Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Aha! Moment - Paul Tremblay - Biggest Aha! Moments in Writing

My ah-ha moment was a little more big picture for me. I am a reader, writer, and life-long fan of horror fiction, but my ah-ha moment was the realization that I didn't always have to write horror stories. 

When I first started writing, "horror writer" was a badge and I wore it with great pride, if not with stubbornness.  I say stubbornness because the badge meant that whatever story idea I had, I'd then try to shoehorn it into a horror story framework, even if it didn't quite fit. 

My ah-ha moment happened was me waking up one fine morning and telling myself that I wasn't a horror writer. Instead, I was a writer who writes horror. It didn't mean that I wasn't proud to have written horror fiction or that I would stop doing so. It meant that I was going to serve the story's needs first and foremost, and not try to force it into being something that it wasn't. If the story was going to be about a narcoleptic private detective, then so be it. If it was going to be a wacky SF/dystopia with people in Chicken suits and exploding donkeys, okay then, write it. If it was about a secret society of cannibals who stuff bodies into mannequins who then leave them on train tracks, great, let's go with it. 

I was never concerned that I was going to leave horror writing; my interests are too dark, and I always have and always will write horror (the novel I'm working on right now is horror). But my ah-ha moment was about my deciding to serve the story--whatever that story would end up being--to the best of my abilities.

A little bit about the author:
Paul Tremblay is the author of the novels The Little Sleep, No Sleep Till Wonderland, and Swallowing a Donkey's Eye, and the short story collections Compositions for the Young and Old and In the Mean Time. He has published two novellas, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Five Chapters.com, and Best American Fantasy 3. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan).

Paul is the president of the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts, has a master's degree in Mathematics, has no uvula, and he is represented by Stephen Barbara of Foundry Literary + Media.

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