The Writing Muse by Paul DeBlassie
Today, we’re shining the book spotlight on the psychological/paranormal novel, The Unholy thanks to Rebecca’s Writing Services. Paul De Blassie, is a International book awards winner and he shares the writing muse, the making of a writer and what scares him the most.
Paul: Pondering the muse is nothing I want to do too up close and personal. It’s like looking for too long directly into the sun. It’ll blind you. While I was finishing up some of the final writing of the Unholy, my daughter, Victoria, a sculptress, would warn me, “Dad, be careful..the muse will always want more and more. She’ll take over your life if you let her.” I’ve more or less listened to the wisdom coming from my daughter and I’ve found that doing so has served me well. The muse and I stay on good terms so that I don’t burn myself out or blow myself out with the white hot energy that is present during the writing process. I leave the desk each day knowing that I’ve left some in and that is the way it should be. I don’t want to keep going and listening to the sirens who beckon to me to go a little further, a little more into dark creative waters after a full day already spent giving birth to the words, sentences, paragraphs, and scenes. I pay respect to the muse at the end of each in the secret way that I do, leave her and myself wanting more but leaving the more on the table. That way there’s something for me to return to, refreshed and ready, the next day. You know, as I am writing this I see the muse, and she smiles knowingly and hopefully. She hopes one day I’ll listen to her and be seduced into more and more and more and not stop…and this is a good thing to know because then maybe by keeping it in mind I’ll keep my balance between truth to self and heeding the call of the muse.
The making of a thriller writer. I have to state something that I hope is not a cliché. But, I really believe writers are indeed born and not made. Of course, it takes years and years of work, reading, writing, and editing and editing and editing before things come together. This is definitely the making of a writer, but the initial stuff needs to be there. I couldn’t be a computer programmer or software engineer for all the oolong tea in China. It’s just not in me. However, I do have it in me and have had it in me to write and write til I get it write. If we’re born with the inspiration, if we want to write, then something is there. In The Unholy I had to keep going, the inspiration and compulsion were so strong that the energy literally felt as if it was electric and going to shoot out my fingertips and the top of my head if I didn’t write it out. The making of a horror writer, one who wants to write about the dark side and thrills of the psyche, is about doing what you feel when it comes to putting words on the page and letting no one dissuade you. There is discouragement, but that only comes when we need to step back a bit and rest. If we are patient and don’t enter into the Hades Hall of Abandoned Hope then we’ll find that energy returns. The making of a writier is about writing and never stopping the writing, letting it come together as it does in its own way and in its own time.
As an author, what scares me the most is the day I’m not scared. Fear is a healthy part of being alive. It doesn’t have to cripple us. If it does then we’re not listening to something that we need to turn inside and hear. Otherwise, fear especially when conjured within a horror story helps us in life by getting us to face things on the page that symbolically we’ve been wrestling with. We might never have had to face a raging Archbishop; but, what if we’ve been raised in a rigidly religious home and the face of God is manifest in the face of the minister or priest. What if, as you are reading you suddenly, on a primal level, feel the terror of being reproved by the Almighty for having fallen short in your life and being condemned. Well, that kind of fear is a good thing because it brings us face to face with a destructive emotion that can be faced and felt in the story, the reader finding a little catharsis and perspective, and maybe discovering a little more freedom in the process from what just doesn’t make sense. Respecting fear and its power to inform and motivate is something that I hope to do for the rest of my life as I continue to explored horizons of horrifying stories that provide catharsis and a little perspective. When, as an author, I’m open to catharsis as I’m writing, feeling the fear of the character, the young curandera facing the evil archbishop, then I’m open to continuing to change and grow as a writer and never fear ceasing to grow, change, horrify, and perhaps transmogrify.
The Unholy Excerpt
“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.
Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room.
Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.
Turning toward the window, Claire say a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.
All but two flew off, disappearing into the pinon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.
Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.
The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.
The crows waited, watched, and then flew away.
About The Unholy
“A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.”
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PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.