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 horror writer, Eric Labrie. Welcome to the tearoom, Eric.
Thank you for the invite, Paula.
Now we have our refreshments let me start by asking when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I mainly write horror, dystopian, and Science-fiction because those are the genre I read most. When I started my writing journey, I had my Birdman Project story in mind, which is why I started writing into the dystopian genre. The other genres (horror and science fiction) came when I started to submit to Black Hare Press calls (it was the Dark drabbles at the time.) These calls gave me the perfect opportunity to try my hand at the other genres.
What writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
I think descriptions and “emotions” are my forte. I mean emotions because I like to go deep into the characters thoughts, feelings, how they see and react to their environment, etc. I like to create thick ambience, dark and unsettling moods. In fact, that’s what I prefer and it’s often how I start my stories. I create a thick ambience that gives the voice to the story.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My latest project was a novella I wrote for the BHP dystopian call. It was a story I had on my list for years and the call gave me the opportunity to write it. I had all the notes, the general plot, and I knew exactly how it had to end. It’s probably one of the work I’m the proudest of (read here the darkest one I have written.) I wanted a story that wasn’t all about action and violence but more about the deep and troubled psychology behind the characters, and moreover, the bonding between the MC and a young boy. I can’t tell much, but the story deals with a lot of heavy stuff.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
I don’t have any unfinished project. I always finish what I’ve started before jumping into another project.
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?
Pantser team here! Ok, not totally pantser. Sometimes I plot the whole story and other times I’m too lazy to do it, or I feel like going straight into the serious stuff, unprepared. Sometimes, when I do plot, I end up with exactly what I had initially envisioned, other times I just let my mind go wild and I end up with a totally new story than what I had first imagined.
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?
1) Algernon Blackwood (for his powerful and scenic descriptions, as well as the way he slowly builds the climax in his story.)
2) William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist is a major work and one that deeply influenced me for so many reasons. His writing is incredible, simple yet striking.)
3) Ray Bradbury (his imagery and prose are simply unequalled. Not always easy to follow, especially for people whom English is not their first language. But, wow! An incredible author.)
4) H.P. Lovecraft (Lovecraft inspires the way I tackle my horror stories. Thick ambience, plenty of scenic description, weird stories that evolves slowly but strongly building a climax that leads to the final scene.)
5) Boris Vian (I can’t say he is among my favorite authors, but his book “L’Écume des Jours” inspired me in many ways. How it starts easily and naively and ends up in a dark, cynic world. And the ending is pure gold.)
Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books or stories whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience, etc.
Most of my stories are dark, often cynic, and rarely do I place humankind on a pedestal. To put it simply my vision of the world almost always transpires into my stories in a way or the other. And, most of the time, Nature plays a strong role, and I don’t pass on any occasion to make human faces nature and show how pitiful and ridiculous we are when facing these forces we have no power over.
How many hours in a day do you write?
I try to write at least one hour a day. During my lunch time at work. Sometimes I also write when I come back home, and every morning or the weekend.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. My “pen name” is just my name (E.L. for Eric Labrie and Giles is my mother’s name.) I wouldn’t write under the name Labrie though since it sounds too “Frenchy” and I wanted something a bit more “universal”.
How long on average does it take you to write a book and story?
I’m a slow writer. Even if I can lay many words a day, revising my stories until I am satisfied with it takes a lot of time. A full novel can takes me between 6 to 12 months. I’m quicker with short stories and novella. My most recent novella took me about 1 month to write.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Eric. To find out more about Eric’s writing click on the links below:
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.