Interview with Author Jimmy Pudge

Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself – 

My name is Jimmy Pudge, and I’m currently an Indie writer. In the past, I did go the traditional route with some degree of success. However, I was never able to write what I really wanted. Self-publishing gives me more freedom to write.

Bec: What first got you interested in writing?

My father and I used to tell ghost stories to each other at night. This is one of my fondest memories, and I recall how much I enjoyed making up tales. Later in life, I decided to become a writer and make tales up for other people to enjoy.

Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face, writing and marketing?

I think one of the worst struggles writers face as far as writing goes is getting to a point where they feel comfortable enough to write what they want to. By this I mean, they don’t hold back, they don’t write for themes or to try and impress a particular publisher or agent. Once they can unleash their true voices, I think they have much more potential to grow as writers.

Also, traditional and small press publishing companies are shrinking. The eBook phenomenon has put a true fork in the road for publishers. Now, they all seem to want to go with the sure thing, stories by known writers or stories that are similar to other huge bestsellers. I think it creates a struggle for writers to find a home for original works.

As far as marketing, publishing companies are now really cautious about what they publish and publish less frequently. If you’re an unknown, your chances of getting published traditionally are not too good. As far as self-publication, there is now so much out there, that it’s difficult to have your works noticed. You need to constantly push your product on social sites, like Twitter and Facebook. You’re also competing with known writers and writers who write full-time, those who can sit at home all day and market their products or pay to have someone do it for them.

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

Yo A$$ Is GRA$$: Tales From a Rednek Gangsta (YouTube Reviews) is a collection of short stories probably unlike anything you have ever read. It’s a completely original work, featuring tales of crime, horror, and suspense. Each tale involves a lowlife of some form. There are no likable protagonists in my stories, and they break many rules in terms of what most publishers’ guidelines call for. You’ll see a lot of erotica and dark humor in these tales. I call them beautiful stories for horrible people. You need a certain type of humor to enjoy this work.

Bad Billy is my current work in progress and should be released toward the end of September. Bad Billy is my ode to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It involves a 500 pound, 4’7” rascal who manages to break free from his prison in Mama’s basement. He goes outside into the world for the first time and goes on a killing spree across the state of Georgia. Early reviews are very positive, with one reviewer calling it. “Of Mice and Men meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?

No, not at this time. I’m currently working on a new novel about a sociopath who is trying to prove to himself that he is not a sociopath.

Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?

I’ve been asked to contribute to several short story anthologies. I’ll submit my pieces and keep my fingers crossed that the publishers enjoy what they read. One is for charity, and I’m especially excited to help out.

Bec: What’s your favorite color?

Green is my favorite color. I love green eyed women. Although, they usually seem to give me the most hell when I date them. I’m not saying I don’t deserve it, it just seems that they seem more likely to give it the most.

Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?

I like to listen to music when I write. I recently discovered an interesting radio station called Never Ending Wonder Radio. I enjoy tuning in because of all the weird stuff it plays. I’m a bit of a weirdo, so this appeals to me. You can go there every time and expect to hear something new. Here’s a link if you’re interested: www.neverendingwonder.com/. It’s also seeking scripts to read live on the air during October. If you’re a writer, it might be pretty cool to hear your words read to you on the radio. I’m going to work something up for it.

Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?

Huge fan of horror, mystery, and crime. I also read other genres, but I’m more inclined to buy from those three genres I just mentioned.

Bec: Have you ever gone streaking in a public place?

Yes, all the time. I can’t help myself, especially when there’s a full moon. I’m just crazy like that. I like the way the breeze feels against my nuts.

Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?

No, not at all. You get to meet a lot of new friends online. I can’t tell you all the kind souls I’ve had the fortune to meet. They’re a great bunch of people and have changed my perception on people in general quite a bit.

Bec: Eggs, bacon and toast or Pancakes?

What a tough question! I’m a go with pancakes though, because you can make them even when you’re flat out broke. It’s fit for kings and broke people alike. But you know what, I eat them all the time, and talking about them has just made me sick. I think I’ll go with eggs, the next cheapest meal on the list.

Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?

Don’t bother outlining or setting word count goals if this discourages you in anyway. There are a lot of writers, myself included, who do not outline or set word count goals. Stephen King is a great writer, but his On Writing book is not the guide for everyone to follow. Also, don’t write to please someone else. DO your own thing. That’s how originality is born. One more thing, keep writing and writing and submitting and submitting. Don’t worry about rejections. I had over a hundred before my first acceptance. If you are a beginning writer and decide to self-publish, you need to join an online writing group and have your stories work shopped. You also need to hire an editor. You can find them for cheap at the local college. Just request English majors that tutor.

Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?

I wish they would have said, “Jimmy, there’s a difference between porn and romance.” I read that the romance genre was the best to break out in because of the demand. I wrote several trashy books before submitting them to agents and publishers. The replies were about the same: “This isn’t romance, it’s porn!”

Bec: If someone had a limit of ten dollars to buy you something for Christmas, what would you hope they would buy you?

I like magic tricks. If they bought me a ten dollar magic set, I’d be a happy camper.

Bec: Do you think having other writers as friend is a good thing for your growth as a writer?

Yes and no. It depends on the writer friends. Some have huge egos and only choose to talk about themselves. Avoid these jokers like the plague. There are humble writers out there. These guys will help you edit your stories and offer you nice feedback. You want these writer friends. Also, never be a writer’s groupie. It’s just sad. Befriend writers as you would any other person. Look at them as either buddies or dicks. If they ask about your stories, that’s a good sign. If they post on their wall that they need to limit their profile to just close friends and relatives and suggest you join their fan page, then just walk away. I mean, I can understand creating a new profile or fan page if you reach that 5,000 member limit, but not if you have less than 2,000 friends. That’s just ego mania right there. Also, know that many known writers are only lucky writers or writers who were good at networking. They’re not necessarily geniuses. Listen to their advice but discard it if you don’t think it applies to you. Most writers offer pretty stupid advice at times. Also, beware that writers lie more than any other people. We are all trying to get paid for our lies anyway.

Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?

Tough question! Maybe Forest Carter’s The Education of Little Tree. There’s a lot of heart and humor in that book.

Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?

I’ve read more John D. MacDonald books than any other author. I’m not saying he’s my favorite, it’s impossible for me to choose just one, but he’s probably the only author I’ve ever collected. As far as why, I just think John is a master writer. The Travis McGee series is incredible, and his stand alone books aren’t too shabby either. He’s a master of discussing issues in his works and not making it seem like a discussion. He also has really great plots.

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

Your interview has been very thorough. I’d just like to thank you for this opportunity.

 

©Rebecca Besser & Jimmy Pudge, 2011. All rights reserved.

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Interview with Author Kelly M. Hudson

Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself –

Thanks for having me.  I’ll try to be a good guest.  My name is Kelly M. Hudson and I grew up in Kentucky and currently reside in California.  I’ve held a bunch of weird jobs in my life and have done a lot of strange things, none of which I can speak of here.  I’m a nerd by nature even though I look like a biker.  I love to read, watch TV, go to movies, and listen to music.  My tastes are all over the map, but I like to think it’s good taste, regardless.  Many would disagree, especially when it comes to Heavy Metal.  Too bad for them!  Oh, and I love to laugh.  A lot.

Bec: What first got you interested in writing?

I guess just reading a lot as a kid.  I loved, and still love, comic books, novels, short stories, magazine articles, newspapers, etc.  I like to read and that led me to writing.  I used to come up with complicated comic-book plots when I’d play with my Star Wars and Mircronauts figures as a kid and it grew from there.  Now I’m a total menace.

Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face writing and marketing?

For me, it’s not getting paid!  Ha, ha!  I think the market is open for all sorts of talent, from beginning to more advanced.  You can get published a lot easier now because of webzines and online opportunities.  This gives you a chance to put your stuff out there and get immediate feedback which helps you grow as a writer.  Or quit, if you need to.  The biggest problem is the market for buying books is shrinking even as electronic books open doors for us all to publish what we want.  We don’t need companies anymore, but it seems you’ll get lost in the flood if you don’t have someone backing you. 

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

I’ve written a score of novels, mostly horror, with a few crime stories here and there, and they’re all sitting on my computer waiting to be edited.  I’ve had a couple published, including a zombie novel called, The Turning, and a supernatural horror novel called, Men of Perdition – both are available on Amazon.com.  I’ve also been lucky enough to have short stories published in over two dozen different anthologies.  I’ve been very, very fortunate that people seem to be willing to put up with all my shortcomings as a writer!

Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?

