Aside from being a rather kickass and cool dude, Jeremy happens to write novels. I’m still not quite sure what his fave show Rocket Robin Hood is, but all I know is I’ve got to try it sometime… and you should try it, and Jeremy’s work soon, too. I mean he had me at The Twilight Zone…
Meet Jeremy Hayes
When did you first tell a story?
I believe it was in grade 4, we had a project to write and illustrate our own story and then they laminated it and bound it for us just like a book.
What was it about?
I did a story on two dumb bank robbers with a friend. That was probably the beginning for me.
Did you ever make up imaginary friends or beings for the sake of boredom or general mischievousness?
No, I would just create characters in my own writings and drawings.
Who influenced you the most as a writer?
There has been so many who have influenced my writing in different ways but I suppose the most influential would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien. Until I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a teen, I was just interested in writing and illustrating comic books. After reading those three books I began to think of writing fantasy novels.
Favorite book or screenplay, ever. Yes, I am limiting you to one.
Well I would have said my favorite story ever is the Lord of the Rings, but if you are limiting me to one book, then I would have to say The Fellowship of the Ring, which is the first of the trilogy. The entire trilogy is amazing but the first book is obviously what hooked me into reading the rest in the first place.
Easiest part of writing for you would be….?
The easiest part for me would have to be coming up with the ideas for stories in the first place. I seem to have an endless amount of story ideas in my head just waiting to be written. I just need more time to get to them.
What is your most dreaded, please-don’t-make-me part of writing?
That would have to be the editing stage. It can be so frustrating to read and reread something you have written a hundred times over, then someone comes along and finds such an obvious mistake that eluded you ever single time.
If you could have dinner (and dessert) with any fictional character who would it be and why?
Hmm, well one of my favourite characters of all time is Conan the Barbarian. It would definitely be interesting to sit down with him. Oh the stories he could tell. I am sure he could keep me entertained for days on end.
Any sage advice you can pass on to fellow writers that you wish someone had told you sooner?
Just write your story. Don’t even think about how you are going to publish it or if anyone is going to want to publish it. Just write it. In the end it is so satisfying to just finish and have a story completed, even if it’s only for yourself and nobody else reads it.
Do you have any weird or necessary writing habits or rituals? How do you write?
No, nothing out of the ordinary. I tend to write mostly during the morning on my days off. I think my brain is just fresh and rested at that time but by noon I am basically done.
Sometimes I can be on a roll and continue long after noon, though generally by lunchtime my brain tells me it has had enough. I might continue later on in the evening but first thing in the morning is my best time for writing.
What is the color of your editing pen? Yes, I’m serious.
Blue. I like to get a proof copy of my book printed then make notes and changes with pen to that copy.
Of the senses (all six), what is your favorite sense to write?
I would say sight. With writing it’s important that the readers can imagine what the characters are seeing as vividly as possible. As a writer, you are envisioning some fantastic scene in your mind and you want to be sure the reader is seeing that exact scene in their mind, or as close as you can manage it.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you break through it?
I have been fortunate that I don’t run into Writer’s Block. Stories and ideas just flow through my mind and my only obstacle is having the time to write them all.
There’s all the hoopla over being a Pantser or a Plotter – which team are you a part of or are you somewhere in between?
I would say somewhere in between. Before I begin writing a novel I try and create some kind of rough timeline of events but those will change as I begin writing. Many times ideas for plot twists just come to me as I am going along.
About Jeremy’s Work
Well my latest book, Tales Most Strange, is a collection of twenty-four weird fiction short stories. I am a huge fan of the television show, The Twilight Zone, and drew most of my inspiration from that. I just love a strange tale with a twist ending that you do not see coming. One funny thing is, as I was writing these stories, I even imagined them all black and white in my mind. There are some ghost stories and some detective stories. Each one has that twist ending, keeping in tradition with The Twilight Zone. H.P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers also influenced the way I wrote these stories.
What makes your work different from all the rest? What genre would you put it in?
These stories are definitely classified as weird fiction. I think a lot of times when I read short stories I find I am a little disappointed with the endings. Some can be confusing and some are left open to the reader’s interpretation, where you are left to speculate as to what really happens next. I prefer a satisfying and definitive ending. The Twilight Zone television show never disappointed me and so I have tried to do the same thing with my stories and create very satisfying endings.
Who was your favorite character to create?
Each of the stories in the book are unique but three of them feature the character, Detective Edward Kane. I had never written a detective story before and at first I just was going to write the one. But after the first, I enjoyed writing Kane so much I wrote two more stories featuring the detective who gets caught up in some weird cases. I may even continue with this character in future projects as well.
What was the hardest part about writing this project?
The hardest part was probably trying to create a spooky atmosphere. Prior to this I just wrote fantasy novels. With some of these short stories, I really wanted to have a spooky or chilling feel, so that was a new challenge for me.
What was the easiest part about writing this project?
I would say coming up with the different story ideas. My goal from the beginning was to write about fifteen stories for this book. I ended up with twenty-four and ideas are still coming to me. I will have to save those for a sequel I suppose.
Have you always loved and written in this genre or was another your first love?
This was my first attempt at weird fiction and at short stories. My first love is fantasy and I have written a trilogy of fantasy novels already, The Stonewood Trilogy. But after falling in love with the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, I wanted to give strange short stories a try.
Do you have any genre-specific tips?
I would just say the ending to the story is the key. Watch episodes of The Twilight Zone for inspiration.
Do you have any other projects that you’re working on?
Right now I am working on a children’s fantasy novel titled The Goblin Squad. The main characters of the story are all ten years old. Then I will be writing another fantasy novel about two bounty hunters, Evonne and Vrawg, who were featured in my Stonewood Trilogy.