Q: What intrigued you about the theme of FATALLY HAUNTED that led to the story you wrote?
A: For me it was one of the quotes that accompanied the invitation to submit: ‘It was haunted; but real hauntings have nothing to do with ghosts finally; they have to do with the menace of memory.’ Anne Rice. I thought about the memories that keep us stuck in a certain place and time. The voice that keeps speaking to you until you take action to put it to rest.
Q: Is your story a who-dunit, a why-dunit, or a how-dunit? Why did you make this choice?
A: Resurrection is none of these finally. It is a story of revenge and redemption of self. It is a little bit of a how-dunit at the end. This was Hessie and Jimmy Pritchard’s story to tell. And as I listened to each of them and wrote the story from their very different perspectives, I discovered what a truly manipulative SOB Jimmy really is!
Q: What is different about writing a short story? What did you learn from this experience?
A: Short story writing is the lesson of “economy of words”. In a short story every character clamoring for your attention doesn’t get to have their story told. The action in Resurrection moves fairly quickly so I really had to cut out words, phrases and sentences that didn’t serve the story. I also had to give action to my dialogue. That was a great piece of advice from a writing mentor, Sue Ann Jaffarian.
Q: How did your editor help you improve your story? What insights did you gain from working with her?
A: I had the good fortune of having a terrific editor in Laurie Stevens. She gave me advice about getting rid of the extraneous characters that I had floating around that weren’t really useful to the story. She also made plot suggestions that were just that . . . suggestions. If I had a different take, she let me know if it worked or didn’t and challenged me to find my own “story” within her suggestions. She also challenged me to see Jimmy Pritchard for exactly who he is.
Q: What’s next for you? What are you working on?
A: I am working on a noir manuscript set in post WWII Virginia. My goal is to finish the draft by the end to the year. Write every day!
Q: What does your writing space look like?
A: I write long hand, so my writing space is where ever I make it. Usually that means on the couch in the living room or on my bed. Once I am ready to transfer to the computer, I have a space set up in my dining room. Nothing fancy . . . table, chair, computer, listening to the blues, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald or Dinah Washington.