Interview with D.S. Ullery

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. Then Calibre 64, which is a terrific open source program for reading e books on your PC.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook promos and posts, of course. Also, creating advertising videos using Windows movie maker and then uploading them to sites like Youtube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, etc has brought me more attention. To low -to- no budget self marketers, I suggest jumping on every opportunity someone offers you to promote your work. If an FB page or a website invites you to advertise there for sharing a link to their site, go for it.
Describe your desk
Cluttered and always occupied!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up here in South Florida. I think the primary influence that's had on my work is that I've lived in Lake Worth, FL for most of my life and, despite some leaps this city has made into the 21st century, this is still at heart a fairly low key coastal town. You can walk anywhere downtown in fifteen minutes from where I live and we're only half a mile from the beach. There are lots of fishermen around and people who work on or around boats for a living. So there's a prevelant old school quality there that I can draw from and invest into my writing.
When did you first start writing?
As a child. I was penning short stories as early as ten years old and by the time I was in my teens, it wasn't unheard of for friends and family to spend an afternoon taking turns reading my tales of the macabre.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This horror double shot consists of "A Strange Taste in Ornamentation" - a piece of supernatural flash fiction with an EC Comics vibe I wrote for a contest and wanted to do something more with - and a longer tale titled "The First Rule of Showmanship", which is my first legitimate foray into human horror that has no supernatural element. I thought that one turned out very well, so I decided to combine both and offer them for free, allowing a wider audience to get a taste of different variations of my style.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was submitting short fiction the old school way - some of which has since been sold and published in magazines and anthologies - and I became aware that many of these new e-zines and underground horror mags are run by self appointed "experts" on what constitutes quality horror who, in reality, are no more qualified than most of us to make that call. I read a number of the short stories that had been accepted and published by these same ezines and I saw that, far too often for my taste, work was being publsihed that wasn't particularly well written and usually failed to stay with me once I finished reading. I decided that I was tired of the people who made those literary judgment calls having any say over whether or not horror fans have an opportunity to read my work. That's a power the author should have. So I took care to craft stories (I hope are) worth reading and started offering them to the public. This way, I let the audience decide directly if they like it, not some editor whose taste may not reflect that of the majority. I stlll submit stories to some of the better publications through the standard channels and still sometimes get published that way, but I really believe this Independent revolution represents the future of the literary market.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm new to this site as of this interview, but I think Smashwords is opening up doors for a lot of people who found themselves in the same situation I described while answering the previous question. Many of these authors are genuinely talented writers and Smashwords gives them the means to get their art out there and build an audience while avoiding the exclusionary pitfalls of the traditonal publishing approach.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When the window between the real world and the world of my imagination blows wide open and I fall through, getting lost in the telling of the story. There is nothing to match the pure high I experience in that moment.
What do your fans mean to you?
What do they mean to me? That I got it right. That I wasn't deluded. That these stories were worth telling... and I told them well.
What are you working on next?
I plan to release an anthology of my short stories later in 2014 and have a novella titled Shadow of a Doubt I'm working on that I hope to complete in this lifetime. Also, beginning in the next few months, I will be a regular contributor of horror fiction to the brand new punk rock publication Stench Magazine, along with fellow scribes Violet VanDoren and Tim Miller. My non-fiction work reviewing genre films can be found at addictedtohorrormovies.com, the new sister site of Horror Novel Reviews.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Terry M. West, the up and coming Violet VanDoren, Edgar Allen Poe, Robin Dover, Joe Lansdale, Clive Barker, Douglas Adams and Arthur C. Clarke.
Published 2014-03-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.