Interview with Abe Moss
Author of The Writhing
Hi, I'm Abe Moss! I'm 28 years old and I'm a bit of a horror freak. Books, movies, video games--anything to disturb me in the best kind of way. I've been writing horror for as long as I can remember (seriously, since I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, encouraged and inspired largely by movies I probably shouldn't have been watching as such a wee lad) and I hope to never stop.
I wrote my first (now published) novel, The Writhing, when I was 18. I've written two more novels since then. I hope if you're reading this you've found something in my stories to enjoy, because I'm planning to write a lot more of them!
As far as writing horror goes, I love creature-features, psychological horror, supernatural horror, cosmic horror, you name it. With each book I write, I hope to try something a little different. The possibilities are endless and that's what I really love about storytelling. I hope you'll enjoy my stories as well!
Buy this book
How would you describe The Writhing to a new reader?
- I'd say it's a combination of two different kinds of horror stories. I took two sub-genres of horror, two scenarios with their own characters--protagonists and antagonists--and created a situation that forces them together, and you get to see how these characters deal with the chaos they find themselves in. It was a lot of fun to write! Almost like a story-telling experiment as a horror author.
To what extent is The Writhing based on your own experiences?
- Much of it is based purely on my love for horror. There are a lot of personal homages, inspired by horror stories I've adored for a long time. I joke that it's got a little something for everyone who loves horror, but that's kind of what it is.
What are some horror stories that inspired The Writhing?
- There are a lot of inspirations, but a couple definite ones come to mind. I like to describe the book overall as Stephen King's Misery meets John Carpenter's The Thing.
You mention in your bio you love horror books, horror movies, and horror video games. What are you favorites of each?
- Book - 'Salem's Lot
Movie - Rosemary's Baby
Video Game - Silent Hill 2
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Write as much as you can as often as you can. There's no better way to improve. Don't sit around waiting for a muse. Put yourself in front of the keyboard and write. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Writer's block isn't a reason, it's an excuse. Consistency comes with discipline, not inspiration. It's all up to you!
- I fell in love with horror when I was just a kid, pretty much. My dad let me watch movies no six-year-old kid should be watching, and I absolutely loved them. Almost an addiction! Then I discovered my passion for writing stories around the same age, and the two just went hand in hand ever since.
What kind of experience do you hope to give your readers?
- I want to write horror stories with characters who matter. As much as I love terrifying tales, the LAST thing on my mind when writing a story is killing characters off. If it happens, it happens, but never just for the sake of blood and gore and death. If there's going to be violence, I want it to mean something to the characters. I feel that's where a lot of horror misses the mark. They include blood and guts for the shock of the audience. If my stories contain any blood and guts, it's because the story calls for it, first and foremost, and any description is for the characters themselves. If the reader is going to be shocked, it's gotta be felt vicariously through the characters. They're the most important part of any story.
The Writhing was your first published novel. What were the most important things you learned from it?
- I was just 18 when I wrote The Writhing. I think in a lot of ways it shows, too. This book taught me a lot about discipline as a writer. Prior to finishing it, I was one of those people who started a new story every month and lost interest. I have a lot of unfinished documents in my digital history of books I started writing and never finished. But The Writhing was different. I was determined to finish something, and I did. If I'm being honest, it was a complete mess, that first draft. I learned A LOT about editing thanks to this book. I learned the importance of being ruthless when it comes to your own writing. I edited nearly an entire other novel out of The Writhing--that's how much I removed from it. It's a much different book now than when I first wrote it. I'm 28 now, so it's been ten years, and I feel I've learned a lot since then, and I hope it shows with my subsequent novels. I could have skipped publishing The Writhing (a lot of people believe an author's first few manuscripts are meant for practice only and should never see the light of day) but I wanted to let people read it, so anyone who finds themselves a fan can see where I started and maybe enjoy my growth as a writer right alongside me.
How have readers responded to The Writhing so far?
- To my extreme surprise, I've had a lot of people tell me they absolutely loved it! I've also had a few people tell me they hated it, and that's great too! Haha I entered this pursuit knowing full well I can't please everyone, and truth be told it's the harsh criticism we learn from the most. My writing tendencies have changed a bit in the last several years between my first book and the last couple I published, and I just hope the people who enjoyed the The Writhing are able to enjoy the things I've written later in my journey. My writing style and tastes have changed a little from book to book, but it's all horror and I'm passionate about everything I write, so I hope there's always something for someone to enjoy.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- After The Writhing, I wrote Bathwater Blues, which is a much more personal story for me. It deals with a lot of pretty heavy subject matter, and a lot of it hits pretty close to home. It was a very cathartic book to write. There's a lot of fiction to it, of course, but there's also a lot of myself in the different characters. It's not nearly as fast-paced as my first book was. It's a little more of a slow-burn. Very character-centric and introspective.
After that, I wrote By the Light of His Lantern, which was me wanting to get a little creative and try my hand at tackling some different themes. I'm very proud of that book. I think of my three books, it shows my progress as a writer the most.
Now I'm writing my fourth book, which I hope to release the end of 2019. I told myself when I started writing it "This is going to be a shorter novel for sure. It's going to be much more linear and direct. A, B, C, a very straightforward story" and yet here I am, the book is much longer than I anticipated it being, so it's taken longer than I expected to write. I'm going to have a lot of fun editing this one. But I can't write anything that isn't meaningful to me in some way, and I think that's where this problem arises, where my stories end up being much more involved than I first intended. That's been the case, at least, ever since my 2nd book.
Thanks for reading!
You never truly know your neighbors, or what goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes it's better not to. Sometimes the truth is downright haunting.
Alex watches from her bedroom window as the small, secluded town of Amberton sleeps: a bright, pleasant town with a dark, disturbing secret. Helen, her foster mother, is gone all hours of the night with no explanation. The neighbors, always friendly, always smiling, are also always watching. They know something Alex doesn’t. Something she shouldn’t…
When three outsiders become ensnared in the town’s dark conspiracies, Alex witnesses for herself the nightmare hiding in plain sight. Together, haunted by their own pasts, these outsiders threaten to unstitch the town at its rotten seams, uncovering the gruesome truth writhing beneath the surface.