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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Taste Two Flavors of Writing

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Gifts for my Subscribers and Followers

To celebrate the holidays, my novellas are free on Kindle today. These two are on opposite sides of the literary spectrum. The Wrong David is a subtle, irreverent, and romantic. SICK is creepy, grotesque, and disturbing. It’s a readerly wine tasting. Take a few sips and see what suits your palate. I’d love to hear you comparisons!

Download your copies…

 

THE WRONG DAVID

The Wrong David by Christa WojoDavid is a disillusioned American wine broker who meets his partner and best friend, Brian, in France to tour the vineyards of Provence. Brian brings his wife, Vanessa, who David has been desperately in love with for years. David has cultivated his obsession with Vanessa, using it as a distraction from his otherwise unfulfilling life.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings for his best friend’s wife.

SICK: A NOVELLA

41gavFn0S6L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_John Branch has been sick all his life, which eventually makes him sick of his life. He wants Susan, his devoted wife of ten years, to assist him with committing suicide. Susan refuses to let John die, no matter how excruciating his pain and suffering gets.

Meanwhile, Susan has been slowly killing herself. She gave up on the idea of pursuing any dreams and aspirations in her own life. She gave up on her health and well-being. She even gave up on being an individual person. Her life was fully consumed by caring for her husband and keeping him alive.

After 10 years, John and Susan can’t go on like this for much longer. Everybody has a breaking point. Is this marriage based on true unconditional love, or a sick-in-the-head obsession?

Free Kindle eBook: The Wrong David

Fall in love with a person you can't have

Free this weekend!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of my first published work, I’m offering my novelette, The Wrong David, free all weekend.


Here are some of the reviews…

“…a very entertaining, sexually wrought, wistful romp throughout the beaches and streets of Marseille.”

“Fuelled by boozy days and nights of over-indulgence David finds a voice we didn’t think he had. The scene is set for a perfect indiscretion – but there’s a twist in the tail!”

“Anyone who has ever secretly longed for the significant other of a close friend will immediately identify with this well-written story set in the South of France. The dialog is sharp and the characters believable. The writing is both funny and poignant. The Wrong David entertains and delivers.”

“I loved this little book and highly recommend you take an afternoon to yourself, grab a bottle of wine, and get lost in Marseille and The Wrong David.”

“…for an endearing look at love, loyalty, timing and being in the moment.”

“An entertaining read that leaves you yearning. Well written and captivating.”


Read all reviews.

Download your copy here.

No Kindle? No problem. Read Kindle books on any computer or device. Click here.

🙂 Once you’ve finished, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your review on Amazon. 

The Wrong David will be free tomorrow.

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

It’s David’s birthday. Get your free copy of his story this weekend!

It’s hard to believe The Wrong David was published a year ago. I have very nostalgic feelings for this novela because it was the first thing I’ve ever published. I miss these characters and wonder if I should revisit them for a full-length novel. Maybe you can read the story and tell me.

The great reviews I’ve received for The Wrong David have motivated me to keep writing, and in honor of this humble occasion I’m giving The Wrong David 1st Anniversary Kindle edition for free over the weekend.

The story…

David is a disillusioned American wine broker who meets his partner and best friend, Brian, in France’s Côte d’Azur to tour the vineyards of Provence. Brian brings his wife, Vanessa, who David has been desperately in love with for years. David has cultivated his obsession with Vanessa, using it as a distraction from his otherwise unfulfilling life.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings for his best friend’s wife.

Read more about The Wrong David and my self-publication experience.

Meet my character, David.

Add The Wrong David to your wishlist, bookmarks, or download for FREE beginning Friday morning.

Let me know if you need a reminder! I can tweet, email, or Facebook ya!

Stuff I Forgot To Tell You

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We’ve recovered from our hangovers. Get ready for some news, bitches.

I meant to get this news out in individual posts before New Years, but that never happened. I blame my tardiness partly on holiday preparations, but it was mostly the coma-like state induced by excessive eating and champagne consumption. So here’s a round-up of the latest news from my little place in this world.

