Jun 02 2016
Today, we have an interview with two people — at least to incarnations of the same individual. A little over six years ago, Deborah Walker decided to throw sensible advice to the wind, quit her day job, and, as she puts it, “give this writing malarkey a try.” She hasn’t look back since. Translated into more than a dozen languages, her stories have graced the pages of a number of prominent magazines, journals and anthologies, such as Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Nature’s Futures, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and The Year’s Best S.
Kelda Crich sprung from the mind of Deborah Walker and is now out in the open lurking through the streets of London, exploring strange things in the city’s medical museums. Kelda’s poems have appeared in Nameless, Cthulhu Haiku II, Transitions and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
Both writers were gracious enough to discuss with me their work, and their thoughts about writing in general.
So, taking that leap, quitting your day job and plunging into a career as a writer must have been daunting for you. What made you decide to do that?
I’d vaguely thought before that it might be something that I’d be good at, but every time I tried to write something my first draft was very weak. I didn’t realize that was often the case. But, I decided I wanted to have a real stab at it. At the time I remember thinking that if I managed to get one thing published in the first year, I’d be quite pleased. I managed to get something published, and I’m still at it.
Why Speculative Fiction?
Because I love the strange and offbeat. Because that’s the way my mind turns. Because I’m not sure how non spec writers actually do it.
Who’s your favorite writer?
For short stories: Philip K. Dick, D.H. Lawrence, H.P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. le Guin, Tanith Lee, Al Reynolds, Robert Silverberg, Liz Williams, Scott Wolven, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Eudora Welty.
How did you come up with your stories?
My process is quite usual I think, I do a lot of research. My usual process of creation begins with the initial idea, the seed. Then, I then copied swathes of Wikipedia about the initial idea: changelings in this case, into my working document.
Without any idea of the story I just start to write, reading the research as I go and deleting it as I read.
The research leads me onto more ideas for the story. I always add a new element. In the case on one of my recent stories, it was worm biology and Mythos and nuns, which led to more research being copied into the working document, and sparked off new ideas.
I love, love, love Wikipedia. For instance, before I started writing I didn’t know much about changelings but Wikipedia has over 4000 words on them.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m always working on shorts stories. I’m on a bit of a competition binge at the moment, looking for short story competitions that are free to enter. I like the challenge of a prompt. I’ve also got a novella on the back burner, but I keep getting distracted by the allure short stories.
You can check out Deborah Walker’s blog and extensive bibliography here.
For Kelda Krich’s Horror blog go here (if you dare).
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