Sam and Priss are super loveable Pod People… more stories for them in the works. Don’t you love Isa’s fairy wings?!! Find it on Amazon with bonus …Isa Loves my Pod People…
A Whole Lot of Fun Chatting with Eric and just in time for Spooky Season!
Eric, your horror writing is thoroughly entertaining as well as inspirational for writers like me exploring the genre. How did you get started and who inspired you?
Well, I never thought I would be a horror writer, if I’m being honest! I got this idea for a man who is working a graveyard shift in a crummy gas station, and what would happen if he saw a chance to get out. That is where it all started, and it snowballed from there. I haven’t read a ton of horror, but I’ve seen nearly all the horror movies that have ever been made. I’ve also gone to the hardcore haunted houses, and do things like that, so I think I write from experiences of what makes me scared!
D.L. I love the idea of inspiration from haunted houses! And subjecting yourself to scary experiences to write about them. I must know. What’s the difference between hardcore haunted events and the average Halloween neighborhood fete?
Well, I would have to say your blood pressure for starters! There is something about walking down tight, poorly lit corridors and not knowing if the things around you are actors or props… it can be really terrifying! It is generally geared for an 18+ crowd, so things can get pretty tense!
I’m excited about my preordered copy of Haunt coming out September 30, another great anthology from Dragon Soul Press, and even better, one of your stories will be part of it. Can you give us a sneak peek and tell us about the indie press and what they do?
My short story is called, ‘Graveyard Shift’ and is told in the first person by a man named Alex. He is down on his luck and a stranger comes in to offer him the world. He unwittingly makes a deal and then things get a bit tricky for dear ol’ Alex. I also have 2 others, ‘Everglades’ and ‘As you Wish…’, being released by Dragon Soul Press in their upcoming Anthology ‘Beautiful Darkness: Volume 1’ this October! They have been AMAZING to work with. They are incredibly professional, and I am hoping I can work with them for a long time!
D. L. Congratulations, Eric! After your recommendation, I looked at all the anthologies Dragon Soul Press has in the works. So many great options for submission. Our readers can check them out here. You can also click on the photos of Eric’s books to link to the preorders on Amazon!
I enjoyed the stories on your blog so much. Where else can we find your work, and what are your works in progress and plans for them?
I keep all of my stories on my site (totally free) and then have the stories being released September 30 and October 30 with Dragon Soul Press. I have about a million projects in the works! There is my main WIP called ‘Into the Grey’ that is about a secret society of mages that protects near future England from demon invasion from a parallel world ruled by a dark king. I also have a horror novel in the works called Wetlands that is a coming-of-age story about a boy in a small town who befriends a swamp creature to stop the new company in town from polluting the local area. Think Stand by Me meets Swamp Thing.
D. L. Those sound amazing, and it’s clear how much you’re enjoying spinning the tales. Can’t wait to read them. You can find Eric’s stories here.
What are some of your favorite characters in your stories, and why?
I really feel for Alex in Graveyard Shift. I think he is like me in a lot of ways, so it is hard to not like him a little!
I also love my characters in my novels. Ronnie from Into the Grey is a total ham, and really fun to write. They all hold special homes in my heart. I guess my heart is more or less a hotel whose tenants feature in all of my stories. They are all a tiny part of me (even the bad ones) so it’s hard to choose any one over the others!
D. L. Thanks for that revelation, which I think a lot of writers can relate to. Do you have a character brooding in that hotel that has yet to find a story?
I do actually! He’s just checked in though, so I don’t know much about him other than that he is without magic in a magic filled world. He’s shunned to outside the magical dome that protects the city from harmful spores in the air and joins the other outcasts to plan a way back into the city. I’m looking forward to this one, as it’s been on the back burner for some time!
D. L. Okay. Now I am, too. You’ll have to keep me posted!
One of the things I love asking writers is how they organize their writing life in harmony with family and other work. Do you have any favorite stories or tips you like to offer burgeoning writers?
Oh boy. My biggest and most often piece of advice is really simple.
“Don’t give up. Don’t stop writing.”
A break is alright, and there are always going to be times when you simply can’t write, but more or less, that is my advice to others. It might feel hard, it might be total poo on the page, but don’t stop. Write short stories. if you need a break from your main project. They’re a lot less strain on the cranium than a 100,000+ word novel, I can tell you that for sure!
