Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Kate Jonez: Five Things I Learned Writing Ceremony Of Flies

Two petty criminals find themselves inextricably linked when a stop at a roadside bar leads to murder. On the run and out of options, they reluctantly rescue a stranded boy and his dog from a lonely crossroads in the Mojave Desert and decide for the first time in their lives to do the right thing. But this one selfless act unleashes a terrifying onslaught of demonic trouble as they struggle to save the boy—and themselves—from an evil far greater than they ever imagined.

1. We Were Somewhere Around Barstow

Barstow, California has a Home Depot. Who knew?

2. The Method

Writers can learn something useful from method actors. Back in the 20th Century, two schools of acting battled for prominence. Classical actors sought to create a lifelike portrayal by studying people and applying the knowledge to their performance. They worked from the outside in. Method actors searched for an emotion similar to what the character was feeling and used that information to inform their performance. They worked from the inside out. Up until I wrote Ceremony of Flies, I used the classical approach. I can’t quite remember why I had the idea to try the method approach but EUREKA. This was a breakthrough. Infusing a scene with a specific emotion bumped up the quality of my writing a level or two.

3. Scary Nuns And Cool Mythology

Christian mythology is more interesting than I thought. I’ve shied away from Christian themes because the world has enough stories about Satan and hell and clergy battling demons, and what do I know about it anyway? I discovered there’s plenty of other cool myths to explore. Also, Nuns are scary. Really, really scary.

4. The Power Of The Novella

Novellas aren’t short novels or long short stories. They’re a distinct literary form with interesting limitations and possibilities. Subplots and multiple point-of-view characters belong in novels. The most successful short stories are told in a single scene with a single point-of-view character. (Of course there are exceptions to this rule. Please list all instances that prove me wrong in the comments. Start with Beowulf) Novellas fit in an interesting middle space. Like short stories they are best when they stick to one point-of-view character and like novels they have the space for multiple scenes. It’s an intriguing form to work with. Novella’s dip a little bit deeper into the world without going in for full emersion. An added bonus is that novellas are especially well suited for reading electronically. Readers seem to like being able to finish a book in one sittings. It appeals to the movie watching instinct.

5. What Happens In Vegas

In 1910 a law was passed in Las Vegas that forbade all forms of gambling including flipping coins. This harsh law inspired gamblers to take their games underground. The lesson here is: fun cities like Las Vegas develop when conservative law makers are in charge, so elect those folks… No, maybe there is no lesson. Las Vegas is still pretty cool.

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Kate Jonez writes dark fantasy fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award nominated novel Candy House is available at Amazon in print and ebook. Ceremony of Flies is forthcoming from Dark Fuse July 8, 2014.

She is also chief editor at Omnium Gatherum, a small press dedicated to publishing unique dark fantasy, weird fiction or literary dark fiction in print and ebook. Three Omnium Gatherum books have been nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards.

Kate is a student of all things scary and when she isn’t writing she loves to collect objects for her cabinet of curiosities, research obscure and strange historical figures and photograph Southern California where she lives with a very nice man and a little dog who is also very nice but could behave a little bit better.

Kate Jonez: Website

Ceremony of Flies: Amazon