Interview with Lance Manion

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Lance Manion

Interview with fellow horror author Lance Manion:

When did you realize you wanted to be a horror writer?

After reading Night Shift by Stephen King. The idea that you could come up with an idea that creeped you out and then share it with others was a fun thought.

What’s your thoughts on authors and social media?   

It’s a great way to build or enhance your readership. I’m a big fan of any way to reach your target audience that isn’t controlled by the big publishing houses or run through a politically correct filter. It is vital for the success of the coming eBook revolution.

Which sites do you prefer?   

Facebook seems to be fading a bit, I’ve never gotten the hang of Twitter, Tumblr just got gobbled up by Google and Instagram seems geared entirely towards high school kids that want to exchange pictures of their genitalia. Assuming they don’t want to see my genitals I guess I’m waiting for the next good site.

What’s your favorite horror monster and why?   

The zombie. The basic premise can work in almost any genre and tell any story it wants but at the same time you have this villain that is mindless so you can feel good about shooting it in the face. There is no moral ambiguity.

What is the worst mistake a new writer can make?

Other than taking advice from an unknown? I would say being too descriptive. It’s like in the movies where the monster is always scary until you actually get a look at it. Don’t give them too good a look.

And what advice would you give them?   

Let the idea carry the story, not the details. Let the reader do some of the heavy lifting, they know best what interests/scares them.

website/blog   www.lancemanion.com
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Interview with Michael Aronovitz

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Interview with Michael Aronovit author of ‘Voices in our Heads’ (published through Horrified Press) and Professor of English.
Your new book is called ‘Voices in Our Heads’, was there ever another title you had in mind, or was it a steadfast decision early on in the creative process?
I had the title in mind from the beginning.  I wrote all of these with the intent to bring each forward in a different voice or tone.  Not only is this kind of creepy, but it turned out to be what I hope readers would find an interesting “parlor trick.”
 You teach English, what advice would you give to new, young writers?
For new writers, my advice coming from a Professor’s standpoint would embody a few things: A) No sentences beginning with “ing” words or the word “As.”  b) Make sure there is control over the tense. C) Demonstrate that you are aware of the basic grammatical rules before you bend or break them for the purpose of stylistic “availability.”  From a writer’s standpoint: A) Know your characters B) Know your subject matter C) Avoid cliche D) Risk.  Always.  Shock and offend, but do it with dignity and clarity.
Your next book is about a ghost story – is there a ghost story from your own childhood which has stayed with you?
Though I often write ghost stories, I don’t have any childhood experiences as motivators.  I often lean toward the ghost story because it opens up such wonderful avenues to explore, like rich histories, playing with timelines, etc.
Your novel ‘The Witch of the Wood’ (coming out next year) is about a dark apocalypse – if you were to go all Nostradamus and for-see the end of the world – what disaster would you predict and why?
There will be no disaster ending the world in one swoop.  We are too dramatic a species for that.  We prefer to antagonize each other one day and bit at a time, over centuries.  My story “The Witch of the Wood,” it is about an apocalypse, but more, a beginning with new rules.
What’s your opinions on authors and social media? What sites do you use and why?
In terms of authors and the social media, I think it is a necessary marriage.  I use Facebook, I believe for the right reasons, and have had conversations with wonderful people I never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.  Examples, authors Graham Masterton, Tamara Thorne, Erin Thorne, and Nancy Kilpatrick…musician Punky Meadows from the 70’s band Angel, and film makers Ursula Dabrowsky and Donna McRea.  (As well as personal friends I knew in high school and such).  Moreover, I found Nathan Rowark from Horrified Press on Facebook, and he is publishing my collection this February!  As a criticism, I do fear that when the friendship group gets over 100, one can post something and have it utterly lost in the feed.  Therefore, as a promotional too…let’s say someone old school like me finds his utilization of the bells and whistles a “work in progress.”
 If you were to play favorites, what is your best short story out there at the moment? Is there a book or story you wished you’d come up with the premise for?
My best short stories are in “The Voices in Our Heads,” hands down, and I am excited that Horrified Press took them for publication.  I also have what many have told me is a snappy read on Bosley Gravel’s Cavalcade of Terror site.  It is a piece of flash fiction I wrote one Saturday over the last Christmas break.  It is called “The Matriarch.”  I got such a positive response I decided to expand it to novel length.  I am working on that presently, though readers can enjoy the flash version on Bosley’s site.
Where can fans find you online?
Folks can find me on Facebook, though I am notorious for not “cleaning my room,” and it is littered with old posts.  I can also be reached at my Widener University email mwaronovitz@mail.widener.edu

Interview with Brandice Snowden author of Demon’s Veil

DemonSynopsis:

Powerful veils hold Earth apart from realms mortals believe are merely tales of myth and legend. They are opening again, leaving humans vulnerable, and the monsters ready to strike.

