My Top Five Reads of 2012

Last week Kat Yares tagged me as an author she liked to read in her Next Big Thing post. I'm going to take that concept one step further and list the five books I enjoyed the most this year.

# 5

#4

#3

#2

And last but not least I give you the best book I've read this year.

#1

The dead rise, and only the dead can rock them back to sleep...but sometimes it falls to the living to do what the dead cannot.

Those are my picks for 2012. What are yours?

The Next Big Thing

The Tuesday before last Jolie Du Pre, author of Conan - The M Series: Book Two tagged me in her post The Next Big Thing. A meme that's been working its way through author blogs across the web where each author answers the same ten questions about a work in progress. Last we I tagged Ginger Hamilton Caudill, and Leigh M Lane. This week they're both talking about their next big thing. I've provided the links below so anyone who wants can stop by to check out their answers.


Ginger Hamilton Caudill Has a very interesting blog guaranteed to make anyone feel right at home.

Leigh M Lane Author of World Mart, and the critically acclaimed Finding Poe which was one of the best books I've read this year.

This weeks winners are.

Monday:  Jessica Crawford
Tuesday: Linda L Kwolek
Wednesday: Crystal Craig
Thursday:  Gaele
Friday: Kate Policani

They have been notified via Twitter.

2012 Holiday Bloog hop

Welcome to my little corner of the 2012 Holiday Blog hop.

In case you missed what was going on a bunch of us writer types, sixty four to be exact, got together and pooled our resources to create a five day event that will culminate in a random drawing to select 5 lucky winners.



And what will these lucky people win?

Two grand prize winners will each receive a 7” Kindle Fire with HD, 16GB, Wi-Fi, and Dolby Audio. Each valued at $199.00

Third place will receive a $25.00 Amazon.com gift card.

Fourth place will receive a library of 18 autographed print books delivered directly to their door. Shadows of the Past included.

Fifth place will receive a library of 36 digital books. Shadows of the Past included.

Go to Holiday blog Hop to learn how to enter for your chance to win.

In addition to the above prizes I am hosting my own little giveaway, I can’t give away a kindle or money or anything like that, but each day of the hop I will be giving away a digital copy, in the format of their choice, of my novel Shadows of the Past, and my soon to be released novella, Enter Night, to be delivered upon publication. These will be given away via a smashwords coupon.





There are five chances to win. I will hold a drawing each day using that days tweets and a random number generator to select the winner.

To enter simply tweet about my blog using the following link
http://rschiver.blogspot.com

And the following hashtag
#SOTPbloghop1 for Monday with the drawing to take place on Tuesday at 5PM EST,
#SOTPbloghop2 for Tuesday with the drawing to take place Wednesday at 5pmEST.
#SOTPbloghop3 for Wednesday with the drawing to take place Thursday at 9amEST.
#SOTPbloghop4 for Thursday with the drawing to take place Friday at 5pmEST.
#SOTPbloghop5 for Friday with the drawing to take place Saturday at 5pmEST.

All tweets must include the above link to be elegible as well as the hashtag for that day. I use the hashtag to track the tweets. Enter as often as you like.

Good Luck and don’t forget to stop by each of the other participants blogs to see what they have to offer. I’ve provided the links below for your convenience. 



Cheryl Bradshaw, Christine Demaio-Rice, M Edward McNally, Emily Ann Ward,
Marsha A Moore, Diane Capri, Jillian Dodd, Victoria Adams, Olivia Hardin, Angela Muse,
Melissa A Smith, R.G Porter, Ty Hutchinson, Laura Yirak, C.M. Barrett, Elle Chardou,
Darren Pillsbury, Laura Eno, Alan Nayes, Michael Roberston, Catrina Barton,
D.B McNicol, Jolea M. Harrison, Katrina P. Williams, Julia Crane & Talia Jager,
Cheryl Shireman, Mary Pat Hyland, Karin Cox, Jason G. Anderson, S.L. Wallace,
Michelle Figley, Heather M Adkins, Athanasios, R.M. Strong, Susan Jean Ricci,
M.J. Holmes, Fabio Bueno, Lizzy Ford, Will Graham, Dana Taylor, Alyssa Reyans,
Marie J.S. Phillips, Karla Darcy, C.M. Keller, Carol D Luce, Robin Nadler, Jean M Bauhaus,
Tara West, Sharyn B Lunn, L. Leander, Lorne Oliver, Marilyn Holdsworth, Alonna Shaw,
Adrienne Thompson, Terry C Simpson, Juli D. Revezzo, Kate Policani, Randy Attwood,
Red Tash, Ian Walkley, Kip De Moll

Looking back while gazing into the future.

As I near the one year anniversary for the publication of my novel Shadows of the Past, I cringe at some of the mistakes I've made in my efforts to get the word out about my literary masterpiece. Though I'm over Fifty, with years of business experience both in construction and retail,  marketing this book has shown me just how much of a babe in the woods I really am.

In the beginning I spammed Facebook and Twitter. Did giveaways through Amazon, Goodreads, and Library Thing.  While agonizing over non existent sales figures. I've lost so much time worrying about getting my first book some recognition that I missed a couple of my own deadlines. By now I should have Reprisal done. But it's not.

If there's anything I've learned about all this, it's that writing and publishing is a marathon, not a race, and that the best thing one can do for their current book, is write the next one.



All sage advice that at the time I chose to ignore. But you know what they say. Live and learn. It's much easier to tell someone what they should be doing, and how they should be doing it, than it is to follow that advice yourself.

Something else I've adjusted to this year is my attitude towards self publishing. As time progresses and the face of publishing undergoes some very drastic changes, I've come to realize that self publishing has lost the stigma that was once attached to it.  I came into writing at a time when self publishing fiction was frowned upon. Reserved only for those lowly writers who didn't care if they could write or not.

Now self publishing has become the norm. Dorchester, once a giant in the field of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Romance publishing, has closed its doors. I was actually going to send the manuscript for Shadows of the Past to them, but after seeing what they've done to their authors, I'm glad I didn't.

