I'd like to welcome supernatural horror author Spencer Hamilton, author of The Fear, to Cats Luv Coffee today!  Read on for the full int...

Author Spotlight | Spencer Hamilton

I'd like to welcome supernatural horror author Spencer Hamilton, author of The Fear, to Cats Luv Coffee today!  Read on for the full interview!

What's your latest release?

My debut novel, THE FEAR, released August 11, 2020.

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work?

THE FEAR is a claustrophobic, supernatural horror novel that zooms in on the psychological turmoil of a married couple, Jacqueline and Ashley, trapped together during a pandemic. It explores what our fears do to us and those we love. As their quarantine ramps up the danger, Ash begins to fear what her wife may be turning into...

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?

I mean... *gestures broadly* I started writing THE FEAR in late March of this year as an outlet for my own fears, and I found it super cathartic. To escape into Ash and Jack's world meant being able to leave my own anxieties about the coronavirus and civil unrest for at least a moment. And I truly fell in love with these characters; they helped me see hope on the other side of all this.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?

I did know who the characters were before I started writing, but they surprised me a lot as the book developed. In fact, originally I had thought that Jack was the main character, but over the course of the novel I realized that this was Ash's story.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?

Ash. Absolutely Ash. Writing Jack's psychology was really fun, and her chapters were where I could write the real scary stuff. But I fell for Ash and began to root for her, to root for a better future for her.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?

Character development. The plot is important to me, and I take great care that plot threads are properly foreshadowed and paid out. But I believe that in storytelling, none of that truly matters if the reader doesn't care for the characters going through it all.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?

Ash! I can't stress enough how much I love her. I realized one day that I was writing more and more scenes from her perspective and I said out loud "Oh ... this is about Ash."

What books or authors influenced your own writing?

My reading tastes are super eclectic. I'd say my biggest influences are David Mitchell, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Dave Eggers, and Paul Tremblay. Perhaps even more than all those authors, though, is one short story that has been following me around ever since I was a teenager: Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?

Horror is my jam. I've always loved it, though when I was younger I mostly consumed it through film.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Consistency. I keep a chart of my daily writing pinned to the wall, and it surprised me how many days in between chapters were just blank. I'd like to fill that gap with future projects.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I do read my book reviews, though I probably shouldn't ... I deal with good and bad reviews the same way: I respect that reader's opinion and I move on.

What is something about the genre that annoys you?

Lack of diversity, both on the page and behind it. Yes, I'm another straight white male horror author, and I listed a few of them above, too, and that's a problem that I hope will continue to improve. (Random plug: go read We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia!)

Which animal would you say is your spirit animal while writing?

Cat! Specifically my Persian buddy, Linus.

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?

Haunted mansion, please! Does it come with an elevator of blood, or is that extra?

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?

Yes and yes! Come say hi over on Instagram, where I interact with the bookstagram community frequently. www.instagram.com/nerdywordsmith

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

I do! All I'll say is it's called WELCOME TO SMILEYLAND and you can go see the (current) cover at spencerhamiltonbooks.com/books ! 

Spencer Hamilton lives in Austin, Texas. 
His first book, Kitchen Sink, is a short story collection. 
The Fear is his first novel.

Spencer, thank you so much for being the author spotlight today!