I Suck at NaNoWriMo and Here’s Why I Think that’s OK

nano

http://nanowrimo.org/

So, I totally suck at NaNo…I mean, who really has time to write 50K words around Thanksgiving?! Oh, you do? Um, that’s great, but I’m not a superhero!

Have I written this month? Yes! Was it a lot? No! And, you know what? I’m OK with that. I think I’d rather write when I feel inspired than write when I feel like I’m being forced. Sure, I’d love to be one of those people that can post, “2K words today! #amwriting” But, what were those 2K words? In order to meet my word count does that mean I just word vomited all over my screen?  What good does that do me? What good does it do my WIP? NOTHING!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that NaNo is a thing. I mean, if you need motivation like that to write, then do it. For me, however, it feels like I’m back at school and my teacher is telling me have an assignment due. I hate writing when someone tells me to. Yeah, I know, I’m a crybaby.

I’ve tried NaNoWriMo every year and every year I fail….so…hard. I’ve just learned that it’s not for me. What does work for me? What works for you?

I honestly think it’s different for me all the time. Maybe my muse has a split personality. There are days I might need peace and absolute quiet. Perhaps, I need a little bit of music the next. Sometimes, I can hash out 2K words, in a day, sitting in front of my computer. Other times, I have to use pen and paper. Well, let’s be honest, it’s a pencil because I make too many mistakes to use a pen!

My point is this, find what works for you. If you fail at NaNo, but end up finishing your novel in January or a year from now, then oh freaking well! I see that as a success! Do you know how hard it is to write a book?!

Does that mean you give up? Um, no! We don’t give up; we’re writers, we finish that book and then second guess everything we wrote. Does that mean you put your novel to the side from time to time? Yes, by all means, do that if you’re not liking where the story is going. For the love of all that is holy, don’t force it. Work on something else. There is no shame in taking more than a month to get through that rough draft.

You just keep writing, sweet pea.

~A

 

Zombie Queen: Stacy Kingsley talks Zombies!

What better way to end my Halloween Blog Tour (I need to come up with a better name) than with the Zombie Queen herself, Author Stacy Kingsley! I met Stacy at one of the many conventions us local authors frequent here in Alabama. I was able to sit on a panel with her and I was glad that someone else in my state shared my love of the zombie genre. We also had a great discussion of how the modern media has romanticized the classic movie monsters. We won’t get into that in this blog post, but maybe another time. 🙂 Until then, get to know more about Stacy!

 

stacy-kingsley

Stacy grew up loving the horror genre. When she first saw the movie CUJO she learned that you have to wait because even in those last five minutes something will happen. Stacy loves horror so much she wrote her Master’s thesis on the decline of horror in popular culture and loves to watch every horror movie she can get her hands on, no matter how bad it might be. Her love of zombies stems from her desire to find true monsters, not sparkling vampires, loving werewolves, or ghosts who help you solve cases. Zombies have one thing on their mind, eating people. She loves zombies so much she has done zombie makeup for an ice skating exhibition, played a zombie in a short independent film, done several zombie themed runs and is working on her zombie series. ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE TOO! is the first book in her “Do Zombies Win?” series. Her second book ZOMBIES BITE! was released 2014, followed by the third book in the series ZOMBIE WASTELAND in 2016. She has several stories available as part of the series and is currently working on ZOMBIMERICA, the last book in her zombie series. She is always willing to discuss horror with other fans, authors and those who just enjoy the genre.

 

Author Questions

 

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

S. When I was 9 I wrote my first book. It was about my favorite toy, a stuffed tiger named Jake, as a detective. I never realized I wanted to be an author, I just was one, starting at age 9.

A. In what genre do you write?

S. I mostly write horror, but right now specifically apocalyptic zombie horror. I am trying to figure out what to write next, but I don’t know what scares people anymore.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

S. Monetarily I would love to be able to write Erotica, just because it does seem to be so lucrative, but if I were going to try something new I’d like to write either YA paranormal or a mystery suspense novel

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

S. I write everything longhand, just me and the paper, at first. Then I type things into the computer, which also takes care of my first round of edits. I often listen to music, usually depending on the character. Still trying to work out where to write, back home (Southern California) there was a great coffee shop near a college, but there doesn’t seem to be a place like that here in Alabama.

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

S. I write short chapters because of James Patterson. Every book of his has pretty short chapters, which makes me want to keep reading because I always think, “Well I can just do one more chapter,” and before I know it I am halfway through the book. Also, I have looked up to both Stephen King and Dean Koontz because they have written several great books in the horror genre. Mostly though I like looking at all books for inspiration.

A. Dean Koontz! Yes!

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

S. I do tons of research, mostly on methods of death and murder, which makes me believe that the NSA is totally already watching me. I mean you can only look up the different uses and how to create cyanide so many times before someone is watching you.

A. The author search history is a deep and dangerous place.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

S. I do listen to music, but not a certain type since I let my characters choose what they want to listen to.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

S. I am also an artist. I paint on both canvases and shoes, I cross stitch bookmarks, I crochet baby clothes and scarves to give as gifts, I sew a little, and well, lots of other stuff. I sell some of this stuff on my Etsy shop Little Bit O Zombie. I also love being outside, being from Southern California means I love, love, love being outdoors, even if it isn’t super sunny.

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

S. The most exciting things have been meeting fans and other zombie lovers, and meeting other amazing authors. I have made so many amazing author friends and have started really feeling like I am part of a community, which for an Indie Author is a very important thing.

A. Yes, the Indie Author community is amazing. We are definitely cheerleaders for each other!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

S. I did actually. I drew them and played with them in photoshop. The backgrounds for all of my books are infectious viruses like Ebola and the Plague.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

S. I’d love to say thanks to my amazing editor Michelle Hylton, and I’d love to thank the writer’s group I am part of here for accepting me, so thanks Writer’s Group at Lowe Mill and thanks to Jennifer Pinkley for starting it!

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

S. I am currently working on the last novel in my zombie series titles ZOMBIMERICA. It is about the end of the zombie apocalypse. I didn’t want my series to be one of those that kept going and going and going without a final conclusion (which seems to happen a lot in apocalyptic books as people/survivors rebuild their lives). This last book follows my serial killer named, Marcus, a smart zombie, and a young girl who has almost nothing to lose.

A. This sounds so awesome. I like final resolutions of stories that have been going on for a long time. It’s bittersweet, but I get why it needs to happen.

patient-zero

Patient Zero on Amazon

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

S. I enjoy Halloween so much it is ridiculous. I love the scary side of life and celebrating ghosts, black cat, goblins, zombies, mummies, and all the dark side of life fascinates me. Halloween is the one time where I don’t feel like I have to pretend to be someone else and I can rock my weird self out in the open.

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

S. The only tradition I have is watching as many scary movies as I can, and buying either candy corn or those pumpkins which are like candy corn. I used to take my nieces and nephew out, and younger siblings, but the kids have grown up.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

S. Yes, and I have to do a lot of research on this for the books I write. Even though I don’t have ghosts, zombies themselves are supernatural. There are so many people out there who have claimed to experienced something, that it’s hard to say the spiritual realm doesn’t exist.

A. I have to agree with you on that one.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

S. Yes, but that is another story for another day.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

S. Honestly I can’t say that I have just one. For a long time my favorite book was THE STAND by Stephen King, but then I discovered other authors, and I just don’t have a favorite. This is the same way I feel about movies, I can watch THIRTEEN GHOSTS over and over and over, but it isn’t a great horror film, it’s just fun. Although, SESSION 9 is one of the best horror films I have ever watched. It is scary but not in your face, an excellent movie.

A. The Stand freaked me out. It’s such a good story.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

S. Candy Corn and those candy pumpkins, I love love love these, and one bag lasts me the entire month.

zombie-wasteland

Zombie Wasteland on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

S. BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell, it is a beautiful book told from the point-of-view of a horse, and it is so heartfelt. This was the first book which made me cry. I loved Ginger so much and wish life could have been different for her.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

S. I think most books should be left alone, but I would love to see a good movie adaptation of the THE RISING series by Brian Keene. It is a great series of zombie books and I think it would make a great movie series, or even television adaptation, because the characters evolve and the ending was fabulous.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

S. In these days of anything can be self-published (and I say this as a self-published author) I hate when an author have spelling and grammatical mistakes in their novels. Also. if a book has been overdone (one reason I don’t read a lot of romance is that they often seem the same), I just can’t finish it.

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

S. I almost always try to finish, and there really haven’t been many books I didn’t finish. Although, because I can’t not finish a book I have read several bookS that I really hated.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

S. I will read anything, as long as it is interesting.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

S. Oh, I am absolutely a book-in-hand reader. I spend so much time on the computer for my day job and writing that I just feel like reading on an e-reader is just me continuing to be on a computer.

zombies-are-people-too

Zombies Are People Too! on Amazon

 

Random Questions

 

A. Favorite movie?

S. My favorite movie has been and will always be FIELD OF DREAMS. It was just such a beautiful movie and it said so much about life and family, plus it was one of the first movies to make me cry.

 

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

S. My favorite dessert is cheesecake, all kinds of cheesecake.

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

S. There are so many bands and musicians, I love, Metallica, Pink Floyd, George Michael, right now Twenty One Pilots has been on a good rotation, Black Keys, there are a lot more, but I don’t think this section alone needs to be twenty pages.

A. Rock on, girl!

A. What’s your hidden talent?

S. I am very handy, I can lay tile, hardwood flooring, laminate, build cabinets, furniture, I love using the miter and table saws, and have gutted and remodeled an entire house with only a little help.

A. Hmm, now I know who to hire to remodel my house!

A. What is your dream vacation?

S. It changes, but right now I have been dying to go to Japan to see the suicide forest and visit the haunted places there. I’d also love to go to Pripyat, Russia and take a tour of the Chernobyl area, well as close as one can get without getting radiation poisoning.

zombies-bite

Zombies Bite on Amazon

Contact Information:

Author Name: Stacy Kingsley

Blog: www.stacykingsley.com/oh-the-horror

Facebook: www.facebook.com/author.stacy.kingsley

Twitter: twitter.com/StacyKingsleyZH

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/3466767.Stacy_Kingsley

Book Links: www.amazon.com/Stacy-Kingsley/e/B00JEQVR30/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1476901229&sr=8-1

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/zombieauthor

Toni Lesatz: On Being an Award-Winning Blogger, Author, and Her Love/Hate Relationship with Halloween

There was no way I could do this annual post without including Toni. Not only is she a fellow author and blogger, award winning I might add, she’s also my Internet friend. We all have them; that friend you met online and wished they lived next door.

When I was starting out as an Indie Author, Toni one of the first Bloggers to take a chance on reading my book and leaving me a review. That might not sound like a big deal to some, but for a fledging author, it’s big news! Especially when that blog is My Book Addiction.

My Book Addiction started 4 years ago this week! Happy Blog-iversary, Toni! Tired of food blogging, Toni started a book blog and the rest is history. I think it was the right decision considering how many followers she has and winning, not one but two, awards at UtopYA. Just like with anything an artist creates, her blog is her “baby.”

toni

Toni Lesatz is a wife, mother, author, reader, blogger, gamer, coffee addict, and lover of the culinary arts. Her short stories, Ashes to Ashes and Dead World, published in fall 2014. She is currently writing full-length novels to continue both stories, as well as a YA dark fantasy book.

Toni lives in Michigan with her husband, children, and her dogs – Lucy (Chihuahua) and Harley (GSD). If she’s not writing or curled up with a book, you’ll most likely find her playing with her kids, baking cupcakes, or killing zombies.

ata

After Tomorrow Anthology on Goodreads

Author Questions

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

T. I knew I wanted to be an author when I was about twelve years old. I carried a notebook around with me, always jotting down short stories and writing poetry.

 A. In what genre do you write?

T. Horror, post-apocalyptic, and paranormal

 A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

T. Science Fiction, but I’m too afraid I’ll screw it up. Ha!

 A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

T. My writing process is a mess. 🙂 I’ve tried outlining, and sometimes manage to do it successfully, but I’m more of a just-start-writing kind of girl. I hate writing by hand now, which I wouldn’t have guessed when I first started writing. All of my writing must be done on a computer.

A. Who are your writing inspirations, famous or not?

T. Jonathan Maberry, Melanie Karsak, Claire C. Riley, Colleen Hoover

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

T. Sometimes I don’t do any research. Some stories just pour out effortlessly. I was, however, writing a YA dark fantasy novel that is now gone forever because my computer died and I didn’t back it up. *queue the ugly cry* That book included a great deal of research. More than I’ve ever done for any project. I get a bit weepy whenever I hear about the area my story was set in, or get Facebook notifications from the gallery I handpicked from Google maps. I’d love to write it all over again, but I’m not quite ready to climb that mountain just yet.

A. Oh man, that sucks! I too have lost a good bit of writing due to technology (or maybe it was me) failing. It will make you cry!

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

T. I do not listen to music. I write in absolute silence. While I love music and find it very uplifting, it distracts me when I’m writing.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

T. Spending time with my husband and kids doing just about anything is fun for me. We spend a lot of time at church, and love to spend the day shopping – even if it’s just window shopping.

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

T. The most exciting experience was being published. There’s no feeling more intense than the adrenaline rush mixed with nausea that washes over you in huge waves the night before a release. It may be a tie between that and attending UtopYA in Nashville for the first time and winning two awards for my book review blog.

A. I remember that! You do have an amazing blog so it was well deserved!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

T. I had nothing to do with the covers for either anthology, but my next cover will be created by Lori Parker at Contagious Covers.

A. I love Lori’s covers! She’s the best!

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

T. I love Halloween and hate Halloween. Ha! I love the idea of Halloween, but hate that it’s usually cold and raining here in the Metro Detroit area. It also upsets me that stores sell kids Halloween costumes for $50 each (minimum) for two hours of use, and it’s usually something that’s inappropriate or it’s too cold to wear without a coat over it anyway. But I love baking pumpkin seeds (hate carving pumpkins) and I enjoy handing candy out and checking out the costumes.

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

T. Baking pumpkin seeds happens every year at my house.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

T. The most current movie to scare me was The Conjuring. An older movie that scared me is the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

Books? Wow, there are just too many to start listing them. I love the horror genre, so I spend a lot of time with my nose in horror books.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

T. Hmm. I don’t know. My daughter’s can’t eat peanuts so, as parents, we have to eat the Reese’s cups and Snickers bars for them. Hehe. I love candy corn, but can only tolerate a handful before nausea sets in.

A. Reese’s rocks! 🙂

hlh

Happy Little Horrors Anthology on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

T. Jonathan Maberry and Isaac Marion

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

T. I don’t understand the question. Ha! There’s no way I can pick just one book. One book that comes to mind is We are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt. It has nothing to do with horror or Halloween, but it has stuck with me since reading it in 2014. As an author, I wish I could write something like that.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

T. I would LOVE to see Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming made into a movie. I’d also love to see The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak and Odium by Claire C Riley. Oh, and Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle.

I’ll stop now. So sorry. 🙂

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

T. Sex, for no reason at all. I’m not a fan of adult books, honestly. I love middle grade and YA books. I realize there is sex in YA, but it’s not over-the-top sex just to have sex on a page.

A. I agree! Why does it have to be over the top anyway? *shrugs*

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

T. I used to try to be a trooper, but I have so many books that if I tried to finish every book that didn’t interest me, I wouldn’t only have to leave my TBR list to my children in my will, I’d have to leave it to their children as well. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 😉 Ok, I never say that. I don’t know why that just came out.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

T. I read a lot of different genres. Horror, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, romance. I have to mix it up now and then or it gets stale.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

T. I used to be a book-in-my-hands reader, but now if I have the hard copy it sits on my shelf to look pretty next to all of my other books and I will buy the Kindle version to read.

 Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

T. Star Wars (most of them)

A. Favorite TV show?

T. The Walking Dead

A. Love this show. Even when it rips my heart out, I love this show.

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

T. Hummus and garlic paste with fresh, warm pita bread.

A. What’s your favorite dessert?

T. Lemon anything and Crème Brule

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

T. John Mark McMillan, Bethel, Twenty One Pilots

A. What’s your hidden talent?

T. It must be hidden really well. I have no idea. Sleeping for long periods of time? Binge-watching shows on Netflix? Oh, I can paint my nails on both hands without issue!

A. You can paint your nails on both hands without a problem?! Tell me your secret!

A. What is your dream vacation?

T. Anything that doesn’t involve camping! Lol. I’d love to travel to overseas. I’ve never left the states.

 

Contact Information:

Author Name: Toni Lesatz

Blog: My Book Addiction http://mybookaddiction.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonibookaddict/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Toni_BookAddict

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8936634.Toni_Lesatz

Book Links:

Happy Little Horror: Freak Show – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23381058-happy-little-horrors

After Tomorrow Anthology – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23718387-after-tomorrow-anthology

 

The Origin Key: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Collide

s-d-mcphail

I’m thrilled to feature another Alabama author on my blog this month. Susan is such a sweet spirit and has always been so kind to me. Sometimes when you meet people you automatically think, “I like her. We’re going to get along just fine.” Believe me when I say those types of people are in short supply.

With that being said, it doesn’t mean she’s too sweet to write a nail-biting fantasy book with a dash of science fiction because she did the thing. Are you intrigued? Good! Keep reading.

Susan McPhail spent years writing technical documentation and developing marketing materials for high-tech engineering firms. She is now a fantasy/science fiction author living in Huntsville, Alabama (aka the Rocket City) with her husband. When she’s not writing or catching the latest movie, Susan enjoys handcrafts like crocheting and quilting because it looks like she’s doing something useful while in fact she is pondering how to work out tricky plot points.

The Origin Key is her first novel, and is the first book in the Treasures of Dodrazeb series. You can find her online at www.sdmcphail.com and on Twitter @susan_mcphail.

