Secret Library Podcast

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The Book Dr.

#32 J.H. Moncrieff

JH Moncrieff | Secret Library Podcast | carolinedonahue.com
JH Moncrieff | Secret Library Podcast | carolinedonahue.com

J.H. Moncrieff is writing the next Gone Girl.

When Harlequin put out a request for writing submissions to create the next Gone Girl, J.H. Moncrieff won. She's one of two authors who were selected to write the parallel plots of this new thriller, coming out in 2017. Beyond this project, she's the author of The Bear Who Wouldn't leave, a seriously spooky novella. In this episode, we chat about the misconceptions around the horror genre and why books like Gone Girl definitely qualify to be members of that cannon. For those of you who love to get freaked out, this will be your episode. And for those of you, like me, who tend to lean in the "psychological thriller" direction, there's plenty for you to consider as well.

We also get into Moncrieff's incredible writing work ethic and how her journalism career has helped her write through any kind of block that appeared- including some very tough times in her life. If you want to follow the #noexcuses plan that we discussed in Natashia Deón's epsiode, this will be an excellent tune-up that keeps you returning to your story day after day until you get it done. Happy New Year and happy writing!

Listen up on iTunes | J.H.Moncrieff's website | The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave | Twitter | Facebook

Show Notes for Episode 32 with J.H. Moncrieff:

  • Happy New Year and intro (1:23)
  • The joy of writing suspense and horror & avoiding easy happy endings (4:00)
  • Getting around expectations and keeping readers on the edge of their seats (5:20)
  • Relating to characters  and dealing when bad things happen to them (5:45)
  • Progress reports on writing (7:00)
  • Figuring out how to get a backlog of manuscripts out (7:45)
  • The tension between writing as private vs. interacting with the public after being published (8:40)
  • What happens when your publisher closes and you have to move to another (10:00)
  • Winning the Harlequin search to write the next Gone Girl (11:40)
  • Working on a book as a co-writer with the framework already created (12:45)
  • How new characters and stories come to her (13:15)
  • Writing a book when you know the story in advance (13:45)
  • The challenge of making a character likeable (13:55)
  • Co-writing with a writer on the other side of the world (14:30) Mentioned: That Obscure Object of Desire
  • Regional language challenges with different kinds of English (17:30)
  • Finding Severed Press & how to find the right press for you (19:15)
  • Writing a novel on spec about sea monsters (20:30)
  • Hanging out in the grey area of the story (21:30)
  • How long it takes to write a novel (22:10)
  • Transitioning into fiction full-time (22:45)
  • The disconnect between psychological suspense as horror as a genre (23:30)
  • Why Gone Girl is a horror story and genres getting written off before people explore them (24:00)
  • Pulp horror from the 80s as the reputation for the genre (26:30)
  • Breakthrough books that bring people into a new section of the bookshop (27:00)
  • The challenge of breakthrough books (27:40) Mentioned: Anne Rice
  • Gender bias in the horror genre (27:50)
  • Cultivating a friend who helps you get into publishing (29:45)
  • The importance of networking across genres as a writer (33:00)
  • The impact of journalism on being a novelist (33:50)
  • Treating writing as a business & how to hit deadlines (34:20)
  • Sitting down to write & how to stay on task (35:45) Mentioned: NaNoWriMo
  • Persevering through personal trauma in life (38:15)
  • Why writing more than one book at once doesn't work (39:55) Mentioned: Progress bars on this page
  • Reading more than one book at once (42:20)
  • What J.H. is reading and her love of food memoirs & cozy mysteries(43:00) Mentioned: Insatiable | Ruth Reichl | Joanne Fluke | Max Tudor mysteries | On Writing by Stephen King
  • Saying thank you to writers (49:30)

This episode sponsored by Pretty by Post

Pretty By Post | Dear Book Dr. |carolinedonahue.com
Pretty By Post | Dear Book Dr. |carolinedonahue.com