Video game writer/designer by day, horror author by night. Sounds like a super hero, right? Drum roll please . . . It’s the Amazing Adam Vine!
Recently I had the opportunity to meet Adam, and I’m glad I did! Please read on and enjoy . . .
Anderson: So, what made you start writing?
Vine: My elementary school teachers. I started drawing and writing comics about my dog around the age of six or seven. My neighbor Joey and I would hand out and create comics together, which was our favorite thing to do other than play his Sega Genesis, since my parents didn’t let me have video games until I was a teenager. I finished my first novel when I was eleven. It was about the Second Coming of God and her battle to slay a time-devouring demon. I was into that kind of stuff.
Anderson: That’s awesome! What do you like most about writing? And, what do you like the least?
Vine: I enjoy really hitting my stride and finishing a scene or chapter in one sitting. My least favorite is editing, because for years I was a tinkerer, and never finished anything I started that wasn’t a plate of food.
Anderson: I hear you. Tell us a little bit about your work – novels, short stories, screenplay?
Vine: My first novel Lurk is a scary story about a depressed college kid who unwittingly discovers a means of watching his best friends without their knowledge – and old box of Polaroid pictures he finds buried in his basement, which is more than it seems at first glance. Essentially, it is a possession story told through the eyes of the one being possessed.
Everything I write contains something disturbing or macabre. My goal in any story is to make the reader pause and make a face. I think that if you are aiming higher than that, you’ve lost the path. Storytelling can and should be much more than just the big surprise, the epic quote, or the bloody climax in which the entrails spill, but at the base level, those moments are what give the audience their reward for experiencing your work, which is a sense of awe. We’re like drug pushers out here. Before pretension, a story must first and foremost entertain.
Aside from horror, I’ve also published novellas, short stories, and flash fiction in other genres, from dark fantasy to science fiction and romance.
Anderson: Where do your stories come from?
Vine: I draw from my lived experiences, or my knowledge of relevant social issues. I get my best ideas while out walking.
Anderson: Are you going to write a series, or stick with stand alone novels?
Vine: My next project is book one of a series, a dark portal fantasy set in Eastern Europe, tentatively titled Corruption. Think “Chronicles of Narnia” with more sex and death.
Anderson: That’s going to be fun. Protagonist or antagonist, which character is your favorite, and why?
Vine: Antagonist, for sure. Villains interest me more than heroes.
Anderson: I would like to know a little about your writing process, can you take me through a good writing day?
Vine: Wake up, get stoked on the coffee, and then try to hit 1500 words before I leave the house. How many words I can write in a session really depends on the scene. Some scenes come out well lubed, because they’re all dialog, or they’re already in my head. Action scenes, or scenes that I haven’t visualized very well, take me longer to write. In the afternoon, once I’ve finished everything I need to do for my day job, I will try to write another 1000 words, but that only happens on good days.
Anderson: That’s impressive! Hey, who is your author idol? Who would you most like to emulate in your work?
Vine: Gene Wolfe. I read everything from Stephen King to David Mitchell, to Ania Ahlborn, to Cormac McCarthy . . . but G.W. is my all-time favorite.
Anderson: If you could meet any literary character from any time, any place, who would you like to meet, and why?
Vine: Tyrion Lannister, so I can step up my drunken quip game.
Anderson: Hahaha – I would want to meet Tyrion as well, but for other reasons! What’s your favorite way to promote your work?
Vine: I’m a toddler at promoting my stuff online. My highest sale days of Lurk have all coincided with someone publishing a review, so I’ll go with “reviews”. The quotation marks are there to be a sly nudge for you to go read my book and write one yourself. Seriously, I’ll wash your car.
Anderson: My car could use a bit of a spiff-up, and honestly, I hope ten thousand people go buy your book and write their reviews! That would be awesome!
Okay, so now we’re going to do a quick-fire round (thanks to Suzanne Kelman and KJ Waters) to help us get to know you a little more. Ready? Let’s do it!
- Coffee or tea? I love it best black, strong, and bitter, because coffee makes me run to the . . . one document.
- Carrots or beets? Beets. I used to live in Poland.
- Dogs or cats? Dogs. I smile at them more than people.
- E-reader or paperback? E-reader, because I can eat with it.
- James Bond or Hellboy? Hellboy.
- Military espionage or zombies? Not a zombie guy, personally.
- Ford or Chevy? Ford.
- Pepsi or Coke? Coke.
- Puzzles or Crosswords? Do HOPA games counts? (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures – find out more here.)
- Running or Zoomba? BJJ – Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Adam Vine was born in Petaluma, California. By day, he is a video game writer and designer. He has lived in four countries and visited almost thirty. His short fiction has appeared in various horror, science fiction, and literary fiction magazines and anthologies. When he is not writing, he is traveling, reading something icky, or teaching himself to play his mandolin. He currently resides in Boston.
Synopsis of Lurk:
Drew Brady never wanted the power to spy on his friends. But late one New Year’s Eve, he finds a box of old Polaroid pictures buried in the basement of his college house. Drew has found a window into another world, and now the pictures are showing him things he shouldn’t see.
The pictures have the power to let him watch his three roommates and his best friend, Bea during their most private moments, and the more he watches, the more he is powerless to look away.
Drew begins to suspect there is something underneath his house that is manipulating him through the pictures. A dark, eldritch thing that feeds off depression and weakness. A thing that is pulling him down into a hole he will never be able to climb out of, a thing that will drive him to hurt the people he loves most. Can he stop it before it’s too late?