Q: Today I’m joined by horror author E.C. Hanson! If you can, I’d love it if you can share a little bit about yourself and what types of stories you enjoy writing as well as which genres you write in?
A: I guess it’s worth sharing that I made the switch to fiction at the start of COVID. My wife became pregnant, and it created a lot of extra time for me to write. To trap a writer indoors is a big mistake. It just leads to an insane amount of material.
I like horror and your typical dramas. Stories where a family falls apart. Hopefully I can incorporate that aspect into all of my stories.
Q: The first thing I would be thrilled to talk about is your upcoming short story collection, ‘All Things Deadly (Salem Stories)’ being published by D&T Publishing. What can you tell me about it?
A: It’s awesome! I’m kidding. Sort of. No, I am very proud of it. When COVID started, I mapped out an entire book of short stories. I went back and forth on committing to it because I thought they could also play well in an anthology film. But my brother convinced me that they should be part of a book. I write a lot and never hit creative blocks. But whenever I tried fiction, I would always stop and prevent myself from moving on. I was a tough critic. Although one professor at NYU made me (and others) write a piece of personal fiction as our first class exercise. A writer in the program—probably the one I respected the most—said it was the one piece that blew him away. This always stayed with me and gave me an ounce or two of confidence to attack fiction at a later date.
As for the book itself, it uses the coastal location to generate scares. But the book is held together by a seven-part storyline. It focuses on the Frost family, which consists of a widowed father and his troubled daughter. He is a former paranormal investigator killing his days at a grocery store; his daughter is dealing with so many issues that she resorts to self-harm. Something, and yes I am being vague on purpose, brings them to Salem. And if all goes well, the two might improve their fractured relationship.
Q: You’ve had quite a few short stories published at this point, which are you most proud of and where can we check it out?
A: My author page on Amazon lists everything that I’ve done. Ironically, the short story I am most proud of hasn’t been published yet. It’s called FAST FRIENDS. I just adore the piece for various reasons. The lead character shares my daughter’s name. I wrote it before she was born, however. A publisher rejected it recently. But it was the most complimentary rejection I have ever received. It honestly won’t bother me if it lives on my laptop forever.
Q: Professionally, you’re an educator. How has teaching others helped evolve your own writing style?
A: Well, I have had all sorts of jobs in education. Whatever job I’ve had taught me to listen more. You need to pay attention to why a student is struggling with academic or personal matters. And you need to be reflective. You can say things a certain way that land worse than you ever intended. I am a serious guy (at least my disposition suggests this), but I care. If I make a mistake, I’ll own it. With my superiors and with my students. This perspective allows me to get at the heart of the matter in my stories. I am quite proud of the Sutton Frost character in my collection. She wouldn’t have been created without my educational experiences.
Q: Where were you born (and/or are you from) and how has that affected your writing?
A: I grew up in Monroe, Connecticut. Even though I lived in a few homes, my mother settled in a place that is less than five minutes away from the Warrens. Yes, those Warrens. I have always been fascinated by paranormal events. We had a few experiences with them over the years, so I guess it’s no shock that I’ve made my way here creatively.
Q: You earned your MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU, how has that helped shape your writing style?
A: It didn’t shape my style. It just improved my work ethic. The professors were quite tough on students. It made you raise your game and reach beyond your grasp. I miss my time there. I’ve never been in an environment that tested me so much, and I am forever grateful for the NYU experience.
Q: While there, you also earned an “Outstanding Writing For The Screen certificate. When writing, do you often frame your work with the potential to be seen visually?
A: I don’t know that I write with the plan for everything to be turned into film. That said, a professor of mine used to preach, “Write what we see.” It’s something I am always cognizant of, but I think I could improve in this area.
Q: You’ve had over 35 short plays developed and produced, what can you tell us about that experience?
A: I’ve had some luck in the playwriting field. No one has wanted to do any of my full-length pieces; however, people usually respond to my short pieces. Some acceptances are as surprising as the rejections. But my modest level of success with short pieces informed how I would make this organic transition to fiction. I didn’t want to write a huge novel right away. I knew what I was capable of, so I compiled a book of short stories. It seems like “knowing oneself” is important in the journey of creation.
Q: What are your favorite author resources online, from websites to tools?
Q: Do you have any other collections or plays that you’re currently working on which you could share a tease about?
A: I haven’t written a play in about two years. I am not giving up on them, but I will not force myself to create one anymore. If something feels like it should be a play, I’ll take a swing for it. But COVID disrupted that scene big time. Furthermore, I interned at an Off-Broadway theatre during my time at NYU. It taught me a lot about what companies want and how far in advance their slots are picked.
As for a tease, I wrote a novella immediately after finishing my collection. It is dark and ultra-violent. It does have heart, though. It’s like a mature version of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It recently found a home. I will work on that in 2022 with Demain Publishing.
Finally, if there is anything else you would love to share with our readers, please do so here!
I come across like a very grumpy dude, but I am super kind. A few established authors were kind to me when I asked them for advice before submitting my collection to places. Therefore, any aspiring author can email me random questions on Instagram. My handle is @haddonfieldhanson. I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner!