Posts Tagged Superstitions
River Jordan, Saints in Limbo, SIBA Fiction Nominee: Author, Creative Conversator, Host of Clearstory Radio on WRFN Nashville 107.1 Has been known to tell stories standing up. In public.
What are you reading right now? The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
Why independent bookstores matter? It will take a passion for the written word to keep the flame of reading alive. Indie booksellers are the embodiment of that passion.
Favorite part of writing a book? Getting lost, absolutely, completely lost in the world between the pages.
Least favorite part of writing a book? The line edits. I used to look at authors like they were insane when they were saying I’m in line edits and rolling their eyes and having heart palpitations. Now, I get it.
Are you working on anything new? Yes. In the middle of final rewrites for Praying for Strangers and completing a very Southern Gothic novel I started ten years ago.
Do you have any superstitions, lucky charms, or rituals around your writing? My only superstition is talking about the story instead of writing it. Ritual is I want to be completely alone while writing.
Comment on the writing life. . . It’s the only thing I was ever meant to be. Well, maybe except for a gypsy trading potions in the night from a wagon with lots of bells tied to the side.
Hardest part of the creation to publication experience? For a new writer, getting an agent and finding the right publisher. Otherwise, the continued self-discipline to write another story. To isolate oneself at the keyboard.
Why do you write? To say what it is to be human, why we were here, and why that mattered.
When do you write? When I feel myself getting crazy. I mean that. When I’ve been away from the words too long I get all snappety-snap-snap.
When did you know you were a writer? Sixth grade. I look back now and realize I was weird at five and destined to be a writer but 6th grade is when I got called out by my teacher and identified as such.
What would make you a scintillating dinner guest? A rich, red Bordeaux.
Who is your favorite new author? That weird kid in the sixth grade somewhere who is writing words in a spiral notebook and dreaming of being a writer someday in spite of the fact that mean people say there is no future in it.
What is your drink of choice? AM = Strong Coffee. PM – Beer made by Monks or Wine made by Monks.
What is your favorite food? I’ve thought about this in relation to that one last great meal deal. Doggone if I don’t think I’d order a grilled hamburger and a huge order of steak fries. With a monk beer of course.
Bells, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Embodiment, Gypsy, Independent Bookstores, Jordan River, Limbo, Lucky Charms, Potions, Publication Experience, Rituals, River Jordan, Self Discipline, siba, Sixth Grade, Southern Gothic Novel, Superstition, Superstitions, Wrfn, Writing A Book
Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver, SIBA YA Finalist writes books. Some about werewolves. Some about faeries. Some are bestsellers. She sometimes eats cookie dough at inappropriate times
Favorite book as a child? All books were my favorites as children. I was woefully indiscriminate. When you’re a kid, there are no good or bad books, just books.
What are you reading right now? Michael Scott. I’m clapping my hands in mythological fan girl glee every time a mythical hero or goddess from my childhood pops up.
Share a favorite segment from your book… …he found me sitting in the middle of a sea of splintered wood & snapped strings, like a boat carrying music had crashed on a rocky shore.
Why that title? Why SHIVER? Because ‘People Having Identity Crises And Kissing’ didn’t fit on the cover as well.
Why independent bookstores matter? Because when I walk into the store & shout GIVE ME SOMETHING NEW TO READ I want to be helped, not escorted from the premises.
Favorite part of writing a book? Killing characters. Or making them kiss. Or punching scenes. Basically, nothing has changed from my days of “Let’s Pretend.”
Least favorite part of writing a book? The parts in between killing characters, kissing scenes, and punching. Also, copy-edits. Copy edits are designed to break writers’ minds.
Are you working on anything new? Indeed. A YA paranormal standalone about beaches, kissing, and blood.
Do you have any superstitions, lucky charms, or rituals around your writing? I need caffeine and cookie dough. Also, music. As long as I have those three items without break, I’m good.
Comment on the writing life… Twelve months of insomnia and hearing voices, interrupted by brief periods of lucidity and royalty checks.
Hardest part of the creation to publication experience? Staying objective and patient. Learning my craft. I never found the publishing process hard – it was getting good enough to be published.
Why do you write? Because I love stories about people changing & other places & sometimes I can’t find the stories I want to read already on the shelf.
When do you write? When my editor tells me to. Also, when the voices inside my head tell me to. I’m pretty flexible.
When did you know you were a writer? I believe I was writing stories on my mother’s uterine walls. Sorry, Mom.
What, or Who, will you dish on, as in gossip about? Come now. As someone who makes up stuff for a living, I try to stick to the truth during social events.
What would make you a scintillating dinner guest? I will order everything on the menu, set fire to the table, & then get us thrown out. Actually, no, those were the old days.
Who is your favorite new author? Me. I’m quite good-looking, especially on the left side. Also, Leif Enger. I don’t know if he’s hot, but he sure can write.
What is your drink of choice? Sugar, with a little tea and milk in it.
What is your favorite food? Anything without preservatives. I’m allergic. I prefer round foods, but I’m negotiable.
