Author Corner–Kim Williams-Justesen

Today, Kim Williams-Justesen stopped by to chat about her current projects and finalize plans for our Thelma and Louise-style weekend getaway.

E: Welcome, Kim!  Glad you could stop by.  You remembered the bail money, didn’t you?

K: Yeah – I mugged an old lady at an ATM just to be sure I had enough for both of us.

E: You have some new projects in the works.  What can you tell us about them?

K: I’m so excited! I have a paranormal young adult novel called DEATH’S KISS coming out in September from Angelic Knight Press. This story focuses on a 17-year-old girl who can see Death – an actual being who collects souls. She becomes so obsessed with Death that she doesn’t really live. She winds up in a locked-down psych facility where she falls in love with a boy who teaches her to live again. The second story is a contemporary young adult novel called THE DEEPEST BLUE. It’s about standing up for yourself and for what’s best for you even when the rest of the world is telling you that you’re too young to know what’s best for you. It comes out in October from Tanglewood Press.

E: You also write under another name.  What is it and what was the book?

K: I do – it’s my alias (and one of my alternate personalities) – Mimi A. Williams. The book is called BEAUTIFUL MONSTER and I coauthored it with my former writing partner Jared Anderson. This is the story of a charismatic serial killer and one of his victims. We wrote it in alternating chapters between the serial killer and the young girl he stalks. It’s pretty graphic, and pretty brutal, and I didn’t want it shelved near my kids’ books on accident, so I used a pen name.


E: You’re the first guest that I know of that writes under more than one name.  What is that like on the business side of things?  You know, like filing taxes, and whatnot.

K: Really, it’s no big deal. My contract, my W-2s, my royalty statements all have my legal name. Mimi is only on the cover. It does get challenging when it comes to marketing stuff. I used to have two Facebook Pages, but I’ve just transferred everything to one page now. I think I was worried it would be a bigger issue than it has been, and I do know a few people who’ve used pen names who’ve had various issues with it (like filing a DBA and getting a tax number, etc.) but since I used my legal name for all the legal documents, it’s not a problem at all.

E: You also teach classes and workshops.  Where could we find you if we wanted to take one of them with you?

K: Are you stalking me again? Really? The restraining order is still in place you know! (snickering)

I help out with a lot of local (meaning Utah-based, but I’ve traveled to other states too) conferences. The local libraries have had me come in and do workshops, and this fall, I’ll start teaching for the University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning program – noncredit courses on writing and publishing. I used to teach English and Literature for several local colleges, but I found that didn’t leave me a lot of time for writing, so now I have a boring job that leaves enough brain cells when I get home that I can still write.

E: Your audience is younger than most people who’ve dropped by.  What do you like best about writing for these ages as opposed to writing for adults?

K: I just like writing – whether it’s for adults or for kids. The thing I like about kid readers, though, is their absolute honesty. Adults will get a book (whether from the book store or the library) and then because they have invested time or money (or both) to get the book, they feel like they have to read it. And if someone told them it was a good book, they feel compelled to like it. Kids don’t come with those issues. They pick up a book, and if it doesn’t grab them, they don’t bother reading it. If they read it and don’t like it, they will absolutely tell you. And if they DO like it, they will absolutely tell you that, too! I have wonderful letters from readers who have told me how much they loved my book, and those are the best letters to get! I have a copy of one in my Facebook Pictures that I post now and then when I need a morale boost!

E: What book made the biggest impression on you when you read it?

K: Um – wow. That’s hard. I was one of those kids who got busted reading under the covers, late at night, with a flashlight. I guess one of the most powerful moments in reading came in junior high when I read the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. Something about the way he told a story just riveted me, and I wanted to be able to do the same thing.

E: Stephen King recently decided that he wouldn’t be releasing his new book in ebook format.  What are your thoughts on that?  Is that something you would ever do, or do you find it’s worthwhile to offer a digital format?

K: I believe each writer has to choose what’s best. For me, digital formats are an important part of getting my story out to the world. I want to make that as easy as possible so that readers have access to my work in a variety of formats. I’m still a big believer in books (I personally love them, love holding them, love owning them – oh, yeah, and reading them, too), and THE DEEPEST BLUE will actually be released in hardback. But it will also be available in digital forms so that no matter what method a reader prefers, he or she can get their hands on my story.

E: Thanks for stopping by.  I’m glad you look really good in orange.  I have a feeling we’re going to end up wearing a lot of it.

K: Thanks, and a big thank you to my guards for escorting me, and for taking off the ankle chains while I was here visiting!

You can find Kim on her website, her blog, and Twitter.


I’ve mentioned before that I’m unofficially taking a screenwriting class this summer and into next fall that will require me to write a feature length screenplay.  I now have my screenplay.  The title is “Home” and the film is a cross between Gaslight (if you haven’t seen it, go find it somewhere) and The Skeleton Key.  That’s all I’m going to say about it for now.

On a slightly unrelated note, I find I get some of my best ideas in the shower.  I was in the shower when I came up with the idea for this script.  I was in the shower when I came up with the premise of “Blood and Rain.”  I think I was even in the shower when I decided to do a translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” into a short story.  Where do you guys find the most inspiration?

Author Corner–Charles Day

Today’s guest is Charles Day and his always present Evil Jester.

