Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Creating A Paranormal Monster, Giveaway and IWSG


This is going to be a fun day! First, we have Cherie Reich talking about how to create monsters. And then, if you'll scroll down, you'll find my IWSG post.

But first, the fun stuff! Take it away, Cherie!
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Thank you so much for hosting me, Gwen!

Creating paranormal monsters is a lot of fun. I love playing off legends and mythological creatures and making them my own.

When I first consider a paranormal monster, I have to decide which one. Do I need someone more human or beast ... or a combination of the two?

For The Nightmare Collection, I wanted something like Bigfoot in appearance but not quite. A hairy humanoid monster creeping through the forest. But I needed more. After all, Bigfoot isn’t all that creepy or scary. I thought of a monster that lives a long time, almost like a vampire in its immortality and bloodlust. So I combined longevity and a thirst for blood with my Bigfoot-like monster.

So I had appearance and a couple things that made the monster scarier, but that wasn’t enough.

Paranormal monsters are the best if there is a hint of humanity in them as well as a touch of reality. My monster can talk, although not very much or well. And forensics has discovered genetic mutations within him.

So combining legends and science, the familiar with the unfamiliar, and the old and new can create fascinating new monsters waiting to keep you up at night.

What is your favorite paranormal monster?

The Nightmare Collection Information:


A legend is hungry tonight.

A child monster will get its first taste of blood in Nightmare at the Freak Show. Four friend will enter the forest on December night, but only one can survive in Once Upon a December Nightmare. Almost ten years after Cassie's December nightmare, the monster awakens to hunt again in Nightmare Ever After.




 Purchase Links for the ebook:

Purchase Links for the print book:

Author Bio:

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies. Her e-books include the horror series Nightmare, a short story collection with authors Aubrie Dionne and Lisa Rusczyk titled The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, the futuristic space fantasy novelette trilogy Gravity, and The Foxwick Chronicles, a series of fantasy stories. She is a member of Valley Writers and the Virginia Writers Club.

Author Links:

Website. Blog. Twitter. Facebook . Goodreads
Rafflecopter Giveaway:

I am giving away prizes to two lucky people. The prize packages are open internationally and include: a signed copy of The Nightmare Collection, a signed copy of Gravity: The Complete Trilogy, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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I'm not sure what the heck happened to November, but my calendar assures me that it's now December and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. Thank you Alex Cavanaugh for hosting!

Today I'm going to talk about the new business I'm about to launch. Yikes, did I say that? Me? Run my own business? Of course, I know how to run a swimming pool construction business, inside and out. I did it for ten years. But that's somehow different:
  • It wasn't my business and I didn't start it.
  • I wasn't middle-aged (Can you believe it? But 50 is the new 40, right?).
  • It's success wasn't solely reliant on me.
Who knew it wasn't easy to make a living at writing? Well - I did. I knew it. So - how to supplement my novel-writing income? The only thing that makes sense is for me to have my own business, working from home.

I live in the mountains, 60 miles (through mountain passes) from the nearest big town that might employ me. It's way too far for an employer to be comfortable with me being reliable enough to always show up, even during a snow storm.

And besides, I love the career change I made. I love writing and everything that goes with it: editing, proofreading, formatting. I LOVE it all! It's what I'm good at.

Those who know my background know that I had a life-changing epiphany which prompted me to leave my good-paying job: Life is too short to not chase your dreams. That's how I ended up in this writing business. And now I'm expanding to formatting, proofreading and copy editing.

But now I'm feeling insecure about my new venture:
  • What if people won't hire me?
  • What if they do, and I make a mistake?
  • What if I don't have enough experience?
  • What makes me think I can do this?
Yep, I could go on and on, but I won't.

Whew! Glad I got this off my chest. And really, I already took the biggest leap, right? Wow, I feel better already. Thanks for listening!

What's your insecurity?

54 comments:

  1. Anything new is scary at first. I posted about something similar. Would you happen to know how to format picture books? Lol

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    1. Miranda, I never have done picture books....but good luck :)

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  2. It's always scary to start something new, not knowing if it will work or be a bust. You just need faith that it will work out. :)

    The Nightmare Collection sounds really cool! :)

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    1. Stina, new is scary - and exciting! And yeah, I'm going on faith:)

      And The Nightmare Collection just sounds so awesome!

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  3. I love the idea of creating monsters. :)

    As for the business, buy insurance to cover you if you do make a mistake. I did independent IT consulting/software development before child 3 and the economic collapse. Another consultant advised me to buy malpractice insurance - at the time it was only about $1000 for a million dollars worth of coverage. You might not need that much. I'm not sure if it's possible to make a single million-dollar proof-reading mistake.

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    1. Tonja, doesn't creating monsters sound fun? I want to do it now.

      Lol! Good lord, I hope I never make a mistake like that:)

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    2. Thanks, Tonja! It is fun, and you should try creating a monster, Gwen. They don't have to be scary. :)

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  4. It is scary to start a new business. I've been working as a freelance editor since November 2010, and I still worry about making a mistake or missing something major. It shows you care about your work and doing your best, and the feeling never goes away (or hasn't for me yet). If you need any help, feel free to email me. :)

    And thank you so much for hosting me today!

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    1. Wow, thanks for the support Cherie. I'll definitely hit you up if things go pear shaped, lol! But really, if I need advice, I'll come to you:)

      And of course it was just lovely hosting you today! You're welcome.

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  5. Cherie-- love your take on monsters! Glad to see you making the bloggy rounds. Gwen, we have such similar stories, right down to that isolated lil' mountain town. I hope I see the same success as you have. Go us!

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    1. Julie, my success remains to be seen. But I do so love what I'm doing, so I'm a huge success in that way.

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  6. Yay for Cherie! So excited to see her everywhere! :-D

    You'll do a great job with the new venture, Gwen, if you bring as much passion and work ethic to it as you do your writing. Two things make for a successful person: 1) belief in what you're doing, and 2) effort. You've clearly got both. :-)

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  7. Cherie, I can't wait to dive into your book!
    Gwen, go for it! It may start slow and small, but the more you do it, the more confidence you'll gain. And clients.

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    1. Alex, I am going for it. I have been such a busy bee working on it. I've neglected everything else!

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  8. That makes great sense, Cherie. Having the touch of humanity often makes a monster scarier.

    Gwen, believe in yourself and your abilities! You have the proven business sense to make it succeed. Go for it!

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    1. Laura, thanks so much for the support. And I am going for it, full-heartedly! Yikes!

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    2. Thanks, Laura! I thought so too. :)

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  9. Cherie, I'm going to have to add your Nightmare Collection to my TBR list! I love all things legendary & monsterly.

    Way to go Gwen for starting up your own biz!!

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    1. Candilynn, doesn't the Nightmare Collection sound so scary-fun?

      Thanks so much for you support:)

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    2. Thanks, Candilynn! If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it!

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  10. Oh, Stormy Knight, how art thou? :D

    I can't believe it's December either.

    Cherie created one cool monster for her book. It might rank up among my favorites. I definitely need to read her book.

    People are always looking for the services you offer. You know a whole lot of us out here pounding the pavement. You will probably make some mistakes. Everybody does. I think most writers understand that.

    My most recent editing contract states something like she'll catch 98%, so that sort of sets up a few things might slip through the cracks expectation.

    I will definitely file the gracious Stormy Knight in my folder for future use. :) Just keep letting people know you exist. I've hired several people who approached me on Twitter.

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    1. Mary, that 98% thing is a great idea! I should put that in my blurb. Thanks so much, Mistress Mary!

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    2. Aww, thanks, Mary! Hope you enjoy the stories!

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  11. Favorite and scariest - werewolves.

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    1. Diane, yep - werevolves are totally fun. Go Team Jacob!

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    2. Werewolves are pretty awesome! :)

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  12. "The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach." ~ Benjamin Mays

    Write, Gwen. Write. :)

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    1. I love that! Thanks Linda. I have so many goals right now that it's a bit overwhelming. But it's 1000% better than not having any, for sure.

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  13. Really happy for Cherie. My post featuring her goes live in less than 15 minutes. And I wish you much success on your expanding self-employment endeavors. You'll be great.

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    1. Jeff, Cherie is all over the place. I'm so happy for her, too.

      Thanks for the support!

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  14. Wow. That monster has the extra scariness of being something that can be somewhat identified, but not all the way...making it such an enigma. *shudder*

    And Gwen, I got your back when it comes to letting the world know that you ROCK!! My paperback wouldn't be anything without your expertise!!

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    1. Angela, right? A bit scarier when it could be real...

      Thanks *blushes*- I know you got my back and that totally rocks.

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    2. Thank you, Angela! I hope he's scary. ;)

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  15. Good luck with your new venture. Just remember, you wouldn't be doing it if you didn't think you could!

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    1. Annalisa, you're so right. I know I can do this and that I'm really good at it. I just hate that self doubt that creeps in when I'm not looking :)

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  16. I shall keep you in mind. I do have several WIP's.

    Monster making isn't something I consciously thought out. Another monster in the making. Hmmm.

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    1. Thanks Millie - I can't wait to check out your wip's :)

      I never consciously thought about creating a monsters, either. But it sounds so fun that I want to try it.

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    2. It can be a lot of fun to create monsters. I do that too with my fantasy novels and new fantasy creatures. :)

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  17. Sometimes I think my MUSE is my scariest paranormal monster! Great idea.

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    1. Lee, the muse can be pretty scary - and helpful. But a double-edged sword, for sure.

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    2. Hehe! Muses definitely can be scary!

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  18. Replies
    1. Thanks Carol - I've received so much encouragement that I'm just going to jump in with both feet!

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  19. You can only but try! I wish you all the best Gwen.

    Cherie, congrats on the book release - My favourite scary movie would be Resident Evil.

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  20. Great post, Cherie! It's too difficult to choose one paranormal monster. Though I do love vampires.

    Good luck with the new business, Gwen. You're incredibly brave. You can do it!

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    1. Thank you! I know what you mean, and vampires are awesome!

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  21. IT by Stephen King - such a classic.

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