The good people of the Flint Horror Collective had me up to the Flint Public Library this past weekend to join a few other writers and answer some questions. I’ll do this one at a time.
What first inspired you to write?
It wasn’t any one thing. I just remember always writing. I have a story, “The Killer Morning,” that was written on construction paper in thick-penciled, childish handwriting. I wrote poetry through my childhood and into high school. When I finished my first Stephen King novel, “Thinner,” I was so blown away, I thought, “This is the kind of writer I want to be.”
But the moment that really did it for me happened in my senior year in high school, I had a writing class that did a paper a week. For our narrative assignment, I turned in a story about four girls who kill themselves publicly to get back at their boyfriends for dumping them. When handing back the stories, my teacher got to mine about halfway through the stack, started to hand it back, but then stopped and said, “Actually, I want to wait on this.” I went to a Catholic high school, so I thought, “Shit, I’m in trouble.” When he got to my story again, he said, “Sean, I just wanted to say before I handed this back to you. This is writing.” Immediately, three people asked me if they could read my story. That was the first time I seriously thought about making a career out of writing.