Interview: Edward Lorn, Author of Life After Dane

LornLifeAfterDaneEveryone, please welcome Edward Lorn to Dab Of Darkness. You may recall having seen a few of his books reviewed here, such as Hope for the Wicked and very recently Life After Dane. After the interview, you find places to stalk Lorn and a link to Red Adept’s Blog Tour giveaway.

Edward Lorn is an American horror author presently residing in the southeast United States. He enjoys storytelling, reading, and writing biographies in the third person. Once upon a time, during a session of show and tell, a seven-year-old Edward Lorn shared with his class that his baby brother had died over the weekend. His classmates, the teacher included, wept while he recounted the painful tragedy of having lost a sibling. Edward went home that day and found an irate mother waiting for him. Edward’s teacher had called to express her condolences. This was unfortunate, as Edward had never had a baby brother. With advice given to her by a frustrated teacher, Edward’s mother made him start writing all of his lies down. The rest, as they say, is history. Edward Lorn and his wife are raising two children, along with a handful of outside cats and a beagle named Dot. He remains a liar to this day. The only difference is, now he’s a useful one.

1) What does your Writer’s Cave look like – neat and tidy or chaotic inspiration?

This really depends on how deep I am into my current work. I refuse to clean up while working on a novel, but I can maintain a tidy work space during a short story sprint. The messiest work I’ve done thus far (which sounds truly odd, considering I’m an author and not a septic tank repairman) has been in the last two months. I’m working on a collaboration with friend and fellow author, Jeff Bracket, where I need to pay close attention to specifics, so I have a multitude of notes and articles and research materials lying around.

LornDastardlyBastard2) In Dastardly Bastard, you have paired up an obese man and a dwarf. These are not the average heroes. Was it a challenge to write in their physical challenges to the world around them – did you have to keep reminding yourself?

Mark Simmons and Donald Adams, the obese man and dwarf of which you speak, respectively, were their own people. There was no mistaking one for the other. And yes, their physical challenges were taken into consideration during the writing of the book. On the very first page of the book, Mark grumbles inwardly about having to pay for an extra seat and lap belt extender. Then you have Donald, who’s built this entire other persona to cover the fact that he’s a little person; a pen name, a paid actor for book signings. But Donald’s motivations do not stem from low self esteem; rather they come from a grander vision of himself. He wants to be judged by the quality of his writing, not by how small of stature he is.

3) Having 4 books to your name how have your writing skills progressed over time?

Hopefully, with every book of mine that you pick up, you’ll see some kind of improvement. I’m always trying new things and avoiding previous trappings. There’s nothing new under the sun, though. The trick is to say it differently than those who have come before you. I think the biggest difference in my writing is something no one will ever see. I have an entire editorial staff that works on my books over at Red Adept Publishing, so readers haven’t seen the silly grammatical errors I used to struggle with. Over the past two years, ever since I published my debut novel, Bay’s End, my editor has said she’s seen fewer problems in the technical aspect of my writing. This is good on many levels, but the best part is knowing that she can now focus more on the content of the tale instead of fretting over the areas where my knowledge of writing craft is lacking.

LornBay'sEnd4) As a horror genre writer, do you mind sharing the first time something terrified you as a kid? As an adult? How do the two experiences compare?

I remember walking to school one day and passing a homeless man who had tucked himself away in an alley between a doughnut shop and a Laundromat. Our eyes met, and I remember thinking how hollow he seemed, like there was nothing in his gaze. That was scary enough, but on my way home from school that same day, I ran across him again. I was walking up the sidewalk, had just passed the front doors of the Laundromat, when I saw a pair of muddy boots jutting out from the alley way. As I approached, this foul odor assaulted me. I fully intended on just running by, but curiosity got the better of me. The homeless man was on his side, with one arm out, jacket sleeve rolled up, and a hypodermic needle still embedded in his arm. Of course I have no way of knowing what was in the syringe, so I can only assume it was some kind of injectable narcotic. He wasn’t moving. His chest didn’t rise with breath. Nothing. The only thing I could think of was the emptiness I’d seen in him and how I’d been powerless to help. I believe I was about seven or eight when that occurred. Being that young, and terrified, I ran home. Nothing in my adult life has every scared me half as bad as that moment of helplessness. But let me be clear. I wasn’t frightened of him because he was homeless, or dirty, or scary looking. What terrified me was the lack of humanity in those eyes. To this day, when I’m asked what scares me, I always respond with, “People do.”

5) Hope for the Wicked features Larry and Mo Laughlin, retired killers turned private investigators. This is a very dark story with just the right amount of truth about humanity in it. Can we readers hope to see more of Larry Laughlin?

