I'm here today with author/blogger Cherie Reich. I love reading Cherie's blog about her writing journey and her cute animals. :) It's amazing how well she's doing, but I'll let her share her good news herself.
So, Cherie, tell us your latest writing news.
It's been very exciting lately with my writing, especially last week. I received my contributor's copies of the Virginia English Bulletin. Back in March, my alternate ending to Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying won third place in Roanoke Valley's Big Read writing contest, and my winning entry was published in the Virginia English Bulletin, a literary magazine. On Thursday, I had my horror story "Freak Show" accepted into Pill Hill Press's Bloody Carnival anthology, which will be published in September. "Freak Show" is story about the monster in Once Upon a December Nightmare and its origins. On Saturday, I received an acceptance for my story "Tradition" for LL-Publications' Oil and Water anthology. The Oil and Water anthology is very special to me, and I'm honored to have my story accepted into that anthology because all the proceeds will go to help the Gulf Oil Spill victims. Oil and Water will be available in September, as well. In October, my fantasy story "Neptune's Treasure" will be published in Wyvern Publications' Mertales anthology. I also have plans to polish up my novels in the next month or two.
We're in two anthologies together - Mertales and Bloody Carnival. I love being in anthologies with blogging buddies. When did you first consider yourself a writer, Cherie?
To be honest, there are times when I still don't consider myself a writer. I wish I could say that I've always been writing, but I haven't. And, my English grades really told my lack of writing skills (not including grammar/spelling). Then, I began writing when roleplaying. Yet, I didn't consider myself serious about writing until January 2009. I started writing my first novel and never looked back.
I know that feeling. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I'm a writer, especially with the little ones needed so much of my time and energy! But they inspire me. Speaking of inspiring, what inspired you to write Once Upon a December Nightmare?
In December 2002, my friends and I wanted to go to dinner and a movie. We ended up riding around on an old mountain trail when the truck broke down. We walked to the main road and called my dad to pick us up. I kept thinking about what happened from time to time and thought it would be a great story. Then, I finally wrote it down in May 2009.
How did you come up with the title? I love it, by the way.
The title is Once Upon a December Nightmare. I know it is cliché, but I like the idea of "once upon a time." Usually, those four words denote a fairy tale, but bad things can happen in those tales, so I considered those words. Then, I remembered the song "Once Upon a December" from the movie Anastasia. When I was in choir, we used to sing that song. So I took that part and added the "nightmare" to it, since the story takes place in December and is a true nightmare to the characters. And, thus, Once Upon a December Nightmare was born.
A lot of fairy tales, in their 'true forms' were actually quite gruesome so I think your title is perfect. A lot of times, I struggle to pick a good title. What are your current projects?
I like to work on both short stories and longer works. I try to keep a list of what short stories I would like to write for various anthologies. I also am an author of the blog Raven and the Writing Desk, and I write a short story a month for it. I also write flash fiction every week and post it up on Fridays on my blog. I am also slowly working on a paranormal romance novella titled Panther Moon. Then, I have my novels. My work in progress novel is Moonlight Murders, which is a historical mystery set in 1891 London. Then, I'm rewriting/editing my two complete novels: Virtuoso (a YA Paranormal) and The Phoenix Prophetess (YA Epic Fantasy). In November, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row. I will write my thriller/horror novel Sarah's Nightmare.
Ah, you're like me. I work on multiple projects at the same time too. If I get stuck on one, I move on to the next. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I wrote Once Upon a December Nightmare in a few weeks in May. The story, at the time, was a little over 10,000 words, and I didn't find it hard to write it, since I considered writing the story down since the end of 2002. Then, when it was picked up by Wild Child Publishing, I learned the hard truth of writing: editing. It took me from April to the end of July to get through four edits of Once Upon a December Nightmare. The story went from 10,000 words in the beginning, down to 9,000 words at the first edit, to 11,000 words of character building.
Editing is, at least in my opinion, one of the worst parts of writing. A necessary evil. Well, thanks for coming 'round, Cherie!
Some of Cherie's links for you to enjoy:
To Purchase Once Upon a December Nightmare