Today, it's my pleasure to share with you all, a new Audiobook release! Just in time for Halloween... well, maybe for next year! Along with this release, we have a little Q&A with a few of the authors in this book, but that's getting ahead of myself!
Let's start with the main show!
Authors: Jim Goforth, Catt Dahman, Toneye Eyenot, Howard Carlyle, Roy C. Booth, Axel Kohagen, Dona Fox, Tina Piney, Essel Pratt, Roma Gray & M. L. Sparrow
New Release! A short story compilation audiobook with the central focus on Zombies and Monster Horror. This book has had a great number of authors come together to write contained stories.
Personally, thanks to Hollywood, I find that Zombies is a tired out subject for Horror, however while I was Narrating this book I found myself very interested in some of the ideas presented that shook up the traditional chomp-chomp horror formula that we all know and love.
If you'd like pick up this audiobook, you can purchase it on your respective Audible storefront region:
If you purchase an Audible Subscription with this Audiobook, not only will you get this Audiobook for free but you'll get a Credit every month to your Audible Account! One Single Credit can get you any Audiobook of your choice, regardless of price or playtime! It's a great deal if you listen to a lot of audiobooks.
If you would like a free promotional copy of the audiobook Zombies: Zero Hour (Project 26), send me an email and I'll get you all hooked up! (While code supplies last)
Moving on, I felt like with a book like this, I could have a little fun by picking at the brains of the authors of this book! I sent a series of questions to every one of the authors, however only a few have returned their answers in time for this release.
Hope you guys are ready, I got some serious things that need answering! Let's get started!
Joining us today for the Q&A is Catt Dahman and Dona Fox. If any of the other authors turn in their answers in a few weeks time, this article will be updated to reflect their answers.
Thanks for taking the time to share. Please give us a quick introduction about yourselves. Who are you? Where are you from? If you're comfortable sharing, How long have you been writing for?
"I am from North-East Texas and have been writing professionally for about 7 years. With about 50 novels and a dozen shorts, I am lucky to do this full-time.
I began with 15 books for Severed Press and have gone from there. I actually never got a rejection letter and that’s kind of weird."
Hi, I’m Dona Fox, I write short stories and some poetry - horror and dark fantasy infused with bits of science fiction and the paranormal.
I spent my childhood on the Ferris Wheel in Oaks Park just over the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon. From there I flied to Seattle, Washington where I hung out in the semi-famous Last Exit on Brooklyn and the infamous Hideout Bar.
Specters from the Northwest's forests, Portland's bridges, and Seattle's Pike and Pine streets often creep into my dark tales.
Currently, I live near California's gold country with an Abyssinian cat, a Standard Schnauzer, and my perfect husband.
How long have I been writing? Or telling stories? As children we had a television for a brief time but our television didn’t have a picture, we could listen but there was nothing to see so the pictures came from my imagination. But we were always surrounded by books.
And my father was a born entertainer. He told us stories. He read to us before we went to sleep and he even read to my mother when they went to bed. On car trips, on the school bus, and at night after the lights were out, my sister made me tell her stories.
Growing up in Oregon, our parents took us out to pick blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and hazelnuts. On the farm, my older sister did the housework and I did the outdoor chores—bringing the wood for the fire onto the porch and hauling the broken hay bales from the field. My mind spun tales to entertain myself during the repetitive physical labor.
Nice. Off to a great start!
As there is so many authors who came together to contribute stories for Zombie Zero Hour, how did you all find each other?
We all came from J Ellington Ashton Press (which I own) and decided to do something for each letter of the alphabet. Jim Goforth wanted Zombies and some of us love that genre, and we couldn’t wait to be a part of his project. It’s always fun to work with Jim.
It's great finding common ground for writing! I'm glad to hear that there are writing circles where people can come together to create works together!
Do you have a job outside of writing?
Only if we count cat rescue. I worked at a teacher (4-college) and then became a full-time mother and home-schooled. When he was older, I went back to my books and began a new career
Do you have any education or background in creative writing?
I first got my degree in psychology with a criminology emphasis. (That pays off!) Then, with mounting student loans, I turned to education so that I could find work. My areas were art, reading, and English. I’ve taught those subjects as well. I did continue with psychology and stopped short a few classes from my PhD. In writing classes, I was always “too dark”.
A large population of talented writers tend to have backgrounds and degrees in other subjects! I bet it gives them more ideas to write about!
Why did you choose to get into horror for writing? What was your inspiration to start?
My parents never censored my reading and as a young child, I dug into their books and read All Quiet on the Western Front and Gone with the Wind. I found wars to be terrifying but the stories and character fascinating. How interesting it was to read about how people change when faced with horror. I think my parents kind of encouraged me to read ghost stories and classic horror just to lighten my reading! I think I found fear in anything I read, and it is a fascinating emotion.
I write in that area because I enjoy delving into the characters. Fear (horror) is the most powerful emotion for evoking behavioral and mental changes.
I didn’t choose horror, it chose me. I’m an orphan. I’m afraid of the dark. I know that it’s a swirl with the evil living and the dead. The horrible loneliness of death creeps closer everyday as those around me fall. This is my experience, what I know and where I’ve been. This is the voice in my head.
Although my story in Zombie Zero Hour is a bit light hearted generally whatever I start to write it ends up taking a turn when a ghost shows up or a regular person acts so awful that the story is catapulted into the horror genre.
Ooooo... spooky! It's always great to hear the sources of inspiration for others! You never know where it'll find you...
Do you believe in the paranormal? If so (or not), what's your reason as to why?
In a way. I grew up going to my grandparent’s house in the country and it dates way back to the 1800s. Everyone said it was haunted and it is true that people died there. I wanted to believe it was haunted and pretended it was. When I was about 29, I lived there for a few months (my grandparents had passed on and it was the family house). One night, wide awake and reading a law book, I felt an icy hand on my leg and heard movement. My cat went nuts! He acted as if he were fighting something and he was furious. I don’t scare, but that night, I was terrified. So, yes, I believe in something. Angels, demons, yes.
I have respect for Ouija boards, tarot cards, palm readings, all of the arts. As a matter of fact, I have a script of a Ouija session that I’ve written that I intend to use in a future work. The script came to me and won’t go away. I’m hoping once it’s published it will latch on to someone else. Is that evil?
I wholesomely agree. Let's not meddle with things that tend to have very terrifying and REAL outcomes. Ignorance is bliss.
Have you ever encountered anything really scary in your life that you'd like to share? If not, what was the scariest or spookiest story you've heard, read or listened to?
I am a scuba diver. It’s always been very safe for me. One time I was swimming and not diving and a hammerhead decided to circle me. The lifeguards cleared the beach, but I had to remain still. I have never been so afraid. When I am under the water, I can see and react, but that was one time that I had to hope he wasn’t hungry.
What are your thoughts on Ouija boards? Have you ever used one? Or knew someone who did?
I had one but never did anything with it. I don’t believe in them. If they are real, I don’t want any part of it; it could open doorways that are best left closed. And yes, The Exorcist scared me!
Ha. One of the first stories that gave me quite a turn is in a little orange book called Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. I had this book when I was learning to read and seriously, the cover of this book shows children with teddy bears in their pj’s sitting on Uncle Arthur’s lap. The story is called Jesus Understood. The story is not even two pages but it packs a heck of a wallop and a big twist at the end. Spoiler ahead. Little Bobby is hit by a car, he’s in the hospital enduring great pain, I guess he wants to die but thinks he’s too insignificant for the big Gentleman to care. Tommy tells him to put his hand up like they do at school when they want attention, but his hand keeps falling down, so they prop Bobby’s hand up with pillows. And, sure enough, in the morning, Little Bobby’s dead. That was the end. The happy ending. You better believe I slept with my hands under my pillow for ever after, still do, don’t want any misunderstanding.
What is your favourite novel that you wish that absolutely everyone should read?
I have two: This Perfect Day (Ira Levin), Harvest Home (Thomas Tryon)
Do you listen to many audiobooks? If so, what genre of audiobooks do you prefer to listen to?
