Michael McGlade is the author of the tale “Around the Bend” in Dark Moon Digest 19.
1. Do you ever have dreams that give you ideas for a story?
A lot of my stories come from fragments of ideas and dreams, especially if I’ve fallen asleep thinking about a story I’m working on and I’ve had a slice too many of my patented six-cheese pizza. I came up with the idea of “six-cheese pizza” in a dream. But about my writing, exploring the idea of dream logic works well with horror writing, building on that sense of dread when the protagonist or reader doesn’t know if it’s real or not. I keep a notebook and when I think of something, or if I wake up mid-dream with an idea, I’ll scribble it into the notebook. Someday it might be a story.
2. Do you read works similar to your writing or do you enjoy an entirely different genre when you read for fun?
I read a lot, often picking books at random in the library or a secondhand bookstore, even on Amazon – although it’s much harder to pick something at random on Amazon because I’m always influenced by the rating.
I’ll pick a book based solely on the cover, sometimes.
Maybe just the first line.
And I start lots of books and don’t finish them – something I never did years ago, but now that I’ve got a kindle, I do more and more often. I don’t know why that is.
But I like taking chances with different genres, especially if I’m writing something at that moment; if I’m writing a horror story, I might read something by Alice Munro or James Ellroy. Reading a different genre than what I’m writing helps me draw a line between “work” and leisure. It let’s me know I’ve clocked off and should be relaxing.
3. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like to lounge around on the couch and binge watch Netflix – seriously it’s a resistance sport, far as I’m concerned. Takes a lot of mental stamina and doggedness to work your way though back-to-back episodes of Bloodline (still not sure what happened in the end of that one).
I’m taking an archery class – nothing at all to do with preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
I go to lots of concerts, a bad habit I got into when I was a music journalist.
And when I’m not doing any of that, I’m usually hanging around the discounted items aisle in my local supermarket.
4. Where do you do your best writing?
I probably do my best writing in zero gravity, but seeing as I’m earth-bound at the moment I guess I’ll just have to settle for “all right” writing. I’ll get up at 7 AM and start writing straight away, and not stop until I get 10 pages done. Sometimes it’ll flow and I’ll get done by early afternoon. Other times I’ll get nothing done – on those days you’ll find me curled up in a ball in the corner of the room wondering where it all went wrong.
Most of my best writing tends to be just before lunch when the second round of triple espressos have kicked in.
I tend to write in the living room on the couch typing direct into my laptop. I used to write longhand and transfer the notes into the computer, but not anymore.
But I mostly think my best writing happens in the redraft stage; after the mad rush of getting it all down in the first draft, I can then take the time to get rid of all the unintelligible shite I wrote and replace it with something decently coherent.
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