Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Giving People the Willies

by Stephanie Black

My visiting teachers came yesterday. One of them is currently reading my new book. She didn’t read my first book, though she did give it as a gift to her in-laws (and they loved it—I just had to add that. They loved it! You will too! Buy it!) Anyway, this is her first exposure to my writing. Is it perchance giving her a new view of me? She remarked—in a friendly way--that I have a “dark mind.” Hmm.

In the same vein, my oldest daughter was listening to my book on audio last week. She heard me outside her door, so she opened it and informed me, “You are a flippin’ maniac.” She then came into my room and kept making frightened squeaky noises. Apparently I had succeeded in creeping her out. I’m kind of proud of that.

I also managed to geek her out at the mall the other week, though for a slightly different reason. We were shopping for prom dresses—trust me, the prom dresses for sale at the mall are far scarier than anything I’ve ever written—and as we were wandering hopelessly among racks of dresses with necklines so low they’d make the Mariana Trench look shallow, I got a wonderfully creepy idea for a little plot twist in my work-in-progress (no, it didn't have anything to do with prom dresses). I was pleased with the creepiness of the idea and kept thinking about it, which apparently gave me a zombie look. “Mom, stop thinking about your novel!” Well, sorry, but it was a cool idea (we found a dress, by the way. JCPenney, on sale. Perfect, except it was sleeveless. Apparently there has been a legislative ban on sleeves when it comes to prom dresses. So a friend in the ward, who is my new favorite person, sewed my daughter a darling jacket to match the dress so it was For-the-Strength-of-Youth. I am not good at sewing and hate it, so I was VERY grateful to my friend.)

Anyway. Since I write suspense, my VT’s and my daughter’s reactions to my book aren’t the first time I’ve gotten comments about my creepiness. (Just to clarify for anyone who hasn’t read my stuff, this is LDS fiction. We’re not talking Stephen King here. No icky, graphic violence or anything else that I wouldn’t let my Stake President read. But these are suspense stories; they’re meant to get your heart rate up and your adrenaline surging).

My current work-in-progress is pretty creepy too, but the creepiest thing about it at the moment is the fact that it’s an utter mess and I’m having trouble figuring out the climax. Maybe I should go to the mall again and see if a good idea comes to me. I’m sure my daughter would love that--especially the part where I wander around with glazed eyes.


At 3/19/2008 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie, I love it. I read an article somewhere- can't remember the author- but basically the gist was, what other job can you have where staring off into space is considered working?

And nicely done on creeping people out. Means you've told a good story. :-)

Nancy Allen

At 3/19/2008 7:35 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I don't know why, but I found the blindfold in FMT to be just really creepy, probably because of the adhesive.


And Evelyn, of course. =)

At 3/19/2008 10:05 PM, Blogger Jennifer Leffler said...

I need this book. Hopefully the LDS bookstore in Omaha will be carrying it, but I have to wait until a week from Saturday to go there. Darn.

At 3/20/2008 1:13 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thanks, Nancy!

Jon, it will creep you out more to know that my daughter informed me I'm going to be like Evelyn when I get older. I don't THINK so!

Jennifer, I'm crossing my fingers that your bookstore will have my book. I can't wait for you to read it!

At 3/20/2008 2:26 AM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

I'm looking forward to getting my copy of FMT!

And I'll tell you, if I were stuck in a mall, surrounded by dresses, I'd get creepy ideas, too!

At 3/24/2008 1:39 PM, Blogger L@pterces said...

My Seagull Book catalog came over the weekend so I showed the listing for your book to my mom- she was creeped out, too!

Oh, and regarding the legislative ban on sleeves for prom dresses, don't forget the state you live in elected AHH-nold as governor. Nothing there would surprise me.


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