 

the-origin-key

The Origin Key on Amazon

Author Questions

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

S. I’ve always been a voracious reader and welcomed opportunities to get creative with words in my work life. A few years ago when I transitioned out of a full-time job, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could write fiction. About halfway into the first draft of my first novel, I realized that I had also always wanted to be an author—I had just not taken the time to acknowledge that passion.

A. In what genre do you write?

S. My first published novel is Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key. It’s historical fantasy adventure, a heroic quest that I describe as “sword-and-science” because there is an element of sci-fi in it as well.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

S. I have plans for a humorous cozy mystery series featuring a smart wife/mom/working woman who reluctantly gets drawn into murder investigations. It’s set in a small, rural southern town filled with marvelously eccentric characters.

A.Oooo! This sounds so fun!

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

S. My process tends to be less outline-oriented and more seat-of-the-pants. I start out by jotting down notes about major plot points that turn into a somewhat vague synopsis. Then when I start working on a first draft, I develop new and better ideas as I go, so the story starts to diverge from my original notes. The basic story I had in mind remains the same, but taking my characters from the beginning to the end is a very satisfying creative endeavor.

I’m always jotting down notes about different ideas for different stories, so much of that is done with pen and paper (or notebook or napkin or whatever is handy when an idea strikes). But when I have big chunks of writing time, I like to be on my computer. I can type faster than I can write legibly!

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

S. Stephen King has been a favorite author of mine for decades. I don’t like every book he’s ever written, but he is a master story teller. I love J.K. Rowling’s imagination and world-building skills. I was also influenced by lots of science fiction writers from H.G. Wells to Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. One of my all-time favorites is Anne McCaffrey’s science fantasy series Dragonriders of Pern.

A. YES! Rowling is an artist!

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

S. Since my series Treasures of Dodrazeb is grounded in real human history, I have to do quite a bit of research. The hero is a third-century Persian warrior-prince, so I’ve done extensive reading about ancient Persia and that region of the world. In addition to historical research, it’s also necessary to get the details right on a hefty amount of science. While on a quest to bring a criminal to justice, the Persian warrior-prince discovers a hidden kingdom using what we consider to be modern technology in everyday life. That means I have to understand their technology and then be able to describe how an ancient warrior would react to it.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

S. No, I’m not usually listening to music while I write—I listen to the TV. It’s an old habit from when I was in school. I would do my homework in the living room with the TV on. Apparently, that works for me just like listening to music works for others.

A. Interesting. I’ve never heard that before.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

S. What’s more fun than reading? I read a lot. I like going to the movies, too. Touring historical sites is fun. I recently got to tour the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta. Her novel, Gone with the Wind, was an incredibly successful historical novel with vivid, unforgettable characters. I was able to celebrate a love of history, movies, reading, and writing all at once in one afternoon!

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

S. Receiving the first print copy of my first novel was too awesome for words. Being able to hold an actual copy of a book that I had written made it real for me. I wasn’t just an aspiring writer any more—I was a published author!

A. There is no greater feeling!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

S. I did! We tried working with a cover artist, but he just never could quite capture the look I wanted. So I put my years of marketing experience and working with graphics to good use.

A. That’s awesome. Maybe I’ll be hitting you up for some tips on that. 😉

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

S. Absolutely! The Rocket City Lit Fest in 2015 was a major catalyst in spurring me to take the final steps and get my first novel published. Thanks to Ashley Chappell-Peeples and A.G. Porter, both wonderful writers themselves, for all your hard work on that event.

I also want to thank my amazing editor Molly Felder. With her help I was able to polish my pretty good story into a true gem of a first novel. I appreciate her patience, eye for detail, and willingness to teach me how to be a better writer.

A. The Lit Fest was amazing! Thanks for the shot out!

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

S. Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key, is a historical sword-and-science fantasy adventure set in the third century. While on a quest to avenge a horrific attack on his father the king, a Persian warrior discovers a strange kingdom isolated from the rest of the world. He thinks the villain is hiding there, but a sly princess is determined to sabotage the Persians to protect her kingdom’s ancient secrets. What is she so desperate to keep hidden?

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

S. I do enjoy Halloween. I like seeing children donning costumes and exploring the idea of becoming someone or something else for a little while. I like seeing the older kids and adults freeing themselves of their conventional identities for a time and getting creative. I like the idea of costume parties. Perhaps most of all, I like CHOCOLATE!

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

S. I like to watch favorite old spooky movies or fun ones like Hocus Pocus or Nightmare Before Christmas leading up to trick-or-treat night. Then we usually order in pizza and have fun answering the door to shower neighborhood kids with candy on Halloween night.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

S. Yes.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

S. Yes.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

S. Donnie Darko. Not necessarily scary, probably because I’ve seen it so many times, but that’s the kind of movie that haunts me.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

S. Tootsie Rolls. Hershey minis. M&Ms. Milk Duds. Chocolate!

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

J.K. Rowling. She is my idol!

A. Yes! She’s on my list. I would probably faint. Haha!

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

S. It used to be Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. Reading it as a teenager introduced me to so many questions about so many things, I began to develop the ability to think independently, examining issues from many sides.

If you consider an entire series as a single story, it might now be Harry Potter. That story is just magical in so many ways with layers upon layers of meaning.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

S. Other than my own book? 😉 I think, if done correctly, any good book can be a good movie if filmmakers respect the source material. The book will always be better, but sometimes it takes a movie to get a person interested in a book. The Harry Potter series was done well as movies and I was also impressed with The Hunger Games films.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

S. I don’t care too much for whiny, one-dimensional characters.

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

S. When I start a book, I’m usually committed to finishing it. I keep thinking that if I stick with it, the book will eventually get better. This is not always the case.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

S. My personal preference tends toward speculative fiction, but I’m game for lots of other genres. The one I tend to avoid is Romance, unless there is a strong element of mystery, suspense, humor, horror, or some other kind of genre mash-up.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

S. I like to acquire autographed books, and there’s something about turning pages and never worrying about battery life that is appealing. But I also read e-books for their convenience, portability, and affordability.

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

S. Donnie Darko

A. Favorite TV show?

S. All time: Star Trek (every one of them). Currently: Game of Thrones, Westworld, Big Bang Theory

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

S. That’s a tough one! If I could or if I had to? What keeps popping into my head as I ponder this question is pizza, so I guess that’s my answer.

A. You can’t go wrong with pizza!

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

S. Did I mention chocolate already? Warm brownies with a scoop of ice cream!

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

S. Beatles. Styx. Michael Jackson. Adele. Is my age showing yet?

A. What’s your hidden talent?

S. Sarcasm. No, wait—that one shows up pretty frequently. My hidden talent is appearing confident in public when I’m ready to shrivel up and die inside.

A. I know what you mean!

A. What is your dream vacation?

S. Leisurely touring Great Britain and Ireland, staying in castles that have been converted into 5-star luxury hotels.

Contact Information:

Author Name: S.D. McPhail

Blog: www.sdmcphail.com

Facebook: S.D. McPhail, Author

Twitter: susan_mcphail

Goodreads: S.D. McPhail

Book Links: https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Key-Treasures-Dodrazeb/dp/1533454116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476817108&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Origin+Key

 

              

Rhiannon Frater: Zombies, Vampires, and Ghosts, Oh My!

Asking Rhiannon Frater to be a part of this Halloween themed Author feature was a no-brainer. Her book, The Living Dead Boy, has stuck with me from the moment I turned that last page. The world(s) and characters she creatures is evidence of her immense talent. I have been a fan of the zombie genre for so long that it’s hard to surprise me, much less, impress me. When a friend (thanks Elyse) suggested this book I went into it with an open mind, but still not expecting much. I was so wrong! The story was fresh and mature despite the young age of the main character. I became an instant fan. There is much more to her writing credits than zombies. What else does she write? You’ll just have to find out!

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog). She was born and raised in Texas where she currently resides with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes. She’s the co-host of the ZCast, a Z Nation Fan Podcast.

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Here are some free books by Rhiannon. Thanks for sharing these with us!
The Tale of the Vampire Bride – http://bit.ly/talevb1
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In Darkness We Must Abide- http://bit.ly/RFindarkness1

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Author Questions

 

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

R. From the moment I understood what a book was. So…toddler age? As soon as I learned to talk I was telling stories. As soon as I learned to write, I was writing stories. I was born to do this.

A. In what genre do you write?

R. I write under the umbrella of speculative fiction. I used to classify myself as more of a horror writer, but the genre, as defined now, leans more toward the slasher/gore type stuff. That isn’t my style. I don’t like writing for shock value. I love writing about people facing horrific situations, and fighting back.
So which genre do my books fit into? I’ve had long discussions with readers, and have discovered that they slot my books it different genres. Urban Fantasy, paranormal fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, and even paranormal romance. I honestly think the only series I’ve written that fits paranormal romance is In Darkness We Must Abide, but people interpret the books as they see fit.

So I wave the speculative fiction flag and let readers decide for themselves.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

R. Well, I used to say science fiction, but I’ve now written a few books that fit into that genre. It is my first love, and I have a soft spot for it. I love writing stories with something otherworldly in the mix. I’m not really interested in genres outside of the ones I’ve already explored. I’ve had requests for erotica and romances, but those are just not my thing.

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

R. I dream a story. I write down the details I remember in Workflowy. I let the idea germinate. When the time is right, I flip on the movie screen in my mind, watch the action, and type it out in yWriter. I don’t outline, I don’t plot. Whenever I hit a snag, I ruminate while playing Guild Wars 2. I try to write every day when working on a book because that’s the best way to keep the story flowing. I now keep Pinterest boards for my works in progress, and I noticed that really helps anchor me solidly to the world of my imagination.

Long, long ago, I wrote by hand, and destroyed my wrists and my basal thumb joints. I can barely write by hand anymore, so I’m strictly an ergonomic keyboard girl.

A. Writing can do a number on your wrists! 

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

R. The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Agatha Christie, and Neil Gaiman.

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

R. It depends on the book. If they take place in the modern world and in Texas, it’s pretty easy to just bang that out on the keyboard. The Pretty When She Dies trilogy and As The World Dies trilogy were a lot easier to craft because they both fit that criteria. The Mesmerized was inspired by my honeymoon in Las Vegas, so I kept images of the strip and a map on my screen while writing. The Vampire Bride Dark Rebirth trilogy was a lot more demanding because it takes place in Eastern Europe during the Regency Era. I did probably a year of research before I even started the first book. My husband often helps me with weaponry and tech. Though my science fiction books are pure speculation of the future, I do try to base it off of stuff in development now.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

R. It really depends on the book. For Pretty When She Dies it was a lot of PJ Harvey, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and music like that. For my recent book, The Lament of the Vampire Bride, it was the Jane Eyre soundtrack. It’s always changing, book to book.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

R. I binge-watch television shows with my hubby, read, play lots of video games, and hang out with loved ones. I was really ill last year and still recovering, so I’ve been a homebody. I do hope to get out more and do some traveling when I’m back to normal. I miss the convention circuit.

A. Conventions are so much fun! I hope you get back to it soon. 

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

R. I was invited to the South Dakota Book Festival, and that was just an amazing experience. I was interviewed on television about my books for the first time, sat on some panels, did my own presentation, and did a mass book signing. For some reason, that weekend made me feel like a “real” writer.

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

R. Claudia McKinney of PhatPuppyArt has done a lot of my covers, including the ones from Permuted Press. My Tor covers are done in-house by their art department. My foreign editions are also done by my publishers’ art departments.

Recently, my husband has been creating covers for my indie books.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

R. Well, I love Felicia Sullivan. She’s an amazing editor. And Kody Boye always makes my indie books look amazing. He’s an awesome formatter.

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

My newest release (as of October 25th) is Lost in Texas: The Living Dead Boy 2. It’s the sequel to The Living Dead Boy. It’s a zombie book geared at all ages. I would describe it as the Goonies versus the zombies. I wrote the first book for the youngest zombie fans, but adults really love it, too. The books are about Josh, a twelve-year-old zombie fanatic, and his friends. They’re part of the Zombie Hunters Club, and love all things zombie. When the undead invade their school, the kids have to rely on their knowledge of zombies to survive. Though the books are not as gory as my adult zombie series (As The World Dies trilogy, The Last Bastion series), they’re pretty scary. I’m currently working on the third book in the Living Dead Boy trilogy, Journey Across Zombie Texas, to round out the series. After that, I may take a break from zombies, and write a gothic horror novel.

