Anthony Beal [anthonybeal]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
Reading was always a big part of my household growing up, my parents both being avid readers. When I entered my teens and came of sufficient age to purchase my own reading material, I tended toward horror novels, not discovering erotica until some years later. “The Light at the End” by John Skipp and Craig Spector was the first novel I ever read that blended these two genres to my satisfaction, and is the piece I credit with tempting me to try my own hand at writing. I began writing horror stories in my teens; terrible things that will never again see the light of day. When I did try my hand at writing erotica, it was poetry, then fiction. The first people to read my dark erotica were my friends at the time. My parents read my horror creations (those stories without any erotic elements,) and aside from looking at me funny for a while after having read them, were mostly supportive.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
I can’t say I have one favorite genre. As to what I most enjoy reading, I distribute my interests across the following (in no particular order): horror, graphic novels, biography, erotica, nonfiction. The following link, at which excerpts of my work and links to complete works can be found, leads to my website: http://www.theofficialanthonybeal.com.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I read what I most enjoy writing, because I believe that this is the best way to improve one’s craft, not to mention, avoid writing redundant things that too closely resemble existing works. That is to say that I make a point of reading as much erotica and horror as I can, that my style of writing should undergo constant evolution.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I’ve written in both, although I prefer third person because it allows me a greater capacity for exposition of story elements that might not necessarily be known to a first-person narrator.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Edgar Allen Poe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Poppy Z. Brite, Olaudah Equiano, H.P. Lovecraft.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
I think that characters need to be fallible, and to have flaws to which readers can relate.
When creating my characters, I do my best to make them vulnerable. They make mistakes. They argue with one another. Sometimes they perceive incorrectly or guess wrongly about things. They are often misguided in their personal philosophies. Sometimes they jump to conclusions. They occasionally do things with which the reader probably disagrees. Most importantly, they are never immune to the consequences of their actions, and they don't always win in the end.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
No. I freely admit that I'm much better at telling my stories in written form.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write primarily for myself, although it pleases me to think of people reading my work and deriving pleasure from the reading.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I hesitate to call it personal therapy, although I'll concede that internal conflicts can be helpful because they often assist me in figuring out how conflicts between characters can be resolved.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
No. I share finished products, but never drafts. I tend only to share finished products, because my wife refuses to read works in progress.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
Given that my voice today is vastly different from what it was years ago, or even one year ago, I believe that my voice is constantly evolving.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Not much. Quiet is all that I require.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Yes, I do print frequently and correct on paper, usually on the Metro to and from work. My process typically begins or ends on paper, with the computer being the interim stage during which I make the most edits.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Duotrope, Ralan, my own website at http://www.theofficialanthonybeal.com, and various social networks such as AsianAvenue.com, BlackPlanet.com, and MiGente.com.
What has been your experience with publishers?
It's been a mixed bag; I've met and continue to work with some wonderful professionals, and have also encountered some very unprofessional publishers that react with borderline hostility to submissions they don't care to publish. These, I'm not shy about telling what I think of them and their editorial style, as I feel that I'm too damn old to allow people to talk to me any way they please without consequence. Some would say that in doing so, I'm burning bridges, but my thinking is that if I am expected to conduct myself in a certain way and adhere to certain rules of professional etiquette in my dealings with editors and publishers, then I hold them to the same standards as I am expected to observe. And I feel that any who would ignore these, in doing so, waive the right to any such courtesy from me.
What are you working on now?
Besides, final edits on my recently completed novel, I've recently published "Funereal Diseases of the Mind: Fifteen tales of dark erotica," a collection of my shorter pieces of dark erotica featuring several works that have never before appeared in print.
Although it's aimed primarily at readers from age 21 to 44, its variety of stories and settings offers something to everyone that enjoys erotica and horror. These fifteen tales of dark erotica will bring readers face to face with gods and vampires, psychotics and witches, shapeshifters and demons. Their stories they will tell huddled in crumbling dive motels and moonlit lakeside cabins where life and death are equally fleeting. They will bring readers along on 2 a.m. pub crawls and sex club excursions that know their darkest sins.
Funereal Diseases of the Mind: Fifteen tales of dark erotica
"Funereal Diseases of the Mind: Fifteen tales of dark erotica" is on sale now in print and electronic download formats at Lulu.com, and print editions can be purchased from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Show them. Show them to anyone and everyone who agrees to read them, and digest their impressions, good or bad. A thick skin is a must-have for any writer that hopes to make a successful go of writing, and we all at some point, must acclimate to receiving negative impressions as well as positive ones.