Author Wendy Potocki #interview

Please give a war welcome to author Wendy Potocki

Have you always wanted to become an author?

Yup, sure did!

It was a secret desire and I never told anyone because I never thought I would never be good enough—or have the ideas that spark good stories. Since I was a booklover, I thought authors were magical in their ability to keep me spellbound. So for more than half of my life, it remained a dream … something tickling my fancy … but nothing more. Then one day, my muse whispered an idea in my ear. Once started, I’ve never stopped.

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Okay, so this is actually kind of interesting. I wrote a short story for a writing competition hosted by J. Ellington Ashton Press. The short was entitled “Fate Worse than Death,” and was about zombies. The lead character was a teenager who had to write a story for her English class using stream of consciousness. That method of writing has always fascinated me as there’s no filter on what comes out. One night, the concept got the better of me, and I decided to give it a try. I sat down and just wrote the first thing that came into my head. It was:

A liquid night.

A lucid dream.

A one-eyed girl buried in the rain.

I loved the words and the mood struck, and before I knew it, the three lines burst into an entire novel. It’s what I’m working on now and I hope it’ll be finished by Halloween. At least, that’s the plan.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

I don’t think so. I do like to write in the daytime which is always a surprise to me given that I’m such a night owl. I guess the only things that would pass for quirks are: (1) I do not like to talk about ideas I’m working on, and (2) I design covers for any new work I’m about to write. The cover allows me to establish a mood and feeling. It also helps consolidate or ground the visualization so there’s a tangible representation of the creative process going on in my head. I suppose one could liken it to a mood board, but for me, it’s designing covers.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

My main advice is: WRITE. In personal training, there’s a concept known as “ exercise specificity.” What it means is that if you want to swim, at some point, you have to get in the water and swim! Running, lifting weights, eating healthy all might contribute to conditioning the body to swim, but swimming is the key in learning to swim. And it’s the same with writing.

Just write. Write anything, everywhere, and anything. If you write novels, try a short story … or poetry. If a friend needs to write a letter, write it for them. Also, write for blogs or other outlets that require you meeting a deadline. It’s the only way you’ll get good at firing out a paragraph or two. It comes in handy when you get an opportunity—like this one, for instance.

The next piece of advice would be to continue to hone your craft. Don’t get stuck in the notion that you can’t improve or that there’s a limitation on what you do. The best way to accomplish this is to distance yourself from what you’re doing, and be as objective as you can about your work. It may require putting your work away for a few weeks or months and looking at it with a fresh eye, but stagnation is the worst sin so don’t stay where you are. Continue to flex your muscle—and wings. Yes, they’re there waiting for you to use. Never be afraid to fail; it’s in the failing you’ll learn and eventually transform.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

Yes, thank you so much for supporting me and my work. I love writing so much and I hope that it always shows.

I’m also very happy to announce that, after a long absence on the horror scene, I am coming out with two new chiller-dillers so please look for it them this fall. In the meantime, love to you all.

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Authors C L Raven #interview @clraven

Please give a creepy welcome to C L Raven

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Tell us a bit about yourself

We’re identical twins from Cardiff, Wales and we write horror novels and short stories. We’ve just started writing comics and film scripts and are enjoying the change. Most of our time is spent looking after our animal army, who are all rescue or rehomed pets. There is currently 15 of them. In our spare time, we love doing polefit and are training to become instructors. We also do gymnastics, but the less we say about that, the better. We somehow ended up with lead roles in our friend’s horror film, School Hall Slaughter, so we’ve been rehearsing stunts for that. We’re hoping to start directing our own short horror film after summer. We love travelling and find the creepiest places to visit. We’ve just returned from a book signing in Sweden.

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Have you always wanted to become authors?

Originally, we were obsessed with horses and wanted to be either professional showjumpers, or riding instructors. But not being able to afford a horse was quite an obstacle. We started writing novels when we were 12, so as we became teenagers, we decided we wanted to become authors and nothing else. By then, our depression had forced us to give up horse riding so we needed a new career plan! Our teachers were less than happy, and we often got detention for not doing our homework – we were too busy writing!

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

Our most recent release, Empty Graves, is about the body snatchers in Edinburgh in 1828. We love history, and learning about body snatchers Burke and Hare (they were really murderers, not body snatchers) made us interested in Edinburgh. We were fascinated that it’s two cities in one – Old Town and New Town. We fell in love with it before we visited. Now we go back every year and get inspired by each visit. We now have three historical books set in Edinburgh. The Malignant Dead is about the plague in 1645, and The Devil’s Servants is about the witch trials in 1649. They are a series, in a way, as they’re linked by minor characters, or descendants, and are all set in Edinburgh. Edinburgh itself inspired them, as all three are based on true events. We have plans for a fourth one, based on the legend of Sawney Bean and his cannibal family.

