I’m usually a calm, even-tempered person. I seldom shout, scream, or curse. I tend to internalize my feelings. I realize this isn’t healthy, but it’s my nature. I wish I was more like the manager for the Cincinnati Reds who recently dropped 77 F-bombs in a post-game news conference. I admire anyone who can take a four letter word and use it as a noun, verb, or adjective.

The exception to my calm demeanor occurs when I’m writing. I’m an emotional writer. I think you have to be when you write fiction. I shouldn’t say that; I can’t speak for other authors. I only know that I can’t imbue certain feelings and emotions in my characters if I’m writing dispassionately. I can’t create tension, hostility, love, hate, rage, lust, or anything else if I feel nothing. In such a case I’m looking at the story from the outside in. The characters are lifeless stick figures and the story is drier than an economic report on equilibrium points and optimal tax rates. It’s not worth reading.

Don’t worry, when I close the door to my writing room I’m prepared to enter the world of my work in progress. Pay no attention to those noises that you hear. It’s just a writer at work.