I love Haralambi Markov’s fiction. His voice is strong and unusual and his ideas! His ideas are incredible. Weird, outrageous, courageous. Yet he makes them work. Here’s how he refreshes his well:
“The idea of creativity as a physical well with concrete limitations, one that needs nourishment in reciprocity to consumption, appeals to me. In writing about my mental state I often refer to myself as a metaphorical body of water caught in one permutation or another. Writing, then, is the alchemy involved to transmute truth and concept into a narrative with the waters of this well as medium.
Metaphors aside I do find my own creativity to be a limited resource. For every project I try to be as honest in my storytelling as possible and weave in something fundamentally universal and true about the human condition as I perceive it. Often, there’s an element of confession embedded. Small. No more than a kernel of personal truth. It’s a way for me to stay connected to my words even when I write about something as impossible as hauntings that last centuries and monstrous raspberry bushes.
It’s also a way to make writing difficult and slow, since I’m basically cutting open wounds to feed the words and I need time to heal – as pretentious as this may sound. After each finished draft, I’m exhausted and the ways I make it possible for myself to return to writing is to not write. Some writers are prolific and can transition from manuscript to manuscript with ease. I am not one of these people. I need time and distance.
In this breathing period, I focus on my relationships and friendships, catch up on my reading, watch movies and binge watch shows. I collect anecdotes, experiences that can be as small as noticing how my neighbor tends to the flowers in the communal park; snippets of talks with friends either in person or via messenger; saturated-with-emotion and well-acted narratives; heightened dramatic moments in competition shows.
This is the raw material I collect. In the beginning, it’s a heavy sludge – nothing like water, but over time, it purifies distills and I find myself standing by the well. Sparkling waters await me and the urge to write returns.”
You can read “The Language of Knives” at tor.com