Super fun one today in the 3Q’s world! Gordon B. White continues to create some stunning thought-provoking fiction that fans eat up and devour, only to ponder the darker, deeper meanings that Gordon has layered throughout. Everything I’ve read from him has been fantastic and I’m super happy to have his as the 3Q’s guest today!
Steve: What does your writing time look like? Do you try to write at the same time each day? Do you have a word count you attempt to hit?
GBW: I’ve gone through a variety of writing schedules depending on the demands of work and other commitments, but lately it’s been catch-as-catch-can. When I find myself in slumps like these, I find it really helpful to set very, very, very modest goals. I’ve been at this long enough to recognize that my productivity and energy levels comes in waves, so when I’m at low energy, I set a goal of — literally — one sentence per day.
One sentence can be something as short as “Cabot nodded,” but often times getting over that hurdle of just starting is enough to get the momentum for two sentences, maybe three. Maybe a whole paragraph or a page or more! But the key is that I don’t have to write more. One sentence is a success, and one sentence per day adds up over time. There’s also something incredibly valuable about keeping my brain in that creative, generative mindset — even if only for a minute a day. It never lets the writing fall completely away and keeps the story boiling away just beneath the surface, until it develops enough energy to erupt into extended writing periods.
In fact, that’s how I wrote my novella ROOKFIELD. The first day was 75 words, and some days it was nothing more than a five-word bit of one character nodding to another, but the last burst was several thousand in one afternoon because it had been bubbling up every day for many weeks.
While I would never say a writer has to write every day, I do think it’s worth trying — you just have to be reasonable about how much writing you’re going to do.
Steve: If you started a series and for some reason had to have another author finish it, who would you choose?
GBW: That’s a tough one! To answer with a non-answer, there was a time when my wife and I went down an ethical and philosophical rabbit hole as to whether or not we would (if we could) clone our dog, Saucy. There are all sorts of considerations, but in the end, my landing point was that it wouldn’t be fair to either the Original Saucy or Saucy Mk. II. The memory and love of the Original could only be diminished by having the clone — who despite the same genetics and certain inherited physical and even perhaps temperamental similarities, wouldn’t have grown up the same and so wouldn’t be the same — as a constant comparison point diluting her uniqueness. It also wouldn’t be fair to Mk. II, who would never get the chance to be her own dog.
A similar-sized dog? Another mutt mix? Sure, totally. But a clone? No. We would always know the difference and the little dissimilarities would ruin both of them for us.
Which is all to say, that I would want someone whose style was similar enough that fans could follow the transition, but also someone who couldn’t help but take it in their own personal direction. So, to that end, let’s say … Joe Hill. I mean, I also have to consider that this would drive up the sales of my back catalog.
Steve: Tell me about your newest release (novel/story/poem/novella) and why someone should read it!
GBW: My most recent release is a short story in the November 2022 issue of Nightmare Magazine, titled “Devil Take Me.” It was part of a series of voice-heavy, narratively discursive stories I wrote during the pandemic. I’d spent a long time working on trimming my prose down, making it lean and mean … and this is the opposite. Something about being locked down and not seeing or talking to people on a regular basis made me desperate to hear someone else’s voice, and so I started writing these long, first-person confessional-type stories. It was very cathartic and “Devil Take Me” is probably my favorite of the batch. It’s also an exploration of how tragedy is interpreted and processed, including the lingering effects of banally traumatic experiences. Plus, it’s creepy!
Steve: Bonus Question! If they made a movie about your life, what actor or actress would you suggest they get to play you?
GBW: As people who’ve read my Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story “Gordon B. White is creating Haunting Weird Horror” might be able to tell, I really like meta-fiction and playing with forms. To that end, and also since I am terrible at making decisions, my preference would be to follow the “inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan” style of I’m Not There, in which multiple actors play different facets of my fictional stand-in self at various points in my life. I think some of them might include Joseph Gordon Levitt; a CGI-de-aged Robert Downey, Jr.; Elliot Page; and Bruce Campbell (as my future self). Of course, it wouldn’t be complete unless I also got to make a cameo … but as someone else.
Ha! Excellent choice! Here is a CGI’d, de-aged, mash up of all of those folks – PLUS – you doing a cameo! The internet is an amazing place!
Thanks again, Gordon for doing this!
To find more of his work – check the links!