In “Hunger: A Confession,” the trouble really starts when the protagonist hides the bundle of tools under his bed. What is it about “under the bed” that scares us so much?
I think it has to do with the fact that we’re at our most vulnerable when we’re sleeping. Any hidden space—an open door into the hall, a closet door standing just ajar—can serve to terrify us. The bed is worse because you’re right over that hidden space, in the eye of the abyss.
You mentioned on your blog that you’d switched to doing most of your writing longhand. Has that changed your writing process significantly?
These days I’m doing most of my writing on the computer again, but writing by hand helps speed the process for me. Even though I can type faster, I write by hand more freely. Knowing that I’m going to have to keyboard it in at some point lifts the burden of trying to make the prose perfect the first time. I’m constantly trying to trick the muse out of the habit of perfectionism. Right now, I’m writing in bold-face type, single-spaced and justified (so I don’t obsess over the ragged right margin). Probably I’ll go back to hand-writing at some point. It seems like different projects require different tricks. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just neurotic.
What are you working on these days?
I seem to have hit a dry spell in short fiction after a very productive summer, so I’m wading back into my endlessly stalled novel. The less said about that process the better. I have yet to trick my muse into making that project work.
Any upcoming publications readers should be on the lookout for?
I just had a story at Tor.com, and I have another one coming out there sometime next year. I have a piece in the October issue of Clarkesworld Magazine, and a yet-to-be-scheduled story in inventory at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Did you have a monster under your bed or in your closet that you were scared of as a kid? What was it like?
I absolutely had a monster under my bed, but I don’t know what it looked like because I never worked up the courage to take a peek. Probably for the best, or we wouldn’t be talking now. I’m still leery of hanging a foot over the edge of the bed. You never know what might reach out and grab it.
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