(Liam Hogan is based in London, England.  He has a delightful story in Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts, Volume 2..)

Question:.  What is the one thing about you that would most surprise readers?
Answer: I’m not sure all that much would. Perhaps just how bad my handwriting is… future archivists are definitely going to struggle. (in the alternative world where future archivists even know who I am!).  What is the one thing about you that would most surprise readers?


Question: What genres do you write in?

Answer: Speculative short fiction. Anything with a twist, a mix of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, steampunk and “other”. The rare “literary realism” piece probably started as something else. Mostly, my stories tend towards the short end of short fiction: I trained myself writing 2000 worders for a website called  Liars’  League.  The more fantastical stories ended up in my single author collection Happy Ending Not Guaranteed.


Question: What’s your favorite genre to read?

Answer: Two different answers to this! I don’t tend to limit myself to one genre, but good sci-fi (Iain M Banks, Vonnegut, etc) is my preferred read. That and anything joyous –  like George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman papers. For writing – steampunk is probably my favourite. Because it’s FUN. Mostly though, my stories tend towards the dark, so I don’t indulge quite as much as I’d like!


Question:. How long have you been writing?
Answer: I won my first story competition in the local newspaper at about the age of 9, so… um. 40ish years? Not, obviously, everyday… or every week/month or even year! I came back to it with a vengeance about 12 years ago.


Question.  How do you write?  (computer/typewriter/paper…  software…  with/without music… how many hours/day, days/week)

Answer: I always carry a notebook and pen, and most stories start there as a scribble – anything from a sentence to a couple of pages, before being completed and edited on the PC. No fancy software required for short stories! Writing hours vary depending on… well, everything, but if I don’t write I get a bit cranky, because the notebook keeps filling up with ideas.


Question:  How are things different for you, as a non-US author?  Do you mostly submit to US, or non-US publishers?
Answer: A lot of writing opportunities are from the US, sure. And I submit to them without, usually, too much of a conversion – that can be done at edit stage, for consistency. Some stories though, are too English for the US markets – either the vibe, or the setting, doesn’t quite translate. Fortunately, there ARE markets elsewhere!


Question:  How did you first hear about Smoking Pen Press?
Answer: Probably from one of the “Open Call” Facebook groups. I scan these, and Codex author’s forum, and the odd email newsletter, for all the opportunities I can. Always looking for new homes for stories!


Question:. Anything else?
Answer: I’m a volunteer mentor for the kids’ creative writing charity, Ministry of Stories (https://www.ministryofstories.org/), and a big fan of their Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop “front” (https://www.monstersupplies.org/). Check them out!