My Experiences in Self-Publishing and the Indie Press Scene

I read a really cool article from Sci-Fi & Scary. It was about small presses and self-publishing here in our indie writing world.
Here’s the link if you missed it: Let’s Talk About It: Small Press Publishing
Having worked in both arenas, I just wanted to share some of my own experiences.
In 2013, I broke into the publishing world with a serial novel I, for lack of knowing any better, self-published in e-Book on Amazon. I did all the editing and formatting, and had a good friend doing the art. Launching off on my own, it could have been a complete disaster. It could have ruined my writing career before it even got started. Luckily, my stories and characters, combined with Jason Lynch’s fantastic cover art, garnered me enough positive attention to make a safe landing.

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One of the scariest things I did while creating this serial was reaching out to review sites and asking them to check out my work. Part of that fear was the everyday creatives insecurity. The other part was knowing that I needed an editor. I was lucky not to be slaughtered by sites like Matt Malgaard’s HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS, and to Joe Hempel’s TOP OF THE HEAP REVIEWS.
It was also in this initial toe-stepping into the self-publishing world/ review site reach-out that I met Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. OH, FOR THE HOOK OF A BOOK reviewed my serial and gave me one of my first interviews. Our shared love of Ronald Malfi really bolstered our instant friendship. Erin’s been editing or helping with book publicity ever since.
Having Matt (R.I.P.), Joe, and Erin in my corner early on was invaluable. This trio saw something in my work that gave me the confidence I needed to keep going and to work harder.
After my 2013 self-publishing experience, I learned that I needed to push harder to get published traditionally. I set my sights on cool indie publishers like Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and Nightscape Press with an ultimate goal of landing a book with Don D’Auria and Samhain Publishing.

At the time, PMMP was doing these monthly novelette/Novella releases in a series called, One Night Stands. They were down to their last spot of the year, and I had just finished writing a ghost story/small town mystery novella called, ABRAM’S BRIDGE. I sent it to PMMP and got word it was strongly being considered along with seven other stories for the last spot in the One Night Stands series. It did not get the final spot, but I couldn’t have felt any better. Knowing that I had written something good. Really good. That it had made it past the slush pile and into the ring with the big boys, I was elated. I sent the editor a response to the rejection letter that probably surprised him as much as anything. It was 100% positive and probably the most enthusiastic thank you on a rejection they ever received.
Armed with a story I now had validation was good, I decided to take my chances sending it to Don D’Auria and Samhain Publishing.
That was in December of 2013. In April of 2014, Don sent me an email letting me know that he loved ABRAM’S BRIDGE and that he’d love to send me contract if I was interested.
I ended up signing three novellas and two novels with Don. I got to sit at the Samhain table at the Bram Stoker Awards with a bunch of real writers and got to sell books at the Samhain table at two Horrorhound conventions. By 2016, I had achieved all my writing goals.

In 2016, Samhain announced that they were going under. Samhain’s demise was followed by a number of other small presses closing shop, most notably, Dark Fuse.
I managed to land a fourth novella (CHASING GHOSTS) with Sinister Grin Press, but by mid-2016, I decided I was going to try my hand at self-publishing again.
In my experiences, I’ve learned a few things. If you are going to self-publish, you must have a good editor. One that will tell you if something doesn’t work, or that you can do better. You must have professional looking cover art. And you have to actively seek reviews and readers. You are in charge of getting your book out there. It is a ton of work. And it will try to break you. But in my experience, the rewards can be well worth it.
For example, the year I’ve made the most money from writing? Had to be with Samhain, right? No. It was actually this year. A year when I’ve almost exclusively self-published. To be fair, the success I’ve had this year would not have been possible were it not for the small platform I made as an author on the Samhain roster.
As Joe Mynhardt, head of Crystal Lake Publishing, suggests in the Sci-Fi & Scary article, it is wise for authors to dabble in both traditional indie publishing and self-publishing simultaneously. Plus, working with and having a book contracted by a respected editor or company like a Crystal Lake Publishing legitimizes you and gives you a little extra street cred in the self-pub world. It let’s readers and reviewers know that you’ve been vetted.
As a writer, it is way easier to have a publisher in charge of editing, cover design, and helping to put together a publicity tour. They’ll also submit your book to reviewers and the Bram Stoker Awards jury. That’s a load off a writer’s shoulders. As Joe said, the publisher needs to earn that royalty cut.
I have continued to work with indie’s like CROSSROAD PRESS (they have ABRAM’S BRIDGE and THINGS WE FEAR-which Joe Hempel did a fantastic job on the audio book performance) and SINISTER GRIN PRESS.

Personally, I enjoy the madness that comes with being in charge of all that goes into creating, releasing, and promoting a book. I have a great team to work with Erin and Jason being my top picks for editing and covers.
That said, I am looking forward to a break soon. As with all goals in life, once you’ve achieved all the ones on your list, you create a new list.
In 2019, while still releasing my own work, I will begin my pursuit of this new batch of goals.
I hope you guys enjoyed this unofficial companion piece, and hope you’ll consider checking out one of my works.
Cheers!

LAND OF BONES

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“A rising star in the genre!” – Ronald Malfi, author of BONE WHITE
“A vital part of this generation.” – Brian Keene, author THE RISING

Demon lights, granted wishes, strange things, and brutal love at the Lucky Lounge Motel. A haunted sister, desperate parents, a little human touch, and the end of the world…

These are the stories whispered among dead leaves, the script etched bare for all to see. When the chills sink deep and your heart begins to pound…are you alone?

Welcome to Glenn Rolfe’s LAND OF BONES
14 tales of the strange and macabre

 

THE WINDOW

What kind of demons await you tonight?

For Richie, life’s constant cheap shots are adding up. When he finds something is watching him, he never dreamed that it would show him everything he ever wanted.

When his son, James, comes to stay for the last month of summer, the changes in his father’s behavior come to the forefront. What is his father doing staring into the window in the middle of the night?
Was the fiery spark in the dark real? Or is Jame’s imagination getting the best of him?

Summer’s almost over.
And life is about to change.
Will James be able to save his father? Or is it already too late?

The Window holds the answers…and the key.

BECOMING Selected for GORE and MORE’s April Group Read.

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Ken McKinley, head of the Goodreads group GORE and MORE. contacted me about being the guest author of their monthly group read. BECOMING will be April’s featured book, and in honor of such, I have lowered the eBook price to $2.99 for the entire month (starting today). The group read officially starts April 10th, so you should have plenty of time to finish up your current read (unless you’re re-reading IT). Join the group read HERE.

I will be in everyday checking on progress, answering questions, sharing stories and influences, and hopefully chatting it up with a number of you.  If you have a copy already or pick up a discounted one, please come join the group and share your experience.

This story is a bit lighter on the gore, but the characters really shine through. If you’re a fan of movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Faculty,  or books like The Tommyknockers or Video Night, I think you’ll have fun with this little creature-feature.

As an author, this is a very rare thing when we can actually be with you as you read. I’m excited. I love this story and hope to see you in the discussions.

Cheers!

-Glenn

Purchase your discount copy here: BECOMING    Join the group and read along : GORE and MORE

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“A vital part of this generation.” -Brian Keene, author of THE COMPLEX and THE RISING

Something ancient has wormed its way up from the earth….
A change has come today.

After Michele Cote’s best friend disappears, no one believes her story of about the thing responsible for his abduction. Forced to figure out the mystery for herself, Michele encounters terror she has never known, and witnesses the impossible.

When other members of the community begin to change or vanish, Sheriff Shane Davis must look beyond reason in order to stop the evil seeping into this small town. With help from an unlikely source, Sheriff Davis will come face-to-face with the truth.

You can’t destroy what you don’t understand. For the small town of Avalon, Maine, the future is about change…for better or worse.

Becoming is the next horrifying novel from author, Glenn Rolfe.

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Praise for BECOMING

“Oh my…old-fashioned creature feature here, Becoming, is raw horror…” – The Haunted Reading Room

“The vibrations resonating through the words are equal part body snatcher, IT (on a much smaller scale) and Croatoan lore. Becoming is fast paced, constantly amped up, and hella fun.” – The Eyes of Madness

“Rolfe doesn’t hold back when it comes to gore and carnage. Several twists come out during the tale to further heighten the excitement, and bring forth an entirely new level of horror to contemplate.” – Horror After Dark

“Glenn Rolfe has done it again! Another fast-paced read from beginning to end, Becoming, shows that Rolfe is indeed, becoming a force to be reckoned with. I don’t know about you guys, but back in the day (early 70’s) when John Saul, Dean Koontz, and that other guy, Stephen King, were getting started in their horror writing careers, this was the type of story they would write and I would want to read.” – Horror Novel Reviews

“Family plays a vital role in underpinning Becoming‘s thematic nature and the character’s longing for stability in their interpersonal relationships. It’s good stuff!” – Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Revolver 

“I was dying for an old school, creature feature. Well, author, Glenn Rolfe just filled that void for me. As in the manner of the“Body Snatchers” which is given a nod to in Becoming, that’s what you have going on in this mystery a “Hostile Takeover”. It was like watching a movie from late Saturday night, 1970 Chiller Channel. I loved it.” – Robin Lee’s Darkside

Becoming is a creepy horror tale with depth. Rolfe has created characters you can root for, that you will care about. And underneath it all is a subtle yet powerful warning about blindly following others, a message that’s as timeless as it is timely.” – J.H. Moncrieff, author of City of Ghosts and The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave

“Becoming took me back to the horror books of my teens, to the creature features with cheesy covers that my love of horror was built on…” – Scarlet’s Web

“The monstrous and possessed finale crashes down on a furious wave of murky lake water and nasty green-eyed buggers looking to run the show. It’s quick. It’s bloody.” – Unnerving Magazine

Here Comes the Blood: Blood and Rain Blog Tour and Publisher’s Weekly

“Rolfe hits his mark whenever he buckles down to describe a killing…” – Publisher’s Weekly

Hey, hey, my, my!  We’re just a few weeks away from the official release of my debut novel for Samhain Publishing, Blood and Rain. That means I’ll be posting a lot of new links for you all to check out as part of the Blood and Rain Blog Tour with Erin from Oh, For the Hook of a Book.  It’s not too late to grab a slot for an interview or review if you want to help us spread the word. If you  have a website or podcast or  an active blog and would like an eCopy of Blood and Rain to review, contact Erin via email: hookofabook@hotmail.com   and let her know! I love doing interviews and podcasts!

I will be doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Augusta, Maine in late October (Date TBA). And I look forward to chatting it up with you guys online for the next few months.

On a Very COOL/Not so cool  front….as you may have noticed above, Blood and Rain was reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly!  Woot!  But, despite my nifty little blurb there, they were not so kind.  Oh well, you can’t please them all, right?

Here is the link if you wish to see the smack down: Blood and Rain-Publisher’s Weekly

On a more positive note, I’ve had a plethora of rave reviews to counter the PW judo chop.

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon

“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil

“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker

“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

I was also interviewed this week for Mangled Matters 

Thanks for all the love, guys! See you on the tour!

Enjoy some werewolfage:

The Strange Journey of The Haunted Halls, and the People Who Have Taken it With Me.

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The release of my debut novel, The Haunted Halls, is weeks away. I’m sort of excited.  I figured I would take a minute and let those of you not familiar with me or my work in on the history of this book.

It all started with a short story I wrote in November of 2012, “Night Swim”. I work the front desk at a hotel in Augusta, Maine. One night while doing the night audit I walked past the pool and imagined something crawled out. I ran down to my laptop and wrote “Night Swim”. A few weeks later, while surfing Duotrope for a place to send the story I stumbled upon JukePopSerials.com. They were paying for serial novels. I had never written a serial novel, but recalled the way Stephen King originally unleashed The Green Mile back in the late-nineties and decided it might be fun to try.  I looked at “Night Swim” again and thought, “Hey! That could really be a great opening chapter.” In late December (of 2012), the people at JukePop Serials thought so, too.

At JukePop (at the time), after you submitted your chapter, there was no way to edit it. I didn’t have an editor and was still pretty new at this writing game. Within my first few weeks working with the site I found a number of horrifying mistakes.  These errors were so bad that I didn’t want to share my story. That’s when I took a look at Amazon’s world of self-publishing. I devised a plan. I would release the Haunted Halls on my own. I would carry on the serial idea by releasing the story in volumes. In order to get JukePop to give me back the story I had to offer them a new one.

Throughout 2013, with the help of my artist/musician friend, Jason Lynch, doing the amazing covers,  I managed to release the first five (out of six) volumes of the story. It was perfectly clear as I released volume five that the story was good, but it still needed a professional edit. Volume five went up and came back down within a couple of weeks. I then took down volume two, three, and four, while I began my search for an editor. I spoke online with Robert S. Wilson about taking a look at the manuscript and he was all for it. It took me a few months to scrounge up some cash to move ahead with Bob, but in that time, I found my publisher, James Ward Kirk.

Four of my short stories have been published by James in various James Ward Kirk anthologies. When James heard I had a completed manuscript, he was instantly excited and told me he’d love to put it out. We hatched a plan to release the book in February of 2014…then March of 2014….and then summer of 2014.  Okay, Bob is a busy, busy guy. He writes, he edits…oh, and he runs a little indie publishing company called, Nightscape Press. You know, the guys that have produced the last two Bram Stoker Award-winning books in the Best First Novel category? With Jason, Bob, and James busting their humps for me, The Haunted Halls is finally the shining gem we all thought it could and would be.

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The date isn’t exact (July 9th is the one I’m using), but the novel will be available next month. James agreed that the print version should also include all six of the volume covers that Jason created. Jason agreed to craft a brand new piece for the front cover. That cover will be revealed this week!  Whether it’s Thursday on HorrorNovelReviews.com or Friday here on my blog, is still up in the air (Matt from HNR is also a VERY busy fella).

I want to take this minute to say thanks to some of the special people who have had a hand in this novel’s journey from JukePop, to Amazon, to next month’s official release:

Jodi and Jerry at JukePopSerials.com. Anyone who voted for the first batch of chapters while they were live on the site. Jason Lynch for the brilliant covers and friendship. Matt Molgaard at HorrorNovelReviews.com for being one of the first to review volume one way back in February of 2013. Erin Sweet-Al Mehairi at Oh, For the Hook of a Book! For coming into my life soon after. She has been a HUGE supporter of this novel since getting her hands on volume one. She beta read a bunch of the volumes that followed. Joe Hempel at HNR and Topof theHeapReviews.com. Joe covered each released volume and called me out when I missed a step. Thanks, Joe! My best friend, Ben Pinard, for pushing for Lee Buhl. Ben was my keeper of the Mendoza line. Thanks for your honesty, man. Bob Wilson for his edits and challenges. And of course, James for working with me and allowing me to do this the way I want to do it.

There are others who helped out and supported this baby over the last year Jeanann, Lisa, Amy, and anyone else who reviewed a piece of the original story.

Another couple of thank yous to two authors who read volume one. Rena Mason, for telling me that I  had a good voice. It meant a lot to hear that. Thank you. And to Ronald Malfi who posted on his Facebook page that volume one was “…deliciously creepy…” and shared the link. He didn’t have to do that, but he did it anyway. Ronald has been a bit of a quiet mentor to me since 2012. Ronald, your time and opinions are appreciated.

We’re almost there. Stay tuned for the official cover reveal and the official release date.I can’t wait to share this with all of you.

 

Say hi to my friends:

Erin at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Matt at Horror Novel Reviews

The artwork of Jason Lynch at Jlynchgraphics.com

Discover and follow some great serial novels at JukePop Serials

 

and keep up with me at my website:  Glenn Rolfe Horror

 

 

High Body Count Fairytails: My HNR interview with Mercedes M. Yardley (re-post)

 

 

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(This interview originally appeared on HorrorNovelReviews.com in January 2014)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 sees the release of the first full-length novel from one of the horror writing communities secret darlings, Mercedes M. Yardley, Nameless: The Darkness Comes. Yardley is not so much a secret among our community (with two releases already under her belt–2012’s excellent collection of short fiction, Beautiful Sorrows and last year’s novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love), just a more of a hoarded treasure. Kind of like that up and coming band that you love and don’t want the mainstream media to get their fat, nasty, write-me-a-hit-or-you’re-back-on-the-streets hands on.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the World Horror Con in New Orleans last summer. She is as cool as she is talented. I spoke with her last week about her career, her voice, her works and, of course, Nameless: The Darkness Comes. I think you’ll come to see the light side of the dark side once you open that cold, cold horror heart of yours. Come join us…

 

HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS: Let’s start at the start. How long have you been writing?

MERCEDES M.  YARDLEY: I’ve been writing forever. Always. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t reading or writing. Those annoying Sam and Ann workbooks we used in school? I blew through all of them until the elementary school didn’t have anymore. Then I wrote about how much I hated Sam and Ann, their dog, Nip, and their cat, Fluff. My first grade teacher congratulated my reading and advised me to work on my attitude.

HNR: Was there a story or novel in particular that made you want to write?

MERCEDES: Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” really resonated with me. The cruelty, the beauty. I read it and thought, “I can never write like that.”  Then I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and I despised it, but it awoke something in me. It shook something loose in my soul and I opened my eyes to magical realism.

HNR: I love it when a writer has that kind of impact. It’s powerful.

You worked for Shock Totem? How did that come about?

MERCEDES: I had a story in their first issue. It was a cool little mag with an amazing staff. I hung out on the forums and got to know everybody. We just rocked together. One day they asked if I wanted to join the magazine as their nonfiction writer. Later on, they promoted me to contributing editor. It was an incredible experience. It definitely accelerated my learning curve. It was a great decision to join staff.

HNR: Will you continue on with them?

MERCEDES: Funny you should ask that. I stepped away from the magazine a few months ago. I found that I wasn’t able to keep my head above water. If I was writing, I’d feel badly that I wasn’t reading ST slush or doing interviews or articles. When I was doing those things, I was torn because I wasn’t writing. Finally I decided that I needed to devote myself to writing full time and focusing on novels. It was scary. It was also sad. But it was the right thing to do, and I still get to see the ST staff around. They were the best part of the gig.

HNR: Your first collection really showcases your unique style and voice. Beautiful Sorrows was next to brilliant. I found it impressive that you had your own style developed right from the get-go. To me, it’s like a terrifying, bizarre fairytale…with sprinkles. How would you describe your style?

MERCEDES: Glenn, thank you! That’s so nice to hear! A terrifying, bizarre fairytale…with sprinkles. Now that’s a blurb!

I have two distinct styles. I call the lyrical style “whimsical horror.” Fairytales with a high body count. The other is more smart aleck swagger. Nameless, the novel that is coming out this month, lands firmly on the swagger side. But the whimsical, starry style…I’d say that shows up more. It’s the way my brain works.

HNR: Where do you think it comes from?

MERCEDES: It comes from getting out of my own way. From reading fairytales and fantasies, and gorging on the exquisite beauty of things. It’s a style that people either love or hate, and I spent a lot of time being afraid of that. I tried to write the way I thought I was “supposed” to. Now I realize there isn’t any such thing. You write happy and hard and see what emerges when the worry stops. It’s lovely.

HNR: And I sense that’s just what you did in your novella,Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love. The work had your signature style, and it felt like you got to open it up a little more and really let it breathe. Was that liberating, to write a larger piece? Or did you find it more intimidating?