I have some ideas, but I’m not writing them. Not unless there’s some kind of need for them, either from inside me or from outside.  I have the kernel of an idea for a sequel to The Turning, but there’s no real push for it to exist, so it will sit on the backburner until or if the time ever comes.  I have a couple of books on my computer that haven’t been read by anyone but me that could become series on their own, but they haven’t been published, so…They live on in infamy in my mind!

Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?

Always writing.  I finished a novel a week ago and started a new one.  Just yesterday I got the idea for another novel, so I’m writing on it here and there until I finish the one I’m currently on.  Yes, that was confusing.  I’m just writing, sending stuff in, hoping that someday I get paid enough so I can do this for a living.  But I’ll keep writing, regardless, because it’s fun.

Bec: What’s your favorite color?

Blue.  Royal Blue.  Kentucky Blue.  I’m a big Kentucky Wildcats fan.  It’s a disease we grow up with back home.  There’s no denying it.

Bec: If an elephant and an opossum had a baby together, what would you name the new species?

Tuskntail.

Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?

Depends.  I used atmospheric Black Metal to set a mood when I worked on one novel and classic country for another.  Sometimes I just want the quiet.

Bec: Red or black licorice?

Red.  Black licorice tastes like peppery cough medicine, and while that may have floated as something sweet back in the days of the Old West, it doesn’t cut the mustard now.  We’ve advanced in sugary sweetness.  Time to move on.

Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?

I love to write horror but don’t read a lot of it these days.  I don’t know why except for the vague feeling that I don’t want to be influenced too much by somebody else.  I love to read crime novels and fantasy.  They make up the bulk of my reading material.

Bec: If you were battling zombies on a playground, would you use the slide, swings, or seesaw against them?

The seesaw.  You can crack a zombie under the chin with them or you can fling them off by seesawing like a bastard.

Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?

Yeah.  But I’m kind of a loner, anyway, so it works.  

Bec: Chainsaw or shotgun?

Shotgun.  It gets the job done.

Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?

I don’t know what to say except write, write, write.  There’s no getting around it.  Writing is how you train to be a better writer.  Sprinters have to sprint, musicians have to practice, and blacksmiths have to, uh, blacksmith.  There’s no avoiding it.  You find the rhythm you like and works for you and you do it.

Bec : If you knew you were going to be murdered, how would you want it to be done?

By a super-sexy female ninja trained in the ancient art of death by orgasm.  Well, you asked!

Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?

I wish I’d been told that some people will hate what you do for whatever reason and you just have to get over it.  The first couple times I got negative reactions to the content of a story of mine, not the actual writing, took me aback.  I was a lot younger then and it cut me down.  I got over it, or course, and I’m better for it now.  But I was kinda surprised at how people can read something into what you’ve done that was never intended.  Now, I could give a damn.    

Bec: Do you think having other writers as friends is a good thing for your growth as a writer?

Yep. Unless they’re jerks who want to tear you down.  Writers are just like everybody else.  Some will help and be nice (I’m looking at you, Rebecca!) and others will be jealous or hateful.  You weed through the bad and stick with the good.  

Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?

Man, I don’t know.  That’s a hard question.  I will give you an oddball choice simply because I re-read this book a dozen times when I was a kid for some strange reason:  Almuric, by Robert E. Howard.  But recently, I’d say the Hap and Leonard series by Joe R. Lansdale.  Or the Parker series by Richard Stark.  Or the Quarry series by Max Allen Collins, or…Oh, God, I could go on and on.  As to the reasons why?  Well, they have great characters I really relate to, as well as interesting plots.

Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?

Joe R. Lansdale.  I like his style, I like his wit, I like the stuff he writes as far as plot and characters.  I don’t know.  I do know that when I crack open a book by him, it’s like coming back home.

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

I’m a nice guy, despite my smart-assery and making up of words.

Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Best of luck with your book and future project!

Thanks for having me, Rebecca!  I hope I didn’t foul up your joint too much!  You rock and I hope everyone out there buys dozens of copies of your great work and spreads the word!

 

©Rebecca Besser & Kelly M. Hudson, 2011. All rights reserved.

Interview with Author Eric S. Brown

Bec: To start, tell us a little bit about yourself:

ESB:  I’m a southern boy who’s a geek, comic addict, and horror junkie.  I’ve devoted a good portion of my life to writing horror thus far. 

Bec: What books do you have out and where are they available?

