# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Ira Rat, I work and live in Ames, IA.
My books are Pacifier, a collection of quiet horror stories. Participation Trophy which I describe as The Gate meets Heathers. i’m sorry mom which is a collection of my artwork. I’m currently working on a book about movies with Jon Steffens called A Beginner’s Guide to Extreme Horror.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I’m a designer, who writes, makes art, music and I run the press Filthy Loot. If something isn’t feeling right, I just move on to the next thing.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Reading and following too many suggestions on how to write a book. Not hiring a brutally honest editor, who’s also extremely good.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I tend to go for something eye-catching that doesn’t look quite like whatever else is out there right now. Though, I’m also $40,000 in debt from design school. I would suggest not doing that just to do your cover.
People worry too much about titles, just make sure that it’s not the name of a recent famous book in the genre.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I prefer negative feedback. Nobody’s ever gotten better at what they do without critique. That also goes back to having a brutally honest editor.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The lines I don’t remember writing are always better than the lines that I sat there and felt clever while laboring over.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I only write for myself, but I also want to read stories with strong plots and characters. It has tended to work out that readers latch onto that.
# What are your plans for future books?
I’ve been working on a short book called Just Another Godamned Failure, another book of art called 50mg Eyes and outlining a sequel or spin-off for A Beginner’s Guide to Extreme Horror.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
This person does not exist.