Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with authors of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous edited by Tim Marquitz (and a Giveaway)

When I set out to create Fading Light, I had a specific vision in mind…That was until I was assailed by the slew of great submissions. There were so many amazing stories, so different than what I had expected, they threw a wrench into all my machinations and forced an evolution on Fading Light I hadn’t foreseen. In the end, it was the authors who defined the direction as much as the anthology prompt. As such, I feel it is they who should introduce themselves and the beast that is Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous.

Take a moment to get to know them in part three of the multi-blog interview…

Tim Marquitz
El Paso, TX
August 20, 2012

Fading Light collects 30 monstrous stories by authors new and experienced, in the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, each bringing their own interpretation of what lurks in the dark.

Contributors: Mark Lawrence, Gene O’Neill, William Meikle, David Dalglish, Gord Rollo, Nick Cato, Adam Millard, Stephen McQuiggan, Gary W Olson, Tom Olbert, Malon Edwards, Carl Barker, Jake Elliot, Lee Mather, Georgina Kamsika, Dorian Dawes, Timothy Baker, DL Seymour, Wayne Ligon, TSP Sweeney, Stacey Turner, Gef Fox, Edward M Erdelac, Henry P Gravelle, & Ryan Lawler, with bonus stories from CM Saunders, Regan Campbell, Jonathan Pine, Peter Welmerink, & Alex Marshall.

  1. Thanks for taking part in the multi-blog, Fading Light interview. Tell us a little about yourself.
Dorian Dawes: Here is where one might stumble a bit with put-on humility, or go into endless paragraphs of self-aggrandizing rhetoric in all their spooky horribleness, but I don't think I'll do either. I think I'll just borrow a bit here from Fight Club, in that I am nothing special. I am the same decaying organic matter as everyone else. I am, as all of us are, nothing. I'm a young gay man living in the backwoods of Florida with a predilection for horror and the macabre, particularly through literature. I like scary movies and books, comic books and graphic novels, and video games. Once upon a time, I thought I could change the world, but I don't believe in that anymore.

Ryan Lawler: I suppose I should start with my day job right? I’m an aviation software engineer, working with the Australian military to provide safety assurance for different aircraft. It’s an enjoyable job that has taken me around the country and I hope it continues to do so.

My wife and I are currently living in the capital, Canberra, where we both spent our childhood growing up. It’s a great city and I see myself settling down there, but not before I live in a bunch of other cities and countries.

Tim Baker: Happy to be here. I’m just an old ex-firefighter trying to start a new career in writing. Not too easy, it turns out. May be harder than firefighting, though much less dangerous.

Carl Barker: Well I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

Peter Welmerink: My name is Peter Welmerink. I have been crafting tales since grade school, but didn’t find the pursuit or pleasure of publication until the 1990’s. I have penned action-adventure tales from superhero to star-venturing space hero, though have mainly written in the Sword & Sorcery Heroic/Epic Fantasy genre. I have a day job, a wife and kids. My first novel was co-written with the very talented Steven Shrewsbury. BEDLAM UNLEASHED: a nice cheery non-violent story about a massive Viking berserker in 1014AD. I lie about that first part. I am a robot. Bzzt. Bzzt.

  1. Besides the anthology prompt, what led you to write your Fading Light contribution?
Ed Erdelac: Tim sold me on the concept. He was urging me to come up with something for it and after a lot of ruminating I watched a documentary on the origin of the moon with my wife, specifically, that it might’ve been caused when another celestial body.

I found that I had a knack for darker stories, and I was working on a very dark story about a post apocalypse engineer when the Fading Light story prompt came through. With a few tweaks of my setting and the addition of some monstrous enemies, I had my submission.

Gef Fox: Peer pressure. Last winter, Tim told me he was editing this anthology and I should consider writing up something to submit. Who was I to argue? I love monsters anyway, so coming up with something wasn't going to be too difficult.

CM Saunders: I remember seeing a documentary a while back about freelance ambulance crews in South America. Being a naturally twisted individual, I began to wonder what would happen if they picked up an accident victim who also happened to be a zombie? 

  1. Does music play a part of your writing? Television, movies?
Ed Erdelac: I’m sure I’m influenced by all of these things, but I need total silence when I write. I never listen to music or have anything on in the background. I’m pretty monastic when I write. But these things wend their way into my work, sure. For Gully Gods, a novella I did for the Four In the Morning collection, that was a supernatural story set in inner city Chicago, with gangbangers. I listened to a lot of Scarface, because the main character was from South Houston. For The Crawlin’ Chaos Blues, a story I did about a blues player making a deal with Nyarlathotep for fame, I listened to a lot of Delta and Chicago Blues. Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins. I did this to prepare myself for these stories, to get inspired, but again, I don’t listen to anything while I’m writing.

Adam Millard: I listen to a lot of music when I write.  I'm a bit of a metalhead, so I tend to listen to noisy stuff through these behemoth earphones.  Sometimes, if a scene I'm working on requires a certain mood, I'll find music to match it.  I think it helps a lot.

Ryan Lawler: I find things like music, television, movies, books, video games, internet meme’s, and news stories to be a great source of ideas for my writing. My initial spark for Light Save Us came from watching an episode of The Colony, a reality TV show about a group of people trying to survive in a simulated post apocalyptic world.

But when it comes to actually writing, I need a semi sterile environment otherwise I get too distracted. Oh, look, another internet meme, just five more minutes and I will get back to writing… after I check my email and Twitter feed… and see what my friends are doing on Facebook… oh man I’m really digging the lyrics to this new song I’ll just quickly look them up before I get back to writing…

  1. Tell us about your story in Fading Light.
William Meikle: I wondered what it might be like to live in an underground society where the lights were always on, then become exposed to the totality of the vast darkness of space on a planet where the sun had gone dim. I believe a new bogey man might just emerge in that situation, something born from a psyche that had spent too long in isolation. The darkness might take many forms. His is a story of one of them.

Adam Millard: My story, Parasitic Embrace, was a little homage to the science-fiction films of the 50s.  These were movies, ultimately, about paranoia, about whether the person you love is still the same person.  These micro-parasites travel across the ocean in a volcanic ash-cloud and locate hosts, changing them into . . . just read it!

Ed Erdelac: In The Theophany Of Nyx, it’s about ten or twenty years down the road and the earth establishes its first bona fide lunar colony, which falls prey to an unexplained seismic disaster when a crack in the moon opens up and the colony slides inside, spewing a thick cloud of dust which descends into earth’s atmosphere and blankets the planet. The sun is blotted out, vegetation begins to die. My story centers specifically on a plumber who gets stuck on a military base when the disaster happens. A week or so later it rains and people begin rejoicing, thinking it means the end of the dust cloud. It doesn’t.

TSP Sweeney: Der Tuefel Sie Wissen (“The Devil You Know”) follows a group of Hitler Youth members as they stalk a Russian officer through fire-ravaged ruins during the fall of Berlin in World War II.  Naturally, all is not as it seems.

  1. Writers are a different breed of human. What led you to down the path to making up worlds and telling stories?
Gene O’Neill: Irish genes.

Tom Olbert: It came very naturally at a very young age.  I was always a day-dreamer by nature.  I loved monster movies and sci-fi and UFO stories.  I’d always dreamed of being a published writer.

Adam Millard: I love being a writer.  We are, as a species, odd and often in need of psychological evaluation, but I know a lot of writers that would rather die than quit.  I think it's  in a persons' blood; it's certainly in mine, and I just love the idea that one day, when I'm planted in some cemetery, someone will still be reading something I wrote.  Or, at least, I hope they will.

CM Saunders: I guess there were many factors. English was about the only thing I was good at in school, so I spent most of my time hiding at the back of the class writing stories. Also, in your stories you call all the shots. It’s like playing God!

Peter Welmerink: I had/have all these ideas crowded within my skull. I saw and see sheets of blank line paper, or, now, a big white screen when I open MSWord. Those blank spaces need to run heavy with adventure.

  1. What led you to submit to Fading Light?
William Meikle: I was invited J but the theme is one that immediately spoke to me.

TSP Sweeney: After coming across the description of Fading Light online, I looked into it a bit more and found that I really loved the concept of the anthology and admiring what Tim Marquitz was doing with it.  Combine that with the opportunity to finally write about an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a long time, and it seemed like a match made in heaven (or hell, considering the nature of the anthology).

  1. Who are your greatest influences in your life, both literary and otherwise?
Gef Fox: I'm a bit low on the totem pole to start citing my influences. I will say I've long gravitated to stories by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, and Elmore Leonard. I wouldn't say I'm trying to emulate any of these writers, but I will say I greatly admire their work.

The Boss
CM Saunders: Number one has to be my dad, but I know that's a boring answer so instead I will say Stephen King and Bruce Springsteen – two people from humble beginnings who worked hard to make an impression, and gradually became masters of their art. Examples to follow!

Ryan Lawler: My parents and grandparents have been the greatest influence throughout my life. They taught me not only how to seek out opportunities but how to grab onto them with both hands. My wife has been the biggest influence in the last six years, tempering my massive ego while nurturing the empathetic and caring side of my personality I never knew was there. I also have to give credit to someone from my first job building box trailers. I can’t remember his name but I will always remember what he told me after I cut an entire batch of mud guards almost 10 millimetres too short. “If you aren’t pissed off about your failure to follow instructions and to cut pieces of metal to the right size, technicians will never trust your calculations and you will never make it as an engineer.” Doing things right is something you should care about.

From a literary perspective, the writings of Ayn Rand and Terry Goodkind really influenced my personality as a teenager. Objectivism seemed to resonate with the way I saw the world, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Then I grew up and I now find my greatest literary influence to be Sir Terry Pratchett for his wonderfully optimistic view of the world.

Jake Elliot: Hunter S. Thompson is my greatest literary hero. He was also a troublemaker, but by a much deeper category of troubled. Like me, he never finished his degree, yet was very successful as a writer. My successes pale greatly to his, but then I’ve shied away from eating handfuls of mescaline and huffing ether.

I’m also fascinated by a 1st century prophet––another famous troublemaker––better known throughout the English and Hispanic parts of the world as Jesus. I’m not interested in the mythological Zeus-like savior of all mankind, but the historical and philosophical entity. The man changed the entire world with his message of a loving God and his words played a huge role in destroying the Roman Empire, and he did it all though non-violent means. It makes sense to me why the world painted him as God on Earth, but I don’t believe in that dogmatic religious view. Since I don’t accept the prescribed version, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what about the man was real, and what was fictionalized. I’m not as lost as the day I started looking, but I certainly better understand the philosophy of, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

  1. The zombie apocalypse arrives: who do you want on your response team?
William Meikle: Superman. Then I could sit back and let him do all the work.

Gef Fox: Someone slower and tastier than me.

            Carl Barker: Chuck Norris. Obviously.

  1. How do your daily experiences impact your writing?
Tim Baker: Well, my life experiences certainly have. There’s usually something in my writing that reflects my world view or event I’ve been through, though it’s very vague and covered up by a lot of nastiness.

TSP Sweeney: Names and places will often find a way of cropping up in my work, although usually in a substantially altered format.  So too amusing conversations or interesting pieces of trivia.

Otherwise, the main impact my daily experiences have is making me so exhausted that the idea of sitting on the computer writing can occasionally be terrifying! I’ve managed to compensate for this via use of an iPad, which has proven itself to be more effective at increasing my useful writing time far more than my old laptop ever did.

  1. All authors have goals they set for themselves, be it getting published, getting a bigger deal, or selling millions of copies. Can you share some of yours?
Mark Lawrence: The only writing goal I ever had was to get a short story published in a print magazine.

Carl Barker: I think that most authors would list some or all of the above as goals. We do what we do because we enjoy it, so if we could do this for a living, then we’d be as happy as a man called Larry.

  1. What projects are you working on now? Anything cool you can share with us?
Adam Millard: Just finishing up on the first draft of the concluding book in my Dead series, which will be released in March 2013, and then I have a few anthologies to write for before Christmas.

CM Saunders: I have written the first volume of a YA time travel adventure series and am about to start the second volume. Next year I plan to self-publish a collection of short stories, and later this year will see the release of Rainbow's End, my first tentative foray into literary fiction.

Ryan Lawler: I’ve been invited to submit a short story to an anthology about women creating their perfect companions (as opposed to all those stories about men creating the perfect women). There are a couple of big names attached to this whose contribution will likely be announced in the next month or two.

Tom Olbert: I’m working on two short science fiction stories.  One’s a space opera about science vs. religion in a futuristic interstellar dark age.  The other’s a contemporary spy drama about a government agent struggling with his own identity and finding himself at a temporal crossroads.

TSP Sweeney: I am working on a short horror piece for an anthology called The Black Wind’s Whispers, which is being written and put together by several members of the Black Library Bolthole forums.

Beyond that, I have a few things I am waiting to hear back on from a few different publishers, and I have the ever-present couple of novels I have been working on for far too long hanging over me, attempting to draw me back in.

  1. A troll, a rabid skunk, and Justin Bieber walk into a bar: how does the story end?
Word to yo motha
William Meikle: With a dead skunk inside a dead Justin Bieber, and a drunk troll.

Dorian Dawes: With John Waters arriving late to the scene with a film camera, and several months following, the unveiling of his latest trash masterpiece, "CRYBABY 2: Never Say Never."

Carl Barker: If I ever put Justin Bieber into one of my stories, I’ll have to kill myself.

  1. Given the opportunity, is there any one author you’d like to write a story with? What would you write about?
Ed Erdelac: You know, I don’t think I’m really the collaborative type. There are people I’d like to contribute to books with, sure. Joe Lansdale, for instance. If I could get into writing one of those neat-o Star Wars reference guides, guys like Dan Wallace and Jason Fry, Abel Pena. I have author friends I’d like to work with in some capacity, like Greg Mitchell. But I couldn’t really see myself writing a novel or something like that with somebody else, like how King and Straub did. Only child syndrome I guess.

  1. Tell us a little about your writing process: do you outline, pants it, write twenty drafts or just one, practice voodoo?
Ed Erdelac: I write the whole thing out in paragraph form if I can, like ‘John goes to the store. He doesn’t have enough change for the bus, etc.’ Then I start writing the thing properly in the same document and delete the summary as I go, so I know how much I have left to do. Usually the first thing I do before I write is go over everything I wrote the previous day. That’s it, in terms of drafts. I wouldn’t say I write one draft, because I’m revising the whole time. With three kids I don’t really have time for rituals, neurotic or occult.

Ryan Lawler: I use a bunch of seven point outlines to create my arcs. I try to come up with a really cool resolution, a beginning that is far away from that resolution, and then five steps in the middle that shape the progress of the arc from beginning to resolution. For short stories I do just the one outline, but for larger stories I create multiple outlines for things like the main plot, subplots, and character arcs.

I weave these outlines together to come up with a series of scenes and events that cover off each point in my outline. Once I have these scenes in mind, I just write, allowing all of the finer detail to evolve as I go through. Having the seven dot points makes sure I know where to start and where to finish, but it allows me the freedom to take almost any path along that journey.

Tim Baker: Whew, let me tell ya, I only started writing seriously a couple of years ago, so I’m on a fast learning curve. I took a creative writing class before that, writing three short stories, and I simply didn’t learn much there. I made straight A’s but I don’t think the teacher was interested enough to point out the mistakes, I now know, I was making. I wrote a novel after that for the NaNoWriMo thing and I pants it all the way. Cool idea, but after an editor looked at it, I realized how clueless I was. Short stories I write off the cuff with little prep; the idea is in my head and I have an ending in mind and I shoot for that. The novella I’m working on is getting outlined. And the voodoo thing just didn’t work out.

TSP Sweeney: I am still sort of trying to find the one method that really suits me, but my general method (at least with shorts) is to write at least a barebones core of a story down and then go back and redraft a thousand times.  In saying that, however, I have also had some success with outlining and then writing a good, solid draft straight away.  I think it really depends on how fleshed out the piece is in your mind; is it just a concept, or do you have actual plot and characters and setting and dialogue bouncing around in there as well?

Peter Welmerink: I typically do some reference work first if required, then dive in. In the past, no outlines or really any notes. Now, just because I think it helps me stay focused and on track, a write little snippets of where things are going. It usually changes as I get sucked into the story and characters and events take me away.

  1. What do you do to get better as a writer?
Dorian Dawes: An endless cycle of reading and writing. I have a trusted few who look at my work for me, who's eyes and tastes I trust. They're usually dead-on with their advice and have  provided invaluable assistance to my progress in improving as a writer. Too many young and budding writers, and many artists these days actually, are too terrified of negative criticism, or at least, anything that resembles anything but infinite praise for their precious babies. I try not to get too attached to my work. Yes, I spent a lot of time and effort on it, but I'm going to write more things in the future, better things too. I just don't have that much time and effort to spend defending mediocre work when I could be taking that criticism and using it as a springboard to create better work in the future.

Jake Elliot: Read, read, and read­­––then add on an occasional creative writing class at the local university or college. I might try a writers’ group in Oregon.

Adam Millard: Read, read, read.  When I'm not writing, I'm reading.  The two things go hand-in-hand, and reading is essential.  If you don't read, you can't be a writer.

CM Saunders: Write. And read. I have learned that you learn just as much (if not more) from bad writing as you do from good writing!

