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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Blog Tour Author Interview - The Landfill by Kevin Hopson




The Landfill   
Author: Kevin Hopson
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Pages: 53
Genre: YA Dark Fiction/Horror
Format: Kindle


Book Description
Billy, a high school senior, has lost a lot in the past year, including his younger sister, Sara. Billy lacks excitement and purpose in life until his curiosity takes him and his best friend, Connor, to an old, abandoned landfill along the river. Connor would rather forget the experience, but Billy can’t help but feel invigorated by their findings. Taking it upon himself to uncover the mystery, Billy finds his life coming full circle – but is that a good or bad thing?

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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book, World of Ash, was inspired by the Eyjafjallaj√∂kul volcano that erupted in Iceland in 2010. I thought the setting would be incredibly scary, so I built my story around a giant ash cloud. However, I made the storyline a little more sinister, as if the ash cloud – alone – wasn’t enough.

2. Do you have a specific writing style? 

I have a simplistic writing style. I like to be descriptive when necessary, but I don’t feel the need to bog down the reader with pages of description, especially when I’m writing short stories and words are at a premium. Instead, I use a lot of dialogue in my stories. I find that you can learn a lot more about the characters based on the words they choose, the tone in which they speak, and their mannerisms (among other things). Dialogue can really move a story along, too, which is another reason I utilize it so much.

3. How did you come up with the title? 

With regard to my most recent book, The Landfill, the title is a very simple one. I make a weekly drive across a local river, and there’s a landfill in the distance that I look at every time I cross the bridge. It’s just a big pile of dirt out in the middle of nowhere, which always seemed creepy to me. I already had an idea in my head for the type of story I wanted to write, so the landfill was the location I was looking for. I figured that since the landfill plays such an integral part in the story, using it for the title only made sense.

4. Is there a message in your short story that you want readers to grasp? 

I don’t always have a message with my stories. Even when I do, sometimes it’s unintentional. However, there are a couple of messages readers might take away from The Landfill. As clich√© as it sounds, one is to be careful what you wish for. Secondly, there are many forces at work in this world, and you can’t always control them.

5. How much of the book is realistic? 

Part if it is based on the beliefs of certain cultures, which is realistic in a sense, while other parts are definitely stretching the truth at best.

6. What book are you reading now? 

Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance Chronicles – Volume One) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

Blake Crouch is an author I have taken a huge interest in lately. His “Pines” series has been a fabulous read. I absolutely love his writing style. He is very engaging, and his stories move along at a great pace. I’m eagerly anticipating the release of his third book in the series this summer.

8. What are your current projects? 

I recently signed a contract with my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, for a science fiction novella – Shifting Alliances – that is scheduled to be released this fall. I will be working on editing this manuscript in the coming months, and I’m sure I’ll have other writing projects in the works as well.

9. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

Yes. Without disclosing too much, I learned that I can’t get away from the way I write. More specifically, if people have read my work before, they know how I typically end stories. I was going to go a different route with The Landfill, but I ended up sticking with my status quo.

10. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing your story to life? 

The main characters are teenagers (high school seniors), so I had to make sure their behavior and dialogue matched those of a typical kid their age. Fortunately, I used to coach high school sports, so I’ve been around enough kids this age to get a feel for how they act and talk.


Excerpt from The Landfill

“You feel like being adventurous?” A rare burst of energy came over Billy.

“Maybe,” Connor replied with a drawn-out voice. “What are you thinking?”

“Take a left up here on River Road.”

Connor perked up, slowing the vehicle and making a left onto the road. “You actually want to hang out at the river?”

“Not quite.”

“Then where are we going?” Connor turned to look at him. Billy could tell his friend was putting the pieces of the puzzle together. “Wait. We’re not going to that landfill, are we?”

“Yeah. Why not?” Even with what his father had told him, Billy was captivated at the thought of checking it out. “Let’s do it,” he said with excitement.

“We don’t even know how to get there.”

“This road runs parallel with the river,” Billy commented, “and it can’t be more than a couple miles.”

“All right,” Connor said. “I’m only doing this for you, though.”

A few minutes passed and Billy continued to watch with eagerness, waiting for a sign as to which direction to go. He noticed a light making its way through a small forest of evergreens to their left. The source of illumination came from an elevated position, possibly atop the nearby hill. Billy scanned the area in front of them as well as the trees off to the side.

“Slow down,” Billy demanded.

Connor brought the SUV to a crawl.

“It has to be over there.” Billy pointed to his left where the light shined through the tops of the trees. “Do you see a road that goes up there?”

Connor stopped the vehicle. “I don’t see anything but woods.”

“Do you have a flashlight?

“Yeah. Why?”

“I’m going to get out and take a look,” Billy said.

“In the glove compartment,” Connor noted.

Billy snatched the mini flashlight from the glove compartment and stepped out of the vehicle. He left the door open, making Connor visible inside. Shining the light along the edge of the pavement, Billy spotted a crude road. Made primarily of dirt, it curved through the forest like a serpentine and didn’t appear to have any guardrails.

“Put your brights on,” Billy said, easing back into the vehicle.

Connor pulled a lever on the side of the steering wheel, enhancing the view in front of them.

“There’s a dirt road up here on the left.”

“You sure this is a good idea?” Connor asked.

“You’ve got four-wheel drive, right?”

“Yeah.”

“We should be fine then,” Billy said.


About the Author

Prior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin Hopson was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin's writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction.

His latest book is The Landfill.

You can visit Kevin’s blog at www.kevin-hopson.blogspot.com.

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