Talking about Sick, Mental Illness, and Book Marketing with @MoreStorgy

Talking about Sick, Mental Illness, and Book Marketing with @MoreStorgy

Storgy is a high-caliber literary site, lovingly edited by a staff of creatives who are passionate about art, film, and books. I can’t tell you how honored I am to be featured on Storgy among so many talented writers. I’m looking forward to having Storgy on the blog soon. In the meantime, check out my interview today and celebrate with a free copy of Sick (with its updated cover).

About Storgy Magazine

STORGY was founded in 2013 by Tomek Dzido and Anthony Self as a means by which to explore the short story form and engage with readers and artists alike. An online literary short story magazine consisting of a core group of dedicated writers, STORGY aims to inspire artistic collaboration and provide opportunities for creative minds to meet.

INTERVIEW: Christa Wojciechowski

So Christa, thank you for having this interview with us, we were interested to learn that you used to tame lions and chase storms; how did this come about and why?

When I lived in Florida, I managed a private animal sanctuary that was open to the public. I took care of nearly a hundred animals. We had tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, lynx, primates, canines, bears, macaws, a camel, llamas, deer, a horse, a donkey, an otter, raccoons, and a wallaby. There were also snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators, all the way down to scorpions and tarantulas.

The big cats were all fed by hand. I had to hack up eighty pounds of bloody horse meat each day for the carnivores. Then I’d chop up buckets of fruit and vegetables for the herbivores. We bred rats and mice to feed the snakes. There was lots of poop. Lots. It was a dirty, laborious, and dangerous job, but I loved each of those animals as if they were my own children.

A few years later, the animal sanctuary was forced to shut down because they were widening the highway in that area. That’s when I went to work with my dad at the power company. In 2004, we had a crazy series of hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. During emergencies, all the staff at the power company is called in for hurricane duty. This means you work about 16-20 hours a day in very dangerous conditions. My dad and I teamed up to go survey the power lines to see if there were any urgent situations and to tell the crews where the damage was. We also turned on some customers’ power while we were there. That was not protocol, but we did it anyway, and they were very grateful.

Your website says that you’re an Internet marketer which can be a full time job in itself, so when did you first discover your passion for writing? And how do you find the time with all the other things you seem to be doing?

I was a child when I first discovered my passion for writing, but I never committed to it until I moved to Panama. I couldn’t legally work here so I had a lot of free time and solitude. I decided to try writing a memoir about experiences I had in my new country. I’ll probably never publish it, but it broke the seal and helped me to realise that I had the ability to finish stories.

My job as an internet marketer came later. I used to just help family and friends with their websites and social media. It was a part-time gig for travel and Christmas money. Now it’s a full-time operation that continues to grow. I have had no time to write during the past six months and am a little grouchy because of that. You know what Kafka says about a non-writing writer, so I’m planning to turn my freelance operation into a firm and hire some people to join my team. I’m also in the process of developing some e-courses to generate passive income.

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Your fiction, in particular the Sick series, demonstrates an incredibly subtle style of Horror-writing that arises from psychology and character. How did you come to develop this unique style?

This is a great question because I never consciously planned this story or the characters. I had a nightmare about this pale, sick man covered in bruises. I think he had a broken leg. I was his wife–not myself, but another woman entirely. The bedroom was disheveled and dirty. The scene was repulsive to all five senses, but the most frightening part about it was the way this woman I inhabited felt. Her husband was obviously very, very ill and yet he exuded this powerful menace. The uneasy feeling of the dream stuck with me, and after some months I decided to purge it by writing it as a story.

The psychological aspects of your writing are one of its greatest strengths. Where did your fascination with the human mind arise? Can you name a key event or moment in your life that triggered your interest and desire to explore further?

I’ve always rooted for the deranged characters in books and movies. I’m drawn to the troubled souls and insane villains, but I know I’m not alone in this. Everyone loves a good pyscho or they wouldn’t be so popular.

Some of my family members have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. I, too, went through times in my life where I felt like I might lose my mind (I’m really not quite sure if I haven’t). I’m mystified by how thoughts and emotions can break your sanity. Sure, some brain diseases can be seen in a scan, but most mental illness is in the intangible. You can look at the brain and it will be physiologically sound, but the person is incapable of functioning. It’s this invisible entity that is damaged. How does that happen? How does this ethereal organ break?

What makes it even more interesting is that the mind can repair itself through words. Therapy or writing can fix mental illness–words, which are nothing but a sound vibration. They are ink marks on paper. They’re black pixels on this screen, and they have the potential to destroy and heal. It’s all very spooky when you think about it.

Continue reading this interview on Storgy

 

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Author Q & A on Chat About Books

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I stopped by Chat About Books with Kerry Parsons and answered a few questions about my writing process, naming characters, and other ramblings. Please check it out and subscribe to Chat About Books. If you’re an author or publisher who would like her to review a book or feature you on Chat About Books, I’ll leave all her links at the bottom of this post.

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My Advice to #IndieAuthors (NOT sugarcoated) on @KonnL's Blog

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Originally posted on konnlavery.com

(Hint: Book marketing advice begins at question #4) 

Christa Wojciechowski – Horror Novella Author of SICK

June 7, 2016 | Interview


For this month’s guest author, I’d like to welcome Christa Wojciechowski, a fellow horror/thriller writer who focuses on novellas. Her work can be seen in the series titled SICK and her book The Wrong David. Christa and I will be chatting about her writing process and her books. Let’s get to know Christa.

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My Author Interview at @JeriWB's Word Bank

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Hello friends and readers. I’m back from my trip. It was a sad homecoming because my feathered child, Querido the parrot, died before I returned from Florida. I’ll write more about her later this week. The pain is still too fresh.

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In the meantime, pop on over to Jeri WB’s blog today to read an interview I did with her about reading, writing, and marketing.

This is only my second interview ever (this was my first), and I still feel very awkward when talking about myself and my work. I’d love to know what you think, and if you have any interview tips for me.

TIPSY LIT: We want YOU. The real you.

 

Tipsy Lit My Sweet Delirium Lg

“Tipsy Lit is an online publisher that encourages writers to dig into “the deeper” and leave the bullshit at the door. We don’t want the warm and fuzzies. We want the heartbreaking, the brutally beautiful, the grit and grime that leave us wanting more, more, more. We want YOU. The real you. The person you tuck away when you meet someone new for the first time. The person you’re only now discovering.”

 

I’m thrilled to have Ericka Clay, founder and editor of Tipsy Lit on My Sweet Delirium.

I first noticed Tipsy Lit on Twitter. When I visited the website I found a community of gutsy writers who shared my love of adult beverages and ballsy literature. Within the year, Tipsy Lit has evolved from a cool blog hangout into an online magazine and publisher. And Ericka Clay is here to tell us all about it.

 

Ericka, when did the idea for Tipsy Lit sprout in your mind and how has it evolved since?

I actually started Tipsy Lit over a year ago as a Goodreads book club. We were basically small group of readers (and drinkers!) who discussed a book a month in the comfort of our own homes, drink in hand. From there, I created the blog to accompany our book club, but soon the blog became its own force, so to speak, and really helped to form a close community of readers and writers. I knew it would be pretty sweet if we could get into publishing on some level, so from there I launched our literary magazine which introduced me to an entirely new group of writers. Their incredible work inspired to look into publishing longer compilations and here we are!

 

What writers made you interested in literature?

I’ve loved books since I was young, and after reading stories like Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, The Giver by Lois Lowry and pretty much anything ever written by Judy Blume, I was intrigued by how words could heal me. Of course there were a million other YA authors (S.E. Hinton comes to mind), who also knocked my socks off. It’s hard for me to make a list like this. It could go on forever!

 

You’ve become a hybrid of a writer and editor. What do you enjoy about each role?

Writing plays to my creative side while editing allows me to be the Type A freak I am at heart. Usually writers are all over the place (and don’t worry, I have my moments), but I love lists and calendars and checking things off my lists and calendars, and editing allows me to do that.

 

Are you working on any novels right now?

Yes, I’m working on a novel called White Smoke about a family in modern day small town Arkansas who comes unglued due to the father’s secret affair with a local male resident. The story continues to follow their daughter, Wren, as she grows older and reconnects with her mother after her stint in prison that’s related to her husband’s affair years before.

 

What kind of writing is Tipsy Lit looking for?

We’re open to all genres, but we’re not fans of erotica or gratuitous violence. Really, we want something that makes us think, changes our minds, gives us those “feels” everyone is talking about. I want to see literary quality no matter what the genre.

 

Where is Tipsy Lit published?

 Tipsy Lit is published through Wattpad. I chose Wattpad as our sole distributor because it speaks to my social media marketing heart. There are over 35 million Wattpad users ready to read your work, and the platform makes it uber easy to share stories, so just imagine the exposure an author receives when publishing through us. Not to mention the Wattpad app. I kind of adore it. You can add it to your phone or tab and read free stories ASAP. Reading and free are two of my favorite things, if you haven’t noticed!

 

What do you envision for the future of Tipsy Lit?

Right now, I’m going day by day. I’d like to concentrate on growing our readership and maybe one day look into starting a more mainstream small press. But I don’t know. I’ve still got the laundry to do! 🙂

Ericka Clay on My Sweet Delirium

Thanks so much to Ericka Clay for joining us on My Sweet Delirium. Leave any comments or questions you have for her below, and don’t forget to hook up with Tipsy Lit using the following links.

Wanna get tipsy? Pick your poison.

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