Interview with Barrymore Tebbs

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. It was a short werewolf story called The Lycanthrope. I was about eleven or twelve years old when I wrote it. I turned the paper sideways and typed it like it was a book. I've recently used the same premise for a short novel called Night of the Lycanthrope.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was an avid reader as a child, but around age ten I started discovering gothic fiction and the monsters - Dracula, Frankenstein. - and Poe and Lovecraft. I would think Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart had a startling impact on my mind at that young age.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing around age eleven or so, but didn't really know how to do it. It wasn't until a few years ago when I was fifty that I learned most of the techniques which I still used and was able to become a productive writer.
What is your writing process?
I write 5-6 days a week. I come home from work, walk the dog, feed myself and the dog, then write for about an hour, usually from 6-7 in the evening. I aim to write on the weekends but my creative output depends on the previous night's alcohol consumption.
Describe your desk
My writing area is very small and cramped, and very messy. I have several shelves within arm's reach which hold treasured editions of Poe, Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Patricia Highsmith, Grimm's Fairy Tales, things like well as favorite bestsellers such as Dune and The Exorcist, and then a ton of writing reference and my research books on Victorian England. All of my projects have a 1" - 2" binder which contain notes, character profiles, and outlines.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Which latest book? As of this writing, I will be releasing a short story on Smashwords in a few days called Shelter From the Storm. I wrote it a year ago. At my day job I was listening to a lot of old radio mysteries, Inner Sanctum, Lights Out... things like that. And it was Christmas and I ran across an article online about the lost tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. So I wrote a ghost story for Christmas Eve with three characters which is mostly dialogue in what I think of as a stylistic homage to those old types of radio plays.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Ha! Mostly the fact that it is becoming harder and harder ever year for an unknowntwriter to get read by an agent, let alone get the manuscript in front of a publisher... even then I read about publishing houses which give low advances, low royalties, and don't promote their low tier authors. I have several longer projects in revision which I plan on sending out to agents when complete, but my preferred form of fiction reading and writing is the novella. It's much easier to find a quick audience by self-publishing on places like Smashwords and Amazon. I don't have a lot of time to read, so I enjoy well constructed stories which I can read in three or four hours rather than bloated novels which take me weeks to read.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have a number one fan already. Her name is Superfan Ann. She read my second published story, Black Valentines, and got two of her friends to read it. All three wrote rave reviews (on Amazon) and I can always count on Ann to be the first to review a new publication.
What are you working on next?
Over the next half year I will be revising two novels, Dark Gardens and The Women of Putnam Woods, and hopefully start preliminary work on a companion piece to my most popular book, The Haunting at Blackwood Hall.
Who are your favorite authors?
In the Gothic genre it would be Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Barbara Michaels, Thomas Tryon, and HP Lovecraft. As far as contemporary writers, I am a huge admirer of Jeffrey Deaver, John Grisham, John Connolly, and James Lee Burke.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Exorcist - because it is quite simply the greatest page-turner ever. I read it about once a year.

Shutter Island - the perfect marriage of Gothic and psychological thriller.

The Woman in Black - written in a beautiful Gothic style, it's short enough to read in a day or two, and it is genuinely scary.

The Hound of the Baskervilles - my favorite "classic"; I share my first name with the butler; and a rollicking Gothic mystery/adventure. What's not to love?

In my top five I have to make room for non-fiction, which in this case is a tie between Helter Skelter and Zodiac. Zodiac scares the jeebies out of does Helter Skelter which I re-read last year. These are the kind of things which really get under my skin and creep me out.
Published 2013-12-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Haunting at Blackwood Hall
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 63,450. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Romance » Gothic
In the tradition of the great Gothic Romances, The Haunting at Blackwood Hall is a thrilling ghost story brimming with bold new twists on the beloved conventions of a bygone era.
Night of the Pentagram
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 70,000. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
For lovers of drive-in B movies and vintage paperback horror novels, this blood spattered Gothic potboiler plunges the reader back to the year 1968 - a time of mini skirts and ironing board straightened hair, when pot smoking and peace signs walked hand in hand, and the Hollywood Jet Set routinely made pacts with the Devil. Once you check into the Abernathy Clinic, you might not check out - alive!
Shelter From the Storm - A Ghost Story for Christmas
Price: Free! Words: 5,040. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
(4.14 from 7 reviews)
A weary traveler finds himself stranded on the doorstep of two proper Victorian ladies during a wild winter storm.
The Yellow Scarf
Price: Free! Words: 13,850. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
(5.00 from 1 review)
Five London swingers drop acid and spend the night in the house of notorious Satanist, Basil Townsend. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, and Playboy bunnies.