Though Andrew Hilbert and I have very different backgrounds, and are cultural products of different generations, we share some similar tastes and sensibilities, which just goes to prove…I don’t know what, but that’s how it is.
The point is that Andrew is a terrifically talented author that wears many professional hats, including on occasion a cowboy hat. This doesn’t mean he has multiple personalities, just eclectic passions, to which he devotes himself wholeheartedly, much to the benefit of his rapidly growing fan base. All that matters is that he has a good head on his shoulders, which he puts to good use on a regular basis…
You’re not only a writer, but you’ve been a publisher and editor as well. Do you have a professional preference, or do you wear all of these hats with equal enthusiasm?
I prefer being a writer. I used to do much more publishing with chapbooks and stuff like that but it takes a lot of time and money. I enjoy publishing what I like but it's a hell of a lot of work and I'm fundamentally lazy. Writing brings me joy, publishing brings me exhaustion. I'll still do things here and there but I'm no longer committed to releasing something every other month.
What is your favorite genre as a writer, and as a reader (and they don’t have to be the same).
I very much enjoy horror and bizarro as both. I tend to enjoy books that are absurd with black humor.
Tell us a bit about this “musical variety show” you’ve been working on.
I was working on a musical based on my story Margaret and the Infestation based on the roach infested apartment my wife and I had together before we were married. It got along pretty far but it required a lot of people and many people moved or dropped out. My friend, Luke, and I got pretty far with the music and songs so it'll probably eventually see the light of day as a radio play thanks to the magic of podcasting.
What are your influences, literary or otherwise?
Joe Lansdale is my hero. I had just moved to San Antonio and started writing really bizarre stories that I thought had no place in the world. Then I read one of Joe Lansdale's short story collections and I knew I had found the right path. From there, I started digging deep into bizarro reading things like Toilet Baby by Shane McKenzie and Gutmouth by Gabino Iglesias. I admire Joe Lansdale because he found mainstream success but he's one of the few authors that you can say is an influence in bizarro circles and traditional horror and sci-fi circles and people will agree. My favorite book of all time is Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I've read everything by Vonnegut except for whatever previously unpublished story that just got published. The other big influence is The Simpsons. The Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials always intoxicated me as a kid and it was where my love for horror began. It forged in my brain forever the connection between horror and humor.
What’s next for you?
Oh, I'm working on a few things. Right now I'm publishing Deerman in episodes twice a month via podcast. It's new for me but I figure it's a good experiment in building an audience. I enjoy performing and my readings usually go very well so I wanted to capture that without having to go out. People can check it out on deermanbegins.com. I'm also working on a road trip horror story that I'll be sending out to publishers sometime in the near future. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. I like to write, I have a job that gives me time to create, and I'm going to take advantage of that. I'll pursue opportunities as soon as they present themselves but I'm under no illusions about success and all that jazz.
Keep swingin’, Andrew, cheers.
BIO: Andrew Hilbert is the author of Invasion of the Weirdos, Bangface and the Gloryhole, and Death Thing. He is currently releasing a serialized saga called Deerman on deermanbegins.com. Keep up with him at hilbertheckler.com or follow him on Twitter @ahilbert3000.
http://patreon.com/ahilbert <-- support the Deerman project
PHOTO: ANDREW HILBERT