Hello, dear readers! Today I’m sharing a special post, as it marks the beginning of a new segment on my blog: the Indie Writer Spotlight! Though it won’t be a regular segment, posts will be up on Fridays and will feature independent authors and their books in the world of self-publishing. With so many writers trying to get their work out there, it’s great when we can support each other!

Kicking off the Indie Writer Spotlight is an interview with Jennifer M. Zeiger, one of the authors of the upcoming short story anthology Midnight Abyss. Jennifer and I have been in touch for the past few weeks, and I sent her some questions about the new book. Here’s what she could tell me about Midnight Abyss. Enjoy!

Midnight Abyss

JMZeigerAbout Jennifer M. Zeiger

Jennifer M. Zeiger lives in the beautiful state of Colorado with her husband, dog and two cats. She graduated with her Bachelors in English in 2008 with minors in Accounting and Recreation. She loves writing fantasy in particular but will read just about anything.

Interview with Jennifer

Me: What can you tell me about the book itself?

Jennifer: The book’s titled Midnight Abyss. It’s a mix of horror and dark fantasy short stories with a few poems thrown in too (It’s Midnight in the Abyss. Do you know where your Darklings are?). If you can’t tell, we’re having a lot of fun with this. =)

Me: Who are the collaborating authors, and where are you all from?

Jennifer: Okay, this one’s going to take a minute. There are nine authors all told. We have Anisa A. Claire in Vancouver and Kelleigh in Seattle who are the masterminds of all of this.

Then there’s Doug Langille in Nova Scotia who, thankfully, knows the techie stuff.

Gregory K Shipman’s up in Alaska. He keeps us all laughing when we start taking things too seriously.

Shaun Adams charms us all with his British accent since he’s from the Isle of Wight in England.

Raymond Tabaygo’s a hero of mine. He’s in New Jersey and he’s 66 years old and still writing. I love it.

Matthew X. Gomez is in Maryland. Although we’ve all helped with the editing, he’s definitely the one willing to cut your writing to pieces. It’s great.

Then, to finish this all off, there’s Theresa Briscoe Tschetter and I in the old west. She’s in Wyoming and I’m in Colorado. Theresa, even though she’s had some trouble with internet since we’ve started working on this, has made a massive effort to stay involved and upbeat. As for myself, I feel like I’m along for the ride and it’s a great adventure. =)

Me: How did you all meet?

Jennifer: Except for Anisa and Kelleigh, I think all of us met on Writer’s Carnival, which is a workshop site for writers. We’ve never met face to face. It boggles my mind how, in this day and age, such collaboration can happen without actually meeting.

Me: What made you decide to write a short story anthology together?

Jennifer: I received a message from Anisa asking if I wanted to take part in writing this anthology. I think the idea came about because we were all familiar with each other’s writing off of Writer’s Carnival and we all liked what we saw.

Me: And why did you decide to write in the horror and dark fantasy genres?

Jennifer: Those are the two genres we all like to write in. Well, fantasy for me is the genre I prefer, so dark fantasy was a bit of a challenge, which was great. Plus, we decided to launch the book on Halloween, so those two genres fit the theme.

Me: How long did it take you all to put the book together?

Jennifer: I received the email at the end of July asking if I wanted to be a part of this. Honestly, we lagged during August. Then about mid September, we realized, ‘oh dear, our deadline’s fast approaching!’ So we all kicked it in gear and have been working furiously since the last couple weeks of September. So when all is said and done, we put in about six weeks to finalize the stories and put the book together, which is wicked fast but we’ve managed to come up with a book we all love.

Me: Was it difficult coordinating your efforts, since most of you live so far apart?

Jennifer: Yes and no. Sorry, that’s an awkward answer.

Yes, because we’re working through messages and the occasional Google Hangout. There’s a lot of information getting thrown around: slogans, covers, order of stories, editing details… I could go on for a very long time. Let me just say, Dropbox is awesome.

But when I really look at how much we’ve figured out in a very short period of time, I have to say the group’s fantastic. There could be a lot of bickering but there hasn’t been. We all want this book to be the best set of short stories that we can produce and we’ve worked really hard to make that happen.

Me: How did you feel while working on this book?

Jennifer: Oh Lordy, that’s a loaded question. Personally, I’ve never been published before, so I’m thrilled-out-of-my-mind excited, I’m scared so bad my hands shake if I think about it too long and I’m breathless trying to keep up with all the details. But overall, I’m blessed to be working with such great people and following my dream at the same time.

Me: And how do you feel now that it’s all done?

Jennifer: Wow, that was a wild ride! And still is. Unlike with traditional publishing, we don’t have a marketing team working with us, so we’re still working on getting the word out. That work won’t be done for a while, but having a finished product feels amazing. Holding a hard copy book with my name on it, indescribable.

Me: When can we expect a full release of the book?

Jennifer: Oct. 31st to coincide with Halloween.

Me: Where can we find out more about the book?

Jennifer: Facebook: Midnight Abyss

Twitter: @AbyssMidnight

Goodreads: Midnight Abyss (I believe we’re going to do some giveaways for reviews here, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.)

Tumblr: TheMidnightAbyss.tumblr.com

My blog: Jennifer M Zeiger

We’ve set the book up with Amazon’s CreateSpace. So if you’re looking for a copy, you can find it there after the 31st.

Thanks so much for the interview, Jennifer! And thanks to you readers for joining us in the Indie Writer Spotlight!

Midnight Abyss comes out October 31st. Be sure to check it out this Halloween! Thanks for reading!

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