Friday, 3 October 2014

Interview With Horror Writer Tyr Kieran

Today I have the privilege to interview Tyr Kieran, an author I got to know through Twitter. Yes, it is useful for something, I've read his work, which is not for the feint hearted, and love it. My only complaint is that there isn't more of it.

So, without further adieu let's welcome Tyr to Nephy's world. Read on if you dare.

1) What inspired you to write your first novel/short story?

Inspiration is everywhere. It’s easy to overlook that because our lives are so busy and laden with marketing, but everything out there, movies, TV, books, music, billboards, product packaging, etc, all of it is the product of someone’s creativity and hard work. That’s inspiring to me. Success is everywhere, so there’s no reason why I couldn’t be successful as well.

Once I realized that writing was what I wanted to do, there was nothing that could stop me. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to make that discovery. There was an itch in my subconscious that went unnoticed until 2009. It was a malicious voice that taunted me for years, pushing me to understand that my life was missing something. Eventually, I gave in and let him speak for me. Now, I can’t shut him up... I don’t sleep much.

2) Is there a book or author that has influenced you as a writer?

What a loaded question! There are way too many authors, artists, directors, actors, etc, that have lead to the current incarnation of me, but I’ll try to narrow it down. The combined talent and genius of Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Price was a huge influence on me. Listening to a reel-to-reel presentation of the Pit and The Pendulum read by Mr. Price had rocked me to the core at a young age. Artists like Dali and H.R. Giger really taught me that anything is possible and nothing is what it seems.

3) When you write, do you have a specific outline and follow it, or do you shoot from the hip and see where it takes you?

It depends on how much of the story is established in my head before I start. Sometimes I only know how I want it to end, in which case I’d work up and outline and character profiles to get me where I need to go. Other occasions, I may start with a specific character and work out the story as I write. But, I’m more of a plot focused writer, so I usually try to outline the story to guide my work. The one exception is my current Interactive Fiction Project where I post a small, freshly-written segment twice a week on my blog and Facebook page. I have no idea how that one is going to end and that bugs me a bit. Okay, more than a bit.

4) What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing a novel or short story?

The hardest part for me is getting it down on paper initially. I have never been able to ‘bleed on the page’ as some writers like to say. I enjoy editing and hate moving on after typing a crappy sentence even though it’s only a first draft. That tends to slow down the process considerably. It’s a daily struggle.

5) Do you have any writing rituals? 

Not really, but I have to work in silence or with music that doesn’t contain lyrics. The words distract me, so I usually listen to movie scores, club, or classical. I guess that counts as a ritual.

6) Pick a character and in his/her words tell us why we should read his/her story

My name is Shaun and I really want you to read my story, because I need your help. You see, I’m institutionalized and things have been getting worse. There’s an orderly that always gives me a hard time. He’s mean to me and he hurts me too. Then I have my sessions with Dr. Ferrus. She’s really pushing me to improve and I want to, but I’m not ready yet. I still think horrible thoughts. I feel like bad things are going to happen again. Please, read about me and let me know how I can get better!
(Shaun is the main character in my horror short, Getting Better -

7) Which character gave you the most problems to write?#

That would be Cale, the pre-teenage boy from my current Interactive Fiction Project. He is not only a child that grew up in a segregated community, and one that’s now forced to grow up quickly, but he’s also the sole natural-borne survivor of the prion Phoenix Fever. Oh, and he has amnesia too, so it’s been a little tricky being true to what he should and shouldn’t know.

8) In that character’s words tell us what he/she thinks of you.

“Tyr Crayon? Oh, Kieran? No, I don’t know him.”
“That’s cool. So, he writes stories; I like reading stories.”
“Wait, what? He wrote about me?”
“This here, this is my story? Uh, hmm…”
“Well, I’d ask Mr. Kieran if he could cut me a break, for one thing—it hasn’t been a fun ride. But, I think he should work out all the details before putting the story out for everyone to read like that. Maybe run it past an editor first, too.”
“What do I think of him? I never met him, so I don’t know, but since he wrote about me, I guess he’s a cool guy. Then again, he did basically kill everyone I ever cared about, so he must either be an A-hole or a really sick person.”

9) What is it about writing horror that calls to you?

