Shells chats with author Todd Seaward

In some cases, people discover they want to be a writer at a later age. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I've never really thought of myself as a writer, I'm more of a story teller. I've always been expressive in various mediums but, at the tender age of 30, (sighs, over a decade ago...), I thought I might get semi-serious about my hobbies. Cartooning didn't pan out and I've frightened people with some of my writing so I been gradually becoming quite serious about my scribblings over the past few years.

What do you find is most challenging about writing a story?

Writing on demand and following guidelines as to how the story has to play out and end. I sit down with an idea thinking I know 'my' story and how it's going to end. Once I get to know my characters I find I'm just writing the story for them... They tell me what's going to happen and I have to tag along, recording, to their inevitable, sometimes unhappy ending. I'd have an editor tell me to remove entire scenes, cut two or three thousand words. I'd have to start a different story to meet expectations.. Wouldn't be fair to the characters of the first piece to remove that much of their lives after they trusted me to tell their tale!

What characters do you find most appealing in stories you have read and what character or characters are your favorite from stories you have wrote?

Generally I like a good guy that takes a shit-kicking through-out the story. I don't like 'Hollywood' type characters. I like a bad guy who isn't malicious but does what he/she does because he/she believes. I have to see the conviction written into a character, good or bad, to truly enjoy the story. As for my own... All my characters are my favorite, some I just don't like very much.

Genre stories are becoming more and more popular. How do you feel about Genre writing in general and if you had to pick, what would be your favorite Genre to write in?

Oh my... I can write horror and automotive articles. I've tried to write romance, childrens, suspense, erotica etc but when things are going well the story takes a hard left turn to Darksville where all the bad stuff lives. I find if you can do one genre then do it well, if you can do more then one then kudos to you! Won't stop me from trying though. I have a drawer full of tales that are supposed to have happy endings... Maybe one day!

What makes your stories different from other stories out there today?

Mine are better than some, worse than others.. Only real difference is they're mine.

You have had several short stories published, have you done any longer works?

10,000-15,000 words...and they're still pending. I do have a couple of novel ideas in mind. One is about...Hey! Wait a minute! Nevermind!

Where can readers find some of your short stories?

Mostly with Static Movement right now and a couple through Shade City. My very early stuff, which I care not to mention, I look back cringing and wondering if some of the editors were blind or just trying to fill up space... Not so much the story and the flow but the tech, the manuscript layout, etc. Horrific!! My favorite market back in those days was the now sadly defunct Thirteen Magazine out of the UK. Thirteen issues per year with thirteen stories in each. I tip my hat to Andrew Hannon and where ever he may be. I hope he found what he was looking for...

If there was one thing you could say to someone just starting out in writing, what would it be?

If you love to write, write. If you want money, get a job. Writing for me is telling a story for others to enjoy, or to be shocked, or disgusted. If I do make a buck or two, fine, but when someone says "Hey Todd, I read 'Story BlahBlahBlah' last month and it stuck with me!" For me that's what it's all about!!!

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