You’re a lifelong horror fan and avid reader. You’ve dipped your toes into social media, followed some of your favorite authors. Now you have written your own novella and self-published it. Cue tumbleweed? Just how do you get yourself out there and seen? I sat down and chatted with Rayne King who has recently been through this very process.
(Interview conducted by Janine Pipe)
CEMETERY DANCE: Hey there, Rayne! Congrats on the release of your debut novella, The Creek. What can you tell us about it?
RAYNE KING: Thank you, Janine! I appreciate that. The Creek is a novella-length story about a pair of lonely teenagers who find kindred spirits in each other. It’s soaked in dread, and packs a horror-punch of an ending. Or at least I like to think so, haha.
Horror can sometimes be seen as a bit of a niche market. What made you decide to self publish and how do you promote yourself?
I was very eager to get something out there, and I thought self-publishing was the best way to reach some readers. In regards to promoting, I try to post on social media 1-3 times a week about my book. But I’ve been very fortunate in the reviews department, which helps generate buzz. It’s incredible how much of an impact reviews have on books. Word of mouth plays a huge role in indie sales. It’s something I didn’t fully understand until putting The Creek out there in the wild.
Despite often only taking up a small section of the bookstores, there are lots of authors trying to break into horror. How did you find the process of joining the *scene*?
I found it natural. It’s funny because I grew up on horror, but never considered writing in the genre until finding the Horror Community over on Twitter. The company I found there was very welcoming. Still is. I’d never been around fellow horror aficionados like that before, so I found it inspiring. Now, I’m, like, how do I write anything BUT horror?
…though I do feel like there’s a dark crime story inside me, waiting to be written!
I am a firm believer in supporting others and having a mentor. Is there someone you have been able to go to for advice and is there anything in specific they have been able to help you with?
Ross Jeffery and Joshua Marsella were really helpful in getting The Creek off the ground. Ross for his self-publishing prowess (he designed the cover for the book and formatted it) and Josh was always supportive and encouraging. Since The Creek was released, I’ve corresponded with Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo often, and she’s been selfless in advising me on how to proceed with writing. Plus her work ethic is admirable and contagious. And honestly, I feel like you’ve taken me under your wing, Janine. Your guidance has helped build my confidence in continuing to pursue writing seriously.
What have you found the most beneficial about becoming a horror writer and what, if anything, do you wish you had done differently?
Being a horror writer allows you to explore humanity without any confines, and that’s cathartic for me. I wish I knew how good of a thing THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX was when I wrote my debut. It’s a good lesson to learn early. That’s something you helped teach me actually, J, haha. Now I approach writing with the question, “How can I make this as Rayne King as possible?” Find what sets your writing on fire, and pour gasoline on it.
For any aspiring writers out there, what advice would you wish to impart, having just been through the process of your first publication and submission acceptance yourself?
Don’t be afraid to put your work out there. Only good things can come from it. Also, find yourself an editor you strike a connection with. I just finished working with Keith Anthony Baird on my story “Drowning in Doubt” for his forthcoming anthology Diabolica Americana, and loved the experience. My story had a bite, but his line edits sharpened its teeth. Can’t wait to work with him again in the future.
Finally, Rayne, what is next for you and where can people find you and your work?
I’m brainstorming a trio of short stories. A creature feature; a creepy rural fantasy; and a possible prequel to my story “Husk,” which I included at the end of The Creek as my way of saying, “Thank you for giving me a chance.” There’s a longer piece kicking around inside my head, too. I’ve tried writing it a couple times so far, but it’s not quite ready. Still cooking.
You can find me on Twitter (@Channel_King) and IG (channelking). The Creek is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon, and my first accepted story, “Drowning in Doubt” will be included in Diabolica Americana, as I mentioned earlier, which is planned for release this Halloween!
Thank you, Janine, for taking the time to interview me. I had a blast.
Rayne King is the author of The Creek, a coming-of-age novella soaked in dread and horror. As an autodidact, he has slowly learned to write through much trial and tribulation. His influences are widespread, ranging from magical realism to cosmic horror. Because of this, his writing borrows elements from a multitude of genres, as he feels comfortable using whatever tools necessary to tell his dark stories.
Trading in a police badge and then classroom, Janine Pipe is a full-time Splatterpunk Award-nominated writer, whilst also being an awesome mum, wife and Disney addict. Influenced by the works of King from a young age, she likes to shock readers with violence and scare them with monsters — both mythical and man-made. When she’s not killing people off, she likes to chew the fat with other authors, reviewing books for Scream Magazine, Cemetery Dance and Horror DNA, and conducting interviews on booktube. You’ll likely find her devouring work by Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Tim Meyer. Her biggest fan, beta reader, editor and financier is her loving husband.