February is much, much too short. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost done and over with, which means there’s only about a week left to enjoy the first featured story from 2016’s World Unknown Review, “A Comedy of Edwards.” Then it’s onto the next great story, but, until then, I’d love to present this interview I had with the author, Adam L. Bealby, who also had a story in World Unknown Review Volume II and was interviewed last year, as well. So settle in, probably with some tea if you want to be proper about it, and come get to know Adam L. Bealby a little bit better.
L: Well, I have to start out by asking a very, very important question: Who’s on first??
A: Whoever has the lip-wig.
Good answer. How have you been since our last interview, Adam? Care to tell us a little about yourself for the newer readers?
Since we last spoke, I’ve been not writing enough, eating too much chocolate, drinking too much coffee, trying to keep work contained in its own sphere of existence outside self-imposed creative writing commitments – and not writing enough. My wife would say I’ve been eating too much chocolate and writing too much.
And for any new readers who are interested in the man behind the work and don’t take a Roland Barthes approach to their method of reading, I’m a curmudgeonly Brit who lives with his wonderful wife and children in the county of Worcestershire, which is famous for Worcester Sauce, perennial roadworks, and being the birthplace of the composer Edward Elgar.
I like comics (the four-colour kind), gory horror films, and anything irreverent. I hate following instructions and taking advice, which is why I ended up making sugar-less custard the other day. Yummy wallpaper paste!
Now about ” A Comedy of Edwards.” It clearly focuses a lot on an older style of comedy in the veins of Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, quite a bit vaudevillian…Are you a fan? Did you do a lot of research into the history of this type of performance?
A little, though I’d already written a surreal story about different types of clowns, so I had a good grounding in the history of comedy. And I’m certainly a fan of the edgier side of slapstick and vaudeville. One of my favourite modern comedies is the darkly humorous “The League of Gentlemen,” a British TV show which was originally a stage show.
I loved “The League of Gentlemen.” We were all obsessed with in college. Where else did the inspiration for such a unique situation for these fascinating characters come from?
The spark was the idea of a down-on-his luck jobbing comedian pretending to be a widower’s famous TV star comedian husband, ostensibly to steal her fortune. The story morphed a little in the writing. Having a captive and very much adoring audience became Edward’s key motivation.
Comedic writing, to me, is particularly impressive because there’s such a wide range of things that people find funny. Did you find it difficult to come up with things to bring the humor into your story, or would you say it came pretty naturally?
Naturally I hope! A few of the comedic set-pieces needed finessing on the second edit, mind. My favourite bit is the musical mash-ups. Especially my attempt at dah-lah-lah-ing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor!
How has comedy shaped your own life?
I laugh in the face of danger. Combined with my not-following-instructions/directions hang-up and my care-free wandering (see below) it makes for an interesting life, especially around electric fences, guard dogs, and sheer drops.
What’s one of your favorite jokes?
Interrupting cow wh—
Classic. If you were in charge of film version of your story, who would you cast in the main roles?
Maggie Smith as Penelope. Edward and Ed would be unknown actors, as befitting their station.
Maggie Smith is always a good choice. Read any good books lately?
I’ve just read Don DeLillo’s Underworld. It’s a weighty tome with a non-linear narrative spanning 50 years, a huge cast, and a multitude of intertwining themes. I’d been putting off reading it, to be honest. Sometimes it seems to me that the mainstream literati, for all their skill at characterisation and thematic structure, can’t actually write a good story.
I stand corrected on this one though. Underworld is a brilliant, multi-faceted novel, and I’ll be hunting down more of DeLillo’s work.
Do you have a method for your writing? If so, what’s it like?
A spark of an idea, which could come at any time. I then ponder it a bit and walk it over. By which I mean I walk and think. I spend many a lunch break nurturing that little flame or working out what happens in the next chapter as I wander around the forestry or housing estates near where I work. I can zone out so completely I’ve been known to get lost because I have no recollection of the route I’ve just taken!
Then I start writing it out, either in the evening after work or mornings at the weekend. I won’t have all the plot details worked out, I do that as I go along, sometimes having to backtrack and re-write to match my new revised world view.
What’s next for Adam L. Bealby?
Trying to peddle my YA urban fantasy novel. Also starting to write a new horror novel about people who encourage others to take their own lives. There are little stand-alone stories interspersed throughout the novel which link into the main narrative either directly or abstrusely as the plot thickens, so I’ve been having fun writing those and piecing them together. I’ve killed five people so far! Or they’ve killed themselves. Cheery stuff!
Where can we find more of your work?
Numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon A Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), rEvolution (MiFiWriters), and Murky Depths magazine.
Many of them are available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Adam-L. -Bealby/e/B01EE49YWW.
You can also catch up with my sporadic ravings at @adamskilad.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Nope, passing the lip-wig back to you now. You have the stage.
And I will gladly take that lip-wig and take a bow, though I’m almost certain Adam would wear it better than I could. I’d like to thank him for his time in sharing his thoughts on his story, his writing, and a few others things. Please check out his work when you get the chance, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more from Adam in the future.