The release of Twisted is getting closer! Soon, I'll have the physical copy in my hands.
Today, I'd like to introduce you to a fellow NYC Midnight participant, Juliet Meredith.
Writing stories long before I could spell, I first received formal commendation for my writing in the 8th grade ('92/’93) when my student writing portfolio received the highest rating (distinguished) given under the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act. Three years later, I auditioned successfully in creative writing to attend the 1996 Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts. This three-week program, considered a flagship of its type in the nation, seeded a love for my generation's voice and an understanding of the art of giving and receiving constructive criticism. I earned my B.A. in English in 2001 from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. Four years later, I began adding to my studies in creative writing through MFA-led community classes at what would later become The Muse Writing Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Through moving to Oregon in 2006 and becoming a parent, I've continued my writing in poetry, fiction and non-fiction. "Freeze Burned" is my first short story to be included in an anthology and the first of my writing to be widely published in any way.
Name of story included in Twisted:
Describe the mood of your story.
Readers will feel the enormity of what has already happened to the main character Icy within the first few paragraphs of the story. The most physically painful and psychologically scarring parts of her life lay behind her, but the character we meet still has intense "after shocks" to deal with. I chose her nickname "Icy" for a number of reasons, not the least of which, I felt it worked well with a story that bombards the senses with suggestions of physical coldness. And for readers who manage to avoid getting sympathy chills, they're sure to still break out in goosebumps more than once while weathering the twists and turns of this short psychological thriller.
Where did you get the inspiration for this piece?
I took the NYCMidnight Short Story Challenge in early 2016 and received the following prompt in round two of the competition: Genre - Horror, Character - Smuggler, Plot Point - A Confession. As I drifted off to sleep thinking about what I needed to weave together, Icy's story came to me.
What is your favorite thing about writing horror?
Oddly enough, "Freeze Burned" represents my first foray into the genre. Up into my late 20's, I remained very susceptible to excessive fear and even sleep disturbances in response to exposure to horror movies. I shunned the genre in every medium. When I received the challenge from NYCMidnight to face this fear of my own, I found the process incredibly cathartic. It also bonded me to my character as she and I were both facing a fear we'd promised ourselves we'd never venture back to. Now that I've tried it once, I can't imagine not writing more in this genre.
What are you working on now?
I have 18 novels I've started writing and none finished. I am currently taking part in the NYCMidnight Flash Fiction challenge, and after completing the second short short for it, I found I had much more of that particular tale (a fantasy) to tell, so in the immediate future, I'll be finishing, editing and workshopping another short story I imagine will fall right in the 4K-word range. November is National Novel Writing Month and I have a tough choice on my hands as to which of my 18 novel starts I'd like to try to finish.
I enjoyed "Freeze Burned."
The futuristic setting felt easy and natural and the twist has me taking a closer look at people.
More Twisted interviews to come!