Friday, November 22, 2013

News, news, and more news!

Yeah, it's me. I know it's been awhile and I'd promise to be more forthcoming and prolific in the future, but since we both know that probably won't happen, I'll not bother. That way I won't feel like I'm letting anyone down.

So I moved to Macomb. It's about a 45 minute drive from camp. The house is old (built in the 1920's) and beautiful. Small, but cozy. And I love it. I did not love the moving process (who does?). Packing, cleaning, unpacking. And I've still got to get at least two of the rooms painted before Thanksgiving when I have company. That is Sunday's goal. Other than that, I love being here. Well, okay, I miss Mike. But other than that, I love being here. I will say the house has some strange noises and goings on, but I'll save the story for my next post.

Onward to news--since I last blogged, my beautiful daughter has had another baby boy. Killian Gilbert Flanagan made his entrance on October 3rd. I was present at the birth and just want to say Molly is a baby-birthing rock star. My first grandson, Dylan (or Boo, as we call him), is in love with his baby brother. I see the beginnings of a super strong sibling bond. So excited for their futures.

My baby, Sean, left for Air Force BASIC training on October 7th and it was more than a month before I got to talk to him for the first time. He's doing well (knew he would) but has to shave twice a day because his beard grows so quickly. Totally his dad's fault. We will be heading down to San Antonio to see him graduate the first week of December. I can't wait! Molly's family will also be there which is just icing on the cake.

CJ is doing better in his group home and I get to see him much more now that I'm living in the same town. I also get to see more of his staff so I can see what's being put in place to support him. You have no idea how much stress that lifted from my life.

And on a professional note, AKP is doing well. We've got an amazing line up for next year and I'm super stoked to work with all the fantastic authors we've signed. We have some awesome books to finish getting out this year as well: Cadaver Dogs (a zombie novella), No Place Like Home: Tales From a Fractured Future (scifi/horror anthology), Death's Kiss (our first YA paranormal), and Conversations with the Demon of Devil’s Tower: The Story of Rose Jenkins (a Gothic tale of horror and romance).

I've also sold two more stories since the last blog. "The Depths" sold to Daverana Enterprises for their Fossil Lake anthology, edited by Christine Morgan. And "Martin" (first published in Rymfire's Erotic Horror anthology) sold to Crowded Quarantine Publications' Of Deviants and Devils anthology. I'm super stoked to be included in both.

I've also received four rejections from places I subbed to that asked me to send something else. The problem is I don't have any "something elses" written. So I'm going to have to carve out some writing time around all of my other business and life shenanigans.

And just so you know what to expect in the future, I'd like to go back to doing author interviews and maybe some publisher interviews on this blog. And blogging more regularly. We'll see how that goes...

Take care, everyone!


Friday, September 13, 2013

This Bubblews Thing

So as many of you know, I started doing this Bubblews thing. I saw it in someone else's post a while back and thought it might be a way to make a little extra cash on the side. Someone else asked me about it after I began posting links to my posts. I've been doing it for almost two weeks now, so I thought I'd let you all know how it's going.

Here's how it works (taken straight from their site):

The Bubblews community is a patent pending system that enables our users to enjoy our community (without a cost) and share in the ad revenue growth. In fact our revenue model is simple: We split the ad revenue we make off each post with the author 50/50. You will get paid for every view, comment, like/dislike and social media share that your posts gather. Write Your World. Speak Freely. Join the movement. The time of not sharing revenue with the very people who create your content is OVER! Bubblews.

So basically, you sign up for an account and begin making posts. They can be about anything and there are many categories to choose from. There are some legitimate news articles posted, a few movie/TV/music reviews, and a lot of what I refer to as "fluff" (and I don't mean that in a condescending or bad manner, it's mostly what I've put up). It's sort of like a blogging sphere, only with money involved.

I've actually experimented somewhat with what I post. I tried humorous personal posts, some flash fiction, and a commentary on reality TV. So far, people like the fiction best. It seems to attract the most viewers.

You get paid varying amounts (I'm not sure how their algorithm works) for all views, likes, comments, etc. And judging by the people who's posts I've read, you can make decent money at it. But to do so, it seems like you have to put in far more time than you are actually getting paid for. The thing that seems to drive the most traffic is "connecting" with others and then commenting or liking their posts. This in turn, prompts them to do the same. To me, this seems exactly like what goes into building a popular blog.  And yes, it's time consuming.