To get the complete answer, you’ll have to check out my bio here, but with the influences mentioned above, I’ve always been drawn to the dark and gruesome. It’s simply more interesting to me. I view happy endings and romance tales as stories that ended too soon—given a big enough window, all stories end in turmoil. Sounds pessimistic and cruel, but I challenge readers to prove that wrong. In my opinion, horror (good horror) takes all the emotion, story, and mystery of all the other genres and takes it up a notch in intensity. What more could you ask for?

10) What’s your favourite horror film?

You want me to narrow it down to one film? Wow, I’m not sure that’s possible, there are nearly thirty films that deserve the top spot, but I’ll do my best. There is one film that completely blew my mind. It has it all, horror, gore, mystery, plot, etc. That movie is Saw (the first one). I really wish I could watch it again for the first time. I’m a big fan of plot and hiding-in-plain-sight plot twists. Saw was pure genius.

11) If you had been the hero/heroine in that film what would you do differently?

To be honest, I’m not sure I could cut off my own foot… but then again, if my family was in danger, I’d find a way, no matter the cost, like he did. What I would do differently? I wouldn’t cheat on my wife, which would keep me off Jigsaw’s radar as well. That’s a Win – Win.

12) If only one of your stories could be made into a movie, which one would you choose and why?

I’d like to think the current Interactive Fiction Project (tentatively titled Cale’s Story) would make a great movie, but it’s not completed yet, so it’s too soon to tell. I really like the doctor from my online short Diagnosis: Fear (, Conner from Secret Pain (, and Shaun from Getting Better, but the story that would translate best to film would probably be Disaster Man ( It could have the extreme weather effects of a big blockbuster and still have a wonderfully dark character story.

13) What do you like to do when you're not writing?  What are your other loves and hobbies?

When I’m not working, writing or catching a few hours sleep, I’m probably spending time with my family. The years fly by too fast, so I try to enjoy them whenever possible. Other than that, I like sports, football and hockey to be specific. I like to read all kinds of books; horror finds its way into my hands more often than other genres, go figure. I love watching movies, but that doesn’t seem to fit in the schedule most of the time. There’s a couple TV shows I follow: Vikings, Hannibal, Walking Dead, and American Horror Story, great shows. And, somehow, Food Network always pops up on the TV. I can’t cook to save my life, but I do enjoy drooling at the food porn on that channel.  

14) If you would like to include an excerpt from your latest book, please paste it here.  Include the title of the book, the blurb, a jpeg of the cover art, and the purchase link.

I’d like to give you a glimpse of my ebook short, Getting Better. For your reading pleasure, here is the opening excerpt:

Getting Better

I hate footsteps.
As they fall louder, my heart beats faster. No matter their destination, they are torture. Their cadence pounds against my skull until they stop suddenly at my door or whisper a next time taunt as they pass by and fade into the background murmur.
Unfortunately, they are a common occurrence here.
Today, the real torment started after the usual traffic runs of breakfast and medications. The footsteps came, unplanned and unwanted, echoing down the hall and floating under my door. I sat with bent knees to my chest, listening to the agonizing rhythm. Please, not for me.
Before this place, the footsteps were almost always for me.
My father was a large man, a steelworker with a quick-start temper fuelled by a habit to drink. When his steps boomed down the hall and woke me from sleep, I knew they were bringing pain.
I was nine when he started teaching me my place in the world. I had knocked over the living-room lamp that day, and he used the pieces—the cutting shards and the exposed live wires—in his first lesson. I cried out for my mother, but that only got her a trip to the ER. I learned to keep my pain to myself.
A few years later he became interested in my sister—she was six. On that first visit to her room, when the footfalls passed by my door and I was left untouched, the torture was far worse. Separated by a thin wall, I wept with her, vowing to keep my father’s focus on me. It worked most of the time.
But here, I’ve no one to protect. So when the footsteps come, I wish them on someone else.

Get your copy here to read more, it just might blow your mind:

Thank you so much for doing the interview.

Thank YOU honey. It was a really great interview. Hopefully it will send everyone rushing off to buy the book. It's well worth it, I can assure you. As long as you're not forever searching for that HEA.


  1. Neph - thanks so much for hosting, Tyr, who I've never read or spoken to before. Gods, I get why you love him. But as you've officially shared him with the world... *reaches out with claws extended.* Hello Darkling...

    1. He's delicious isn't he? Just be careful with those claws. We don't want to damage him before he writes more awesome books :D

    2. Tucker, It's great to meet you! Thanks for reading the interview and for your kind words. Darklings unite!

  2. It was an honor and a lot of fun to visit and chat with you here, Nephylim! Thanks for having me!