Monday, March 4, 2013

WYTOVICH LOCKS UP ANOTHER CRAZY

PATIENT: ELSA M. CARRUTHERS
ILLNESS: WRITER


When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write in?

I’ve always told stories to myself and later to my friends. It was a great escape. First, I retold stories I read in books and comics or saw in shows and movies. I’d tweak them here and there, make them a little different. Then I started making up my own.

I write pretty much anything that comes to mind…it just so happens that I’m often struck with very dark ideas and fantasies.
 

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

I get my ideas everywhere. From childhood events, news clippings, things I see on the streets, essays I read. I journal, but not for stories because once I write about them, the stories feel “told” to me and I’m no longer anxious to finish them.

 
What is a normal (writing) day for you.

I write for word count. I try to put down at least 1000 words per day. Often, I sit at my desktop and get about 250 words in at a stretch before being interrupted at least twice. I work like that until I feel like I’ve put down enough words.

 
Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?

Oh boy, that’s tough. I love a lot of writers but I find myself returning to the works of Clive Barker, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Annie Proulx, S. E. Hinton and Shirley Jackson.

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

I write both but my poetry is dreadful. All shmaltzy love lost sort of stuff that should never see the light of day. So I stick with prose. I love writing short stories.

Do you write in silence or with noise (TV, movie, music)?

I prefer silence but that is almost never happens for me so I put on music that I’m not likely to sing along with.

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

Yes, I never wear pants while I’m writing. Just kidding-no, I think I’m pretty average. I take a cup of cocoa to my desk to drink while I type.

 
Do you consider yourself a Plotter or Pantser?

What’s a plot? Definitely a Pantser. I have tried to plot my stories but I don’t really get a sense of what I’m writing about (theme, etc.) until I’ve written at least one draft.  
 
What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?

Besides the isolation, I’d say it’s persevering through long stretching of time when you won’t be paid (or hardly paid), recognized, or appreciated.

 
Current Projects?

Lots! Book-length non-fiction work on reader/viewer response to erotic images in horror, lots of short stories going out the door, and I’m revising a novel!

How do you balance being an editor and being a writer (or double jobs, being a mom/dad, etc.-apply to your situation.

It is very difficult sometimes, but I take it in strides. I usually write, edit, or research in small bursts between taking care of my family, dog, and household. I usually read while waiting for appointments or riding around town; I can't believe how much reading I can accomplish that way. 

What do you think people expect fro you with your writing? EX: Can they always count on a good gross out? I try to put out the best stories I can and I hope people get lost in them and remember them long after they finish reading.

Advice for aspiring writers?

First, believe in yourself. Attend as many workshops and classes as you can, but don't tell yourself that, "I'm learning how to write," or "I'm learning to be a better writer," or "I'm learning the skills I need to become a professional writer." That should help you with some of the doubt that will inevitably come.  Also, surround yourself with supportive people. Anyone who dismisses your dreams or ambitions is dismissive of a big part of you.



Recent publications:
  • “Not One of The Boys” Hazard Yet Forward Anthology
  • “The Came From Somwhere…The Little People” Midnight Movie Creature Feature Anthology Vol. II (May December Publications)
  • “Dave’s Pet” Horrotica Magazine