Author Interview – Brett Venter

The Author's Other Work

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera


Anthology: The Devil Who Loves Me
Release Date: June 23rd, 2023
Preorders: Begin May 1st, 2023
About the Author: Brett Venter is a South African writer and magazine editor with an interest in horror, fantasy, and science fiction. He has a particular fondness for Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick. He tends to write cyberpunk when he thinks no one is looking because everything is awful and writing about it makes him happy.

Brett has previously published horror and science fiction in the South African anthology magazine Something Wicked. A previous short fantasy story, "Protector of the Realm", appears in an anthology called Visions of Darkness. His Chthulu mythos story, "The Outrage Machine", will appear in an upcoming anthology called Strange Aeon. He posts about surfing, technology, and metal on Twitter at @DrakonisZA.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

I can honestly say I'm thrilled. The initial idea stayed with me for ages and I've always believed in the story. I'm glad I persevered trying to find Weight a home.

What inspired the idea for your story?

I had an image of an old man trudging across a wasteland. He carried a very unusual weapon. He seemed incredibly tired. I was wondering what he was doing there so I went and found out.

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

There are two major obstacles I face. One is that I let life get in the way -- usually it's very justified but still. The other is that I often get scared when a story is going too well. My best stories tend to lie unfinished for weeks, months, or (in at least three cases) years because I was too scared to finish them.

Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?

Start sooner. You've always known what it was you wanted to do. The fear of writing and submitting stories will never go away but you'll get better at it.

We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?

I'd like to think that I've conveyed that doing the right thing for someone else could be the wrong thing for you. That being a hero often means being a monster. And that it's okay to lay down a burden when you've carried it for too long.

Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

Stephen King has always been a major influence on me as a writer. He's got a knack for creating images, scenes, and sentences where all the words are correctly placed. There's a rhythm to his writing that I've rarely seen anywhere else. George Carlin can do it verbally. Philip K. Dick also does it but with a surreal twist.

What do you love most about your story’s genre?

I'm not really sure what Weight's genre is, to be honest. It's certainly (at least partly) fantasy, which means that concepts that are usually abstract can take physical form without seeming too weird. I found that immensely useful.

What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

I already write most of my desired genres and I think I've published at least one story in each of them -- horror, science fiction, fantasy, cyberpunk, even a Cthulu mythos tale. I'd love to try a children's story at some point -- it would be immensely odd but I think I could do it. Some of my favourite memories as a child are about the stories I experienced at that age. It would be incredible to pass that on.

If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

A story called Protector of the Realm that was published in an anthology called Visions of Darkness: Volume 1. It involves a farmhand inducted into an immortal guard by an empress and diplomat who keeps the peace for the surrounding region.
Sadly, the publisher folded soon after publication so copies of the book are incredibly hard to find. I don't even have a physical copy myself. I'll have to get it picked up again in another venue.
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