Posts Tagged ‘online magazine’

I meant to write this post last night, but it was late when the opportunity to write it came along. And then I’ve been busy with one thing or another since nine this morning, so I haven’t had a chance to actually blog something until just now. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It’s even worse when you’re still recovering form a hectic weekend with not much sleep and you’re feeling a little under the weather, as I am. In fact, I’m going to be spending the rest of the day indoors most likely so I can recover. Maybe I’ll even go to bed early. I got my homework done early and applied to some jobs, so God knows I could use the rest.

Well anyway, during the past couple of days I thought I’d change things up and write some flash fiction pieces. I did this for a couple of reasons, including the short story I was working on wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to go and I needed a break, I wanted to get some more work accomplished before I started editing Rose and I know of a website that specializes in horror flash fiction. Plus I had a few ideas for horror flash fiction stories and I thought I’d try to get them written out, seeing as they’re so short (if you don’t know what flash fiction is, it’s usually a story under a thousand words. Hard to pull off and still be compelling, but I guess that’s part of the fun).

So I went on that website and read through some of their most recent publications to get an idea of what they looked for. Once I had a basic idea of what they wanted, I started writing, and as of last night I had three flash fiction pieces written out. Two of them take famous fairy tales and kind of subvert them into tragic or scary tales (Rami Ungar, ruining childhoods since 2015!), while the third features that character trope I love so much, the serial killer.

I’m not sure if they’re any good, but I’m going to give them a quick look-over before I try to submit them to that website and see if they’ll get published. Previous attempts at getting published on that site haven’t gone so well, but I’m older and I’ve improved as a writer, so I hope that I can get at least one of them published.

Well, I’m going to get to work on that, followed by taking a break before trying to get one more blog post out before the end of the night. Hope you’re having a good day, my Followers of Fear, and wish me luck. Or renewed health. I wouldn’t mind that either.

Good News: Somehow I managed to get several articles written for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, all of which will come out in the coming weeks leading up to my study abroad trip. The next one comes out tomorrow, if I remember correctly.

Bad News: As the end of the semester comes closer, I’ve got a number of exams and papers to prepare for, including a 25-30 page paper for a research seminar! Oy vey! So as much as I’d like to focus on making progress in Laura Horn before I go abroad, I doubt that with my workload I’ll make it to Chapter 35, which would be a nice stopping-point before I go on my trip.

Good News: A short story I wrote for a class assignment got an A+ from the teacher, who “cried at the end of the story” and wanted me to publish it, along with some suggestions on ways to edit it. I plan to submit it somewhere this weekend, as well as submit a couple other short stories to other magazines.

Bad News: Another short story I wrote got rejected from a magazine this morning. I’ll try submitting it somewhere else, but I worry. Some of the criticism the editor gave me made me wonder if this short story is as good as I thought it was.

Good News: Reborn City got another five star review. This, along with a sale I plan to hold next month and the possibility of making it to the next round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award make me hopeful.

Bad News: I won’t know about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award until Monday most likely, and I don’t want to go into more detail about the review or the sale until I have that info. Plus, RC‘s my first novel and I’m up against 399 other books in my category, all vying for 100 spots at most. I hope the excerpt I gave them is good enough!

Good News: I’ve found a camcorder that is within my budget that I can get after I get back from my trip. Creating book trailers and maybe starting a YouTube show or improving my YouTube channel might get easier with one of those camcorders.

Bad News: My local theater isn’t playing a movie I really want to see, a horror film with Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame. Well, that’s not as bad as it could be. I might know a certain woman (my mother) who’ll want to go see it with me, even if we have to drag her fiancee with us to do it. Forget I mentioned it.

When you get right down to it, a self-published novelist’s life is never easy, especially when you also happen to be a student with a part-time job and a lot of homework. Sometimes, like when I get criticism from magazine editors, I feel a little down. But there’s always opportunity for improvement. There are people who enjoy what I write and let me know when they get the chance to do so.

