Author Interview: Travis West talks about his A Haunting of Words story

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Today’s A Haunting of Words interview is with author Travis West.

“If It’s Not Okay, It’s Not the End” – With the help of a late music icon, a newly deceased rock band embarks on a cross-country trip to help their drummer deliver a message to his ex-girlfriend.

What inspired you to write this story?: The punk band Rancid has a great song called “Ghost Band.” I heard it one day and knew that I should write about a phantom music group. Originally the band wasn’t going to meet anyone famous, they were just going to discuss the possibilities of meeting their late heroes. As a matter of fact, the original title was going to be, “Do You Think We’ll Meet Keith Moon?” Then I happened upon a quote attributed to the rock star in question and the entire story unfolded in my mind within minutes. Funny how that works. I feel this is my deepest story yet, even if the premise isn’t entirely original. In hindsight I realize it’s about regrets. Regret over loved ones left behind to achieve fame, and those used as stepping stones for the same purpose.

How long have you been writing?: Seriously writing, only three years. With a story published at the end of each year.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing: The majority of my short stories are speculative fiction, but I don’t think any of them fit into a Sci-fi/Horror/Fantasy box. I’ve only in the last few months discovered Slipstream. All ideas I have for possible novels are more contemporary or literary fiction.

What are you working on right now?: Right now I’m working on my own project. I’m writing a series of short stories involving a government shadow group who over the past century and a half attempt to infiltrate an alien race for their own nefarious purposes. Each story takes place in a different period in time from the 1800’s until now. It’s very “pulp” and heavily influenced by old comic books and magazines, such as Weird Tales and Planet Comics. The stories will be strange, violent, funny, and hopefully readers will find it to be entertaining.

What else do you have available/published:
My story “The Most Beautiful Boy” is available in A Matter of Words, and my story “The Errandsman’s Folly” is in A Journey of Words. Both are from Scout Media.

What advice do you give to new writers? Keep writing, of course, and always hire a professional editor. A great editor is an invaluable asset. If you use beta readers, which I do recommend, use a balance of men and women. Even if you don’t use a beta reader’s suggestions, at least give those suggestions ample consideration. Don’t assume your story is perfect simply because you think so. A wise person once said, Your ego is not your amigo.

List links where people can find your work:

ScoutMediaBooksMusic.Com

Facebook.Com/TravisWestWrites
TravisJackFlash.Blogspot.Com

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at:www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words  and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

Author Interview: Lauren Nalls Talks About “The Rub”

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Today’s A Haunting of Words interview is with author Lauren Nalls:

“The Rub” is a journey into the hell of the human mind and soul; from the line that splits reality and madness, to the place the rules of the game of life, and death, become blurred.

What inspired you to write this story?
This story was inspired by one of my current works in progress, I was thinking about what happened “after” and this was the result. I also pushed myself to see if I could write outside my usual genres.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been professionally writing for three years, but I’ve really been writing my whole life.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
Great question! This particular story is way outside my comfort zone as a macabre thriller, and was a challenge for me. I normally write dramatic fiction, historical, and women’s fiction.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a historical fiction coming of age story. I have a few more works in progress at various stages of development as well.

What else do you have available/published?
My other publications include my short story “Loose Ends,” A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016), and a poem, “Burgeon,” published in Fredericksburg Literary Review (spring 2014 Volume 2, Issue 1). I also blogged briefly for Fredericksburg Parent and Family, “Tortoise and Hair series” (2014).

What advice do you give to new writers?
Read, study, practice, and learn from mentors you trust. Keep going, don’t give up. Subject your work to critique but don’t get upset at criticisms. Writing is art and it’s up to the artist to discern what advice to keep and what advice to reject, but always be kind and grateful. That being said, art isn’t completely without rules, we have to learn the rules, or expectations, then break them with intention.

List links where people can find your work:

www.LaurenNalls.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurenNalls/

https://twitter.com/Scribbleglitch

https://www.pinterest.com/scribbleglitch/

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

Author Interview: Monica Sagle talks about her A Haunting of Words story

Today author Monica Sagle blows by my page to discuss her short story, “Storm House,” appearing in chilling the new anthology, A Haunting of Words.

 

Synopsis:  Storm House is about a house that, with every storm, sees the ghostly re-enactment of a murder. A wife killed by her husband. In recent years, the wife has managed to change things and now they take turns killing each other. This time, she thinks she may have found a way to sleep through those annoying storms altogether.

