Monday, September 29, 2014

Multiple Short Story Authors Create: Anything Goes









PROJECT COORDINATOR: Renee’ La Viness

TITLE: Anything Goes, Volume I anthology.
GENRE: Multi-Genre, Unthemed
PUBLISHER: Fiction Writers Group

Please tell us about yourself.
--I get a daily dose of joy from a constant mix of six grandchildren, four grown sons, and one daughter with four legs and a serious speech impediment – her words sound a lot like barks. I am married to a true “knight in shining armor,” who also loves to write. We live in Northeastern Oklahoma. I love both forms of pool – blue water and green felt. I love riding my bicycle, singing, watching flag and tackle football, being outdoors, gardening, genealogy, sewing, photography, being creative. I absolutely LOVE writing and editing. I am also a lead editor for a traditional publisher.

Please tell us your latest news.
--In December, my sixth short story will be published in: Writers’ Anarchy III, Heroes & Villains. I am hoping to have two novels published in the next six months. I’m also working on some middle grade stories for the younger generation.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
--If I could sit still long enough, I’d write all day. However, chronic lower back pain and daily life don’t allow it. My husband and I often care for our grandchildren, since helping their daddy through chemo and a bone marrow transplant after he was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I’m still trying to rebuild my own health since heart attacks and cancer, so I swim almost every day, year-round. I’m just now starting to find more time for myself. I write whenever and wherever I can. So for now, I’d say I’m part-time.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
--I love promoting things I believe in. I look for unusual angles, though. I am not true to tradition, because it is the new and different that catches the eye, not the same old thing.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?
--When I took a writing course in the early 1980s, the first edit on my story hit me pretty hard. There was so much more than I had learned in school. I argued with my instructor over those edit marks. I’m not proud of it, but I am glad I did. I wanted to understand the reasons for the marks and suggestions received.
--Over the next twenty-five years, I wrote many small articles, newsletters, brochures, etc., and I used what I had learned from that first course. It was very helpful in my growth as a writer. Then, I found some local critique groups and Fiction Writers Group on Facebook and my whole world changed. They didn’t trash my work. They encouraged me and helped me improve my writing. Since then, I have been swallowed up in this world of writing and editing, always wanting to learn more.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
--I’ve had it. I normally get it when my life is overwhelming. To get through it, I write about an object within my current vision range. I construct some story – real or not. I don’t edit. I just write. If that goes well, the stories come back to me. If I’m still having trouble, I do it again.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
--When I was asked to run the Anything Goes anthology project, I was hesitant, but thrilled. I learn so much more when I am helping others. I learn from what I help them understand and I learn from their experience and knowledge, as well. Having to read so many stories over and over gets old, but for me, editing is still fun. It’s like a game the kids play—the ones that tell them to circle everything that’s wrong with the picture. Then, they have to refer to the answers to see if they found them all. I love games. Don’t you?

What is your marketing plan?
--That’s top secret. I like to do things a little differently, sometimes. Watch for novel announcements for Granny Bob’s Front Porch and also for Where’s Johnny? in the next few months. I’m excited about them.

What do you plan for the future?
--Success.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

Any other news you’d like to share?
--The Anything Goes, Volume II project will be underway in December and should be published in the spring of 2015.

Why did you decide to create this collection, and is there a common theme to the stories?
When Fiction Writers Group published their first anthology, Writers’ Anarchy, the idea was to choose a number of authors and let them write and edit their stories, to be submitted by X date. 
I was one of those authors. We all decided we wanted feedback, so we started helping each 
other. It became an exciting group project. By the time we published the anthology, we were 
thrilled at how well our stories had developed and all the extra things we learned about 
marketing and websites. Later in the year, we decided to create a similar experience for other authors in FWG, through an annual publication. With some well-published authors and some newcomers, some great at artwork and others not-so-much, everyone gave and learned 
something and more great friendships were built.

--Theme? No. This anthology is appropriately titled Anything Goes, because it’s more about 
helping authors be great at what they write, not restricting them to specific themes or genres.

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp?
--There is usually a message in my stories. It is often a reminder to think about the 
consequences of your actions before you do things. Sometimes, I like to share little-known information and ideas, by having my characters deal with them, or wish they had. I don’t add 
them as a “lesson,” but as an actual event in the story. People often remember things better 
when they read about someone else doing them.

If you had to choose, which short story writer would you consider a mentor? In this anthology 
series, the great benefit is that everyone is a mentor in some way.

Are there any new short story authors who have grasped your interest?
--I worked very closely with the authors of this anthology and have really enjoyed watching 
their stories develop. I am very interested in works they produce from now on. Some of the 
authors are planning to continue their story lines and I’m excited to learn more about the future 
of their characters.

Do you have any advice for other short story writers?
--If you’re not telling us something we need to know later on, dump it. Short stories aren’t long enough for fluff. And all that stuff you hear about a beginning, middle, and end – it simply 
means to – (beginning) show us the main problem; (middle) feed us subtle clues; (end) solve 
the problem. A good writer will give you every necessary clue and still fool you. Or, you might 
know the ending, but you cannot put the story down until you know exactly how it plays out. It 
might not always be positive, but the problem has to have a solution. Those clues can be 
hidden, but they have to be there. If you are omitting information to trick the readers in the end,
you are cheating your readers and they will not stick around for much more of that. Never lie to 
your readers.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
--Swim, run a critique group, attend conferences, spend time with my grandchildren and my fabulous husband, play pool, clean house, and once in a while, I find time to sleep.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
--I enjoy almost any children’s books, YA, NA, and Cozy Mysteries.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
--I can read past a lot of errors, if I set my mind to it, but inconsistency is very hard for me to accept.

