Have you met Fred? He’s the imaginary friend of 5-year-old Missy. Missy insists to everyone that Fred is real. No one believes her until Fred starts doing horrible things.
Missy seems like any other 5-year-old except that she believes that she sees spiders that no one else can. Her parents are only mildly worried because every 5-year-old has a big imagination. But bad things start happening wherever Missy goes. People start dying.
Come along for this paranormal, creature horror, and you just might end up more afraid of spiders after you finish reading.
Spidersight‘s Long Journey
An Interview with Tirzah M.M. Hawkins
AJ: What story did you read that kickstarted your journey to one day write your own?
TH: The first story I ever started writing was fan fiction for The Lord of the Rings. The main characters were essentially hobbits. I even drew maps for it.
AJ: Tell me the journey that Spidersight took to go from an idea, to a printed book sitting on my table.
TH: That’s quite the long journey. I wrote the short story when I was like twelve, I think. It was five or six handwritten pages. I gave it to my older sister to read. She replied that she wanted more to the story. I gave it to my older brother to read. He encouraged me that I could do even better.Fast-forward to November 2016 when I decided to rewrite Spidersight into a full-length novel for NaNoWriMo. And had a blast doing it. My oldest sister used to live next to an author who also offered editing services. She connected the two of us, and I used my allowance to finance the edits. Teri, my first editor, was impressed with my story-telling ability. She said I had a great instinct for plot and pacing. I learned a lot from those first edits from her. I continued to write fiction, but I never published any until I started on Kindle Vella in November 2021. In January 2022, I published the final version of Spidersight on Kindle Vella and then put it in ebook and paperback shortly after.
AJ: What was the hardest part of finishing this novel?
TH: This novel was ready to be written and finished. I can’t believe how quickly it flowed together. I think the most difficult part was the developmental improvements needed based on my editor’s notes. I tried to go a different direction with it that really wasn’t working. In the end, what brought the whole thing together was having the parts from Fred’s (the spider) point of view.
AJ: Do you ever intend on revisiting the Spidersight world in future novels?
TH: I have so many people that would love to have more of Fred. He’s got quite the following, and it’s gone to his head. I’m pitched ideas for more stories about him all the time. I might eventually just because I’m a people pleaser, and I know it would make so many people happy.
AJ: What bit of this story still excites you when you look back on writing it?
TH: I love how the bit with Talitha and Tamas came together. And the part about Fred’s mythology background.
AJ: I too loved Fred’s mythology! But, I’m curious, what drew you toward spiders? What sort of influences were present to develop this story?
TH: I believe it was Stephen King who said, “write about what scares you.” I took it to heart. I’ve written several stories about spiders. Some of them won’t be more than short stories.I’m horribly arachnophobic, at times worse than others. Now, it depends on the size of the spider and where it is. But I possess a sort of “spidersight.” I can walk into a room and if there is a spider on a wall somewhere, I will see it.
AJ: *shivers* Besides being wary of talking spiders, what should readers who take the Spidersight journey be on the lookout for? Or put another way, what advice would you give readers of your novel?
TH: Two things. 1. I put my fear of spiders into that book. Many people are more afraid of spiders after reading it than they were before. You’re welcome. 2. Fred follows his fans. Don’t be surprised if you see many more spiders in your life after reading the story than you did before. Again, you’re welcome.
AJ: Last question, what did writing Spidersight teach you that you hope will continue to aid your writing journey while developing future projects?
TH: I really learned that my mind works on my projects even when I take a break from them. I let Spidersight rest between the first short story draft and the novel and it just flowed out. I let it rest again after getting my edits back and publishing it, and I enjoyed how well that experience went.
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