The Nightmare Engine Podcast

Creating Fear Together: The Intricacies of Co-Writing Horror

April 13, 2022 David Viergutz Season 1 Episode 9
Creating Fear Together: The Intricacies of Co-Writing Horror
The Nightmare Engine Podcast
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The Nightmare Engine Podcast
Creating Fear Together: The Intricacies of Co-Writing Horror
Apr 13, 2022 Season 1 Episode 9
David Viergutz

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธAbout the Episode
Ever wondered what goes into co-writing a unique story? As horror authors, we (David Viergutz and Jay Bower) shed light on our experience of sharing a vision, and the importance of having a healthy working relationship with a co-author. Tune in to listen to our sculpting analogy of shaping and reshaping each other's work to create the perfect narrative. This episode will give you a sneak peek into the intricacies of creating a story with multiple perspectives, and the delicate balance it requires in character development and story structure.

As we discuss our latest works, like Jay's short story collection Hanging Corpses, and his upcoming novel Every Time I Die, as well as David's cultist tale Old Scratch, you'll also hear about the excitement that surrounds the completion of our latest book project. We're overjoyed to share our plans to celebrate, which includes a book giveaway and a cover reveal. We promise you won't want to miss out on all the thrilling details of our indie author journey!

Finally, we also share some insights into the upcoming events in our calendar like the 20 Books Vegas, a convention for indie authors, and Scares That Care Author Con, a charity event. We aim to bring you into the heart of the indie author community, with an episode brimming with writerly insights, horror, and a glimpse into the world of author conventions and charity events. So grab your headphones, sit back, and let's dive into the dark, exciting world of horror writing!

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

๐Ÿ”—Connect with Jay
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

โญ๏ธ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leav

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

โญ๏ธ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and let us know in your review who you want to see next on the podcast. Thanks!

You can also Tweet me @ViergutzDavid and tell me what horror author you want to hear from next, or what topics you want me to cover. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How did you like the show? Text us and let us know.


โญ๏ธEnjoy the podcast? Do your good deed for the day and leave a 5-star review here ;)

๐ŸŽ™๏ธAbout the Episode
Ever wondered what goes into co-writing a unique story? As horror authors, we (David Viergutz and Jay Bower) shed light on our experience of sharing a vision, and the importance of having a healthy working relationship with a co-author. Tune in to listen to our sculpting analogy of shaping and reshaping each other's work to create the perfect narrative. This episode will give you a sneak peek into the intricacies of creating a story with multiple perspectives, and the delicate balance it requires in character development and story structure.

As we discuss our latest works, like Jay's short story collection Hanging Corpses, and his upcoming novel Every Time I Die, as well as David's cultist tale Old Scratch, you'll also hear about the excitement that surrounds the completion of our latest book project. We're overjoyed to share our plans to celebrate, which includes a book giveaway and a cover reveal. We promise you won't want to miss out on all the thrilling details of our indie author journey!

Finally, we also share some insights into the upcoming events in our calendar like the 20 Books Vegas, a convention for indie authors, and Scares That Care Author Con, a charity event. We aim to bring you into the heart of the indie author community, with an episode brimming with writerly insights, horror, and a glimpse into the world of author conventions and charity events. So grab your headphones, sit back, and let's dive into the dark, exciting world of horror writing!

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

๐Ÿ”—Connect with Jay
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

โญ๏ธ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leav

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

โญ๏ธ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and let us know in your review who you want to see next on the podcast. Thanks!

You can also Tweet me @ViergutzDavid and tell me what horror author you want to hear from next, or what topics you want me to cover. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Nightmare Engine Podcast with your hosts, horror authors David Virgoots and Jay Bauer, where they discuss all things horror, books, movies, stories. Nothing is off limits, nothing is safe, and neither are you.

Speaker 2:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome again to episode 9 of the Nightmare Engine Podcast. We have been out on hiatus for just a little bit, but happy to be back in the studio this time. We've got some really really cool updates, some some new and different stuff that that readers hopefully you guys will come to just absolutely eat up. So, jay, are you there, man?

Speaker 3:

I am Hello David. How are you man?

Speaker 2:

I'm good man, I know it's um, I know it's been a bit since we've been together on this type of stuff, but I'm glad I really enjoy these and and I think the readers enjoy it too. So we're gonna try and get a little bit more consistent. I think that's fair to you know, fair to everybody else and kind of fair to us is get a little more consistent. Think we're pushing for every other week.

Speaker 3:

I think that'll work yeah, I think I would love to do that so that everyone that's listening can know when to expect some new episodes and keep us on our toes. But I think I think it's doable and I think I think it won't overburden any of it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and and that gives us plenty of time to to schedule out authors in advance. Trying to get three of us from often, you know, three different parts of the world is sometimes tough, like we get a lot of had an author of Boris is from Serbia, that was interesting to get him on. We had Lee Mountford from the UK. So we just we've got people from all over the place and we're trying to get you guys some, some new and interesting faces in the indie, in the indie author, indie horror community. So we're doing the best we can share with us. We got families, got lives, but we are gonna be working on a consistency over the next coming weeks. But speaking of weeks, what? What have you been up to? Man? I know we talk from time to time, but let's get a fish with it. Let's put it on the record. Let's let's get. Give me the news and the updates?

Speaker 3:

yeah, for sure so, but by the time this releases, everybody will know that I've got my short story collection. Hanging Corpses just came out a little over a week ago. I'm not sure when this episode is gonna come out. So hanging corpses came out in May 23rd and it's been pretty well received so far. The cover has just been absolutely stunning. That's been pulling so many people in and then when they start reading it they're like, oh, this is pretty good, which is an awesome feeling. But hanging corpses came out 15 short stories and just something that I I enjoy doing the short stories. I started writing with short stories and just they built up over a while, you know, over a certain amount of time, and then get put those out. You know got the three dead blood books that came out earlier this year. Those have been really well received as well. You know nothing like putting a vampire in a world of zombies to try to find some fresh blood, you know, but that's that's gone over really well.

Speaker 3:

I'm working on a couple other projects at the moment. One of them is a novel that's called every time I die, and that one I don't want to say too much about my plans for it. I will talk a little bit about the story. That's not a problem. And in this particular piece of man is basically cursed he. He has to commit murders every once in a while for this specific demon. If he doesn't, then he's cursed to die a horrible death. Then he gets to come back, he basically he gets to be reincarnated as himself again and has to keep doing it. So he has to keep killing or get killed, and so it's kind of brutal little little demon in there. A lot of fun to write.

Speaker 3:

I will say that I'm actually also working on another book in the dead blood series. About a third of the way into that one, just kind of continuing the story, I've had a couple people say like hey, man, book three ended really well, why are you doing more? I was like there's, there's more story there. There's a lot I'd like to do and I've had a lot of ideas for a while about what could be coming after those first three books. So we'll see how many more it gets. And then I've got another project, but we'll save that because I'm talking about that in a little bit as far as kind of what's coming up soon. So what about you man? Give us a recap where you're at what's been going on and and what's what's happening yeah, man.

Speaker 2:

So in in the process of currently reskinning a bunch of my books and I think that's it's really important and just from author to reader, like I want you guys have have awesome covers to look at, you know, to be able to look at that book and just get a feeling from it, because you know covers really do sell the book. If it's not an interesting cover, I don't think you're gonna pick it up, you know. And so I owe it to you to make sure that you guys have some really, really cool covers that really attract your attention. You know, kind of give some pride and ownership, you know, be a look at them in the shelf and, like man, you know how about the people walk by, so look at that, and so that's, that's a big one for me. And then I'm currently at the re-edit stage, since I have a little bit of time before I start my next big project on finishing up and re-editing old scratch. And so this is one of my favorite types of tales and that is cultist style tales. You know religion and cults, you know, I think David Koresh and you know the branch Davidians, jonestown, that sort of feel, and I really, really love to capture the fanaticism that comes with the cults. So, finishing up those edits and then, once that new skin is in, I'll make sure you guys have it right away. So that's gonna be probably within a week or two at most. It's about time I release it and it's just just a story that needs to finish up.

Speaker 2:

And that's the fourth book and the other archives besides that. I finished up the last short story that was a part of my Kickstarter for my dark fantasy series, and so I was able to finally, you know, close the page on that and say, okay, you finished one Kickstarter and then you know I've got another one that I've lined up. That's later on this year as I get the final touches on that, and that's more of a passion project. It's not horror, so don't don't go looking for it under my horror belt, but I will say that a lot of my readers I'm gonna give you guys an opportunity to read it because I think it's. It was just a passion project, something from my my childhood that brought a lot of nostalgia. That's gonna be really cool.

Speaker 2:

But besides that, my main focus is gonna be on co-writing. So I've got two authors one just happens to be present with me, I think everybody kind of saw this one coming of us writing a story together and then, you know, I have another one lined up for right after that and I think we're gonna be either looking at deep space or deep sea. I think that's what we're gonna be for an entire horror series. So think in the vein of alien underwater, the abyss sphere, that sort of thing, maybe some event horizon type, feel less sci-fi or space horror. So that is my main focus is getting with a couple other authors and really combining our skill sets and and and really bringing some cool stories about. So let's um, well, I got you here. Let's, let's talk about this, this new book that we decided out in nowhere. We're gonna, we're gonna do and we're gonna, we're gonna make it happen yes.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, you mentioned about two authors you co-authoring, with one of them being me and then another author. I, too, have a possible opportunity to work with another author besides you, so we've got a lot coming up. Man, it's really cool. I like these combining forces things. I think it's. It can be a lot of fun. So, anyway, let's talk about this thing. You want to. You want to divulge the name of this piece?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so the name kind of came out of nowhere and it fit perfectly for what we wanted to do and so that the title of this new, this new standalone, it's gonna be a standalone, I think. Pretty sure I'd say, I'd say the way we want to write it's gonna be standalone. It's called slaughter Lake Howl, perfect.

Speaker 3:

Slaughter Lake. I love it, man, obviously, but such a cool name.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it fits, and the cover is just simple and it's wicked. So we're gonna be really excited to release that to the, to folks to see. And the premise of this book is really been, I Think, something that we want to work on craft wise, and so we don't talk a lot about craft on this show, but you know it's good to do so. Craft wise, my main focus has really been diving into the characters. That's where I want to see myself focusing on this year and and taking even a mundane Story and making it awesome because of the characters. And so this one is gonna be focused heavily on Five characters two couples and my favorite character, fifth wheel.

Speaker 3:

So if we a good old, he was named fifth wheel because we named our couples right and then. But we kill, still kept Referring to this other person as fifth wheel, fifth wheel, and we're like, let's just keep it named fifth wheel. We I named him the other day. We can always change it, but I figured we need something more than Good old fifth wheel. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it fits great and I love, I love the way we design the character, so we thought about him. As for people who want to, he'll taste. We like him to be Similar to the character I don't remember if anybody what's that actor's name from spider-man, the old spider-man, franko James Franco's character in spider-man yeah, osborne's crazy Osborne's son, a Kimber, was named anyways.

Speaker 3:

Harry.

Speaker 2:

Harry Osborne, yeah, so kind of that Sly but intelligent, good-looking guy and he's got a lot of problems and so a lot of problems that are under the hood. So we say, but yeah, we're gonna be focusing on five people in a cabin. I know the story has been told a hundred times, but I don't think it's been told this way. I think this is gonna be something different.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and as we get closer, as we go along, you know, for those that are listening, you know we're gonna be Giving you a lot of information about our process. Well, the information about how we're coming up with things and some behind the scenes stuff, that about the stories that could can be Spoilery. I guess, as we go along, I'm sure something will come up that might be somewhat spoiler. We can't talk about it all without, you know, given some of that stuff away. But I think this is gonna be kind of cool for you and me and for those that are listening, to kind of see what that process is like behind the behind the veil. You know what's, what's going on back there. How do these people come up with these stories and and how do they work together, like as we're gonna be doing, to craft a story that people are gonna want to read. And I, you know, I I love that kind of idea and I love that we're we're kind of peeling it back a little bit for people to see.

Speaker 3:

But Definitely there could be some spoilery things as we talk about and things can obviously change as we're going through the process. You know we have an idea and a vision right now, but by the time we do our next episode, that might be completely different, names might be completely changed. We make Change a character for male to female or whatever. You never know. But this is kind of that's part of writing. All right, you know that's. You start with one thing and sometimes the story takes a different way and you follow that thread until it's conclusion, and so you know that's, I think, something that you'll see in some of these podcasts until the book is released, and then, of course, we'll have a release.

Speaker 2:

but yeah, I really don't want to go against a grain. You know, once a story a lot of some folks will ask us you know, like you do write an outline or you just, you know, swing from the hip and or shoot from the hip and, to be honest, it For my process might be a little bit different than some folks who were pretty rigid. Like, I have an outline because I don't like staring at a blank page. So I'll use that as, especially in this, in this case, where we have two authors from two different parts of the country who have got to Collaborate together on anywhere between 60 and 70 thousand words, we have to be able to agree on that and on the story. And so we have an outline, but it's not a hard and fast outline.

Speaker 2:

As the story gets written It'll change. You know, we are playing this movie out in our heads. We were playing the story on our heads and we're combining them and kind of keying off each other's intuition and trying to say, okay, what direction would do I think Jay's gonna go? Okay, what direction do you think Dave's gonna go? And then we're slapping them together and and hoping that they work. So it's really really kind of a cool Project. Imagine, you know, imagine working on a sculpture. We have to send it off every time you get done with it to the other person to work on. And you know, and you have an image in your head of what's supposed to look like.

Speaker 2:

So it's, it's kind of an interesting, interesting but but definitely a fun process. It cuts the writing down by half, but I think it increases the work by half too. Oh, I agree 100%.

Speaker 3:

You know it, because we, we both have our vision of what a story needs to be right. And then when I get pieces from you or you get pieces For me or like that's not what my vision was, but that's okay, we're here to collaborate, we're not here to, you know, tell just Jay's story or just Dave's story. It's gonna be our story. So we have to be able to step back. You know, I gotta be able to step back when you're like, oh, you know, I took the story this way and I'm like that's not what I had in mind. But then we work together to hash it out and make sure that the vision is our vision, and not your vision or my vision, but ours, and that you know we've got it.

Speaker 3:

I think, a good enough relationship, we can do that and we're, you know we've been critiquing each other for a couple years now. So I think we're, we're okay with you. Know, you saying, jay, this is shit, this is not what I had in mind, and me, the same way, like Dave, this, this is just not working man, what this needs to change, and but we have that relationship. You know, sometimes I think, if you, if you're not that On that kind of level with someone else. It can be different and a different co-writing experiences. It can be so different, you know where, where I've seen some where somebody will pretty much do every part of the outline and then just give it to somebody else that you write it and that's like that's how they co-write. That's one way to do it. That's not how I've done it in the past, that's how I prefer to do it and I don't think that's how you want to do this either.

