This Present Darkness . . .

I know I should probably say a book on the craft of writing most influenced me as a writer, right? But I can’t.

There is one for sure: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, but This Present Darkness most influenced me.

The dark demons clawing their way into people’s hearts, pushing them into actions they didn’t want to do, torturing—that was some of the darkest stuff I’d ever read to that point.

But up until then it had been nothing but text books for me. Doing undergrad then graduate school kept me pretty busy with reading text books, writing papers and not to mention the ever-dreaded thesis.

I didn’t have much time, let alone desire, to read. Movies were more my thing to escape from the education stuff. Then after grad school, I took a ten year vacation from reading anything other than magazines.

That’s when I fell in love with movies.

But once I picked up This Present Darkness…oh man, I was HOOKED! Combine that with my love of movies containing supernatural/paranormal storylines…I fell into writing.

I sure didn’t know what I was doing, though. But with the guidance of fellow writers, good books on the craft (such as Plot and Structure), attending writing conferences and writing groups, I stepped onto the path to honing my craft.

It’s a crazy-fun journey, that’s for sure. But I’m enjoying it to the fullest!


Whether you’re a writer or not, what got you onto the path you’re walking right now?


About Lynn Rush

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author, chocolate addict & ultra runner. Agent: Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency
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6 Responses to This Present Darkness . . .

  1. danicaavet says:

    I might have to check this book out, Lynn! My love of reading put me on the path to writing. As I got older, the more I read until finally I was reading faster than my favorite authors could write. That’s when I thought I’d try my hand at the writing part and found that I loved it.


  2. Elaine says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I’m a day late posting to this, but good job on the post. I love movies too. Hmmm…I suppose I always wrote in journals in high school and college, then turned to short stories. About 6-7 years ago, I took an online class and mentioned a short story idea. She told me it would be a better book idea because there was so much material. I started and voila! Here I am.

    I had to smile when you mentioned loving movies. During the writing of my first manuscript, 6 years ago, my 11-month old laptop died. And of course being a newbie writer, I had SOME of it backed up, but not all. I had to retype 100 pages (I had hardcopy backup) and I totally lost 60 pages. I didn’t write for 6 weeks, I was so depressed. The computer stores couldn’t restore anything, even though the laptop was less than a year old it was fried.

    Needless to say I was depressed and I also learned to back up constantly. But for 6 weeks, all I did was watch movies, practically every day. I suppose it was that love of story that got me back to the keyboard eventually. Glad I did though 🙂



    • jeff7salter says:

      Glad to hear from you, Elaine, as I’m sure Lynn is … since this is her column. Ha. Guess your click landed you on Friday. No problem (for me) since I am also a movie lover.
      Losing files, corrupted files, crashed drives, ruined disks — AARRGGGHH. I finally obtained an external hard-drive and it automatically backs-up the pertinent things every day at 4 p.m. I still keep ‘thumb-drives’ with me at all times, but I don’t update them daily as I used to.


  3. jeff7salter says:

    Lynn, what that book first came out in paperback (on my brother’s recommendation) I began reading “This Present Darkness.” But, frankly it scared the bejabbers out of me and I never finished it. Those early scenes where two beings –one evil and one good — are hovering in the corners of a room monitoring a human’s behavior … were just too creepy to me. I realize, doctrinally, that may well be exactly what is happening … but it’s just too disquieting for me to dwell upon.


  4. I’ve always been a big reader and I love that you picked a novel as the book that shaped your writing. As you know, books are wonderful and open up lots of new worlds to us. I love all kinds as well as movies like you do. I haven’t read the book you picked but it sounds great.


  5. Daisy Harris says:

    You posed an interesting question about what set us on the path we’re on now. For me that would be Sydney Croft. They’re a writing duo that does erotic paranormal romances based on X-Men like characters. The whole thing is made of awesome! The duo, Larissa Ione and Shelly Laurenston showed me that romance didn’t always have to be serious and didn’t have to fall into the standard formula to work.

    Great post! I haven’t read This Present Darkness, but should take a look some time!



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