Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Same Six Questions - Axel Howerton

Welcome to today's edition of The Same Six Questions! Give a warm welcome to author Axel Howerton!

Author. Film reviewer. Music writer. Time Lord. Bookhouse Boy. Coffee Addict. Dudeist. Sox National. Enmascarado. Reformed pugilist. Ink Monkey. Best known for his work as an entertainment journalist, Axel is thelong-time Managing Editor of Axel also recently acted as Associate Editor for the first four issues of the horror fiction quarterly Dark Moon Digest. His work has most recently appeared in Kitschykoo Magazine, Dark Eclipse #4, EWR: Short Stories, Fires on the Plain, Dark Moon Digest #3, and many more. He is also the co-founder (with fellow author Julie Jansen) of the annual "Coffin Hop" horror author online event, which takes place in October and has featured over one hundred of the best Indie writers and artists of at least four continents.

Axel spends most of his time in Calgary, Alberta, traversing the frigid tundra of Canada - usually two steps behind his brilliant young sons, and a wife that is way out of his league.

The Same Six Questions

1.Have you published a book yet?

I have been published in books. I have actually just put the finishing touches on my novel Hot Sinatra which should be available in the next couple of months. I've had incredibly positive feedback from some fellow authors like Red Tash (author of the amazing This Brilliant Darkness) and Scott S. Phillips (Squirrel Eyes, Gimme Skelter). Here's the quick synopsis:

Moss Cole is a private detective. The kind you thought only existed in old movies and afternoon reruns. He's looking for a stolen Sinatra record... one that may be a figment of one cantankerous old bastard's imagination.

Of course, if that were true, Moss wouldn't have so many people busting down his door and threatening his life. He's smart, talented, sometimes even charming. You'd think he could find a better gig than carrying on his grandfather's legacy as a 'Private Dick'.

A vivacious redhead, a foul-mouthed Irish rock star and half the crazies in L.A. add up to business as usual, when all Cole wants is some fresh coffee and a Hot Sinatra...

The first three chapters are available as "added-value material" on the kindle version of my novella Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy. Axel's Amazon writing.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Can I use the ol' standby of “always”? Like a lot of writers, I was a very voracious reader at a very young age. I started writing stories in some form or another as soon as I had figured out the alphabet. By elementary school, I was putting out my own comic books and books of jokey poetry with my friends. I first had articles published when I was twelve. I focused more on poetry for a long time, just because it was better for wooing. I also gravitated towards screenwriting for a while, making terrifically bad movies in High School.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

Probably a story for grade ten English class. I think it was supposed to be a page or two, mine ballooned to twelve or thirteen pages of prime Steven Seagal-inspired hitman/ninja madness. I remember the teacher was supportive, but duly shocked by the content. There were numerous episodes of dismemberment and beheading, a couple of “creamy white breasts”, and a whole lotta F-bombs. I'm still pretty fond of the F-bombs. I'm sure I probably have it buried in a box somewhere, along with a couple of slasher movie scripts from the era and a few books full of bad poetry inspired by Red Hot Chili Peppers lyrics.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

Also, like most writers, I am a hopeless feedback whore. I doubt I'll ever be entirely confident or believe I'm accepted as a real writer, but that's just one face of the beast that drives us. Positive comments from writers I really admire and respect goes a long way, so I try to be very open and thankful when I get it. I also try to pass it on when newer writers ask for advice or validation. I know a lot of people who treat this industry as a cut-throat competitive battleground, but I think that is really counter-productive. How much better would it be if we all helped each other get better? How much greater would a world filled with amazing tales and rich, colorful, ORIGINAL stories be? Am I avoiding the question?

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

Good lord. That's a hullabalooza. I think most characters come from facets of the writers own psyche. So, in a sense, I've met them all because they all are me. That's kind of a dippity pseudo-psychology answer, though. If I was going to hang out with one? Foxy Thunders from Hot Sinatra is a good pick. He's a wild, foul-mouthed, womanizing party-hound. Good-time incarnate. If I didn't have to worry about getting beaten or arrested, I think I'd have a hell of a time with him. Conversely, I'd love to just sit in a room and have a coffee with the old cowboy from Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy. He's basically all the best memories of my dear departed Grandaddy, who flavors pretty much everything I do. I miss him something terrible most days.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

An army of ghosts, the spirits of legends passed, James Joyce at the fore. A bottle of whiskey in one hand, one of my books in the other. “Well? Come on then.”


Thanks for sharing with us today, Axel! Be sure to stop back and let us know when Hot Sinatra is finished! You can find Axel at his Web site and follow him on Twitter.

The Same Six Questions is on Spring Break for a week! We'll see you back here on April 16th.