When I first started writing this blog nearly three years ago, I was just some freshman with one publishing credit to my name, a novel in need of some serious editing, and no idea how I was going to build a following or get my novel onto the printed page. Nearly three years later, I have a few more publishing credits, I’ve got two books out, a third on its way, and two more in various stages of writing/editing. I write articles occasionally for another website to help other self-published authors out, and I’ve made some friends who’ve been invaluable assets in helping me get this far.

So is my life as a writer ideal? I don’t know a single writer who can say that their lives are ideal. Even the biggest names in the industry are wracked by the usual anxieties, wondering if their work is up to scratch or if people will think their manuscript is sh*t or if they’ll ever live up to their childhood idols or if they’ll sell any copies.

I think for where I am at this point in my career, I’m at a pretty good stage. Would I like things to be better? I don’t know a single writer who wouldn’t want that. But I’m a lot better off than I could be, and I have plenty of space to improve, and the resources and friends to allow me to do that.

So as the weekend creeps nearer, I’m going to work to improve, to write and to publish and be the best I can be.

Good News: The future is open, and my Tarot tells me fortune is headed my way. I’m heading to meet it.

This morning I published my first article of 2014 on Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, a website I write for that aims to help self-published authors make the most of their options and succeed in self-publishing. It’s also my tenth article for the website, which I’m very happy about.

The article is called Some Tips For WattPad Users, and it’s about–you guessed it–using WattPad. I promise, I’ll leave the topic of the website alone for a while after this post. Well, I did say that if any of our readers on that blog had any tips about using WattPad, I’d publish those in a follow-up article, but…well, after that article. I think I’ve been going on a Wattpad obsession lately, and it’s been showing through on this blog. I hope it hasn’t annoyed anyone. At least not too much.

Anyway, the article is about some general tips for utilizing WattPad, so if you have an account or are thinking of getting an account, please check out the article. And if you’re a self-published author or you’re considering self-publishing, I highly recommend Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. It’s a wonderful website with many articles on just about every subject you can think of devoted to self-publishing and it’s run by a variety of authors, myself included, who are devoted to their craft and love helping others out.

All for now. Have a great day, my Followers of Fear.

Yes, this is my 666th post. The fact that I’ve been counting up to this post must tell you a lot about me. I just wish I had something scarier to mark the occasion. I guess the picture to the left of this paragraph will have to do.

I want to make a confession to you on this post, and that confession starts with a little story. Today I met with one of my counselors at Ohio State and she told me she’d read Reborn City over winter break, and that she’d enjoyed it very much. In fact, she told me at times she had trouble putting it down because she wanted to keep reading and see what happened, which explained why she read it so quickly. I’d heard this from someone else who’d recently read RC, so it made me feel pretty good. But at the same time, I also felt pretty incredulous. After all, I wrote this book in high school. It took me about four years to get it ready for publication, and I needed a lot of help along the way from friends and family.

The truth is (and this is the confession part from the title of this post), I’m still trying to figure out what the hell I’m supposed to be doing. I may act sometimes like I’m all experienced in the matters of fiction writing and all that’s terrifying, especially when I’m writing a post for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, but I don’t know it all. I have no idea how to get more people to read my blog, or how to get more people to purchase or download copies of my books. I tried with the Weekly Exercises to get people interested in buying my fiction writing and just interested in my writing in general, but it didn’t work out so much (this is part of the reason why I haven’t been writing any Exercises recently, in case any of you were wondering. That, and I didn’t have the time or the inexhaustible well of ideas for so many flash fiction pieces). And I’m certainly not the authority on terrifying people. I’m pretty far from it. I’m still trying to learn how to do a better job of scaring than jumping out to yell BOO! or use a big, scary monster with claws or a serial killer with a knife. There are subtleties to scaring people and doing it well. I’m still learning how to do it.

So I ask that you still support me and help me. I’m working hard to fulfill my dreams and to become a better writer. If you want to read my writing, then I’m happy about that and I thank you for it. And if you never want to read my books because it’s just not what you’re into, then that’s fine. Everyone’s tastes are different.

And now for those updates:

–I’ve written a blurb for Video Rage. For those of you who’ve read Reborn City and enjoyed it, I wrote a short blurb for RC‘s sequel that gives a few hints as to what we can expect for the next book. Unfortunately VR is only listed as Coming Soon, as it’s still in the first draft at this point. Still, if you’re interested in the second book, you can read the blurb here.

–I’ve published a few stories on WattPad. Well, one story, to be exact. Revenge for a Succubus’s Beloved was published about a year ago, and it’s still one of my favorites, so I published it again on the site for others to read if they so desired. The other two publications are previews of The Quiet Game and Reborn City. I hope to publish some original fiction in the coming months on the site, and when I do I’ll let everybody know. If you would like to read The Quiet Game‘s preview, click here. If you want to read RC‘s preview, click here. And if you want to read Revenge for a Succubus’s Beloved (and it’s one of my favorites, so I hope you do), click here.

–My Facebook page has reached 100 likes! Growing and maintaining a Facebook page is not easy, ask any author who has one. Ask any person who has one. And I finally managed to get 100 likes on my own page. Took several months, but I did it. I’d like to thank everyone who’s liked my page and stayed with me through the months. Just like everything else, it couldn’t happen without you. And if you’re interested in checking out my Facebook, follow the link here.

Well, that’s all for now. Have a good night, Followers of Fear. Thanks for reading my 666th post, confession and all. I hope nothing demonic results from you reading it.

I’ve mentioned this before on my blog, but I keep a list of ideas for novels/comic books/films/TV shows/etc. on my flash drive. And over the past semester, that list grew pretty damn lengthy. In fact, I had more ideas than I did in any other semester. And tonight, I got my one-hundredth idea for the list! And having just typed that, I wonder how I will ever find the time to write all of those stories. I probably won’t, but it’ll be fun to try.

Anyway, the idea for number one-hundred came to me quite by accident (apparently that’s how all the best ideas come). I’ve previously announced that before I get back to working on Laura Horn, I wanted to do some short stories. And before I decided to do those short stories, I decided to take one last look at one short story, maybe see if I could spruce it up a little and possibly publish it on WattPad (I’ve published one or two things on there since I got an account on that website. More on that to follow in a future post). The story in question, Resurrection, is about a man who is brought back to life through advances in science, but something goes terribly wrong and his resurrection isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. That story has gone through several different drafts and incarnations, and I thought I’d give the latest incarnation a look over to see if I could make it better. When I looked over it though, something occurred to me midway through the short story. There’s this one scene when my main character encounters a religious leader who is more than a little upset about this resurrection. I was going to have my protagonist call him an old fart, but with the years he’s been dead, the protagonist is over ninety years old. He should be calling the preacher a stupid kid.

And that’s when it hit me. A short story was too short to tell this story. It had to be expanded, to go into a novella or even a full novel! Resurrection had to be resurrected in a new form.

God, that was a bad play on words.

But that’s beside the point. Here is the point: the last time I trotted out Resurrection and sent it to a friend, he told me that it was an interesting concept and that it could be expanded into a novel or into a film. Oh, that sounded nice. The thing is, I couldn’t figure out how to expand it into a novel, and I didn’t have the time to write a screenplay. And even if I did have the time, I wouldn’t know how to go about getting a screenplay sold (though I might try in the future, when I have the time). But at that single thought on how the main character should think about the preacher, I had an idea on how to expand the story into a novel. I stopped looking through the short story, went to my Ideas list, and recorded Idea #100.

My idea is alive! ALIVE!

I don’t know when I’ll be able to write the novel version of Resurrection, mostly because I have a few other projects that take priorities that take place before it. However, I’m sure it won’t be too long before I get around to it. I like the idea, and I don’t want to be working on this story on and off for several years. I don’t want to do that at all. I really want to write this story eventually and do it sooner rather than later. For now though working on it just won’t be possible, so instead I’ll just leave a few hints as to what we can expect from this future novel:

–some of the themes will include aging, adjusting to a changed and changing world, and death and dying.

–the technology aspect will make Reborn City jealous (then again, the point of RC was never the technology, but whatever).

–the resurrection, though scientific in nature, won’t be plagued by problems of the scientific realm.

–and finally, I may release each finished chapter of this novel, once the book has been heavily edited, on WattPad or on my blog. One of them.

I also hope someday to get to many of the ideas I’ve written on that list. A lot of them I feel are really great ideas, and I would love to write and share them with the world. So the hope is that I can get a good number of them written over the coming years, and that as each novel (or in the future, if God is willing, each film or manga or TV series) is released, there will be someone willing to check it out and read it, maybe even a lot of someones. I think that’s why I keep writing, even if I haven’t exactly been super-successful yet. It’s because I know that each story could potentially make someone happy, and I’m still writing fot hose people. Hopefully we’ll find each other someday and they’ll enjoy what I’ve written for them.

That’s all for now. I’m going to take a break and then get started on an original short story. I’ve got close to seventy ideas for short stories as well, so I need to get some of them out of the way. Good night, Followers of Fear.

As you’ve probably figured out from the title, I just got a WattPad account, which means I’ve got another way to release my written work to the world.

You are probably not wondering why I decided to get a WattPad account. However, you’re reading this post, so I’ll tell you anyway. I’d heard of WattPad before, but only in passing. I wasn’t really sure what it was. And then someone posted on Facebook an article about how this British girl a little younger than me had posted a novel of hers on WattPad, gained 19 million likes, got a publishing contract, and then two books later was put on TIME Magazine’s list of 16 Most Influential Teens. My reaction to that article: “Holy s**t, I’ve got to at least check this WattPad thing out.”

So if you haven’t heard of WattPad before, it’s a website where members can upload stories for free viewing and readers can give comments and feedback. So essentially it’s like a blog for storytellers, in some ways. And apparently some of its most popular stories are uploaded by writers in their teens, so as a writer just barely out of the teens, I think I might have a chance.

Of course, the website has its controversies. Stories uploaded onto WattPad are not copyright protected like a blog post or a story published through a magazine or a publishing company. So anything published on WattPad could potentially be stolen by some nefarious person or persons who might try to make some sort of profit or gather a following using another person’s work.

Still, I want to try and see if I can spread my work to new audiences through WattPad. And I’ve heard some other authors have had some success with the format, including a few friends of mine. If it can potentially help me further my writing career, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t try it out.

If I publish anything through WattPad, I’ll make sure to post about it here and include a link to the story. I think I’ll start with excerpts from my already published books, and then maybe upload a few original short stories when I have them and when I want to upload them. And with that, I ask of you all one favor: wish me luck as I try to get used to this mew platform for spreading stories and writing and try to utilize it in the best way possible.

Good night, Followers of Fear.


Oh, I wish Jon Stewart wasn’t on a break this week. I have to wait till Tuesday morning to see what he has to say on it.

The Senate just voted to end the shutdown, 81-18. and the House is expected to follow suit. President Obama said he sign the measure immediately. And Obamacare still stands.

And guess what this mostly symbolic self-flagellation of a protest got us? Absolutely nothing.

Well, not true. Apparently the shutdown cost about twenty-four billion dollars taken out of the US economy, according to Standard & Poor. Yeah, 24 billion. Plus another 200 million lost every day the federal government was closed due to so many offices being closed, which comes up to about 3.2 billion dollars added on. That’s 27.2 billion dollars lost, and that’s all we know at the moment. There may be more effects due to this shutdown, and not just economic.

Why did this happen again? Oh wait, I remember. The GOP decided that if Obamacare, signed into law and verified by the Supreme Court as constitutional, was going to go into effect, they were going to shut down the government. They said it was an evil law, and it was going to cost billions. Guess what? Stoning women for being raped is an evil law! Giving healthcare to those who can’t afford it is something I’m pretty sure Jesus would approve of. Oh, and the only thing I saw costing billions of dollars was the shutdown. So…what’s your excuse, elected Republican officials? Because I’m sure you have one.

And don’t say it was to prevent government panels from making medical decisions for you. This isn’t the T-4 program in Nazi Germany or something along those lines. That wasn’t even legal in Germany, it just happened. And don’t say it was to prevent the government from invading something that should be a private matter, because the GOP pushes for that all the time.

Whatever your excuse though, I don’t think most Americans will buy that. The current approval ratings of the GOP (and of Congress in general, mind you) is lower than it has ever been in my lifetime. They know where the blame goes on this one, and they know this shutdown accomplished absolutely nothing. So good luck spinning this one to your favor! Because what you set out to do didn’t happen. Obamacare still stands, and we just barely missed defaulting on our debt because of this shutdown meshuggas!

But if you really want to make yourselves look better, then how about doing your jobs? Fixing the economy, getting rid of the debt! Making sure Americans are safe at home and abroad, not just from terrorists but threats that occur each and every day. Oh, and here’s an original idea, how about less filibusters and working with the other party every now and then? Because let’s face it, both parties could use a little image-sprucing right now, especially since we’ll be seeing the effect of this idiocy more and more as time goes by. And I’m not looking forward to it one single bit.

UPDATE 10/16/13 10:42PM: Congress has signed the bill to end the shutdown and it is being sent to the President for his immediate signature.

UPDATE 10/17/13 9:11AM: President has signed the bill into law and the government has reopened. Federal employees can now return to work, including the idiots we elect.

If anyone tries to leave a hateful comment, please know that I’ll be deleting your comments if they prove rude or offensive. This may be a blog for a horror writer, but I don’t always approve of crude language or behavior.

It’s also my first post after becoming administrator for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. I’m a little nervous, although it is obviously not my first article for them. Actually, I’m just worried because I’m giving advice to other authors, and I’m always scared that I’ll sound condescending or rude or say something I shouldn’t in one of these posts. So far, no one’s suggested I’ve done any of that, but I worry nonetheless.

The subject of the article this time around is How to Do a Flashback. Flashbacks are a big part of a lot of novels, but plenty of authors find them incredibly difficult to do. That is why I decided to do a post about them based on flashbacks I’ve seen in novels and flashbacks I’ve written myself. Hopefully people will find the advice helpful.

I hope you like my post if you get the chance to read it. And if you have any thoughts, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say. And if you’re an independent writer, I strongly suggest you subscribe to Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. It’s a wonderful site full of advice from indie writers of all walks of life and of all genres and you can learn so much on indie writing and publishing from them.

That’s all for now. I’m going to bed. Goodnight everybody!

It’s been a little while, but I’ve written my fourth article for that wonderful website, Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. I wrote and posted it yesterday, truth be told, but afterwards I started moving into my new apartment, and the cable guy wasn’t scheduled to come and install the Wi-Fi until after I left for work today, and I’m only writing this now because it’s lunch break, so please forgive me for letting you know earlier.

This article, called Can & Should You Ask For Reviews?, discusses whether or not you should ask for reviews from friends and family and how you should go about it if you decide to do so. Already it’s caused quite a bit of discussion, with many people saying they disagreed with my conclusions and with some people adding onto my advice. I’m glad everybody’s discussing the article, even if not everyone agrees with it.

Go check this article out and check out the rest of the website by clicking on the links above. It’s quite a helpful website for authors of all stripes, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Earlier today I posted the first half of an interview made by some friends of mine, Rui Li and Josh Mangel. Now I’d like to post the second part, which was recorded and then transcribed on July 1st, before The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones came out.

