Author P.W. Creighton is with us today. He has a fascinating background as an adventurer, archaeologist, photographer, videographer, tech-geek, investigator, writer – and everything that comes in-between. He is the author of the psychological, supernatural thriller NIGHTFALL due out this Fall from AstreaPress.
By P.W. Creighton
Over the years I’ve prescribed to the idea that life is surely meant to be lived, and through my countless forays in to adventurous circumstances, I’ve experienced and learned a great deal about a great many topics. Personally, I blame all those MacGyver episodes when I was a kid.
The strongest words for any writer are always “Write What You Know” and for many, it means diving into research, exploring a specific topic or field. Other writers will focus on topics that they already know and can explore in-depth. The thing is, rarely does our knowledge remain compartmentalized. Things we learn or know about one topic or methodology often influence our perceptions and knowledge on other topics.
Over the years I’ve had many professional roles and absorbed a great deal of information on specific topics. In college, I spent the first two years studying Sociology and Criminal Justice before switching roles to Archaeology and Anthropology where I was the on-site Geologist for an archaeological excavation and responsible for interviewing subjects on regional folklore. Pushing forward I added professional photographer, newspaper reporter, TV media consultant, video artist and many more roles.
All of my professional roles, all of the fields I’ve studied and worked in over the years have had a significant impact on my writing. In no way do these experiences or ways of thinking remain compartmentalized. In writing, I continually borrow on what I’ve experienced from wandering through the woods digging test pits to hopping on a boat and sailing on the Atlantic.
Experiences have helped expand the realism of what I can write about but it’s actually the thought-processes behind each field that I’ve found the most influential to my writing. Every field of study, every profession actually has it’s own perspective on the world; it’s own methodology that interprets the world in a specific manner. These perspectives are often lost on the dry research so commonly found in text. Some of the dramatic differences in perceptions I’ve experienced include; the critical analysis of situations from criminal justice, the motivations and internalizations of individuals from psychology and my favorite is examining the setting, the composition through the visual arts.
As a photographer and videographer you learn to control the composition through the finest details, the subtle manipulations of light, depth of field, aperture even focal points. The same techniques that are used for the artist in these mediums can be applied to writing. Subtly adjusting the lighting in your composition suddenly shifts the readers’ perceptions of the scene. Through psychology it is possible to understand both your readers and how individuals would truly react in situations. Anthropology conditioning allows you to understand and recognize your own cultural bias – ethnocentrism that can contaminate your work.
Examining any situation, conveying it within a given mindset to an external audience is the culmination of experience and perspectives. Understanding the complex elements of a singular scene can permit a much stronger composition that is deceptively convincing to the reader. The words “Write What You Know” does not always mean dry-research. Actual experience in the field that you want to write about is far more compelling and convincing than just the words of others.
Here is a teaser on NIGHTFALL coming soon this Fall:
Three years after everyone important to Connor Maitland was murdered by a fanatical cult he is still attempting to put his life back together. Accompanied by his ex-girlfriend and business partner, Alison Herne, he is making a living as a jack-of-all-trades running a security company, sailing charters, and even photographing weddings out of Dolliber Cove, Massachusetts. Connor’s world is finally coming back together until they find one of Alison’s ghost hunter friends murdered.
When a childhood love he thought was dead, appears on his doorstep during their investigation, Connor is forced to confront memories he convinced himself were the delusions of a man deep into grief. They are being stalked by a mysterious man who appears to know far too many of their secrets, as well as Connor’s. After Alison is almost killed confronting her occult past, it is impossible for Connor to deny the connection between the cases. Someone is attempting to end Connor’s life and the lives of all those who surround him.
The crazed rantings of the murderous cult may be the key to his survival.
Catch up with P.W. Creighton here: