Smoking With Richard Hulse

Read the Story August 15, 2004

I love your story “Fall.” It is so wonderfully surreal. What gave you the idea for this story?

Thank you. Actually, I’m pretty sure I was lying on the sofa and staring at the far wall—the far wall and I often have these meaningful exchanges. It just struck me there might be a whole microcosm within that minute of falling—love, hate, hopes, failures, empires built and collapsed. It’s a nice metaphor.

In your bio, you say that you are interested in “iconically evil figures.” Which ones are most interesting to you and why?

Well, my novel’s about Satan, so he’s the focus at present. I’m curious about the psyche of a fallen angel. For several centuries he’s externalised and blamed for mankind’s woes, and then ‘recently’ he’s made redundant by the Enlightenment, and then internalised by Freud and Jung. He must be an intriguing individual.

You have finished a novel. Which do you enjoy writing more, novels or short stories?

They’re both fun. Obviously you can let yourself roam free and wide in a novel, but I also like the neatness of flash fiction.

You get to be a fictional character for one day. Which one would you choose?

Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin. And I’d take that young Englishman, Holmes, under my wing. I’d get him drinking absinthe as an addition to shooting cocaine. Also, I’d probably take him on a tour of the Paris brothels—it’d do him good. Loosen him up a little.

A wealthy person offers to pay you to write 40 hours a week. Name your price.

That’s far too fantastic a premise for my imagination to stretch to!

About the Author:

Richard Hulse is currently living in a two-bedroom apartment in northwest England with hot and cold rising damp. He's interested in iconically evil figures (either real or mythical) in unusual settings. He just finished his first novel and is looking for a publisher in 2005.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.