Poet Marc Lacy Speaks On Debut Novel, The Curse of the Whiskey House
Our Interview With Author Marc Lacy
First time author, Marc Lacy may be new to writing novels, but he surely has made a name for himself as a linguist. Lacy is the 2012 National Poetry Award winner and longtime literature aficionado. His debut novel, The Curse of the Whiskey House is another example of how great he is with his words. In this interview he talks about working on the novel, the transition from prose to narrative, what’s next for him and so much more.
In the world of language you’re known for your poetry. Talk about the writing process for your debut novel The Curse of the Whiskey House. Did you do research, and if so, what did that involve?Of course I’m known for poetry and spoken word. However, I was into creative writing before I ever wrote or performed any poetry. In fact, I’ve always marketed myself as a writer, who “happens” to do spoken word. With that said, I am a left-brain/right-brain person. I’m half technical and have creative. I used my technical side to develop scene and plot charts, timelines, and character analyses. I used my creative side and my southern familiarity to develop the scenes and the characters themselves.
Did you have a writing routine?
My routine was to just write every day. Although I was not really consistent in my routine, my drive never subsided in getting the book done. I did spend an abundance of time researching various contributing elements of the novel.
This novel tackles sexual abuse within a small town where everyone has heard of the violations against boys but no one dares to bring justice to the matter. Generations of kept secrets and violations on the men of Lazarus, Alabama. What was the driving force behind creating a story line with such a taboo topic, undercover homosexual behavior among men in church and politics in the bible belt South?
The driving force behind the storyline is the fact that society loves to cry out about how the world is screwed up; yet we as a society are the main force overlooking the big elephant in the middle of the room. We’ve seen it often in scandals pertaining to sex, when relatively unknowns speak out about a violation they are often ignored or admonished.
Creatively speaking, how did you come up with your cast of characters? Brooklyn, a rebellious girl from a good background; Ace, Brock, Rev Jones, The Mayor? And the stories secret society, Unknown Fellowship. In such a small town, why did you incorporate the UF into the town’s evil doings?
The Curse of the Whiskey House was derived from flash fiction blogging I used to do on Facebook. I wrote high action and high drama snippets and people took a liking to the stories. They especially loved the heavy-flawed characters. One of my goals with this series is to make sure what each character does is not too far-fetched. Plus, considering the plot, all of the characters had to complement each other in order for the story to move quickly. Brooklyn was the bad girl; Ace was a villain who society basically created; Brock, choir boy; Rev Jones and Mayor Justice represented high power and immense corruption. The Unknown Fellowship was basically spawn from Rev Jones and Mayors’ shenanigans. In order for things to appear official at the whiskey house, the UF protective veil had to be formed…yet unofficially. They were a true legion of doom that added to the novel’s suspense.
What part of writing this story did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed writing the intense action the most. I’m a high action writer and I took great pride and pleasure setting up the fast-paced scenes.
Did you find transitioning from prose to full out narrative, character development, plot setting challenging?
There were challenges transiting from prose to narrative; however they were not impossible to overcome. Character development and plot setting were not overly challenging because I did my research and took my time producing my characters and plot charts.
What’s next for Marc Lacy? Will you return to poetry someday?
I am going to complete the next two books in the The Whiskey House Trilogy. I’m also currently in the studio working on another spoken word CD.