Today I was spoiled with an opportunity to interview author Andrew Cyrus Hudson, the mastermind behind Somewhere in the Shadows: The Anthology. See, he's the guy who designed the book and had it made.
He's worked with multiple aspects of publishing, and his passion resides in producing a book from the ground up. He's also the guy who asked me to be in the short story collection. You know that "Charlatan" thing I've been, admittedly, self-promoting like crazy as of late? That's the short story I contributed.
For now, here are the publishing-related questions and his uncensored response to them all.
C.M. Humphries (C):
How long did the entire publishing process for Somewhere in the Shadows take?
Andrew Cyrus Hudson(A):
If we're talking about the time it took to produce it, not that long. The short story, all drafts, just took an hour a day for about a week or two and the rest of the time was simply contacting people (ironically the email updates probably took the most time). However, it's not a simple matter of writing a short story and getting everyone together. It's waiting on the production to take place and for people to get back to you. So with that taken to account, I started contacting everyone December of 2011 and finally got it out December 2012, making it about a year to get it made.
C: How did you decide which authors would be in the anthology?
A: There were several different methods of figuring out which authors should be on the list. The easiest ones were my writer buddies I already knew, such as Jonathan D. Allen. All I had to do was shoot him an email asking if he'd be interested in doing an anthology (or in the case of writer buddy Andrez Bergen, he contacted me with an interest in doing it). Everyone else though, was a discovery. Marissa Farrar was an interesting find because I found her through the "also purchased" links in Drift (back when I miscategorized Drift as horror instead of thriller). But everyone else was mostly discovered through a simple process. I'd look at various followers and followers of followers on Twitter, see if they wrote in a vein close to horror, check out their site, determine if they're decent writers (as in check out their samples or bibliography and see if they can in fact write a short story), and then get into contact with them. Some indie/small pub writers who wrote big horror novels politely declined because they weren't comfortable with writing short stories (lesson learned: not every authors has written a short story or knows how to). Some authors who climbed on board backed down later due to obligations that are completely understandable. So in the end, the author list was more by chance and it ended up working out perfectly.
C: What were the overhead expenses for producing such an anthology?
A: The overhead cost of an anthology is the same for any self-published novel. Meaning that it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. Remember that it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg if you do your research. But also remember that cheap people get cheap results, and you can't cut corners and rip people off if you want to have a good anthology (and be a decent human being). The total cost (mainly formatting and art) was about $120.00 all together. But as stated before, it could be a free or a few grand depending on how much of it you do yourself and who you hire.
C: What are your future plans for Somewhere in the Shadows or for other story collections?
A: I'd like to eventually get Somewhere in the Shadows in CreateSpace and Smashwords format early next year. As well as try to get it in the hands of a few more readers who aren't my friends or family before it inevitably falls off the charts. As far as other plans go..
-Somewhere in the Stars: If Somewhere in the Shadows is about horror, then the next logical progress would be science-fiction. It would be a collection of short stories having to do with either space, exploration beyond the ordinary, or other planets. I'd like to bring back all of the crew from Somewhere in the Shadows and possibly a new writer or two (I guess making an anthology is kind of like The Expendables). Although I'd have to wait until early summer before I even think about doing another anthology. Otherwise I'd burn out and go crazy.
-Collaborative Book: I always wanted to do a collaborative book. Perhaps write a novel with a fellow author or even multiple authors to see how crazy the direction would take us. Or maybe write a fictional world/town with a specific set of rules and then we'd all get to write stories set in that place.
-Writer's Faction: This is the most important thing above all. This wouldn't be like a writer's group, which is essentially a support group. This would almost be like a publisher, except that we wouldn't have to pay into it. Basically we'd help each other out. When we do promotions (e.g free book), we do it together. A larger fan-base for one writer would be a larger fan-base for all. I don't want to sound doom and gloom here but I think writers who go it alone in the digital biz are going to find it increasingly difficult as time goes on. Self-publishing doesn't have to mean alone-publishing.
C: Where can everyone find you online?
A: Everyone can find me at andrewcyrushudson.net . I'm actually starting a website all over again (long story short, GoDaddy.com now owns andrewcyrushudson.com), so apologies for the site being somewhat under construction.
