I write short speculative fiction with a strong leaning toward the dark and the weird.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember—I have a folder full of them from grade school and even some that survived from high school—but it wasn't until I was in the midst of training for my "real career" and so miserable I was considering giving up entirely that I decided to try my hand at being a writer. I've been at it for about four years now. Writing saved me from quitting my day job, which is great because now I can afford to also be a writer.
What do you consider the most influential book you've ever read?
I'm not sure there's a single most influential book, but there are a handful that have really stuck with me. From the Teeth of Angels by Jonathan Carroll; Night Shift by Stephen King; Beloved by Toni Morrison; and most recently, The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas are all works that really spoke to me. Those are the kinds of stories I want to write. The kind that a reader returns to in their mind over and over again.
What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you become a better writer?
So, so many!! Too many to list but my core group includes Shauna Brock, Taylor Sublett, Sean Igo, and Stephanie Novak whom I all met when I decided to join the SLC writer's group. My closest writing friend and best beta reader is Gordon B. White. We started writing about the same time and met when we were crossed paths on a few of the same online writing sites. Since then, we've shared TOCs in a few anthologies (one of which won a Bram Stoker Award!) and co-authored a novella (which we are still shopping around.) All of these people give honest feedback and aren't afraid to tell me if something sucks. Better than that, if something DOES suck, they always have suggestions on how to make it better. But even the authors I'm only casually acquainted with make me better because reading their work helps to shape my own. I learn so much just by reading what other people have written, even if it does occasionally result in bouts of deep envy.
What’s the best way you've found to market your books?
At this point, my work has appeared elusively in anthologies and magazines. I find that supporting and promoting other authors' work is a great way to build rapport, meet people, make friends, and when I have a project, those authors are likely to share and promote for me in return.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
If you like a book or story, leave a review! Tell your friends! And if you're up for it, maybe message the author to let them know. I've received a few messages out of the blue from readers, and it's a boost that keeps me going during those times it seems like there's no point to writing another word. I'd also like to say that if you love of reading, pay for the content you love. You'll never know how many great stories and books never get published because people think that art should be free.
My author website: www.diagnosisdiabolique.com
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/rebeccajallred