The estimable Nelson W. Pyles tagged me to answer some questions about myself and my upcoming work for this thing called Blog Hop. It’s your standard interview type questions, but you know, I don’t mind talking about myself (most of the time), so I’m gonna answer them. Just for you.
Before I do, gotta give props to Nelson for being Nelson. And awesome. If you haven’t checked out his podcast, The Wicked Library, where he does readings of stories authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jessica McHugh, and yours truly, then you’re doing your ears a disservice. Not to mention your intellect and that part of you that likes to be scared, horrified, and, in some cases, disgusted.
At the end of this thing, I’ll tag a few more writers and you can hop on over there in a week or so and find out what they have to say.
Blog Hop: What are you working on right now?
Me: I have so many irons in the fire that it’s hard to pin down any single item, but I think it’s that way with every author. But, in an effort to make the rest of this sound interesting, I’m working on something of a vampire apocalypse novel, which is the first in a (planned) trilogy.
Blog Hop: How does it differ from other works in its genre?
Me: It differs for a few reasons. One, the vampires don’t sparkle, which pulls it out of the “urban fantasy” and “tween” genres/markets, which is where most of the vampire fiction is at the moment. But it also differs because it takes something that’s become a popular trope in those genres and asks the questions “How?” and “Why?” in regards to arriving at a certain point.
Blog Hop: What experiences have influenced you?
Me: When I was ten (or eleven, my memory that far back gets fuzzy) my mother pulled me out of bed to watch the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” because it scared the shit out of her. I watched Freddy drag Tina across the ceiling, blood flying across the room, all while her boyfriend watched helplessly. From that moment on, I was more or less hooked on horror. Plus, my parents never really censored what I read growing up, so I’d pick up the books they were done with, which were invariably horror.
Blog Hop: Why do you write what you do?
Me: Two very simple reasons. 1) Murder is illegal and 2) To explore and better understand my own feelings toward the world I live in. Sorry, readers, but I don’t write for you. I write for me. I attempt publication for you.
Blog Hop: How does your writing process work?
Me: I start with an idea, a theme, or an image of something and build around that. If it’s a short story, I’ll just write. Novels get outlined, character sketches, timelines. As far as the actual writing goes, there’s a 1st draft, then a 2nd draft. After that, the piece is read by “readers” and I do a 3rd draft based on feedback (if any). Then I have a few “writers” whom I trust and they get a final look. I’ll do a 4th edit (if necessary).
Blog Hop: What is the hardest part about writing?
Me: It used to be putting my ass in the chair every day to write. So I stopped trying. Now I devote several hours each day to writing, editing, or reading. It works better for me to focus on one of the three elements of writing instead of all three in a single day. Now my biggest issue is turning off my inner editor during 1st drafts.
Blog Hop: What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?
Me: Comic books. I’d love to write a comic book. But, as I can’t draw, I have to find someone who enjoys my work and that I can work with for an extended period of time.
Blog Hop: Who are the authors you most admire?
Me: I pretty much admire any author who writes and submits his or her work, who doesn’t quit after being rejected, and isn’t afraid to say, “Yeah, I can still learn from someone,” but then turn around and say, “Hey, I’ve been here before, let me help you out.” Too many authors nowadays get something published (book, short story, whatever) and all of a sudden they’re a gift to you and every person who aspires to write and publish.
I’m going to namedrop here, which I don’t normally do, but if you want to see a writer worth admiring, then you need to meet Jonathan Maberry. Listen to some of his interviews and how he elevates not only the craft, but everyone he works with and talks about.
Blog Hop: Who are new authors to watch out for?
Me: There’s so many. And I do mean, so many. Just a few that I’ve read their work are Alexis A. Hunter, Kenneth W. Cain, Joe Williams, Brad Carter, Craig Hallam, Brady Allen, Chris Larsen, Lydia Peever, Nelson W. Pyles. Some of these people are double and triple threats between the podcasting, doing graphic art, and other things.
Blog Hop: What scares you?
Me: My own death. But beyond that, failing my kids in any capacity. I’m also not a fan of any sort of public speaking.
And there you have it! That concludes my issue of Blog Hop Magazine! Time for me to tag three writers and so I’m going to give you over to one of those “new” authors I mentioned, Alexis A. Hunter. And in a twist, I’m going to also tag two of my “cabin” mates in this year’s Camp NaNo: Rochelle Bradley and Raven Hawk.