Any curmudgeon out there will tell you the problem with the kids these days is a sense of entitlement. I think that's what every generation says. "You mean, some bus comes to your house and picks you up for school? In my day I had to walk 20 miles, along a snow mountaintop, to reach the 10-mile-away point . . . ."
The second thing they might tell you, is that more and more youngsters aren't doing their homework. That is, social media ruined our true connection with people & the spoken/written word. If no one's reading and writing, they're losing out big time. However, that's just not the case.
I've roamed around the web a few times, and now there seems to be a combination of recreational social media use and, of course, the homework. And guess what? Youngsters are online and writing more than ever.
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.
You Might Also Enjoy:
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!
It's getting closer to bedtime and you're looking at your loved one, thinking about the ways you would love to express your love. The day was a long one, and now you want to share the excitement of a relationship and reduce stress in one fell swoop. You start with the sweet nothings and pillow talk shortly before your loved one turns to you and says they're too tired, too stressed, or they have a headache. Now, making love would be the cure-all in this instance, but it takes two to tango. Getting two people to agree about anything is difficult. So there you are, wanting to embrace your lover and wishing the stressors keeping you awake at night would go away. What do you do?
From day one, we learn plagiarism is a big no-no. Likewise, we tend to dislike anyone who "borrows" our hard work, whether in the case of a story or a witticism.
But can someone borrow just a little and get away with it?
For instance, music producers tend to pay an "homage" to other artists by sampling their tracks. We've seen in the past how record labels can sue each other for sharing too much of the same work. Does the same rule apply to literature?
Awhile back I wrote about the benefits of Writing Drunk. If you're too busy or too lazy to review the post, it is about the inability to focus under the influence of alcohol, which prohibits individuals from comprehending the complexity of brain teasers; therefore resulting in some very creative answers. While under the influence of alcohol, people (especially writers) are more inclined to be creative and think outside of the box. In fact, studies show subjects who volunteered for an analytical analysis scored higher when they hovered around the legal limit. As far as writing is concerned, a little rum n' coke alongside the keyboard (be careful, you might spill your drink) could potentially lead to more creative, inside-out writing. However, how does writing drunk affect you in the long run? You probably just finished sploshing bourbon in a slutty Halloween costume, so maybe this is a topic worth a glance.
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.
Cindy had no other choice than to replace Zach after the quarrel to a place where his outbursts of violence could’ve been more controlled, if not subdued. Even after the fight, Devon still missed him. Now as Karen’s seventeenth birthday approached, she was the only person he could relate to and confide in. For awhile after her sixteenth birthday, though, Devon felt completely alone. For months at a time, Karen wouldn’t speak to Devon. The day before her birthday, however, Karen met Devon outside, where he helped Cindy with chores, and she said, “I’m sorry,” before she started tearing up.
Cindy cocked her head to the side and analyzed Devon and Karen as they exchange impatient glances. She said, “Why don’t I leave you two alone for a moment?” And she walked back inside the building.
Back when I was still a freshman at Ball State University, I greeted a girlfriend at her place of work with a bouquet of red roses. It was the end of her shift, and it was Valentine's Day. I walked up to her desk, with all her co-workers gawking at us, and said, "Here, I got you a cliche." I rolled in laughter with the dust bunnies along the catacombs of my mind. Surely someone could appreciate both the flowers and the joke. But I was wrong. Apparently, she took one look at the flowers and surrendered to bliss, whereas after my one-liner, the sensation evaded her. (Guys, never ruin a woman's moment of joy. Just a tip.)
See, it wasn't the cliche that sabotaged the story here, but a severe reaction to it. Such a life lesson carried on, even into my writing. Today, I will show you the right way to treat a cliche, a method which may prove handy in everyday life.
"All Things Beautiful" - No-Injury Policy Excerpt, Part II
As promised, I'm sharing a little bit more from No-Injury Policy's "All Things Beautiful". I welcome any comments or edits. Either way, you'll score points for a free hand-bound copy of the short story collection or a shot a paperback copy just for entering. If you haven't read the first installment, you might need to check it out first. Otherwise, enjoy!