April 23, 2012
Someone very wise once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans,” and at least once a year I’m reminded of this fact.
Last fall I took a break from promoting my novel, Being, to take a contract gig at a small advertising agency. As I was wrapping up that job, to my great surprise, I learned I was pregnant. My husband and I are expecting our bundle of joy in three short months and we couldn’t be more excited!
In the meantime, I’m working on Being’s sequel as well as a new project, but expect progress to be slow until after our baby’s arrival. That being said, I will be exhibiting in Artist’s Alley at Comicpalooza 2012 over Memorial Day Weekend, selling and signing paperback editions of Being. If anyone’s planning on attending, please email me as I would love to see you.
Lots of amazing guests are scheduled to appear at Comicpalooza, including Kristin Bauer, who plays Pam De Beaufort on True Blood, Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in Star Wars, George Takei, a.k.a., Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek and Chandler Riggs from the Walking Dead, along with many more. Needless to say, I cannot wait!!
Otherwise, I’ll be on extended maternity leave until the fall, so please check back later in the year for news and developments.
Until next time light Beings, be well and as always, wishing you only the best!!
Happy belated New Year light Beings!! Paperback editions of Being are finally available. Check back for your chance to win a signed copy! Details coming soon …
Greetings earthlings and supernatural folk. Welcome back to the Imagination Factory.
Congratulations to the following winners of Fear in Words Volume I: The Stories:
You have 48 hours to shoot me an email at email@example.com to claim your prize. In your email, please be sure to specify your preference, Kindle or PDF. Thanks to all who entered and supported the contest by blogging and/or tweeting about it. Until next time, wishing you only the best!!
Hello. Thank you for visiting the Imagination Factory. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted news about my novel, Being, a paranormal romance for young adults about EBN (rhymes with Eden) a female extraterrestrial marooned in Lancaster, California, after her ship collides with space trash orbiting Earth.
Some of you may have noticed I’ve all but disappeared from Facebook and Twitter, but it’s because I’m locked away writing Being’s sequel. In addition, I’m developing two other projects for young adults not connected with the Being series.
Over the past few months, Being has earned even more 5/5 star reviews, one of which appeared on the Midwest Book Review website, (once you click the link, scroll down the page a bit to see it) courtesy of reviewer Tracy Riva. My debut novel was also selected as a Global eBook Award Finalist.
Being has also earned spots on six Goodreads’ lists, the Best Break Out Author Novels List, the 2011 YA Debut Authors List, the First in Series List, the Best Book Covers 2011 List, the 2011 Books to Read List and the What To Read Next List. Please consider casting votes if you haven’t already.
For those of you waiting for the paperback edition of Being to be released, I promise it’s still in the works. The minute I get my sticky little paws on that high resolution artwork, the books will be available, as I know many readers are as anxious as I am for those babies to hit the marketplace.
Thanks again for coming through my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time, wishing you only the best!
Hi Jason. Thanks for visiting my little corner of the Internet, the Imagination Factory.
JD: Thank you very much for having me.
Congratulations on the recent release of your first book, a collection of horror shorts entitled, Fear In Words, Volume I: The Stories, available on Amazon.com. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you end up on the writing path?
JD: Thank you very kindly. I actually thought I was done with writing after high school. My grade 13 English teacher told me never to read and write creatively again - so I didn’t for about 13 years. I ended up writing because I was nearly destitute and had sold nearly all of my worldly possessions. All I had was an antique inkwell and a quill, so one night I sat by candlelight and wrote about 10 pieces of poetry and short prose. I decided to give writing a serious try when people kept telling me that I was “the good kind of f*cked up”.
Did you study writing in school or are you self-taught?
JD: I am painfully self-taught. It was mandatory to take English classes in high school, but I’ve no training beyond that.
What inspired you to write horror stories?
JD: The short answer is horror movies and nightmares. I’ve always been fascinated by film - special effects mainly - and horror lends itself well to the visual medium. I’ve had nightmares for as long as I can remember, and some of them truly would wake me with a cold sweat. I knew fear before I knew how to tie my shoes.
