Author Interview – Kevin Folliard

More From This Author

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"Shades of Dorian"

Anthology: The Devil Who Loves Me
Release Date: June 23rd, 2023
Preorders: Paperback | Kindle
About the Author: Kevin M. Folliard is a Chicagoland writer whose fiction has been collected by The Horror Tree, The Dread Machine, Demain Publishing, Dark Owl Publishing, and more. His recent publications include his horror anthology The Misery King's Closet, his YA fantasy adventure novel Grayson North: Frost-Keeper of the Windy City, and his 2022 dinosaur adventure novel Carnivore Keepers. Kevin currently resides in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL, where he enjoys his day job in academia and membership in the La Grange Writers Group.
Q & A

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

I'm thrilled to get this story out there. It was a dark, sometimes uncomfortable, but fun task to write it. I appreciate being able to borrow an iconic character like Dorian Gray to tell a modern horror tale, and I'm thankful to Oscar Wilde for leaving us with his legacy of storytelling.

What inspired the idea for your story?

I originally came across a submissions call for "classic monster" stories, and I was drawn to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian is a timeless character who seamlessly blends into a variety of genres. He's the protagonist of his own tale, but culturally we remember him as the monster. I think that resonates with a lot of marginalized people, so I was drawn to this modern tale in which a young person could see in Dorian a kind of twisted mirror--something that's all at once, charming, evil, good, bad, successful, handsome, and extremely dangerous. The character is pretty irresistable, so I guess the short, honest answer to this question is "Oscar Wilde inspired my story."

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

Like a lot of writers with 9-5 jobs and all the other life obligations, my biggest challenge lately is finding the discipline to sit down and regularly work on new stories. I have to periodically remind myself of the Nike slogan to "Just Do It." When I'm at my best, I try to write about 500 words a day, and if I'm on a roll, I keep going.

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?

The more you keep at it, the better you get--as long as you remain open to feedback and criticism. I would also encourage all writers, young or old, to find a good writers group and surround yourself in honest and supportive writer friends, two things I am very blessed to have found over the course of my writing career.

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?

In inviting an iconic character like Dorian Gray into my own story, I feel like he kind of took control, and I hope readers find his presence in the story to be authentic. Without saying too much, I think Dorian walks a strange razor's edge between being nurturing and predatory that felt born out of the duality of his character. Love and attraction can be as volatile as they can be wonderful, and that's something to be respected.

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

Horror allows us to vicariously explore otherworldly possibilities and confront the thrill of danger from a safe place. It's an exploration of our humanity that asks “how and why” people react to extreme situations in certain ways. Whether the horror is fantastical or grounded, or somewhere in between, it's a great vehicle to explore very real human emotions and behavior.

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

I have a lot of favorite authors, but I'll highlight J.R.R. Tolkien for his incredible world building and endearing characters, and Stephen King for his (sometimes brutally) honest and authentic storytelling. King has always inspired me with his idea of writing as "found objects," like a fossil, where a story/character can take on a life of its own.

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

I've mostly written horror, sci-fi, and fantasy in that order. It would be great to dabble more in the fantasy corner for a change. I also think it would be a fun challenge to write a cozy mystery. I've tried to write a romance or two, but it's always an uphill battle for me! Probably why most of my "love stories" end up being horror stories!

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

I'd love to direct readers who enjoyed "Shades of Dorian" to one of my novellas "Tower Of Raven." It's a dark fantasy based on the "maiden in the tower" (AKA Rapunzel) fable. Prince Cedrick quests after a beautiful long-haired maiden, trapped in a tower beyond the haunted place known as Crows Town. There he encounters the spirit of an ancient witch who summons a murder of crows, kills his horse, and sends him wounded into the forest on the other side of the mountains. The siren song of Raven, the witch’s adopted daughter, draws Cedrick to her tower. Broken and weak, however, he finds himself unable to climb to her rescue, and instead hoisted upward by enchanted tendrils of long dark hair. Under the power of Raven’s healing magic, Cedrick experiences an awakening…but whether that awakening is for good or for evil…you’ll have to read 'Tower Of Raven' to find out!
Prev post
Author Interview – Johnathon Heart
Next post
Author Interview – Kit Walker

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2023 © All rights reserved by GrendelPress LLC

No products in the cart.