Author Meet & Greet!

Welcome to Author Meet & Greet

Here, you will have an opportunity to meet authors,  connect through their social media links (if they choose to share them), and purchase their works.

The 4 most current interviews will be posted here. Older ones may be found under the Archive: Author Meet & Greet on the front page.

 

**Jack Ketchum’s Interview from December 2017 is PINNED at the bottom of this page**

 

So, without further ado, let’s get to know

Meet & Greet Author:  #105

Sean R. Frazier

 

 

Name: Sean R. Frazier

Genre(s) of your work: Fantasy and fantasy/humor

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Call of Chaos (2016)

The Coming Storm (2017)

Bio:

There’s not much to say, really. All through school, I daydreamed and wrote short stories from those daydreams. When I graduated college, I had to get a job which largely killed my writing. Work, family, pets, blah blah blah, fast forward to more recent times. I realized that writing was my passion. It makes me happy, and I’d really love it if it makes readers happy.

 

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I have always enjoyed reading fantasy over other genres. After every book I finished, I would say to myself “I want to write that!” For the longest time, I never even considered the option of writing in another genre. But Sci-Fi has been knocking on my door as of late.

 

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I used to be a night owl. Once I started seriously writing, that changed. I also now understand what passion is. I now sympathize with people who say “I love my job—it’s my passion.” My job is not my passion, but writing is, and it’s really all I want to do.

 

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I grew up on Stephen King, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman. Roger Zelazny and Brandon Sanderson would be my later faves.

 

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

“Big box” bookstores can offer things that smaller bookstores can’t, and they can sell books cheaper. That being said, indie bookstores have so much charm. It’s fun to seek them out whenever I visit a town I’ve never been to. Each indie bookstore is an adventure, whereas each mainstream/corporate bookstore is simply a utility.

 

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

Entertainment. It would be nice if there was a fist-pumping moment or two, and some laughter. I want them to love the characters more than anything else. If I somehow manage to inspire someone to write stories of their own, that would be fantastic.

 

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Years of playing and Dungeons & Dragons games would be my largest personal experience, I guess? The game has sparked not only my imagination but my storytelling skills.

 

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?

My goal for every book is the same as it was for my first book—I want to hold my book in my hands. I want to smell its pages and see it on my shelf. I smile every time I think about finishing another book.

 

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Certainly anything harmful or misrepresentative of subject matter should probably not be produced. Historically inaccurate nonfiction as well. If the subject matter is treated properly and fairly, and it’s not harmful, then the door should be wide open.

 

Where can people find you and your work?

My books on Amazon: http://mybook.to/ForgottenYears

Website: https://SeanRFrazier.com

Facebook: SeanRFrazierAuthor

Twitter: @TheCleftonTwain

Instagram: SeanRFrazier

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/SeanRFrazier

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16064722.Sean_R_Frazier

Also, hiding under my bed

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Sean! If anyone looks for your books under your bed, let us know! LOL.

 

 

****************************************

 

John T.M. Herres

 

 

Name: John T. M. Herres

Genre(s) of your work: Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy/Adventure. I’ve even dabbled with a children’s story.

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

My only novel to date is Hell’s Beginning, published Oct. 23, 2017.

I also have 2 poems and 5 short stories published, 1 each in 7 anthologies.

 

Bio:

John T. M. Herres is a multi-genre Author and sometimes Poet.

He was born an “Air Force brat” in California and settled in Texas in 1973, where he lived for the better part of 38 years before moving to North Mississippi.

John began concentrating on writing in 2010 and self published a book of poetry at that time.

He has, at this point, five short stories and two poems published; one each in seven anthologies. His first novel, Hell’s Beginning, released October 23, 2018.

In his words, “I write fiction. Excitement and action are what reading is all about! #WRITEON!”

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

To be honest, I don’t always know what genre I’ll be writing when I start. I do have projects I’ve been invited to join with specific themes, so those I have to keep a particular genre in mind. For my ‘inspired’ writing, the first sentence starts bouncing around in my noggin until I write it down, then more follows. Usually sentence by sentence, like it’s being dictated to me almost. I tell you, it’s an interesting way to discover the story.

 

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Unlike so many other Authors, I didn’t really grow up reading or writing. When not in school, and times I just happened to not be on restriction, we were encouraged to go outdoors. “Get out of the house,” is how I believe we were told.

I think the first books I read for pleasure were the TOR paperbacks of the Conan tales by Robert E. Howard, later involving Lin Carter and L. Spague de Camp. That would be right around the time I first decided to try to write a story. I got four chapters and stopped. Many people who read it said it sounded real interesting, but I didn’t pursue it and have since lost it.

