I read and reviewed author B.L. Clark’s novel,  The Man in the Hall in the summer of of 2018.  I loved the story and his writing.  That is why he is one of my favorite authors and has earned a position on my Author Spotlight page!  Please see his interview and upcoming work below.

 

1.  What inspired you to write a book?

A few different things. I loved R. L. Stine as a child, and I wanted to write books like Goosebumps or Fear Street. Later, I moved onto different authors and picked up more inspiration. Philip K. Dick really set things off for me; he and I seem to have a few things in common, and our work seems to be fairly similar as well. Odd family, diverse friends, weird things that have happened in my life…I’m surrounded by things I can write about. Of course, the philosophers I’ve read really kept my mind oiled. Like PKD or Berkley or Plato, I don’t think “reality” is real, or at least I don’t think the definition of “real” is accurate. I’ve got a history of mental illness, and I think it can be seen in my writing. It’s not something I go on about, but it is hugely inspirational. The pool never really ends.

2.  What does your typical writing day look like?

I work on everything except what I am supposed to be working on. I suppose I’m a fairly typical writer; write little bits on one thing, move on to the next, and so on. Every now and then I come across an idea that’s too enticing, and I’ll work on it day and night for days\weeks straight. I do some freelance work on the side as well, and that keeps the cogs in my brain well oiled. I also engage in debates with friends online and through texts fairly often that will last for days (sometimes over a week.) In one way or another I am always writing and thinking about writing. I have a tendency to describe things to myself as if I were writing them in my head, and I constantly engage thoughts I have in debate with myself. How does geometric space operate? Can drinking a soda be considered as evil? Would I rather fight a giant cat or a giant chicken? What do I do if I’m trapped between two giant slices of bologna?  Can an objective description of ethics be constructed without relying on human preference or cultural influences? and so on.

3.  Do you have a favorite book you have written?

Definitely!  The Man in the Hall. It’s my baby.

4.  What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?

DO. NOT. STOP. OH MY GOD. Being consistent with your writing is absolutely critical to getting anything done at all. Even little bits every day can do wonders.

5.  Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

I am on social media. I hate social media, but I am on it, and I am available for interaction (love it, in fact.)
@mercurya22219 for Instagram and Twitter. @TheManintheHall for Facebook. I’ve also got a Minds, but I can’t figure out how it works. Should be @mercurya22219 as well.
I love the people I interact with, by the way. It’s the platform as a whole I can’t stand. I get no peace in life anymore because of these damn phones.

6.  How do you handle literary criticism?

Pretty well, I suppose. I keep anything I’m told in mind, enjoy the good things when they come, and I try to absorb advice from other authors to the best of my ability while paying attention to others when their points aren’t nonsense. I’m not fond of meanness, and I also try to appreciate things I don’t personally enjoy for the work put in them. When others are harsh or mean about my work, I try to remember the important things, and let the useless bits fall to the side.

7.  Please describe your writing space?

I don’t currently have one. The couch, I suppose, with my laptop sitting on my crossed legs and a beer sitting on the coffee table. I used to write in restaurants when I was living from couch to couch and no car. I miss it sometimes, but having a set place is enjoyable even if it makes me a touch lazy. I plan on getting a cheap desk soon. Also, I don’t write long-hand. My handwriting gets worse every year, and my finger joints and wrists seem to be having more problems as the years go by.

8.  Who is your own favorite author?  Dead or alive.

I find it difficult to pick just one. In no particular order: Irvin D. Yalom, Aquinas, Stephen King, Sartre, Lovecraft, Heidegger, Thomas Hardy, Tolkien, Nathaniel Hawthorne…

My favorite changes like the seasons. Tolkien and Stephen King in my youth, Aquinas, Lovecraft, and Hawthorne in my early 20’s, Heidegger, Hardy and Sartre a little later, and Yalom is really catching my attention at the moment at the dawn of my 30’s. I’m also picking at Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, albeit slowly.
I’ll give the award to Tolkien for greatest work ever written. I’ll let Lovecraft hold onto personal favorite. Keep in mind, I may say something completely different tomorrow.

George R. R. Martin also fits in here somewhere.

9. What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?

Twitter, community, and beer. Fans have been a great help on many occasions. I would say community is the best; 20booksto50k has been super useful, Mr. Leonard Tillerman, Mr. Mike Chapman, and Mr. Andrew Woodell (off the top of my head) have been great for helping spread the word around. There are a few others as well, and I don’t have time to go through everyone. The communities on Facebook and Twitter, the advice from authors and editors and scientists and musicians…there’s so many resources these days. I literally have all the help I need at my fingertips.

10.  If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?

Riddler, (Amateur) Philosopher, and (Professional) Weirdo.

Upcoming Work:

I am working on 5 things at the moment.

The Lamp is a The Man in the Hall canon short story. It’ll likely be published in sections sometime soon.

The big one, MITH2, is on it’s way. Slowly.

Right now I’m calling it The Mirror of Wonders, The Man in the City, or Enemy of God. I haven’t made up my mind.

The other 3 are still under wraps. I haven’t made up my mind what will be done with them. I’m still working on getting this ball rolling properly. I suppose I should reveal something fun.

I guess I’ll throw a few small spoilers. These may change as MITH2 moves along, but for now…

Tellurus makes a new friend. We get to see more about what Transcended Mercury is like. One of my favorite characters gets a new beginning. A villain (?) is revealed. There will be more twists in this book, the beginning will be just as wild as the first MITH, and there will be plenty more brain benders for you to ponder over.

 

Author Bio:

B.L. Clark is a lover of all things related to philosophy. Writer, weirdo, husband, friend, student, wanderer, Linkin Park fanatic. Author of The Man in the Hall, Traverse, and other bizarre tales.

Award Finalist in the New Age category of the 2018 American Fiction Awards.