Marie Leveau prefers to remain alone and anonymous, for she knows what goes bump in the night, and sacrificing others isn’t part of her personality. But life isn’t always about getting what you want.

Contracted by The Organization, a shadow government agency, Marie is assigned a new Special Ops team, one she must introduce via Paranormal 101 to the very monsters they didn’t believe existed. Marie and her team are sent to Asia in search of an ancient relic, leading them into the jungle and tests of a fragile new bond. Despite the initial distrust, and an unholy battle with a demon-god, the team survives, their lives forever changed and woven into an unbreakable tapestry.

Returning home, the new friends sense the very people responsible for their safety are willing to sacrifice them all in the name of power.

They learn of a prophecy, and The Paladin, the one person able to close the veils and keep the mortals safe.

With few clues, the team must unravel the prophecy and figure out how to close the veils. Or the monsters will use Earth as ground zero, innocents be damned.

About Brandice:

brandiceI grew up around the tall tales and history of Texas. I worked my way through college just because I was told it was out of my reach; earning a degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Along the way I learned to shoot, wield a sword and even met a family ghost or two.

I have been an artist, teacher, military wife, mother and now novelist. I spend my free time indulging in my fantastical side, learning first hand skills my characters use in my books. I have a passion for history and mythology and use much of what I learn to create new worlds.

I currently resides on the Texas/Oklahoma border with the love of my life and my children of both two legged and four legged variety.

 Interview.

Tell us a bit about who you are and your publishing journey…

I am a 34 year old wife and mother.  My friend would say I am quirky; strangers would probably call me weird.  But I’m okay with that.  I enjoy thing like the Society for Creative Anachronism, art, history, and mythology has always appealed to me.

My publishing journey literally started with a dream; actually it was a nightmare.  I had this emotionally wrenching nightmare and turned it into a short story to get it out of my head.  My husband and friends badgered me to give them more of the story, which was how I found NaNoWriMo.  I hadn’t actually seriously considered writing a novel until that point.  One I got started the story just grew.  After winning NaNo, I saw a Curiosity Quills Press contest announcement in a facebook group and thought what the heck.  I had nothing to lose.  Low and Behold, here I am, winner of the contest with my first book “Demon’s Veil” published and the second book in the series nearly completed.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I just finished the newest Jim Butcher, “Skin Games”  and a cute little romance called “What Stays in Vegas” by Beth Labonte.

What is the best, and worst, thing about being an author?

The best thing about being an author is twofold…creating these characters that become such a major part of your life and then sharing them with others.  The worst thing for me at least is the marketing, especially with social media.  I can charm the pants off of you if we are in the same room, but I am still learning the ropes when it comes to charming people via a computer interface.

If you could add one more bit to Demon’s Veil – what would it be?

A holodeck program like you saw on Startrek.  I wish in some scenes that the reader could see what was going through my brain because words fall short sometimes.  But as far as the story, I wouldn’t add anything extra yet.  Once I end the series that may change though.

What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part was my own self talk.  It’s a huge time commitment to write a novel and I often found myself saying, “I don’t know if I can do this.”  But in the end I barrelled through with “just one more page” or “five more minutes of writing.”   It’s amazing how those little goals can add up to such a big goal.

If Demon’s Veil was to be made into a movie – who would be your leads and why?

I would want Hugh Jackman for my Morgan.  He’s buff and sexy but also has a down to earth kind of quality that I like.  Marie is a little harder to cast.  Her character is Creole from Louisiana.  When I was writing her I thought mostly of a cousin of mine (My great grandparents were Cherokee and Creole French).  So I would love to see a Native American actress like Maija Tailfeathers in the part; but I also think there are some really talents African American actresses that could do well also.  I think Alexander Skarsgard would make a great Keiron. I’m not sure who to cast for Alejandro and Milana Delgado. Maybe give a talented newcomer a chance.  I know five leads is a lot, but this book is more of an ensemble cast.

I’m an evil villain taking over the world!! Are you with me? Or against me?

Well that depends….are you Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic evil? (Yes I know my nerd girl is showing LOL)

What’s your next project?

For the moment I am concentrating on completing the Veil Prophecy Trilogy; but I have also begun plotting an epic fantasy series based on Arthurian legend as well as two romance novel series.  One being a steampunk/mafia series set in the distant future one a new planet.  The other being a a series based on my own take of mythology from around the world.

Where can fans find you online?

