Writers are strange creatures. We seem to thrive anywhere. I know some folks who love to write in public places. I've tried, but I get too distracted and just end up people watching. Some writers can do it on the fly, cramming in a half hour here, a few minutes there...jotting down notes on napkins or in their phones.
Turns out, I'm way too ritualistic. I need to go at my own pace, surrounded by things that inspire me. I'm a collector...everything from Universal Monsters to Japanese vinyl figures. When you're facing a blank page with Godzilla staring you down, you'd better hope you can come up with some good words. That goes for the Creature and Frankenstein, as well. They're good people to have in your corner.
I can't write in absolute silence, but too much excess noise breaks my concentration. I seldom listen to music when I write, and when I do, it's usually soundtracks. John Carpenter's scores for The Fog and Prince of Darkness are a few personal favorites. More often than not, I'll put on a movie with the volume turned down so I can just barely hear it. There's something soothing about a familiar film playing in the background. I don't know why this works, but it does. The Blob is a favorite, as is Dead Alive, an early Peter Jackson zombie flick that has the best death-by-lawnmower scene ever captured on film.
You'll also notice my framed English degree...documented proof that I can indeed string a few sentences together. Beside that is a rejection letter from my agent. Yes, a rejection letter. Rejections sustain writers more than food and water, it seems. He initially passed on The Gravedigger's Son. But I took his advice and worked on the things he suggested, and a few months later my book had representation! Brent is the man...funny, wickedly intelligent, and exceedingly kind, and has been my champion these past few years. I couldn't ask for a better agent. I keep that letter (which is one of the nicest rejection letters ever) as a reminder that things have a way of working themselves out. That dreams do come true. no matter how unattainable the may seem.
I do have some company when I write:
This is Nymeria. She's the baby of the coven, and my first beta reader. Nothing gets past the first-draft stage until Nym gives the go-ahead.