Monday, 2 November 2015

A Campfire Chat With Steve Vernon

Today I have a guest stopping by to chat. Talented horror author, and fellow Atlantic Canadian, Steve Vernon discusses writer's block and tips to get through those "staring at the blank page moments" we all have. Plus, there's a peek at his hockey horror book, Sudden Death Overtime. Enjoy...


A CAMPFIRE CHAT WITH STEVE VERNON

ON BURNING THROUGH WRITER’S BLOCK


Autumn is my favorite time of year.
You can feel the changes whispering at hushed gallop in the breeze as the sky leans down to kiss the leaves into bouquets of flame and color. It feels as a doorway has opened up in front of you and you know that you are going to have step right through the doorway into the weird winter world that is just waiting beyond it.
It is November and a lot of you folks – like me – are getting set to take part in NaNoWriMo. You are getting set to try and lay down 50,000 freaking words in a month that is only 30 days long.
That is a daunting task – but it shouldn’t ought to be so.
Let me give you the secret.
Let me whisper it into your ears.
Sit down.
Sit down here at the campfire.
These are magic words to the human ear. The campfire is a place in the universe where we all come to listen to the crackling dance of wood upon flame.
Every time that a writer sits down at their keyboard they get in touch with that inner spark as they blow their words upon the embers of their imagination trying to roar that flame into life.
That is what you need to remember whenever you find yourself at that fatal sticking point. When you start to think too damn much and you worry about what word you are going to put down next.
Remember – this is not rocket science.
It isn’t even writing – not really. Not when you stop to think about it.
You are just telling a story.
Don’t fear that.
Don’t let yourself freeze up.
Remember – we are ALL born knowing how to tell stories. Just as soon as you open your mouth and say “A funny thing happened to me just yesterday morning…” you are getting set to tell a story – and that is ALL that writing really is. At the heart of it, at the root of it – you are just telling a story.
You cannot open your mouth without a story falling out.
Whether you are talking about the hockey game that you watched last night, or the reason why your girlfriend has decided to run away with the local hot tub salesman, or if you are trying to sum up the answer to the meaning of life in 42 words or less – you are telling a story.
I always get a quiet little giggle out of how many people think that I am some kind of a freaking genius just because I know how to wrap a story around the framework of a novel and make it work.
It isn’t brilliant.
It isn’t freaking rocket science.
It is just telling a story.
 As you sit down at the keyboard today just stop and picture yourself sitting at a campfire across from your very best friend in the universe.
I mean besides your dog.
Just picture yourself sitting there and telling a story to very best friend and stop freaking out about how you are supposed to be writing and how this is supposed to be hard and just let the words ember and roll.
Blow each syllable upon the flames of your imagination and let the fire rise up inside of your spirit.
And if you think that I am just talking at you and telling you something that really isn’t all that true just stop and remember that I wrote this entire 600 word blog entry utilizing a strong underlying autumnal subtext with overtones of flame and fire without ever using the word “kindle”.
Speaking of kindle…


SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME – A STORY OF HOCKEY AND VAMPIRES



Meet Sprague Deacon - one of the toughest old-time hockey players who ever skated upon a rink of hand-poured ice. Sprague was born and raised and he expects to die here on the Northern Labrador coast. What he did not expect was a tour bus full of vampires - none of whom glitter in the least bit - to pull into his town and begin lowering the population level - one corpse at a time. Sprague and his three best friends - an over-the-hill never-say quit bush league hockey team from Northern Labrador go toe-to-tooth with a tour bus full of vampires in an immortal-stakes showdown of street hockey? For the answer - throw Paul Newman's Slapshot into a blender with Steven Niles 30 Days of Night and hit frappe! Also including the bonus time travelling hockey tale, "Time Out" as well as a bonus hockey-oriented ghost story, "Smoke Signals". Only 99 cents for this week only.




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