Author Interview – Liam Hogan

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Anthology: More Than a Monster
Release Date: Sept 8th, 2023
Preorders: Paperback
About the Author: Liam Hogan is an award-winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and in Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press). He's been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liar's League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London.
Q & A

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

Grand! This is a relatively new story and "More Than A Monster" was only its second outing. Always nice to get a story snapped up early, rather than making the rounds and slowly filling me with rejection despair (it's a thing!)

What inspired the idea for your story?

"Quarry" started off in response to a call for splatterpunk, water based stories, but, as is often the case in my horror stories, it's a little more tentative (tentacular?) than "splatterpunk", so was a much better fit for Grendel Press's call.

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

Too many ideas, not enough time.
That, and Twitter. Which has more to do with the second part, than the first.

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?

Keep at it for as long as you enjoy it. The rewards come slowly, might as well enjoy the journey.

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?

We tend to anthropomorphise pretty much everything. It is how we understand the world - we imagine it behaves and feels much the way we do. Usually, there is no explanation for *why* some other animal, or monster, should follow our motives and aspire to our goals, no explanation for how it is that a monster is able to tell us a story at all - I wanted to play with that, and though the "absorption" of memories and abilities by eating some other creature's brain is hardly new, it still has a lot of play left in it.

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

Writing about cryptids is a challenge, largely because the idea that there are things we don't know about seems rather implausible in this day and age. And yet there are vast tracts of unexplored oceans, and new creatures are being discovered almost as fast (gulp!) as they're going extinct. Usually quite small creatures, it is true... Still, plenty of scope for invention!

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

I probably answered Vonnegut, for the other Grendel Press anthology I'm in, so this time I'll go Jose Saramago. More than anything else, his writing shows that there are other ways to write, and his ability to expand an idea out to a whole novel is remarkable. "The Double" was my introduction to him, and what I would recommend, but "Blindness" would probably suit the horror fans who read this!

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

Rather than genre, length! I have never successfully written and published above 10,000 words, and I watch the novella callouts with wistful envy.

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

The worse kind of horror is the horror that has an inherent logic. Without giving the game away, this story ends the only way it can. And it's not pretty...
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