Today we're here with Anthony Vecchiarello, the author and creator of a terrifying tale called STAY AWHILE. (Have you seen the cover? CHILLS!) In this book, a desperate thief hides in the closet of a seemingly normal family's home...but guess what? They're not so normal. In fact, they're hiding a horrible and terrifying secret! Want to find out what it is? READ THE BOOK!
I was excited to be able to talk with Anthony about what it takes to be a writer of horror fiction. Here's what he had to say about being a weaver of the suspenseful haunting tales that keep us up late at night!
Let's start with you! Where are you from, and how did you get into writing?
Suffolk County, New York. For those who don’t have any clue where that is, I’m on the east side of Long Island (closer to the tail end of the fish).
I started writing at a young age when I had trouble talking due to my troubling stutter. I resorted to writing as a healthy communicative alternative. In elementary school when we had poetry time everyone snickered while I reveled in the subject. My first poem had so much depth and visuals compared to the peers in my class. My classroom memoirs were descriptive and heartfelt. It was later when I was given a journal that I wanted to write and form creative stories. I was not much for recapping events in my life. What always stayed with me was my imagination.
Why do you think people are fascinated with scary stories?
It plays and tickles their fears in a safe way. Scary stories are like roller coasters or psychological adrenaline rushes. It’s up to the readers to see how much they can handle before their skin begins to turn cold.
Where do you get the inspiration for your tales of horror? How many books have you published so far?
Scary nightmares, from watching movies or from personal experience; either inspired by actual events or conveyed emotions. Sometimes the ideas come random. For ‘Stay Awhile’, I walked upstairs in my house until suddenly this crazy idea came into my head.
I’ve only published one book thus far.
Who are your favorite horror authors?
The great ‘Stephen King’ of course and throughout public school I was fascinated by Edgar Allen Poe. Growing up I read R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps.
In terms of scariness, what do you think is the key to writing a good horror story?
Write a visually detailed atmosphere. I like when I can make readers feel like they’re in that world. Adding a bit of mystery and finding ways to tie in everything makes for a more versatile story. Character development is also helpful. Challenge reader’s minds.
If you could dress up as any character for Halloween, who would it be?
Slender Man; it would be fun to just stand in the grass and scare people from afar without saying or doing anything else. I remember when I was dressed as Michael Myers from ‘Halloween’; I terrified everyone in the neighborhood.
What advice can you offer to those wishing to publish their own novel?
First, before you publish the novel make sure the final draft is perfect, meaning no one needs to make anymore edits, etc. Then I would try publishing it as an Ebook on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) which is through Amazon and set your promotion to five free days. Once you have that up promote the novel on social media through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and if you have a blog on WordPress or Tumblr. On Facebook you can join several writing and author groups that have over 30000 members each. Build your online presence and network with other like minded authors willing to help out. Then after 90 days of exclusivity I would switch to Lulu.com where you can turn that Ebook into a hard copy/paperback. You should also try joining large writer associations. There is a large one in New York called, Horror Writers Association where they help young indie authors get heavy exposure. Some even got signed to major publishers after they got an agent. HWA gives out awards during Stoker Con annually. Lastly, just continue to write and read. Gaining reviews on your book is another huge step. The more you publish, the more your name gets noticed.
Any upcoming projects or releases?
I have several projects I’m sort of working on simultaneously. First I’m working on completing an extended/full version of ‘Stay Awhile’ that goes more in depth with Troy’s background and explains why he’s the way he is at the beginning of the story. Then there is a collection of 9 horror short stories that I’m working on that deal with situations that take place in the suburb and involve middle class employment and young adulthood. Moving from horror, there is an epic fantasy that I’m determined to finish within the next few years that is inspired by the Final Fantasy video game franchise, The Lord of the Rings, and A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones). At some point I’d like to write a western with a strong female lead character, a science fiction crime noir about a detective who stops people from repainting the black and white world, and a girl who can rewind time. It’s a bit crazy, but that’s how my mind works, I’m a Sagittarius.
Where can readers connect with you online? (website, blog, etc.)
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet me @AnthonyVecch
Read my Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Anthony-Vecchiarello
View my blog site at anthonyvecch.com
Check out my Facebook Author Page here, facebook.com/anthonyvecchiarello
Instagram - instagram.com/anthonyvecch
Pinterest - pinterest.com/anthonyvecch
LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/anthonyvecch
Google+ - plus.google.com/+AnthonyVecchiarello
Thank you so much for visiting with Writing Belle today!
The pleasure is mine.
About the Author
Anthony began writing at an early age, which helped him communicate while having a stutter. Authors like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and J.D. Salinger influenced his writing as well as years of being a movie buff and video game fanatic. His favorite genres consist of Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Adventure, and coming of age stories. Although he outgrew his stutter, he never lost his imagination.