Interview with Ian Welke, Contributing Author to Doorbells at Dusk Anthology
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Maybe when I first read Lord of the Rings as a kid. But I didn’t start writing seriously until much later. When Firefly was canceled I wanted more Firefly stories so I wrote one, changed the names, and it sold. Around the same time I wondered if I could turn some of my Call of Cthulhu RPG campaigns into stories, and one of those sold. Unfortunately, it can be very misleading when the first two of three stories you try and sell do. I got the wrong impression in a big way and didn’t sell the next ten or more I submitted.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I work best with a routine. When I get it, I write from about 7 a.m. to noon, have lunch, write until 2, take a 20-minute nap, and then write until 4. But that routine is often hard to get. I also write for an hour here and there on busy days. Some of the most difficult writing I seem to get done in hotels on trips. It varies by the difficulties of life.
Do you have any interesting writing rituals?
If so, what are they? I think they mostly involve caffeine. I also listen to a lot of music, create playlists, etc. in order to get me in the frame of mind for a story.
Do you like writing short stories or novels?
In some ways I prefer short stories. I do a lot of drafts when I write, so it’s easier to get to the drafts where things start to fit together with short stories. On the other hand I like being able to hit the big moments with novels as well as the divergent tangents that you don’t get to do with short stories.
How is the horror scene where you live?
I’m lucky enough to live in southern California. The Los Angeles chapter of the HWA is active and very friendly. There’s a great horror themed bookstore in Burbank called Dark Delicacies. And the presence of so many film people sets the bar for the Halloween decorations and haunted houses very high.
Do you use outlines or do you go with the flow?
I prefer to outline. But sometimes if I outline I can’t write what I’ve outlined. But if I go with the flow I get lost and wish I had an outline. It’s a mess and usually ends in tears.
How did publishing your first book or short story change your writing process?
The thing I wish I’d realized about my first novel being published, was that everything I learned writing it for some reason didn’t apply to writing the next one. They were very different stories, but I wasn’t prepared for the new problems I ran into. Eventually I hope I’ll get good enough that I’ll arrive at a regular methodology and not be overwhelmed by all the questions that pop up along the way.
What do you think makes a good horror story?
I think the reader needs to be rooted in the point of view character’s reality. The character doesn’t have to be likeable, but they have to be interesting enough to follow.
What famous haunted house would you spend the night in? Why?
I don’t know if I would. Well, I guess I’ve spent the night in some notoriously haunted hotels, does that count? I wouldn’t seek it out anyway. I’m not a big believer in the supernatural but the other explanations don’t make for a great night’s sleep and why poke the bear?
Who is your favorite horror monster or villain?
Does Herbert West count? I like Herbert West. He’s trying to help. Yeah he’s maybe a little over the edge. Or maybe David from An American Werewolf in London. I love the way he struggles with coming to terms with his monstrosity. Watching him disbelieving it and wondering if he’s just going mad is brilliant.
What is your fondest Halloween memory?
Trick or treating as a kid. All wrapped up in a mummy costume. Those costumes my mother made were so over the top and probably really dangerous now that I think about it. Either that or just drawing in grade school in October. It was the one time of year my pictures fit in with what the other kids were drawing.
Do you have any Halloween traditions?
I used to watch a horror movie per night during October. That’s sort of fallen off since the last couple of years have been insanely busy, but I’ll get a few movies in I’m sure. I also used to fill my five-gallon brew kettle with candy, but unfortunately the neighborhood has changed and if I do that now the only people I’ll be passing out candy to will be costume-less teens.
When Trick or Treating, what is the one candy you hope to get?
I always prefer sour candy to sweet. Except maybe Babe Ruths.
Which urban legend scares you the most?
I’m not familiar with enough urban legends to adequately
If you were trapped in a horror book, which one would you choose?
I’m trying to think of one where I can weasel out of it and come up with a good outcome for myself but every bleak outcome I see is worse and worse. Dracula? Either get bitten or turned, and if turned, staked.
Next. Eyeing my shelf there, whole Laird Barron stack… nope those books mess with my sleep as is, don’t want to end up in that story. American Elsewhere that’s one the shelf in front of me, while there’s plenty of potential for bad outcomes for a character there’s also something really pleasant about that setting, it’s very Twin Peaksish. I’ll pick that one. At least I’ll have an interesting time before something terrible happens to me.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on addressing edits for my upcoming third novel, Four Corners. It’s a crazy mix of history, horror, and weird scifi which should be out soon from Omnium Gatherum Books.
What is in your TBR pile?
Exploring Dark Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem, Gruesome: A Gathering of Nightmares, and Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror.
What is the last book that scared you?
I just read Occasional Beasts by John Claude Smith. Several of the stories in that did the trick.
What is your spirit animal?
