Today I have Lizzie Harwood, author of TRIUMPH, talking about why she writes “eerie”. Lizzie’s book was recently reviewed by my bookish BFF, Ivory Owl Reviews, and her review is worth checking out! And just in case you need more incentive- TRIUMPH is on a special e-book price deal (99 cents!) until April 28th at Amazon!
But, enough from me.. Lizzie has stories to tell…..
“Why I Write ‘Eerie’”
To many, New Zealand epitomizes glorious landscapes and rolling pastures dotted with fluffy white sheep. Volcanoes might puff in the distance, but it’s a land of hobbits, beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and a lifetime of panoramic holiday snaps.
Yes, NZ is all that. If you can see. But when you’re as myopic as I am, the rugged unkempt landscape takes on an undercurrent of creepy. I always preferred curling up and reading rather than climbing pohutakawa trees or run barefoot among the wetas. If you’d like to see a weta, go ahead and wiki that, they are big.
We grew up on an island with no electricity. We had generators, as did many, but some classmates had a “long drop” instead of flushing toilet (that’s a purpose-built hole in the ground… one friend fell into theirs at a birthday party and had to be fished out). All of that gets icky if you can’t see past your nose. My apt and energetic siblings tired of my squeamishness in the bush… but I couldn’t distinguish between bark and beast. And I watched the news back then (New Zealand only had two television channels) with lead stories of hikers getting lost in the bush for weeks. I learned words like perished, dehydration and hypothermia by age seven.
Even cityscapes took on an air of menace: see that gently-sloping mountain in the background? It’s a volcano.
No wonder in my short story collection the nights are black, the rain hoses down, the locals are… strange, and the narrators are even stranger. Some see pretty clouds at sunset, while I see how dark and foreboding the winding roads are.
I have what my mother terms, a vivid imagination. I tended to feel things rather than see them. I have no memories of the house I lived in until I was six other than how cold the bathroom was.
My stories set in New Zealand include suspense, disorienting narratives, and tense scenes of hanging out in a bone cave. Yep, I did that as a kid. Followed a very odd man into his long, dark cave lined with animal skeletons, with two human skeletons at the end. It was sort of a tourist attraction near my house. Like the catacombs of Paris, you could say, but totally unsupervised.
I never mentioned to my mother I went in there. Or she’d have freaked out.
However, just because my internal Instagram filter is set to ‘sinister,’ it doesn’t mean you can’t visit NZ and have a fabulous time.
Lizzie Harwood is the author of “Triumph: Collected Stories” and has a memoir, “Xamnesia: Everything I Forgot in my Search for an Unreal Life,” launching late May 2015. When she isn’t writing, she’s neck-deep in editing. Visit www.editordeluxe.com and http://www.lizziehbooks.com, Lizzie Harwood Books on Facebook, and @lizziehbooks on Twitter for the latest.
So… Will you be taking any trips to New Zealand now that you have seen the area through Lizzie’s eyes? 😉
Don’t forget- TRIUMPH is 99 cents (e-book) till April 28th!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T