I didn’t until my press started converting all books to audio (literally over 200 to do!). Now, I am in love with them! One narrator for one of mine found some things he thought were off and they sounded wrong. I am changing them; hearing the novel allowed me to tweak my craft. I am amazed at narrators and think they must be from another planet! How can they do what they do? It’s pure magic. I like my horror but may try some history. A cover reveal is always a super exciting time but hearing a book is just as wonderful.
Paperback, ebook or Audiobook? What's your preferred format and why?
I read a lot of ebooks. I have KU and it allows me to see what others are doing. I try to relax at night (ha!) so I turn off the computer, stop typing, and find ebooks about whatever I need to research. I read those. On the other hand, print books are beautiful and I treasure mine. Wait, my audio books sound amazing. Don’t know the answer anymore!
To Read: I have a lot of paper books but since most of my reading is currently done at night in bed in the dark, I’ve been reading mostly eBooks. I find audiobooks extremely useful when I’m on my exercise bike.
To Write: I really enjoyed writing the novella, Crystal Bones on Gossamer Wings which is available on Audible, and Susan Marlowe did a great job narrating it. It was my second novella and there are several very strong images in it that haunted me so that writing each part became an obsession. My years working for the US Attorney, time spent getting to know many of the US Marshals, and weeks spent working with documents in the offices of the FBI, gave me a good feel for some of the background that appears in portions of the story. Also, I did a lot of research so that the medical portions are as accurate as can be expected for descriptions provided by a simple young man of procedures performed by a deranged, disgraced surgeon.
What does it feel like, as an author, to have your written words become audio from someone else? What advice would you share with others from this experience?
It’s surreal. This may be silly, but there have been times I have heard a part and started crying. It can be emotional to hear the words. I mean, I write them, and I know them, but to hear them is different. There is a slight disconnect (it is mine but not mine). I have learned to appreciate some ways I write and have gained a lot of confidence. I mean, I write the novel, but some “stranger” comes along and interprets the words, acts it out, adds voice, and it becomes something else…it becomes a real story and not just a written book. Advice? Wow. Ummm. Don’t assume you know the perfect voice; you might need help with finding the right person. Trust your narrator as an expert. I always encourage our narrators to “go with creativity” because they are experts, professionals, and I have to trust them. Don’t micro-manage or get OCD. Trust.
Solid advice! Always great to see what authors think of someone else producing a different format of their own works.
Do you read your own reviews from your own books? If so, what kinds of comments do you find the most constructive?
Not now. I did at first and trolls are awful. Negative comments never helped since they were generally along the lines of “I hate horror” (why did they get MY book?) Positives help. When I get characters correct or have good pacing, I can learn from that. I actually don’t read any now and haven’t in years.
I’m still at the point where I read them all. I’m pleased to say I love most of them right away but it’s taken me a little longer to love one or two of them. Now I cherish every one of them. Yes, every one. Some of my stories were getting “too short, too short” so I’m trying to write longer form works now.
What would you recommend to anyone seeking to start writing their first novel?
Don’t get a fat ego. Invest in a professional editor and professional cover artist. Be gracious. Don’t expect a best seller. Please don’t tell me your ideas or how you “want to write a book” because it irritates me. I write 360 days a year, 3-18 hours a day. Writing is my job and if you act as if it is a hobby, it sets me off. Don’t ever assume you aren’t “good enough” because you may be! Don’t give up.
Be kind to each other and believe in yourself. Let the only other voices you heed be ones whispering in your ears, the ones telling you your stories. Don’t compare yourself to others, keep your own goals in mind.
Solid tips for anyone looking to get into creative writing! Thank you for sharing this.
To find Catt Dahman, you can visit her site at: www.cattd.com
To find Dona Fox you may visit the following:
Audible: Dona Fox
Author Page: https://facebook.com/donafoxAP
Thank you very much to the authors who participated in this lil' impromptu Q&A. It's always nice to learn more about the writers behind the scenes! As for the readers, did you find this fun? Let me know in the comments below!
I'll be regularly holding a Q&A for audiobook authors. If you have any questions you'd like seen to be asked, be sure to leave it in the comments below! Thanks for reading.