Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Jim. I have a desk that faces the corner of a room and I sit there, usually with a candle lit, and I write… okay, enough of the blah, blah bio stuff. Hey everyone!!! I’m Jim Bronyaur and I write horror. I write stories, books, poetry, and even music. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and I’ve been playing guitar since I was a kid. My first published piece was in 5th grade – a poem about a pig with a wig. I’ve thankfully gotten a little better since that time. I’ve had over forty pieces of writing published with my most recent being in the Nothing But Flowers antho (due out soon)… and my latest achievement was winning Preditors & Editors Best Horror Short Story 2010 for my story, Pulsate, which is now serialized through Flashes in the Dark. It runs every Thursday and you all should read it. So there, you know me now… sort of.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing as a kid. When kids in school were reading kids books, I was reading Stephen King novels. My parents weren’t fond of it so much (especially when I got scared and slept in their bed) but it was reading and according to my teachers, reading was a good thing. Some kids preferred a mouse riding a motorcycle for entertainment… I preferred the idea of being killed when I fall asleep. Something about it seemed so much more real. My first book I wrote was called Manor’s Mystery Mansion. A group of people are invited to this mansion and the host is murdered. Who did it? Yup, probably a huge rip off… but I was a kid! I still have a print copy of it and the world will never see it. As an adult, my first finished book came when I was 19. It’s still unedited and burns in the back of my mind. I hope to see it in print someday.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
Horror is a part of me. Like I said, when I was a kid, it was horror. Books. Movies. Everything. I remember going to the movie store (yes, when they existed) and walking up and down the horror aisle looking at the covers and descriptions. There is just something about horror that fascinates me. The idea of scaring someone. Thinking the unreal as real… ghosts, monsters, the dead rising, among many other things. The type of stuff that you know isn’t real but yet when the movie is over or the book is closed you take a quick glance over your shoulder to make sure you’re safe.
Where do you get your ideas? Do you ever experience writer’s block? Do you work with an outline, or just write?
My ideas come from everywhere. I get ideas from watching my sons play. I get ideas from watching people interact. I get ideas from the newspaper. Life is full of ideas, you just have to find them. I also piece things together from my life. I think about what scared me as a kid and how I can apply it now. For example, I had a short story published last year called Fire about a paranoid man following a hearse. He is so scared that he ends up waiting at a green light so the hearse goes through. He calms himself down and continues to drive only to find the hearse waiting for him at the next block… oh, scary, I know. I got that idea one morning when I was following a hearse. It creeped the hell out of me, wondering if it meant something (yes, I can be superstitious sometimes) or if there was a body in there. Writer’s block is tricky… every author has their own way of getting through it. And it depends on the author on how they get through it. For me, I keep my plate full so if I get stuck or need a break from one project, I move to the next. As far as writing goes… I can’t say that I do or do not outline. It depends on the project. I’ve found that some sort of outline serves me better – but I refuse a specific outline of a novel, it takes something away from it. But it is good to know where the story is going and how to get there.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
As a kid, it was Stephen King. I scared myself all the time with his books. On a softer side, I enjoyed Shel Silverstein too. The Giving Tree is by far one of the greatest stories ever told. Now, as an adult… I enjoy Neil Gaiman – his ability to write kids stories and adults stories amazes me. And of course there are the classic authors, new authors, and all my awesome indie friend authors who are keeping the dream alive.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Marketing is tricky… but thus far I’ve found that networking is the way to go. Twitter mostly but Kindleboards is great too. I’ve also found that traditional marketing may be a thing of the past… no more annoying ads, etc. but rather interact with readers. Find people on Twitter that read your genre or write in your genre and get to know them. Read one of their stories. “Meet” people. Here’s a crazy story for you – my first published piece of writing came in May 2009… by a lady that took a chance on a decent horror story. That same lady now hosts my serialized story, Pulsate. Almost two years later… it’s such a big world but so small at the same time. You have to put in something to get something back.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
