Monday, December 17, 2012

Here's the thing...

I don't usually use my blogs for political or societal commentary posts. It's not who I am and besides, I much prefer to make people laugh. So if you want a laugh, I promise to put up a funny blog on What Passes for Sane on a Crazy Day. But on this blog, on this day, I need to let some frustration out.

Except for checking my birthday greetings (thank you so much, everyone), I didn't really get on FB much Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I didn't have time, I didn't have WI-fi, and I was busy being mistaken for a fugitive. But I'm glad I didn't. I saw a few posts that upset me greatly and I'm glad I had the chance to process what I wanted to say before I had the chance to actually say it. I wish more people would make that a habit.

So here's the thing... what happened in Connecticut is awful. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and give up on the world. My heart goes out to those families. I can't imagine losing a child at all, much less to an act of senseless violence. It makes me want to change things. It makes me want to mend our country so that we don't breed monsters who slaughter innocent children. What it doesn't make me want to do is blame everyone else. It doesn't make me want to say "if you disagree with my opinion, we are no longer friends." So why does it make so many people want to do just that?

I saw so many gun control posts, so many "if you don't agree, you're a moron" and "if you don't agree with me, I'll think less of you" posts. Really? So now it's wrong to have a differing opinion? Does anyone truly believe that their political posts are going to change our country? It's that attitude, that pervasive "mine, and people who agree with me, is the only RIGHT opinion" that's carrying this once great nation to hell in a hand basket. What happened to respecting others, what happened to intelligent discourse on a subject, what happened to compromise? Not one of you is a damned expert on the subjects you were so rigorously mouthing off about. Not one. So what makes yours the right opinion? The most intelligent opinion? And how dare you say that if I disagree I'm a moron? Or that you'll think less of me? How dare you?!

I have a very good friend that I've known since high school. Though she's moved all over the country and we haven't always lived in close proximity, we've remained as close as sisters. Our political views couldn't be more opposite. We agree on almost nothing in the political scheme of things. And yet, I don't love her any less for this. Because I respect her right to not agree with me. I respect her intelligence and integrity. I know that we have had different life experiences which have caused us to develop different perspectives and perceptions. We live in different places, with different problems. We agree to disagree without disrespecting each other. We engage in intelligent, non-combative discourse. Sometimes, we even begin to think the other may have a point. That's what adults with a modicum of intelligence and respect do. They don't scream their hatred for people who think differently than they do on a social media site. They don't try to place blame squarely in their opponent's laps. They look in the mirror and evaluate their own actions and realize that they may share some of the blame for a country in desperate need of new legislation and attention to what's lacking.

*The next part is my opinion only. And if it makes you think I'm a moron, or you think less of me for it, well, feel free to unfriend me, never work with me again, or whatever punishment you deem necessary. Chances are, I won't give a f*ck.*

I live in a house with guns. My husband, son, and son-in-law all hunt. So we have shotguns and rifles. We also have a hand gun, which I enjoy shooting at targets. And I'm a damn good shot. I don't want to kill anything with it. But if I was forced to, I would defend my family and my home. If I didn't have a gun, I'd use a knife, or any other weapon I could find. I believe I have the right to own those guns. Does this mean I'm anti-gun control? Yes and no. I believe we need different legislation. I don't believe anyone should be able to purchase a gun without a background check. I don't believe anyone other than the military needs an assault rifle or automatic weapons. I believe everyone should have to take classes in gun safety and handling before they own a gun. I believe that like we do in Illinois, you should have to have a firearm owner's ID in order to purchase a gun or ammo. But I also understand the fear of many gun owner's that once gun laws are passed, it will open the door to taking away our arms completely. That's where that forgotten word "compromise" enters the equation.

I also don't think that new gun legislation is going to solve the problem. Not unless it's accompanied by better mental health care in the United States. Because honestly, guns don't kill people. Crazies with guns kill people. And until we have more options for the treatment of mentally ill people, better health care systems for them, and more intelligent discourse on the subject, nothing's going to change. You can take away their guns, but you can't take away their harmful intent. In China, where gun ownership is illegal, a man attacked school children with a knife. He didn't manage to kill any, just maim them. The point is, if a mentally ill person wants to hurt others, they will. And even one death is too many.

So, better gun legislation, intelligent discussion, better options for the treatment of the mentally ill? Sounds like a good start. And I haven't blamed anyone. There are other things that I think would help solve some of the problems of the society we're living in, and I could place blame on one side of the political forum for those problems, but the fact is, we're all responsible and neither side is all right, or all wrong. We need to remember that this country was founded on the right to be different. The right to have an opinion that's maybe not popular. We were founded on the freedom to think for ourselves. So let's the stop the blame game and the screaming and the name calling. Instead, let's turn our hearts and minds to mending our nation. Because it's broken, guys. And the duct tape will only hold it for so long.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Coffin Hop Winners!

Sadly, the Coffin Hop has come to an end. Sad, because I probably will not keep up this level of blogging activity. I'll try, but well, you know. But on a happier note it's time to announce the winners of my Coffin Hop prizes. Drum roll please...

For the movie time game, I had three people who accurately guessed all the movies. And because I'm a good sport and slightly crazy, I'm sending them all a signed copy of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous. So, would wordplaythursday, wwe11, and JeanetteJ please send me your home adresses? I will get those out to you this week.

And the winner of their choice of titles from the AKP library is Anne Michaud. All I need from Anne is an email address and the title of her choice.

This has been fun. Thank you all for playing and I sincerely hope you enjoyed the interviews as much as I did. Be sure to check back occasionally, in case I get ambitious!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Meet Kate Monroe

This post was supposed to come out on the 29th of October, but things went screwy. So officially, the Coffin Hop is over, but since I'm late with this one, I'm going to extend it for my blog. Comments on this post will still get you an entry to win my prizes.

I met Kate when I accepted her story, "Lullaby" for inclusion in Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls. It's one of my favorite stories in the anthology. So when I was approached about helping her out with a blog tour for her new book, The Falcon's Chase, I was thrilled. So, I'm interviewing her today. Stay put after the interview and I'll give you all the info about the book!

How long has writing been your passion?

Ever since I was a child I’ve been creating stories. I used to make up stories for my little brother when we went to bed, and then at the age of six I painstakingly wrote and bound my first book; a twenty page wonder about the adventures of a budgie named Snowy. Since then my passion for all things literary has grown exponentially. The more I read, the more I wanted to write, and I finally took the plunge two years ago to take up writing as a career.

What was the first thing you ever had published?

The short story ‘Lullaby’ in the Angelic Knight Press anthology, Satan’s Toybox: Demonic Dolls. When Stacey and Blaze accepted it for publication, it was a massive validation that other people saw value in what I was writing and that I’d made the right choice in sharing my work with others. I will forever be grateful to them for giving me what was at the time a much-needed confidence boost!

Do you write full time or do you also have a day job?

I’m fortunate enough that I can now write full-time, but in the past I’ve squeezed my writing time in around all sorts of jobs, from waitressing to music photography and everything in between. These days the only other demand on my time is my three-year-old daughter, but some days it feels like she’s a full-time job in herself!

What is your writing routine like?

In a word, erratic! I take any and every chance to write that I can get; sometimes I’ll be sat at the computer at 7am with a steaming cup of coffee, making the most of the early morning peace, and then other times I’ll stay awake until 4am writing until my head is finally empty enough to sleep. The only constant in my routine is that I have to write something every day, no matter where I am. If I don’t it’s impossible to sleep, so wherever I go I carry a notebook and pen with me to scribble things down as and when they come to me.

Where did the idea for this novel come from?

It actually evolved from a single sentence that I wrote for another novel entirely; the first of a trilogy that’s still under wraps. The sentence I wrote didn’t fit the character I originally drafted it for, but as my finger hovered over the delete button it grew wings all of its own and, within the space of an hour, The Falcon’s Chase was born. It was by far the easiest story I’ve ever written, as it seemed to spring fully-formed from that one sentence.

What drew you to this particular genre?

For a long time now I’ve had a lot of love for steampunk and all its sub genres. It’s a very liberating genre to write in, for there are very few strict rules; steampunk is all about letting your imagination take you on a journey into an alternative history. Add in a twist of tantalisingly anachronistic technology like the nanobots in The Falcon’s Chase and you’ve got a genre that’s utterly compelling. It’s no wonder that it’s taken off so spectacularly in the last few years.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book when they finish it?

I’d be delighted if it inspired them to look further into the steampunk genre. There’s something there for everyone, especially sci-fi and fantasy fans; William Gibson’s The Difference Engine is probably the definitive starting place, and from there it’s really just a question of personal taste as to where to go next.

Who are some authors that you admire?

I devoured the classics when I was younger, but the one book I returned to time and time again was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The way that he defined an entire genre with one novel is staggering; every vampire novel written since has aspired to match that, and Dracula will forever be the standard to which other vampires are compared. From current authors, the undeniable stand-out to me is Neil Gaiman. The sheer scale and ambitious depth of the stories he writes never fail to impress me, and he even wrote an episode of Doctor Who last year that won a Hugo award. His portrayal of Idris in that episode was incredible, and his characterization is an absolute inspiration.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

To improve your writing, read. It’s frightening how many authors think that it’s not necessary to read anything beside their own work, for in my opinion it’s crucial if you’re ever to improve.

What advice would you give to aspiring or new authors?

Write for yourself, no-one else. If you’re not writing what you genuinely want to, then what you produce won’t be as good as it could possibly be. Writing to fill a niche in the market or simply to publish in a genre that sells well shouldn’t be the driving aspiration for a new author; write because you have a tale to tell, and stay true to it. Only by doing so will you truly connect with your prose, and then the words will flow.

Kate's Bio:

My name is Katherine Seren Monroe – but when call me, you can call me Kate. I’m a redheaded author and editor who lives in a quiet and inspirational corner of southern England. I have penchants for the colour black, horror and loud guitars, and a fatal weakness for red wine.

I suppose I’m what you would call a geek. I love Doctor Who and Star Trek (Tom Baker will forever be my Doctor, and Patrick Stewart my captain). Gary Oldman’s turn as Dracula fostered a lifelong passion for Victoriana and the world of steampunk, but despite the fact that I specialised in history and literature, my one great love is for science. Nothing entrances me quite as much as theorising on all the mysteries our world has yet to reveal.

My interests in writing range from horror to erotica, taking in historical romance, steampunk and tales of the paranormal on the way; whatever I dreamed about the night before is liable to find its way onto the page in some form or another…

You can find Kate's blog here. Kate can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

The Book:

Captain Reuben Costello is just hours away from facing his execution when the unlikeliest of rescuers storms into his cell. Lady Arianne Dalton needs the assistance of the infamous Black Swan to flee England and all its constraints. He finds himself more than willing to help the fiercely independent Ari in exchange for his freedom.

However, when they come to find their fates inextricably tangled in a plot that threatens the very foundations of British society, they are swept away on a chase that puts not only their lives, but their hearts at risk - and neither of them can defy the wild and stormy ride they find upon the Falcon.

Author: Kate Monroe

Publisher: Pink Pepper Press

Number of Pages: 298 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0615695662
ISBN-10: 0615695663

Release Date: October 5, 2012

You can find The Falcon's Chase on Amazon and CreateSpace.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

So it's the last post for Coffin Hop and I couldn't think of anything to blog about today. But then I had an idea. Remember those old choose your own adventure books? Well, this is a choose your own blog post. I have another blog that I started several years ago. It's my silly side and where I blog about my family. And one year, I did several fun Halloween posts. So I'm going to post links to those posts and you can read what you want.

Would you like a real life ghost story from my own personal experiences? Then you should read "That story I promised you on Sunday" or maybe "So about that haunted house...."

If you want a spooky video from the web, try "The Pantry Ghost."

Another little bit of real life and two movie reviews? Read "Ghosties Again."

If you'd like a spooky poem, try "Come in for a spell."

Want a funny post? Try "The one where I loose a tooth in a pumpkin carving accident..."

And for completely ridiculous, try "The one with zombie giraffes."

Leave me a comment and let me know which one you chose and what you thought about it. All comments are an entry to win a signed (by several authors) print copy of  Fading Light. Or your choice of an eBook version of any of AKP's titles.

Don't forget to visit the other Coffin Hop blogs here .

Happy Halloween & Happy Hopping,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Movie Time!

So I'm still doing the Coffin Hop thing and thought I'd take a break from interviews. I played a Horror Movie game on Belinda Frisch's blog yesterday and came close to winning. It was so much fun that I thought I'd try it out here. Obviously, I picked different movies than Belinda did, just to mix things up. So scroll through the movie stills and write down the titles. I've picked movies from the last decade, mostly from the last couple of years. All are ones that I've enjoyed.

