So, Brad, what inspired you to become a writer?
I honestly couldn’t tell you. My earliest memories are of reading and writing. I like to quote Byron on this one. When Shelley asked him, “What makes you write?” Byron replied: “My inability to prevent it.”
When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
The first story I remember was some kind of detective story involving friends in my second grade class working for a detective agency I owned. I remember it had something to do with a girl that was found dead hanging from a noose and a big shootout in a warehouse with 1930’s era gangsters. I think I was seven. I have no idea where that is today, but would love to find it.
How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
When I actually started taking writing seriously, I think I sold my fourth or fifth story. I had a little jaunt where I left prose writing and pursued stand-up comedy, improve, sketch, and acting. I saw a lot of things I’d written staged and then, eventually, I realized I hated being in the spotlight and hated rehearsing. But I loved writing material. This led me back to writing fiction around the time I moved to Los Angeles. Being in LA definitely helped, too, as you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone whose business card reads: “Actor / Screenwriter / Stand-up Comic / Musician.” Rather than fall in with an army of “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” I dove headfirst into literary pursuits and have never looked back.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
* The single worst piece of writing I’ve ever heard is that anyone can do it. This is not only insulting and infuriating to anyone has spent the time and effort to hone their craft, it also implies that no one needs to spend the time and effort necessary to become a good writer (let alone a great one). Writing is hard. Damn hard. Any yahoo with an idea can spill it onto the page, but that’s not writing.
* As for the best advice, I guess it would be the opposite of the “anybody can do it” myth. When I first read authors and heard others speak who talked about the craft, about eliminating excess, about character development and engaging dialogue and the musical qualities of language, I took my first real step on the path to be a writer. Talent alone only gets you so far. You have to constantly be learning, growing, advancing. Especially in this e-book self-publishing environment where there are literally tens of thousands of books released every year. How do you set yourself apart? By at least trying to be better than 90% of your competition. I may have failed at actually doing so every time out of the gate, I don’t know. That’s the reader’s decision to make. But what I do know is that I try and, by virtue of trying, I’ve gotten much farther along than if I just sat back and rested on pure talent.
The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
* DARLING is currently a stand-alone. I’ve tinkered with the idea of revisiting Raynham Place, maybe as a collection of short stories, but for now she’s all by her lonesome.
* As for the idea… I’m originally from East Tennessee. The area is overflowing with dark folklore and it has a real history to match. I wanted to explore some of these tales. At the same time, I’ve always wanted to write a haunted house story. So I threw all of these things into a blender together, added a dash of something original, and hit the “High Speed” button. In the end, DARLING isn’t a haunted house story at all. But it feels like one for a good portion, hopefully taking the reader along a familiar and comfortable (and dark and frightening) path before twisting the road in another direction entirely.
*** Now for some fun info… ***
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Peanut Butter. It’s the foundation of my marriage.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
I wish I was a morning person. I love early morning, the way the entire world seems to stretch and yawn and slowly start its day. I get so much more done when I get up early. Unfortunately, I’m a night owl. My body wants to sleep late and stay up until 3am. This is why I drink…
If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
A Kindle loaded with thousands of books, an iPod with thousands of songs, a refrigerator, crates of matches, and a speed boat to get the hell off the island. Hey, you didn’t say I couldn’t…
*** About Brad’s book… ***
— Nate Kenyon, Award-winning author of SPARROW ROCK and DIABLO: THE ORDER
Hodson delivers with passion and intensity.
— Scott Nicholson, LIQUID FEAR and THE RED CHURCH
Have you had the pleasure of meeting Brad C. Hodson’s work yet? His short stories in HORROR FOR GOOD and John Skipp’s WEREWOLVES anthology were amazing, and now here comes his first novel, DARLING. We should all hate him. Buy the books and read them first…then hate him.
— Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award winning author of CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES and THE HALLOWEEN ENCYCLOPEDIA
You know that feeling you get as the Bigwheel clicks slowly down the hall? Something awful is waiting just around the corner and your skin crawls with dread because you’re too scared to look away. Well, Brad Hodson knows how to scare you like that. Weird and unsettling, but hauntingly perceptive, Hodson’s DARLING is a rare accomplishment, a finely-honed study in mounting tension that keeps readers turning pages despite their fear. This is how you do it, folks. Hodson knows how to deliver the scares, and he’s got a nightmare just for you.
— Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of FLESH EATERS and DEAD CITY
DARLING was a great read. It had all the elements I enjoy in a horror novel and Hodson has succeeded where many fail in that he’s managed to actually make it creepy. Like comedy, creepy (real creepy) is harder than it looks, but DARLING raised the small hairs on my arms a few times. Brad has a knack to unnerve and I’m officially a Hodson fan. I eagerly await his next book. Excellent debut.
— Michael Louis Calvillo, acclaimed author of I WILL RISE, AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, and LAMBS
Bong, bong, bong. Quasimodo, does that ring a bell? Of course! How about Brad Hodson, does that ring a bell? Uh-huh, well check out my enthusiastic reaction to DARLING. The straight forward, reader accessible prose, with no downfield literary juking reminds me a lot of Richard Laymon. Simple, right? Uh-uh, don’t be fooled. Accomplished always looks easy. Hodson gets his simple effects by using precise language, including always picking the exact verb not the first serviceable, which eliminates the need for lots of adjectives and adverbs. His fast-paced plotting with no fluff makes for an engaging and compelling story arc, with great closure, perfect last line. Snag a copy of DARLING on my recommendation, read it, and then: Bong, bong, bong Brad Hodson, does that ring a bell? You bet your sweet ass!
— Gene O’Neill, Bram Stoker Award winning writer and author of IN DARK CORNERS, THE BLUE HERON, and THE BURDEN OF INDIGO
***Buy Brad's book here***
Bad Moon Books
***Find Brad here***
Amazon Author Page
Thank you for joining us here today, Brad! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.