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What are you working on now?

We’re currently writing a new novel about a woman who gets possessed by a demon, but she likes the effect the demon has, so allows it to stay. Her demon is after an object that will give it ultimate power, but it’s not the only demon that wants it, so together, they exorcise other peoples’ demons to stop them from getting the object first. We’ve just finished writing a gothic novella about a cursed castle that drives people to insanity, and we’re editing a novel about a necromancer who helps the police by resurrecting murder victims to interview them. Our first comic is due to be published at the end of the year.

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

Does falling asleep at the laptop count? If not, then no. We usually have the company of a cat, Theo. He’s not ours, but every time his owner collects him, he returns after a few days. Before Theo arrived, our tortie, Mina, would sit on our laps. She also isn’t ours but has been living here for a year now. Before Mina arrived, our youngest cat, Ripley was our writing buddy. So we guess having a feline writing buddy is our quirk. The other cats. Storm and Phoenix have no interest in helping us.

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What are your hopes for the future?

To be successful, and to make a proper living from our writing, so people will stop telling us to get a ‘proper job’. Not sure they think teaching polefitness counts as a proper job either! Neil Gaiman is our inspiration and we’d like to switch between books, comics, and other projects with the same success that he has. We once tweeted him to tell him it was his fault his publisher turned our book down (they loved but it didn’t want another funny apocalypse book). Neil tweeted us back, apologising.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

Don’t expect overnight success. It’s incredible tough to get success in writing. You have to have the courage to keep submitting work, despite all the rejections. (We’re nearing 500 with our short stories/novels/articles). We often feel like giving up, particularly when our depression is bad, and at times we wish we could quit. But we can’t. You’ll always see writers posting about their success and it will feel like you’re the only one failing. You’re not. They’re only showing you the highlights. Nobody likes to look like a failure, so nobody posts about their rejections. We do, because we want people to know how hard it is. Plus only posting about your success is like a kick in the boobs to someone getting nothing but rejections. But you have to keep going. If you don’t put your work out there then it can’t be accepted. It’s terrifying, but it’s worth it. And if someone tells you to get a proper job, punch them in the teeth. Seriously. Punch them hard. Then hit them with a book. Those same people would be the first to complain if there were no books, no comics, no TV shows, no films. For those things to exist, you need writers. Also, things change so quickly. A couple of weeks ago, we did a signing in Sweden’s oldest book shop and were on the front page of two newspapers and a large spread in a third. People came up to us in random places, recognising us and came to the shop just to meet us. This week, we’ve had nothing but rejections from publishers! It’s a fickle world.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

Thank you so much for reading our work, and making what we do matter. It often feels like nobody cares, but then we’ll get a message from a reader, saying they loved one of our books, and it makes all the heartache worth it. So thank you. You’re the reason we keep fighting.

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Etsy

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Into the Shadows by Jarica James & Rowan Thalia #newrelease

Into the Shadows (Juniper’s Sight Book 1)

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Ghost, Spirits, and Demons.
Paranormal experiences aren’t usually part of the coursework for college. That is, unless you are Juniper Nevels.

Jun has had ghostly encounters all of her life, in fact she has come to expect them. Her two best friends, Dexter and Sterling have always been by her side to help her when they hit. Through battling the terrifying nightmares and spooky sightings, they’ve only grown closer.

Life as they know it seems to be perfect when in their junior year, their request for a co-ed dorm is granted. That means no more late night phone calls and facing her inner demons alone. What could go wrong with her two best friends by her side?

When twin brothers, Asher and Alex join the group, the sparks start flying. Then, during what should have been a fun ghost hunting trip, plans go awry. The group of friends turned lovers awaken something dark living in the hidden corridors of Dudley Hall. Now that it is awake, it is hungry … and it’s eyes are set on Jun.

Jun and her four sexy roommates must come together to solve the mystery of the haunting before the encounters become fatal. Will they find the information they need to stop the terror that increases with each day?

Is Juniper strong enough to lock away the malevolent spirit, or will she follow him into the shadows?

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Buy link

Into the Shadows

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Author links

Jarica James

Rowan Thalia

The Shadow Room