I talk to horror novelist Ben Eads. You can find Ben and his work here: www.beneadsfiction.com
JR Q: When were you first drawn to horror fiction, and why?
BE: When I was eight years old. I remember my third grade teacher passing out little catalogs we could order books from. The cover of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark struck me. It was scary! I loved listening to my grandfather tell ghost stories, so I couldn’t wait to read more stories. For some reason I loved being scared.
JR Q: Did you have any teachers who encouraged your interest in literature?
BE: Aside from my third grade teacher, not really. However, when I was twelve, pushing my lawn mower around my neighborhood for Nintendo game money, I met a friend of author Richard Adams. He knew a lot of writers and was a writer of note himself. Everyone at school was reading the usual: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz and John Saul. He introduced me to the work of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Philip. K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, etc… Every week he would have a new stack of books for me. I have him to thank for broadening my horizons.
JR Q: What was your first published piece of fiction? And do you think it holds up today?
BE: My first pro sale was to Shroud Magazine in 2009. They were kind enough to purchase my short horror story Full Circle. Like most writers, I don’t look upon my early work fondly. In no way does it hold up today. It’s a pretty terrible short story!
JR Q: What’s your most recent project?
BE: I just finished final edits on two short stories. One will be published in an anthology edited by Bram Stoker Award © winner Michael Knost. I’m really proud of that one. It’s more literary than horror. The other short story I’m equally proud of will be appearing in Crystal Lake Publishing’s anthology Tales From the Lake Volume: 2. The latter is straight up horror, and I get to share the pages with some of my favorite authors: Jack Ketchum, Rena Mason, Ramsey Campbell and Lisa Morton. Both anthologies will be published this year.
JR Q: Do you have anything in progress now?
BE: I’m currently working on a new horror novella. It’s chocked full of darkly sweet goodies! I’ve got a really good feeling about this one—two others blew up in my face before this one—and can’t wait to draft it, polish it, and submit it!
JR Q: Plug your work.
BE: My horror novella Cracked Sky is available from Omnium Gatherum Media, and has garnered praise and blurbs from the likes of Kealan Patrick Burke, Gene O’Neill, Mercedes M. Yardley, THIS IS HORROR, etc… It’s a heart-rending tale of loss, innocence, and the prices we pay for love. Cracked Sky has opened a lot of doors for me, and I’m over the moon to see it doing so well. Like much of my work: real-life horror meets the supernatural, coalesced by a sturdy foundation of emotions, and a faint light at the end of the tunnel.