I was recently asked to write a guest blog article for Dagan Books (publishers of Cthulhurotica and In Situ). The following are the opening paragraphs to the article; at the bottom is the permanent link for the whole article at the Dagan Books website.
I’m fascinated by the weird things that writers do to get their head in the game. Writing is a solitary and sometimes tedious effort. Some writers require distractions to pass the time at the keyboard. Others need quiet. I personally know three writers that usually have a TV in their office playing a movie or a DVD while they work.
I can’t do that. I need something to help pass the time, but it has to help me immerse myself in what I’m trying to envision and flesh out – rather than provide background noise and occasional distraction. For me, the ideal writer’s retreat is a well-lit room and an iPod full of ambient sound. Yes, writers are creatures of strange habits – second only to professional baseball players. I know that I’m probably preaching to the choir here, so I’ll spare you the eccentricities made famous by Hugo, Nabokov, Dumas, Kerouac, Faulkner, Wolfe, and Twain. I have my own odd habits. I alternate sitting and standing (I had additions built for my writing desk to accommodate the quick-change). I find that I can’t write with someone else in the room (or the house, for that matter). I only drink green tea while working.
But I also do this weird thing whenever I’m working on a piece of writing, where I create a custom iTunes playlist that is tailored to the period and the assumed music interests of the main characters in the story. This is something that I’ve been doing for the last year or so, and I find it enormously helpful when it comes to getting into the right frame of mind, seeing the world through my character’s eyes, and putting myself in front of the computer for a 3-4 hour stretch… [more]
About Dagan Books:
Dagan Books is an independent publisher of the weird and wicked, the beautiful and brilliant. They publish both academic non-fiction and fiction works (specializing in speculative fiction).