This week: John Urbancik
It is with great pleasure that Smiling Goth Productions features this interview with John Urbancik, author of Sins of Blood and Stone available from Catalyst Press. Be sure to check out John's site, Dark Fluidity, as well!
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW YOU, TELL A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I think the true beginning was, when I was 7, seeing Star Wars; it triggered some creation response in me, and by fourth grade I had created a whole universe surrounding Peanut Butter Planet, Jelly Planet, and their enemies, the dreaded Bread Planets. By sixth grade, I'd moved on to superheroes, creating a whole universe and sometimes writing cross-over stories with existing DC and Marvel heroes. Then, my first year of college, I read Stephen King, followed by Dean Koontz and then Anne Rice. I'd found my dark little corner.
DO YOU WRITE IN OTHER GENRES?
Actually, I write about as much fantasy as I do horror, and many of my stories and manuscripts can fall into either category. And someone once described me as New Age Gothic Erotica, which I liked a lot but failed to expand with me. I've also done some Young Adult Fantasy, but haven't yet placed any of those.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Time. There are at least five novel ideas fighting in my head to be the next one I write. Since I have a day job, it usually takes about 2 months to write the first draft of a novel; then I put it aside for a while, work on some other project, and come back for another 2 months of revisions.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CURES FOR WRITER'S BLOCK?
Writer's Block? What's that? The last time I succumbed to that for any length of time, I joined a gym and, while on the exercise bikes, started Brian Lumley's Necroscope series. But that was some 6 years ago.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORK (WORK THAT YOU'VE DONE)?
That's not a fair question; it's like asking which is your favorite child. I think I've improved immensely in the three years I've been selling stories, and the new ones (like "Lache" at Gothic.net and "The Thousandth Dream" in an upcoming Space & Time) are much stronger than my initial short stories. As to novels, it's impossible to say one is a favorite; they explore different places, different ways of being, and so I can say they each are my favorite in a particular way. The only one I've published yet is Sins of Blood & Stone, so obviously that's my favorite of the novels I've sold.
THE OBLIGATORY PLUG SECTION. WHO (WEBSITES, AUTHORS, ETC) WOULD YOU LIKE TO PROMOTE?
I run a website, www.darkfluidity.com, which features different authors, artists, musicians, and poets on a quarterly basis. I've had authors like Simon Clark and Tom Piccirilli, two of my favorites, as well as first-novels like Stoker Award Winner Michael Oliveri, Gene O'Neill, and Michael Laimo. It's been updated every quarter for two years now, and always on-time, with interviews, reviews, and original stories, as well as artist galleries.
WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
Early or recent? I credit my initial foundation as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, and Batman. More recently, I've learned some valuable and necessary lessons from Anne Rice (description), Tanith Lee (tone), and Neil Gaiman (connectivity). But to list all my inspirations...I don't think we have time.
WHAT ARE SOME HOBBIES?
Other than reading? I study kung-fu. I travel a lot. I listen to a lot of music as I write. I collect colors.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO ANYONE TRYING TO BREAK INTO THE WRITING SCENE?
It's been said a thousand times: write, finish what you write, send it out, and write some more. Repeat, and rinse.
DO THE LIVES OF CELEBRITIES MAKE YOU EXCITED AND GIVE YOU THE URGE TO GOSSIP LIKE AN 18TH CENTURY WASHER-WOMAN? :)
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO MENTION?
Thanks for not asking where I get my ideas.