“Goblins” is a new horror novel by Lance W. Reedinger that was inspired by the Japanese “Battle Royale.” A human-versus-monster tale, the book is intended to be thrilling, chilling, captivatingly imaginative fun.
Lance Reedinger hails from East Baltimore and is known best for his first book titled “Claws.” He recently discussed “Goblins” via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you manage to break into the horror genre and did “Goblins” or “Claws” come easier to you?
Lance W. Reedinger (LWR): Growing up in the 1980’s, horror was ingrained in pop culture. This golden era saw the pinnacle of horror art and inspired so many modern artist around my age. I spent many years consulting financially with independent film makers, after starting to do some touch up writing on scripts the natural evolution came to start putting out my own work. “Claws” was definitely easier for me, being a shorter novella and having the story in my head for many years made that work much quicker. “Goblins” clocked in just over that 40,000-word mark making it a full novel. I preach to start with smaller works and master your way to bigger pieces. Too many authors start out with large work and spend years on their art, only to get frustrated. My philosophy is if you can write a short story you can write a novella, if you can write a novella you can write a novel. It is a natural progression and for me this is an easy way to improve your craft.
MM: “Goblins” was inspired by a Japanese movie, so can you tell us a bit more of the backstory behind that?
LWR: Contest horror has always been a great sub-genre. Films such as “Would Your Rather,” and the terrific Spanish film “Intacto” add elements of deeper characterization that really puts an audience on edge. Long before “The Hunger Games” phenomenon, “Battle Royale” perfected contest horror. Based on the novel by Koushun Takami, it is a brutal tale of youths battling to the death under government mandate. Asian art is way more uncensored than North American work. The film was so gripping and brutal that I knew I always wanted to create something that could shock an audience the way the film did to me.
MM: How long did it take to complete “Goblins” and how did you find a publisher?
LWR: “Goblins” took about six months start to finish. As mentioned, this work needed to have more characters and dialogue than “Claws.” The general outline came pretty quickly but the character interactions took many weeks to develop. Actually, acting out dialogue with a partner is a great tip for new writers to try and develop dialogue. If just a friend or family member can help, the simple act of speaking your words to another really helped me find a smooth transition in writing the characters interactive speeches. I used the same publishing company, Boutique41, since I started with ‘Claws.” They really wanted to expand from inspirational books to more genres and liked my original treatment, so this was really a great break to get a few years ago to get my work through a professional house.
MM: How did you develop your characters and are they inspired by any real people in any way?
LWR: “Goblins” was a lot of fun to develop the characters as they come from all around the country. I started with cookie cutter horror tropes and went from there. We have: The Billionaire, The Military Mercenary, and the female Ringleader encompassed with a cavalcade of down and out warriors battling these monsters. I generally like to put my own spin on my stories and characters but I defiantly drew inspiration from fictional characters from popular action films.
MM: What’s your favorite thing about the book and why?
LWR: My favorite thing about the book is the actual horror and violence I was able to put out to the reader. “Claws” is an old-world monster tale and I kept it pretty tame to draw a larger audience and not get pulled into the ultra-violent writer label. I received a lot of reviews wanting a more vicious piece from the horror crowd. With “Goblins” and the blessing of my publisher, I was able to unleash a more brutal account of the plot without holding back. Early reviewers have consistently told me they are weary of taking any trips alone in the woods anytime soon, so that has been a real thrill.
MM: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
LWR: There is an eternal metaphor in “Goblins.” A race of creatures who have their land taken, enslaved, and used for sports. Humans have been enslaved by, race, religion, personal orientation, and thru economic hardship since we could walk upright. These barriers are only broken once a particular group work together to overcome and evolve. There really has been no better time for “Goblins” to be released and this metaphoric subject to be explored.
MM: Are you currently working on any new books and, of so, what are they about?
LWR: Currently I am on the marketing train for “Goblins,” but I have the outline for my next work done. I am extremely excited to tackle this work as it involves my two favorite subjects, professional sports and horror. Being a former professional soccer player, I can attest to the intensity that goes along with that ultra-competitive world. We see in the media professional athletes prone to violent acts all the time. I’m going to delve into that psychological mind set and what happens when you cannot turn the switch off once you cross the line of the playing field.
MM: What themes might you like to tackle in future projects?
LWR: I spent a year working in senior housing, so I believe I have an original idea on the theme of senior life and some of the loneliness that comes along with that. As always in my writing it will contain a senior who goes down a dark path while battling the void of loneliness and impending death.
MM: How has Covid affected your writing, if at all?
LWR: As per writing it did not affect me too much and I was deemed essential in my day job so my personal routine did not change much. What has affected myself and the horror industry was the cancellation of conventions and vendor events. This is an economic tragedy but a shell in comparison to those that have lost loved ones. Since my personal sales come thru a lot of guerilla marketing by visiting universities and senior housing facilities I had to adjust my marketing strategy to go more digital. The results have been fantastic and “Goblins” did reach the Amazon top 100 best sellers list for a few days which was very exciting.
MM: What other projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
LWR: I will be going full throttle on my sports horror piece starting end of November. I was able to land a great contributor job at horror-nation.com. This is a fantastic site that specializes in the indie horror film and literature community. So, I will be working along with the team there putting out some great work and we are in preliminary talks to do a fifty states of fear anthology focusing on different monsters from each state in the union.
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