YES, yes, yes!!! It’s actually book one of three in a series called The Passing. It involves a man from another world trying to get to earth to take it over. He’s a captain of a ship in what’s called the dead waters (where the dead float to their judgment in a place called the wasteland). His plan is to take some of those in the dead water and send them back to earth… only they come back not the same – yes, zombies. That’s all I’m going to say about the book right now… other than it kicks super big butt. The first book is finished, coming in at 107,000 words but it needs a lot of time and edits.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Well… I said I was going to announce something during this interview… so… this is it… *ahem*… I can now officially announce that I have a book coming out sometime in March 2011! It’s three stories, ranging from 7,000 words to 23,000 words and the collection is titled In The Corner. I’m really proud of these stories – they are ones that I have been tinkering with for a year now and finally got them together. The book will be available in paperback and as an ebook. Now, if that wasn’t cool enough… here comes the best part… the book comes with music. Yes, music. Those who know me know it’s been my dream to somehow combine books and music and now I have a chance to do so. In the final story for In The Corner titled The Wrong Side of the Tracks, the main character is the lead singer for a band called Butler. And Butler just got signed to a record deal. But before that, they had a demo recorded to send to record companies. Well, my awesome readers, when you buy a copy of In the Corner (paperback OR ebook) you get a copy of Butler’s demo! A 6 song demo… now, tell me that isn’t cool?
What project are you working on now?
Oh boy, current projects? There are plenty. I’ve been lucky enough so far this year to be involved in some big anthology projects. There’s an antho coming out soon to help benefit those in need from the Australian floods. I’m also in a fun zombie anthology from The Zombie Survival Crew. As for my personal projects, I have some books in the works. I’m writing a lot of material under the new imprint of Dead Face Publishing (which is where In the Corner is being published from). I can’t talk specifics just yet about these projects, but they rock. As for ideas or themes to work with… I love zombies. There, I said it. I love zombies… the idea, the creatures, the stories. There is nothing better than zombies in my opinion. HOWEVER zombies have been done again and again and again… and it’s my goal to bring them back in a big way. I like to explore the background of zombies. Not so much the killing and gore, but rather how it could happen and how to make it believable and scary. I mean, think about it for a second, how many “things” are added to our everyday foods? Preservatives, additives, etc… and you’re telling me that maybe one day one of those preservatives will do just that… preserve. And that maybe one day those preservatives will wake dead cells… and then the dead rise… okay, I’ll stop.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
WRITE. Never stop writing. Never stop thinking. And never give up. You will be rejected. You will have bad days. You will have good days. You will have the urge to sleep instead of write, but you must fight it and write. You will be rejected. You will get strange looks from people when you tell them you’re a writer… because they don’t understand and that’s okay. Do not enter writing with the sole purpose of making any money, do it for the art and because you have to. You will be rejected. Get online and meet other writers but do not act like an idiot about it… take your time and enjoy it. You will be rejected. Write, edit, and edit again. Let it sit. Then edit again. You will be rejected… In all seriousness, it can be scary to say those words: “I’m a writer”. And to get online is like a vast universe of people and things… my writing path took me to twitter where I found writing hashtags (and groups) like #fridayflash, etc. – my advice is to find those people and read, comment, talk, and learn. And never stop learning. You will be rejected – yes, you will. Don’t take it to heart. Don’t hate the editor who rejected you – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rejected only to submit another story and have it published. This is a business… this is an art… and mixing them sucks, but we do it. And most importantly… WRITE.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
All I can say is that I appreciate all the support I have from around the world right now. Those who email me to tell me they read something and liked it… those who comment on stories… those who tweet, retweet, and facebook me… you all rock and are my inspiration to keep writing on the worst of days. This year (and next and next and forever) is going to be huge. I’m having the time of my life amidst a lot of personal stuff going on and I couldn’t imagine not having the readers behind me each step of the way. I hope you keep enjoying what I have to offer because it’s only going to get bigger and better!
Be sure to stop by and check out Jim’s webpage!