Since we're Coffin Hopping, you get a chance to win prizes. For a signed (by Gene O'Neill, Gord Rollo, Tim Marquitz, and little ole me) copy of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, leave a comment on every blog post. You can always go back and catch up! To win a free eBook of your choice, from any of the Angelic Knight Press titles, one comment = one entry. Don't forget to hop by the AKP blog and meet some of our authors. Leave a comment for a chance to win some cool prizes. And visit the other Coffin Hoppin' Cool Kids here.

Thanks for playing and good luck!









Up until now you've been getting one point for each correct guess. The next two pictures are from older films that I consider classics in the genre. Two points apiece for them.



And last but not least, this film is not only a classic, but it's the film I credit with my early love of horror. And a life long phobia. Three points for this guy.

Alright! And today's winner gets a signed copy of Fading Light. Plus an entry into the hat for a free eBook. Have fun!

Happy Hopping,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Meet Fran Friel

I met Fran Friel at KillerCon in Vegas this year. I was instantly a Fran fan. Not only is she perhaps one of the nicest people I've ever met, she's one of those individuals who instantly make you feel at home in their presence, as though you'd known them forever. We went to dinner with some other fine folks (Gene O'Neill, Gord Rollo, Danielle Day, Bob Meracle, and Bill Gagliani) and had one of the best conversations about writing that I've ever had the great fortune to take part in. I'm happy to call all of them my friends.

I attended a reading that Fran did at the convention for her short story collection, Mama's Boy. And I was blown away. Here's this super nice, super caring lady talking about dead babies falling from the sky. Yep. You read that right. Dead babies. Talk about blown away. So naturally, I had to buy the book. And Fran was kind enough to sign it personally for me. You can read my review of her book over at See Spot Read. Go ahead, you now you want to...

But for this blog, I interviewed Fran so the rest of you could get to know more about her. And you'll see by her answers what a wonderful conversationalist she is. Without further ado~

1. How long have you been taking your writing seriously?

 I know that many of us have been writing since we could hold a crayon, but when did you have that subtle mental shift that says, “I am a writer?” I’ve always known, Stacey. Dr. Seuss and Green Eggs and Ham sent me down that slippery slope at a very early age. I was writing poetry for the community newsletter when I was six. My Aunt Helen was the publisher, and her deadlines were so demanding, I wilted under the pressure and gave up writing until I was “discovered” in high school. But I’m plagued (or gifted…depends on the day) with a Gemini’s heart, so there was also art. I spent an inordinate number of hours staring at flowers and trying to draw them. Then there was my Norman Rockwell phase. I recreated his portfolio with colored pencils, and I suspect Norman is still rolling over in his grave. Hmm…I think there’s a story there, but I digress. Then there was music (I told you I’m a Gemini!). I played the Bassoon, which is a big double-reed instrument in the oboe family. It’s a fairly rare instrument, so I was fortunate to get a full scholarship to a wonderful college prep school, and also to a university conservatory. So, music took front stage for many years, and my writing stayed in the shadows. Finally, in my thirties, I started feeling the pull again, but it wasn’t until 2005 when my dear husband made the suggestion that I get serious about it, that I finally jumped in with both feet. Good husband, huh?

2. Do you write full time or do you have a day job?

Well, I’m the keeper of the castle here at Chateau Friel, and that keeps me busier than I’d like to be. I’m financier, bookkeeper, housekeeper, animal wrangler, repair woman, mechanic, gardener, personal shopper, and personal assistant to Mr. Friel (he works a minimum of 14 hours a day and when he’s not working, he’s mostly sleeping…poor guy). I retired from my private practice as a holistic therapist back in 2005 to pursue writing, but I still see clients part-time. So, I continue to pursue that magical balance between the demands of normal life and writing life. I’m not there yet, but I can smell it. It’s close.

   3. What is your writing routine like? Any special rituals you must complete to get you “in the mood?”

Being the keeper of the castle and being a Gemini makes setting a routine a challenging thing, consequently, I’m usually flying by the seat of my pants. I wish I could offer some wisdom on the subject, but my goal at this time of my life and my career is to keep writing and to maintain my love of the process. I have had the tendency to make writing a laborious chore, weighting it in my mind as something akin to doing brain surgery in a war zone combined with spreading hot tar on the roof of a sweltering city apartment building. This, as you can imagine, is not an inspiring scenario. Hence, my change of heart—I’m keeping it light, and my muse and I love it! Fortunately, when I’m not castle keeping, I have a very quiet house in which to work. When I write, I don’t listen to music (unless I’m in a public place, then the headphones come out and I crank up some ambient tunes to block out the noise!). I don’t have the television on. I like it completely quiet (I’m a little ADD, so sound is distracting to me). Writing for me is like a meditation. I’m going someplace deep and far away. I find interruptions almost painful—like being dragged up from the depths back into the glaring world of real life. Ugh.

4. Pantser or Plotter?

I used to be a very careful plotter. I wasn’t comfortable writing until I knew most of the details and plot points and how I was going to get were I was go. It felt like writing with a connect-the-dots approach. Then I started to notice that I was losing the juice. By outlining with so much detail, I often felt like I’d already written the story, so the creative energy seemed somehow spent before I did the actual writing. So with my need to keep loving the process, sans the roof tarring misery, I decided to start writing blind. I’m a firm believer in the magic of the creative process, so I challenged myself to take an inspiration and just run with it. An inspiration usually comes in the form of a scene, or maybe just a snapshot of a scene—a mystery for me to solve. What is this scene about? Who is in it? What is the significance of the objects I’m seeing or the feelings this image is engendering in me? It’s kind of like stepping into the scene of a movie, or stepping onto a set where everyone is frozen in place. What’s happening? I’ll sit with those questions for a while and daydream until the answers start to get clearer. Then I just start writing—drilling down. So far this process has never failed me. The story begins to reveal itself, and I just follow along. When I get stuck, I pose a question to my psyche about whatever the problem is, then I take a break. Sometimes I take a nap, or sleep on it. Inevitably, the muse and the secret writer in my brain’s private office, they sort it out and bring me the answer. This is my version of the elves who make the shoes while the cobbler sleeps. I’ll make notes about a story when an idea hits me, but I don’t plot anymore. I may make a scene list that can be juggled into place and repositioned for continuity and arc, but for me, that’s part of the editing process. I fast draft the first draft with minimal editing, so as not to stifle the creative process, then I put on my editors hat. I’m merciless in the editing process, which is much easier to do when I take off the hat of the artsy fartsy writer—she’s much too sensitive about “killing her darlings.”

5. Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

Not really. Like many folks, I read Stephen King and Dean Koontz before I became a writer, but my first love has always been Science Fiction. I fell into writing horror kind of by accident. I was eager to get my first publication credit, and a friend told me that the Horror Library was holding a contest. Winning included publication, so I gave it shot. To my surprise, I won. I seemed to have a bit of a knack for twisted tales (which I attribute to having older brothers—read my story, “Mashed,” and you’ll see what I mean).

6. “Fine Print” was one of my favorite stories in your collection, Mama’s Boy. The society and the idea of the dreamers was very detailed. How did you come up with the idea?

I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Stacy. When I wrote it, I was worried that the pacing was too slow for most readers, but I made an executive decision to slow it down and follow wherever it wanted to take me. That’s how the details of the Society of Dreamers emerged. I’ve been a long-time student of The Monroe Institute, where I’ve studied the subject of expanded consciousness and things like the out-of-body experience, life after death, and near death experiences. The esoteric and the mystical have fascinated me for most of my life, so I guess the concepts just bubbled up out of my psyche. There was very little thinking and planning on the subject—the details just revealed themselves piece by piece.

7. I’ve met you in person, and you are so fantastically sweet and caring. But some of the stories in this collection, “Special Prayers,” for example are amazingly dark. How do you explain such a dichotomy between your public self and your writing self?

You’re very kind to say that, Stacy, but I’m not really sure. I did spend sixteen years in private practice as a holistic therapist, not to mention, a lot of years of training and private therapy. I’ve gone to very deep places with folks, as well as in my own personal work, so I guess you could say that I’m not afraid to plumb the depths of the human psyche. The psychology of why people do what they do, fascinates me. I believe that for the most part, we’re not born evil. We learn it as a means of survival. That doesn’t justify the darkness they inflict on others, but it sure is an intriguing subject to explore.

8. Who are some of today’s authors that you admire?

These days, I read mostly Science Fiction, and I tend toward British writers, like Peter F. Hamilton and Iain M. Banks, but I love the work of Cat Rambo, Kelly Link, and my old favorites, Jack Vance and Julian May. Some of the horror voices that I really enjoy are Gary Braunbeck, Gene O’Neill, Tom Piccirilli, John R. Little, Kealan Patrick Burke, and John Mantooth, all who write strong character driven stories with a psychological bent.

9. What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Well, I know you asked for the best, but I’ve gotten a couple. Hard to pick the best.

1. I took a fiction course at Gotham Writers’ Workshop with Terri Brown Davidson. She’s the angel who taught me to use the two hats writing approach of fast drafting with complete abandon, then switching hats and passing the reigns to the ruthless self-editor. It’s very freeing!

2. Stephen King’s, On Writing, changed me as a writer with his simple advice to “Tell the truth.” I’ve never forgotten that. When I get antsy about writing something that’s personally uncomfortable, but completely truth for the character, I put on my big girl pants and tell the truth, just like Master King told me.

3. A few years back I did a writers’ intensive where we did tabletop critiques with seasoned professionals. We went from one instructor’s critiquing circle to the next—kind of like running the gauntlet. One instructor, who knew my work well, literally said, “What is the sh*t? This opening is completely incomprehensible!” Tough skinned, I took my lickin’ and went on to the next instructor. He also knew my work well, and preceded to tell me that the story was the best thing I’d ever written, particularly the opening. That day, I learned that opinions are just that—opinions! I take them all with a grain of salt.

10. What advice would you give to new or aspiring authors?

I would recommend a couple of things:

1. Join a critique group. If you can’t find one, create one. Francis Ford Coppola’s, Virtual Studios is where I started. Only about ten to twenty percent of the advice you get in most critique groups will be of value. When multiple people tell you the same thing, then take serious notice. The rest, take under advisement.

2. Volunteer to be a slush reader for a fiction magazine, preferably one in your genre. The experience is invaluable, because you learn quickly what not to do when you see the same errors over and over. You also learn how editors choose stories. It often has nothing to do with the writing; rather it’s a personal preference, duplicate subject matter in an issue, or a story is just not right for that particular month, etc.

3. Go to writing conventions or workshops. Study your craft (particularly the Three Act Play, theme, POV, and voice) and meet people face to face. Introduce yourself and be humble. These friendships and connections can make a huge difference in your career long-term.

4. Write a lot, but let your first drafts sit for at least a couple of weeks before you do your next draft. Waiting will help you see your work with fresh eyes. Avoid rushing to submit. If your writing is good enough for publication, make sure it’s the best work you can produce at the time. Otherwise, you’ll regret it later and wish you could go back and fix all the crap you didn’t notice because you sent the story out too quickly.
5. Finally, Fast Draft with wonder and abandon. Edit fearlessly!

Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk with you and your readers. It’s been a real pleasure. Let’s do it again soon!

No. Thank you, Fran, for sharing so much with my readers. (I told you she was a sweetheart, didn't I?)

Fran's Bio:

FRAN FRIEL lives and dreams by the sea in southern New England. She’s a two-time Bram Stoker Award finalist and winner of the Black Quill Award. She writes horror, dark fantasy and science fiction, and like many “respectable” authors, she is currently working on a novel. You'll find Fran’s award winning collection, Mama’s Boy and Other Dark Tales, at and other fine book sellers.

Fran’s work has been featured in anthologies such as, Horror Library Vol. 1 (Cutting Block Press), Tiny Terrors 2 (Hadesgate/UK) and Legends of the Mountain State III (Woodland Press), as well as publications online and in print at The Horror Library, Apex Digest, Insidious Reflections, Wicked Karnival, The Lightning Journal, Lamoille Lamentations The Eldritch Gazette, and Dark Recesses Press. Fran’s limited edition debut novella, Mama's Boy, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award (2006), as was the the follow-up collection, Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales (2008 Stoker Finalist).

You can find Fran on FaceBook, Twitter, and at her blog.

For all you Coffin Hopper's out there, don't forget to leave a comment to win prizes. I'm offering a signed (by Gene O'Neill, Gord Rollo, Tim Marquitz, and me!) print copy of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous to one lucky winner who leaves a comment every day. For a free eBook of your choice from the AKP library of titles, one comment = one entry. Don't forget to stop by the Angelic Knight Press blog for a chance to win frame quality artwork and a free copy of Satan's Toybox: Terrifying Teddies. You should also visit the other Coffin Hop blogs here for a chance to win other great prizes.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meet Patrick Greene

The good news is that it's still Coffin Hop time! So there is still time to win prizes and meet great people, all coffin hoppin' their way to Halloween. You should visit their blogs to win prizes and get daily doses of insanity, I mean, uh, wit. You can visit any of those fine folks here. And don't forget to stop by the Angelic Knight Press blog for a chance to win frame quality prints of our book covers.

