Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Rick Hudson
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Rick Hudson
Title of the book you are promoting: Shrapnel
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Genre: It lurks in the liminal territory between Literature and horror fiction. Kind of in the same playground as Chuck Palahniuk; Martin Amis; Franz Kafka and Jorg Lois Borges
Welcome RH…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
Good! I am my favorite topic of conversation 🙂
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
RH: I assure you that I am not making this up, but the only thing I ever had any passion or desire to be was a writer. It never occurred to me to even consider anything else. I cannot imagine being anything else. I couldn’t handle being anything else. I could not never write and I could never not be a writer.
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
RH: I love literature with a desperate passion and always have done. My favorite poet and one of the writers who has influenced me most is Ted Hughes. My list also features Martin Amis; Chuck Palahniuk; Henry Fielding; William Faulkner; Jane Austin; Milan Kundera and Franz Kafka. But I also like and am influenced by popular writers such as Thomas Ligotti and HP Lovecraft. When I was a kid in the 1970s I devoured Marvel comics, and think they also had a significant impact upon my imagination and how I write. Particularly a comic book writer called Steve Gerber who, whilst working in mainstream comic books, wrote some very quirky stuff.
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
RH: I’ve not self published so far, but there might come a time when I do. My short stories have appeared in mainstream and indie magazines and anthologies as well as having been broadcast by BBC Radio. My novel is with the Birmingham (UK) publisher Horror Express Publications who also publish my short fiction on a regular basis.
Nevertheless…. as I am quite experimental I can see that self-publishing has its attractions- and may go down that line in the future.
LH: As an Indie Author, I was hesitant about being with a publishing company. If you are an Indie author, would you like to be published by a traditional publisher and if so, why or why not?
RH: I like to see my work appear in a variety of formats and with a variety of publishers. I would of course like to see my work with a major publisher and have no qualms about being open about the fact that I would welcome the money and the increased exposure they would provide. Nevertheless, I am very passionate about all my writing and some is just so off the wall its natural place is with a small publisher.
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
RH: My obsession with Cameron Diaz is legend, so it would be her. I find her a very attractive woman as she is one of the few Hollywood actresses who have a personality. She is also a bit of a ‘kooky chick’ and Ricks like kooky chicks. The only subject we would not discuss would be the absurd fantasy that she would not fall hopelessly in love with me.
Seriously, the most interesting and funniest people I know are my friends. I would like to have them all to dinner and – despite my rather flippant comment at the start of this interview – the only subject off limits would be me and my writing.
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest contributors. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Ever feel conflicted and if so, why?
RH: I think in reality there is too much violence and that it is of course a terrible thing. If there is too much sex in society, then can you show me where it is please? The link between sex and violence in the media / culture and whether it affects reality is a complex one- I’m not sold on the idea that there is a direct correlation. The UK has very strict censorship but it is quite a violent place. Also, a lot of the studies on this that have claimed that there is a causal link between violence in film / tv and violence in society have, by and large, been discredited. My fiction is often grotesquely violent, but there is an aesthetic agenda behind this: conflict is the motor behind all drama and violent conflicts can metaphorically represent more abstract conflicts within a narrative mechanism. I never feel concerned or conflicted by this: most great literature is actually deeply unpleasant and horrifically violent, and I never heard of anyone putting anyone’s eye out after watching King Lear or burning down Turkish cities after reading the Iliad.
LH: I’m a huge softy and by no means a beauty queen… lol but, I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye if I could make it happen…If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
RH: I’m much more selfish than you; I would like my perpetual quest to find a woman who is more interested in books than hair-straightners to come to an end.
