Author H.R. Boldwood Chat Transcript 2/27 Feb 27, 2019 23:28:01 GMT -5
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 27, 2019 23:28:01 GMT -5
HUGE HOW thanks to H.R. for joining us Wednesday night!
Admin Kbatz: Join us Wednesday February 27 5 pm pacific/8 pm eastern for another Dinner Chat Special this time with author H.R. Boldwood.
Admin Kbatz: H.R. Boldwood is a writer of urban fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction. In another incarnation, Boldwood is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and has been awarded the Bilbo Award for creative writing. Publications include The Corpse Whisperer, the debut novel in the Allie Nighthawk Mystery Series. Other publications include short stories featured in anthologies such as Killing It Softly, Saturnalia, Carnival of Horror, and Curse of the Gods. Visit www.hrboldwood.com for more!
hr: Hi Kristin! H.R. Boldwood here. So glad to chat with you tonight.
Emz: Welcome! So glad to have you here!
Admin Kbatz: We will also be attempting the Google Hangouts audio/visual session with the Wicked Women Writers Tomorrow Thursday 11 am pacific/ 1 pm eastern. If there are technical difficulties we will return here to our trusty ShoutBox
Admin Kbatz: HR were you ready for questions?
hr: Hello All!
Admin Kbatz: Welcome Guests to HOW!
Admin Kbatz: Is H.R. Boldwood a pen name?
hr: H.R. is a pen name. The HR are my father's initials. Boldwood comes from William Boldwood, a character in Far From the Madding Crowd
Admin Kbatz: Why did you choose to use a pen name?
hr: I also write literary fiction. In fact, I was nominated for a Pushcart. I thought it might be wise to keep my genre writing apart from my literary writing. Also, the HR could be either male or female, so the writing might appeal to a broader audience.
Admin Kbatz: They say a neutral name and separate branding is the thing
hr: So I hear! I'll let you know if it works.
Emz: How did you start writing? What age/situation?
hr: I started writing in the 7th grade. We had an assignment to write a short story. I wrote a horror story titled The Reincarnation of Sir Thomas More. My teacher loved it.
Admin Kbatz: Can you define urban fantasy for us?
hr: To me, Urban Fantasy refers to a story that takes place in the real world but it has elements of fantasy or paranormal as well. The Corpse Whisperer is what I would consider to be slipstream, as it also includes mystery and suspense.
Admin Kbatz: HR urban fantasy is also under the speculative fiction umbrella. Is that more concrete or a loosely defined catch all term?
hr: I think Speculative fiction is a great umbrella. It loosely defines the catch basket for a lot of fantasy today.
Admin Kbatz: Before e-publishing when all the finite sub genres could be recognized, was it difficult to put your writing into one specific genre?
Hr: I would say that for me, prior to e-publishing, it was not a problem only because I wrote a lot of short stories and flash fiction and they usually found a home under an accepted genre
Admin Kbatz: Is the line between horror and mystery/suspense tougher when trying to find a place on the bookstore shelf?
hr: That is a good question. But I will answer it this way. I have had a lot of people who I don't know leave reviews for The Corpse Whisperer. Many say, I don't really like zombies, but I loved this book because of the mystery. So, I think that the two blend very well. And that should allow for space on a bookstore shelf. If a story can cross market, it should find a larger readership
Emz: What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Admin Kbatz: Oh my word we never asked the other guests if they were plotters or pantsers!
hr: I use plot points for the major beats of the book. That allows me the freedom to get creative while sticking to my general outline
Admin Kbatz: Do you need to plot and outline that much for short and flash fiction anyway?
hr: On short stories, I have an end game in mind and work toward it. Flash fiction no. But on novels, I didn't dare try to pants it. I'd find myself wandering off course for sure.
hr: For me, it's the only way to fly. I couldn't imagine having a hard and fast outline for every chapter going into a book. My mind works in mysterious ways
Admin Kbatz: I find I am often alone as a plotter.
Admin Kbatz: Do you start a story knowing what genre it is or do those details come along as the world builds?
hr: I would love to be a solid plotter. My mind simply doesn't 'see' that far in advance. But if I have specific beat points, that allow the story to unfold with the right amount of action at the right time, and use the dark night of the soul, I can get all the rest less. Usually, I know the genre, because I am often writing to a specific call for submissions.
Admin Kbatz: So the submission call shapes the word count then as well?
hr: More often than not, yes.
Admin Kbatz: Is that easy to write shorter or flash fiction for a submission call? Because it is said to be very bad to try and write a novel to trend or altered to fit shoehorned in elements.
hr: I cut my teeth on flash fiction and then progressed to short stories. For me, whether a call is easy or not depends on what I 'see'. I write my best work when I can either use a picture prompt, or create a visual in my mind
Emz: Where do you like to write? Cafe's? Office? Library?
hr: I have a writing room/office that is set up just for me. But sometimes in a recliner and sometimes at the kitchen table, too.
