This week Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Ms. Cinsearae S.
Get comfy and prepare to be entertained. All of the Writerly Wednesday Posts can be accessed at http://writerlywednesday.com .
1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
This is the one thing I excel the least in. Marketing/promotions is the biggest chore for me, because I hate having to toot my own horn. Sadly, this is a necessary evil I’m still getting used to and continue to learn how to do in a way to attract more readers. Different techniques arise frequently that I try to implement when I can, so it’s hard for me to peg down which one actually has ‘worked’ for me so far.
2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?
Although it’s a lot more responsibility for the author, I enjoy being an independent author. After a while I got so sick and tired of the robotic form rejection letters, or actual human replies that have said, “I like your story, but…” that I took matters into my own hands. I do have one book currently published with a small press publisher, and had two short stories published with a company that unfortunately folded, and appeared in a few anthologies these past few years, but that’s been the extent of me being published with someone else. I have complete creative freedom being indie, and I’ve pretty much been a DIY person all my life.
3. What do you have under your bed?
Dust bunnies on steroids. Either that or something very, very dead or scary looking that even my doggies are too afraid to investigate…..
4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
Probably a bit of both, but leaning heavily towards pantser, lol. I’m just the author going along for the ride, trying to write down the events happening in my characters’ worlds as fast as they happen!
5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?
For me personally, critique groups are for the birds. The very few I’ve been in have always felt like the blind leading the blind. I have a select group of friends who are also authors that I’ll discuss book ideas with or will ask for advice or help, or let them read an unfinished piece. Random strangers can’t really help in that department. Other than that, I’m quite content writing in solitude and peace and quiet, with my doggies acting as my foot-warmers.
6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?
They usually come anytime, but usually in the wee hours of the morning, when the only thing I can do is just write them down immediately, or else I’ll forget them by the time I officially ‘wake up’. I also carry a camera with me everywhere I go as well; I’m always seeing something that invokes some sort of random dialogue in my head, so I usually take a picture of what caused it and use it as a reference later.
7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?
I use Microsoft Word, but I never ever stray from my tried and true tools of pen and paper. They go with me everywhere. We rely too heavily on all these fun little gadgets out here these days, and heaven forbid the battery dies or it gets lost or stolen…there goes your work or brainstorming ideas! I’d never trust a fogged bathroom mirror as something to write on either, all your thoughts would disappear in a flash, lol!
Ms. Cinsearae S. is the Editor/Publisher of award-winning Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine and a book cover designer for Damnation Books and independent authors. Author of The ABRAXAS Series, Boleyn: Tudor Vampire, Creepy Crawlers and In the Beginning (published through Black Bed Sheet Books), Cinsearae is an avid lover of all things gothic and horrific, and is a huge Vincent Price fan. Her Etsy shop, Mistress Rae’s Decadent Designs specializes in one-of-a-kind creepy dolls, Steampunk/Victorian/Halloween inspired jewelry, accessories, and more, receiving Fright Times’ 2012 Award for Best Horror Collectible. She lives with her husband and two rat terriers, aptly named Hades and Chaos. Visit her at http://BloodTouch.webs.com and friend her Facebook/Twitter/Youtube/ Pintrest/Goodreads @ Cinsearae. Google+ profile: https://profiles.google.com/103603003052909042747
Life’s a bitch, and then you DON’T die….
Diary of a Vampire Stripper is the tale of young Audra Perez, hard-up for cash and looking for a quick-fix to her financial woes. After all, a girl needs a roof over her head, not to mention tuition for school. When she auditions to be a stripper and is (to her surprise) chosen, things seem to be fine and dandy until a mysterious-looking gentleman starts to frequent the club. When they start exchanging friendly banter and they get to know each other more, Audra falls head-over-heels for him, and they begin dating against club rules.
One hot night at his beach house changes her life forever.
Things a turn for the worse as she wakes up to find herself a vampire, her lover gone without a trace, and her ‘new’ life a horrid, laughable mess –sometimes even scary–as she handles everything with snarky, dry wit and dark humor. Dealing with jackassy clients is just the start of her gripes. And if you think vampires and werewolves can’t be the best of friends, think again. Did I also mention Audra is dating a ghoul, now? Don’t call him a zombie though, that only pisses him off.
EXCERPT FROM DIARY OF A VAMPIRE STRIPPER
I can definitely tell you I’ve had some real jackasses for boyfriends. In my newfound profession, that situation got a bit worse. But I’ll digress for now.
I call myself Claudia, after that cute, little kid in the Interview with the Vampire movie. It’s my stage name, complete with that same kind of persona for my character — for that’s exactly what I portray when I’m out on the stage, and ironically, keeps my secret well hidden. Plus, the guys seem to love it.
My boss strongly advised against us girls dating the clientele. Most of us do it anyway, and if our boss catches on, we either get a warning or fired. I never quite understood his policy, but thinking from a boss’s point of view, it kinda made sense. If the relationship ended badly, it meant a loss of customers, a.k.a. revenue. Loose lips sink ships, and word of mouth still travels faster than any kind of online social networking. A bad date or relationship gone wrong with a stripper from the Hoochie Coochie Club would make the entire venue look bad.
Are you laughing at the name? I don’t blame you; I share your sentiments. I hated the name of that place… it sounded so stupid. I would have loved to have known who made up that moniker just so I could slap them silly.
I was never big on dating; the young college guys who often came in the club were pretty stupid and easy to manipulate. They came to have their fantasies fulfilled, nothing more. But every now and then, there was some moron with an even bigger fantasy tumbling around in his twisted brain, and that’s when the troubles would start. Some of the girls actually believed the guys were truly in love with them –or vice versa, which would spark a relationship in the first place. But I’m guessing that once the guys saw that their stripper girlfriends were actually human, things went downhill. What, did you think that we’re not supposed to eat, poop or pee? That those dark, lush, extra-long eyelashes, wild eye colors and hair extensions are actually real? That we pranced around wearing corsets, garters, G-strings and stilettos 24-7? Hate to burst your bubble, guys. We exist as your temporary escape only. Key word… temporary. Engrave that on your brain with a hot poker so you don’t forget, please.
So, I’m guessing you want to know more about me. I’m your average Jane, honest. Well, at least I was. This stripper gig is just a means to fund my way through college and pay the rent. I take evening classes now, naturally. I don’t miss the daylight much, but I wouldn’t be able to stay up to see the sun even if I tried. The moment those first rays of light hit the horizon, I simply drop like a puppet whose strings have been cut. My only saving grace is when there’s an overcast or rainy morning, so I look forward to those days.
I didn’t really think I’d fall headfirst into the nighttime lifestyle. I loved the darkness, but being a creature of one I did not foresee. I chose the stripper gig out of sheer desperation, trying out for the hell of it. I didn’t know Jack or Squat about wrapping my legs around a pole, and the cattle call for ‘new blood’ was the absolute worst. Just waiting for my turn made me want to crawl away in embarrassment. Our tryouts involved dancing in front of an actual crowd, and whoever got the loudest-sounding claps would be chosen. There were seven of us that particular night, including one tranny who knew exactly what the hell he was doing, too. But, as this was a club for ‘normies’, the fact that he was on a more alternative level already exed him out. But no matter where he went afterwards, I was sure an LBGT venue would snatch him up in a heartbeat.
At six feet tall with mocha colored skin and sporting a blonde, bobbed-cut wig, he wore a white bra with matching panties, garters, stockings and heels. He had a dancer’s body; wiry and muscular. I watched him work the pole as if he’d been doing it all his life, and envied him. It amazed me how anybody could climb up those things and twist and contort themselves around it as fluidly as a snake, with such grace and sensuality, not to mention total confidence. Already, I was feeling inadequate, and prayed someone else was inept as me.
I performed a few dinky moves, my sexuality having taken a backseat. I was wearing a two-piece, black, lace negligee with black heels that I was dying to take off after fifteen minutes. Why in hell did I try out for this crap? Oh yeah, I needed the money for school.
Ever see a kid swing themselves around a pole with one arm until they got themselves dizzy? That’s pretty much what I did, minus the getting dizzy part. I focused more on doing what I considered sexy moves without the use of a pole. And thank goodness there were two others that followed my lead. I didn’t feel as bad.
As we waited around for the other girls to finish with their auditions, I looked around the darkened warehouse-turned-strip joint, slash dive bar. Disco lights, mirror balls, multi-colored spotlights, and all the typical club junk was everywhere. The only difference was that there were tables all over the place for the patrons to sit at and watch the show. The stage had a catwalk, and the pole itself was at the end of it. Most of the tables surrounded the catwalk, and I got the creepy-crawlies knowing that so many eyes were on me. You can kinda ignore it, or not, depending on how nervous you actually are. I’m always nervous before I get on a stage, but once I’m on it, I ignore everything and focus on what I’m doing. At least the stuff I learned in high-school drama club was good for something.
I almost gawked at one chick that had a little extra meat on her bones, shaking her ass at the guys, who whistled and made lewd calls at her. Her dress was skin tight and completely sheer, and I wondered where in hell she found that outfit. When she squatted and spread her legs, the dress raised itself up over her butt. Not only was she not wearing underwear, but she hadn’t shaved down there, either. She’d put Sasquatch to shame with that matted muff. Hello, ever heard of a razor? Nair? Electrolysis? Something?! Naturally, the guys whooped and hollered again. How guys could love a crotch-tarantula was beyond my comprehension.
Oh dear Lord, remind me again… what the hell am I doing in here? That’s right. School. Need the money for school…
When it was all over, I was among the ones not chosen, of course. In a way, I was glad, but again, I was screwed out of fast cash. We all were given twenty-five bucks apiece, so I surmised it was some sort of stipend for performing that night. Whatever. It would buy me dinner, probably for two nights, depending on where I went, so it wasn’t a total loss.
Back in the dressing room, I couldn’t change into my street clothes fast enough. Feeling like a piece a meat for eight hours a night I could do without. When I passed by the office of this hole-in-the-wall, I noticed Little Miss Hairy Cooch sitting in the office talking to the bossman, along with the others that were picked by the crowd. Funny, but I knew she wasn’t one of the ‘official’ chosen. Oh well, not my concern. She glanced at me as I kept going. As I left out of a side entrance and headed for the bus stop…
“Hey, wait a sec,” a skinny, middle-aged woman called to me, trotting up to the stop. “Cal wants to see you.”
I raised my eyebrow. Cal was the proprietor of the HCC. The woman, whose name I had forgotten five minutes after she first mentioned it, was like his second-in-command, or secretary, or whatever.
“Ohhhkay…” I started, looking unsure.
“C’mon.” She waved me back, so reluctantly, I followed. Did I really need the money that badly?
Back in the office, I noticed the girls were now gone.
“Here she is,” the woman said to Cal with a half-smile.
He folded his hands on his desk, resting them on top of my application. I swallowed. “Why’d you run off?” he asked me.
I tightened my grip on my messenger bag. “The auditions were over, and I knew I wasn’t picked. No sense in hanging around, right?” I didn’t need to be bounced out of there by a, well… bouncer. I noticed that they quickly escorted one girl out after she started whining and complaining about why she wasn’t chosen. I didn’t need that to be me as well.
He grinned. “Well, despite not being chosen, I see some potential in you. You have a nice figure, not too much here.” He patted his hips and I raised my eyebrow again. That totally contradicted the fact that Little Miss Hairy Cooch was in this same office not too long ago, but I didn’t pry. Again, none of my business. “But… don’t gain any more weight,” he continued. If there was a glass of water on his desk, I might have thrown it in his face and ran the hell out of there. Damn society to hell with their ‘everyone-should-be-skinny-as-a-stick’ warning they constantly shoved down the public’s throat. Body-image freaks. Didn’t young girls have enough problems concerning that as it was?!
“You could take pole dancing classes, and be up to standard in a couple of weeks. What do you say?” Cal gave me a bit of an oily grin.
I almost laughed out loud. They actually had pole dancing classes? Well, I guess you had to learn somewhere…
My attitude became stoic. “I don’t have the extra money to pay for–”
“You can take classes right here, taught by one of our retired dancers. It’s what Maggie does for a living now. If you take the gig, your classes will be free.”
I paused. My sub-conscious was screaming at me in my head to just walk out anyway, but my logical (albeit somewhat desperate) side was thinking that this was probably some twisted blessing in disguise.
I took a deep breath before nodding. “Alright.”
Cal extended his hand, so I shook it. “Great. We’ll see you back here on Thursday at noon, and we’ll finish up with the paperwork.”
“Okay,” I mumbled, feeling far away. I had officially stepped into the Devil’s den.
On the bus ride home, I was seriously conflicted about this new job. One thing was for sure, I’d never do something ‘just for the hell of it’ again. I tried to think about the positives. One, I wouldn’t have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to rush to some zombified corporate job that would bore the hell out of me forty hours a week. Two, the pay was awesome. I’d make three to four times as much here in a day than I would a week at a corporate job. Three, I wouldn’t have to worry about money for school. I tried hard to think of a fourth, and couldn’t. Then my mind immediately thought of the negatives.
Guys would stare at me every night, some of them one can short of a six-pack. I still wasn’t comfortable with being half-naked on a stage, showcased like a ham in a butcher’s window. This was a job that had to be done at night, and I’d get home around two in the morning. Who knew what kinds of wackos were wandering around during that time? Maybe I’d have to start carrying a knife with me. Or pepper spray. Or a gun. I didn’t like guns. Never fired one, never held one. Also, I’d need some skanky outfits, so that meant having to shop around in the red light district, which already looked like skid row as it was. Hmm, I’d be checking out Frederick’s or Victoria’s Secret online instead. It’d be a hell of a lot safer.
I sighed. I knew the cons would outweigh the pros….
Also Out Now:
CREEPY CRAWLERS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SPINE-TINGLING TERROR– http://amzn.to/XSwtHt
Featuring eleven short stories of the monsters we’ve all come to know, and even love, it opens the door to a few new ones…especially one breed in particular that loves to justify all the evils that they do… From darkly humorous, to gothic and somber, to thought-provoking, and making the hairs on the back of your neck rise, Creepy Crawlers will have you rethinking the world of the typical clichéd creature, because sometimes, the real monsters are the ones who live right next door to you…
Received 4-star reviews from Night Owl Reviews and Goodreads, and features “Bad Phone Call”, a 1st place winner in the National Haunters Convention’s 2011 short story competition. Find out more about this anthology at http://bit.ly/Sbl40K
Cinsearae S. has been an excellent Writerly Wednesday Guest. I hope she will come back and do this again. Come back each Wednesday for more Writerly Wednesday Interviews.
Don’t touch anything sharp.