Thursday, September 28, 2023

Book Tour + #Giveaway: This is How He Collects Them by Eric Woods @ericwoodsauthor @RABTBookTours


Date Published:10-13-2023

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A series of haunting nightmares draws five former residents of a New York City high-rise back to their one-time home. But this is not a reunion. These five strangers have never met. But they are connected.

The depressed photographer with telekinetic abilities … the paralegal who reads evil thoughts of strangers … the struggling author who can predict dark futures … the malicious hypnotist … the witch’s daughter …

They have met in their dreams, and they have observed the shadows who follow them until they awaken. Now they want answers. And when the five board the same elevator at the same time, an ominous reality surfaces. They did not return on their own. They were drawn back. Drawn by their nightmares. Drawn by darkness.

Drawn … to be collected.

Interview with Eric Woods

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    This Is How He Collects Them will be my sixth published novel. I also published a book of stage plays, have two published novellas, and earlier this year, I had a story accepted to a horror anthology.
    It is hard to pick one favorite, but my debut novel (PUMMELED) will always be one I go back to for inspiration. I love the main character (Bree Aniston) and the plot of that novel, but the fact that I was finally able to break through and finish a novel was a lifelong achievement.

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    Initially this novel was going to be a one-off. Even after I sent the manuscript off to my beta readers, I had no plans to follow this up. Then I began thinking about ideas on how it might be continued, so I added the epilogue in case I decide to go back. The new ending teases how there might be more to come from this tale. I do love sequels, and I have written one, but they are not always successful. So, I will not just dive into it right away but instead, I will let the story come to me as the first one did.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    I do want each book to stand on its own, but I have been creating a universe in which all of my books (and their characters) exist together. The first five novels are all interconnected, with mentions here and there about characters and things that happened in the other novels. This new novel (and my novella from last year), have taken a different path, and are not connected with the first set of books. That’s not to say I can’t connect them all at a later time, but you will not find a connection between the first books and this new novel.

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    I seem to have a knack for dreaming up ideas for my books. It has happened now three times. This Is How He Collects Them is inspired by three separate dreams that I connected to come up with the idea. In the first dream, there is a person (who becomes a major character in the book) who says those words to the group of people who are trapped.

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    It took a few months to outline the story, but my plan was to write the first draft during NaNoWriMo in November 2022. I was unsuccessful at writing a draft for a different idea the year before, but with this story, I was able to hammer out a 60,000 word first draft. Over the next few months, I dove into the self-edits, and I ended up with a manuscript that is approximately 79,000 words.

    What does the title mean?

    Not to give too much away, but the primary antagonist is an ancient entity looking to collect “special” abilities in people in order to advance his own powers. Like I said above, it was something that was said to me in a dream.

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    I learned that if I am fully prepared to dive into my writing, that I can sit down, focus on the story, and complete what I want in the timeframe I set for myself. But it takes discipline. As an independent author, nobody is going to force you to write. You have to take that responsibility yourself and follow through on your plans.

    What surprised you the most?

    The final product was a culmination of three dreams that really had nothing to do with each other. But I was able to connect them all and put together a powerful (albeit complicated) story. I know this novel will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was truly surprised that I was able to take these dreams and tell the story I wanted to tell.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    Funny story—I had finished the first couple drafts of my debut novel (Pummeled) and had sent it off to my beta readers. I remember getting a DM one night from one of them who said “You killed off ---!” I won’t give the name away, but she was so emotionally invested in the story, and her reaction to this particular character’s death showed just how invested she was.

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    For most of my characters, I write out brief character sketches with their backgrounds and how they will be connected to the main plot of the story. Then, when I introduce them to the story, I let their personalities take off. Sometimes they go in the direction I was planning, but there have been times when some characters have gone in a completely different direction than I had originally planned. So, it’s not so much of me getting inside their heads, but rather they have gotten inside mine, and I am just along for the ride to see where they are headed. 

About the Author

A writer since grade school, Eric Woods resides in Springfield, Illinois and finally published his first novel in 2018. Today he has five novels, two novellas, and one book of stage plays. Most recently, his short story “The Taurus Bull” was featured in HorrorScope: A Zodiac Anthology.

If you want to be spooked in person, Eric hosts the Lincoln Ghost Walk in Springfield (through October). Come take the tour and learn some creepy tales about the 16th President of the United States!

Eric earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Illinois Springfield. He served as a collegiate speech and debate coach for seven years, and has been a local freelance writer since 2005.


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Marcy Meyer said...

I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds really good.

pippirose said...

The book sounds very intriguing. Thanks!