Self-Promotion – Be Shameless

Self-Promotion – Be Shameless

by Erin Thorne

The importance of self-promotion cannot be overestimated, especially for new writers. You’ve spent a great deal of time and energy creating your work. However, if you stop there, you’ve only done half the job. Arranging book events and being proactive in your approach to marketing is crucial to getting your name out there, and to building your audience.

There are several steps you can take that are free, and only minimally time consuming. One is creating Author’s Pages on Facebook and Amazon. These can be customized with pictures of yourself and/or your book(s), a brief bio, videos, and links to your website and Twitter account. Another is looking up and contacting newspapers and libraries in and around the town in which you’ll be doing a signing. This ought to be done a few weeks in advance, to allow enough time for the public to both become aware of your scheduled appearance, and to mark their calendars. Many free templates for crafting press releases are available online, which you can use to promote your event, and even the book itself. Try sending one to your local paper, and in addition to generating publicity for the signing, you may secure an interview.

Of course, you need to book an event before you can promote it. While large chain bookstores can be somewhat hesitant in inviting little-known authors to appear, independent bookstores tend to be more gracious. I’ve looked up ones within a reasonable driving distance and sent them press releases, or simply called them, with very satisfying results. Other hospitable venues include libraries and cafés; you’ll likely have to do your own promotion, such as printing flyers and notifying the press, but it’s worth it.

Once you’ve got a date, you can also create an event on Facebook to inform your friends, family, and co-workers about what you’re doing. From personal experience, I’ve found that personally inviting Facebook friends to signings isn’t as effective as one would think, and can irritate those who’ve been asked to attend an event that occurs at a locale far from their home. You’re better off creating it and posting it as a status update a couple of times a week, starting two to three weeks before the signing takes place. However, if you create a promotion event that takes place entirely online, such as a book giveaway, feel free to invite your friends, and ask them to share the link on their own pages.

The more effort you put forth, the more results you’ll see. I have two children, one of whom is an attention-requiring two-year old, and I’m working on other writing projects as well. My time and money are both limited; while life’s circumstances can make self-marketing a bit more challenging, it is nonetheless essential to one’s writing career, and can serve as a stepping-stone to landing an agent and enjoying some degree of success.

For examples of what I’ve done, and continue to do, please see my Author’s Pages on Facebook, www.facebook.com/authorerinthorne, and Amazon, www.facebook.com/authorerinthorne.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Author Takes You ‘Behind the Wheel’

Author and New England Horror Writers’ member Erin Thorne’s latest book, Behind the Wheel, released last month features stories in the horror and fantasy genres. Here is a brief synopsis from the back cover of the different tales inside: A family discovers who’s really in charge when they buy a car that drives itself. The characters from a well-known fairy tale live on after their story is over. A docile species of farm animal transforms into a pack of ruthless creatures, bent on the destruction of humankind. A werewolf stalks a young girl’s backyard. Tiny pets, rescued from certain destruction, are not what they seem. Enter a land of fantasy, and learn more about the hidden side of the world you take for granted.

Click here if you would like to order the book through Amazon.

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Thorne will be appearing at Seek Books in West Roxbury, MA. on Jan. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Tatnuck Bookseller in Westborough, MA. on Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and at Books & Boos located in Colchester, CT on Feb. 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. She will be reading from and signing Behind the Wheel.

For more information about Thorne, check out her Facebook page and Amazon author page.

Hordes of Humping Zombies in ‘Mourning Wood’

Hordes of Humping Zombies in ‘Mourning Wood’

by Stacey Longo

Mourning Wood

Mourning Wood (2010) is the story of four friends living in a town that becomes overrun by a new breed of zombies. It seems that Dr. Jacob Pendleton has gone missing while filming an infomercial for ShamPube, the very same product that has been tainted, producing hordes of horny, humping zombies (“humpers”). Pendleton has a shady past himself, having betrayed the team of Texas Jim Callahan and John Wood years ago, which resulted in John going missing and leaving Texas Jim – you guessed it – mourning Wood.

