Please welcome E.B. Hudspeth to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is published today.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery.
E.B. Hudspeth: Thank you for having me.
TQ: When and why did you start writing?
E.B. Hudspeth: I started writing in my late teens. I enjoyed telling a story, it was a different kind of communication than art, both were important to me. I also liked how inexpensive writing was, there were many months or years when I couldn’t afford to paint or sculpt so I would write instead.
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
E.B. Hudspeth: I don’t know if other writers do this or not, but I can listen to the same few songs hundreds of times in a loop. It’s like it moderates a specific mood so regardless of what is going on in my real life, when I sit down to write, the song helps me pick up where I left off. Selecting the right music can take some time though.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
E.B. Hudspeth: I am a pantser. I try to use an outline, I appreciate the structure and the planning and I would love to be able to outline an entire story, but I never stick to it. I change too many things as I move through the story, which is good, but I end up at dead ends or I get stuck. With an outline, I feel like I miss out on some nice creative directions the story might have taken. For me, I don’t know the characters very well until I write them, so I try to stay flexible.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
E.B. Hudspeth: Other than writing itself, it’s probably sticking to the project. I drift in and out of multiple projects which doesn’t do any good; it only frustrates me.
TQ: Describe The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black in 140 characters or less.
E.B. Hudspeth: A Victorian era scientist believes that humankind evolved from mythological animals in a macabre story with 100 detailed anatomy drawings.
TQ: What inspired you to write The Resurrectionist?
E.B. Hudspeth: The art inspired the story. It started out as an anatomy project regarding the anatomy of an angel. I wanted to try and justify the musculature for the wings. I liked the results so much I drew more. Eventually the story grew out of it. I knew it was going to be a nineteenth century doctor because of the hand-drawn anatomy diagrams. I knew I wanted it to be creepy and I knew I wanted it to be brief and to feel like we just don’t have all the pieces. I think the rest of the story came together from researching what medical practice looked like at that time; there’s a lot to build on.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for The Resurrectionist?
E.B. Hudspeth: I read the books that I thought were similar like Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau. I didn’t want to mistakenly go down the same roads. I tried to give as much legitimacy to the time period as I could. I read a lot of medical works from well known doctors at the time: Osler, Halsted, and Cushing are good examples. I read about mythology, taxonomy, circuses, freaks shows, teratology, anatomy, biology and so on. I have a fun collection of books now for Halloween.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
E.B. Hudspeth: Dr. Holace was the easiest, he became a bit of a jerk with no accountability. Sadly, that was easy to write. Dr. Black was the hardest. I enjoyed him a lot and I looked forward to the challenge but trying to write within a time period and very high level of education (a brilliant surgeon) was difficult.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Resurrectionist?
E.B. Hudspeth: One of my favorite scenes is during a debate when Dr. Black hurls a glass through a window, attempting to illustrate that God does not intend for man to fly, but man alone intends it.
TQ: What's next?
E.B. Hudspeth: I am working on the second book. There will be a lot of artwork but it’s going to be different. I hope to add a new flavor to the story and go further into the world of the Black family.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
About The Resurrectionist
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
Quirk Books, May 21, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 208 pages
Philadelphia. The late 1870s. A city of cobblestone sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages. Home to the famous anatomist and surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a “resurrectionist” (aka grave robber), Dr. Black studied at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from his humble beginnings to the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed black-and-white anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.
About E.B. Hudspeth
E. B. HUDSPETH is an artist and author living in New Jersey. The Resurrectionist is his first book.
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