Can you tell our readers a little about ‘The Dying Elf’ and how you got the idea for the story?
The idea for this story came to me in the form of an image. I don’t remember what I was doing, I might’ve been in the shower, might’ve been smoking a cigarette, but I got this image in my head of a young elf slowly bleeding out, and a dark swordsman looming above him, crying. So I started asking questions. Why is the elf dying? Why is the swordsman in tears? Where are they? And the story evolved from there.
Who are your favourite fantasy fiction authors, and why?
Well, I was raised on J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve probably read The Hobbit twenty times, and when I was young my mom would read to me from magazines like Fantasy and Science Fiction as I went to bed. I love the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and I’m currently reading A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.
Are there any authors that you admire from other genres?
Yes. I believe Cormac McCarthy is our greatest living writer. And in terms of poetry I’m a fan of W.S. Merwin. I also love Hunter S. Thompson, as well as Charles Bukowski. I’m a huge fan of Raymond Chandler and Frank Bill, as well.
I started writing at a very young age. My parents bought me a typewriter at a garage sale when I was in grade school, and I haven’t stopped writing since, though I really didn’t begin to take it seriously until I was in college. As far as fantasy is concerned, I didn’t exactly choose to write it. I got an image in my head that wouldn’t go away, and when the story was finished it happened to be a fantasy.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I do a good amount of reading. I love to read. I’m also teaching myself to play guitar. I love music. Listening to it. Talking about it, playing it. Classic rock, mostly. Nothing out there quite like a David Gilmour solo, or a B.B. King progression. Other than that, I’m a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, so I spend a lot of time with my friends… Going to the gym, or Riley’s bar, or on debauched misadventures up and down California. My friends are bundles of fun, and they function as a constant and unwavering support and inspiration for my writing.
Are you working on any other short stories or novels at the moment and if so can you tell us a bit more about them?
Yes, I’ve a couple projects I’m working on. I’m revising a short story about the end of the world, and I’m writing a novel about illegal, bare-knuckle fighting tournaments.
What are your ambitions as a writer?
I hope to one day be a best-selling novelist and the winner of a Pulitzer Prize. I really just want to be able to support myself on my writing alone.
- Issue 1 of Fantasy Short Stories Now Published! (fantasyshortstories.org)
- Free extracts of Fantasy Short Stories Issue 1 now available (fantasyshortstories.org)