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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Guest Post Tragic Silence by E.C. Hibbs

Description:

When tragedy strikes Bianka Farkas one night in her native Hungary, she loses more than a friend and her mobility. Some things are harder to understand. Waking up in a hospital, Bee struggles to remember exactly what happened the night she was attacked and witnessed a brutal murder. Memories of a mysterious figure plague her as well as bizarre and terrifying changes in her over the next few years. Facing this new horrifying reality with a surprising ally, Bee finally has the chance to take her revenge but at what cost?

Author's TOP TEN "things" Writing must have

1. External hard drives and memory sticks
I can’t stress this enough. Backing up my files is my number one priority. I’ve lost count of the amount of times stories have disappeared, or become corrupted, or I saved them to the hard drive and then the PC died. So I always save novels, their notes, concept artworks, or anything related to them, onto memory sticks. It just helps to take a weight off my shoulders.

2. A library to rival Belle’s
Books, books, books! I read as much as I can, and when I’m working on a novel, I do a bunch of research on as many aspects as possible. And there’s the old saying that you have to be a reader to be a writer. I always keep close the books that have really inspired me, and it makes me smile to just look up and see them sitting there.

3. A notepad and pen on the bedside table
I personally get a lot of ideas from dreams – or at least in the middle of the night if the insomnia monster decides to strike. And I never trust myself to remember something until the morning. So I always keep some paper and a pen nearby so I can jot things down quickly.

4. A place to walk
I think it’s really important to be able to get away from the book in some way; to get outside in the fresh air. Cabin fever with your manuscript rarely ends well, so whenever I feel myself getting too frustrated, I’ll go for a quick walk around the block, or to the park and back, or along the seafront.

5. An eye for grammar
Making a bunch of spelling and grammar mistakes always happens in the first draft, but when I start editing, I have to do it after a few months’ break from the manuscript. That way, I’ve got enough distance to butcher it in the search for typos. Being able to spot them can be harder than it sounds, but it’s an important skill, and will make things a lot easier in the end.

6. A supply of scented candles
I love to have candles burning whenever I’m working on a story. I tend to gravitate towards delicate scents that aren’t too in-your-face, but if I’m writing in the evening, it makes me smile to see some candle flames. And, for the record, my absolute favourite is a mix of vanilla and sweet pea!

7. Music
I find it really tough to write unless I have some kind of background noise. I tend to put together playlists for each story full of songs that remind me of the plot or characters. These are the ones I’ll listen to before writing, or in general while I’m thinking the story through. But I usually listen to instrumental or classical music while I’m actually working, because that can really pull me into the world without being distracting with lyrics.

8. Fluffy socks
I practically live in these things. I usually get a few new pairs every winter, and unless it’s a scorching summer, I tend to wear them all year round. I find them super comfy and keep my feet from getting cold at the computer!

9. A special place to write
a. I can write pretty much anywhere, and I’m more than happy to work on a story in the university library, at home, upstairs, downstairs, wherever. But there’s just something about having your own space that’s especially reserved for your craft, and for me, it’s my 19th century writing desk. It locks with a key and is full of pigeonholes where I keep trinkets and my old book collection. I love being able to sit down at my own little piece of history and write away.

10. An imagination that doesn’t know when to shut up
Agatha Christie said that the best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes. There isn’t really a day off from writing. Even if I’m not typing, one story or another is ticking away in my head. And even if I’m not thinking about a story in particular, my mind just does not stop. If you can hone that craziness into seeing possibilities in everything, then there isn’t much that can’t become potential writing fodder. After all, writing relies on asking questions, so being curious is arguably the best way forward!

EXCERPT

In the times I was alone, I tried to make sense of things. As the anaesthetic receded and lucidity gradually returned, I remembered Lucy’s face, her wonderful smile contorted into a hideous scream. Anxiety clenched at my throat, and whenever there was a sudden noise, I almost leapt out of the bed. When the sky darkened I had eyes only for the windows, and trembled in fear. 

He won’t come back. Not when you’re here. You’re safe in the hospital. 

A faint sense of irony flashed in the back of my mind. I’d been convincing myself that Lucy would have been safe here only hours before, and now I was trying to do the same again. I watched the clouds tint red, and the dusk light bled out across the city. The anticipation returned. Time blurred again. I felt the adrenaline, even though I knew there was no point. Fight or flight? Not a great choice to be had. I couldn’t do either. 

The breeze picked up. Perhaps it felt so cold because I was only wearing the surgical gown, but deep down, I knew it was more than that. The fluorescent strip over my bed flickered and then burst out. I made a move to bolt upright, but it sent agony tearing through my back and I collapsed against the pillows. 

Then the mist appeared. From under the gap at the bottom of the door, flowing like ghostly water, came an odourless smoke that stabbed at my lungs. I closed my eyes. I tried to tell myself it wasn’t happening, that somehow I would be safe. That I’d wake up and it would all have been a bad dream.

About the author:
E. C. Hibbs has lived all her life in Cheshire, northwest England. A lover of stories from an early age, she wrote her first 'book' when she was five, and throughout school was a frequent visitor to the younger classes to read her tales to the children.

Living so near the coast, she loves anything to do with the sea. She studied Animal Behaviour at university and longs to work with marine mammals in the future. As well as nature and animals, she also has a soft spot for history, and loves paying visits to castles, cathedrals and museums.

There are many things she could be without, but writing isn't one of them. She carries a pen everywhere, in case an idea appears, and takes pride in still seeing the world as brimming with magic. Besides writing, she reads obsessively, her favourite genres being the classics and all kinds of fantasy. She also enjoys Disney and horror films, practising Shotokan karate, drawing, archery, and playing with her very cheeky kitten.