I was nominated for the Siblinghood of The World Blogger Award by the ever lovely Beverley Lee I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Beverley over the past few months on the writing challenge on Twitter and through her blog. And I’m really excited about her sharing this with me. I’ll try to do my best!
~ Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link back to their site
~ Answer the ten questions sent to you
~ Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer
~ Nominate ten blogs
And the questions … these may take a little thought but here goes. I’ll try not to ramble too much.
Your favorite author is going to call you for a once in a lifetime chance to talk. You can only ask them one question. Who is the author and what is the question? Why?
I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of my favorite authors in person at a writing conference and frankly, I sat there gawking like a fish out of water. Movie stars, presidents, queens can all walk past me without so much as a wink or tremor of nerves but other authors that I admire turn me to jelly. So, with that stated, I would love to talk to H. P. Lovecraft. He has to be my ultimate favorite (and he’s dead so no chance of bumping into him later, ha). And my question – (to him) You have a lot of subtle nuances in your stories that seem to build even after I finish reading the story. How did you manipulate those through the revision process to be as intense as they are? Why do I want to know that? Well, that’s the kind of horror I’d love to write and I know those elements are born through rewrites but as of yet I’ve been unable to mimic them and I would so dearly love to do so.
Which fictional character would you want as a friend, and why?
This is a hard one. I have too many. Lol. As cliché as it might be, I’d love to say Sherlock Holmes … but in reality he and I would kill one another. Too much angst and anxiety and social awkwardness. So, I have to go with his best friend, Dr. John Watson. Not only is he stable despite all the “stuff” he goes through, he’s loyal to a fault, and puts up with a lot of crap without walking away. And he’s somewhat intelligent. He’s not a fool, either. He knows what Sherlock is and how Sherlock behaves and still he remains a loyal and trusted companion. It’s hard to find friends like that. (especially when you’re a neurotic emotional mess like me … )
List three books you’ve read more than three times.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Shining by Stephen King
The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted by Andrew E. Kaufman
Who would you say is your greatest writing influence in terms of your own style?
Uh … um … um … um … do I have to pick just one? here’s the short list: Stephen King, David Morrell, Andrew E. Kaufman, William Bernhardt, Rex Stout, a little Hemingway
Honestly, my style is kind of a mish-mash of pieces and parts. Every time I enter pieces of my writing in those online things that tell you what your style is (I know, I know…) it comes back Stephen King but I haven’t analyzed or picked apart what he writes enough to know if that’s true. I love his book ON WRITING so I’ve probably picked stuff up. My other favorite writing book is by David Morrell THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST and I’ve been at writing conferences with him and read a lot of his work. He gave a keynote speech at one conference where I was on the verge of giving up writing and it made me rethink what I was doing and start loving my craft all over again, so I kind of have a weak spot for his writing advice.
Andrew E. Kaufman is an amazing author and I tend to structure my novels the same way he does his, not that I did that on purpose. I’d say “great minds think alike” but he is way better than me. I could wax poetically about this guy and his writing and his influence on my own writing for a couple of hours or so but it would embarrass both of us, so I won’t. Suffice it to say one of his novels is on my “read three times or more” list and it was published less than 10 years ago.
William Bernhardt taught a novel writing class I took. To say my writing style isn’t influenced by him in some way would be remiss. It most certainly is. The class, as I’ve said before, was kind of a gut-kicking experience for me so I have mixed feelings about admitting the influence it had on me as a writer. One day I’ll come to terms with it.
Rex Stout influenced me simply by the sheer fact that his writing filled my childhood years and his books are still stacked on my bedside table every night. I never go anywhere without one.
Hemingway is interesting as an influence to me because I don’t really like his works that much but I can’t not read them. I have the same kind of short terse sentence structures that he uses and I write standing up better than sitting down.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on a couple of things. I’m finishing up a series of horror short stories that I’ve been self-publishing under my pen name E. P. Ferguson. They revolve around the happenings in a manor house in Cornwall in 1868. Very classic gothic horror stuff. Nothing gory. I’m in the editing phase and just started working with a wonderful editor on them.
And I’m working on a novel called THE DEAD WIFE which is a historical thriller that takes place in and around Chicago in the late 1800’s. My lead is a Pinkerton Detective, Frank Garloch, who is called to investigate the brutal murder of a woman and her children. As the investigation unfolds, truths about marriage and love resonate with Frank as his own past is revealed. Finding the suspect in the case draws him to his own dark thoughts that he must balance while caring for his ten year old daughter Sadie. In the end this case may be his last as secrets of his past threaten to ruin him.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
That’s easy. Been thinking about this since the first novel I wrote ten years ago. I always have someone in mind. For this one, hands down.
How important is a book cover to you? Would it influence you over the back blurb?
As much as I hate to say it, because I never judge by appearance alone, I am attracted to certain book covers more than others. If the back blurb was super, I wouldn’t care what the cover looked like but I might never read the back blurb if I didn’t pick up the book in the first place. But honestly, Titles are more important to me than either covers or blurbs. If a title catches my eye, I’ll open the book and read random pages. If the writing attracts me, I’ll buy the book.
If you could live in one fictional world, where would you live?
I’d say this is a tough question for me but really, it’s just kind of tough to admit what my answer is. I’d live in the world of Cold Mountain. That civil war era, deep south, dark, gritty haven of farms and solitude and simple pleasures with that one forbidden love tugging at my heart.
Do you let other people borrow your books?
Only if they don’t leave my house … Ha! I’m just a tiny bit obsessive about my books. 🙂
Books have some of the most wonderful quotes among them. Which is one of your favorite quotes, and why does it resonate with you?
“That’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.” by Kahled Hosseini in THE KITE RUNNER
Yep, that pretty much sums me up. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had that went awry because I just naïvely plowed forward believing the other person meant what they said and understood what I meant. Words for all their precision are not very precise sometimes.
Here is my list of nominees. (questions follow) If you have time to answer, GREAT, I look forward to reading your responses and if not, know I was thinking about you. Not that I can come up with ten … okay, so I did come up with ten people. Hmm.
1. You’ve signed a publication deal for the first time ever for one of your novels. Once you begin the editing process you are diagnosed with a terminal disease and told you have one month to live. Do you write faster or walk away?
2. Favorite author you’ve ever met and talked to in person and what advice did they give you that’s made a difference in your own writing?
3. Most writers dabble in other artistic pursuits as well. What are yours?
4. One piece of writing advice you would pass on to other writers. Where did you get it and why is it important to you?
5. What are you currently working on?
6. If you were on a deserted island, what one book would you want to have with you?
7. What one bad habit do you have that gets in the way of your writing?
8. Three books you’ve read more than twice.
9. Biggest influence on your writing … other authors, family, teachers, etc. The one person who has made a difference in your life. Why?
10. Would you ever write a romance novel? Why or why not?