Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet Belinda Frisch

I met Belinda Frisch, oh well, you know where I met her, it's the same place I meet most authors--Facebook. Does anyone ever meet elsewhere now days? I'm not even sure I'd know how to go about meeting someone in real life. (Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration as, much to my kid's dismay, I still talk to strangers all the time.) But I digress. Belinda and I have discussed writing, editing, techniques, frustrations, what have you, so when she asked if I wanted to read and review her new zombie novel,  Cure, I was thrilled. Now as often as I talk about zombies, you'd think I read a lot of zombie fiction. Not true. Good zombie fiction is hard to find. And a new concept in zombie fiction, even more of a rarity. But I'm happy to say that Belinda nailed it. You can read my review over at See Spot Read. Go on, we'll wait. Now on with the interview!

1.     How long have you been writing? About twenty years, give or take.

2.     What's the first thing you had published? Poetry, back in the 90’s, in a collected works as a result of a contest followed shortly thereafter by a short story in a compilation called Deadly Dolls.

3.     Do you write full time or do you have a day job? I write FT now. I stopped doing any significant work as a medical coder back in February.

4.     What is your writing routine? I get up in the morning, do my social media time including interviews/guest posts, and tend to my blog. That gets me going until the coffee kicks in. I’m back in rough draft mode with Cure’s sequel, Afterbirth, so I put my index cards all in order and pull the scene card for the day. I review related chapters before writing chapter of the day. Since I’m a hybrid plotter/pantser, I work on extending the outline during each writing session.

5.     Have you always been a fan of the Horror genre? Absolutely always. Horror movies, magazines, and novels since I was eight-years-old.

6.     What scares you? Any silly phobias? I’m kind of anxious, so I probably have a lot of silly phobias, but my main fears are fire and drowning. Whenever I see someone burning or drowning in a movie, it makes me feel panicky.

7.     What other writers do you admire? There are so many great ones and so many different reasons to admire a writer. Do you base it on talent? Success? I admire Kealan Patrick Burke’s skill, Amanda Hocking’s success, and Charlie Huston’s originality. Others include Martha O’Connor (The Bitch Posse), Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone), and Anne Rice (The Witching Hour). The list is long. I could be at this all day.

8.     What is your favorite thing about the indie movement? Abbreviated timelines. My biggest frustration with traditional publishing is how long it takes to do anything. Much like my “writers I admire” list, this one could be long-winded. There is a lot to love about the indie movement and I read so many great books I know would otherwise not fit the mold.

9.     Best writing advice you've ever been given? Allow yourself to write crap. I know, it doesn’t seem like this is good advice, but hear me out. When I was writing my debut, Dead Spell, I toiled. I wasted so much time revising words I ended up cutting. It took way longer to finish that book than it should have and the process felt very much like work. A lot of days, I couldn’t even write. I wanted every word to be perfect. Allow the first draft to be sloppy. Editing comes later.

10.  What advice would you give any newbies out there? Don’t rush. I’d actually give this advice to any writer. The best thing about the indie movement, fast turn-around, is a double-edged sword. You can put out a book in no time. Most often, you shouldn’t. There’s still a process to respect that includes editing (content, development, and line editing), beta reading, and perfecting. Strive to put out the most perfect product every time. So many days I wanted to pull the trigger and upload Cure, but I was patient and I believe that really paid off. Out of several betas, each had a different list of minor glitches my editor and I missed. I promised myself, after Dead Spell, that I would do everything I could to not have to upload a corrected ms. Give your readers your best, every time.


Belinda Frisch's fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine,Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of
Zombie War. She is an honorable mention winner in the Writer's Digest 76th Annual Writing
Competition and the author of DEAD SPELL, CRISIS HOSPITAL, TALES FROM THE
WORLD, THE WARD, AND THE BEDSIDE and CURE, the first in the Strandville Zombie

Twitter: @B_Frisch
Her Amazon author page includes links to all of her available works.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Story up at Title Goes Here

Wow, it's been a few days weeks since I blogged, huh? The Press is just so busy right now, I meet myself coming and going. The last couple of weeks have been a vicious cycle of not being able to get things done. I had the perfect work day planned a couple of Sundays ago--my daughter and grandson were visiting her in-laws, Mike & Sean were at camp--so the house was empty. Time to edit! But then a storm knocked out our power, leaving me, quite literally, in the dark and unable to work. So I got a little stressed. Sure, I set my own deadlines and I can always move them, but I don't like to. So the day after I was still stressed and ended up getting an ocular migraine. If you've never had one, let me explain--they start with blurry vision that makes me queasy if I try to focus my eyes, then I lose the vision in one eye. Then the pounding headache starts. Obviously, it rendered me unable to work, or read, or even watch TV. So I took some meds and huddled in a dark bedroom, stressing over not working, until it let up.

Funny thing--guess what causes ocular migraines? Stress. Lol. Well, according to WebMD, it's stress, fatigue, and caffeine. But I wouldn't need the caffeine if I wasn't so fatigued. And I wouldn't be so fatigued if I slept better. And I'd be more rested if I didn't have trouble sleeping because I'm stressed. Sounds like one huge circle of non-awesomeness, doesn't it? I need to find more Zen.

Then, of course, there was home improvement hell and 4th of July.

Don't get me wrong--I love, absolutely love my work. Love almost everything about it. But I've set some pretty high standards for us and that adds pressure. And, of course, I'm my own biggest critic. But I also believe that nothing worthwhile comes easy. It takes hard work and perseverance, and perseverance is my middle name. (Sorry, Mom. I know you picked 'Michelle,' but I've never liked that name and "Perseverance" really has a ring to it.)

So we have some really great things coming from Angelic Knight Press this year, possibly including a Gothic novella I authored. Two fantastic Anthologies in the line-up and more of both Bryan Hall's Southern Hauntings Saga and Cindy Keen Reynder's Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan Series. Plus much more. I'll be going to KillerCon in Vegas in September.

And, I've banded together with a few other rogues in a quest to reach "Pro" status with the HWA. We're all writing and submitting to pro markets, sharing our rejections and acceptances. It's nice to have a support group, and one filled with people I'd really like to see succeed. I'll let you know the status of the quest throughout the year.

And, it's not a "pro" market, meaning it didn't pay me 5 cents a word or more, actually they didn't pay me anything, but I had a story accepted earlier this year to Title Goes Here, an online magazine. You can click here to read my story, "The Wind". Warning: it is a tad gruesome. Let me know what you think.