ESB:  There’s way too many out there to mention so I will just cover some of the bigger ones:  Season of Rot from Permuted Press, War of the Worlds Plus Blood Guts and Zombies from Simon and Schuster, and the book I feel is my best to date Bigfoot War from Coscom Entertainment.  Its sequel, Bigfoot War II: Dead in the Woods, which blends Bigfoot horror with the zombie apocalypse will be released soon.

Bec: I know you like to write about Bigfoot, but what else do you like to write about?

ESB:  I am known mostly for zombies.  Almost everything I have written in my career is zombie fiction.  It wasn’t until last year that I expanded into Crypto-Horror with Bigfoot War.  I had always loved Bigfoot horror films and Bigfoot War is the Bigfoot movie I always wanted to see in book form.  It’s a survival horror tale, set in rural North Carolina, that pits a small town of 800 folks against a full out tribe of flesh eating Sasquatch like creatures.  It’s a new take on the Bigfoot genre that gives it an apocalyptic feel.  The second book of the trilogy gets even crazier and tosses a zombie virus into the mix.  

Bec: Who’s your favorite author?

ESB:  David Drake.  The man is the king of military SF.

Bec: What’s your favorite book?

ESB:  David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers series.  All of them. 

Bec: Do you listen to music while you write?

ESB:  Quite a bit.  I love Johnny Cash, Rush, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, The Cure, and even once in a while some Duran Duran. 

Bec: What got you interested in writing?

ESB:  I wanted to give back to the genre I love.  I grew up with horror and just wanted to be a part of it.

Bec: I know that you are editing with Coscom… Do you enjoy editing others stuff or writing your own more?

ESB:  I have edited several anthologies from The Wolves of War to Superheroes vs. Zombies and the upcoming Bigfoot Among Us series from Coscom, but I am writer first.  I will always enjoy creating my own tales more.  

Bec: What’s your favorite season?

ESB:  Not sure that I have one. I don’t go out much. Usually glued to the keyboard. 

Bec: What food do you just hate?

ESB:  I bloody totally hate Sweet Potato Fries.  The things make me sick. 

Bec: What’s your favorite animal?

ESB:  I love cats just like Lovecraft did. 

Bec: If you could change the color of the sky to something else, what color would you pick?

ESB:  Green might be fun. 

Bec: Do you have any new books coming out soon?

ESB:  I am working a strange new horror novella entitled Into the Light with fellow Simon and Schuster/Permuted Press author James Melzer and awaiting the release of Bigfoot War II: Dead in the Woods.  

Bec: What do you think is the hardest part about marketing?


ESB:  Learning how to do it.  It’s a process I am still learning.

Bec: What typo have you seen the most often when reading others work?

ESB:  Their, they’re, there.  Those often get mixed up somehow.

Bec: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

ESB:  I am quite comfortable where I am in the secluded hills of NC.  


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

ESB:  If you like Bigfoot horror, you should totally check out Bigfoot War.  The book is available through places like Amazon.com and Bn.com, etc.  There’s also a fan created trailer on Youtube that’s pretty cool and an underground Facebook movement to get it turned into a film.  The page is called “Bigfoot War must become a movie”.  

Bec: Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share about yourself and your books, Eric! Best wishes in your future endeavors!

 

Link to Eric S. Brown’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Eric-S.-Brown/e/B004G6XP7E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1403802146&sr=1-1

 

©Rebecca Besser & Eric S. Brown, 2011. All rights reserved.

This and That on Writing – Beginning the Journey

We all receive rejections at one time or another. As we start out on our writing adventures, it seems we get a lot of them. Most of these are poor marketing or the need to improve in one area or another – things we’ll learn as we go. I’ve found that out of maybe every 10-20 submissions, at the beginning, you might receive one acceptance. <–Note I said might!

Despite the popular belief that editors are sitting at a desk with a REJECTED stamp, laughing like a maniac as they reject one submission after another, this just isn’t the case. I believe – having now been an editor – that most all editors would rather send you an acceptance than a rejection. Reading submissions is very time consuming and it makes an editor feel like they haven’t wasted time when they can say yes.

Let’s look over rejection, acceptances, critiques, and markets – all areas that writers need to know about…

Rejections: You can cut down on these by doing more marketing research. Think of a manuscript as a puppy that you’re trying to place with the perfect family. If you had a small dog and you knew that the family you were thinking about only liked big dogs, would you even bother? No. You would scratch them off of your list and go to a family that you knew might like the puppy. But, depending on the breed, you would also have to take in different considerations. Does it shed, etc. You wouldn’t give a shedding puppy to a family that had allergies!

