Tag Archives: Stephen King

Writing Props

12 Jun

Woman writing a letter

By Elizabeth Shore

In his wonderful book On Writing, Stephen King notes a few things that are necessary in the space where he writes in order to fuel his creative juices. High on the list for King is to have musical accompaniment when he’s writing. “I work to loud music –  hard-rock stuff like AC/DC, Guns ‘n Roses, and Metallica have always been particular favorites.” (Stephen King, On Writing).

I, too, like to listen to music when I write. Rather than serve as a distraction, I find that music blocks other things out so I can focus on getting the words written. I almost always listen to classical music and usually just fire up Pandora and let it run (assuring it every 45 minutes that yes, I’m still listening). Sometimes, for a particularly emotional scene, I’ll play music from my own collection that’s big and bold and gets me inspired. Generally on those occasions I like classical pieces with choruses, like Mozart’s Requiem or Bach’s B Minor Mass. This may be a creative death knell for other scribes, but for me the intensity of the  music matches the intensity of the emotion I’m trying to create.  And if I crank it up really loud, all the better.

My father-in-law, who is also a writer, made a comment to me recently about how comforting it is for him to have something to drink on his desk when he’s writing. I feel exactly the same way. It’s not so much that I’m consumed with unquenchable thirst, but rather that I find comfort in simply having the full cup at my side. Perhaps it harkens back to childhood; my mom would prepare tea for us all the time, whether for warmth, or comfort, or simply because it was pretty darn tasty. Whatever the reason, I need that cup next to me and when it’s empty it gets refilled. Sometimes I’ll refill a cup with whatever I’m drinking and then never touch a drop. I get a spark of creative inspiration and the drink is the last Cup of tea with a biscuitthing on my mind. But for me that inspirational jolt never seems to come if my cup doesn’t runneth over.

The push pin board at the front of my desk holds pictures of my favorite art, photos of Italy, a postcard of Stephen King in his writing room (yes, I’m a nutty crazed fan), and a card from a dear friend. I also have two notecards I picked up from an author at a book signing. One says “Passion” and shows a girl at a piano with a dove flying above her. The other says “Creativity” and depicts a woman who’s just had a glowing little fairy land atop her hand. My writing chair is comfy, the room is filled with books and, on frequent occasions, one or more of my cats. Such are the mementoes of inspiration that make up my writing space. How about you? What are the must haves for the creative juices to flow?

Happy writing, everyone!

Hoarding: The Secret Life Of A Book Addict

8 May

By Elizabeth Shore

In addition to reading romance – lots and lots of romance – I’m also a big fan of the horror genre. Not only Stephen King, whoseBuried in books work I’ve been reading since I was fourteen, but other horror writers as well including Clive Barker, Dan Simmons, and Dean Koontz to name just a few. In recent years I’ve also become a fan of Stephen King’s son, who writes under the name Joe Hill. His work is really good, and I await his new releases with nearly as much gusto as I do his father’s. So when Mr. Hills’ newest book, NOS4A2, came out recently, I dashed to the bookstore the very day it was released in order to scoop it up.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. It’s not like I’m robbing banks. But here’s the thing: my to-be-read pile is at least 75 books long. And I’m not talking electronic books (because that would push the total even higher), but honest-to-goodness printed books. Hardcovers. Softcovers. Bound books, ink on paper, taking up space on my limited bookshelf. To top it off, I  live in a small apartment where space is a premium. Yet what did I do in the face of a space crisis? I went out and bought yet another book. Even more: while I was at the bookstore, I inquired whether or not Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth was out in paperback yet. ‘Cause if it was, I was buying that, too. (thankfully, it’s not until July 2. I’ve got it marked on my calendar). So here I am, friendly readers, baring my soul. My name is Elizabeth Shore, and I’m a book addict.

My book addiction sprouted roots when I was a Tween, probably eleven or twelve. Back then, I used to get as birthday and/or Christmas presents a gift certificate to Waldenbooks. Oh, those were heady days! Having that gift certificate in my hand, walking into the bookstore and seeing all those new, fresh books just sitting there, on the shelves, awaiting my potential acquisition. I could barely contain myself. I was like Imelda Marcos in a Jimmy Choo store!

Books take me away, sweep me into a world of fantasy, romance, adventure, excitement. Naturally I love the stories in the books. What reader doesn’t? It’s the whole point, after all. But I also love the books themselves. I love how they feel when I’m holding them. I love running my palm across the cover of paperbacks and feeling the raised lettering. I admire the antiquated look of ragged edged hardcovers and note how handsome they look sitting atop my shelves. It’s an addiction, I tell you, and one that I’m thinking needs to stop.

Once I’ve read a book, I rarely read it again. There are a few treasures, of course. But for the most part, it’s one and done. I read it, enjoy it, and move on to the next, devouring each and every one of them like a starving cookie monster. I’m beginning to fret about the fact that I have no room for more books, as well as the amount of money I’m spending on them. Really, I need to be directing my hard-earned cash toward more practical things. Like food. I don’t actually need to own a single book. There are libraries, after all. I can read books for free and then return them and never have to worry about squeeeeezing yet another book upon my groaning shelves. But seriously, how boring is that? I don’t actually need nice handbags, either. A sack cloth would do the same trick. But how pale life would be stowing my stuff in a sack, just as it would be having shelves with no books.

Whenever I lament to my husband about being struck with buyer’s remose over buying books, his go-to response is always, “hey, at least you’re not snorting the money up your nose.” Well, no. I’m certainly not doing that. I am, however, supporting writers, and that’s assurance enough for me that if I’m going to have a vice, there are plenty worse ones than buying books. If only I lived in an airplane hangar.

Can erotic horror be romantic?

19 Sep

I”m always up for a good scare. Ghosts, abandoned houses, demonic possession, things going bump in the night . . . bring it on, I say. The horror genre fascinates me because I find it interesting to consider what truly frightens people. The causes can be so vastly different. A writer who’s figured out how to scare us in an artfully told story or film deserves a round of applause. (yeah, Mr. King. I’m talking about you).

Over the years, horror and erotica have become intermingled, and nowadays there are lotsa books and lotsa movies that are scary and contain lotsa sex. And hey, you’ll hear no complaints from me. I like the smexy stuff just like the next gal. But I did start to wonder whether it’s truly possible to scare the panties (oh my!) off the reader, make her tingle with arousal, and have a satisfying HEA or HFN to boot. Hmmm . . .

A quick Google search of erotic horror gives me results that I expect: references to dungeons and depravity abound. I also uncovered an excellent post by Gregory Burkart entitled Ten Landmarks of Erotic Horror Fiction. But there’s a paucity of results related to erotic romantic horror. Oh, you’ll find results, but are the stories truly scary? Like horror book scary? And truly romantic? Writer Brenna Zinn (on Keira Kohl’s blog) wrote a good piece on the subject recently. She says horror and erotic romance go together like peanut butter and bacon, except that peanut butter and bacon go pretty darn good together. She’s got some examples of what she feels are good erotic horror romance. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/QzRHoq

As for me, I’m still on the hunt. I want it romantic, scary, and hot, not necessarily in that order. All suggestions welcome.

Until next time,

Elizabeth

%d bloggers like this: