15 Questions: An Interview With Author Brent Abell

On occation I will give interview to writer who I think everyone should be aware of.  For my first, I decided to pick local author and my partner in crime Brent Abell.

Q. Although I see you on a daily basis at our day job, tell the good people out there who you are and what you do.

A. My name is Brent Abell and I work in a pit of despair watching plastic all day.  I dream of breaking my shackles and working from home where I can do only what I feel motivated to do, not what I have to do for 8 mind-numbing hours.

Q. So I hear you’re a fiction writer…what do you write?

A. I’ve heard that about me also.  I weave tales of blood, sex, and weird shit into stories that one day I hope can make working at home in just my boxers possible.

Q. Why Horror?

A. I love the dark side of things and I’ve been like that from pretty early on.  I got in trouble in preschool for coloring Jesus’s robes black and then arguing it was artistic impression.  It ended with me yelling at my teacher that I quit preschool.  I also loved my 6th grade reading teachers face when I brought Stephen King’s “It” to read in class.  Where else but horror can you explore our world and the other, dark world that exists parallel to ours?  It also allows one to explain the evils in our society and in our own souls.  I like that in a genre.

Q. In a fight between John Travolta and Elmo, who would win?

A. Elmo.  The red fur is just Satan’s disguise and Satan beats alien religion figureheads hands down every time.

Q. Does living in Indiana affect your style or general storytelling, and if yes, how so?

A. I think that the religious nature of the region affects my work quite a bit.  I either try to freak the church goers out, or I use the biblical notion of good versus evil to explain our roles in the endless battle between heaven and hell.  This is playing a huge hand in a couple of projects I’m drawing up right now.  One is a novella that examines the abortion issue and the supernatural ramifications it can have.  The other is one of two novels I’m plotting.  It concerns sacrifice and what a father will do to save the last of his family when it means dooming his hometown.

Q. What kind of writing shedule do you keep?

A. Very fucking random.  Anytime I can squeeze an hour in is good for me.

Q. Marry, Fuck, Kill: Charlize Theron, Betty White, Sharon Osbourne.

A. Fuck Charlize Theron, marry Betty White (she shares my sense of humor and I can always fuck Charlize), and kill Sharon Osbourne, freeing Ozzy from that harpy’s talons.

Q. Who do you enjoy reading?

A. Shit, that’s a long list.  Brian Keene, Ed Lee, Doug Clegg, Graham Masterton, J.F. Gonzalez, Wrath James White, Stephen King, Ray Garton, Joe Hill, Tim Lebbon, Jack Ketchum, and that super sexy author Wesley Southard.

Q. Wesley Southard, eh?  Hmmmm…I’ll have to check him out.  What/Who keeps you writing?

A. It is really a great stress reliever, but it turns stressful again waiting to hear back about a story.  I also write to do something more with my life than a part-packer.

Q. A little birdie told me, from time to time, you like to partake in spirits…what’s your drink of choice?

A. Hell, any hoppy beer or Sam Adams.  I am also partial to whiskey, wine, and gallons of margaritas.

Q. Do you have any rituals you like to do before you sit down to tap the little black keys?

A. Surf the Internet for porn or I look at my bookshelf and picture my books on someone else’s shelf one day.

Q. If you found a $100 bill on the ground, would you try to find the owner or would you spend it on expensive hardback books?

A. I would look for a second or two and then get on the computer and shop.  When the books come in I will feel guilty and not read them out of shame.  How fucked up is that?

Q. Tell us about your recent fiction sales.

A. I have one story already in print in the “Undead of Winter” anthology from Rymfire eBooks, “Rivals” is being released this December from Wicked East Press in their “Short Sips: Coffee House Flash Fiction Vol. 2, and I have a story accepted in upcoming “South Will Rise Undead” anthology from Library of the Living Dead Press.  There a few things out there now I hope to find homes for soon.

Q. Tell us where we can find you, on the internet and out in the world.

A. On the website at www.plan9reloaded.com/btabell.  From there you can find links to my Facebook and Twitter pages.  It will be great place to get updates from the road at Horrorfind in September.  That Wesley guy and I should have a fucking blast.

