|Aurelio Rico Lopez III|
Aurelio Rico Lopez III’s friends call him Thirdy, by the way. I’m going to try it.
Johnny: Sorry it took you so long to get in, Thirdy. You know how it is.
Thirdy: How is it?
J: I’m lazy.
T: That would explain why you’re talking to me in your underwear.
J: And I had to dig these out of the hamper before I opened the door.
T: You mean while you opened the door.
T: Nah, I‘m good.
J: You write scary stories. I’m sure you’ve seen worse than me in my underwear.
T: Not much worse.
J: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever written?
T: That’s a tough one. Probably my short story Black Coffee. I don’t know what it was about that tale, but writing it gave me goosebumps.
J: For me it was the confession that I answer the door in my underwear.
T: I can see that.
J: Sorry. I’ll adjust. More bleach?
T: Maybe just a touch.
J: So you’re doing werewolves. Tell me about Cry Wolf.
Cry Wolf was a novella I wrote for Crowded Quarantine Press. It’s a werewolf apocalypse tale set in Iloilo City, Philippines. In my novella, the world is overrun with werewolves. Only a few men who call themselves hunters, stalk and kill the beasts, but it’s a battle that mankind is losing.
J: It’s a short book. Do you always write short books?
T: I have found that my comfort zone falls between ten thousand to fifteen thousand words. Perhaps someday, I will write a piece that’s longer.
J: Madness Inherent is a little longer. What’s it about?
T: Madness Inherent was published by JWK Publishing early this year. The book is actually two novelettes: Wretched, which is about a demon slayer, and Easier Dead Than Done, a story about a vampire. Don’t you worry. My vampires don’t sparkle.
J: Food for the Crows. Zombies. Zombies are cool. Tell me about your zombies. Are they fast or slow, brains or muscle diet?
T: My zombies move depending on the amount of decay and damage their bodies have sustained. Personally, I prefer fast zombies to the ones that are reduced to shuffling around. As far as diet goes, the zombies in Food for the Crows will eat just about anything with a pulse.
J: How long do you think underwear should last? I think you wear them until they disintegrate on their own, others say longer. What’s your opinion?
T: I think once the flies start buzzin’, it’s time for a changin’.
J: Well who asked you?
T: You did.
J: Touché. Tell me, do you set your books in the Philippines?
T: So far, all of my novellas and novelettes have been set in the Philippines, but most of my short stories haven’t. Once, I had to set a story in the Wild West for an anthology. I’ve never met a real cowboy, never worn a pair of boots, and never fired a gun before. I spent an entire week watching cowboy films for research. Thankfully, I pulled it off, and my story was included in the anthology.
J: Boxers or briefs?
T: Really? Umm... Do you have a robe or something?
J: Are you cold?
T: I was thinking of one for you.
J: Oh. Nope. Speaking of horror. What attracts you to write it?
T: The first novel I remember reading was The Vision by Dean Koontz. After that, I was hooked. Horror is like a trip to a funhouse. You scare yourself senseless, but you keep coming back.
J: Have you tried any other genres? Middle grade picture books perhaps when not fighting zombies and werewolves and such?
T: Back in college, I wrote a couple of children’s stories for local magazine. It didn’t last though.
J: I always ask. Tell me about your journey from writer to author.
T: My mother was an English teacher, so growing up with her was like being in a classroom 24/7. All the mid-sentence corrections were a pain, but my mom is the reason I got into reading and writing. I joined the school paper (in high school and again in college). Many of my friends enjoyed hanging out and doing the silly things kids do. I did a lot of that too, but a large portion of my time was spent reading and writing.
When I finally had access to the Internet, I sent some of my stories to online zines and print publications.
The rest, I guess, is history.
Crowded Quarantine Publications? How are they to work with?
T: I think I first discovered them on Ralan.com. I sent Adam Millard a query, telling him I’d recently finished writing a zombie novella (Food for the Crows). He emailed me a few days later, saying he’d love to see it, so I sent it along. A month or so later, I got another email from Mr. Millard. He said he’d love to publish my novella. I was ecstatic! This was the first time I’d ever sold a book. I was smiling for days.
J: What are you working on now? What’s your next book?
T: My latest book is a collection of short stories called Nothing’s Fine (JWK Publishing). Currently, I’m working on a new novella entitled Crawlers. I can’t tell you what that’s about yet. Hehehe.
J: Where on the vast and powerful, soon to be extinct because of greedy corporate monsters and the NSA, internet can peeps find out more about you?
T: I’m on Facebook, so if anyone wants to talk about horror movies, books, music, coffee, tarantulas, anime, etc., just send me an invite. I also have an author’s page on Amazon.com.
J: Hey I just noticed, there’s a hole in my underwear.
T: Yeah, about that... I’m gonna need more eye bleach.