Describe your writing space.
-- I love writing outdoors. I’ll gladly set up my little chair and table, or lie on a blanket. I wrote a lot of Granny Bob's Front Porch while sitting outside in the cold November air. I have a favorite window booth at a local restaurant, where I can be found scribbling in a spiral notebook while I eat a juicy grilled chicken salad for lunch. I have a writing table at home, but I might write while in bed, sitting or lying on the floor, soaking in the tub, etc.. I have written much of my current novel, Where’s Johnny? while sitting in Louisiana cemeteries. I want to put a really tall deer stand in my front lawn and fix it up as my special writing space, so I can be "outside," even in hot or cold weather.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
--I love learning things, then teaching what I know. It’s the same with being an author. My least favorite part is not having enough time, and not having my great health, anymore. I’m working on both issues.




AUTHOR: Anthony Hulse
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Defend With Honour” in Anything Goes, Volume I


Please tell us about yourself. I live in the north east of England, UK, and opted for very early retirement from the steelworks to concentrate on writing full time. I currently have twenty-one books, which I’ve self-published. My genre is thrillers and horror, but have published a friend’s biography and a novel concerning the Holocaust.  

Please tell us your latest news. I had a batch of books ready for publication, but have now submitted them. I am currently writing another novel, and recently received permission from my former publisher to rewrite Nurtured Evil. 

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? Full time. I rise at around five in the morning and sometimes write until early evening. In between I play golf and love to travel.

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing about thirteen years ago. I worked at Corus (British) Steel and my new shift pattern offered me so much time off. I excelled in literature at school and have a vivid imagination. One day I sat down and decided to write a novel.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? Play golf, travel, watch soccer, or other sports.

What are your thoughts about promotion? It is only recently that I have promoted my books, and am now pleased with the rewards.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? I have had only a couple of bad reviews, but is certainly brings you down to earth. One of my reviews from another writer compared me to Stephen King, so I guess that was my biggest compliment.
 
Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? No, never.


Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it? Because of advice and input from Renee’, my writing has improved; especially the POV aspect.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? My former publishers went out of business, so I self publish.

What is your marketing plan? I admit to being hopeless at marketing. I communicate in social media sites, and have been featured in my local newspaper a couple of times, but marketing is my Achilles heel.

What are your current projects? My latest novel, Precarious Infatuations. I’m also writing a biography for a friend, but progress is very slow.

What do you plan for the future? Keep writing. I am also considering moving to Crete; an island I adore.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? 
I also have Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest accounts.

What genre do you write in and why? Psychological thrillers and horror. I love to shock.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. Anything Goes is a series of short stories by a group of multi-international writers. The exceptional camaraderie in the group in which we helped each other, was excellent. There really are some wonderful stories within this book.
   
What gave you the idea for this particular book? Imagination and my wicked ambition to shock.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process? I have an idea of the beginning and ending, and the plot comes to me as I write. 
 
What comes first: the plot or characters? Plot.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? In “Defend with Honour,” my submission in the anthology, I pitied barrister James Queally as he fought with his conscience. In my novels, Billy Woods, a warped serial killer in Insanity Never Sleeps lost his mind due to a series of incidents. He had a similar background to me, so I sort of had a connection with him. Readers have expressed to me that they loved him, even though he murdered so many women.

Which characters were the hardest to develop and why? I don’t seem to have a problem with this. Several of my novels have women as lead characters, but I was comfortable with it.

How did you decide how your characters should look? Yes, after so many novels and characters it’s quite difficult to come up with fresh blood. I do watch people when I’m out socialising, and invariably use them in my books, although I never tell them.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book? Once I have the beginning and ending to the plot, I do lots of research. After I’d completed the initial story, I read it over several times and hopefully eliminated all errors. Editing, I hate. I then submitted it to Renee’ and the group, who suggested changes. After many months of reading and collaborating with the team, we were finally ready for publishing.  

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? For “Defend with Honour,” I researched certain aspects of the law. The rest was my warped imagination…I like to be accurate, so research is important to me. When writing biography, This Blood Red Sea, I did extensive research, due to the age of Ronald Burns and his dwindling memory. I admit to not enjoying writing this. I usually complete a novel in three months. This took eighteen. I once walked the Samaria Gorge in Crete for research. That was gruelling, but well worth it. 

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not? No, I believe I’ve become immune to writing violent scenes. I involve sexual scenes in my books, but in the back of my mind I must remember that friends and family will read it. However, I have no problem writing them.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? The dreaded editing. Going over it so many times is tedious, but the team was resolute and most helpful.   

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? “Defend with Honour” took me approximately two hours to write the initial draft. I am a prolific writer, but of course the editing slows the process. It takes me three months for a typical eighty thousand word novel. I used to write twelve hours per day, but have since slowed down. Social websites are mainly to blame. 

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release? Whispers of the Dead is my latest release. The story concerns a psychic, whose accurate predictions have horrific consequences. I anticipate that Precarious Infatuations will be published within two months. In all, I have twenty-one published novels. A list of my books can be found at this link. They are also available on Amazon and most other online retail stores. 

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? If you opt for traditional publishing, be prepared for a long, long wait. I would advise self-publishing, as you can determine your own price and market your own wares. However, you must present your book without a blemish.   

What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels? The time scale, 
to quote the obvious. 
I now rarely write short stories, but this was a welcome momentum variation.

Why did you decide to create this collection, and is there a common theme to the stories? No. 
I try to vary my short stories and experiment in a vast array of genres.

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp? I suppose there is. The law, although morally correct, does not always generate a justifiable outcome.

If you had to choose, which short story writer would you consider a mentor? Stephen King.

What book are you reading now? Is it a collection? What do you like, or not, about it? Rebecca Nolan’s The Dry and Ted Atoka's Dead Fall to follow. The books were gifted to me by my
author friends. Excellent writers.

Are there any new short story authors who have grasped your interest? To be quite honest, I do 
not read as much as I should, but I would list every writer who contributed to Anything Goes.

Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated? At school when I was fifteen,
my essay about the aftermath of a nuclear attack was read out to the school. I honestly did not 
write again until some twenty-seven years later. I now feel I’ve wasted so many years.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories? I try to be original, but 
lurking in the recesses of your mind is a past film or book. To eliminate them from my thoughts 
is difficult.

Who is your favorite short story author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 
Seriously, I'm not familiar with short story authors, apart from the wonderful writers in Anything
Goes and other anthologies I’ve been involved with. I would nominate every one of them. 
 
