I’m taking a few minutes from my day job (writing) to write about my passion (also writing), thanks to my friend and writing partner, Angélique Jamail.
Q: What am I working on at the moment?
A: Aside from the 20+ advertorials and profile pieces I write each month for UpClose Magazine, I’m also working on my second novel and a few short stories. The short story is a literary piece on ambiguous loss and I’m at the point now where I have the majority of it…I just have to keep putting in the right bits and taking the excess out. The novel is a crime novel set in Providence RI. It’s the sequel to one I wrote that earned me representation by an agent, but then failed to find a home at a major publishing house. I’ve written 7/8th’s of it, and have gone back to the beginning and am a third of the way through the revisions.
Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
A: I’m always trying to find a balance between the action and the interiority of the characters. Who they are informs what they do. I don’t know if that makes me different, but it’s what keeps me interested.
Q: Why do I write what I do?
A: I’ve been told that for a “basically happy person I write some seriously unhappy fiction.”
My short fiction is a way to deal with places I feel emotional friction. Relationships, lack of closure, longing for connection. I let my subconscious play around and use imagery and mood, experiment with form.
My novels are definitely entertainment and I prefer crime (or murder mysteries) probably because I find death one of the major problems. Being human means we are finite, and for someone to cut short the life we might have lived is a terrible thing. But to read about it or to watch it or to write about it (hopefully) serves as a reminder about how good living is.
Q: How does my writing process work?
A: Some days like this one, my writing is one tab among many on my laptop. When I was pulling into the garage on my way back from an interview for the magazine, I realized the scene I’ve been trying to revise needs to be told from a different POV. I’d already tried a different location, but that wasn’t the issue at all. And I couldn’t have done it from this perspective initially, because the right character was still a bit of an enigma to me the first go-round.
I rack up the words by typing when I have the chance, writing longhand when I can’t stand to look at the screen anymore, and setting artificial deadlines for myself. I have two amazing writing groups…and their feedback is worth pushing myself to finish a few more pages than I might have on my own. I also meet Angélique Jamail on Saturday mornings at 7am to write before taking the kids to karate, or a soccer game, or a birthday party.
And I will say that writing for a living, while it can make me tired of looking at a computer screen, does remind me that putting words on a page is not a mystical process. Getting them right takes work, not magic. The magic is knowing that there are an infinite number of stories to be told.