But with that in mind, I set out to devote a bit more time to it to see if I got desired results. And it worked. I made two bucks overnight. Not a lot, sure. But it's better than I'd originally done in a week. So that's something. But I don't feel that it will ever reach a point where I'm making even minimum wage for the time I'm putting in. Just my conclusion based on what's happened so far. Two weeks in and I've posted 8 articles and made $7.42.

I will probably continue to do it for awhile longer, just to see if anything changes. But so far, I'm unimpressed. However, if you join, be sure to connect with me. I'm happy to share the (limited) wealth and help you get the word out about your posts. If you're going to blog anyway, might as well get paid for it, right?


Saturday, September 7, 2013


So, remember last week's post about how I was going to start writing more, submitting more, and so forth? Why is it that every time I make a plan the Universe decides to throw me a curve ball? Not fair, Universe. Not fair.

I received my share of "whammies" these last two weeks and I feel like everything is all off course. I'm not ready to share some of the bombs that got dropped right now, and might never be, but suffice it to say the last two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. The last week of last month I was so shell shocked I spent several hours on the couch in my office watching bad reality TV (Teen Mom 3, anyone?), worse movies (Anna Karenina. Why, Kiera Knightley, why?), and eating chips and salsa (we were out of ice cream). I did get the normal shit done: cook supper, feed cats, laundry. But only because I do those things by rote. The brain was on automatic pilot. That is, until I decided wtf, me? You need to figure this stuff out and make some plans. Sitting on the couch watching other people's lives go down the drain is called wallowing. So I got off the couch and started to deal.

I thought I had things under control, but then Sean got sick and ended up in the hospital, further throwing a wrench in my plans. I got calls about CJ from his house. My mom had another neurology appointment. And another small bomb got tossed in. The result? I'm stressed to the breaking point. Seriously. There is not one aspect of my life that isn't at code red stress level right now. It's a good thing I'm one of those "glass half full" people or I'd be huddled in a small pool of my own tears.

So what it comes down to is this: I must ask anyone who is currently doing a project with AKP to be patient right now. They will get finished, they will get published, they will be awesome. It just might not all happen according to schedule. I have less than two weeks before I head to California for the birth of my second grandchild. In those two weeks I have things that, although I LOVE my job, have to come first. Those are time spent with Sean, who leaves for BASIC while I'm in California, and who has been in the hospital. A visit with my oldest son CJ because our last visit got cancelled and I miss him terribly. And also because I will miss his birthday. Another brief visit with my parents, because life is short. Packing and sending all the rest of Molly's baby stuff to her because she will need it. Stocking the house with groceries before I leave. Packing. Paying bills. Preparing to be gone for three weeks. And then flying to California to help my daughter the last week before her due date.

So yes, I am putting my family first. But if I didn't, I wouldn't be who I am. And if I wasn't who I am, you might not want to work with my anyway. But I will finish edits on the No Place Like Home anthology, and the YA novel, and the two fantastic novellas, and Fairly Wicked Tales anthology. You know why? Because next to my family, they are my passion. So a little patience is all I'm asking for. I'd do the same for you if the situation was reversed.

I figure things will get back to normal (or maybe a "new" normal) sometime around October. So stay tuned, friends. Good things are coming.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Submission Sundays or What Jealousy Taught Me

So this post is "authorly" in nature, in that I am an author and I'm going to talk about writing, but it's also a post for people in general. I want to talk about something we all are either recipients of or are guilty of. What's that, you ask? JEALOUSY. I'm no stranger to the green eyed monster and I bet you aren't either.

Recently, I was made aware that some people didn't like me. WHAT?! Was my first response. And by "what" I meant "what is wrong with those people?" Because I'm always taken aback when I find out people don't like me. Unless it's someone I don't like and I've given them good reason not to like me, that's a different story. But coming from people I mostly like and hadn't done anything to, it was a shock. Then, the more we talked about it, we came to the realization that it wasn't so much dislike (well, it still might be, but not for these reasons) as jealousy. People were jealous of me. Now, I'm sure that what you're supposed to feel, what most people feel, when they find out someone is jealous of them is pride. I'm so good that people are jealous. Right? But that's not what I felt. I felt angry. Angry because it felt like their jealousy undermined my hard work. No good fortune fairy came down and tapped Mike & I on the head. Everything we have, his job, my job, a nice house, great kids, great relationships with those kids, the trips we take, everything, we worked our asses off for or went through hell for. And it felt like these people were saying we didn't deserve them, we just got lucky. And I call bullshit.

But the truth is, you never truly know anything about anyone else's life unless you live it. Those people couldn't know that I'm constantly stressed about whether my oldest son, who has autism, is happy at his group home. Is he being treated fairly, does he like the people who work there, does he miss me too much? They couldn't know how stressed I am about my youngest leaving home and how he'll never be the same person again. I will never know him as well as I do at this exact moment, because leaving home changes you. They couldn't know that I still miss my Grandma on a daily basis and how much I miss being able to share every success with the person who believed in me the most. They can't know how much my sister and I worry about our parents increasing age and declining health. Or the daily frustration of living with someone who has no short term memory. Or any of the million other things that everyone deals with on a daily basis. They didn't really know me. All they saw is what we present to the outside world. And as much as I try to be genuine and an open book in all of my interpersonal communications, I don't often share bad stuff. Mostly because I figure everyone has their own, why bring them down with mine. And truly, most of the time I choose not to dwell on mine; Mike and I adopted a policy very early on, right after CJ's diagnosis in fact, of "well, this happened, let's deal with it and move on." So I am a happy person most of the time. But it's by choice, not luck.

And because of this episode I started thinking about my own petty jealousies. Most of them work related. Such and such press signed author X. Why didn't they sub to us? So and so sold yet another story for pro rates. Why didn't I? Why aren't I having all these acceptances? So I took my own ponderings to heart and realized I have no idea what is going on in other's lives. They got those things because they worked hard for them. And if I want them? Well, I better get my ass in gear and start working harder.

A wise woman once told me  I can't measure my success by the success of others because success is personal. There's no one definition that applies across the board. And what I realized was the reason I wasn't having success was because I wasn't putting in the time and effort. If I want author X then I need to do something to put the press on their radar. And if I want an acceptance letter with a pro rate sale, well I'd better start finishing my stories/novellas/novels and submitting them. Because the truth is I bust my ass for the press, but I'm a lazy writer. I let myself get distracted, I procrastinate, I find 15 other things I "should" be doing. And that's my bad. I know what I need to do. And so, I started last week. Last weekend I sent in three submissions. I already had two out, so that's five. Four original stories and one reprint. So far, I've heard nothing back. Two I think have a real chance. The other three are a gamble. But if they come back with a rejection notice, I will research some more markets and get them out again, because that's what it takes. And from now on, I will finish one new story per month and send it out too, until I have so many subs out that the law of averages takes effect. Something has to sell, right? I mean, I have sold stories before.

So the moral of this story is I took something unpleasant and turned it around by choice. And every time you do that, the Universe smiles for like 3.5 seconds. I mean, c'mon, it's a busy Universe and you really aren't that important. But maybe it helps to bolster hope for the human race. And for you writerly types who are still with me? The lesson is: success comes with backbreaking (or mind bending in this case) labor. Not good luck, not fairies or wishing wells, but your own sweat and tears. You have to put the work in to reap the rewards. And will we all make it? No. I mean some people just aren't ready, or talented enough, or even interesting. But no one is going to make it if they don't try, if they don't keep trying. And the more you write, the more you read other's writing, the more you work on your craft, the better you get. And the better you get, the better your chances of acceptance. It's a circle of win.

So I'm starting "Submission Sundays." Every Sunday I will evaluate my submissions. The ones sent back rejected, will be looked at, tweaked, and sent somewhere else. New stories will get the same treatment. I want to have at least five and possibly ten subs out at all times. This Sunday, I have a "pass" since they are all still out and I didn't get anything new written or finished this week. But I'm looking for some of you writers out there to join me. I might even make a Facebook group. Because I do better when held accountable to others. And so do some of you. And some of you are good all on your own, but might enjoy kicking other's in the pants. C'mon, it'll be fun.

And stop being jealous. Shake it off, look around, and appreciate your own blessings. You might not want the other person's bad times or dues they paid to get those good things.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Gifts from afar...

