Horror Addicts Online Writers Conference – A HOW How-to Video!

 

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz answers Your Questions about the HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference and explains some of the Forum Technology and Live Events happening at HOW.

 

 

Join us February 24-28 for Writing Workshops, Author Videos, Publisher Chats, and More. It’s Free to sign up and So Easy you can do it in your Purple Peter Cushing PJs – say that Three Times Fast!

 

See YOU at the Conference!

 

HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference: http://horroraddictswriters.freeforums.net/

HOW Facebook Event Page

Serial Scribbler : Tips This Season From the Serial Scribbler

This season on Horror Addicts, I’m going to focus on how to build your brand, as well as giving you some tips for building your business as a writer. Below is an outline of some of the things we’ll cover. I hope you’ll get something out of it, and let me know how they work for you!

  • How to build your brand
  • Should I get/be a mentor? What are the benefits?
  • Should I give/get critiqued? What are the benefits?
  • Pointers for building a successful website, and is it necessary to have one?
  • Do’s and Don’t’s for engaging your audience
  • Is Self-Publishing for you?
  • Should I get an agent?
  • What to look for in a publisher
  • I got a one-star review, now what?

Have a question for me and would like to have it answered here? Email me at vasquez@stitchedsmilepublications.com! Don’t forget to put “Horror Addicts Question” in the subject title!

 

 

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Lisa Vasquez is an author (The Unfleshed: The Tale of the Autopsic Bride, The Unsaintly) and CEO of Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. She volunteers for the Horror Writers Association as the Publisher’s Liaison and is a mentor to authors both there, and with her own company. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies which can be found both on Amazon or on her website: www.unsaintly.com

The Serial Scribbler: An Author’s Integrity

SerialScribbler

One of the things I want to discuss today is an author’s integrity. This can encompass many things. Obviously, the first one that comes to many peoples’ minds would be that the work isn’t stolen. And you’d be correct. Stealing another author’s work is probably right down there with pond scum.

Personally, I’ve dealt with it. Whether it’s someone parasite’ing off your idea, your branding, your marketing or even, oh I dunno, a book title that is unique. It makes your skin crawl and your brain sizzle, am I right?

But there are other aspects to an author’s integrity that we don’t quite think about. Those are the things I want to dig into.

As a small, independent publisher I see much of the same crowd and I know many of he same people my authors hang around with. If you think that I don’t hear the rumors, and see things like lies, sabotage, manipulation and more, you’re sadly mistaken.

Probably the most heinous act of one author is to assassinate the character of an undeserving fellow author. This can happen in the form of a review (or what I like to call the hyena attacks where groups of friends all converging on the author’s book), Facebook posts, interviews, and more. I like to point out to my own authors that this is deplorable behavior and if those people were to focus all that energy on marketing and engaging their own readers, they’d probably see a more fruitful result.

My advice to authors, new and veteran, is to build your reader base, and build your integrity. If you say you will have a book done by a certain date, do all that you can to do that. Be yourself, be unique. (There are no truly unique ideas, however, your take on the idea is what sets you apart.) If you hear negative talk about another author, ignore it.

Do not let negative words come out of your mouth (or be typed) toward anyone else.

I’d like to point out that this rule doesn’t apply to your close inner circle. We all need someone we can confide in and tell situations to. These people should also have good integrity and realize that there are “Vegas Rules” attached to your trust in them. However, you must understand that there is a clear, and defined difference between “gossiping” and “venting” or “explaining for the purpose of gaining advice”.

Business is Business and it’s a jungle out there. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a cannibal. Don’t chew up your own and spit them out.

In my company, I have staff and members that will tell me what they’ve seen and heard about an author, then, if they aren’t already friends with them, they will watch how they interact, what they say and how they present themselves, etc. It’s not something I ask them to do, it’s something they do on their own. They are so protective of our image and our reputation (which took tons of hard work) that they want to know if this person is going to represent us in the same protective way.

Is this a fail safe method? No. There’s always someone that will slip through the cracks, but being labeled “difficult” from a publisher is professional suicide. It will affect everything you do.

Again, Business is Business.

In the role of an author I try to be helpful, courteous, and professional at all times. I never know who I’m talking to and I understand networking as an independent author is my (and any indie author’s) lifeline. I have to deal with this group of creatives on a daily basis, so it’s important that they know they can trust me.

Believe me, I hear a lot of things about a lot of people. But because the buck stops here, as the saying goes, I’m able to weed through it and pluck out the “B.S.” rather than marinate in it. One of my mottos is: I’m allergic to bullshit.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what a lot of other publishers are looking at, as well. We see, we do not say, but we’re aware. In addition to publishers, you have outside opportunities that may become closed off; interviews, podcasts, radio shows, etc.

