Welcome to Friday Feature a new (or rekindling) of a weekly blog that features writers, artists, poets. I hope you enjoy these weekly articles and the talented people featured here.
About Erik: This author thinks bow ties are “groovy” and obviously grew up in the “70s.” He is married, has two grown daughters, 3 cats, and a little “fluff” dog. He holds a doctorate in psychology and spent 20 years serving in the Air Force. Presently, he teaches psychology and is the regional coordinator for a non-profit helping people with intellectual disabilities and brain injuries. His goal is help these folks lead richer, fuller lives.
Erik likes to write about carousels which I think is cool as there is so much potential symbolism. He has a number of short stories featuring carousels and is in the process of publishing a series about them. The Carousel in the Sky is a book based on a carousel that revolves around the roof of a huge mansion out in the woods.
I asked Erik if any of his “monsters” wear a bow tie? :”I haven’t written a story featuring a character or a monster sporting a bow tie yet, that is not a bad idea. I started wearing them after Doctor Who made them cool.”
People who write love to know how others got bit with the writing “bug.” Here’s how Erik got started:
“I first got excited about writing in 2010. My wife suggested I try the NaNoWriMo challenge and I went out and gave it a shot. I loved the challenge and more importantly, I loved writing! What I ended up with was a draft of Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon. I also wrote in high school (over 25 years ago, I guess. Wow that was a long, long time ago). I had fun writing short stories but never did anything with them. I put them away and forgot about them until after NaNoWriMo. I pulled a few back out, most were terrible! But a few had hope with tons of polish. One in particular,”My Lover, My Garden”, was popular and I wrote that in high school.”
I asked Erik why did he choose “Horror” as a genre:
“I grew up reading Stephen King and the other giants in horror, so I gravitated toward that in my writing. I was also a fan of (no one probably remembers this) “Up All Night”with Rhonda Shear, a TV show featuring cheesy horror movies. Lately though, I have been shifting away from horror and working on dark fantasy. These dark novels and short stories feature carousels imagined in a whole new terrifying way. I spend a lot of time volunteering at the antique carousel in town and my daughter is the manager there, so I get lots of ideas. The first idea was a dream I had featuring a mansion out in the woods that had a carousel that revolved around it like a crown.”
If you like dark, creeping fiction and carousels then Erik Gustafson’s novels are a must read! Keep an eye out for his carousel series starting with The Carousel in the Sky.