Bad Books, Cookie Dough, Favorite Book, Glee, Hearing Voices, Identity Crises, Inappropriate Times, Independent Bookstores, Insomnia, Lucidity, Lucky Charms, Michael Scott, Mythical Hero, Publication Experience, Rituals, Rocky Shore, Royalty Checks, Stiefvater, Superstitions, Writing A Book
Below you will find Batt’s answers to his Twitter Questions for the #SIBA10 Writers Block Auction. But here is some post-#SIBA10 observations from Batt Humphreys:
Writer’s Block SIBA 10
Daytona Beach. Damn.
I woke up in a city that never sleeps. Or perhaps it was just in room 140 next door where the things that go bump in the night, also grind.
It was the Writer’s Block invitation that brought me here, something of a Sadie Hawkins for hack writers who somehow rise to the level of a SIBA nomination.
My name is Batt Humphreys. I write historical fiction.
The evening promised a perfect storm of insecurities, adolescent fears of rejection meets with living adult fears of rejection for this art we attempt.
Wanda met us downstairs, ushered us into our seats then set us straight. She looked at us much like a border collie addresses a field of sheep, with intense eye and perhaps a hint of game. In a warm and supportive way, she drilled us on the events of the evening like a parochial school nun with a half pint of hooch in her and twelve inch piece of good measured hickory for reinforcement. By that to say, she was charming.
“You have a stack of cards in front of you. You wrote the answers, try to read them. By the way, the cards are in the order of the questions as I’ll ask them, do not mix the order.”
Nervous fingers fanned the stacks. One author dropped hers to the floor. A collective intake of breath, with no easy release.
“Let me explain how the dinner works.”
The explanation went on, at one point it began to take on the litany of a calculus class. She could see the collective consciousness escaping, eyes crossed at attempts at concentration.
“Do not try to do the math. You are writers.”
Those waiting exhaled.
“You may now order cocktails.”
We sat up like a Shih Tzu hound.
A short whiskey later we were led into a large room, paraded down a stage and on display like beauty queens without benefit of a push up bra. In front a table of women were looking, their eyes hungry.. yes, like a wolf. I was repulsed, but somehow strangely attracted.
Questions were asked. Questions were answered, mainly. There’s a reason for a script. Writers, write. If we were all blessed with the gift of ad lib, we’d be hosting ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
Sweat ran into my cowboy boots. I wear them to make me look taller because, in fact, I’m 5’2” and weigh just over 300lbs. My eyes were on the back of the room where the bidding was taking place. Offers, for our honor, shameless writers we.
Like a show horse on halter, we were led proudly through the crowd, to a dinner polite.
Back to the bar.
A single bartender facing a room of writers, she could have gone down like Custer but she never showed her fear. What she showed was barely cloaked by a top cut as low as the Grand Canyon, if ever it met the Grand Tetons.
She wore her sex like a Marine wears his tattoo, open and proud. She also wore enough metal to make Cortez march to Kansas. It gave her a gypsy look. Perhaps she stole hearts. But there wasn’t enough bourbon in the bar.
Batt Humphreys, Dead Weight, SIBA Fiction nominee escaped ex-journalist from New York back in the South still chasing headlines, now in Fiction. He’s looking for a little ‘inspiration’.
Favorite book as a child? A fond memory is my mother’s voice reading and doing the dialect from Uncle Remus. Perhaps not politically correct but if re-examined is a true Southern Aesop.
What are you reading right now? Mainly research on my next novel set in WW2. But for a bedside pickup there’s always Raymond Chandler.
Share a favorite segment from your book… In this light she was seductive, a little worn perhaps, a bit past her prime, but still radiating a tangible heat that made you want to fall into her arms.
Why that title? Dead Weight is rather intricate to the story. You see, it’s a particular form of execution used at the time and used on the main character.
Why independent bookstores matter? Without Indy’s I would not be here, as a guest, or an author. Without Indy’s there is no hope, no prayer for an emerging author.
Favorite part of writing a book? After a career in journalism, fiction. Creating characters, killing characters, romancing the characters. Being the god of a created universe.
Least favorite part of writing a book? Dang, sometimes it really feels like work.
Are you working on anything new? Yes. Exciting, based on true story, sexy spy thriller at start of WW2, begins in Charleston, moves to the South Pacific. It’s a huge true story missed by this generation.
Do you have any superstitions, lucky charms, or rituals around your writing? I write in my boxers and cowboy boots.
Comment on the writing life… Love your work, and love people, because sometimes writing is the easy part of the process. If you don’t like going out and really connecting with readers, try WalMart, or CBS.
Hardest part of the creation to publication experience? Ego. Put it in a box. Editors/Publishers-‘send lawyers, guns and money ‘cause the s**t will hit the fan.’
Why do you write? Of the things that I’ve been paid to do, it is the greatest thrill.
When do you write? When forced to. I don’t wake up in the morning with the joy to write, let’s face it, it’s work. My ‘sweet spot’ in the diurnal cycle, after midnight.
When did you know you were a writer? Never thought about it, until Dan Rather turned to me one day after my bon mots made him break-up on air and said, “Humphreys, you’re a damned fine writer.”
