Patrick C. Greene Unveils Cecilia Dockins
Cecilia Dockins is the author of the story
AIN’T THEY BRIGHT
in the new anthology from Sekhmet Press
Hi Cecilia! Thank you for joining me today. Let’s kick off this interview with the most important question. Have you ever encountered a ghost?
No. I’ve known haunted people, but I’ve never seen the type of physical “ghost” manifestation that one views in the movies. I would be open to that sort of experience, of course.
What kind of music do you listen to for inspiration?
Anything with a haunting, resonating quality. I’m a fairly eclectic music listener, but when writing or brainstorming I find myself listening to soundtracks from horror movies. One of my favorite albums is Vitamin String Quartet: Pays Tribute to Horror Classics; it never fails to creep me out.
Have you ever started a project, felt it run out of steam and had to abandon it?
Yes and no. I may bury a story for an indefinite amount of time, let it decompose in my brain for a bit. But I always dig it up, if only to scavenge for parts.
What’s the most shocking book or story you’ve ever read?
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” Sure, I’ve read stories that were more violent or had a higher depravity quotient but not one tale that so clearly highlights in the simplest of terms the brutal nature of humanity.
Do you remember a particular moment or incident that made you decide to be a writer?
From the ages of six to twelve I was plagued with night terrors and vivid nightmares. Writing made it all okay. As an extremely practical person, I didn’t stumble across the idea of getting paid for “therapy” until I had spent almost a decade in a job that I detested.
Do you have a certain space and time set aside for writing or is it more of a free-form process?
I think it is crucial for a writer to have his or her own space, whether it is a grand office or a cozy spot in a neighbor’s attic. Due to legal ramifications I cannot apprise you of where I write, but what I will say is don’t let your neighbor’s cat out of the house too many times or drink his leftover coffee because he might begin to notice… I admit to nothing.
As for carving out a time to write: I’m a mom to a toddler, so I write every day from 5 a.m. to whenever the toddler wakes, and then from whenever the toddler succumbs to sleep until I pass out from exhaustion. I am completely under her control.
How would you describe your writing style?
I’d like to take a pass on this one. Not only do I feel uncomfortable at the concept of analyzing my own work, but I think each story has a way it demands to be told, if that makes any sense.
What other sorts of themes or genres would you like to explore?
I’ve explored themes of isolation, domesticity, and motherhood. I think I’d enjoy writing a good, pulpy horror-comedy that scoffs at the idea of themes. But, my favorite novels are ones that macerate genre labels until there’s only the story that’s left; yeah, I want to do that.
Please briefly describe your path to publication.
I’m really in the early stages of my writing career and have only begun the long walk to professional-writer status. My first publication was in 2012, I dabbled in an MFA program before personal hardship forced me to reconsider academia, and I’ve accrued my share of rejection slips.
Currently, I’m writing an urban fantasy novel and my short story, “Ain’t They Bright,” will be published in the forthcoming Wrapped in White Anthology by Sekhmet Press.
Who are your favorite fictional antagonist and protagonist and what was it about them that struck a chord for you?
Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery is my favorite antagonist in a novel. There’s something about subverting love into a compulsory act of destruction that’s compelling and deeply humanistic. “Pear-Shaped Man” by George R.R. Martin takes the win in the short-story form. The Pear-Shaped Man represents the siren call of the unknown and humanity’s almost fatalistic obsession for the discovery of truth and knowledge. Two words: Cheez Doodles.
Jeff Lindsay created a fascinating protagonist with Dexter Morgan. Dexter, though a sociopath, is very human and deeply flawed. It’s his dualistic nature that really engaged me.
Aside from writing, what is your favorite artistic medium?
Photography and cursing.
Thanks again for joining me today and letting us get to know you better. I wish you the best of luck with Wrapped In White and all of your future endeavours.
Cecilia Dockins lives just a bucket kick from Nashville, Tennessee. She spends most of her time wrangling words, kids, and pets. She doesn’t like to bake and has a healthy mistrust of ribbon dancers. She does enjoy hoarding books and butchering flowers, which she describes as “gardening.”
She earned her B.A. in English from Middle Tennessee State University in 2010. She is a writer of horror and urban fantasy. She has several forthcoming publications and is penning her first novel.
You can visit her at http://www.ceciliadockins.com.
Or befriend her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccdockins