Fiction writer Erin Thorne will be signing copies of her latest book "Behind the Wheel" this Saturday, Jan. 12 at Seek Books in West Roxbury. 1-4 p.m. Her second book "Deals Diabolical" will also be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.
Thorne answered some questions from Patch about paranormal fiction, her latest book, her influences and more.
Q: What neighborhood in Boston do you live in? How long have you lived there? What do you like best about it?
Thorne: I actually live in Sturbridge, and have lived there for most of my life. I enjoy the abundance of restaurants, the shopping, and of course, Old Sturbridge Village!
Q: You'll be at Seek Books in West Roxbury on Saturday signing copies of your latest book "Behind The Wheel" - what is the book about?
Thorne: It’s a collection of nine short stories, one of which is in two parts, that span the genres of fantasy, dystopian science fiction, and horror. The title story, “Behind The Wheel”, is also the longest, and it explores the phenomenon of self-driving cars. My thought process was that if you relinquish control, might someone else exercise it, and what could they do with you?
Q: What's it like to sign copies of your own book?
Thorne: The first time, it felt strange, as though I shouldn’t be writing in it. Now, it’s enjoyable, and I hope to sign many more!
Q: You have written several books - how many? And do you prefer to write short stories?
Thorne: I’ve penned three books, a novella called “Diane’s Descent”, and two short story collections, “Deals Diabolical” and “Behind The Wheel.” Short stories are fun to write, and excellent ways to flesh out ideas that are not quite big enough for a novel. However, concerning future projects, I’m departing from that, with the exception of the occasional contest entry.
Q: Have you always written paranormal fiction? Why do you think you're drawn to that type of fiction?
Thorne: I’ve always enjoyed writing stories with elements of horror and fantasy, probably because I’ve always enjoyed reading stories like that. It’s fun to let your imagination run wild, and ask “What if” when faced with mundane events. Anything can happen, and I like that possibility.
Q: What are your literary and non-literary influences?
Thorne: I was always a big fan of Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. I also enjoy the classics, and my tastes range from Hardy to Hawthorne, along with Wilde, Melville, and far too many more to list here. Regarding non-literary influences, I’m always inspired by people who have come from humble origins and worked hard to make their dreams come true. Their stories prompt me to think, 'If they can do it, I can as well.'
Q: Tell us about your fantasy trilogy you're working on?
Thorne: It’s about a young man named Balen, sort of a playful, irresponsible fellow, who discovers a hidden side to his family, and an innate ability in himself. Through an accident involving this talent, he’s put his foster-family in danger, and has chosen to leave them rather than continue to endanger them. That’s the first step on his adventure, and sparks his initial awareness that his choices will have a massive impact on the world around him. There’s a corrupt organization that’s gaining control, city by city, with whom he has to contend, but not until he’s properly equipped. Although it’s in the sword-and-sorcery camp, there are issues relevant to our own society that are touched upon. One character has a learning disability; a couple of others are struggling with having to conceal their sexual orientation, one because of his prominent position in city governance, another because of his father’s role in their rural village. I want my characters to be strong, engaging, and relatable, and so far, they’re not letting me down.
Q: What constitutes something being "paranormal" - if it happens enough isn't it normal?
Thorne: I suppose my own definition of paranormal, when categorizing my writing, would have to include when things are extremely unlikely to happen, but diverting to think about. Some people may assert that the supernatural elements to my stories really exist, and perhaps some of them do, but they certainly aren’t common in the everyday lives of most of us.
Q: What paranormal experience would you most want to have?
Thorne: I’d love to be able to make myself invisible at will, although that might fall under the umbrella of science fiction.
Q: Anything else you'd like to share about yourself, your writing, the book signing, etc.?
Thorne: Writing is my passion and my dream. I still have a long list of ideas that I’d like to transform into books, and I don’t plan to stop. I’m really looking forward to the signing at Seek Books; Brad Kinne, the owner, has been very kind and welcoming, and is also allowing me to bring copies of my second book, “Deals Diabolical”, so those will be available for purchase in addition to “Behind The Wheel.” To learn more about me, my work, and future events, please see my Author’s Pages on Facebook and Amazon.
I’m currently having an online giveaway event to promote my Facebook Author’s Page; everyone who “likes” it has a chance to win signed copies of all three of my books!