Who are your three favorite horror writers?
JD: There’s no answer I can give that truly does justice to everyone who inspires me. If I had to try: Edo Van Belkom, Michael Slade (early 2000’s) and Edgar Allan Poe.
Are there other writers besides your favorites listed above, who inspire and impact your work? And what is it about these writers that you most appreciate?
JD: Sephera Giron, Stephen King, and most of the horror writers that I follow on Twitter. I think everyone in this genre looks to Stephen King as either a “what to do” or “what NOT to do” depending on their point of view of his work, and he’s earned that. Sephera Giron is one of my hometown heroes (and now a good friend) and I do believe she was one of the first I’d read that mixed horror with erotic elements. As for the rest of the folks on my Twitter list, I’ve read various things that a number of them have written, and their drive to succeed has helped me in my times of self-doubt.
On your blog, you describe yourself as a horror/fetish writer. What sorts of fetishes do you write about?
JD: I stick to the fetishes that I know: bondage, domination, sadism, bloodplay, asphyxiation, latex, pvc and piercings. I’m hoping to expand both my knowledge and my writing, but alas, I don’t get out as much as I used to.
Do you write in other genres besides horror/fetish? Which one or ones?
JD: I would love to try comedy, and kid-lit. I love telling jokes, and I’m really funny when you’re drunk. My kid-lit would have monsters and zombies, two things my daughter loves.
If you could collaborate with any writer (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
JD: The whole reason I got out of wrestling and music is because I didn’t want to collaborate with anyone. If I were able to sit and have tea with anyone, it would have to be either Poe or Lovecraft. I think just sitting and listening to either of them speak would make me either brilliant or insane.
It says on your FB author page that you’re a parent. Did becoming a parent influence your writing in any way? If so, how?
JD: I became a parent before I “became” a writer, believe it or not. I’m able to keep the two lives separated, especially now that the little one can repeat things and is starting to read. Sometimes I recite scenes out loud to see if they make sense, I don’t need my 2 year-old going to her mama’s house saying “dada bludgeoned someone with a speculum, mama.”
I also read on your FB author page that you’re into the occult. At what age did you become interested in the occult? Was there a specific event that sparked your interest in it?
JD: I became interested in the occult as early as 6 years old, which is when I believe I had my first encounter with a ghost. I got serious about occultism, the paranormal and ghost hunting at 13. I’m very much into ghosts, just need to find the time to go hunt them.
I know every writer’s process varies. Is there a particular place you get your ideas from?
JD: I see scenes as little movies in my mind, and I try to write the basics out as soon as they happen.
Do the ideas for your stories come to you fully formed, or do you decide I want to write about such and such, or a combination of both?
JD: I’ve never had a story come fully formed. With The Stories, each and every piece began as a one page idea. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that Drip really didn’t make it further, but that was written for a 100 word contest (I didn’t even qualify). ‘The Figure’ is based on events that happened to me, embellished to include death. ‘The Forest’ was written start to finish in 2 sessions, originally destined for a contest. I re-read the contest requirements and realized that I had to start over again, which is where ‘Mr. Vore’ came from. ‘Hanna’ was the only story that had a beginning-middle-end in my head, and most of that ended up in the story. I’m trying very hard to create longer works, and my two works-in-progress have outlines and character notes to help me along.
Approximately how long did it take for you to write Fear In Words, Volume I: The Stories?
JD: About 6 months, but I was working on other things as well. I’d say about 3 months of solid writing and editing.
Did you query literary agents before deciding to go the self-publishing route, or did you choose self-publishing from the beginning?
JD: I mentioned before that I’m a control freak, so my choice was evident from the beginning. I mentioned that ‘Drip’ was submitted to an e-zine for a contest, and the rejection letter I received from them, though not scathing or derogatory, was enough to put me off of dealing with publishers for quite a while.
What has been the greatest joy of your writing journey so far?
JD: The Stories are truly the first creative writing I’ve done since 1999, to see them available while having kept creative control and learning numerous skills (I did all the HTML and cover design) has been so rewarding. The fact that I’ve got a 4.5* average on Amazon doesn’t hurt either.