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
RH: I don’t think it’s got any more important than it has been in the past. What is interesting about book cover design is that it makes the book its own marketing materials: product and advertising mechanism are combined in one object. This has been the case since the 1930s when the paperback emerged. Book jacket design really came into its own with the arrival of the paperback – and it is interesting to note that it emerged at the same time ALL goods – baked beans, flour, tins of custard, everything – began to be mass marketed in colorful packaging. I think this is interesting and has a lot to do with technological and economic changes which interest me. I’m a ‘literary’ writer and people expect me to bemoan how evil the publishing industry is, and weep tears over the business side of publishing. OK, yeah, there are negative aspects to the business side of literature, BUT if the publishing industry had not emerged as a commercial enterprise aimed at mass selling then the only books that would be available would be those financed and supported by the church, wealthy patrons or the state.
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
RH: Yes, always. It’s my deep, deep passion. It’s not that I can’t remember when I started, but I can’t remember not writing. Even as a tiny kid I’d be writing stories or making little comic books. When I got my first cassette recorder the first thing I did was write and tape a story.
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
RH: I like the flash and the flair of words- I like constructing snappy and emotive turns of phrase and clever smarty-pants ways of saying things.
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
RH: I often don’t know where I’m going. I will start with one element – it could be anything: a phrase, a character a scene, and the story will expand like some great chaotic amoeba from there.
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
RH: Yes, I’ve always got several projects on the go. My principal ones at the moment are not fiction, but academic studies: one being a critical assessment of Ted Hughes, the other concerns the impact of classical Greek and Roman literature and mythology on contemporary literature.
LH: I’m working on #6…5 have been published and the other is due out this year… How many books have you written? How many have been published?
RH: I have written five: Shrapnel which is currently published; Heart Failure and Bedlam Lullabies are due out next year; Fifty Fathom Dreams (poetry) will be out soon but I have one completed novel – relatively conventional by my standards – which I have yet to find a publisher for. I am of course working on my sixth.
LH: I write for fun I don’t even dream of riches…Do you write for fun or money?
RH: Fun, love, compulsion, desire and mischief. I don’t write for money, but I am very lucky that I can earn an income doing so.
LH: Some of my family members had a bit of a problem with me writing my first book “A Beautiful Liar” because the character Maggie West is basically me…to a point 😉 They had a problem with the genre and me “putting it all out there” so to speak so I took a pen name. They eventually came around as I have never cared who knows who I am what I’ve done or what they think of me. I’ve never wanted to be famous, just infamous! What has been your biggest problem when it comes to family or friends when writing?
RH: Frankly, and I’ve said this before, I couldn’t give a fuck what people I know in real life think of my writing and I don’t give a fuck what readers think of me as a person. Some people I know don’t really ‘get’ why I write the way I do, but they acknowledge my talent and I’m fine with that.
LH: I have never experienced writers block…I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
RH: I have so many ideas smashing around my head I think I’d need several lifetimes to get them all written. I have struggled to articulate ideas sometimes- then I’ve just put the pen down and thought ‘just leave it Rick, the more you worry the worse it will get. Just relax, watch TV, and go to the pub. It will come when you’re calmer and less worried about it’.
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
RH: Yeah, read some books. I try not to vomit in the face of people who say they want to write, but don’t read. That’s like saying I want to be a musician but don’t listen to any music. I get this all the time and it pisses me off. If anyone comes up to me and says something along the lines of ‘I want to write can you help me please’ my first question will always be ‘who do you read?’ This fazes some people. But if you don’t read then: a. you don’t know what’s out there already; b. you haven’t got the passion and enthusiasm to make it as a writer; c. it probably means that you think writing a book is just writing down a sequence of events as they come into your head and don’t know anything about the mechanics and craft of writing. I won’t even entertain a conversation with anyone who wants to write but doesn’t read. The so-called ‘novel’ that these people want to write will invariably be a talentless, egocentric, maudlin ramble about stuff that has happened to them just scribbled out without the slightest knowledge, will or desire to engage other people’s interest. Proper writers know that they have to win readers; readers don’t owe them a duty to read any old boring shit they scribble down. If you want to succeed as a writer you have to make people fall in love with you; and poetics, rhetoric and literary devices are the writer’s tools of seduction. You only learn how to use them by reading books.
