Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Blog Hop: Pass the stick
I was tagged for this Blog Hop by two authors, Martyn Halm and Roberta Pearce, so here are my introductions:
First-time participant and winner of 2013 NaNoWriMo, Pearce is still waiting for her cheque. Her influences include Fyodor Dostoyevsky [his dreamy side], Douglas Adams, Rupert Brooke, Mary Burchell, and Omar Khayyam. While she currently has no pets, she once had a pair of Siamese fighting fish named Pat and Mike, whose ghosts appear occasionally in her novels. Her imaginary hobbies include climbing Kilimanjaro and enjoying lofty literature. Her real hobbies include drinking copious bottles of wine with good friends while discussing anything that pops to mind.
Visit her Goodreads Page or her Amazon Author Page or her Blog here.
Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work. Martyn is a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction, even if that requires learning new skills. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche’s abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first kill...
Other than his above bio, Martyn is a fellow ADVRider member. His European manners and insights are a breath of fresh air on Goodreads where he contributes whenever he does not write, folds people for a living, or contemplates how to establish real-life Loki Enterprises and get away with it. I suspect that he is the shadowy mastermind behind Loki, masking his chosen profession as a writer of suspense fiction in order to fool international law enforcement agencies.
Visit his Amazon Profile where you can check out his books and sample two stories for free, or his Goodreads Profile, or his Interesting Blog here.
Time to answer my questions:
What I'm working on?
Thus, since November 2012, I've been buried in Word files, Kindle files, epub files, and all sorts of files and programs, releasing the complete Mad Days of Me, trilogy, a collection of experimental short stories -Coffee, Cigarettes, and Murderous Thoughts, and a new edition of my poetry—The Silence Before Dawn.
Nevertheless, an author seldom sleeps, so I'm technically working on a new book, titled 36 Days. Yes, I've been saying this for a while now, but I won't write unless it feels right. Writing cannot be forced.
How does my work differ from others in the genre?
For me, literary novels are packed with emotions and real human experiences. The protagonists are not always likeable, the villains are not always bad, but we experience the world through their eyes and thoughts, which, in turn, teaches us something about our world. Such is life.
That being said, I have yet to read two lit fic novels that follow the same arc. With the ability to disregard established genre rules, the author has a lot more leeway where he/she takes his/her story, and thus all works within the "genre" are somewhat unique.
Why do I write what I write?
The more serious answer is that I enjoy delving deep into the human psyche, discovering bits about humanity along the way. The way our society works, human interactions, alienation . . . and, of course, the beauty in those random moments we often overlook.
I write what I write because I cannot carry around a mirror large enough for the world to see itself in.
How does my writing process work?
First comes the location—all stories need to take place somewhere. Once I have a location, I do some research to either refresh my memory of a place, or to learn about a new place. I'm a visual person, so I look at photos, maps, transportation, historical sights, et cetera. I need to be able to see myself there, to walk the streets with my characters.
I do not outline. Rather, I let the story evolve as it unfolds.
Once I start, the process turns masochistic. As long as I'm writing, I live the story in my head. All day long, running scenarios, imagining events, interactions . . . At night, when the house is quiet and I'm the only one awake, I write it down. And the next day it's the same all over again.
This is fine with short stories. But having a character in your head for six years really blurs the line between reality and fiction. Take my word for it.
Edward M. Wolfe: