It’s anthology launch day! And if you’ve been following along, so far we’ve had an Italian author with an American translator from Chicago, a New Hampshire writer with a story set in California, and today we bring you a Scottish author writing a tale set during the Siege of Leningrad. Jude Reid is the author of “Iron Teeth,” and if you would like to know more, read on. You can also see her on our Crone Girls Press author panel when we take over Con-Tinual for our Virtual Launch Party. Stop by, and check it out–this Saturday, October 3, at 6 p.m. (EST). And now, without further ado–Jude Reid!
Q (Crone Girls Press): What do you write? How long have you been writing? What are your preferred genres and why?
A (Jude Reid): I’ve been writing for years, but I only started submitting work for publication about a year ago as part of a challenge to get rejected 100 times in a year. It’s been fantastic fun, and being published is an unexpected benefit! I’ve tried science fiction, fantasy and horror — and I can firmly say that it’s horror I keep coming back to. At the moment I’m enjoying exploring the folk horror traditions of the British isles, particularly Scotland.
Q: What draws you to the genre of horror/dark fiction? What do you find there that you don’t find anywhere else?
A: I like the unease. Horror, like romance writing, I think is unique in that its express purpose is to evoke emotion out of the ordinary. It’s a challenge to do that, and if I’m creeping myself out, I know it’s working.
Q: Of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite, and why?
A: Jessie, from my audiodrama Tales From The Aletheian Society, which I co-write with the excellent Christopher Edwards. She’s a wee Glasgow hard-case working with a mismatched and bickering group of Victorian occultists, with no patience for nonsense and a penchent for violence. She’s a lot of fun to write, and it probably helps that I voice her as well.
Q: What do you find the most challenging about the writing process, and how do you meet that challenge?
A: For me, the biggest challenge is confidence. Generally I get half way through a story and lose faith in myself — after all, who would ever want to read anything written by me? But I decided to work on the principle that any story on the page is better than keeping it in my head, and generally by the time I’ve finished I hate what I’ve done a little bit less.
It’s relentless. You just have to throw yourself at it and not stop until the first draft is done, no matter how awful it feels. Then you get to go back and pick it to pieces, and generally it isn’t as bad as you feared at the time.
Q: What was the worst writing advice you ever received? The best writing advice?
A: I found Heinlein’s Five Rules For Writers incredibly helpful for building a writing habit — they’re really simple:
Rule One: You must write.
Rule Two: You must finish what you start.
Rule Three: You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
Rule Four: You must put it on the market.
Rule Five: You must keep it on the market until it has sold.
They’re great. If I just follow them then I’ll finish what I start and submit it, no matter how bad I think it is. It’s all part of the learning process, and every completed story, every rejection and every acceptance means I’m one step further along my writing journey.
“Cut all the adverbs” is bad advice if taken literally. I mean, cutting most of the adverbs is usually wise, but not all. Adverbs are like hot sauce – great in the right place, lousy on ice cream.
Q: If someone asked you to recommend books/stories similar to what you write, who/what titles would you be giving them? And, why?
A: I love M.R. James, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson and Neil Gaiman – if I was ever compared to any of them I’d be very happy indeed!
Q: What’s next in your writing journey?
A: I’m working on a few more short stories focusing on folk horror at the moment, as well as a couple of new audiodrama projects. I’ve also just started a writing apprenticeship with the fitness story-app Zombies, Run! team which is tremendously exciting.
Jude lives in Scotland and writes horror stories in the narrow gaps between full time work, wrangling two kids and trying to wear out a border collie. She is a fan of Zombies, Run and ITF Tae-Kwon Do, co-writes and co-stars in the podcast audiodrama Tales from the Aletheian Society, and drinks a powerful load of coffee.
To read “Iron Teeth” by Jude Reid, pick up a copy of Stories We Tell After Midnight 2. And, once you are finished, please think about leaving us a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews make our cold, dark little heart so happy…