Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is looking forward to having Erin Thorne visit us for a reading and signing this Saturday, September 14, from 2PM-5PM! If you’re haven’t had the pleasure of reading or meeting Erin yet, here’s a chance to pre-meet her!
For readers who don’t know your work yet, how would you describe what you write?
I write fiction that primarily falls into the categories of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, although I do sometimes write stories that have no supernatural or fantastic element, but which are suspenseful and dark.
What is it that draws you the genres of horror and suspense? What do you think readers get from these genres?
I spent a lot of my adolescence reading horror, then science fiction, so those were probably my earliest influences. I gravitate toward them when I write as a result and because I really enjoy telling stories that have bizarre or slightly disconcerting aspects. I think readers enjoy the thrill of wondering what’s going to happen next in these kinds of tales, and the excitement of plot twists that can be jarring at times.
You seem to prefer the short stories and novellas for your pieces. What draws you to these particular types of stories? How much does the story, itself, influence the length and how much do you consciously choose?
I’ve always loved the brevity and punch inherent in short stories; some of the ones that I’ve read over the years have stayed with me. “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather is a good example, as is “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. These are powerful works that grab the reader and, in some cases, never let go. Many of the ideas I have, whether they be obtained from actual events or from dreams, lend themselves well to the medium of the short story. There’s not always enough material in the plot to justify a larger work, and I’d rather deliver something brief and to the point than water it down to add pages. It also tends to keep the feel of the story true for me, especially the ones that were crafted from dreams. In this way, the reader can have a similar experience to the one I had during the idea’s conception.
Which story in Behind The Wheel had the most affect on you as you were writing it, and why?
“Flora’s Tale” was the most emotionally charged piece for me. It began as a dream, one so vivid that I wrote down the basic idea when I awoke and expanded it into a story. The ending was the part that affected me the most; I knew what was going to happen the entire time, and the last third of the story grew increasingly bittersweet. I actually shed a few tears as I wrote the last page!
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
Writing has always been a dream of mine, and actually making it come true is incredibly fulfilling. I’ve been an avid lifelong reader; to be on the other side of that magic coin is exciting. I love bringing stories to life and sharing them, in the hope that at least a piece of what goes on in my imagination can be enjoyed by other people. At times, writing also functions as an inexpensive form of therapy for me. If I’m having a difficult time dealing with an emotion or situation, it helps to get it out on paper, heavily fictionalized but with the same raw feeling intact. Whatever the motivation happens to be, it’s something about which I’m passionate, and above all, it’s a labor of love. My greatest lesson was grasping the sheer amount of work that’s involved in the process. Writing the story is only the beginning; there’s a great deal of editing, marketing, and promotion that needs to happen after, but I’ve embraced these facets as parts of the whole.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
I was born here, and have lived in Massachusetts all of my life. The strong individuality that imbues each of the seasons here is also a part of the region’s people, in my opinion. Resourcefulness, tenacity, and perseverance have long been essential to powering through the weather’s sometimes extreme nature, and these traits come in quite handy when it comes to writing. In addition, the unique personalities of the contrasting seasons provide inspiration for me, and give greater depth to stories that revolve around them, like Diane’s Descent.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
I’d say that the only time you truly fail is when you quit trying. If writing is your dream, take the steps to make it happen. I think there’s always room for improvement as well, and I’m always on the lookout for useful tips and ways to hone my craft.
What question do you wish interviewers would ask you, and what would the answer be?
I’m not certain that there is one; by and large, interviewers have been so creative and diverse when posing their questions that I don’t think they’ve missed much!
What else can we expect from Erin Thorne in the near future?
I have several projects going, including a horror novel aimed at young adults, a paranormal romance, and several more short stories. There will be a couple of anthologies released in the near future that feature stories of mine as well.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
I’m glad you asked! I’d direct people to my website, www.erinthorne.org, for a biography, a list of past and future events, and much more. I also have author’s pages on Facebook and Amazon, www.facebook.com/authorerinthorne and www.amazon.com/author/erinthorne respectively, and my Twitter handle is @ErinThorne1. I’m available for readings, signings, and speaking engagements in the region; feel free to contact me to book an event, or just to say hello!
Thank you, again, Erin, for visiting Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at 65 James Street, Worcester, MA!