The lovely Vix Kirkpatrick, horror fan and Facebook friend extraordinaire, sent me a box a while back of scampi fries and English chocolates, things I'd mentioned I missed about England. And she did this just because she's a wonderful person, she wouldn't take anything in return. Well, the first box didn't arrive and didn't arrive, and after two months she decided to send me another one. As luck would have it, the first package showed up finally! And then the second package came as well! So lucky me, I was blessed with enough scampi fries to share with my sister. Although, I did tell her she had to be nice to me to get some.

Well, my family thinks I'm seriously odd in some of my eating habits and no one was on board to try them. And then we had this conversation the other evening. Mike, Sean, and Sean's friend Roaman were present at dinner that night.

Me: So will you try some scampi fries after dinner?

Sean: Why did this person you don't know send you food?

Me: I do know her, we've been Facebook friends for a long time.

Sean: That's not "knowing" someone. She could be a 70 year old man for all you know. Don't you watch Catfish??

Me: Where do you get this paranoia from? This mistrust of strangers?

Sean: Well, certainly not from you, Mrs. Gullible.

Me: She just sent me them because she's nice.

Sean: They could be laced with acid.

Me: They're in sealed packages.

Sean: And you think that would stop someone?

Roaman: They do sell home sealers now. They could've resealed them.

Me: You're not helping. *shrugs* But even if, what's the harm? We'd all just take a little trip.

Sean: How am I going to explain the drugs in my system to the Air Force?

Me: Well I'd vouch for you.

Roaman: Yeah, me and your mom would explain what happened.

Sean: Mmm. And you are two highly credible witnesses. Not.

Me: I own a company.

Sean: Right. And dropping acid would totally ruin your reputation, I mean, wait, you're a horror writer, it would not hurt your work.

Me: Well, there is that. I've never done acid, but I might right a fabulous book, the best horror novel ever, while tripping.

Sean: Except that you'd write it in some language you completely made up because you were high and no one would be able to understand it.

Me: You're such a glass half full person. Some people like books they can't understand.

Mike wisely stayed out of this whole conversation. Roaman did, in fact, try my chips and loved them and they were not laced with acid (I knew they wouldn't be.) Mike did kiss me afterwards though and said:

Mike: Oh man, those don't even smell good.

Me: They smell like shrimp scampi, because they are shrimp flavored snacks.

Mike: That's just so gross.

But they aren't, they are delicious. And I will be forever in Vix's debt. And I don't know how I raised such skeptical, paranoid children. Must be Mike's fault.

Thank you, Vix!!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Travel funnies

So, I'm in the process of changing over my blogging to this one blog. I'm going to combine what used to be my family life blog, What Passes for Sane on a Crazy Day, over to this blog. There may or may not be a book coming about from the other blog, but mostly I'm just too busy to do both (as anyone who reads my sporadic blog posts can easily confirm). I also prefer to read author blogs that contain snippets of their lives, not just writing advice and news. Maybe it's because I'm a bit of a stalker, or maybe it's just more interesting. I like to know people I admire are just that--people. People a lot like me who are doing what they love while raising families and dealing with life. So, in the spirit of combining both, I give you the following post which would normally be on my other blog. Oh, and so as not to be confusing, I'll be using my children's real names this time.

During our rather long (3 day) car trip to California, Mo and I had this conversation:

Me: We have to stop listening to your iPod.

Mo: Why?

Me: *pointing to my lips, which are closed* What are my lips not doing?

Mo: Um...

Me: Singing. And if my lips are not singing, I'm not driving "happy." And trust me, you want me to be driving happy. I don't know most of these songs. Put in my CD. (I know, I'm old school like that, making CDs and all.)

Mo: *huge sigh* She puts in the CD and the first song is "Feel this Moment" by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera. If you don't know the song, you can find it here.

Me: This is my jam.

Mo: *laughing* 'Cause you're from the Dirty?

Me: No. Partially because it references Fifty Shades of Grey and even though I hate that book and all it's horrid grammar, any song that references what could loosely be termed "literature" in an intelligent manner is cool. But also because it's about living in the moment. That's what the chorus is talking about.

Mo: Is it?

Me: Don't you listen to the words?

Mo: I can't understand them.

