artistic process, dental horror, elemental, emotional control, flames, full-time writer, special powers, writing inspiration, writing motivation
If you haven’t heard of my new project, the On Fire anthology over at Transmundane Press, this mini-interview and excerpt series will showcase the amazing authors I get to work with and their writing. Meet Tim Jeffreys.
What motivates you to write?
A need for escapism, intellectual stimulation, control perhaps, and – every so often – revenge.
Are you a full-time author? If you have another job, what is it and would you like to become a full-time author if you could?
I do have another job working in a small office in a dental hospital four days a week, which you’d think would be fertile ground for horror stories but hasn’t actually inspired any yet. I would like more time to write, but I’m not sure being a full time writer would be good for me. I’m the sort of person who needs a reason to get out of the house and mix with people because left to my own devices I probably wouldn’t bother.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Generating ideas. I write regularly and I don’t wait for inspiration, so I need a constant stream of story ideas. I also write quickly so the ideas in my notebook get burned up pretty fast and I have to come up with more all the time. Coming up with an original idea that inspires me is the hardest part.
From “Combustible” by Tim Jeffreys
“Wait a minute. Want to see something cool?”
Eun sat back on her heels and gazed up at me. She nodded. “You do cool stuff like your brother?”
“Way cooler than that. Ritchie’s not the only talented one in our family.”
I held out one hand, palm upwards.
Eun stared at it. Her eyes shone in anticipation.
I concentrated as hard as I could. What I attempted was a difficult thing to do on demand. It usually happened when I got emotional—angry or excited or joyful. That was when I had to remind myself—watch out, it’ll happen. The amount of times I had scorched the sheets when in bed with Serena, the amount of times I’d had to rush out the next day and buy new ones to hide what I’d done. Or when we rowed, I had to remind myself to keep my hands balled into fists; and Serena sometimes looked at them as if she thought I was going to hit her.
Sensing that Eun was losing interest, I picked an emotion. Anger. I thought about the time I’d come home and found Ritchie and Serena alone together in the flat. They were fully dressed, sat in the living room on opposite sofas, drinking wine and chatting, but I knew something had gone on. I could feel a weird tension in the air. I could almost smell it.
“Hey, baby brother,” Ritchie said when he saw me, and I knew it from his voice, from his expression, from the too-casual way he sprawled on the sofa. I could see it in Serena’s smile when she looked up. I could see it in her eyes.
Eun fell back on her haunches as a small blue flame leapt up in the centre of my palm. She made a small grunting noise, clawed at the floor, then staggered to her feet. I held out my hand towards her, grinning, but she reared away.
“What you do?”
“It’s a talent of mine. I can make fire in my hand. See?”
Serena’s fears from earlier bloomed again in Eun’s eyes. I closed my hand into a fist, smothering the flame.
Tim Jeffreys is the author of five collections of short stories, the most recent being ‘Another Shore’. His novella, ‘Voids’, co-written with Martin Greaves was be published Omnium Gatherum Media in 2016. His short fiction has appeared in various international anthologies and magazines. He also edits and compiles the Dark Lane Anthologies where he gets to publish talented writers from all over the world. In his own work, he incorporates elements of horror, fantasy, absurdist humour, science-fiction and anything else he wants to toss into the pot to create his own brand of weird fiction. Visit him online at www.timjeffreys.blogspot.co.uk.
ON FIRE is available now: Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and the Transmundane Press store.