While your opinion may differ from mine on who The Hardest Working Man In Showbiz is, I have no doubt in my mind that if you know Jenny Hudock, you would agree with me that she is one of the hardest working writers on the scene.
When Jenny isn’t writing stories for her Dark Journeys Story Collection; writing, polishing and recording her podcast Goblin Market; or crafting an article for one of her many freelance columns around the ‘net, Jenny is coming up with creative ways to promote her equally creative endeavors.
And somehow, not only does Jenny manage to do all this with a smile (and the occasional Crazy Hair Day), she also devotes much of her time to supporting and networking with her hoards of writerly friends.
Needless to say, I’m stoked to be hostess to Jenny today, and I invite you to check out her thoughts on various aspects of being a writer!
* * * * *
Hi Jenny! Thanks for stopping by! Can you start off by telling everyone about your background – when you first started writing and what you write.
JH: I have been writing since I was about ten years old. I started out writing stories about an alternative life for myself, in which my father was a rich and famous rock star, which was a great escape. I continued writing all through high school and my early twenties, on top of being a mother and working full time as a waitress/bartender/line cook at a sports bar. After September 11, my outlook on life shifted a great deal, and I found myself staring at my future with a sense of desperation. I wanted to do more with my life, so I enrolled at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, and went on to get my bachelors degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
I write a lot of different things, from dark fantasy and horror to poetry and creative nonfiction. I've even been known to write a little romance now and then, but prefer to linger in the abnormal realm of the unexplained.
Since you have been writing and sharing your work online for so long, what changes do you see in the community and in publishing? What would you like to see happen that has not happened yet?
JH: I have been sharing my work online for about seven or eight years now, and during that time, I saw a huge shift in presentation mediums. It used to be just electronic print sites where writers gathered and hosted their work for feedback, or eZines, and then the audio fiction scene exploded. Because so many people have access to the Internet now, I have seen more people taking a chance in getting their work out there because they can be more anonymous on the Net. Not everyone does, but I think it's made people a little braver.
What I'd like to see happen that seems to be developing now is writers and creatives of all mediums taking control over their work on a more independent level. It's like we're taking our ideas back and keeping them, rather than selling the rights to them to some big publishing company. It's harder work, of course, but I feel like it's far more rewarding.
~ * ~
Speculative fiction – including Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (and all their sub-genres) – are often seen as male-dominated genres. Do you think that stigma still exists? Do you think publishers or readers still act as though women writing these genres are a novelty?
JH: Yes, I do think it still exists. Two great examples from my own experience that I can share include my first publication in an anthology. Last summer, my short story "Two Weeks" was published in a zombie anthology put out by Living Dead Press. I was the ONLY woman in the anthology, which shocked me a little once I realized it because I know some amazing women who write horror (yourself included.)
The second experience wasn't personal in that it happened to me, but I witnessed it. Last year at Pittsburgh's Horror Realm, my fiance, James Melzer, was on board with Permuted Press to speak on panel and promote his upcoming novel, "Escape." Out of all the writers at the convention, Rhiannon Frater was the only woman there.
I think it's shifting, as more women prove themselves in the genre, but it definitely still seems to exist.
~ * ~
How do you handle wearing so many hats as a writer – authoress, editress, marketing maven etc.?
JH: I drink a lot of coffee… I am also incredibly self-abusive. I am not happy, it seems, unless I'm juggling about a billion different things at once, and while a lot of people might have a nervous breakdown under those conditions, I think I would breakdown if I wasn't doing it.
~ * ~
What misconceptions do you think people have about self-publishing? How would you/have you tried to blow these misconceptions out of the water?
JH: One of the most popular misconceptions people seem to have about self-publishing is the quality of the work isn't the same. That's just not true. I've read some self-published work that was better edited than mainstream publishing house novels. So many mainstream publishing houses now pay editors to comb through the work and maintain a certain level of quality, but sometimes it's lacking.
I like to provide samples, and in some cases, full stories free. This gives readers and listeners a chance to check me out without the risk of spending their hard-earned dollars and winding up disappointed.
~ * ~
If you could impart one piece of wisdom onto up-and-coming authors who are faced with new mediums for sharing their work and an ever-changing landscape in the book & publishing world, what would it be?
JH: As with anything you face in life, trying to go against the changes is going to tire and burn you out. Bend with the wind so you don't break. Explore all avenues and refuse to give up in the face of adversity. You are a writer for a reason, and you owe it to yourself to keep following that which makes your soul feel fulfilled.
~ * ~
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Jenny! Now, let everyone know a bit about your upcoming adventures, places to find you, and any parting words you are itching to share.
JH: I have a pretty full plate right now. I'm editing two charity anthologies, editing the final draft of Goblin Market before sending it out to my awesome team of volunteer editors for feedback and advice. I'm also working on the sequel to Goblin Market, Jack in the Green, which I hope to start podcasting this July. One top of that, I've also got the Dark Journeys Short Story Collection going strong, with three more stories to put up before I compile them all into one big anthology with a bonus story. There is also Running Down the Moon, a horror novel I am working on, which is about halfway through the first draft stage and in the midst of some editing as I steer the plot back on track.
I'm pooped, I tell ya! But I wouldn't want it any other way.
I am so excited to be here on your blog, and grateful you invited me here to visit your readers! Anyone who is interested in finding out more about me is welcome to visit my official website at http://jennybeans.net
* * * * *
For those of you who want to hear more about Jenny and her creative life, check out the other stops on her Dark Journeys Blog Tour!
May 14, 2010: Jim – Yes, THAT Jim
May 17, 2010: Edward G. Talbot
May 19, 2010: Morgan Elektra of Trickster Moon Productions
May 21, 2010: James Melzer’s UNLEASHED
May 21, 2010: Ramblings of English with Chandra Jenkins
May 24, 2010: Paddy’s Wanderings with Patrick Pillars
May 27, 2010: Drew Beatty
May 29, 2010: Scrivener’s Circle with David Sobkowiak and Laura Frechette
June 2, 2010: Nicole Ireland
June 7, 2010: Scott Roche
June 9, 2010: Superficial Gallery
June 14, 2010: Slushpilehero
June 16, 2010: Jason Warden of ShadowCast Audio
June 18, 2010: The Feckless Goblin