Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Interview with Ray Hyland

So, Ray, your story “Fourtold” appeared in Issue One of The Literary Commune.  You told us it was the first chapter in a story you were planning to write.  Notwithstanding the fact that it was a very cohesive short, have you got around to finishing the story that it was a part of?

To be honest no, I have a rough outline of where I want the story to go but am pre-occupied with the style of writing at the moment. When I was reading some of my older stuff I noticed a few things I wanted to improve upon so hopefully I can address that with this story.

As well as being a writer, you’re also a film-maker.  Tell us about your last film, “Riffed”. (

Yes, Riffed is a film based during the recession in 2009. An office in Dublin is told that their business is closing down. It is a black comedy and has done quite well so far. It has been picked for a few festivals which was quite satisfying.

I hope maybe next year to enter a few more festivals and possibly make the film available online too.

So do you prefer writing screenplays, writing short stories or writing novels?  What do you think they main differences are between the three styles?

In a way screenplays are great because you can fix them up quite quickly if they're not going to plan. They do not have much of a life outside of their main purpose though. Which is a shame, I always liked reading screenplays and putting the film together in my own head.

I enjoy the short story concept very much though. It is a great way to improve your skills as a writer.

How would you define your writing style and what genre does it fit into?

I would say it is classed as fiction maybe to land on the thriller shelf,maybe not. I haven't given it too much thought,which isn't a great idea! I find it amazing how different it is to tell a story in the first person though.

Tell us how you write, how you get focused onto the task.

I write on my phone a lot recently. I was chatting to Kenny Stapleton,who plays the big guy Eddie in Riffed(and also provides the music) He said he uses the phone a lot. I have to say it's winning me over. Have to charge the battery more often though.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am hoping to get a short film done this side of Christmas. Also working on a cartoon. There is one big job that may or may not happen next year. We'll see!

Who is your favourite writer, the one you admire the most, the one who inspired you to be become a writer even?

I used to like Raymond Chandler a lot but he's a better writer than a storyteller in my view. In his own words he lost his way during The Big Sleep and even though it is beautifully written there is a segment about 50 pages in that makes no sense.

Graham Greene on the other hand is as neat as ninepence.

I really like certain books rather than just writers. Puzo's The Sicilian was a great read. Also I like Cormac McCarthy, J.G Ballard.

Bizarre snap questions time (currently or favourite):-

Currently drinking? Water
Currently eating? Had some chips an hour ago
Currently reading? Need to get a copy of Stephen King's The Stand,that's next.
Currently listening to? Lana Del Rey
Currently driving? My 18 speed Giant bicycle!

What do you think of low-budget magazines such as The Literary Commune, and the role they have to play in helping lesser-known writers to get their work “out there”?

I think they suit all kinds of writers. Whether you're at it a while or just getting back into it or even brand new it's an excellent way of setting yourself a goal and reaching it!

Any advice or encouragement you would give to other writers, whether their stuff is being read or being hidden away in a bottom drawer somewhere?

Read it yourself again. If you're sure it's crap send it in anyway. It's all part of the process! And it's never as bad as you think!

Cheers, Ray!

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