Do you have any advice for other short story writers? Persevere and never give up.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Play golf, travel, or watch sport.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? I rarely read, but recently have been gifted books from author friends. I like controversial books that shock.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Too much description.

What book are you currently reading? What do you like or not like about it? I’m currently reading a couple of gifted books from author friends. Rebecca Nolan’s The Dry and then Ted Atoka’s Dead Fall. Great authors. I have also had the pleasure of reading White Walls by Hayley Coates, Mercury’s Secret by Tobias Roote, and Ted Atoka’s Villa Paradiso.

What books have most influenced your life? Alive moved me; a book gifted to me from my father. A book I remember fondly from my childhood was Tom Sawyer. Schindler’s Ark is a modern day book that made me realise how fortunate I am.
  
What seven words would you use to describe yourself? Insomniac, obsessive cleanliness, generous, wasteful, intelligent, and Adonis. Okay, so I made the last one up.

Describe your writing space. I write mainly in my lounge on my laptop. Occasionally in the garden.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? I love writing and the flexible times to indulge in my pleasure. My least favourite part, I suppose, is when I complete my novel. It’s like you’re deserting your characters and saying goodbye to a dear friend. 

What is the strangest thing a reader asked you? My fiancĂ©e was suspicious of me when we first started going out. She read Insanity Never Sleeps and wondered what sort of a person could write such a violent and frightening book. Also, one of my friends asked if he could be in one of my novels; something I never usually entertain. Anyway, he featured as a private investigator in The Abduction of Grace. 
    
What was your most embarrassing moment as an author? Probably reading my novels I published with a POD publisher some years ago. I cringe even now when I read my books, but I suppose it’s normal with most authors. We always believe we can improve.



AUTHOR: Chasity Nicole
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Miss Elleanora’s Boarding School of Buried Dreams” in Anything Goes, Volume I

Please tell us about yourself. I started writing in high school and my love for the art continued to grow. I never thought about publishing until my family and fiancé pushed me to do so. I later joined Fiction Writers Group on Facebook and joined the anthology project Anything Goes. I continue to write in many other anthology projects and work on my novels while still in college.

Please tell us your latest news. My novel, Wickedly Misunderstood, was released February 11th, 2014. Followed by Anything Goes. I have a few other short stories in the works with other projects but release is still undetermined. I’m also working on Book two of my trilogy series.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I suppose I’m a part-time writer and a full-time college student. I try and write an hour out of each day but sometimes that doesn’t necessarily work out the way I hope it too.

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing in high school with my best friend. Then it was all for fun but my love for writing grew and grew.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book, as my short story in Anything Goes was brought on by a dream I had one night. The dream was so vivid that I simply had to write it.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I’m messing with graphics, or drawing, or reading. Normally I’m doing something that is creative because I love creating things. Sometimes I’ll be playing a video game though.

What are your thoughts about promotion? It’s all how you look at it. For a self-published author, promotion can sometimes be hard to do. And sometimes there is a feeling of wanting to give up and let someone else do it for you. But it can be fun if you look at it from a fun aspect.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? I’ve been flat out told that someone would never read something I wrote before. I brushed the comment off and kept on going. Biggest compliment would be with my novel and someone saying it had potential to be the next big fantasy genre. And now having people tell me I need to finish my second novel because they hate the cliff hanger.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? All writer’s face writer’s block from time to time. I dealt with it while writing my story for Anything Goes. I got through it by reading the other author’s stories and helping them. Eventually able to pick mine back up and finish it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it? I learned more than words can describe with Anything Goes. I figured out my weak areas and now can find them when I’m writing and I wouldn’t be able to do that without being a part of the project. Anything Goes helped me grow so much more as a writer.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Anything Goes is published by The Fiction Writers Group, and I came in contact with them through the Fiction Writers Group on Facebook. They are a great group of people who really help writers when they get stuck. As for other works from me they are all self-published.

What is your marketing plan? I really didn’t have one at first. In the beginning I just wrote and published. Now that I’m working on my second novel and a bunch of anthologies I realized what I can do to market my novels better. But my plan still has some gaps in it and I’m still working it all out.

What are your current projects? Sins of the Past, Valhaven Island Trilogy Book Two, Darkly Never After, Panthology, Thirteen Two, I’ll stop the list at that.

What do you plan for the future? I really don’t have a set out plan. Graduate college, get married next year, finish book two. Not really a plan, just things coming up. I roll with the curves life throws my way.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChasityNicole?ref_type=bookmark

What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels? Writing 
short stories definitely takes less time, versus the time spent writing a novel. I can write a short
story a lot quicker because I can plan it out quicker in my head versus one for a novel. Before
I even start writing a short story I plot it out and know exactly when something is going to 
happen so I can get from start to finish.


Why did you decide to create this collection, and is there a common theme to the stories? 
There really isn't a common theme. We all had a common word count and a common goal to
write amazing stories for a great anthology. All of the stories are fun and catchy and mesh 
well with one another. But they aren’t totally similar as far as genre or theme.


Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp? Not really. I guess a  
message could be beware of boarding schools with evil headmistresses. But really there is 
nothing that could be seen as a moral from my story in Anything Goes.

If you had to choose, which short story writer would you consider a mentor? I’d say 
Edgar Allen Poe. Not only for a short story mentor but as a poet mentor as well. I’ve always
wanted to write poetry, but it just doesn't come naturally to me as it does other writers. Plus I
think he’d be a pretty cool mentor and he’s one of my favorites.

What book are you reading now? Is it a collection? What do you like, or not, about it? 
Currently reading Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. It isn’t a short story collection but it is really good. I’ve never read anything by Fitzpatrick until now and I’ve been hooked since page one. 
I like how she keeps me on my toes and that I can’t figure out what is coming around the 
corner.

Are there any new short story authors who have grasped your interest? I love reading the 
short stories by Laura K. Cowan. However, being a part of other short story anthology 
projects I can say that others have piqued my interest but don’t have any large short story composites out there.

Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated? Originally it was a
horror short story project that got me started writing short stories. Anything Goes got me to 
pursue other anthology projects and here I am.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories? Having to stay
in a certain word count, especially with anthologies. Most times I can get my story finished in a particular word count. But sometimes I run a tad over. I did with my story in Anything Goes and Renee’ helped me trim it up to fall in the word count.

Who is your favorite short story author and what is it that really strikes you about their 
work? 
Edgar Allen Poe. There is just something about his stories that captivate me. I’m not sure what 
it is, but I love everything I’ve ever read by Poe.


What is the hardest part of writing short stories? Word count is the hardest, which I stated 
above why. Also another issue may be when I start short stories they end up running into 
perfect novel ideas and I end up turning them into novels versus short stories.

Do you have any advice for other short story writers? Keep following your dreams, 
because if you can dream it, you can succeed.

What is the strangest thing a reader asked you? I don’t think I’ve had anything really strange asked of me from a reader. I’ve had a few readers swoon over some characters in my novel but never anything strange asked of me. Now I’ve been asked strange things about being a writer period. The weirdest being, “You’re still writing that novel?”

What was your most embarrassing moment as an author? Not knowing what to write when asked to sign my novel. I have my signature down and everything but when it was put in front of me I just totally went blank.





AUTHOR: Dae O'Keagan
SHORT STORY TITLE: “NIGHT” in Anything Goes, Volume I

About me:
I am creative. I drew story pictures from very young. I love making art, photography, and writing. I worked mainly in home healthcare of different types for many years and retired from that to do occasional errands for shut-ins. I am single and have four grown children and seven grandchildren. I live in northeast Oklahoma, Rogers County. 

Do you write full-time? How do you organize?
I am associated with several great writer groups and a few conferences. I have an author page on Facebook, and on LinkedIn. I have recently been writing full-time. Though I grab whatever free time I can, my best writing time is in the evening, at my desk.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing for earnest in the early 1980's when I was traveling in construction jobs with my former husband. The bug bit and, though I spent nine years in roofing construction with him, I went back to writing every chance I got.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I dabbled in short stories from very young, but the first book I went at for earnest was inspired by time on my hands and a world I had mulled while in high school. The ideas never leave you.

What do you do when you're not writing/editing or thinking about it?
I would love to be painting, or other art, when not working on writing projects, but am still setting up, in my new home, space for that. I attend writer groups, watch some TV, read, cook, attend church functions, and occasionally watch my grandchildren.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
Promotion has many outlets, now. I think one can use electronic, local news, and associates, as long as one is respectful of the platforms where discussion is open but promotion is not allowed. Blogging is probably good, but takes time.

What has been your toughest criticism and biggest compliment?
The toughest criticism came from my very astute and helpful sister, Dawn. She explained why my early writing was bad and helped me fix it. From my associates, now, I get the same stern critiques. My appreciated compliments come from the same associates who give kudos to my ideas and imagery. These lessons most definitely help the creation of the next work.

Do you get writer's block? How do you handle it?
I have not had writer's block, mostly; but am now stumped on beginning the next children's story. To get past it, I research or read things in the line of what I want to do.

What did you learn from writing your book?
What one learns from writing would fill volumes. I write mostly fiction, so I learn ever better writing and ways to tell a story.

Who's your publisher? How did you connect?
The publisher of the present book is Fiction Writers Group, cover and layout by Alex Hurst.

What is your marketing plan?
Marketing comes from all the electronic sources, CreateSpace, Amazon, word of mouth in social media. 

What are your current projects?
I am currently writing three ongoing novellas and a science fiction saga/series. I have eight currently finished short stories, some sf, some mainstream, some children's fantasy. I want to illustrate my children's stories, but have not yet gotten known, in this field, for my art.

Future plans, news?
I want to do more painting and illustrating, but continuing writing is my first love.

Where can people find you?
Websites:

What genre do you write in; why?
I write mainly science fiction, but also mainstream and children's fantasy. I have always loved sf and surreal psychological stories/ideas. I am beginning to draw more from real life ideas, especially in short stories.


About the current book:
Anything Goes is an anthology containing a variety of great stories from around the world. I placed my horror/sf short story in this anthology so that I could get more of my work—and name—out there. The Fiction Writers group on Facebook puts out regular anthologies and they published this one.

What gave you the idea for this book?
The idea for my short story had mulled in my head for a while. Some of the ideas I'm finally writing on have been in my head for years.

Do you outline? What's your process?
I don't outline. I create characters and they run away with me, though I usually choose the place/world I want them in. Because I work from character and circumstance, I have to spin harder on developing good plot. In the past, I have had the most consternation over the character most like myself, but I am finally getting to let go of the fear and self-critic. The hardest for me has been female humans because I had to learn to find myself worthy and because I didn't know any strong women when I began.

Character development?
I develop character from quirks I want them to have (sometimes personal) and from people I know, including physicality. I have done a lot of research for my sf series, mostly for language/concepts of another world.

Do you write violent or highly sexual scenes? Why?
I can write sexual scenes, but want them to have purpose. I have taken out violent sex because I need to know more, to portray it truthfully.

What was hardest about writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my first book has been learning to write well. I don't want my name on crap and I want others to want to read it. The time it is taking for the first book is years because it's been school. My newer works take, maybe, months. In the beginning writing short stories was harder. Now ideas just come--some things that have been brewing for years. There is finally the confidence and maturity to put them together.

What bugs you in a story?
I have always loved to read. I like well-written stories with good characters or interesting premises. What bugs me in a story is bad or sloppy writing. A good premise still needs to be written well. I like everything from Stephen King to Daphne du Maurier to Isaac Asimov.

What books have most influenced your life?
I have been most influenced by the Bible, science fiction, and writing that puts people in time and place, making whatever world it is, become real. 

Seven words to describe me?
I describe myself as creative, introverted, people-loving, compassionate, world-aware, empathetic, and morose.

My writing space:
My writing space has always been a desk of some sort except for the years in the truck. Now, in my bedroom, is a long desk with space for computer and writing materials. It faces a lighted corner but there is a window near.

