- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to own a ranch and breed horses. I would still love to do this, but in high school, my tastes changed to wanting to be a writer. My dream was to get a place out in the country, near a small lake, the nearest neighbor miles away, where I could spend my days writing.
- What’s the latest news in the Shelby Patrick world?
Well, I delved into the self-publishing world, after getting three moronic offers from traditional publishers. I started off with self-publishing two creative writing books, Dark Recesses of the Mind and Forbidden Knowledge. Then I decided to try my hand at self-publishing fiction so I put out my short story collection, The Fear Within, which is a collection of 25 dark tales of horror and science fiction. My next published piece will be a supernatural thriller called When Angels Sing. I’d like to have at least one book picked up by a traditional publisher, but if I can’t, then I’ll self-publish this one too. I already did a photo shoot for the cover, which was loads of fun.
- Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I want to make a living as a writer, preferably a fiction author. It’s my goal to walk into a Barnes & Noble some day and see my book on the shelves; to do book signings; to attend conventions where I can hawk my books; to be able to look people in the eye when they ask what I do and say I’m an author.
- How do you deal with rejection letters?
I don’t think of them as rejections, but bumps in the road. They slow me down a little but I’m quickly over them and I can move on to smoother waters.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Yes, every writer has a block at least once in their writing career. It’s a pain too. I’ve had months where I just couldn’t think of a single thing to write and then I get someone asking me when my next piece will be done or wanting to know what’s next and I realize I can’t disappoint my readers. That’s why we write – to be read. It excites me again and I can sit down and pen the next scene. My readers are my inspiration.
- Do you have suggestions to help others become better writers?
Read and study the craft of writing. Buy any books you can on the writing arts and know how to pen a good sentence/paragraph. A good grasp of grammar and sentence structure is a must. If you can’t do that, then finding a really good editor to clean up your prose should be on your to-do list.
- You write mostly horror/thrillers now. What draws you to that genre?
I love being scared, as long as the scenes and characters can’t hurt me. I love sitting on the edge of my seat and being thrown into a world of action and suspense. It keeps the heart racing and the palms feeling sweaty. It makes me feel alive.
- Where do you, as the author, draw a line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
I absolutely hate a lot of blood and guts, but I know horror can’t be horror without some brief flash of the stuff we hate. Unless I’m writing a story where torture is part of the game, I try to keep my “bloody” scenes to a minimum. The only real reason to go into a lot of gory description is for shock value. Most of the time it’s unnecessary and I feel that real horror is more horrifying when less is shown.
As for erotic content, my novels delve into a few brief scenes that could be construed as semi-erotic. However, I try to keep them brief and avoid using technical terms for body parts. Now, I’m in the middle of writing a full-blown erotic horror novel and it’s been a challenge for me. The story has to center around sex so there will be long scenes, sometimes whole chapters, devoted to erotic images. And yet, I still try to avoid the hard-core terms, which makes my job a bit more difficult. I just hope the readers enjoy it and it turns them on. My newest erotic novel is definitely the most fun to write. I want it to be the WOW book of all my writings so far. I want people to pick it up and say, “Oh my God!” and not be able to put it down until they are done and left breathless, hyped up to read the next. Hmm, that gives me an idea. Perhaps I’ll add a short excerpt from it to my website.
- People think horror writers have to be messed up to write what they do. What do you think?
I think people shouldn’t stereotype. I can’t explain all horror writers, but for me, I’m just an average girl with a big dream. I’m a devout Christian, born and raised Catholic, and never swear, drink, or smoke. I write under a pen name because my writing is the total opposite of me. I think it’s due to my good girl upbringing that has brought me the fascination with evil and the dark side. It comes out in my writing, or it could be that most of my life has been boring and depressing. I’m a loner and have a self-esteem problem. I lack a lot of confidence, but that’s due to my family treating me like a loser for thirty years. I’m just a red-blooded all-american girl, as long as no one crosses me.
- Can you leave us with a sample of your writing?
Sure. Here’s a brief sample from When Angels Sing, my upcoming supernatural thriller:
His head started to ache and he felt a bit nauseous. He reached up to rub the spot between his eyes.
“You okay, hon?” asked Marissa.
She had a worried frown on her face. He tried to nod but the pain intensified. “I’ll be fine,” he said in a low voice. “Just got a little headache.” He hadn’t had such a bad one since they came to Stevensville. The fresh Montana air had done him some good. He didn’t like getting these migraines – when he did, he usually ended up passed out somewhere. That would be embarrassing to faint in front of Marissa.
“Let me get you some aspirin,” she said, leaving him alone for a minute.
Aspirin wouldn’t work, he knew that. His doc back home had given him some pills for his headaches, but he hadn’t needed them for some time now. The pills were in a cabinet out at Blaze’s house. He started to think he should have stayed there this morning.
He should call Blaze, but he didn’t really want to. His big brother would get all concerned again and treat him like he was sick. He would probably confine him to the house for a few days, just to make sure he was okay. Dylan didn’t like people to worry over him, especially his brother. Last time that happened, Dylan had found himself in the hospital. They wouldn’t let him leave for months because they claimed he was a danger to himself and others. He didn’t know what they meant by that, but they wanted to observe him. He had thought it was just because his brother didn’t want to take care of him anymore. His doctor had seemed more caring than his own brother had.
His vision blurred. He squeezed his eyes shut and leaned against the counter. Someone else was in the room with him. He opened his eyes, expecting to see Marissa, but she wasn’t there. He slowly moved his head around and thought he saw someone, a girl, standing behind him. He blinked and when he looked again, she was gone.
“Who’s there?” he whispered.
Laughter came to his side and he spun around, a little too quickly. His head felt like it might explode now. There was no one by his side.
“Enough games. Show yourself.”
He picked up a knife off the counter.
“Lordie, what are you doing with that?”
He jumped when he heard her come up behind him. The pain was excruciating now and her voice made it worse. His grip on the knife tightened when he started to turn around.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A Little Bit More About Shelby Patrick -- FREE Book Drawing!
Welcome friends and fans of horror! I’m Shelby Patrick, author of several self-published books. This is my sixth interview/FAQ session. I hope you enjoy it and I really hope you will take a chance and buy one of my books, which can be purchased online at amazon.com or via my website at http://www.shelbypatrick.com/ .
Anyone visiting one of the sites on my virtual tour this week will be entered into a random drawing for a FREE signed copy of The Fear Within. I will pick one winner from each site. Visitors have a chance to enter once at each blog. Winners will be chosen on Friday. If you are lucky enough to win a copy, please be nice enough to put up a review of the book either at your own site/blog or on the book’s amazon.com page. Thank you!
Now on to my FAQ’s: