Monday, December 16, 2013

Infamous Reign

Check out the latest from fellow 47North Author, Steve McHugh!





In late 15th century England, two young princes are given over by Merlin to the protection of their uncle, King Richard III. They soon vanish from sight, igniting tales of their demise at Richard’s hand and breeding unrest throughout the land. Nathanial Garrett, also known as Hellequin, is sent to London to decipher fact from rumor and uncovers a plot to replace the king. But his investigation quickly becomes personal when he learns that an old nemesis is involved. He soon finds himself racing against time to rescue the boys before their fate, and the fate of all England, is sealed in blood. Infamous Reign is a novella in the Bestselling Hellequin Chronicles series, mixing gritty and action-packed historical fantasy with ancient mythology.




About Steve McHugh



Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A. It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel that was publishable, the results of which was the action-packed Urban Fantasy, Crimes Against Magic. Steve McHugh lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hellequinchronicles
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevejMchugh
Website: http://stevejmchugh.wordpress.com/

Friday, November 22, 2013

 

Primal Urges

A Guest Post by Author Joseph Brassey

My son lies in his crib, his breathing even and rhythmic. I watch him. I do not lay beside his bed anymore, like I did in the first few months after he was born. I do not fear that he will suddenly stop breathing. His mother is asleep in the other room. She has work tomorrow. I am not in bed yet because I have the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that something is wrong. I hear my son fidgeting and whimpering like he always does when he’s waking from a disturbed dream or a fit of gas. I bend at the waist, leaning over his crib to check. I see a drop of red on the mattress, marring the sheets. “Shit,” I think, “He’s scratched himself.”  

My son abruptly screams. I pick him up without thinking, on reflex. His screaming face looks back at me as I pull his hands away from it. He has no eyes.  

I haven’t actually had that dream. The fears come to me when I’m awake. I sometimes think I write these sorts of things down expressly to jettison the images from my head so I don’t have to keep them rolling around in my brain. For years, my wife has asked me why when sitting in a car looking out the window I’ll suddenly give a minor - seemingly involuntary - convulsion. It’s because I just looked at a barbed wire fence and was struck by the mental image of a rolled spool of the stuff being wrapped around my body, and then spun off by some sort of vast sewing machine. Everyone I think has that primal urge when they see the fire to plunge their hands into it out of pure curiosity. The weird thing I’ve found about being a writer is that indulging that urge in the hypothetical brain-space of creativity doesn’t actually make it go away. 

 Fear is in the mundane, I think. I always hear that it’s in the cosmic unknown, but I think this disregards the extent to which most of our night terrors are rooted in the ordinary aspects of our life. The scissors on the counter that we could theoretically perforate our hands with because I wonder what it would feel like! I don’t consider myself a horror writer even a little, but there’s this sort of macabre fascination that drives my work on some days. It’s all the needles that I haven’t pricked myself with, pushing pushing pushing against skin that’s terrified but also kind of curious. The gift of storytelling to the teller is the freedom to conceptualize the unthinkable on paper and act the mad scientist on their hapless characters. An unmarked page is this beautiful space full of white walls on which we may paint with whatever colors and whatever materials we desire. Last week it was the Teal and Fuchsia of True Love. This afternoon it’s the fire-engine red of staccato screaming.  

Or maybe writers are all just closeted serial killers.


Joseph Brassey lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, son, and two cats. In his spare time, he trains in, and teaches, medieval martial arts to members of the armed forces. He has lived on both sides of the continental United States and has worked everywhere from a local newspaper to the frame shop of a crafts store to the smoke-belching interior of a house-siding factory with questionable safety policies.
 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Danger of Not Learning about the Creative Process - Part Two



Convinced that I would never become a literary great, I stopped writing at the age of 17. If you weren't churning out The Brothers Karamazov or at least a Crime and Punishment (both of which I have read several times), your efforts were futile.

Sadly, the perspective I had developed was only reinforced by my study of Comparative World Literature. Genre fiction was sneered at and dismissed as a waste of ink and paper. Oh, of course there was room for the occasional Slaughterhouse Five or Naked Lunch (sadly NEITHER of which have I yet read), but for the most part real literature fell largely in the realm of realism. I realize as I write this post how deeply this prejudice has been engrained in me. To think that I have not in the intervening years between obtaining my diploma and today managed to pick up either of these aforementioned books for even the most casual perusal!

