Interview with The Crimson Pact - Part Two
As Halloween, All Saint’s Day, All Souls’ Day, and the Day of the Dead swing by, how better to celebrate than demons? Or at least, getting into the heads of authors who brought you the demons of The Crimson Pact. We’ll be running this interview in four parts through Saturday… and check out down at the bottom for a special deal!
Participating in this roundtable interview are ten authors, who between them have stories in all four volumes of The Crimson Pact. After reading the interview, stop by their blogs and websites and say hi!
The authors in this roundtable are (in no particular order): Chanté McCoy, Elizabeth Shack, JM Perkins, KE McGee, Justin Swapp, Michaele Jordan, Rebecca Brown, Richard Lee Byers, Sarah Hans, and Stephanie Lorée.
Do you have any formal training? Did you ever take courses in writing? Did they help?
Michaele Jordan: Years of English lit, and a short lived job in copy-editing & slush pile reduction.
Eric Bosarge: I have an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Saying it helped is the biggest understatement ever.
Richard Lee Byers: In college, I took two Honors English courses which were your basic how-to-write-an-essay classes. The instructors were very good and taught me a lot about turning ideas into effective prose.
Chanté McCoy: Yes, yes, and yes. While you don’t need to study English to be a writer, I went that path. My bachelor’s and master’s degrees strengthened my understanding of the language and grammar, taught me to think analytically and synthesize information, and exposed me to the classics and the works of great writers. Equally important, those programs gave me an opportunity to meet others passionate about the craft, and those interactions strengthened my resolve to pursue writing as a career. (Now, my critique group provides that infusion of enthusiasm which sometimes falters.) Yet, the best training has been just putting pen to paper over and over again. I’ve been writing since grammar school, tackling poems, short stories, newspaper articles, and then onward to corporate documents to pay the bills. No one needs to have a bachelor’s, let alone a master’s, to be a writer. They only need the drive and the willingness to learn about the craft (including grammar!!).
What are the occupational hazards of being a writer/editor?
JM Perkins: Getting fat(ter), addiction, a bipolar bouncing between unwarranted arrogance (This book will change the world!) and horrific despair (I’m a fraud who will never amount to anything), crippling envy, a wholly unwarranted sense of entitlement, and only being able to write characters who are writers.
Richard Lee Byers: Not being able to predict your income from one quarter to the next. Succumbing to soul-killing jealousy of writers who seem to be doing better than you are.
K.E. McGee: Ink pen explosions on plane flights.
Elizabeth Shack: Paper cuts and ink stains. But probably mostly pain from sitting and typing a lot. Moving around, good posture, and stretching exercises help a lot.
Stephanie Lorée: Many don’t know, but I’m also a slush editor for a number of magazines/anthologies, which means I read a ton of unsolicited manuscripts. While most of submissions fall into the category of “good but not great,” the truly awful should come with warning labels. Some of the things I read range from horribly offensive (sexist/racist/etc) to utterly disgusting (I once read a detailed description of excrement from the perspective of a toilet). Any writer who complains about the slushpile should spend a month wallowing in it. The peek behind the curtain is invaluable.
Now, as a writer, be prepared to face the following hazards:
2) Coffee (and/or alcohol) abuse
5) People asking what your “real job” is
6) People telling you that they, too, wrote a novel
7) Original ideas you learn aren’t so original
8) Waking up in the middle of the night with yet another Brilliant Idea
9) Being broke (and likewise, difficulty getting paid)
10) More rejection
Writers write because we have to, otherwise the voices in our heads will take over completely.
What are you usually wearing when you’re writing?
Rebecca Brown: It depends on what I’m writing - I have to get into the mood of the piece. I have a pair of red shoes I wear when I write certain genres, for example… I can’t write at all when I’m wearing socks. I don’t know why.
Can you tell me about a time you killed off a character and then regretted it?
K.E. McGee: No. They should have seen it coming.
Thanks again to all the authors in this roundtable: Chanté McCoy, Elizabeth Shack, JM Perkins, KE McGee, Justin Swapp, Michaele Jordan, Rebecca Brown, Richard Lee Byers, Sarah Hans, and Stephanie Lorée.
Remember, this rountable interview goes through Saturday the third, just like the discount at Alliteration Ink! Use code ALLSOULS for 10% off your entire order of ANY eBook if you buy it directly from the Alliteration Ink digital bookstore (ePub/Kindle formats for all titles, many with PDF as well).