Interview with Erin Crocker
Think you’ve seen Erin on TV? You betcha!
Erin got her start as a contestant on Netflix’s hot new baking show, “NailedIt!“. Following that experience, she can be found on a variety of Investigate Discovery shows including “Unmasked” and “Dead of Night”. Erin’s also worked on a couple of independent films due out next year.
When She Walked Away
As a survivor of domestic violence, Erin strives to give back to the community that offered her the support and encouragement to not only leave her situation but to find her voice. This is what led to the founding of When She Walked Away. A small, but steadily growing community that places direct emphasis on providing encouragement, information, and support to women and children who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence.
MWS: Hey, Erin! How has your day been so far?
EC: Better than a sun-fried rodent on the side of the interstate.
MWS: Lol! I imagine so! Compared to that my day has been fantastic! First, let's talk about your impressive background. You write, you act: you sing, and you're quite good at them all. Is there anything you don't do that you wish you could?
EC: Well, I’ve always wanted to be a rattlesnake. I haven’t perfected shapeshifting yet.
MWS: Well, that sucks. I heard shape-shifting is all the rage in some realms. Rattlesnake would come in handy...like when going to the bank. What was your favorite or the most fun acting job you've had?
EC: Yeah, all the cool kids are doing it, the shapeshifting, I mean. There’s been quite a few. I’m not sure I can pick one that’s more fun than the other, though. Each experience is unique; I’m working with different actors, directors, and we just have a lot of fun.
MWS: Is being on set relaxing or stressful?
EC: It can be both. I’ve filmed until three or three-thirty in the morning. We’re tired, been there all day, everyone wants to go home. That can get stressful at times. Mostly, I find it relaxing and rewarding. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it.
MWS: It sounds like it would be an experience everyone should have at least once. I am familiar with most of your work and I plan on getting to it in a second, but tell me what you are working on now?
EC: Finishing this piece of vanilla cake with whipped icing and confetti. I’ve put in quite a lot of effort eating it over the past couple days, so I’m looking forward to completing it tonight.
MWS: Vanilla cake with whipped icing and confetti! Yum! Unless...it is a code for a top secret project. I won't tell if you wanna share... . Let's talk about Cocky Tales a moment. It was a limited edition and isn't available now. Do you think you would re-release it again one day?
EC: No secrets. Just cake. As far as “Cocky Tales”, it was a fun project. I learned a lot from it, and I was lucky to have compiled a manuscript with some extremely capable and talented artists, but I don’t make it a practice to look at the past. There won’t be a re-release.
MWS: Glad I have a copy already! Collectable! Did you have a favorite story in it or can you say?
EC: I honestly enjoyed every story and poem in it. The neatest element of “Cocky Tales” was that it was multi-genre, so all the pieces were unique. I don’t think I could pick a favorite in it.
MWS: Let's get into FORBIDDEN
as some people may not be familiar with it, For those who aren't I suggest you read it whether it is your genre or not, it is well written, intense, and you won't soon forget it. I loved it from the moment I began to read it. By the reviews, readers have had mixed feelings over it, but I don't think the concept of your story has been done often enough for people to fully undersatand it. Give the readers a briefing of what they can expect from it.
EC: The nature of “Forbidden” is allegorical. In the beta stages, a few readers suggested I drop the prologue. They thought it gave away too much. I decided to keep it. It’s imperative that the reader one hundred percent understands exactly what is happening in that section. If not, the set up and story falls apart. Two things, the Colstock family, their legacy is a metaphor for institution and the other would be too much for me to give away. Expect heavy metaphor. If I were a reader, I’d read and reread the prologue several times.
MWS: Do you enjoy stories with a metaphoric base or do you prefer to write them?
EC: Both. The more an author can make me think, the more I enjoy reading her/his work.
MWS: Would you say something triggered the idea of FORBIDDEN, or was it something you have had simmering on your mind's back burner?
EC: It was originally a short story, shorter than the current ninety-some pages. I had tabled it, but it kept circling through my mind. So, I wrote it out, developed it, and that’s what’s out there.
MWS: Do you think it was less work or more than other things you have written?
EC: I’m fairly lazy. If I considered writing “work”, I wouldn’t do it. I will say that for whatever reason, my cover designer, Leslie Safford ended up having to redo the paperback cover multiple times, and I spent weeks on the phone with Amazon KDP because they continually refused to approve the cover. In that sense, it was quite a job indeed.
MWS: The cover is fantastic, and really is a clue to the book's contents. I am glad they approved it since I feel it enhances the experience of the book itself. . What character would you say you relate to the most?
EC: Bernadette Withermoore, I’m usually quite the hermit, but I’m not afraid to come out and make a production when something’s unjust. She represents nature and the various ways of life, religion, sexuality, and otherwise before the institution dictated the singular. Anyone versed in Post-Colonial literature studies might’ve caught that deliberate reference.