Some of the big 6 publishers are getting into the self publishing business themselves. But here is where one must move with extreme caution. For as self publishing, or Indie Publishing as those involved like to call it, which is a name I'm slowly warming up to. As Indie Publishing grows ever larger more and more companies are being created with the solitary goal of separating the writer from their money.

From editing services, which every writer should budget for, to layout, cover design, and marketing. Every day it seems there is a new company opening its doors, touting how for just one low price, they can help you too become a best selling writer.

The only way I know of to become a best selling writer is to write a compelling story. No amount of marketing will ever replace that simple fact. It all boils down to the story. And that is one thing I lost sight of while I was marketing my first book. Knowledge hard won that I will keep firmly before me as I enter my second year.

And don't forget, beginning Monday December 10 through Friday December 14, I will be participating in the Holiday blog hop with sixty five other authors. I hear there will be two brand spanking new Kindle Fires up for grabs. So check back with me Monday and I'll have full details on how to get signed up for your chance to win those and many other prizes.


The Next Big Thing.


A week ago, Jolie Du Pre author of Conan - The M Series: Book Two tagged me in her post The Next Big Thing. Today it's my turn. My goal is to answer ten questions about my current Work in Progress or my Next Big Thing! Also, I'm seeking 3 to 5 other authors who would like to discuss their works in progress, at their blogs, on Tuesday (December 11.)  If you're interested, let me know in the comments.

What is the title of your book?
Enter Night




How did you come by the idea?
It was more of a challenge, to write a movie script that had to be shot in one location with almost no special effects or CGI required so I aimed for an atmospheric tale of a dark place where each victim faced their worst nightmare.


What genre does your book fall under?
Supernatural Horror

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
Even though the story began life as a movie script, I never envisioned who would play what part. Of course that’s the way I write. I try to keep physical characteristics to an absolute minimum so the reader can insert themselves into the story.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
There are places even the ghosts of the dead fear.

Will your book be self-published or traditional?
Self Published

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
No books that I’m aware of but two movies come immediately to mind. The House on Haunted Hill  and The Legend of Hell House. The first one I watched as a kid and I remember how the sudden appearance of the aged housekeeper scared the crap out of me. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The desire to scare the reader without using buckets of blood or blow by blow dismemberment's. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
The ending, believe me, it’s worth the trip. Even if you go straight to the end, you’ll want to return to the beginning to see how it all came about. 

And that’s my Next Big Thing. Here are the writers I’m tagging:

Ginger Hamilton Caudill Has a very interesting blog guaranteed to make anyone feel right at home.

Leigh M Lane Author of World Mart, and the critically acclaimed Finding Poe which was one of the best books I've read this year.

12-21-12

This week in lieu of a post I give you a short story I wrote earlier this year.  My tongue in cheek look at the approaching end of the Mayan calendar and the supposed apocalypse.

 12-21-12


Pete Lohr, an amateur astronomer in Nebraska, was one of the first to spot them. He had recently re-read H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, and in a fanciful moment had turned his telescope on the red planet.

At first he assumed his equipment was faulty, maybe he’d gotten dirt on the lenses. But after a thorough check and with the appearance of three more objects, he knew he was onto something major.

Maybe it’s a meteor that had broken up while passing though Mars gravitational field, he thought as he struggled to calmly enter his notes. He wanted everything to be perfect before calling this one in. He didn’t want to screw up anything and give someone else a shot at the glory.

As he worked he imagined the asteroid being named after himself, like the Eugene-Levy comet that struck Jupiter years earlier. Yeah, the Peter Lohr comet. Had a nice ring to it.

By the time he got through to Behlen Observatory at Nebraska State University sixteen other amateur astronomers had already called the discovery in and it was in the process of being verified. Disappointed he returned to his telescope and discovered that the six objects had grown to twenty eight.

Watching them he slowly came to realize that this could not be an asteroid, comet, or other natural phenomenon. For one thing each of the objects appeared to be the same size. For another the objects remained in an ordered formation. Had this been an asteroid or comet that had broken up the pieces would be various sizes and the debris field would be scattered across a wider area.
On his second call to the Behlen Observatory he managed to get through to Professor Schift who confirmed his suspicions without confirming or denying his findings.
As he hung up, his hands visibly shaking, his gaze found the calendar hanging on the wall.  All of the days for December had been crossed out up to today, the twentieth.

Beneath the Capitol building the President was being briefed on the days discovery. A large screen filled a portion of the far wall and on it was a real time image of Mars from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Fred Bilkes an astronomer with the department of science and technology was reading from his hastily scribbled notes. His Boss had called him an hour earlier just as he was sitting down to dinner and ordered him to brief the President on what was happening. Fred didn’t know anything about what was going on so he had spent at least a half hour trying to get caught up.

“As best as we can determine Mr. President, the objects appear to be under their own power.”

“Which means?” The President asked.

“They’re alien.” Fred said.

The subdued hush of whispers that had been circling the table came to an abrupt halt as all eyes turned on Fred.

“Based on my measurements each object is exactly the same size and if you watch closely you can see several of them making minor course corrections to maintain their formation.”

“So we’re having extraterrestrials for Christmas?” The President asked.

“They’ll be here much sooner than that Mr. President. In fact the first visitors craft will be visible to the naked eye by noon tomorrow.”

“Thank you Doctor Bilkes.” The President Said. “Charlie would you see that Doctor Bilkes makes it home safely.”

One of the Secret Service agents standing in the shadows stepped forward. “Yes sir,” Charlie said.

“Doctor Bilkes,” The President said, “I don’t need to remind you that what you just told us needs to be kept under wraps until we make an official announcement.”

“No sir,” Fred said, “I understand completely.”

The President nodded and Fred followed Charlie from the room. After they left the President turned to his advisers.

“So what are we going to do?”

“What can we do?” His senior aide said. “If we attack and they have peaceful intentions we’ll likely never know. If we wait and they are hostile, we may lose our only chance at beating them. I suggest a preemptive nuclear strike while they are beyond the Moon’s orbit.”

“Have we been able to contact them?” The President asked.

