Photo credit: Dan Boschen
The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing. Questions? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give us your best writerly bio.
Elizabeth F. Sweetman writes crime, noir and gothic horror under the name E.F.Sweetman because as a registered nurse, she thought it was a good idea to keep her professions separate by writing under a slightly different name. Her stories have appeared in Microchondria II; FunDead Publications Anthologies One Night In Salem and Exquisite Aberrations; Switchblade Magazine Issues 5, Sixx, and Stiletto Heeled; Broadswords and Blasters Issue 10, and in the upcoming issue of EconoClash Review #5. She lives in Beverly with her husband and two rescue dogs. Now empty nesters, they sometimes bump into each other in the kitchen and ask “Why is everything so quiet?”
Tell us about a North Shore Write Space.
I mainly write at home, but if I have to get out, I will write in a library, and sometimes in the atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum. I love writing in libraries. My sister-in-law is a librarian, and says, “A library is one of the last places you can just go and be.” The Beverly Public Library has wonderful spaces for writing. I’ve also written in the Salem Public Library, and at the Salem Athenaeum. One of my best writing adventures was taking the train into Boston to go to the Boston Public Library. It was when I just started writing stories, and it made me feel like a “real writer”. We have a travel trailer, so if we are camping, I will write in a journal. Writing with pen and paper feels better; there is something about being out in nature that me not want to write on my computer.
When I’m in North Shore, not writing, I’m …
I love to run, hike, and bicycle-I absolutely love bikes (I worked at Browns bike shop one summer) and I have a lot of them, but to be fair, I ride them all. I walk every day because we have the dogs. I also love to read and have discovered so many fantastic writers in this area. We have the best local bookshop here in Beverly, Copper Dog Books. Meg is fantastic in her support of local authors. I’ve been so fortunate to have found an amazing local writers group. Through this group, I have discovered as much about reading as I have about how to be a better writer.
What are you working on now?
I am writing a crime novel, the first of a trilogy. This is a project I’ve been working on for quite a while, my goal is to finish this year. I love writing crime and noir, horror, ghost stories. These genres present challenging and intriguing aspects of who we are. Plus it’s a lot of fun. I have always admired writers who are able to make us relate to characters who do the wrong thing, not because we want to be bad, but because we may see a broader aspect of what makes us tick.
And finally –
This is the opening of my story in FunDead’s Gothic Horror Anthology Exquisite Aberrations. It was an honor to have my story in this anthology of traditional gothic tales told from unique points of view which expanded the genre to LGBTQ, persons of color, and those who suffer mental health issues.
RAVENGLASS by E.F. Sweetman
Hours after the BBC broadcast her as a Cat Burglar, Lady Katherine Bryce-Howard Floriel snuck into the back door of her home on King’s Road, in the wealthy neighborhood of Kensington, London. Her ancestors would not have been scandalized that she crept in back instead of making a proper entrance through the front; she had been sneaking in and out for years and came from a long line of those who built their legacies on scandal and shame.
Kitty, she had never been a Katherine, was nearly invisible in the dark because she was dressed head-to-toe in black. The townhouse was silent except for a comforting tick of the radiators on the cold November night. Her eyes adjusted as she unzipped her leather jacket and pulled off the tight black hood that covered her head and face. The jacket was expensive, and she had no business with it, but like almost everything she had, it was hers because she stole it.”
This anthology is available at https://fundead-publications.myshopify.com/ or you can buy copies at Die With Your Boots On shop in Salem. https://diewithyourbootson.shop/
Find out more at —
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @EFSweetman, and on my website at https://bleakdarkcynical.home.blog/.
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