The Not-So-Accidental Blog Tourist Hop: Philip Overby

Since I read +Loni Townsend ‘s blog
I have been tagged to discuss what’s going on in my little section of the world. When it comes to writing, a lot. When it comes to most other things, just cruising along!

1. What am I currently working on?
I’m currently working on the same thing I’ve been working on every night Pinky (bad Animaniacs reference)…Actually, I’ve been working on my tentatively titled Hunt of Fools which will probably change before I try to publish it due to Mark Lawrence having just released Prince of Fools. I’m weird like that. I started this novel back in October 2013 and I’m closing in on a year since I finished the first version and have edited it to kingdom come. If I complete this (when I mean) it will be the very first novel I’ve ever completed and edited completely. (The Sword Eater was my first complete novel, but I never got around to editing it, so consider it a “trunk novel” in that it’s currently beyond my capabilities.

Here’s a brief pitch for Hunt of Fools: 

 Mai Askerma lives an easy life as a hunter-idol; she kills simple monsters by day and is worshiped by the citizens of Gezra by night. When she makes a deadly mistake however, her name is smeared by bards in attempt to vilify her. She must find a way to silence them all while avoiding her replacement, a beautiful, but horrifying witch’s child, born of magic and blood.
I’d describe the book as violent, snarky, darkly humorous/humorously dark and full of weird monsters and some weird characters. I’m working on making them even weirder, which is part of my editing process. It’s almost like sword and sorcery in a way as well, which I’ve always loved. It’s got a lot going on and I’m planning for it to be a standalone (for now).

A crappy bit of art I did for Hunt of Fools. Yes, there’s a giant maggot puking skeleton. What story doesn’t have that?

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

While Hunt of Fools is currently (mind you, currently) not too outside the realm of what you’d find in fantasy, I’ve recently as of late unshackled my creativity and decided that all of my fiction is going to be weird one way or another. That means I’m not so worried with tropes, genre conventions, whatever. Some of the results have been pretty far out there.

I’ve been writing some of this fiction under the umbrella term “Splatter-Elf” which is kind of a schlocky, surreal, super dark, super silly kind of genre. I would call it “an exercise in extremes.” It’s either really silly, really weird, or really dark. That’s what I’m going for with all my work.

I had a discussion with a friend who does manga and he said one editor told him most of the manga that win awards are “the most something.” Meaning they’re the weirdest, the cutest, the goriest, the darkest, etc. I like that philosophy with my own work. I want people to read it and think, “Wow, that’s the darkest story I’ve ever read about a pet pig” or “That’s the weirdest story I’ve ever read about unicorns…” although that may be hard to do.

If you’re interested in seeing more of my crappy art and explanations of my weird worlds and monsters, you can check out the official Splatter-Elf blog here. 

Or something to give you nightmares at least.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I often hear writers say, “I wrote things because what I wanted to read didn’t exist.” Joe Abercrombie said that when he started writing fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, there is a TON of great fantasy fiction out there, but I guess I’m always looking for something more out there, more bizarre, more…something. I’m always interested in writers like China Mieville or Chuck Palahniuk who don’t confine themselves to one style. People know when they pick up their books that it’s going to be weird, frightening, or intriguing. They’ll never be boring, you can rely on that.

When I was younger I wrote lots of shock fiction. Just gory horror with no real substance. I think in some ways, I wanted to get some sort of extreme reaction from people who read my work. I often did. However, now my goal is to stand out the best way I can. Not necessarily to outweird everyone else, but just to be “one of those guys” in the genre. One readers don’t know what to expect from me, but they know it’ll be “something.”

4. How does my writing process work?

It works different ways. I often “pants” short stories and the like, but when I do novels I normally do the Snowflake Method ( ) which is a kind of outlining. I have failed numerous times on pantsing novels (although I did have fun pantsing in notebooks only during JuNoWriMo) so I typically need some structure to start out. Once I get that in place, it may change, but I at least have something to work with.

I never get writer’s block anymore because I refuse to believe in it. One way I prevent it from happening is just writing a beginning sentence or riffing off a title. This always allows me launch from there.

I’m also a proud I’ve written every day for 7 months! I live by writing every day now. I highly recommend it to anyone who keeps seeing themselves falter, procrastinate, or drop out of projects. It’s done wonders for me.

Well, that’s it for me. Thanks to Loni again for the idea. It was fun to discuss some of my methods and goals. Sometimes it helps to talk about these things “out loud” so to speak.

Have you participated in this type of blog hop yet? If not, consider yourself tagged!
If you decide to the blog hop, please tag me and let me know as I’d like to check it out.