Motivation is for Losers

Author Fed Venturini pays a visit to the FHC Learning Commons

Illinois-based author Fred Venturini, the self-proclaimed “Doritos of literature,” is a collection of horrific childhood traumas, a singular sense of humor, and a realist unlike any other who’s been drawn to the horror genre for as long as he can remember.

“My grandmother would read Stephen King books to me when I was younger…and she would read to me for hours and hours, all day from when I was about three, four years old,” Venturini said. “I became an advanced reader very quickly. My fourth grade book report was “Cujo”…then fifth grade was “The Hunt for Red October”.”

With many childhood story-times with Grandma, Venturini found his knack for writing more through the consumption of media, later moving onto the more typical exploration of creativity such as the strangely convoluted world of a nine-year-old’s collection of self-written “Dragon Warrior” fanfiction.

“I was always creative with my writing, when I was younger…I played a lot of “Dragon Warrior” on Nintendo, when I was younger,” Venturini said. “But, I was unsatisfied with the story in the game, so I would write stories about things in the game, kind of expanding on the lore and giving it more plot.”

Venturini has evidently been utilizing his propensity for writing since his early years, but, with his infatuation with the horror genre, the many scarring experiences in his life, and his Stephen-King-inspired preference towards science-fiction, he shows an enjoyment of writing about the macabre.

“My English teacher made us all write, but no one wanted to read in front of the class. So, she would read [our writing] to the class, unattributed, and everyone always knew that the twisted, weird one was mine, and there was always this audience reaction,” Venturini recalled to the rows of high schoolers seated in the Learning Commons. “[My teacher] would read the piece to the class and everyone would just turn and look at me…And I really liked that…I really like the live reaction of an audience.”

While horror intrigues him, and audience interaction fuels him, Venturini finds that his way of “staying motivated” to keep with his craft isn’t quite what you would expect.

“Nobody feels like working out for 45 minutes. Nobody feels like eating broccoli instead of a donut. Nood feels like putting all of their effort into being a high performer at work,” Venturini said. “But, if you can get into the habit of doing something, even when you don’t feel like doing it, you don’t need inspiration. You don’t need motivation. You’ve got a product, be productive.”

LOUD AND CLEAR: Fred Venting regales the attending students of his writing process and the miraculous circumstances of his eleven scars. Photo by Samantha Castille.
YOU, IN THE BLUE: FHC students raise their hands, eager for their questions to be answered by the featured author. Photo by Samantha Castille.