Thank you for joining us for this author interview! You can find CSC Shows on the Kindle Vella platform. She has a fine talent for writing paranormal and horror. Ms. Shows was kind enough to share some of her time with us.
So you thought you would write a series…
How did you know you had this series in you?
I wrote Scary Tales for Dark Nights because I wanted an updated, creepier version of those old books from my childhood, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I found and read those as a child, and they terrified me back then. The creepy artwork paired with those little snippets of terror appealed to me as a kid. I wanted to craft tales that would make people go to sleep with a light on. I wanted to write stories with characters that stuck with them as much as the little girl with the green ribbon had stuck with me for more than a quarter century (if you know, you know!). Whereas Alvin Schwartz collected his tales from folklore, my scary tales come solely from my imagination and experiences. I chose the title of my serial to pay homage to Mr. Schwartz and his early influence on me as a horror writer.
Why did you choose to use a series format?
While many authors were looking at Vella through the lens of similar serial sites and writing long or never ending serials, I thought that Vella would be excellent for short works of fiction, so I created a collection of horror and paranormal stories. Many of them are only one or two episodes long, but some of them run across several episodes, however long it takes to tell a good story.
You’re right that in this Beta stage authors are still finding their footing. I use it to keep me writing so I can eventually publish the series as a book. BUT, for my children’s story I knew each episode needed to be a complete short story or I would have a tiny audience.
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
I think it would be that I’m constantly self-editing as I write instead of allowing the story to flow forth and then editing it later. It slows the process down.
What else can you describe in your writing process?
I’m a mood writer, so many of these stories were written in the fall around Halloween. I’ve found that I can get into the mood of writing horror at other times of the year by listening to creepy music, listening to scary stories on podcasts, or watching a good scary movie.
That is great! I definitely use music or tastes to get me in the right mood for some scenes.
Supporters and readers
Who is your expected audience?
I think the audience for my scary tales is a little older than Schwartz’s audience was. My audience would be young adult or adult readers who love a good scary story before bed and who fondly remember the terror of reading his tales at night under the covers with a flashlight.
Who has been your strongest supporter?
My husband has been a great supporter. When I need an hour to bang out some words for the day, he chases the kids away from me while I work. He also listens to my story ideas or lets me read him some of my writing, even though he hates horror, but he’s great about allowing me to bounce ideas off him. Writing is so solitary, and it’s wonderful to have someone you can talk to about whatever you’re working on.
Ms. Shows, the person
What author, or book, or series most influenced you?
I have lots of horror influences—works by Dean Koontz, Christopher Pike, Stephen King, Bentley Little, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Mary Shelley, Thomas Harris, to name just a few, and slasher flicks for the 80s and 90s and psychological thrillers from the late 90s and beyond.
I loved reading King and then Koontz as I was growing up. Those dogs!
What are some random facts about yourself that you would share?
My favorite flavor of ice cream is peanut butter chocolate. I can play five instruments: piano, guitar, violin, clarinet, and the tin whistle. I love to paint with oils. If I could have made any real money as an artist, I would have loved to paint for a living. I have sold paintings, but I certainly couldn’t pay my bills that way!
We want more!
What else is important to share about your book?
Some of these stories have snippets of truth or are almost wholly true events. I’ve had lots of strange things happen in my four decades on this earth. If you read my notes for each story, I usually share some of that information, and that’s another reason that I love the Vella platform. That’s the kind of personal information that you aren’t privy to when you read someone’s novel. I think Vella gives the reader a chance to know get to know the author better.
When can we expect more from you?
This serial is ongoing, though I plan on completing it and possibly starting a second volume on Vella so that I can publish this first collection in book form by the summer. I’m planning at least three volumes of Scary Tales for Dark Nights.
Where can we find your book?
The link to this story on Vella is https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B093CWN4BP
Where can we find you?
My instagram is www.instagram.com/csshows and my facebook page is www.facebook.com/cscshows
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