Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I was talking on the phone last night with my oldest daughter . . .
Specifically about The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
We’re both reading it and enjoying it.
Especially all the research and facts he includes.
It’s almost as if he researched symbolism then wove a story around it.
Hey, nothing wrong if that’s what he did.
My first completed manuscript began with a simple plot . . .
But the more research I did, the more the storyline took unexpected twists and turns.
And truthfully?
I love researching almost as much as writing.
Anyway, my first manuscript, Where Demons Dwell (working title), is a supernatural thriller.
Well, I’m 99.9% sure, that is.
One of the problems I had when I started submitting it was . . .
Figuring out what the genre was.
I’m going to admit now just how ignorant I used to be with the whole writing process.
It was back in 1998 at my first writer conference, The Columbus Writers Conference, when I learned that there’s a difference between literary fiction and commercial fiction. And that there are “genres.” And that I had to figure out what the genre was for my manuscript.
So home I went to research—genres.
At first I thought the genre was religious horror, then dark religious horror, then spiritual thriller, then dark fantasy . . .
And finally I settled on supernatural thriller.  
Before I came to that conclusion however, I Googled to find what author wrote similar stories as mine.
And that’s when I learned of H.P. Lovecraft.
Why hadn’t I heard of him before?
As a kid, I loved Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein
(My mother actually had a first edition copy)
Before I could even read, I used to love to look at the scary illustrations.
Then Edgar Allan Poe became my favorite scary author.
My parents had many books of his short stories and poems.
And trust me . . .
You don’t want to mention "The Raven" around me . . .
When I’ve had a few shots because . . .
I will recite the whole poem.
But anyway . . .
My parents neither had H.P. Lovecraft’s books nor ever mentioned his name.
And I never learned of Lovecraft in high school.
I now own several books of Lovecraft, but cannot read them living by myself.
Way too creepy.
Somewhere along my writing journey . . .
I switched gears from scary supernatural thrillers . . . 
To writing women’s fiction, or more specifically women’s lit.
And I love that I've switched from dark and scary . . .
To light-hearted, humorous stories.
And I’m most happy because  . . .
Having already done the research . . .
I already know what genre it is.

Always , Em-Musing
P.S. I'm still serious about that writer retreat in Cancun

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