Today’s A Haunting of Words interview is with author R.J. Castiglione:

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“The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” follows a young ghost as he haunts his family’s mansion over the course of a century.

What inspired you to write this story?

When I first read about the “Of Words” series, I thought it an interesting anthology concept. The opportunity to be selected is what ultimately inspired me to create a story. However, “The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” was conceived when my husband and I went to a boutique hotel in Newport, RI for dinner. The hotel itself was beautiful, although the ambiance, to me, screamed paranormal. I began to imagine the hotel haunted and created a few ghosts in my head. The one ghost that muddied through my creative process was Jonathan, a young boy who plays tricks on hotel guests. The rest of the story came together from there.

How long have you been writing?

Although I have been writing my entire adult life, my first self-publication released in March 2017.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I am currently focused on writing Literary RPG (“LitRPG” for short). This story style allows me to combine my love for writing and my enjoyment of open-world RPG video games into one.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on three stories at the moment. Fjorgyn: The Deep Below is my largest LitRPG endeavor. It is the second book in the series. I am also outlining and will release Lacrimosa Online, another LitRPG stand-alone novel that takes place in a macabre landscape. Lastly, and unrelated to my favored niche, I am writing a paranormal, M/M romance called When Mountains Weep. This story is a harrowing adventure about a domestic abuse survivor as he flees to his family home in Maui.

What else do you have available/published?

The only book I have published at this time is Fjorgyn: A Rebel Rises, available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Writing is not just about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Creating the first draft of your story is only one step in a complicated process. First, tell a story that you would like to read. Second, shelve it for a while. Third, self-edit it to hell and back again. Fourth, spring for proper editing and cover design. If you’re self-publishing, don’t skip this step. If you’re traditionally published, don’t pay for this. You’re only hurting yourself if you release something without editing. Fifth, get some beta readers to really help polish your work. Sixth, self-publish it and spend as much time marketing your book as you did when producing it, if not more.

These steps above make the world of difference. They’re what distinguish writers from authors.

List links where people can find your work:

Links to all of my present and future works can be found on https://rjcastiglione.com

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About Laurie Gardiner

Laurie has loved writing as long as she can remember. Her first published work, “'Til Death Do Us Part,” placed first in the 1997 Cambridge Writers’ Collective short story contest. Her latest works include short stories, “Retribution" and "Thief," appearing respectively in Scout Media's 2016 and 2017 anthologies, A Journey of Words and A Haunting of Words. Over the years, her poetry has also been published in various anthologies. Her debut novel, Tranquility, published in 2015, by Escargot Books and Music, was inspired by her work as a personal support worker specializing in dementia care. In 2015, she graduated with honors from Conestoga College’s Creative Writing program. She’s a Canadian, an avid reader, a yogi, and a Gemini. She grew up on a farm in remote northern Ontario, and now lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband and cat.
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