“Fifteen minutes after they were spotted and we realized they were intelligent we began transmitting on every bandwidth and with every known means of communication and up to this point we have not received a response. As far as we can tell, they’re not even communicating among themselves. If they are it is by a means beyond our comprehension.” The senior Science adviser said.

“The only thing we can do then is assume they are hostile and strike first.”

Everyone in the room agreed.

“I’ll need to speak with the Kremlin first. We don’t want them thinking we’re about to strike them when we cycle up.”

Forty miles west of Dallas, Texas, Brandon and his friends were sitting around a camp fire drinking beer, and telling tall tales. Above them the stars filled the night sky.

“Hey guys, listen to this.” Greg said as he came out of his tent with his emergency radio in hand. The others gathered around as he adjusted the dial and a male voice came through the speaker

“We are a peaceful race. What are your intentions? We are a peaceful race. What are your intentions?”

“What do you suppose that’s all about.” Brandon asked.

“Who knows, could be a radio test or something.” Jeremy said.

Five hours after the initial sighting, the story was burning up the Internet. Nine One One switchboards were overwhelmed by frantic calls. Highways leading out of the major metropolitan areas were inundated with people fleeing. Riots erupted in major cities around the world as everyone assumed the worst from the approaching visitors.

Ned Fields who had a small ranch in Wyoming was sitting on his back porch enjoying a cup of coffee when from the missile silo a half mile to the south a horn began blaring. It was followed shortly by an explosion.

Ned walked to his porch railing just as the rocket engine for the minuteman missile ignited, turning the predawn darkness to day as the missile rode a tail of fire into the sky.

Inside the lead alien ship the captain turned to his first mate as alarms sounded and their instruments indicated numerous rocket launches from the surface of their destination. The third planet from the sun.

“What does it mean?” The captain asked.

“Our sensors indicate the presence of nuclear devices on the launch vehicles.” The first mate responded.

“Why are they acting like this? We left them a message letting them know exactly when we would be back.” The Captain said.

“Maybe we shouldn’t have left it with the Myans," the First Mate responded, "you know they have a twisted sense of humor.”

My New Web Site.

As you may have noticed there have been some changes afoot recently. I've finished building my web site though there are a few tweaks that need to be done that I will get to over time. It's available at richardschiver.com, and I've redesigned the look of my blog to fall more in line with how the site looks.

In the future I'm going to talk more about my writing processes, sort of giving a little glimpse behind the curtain if you will. Of course my way of doing things wouldn't work for anyone else, as it's my way of doing things. It's how I put a story together. And what works for me isn't going to work for anyone else.

I'm nearing completion of my next novel, Reprisal: Vengeance knows no boundary, and I anticipate a spring 2013 release. I've recently finished designing the cover.

What do you think?

As a big believer in taking care of our own I have been mulling over the idea of putting together a charitable anthology of horror fiction to benefit our wounded veterans through the Wounded Warrior Foundation. 

As a Veteran myself who served during a turbulent period in our nations history, we were advised during basic training not to wear our uniforms if we had to travel through certain major airports in the country,  I'm heartened to see the outpouring of support for those who have chosen to place themselves in harms way. I want to do what I can to help them become reintegrated into society as I know how difficult that transition can be having lived through it myself.

I'll keep you posted as plans develop.

A change in plans

I hate the thought of giving this blog up so I'm going to keep posting, but there will be no schedule to my posts.

I've already got enough deadlines to deal with between my job and my fiction writing without throwing up another deadline for my blog. I believe that's what caused my problems in the first place. I was trying to do too much and when that happens everything suffers, and nothing gets done.

From this point on I will post when time permits. If someone wants to answer Monday's Five questions I'll gladly post their responses on the next available Monday after I receive their responses. 

I will still post book reviews, again as time permits, and when I have the review done. There are several good ones I've read recently that I would like to get done, but again my own writing has to take priority over these tasks.

I have a lot on my plate right now. I'm nearing completion of my next novel
Reprisal: Vengeance knows no boundary, and I want to focus on getting that done. It's one hell of a story I think everyone's going to like and in it I get to introduce a little section of the world, and those who inhabit it, that will appear in future works about the area.

Reprisal takes place in the Appalachian hamlet of Porter Mines. A small community nestled in the rolling hills along the Eastern Continental Divide where legend has it that as the full moon whispers across the night sky the Witch of Porter Mines will rise from the unplumbed depths of Fiddlers Pond to take her due.

I'm also working on the first draft of Brethren, which will be a continuation of the story in Shadows of the Past.

I'm outlining my fourth novel The Gathering where I will revisit the area around Porter Mines and Fiddlers Pond to introduce the hardscrabble little town of Hardmans Crossing that will be thrust into the national spotlight when an image of Jesus appears on the steeple cross of the town's only church.

So I'll keep in touch.

I am not a blogger

There, I said it. I am not a blogger. I am a writer yes, but I find myself unable to write about writerly things.  That and the fact that I hold down a full time job while trying to write a variety of fiction leaves me with very little time to devote to a blog.

I started this blog only because everything I read about promotion said you had to have a platform and one of the best platforms was a blog. But I'm not a blogger.

I am in the process of setting up a static web site that will be my online home. I will transfer all of the interviews I've conducted as well as the book reviews I've posted to my new site once it is established. I will keep this blog up for the time being and use it to forward any traffic to my website once it's done.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Rick

R.I.P Print. Not!

It seems every week this expert or that is announcing the end of print as we know it. They paint a picture of a future where e-books and e-zines rule, where content is downloaded instantly onto our hand held devices to be pursued at our convenience.








I for one disagree. I own a kindle and will admit to enjoying the convenience of using it. It sure beats trying to hold a book open while I'm eating my sandwich during lunch at work. But it can never replace the excitement of opening a new book for the first time. The feel of the page, the smell of the paper, and the secrets within the words waiting to be discovered.  No e-reader could ever replace that, ensuring that print will be around for a long time to come.

