Beware the Busybodies: S.D. Hintz talks about how nosy neighbors inspired The Witching Well

Fun (???) Fact about S.D. Hintz? “I currently live in a house that was the site of the largest mass murder in Minnesota history.

Witching WellSR: What’s your new book about?

SDH: A young boy loses his mother tragically and is forced to live with his estranged grandmother in a town seemingly devoid of children.

SR: Was there a specific issue or incident that really motivated you to write this particular story? What was the prompt?

SDH: As a child, my parents had very nosy neighbors, busybodies. I always felt like I was being watched, especially since our houses were so close to each other. And I watched a lot of horror movies, which went hand in hand.

SR: How do you think your protagonist would respond if aliens landed in the center of town on page 57?

SDH: Murray would be mildly surprised, as on page 57 he admits to his one friendly neighbor that creepy Mrs. Vitikin gave him an exploding cockroach. Aliens would be a great opportunity for him to escape the crazy block.

SR: What’s your protagonist’s greatest fear? Why?

SDH: Murray has a general fear of men, as his mother was murdered by her boyfriend. He also fears being alone and losing others that become close to him.

SR: Is there something you hope the reader carries away with them after they’re done reading? An insight or philosophy that you wanted to come through in your work?

SDH: Nothing is as it seems. Your friendly neighbor next door could be a serial killer or a ghost hunter or a witch. And as children, we are more apt to believe in something imaginary. A child’s innocence should always be valued and protected from those harboring malicious ulterior motives.

SR: What is your protagonist better at than you? What are you better than your protagonist at?

SDH: Murray is better at painting than me, a skill that is encouraged by his artist grandmother. I always wanted to be good at painting, and maybe I was, everything just turned out abstract. I, on the other hand, am better at writing than Murray. He’s too concerned with reading Marvel comics.

SR: What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?

SDH: The first book I recall reading was Needful Things by Stephen King. The imagination alone had my brain reeling, and it takes place in a crazy small town, go figure. I started writing in the third grade and won an award for the best creative writing in the class. Even in my youth I loved to read, but honestly I think 80’s sword and sorcery movies fueled my desire to write.

SR:  What’s the best thing about writing?

SDH: Creating a world where you are God and can do anything you want to anybody.

SR:  What’s the worst thing about writing?

SDH: Sitting down and actually doing it. For me it can be a necessary evil that requires substantial self-motivation.

SR: Are you drawn to things that are really popular or wary of them? Do you find it helps you to market your work if you’re familiar with what’s currently selling or do you ignore all of that and focus on what you’re interested in?

SDH: In a nutshell, I write what I want, whatever sparks my interest at the time. I honestly believe that the market is saturated in every genre, so regardless it’s a challenge to make your work stand out from the rest.

SR: What’s your personal life motto?

SDH: You only live once so do what makes you happy.

SR: Everyone needs an outlet to help them recharge. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

SDH: I’m an avid hiker, I stream a lot of music and media, I love social networking, and have been known to bike and canoe.

SR: What factors influence you when you’re choosing a book to read?

SDH: Above all, cover art and whether or not the synopsis intrigues me.

S.D. Hintz’s novel The Witching Well was published by Grinning Skull Press in July 2018. His novella Bauble will debut by World Castle Publishing this October. In 2017 he had 5 short stories, 1 poem, and a novel published. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of KHP Publishers and extremely active on social media. He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife and two children.

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One thought on “Beware the Busybodies: S.D. Hintz talks about how nosy neighbors inspired The Witching Well

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