To celebrate the release of Aphotic Realm's first anthology, Tales From the Realm, featuring 20 tales of strange and sinister fiction, I'm chatting with Tevis Shkodra.
So Tevis, tell us a bit about yourself
Hi I'm Tevis, I'm 23 and working in the tech sector and living in Toronto, Canada. I write short stories of all genres, the occasional novel, and sometimes even poetry.
Who are your biggest influences when it comes to writing?
George RR.Martin - he writes fantasy like no other. I also enjoy Herman Hesse (my fave author). I've read all his work. I love how the action and dialogue and character's journeys are linked with the broader themes of life and travel and adventure in Hesse novels.
Name a great horror book, story or magazine you've read recently.
I'm not a big horror reader, but Aphotic Realm has some great stuff. And of course, Stephen King. I've read The Shining recently for the first time ever.
How long have you been writing for?
About 3 years, I've written 5 novels, 50 short stories and a whole bunch of stuff locked in drawers never to see daylight!
What's a typical writing day for you?
I'm not a morning writer. No coffee = no words. I write often at night, when everyone else in the world is sleeping and it's just me and the white page in front of me. I try to stick to 500 words a day, but some days I'm lucky to string along 5 words together, let alone 500.
Do you have a story that you've written that you are particularly proud of?
I'm most proud of my most recent novel, which has not yet been published. It's be re-written a bunch of times, and has improved much since the first writing a year ago. Fingers crossed that gets picked up soon so that I can stop re-writing it over and over again.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I'm writing a fantasy novel in which the bad guy wins in the end (spoiler alerts). and also writing several short stories of various genres but those are smaller projects. Actually, I am working on a poetry and prose anthology with a couple of friends and hoping to get that in bookstores int he fall!
If you could throw an amazing dinner party, who would you invite? Guests can be living, dead or fictional.
I'd definitely invite Bukowski. Give that guy a drink and grab the popcorn!
Tell us about your story, The Trials of Man. What was the story behind it?
I was volunteering in Costa Rica in 2015. Before that, I'd never written a word in my life. I was laying on the hammock one night and decided to write a short story (my first ever). as one of those bucket list items. 1 week later, it was a novella, 2 months after that it was published by a small press. In retrospect, I do regret having it published, because I was not ready, but it definitely gave me the courage and inspiration to keep putting words on the page and three years later, that inspiration is still going strong.
You can find out more about Tevis Shkodra here