Before you read it, I’d like to point out that part of the ending of the interview is a little hard to read. That’s because there was some problems with the audio that recorded the interview, and what was said was therefore unintelligible. What is here is my friend Josh’s attempt to get down exactly what was said. So please pardon that, and just enjoy what you read, should you find yourself reading the entire interview.

Once again, thanks to Josh and Rui. I really appreciate you two taking the time to come over to my place and interview me about my writing. It means a lot that you show an interest in it.


Rami Ungar, a young up-and-coming horror author, has been writing stories since he was the tender age of six. He has one book already published, The Quiet Game: Five Tales That Chill Your Bones, and another coming out in November, Reborn City, a science fiction novel. He also writes for two blogs, one that showcases his personal work, and one that offers advice to self-publishing authors. Rami is sharp as a knife, talented, and certainly has the uncompromising attitude needed for a writer.

We covered several topics with Rami, and he provided us with a wealth of information on writing and the publishing process. The first part of this interview focuses on Rami’s personal story and his influences and experiences, and the second half covers publishing and some of Rami’s other secrets.

Take us through the publishing process. How does that work? I don’t know very much about publishing, and it seems like kind of a crazy process.

Would you like to hear it for a novel or a short story or an article, what?

All (laughing). Sorry.

We could be here for a while.

I think it’s interesting, for people who are reading an interview, because not a lot of people know how that happens.

Well, for a novel… publishing novels has changed over the past couple of years. How much do you know about indie publishing?


Well, it used to be that you wrote a novel, and you had to get an agent, and that agent had to find you a publisher. That publisher had to publish your novel for you, and the marketing department had to do some work in order to make sure that people actually knew about your novel, and bought it. Having a publisher depended on how well your novel did, so if your novel didn’t do well, your publisher could drop you. With indie publishing, authors are able to create novels on their computer, design a cover, and distribute and market themselves. Basically, they’re doing all the work, and they’re making most of the profits. Amazon has really helped with this. Amazon offers the chance for authors to get out there and actually write themselves, publish themselves, and distribute themselves. I’m using Amazon myself in order to distribute my own work, so it’s actually been very helpful. The publishing industry is reacting to that. The Big Six, as they call the big six publishing companies, which includes groups like Penguin, or Doubleday, Random House; they’re reacting to this in ways they never expecting to, because they never saw this coming, and so they have to react. They’re letting fewer books in now, they’re publishing less, because they’re driven by profit, the books they believe will make money. Authors who have really good novels, but publishing houses aren’t accepting them, they’re like, forget the publishing house, I’m going to self-publish. They’re kind of facilitating their own deaths.

So, it’s very similar to the music industry in a lot of ways.

Yeah, the artists are taking control.

What do you think about – I don’t want to admit piracy, but if you go on the Internet, you can read dozens of interesting things just by clicking the button for free. What incentive is there for audiences to read something being published, something that costs money?

Well, the thing is, piracy is taking published works and distributing them illegally, so I’d like to think that the whole legal thing is keeping people from reading pirated work. A lot of authors choose to get copyrights, which is something that I recommend. You pay a small fee to get a copyright for your work, and the legal protection is very good. I’ve copyrighted my work, and so far it’s served me well; people can’t use any of my work without getting in trouble.

Who taught you these things? How did you learn the publishing process?

It’s all out there on the Internet, there are blogs devoted to teaching people how to publish on their own; in fact, I write for a blog.

What’s the blog called?

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. It’s me and four other writers helping other writers writing articles that are meant to help other authors publish on their own. I’ve only been working for them for the past couple of weeks. I don’t get paid for this, but I love doing it. I write articles for them as they come to me, and I publish them and hopefully they help people to write better.

Have you ever had anyone who read an article write you back and say that the information that you shared helped?

