We here at GLAHW have met so many amazing and talented people in the big wide world (you know, of the internet) and thought it was high time we introduced them to you. Who knows? You may discover a favorite new artist, photographer, writer, or all-around incredible human. This time around, we will be talking to Andrew Allen Smith.
GLAHW: How long have you been writing? When did you get started?
As with many writers, I started young. I wrote poetry, short stories, and a cartoon strip in my youth. I did not begin publishing work until 2014 when I was encouraged by good friends. I published my first novel in 2015.
GLAHW: Why did you choose the horror genre?
I have been a horror fan since very early. I was fascinated with fear when I was younger. I have been writing horror shorts for a long time. Keeping readers on the edge is a fantastic feat, and I enjoy the feedback when it works well. I also write across multiple other genres.
GLAHW: Were you inspired by a person or event to begin your writing career?
From very early I read Poe and loved the way he spins horror. You can feel the tension in his writing. As I hit my teen years, I read everything, including “The Exorcist,” when I was 10. I read it because it scared my mom so badly when it came out. She was angry that I took it from the bookshelf. I was not as impressed.
GLAHW: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
I am a pantser most of the time. Occasionally I will write a brief outline.
GLAHW: Have you ever had an encounter with the supernatural?
I like to think so. Mine was nothing as dramatic as in my writings, but it was enough to inspire me.
GLAHW: Are you superstitious? Why or why not?
Depends on the item. Most superstitions have a strong basis.
GLAHW: What do you do for a living outside of writing?
I work in the technology field. I have designed extensive systems and enjoy computers.
GLAHW: Do you keep a journal every day?
I write every day, but not in a journal per se.
GLAHW: What do you prefer to write – short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, etc.?
I write what the day inspires me to write. As such, I have many active projects. I focus and complete some in short order, and others take far longer.
GLAHW: What truly scares you?
I want to say something snappy, but I try to avoid fear anymore. I was afraid a lot when I was young for other reasons. As I grew older, I overcame these fears in any way possible or necessary. About all I fear now is not being there when I should be, wherever there is at the time.
GLAHW: What sort of hobbies are you into?
A lot. I collect a variety of items. I have antique and modern cameras; some are very old. I still work on systems and AI after work because I enjoy it. I enjoy working in the garden, and I like roses. (There is a story for that). I game, not what everyone else does, but I enjoy it. I collect weapons, and the sword from a story I wrote called “The Edge” is in my collection. I have done a great deal and get engaged by new things easily. I am always looking for a challenge. I love riding motorcycles and bikes and driving way too fast along the way.
GLAHW: Do you read outside of the horror genre? If so, what else have you read?
I read quite a bit. I read all genres and hold no bias toward any.
GLAHW: What’s your favorite genre to write?
I enjoy horror and action the most. I like setting up the “dominos” that eventually fall in the story.
GLAHW: Do you use a pseudonym?
GLAHW: What do you think makes a good story?
A connection with the reader. Some writers miss that. In their quest for literary perfection, I have read many authors that lose their readers in a miasmic fog of oversized words and perfect prose. Readers want to become part of an escape with fiction, whether drama, horror, or any other genre. They don’t want to hear about a table for three pages as though it were a mystical being unless it is. I think readers need to use their imagination, and if a creation is seen a little differently by many people since it is scarier to them, so much the better.
GLAHW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to design computers. I am good with machines. My story “Drained” is based on how I used to see myself. Before that, I wanted to invent a LASER that could break molecular bonds and end pollution. I missed that, but I found many of my notes recently.
GLAHW: Are you spiritual?
GLAHW: What are your influences?
A colossal stack of books, from Ghosts and More Ghosts to the hundreds upon hundreds of horror movies I loved. I always thought Vincent Price was amazing but eventually realized the writers made Doctor Phibes so unique. I was huge into Hammer and loved Godzilla and all Monster movies. I read everything but gravitated toward anthologies. I have quite a few of Hitchcock’s horror anthologies and similar ones. When I found Anne Rice, I was home for a while and read all I could find of hers. Still, when it is all said and done, the true horrors are what is done by people. I know people like to blame video games, books, movies, violence, guns, knives, broken bottles, garrotes, swords, brass knuckles, toasters in bathtubs, and every other way to hurt or kill people. What is inside people brings horror to life in reality and entertainment. That madness is where fear and terror can be found.
GLAHW: What are you reading right now?
I am reading quite a few books right now. I am working through the Alphabet series of Sue Grafton, reading Kris Calvert mysteries, and a few books on fear that I picked up recently in Alabama. I also have a few local authors to read and review.
GLAHW: What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, interests, and favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind.
I like people who think. The world is full of so much bias now, and the far left and far right have made it almost intolerable. The best people open their minds to opposing views even if they don’t believe them to consider all the possibilities. After all, characters die in books, movies, and real life when they don’t think about the possibilities or disbelieve it could happen to them. My books are fun, at least I am told they are, and I enjoy writing them. My horror is devious and sometimes light, sometimes very dark. I hope to complete my adult horror in 2022 and my next horror anthology. I was surprised this year by how many sold at events and was truly honored with the feedback I received.