“If you have complete control of your work at all times, you’re not allowing that other element in—the magic or the subconscious.”

Reviewing Hold Me Down, Abby Frucht wrote: “Clea Simon treats her important, weighty subjects with a light enough touch that we nearly forget, while being entertained, that we are also being shown dark sides of each other as well as of ourselves. How does she do this? By knowing her world, by being both comfortable in it and wise to its secrets.”

She then interviewed me about early influences, Gal’s emotional journal, and the writing process for JMWW Journal, a weekly journal of writing. (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!) Thank you, Abby (full interview here: http://ow.ly/GAYH50GlqYi )

A spoiler-free excerpt below:

AF: “The crowd feeds the performer,” Gal notes of her drug-fueled nights on the road. “There’s a charge from being onstage, something mutual.” Where does “that rush” come from for you as a writer. And do you ever dare wish you might feel, again, as if you “didn’t have flesh. Have skin,”?

Clea Simon: Oh my god, yes—but I do! I do feel that way when the writing is going well. For me, now, it is that feeling when all the gears hit that I don’t exist as a writer—that I am channeling something fully formed that is out there and waiting. I love that I don’t always know what that something will be, or what it is saying about me. What writer doesn’t? When I was nearly done with the first draft of my 2017 mystery, World Enough, which is also set in the music world, I realized there was a horrible plot twist set up that I hadn’t been aware of. Of course, when I re-read, I saw that the seeds for it had been planted all along, and so of course I let it play out. It gave the book a certain poignant ambiguity, right at the end, and I like to think that it makes the book, which was named a “must read” in the Massachusetts Book Awards. Much of Hold Me Down was like that – just trying to surf what emerged.

I think this feeling of being without flesh, without a controlling consciousness, is vital. If you have complete control of your work at all times, you’re not allowing that other element in—the magic or the subconscious. Whatever that truly creative part is. For Gal, and, certainly, at times, for me, I have wanted to be swept up in that feeling to avoid a reality—I have let things out of me in an almost automatic, unthinking way that I did not want to acknowledge consciously. But it’s more than that. It’s the reason I write and also the best part of the writing.

(To read the rest at JMMW click here.)