I’m not sure if they’re like me, but as I lose my mind I’ve been staring at pictures of otters more and more. I think I’m done humaning and would like to if at all possible take up being an otter instead.
What is your favorite beer?
When I was in York there were at least three that would easily qualify. Here in California I’m tempted to say Old Rasputin, but there’s one from New York He’Brew Rye IPA. That might be my favorite. Or here in LA, Angel City IPA. It’s difficult to choose.
If you could have a beer with one author, who would it be?
Does Patrick Rothfuss drink? If I gave him enough beer would it convince him to teach me the secrets of how to make a story that nice?
What is your story title and favorite scene from your story in Doorbells at Dusk (the Halloween anthology)?
My story is called “Between.” In it the protagonist either encounters or hallucinates a large number of spirits in Los Angeles. There’s one scene where she’s in a diner with the spirit of Darby Crash and, although I don’t name him since he’s still living, the memory of the 1970s Los Angeles Tom Waits. Writing that scene made me really happy.
Ian Welke grew up in the library in Long Beach, California. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Long Beach, he worked in the computer games industry for fifteen years where he was lucky enough to work at Blizzard Entertainment and at Runic Games in Seattle.
While living in Seattle he sold his first short story, a space-western, written mainly because he was depressed that Firefly had been canceled. Following the insane notion that life is short and he should do what he wants most, he moved back to southern California and started writing full time. Ian’s short fiction has appeared in Big Pulp, Arcane II, the American Nightmare anthology, and the 18 Wheels of Horror anthology, amongst other places.
His novels, The Whisperer in Dissonance (2014) and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated End Times at Ridgemont High (2015) were both published by Ominum Gatherum Media.
About Doorbells at Dusk
Doorbells at Dusk, edited by Evans Light and from Corpus Press, is a treasury of brand-new short stories from both modern masters and rising stars of dark fiction, covering a gamut of horror, literary fiction and suspense that is sure to thrill both horror aficionados and casual readers alike.
Contributors include: Josh Malerman, Lisa Lepovetsky, Chad Lutzke, Amber Fallon, Curtis M. Lawson, Sean Eads, Joshua Viola, Ian Welke, Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch and Thomas Vaughn, along with contributions from Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent.
Halloween has always gone together with horror. The holiday gives many children their first taste of terror, and the discovery and overcoming of fears. For those who find they love a good scare, that first taste can grow into a voracious appetite.
That might be why you’re looking at this book right now. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find the thrills you crave, packed into a collection of stories that are pure Halloween.
After the successful release of the three-volume Bad Apples: Slices of Halloween Horror anthology series, co-creators Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent of Corpus Press were driven by their love of the haunting season to use everything they’d learned to create the ultimate collection of Halloween tales.
Carve your pumpkins and turn on the porch light, the night of frights begins with the sound of…Doorbells at Dusk.
Praise for Doorbells at Dusk
“Evans Light has pulled together a great collection of stories. There is not a disappointing one in the mix, and no two tales are alike.” – One Legged Reviews
“A delightfully rich collection, suffused with horror of many flavors and degrees, some subtle, some up- front. Whether you choose to sample one at a time, like bonbons, or devour the entirety, here’s a fine selection designed to keep you eager for (or fearful of) that special holiday, when leaves drop, woodsmoke scents the air, children quest for candy…and the Veil thins…” – Haunted Reading Room
“Doorbells at Dusk presents a fine sampling of tricks and treats for readers jonesing for some good and proper seasonal reads as the leaves turn color, a chill sets in, the world turns a little bit darker…” – Michael Patrick Hicks, author Broken Shells
Doorbells at Duskpublished on September 3 and is available NOW on Amazonin e-book and print and at book retailers worldwide. Add to your GoodReadsshelf!
About the Contributors
Sean Eads and Joshua Violaare writers from Denver, Colorado. Sean has been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, Lambda Literary Award and the Colorado Book Award. His first short story collection was published in 2017. Joshua is the owner of Hex Publishers. His latest anthologies include Blood Business and Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow. His upcoming novel, Denver Moon, will also be released as a comic book.
Amber Fallonlives in Massachusetts with her husband and two dogs. A techie by day and horror writer by night, Mrs. Fallon has spent time as a bank manager, motivational speaker, produce wrangler, and butcher. Her obsessions with sushi, glittery nail polish, and sharp objects have made her a recognized figure. Amber’s publications include The Warblers, The Terminal, Sharkasaurus, Daughters of Inanna, So Long and Thanks for All the Brains, Horror on the Installment Plan, Zombies For a Cure, Quick Bites of Flesh, Operation Ice Bat, and more.
Charles Gramlichlives in the piney woods of southern Louisiana. He is the author of the Talera fantasy series and the SF novel, Under the Ember Star. His stories and poetry have been published in magazines such as Beat to a Pulp, The Horror Zine, and many others.
Joanna Kochis a fan of folklore, fairy tales, and anthropology. Her short fiction has been published in journals such as Dark Fuse and Hello Horror and included in several speculative fiction anthologies. Joanna is an MA Contemplative Psychotherapy graduate of Naropa University who currently lives and works near Detroit.
Curtis M. Lawsonis a writer of unapologetically weird, dark fiction and comics. His work includes It’s A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, The Devoured, and Mastema. He is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and the organizer of the Wyrd live horror reading series. He lives in Salem, MA with his wife and their son.
Lisa Lepovetskyhas published fiction and poetry widely in the small press, professional publications and anthologies. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Cemetery Dance and many other magazines, and such anthologies as Dark Destiny, Blood Muse, and HORRORS!, among others. She earned her MFA from Penn State, and her most recent book is VOICES FROM EMPTY ROOMS, a collection of dark poetry.
Adam Lightresides in northeast Florida with his beautiful wife and daughter, and their aptly, though perhaps not so imaginatively named Walker hound, Walker. He haunts a cubicle by day, writes horror stories at night, and virtually never sleeps. He is the author of several short horror stories, some of which have been published in his first collection Toes Up: Horror to Die For. He also has stories in the Bad Apples anthology series and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love.
Evans Light is a writer of horror and suspense, and is the author of Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, Arboreatum, Don’t Need No Water and more. He is co-creator of the Bad Apples Halloween anthology series and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love. Evans lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, surrounded by thousands of vintage horror paperbacks, and is the proud father of fine sons and the lucky husband of a beautiful wife.
Chad Lutzkelives in Battle Creek, MI with his wife and children. he has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. His fiction can be found in a few dozen magazines and anthologies including his own 18-story collection Night as a Catalyst. Lutzke is known for his heartfelt dark fiction and deep character portrayals. In the summer of 2016 he released his dark coming-of-age novella Of Foster Homes and Flies which has been praised by authors Jack Ketchum, James Newman, John Boden, and many others. Later in 2016 Lutzke released his contribution to bestselling author J. Thorn’s American Demon Hunter, and 2017 saw the release of his novella Wallflower. His latest, Stirring the Sheets, was published by Bloodshot Books in spring 2018.
Josh Malermanis an American author and also one of two singer/songwriters for the rock band The High Strung, whose song “The Luck You Got” can be heard as the theme song to the Showtime show “Shameless.” His book Bird Box is also currently being filmed as a feature film starring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, and Sarah Paulson. Bird Box was also nominated for the Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the James Herbert Award. His books Black Mad Wheel and Goblin have also been nominated for Stoker Awards. Unbury Carol is his latest novel.
Jason Parentis an author of horror, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, and dark humor, though his many novels, novellas, and short stories tend to blur the boundaries between these genres. From his award-winning first horror/mystery novel, What Hides Within, to his widely applauded police procedural/supernatural thriller, Seeing Evil, Jason’s work has won him praise from both critics and fans of diverse genres alike. His work has been compared to that of some of his personal favorite authors, such as Chuck Palahniuk, Jack Ketchum, Tess Gerritsen, and Joe Hill. Jason grew up near Fall River, Massachusetts, the setting for several of his novels. He has lived in New England most his life, currently residing in Rhode Island.
When he is not writing fiction, Thomas Vaughn is a college professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric and doomsday cults. Most of his writing seems to stray through the realms of literary horror and dark magical realism. He has been fortunate enough to have stories accepted in four different magazines and anthologies in 2018 so far. He wrote the story in this one just for you.
Ian Welkegrew up in the library in Long Beach, California. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Long Beach, he worked in the computer games industry for fifteen years where he was lucky enough to work at Blizzard Entertainment and at Runic Games in Seattle. While living in Seattle he sold his first short story, a space-western, written mainly because he was depressed that Firefly had been canceled. Following the insane notion that life is short and he should do what he wants most, he moved back to southern California and started writing full time. Ian’s short fiction has appeared in Big Pulp, Arcane II, the American Nightmare anthology, and the 18 Wheels of Horror anthology, amongst other places. His novels, The Whisperer in Dissonance (2014) and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated End Times at Ridgemont High (2015) were both published by Ominum Gatherum Media.
Gregor Xaneis the author of Taboogasm, The Hanover Block, and Six Dead Spots. His work has been featured in Stupefying Stories, Dead Roses, and the popular Halloween anthology series, Bad Apples. He is perfectly symmetrical.
About Corpus Press
Corpus Press is a publisher of Horror and Weird Fiction, specializing in modern pulp that emphasizes plot over gore. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the press has garnered praise from SCREAM Magazine, Cemetery Dance, Horror Novel Reviews and Hellnotes for its BAD APPLES: SLICES OF HALLOWEEN HORROR series, the anthology DEAD ROSES: FIVE TALES OF TWISTED LOVE, and for its short story collections and novellas.
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