Janice Gable Bashman is intense! A petite (dare I say “elvish”) lady with intelligent eyes and a quick, quiet wit, Janice has a boundless imagination that can dwell in some pretty dark places. Her first novel, Predator (Month9Books), will be released in October and tells the tale of Bree Sunderland, a lovely young lady with a dark secret. Janice has contributed short stories to a number of collections, including the Alternate History collection Europa Universalis IV and Bigfoot Terror Tales Volume 1: Scary Stories of Sasquatch Horror. She also co-authored the horror reference guide: Wanted Dead of Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil along with Jonathan Maberry. Janice is also an active member of the Philadelphia Liars’ Club and is a frequent presenter at the Writers Coffeehouse.
I met Janice a few years ago when she acted as a judge for one of our manuscript contests at the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, and met her again at a lecture in Rosemont College last year. I asked Janice if she’d share her thoughts on being an author. Read what she had to say after the break!
You have a new book coming out in October 2014. What can you tell us about it?
The hunt is on!
Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.
When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland , she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.
Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States , but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.
Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.
How have the Horror markets changed since their Hay Day in the 80s and 90s? Is it still as popular, just under a different description?
You can’t find a horror section in the bookstores anymore, but the horror genre is certainly alive and prospering. Beyond horror novels, elements of horror (fear, violence, suspense, terror, helplessness, etc.) are present in many genres.
What authors line your bookshelf?
My bookshelves are filled with thrillers written by James Rollins, Douglas Preston, Lisa Gardner, David Morrell, and Nelson DeMille; young adult novels by Jonathan Maberry, Marcus Zusak, and Jandy Nelson; novels and nonfiction books by Walter Mosley, Twayla Tharp, James Lee Burke, Elie Wiesel, Tim O’Brien, Mark Bowden, Kuki Gallmann, Frances Mayes, and many others. Recent additions include Kathryn Craft’s The Art of Falling, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Eliot Schrefer’s Endangered, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and John Green’s Looking for Alaska.
What are the common mistakes you see new authors make?
Some new authors rush to reach publication rather than take the time to make their novel or short story the best it can be before sending it out into the world. This can backfire. If the novel or story is not in the best shape possible and it gets rejected by an agent, publisher, or publication, that opportunity is lost for that particular work.
Tying into the above mistake is that of thinking one’s work does not need to be edited. Writers have difficulty seeing their own mistakes—we all know that, yet some think it’s okay to send their work out on submission without having it edited by a respected and knowledgeable individual. Again, if the work is not in the best shape possible, the chances for rejection are increased exponentially.
If you are going to write and you don’t want to publish, that’s great. But if you seek to publish your work, take the time to create the piece you envisioned.
Most importantly, write because you love to write, and write the story you want to tell. When it takes months and months, sometimes years, to write a novel, you need to write the book you would want to read, as I did with Predator.
I’m wrapping up a middle grade adventure novel now and plotting my next young adult novel.