5 Questions with g Elmer Munson


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it took me a few years of writing crap before I started to consider myself a writer. I started writing when I was young. I had just discovered Clive Barker and Skipp and Spector and I tried to imitate their styles, so everything was very graphic but I failed miserably at storytelling. I thought if I threw enough blood on paper it would be horrifying, but it just ended up being horrible. After a few years break (and a lot of college) I returned to writing, and once I held my work in print I didn’t look back.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?
Focusing on the current project. As I write this, I have two novels in progress, three others plotted and waiting, one novella in editing, and somewhere around fifteen short stories at various stages (not to mention older stories that I go back to every now and then to see what’s salvageable). I try to work on one thing at a time but the others just keep interrupting...

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?
It was everything and nothing like I expected. I felt validated, like the many hours spent typing away resulted in something I could be proud of. At the same time, I thought, Holy crap, I need to get writing so the next book is even better. Maybe that’s why I have so much going on at once.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m very dedicated to spending time with my family. I’m also very into music and love being outdoors, particularly on the water. And, of course, I love my cats.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?
I’d ask H.P. Lovecraft what it’s like to actually be insane.

g Elmer Munson is a New England writer of the strange and unusual as well as the horrors of everyday life. He lives with his family and a posse of various critters in a creaky farmhouse that's older than America herself. His first novel “Stripped” is available from Post Mortem Press and his short work can be found in various print anthologies.
Visit him at:  www.gElmerMunson.com
Twitter: @gElmerMunson

5 Questions with A.M. Harte

1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.) I've been writing for far longer than I can remember, but I honestly never seriously thought of myself as a writer until recently.

I started out as a voracious reader. I lived books, breathed books. Writing was something I did on the side, for myself, a clumsy attempt to emulate the books that gave me so much pleasure. A way to get those characters rattling around in my head out onto a page, to live out my dreams.

Throughout my late teenage years, things changed. From emailing chapters to my sister, I progressed to posting work online. I gained readers -- readers who came back every week for more. Their encouragement and support made something click in my head. It confirmed to me that I wanted to be a writer, wanted to keep writing and sharing stories.

That's when I started thinking of myself as a writer.

See, despite the romantic ideal of the lonely author locked up in a cave somewhere, inscribing words on a stone tablet fuelled only by alcohol and caffeine, I ultimately believe that writing is for readers. If you don't want someone to read that story one day, why write it down? I think that's why I only recently began to think of myself as a writer, because previously I wasn't really writing to share.

Are you a writer if you don't have readers? If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?


2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.) Finishing!

You start off in that wonderful honeymoon phase, where your idea is wonderful and amazing and smells like roses. Then halfway through you hit that slump. It hasn't met your expectations, it's horrible, you're wasting your life with this writing malarkey. You can't possibly inflict this crap on anyone. This is when a lot of people give up. But you need to persevere, dig in your heels. If you don't finish the book, it'll haunt you.

You muddle your way through to the end of the book, and finally realize that it's not so bad after all. Sure, not as amazing as you'd originally thought, but passable. Phew.... Except you're not done yet. Then comes the dreaded revision. Edits. Rewriting. The story loses all meaning and becomes a string of words.

Finally, finally, you hand the book over to your readers. Then you start the next book, and go through the entire cycle again.


3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) Exuberant and incredulous... and also really relieved. I feel that way with every release, to be honest.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.) Reading. Chocolate. Yorkshire puddings. Roast potatoes. Food in general, actually. Mmmm, food...

I love languages. As a child, I was shunted around Europe a lot, so I speak four, in varying degrees of fluency. I'd like to pick up a fifth at some point...

I'm also editor-in-chief of 1889 Labs, and pretty passionate about all the crazy things we get up to.


5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.) To Neil Gaiman: Would you give me your brain?


Bio:
A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.

WEBSITE
http://amharte.com

Why do I write?

Feeling trapped in a dead end job has forced me to take a hard look at my life up to this point. And the one question that comes to mind is.

Why do I write?

What odd combination of chemicals in my brain has led me to believe I can be a writer?

This is not doubt talking, as I’m quite confident in my ability to create. This is an honest search for an answer to explain the reasons behind what compels me to put pen to paper. Unlike other well known writers I had an idyllic childhood. There was no abuse, sexual or otherwise, to explain the driving need to create. I have no emotional problems, but I do suffer from clinical depression. I’ve been on and off the medication to control it as I see fit. I abhor taking the medicine as it makes me feel autonomous. Like it’s not really me in my skin anymore.

But digging deeper than that.
What is it in my psyche that compels me to sacrifice good money in exchange for several hours each day of pounding at the keyboard in the hope of creating something worthwhile?
I have enough experience in business that if I could devote half of the time and energy I put into my writing into building a business I’m confident that I would be very successful. But I hesitate, opting instead to stare at the blank page until beads of blood form on my forehead.

For what?

Money? Pfft, like that’s gonna happen.

Fame? Doubt it.

Without fame and fortune what is it that locks me to my keyboard every day of the week, Sundays included?

What is it that drives you to write?

Let’s put aside the bullshit and speak frankly about what it is that forces you to get up everyday and work on your latest project.

5Qs with Patricia Russo


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  When I was fifteen.  That's when I decided I was going to be serious about it, and that serious about it meant finishing stories I started and then submitting them, and resubmitting them when they got rejected, which at first was, naturally, always.  I first wanted to write when I was in the third grade.  I was already reading way above grade level, and was fascinated by words.  I started learning how to put words together then, in the third grade.  Got some attention for my writing in elementary school, but it was when I was fifteen that I got, as I said, serious.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Liking the story after it's done.  Not being totally in despair at how bad it is once it's there in print or online.  Very rarely do I like anything I have written.  I always see what I wanted to be there, but isn't.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) Excited, but I had no one to be excited with me or for me.  My parents had no clue of what I was trying to do, or how important it was to me.  I found the acceptance letter when I came home from high school.  My mother and aunt were there -- they looked at me, nodded, made some casual comment, and went back to their conversation.  I went back to my high school, running part of the way, in order to catch my English teacher, Mrs. Weiland, to show her, because I thought she would understand.  But by the time I got there, she was gone for the day.  The next day I showed her the acceptance letter, and she was really happy for me.  But by then my own excitement had faded...:-)  Mrs. Weiland died young, only a year or so after I graduated.  I wish I could have shown her Shiny Thing.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  I am not quite sure how I'm going to interpret 'passionate' in this answer.  I am angry about a lot of things.  I can get very up in people's faces when health and safety issues are involved.  I believe that the greatest good is to reduce pain.  So perhaps I am passionate about that -- in a violent, aggressive way...:-)  If passionate means, 'what do you really like' -- well, Doctor Who, and the band New Model Army.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  I don't know if I would ask anybody anything.  ("Dear Mr. Dickens, so what the hell was the ending of The Mystery of Edwin Drood supposed to be?" :-)  I might want to tell a couple of people something.  Like Emily Dickinson -- that her work would be not only remembered and honored, but that people would be amazed by her genius.  (Not that she would believe it.)  Or Keats -- No, man, your name was not writ in water.

If I can stray from writers to artists (though she counts as both), I would ask Emily Carr, the Canadian artist, something:  How?  How did you do it?  How did you suddenly make that cognitive leap late in your life and do work that was so much more than the work you did when you were younger?  She is one of the few examples I can think of of creative people where that happened.  -- Of course, she would say, "I don't know.  It just happened."  Being of a certain age myself, I keep hoping for that cognitive leap...

 
Bio: Patricia Russo had her first professional short story, “True Love”, published in 1987 in the anthology Women of Darkness: Original Horror and Dark Fantasy by Contemporary Women Writers, edited by Kathryn Ptacek. Since then her work has appeared in Lone Star Stories, Electric Velocipede, Abyss and Apex, Talebones, Tales of the Unanticipated, Not One of Us, in the anthologies Corpse Blossoms and Zencore, and in many other fine publications. She is that rarest of authors: she has no website, no blog, nothing on the internet to indicate that she even exists — except for a trail of fiction that reveals the prolific and generous writer behind the name.(From Bio posted at Papaveria Press)






Shiny Thing blurs the lines between fantasy, horror and science fiction. The stories inside are suffused with magic and danger, and will sometimes chill you to the bone. With a delicate touch Patricia Russo reveals humanity in all of its foibles and glorious moments, in settings that range from the perfectly average to the absolutely sublime. You can never be quite sure who is the monster and who is the heroine, and sometimes there is no divide. The characters are people you know, yet they do things you would never expect, and within each story there is one shining thing that somehow changes them all. You know the old saying — all that glitters is not gold. Well sometimes, all that is gold does not glitter. In Shiny Thing, your life depends on being able to tell the difference.

5Qs with Robert Dunbar

Q: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A: Growing up, I had younger brothers (and innumerable small cousins) and always told them stories, especially after dark, and I remember my audience grew especially enthusiastic during thunderstorms. Long before hitting my teens, I’d started writing these stories down. By the time I’d had a play produced at a little “experimental” theater and some poetry published in a couple of journals, my identity was pretty well fixed. At twenty-something, I could hear the self-conscious catch in my voice when I told people about my work. It wasn’t until after my first book was published that I detected a note of confidence whenever I announced, “I’m a writer.”


Q: What is the hardest part of writing?

A: The starvation.


Q: How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A: Nauseated and traumatized. Without my knowledge, an editor had hacked the novel to pieces, something I didn’t discover until I actually held the published book in my hands. A moment that should have been a thrill … became a nightmare. Over the years, all my dealings with that publisher were pretty much in line with this experience.

Still, there were compensations, like the moment when I realized I’d never be an unpublished novelist again. And a restored version of the book was eventually published to considerable critical acclaim, and it is currently in its tenth edition. Ah, validation!


Q: In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A: Reading. Never trust a writer who isn’t.


Q: If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A: You mean like if I could go back in time? I’d probably want to ask Rupert Brooke for his phone number.

I’ll explain when you’re older.


Robert Dunbar has written for television and radio, for newspapers and magazines. He is the author of the novels WILLY, THE PINES and THE SHORE and the collection MARTYRS & MONSTERS. His most recent project is the novella WOOD.

Fake reviews, paid reviews, and sock puppets oh my!


British author Stephen Leather has admitted that he used fake identities to promote his work online.

Bestselling author RJ Ellory confessed to posting flattering reviews of his own work and to using assumed names to attack other authors he viewed as rivals.

The New York Times posted this story about John Locke purchasing book reviews from the now defunct gettingbookreviews.com. He freely admitted to doing it, but stressed that he didn’t specifically request favorable reviews. While that may be the case, when one reads between the lines of how gettingbookreviews.com operated, it becomes obvious that reviewers were motivated to post favorable reviews. I’m sure Mr. Locke was aware of this fact.




Personally I’ve always felt that purchasing reviews, or posting fake reviews is a sign that the writer lacks confidence in their work. They knows it’s not the best they can put out there, or am I just being naive?

It’s taken some time and patience but I’ve managed to accumulate nine reviews on Amazon, along with reviews on Horror Fiction Review, Literary R&R, and Hellnotes just to name a few. At Zoetrope I ran into a guy on their forums who offered to show me how to make good money with a crappy book in just a few short months. It involved sock puppets and fake reviews. My own sense of integrity compelled me to distance myself from him.

I believe what many others have said about readers being able to recognize what these types of reviews really are. The reading public is not as gullible as many would lead you to believe. They know bullshit when they see it and following a path such as sock puppetry will only result in your online presence being vilified and any future work, no matter how well done, or how brilliant it really is, will carry the putrid stench of your actions and be viewed with disdain and mistrust forevermore. Okay a little melodramatic, but you get my point. 

New writers beware. It might look easy on the surface, but you’re only hurting yourself in the long run.

