Posts tagged Writing
At the book signing, I answered a few questions I’d fielded from others in the past …
How long did FAMISHED: THE FARM take to write?
Since it started as a web serial, I spent three years on the very first draft – but that was only around 2000 words a month. I took my time for most of those sprints, though deadlines caught up to me more than once.
When Jennifer Brozek at Apocalypse Ink Productions asked me to turn the three years of Vorare into a novel, I took another six months to gather that material, weed through it, and collate it into a rough draft. After that it went to my alpha readers for a month, and for a month after that I was in editing / rewriting mode.
Apocalypse Ink took it in hand then, for a first read which resulted in another month’s edits* , followed by a second read for technical mistakes and a final proof by the editor herself. So all told, realistically – call it four years, with three years slow going and a quick one years’ of edits.
* – (my time, not theirs. AIP has always had a very swift turnaround to requests.)
You seem nice. Normal. Where did you get this idea?
As I’ve mentioned over at BookLife Now, horror isn’t always my genre. The request for Vorare was for a dark piece, though; and that set me to thinking about what frightened me the most. What had I seen, or read, that really disturbed me?
I was in grade school when my father took me into his library, pointed to a row of yellowing paperbacks that were placed within easy reach, and warned me: “These books here? They’re pretty scary. Stay away from them until you’re older.” Then he walked out and didn’t look back.
I had a flashlight and a book in bed with me that night, and I read The Picture in the House **. The full text is available at HP Lovecraft.com for those who are interested, but dad was right – it was nightmare fuel. The slow, easy start made it easy for me to get lured in, and by the time the old man reveals his cravings, I was shaking in the sheets.
That story kicked off the core idea for FAMISHED: THE FARM, and my other fears took it from there.
** – I’m not claiming I understood all the words Lovecraft enjoys at that age, mind. Precocious, yes; freak genius, no.
Have you lost any friends over this book?
Not that they’ve told me! I do have some thoughts on those people who support the work vs. those who relish it, but that’s a post for another day.
Got questions of your own? Email me at email@example.com and we’ll talk them over.
I’ve mentioned before that I am blessed with an amazing network of friends. On October 26, many of those local friends gathered at Le Petit Marche in downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, to send Famished: The Farm off with a bang!
The photos here are all courtesy of Joe Hirschmugl, a dear friend whose passion for art, music and the written word too often exceed my own. He is a madman with a camera, and provided a number of excellent shots throughout the evening.
We enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches on fresh-baked brioche buns courtesy of Dawn Gerth, a small business owner and remarkable chef – who is, clearly, a woman with a sense of humor around her events. The sandwiches were amazing, succulent without being oversauced, herbed to perfection and served in precisely the correct portions.
The local theatre, Raue Center for the Arts, was kind enough to let my dear friend Melissa Thomfordha (Marketing Director for the theatre) steal a bit of time from their production of The Rocky Horror Show to make the introductions. It was something I hadn’t thought of before, and I’m very grateful to Melissa for both the idea and the help!
I’m pleased to say that I very nearly sold out of my reserve of books, and was able to sign nearly every one. A number of them were earmarked as holiday gifts – strangely enough, not for Halloween. It’s my deep hope that the recipients enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
In addition, I was able to catch up with two of my alpha readers. Kerry Devine is an accomplished freelance writer in his own right, whose current projects include a screenplay. I’ve been fortunate to return the favor as an alpha reader, and I will happily say that when the film is released, I’ll be the first with a ticket. Kerry was invaluable in helping to craft the final scene of Famished: The Farm, and the book’s far better for his suggestions.
The second is Dan Steele, a very dear old friend whose feedback was directly responsible for the prologue of the book. Without it, of course, there’s little to hint at the horror that is to come later in the novel. Dan’s help also sharpened the relationship between Gordon Velander and the entity (or entities) he interacts with throughout the pages of Famished: The Farm.
Listing everyone present would be a difficult exercise – for such an intimate and comfortable setting, the amount of support, heart and enthusiasm that infected everyone present was the greatest gift a first-time novelist could hope for.
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart; to all who were present in body or in spirit. For those who couldn’t attend, your smiles were missed but your love did not go unnoticed. Thank you for everything.
If you’d like to assist with a signing party in your neck of the woods, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m happy to entertain ideas from fans of my work or of writing in general.
All the best –
“Ivan Ewert’s FAMISHED: THE FARM blends horror and Americana like a Texas cook blends spices. And just you wait ’till he starts the fire.” – Kenneth Hite, TOUR DE LOVECRAFT
“Ivan Ewert’s FAMISHED: THE FARM is some fun, old-school horror. Ancient gods, cannibalism, and more than a little madness. Ivan Ewert is a seriously twisted writer.” – Stephen Blackmoore, DEAD THINGS
I have been away for a while now, but good things come to those who wait – FAMISHED is now available for pre-order through Amazon.com!
I’ve been working on guest posts for other blogs, which will be linked here as they appear; as well as two new projects which have yet to be announced. Over the next several weeks, though, I’ll be back to blogging here at my true home.
Thanks for following, and pleasant dreams …
The cover for FAMISHED: THE FARM is now ready for public … consumption.
I promise you there are no such puns to be found in the actual book.
It’s an interesting experience, being both a graphic designer and a writer. Of course, any author’s going to have ideas and visions about what their book will look like; and I’m no exception.
This time, though, I made a conscious decision that I was not going to do any more than give a basic idea of what I thought an effective cover design might be. I’ve often found that fresh eyes will find things in your work that you overlook, or bring a new area of focus to light.
Shane Tyree definitely managed to do that. I’m very pleased with my decision to hold back and allow others to drive the design cart this time around.
The use of the light in the hayloft is what grabbed me first. That’s a touch I would never have thought of; though the loft plays an important part in the climactic scenes of the book. The warmth of the light does an excellent job of balancing the cooler palette overall. While I use the term “warmth,” there’s quite a sinister quality to the color scheme in that light as well.
The darkness of the barn below is another nod to the conditions of the Farm, as well as the cracks in the upper walls which give a slight vision of what lies beneath. I get a sense of gradual rot and decay which works more effectively than a blatantly ruined building from Shane’s barn, and that speaks well to several themes within the story.
Of course, the axe and its resting place are the most arresting of the images, and leave no doubt about the type of story you’ll be enjoying …
I’m very grateful to Shane for his hard work and his immense talent, as well as to Jeff Meaders of Apocalypse Ink for his fine design work.