Feature Interview with Sean Patrick Hazlett

November 14, 2016


“One of the areas where many writers fail is on the business side of things, an area on which I actually enjoy spending time. For me, the hardest part of writing is generating sales—the rest is gravy. Every writer should have a business model they follow. They should set goals and do their damnedest to adhere to them.

“Part of my business model involves monetizing my reprint inventory once the rights revert back to me. One way to earn income on that inventory is to sell reprints to third-party anthologies and other publications. Another way to create one’s own personal anthology once one accumulates enough reprints to fill an anthology. In the long-run, if an author is fortunate enough to write and sell a hit novel, that author can benefit from additional sales by having a number of anthologies already in the market,” said Sean Patrick Hazlett.


Sean Patrick Hazlett works in finance at large cybersecurity company by day and by night, or more accurately, during free time in mornings when he’s at his most productive in regards to creativity and his mind is “fresh,” he writes science fiction and horror.


“I started writing fiction when I was ten years old, but didn’t really do anything serious about it until five years ago when I started submitting short stories to various publications.

“H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Algernon Blackwood, C.S. Lewis, and George R.R. Martin have had the greatest influences. Among this group, H.P. Lovecraft has probably had the greatest impact on my writing, particularly his themes regarding entities that view humanity with cold indifference, hereditary curses, and the concept of deep time. Some of my favorite Lovecraftian works include The Rats in the Walls, The Whisperer in Darkness, The Thing on the Doorstep, and At the Mountains of Madness. These tales resonate with me as an author because they effectively blend the three genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and explore the infinitesimal smallness and isolation of man in a vast cosmos in dark and intriguing ways.” said Hazlett.


In the past, Hazlett has written numerous speculative stories and currently has a novel out for consideration while a follow-up novel comes into creation before him.


“I tend to write stories about outsiders, particularly individuals who must operate in settings where they are out of place or whose ideas clash with the prevailing orthodoxy. I also like to explore the dark side of human nature. When you deprive human beings of food, sleep and security, they often behave in shocking ways in order to survive, and I enjoy speculating on these situations and themes.

“My first anthology, Alien Abattoir and Other Stories, has stories covering concepts as varied as biological computing, space colonization gone horribly awry, ancient alien astronauts, interstellar investment banking, and alternative history, among others. In general, these stories tend to have dark and/or dystopian themes.

“My second anthology,” not as of yet released, “which has a working title of Necromancer and Other Stories, has stories covering subjects as varied as post-apocalyptic politics, leadership lessons from a Martian psychopath, doppelgängers, invasive alien species, demonic possession, cyberwar, extraterrestrial cuckoldry, and hunting a necromancer during the Russo-Japanese War. Again, most, but not all, of these stories have a dark or horror bent to them,” said Hazlett.


The novel Hazlett is currently shopping is a military science-fiction work with a wild name and befitting premise.


“From the bloody battlefield of 1943 Kursk to the code-breakers at Bletchley Park, NAZI COCKTAIL is the first in a three-book series that melds the gritty realism of the Second World War with antigravity devices, neutron bombs, and evolutionary eugenics. "Below is my elevator pitch:

"A cosmic malady infects the dead. Stalin makes a pact with parasitic aliens. A thousand-year Reich ravages Europe from a rift in space-time. Trapped behind enemy lines, Georg Strauss, a meth-addicted German soldier, must fight for his survival. Uncovering the darkest of secrets, Ukrainian sniper Anna Ivanova becomes a target of the Soviet police state. Forging an unlikely alliance, Anna and Strauss race across war-torn Europe to warn the Allies of these looming threats. All the while, Strauss suffers from crippling withdrawal symptoms, and Anna must decide if he is worth saving,” said Hazlett.


In May, Hazlett will have a chance to experience his work hitting shelves of a major bookstore, having a story included in Volume 33 of Writer of the Future. Something for which he is excited to see. Understandably so.


“My dream would be to earn enough from writing so that I could do it full-time. Anything above and beyond that would be icing on the cake,” said Hazlett.


Sean Patrick Hazlett’s story Twinwalkers, a story that came in on the closing day of submissions if I recall correctly, will appear in Issue #1. Mr. Hazlett was reached by email and I thank him for his time.


Sean Patrick Hazlett is an Army veteran living with his wife and three children in the San Francisco Bay area, where he works at a cybersecurity company. His short stories have appeared or will soon appear in publications such as Writers of the Future, Galaxy’s Edge, Abyss & Apex, Grimdark Magazine, and Sci Phi Journal, among others. He holds a Master of
Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and bachelor’s
degrees in History and Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Before graduate school, he served as an Armored Cavalry officer at the Army’s National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, where he trained U.S. forces for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He considers writing as therapy that pays for itself.


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