I like to write between 9 and 10:30 (later if I’m on a roll) every Tuesday and Thursday and then any other day I get the chance. I know! It seems like a minuscule amount of time, but I’ve managed to write about 200,000 words in the last year by doing this, so it works well! I don’t spend a lot of time staring at a blank screen either. When you only have 3-4 hours set aside for writing each week, you make them count!
D. L. Great advice. And that is so helpful to know how much can get done on a schedule like that. Thanks!
When I first discovered you, it was through a Twitter post you shared about one of Richie Billing’s classes. He’s the man behind the Fantasy Writer’s Tool Shed podcast. It’s amazing how that one post of yours introduced me to so many fellow writers on Richie’s Discord group, and you are a key facilitator. Now, of course, I have a much better understanding of the robust writing community on social media and all the generous writers and creators who share. How did you get involved with it, and why do you think online writing communities are beneficial?
Much the same as you, actually! I was looking for a fantasy writing podcast and came across Richie’s. I joined his community and then the rest is history! I really felt alone before the chat and joining the writing community. I appreciate everything my family does to help support me as a writer, but they don’t always have the patience to deal with my writing. I’m sure most writers can relate. The look in the eyes from family and friends when you ask, “but why did you like it?” Like a deer in the headlights with flashbacks of standing in front of the class to give book reports! So, it is really nice to have peers.
D. L. The headlights analogy is hilarious and so true! And just put things in perspective for me. I was giving my family work to do, not just seeking an opinion.
Along those same lines, are there writing/book communities available locally in Alberta, Canada? If not, do you think there should be, or is online involvement where it’s at these days?
There certainly is. We have a writer’s guild in Alberta even! It is the biggest in Canada from what I’ve seen.
That being said, I think that online is where it’s at. If not for online, I would be talking to my Captain America poster. Asking if he thinks I should make my chapters shorter or if the villain is villainy enough. He would tell me that my antagonist is no Red Skull. There’d be an argument…
Anyway, I’m happy for all my online writing buddies!
D. L. LOL! Now I’m going to be looking for that scene in one of your stories!
This is a great opportunity to talk about the Fantasy Sci Fi Writers Alliance. What a great idea you had and it’s growing fast. Tell us what it’s about and the benefits of joining.
WELL! I can’t take credit for the idea. Anna Moss (The Worthy out now) is the person who first talked about it with me. She had mentioned forming one and I was game. Then, when people were discussing how difficult social media is and the struggles of being an author on Richie’s chat, I pitched the idea, and it blew up.
The Fantasy & Sci-Fi Writers Alliance is a group (150 and going strong) of writers who help to support each other on social media to boost reach with readers and meet fellow writers. That may be an oversimplification, but that is more or less the bones of it! So, if you want to join and do Instagram Trains, Twitter Writer Lifts, Book Clubs and (soon) Writing Sprints then check out the form on my website and join us! The more the merrier.
D. L. Here’s the link! And… Our readers can meet Anna here next month!
Sometimes I find it hard to make time for sharing and promoting online when there are so many places available to participate. Do you have any tips for sorting through the noise and making your time count, so you don’t cut into writing time?
If I had the key for this. Boy, oh boy.
Finding balance is probably the hardest thing about writing. Not only do you have to write, but you need to market as well. A task that holds little to no guarantees. You can work at it for ages and get nowhere, and then do a small video and get a thousand views. A lot of the time there is no rhyme or reason to any of it, and the target seems to move constantly.
What I DO know for sure, is that doing all those things is a lot easier when you have a band…no, a group…wait. An alliance, to help you with it. That is more or less the core of starting the alliance. You can ask, ‘how the heck do I format this thing for kindle?’ or ‘is this thing on Insta legit?’ and not have to spend a hundred hours wondering/worrying/working on a solution.
D. L. Great advice. Thank you!
What has been your biggest highlight of the last year?
Getting Graveyard Shift published! That said, finishing my first draft for Into the Grey was pretty incredible as well.
Where do you want to be as a writer in five years?
Ideally? Hanging out with Neil Gaiman. More realistically though, I would like to be totally finished with Into the Grey, as well as have a dozen more short story publications under my belt. I would like to have an agent and to be finding a home for my work.
D. L. Great goals! And maybe we can get Richie to invite Mr. Gaiman to a chat on his podcast. Hmmm…
Any parting advice to those who dream about writing?
Don’t stop. Never stop writing. It may be ‘poo on the page’ to start, but one day you will make something amazing. I would also say that you should watch Neil Gaiman’s address to the University of the Arts from 2012, the Brandon Sanderson lectures on Youtube, and read On Writing by Stephen King. These things have helped shape me into the writer I am today.
D. L. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Eric. All the best in your endeavors!
Thanks again for having me! This has been such fun!
Click on photos for links to Eric’s anthology books on preorder, his short stories, and more about him on his website.
Here is an update on what’s been happening with this amazing community of writers put together by Fraser at Feed My Reads. Thank you Fraser!
Before the month is out- I wanted to say again what a pleasure it was to join this community. And to participate in an author interview. – D. L. Lewellyn
A little introduction: Hi, I’m so glad to meet you all. My pen name is D. L. Lewellyn, but you can call me Darci. I started writing fiction in my 50s…D.L. Lewellyn Author interview
Writing requires practicing a skill in order to strengthen the ability into perfection just like anything else in life. The key to mastering such an …What Is Your Favorite Writing Tip? What Every Writer Should Know
So what did I do instead of write? I stitched.
I have been writing nearly every day for a year and a half. But I once enjoyed other crafts before the written word and my pod people took possession of me.
This year started with compiling a chart and goals to log my cross stitching as I’ve done for the last several years, and to go for some finishes of my many WIPs. Sadly, my beautiful stitching projects have languished in their beautiful project bags for most of the year. But this weekend it was movie marathons with the hubby, and because I can never just sit and watch movies without keeping my hands busy with some craft or other, I made some great progress.
My pod people were not necessarily silent the entire weekend, but they seemed to understand and made sure to mill around in my head and keep the ideas flowing, and I did manage to work on a book cover, one of my newest favorite pod people refusing to stay completely in the background… but she still let me spend lots of time stitching…
So, that is all this blog is about. Doing something other than writing for a change. Here’s my stitching progress, just in case you were curious.
Book Three, Tigris Vetus, in my series has also been calling to me. And with my mind freed from the pressures of writing, I came up with some great stuff I’m anxious to get to… all in good time… My friend Lucky has been encouraging me to work on balance, which is a thing he strives for, and this weekend’s activities reminded me how important mindful activities are to maintain balance.
What are your favorite mindful activities to keep you balanced in life? Share with me in the comments. Hope you had a great weekend, too!
First off, I live in a state where these are legal to own. My husband is a blade expert. And he’s the best story collaborator any writer could have. That said, this was my present today after a hard day’s work. Something to keep at my desk as I write my urban fantasy story involving Japanese brothers who are animal shifters (which animal is completely unique in shifter lore and will remain a secret until release time), and they come from a long line of shinobi warriors, otherwise known as the ninja.
The Nakamura brothers are teaming up with a homeless teenage girl and her dog Harley to find their missing parents. Raelyn has a knack for throwing blades, at least she thinks so… until she comes under the scrutiny of Mrs. Nakamura. Chapters 1 through 4 are free to read here. My husband likes this story. When I got home today, he told me he had a present for Raelyn.
MTech Knives made this beautiful linerlock it dubbed Onna-Musha, female warrior, because it’s perfectly sized for a female, well-made, and feels great in the hand. It’s beautiful and I love it. Thank you, honey.
Naturally as a writer, I had to research. Scroll down for photos and a link to the fascinating story of the female samurai, namely the valiant Nakano Takeko.
Feudal Japan’s Women Samurai, Were Erased From History
While most Japanese women were subject to rigid social expectations of domesticity, onna-bugeisha women warriors who were known to be to be every bit as strong, capable, and courageous as their male counterparts… Click Here for Ms. Hastings account.
I often get lost in the noise of social media though I’m constantly finding great reads, thoughtful blogs, new authors and artistic posts I love sharing… then once in a while, I get bowled over…
Don’t always discount those direct messages. Sometimes they turn out to be an adventure. One from Feed My Reads turned into a great opportunity for an interview, a place to share with readers a little about me and hopefully a little encouragement. Check them out and buy them a coffee!
There are those moments of being found by truly amazing people and groups who spend time and effort helping others. I had no idea that my participation on Twitter could draw me into a real community, a fun one too. I’m sharing just a few surprises from this long summer month of August. It has been a new experience for me, this second year of being an indie author. It’s more than writing and selling books, that’s for sure.
