Friday, March 27, 2015

A Day in Stephanie Erickson's Writing Life and excerpt from 'The Dead Room (Vol. 1)'

A Day in Your Writing Life

Well, my writing days are all different, as much as I like routine and structure. I have a toddler, and am a stay at home mom. My husband is a pilot so when he’s working, I’m on 24/7. I also have a part time job as a graphic designer, so my days are full, that’s for sure. But, they go something like this.

When I’m behind, I get up early and work before my daughter wakes up. Those are usually writing days. So I try to catch up on words I should’ve written the day before, or maybe get ahead if I have a busy day full of nap time meetings scheduled.

8 am to 1 pm is my daughter’s. There’s no work that happens during this time. None. We play, we go to music class, or the library, whatever. It’s about her.

1 pm to 3 pm is nap time, so it’s mine, all mine! Most days I have a short graphics meeting, then I can start writing. At this stage, I have two books that I’m juggling. So, at any given point, one is in the writing or outlining phase, and the other is in the editing phase.

For example, today I’m working on outlining The Dead World, and Unforgiven is with the editor. I want to start writing TDW this week! So, during naptime, I work on tweaking the outline, setting scenes in my mind, as well as learning about the characters and who they are.

Then 3 pm to 8 pm is back to my daughter. After her bedtime I work anywhere from 2 to 4 hours if I’m really behind. That doesn’t happen too often though. Some days I have a lot of administrative stuff to do, like writing guest posts (haha), keeping up with social media, responding to comments on the Web site, and stuff like that. Some days I can just write and those are my favorite! After all, that is why I got into this business.

On days when I can get into bed by 10, I like to read for a bit. Right now, I’m slowly working on Sea of Stars, by Amy Bartol and LOVING it! It’s totally amazing.

So, it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s my day. Somehow, it adds up to 4 books so far, with three more planned this year! And I love it!

Post Apocalyptic 
Date Published: March 11, 2015

322 years after the apocalypse, the world has changed, but her people have not. Secrets, lies, and manipulations endure among a small group of survivors taking refuge on an island in the Northern Pacific.

No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered.

But the nine elders who govern the island guard their secrets jealously. They believe the islanders know what they need to, and they hide their secrets behind a ruse of peace. But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for truths they uncover. What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?

Read an excerpt:

The body lay on a two-piece metal pyre in the center of the clearing.
Nothing more than the skeleton of a table, the pyre was simply used for the display and transport of the bodies. Burning the dead was a custom from the time before.

The corpse’s blue cotton, long-sleeved shirt was buttoned all the way to
the top to hide his injuries, and the matching navy slacks had recently been pressed.

With his hands folded over his abdomen, Wesley looked rather dashing. Ashley wished her match had actually been dashing in life.

She wondered who would wear that outfit next. Nothing was ever wasted on the island. Not even the clothes of a dead man. She herself had worn the clothes off a dead woman’s back. Squeamishness was a luxury no one could afford.

Although “new” clothes were made on the island, from animal skins and the cotton grown in the farmlands, they were typically reserved for the higher ups—elders, doctors, and the like. Cotton was difficult to grow in the cold climate, and the clothes were made entirely by hand. Once it had been worn and patched a few times by those with power, new clothing was eventually passed down to the lower branches of society,

But, it wasn’t just clothing that moved on after an islander died. All of
their belongings were redistributed among those in need. The dead’s family wasn’t allowed to keep anything they didn’t need. Sentimentality was a lost emotion to the islanders. Reusing everything was essential, even if the previous owner was a dead man.

It had only bothered her once—the first time she’d seen one of her
father’s outfits on another man. Even then, at the tender age of ten, she’d understood it was bound to happen eventually. She just hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly. Only a week after his funeral, she’d spotted one of her neighbors walking down the road in her father’s clothes. She ran to him, hoping her father’s scent might still linger on his shirt. But the man neither embraced her nor offered her any sympathy. He 
only looked at her with wide eyes,the horror and disgust plain on his face.

Death on the island was such a strange thing. She’d lost track of how many
funerals she’d been to in her lifetime—at least one a month. Unexpected deaths, like that of her match, added to the average.

Only three of the losses had actually meant something to her—her mother,
her father, and now Wesley. Her father’s funeral was, of course, devastating, made more so by the fact that they’d shared the same first name. Everything the elders said about him could have also been applied to her. How they were thankful for “Ashley’s life,” how they wished “Ashley peace.”It sent shivers down her spine.

Once, she’d asked him why they shared a name. His mother’s name had been Ashley, he’d explained, as had her mother, and her father before that. On and on, down the line, the name had traveled, until it had reached Ashley. And one day, as was their tradition, it would go to her own child.

The funeral for her mother, who had been taken by a simple cold that
escalated into something much worse, was nothing more than a hazy memory. Still, Ashley missed her mother terribly and felt incomplete without her. She searched for her whenever the jasmine got caught on the wind, because her mother had loved to wear the flower behind her ear.

Wesley’s funeral was a problem. She wasn’t entirely sure how she felt
about it. The loss of her parents had left her feeling completely alone. She’d hoped to find love again with her match, but he’d left her terribly disappointed.

Now that he was gone, her emotions warred with themselves. Relief was the
biggest player fighting for space in her mind. Relief to have escaped the abuse and the pressures of being the next elder’s wife. Guilt came in at a close second, but not because she regretted killing her match.

It was because her best friend was being blamed for it.

About Stephanie Erickson

Stephanie Erickson has always had a passion for the written word. She pursued her love of literature at Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL, where she graduated with a BA in English. She has received several honors in her writing career, including recognition in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition.

After graduation, she married and followed her husband in pursuit of his dream. The Cure and The Blackout were written to reignite Stephanie's passion, when she found the time. Now that he is settled in his career, it's her turn to devote more time and energy into writing.

Stephanie currently has 4 projects planned for 2015. Her latest release, The Dead Room, is a post apocalyptic set on a lonely island 300 years in the future.
Stephanie, of course, loves to read and write. She also enjoys living on the beach on the Florida's Treasure Coast. Most of all, she and her husband are in love with their baby girl.





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