Me: *singing rather loudly* Someday when the night is glowing, I'll be in my castle golden. But until the gates are open, I just want to feel this moment.

Mo: *and because she never believes a word I say, she Googles the lyrics* It's "Someday when the light is glowing."

Me: Oh, my bad. One freakin letter.

Mo: So it's your "YOLO" song?

Me: Yep. You know I was all about Yolo-ing before it was an acronym.

Mo: So she's talking about YOLO-ing before she dies.

Me: Um ... Mo ... you kind of have to YOLO before you die. It really doesn't work the other way around.

Some days I wonder about her...


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer of Zombies!

What's a zombie fan to do in the down time between Walking Dead seasons? Summer of Zombies tour!  It's that time of year again when the zombies come out to play. I mean zombie authors, of course. I've got a guest blog today from zombie author, Kirk Allmond. So sit back, relax, and get your zombie (author) on.

The Trouble With Writing Yourself.

Kirk Allmond


When I first started writing, someone said “Write what you know.”  So when I started What Zombies Fear, I took that advice very literally.  I wrote myself.  I maintain the world’s largest zombie preparedness website (  I’m a prepper.  I have a bug out bag, and a zombie apocalypse plan.  I drive a 4wd truck even though I live in the city, the whole nine yards.

My first name starts with V (Kirk is my middle name).  So I chose the name Victor for my main character.  My plan is to leave my home-town of York, PA and head to my family home in Virginia.  So when my fictional zombie apocalypse hit, Victor loaded his son Max (My son’s name is Jack) and his wife Candi (Jack’s mother’s name is Sandi) into his silver Toyota 4Runner, just like mine.  They headed south down a road I know like the back of my hand, because I drive that road at least every six weeks to go visit my mother.

Along the way, Victor’s wife Candi dies. (And I got a divorce).  He meets two Australian friends John and Leo (My two friends John and Leo help me out at The Zombie Preparedness Initiative, and were my beta-readers.)

At some point, Victor gets to his mother’s house.  If you’ve read the book, you’ll recognize the house immediately if you go to my mother’s Bed and Breakfast website,

I finished the first book, and looking back through it, I realized the problem with writing one’s self as a hero, especially when one is as egotistical as I am. (Okay, fine.  I didn’t realize it, my lovely co-author Laura Bretz pointed it out.)

I never added any foibles to Victor.  He was perfect.  He always made the right decisions, everything always worked out for him.  He didn’t have to grow, change, or become “better.”  He was (Just like me) the perfect hero.  I literally had to go back through it while editing and add in some bad decisions.  Luckily for all of us, Laura is happy to point out my own foibles, and then transfer them to Victor.

That was also about the time that we started writing the second book in the series, and that’s when things started to go wrong for Victor.  Through books 2, 3, and 4, things gradually get worse, and although there are some successes, Victor continues to come apart under the stress.  He makes mistakes.  He drops the ball.  He mistreats his friends, all in the name of making the world safe for his son.  It wasn’t until the middle of the 5th book that I realized that Victor was no longer anything like me.  Or the man I hope I would be if I was in his situation.  I knew I was going to wrap the series after the 6th book, and so began Victor’s journey towards salvation.

The entire series of books is about a man who loses himself in a quest, loses sight of the things that are really important, because he loves his son so much he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe.  I’m not sure if I would follow the same path as Victor, but I can tell you one thing.  Everything Victor has done and will do, I would do to keep my own son happy. 

I hope that you’ll give it a read.  What Zombies Fear isn’t your typical zombie story; it’s much more about the man and his son than the zombies.  And the zombies aren’t your typical zombies.  Sure, there are the rotting shamblers we all know and love.  But some of them are clever.  And some of them are fast.  And they all want to eat you.

About Kirk Allmond:

Kirk Allmond's first book, "What Zombies Fear: A Father's Quest" won no awards, but his mother thinks it’s pretty awesome and he's very confident you will too.

The 6th and final book in the bestselling What Zombies Fear series "The Incarnation" will be published late summer 2013.

Books in the What Zombies Fear Series:
1. A Father's Quest
2. The Maxists
3. The Gathering
4. Fracture
5. Declaration of War
6. The Incarnation

The Farmer's Daughter is a short story set during the time period "skipped" over in book 5. These will eventually be an entire series of short stories called "Victor Tookes Adventures."