Today I'm hosting Patrick C. Greene. He's the author of the recently released book, Progeny. You can find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers. The book was just released this week by my friends over at Hobbes End Publishing. They are another example of a great small press and besides that, they're just nice people. I don't personally know Patrick but he was kind enough to send us an interview conducted by, well, someone who does know him well. So without further ado, I'll turn it over to them. Stay tuned at the end of the interview for ways you can win prizes this blog hop!

Patrick Greene, the dispassionate observer, interviews THE Patrick C. Greene, first-time novelist and renaissance weirdo, on a variety of topics.

Q: You're one day in as a published novelist. What does that feel like?

A: Very good—but odd. Progeny is already kicking ass, sales wise, and the paperback hard copy, a sample of which I just got a few days ago, looks so sharp. It's that classic experience of almost feeling like you exist outside of all this—like it's happening to someone else and you're just hitching a ride.

Q: Someone's going to ask eventually, so it might as well be me—uh, you. Have you ever seen Bigfoot?

A: Just on TV. And in my nightmares. Plenty of nightmares.

Q: Nightmares denote that the beast represents a source of terror, a threat. What of the shy and retiring Bigfoot from “Harry and The Hendersons” and the like?

A: I think the real Bigfoot, if there is or ever was one, would be just as complex and mercurial as any human being. Capable of both great kindness and murderous rage. And like any mammal, each one would have individual motivations and personalities. The novel's introduction by author Micah Hanks of Gralien Radio approaches these concepts from a couple of interesting angles.

Q: Are you afraid of running afoul of SADL?

A: ...SADL..?

Q: The Sasquatch Anti-Defamation League?

A: Funny. Just ask the questions and scribble the answers, Jimmy Olson.

Q: Right. Sorry. Progeny seems to be pretty heavy on testosterone, what with the hunters and the reclusive writer and the two sons playing such a large role. Anything for the ladies in there?

A: As a matter of fact, there is quite a strong heroine in Deanne. She's a very bright and independent half-Native American who serves as a sort of go-between for the town's less assimilated native people and the Caucasian businesses and government. She also helps Owen, the protagonist, and the two strike up quite a romance. She feels very motherly toward Owen's son Chuck, who, as a city boy well out of his element is in need of a little feminine nurturing. She's not the type to be intimidated, not by anyone or anything. There's a second strong female character as well—but it's best not to say too much about her.

Q: Mysterious! So you have a few short stories haunting Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other on-line bookstores. What can you tell us about them?

A: I had a lot of success with getting some short stories published a few years ago, so when I saw my fellow Hobbes End authors flourishing via on-line self-publishing, I saw the writing on the wall. Even with free promotions, it's a great way to get your writing into a reader's hands. I have quite a few short stories I've written over the years for an eventual collection I'd like to compile, so I'm giving them a little solo time in the interim. To synopsize: "Finders Keepers" is about a young bank-robber couple hiding out in a hotel where they find an old suitcase that contains an indescribable horror. "Bill's Becoming" is about a hopelessly unattractive man who suddenly finds within himself a beauty most terrifying indeed. My "Halloween Double Feature Fiction Affliction" is a pair of spooky shorts dealing with the dead coming into the world of the living on that beloved dark night of nights.

Q: In between fiction projects, you've spent some time as an actor, fight choreographer and screenwriter in the film biz. What was that like?

A: The film industry is a strange animal. I enjoy acting because a good role lets me explore certain aspects of my personality that might usually lie dormant. As a martial artist, I've always enjoyed seeing a great fight scene. Getting to actually construct and oversee them is tremendously satisfying. I don't have the resources of Hong Kong filmmakers, but I hope one day I will be able to compose a truly breathtaking fight scene that will stand alongside those Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix) or Sammo Hung. As for screenwriting, I've been working to establish myself over the years and I'm finally starting to get there. There's a pair of anthology scripts in development and also a sort of dramatic thriller called “A Shotgun Wedding” which will shoot next year. I've been involved with a lot of projects that just sort of died under their own weight. It can be frustrating but now that I'm gaining ground as a prose writer it seems to be positively impacting the screen projects as well.

Q: Progeny'smain set up—a small group trapped in a fragile shelter while under siege from forces outside—is one of the most popular set ups for modern horror stories. Why do you think that is?

A: There's a lot of room to play with that. If you really want to analyze it, you could say the shelter represents the womb, and the outside force is the world at large, which you will eventually have to face. When it's done well—"Night of The Living Dead" for example, or "Assault on Precinct 13", you get this feeling of shrinking safety, of feeling like you're okay for now but that could end very soon. It's a breathless, live-in-the-moment kind of feeling that really makes you feel close to the characters. I've written a screenplay called S.O.L. that deals with a similar situation, though with more of a sci-fi/action bent. It's those moments during the siege when the outside force is not doing anything that makes the imagination come alive; wondering if you're about to get hit, or if the enemy has given up and gone away.

Q: Now that Progeny has been released, can you tell us what to expect? Other than, you know, the unexpected?

A: Damn, bro. You're making me look bad.

Q: Easy, fella. We're almost finished.

A: I've written a story called “Dark Cloud” that is very meaningful to me, appearing in The Endlands: Volume 2 from Hobbes End. I was also handed the opportunity to write the introduction, and considering the level of talent represented in this anthology, that was a very meaningful honor indeed! I'm between drafts on the dramatic thriller screenplay I mentioned called A Shotgun Wedding, and I'm also involved in writing a couple of "Creepshow" style films, one of which will be directed by the great Jack Sholder. Then there's my epic vampire novel, already in progress.

Q: Are these new-style, "sensitive" vampires, or old-school savage vamps?

A: They are generally quite complex—but capable of shocking brutality.

Q: I smell bestseller.

A: Me too!

