Interview with’s Dana Schaff

Bec: Tell us a little about yourself:

Dana: I’m just a working stiff who has always dreamed of being a great writer. I grew up in a family of readers and as far back as I can remember I have always loved the written word and the escapism that books provide. I grew up in small town with not a lot to do so a lot time was spent on the weekends watching Creature Feature movies and exploring my father’s extensive collection of books. The old black and white horror movies had a big influence on me and when I discovered a copy of Dracula stashed away on one of the upper shelves of a book case I was overjoyed. I plunged right in. This was my first horror novel. It was an education indeed. I quickly learned that what Hollywood had created was nothing like what was between the covers of Mr. Stoker’s book. It was rich and layered and complex. That was it. I had found a genre that I could—pardon the pun—sink my teeth into. Over the years I began to write, mostly for myself and then for my daughter, but it was just a hobby. Then I decided to step it up. Somewhere I had read that one is not truly a writer until one has received a rejection letter. Very true. So I began writing short stories and submitting them and sure enough—my grammar had much to be desired—I experienced my first rejection. Hooray! This led to a short-lived career as a small press writer of short stories. I still write but not as much as I’d like. I never experienced much commercial success but I keep trying. Since writing my only novel Skull Feeder with my good friend Pam Chillemi-Yeager I have mostly concentrated on other aspects of the publishing life.

Bec: Why did you start

Dana: My one and only novel published by Terradan Press was never a commercial success and we never made any money so to speak and I was saddened by this. We had put a lot of time and effort into writing that book and only, in the end, for the satisfaction of writing a book. I was disappointed in the lack of sales. It occurred to me that lots of writers must experience this same feeling. Toiling for weeks, months, years only to make little or nothing from their effort. One of the problems is that the world is now flooded with books of every genre and it’s difficult to reach a wide readership without the help of say a big publishing house. So my idea was to create a site that might in some modest way help writers reach a bigger audience and consequently sell more books thus Fiction Terrifica was born.

Bec: How has Fiction Terrifica been received so far?

Dana: So far so good. We have experienced peaks and valleys in traffic but our Twitter followers have grown as has the number of likes we receive on Facebook. All the authors we have hosted so far seem to be happy about the venture. So we must be doing something right but I know we can do better and we work every day to come up with new strategies to reach more people.

Bec: Are you currently looking for contributors or interview victims?

Dana: We are always looking for authors who would like to submit their stories and gain a little exposure. As I am new to interviewing folks I have stepped timidly into those waters and am learning to be a better interviewer but yes, I am always looking for some new victims.

Bec: Is there anything special want-to-be contributors need to know before they contact you?

Dana: We cater to the horror writers so as long as the writing falls within that genre we will be happy to have a read. That being said, writers of other genres might do well to keep an eye on what we are doing. We plan on running more sites that will cater to other genres. Horror writers are not the only writers out there struggling to make a buck and we know that.

Bec: What’s your favorite genre?

Dana: Horror by far but I don’t limit myself. I love good literature and nothing is more satisfying than reading a well-crafted sentence. I might read Stephen King one day and Hemmingway the next. I contain multitudes. There is no doubt that if faced with a choice: A mainstream novel in one hand and a horror novel in the other, I would set aside the mainstream until I devoured the horror novel. There is just something about horror that gets my blood flowing and my adrenaline pumping.

Bec: What is your favorite part of the publishing industry?

Dana:  For me it is the reading of the submissions. I love to read what writers come up with and then also I like when the moment arrives that the work has made it into print or online and available for the world to see. That is exciting.

Bec: What is your least favorite part of the publishing industry?

Dana: That’s a very good question and not one I have given much thought to but, if again I have to choose, I would say it is the submission process with all its guidelines and having to have an agent and it’s all too much like rules and quite frankly I am rule breaker more than a rule follower.

Bec: What do you think would improve an author’s exposure in marketing?

Dana: This is what we are learning at Fiction Terrifica. Promotion is a fulltime job and requires a lot of work. It’s not enough for the indie writer just to get published because there are so many writers out there and with all the small presses and self-publishing it’s easier than ever to get “published.” The writer who wants to have success has to first have something other people want to read. Content is KING. If they have something others want to read the writer would do well to start with the social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Next, every author needs a web page or blog to connect with people. A viable web presence is very important in reaching new readers. Blog tours have become a very good tool for promotion and an important part of any marketing strategy. I am not a fan of banners but creating a banner for one’s book and approaching related websites to place those banners is also a very good idea. Banners are sort of like roadside advertising. Not everyone likes them but they are there for a reason and that’s because they work. Our approach at Fiction Terrifica is to work within a very constrained budget and I think most indie and small press writers are very budget conscious. Hopefully our budget will grow and we can start to purchase ad space on Facebook, Google, and Bing. It’s not expensive but it does require a budget. The bottom line is the author that wants exposure has to do some leg work

Bec: Is there anything you would like to share/talk about that I haven’t asked you about?

Dana: Well, I have to give credit to my partner, Jeremy Horst, who is also our webmaster and without him Fiction Terrifica would not exist. Together we have big plans and our next step is to offer professional website creation at prices that a budget-minded author will find very appealing. We believe that a professionally created website will make a big difference for aspiring writers. Fiction Terrifica is just the first step in what we hope will be a successful venture aimed at helping struggling writers make the most from their hard work.

Bec: Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us, Dana!

Want to know more about Fiction Terrifica? Stop by their website and check them out. My story, “Memories,” is in The Crpyt, in case you’re interested. I’ll also be a reviewer on the site soon!

©Rebecca Besser & Dana Schaff, 2014. All rights reserved.


Horror Writing – Housing Demons

We all have darkness inside us. We all have demons spawned from scars on our souls. While most people run from the evidence of brokenness, damage, and pain, horror writers face it. We’ll sit and talk to our demons, daring our minds to push against that barrier inside – that once breached – would lead to our own personal insanity.

But, you have to keep in mind, to have darkness you also have to have light. There are no shadows to hide in if there is not first that light to cast them in their grotesque glory.

Follow my mind and thoughts for a moment… Light casts shadows using objects. The shadows sometimes show the shape of the innocent object, but other times, the shadows are twisted and warped to the point of not being recognizable. That’s where our demons – the ones inside we talk to – want to live. We have to make them a home so we can stay sane for a while longer.

A horror writer is the light, searching for just the right angle to produce the warped and twisted shadows to make you think and wonder. The objects can be anything from people we encounter on a day to day basis or just random thoughts or things we run across.

A horror writer’s job is to face the demons inside and look for the shadows they want to live in. We give them a life outside ourselves in stories – the shadows we create. We give them somewhere to live and breathe so they’ll leave us alone for a time.

That’s what we do…we create the horror and unleash the demons.


©Rebecca Besser, 2013. All rights reserved.

Feast or Famine Zombie Prepping Contest

Enter to win a 1 person/24 hour Bug Out Bag [BOB], and many other great Zombie Survival prizes!

Entry Rules:

1. Buy, borrow, or steal the paperback or Kindle version of the recently released Feast or Famine: A Banquet of Tales for the Zombie Prepper



FF book cover

2. Post a review either at Amazon or Goodreads

3. Join

4. Like ZombieFiend on Facebook:’s that simple.

Do all the above and your name will be placed in the drawing for a chance to win one of many Zombie Survival prizes!

Entries will be accepted until August 1st and names will be drawn on August 2nd.

FF Grand Prize

Grand Prize: 1 person/24 hour custom Bug Out Bag [1 possible winner]

Second Place: Autographed copy of One Last Sunset DVD and screenplay [1 possible winner]

Third Place: Custom fitted survival bracelet [3 possible winners]

Interview with Author Armand Rosamilia


Author Armand Rosamilia


Bec: Armand, welcome to my blog once again! It’s been awhile since I’ve last shared you with the world. For those that don’t know you, please tell us a little bit about yourself –

Armand: No. I am a very private person. Actually, I’m a New Jersey boy currently living in Florida. I write full-time and feel blessed I can pay the bills doing what I love doing. I just got engaged to the perfect woman and can’t wait to be married to her. She supports me and allows me to write and not worry too much about the business side of my career. I like M&M’s, no walks on the beach and air conditioning.

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

Armand: The latest is Dying Days 4, the next part in my extreme zombie series. The zombies have begun to evolve and now they’re starting to think and outmaneuver the survivors. I think it is one of my best stories, and I’ve written a few so far.

Dying Days 4 Cover

Bec: Not too long ago we were both involved in a charity book (The Carnival 13), how did you come up with your twisted contribution to that book?

Armand: It was easy once I read the nine chapters that came before me. The story flowed, but I had to add a few of my own twists in there to make the chapter ‘mine’ like having a midget involved. It just seemed like it fit.

Bec: Why zombies? Why not space-alien-cyber-sluts or underground-slime-worms or even dirty-shaved-werewolves?

Armand: Those are all for the next book. Zombies are fascinating to me, but I wanted to write all facets of horror. When the Dying Days series took off I felt I had to keep telling the story, but I am trying to expand into other areas of horror.

Bec: What is one thing about your books that fairly screams they were written by you? What’s your signature trait?

Armand: People point out my usage of women in thongs in the Dying Days series. I can’t help it. I have female characters who still need to wear clothing. And undies.

Bec: If you could have a pet zombie, what would it look like (yes, we want details)? What would its name be?

Armand: I hate pets. I am not an animal person at all. But if I had to have one it would be Mark Tufo. Scraggly beard and Red Sox hat and all the rest. It would grunt with a Bahston accent, too.

Bec: If all horrors came to life and you were in one hell of a situation, what would you rather accidentally ingest? Feces or bloody-puss-snot?

Armand: Both options seem so tasty. Can I mix the two and get the best of both worlds?

Bec: Did you gag on the last question, thinking about either of those things flying into your mouth and sliding down your throat?

Armand: I had coffee in my mouth. So I owe you a smack on your ass when we meet.

Bec: What should we be watching for from you in the future? Don’t you have a movie made (or being made) based on one of your books/stories?

Armand: I have a movie made based on a treatment I wrote. It is filmed and being put together, and I’ll go back and write the adaptation for it this summer. I’m working with a Hollywood company and writing stories to be made into movies in the future, but you never know what will happen. I also had an option taken on my Keyport Cthulhu book, so I’m hopeful it will be made at some point.

Bec: Using six words, and only six words, what would your advice be to new writers (yes, you must use a total of exactly six words)?

Armand: I make millions writing because I

Bec: What pisses you off the most about the writing community?

Armand: The sense we are all in competition with one another. As if a reader only reads one book a year. The recently finished Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 proved it wrong. 32 zombie authors selling their books and finding new readers.

Bec: What do you like best about the writing community?

Armand: When you meet the cool people like Joe McKinney, Mark Tufo, Robert Chazz Chute, you… the people who will help and give advice to other authors. Promote them with something as simple as a retweet or doing interviews like this. We’re all in this together, not as enemies.

Bec: What was the worst response you’ve gotten from someone when you’ve told them you’re a horror writer?

Armand: I once told a woman at a party I was an author. She was very interested until I said they were horror and zombie books. She turned to her husband and mumbled ‘disgusting’ and walked away. He stayed and got a bookmark from me, though.

Bec: What was the best response you’ve gotten from someone when you’ve told them you’re a horror writer?

Armand: They went right out and bought a couple of my books and then sent me an e-mail telling me they loved them. And to this day continue to buy my books and love them.

Bec: Tell us about your Authors Supporting Our Troops project, and how someone can get a hold of you if they want to contribute –

Armand: I’m collecting author-signed books (not used books or books from another author and not ebooks, videogames, audiobooks, toothpaste, etc.) that I send overseas to remote areas like Kuwait and Afghanistan. Directly to a soldier, who takes the 100+ books and passes them out to his unit. In the first 4 months of 2014 I collected 2,500 books, and more trickle in each week. I haven’t officially stopped taking books. It will take off again starting January 1st 2015 and I hope to make this a yearly event.