So what saved me?  Perhaps not so surprisingly, it was a book. I was introduced to and fell in love with The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece that uses dark fantasy to address (among other issues) censorship in Stalin's Russia. The book got under my skin; I wished I had written it. On the surface it was a love story. A love story populated by witches, demons and even Old Nick himself. It could be read and loved simply on that level, but there was an invitation to look more closely, to dive deeper. This. This was what I wanted to write.  This desire, this envy if you will, planted its seed.

To be continued...



Monday, September 23, 2013

A special guest post by fellow 47North author, Stant Litore!

Best Writing Advice I’ve Ever Heard

Hey, thanks for welcoming me to your blog. Hi, everyone. I’m Stant Litore. I write The Zombie Bible, which is far darker/more serious than it sounds—a retelling of biblical tales as past risings of the hungry dead.
Someone asked me recently what advice I’d give to writers who are just starting out, and that started me thinking about the advice I’ve received over the years that has proven really meaningful. Admittedly, there has been a lot of absolutely awful advice—from “don’t self-publish” to “don’t write genre fiction,” in fact, a whole lot of Do Not’s, which rarely tend to be useful—but there has been some really good advice, too.
Here’s some of the best advice I've received as a novelist:
  • "Be fearless."
  • "Write for yourself. Then find out who you want to read it to. Know those people inside and out."
  • "Don't jump into bed with the first publisher who winks at you just because you think you need a relationship, any relationship. Figure out what you really want, what your goals are. Then go get it."
  • “When editing, cut everything you can. If you can't cut it, don't."
  • "On that first page, invite your readers to have an adventure. To be adventurous."
I am especially fond of that last piece of advice because it did not come from a real person. Or rather, it did, but it’s complicated. It was my favorite author—the dream version of him. It was around 3 a.m., I was fast asleep, and we were sitting together on a porch watching the rain. And that’s what he told me.
Yes, that sounds pretty loopy to me, too. But I take great advice where I can get it.

What I’ll Add
Now that I have several novels out, I’ll add my own advice to the list. Here it is. Listen to it if it’s good, chuck a tomato at it if it’s bad. But it’s the best I know how to give.
Your novel needs to tell the truth and take no prisoners. You’ll hear all the other advice from other writers, agents, and editors. Advice about discipline and perseverance. Advice about plotting and pacing and character. So I won’t repeat it here. What I will say is find out who your characters really are, let them show you, and find the truth your novel has to tell. Nothing matters more than that. Do not compromise or take shortcuts. Do not chicken out under pressure and write the easier path for your story. If that means you find out two thirds the way through that a near-complete rewrite would give you a story nine times as powerful, you do it. If you won’t have the courage to let your story dig deep into the heart, you’re wasting your time.
There it is. I hope some of this advice that has been great for me will be great for you, too. Maybe not. Writers aren’t cookie cutter people.
What advice has been great for you?

Stant Litore
 
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Danger of Not Learning about the Creative Process
or How a Degree in Literature Nearly Caused Me to Scuttle My Writing Career

 
I live just down the road from one of the finest small colleges in this country.  Summers are always quiet, but each fall brings a brand new batch of bright minds, eager to learn, ready to turn dreams into reality. About a billion years ago--and a little over two-thousand miles away--I had my turn at being one of these hopeful kids.

At 17 I knew I loved books. When I showed up on my own campus I came carrying 150 or so pages of a manuscript. My first novel. I knew I wanted to write.

But I can't say that at 17 I knew myself well enough to walk around saying that I wanted to be a writer.

The other kids, the ones who showed up with spiral notebooks crammed with poetry, and reams of dot-matrix printed short stories, the ones who knew themselves from an early age, the ones who had either the conviction or the hubris to apply the heady label "writer" to themselves, they found their way into the creative writing courses. 

