By Jordan Gerdes
I followed A.A. Medina for sometime on Twitter. Someone had retweeted the cover of Siphon, his debut novel, and I knew I had to get my hands on it. Like everything, life got in the way and I forgot about it, until recently, when compiling a list of creators for these very interviews. Adrian was kind enough to send me a copy to review for the site, and I received it a few short days later. I’ve been trying to read more so my weekend was planned around a few books. I picked up Siphon, and next thing I knew, I was closing the back cover a few hours later. Siphon blew me away as Adrian’s writing style is so visceral and unafraid, willing to not just tread into the dark reaches of the mind, but actually spends time there. He is a phenomenal author and it’s time you know his name!
FoF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself.
My name is Adrian Alexander Medina and I live just outside of Phoenix, Arizona with my wife, Sam, and our cats and dog. I’m a writer, editor, and musician (on hiatus).
FoF: What do you do? And why do you like it?
I wear many hats, do many things, but my primary focus is writing. I have an estranged older sister and the age gap between me and my two younger brothers is in the double digits, so growing up I had a lot of alone time and I think that is where my love of storytelling came from. My mother still has old sketchbooks where I would fill the pages with characters, and off to the side I’d note their “special abilities” and nuggets of important background information.
The reason I believe I like it? I don’t know. Sometimes, to be honest, I absolutely hate writing. However, there is this urge – need, really – to do it. Maybe it is the concept of creating a whole world, a whole life, out of nothing but the fabric of my imagination. The freedom of creation; that is what drew me to music, after all. I’m sure it is the same underlying need to create something that dictates all my creative endeavors. That, and being completely neurotic.
FoF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?
I write mostly transgressive horror stuff. That said, I have a few WIP’s in the realm of fantasy and science fiction that I struggle with. Within horror, I was never really afraid of ghosts, ghouls, and supernatural scary stories. Although I appreciate and enjoy them, I don’t really care to write them. What gets my rocks off, what has always intrigued me, is the realistic but fantastically terrifying depths of the human mind. Serial killers, psychotic breaks, the loving mother who one day snaps and kills her whole family. That shit scares and equal parts inspires me.
I guess to elaborate on that point, we can take my debut novella Siphon and dissect it a little bit (may be a spoiler or two). I tried to tether everything – even the supernatural elements – to a realistic base. Dr. Gary Phillips’ addiction to consuming blood comes from the very real Renfield Syndrome, or clinical vampirism. His loss of time and his “God” comes from fragmented amnesia and a split personality disorder. In the story, it may only seem supernatural because the story is told through the eyes of Dr. Gary Phillips. If the story was told through an outsider, it would read more like a true crime story about quiet doctor going through a violent, psychotic break.
FoF: What drew you to horror in the first place?
My parents were avid patrons of the video store when I was young. Every night we would take a trip to Blockbuster Video around the corner from our house. My dad would pick a movie, my mom would snag hers, and then I was allowed to grab one as well and we’d watch all three – they were never very good at getting me to bed on time or shielding my eyes from mature content. My dad loved horror, my mom loved thrillers, and it didn’t take much time for me to trade in my picks of cartoons and kid’s movies for whatever VHS cover sparked my interest in the horror section.
But a shorter answer would be: Alien. When I first saw that legendary film at a young age, the mood, the sense of dread, and the overall dark, sci-fi aesthetic enthralled me. It is still my favorite film and the origin of my love of both horror and science fiction.
FoF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want)
*See answer to #4*
To expand on that, I absolutely love anything by Junji Ito.
FoF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?
Writing is an isolated endeavor. However, through being the co-owner/editor of Aphotic Realm Magazine we’ve found our place in the horror writer’s community on social media and have met tons of great, supportive people. Fellow writers and publishers, book bloggers, and hardcore horror enthusiasts – it is probably the best community I’ve been a part of.
FoF: What role do you think your specific style of art/work plays in the community overall?
I don’t know. I just wanted to be in the community, I’m not sure what I really bring. There are many fantastic authors and publishers out there. Of course, I and we (Aphotic Realm) want to carve out our little slice, but just the fact that we were welcomed with open arms suffices.
I know my style of writing isn’t for the masses, you know? Gore and sex and taboo subjects aren’t foreign in storytelling, especially the horror genre, but I know it isn’t going to be as widely consumed and enjoyed as a good ‘ol fashioned ghost story.
I just write what I write and I’m just glad there are people that take the time to read it – whether or not it tickled their fancy. It could be worse. I could have spent all that time writing it for no one to give it the time of day to at least try and read it.
FoF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight?
As of right now, I’m putting together Aphotic Realm Magazine #6: FANGS. It should be out and available mid-to-late March.
When it comes to writing, I have two WIP’s, both take place in Claybrook City (where Siphon is based) that I bounce back and forth on depending on my mood. I’m shooting to have at least of them done this summer.
FoF: Anything else you’d like to say/add?
I’d like to take this time to thank you for asking me to take part in the questionnaire and for reviewing Siphon. For your attention and admiration to not just me, but every other author fighting to
get their voice heard and their stuff read. This goes for all the book reviewers, bloggers, buyers, and supporters. Without this community, writing would be an even lonelier, less fruitful endeavor.
Huge thanks to A.A. Medina for taking part in this interview, and for Siphon
, which has been one of the best things I have read in months.
We will be back here next week with another creator within horror. Stay tuned!