The film quickly reveals itself to be a hot mess of puns, adolescent jokes, and ridiculous plot twists. Not that this is a bad thing – from the newsman named Dennis Douche (pronounced Doo-shay, of course) to the amazing transformation of Rick to a super-zombie due to the high levels of THC in his system, this movie feels like four guys having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. From naming the hideous Sasquatch character “Fluffy” to the snippet in which we follow Dr. Pendelton in his search for the secret ingredient in Stiff Again, the mikakes sohard bush, this movie is full of gags aplenty. It’s neither high quality nor highbrow, but there are many, many scenes in which you’ll find yourself laughing out loud. And all cheap jokes and puns aside, the opening Claymation sequence is pretty fabulous.

If you are expecting Academy Award level acting and plotlines here, perhaps you shouldn’t have rented a movie titled Mourning Wood. But if the title of this fine film makes you suppress a snort of laughter, you won’t be disappointed.

The Epitaph, Issue 26 (November 2012)

Issue #26 (Nov. 2012)

The Epitaph

Journal of the New England Horror Writers (NEHW)

The NEHW Board of Directors:

Tracy L. Carbone – Co-Chair
Stacey Longo – Co-Chair
Dan Keohane – Treasurer
Jason Harris – Director of Publicity/Webmaster
K. Allen Wood – Director of Publications
Scott Goudsward – Director of Events
David Price – Board Member
Tim Deal (alternate)
T.J. May (alternate)

Want to Give Back to the NEHW?

The NEHW has been asked by the Barnes & Noble in Manchester, CT to man its gift wrapping table. There will be a jar set-up for donations, which will go to our organization. We will be there on Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The table sits three people comfortably. There will be shifts. After gift wrapping ends, we can go out to eat at a local restaurant.

Email Jason Harris at dudley228@gmail.com if you like to help gift wrap.

Important Information:

If you haven’t received payment yet for Shroud’s Anthocon anthology, please read your contract, you are required to send them an invoice.

NEHW MEMBER NEWS:

From Stacey Longo Harris:

Would you like to get your books, artwork, etc. into our new bookstore, Books and Boos? Please contact her at Stacey@booksandboos.com to find out about the store’s consignment agreements.

From Robert Heske:

He is happy to report that he has completed principal photography on his micro-budget film Blessid, which is a psychological thriller that tip-toes on the edge of horror.

The film shot in and around Massachusetts in Holliston, Salem, Andover, Haverhill, Shrewsbury, Webster, Holden and Spencer.

Like the film on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BlessidtheMovie.

Follow it on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/blessidthemovie.

And check out the teaser and film updates at the website at http://www.blessidthemovie.com.

You can also see the film listed on IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404940/.

From Erin Thorne:

She released a new book in November, Behind the Wheel, featuring stories in the horror and fantasy genres. Following is the synopsis from the back cover, as well as links to the paperback’s Amazon page, her Author’s Page on Amazon, and her Facebook Author’s Page.

Behind The Wheel Synopsis: A family discovers who’s really in charge when they buy a car that drives itself … The characters from a well known fairy tale live on after their story is over … A docile species of farm animal transforms into a pack of ruthless creatures, bent on the destruction of humankind … A werewolf stalks a young girl’s backyard … Tiny pets, rescued from certain destruction, are not what they seem… Enter a land of fantasy, and learn more about the hidden side of the world you take for granted.

http://www.amazon.com/Behind-The-Wheel-Other-Stories/dp/1480280801/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1353763605&sr=8-3&keywords=erin+thorne

http://www.amazon.com/author/erinthorne

http://www.facebook.com/authorerinthorne

From Deb Eskie:

Peep Show: Volume 2 featuring Eskie’s “For the Love of Death” is now available for purchase from Amazon and here: http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/PROD/o_fry02

From Kristi Petersen Schoonover:

Kristi’s novel Bad Apple was published by Vagabondage Press at the end of September (you can pretty much get it everywhere, but the link to the publisher’s page for it is here: http://www.vagabondagepress.com/bookpreviews/badapple.html#.UINT_sXA9Zc. ) She will be doing a reading and signing up at Books & Boos (Jason & Stacey’s new bookstore) in Colchester, CT, on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Noon. More information on that here: http://www.booksandboos.com/bookstore-events.html

Her short story, “Under the Kudzu,” was published in Wicked East Press’ Behind Locked Doors anthology in March: http://amzn.com/1617061891

Her short story, “The Thing Inside,” was published in Western Legends Press’ Unnatural Tales of the Jackalope anthology in July: http://amzn.com/1477451919. (It’s also available on Kindle).

