Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today, I’m chatting to the horror writer, Janine Pipe. Janine, like myself, is one of the writers featured in the Women of Horror Anthology, Vol 3 The One that Got Away published by Kandisha Press
Welcome to the tearoom, Janine. My first question to all my guests is, what would you like to drink?
Thank you for the invite to this amazing tearoom. My fave drink is a peppermint mocha, please.
Let’s started by asking you, when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
Well, I have always written, since school really but never seriously and not for public consumption. Not my fictional work anyway. About 10 years ago, I started to do some travel writing, mainly in regards to Florida and theme parks. Although it was factual, it really gave me the bug again. Then, about 2 years ago, I lost my job and decided that somehow fate had intervened and that I would write a book. Well, I sat in a beautiful garden in the middle of France and wrote 2 maybe 3 chapters of complete drivel and decided that a novel might be a tad ambitious. The rest as they say, is history.
Which writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
I think that I do well at creating interesting plots and workable twists. I have a decent grasp of grammar from having worked in a school. And a high standard of vocabulary. But I definitely need to get better at fleshing out my longer stories and working on consistency. At the moment, shorts are my strongest work but I want my novellas to reflect a similar path. And if that doesn’t work, I guess I can just write a collection of shorts.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
So my latest project is an 80’s slasher but set in the UK on the moors rather than the usual American camp or wood setting. And it is a newish idea which was inspired and encouraged by Cameron Roubique who really wanted me to write something set in the 80’s. After reading some of his slasher novels, and becoming friendly, he agreed to help me with some of the planning. It has had a rather slow start due to the UK being back in full lockdown but the initial thoughts and characters are taking shape, at least in my head. I will be sharing exclusive bits and pieces with my patrons too.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter? If you only write short stories, do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?
I am a real pantser. I have a rough idea of where I want the story to go and what it will involve but often I just write and see what happens especially in regards to the characters. Sometimes even I am surprised with how it pans out. For longer work though I do try to work to a bit more of a plan, just because as I tend to waffle in real life, I tend to waffle in stories and suddenly have 10 pages of complete drivel which has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot.
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
Ooooh yay! Here are my 5 most fave although I have a ton more.
Glenn Rolfe – encourages me and believes in me. Has influenced me by writing amazing creature features, coming of age and setting things in Maine. Awesome.
Hunter Shea – another writer who I could read all day and never get bored of. He has influenced using humour in my work.
Tim Meyer – the way he can mix thriller and horror is amazing.
Cameron Chaney – Cameron’s voice is just beautiful. I love everything about the way he writes. His work makes me cry and fills my heart with joy. I also adore the sense of nostalgia it evokes.
Dennis Lehane – Lehane is my favourite mainstream author. His dark thrillers are terrifying, proving time again for me that humans are the worst kind of monster. Again he sets his work mainly in Boston which is a city close to my heart.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
Those who don’t know me personally and read some of my darker stuff would likely be surprised to know how much I love Disney and that I am like a kid when I am in one of the parks. I am also a bit of an obsessive down to ensuring we wear matching clothes dependant on which characters we were meeting that day. It takes military precision to plan an effective WDW holiday.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I tend to write when I can, I don’t and can’t really have a schedule. When I can, I write in the afternoon. I work in the morning or until I finish the day’s gig (I am actually a freelance writer) and I get tired very easily so I wouldn’t likely produce the best I could in the evenings. Weekends when my husband is home is also a good time to lock myself away, although that is often filled with booktube, review and podcasting duties too. You’d think being home all day long would be ideal for an author, but when you’re working, home-schooling and sharing space, it bloody isn’t.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
I did during NaNoWriMo and when the world isn’t messed up and life gets back to some sense of normality, I will again. But I can’t do that right now. Sometimes I am lucky to find the time to jump in the shower let alone make words happen on the screen. I also don’t work well creatively under stress and pressure. I find if I *have* to write then the ideas just won’t flow … same with editing. I can stare at a screen for hours and not change a damn thing if I need to do it. If I just fancy pottering for a bit, I can knock out several thousand words. Typical.
How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
I have a group of favourite names that I can’t help but use over and over and then I often end up choosing names of people I know. For example, my story for TOTGA features one of my favourite’s – Adam and also another favourite – Jack who is also named for one of the Final Guys, Jack Campisi. In one of my as yet unpublished novellas, I have an MC called Cameron after my very good friend Cameron Chaney. And my latest novella which is the 80’s slasher, will have a Ben (after another good buddy, Ben Long) and an Alex (after reviewer buddy Alex Pearson). I actually find female characters much harder to name.
How long on average does it take you to write book or story?
There is no average really. It just totally depends on timing. I have been known to write an entire story that was good enough to be accepted in a day, and others have taken weeks just because of having to find minutes here and there to add to it and edit.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Janine. If you would like to find out more about Janine’s writing and books check out the links below:
Podcast – https://youtu.be/QQmfYggNKx0
Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/creator-home
Amazon page – https://amzn.to/3shavkZ
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.