Monday, November 12, 2012


Patient: Jenn Loring
Illness: WRITER

• When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write it?
I started writing when I was 12 (and it was terrible stuff!). I chose horror because even at that age I knew I wanted to explore darker themes and emotions. And I was already a fan of Stephen King. Clive Barker came into my life a few years later, and it was a done deal.
• Where you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all?
I keep both a dream journal and a writing journal, and I just picked up a prompt journal while in Key West. I also get tons of ideas from reading non-fiction, and from other media like TV, music, etc., or from traveling. I write about various apocalypses a lot. That's something that has always fascinated me, and I'm definitely not done exploring it. I’m really excited about the Countdown to Apocalypse special on the History Channel. :D
• What’s a normal (writing) day like for you?
I'm often writing as soon as I get up (usually 8 AM). I'll typically write until about noon or 1. Then, unfortunately, I have a day job to deal with. Often I start again around 8 PM or so and write for another couple of hours. If I have a day off from school/work, I can easily write all day. There are times when I’ve forgotten to eat.
• Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?
This is always the hardest question! I have so many favorite books and authors. Right now I'm reading The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn. Her lyrical themes are always so intriguing, and her book doesn’t disappoint.
• Do you prefer writing poetry or prose? Why one over the other?
Prose, absolutely. I've dabbled in poetry and had a couple poems published, but (to me) my poems always read like pretentious, bad goth poetry. And no one wants that.
• Do you write in silence or with noise (tv, movies, music)?
If I'm writing longhand, I usually have the TV on for background noise. If working on the computer, it's always music. I don't like writing in silence. It's hard though, because I really like to sing along, so more than once I've started typing song lyrics into a project. Now I try to stick to video game soundtracks or other instrumental music.
• Do you have any weird habits when it comes to writing? Do you type or write longhand?
I write both ways, though I do prefer longhand and always have. Notebooks are lighter to carry around than a laptop or my iPad, I don't have to worry about charging batteries...and there's just something about pen on paper that feels like a more direct expression of my thoughts. I’ve been writing since before personal computers were a thing, so that probably has something to do with it, too.
• Would you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pancer?
I’m a pantser. I’ve outlined the second draft of my thesis, and my next novel, but something about outlining feels icky to me. I feel like it’s suppressing my creativity to some extent.
• What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?
Just learning how to tell a good story. People think it’s easy. It’s not! There are so many things to consider when you’re writing a story, whether it’s novel-length or short. You have to get the mechanics down.
• Current projects?
My thesis (of course), two short stories for upcoming anthologies while tending to the batch that has already been submitted, the next novel…I’ve heard I try to do too many things at once. ;)
• How do you balance being an editor and being a writer? (Or double jobs, being a mom, etc.- apply to your situation)
It’s hard. Not only do I edit for Musa (who were kind enough to let me take a break this semester) and go to grad school full time, but I also work 20 hours a week at my day job, and my boyfriend and I live together, so I need to spend time with him, too. Time management is not my forte, and I know I don’t always prioritize things in the correct order. Learning to fit everything in is definily a process.
• What do you think people expect from you with your writing? EX: Can they always count on a good gross out?
What people can usually expect is a story rooted in myth and/or fairy tale. The old stories will never cease to be an inspiration to me, and I will continue to reinterpret them in my own work.
• Advice for aspiring writers?
It’s a business. You have to learn that aspect of it or you are going to fail. Also, as an editor, I beg you not to submit or self-publish first drafts (I beg you not to self-publish at all, but that’s another argument for another time). Trust me, they are obvious. If you’re going to be a writer, you have to be willing to submit to the entire process—and that includes being edited. If you can’t accept that, then maybe this isn’t the job for you.

List of publications:
“Tristan, Full of Sorrows”–Requiem Aeternam
“The Edge of the Wood”–Disenchanted“The Sweetness of His Youth”–The Door to Worlds Imagined
“Burgundy”–Parchment Symbols“Sucked”–peacockblue and Erotica Readers & Writers Association“Moon Time”–Blue Food
“The Bombay Trash Service”–Scared Naked Magazine(Honorable Mention, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror)
“The Greenwood”–House of Pain“The Dead Man Walking”–flashquake
“Gloria Semper”–Night to Dawn“Winter of Winters”–Nocturnal Ooze“Raspberries”–Bloodletters“The Violin”–Justus Roux’s Erotic Tales“Scarecrow”–SDO Ghost“A Taste For It”–Project M. Zine“Beauty Bright”–Gryphonwood
Untitled ku–Scifaikuest
“Ash Girl”–Aoife’s Kiss“Maternity Ward”–Cold Flesh (anthology)“Blood for Blood”–Time for Bedlam (anthology)“Worm”–Kopfhalter! Magazine
“Make a Wish”–Tales of the Talisman“Boys of Summer”–Fresh Off the Vine“Love Never Dies”–Tales From the Moonlit Path“The Ashes of Children”–Wanderings
“Judex est Venturus”–The Written Word“Sleep, Beauty”–Les Bonnes Fees“Balalaika”–PULP! Winter 2010/2011 (anthology)
Born in Portland, ME and raised in rural western NY, Jennifer Loring began writing at age 12, two years after reading Stephen King for the first time. Her earliest attempts at fiction were questionable at best. Later, after discovering the work of Tanith Lee and Meredith Ann Pierce, Jennifer’s writing took on the dreamlike quality of dark fantasy, the predominant genre in which she writes today.

Jennifer’s first publication came in 1998, at 21, in the short-lived Canadian vampire magazine Requiem Aeternam. Her story, “Tristan, Full of Sorrows,” featured the character that would eventually (after shedding 5 years and switching genders) become the protagonist of her thesis novel. Jennifer’s first professional sale came in 2000, to Blue Food, for her dark erotic version of the Red Riding Hood legend. She has since published nearly 30 short stories and poems in a number of magazines, webzines and anthologies. In 2004 Jennifer received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for her story “The Bombay Trash Service,” published the previous year and which somehow managed to incorporate zombies, prostitutes, and Hinduism. As an avid gamer Jennifer has also published reviews and articles for the Cemetery Dance newsletter and defunct Australian webzine The Go.

Jennifer began studying for her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction in 2011. An unrepentant ex-goth girl, she still likes to write about vampires. Jennifer is also planning her next novel, a post-apocalyptic science fantasy. She is currently shopping several short stories around, with plans for at least ten more in the near future and a couple of novellas for good measure.

Jennifer is a content and developmental editor with Musa Publishing‘s YA imprint, Euterpe, and a writer for She is also a member of YALITCHAT.

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