Ask the Author: Boris L. Glebov
What would you like readers to know about you?
I love too many things. My affection scattered over all art forms, and while I am a writer because that is the one I feel I am best suited for, theater, cinema, and visual arts probably influence my writing more than any book.
What are “Writings to stem your existential dread” and “Dread naught but time” about for those who haven’t read it?
Each collection is a work of a writers’ collective of which I am a part, people who come from many walks and places, so there is a lot to unpack. “Existential dread” was our first major collaborative effort, and I think in some ways it was our path to a stronger identity as a group and a chosen family, as it were. My stories in that collection are about self-identity and searching for your village, which I think fit that spirit. The second anthology was centered on time – and in my story, the characters trace themselves from a difficult past to an uncertain future.
What has been your inspiration for writing these stories?
“Amour, we rue its myth” was inspired by a painting of Villa Diodati, the place where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. The painting is so moving and melancholy, I think I just started describing it, and then found the story in its ennui. Samara – the main character my other two stories in these anthologies – is probably inspired by many years playing D&D and Arkham Horror. The first story was a classic fantasy heist setup, while the second story tried to take a more sober look at what that kind of life would actually be like.
What was your favorite scene or part of these stories to write?
In “Samara’s Game” there is a moment, where she remembers her mother’s instruction, “The way to hear the silenced steps is to listen for where the steps should be.” When I heard this line in my head for the first time, it came in Terry Pratchett’s voice, which made me absolutely enamored with it.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Hemingway’s “Nick Adams Stories” is perhaps the one book that made me think of writing as something that I could do, that maybe it was for me. I read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” at about the same time, and it absolutely blew away what I thought could be done with words. Later on, first Hunter S. Thompson and then William S. Burroughs pushed those boundaries even further. And more recently, Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami have been stoking the fire for me, reminding just what pure joy writing can be.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Things such as genre, plot, conflict, the story arc, the three-act play, characters who are likable or dynamic – none of these things are terribly important. As a writer, you owe them no fealty. They are tools, you should understand what they do, and use them as needed.