I'm happy to host a tour stop for Bryce Gibson's new book Perennials. Read a little about his writing process in the interview below and check out the book!
I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but the earliest stories that I know for a fact that I actually wrote down were from when I was a young teenager. I still have them. They are short horror stories that I thought were along the lines of the Point Horror books from the early 90s. Mine were handwritten on lined notebook paper, stapled together, and had covers that I drew myself. You can see some of them on my Facebook page.
I think that the structure of storytelling in horror movies has had the overall biggest impact on my desire to write.
How did you come up with ideas for your stories?
The idea for Perennials came to me one day when I was working in my yard. Ideas often come to me this way, out of the blue, doing the things that I enjoy. The initial thought was this--a love story between two teenagers, Dusty Miller and Nandina Bush. Not a minute later I had another thought--what if there is a serial killer that is targeting people that share their names with plants.
Who’s your favorite character in your book and why?
I felt very attached to the protagonist, Dusty, from the moment that I started building his character. Most of the book is written in first person, from Dusty’s perspective. To me, he seems like a real person. Aside from Dusty, I like the supporting characters. They are always fun to write.
What are some of your favorite books and authors? What inspires you?
Off the top of my head, a couple of my favorite books are Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn and The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury.
I have quite a few favorite authors--Alice Hoffman, Anne Hite, Lauren Kate, Clive Barker, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sarah Addison Allen, to name a few.
What inspires me as a writer? Horror movies. Reading a good book, especially one by a favorite author. Gardening and agriculture. Rural and small-town locales.
What’s your next writing project (If you don’t mind sharing)?
My next book is tentatively titled The Reading Buddy. It is my take on the stalker/obsession sub-genre of horror and thriller stories. It will take place on a farm in South Carolina. A good bit of werewolf folklore will play into it. It’s still in the very early planning stages, but I’m looking forward to writing it.
What is your favorite part of writing?
I like the initial thought process of when the story is unfolding, when my mind is running with the story so fast that there is no way that I can write it down fast enough. Then the technical process of the actual writing takes over. When the book is finally 100% complete and ready to be read by others is the best thing about writing.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Have your book professionally edited, publish it, and start writing another book.
Perennials has a really interesting premise--a serial killer who is killing people because they are names after plants. And overall it has likable characters and is an easy and fast-paced read. I felt invested in the characters, Dusty was a very likable hero and not a bad protagonist. I was easily able to picture setting and enjoyed the descriptions of the setting in the rural south. However, there were quite a lot of description, and in places it slowed the story down. The reader doesn't need to know every description of a room the character is in, or copious amounts of backstory unless it is relevant to the story. A little setting up is okay, but there was almost too much at a lot of points in this book.
I also have to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed in the actual outcome of the case. (view spoiler)
Apart from that though, I still did enjoy the story itself and it kept me reading and guessing which is always important with mysteries.
Rating: 3/5 stars
(Read this review with spoilers on Goodreads)
Bryce Gibson writes Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of the South, He has a degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina, works full-time as a farmer, and lives in South Caroline with his wife and their dog.