Speaker 3:

No it's just a different kind of collaboration.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I don't, I don't, I don't take too much of this to. It's not personal, you know. I know it's not personal, I know it's just something that we want to see the best of when the story can go, and unless it's completely out of left wing and we can't work with it, and at that point we just have a discussion about it, which is no big deal. We write fast enough, it's not taking up too much of our lives that we're like, oh my gosh, you know, we just lost a month's worth of work. I don't think it's ever gonna get to that point, not with the way. Oh, we write, and we write pretty quickly, I'd say, you know, a couple thousand words a day, um, pretty consistently. So I'm not too worried at all. It's not like it's my baby and I'm holding on to and it has to Be done this certain way.

Speaker 2:

I want to tell an awesome six story. I want people to just Droll over the story and tell all their friends about it, and I can't do that if I'm so rigid about the way the story must be told, because I don't think there's a must when it comes to storytelling. I think it's really what's good and what's not, and um, and. So when it comes to when you throw another person into the mix and then it just becomes Okay, can we communicate our ideas well enough that we can avoid the mistakes before the issues, the major glaring issues, before we even get to them? So we're not, you know, we're avoiding the whole. Hey, you got to delete this last thousand words and redo them. You know, and um, and, and also becomes how you talk to people. You know, like, hey, man, like can we talk about this part? Because I don't, I'm not really feeling it, but let's talk about it quick and see what we can do with it.

Speaker 2:

And I think that makes the experience so much more fun. You know, and we want to have fun with it too. Like, every time, I know when you're gonna write something. I know I'm gonna have something cool to look at the next time I open that piece, and so I get a little piece of the story too, um, and so I think that's really important in that you're, every time that I get something back from you, I get to relearn the story and the direction it's going and your characters and how you're doing it.

Speaker 2:

So that's another thing we didn't mention is how we're kind of dividing it up. You know, a lot of people think we're my two. You know 30,000 words a piece, you know, and then hand it to the other person and say, hey, good luck, finish the story and that's. I'm sure that's a way that people do it, but not us. So let's talk about these characters just a little bit. Let's give a taste about who they are and maybe not reveal all the deep stuff, but just kind of give people an image of who these characters are and how we fit into developing them.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I had to pull up our spreadsheet here so I can get those details, because I don't remember their names yet. I mean we just crafted them. So our story is going to follow five main characters. I'm sure there's going to be a few others in there, but it's really going to be a lot of isolation.

Speaker 3:

You know, a cabin in the woods in Northern Wisconsin is where we're thinking and that's where we want to put all of this.

Speaker 3:

So again, who knows, by the time we write this thing it could be like a cabin in like New Mexico, who knows?

Speaker 3:

But right now it's a lakeside cabin in Northern Wisconsin and we've got these five friends that are going on a reunion trip up to Slaughter Lake, something that they've done for, used to do on spring break is kind of what we talked about.

Speaker 3:

And so this is about five years or so after graduation from college and they haven't kind of maybe not been in touch much and they're getting together for a reunion. And so we split it up to have the five characters and the two of us taking on a couple and writing their stories, so we can interweave it, you know. So we're going to basically have four POVs is, I think, what we were talking about. What's a POV, pov point of view, so one chapter will be one person's point of view and other chapters is someone else's point of view. It's kind of what we're planning. And then with our fifth character I don't think we planned on him having his own point of view I thought we were looking at maybe it coming from the other four characters, but that's kind of our initial thoughts on how we were going to structure this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the characters themselves. So we've kind of got a different, several different dynamics here. We've got the individual characters and then how they behave as couples, which we know that if you ever talked to a married couple they might be a little bit different together than they are separate.

Speaker 3:

I mean, do you want to get into their details?

Speaker 2:

or what I mean. I do because I want to talk about it, but I don't I mean, we can, it's it doesn't matter to me.

Speaker 2:

Well, let's talk in generalities, let's do generalities, okay. So let me talk about my characters first, because I have I'm running from something that I'm uncomfortable with, and so a lot of people know that my characters are normally bad people. I write bad people very, very well. I mean, consider my job and what I do. I see it all the time, and so I write people with a lot of flaws, and I say bad people. I think it's a spectrum. You get this scale right. You got good people left, bad people on the right and somewhere in the middle everybody is where everybody actually is, and every time you, every time something goes wrong, you might dance a little towards the right side, towards towards the wrong side or whatever, but I don't think anybody's inherently good or bad, but I have to write people who would generally be on the morally good side. So they're people. I don't know who these people are, I'm not able to judge, but I would say is that the majority of their actions would be towards doing something good, and so that's outside of my spectrum, that's outside of my wheelhouse.

Speaker 2:

I normally don't write a lot of good people in general. I write people who just it's easier to see the flaws. I guess. I don't know, I don't know if that's being morose or what, but that's something for me that's really kind of kind of different. And so I get to write people who just let's talk about all the good things they do, and but with that come some cool secrets, and so the secrets are always important. That's the other part of it I really get to enjoy is that they've got some secrets that really play into the story, and so that's that's my couple. They're just these relatively good people, you know, but they got something in the closet. Do you want to share?

Speaker 3:

names at all, or do you want to not do that?

Speaker 2:

No only because they can change.

Speaker 3:

I know, but that's part of the fun. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

Speaker 2:

All right, you've got the spreadsheet open, so so give my characters names, because I, for the love of me, cannot remember.

Speaker 3:

All right, so you have Samuel Tals and Rebecca Crowe is your couple.

Speaker 2:

And who do we pick for fifth wheel?

Speaker 3:

His name. His name is Jude Parker.

Speaker 2:

So Jude fits. I remember seeing that I was like Jude really fits that guy for what we have planned for him. So he's a very special character in our in our, minds. I just prefer to miss fifth wheel and I'm probably going to do that forever.

Speaker 3:

So that's fine. So then I have a couple that I get to work with and I think you and I kind of thought maybe these, this couple, will be in a little bit of a darker side. You know they do have secrets, but they're they're more known for being a little darker versus your couple and you know you've got in the two of them. The man of the couple, his name is Cade Daniels, and the female is Ella Harlow. And one of the fun things that I like to do when I'm creating characters is I like to find maybe like famous actors or actresses for some of my characters and use them as my model to base it off of, and so I was trying to figure out who these characters would look like and and all of that. So I did a little bit of searching and I actually don't know either one of the two that I chose for my characters, but I thought they were a great representation of it. So I take them and I drop those pictures into the my documents when I'm working on characters. So for Cade Daniels there is I think he's a singer. His name is Daniel Padilla, I believe is how you pronounce it, so if any of you out there listening, know who Daniel Padilla is. That's who I've got in mind for Cade Daniels, for Ella Harlow.

Speaker 3:

I wanted to try something. I don't have many redhead characters for some reason, I don't know why, so I was like I want a redhead character. So I came across Madeline Page, I believe. Again, I probably butchered that last name, but I found a picture of her that I dropped in on here that I could use as a visual reference as I'm writing my characters of like who I had in mind when I wrote it. So Madeline Page is Ella Harlow, and then, of course you mentioned it at the beginning with our fifth wheel guy, jude Parker, which I think. I think I chose Parker because of the whole Spider-Man thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so for Jude Parker of course you know.

Speaker 3:

James Franco is kind of who I had in mind of who that person looked like and kind of his character from the Spider-Man movies is kind of who I had in mind for him. Just to give listeners out there an idea of the process and how we come up with these, these folks, yeah, in mind, we're just complete Google searches.

Speaker 3:

Man, yeah, I was pulling up your hearse to see who you pulled up, and you've got a. You've got a sweet volleyball player for Rebecca and for Samuel. You've got some Shutterstock photo of a dude with a nice little hair flip going on at the top.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he's got the Justin Timberlake hair flip. Yeah, I thought that was really important.

Speaker 3:

But I like to do that for my characters. You know I've done it for other books before. You know I did that for Dead Blood, for example. Just slightly off topic, you know my vampire's name is Dorian Wilde, which is the combination of Oscar Wilde, who wrote the picture of Dorian Gray, and so I pulled the picture of Oscar Wilde and that's who I envisioned Dorian to kind of look like was Oscar Wilde. Because that really helps me to write better descriptions and hopefully that's what comes across to readers. But it's just a fun way to stay engaged to your story and stay to make your characters come alive, at least in my day.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I've never done that, but I did it in this because I saw it on your tabs of the Excel document, because I wanted to make sure that you had a good idea of what my characters look like, and so I figured it's better than trying to send you a wall of text about what they look like. And so I was like, oh so he's just being nice, you know he's helping me out. Apparently, it's a literary process that I didn't know anything.

Speaker 3:

Well, yeah, but actually and I didn't I didn't even think about that aspect of it of you being able to see my characters. So you know. But that's an amazing point, man, where, instead of like, alright, this is what the description of my guy looks like, and yeah, that's, that's cool and all, but for you and I to be working off of the exact same visuals for our four characters. I think that's gonna be helpful to us, you know. So we have a better Grasp on this cast of that we're working with.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, as far as the characters and the story goes, let's, let's talk just a minute here, just a hair here, about what we want to accomplish with the story. What type of story are we trying to tell? Are we time? Are we talking a hero's story? Is this about a hero that conquers evil? Is this about? Is this a redemption story? What kind of story would you describe this as? Because I think, I think readers want to know that.

Speaker 3:

You know, I think that's something we were still somewhat Not quite settled on, I think. If I'm not mistaken in my head, I kind of think it might be a little bit of a hero story in the end. I guess it depends on where we're going with it as we get going, because we, you and I, talked about a couple different endings. You know a possibilities of how we wanted to end it. So it could be a hero, it could be a revenge story. You know could be, it will. It will be a lot of death, a lot, a lot of blood will be happening. But I, I guess I kind of feel might be a little bit on the hero side and I don't know what were you, where are you going at with it?