Patrick's Bio: Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes. Literary influences range from Poe to Clive Barker to John Keel to a certain best selling Bangorian. Suspense, irony, and outrageously surreal circumstances test the characters who populate his work, taking them and the reader on a grandly bizarre journey into the furthest realms of darkness. The uneasy notion that reality itself is not only relative but indeed elastic- is the hallmark of Greene's writing. Living in the rural periphery of Asheville North Carolina with his wife Jennifer, son Gavin and an ever-growing army of cats, Greene still trains in martial arts when he's not giving birth to demons via his pen and keyboard. You can keep up with Patrick at or

Remember, to win a signed (by several authors) print copy of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, you must leave a comment every day. To win a free eBook of your choice, from the AKP titles, one comment = one entry. Be sure to stop by tomorrow when I interview the talented and lovable Fran Friel.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's time to Coffin Hop!

Yep, it's that time of year again. Time to put on your Coffin Hopping duds and dance your way through some graveyard posts. Or, you know, visit a bunch of blogs and win free prizes, if you want to be normal about it. There are lots of great folks signed up for the Coffin Hop and they are all offering some fabulous prizes. You should visit them here.
And what am I offering? Well, free books of course! Leave a comment on every post and you'll be entered to win a free print copy of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, signed by Gene O'Neill, Gord Rollo, Tim Marquitz, and me! If you can't stop by every day, you can still win a prize. For every comment you leave, I'll give you one entry in the hat to win a free eBook of your choice from any of the Angelic Knight Press' library of titles. I'll announce the winners on the Friday after Halloween!

Come back tomorrow for an interview with Patrick C. Greene, the author of Progeny, just released by Hobbes End Publishing!

I'll also have other author interviews and some book reviews for your blog reading pleasure all during the Coffin Hop. And don't forget to visit the Angelic Knight Press blog. We're offering some really great one-of-a-kind prizes there too!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And another anthology is born...

Born as in released. Not birthed. Although, sometimes it feels like I put as much work into these anthologies as I did into birthing my actual children. So either way... The third installment, and probably final book, in the Satan's Toybox series is now available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords. The print books should be available soon.

I have to say that this might be my favorite of the anthologies in this series. The stories are very good. And there's just something about taking a small stuffed toy, meant for comfort, and turning it into something horrifying instead. Not to mention, there's a few very creepy children involved. And as I commented on a friend's blog yesterday--if you don't think children are creepy, you've never woken in the middle of the night to have one standing over you, silently staring. That's creepy, even when they are your own offspring. Why do they never stand over their father's side??

Also, my contribution to this anthology, "Dead Nicky," is probably my favorite story I've ever written. I know a lot of people really like "Born of Darkness," in the Fading Light anthology, but I love "Dead Nicky." And I'll let you in on a little secret--when I was writing it, even I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I hope you're as surprised as I was.

So if you've got a little time to spare and a hankering for some horror fiction, give this anthology a try. Just don't turn your back on those Teddy Bears...


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

If you're still reading my ramblings...

You'll note that I somewhat fudged the truth when I said I was going to be posting more frequently. Sure, I started out with good intentions, but we all know where that leads. So I'm not going to promise that again. However, I do have a couple of interviews and book reviews lined up for this month so my posting more frequently is a possibility.

What have I been doing? Oh my, where to start? Well, first things first. After some tough love from my editor, I've decided to postpone the short story collection until sometime next year. Some of the stories I planned to include are stories I wrote quite some time ago and are not as well written as I would like. I want the entire collection to be of high quality, so some of those stories are going to need a revision (or three). As a good friend of mine says, "readers can tell when you're phoning it in." And I don't want to let anyone down. So it's back to the desktop for more work.

However, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous was released and widely praised. If you haven't gotten a copy, you can do so here. It's an absolutely stunning anthology. I'm so proud to be a part of it. And, in a surreal turn of events, my story, "Born of Darkness," has gotten some high praise from reviewers. Another reason I don't want to disappoint anyone with a so-so collection.

Next up, Satan's Toybox: Terrifying Teddies, is slated to be published the end of this week. I'm extremely excited for it to come out. I think, personally, that it's the very best of the Satan's Toybox anthologies. It's got some of my favorite stories in it. You won't want to miss Lisamarie Lamb's chilling tale "The Woods Today." You'll never sing the Teddy Bear Picnic song again after reading it. Another fine scare is "Benji" by Adam Millard. How do you get rid of a Teddy Bear who doesn't want to leave? My story, "Dead Nicky," is my favorite story of any I've written. All of the stories are interesting and will definitely change your view of those fluffy stuffed toys.

Also out this month will be Tool Shed, an eerie novella from Armand Rosamilia. While Armand is best know for his zombie fiction, this little novella will show the reading public that he's much more than a zombie writer. His story combines an ancient demon, teenagers, an unlikely band of demon hunters, and dead cows. Intrigued? Look for it the end of this month.

Also at the end of this month, I'll be a panelist at Coyote Con. Coyote Con is a FREE online conference for writers, published and unpublished alike. It has all the benefits of a regular conference: networking, editor pitches, and panels; without the negative cost or travel issues. I strongly urge every author to take advantage of this awesome con. I attended the first year, 2010, and the amount of info and energy that I gained was enormous. It really spurred me to start taking this whole writing thing more seriously and well, look where I am today. There will be many genres represented in panels: horror, sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, erotica & romance, to name a few. I will be sitting on three panels myself: The end of the world as we know it: Apocalyptic Fiction with Todd Brown and Suzi M; Things that go bump in the night with various authors; and Giving up the ghost: writing horror with Billie Sue Mosiman and C.W. LaSart. Don't miss this con! Again, it's FREE and you can attend in your jammies!

And that's all I have time for today. But stay tuned! There are lots more projects to talk about. Along with some interviews, reviews, and th e truth about KillerCon...


Friday, August 24, 2012

News, updates & a photo

I know, right? I'm a horrible blogger. Which is funny because I used to be a fantastic blogger. My other blog, What Passes for Sane on a Crazy Day, was like my baby for a long time. I blogged faithfully (and funnily, so I'm told) nearly every day. For years. Now, I'm lucky if I post once a month. What happened? Did I lose my zest for blogging? Did my life become unfunny? The answer is a resounding "no" to both questions. I still love blogging, I just can't seem to find the time. And my life become unfunny? Seriously? With my family? Not likely.

So what did happen? I got busy. I know, it's a pretty lame excuse for a writer. "I was too busy to write." Um, but I am. I'm running a company. It takes a lot of time. Seriously, some days I barely have time to go to the bathroom. I know you think I'm kidding, but I swear I'm not. My bladder pinky swears. But I'm not here today to give you excuses or facilitate a conversation between my readers and my bladder. I'm here to give you news! Yay! News! No, no, not that boring election coverage news (how many different ways can they insult each other after all?), not sad news about murders, hate crimes, tragic accidents, or drought conditions (but seriously, if it doesn't rain soon and settle some of this dust soon I'm probably going to sneeze myself to death). No, news about me.

