Monday, June 28, 2010

Geographic preferences

Believe it or not, I have a preference for which nations I want my writing to appeal to. I mean all nations on the Earth would be fine by me but, realistically, this might not be the case. Some countries really are more literate than others. Take my own country for example, U.S.A, this is a country whose literacy rate is lower than that of third world countries so when you consider that, than you realize that if your to be successful as a writer here your success is going to be limited.
I really want my works to be noticed in Europe first. Their haunted history and love of all things Gothic make them a prime candidate. Plus, they still love the written word and have a high literacy rate. Japan would be my second choice. The Japanese people love and adore all things they consider to be unique. And they absolutely love horror stories and imagery as well. When one finds success in Japan it is usually not moderate, but explosive! My third choice would definitely be Brazil(and pretty much the rest of South America). The Brazilians, from what I've seen of them, cant get enough of Horror, Heavy Metal music, and insane stuff in general. My kind of people! I usually daydream about how book signings would be in such places and I can almost guarantee that my chances of success as a writer would be much higher there.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Moment of Sadness

I usually try to not let my emotions dictate any sort of action, but today I had some sadness I couldn't quite ignore. My Siamese cat disappeared and I'm pretty sure she went off to die by herself. She was over 23 human years old. Being a total animal lover, you could say that right at this moment in time I'm a little more than depressed. When you have such a connection to an animal, any animal, when they pass away part of you passes with them. I don't know how many pets I have lost in the past, but it was always the same. The loss and emptiness that you feel doesn't end quickly enough and you can never really replace them. Although I admit that I am into some pretty twisted things, I guess that is the part of me that will always cling to what you could call humanity. Whenever I see animals that are dead on the side of the road or abused in any way, I feel terrible for them. I don't think I share the same feelings for people. For all their supposed 'inferiority' I think animals possess noble traits that people could learn from. All people. And though I know I will get over losing her, I know I am going to miss her forever.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unnecessary Agents

With my experience in dealing with the literary world I have seen many people employ 'agents'. In truth, I really don't see what makes them such a necessity. For the most part, the work they do seems minimal to say the least. Authors and their publishers are usually the ones that put together a marketing plan, get book signings put together, radio and television interviews and so on. Perhaps they are nothing more than a expensive status symbol or prop, which is funny because the authors that I have seen employ them were anything but wealthy. I personally feel that if you are willing to do the work that is required to get your material to the public, then you do not need them.
I know many of them will never admit to this fact. According to them, you won't get to point 'B' without their help. But, chances are, with their help you will worse off than you were without it, with their expensive fees and lack of productive results. From what I've heard, the majority of them are chock full of excuses when things don't go well for their clientele. Well, excuses don't get anybody anywhere. And then there is the 'connections' argument. That they know so-and-so and could get you a up-close and personal arrangement for them to see your work. It's probable that so-and-so considers them just as annoying as I do (if they even know them) so that is usually nothing more than a blow-hard statement, one they all make by the way. My point is, you don't necessarily need anyone that doesn't contribute 100% to what your doing and yet expects to reap the benefits. With enough mettle and perseverance, you'll do just fine without them!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Feelings of religion

One of the main points I try to convey in several of my stories revolves around my feelings regarding organized religion. To say I look down on the very concept of it is definitely a understatement. Even to this day, wars are fought in the name of it and thousands of people are needlessly slaughtered. If you take a close look at any of them, you will see them as I do. A criminal organization that is essentially designed to brainwash simple folk for their own twisted purposes. With promises of salvation and paradise for the 'faithful' and of pain and damnation for the 'non-believers', they give to themselves a great deal of room for misinterpretation.
I use my stories as a vehicle to try and show their absolute folly. I personally believe that good and evil is in the eye of the beholder. A simple argument of a point of view, if you will. What one believes as good and wholesome might be seen as immoral to another. And the more people argue about who is 'RIGHT' the more hypocritical and absurd they appear. The conclusion of such an argument usually results in actions that make all parties involved seem more primal than anything else. It is truly sad to think of how many souls have perished for such nonsense.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Starting Another Short Story

It's been almost two months and now it's time to start working on another short story. The one that comes to mind is a concept I have had in my mind for some time now. Labeled 'One Night in Csejthe', it is based in the castle of the Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory. I have to admit she is definitely one of my favorite historical characters. Anyway, the story will revolve a bunch of dim-witted ghost hunters who travel to Slovakia (where the castle is located) to try and see if indeed the castle is haunted. Needless to say, in my story they get much more than they bargain for. Now all I have to do is develop the storyline a bit more. And that is usually what takes the longest. You see, when you start a story you should have a pretty good idea of where you want to go with it, otherwise writers block will set in and that is most assuredly nerve-wracking. So, of course, I am doing a bunch of research on the castles appearance, it's terrain, etc.
It takes me usually two to three months to plan, start, and then complete a story. If it takes me any longer it is usually because of some external factor that is blocking my concentration in some way, and I cannot stand when that happens! Hopefully, for the rest of my days I can still keep coming up with material that is unique, original, and wicked as Hell!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reflections on rejection

The initial reaction to rejection for everyone is usually the same, especially when dealing with the rejection of something that you have created and are proud of. For the most part, depression will follow no matter how hard you try to convince yourself otherwise. Most people will start second-guessing their work and capabilities, thinking to themselves 'If maybe I change this and this and that, then so-and-so might accept it as something good'. I have seen several people go through this vicious and terrible scenario and the end result is always the same. They stop following their own instincts as writers and begin to try to create material that the majority of readers will accept, never knowing until it's too late that when your work is completely unique and it is still rejected, there is nothing you can do that will generally please those who have rejected you in the first place. Once this grim reality is finally learned by most, the frustration is so immense that the majority of people will usually give up writing entirely.
I, myself, never bothered to care at all about those who had anything else but positive reflections of my work. It gives me no benefit what so ever to even give a half-second listen to people such as they. Whether people like my work or not, it is mine and mine alone. It is not made for everyone to enjoy, and to tell you the truth, I prefer it that way!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Demon Within

I find myself driven. Driven by a force that ceases to relent. A force that refuses to give to me an ounce of peace. It is because of this unholy force that I chose to become a writer in the first place, as no other outlet would suffice to purge the demon within. It does not matter how many tales of iniquity I complete, the demands upon me to create more of them, even more shocking and wicked than the first, are never ending. The more I choose to ignore them, the more unsustainable they become. I'm sure that people trained in psychology would label someone as myself as being quite insane, but that is not the case at all. I know from the experience of working in an insane asylum, that someone who is truly insane has lost all form of self control. I know exactly what I'm doing. Those that are spiritual might suspect that I'm possibly possessed, and that might be the case, but the simple fact is I feel I have been given a gift. A dark gift, but a gift none the less.
You see, I feel that there are many things in life that are much worse than death. A life plagued by monotony where the only relief to the endless cycle of day to day meaninglessness is the touch of lady luck (who never comes) or the grave. Or, all those lost souls standing on the corner with the cardboard signs and the looks of despair on their faces. My gift separates me from such an existence by driving me to succeed, even if it is beyond the point of humanity. Sometimes I wonder if it is indeed a curse or a blessing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pathetic practices of publishing bodies

I remember hearing about how, out of frustration or to try and prove a point, a person took various pieces of well-known classic literature and sent it all to a publishing company only to have the company reject it. To me, this was a blatant example of how ineffective most major publishing companies are when judging material.
I'm almost certain that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of extremely talented writers out there of all genre's that will probably never even get noticed because of this sad fact. So, it makes me wonder. Do they even pay attention to what the public actually likes? or, do they feel that they can conceivably dictate what is or is not supposed to be accepted? Either way it's pretty nauseating!
It is becoming more of a rarity to have any writer worth their salt approached at all by companies that implore such tactics. It is my honest opinion that a practice such as this one is the reason that the literary community is faltering to say the least.
I, myself, have had plenty of experience regarding the frustration when dealing with such supposed 'experts' of publication. In my younger years I sent out something to the extent of 60, that's right 60, query letters and didn't even get one response. I'm not alone in this horrible circumstance though. The famous author Stephen King had to endure an estimated 80 rejections of his work!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ignoring the critics

I find it rather amusing that anyone pays any attention to critics. I mean these are the people that have never in their lives sought to do anything other than blatantly insult someone else's work. Has anyone ever noticed that most of them are never satisfied with anything anyone has done. That they always have to add in their filthy two-cents, even if it makes them look absolutely ridiculous. I personally feel that the reason they are so condescending is because of jealousy. I'm pretty sure that they know for a fact that they will never be able to create anything worth paying attention to and they lament so terribly about this, that the only release they have from such misery is to lam bast someone who can in fact create something immaculate.
Although none of them would ever admit to such a dubious character flaw, To me it's pretty obvious. Why else would they waste their time belittling anyone else's work, no matter how profoundly awful they found it to be? Interesting question I'd say.
And when you look at the material that most of the critics give praise to, it makes you have even less respect for them. It's like the only work they appreciate is based on popularity, not substance.
No matter how you look at it, critics are especially mundane, crass, and worst of all, ordinary. Chances are, if they weren't tearing another person's work to shreds they probably wouldn't have a purpose in life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Disappointing contemporaries

I remember walking through the book section of a popular department store one day, and as I was walking I stopped to see the horror books they had on display. Needless to say that, aside from some decent-looking covers, they were beyond disappointing. I always find it rather sad that the only writers receiving any publicity nowadays are the ones that try to generally please the masses. Horror writers are no exception.
I find it equally ridiculous that some of their material is even considered horror when in truth it is usually romance and mystery tinged. Some even go as far as to add comedy to their works as well. Comedy has no place in the violent abyss of what is supposed to be Horror! Can you imagine such Blasphemy!
Since all the greats have long since passed, it is truly a shame that others have not dutifully carried on their works. But, perhaps, that is where I come in. Most of my stories have within them such wickedness that it even makes me wonder 'How on Earth did this come to fruition'. Such work is a pleasure indeed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Something to grow on

Just the other day I received an E-mail I thought was more than a little odd. It seems my old would-be publisher (the one I have mentioned on more than one occasion) wrote to me saying that she desperately needed some advice regarding a certain mental condition she had been afflicted with. While I do possess ample knowledge regarding mental and psychological disorders, I found it bizarre to say the least. She truly must have been desperate to ask me, of all people in the world, for assistance. And because I can be honorable when I choose to be, I gave her what information I deemed useful. I must admit that I found the whole situation humorous indeed.
It just goes to show that our actions do, in fact, catch up with us after all. I'm sure when she was in full possession of her mental capabilities she would have never considered such an act. This is the same person who I had to track down with an attorney and forcibly persuade to return to me my money and the rights of my first book (she also cost me three years of my time and many opportunities regarding publicity) Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily wish anyone ill-will, but when karma rears it's ugly head to those who have tried to wrong me,I don't feel bad about it either.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Instigating phenomena

When speaking of rituals, be they ceremonial magic or otherwise, all I can say is Don't mock them until you've tried them. I believe that when they are executed properly they can indeed produce results that can be largely beneficial.
I, myself, have tried different ones on more than one occasion, always for the same reason: to instigate phenomena. In that sense, the end result is not so much something that you see per se, it is something that you feel. I laugh when I see all of these prime time shows claiming to be 'Ghosthunters' or something like that go in to an area supposedly haunted and trying to just 'see' something, when in truth it's always about what you feel. And you should feel exhilarated, not fearful.
Whenever I conduct a ritual, it's always by candlelight. I feel that it adds to the aura of mystery and naturally adds to the supernatural effect.
I include such aspects of the Occult in many of my short stories and I have studied many ancient cultures that used the art of ritual in their daily lives. The Egyptians and the Romans are, by far, my favorite. And I truly believe that any ritual will work accordingly to the amount of belief put into it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fascination with Imagery

I have been fascinated with the imagery of Evil for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was young, I would read the bible solely to learn more about the legends surrounding Hell, The Dragon(or Devil, if you will), The Antichrist, The Whore of Babylon, and the false prophet. Nothing else in that book interested me.
The exploits of men such as Aleister Crowley and Eliphas Levi have also caught my attention. I'm also moved by the mythologies surrounding many ancient cultures, who all have their own version of what they consider Evil. Ancient Egypt, for example, had a wicked God named Set. Everything I can find out about him, I do. The Greeks had the Goddess Hecate (one of my favorites!)and I don't know how many Gods of Evil the Romans had. In Persian Zoroastrianism, their embodiment of iniquity is called Ahriman.
These gods were the epitome of wrongdoing in the ancient world and I've noticed that they carry with themselves the same characteristics that human beings possess, all of them. The Vampire, in it's original state as a pure Hellion, is also fascinating. Before being romanticized by Hollywood, it was nothing less than a life-draining demon. And it's interesting to note that the movie 'Dracula' was actually inspired by two people of Eastern European descent. One was Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler. And the other was Elizabeth Bathory, the blood countess.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My first book

My first book is entitled 'Praise the Shadows'. It is roughly 84 pages long and contains 4 short stories and 4 short morals. The names of the stories are :
1. The Chalice
2. The Demon and the Heretic
3. To the Gallows
4. The Sabbat
This book was definitely a laborious piece of work but not so much in the creative process. Getting it published took a long time because of the shady publisher I have mentioned about before. Also everything else included was a challenge as well because I was not at all familiar with the publication process (ISBN#, Library of Congress#, Bar-code, etc) being it was my first time with such an endeavor. After waiting, and wasting, three years with the would-be con artist, I almost decided to give up on the whole thing.
I was pleasantly surprised that when I decided to keep pressing forward how everything I was doing started to suddenly fall into place, mainly because of a mysterious and beautiful woman I had met while working in a mental institution. Someone I would know from then on as 'Ms.Anthropy'. The second she started to help me, it was literally effortless. She even chose the picture on the front cover (A masterpiece if I must say so). One lesson I learned from the whole ordeal, among many others, is even though the universe may seem like it's closing doors, in reality, it is opening ones you never would expect.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Using emotion

Being a writer in a genre such as Horror, I have to be able to work with many different emotions. The ones I usually work with are the ones that are considered 'negative'. Fear, rage, hatred, hostility, and depression among others. Emotion helps me set the tone, if you will, for the direction of the story. And, with the help of the subject matter, it adds to the content. I have to be especially careful with it because most of my stories are seen through the eyes of the villain.
Experiencing such emotions in my personal life helps me relate to what the characters in my stories must be feeling, and thereby, helps with the creative process.
I have heard that many famous horror writers from the past lived such emotions. Writing horror was the ultimate outlet for what they considered a 'cursed' existence.
Many of them were alcoholics or drug addicts and the vast majority of them died penniless. But, I give a great gratitude to them and the tradition they carried. I, myself, strive to continue on their tradition with the standards they so daringly set. As I find myself on the cusps of obscurity, it makes me wonder if their is indeed a curse associated with those who write horror. If, in fact, there is one it would not surprise me one bit but it would take more than that to make me stop!