MERCEDES: It was intimidating, in a way. It was a darker piece with blood and pain, and I didn’t know how my style would lend itself to that. I ended up immensely happy with it, but there were periods of worry and concern. Their tale was so important. The terrible experiences that I touched upon are real to many people, and I wanted to deal with it in a sensitive yet fiercely truthful manner. And I naturally write shorter stories. I write flash fiction quite a bit. Yes, the longer was different, but immensely satisfying.

HNR: And this was put out through Ragnarok Publications. How are they to write for?

MERCEDES: Fantastic. They’re talented, timely, and enthusiastic. Genuinely good and fun people. They’re one of the best decisions I’ve made of late, and that’s really exciting.

They also put out my first novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, so I know their coolness isn’t a fluke. They’re actually this great to write for.

Are your ears burning, Ragnarok? I’m saying good things about you!


HNR: And that brings us to the upcoming new Novel,Nameless. It’s coming out this week. What are your readers in for?

MERCEDESNameless!  It’s not only my debut novel, but it’s the first book in The Bone Angel Trilogy. I’m over the moon about it! It’s a dark and scary book about Luna, a sarcastic girl who can see demons. There’s a lot of humor in it. People who were scared to pick up a demon novel are telling me that they’re really enjoying Luna’s voice and that they think it’s funny. So it softens the whole “We Are Legion; Give Us Your Soul” thing. It’s been compared to Dean Koontz Tick Tock and David Wong’s John Dies at the End, which are both books that I enjoyed.

These are some of my favorite characters. They’re just fun to roll around with.

HNR: How was writing this compared to the other works you’ve released?

MERCEDES: Nameless is a different labor of love. I was zipping along with it at lightning speed, literally writing a chapter a night. It was a break from the other things I was working on, and written purely for fun. Meanwhile, I was put on bed rest because I was having triplets. Then we lost two of the triplets, and it took me a while to get my mojo back. The ending was a struggle, and I put it aside for a while. When I came back with fresh eyes, I fell in love with the characters all over again. So this novel represents the best of times and the worst of times, quite literally.

HNR: Do you feel pressure leading up to the release?

MERCEDES: Yeeeeeees. It’s my debut novel and the first of a trilogy. I hope it will go well and people like it. But as I was reminded, I mostly write for myself and I’m pleased with it. Still, I think an author always hopes their work will be well-received.

HNR: You just unveiled on your blog, A Broken Laptop, that Ragnarok Publications picked up the next two in this trilogy? How did this come about? And how does that make you feel?

MERCEDES: Oh, I’m pumped! I was nervous at first. “Can I pull this off? Will somebody want to read three of my books?”  But the characters. They’re fascinating. I love them. I’ll follow them through Hell, literally, and in fact we kinda do. They have things to say, and I’m going to let them.

Nameless is set up for a sequel. I didn’t expect that, actually. I planned it to be a standalone book. Then I realized there was something much bigger behind it, and more to the story. So I set it up as a duology. But then I kept thinking a little more…

Hey, Ragnarok. How about a trilogy?

Hey, Mercedes. How about yes.

It’s perfect. It fits. It’s awesome.

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HNR: Switching gears a little, you went through some agent issues recently. How did that affect your writing, if at all, and how is the new agent relationship going?

MERCEDES: I’ve been with my agent for about three years, and we just couldn’t market my work. It doesn’t fit into any of the traditional publishing genres, per se. They want traditional fantasy, or straight noir, or women’s fiction. I do dark fantastic thrillers (or women’s fiction) with strong horror and magical realism elements. Oh yeah, and nonfiction. So I understand being hard to place.

I’m currently sans agent right now. I have a novel titledStormlight that I want to polish up and sub to agents who would be prepared to deal with the eclectic delight that is my screwy work. I still aspire to somebody who thinks they can market me. But I’m very happy where I am right now, too. Giddy happy.

HNR: I want to touch on some things outside of the books. Sort of a quick hits line of questioning.

As a mother and a wife, what are some tricks you use to squeeze in some writing time? Or do you just wait until the house is asleep?