So, when a magazine or press rejects you, it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer, it just means that your ‘puppy’ wasn’t the one their family needed or wanted and with them not accepting the ‘puppy’ it leaves it free to find a home that will truly love it. So, when one market says no, it leaves you open to find the perfect place for your story/article.

Acceptances: These are few and far between sometimes. With the economy downturn the publishing world is shrinking, so if you can find a place that loves your style of writing, take advantage of it. Don’t forget about them when you do your future writings, but consider them as often as possible. Building credits is extremely important, so the more pieces you get published early on the better you’ll do, and a place that will take you into their pool of writers is a special thing.

When you do receive an acceptance, make sure you respond as soon as you possibly can. Working with and being friends with others involved with small presses, I know that there are issues with people getting the contracts in. Why? I don’t know! You would think once you get an acceptance you’d want to get the contract in! It’s very unprofessional to make any market wait for a contract. You’re showing yourself as undependable and they might not consider you next time unless they’re in a pinch and really need a piece. I mean, why would you accept someone who won’t get back to you when you’re up against a deadline, when you know that this other person might not be as good, but you know they won’t hold you up or cause you stress?! Be professional and get the contract in ASAP!

Also, each market has their own ‘rules’ and their contracts are all different. If you have a question about a contract ask as nicely and calmly as possible, pointing out what you didn’t like or don’t understand – sometimes this can get complicated. If you have a friend that has been published and can give you some advice or will take the time to explain what copyrights are being handled and how, talk to them about it! Understanding what you’re signing is very important. If you do decide that you don’t like the contract, let them know right away, so they can find another piece to fill the spot. Remember, just because you were accepted, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. But, again, don’t keep a market waiting.

Critiques: The main rule to these is to find someone you trust and then listen to what they have to say. No one wants to hear what’s wrong with their writing, but if you can find a friend that will be honest with you and is knowledgeable, you can grow in leaps and bounds! It’s when you refuse to listen to the reader that you lose sight of what a writer is really trying to accomplish. If your reader doesn’t understand something, then you aren’t being clear enough and no one wants to read something that doesn’t make any sense, meaning no one will read your work and you won’t be successful.

Despite that though, there is a line. You should take only the parts of a critique you agree with – after thinking about it and checking the piece over when you’re calm and unemotional – and forget about the rest. At the end of the day, the work is yours and it needs to reflect you. One of the biggest things that makes a writer who they are and creates their fan base is their voice and flavor, otherwise we would all be the same and no one wants that.

Markets: There are a lot of markets out there, but the professional paying ones are slim to none. It’s okay when you’re first starting out to get published by nonpaying markets; it builds your credits and gives more meat to your cover letters. But it’s a good idea to try for paying markets whenever you can.

One way to nullify the sting of rejections is to make a list of possible markets before you do any submitting whatsoever. Write your piece and then look up and find as many markets as you possibly can, making a list (duotrope.com is good for this if you’re writing fiction or poetry). This list should be in the order of paying/professional markets at the top, leading down into nonpaying markets. The first place you send your work will be the highest paying market that you think your work best fits into, although it might not be the top paying on the list. You’ll want a balance between the best paying and the most likely to accept and then you send it there. If it comes back, you just send it to another market. This way when something comes back you aren’t all bummed because you have somewhere else to try. It’s no longer a big dread of getting a rejection, it becomes a ‘I hope they let me know soon either way, so I know if it’s taken or I can send it somewhere else.’ With this mind set you don’t fear rejections, you just look at them as an opportunity to get published somewhere else. (See the ‘puppy’ analogy in the Rejections section.)

There is also market specific writing, where you do marketing research and find the place you think you can get into and then write something that fits just them – even when you do this, you still need make a list of markets, just in case. There is always the possibility of them getting a large amount of submissions and they just don’t have space for them all, leading to a rejection despite your careful planning. But market specific writing can increase your chances for publication, especially if you don’t want to have a bunch of pieces that you can’t find a home for because they just don’t ‘fit’ anywhere.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that you find homes for all your works, but if you should get a rejection, remember, they aren’t really rejecting you, the ‘puppy’ just wasn’t right for them!

 

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©Rebecca Besser, 2011. All rights reserved.