What has been the biggest disappointment in your writing journey so far?
JD: Either the negative stigma attached to Indie writers, or all the “help” that’s out there. The negative stigma is slowly wearing off, but I can’t count the number of people who’ve promised to promote other people’s work, only to be completely ignorant unless speaking of themselves.
What advice do you have for other writers thinking of going the Indie route?
JD: This is not an easy way to make money. It is for some, but you are not John Locke or Stephen King, so don’t grab hold of any delusions of grandeur, you’ll be disappointed. Even though you retain complete control, don’t subject your readers to crap. Proofread, edit, proofread again. Hire an editor if you can afford one, same for a cover designer and HTML expert. Whichever area that you think is your weakest, will be exploited tenfold if you don’t act on it first. Enjoy writing, do it often. Read even more than you write, there’s so much (good and bad) to be absorbed. Above all, remember that you want people to pay for your work, so put forth nothing less than your absolute best (at that time).
What project are you working on now?
JD: Having just released Fear In Words Volume II: The Poems, I’m anxiously waiting to see how readers enjoy that particular aspect of my writing. I hope to have one final (for now) collection out in time for Christmas, to be titled Fear In Words: The End Of The Beginning, and that will contain whatever work I complete between now and then - poetry or prose. I’m also working on a novella/chapbook that has a concept and a wonderful first scene, solid storytelling thus far, but alas no title.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
JD: Look for Fear In Words Volume I: The Stories on Smashwords in about two weeks, just waiting for my ISBN. Otherwise, I invite your readers to follow me on Twitter and read my blog, and ask me any other questions they may have. Otherwise, thank you so much Tamara, for allowing me to spend a little time here in the Imagination Factory.
It’s been my pleasure, Jason.
To celebrate the release of Fear In Words Volume I: The Stories, Jason and I are giving away copies (Kindle or PDF). To enter, just leave a comment or note about the interview for one entry and tweet and/or re-tweet the contest for additional entries. When you tweet about it, be sure and include me in the tweet (@TRMousner) so I can record your entry!
This is an international contest open to readers 18 years of age or older, due to graphic content. Contest ends September 27, 2011. Winners will be announced September 28, 2011 and will have until September 30, 2011 to claim their prizes by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Jason Darrick and read samples of his spine-tingling work, check out his blog, his Facebook Author page or follow him on Twitter. Coming soon to Smashwords Fear In Words, Volume II: The Poems.
Hello and thanks for returning to the Imagination Factory.
Last month, my friend and writer Martin King set out on a mission to write 100 blog posts in thirty-one days. Although I thought him mad (and told him so in the most gentle way I could find) I invited him to guest post here. So, without further ado, please join me in giving a warm welcome to Martin King.
Now it’s fair to say that where I grew up, although set against a
wonderful rural backdrop in Lancashire wasn’t exactly Outer Amazon
jungle. So this story of a rogue crocodile may surprise some of you.
My tale started one warm summer holidays. In Barnoldswick we had a
canal – the Leeds and Liverpool canal to be precise – running through
the town. Now like most other boys my age, I was a keen angler,
although I must confess I wasn’t very good at it.
Now rumour had it that a huge conga eel was thriving in our local
waters and nearly every adult fisherman had had their rod snapped, or
line broken by this watery beast. The fisherman’s stories filtered
down to the youth which arrived upon my ears. I was determined to
catch it and prove to everyone I was indeed a great angler.
So equipped with my rod, Garcia Mitchell reel and super strong fishing
nylon, I set off down to the canal. My stepdad and sister accompanied
me on this brave beast hunt. Finally I settled on my location to
ensnare the beast, the local locks.
I had been there since early doors without a bite or a bite to eat. So
much so my mum decided to bring some sandwiches down to keep us going.
Just as she arrived I my rod twanged and then again, I had caught
I knew straight away I had snagged no mere fish, this was something
much bigger. For fifteen minutes I battled bravely against the
underwater monster until finally, I won our dual and the beast
surfaced. Just then a shrieking howl, “It’s a crocodile,” emitted from
my mother’s lips.
