Welcome to the first installment of my “Author of the Week”! Every Sunday, I’ll post about a Weird Fiction and/or Lovecraftian author. I hope that you’ll enjoy this series. If you have suggestions, please email me at email@example.com .
This week’s author is Richard Gavin. Click here to visit his Amazon page and browse his books. I asked Richard three questions:
For those who don’t yet know who you are, please tell us a bit about yourself — as much or as little as you’d like to say.
I am a writer who works in the fields of Horror and the esoteric, oftentimes mining both realms simultaneously. To date I have published four volumes of Horror fiction, as well as essays, criticism, and poetry. I am married with two children. And one black cat named Ligeia.
How and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in grade school. From the outset my creations were undeniably Horror stories. While I’m fairly certain that those initial tales were done simply to complete an assignment for my first or second grade English teacher, it quickly became apparent to me that writing Horror fiction not only provided me with the joy of participating in the genre that already had me in its thrall, but also the pleasant shock of excelling at something. As a child, most aspects of the civilized world either bewildered or bored me. As a result I tended to keep my participation with society to a bare minimum. I was not athletic, merely average academically-speaking, and not particularly interested in socializing with my peers. The Gothic, the eerie, the ancient, the darkly mysterious; these were essentially the only elements from the outer world that invigorated me. When I channeled those feelings into little stories I discovered that I had an inborn knack. I wrote something scary and it was scary. People responded. The words I had set down tweaked them in some way. This was a sense of Calling for me. Not some grandiose inkling that I was destined to be famous or that I had been “chosen” for anything, but simply the knowledge that even if I never excelled at anything else in life I did excel at this.
I don’t wish to suggest that mine was an unhappy childhood. It was not. There were unpleasant intrusions of course, but the majority of my time was spent in a blissfully liminal state. Reveries, vivid nightmares, early bouts of astral projection; these were the types of experiences that enhanced my childhood, inspired me to write, and set me on the selfsame path I walk today.
Which of your books do you recommend that readers begin with?
AT FEAR’S ALTAR, my 2012 collection published by Hippocampus Press, is the book I would suggest to the curious. AT FEAR’S ALTAR is widely available and inexpensive. Also, HPL fans might enjoy some of the overtly Lovecraftian tales contained therein, such as “Faint Baying from Afar”, my sequel to “The Hound”, and “The Unbound”, which is a meditation upon “The Unnamable.”
Also, my 2009 novella “Primeval Wood”, which as of now is still available as a chapbook from Burning Effigy Press.
Thank you, Richard. I like your creative approach. I’m looking forward to reading your work.
Thank you, folks, for the generous praise. And a special thank you to Mike Davis for selecting me as the “Author of the Week.”
Paula – To answer your question regarding my writing process, I would say that I am more image- or atmosphere-driven rather than plot or character. There are always exceptions of course, but more often than not I am initially arrested by an image. These can emerge from dreams, or can be suggested by something that I encounter in the course of my daily life. I spend a good deal of my free time hiking through the woods or other secluded locales, which almost unfailingly provides hints of potential stories.
Once I have this crucial first element it becomes a matter of finding the most apt narrative to convey this image or atmosphere.
I hope that helps!
It’s great to see Richard featured here. His work is one of my favorite discoveries of recent years, and I consider him one of the must-read authors in the weird/horror scene.
I am a big fan of the work of Richard Gavin. He is without a doubt one of the most talented horror writers working today. It was a real treat to read how he started out on his journey to becoming the writer he is today. I have several of his books and I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to enjoy a great read.
I have all four of Richard’s collections, and they’re all quite good!!!
Hi Richard, can you give us a peek into your creative writing process? Are you more plot-driven or character-driven during your first draft?
Richard is one of our finest writers, and he is one of the coolest gents in ye weird fiction scene.