Please welcome my guest today, author Rex Hurst, who has joined me to answer a few questions about himself and his new book which is live today.
Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself
I was born in the blue-collar city of Buffalo, NY. I was traumatized as a small child by the suffocating rabbits scene in the animated adaptation of Watership Down.
Ever since, my mind twisted towards the macabre, until my inevitable blossoming as a horror writer. When not writing, I am an assistant professor of composition, public speaking, and literature.
I also currently co-host a weekly radio show, called Write-On-SC, which focused on the craft of writing. Back episodes can be found at Rexhurst.com.
How did you get into writing?
It was always something I wanted to do, but I was held back because of financial considerations. For a few years, I had to focus all my energies on making enough to live on. Then a close friend of mine died, not because of an accident, but of natural causes. This man, whom I loved, achieved nothing with his life, and that gave me the kick in the ass I needed to follow my dreams.
Please tell me about your new release
The book which will be released today (June 12th) is called What Hell May Come, based on the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and early 90s. The satanic panic was a moral outcry in the United States over supposed “satanic” influence in media that were warping the youth of America. Claims that playing an elf in Dungeons and Dragons could lead to demonic possession, that playing heavy metal music backwards would reveal satanic messages, and that therapists could uncover repressed memories of satanic ritual abuse, were all too common. Volumes and volumes of material were produced on this fake subject. These texts leads to What Hell May Come which takes a look at what the world would actually be like if all of the claims of the satanic panic were true.
Set in 1986, Jon St. Fond’s life is a living Hell. Deliberately abused and neglected by his parents, the only joy he has in life is an escape into a fantasy land of role playing games. Soon he discovers that his parents are part of a secret occult religion with hidden ties all across the world. As Jon and his friends dig, they learn more of the secret history of the world and discover the power of making deals with creatures from Beyond. However, power has its price, as Jon and his friends discover. One by one they begin to become consumed by their own desires and hatreds.
Jon learns there is method behind the madness of his life, as his father begins to bring him closer and closer into the ways of the cult. Ultimately, Jon must make a choice between all the pleasures of the earth and the future of his soul.
Do you base your characters on people you know or strangers you see in the streets?
I find it useful to have a baseline for a character, before diving in, so lot of the characters are based on mirror-images of friends of mine. I will list off all of their traits and then create characters with the exact opposite personalities. It’s amazing what you can come up with using this technique. How much of that gets translated into the novel is up-in-the-air however, the characters will evolve with the plot, but I find it certainly useful in the initial planning stages.
Finally, where does your writing career go from here?
Hopefully to have more and more books published. I have another finished and am writing a fourth. I talk to a lot of aspiring writers and people who wish to write full time, and most of them seem to want to have a book published so they use it as a stepping-stone into writing scripts for television and films. That’s not for me, I just want to be a novelist. I am perfectly happy in my smaller pond, where I get more recognition.
Congratulations on your new release and look forward to hearing more from you in the near future.