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Haunting Social Media

Andrea Van Orsouw
It sounds better than stalking.
Because it is.
A stalker shows up outside your house. They look through your mail. They wait for you at your favorite places. They peek in the windows. They want to be a part of your life. A big part.
You close the shades. You leave town. You file a restraining order.
The real world sucks.
Social media is different.
If social media were the real world,

Don't Blog Drunk III

Alcohol is a depressant. We forget that as we dance the night away. 
But soon it opens our eyes to the tired people around us. The women, desperate trollops dressed up in hopes of impregnation.  The men, in fits of testosterone fury. All reduced to the basest instincts of procreation, frivolity, and sadness.  
And you. 
Alcohol holds up a mirror and shouts, "Laugh, you fool. Laugh before you cry!"
I want no more of this. But others; they live for this... release. They beg alcohol to loose the chains of societal oppression. They proceed with another and another. They throw away the compass even as the fog closes in, as if this gesture lends the illusion of freedom.  You must, you must get lost with them or you are shunned. 
Into the darkness you go. Tomorrow be damned for today. The darker it gets, the less you pretend to feel, until the illusion cocoons you in bliss. 
Then morning lights your silk on fire.  

Maslow and Prosopagnosia

I live in New York, and every building I walk into has a man behind a desk asking me to sign in. I think about those men. For eight hours a day they sit at a desk, bored beyond belief. They expend 1000 calories, occupy two square feet, consume 185 liters of oxygen, and ingest several cups of water all to provide a modest amount of security for the people upstairs who pretty much do the same thing.
Is this what their parents hoped for when they spent eighteen years raising them? Is this an adequate result of twelve years of school? Was this worth emigrating thousands of miles? Is this a reason to get up in the morning?
Even more pressing, are any of us, in any job, any different?

How to Take Criticism

Be as humble in victory as in defeat. 
This week one of my novels won an award, but I did not attend the ceremony. I'd like to say I eschew popular support or that I write for arts' sake or some similar nonsense. No. The truth is, I avoided it. I am very grateful for the selection and pleased that someone not only read my work but was inspired to an opinion. That said, the only way to weather the manic storm of infamy is to watertight both bow and stern against the spittle of the masses.
Authorship is self-motivational. Seldom are we asked to retire from humanity for the lengthy production of speculative work. No, we bring it on ourselves and, whether tortuous or fair, some part of us believes the exercise worthwhile, either for our own benefit or the edification of our peers. I believe the concise word is 'conceit'. For that reason, the best thing that can happen to any author is

Five Promotion Mistakes Writers Make

Now more than ever, all authors must self-promote in order to survive. But how do you do that without irritating your audience? Here are five things to watch out for:

Self-promotion on Twitter. One word. Don’t. This holds for any form of social media. Too often, you see writers who only tweet like this: “This is my favorite sentence from my book! Buy it here: bitly/xy123”. If I wanted ads in my feed, I’d go to Facebook. Twitter is a way to connect and build an audience. To do that, you need to post something the reader finds interesting.


Contact Info
I always welcome feedback, interview requests, fan mail, and free beer.
Email me: ronancray [at] gmail
Facebook: ronancray Like me to receive updates and events news.
Twitter: @ronancray
Pinterest: ronancray See photos that inspired my novels.

Need more?

Read these interviews:
Indie Author Land
Zigzag Timeline

Listen to this interview:
Writestream Radio

Watch this interview:
CCTV Interview

Read reviews of Red Sand here:
Ronan Cray Named Top 10 New Horror
Matt Molgaard, Horror Novel Reviews
Zigzag Timeline

Kickstarter Kicks My Ass

Maybe you've heard of Kickstarter? It's the new diet and exercise program. You worry about pledges to the exclusion of eating and run around looking for donors. It's more grueling than a zombie 5K. But don't take my word for it. Read my recent post over at The Scrib!

Setting a World Record

This wasn't the first time I felt nude in public. 
I worked my way through college, and one of the most demeaning jobs I took was a mascot for a casino. I sweated in a giant duck costume like a deep sea diver, making my way through the casino to promote a new gaming machine. I couldn't see anything through the mask, so someone led me through the narrow aisles between ringing slot and poker machines. Old men pinched my tail feathers, convinced only a woman would take such a job. Anyone shorter than me got tripped over. At the end of the day, they thanked me politely for my time, paid me, and said I didn't need to return tomorrow. 
So it wasn't without experience that I donned another costume to appear in public. This experience was much better. 
I participated in the New Jersey Zombie Walk 2013 in Asbury Park. The Guinness Book of World Records was on hand to officially announce it the largest gathering of zombies in the world. 9,592 zombies stalked the boardwalk in gleaming artificial blood, flaking latex, and gore. The variety was stunning. 
I wore the suit that best approximates the Eaters in the video game of our Kickstarter. Their skin rotted off, they look like something out of the Bodies Exhibit. 
The response took me totally off guard. 

Dust Eaters Kickstarter LIVE

Back in college I ran for Student Senate. Voter turnout was low the previous years, so I set a goal: win more votes than the highest voted person last year. I had no campaign manager, no team, nothing. I spoke in front of auditoriums filled with students, published articles in the school paper, inked out hand made signs based on Burma Shave ads paced out to and from the stadium and library.
The result?

Why We Need Horror

I often question the worth of the words I write. Does the world really need another gruesome horror novel? I look at writers like Nicholas Sparks and think, the world needs more writers like that, stories with romance and tension without death and carnage. The world is a tough, brutal place that needs a little light now and then.
A that's the problem.