How and Why It Started
"It was a cold, dark sky above Abe's tomb... "
Lately, I've been getting an awful lot of E-Mail asking me how I've suddenly become so smart. It seems I'm surprising a few people with my ability of being able to write halfway decently and actually knowing how to make a web site to put those stories on. Needless to say, most of these people have known me for years and truthfully, I guess they have a right to be surprised. For those of you who don't know me and have sent me E-Mail asking how I came up with the idea of Abe's Tomb . . . well, here's some answers to a few of your questions.
In late November, 1999 . . . when the weather outside was cold and dreary, I began to get interested in creating a web site. I don't know why, really, just bored I guess. After a few days of thinking about it, I came up with the idea of Carl's AutoLink, which was first published on Geocities in early December of that year. Even though it didn't look like it, the whole idea of AutoLink was to bring attention to the missing children from around the Dayton area. I realized that very few people click on the missing kids national website just to see if they recognize anyone and I figured the best way to attract attention was to list the children on a site that people would click on because they found it interesting. According to my trackers, the idea worked. The missing children's page on Carl's AutoLink is now getting hits from all over the world.
Just before Christmas 1999, I ran a four hour survey on AutoLink asking teenagers and young adults what other type of site they would like to see. Because AutoLink was getting a ton of hits from being linked to a very popular Dayton website named ActiveDayton.com, I received hundreds of responses by way of E-Mail. I disregarded the requests for X-Rated sites, sites with info on how to make bombs and that sort of thing and noticed that the next highest request was for a web page devoted to horror stories.
Now . . . being a guy who, along with a co-writer, has been trying to get a book published for six years, these requests for horror stories thrilled me to no end. I envisioned this as a chance to improve my writing abilities, while at the same time having some fun on the net. Right away, I began writing clean, wholesome stories with a little horror and hurried to get them copyrighted. In February, after confirmation from the Library of Congress that my ideas were indeed recorded, Abe's Tomb hit the Internet.
So far, Abe's Tomb has proven to be a great success. Even more so, really, than AutoLink! I've been getting E-Mail concerning Abe's Tomb from people in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa . . . all over the world, really . . . with everyone wanting to know when the next story will be up. (I suppose it helps that Abe's Tomb is linked to about 1/10 of the horror sites in Europe... )
Lastly, not that I'm by any definition an expert on how to get published, but for those of you that have asked how to start your writing careers . . . all I can do is repeat what a famous writer once told me. In so many words she said, "Jump in with both feet and give it everything you've got! Don't give any project you work on just a quarter, or even half of your attention and ability. Engross your writing with every fiber of your being! And above all, listen to your heart and not the idiots around you. If you know down to your soul that some day you will be published, you will! Don't give up! Period!"
Never have I found anything to be so true. My co-writer and I have written over half a dozen novels and have had to bulldoze our way through obstacles almost on a daily basis. Still, we know that someHOW, someDAY . . . if we don't give up, we will get published. (I wonder if I should ask Abe for help?)
Well, that's all for now. Keep the E-Mail coming and I'll do the same for the stories! And thank you, everyone, for making Abe's Tomb one of the hottest personal web pages on the web!
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E-Mail me at: CarlMerritt@compuserve.com