Horror and thriller writer Scott Nicholson shares his practical and spiritual process in making his Liquid Fear a Kindle a bestseller. This is a great read, and I hope you’ll check out Scott’s books, both digital and print:
Seven Secrets to a Kindle Bestseller (But Really Only One)
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Why am I a horror writer? Because I can’t be anything but.
Well, I can write dark fantasy, dark crime, dark suspense, and dark erotica. And technical manuals. All horrifying. You can see the general theme here…
Writing horror began for me at a young age: I wrote my first story on ruled tablet paper in second grade. My teacher passed it on to the elementary school principal. He read it at a meeting of the local Lions Club, of which my father was a member. As president of the chapter, Principal Sprunger fined my father a dime because the preacher’s son had written such a sordid tale full of skeletons, witches and blood.
What does horror do for me, that I’m so attracted to it as a genre? Steeping myself in horror may seem toxic for someone who has struggled with depression for most of his years. Yet when I read a dark book or watch a chilling movie, I get charged up. (Perhaps I’ve developed an addiction to my own adrenalin—there’s a story idea!) Or maybe it’s because, when I consider characters with such awful problems, my concerns seem piddling, and this brings me hope.
Somehow, a horrifying story—one that creeps me out, makes my mouth drop open or my hair stand on end—has always filled me, strangely enough, with life.
What I read, I write.
Reading and writing horror not only stimulates me, it makes me laugh. I don’t understand this, but often when something particularly horrible happens to a character, I’ll LOL it up. Among other horror writers, we share a good chuckle. But in the wrong crowd, busting a gut when a character bursts into flames in their hospital bed (à la Let Me In) does nothing for their already dubious opinion about my sanity. But I don’t take it too seriously. Horror is fun. If you don’t think so, go find the pliers and pull all your teeth. Hahaha! See?
I write horror because I have always seen things from a dark perspective. But I have a spiritual side, too, as revealed on my blog, Building the Bridge). A masters in biblical studies came in handy when I edited an anthology of dark crime and horror based on the Ten Commandments: THOU SHALT NOT… .
My latest dark novel is THE SIXTH SEED for Kindle, Nook, and PDF readers, a dark paranormal fantasy fraught with suburban Pittsburgh horror. And SEVERED RELATIONS, a duo of deadly stories featuring blood an cutlery is just released.
These aren’t the only reasons why I’m a horror writer. The best way to find out more is to read and discover. 🙂
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MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT Now Available for Purchase!
Editing is the art and craft of shaping and refining a manuscript into a publishable book. But gone are the days of a publishing house editor doing this work for the writer. For editors, buying books they think will sell has, of necessity, become the first order of business, and often takes most of their time.
So, before you submit your work to a publisher, introduce yourself to your very first editor: you!
That’s the start of my article about self-editing in MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (Headline Books, 2011), an amazing anthology of instructional articles for fiction writers looking for advice on how to improve their writing and better navigate the mass market for genre novels.
MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT gathers the voices of today’s top genre writers and writing instructors affiliated with Seton Hill University’s acclaimed MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. This hefty book is like a “genre writer’s workshop in a bottle”! Every contributor is a seasoned veteran in the industry or an up-and-coming writer. Many are bestsellers who have won multiple literary awards for their potent and entertaining genre fiction.
More importantly, these contributors know how to teach genre fiction. They are all trained teachers, visiting authors, or published alums from the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program offered by Seton Hill University—the only grad school dedicated to writing commercially-viable genre novels of quality.
One of the things that prevents otherwise good storytellers and writers from achieving publication is an unpolished manuscript. In my article, “Your Very First Editor,” I teach practically how to hone your prose and make it shine, increasing your chances for sale.
MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Powell’s, and other fine locations.
You can read the introduction on scribd.
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