As the Horror and Heineken Fest weekend draws to a close, I’m slowly but surely getting back into my routine. Sunday morning walk is all done and now I’m sitting here in my office eating cold pizza and drinking diet Coke as I begin my writing day.
The weather has finally cleared and there is so much light streaming in through the windows. Feels good. It’s a little cooler out, but still doesn’t seem like fall. Fine by me. I’m never quite ready to relinquish my summer.
Last week I finished reading a very interesting book that was recommended to me by one of my Facebook friends. I found the dystopian story so original and riveting for the most part and kept thinking what a great movie it would make. But the ending left me unsatisfied. It was as if the writer simply ran out of time or steam or both.
I’m not unsympathetic. Been there, done that. However, I was reminded again of how utterly crucial the ending of a story is. That’s not to say everything has to be wrapped up all nice and tidy, especially in a series where the author is often laying groundwork for the next installment. But there must be a big payoff for the reader.
So with that in mind, I’m doing a little more work on The Visitor this week before the line edits begin. This is actually my favorite part of the writing process—that one last crack at getting everything right before I have to (reluctantly) let go of the story.
Yesterday I started Witch by Barbara Michaels. Not hard to figure out why I chose that particular book instead of one of the gazillion titles I already had on my Kindle. Lately, my Ozark witch story has been calling to me. This will not be a Bewitched or Wiccan type story. I want to write about witches that do bad things. Witches that maybe sold their soul to the devil. In my story, witchcraft is still dark and dangerous and only spoken of in whispers.
My friend, Alaina and I had a long conversation about this during our Horror and Heineken weekend. As much as I love urban fantasy—and goodness knows, I was hooked on True Blood—that’s not at all what I write.
I’ve never been able to put a label on my Graveyard Queen books, but Alaina says I write horror. Horror in the classic sense because all good horror, she reminds me, is rooted in tragedy. Think of Lon Chaney’s poignant portrayal of the Wolf Man. The loneliness and sadness and isolation of his everyman character set against his budding relationship with the beautiful Gwen is the very epitome of doomed love.
In that sense, Amelia is a bit of a throwback, I think. Rather than embracing her gift, she struggles to overcome it and the outcome remains in doubt.
It’s the ‘otherness’ of these characters and creatures that enthralls me. For my purpose, bringing them into the normal world would dilute their essence and so I prefer to keep them rooted firmly in the paranormal.
Screening this past weekend at Horror and Heineken Fest:
The Conjuring ♠♠♠
Sinister (unrated because I fell asleep, but I think it was a good one)
The Purge ♠♠
The Invoking -♠