An Interview with Levi Black, Author of Red Right Hand
In case you missed it, last week I reviewed the wonderfully dark and twisted Red Right Hand, a scintillating novel of Lovecraftian terror. Today I am beyond thrilled to bring you this interview with no other than the author himself, Levi Black! Levi was kind enough to stop by and talk about his book, his writing, the things that scares him, and so much more. His novel published by Tor Books is available in stores today. It is one wild nightmarish ride and I hope you’ll check it out! For now though, please enjoy our Q&A!
Hi, Levi! Welcome to the BiblioSanctum, and thank you so much for joining us today.
Glad to be here. You’ve got a nice place.
Congratulations on the release of your novel Red Right Hand! Can you kick us off by telling us what it’s about?
Thank you. It’s about human endurance in the face of overwhelming evil. It’s about the ability of one person to overcome both their personal demons and the demons that howl in the outer abyss. It’s about 304 pages. It’s about elder gods and chaos and evil and knives, but mostly, it’s a love story.
I understand that the book was greatly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. What motivated you to explore the Lovecraftian mythos? Why do you think writers (and readers) are drawn to the dark worlds of HPL?
I think Lovecraft was a man who had a unique outlook on horror. He had a lot of problems, things that today would have sent him into therapy, and these informed his concept of a loose pantheon of creatures so alien that aren’t even evil, per se, just evil from our perspective. The best thing he ever did was opening his creations up to be used and expanded upon by other writers. That has continued into today.
I liked the concept of Lovecraftian entities in an urban fantasy setting. RED RIGHT HAND is laden with horror, but at the end of the day it is an urban fantasy.
It’s a horror book masquerading as an urban fantasy.
Let’s talk about your protagonist Charlie Tristan Moore, a young woman who has gone through some terrible, traumatic experiences. What were some of challenges you faced when writing her character?
Well, Charlie was the reason to write this. She was at the forefront of everything when this was spinning in my brain. Her story is the why of RED RIGHT HAND. She was a challenge though, because I have never been a 24 year old woman and I have never gone through the things she did. Unfortunately I have known far too many women who have and they were the reason I worked so hard to make Charlie authentic. I hope I did a good job for their sake.
What scares you? Do you find that you incorporate the things you fear into your writing?
I only fear two things.
Heights, which is pretty easy to overcome. I stay off high shit. Boom, problem solved.
My second, and more prevalent, fear is oblivion.
The scariest thought to me is that when we die we simply cease to exist. Poof, no more thoughts or experiences, nothing. I’d rather suffer a thousand hells than go to oblivion. Of course this fear is much harder to avoid. It’s pervasive and leads to a lot of: nanananananananananan fingers-in-ears-I’m-not-listening type reactions. I don’t know that it insinuated itself into this story, but it does show up in my writing sometimes.
What was your first introduction to the horror genre? What are your favorite horror films and books?
A book about the Frankenstein movie from Universal Studios that was in my elementary school library. Or horror comics. Or the John Saul books my mom left laying around for curious eyes to read too young. Or Saturday afternoon monster movie features on the local TV station.
Hell, it seems like horror has almost always been in my life in some form.
How do you like being a writer and being involved in the publishing industry?
Love it. I love being a writer. It’s very cool to be like: “I do write. Here’s my book.” and hand them a hardcover as nice as RED RIGHT HAND.
What are your other creative outlets besides writing? Do you have any hobbies you like to do in your spare time?
I am a tattoo artist and have been for two decades now. I also paint occasionally and do photography when I have time. Hobbies are almost my whole life. I make my pursuit of entertainment into a lifestyle. Reading books and comic books, collecting toys, just about anything I do could be a hobby but is just part of my life.
Is there a sequel planned for Red Right Hand? And are there any other projects you’re working on right now or have planned for the near future, either writing or non-writing related, that you’d like to tell readers about?
There are two books slated to follow RED RIGHT HAND. Book two is tentatively titled BLOODTHIRSTY GODS but may change. Book three is DEICIDE and that won’t change.
I have a comic book project with artist Neil Vokes from American Mythology comics that hits this fall called SHADOWS OVER WHITECHAPEL that I’m really proud of. It’s going to be awesome and hopefully will lead to more comic book work.
It’s been great talking with you, Levi! Can you please leave readers with three things that they may be surprised to learn about you?
- I’m a terrible friend. Yes, I seem like I might not be, but I am. You can rely on me for the big things, the hard things, but the day to day….I just kind of suck at that.
- I think Taylor Swift’s SHAKE IT OFF is a perfect video and song. It makes me happy every time I hear it.
- Bunnies are my favorite animals. They are delicious.
Thank you so much again for dropping by! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Levi Black is the author of Red Right Hand (on sale July 26th from Tor Books). He lives in Metro Atlanta with his wife and an array of toys, books, records, and comics. He’s been weird his whole life and is almost as scary as he looks.