Friday, August 23, 2013

Play (Almost) "20 Questions" with Me

Hi Everyone,

I'll be one of the authors participating in the Long and Short Reviews 6th anniversary bash this August 26-30. I'll be featured, along with other authors, on various blog posts. Here's your chance to learn a little more about me. :-) Not only that, but there will be a chance to win one of four $100 Amazon gift cards, publisher gift cards, books, ebooks, and author swag.

The party starts Monday at:

Hope to see you there!  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Interview – Rayne Hall – Thirty Scary Tales – Launch/Cover Reveal 2013-08-12

What kind of horror stories are these?

Creepy, atmospheric, suspenseful, unsettling. My brand of horror is quiet and eerie, so you won’t get much violence and gore.

Some are about paranormal creatures (vampires, zombies, ghosts), some are about animals (seagulls, dogs) but most are about humans, and what could be more horrifying than the evil that lurks in the human psyche? What people do to themselves and to others is scary.

All these stories have been previously published in magazines, ezines, collections and anthologies.
This book is a compilation of volumes 1-5 of the Six Scary Tales books.

Will these stories scare me?

Some probably will, though I can’t predict which. It depends on your personal fear triggers are.

The same story may constrict one person’s chest and set their heart racing, yet send only a mild tingle down another readers’ spine. For example, someone with a fear of drowning will find I Dived the Pandora terrifying, while someone with claustrophobia will be terrified by The Bridge Chamber. 

Dog lovers may find Black Karma cute,  but if canines give you the creeps, you may read it and shudder.  I know you like cemeteries, Pamela, so you’ll probably feel comfortable in the graveyard setting of Take Me to St. Roch’s, while other readers may get creeped out.

Readers who like their horror gory, with disembowelled bodies and chainsaw massacres, may find my stories too tame. On the other hand, if you like subtle, creepy, psychological horror with plenty of atmosphere, you may get delicious shivers from reading this book.

Are they ok for young readers?

Most teenagers will be ok with this, but probably not children. Some stories contain graphic violence  - although not a lot – and there are allusions to adult matters, for example one story refers to a dominatrix. On the other hand, parents have written to tell me they use my horror stories to teach their children about things like racism,  good and evil not always being what they seem, and civil courage. So I’d say PG13.

How did you choose the cover?

I commissioned an artist, Xteve Abanto. I didn’t want the usual blood-dripping axe and gory grinning head so often seen on horror covers, because my stories aren’t violent and gory. Creepy, atmospheric, spooky, attractive, eerie, scary... that’s what I asked Xteve to convey visually. He came up with this head of which he says “It scared the shit outta me.”

Where can we see more art by this artist?

You can visit his online gallery here: Xteve has also painted another cover for me, Six Quirky Tales Vol. 1.

If the artist was scared by his painting, I wonder if you were scared by your stories?

By some of them, definitely. The Bridge Chamber scared my while I wrote it. Several times, I was so frightened I had to stop writing for some days until I felt braver.

Sometimes I chose something that frightened me – a creepy place, a terrifying experience or a full-on phobia, and wrote a story about it.  Cowards like myself make great horror writers, because we know what it feels like to be afraid, and we never run out of ideas to write about. Once the story is finished, though, the fear is replaced by a sense of triumph: By fictionalising the fear, I've gained control over it. By writing about what frightens me, I can make it less frightening for myself.  Instead, I frighten my readers, which is fun.

Where can we get the book?

It’s an ebook and will be available from major bookselling sites. It’s being published at the moment, so the links may not be live yet.
Amazon:  (This is a universal link which will open in the viewer’s regional Amazon.)
It will be on Apple and other sites as well, but I don’t have those URLs yet.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lessons From FandomFest

BlackWyrm Authors
Next time I attend Fandom Fest, I'm bringing a GPS.

Having a few cons under my belt, one thing I've learned is to get there early and find where I need to be, such as panel rooms. And look for landmarks. It's easy to get turned around if you're not used to someplace.

Although, I'll admit the view of downtown Louisville from the skywalk was lovely.

This was my third year at Fandom Fest and my first year selling eBooks. My publisher had given me coupons with codes on them. When people bought the coupons, they were instructed to create an account and then input the code to download my story. Grand total of coupons sold: 2.

In contrast, my friend sold 33 print books. Now, granted, I was probably the only author there exclusively selling digital books, so I had an uphill battle. But, like the other two years, I had business cards and promo post cards with links to my site, including social media, to hand out.

For me, the con becomes more about networking than sales, at least at this point. Now, if I have print books will that change? Hard to say. Depends on how you handle it, and no, I never did the hard sell. Having worked in sales, I know that doesn't work. Well, it can, but it can also leave a bad taste in a customer's mouth. So, no.

My friend and I would engage people, ask them what they liked to read. If someone mentioned genres we wrote, we told them about our books, invited them to take postcards, and, in my friend's case, let them browse through her books before making a decision. And every time, whether they bought a book or not, we thanked them.

This was also my third year being on panels. I think I'm getting the hang of it. :-) I was on three: Plotter or Pantster; Love and Sex for Geeks; and Screenplay Writing. Ironically, this past April, during ConGlomeration, I was on a panel, "The Love Connection." Is there a pattern emerging here? :-) Even more ironic, during Fandom Fest 2012, I was on a panel called "The Perfect Kill" with Cassandre Dayne (also writing as Bethany Halle) and Christian Jensen, and this year we were on the "Love and Sex for Geeks" panel. Talk about a contrast. LOL

In closing, I'd like to thank Amy and Missy for their help. Can't believe I forgot to get a picture of our table.

Next stop: Context.