Your favorite and least favorite part of being an author?
I write because I must. Creating these people and their lives is a compulsion of love for the process. The least fun is rewriting and editing for the 10th--whatever--time. The most embarrassing moment is reading aloud something very personal.



AUTHOR:  E.W. Morrison
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Billie” in Anything Goes, Volume I

Please tell us about yourself. 
I’m a 39-year-old who lives in the Hudson Valley, NY and works as an image scanner for a law firm in Newburgh, NY. 

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was 17 years old, because I read The Dark Half by Stephen King, and I thought, why the heck not? So I wrote a story called “The Fighting Man” and never turned back.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write about how a family dealt with drugs.  I wanted the younger brother Brian telling the story about how his older sister had a crazy life with drugs.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I read science fiction, fantasy, horror and other genres.  I like to hike, camp, and listen to music.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
I think it’s a great idea. You need to get your story out there so everyone will know who are you and what kind of story you’re writing. 

What are your current projects?
I’m going to write a sci-fi epic novel called The Starfighters, and other sci-fi stories that I want to do is called Lost Earth, and Someone That You Lost.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
You find me on my author’s page on Facebook- E.W. Morrison and also I’m on Twitter at EricWilly

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp?
There is no perfect family.

What book are you reading now? Is it a collection? What do you like, or not, about it?
I’m reading The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  It is a trilogy.  I like it 
because it's about vampires in the modern day and I always enjoy reading about them. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated?
I was reading Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, and others.

Who is your favorite short story author and what is it that really strikes you about their
work?
My favorite short story author is Edgar Allan Poe, because his writing is so dark and Goth-like  
that when you read his short stories, you are at the edge of your seat and you know what 
happens, but it will still grab you and scare you at the same time.


What is the hardest part of writing short stories?
The hardest part of writing a short story is the ending, because you really don’t want it to end, 
but you have to have a great ending that the reader will like.

What books have most influenced your life?
The Dark Half by Stephen King, About A Boy by Nick Hornby, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?
Friendly, easy-going, hard worker, Funny, good listener, smart, and likable  




AUTHOR: Gene La Viness
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Dad Was Out to Ruin My Life” in Anything Goes, Volume I

Please tell us about yourself. I am a fifty-five year old vertical lathe operator.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I am a part time writer and usually find time to read or write at night.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I’ve been spending most of my spare time reading.

What are your thoughts about promotion? Promotion is essential to create a good reader base.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? I have spells where even if I have ideas, the words aren’t there. I seem to be going through one of those phases now.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Fiction Writers Group. My wife was a member and I decided to join.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? https://www.facebook.com/Author.GeneLaViness

What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels? About 35,000 
words or more. Short stories are much more condensed and usually have fewer scenes.

Why did you decide to create this collection, and is there a common theme to the stories? I just wanted to try to write a fiction story.


Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated? My wife and two of my writer friends were involved in the anthology.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories?  Writing short stories 
is easier for me than writing longer stories. It’s much easier for me to cut words than to add
them.

Do you have any advice for other short story writers? Write the story first, then worry about the
word count and editing.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? It bugs me when I can’t turn the editor off.

What book are you currently reading? What do you like or not like about it? I just finished reading a Fall From Grace by Tammy Lynn Acuff. I believe I have the first book she autographed. The story line kept moving and held my attention. I didn’t like the text being so close to the binding.

Describe your writing space. I do the majority of my writing in the bedroom at a cluttered desk on an old computer. I usually write a little bit, then get up and pace a little, then write some more.



AUTHOR: M.M. Schill

SHORT STORY TITLE: “The Tobitsu of Sawa’ko, A Folklore Retold” in Anything Goes, Volume I

Please tell us about yourself.
--I’m a fantasy writer and martial artist. I currently dwell in Jacksonville, Florida with my husband and dogs. I’ve been working in the publishing industry since college, first as a slush editor, then as a copy editor. The last few years I’ve been working full-time publishing my own work and editing freelance.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
--I’m a full-time writer. I typically write 6 days a week. I have a daily goal of 2k words per day. I write in the morning, so I have time for my family in the evening time.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
--I’m a martial artist and ranking member of the United State Aikido Federation.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
--Promotion is key for all authors, especially indie. However, I think there is an epidemic of writers promoting only to other writers, instead of heading out of their shells and going out to find, and earn, new readers. I think this has been damaging the writing community, especial self-pubs and indies.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?
--The toughest criticism I was ever given was that my name (Maggie May) sounded like I should be writing Amish Romance novels. I’ve gone by M.M. ever since. The biggest compliment I’ve gotten was when my husband actually wanted to read my stories. He’s my number one reader—I’m pleased I can produce something he wants to follow.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
--I frequently have writer’s block. I get through it by writing. I’m not sure if I believe in real writer’s block, maybe just writer’s procrastination.

What are your current projects?
--I currently have four short stories out awaiting publication in anthologies. I’m working on a serial Weird West Tale with my husband right now. I’m also in the middle of an edit job for a friend’s, soon to be released, novel. I’m also working on a novel of my own right now. I’m happy to crack into this new novel and the novels to follow it. I’ve been world building for this story for about four years.

What do you plan for the future?
--Write, eat, drink, try not to get killed in the process.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
www.facebook.com/mmschill
twitter: @maggiemayschill

What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels?
--Short stories are shorter...no, seriously! I’m not being a smart ass. So many novelists forget 
this part. They are shorter. You have to start as close to the end of the story as possible. In my 
years of slush pile reading, I would find that short story writers were obsessed with back story 
and world building—it is a 5k word story, not a German-epic!

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp?
--No. It does have a theme, however I don’t set out writing with a theme in mind. I believe that 
themes are the natural byproduct of a well plotted story.

What book are you reading now? Is it a collection? What do you like, or not, about it?
--Jim Butcher’s Codex series. I prefer to read epic fantasy, specifically series that span several  
books. I like this series because it was based on a bet. I encourage you to look up the long 
story of how this book series came into being.


Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated?
--I wanted money, and long fiction takes longer to sell. I can, however, sell short fiction quickly
in between working on my long fiction. Long fiction has always been my goal. But I’ve grown 
to love the unique energy that a short piece holds. If a novel is a marriage, a short story is a
kiss in the dark. There is something nice about that, I’m finding.

Do you have any advice for other short story writers?
--As a former slush pile editor, I encourage writers to make sure they have a story, not just a 
series of ’happenings’ when they are writing short fiction. I mean, I encourage that there be a 
start, middle, and ending. Too often I find that people are writing short stories based on a cool character they want to showcase, a neat snippet of dialogue, or worse, (gags) they have a truly poetic theme, which I’ve never been deep enough to grasp, they want to push. None of that 
amount to a story by themselves. Short story writers need to simply write stories. That should 
be the goal, every time!

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
--I don’t like when a writer abuses the reader. They typically abuse the reader via the characters. I don’t like senseless torture, death, or malice to be done to a character. Tragedy without meaning. I’ve heard the argument that life is often tragic and makes little sense. I say nuts to that! I’ll read a newspaper if I want realism. I want the escape. I want to read about a world where things make sense, where there is cause and justice. I want to escape to a better working world than the one I’m trying to ignore around me. Even when there is tragedy in a tale I like to feel assured that I’m in a world where there is meaning behind the suffering, and justice…even if it is only black-justice.

Describe your writing space.
--A kitchen table, covered in the various items I use throughout the day. I typically have two Japanese Chin asleep on my feet. I purposely plop my writing space in the middle of my home, right in the dead-center of my life, to keep it part of my daily habit. I doubt I’d be as productive if I viewed writing as something separate, or secret, locked away in a back office or den.



AUTHOR: Sanjaya Kumar Mishra
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Time Period” in Anything Goes, Volume I

Please tell us about yourself. – I work as geologist, exploring ground water in underdeveloped areas in India. However, reading and writing has been my passion.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? As I said, I work as a geologist. So, I am a part-time writer. Allocating time for writing hasn’t been a great problem for me. I get ample time to spare during my field trips.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I spend most of my leisure time reading and listening to music.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? I do fall into bouts of writer’s block. I try to get rid of it by going for a long walk.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? The Fiction Writers Group is the publisher of my latest book Anything Goes Volume 1. I connected them through the Fiction Writers Group in Facebook.

What are your current projects? I am also part of the new anthology ‘Heroes and Villains’ by Fiction Writers Group.

What do you plan for the future? I am working on my debut novel these days.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. At present, I am promoting the anthology ‘Anything Goes Volume 1’. My story ‘Time Period’ has been published in it. The anthology is the creation of some vibrant authors and its project co-coordinator Renee’ La Viness.

What gave you the idea for this particular book? The administrators of the Fiction Writers Group planned the book with a view to nurture and showcase the talents of some of its members. The authors of the anthology helped each other in developing the stories.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process? I don’t prepare an outline before writing. This is primarily due to the fact that my writings are mostly driven by some inspiration. It may be in the form of an encounter with a stranger, a dilapidated building in a remote, secluded place or the sudden change in the weather.

What comes first: the plot or characters? It’s mostly the plot. Yes, at times, the characters develop as I go on writing.

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? My story didn’t require much research. I just came across a person during one of my field trips to a village and based the story on it.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Giving the story its final shape; the chopping and adding. I mean the whole editing process.

What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels? From a writer’s 
point of view, the big challenge is to ‘how and when to end your story’. Unlike the case of novel  
writing, in case of short stories, the writer has to encapsulate the ethos in less number of words.

Why did you decide to create this collection, and is there a common theme to the stories? There 
was no common theme to the stories. The authors were given the freedom to choose their own theme.

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp? I can’t exactly claim that there 
exists a message in my stories. However, like most writers, I do strive to connect to the readers through some underlying meaning in it.

If you had to choose, which short story writer would you consider a mentor? It would be difficult
to choose a name. However, stories by Manoj Das have greatly touched me.


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories? As I have already said, when and how to end the story.


What do you do when you’re not writing? Being a professional hydrogeologist, I am engaged in my work. My hobbies include listening to music, homeopathy and to certain extent astrology.


What book are you currently reading? What do you like or not like about it? At present, I am reading ‘Baumgartner’s Bombay’ by Anita Desai. What I like most about the book is that the author has successfully encapsulated the entire sanguinary twentieth century through the life of an insignificant person.




AUTHOR: T.D. Harvey
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Harvest” in Anything Goes, Volume I


Please tell us about yourself. I am a British dark fiction writer. I write within most genres but my stories always take on a dark edge. I cannot plan or plot my stories. Instead I am a discovery writer. I get an idea, sit in front of my laptop and write. My subconscious takes the reigns, writing the story with no conscious effort from me. In fact, I find myself reading the story as it is written, being surprised and delighted by the events that unfold before me. It’s a wonderful experience.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I write part-time and work full-time as a business analyst. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia, a debilitating chronic illness that causes body-wide pain. This means my writing time is limited. My day job pays the bills so I must prioritise that over all else. I can write as long as I can sit at my laptop, but I can only edit and rewrite when I am feeling well. That causes a bottleneck in my production. I have plenty of stories written as first drafts, but not edited. I do have an editor, but I need to do some editing before I send my work to her. That’s frustrating.

When and why did you begin writing? I have been writing stories since I first put pen to paper. One of the first stories I can remember writing was in primary school at the age of eight. In 1982 the Mary Rose, King Henry VIII warship, was raised from the sea and housed in my hometown of Portsmouth. I wrote a story about the ship going down and the only thing I remember is the final scene where the tips of the masts sank below the waves. My story was displayed in the school for weeks. Around the same time, writing became a form of catharsis, enabling me to work through issues by fictionalising them and writing them out.

What inspired you to write your first book? In 2009 I was on sick leave due to a relapse of my condition. Desperate to get back to work, I started writing short stories again to encourage my brain to work. I was then told of National Novel Writing Month and decided to give it a go. I knew having to write everyday would help me build my strength, concentration and tolerance for staring at a screen, as I work on a PC all day. I had no idea what to write about until I sat at my PC. Then, I remembered a dragon on the wall outside my bedroom as a child and ‘Paper Dragons and Shadow Demons’ sprang to life.

What are your thoughts about promotion? I find promotion difficult. My writing time is already limited by my health and promotion eats into that precious time. Having said that, I love to engage with my readers and enjoy listening to their feedback, both good and bad.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? When I decided to take my writing seriously and do something with it, I joined a writing group on Facebook. My health is such that joining a local writing group isn’t feasible so online groups were a welcome discovery. I asked a few people to read a flash fiction story and discovered I was doing it all wrong. The things I had learned at school were frowned upon in fiction writing. I had to re-learn how to write. It was a learning curve that seemed impossible, but I worked hard and found my way.

The biggest compliment I have received is when people have told me they were transported to the scene I described. That’s the best I can hope for, that my readers leave their life and become absorbed into the life of my characters. If they can smell, hear, see, feel and taste what my characters can, I’ve done my job.

I value constructive criticism. It informs everything I do. I want to be the best writer I can be and feedback, both good and bad enables me to move ever closer to that goal.

What are your current projects? I am currently working on a short story anthology, Panthology that contains stories with the theme of trousers or pants. It’s been a fun project and we hope to publish by the end of the year. I am editing my first novel, Paper Dragons and Shadow Demons. This is a middle grade dark fiction/fantasy story about the thing all children fear, the monster under the bed. I am also writing the second novel, Children of the Hidden Realm, in that ‘Hidden Realm trilogy’. I have more ideas than time to write them. I have several more short stories in anthologies due out this year and others that I’m working on for submissions.

What do you plan for the future? I will continue to write as much as I can. In an ideal world I would drop my day job to part-time hours, giving myself more time to write. I have several novels planned and will continue to write short stories and flash fiction.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Harvey/e/B00ISLQ2FU
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/T.D.HarveyAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TDHarveyAuthor

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp? I like to explore humanity. 
Both the good and the bad fascinate me and I try to explore a facet in every story. Sometimes 
it is obvious, like in my recent story,  “The Family Joke,” where a father realises how incredible
his son is. Sometimes, it's more subtle like in "The Story of Billy Jamieson” where a boy is 
returned years after being kidnapped but not a day older and you see the way his family
responds to his strange return.

If you had to choose, which short story writer would you consider a mentor? My fellow authors
in Anything Goes all my mentors for different reasons. We were a group of writers with varying 
degrees of experience. We worked together for months writing and honing our stories, working together to improve our skills as writers and to produce a quality product. I learned so much 
from every member that they truly are my mentors.

Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated? I’ve always written short
stories and vignettes. 
  
Writing a novel was a big step for me, writing shorts is like coming home.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories? There is real skill in 
telling a story with a limited word count. The shorter the story, the less time you have to ensure 
your readers are invested in your characters. Being concise can remove the emotion and drive
of a story. Taking out too many adjectives, or too much explanation can leave a story at such 
bare bones that it no longer holds life. There is a fine balance between too little and too much.
I particularly enjoy writing flash fiction and drabbles because of this. The bonus to all this 
is of course being able to hone your story to the essentials. It stops you adding filler, including
prose that is unnecessary and generally giving your reader too much information. It teaches 
you to identify the important parts of the story and the important language to use. Ditch 
everything else. Someone who can write short fiction well has learned valuable lessons for 
writing and improving novel-length fiction.

Who is your favorite short story author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 
Angel Cox is a fabulous dark fiction writer. Her stories come from the heart and make you think
on a much deeper level than you would expect. Lynn Mohney has a wonderful imagination and
her stories are delightful. When I step into one of her stories I am transported to another world. I
can see great things coming from her in the future.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I have two Tonkinese cats, Kike (Keekay) and Kai, who keep me busy. They often fight my laptop for lap space—and usually win. I also have three fish tanks that need regular care with a Fahaka puffer fish called Clarkson who is a real character. It’s no wonder puffer fish are called water dogs. I am a school governor for a local special school so that takes up a good chunk of my time. It’s rewarding work and I love the school’s ethos that every moment counts and the disabled should be seen for their abilities rather than their disabilities. I love photography when I’m well enough to go out and about. When I’m not, I watch movies and TV dramas. Every night I go to sleep listening to an audiobook. That’s the best bit of the day.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? Sharing my stories has to be the best part. It’s the final part of a contract between you and your story. As author I conceive the idea, write the story, put it through editing and finally publish. The final part of that process is out of my hands. It must be read. That’s what a story is born for, to be read or heard.

My least favourite part has to be editing. Writing comes easily to me. Editing does not. I work hard at it because of this and believe it to be the most important part of my process. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though.



AUTHOR: Wayne Hills
SHORT STORY TITLE: “Natural State” in Anything Goes, Volume I

Please tell us about yourself. Born in the waning months of 1959, I am a true child of the 60’s. Father to an entrepreneurial daughter, step-father to two artistic sons, and grandfather to four boys who give me joy every day.

Please tell us your latest news. Competing in the 2014 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction challenge. Planning on my first solo collection of short stories early next year.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I prefer to think of my writing as squeeze-time. With a full time job as a Project Manager for a leading security company, home-owner, rescuer or shelter dogs, and avid motorcyclist, I squeeze in writing as often as I can give up sleep to do it.

When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been writing since my teenage years although I just recently started sharing the stories. I’ve always done it because I like to. I’m not driven to, not compelled by some unseen force or voices that only I can hear. I enjoy seeing the stories flow onto the screen as the movies play in my mind.

What inspired you to write your first book? Sadly, the brutally bad stuff I’ve seen others putting out there and then calling themselves authors. If those hacks can do it, I certainly can.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? See my answer above. I also watch an unhealthy amount of television and listen to NPR. Quality TV I should add. You won’t find any, “Unreal House Nit-wits of the American Wasteland.”

