Today's guest is Edward Lorn, author of Cruelty and fabled member of the two-timers club.
For the readers catching up, give an elevator pitch for Cruelty.
CRUELTY is my attempt at creating a realistic slasher film in serial form, and by realistic I mean a story wherein the characters react realistically to unstoppable forces. No one in CRUELTY runs up the stairs when there’s a perfectly good back door to use. No one dashes into the woods when there’s a car at their disposal. And every character has real-world flaws. I’m a firm believer that even the worst of us (humanity) have our good streaks, and, sometimes, good people do bad things. CRUELTY is all that, but, like any good horror film, it’s a thrill ride that should keep the reader guessing at every turn.
Cruelty 5 is slated to be the biggest episode yet. What's the deal, Lorn?
The simple answer to that question is: I couldn’t find a decent place to stop. It seemed every one of the characters had something to say or do in episode five, so I went with the flow. I think the episode builds up nicely, and then ends with a bang many won’t see coming.
The harder answer is: I didn’t want to stop. There have been two lengthy delays in the editing process of this serial, and I felt I owed the fans something a bit more substantial. I admit it, I took my sweet time, but I did it for all the right reasons.
Any plans to release the Cruelty series in one big volume?
Episodes 1-5 will be available all in one volume come the end of June, and Episodes 6-10 will be released, all together, in September. After that, I will be doing a limited run of signed hardcover editions (think of it as a DVD box set of your favorite television series), which will have deleted scenes, bloopers, and character interviews. As for an omnibus edition of the series in ebook… let’s just say I’m undecided at this time.
Why are you such a jerk to Will Longmire?
Ever since Will left Innis to die in that ambulance, I lost a bit of respect for the kid. I understand that not everyone is a hero, but I think I would have done something other than run off into the night. I mean, he didn’t even try, right? Then again, I have no idea how I’d react if I ever came face to face with a murderous 600-pound baby doll. So I suppose I really don’t know why Will catches such a bad string of luck in the series, other than, “Life’s a bitch.”
When does Cruelty 5 hit the streets?
It’s looking like Episode Five will go live on or shortly after June 9th. I want this episode to be as manicured as humanly possible.
Will you be doing another serial in the future once Cruelty wraps?
If you had asked me this after Episode Three released, I would have said, “Hell yes!” But tides, they do change. When I first played with the idea of making CRUELTY a serial, I posted a poll on my blog. Over seventy percent of my followers said they liked the idea, and for the first three episodes, they rallied together and the project sold very well. When Four came out, things started to die down, and I asked everybody what they wanted me to do about the rest of the series. Only one person—one single, solitary person—said they wanted me to continue with serial installments. Everyone else proclaimed loud and proud that I should do one final volume. I’m not stupid, well… depending on who you ask anyway. Readers pay my bills, and to go against them would be the biggest betrayal. Whatever they want, I’ll do, as long as it’s in the realm of possibilities anyway.
Any non-Cruelty projects coming down the pipe?
While everybody’s waiting for the final five episodes of CRUELTY, I have a novella coming out called FOG WARNING, that should release in July. That is, if the Gods of Editing Dates lean in my favor. Then I have a novel I did with a buddy of mine, Linton Bowers, entitled PORT IN A STORM, about a murder on a space station. The latter is my first foray into science fiction, and I just hope I don’t disappoint anyone with a startling switching of gears.
What are you reading these days?
I’m currently rereading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and having a blast. In between those books, I’m hopping around inside my two favorite genres: literary fiction and horror. I have Donna Tartt’s THE SERCRET HISTORY sitting on my nightstand, but after hating her second novel, THE LITTLE FRIEND, I’m standoffish about starting her first. I’ll get to it… eventually. Currently, King’s WIZARD AND GLASS and Victor Lavalle’s THE DEVIL IN SILVER are taking up most of my time.
The last time we spoke, I asked you to give some writing advice to aspiring writers. How about some tips for other author publishers?
Listen to your audience. I think the biggest failure for any independent author is to lose sight of the people who buy their work. If your fans and followers want to interact with you, then interact with them. If they’d rather stay silent, keep your fucking mouth closed. Don’t respond to negative reviews, price fairly, and only provide the best content you can. In other words, pay someone to edit your goddamn books. If you’re not willing to shell out cash for your own project, why in the seven hells should anyone else?
In summation: Give a shit.
What is your favorite dirty joke of all time?
Three guys are on a road trip when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They decide to start beating feet until they either find a hotel or a service shop. They find the hotel first, but the owner says he only has one room, but there’s a problem: the room only has a single full-size bed. The trio reluctantly agrees. They split the bill for their stay, and head off to their room. A fight ensues regarding who’s going to be sleeping on the floor. Having all chipped in, not one of the three thinks they should be the one to catch some carpet. After a heated debate, they decide to all sleep on the one bed. Part of this arrangement states that one man will face the front wall of the room, while the other sleeps on the opposite side of the bed, facing the back wall. The man in the middle is to sleep on his back. The lights are turned out and the trio falls asleep.
The next morning, the two men who slept on the outside are exhilarated and ready to start the day, while the man in the middle is in a pissy mood. Middle Man says, “Why the hell are you two so fucking happy?” The man who faced the window last night says, “I had a dream I had the best sex I ever had in my life.” The man who faced the back wall drops his jar open in shock and exclaimed, “So did I!”
Middle man grunts, “Goddamn it. I dreamt I was skiing.”