Interview with Eric Westphal

What's the story behind your latest book?
The Kjolvannet Saga began about a decade ago. In Mythology classes at St. Cloud State University and back in my hihg school days, the question kept coming up, "If Ragnarok is the end, why are there survivors?" This question prompted many versions, including at least on that exonerates Loki. The Hollow represents the best of the best of those furtive attempts.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are everything to my writing career. There aren't many of them yet, but to each and every one, I say "thank you" because without the readership, an author is nothing. I know that the concept here is not unique to me. My fans are the lifeblood of my writing and I encourage thme to contact me to share their thoughts and suggestions.
What are you working on next?
The answer to this question should be simple, but it isn't quite. I am working on the next two books of the Kjolvannet (tentatively titled "Liar's Dice" and "Stormfury") When I roadblock on these I return to another piece that's been clan king around this old noggin a while: "The Iscariot Codex", which retells the story of Christ through the eyes of Judas. I've also been toying with an entry to the contest for the "Dark Crystal" prequel as well as a non-fiction piece based on the supermileage team at our school. When time allows, I also work on raising my sons and staying ahead of a teacher's paperload.
Who are your favorite authors?
The list is a bit long for this space and is in more or less constant flux, but the top 10 would be:

Geoffrey Chaucer
Neil Gaiman
A.A. Attanasio
H.P. Lovecraft
Edgar Allan Poe
Nathaqniel Hawthorne
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Kurt Vonnegut
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
There were so many through the years that I have forgotten. A friend of mine had an interesting fantasy concept called Ravenstar that has been on the backburner a while. The first one I clearly remember was about giants inhabiting our world (I was a huge fan of Roald Dahl's The BFG) but they were SO large that we didn't even notice them. Most lived out in California, mistaken for Redwoods.
What is your writing process?
My process is very scattered. I like to begin at the beginning, but often find that I am actually nearer the end of a finished product. I have been told that I go a bit crazy when working on my writing. The Hollow is my first publication, and it only reached this stage because some friends, colleagues and students pushed me to get it into print. if that hadn;t happened, I would probably have fiddled with it until I got bored and shelved it with my other work.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read.... I thinkit was Morris the Moose Goes to School, or maybe Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The latter I definitely recall getting from a book order early in my academic career. The most impactful would have to be the works of pulp writers (I know it's trendy now, but it's always been true) and Shakespeare.
How do you approach cover design?
Very Carefully.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Complete works of H.P.Lovecraft.
As a gamer, this one is hard to avoid. Lovecraft was a great many things, and he has baggage to be sure, but the vividness of his horror and the futility of human action against those odds was always captivating. A friend describes it as "watching yourself being flayed alive and remarking on the contrast of the colors of your own viscera with the wonder of an art critic".

2. Invitation to a Beheading by Nabokov
Nabokov is a master and I love a good exercise in mental gymnastics. All baggage aside, the stigma attached to Nabokov is grossly unfair to the talent of the man.

3. Wuthering Heights by Bronte
this novel has it all, it runs from the romantic to the Romantic. The Gothic moors, the hellbent Heathcliffe, the confusion of Catherines, lineage, torment, vengeance and redemption, all in one tome.

4. The Dragon and the Unicorn by Attanasio
Who would have thought Arthurian legend, quantum physics, metaphysics and Norse mythology could co-exist?

5. Neuromancer by Gibson
the grandaddy of Cyberpunk novels, Gibson is starting to rank with P.K. Dick and Heinlein as a visionary. This is wonderous and terrifying all at the same time.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything I can find.
Published 2015-10-01.
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Books by This Author

The Hollow
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 43,860. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
As the remnants of the once great Aesir nation build defenses for the ruined fortress-city of Asgard, the hostile new world dawns. In the dawning of that world, new realities come to light, old foes come to prominence and an enemy whispered cautiously by their elders in ancient days returns, but the greatest threat lies within...