Today's Author Spotlight is author Tyler Bell! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: September 17th, 2021 Goodreads In the d...

Author Spotlight || Tyler Bell, Author of The Eyes Beneath My Father's House

Today's Author Spotlight is author Tyler Bell!
Read on for the full interview.


Publication date: September 17th, 2021


In the dusty agave fields of the Guadalajara countryside, a peasant girl cuts a deal with the insidious thing living beneath her father’s house. An industrial accident aboard a space station in humanity’s distant future forces an unappreciated laborer to survive an unpredictable alien menace. A young man recounts his last days as the caretaker of a reclusive elderly woman in her remote - and possibly haunted - mansion. Welcome to the Westside Fairytales, where nothing is as it seems and everything is connected. A universe of possibility, horror, and madness spanning humanity’s past, present, and future. If you think you’re brave enough, and clever enough, then we entreat you to discover the mysteries of The Eyes Beneath My Father’s House.




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


"The Eyes Beneath My Father's House" is a genre-spanning collection of ten horror and dark fiction short stories ranging from the coming-of-age tale of a young peasant girl who finds a demon living below her family home in the Guadalajara countryside, to a worker trying to survive an industrial accident aboard a space station in the distant future. It's available on Amazon and a few select stores in Appalachia!

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


From the blue collar work I've done my whole life and the people I've met in those jobs. I consider myself a sort of "working class" writer, and I want to represent folks not often seen in fiction.

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


It's always a little of both, like knowing somebody's in a room but not really knowing them until you've met.

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


Abella, the main character of the title story. She has an extremely intense story and things were always going to be hard on her. Seeing her develop and show off how resilient and resourceful she could be was amazing for me. The feedback from my fans on that character and that story has been amazing.

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


Character development, for sure. If you don't care about the characters then why would you care about what they're doing?

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


Probably the shape and use of a tool called a "coa" that's used for harvesting agave. It's a really interesting tool (because of how spear-like it is) and it ended up becoming an important part of the story.

In your opinion what makes a good story?


Delivery of expectation. Stories usually come to people in two parts, an introduction that sets up the expectation and the payoff for that expectation. Usually people hunt for a story to feel some specific thing, and if they've felt that way by the end, had that experience, then I believe that was a good story.

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


It didn't at all, really, I'm still a coffee-addled hermit crab clacking away in my room until 4 a.m.

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?


I read all my reviews, it's like mainlining dopamine. Adrenaline if the review is mean, which I like as well because I'm kind of fucked up that way. I consider a review "good" if it addresses my story according to the expectations I had when writing it. I got a mean review one time that said, basically "these are clearly stories for girls," which is the finest compliment I could have been paid. That was my intention but the person didn't much like that about the stories, which ultimately made my day.

What led you to start writing?


I've always loved reading and I couldn't read when I walked to school, so I would make up stories in my head to pass the time. Eventually I started scribbling those down and here we are.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Not really. I have a sort of ritual I always do before I start writing, which is to absolutely distract myself as much as I can from the story until I hit the "breaking point." Then I just drop everything and start typing. Usually for like four to six hours at a time.

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


I write in so many genres its kind of hard to say, but I think I just like certain aesthetics of each one. Horror, specifically, mixes well with everything else (sci-fi, fantasy, western, romance) that it's like the salt I use making any dish. Mostly, I think I don't really write in a genre, but a "vibe," like the feeling of pulling a rough, warm jacket tighter over your shoulders while walking through the woods in a snowstorm. The comfort and the discomfort, perfectly juxtaposed and resonating in a perfect way.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?


"Slipping, slipped." The concept of "slipping" is just so powerful to me. Not so much in the comical context, but in the way the sun slips beneath the horizon or you find time slipping through your hands and one day nobody recognizes the references you make. That powerful, intangible feeling is a wonderful pretense to set in any dark story.

What are you currently reading?


"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander. Really good.

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


Like, insane nightmare shit nobody should listen to. "Somewhere at the End of Time," by the Caretaker. Random crap from Modulgeek. "City Song" by Daughters usually gets me going, and I'll always listen to all of "Dummy" from Portishead when I get a chance. Special shout out to the soundtrack to Pathologic, as well.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


"Start now you fucking idiot."

What are a couple of your favorite movies to kick back with to relax?


"Jacobs Ladder" for sure. Absolutely a "try-hard" answer, lol, but that whole film just has a vibe to it that makes me feel very relaxed.

Which animal would you say is your spirit animal and why?


Bears. Sleepy, cuddly, and little grumpy is basically how I live my life.

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


Haunted mansion surrounded by fairytale creatures. I love home improvement and unicorns, what can I say?

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


Probably the lack of great criticism within the genre. There's a lot of support for traditionally published authors in the critic sphere, but honestly not a lot of honest criticism for bad work from subpar and mediocre authors. Especially those authors related to certain iconoclasts within the genre.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


I have an EXTREME ocd when it comes to ending the final sentence of a paragraph at more than about 30 percent of the total paragraph length. This sounds insane, but basically my brain cannot accept ending a paragraph with just a single- or two-word sentence carrying into the last line. I'll rewrite entire paragraphs or work around entire concepts in order to get those goddam paragraphs squared to my liking. It's a sickness. 


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


I'm on all the relevant socials and I talk to people all the time. I love interacting, answering questions, and even dropping hints at stuff I'm working on at the time. @WSFairytales on twitter, Westside Fairytales on Insta and Facebook, and WestsideTyler on TikTok.

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


Probably, "He parted his lips and sang for the tiger, hoping it could hear," from my story "Within as Without" about a former soldier hunting a group of men through an abandoned city after the end of a long war. It's the final line in the story and really sums up the feeling of the whole thing. I don't know exactly why, but I still read it and feel a little emotional. 

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


Create your own style guide, stick to it when you can, and constantly find ways to amend it and perfect it. Don't necessarily write it all out -- I didn't -- but make sure you have a set of rules that you write by in mind at all times. Know why you're doing things, why you're making the decisions you make, and you'll find yourself happier with your end product more often than not.

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


I literally just finished writing a 210k word monster of a story called "Sin Carriers," about a motely crew of criminals and misfits on a train headed eastbound from the West Coast in the early 1900s. On the way they have to survive encounters with monstrous creatures, horrific locales, and each other as they head deeper into a truly American nightmare. It's going to serve as the sixth season of my podcast The Westside Fairytales, and will start airing hopefully sometime this spring. It's free wherever you listen to podcasts and you can learn more at westsidefairytales.com!

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?


Head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my book, "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House" in paperback and ebook, and go to westsidefairytales.com to learn more about me and my podcast! Thanks for reading and Stay Safe Out There!



Tyler Bell is a USMC combat veteran, the host, author, and creator of the award winning Westside Fairytales podcast, and a former crime and courts journalist with bylines throughout the United States. He released his first collection of short horror and dark fiction stories "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House," in September of 2021, which LEO Weekly said "… deserves to be considered by the editors of the horror genre’s best-of annuals.” He currently lives in Louisville with his wife, Sam, their two rabbits, Marcel and Rosie, and their dog, Buck. Visit westsidefairytales.com to learn more about Tyler, the Westside Fairytales podcast, and "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House."