Hello folks, today's Five Minutes With, is with Erik Hofstatter.
Erik Hofstatter is a short story writer, who dwells in a beauteous and serenading garden of England, where he can be frequently encountered consuming reckless amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry. At a young age, he assembled a Viking ship and journeyed myriad sea miles away from native land in search of plunder and pillage. His work appeared in magazines such as Schlock, Inner Sins, Sanitarium and Asylum Ink. Erik's axe is a loyal companion and never departs its master’s side.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Erik the Viking is my name. I sailed myriad sea miles away from my native land in search of pillage and plunder, eventually settling on the shores of England. I conquered towns and sacked entire cities. At night, I feasted in my hall with a horn of mead in my hand and a busty wench on my lap, telling tales of blood and violence.
But that was my previous life.
In this life, I am a short story writer residing in Kent. I studied at the London School of Journalism and currently have four short stories published. I’m also compiling my first short story collection, which will include two brand new stories.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
If I had to select a term to best describe my work, it would be Dark Fiction. The stories I write are diverse and often explore the dark side of human nature, resulting in psychological trauma caused by people, rather than being chased by monsters.
I think the term Dark Fiction allows me to blend elements of Horror, whilst also maintaining that “human suffering” I enjoy writing about.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I relish in reading dark stories where the protagonist is trapped in isolation, such as I am Legend by Richard Matheson and Cold Skin by Albert Sanchez Pinol. I’m also fond of J.R.R Tolkien, Anne Rice, Patrick Suskind, Iain Banks and Edgar Allan Poe.
What are you reading now?
Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Which book do you wish you had written?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.
If you could use any other author’s creation in your own work, who or what would you use?
Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter – the most intriguing villain of all time!
Describe typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Due to pressures of modern living and working a night shift, most of my writing is produced over the weekend, usually at night with a cup of coffee, or a glass of Scotch to unleash the full potential of my creativity.
Whilst in York earlier this year, I had the pleasure of speaking to Mick Aston of the Time Team fame and one of the writing methods he recommended, was not to allow yourself to be distracted by anything, not even a toilet break, until you finish what you have set out to write.
If you do have to stop writing, make sure it’s in the middle of a sentence. That way when you come back, you will be forced to re-read everything you have written, which I found to be very effective.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
The Tears of Repentance is possibly my best known work and the longest piece I’d ever written.
But creatively, I would have to say The Infant’s Fingers – that story was 100% fictitious with no elements or influences from my life whatsoever.
I once dreamt of a pubescent girl, being burned alive and rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, which I decided to use as one of the key scenes in that story.
What is the hardest lesson you have learned with regards to your writing?
Learn to accept rejections. At the end of the day, a rejection is nothing more than one overworked person’s opinion and you cannot allow yourself to be discouraged by it, it’s nothing personal so be diligent.
What do you like to do to relax?
Embark on long walks in nature reserves with my girlfriend or lifting weights.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My latest story, The Internal Abduction, can be found in Sanitarium Magazine #009 available on Amazon. It tells a tale of a struggling student who subjects himself to prescription drug experimentation only to be ambushed on the streets of Rochester and being eternally scarred by the experience.
The first short story collection I’m working on will be entitled, Tales of the Scarred, and is currently being submitted to publishers.