Well, the thing is with a blog that people are free to comment, and they do, so I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on my work, most of it, thank God, has been very positive. For novels, though, I often do what’s called a beta reader, and that is, I’ll ask someone, usually a friend who’s also a writer, or maybe just a very avid reader, to take a look at the novel, or sometimes a short story, and to give me feedback. I often get very helpful feedback that tells me what I should change, what I should rewrite, what I should keep…

When you do the blog and the website stuff, sometimes there are very hurtful comments. Have you ever been hurt by an online comment?

I once wrote an article on people that had been very rude to an author because she was against female genital mutilation, sometimes called female circumcision. They didn’t want her to be against this unless she was also against male circumcision. I wrote an article about that, and some people found the article, and they kept trying to convince me that male circumcision and female circumcision were just products of the devil. I just said, that’s not my belief, one may have health benefits, the other is actually very sexist in nature and serves no purpose other than to subjugate women and cause them harm.

How and when did you have the idea to publish a book, to write a book? Did you get the idea yourself or did your parents or family suggest it to you?

Well, I’ve always wanted to be a published novelist, but the whole idea of self-publishing came to me over time. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go this route, but I thought maybe I should… after hearing from people who had had positive experiences with self-publishing, I said, “Heck! Let’s do it!”

The Quiet Game is coming out in seventeen days. I’ve got another novel, my science fiction novel, Reborn City, is coming out in November. Pretty soon I’ll be able to start the process to self-publish my serial killer novel, Snake.

When you self-publish something, do you print copies yourself?

Amazon has a service called Print-On-Demand, which means that someone will order a book, and Amazon will print the order then and there and the send it to them. A little bit of the money from the sale goes to actually printing a copy of the book. With e-books, it’s even easier, because it’s just like replicating a file.

I know that a lot of this is probably already on the blog that you wrote about helping authors self-publish, but do you think that there is a future out there for a lot of the young authors? If you were giving specific advice to young authors about the very best things they could do, the best way to become an author…

Well, to become an author takes a lot of dedication: a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of passion. I would mostly say that if you want to become an author, you have to read a lot. You have to read many books from many different people. You have to write a lot, and try to learn as much as you can about writing as possible. Most importantly, you can’t lose your nerve; you have to keep going, because you’re basically typing four-letter words forty thousand times. There’s forty thousand words in your average novel, usually a lot more.

What have you done to market yourself? Do you talk to people even though you don’t want to, just to let them know what you’ve done so that others will share your story?

Marketing myself is actually not as difficult as it sounds. Sure, talking to people and telling them about my novels is part of it, but there are many other ways to market yourself; for one thing, I use Twitter a lot to get people interested in my work. These past couple of days, I’ve been using Facebook and Twitter to count down the number of days until The Quiet Game comes out. I also write a blog, a personal blog about my writing that has close to three hundred people following it and hopefully some of them will read my book. As I said, I also write for another blog that helps self-publish authors, so maybe some people will get interested through that.

Since you believe in God, do you carry around a personal item that can protect you from other things, like an amulet?

I do wear a necklace, my necklace is a mezuzah – that’s an object in Judaism that’s put on doorposts – it’s supposed to be like a protective amulet of sorts. I usually wear that all the time, and I feel it will protect me when I wear it. I’m very happy I have it. It was a bar mitzvah gift. I also have a ring with some words on the Talmud on it.

What does it say?

“He who saves a life, it is as if he saves the world entire.” Considering that I kill off a lot of the characters in my books, I have not been doing very well with that commandment (laughing)!

Have you ever wrote anything that opposes Judaism and been criticized by your father?

My dad has wanted me to write stuff based upon my own life or based upon Judaism, but things that go against Judaism in general, I’m not sure that I’ve ever written anything exactly like that that. I have written scenes full of murder, blood, and gore; I have written from the perspectives of Christians, Muslims, others. I also did write a sex scene once! It was between two people that weren’t married to each other, and Judaism does encourage people to wait until they’re married.

Would you say there are other things like Judaism that have influenced you that don’t necessarily relate to horror stories?

Things that have influenced me?

Some people would say, “I read R.L. Stine all the time when I was a kid, so I just loved R.L. Stine.” But have there been things that influenced you to write horror that have nothing to do with horror?

I do read a lot of Japanese comics as well, and those range so much in genre from comedy, to romance, to action – I’ve been able to derive ideas from those. There are stories that take place in other universes or the past, stories that involve magic, and stories that give me a glimpse as to how certain people view romance.

Is there anything else – maybe a park you like and its scenery, or a building, and you imagine the building…

I also use meditation. That’s helped me think more clearly when I write, so that’s helped.

Do you always meditate before you write?

I meditate twice a day, every day. I feel more creative and focused, when I meditate, so try and do it right before I start writing.

What I wanted to know was if there are some writers who have similar problems with writing: they don’t have a regular schedule, they sometimes sleep at night, sometimes during the day, and they don’t want to exercise because they want to just keep writing.

I’m sure there are people like that but I don’t know any personally. Most writers are on a pretty consistent schedule.

Do you have a pretty consistent schedule?

Yeah, I’d be worried if I didn’t have a pretty consistent schedule. It might point to a health problem, it might point to an unhealthy lifestyle, or it might point to something entirely different, I’m not sure. It depends on the circumstance.

How were you educated about writing before college?

I just wrote! I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I did it for the love of writing.

I meant to ask you that before, actually. Was there someone in particular who taught you about writing?

No, the school I went to didn’t have a lot of writing classes. In fact, we only had one writing workshop in fifth grade, and afterwards everything was meant to prepare you for writing essays in college. I didn’t really have any training in fiction, not until college. But getting this far without that training; people tell me that’s something else. I’ve got to say I got where I am with the support of my friends and my family.

Do you believe you have a talent for writing?

I believe that I’ve developed a talent for writing.

Do you have any events coming up, or readings?

Readings, no. I am trying to develop a stand-up comedy act (laughing). So if it’s any good, we’ll have to see. The Quiet Game is coming out on July 17th. It will be available from Amazon and other retailers in paperback and e-book format. The price is yet to be set; I should set it soon. Reborn City, my science fiction novel, will be available November 1st, so I’m going to be doing a lot work to get ready for that, including creating a Facebook page.

Do you have a favorite writer?

Oh my God, that’s a tough question. I really like Stephen King and Anne Rice.

I know a lot of famous people, before they become famous, they really admire another famous person and sometimes they imitate them until they realize that they need to find their true personality. Did you do that?

Yeah, there were times were I sounded a lot like a hybrid of Stephen King and Anne Rice. But over time, that’s really changed, so that I sound less like them and more like me. By sounding like me, I’ve been published a few times: short stories in magazines. I like my style as it is now; I hope to improve it over time. Like I said, my writing’s improved, and I like writing like I write. My style. Rami Ungar style.

I read some of your stories; I liked them.

Thank you.

I read one about the succubus and Hunter.

Oh yeah, that one.

I liked that one.

You would (laughing).

What do you mean by that (feigns insult)?

Well, you did mention the succubus, and those are…

What are those?

They’re demonesses that have sex with you while you sleep.

Oh, I didn’t know that.

Can you repeat that?

Demonesses that have sex with you while you sleep.

Can you say that again (laughing)?

Now you’re being sarcastic!

How can that be?

Well, they’re not real.

Oh, it’s not a real thing.

Well, it might be real, it might not be. You never know… He’s actually not human, he’s actually a space alien.

(unintelligible muttering)

Actually he’s a space alien. I’m pretty sure I saw her walking around with two antennae.

Oh, is that how you say it? I thought it was antenna.

Antennae. (pause) Well, thanks for coming over.

Thank you very much.