Obsidious by Lucas Pederson sent monster horror thrills down my jaded spine. Pederson’s intemperate writing style has received widespread critical acclaim and flung him into the horror author spotlight of the decade.
(You can read my review by clicking here)
I am unable to let sleeping monsters lie, so I interviewed Pederson because I had a sneaky suspicion that he attended a magical writing school for horror authors.
He’s just extremely (insanely?) talented. And he knows his way around monsters.
“Obsidious” is a rare – some might argue archaic – word. Why did you choose it as a title?
Honestly, I thought I made the word up, at first. I wrote a dark young adult novel a couple years back, which revolved around this soul eating spore I called the obsidious. It wasn’t until a few months later that I decided to Google it and found the word was real. It was a fun discovery, actually. Fast forward another couple of months and the word, its meaning, fit perfectly with a new novel I was working on.
What was the main driving force behind your story?
I wanted to write a story that broke barriers. A story that gave me something fresh in the military horror genre. A step away from the clichés and create this new thing for not only the readers, but myself.
Why a “creature feature”?
You know, I didn’t really intend for it to be a “creature feature”. That just sort of happened as I wrote (and more so after I pitched the novel to Severed Press). The monsters, or creatures, they came to life in front of me and I sort of exploited them a bit, though not for the sake of story. The story wanted to be told, and I let it be. Story is always number one. The creatures were a pleasant bonus.
How would you define your own writing style?
You now that adage, “Less is more”? Of course. Almost every writer out there does. And it applies to my style. It has evolved over the years and I actually add more now than I used to. Years ago, I was kind of known for my machinegun style prose in our little writing circle. Fast. Clipped. To the point. In your face. As I grew as a writer, that style remained, but filled out a bit more. Honestly, I’d define my style as: Lean, providing just enough nuggets for the reader’s imagination to soar. Because, as the great Stephen King once said (more or less), “It begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
Would you ever break from the horror genre? If not, why not?
Oh, yes. Absolutely. Horror is my first love, but I write whatever story pops up in my noggin and shouts: “OVER HERE, JACKASS!”. Be it YA or Adult. Stories from romance (suspense and paranormal) to sci-fi. Grimdark to mystery, to noir and neo-noir. Or even stepping away and writing something more literary. Whatever the story is, man, that’s what it is.
Obsidious features a feministic cast of characters. Why did you go down this route?
It all goes back to wanting something fresh. Something not just stepping away from clichés, but crushing them. But, that’s not solely why the characters are women. Unlike most writers, I rarely ever outline. I might write a full synopsis to get a grasp on the story, but rarely ever go all out in an outline. No, the women characters came with the story. Organically. That was how the story wanted to be told.
What is your biggest fear?
Heights! Of falling.
Will Obsidious get a sequel?
Yes. Eventually. I have a great idea for a sequel running around in my head, so…it’s very likely.
Why should people read your book?
I think, if you’re like me, and want something fresh to the genre—something creepy and fun, yet has a story—this book will be just right. I also think this book says a lot about the undeniable strength of women. They kick ass, guys.
What inspired you to write Obsidious?
The meshing of three ideas. An interdimensional creature that somehow slips into our world. Three women taking their kids out on a hunting trip. The twists on Aliens and Predator. But more so, the women in my life inspired the novel. Especially my mom, who is the strongest, most loving woman I know. A woman who would literally go through Hell to save her children.
Who is Lucas Pederson when he’s not writing?
A horror and action nerd. A family man whom loves his children beyond words and likes to go fishing as often as possible. And…a very horrible guitar player.
Any tips for aspiring horror authors?
Just write. Make sure you have the basic idea of your story firmly in place in your head and…just write. Especially for horror. Horror is the most organic of all the genres, in my opinion. It not only plays on fear and darkness, but it should encompass all the human emotions. Remember, life isn’t plotted, nor, in most cases, should your stories (if it can be helped). Let your stories be what they want to be. Let your stories breathe. Now…write.