Peter Welmerink: Listen to advice from editors. Look at how they edited my work after I thought I had polished it rather nicely but obviously needed fresh eyes to really shake the bugs out.

Always time for some reading

  1. When you first imagine a story, do the characters come first or the plot? Is it always the same?
William Meikle: For me, they come visually, like photographs of a particular scene. I look closely at the scene, and the participants start to move and talk. The story forms from there.

I carry a notebook at all times in which I jot these kinds of thing down. It tends to be full of fragmentary pieces of information such as "Remember the fat man with the umbrella", but it is enough to jog my memory later on.

TSP Sweeney: I usually have a germ of an idea of a plot (or even a particular scenario), which will percolate around in my mind for a while.  After that, I start to come up with the characters and the greater narrative, with both sort of informing each other until everything fits together just right, and then I get on with writing and rewriting (and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting some more).

  1. Do you work in any other creative mediums besides writing? What are they?
Tim Baker: I’m a guitarist/songwriter and had a great band long ago named LickHouse (you can find them on YouTube), but rock ‘n roll is a little too much for a fella my age.

Peter Welmerink: Sidewalk chalk. Though I have yet to perfect anything beyond giant stick people.

  1. How much of a role do reader/publisher expectations play in your writing?
CM Saunders: I try to write for myself, rather than write for a particular audience. Otherwise, you are compromising your art.

TSP Sweeney: At this stage of my (burgeoning) career, I have tended to write solely to what I find interesting as a reader, and that plan seems to be working out ok for me so far. I’ve always figured that any story I am not one hundred percent behind is one that readers and publishers aren’t going to be interested in anyway, as I feel that would show in the quality of my writing.  

Whether I am just being naïve in that regard, I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

  1. Any tidbits of advice you can give aspiring authors?
CM Saunders: Write every day, read as widely as you can, and grow a thick skin!

Tim Baker: Read ALOT, and not just in your chosen genre. Write more. The only books on writing I have found valuable and keep close at hand are, The Elements of Style, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

William Meikle: As a writer it is all too easy to concentrate on the mechanics of submitting work to editors and to forget that the writing itself is of primary importance. We should all be constantly seeking to improve. If we do that, editorial approval will become that much easier.

To that end, here are five things you can start doing today that will immediately improve your writing, and with it your chances of getting published.

- Improve your vocabulary

Buy a good dictionary, and learn a word every day. Play around with it, using it in sentences, in dialogue and description. As you go along, make a list of the words you've learned. At the end of the month, try to write down a definition beside each word. If you can't remember what the word means, look it up again, play with it again, and leave it on the list for another month. I guarantee your vocabulary will grow in leaps and bounds.

- Read more

You can't come up with an original idea unless you know what isn't original. So read as widely as you can, both within your chosen area and beyond.

I write, and read, horror fiction, but I also read the classics, crime fiction, science-fiction, fantasy and the occasional airport blockbuster. I also read non-fiction, in the fields of astronomy, biology, parapsychology, archaeology, religious history and mythology.

Everything is grist to the mill, and little is ever wasted. If nothing else, it allows you to feel superior while watching "The Weakest Link".

- Deconstruct Writing that Works

When you read something that strikes you as a fine piece of writing, or something that has had success in your chosen area, go back and read it again. This time take notes:

What caught your attention about the writing?

What does the writer do that you don't?

Would you have done it differently? If so, what makes what you've just read better?

You can also do this when you see bad writing. After a while, you'll find yourself doing it automatically with almost everything you read. From the notes you can make up a list of writing tips for yourself. Add to it as you go along, read it often, and follow your own guidance. Improvements will follow.

- Edit yourself

You have to develop a thick skin, and an ability to look at your work dispassionately. After you've written something, put it away for a few days, then come back and look at it critically.
Hone your work until it is as good as you can make it. If you don't respect your writing, how can you expect anyone else to do so?

- Read your work out loud.

Reading aloud enables you to check the rhythm of your work. Check that your writing flows. If it feels uncomfortable to say it, it's time to rewrite.

At the same time check your sentence lengths. If you need to take a breath in mid-sentence, then it probably needs editing. You might feel self-conscious at first, but stick with it. I've found this to be one of the best ways to find your writer's voice.

Go on. Start now. You'll feel the benefits immediately, and you'll be a better writer for it. And that's what we all want, isn't it?

