Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today, I’m chatting to the horror writer, Lucy Rose. Lucy like myself is one of the writers featured in the third volume of Women of Horror Anthology, The One that Got Away published by Kandisha Press
Please may I welcome you, Lucy to the tearoom. As always my first question to my guests is what would you like to drink?
Thank you for the invite to your lovely tearoom, Paula. The lift in was rather amazing. I’ve never traveled in a car with blacked out windows before. Oh, could I have tea please?
I’m so glad you weren’t put off by our driver, Lucy. Let’s start by asking you when you first begun your writing journey, what drew you to your chosen genre?
I found horror a few years after I started writing. I think that is because, for a while, I really hated writing about myself and my own personal traumas. Horror seemed frightening because it exposed a part of myself that I wasn’t ready to share. I found that, as soon as I faced my traumas, horror was no longer frightening – it was cathartic.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
I feel so lucky to be working on several really exciting projects at the moment, however, of all my projects, I am really excited about my manuscript. Sometimes, in writing, I can hide very easily behind the words, but with this story, there was nowhere to hide and I can’t believe how much it’s forced me to grow as a writer. I’m really excited about it and I hope to query later in 2021.
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
SHIRLEY JACKSON is and always will be my number one. She was the first writer who, I felt, understood the world the way I did. Reading her work became a religious experience that guided me through the terror and conflict I was experiencing in my own life. She taught me to write honestly – even if the end result looked ugly or strange. VIRGINIA WOOLF has an incredible voice. She is both delicate and tough. Her writing is a constant contradiction, but in a way that is desperate and emotional. I learned from Woolf to write what my instincts were telling me – even if it deviates from what people expect of you. CARMEN MARIA MACHADO has a stunning way of writing something that packs a punch, but using a simple and stripped back approach. Through stripping back the words, the emotion is direct. ANN RADCLIFFE – One of the founding mothers of Gothic. She was a pioneer in her own right and a wonderful writer. I admire her so much because she inspired what was to come in the gothic genre. MARY SHELLEY is a writer who has influenced me because of how she incorporated her own life experiences into her story through symbolism and thematics. She is clever and quick, and her commentary on her own traumas was critical for the gothic terror in her work.
When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?
Oh my, yes, absolutely. My life dictates everything that goes on the page. It’s a written ledger of all the things I have felt and feared.
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
All the research! And all the learning! My filmmaking career has always had a heavy focus on historical drama, so I have several really intense spreadsheets of historical data that contain all sorts of random goodies for when writing anything historical. Outside of research, on a more personal note, I learned what my creative voice is and how to wield it. That has been a career-altering experience – it’s almost as though I finally understand how to speak.
Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books (or stories, play, poem) whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience etc.
Haha, lots of buried trauma I think. There was a point I had to stop writing my book because I was being so triggered by the content. In those situations, hang tight, rest up and return to writing only when you are ready. Down time is not a bad thing, and it doesn’t make you a bad writer. It makes you someone who cares about personal wellbeing.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
Only while I am working on a big or ambitious project. I am a firm believer that we all need time off to dream and rest and recharge, but while I am working on something I know will be an undertaking, I write anywhere between 5k and 9k words a day. I make sure that my time off is extremely relaxed because when I work, it’s intense, it’s long hours and it’s a lot of brain power.
How many hours in a day do you write?
If the project is ambitious or large, I usually write for 8-10 straight hours, and then I rest and do freelance work in the evenings and grab a few hours sleep after. Tiring, but worth it. When the project is smaller, it’s whatever time I can grab – while I’m eating breakfast in the morning, while I’m on my lunch or just before bed.
How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
I like to view my characters as people who already exist – it is my job to get to know them rather than create them. I spend many months learning who they are and asking questions. It’s less about keeping lists about things they like and dislike and more about meditation and practicing writing them. I let the characters consume me and I let them speak to me through the writing. They’ll let me know if they don’t like what I am putting on the page. They always do.
What was your hardest scene to write?
For THE LADY CROW featured in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (Kandisha Press), I think the most troublesome part to write was the detail – especially towards the end when there is a scene featuring gore. Usually, I gravitate away from gore because I’ve encountered so many pieces or writing where it is there for the sake of being there. When it is written badly, it can be really hammy and not at all scary. I wanted to make sure I was wording the detail correctly and in a way that sent a chill down the reader’s spine – so I spent a few weeks workshopping just those short 800/900 words with four different writing groups.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Lucy. Our driver, Brutus will be happy to run you home, when you’re ready to leave.
For more information about Lucy’s writing and books click on the link below.
Social Media: @LucyRoseCreates www.lucyrosecreative.co.uk
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.