5Qs with Kat Yares


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  I think I've always considered myself a writer - or at least since I could write a legible sentence. Have always written stuff, even poetry, and have earned a living from my words at times. But I didn't consider myself an author until I had a short story accepted into a magazine and actually got paid for it.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Putting butt in chair and just doing it. Next to that, is the absolute necessary rewriting/revision process.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  You could have heard me whooping and hollering all the way to the next town, I think. I still have that first dollar made taped to my desktop.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  Movie making. Can't call it film making because no film is involved. But I love the creativeness that you can achieve looking through the lens of a camera and then putting the scenes and segments together to tell a story.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  I would love to converse with John Steinbeck. And if I could only ask him one question it would be, Can I borrow the characters from Grapes of Wrath to interact briefly with my characters in the story I'm working on now?


Bio:
Kat Yares has been writing fiction her entire adult life. She is an author, screenwriter and indie movie maker. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous print publications and online. She was accepted as a member of the Horror Writers Association in 2001.

Her fiction is primarily in the horror/thriller genres. Unlike many, she writes horror not to gross out or startle her readers, but to make them think. Most of her stories are mind games and deal with mans (or woman's) inhumanity to man (or woman). She is currently working on a two book series - set 2000 years apart. Part fantasy, part thriller - the two stories that comprise The Descendants are reminiscent of both Marian Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon series and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

Her work can be found at all major online retail book outlets by using her name in your eReader to discover what is available.

Webpage/Blog:

http://www.katyares.com/


Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Kat-Yares/e/B002O6QCGE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1


Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/kat-yares

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/katyares

They do judge a book by its cover.

While I've gotten some pretty good reviews for my novel, in a sense validating my ability as a writer, at least in my mind, one problem I've always had with the finished product was the cover. I was never really happy with it. I've always felt that was the biggest obstacle to sales, that and my inability to market effectively.

Honestly, look at it, does that inspire you to part with twelve of your hard earned dollars?


While preparing to publish I looked into how much it would cost to have a cover done professionally and was shocked by the prices I ran across. They ranged anywhere from $600.00 on down, with the quality of the portfolio matching the asking price of the artist. Lets face it, your brother -in-law might be able to make you a cover for twenty bucks, but would it have the same quality as a cover from say Jeroen Ten Bergee who has designed covers for traditional and self publishers? Probably not.


So with the approaching holiday season, yes Halloween is a very important holiday in my book, I wanted a cover that would pop, that would inspire the average reader of dark fiction to take a peek beyond their first impression of my offering.

My biggest problem right now is money. I don't have any, and with my current employment picture I don't anticipate having any for some time. So I spent the past month and a half pursuing photoshop tutorials and experimenting with the program. In the end this is what I came up with.



I'm now happy with the cover for my book and am in the process of updating it across the web.  But a very important lesson I've learned and one I hope to impart is don't get in a hurry getting your work out there. Take your time, spend the money on a decent cover, as well as editing (it's one thing I did do right at least) and formatting if necessary. If you don't have the money, or you've spent what you have for editing, then you may have to follow my path and learn how to use any one of the design programs out there, some of which are free.

Even though we may have been brought up to believe otherwise. People do judge a book by its cover.

5Qs with Nickolas Cook


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  The day I actually typed "THE END" on my first full length novel. Of course that didn't happen until I had written two partial (very, very bad) novels that sounded like every other writer but myself, and dozens of short stories over the course of about ten years.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  For me it's always been difficult to keep an objective frame of mind when I go back to re-read or edit a finished story or novel. Left to its own devices, my pesky habit of second guessing myself will usually make me think what I've written is terrible, or worse, it will convince me that I need to rewrite every line fifteen times 'to get it right'.
When I start feeling doubtful about my work, I generally use two methods to head it off at the pass: I will either read the 'offensive' material aloud so that I can hear its cadence and its weak spots, and/or I will sometimes set the finished work aside for a few days to give myself some distance and an opportunity to feel as if I'm coming back to it with a new set of eyes. It usually feels less 'offensive' at the point, and I can then pick out the things that really need editing, without the sense that every sentence is terrible.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  I felt so giddy that I almost broke out into 'The Snoopy Dance of Joy'.
More importantly, I felt more confidence in my skills and ability to create something worthwhile. All the rejection letters that followed didn't have the same sting and felt a lot less damning. After all, I had been published, so I had proof that I must be making progress.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  Krav Maga, a brutal close combat self-defense system created by the Israeli military and the Mossad in the 50s. I've been a student since 2007, and am now an instructor a couple of nights a week at the same studio where I started.
My other great passions include collecting classic jazz and blues albums, my wife and our house full of Chinese Pugs, a couple of which are rescues.
And of course this is probably axiomatic, but I also have a tremendous book collection of about two thousand books. I read voraciously, history being a particular subject I find myself gravitating towards these days.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  I would probably pick Ambrose Bierce, and my question would be, "How did you really die?"

Nick is the author of:

DEAD DOG



It's the late 70s and Max and Little Billy are back from Vietnam trying to mind their own business when they stumble onto the murder of a local boy. With organized crime and violent thugs on their trail, it's up to these two local heroes to solve the murder. What they find will shake the foundation of their entire community.

Available from Grand Mal Press


Poilitics and the writer.


If you're a regular on Facebook or twitter you've no doubt seen the posts downing one candidate or the other for the upcoming presidential election. And the competing posts that oftentimes denigrate into a virtual shouting match that drown out all reason.

I've often wondered if it was wise for a writer who is searching for an audience to honestly express their opinion about one politician or the other on a public forum. After all we want everyone to read our book, not just those who share our views, so why would a writer purposely alienate a potential 50 percent of their possible market by expressing their opinion in such a way. 

What really disturbs me are the posts from people I would view as normally intelligent, who lower themselves to name calling just to get their idea across. Do you believe that calling a public figure an asshat, or shitbag will cause me to fall into line with your belief. All that's going to do is make me question your intelligence if you can't present a counter argument that rises above schoolyard bickering.

How do you feel about political posts on public forums?