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Ask Andrew Cyrus Hudson Anything About Somewhere in the Shadows or independent & self-publishing in the comments - and earn points towards a hand-bound edition of No-Injury Policy!
When expectations are high, money is tight, love is tainted and stress is ubiquitous, the citizens of Chase County will do anything to make sure they survive. From the deconstruction of a town to frivolous intercourse with strangers, No-Injury Policy explores the dark depths of human nature when social pressures peak. No sooner than the meek taste retribution, however, they encounter the demons that have aided authority figures to the top - demons that refuse to lose control no matter what it takes.
No-Injury Policy is the 1st short story collection by C.M. Humphries, showcasing seven of the eeriest tales from every town in Chase County: Raven's Crook, Lovington, Lakeside, and Long Brooke.Following along as I provide a snippet of each story in the collection. If there's a picture to the left of the premise, that means I blogged on a topic from the story. Be sure to check them all out.
Minutes to midnight, the taxi dropped the boy off in front of Thomas Harrington’s home under a light rain. The boy paid his fare and tapped on the yellow roof of the car. As the driver sped off down the road, the boy neared the driveway, where he stole his first good look at the property. A lightly stained picket fence encompassed the outskirts of the yard, keeping some unwanted guests from ruining the even, dark grass. A light smoke derived from the chimney of the quaint one-story home.
The boy kept walking down the driveway, following the thick essence of chimney smoke. He admired a small pond with a mini-geyser along the way until he reached the front door.
Almost anything can inspire me to write. As Stephen King would say, "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, while the rest of us just get up and go to work." Before I even heard the saying, that was my motto. There's no reason to force inspiration, and sometimes it's best to make time and push out some creativity. However, when it comes to my fiction, a story really turns when I discover a new fear. While no one enjoys the sensation of being lost, I always feel I have a good handle on location and rarely panic when I make a wrong turn. Let's face it, some of us aren't as geographically savvy as others. When we're totally lost, we're scared shitless for a moment. That's me in New York last summer. And the following is what both provided inspiration for a story and the fearful turn it needed.
if you spoil this for me.
I'm ashamed today.
I've been going to the midnight releases of the last two Batman movies by Christopher Nolan and intended on seeing The Dark Knight Rises last night. But no . . . that didn't happen.
Thus, I've spent the entire day trying to avoid spoilers about the movie. For me, I don't like spoilers unless they increase my interest in a movie, but my views aren't the same for books. Let me explain why.
It's relatively easy to spoil an entire movie for someone, and at times, it's almost impossible not to. When a movie is really, really good, you can't help but chat about it. This works if you're around people who also checked out the film, but you need to consider the eavesdropper.
Rubbernecks don't mean to be rubbernecks, but sometimes you can't help but notice things. When people say the word "Batman", I cannot help myself from tuning in for a split second.
Movies depict so much detail in such little time, which also aids in spoiling movies. When you're told what to see, what to hear, what to feel, etc. there's not much to really access. (Film theory is something completely different, however.) But as far as plain, old play-play story lines, a movie is easy to grasp and easy to regurgitate. There's a reason more people quote movies and TV shows than books.
For this reason, book spoilers operate a little differently.
Can You Spoil a Book?
Yes, you can spoil a book. Now that the answer is out of the way, there's no reason to keep reading, right? I spoiled the ending.But it's not true. I told you how this blog was going to go, but I didn't tell you how. See, when it comes to blockbusters like The Dark Knight Rises, a simple snippet of the storyline can sometimes be a bit too revealing. Honestly, if I would've told everyone the ending of Inception or Fight Club, those films would've been ruined. Interesting, yes, but spoiled.With literature, it's sometimes advantageous to know the inside information. In the cinema world, you might completely lose interest in a story once it is spoiled. Quite honestly, many flicks in mainstream cinemas don't bury the detail or give too many subtle build-ups.However, knowing the ending of Hamlet doesn't stop you from becoming involved with the story. Also, the more detail you pick up in a book like 1984, the better. It's the sort of book you re-read after it ends. You go back and see how beautifully it was constructed (or not). You stop to smell the roses or see when exactly the female FBI agent disarmed the criminal. Some people actually love spoilers. Once they figure out some of the primary plot points of a story, they can read and make their own analyses. Where was the twist? How did it work? Oh, so that's why she used to pick grass in the outfield. You get the idea.Books also allow the mind to imagine. Horror movies aren't always scary because they assume your fears and portray them in the way that might make you cringe. Stephen King, on the other hand, uses how you see your own fears against you. When you're reading, you're conjuring up your own evil clown (Pennywise), not Nigel Thornberry - er, Dr. Frank-N-Furter - I mean Tim Curry. There are ways to spoil a book, but they're intricate stuff. In short, feel free to a spoil a little bit of a book, but don't you dare spoil Batman until I see it. Remember, this isn't Gotham City. No one will save you if you do.
