|Posted by Marianne Halbert on June 16, 2014 at 5:35 PM|
I was asked by Meghan Arcuri-Moran to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour. (Thank you Meghan!) You can see her blog here: http://meghanarcuri.com/
So here we go...
1) What are you currently working on?
I've had about 30 short stories published, and now I'm focusing my energies on a novel titled, "The Lady's Pocket". I love "living history" museums and ghost tours. When we were visiting Williamsburg, we went into the clothing shop. I learned about "ladies' pockets", which functioned the way purses do now. Women kept personal items in them, only back then they were pockets tied around the waist underneath clothing. I couldn't stop thinking about what could be hidden in there and the idea for my novel began to form. In this story, a young woman begins working at a village which re-creates 1850's Indiana. She soon realizes that the ghost stories she's telling are real, and an old mystery wants to be solved. Going for gothic with this one. I really love a good ghost story, and hope to create a memorable one here.
2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
My stories tend to be less gory than the work of many of my peers. My writing has been described as creepy, almost gentle, heartbreaking horror, and sexy. I like complicated characters, creating an atmosphere of suspense, and writing unsettling plots. I also like to leave a lot to the imagination.
3) Why do you write what you do?
My biggest influence is "The Twilight Zone". I love weird plots, and placing ordinary people in bizarre circumstances. I also grew up reading Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and Edgar Allan Poe. I've always loved the old Hammer films. It seems no matter what I write, it tends to end up dark. And I'm totally ok with that. I tend to prefer writing supernatural horror. I see enough of man's inhumanity to man on the news, and my writing is an escape from that.
4) How does your writing process work?
I don't outline, but for the novel I do have notes. Lots and lots of notes. I did a lot of research to learn about life in the 1850's. When I write I always know the beginning and the end. In fact the end is usually the clearest part of the story in my mind. It's the middle that will surprise me in terms of how we get from here to there. My first drafts are skeletal, usually about half the length of the finished product. It helps me to get the plot down, and get to know the characters. Then I go back in to make everything richer and layered, and fill in anything I missed the first time. And then I revise. And revise. And revise. I don't have a set routine or schedule. There are some days I don't write at all, and others (when I'm running with the muse) where I don't want to leave my laptop because the story is flowing. I'm fortunate to have a wonderful critique group and I get their feedback before sending anything off to a potential publisher.
And the tour continues...
I met Peter Dudar at AnthoCon, and have read his collection, "Dolly and Other Stories". He's a very nice guy who writes very scary stuff.
S.M. Harding is a member of my critique group and writes mysteries and crime fiction. Her advice over the years has meant a lot to me, and she writes beautifully.
They'll be sharing their writing process next week. You can find Peter's at http://peterndudar.wordpress.com/ and S.M. Harding's at https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-M-Harding/1418850558392873