April 25, 2007

In My Own Words: Vicki Hendricks

Miami writer Vicki HendricksMy new novel Cruel Poetry was a nice change for me to write. Not that I’ve given up my usual subject matter—sex, murder, and obsession are still my favorites. But this book has three narrators, as opposed to my other novels, each having a first person narrator. This time, instead of a closed relationship inside the mind of one character for three hundred pages, I could shift back and forth, and it was almost enjoyable, in the limited sense that writing can be fun. One of my narrators is a man, a desperate university professor and poet who has become obsessed with a free-lance prostitute. I’ve used male narrators before in short stories, but this was my first chance to unravel a male personality over the length of a novel—he’s somewhat unbalanced, as you might guess.

I also created a rule for myself not to allow any time to overlap. Each chapter starts with the new time, place, and the character’s name who is narrating, so that things move swiftly forward, but without confusion. These chapter headings are anchors to reality as opposed to the slight hallucinogenic tone of the story, something slightly off from realism, but not enough to categorize separately. To me the category of noir carries a dreamy feeling, but I’ve never heard anyone else say so. Most of my novels and short stories are on that real/unreal edge, but Cruel Poetry carries the feeling a little further. I wrote the entire to Carlos Santana’s Supernatural CD, repeated over and over, to keep the mood. My hope is that readers will fall into the trance of the story and find pleasure there.

Vicki Hendricks is the author of noir novels Miami Purity, Iguana Love, Voluntary Madness, and Sky Blues, as well as many published short stories. Cruel Poetry is her darkest novel yet, entwining sex, drugs, obsession, and murder on Miami Beach. She lives in Hollywood, Florida, and teaches writing at Broward Community College.


Vicki Hendricks



Unknown said...

Sounds like Cruel poetry is a gritty novel.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Yeah, I'm looking forward to see what Vicki has done on this one.