My Writing Process
I was nominated for the ‘My Writing Process Blog Tour’ by Joseph Pinto. First, thank you Joe for nominating me and offering the world a peek into the damaged organ I call a brain. Joe is a wonderful writer that is a partner in the writing group I belong to, Pen of the Damned, as well as an extremely talented and sundried writer in his own right. I’ve been working with Joe for the better part of two years now, and I’ve yet to see him try to tackle a voice or topic that he couldn’t adapt to and crush! His primary writing passion is horror, and he cranks out some wickedly awesome pieces that I have to say make me grin from ear to ear with joy! I love great horror, and even more so, I love great horror that is off the beaten path and spawned by an idea so bizarre that it makes my head spin. If you crave that type of writing, then Joe is the man follow.
Besides horror tales that leave you wanting to shiver in a ball on the floor (those that are weak of will that is), he also writes incredibly dark and often painful poetry and lyrics. Incredibly enough, beyond all that, he just re-released a novella he wrote as a tribute to his father titled Dusk and Summer. From a man that inks pieces as brutal and cruel as you’ll find on his personal blog and on Pen of the Damned, this fantasy novella shows his true diversity and talent. Short of the fact that his father passed from pancreatic cancer, there isn’t a stitch of horror in the book, and it is a truly amazing read. Beyond that still, he is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. His heart and soul are as magnanimous as his talent is abundant. Please, if you don’t know him – visit his blog, follow him on twitter, friend him on facebook, and of course, join him on Pen of the Damned. He is a man striving to live life larger than imaginable for one purpose, to make his young daughter proud. What matters more in life than the adoration of your loving family? Kudos, Joe! You more than deserve it.
Personal Blog: Joseph Pinto’s Horror (and things not so horrible) Blog
Pen of the Damned Blog: PenoftheDamned.com
Twitter account: @JosephAPinto
Facebook Author Page: Joseph Pinto: Horror author and more…
Amazon Author Page: Joseph A. Pinto
On with My Writing Process Blog Tour
1. What am I working on?
I’m currently working on a number of things. Most of what I have the opportunity to write is themed for our Sirens Call Publications eZines. We run a comparative flash between the owners who would like to participate based on a photograph. The photo is usually something random and somewhat obscure that allows us to write in any direction that month’s theme supports – the kicker is, it has to be 300 words on the nose, and you can use no more than two paragraph breaks. When time allows, which isn’t as often as I’d like, I also love to write for our eZine. I really enjoy short, punchy pieces that are again, themed. It allows me to be a little kitschy with my style, and write about things that I normally wouldn’t.
I also write with Pen of the Damned, an eclectic group of horror and angst filled writers who express their pain, intrigue, violence, and particular brand of horror every Tuesday with a free short-story offering on our blog. We currently have ten active members, and one inactive soul who is unfortunately suffering the success of his latest novel having been released via the mass market monster we all aspire to be noticed by! (Poor guy, right? lol) It’s a wonderful group of people with some seriously twisted and imaginative minds that express their diverse tales through many different voices. I’m extremely proud to be among their rank and considered worthy of the quality of talent mixed within the group. Each of the ten active members post once every eleven weeks on a set schedule, with a group project – a Damned Words photo inspired drabble post that all members participate in – on the eleventh week. Stop by, we love new souls to crunch on! Bwahhh!!!
The most important thing I am working on is a novella (possibly novel – who knows) for my mother. For the holidays this past year, my mother asked that none of her children buy her anything. She wanted to flash-back to a different era when money was much tighter for all of us, and instead of buying each other gifts, we made them. So I’m taking a page from Jannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and writing the story I believe my grandmother should have lived. My mother doesn’t know much about her mother’s young adult life other than it was extremely hard and brought about a great deal of pain and grief, and left her single with two children to raise. I’m writing the story the way I believe my grandmother should have lived her life, not the way she was forced to from what we know. Don’t mistake that to mean I’m elevating her world and glamorizing her lifestyle; I’m not. I’m simply taking the facts and weaving a tale of a strong woman who suffered through a great deal of hardship. But instead of showing my mother the embittered woman she knew, I’m showing her a glimpse of the laughter and joy, love and happiness that I knew to be a part of my grandmother’s life. And with my rose-tinted pen, I’m putting my euphemistic writing soul into my grandmother’s loving and long gone hands, and I’ll follow where it takes me.
2. How Does My Work Differ from Others of Its Genre?
Easy answer: I think my work differs from others of its genre because I truly don’t aspire to be a renowned author. I only wish for those who enjoy my writing to have the opportunity to experience it.