My writing did not stem from a conviction that I was meant to be the next Hemmingway; It was a by-product of my love of the written word. So I instead chose to study comparative world literature. I learned how to dissect, how to critique, how to delve into the hidden meanings of the greatest writers' works. I studied their completed masterpieces, but I never studied the creative process that lead to these masterpieces.  I never learned what it was like for these greats as they wrote: the uncertainty, the dead ends, the joy and pain of invention and reinvention. I never learned how many of these hidden meanings found in the great works bubbled up during the creative process, not necessarily as the result of some master plan.

I judged my own nascent abilities by the finished pieces of others. One warm and sunny day [Bulwer-Lyttonism intentional], I pulled my manuscript from my backpack and tossed it into a garbage can on the path between my dorm and the library. And then I walked away, convinced that I would never be able to create anything worthwhile.  My stories would never be literature; I would never be a writer.

To be continued...

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Good Day Writing


After a few false starts, I believe that The Void, third installment of the Witching Savannah series, has finally begun to write itself.  It was only after I became willing to let go of my high concept (read as "convoluted") opening, a beginning that threatened to eat up three or more chapters with its emphasis on nearly forgotten Savannah history and introduction of a cast of brand new and hopelessly inessential characters, that I was able to ask myself what The Void was truly about.

Beyond the magic, outside the mystery, the third part of the series is about the love of a young woman for her family, especially for the sister she has alternately adored and feared, but for whose redemption she has never given up hope. And suddenly with that answer all of my characters, the ones I know, the ones I love, have come back and are ready to play.  Even Oliver, who still keeps on telling me I need to drop at least 10 pounds.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Third Charm is the Time

The first two books in the Witching Savannah series are safely in the care of my publisher.  The ARC of book one, The Line, should be in my sweaty little hands in the very near future, and book two, The Source, has been shipped off for copy editing. 

However, it is with growing angst that I must report that The Void, the series' third installment, remains nothing more than a gleam on my computer screen.  Well, that isn't exactly true.  I know how it ends.  And I should know how to get there. Really, I should. I know my characters by now.  I know how they think.  How they act and react.  The problem is none of them seem to want to come out and play with me right now.  They are sitting back politely and waiting for me to set some interesting events in motion. 

Well, all of them are polite except Oliver, the heroine's uncle, that is. He keeps tapping his watch and saying "Come on, fat boy.  Let's get this show on the road." I remind him that if he thinks that attitude is going to land him a happy ending, he is sorely mistaken.  But then he flashes me his patented smile, and all is forgiven. 

I did have a great beginning.  One so chock full of Sturm und Drang that Mercy, the series' heroine, told me no.  She would meet me there if I gave her a nice stretch to warm up, but there was no way--well, no way in hell is what she actually said--that she was starting out there. 

So I came up with a second great beginning.  One that provides an opportunity for both intrigue and pageantry. Oh, and a bit of a history lesson to boot.   I offered my characters a chance to attend a party trapped in time: the wrap party for Stolen Moments, Rudolph Valentino's last turn as a bad guy before his breakout success in The Four Horsemen of the ApocalypseStolen Moments was filmed in Savannah's once renowned Greenwich Mansion.  After a fire in 1923 reduced the grand home to rubble, its grounds were repurposed as a cemetery.  The Greenwich Cemetery shares a boundary with its much more famous neighbor, Bonaventure Cemetery.

Oliver is happy as he gets to wear a vintage tux.  Mercy does not share his enthusiasm as the party takes place in 1920, a full five years short of the dawn of the flapper.  I've been offering Mercy designs by Paul Poiret and Callot Soeurs, but she is not impressed enough to trade it for the ripped SCAD sweatshirt I swear she has been wearing every day since the end of The Source.

She keeps complaining that she won't even get the chance to meet Valentino since his participation in the filming was wrapped up early so that he could move on to his Four Horsemen role. He didn't hang around for any stupid wrap party.

There will be jazz, I promise her, and a chance to hear Marguerite Namara sing.  She pushes the sleeves of her sweatshirt up.  "Marguerite who?"  Mercy's Aunt Iris, who loves all things historical, begins to explain that Ms. Namara was an accomplished soprano, star of both stage and screen, but the look Mercy flashes her causes Iris' voice to trail off.

I point out that we could always go back to the first beginning I had planned, but her response is a simple "Let's see you do this one without me, fat boy."  I think Mercy has been spending far too much time with her uncle of late.

 
Photo Copyright Expired

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Welcome to a special guest post by J. Lincoln Fenn, author of Poe --Coming October 2013!
 
 



Interview with a Character

 Of course Dimitri didn’t answer on the first ring (he always lets it go to voicemail so he can screen calls - god knows he’s too cheap to get caller ID), but still I thought he’d get back to me sooner. I mean we have history. But what with the media attention from the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (he’s the narrator of POE), plus the unwanted attention from the demonic realm, it’s understandable that he’s trying to keep on the down low.

It took an offer of fresh cronuts and a cappuccino machine (bought at a yard sale), before he was willing to sit down at a small diner in New England to talk about his least favorite subject—himself.

::::::

Fenn: So I thought we’d use “Proust’s Questionnaire” to get things started. It’s a little writer’s trick to discover more about their characters.

Dimitri: Are you saying I’m a character? As in “oh, he’s such a character, he’s the life of the party.” Or are you questioning my inherent existence?

Fenn: I didn’t mean—

Dimitri: Because let’s get one thing straight. You got how much money selling my story to Amazon?

Fenn: Technically it was an advance—

Dimitri: And you think cronuts and a second-hand cappuccino machine is my due? By the way I noticed the $5.00 label. Classy touch.

Fenn: Right.

(awkward pause)

Fenn: Not easy to get cronuts though.

Dimitri: Noted. (eyes the cronuts). It’s like a cross between a donut and croissant?

Fenn: And it’s fried. That’s peanut butter icing.

(Dimitri takes a bite. Looks reluctantly appeased).

Fenn: So let’s dive into our Proust thing. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Dimitri: A new cappuccino machine?

Fenn: Seriously.

Dimitri: I don’t think there’s such a thing as perfect happiness. I mean, I could say sitting with Lisa on a beach in Miami, drinking something fruity with umbrellas, that’d be nice. Unless there are sharks. And then sand, it gets all up in your bathing suit—you try to wash it off in the bathtub and it clogs the drain. See what I mean? There’s always something itchy about happiness.

 Fenn: What is your greatest fear?

 Dimitri (snorts with laughter): Other than spleen-eating demons trying to kill me and my girlfriend?

 Fenn: Yeah, other than that.

 Dimitri: Dying without knowing who I am, or anyone else knowing who I am, really.

 Fenn: Ok. That was actually kind of deep. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

 Dimitri: My insanely gorgeous physique. A constant source of harassment.

 Fenn: I take it you’re being ironic?

 Dimitri: You should know—you wrote me this way.  Of course Twilight’s Edward is so good-looking he sparkles. You think a geeky guy narrator is going to pull in the tweens?

 Fenn: Not really the audience I was going for. You might have noticed the strong language.

 Dimitri: I’m 23, we swear occasionally. Sue me. But the gore wasn’t my idea.

 Fenn: Right, the gore.

 Dimitri: Thanks so much for that.

 Fenn: Hey, you took the Aspinwall assignment. Maybe staying overnight at a haunted mansion on Halloween wasn’t the best idea.

 Dimitri: Again, not my call Ms. Deux ex Machina. Plus it was an opportunity to expand my journalist horizons beyond obituaries, and I needed the money. Some of us writers aren’t living the 47North high life. They gave you a free Kindle, right?

 Fenn: You’re completely impossible. Ok, next question. What is your current state of mind?

 Dimitri: Recovering from PTSD. I know I’m not supposed to give away any SPOILERS. But thanks to you I now have a phobia of wells, the Tudor style of architecture, antiquarian books, morgues, hospitals, knives, 20th century Russian occultism, séances, punk rock bands, photography, and poetry magnets. Not necessarily in that order.

 Fenn: But beaches, beaches are still good?

(scribbles note to self)

Dimitri: I don’t like the way you just said that. You’re not going to ruin beaches for me too, are you?

 Fenn: Me? No. You and Lisa are happily ever after and all that.

 Dimitri: Because if there’s a sequel I’d appreciate some warning. And a bigger cut.

 Fenn: Noted. So, back to Proust. What is your most treasured possession?

 Dimitri: I’m wearing it. (Lifts his left hand and flashes a silver ring).

 Fenn: That was your father’s ring, right?

 Dimitri: Spoilers.

 Fenn: Right. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

 Dimitri: Waking up in the morgue would probably be high on the list.

 Fenn: You sure? Because…you know…I was thinking there was that moment when you opened the fridge, and you thought there was ketchup leaking…

 Dimitri: Do you actually want to sell any copies of this book, or should we just post it all for free now.

 Fenn: I’m sorry. My bad.

 Dimitri: Thank you. Now, what was I saying…depth of misery. I guess there were technically a couple of bright spots about waking up on the slab in the morgue. A) No one had dissected me yet. Being splayed alive would have really sucked. B) At least Lisa was upset because she thought I’d died. Since my parents passed away…there really hasn’t been anyone who cared, or even gave a f—

 Fenn: Language! Please, this is a G-rated blog posting. Okay we’ve got to wrap it up—just so you know, I’m not exactly bathing in dollar bills yet.  Got to get up early for work.  So let’s see…What or who is the greatest love of your life?

 Dimitri: Lisa put you up to that, didn’t she.

 Fenn: I might have mentioned to her…

 Dimitri: Okay, she is.  Lisa Bennet, punk rock drummer extraordinaire is the love of my life. The apple of my eye. The candy of my cone…

 Fenn: Insert cliché here.

 Dimitri: Exactly.

 Fenn: Alright, last question. Please take it somewhat seriously. On what occasion do you lie?

 Dimitri: When being interviewed.

(Fenn sighs heavily. Starts roughly stuffing her papers into her messenger bag).

Fenn: You know, next time I’m going to write a biography about someone dead. At least when your subject is DEA D they can’t be such a pain in the—

Dimitri: Language!

 

Fenn (sputters): You…you are so…what’s the word I’m looking for—it begins with an ‘a’.

Dimitri: Adorable?

Fenn (slides bag over shoulder angrily): No, that is so not it. More like 'annoying' to the millionth power.

Dimitri: So does that mean yes, you need a ride? (swings car keys around his finger).

Fenn: In your crap Mustang.

Dimitri: Write me into a Lexus next time, I won’t complain.

 Fenn: (sighs). If you’re headed my way.

Thus concluded our interview. Dimitri palmed the cronuts, bummed some gas money off of me, and called me about an hour after I got home to complain at length that the “crappucino” machine was, well, not exactly functional, and before I get any sequel ideas we need to sign a contract and yes, he's got an attorney.

Definitely writing a biography of someone dead next time.
 

Friday, August 23, 2013


Double-edged Sword

 I have been sharing bits and snips about the Witching Savannah characters on Facebook for almost a year now and am thrilled to have over 40K followers interested in an as yet unpublished book by an unknown author. With The Source, second in the Witching Savannah series off to the copy editor, I am gearing up to begin The Void, the series' third installment.  I am brimming over with ideas and itching to share details from the first two books.

But I have to wait. 

The series doesn't drop until February 1, 2014, a date that I both look forward to and dread. 

As anxious as I am to let the characters live their lives in the wide world of others' imaginations, I live in fear of those first reviews.  The question for me now is how to move my ego out of the way so that I can learn from valid criticisms, but still shrug off any gratuitous barbs. Would love to hear your thoughts. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why Obscenity-Laced Rants Still Indicate the Blogger's Immaturity
 
Recently a blog post denigrating independent authors has been making its rounds of Facebook and Twitter.  I am not going to share the link as I don't wish to drive any further traffic to the blog in question.  The person behind the post choses to remain anonymous, but assures us that he works for a major publishing house.  (I say "he" and " his" as my mental image of the poster is that of a skinny jean wearing early twenty-something hipster male, although the poster may be female, so feel free to adjust pronouns to suit your own impression.) I am sure that he does do some form of work in publishing. I do pray, though, that he is not an editor, as his own writing style is, how to put this politely?  Lacking.  Such a heavy reliance on the use of obscenities to make a point demonstrates a lack of maturity, poor vocabulary or both.  I'm sure he knows several big words, but that the fact he chooses to rely on profanity indicates that he doesn't know how to use them in a sentence. 
 
