Craig’s been writing since he was old enough to pick up a pen and do so. Though his interests lie mainly in horror, he never shies away from writing a good fantasy or mystery story. When he’s not writing or spending time with his wife, he’s also the editor for Beyond Imagination Magazine and Beyond Science Fiction Magazine.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I was probably about six years old. I was really inspired by anything involving superheroes. My favorites were Spider Man and the X-Men. All of my first work revolved around them, and I’m still hoping Stan Lee doesn’t sue me should those manuscripts find the light of day. Not too long after that, though, I discovered R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, and my love of horror really took off from there.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
If you’re doing this because you want to be as rich as E.L. James and J.K. Rowling, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Other than that, be yourself. In today’s day and age, where so many people are able to put their own work out their via Amazon and other self-publishing channels, you have to try to stand out. Separate from the crowd. Don’t try to write what’s in, what’s cool, what’s selling. Write what YOU want to write. Write something that YOU would want to read.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
In my humble opinion, if you’re a writer and you’ve yet to read Stephen King’s “On Writing,″ you’re doing it wrong. Nothing could have helped me as tremendously as that. “90 Days To Your Novel″ by Sarah Domet has a lot of great tips, and it’s where I learned how to outline the best way. Though I’m still picking my way through it, Tim Marquitz’s “Grunt Style: The Blue Collar Guide To Writing Genre Fiction″ is great material written by a really cool and down-to-Earth dude. He’s also lifted my spirits once or twice when I was feeling down about my writing, something I can never properly thank him for.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
Horror, without a doubt. Any kind will do. I’ve never had to pick and choose between sub-genres. Not that I don’t dig fantasy and mystery as well, but horror will always be one true love.
Favorite authors… that’s a toughie. I’m going to start with Robert Jackson Bennett. He only has five novels to his name, but every one of them is STUPID good. And, somehow, he gets better with each book. City Of Stairs, his latest work, has garnered him a ton of attention, and I’m glad to see him finally getting the respect he deserves. I’m also a huge fan of Mo Hayder, Gary McMahon, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft (I’m being cliched, I know), Thomas Harris, and though I’ve only read one of his books, I’m pinning a lot of hope on Zachary Jernigan. Seriously. Dude wrote one fantasy novel and blew the world away. If not the whole world, then certainly myself. The sequel to his debut, “No Return,″ is coming out soon, and I’m more than stoked.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Make time. Literally, it’s that simple. Are you watching TV? You are? Why? You could be writing? Playing video games? Browsing your Facebook news feed for the hundredth time? Watching funny cat videos on Youtube? Why? You could be writing! I’m not saying that you have to put off everything to write, of course. But don’t expect to be good at it if it’s taking a backseat to Orange Is The New Black or Call Of Duty. And don’t fool yourself with that “I have to write THIS many words a day″ crap. I’ve found that if you’re not trying to stick to a quota, your writing flows better and the stress is that much more alleviated. It’s awesome. Try it.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
It really depends, honestly. Sometimes I’ll sit down and write out a whole outline for a story that I’m unsure about. Sometimes, when I’m really inspired, I’ll just sit down and let the words take me away. Of course, then, I’ll find an inconsistency in the plot. Outlining is always better, but when you’re as impatient as I am, you try to get it out of the way as quickly as possible or in some cases, just not do it. I’m trying to get better at that part.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
I open the e-mail, stare at it for a moment, sigh, revise the story again, and send it out. A mumbled curse here and there. It doesn’t necessarily ruin my day, per se, but it does piss me off until said story is back out in the grips of another publisher.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I’ve got quite a few anthologies that I’m looking at, hoping that they’ll deem me publishable. Other that, I’m working on a few full-length novels as well, but of course, I don’t know which one I want to finish first, and I’m terrified of commitment.
9. For the next five years?
As foolish as it sounds, live off of my writing. Make it my job as well as my hobby. This grocery store crap is for the birds.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
If you like what you read (assuming you read my story, that is) come check out my website for more! Http://www.writercraig.com has all of the links to read my current published work, my blog, links to add me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and unrelated Pokemon GIFs galore! I’m also an editor for the magazines Beyond Science Fiction and Beyond Imagination, which you can check out on Amazon. We publish everything from fantasy to science fiction to horror to romance! Check us out! Lastly, shout out to my wife Stephanie, my mom, my awesome beta readers, and TBDMG. Thanks for your time!