A. I’m so pumped for book 2 for The Living Dead Boy!

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The Living Dead Boy on Amazon

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

R. Halloween is a way of life for me. I love it. I’m Goth so it’s basically Christmas for me. Furthermore, I was married on Halloween so it has additional importance.

A. Married on Halloween!? That’s awesome! 

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

R. My hubby and I usually go to a nice dinner together, and if it’s on the weekend, we hit the local goth club. If it’s a weekday, we usually watch a Halloween themed movie like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

R. Absolutely. I have zero doubts about that.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

R. Yes. More times than I can relate. I lived in two haunted houses. After a while, the paranormal stuff became normal. I remember we had guests over one day and were chatting in our living room. From the kitchen came the sound of every single dish, pan, glass, silverware, etc., falling out of the cabinets. It was deafening. But to my family, it was the same old, same old. We ignored it because we knew if we went into the kitchen nothing would be out of place. Our guests were surprised when we shrugged off the noise. They ignored us when we said it was nothing, and ran to the kitchen. When they saw that not one plate was out of place, they freaked out and fled. And never came back.

We just carried on as usual.

A. That’s freaky! 

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

R. I have too many favorite scary movies to pick from, but the scariest book I read was Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I couldn’t sleep with the lights off for a few days after finishing it.

A. I’ve never read the book, but the 1979 movie really freaked me out! 

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

R. I avoid sugar, but I used to love candy corn.

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Pretty When She Dies on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

R. Anne Rice. Without a doubt.

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

R. Jane Eyre because of Jane Eyre. Jane is just an amazing woman, and one of the first feminist characters I read about. She’s wonderfully complicated and smart. I just adore her.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

R. I regard films as alternative universes to books. In a way, they’re fan fiction films. The one book I really wanted to see as a film is now in production. That’s The Gunslinger by Stephen King.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

R. I have a long list. LOL. I really hate when author’s make a woman angry all the time with a chip on her shoulder to make her appear “strong.” No, that just makes her an asshole. I hate when a plot depends on a misunderstanding that would be resolved in a one minute conversation. I also don’t enjoy books that depend on violence for shock value, or use rape of a woman as a plot device so the male character can get revenge.
A. I agree. I don’t think like senseless, unnecessary violence. 

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

R. Life is too short. I have learned to walk away. As a writer, I’m aware that a book is not for all readers. Each one has its own audience.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

R. The books I read for enjoyment have a supernatural or science fiction element. When I research, I cast a wider net.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

R. Since I wrecked my hands by handwriting my first books in my teens, I use a Kindle. It’s a lot easier to hold. The last time I read a regular book, I was in so much pain I had to buy the Kindle version to finish.

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Pretty When She Kills on Amazon

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

R. Night of the Living Dead, Aliens, Rear Window, That Touch of Mink, Mad Max Fury Road, and so many more.

A. Favorite TV show?

R. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

R. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs.

A. There’s no cooking like mom’s cooking.

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

R. Chocolate gelato served in Italy. Nothing compares.

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

R. Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and PJ Harvey are default.

A. What’s your hidden talent?

R. I’m a damn good shot with a pistol.

A. What is your dream vacation?

R. Venice in October. I can’t wait to go back.

A. Me too! 

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Pretty When She Destroys on Amazon

Contact Information:

You can find her online at:

Website: rhiannonfrater.com

Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.frater

Tumblr: http://rhiannonfrater.tumblr.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=340109912&trk=spm_pic

Google+: https://plus.google.com/113336058823746385572/posts

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhiannon-Frater/e/B0027DLFL6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2310121.Rhiannon_Frater

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhiannonfrater/

Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com

 

 

Lords of Vengeance: Bart Hamilton

I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce you to Bart Hamilton. I met Bart at the Athens Catfish Literary Festival this past summer. His book covers looked pretty stinking awesome (yes, I judge books by their covers) so I had to walk over and check them out. I was glad I did because not only did I find some really well written YA books, I made a new author friend! It doesn’t hurt that Bart is one of the nicest people on the planet.

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Bart’s books, the Lords of Vengeance series, are action/adventure tales for young adults, but they’re those types of books that even adults can enjoy. Personally, I like books that focus on teens who are thrown into dire circumstances and, as the reader, we get to watch how they handle it.

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Lords of Vengeance: The Alpha

Author Questions

A. When you realize you wanted to be an author?

B. I used to tell stories as a kid. My mom, sister, and I would drive to Decatur every Monday to see my Ma-maw and Pap-Paw and I would be just talking away the whole time. Eventually, my mother was like “You know, you should write this stuff down on paper.” It was a nice way of telling me to shut up. That’s when the seed was planted, I suppose.

A. In what genre do you write?

B. Young adult. Action/Adventure

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

B. I’ve always wanted to try Fantasy or Science Fiction. Maybe one day I will.

A. What is your writing process? Such as outlining, freehand, and computer vs. pen?

B. I don’t do outlines. I feel really restricted when I try them. I like to change plans and if you don’t stick to the outline then there’s no point in having it anyway. I do everything on the computer.

A. Who are your writing inspirations, famous or not?

B. I grew up reading Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, and other Christian Fiction authors.

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novels?

B. A little bit. You always need to get your facts straight before you put it on a page. For instance, I researched the effects of a gunshot on the human body. For this next book, I’m going to be writing a scene about the Stock Exchange so I’m going to do some research on that.

A. Do you ever find the research tedious? It is for your novels, but is there any time you’re like, “Oh gosh, why did I chose this topic?”

B. Some topics are harder to research than others. For instance, one character in my next novel will have cancer resulting from radiation poisoning. That…is going to be a pain to research. So, the answer is yes.

A. Do you listen to music as you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

B. Yes! All the time! I listen to a lot of instrumental music. Movie composers like Hans Zimmer and John Williams. Lindsey Stirling. I also love a group call Two Steps from Hell.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

B. I enjoy playing video games, reading books, and going running. I’m also into Theater. I’m a member of the Athenian Players.

