3Q’s Special – Crystal O’Leary-Davidson reveals her secret mess!


I can’t even describe how honored I am to have today’s guest here. Since I started my writing journey/career, very few people have been as amazingly supportive as Crystal O’Leary-Davidson! She’s always congratulating everyone on their successes, even as she continues crushing it and when I reached out to ask if she’d be on, I was elated when she agreed!

Please, do welcome Crystal!


Steve: What does your writing time look like? Do you try and write at the same time each day? Do you have a word count you attempt to hit?
Crystal: I’m always writing, but when I write and how much varies every day depending on the time I have. By day (and many nights) I’m an English professor. So often an academic project—a conference paper or article has an external deadline. For my creative work, unless there’s an external submission deadline, I have to create those deadlines for myself.
I wish I were more of a detailed outliner. I’m working on that. Naturally I’m a slow recursive writer, revising as I go, figuring out my writing as I revise, whether it’s short stories, an academic essay, or a novel chapter.
The only place I’m fast is flash fiction, and at the moment, it’s my favorite form, trying to tell a story as quickly and tightly as possible.

Steve: You decide to host a writer’s retreat. One weekend in a luxury house on an island. What three other authors do you invite to come along?
Crystal: One the best things about being a writer is getting to know other writers, being inspired by them, and becoming close friends. The second most challenging thing for me is balancing my creative writing life with my academic and scholarly writing. With that in mind, as hard as this is to do, of all the great writers I know (or want to know) I’d pick two wonderful writers who I only get to see once a year at StokerCon: Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson. Lisa and Melanie are the authors of the Stoker- and Locus-award winning Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (2019, Quirk Books) and the forthcoming, Toil and Trouble: A Women’s History of the Occult (Oct. 25, 2022, Quirk). Both are fantastic academic scholars and nonfiction writers, and they both host two podcasts (Monster She Wrote and The Know Fear Cast). Lisa is also a talented fiction and screenwriter. So basically, they do everything! Most of the time when we do get together, we talk about balancing the writing life, so that’s what we’d do on the island—talk about writing over mixed tropical drinks. Since I met Lisa and Mel through my husband, the novelist Andy Davidson, and he is part of that StokerCon hang, obviously he’s invited too.

Now I totally want to do this IRL!

Steve: Tell me about your newest release (novel/story/poem/novella) and why someone should read it!
Crystal: My latest release is a flash fiction piece, “A Good Mother,” that will be published in the Halloween issue of tiny frights. The story peels back the surface of a life lived on social media, so nothing against socials, but it is a cautionary tale to not accept everything we see presented online as truth. We are all messy. Some are just scarier than others in their secret mess.


Steve: Bonus Question! You receive an invitation in the mail from one of these two people. The invitation invites you to have dinner and spend the night in their home. Do you accept the invitation from Victor Frankenstein or Dracula and why?
Crystal: Definitely Victor Frankenstein. We can trade research tips and talk about balancing that academic and creative life!


Excellent choice! Thank you so much for doing this Crystal!

Check the links to stay up to date with her writing!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colearydavidson

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