Speaker 2:

You kind of, and and so the overall story I think would be a revenge story. But then the individual characters, especially the ones that were really putting some focus on things, probably gonna be heroes, journey, you know, a Know a rise up from where they were. So it just depends on which character. I guess was kind of a trick question, not really, but what depends on which character you look at. But I mean, in this case we really want to shine. I think we want to shine the lens on the good, conquering evil, and so I think that's kind of the overall feel we should give for, instead of just a slaughter box of people just dying. I know the name is slaughter lake, but there's a reason for that, but and it also it fits the story.

Speaker 2:

Great, but it we do want to say that this is not an extreme horror. Let's just make that clear. This is not blood and gore for gore's sake. This is an actual story with good writing, with good Things to say other than shock value. So I mean, I'm not knocking horror or not knocking extreme horror by any means. What I'm saying is that there's there is a fine difference between the two and we are definitely steering towards just the horror side, so that the extreme horror.

Speaker 3:

So yes, it's maybe.

Speaker 1:

Yet no, yeah, I.

Speaker 3:

Anyway, well.

Speaker 1:

I.

Speaker 3:

Nothing definitive.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, nothing. Nothing definitive, though. Let's just keep that in mind. We um, it's hard to talk about this man number one because it's not written. In number two, because we don't want to give anything way, that's not written, so I know I think that's gonna be fun.

Speaker 3:

I want to see how we we continue to do these episodes as the further we get into the project, to see but how much we've stuck to our original plan, how much we've changed and how much we feel like we can keep giving out as we go along, because I like to give out some things. I think it's it'll be interesting, but we'll see as we go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and and kind of a shameless plug here. But we are going to be doing a massive giveaway, I think, as part of this, because just to celebrate the two of us coming together after almost three years We've been doing this writing thing together, man, and not once have we put something together and said, let's, let's write a story. And we finally got to a point we talked about. Enough like alright, let's, let's, let's buy a cover, let's make it real. So we've got to cover. It's got both of our names on it. This story is happening.

Speaker 2:

So, you know, with that comes cause to celebrate. So I think we're gonna. We're gonna do some big book giveaways. I've got signed copies galore I'm giving away. We're gonna give away a couple kindles like we're. We're gonna make this happen. So if you're listening to this, just know that if you hear slaughter lake, you start seeing stuff about slaughter lake. We're gonna make it big. It's really, really, it's gonna be really cool because we want to celebrate. We want to celebrate as much as as we can, because for us this is a lot of fun and it's a lot of fun for us to give out to other people. Oh for sure, man.

Speaker 3:

I'm super excited about that, I know. You know I've been talking about doing the giveaway to kind of bring some attention to it and to celebrate it, and and, man, I cannot wait till we start kicking this out, because it's we'll probably start that up, I would imagine, somewhat I don't know about soon, but I know we're gonna start talking more about it as we go along. You know, and I don't, we'll be revealing the cover at some point. It's done. I actually got the final one, final version of it just today actually, so we we can release that at any time we want. So we're just holding on to it for now, because it is a sweet cover and I think, yeah, it's, it's got such a cool look to it. You know, you and I both, after looking at a ton of different covers, realizing the style that we wanted for this and I think I think the designers nailed it. I think we're gonna be in good shape with this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think we went through a couple thousand covers that one night or the course, an hour. It feels like it doesn't it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just flipping through the pages, like 25 per page, like we, I think we looked at like close to a couple thousand, but yeah, so it feels like we've looked at a lot. And then we saw one. We're like, ooh, that's, that's it. You know, and it didn't take much for us to key us first both to key on it. So yeah, so let's, let's talk about some more celebrations. Man, we got cool stuff coming up in the later this year and then we got some cool coming up next year, so let's talk about those a little bit. What's happening in November, man?

Speaker 3:

Alright. So once again, you and I are gonna be at 20 books Vegas. And for those that don't know, there's this massive Facebook group which I think is I don't know maybe 50,000 members strong by now. It's ridiculous. When I joined it it was at 19,000 something, but it's a Facebook group for indie authors that really focuses and keys in on the marketing side of stuff. But they host a huge convention in Vegas every year and then where you learn a lot about craft, learn a lot about marketing and there's a ton of networking. But also they do an author signing day on that Friday where you can set up and sell books, and so you and I will be sharing the table in Vegas. Oh shit, I'm supposed to be there. Yeah, you need to be there, oh.

Speaker 2:

So so the cool part about this I know some people might be like, oh why do we? You know, why should we care about this, this indie author event? The cool part about us is that a couple things is that you know, I've been in a couple different lines of businesses and this is by far one of the coolest and nicest. Everybody here is Determined to help everybody else rise up and to make this writing thing a reality. So I'm communicating that with you guys as you're listening to this right now is that we work as indie authors. We work in a collaborative environment where we are doing everything we can to raise up the other person. We have positive attitudes about everything and those people that don't, we get rid of them really quickly.

Speaker 2:

You know, this isn't, this is not the type of business where we want to drag each other's down and we spent our blood, sweat and tears into writing cool stories and just and making something from nothing.

Speaker 2:

So we do not drag each other down, we don't bash each other, we don't let it happen, and the group is very good about policing its own, and so that's one of the things I just love about this business line is that it's just non Confrontational, you know. And so 20 books. Vegas is a nonprofit Event, and except for us on that Friday where we can sell books in person, and so Jay and I were the only two horror authors there last year, and so that's something that was really kind of cool to see is that everybody else was kind of jam-packed trying to figure out their their spots. You know, the sci-fi ad, huge sections, romance was massive, you know, and but us Just me and you man, and we had a cool-looking booth, I'll tell you what, like our I think we still got some photos up From before, but we had a cool-looking booth we did.

Speaker 3:

It was. It was nice, you know we. There was a ton of fantasy authors, ton of sci-fi, a lot of lit, rpg and fan I mean Romance, of course, a lot of romance, a couple thrillers and other Genres. But we talked about it on a previous podcast, I think, early on. Horror authors are very hard to find. We did get to meet Eric Henry Vic, which was amazing, great guy, but he wasn't set up for the author signing thing. I think you and I were the only two horror authors set up for. If there were other ones, I didn't. I didn't see him, but it's open to the public so anybody can go to this event and it's just, it's gonna be amazing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I did just hear back from Boris basic today he got a letter of recommendation or an invite, an official invite letter from 20 books, vegas, which is really cool.

Speaker 2:

The owner of 20 books, or the founder, craig Martell, actually wrote the letter himself so that he can get a visa to come over from Serbia to come to this, yeah, and so I'm trying to arrange with him see if I need to ship some of his books to my house or whatever so he can go the office signing to. But him and his fiance are gonna try and make it make it over here. He has to get a visa approved, which is really tough, from Serbia, but I think he's gonna be there too. And so I told him, said, hey, man, like beers on me, you know, come meet the crew. Like let's, let's, because that is the other author I'm going to be doing series with, I think. And so him and I have been in contact about that. So yeah, so I did get confirmation, he got that letter which increases his chances of getting that, that Temporary visa, exponentially. So. And then the other thing at Vegas we host a, and I and I say I host, but I mean I was the one who just started the page for it but we're doing, we do the author Meetup for the horror. So if we have any other horror authors, I'm gonna meet us there in Vegas. I know we have other horror authors.

Speaker 2:

Listen to our podcast. I'm the host of it. I haven't picked a location. I think we're gonna do something instead of just dinner. This time I think we're do something crazy Like we should do, like a, like a I'm sure they've got a haunted house we can go through. I'm sure they've got.

Speaker 3:

Dude, I would not go through.

Speaker 2:

Oh, come on, dude I.

Speaker 3:

Would not go through that hold purses and cell phones.

Speaker 2:

I am not going to imagine the production value, though out of Vegas it's gonna be incredible exactly that hell.

Speaker 3:

I'm not going in that thing.

Speaker 2:

Okay, maybe we'll, just we will do an escape room or something, oh and so here. So this is kind of funny. The romance authors went to a magic Mike show, which is a strip show, for I don't know if it's entirely stripping, but it's pretty close to stripping, for, you know, for of men on stage and and so I thought that was kind of funny. I'm like, well, we got to do something thematic, you know. You got to do something that's horror author related. So of course we got to go to a haunted house. I mean, come on, but Jay's gonna be outside holding my purse. I don't think that's gonna happen.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I will. I'll hold your purse, man, all day long. We've already discussed this early on in in the in the podcast. That hell, I don't scare the shit out of me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I guess this one's a man. Hey, man, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna get you drunk. You know, it's like I'm just gonna get you drunk. We're gonna go to a haunted house.

Speaker 3:

You can eat a lot of alcohol, cuz it's not happening.

Speaker 2:

All right. So let's move on to number two, man, let's move on to the and this is the second event that we're doing, and so we kind of put together, I guess, a little itinerary. Just kind of thought about it. I'm like, you know, this, this, this can work, you know, save us some money and save us some time and be able to hang out. So what's the second event we're doing? This is next year, 2023, march of this, of next year.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, very, in the March first part of April of 23, you and I are both gonna be at scares that cares author con to In Williamsburg, virginia. With this past year they had the very first one. I know they have scares that care weekend throughout the year. This was the very first author con and it was an amazing event that just it was a who's who of Indie Horus sing just amazing. And you and I and we both were like Look at this, like look at all of these authors, and just it looked like such an amazing time. And so we both jumped in on this and we're gonna be going next year and we're gonna.

