Monday, May 7, 2012

Welcome Fandom Fest Panelist Herika R. Raymer!

Herika R. Raymer was born in 1974 and grew up consuming books, literally. Her father's collection of science fiction, reference volumes, and notebooks were all victim to her appetite. First by eating them, later by reading them. Her mother taught her the value of hard work and keeping focused while her father taught her more about the appreciation of literature and art than any school teacher; so she has been writing and doodling off and on for over 30 years. After much encouragement from both parents, Mrs. Raymer finally published a short-lived unfinished comic as a bonus story in a few issues of the comic series Dragonrok from Hanther's Tandra saga and, several years later, a few short stories. Needless to say, she has developed a taste for it and continues to send submissions, sometimes with success. Her short stories have appeared in Dragon's Composed / Dreams of Steam II by Kerlak Publishing, Potter's Field 4 / Infradead by Sam's Dot Publishing, Best Left Buried by Pill Hill Press and Tiny Globule by Sixth Element Publishing. Encouraged by this, a collection of stories is currently in the works.
Mrs. Raymer began her editing experience as an Assistant Editor for Sam's Dot Publishing's science fiction magazine Aoife's Kiss, science fiction/fantasy magazine Shelter of Daylight, and horror magazine Cover of Darkness. In late March 2012, she was promoted to Lead Editor ofCover of Darkness. Her editing credits are Jon E. Klement's fantasy book Trouble With Trulks, based on a role-playing system, available from Black Pigeon Press and Imagicopter'spromotional steampunk anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells, meant to provide a sample of Imagicopter participants' writing and artwork, available from Kerlak Publishing.
Herika R. Raymer was married to her supportive husband in 1997 and they now have two beautiful children, one lovely and energetic border collie, and live in West Tennessee, USA.

AMC:     Where do you get the inspiration for your stories or characters?

Honestly, it helps when I know what the publishing house or editor is looking for. Otherwise, ideas either make themselves known on a drive or percolate thanks to a great movie, series, or even tale I have just read. No idea is new, that is for certain, but I never plagiarize. Although I no stranger to fan fiction, I have never had the confidence to publish my fan fiction. For my own stories, I research the details of an idea first, and see where the characters or scenery take me. Often times, I am surprised by the result.

AMC:      Do your characters talk to you?

Yup. I have some delightful characters right now from two different storylines vying for my attention. It helps sometimes, other times they clamor so much I cannot type fast enough and the scene is lost – for a little while. I guess you could say I ‘see’ most of my stories in my head. I do not just tell the tale; I am retelling what I see.

AMC:     What other authors would you suggest to fans of your work?

Oh goodness, I am not sure since I do not have a particular ‘niche’ I stay in. Not to mention I know so many people of great talent, especially since I am part of a voluntary author/artist/musician co-operative called Imagicopter. Lesse, for young adult there is Ellen C Maze, Kathryn Sullivan, and Jennifer Mulvihill. I read my children stories from James Beverly Seamus the Sheltie series as well as from Deborah Smith Ford’s The Apple, they really enjoy both – my boy especially because he loves dogs. For horror there is Allan Gilbreath, Eric Wilson, Alexander S Brown, Elizabeth K Donald, and J F Lewis. For science fiction there is Stephen P Dorning and Stephanie Osborn.  Not to mention H David Blalock (speculative fiction), Richard Parks (speculative fiction), Stephen Zimmer (urban fantasy), and Nick Valentino (steampunk). Those are authors featured in small to medium publishing outfits.  For big time publishing, I like Kay Hooper,  Ann Rules, Peter S Beagle, Spider Robinson and of course the greats C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card. As you can see, I read just about anything – just about. Even I have limits. (smile)

If people are really interested in some of my literary ‘tastes’, I help edit two magazines – Aoife’s Kiss and Cover of Darkness, with a short appearance in Shelter of Daylight - from Sam’s Dot Publishing. Though I do have to select stories on their appeal to other audiences, I will admit that my own preferences can color my decisions. Not everything you read will be something I completely like, but there will undoubtedly be an element there that appealed to me. Character interaction, the presentation of the plot, or maybe even how it ended. I also do book reviews for my geekzine Imagyro.

AMC:     What are some things that you would like your fans to know about you?

Please know that I am still a novice and prone to mistakes, and I ask they continue to have patience with me.

AMC:     Do you have a current work in progress?

I am delighted to say ‘yes’. I will hopefully have a collection of short stories submitted to Kerlak Publishing by the end of the year. I also have another publisher interested in an idea I presented, not to mention have been working on off and on for over ten years, and I am hoping to have something more solid for them by early next year. I do not want to jinx anything, which is why I have not said who – but I really have my fingers crossed on both accounts!

AMC:     What are you excited about doing or seeing at Fandom Fest?

I am excited about seeing familiar faces again, not to mention seeing some of my actor icons. I definitely expect a lot of fangirl moments for myself. (smile shyly)

AMC:      Where can we find out more about you and your books?

I can be found at either Facebook or Please come and see me! Also, please feel free to buy anthologies with my stories, and subscribe to magazines I help edit for. - "Little of Stature, Big of Daring" published on March 16, 2009 by Kerlak Publishing. It was also a semi-finalist for the Darrell Award of 2010. Did not win, or make Honorable Mention - but tickled me to no end that it made it that far! (have to scroll to find it) - "Don't Talk To Strangers" published by Sam's Dot Publishing. - "Be Careful What You Wish For" published on June 11, 2011 by Pill Hill Press. (have to scroll to find it) - "Till The Poles Shift", co-written with Tyree Campbell, published on August 1, 2011 by Sam's Dot Publishing - "Steam Race", main character based with permission off of the lovely artist Lindsay Archer, published August 15, 2011 by Kerlak Publishing.

Fantasy book by Jon E. Klement, launched by Black Pigeon Press in conjunction with their new role playing system. Geekzine associated with the voluntary author / artist / musician cooperative known as Imagicopter. It endeavors to feature interviews with participants, articles on conventions and book signings, and book / movie / tv series reviews. A selection of steampunk artwork, poetry, and short stories based on the theme of Magic versus Machine. Contributors are participants in Imagicopter and this is to help raise awareness of their talent.

Assistant Editor (April 2011 – current)
Print versions also available from Aoife's Kiss is a magazine of fantasy, science fiction, horror, sword & sorcery, and slipstream, published quarterly on the 10th day of March, June, September, and December. Aoife's Kiss publishes short stories, poems, illustrations, articles, and movie/book/chapbook reviews. Treat yourself to a subscription--you deserve it. (quote from Sam's Dot Publishing)

Assistant Editor (Dec 2011 – April 2012)
Lead Editor (April 2012 – current)
Cover of Darkness is an anthology of horror and dark fantasy. For CoD, the ideal dark story is one you read with all the lights on, glancing over your shoulder frequently, just in case...

Assistant Editor (Dec 2011 – April 2012) Print versions also available from Shelter of Daylight is a triannual digest of sf and fantasy. In issue #7, you?ll find stories that will quicken your heart and mind, that will leave you breathless... (quote from Smashwords)

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