Interview with Daniel I Russell, Author of Samhane

Bec: To start off, please tell us a little bit about yourself –

Hey Rebecca.

Where to start? Erm, I’m originally from England but moved to Australia a few years ago. I write horror and have appeared in such places as Pseudopod, Sick Things, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Wicked, Festive Fear Global Edition and Dead West. I’m also the associate and technical editor of Necrotic Tissue horror magazine. I have three children, a wonderful partner and teach chemistry and physics.  Any spare time I use for sleep.

Bec: Tell us about your book –

Samhane is out towards the end of the month in print and probably digital versions. It’s a nasty, fetid little number, that’s been compared to Richard Laymon. If you like your blood thick and coagulating, you might want to spend a few days in the town of Samhane:

“For weeks, I have tossed and turned in my bed in turmoil over whether to publish this. But the people of this town must be warned. Everyone must be aware of the Danger lurking in the dark, waiting.”

Samhane. Just a sleepy town in the rolling hills of northern England. A nice place to live.

Few people know the truth.

Donald Patterson travels to Samhane in pursuit of a sadistic murderer and rapist. Unless Donald reaches Orchard House by midnight, his fiancee will be the star of the next torturous broadcast….

Brian Rathbone and his son are already in Samhane, hired by the mayor. Specialist exterminators, their talents have helped to deal with the ‘little problems’ that have begun to massacre the residents. But as events take a more sinister turn, Brian wonders about the true reason they are there….

Blood and carnage. Pain and suffering. Desire and sweet chaos.

Welcome to Samhane.

Bec: How many countries will Samhane be available in?

Samhane will be printed in English by Stygian Publications and Voodoo Press are releasing a German edition for distribution through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Bec: Is this your first major publication?

 

Kind of.  Samhane has been released previously in 2008 as an ebook only with another publisher, as well as a thriller novella. Due to problems, I pulled both books and I’m glad to see Samhane getting a new lease of life, hitting shelves in print. Already I’ve seen such a great prerelease reception (the German edition went triple figures in the first week of prerelease) so it’s humbling and amazing to see how many new readers I’m reaching this time around. I just hope I meet their expectations.

Bec: What draws you to the horror genre?

I guess it’s the sense of freedom. I’ve never been one for holding back with my writing, and the dirty darkness allows me that opportunity. It would be quite bizarre if John Grisham, in the middle of one of his legal thrillers, suddenly wrote horny redneck werewolf or a chainsaw-welding mad man into the plot. I can get away with that. Plus, writing horror is a lot more fun. You make your own boundaries.

Bec: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From the literary world, here comes that name again. Richard Laymon started it with me, as reading his work, I thought, I can do this and I would enjoy doing this. He had a fast pace and the pages turn so quick, especially in such belters as Endless Night.

I like the feel of 80s horror movies, the zanier the better. I know we have gore-no, etc, nowadays, but there was something a bit more visceral about the 80s. Maybe it was the lack of CGI. I was born in 1980 so grew up in the decade of video nasties and whispered celluloid taboos in the playground. I guess that sowed the seeds.

Bec: Knife or hammer?

Both can be used creatively. If I’m eating dinner, the knife. Building a shed? Hammer. Killing someone in a book? Perhaps the hammer to stun and the knife for fun.

Bec: Blood spatter or spray?

Definitely both in my novels. As well as drip, gush, jet, splatter, pour… You get the idea.

Bec: Why clowns?

Because at times, don’t you want to be cheered up? A splash of colour on a grey day and a friendly painted smile can turn your frown upside down. Seriously though, I don’t know. Just like the man who pays for electric probes to be stuck up his anus…it’s just his thing. Not that I get off sexually with the whole clown thing. We tried it once, but it took too long to wash the custard out of the bedsheets.

Bec: What scares the crap out of you?

Now? I guess that every parents’ nightmare does change the emphasis from themselves onto their families. During the pregnancy of my youngest son, we had to have ‘one of those talks’ with the doctors. Decisions had to be made, and that was terrifying. I can watch any horror film you want, but it’s the childrens’ hospital documentaries that send more shivers up my spine. Just makes you think, what if?

Bec: Which would scare you more? Being a love slave to a demon? Or being a slow, live meal for a cannibal? Why?

Easy one. Sex slave to a demon sounds kinda fun, as you can have female demons (in my fiction anyway). They’d always be horny, which is a plus.

