Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Post:

Curling Up By The Fire is pleased to welcome Spencer Seidel, author of Dead of Wynter (check out my review here) and the soon-to-be-released Lovesick (June 2012).  He is here to discuss his new novel as well as share some future projects he is currently at work on.  But first, take a look at the summary of Lovesick.

“‘He’s got a knife!’ Jimmy said after seeing the glint of a blade in the kid’s hand. Jimmy brought his gun up and squared it at the kid.”

A murder rocks Portland, Maine after police discover an incoherent teen sitting in a pool of blood late one night. Paul Ducharme is found with a murder weapon in one hand, the dead body of his best friend in the other, and no clue how he got to the Eastern Promenade Trail.

Wendy, the girl of Paul’s dreams, has been missing for weeks. Her boyfriend Lee has been murdered–apparently by Paul. It’s an open and shut case–or so most of Portland thinks.

When forensic psychologist Dr. Lisa Boyers is asked to interview Paul, who claims to forget the events leading up to the murder, she reluctantly agrees. In her jailhouse interviews, Lisa helps Paul to recover his memories, but the murder’s circumstances force her to recall her own troubled past. 

Media attention mounts. Reporters stream into Portland. All eyes turn to Lisa. She seems intent on exonerating the “brutal teen killer” but quickly finds herself the focus of an over-zealous reporter with a knack for digging up dirty secrets.  But the killer who has Lisa in the crosshairs already knows them all.

1. When and why did you begin writing?
In some sense, I feel like I’ve always been a writer. The compulsion began when I was about six or so, after reading books like The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. But it wasn’t until years later, after I’d more-or-less given up on a career as a musician, that I began to write fiction seriously. That was in my mid-twenties. I’m not so sure as to the why of it. It’s just something I feel like I need to do.
2. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Sol Stein, although I suppose he’s more well known as an editor. He wrote a wonderful book on the craft of writing called “Stein On Writing.” I keep some typed-up notes from that book handy to read every now and again. He’s a mentor I’ve never met.

3. What are your current projects?
I’m now working on a horror novel, or what you might call a supernatural thriller. It’s not gory, just creepy. It’s a bit of a departure for me, but I’ve been wanting to do it for a while. I’m not quite ready to reveal the plot or title, but I am excited about the project.

4. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Years ago, my mother had a battle with breast cancer. We’re a lot alike, so I knew she was terrified and in some ways feeling alone. I decided to write her a story to cheer her up. It was called “The Great Grey Cloud Problem.” It was a children’s story with an adult message: the world is only as dark as you make it. She loved it, and I think that’s when I thought, “Huh. Maybe I could do this.”

5. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing about being a writer for me is keeping the faith that it’s something worth doing. It’s awfully easy to get carried away by the doom-and-gloomers in the industry, or with the ego-maniacal folks in the industry you run into occasionally who don’t seem to realize that we’re all in this together. It’s a tough, tough business, and sometimes it’s hard for me to separate that from craft.
About this author
Spencer Seidel lives and works in suburban New Jersey but has also called Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine home. He is an honors graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and attended the Berklee College of Music to study guitar, which he has been playing for over 25 years. His love of reading and books began as a child after discovering Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Later, he was drawn to darker work by authors such as Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Jack Ketchum, who continue to influence his dark novels and short stories.

His debut novel, Dead of Wynter, was published in May 2011.