Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your horror novella! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Aidan Lucid: The Scavenger is about three teenagers who find an abandoned well deep in a forest. They make a wish but little do they know that their wishes will come true but in cruel, twisted ways. Soon, they’ll be battling an ancient evil with their very lives at stake.
This premise came from a simple question: What if you made a wish in a well that was cursed? I left that percolate in my mind for a while. Slowly, the plot started coming together and the characters came alive. In March 2020, I sat down to write, The Scavenger, and the story just flowed.
BD: The novel deftly combines paranormal horror with a YA-focused energy. What can you share with us about your creative process in weaving these narratives together, and what have been some of your creative influences?
AL: I always loved YA books. For some reason, it easier for me to write in that genre. I love dealing with themes such as kids finding their way in the world and figuring out who they are. Adults go through that, too, even people who are in their 40s. Drawing on my own experience, as a person with a disability, sometimes, we find it hard to "fit in" and wonder where we belong in society. So, I applied this to Jared and Jessica, two characters who were going through a tough time: Jared has to deal with certain family members having issues with him being gay, and he himself dealing with the fact that he can now see ghosts. Jessica has to deal with an abusive alcoholic mother on a daily basis, whom she just wants to revert back to the "old mom" she was before Jessica’s father left. Deep down, Jessica feels that this isn’t going to happen so she longs to leave for college and get a place of her own to have some peace and quiet. These are themes I wanted to develop and deal with carefully, because there are people out there who can/will relate to these situations, going through them every day themselves. I wanted those individuals to feel that I did these characters justice.
Further inspiration came from Stephen King’s It. I loved how he dealt with the teenage angst and the different inner demons each kid faced. This was something I wanted to bring into my own novella. Hopefully, readers will feel that I pulled it off. My wife and I are big fans of Stranger Things. The name, Hopps Town, is partially derived from one of the main characters, Sherriff Hopper, as a tribute to that excellent show.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Jared, Jessica, and Adrian’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
AL: In the previous question, I outlined the traumatic incidents that Jessica and Jared go through in this novella. Many people out there will be able to relate to their situations, especially victims of domestic abuse, racism, and homophobic attacks/bullying. The one message I’d like to convey to everyone is that it’s okay to be different. Our world would be dull if everyone was the same. We all have unique qualities and traits. In Jared’s case, he has psychic abilities. So, don’t feel like you have to be like everyone else to fit in. God put you here for a reason. Work your strengths, use those talents and the world will come to accept you as a person.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novella into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?
AL: Yes, for sure. Originally, the Hopps Town books were only supposed to be a two-book series, but after completing the first draft of The Scavenger’s sequel, I can now see it expanding into four books, with the final entry being a slightly different departure from the normal supernatural affair to stop them becoming formulaic.
As for other mediums, yes, I could see book one working as a movie or possibly incorporating all four books into a Netflix TV series. In fact, I’m working on getting The Scavenger being made into a film.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
AL: I’m working on Book Two of the Hopps Town series which will hopefully be coming out in December 2021 or January 2022. Next year, I will also begin work on a new YA fantasy series that looks quite promising. I’m excited to get started on it.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Scavenger and your other work?
AL: Readers can find out more information about me or future projects at the following places:
Email: aidanlucidauthor (at) gmail (dot) com
I love to hear from readers so drop me a DM or email anytime.