Wendy Hammer is the newest Apocalypse Ink Productions author. She's an excellent writer and a fun person to be around. Here's is what she has to say about THE THIN.
Three Things about THE THIN: Cross Cutting (Book One)
I started the first Cross Cutting story with a clear image of the main character—her personality, appearance, and magic ability. Trinidad’s name didn’t come together until I figured out her history.
That choice started with setting. Her magic is tied to place, but she doesn’t have a permanent bond with one. When I start thinking about stories, contested spaces, displacement, identity, and power, my mind turns to postcolonial theory and literature. I teach literature, so it’s an occupational hazard, I suppose.
My graduate school research had a lot to do with Africa in literature so I turned there first. Then I became interested in the relationship between her magic and island territories, and I eventually turned my attention to the Caribbean. Trinidad, in particular, stood out for its history, culture, and beautiful language. I chose Ireland to pair with it for similar reasons.
Once I could pinpoint where my character came from, the name Trinidad O’Laughlin didn’t take long to come up with.
I like to create music playlists for inspiration. I’ll drive or walk around and listen to that music while I think about character and plot points. I usually have to stick to instrumentals for the actual writing part, but anything goes the rest of the time. The list for the first Cross Cutting novella was a mix of calypso, soca, rapso, chutney, Irish folksongs, contemporary Irish bands, and random songs featuring variations of the word walk. I threw in a few punk songs for good measure—and because I’m a longtime fan.
The inspiration for THE THIN came from walking along the Cultural Heritage trail in Indianapolis. My imagination was fired up by the sight of a bunch of vans parked in a garage at the corner of Virginia Ave and Maryland Street.
Though I fudged a few details here and there, I did use Google Maps’ Street View while I was writing the novella. One of the best surprises was when I noticed that the vans are there.
It gave me shivers. I love that kind of thing.
Wendy Hammer grew up in Wisconsin. She has degrees in English from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ball State University. She teaches literature and composition at a community college. Thanks to her job, she's heard all the usual MC Hammer jokes, but figures someone will surprise her with a new one someday. She's mostly cool with that. She writes speculative fiction (fantasy, horror and science fiction) and is an affiliate member of HWA. Wendy lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband.