I got to know Lori R. Lopez’s work through the secret coven on Facebook known as Ladies of Horror and she kindly offered to step up into my interrogation chair for an interview.
Lori R. Lopez dips her pen in poetry, prose, and art. Her books include The Dark Mister Snark, The Strange Tail of Oddzilla, Darkverse: The Shadow Hours, Leery Lane, Poetic Reflections: The Queen of Hats, Odds and Ends: A Dark Collection, The Macabre Mind of Lori R. Lopez, and An Ill Wind Blows. Lori’s work has appeared in the strangest of places: on Hellnotes, Servante Of Darkness, and Halloween Forevermore; in The Horror Zine, Weirdbook, The Sirens Call, Bewildering Stories, as well as a number of chilling anthologies including the H.W.A. Poetry Showcase Volumes II and III, In Darkness We Play, Terror Train I and II, Cellar Door III: Animals (Editor’s Choice Award), Bones II, Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, Undead Legacy, Darlings Of Decay, Dead Harvest, California Screamin’, and Fearful Fathoms: Collected Tales Of Aquatic Terror, volume I.
Her latest project is a second illustrated print edition The Dark Mister Snark:
There are those individuals we know little about who skulk and creep delightfully across page or screen. In reality, we are taught to avoid them. Sometimes, however, they may surprise us. The Dark Mister Snark is such a figure. Beware!
“Candidly lurking in the shadiest of places, a fellow whose mask wore the gruesomest faces, the dark Mister Snark might be tiptoeing after — shunning the sun and the mirthfullest laughter, spying and shying from your backward stares, following to catch you in complete unawares!”
Narrated by witty rhymes that spin the tangled threads of solitude and acceptance, this book tells the tale of a mysterious man prone to stalking through shadows. Is he misunderstood or mad? A villain or an anti-hero?
His secrets will be revealed in humorous and touching poetic-prose, with Halloween and Edgar Allan Poe among the themes. You will not look at corn or crows the same. And once read, you could find Mister Snark watching you from every dark place! Look for an Illustrated Print Edition featuring peculiar artwork by the author, Lori R. Lopez.
Did something in the real world inspire The Dark Mister Snark?
I always draw from real life while writing. Some little wisp, a fragment or detail or thought, a perception works its way into the narrative, the dialogue at just the right moment. And then there can be a statement that fits perfectly or needs to be expressed. With The Dark Mister Snark, I had the character tucked away for years before I made time to write and illustrate his debut. Then one day I just decided — pushing aside other projects — it’s time for Mister Snark! Pieces fell into place as I typed, including a message about animals — in this case, birds: crows and ravens. There are also references to Edgar Allan Poe.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
I liked describing Mister Snark lurking about and how others would view him. Until we know someone’s story, we do not see them fully. Another part I like a lot was my favorite scene to illustrate, involving Mister Snark and two burglars. The description and artwork are quirky, and quirky is practically my middle name. Even though it doesn’t begin with an R, because that would be Rirky. Not quite as fun.
What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?
First I wrote the story in verse form with twelve-line stanzas and rhyming couplets. I am as comfortable telling a tale through poetry as I am via prose. However, I wanted it to look like a story, so I reformatted the stanzas into sentences and paragraphs: rhyming prose. I released the e-book for Halloween in 2015, accompanied by two pieces of artwork, including its cover. In November I continued to capture the story, drawing black-and-white illustrations. This year a Second Illustrated Print Edition has been released that contains special touches and looks even more Gothic.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of The Dark Mister Snark?
I received a good amount of interest in the character, and readers wanted more of Mister Snark. Fortunately, I am planning to make the books a trilogy, with the second and third volumes to be released in 2019: The Darker Mister Snark and The Darkest Mister Snark. Each of them stands alone but is also connected. My sons and I will be promoting as well as marketing the second edition more extensively than the original, online, and in person at events. We just redesigned our company’s website, fairyflyentertainment.com, and will be featuring the book in various ways. With any luck, Mister Snark will become one of those characters you can’t forget.
What do you have planned next?
Gosh, a great deal of things. For October I’ll be releasing a work titled “The Witchhunt” followed by an e-book of my short story “Cornstalker” that was first published in the anthology Dead Harvest from Scarlet Galleon several years ago. I’ve been waiting for a chance to illustrate and publish the print versions of my poetry collection Darkverse: The Shadow Hours and my Halloween novella Leery Lane. Along with releasing fancier editions of my titles in print, I am hoping to complete my next horror collection and the third volume of verse in my Poetic Reflections book series. (The column that the book series is based on can be found at Fairy Fly Entertainment.) Perhaps even a film project, recording a song, a new video or two with my sons, Noél and Rafael.
Hopefully I can cram all of that into what’s left of the year!
You can check out all of Lori’s books on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2qfz9Ud