Brian Black; where do I begin? One of the first internet friends I ever made. He’s super supportive of what I do and what others in the horror genre are up to. He’s the founder of the #FollowerGames and a wonderful writer aside from that.
How long have you been writing?
Before the dawn of man or since I knew how. Whichever came first.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I had a 4th grade teacher named Mrs. Dolinski. She would read “The Hobbit” to us a few minutes before class ended. By the time the school year was over, she had gotten to the part in Mirkwood with the spiders. You can’t just end there! So I asked my mom to pick it up for me that summer and I read my first adult novel. I think that is when I wanted to become a writer. I wanted to tell stories like “The Hobbit.”
Are you published anywhere?
If you subscribe to The Grey Rooms Podcast you will see some of my most recent and better work.* Outside of that I post micro fiction every day on my Twitter feed under #vss365.
* The Grey Rooms Podcast will debut November 30th 2018
Outside of that I had a lot of rejections and focused most of my writing on the Internet. I ran message board roleplaying games from high school and into college. I developed a plethora of worlds that we all played around in together.
There was also a site called poisonthemind.com that I was an admin for. It was great because we had all of these artists and writers together at a time when this just wasn’t done.
The downside with the early days of the internet is that no one backed anything up and things were lost. Entire sites like EZBoard or ones hosted by the administration themselves. I went through so many domains back then.
We were young. So now at 34, I am getting back into writing and working my butt off to entertain, frighten, and make people cry.
Which of your written pieces is your favorite?
“Fairytale” is one of my favorite pieces that will be on the podcast. I received a D in college over the story, but ever since the horror community seems to be enjoying it. You will be able to listen for yourself January 25th, 2019
In what genre do you write?
I always thought that I was a sci-fi and fantasy writer. I don’t think that is or has ever been the case. Detective fiction and horror have always been a secret passion. Steampunk has always been a favored genre. But horror…there are elements of it in everything! I think it’s fascinating when you put the spot light on it. So lately that is what I have been focusing on.
There are four stories that I have in The Grey Rooms Podcast. One is about a soldier fighting for his life against a terrifying foe in the trenches of the Western Front. Another is an incredibly twisted spin on Little Red Riding Hood. The third is a story about a young girl in a coma who is trying to will herself to wake up. And the last one will finish the first season and be about a man who attempts to find repentance while seated on the electric chair.
There’s a lot of variety, I think, and it has been a lot of fun to work on those stories and hopefully give people something to talk about.
What is the most challenging part about being a writer in the genre you’ve chosen?
Self-control. Consistent writing is something that I have struggled with and probably still do. That is why I started doing the micro fiction stories on Twitter. I use a picture and try to tell a story about it (or vice-versa) in the few characters that Twitter allows.
That has ensured that I write something every day and it isn’t unusual for me to write four of those little stories. The #vss365 community adds more challenge by giving a daily word prompt to use. So I have been taking advantage of that.
Twitter is a huge distraction, but the indie writers have been a great inspiration to me. You don’t always get to realize that popular writers have the same writing problems as everyone else. When you see your fellow writers struggling and trying to help each other it’s really awesome.
So my goal is to write every day whether it is very little or a lot.
What writer(s) do you look up to?
Stephen King – I think his character development is the best. I want to have the same kind of love for my characters that he does in that narrative voice of his. Even if they end up dying most of the time.
Dashiell Hammett – One of my favorite detective writers. If you haven’t seen the movie “The Maltese Falcon” you should. And if you have you should read his book. And his other novels. His dialogue. Oh it’s smooth. So smooth.
Douglas Adams – I love his humor. I love his timing. I just love everything about Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Do you have any funny stories about your writing adventures?
The people that have read “Fairytale” have said that it is great, twisted, and one person called it obscene. But that isn’t my funny story. The fact is…I wrote the story in college during what was probably one of the darkest points in my life. I submitted it to my fiction class that year. The professor gave me a D because I killed off a character that she felt was the protagonist. We weren’t allowed to kill off characters in that class. We weren’t allowed to write fantasy or science fiction. We couldn’t include dream sequences or magic.
Our professor wouldn’t have any of that.
So she tells me I am lucky she didn’t fail my paper which was about a quarter of my grade. The only person who received an A was the journalist that just gave her what she wanted and moved on. So that’s funny to me because now it’s going to be in a podcast. And well…I guess I kept the story all these years for a reason. So, when I hear that story with professional voice acting and music and sound effects being heard by anyone in the world, I am going to be laughing at that professor that made our lives so very miserable at university.
Is there anyone you’d like to promote?
Oh…everyone on my twitter?
Manen Lyset has a little known book of short stories that he rarely talks about. I really like his work.
Kelly Evans is a female horror writer much like yourself and she bases her horror off human history.
William Aicher is a guy who thinks way too much, but I think that is why he stories are so interesting.
The Grey Rooms Podcast was created by Jason Wilson and the man is a genius in the sound editing department. Our newest trailer is out here:
There are really a lot of people I could promote in the indie scene and should. These are just the ones I am most recently reading.
Where can we find you on social media?
@darthchair on Twitter
Brian is such an awesome guy and definitely worth following. If not for his short fiction stories, for the Follower Games and strange insights into the world. A huge thank you to him for answering my questions!
Yesterday’s Featured Artist: Raggedy Anzy
Tomorrow’s Featured Artist: Kate Braun