Monday, August 30, 2010

Enter for a signed copy of "The Fear Within"

1. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?

From life in general. My mind is an overactive beacon, waiting for something to happen that sparks a creative thought. It could be something that happens with a family member or friend, a newspaper headline, or a dream that I had. Sometimes it’s just a glance at an object that throws my mind into a turmoil and gives me a great idea. For The Fear Within, several story ideas were sparked from a call of submissions to themed anthologies.

2. How did you become interested in writing?

My mind never rests. Its dusty wheels are always turning. My first creative writing class, back in high school, taught me how to deliver those creative impulses as the written word. It was fun and exciting. I never stopped writing after that. It was a way to express myself and to open up the flood gates so that my mind didn’t overdose on crazy and imaginative thoughts.

3. Of the stories you have written, which one is your favorite and why?

In The Fear Within, the most memorable one is The E-fection. I simply adored this story because I have this love/hate relationship with the cell phone. When I was growing up, we didn’t have them. If you had an emergency on the road, you had to get to a pay phone; if you had to call home from school, you went to the principal’s office; if you had to do business over the phone, it was done from your office. Then came cell phone technology. I’m from the old school and believe cell phones should be for emergencies; however, it seems like most people are so addicted to their cell phones these days that it’s absolutely ridiculous. People walk down the streets with their phone glued to their ear, oblivious to their surroundings; customers hold up lines to finish their phone conversations while the rest of us wait impatiently behind them; drivers cause accidents because they couldn’t wait to tell their friend something stupid. Cell phones are a distraction so I wrote The E-fection and threw in the worst possible scenario for cell phone addiction.

4. How long does it take you to write a novel? A short story?

I can write a short story in a matter of hours. Short stories don’t deal with a lot of lengthy descriptions or character creations. They can range from the flash fiction of 100 words, such as my story The Ghostly Stalker, or can go up to 10,000 words. Novels, on the other hand, take a lot longer to develop. Depending on how easy it is for the scenes to play themselves out will depend on how long the novel takes to complete. My novels tend to be between 75,000 and 90,000 words. That’s a lot of words and character developments to go through, but it’s worth it in the end. I’m not as proficient at writing as some people and real life does have a way intruding into my writing world. My goal was to have one novel-length manuscript written every year, so I give myself anywhere from one month up to ten months to start and complete a working novel.

5. Who was your favorite author growing up?

Stephen King, definitely, I could not get enough of his horror tales – Christine, Carrie, Pet Sematary, Cujo, It, Salem’s Lot, etc. There were quite a few of his stories I wasn’t happy with, but for the most part, I loved him.

6. What are some of your favorite books?

The Stephen King books listed above, Christopher Stasheff’s Warlock series, William W. Johnstone’s Devil series, and Kay Hooper’s Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series. I wish I could say the classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but even though I love the stories, I found the books themselves a bit dry.

7. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Descriptions don’t come easy. I tend to jump right in with the action and dialogue. Descriptions usually come later during a rewrite as they never really seem to fall into place during the initial writing phase.

8. How did you come up with the idea for one of my favorite stories in The Fear Within, Under a Watchful Eye?

That idea was actually given to me by an editor friend. He was doing a new anthology and asked me to submit a Lovecraftian-type story using a woman as the main character. I had never even read Lovecraft so I had to do some research. I came up with a few ideas, sent them to my friend, and let him pick the topic for the story. He helped me to hone the idea down until I decided on the prison sequence. What’s more terrifying than a place with no walls, no bars, and no way of escape?

9. When is your next book coming out?

My next book will be a supernatural thriller entitled When Angels Sing. I just did a photo shoot for the cover art this past weekend. I’d prefer to find a traditional publisher for it, but so far, it’s been one rejection after another. This story has been professionally edited and it’s ready to go. As soon as I get the photos back and can create the cover art, I’ll most likely go ahead and put it in print. My goal was to have it out by Christmas 2010, but I’ll try for earlier if possible.

10. I understand that you will be giving away a free prize here. Please give us the details.

Anyone who visits my blog tour sites and comments on my interviews will be entered into a random drawing for a FREE signed copy of The Fear Within. To enter, all you have to do is post a comment. I would like to ask that the winner, after receiving and reading the book, please post a review either on his/her own website/blog or at the page,

11. Where can people go to find more information about you and your works?

My website is I have a blog at You can join my mailing list for updates on me and my works or buy a signed copy of The Fear Within. I can also be reached at .

**NOTE FROM SHELBY PATRICK: I’m looking for people to review The Fear Within and post those reviews on their own site or at the page. Also, I’m looking for writers, publishers, editors, etc., to read an early edition of my supernatural thriller When Angels Sing and write a short blurb for it. Please visit my website at for more details. If anyone is interested in helping me out, please email me at . Thank you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Facebook: Friend or Foe??

Facebook is getting more and more popular everyday. Over the last year, that's all I heard about. Everyone has one, whether it's a business, friend, or family member. It's crazy. People I haven't heard from since high school, friends I haven't seen in the longest time, I can now keep in touch with through facebook. To me, it's so much easier than email or messenger. If I wanted to talk to them, I could just send them a quick hello through the facebook chat or in their inbox if they aren't online.

But is Facebook really that great? I don't post my address, or my phone number. But many of my friends have their phone number listed under their profile or constantly post their number whenever they make a wall post. I've heard so many horror stories about facebook recently in the news. One women lost her job over a facebook post and another one found out about her husband's second wedding.

It's crazy to think that facebook can destroy lives, but it's true. One minute you post a rant about your job out of frustration, and the next day you're fired. Crazy! In my case, facebook hasn't really affected me, but it has caused a feud between my family. Anytime a member of the family unfriends them, they get so upset they act like it's the end of the world. We see them everyday, so maybe we don't want them on our friends list, whats the big deal? If someone took me off their friends list, I bet I wouldn't even notice nor would I care.

I also don't like the fact that young kids are abusing the facebook world. They don't know any better. I believe you have to be thirteen to sign up for it in the first place. Honestly, anyone younger than that doesn't even need to be on the internet unless it was for school or something. They should be outside playing with their friends rather than talking to them through facebook. We are teaching our kids to be less social. Years from now, most kids won't be able to talk to people face to face or have many social skills because everything they do now is on the internet or texting on their phones (texting is another topic lol). It's depressing actually. My cousins talk to me by saying "OMG" or "LOL". I just wanna slap them, lol. Typing is one thing, but saying that to me makes it sound like you're an idiot. Sorry, but it's true. I told them if they wanna talk, we can, but no texting words :)

So, lets start a discussion lol. How has facebook affected your life?