Saturday, April 16, 2016

In Which We Convince Writer Frank Sawielijew To Answer Questions Before The Swedish Inquisition Gets To Him

Because everyone's conditioned to expect the SPANISH Inquisition. I mean, really.

Anywho, as part of promoting Strangely Funny III on Kindle Amazon and soon to be in print, I've sent out questions to fellow writers contributing to that humor/horror anthology, and this time up we've got this guy up. If we can get my dad Earnest to add some comments, we can finally have a Frank and Earnest discussion about things (stop groaning, dad used that joke on me ages ago).

Anyway, to the questions!

Question 1: What inspired you to write stories with a humorous bent?

I honestly have no idea. The very first stories I wrote were filled with over-the-top silly humor. Even the comics I drew as a kid were funny (or at least supposed to be funny). In fact, I only started writing serious stories two years ago - everything I did before that had been humorous. I guess I just have a natural affinity for silliness, and writing funny stories is a better outlet for that than annoying my friends with horrible puns every day.

Question 2: Which is harder, writing a horror scene or writing a humor scene?

For me, it's the horror scene. I write a lot of humorous stuff, and there are so many ways to make something funny. Playing with the reader's expectations and breaking them with something absurd or even a complete non-sequitur, using puns and other forms of word-play, putting a humorous spin on popular tropes... writing a scene that manages to be at least mildly amusing is easy when you know the tools. Horror is harder to write effectively, as the tools you need to make it work are much more subtle. You need to create a creepy atmosphere and make sure the scary thing is actually scary. Tickling a reader's funny bone is easier than triggering his primal fears.

Question 3: So was Mad Max Fury Road robbed of Best Picture at the Oscars or what?!

For sure! Fury Road is the best action flick I've seen in years, and I love how it's one of the very few modern remakes/sequels that actually respect the source material. The car chases were almost as glorious as those in Mad Max 2. They actually used REAL CARS instead of rendering everything in soulless CGI. Fury Road would've deserved to win ALL the Oscars for being a highly entertaining movie that feels like it could've been made during the golden age of action movies.

Question 4: If you had a choice between classic monsters - the vampire, the golem, the werewolf, the ghost, the gill-man - which one would you throw a coconut custard pie with whipped cream at?

The vampire. I'm assuming this is a situation where I'm in a fight and the pie is my only weapon, and I can choose who I'm fighting against. The golem is made of stone, so throwing a pie at it would do nothing. The werewolf would just open his large, toothy wolf-mouth and eat the pie. The ghost is incorporeal, and the pie would just pass through it and hit the wall. The gill-man is basically just an overgrown fish that lives in the water and pies are even less effective weapons underwater than they are on land.

Question 5: and why did that pie end up hitting Humphrey Bogart instead?

The vampire is played by Sir Christopher Lee who, as a WW2 veteran with combat experience, expertly dodges the pie. The pie misses and hits the vampire hunter van Helsing, played by Humphrey Bogart, who now looks much less stylish than he usually does. With Bogart having lost his greatest advantage - looking stylish - and me having wasted my only weapon, I am now left defenseless before an angry vampire Chrisopher Lee.
I'm screwed.

NOTE: Of course you're screwed, Frank. In MY universe, Christopher Lee isn't a vampire, he just teams up with one during The War as an MI6 spy and fight the Nazis. So, five demerits for House Ravenclaw...

About the author:
We don't have much on Frank Sawielijew. Only that he has a Facebook page promoting his works, that he's written a fantasy work in German titled Die Kleine Gelbe Krote, that he's constantly under attack by lobsters.

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