Her ghost story, “May You Grow Old and Bitter,” was published in the LIMN Literary & Arts Journal in October: http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/may-you-grow-old-and-bitter-by-kristi-petersen-schoonover/

Her story “Right Where Mother Left It” was included in Italian filmmaker Toni Verita’s Talkinghead Project, resulting in the short film “Right Where Mother” in November. You can view that here: http://youtu.be/Egj_y0cOPM4

She has written a couple of articles for the Dark Discussions Show site: Our Fetish for Zuni: Why we’ll never escape “that doll” http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/article_003.htmland Opening Chernobyl Diaries: the truth is scarier than the film http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/article_007.html. She has discussed the nature of creativity on Creativity Coach Nancy Norbeck’s website: http://www.nancynorbeck.com/2012/10/26/interview-kristi-petersen-schoonover/and has been honored to read a story for Tales to Terrify.

Scary Scribes, her radio show on Canada’s Paranormal, Eh? Network, will broadcast its 11th episode in December. Featured on the show this year: Scott Thomas, Kevin Lucia, the writers of Unnatural Tales of the Jackalope, Rob Watts, Daniel Pearlman, T.J. May, John Grover, John Palisano, and Stacey Longo. Episode 8, which was a special reading from a haunted cemetery, captured an EVP—an unexplained voice not heard during the recording, but on playback. You can listen to any of the Scary Scribes episodes here: http://scaryscribes.com/past-episodes/

Kristi has also been making the rounds on several podcasts, among them Dark Discussions (discussing The Chernobyl Diaries), The Invisible World, Dave’s Disney View, Sci-Fi Saturday Night (The Wheel of Fish episode), Your Caregiving Journey, and, of course, Paranormal, Eh?. You can listen to any of the 2012 interviews (and any from past years) here: http://kristipetersenschoonover.com/radio-interviews/

Finally, her husband, Nathan, was featured on Bio Channel’s My Ghost Story Episode 48 in the segment, “Bury the Patchett,” which aired November 9. You can watch the 10-minute segment from the show here: http://youtube/r42N9cbQoLQ

From John Grover:

John is happy to report his story, “Bog King,” was published in the Four
Horsemen’s anthology Anthology Year One. He’s very excited to be in such
great company and to commemorate his attendance at such a great new con.

In other news John’s working on a new novella, Oblivion 6, that
should be out in the new year. Here’s the blurb from the back cover: Six strangers. One suicide mission. And everything in the balance. A powerful cult intent on cleansing and renewing our world has unleashed an ancient evil. Time is running short, leaders of the earth have no weapon mighty enough to defend their lands, no plan to avoid the inevitable catastrophe.

Enter Oblivion 6, a team of psychics brought together by a secret government
agency to stop the annihilation of mankind. It¹s a race against time in this fast-paced, action-packed sci-fi novella, pitting an unlikely gang of heroes against god-like foes from another reality. The streets are their battleground, the stakes are apocalyptic and the fate of our world is in their hands.

Also John’s popular collection Creatures and Crypts is now in paperback. If
you have wanted a paper version instead of an e-book now is your chance to
grab it here: http://www.amazon.com/Creatures-Crypts-John-Grover/dp/1480166642/ref=tmm_pap
_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1325862819&sr=1-4

Also if you’re a zombie fan, John has two zombie titles available. His first
novel co-written with R Thomas Riley, If God Doesn’t Show, is garnering some
great reviews. Check it out here:
http://www.amazon.com/Doesnt-Cthulhu-Mythos-Novel-ebook/dp/B008QFJS3G or his
solo novella Frozen Stiff:
http://www.amazon.com/Frozen-Stiff-Zombie-Novella-ebook/dp/B008XRUSGS

To keep up with new releases and other news visit his website
http://www.shadowtales.com/works.htm or join his fan page:
https://www.facebook.com/johngroverdarkfictionauthor

From Dan Foley:

Foley’s short story collection, The Whisper’s of Crows, is, or soon will be, available from Neconebooks.com. Also available at Amazon.