A. You have to tell us more about being an actor. What is about theater that draws you? 

B. I’m a bit of introvert and theater gives me a chance to be the exact opposite. When you’re onstage, everyone is there to see you. Shyness melts away and someone else comes out. It’s fun.

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

B. I’ve been on TV multiple times. That never gets old.

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

B. The spectacular Lisa Buijteweg! She is on Twitter under the handle @Zolaiida if you want to contact her.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

B. Angie Paule is my editor and I love her so much. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her.

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

B. My newest novel is the third of the series. It’s titled “Lords of Vengeance: The Giant”. To use Stephen King’s what if advice when describing a novel…What if a secret, wealthy organization began training kids (prodigies) at 16 years of age for the next five years to be spies, assassins, computer hackers, or scientists? What if that organization came under attack by people it had made into enemies?

A. That’s a really good blurb for your book! Are they easy to write for you? Some authors dread having to condense their novel into a single paragraph. 

B. Not hard, really. You just need to stop and think about it for a while. Try doing it for your favorite TV show or Movie for practice.

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Lords of Vengeance: The Ascension

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

B. –I do like Halloween! It’s the one time of the year where it’s socially acceptable to be someone other than yourself.

 

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

B. For the past few years. I’ve dressed up in a costume, got several bags of candy, and gave it out to people I know. And to a few I don’t.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

B. Yes, I do. I am a Christian, after all.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just can’t explain?

B. I have. After my grandmother passed away, I “dreamed” she came to me. We talked. She told me she loved me and then told me about some personal things that were headed my way. They have come true. It wasn’t scary. I think God gave her special permission to do it. She could sweet talk anyone. LOL.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

B. Amanda Porter’s Darkness Trilogy. That chick can write!

A. Oh, stop it! 😉 

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

B. KIT KATS!

 Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

B. J.K. Rowling, obviously.

A. SAME!

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

B. Star Wars: Episode III. It was just so brilliantly written. The movie didn’t do it justice. It really inspired me to examine the duality of my characters when I started writing. The darkness that resides in all humans, the capability of doing good or evil, is something that makes for good characterization.

A. Oooo! You must tell us your opinion of the new Star Wars era. Did you enjoy the new movie? 

B. I loved the new movie! Took me back to my childhood. I like the new continuity, but I really miss the characters in the old one. Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin were Han and Leia’s kids. Mara Jade was Luke’s wife and Ben was his son. Now it’s all gone…

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

B. I’m all for books being made into films if it gets people to want to read more. As for which book I’d like to see be made into a film…MINE. 😀

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

B. The lack of plot movement and character development. You might as well be reading a textbook if it doesn’t have either of those. Not that there’s anything wrong with reading a textbook.

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

B. I wish I could say that I always finish it, but I don’t. If I’m not enjoying it, I’ll put it down.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

B. I read around. I like Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Christian Fiction.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

B. I like it in my hands. E-books are easier, true, but they’re odorless. I love the smell of books, old and new. Smell triggers memory and I want to remember what I read.

A. There is nothing better than that new book smell!

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Lords of Vengeance: The Giant

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

B. Superman. The Richard Donner film.

A. Favorite TV show?

B. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A. Yes! Buffy Summers is my girl crush! 

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

B. Papa John’s Pizza!

A. And what topping(s) would be on this pizza?

B. Supreme! Olives, pepperoni, sausage, and anything else they can throw on there. LOL!

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

B. Chocolate Oreo Truffles!

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Two Steps from Hell, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Lindsey Stirling, and The Piano Guys.

A. What’s your hidden talent?

B. Martial Arts

A. How long have you been training?

B. Since high school. I’m not saying I’m Batman or anything, but then again, you’ll never see us both in the same place.

A. What is your dream vacation?

B. Venice, Italy

Contact Information:

Author Name: Bart H. Hamilton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbart/?fref=ts

Twitter: @bartavious

 

Call For Submissions-What Lurks in the Dark Anthology

What Lurks in the Dark

Halloween Anthology

 

Authors A.G. Porter and E.A. Kelso are compiling a Halloween themed anthology and we want to add your story to our collection!

You’ve heard the stories, read the books, and watched the movies, but we want to know which classic monsters keep you up at night.

Is it vampires, werewolves, zombies, or maybe even ghosts?

Whatever it maybe, we want your take on these classic ghouls. Tell us what monsters lurk in your darkest fears!

But, here’s the deal, it has to have a modern twist or a new spin.

Meaning, it can range from having your monsters set in the modern world or something we’ve never seen before.

Submission Open: February 1, 2016
Submission Close: June 30, 2016

Release Date (Estimation): October 1, 2016

 Payment: $10

Length: Max 15,000 words

*Will accept Horror, Supernatural, Science Fiction, Fantasy, or anything relating to a classic monster theme.
NO EROTICA
PG-13 Rating

 Submission Guidelines:

1. Word document submission
2. Times New Roman
3. Font Size 12
4. Double spaced
5. In subject line: E&A’s Halloween Anthology, Title of your story, Your name
6. Email to: whatlurksinthedarkanthology@gmail.com

*Any manuscripts submitted incorrectly will be rejected
*We reserve the right to refuse any story submitted without explanation

What Lurks in the Dark

Saturday Snippets-How I Edit

I tend to work on my book throughout the week, but for some reason Saturday is usually a day that I get a good bit done. Considering that I’m finished with Book 3 (Heck Yeah!) I am heavily into edits. So, that is occupying a lot of my time.

In my house, I’m the early riser. I think it’s just a personality trait. I can’t sleep late. I actually hate sleeping too late. It makes me feel off for the entire day. Also, the quiet of the early morning hours are always the best times to work.

So, what did I work on this morning? Or rather, how do I work on edits for my book? I don’t do grammatical edits. Sure, if I see them I correct them, but what I do is check for consistency and make sure I didn’t write something out of left field that is out of character for the book and its residents. 🙂

I can’t do it all in one sitting and my memory is terrible so in order to keep up with where I left off, I highlight as I go. Example:

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There are other steps to this process. For the most part, I lock myself away from everyone so I can concentrate. Sometimes, I don’t listen to anything and read the story out lout, but then other times I want some sort of noise in the background so I listen to music. It could be instrumental or lyrical. There are so many artists that I listen too so it would hard to make a list!

