Welcome to our “Meet the Author” series at Crone Girls Press. We’re going to kick off the series with an author whose story “Dog’s Blood Trail” was described by an early reviewer as a “round house to the soul.” To learn more about the author and the story that opens our anthology, keep reading!
Q: What inspired your story in this anthology? Tell us the “story behind the story.”
A: I was in an unfortunate period of my life where my job was causing me to have stress nightmares every night. On days off, I would try and catch up on lost sleep by dozing after I’d woken up at the typical work time. During these periods of light sleep, my nightmares would be much more vivid and coherent, and center less on work terrors. “Dog’s Blood Trail” evolved out of one of these nightmares, featuring a fathering trying to sail away from sharks on a little raft while his baby bled out.
I also just have a general fear of dogs.
Q: What do you write? How long have you been writing? What are your preferred genres and why?
A: I write fantasy, science fiction, and horror. As a child I was really into books like Watership Down and the Redwall series. So my first writings were little animal fight stories inspired by the books I loved. These writings continued and evolved into a general love of fantasy and folklore. Along the way I picked up a love of science fiction as well. I hope that my work carries a mythic or folkloric feel, whatever the genre.
Q: What do you find the most challenging about the writing process, and how do you meet that challenge?
A: Just sitting down and focusing on one piece of writing as challenging for me, which means at any given time I have a dozen projects in progress, but that progress moves at a glacial pace. I’ll open one story to edit, delete one word, and then bounce to another document to add a bullet point to an outline, and then jump to research for a third story. At the moment, I’m trying to limit myself to two open documents at any given time, and making myself finish one whole step (a complete outline, a complete first draft, one whole round of edits), before jumping to the next project.
Q: What was the worst writing advice you ever received? The best writing advice? Why, and how did it affect your writing?
A: I have both received and given the advice of “write every day.” While this may work for some, for me it was self-destructive. If I didn’t write every single day, I would feel guilty, and that guilt would start to make me freeze up. So one missed day of writing would spiral out to multiple days or weeks of missed writing, each day compounding on itself, until I just wasn’t writing at all.
On that note, the best writing advice I’ve received is “take breaks” and “be kind to yourself.” While I now try and write as frequently as possible, if I miss a day it doesn’t destroy me. I’m able to give myself the treat of a day off from writing without feeling tremendous guilt from it, and that makes the overall writing process easier and more fluid for me.
About Gabrielle Bleu
During the daylight hours, Gabrielle Bleu lifts mammoth tusks and whale ribs for a living. At night, she moonlights as a writer, and also as a werewolf. Her work has appeared in the Story Seed Vault and the Arcanist. Follow her on Twitter @BeteMonstrueuse for her thoughts about monsters, and find more of her work at gabriellebleu.com. You can also follow her on Instagram.