Follow me on:

https://www.facebook.com/BrandiceSnowdenWriter

https://twitter.com/brandicesnowden

http://www.brandicesnowden.com/

Demon’s Veil on Amazon:

Interview with author Sarah Daltry

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With me today is  author, Sarah Daltry.
A funny thing happened on the way to being published…
I realized I like doing it myself. That’s not 100% true and, in fact, I am most likely publishing Bitter Fruits with someone else. However, I did come to the realization that self-publishing is ideal for someone like me. I’m a control freak. I love being involved in every detail. I have a million questions and I want them answered immediately. I want to work on my schedule, at my pace. I want to decide which giveaways and sales I participate in and I want to choose my covers. All of this had led me to love the idea of being a hybrid author. For some titles, I would like the support of a publisher, but I want to keep a few for myself. It’ll be an interesting experiment to see how each path turns out.
Do you always cast your books in your mind as you write them, and if so who would be your favourite lead?
Not at all. I picture my characters, but they don’t look like anyone I can think of and I actually find fault with most suggestions of famous actors as my leads. I also use stock photos for covers and I end up eventually seeing those models as my characters. This is true with every book I read as well, so when they don’t look similar in movies, I feel like it loses something.
What is your fav supernatural creature and why?
Angels. I love angels, especially the fallen ones. Angel and demon mythology ties in very well to my personal love of theology. I know that probably sounds funny coming from someone who writes erotica and romance, but I am obsessed with religious stories and texts. I find them so intriguing. In Bitter Fruits, that’s evident, I’m sure.
Best book you’ve read recently?
Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight. I have read many books in the nearly year since I read her book, but it still stays with me.
What advice would you give to other authors?
I’ve learned that it’s important to trust yourself. No matter what choices you make in your writing, someone thinks it’s the wrong one. It could be your editor, it could be a beta, or it could be a reviewer. However, if you believe it was the right choice, listen to yourself. If you let every critic affect what you do, you’ll never write anything. That being said, I do think it’s important to take in feedback. I just think you need to filter what you instinctively know is true and leave the rest.
NA is it the new YA? 
Absolutely not. They are completely different markets. The most obvious is the way that NA pushes boundaries that YA is not ready to cross. But you are also dealing with different fans. There is massive crossover, but the market is still not the same. For example, I’m in my 30’s and I read everything from middle grade fiction to stuff that should come wrapped in brown paper. The context is crucial in appreciating each for its own merits. YA deals with issues that young people face – identity, relationships, family problems, bullying, peer pressure, academic pressure, drug use, violence, etc. NA deals with the problems of people who are older. Their issues may be the same, especially when it comes to those first three. However, when I picture a YA romance and an NA romance, I get a very different idea in my mind. A YA romance is sweet. It often deals with first love, with the emotions that go along with that experience. NA romance is often steamier, even if that doesn’t mean it’s explicit. The characters have had their first loves and their first heartbreaks. They’re not thinking about Prom – they’re thinking about marriage. That is a massive difference for a person and for a reader. When I finish Anna and the French Kiss, I’m not wondering if Anna and Etienne get married; probably, they won’t. They’re what? 18? However, when you read something like Beautiful Disaster, there is a definite possibility of a real long term connection between the characters. Sure, they may also be only 18 or 19, but something changes between high school and college. We date in high school because everyone does and we date the people who are there. In college, we are becoming the people we will be as adults and we are looking for someone to balance us out in our future.
Where can fans find you online?
My website is http://sarahdaltry.com and all my social media links are there, as well as my book titles.
*Sarah’s work and website is 18+

Interview with author Angeline Trevena

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My next interview is with Angeline Trevena, who is the author of ‘No Smoke Without Fire’ which is included in the Tales of the Undead: Suffer Eternal Volume II anthology.

When did you realise you wanted to be a horror writer?

I’ve always been a big horror fan; my brother and I watching every old horror movie we could get our hands on, but when it came to reading and writing, it was all about fantasy. It was only a few years ago that I started reading horror. It all began with Stephen King’s On Writing which I received one Christmas. I read it in just a few days, unable to put it down. I went on to read Green Mile and Misery, and found I couldn’t get enough. They made me jumpy and
nervous, just like horror movies do, but they got into my bones in a way that a 90 minute movie never could. This started me writing horror, and with the publication of my first short story, a ghost story, I decided that this was where I wanted to be. I still write fantasy, and a mash-up of both genres, but I tend to class myself, first and foremost, as a horror writer.

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What was the first story you got published? Is there anything you’d change about it now?

The first story I had published was ‘The Vincent Orphanage’ which was picked for the Mirador Fantasmagoria anthology in January 2011. It’s a ghost story about a girl who is forced to confront her past when a journalist wants to tell her story.
To be honest, I’ve not read it since; I’m too scared that I would want to change all of it because my writing has developed so much over the last two years. That’s what I love about writing – you never stop learning, or honing your craft. And I think, left to our own devices, us writers would never consider any of our work completely finished. We could probably tweak it forever.

What’s your thoughts on authors and social media? Which sites do you prefer?

