Friday, June 1, 2012

Spotlight on Morbid Seraphic Author Stephen B. Pearl

Hello Fallen Friends,

Welcome to Day 5 of our spotlight on the wickedly talented contributing authors of the Morbid Seraphic Anthology by Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing. Today I'm happy to have author Stephen Pearl visiting the Seraphine Muse. He is the author of the short story Better the Devil You Know.

If you're a fan of the story that blurs the line between what could be good versus what you conceive is evil, then Stephen Pearl's thought-provoking tale is definitely for you.

My rating 4 wings:

SM: How did you come up with the title?
For my story in the Morbid Seraphic Anthology from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly I thought about the old saying Better the Devil You Know than the one you don’t and followed that idea. Sometimes it is better to embrace a lesser evil than tolerate a greater one.  I then wrote a story taking the phrase Better the Devil You Know a little more literally than most folk do.

For my novel Tinker’s Plague the title was simple because it is about a Tinker, in this context a Doctor of General Applied Technologies, dealing with a plague. The tinker part came from a tinkerer or Jack of all trades.

For Nukekubi I used the name of the species of mythical beings from which my antagonist is drawn.

SM: Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, now enjoy the stories and if I’ve done my job you’ll just get it while having a good time. Messages should be secondary in fiction. The first duty of a fiction book is to entertain anything else must be secondary.

SM: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

            Of course. The way I write is a lot like method acting. I find something in my life that parallels the emotion my character should be feeling and bring that to the page. A writer must be able to share themselves fortunately you get to put on a disguise.  Whether both parties realize it or not the relationship between the writer and the reader is extremely intimate. You enter and influence each other’s minds.

            For better or worse, sigh, I’ve had little experience with smoking hot red-heads like Sally in Better the Devil You Know in the Morbid Seraphic Anthology. Maybe in my next life? It doesn’t really matter because I’ve dealt with lots of other women who tried to use their sexuality to control the men around them. It is a form of power and some women use it. Note I said some and I make no moral judgments I simply state the truth. I could extrapolate from those women much of Sally’s character.

SM: What books have most influenced your life most?
Lord of the Rings, it gave me a template for right action and a view that good could triumph and that honor had a place in a swiftly darkening world. Something I wish politicians had. The world might be a better place if they did.

SM: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Feral Passion by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime . It’s pretty good, fast paced and interesting. I recently finished Remedy by Heidi C. Vlach which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m also immersed in Wheel of the Year; Living the Magical Life by Pauline Campanelli and keeping up with Popular Science magazine.

SM: What are your current projects?

I’m currently waiting on the Galleys for Worlds Apart, a paranormal romance due out in March 2012. I’m also working on Tinker’s Sea the sequel to Tinker’s Plague and hashing out the tag ends of a story, Three Parts Love, that will be out in the Breathless Press Hot Shorts anthology. I’m in the thinking stage for the sequel to Nukekubi and a comedic peace tentatively named Cats as well as looking at self publishing Havens in the Storm, one of my classic fantasy works because I’d like to see how the numbers stack up against my works published by third party publishers.

All of this is of course mixed up with doing promotions for the Morbid Seraphic anthology which has some nice stuff going for it in that department like a rocking trailer: .

SM: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

            Not in my latest but in Tinker’s Plague I describe a type of wind turbine generator that is now obsolete. The next generation of wind powered generators are far more efficient and address many of the environmental complaints with the technology. This is the eternal problem with near future science fiction. No matter how careful you are science fact will overtake you. The wind turbine type really doesn’t affect Tinker’s Plague, but I’d like it to be right. Still in all, if Jurassic Park can be outdated by this effect I don’t think it’s that damning a flaw.

SM: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Promotions. I’m a fair actor, so I can put on the face of the gregarious, congenial, outgoing guy. Truth is, I’d rather sit at my computer and write my stories. I’m in fact fairly shy and prefer the company of a few close friends to that of a crowd. In today’s writing world being an introvert doesn’t cut it. You can write the best book in the world and if people don’t know about it they won’t read it, so I act the part of the promoter as exhausting as the performance is.
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SM: Do you have any advice for other writers?

            If you aren’t yet addicted save yourself and get out while you can.
If you’re trapped do the best work you can. Don’t worry about the “in thing” because by the time you’ve written something to match it, it won’t be the “in thing” anymore. Before you pour your heart and soul into shorts have a novel ready to go. The real commercial value of shorts to an author is that they are great advertising. As a literary form shorts are great in and of themselves, but I’m speaking of the commercial value.

            Don’t bother anybody until you are over the “It’s my baby and you can’t touch it” stage. The only way to get good is to have others tear your work apart  so you can put it back together stronger than before. If you aren’t ready to do this and bite your tongue on all the things you want to say to defend your work than don’t waste other people’s time or ruin their day.

            If you are ready for constructive criticism join Critters it is an online writers group and an invaluable resource.

            Be braced for rejection. Realize that editors have a pile of stories cross their desk every day. They are looking for reasons to reject you. Mister McClelland of McCelland and Stewart publishing told me years ago that out of every five thousand manuscripts a publisher receives they will publish three. Of those three, one will make money, one will lose money, and one will break even. I picked up from someone along the way that ninety percent of all manuscripts are rejected unread for formatting errors. So if you watch your formatting you “improve” your odds to three in five hundred. I don’t go to casinos; I’m a writer I don’t have to. J
            Try. To try is a process. Do or do not in Star Wars was a misinterpretation of eastern philosophy. To try is to extend effort to study and write and submit. To try is to edit to shape your work into the best thing you can make it. To try is to strive against the obstacles and after you have tried and tried and tried you will find you have surmounted those obstacles or lie broken and bloodied at their feet. If the latter ask yourself how much you want to be published and if it is enough then try again.

SM: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

            Thanks for reading and if you could write a review I’d really appreciate it. Reviews are visibility and visibility is bread and butter in the business.

Purchase Morbid Seraphic at:

Thank you, Stephen, for taking the time to connect with the Seraphine Muse's wonderful readers today. I wish you the best of luck in all of your writing endeavors and feel free to come back and visit us anytime!


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