MWS: All of the characters have their own part, symbolizing (no spoilers) many elements, but which character do you think is the most vital to the story?
EC: That’s tough because it only really works with everyone in play. The obvious answer is Brigette Dawning simply because she’s the light and the shadows. The town is strangling her, metaphorically they are killing the light. The shadow, watches the light die from a distance, and that’s what the town has manifested. BUT, I don’t like obvious.
Devil’s Creek, most important player, final answer. But why, Erin? Glad you asked, because it is the platform on which the institution,or Colstock family, saves their ass by building this lie that banishes dissenters to the other side.
MWS: What do you think are subjects writers stay away from too often but shouldexplore for more exposure/help to tothers?
EC: Domestic violence, particularly toward children. Now, I’m not saying in any capacity that there should be vivid or explicit details. From experiences I’ve had on panels, I’m typically the one who is not afraid to go there. It’s real life. It sadly happens—one in three children will face or is facing some type of violence, mental, emotional, sexual, in their little lives. It doesn’t need to be glamorized or sensationalized but addressed.
MWS: I understand that. I had another author I interviewed that is trying to bring more awareness to human trafficking, as there is still a mindset today that it doesn't happen in certain areas. It does, and often more so in the safer places than people realize. Violence and crimes against children should always be at the forefront and never let alone as it continues to happen. Turning a blind eye to it allows it to continue. I think authors should put resourceful information in their books that contain those subjects, allowing readers access can information they may not normally be able to get. Would you agree?
EC: I like that idea and do agree and wouldn’t be opposed to adding resource information to upcoming novels. Also, big kudos to the author bringing awareness to sex trafficking.
MWS: Not only are you talented but you are also a mom. Do your kids encourage all your creativity?
EC: Creativity, advanced sarcasm, you know, the usual. I joke that most families go camping or play board games. We act in crime shows together. As long as we’re having fun. That’s important. I don’t weigh my kids on grades and academic merit. And there’s nothing at all wrong with honor students. I just want to raise good humans. The world needs more splashes of creativity.
MWS: Yes, we do! Good people! What is your favorite genre to read?
MWS: Favorite book so far?
EC: Hahahaha. Hold on. Hahahahaha. One more second. Hahaha. Still laughing. Hahaha. Book, as in the singular noun? Sorry, I can’t stop laughing.
MWS: lol! If you had to leave the country in a hurry and relocate somewhere that didn't have ANY books at all...what books do you throw in your bag because you can't live without them? Go...60 seconds!
EC: Oh what a silly question. Sixty seconds would give me enough time to concoct a spell that magically transports all my books wherever I’d like them to go. But if it’s a long trip, I might throw “Ulysses” in my briefcase as it’s quite a cough dense text.
MWS: What advice would you give someone who plans on either acting,writing, or finding a side career of the creative kind?
EC: Don’t do it for the money. Your friends are not your fans and they, most likely, won’t read your books. Find real-life readers for that. When you start to be successful, people will not like you. Expect that.
Preparation H for eye circles.
Drink lots of water.
Don’t worry about failure before you even start—there’s nowhere to fall from rock bottom.
You’re going to hear hundreds of “no’s” before the “yes”.
Never ‘make’ yourself do it. If you wake up one day and that’s the case, quit.
No one will believe in you until you believe in you.
MWS: I love it!!! Yes! Words to live by, from Erin! Thank you so much for today!
EC: No problem. Thank you for taking the time to write all these great questions! Love it!
Erin was born in Kansas City, Missouri and later moved to the small town of El Dorado Springs (That’s El Do-RAY-Do), Missouri where she spent most of her life.
In 2007 she moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia and graduated from Germanna Community College with honors. If that wasn’t enough… she decided to enroll in courses at Mary Washington University and earned a Bachelor’s in English, Linguistics, and Communications in 2015.
From there, she published her first novel “Synchronicity” and only lost a small portion of hair from stress. In 2017, she published the sequel, “Menoetius“, and in 2018 she became fed up with a teeny-tiny copyright incident and collaborated with other authors from the writing community to compile a multi-genre anthology entitled “Cocky-Tales”.
Erin’s writing has placed in a variety of competitions including second place in the Sudden Denouement Divergent Literature Competition and the CN International Flash Fiction Competition, and most recently, her piece “The Final Battle” placed first in her heat in round one of the 2018 NYC Midnight Short Story Competition.
In 2017, Erin was invited to sit on not only the Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer’s panel at the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival, she also sat on the YA panel. In February 2018, she joined the judging panel for the CN International Pens of Roses Flash Fiction Competition and in March, joined another author panel in Richmond, Virginia.
Erin works as an editor at FunDead Publications and offers free-lance editing on the side.
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