In addition, Kirk Allmond and Laura Bretz also write a monthly serial called Will of the Dead.


Kirk enjoys writing zombie novels and also administers a zombie preparedness website, The sites goal is to teach any who'll listen how to survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can find him on Facebook at

Kirk has been featured on major market radio programs as an expert in zombie survival. He has spoken at numerous conventions and consulted on two zombie themed motion pictures.

The in Michigan born writer holds firmly to the southern roots of his family. He grew up in Chicago IL, and Roswell, GA. Kirk has an amazing little boy named Jack who was born in 2007.

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Join Kirk Allmond and Eight other Zombie authors during the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2013, going on all of June. Visit the Facebook event page for more information, too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Meet Allison M. Dickson

I know you're all wondering if I met Allison on Facebook, and the answer is yes, I did. But I met (virtually) her a while back in a group where she didn't post a whole lot. Then, one day, I saw that she'd put some of her short stories up for free on Amazon and I downloaded a few. I'm going to count the next day, when I posted on her Facebook wall about how amazing her stories were, as the day I met her. Oh, she'd been witty and fun the whole time, I just didn't realize it until I read her work. I've reviewed a couple of her stories over on See Spot Read. Take a look-see over there and then come back and meet Allison, who graciously agreed to answer my questions.

1. How long have you been writing?

I was an early reader and always had my face buried in a book. I remember being about six or seven and practicing my words on a sheet of paper and telling my mom that I’d like to write books one day. She said that sounded like a great idea. For most of my life, up until I went to college, that was my dream, even though I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to write. I did a lot of short stories and worshiped Stephen King, and that was what I really wanted to do. But at some point I switched tracks to journalism, because I wasn’t sure I had it in me to write novels, and I was convinced that journalism was the only way to get a paycheck as a writer. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I actually decided to stop with that nonsense and return to fiction and try to make my dreams a reality, with the full support of my husband who understood that doing this would mean he would be the sole breadwinner for the foreseeable future. I was already a stay-at-home mom at that point, so it wasn’t a huge shock to our lifestyle or anything. I’ve been writing, in earnest as a fiction author, since about 2007 or so, and it’s finally starting to pay off in the literal sense.
2. What's the first thing you had published?

My short story, “Aria,” which was accepted into a horror anthology in ’08. It was the first short I’d written since I was about 16, and it read in many ways like I was still 16, but that antho editor liked it, so I was thrilled. I eventually put it up for sale in my Amazon store (after some considerable editing), and for the most part, it has been well-received. Though I still consider it the red-headed stepchild in my collection, I credit that story for making me believe that others might just like what I write and that I should keep going.
3. Do you write full time or do you have a day job?

I do typically write full time. For the last few years, I have done seasonal employment in order to help bring in some extra money, but I’m not sure I’ll need to do that anymore now that the writing is starting to take off.
4. What is your writing routine? Where do you write?

My routine is to try and write as much as I can in the daytime hours when the kids are at school and my husband is at work, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Some of my writer friends say they envy that I don’t have a day job interfering with my writing (and I know what they mean, because I’ve worked a day job as a writer, and it’s hard), but a household doesn’t run itself. Cooking, cleaning, taking sick kids to the doctor, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc always have to take priority. That means a lot of time, like any other daytime worker, my writing happens late at night, after everyone’s gone to bed and there isn’t a whole lot else calling for my attention.

 Up until recently, I always wrote in my living room on the couch with my laptop, because we lived in a very small house. But we just moved into a larger place and I will now have dedicated office space. This thrills me more than you can know.

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

Absolutely. I was the little kid watching Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Friday the 13th and then sitting up half the night with horrible nightmares. For some reason, though, the nightmares never kept me away. Part of me liked being afraid. I remember every Saturday night watching shows like Monsters and Tales from the Dark Side, which to this day kind of mirrors the type of short work I like to do. Stephen King was also a huge part of my life from age eleven on. I did and still sometimes do mingle with other horror authors like Robert McCammon, Richard Matheson, Peter Straub, John Saul, and Anne Rice (hold the Dean Koontz please), but King still remains my greatest literary muse. However, science fiction has become a big part of my life as well, and that influences a lot of what I do. As does mainstream fiction.
6. What scares you? Any silly phobias?

