It’s my pleasure to introduce you to fantastic horror author, Dylan J. Morgan.
Believe me when I tell you his book, Hosts, was probably one of the freakiest things I’ve ever read.
Q: What’s your story? How did you get into writing?
My story is called The Dead Lands and is releasing on August 1st of this year; a post apocalyptic novel set in the distant future on a devastated world populated by bandits and mutated monsters.
Oh, what? You mean my personal story? Okay, sorry, you’ll have to forgive me for not missing the opportunity for the chance of plugging my work. Haha.
(Me: I forgive you, Dylan! :D)
You know, I can’t really remember how I first got into writing, it was so long ago. I think I was barely into my teenage years when I got a bunch of blank pages and stapled them together to form a book and then wrote a pretty pathetic story in it. My first effort, granted, so it was never going to be brilliant—I believe it was about dinosaurs. I wrote another one after that, using the same method of stapling pages together, about Bigfoot. I’d just read Sasquatch by M. E. Knerr and that inspired me to write it.
(Me: Who doesn’t love dinosaurs and Bigfoot?)
Discovering I enjoyed creating those first, hopeless early efforts gave me a bit of a kick to be honest, and I wanted to get better at it. I discovered Stephen King and his early books like Carrie, The Shining, and Cujo, and I was hooked on the horror genre. I found it exciting and atmospheric and wanted my stories to be the same. After persuading my parents to buy me a typewriter my writing career took off—well, not quite, actually. It sort of taxied around aimlessly near the terminal for many years before finding the runway, and it’s still accelerating trying to reach that optimal speed where it will take off, but I’m hopeful that’ll happen soon.
Q: How do you build your audience? Do you have any advice?
I never really had an audience until I joined Twitter. I’m not really sure what kind of an audience I have now, to be honest, how big it is, but I do know of a number of people who are avid readers of my work and that pleases me greatly. To have someone read a book of mine is a great feeling: to have them like it so much they wish to read another is a huge compliment.
(Me: Emphasis mine. I completely agree.)
I tried the usual joining writing forums and that sort of thing but it’s hard to get noticed there. I don’t like Facebook so I’ve stayed away from that scene, and I don’t see that stance changing any time soon, but Twitter is a place I enjoy. It’s quick, easy, you get your plug across in 140 simple characters, and it’s no fuss. I’ve met some of the best people there too, other authors who I have read and have been blown away by their work, writers who I now call my indie author colleagues. Being an author is a lonely business, sitting in my office for hours crafting stories, but now I’m not so alone anymore because I know a bunch of other people doing exactly the same thing.
My only advice would come on the Twitter front (and I recommend every author gets a Twitter account), and that would be to be social, be active, be a regular on that network. Talk to people about all sorts of things, not just your books. Tweet things, not just your books. Retweet your fellow authors and their books, because the majority of them will retweet you back. Promoting, marketing, building an audience can be hard work and time consuming, but it’s also fun and very rewarding.
Q: The world of publishing is close-knit, and runs on relationship. Who has inspired and built you up in the world of writing?
The contacts I’ve made through Twitter. My fellow authors inspire me, those like me who are continuously learning the craft while working hard at producing top quality writing that will delight readers the world over. Time for some name dropping I guess, so, guys like Joe Hart, Craig McGray, Griffin Hayes, Kealan Patrick Burke, to name but a small (and often quoted few) are some of the authors I strive to be like and who I read every opportunity I get. Ladies like your good self, Ruthanne (Me: Aww, thank you!), and K. R. Rowe, Carrie Clevenger, Jenna Fox, and Terry Tyler, although not necessarily in the same genre as myself, give me great encouragement and support.
For an independent author having the encouragement and support of one’s peers is vital to continue writing stories, particularly as the life of a writer is a lonesome one, isolated at times from the family and the world while our characters and plots take control of our creative minds. Writing stories is something I must do, however. I couldn’t imagine myself not doing this, and if I didn’t then I’m certain these bizarre and often terrifying images in my head would drive me insane if I didn’t get them out.
Although, judging by what kind of stories I write, maybe I am already a little insane.
Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.