This week, I find myself in a familiar predicament when it comes to interviewing. What to do when I can’t break down the interview into 13 questions. Now, the reason why I’ve been having so much trouble with this episode’s featured author is because Rish Outfield’s answers are…just plain brilliant. With that being said, today’s interview will be a little different than usual, to allow you a deeper look into the dark mind of Rish. Continue, if you dare…
Sapphire: How do you feel being on Horror Addicts for the first time (as the Featured Author)?
Rish: “I don’t know if others have found it an honor (or if it even technically qualifies), but it’s really an honor. I’ve never been a featured author before, though I was once a featured attraction in the Blokes No One Will Sleep With Sideshow, which traveled extensively through the Southland. Wait, are we supposed to make jokes with these questions? Do I have to answer them honestly? Am I under oath? I did swear, but it was on a copy of “I Am Legend” rather than a Bible. But I took it as the same thing. Sorry if I’m confused. Thank you for giving me this spot, and for trusting me not to chase away your audience for a month.”
S: Have you written a new story for Horror Addicts episode 90 or are you sharing a pre-written one?
Rish: “I considered sharing an older story, then thought this would be a good opportunity to write something new. I always wanted to write about a group of college students who perform some kind of rite or ritual in the forest, and unleash something beyond their control. I figured I’d make a go of it with this one. It ended up being a much longer piece than I intended, and certainly longer than was permitted for the show. I had to decide what to keep and what to lose, of course, but I hope the best parts remain.”
S: Can you give us a little sneak-peek into your story?
Rish: “Unreleased tells of Trevor Vanllewyn, who is a man at the end of his life. Years ago, he and his college friends summoned a qarin, like a genie in a bottle, and he never quite escaped the events of that night. So now, at the end of his life, he chooses to summon it again, wanting one last glimpse at otherworldly beauty.”
S: What inspired you to write Unreleased?
Rish: “I had two images in my head when I came up with this tale. The first was an old man, walking through the desert, and the other was a beautiful girl, shivering beside a fire. Originally, I thought the old man would be the retired professor the main character goes to for help, but for some reason, the old man ended up as the main character of the story. I intended him to be pretty bitter and amoral, but I ended up relating to him way more than I probably should have.”
S: What have you been up to since the last MMM Challenge?
Rish: “I have started narrating audio books on Audible.com, hoping to combine my love for storytelling and for podcasting into something with a paycheck at the end. So far, it’s been a bit less fun than writing about frontier werewolves, cursed objects, and witches living next door, but I still enjoy narration, and hope that check is in the mail, or soon will be.
S: What can we find on your website, Dunesteef.com?
Rish: “In 2009, my friend Big Anklevich and I had way more ambition than we do today, and we started a fiction podcast (the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine) where we’d not only present short stories people submitted us, but we’d do it with music, sound effects, and a full cast of voices. We’ve produced more than a hundred Sci-Fi, Horror, Comedy, Fantasy, and Western stories, followed by our hopefully-amusing discussion. We’ve slowed down in recent years, but we still manage the Herculean task of storytelling in that elaborate fashion. From time to time.”
S: Do you currently have any stories published in either e-book format or traditionally?
Rish: “For some reason, I have always been terrified to share my work with others. Rejection is a natural part of life, but I still fear it the way other folks fear spiders or bats or cannibals or melons (people still fear cantalopes, don’t they?). So, I submit my work very infrequently. Despite that, my stories have been heard on the Drabblecast, Journey Into…, The Way of the Buffalo, and this very podcast.”
S: What would you say is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Rish: “Two things. Obviously, the fear of sharing my work as I’ve just mentioned. But also, I have so many ideas for stories, books, and screenplays that I know are good ones, but sometimes I lack the ability to convert those ideas to actual text, or the wherewithall to write the damn things out to their conclusion. Everybody struggles with their own writing demons, but those are the two biggest, most horned, hunched, and winged demons in my personality.”
S: What do you enjoy about the horror genre?
Rish: “The other night, I went to my uncle’s house to watch a movie on his couch. I decided to walk there, since it was such a nice evening. We chose to watch a Horror movie, and when it came time to walk home, I scrutinized every shadow, every empty space where something could be crouching. As I walked in front of a house that had its porch light on, the light suddenly went out, and I took off like a shot. I ran the entire way home as fast as I could, adrenaline somehow keeping me from any fatigue.
When I got to my door, fumbling with my keys, certain that something would grab me before I got in, I had to laugh. There were no crones or feral children or hobo clowns out there lurking, but my hindbrain was convinced there was. My heart was hammering and my legs were sore the next morning, but it was actually a FUN experience. I enjoyed being scared, and will fondly remember that movie (and outing) because of it.
Some people hate being scared, and I understand that. But to be scared when you know you’re not in any actual danger, that’s a pleasure, in a way, and probably psychologically healthy.”
S: What is your favorite horror monster and why? Vampires, Werewolves, Mummies, Sea Creatures, Serial Killers, Frankenstein Monsters, Zombies, or anything else you can think of…
Rish: “While I am obsessed with shapeshifting demons and sinister children, the werewolf is my favorite. I love the idea of a person, good or bad, becoming a monster that doesn’t care about human problems, but simply runs free, causing destruction and terror, whenever the moon is full. As a little boy, I checked out a book on Universal’s “The Wolf Man,” and was surprised to not be scared of poor Larry Talbot, but to feel sorry for him. At the back of the book, I discovered that Lon Chaney Junior, who played the Wolf Man, died when I was born. For some reason, that’s always stayed with me.”
S: What was your favorite horror/scary story growing up?
Rish: “Like many of my generation, the writing of Stephen King thrilled and intoxicated me. Nothing speaks to me the way his early writing did/does. Before that, there was a writer named Daniel Cohen who would publish collections of urban legends and creepy campfire tales, such as the one about ghostly hitchhiker, the one about the hook in the door handle.
Before that, though, I was a very young boy sent over to keep my grandmother company for the weekend. I told my parents that I was afraid to sleep in the same room as her, because her snoring was so loud and spooky. My dad responded, “It’s good that she snores like that, son. It keeps away the ghosts.” Apparently, that was the opposite of the right thing to say to me, but I’ve never forgotten the story, all these years later.”
S: Could you share with us a little known fact about you?
Rish: “When I was a child, I not only had an overactive imagination, but would sometimes have hallucinations when I was sick. My poor mother would struggle in vain to explain to me that there weren’t creatures crawling across the ceiling toward me . . . because I saw them.
I doubt my fragile adult mind would withstand such visions today, but I’ll admit that there are nights, usually only one or two a year, where I will awaken from a nightmare and open my eyes to find someone standing at the foot of my bed, watching me. I’ll close my eyes tightly, like the child I was, and think, “Not there, not there,” and when I open my eyes again, they will be gone.
Does that ever happen to you? If so, hey, feel free to disregard this answer.”
S: What are some additional projects that you’re currently working on or planning that your fans can look forward to?
Rish: “We’ll be presenting a couple of my own stories soon on my podcast, and I’ve just recorded the audio for the first installment in a series of–count ’em–thirty-three books, which will be for sale at Audible (if I live that long).
If I actually HAVE fans, I can all but guarantee to lose them when people hear my entry into this year’s “Masters of the Macabre” contest. It has something in common with Count Dracula, a mosquito, and that first book by Stephenie Meyer.”
That concludes this week’s 13 Questions interview with Rish Outfield. For all you fans out there you can keep an eye on all things Rish at these following websites: