Interview of Author A. Lopez Jr
1. What led you to want to write your first book?
I have always been a big fan of horror and telling stories. I like the aspect of writing a short story that gets to the point pretty quick and has its own little twist at the end. With horror, or the macabre, you can let your imagination go and be as creative as you want.
2. How many books have you written to date?
I have written three books to date. Purgatory, Night Dreams and Floor Four
3. Please tell us about them.
All are in the horror genre. Purgatory-13 Tales of the Macabre has 13 short stories that range from true Horror to the Macabre, Supernatural to the Twilight Zone. Some are scary and some are very psychological. The total word count ran at just under 80,000 words.
Night Dreams -Episode 1 - The Beginning is the first short story (24,000 words), in the series. Each episode will be connected similar to the way a TV series leaves you hanging from week to week. To get a better idea or overview of the series, please see the synopsis.
Floor Four is a novella about an old abandoned hospital that is said to be haunted by a serial killer. The main focus of the story is of Old Man Jake, and the secret he holds, and his struggle to keep the kids out of the very evil place. The first part of Floor Four is in Purgatory, but this edition is the complete and updated version.
4. Do you have any future plans in writing?
My first plan is to just keep writing. Outside of that I will continue to pursue the idea of self-publishing with future works and hope to work with other authors in an effort to help each other pursue our dreams and writing goals.
5. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
The best advice I can give, and has been given to me many times, is to WRITE. Finish the story that is in your head. The rest, editing, publishing and selling can't happen until you write your story first. It's old advice, but it is the truest advice. Also, read, read, read ... especially Stephen King's On Writing.
6. As an Indie Author, would you have done anything differently?
The Indie World is exploding right now with many opportunities, and I feel we are all in it at the right time, but, if I could do one thing differently, I would have started writing seriously sooner than I did.
7. Are any of your characters based on people you knew/know, or are they strictly fictional?
Most are strictly fictional, but some are a combination of people I see and maybe just a little part of some I know. I take a little here and there and combine some into one.
8. Why did you choose the Horror genre as your first writing experience?
I have always enjoyed scary stories and always go see the latest horror movie that hits the screen. Writing horror just seems natural to me, but I do have ideas for stories in a few different genres.
9. What's your favorite time of day to write?
I like writing at any time of day but if I had to pinpoint my most productive time, it would be first thing in the morning. After a good night's sleep, my brain seems to fire off all the creative thoughts and ideas that a writer needs. I get 'in the zone' best in the early morning.
10. What do you love, and what do you hate the most about being a Writer?
I love the idea of creativity. With that comes the writing and the rest follows. Coming up with a small idea can sometimes blow up in my head and before I know it, I'll have a lengthy story done. As far as hating...I'm not sure there is something I hate about any of the process. The best I can come up with is when my favorite table (writing spot) at my local B&N is taken. ;-)
11. Was anyone an inspiration to you?
I'm inspired by my parents in many different ways, not just for writing, but in life in general. When I started writing, my desire was to make them proud.
12. Have received any support from family or friends?
Yes. Family and friends have always supported my aspirations, even if some don't read horror. All of their support is genuine.
13. Where would you like to be in your career 5 years from now?
When I started writing seriously three years ago, I had a five-year-plan. That was to have a quality back-list, and from year one to five, be a much better writer. The career will take care of itself if I complete my self-imposed goals.
14. Tell us something we don't know about you.
For the ones who know me, they know that I have a love for sports, specifically baseball. I also play chess everyday and at times will play in over-the-board tournaments.
15. Are any of your characters real to you in any sort of way? Do you have a favorite character?
I feel that all of my characters are real to me in one way or another. When you write and build a character over the course of a story, in the writer's mind, that character becomes real. If I had to pick a favorite character, I would say "Old Man" Jake from the novella Floor Four. I think he is the most believable of all my characters.
Purgatory-13 Tales of the Macabre:
In the spirit of King, Laymon, Little, and Keene comes a collection of 13 Tales of Horror and the Macabre. One story begins in the name of research when a world-famous horror author spends the night alone in one of the most haunted houses around, "Ritter House", only to discover that reality is much more horrific than fiction. In "Road Trip", a man must travel across state lines to identify his brother's dead body and drive him home in the back of his station wagon to a mortuary run by a dead man. A man has 2 hours to try and prevent a catastrophe in the building that his wife works in. Only, he can't recall how or why, his only clue is the recurring nightmare he had 2 hours earlier, the clock ticks in "Tic Toc." Christmas will never be the same again for a little boy in "Santa Claws", and an old wooden box in a warehouse carries a story all its own in "The Crate”. A trip into “Purgatory” will open the door to these stories and more.
Serialized fiction that follows a Dream Psychologist, Dr, Joseph Rickettes, who has no choice but to live out the nightmares of his patients in hopes of curing them of their demons. He is bound by the demons in their dreams, while he struggles to make sense of the nightmares that plague his own life.
The Beginning focuses on how it all started for Joseph and how he came to possess his power, or curse, to delve into, and live out, the nightmares of others.