The Terror Tree
Authors are like crows. But instead of gathering up shiny baubles and pieces of twisted tin, we collect slips of paper scribbled with ideas. We hoard thumb drives and online internet files crowded with our unhatched eggs and precious chicks. There are chicks that have been coddled, fed and nurtured, but for whatever reason haven’t been pushed out of the nest to test their wings. And the eggs? We’ll peck at them from time to time but for whatever excuse we conjure up, we don’t feel like sitting on em. Okay, enough with the crow talk.
You get my drift.
So, what do we do with those ‘chicks’ that haven’t been kicked in the ass to catch wind?
One word. Author collections. Alright that’s two. You got one for free.
Collections are not to be confused with anthologies. For the newbie (and you know who you are) an anthology is a collection of VARIOUS authors usually set to a theme. That theme can be as general as halloween. Or it can be specific, such as, “serial killers in love with their weapons but the weapons are planning a coup”.
An anthology is the efforts of many authors crafting their best story to somehow meet the theme.
Whereas an author collection is ONE author compiling their chicks, I mean stories, to create a body of work.
An author collection can be themed but doesn’t necessarily need to be. That being said, there should be something that binds the ideas. Be it genre, era, your romantic tales, or your mystery infested narratives. In my case, Arithmophobia is a specific running theme.
Arithmophobia is seeded in the genres of horror and humor, but each story was developed upon the numbers of 1-9. So the theme of my collection is examining the magic and mystery that begins at the intersection of life and the single digit.
My book was hatched from nothing more than a tiny piece of disgusting belly button lint I found in a Wal Mart parking lot. But from that belly button lint grew arms, legs and sense of bravado! Eventually, Arithmophobia was born.
What doesn’t work are stories that have absolutely NOTHING in common. Meaning, your first story is a little horror piece about cannibals but your second is a straight up romance and your third is an essay on childbirth. As creepy as I find all of them, there is no way to cobble them together to create a cohesive book. There are too many genres to make any reader happy.
As long as there’s a cohesive element that ties the book together, even if it’s simply these are my scary stories, then you can create a collection.
Now what about the hatchlings that came flying back to you? Yeah, you know the ones. Like all parents, we think our story babies are wonderful and everyone should love them. But they come home with a note pinned to their drool stained shirts telling you that they failed arts and crafts because they ate glue and peed in the corner and punched Jimmy in the nut sack. But not in a GOOD way. These unloved offerings are your ticket to a collection.
And don’t let fame dissuade you from crafting your collection. No author’s work – from Stevie King, (he digs when I call him that) to Danielle Steel – began as staples on a bookshelf. They wrote, they struggled, and they were eventually published. So sift through your shiny bits and tasty crumbs. Check your nest for cracked eggs and ugly hatchlings. With a bit of incubating, hatching, feeding and preening you can set your collective chicks out into the blue to land in a few homes or poop on a few heads.
Isn’t that really what you want? Come on, who doesn’t want to poop on a few heads?
It sure as hell gets you noticed.
About the author: Ruschelle Dillon is a freelance writer whose efforts focus on the dark humor and the horror genres. Ms. Dillon’s brand of humor has been incorporated in a wide variety of projects, including the irreverent blog Puppets Don’t Wear Pants and novelette “Bone-sai”, as well as the live-action video shorts “Don’t Punch the Corpse” and “Mothman”. She also interviews authors for the Horror Tree website.
Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and online zines.
Ruschelle lives in Johnstown with her husband Ed and the numerous critters they share their home with. When she isn’t writing, she can be found teaching guitar and performing vocals and guitar in the band Ribbon Grass.
Book Synopsis for Artithmophobia: Adam is a young preacher, with a loving wife and a child on the way. His family, his congregation, and his affinity for one particular science fiction movie are enough to keep him happy with his life. But when a new member of that congregation begins to haunt him at seemingly the worst possible moments, he begins to question the weight of his life’s responsibilities. Can he handle being “the one” – the one so many look to in times of need?
Detective Oswald Quinn is not so happy with life. His marriage has not turned out quite as happy as Adam’s, but his responsibilities have become just as heavy. The latest of these burdens have led him to the investigation of a serial killer who seems to seek perfection in the number 3.
Meanwhile, Scott seems completely unburdened by responsibility, save for his endless pursuit for a full glass at the bar. The drinks should be flowing freely on May 5, or “Cinco de Mayo”. But on this date, Scott discovers a failure much more haunting than an unquenchable thirst.
Arithmophobia is a collection of short stories that leads you on a journey to consider the sometimes haunting, sometimes humorous impact of numbers. Whether it be the value we assign to our lot in life, a date on a calendar, or the numerical magic that mother-nature can offer, Arithmophobia’s nine stories examine the magic and mystery that begins at the intersection of life and a single digit.
Tour Schedule and Activities
11/5 Horror Tree https://www.horrortree.com Guest Post
11/5 Shells Interviews http://shellsinterviews.blogspot.com/ Author Interview
11/6 Breakeven Books https://breakevenbooks.com Author Interview
11/7 I Smell Sheep http://www.ISmellSheep.com Review
11/7 Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews http://sonar4landingdockreviews.blogspot.com/ Review
11/8 The Seventh Star http://www.theseventhstarblog.com Guest Post
11/9 Sapphyria’s Books https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
11/10 The Book Lover’s Boudoir https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpress.com/ Review
11/11 Jazzy Book Reviews https://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/ Vlog or Guest Post
11/12 Willow’s Thoughts And Book Obsessions https://wssthoughtsandbookobsessions.blogspot.com/ Review
Amazon Links for Arithmophobia
Barnes and Noble Link for Arithmophobia: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arithmophobia-ruschelle-dillon/1127683404?ean=9780998113272
- Taking Submissions: Translunar Travelers Lounge - March 21, 2019
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