From Eric Dimbleby:

Dimbleby has released his third novel, The Klinik, on December 1st. His new novel is a scathing story of the American healthcare system–comedic and gruesome, and not for the faint of heart. For more information, visit http://www.ericdimbleby.com.

He recently won the Best Speculative Fiction award from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance for his debut novel, Please Don’t Go.

From Trisha J. Wooldridge:

Spencer Hill Press will be hosting an APROMcalypse to celebrate the release of their YA horror novel, Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway (edited by NEHW’s Trisha Wooldridge) at this year’s Arisia (www.arisia.org), a science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention in Boston, MA, January 13-16. The APROMcalypse zombie prom will feature a bite station where attendees can get zombie make-up, and then professional Prom photos in all the zombie finery. Find out more at http://www.site.spencerhillpress.com/Touch_of_Death.html.

From Craig D.B. Patton:

Patton announces the publication of Lifted Veils: Three Tales of The Extraordinary. The limited edition mini-collection contains three stories featuring moments when the boundary between the explicable and the fantastic vanishes. Moments that invokes awe or terror and sometimes both. Moments that change people forever. Lifted Veils will soon be available at Books & Boos in Colchester, CT and online at flawedcreations.wordpress.com.

Craig would also like to announce that you can now follow him on Twitter at @craigdbpatton.

From The Dome:

Horror Fiction as a Möbius Strip – Crabapples By Rob Watts

http://www.scifisaturdaynight.com/?p=6633

___________________________________

Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover

http://www.scifisaturdaynight.com/?p=6592

Sci Fi Saturday Night welcomes NEHW members for reviewing of their books and interviews.

From Dale T. Phillips:

His story, “Change of Attitude,” will appear in the November/December issue of Over My Dead Body: http://www.overmydeadbody.com/fiction.htm

The anthology, Nightfalls, with apocalyptic tales of the last night on earth, is scheduled for release the first week of December, and has his story, “Our Lady” in it. All proceeds go to a children’s charity: http://kattomicenergy.blogspot.com/2012/11/nightfalls-anthology.html

Dale has been named one of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” on The Authors Show:
http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow50Writers2012-VoteClose.html.

Dale’s third Zack Taylor mystery novel, A Shadow on the Wall, is scheduled for release in December, from Rosstrum Publishing.

Having taken writing courses from Stephen King at the University of Maine, Dale will be attending King’s upcoming talk at the Tsongas Arena, Dec.7th.

From Morven Westfield:

Westfield recently brought her podcast back from the dead with interviews from this year’s Necon. Consistent with the theme of her podcast series, Morven conducted short interviews with established writers at Necon, asking about their vampire fiction. The series begans with Jeff Strand, followed by Heather Graham, and just a few days ago, Necon frequenter F. Paul Wilson. Listen to her podcasts directly at http://www.vampireswitchesandgeeks.com or download them from iTunes.

– Jason Harris, Editor, the Epitaph: Journal of NEHW
– Stacey Longo, Assistant Editor, the Epitaph: Journal of NEHW

Authors’ Gift Wrapping at Barnes and Noble

Authors’ Gift Wrapping at Barnes and Noble

By Jason Harris

This past Sunday members of the New England Horror Writers steeled their will power to help gift wrap at the Barnes and Noble in Manchester, Connecticut. Some members’ will power failed and they ended the eight-hour day carrying a few B&N bags to their cars.

Authors Stacey Longo (Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend), Jan Kozlowski (Die, You Bastard! Die!), and Kristi Petersen Schoonover (Bad Apple) spent the day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. wrapping gifts for B&N costumers and earning donations for the NEHW.

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Authors Stacey Longo, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, and Jan Kozlowski. All Photos by Jason Harris.

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Author Stacey Longo.

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Author Jan Kozlowski.

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Jan Kozlowski will be reading and signing her novel, Die, You Bastard! Die!, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Books and Boos this Saturday, Dec. 15.

The ‘King’ of Tsongas Arena

A Conversation with Stephen King

By Timothy P. Flynn

On Friday, Dec. 7th, the streets of Lowell were packed with traffic all heading to a very special event at Tsongas Arena: A Conversation with Stephen King. The event was to mark the first for the Chancellor’s Speaker Series for the English Department at UMass Lowell. One of the esteemed faculty members, Andre Dubas III, acted as host/interviewer for the talk.

