Today, Andrew C. Hudson is joining us to talk about his novel, his anthologies, and the world he is creating through his books and short stories.
1. Welcome to Dames of Dialogue, Andrew. I’m fascinated that you’re already doing revisions of your recently published book “Drift.” What led to that project, and what can you share about why you’re doing it now?
A major revision was not something I was expecting to do. I had done a few drafts and had my editor go through it before I published it. However, I did make the naïve mistake of publishing the novel right after I approved/disapproved the editor‘s changes. Looking back on it, I definitely should’ve marked up that manuscript and done another draft before publishing it.
Unfortunately, it was a lesson that had cost me a few stars from the reviewers. Most of them really liked my novel but felt it was a little too rough for them. So I’m going back and revising it with everything I’ve learned in the past few months. It’s a bit frustrating having to go back but it is also very exciting to be revising it. I have faith that the new edition is going to be light-years ahead of the first edition in terms of grammar and prose.
2. What would you like to tell us about your anthologies?
There are two anthologies I’m doing.
Strange Happenings is the first anthology coming out soon. All of the short stories in that one are done by me. It’s going to be quasi science-fiction. Science definitely has an impact on all of the short stories but it’s not the typical science-fiction that most people expect (outer space, ray guns, futuristic, etc.). Hopefully this one will be out by early July (or perhaps a little earlier).
The second anthology is going to be a horror anthology done by multiple authors. So far there are thirteen of us on the project. It’s very democratic in the sense that we split the responsibilities and royalties evenly. If anyone is interested in contributing, feel free to ask me about it.
Also, I have a short story (The Porcelain Man) in Saffina Desforges Presents… (The Kindle Coffee-Break Collection Vol. 2)
3. As an indie author, how would you describe your journey to publication? What have you learned from that process that you can share with us?
It’s been a very educational journey to say the least. Many of the aspects outside of writing (mainly marketing) are completely up to you. I’d imagine that would be very frustrating for some people but for myself, I find it all to be fun (for the most part). I try to treat the whole thing like a game and enjoy the process of learning.
As far as what I’ve learned from the process, there are so many lessons that have been learned post-Drift that I could write a series of articles on them. If I could only give three important lessons, it would be these…
a. Build a platform: Don’t just wait until your book comes out. Connect with writers/readers, grow your twitter account, and do everything else you can to promote yourself as a writer. A bigger following and presence will help take care of the legwork from the get-go and help you start your novel’s debut off with a bang.
b. Be careful when stating your influences: This may sound silly but if you casually and constantly state an influence, you might get pigeonholed. I often told critics that Stephen King was my greatest influence as a way to break the ice. Unfortunately, this has led both Drift and me being compared to Stephen King. Which is frustrating at times because even though Stephen King is a huge influence, I also have a lot more influences.
c. Do another final draft after the editor hands it to you: This will save you the headache of going back and revising it. However, if people complain about (insert typo) or you feel the novel could use a little nip and tuck post-publication, there’s nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board and improving it.
4. I see that you have a new novel coming out. What can you tell us about this story?
The novel is Poem for the Wolves and it’s different than Drift in several ways. It’s a science-fiction novel set in a very close future (2023), the writing style is more external than internal, and it’s much bigger in length (both story and page length). However, there are some key elements that remain the same. The biggest similarity is the fact that I try to make it very much human and heartfelt, especially towards the end.
PftW is kind of about an alien invasion but not the kind of alien invasion you‘d expect. It’s much closer to something like Saving Private Ryan or The Oregon Trail and almost polar opposite of something like Battle: Los Angeles or Skyline. The plot is about a young twenty-something named HC Diego, the “world’s worst poet” (at least in his own words) and a bulls eye with his M1 Carbine, who journeys with an 8-year-old named Aimée Dumont from Buffalo, NY to Dulce, NM. The journey starts off simple but along the way they run into danger, battles, friends, and newfound lessons. There’s going to be action, adventure, and plenty of poetry as well.
5. When did you decide you wanted to write?
Here’s the short version. I’ve always daydreamed about being some type of story teller. But I took the idea of writing seriously when I was twenty and began actually writing when I was about twenty-one. What set everything into motion was when I was a PA for The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I thought to myself, “Hey, I might enjoy being a writer.” And after trying different mediums, I eventually wound up loving prose writing.
6. In your writing day, do you have special routines, rituals, or processes you experience?
There’s no special thing I do. Usually I start writing about an hour after I wake up and don’t allow myself to write an hour before I sleep (basically, I don’t allow myself to write when I’m too tired). For me it’s pretty sporadic but I do give myself a goal to write for x amount of minutes on each project by the end of the day.
7. Tell us about your writing space. Do you have a special room where you create?
For my second and later drafts, I write on a computer. It’s a desktop which is on a desk cluttered with papers (not having to do with the project), CDs, and a bunch of other random stuff.
If it’s the first draft, I write it long hand. Rather than writing in a “space,” I walk around the house while writing. This is probably because I’m one of those people who hate sitting down for far too long. Not to mention that walking around makes for great, simple exercise.
8. That sounds like a great idea. I should try that! What are some of your favorite books and authors?
My favorite books are Christine (Stephen King), The Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison), Neuromancer (William Gibson), American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis), All the King’s Men (Robert Penn Warren), Bright Lights, Big City (Jay McInerney), Selected Short Stories of Philip K Dick (Philip K Dick), Class Reunion (Rona Jaffe), Dune (Frank Herbert), and I am Legend (Richard Matheson).
My favorite authors are Stephen King, Bret Easton Ellis, Philip K Dick, Neil Gaiman, Mickey Spillane, William Gibson, Elmore Leonard, Jay McInerney, Ira Levin, and Robert E. Howard
Movies, video games, and comic books have also influenced me a great deal.
9. Of all the books you’ve read over the years, are there any special quotes that have stayed with you?
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
Yes, I know that some people might consider this to be the most overused quote. But I think it’s one of the best quotes of all time. It can capture so many moments and eras. Not to mention that it’s still popular even though it’s over one hundred fifty years old, which proves how powerful it is.
10. I like that one, too. I notice that you also review books on several sites. What are your favorite genres to review?
I’m pretty much open to any genre. I don’t have any specific tastes and I don’t understand people who only read one or two types of books. With that being said, my favorite genres are John Hughes styled films, heroic bloodshed, and horror. What I ultimately look for in a book, though, are memorable characters and interesting relationships.
11. What can you share about where you live?
I live in the north-west side of the San Fernando Valley (California), close to Calabasas. The Valley is an odd mixture of people from the lower middle-class to the rich. It would be almost impossible to describe the social aspect of it, since it’s not one of those “Anytown, USA” communities. I guess the closest thing to describe The Valley would be Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero and many Judd Apatow films (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad, Knocked Up, etc.). The Valley also has a lot of people from the movie industry. I thought about writing a book that takes place in The Valley and deals with the movie industry (since my family is a part of it). And perhaps one day I will…
12. We love pets. Do you have any?
I have two dogs. One is a two-year-old mix of Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, and Shih-Tzu and the other is a fifteen-year-old mix of Cocker Spaniel and Wheaten Terrier.
Thanks for joining us today, Andrew, and we all wish you success in your creative endeavors.
Andrew’s Website: http://andrewcyrushudson.com/