Thursday, March 22, 2012
Interview With Thor Benson
I have Thor Benson with me on the blog today, and he is talking about his flash fiction piece that was included in Empirical's first fiction anthology, A Torn Page, as well as his thoughts on writing. Let's get started.
Tell us about your current release in the anthology.
This flash fiction piece is about the train I used to ride from Rio Piedras to Santurce in San Juan, PR. It was a strange place, with people of all backgrounds. At times it was a place of fear for some, and other times it was much like a celebration, too many damn phones playing music though.
Tell us about your next release.
I have a short story eBook up on Amazon right now, and I’m working on an array of other stories to be published soon (hopefully).
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Run With the Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader, it’s fantastically hateful.
What music inspires you to write?
I write to keep myself as sane as possible, without writing I would be a homeless alcoholic ranting about lost loves and missed opportunities.
Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Robbins, Chuck Palahniuk, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Neruda, Vonnegut, Oscar Wilde, Salinger, Steinbeck, William Burroughs, Richard Brautigan, Emerson, Thoreau….
Gah! Any of the books by my favorite authors, I like Into the Wild, too.
Favorite TV shows?
Arrested Development, The Daily Show, Futurama, etc…
V for Vendetta, Bringing Up Baby, The Big Lebowski, Kill Bill, Fear and Loathing, 25th Hour, Band of Outsiders, The Life Aquatic…
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
It’s hard to say, maybe when I was about 10? I know I got serious about it a couple years ago, and I don’t plan on stopping until the cycle ends.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process involves a lot of yelling, beer, sometimes whiskey, and a handful of cigarettes, literally a handful. Once I come up with an idea I’m satisfied with the yelling stops and I just start writing, writing anything. The easiest part for me is the first sentence, and then it gets choppy.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
I usually substitute people’s names for other people’s names. I don’t care so much for names, unless I create them out of thin air, nonexistent names, then they just have to sound interesting; names often have a certain musical quality to them.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Stop focusing on prep-school ideas of what a story looks like and write it, no one can teach you to write.