And that is the day I caught one genuine, real crocodile. Okay, it
wasn’t a crocodile, it was a massive log covered in water weeds. But
it looked like one, enough to convince my mum into telling the whole
world and embarrassing me.
These blogs are all about fun and sharing. Thank you for reading a
‘#100blogfest’ blog. Please follow this link to find the next blog in
the series: http://martinkingauthor.com/blog/7094550076
Welcome back to the Imagination Factory. It gives me great pleasure to announce the winners of the latest giveaway! Drum roll please …
Katie Turner will receive eBook copies of Meant To Be and Forgotten Souls;
Savanna Ucinski will receive the autographed paperback copy of Forgotten Souls; and
Ishita Singh will receive autographed copies of Meant To Be and Forgotten Souls.
Many thanks to all who entered, tweeted, re-tweeted and provided their support.
Until next time, wishing you only the best!
Due to popular demand (as well as a technical delay) I’m extending the Forgotten Souls and Meant To Be contest until August 19th and adjusting the rules a wee bit.
Now, you can increase your number of contest entries each time you either tweet about or retweet the contest. How awesome is that?
For more information about the contest’s rules, please scroll down and read my previous blog post. If you have any comments or questions, please email me!
Until next time, wishing you only the best!!
Hi there. Thanks for returning to the Self-Publishing Realm.
A few months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Tiffany King, author of Meant To Be, a paranormal romance for young adults. If you’re as big a fan of Tiffany’s as I am, then you’re looking forward to reading Forgotten Souls, the much-anticipated sequel to Meant To Be, set to be released on August 5, 2011.
To celebrate the upcoming release of Forgotten Souls, Tiffany is giving away the following prizes:
A signed paperback copy of Forgotten Souls;
An eBook copy of Meant To Be and Forgotten Souls; and
A signed paperback copy of Meant To Be AND Forgotten Souls!!!
Here’s how you can win:
1) Follow my blog for one entry (just click on the Follow button located in the upper right hand corner of this screen);
2) Follow me on Twitter for an additional entry;
3) Like my book’s fan page on Facebook for an additional entry;
4) If you entered my previous contest and have already met the above requirements, you can click the LIKE button on my book’s Amazon product page.
Then, and this last part is VERY important, shoot me an email at contact(at)trmousner (dot)com stating how many times you entered so I can contact you about your prize!
This contest is open to all U.S. Residents and ends Friday, August 12th at midnight.
Hello and thank you for returning to the Self-Publishing Realm.
Some of the best advice I received while studying writing was simple: read poetry. So I do, especially when I’m blocked. That was how I came to discover today’s guest, a writer whose work delights my soul and makes my brain tingle. Please join me in welcoming extraordinarily talented photographer and poet R. H. Mustard.
Thank you, Rob, for joining me today. How long have you been writing poetry?
RH: I have always written in one form or another. My education as an English major, graduate study in English, and my working life all included regular, strenuous writing assignments. Poems are obviously much more personal, but they require much of the same discipline. Poetic lines seem to come naturally to me. I find them in the usual places: love, death, and everything associated with these transformative events. For me, simple things offer the most powerful appeal as poetic subjects: work, suffering, joy, honesty, sacrifice, betrayal, sudden understanding, the stress of travel, the list is quite long, and I look for poems in and around these things. I also think it’s important to look for them in unusual places.
Do you have any rituals you perform before beginning writing?
RH: While I am a creature of habit, I don’t really have rituals. I usually write at night because it is quiet then, and I need to concentrate. But I will drop everything during the day and write if I think of a good line. As long as that line leads to another, I will keep writing. I believe strongly in letting the subconscious work on what you are writing. If a line won’t come, I put it down and go back to it again later, and something good is usually there.
Is there a specific approach you take to writing poetry?
