The Blog Hop: Read at Your Own Risk

Sci-fi and Paranormal author, Phil Giunta, has nominated me to participate in the Blog Hop.  The rules are to answer four questions and then nominate three other authors.  I only had one author take me up on the nomination and she is listed at the end.

At your own risk, you opened this post to read.  Therefore,  I cannot be held accountable for any maddness that may ensue…

What am I working on?

My current focus is on a short story for The Sarcastic Muse sampler that is slated to be released in the Winter 2015.  The story is about a young girl who must choose between her destiny or a most unwelcome fate.

Later this month, I am retreating back to When Words Count in Vermont to focus on my novel.  2014 has been an incredibly busy year.   Other projects, with higher priority, sidelined the novel.  However, the delay has not been in vain!  I was able to diagram out how to expand the novel into a 4 book series.  A series was something that never crossed my mind when I first started plotting this book.  Sometimes delays are beneficial.

Now, I am not ready to spill the details of this novel, as it is something unique and… taboo.  However, I will let you in on a secret: People are “munched”.

Finally, Robyn LaRue and I are working on a small book titled Project Management for Writers.  The goal of the book is to help authors manage their authorship as a project with more organization and less stress.

How does my writing differ from others in my genre?

I love leveraging a reader’s imagination.  With my writing style, I try my best not to show everything.  My favorite kind of story is one that leaves me with a sense of “what the hell just happened”, forcing my mind to conjure up something more sinister than what the author could have attained.  That is my goal in my writing – to take away the reader’s breath and leave their mind reeling about the possibilities of what could happen.

I am also a huge fan of the “cosmic horror” aspect, but that does not make me different from many of today’s writers.  The cosmic horror is a growing sub-genre these days with the resurgence of Lovecraft.  I really enjoy being an author that is a part of this growing trend.

Why of I write what I do?

Fear is the most primal emotion, and it is felt by every human being that is birthed into this world.  It is the first emotion that any human experiences outside of the womb.  Being pulled out of a nice, warm, dark cave and suddenly thrust into a cold, bright, harsh environment is absolutely terrifying.  Fear is the emotion that deeply embeds itself within our brains and resonates when we least expect it, throwing us into a panic and turmoil.

I love tapping into that with writing, to give readers that jolt of adrenaline and increase in heart rate.  Their imaginations starts awakening, because Fear never subsides – it only manifests into something larger.  The reader is stimulated and their consciousness is open.  The genre of horror and dark fiction forces the readers use their imaginations, to think outside of the box.

I write in this genre because I want to make people to use their imaginations.  Terrifying readers is an added bonus.

How does my writing process work?

My stories haunt me. 24/7 they spin through my head, begging to be written.  Their whispering continually wake me from slumber and I am awake into wee hours of the morning capturing the ideas that spill from my mind.  This starting phase I have dubbed “verbal vomit”.  It is just senseless scribbling in a notebook of all the thoughts that are running through my head.  There is no order and it is pure chaos – but it makes sense.  This is how my stories are born.  From this point, I set aside the time to plot.

I am proud to say that I am now a ‘plotter’.  In my earlier years, I used to be a ‘panster’, but I have grown to find that way too stressful and my stories were lacking depth.  Over this past year, my writing process has evolved.  In March, I completely outlined – by hand – the entirety of my first novel.  In the rare time that I found to work on this story, I developed my characters, settings, archetypes, etc.  As of today, everything is plotted to the most intricate details and contains sub-plots that leaves openings for the sequel.  Unfortunately, I now have to find the time to write… this retreat in VT is not coming soon enough.

The last step is the actual writing.  The making of a sane world out of the horrific chaos that fell from my brain.

My writing process then evolves into the editing process, and I am not about to journey down that road because it is filled with a lot of screaming and profanities.


 

Now, on to my victim, er, I mean nominee.  Without further ado, I present my nominee, the amazingly talented, Robyn LaRue:

Robyn LaRue

Thumb-One (1)I write fast, edit slow, and my toughest decision is always which story to write next. In my “spare time,” I enjoy reading, quilting, pottery, glass fusion, house design, hanging out on line with my critique partners and the like-minded, talking about everything writing, creative, and historical. Coffee is a major obsession, chocolate only slightly less so. Toast is a staple.

Time keeps on ticking

Time does not seem to be on my side at the moment.  And I apologize because I do not have much of a post today because I am in the midst of traveling across the US.  Though I am having the most amazing time of my life at the moment, my writing is suffering horrible.  I have not been able to abide by Phil Giunta’s time management tips from his guest post on The Sarcastic Muse blog.

The launch of Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity went perfectly last Friday night.  And it was so much more than just a perfect night.  It was the most amazing experience of my life.  I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it was seeing the interest in people’s faces as they picked up the physical copy of our anthology.  Seeing that was breathtaking.   Also, to spend the entire weekend among writer and talking non-stop about writing.  Pure heaven.

Can I also just point out my surprise in how many Sci-fi / Fantasy lovers are closet Horror junkies?  I was half prepared for people to think that I should be committed for my obsession with the macabre, but it was the exact opposite.  People were enamoured with my love for Horror and expressed their own love for the genre.  There was even this gentleman walking around like a Reaper with the name badge of ‘Evil’.  The man is a genius and I hate that I did not have enough time to talk to him more.  His philosophies on the balance of good and evil are extremely insightful.  Some of Evil’s thoughs will appear in a future post based off of a panel discussion in which I participated, the Villain’s Journey

Finally, as an update for Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, for anyone who has been scouring Amazon, Smashwords, etc. for it… the anthology has unfortunately not yet been posted to any online site for purchase.  Though it officially launched yesterday, apparently a publication takes a few days to appear on online retailers.  The physical books should be available for purchase sometime this week.  I will make another post as soon as that is available.  The electronic copy may be available next week.  So keep tuned in to this blog or The Sarcastic Muse for updates.  My sincere apologies to anyone who spent hours on Amazon yesterday, refreshing their page every 5 minutes in a hopeless search to purchase Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

Susanna Reilly and Amanda Headlee at the launch of Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity (c) 2014, Evon Zundel

Susanna Reilly and Amanda Headlee at the launch of Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity (c) 2014, Evon Zundel

Beta Reads, Book Launches, and Travels – oh my!

There will be no crazy, demented, creepy post this week.  The past few days have been an absolute whirl-wind with beta reads, research, and travels.  Yet, I have a lot of good news to announce!

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity is at the press as I speak and is fully prepared to launch at the Shore Leave convention on April 1st.  16 more days!

Write pals Phil Giunta and Kirsten Blacketer have a lot of short stories and novellas that will be releasing within the next few months.  They have been keeping me a busy beta!

My novel-in-process is causing me a lack of sleep – from nightmares.  That is my rated ‘R’ warning for severe terror and some gore.  I also have a short story that I am working on for an upcoming short fiction sampler.  No spoilers, so keep tuned into this blog and the Sarcastic Muse for more details that will be posting in the coming weeks.

And finally – and quite possibly the best news of the week – Robyn LaRue’s novel, Shadows Wake, launched today!  Congratulations to Robyn.  Shadows Wake is a coming of age story filled with twists and terror that will keep you holding your breath until the last page.  Be sure to check it out!

 

Be prepared for next week’s post as we travel into the mind of a Horror writer…

 

So much to do, so little time, and winter is right around the corner!  (c) jemolesky

So much to do, so little time, and winter is right around the corner! (c) jemolesky