I'm hoping that some of you have been seeing the posts on my FB author page or AKP's FB page about the upcoming anthology Fading Light, which I'm ecstatic to be in. I'm sharing a table of contents with some amazing heavy hitters in the horror genre. I'm very proud of my story, though it's a huge departure from my usual writing. And to top it all off--the cover art rocks. The anthology should be available on September 1st. So start saving those pennies now if you want to purchase it. In the next few days I will be posting some excerpts and a closer look at the antho.

And--in even bigger news--I have a short story collection coming out next month. I'm equal parts excited and petrified. Excited, because, well, it's all about me. And I love the stories in it (surely hoping you do too). They are all tales of horror or dark fantasy, some previously published, some new to the public. There are also a few poems. And yes, AKP is the publisher. I know that some look down on releasing work by the staff of a publishing company. If it's all we ever did, promote the work of our staff, I could understand the criticism. But we don't. The fact is we publish a variety of works by new and established authors in multiple genres. I could have shopped my collection around, but why? AKP has a very generous royalty split with it's authors (and yes, I'm taking the same deal that we give our other authors, so that part of the royalties go back to the company). AKP has a fantastic cover artist and is getting a good reputation for quality work. So it seems like a no-brainer to me. But, in part to help silence the critics, and in part because I just think he's a damn fine editor, I have hired Rob M. Miller (you can check out his website here) to edit the collection. It would be impossible for me to edit my own collection, I don't believe anyone is that good of an editor. And I wanted someone outside of our staff to take a look at it.

I'm working with Rebecca Treadway, AKP's amazing cover artist (her new website is under construction), to incorporate a photo of my daughter, Molly Flanagan (she doesn't have a website), on the cover. Molly is gorgeous (okay, I could be slightly biased, but I doubt it), has modeling experience, and will work for books. It's a win-win. And I'm having a blast playing photographer and scouting locations. I posted some of the photos we took, but unfortunately weren't quite awesome enough for print covers (something about DPI's & ISO settings & light) on my FB page. You can see them there, but my favorite is this one:
She looks so sad.
Although, all of them were cool, in my opinion. So hopefully, we will manage to take one that does work for the cover. We're doing a photo shoot next week in a historical cemetery. Fingers crossed.
And last but not least, I'm currently reading the submissions for the upcoming anthology No Place Like Home: Tales from a Fractured Future. I will be editing the antho, but will not have a story in it. This one is strictly an editing cred. The theme is sci-fi/horror dystopian. It's an odd amalgamation, but the authors who've submitted really ran with the theme of the future gone horribly wrong. I'll have a table of contents on this one by the end of the month and hopefully, a sneak peak at the cover art (which is amazing) to share.
And that's what's going on in my world. How about yours?


Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet Belinda Frisch

I met Belinda Frisch, oh well, you know where I met her, it's the same place I meet most authors--Facebook. Does anyone ever meet elsewhere now days? I'm not even sure I'd know how to go about meeting someone in real life. (Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration as, much to my kid's dismay, I still talk to strangers all the time.) But I digress. Belinda and I have discussed writing, editing, techniques, frustrations, what have you, so when she asked if I wanted to read and review her new zombie novel,  Cure, I was thrilled. Now as often as I talk about zombies, you'd think I read a lot of zombie fiction. Not true. Good zombie fiction is hard to find. And a new concept in zombie fiction, even more of a rarity. But I'm happy to say that Belinda nailed it. You can read my review over at See Spot Read. Go on, we'll wait. Now on with the interview!

1.     How long have you been writing? About twenty years, give or take.

2.     What's the first thing you had published? Poetry, back in the 90’s, in a collected works as a result of a contest followed shortly thereafter by a short story in a compilation called Deadly Dolls.

3.     Do you write full time or do you have a day job? I write FT now. I stopped doing any significant work as a medical coder back in February.

4.     What is your writing routine? I get up in the morning, do my social media time including interviews/guest posts, and tend to my blog. That gets me going until the coffee kicks in. I’m back in rough draft mode with Cure’s sequel, Afterbirth, so I put my index cards all in order and pull the scene card for the day. I review related chapters before writing chapter of the day. Since I’m a hybrid plotter/pantser, I work on extending the outline during each writing session.

5.     Have you always been a fan of the Horror genre? Absolutely always. Horror movies, magazines, and novels since I was eight-years-old.

6.     What scares you? Any silly phobias? I’m kind of anxious, so I probably have a lot of silly phobias, but my main fears are fire and drowning. Whenever I see someone burning or drowning in a movie, it makes me feel panicky.

7.     What other writers do you admire? There are so many great ones and so many different reasons to admire a writer. Do you base it on talent? Success? I admire Kealan Patrick Burke’s skill, Amanda Hocking’s success, and Charlie Huston’s originality. Others include Martha O’Connor (The Bitch Posse), Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone), and Anne Rice (The Witching Hour). The list is long. I could be at this all day.

8.     What is your favorite thing about the indie movement? Abbreviated timelines. My biggest frustration with traditional publishing is how long it takes to do anything. Much like my “writers I admire” list, this one could be long-winded. There is a lot to love about the indie movement and I read so many great books I know would otherwise not fit the mold.

9.     Best writing advice you've ever been given? Allow yourself to write crap. I know, it doesn’t seem like this is good advice, but hear me out. When I was writing my debut, Dead Spell, I toiled. I wasted so much time revising words I ended up cutting. It took way longer to finish that book than it should have and the process felt very much like work. A lot of days, I couldn’t even write. I wanted every word to be perfect. Allow the first draft to be sloppy. Editing comes later.

10.  What advice would you give any newbies out there? Don’t rush. I’d actually give this advice to any writer. The best thing about the indie movement, fast turn-around, is a double-edged sword. You can put out a book in no time. Most often, you shouldn’t. There’s still a process to respect that includes editing (content, development, and line editing), beta reading, and perfecting. Strive to put out the most perfect product every time. So many days I wanted to pull the trigger and upload Cure, but I was patient and I believe that really paid off. Out of several betas, each had a different list of minor glitches my editor and I missed. I promised myself, after Dead Spell, that I would do everything I could to not have to upload a corrected ms. Give your readers your best, every time.


