G.A. Miller joins us in Circle Nine of the Inferno, with his story, ‘Great-Aunt Grace’.
Infernal Clock: What was the inspiration behind your story?
When I was approached to take part, I considered what the levels of Hell represented and chose the Ninth because one’s family should provide a welcoming safe haven from the world, so when they turn against you instead, that betrayal represents the worst form of treachery.
Infernal Clock: What is your idea of hell on earth?
The abuse of women, children and animals by sadistic individuals who take pleasure in the suffering of others. Those poor souls are all experiencing hell on earth.
Infernal Clock: The Inferno was created on old ideas of sin. If you had to label the nine levels how, what would you call them? Would you keep it at 9? Increase or decrease?
I think the labels are both appropriate and timeless in terms of what they represent. I would, however, elect to add a tenth level to be reserved for a very specific group.
Infernal Clock: They say the Devil has all the good tunes. What song would you recommend as an accompaniment to your story?
This is probably the hardest question of all! Given the story at hand, the first ones that come to mind are Billy Joel’s ‘Honesty’ or the Beatles’ ‘Tell Me Why’ ( and yes, my choices do indeed reflect my age.)
Infernal Clock: If you were able to visit the Inferno, what level would you want to go to and who would you want to see there?
I can understand the request to keep politics out of my response, so I’ll simply look at certain politicians and say, “We have such sights to show you!” That said, I’d oversee my idea for a tenth level, reserved exclusively for paedophiles. They’d be greeted atop a hill where their skin would be flayed and peeled, then rolled down that hill, comprised entirely of glass shards and ultimately fall into a river of boiling oil. Once the release of death arrives, they’d immediately start over again.
Infernal Clock: What is the hottest food you’ve ever eaten. Can you share a recipe?
Because I enjoy spicy food, I was once offered a jalapeno pepper to eat at a party. Unbeknownst to me, the host substituted a habanero pepper which set my mouth ablaze as tears flowed. I’ve never tasted anything else nearly as hot as that innocent looking little pepper.
Infernal Clock: Who is your ‘favourite’ villain in history or fiction?
I think I’ll go back to my roots, to Stoker’s Dracula, as that was the first horror novel I ever read and it gave so much depth and background to Lugosi’s performance as I watched the 1931 film on my little black and white TV, the rabbit ears adjusted just so. That book began my lifelong love of reading dark fiction, and so The Count deserves the top spot.
Infernal Clock: What is your long-term ambition for your writing?
I’d like to reach a point where readers come to enjoy the work and look forward to new releases. I find writing to be therapeutic, to be honest, and would continue without ever releasing another word, but to have someone I don’t know tell me that they greatly enjoyed something I’d done is so fulfilling. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to derive extra income, but I don’t think Stephen King’s accountants need worry about making time for me.
Infernal Clock: Top-tip for other writers
Be true to yourself. Write the stories that you like to read, incorporate your own fears and life experiences as doing so will add so much credibility and passion to your work. Let the rejections come, your story will find its proper home in time.
G.A. Miller. As a decades long career in the technical field was approaching the end, G.A. Miller decided to finally approach the blank page, an idea he’d toyed with for many years. 2017 marked his first acceptance in a publication, with the short story ‘Bequeath’ making its debut in the inaugural issue of Hinnom Magazine, published by Gehenna & Hinnom publishers.
As time passed, more and more tales made their way into numerous publications, both print and online, and then 2019 marked his entry into self-publishing. Two collections of short stories and a novella now appear on his Amazon Author page, and then a brand-new collection was released in April, 2020.
My latest publication is a novella titled “The Shopkeeper: Curios, Curiosities and Rarities”, which is available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KWCDHR6