Writers chatting to each other on writing. Tedious or devious? Let’s have twenty questions, and find out. In this guest-spot, Death Author E.B. Black delivers the answers...
1. Fire rages in your house. Everyone is safe, but you. You decide to smash through the window, shielding your face with a book. What is the book?
If I'm trying to save the book, then my kindle, because it has all my books on it. If I'm expecting the book to get burnt and damaged as I shield my face, then maybe a giant dictionary because it's a huge shield and I use the internet to look up words anyway.
2. Asleep in your rebuilt house, you dream of meeting a dead author. But not in a creepy stalkerish way, so you shoo Mr Poe out of the kitchen. Instead, you sit down and have cake with which dead author?
Probably Shakespeare. I think he'd be a very interesting person. I want to know what inspired him and if he wrote all his plays or if someone else wrote some of them like rumors say.
3. Would you name six essential items for writers? If, you know, cornered and threatened with torture.
A laptop, the internet (for dictionaries and distractions), chocolate, pets to cuddle with, a quiet place to sit, and some way to reward yourself when you meet your goals.
4. Who’d win in a fight between Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster? If, you know, you were writing that scene.
Probably Count Dracula. I want to say Frankenstein's monster because Frankenstein is one of my favorite books of all time, but he actually seemed pretty kind and gentle in the book. He only lashed out when he felt hurt because no one loved him.
5. It’s the end of a long and tiring day. You are still writing a scene. Do you see it through to the end, even though matchsticks prop your eyelids open, or do you sleep on it and return, refreshed, to slay that literary dragon another day?
I stay up as long as I can stand, but sometimes it's still not long enough.
6. You must introduce a plot-twist. Evil twin or luggage mix-up?
How about dramatic confession instead?
7. Let’s say you write a bunch of books featuring an amazing recurring villain. At the end of your latest story you have definitely absitively posolutely killed off the villain for all time and then some. Did you pepper your narrative with clues hinting at the chance of a villainous return in the next book?
It depends on how amazing this villain is, but probably I don't leave clues or a chance of the villain returning. I'm a huge fan of tying up all the ends of my stories, so I like concluding things. Sometimes I conclude them too quickly.
8. You are at sea in a lifeboat, with the barest chance of surviving the raging storm. There’s one opportunity to save a character, drifting by this scene. Do you save the idealistic hero or the tragic villain?
Probably the hero to make the audience happy, but an evil part of me wants to save the villain because it sounds interesting.
9. It’s time to kill a much-loved character – that pesky plot intrudes. Do you just type it up, heartlessly, or are there any strange rituals to be performed before the deed is done?
The more dramatic a scene is, usually the easier it is to type for me. I'd effortlessly be able to write about a much-loved character dying, but struggle when writing about mundane things like describing scenery.
10. Embarrassing typo time. I’m always typing thongs instead of things. One day, that’ll land me in trouble. Care to share any wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes? If, you know, the wrong word suddenly made something so much funnier. (My last crime against typing lay in omitting the u from Superman.)
The most embarrassing typo I've ever had is one time I wrote "he broke her clitoris" instead of "he broke her hymen." Someone read it and mocked me for several hours afterwards.
(E.B. Black wins the prize for this one, though it's not a competition and I'm struggling to think what the prize would be - Eclectic Ed.)
11. I’ve fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of thongs I’ve typed. Have you?
I've fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of "thongs" that I've mispronounced out loud.
12. You take a classic literary work and update it by throwing in rocket ships. Dare you name that story? Pride and Prejudice on Mars. That kind of thing.
Pride and Power Thrusts.
The Old Man and the Galaxy.
The Lion, The Witch, and Pluto.
13. Seen the movie. Read the book. And your preference was for
Usually the book.
14. Occupational hazard of being a writer. Has a book ever fallen on your head? This may occasionally happen to non-writers, it must be said.
No, but I have dropped my laptop on my toes a bunch of times.
15. Did you ever read a series of books out of sequence?
Yes, The Chronicles of Narnia. It's actually really confusing trying to read those books because different editions have the books in different orders. Like, some in chronological order and some in the order he wrote them in.
I borrowed them from the library when I read them and they had three different editions of the books and all of them were in a different order, so I said, "I will read these in whatever order I feel like!" And I did.
(Many of us reached Narnia through different starting volumes - Eclectic Ed.)
16. You encounter a story just as you are writing the same type of tale. Do you abandon your work, or keep going with the other one to ensure there won’t be endless similarities?
This has happened to me before. While some books appear similar on the outside, when you actually compare them in detail, they are usually not at all the same.
So I completed my book, then later read theirs, and saw a million differences between our novels.
17. Have you ever stumbled across a Much-Loved Children’s Classic™ that you’ve never heard of?
Not yet. My Mom read to me a lot as a child.
18. You build a secret passage into your story. Where?
If my story has a castle, then definitely somewhere in the castle. And I'd make it lead to every room, so I could spy on my characters as the story was unfolding.
19. Facing the prospect of writing erotica, you decide on a racy pen-name. And that would be…
Shh! I actually have already done this and my pen name is boring compared to others.
20. On a train a fan praises your work, mistaking you for another author. What happens next?
I might blog about it the next day.
Click on the links to check out those books.
PANDORA'S LINK - less dangerous than her box.
MEDUSA'S LINK - less dangerous than her gaze.
Find E.B. Black here...
I answer my own questions on E.B. Black's blog HERE.