Writer to Writer Wednesday featuring Hellfire Goddess, Dawn Binkley
Lyn: Hello Dawn! Thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with me. I’m so excited to be able to talk to not only the Chief Momma Demon of Hellfire Publishing, but also a wonderful author. Can you tell me how this all started? What made you bring Hellfire to life?
I am uber excited to be here. Thank you Lyn.
Dawn: Our comic book store, Hellfire Comics, is doing well so we had been in the market for another business. Already being a bookseller, writer and having quite a bit of publishing knowledge, we thought starting a publishing company was the next step for us. I said, "If we don’t find talent, we won't do it." We opened a temporary Webs.com site and joined a few market places. We also opened a Facebook account and put out a request for submissions in the horror genre. We were extremely blessed with our opening crew. It was just a trial at first and grew from there. Now the official Hellfire Publishing website is up and running. Responses have been so great that we've recently opened submissions to all genres.
Lyn: You have an amazing heart which shows through all your charity. What charities are going on right now, that we can take part in? Anything exciting coming up?
Dawn: Thank you *blushes* proceeds from our Hellfire Book of Beltane go to St. Jude’s Childrens' Research Hospital and will continue through the life of the book. We started a charity called One Hundred Birthdays. We have two anthologies to be released in October where we will give a percentage of those to The American Cancer Society. Also, we gave over 1,000 eBooks away to Operation eBook Drop, a program for soldiers. We have a plan in the future, next year or so to put a fund together to help one very special struggling family have a wonderful Christmas.
Lyn: That’s awesome! Now, tell me. Your new book, Bad Moon Rising Over Oz. I love how you twisted this story. How did you come up with the idea for this?
Dawn: Twisted was the key word. I used to read those kind of dark tales and wonder what if the sweet Auntie Em was really a money hungry bitch that sold Dorothy's soul for some thriving crops and that the Land of Oz was only an illusion.
Lyn: You hold a special place in your heart for new authors. I think that’s amazing. What do you look for when you see a new author come through? Is it something in their writing style, ideas? What grabs your attention?
Dawn: Their story, but mostly their passion. If it’s there, it shows in their writing. Our main objective is that they have the entire author package. In other words, we are not interested in one hit wonders. The writer’s personality has a lot to do with being chosen for us, but it’s different from house to house. We search for friendly, talented and loyal writers.
Lyn: What new and exiting projects do you have coming up? I’m so looking forward to all the great things Hellfire is coming out with.
Dawn: We are in the midst of print books, we have released two already. Also in November we will be launching Romance, and in spring will bring Children’s books. We are always doing something.
Lyn: What authors have inspired you most in your life so far?
Dawn: Each and every Hellfire Publishing author has inspired me in life. As far as writing, no writer has inspired me.
Lyn: Do you have any advice for new authors trying to break out in the industry? Any tidbits to improve their writing technique, and how to handle submissions?
Dawn: Read, read, read and read some more. The rules are always changing. Also edit, edit, edit, edit. Let me tell you, I know this as a writer and publisher, the best way to handle submitting is to send out to as many places as possible, and then forget about it and start writing another book.
Lyn: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. It’s been fun. Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers and fans out there that I didn’t ask?
Dawn: You did a great job! Thank you so much Lyn.
Lyn: Ok, last one. Can you give us a little taste of Bad Moon Over Oz? (wink, wink)
Dawn: Thank you, sure.
Bad Moon Rising Over Oz is a version of, The Wizard of Oz like nothing you’ve ever read before...
It is not for the squeamish or the weak.
Auntie Em has made a deal with the devil. She gave up her niece, Dorothy’s soul in exchange for a plentiful harvest. Em was smart and worked a clause into the contract. Satan could only have Dorothy’s soul in death, but she must also agree to meet the dark lord himself and shake his hand. Everything is going splendid until…
Dorothy unaware of her untimely demise or any satanic contract embarks on a journey through the Land of Oz, seeking the great Wizard in hopes that he will return her safely home. As she unwittingly marches through hell, she begins to notice that nothing and no one is what it seems and there is no turning back…
There is indeed a bad moon rising over Oz.
The woman in white didn’t explain, but she was referring to the most powerful witch to ever live. She practiced the darkest of magic’s and even now in death, she ruled by the side of the dark one. When her heart was set on something or someone, she couldn’t be stopped and she wanted Dorothy’s soul for her master.
“Those shoes don’t look very comfortable. Don’t you have another pair in the house?” A little man with bright green hair inquired. “You have a very long journey home.”
“I can go home?” Dorothy squealed.
“Yes, you can. Now go, change into something comfortable,” he explained. What was left of Dorothy’s welcoming committee, were pushing the front of their hands forward, motioning her to go change her blood stained attire.
Dorothy returned wearing a charming knee length, blue and white cotton dress, including a red bonnet that matched her shoes. Her hat was the same color, but didn’t have the sparkle the shoes had.
A very petite, almost pretty munchkin walked up to Dorothy. “You look very nice, but why are you in such a pretty dress and fancy shoes?”
“I wanted to look nice for my family when I get back home, and besides, my feet feel wonderful.”
The little woman proceeded to try to pull the shoes off her feet, but Dorothy jumped back. “You don’t touch those,” she snapped.
“But you must go to the city of Emeralds and ask to see the great wizard. He will help you get home, but it’s a long journey,” the small woman explained.
“How do I find this Emerald place?” Dorothy couldn’t wait to get home.
“You must follow the yellow brick road.” The group of small ones replied smiling. Their hats jingled as they disappeared back into the flowers.
Dorothy looked down and the road before her appeared to be bricks made of pure gold, traced with silver grout. A little bluebird landed on her shoulder and sang a cute song. Dorothy crooked her finger at Toto, picked up her basket that housed her lunch and they set out on their journey.
As Dorothy walked away, unbeknownst to her, the flowers turned to ash, the munchkins turned to little demons with ugly, red faces. The road behind her was paved with broken bones, crushed human skulls and the sun turned to black.