When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote fiction a bit in college but then kind of stopped, I just didn’t know what to do or really what I even wanted to say. I went to school for visual art after that so I started writing art reviews in Chicago, Maybe sometime in 2006 or so I had this vivid dream and it laid out this story I just couldn’t get out of my head. So I started writing it down, it became my novella “Beneath the Remains” (http://anathemataeditions.bigcartel.com/product/terence-hannum-beneath-the-remains-novella). I think then it was just figuring out what to do with it next. And from then on I kept at it.
What does your writing schedule look like?
Everyday, just try and get some time in. I have different stories, novels or projects at different levels of completion. I try and balance it out with what deadlines I have coming up, and with what is being edited for publication. But typically I shoot for 1000 words a day.
Do you have any interesting writing rituals? If so, what are they?
No, I just write. Typically late at night. Sometimes during the day. I listen to a lot of music, or sometimes I need silence.
Do you like writing short stories or novels?
Somewhere in between, I’ve written two novellas now, so that has been my focus. I just finished my first novel this year.
How is the horror scene where you live?
It’s pretty good, there are some good publishers in the region, and a lot of writers. I would say the film scene is a bit stronger. I DJ a radio show called Dead Air that focus on horror film soundtracks, it’s a lot of fun. Typically around Halloween.
Do you use outlines or do you go with the flow?
Outlines. I am always doing a lot of projects in music, and visual art, so outlines help me. I may just write it real quick in my notebook but it’s something to come back to. I let it change. But it can give me guidance as the story moves on, or I can understand the elements and move them around to make a story more compelling.
How did publishing your first book or short story change your writing process?
I stopped being so worried about it, I know some moments you have to write through and then edit it together after. I now look forward to editing the piece, writing it over and honing it down, taking feedback and adapting it.
What do you think makes a good horror story?
Something unexpected, whether it be the scenario, the character, to be good it has to make me think, give me something I haven’t read before.
What are you currently working on?
Well my body-horror novella All Internall was just published by Dynatox Ministries (http://dynatox.storenvy.com/products/23645325-all-internal-by-terence-hannum). And I am in the editing process on my first novel Lower Heaven. This editing has been going on for about four months or so. I have a reading group giving me feedback and I’m just making some decisions about it. It’s not so much horror as a more paranoid novel about the necessity of surveillance in Protestant suburbs against a backdrop of violence, guns, social media and debt.
What is in your TBR pile?
JG Ballard The Atrocity Exhibition, Paul Handke The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, and Dasa Drndic’s Belladonna.
What is the last book that scared you?
I recently read the novella “The Horla” by Guy de Maupassant, and it was terrifying story of isolation and horror. So good.
What is your spirit animal?
What is your favorite beer?
I would say it’s a tie between Monument brewing Rye IPA on tap (the bottle and can don’t do it justice) and Monk’s Blood a strong dark Belgian ale from 21st Amendment.
If you could have a beer with one author, who would it be?
Living or dead? Dead, W.G. Sebald. Living, Dennis Cooper
Terence Hannum is a Baltimore, MD based visual artist, musician and writer. Known for his work with the avant-metal band Locrian (Relapse Records). Beneath the Remains is his first novella.