Gio Clairval: Prolific Writer, where do you find all those ideas of yours? Do they circle about in your head all at a time? Do they ambush you, holding a gun to your temple? Do they keep you in a mental oubliette until you spit everything onto the wriggling white page?
Rhys Hughes: i believe it is just a question of practice as with anything… the more i write, the more easily ideas come to me… these days they won’t leave me alone, they bubble up from somewhere or appear out of nowhere in my waking life, roused into being from a random word, glance, position or situation
Rhys Hughes: and yes i get agitated if i don’t express these ideas as stories… but recently i met a wonderful woman called Nina who is so full of ideas and has such a great imagination that just talking with her satisfied my need to express ideas all the time, though on the obverse side she has inspired many new ones too… but this is all good. 🙂
Rhys Hughes – My favourite titles? Of other authors you mean? I’ve always loved DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE by A. Merritt; ABERRATION OF STARLIGHT by Gilbert Sorrentino; and FROTH ON THE DAYDREAM by Boris Vian…
Rhys Hughes – My own best title… well, I’m torn between TYPO IN TYTLE and THE STORY WITH A CLEVER TITLE. I think those are my two best titles. I am also fond of DYNAMITING THE HONEYBUN.
Rachel Kendall: I know you asked people to send in pics for your monster book too. Do you think this is something you’ll continue to do with your books?
Rhys Hughes: I don’t intend to make self-publishing a habit. I think that would be a mistake. But I might bring out two or three more, maximum, this way. The monster book is actually being published by the guy who did this cat illustration.
Elizabeth Nice: “You seem incredibly prolific. How many words do you write a day, on average? Just curious.”
Rhys Hughes: “I try to write 1000 a day but I usually fail. I can work it out precisely if you want me to to. Give me a few minutes. But actually I’m not so prolific really, not when compared with (for instance) Michael Moorcock, Max Brand or Frank Richards!”
“OK, I’ve just worked it out. For the past 23 years I have written 322 words a day, every day, including weekends. That’s an average.”
Elizabeth Nice: “Well you’re damn prolific compared to ME! And 1000 is a fine ballpark. How many hours a day, you think?”
Rhys Hughes:” About 3 hours a day… but for tax purposes I’m going to say it’s 6 hours a day. ;)”
“My output increased hugely in the past four years but now it’s dropping back down again. I feel disappointed if I don’t crack the 100,000 words barrier every year. I’ve just broken that limit recently for this year. Last year I broke it easily (the total for 2012 was 240,000 words)… but in my entire writing life I have only written 3 million words of fiction. Max Brand wrote 40 million and Frank Richards wrote almost 100 million!!!!!!”
“When I get to my 1000th story, that’s it, I’m finished for good!”
Gary Fry (Gary_fry): Which horror writers do you base your opinions of the genre on, Rhys?
Rhys Hughes: You really want me to answer that question? Do I have protection from comeback?
Sorry, I’ve just read my last message and I’m wondering what I’ve become. A sissy. That’s not me.
You asked a question, Gary. It’s only right I answer it:
Joe R. Lansdale
Those are five names. There are others. I used to do a lot of reviewing.
Gary Fry (Gary_fry): Did you scare easily as a child, Rhys?
Rhys Hughes: Absolutely not. No. I made the woods my nighttime playground; anywhere in the vicinity with a reputation for being haunted, there I’d go; I looked for ghosts everywhere. Only on one occasion did I scare myself silly by doing this: I was eleven years old and on the night of Halloween I read the first forty or so pages of Dracula and then went to a wood different in character from the (mostly scyamore) woods where I usually roamed. This other wood was hawthorn, tangled and dark, with narrow tunnels through the dense growth… However, I still didn’t see any ghosts.
I did have an encounter with a ghost once. Not then, though; much later. And I was (and am) a sceptic.
I’ve done a lot of wild camping since then, and have bivouacked in forests all over Europe, and you do get used to them, and they do lose their menacing aspects with time. It was an ambition of mine to hike through Transylvania and I did that in 1993 and in Romania it’s perfectly acceptable to camp wild. Transylvania was friendly and colourful rather than eerie. I guess that forests at night are very unnerving to the first time sleeper, but soon enough you get blase about them.