Nothing too silly. You’ll never find me on some daytime talk show screaming bloody murder at a handful of cotton balls or anything. Okay, I take that back. I’m a wee bit phobic of gummy worms and those Styrofoam shipping pellets. But I’m truly afraid of being lost and of falling down. Terrified of plane crashes and of the ocean. So the idea of a plane crash happening in an ocean is perhaps one of my greatest fears. You know that plane crash scene in Castaway? It was extracted directly from my worst nightmare. Well done, Robert Zemeckis.
7. What other writers do you admire, or have influenced you the most?

Other than those I mentioned above, I would say Robert Heinlein has been a big influence, as well as Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Dennis Lehane, and Gillian Flynn. Also the writers I know personally. Ian Thomas Healy is one of my dearest friends and one of the most dedicated writers I know. If it wasn’t for his help in those early days, I probably wouldn’t be writing this, or much of anything for that matter. His drive and work ethic and ability to construct a plot are constant inspirations to me. Anyone who likes superheroes should check out his Just Cause books. Gae Polisner writes gorgeous young adult literature (everyone go buy The Pull of Gravity, now on paperback!), but she is also a wonderful person who brightens the days of anyone who knows her, and she reminds me of the importance of humor and whimsy in daily life. Writers need these things, otherwise we get our heads lodged too far up our own asses. Vincent Hobbes is equal parts friend and mentor. His discovery of my work on Amazon pretty much changed my life, as it led to my relationship with my current publisher, Hobbes End Publishing, with whom I’ve now signed two novel and two short story contracts. I look forward to a long and bright future with them.
8. I know most writers hate the “where do you get your ideas” question, but as a writer, I ALWAYS want to know. I noticed that you include a brief message in the back of your books that often answers the question. What made you decide to do so?

The literal answer to “where” I get my ideas is usually when I’m driving or dreaming, but often I get most of my ideas through conversing with other people.  A certain point or turn of phrase will get caught in the little idea filter in my brain, and then I’m off and running. I write those little author notes, because I actually do love to answer that question. I’m always the person going directly for the “trivia” section for movies on, or who spends far more time on Wikipedia than is healthy. I also love to listen to the director’s commentary on DVDs. That kind of stuff fascinates me. Like you, I want to know where creative people get their inspiration, and in many ways I still feel like a voracious reader pretending to be a writer, so I want to do those things that I as a fan would want other writers to do.  I pull inspiration from infinite places. Sometimes I still feel like a little kid, easily awed and amused by the littlest things, and I think that’s what makes me the kind of writer I am.  Even though I write a lot of dark fiction, I can’t be too cynical. It stifles my creativity in a pretty big way..
9. Best writing advice you've ever been given?

On Writing by Stephen King changed my life.  I sometimes like to pull it down and re-read it when I’m feeling a little discouraged. It’s chock-full of amazing passages and quotes, but here is one of my favorites:

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.”

10.                  What advice would you give any newbies out there?

Writing is about 10% magic and 90% work. If you want to be a writer, you can’t just think up neat ideas and take a few notes and then procrastinate for about five years, growing more and more bitter that some fairy didn’t descend from the heavens to sprinkle you with magical time-giving dust. No, to be a writer, you have to actually write the story. And then you have to finish that story and start the next one. You have to be willing to bleed and maybe even cry a little when it comes time for the big edit. You may even have to sacrifice a good bit of your social life and be comfortable in solitude. But most importantly, you have to treat it like it’s your main job and give the craft the weight and respect it deserves. A writer, a real writer, doesn’t think of what they do as a fun little distraction when they aren’t doing their “real jobs,” or that thing they would love to do if they “had time for fun little hobbies.” No, the writing is the real job. That other thing you might have to do to keep the lights on and bread on the table is a paycheck that allows you to survive so that you can do what really makes you live. Once you make those little adjustments to your priorities, you’ll be well on your way.
Allison M. Dickson lives in southwest Ohio and has been writing since she could hold pencil to paper. It's only in recent years that she started treating the craft as a career. After earning a few small publishing credits, she started selling her stories online, where she gained a decent following with such dark tales as "Dust" and "Vermin." She soon caught the attention of author and visionary Vincent Hobbes, and her relationship with Hobbes End Publishing solidified with her two contributions to the second volume of The Endlands, and finally with their recent acceptance of her upcoming science-fiction novel, The Last Supper. Her other obsessions include food, movies, cracking bad jokes with her family over dinner, taking pictures of her giant cat, and harboring secret fantasies of being a Bond girl/sword-wielding martial arts master.
You can read more about her life through her blog at
Twitter :
Facebook author page:

And you folks are so lucky! Several of Allison's works are free right now on Amazon! Go to her Amazon Author page and go down the list of works. You won't be sorry. Pinky swear.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

I bet you thought I died or something...

