A.P. Thayer is a queer, Mexican-American author based out of Los Angeles who writes cross-genre speculative fiction. He has been published in Dark Matter Magazine, Space Fantasy Magazine, Uncharted Magazine, and several other publications and anthologies. He is a full member of SFWA and HWA and is represented by Helen Lane at the Booker Albert Literary Agency.
I’ve always been a big reader and dabbled in writing earlier in life, but never really took the jump to try and make it my career until 2016. I was in a place where I was near creative people but unable to be creative in the ways I wanted to be, so I threw caution to the mind and dove into fiction writing. I found a writing group, one of the most important things I’ve ever done for my writing, and kept working on my craft year and year.
I’m a big believer in the magic of cross-genre writing and find myself blurring the line between horror, science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and straight literary fiction quite often. I have always found that life is messy and complicated, and so I felt genres should be as well. Why limit yourself! And it’s because of this that I’ve coined a personal genre, nightmarism, to describe a lot of my writing. Surreal, haunting, and horrifying.
I am primarily a long form fiction writer, with a novel and two novellas going on submission early in 2024. However, I have published over 20 pieces of short fiction and non-fiction over the years.
I have a notepad document in my phone that I add to all the time. A lot of the items on the list are brief moments in dreams or vibes that I get in dreams, while others may be things like interesting news articles I’ve come across or exciting titles. When it’s time to write a new piece, I comb through my list and see what kind of combinations I can make between 2-3 or more of those ideas to come up with something unique.
I really love finding out what I can come up with. I often surprise myself while I’m writing when I get into a flow state. I’ll be drawing on my list of ideas, my creativity, and my life experiences and suddenly something magical will appear on the page that even I wasn’t expecting.
The first piece of advice I tell everyone is to find your people. Find a handful of people who are writers as well and form a critique group. Get used to sharing your work and giving each other notes. You’ll all get better together. The second piece of advice is this: You have to actually write. You have to put your ass in the chair, sacrifice time and energy, and create. The more you treat writing like a gym routine, the better off you’ll be.
I luckily do not really experience writer’s block. I have short periods of time where I find myself taking a break from writing or have many a couple of days where I’m really working through an issue in my mind, but otherwise, I am able to produce as I need to. I think the secret to this is I treat writing like a habit, not something based on or reliant on inspiration. Build a writing routine, like a certain place, a certain time, a certain song or drink, and build the habit. You’ll find yourself writing every time.
I was so stoked to find out about Storiaverse. I think the world is continuing to shift and with the way that media has evolved, I was worried about the future of storytelling. I think this is a great step toward marrying classical storytelling with what the future allows us to accomplish.
The most recent story I have in Storiaverse is Safe Haven, a dark fantasy, horror, and dystopian science fiction story about an alternate future earth. At its core, however, this story is about love between two people and hope in the face of overwhelming odds. As bleak as I like my stories, I always want there to be a glimmer of hope to inspire readers. Even at the darkest hour in our lives, there’s always going to be something to hold onto, something that’s important that we should fight for.
I am a visual writer and reader so having these stories animated is exactly what I believe the right move is. I’m so excited to see what kind of art these animators have done for Storiaverse!
As a queer, Mexican-American diversity and representation is extremely important in my work. Growing up, I would rarely find a representation of myself in what I read. How are you supposed to be inspired as a reader if you don’t see yourself in the text? I knew I had to do something about that as a writer. If even one person reads my story and sees themselves in the characters, I will feel fulfilled.