MERCEDES: The house is never asleep. Having three kiddos, and two that are medically fragile, means that somebody is always awake. Someone is always sick and needs the nebulizer. I always leave the computer up so I run to it whenever I have a spare minute. It’s a laptop so I carry it with me from room to room to wherever the kids are. Every spare second is spent darting to the computer. It takes a lot of tenacity and devotion, but the end result is that I get to build a novel. In fact, I’m teaching an online course on that very subject this February for ANWACon. It’s something I think we all struggle with. Using our time wisely and building a novel sentence by sentence, word by word.

HNR: You’re part of a writing group, the Illiterati. Cool name. How do you guys help each other?

MERCEDES: Thanks! We do everything. We travel together to cons, when we go. We critique each other’s work with fangs and claws and then we lick each other’s wounds. The Illiterati is a huge support group. We’re each other’s best cheerleaders. We spread the word about each other’s work and celebrate birthdays together. Mason helped me get an invite to the Tales of Jack the Ripperanthology and helped me record the Beautiful Sorrowsaudiobook. Ryan Bridger and I are writing a very cool trilogy together. Billie is my go-to for the relationships inNameless. She has beautiful ideas. Matt was the perfect traveling companion in New Orleans and didn’t let me get lost. We have THE ILLITERATI: THE WRITERS GROUP and soon we’ll be doing ILLITERATI: THE BAND. One day we’d love to have THE ILLITERATI: THE COMMUNE.

HNR: You guys live where it’s warm, so count me in! Would you suggest a writing group to all writers?

MERCEDES: It works for me, but I like running in a pack. I don’t have that “Oh, I need betas!” problem that a lot of writers have. Mine are built in. I know I’ll be seeing them every Tuesday. I know they’re my first readers. I say everybody should try a writer’s group and see if it works for them. In person, online, it doesn’t matter. But it’s something worthwhile and I think everybody should give it a go.

HNR: All right, let’s get a couple quick ones in here. Favorite treat you’ve brought to a book related event?

MERCEDES: Frozen Junior Mints and Cherry Coke. Mmm!

HNR: Favorite character in a book you read in the last 6 months and why?

MERCEDES: This is horrible. Probably Reed Taylor in my book Nameless. I’ve been reading mostly nonfiction for the past six months. Writing books, enrichment books, true crime books. I can’t very well pick a criminal as my favorite person. But I’ve read and reread Nameless so many times while editing. I’ve gotta go with Reed.

HNR: TV show (old or new) that you secretly love?

MERCEDES: I’m open about my love for The X-Files, so my secret love must be Murder, She Wrote. That squirrely Jessica and her pastel collared shirts! She’s so sassy.

HNR: You play the ukulele. Would you write and record a record with Eddie Vedder if he asked you to?

MERCEDES: In a heartbeat, especially now that he’s softened his style. Our music would be a thing of tragic beauty. Set that up for me, would you, Glenn?

HNR: I agree, and I will see what I can do. Any parting promo or tip for the peeps?

MERCEDES: Yes! This writing thing is awesome, but it’s a business. All of those hurt feelings? Those “I was rejected so I’ll never write again” moments? Let them go. Learn how to breathe through it. If you want to write, then don’t let anything stop you. You have it in you, my darlings. Don’t let anybody tell you anything different.

I also want to say that Nameless: The Darkness Comes is slated for a January 21 release. I’ll also be doing a Reddit AMA on February 11, and I invite everybody to come play with me and ask questions! I’m really looking forward to it.

HNR: Thank you for being rad and taking the time.

MERCEDES: It was a pleasure, Glenn! I was totally digging on some Never Nudes jams while answering the questions. Great sound.

HNR: Thank you, Mercedes. And just so everyone knows, I did not add that last part post-script! Go buy Nameless: The Darkness Calls, and pick up the rest of her work while you’re at it!

 

Buy Nameless: TheDarknesss Comes 

and visit Mercedes blog:  A Broken Laptop

 

Read this interview and others, along with weekly reviews at Horror Novel Reviews

 

Come back next week. I’ll have a brand new interview with Hunter Shea, author of The Montauk Monster