Bec: Tell us about the Summer (& Winter) Zombie Tours you pretty much run?

Armand: Summer of Zombie started 3 years ago when I realized June was the worst month for sales. I originally wanted to do a simple blog tour on my own, but after talking to Mark Tufo, I saw the potential for teaming up. It has grown each year and I’ve gotten some familiar faces as well as new faces (to me) involved. The Winter of Zombie will be in November again but only be six authors. Next June I’ll probably go nuts and have 40+ authors involved. It is a lot of work for me but I hope authors and readers appreciate it, and connect.

Bec: Is there anything I haven’t asked you about that you would like to share with us?

Armand: The obvious question everyone should ask me… why am I so damn sexy?

Bec: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your brand of sickness with us! Best wishes with your books and future projects.

Armand’s Bio: Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not watching the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music… and because of him they won the 2013 World Series, so he’s pretty good at watching!

He’s written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:

“Dying Days” extreme zombie series
“Keyport Cthulhu” horror series
“Flagler Beach Fiction Series” contemporary fiction
“Metal Queens” non-fiction music series

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool. He’s a proud Active member of HWA as well.

You can find him at for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

And e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:

Armand’s Blog:

Armand’s Books: Dying Days 4:

All of my books on Amazon:


 @Rebecca Besser & Armand Rosamilia, 2014. All rights reserved.

New Release – Torched from Nocturnal Press Publications – Edited by Eden Royce

 Available July 26th, 2014!

Torched from NNP
Torched Edited by Eden Royce


Our relationship with fire is an intimate one.

From the intrigue of the warmth to the draw of the light,

it spans history—yet who tamed the beast was never recorded.

From the Norse funeral to the Pagan celebrations,

fire has burned its way through our lives,

a passing mark on some, an indelible scar on others.

Within this tome lay 18 authors from across the globe,

each with their own burning tale to tell…

…… Doubt thou the stars are fire?


Table of Contents

The Foreigner -Tim Jeffreys
Home Fires – Ed Ahern
Ride to Hell – Rebecca Besser
City of Fire – James Dorr
Kleevar: The Prophets of Profanity – Dan Weatherer
The Light of the Divine – Tom Olbert
Stir the Ashes – Joshua Calkins-Terworgy
Things Seem Different by Firelight – James McAllister
Flaming River – Timothy Kroecker
He Ain’t Heavy – J.M. Lawrence
Without Sin – Mark Taylor
The Burning Times – Brandon Ketchum
Premonition of a Fire Man – Alexis Allinson
The Flame in the Ice – D.J. Tyrer
Internal Combustion – B. David Spicer
Heat Stress – Claire Ibarra
The Little Matchbox Girl – Lara Ek
Captain’s Last Job – D. Jonathan Matthews

An excerpt from my story, “Ride to Hell”:

“What’s up next, tour-guide-of-horror?” he asked.

            She laughed and tapped her lips thoughtfully with her finger. “Hmm…how about Serpent Slither?”

            “Okay,” he said, amiably agreeing.

            They mounted the short flight of stairs, leading up to the platform to the ride. The carnival wasn’t very busy so they only had to wait for one other couple to be strapped in before them.

            When it was their turn, they stepped forward and took their seats beside each other. Instead of facing forward, they faced off to the left side of the ride – Steve was beside the woman from the previous couple and Renea was positioned by a member of the following couple.

            The ride started after everyone who was in line was aboard. Once the ride operator stepped back and flipped a lever, the “serpent” took off with a jolt, speeding up and jerking back and forth like a roller coaster on its side, suspended in the air; Steve thought numerous times they would be thrown through the air. This fear was further encouraged by the squeaking and grinding of the seats and the frame of the ride.

            Finally the ride was over and they climbed off.

