For this fourth episode of Writer’s Spotlight, we have Lucie Guerre – another member of the Scribes’ Circle that I have gotten to know well over the past year. Like Marlon, she is an author and published poet. She also has a pretty big heart, and is one of the first to offer her help and support.
Give us a short introduction to you.
Lucie Guerre is a twenty-nine-year-old author whose work greatly reflects the stories of her life. Much of her experiences flavor the poetry she writes whereas she writes fiction as an escape from reality. She is a romantic, a dreamer, a paradox.
How long have you been writing, professionally and/or as a hobby?
In general, I have been writing since I was seven-years-old. I began to write poetry seriously when I was about fourteen or fifteen, but fiction was my first love. I have only begun writing professionally within the past year.
In what genre(s) do you write?
I write poetry, short stories, and various genres of novels including a subgenre of science fiction known as slipstream, LGBT fiction, coming-of-age stories, and more
Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you let the story grow as you write?
For short stories, I tend to write without any outline, just a tentative plan as far as where my stories will go, but I outline my novels. My notes for my novels tend to be all over the place from the backs of receipt paper to a scattering of notebooks I keep around my home. Regardless, it is important to me to keep these notes to make sure my novel is progressing the way I want it to. A lot of my outlines are vague though to leave room for inspiration and potential growth as I write the novel.
Which authors have influenced and inspired you the most?
When I was about sixteen, a friend of mine handed me a book of short stories and told me I wrote in a similar style as the author of the short stories. This author is Jeanette Winterson. I love her playful, poetic use of language and strive to write in a way that is similar to hers but still wholly unique. I also love the works of Janet Fitch. If you ever want to read a beautiful yet dark novel, do yourself a favor and read White Oleander. Her writing inspired some of my own works, as has Neil Gaiman’s. As far as poetry writing goes, I am inspired by spoken word poets such as Shane Koyczan and Neil Hilborn. Additionally, when I was in college, I fell in love with the poetry of Anne Sexton. I realized that poetry did not have to be beautiful and the stuff of love sonnets and nature poems. Instead her poems were raw and gripping, and she inspired me to write darker, more honest poetry, and in fact, inspired me to write some of the poems featured in my volume of poetry and photography, Soulstice.
Do you write in other ways, such as poetry, songwriting, technical articles, etc?
As I mentioned above, I do write poetry. I have tried my hand at screenplay writing as well, with pretty shitty results, but I do write poetry, fiction, and some day, I plan on writing a fictionalized version of my memoirs.
How has your life experiences affected your writing?
My life experiences play a huge role on the poetry I write. Most of my poetry is semi-autobiographical, and it is hard to reread some of the darker poems because they explore parts of my past that are extremely painful, but honestly, that pain has helped me to enjoy the beauty of life more. My fiction, on the other hand, is influenced by aspects of my own life as well. Most of my fiction features female protagonists who are searching to understand themselves and come to terms with reality versus a strange world. Having mental illness [Author’s Note: I struggle with Bipolar and PTSD], often times it feels as though I am struggling to come to terms with reality versus a strange world.
What scene that you’ve written has moved you the most, and why?
A scene that moves me the most is the very ending of my work-in-progress. It is a very emotional scene, and everything that happens in my novel leads up to this one very pivotal moment. It is a scene that allows the readers to truly feel and understand the psyche of the main character.
Beta Readers – Yes or No? Why?
I have a small selection of alpha readers who are currently reading my work-in-progress, and they insist I must finish my novel because they adore the characters, the plot, and are fascinated to see where the story leads. It helps me to stay focused because I know I have someone to be held accountable to, but also, they help me to see the flaws and faults in my manuscript. Currently, I have not finished my work-in-progress, but once I finish it and get it edited, I have a team of beta readers I plan on sending my work to. I feel it is a necessary component to writing a powerful story. My number one alpha and beta reader, of course, is my fiancé.
What inspires your story ideas?
Most of my story ideas are based on powerful dreams I have had or ideas, simply wondering and thinking about “what if XYZ were to happen”.
Do you belong to any Writing Groups?
I am a member of Scribes’ Circle, Fiction Writing, and a few other writing groups on Facebook.
Tell us about all of your works in progress (include your favorite snippets).
I am writing a novel with the working title of Catching Dreams. It is about Aisling McHale, a young woman who has recently taken an interest in dream interpretation. When her dreams begin to blur with reality, she needs to figure out where the dreams are taking her and why before the stakes get to high, and her loved ones face the consequences. Meanwhile, she is also searching to understand herself and her mysterious past.
“Aisling did not remember falling, but she felt herself hurtling backwards. Her stomach lurched, preparing for the impact of the concrete. Her arms wheeled around her, and it felt as though she were falling in slow motion. She squeezed her eyes shut, bracing for it, but when she landed, she felt a strange, comforting softness beneath her. By the time she cracked her eyes open, gone were the buildings and the sun shimmering in a tranquil sky. The only light she could see was the one streaming through her bedroom window from the streetlamp outside. Aisling yawned and flipped over in her bed, lolling her head to the side of her pillow. She stretched her fingers out as she fell into another deep slumber. They grazed something metallic, yet she was already falling into another dream.”
Another work-in-progress is a novel tentatively called Angels of Dusk. It is the coming-of-age story of Charlotte Benson. When her father goes missing for the last time, she learns her world is not what it seems and instead consists of mysterious figures, magic, and much, much more.
“Charlotte’s hazel eyes drifted toward the corkboard in the cloakroom. More specifically, she found her eyes traveling toward the list of Nevers. In the past, she had always followed the list and been rewarded with a sweet wrapped in crinkly gold paper. One “Never” stood out tonight as being especially unfair. The rule stated in Lillian’s careful cursive, Charlotte was never to go outside on her own.
Charlotte was tired of following the rules and felt as though the Nevers had to be broken. The girl was fairly certain at the old age of ten, she was a grown-up herself and no longer needed to follow a silly list on a sheet of faded floral stationery. The prize of a caramel or a truffle no longer outweighed her curiosity of what went on outside. She was particularly curious as to what went on outside after she went to bed. How long had these midnight parties been going on? What was the purpose of them? Why were there only grown-ups and no children? Why did they all look so serious? She needed to know what was going on outside of her home. If finding out entailed punishment, that was a risk Charlotte Benson was willing to take. Fortune favored the brave anyhow.”
There are others, but those are the top priorities as of right now.
Have you been published?
Earlier this year, StarkLight Press published my first volume of poetry and photography, Soulstice. https://www.amazon.com/Soulstice-Lucie-Guerre/dp/1542865263/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486416548&sr=1-1&keywords=soulstice+lucie+guerre
How can readers follow you?
Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments! I love discovering new readers of my work.
Thanks, Lucie, for taking the time to share a little piece of you with us!