Blog Hop: The Writing Process

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My friend David Striepe tagged me in this Blog Hop on the writing process, so I thought, why not? I’m horrible about updating my fiction blog and it’s always a good exercise to self-examine the writing process.

You’ll find Dave’s Blog Hop entry right here, and his poignant-yet-fanciful, nostalgia-fueled poetry over at Timid Futures. You’ll gain a little insight into where it all comes from, as well as some hints about his forthcoming fiction projects. A book of post-apocalyptic poetry? Why are you still reading this blog instead of Dave’s “Distant Friends?”

Still here? Just returned from reading Dave’s poetry? Good, let’s move on to this blog exercise’s mandated questions…

1) What am I working on/writing?

This Fall I plan to follow up “Eight Black Offerings” with my long-brewing collection of Southern tales, “The Grave Stompers.” I’ve been editing and writing the tales since shortly before my father’s death in 2011. The book was already set to be a weird exploration of my Southern identity, but death has a way of filling in details you never knew were lacking.

Having become a first-time father last fall, I still struggle to make time to write like I used to. But I hope to finish up edits on my atomic B-movie/Hinduism mash-up tale “Colossus” and from there pick up the pieces on my epic sci-fi/fantasy book “Through The Blood.” It might even be a YA book.

Plus I have a stack of additional tales in various stages of completion. Oh, and I’m also taking part in The 2999 Project by the King Deluxe record label. So look out for that.

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

I don’t really concern myself too much with genre. The stories in “Eight Black Offerings” are all weird horror tales if I was forced to nail them down, but I never dream of hearing people say, “Oh, that Robert Lamb really knows how to shock/scare/gross-out a reader!” My writing always leans towards the shadows, but horrifying the reader is never my main focus – at least not in a blood-and-guts, jump-scare way. An unsettling idea, though? A nightmare? A frightening message or revelation about ourselves? That’s what I tend to shoot for.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Because it has to come out, doesn’t it? I don’t want to overstate things and talk too much about fiction as a sort of psychic exudation or, God forbid, self-therapy. But the stories come out of me because they’re part of who I am. Often I write as a form of “dreaming while awake,” to quote the late, great Michael Shea, but some tales emerge as a necessary means to work something out of my psyche.

Plus, I grew up on horror and science fiction. The bedtime stories my father told me were “Beowulf” and “Battle of Stamford Bridge.” There’s a great deal of Stephen King, Lovecraft, Tolkien, Herbert and Asimov in my early reader DNA. You build a new body out of the things that you eat.

4) How does my writing process work?

I dream while awake to find the seed, then I nurture that seed by writing on it. That’s where things truly come alive. Often the seed requires a few replantings before I find the right soil and voice. When I’m finished with it, I set it aside for a few weeks or months (or, let’s be honest, years). Only then, when I’ve forgotten the details, do I dare go back and consider revisions, rewrites and edits.

I go through phases where I’m more into one phase or another, but I’m always engaged in one link of the chain.

So there you have it. Now let’s move on to the other writers. As the Blog Hop rules dictate, I must tag two more writers I know and admire and include their bios and headshots with my thoughts on them…

Rob Mosca

moscaI met Rob Mosca years ago when I first moved to Atlanta. He’s the most interesting guy to chat with at any party, full of humorous insights on everything from Batman and occultism to Atlanta street weirdness and the masturbatory rituals of the U.S. Navy. But as you read his prolific online writings, you also see the storms raging inside him. All of this comes together in his fiction – a hurricane of emotion and all the cultural, esoteric and anthropological wreckage caught up in the winds. I highly recommend you give his novel “High Midnight” a read (and maybe a listen). Like many of you, I eagerly await his next book.

Bio: Before being gainfully employed as a mild mannered bureaucrat toiling mindlessly in the bowels of one of Corporate America’s numerous cube farms, Rob Mosca was haunted by dreams of becoming an author. Envisioning a lush life of sleeping in until noon, courting delightfully sordid muses and growing a thick nicotine stained beard, he decided that the recent economic downturn was as good a time as any to quit his steady day job in order to write the Great American Novel. He has had no regrets in pursuing this new occupation save having to subsist on a steady diet of Ramen Noodles, Little Debbie snack cakes and copious amounts of Mad Dog 20/20.

Victoria Hooper

hooperI worked with Victoria Hooper on several short stories for the UK-based Polluto Magazine. She was always a delight to work with, but she’s also a wonderful fiction writer, blogger and a ravenous reader of fantasy, sci-fi, historical and YA fiction. Explore her blog Vicky Thinks and read her short story “False Lights” in the “Sword and Laser Anthology.”

Bio: Hi, I’m Victoria, a writer and editor living in Nottingham. I love writing stories, reading books, playing games, watching films and TV, and talking endlessly about them afterwards. I particularly love anything sci-fi or fantasy, magic and the paranormal, history, so-bad-they’re-goods, and everything MagicScience. Welcome to Vicky Thinks, my place to ramble, review and talk about stories!

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