Welcome to Rita’s Bower where readers gather to meet our favorite or soon-to-be favorite authors while sipping delicious drinks and savoring decadent treats. Serve yourself a plate and drink, settle back in a comfortable chair, prop up your feet, and welcome our guest author, Cinsearae S.
Cinsearae is a multi-talented and award-winning author, editor, digital editor, jewelry designer, photographer and entrepreneur. She will share with us a bit about herself and discuss some of her current and upcoming projects.
Welcome, Cinsearae. Thank you for dropping by. Tell us about yourself.
Thank you very much for having me, Rita! I’ve been a creative person my whole life (I started writing short stories in 3rd grade) and I delve in several parts of the artistic world. Along with writing, I design book covers for Damnation Books as well as independent authors. And although I became hooked on creating digital art the moment I got my hands on my first copies of Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop, I still love drawing by hand. I’m the shop owner of Mistress Rae’s Decadent Designs on Etsy (a popular e-commerce website that features handmade and vintage items), where I sell one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, creepy dolls (especially zombies!) and accessories.
I’m happy to have a hubby that supports my weirdness, and even offers some ideas of his own, which I’ll try to ‘bring to life,’ so to speak. My two rat terriers, Hades and Chaos, are the overseers of everything, and make excellent foot warmers in the winter. But even during that time of year, I’m always out and about (as long as there’s not a ton of ice and snow on the ground) and I love going to state parks to help clear my head and to take nature photographs. I never leave home without my camera.
There’s a quote from Vincent Price that I absolutely love, not only because he’s one of my favorite actors and shared a love for the creepy and spooky (I first fell for him when I was a kid and saw him on The Muppet Show), but because he was also a purveyor and lover of art: "I think that art, and the appreciation of art, is curiosity about life and the capacity for wonder. This expression...really sums up my entire philosophy of life... the capacity for wonder." And naturally, I LOVED his darkly humorous, dry wit and candor. There will never be another actor like him.
I enjoyed reading your latest book, Diary of a Vampire Stripper—a Top Ten Finisher at the 2012 Predators and Editors Readers poll. It’s a paranormal erotic romance with a touch of humor. I loved the heroine, Claudia/Audra, but she does have her troubles. Was she fun to write?
Thank you so much, Rita!...And she most definitely was! And as much strife and random aggravations that she went through, she NEEDED that snarky, wry, dark humor that’s seen throughout the book. I gave her story some spicy romance in the beginning, but afterwards, her life is more like the roller coaster ride from hell. I’m a big fan of dark humor, thanks to prominent people in the horror industry like Price, Wes Craven, and Joss Whedon. The blending of horror with a bit of humor makes ‘horror’ easier to delve into.
Audra is a bit complex in that she has a soft side, but doesn’t like to let it show. She’s also been through enough crap as it is dealing with jackassy boyfriends in the past, so she’s pretty jaded in the relationship department….but still clings onto a “tiny” bit of hope that things can get better for her in that aspect. And sometimes, if she’s in an awkward or uncomfortable situation, she’ll ‘grin and bear it’—or more like ‘grit her teeth’—when she wants to do the complete opposite. Audra has some very vicious and homicidal thoughts towards people who get on her nerves, and she doesn’t want to let that particular side of her out. The guilt of acting on those emotions would probably drive her mad.
Is there a sequel scheduled to be published? It will be on my To Be Read List for sure.
There is definitely a sequel coming for Diary of a Vampire Stripper, which I am currently working on now, and should be out by this fall. Some loose ends from the first book will be tied, while some new ones will form! It just never ends for poor Audra…
You also edit and publish a magazine. What do you see as the challenge of being a successful publisher?
My biggest challenge is just getting the word out about Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine (DGR). I always feel like I can do more. But at least my past wins at the P&E polls for the magazine lets me know I’m doing something right!
There are things I’ve noticed over the years while the magazine continues to thrive. My ‘remaining human’ in a continuously crumbling un-humanlike world is highly mentioned to me by contributors, and they often THANK me for that.
Writers are looking for someone to take an interest in their work and give them a chance, not discourage them and/or slam the door in their face. I created DGR out of that anger and frustration I and many writers had when first starting out, and DGR continues to be that ‘stepping stone’ for newbies trying to get their feet wet. I also love interviewing authors, artists bands, and anyone else with a dark and Gothic flair to what they’re doing.
Your website is really comprehensive and worth a serious read. You even have an award-winning design business. You have so much going on, how do you manage to get it done and maintain your sanity?
I LOVE what I do, and it’s true when they say, ‘if your love your work, it doesn’t feel like works at all.’ I do space my projects out in order of ‘what needs to get done first,’ so I don’t go wonky.
I’ve been having a lot fun creating insect jewelry, and I’m starting to dabble a bit in anthropomorphic, taxidermied creations. With Mistress Rae’s Decadent Designs, I can work on projects pretty much when I want to; and usually create more items in the winter, to prep for the horror conventions that start popping up in the spring.
I’ve always been a nature girl a heart, science/biology being my favorite subject in school, and I’ve taken those interests, along with my more macabre tastes in the darker side of life—and expressing them through my shop creations. If it’s something just plain odd, Gothic, Halloween, or Victorian/Steampunk-themed that you’re looking for, Mistress Rae’s is worth a look-see. You’ll never know what you’ll find, and you’ll be guaranteed something only-you-will own!
When it comes to book covers, I work on them as soon as I get the requests, as I respond to them within 1-2 days. My styles range from dark paranormal romance to horror to dark fantasy, and I also offer pre-designed covers for a lower rate. I have more details, praises, and a showcase of covers here.
What are your current projects?
By the time folks read this, the spring issue of Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine will be out, and I’m still plugging away to the second part of Diary Of A Vampire Stripper. On the website at the very bottom of the page is a link to download the first chapter to the second book, plus a teaser trailer. On the backburner are some sugar skull/Dia de los Muertos and zombie/horror dolls I’ll be promoting from my Etsy shop by late summer in time for Halloween.
What are your future plans and projects?
Getting the last two issues of the magazine done (The Fall issue is always the most popular!) and finding something to do this Halloween. I think my hubby, friends, and I have done every horror attraction/ghost tour in our area, and it gets harder every year to find something different.
Where can we find out more about you and your writing?
Everyone is more than welcome to visit my internet home, http://BloodTouch.webs.com … they can see e-v-e-r-y-thing that I’m up to there! There’s lots of free short stories and samples available, and online excerpts too.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cinsearae --I always welcome new friends!
Thank you, Cinsearae, for visiting.
And thank you so much again for having me Rita, it’s been a pleasure.
Drop by again any time. The door to Rita’s Bower is always open to authors and readers who appreciate happily-ever-afters.
Happy reading, dear readers, until our next visit,