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Living in Two Worlds

I’m at a stage in the writing process when things start to get hairy. Darlington Woods releases in a month and a half so I’m ramping up the marketing, scheduling book signings, doing interviews, contacting blogs and media outlets (or at least I should be).

In the meantime, things are moving right along with the writing of Darkness Follows (which releases May, 2011).  I’m up to 23,000 words and the story is developing quite nicely.

The problem is this, I only have so much time in a day to devote to writing and writing stuff. Something has to give.

Now here’s how I’ll manage all this without going as nutty as a three-legged squirrel. If you’re a writer you’ll know what I mean when I say this, and if you’re not a writer you may still be interested in knowing how a writer’s mind works. Inspiration comes in fits and starts (I imagine it’s the same for any art form). At times the words flow like warm honey, smooth and swift, and the story unfolds like an old friend stopping by for a visit and cup of tea (I don’t drink coffee). Inspiration overflows and I can’t stop, don’t want to stop, my fingers from dancing out a tale of suspense and creepiness. It’s during those times I’ll focus on Darkness Follows and take advantage of the freedom that inspiration brings.

But then there are those times when that spring of creativity dries up and the words cease to surface. It’s like my right brain needs a good dose of Senekot. It’s during those times that I won’t force the issue (I may hurt myself) but rather let things ride and focus on marketing stuff for Darlington Woods.

This whole process is like living in two worlds. There’s the business side of things in which Darlington Woods now resides and then there’s the creative side of things where Darkness Follows lurks. For now, I’ll split my time and hope my personality doesn’t follow suit.


My Out-of-Body Experience

As he pressed his beat-up Ford down an uneven stretch of asphalt, Rob Shields had death on his mind. His own.

That’s the first two sentences of the first chapter of Darlington Woods. I’ve just started reading over the “first pages” looking for any typos that survived the first umpteen readings and making minor changes to word choice and such. This is also my last opportunity to catch any glaring contradictions in the plot or characters before the work goes to the proofreader then printer and is etched in stone for all of eternity (well, not quite).

It’s a surreal feeling, reading over your words after not having done so for a couple months. Almost an out-of-body experience. Oh, don’t worry. I’m not getting all new age on you (the title made you wonder, though, didn’t it?). I haven’t watched myself write from the perspective of floating near the ceiling . . . yet. Kidding.

Seriously, there are times when I have no recollection of writing certain sections of the book, the words are totally foreign to me.

No, I’m not claiming divine inspiration. No, I wasn’t on drugs when I conceived it. But I may have been half-asleep. I wrote most of Darlington Woods in the evenings, right before turning in for the night. And more than once (actually, just about every time) I was falling asleep while writing. I’d sit in bed with the laptop, write, nod off, write, nod off, and that’s how it went.

So it’s quite possible portions of the story were written while I was in Slumberville. Interesting. And a bit scary.

Scary because it’s just what my next offering, Darkness Follows, is about. A man continuously awakens to strange and unlikely writings penned by his own hand. These writings at first haunt, then control him. (Note: The first chapter of Darkness Follows will be available at the end of Darlington Woods.)

Now, my writings have haunted me from time to time but have yet to control me. I’m a particular kind of person, but I’m not obsessive (though Jen may disagree at times).

Have you ever written something, set it aside, then reread it only to think, “I wrote that?”

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