Let me save you the trouble of digging for treasure in the blogger's trash.  His main point (and an excellent one it is):  Invest in an editor.  He is absolutely correct in this. 

I am blessed in the fact that I was introduced to an excellent developmental editor, Kristin Weber, by my agent.  I go through a round with Kristen before ever sending anything off to my equally excellent editor at my publisher.  I rely on Kristin to pull me back from the edge.  While writing The Source, second book in the Witching Savannah series, I came up with a FABULOUS scenario, where a minor character is revealed to be behind everything from the sinking of the Lusitania to the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby to faking the moon landing. (Okay, I exaggerate a little.)  I pulled it all together with a big bow, and slammed it on Kristin's desk with a "TADA!"  Kristin said no.  Kristin was right.  The whole scenario was too convoluted.  And yes.  Contrived.  And no.  The punch line was not worth the setup it took to get the reader there.  Working with Kristin saved me the embarrassment of having my publisher's editor deliver the same message.  So my addition to the blogger's advice would be:  Invest in an editor, and then listen to that editor.

Kristin can be found at http://www.kristenweber.com/.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Justin Bieber Gets Naked and Bees are Going Extinct

Admittedly the only connection these headlines share is the slightly homonymic nature of their subjects.  But the real story here is how a worse than Oedipal display of affection can receive equal news billing with the collapse of our food chain. 

The most horrifying aspect (other than the guitar pick puns that Mr. Bieber's antics invite) is the way the expert speaks about the beepocalpyse.  Oh don't worry.  Our dinner plates won't be as colorful, but admit it, you never liked those fruits and vegetables anyway.

Links to both stories below:

Bees going extinct, but don't worry...

Justin Gets Naked for His Grandmother

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More than 100,000 want to go to Mars, and I don't even like camping

More than 100,000 want to go to Mars and not return, project say - KCTV5

News sources are reporting that more than 100K have signed up to leave our beautiful blue sphere and head off to the cold, dry world one planet over.  I wonder about the people who are applying, seeing as many of them are lacking either the commitment or the wherewithal to come up with the $36 application fee.  Are they pioneers or just wanting to escape? 

When I was a kid, I would have been incredibly excited about the thought of moving to Mars. (I lived and died for Space 1999.) Later, the romance of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy caused me to revisit my childhood enthusiasm for a few brief daydreams.  But then reality sat it.  I am claustrophobic and I don't even like camping.  Besides, much like Arthur Dent, my survival skills can be summed up with the phrase "sandwich maker." 

I do dream that one day the human race will step out and take to the stars.  I will think of those pioneers fondly from the comfort of my nice warm bed.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

So excited to see that in addition to the United States,  The Line (Witching Savannah) will also be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 
 
 
 
 
Out of the Shadows...
 
Helga Esteb/ Shutterstock.com

I was one of those kids who ran home from school to watch "Dark Shadows"--well okay, it was already in syndication at that point, but that didn't matter to me.  I grew into an adult who ran home from work to see the episodes my VCR had taped during its long run on the network now known as Syfy (do not--repeat--do not get me started on their current Sharknado style of programming).

All three of the DS alums pictured above have proven themselves fine writers.  I am honored that one of them has graciously agreed to do a review of my soon-to-be-released novel, The Line, first in the Witching Savannah series. Another I will have the opportunity to meet at a signing of her latest work.  The third I will to my grave with a schoolboy crush on.  Let the conjecturing begin.

I am both thrilled and terrified to have the opportunity to come into contact with my idols.  Happily, there will be enough people with me to drag me away should I begin to make a total fool of myself.

Click on their names below to learn more about their latest:

Lara Parker   Kathryn Leigh Scott   David Selby


Friday, August 9, 2013

Spectre Savannah: FAQ :: The Murders

Spectre Savannah: FAQ :: The Murders: The initial reason why we believe the building is haunted stems from the murders that occurred on the property in 1909. On December 10th, ...

Looking forward to learning more about the Gribble House.  Hope to make it there when I return to Savannah in January.

Vote for The Line (Witching Savannah) on Goodreads!

If you are a Goodreads member, please click on the link below to vote for The Line (Witching Savannah).  The book has jumped from #100 to 20.  Help keep the upward momentum going.  Thanks!

 

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

A&E Perpetrating Fraud on a Weekly Basis?
 
A&E's American Haunting is perhaps one of the most damaging "true paranormal" programs ever to hit the airwaves.  The premise of the show is that families experiencing paranormal disturbances invite a camera crew into their home to document the hauntings and the conveniently timed resolution to those hauntings.
 
At no point does A&E announce that the events are reenactments--reenactments that have been heavily laden with special effects.  These special effects (doors opening and closing, beds bouncing up and down, moving shadows, electrical explosions) are presented as if they have been captured in real time. 
 
My real beef with the whole thing, though, is that even with the fakery, the show is not in the least bit spooky.  No frissons, no new insight into the paranormal.  Nothing to see here.  Just move on.

Click here to see the trailer (if you don't want to take my word for it.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

 
Please click on the above link and vote for us on the 2014 Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy list!

Farewell to Karen Black

In addition to her role in Robert Altman's classic Nashville, Ms. Black appeared in two of my favorite horror flicks, Trilogy of Terror (brought to us by Dark Shadows' own Dan Curtis) and Children of the Night. See her here in Amelia, the creepy doll story from Trilogy of Terror.
Photo: Vanessa Lua

With "The Source" safely in the hands of my extremely competent editor, Angela P., this morning I have turned my attention back to the world of social media and the internet.  The Witching Savannah series is now well represented on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, this blogs and web pages (www.MercyTaylor.com and www.WitchingSavannah.com). Now I just need someone to manage them so that I can get back to writing! :)


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

 
Just sent off the first revisions on the edited manuscript of The Source, second in the Witching Savannah series. 
 
In addition to working on these edits, I have been doing a bit of minor historical research for The Void which will be the third title of the series.  I intend to kick The Void off with a party...one that would have taken place in 1920 at the Greenwich Plantation mansion. That's right, Mercy and her family will do just a wee bit of time travel.
 
The mansion burned to the ground in 1923, but prior to its destruction, it was considered the rival of the much more famous, and still extant, Biltmore Estate.  The mansion at Greenwich was itself a star of the silent film era, having served as the setting for films featuring Rudolph Valentino and Mary Pickford. 
 
The party the Taylors will attend is the wrap party for Stolen Moments, which features Valentino's last turn as a bad guy. The land on which the mansion once stood is now part of Greenwich Cemetery, Bonaventure's less famous, although contiguous, neighbor. Alas, I don't have a hand shot of Greenwich Cemetery, but you can catch glimpses of it in this clip of Stolen Moments.
 
 
 

 
It was this trip that was the inspiration to use the gates of the Wormsloe Plantation on the cover of The Line (Witching Savannah).
 
 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Mercy and the Line" - a song I co-wrote (2%) with my buddy Colby Hendricks (98%). 
 
It came out much darker than intended, ending up being about suicide as self-defense.  But hey, Mr. Clark, it has a good beat and you can dance to it.
 
 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Feeling every ounce of my Scotch/Irish tonight. And no, I am not referring to whiskey.
Niel Gow's Lament 
Working my way through edits on the second book in the "Witching Savannah" series. "The Source" delves much deeper into Mercy Taylor's, our heroine, family history and begins to look at the source of the Taylor Witches' magic. About 80% of the way through. Next step will be to send it to my Kindle and try to read it with an objective eye. Yeah, good luck with that, huh?

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Down and Out in Beverly HeelsDown and Out in Beverly Heels by Kathryn Leigh Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cozy thriller with a lot of heart. Meg's struggle to survive the world of organized (and occasionally disorganized) crime is entertaining, but her struggles with facing homelessness and dealing with Hollywood's obsession with youth proved unexpectedly poignant. I loved it.

View all my reviews
Check out my review of Kathryn Leigh Scott's "Down and Out in Beverly Heels" on Goodreads.

Thanks for the love!

Thanks to Cherry's Cover Love for featuring us! cherrycoverlove.blogspot.com

My co-author and I visit Bonaventure Cemetery

video

When Settings Attack!

Check out my post on Shelf Pleasure!