What tends to come first for you when you start to write: character, plot, an image, something else?
It actually varies from story to story. For some books, I come up with a brilliant (to me, at least!) character and just have to think of a way to fit them into the story. Sometimes I get a scene in my head, almost like an action sequence from a movie, and I try to figure out a way to move the plot so it can incorporate the scene. This doesn't always work, so I have a few, sadly, cut scenes in my folders. I think it's important to be flexible, as a writer. Characters change and evolve. Sometimes they go in directions you weren't expecting, so new ideas are always welcome.
What else have you published recently?
My most recent publication was a novella called "Traces" over at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, about a man who can find anything, who has, ironically, lost his memories. I wanted to write something with a Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell vibe, and hopefully came at least a little close. I also almost always have an essay or editor's note up at The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.
What are you working on now?
More novellas, mostly. I found that I was tying myself up in knots over word count limits and it was affecting my writing, so my 2020 New Year's resolution was not to care how long my stories became. Consequently, I came up with the idea for three novellas that deal with memories in one way or the other. "Traces" was the first, I'm revising the second one, and the third's still just a draft. Hopefully, they'll all eventually find homes, or I'll self-publish.
What have you read recently that inspired you?
There are so many wonderful authors and I read so many great books, it's hard to choose. I'm going to make a slightly odd decision and go with a manga, A Man and His Cat, by Umi Sakurai. It's very low-key work—it's really, fairly literally, a bunch of vignettes featuring a lonely man who adopts an equally lonely cat. It's quiet and sweet, and most of all, kind. The way the world is right now, I feel it's necessary to remember kindness; the small gestures. Reading this manga series inspires me to pet my cats, and petting cats simply makes life better, doesn't it?
Books by A.E. Decker
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.