One of the best parts about writing is when you get accepted. Not too long ago, I was accepted into a very cool anthology. There is an amazing amount of diversity here and you will absolutely find something that you enjoy. The Booked Anthology is out there...if you don't have it yet, I want to suggest that you grab a copy since the proceeds go towards various literary endeavors (a cause that all writers obviously support).
One of the contributors is Chris Deal, author of the story "Where the water met the sky".
So...here is Chris.
|Get it here.|
What are some of the best and worst things about being an author? The best thing is that feeling when you get that email, that response from a submission. You know it is a no but you can’t help but hope for a moment. If it is a yes, that off chance, then there is a small moment where you are wrapped up in job. That will fade after a few seconds, and now you have to deal with what’s next. If it’s a no, then you’ve got a goal, something to strive for.
What are some of the lessons you have learned as a writer that caught you off guard? Not everyone will care, and that’s cool. Find those that do, but don’t get bogged down their either. Write what you want to read.
What can you share about your writing process with new or up and coming writers? I’m still up and coming myself, but I do a lot of research. That can come in many different forms.
If you were to change genres, what would be your next choice? I change genres with every story I write. I’ve done horror and crime, southern Gothic and more literary. Some work, some don’t. I’ve been sucked
What could traditional publishing learn from the Indies? And how about the other way around? The traditional publishers could learn that things, they’re changing fast. They’ve changed so much already. I wish I could say otherwise, but the only bookstores in my area are Barnes and Nobles. The gatekeepers are dying, there is a whole armada of new writers who will find a way to get their work read. Some of them need to learn that the gatekeepers, the editors and publishers, they aren’t the enemy, that more eyes than their own are necessary, but that’s more in line with self-publishing. The independent presses, I adore them, but they have to know they cannot step in fully with the traditional, mainstream publishing house, with what they can offer in terms of advances or marketing. The best book the world is not going to be read unless people hear about it.
The writing community can be its own worst enemy at times. What are some of the issues you see cropping up? Solutions?It comes down to ego. Man needs to bury his ego and know that he is insignificant. He needs to know that he needs to work with his fellow writer to improve himself and the community as a whole. Competition, sure, it can be good, but when each writer is at his or her heart competing against others, they’re only trying to better themselves and not each other.
The social media is a necessary evil with the way out society is growing. We’re at once even more isolated into our own heads and connected in more ways than ever before. Sure, it can be a hindrance, but you can see more of the world and it’s beauty as well as the ugly hanging outside your windows.
Share some information about your work with us: I write about places I know. That’s gotten called out by Robb and Liv. I like there to be a real place I’m writing about, a geography that is second nature to me that I can use like a canvas to paint a story. I’ve written fiction about places I don’t know in the past, but they always end up being molded by locales I’ve seen or lived in.
What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you write? Honestly, nothing. I don’t get interviewed often, if ever. I try to keep evolving, so a question asked once could have a different answer next time around.
How do you deal with negative reviews? I did a giveaway for Cienfuegos on GoodReads back when it came out, and gave away maybe five or ten copies. I think I got more bad reviews than good that way, and ultimately I enjoyed reading them. Sometimes, a story just isn’t for everyone. When I did Cienfuegos, those stories, they could get bleak, and some people complained. You’ve just got to let the reviews, good or bad, slide off you. Take what you can from them to improve yourself and move on.
How much reading do you get in, and can a writer excel at his or her craft if they do not read? I don’t read as much as I used too, but I always try to work something in, mostly short stories. A writer needs to read. They need to read inside and out of their chosen genre. They need to know what is being done with language to know how they can grow.
When does self-promotion cross the line and become a nuisance? Honestly, I think it starts off a nuisance, but that’s just the way my head works. Give it a post on Facebook, say, “Hey, I’ve got this story, check it out.” Unless something else cool happens, that’s enough. If it’s something you’re incredibly proud of, sure, bang that drum a time or two, but people get sick of the same rhythm quite fast.
What projects are you currently working on? A novel, southern Gothic mixed with a bit of magical realism. Murder and beasts that you can only see out the corner of your eye, that sort of thing. A number of short stories, some older pieces that I’m going to try and expand into something bigger. Possibly a collection of short stories, but I’m not sure yet. I’ve published probably a good hundred stories, flash or full, at this point. Lost count, to be honest. I know the ones I really dig, those I want to publish together. Also working on an anthology with Michael Gonzalez of Thunderdome Press. I suggested an idea and he dug it. Sitting on a big pile of submissions right now.
What is one thing about you that would surprise the readers who do not know you personally? I honestly don’t know a lot of things, I just make it up as I go. The construction of language on a formal basis, I could definitely learn a lot more, and I’m trying, but I generally go with what feels right, which I could see holding me back.
Is there anyone you’d like to give a mention? J. David Osborne is a good guy, and I’ve loved his published work so far. He’s doing a hell of a lot of good with Broken River Books, and I can’t wait to see where he goes with that. Pela Via is the best editor out there, and when she puts her own words on paper it is top notch, always. Liv and Robb from Booked are the coolest guys out there, and they and Richard Thomas have done a ton to help me out. I could go on but would miss someone. The community that started over at the Velvet, it’s been the best thing to happen to me when it comes to writing. I’d be nowhere without them fine fellows and ladies. Gavin Pate, Jesse Lawrence, Rob Parker, the lovely Sean Ferguson, Axel Taiari, Amanda Gowin, Michael Gonzalez, Caleb Ross, Nik Korpon, Gordon Highland, Harlan, Boden Steiner, Bob Pastorella, Craig Wallwork, Hilary Tardiff, Phil Jourdan, so many people I wouldn’t be where I am without them and I love them all the talented bastards.
What is in your “to be read” pile right now? The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell, Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron, and whenever Stephen Graham Jones puts out another book, I’ll be waiting.