Admin Kbatz: Are there more markets for short fiction now with online venues and anthologies or less with the loss of ezines and magazines?
hr: There are quite a few calls for paid anthologies now, but the competition is crazy.
hr: That was a big discussion yesterday on Facebook. Do you only sub to paying anthologies or do you submit to the 'for the love of' anthologies. And why?
Admin Kbatz: Is there a sense that short fiction is lesser or should be given freely online?
hr: No, at least not from the authors' perspectives. There are a lot of publishers out there who want your best work and want it for free. I struggle with that. Perhaps fledgling writers who need to cut their teeth appreciate that. But every writer needs to decide when he or she feels they are ready to market their work.
Admin Kbatz: Yes there seems to be the notion that work should be given freely or is treated lesser at the top and the bottom.
hr: Since we seem to have a minute, one of the issues we discussed involved why a nonpaying publisher would not allow simultaneous submissions.
hr: So, the question was: why would an author send their work to a nonpay publisher who would not allow the author to send the work elsewhere for consideration. That's a very valid question.
Admin Kbatz: Do you write long fiction also HR? Thus far we've discussed genre definitions and short fiction publishing.
hr: I have only written one novella, as far as long fiction. And of course, my novel, The Corpse Whisperer
lilyauthor: are you aware of any markets for experimental dark fiction?
hr: I haven't looked lately, but I usually check Duotrope, Dark Markets, and Horror Tree.
hr: Also if you hang out on Facebook on the horror writers pages, you get wind of a lot of calls
hr: You can follow the Horror Writers Association Facebook page and get lots of great info on submission calls. You also get a feel for those writers who perhaps write in your niche and you can bond with them
lilyauthor: Also good to know. Thanks, HR.
lilyauthor: I've checked out that page, very traditional horror, I find. less than a minute ago x
Admin Kbatz: HWA has some identity issues but writing organizations and community groups are essential. Try a bunch, find which ones fit you
Admin Kbatz: Who you know gets you everywhere. It's downright Dickensian
hr: Yeah, it's the people in the groups that you come to know and get a feel for their writing interests. You can find your people
Admin Kbatz: Does urban fantasy or speculative have to be dark?
hr: No, I don't think Urban Fantasy has to be dark. It can be. Speculative, maybe so. I don't consider The Corpse Whisperer to be dark, and yet it's urban, mystery, speculative
Admin Kbatz: We talked in an earlier chat how there was a lot of bleak material and movies or how horror and science fiction are blending together in the same apocalypse style dystopias. l
hr: Absolutely. I think they are a natural. Look at Bird Box. And so many others.
Admin Kbatz: I liked Bird Box. Is this horror is the new thriller elevated horror drama crossing over to books as well? It has been around onscreen for decades it just seems the mainstream has found good horror.
Admin Kbatz: Sort of how zombies have been around forever and only really recently boomed in the last 20 years
hr: Yes, zombies have come and gone and come and gone again. It's about finding a new trope or a new twist that hasn't been tried before. I don't think zombies will ever completely go away. At least, I hope not!
lilyauthor: i loved Bird Box, but I know a lot of horror fans hated the movie. *shrugs*
Admin Kbatz: Because it didn't fit the narrow view of what mainstream horror is
hr: I actually loved it. I put it on par with Train to Busan, because both movies had heart and great storylines. At least IMHO
lilyauthor: Exactly Kbatz, where as I enjoyed something terrifyingly different.
hr: I think it's high time we have horror movies with complicated characters and plots that tug at your heart
Admin Kbatz: Does other media influence your writing?
hr: Me too! No, I would not say I let media influence what I write.
Emz: Can't wait for the Train to Busan sequel!
hr: I cried like a freaking baby during Train to Busan. And in Bird Box, when Mallory tells her kids that they are all not going to look, you knew that her character had grown. she was the mother she never thought she would be. Fabulous stuff
lilyauthor: hr, that was a good moment in Bird Box. My fav scene w Tom, with the blossom, horrifying yet beautiful.
hr: Oh yes! I agree. I know some folks hated it. I thought it was awesome.
Admin Kbatz: We will be back in the ShoutBox 9 pm pacific/ 12 mid eastern Thursday Feb 28 to end HOW! 11 am pacific/1 pm eastern Thursday we are also attempting the Google Hangouts A/V chat
hr: Thanks for having me, folks! I enjoyed the hour. Keep reading and keep writing! l
Admin Kbatz: Thank you for being part of HOW HR!
lilyauthor: Good chat! You guys rock.