5Qs with Craig Saunders


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  I'm still not sure I do! I think it comes down to what I deem a success - I've written 17 (ish) novels, had novels and shorts 'traditionally' published, received royalty cheques, advances, and published on Kindle, too...and I'm still not sure I qualify under my own measure of success. I think if I ever get to the point when I'm making a living writing, then I'll consider myself a writer.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Getting published! Ha. I don't find writing difficult (usually, though I get blocked from time to time, like most of us!). I aim for 500 words a day, and try to hit that every day, but getting published has proven to be by far the hardest thing. It's a challenge, though, so it never gets tiring, trying...

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  My first published novel was Rain, and I cried like a baby - it had taken me seven years to get my first novel published (or thereabouts)...I still didn't feel like a writer, though.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  Not much...I like to read, a little, PC game, a lot, and drink coffee and smoke! I'm the epitome of dull, really!

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  Joe Hill...when's the next book coming out!? haha - I love Joe Hill, since reading Heart Shaped Box.


Bio:
Craig Saunders lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and three children, who he pretends to listen to while making up stories in his head.

He has published more than two dozen short stories, and is the author of the novels Rain, Spiggot, and The Love of the Dead.

He blogs at www.petrifiedtank.blogspot.com.

Review: Craig Saunder’s, A STRANGER’S GRAVE

Title: A Stranger's Grave

Author: Craig Saunders

Publisher: Grand Mal Press

Pub Date: June 7, 2012

Genre: Horror

Synopsis:

The dead rise, and only the dead can rock them back to sleep...but sometimes it falls to the living to do what the dead cannot.

Elton Burlock's done his time. Twenty-six years for a terrible murder. Some of those years were hard, some easy. On the outside, he takes the only job he can find - the custodian of a local cemetery. A simple job, keeping the grass tidy...giving the dead a haircut.

But there are three black angels in the cemetery: a little girl's ghost that roams the night...and two women, one a vision in white, one a nightmare in black.

When the killing starts, who can rock the restless dead back to sleep? Who but Elton? Elton, custodian of the dead, but the gatekeeper, too. The keeper of this world and the next.

The dead are awake. The little girl is free of the earth. But there are no lullabies for the dead and if he's going to live, Elton's going to have to give her what she wants.

Then, maybe, he can find peace for them both - in the grave or out.



My Review:

There is a cemetery in a small Norfolk town....Thus begins the journey of recently released Elton Burlock who served twenty six years in prison, five for murdering the man who took his wife and daughter, the rest because Elton was not a man to be caged.

One of the most difficult tasks a writer faces is making their words transparent, allowing the story to come to life in the readers mind. Craig accomplishes this with a graceful ease that quite honestly makes me, as a writer, jealous.  He paints a vivid picture of a man trapped between the authorities who at first eye him with suspicion, and his unspoken duty as the cemetery’s caretaker to keep the dead at rest. But vengeance is what they seek and if Elton is to accomplish his task he must first locate a stranger’s grave.

This is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good ghost story. 

5Qs with Jo Ann Russell


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  Honestly, I first considered myself a writer when I completed my first novel, “The Nightmare Project.” It was a lengthy project that I am sure many “would-be writers,” would have given up on.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  The hardest part of writing for me is getting started. Social networks are my drug of choice, and make for many a day wasted – to a point. Other than that, knowing when to stop going over a piece is hard for me.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  I felt terrified. Completing my project meant I had to send it out and open myself for rejection.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  I am passionate about reading and horses. I own a beautiful white appaloosa mare named Whisper. It is because of her I put together a charity anthology called Scarlet Whispers, that benefits a local equine rescue called Hilltop Haven. I even board my horse there – at least until I find my new country home.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  I must say, this is one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer. To choose only one is tortures. However, it would be Ray Bradbury, and I would ask him; ”What is it like on the other side?”


Changes are afoot.

If you've been here before you may have noticed that there are changes taking place. I've always viewed this blog as a way to give readers and potential readers a glimpse at the person behind the stories. That solitary figure hunkered behind the computer monitor as the words spill across the page. Truth be told the words come in spurts, not that smooth flow so many of us wish were possible.

First and foremost I'm a reader, I always have been, and chances are good that if you were you to run into me in public you'd notice that a book is never far from my hand. Lately it's been my kindle as I've taken the plunge into E-readers, but I still enjoy the act of reading a new book, the smell of the pages, that tactile feel of the book in my hand that can never be fully replaced by an electronic device. I like to read, and I like to share what I've read. So you will notice two lists to the right. Links to the books I've recently read, and a list of links to the author's page whose works I've read. Whether I've liked their work or not.

I've recently come to a junction in my life that has created a great deal of personal turmoil for me. For the past four months I have been in the middle of a legal process that I hope will offer some relief and with the final payment to my lawyer made I feel I now have some breathing room. The details are unimportant. I feel as if a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can once again look to the future with a degree of hope. And I can put the period from 2008 to the present firmly behind me.

Going forward  every Monday will still be devoted to Monday's 5Qs. Every Wednesday I will post about my own personal journey through the act of writing. How I myself put butt in chair and create. A glimpse if you will of the process I follow in creating a piece of work. Fridays will be given over to book news, reviews of recent reads, announcements of upcoming releases from other authors, or information about small presses.


5Qs with Alice Sabo


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  I think it was Rita Mae brown that said to celebrate your rejections, it means you're off the porch and running with the big dogs. When I started submitting to magazines and contests, I considered myself officially a writer. Before that I think it was just a hobby. The commitment to finish a story, polish it and research a market for it made me feel like it was for real.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Writing. Butt in chair. I have lots of ideas and conversations with my characters, but getting it all into the computer is hard work for me.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  Ecstatic! I think it was an essay for a local free magazine - small beans in the writing world - but it was a thrill. I snatched a ton of copies and mailed them to all my friends.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  Organic gardening and eating well. On a warm spring day, I'd rather be playing in the dirt that sitting at the computer writing.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  That's a tough one. It would probably be the author of the last book I was reading, and my question would be - "And then what happened?"


Bio:
Alice grew up in suburban New Jersey with a brother and three sisters, sidewalks to play hopscotch on and friends to walk to school with. She developed a bad case of wanderlust, which might be blamed on nomadic ancestors or all that speculative fiction she read describing new and exciting worlds. After attending colleges in New Jersey and Massachusetts, she finished her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico. Since that time, she has worked in a variety of jobs, in a variety of places, Boston, Los Angeles, Aspen, Long Beach Island. Now she lives in Asheville, NC where she writes, paints and gardens.

