I want to thank Michelle Augello-​Page for invit­ing me to par­tic­i­pate in “My Writ­ing Process Blog Tour.” To read Michelle’s insight­ful Q&A last week, click on http://​michel​leaugel​lopage​.word​press​.com/​2014​/​06​/​16​/​m​y​-​w​r​i​t​i​n​g​-​p​r​o​c​e​s​s​-​b​l​o​g​-​t​o​u​r​/

Q&A with Lucy Taylor

1) What am I work­ing on? I keep a num­ber of projects on the fire and go back and forth, which keeps me from get­ting bored. At the moment, I’m fin­ish­ing up a short story set in New Mex­ico that cen­ters around the des­can­sos, shrines that mark where peo­ple have been killed on the highway.

Cur­rently, I’m also help­ing edi­tor Dave Hinch­burger of The Over­look Con­nec­tion Press get the word out about my new book, a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries called FATAL JOUR­NEYS with a pub date of July 8, 14. It is a themed col­lec­tion about hor­ror in exotic places, and there’s a won­der­ful intro­duc­tion by acclaimed author Jack Ketchum. Four of these sto­ries have never before been pub­lished, includ­ing the novella “How Real Men Die”.

My long term project is a post-​apocalyptic novel with mul­ti­ple nar­ra­tors set in the west­ern U.S.

2) How does my work dif­fer from oth­ers of the genre? My writ­ing is a com­bi­na­tion of hor­ror, erot­ica and dark fan­tasy. I’ve been told some of my work has a Love­craft­ian bent, for exam­ple, the short story “Extremophiles”, from the heavy metal anthol­ogy AXES OF EVIL and the title story in my col­lec­tion THE SILENCE BETWEEN THE SCREAMS. At least as far as my fic­tion, I def­i­nitely see the cos­mos as a fun­da­men­tally hos­tile, irra­tional, and men­ac­ing place where often unseen forces of destruc­tion lurk just below the sur­face and where we humans, basi­cally, haven’t a clue.

There’s also a strong erotic ele­ment to my work, some of which might be con­sid­ered ‘wish ful­fil­ment’. The story “Sum­mer­land” from FATAL JOUR­NEYS falls into that category.

In gen­eral, though, I don’t like to focus too much on what genre I’m writ­ing in; I don’t really care much for labels, which I find very lim­it­ing. Let’s just say I write what comes nat­u­rally to me.

3) Why do I write what I do? Wow, what else could I write?! I love writ­ing that is dis­turb­ing and macabre. Dark­ness, be it of the cos­mos or the human soul, fas­ci­nates me. I still remem­ber the first time I read a hor­ror story. It was a copy of “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mys­tery Mag­a­zine” and I found it enthralling. Also, on a per­sonal level, my child­hood was pure South­ern Gothic. I was raised by a mother and grand­mother who, to put it kindly, lived in an alter­nate real­ity, a kind of folie a deux. I sur­vived by observ­ing, liv­ing in my head, and pro­tect­ing my inner self as best I could from the mad­house envi­ron­ment. There was a lot of fear, dread, and sur­pressed rage. Writ­ing dark fic­tion allows me to explore those feel­ings from a posi­tion of power. Play­ing God, after all, can be very satisfying.

As a writer of dark fic­tion, I’ve some­times com­pared my mind to a won­der­ful attic full of weird and creepy things to explore at my leisure. I’m never afraid of what I’ll find there and I never get tired of pok­ing and pry­ing around in the inter­est of cre­at­ing new sto­ries. It’s very liberating.

4) How does my writ­ing process work? Some ideas speak to me more lyri­cally and pow­er­fully than oth­ers. I get lots of ideas, but some­times I just know that a par­tic­u­lar one has to be turned into fic­tion. Some­times that hap­pens quickly, other times an idea ger­mi­nates for years. Occa­sion­ally a title comes to me that grabs my atten­tion so much that I have find a story to go with it. That was the case with “A Hairy Chest, A Big Dick, and a Harley”.

Another exam­ple: a cou­ple of years ago, I found out that a friend of mine sells fire­works every sum­mer lead­ing up to the Fourth of July. He’s in the fire­works tent 24/​7, sleep­ing on a cot, sell­ing fire­works at any hour of the day or night. For some rea­son, this struck me as an amaz­ing and slightly creepy thing to do, since I could only imag­ine who might be buy­ing fire­works at 3 a.m. I knew I had to use that idea some­how and it became “The High and Mighty and Me” from FATAL JOURNEYS.

As far as the prac­ti­cal side of the process, I’m a morn­ing per­son and like to write new mate­r­ial early in the day, then work on revis­ing, research, play­ing around with new plot ideas etc. later. I find that if the writ­ing side of my life is going well, then pretty much every­thing else is okay. If I’m not writ­ing, to say that I feel rest­less, irri­ta­ble, and dis­con­tent is putting it mildly.

Next week, June 30, 2014, “My Writ­ing Process Blog Tour” will con­tinue with Alex John­son, Sab­rina Kaleta, and Jim Goforth. For their view­points into the writ­ing life, visit the sites below.

Alex S. John­son is a col­lege Eng­lish instruc­tor cur­rently liv­ing in Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia. His books include THE DEATH JAZZ, WICKED CANDY, and BAD SUN­SET. He is also the edi­tor of the AXES OF EVIL heavy metal hor­ror series. Read more about Alex S. John­son at http://​bizar​alex​.word​press​.com

Sab­rina Kaleta writes: “I am a poet, music jour­nal­ist, mother, per­for­mance artist, Doo-​Dah Queen, reluc­tant debu­tante, punk, host­ess, for­tune teller…all these labels might tell a bit of my story. As a poet, I have graced the stages of The Expresso Bar, The Old Towne Pub, Sam’s Book City, the Coconut Teazer, and High­land Grounds and have been pub­lished in Flip­side, Sat­ur­day After­noon Jour­nal, and Kether. Other pub­li­ca­tions include Gui­tar World, Metal Ham­mer, New Times, Dia­bo­lik, and BAM. In my Pasadena CA home, I con­tinue to try to ignore the out­side voices, have a good time, and cre­ate what I can. Visit Sab­rina Kaleta’s blog, House­hold Mantras, at www​.sabri​nakaleta​.tum​blr​.com

Jim Goforth has been writ­ing tales of hor­ror since the early 90’s. After years of detour­ing into work­ing with the extreme metal com­mu­nity and writ­ing reviews for hun­dreds of bands with Black Belle Music, he has returned to his writ­ing love with his first book PLEBS, pub­lished by J. Elling­ton Ash­ton Press. He has sto­ries in a cou­ple of antholo­gies with a col­lab­o­ra­tive novel and a col­lec­tion of his own short sto­ries to emerge in the com­ing months. To learn more about Jim Goforth, visit http://​jim​go​forth​hor​ro​rauthor​.word​press​.com/

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