Not so easy answer: Most authors have their ‘go-to’ character in their own head; one that may wear many hats and has many different names. But I allow mine to be a single signature creature with an extremely strong, arrogant and violent personality. The Dark Angel. She is my ‘go-to’ voice. The mixture of my inner self, my wants and innumerable forbidden releases. I write her with no restriction whatsoever. If I sit down and unleash the collar that holds her in place, I don’t reattach that leash until she is done telling her tale. Now to those who don’t write, but simply love to read, it might sound a little strange to discuss a character that lives in a writers head in third person, but my Dark Angel is as real to me as any living person sitting next to you. Other writers will understand what that means; we simply choose to express it in our own unique way. For me, my Dark Angel is an expression of myself and the embodiment of all I could or would be, in a safe, non-harmful manner. I can allow her to caress a beautiful woman in one moment, and slice her to ribbons in the next simply because of the allure this woman holds over her. Obviously, in reality, I have no desire to gut a woman for being beautiful. I may caress a woman, I may choose to cherish her, even love her, but I’m not insane; I wouldn’t gut her from throat to navel simply for the pleasure of doing so. Does that really make my work any different than other horror writers? I don’t honestly know. What I do know is that my Dark Angel is the daughter I never bore, the frightened child I once was and still am trapped within my own mind, and the beautiful creature my soul tells me was meant to soar on gossamer wings. To me, she is singular – one of a kind and deserving of so much more than one short lifespan.
For the record, I’m not insane, nor am I arrogant – I’m actually quite humble (until you fuck with me). But I am also all those things I describe my Dark Angel to be within my head and on the page. In reality, I’m the girl in the parking lot helping an elderly woman she’s never met before pack the trunk of her car with groceries because the bagger made the bags way too heavy to manage. Meanwhile, my own milk is spoiling in the sun, my ice cream is melting, and my cart is rolling away. That’s okay; maybe one day someone else will be doing that small favor for me. Maybe that’s what defines my writing more than anything else. The dichotomy of who I actually am vs. the ferocious or passively devastating nature of what I prefer to write. But I will go on record as saying I do not believe it’s what sets me apart from most writers, particularly of the horror genre. I think we have to face it – we’re primarily a nice bunch of people!
3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
Uhhhh…. Because I feel like it! Damn, I sound arrogant again… lol. Honestly, I’ve taken some pretty hard knocks in life, but I’m not complaining – there are many others who have lived with and through much worse than I have. I write what I write because it helps expel some of the damage within me, both emotionally and physically; and as twisted as it sounds – it simply makes me happy. If I creep myself out, that’s a mental high five in my book. I might even need to chase down a cat and do a happy-dance with ‘em. I’m a jeweler, a photographer, a graphic artist, web developer, UrbEx adventurer, and mud-pie maker. Writing is yet another creative outlet. There was a day in my past when someone taught me that certain symbols referred to as characters strung together make words; and if you string those words together, they make sentences; and if you string enough sentences together, others might understand the things inside your head. That’s why I write – because someone told me it was possible, and from my first scribbling, I’ve never stopped. Mind you – only I could read those. Well, me and the aliens I imagined were using my mind to channel my abundantly talented crayon to create such mystical magnificence!
3. How Does My Writing Process Work?
Process… hmmm. I’m not sure I have a writing process. I suppose if you call shutting my office door, tapping on my monitor, and simply letting what comes flow from my fingertips a process; then that’s my writing process. I don’t burn candles, listen to music, drink anything with an alcohol content above zero, hell – I don’t even smoke other than an occasional cigar! But one thing that does ease me into writing is emotion. When I feel great joy, extreme happiness, severe pain, deep loneliness or sorrow; I want to write. And I love to listen to the ambient sounds around me. Cars passing on the street, splashing through puddles, a poorly tuned Harley or a perfect grumble of a finely tuned Lambo. Crickets chirping on a night that is stagnant with no breeze, birds singing outside my window as I wake, kids walking by outside chattering happily. The rain pattering on the roof or tapping the window pane as if to ask may I come in, the wind slipping through the leaves of a tree rustling them for just a moment, or the peace of sitting in a quiet forgotten place like an old graveyard or an abandoned building. Those things inspire me. So perhaps inspiration plays a much larger role in my writing process than I would have thought without dissecting it. Maybe I do have a process after all… who would have guessed?
Now…. for my victims, I mean nominees!
I respect and admire each of these writers for both
their talent and their zeal!
1. Mari Wells:
By candlelight, she writes, creating worlds full of magic, myths, mystery, monsters, and mayhem, during the midnight hours. Using words of romance or suspense and her knowledge of paranormal creatures, she covers the screen. Characters are pleased to be given her attention for the night and they happily do her biding.
Her stories will take you to lands where vampires, werewolves, and witches interact in magical ways. Journey with her to places where myths take on exciting twists, monsters may not be what you expect, and death isn’t final.
Allow her to question all that you know to be true, while enjoying the tale she takes you on. Once you’ve been drawn into her world things that go bump in the night is something you will anxiously await.
Mari Wells has appeared in anthologies, magazines, and websites.
2. Craig McGray:
Craig writes horror and dark fiction because the whispering voices in his head tell him to. His mild mannered persona is the perfect disguise for the strange things hiding inside his skull. Many of his horrific tales play themselves out in his mind’s eye during the times of self-torture while he is training for triathlons.
A proud member of Pen of the Damned, when he’s not writing or torturing himself through exercise, he spends time with his wife and beautiful daughters. They are the key to his existence.
3. Carson Buckingham:
Carson Buckingham has been/is a professional proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter, copywriter, technical writer, novelist, short story writer, book reviewer, blogger and comedy writer. Besides writing, she loves reading and gardening; though not at the same time. Though born and raised in Connecticut, she lives in Arizona now—and Connecticut is glad to be rid of her!
Look for Mari’s, Craig’s and Carson’s answers to these questions next Monday (July 28th) on their blogs!