Interview with Edward Fortman

What's the story behind your latest book?
Dreams of the Damned came about when I decided to publish stories and poems I've written, in a series of short books. My writings are a collection that I've compiled over a period of 20 years, so far. With a combination of fantasy, horror, weird fiction, poetry and a bit of comedy, I think you'll find that these books leave you thinking. They are great stories for discussion in book clubs or amongst friends, as well as personal interpretation. You'll also discover a story within a story, a quest, the purpose of which is yet to be known, where the Painter of Dreams walks you from one story or dream to the next as you traverse a nightmare landscape.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My love of the unknown word. I like to word things in such a way that no one knows or understands what I'm talking about. Makes you think. Seriously, I like to fool myself into believing that I am and have always been an independent thinker.
What is it about writing that gives you the most joy?
The moment in time, while I'm writing, that a vision is running through my mind and my fingers are simply dancing on the keyboard, writing out that vision, without a conscious thought for words or sentence structure.
When did you first start writing?
Long ago, in the days of yore, when I was 12, playing Dungeons & Dragons, I began to write an epic fantasy story. Unfortunately (or thankfully), that story is lost somewhere in time.
What do your fans mean to you?
To anyone who considers themselves a fan of the Dreams of the Damned series of books, know that you are our most highly regarded and important fans. So, what do you mean to us at Twisted Crapola books? Simply, the world.
What are you working on next?
In the immediate future, I'll be working on Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 4.

Sometime down the road, in 2015, unless time allows for an earlier deadline, I'll be publishing an epic tale involving, of all things, a silly hat, a curved blade, a funeral and a sawmill. Why are these four items important? I must admit that I won't know until the story's ready to be published. A short story involving a small part of this tale may appear in Dreams of the Damned.

In the meantime, Dreams of the Damned Volumes 4 through 6 await publication ...
What is your writing process?
Simply, I come up with an idea or even a simple picture in my mind, let it roll around in my head for days, months, or even years, and, when the idea or picture expands itself into a scene, an entrance into a story, I sit down and begin to write. During the writing of that scene, or perhaps beforehand, I'll come up with a story idea to guide where the scene leads. And, as is often the case, the story will seemingly write itself.

(While this may sound exceedingly strange, it isn't. Us rational folks can chalk it up to the subconscious mind guiding the story. But, it is a cool feeling.)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the first story I've read, but I CAN remember the most influential story. The Omen, by David Seltzer (I read the book years before seeing the movie). As I explain in the ongoing "Author Bio" narrative in the Dreams of the Damned books, the novel, The Omen, served as a great introduction to horror fiction but, with its reference to the Biblical Book of Revelations, it also served as an influence on music, when you consider Iron Maiden's song, "Number of the Beast." And Iron Maiden's lyrical writing in turn affected my own writing. It was kind of a cascading effect. Very little of what I write is Satanic in nature, but there's no telling what I'd be doing, now, had I not read The Omen.
How do you approach cover design?
The covers of all of the books I've published thus far have been old public domain or government public domain photos. The cover of Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 1, was black and white, showing a window into a burnt-down building, as if it were a gateway to a strange world. Being the first of the series, I thought that this odd gateway, being not a gateway at all but a window, would be a fitting representation of the descent into the absurdly strange realm the Dreams of the Damned series offers. Volume 2 offered a photograph of the horrific 1906 San Francisco earthquake; the photo was taken from the street and showed the humanity of that horrible event, which fit the loose theme of Volume 2, which was "survival". The cover for Volume 3 is much the same, as far as the loose theme, "revenge," goes, for a nuclear explosion is impossible to escape.

So, I approach cover design (as well as logo design and any other kind of graphics design that visually speaks for a written work) in such a way that it, hopefully, satisfies the theme of the written work, but that it also doesn't steal from the mental imagery that readers create in their minds from the writing.
Published 2014-07-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 5
Series: Dreams of the Damned. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,060. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Our narrator, trapped in a cavern full of dried husks that once were men and women, moves onward to escape his prison. Meanwhile, let's discover the incident of two folks who have odd notions about names. Hear a tragic tale of two tortured souls. And, experience a man’s curse, when his wife claims, in life as in death, “I still love you … ” So, join us, relax, and dream the dreams of the damned …
Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 4
Series: Dreams of the Damned. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,460. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
The journey halts. Are the travelers trapped in an inn? Chained in the darkness of a tomb? As answers await, let's discover a court enclosed in an infernal chamber, wherein no soul is safe. And hear the tale of a creature hunting for a trophy. See a vision wherein a prayer is truly answered. Learn why our good intentions may lead us to hell. Listen as a whisper paints the dreams of the damned …
Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 3
Series: Dreams of the Damned. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,450. Language: American English. Published: August 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
The dark journey moves onward and into an unexpected respite. And, again, the wretched soul painting the dreams of the Damned in a whispering voice joins us and speaks of a boy who plays a card game invented to see who lives to eat; a phial filled with angst; and the saga of Wickersheim, where odd folks tug on pant legs, then trod forth with glee. Join us, and dream the dreams of the damned …
Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 2
Series: Dreams of the Damned. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,370. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Here awaits a father who tries to save his son from death; a tale of two nightmares, one of which is real; and the quest of a woman who seeks to find her groove and discovers her strength. More visions lie within, painted by the whisper of a wretched soul. And, once the tales are done, a dark road continues, the end unforeseen. So, come, travel the dark roads, and dream the dreams of the Damned …
Dreams of the Damned, Vol. 1
Series: Dreams of the Damned. Price: Free! Words: 13,200. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
Listen, as the night is quiet and the shadows creep close, to forgotten tales, once untold. Herein awaits a tale of those who awaken in the darkest of nights; the incident of a friendly creature's unnatural laughter and the omen it portends; and a parable of a Lady whose sword now rings discordantly. More visions lie within this tome, painted by the whispering voice of a wretched soul.