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Summer's already gone, at least for me. School starts before long. I know this because I smell the strong gust of paperwork and paper-money coming from the Bursar office. All I am left to think, is that I haven't accomplished many of the things I set out to do this summer.
Before we begin, let me explain that I blame work. Yes, the workplace. The ultimate scapegoat.
Long hours of making someone else a lot of money will definitely drain you and put you out of the writing mood. I tried writing at work a few times, but of course, someone always found me and asked, "Whatcha writing."
"I don't know yet," I said.
"Well, you don't see too many people writing on the break bench or in the break room." And so on. The ranting, ranting, ranting, ranting. The wasting of my time.
Yeah, no one writes on break because no one can write on break. At least not if you're working alongside other people. Not that I hate the people. I just wish a certain few weren't the whatcha-reading-whatsitabout type.
I just think it's strange how we spend so much time attempting to please ungrateful bosses who cut hours for the sake of a small fiscal year-end bonus, and how we work hard when someone else is losing money. Most of us don't get paid commission.
Point being, summers such as these prove to be great times for pursuing talents, hobbies, crafts, and the like. But little things always get in the way.
I am beginning to think that I should stop reading Fight Club. Weird, another favorite book is American Psycho. Starting to notice a trend?
Other than what I've mentioned in previous blogs, and a few very personal notes, one of the few great things to happen to me this summer, was my voluntary transition to eBooks.
I'm not trying to integrate any form of product endorsement here, but I purchased an eBook reader from a certain bookstore and since then, I've been amazed. One of the first books I bought: Fight Club.
Though I was a naysayer before using the aforementioned device, I didnt understand how eBooks were catching on. But now I can't put down the thing. It's like reading a book and playing a video game all at once.
PRODUCT INTEGRATION: Books from Wild Child Publishing also look pretty good. Can't wait to see what EXCLUDED looks like, which will be available for purchase in the eBook format sometime in the near-future.
Out of all this, you should know that a few stories have been published. Check out Full of Crow on the READ page, and another is coming out. Also see the READ page.
And I am editing a novel and working on a third. For now, though, there's EXCLUDED, which you should all read.
Quit your jobs.
Buy my book (when it comes out) with your last paycheck.
Keep checking back.
Summer's passing by quickly for once; the sun sets further down the horizon each day. Sometimes things turn around in life, although you cannot really predict when. The summer for me, normally, consists of day-in-and-day-our work, leaving little time for indulging in many of the splendid summer activities such as swimming, walking, biking, and so on.
However, this year I have made a change in my life. I have determined that there is no more time to waste on boondoggling. For instance, a regular routine of mine used to be go to work and then come home and write. Or think about writing.
Now I have allotted all the time in the world for the aforementioned summer activities and then some. I have also allowed myself to be reinvented. There's always been a side of me which wanted to step out into the world, yet ridiculous double standards, societal pressures, and the like have prevented me from being who I am, or at least who I want to be.
With all that said, I want to provide a quick word for all of you out there who need that certain summer help: Open up and live. Don't have any summer buddies? Go out and make some. I know it seems as though there aren't many places to go or ways to introduce yourself to new friends (trust me, I live in central Indiana, I know). But go ahead and take a risk. Go anywhere. Have the courage to do anything you want to (besides mass-slaughter, shooting at street signs, etc.) Do whatever it is you want to do and things will pan out for you. Trust me.
A quick update about Excluded:
The first draft is almost finished, although it is really the seventh draft of the story. I am close to sending it out to Wild Child as we speak. Well, as you read. The novel will run about 320 pages in length, or 70,000 words. Of course, this is a mere estimate, because by draft four we might have a 10-page story or a 1,000-page epic novel.