“It’s scary as shit in here!” was King’s first words to the audience resulting in an uproar of laughter. This was King’s first ever arena event, he stated, and the feel for the evening was established:  this was going to be a night to remember.  Dubas gave a rather lengthy introduction to the merits of King’s work and movie adaptations to which King cut him off saying, “You make it sound like I died!” When Dubas gave King the compliment of having doubled Charles Dickens in book sales, again King states, “They didn’t have e-books back then.”

The topics talked about included story ideas, aspects of the writing craft, and King’s rise to success. If you read any of the many King biographies out there, some of the more famous stories and anecdotes were brought up such as the origins of Cujo and how King states he never needed a psychiatrist because with all the crazy shit he makes up, people pay him. The funniest story was when King finally had a dinner with Bruce Springsteen at a restaurant in Pennslyvania, and a beautiful 16-year-old girl floated over to the table for an autograph with such excitement. “She didn’t even fucking look at Springsteen!”

Dubas read an extract from On Writing which was very moving having to do with the writing process and the will to continue writing. After Dubas’ reading, King read a brand new story, Afterlife, which was a story of a man who died from colon cancer and the events thereafter. The essence of the story was man’s fear of death, and if given a choice to start over again exactly the same versus blow out like a candle in the wind; most make the wrong choice.

The end of the night consisted of a Q and A session with about 10-15 questions asked. King added his usual wit and humor to his answers along with advice everyone in the room was listening to. A woman in the crowd brought a poster board picture of King at Fenway reading a book and her question was if King knew what book it was. Well, this slick creative woman got her poster board brought up to the stage for King to look at only to find a large sign in the back of it stating, “Sign Me!”- With roars from the crowd, King signed it.

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A group of Stephen King fans.

After the event was over, a bunch of us NEHW members met up at front to recall the night. We all went down the street to Lowell Beer Works for awhile to end the night. You can use your imagination on how the conversation went and topics discussed.

The event was a surreal, fantastic memory that I will forever cherish. I read King’s books, I created a challenge to myself via his On Writing memoir, I proposed to Barbara in front of his house in Bangor, Maine and now I was able to hear his talk and joke in the same room( very far away though). I am getting closer, maybe one day I can get that signature and that picture.

Craft Fairs, Vendors, and Grand Openings, Oh My!

Craft Fairs, Vendors, and Grand Openings, Oh My!

By Jason Harris

I started Saturday morning going to the Sleigh Bells Arts and Crafts Fair at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut. If Stacey and I weren’t operating a business, Books and Boos, the New England Horror Writers would have had a table or two at this craft fair.

You can read the Reminders article about this craft fair here.

The craft fair was bigger and had more vendors than the Tantasqua’s Holiday Craft Fair last Saturday. The school had vendors in the hallways, cafeteria, and even into the library. There were some interesting vendors who I talked to about bringing their wares into Books and Boos.

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Re-use of Misdirected Flatware owned by John M. Gilchrist (www.esty.com/shop/gilsgarden). Photo by Jason Harris.

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Mice made from forks by John M. Gilchrist. Photo by Jason Harris.

There were also a woman, Tracy Fowler, who worked with leather. She made items like wallets, belts, and knife sheaths. Her business, WarEagle Leather Works, located in Windsor, Connecticut.

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Belt buckles made by Tracy Fowler. Photo by Jason Harris.

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Photo by Jason Harris.

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Hair accessories created by Tracy Fowler. Photo by Jason Harris.

The reason I went to the holiday craft fair was to help out the Bacon Academy’s students by purchasing two boxes of their homemade cookies for the grand opening celebration at Books and Boos. The celebration included a reading and signing of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover and the giving away of a new copy of The Priest of Blood by Douglas Clegg with the purchase of $5 or more.

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Author Kristi Petersen Schoonover reading from Bad Apple. Photo by Jason Harris.

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Photo by Jason Harris.

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Members of the New England Horror Writers: Jason Harris, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, and Stacey (Longo) Harris. Photo by Nathan Schoonover.