Veronica Smith is the author of the exciting thriller Chalk Outline and also has a story in the highly anticipate anthology Twisted Tales Tea Party.
What gave you the idea for your book Chalk Outline ?
I was driving home from work one day and heard a song on the radio that talked about “finding you in a chalk outline”. My imagination went out the window and I wondered what would happen if a psychic laid in the outline and could see the last few seconds of that victim’s life.
I hear you are in the book Twisted Tales Tea Party. Can you give us a sneak hint about your story?
It’s story about a couple who are taking a train on a long trip instead of a plane because of her fear of flying and what happened in her past. But she can’t tell her husband. She thinks it’s safe on a train but finds that it’s not as safe as she thinks.
What got you into writing horror?
I have always loved horror since I first picked up The Stand by Stephen King when I was twelve or thirteen. You get do the most awful things and get away with it. You can do whatever you want from your imagination. You’d be surprised how many people want to be “killed off” in a book or a story. It’s kind of a sick thrill that I myself have as well. With horror you can write out your deepest darkest feelings and it’s okay because it’s not real. At least you hope not . . .
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like?
I still have a day job where I work 8 hours a day with a 2 hour commute. I get to work early so I do some writing then. But as soon as my lunch hour starts I plug in my music and push the rest of the office into space. I’m usually surprised at how fast 1pm gets there, and more than slightly disappointed. Then I write whenever I get a spare moment at home on the weekends.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why?
Swan Song by Robert McCammon. I’ve read it at least 3 times. It’s post apocalyptic, which is my favorite genre, and is just a great saga you don’t want to end. This book is the reason I fell in love with the post apoc genre.
What are you doing next?
Currently I’m writing a book that I have been contracted to write. Helheim Games Studio makes Survive™ – Zombie Apocalypse CCG, a faction based collectible card game. They wanted a writer to create a novel based on the world of their game. They read Chalk Outline and I sent them a sample chapter of what I would eventually use as the start to their novel. They talked to a couple other writers and chose me! I’m almost 60K words into the novel right.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Never give up. I also still write a lot of short stories and have gotten many rejections. Once I had a story just get rejected for the third time. I was feeling pretty down about it. That very day my friend, Edd Sowder, had posted a notation on Facebook about how many times Stephen King had Carrie rejected before it was accepted. It made me feel better and I told him that and thanked him. I submitted the same story to another anthology and it was accepted. Now, to me, a rejection is just another step to finding the right home for your story.