Sunday, February 10, 2013

WYTOVICH FINDS HAND-CARVED COFFINS IN HIGDON'S CELL


PATIENT: SHELDON HIGDON
ILLNESS: WRITER
 
When didyou start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write it?

Started in second grade with a mystery story called “Who’s Been Stealing theClothes?”  Catchy, huh? Me and the otherstudents got to make up our own stories, illustrate them, and then bound themwith construction paper. I still have my story to this day. But it was fromthis moment I started writing.

Stephen Kingwas asked once why he chose horror to write. Why did he pick it? So to borrow,and to possibly paraphrase, from him I’ll give the same reply: “Who says I hada choice?”

But ingeneral I write whatever genre my brain and heart pushes me to write. Horror,YA, thriller, suspense, mystery and even some literary pieces. Why limityourself? Gotta push the boundaries, challenge yourself. Expand. But there is adarkness that underlies most of my work.  

Where you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all?

My ideas come from everywhere, really. Not one place, although, personalexperiences trump the others. The trick is figuring out how you're going to usethe ideas, real life moments, and which to use for what.

I don'tjournal. I probably should though.

What’s a normal (writing) day like for you?

Normal used to be throughout the day. Now, it's about four hours at night.

Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?

As a teen I had favorite authors. Kind of like having best friends. As you growolder you outgrow the best friend thing and just have lots of good friends. SoI don't have favorite authors anymore. Not that I don't buy everything by acertain author or authors, because I do. But that's because they're reliableand good. Their work hardly disappoints. But basically, I read everyone andanything no matter if it's genre or nonfiction or literary.

Currently,I’m reading two books. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and Great IrishTales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear, edited by Peter Haining.

Do you prefer writing poetry or prose? Why one over the other?

I mostly write prose but I've written poetry and have had it published. As ateen who wore black and listened to the “Devil's music”---that inferno heavymetal and/or punk---I wrote tons of poetry. Still have it. It even garnered mea trip to the counselor's office.

So I writeboth just more prose.

Do you write in silence or with noise (tv, movies, music)?

I gotta have music blaring into my ears. Ear buds in, music roaring.

Do you have any weird habits when it comes to writing? Do you type or writelonghand?

No weird habits. Unless doing the hokey pokey between chapters is a weirdhabit.

There was atime, long ago, I wrote longhand. Now, I only write longhand when making notes,etc. But I do want to start getting back to longhand. Write a novella that way.It'd be more organic experience. A thoughts-to-the-page thing. A single thought,if you will. Typing on the laptop is a stop and go process for me. Likechickens pecking at feed.

Would you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pancer?

I'm definitely a pancer. Outlines are foreign to me. But I'm trying to outline.I need some structure but only to a degree. I'm more into sightseeing thansticking to the roadmap.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?

Getting past the brick wall two-thirds of the way through.

Current projects?

Finishing up my thesis (novel) for my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at SetonHill University.

Advice for aspiring writers?

Write more, talk less.
 
Upcoming Publications?
My storyEnter the Sand Man will be appearing in an upcoming anthology called Madhouse.
 
BIO: Sheldon Higdon is an author with numerous publications in various magazines and books. Everything from short stories to non-fiction articles to poetry.  He is also an award-winning screeenwriter.
He is currently working toward his MFA in creative writing in Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction program