Home for Amalgam Publishing and its regional anthologies. A blog for readers, writers, thinkers, and artists of all kinds juxtaposed with the musings of an northern Californian independent author and literary consultant. Seeking frothing-at-the-mouth fans.
Interview With Leigh M. Lane, Author of Finding Poe
I am happy to have novelist Leigh M. Lane on the blog today to talk about her release, Finding Poe, which has been receiving rave reviews. She talks to me about her recent release, her writing process, and what motivates her writing.
Leigh: Finding Poe is a Gothic
horror novel written in the classic vein, inspired by Poe’s best works: Follow
the final moments before Edgar Allan Poe's mysterious death, journeying through
twisted bits and pieces of his musings, both brilliant and mad, in search of
the truth behind his final, unfinished work "The Lighthouse," while
unraveling the mystery behind the elusive woman desperately seeking the author
for answers behind her husband's haunted death.
Me: What sets your
most recent release, Finding Poe, from
other books of the same genre?
Leigh:Finding Poe is an original
take on Poe’s final days, offering a unique twist on the inspiration behind his
greatest works. During my research on
Poe, his poems, and short stories, I studied his style in great length,
ensuring that the novel not only pays homage to the Master of Gothic Romance,
but also effectively emulates the feel and ambiance of his work. Many authors have attempted to complete his
unfinished work “The Lighthouse,” but no one has used it as a springboard for
an original work about Poe’s death.
Me:How is the book
doing so far?
far as sales figures go, Finding Poe
has its ups and downs, but I have received nothing but positive feedback from
those who have read it. More than one
person has written to me to tell me it is my best work to date, hands down,
which tells me I’m doing something right….
Me: Any future
releases reader should be aware of?
have a short story set for release in an anthology titled A Splintered Mirage, edited by Trent Zelazny, but I do not yet know
the release date.
Me: Are you reading
anything right now, or have you read anything recently that is worth
just finished reading a brilliant literary compilation titled Indiahoma, written by A. Ray Norsworthy. Other works I’ve recently read that are worth
mentioning are Jerry Mckinney’s short horror “Patchouli,” Bryan Hall’s Whispers from the Dark, Trent Zelazny’s Destination Unknown, and Zombie Writing, edited by Armand
Rosamilia. Among a couple of other
books, I just started reading Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town and am thoroughly enjoying it.
inspire or motivate you to write? If so, what kind of music?
me, music often sets the ambiance for inspiration, but I generally do my actual
writing in silence. Among the selections
I find most motivating are Oingo Boingo’s Dead
Man’s Party album, Björk’s Debut,
Dvorák’s “New World Symphony,” and anything by Metallica, Queensryche, Tori
Amos, or David Bowie.
Me:Who are some of
your favorite authors? Favorite novels?
list of favorite authors is constantly changing, but those who have influenced
me the most on the long-term have been H.G. Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov,
Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, Roald Dahl, and Stephen King. As it stands right now, my favorite novels
are Louise Erdrich’s literary drama The
Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, Joseph Conrad’s dark satire
Heart of Darkness (novella), and Stephen
King’s classic horror The Shining.
Me:Are you one of
those people who don’t own a TV? Do you have any favorite TV Shows? Favorite
went for many years without a television and was quite content without it, and
then my husband and I moved into an apartment that offered free cable. It was all downhill from there. I started watching Animal Planet,
documentaries, and true crime shows, but quickly graduated to prime time. Right now, my favorite shows are Being Human, Fringe, and Raising Hope. My all-time favorite movie is Cube. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. It’s brilliant, creepy, and suspenseful all in one amazing, low-budget
Me:At what point in
your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Leigh: I've felt the drive to write nearly all my life, so it’s only natural I’ve hoped since
childhood that I might eventually find the means to survive off my
writing. I've held many titles
throughout my life, including corporate peon, department manager, collections
agent, secretary, and even frozen yogurt server . . . but behind every one of
those name tags, polo shirts, and business suits was a writer. I’ve never wanted to be a writer; I’ve always been one.
Me: Tell us about
your writing process.
a book is, for me, like making a mad dash over a cliff and hoping the drop
isn’t too deep. The words come, the
images flood my mind, and it is all I can do to record them before the next set
rush in to take their place. I generally
finish a draft within one to three months, and then spend the next several
months editing and revising. I am very
fortunate to have a small group of peers, all of whom are well educated, with
tons of experience under their belts, who are willing to send edits and
suggestions for free (although I do the same for them when they ask it of
me). They are all brutally honest,
slashing my work with the proverbial red marker when necessary, and I love them
all the more for it.
Me:Are the names of
the characters in your novels important?
depends on the story. In the case of my
corporate dystopia World-Mart, the
answer would be a definitive yes. I
wrote it in response to my experiences in the corporate workplace, but also in
response to the death of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The novel is my homage to the great authors of past and present, as well
as the dystopian genre. Every name in
that novel is a reference to an author I respect deeply.
Me:How do you
define success as a writer? Have you been successful?
a tough question. Although I won’t be
fully satisfied until my writing pays all the bills, I do believe success comes
in stages. For me, just knowing that
people are reading my work is a step in the right direction. Getting good reviews and private emails from
readers is huge. I’m nowhere near where
I want to be as an author, but I’ve come to find that success doesn’t happen
overnight. It’s a process, one that
takes years of perseverance and dedication. Right now, I’m moving through that process, learning as I go and slowly
but surely gaining a readership. I’m
good with being where I’m at, even though I know I have a long way yet to go.
Me:Do you have
words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers
out there who are starting out?
patient. Listen to the advice of people
who have been doing this longer than you have. Like I said above, this being a writer is a process, and you’re not
going to become a bestseller overnight. Find a nice, cozy place to store away your ego and leave it there. Network. Connecting with peers among your genre will not only give you a sense of
community, but will help you to find your place among that community. Get another college degree. Don’t think you need it? Refer back to my comment about leaving your
ego in a nice, cozy place. There is much
to learn, and the cocky, impatient, and willfully ignorant will eventually find
themselves left along the wayside.
readers walk away from your books knowing? How should they feel?
should walk away from my books feeling reflective and haunted. I rarely end my books on a happy note, but I
do end them on a provocative one with care and purpose.
Me:Do you have
anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
want to thank those who have taken a chance on this no-name writer, especially
those who have taken the time to leave reviews—which draw in other readers who
might be on the fence. I am very
grateful for the readership I currently have. While I would write incessantly even if I had not a reader in the world,
you all make it so much more worthwhile. Thank you.
More About the Author:
M. Lane lives in the beautiful mountains of Montana, where she writes
speculative fiction that spans from sci-fi to horror. All of her works contain
a gritty realism that hallmarks her unique voice, which also often has social
or political undertones. Her recent full-length releases are Finding Poe,
World-Mart and Myths of Gods. Leigh's
influences include H.G. Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, Clive Barker, Edgar
Allan Poe, Rod Serling, and Stephen King. Leigh
also writes erotic horror and space opera for a small press under a different
name, with one novel having been featured in the only collection of its kind on
the Home Shopping Network.