S.J.Budd is a dark fiction writer who has published over twenty stories in magazines such as Aphotic Realm, Deadman’s Tome, Aphelion, Siren’s Call ezine, The Wild Hunt, Sanitarium Magazine, Blood Moon Rising and many more.
What got you interested in writing?
I’ve always lived in books so it was a natural progression for me to start writing. I love that you can create new worlds and even people with just a few words and your imagination. For me it’s a compulsion I need to write and get everything out of my system and onto a page.
Tell us a little about your chosen genre.
I guess my genre falls into Speculative Fiction, I like a bit of horror, old myths and legends, love ghosts and things that go bump in the night. I like anything out of the ordinary.
What are your happiest memories in your writing career?
Writing is something that I just love doing. I love the feeling of finishing something that I’m really proud of or when I come up with a great idea. I’ve made loads of great friends through writing and there’s a real sense of camaraderie in the writing community. Writing is definitely my life!
I have to say the happiest moment so far was selling my first story back in 2014 to Sanitarium Magazine. It came after a few years of constant rejections and really motivated me to carry on going.
How do you handle success and failure?
Rejections are hard but one piece of advice that’s really stayed with me is when I went to an author event hosted by Ben Aaronovitch. He said that you only need one person to absolutely love your work in publishing and they will be your champion and make sure it gets published. I guess he was saying there’s always going to people out there that will hate your writing but there’s always going to be die hard loyal fans if you find them.
I would say the only failure in writing is not trying to make a real go of it and see how far you can get. I’ve had quite a few stories published now but I still have a long way to go in terms of improvement. There’s so much more I want to do and am really excited to see how much further I can take it in 2018. My dream is to finally break into all the big magazines and appear alongside my heroes!
What makes you write when you’re exhausted and your fingers ache?
I’m compelled to write and when I’ve got a story coming out of my head I’ll work night and day to get it out of my head and onto the page. I’m a full time mum to two young kids so I’m always exhausted. When I write it’s often in the small hours so I don’t really know anything else.
What is your advice to young and new writers?
Just keep writing but make sure to have fun with it if it’s boring to write it will be boring to read! The most important thing is to keep at it. Someone once said it takes at least a thousand hours of practising to become a master of something.
Are you a traditionalist or a digital? (paper or eBook)
Oh that’s a tricky one. I used to be a die-hard book lover but I have crossed over to the dark side! Having a kindle is amazing. I love indie fiction where you can buy amazing books for just 99p and it’s so convenient having it instantly available to read after purchase rather than waiting for the post man. It’s also better for the environment.
My house is crammed full of books and I simply don’t have space for much more so a kindle is necessary. I am a bookaholic and have so many books I’ve not got round to reading but I feel much less guilty when they are in e format!
Do you blog?
Do you self-publish?
I did self-publish a short story collection of nine short stories, Spells and Persuasions, that have previously been published in various magazines and sites. It was one of my “oh what the hell I could get hit by a bus tomorrow” moments. I really enjoyed the process and getting loads of great feedback.
I think before there’s been a snobbery about self-publishing but since having a kindle I’ve read so many great books that have been self-published, just today I read Call Drops by John. F. Leonard and thought it was brilliant. Its bewildering to think there’s so much undiscovered talent out there!
If you have a publication or promotion – tell us.
My latest story, I am Witch has just been published in issue two of Aphotic Realm Magazine. It’s a really great magazine and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s out now!