Welcome to the ongoing 12 Days of Creepfest! Today's guest is author and editor (and birthday gal!) Stacey Turner. Don't forget- you can ENTER TO WIN a bunch of great e-books-- including Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls! The simple rules are here: http://ruth-barrett-spiritedwords.blogspot.com/2011/12/welcome-to-12-days-of-creepfest.html
Here's a Q&A with Stacey (the two of us are spookily alike in many ways!):
1. How long have you been writing?
I’m going to go with ever since I learned to form the letters of my name. My mother taught me to read when I was four and since then I’ve been making things up in my head and writing them down. Most of those stories have never seen the light of day, however. I have written letters, grocery lists, emails, blogs, ad copy, news articles and fiction. I’ve only been taking myself seriously for the past two years.
2. What's the first thing you had published?
I guess articles on the web. But fiction-wise, my story in Satan’s Toybox: Demonic Dolls was my first published work.
3. Do you write full time or do you have a day job?
I have a day job, but it’s the best day job a writer can have- I’m the Editor-in-Chief at Angelic Knight Press. Helping someone else improve their work is supremely satisfying. It does cut into my own writing time, though.
4. What is your writing routine?
I don’t really have a set routine. Since I work from home, I make my own hours and it depends on what else is going on during the day. But I try to work on my fiction before I open anything else on my computer. I don’t have a set number of words I try to write. I work as long as the words are flowing easily. If I start to stumble, I stop and come back the next day. Sometimes the next bit needs to germinate for a day or so.
5. Have you always been a fan of the Horror genre?
I have been ever since I can remember. My parents were both big horror fans and my mother would let me stay up and watch ‘Twilight Zone’ and ‘Nightmare Gallery’ with her. Although, I do have to blame her for my fear of birds- ‘The Birds’ has given me a lifelong phobia.
6. What scares you? Any silly phobias?
Besides birds? Well, there’s the rational fear of losing someone I love, etc. But I also fear clowns, scarecrows, creepy dolls and snakes. I’ve also recently developed an aversion to garden gnomes.
7. What other writers do you admire?
Stephen King is the big one. I know everyone says that, but my parents had all his books and so I started reading them too. He’s more than just a horror writer; he’s a very literary writer and the things he does with character—amazing. But also Koontz, Straub, Dan Simmons and Daniel Hecht (a little known, but brilliant author). Outside the horror genre, I love Elizabeth Berg, Alice Hoffman, Steinbeck, Austen, Shakespeare, the list goes on.
8. What is your favorite thing about the indie movement?
I love the spirit of community. It’s much less a competition then a concentrated effort towards success. Everyone tries to help everyone else succeed. As a small publisher we work with other small publishers, we promote them, they promote us, we share marketing ideas and authors. It’s also a much more intimate relationship with the authors we work with. I know each one of them personally and I know their writing styles and I can work with that.
9. Best writing advice you've ever been given?
The best advice is ‘butt-in-chair’. Just get yourself to your workspace and do it. Every day.
10. What advice would you give any newbies out there?
Don’t stop learning. Never think you know it all, because no one knows it all. You have to constantly work at improving your craft. I do. I don’t mean you have to go back to school and get a creative writing degree or anything like that. There are a million magazines, books and online resources out there. Just take advantage of them. Learn something new about writing every day. Oh, and read. You must read voraciously, in order to write well.
Stacey Turner can be found all over the Web--
Blogs of different stripes: http://www.staceyturner-authorspot.blogspot.com/ or http://seespotread-spot.blogspot.com/ (a review blog).
At work! http://www.angelicknightpress.com/