I'm back from New Mexico! I'll have pictures and videos posted later on this week as I unpack, but I needed to stop in because my good friend and critique partner, Cherie Reich, has her first ebook out today! It's a scary one!
To purchase Once Upon a December Nightmare
For this momentous occasion, I've decided to interview her. It's a great interview, especially for those of you considering ebooks as an alternative.
1. What inspired you to write December Nightmare?
In December 2002, my friends and I decided to go riding around in a beat-up old truck. A tree blocked our path when we were going up a the Jefferson National Forest trail road. So, we turned around and headed back to the main road when the truck broke down. Then, we walked the three to four miles in the dark and cold, found a house on the main road, and called my dad to pick us up. The cell phones didn't work because we were in the country, and cellular service stunk back then, still does in that area actually. From that moment on, I knew this would make a great horror story if I changed the ending. In May 2009, I decided to write that story, and thus, Once Upon a December Nightmare was born.
2. December Nightmare is a scary story! What are the things that scare you the most? How did you incorporate them in this story to make it so scary?
I try to pretend I don't scare easily, but there are some things that do scare me, such as aliens (especially after watching SIGNS), the unknown, and the dark in general. Yes, I still sleep with a light on at night and have since I was four years old. For December Nightmare, I tried to focus on the unknown and the dark. They can't see very well, and every so often, they would hear something in the woods. The trees themselves are a bit scary lined up around them. They are cold, tired of walking, and don't know where the road will end. Anything can happen to them out there, and I played up on that part. It still makes me a little scared when I think about it because it did happen to me, although we were lucky nothing bothered us.
3. You did a lot of edits with your assigned editor. How did the story evolve? What changed the most from edit to edit?
Boy, I hope I never have to do edits like that again! Every time the edits came back, I was terrified that I wouldn't know enough to fix the story. I felt so new at writing, even though I had been at it seriously since January 2009. The story began in first person for each character and switched from their viewpoints. We scrapped it and changed it all to third person. Each character is the focus at their section to bring in the story. Then, I wrote more and more to make the characters come to life. It was difficult because I had to separate the characters in December Nightmare from the real life people I loosely based them off of. With each edit, the characters became their own people, but it wasn't easy. I think what changed the most from edit to edit was the characters. They started out as sketches and became fleshed out people with hopes and fears all their own while the plot remained relatively the same as before.
4. For all of those writers out there considering ebook publishing, what should they look for in an ebook publisher? Why did you choose Wild Child to submit to?
Finding a good ebook publisher wasn't easy. December Nightmare was supposed to be published last year by another ebook publisher, but when the company dissolved, I was scared to go back to ebook publishing. Yet, with a 11,000 word story, I knew I would have a hard time finding a magazine publisher, and I didn't want to cut anything to make it much shorter. So, I did my research. I looked on Duotrope and Ralan.com. I searched for ebook publishers that took a story December Nightmare's size. Then, I researched the publishers I found in Google. Some looked iffy, but Wild Child Publishing looked good. They had been around since 1999 as a magazine and then turned to epublishing in 2006. I thought if they had lasted this long, it was worth a shot, so I submitted my story. In December 2009, I also found out that Wild Child Publishing is in the 2010 Writer's Market book, and Wild Child was featured in Writer's Digest magazine a few months ago. These things made me feel even better about the publisher. The biggest advice I can give for epublishing is to do your research. I repeat: do your research. There are some good companies out there and there are some bad ones. Trust your instincts. If things seem fishy, then they likely are. The publishing world is rapidly changing, and I have a feeling that ebook publishers could strike it big in the near future, so it's definitely not a bad place to get your work published.
5. Final question: (and this one is always a bit zany) How do you feel about unicorns? (I love love love them but am afraid if I wrote about them everyone would run away from my book).
Aww, I don't think anyone would run away from one of your books, Aubrie. I rather like unicorns, although the horn could be frightening, especially if you had a killer unicorn that liked to gore people. Yes, I can't help the horror writer in me. *winks* I do think they are beautiful creatures, and I love how they represent such purity. A couple years ago, I had a dream that featured a unicorn. It would come to no one except me, and it was amazing how its white fur and mane gleamed. It was a dream like no other, and it left me feeling completely at peace and loved.
Thank you so much for interviewing me!!
Everyone should go check out Cherie's book! It's a great story and will leave you glued to the screen trying to find out what happens next!
Good luck Cherie!!!! And thank you for being an awesome friend and the best critique partner I could ever ask for. :)