Known in some circles as the Dark Chipmunk, Nina has her evil paws in a lot of wicked pies. She’s the administrative and social coordinator of Sirens Call Publications and loves her some deep, dark, chunky fear. So let’s all break out the whips, chain saws, and gas masks for Nina!
The subject of ‘what I’m known as’… buckle-up, this might get confusing! I’m the Dark Angel of Sirens Call Publications – that comes from my personal persona, not because anyone over there thinks I’m evil… well, not too evil anyway – as well as the owner of Dark Angel Photography. My Twitter ID is Sotet_Angyal which means ‘Dark Angel’ in Hungarian (Yup, I’m Hungarian by descent), and I’ve also titled the blog I choose to write in my own ‘voice’ for by the same name. I’m also known as a Chipmunk by some freakishly fine folks including the twisted and amazingly talented writers over at PenoftheDamned.com because instead of ‘Muwhahaha’ing’ things, I give out evil chipmunk chuckles when needed (which if you could hear me laugh, is a much more apt description of the sound emanating from my wicked little maw!). Yes, I spend a great deal of time making fun of myself – I’d much rather have you laughing with me then at me, but feel free to do so, I’ll roll with it; I’m THAT kind of girl too! Add in the fact that I’m a complete wise ass and, well *chuckling* is what you get.
Oh dark chippy, how you frighten the squirrels and other rodentia about town. They skitter and hide in the shadows as you pass by.
Hide my ass! You mean only the ones that manage to get away… Be assured the others suffer an agonizingly slow and squeal filled demise! One ‘munk per village – and that’s me. *evil chipmunk chuckles*
Fierce little ‘munk you are!
You haven’t a clue… (this is where the Muwhahaha goes, and my husband starts to shake and pee himself)
Okay – time to get serious.
It’s never time to get serious in my world… oh, wait – you mean act like an adult. Got’cha! I can do that for a bit.
I always tell everyone that horror is a tough genre because it doesn’t have the largest fanbase… but it does have the most rabid fan base. When a horror fan finds an author (or director or actor) they like, they are loyal to the end and to a fault. My fanbase is spreading and I find them to be an amazing lot of people. They really want to communicate and know more. And what really amazes me is how devoted they are to the genre. Horror fans are “to the core” more than any other genre. I know this, because I have been a huge fan of horror nearly all my life. Since I was a child, horror has been my entertainment bread and butter. And now, I am both gleaming with pride and honor to be called a “horror writer”.
First off, as to you gleaming with pride at being a published writer in the genre that you love, you have every right to be! You call yourself a ‘horror writer’, and I don’t disagree, but I’m going to add the weight of ‘horror author’ to that title as well on your behalf. Some make no distinction when it comes to the particular phraseology, but I see a clear line between the two – and it has little to do with actual recognition; it has everything to do with intent, determination, and personal achievement.
I stand corrected… and gladly accept the weight of the title “horror author”. This was very much made obvious at Scarefest. It was there that it all finally sunk in – I am an author and one of fast-building popularity. I have worked hard and am insanely proud of what I have achieved. I am also very much honored to be looked upon by fans and readers as one of the many purveyors of fear.
Allow me to be the first to woo-hoo you on that! It’s a beautiful thing when an author comes into his or her own. I really am extremely happy for you Jack – you deserve it!
As to horror fans – I absolutely agree, they are extremely devout – there is no questioning that. Traditionally, they have always been a smaller, tight-knit grouping of individuals; but I’d venture to say that trend is changing, though not necessarily for the better. I’ve always been a fan of horror myself – and I take my horror very seriously. I love things that are horrific, angst ridden, dark, thrilling and suspenseful. Speaking strictly from a personal point of view, I prefer my ‘horror’ to be dead from the hip and on the extremely edgy side – movie, TV or written word. Give it to me any other way, and you’ve got a tough critic on your hands. And may all of Hades pray for the swift delivery of your unworthy soul if you sparkle or fall endlessly in love with a lower life form. i.e. – a human!
Like all literary fanatics, I have my favorites, and will unwaveringly follow them to the grave, though should they turn on me once – they get scratched from the list for all eternity. Turning on me would mean penning something fluffy bunny with a happy-crappy ending – lord, how I hate a happy-crappy ending on my horror! And don’t ask me to name my contemporary Gods of Horror Fiction; that is something I choose not to do. I’ll happily tell you about my past loves and what helped shape my warped and twisted little mind, but my current devotions are greedy little secrets I guard carefully and with no shame.
Of course you have a very special glimpse into all things dark. You coordinate the social connections for a publisher of dark fiction. That can’t be easy… getting all those darklings to gather together to drink from your special brand of evilsauce.
You’d be surprised how the dark minded flock to me – I open my wretched little arms and they come running, begging for my attention – and a little bit of my sauce… (say that last bit like Adrienne Barbeau – nice and throaty) *more chuckling*
In all honesty it is a privilege not only to be chosen by the authors who submit to us, but to be trusted with the well-being of their intellectually conceived offspring. What I do for Sirens Call Publications is a treat for someone like me. My imagination has yet to reach a boundary, so I find myself easily slipping into the mindset of the author who pens the most horrific, disturbing, odd, or just flat out bizarre story that is submitted. I appreciate the diversity of interpretation that comes with each individual offering.
Is it difficult to find talent? No. There are so many talented writers out there who are looking for a ‘fair shake’ and an opportunity to begin on their path to success, finding them isn’t difficult; getting them to look this way at the right moment is the hard part! My Mom always says I like to bite off more than I can chew in one mouthful, and she’s right – I do. But I want to be pushed to always excel at what I do, the same way I always push those I support to excel in any way they can. Equivalent exchange, controlled chaos, and a drop of common sense to balance it all out.
The beauty of the publishing world today is that with a little know how and a dash of business savvy, that talent we are talking about can reach the eyes of those who should read them without the writer losing the magic that makes them tick; thus allowing them to create the wonders we are privileged to read. Though I write, as do my partners, we take care of all the horrifically depressing details that go along with publishing that could easily make an author give up, or worse – second guess their own ability. I find nothing more tragic than giving up on your dream because the world only said no seventy-three times so far. So what! Maybe seventy-four is your lucky number… and with the advent of smaller publishing houses like ours, the talent doesn’t even have to sweat the details. It really is a beautiful thing. I think I’ve wandered off on a tangent – drag me back Jack!
It is quite easy to get lost in the filth and sick that is the marketing and PR of our work. But as indie artists, it’s what we must do. But, there is a light at the end of that broken and bleak tunnel. Reaching out to fans and readers is a joy I wouldn’t trade for anything. I love connecting with people and talking about the worlds I have created. Getting emails, tweets, Facebook messages – it makes the extra foot and finger work all worth it. Conventions are a great way to connect with the adoring public – and it’s something every serious author should do. If we do not place ourselves out there, the public will never know of our existence. It’s reaching the point where the writers nearly outnumber the readers – how are we to survive once those scales are tipped?
Simple, we don’t let them tip! No one but me controls my world. Let’s say I publish a book, if I want that book to succeed, I get off my ass and either do my own PR or help the publisher or social media representative I’ve engaged to promote the piece. “Build it and they shall come” is a complete and utter lie, one that a good number of talented authors, film makers, and musicians buy into. I may be genius when it comes to debating quantum physics (hint about the other me), but that isn’t going to gain me accolades in an already flush field of science if I don’t do my damndest to climb to the top of the heap and scream “what about me!” at the rest of the world. The same applies to a talented author and a great book, or piece of fiction. If YOU don’t tell everyone where to find it, don’t stand around with your mouth hanging slack wondering why no one has aimlessly wandered across it. If you want the readership, go find it. Once you find it, subtly and with no uncertain level of determination, stuff yourself down their throats… again, subtly but effectively all the same. There is an art to marketing that the majority of people are deaf, dumb and blind to; that’s why small pub houses and people who do what I do are out there. We make the world you wish to target aware of your work in a way that is palatable to that particular audience.
My own personal goal is to reach out well beyond the traditional marketing and PR routes. And thinking big – REALLY BIG – has become my mantra. It’s no longer about just trying to sell X number of books but more how to conquer the world of horror (and not just the written world of horror). I’m following the Jeffersons and moving on up!
LOL – that ideology is great, but unfortunately only happens to a rare few. My advice, take smaller bites so as not to choke on what you are chewing (now I sound like my mom… she may be onto something there, but don’t tell!). We all have goals and ambitions. Personally, I don’t ever intend to write a novel for the world to see. I enjoy my writing for what it is, and if others enjoy it also, then I’m thrilled, tickled any color other than pink as I find it to be a detestable hue! But I won’t aspire beyond my own wants just to be a published author. Will that aspiration change in the future? Who knows – I’m not sweating it. But for the time being, I’m a writer, sometimes editor, and publisher.
You, on the other hand, are a different breed all together. You want to write for a living and intend to attain that dream, and I believe you can. The thing to keep in mind is that 659 correct steps may get you somewhere – which somewhere, I can’t say – but one false step can eradicate all the good you have done up to that point. Tread carefully, in the right places, and give me a call when you move – I’ll come help carry those stacks of books up to the East Side for ya, my Damned evil fiend! 😉
All about me – my favorite part! (Those who know me personally know I am far more humble than that statement would imply, but hell – it’s funny!)
I’m a writer of what some would call odd prose and emotionally packed muse. While I do write longer pieces of horror (most of which end in a somewhat violent manner) and pieces of deranged Sci-Fi which I choose to keep to myself, I prefer my short emotive ‘ramblings’ as a form of open expression. I am fortunate enough to be a member of Pen of the Damned, a small writing group of authors who share a passion for horror, pain, and anguish in whatever form their individual crafts take. It’s a marvelously diverse group who have welcomed me in and allowed me to share the cracked bits of my mind with others of a similar ilk. Many of my fellow Damned have released short stories, novellas, and full length novels, along with the shorter pieces or poetic writings in the Pen group itself. I am extremely proud to be counted among their number.
I also offer up creative writing on my personal blog Sotet Angyal – The Dark Angel; some of my personal opinions, things I like & things I don’t like on The Road to Nowhere; and finally, I host a blog for indie books. I don’t do reviews, I only provide an outlet for the world to find these books on Spreading the Writer’s Word. Don’t be shy about approaching me, if you have a book you’d like added, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
On the professional side, I am one of the co-founders and primarily the Social Media Coordinator of Sirens Call Publications though we all do our fair share of promotional work; as well as the owner and resident nut-job at Dark Angel Photography. You can find me blathering away on Twitter at @Sotet_Angyal (please follow, I do get lonely from time to time!), and on Facebook as Nina D’Arcangela (yup, that’s where the Dark Angel bit comes from – see, not so daft after all)
Nina D – watch for me, eventually I will be lurking behind you! ;}