by William Becker
Roman Toguri finds himself burying the body of a nun in Boone, North Carolina. As the skies darken and it begins to storm, he is forced to shove the corpse into his trunk and take it home for the night, unaware of the torment that playing God will bestow upon him.
Enter Hell with two bonus short stories: The White Shade, an ultra-violent look into the mind of a mass shooter, and The Black Box, a psychedelic dive into weird horror.
William Becker is an 18-year-old horror author with a mind for weirder sides of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable, throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of the popular modern horror.
His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14. After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting. Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I throw myself into it. I set up a decent schedule to write at a certain time each day, which obviously changes with each novel and each year that I pass through. If I disobey this schedule, it’s going to take me a very long time to get anything done. If I start getting stuck, setting up an outline really speeds it up. As long as you have a good hook, you can probably take your book pretty far. Most writers I know that are just starting off suck at making a good hook that doesn’t feel forced, always saying they never know how to start it. Either that or they get to a part of the writing process where they get a little bored or don’t have the spark anymore, so they give up without just stomaching it to the end.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I hate having to write the passage of time between two scenes. For example, if I have a chapter end with two characters going home from a party, I always ask myself if I need to throw in a scene where something happens on the ride home, or should I just skip it? Just opening the next section with “when we got home” always feels pretty hamfisted. So I would definitely say that.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Well, considering Grey Skies has an [light-spoiler] open ending and it is considered experimental horror, I don’t think that I could be considered someone who delivers people what they want. Sure, I love to excite my readers and have those scenes that make people go, “holy hell, what was that??” But if I wanted to deliver to readers, I’d be writing romance, something dystopian, or something with magic in it; those ship copies, horror doesn’t, much less the antithesis of James Wan’s brand of horror.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Writing is an evolution and you will always have room to improve, but that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you are a bad writer or that you should give up. Take your time and you’ll certainly get there.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Longer than three months, but less than six months. If I know exactly what I’m doing, I can write extremely fast. I re-wrore Grey Skies from scratch in August of 2018, it took me exactly 21 days to pump out 55,000 words. I have been paid decent sums of money to work on peoples’ english papers, just because I can pump out a six-page paper out in an hour or so with miminal editing required.
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