I’m a big social network addict. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Blogger. Largely, I don’t think I’m reaching readers that much, I mostly interact with other writers. But this has been brilliant for me. I am a member of a fantastic little critique group on Google+, and they have helped me to polish and tighten up my work, just as I’ve helped them with theirs. I hear about calls for submissions, interview and guest blogging opportunities, and chances to promote myself as a writer. I love the amount of encouragement, support and advice that’s on offer. Everyone’s so willing to help each other, and I, in turn, love to pass on tips and help other writers out where I can.

What’s your favourite horror monster and why?

I’m very fond of vampires. I love the huge variety of guises and attitudes they’ve been given over the years; from the sophistication of Interview with the Vampire to the animalistic brutishness of 30 Days of Night. I think we’ll always be fascinated by a creature higher up the food-chain than ourselves, superior creatures, creatures that represent the one thing we, as a race, seem desperate to hold onto – the beauty of youth.

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What is the worst mistake a new writer can make? And what advice would you give them?

One of the worst mistakes is info dumping, not just back story, but generally giving far too much unnecessary information. One of the reasons readers love to read is because they have great imaginations, and they love to use them. Don’t describe and explain everything in detail; let your readers fill in the gaps. Information should be drip-fed throughout a story, not crammed into the start of it. And it should be revealed through speech and action. Don’t narrate the story; let your characters tell it themselves.

Angeline’s website              Angeline’s Twitter:

Interview with Radha Bharadwaj

Radha Bharadwaj

Radha Bharadwaj

Interview with fellow author and director Radha Bharadwaj

When did you realise you wanted to be a horror writer? 

The desire to write a supernatural/creature horror story came about last year, and I wrote THE HYBRID shortly thereafter. Prior to that, I’d been dealing strictly with man-made evil. Dark stuff–mysteries, etc.-but the evil agent was a human being and not a creature.

What was the first story you got published? Is there anything you’d change about it now?

In the West, that would be THE RAINS OF RAMGHAT. I wrote it years ago in a creative writing class. I’d put it away and not sought publication, since I was busy with my feature films. It is only a few months ago, in between writing books, that I looked into getting my short fiction published. Scissors and Spackle was my first publication, and I polished the story before submitting.

http://www.scissorsandspackle.com/read/equino/august/radha-bharadwaj/ 

What’s your thoughts on authors and social media? Which sites do you prefer? 

I think social media, used well, can somewhat level the playing field. Not all books get the big marketing dollars. But one can get one’s work out. Figuring out how and what the best sites are is a task in itself. I haven’t–yet; and hence can’t unfortunately cite a site.

What’s your favourite horror monster and why?

Lots. But if I were to pick one, I’d say Frankenstein. Because of its subtext: the cruel ostracization of people (and species!) that are dissimilar to us. I’m an animal lover and strict vegetarian, and the “monster” in the book eats only fruits and berries–that endeared him to me when I was little! It’s also a highly visual book. The closing image, of the monster vanishing in the snow, is poignant and evocative.

What is the worst mistake a new writer can make? And what advice would you give them?

Listening to naysayers. Pick your circle wisely, and embrace the isolation inherent in all worthwhile pursuits. Solitude is necessary, to create. A strong sense of self is as essential as oxygen, to survive slings and arrows.

The best way for people to stay abreast of Radha’s latest activities is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Closet-Land-a-Film-by-Radha-Bharadwaj

Her stage adaptation for CLOSET LAND is available on CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4001305

Website: http://www.closetland.com/

Interview with Gary Budgen

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Gary Budgen

When did you realise you wanted to be a horror writer?

Well I consider myself more of a ‘speculative fiction’ writer. I write the stories I want to write and sometimes they come out as horror. That’s fine by me.

What was the first story you got published? Is there anything you’d change about it now?

“Planes at Night” in a small press magazine called ‘Ah Pook is Here’. Very pleased to have my first story in a magazine named after a Wiliam Burroughs piece. I wouldn’t change anything really. It was of its time and place.

What’s your thoughts on authors and social media? Which sites do you prefer?

I have a wordpress site and I use my facebook page to promote it. Can’t summon much enthusiasm for Twittter! Writers want readers so any avenue is welcome.

What’s your favourite horror monster and why?

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I love marvel comics Man-Thing. The run in the 1970s written by Steve Gerber is fantastic. Stories are woven around the monster that intersect with the lives of ordinary and not so ordinary people. I love the way Man-Thing is connected to a particular place, the Florida Everglades.

What is the worst mistake a new writer can make? And what advice would you give them?

Not editing your work properly. My advice would be to read as much as you can and keep writing. I think it
was David Gerrold who said the first million words are practice. It took a long time to get my first story published, a bit less time to get to 10 stories and less time than that to get to 20, so hopefully I’m getting better at it.

BAD BLOOD – Coming soon!!!

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Oh yes! My first lone author novel ‘Bad Blood’ will be re-released soon through the publishers Evernight Teen

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.”

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

Updated August 2014