            “That was fun,” Renea exclaimed. “Do you want to go on Soul Stealer or Be Damned next?”

            “Why not Bowels of Hell?” Steve asked, gratefully becoming acquainted with solid, none jerking ground again; he wasn’t quite sure he was ready for another ride just yet.

            “We’ll save that one for last,” she said, “its my favorite.”

            As they stood talking, Steve looked around and noticed the ride operator leering an evil grin at him. Something about the look in the eerily skinny man’s eyes gave Steve the chills; he shrugged the feeling off and focused on Renea.

            That’s where I’ll propose, he thought, figuring he could make a dramatic display before they traversed the “Bowels of Hell” together.

            “Let’s try out Soul Stealer,” he said, hoping it wouldn’t be as dramatic as Serpent Slither, but knowing it probably was. He was determined not to show how unnerved he was, or how bad his stomach was churning at the thought of going on another ride.

            “Okay,” she said, and grinned wickedly. “I have to warn you – it’s intense!”

            He laughed, while inwardly groaning. “I can handle it with you by my side.”

            As they approached the ride, Steve began to wonder if he could handle it, even with her. Naked seats with simple straps waited for their bodies. Renea climbed right in, smiling at a small woman with black teeth and drool running down her chin, who was helping her buckle in.

            “Come on, scaredy-cat!” Renea called out, and slapped her hand on the cracked leather seat beside her.

            Reluctantly he climbed aboard; the same woman helped strap him in as well – she chuckled under her breath as she stepped away from him. His unease grew.

            The woman flipped the switch and the seats started to climb up a mechanical tower behind them, until they were well over twenty feet high. The seats stopped and Steve looked down to see shiny silver spikes had risen below them, from the platform.

            “What the hell?” he mumbled, wiggling and trying to get a better look. The straps were too tight to allow him a good assessment of the danger below them and that increased his unease – he felt trapped.



©Rebecca Besser & Nocturnal Press Publications, 2014. All rights reserved.

A Bit Political – Interview with Author Harold Thomas


Author Harold Thomas
Author Harold Thomas


Bec: Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing with us today! And Happy Independence Day! Harold, please start by telling us all a little bit about yourself:

Harold: I have had a lifelong passion for politics. I still remember sitting in front of the television Election Night – at the age of six — to see whether President Eisenhower was going to be re-elected. I’m not sure why I was for either candidate at such a tender age.  My mother has always loved history and told me lots of stories about the Founding Fathers and other historical figures when I was a child. As I grew older, my interest in politics mystified my family – no one before me was ever politically involved, except to vote. I see politics as a practical way to apply historical knowledge.

I graduated from Ohio Northern University with a major in political science, and actually had a few jobs in my major, including four years working for a county political party and helping to run a statewide judicial campaign. I also volunteered to help candidates and ran twice for local offices. However, I also learned programming for personal computers and landed a job with the State of Ohio, which started 22 years away from politics. Those 22 years gave me a perspective that people cannot get when they are in the trenches every day. I retired from the state last August.

Bec: Tell us about your website and your coaching program:

Harold: Andrew Jackson said, “Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty.” The Founders made it clear that our system could not work without active participation by ordinary people. When we leave everything to professional politicians, we lose control of our government. Every citizen should be involved in at least one issue at the local, school district, state, or national level.

Bec: What do you think would happen if EVERY U.S. citizen did something small, say, once a month toward their political goals and beliefs?

Harold: We would discover that our elected officials become more accountable to us, and less to their campaign donors. We would see our politicians work to solve real problems, in place of crises manufactured for partisan gain.

Bec: If you could change one thing in the political climate in the U.S., what would it be and why?

Harold: I would like to see us develop into a multiparty system, so that voters could more closely identify with a party’s philosophy and more enthusiastically support its candidates. This would not have to be chaotic – even 4-6 parties would be an improvement – just enough to deny one party a majority of the state legislature or Congress for any length of time. Nonpartisan elections sound like a good idea in theory, but I think it is human nature to back a faction.