Well, I'm still here. And yes, I am the worst blogger in the history of blogging. So without further ado, here's what's going on ...

On the author front, I got a new Facebook fan the other day. How on earth they found me is anybody's guess, but thanks new guy (Jason)! You made my morning. Currently I'm working on some new short stories to add to that "will be published at some point in time" collection of mine. Meanwhile, I've subbed one story lately, with two more waiting to go out. One is waiting for an image to go with it, which Rebecca Treadway is being kind enough to make for me. And the other is in beta reader extraordinaire Caren Widner Hanten's (aka C.W. LaSart) hands.

Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous was released in September, and my story, "Born of Darkness," got a little bit of good attention. Thank you to all who read it and commented. People keep asking me to tell more of the story, or "What happens next?" Originally, I didn't plan on writing anything with those characters. But as the months have gone by, I've found myself contemplating the world they live in, and the lives of the other Lightbringers. It all may just have to be written down. You can click on the cover of the anthology on the right side of the page to bring it up on Amazon. To those of you who already bought it-- "Thank you!"

I'm still plugging away at Olivia's Tale, though rather slowly. Finding time to write, or even submit my own work is difficult. I know, I know, if I was dedicated I would. But, sometimes there's so much life going on that I get distracted. Also, running a publishing company and being a full time editor is kind of time consuming. About that~

Angelic Knight Press has released a slew of new books since the last time I blogged. And we've got something for everyone. We have paranormal romances in the form of the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan series by Cindy Keen Reynders. If you like your romances a bit on the spicy, humorous, and magical side, you can't go wrong with these books. For those who like creepy southern gothic ghost stories we offer the Southern Hauntings Saga by Bryan Hall. His protagonist, Crate Northgate, a man haunted (literally) by his past, is easy to fall for. Any of you ladies who like bad boys--once you start reading about Crate, you'll be hooked. Not that they're romantic by any means. They are full on scary.

We have the gritty historical drama, Amery House, by Samantha J. Moore. Miss Nadine is yet another character unable to escape a less than perfect past. If you like Jazz, New Orleans, or historical dramas, look no further. We've also got a chilling tale about an elemental demon, possession, and gruesome murders in Tool Shed by Armand Rosamilia. Armand is well known for his zombie fiction, but this book proves he can write just as well about non-zombie horrors.

And we've released the third and final installment of the Satan's Toybox series: Terrifying Teddies. Personally, I think we saved the best for last. All of the anthologies are good, but the stories in this one are creepier. Maybe it's because Teddy Bears look so innocent? These stories will make you think twice about your choice of a fuzzy bedtime companion. My story, "Dead Nicky," is included. It's one of my favorites that I've written. So if you read the book, please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.

Upcoming anthologies include 50 Shades of Decay, a 50 story anthology about zombie erotica. A little weird? Maybe. A little over the top? Nah. It promises to be an eye-opener. Hoping to have it available on February 14th. What's more romantic than zombies? We'll also be releasing the long awaited No Place Like Home anthology this month. You won't want to miss these tales of government gone horrible wrong. It's packed tight with great authors, both established and new. And we've just started taking subs for Fairly Wicked Tales. Think you know your fairy tales? What if they were all wrong, horribly wrong? This anthology's about to bust that world right open.

You can find links to any of these titles on the website Along with submission calls, guidelines and upcoming releases.

And just reading those last few paragraphs should tell you how busy I am as an editor. Plus, I'm still doing a few freelance jobs. But I love it. I wouldn't trade my job for any in the world. And I want to thank everyone out there, especially my team at AKP: Rebecca Treadway, Danielle Day, and Blaze McRob, for every ounce of support, encouragement, friendship, and love you throw my way. Also, my family for everything.