How long have you been a writer?  I have always written little stories for myself. However about four years ago I decided to take it seriously, learning as much as I could about the craft and art of writing. I joined a critique group for my novel work and I am a member of several on line critiquing groups.

What genre do you associate most with in your writing? I generally say that I am a fantasy writer. Although some of my short stories are Sci Fi and speculative fiction.

What are you working on now?  I recently finished my first novel, (I ‘m looking for an agent at this time,) and I have started a new novel.

What else do you have published?  Storm House is my first publication, but I am hopeful that several other short stories will find homes soon.

What advice would you offer to new writers?  Learn the craft, then the art of writing, and be prepared to be learning for the rest of your life, as the learning never ends. And find a good critiquing group, either physically or online, to help you hone your craft.

List links where people can find your writing? I don’t have any places for that at this time, although I am considering a web site soon. For now, people can find me at www.facebook.com/MonicaZwikstraAuthor/ or @monicasaglezwik on twitter.

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

Amy Hunter with All the Sprinkles by Kari Holloway

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Amy Hunter is in the HOUSE!!

Let’s cut to the chase, where can we stalk you at?

FacebookTwitter, and my website: www.amyhunterauthor.com

What do you write? Do you have something coming out soon?

write dark fiction. I just had a story come out in A Haunting of Words,

but as for soon, we shall see. (You can purchase a copy here, and it comes with a CD. For purchase from Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, etc click here.)

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You’re an author, do you offer services to other authors? (Cover design, edits, formatting?)

Yes! I’m a cover designer. https://www.facebook.com/Amy.H.Designs/ 17523464_155414761650352_3701087464766495273_n

Now the questions we’re all dying to know. Do you Google yourself?

Every chance I get. *wink*

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be Xena: Warrior Princess.
Kari: Nice! I remember watching that growing up, but I was always wanting to be Beast Master or Tarzan.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I would be Xena: Warrior Princess. Kidding. I would probably be a hairstylist. I’ve already been to cosmetology school and gotten most of my hours, so that would be ideal. Plus, there’s just something about seeing someone’s face when they spin around in the chair. They light up. Assuming you do a good job, of course. Otherwise, they’re pissed. Yeah, I like boosting people’s self-esteem.

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

ha. I’m usually not thinking of much. Truthfully, I’m usually singing along to some nineties station. Hey, I’ve got a right to party. The Beastie Boys said so.

We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

I would buy a Amy’s Corgi/Potbellied Pig Rescue. The pigs would wear tutus. Stop by and say hi. They love cuddles.

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

This made me stop and think for a long time. ha. A kitten. One of those with the smushy faces. I’d be allergic to myself, too.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

The ouroboros.

If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?

I’d eliminate the porn and the coupons first.

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“Help me get this sombrero off!” He’s here because the sombrero is too big for his body.

 

Let’s talk writing some more. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Vanity publishing.
Kari: For those who don’t know what a vanity publisher is, it is a company that offers to publish you, but you pay them. When you pay a vanity, you don’t publish your works, they do. Please don’t confuse this with companies that offer services that you can buy, such as editors, cover designers, formatters. Many first time writers confuse self-publishing/indie with vanity/indie.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have two unpublished stories, one half-finished story, and several outlines.

What’s the best way to market your books?

I have absolutely no idea.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Of course. I have a few.

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? Do you research before you start writing or do you hunt for things as you need them?

I’m a gatherer. I love research.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Kari Holloway, JM Ames, Marlon Hayes, Jacklynn Desmond, and several others. They help me by beta reading and letting me read their work. They’re like family.

 

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? Have you taken a trip to help your book? Have you gone on a trip to a place described in someone else’s book?

I’ve taken trips to research stories. For example, I’ve stayed on the land the St. Mary’s Children’s Asylum was on in Galveston (for Queen of the Waves). It was a very emotional trip; something I’ll never forget.

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Do you believe in writer’s block?

Not really.

 

What was your favorite scene to write? 

Saying goodbye to Lucas in “Core.”

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What was your hardest scene to write?

The crash scene in “Core.”

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I’ve never had one.

Well that’s all the questions I had. It has been a blast getting to know you. I can’t wait to see what else you have in the works, and I hope you come again.