Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TERRI DELCAMPO - WOMAN IN HORROR






It's another great year for Women In Horror! Starting out my posts, which will go well beyond the tiny month of February, is Terri DelCampo: my business partner at Blazing Owl Press, my editor, my formatter, my cover artist, and most importantly, the love of my life. Here we go!




Terri DelCampo – Woman In Horror


It's a pleasure having you start out my Woman in Horror posts this year, Terri DelCampo. Before I ask you to divulge some of your deep, dark secrets, could you tell me about yourself? A bio of sorts, I guess you could say. Any length you feel comfortable with is fine.

I'm honored and pleased to be part of Woman in Horror, and thank you, Blaze, for your interest in interviewing me. Moreover, thank you for showing interest over the past three years, the attention of Women in Horror has been extremely flattering and validating to me as a professional author. As for the bio, I hope this is what you're looking for:

In addition to founding, editing, and writing Owl's Eye View Magazine, I currently pen four non-fiction blogs (Write Now with Terri DelCampo, Disability Challenges, Healthy Nudge with Terri DelCampo, and my personal blog, Pause for Thought). I also write the RoJo Adventure Blog for kids, as well as the Lisa Galloway Poetry Blog and have published 35+ Kindle Books. I am married to some horror writer I affectionately refer to as my Hottie Scottie…and we partnered up to found Blazing Owl Press in 2015. Since then it's been a blur of once-a-month novel and short story collection publications that will continue on through 2017 and well beyond.

When the loooonnng writing and editing day is over, I enjoy crafts (crochet, jewelry-making, flower arranging, decoupage, needlepoint), cooking (It's a daily challenge to make the hubs' low-Vitamin K menus tasty), reading, music, and movies - I'm a huge movie buff. My tastes in books, music, and movies are extremely eclectic. I love dinner-and-a-movie every evening, holding hands with the hubs, and relaxing.

We live in Georgia (because Terri don't do no snow on Mother's Day like they have in Cheyenne!), in a studio apartment we rent from family. I love sending the hubs out into the yard with treats for the wildlife – squirrels and chipmunks have dubbed him the Food Dood (I've heard them, I swear, and yes, that's their spelling.). I call my mom (who lives 800 miles north in Delaware) every Sunday for our usual three-hour chats, with lots of laughs. My pleasures are simple, just the way I like them.

Thank you very much, Terri! Now we start with a few questions and answers. Feel free to pass on anything you don't want to answer.


  1. What drew you into this profession?
When I was little my favorite games to play with my friends were role-playing – I would come up with these scenarios, usually inspired by favorite TV shows or movies, and we would play all day. At age eleven, I had vivid fantasies, and a wicked crush on a teen idol (Bobby Sherman), and decided to write some of those games and fantasies into a story. By the time I was 13 I'd written a 145 page novel called "The Picnic Spot." (Yes, it was a romance – gasp!) A year later I read Poe for the first time, and my writing took a decided turn for the macabre. Et voila! A horror writer was born!

  1. What was the pivotal point that made you say, “I'm a writer.”?
When I cranked the final page of "The Picnic Spot" out of my little manual typewriter. I'd finished a novel. I was a writer.

My 9th grade English teacher, Dr. Peterson, published "Help Me!" a short story I'd written, in the school newspaper – the first time someone else made me feel like I was a writer.

  1. A little tougher question: when did you realize you were an author?
Ah! That is a tougher question! There were a couple of times. When I got my first rejection slip that had a personal note on it from Richard Chizmar at Cemetery Dance Magazine way back in the early '80s. Even though I didn't get accepted, I knew that someone other than my friends and family members had read and acknowledged my work. And then, decades later, I joined the Barnes & Noble Writers Workshop in Alpharetta. There were prize winning authors in that group, and they were giving me compliments on the stories and excerpts I offered for critique. Those were possibly the most validating moments of my writing life. Another one was when you, an established writer and publisher, first reviewed Owl's Eye View Magazine in 2014. I was just starting to publish my novels and collections as Kindle books, and being included in Woman in Horror and reviewed by a publisher was an incredible boost to my confidence.

  1. Who are your favorite authors, past as well as present?
Wow! How many pages can this interview run? Well, there's this one guy – Blaze something-or-other – I'm kindof partial to, and then there's Edgar Alan Poe, Stephen King, Thomas Harris, Jean Auel, Neil Gaiman, CL Hernandez, JD Robb, Donna Lynch (From Ego Likeness), Patricia Cornwell, John Saul, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, Paul A. Bussard, Irving Stone, George Weinstein, Dr. Seuss, O. Henry, Hermann Hesse, William Peter Blatty, Robert Ludlum, Jack Ketchum, Euripedes, Robin Cook, Anne Rice, Christine McCullough, Bram Stoker, Terry Segal, Andy Deane, Ernest Hemingway, James Fenimore Cooper, James Clavell, Erma Bombeck, William Styron, Anne Rule, Donald Clayton Porter, Tom Clancy, Susan Powter, John Grisham, James Patterson, Tami Hoag, Karin Slaughter, Dennis Miller, Paul Riser, VC Andrews, Harper Lee, JK Rowling, Richard Matheson, Alice Walker, Oscar Wilde, Rebecca Wells, Anne Foskey, Dave Barry, Dan Brown, Teri A. Jacobs, Poppy Z. Brite, CS Lewis, Alan Alda, Leonard Nimoy, Norman Partridge, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Higgins Clark, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Emily Dickinson, Dan Gutman & Jim Paillot, Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Joe Hill, Robert Louis Stevenson, for starters.

You asked – I told you I was eclectic!

  1. Did you have any help with your career along your path?
That came after I'd been writing for decades, when Owl's Eye View Magazine got reviewed on Amazon, and I got mentioned in Woman in Horror for the first time. Shortly after that, Visionary Press asked me to edit for them, and wham! I found myself being interviewed by Renee Shaw, Tony Wolfpaw, and Fiona Mcvie.

As far as support from authors, friends, and family, the list is astounding, especially since the advent of Facebook and Twitter which makes contacting writers, publishers, and editors easy and instantaneous. While the act of writing is solitary, writers today can get feedback on their work that is a tremendous boost to confidence.

  1. How did you find time to write back when you first started?
I used to sit up until three or four in the morning on weekends and vacations when I was a teenager – until my mother would call out, "please stop that damned clackity-clacking! It's time to sleep! At that point I would switch to pencil and paper.

I was married at 19, and I'd get up at 4:30 in the morning every day and hand-write screenplays (which I later expanded into my first novels) so that the typewriter wouldn't wake anyone up.

When I started working for my husband's plumbing business, I would write late at night after he and the kids were in bed.

When I went back to work full time after my divorce I started getting up at 4:30 in the morning again, proofread on my lunch hour, and wrote as soon as I got home.

The silver lining to my becoming disabled in a car accident was that I had unlimited writing time. It gave me the opportunity to produce Owl's Eye View Magazine every month, along with novels each year. Now my editing duties (first at Visionary Press, and now at Blazing Owl Press) crowd my writing time, but I'm getting that under control. I'm planning three different novels that should be coming out in 2017 and 2018. Bottom line is, if you want to write, the only way to do it is the AIC method: Ass in Chair. Even if you can only pound out 500 words a day, it adds up. Writers write. Skip the Sudoku or the computer games and start keying in paragraphs. Take a notebook and pen with you everywhere. Leave voicemails or emails for yourself if an idea strikes at work. Tell your stories – it's what you do.

  1. And today: when do you do your writing?
I prefer early morning when my mind is fresh and sentences just sort of gush onto the page. I hand-write to start, and then switch over to the laptop. In a studio apartment with the hubs, I often sit in the dark with a book light getting it all down if inspiration strikes while he's asleep.

  1. Why do you write in the horror genre?
When I read Poe in 8th Grade English, I fell in love with the macabre. It was scary, thrilling, and opened up a whole slew of writing scenarios. I think horror covers the whole spectrum of emotions – terror, or course, but also love, joy, compassion, anger, and sadness. Horror is part life as much as romance is. If you really love someone, the flip side is dreading all the things that can go wrong for them, including death. If there isn't contrast to the positive, there is no story to tell. So horror allows me to explore the dark side in the safety of my chair.

Also, if someone pisses me off, I can write them into an evil plot, do unspeakable things to them, even knock 'em off, and there is no jail-time. Muahaha!

  1. I first found you through Owl's EyeView Magazine, which I really love. Could you tell us about it?
Owl's Eye View Magazine is my baby. In 2009, I knew I wanted to self-publish, but had no idea how to really accomplish it. So I started the Owl's Eye View Magazine website, releasing an issue each month. I wanted it to be unique. I couldn't afford to pay writers to contribute their work, so I "hired" my ongoing novel characters (Meredith Alden, Nathan Williams, Lisa Galloway, Lucy Bernelli, Larry Nunn, Melanie Mirth, Signe Hannigan, Trudy Shriver, Loren Elliott) as columnists. It's been great fun to get inside their heads and write articles and poetry from their points of view and in their literary voices. And I publish one of my own short stories each month as well. In fact, I'm planning on Owl's Eye View being the only place for my short stories after 2017.

In the meantime, my Yahoo website builder crashed, and I couldn't make it work anymore. So I studied up on how to publish Kindle Books, started creating book covers on Pixlr.com (suggested by CL Hernandez – bless her little dark soul for all the pointers she gave me!) and began publishing OEV as monthly Kindle books. The first time I saw Benny the Owl up on Amazon my heart almost exploded.

Owl's Eye View Magazine kicked off Terri DelCampo's professional career.

  1. What is your opinion of Women In Horror Month? Do you feel it is still as important now as it was when it was first started?
You know, I've always considered myself a feminist. I know women who think that women in this country can relax and pat themselves on the back because American women are freer and treated more as equals to men than any other women on earth. And yes, we've come a long way, baby, I cannot deny that. But then along comes a president whose attitude towards women is reprehensible, and suddenly all the less-evolved men come out of the woodwork thinking that disrespect towards women is allowed again – not just in politics, but in every level of society. So it's important for women to support women, no matter what profession we're discussing. Writing is a tough, competitive profession, especially trying to get one's foot in the proverbial door. It's easier just starting out knowing you have a tribe.

On the other hand, I think women have always had a role in the horror genre, and history sure as hell has given us enough gruesome fodder to weave into novels and stories. Having a showcase for women is encouraging for female writers who need a jumping off point for their careers – like me! I'm glad WIH was around three years ago, and I'm sure many women coming up behind me will feel the same way.

  1. What is your favorite novel of yours that you have written?
Jeez, Blaze, which of your children is your favorite? (Heh, heh.) I wrote different novels for different reasons. I'm proud of Holy Terrors because it brought into focus molester priests, and allowed me to get revenge on them for hurting a dear friend of mine. I like Into the Mist because it was interesting dissecting Dan Wynthrop's conflicted heart, and those of his mother and grandfather as well. And MEDS – remember when I said that I write people who piss me off into evil plots? Well, MEDS would be the best example of that.

All in all I think most writers feel the same way about their novels. A novel isn't at all like a short story or even a novella. You have to be extremely passionate about a story line to sit down every day for months and tell a full-length story. You have to live intimately with your characters for months until you get their story told. You can't come away from that kind of commitment without loving what you produced.

  1. What's your favorite collection?
I like Chills because "Christmas Feast" is in it, and I like that story's nastiness. Owl Guts was my first Kindle collection, so, of course I'm partial to it – and it contains stories I wrote when I was a teenager. OwlMares because it has the story "Jamalia" in it, which was another early one. And I like Romantic Shadows because I thought romance was dead in my heart, and I was proven wrong when it zapped me right through my laptop year before last. Romantic Shadows was released on our first wedding anniversary, and represents my delight and amazement that our romance is still going strong, reality be damned.

  1. Time for the curtain to rise on your next projects. What's on tap, Terri?
A whole crap-load of ooky! I've already completed the next 6 issues of Owl's Eye View Magazine, which always comes first with me. Next month is an editing month in my planner, and I will be working on your book, Dogs, Skunks, and Other Runners," slated for a May release, as well as your horror romance story collection, "Blazin' Hearts," slated for release in February. As for my own stuff, we have a joint story collection, Assbiters from Hell, coming out in April, and "Dirges," slated for June. Somewhere in the midst of all that I will be working on three novel projects: Night Ops, Rising Up, and Merry Widow. I'm hoping to bring at least one novel out in 2017.

  1. What are some of your favorite sayings. This can be anything. Sock it to us!
Okay, anyone who knows me, has heard me say, "Bite me." Not original, but it's concise and effective. I also like "Treat others the way you wish to be treated." It might be the single sentence in the bible I actually agree with. Strings of profanities in no particular order bubble forth when computer/internet issues attack me. And "I love you," because my Hottie Scottie stepped out of my computer and into my arms…forever.

  1. This next part is all yours. Say whatever you wish, Terri. The world is waiting!
You can look back over this 5-page, wordy-ass interview and give me carte blanche? Wow! That's brave!

As most people know, I'm an opinionated bitch. I try for tact, but I have no problem expressing myself. I don't like unfairness, tyrants, condescension, inconsideration, or disrespect. I try and put myself in the other person's place, and give them the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, I won't be a hypocrite and turn my head and allow someone (especially someone in power) to get away with bad behavior. If I can do it with humor, I will, because sometimes that's the best way to make a point. Sometimes I make my point by building a horror plot around an asshole. Sometimes I fire off a blog, but I'd just as soon get things off my chest via my fictional characters. I've been doing that since I was a little girl. It's kept me sane… (stop laughing, Blaze.)



Great answers, Terri DelCampo. I very much enjoyed having you here today. You are more than welcome to place whatever links you wish to share with us below.

Thank you, Blaze! I enjoyed being here!


Thank you once again!

Blaze McRob


TERRI DELCAMPO BLOG (PAUSE FOR THOUGHT):

TERRI DELCAMPO AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

BLAZING OWL PRESS

WRITE NOW WITH TERRI DELCAMPO

THE ROJO ADVENTURE BLOG

LISA GALLOWAY POETRY BLOG

HEALTHY NUDGE WITH TERRI DELCAMPO

DISABILITY CHALLENGES WITH TERRI DELCAMPO


4 comments:

  1. Great start to Women in Horror Month. Love Terri's work. Great interview.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendy!I agree about Terri's work for sure!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Carson! Interviews can bring out some truly interesting insights into an author.

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