Last Monday, I was invited to answer some questions on my writing process by @West1Jess. Check her entry on her answers at Write this Way.
1) What are you working on?
I’m writing a story about an abductee forced to aid her captors in hijacking her online identity. Cameron is one of many college students corralled into cages, marched out whenever her captors need information. She suspects they’re intercepting money transfers from the students’ parents, staging murder suicides when they’ve tapped all their victim’s funds.
What her captors didn’t realize when they took her, is Cameron is an aspiring author. She’s been hyper-blogging, tweeting up a storm, building up a massive following, a following that requires constant maintenance. Looking at all of her accounts, they realized they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
Forced to pose in couple selfies, Cameron is paired with a boy who’s lied about his sexual orientation online. He hopes the friends he’s confided in will see these photos and know that something’s wrong. Cameron realizes her captors are staging this relationship for her followers. They’re using it as the reason to explain her shrinking online presence, and to setup her inevitable end.
Together the mock-couple conspires to screw up their captors’ plans.
2) How does your work differ from others in your genre?
Writing horror and urban fantasy, I’m not interested in using ready made monsters. Zombie stories are a dime a dozen. Vampires have been devalued, shelves are filled with books by different authors that use the same lanky cover models. Abandoning Victorian era villains, I aspire to invent entities for the age we live in.
3) Why do you write what you do?
I write the kind of stories I’m hungry to read: Twilight Zone fan fiction. I’ve always been attracted to heightened realities where symbolism is made flesh. Sometimes I use fantasy to cope with real world problems. Rather than approach subjects directly, I come at them askew. Anyone can write a journal entry about being lonely, but it takes a twisted imagination to write about an NSA agent using their tech to stalk someone.
I write a lot of what-if scenarios like:
What if a landlord tried to evict a tenant who was possessed?
What if the boss from hell didn’t realize he was interviewing an ancient Sumerian Demon?
What if someone’s future memoir started narrating their life in the present?
4) How does your writing process work?
I’ve stopped drafting. I used to write character bios that answer questions regarding their religion and their upbringing, now I like to discover those things. I call this “Writing Commando.” It’s writing without the tight binding underpants of scripted events. This method keeps me interested. Sure, I have an idea where the story is going in the back of my head, but that idea is fluid. You’d think I’d get writer’s block going at stories like this, but whenever I get stuck I ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen?” Conflict usually does the trick.
Hate to break the blog chain, but I’ve been too busy to reach out to too many folks. If you’re interested participating in the Blog Hop on March 4 drop me a line in the comments, include your bio, post your answers to these 4 questions on your blog, and I’ll edit this post to point folks in your direction.