Culling Forth the Darkness (Again)
Allison M. Dickson, best-selling author of the new horror novel STRINGS, is here to chat with us today. Welcome Allison!
GUEST BLOG from Allison M. Dickson
This post coincides with the stare of National Novel Writing Month, the annual November marathon of creative abandon that will result (hopefully, for many) in a completed work of long fiction. I have done this every year since 2008, except I changed things up a little last year. In early October, I had this little book in mind called STRINGS, which was an extension of my short story “The Good Girls.” It was burning so hot in my brain and begging to be written that I decided I couldn’t wait for NaNoWriMo, so I was going to do TWO NaNoWriMos that year instead. Yes, that meant writing STRINGS in October and then start another book in November. MADNESS, I tell you! Especially for someone who is only moderately prolific. If I finish two books a year, I’m doing great for myself.
Well… it didn’t quite work out like I’d hoped. Writing STRINGS was a very dark and challenging thing. It was an obsession. It made me bleed. I had managed to write something like 65,000 words (13,000 additional words were comprised of the short story that I’d started with) in 26 days, and by the time I finished that first draft, I felt like I’d run a double marathon across a bed of hot coals. I didn’t have it in me to start anything again for a while after that, and to be honest it’s been a challenge to get another novel finished ever since then!
Now here I am about to do it again. I am diving back into the world of STRINGS, only this time I’m doing it properly and starting November 1st. I figure maybe my problems getting another book finished revolve around my need to delve back into this world. It’s a bit obsessive. It’s like touching a live wire but being titillated by the shock. Maybe just maybe I’ll have most of a completed first draft of THE MOON GONE DARK by November 30th. I’m very much looking forward to getting started on it. With the current buzz surrounding the book, and with the memory of my most recent STRINGS edit still fresh in my head, the energy just feels right. And I have many lofty ideas in my mind for how I want things to go for the current characters, as well as some new players I want to introduce. I want this story to be bigger than the original. Much bigger. Which is probably why I don’t anticipate finishing it IN November, but we’ll see what happens. If it’s anything at all like the first experience was, it will sink in its teeth like a crocodile and whip me back and forth until its had its fill, leaving me a busted up heap. I’ll likely be sleeping with my face in gravy on Thanksgiving. But that’s well worth it if it makes people react the way they seem to be reacting right now to the first book.
Even though I don’t foresee this being quite as visceral as STRINGS, I promise not to pull any punches. To get into the mood, I’m going to embrace the cloudy and rainy late fall weather we’ve been having lately. I’m going to be listening to a lot of dark and moody music and watching some gritty movies. I may even pick up HAUNTED by Chuck Palahniuk for a little more depraved literary inspiration. Either way, a shadow is getting ready to fall across my heart again. I’ll see you all again in the light on the other side.
Bio: Allison M. Dickson lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband and two kids, and she has been writing since she could hold pencil to paper. It’s only in recent years that she started treating the craft as a career. After earning a few small publishing credits, she started selling her short stories online, where she gained a decent following with short stories, including her bestselling titles “Dust” and “Vermin.” She soon caught the attention of author and visionary Vincent Hobbes, and her relationship with Hobbes End Publishing solidified with her two contributions to the second volume of The Endlands, and finally with the publication of her visceral thriller novel, STRINGS, in October of 2013. Additionally, Hobbes End will be releasing her dystopian science-fiction epic, THE LAST SUPPER, in spring of 2014. When she isn’t writing, she can be found every Thursday on the podcast Creative Commoners, a show she co-hosts with her partners in crime, Chris Armstrong and Corey Bishop.
- Gearing up for NaNoWriMo (ihogeek.com)
- Best Horror Fiction of 2013: STRINGS (sekhmetpress.wordpress.com)
- Meet Horror Novelist Allison M Dickson (examiner.com)