Oh yeah, most definitely. The Laughlin’s saga has just begun. The next book, the first full length novel in the series, Pennies for the Damned, should be out sometime early next year. The first draft is finished, but I’m awaiting content and line editing, not to mention a whole slew of proofreads. Nothing but the best, you know. Hope for the Wicked was really nothing more than an introduction to the characters; a book zero, if you will. I can promise three more books in Larry’s tale. After that… well, we’ll just have to see, won’t we.

LornHopeForWicked6) You tend to dispatch the bad guys in gruesome ways. Have you ever pushed it so far that even you have flinched at the disposal methods?

I’ve never once had a reaction to a villain’s death. Now, hurting or killing my “heroes,” sure. Hope for the Wicked is, to date, probably the farthest I’ve pushed. The scene toward the end, out in Mexico’s low desert, has been called everything from unneeded to gross to malefic. To me, the scene was entirely called for. It set up who the characters would become in future books. We’re talking about two trained assassins who have seen it all and been through a plethora of tragedies. It would have taken happenings so disturbing, so vile, so irreprehensible, to make them change. In the end, The Show was born. I don’t want readers to be the same person after they delve into my stories. I want to invoke emotions, even if they are disgust.

7) In your personal life, you have struggled with obesity. Do you think this has put you in touch with a larger chunk of humanity, or ostracized you from a majority of it? How has it influenced your writing, if at all?

The more I think about this question, the more I realize it’s probably one of the best interview questions I’ve ever been asked.

At first, I was taken aback. All I saw was the word “obesity” followed by, “How has it influenced your writing, if at all?” Initially, I thought, “What the flying fornication does my being fat have to do with my writing?” So I called a good friend of mine, and we talked it over. It would seem the answer to your question is, “Quite a lot, really.”

I’ve been overweight my entire life. I was a ten-and-a-half-pound baby that grew into a fat kid who became a morbidly obese adult. Because of this, I’ve been picked on constantly my entire life. I’m not just talking about schoolyard bullies, either. Even nowadays, I get the seemingly obligatory mentions of my weight. “Hey, big man, how ya doin’?” or “You don’t miss many meals, do ya?” seem innocent enough, but they aren’t needed. I know I’m fat. You don’t have to remind me.

But I think a great deal of the empathy I convey in my writing has a lot to do with knowing how it feels to be treated like crap. I root for the underdog more often than not and find myself writing about broken characters because I’m far from perfect myself. We, as human beings, don’t seem to be formed by positives so much as we’re strengthened by them. We’re formed by how we deal with the tragedies and trials we face in life. I think the weakest of our species are those who have never met adversity. And I don’t write about those types of people because they’re boring beyond belief.

EdwardLorn8) In giving advice to new writers, what are some non-writing, non-reading activities that you would recommend to build their writing abilities?

People-watching is a great pastime. Not to the extent of being stalker-ish and creepy, but just being aware of the other hairless apes who share this revolving rock with you. That’s what I use social media for. If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that I’m always there, no matter the time or day. I’m observing the obsessions, concerns, and everyday rituals of my fellow piles of flesh and bone. If Facebook weren’t around, I’d probably have far less material, as there’s only so many people who walk in and out of my local Waffle House these days. Used to be, I’d get up in the morning and run on down to the Awful Waffle to eavesdrop on random strangers. Now all I have to do is boot up my laptop, sit back, and wait. I’m just as dysfunctional as the next person, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Places to Stalk Edward Lorn

His blog: Ruminating On

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Red Adept Publishing

For more interviews, guest posts, reviews, and giveaways, check out the Blog Tour hosted by Red Adept Publishing.

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6 thoughts on “Interview: Edward Lorn, Author of Life After Dane”

  1. I guess you could call me an Edward Lorn groupie because I follow him on Facebook, Twitter, read his books and follow his blog tours like this one. I have learned a lot about him through interviews. We share a similar childhood, and I understand all about being picked on for being overweight. We either let the comments ruin us, or we stand up for ourselves and fight back. I, too, tend to stand up for the oddball based upon my experiences.

    Great interview! Oh, and by the way, Life After Dane is the best book I’ve ever read! If you haven’t read it, you need to. 🙂

    1. Totally agree. I first heard of Lorn through a blog I follow and have politely stalked him since. Hope for the Wicked was intense and difficult to put down. Life After Dane, reviewed here last week, was even better.

  2. What a horrifying experience for a child. Yes people scare me every day. I think I saw a quote by King recently that said the same thing. Thanks for sharing the interview. Enjoyed it.

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