Monthly Archives: June 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

I’m always thankful when somebody approaches me with one of these Blog Tours, otherwise I don’t think this page would ever see any action, in part because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never mastered the art of blogging. I mean, what would I say that hasn’t already been said by somebody else? The other part is because I have so many irons in the fire, it’s difficult to make the time. So this time around, my debt of gratitude goes to the talented Rose Blackthorn for this invitation to participate. So let’s get down to it… First question up is:

What am I working on?

Remember what I said about irons in the fire? I am currently editing Cranial Leakage, Volume 1 for Grinning Skull Press and reading manuscripts for Return to Deathlehem, a charity anthology, also for Grinning Skull Press.

Writing? I have a bunch of short stories in various stages of completion. The first draft of my novel manuscript, Ursa Major, which deals with witchcraft and shape-shifting, is completed, and it is currently in the revision stage. Other projects that are in the works include Equinox, Lemmings of the Sea, Garrison’s Bitch, Zombie Fight Night, a piece with the working title of Maggie Creek Road (inspired by the song of the same title), which is a ghost/possession story, and Devil’s Bluff. Yeah, there are a couple of zombie pieces there.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I tend to write about your average person who finds him or herself in an impossible situation. There’s no Special Forces, no ex-Navy Seals, no martial arts expert who knows every form of hand-to-hand combat imaginable, just Joe or Jane Schmo who tries to realistically deal with the situation they’ve been given. Because they are normal folk, that means they don’t always survive;  let’s face it — if a car explodes with our hero inside of it, he’s toast. I’ve been criticized over the fact that I seem to kill off characters on a whim, but it’s their story, and if they feel their time is up, who am I to argue? I’m only the vessel. I know people don’t want “reality” when they sit down to read, but it’s what I look for. I know zombies and werewolves aren’t real, but within the confines of that world, I try to make the characters respond as realistically as possible within the world that’s been created,

Why do I write what I do?

It’s really not up to me. As I mentioned before, I’m just a vessel through which the characters tell their story. They dictate what happens and when. I can’t help it if it usually ends up being something creepy.

How does my writing process work?

I dread answering this question because it makes me sound crazy, but here goes.

With the exception of Ursa Major, the idea for which came to me in one fell swoop, it always starts with a scene. I’ll see everything in vivid detail. I have no idea who the characters are or what events are transpiring in the world around them. I know only that moment in time. Usually, I don’t know where that event occurs in the story, but there are times when I know where it falls. (For Zombie Fight Night, the entire last chapter is written; now I just have to get there). Over the course of the next few days, the scene will continue to replay itself in my mind. I’ll sit down at the computer and wait for the characters to speak to me. Unfortunately, they’re not always ready. If I’m greeted with silence, I’ll jot down the idea in a notebook and move on to something else. I’ve learned by now that when they’re ready, they’ll let me know. The bad feature about working this way is that the characters themselves often don’t know what’s going to happen next, and they may fall silent for a period of time. When that happens, I don’t try to force the story; instead, I’ll move on to something else with the hopes that it will spur them into action. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Now that you had a peek into the workings of my mind, let’s check out what makes some of my fellow authors tick. Tune in next week to hear from Alex Laybourne and Mark Parker have to say.