On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Reuben Shupp talks about his new collection of middle grade horror short stories, Creepy And Scary Tales.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Reuben Shupp about his life and career, what inspired him to start writing, and the creative process that went into his new collection of middle grade short stories, Creepy And Scary Tales.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I live in Texas with my wife and two children. Besides writing, I love working in the garden and the yard.
The accomplishment that I am most proud of was my service in the United States Navy. While in the USN, I was an active part of the Persian Gulf War (Desert Storm and Desert Shield). I grew up in New Hampshire and Texas. These memories are the basis for my stories.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
It happened by accident. In 2020, I began writing a memoir for my children. I wanted them to know my childhood memories. The stories got longer and longer. Eventually, I started writing short stories and published them on Amazon.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I started writing my short stories in November and I published my book In May.
How long did it take you to complete Creepy And Scary Tales from the first idea to release?
I started writing “Creepy and Scary Tales: A Collection of Short Stories in April and I published it on Amazon in October.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Creepy And Scary Tales?
When I was writing my first book, I was figuring out what genre I like best. Horror is my favorite. I grew up watching horror movies in the basement. Middle-grade horror is my calling. I can write horror without all the gore.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Creepy And Scary Tales?
For me, the biggest challenge was coming up with an idea that has not been overdone.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
Each short story had a different protagonist. He was either me as a kid or one of my childhood friends. I have to write what I know.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
In the story “Harry,” the antagonist is a tarantula. The inspiration for this story is my wife. She is terrified of tarantulas. I remember a time that was particularly funny. She was cleaning the garage. She screamed my name. I came running only to find her on top of a table. The tarantula was walking around like a lost dog.
What is the inciting incident of Creepy And Scary Tales?
In “Harry,” the inciting incident is when Spidey enters a haunted house filled with spiders.
What is the main conflict of your book?
In “Andrea,” the main conflict is between Markus (the new kid) and Andrea (the neighborhood bully). She will not leave him alone.
Did you plot Creepy And Scary Tales in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I did a short sketch of what was going to happen in each scene. So I have to say that I did a little of boh.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did your book need?
I did the editing myself. I do not have a family that supports my writing; therefore, I had to do the editing myself. I used Grammarly and Prowriting Aid. I also watched lots of Youtube videos.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Write what you know.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am in the middle of editing “Vampire Juice.” It is a middle-grade horror story.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I love writing. Whether I sell one or a thousand books, I am proud of what I have accomplished. My first book sold maybe 20 copies. My last book sold around 50. Who knows what the future will bring. But I can’t wait to find out.
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