Monday, March 31, 2014

"My Writing Process" Blog Tour

The Excellent Horror Writer and generally good guy, Brian Fatah Steele, hooked me up with the “My Writing Process” Blog Tour.  Thank you, sir!  He's got a bunch of stellar horror books out, just check his Amazon Author page and pick one or two or a half dozen to read. He knows how to wield some wicked words.  

I like what Brian wrote at the beginning of his post and will borrow it here:
"Blog Tours like this are simple. It allows authors to network, and more importantly, allows readers a glimpse behind the curtain. Not only does it give us a chance to discuss what we’re working on but how we’re doing it. No two authors create in the same manner, nor should they ever think they’re supposed to. So, jumping into the four questions…"

So, let’s get to the questions and see where it all leads, eh?  Also, these answers are where I am right now.  Over time, even a few days from now, if I was to think it out even more, my answers might be quite different. 

Shall we…?

What am I working on?

Is this a trick question? I am a writer who just released my second collection, Autumn in the Abyss.  Part of what I am working on is the marketing for that book.  But…that’s not what you are asking, is it?  What new writing am I working on?  I am in flux, yet focused within that mindset, wrapping up a story for one anthology request while doing some research for another anthology request.  There’s also the novel in progress that has William S. Burroughs as inspiration, though the writing veers more toward whatever mad conglomeration of influences that make up my writing.  Three perspectives, right now I am doing revisions—or will be, when officially back to it later this week—so I’ve split up the three perspectives into three files to make sure there’s consistency within the separate character chapters, then I will shuffle it all back together and deal with the finale.  Definitely the hardest thing I have ever attempted, at least where words are involved.  Add to that a bit of ad copy for the masterful dark ambient band, Inade, and mapping out the next collection—a counterpoint to the all male protags in Autumn, as females take the reins--and I would say I’m busy.  But busy is good and writing keeps me sane, so I’ll deal with it.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Clive Barker once said, “I forbid my mind nothing.” That is a starting point for most of my fiction.  Like his writing and the writing that most works for my mindset by others, and what I incorporate into my own writing, there’s a sense of being fearless with words.  I don’t flinch when what’s needed to be explored, no matter how visceral or psychologically dark, rises up and demands attention.  My writer’s mind caters to this type of thing as opposed to the same old, same old horror tropes, though I have on occasion utilized those tropes.  I also like to incorporate what I think of as the J.G. Ballard School of Observation (okay, I just coined it with this title, but that works, hehe…) into my stories, in that while most writers might look at a situation from the same angle, I like to approach it, as Ballard always did, from a completely different angle.  Uncover something unexpected.  These elements as well as the unique elements of my voice—we all bring our own voice, perspectives, observations, experiences, and obsessions into play with our words—make my writing distinctly my writing.        

Why do I write what I do?

Write the book you want to read.  Who said that?  Toni Morrison, perhaps; and many others, in a way.  That’s what I do with my stories.  I enjoy dealing with darkness, dread, and situations most dire.  And love.  And relationships.  And whatever it means to be human.  I write to learn more about myself with the possibility some of what I have discovered might work for somebody else and their journey in this thing we call life.  That’s the gist. 

How does my writing process work?

It is primarily organic and specs depend on whatever else is going on in my life.  I prefer early morning, fresh brain time, yet don’t get that much when the Real World intrudes and I need to deal with work.  Therefore, I take it when I can get it, an hour or two in the evenings, usually, and try to stay focused while doing that amidst a world of distractions.  Focus is key.  When I find myself slipping, I schedule writing time to make sure I stick to it.  It’s not a matter of Wanting to do it, that’s always, but writers know how even at that, we tend to wander.  Yet most of the time, I’m good to go on a regular basis. I believe in consistency more than waiting on the Muse.  Waiting gets nothing accomplished.  At least Being With The Words garners the possibility the Muse might say, hey, that’s good, let Me in on this fun.  The path for each story is different.  Some flow, some stutter-step.  Novels tend to flow because the word count does not matter and I let it all pour out.  Though, again, with the novel in progress, I have discovered a different approach is needed just to keep things somewhat aligned.  As in, I map out a few chapters, write a couple, trash the rest, re-map, and take it from there.  Some direction was needed at times, since the first draft without the finale is over 70,000 words.  Short fiction blossoms from a thought, an idea, an image, and the story takes hold as it needs. Since I write mostly organically, I’m often not sure where it’s all going, yet within the process, the story reveals its soul and I can add whatever’s necessary to make sure it makes some kind of sense to me.  And perhaps to the reader as well.

So, there, that’s it.  I don’t know how long this Blog Tour is going on, yet if you want to follow-up with something similar, by all means, do…and let me know when you have so I can check it out.

Upcoming blogs will feature info on the Axes of Evil anthology that includes my story, “Louder, Faster…” as well as that H.P. Lovecraft/Hunter S. Thompson mash-up I’ve mentioned I would post a couple times recently, aaaaaas well as much more on the new collection, Autumn in the Abyss.   (Of note, check the page: Amazon Finally got the Editorial Reviews updated, so now you can see what S.P.Miskowski, John Langan, and Joe Mynhardt have to say about the book.) (And purchase your own copy.) (Yeah, yeah, are we all salesmen now?)


Here's a somewhat appropriate photo to accompany this piece, Blood-Stained Words by, it says, Andy Asylum.  




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