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Showing posts from October, 2012

New in the MADHOUSE: John Edward Lawson

  INTERVIEW: John Edward Lawson • When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write it? I've always written stories to amuse myself and my friends, and created games, and when I was older I was the dungeon master / storyteller in role playing. On top of that I was lucky enough to be accepted for an accelerated program in intermediate and high school which focused on media and literature. Eventually, at age 25, I threw myself into writing full time. Initially this was in the field of screenwriting, then articles, but over those first couple years fiction and poetry eventually crept in. I've always felt that in the pain of our existence we find truth, so I gravitate to horror, which in turn lends itself to poetry and short fiction. • Where do you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all? I used to journal in the beginning, but there are too many ideas and not enough time--I'm better off just going straight to the actual composition if I'm going


Sir John Edward of Lawson infected me (like I always knew he would,) and now it’s my turn to spread the disease. Basically, it involves searching for the first use of the word “look” in your work in progress, then pasting that paragraph, and those immediately before and after, on your blog, after which you spread the disease to five other authors. EXCERPT from my novel: INSIDE OF ME   She closed her eyes and thought back to the summer nights when she used to watch him shoot in the back yard. Six shots. Dead center. Every time. The man was a machine, and if those empty beer cans had any say in the situation, they would have gotten a better job. Her dad might not have been much, but he was a good shot. She couldn’t say she was surprised when the cops told her that he died instantly. One bullet to the side of the head was all it took. Like she always knew, he was a good shot.   Standing there in the darkness, she looked up at Jason’s house and wondered what her father thought

Writing is easy. All you have to do is write.

Last week during a tutoring session, I was helping a student with an argumentative essay about how writing is similar to the thematic elements in Stephen King’s short story, “Survivor Type.” While we were talking about the craft and what it means to be a writer, I revisited a lot of material and advice that I got from King’s novel, On Writing, and then reflected on how my lifestyle has changed since starting the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill.   Needless to say, I’ve done a 180. Graduate school kicks my ass every day. I feel guilty when I sleep because I feel like I should be writing, and when I dream, it’s normally about Hell so I don’t have pleasant dreams. I write about 4-5 hours a day, normally a combination of time spent between poetry and my novel, and I have a serious coffee addiction. I carry around a notebook with me in case something brilliant pops into my head when I’m not at my desk, and that same head is usually crammed in a book studying fiction and

Part 2: Hunting Ghosts in West Virginia

Psychiatric Wards have a bad reputation because people always assume the worst when they’re mentioned. Patients are said to be admitted or thrown in, never checked in willingly or without force. They are permanent places for the deranged and the mentally instable. Not temporary residences for the sick. I’m drawn to them because I know not everyone in them was ill, and that some of them were as sane as you and I. But we don’t really have control over how others perceive us, now do we? Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Saying the wrong words to the wrong person…. Or being at the mercy of the Warden. A lot of the patients at the West Virginia Penitentiary battled delusions and hallucinations, but not because of a mental disorder. These inmates were abused, tortured, and drugged. They were experiments and play things to the very people that were supposed to protect them and make them well. Some of them came into the infirmary because of fi

Context Convention 25: SF, Fantasy, and Horror

Context Convention 25 Columbus, Ohio Last weekend proved to me (yet again) why writers are easily the most wonderful people in the world: (1) We never run out of stories to tell (2) We have no shame and look at each embarrassing moment as an opportunity for yet another good story and (3) When you put all of us together, there’s no telling what is going to happen other than sheer brilliance at its best. I had the pleasure of seeing old friends and catching up over the months after residency, and meeting new friends and creating memories that will last me well throughout life. But beyond the drinks, the laughs, and the 50 Shades of Red I turned, the wealth of information that I learned about the field and the industry made the experience well worth the four hour drive that I did on eight hours of sleep over a three day stretch. But that’s what coffee is for. And 5 hour energy drinks. I want to talk a little bit about the workshops that I attended because if I’ve le