  1. How has the current publishing atmosphere affected you and how you approach your work?
Ryan Lawler: Not at all. The only thing that has changed is the opportunity to put your book on an online shelf and get someone to buy it. Fundamentally, things have not changed – if you can’t write, you will not be able to communicate your story effectively, people will not be entertained, and you will not sell any copies.

Carl Barker: It hasn’t. Where to send a story and how to get it published is something I don’t consider until it’s finished.

  1. Did you a) write for the anthology or b) have a suitable piece ready - & if a) how'd you resist quoting Dylan Thomas? (per Mark Lawrence)
CM Saunders: Luckily I had just finished a piece that was vaguely suitable. I cannot resist quoting Dylan Thomas. Rage! Rage against the dying of the light.

Carl Barker: The piece was already finished. I rarely write with a specific anthology in mind, unless I happen to have the bones of an idea kicking around at the time. I don’t always know where a story and its characters are going to go when I start a piece, so I prefer not to place restrictions on my narrative.

  1. To steal a question from my friend, Bastard, what’s your favorite alcoholic beverage? Do you imbibe when you write?
William Meikle: Being a Scotsman, there’s only one answer. Single malt, and Talisker, from the Isle of Skye if possible. Not to be mixed with anything, whether it be lemonade, ice or writing.

TSP Sweeney: I love an ice cold pale beer.  I don’t really care about who makes it or where they are located, so long as it tastes good.  I will have a drink or two when I write sometimes, especially if I am struggling to loosen up and get words on the page.

Peter Welmerink: Bourbon whiskey and cola, or, at least this summer, Leine’s Summer Shandy. I imbibe when I write though not to the point of writing wasted. I did that years and years ago. The end result was some pretty funny stuff, but it would never see the light of day without ending me up in the loony bin.

  1. What books have you read recently? Any new authors you’re impressed by?
The Child Thief by Brom
Dorian Dawes: Currently reading Peter Straub's Ghost Story, and I must say I'm incredibly behind on my reading. I don't think I've read a book that's come out in the last five years, because I'm still making my way through the 70's, 80's, and the 90's. There's so much literature for me to catch up on. My bookshelves are lined with old horror and sci-fi books I bought at a Library Booksale that I am slowly making my way through. I think the most recent book I read was a horror/fantasy take on the Peter Pan story called the Child Thief, by Author/Illustrator Brom. The book itself was extremely compelling and one of the best fantasy works I've ever read.

Ed Erdelac: I’m reading Imaro by Charles Saunders. It’s an African sword and sorcery book, what Milton Davis calls Sword and Soul. I’m really enjoying it so far. Before that I got into George MacDonald Frasier’s Flashman series pretty heavy. It’s about this purportedly renowned Victorian British war hero, a veteran of practically every major military engagement of the period, including the American Civil War (he served on both sides!), Little Big Horn, Roarke’s Drift, etc, who’s actually a complete coward and villain. Love those. Hilarious.

Carl Barker: Too many to mention.  I try to read as widely and regularly as possible. King once said that ‘if you can’t find the time to read, then you have neither the time, nor the tools, to write.’

CM Saunders: Robert Brumm Jr is an American indie writer just starting out. He is a real talent. I recently read Horns by Joe Hill. He writes just like his old man, but with a slightly more contemporary vibe. Let’s see... I am a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk, and read Rant recently. I try not to miss a Peter Hessler book, as he writes the truth about modern China. 

  1. Stylistically, what genre is most satisfying to write? Are you married to a genre or do you write across different ones? Is there a specific genre you want to write in but
Dorian Dawes: Without a doubt it's horror, but specifically the perfect blend of horror and fantasy that lets you get weird and creative but without spoiling the creepy atmosphere or delving into the incredibly overdone Tolkienism that is proving to be a cancer to the fantasy genre today. I don't think there's a genre of fiction I'm interested in writing that I haven't already, save for maybe certain subgenres of science-fiction like a Space Opera that would be a lot of fun to do. Most of my work is going to be a blend of "other genre" and "horror." It's just the way it happens to work out most of the time as I can't resist that gothic edge. One thing I'd really like to try one day is to tell a children's story with talking animals and a cute fantasy environment, and have it end with wailing and shrieking and gnashing of teeth as their world comes to a bitter and bloody end, hell on earth for the cartoon characters, a river of blood for the talking rabbits.

Gef Fox: I try to write in various genres, with a clear affinity for dark fantasy and horror. The stories that garner the most positive responses tend to have a pinch of humor mixed in with the horror.

TSP Sweeney: I’m definitely not married to a specific genre, so much as I have particular ideas for stories and tailor them in certain directions, all of which are equally satisfying in my mind.  My dream is to write an epic dark fantasy series that is masquerading as Tolkien-esque high fantasy, but I feel as though I am not quite ready as an author to write that to the right standard just yet.  In the meantime, I‘d love to write a cyberpunk story, a steampunk story, and a modern-day spy thriller with a twist, but I haven’t gotten around to putting fingers to keyboard on any of those ideas just yet.

  1. You’re drunk at a karaoke bar: what one song will get you up and wailing?
William Meikle: Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones.

Tim Baker: Born to Be Wild.

TSP Sweeney: Chop Suey by System of a Down – I don’t know what it is about that song, but I can’t resist belting it out.

  1. Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
William Meikle: Full details and more waffle on my website at

Tom Olbert: Try my blog:

Dorian Dawes: I have a website with links to my currently published work and a series of rants that are the result of my existence on this terrifying thing called the internet, check out for all the latest updates.

Jake Elliot: I’d recommend to start. I’m on Facebook and I’ll friend everybody until I’m offered naked pictures. Remember, my wife can kick my ass and she might get upset if I’m looking at your naked pics. I’m on Goodreads too, and there, you can read the fist 15% of ‘The Wrong Way Down’ for free.

Gene O’Neill: Just Google my name.

Ed Erdelac: Otherwise look me up on Facebook.

Adam Millard: Readers can check out my website for upcoming events and news, which is and you can find me on Facebook and also on Twitter @adammillard.

Gef Fox: They can check out my blog (, or find me on Twitter (@wagthefox) or Facebook ( I'm elsewhere online, but those are the big three.

CM Saunders: I have a new blog:

All the usual haunts like Amazon Author Central, Author's Den, and Goodreads.

And, of course, Facebook and Myspace. I think I am the only person in the civilized world with a deep suspicion of Twitter!

Ryan Lawler: You can follow me on Twitter – @RyanL1986 – or you can check out my blog at

Tim Baker: They can check me out at: Will soon have a blog up and running, too.

TSP Sweeney: My personal, all-too-infrequently updated blog is at, and contains links to the various stories I have thrown up around the web, as well as details about my upcoming published works. I can also be tracked down on Twitter @TSPSweeney

Carl Barker: I maintain a web presence at


Thanks everyone for stopping by. Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous will be released on September 1, 2012 by Angelic Knight Press. Been seeing some great early reactions to this anthology.

For those interested, here are all the previous stops:

1. Fading Light Multi-Author Interview @
2. Fading Light Multi-Author Interview @ The Nocturnal Library
Keep an eye out over at Wag the Fox, Fantasy Book Critic, and The Dark Fantastic as the tour continues.

Now, for the giveaway. It'll be open worldwide and it's for 5 eBook copies of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous.

Participants have to be 18 years of age or older to participate. Void where prohibited by law. Giveaway rules are subject to change. 

The giveaway is open worldwide, it will run from August 20, 2012 until 11:59pm ET on August 26, 2012.

How to participate:
  • Once logged in to the Rafflecopter, enter your email to officially enter the giveaway.
  • One entry per person, or face disqualification.
  • Entries accepted until 11:59pm ET on August 26, 2012.
  • 5 eBook copies of  Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, 1 for each winner.
  • There'll be 5 winners total.
  • Will have to confirm email to be considered a winner within 48 hours of August 26, 2012.
  • Additional entries may be had by following the steps provided in the Rafflecopter instructions, and only by doing those steps. 
  • Winners will be chosen by random selection using the Rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. To Mr. Meikle - great choice in drink. My husband's coworker visits the ilses a few times a year and always brings back a nice whiskey. I don't know how to pronounce the names, but I know he enjoys the peaty ones the best.

  2. @Dorian Dawes

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to take a look at The Child Thief, heard so many good things about it. Have the book, no need to find where the heck I stashed it.

  3. I love the tips for aspiring writers, basic but definitely helpful and informative. Sounds like this would be a great read.

  4. Humorous and informative. Really enjoyed that.

  5. Fantastic interview!

    William Meikle, thanks for the great advice for honing my craft. Those are great pointers.

  6. Excellent interview. Antho looks very good.

  7. Some great tips for writers. I will be taking those to heart. Thanks for the interview.


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