The Write Space: Timothy Quigley

The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Salem covering a local writer and a Salem space s/he associates with writing. Questions? Contact

Give us your best writerly bio.

Timothy Quigley’s award-winning stories have appeared in the Chariton Review, Line Zero Journal of Art and Literature, La Ostra Magazine, and Writer’s World, as well as online publications. He has worked as a scriptwriter for Convergence Design and has developed educational content for online teaching platforms. His book, Kissing the Hag, was released by Pixel Hall Press in Fall 2015.

He lives in Salem and teaches writing at Salem State University and Wentworth Institute in Boston.

Tell us about your Salem Write Space.

The problem with a particular writing space for me is that I get very restless in one spot, and must constantly switch it up. If I am home, ironically, I write most anywhere but at the desk in my study. I find that very confining after a short while. I then make the rounds to the dining room table, the sofa, the kitchen table, or an overstuffed easy chair.

This also depends on the stage of the draft on which I am working. For hard-core editing and revision, I need to be seated at a table or desk, but for the more free-flowing early stages I only want to be comfortable and can work just about anywhere. But, sometimes I need to get out of the house, so a table at Jaho on Derby Street is great, as is Winter Island, but on the lighthouse side. There are always a lot of people around in the nice months, but it is usually pretty quiet and I can always find a place to sit by the harbor, or up on the grass under the shade of a tree.

What are you working on now?

I have just finished a play adapted from my short fiction, and am working on a script adaptation of my book, Kissing the Hag, as well as a collection of short stories.

When I’m in Salem, not writing, I love …

… to be out and about with my pooch, Copper, around the Ocean Avenue area, or at Forest River Park. I also have a lot of history in the Wharf and Derby Street neighborhood, and frequently haunt that neighborhood and the cool places to hang out and eat such as the Witch’s Brew. I am also a big fan of the Willows and spend a great deal of time there during the warm months. Lastly, the Peabody Essex Museum is truly one of Salem’s gems, and I visit there several times per year, and even tie writing assignments for my Salem State students to certain exhibits. Salem is such an awesome city, and has something for everyone.

About Timothy’s novel, Kissing the Hag. 

This story takes place in the span of one night, while Julien, the main character, is working the graveyard shift at a homeless shelter in downtown Boston. His life has come to a standstill since the suicide of his youngest brother, Mark. He’s quit his job, moved out of his apartment, isolated himself from family and friends. Throughout the course of the evening Julien takes readers on a dark, sometimes mystical, and sometimes terrifying course as he traverses the dim caverns and blind curves of the human spirit via flashbacks and interactions with shelter guests throughout the night.

There is Celtic mythology woven into the theme, as well as subtle, but powerful imagery of the theater, and fire, both central to the book’s motif.  Before daylight, Julien will begin to get his life moving again.

Along with the timeless issues of alcoholism and mental illness, the story also deals with teen-suicide, which is presently of epidemic proportion in this country. The story finishes with an intensely positive message, while using mythology, Christian dogma, street smarts, poetry, New Age-drunk talk, and mad men’s ravings, along with simple human compassion as the springboards for a deeply spiritual experience, told through a spiritually hip but jaded and disillusioned protagonist.

Learn more about Timothy at

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