Belinda Frisch's fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine,Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of
Zombie War. She is an honorable mention winner in the Writer's Digest 76th Annual Writing
Competition and the author of DEAD SPELL, CRISIS HOSPITAL, TALES FROM THE
WORLD, THE WARD, AND THE BEDSIDE and CURE, the first in the Strandville Zombie

Twitter: @B_Frisch
Her Amazon author page includes links to all of her available works.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Story up at Title Goes Here

Wow, it's been a few days weeks since I blogged, huh? The Press is just so busy right now, I meet myself coming and going. The last couple of weeks have been a vicious cycle of not being able to get things done. I had the perfect work day planned a couple of Sundays ago--my daughter and grandson were visiting her in-laws, Mike & Sean were at camp--so the house was empty. Time to edit! But then a storm knocked out our power, leaving me, quite literally, in the dark and unable to work. So I got a little stressed. Sure, I set my own deadlines and I can always move them, but I don't like to. So the day after I was still stressed and ended up getting an ocular migraine. If you've never had one, let me explain--they start with blurry vision that makes me queasy if I try to focus my eyes, then I lose the vision in one eye. Then the pounding headache starts. Obviously, it rendered me unable to work, or read, or even watch TV. So I took some meds and huddled in a dark bedroom, stressing over not working, until it let up.

Funny thing--guess what causes ocular migraines? Stress. Lol. Well, according to WebMD, it's stress, fatigue, and caffeine. But I wouldn't need the caffeine if I wasn't so fatigued. And I wouldn't be so fatigued if I slept better. And I'd be more rested if I didn't have trouble sleeping because I'm stressed. Sounds like one huge circle of non-awesomeness, doesn't it? I need to find more Zen.

Then, of course, there was home improvement hell and 4th of July.

Don't get me wrong--I love, absolutely love my work. Love almost everything about it. But I've set some pretty high standards for us and that adds pressure. And, of course, I'm my own biggest critic. But I also believe that nothing worthwhile comes easy. It takes hard work and perseverance, and perseverance is my middle name. (Sorry, Mom. I know you picked 'Michelle,' but I've never liked that name and "Perseverance" really has a ring to it.)

So we have some really great things coming from Angelic Knight Press this year, possibly including a Gothic novella I authored. Two fantastic Anthologies in the line-up and more of both Bryan Hall's Southern Hauntings Saga and Cindy Keen Reynder's Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan Series. Plus much more. I'll be going to KillerCon in Vegas in September.

And, I've banded together with a few other rogues in a quest to reach "Pro" status with the HWA. We're all writing and submitting to pro markets, sharing our rejections and acceptances. It's nice to have a support group, and one filled with people I'd really like to see succeed. I'll let you know the status of the quest throughout the year.

And, it's not a "pro" market, meaning it didn't pay me 5 cents a word or more, actually they didn't pay me anything, but I had a story accepted earlier this year to Title Goes Here, an online magazine. You can click here to read my story, "The Wind". Warning: it is a tad gruesome. Let me know what you think.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Meet Billie Sue Mosiman

Today I'm talking with Billie Sue Mosiman. If you haven't met her or friended her on Facebook, you should go do so right now. She's down to earth, friendly, and always willing to help another author out. What more could you ask for in an award winning author?

Billie Sue happens to be giving away a shit pot load of FREE books in celebration of her birthday tomorrow. That's right, it's her birthday, but you're getting gifts. I told you she was sweet. You can see just which ones she's giving away here.

Also, I read one of the FREE stories- Dark Reality. You can read my review over at See Spot Read. Go on, I'll wait. Back? Sweet! Here's Billie Sue~

How long have you been writing? Since I was a kid. I began crafting short stories around eighteen years old. I wasn't a very good writer until my thirties.

What's the first thing you had published? It was a non-fiction piece for a book called Successful Housewife Writers. The first piece of fiction I had published was a short story in HORROR SHOW, I believe it was, and a novel, both sold in the same month.

Do you write full time or do you have a day job? I write full time. I’ve never been good at jobs. I tend to have a wandering mind, not paying attention to the work for other people. I make a very bad employee.

What is your writing routine? I used to get up and begin writing right away. Nowadays I write when I feel like it, maybe 3-4 days a week although every day is spent thinking about stories, researching stories, reading them, or promoting them.

Have you always been a fan of the Horror genre? I came to it after I was older. In the beginning I was into literary novels and classics.

What scares you? Any silly phobias? The idea of drowning scares me or of falling from a great height. I have a small phobia about riding in cars in traffic. If it is a small car I panic. The bigger the vehicle, the safer I feel.

What other writers do you admire? I admire Ed Gorman, Scott Smith, Stephen King, and in the classic writers, I admire F. Scott Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Flannery O’Connor. I like a lot of the new writers on the scene, particularly Bryan Hall and Franklin E. Wales.

What is your favorite thing about the Indie Movement? The control and the community. It’s about time authors had more control over their works. Traditional publishing did well by me and I have few complaints, but now that I am doing my own thing, I can see how much more leeway I’m afforded, how much creativity I can indulge. One never realizes the constraints until they are taken off. I also like the non-competitive (mostly) atmosphere surrounding the Indie movement. It’s a whole new world in publishing and I embrace it totally.

Best writing advice you've ever been given? “Don't fall for the romantic notion of the 'writer' who boozes, does drugs, and acts outrageous. Live a quiet life and concentrate on the work.”

What advice would you give any newbies out there? If they would like to follow my path they would read tons of books, especially in their genre, but also all the great writers of the past. Without a background in literature, a writer’s style might not mature into a distinctive style. They would write a million words before worrying about publishing. They would love writing with all their heart and care more about storytelling than anything else—more than about selling or making money or getting fame and attention. They would help their colleagues when they could and do no harm to them if they could help it. They would stand up for their rights, always, and never back down from bullies or from people who tell them they can’t do it. They would listen to their inner muse and the rest of the world be damned. They would expect perfection from themselves, or as near to it as they can come. They would not give up, if storytelling means anything to them, not until their dying day. They would enjoy the creative life, knowing they are blessed, and stay grateful and not big-headed. They would understand it's important to write fiction that entertains over trying to teach or edify their readers. They would write, write, write.


Author of 14 novels, 160+ short stories, Edgar and Stoker Nominee, writer of suspense and horror fiction. Traditionally published 13 of her novels and all her stories, which were in various magazines and anthologies. In 2011 decided to go Indie and published BANISHED and many short stories and novelettes.
Twitter: @EdgarNominee

Thank you, Billie, for stopping by. And thank you, readers, for coming over as well.