This month’s featured writer is the author of the vampire novel, Behind Blue Eyes.
Have you ever given a character one of your own flaws as a means of trying to understand and overcome it?
Yes, but I’ll keep it a secret as to which one. It wasn’t as a means to understanding my flaws, it was to give them a more real personality, something people would be able to relate to (unless I’m weirder than I think, most people will as least know someone who as similar traits).
Andre Dubus wrote about his characters’ spiritual fatigue, caused “by spending money on dead yet good things that would give them comfort, but not hope.” Do you see any of your characters as suffering from this type of spiritual fatigue?
No, I don’t think so (but to be honest, I haven’t read that).
Fiction writing has been described as a controlled madness. What are your thoughts on that?
I would totally agree, it’s a way of getting your frustrations out. I find it therapeutic if I’ve had a bad day; and if someone has really annoyed me, I can kill them off in my story, and justice has been served. I can then forget about what they have done. (Oh my, don’t want to psychoanalyze my response there. Yikes).
In what ways do your characters surprise you?
I think in most ways, I don’t plan my stories, I come up with an idea then it grows from there, sometimes they just don’t work. My very short story, Bernie and the Beast, was originally going to be an old man who has lost his marbles in another story. But, he took on a paranormal twist, so I cut him, changed his character a little and gave him his own show.
When did you first catch the writing bug?
I got the writing bug late in life, 2013.
Please share a little about writing projects you have lined up for the future.
2016 I’m hoping to have a comedy romance out. It’s about a girl that is unlucky in love, only to find that Mr. Right was in front of her the whole time. Also I’m hoping to finish a zombie novel, which will be more about survival than the gore. But it will include some gore, more if someone gets on my nerves.
One day, when I was really bored at work, because we had been waiting on weather (I’m an offshore radio op, the weather was too bad for helicopters to land, or boats to work with us), I was thinking about my favourite genre, horror, and started comparing Bram Stokers, Dracula, to Stephanie Mayer’s, vampires in Twilight. This got me thinking about why vampires die when they were staked in the heart if they didn’t have a heartbeat. Why did people not turn into a vampire if they were kissed by a vampire if the venom was in their saliva?
I wanted to create a more believable vampire so, I asked myself two questions. What if vampires did exist, how could they survive in our world? How could they remain undetected? I put pen to paper and my ideas were born. My vampires would be more human, there would be good and bad vampires, and to some people’s horror (forgive the pun), they had a heartbeat and would age with time. My first novel, Behind Blue Eyes, was born.
Since then I have written three short stories, Carly, The Box, Bernie and the Beast. Carly and the Box are available as short stories, but they have also been incorporated in an anthology, Double Trouble, which includes Bernie and the Beast. All come under the murder/mystery genre.
For 2016 / 2017 I have a Rom/com planned, and a Zombie Horror.