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be
RH: I’m pretty happy with me as me.
LH: If I could go back in time and tell someone something, I’d go back and tell the founding fathers they were doing a few things wrong…If you could go back in time and tell someone something, who would you tell and what would you tell them?
RH: I have a whole list of people I’d like to tell to go fuck themselves.
LH: I would freak out if someone contacted me and said they wanted to make one of my books or my series of book into a movie as I am really very shy in person and I’d probably go into hiding. I don’t think I could handle it. How would you handle it? Who would be the first person you told?
RH: First, I would roar with merriment. The next thing I would do would be to contact the producers and director to congratulate them on having such a finely honed sense of aesthetic judgment. The first person I told would be whoever happened to be at hand; then I would become insufferable company – I’d flag down cars to tell the drivers, I’d climb to the top of the clock tower of Manchester Town Hall with a megaphone and announce it to the world. No one would be safe from me telling them about this. This behavior would go on until the film was released: then I’d go on about how the film didn’t do justice to my work and how shit it was etc etc and everyone would have to suffer this until I was contacted about doing a sequel, and then I’d change my mind and tell everyone that the first film was great.
Thank you for your funny and frank interview RH…Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? Beer.
Exercise or Bubble Bath? Exercise if I can have walking in the Lake or Peak District. I’ll take bubble bath if I can’t…. and only if I am assisted by Cameron Diaz.
Favorite Color? Blue (like my eyes) or gray (because it compliments my eyes)
Take out or Dine in? OUT. I can quite happily have breakfast, dinner and tea out on the same day. I live on my own and I get bored being in all the time. I usually only eat in if I have a guest.
Camping or Hotel? Hotel, and an expensive one at that. Fuck off with your camping!
Sports or Chocolate? Chocolate! Sport has always struck me as being a bit gay (not that there’s anything wrong with being gay, obviously). Why should I, a heterosexual male, gain any pleasure from watching other blokes do anything, let alone run about with a bunch of other blokes on a field? Dancing is much more fun, and has the bonus that you can do it with girls rather than other blokes (not that there’s anything wrong with…. etc…etc…)
Dogs or Cats? It depends; do they come with a salad? Actually, I have had both in the past and have liked both. I have neither at the moment, but that’s because my exciting glamorous life style means that I would not be able to give them the attention they needed.
Favorite Food? I love ALL food. I have a particular liking for Italian and Indian. Oh, and French. Most really. I am also a fan of English cooking – which is very underestimated internationally – there is some fantastic English food out there, but for some reason I think we must hide it from Americans when they come over here. I’m a BIG fan of: traditional English breakfast and roast dinners IF they are done properly.
Favorite Song? I don’t have a favorite song, but I am a big fan of REM and Pink Floyd.
Favorite Movie? It’s a Wonderful Life or Psycho, can’t make up my mind
Favorite Car? Big fan of American muscle cars: Ford Mustangs, Dodge Challengers – that sort of thing
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 Are you insane? SEX obviously: and the harder, the dirtier and the more frequent the better
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
LH: If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
RH: Well, first, I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t go whisking any girls off to Paris. In films if you whisk girls off to Paris they melt into your arms and say ‘Oh, Rick this is magical, I love you. Marry me’. In reality, however, what they do is moan about how much dog shit there is and how the Harvey Nix isn’t as good as the one in Leeds and get into a sulk because a waiter in a cafe looked at them in a funny way and complain about not being able to use the toilet. So, no more whisking! But, I would like to take a very special woman to a very small hotel in the Lake District. I’d take her for walks in the forest and by the lakes. I’d take her out for meals and go dancing with her in the moonlight… I’ll leave the rest to your dirty imagination!
Thanks for spending this time with us. Make sure to pick up your copy of Rich Hudson’s