To help spread the word about the Grumpy Old Trickster Gods anthology, I’m interviewing the authors involved.
Today we have Carlton Herzog, author of Bastille Day.
Welcome, Carlton. What is your story in the Grumpy Old Trickster Gods about?
The rightful rulers of the earth return to set things right and teach humanity humility along the way.
What kind of research did you do for this story?
I watched the news with particular attention to a rather singular boob.
Do you enjoy books filled with mythology and folklore?
Yes. They are the simplest and purest expressions of the collective unconscious and thus offer the clearest understanding of the basic patterns of the human psyche.
Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
Godzilla 2019. Specifically, the scene where Doctor Emma Russell explains why she is using the Orca to resurrect the Titans: “The mass extinction we feared has already begun. And we are the cause. We are the infection. But like all living organisms, the Earth unleashed a fever to fight this infection. Its original and rightful rulers, the Titans. They are part of the Earth’s natural defense system. A way to protect the planet, to maintain its balance. But if governments are allowed to contain them, destroy them, or use them for war, the human infection will only continue to spread. And with our lifetime, our planet will perish, and so will we. Unless we restore balance.”
How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
Positive and negative reviews that lack a substantive foundation drawn from a close reading of the text mean nothing. Purely descriptive observations, dripping with adjectives and personal sentiment pro or con, suggest the reviewer is trying to flatter the author or has an axe to grind. I think it’s important for reviewers to remember that like every one else they are fallible. Simply because a book or story doesn’t resonate with a particular reviewer should not be used as a universal indictment of a work. It’s all a matter of taste. Indeed, the most reliable metric for a potential reader is to use Kindle Unlimited or the Amazon sample provided and judge for his or herself. In short, let your own internal algorithms make the decision rather than some faceless reviewer. Always remember that those who can write–do; those who can’t become critics.
Absolutely. Are there therapeutic benefits to modelling a character after someone you know?
Well, if it’s someone you despise, you can get satisfaction from killing the character without having to worry about a protracted murder trial.
I hear you! How long have you been writing or when did you start?
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
Things just pop into my head. For example, I heard the phrase “The wheel’s spinning but the hamster’s dead” in reference to a lack of mental acuity. I ran with it and published a science fiction story where there is a dead hamster on a spinning wheel. I heard the phrase “The sewer people stole my skateboard” and published a story about exactly that.
Interesting! Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
Melville’s Moby Dick, Frank Herbert’s Dune. James Blish, Black Easter, Lovecraft, Poe, Ligotti, Barack Obama, Harlan Ellison, Maya Angelou, Ralph Ellison.
How do you use social media as an author?
To express my innate creativity in ways other than writing fiction.
Well, that’s one way to do it. Would you and your main character get along?
We would get along the way Eve and Villanelle do. We would love and hate each other, and at various times, shoot, stab, and choke one another. I live for Killing Eve.
LOL. When was the last time you Googled yourself and what did you find?
Aside from being the most interesting person I will ever know, I found my writing in Japan, Australia, India, the UK, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, and, of all places, Walmart.
That’s awesome! What books do you enjoy reading?
About the Author
Carlton Herzog publishes supernatural horror, science fiction and crime stories. His work is noteworthy for its portrayals of characters who are outsiders to ordinary life, its depictions of otherworldly dimensions, and its dark visions of human life. Filled as it is with strange terrors and brutal absurdities, his writing bends reality until it cracks. He is a USAF veteran with B.A. magna cum laude and J.D. from Rutgers. He served as Articles Editor of the Rutgers Law Review. His work can be found on Amazon International, Audible.com., walmart.com. and Google Scholar.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this interview. Any questions for the author?
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