MIDNIGHT ABYSS: Author Interview with Jennifer M Zeiger

IT’S MIDNIGHT IN THE ABYSS…DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR DARKLINGS ARE?

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As a ginormous fan of things that go bump in the night, I jumped at the chance to interview one of the nine authors of an exciting collection of spine tingling delights set to launch on HALLOWEEN. I mean, could you ask for a better release date?? (The answer to that is hell-to-the-no)

I’m here today with contributing author to Midnight Abyss, Jennifer M. Zeiger. I’m a HUGE fan of the adventure stories she writes on her blog so I’m beyond thrilled to have her hanging out on mine for a bit. She’s been generous enough to answer some questions about herself and the book.

Who are all the authors of Midnight Abyss?
In addition to me, we have Doug Langille, Gregory K Shipman, Shaun Adams, Raymond Tabaygo, Matthew X. Gomez, Theresa Briscoe Tschetter , Anisa A. Claire, and Kelleigh Perry.

Except for Anisa and Kelleigh (who are the masterminds behind all of this), I think we all met on Writer’s Carnival, which is a workshop site for writers. We’ve never met face to face. It boggles my mind how, in this day and age, such collaboration can happen without actually meeting. We span geographically from Canada, East to West coasts of the U.S., to the Isle of Wight in England!

Ah yes, Writer’s Carnival. I think I’ve heard of them (wink, wink:). The cover is awesome! Who designed it?
I love the cover=) Something about it just makes me think ‘that’s perfect!’ And this is another aspect of this collaboration that worked out really well. Anisa’s husband designed it for free. (As some of you know, in the self-publishing world, design stuff can cost a lot.) He does a lot of the design work for Writer’s Carnival and made up several ideas for the cover for Midnight Abyss just to give us options. This is the one that won the vote=)

Was the title a collaboration?
Yes. I missed that Google Hangout, darn it! But couldn’t be happier with the title. Everyone’s so creative in the group that sometimes I feel like I need to up my game or I’ll miss the creative bus=)

Did you learn anything about self-publishing you didn’t know before?
All sorts of things. I was always under the impression that self-publishing was really expensive, and it can be. But it doesn’t have to be. The key is to make connections and to not be afraid to ask for help. Most of the time, people are more than willing to lend a hand if they can.

I’ve also learned a lot about marketing. I’ve always looked at marketing as an annoying aspect of self-publishing but it doesn’t have to be that way. What really makes marketing work, in my humble, inexperienced opinion, is the human connection. Anisa and Kelleigh are really good at this. They’ll spend an hour on Twitter and have conversations with a dozen people. They build the relationship and everything else falls into place naturally.

Those are probably the two biggest things I learned.

How many stories does each author contribute to the book?
Most of us contributed two stories. One long piece between 5,000-7,500 words and one short piece under 1,500 words. Some of the authors used poems too, so there’s a nice variety.

Is this the typical genre you write? What inspires you?
a. Fantasy’s my typical genre. Sometimes I’ll add a darker element to my stories but Midnight Abyss was a stretch for me since it’s horror and dark fantasy. It’s great for my writing because it challenged me to dig deeper, to figure out what scares me and makes me feel emotion.

b. Sneaky Beth, you put two questions in one=) What inspires me? Reading’s a big one. I’ll finish a book and want to sit down to write immediately. Usually whatever I write has a flavor from whatever I read. If I just read romance, I’ll write a more emotional scene or if I read something along the lines of action, I’ll write something with swords or thievery.

Scenery. I love the mountains, the trees in the fall, the smell of pine, fresh fallen snow… but I also love to see new places. Each new place sparks ideas for me. I want to capture all that makes a place unique whether it’s apples growing on trees or types of stones found on the beach or fields growing with wheat. It all inspires me to add texture, depth, to the stories I write.

And I’d say people inspire me. Things people say, the way they act, their views of the world. People are amazing and diverse. And they’re a wealth of ideas. They’re the stuff of stories.

How do you feel now that it’s done and about to be published?
Wow, that was a wild ride! And still is. Unlike with traditional publishing, we don’t have a marketing team working with us, so we’re still working on getting the word out. That work won’t be done for a while, but having a finished product feels amazing. Holding a hard copy book with my name on it, indescribable.

Are you working on any other projects right now?
Several. I’m always working on the blog and the stories and adventures I post there. It keeps me rolling, as it were=)

I’m also working on a novel involving dryads and werecats. I’m about 50,000 words into that one and hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the year.

And lastly, I’ve the first novel I wrote, Escaping Shadows, that I’ve been shopping around to agents. It’s the first in a trilogy, so I’m also working on editing Racing Shadows and Chasing Shadows.

Needless to say, I stay busy when I’m not at my 9-5=) 

To learn more about Midnight Abyss:
Facebook: Midnight Abyss

Twitter: @AbyssMidnight

Goodreads: Midnight Abyss I believe we’re going to do some giveaways for reviews here, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.

Tumblr: TheMidnightAbyss.tumblr.com

Jennifer’s blog

Thank You Jennifer for a great interview, and for yet another reason to be excited about Halloween!!!

22 comments

  1. Great interview, Beth. We are so excited to read Midnight Abyss and chomping at the bits to read Jennifer’s story. We’re also huge fans of her interactive adventure stories on her blog. Such a brilliant concept. We LOVE horror stories and Halloween is my favorite time of year. (Mathair’s second. She’s a Christmas baby.) But, her fave movies are horror and she had me watching them at a very early age. We’re definitely going to be getting our copy of Midnight Abyss.

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  2. Thanks so much for this interview, Beth and Jennifer! We are so pleased with how everything is falling into place, and beyond excited for the book release in a few weeks! Like Jennifer said, it’s been a wild ride, but a really fun one.

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  3. Hi Beth,

    We were so glad to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer on this project. She’s an awesome writer and her stories for Midnight Abyss won’t disappoint. Thanks for doing the interview! It’s been a blast writing it and now it’s just the waiting game until the release date 🙂

    Anisa

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    1. No problem Anisa, I had a great time doing this! In fact, this is my first ever author interview! Couldn’t have done it with a nicer person. 🙂
      I’m thrilled for all you! Can’t wait to read it and I wish you all the best success!

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    1. Sure Mike! She has a great blog – you would love it. Her adventure stories are interactive in that you get to choose between a couple of alternate endings. The ending with the most “votes” in comments wins and will be used as the story unfolds a few days later in her next post. How genius is that? She’s a great writer! I never miss a post!

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  4. She has a great point when she says that self publishing can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. I wonder if that’s something that people don’t realize. Not everyone is willing to ask for help, or swap favors, but you can save so much money that way!

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  5. Great interview Beth!! Good luck Jen. What a great cover!

    I actually have a hard time reading scary books because I can only read them in the day time. Same goes for scary movies, I like them but can only watch them during the day. What can I say? I’m a wimp, and let my imagination get the best of me when it’s dark. Still, I like scary stories and look forward to checking these out (during day light, of course).

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    1. I know what you mean! It depends on the subject. Some stuff I can read at night….but if it’s about possession, devils, or evil spirits – NO WAY. Those are day time reads only (but I still love ’em)
      Thanks for reading Arlene!

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    1. Thanks, Phil. I can’t wait for this book to come out! I appreciate a collection of short stories. Sometimes that’s all I have time for, ya know? Perfect.

      I didn’t know you worked in publishing. I guess I wasn’t sure what you did. I knew you worked at a desk. haha!

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