Author, Eric Farrell
Short Story: I Am the Fulcrum
Apologue of the Immortals
Tell us a little about your background and what led you to writing.
My background is in journalism. During middle school my English teachers started pointing out that I had a knack for writing, and that continued through high school. By the time I got to college I decided to major in journalism, since it was a working class job that allowed me to write every day. While working as a reporter was amazing, the industry was going through tumultuous times, struggling to monetize in the digital era, and I found myself laid off within a year of graduating. I quickly turned to writing fiction.
How or when did you realize you wanted to be an author?
When I transitioned from journalistic writing to fiction writing, I quickly realized it was the actual act of writing that I enjoyed most about reporting, not the interviewing and researching process. Fiction allowed me to escape, which I've realized over the years is what I need in life - mentally and emotionally.
What is your writing process like?
In the grand scheme of "pantster" versus "plotter," I definitely fall in the former realm. I mostly write flash and short fiction, so I'll often just start with an idea. With the central idea, I then try to apply a loose story arc to it. Very, very rarely do I know the ending to my own stories ahead of time. I'm a big proponent of editing as you go to achieve a strong first draft and don't believe in just getting words down on a page to move forward.
What inspires you to write?
A lot of my writing skews dystopian or cyberpunk, and I think that's because of my age and upbringing. The internet is ripe for the picking - I like scrolling sites like Reddit, reading a headline, and letting my imagination take it from there.
What part does writing play in your life?
I work in craft beer sales by day, so I'm definitely a "part time" writer. All of my day jobs have been very social gigs, so writing brings a crucial element of quiet and solitude to my life. I enjoy writing at night, after decompressing from work, in a little office with moody lighting and some sort of entrancing music.
What are your aspirations for your writing journey?
One day, I hope to have my name on the cover of a book. When I left the journalism world and initially began writing, I launched straight into working on a novel. In fact, I wrote two whole manuscripts before I ever even attempted writing short fiction. Those will never see the light of day, and I'm actually quite happy with that. They were stepping stones. As I've grown to enjoy shorts, my newer goal is to publish an anthology of flash and short fiction.
What is something you know now about writing you wish you knew when you started?
Writing is the easy part! Hehe. I'm continually learning how to edit, so it's been very rewarding getting to work with actual editors and see how they tweak my stories for the better. I wish I had a better idea about a baseline level of polish my work needed in order to be accepted. These days some of the stuff I'm submitting is still a little rough around the edges, but I'd like to believe I'm getting better about it.
Describe your favorite character (you created). Why?
I wrote a story called "Where the Sky Swallows the Horizon" (published in Synthetic Reality, Jan. 2022) that features two totally mismatched underdogs named Celeste and Griffin. It's a grim apocalyptic story that left these two characters utterly ill-equipped to thrive in society. Yet their colorful personalities undermine their destitute surroundings in a way I find really endearing. I believe they are the two characters, out of all my stories, that are the easiest to cheer for.
Which author(s) inspires you as a writer?
Thematically, my biggest inspirations are the soft sci-fi authors of the sixties and seventies - Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin. If any of my work is able to convey the same sense of wonder and joy as Ray Bradbury's though, that would be the ultimate aspiration.
What advice would you give newly aspiring authors?
I would advise aspiring authors to join the writing community and start socializing with likeminded individuals. Find a peer group and edit, edit, edit. And lastly, to submit your work far and wide - utilize simultaneous submissions, prepare for rejections, and brace yourself for the business side of writing. I'll see you in the trenches.
What works can your readers expect to see in the near future?
I've just had a story called "Out of Code" released in Phantom Thieves and Sagacious Scoundrels, by JayHenge Press. Beyond that, I have a few more stories in the pipeline that I'm not quite allowed to talk about yet!
How can your readers find more about you and your works?
I have a website that desperately needs updating at stygianspace.com. I can be found more frequently on Twitter at @stygianspace