I write a lot, and I talk almost as much.
Is it an incessant need to fill the silence or a wish to be heard that drives me? Is it money, fame, or notoriety?
Yes and no. I crave to be heard as much as the next guy, and I can’t pay my bills in used book donations. I want to be known for something once I’m gone. I want to make a mark on the world. I want my name to be known.
But are those the only reasons I write? Absolutely not.
What I Write
Ignoring all popular advice, I don’t write in primarily one genre. In fact, at any given time, I can be writing books in several different genres, and some of my stories have refused to be pigeonholed into a genre at all. But the four genres that pop up most often in my writing are horror, suspense, romance, and queer fiction.
- Horror – My first love has always been dark fiction. From the time I could read, I was choosing books about ghosts, goblins, and vampires, and that hasn’t changed much. I love horror, and that’s why I’ve written books like Darkness Comes. It’s an integral part of who I am. (My horror is now housed under the name Coda X. Napeland.)
- Suspense – The first novel I ever completed was suspense. It’s called Maladaptation, and it’s the first in a series called Deviant Behaviors. The series centers on a detective named Harry Thresher who refuses to play by the rules, even when it could cost her the only job she’s ever wanted to do.
- Romance – Against my better judgment, I wrote my first romance novel this year. Setup is the story of a single mom’s journey back into dating, relationships, and love. I never wanted to be a romance writer, but when I get started writing a love story, it’s sometimes hard to stop. Who knew I had it in me? (Not I.)
- Queer fiction – Most of my stories have a queer element. By queer, I try to take into account all possible incarnations of LGBT/SAGA, and usually have at least one queer character in every story. Even when the characters aren’t queer, I’m always writing from a queer perspective; it’s just who I am.
When people have asked me why I write in the past, I have usually stumbled over my answer. “I write because I’m a writer” doesn’t cut it. I could say I like to tell stories, as well, but that doesn’t really explain things, either. I write to entertain, to frighten, to get readers on the edge of their seats, or to make your heart thump a little harder.
What’s more, I write because I want to see more queer narratives in the world. When I’m on my deathbed, I want to be able to say that I created characters to look up to, adore, or fear that aren’t the same over-represented majority I’ve read about my whole life.
Two Things for You
Speaking of my writing, just before Halloween of this year, I released my first box set, a dark/strange fiction compilation called Gross-Out, Horror, and Terror. (This anthology no longer exists; the content within was cannibalized for the Coda X. Napeland project, Spookygirls.)
And what goes better with writing than reading?
I read. A lot. Every day. Sometimes multiple books at a time.
Earlier this year, I won a copy of Have a Bite (The Vampires of Brooklyn, #1) by R. G. Emanuelle, and I just got around to reading it. So far I’m halfway in, and I’m loving it! (I’ll review it later this month.) Vampire lovers, check it out.