Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Interview with Brandon Ford
And pay attention authors, he knows how to be political when asked tough questions.
DRAVEN: Thanks for accepting this interview, Brandon. I know people are excited to get to the questions, but those short stories you sent me were great. Blew me away at some points.
'The Neighbor' is filled with blood, guts and some twisted, dark humor. 'Last Call' is subtle, filled with perfect descriptions and spot-on dialog.
Before you pen a short story, do you know what style you will write in?
Brandon Ford: Firstly, thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!
As far as short stories go, I usually have the whole thing plotted out, from beginning to end, before I actually sit down to write. Generally, a simple premise (or sometimes a campy title) comes to mind first and I spend about a week or so building a story around it. Usually, this is all done in my head, but if I'm working on multiple projects at once, I'll jot down a quick outline. In preparation, I have basic knowledge of what style the story is to be written in. I almost never sit down to write blindly.
DRAVEN: That's something I'm sure all authors understand. When writing, I'm always working my way towards a predefined ending. Most times, we get there. But sometimes a story can take over, can't it?
Brandon Ford: Absolutely! Sometimes, it can be disconcerting, but I try to stay with it. The end result may not be worth printing, but it's another finished work to add to your ever-growing pile. I think that's the most important thing. After all, the more you write, the better you get at it.
DRAVEN: Most would envy that you started at such a young age. Discounting the stories of our youth, out of the novels you have published, which is your least favorite? Is there a specific scene you would change?
Brandon Ford: Probably CRYSTAL BAY.
It was my first and I was so young when I wrote it (I was 2 months shy of 23 when I started the first draft). Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of the book. I just don't see it as my best work.
DRAVEN: I completely understand. We are our own worst critics. Have you ever trunked a novel? If so, what was it about and will we ever see it resurrected?
Brandon Ford: No, but I did trunk several novellas, the most recent of which was written when I was 18. Actually tried pretty hard to get it published, too. Looking back on it, I'm glad it never saw the light of day. Don't think any of them ever will.
DRAVEN: Have you thought of writing them again, from scratch?
Brandon Ford: One of them I turned into a short story, which has found its way into my "Never See the Light of Day" folder.
DRAVEN: You used to write longhand. My wrists get numb and it is all sorts of trouble. Do you still do that?
Brandon Ford: I do and I do it often. Love it. I usually write on yellow legal pads. I love the smell of the ink on the pages. I'm looking forward to warmer weather. Sitting outside with a pad and pen is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.
DRAVEN: Writing so often, does it get in the middle of your personal life, dating life or friendships?
Brandon Ford: The most important thing is to make time for everything so you don't feel as though you're missing out, which is what I try to do.
DRAVEN: Most writers are eccentric. Are you? How so?
Brandon Ford: I suppose most would say so. I'm not a very conventional guy.
I've always done my own thing. Tried my best not to follow the flock.
DRAVEN: That is one of the things that seems to define you on your writing. All of your reviews are positive, your writing is crisp and your putting yourself out there with your writing. From what I have read, you put a lot of your sense of humor into your work. What kind of trouble did that get you into as a kid?
Brandon Ford: My sense of humor got me into trouble on occasion. I wasn't the class clown or anything like that, but I was definitely a button-pusher at home. Liked attention as much as any kid. Liked to push buttons. Liked to get a reaction out of people. That's something I've mostly grown out of, though.
DRAVEN: Getting to a couple 'professional' questions: What can we expect from you in your next book? Can you tell us about it?
Brandon Ford: I'm very excited about my next book, DECAYED ETCHINGS, since it's my first short story collection. I've wanted to put one of these together for many years now. It'll be released through Nicholas Grabowsky's Black Bed Sheet Books and will contain 18 previously unpublished works. Should be released by early summer.
DRAVEN: Having read a few of your short stories, I know we'll be looking forward to that one. Did you find it hard to find a publisher for it, or how did this set of stories come about? Are the stories interlinking?
Brandon Ford: Not compared to CRYSTAL BAY, which came to publication after literally hundreds of rejection letters. The stories were all written at various times, so there wasn't any specific plan to compile them for this particular collection. They contain no linking characters or plots.
DRAVEN: I'm a huge fan of the short story. It takes a lot of work to get it right. Novels are a whole other beast. I like to learn from authors. Have you ever thought of mentoring someone through the process that was so difficult for you?
Brandon Ford: No, I haven't, but it's something I'll keep in mind. :-)
DRAVEN: If you were to take on an apprentice in writing, what would the author have to do to get your attention? Promote your books shamelessly?
Brandon Ford: Buy me a Coke?
DRAVEN: Done. Now that you have had a soda, what is your biggest regret? Why?
Brandon Ford: I try not to have regrets. It's best not to dwell on the past too much.
DRAVEN: Well, I hope you don't dwell on the interview much.
You did a great job. Thanks for coming and, if you would like to take a few moments, we would love to hear about your websites, projects and books. Let us know anything we may have missed.
Brandon Ford: Well, I do have a blog, Sleepless Nights, which can be found at: http://writerbrandonford.blogspot.com/ I post all sorts of stuff, like info/updates about my books, reviews, and the occasional essay. I'm also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BrandonFord And on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/writerbrandonford Thanks very much for having me! It was a lot of fun.
There you have it. Brandon writes great short stories as well, which should be noted. He has a new collection of shorts coming out soon that I look forward to.
Here's a short bio:
Brandon Ford is the author of three novels of horror and suspense fiction: Crystal Bay, Splattered Beauty, and Pay Phone. He has also contributed to several anthologies, including The Death Panel, Sinister Landscapes, Raw: Brutality as Art and Creeping Shadows, a collection of three short novels. He currently resides in Philadelphia.