What are your thoughts about promotion? To paraphrase someone much more famous than I, all promotion is good promotion. I’m doing this interview, aren’t I?

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? Toughest was my first rejection. I was a stage actor for several years, so I’ve had my share of being rejected, but for some reason, my first literary rejection was tough. Having someone I went to school with, who is a respected illustrator, review one of my shorts and actually understand the socio-political meaning behind it better that I did, made me very happy.  Both made me strive to become a better story teller.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? Not really. When I don’t have inspiration right off the bat, I’ll just free associate and go back and edit what I’ve written. Always gets me going again.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it? Nothing in particular, no.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Fiction Writers Group on Facebook. I love the people in that group, great collection of supportive writers.

What is your marketing plan? Respond to every interview request. Seriously I don’t have anything planned yet.

What are your current projects? The aforementioned competition, several shorts in anthologies coming out later this year, just started a Halloween Drabble anthology that I’ll be posting a submission call for. It’s my first attempt at being an editor.

What do you plan for the future? Next year I’m putting all my published work together into a collection and publishing it. I hope to also finish a novel I’ve been working on for a while.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWayneHills


Any other news you’d like to share? I’m a lifelong NY JETS fan who believes the team made a major mistake by signing Michael Vick. Not writing related, but I put that out there every chance I get. The man shouldn’t have the privilege of playing in the NFL.

What genre do you write in and why? Literary Fiction. Real life makes the best stories. I’ll write other genres when a submission or competition calls for it.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. Anything Goes is a collection of short stories by authors from around the world. It’s published by The Fiction Writers Group, a Facebook group that’s a sister to the Writer’s Anarchy website.

What gave you the idea for this particular book? I decided that I wanted to write a collection of shorts with each type of creature featured in standard horror stories. I had a ghost, a vampire, and a zombie story. I needed a werewolf story.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process? Not usually for shorts, I’m a pantser. Just throw everything out on the screen then go back and edit out the crap.

What comes first: the plot or characters? Characters. I let them tell me what their stories are.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? In this particular work, “Natural State,” I love the girl, she was born into a bad situation and thought she found a way out. Hate the doctor, because he’s fairly evil and not really human. Fear his sister, she’s really wacky. Pity the main character, he’s always been a loser. Most of my stories have characters like him.

Which characters were the hardest to develop and why? The girl. As a dude, I have the biggest hurdles writing women.

How did you decide how your characters should look? I didn’t, they look the way they do when they pop into my head.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book? This was an unusual process because of the way the AG anthology came together. All the writers offered advice and helped with the editing for each other. My story is good only because I had the help of dozens of very creative people.

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? Mostly into the scientific names for some things. Nothing really deep.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not? Nope. Child of the 60’s, remember? Nam on the TV every night, the feminist and sexual revolutions seeped into my psyche as I grew up.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? The seemingly endless edits. All worthwhile, all made it better. I was fairly sick of my characters by the end, but am very pleased at how it turned out.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? My novel has been going on for close to five years but I know most don’t take breaks to write shorts at the drop of the hat, like I do. I really enjoy writing little stories.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release? I have shorts in several anthologies. Most can be found on the Writers Anarchy website. Google it, you’ll find them.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? Write, don’t edit. Get it all on the page then go make it pretty. Don’t sweat which word fits the feeling perfectly, if you do you’ll be writing a novel for five years.

What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels? Shorts have less 
character development and fewer, if any, sub-plots.

Why did you decide to create this collection, and is there a common theme to the stories? I’m 
not the creator, just a contributor. There is no common theme, hence the Anything Goes title.

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp? Society and government as
we know it is doomed. But the beer is good and there’s some really good TV shows out there. 
Love your family and be productive to society. As the pawns in this game, there’s not much 
else you can do and still be happy about it.

If you had to choose, which short story writer would you consider a mentor? King. Mostly 
because I’ve read his book, On Writing.

What book are you reading now? Is it a collection? What do you like, or not, about it? Several 
books actually by fellow FWG members. I like that I know the authors and can ask them about
the stories, helps me learn the craft.  

I don’t like when I see errors that really should have been caught before publishing. Diminishes my respect for them.   

Are there any new short story authors who have grasped your interest? Too many to mention. 
Read the table of contents from any of the Writers Anarchy books.

Do you recall how your interest in writing short stories originated? I was working on my novel 
and saw a submission call for a short story, I decided to give it a try and have written a dozen 
since then. I enjoy the format.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories? Word count restraints. 

I always seem to go over the specified length and have to cut.



Who is your favorite short story author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Don’t have one.

What is the hardest part of writing short stories? Just the word count.

Do you have any advice for other short story writers? Write now, edit later. Watch the movie in
your head and write it down, don’t try to pause it or understand its meaning.  Clean it up, and fit
it to length when the story is told.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Rescuing shelter dogs from high-kill shelters, riding motorcycles, working, doing housework.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? Interesting characters.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Plot holes, bad or illogical story flow, unedited work.

What book are you currently reading? What do you like or not like about it? Pattern Ship by Tobias Roote. Love the universe he’s created. Well thought out story and very well told. Nothing I don’t like about it.

What books have most influenced your life? The Phantom Tollbooth. I read it when I was young and the way it played in my mind changed the way I thought about books. And A Brief History of Everything because it made me see the world in a different light.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself? The Boys Scout creed: Helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, brave, clean, and reverent.

Describe your writing space. Cloth covered reclining seat, usually in the handicap section because there’s more leg room. Most of the time it’s a seat on the NJ Transit 192 bus into New York City from my home in New Jersey. (I do give it up if a real handicap person gets on.) It’s the only time I can be truly left to my thoughts and write.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? Seeing my name in print and knowing I didn’t have to pay anyone to have it printed. Editing, I friggen hate editing,

What is the strangest thing a reader asked you? I had someone ask me, “Is this a true story?” It was about a Chinese girl in the old west who killed herself by lying on train tracks during an attempt to rob the train. It was flattering actually that she thought it could have been true.

What was your most embarrassing moment as an author? When I revealed a strange fetish and none of my family believed it was just something my character liked.