Fridays 5 02/25/2022

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This week I ask: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Clicking on the authors name will take you to their website or amazon author page. Check them out, show some love, maybe you’ll find a new author to follow.

Dave Wimset

Dave Wimset author photo

A: I was taking a novel writing course many decades ago with a bestselling author and thought the manuscript I handed in the first week was fantastic. The instructor detailed numerous deficits, all of them true. I wandered out of the classroom feeling terrible and reached an intersection. There was a trash can next to me. I said to myself, out loud, “All tight. This is where you choose. Either throw this manuscript in the trash and never write again or accept that you need to stop thinking of your writing as your baby or your blood on the page and learn to take criticism and use it to improve. That is the point at which I became a writer.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered, Half Awakened Dreams, and Covenant with the Dragons.

He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

Alice Sobo

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.

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters, and a satisfying culmination.

Pete Mesling

A: Garrison Keillor once remarked that an artist is someone who gets up in the morning and does art. By that definition I remain something of a failure. I get up most days and go to work like a schmuck. The writing I do when I can, and that means lunch breaks evenings, and weekends, folks. But publishing has done a lot to make me feel like a proper writer, especially having some books out there with only my name on them. Writing every day is important for me, too. I’m not masochistic about word counts, and I’m happy to let blog posts qualify on a slow day, but having my head in the game more or less daily keeps me going—and feeling like a writer.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press.

A.M. Harte

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?

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.

Wednesday Lee Friday

A: From age 5-11, then not again until my 30’s. There was this whole, wide swath of time when I didn’t think I could ever “really” be a writer. I thought I needed someone else to tell me I was a writer, instead of just getting the hell out there and writing. Glad I finally figured it out—but wish I’d started 20 years earlier.

Bio: Wednesday lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and two crafty cats. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and also enjoys Shostakovich, Dexter, loom knitting, The Simpsons, crafty things, quality horror of all kinds, and kettle cooked potato chips. She covers TV and movies for 411Mania, sexy stuff at Kinkly.com, and has done a ton of ghostwriting…though not about ghosts.


This Way to Heaven

Click on the image above to start reading today.

26 Episodes now available.

Kindle Vella: Stories told one episode at a time.

Synopsis: As if their lives weren’t tough enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world for four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to embrace the darkness that lives within, if they hope to survive. It isn’t long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries boil to the surface within their small group.

If that wasn’t bad enough they find out the basement is haunted by the ghosts of the past and a creature that needs to feed on their fear. Trapped between the terrors outside, and the horror within, their only hope lies behind a solitary door in the basement that appears to offer refuge.

But what will it cost to escape.?

About the author: Richard is the author of eight novels, three novellas, and a collection of short stories. His most recent novel is a paranormal ghost story titled Cursed. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, and the Maryland Writers Association.

Kindle Vella

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I’ve dipped my toe into the Kindle Vella pool.

For those who have never heard of it, in a nutshell, Kindle Vella provides serialized stories to readers. Chapters are called episodes and a collection of episodes can be combined into a season, or a book.

The first three episodes of a season are free. Tokens can be used to purchase access to additional episodes. From what I’ve seen the cost of an episodes is tied to the word count. So an 1800 word episode would typically cost 18 tokens to access. Two bucks will get you 200 tokens. 5 bucks will get you 525, and so on up to 1700 tokens for 15 bucks.

In the first book of my post apocalyptic series This Lawless Land, Meat and his friends are captured by a cult of children who worship a creature that lives in the basement of their apartment building. I’ve always wanted to explore that group further, to delve into the events and motivations that brought them to that point in their life. But to do so in a single book would not be feasible. I played with the idea, even went so far as to start writing the book, but began to realize as I passed the 25,000 word point, that it was going to take more than one book to do the story justice. I wanted to start getting the story out there. I even considered posting a chapter a week here, but realized that wouldn’t be feasible. Then along came Kindle Vella

I’ve posted the first nine episodes of This Way to Heaven, with plans to post a new episode every week. Each episode will be between 1500 to 200 words. I hope you’ll follow along on this new journey. For those of you looking for book 5 of This Lawless Land, I’m working on it. I’m so sorry for the delay, but the past two years have been sort of weird for all involved and though I had all this time to work, I couldn’t seem to get focused on anything until lately.

Anyway, here’s the link to my Kindle Vella story, This Way to Heaven. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I am writing it.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0999T5T9N