Speaker 3:

You're coming from Texas and I'm from Illinois and for some stupid reason I thought it was like an eight-hour drive and like sweet, cool. And I looked it up again and it's like 13. I was like, oh, this kind of sucks, but I'm still gonna do it. You know it's, it's gonna be so much fun. And I think we talked about you flying in here to where I live here in Illinois and then us Carpooling it all the way over to Virginia.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I think that'll be easier. Yeah, though, we'll split the drive in half or, if we need to, in six hours, and we split cost of gas and we split the cost of hotel and just kind of and and so why? So? Why scares that care? Let's talk about that, because the message behind scares that care is really important too, and that's kind of why I jumped on board, because of what it, what scares that care, the author weekend and author cons what they do. So you talk a little bit about that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so it's a charity. It's they raised money for Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it for, like, burn victims?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, burn victims, and then, I think, rape victims as well.

Speaker 3:

Yes, it was started by an ex-police officer and then, just working with, I think, brian King is, has been around since the beginning. I think he's been heavily involved from the beginning to kind of organize this and it just keeps growing and growing and growing and raising a lot of funds for some really good causes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we'll build be present at that. I like charity events as much as I can do and and Knowing how much the cost is gonna be for just Jay. And I said, you know what, I don't have any plans for events scheduled early next year. And so I said, alright, I'm in, let's do this, let's make a carpool happen. What's? It's a three-day event, for my understanding is three days. I yes, yeah, so it's gonna be one of the longest cons that I've ever seen, because I've never been to a full-sized con like that before. I've never even done a day one that actually, the first author signing I ever did was at 20 books last year. That's the first time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I've got another big one coming up in September. Actually, I'm gonna plug this really quick while we're talking about these, but I have one in st Louis in September called pen con, and it is that one is for charity as well as for action for autism and it's been around for eight or nine years, something like that. It's a three-day event. Day one, which is Thursday, is more of like an author Education event with a bringing different speakers and they'll talk about craft or marketing. It's kind of a very small one-day Vegas type. You know, 20 books, vegas type of thing, so you can sign up and go to different classes. There's networking opportunities. They always have amazing after parties in the evening.

Speaker 3:

You know I'll have like a lip-sync battle or just different things, or VIP Party with VIP readers and all the authors. It's such a cool event and it is. It does skew a little bit more towards romance authors but there are sci-fi and there's horror and there's Fantasy. You know I've gone to it two, two times now and it's been a little bit since I've gone and so I was really looking forward to it and it's a. So you got the one day on Thursday. It was well just for the authors only. But then Friday and Saturday are the two big selling days, you know, and it's these two giant ballrooms full of authors and I've seen Readers go to this event with a wagon, like to just buy as many books as possible. And it's just, it's crazy. And I have found some really loyal readers in this group where it just, you know, I the last time I went, I had a.

Speaker 3:

It was I had author or a reader come running up to my table. I was like facing an open aisle, like there's two aisles of tape, the chair or tables, and I'm against the wall facing out and this, this girl, she comes running down the aisle to my table and she wanted me to sign a cop or she wanted to buy a copy of the Dark Sacrifice. It had me sign it for her and she was telling me how she absolutely loved the book and she was reading it in bed one night and her husband was like, hey, it's time for us to go to bed. And she's like, no, no, I need to finish this. And he's like, no, we need to. You know it's, we got to get up early or whatever we got to get to. You know it's, it's that time. She's like, no, I need to finish reading this.

Speaker 3:

So she stayed up to finish reading the book and I was like I got in the middle of a marriage. Awesome, I caused me a problem, no, but it was so cool. But, and so I love this event it's, it's got some amazing authors that go to it and the people that come visit it are so cool and Looking forward to it. So it's, it's, it's gonna be fun. It's September called pen con and it is again. It's another charity event, so this one's for action for autism.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome, man, and I love to hear these stories, you know, about people connecting with us. I get. One of the things I do is I get fan mail, handwritten fan mail. I have a PO box. I'm like, hey, send me mail and I will send you a letter back. You know so any time. Any chance I get to really connect on that other level with my readers is really, really important. So that's um, that's a good, that's a good way to end this, this, this episode, man. So thank you for that story. That's awesome. I'm glad to hear that. I hope they're still together after that.

Speaker 2:

I'll find out in September, I hope she's gonna come up and run up and hit you this time.

Speaker 3:

Or her husband and be like it was you, you mother ever. Yeah, I.

Speaker 2:

Know that name.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'll get read my books no.

Speaker 2:

All right, folks. So look for us in Vegas and 20 books this year. We'll have some more information on that. Look for us. That scares, that care. Look for for J at Pancon later on this year. So we'll be out and about. Just keep in touch with us. We'll be here. Let's hopefully get this episode coming to you Pretty soon. And until then, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Dave for this and you're listening to the nightmare engine podcast here with my co-host, mr Jay bowler. J bowler, ladies and gentlemen, have a good night, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the nightmare engine podcast with your hosts, horror authors David Virgoots and Jay bowler, where nothing is off limits, nothing is safe, and neither are you.

The Nightmare Engine Podcast
Co-Writing a Unique Story
Plan a Story With Multiple Perspectives
Celebrating Collaboration and Book Giveaways
Author Con and Charity Event Planning