RH: My poems usually come from a single idea (Car Wash, for example). I don’t always know exactly where the poem is going to go when I start, but I knew this was a good idea because it is full of possibilities (cleansing, baptism, the possibilities of cars offering sexual escape for teenagers, etc.). I also try to keep my language clear, muscular, straightforward. Though as a work of art I have created, the poem is important to me, it is written for the reader, not for me. Every word has to carry its weight, and usually more than its weight if the poem is going to work. It is very important to think hard about how every single word either does or does not work in the poem. If it does not work, it must be taken out. It is surprising how many poems can be greatly improved by removing material. And, finally, imagery is a very important aspect of my work.
RH: I got the idea for Predator when winding an old pocket watch I have had for many years. My grandfather and father were both railroad men, and I do have watches from them both, but the Elgin is one I bought myself. The poem is more about time than the watch itself, but the idea of the watch controlling the speaker as well as his ancestors and children is what I found most compelling, and what I tried to get into the poem.
Who are your favorite poets?
RH: I like many poets: Andrew Marvell, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Anthony Hecht, Elizabeth Bishop, Philip Larkin, Gary Soto, Charles Simic, Kay Ryan, Mary Jo Bang, to name a few favorites. There are many more.
Do you write every day, or only when inspiration hits?
RH: I write almost every day. I don’t really believe in inspiration. I usually have several ideas I am working on, and I stick with one of these until it either ignites, or does not. If it does not, then I move on to something else. Many of my best poems have hinged on finding the one right word, and then a new door opens and the poem takes off.
Does a poem begin with a word, impression, sensation, or something else?
RH: My poems can begin with any of these things. I think good poems appeal to the senses, particularly the visual because we are so intensely visual. The poem Traffic, for example, is built around a blinking stoplight reflected in the wet street at night. Without this image, there is no poem. This image is what started the poem in my mind.
Where do you find inspiration?
RH: I am wary of the term inspiration because it implies that poems come to us from some outside, ethereal place amid rising violins. For me, life and poetry aren’t like that. It is true that some lines seem to come unbidden (“clippings scatter on his granite stone”), but then the poem must be built, and this takes imagination and work, sometimes when you don’t feel like working but must because you know the poem is struggling to be born. Poems come from the sub-conscious, They are trying to get out all the time. If we slow down and listen, we can hear them.
What methods do you employ to improve your craft?
RH: I read a lot and make note of how other poets solve various technical problems. I try to be ruthless in my own editing and revise poems over and over until they are as good as I can possibly make them, realizing that some will never be as good as they could be. I try to get outside my own comfort zone and write in unfamiliar forms.
Are there any books you can recommend for fledgling poets?
RH: “Sound and Sense” by Lawrence Perrine, plus I would become very familiar with The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, Volumes I and II. For insight into the politics of poetry in our current time, I recommend “Beautiful & Pointless,” by David Orr.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what music? What sort of environmental conditions do you require to write?
RH: While I’m a big fan of rock and classical music, I prefer to write without music. The mind can be easily distracted, a good idea lost because you’re listening to a favorite old song. For me, silence is best because in it I am free to concentrate. This means no interruptions from conversation, phone calls, Twitter, emails, etc.
Do you post all your poems on your blog, or do you save some to submit to literary journals?
RH: I keep some poems off the blog and submit them them to literary journals.
I understand you’re an evening writer. Has this always been your preferred time?
RH: I have always written best at night, usually late at night when the world is asleep. I can concentrate better then, but there is also something about the night and the dark I find liberating for my imagination.
What advice, if any, do you have for new poets?
RH: It’s an old cliche, but you have to find your own voice, and this takes practice. It is important to remember to give the reader a great next line, a reason to come back, or he or she will surely go somewhere else. What we first put down is rarely at its best. You must learn to thrive on revision, and revise and revise until, finally, the poem is worthy of your talent and the reader’s time. It is important, at least for my kind of poetry, to make key words work in more than just one way. Finally, you have to learn to see your work with a critical eye, and cut what does not belong. This seems to be very difficult for many writers, even good writers. In every poem you are asking for a slice of the reader’s most precious possession: his time, so what you offer had better be good.
Are there any other places fans can find your work besides your blog?
RH: My work has not been widely published. I have had some early poems appear in Ragazine, an online magazine of the arts. I currently have poems submitted to several publications.
Until next time, wishing you only the best!!