all the murder and mayhem he gets into, anyway. I have the same sarcastic sense of humor, and we share thought processes, which makes him that much easier to write about. I simply ask myself, “Well, E., what would you do in this situation?” And BAM! we’re off.
When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself an author?
Probably after I finished Life After Dane, the novel Red Adept Publishing released in July of 2013. While writing that book, I felt the first stirrings of author status. I know that sounds weird, being that Dane was my fourth novel, but what I’m getting at is, I felt I’d finally found my own voice. Life After Dane is damn-near perfect in my eyes, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I can’t say that about anything else I’ve ever written. My newest project—a serial novel entitled Cruelty—is coming close to being my new favorite, but it’s not entirely finished yet, and I believe a good ending makes or breaks a story. Episodes One through Four are currently available on Amazon.com for $0.99 each, and Episode Five should be released within a day or two of this post going live. Imagine a slasher film as a literary novel. If that intrigues you, give Cruelty a go.
Last question, Have you ever danced in the rain?
Done more than just dance. I love the rain. There’s something cleansing about it, and not just in the literal sense either. Stand outside in a downpour and take a deep breath. It’s invigorating, as if you’re being detoxed and intoxicated all at the same time.
Ed, this has been a blast. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Best of luck to you and I think I will pick up Cruelty. I will let you know how it goes. If I am afraid to come out from under the covers, it was a success.
I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for having me!