Thanks to the always on-point J.P. Sloan, I was called out on his blog to join in on the #MyWritingProcess Blog Hop. J.P. is not only an awesome writer of Urban Fantasy, but also is Pagan, and an all-around awesome human being. So to appease him I decided to jump right in. It’s funny that just last week my Mom pointed out that since I had a lot more free-time now with the wedding over, house settled into, and a break from class, I would have more time to write. So what is my writing process? How do I get those thoughts crammed into my brain? Well I sought out to answer the four questions posed on this Blog Hop to explain my process.
1). What am I working on?
Oh how loaded this question is. Most of you know that I’m always working on something; no matter how inundated I am with all the other things in my life I always find time to write. The two big projects I’m working on however are the sequel to Summer’s Hollow (Return to Summer’s Hollow) and the follow-up to Dark Cell (Dark Hall). Beyond that I have my short story series Loose that I am also working on, but I don’t have plans yet to publish.
I’m about seven chapters into Return to Summer’s Hollow. I’ve touched it a little bit since the wedding but haven’t gotten much in way of progress; most of it has been filling in the gaps and cleaning up the plot/character development so far. Dark Hall I’m about halfway through. The outline is already set for that one; I just need to sit down and get to it. Once I start I’m sure I’ll finish it by the end of the summer.
2). How does my work differ from other in its genre?
Horror is a genre that can be all over the place; my horror focuses on the people and how they react to their environments around them. Whether it’s Rylie’s psychic connection with the spirit of a witch, Aer’s journey into becoming the ruthless temptress of a vampire, or Penn’s discovery that his powers can be used to unearth the truth, all my books focus on the horror within people. This horror within of course gets spurred on by magic, paranormal occurrences, and monsters.
My books are inspired by my studies of culture, biology, and artifacts. I love to delve into the minds of my characters and frankly, scare the living crap out of them in more ways than one. This translates to the reader; if you aren’t freaked out after reading my books then I haven’t done my job as a horror writer. The anxiety that I felt reading a Poe work or a Stephen King book is something that I want my reader’s to feel. I take a lot of the ideas I see in classic and modern horror and put my anthropological spin on it.
3). Why do I write what I do?
In all honesty I write for myself. I write to get all these crazy stories out of my head and onto paper. The fact that I get to share these stories with people around the world is just an awesome perk. I’m like a giddy little school girl anytime someone tells me they got creeped out while walking home, have had to sleep with the lights on, or will never look at a clock tower the same way.
4). How does my process work?
My process differs a lot from the way that other writers write. For me, I can’t force my process. When I get inspired though watch out; I’ve been known to write for a day straight. Sometimes I come up with jumbled ideas and have to go back and clean them up, while other times the plot and the characters just flow perfectly into a combination of pure terror and psychological curiosity. My characters are really the ones that determine where the story goes. I start with a basic story, a setting, and then let my characters run amok. It’s as if I’m watching them from above as they live their lives. Sometimes they take me on twists and turns that even I didn’t see coming. My short story series I’m working on (Loose) is the prime example of that.
Loose is not a horror story series. It is a story that follows the mind of a very troubled woman who uses her influence in her biker gang, her boxing skills, and her sexual promiscuity to survive in this life. She lands in jail multiple times, commits murder multiple times, and is the victim of sexual assault multiple times. Her story weaves through so many different avenues that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with her. Many times I have had to fight her on the direction her life is going. Sometimes I feel like a mother to her, scolding her on her choices. In the end though she will do what she wants. She has grown into much more than just a character in one of my stories. She is very real to me and because of that I have a hard time thinking about publishing her stories. Still, lately I find myself running back to writing more of her story, especially her backstory. Currently I have 45 short stories as part of the series.
As part of this blog hop I’ve been asked to call out some authors of my own but you know what, rules have never been my style. I want to know what all my readers’ process is for creating; doesn’t have to be a writing project but it can be. What are you working on, how does it differ from similar works, why do you create, and how does your process for creating work?
Samantha (Sam) Curtin is a Geospatial Information Science Graduate Student at University of Maryland and a Penn State Anthropology Alum. She has a passion for horror, dark fantasy, anthropology, technology, and religion. By day, Sam is a technical editor for the federal government. Her first books "Dark Cell," "Deal with the Devil," and "Summer's Hollow" are available on Amazon.com. All are published through her publishing company “Behind the Curtin Publications.”