- Welcome, A. A. Medina! For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(A. A. Medina) To start with the basics, my full name is Adrian Alexander Medina. I was born and raised and still reside in Phoenix, Arizona with my lovely wife, Samantha, our cats, Ishtar and Monkey, and our puppy, Sansa.
As far back as I could recall, I leaned toward the creative side. Whether it was drawing, music, or writing; however, I never really focused on one. To make a long story short, after my father (somewhat abruptly, i.e. long story) passed away in October of 2012, it was like getting hit by a train while skipping nonchalantly in an open field. Weak analogy, but I hope you get the drift.
After the shock and awe and soul-crushing nature of the loss, I reflected on my life and realized I was kind of just floating along. Sure, I played and wrote in bands, we played lots of shows and released albums, but my heart was never truly “in it”.
I don’t remember my thought process at the time, but I decided I wanted to focus the rest of my life on storytelling. I knew – being a person that easily jumps from one idea to the other without completion – that if I didn’t find a way to light the proverbial fire under my ass, I would let that decision fall through the cracks when the next shiny thing came along. So, I enrolled in school, figuring the hard deadlines and financial burden could be that fire.
Many things about the craft I could have learned on my own, but what the school did teach me was a deadline oriented work ethic and a sense of community and networking. That is where I met my business partner for Aphotic Realm Magazine, Dustin Yoak.
We graduated in March of 2017. Overall, I think my plan worked out.
(Until the debt cripples me)
- All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(A. A. Medina) First, I just try to push through it with force.
If that doesn’t work, I go on a walk or bike ride and try to work it out in my head.
And if that doesn’t work, I’ll usually keep the document/notebook open next to me while I do something mind-numbing like chores around the house or videogames and if something comes – and idea, scene, piece of dialogue, or otherwise – I’ll jot it down.
- Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(A. A. Medina) I like to try my hand at everything, but much of my stuff falls into the “Transgressive” genre. Looking back, there are a lot of crime and/or thriller elements to my stories.
When not writing, I’m usually working on Aphotic Realm. When I’m not doing that, I’m reading or playing games with the wife and friends – both video and tabletop. And if I’m not doing that, I’m being an utterly useless sack of garbage on the couch.
(Kam) It sounds like you lead a busy, fun life. Congrats!
- I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(A. A. Medina) If they didn’t know before, they do now due to social media. Many say it is a fitting path for me, many say they’re proud, but most just reply, “That’s sweet, dude.”
- Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(A. A. Medina) I, as well, have a long list. However, I’ll just keep it to my recent favorites. I tend to consume mostly science fiction, with that said, my two current favorites are John Scalzi and James S.A. Corey (technically three because James S. A. Corey is two people: Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck). I haven’t read anything I haven’t loved by them in the recent years.
- If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(A. A. Medina) I love this game!
I’ll choose Siphon since this is why I’m here to begin with.
First, I think Dr. Gary Phillips should be played by Gary Oldman (circa 1998). That man can transform into any character almost flawlessly. I would like to see Wendy Carter played by Sharon Stone (circa 1990). Francis could be played by Rip Torn. And Snowflake could be played by Kate Beckinsale (circa 2003).
Could you tell I’ve never thought about this?
If it were a current production let’s say, respectively, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alison Brie, still Rip Torn, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
(Kam) Siphon definitely left a lasting impression on me. (Review posted below.)
- Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(A. A. Medina) Besides a bunch of things over at AphoticRealm.com, I am outlining what you could call the spiritual successor of Siphon. I don’t want to release the actual title just yet.
First and foremost, we are here for the love of the craft. In addition, there are a lot of young, talented writers that struggle to find a home in a very competitive market. We wanted to provide such a home and from that desire, Aphotic Realm was born.
Adrian and Dustin met during their studies at Full Sail University and quickly gravitated towards each other due to their similar tastes in dark fantasy, humor, sci-fi, and more. A short time later, they were critiquing each other’s work and collaborating on projects. After graduation, they decided to combine their talents to form Aphotic Realm.
- Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(A. A. Medina) You can find Siphon on Amazon and all those other places people find books online. But, if you really want to be a winner, you’ll buy a physical copy from HinderedSoulsPress.com
I don’t have too many stories floating around, but that will change soon.
- Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(A. A. Medina) You can follow/contact me on Twitter: @UglyByProxy
- Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(A. A. Medina) Check out AphoticRealm.com where we have some upcoming publications and online stories by a plethora of amazing authors! Go to HinderedSoulsPress.Com and pick up everything in stock and if it is not in stock, email them and complain.
I hope everyone who read, or plans to read, my work enjoys it.
Thank you for your time!
~~ Closing remarks ~~
And thank you for joining me here today.
Folks, now for the grand finale….
Let’s check out Siphon, the story that will creep you out (but in a good way).
THERE IS AN URGE INSIDE YOU…
Dr. Gary Phillips, the resident hematopathologist at Claybrook Medical Center, is a lonely man struggling with the duress of an all work and no play lifestyle.
Burdened with an unhealthy infatuation with his co-worker, a burning disdain for his boss, and an abusive relationship with his grandfather, Gary just can’t catch a break.
That is, until a workplace accident ushers in a bizarre, but empowering experience that evokes a new sense of self, forcing repressed memories to surface while encouraging him to pursue his fantasies with unconventional methods.
Excerpt from Chapter Three
I was exhausted. It was about the time I would usually lay my head in my arms and close my eyes to kill a few hours. The centrifuge hummed and I turned off half of the overhead lights. It gave the room a warm, soft, luminescent glow. Instead, I hustled.
When handling sensitive material—blood in glass tubes and crucial information about the livelihood of people I’d never meet—I knew I had to work slow, careful, with grace, without shaky hands, with a keen eye and a sharp mind. So, there I am, excessive fatigue and under the influence of downers. And jittery from the uppers.
Amid retrieving multiple vacutainers from the refrigerator, I dropped one. It shattered, and chilled blood oozed onto the dirty linoleum floor.
Cursing through my clinched jaw, I squeezed the bridge of my nose and accessed the damage. I slid the other two vacutainers I was holding into my lab coat pocket and reached for the paper towels. Quilted. I knelt to clean it up, but then something happened.
I leered at the human oil crawl toward me. In that moment, my mind was empty. Not a loss-for-words empty or nodding-off empty. But, empty. No worries, no feelings, no opinions, no identity. No longer was I tired, but I was not awake either.
A comfortable void.
Nothing mattered. Not I or anyone else. I wasn’t sure how long I must’ve been on my knees as I gazed at the pool of vital, room-temperature fluid. My mind was a dark abyss, my body was a barren cavity. I’ve heard of out-of-body experiences before, but I’d never experienced one myself. I, or – for lack of a better word – my soul, watched as my body was taken hostage by another being. A stronger being. A godly being. And then it pulled me back in with it.
The stillness was broken and the vacuum was filled as I jolted back into my body, yet I was still unable to move. My eyes forced to fixate on the blood that had started to congeal. At first, the voice was just a whisper. It was confident, omnipresent, and not after long did it feel like a loudspeaker was installed inside my skull. A mantra, it repeated:
There is an urge inside you…
… which cannot be satisfied…
… with conventional methods.
(review request submitted by the publisher for an honest critique)
Whether you label Dr. Gary Phillips a psychopath or sociopath, everyone who reads Siphon will agree Gary is a total whack job. There were a few scenes, so vividly written, I actually felt the urge to vomit. Example: Consumption of blood is gross enough but swallowing vaginal blood and getting aroused by it simply made me want to hurl. Other sections involving blood, gore, and violence were also very descriptive and thus showed the true depth of Gary’s warped mind.
Despite the grotesque content, I have to commend A. A. Medina on creating a story that came alive on the pages even as characters were falling prey to Gary’s delusional mind.
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