I’ve found that Spotify is a great way to make playlists though. I have songs I listen to while I write or songs that get me into certain moods.

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Louisa Wendorff is fantastic. You should listen to her!

I LOVE Spotify! I use iTunes for T-Swift though. I’ve always been a fan. I think she’s a poet who puts her magical prose to a beat. 🙂 I am loving this 1989 album. Y’all check out the song “Clean.” It’s amazing!

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I usually put my earbuds in, too. Even if I’m alone. It just seems to help me focus.

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Don’t mind my bed head!

So there you have it! This is my editing process. Is it the right way? Who knows. It’s just what works for me.

Happy Saturday!

~A

Christmas Nightmare (Not Really, but Seriously)

OK, maybe my title is a little dramatic, but that’s how I’m feeling right about now. This is a result of hand making my Christmas gifts and getting a writing itch at the same time. That does not sit well with my home office. My house is no where big enough to have a room for crafting and a room for writing so they occupy one space. That has to be a paradox, right?

There's a desk under all of this, right?

There’s a desk under all of this, right?

That's sweet tea aka my fuel.

That’s sweet tea aka my fuel.

I mean, what the heck?!?

I mean, what the heck?!?

My desk has been taken over by crafting supplies. You want gadgets and gizmos? I’ve got plenty and then some! I think I’ve lost myself and my sanity in all of my wares. I wonder how many days it will take my husband to notice I’m missing?

 

And I wonder why I can't any hair clips when I'm getting ready...I leave them all in my office!

And I wonder why I can’t find any hair clips when I’m getting ready…I leave them all in my office!

 

So, I’m still not done with crafting. Yes, I know tomorrow is Christmas Eve, but I’m at my best under pressure, alright? Anyway, that’s why I can’t put all of this stuff away. I do have a place for it, but right now it must stay where it lies. Even if it must lie in my way. My solution was just to clear a space and plop my laptop right in the middle.

I feel you silently judging me for my Twilight books.

I feel you silently judging me for my Twilight books.

It seems to be working, but at the same time, I keep getting distracted by how messy my surroundings are. Why did you have to come at Christmas time writing muse? You must really hate me!

Oh, and this weather has gotten my lips all chappy so I’ve spent the last several minutes looking for my Chap-Stick, thinking I’ve left somewhere in this junk pile. Just so happens I put it in my purse, where it’s supposed to be and that’s the last place I look. This clutter has got me all up in…in…I don’t even have a nice word to use right here.

My lips are saved!

My lips are saved!

(Deep breath) Despite my humbug attitude, Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I enjoy the gift giving and joyous spirit. I love all the different songs and customs. Celebrating my Savior’s birth always brings a smile to my face. So, please Jesus, help me before I throw everything on my desk into the floor.

See, I really am in the Christmas spirit!

See, I really am in the Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

~A

Friday Favorites-Unleashed by Janae Mitchell

Better later than never with this Friday Favorites post! Hey, I was Christmas shopping, give me a break. 😉

So, what am I crushing on this week? That would be Unleashed by Janae Mitchell. While I do love Janae herself, I’m going to spend most of this blog post talking about her book.

Janae Mitchell

Janae Mitchell

I like spooky books, like the sort of spooky books that make you stay awake at night thinking that the shadow in the corner of your room is something far more sinister than just a curtain or a hastily discarded sweater. However, I didn’t think Unleashed was going to mess me up this bad.

I’ll start from the beginning. I actually read this book on my Kindle. My hubby was watching something on T.V. (probably sports) so I ventured off to the room so I could read a bit before bed. There I was, lights off, all alone, reading a book about demons!!!

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I knew it had something to do with ghosts because there is the word “Ouija” on the book cover. However, I wasn’t expecting to read about a demon while I was in a dark room, all by myself! Let’s just say I stayed awake a lot longer than I had planned with the covers pulled up really close to my chin.

I got a signed copy!

I got a signed copy!

There have been a lot of books that have scared me silly, but not like this book. I think it’s because things like this really freak me out, but also because Janae is a really is an amazing writer! This book was me dipping my toe into the literary world of Janae Mitchell and now I’m ready to dive right on in.

I’ve actually been to a Convention with Janae, we’ve become Facebook pals, and I saw her at another convention a few months ago. There I able to obtain a signed copy of Unleashed. Let’s just say I’m so excited about this. Not only is she easily one of my favorite new authors, but she’s a good person too. I mean, she’s a southern like me, has amazing hair, and is obsessed with Harry Potter. You can’t get any better than that.

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You can tell by the inscription that she has a great sense of humor. Or, at least I hope that’s what that was… 😉

My Review: Don’t read this book in a room with all the lights turned off when you’re by yourself. I made that mistake and freaked myself out! I’ve read a lot of creepy books, but this one just takes creepy to another level. I think it’s because I’m a very spiritual person and I believe you shouldn’t mess with the other side if you don’t know what you’re doing. Actually, you shouldn’t mess with it at all. That’s what two friends, Jailyn and Prestley, do when they decide to play around with a ouija board. Jailyn has this off feeling about it from the beginning, but doesn’t listen to it and from that point on they welcome in a darkness that changes their lives. Besides the creep out factor of the book I really enjoyed the characters that Janae created. Jailyn, who is telling most of the story, is likable. She has sort of a dry sense of humor and I found that really relatable. Prestley reminded me of the rowdy one, but she wasn’t annoying at all and by the end of the book she had my heart. She went through some rough stuff. The girls fit perfectly together and you could see why they were best friends. The bad guy, not that I’m going to give anything away, was bad in every way possible. He was sick, twisted, disgusting and freaked the heck out of me. I know I’ve said that a million times, but it’s true! If you like freaky, creepy books then you’ll love this one.

Where to find Janae:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanaeMitchellAuthor

Blog: http://www.janaemitchell.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janaeiswriting

Amazon: Janae on Amazon