If you’ve been wondering if it’s worth all the effort to stay connected on platforms like Twitter, I wanted to share some of the benefits. Even if those book sales don’t tick up, sharing will lead to surprising boosts.
Following are some awesome people who share. Including their book mail with my book on display!
Dave is awesome. If you’re an indie author on Twitter, you’ve probably experienced his tireless generosity. He tagged me in some posts before I even knew about him or much about the Writing Community. He even grabbed my Amazon book link and reviews to share back when I was at 400 followers. Largely due to Dave, I’m now approaching 1850 on Twitter.
Then I wake up on occasion to find a review like this (technically last month, but had to add it too – it’s part of my summer magic.)
Share your summer highlights, best surprises, or Twitter experiences in the comments.
So long as they’re giving me something and not taking… Hmmm. Or are they? Well, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.
Meanwhile, characters, aka my Pod People, are bursting out of me and burgeoning all over the pages, and I now have two amazing Works in Progress, which I’m having a hard time putting down and seem to want to work on simultaneously. Anyone else getting some great new ideas for stories this summer? Let me know in the comments. Meanwhile, enjoy some quirky and intriguing alien artwork by William Louis McDonald
Bursting! Or Consuming?…
Just too many cool things going on here…
Get ready, everyone, because Life, the Universe, and Everything is about to fall into your lap. Right, so page back in your memories to 2021. A lot …Bookmarked Adventures: Free SF/F Writing Con!
Stay tuned – Interview will be posted 14 Aug 2022!
Join me here on Sunday for a fun and inspiring Q&A with Indie Swords & Sorcery Fantasy author from Down Under, Douglas W. T. Smith.
I plan to feature more of my writer and creator friends here on a regular basis. We’re all going through the myriad of stages to improve our writing, market our books and grow our reading community. This will be a place to glean tips and inspiration through it all.
Since I’ve been reading, watching and writing stories in the fantasy genre, I’ve enjoyed a common theme. No politics. Sure, there are good versus evil forces trying to whack each other into oblivion. Even The Umbrella Acadamy now has the Sparrow Acadamy to battle for their place in the world, as if going back in time and saving it wasn’t enough. But there’s an honesty to good versus evil in our entertainment that our current real world lacks, like the stout-hearted Hobbit facing the fiery maw of Mount Doom in the land Mordor. I kind of hope it won’t take us thousands of years to find our Frodo.
It used to be the other way around.
I used to think politics were reasonable. You had two sides of an issue. Your representatives debated the two sides using logic, conviction and maybe even passion. Granted some issues would be controversial and the debates would get heated, but reason would prevail in the end. You could feel good about living in a world like that, put entertainment and it’s battles in their place, freely enjoying the question of Alien versus Predator because when you inevitably didn’t get a definitive answer and the threat still waited around the corner for the hapless protagonist, you could walk out of the theater, and return to a world that made sense.
Now, it’s the real world where all the lines are blurred beyond recognition. People are walking around in utter confusion about who is bad and who is good, and there’s no one left to shine the light on reason. Lies become truth that’s wielded in the guise of helping the masses, when it’s all designed to further one man’s ambitions. A mere human who has the ridiculous notion he can take it all with him. Where? Is there a spacecraft waiting to transport him and his gold to a planet containing the fountain of youth? Will his minions follow him there, so he has someone to fire every other second? Well, at least they will believe him if he says it’s so.
My pod people don’t care about any of that. They’re too busy fighting battles they can understand even if the enemy is a mystery, because it’s me who gets to orchestrate the fates of my pod people. I can set them on a clear course that, when it’s achieved, will leave the sensible ones standing and the evil ones pounded to dust. Maybe my pod people will find love and friendship along the way, a fellowship of supporters who can pick a clear side and stick by it, confident they’re all in it together and have each others’ backs.
You can find my brand of entertaining chaos on My Books page for a nice escape from the blurry lines of reason.
Viewpoints all mine and my pod peoples’…
I’m working hard to get this out to the world, and this weekend would be the perfect time to enjoy a FREE short story. It was a winner in a writing challenge, and I promise it’s a fun read, with characters you will love immediately. Click on the cover for a link to your Nook Book at Barnes and Noble. You can find it on Apple Books, Scribd, and Kobo as well. Those links can be found on My Books page. If you don’t have access to these online stores, email me and I’ll send you a copy. I would love to hear what you think.