 

The Wrong David with Klimt Tote

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Review of The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

New Reviews for The Wrong David

I was surprised to see two new reviews for The Wrong David. I still feel awed (and terrified) when I find out someone read my book. And I’m stupefied whenever I receive a review, especially 5 stars. I am both humbled and flattered because Max Tomlinson is a highly respected author of noir, dark fiction, thrillers, and Sue Archer runs one of my favorite blogs on writing and editing called Doorway Between Worlds. I thank these reviewers from the bottom of my heart. (These were unsolicited reviews)

 

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New Victims for Writers Roast

I have two brave writers willing to be skewered for the Writers Roast. Amanda Mabry will be put over the hot coals first. She’s an “author and bibliophile, redeeming villains and scandalizing saints one chapter at a time…” She submitted a chapter from her fantasy WIP that I really enjoyed reading and you will too.

My next carne asada (as we call it here in Panama) will be Doug Stuber, “a visiting professor of English at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea.” He requested to be served “with a nice reduced glaze, a side of salt potatoes and pickelled garlic on the side.” I’ll see if I can manage that.

 

Sweet D Coffee Mug Contest

My winners will tell you…

coffee tastes better in a mug with a naked lunatic on it. This took place before Christmas, so I have no excuse for failing to announce my winners for the Mad Genius coffee mug contest. Please, accept my apologies. Congrats to Kim Whaley and Cecil Parsons!

Kim Whaley is my #1 fan on My Sweet Delirium’s Facebook page. She’s been there from the beginning and says she enjoys all the inspirational and funny posts and quotes. Thanks for your support, Kim!

When Cecil Parsons received his mug he tweeted, “I love it and it enhances my coffee flavor.” He also said he was fighting to keep the co-workers from stealing it. I was surprised to hear this, since blogger buddy/beta reader, Charlotta Amato, says my crazy naked man (whom I’ve named Figment) “scares the hell out of her.” I think I’ll take a poll to make sure he’s not frightening people away from my fanpage.

I have another really cool prize coming up this month, so stay tuned and make sure you like Sweet D’s fanpage to participate.

 

 Bernini's Rape of Proseperina

The Sculptor is Finished, Kind of…

I vowed to have my third full length novel done before Thanksgiving, but travel and business prevented me from keeping my promise to myself. I left my poor heroine, Ona, in an excruciating position and felt terribly guilty for abandoning her while I was off living real life.

Read 7 lines from the third book.

After a two-month hiatus, I finally sat down and wrote the ending. I considered it a present to myself on Christmas morning. Although it felt good to get it overwith, the final moment was sort of an anti-climax. After being away from my characters and story for so long, I didn’t feel like I did them justice.

This is not only the ending of the book, but the ending of the whole series, and I intended to build up everything to a such an emotional crescendo that I’d leave the reader bawling their eyes out. As of now, I think it faded out more like a hot fart, but oh, well. That’s part of writing.

At least I know I can write novels and finish them. Now it’s time to learn how to revise. I’m dreading this part. With three books in their crudest forms, where do I begin? Fellow writers, any help is greatly appreciated! I have no idea when I’ll be publishing these babies. Maybe by Christmas 2015? In the meantime, you will enjoy more posts involving Kristine Poole, my amazing sculpture consultant.

 

I know there was more stuff I forgot to tell you…

…but I can’t remember right now. Let me know if I left anything unresolved and share your New Year News below!

Also, please share any revision resources or tips. I have a huge mess to clean up here.

 

Stay classy.

Win The Wrong David on Deranged Writers

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Hello, my friends! Today’s the last day to enter to win my novelette, The Wrong David, at Deranged Writers for their December Delights festivities. I know it’s kind of a last minute announcement, but I’ve been traveling the past few weeks and I’m totally disoriented. Apologies!

TheWrongDavid.BookCover

To win a copy, just pop by Deranged Writers and visit Anne and Chani. If you’re feeling Scroogy, they will put you in the holiday mood with food, decor, folklore, and travel.

Enter by visiting these posts! (Follow directions at the bottom)

HOLIDAY FOOD & DRINK: BREUDHER

GOOD OLD ST. NICK

CHRISTMAS SONGS VOL. ONE

HOLIDAY DECOR: CHRISTMAS AT TIFFANY’S

HOLIDAY DESTINATION WISH LIST: CHRISTMAS IN PARIS

 

Learn more about The Wrong David.