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“A book should take you on a journey where hardships and confrontations lead to a satisfying accomplishment or lack there of. Even rich, tangible characters will seem dull without an interesting and clear purpose.”

April 26, 2011

Arts & Literature, Interviews

DarkMedia Interviews Tyr Kieran:

“I’m a storyteller first and foremost. I write to take my readers on an adventure they won’t get anywhere else; one that offers the gamut of emotions amid vivid imagery and creative events. As a writer I only want to produce novels that hook you early and never let go; books structured on solid plots with Formula One twists and characters so real, you’ll try to send them Christmas cards.

Horror Fiction (or Dark Fantasy Fiction) is my passion—my calling. The dark unknown is just too damn interesting to be left, well, unknown! I’m an author that will reach into the looming shadows and show you its writhing, dangers and treasures in vivid detail. And then, for your own good, I’ll push you into the darkness head first for a ride you’ll never forget.

I strive to break through the wall between author and reader. With my ‘interactive story project’ on my website and various social platforms, I got pretty close. Starting in 2009 my readers had the opportunity to follow a story as I wrote it, piece by piece. Every weekday for over a year and a half I composed a new paragraph and posted it on the internet within hours, all the while avoiding as much prior planning as possible. This created an environment where everyone was at the same point in the story. Readers could leave comments and have discussions not only with fellow readers, but with the author as well. Once the story reached a point of conclusion, I held a contest for my readers to choose the title through name suggestions, and ultimately, a public poll.” (http://www.tyrkieran.com/)

You write in an interesting way, involving reader feedback from an early stage in the process. Tell us a bit about it and why writing that way works for you.

With the advent of social media we’ve witnessed the digital removal of some long standing societal barriers. Communication is easier and faster now, more than ever. I wanted to utilize the current technology to tear down that neigh impenetrable wall dividing reader from writer. I wanted to connect with my readers and offer them more, something unique.

Through social media platforms I was able to create an environment where everyone would be at the same point in a story at the same time. This would allow readers to comment and discuss, theorize and ask questions before the story moves on to the next segment—interaction between the author and fellow readers. Hopefully, this environment, this “community”, creates a greater sense of personal attachment to the story for everyone. I like to think that we’re all taking this journey together instead of the usual solitary reading experience.

Why writing this way works for me? Well, I wanted to take on the challenge of that unique environment, which requires writing each portion of the story with as little prior planning as possible. It’s the only way to ensure that the reader is truly witnessing the story develop. There have been days where I’ve struggled in composing a segment that I deem worthy of posting, let alone one that follows a logical progression in the story, doesn’t contradict existing plot points or character traits, and is interesting and error free, all while staying within the 420 character Facebook limitation. But I can tell you in all confidence that I’m a better writer for it.

On the same topic, what’s the most encouraging feedback you’ve received thus far from a reader?

I’m thankful to have received several emails and comments cursing me for their “new found addiction” [to the daily posts] and for “not posting enough”. What more could I ask for?

What do you think makes a good story?

Story makes a good story! A book should take you on a journey where hardships and confrontations lead to a satisfying accomplishment or lack there of. Even rich, tangible characters will seem dull without an interesting and clear purpose.

Do you ever scare yourself? What do you think is the scariest idea you’ve ever written about?

Unfortunately, No. It hasn’t happened yet, probably because I’m too critical of my work and too close to it. But, I promise to keep trying! Actually, my house promises to keep trying… True Story: certain lights in my house like to turn on and off at will and that isn’t very comforting at times, especially when I’m near exhaustion at 2am.

My scariest idea is incubating in a word document. It’s actually my first book concept; the very thing that got me started as a writer. It’s currently stored away under lock and key for a future time when I feel my abilities will do it justice. Sorry, no clues; it’s top secret!

What’s your favorite book to give as a gift and why?

Of course it depends on the preferences of the recipient, but I like spreading the literary art of Poe and Lovecraft; because everyone should experience their genius!

What are you reading right now?

I just started reading “Shadows in the Mist” by Brian Moreland. I’m only a few pages in and I’m already hooked. It’s a horror thriller about the occult obsessed Nazi’s of WWII. That topic alone makes me salivate, but it’s Moreland’s talent and his historical accuracy—which are both evident from page one—that are priming this book a spot on my favorites list.

Tell us about a writer you really admire and why?

That’s tough to narrow down, but I’ll go with a combo deal of Brian Lumley (Necroscope) and Jeff Lindsay (Dexter). Lumley revolutionized the Vampire to a being of unfathomable terror and ability. I’m awed by his complex and creative writing style. His unique tales of horror, science, and the paranormal resonated with me long after I devoured them. He inspired me to start writing. He is why I strive to be a story teller first and foremost. Lindsay has a completely different writing style than Lumley: smooth, causal, and direct. I connected immediately with his style, story, and flare for alliteration. Dexter is a vivid, flawless, and lasting character that’s undeniably relatable with both his hero and monster traits. I guess you could say that my writing style is the accidental love-child of these styles.

The poll on your website supports the general consensus that vampires are hugely popular at the moment. Why do you think this is?

Vampires have always been a popular monster. We’re just in a bit of an uptick right now. It’s cyclical like most things in life (and death); part of human nature. We obsess over something we like until we get tired of it. Then we forget about it until it’s rediscovered; Wash-Rinse-Repeat. Same thing goes with Zombies, Werewolves, Police/Hospital Sitcoms, etc. The take home lesson here is that Vampires are iconic and will never die… for long.

What, or who, is your greatest inspiration as an author? What about them inspires you?

Actually, everything inspires me. A movie, a book, a company brand, a song on the radio… I view them all as the labor of someone’s passion. They worked hard and ultimately found success. They obviously didn’t give up when things got tough. So, inspiration is never in short supply!

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? What’s the best, or worst, advice someone gave you?

My advice to fellow aspiring authors is to never give up. There will be lots of adversity (internal and external) but that is merely an opportunity for growth!

The worst advice preached on and off throughout the writing world is to “write what you know.” I believe in the benefits of branching out of your comfort zone. Dissonance is crucial to a plot, why wouldn’t it be important in the mood of a writer as well? Comfortable topics = Stale. Push the envelope, learn new things, worry about the outcome, and get uncomfortable! It will show up in your work and your readers will thank you for it.

How can your readers support you and your upcoming projects?

Please check out the free ongoing tale “Cale’s Story” at http://www.TyrKieran.com or on Facebook. If you enjoy it, please comment and/or click the “Like” button. Spread the word! Referrals and interaction are the biggest way to show your support.

On these pages you’ll also see news of future interactive opportunities when they develop, so stay tuned.

Finally, what’s got you inspired or excited?

I’m excited about the cultural shift taking place right now. We are in the infancy of the biggest step in the Digital Revolution since the birth of the “home” computer. Social Media is changing how we live our lives, how we communicate, and how we participate in our hobbies and guilty pleasures. And the icing on that fascinating cake is a similar—and very relevant—revolution in the publishing industry. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of empires crumbling at the feet of new regimes. Power to the people!

______________________________________________

Tyr Kieran can be found at www.tyrkieran.com or on DarkMediaCity.

Many thanks to our contributing interviewer and reviewer, D.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission.)

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