Thursday, June 21, 2007
Interview with Heather Ingemar
Where did you get the idea for such a unique twist on an old tale?
I don't want to say I had an 'idea' for it because Lear kind of came to me rather than me seeking him out. One day, in August '06, I just had this vivid image of this dark-haired man with grey eyes walking into his apartment late at night. He had a gun and was a cop, and somehow, I knew he was different. So I sat down at my computer and started writing. Next thing I knew, he was a vampyre--though not in the tradional sense, he had a girlfriend, there was this thing with a mad scientist, and wham! It was all there. I think I wrote it all in about three days. A lot of my fiction is like that. I don't write until the character comes to me and essentially says, "Hey! Lady! I've got a story for you!"
Are you a vampire fan yourself? If so, what are your favorite shows/movies/books?
Definitely! Although it's rather funny--I still have not read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (don't tell my Brit. Lit. professor!). So, I guess I should say: yes, I'm a vampire fan, but with the caveat that they aren't nasty. I like my monsters to defy the concept of "monster." You'll find that a lot in my fiction. Nothing is quite how you'd expect it.
Anyhow, my favorite vampire media. I am a fan of the Underworld movies and of course, "Nosferatu," although it's got to be the 1800 vintage black-and-white film. As far as T.V. goes, the few episodes I saw of Buffy were good. Ironically, I haven't read much vampire literature, although I really liked "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer and "Covenant with the Vampire" by Jeanne Kalogridis. I read a poem in Brit. Lit. class called "Cristabel," I forget who by. The vampire lady in that one was nasty, but I was rather fond of the poem because the vampiress wasn't at all like the more traditional concept of a vampire. She didn't suck blood (at least, it wasn't mentioned), and she was more akin to a snake with hypnotic powers than a bat or something. Rather unusual.
This is short fiction? Tell us how the eBook differs then from a more conventional novel:
Yes, "Darkness Cornered" is a short story. As for how the ebook differs from a more conventional novel, well, for starters, the format. There's a big difference between paper and a computer screen. Secondly, you can purchase it online and read it right away--instead of having to wait for two weeks while it's in the mail. In my opinion, the short story really excells in the digital medium. The demands on a reader's time are less, not to mention, people who don't want to invest the time and effort into reading a novel tend to be more willing to pick up a short. The ebook medium also allows for greater expression of creativity. For example, in my experience, print magazines are are looking for a certain kind of fiction and they only have so many pages to display it in. In the ebook medium, however, there aren't the space constraints. The author has a bit more leeway with length. It isn't so crucial that it be over so many words, or under. There's breathing room. And with breathing room, creativity blossoms.
Why keep it short? Is there more story you’d like to develop later?
Keeping "Darkness Cornered" short was an editing call I made early on. A couple weeks after I'd written the story, I started filling in the backstory. I started where Lear met Kai and began writing up to the time when he enters his apartment. Halfway through, I got bogged down. There was too much, it was interfering with the sharpness of the part I'd already written. So I decided to start cutting. Then I realized that there was a lot of good info on the V-mutation that wasn't in the story I'd written. I made the call. Cut what I can of the slog, and keep the necessary info for inclusion in the short. It was tough, but that's what I did.
Looking back over it, I think, "you know? There are parts that could have been fleshed out a little better." Then again, who can't not look back over their work and continue to see room for improvement? They say hindsight it 20-20....
As for further development of the story later, I don't know. Certainly not with Lear, but Kai is still out there. She's got a whole life to pick back up again. She's starting over. If she wants her story told, I'll know. As for right now, no more development is planned.
Aaah, what's next. I've got two upcoming works with Echelon Press (http://www.echelonpress.com/): a horror short story titled "A Slip of Wormwood" and a fantasy novella titled "Prophet's Choice." "Wormwood" was really a hoot to write, it's morbid and wonderfully twisted. "Prophet's Choice" was a story I'd started about three years ago that I couldn't leave alone. I slogged away on it as a novel for, well, about three years, and managed to finish it last Thanksgiving. It was horrible when I shelved it, terribly lack-luster. Then around February, I got to thinking about it again and pulled it out. I realized it needed a serious trim to give it the necessary shine. So I set about it. In short order I had the story I'd envisioned all along. Much happier about it, I polished it and sent it to my publisher. The rest, as they say, is history.
As for current projects, I'm working on a novella series tentatively titled "The Angels of Shadow." I refuse to divulge too many details until it's finished, but I will say that it's a rather odd love story. Kind of like "Beauty and the Beast," only not. (As if that didn't confuse you!) I'm also working on another horror short story and a fantasy short story that's been bugging me since December.
Other than that, it's just life on the farm.