What, or Who, will you dish on, as in gossip about? Some fine network correspondents, and a lot of network nit-wits, a few road stories of ignominious authors.
What would make you a scintillating dinner guest? My boxer shorts and cowboy boots.
What is your drink of choice? A Chateau Lafite ’61.. please who can afford that, except Nick Sparks maybe. Bourbon, on the rocks for me please.
What is your favorite food? I like to cook and prefer what I grow (or shoot) at home in the lines of the slow food movement.
Aesop, Batt, Beauty Queens, Block Auction, Border Collie, Calculus Class, Career In Journalism, Collective Consciousness, Collie, Cowboy Boots, Daytona Beach, Dialect, Favorite Book, Fond Memory, Hack Writers, Half Pint, Historical Fiction, Hooch, Humphreys, Independent Bookstores, Journalism Fiction, Lawyers Guns And Money, Litany, Little Inspiration, Lucky Charms, Money Cause, Nervous Fingers, Parochial School, Perfect Storm, Publication Experience, Raymond Chandler, Sadie Hawkins, Sexy Spy, Shih Tzu, siba, Spy Thriller, Start Of Ww2, Superstitions, Tabl, Things That Go Bump In The Night, Uncle Remus, Walmart, Writers Block, Writing A Book
Neil White, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, SIBA Non-Fiction Finalist: He lived among the last Americans imprisoned for a disease (leprosy) . . . and could not imagine a greater privilege
Favorite book as a child? The Little Engine That Could
What are you reading right now? Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and Freedom by Jonathan Frazen
Share a favorite segment from your book… You not only the borin’est person . . . You the whitest man I ever met. You the man they was talkin’ about when they invented the word Honky
Why that title? Because my editor picked it from the text . . . I was thinking Lepers & Cons.
Why independent bookstores matter? The same reason family vacations, intimate dinners, reunions, church and time with friends matters. It’s personal. It’s about relationships.
Favorite part of writing a book? Writing a passage that has more meaning, more importance than I could ever muster. When the words are inspired, in spite of me
Least favorite part of writing a book? Copy editing
Are you working on anything new? Yes, just started a new novel called Outside.
Do you have any superstitions, lucky charms, or rituals around your writing? Yes, I surround write with closed windows, no clocks, no internet, no television . . . with lyric-less music playing.
Comment on the writing life… If it were easy or glamorous everyone would be doing it
Hardest part of the creation to publication experience? Waiting
Why do you write? Well, I had a story I really needed to tell.
When do you write? Early, early morning when others are still asleep so I feel like I’m stealing away time
When did you know you were a writer? Still not sure
What, or Who, will you dish on, as in gossip about? Rick Bragg (he beat me).
What would make you a scintillating dinner guest? I’ll drink just enough to reveal more than I should . . . but not so much as to truly offend anyone
Who is your favorite new author? Lydia Peele
What is your drink of choice? The only drink real men drink . . . Chardonnay!
What is your favorite food? Crab Cakes, Salmon, Filet,
Borin, Copy Editing, Crooked Letter, Dinner Guest, Family Vacations, Favorite Book, Honky, Independent Bookstores, Intimate Dinners, Jonathan Frazen, Leprosy, Lucky Charms, New Novel, Outcasts, Peele, Publication Experience, Rick Bragg, Rituals, Superstitions, Tom Franklin, Writing A Book
Laura Hope-Gill, The Soul Tree, SIBA non fiction finalist is the first poet laureate, ever, of the Blue Ridge Parkway for the poems she wrote for The Soul Tree: Poems and Photographs of the Southern Appalachians.
Favorite book as a child? The A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh series.
What are you reading right now? World without End by Ken Follett
Why independent bookstores matter? Free thought requires access to small presses. Samizdat.
Favorite part of writing a book? The feeling of the Spirit of the thing helping me.
Least favorite part of writing a book? No least favorite part. It’s a dream come true.
Are you working on anything new? I’d like to write a book of poems about great architects.
Do you have any superstitions, lucky charms, or rituals around your writing? I am a monk. I’ve given my life to it.
Comment on the writing life… Everything feeds writing. Writing feeds everything.
Hardest part of the creation to publication experience? Getting the words right–then getting them better.
Why do you write? Because the world is made of words.
When do you write? Every free second.
When did you know you were a writer? When I learned about wishes.
What, or Who, would you dish on, as in gossip about? Dead architects. Sorry. That’s where I am in my life.
What would make you a scintillating dinner guest? Stories upon stories. I’m partially deaf so I talk a lot.
Who is your favorite new author? My old favorite: Alice Munro.
What is your drink of choice? Depends on the company!
What is your favorite food? Too embarrassed to say.
Alice Munro, Blue Ridge Parkway, Book Of Poems, Brickwork, Dinner Guest, Favorite Book, Favorite Food, Free Thought, Great Architects, Independent Bookstores, Ken Follett, Lucky Charms, Milne, Poet Laureate, Publication Experience, Rituals, Small Presses, Southern Appalachians, Stonemason, Superstitions, Tree Poems, Writing A Book
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