Richard Kadrey is a New York Times bestselling author and a friend of this website. His dark, horror-tinged urban fantasy books have been a fixture in bookstores and libraries since 2009. 11 books (and counting) into his Sandman Slim series, his novels have been optioned to become a film directed by John Wick’s Chad Stahelski. To say that he’s a success as a writer would be an understatement.
Now, he’s looking to help you build the skills to hone your literary talent as well.
Starting in March, Richard will be teaching a four-week online course on writing dark urban fantasy. Speaking to him from his digs in San Fransisco on Wednesday, he told me, “...during the class, I want to help students get a strong beginning to a story or novel. More importantly, I want give them the skills they need to keep creating new work.”
In order to do that, he’s laid out a clear road map to help get the asses of potential authors into gear.
From Richard’s Litreactor page:
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Week One: What is Dark Urban Fantasy?
What is dark or noir urban fantasy and how does it differ from horror? Who lives there and why? And why do we want to bring the strange and the dark into the world?
Week Two: Dark Urban Fantasy Characters
Who lives in these strange, invented worlds? How do you construct characters that walk the line between good and evil? Even in the most extreme world and stories, there must be some core of truth to it.
Earlier this month, I reviewed Richard Kadrey's new novel "The Grand Dark" for the LA Times; as I wrote, "His latest is “The Grand Dark,” a noir, diesel punk book set in a Weimar world of war trauma, debauchery, cabaret and looming disaster — and it's superb."
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I’ve known Richard Kadrey for a number of years. We generally mouth off at each other about technology, injuries we acquired while we were young/dumb, barbecue, tiki drinks and movies. There’s not much jibba-jabba, however, about what either of us does for a living. He writes constantly. So do I. It’s nice to talk about anything but your gig, from time to time.
That said, the rent must be paid, so here we go.
On August 28th, the tenth book in Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series, Hollywood Dead, will be available in the United States. Last last week, after reading an advanced copy that was sent out to me, I got on the horn for a chat with him about the new book, his plans for Sandman Slim and what he’s got cooking beyond the massively popular urban fantasy series.
SB: I read Hollywood Dead over the weekend. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most about the new book is how the tension ramps up as Stark came to understand how screwed he really was.
RK: I really wanted him off-balance. He felt off-balanced in The Kill Society—Stark was basically hiding who he was. But I wanted him to be genuinely fucked up in this book. He thinks everything’s going to be fine now and nothing is fine. Everything is fucked up. There’s no problem he can solve by punching it. Yeah, there’s bad guys, but his overall situation can’t be solved with violence. In the book, a lot of the truth of what[Stark]is comes out of Kasabian’s mouth, the way it always has. Read the rest