Q. Thank you, Brent…wait, wait!  Don’t leave!  I have one more question: What’s the best Southwestern Indiana lemon-orange soda that goes perfectly with either Nacho Cheese Doritos and/or BBQ Grippos?

A. Why that would be Ski of course!  I goes good with everything, not just chips.

Agreed!  Thanks, Brent.  See you at work tomorrow.

Horrible Saturday (or How I Spent My Summer Vacation)

I wanted to give a big shout-out to everyone who helped make it another great vacation in Pennsylvania last weekend.  I realize now that I should have written this a few days ago, but seeing as how I still haven’t even had time to wash my dirty clothes yet, this is coming out late.

I want to start off by saying that Southwest Air is the greatest airline ever.  It was a very pleasant flight…unlike the my last flight out to PA (cough *Continental* cough) which consisted of massive layovers, massive asshole in-flight neighbors, and losing my luggage.  But, hey, it made for a great story (titled “With Many Thanks to Newark,” which I sold, thank you very much).

Second, to the York Emporium for throwing a great little shindig called Horrible Saturday, which consisted of signings and panels with Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, J.F. Gonzalez, Kelli Owen and Bob Ford.

Third, to my PA/MD/FL  friends Matt, Nikki, Susan, Dave, Michele, Scott, and Greg for hanging out and never ceasing to make me laugh.  Thanks guys (and gals).

And last, but certainly not least, my good friends Kelli and Bob.  Thanks for everything: for the advice, the sandwiches, the margaritas, the creepy house in the woods, that other fruity drink that burned so good, the pool, the tiki torches, the laughs, the tears, and the spirit recharge that I needed very badly.

Favorite Quotes of the Weekend (either from me or other people): “Does Wal-Mart sell dinosuar rape kits?”  “So how many stories do I have to sell before I get a fucking Sam’s cola?”  ” I am in PA.  You are drunk.  I’m not going to Dairy Queen for you, mom.  Go to bed.”  “Harry Potter is not on the east coast, he’s in England, and he’s not real.  Go to bed!”  “Boo, motherfucker!”  “Embrace your inner uterus.”

Overall, another great weekend in PA.  See you guys at Horrorfind!

This is me

My first blog entry…

To tell you the truth I’m not sure what to talk about.  Let’s be honest: There are a million and two blogs on the internet, and I’m quite sure at least half of those are dedicated to cats, how to sew clown faces onto quilt tops, and home techniques for self-circumcision.

But my blog, you ask?

Well, to be honest I’m not completely sure.  I could always pimp my latest writing endeavor (which I plan on doing when anything fictional hits paper with my name on it *wink*).  I could tell you about a shitty day at work (plenty of those to file under “rants”)  Hell, I could even spout off about gas prices or religion–God knows we all need another public smart ass to tell us how to live our lives according to the Good Book.

Maybe some other time, kiddos.  That just isn’t me.

Let’s introduce me to you.  Nice to meet you, I’m Wesley Southard.  Location: Southwestern Indiana.  Loves: writing, friends, pizza, Doritos, and Ski (I can imagine that most of you don’t know what Ski is, and I truly weep for you).  But for now, let’s talk about my favorite subject in the whole world…

No, not boobs, you pervert.


Anyone that knows me personally knows that I love books.  I love everything about them: the smell, the feel, the joy of getting a beautiful new hardback in the mail just screaming to be opened.  I’ve been known to talk someone’s ear off about a book that I love (for literally hours—I should be a damn college professor!).  But for this blog entry I want to know about you.

In your own collection, what’s your favorite book?  Could be because of the cover art, could be sentimental value.  Doesn’t matter.  Let me in on the book that makes you smile.  The one you pull off of your shelf time and time again to dive in for a few hours of bliss.  The one that you brag to your friends about owning, nana-nana-boo-boo.

Mine?  My first edition hardback of I Am Legend, written by one of my personal literary heroes, Richard Matheson.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve taken this age-worn beauty off of my shelf.  This timeless novel was the first adult book I had ever read.  My then 5th grader mind had no idea what the hell was going through it.  But several years, and numerous reads later, I can tell you that it still amazes me how often I think about the story, how far ahead of its time this short novel truly is.  Even though the dust jacket is ripped, the pages are yellowed, and the corners are riddled with thumb prints, memories continue to soar from this book.  That’s my favorite.

What’s yours?