As usual, I’m stoked to present this week’s guest. A writer of horror and suspense/thriller short stories and flash fiction, Glendon Perkins is one of the most genuine and helpful writers I’ve come across. Intelligent and opinionated, I always enjoy reading his G+ and blog posts as well as reading his stories, which thrill and creep me out. But he’s not a man of many words, so I’ll follow his lead and keep my intro short and sweet.
So stick around, faithful Reader, and meet Glendon Perkins, the nicest horror writing guy around.
1. Hey there, Glendon! Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Wyoming between the Black Hills National Forest and the Rocky Mountains. I joined the U. S. Navy when I was twenty and trained in the medical field as an X-ray tech, which I’ve now been doing for seventeen years.
2. You’re a well-rounded, smart guy of varied interests. How did all of that come together for you to want to write? Can you tell our Readers of your other interests, art-related or otherwise?
Thanks for the compliments, Dyane. I often use my own life experiences in my writings, including my medical background. I’m sure many writers do the same. I think medicine intrigues many people so naturally I like to give them some of those experiences.
I’ve been privileged with living in a state that has few people and lots of open space. Growing up in a state with so few people and miles of public land, I’ve become quite fond of the great outdoors and enjoy nearly anything the outdoors can provide. I understand many people don’t ever make it out of the concrete jungle so I hope I can bring them to my world of open grassland and forests. I also like looking at art but I couldn’t tell you if it’s good or bad, or why I do or don’t like it.
3. What forms of writing (short stories, poetry, novels, etc.) and genres do you prefer to write? Why?
I’ve tried my hand in short stories, poems, and still working on unfinished novels. I am also going after a novella. I typically gravitate to the horror/thriller/suspense genre of writing. I love reading those types of stories.
4. Do you have favourite tips/words of wisdom you like to share with other writers?
As I’ve become more familiar with writing I’ve developed a few rules I like to live by. I believe these rules also provide solid tips for all writers. One tip I think writers should absolutely live by is Do Not Use adverbs in dialogue tags, especially adverbs that end in -ly. To me that’s lazy writing. Something else I think will benefit writers is to keep all chapters relatively short with a maximum length of ten pages, and make sure to include scene breaks when you include character switching.
5. As a reader, what do you think makes a good story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ book taught you to never do in your own writing?
As a reader, I like reading stories that have lots of suspense and move so fast I can barely keep up. And give me action; chase scenes are wonderful action sequences. Check out “Darkfall” by Dean Koontz for a frightening chase sequence.
Again stay away from adverbs in dialogue tags. And make sure to use a scene break when switching character POV within the same chapter.
6. As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I like creating a solid build-up to the peak of the story. I use a little foreshadowing on occasion, and I believe I do a good job at creating suspense. What I don’t do well is dialogue and complex characterization. I limit the dialogue in my stories and I think that hinders my characters, keeping them two-dimensional. I am working at keeping my writing active and not passive, which is harder than it looks.
7. Who are your favourite writers and why?
My favorite authors are Stephen King and Robert McCammon. Neither authors are literary juggernauts but they both right a damn good story and that’s good enough for me. It helps they both write suspense or horror novels.
8. What other projects are you working on?
I have many projects in various stages of completion from flash fiction to novels.
9. What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?
The hardest thing for me is writing good dialogue. How do I deal with it? I avoid dialogue at all costs. I also struggle with character development. I fear making cardboard cut-out characters who aren’t three-dimensional. Perhaps I could fix that if I learn how to write dialogue.
10. What do you find is the most satisfying part of being a writer?
Creating an emotional reaction with the readers. Did they connect with the story or get chills or sleep with the lights on?
11. How can readers get into contact with you?
See? Nothing scary or creepy here! Glendon Perkins is just a smart, down to earth, talented writer whom you should go and visit via the links above. Oh, and you should definitely read his published short stories Mirror, Fine Print and Click Clack in the Darker Times Collection. Like, right now! 🙂
Thanks for tuning in, dear Reader! Have an excellent day and I’ll see you back here next Monday, same place, same time. 🙂