White Lies is a mystery set in LA:

5Qs with William F Nolan


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  When I sold my first story to Playboy. At that point, I knew I was a professional. That was in 1956.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Sitting down in front of a sheet of blank paper (or a blank screen nowadays) and filling it with good words is the hardest part.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  Seeing my name in professional print gave me a tremendous lift, and seeing my name in print still gives me much of the same feeling today.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  I love cartooning and sports car racing, and the work of Max Brand.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  Bradbury said that he wanted to be buried on Mars in a Campbell soupcan in the "Bradbury Abyss". I'd ask Ray Bradbury if he found his way home to Mars.

William writes stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He is best known for coauthoring the novel Logan's Run, with George Clayton Johnson. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.
Nolan was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute. He worked for Hallmark Cards, Inc. before becoming an author.
Among his many awards, he was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild in 2002. During 2006, he was bestowed the honorary title of Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Horror Writers Association. He maintains a blog at: http://www.williamfnolan.com/

What can Traditional Publishing learn from Indies.


I was recently asked what I thought traditional publishers could learn from Indies.
In my opinion I don’t believe there is much traditional publishers can take from self published authors. I’m not a fan of the indie designation for writers who chose to self publish. There is nothing wrong with being a self published author, after all I’m one, but some writers carry that Indie designation as if it were justification, an excuse, to produce sub-par work and rush it to publication. 

I know many will disagree with me, claiming that maybe traditional publishers should be a little more open to new writers, more willing to take a chance, quicker in their responses, faster to publication,  freer with their money. They are first and foremost a business, and in business the bottom line matters. When a writer approaches a traditional publisher they should do so with the understanding that they are dealing with a business whose sole purpose is to make a profit. The writer is like a manufacturer offering a product to a retailer for sale to the reading public. 

Honestly, as a consumer, would you purchase a sub par product?

The biggest thing a self published author can take from traditional publishers is the amount of editing in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and story structure that goes into a work before it’s released. And before the comments overflow with examples of crappy editing from traditional publishers take a moment and compare the number of known mistakes with the volume of that publishers releases. We’re all human and we’re prone to make mistakes. But that is no excuse for sloppy writing and even sloppier formatting.

The goal of any writer should be to make their writing transparent. You want the reader to experience your work with the least amount of roadblocks and interruptions possible. For me as a writer the biggest compliment I can get from a reader is that the words vanished as they were reading. This is only accomplished by polishing your work. 

I was in an online discussion with a young writer who proudly proclaimed that he switched tense from past to present and back again in his work, on purpose, just to keep the readers on their toes. I attempted to explain to him how important it was for the writer to remove those roadblocks from the story but he insisted that it was important to keep the reader guessing. 

Again I have nothing against those who self publish, only those who refuse to take the time to produce their best possible work.


What are your thoughts on this? Is there something I've missed that traditional publishers can learn from self publisher writers?

5Qs with Scott Nicholson


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  I have always thought of myself that way but very rarely refer to myself that way in public, even though I am now a full-time writer. But I've never been "just a writer." I've always had other passions, professions, and hobbies.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Persistence and commitment. Writing is little more than putting one word after another, over and over.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  I had a number of short stories published before my first novel, so I had my stack of rejection slips to dance upon. But I also knew there was a lot of hard work ahead.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  I was a painter and rock musician, and now gardening is one of my passions, but I could see getting back into painting. I am a partner in the ebook promotion site eBookSwag.com and it is exciting and promising.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  I'd like to ask Mark Twain what he thinks of the 21st Century. I am sure he'd have a grand time making sport of Facebook!

More information about Scott can be found at his website:

5Qs with Bryan Hall


1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  The minute I finished my first short story.  If you put pen to paper – or fingertips to keyboard – and create something then you're a writer. Success means different things to different people, for sure, but as far as just being a writer I consider anyone who's done something like that to be one.


2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Confidence.  I read a blog from Neil Gaiman once where he talked about being three quarters of the way through a book and realizing it was pure and utter crap.  That nobody would want to read such drivel and that if they did they wouldn't understand it or would realize how terrible it was.  He told his agent (or publisher) that and they said "Oh you're at that part".  It happened to him every time – that moment of doubt that shut down his ability to keep writing.  I'm sure that's not the exact story word for word, but it's a good approximation of it.  And that same thing happens to me at a couple of points during anything I'm writing.  Keeping my confidence up can get tricky sometimes. 

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  Excited, for sure.  Almost in disbelief, as well.  I got very lucky in that the publisher I'd hoped would pick up my book did so rather quickly.  I'd reached the goal that I'd set for myself and was honestly in a bit of shock that it had happened.  Once the release came the reality of it set in.  It was very surreal.  Even now, a release does the same thing for me.  It's a good feeling to know that your stuff is getting out there in the world.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.) Hobby-wise I keep bees and play video games.  I also read voraciously.  Other than writing those are my main pursuits, but I don't know if any of them can come close to what I get out of writing.


5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  I'd ask Clive Barker if he had any plans to get back to his roots and do some real old-fashioned horror writing like he used to.  I know he has to write what he's inspired to, but I'd really love another volume of The Books of Blood or a novel like The Damnation Game. 



Bio:
Bryan Hall is a horror and dark fiction author living deep within the mountains of North Carolina in a home he desperately wishes was haunted. Growing up in the Appalachia’s, he's soaked up three decades worth of legends, stories, culture, and characters - many of which weave their way into his work. When not writing, reading, or relaxing he can usually be found at his beehives.

He is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association and his debut novel Containment Room 7 was released by Permuted Press in 2011. Most recently he is also the author of The Southern Hauntings Saga from Angelic Knight Press. Additionally, his short fiction collection Whispers from the Dark is available on Amazon. You can find him online at www.bryanhallfiction.com.

His latest release The Vagrant can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087APS98