Tell me what you think about this week’s subject: Integrity. Do you feel your reputation is important? Do you think you should be judged on your reputation, good or bad? How do you avoid gossip?

 

You Have To Make Up Your Mind

SerialScribbler

As a publisher, I see this every day. People making excuses for not writing.

“I’m very busy.”
“I have kids.”
“I have a full-time job and go to school.

Stop.

No, seriously. Stop. If you have time to post status updates, and catch up on DVR’ed shows and/or movies, you have time to write. I challenge you today to find out how many minutes you spend posting, typing statuses and how many words you’ve typed in the Facebook (or other social media) vortex.

Is that number over ten? You have time.

Are you watching at least one show a night? You have time to write.

Are you vegging out doing nothing for thirty minutes a night? You have time to write.

The real question is, “Is writing a priority to you?”  That’s where you need to make up your mind. Writing takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. There’s no boss over your head most of the time making sure you’re not slacking off. You have to be in it, every spare moment that you have. If you can DVR a show and catch up with it at night or for a few hours on the weekend, you have time to commit, you just aren’t doing so.

If you sit down to write and someone can talk you out of it, you’re not committed to it. They don’t believe it’s a priority because you haven’t set the standard or the boundaries.

Writers that are serious about their craft do not allow interruptions. Friends and family will learn that it’s “Do Not Disturb” time and eventually, you will have time to write.

Recently, with my publishing company we held a meeting and discussed what our slogan for the month would be. We chose, “Are you all in?”

Well, are you?

13 Questions with Shaunessy Ashdown

“I’m about to climb that mountain behind me and I’m scared out of my mind.” –Shaunessy Ashdown

 

 

 

 

Hello all you Horror Addicts out there! This week we have brought back the original Master of Macabre, Shaunessy Ashdown!

Shaunessy had a few words for all you readers out there, “I’m so grateful to have been given another opportunity to produce a story for you adrenaline junkies! And I can’t believe a whole year has passed and we already have a new Master of Macabre.”

The story that he has recorded for us is titled, Commencing Slaughter; which is about “the not-so-distant future, when food is scarce, a young bio-engineer starts his first day of work at a powerful gene tech corporation. With guarantees of a monthly salary and plenty of calories to feed on, he believes he’s found his dream job. Little does he know what perverse surprises his new employer has in store for him! It’s a story about food production and the evils that plague it.”

The inspiration for the story actually came Ashdown’s own frustrations with the food industry. “The more I learn about food, the more I realize how crappy our options are. It’s almost impossible to eat ethically and healthily. And if you try, you come up against all kinds of resistance -– just wait and see what happens to the protagonist in my story, haha!”

Now some of you may or may not be familiar with Shaunessy’s published works, German school books. I was curious if his educational work affected his fiction projects in anyway and Ashdown was kind enough to explain that, “It’s been very good training for me. Most of these books have to be understandable to young learners who have a relatively low level of English, yet we have to present texts that interest them. As a writer, this forces you to convey your message using simple vocabulary and sentence structures, really get down to basics, you know?”

Not only is Shaunessy an author but he is an editor for a German school book publisher. So I had to ask if Ashdown had any tips out there for all us writers out there. “In a publishing house, the highest-level decisions editors have to make pertain to the house’s program, i.e. what books and other products they will produce. My recommendation to writers submitting an idea to a publisher is to pitch it in such a way that it obviously compliments the house’s program. Also show readiness to work with an editor to develop your story further. New authors who are too rigid to divorce themselves from their original ideas are generally regarded as both arrogant and incapable.”

Ashdown has been writing on and off through out his entire life, he even mentioned that “in fourth grade I won my school district’s young authors’ contest with a sort of feminist Christmas story called “Rachel the Female Reindeer.” But I can’t claim to have lived the writer’s life the entire time since then.”

As many of our guest authors here on HA, Shaunessy prefers the “monsters” that are “closest to reality.” “Serial killers, jilted lovers that fly off the handle, the sort of badies you find in thrillers like “Psycho” or “Fatal Attraction.” It’s fascinating to explore what turns a person evil…though in the supernatural realm, witches and ghosts really capture my imagination, maybe because they are the most real to me.”

Shaunessy’s goals for the future mainly revolve around his editing career. “My goal for the next few years pertain mostly to my job in educational publishing. I’ve only been an editor for a year, you see, and it will take me another year or so before I really know what I’m doing. But it’s a really intriguing and multi-faceted job and I feel I have wonderful opportunities to positively affect how languages are taught here in Europe.”

Sadly, he does not have any projects currently on the burners but Shaunessy said “he would love to write and record another story for you guys someday, though. Feel free to ask!”

For more information on Shaunessy Ashdown, be sure to check out these websites!

https://www.facebook.com/shaunessy.ashdown

https://plus.google.com/117679369543451264265/posts

http://thewaytomypurpose.blogspot.com/