Author Interview – Liam Hogan

More From This Author

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"Changing of the Guard"

Anthology: The Devil Who Loves Me
Release Date: June 23rd, 2023
Preorders: Paperback | Kindle
About the Author: Liam Hogan is an award-winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and in Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press). He's been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liar's League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

It's always great to find a home for a story. Sometimes, that is easy, and sometimes, because the story is perhaps a little quirky, that can be hard. But the quirky ones are (of course!) my favourites...

What inspired the idea for your story?

I've written a couple of stories about the problem of dating immortals (or just the very long lived). This is another slant, on that theme, and the idea of a vampire who seemed to court death, but whose actual weaknesses are far less (and perhaps far more) than they appear, drove this one forward. I might have initially started with the intent of letting him get away with it - but the story wouldn't let him!

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

Thrashing around with too many story ideas, but never seeing them through to actually completed, satisfying stories, is definitely a fault of mine. The "working" folder grows and grows. But then, maybe that is just the way my writing works. I have to try, and sometimes give up, and the ideas may resurface in some other story at a later date.

Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?

Every story has a natural length, try not to force it into a different shape from what it is!

We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?

It can be difficult to write a story from the point of view of someone who clearly isn't a good, or kind person. Who has at least one major character flaw, and who is willing to make pretty traumatic decisions for other people. But it is worth working at, because even a modest success can make for a far more interesting, multilayered story.

What do you love most about your story’s genre?

There is a sense, a mood, to gothic writing, even in a more modern setting, that really helps to set the tone for a story. Plus, it reflects my anti-hero, "Happy Ending Not Guaranteed" writing philosophy. Things often end badly, in the gothic and supernatural. (Things sometimes start pretty badly, as well!)

Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

I have a soft spot for Kurt Vonnegut. The ideas, the voice, the impact of Sirens of Titan at just the right age. By his own account, he writes in a much more considered way than I do, but I aspire towards the crystal clear simplicity of his work, while knowing that behind that clarity is some very deep thinking.

What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

I've played with a good number of genres, what I'd like to try is writing to a longer length. Probably not novel length - small steps! - but the 10k range is currently pretty much my limit, certainly of published pieces.

If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

For the readers of Grendel Press, I think "The King's Computer" might appeal. In it, a highly trained but rigidly controlled thinker begins to realise there is more to life, even as he may be asked to sacrifice his for the sake of it.
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