I met Jeremy a few weeks ago on a North Louisiana book group. It’s always nice to find people who write in my neck of the woods. As Jeremy references below, there’s not too many opportunities in this area to connect with other authors. I haven’t read any of his books yet, but they sound like the perfect addition to my October TBR list. Thanks, Jeremy, for telling us about your process and best of luck to you.
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)
My name is Jeremy Simons. I’m from Grayson, Louisiana, and am married with three daughters. I’m a horror/suspense author with Twilight Terror Press, a subdivision of Celestial Waters Publishing. Aside from my two published works with Celestial Waters, I’ve had numerous stories appear across the web and in zines and anthologies.
Buried Alive can be found here:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1123043067
Check out the official trailer here: https://youtu.be/a6ZlEmGXppo
My debut novel Untold Tale can be found here:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1123248192
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FV17n_m1O4
A Dead Man Tells No Tales-Carnage Conservatory: http://carnageconservatory.com/2013/10/11/a-dead-man-tells-no-tales/
Beware of Hitchhikers-Aphelion: http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/shorts/2014/04/BewareHitchhikers.html
Beware of Hitchhikers II-Aphelion: http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/shorts/2014/08/BewareHitchhikers2.html
The Man In The Hills-Voices From A Coma: https://imaginalisdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/voices-from-a-coma-issue-1.pdf
Lifeless Lane-The Horror Zine: http://www.thehorrorzine.com/Fiction/Sept2014/JeremySimons/JeremySimons.html
In Print: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/069225255X/ref=mp_s_a_1_14?qid=1436242838&sr=8-14&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=the+horror+zine
White Christmas-Hellfire Crossroads Volume 4: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00PH62FMS/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1436242904&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&keywords=hellfire+crossroads&dpPl=1&dpID=613oRarJsTL&ref=plSrch
White Christmas-Deathlehem Revisited: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0996223274/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1451537939&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_QL70&keywords=deathlehem+revisited
Trick or Treat-October’s End: http://www.lulu.com/shop/horrified-press/octobers-end/paperback/product-22361596.html
The Woman in Red-X3 Anthology: http://www.lulu.com/shop/thirteen-oclock-press/x3/paperback/product-22347417.html
Closing Time: http://www.short-stories.me/index.php/horror-stories/826-jeremy-simons
Five Days-Massacre Magazine: http://viewbook.at/massacre8
Beware of Hitchhikers 1 & 2-Midnight Ghosts: http://www.lulu.com/shop/thirteen-oclock-press/midnight-ghosts/paperback/product-22625899.html
You can find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeremysimonsauthor.
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeremi1986
My website: https://www.Jsimonsauthor.webnode.com
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15044092.Jeremy_Simons
And on my Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jeremysimons
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
I choose them in several different ways. Sometimes, they’re coincidental. Some, I base off of people in my life. There was even one occasion when I combined the names of three of my favorite horror actors to form the name of a serial killer. But usually, I just sift through random names until I find one that clicks.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
I think I have to say yes here. I definitely imagine them in real life situations and occasionally I will refer to them as if they are real.
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
Yes, although not traditional music. I usually listen to comedy tracks or parody songs while writing. Or I run on the Lex & Terry and listen to replays of their shows.
5. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off since I was a kid. My mom still has a story I wrote for school when I was in third grade (I believe) about a ghostly next door neighbor. But I’ve only just recently had an interest in getting published.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
Just a few years ago. I kept all of my stories in a small filing box at my mom’s, and I was moving some stuff out of her house and came across it. By then, it had been so long since I’d written anything or even looked at them that when I read back through them it was like reading a new author. And not to toot my own horn, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. I knew then that I had to try. And when my first story, A Dead Man Tells No Tales, was published on Carnage Conservatory’s website (even though it was a small venue with no monetary pay), I knew it was meant to be.
7. Do you have a muse?
My muse would have to be my wife. She was definitely the inspiration behind Buried Alive. She inspires me to be better and do better.
8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)
I improve by simply reading and writing. Any critiques I receive through rejections, reviews, or editors…I incorporate those into all of my writing and not just that particular work. I do wish there were workshops and conferences in my area…I’d definitely attend.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
I don’t believe I have any quirks or superstitions. I just write.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress
My current work-in-progress is about an alligator. I’ve always had a fascination with alligators, and in Louisiana, although they are commonplace, I don’t recall any attacks in my area. My job as a horror/suspense writer is to bring forth the terrifying, bring to light what you never think possible, and what better way to do that than dropping a monstrous man-eater into a river where there has never been an attack (at least not in my thirty years of existence).
11. What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Miss Crabtree’s School for Unnaturals (The Unnaturals Book 1) by Hargrove Perth.
12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?
I write mostly horror and supernatural, with some suspense thrown in; I’d like to believe I could write in any genre, but for the time being, it always seems to go dark. As far as POV, it’s whatever strikes me at that time. Most of my works are third-person POV, but love first-person because of the correlation between myself and the narrator; first-person (at least to me) seems more intimate; it’s more like I’m writing about myself than a fictitious character, and I think the emotion becomes deeper…realer.
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?
Preparation for me is simple and minimal. I prefer to steer away from chapter outlines and just let the writing flow; you can always edit later if the chapters run on too long. I start with a few main characters (usually two or three), give them a basic profile (looks, profession if they have one, point to the plot, etc.), and just cut loose. The plot is the most important to me: beginning, conflict in the middle, end. For me, too much characterization or these meticulous outlines that you can easily get hung up on sticking to can bog down a good story before it even gets started if you’re not careful. Let the plot be the strength. Build the characters off of the plot…not the other way around. And just let the story flow.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
Yes and no. I always start out with an ending in mind, but it seldom plays out that way. It goes back to minimal preparation I guess. The less you know about the story and characters, the more freedom you’re giving them to take the story in whatever direction it needs to go. It’s more of a surprise that way, and if the writer isn’t surprised and blown away by the story, the reader will not be either.
15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
I think if you look hard enough in any book, you’ll find a message, and it always be interpreted differently depending on the reader. My novella, Buried Alive, that message is clear and easy: revenge, justice, standing up for yourself, not depending on anyone but yourself. But my novel, Untold Tale, not so much; never trust the government could be an angle I guess, or maybe, taking responsibility for your actions (but it ends horribly for most involved). You be the judge. But entertainment is equally important. If I’m not entertained by the story and enjoying myself, the writing will be stale.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
I guess I’d say sunflower seeds, ranch or pickle flavored.
17. Tell us about your other passions.
Reading, of course. Spending time with my wife and kids. Playing video games. Cooking. Playing basketball.
18. What’s something interesting about you?
My intelligence. Most people look at me and think that I’m not that smart based on my appearance or accent. But I love proving them wrong.
19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.
Simon inched backwards, afraid to remove his view from the wreckage, oblivious to what lurked behind him. He stopped cold when his back bumped into something solid. His heart leapt in his throat as that precarious snarling started up once more. He turned, unsure if he wanted to see it coming or not, not really wanting to see it, but unable to maintain a blind eye against it.
This is a paragraph from my current work-in-progress about an alligator. It’s untitled at this point.
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
Thank you and keep reading. That’s the truth, but also to please post reviews. Don’t be shy about it. Reviews are critical to an indie author. If you follow me on social media, like and share when you see a post. Promotions are hard work and their success lies heavily on the fans. Exposure is an indie author’s best friend.