Ask the Author: Erica-Lynn Huberty

“Ask me a question.” Erica-Lynn Huberty

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Erica-Lynn Huberty Fictional book worlds are tricky--as far as this question goes--for they are not always fictional at all! Would I like to go to London in the 1890s and traverse the streets Sherlock Holmes did? Sure, but I wouldn't consider that world strictly fictional, only the plot placed in that world. How about Charlotte Bronte's wild moors? Of course! But what would I do there? Wait for ghosts to appear and drink a lot, most likely. With this outlook, I would likely prefer to inhabit the world of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. There, I would find the moody windswept wilds of Yorkshire, the plus parlors of London, and a lot of magic and witty conversation.
Erica-Lynn Huberty My 2017 summer reading list has already begun--in May--as I am reading advanced copies of books which will be released soon. "Happiness," a debut memoir by Heather Harpham is one I'm looking forward to diving into. On my list to read for pleasure are "How to Be Human" by Paula Cocozza and "The Good People" by Hannah Kent. Currently, I'm catching up on reading, "The Lumineries," and at some point this summer, I plan on reading "Shirley" by Charlotte Bronte, which I have also admittedly never read!

Erica-Lynn Huberty There was what could be thought of as a "mystery" that indeed formed the basis for my first (unpublished) novel. The book is called "Pulling Under," and revolved around a young woman whose friend has been murdered, but who is also looking for her missing biological father.
Erica-Lynn Huberty There are so many wonderful, complex couples and partnerships in fiction who remain indelible in my mind (Austen's Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars, or even Papa and his boy in The Road are but two), but probably the most lasting impression made by a fictional couple is Agatha Christie's Tuppence and Tommy Beresford. By the Pricking of My Thumbs was the first Christie I ever read, at about age 11, and I've read it several times since. The partnership, wit, and mutual respect the Beresfords have with and for each other, combined with savvy sleuthing, helps propel their stories and leaves the reader feeling that a couple can and should be like Tuppence and Tommy. In short, they are much like Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles, minus all the booze!
Erica-Lynn Huberty To paraphrase Flaubert: the best thing about being a writer is when you are no longer yourself, but moving in an entire universe of your own creating. To escape into this world, and be surrounded by characters you grow to love (or hate) and become attached to, is wonderful.
Erica-Lynn Huberty I have about three projects going at once. But I just finished an essay for the New York Times. It's called "The Wrong Dog," and it was a cathartic writing experience, but a difficult one.
Erica-Lynn Huberty My most recent book, "Watchwork: A Tale In Time," came about one night when driving past this enormous half-demolished factory in the town where my family and I live. It was late at night, Christmas time (with all the houses and shops lit up beautifully), and there was the sad old watchcase factory, half-covered in scaffolds, and literally crumbling (dangerously), with broken windows revealing an ominously black interior. And my son said, "You should write a ghost story that takes place in there." So I did.
Erica-Lynn Huberty I've never had writer's block. I've put aside things I am working on at times, but in the meantime work on something else. I think some writers who think they have writer's block are actually just fixating on one project for too long and need to take a break, move on to something else, and go back to the project they were having trouble with.
Erica-Lynn Huberty Without sounding negative, the most useful advice to aspiring writers is to know what you are getting into: a LOT of hard work, hundreds of re-writes, and persistence.
Erica-Lynn Huberty I have always been driven to tell stories, whether through written words, or art, since I was very little. Family lore has it that I did not speak a full sentence until quite late, but would often "draw" stories.

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