Author extraordinaire Danielle DeVor has decided it would be a good idea to interview me. Go figure. My brain is pretty nonstandard, and I tend to run off at the mouth after too many espressos. Nevertheless, she is a brave woman and likes a challenge, I guess.
1. What drew you to the horror genre?
Like many, I grew up watching monsters in movies and on television. Also, I loved reading fairy tales as a child—still do. As you know, those can get pretty gruesome. I must have a pretty healthy dark side, because I am truly drawn to this genre.
2. Do you think monsters are the scary ones or are humans scarier?
I am really attracted to the misunderstood monster. One of my favorite stories is “Beauty and the Beast.” I remember in college watching the Cocteau film at one of those art house theaters late at night. If I think about humans and their dark sides, I definitely believe they are scarier. If you watch the news, you’ll see more monstrous behavior from people than the awful things we write about, supposedly perpetrated by monsters.
3. Do you think slasher films should make a comeback?
I like slasher films and, if they did make a comeback, I would really like to see a fresh take. Other than Michael Meyers, I can’t really think of a killer who was simply driven by pure Evil. Most of these types are motivated by some past trauma which, for me, is a little boring.
Why does horror lend itself to the short story format so easily? I think it really does because, with horror, you can jump in right at the moment of action. Through setting, smell, visuals, and sound, you can put someone right into a situation where their heart pounds and they are waiting for the monster to strike.
That’s why I decided to put out a collection of stories. While I like drawing a reader into a world and leading them up to the impact, I like the instantaneous shock too. The moment the werewolf’s teeth bite into your leg. The moment when you know you might die. So, welcome to Strange Darkness. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Pull up a spot around the campfire and join us in this collection of 8 spooky short stories.
A deadly, dangerous man is caught between the paranormal and his evil, hungry dreams.
A study on urban legends becomes all too real for one student.
Time waits for no man and a horrible vampiric legacy is in need of an heir.
Puppies are sweet and cute, but this little girl’s Hellhound is loyal.
There’s nothing like an alien war. Frog isn’t what he appears. And Boyd? He’ll be thankful.
Running away will solve all your problems. Or not. One girl will wish she stayed home.
There’s nothing like a few brain eating hermit crabs to turn your world on its axis.
Sometimes the one who saves you from the monsters is one person you’d least expect.
About the Author
Named one of the Examiner’s 2014 Women in Horror: 93 Horror Authors you Need to Read Right Now, Danielle DeVor has been spinning the spider webs, or rather, the keyboard for more frights and oddities. She spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a Mocha Frappuccino.
Photo Courtesy of Randi Deuro via Creative Commons
In my previous post I announced that I planned to make my horror thriller series TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD available in Kindle Unlimited. Well, I did it! This means that if you are a subscriber, you can now read all three books as part of your subscription, instead of paying for each one. That and the fact that there are well over a million Kindle titles makes the subscription a pretty good deal. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not here to sell you on Amazon’s subscription model. What I am doing is reaching out to those who already signed up or who have seriously contemplated doing so.
This was not an easy decision for me, because when you enroll your book in KDP Select (the program that enables authors to participate in Kindle Unlimited), you must be exclusive to Amazon. A lot of authors reject this kind of arrangement. They prefer having their books available in multiple distribution channels, hoping to increase sales by reaching readers everywhere, regardless of platform. And who doesn’t want more sales?
A harsh reality in the bookselling business—and one even detractors must accept—is that Amazon is the biggest fish in the pond. They sell more books than anyone else—even Wal-Mart—mostly due to low prices. Take a look at this recent eBook sales chart, courtesy of AuthorEarnings.
And books aren’t the only category where they win. Take a look at this recent New York Timesarticle where, regarding Wal-Mart, they write, “Amazon’s prices were lower on every item, in some cases substantially ($150 less for the dishwasher, $7 less for the Grisham book).” And what about convenience? Free two-day shipping for Prime customers? Hellz yeah! I never have to set foot in a store.
Now, you can love Amazon or hate them, but that’s the reality I am living in. So why not embrace it?
Here’s another benefit of being in the KDP Select program—I can run free book promotions. Granted, I may only do this for a maximum of five days out of every ninety, but free sometimes is better than free never, I always say. So why not let readers share the good times?
Reaching More Readers
I’ll admit, this is where things get tricky. Just because my books are available to KU subscribers to read “for free” doesn’t mean they will. As I mentioned before, there are well over a million titles to choose from, so how will anyone even discover me, let alone download my books? Well, that’s where some serious marketing comes in.
Nothing Is Forever
So, what if my little experiment doesn’t work out? I can always go back to the way things were—publishing my books at Barnes and Noble, iBookStore and Kobo, as well as at Amazon. The contract period lasts ninety days, and I can always choose not to renew.
For those who are not authors, you are probably wondering how in the world I get paid under this arrangement. Great question! Amazon has come up with a formula based on Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP). Essentially, the more pages of my book readers actually read, the more I get paid. As far as I can tell, Amazon is gaming the system, because there are stats floating around out there demonstrating that just because a person starts your book doesn’t mean they will finish it. Also, if you’re like me, I may have two or three books going at the same time. So I may not finish a particular book for a while. Some authors, like Joe Konrath, insist they are making money with Kindle Unlimited. Of course, I should mention that Joe has a humungous backlist. You can check out his post here.
How long do I plan to try this? Honestly, I have no idea. But, at a minimum, I am in the program for ninety days. Personally, I don’t think that’s enough time to measure success, so I will most likely stay in for at least two rounds. Either way, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you are a KU subscriber and you love horror thrillers, check out TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD. And don’t forget to read to the end!
Just a quick note to let you know that my horror thriller series TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD is coming to Kindle Unlimited. I’ll be talking more about this development in a future post.
What does this mean for readers now? Well, the main thing is, the books will now be exclusive to Amazon. No need to fret, though! If you are a KU subscriber, you can read all three books as part of your subscription. And if you aren’t, I will be offering occasional discounts on the series.
You can check out the series here. Looking forward to connecting with more readers.
Check out this Facebook event, which is happening on Friday, November 6, 2015. This is just one incredible day in the week-long Virtual FantasyCon, which runs November 1—8. Why am I excited about Urban Friday? Because I will be there, chatting with authors, artists and fans about edgy, urban horror thrillers. Oh, and I will be giving away copies of Books One, Two and Three of TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD.
Come meet all the fantasy authors who write Urban Fantasy as well as the bloggers and artists who take part in this genre. Participants include …
Jaq D Hawkins
Jason P Crawford
Jen Leigh – Fantasyworks Publishing
Kara Ashley Dey
Lu J Whitley
Victoria Foster – Artist
And if you can’t make it Friday, there are still two more days of fun!
I can see why this book is popular—and why it’s headed for the big screen. (Supposedly, it went into production this past summer.) I’m sure with the right cast, the movie could be a lot of fun. Oh, how I wish Roddy McDowall were still alive to play Dr. Olivet! Never mind. Maybe Brian Cox is available.
I only had a couple of quibbles with the story. Mattie sure has a lot of guys in her life who she thinks are “the one.” Hey, maybe that’s sixteen-year-old girls. Who am I to judge? That, and the ending is a little convoluted. No spoilers here, but I thought the reveal was a bit messy. These are minor points, though, so please don’t let them stop you from reading this very entertaining book.
Cherry blossom lipstick: check Smokey eyes: check Skinny jeans: check Dead kid in the mirror: check
For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too.
Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister … Sally.
Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance.
Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim …
Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?