Bec: How will you be spending the Independence Day holiday?

Harold: My wife and I will probably spend it quietly at home. Maybe watch a little more television than usual, or read a novel (I’m currently reading Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress).

Bec: Is there anything I haven’t asked you about that you would like to share?

Harold: You do not need a lot of time, money, or political influence to have an effect on the political system. You just need an issue you care about and the desire to use your talents to support a cause. My website provides a simple three-step process that will help you identify your issue and decide how the things you like to do can be put to work for your cause.

Get A Bit Political and make a difference!

Bec: Thank you again for taking time to share with us!

Please enjoy the article below that Harold has written and graciously shared with us:


The Founding Fathers Were Real People

By Harold Thomas

 In 1865, Constantino Brumidi painted “The Apotheosis of Washington” in the U.S. Capitol dome. The painting depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory. Surrounding them were thirteen maidens representing the original states. The word apotheosis literally means “raising a person to the rank of a god.”

Apotheosis of Washington
Apotheosis of Washington


This painting would have enraged George Washington. For him, leadership was a duty, not something to covet. In 1782, one of Washington’s officers, Col. Lewis Nicola, wrote him that the ineffectiveness of Congress during the war had demonstrated the ineffectiveness of republican government. In the colonel’s opinion, he should consider becoming a king.

Washington’s response was immediate. He read Col. Nicola’s letter, “with a mixture of great surprise and astonishment.” He continued, “[N]o occurrence in the course of the War, has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the Army as you have expressed, and I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with severity… You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable.”

Revolutionary War generals privately criticized Washington as a poor strategist. He came close to losing the war in his siege on British-held New York. His strength was in his ability to select and motivate talented officers by his personal example of integrity. That ability manifested itself again when, as President, he selected a cabinet consisting of the most talented men in the country, two of whom (Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton) held opposite political views.

Following the British surrender at Yorktown, Washington immediately surrendered his commission to the Continental Congress. Britain’s King George III asked the American painter Benjamin West what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.” “If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”

James Madison records in his notes that Washington, who was president of the Constitutional Convention, made only one speech. Just before its signing, he rose to agree with a proposal that one Representative should represent 30,000 people, instead of 40,000.

When he completed his second term as President, he rejected entreaties to serve a third. There is an old legend, that when one man suggested he should become a king, he swore at the listener and declared that he “would rather be on his farm than emperor of the world!”

Washington had virtually no formal education. Unlike many of the Founders who were lawyers, merchants, or diplomats, his experience was with the relatively humble pursuits of farming, surveying, and serving in the military.

Several Founders owned slaves, but could not figure out how to free them. Patrick Henry had a short temper. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were notorious ladies’ men; and following his service as Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton so mismanaged his law practice that he died a poor man. In short, the Founders were regular people, just like us.

Why, then, do we hold them in such high esteem? They totally committed themselves to a greater cause. They showed unusual courage in the face of British military power. They were not afraid to buck the crowd. At the beginning of the Revolution, only about three percent of Americans strongly favored independence. This speaks volumes about the Founders’ ability to persuade and lead others. Unlike most Americans today, they were self-employed. The advantage of self-employment was that they were free to take the time needed to achieve their objectives. However, carrying them out was an economic sacrifice.

On the other hand, modern Americans have one advantage they would have envied – instantaneous communication. All we really need to be more like the Founders is the courage to get “a bit political,” and work with others for a better society.


Have you enjoyed the interview and article?

Find out more about “A Bit Political” and Harold Thomas here:

Website (A Bit Political):




Also see my review for Harold’s Book, “Governing Ourselves”:


A Bit Political

©Harold Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved.

4th of July Weekend Giveaway

4th of July Giveaway

Two of my Kindle ebooks will be free from July 2-6, 2014 as a 4th of July Weekend Giveaway!

Here are the direct links:

Hall of Twelve:

Cursed Bounty:

Please share this post with your friends!


©Rebecca Besser, 2013-2014. All rights reserved.