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Birth of a Horror Author – Procrastination will kill your dreams

The Birth of A Horror Author

Remember, procrastination is a sickness with no cure. It will kill your dreams if you don’t step forward, and at least try to achieve your goals.

It still seems as if I’m in my own bubble, just waiting for it to burst, so that reality to slap me in the face. However, I am officially a self-published author of a horror novel. Plus, horror authors are not easily found like apples at the grocery store, so I feel even more strange.

I sit back some days, looking at my box of paperbacks. It’s then that I see the hard proof of my tenacity, bravery, and ambition.

I’ve been in the hospitality sales industry for most of my life, and live in Johannesburg. The past two years have been poison to my industry.

As someone who has always been drawn to question the world, and not follow like a blind sheep, I love to see things differently. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been attracted to the dark side, paranormal state, and mysteries of the unknown.

I chose the horror and paranormal genre, simply because that’s where I feel comfortable and creative. Writing a romance novel would feel like burning me alive at the stake. I’m a horror author and nothing else!

As a young man, I always analysed song lyrics, and started to write my own, especially when feeling in a dark place, filled with my own anger and frustrations. After writing a few songs, I thought it would be fun to try to link them up as a story. Once I did that, there was no turning back. My head exploded with ideas and the plot of Stained Torment began.

It became a bucket list item, and I set myself a life altering challenge. It took me over ten years to complete, but that’s because I gave up over five times, and over time I needed to find the confidence started again. But now I’m hooked, and writing my second book will be a breeze compared to Stained Torment.

I’ve learned so much by knocking my head and retracing my steps. I’m now able to plot it out with keywords, and add the meat to the bones as I go. Sometimes, as a horror author, I ensure the meat is shredding from the bones of an innocent victim as well.

The book world has changed. Anyone can be a self-published author, on the likes of Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo. The days of submitting manuscripts, waiting in agony for someone to read your work, only for them to reject it are long gone.

The Covid pandemic allowed me time to write Stained Torment, the world was in lockdown, things which took up time such as social braai’s, kids sports, watching live sports, and outdoor events… just stopped.

I took my opportunity, and launched my first self-published book.

Now that the world is almost back to normal, from a writing perspective, it’s an absolute disaster for me. My work load has increased beyond levels of 2019. School work, exams, sports are back. So, I need to adapt, and learn to manage our time. The saying “slow and steady” approach has never been more real to me.

I found that even if I write only five lines a day, it all adds up by the end of the week, plus it keeps my mind in tune with the plot and characters. Yes, I’m only going to watch one rugby game per weekend instead of three, less time with family, (within reason), and going to bed an hour later than normal.

This is what I must sacrifice to achieve my goal. It’s like getting your body back to peak fitness or losing weight, do exercise more often even in brief intervals, than one massive workout per week, and you are in pain for days afterwards. Don’t be shy to set up a per day calendar, tick off each day you wrote something down, and allow time for days off. Each tick you see on the wall, is a reality check that you are doing this, and we will be celebrating the next book launch. Sooner than you think.

Book two, for me will be a prequel to Stained Torment. It’s about the main character Kora, as a child, and the start of her seeing the bad man Mr. Red Eyes, and surviving his hauntings and torment. Then, I may look to do an off-shoot book, about a demon character called Duval. My biggest incentive to write a second book was the fact that in all my Facebook posts, email address and website, I ensured that it stated that it’s the Tormented Series. Not just Stained Torment, but a series.

The name implies that there will be more than one book. I can’t let my readers and myself down, by only ever publishing one book! It’s a daily visual reminder to me, and the hook I need to do it all again. As a self-published author, again key word, ‘self’ tells you, its up to you to do it. Am I fearful that my first book was just words on paper to accomplish a bucket list goal, of course, yes? Am I concerned that my next book will come with high expectations, and it could well get negative reviews? Hell yes!
It would be horrific, if as a horror author, people say your book wasn’t scary, vicious or intense. Self-doubt haunts me, however when I have those feelings, I reflect on how far I’ve come, considering I’ve had no training, none at all, and have manage to receive some amazing 5-star reviews from total strangers living on the other side of the world.

I must battle my demons. In fact embrace them, and put them in my next book. My piece of advice to fellow authors, and I’m no guru… is that you are not stupid; you are creative, don’t rush it, never be afraid to rewrite a chapter, and realize not one of those world-famous authors out there, write their books without editing and changing scenes after the first draft.

When I first completed Stained Torment, I was so excited; I rushed off to PostNet and printed it out. I just had to hold paper in my hands, and see my book, looking like a book and not just words on screen.

I needed it published on Amazon the very next day. I was on a mission! Then I took a step back, read it again three times, as if I was reading it for the first time. Thank goodness I did. I wrote down notes, edited scenes, and only then made it ready for publishing. I had in fact written a story about a woman named Kora, who had experienced some nightmares. It was a nice to read a casual thriller novel. After focusing on what I wanted from my book, I changed it into a raw, brutal, emotional horror, about a tormented woman, who had to survive tragic, and evil experiences, until she found the strength to fight back and find her wings!

As a self-published author, you are in control. Please do not publish your book prematurely, make sure it’s ready and 100% before exposing it to the world.
In closing, here are some quotes from the King of Horror – Stephen King.

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’
“It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.”

As someone who has always been drawn to question the world and not follow like a blind sheep, I love to see things differently, and why not?

The dark side, paranormal state, and the unknown exist for a reason. This is my first novel and is a combination of over 20 years of my songs, poems, thoughts in my head at 3 am, my crazy imagination, and questions…ALL finally all rolled into one story.

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Discover the key strategies and insider tips to transform your writing dreams into reality. This comprehensive guide provides aspiring authors with valuable insights and proven techniques to navigate the path to becoming a published author successfully.

Discover the key strategies and insider tips to transform your writing dreams into reality. This comprehensive guide provides aspiring authors with valuable insights and proven techniques to navigate the path to becoming a published author successfully.

Discover the key strategies and insider tips to transform your writing dreams into reality. This comprehensive guide provides aspiring authors with valuable insights and proven techniques to navigate the path to becoming a published author successfully.

Discover the key strategies and insider tips to transform your writing dreams into reality. This comprehensive guide provides aspiring authors with valuable insights and proven techniques to navigate the path to becoming a published author successfully.

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