In later years, I read Stephen King, Dean Koontz, a couple by John Saul. There were probably others. The early works of SK, though loaded with religion-related themes, were enjoyable at the time. I found that if a story didn’t enthrall me, I wouldn’t give it a second glance. I do remember times of reading 3 completely different books and being able to keep the details for each in mind. (ah, the good old days…)

 

 

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Though I am unable to frequent an actual book store, I believe them to be beneficial. I could say the prices are a bit high, purely from my financial outlook. I am not really able to consider purchasing books, nor have I been for a very long time.

 

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

A sense of awe.

The feeling that something is following, making them peek over their shoulders.

That tingling sensation from reading something and feeling the events described.

Maybe even an occasional chuckle or belly laugh.

 

 

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

A whole lot more than I would want people to realize.

I’ll leave it at that and let everyone’s minds dwell on it.

 

 

Where can people find you and your work?

Website   http://johntmherres.com/

Amazon Author Page   http://amzn.to/2wVe2f6

Goodreads   http://bit.ly/1v9G0HQ

Bookbub   http://bit.ly/BB_JTMH

DeviantArt   http://bit.ly/DevArt_JTMH

Hellbound Books Publishing   http://bit.ly/2Dmz8Uq

Facebook   http://bit.ly/2GgYCXy

Twitter @iamyeehaw   http://bit.ly/1n4NSI1

‘Indigo Matters’ is available in “Full Moon Slaughter 2; Altered Beasts” by J. Ellington Ashton Press

http://bit.ly/FMS2-AB

My poem, ‘Silent Screams’ is available in “Beautiful Tragedies” by Hellbound Book Publishing

http://bit.ly/BeautifulTragedies

‘Duplicate Counterpart’ is available in “Demons, Devils and Denizens of Hell Volume 2” by Hellbound Book Publishing

http://bit.ly/DDDoH2

“Super Sick: Tales of Twisted Superheroes” by Plague Pirate Publishing published another of his original poems

https://amzn.to/2FpA9iR

‘The Interview‘ is available in “Mystery Monster 13: An Anthology (Creature Feature Book 5)” by J. Ellington Ashton Press

https://amzn.to/2zdYGlr

‘Deadly Cavern’ is available in “Trick-or-Treat Thrillers- Best Paranormal- 2018” by J. Ellington Ashton Press

http://bit.ly/ToTT-Pnrml

‘Harold’s Revenge’ is available in “Trick-or-Treat Thrillers- Best Horror- 2018” By J. Ellington Ashton Press

https://amzn.to/2CILbMV

First full novel, “Hell’s Beginning” published by Hellbound Book Publishing

http://bit.ly/jtmh_HB

Thank you, John, for sharing with us!

***************************************

RW Spryszak

 

 

 

Name: RW Spryszak

Genre(s) of your work: Irrealism, Gothic.

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Edju (2018) – a novel

Numerous works in alternative ‘zines since the late 1980s.

Bio:

Born in Chicago. I came out of Columbia Chicago in the early 70s before that school was accredited and was still considered “experimental” for its time. I was also a member of Marjorie Peters’ Southside Creative Writers Workshop in Chicago then, as well.

Since 1988 my work has appeared in alternative, or “altzine,” publications around the country. A large portion of this material is archived in the John M Bennett Avant Writing Collection at the Ohio State University Libraries.

Nine years ago, I co-founded Thrice Fiction Magazine and Thrice Publishing, where I have been managing editor since 2010. I edited So What If It’s True a collection of work written by the late Chicago slam poet Lorri Jackson, and I Wagered Deep on the Run of Six Rats to See Which Would Catch the First Fire, an anthology of current surrealist writing from around the world. Both of these are available at Amazon and your finer independent bookstores.

I still reside in the Chicago area, but my city has never returned the very deep affection I have for it. Every book publisher in Chicago consistently turned down my offerings. I had to go to New York to find a publisher for my book. In late 2018,

Edju was published by Spuytin Duyvil.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I never felt I was writing to a genre. My heroes are people like Leonora Carrington, Jorge Luis Borges, Nikolai Gogol, Ann Quin, and Andre Breton. I write today as I’ve always written. With, hopefully, no bowing or beholding to realist orthodoxy.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I have been writing since a very young age. I don’t have an answer to this question, directly, because I’ve never been able to imagine my life without writing and have been doing it since 1st grade.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Add to those above the names of Kafka, of course. But, also, Naguib Mahfouz, Gillaume Apollinaire, B. Traven, and Donald Barthelme. What draws me to all of these – as well as those aforementioned – is the pureness of their originality. I like to be challenged. I like to read as a writer and be able to say, after a shock formed by what I just read – “you can DO that??” I’m bored by modernism, realism, and sometimes even memoir; the quotidian and expected. I hate the usual. But don’t let that bother you – I’m still a sucker for my grandkids’ faces when they open the Christmas presents I bought them.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I don’t have one, really. The chains have become the reflection of the Big Five publishers. Oh well. You get what you get. They have shareholders to assuage. The best bookstores are the independents. Like Quimby’s here in Chicago. Those indies willing to take a chance on “odd” things have established themselves over the years. Their survival all this time should quiet the “market specialists.”

But, listen – as a writer you shouldn’t let corporate profits determine whether or not your work has validity. Every writer – not just those deemed “experimental” – should write from the soul, not with an eye to the market. Work created to try to be a bestseller is rarely interesting to me. As an editor of a magazine that kind of thing is rejected post haste.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

I would like them to be on page 75 before they realize they are reading something.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

I utilize a lot of what the surrealists call “automatic writing.” And this comes from the unconscious mind. That’s as personal as you can get if you understand the lexicon. So, there are obscure metaphors at work all the time. In Edju, I think I have maybe seven different scenes drawn directly from my own life. I was once a member of a cult. My drug use in the late 60s is well-known among my friends. My current politics may be explained by saying I was once a member of the IWW. But in my novel those things are explained by metaphors because my actual life is really boring. It’s like the meaning of dreams. Certainly you, as a writer yourself, are probably aware that the symbols in your dreams mean something else. You have a dream where you lose somebody else’s dog and when you wake up you come back to a world where you feel you let someone in your real life down.

I’m blithering. Suffice to say every writer creates through the prism of their own life. I don’t think any of us can escape it.

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?

I have never had writer’s block in my entire life if that’s what you’re getting at. A piece of flash fiction, or a short story, or a novel, is a cellular thing. It either is or it isn’t. I don’t really have to motivate myself because I’m cursed with it. I write because it happens. And, when it’s going nowhere, I set it aside.

The thing that may differentiate me from some is that I don’t write with dollar signs in my head. I write to create an artifact.

What makes you NOT finish reading a book?

The moment I stop being enchanted.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

No.

Any pet peeves in writing? In reading others’ work?

For this I’ll revert to my editor’s hat.

  1. Overuse of the word “had.” Writers would increase their immediacy exponentially if only they’d find some other way to say “had.”

  2. Stories about your dog.

  3. Using the voice of John Boy Walton.

  4. New ways to say the same old s**t.

  5. Back to “had.” Open something you wrote. In “search for” type the word “had.” Kill two thirds of them.

  6. Writers sending work to Thrice Fiction who don’t follow the guidelines or bother to look at the free issues online to see what we like.

 

Where can people find you and your work?

Edju is on Amazon. The rest of the story is at http://www.rwspryszak.com/work.htm

 

Thank you so much, RW!

 

***********************************************

Dan Stout

 

Name: Dan Stout

Genre(s) of your work: Fantasy/Mystery

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

My debut novel TITANSHADE releases March 12th, 2019. It’s a noir fantasy thriller, combining the style of a 1970s police procedural with the wonder and mystery of secondary world fantasy.

For a full bibliography, visit https://www.danstout.com/published-works/

 

Bio:

Dan Stout lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he writes about fever dreams and half-glimpsed shapes in the shadows. His prize-winning fiction draws on travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim as well as an employment history spanning everything from subpoena server to assistant well driller. Dan’s stories have appeared in publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, Nature, and Intergalactic Medicine Show. His debut novel Titanshade is a noir fantasy thriller available from DAW Books. To say hello, visit him at www.DanStout.com.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

It’s just how it comes out! I’ve written tons of stories in all kinds of genres, styles, and voices, so the ones that see print are the ones that felt like the best fit for where I was as a writer at the time.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Being able to tell stories for a living is pretty much a dream come true. I’ve worked with my hands for a pretty good chunk of my life, and now I need to find ways to stay active, but overall I couldn’t be happier.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I am 100% in favor of any store, library, or service that helps put books in the hands of readers. There are good and bad elements to all kinds of company models and distribution systems, and while I have no shortage of opinions about them, that essential connection between reader and reading material outweighs pretty much everything else.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

I hope that they’ll enjoy the ride, and find characters who feel real. If I do my job, the characters in my stories should seem like they have a life and existence long after the final chapter comes to a close.

 

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?

Deadlines and contracts work wonders! For stories that aren’t on deadline, I find the fun in the story and chase after that. That fun might be in the form of an interesting character, an unusual narrative device, or a style or technique I’ve never tried before. But if I can’t find the fun, then the reader likely won’t, either.

 

What makes you NOT finish reading a book?

Not clicking with it, which can come from pretty much any element. Even a brilliantly written book may not be right for you at that point in your life. If it isn’t a good fit, set it aside and come back to it later. Life is too short to read the wrong stories.

 

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

No. Stories are how we grapple and cope with tough subjects. If the execution and intent of a story is objectionable, then I’m all in favor for counter-arguments and pushing back. But I don’t think that the topics themselves should be off-limits.

 

Where can people find you and your work?

Website: www.danstout.com

Twitter: @danstout

Short Stories: https://curiousfictions.com/authors/34-dan-stout

Titanshade Order Links:  https://danstout.com/buy-titanshade

Thanks so much, Dan!

 

*******************************************

Jack Ketchum (PINNED – Interviewed in December 2017)

 

Name: Dallas Mayr

Pseudonym (if you use one): Jack Ketchum

Genre(s) of your work: Horror and Suspense (and the occasional Black Comedy.)

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):  Writing professionally since 1970, first fiction 1976, first novel, OFF SEASON, 1981.

Bio: see my website http://www.jackketchum.net/and add to that, Most Recent Novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF SOULS, written with Lucky McKee and Most Recent Collection, GORILLA IN MY ROOM.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?  

I grew up loving fantasy, and horror is the dark side of fantasy.

How has writing changed/altered your life? The usual perks of self-employment — no punching the time clock, no damn bosses hovering over your desk.  But in addition to that, writing mandates continual periods of self-examination.  You don’t easily get away with lying to yourself on the page.  It requires you to scour your history and your present for your deepest faults and pleasures, to reveal and revel in them, to find the strengths in your life and work from there, reaching outward.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Far too many to list here.  I read all over the place and consequently my favorite writers come from all genres and backgrounds, from Henry Miller to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard and John D. MacDonald to Thomas Hardy, Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub and Stephen King.  Why?  Because they’re smart, empathic, courageous.  Because they’re good!

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I wish we had a lot more mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar bookstores.  I seriously miss browsing.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

The need for empathy and tenderness in the world, that the souls of beasts and humans matter.  And a few hours of just plain fun.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Depends on the piece.  Some, like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and RED, are highly personal, others…?  I don’t know where the hell they came from!

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?  

Finishing a piece is almost always easy.  It’s getting started that’s hard.  Getting all your ducks in a row and then having the balls and suspension of disbelief  to say to yourself, this is really going to work.

What makes you NOT finish reading a book?

I give books a first paragraph test.  If it passes, then a first chapter test.  If it passes that, I’ll almost always finish the book — I can tell from there that I’m going to want to.   If it fails I scuttle it immediately.  Very occasionally, too much repetition will make me dump it.  I don’t want to waste reading-time.  Too much good stuff out there.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Nothing should ever be censored.  Everything is worth discussing.  How long a discussion is another matter entirely.

Any pet peeves in writing? In reading others’ work?

 Life’s short.  I don’t bother with peeves.  If I’m bored, I just close the book.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website, see above. I have a list of published works there.   Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/jackketchumofficial/ Twitter, https://twitter.com/jackketchum Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ketchum

 

What can I say?

I am honored to have snagged a bit of Jack Ketchum’s time, for him to share his thoughts and words with me (and my readers), and for his participation in a blog such as this one. Thank you so much – for the interview as well as your writing. It has and continues to be an inspiration.

Readers, I implore you to look into Jack Ketchum’s work, especially if you are a horror/suspense fan. From the mouth of Stephen King – “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.”

12 comments

    1. Hi Donna;
      My pleasure. As an independent author myself, I know that marketing is key and getting the word out by any means is crucial.
      Thanks!
      Sue

      Like

  1. Hi Sue. Thank you for including me in this roundup of four writers. I read all the interviews with pleasure. The CWA includes so many interesting members. I enjoyed meeting my fellow interviewees via your blog.
    Susan Bass Marcus

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s nice to see Teri here — always good to know a little more about her. I had to laugh about her friends being more careful about what they say. 😀 It’s funny how many people worry they’ll be “in the book” when they learn you write. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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