Bec: Do you have any other publications coming up that you would like to share?

Festive Fear Global Edition is out next month in time for Christmas, but this is already a sell out. There may be copies still available at The Merchant’s Keep. That features my story ‘It Comes But Once a Year’, starring one of the Samhane escapees. One of my clown stories will be appearing the German anthology WICKED through Voodoo Press. Every story is illustrated with some amazing artwork. Even if you don’t speak German, you gotta love the artwork! Other upcoming publications is the English version of the clown story, Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem, in Devil Dolls and Duplicates in Australian horror, and Rainchild and the Trickster, a Native American/Lofecraftian tale in Dead West from Bandersnatch Books.

Bec: Fire or dismemberment?

Dismember and then fire to destroy the evidence, or at least make it easier to carry. To receive? Neither, thank you very much.

Bec: What is your favorite horror creature?

How can I pick just one? Any, if it is original and well done. Been reading some giant creature stories of late, courtesy of Brian Keene and Sarah Pinborough, so I guess that’s been my flavour of the month.

Bec: Are there any authors that inspire you, if so, why?

Apart from Laymon as mentioned, I’m aiming to get a few more violent-yet-magical deaths that Bentley Little does so well. I would also love to capture that feel of early Clive Barker, The Books of Blood type era. I also adore Jack Ketchum and Brian Keene, as they have boundaries (or lack of!) in a similar place as myself.

Bec: It’s a cold, quiet night at home, suddenly a human brain slams against a window of your home . . . What do you do?

I jump out of my seat, swing open the heavy, metal door to the cellar and run down the wooden steps. I turn on the hanging light and count the jars. If one of my brains is missing, the kids are in deep shit. They know not to touch daddy’s things.

Bec: Screaming, scared woman or kick-butt-I-can-handle-this woman?

One can become the other, and vice versa, under the right circumstances.

Bec: What scared the crap out of you as a child?

Everything scared me as a child! I was a complete pussy. Horror films, themepark rides, the dark, everything. But I always had this morbid curiosity about them. For example, if you’d watched a movie I was too chicken shit to watch myself, I would expect a graphic, blow-by-blow run down of it. That way, I could watch it without watching what. Oh, and aliens. The ones with the thin bodies and large eyes *shivers*.

Bec: Are there any words of wisdom you would like to share with fellow writers who are looking for success?

Don’t look for success! Do this because you like doing it. Your rewards should be words on the page and the feeling of accomplishment having finished that short story or novel. Any publications and royalty payments are just a bonus.

Bec: Where can we buy your book?

Samhane will be available direct from the publisher at www.necrotictissue.com and also on www.amazon.com and other online retailers. Your local bookshop should be able to order them in. The German edition is on preorder right now at www.voodoo-press.com and www.amazon.de.

Bec: Thank you for sharing your time and insight with us! Best wishes with your book!

Thank you, Rebecca. I gotta go wipe a smear of grey matter from my window. Bloody kids!

Link to purchase Samhane for your Kindle ($.99): http://www.amazon.com/Samhane-Daniel-I-Russell-ebook/dp/B004UH7EDA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403801548&sr=8-1&keywords=samhane+daniel+i+russell

© Rebecca Besser and Daniel I. Russell, 2010. All rights reserved.

Open Mind – Editing and Revisions

I have heard that there are writers that refuse to do edits or revisions for editors. Which actually confuses me somewhat. Don’t you want to be published?

I’m the type of writer that would redo the entire article/story so that I could fit into a publication. Open mindedness is my way. I have not yet had an editor want my to make changes that I didn’t agree made my piece better. One place, I went through two or three revisions before I was accepted. I still loved the story!

When you are closed off to considerating the possiblities of what your work could be with a few changes you sometimes shut doors to getting your work published.

Don’t get me wrong though, if they want to completely tear it apart and make it into something completely different, then by all mean stick to your guns if you feel wronged. I just haven’t seen or heard of anyone having that kind of experience with any publication they’ve been in.

Keep an open mind, make a couple changes every now and again, and who knows, you might be surprised and even please with the end result.

Note: When you get a rejection and they say they liked the story/article, don’t be affraid to ask an editor if they would consider it again with some revision. I have gotten in that way. Just don’t do it with form letter rejections. The only ones I’ve done it with are places that gave me personal comments.

 

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© Rebecca Besser, 2010. All rights reserved.

Author Rebecca Besser's Blog