1. What inspired you to write this book?
Over the years I’ve kept a bucket list of story ideas that exponentially grew. This little parade of literary glitterati often came wandering past while I ghostwrote or edited for clients on other projects. At some point I sat down and categorized the list. Which stories worked better as novels? Novellas? Screenplays? Stage plays? Short stories?
I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing short stories. Ones like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald have certainly lingered with me longer than some full-length novels or productions. Also, it’s story fare for those readers who like to dip their big toe into stories they know they can finish. With novels, especially long ones—there’s a time commitment, and always the chance that said book gets laid aside and remains unfinished.
I think it’s especially easy to practice this Japanese art of Tsundoku with electronic media too—i.e., a bunch of unread books in your Kindle library. Therefore, the short story. It’s a bit of an animal to write because you have to dress your main character and main event right away, no lollygagging. The general rules still apply, but you do need to get to the point. Which suits my Aries personality.
So, a book of short stories was the next thing for me.
2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for?
Readers who enjoy horror, dark fantasy, magical realism, and literary atmospheric dread will get this book. Those who don’t, won’t.
3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book?
Darkness comes on many levels. I think the way we find our way back to the light is acknowledging, even understanding the things that go bump in the night.
4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?
The book title originally earned some derision from a few quill-driven purists, and an online search for it could take you to the Under Armour shopping section on Amazon. I liked the cadence, though, so I stuck with it. One of the “shorts” within this book ushered in a high point in my writing career—winning the Writer's Digest Grand Prize—something I wanted to honor in the title, as well.
A friend suggested I check out Dark Beauty Photography for cover ideas, and I knew the right one the moment I saw it. It’s an Adobe Illustration by A.M. Lorek (her daughter, in fact), and I bought it from her. One entrepreneur supporting another entrepreneur.
5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!?
On certain days I still feel like running! The wordsmiths in this business who keep at it truly write from passion. As a business endeavor, literature won’t put bread on the table for everyone. There are many, many steps that go into a successful marketing campaign even after your best writing is done. I’d suggest spending at least thirty minutes each day honing your marketing strategy. One day that might look like reworking your book blurb, or how you talk about your book. Another day it might involve calling on a local library or an independent bookstore. Maybe it’s tidying up your author pages on Amazon or Goodreads or posting on social media. When you break up those housekeeping items in small chunks, they won’t take time away from your writing—not as much as you think.
6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
It’s a digital world. Stay current on all writing and AI software. Watch YouTube tutorials. Attend webinars. Evaluate everything.
7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?
Winning the Writer's Digest Grand Prize was a huge confidence booster at the time. The trick is continuing to believe your talent still exists. Lackluster or bad reviews can bring down the best to their knees. Ask J.R. Moehringer.
8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to?
In this book, most of my readers say Stephen King. In the day I was a huge fan of his—and still am, although I’m overdue for an update.
9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book?
With “House Call,” I had to cut 4,000 words for the story to be eligible to enter the Writer’s Digest competition, a true Hemingway endeavor there. It taught me nothing is sacred when it comes to how many ways we can say any one thing.
10. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?
The readers who’ve enjoyed Seven Shorts are readers who want to understand why certain things disturb them.
About Author Julie
Rogers: Award-winning author of Falling Stars, Hootie, Simeon:
A Greater Reality, Seven Shorts, Happy
Tails: How Pets Can Help You Survive Divorce, When Pigs Fly Over The Moon with its companion progressive country
song, "When Pigs Fly Over The Moon", and
(with Seth Rogers) Letters: Sidereal Insight for a
21st Century Mystic. For more information, please see: julierogersbooks.com
and follow her on Facebook and Instagram
Book Marketing Help?
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this
award-winning blog, can be reached at email@example.com He is available
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has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in
all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!
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