Being Commonplace, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Insidious

Henry Corrigan Author Interview

A Man in Pieces follows a desperate father-to-be as he battles his boss for a job that leads one of them to contemplate committing murder. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

A Man in Pieces started with my nightmares. I was sweating over bills, (in fact, I still am) dealing with underhanded bosses and backstabbing coworkers and just dreading each day that I reported to work. I was looking for a way to sleep better at night, so I started writing down everything that kept me up at night. The idea was that if I could get a look at the worst the world had to offer, then it would help me get a better handle on it. What I realized as I was writing it is that lots of people sweat over bills and plenty of others hate their jobs. But just because something is commonplace, doesn’t mean it’s not insidious.

Mike is plagued with bad options all around and has to find a way to make things work. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I based Mike very much on myself, but subtracted some of the things that have kept me alive. I made him more stoic than I am, I had him talk less, because I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t turn away from my own worst impulses. For Mike, all of those bad options were the same ones that many people face. Bad jobs we can’t live without, mounting pressures, no guarantees that anything will work. It’s frightening stuff and it wasn’t until I was staring at it that I knew what I was writing was a horror story. It might not be what people traditionally think of as horror, there are no monsters or slashers or demons involved, but there are the kinds of fears that keep too many of us up at night.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I absolutely wanted to explore toxic masculinity because I’ve been living with it all my life. The sort of learned helplessness where I’m never supposed to cry or admit weakness. Where I keep going, even when I’m breaking down by inches. I also wanted to touch on how toxic masculinity and a person’s sexuality can get twisted up like roots that end up strangling each other. I wanted to take all of this and throw it in a blender with systemic abuse and what came out was a reflection of the world around us. An American Dream which left most people struggling and the rest of us driving each other mad.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I actually have a couple of (wildly different) books that I’m working on. One is a picture book about a little monster who lives in a girl’s tummy and helps her eat healthy. That one I just finished revising and it’s currently with the editor. As to when it will be available, that’s up in the air at the moment. I’m also revising the first book in a planned sci-fi series and am hoping to get that to beta readers some time in the near future. I’ve also also got a sword and sorcery short story that I’m thinking about self-publishing later this year and a horror novella I’ll be working on with a mentor in 2023. (I got accepted into the Horror Writers Association Mentor Program, which I’m hoping will be a blast, so please wish me luck.) Beyond that, I’ve got a number of short stories in a number of genres that I’ve already self-published, with several more planned in the coming year, so keep eye on Twitter or Facebook where I’ll be posting every new announcement 🙂 Thank you so much for having me here, this opportunity has meant the world to me.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Driven by bad choices and worse options, a desperate father-to-be must battle his abusive boss for the last slot at a dead-end job, but the fight may lead one of them to murder.
Mike Harper would like nothing more than to burn his dead-end job to the ground. But with a wife on bed rest and a son on the way, discovering that the company is downsizing couldn’t come at a worse time. Now, struggling to stay afloat, Mike is forced to fight for the last remaining spot to secure his family’s future. It’s too bad that Tom, his obnoxious boss, is in the same boat.
Tom Downes is a man with few friends and even fewer prospects, but the aging veteran has never gone down without a fight. Now, with his health failing and his marriage falling apart, Tom is willing to do whatever it takes to keep his job.
With a blinding snowstorm closing in, these two desperate men will battle each other on a long and twisted road fraught with heartbreaking losses – and murder.
For when it comes to staying afloat, the American Dream can break anyone…

Posted on August 4, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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