We talked to the author of thrillers, paranormal and otherwise, about books, writing and the myth of “writers’ block”.
My Writing Life – Blake Crouch
Blake Crouch is a prolific writer in the horror and mystery genre, the author of author of more than ten novels plus multiple novellas and short stories. His stories have appeared in Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Thriller 2, and other anthologies and much of his work has been optioned for film. His most recent work, Eerie, was written with his brother Jordan, will be released as an eBook in September 2012; it is a chilling gothic thriller in the classic tradition of The Shining and The Sixth Sense. His recently released novel Run, about a rash of bizarre murders across America, is currently topping horror bestseller lists.
What is the most interesting thing about eBook publishing?
The financial and creative freedom it allows me to write whatever I want without having to run my ideas through a legacy publisher’s marketing committee.
Tell us about your most memorable fan letter.
A woman whose son was incarcerated read my own favorite short story of all I’ve written (“Unconditional“) about a parent whose child is in prison for an unimaginable crime. She told me it had brought her comfort and asked to share it with a support group for parents of children in prison. They read it and she shared some of their comments. Truly moving and reminded me why I write fiction in the first place — to make that emotional connection with a reader.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No. I believe writer’s block comes when writers don’t do their homework from the beginning and start in on a book when they don’t know where it’s going, don’t know the characters, and don’t understand the three-act structure.
What is your favourite book?
My all-time favorite novel is Cormac McCarthy’s western horror Blood Meridian.
What is your favourite book about the craft of writing?
My favorite book on the craft of writing is actually a book on screenplays by the late great Blake Snyder. It’s called Save the Cat, and it’s the best study of 3-act-structure I’ve ever read. It’s of course geared to the screenplay form, but since I’ve come to understand proper three-act-structure, it has revolutionized my writing and, more importantly, drastically reduced my need to re-write. I think a lot of writers don’t understand proper structure (I didn’t, I just flailed around at it). They have ideas about it from books and a lifetime of watching film, but truly understanding how structure works frees you up in so many ways. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Second best book on writing is Stephen King’s On Writing. Truly brilliant inspiring, and a must have.