Based out of Memphis-ish, Herika R. Raymer is a familliar face around the southeast con circuit. If she’s not at the Imagicopter table, she’s either at a panel or hanging around somewhere. Outside of cons, she’s a busy woman; the married mother of two is a writer and editor and runs Imagyro Magazine for Imagicopter. This is her story…
Let’s start with the basics. Who are you?
Tell us (briefly) about you…
I am an overgrown big kid who finally realized her dream of sharing her stories with people who (hopefully) like them. I am married with two children and one dog, but have never quite left the imaginary world for the real one. I visit quite often, and share what I see there when I can.
…and a bit about what you’ve written…
At present I have only published short stories which can be found from a variety of small to independent presses. A list can be found at my website – herikarraymer.webs.com – and my author page on Facebook. The stories are mostly horror and fantasy, though I am hoping to try science-fiction and urban fantasy soon.
…and what you’re working on right now.
Right now, literally, I am wrapping up the final stories on a collection. It is based on some creatures I dreamed up for an anthology a few years back. I never thought they would be so popular. However, due to demand, I am putting together some stories and hope the readers will be pleased. Look for it soon!
What are your earliest book-related memories?
Being read to as a child. I always adored hearing either my mother or my father read to me. My mind wandered into fantasy world, and has never quite left.
What are your three favorite books?
I only get to choose three?! Oh man…
Traveler In Black by John Brunner because it taught me to be careful what I wish for.
Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey because it was a delightfully painful story about a girl who refused to give up her love of music.
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A McKillip, because it taught me the power of names.
How many books to do you read at any given time?
Two to three, depending on my mood and how well some read.
What are you reading now?
Touch of Madness by B C Brown
Callahan series by Spider Robinson
Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___
How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
Very likely if I can find it, it is finding the time in the stack that has already been recommended.
How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
Highly likely, not to mention that particular tendency comes in handy now that I am part of Imagicopter.
What do you look for in a good book?
Storyline and characters I can envision! If I cannot relate to them, well I can expect that – but at least let me see them in my mind and follow where they are. And let the story make sense.
Why do you write?
Too many stories in my mind, it cannot hold them all.
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
Artist, I would like to refine my drawing abilities.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Not sure, everywhere. Mundane chores, something that startles me, an adventure I overhear my children playing, questions that a book / movie / show prompts or does not answer. Just so many places, it is hard to choose just one.
What has writing taught you about yourself?
That I procrastinate too much and need more discipline.
How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
For the most part the response has been positive. Apparently I have always told good stories or was always found reading, so they naturally surmised this was the next step.
Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
Well, we don’t all drink and not all of us are completely crazy. There are parts of us missing after all, I think that is the window where the stories come in.
What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
Allowing their work to be viewed by strangers. There is too much of ourselves in our early work, and letting people we do not know see it is frightening. After all, it is only a fraction – and people are quick to judge. If we write it out, we want to tell a tale – not be dissected.
Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
Absolutely! The voice you write in indicates what kind of audience you are writing for. I wrote very child-like, and had to mature it quite a bit to reach the audience I want to now – which is Young Adult to Adult. It is embarrassing now to read some of the stuff I originally wrote – no wonder my Beta Readers winced while looking at it (poor dears).
Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
Not sure. If I get to that point I will let you know. Although, I think it would be awesome to write for a series… televised that is.
How do you deal with your fan base?
When I get one I will tell you.
Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.
You’re one of the brains behind Imagicopter. Tell us about it.
I am? Here I thought I was the voice broadcasting it.
Imagicopter is a voluntary cooperative of authors, artists, and hopefully musicians. The idea is that there is local talent in any town, all one has to do is be aware of them. Imagicopter uses networking and free venues to help raise that awareness and, hopefully, help local Talent sell their wares.
Anything else we should know?
Imagicopter is not a promotional agency, nor a publishing house, and this being the case it does not guarantee sales. All we can do is try to entice people to buy your product, but we do not guarantee anything. Also, as we are a voluntary outfit, our participants do not pay us and we cannot pay them. Any sales made must be by them. We do try and direct people to their sites or to Amazon or Goodreads or wherever their books and art can be found.
When we are on the convention circuit we do direct people to their publisher’s booths or to their tables (if they have one) to get the books. This may not be what is expected, but we do try and be direct with possible participants with what we do as we do not want to raise any false hopes.
Thank you so much for your time Ms Lynch! See you on the convention circuit!