Vincent Hobbes was born in Dallas, TX in 1975. He has been actively writing since he was fifteen years old. His roots lay in horror, but he has recently branched out into other genres. In 2007, he was published. The Contrived Senator was the first book in a fantasy series. In 2008, he released Exiles, the second book in the series. Short stories have always been a favorite of Vincent’s, and in 2010 he teamed up with 11 incredible authors, and created The Endlands. This horror anthology is an ode to the kooky and bizarre. The Endlands was released January 17th, 2011. Vincent is currently working on more novels, including a dystopian book. He lives north of the DFW metroplex with his wife, two dogs, two cats, chickens and ducks.
You can read more about him at: www.VincentHobbes.com
Horror is such a broad subject and there are so many subcategories. Please tell us a little about the kind of horror fiction you write.
Horror indeed has many subcategories. Personally, I can’t stand gore for the sake of gore, or shock value for lack of quality. Now, I don’t mind some blood and guts on occasion, but I feel it’s overused in both the book industry and movie industry. As for myself, I prefer psychological horror—to leave something up to the imagination. Alfred Hitchcock was a master at this, as was Rod Serling. I find if you let the reader’s imagination run wild, it will turn out much scarier.
How did the project come about and how long did it take to complete?
This project has been in my head for years. I approached my publisher a few years ago, and he agreed to it. So, I’d say The Endlands was years in the making, though it took about a year to put together. We searched for talent and found eleven other incredible authors to take part.
What are some of the themes explored in the book?
Fear of the unknown is a common theme in the Endlands. The classic good vs. evil is prevalent. Stories that boggle the imagination and cause the reader to question their own sanity. The Endlands has a little bit of everything in it.
Where is the book available?
The book is available on all major online book retailers, including ebook format. Hopefully it will be on the shelves soon, and many libraries are carrying it.
What is your writing schedule like? Do you have any special rituals or quirks?
I attempt to write every day. It’s important for me to stay in practice, though sometimes life doesn’t work out that way. I try to keep a minimum word count daily, and many nights I stay up late, inspired to peck away at my keyboard until exhausted. A good writing environment is important to me. I cherish silence when I write. My wife has learned to stay away when I’m really going at it. Loud music helps, too. Just depends on what I’m working on.
How do you keep your narrative exciting when you don’t feel like writing but you know you have to? Do you force it?
I always force myself to write, even if I don’t feel like it. That doesn’t mean the words are always good, but that doesn’t matter. If I end up throwing away or deleting what I’ve written, that’s fine…it’s like working out, sometimes you don’t want to, but we do it anyways.
What is your editing process like? Do you edit as you write or do you leave that for the second draft?
I always save editing for later. Usually it’s for a second if not third draft. Then, I have editors who help me after that.
You write short stories but you’ve also written novels. How is your creative process like when writing a short story as opposed to a novel?
With short stories, I write fast and furious. A quicker pace. Usually I can complete a draft in one sitting, or a few days at best. I get inspired and type away until I’m finished. For example, I wrote a short story for The Endlands anthology called, The Hour of the Time. I literally wrote it in an hour. It just came to me; the words flowed and the story came together.
With novels, it’s a different monster. It takes tons of patience and months or even years to finish. I find writing both gives me balance; a short story gives me an instant fix while writing a novel tests my endurance.
Would you say the horror book market is rising, declining or at a plateau?
Hard to say. Horror movies have probably taken away from the book market, and it seems the book industry doesn’t put as much effort into horror as it once did. My local mega-chain bookstore doesn’t even have a horror section. However, there are still wonderful horror writers out there, and many small presses have put out some great work. I think horror will always maintain its spot in the industry, though it’s being defined differently. Nowadays, horror can be labelled as mystery, drama, suspense or whatever, so I’d say horror will always have its spot.
Do you have a website and/or blog?
I do. My website is: www.VincentHobbes.com. I also post blogs on it. I review books and movies, horror mostly (go figure). It’s something I enjoy doing and my fans seem to enjoy it, as well.
What’s inside the mind of the horror writer?
Do you really want to know?
I can’t speak for other horror writers, but for me, it’s to explain the unexplained. Sometimes it’s to face my own fears. I’m inquisitive by nature, always asking ‘what if’ questions. Human nature—our flaws, our quirks—intrigue me. I find myself studying people.
Leave us with some words of wisdom for aspiring writers.
A good writer must read. If you want to write, then WRITE! Don’t think about it, don’t talk about it, just write. Put your heart on paper and see what happens. It’s a journey in itself.
Thank you, Vincent!
Causes Mayra Calvani Supports
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary