Interview with Cherie Reich, author of Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection
1. What started your writing journey/made you want to be a writer? Is it something you've always wanted to do? Before 2009, if you asked me what I wanted to do as a career, writer never would have come into the conversation. I was an avid reader, but I left writing to the professionals. But in 1999, I joined some online role-playing games and eventually tried my hand at fanfiction. I wrote millions of words during this time and began to have my own ideas for new worlds, characters, and storylines. I dwelled on these ideas and eventually decided to act upon them. On January 15, 2009, I started writing my first novel and haven’t looked back.
2. What kinds of books do you like to read? It might be a shorter list to tell you what books I don’t like to read. *laughs* If I take a look at my Goodreads “read” books, I read a lot of fantasy and mysteries/thrillers with some science fiction, horror, and romance. I read books from young adult to adult and tend to enjoy commercial fiction more than literary.
3. Do you think being a librarian influences your writing? And if so, how? If I didn’t have the job (library assistant) I have today, then I doubt I ever would have been a writer. Some days I’m just a warm body, so it gives me time to write. I also catalog the books we purchase, so seeing the MARC records (the book’s computer coding) gives me a special insight on why things like genre, categories, and book description matter.
4. What's your favorite part of the writing process? I hope you don’t mind if I cheat a little bit and mention two of my favorite parts. I love outlining and the final proofread. In the outlining stage, I get to take my ideas from my head to the page. I also can start to see if the story will really work out or if I need to think more. As for proofreading, I love when the book comes together as a whole. A word change here. A sentence removed there. That final proofread is a reward for all the work put into writing and editing the story.
5. What's your favorite part of Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection? The last two chapters of Once upon a December Nightmare (first story in the collection) are my favorite. I’ve been building the tension and horror of that terrible night and everything comes together to change these friends forever. A few months ago when I was working on the content edit, I found myself shaking after I finished chapter eight. The story affected me so much I had to walk away and try to calm down before I could continue on.
6. I've noticed that you develop all of your characters with motives and back-story, even the villains, so what mixture of ingredients do you think makes a character interesting to write about? What has gone before us affects who we are as a person. I try to keep that in mind when I write as a character. People are flawed. A perfect person isn’t very interesting to read about, but a person so flawed with no redeeming qualities is equally not interesting. I find it is important to strike a balance of who the character is, how the character grows, and what the character does. Of course, everything about the character builds from first draft to final proofread.
7. Do you have a writing quote or tip that you could share? “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King
A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.
Purchase Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich at Amazon. From June 22-28, the collection is only $0.99!
Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction author and library assistant living in Virginia. Visit her website and blog for more information.