Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Best Thing

A friend and author of the forthcoming short story collection, Strings, Darren Gallagher asked me to participate in a blog hop that has been cycling around t'interwebs over the last months. You can read Darren's post here.

Of course, being the gobshite I am, I agreed. I've never done one of these things before, so bear with me as I jump in feet and head first (though I'm not certain I'm still limber enough for such a maneuver.)

   What is the working title of your book?
   Red Wine and Words. Not working, but actual!

   Where did the idea come from for the book?
   It’s a collection of sixteen short stories, so the ideas came from many different places at 
   many different times. Some of the stories have already been published in various 
   anthologies, so the ideas for those would have come from the submission call and 
   subsequent brainstorming.
   Usually brainstorming, for me, gets out of control. It’s highly likely that brainstorming for 
   one story will uproot ideas for ten others.
   Dreams, also, form the basis for a lot of my ideas. But mostly, anything that intrigues me, 
   scares me, confuses me, or affects me in any emotion not aforementioned, gets the 
   creative juices flowing. I’m a little strange like that.

   What genre does your book fall under?
   As you might have gathered from the above question, I am, at times, more emotional than 
   a pregnant woman coming down off a lifetime prescription of anti-depressants. So 
   whatever mood takes me, will also take my writing.
   I’m fond of the dark stuff. This is not in reference to Guinness (which, funnily enough, I'm 
   also fond of) but to dark themes – horror, psychological horror, thriller, murder, mystery, 
   love and loss, etc. You will not find many happy endings in my writing, and certainly no 
   chick lit. No siree.

   Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
   All male characters shall be played by Johnny Depp. And I shall call him Johnny. And he 
   shall be mine to cuddle at will.
   All female roles shall be played by Angelina Jolie. I shall call her Angie. And she shall be 
   mine to cuddle when Johnny is broken.

   What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
   Does it count if I write a whole page punctuated only with commas and semi-colons? 
   Okay then, okay:
   'An eclectic collection of tales which blur the line between fantasy and reality, mixing 
   horror, humor, suspense, and tragedy with the all-encompassing theme of love and loss.'

   Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
   'Tis published, and published by Post Mortem Press, based in Cincinnati. The company is 
   owned and run by Eric Beebe and his wife Stephanie Beebe, and they run it like a family. 
   There’s a great bunch of authors represented by Eric and Stephanie, and there's a lot of 
   blaggarding goes on in the group. But, I've gone too far; the first rule of the Post Mortem 
   club is we don't talk about the Post Mortem club.

   How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
   Most of the stories in Red Wine and Words were already written when the brilliant idea 
   came to me to lump them all together in a single collection. All that remained was to 
   gather them up and edit them according to my writerly ego at the time (some were almost 
   a year old. Oh, the shame!) Of course I did write a few extras specifically for the 
   collection, and edit those too.
   I guess in all, from writing the oldest story in the book, to having the book published, took 
   approximately one year.

   What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
   I would never be so boastful, or, for that matter, be able to overcome my self-doubt for 
   long enough to compare myself to any other book or author. Every book has its own 
   unique charm, every author, their own voice. Some may appeal to me in the fiercest 
   possible way, others, not at all.
   So for this, you're going to have to make do with the opinions of others. One review which 
   literally made my jaw drop, was from Dean Cowan of Dean said:
   “On my bookshelf I own collections of stories by the likes of M.R. James, Conan Doyle, and H.P    
   Lovecraft and I hope Emma Ennis would not be insulted if I said that stories of this kind belong beside    these."
   How do you like them apples?

   Who or What inspired you to write this book?
   I've always loved reading, and in school, getting assigned an essay was the highlight of 
   my week. While the rest of the class were groaning in despair, I was dancing inside. It just 
   so happened that I was lucky enough to have a teacher who nurtured both these loves. On 
   the return of one of my essays (I think I was about 13 or 14 years old at the time) she had 
   written: “I loved this one, Emma. So emotional. Perhaps a future as a romance novelist?”
   (or something along those lines.) And from there, the seed was sown; there would be no 
   weeding it out, no matter how many rejections racked up.
   It was for this reason that I dedicated Red Wine and Words to this very teacher.

   What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
   Seriously? Is it not piqued already? You lot are a hard crowd to please. Very well...
   2012 is the year of the apocalypse (I've lost count of how many we've had so far this year) 
   – that's in there. Copycat murders – they're always fascinating aren't they? Well that's in 
   there too. You want to know about Egyptian curses, or what imaginary friends really are? 
   Well I've got some theories for you to bandy about. Ancient Indian spirits, Shadow People,
   mental diseases – yep, you guessed it – all found within the covers of Red Wine and 
   Add to all these a generous dollop of the human condition, a sprinkle of conspiracy, a dash 
   of fairytale and a pinch of dark angels, and there really, really is not much else you can ask 
   for. Just go buy the damn thing!

And that, as they say, is a wrap! Next week you can read posts by:
Rebecca Snow,
Brian Dobbins, author of 'Jasmine's Tale,'
Dale Eldon, author of the forthcoming novelette 'Dark Dwellings,'
Jason D. Brawn, author of the novelettes 'Stranded' and 'Refuge.'

Tag, you're it!

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