This is Charles and EJ. Don’t turn your back on the short one. Ever.

E: Welcome to Erindipity, Charles.  First things first, we need to establish some ground rules, boundaries, etc.  Such as “You shall keep your Evil Jester from humping my leg at all times.”  Seriously, get him off me!

C: Hehehehe! Evil Jester, back off! Get over here, and leave Erin’s leg alone.

E: So, what’s the deal with your wicked leg humper, anyway?  You’re the first guest to bring a +1 to the blog.

C: So sorry. Yeah, the evil dude-in-the-box goes with me everywhere. He’s my muse, my alter-ego, my best friend.

E: You’ve been nominated for an award.  Shiny.  What award is it, how did you get nominated, and when do you find out if you’ve won?

C: Yes, I’m still in shock, actually. My very first novel, THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® in the “Superior Achievement In A First Novel” category. It went through all the voting channels with the Horror Writers Association, when it was down to ten novels it was voted with five other in the Finalist nomination. I received an awesome certificate, and can now use it on all my future books. I’ll find out if I won on Saturday June 15th at the Bram Stoker Awards, being held at the World Horror Convention down in New Orleans. I was also awarded the prestigious “Silver Hammer Award,” for going above and beyond as a volunteer with the HWA as chairperson for their Mentor Program.  So, at least I know for sure I’m coming home with one award. I must say, I’m  real excited, but also extremely grateful to all my fans, friends, and HWA members.


E: You’re also the proprietor of Evil Jester Press.  Can you tell us about some of the things you publish?

C: Evil Jester Press is open for novel submissions. We are looking for dark and thoughtful novels between 40,000 and 100,000 words for our 2014 line. Selected tomes will fall somewhere in the horror, thriller, dark fantasy, or sci-fi genres. Mash ups are fine, but we’re tired of zombies. Shannon Michaels is our talented Acquisitions Editor, and she will be making the decisions. Send her your best.

E: You have a Young Adult novel coming out.  What is it and when will it be available?

C: Yes, It’s a YA horror/Fantasy western trilogy that will be released by Blood Bound Books soon. The first book in the series is titled THE HUNT FOR THE GHOULISH BARTENDER.  It should be out in a few weeks. It is also in the being developed into a comic book series.  Here is a working synopsis, but this is not set in a gold nugget.

“A NEW LEGEND IS BORN! Spawned in the Old West from the discovery of a magical gold medallion, now in the hands of a vengeful Indian tribe known as “The Redeemer’s.” They’ve summoned a new curse, a terrible evil using a lowly bartender as their bait. However, they only have a piece of this magical gold. The other half is in the hands of eighteen-year-old, Kyle McGertt, who’s just taken over responsibility of the medallion since the untimely death of his father, killed in a gunfight by a ruthless gang of marauders, The Dark Riders. Will he take what his Pa taught him to stop this latest curse? Or will the Ghoulish Bartender continue to grow his army of ghouls, destroying and killing innocent townsfolk in their path of destruction? “ Kyle Book Cover_edited-2

E: I’ve had a couple of people who work both sides of the writing business.  What made you decide to start your own press and what was that process like?

C: Actually, it came to be between a friendship made a few years ago with Peter Giglio. We had done a short story together, and after that we discussed bringing my evil jester icon I used to life, with his very own small press. We never knew it would grow to where it is today. We are selling books and gaining more respect because we pay our 57 + authors on time each month, we never put out less than high quality books, and we are very personable, answering everyone who responds to us on a timely basis, and we get in the trenches with other authors, publishing our own works (Pete & I) with other publishers. Now I have two companies who’ve joined us, and we just recently opened a new imprint, Evil Jester Comics.

E: If memory serves me correctly, you’re a big comic book fan.  What drew you into them and what’s it like creating one?

C: I used to read my father’s old EC comics, and then I started collecting my own, and loved all the marvel comic superheroes. I just couldn’t get enough. I’m going to soon find out what it’s like creating them as our first project with Evil Jester Comics is now in production, and I’ll also have a chance to learn so much as I begin my own series. Not sure who the publisher will be on my creator owned comic. Hell, Taylor Grant, my Editor –in-Chief would have to accept it first. And he’s a tough editor. Hehehe.

E: If you could only publish one more book/project ever, what would be the ultimate submission?

C:  Right now I’m immensely excited about the comic book series Aric Sundquist and I are collaborating on; loosely based on the ADVENTURES OF KYLE MCGERRT trilogy I’m writing and publishing.  I say loosely, because we are developing new characters and perils, that will not be in my series. So those who lover either the comic book series or my trilogy, will be given new material to enjoy.

E: If you could choose any writer, from any period, to have dinner with, who would it be and what would you serve?

C: Joe Hill. We drink a few beers and I’d serve him my wife and daughter’s favorite meal, Steak with mushrooms, red peppers, and onions, drizzled with a steak sauce.

Ad for Dark Moon Digest YA fiction_edited-2

You can find Charles Day, and by extention his Evil Jester, on Facebook, his blog, at Evil Jester Press, and Evil Jester Comics.

I Love Words

Seriously, I love words.  I have the artistic ability of a cat on meth, so I’ll never be able to paint an awe inspiring landscape or paint a portrait that looks straight into your soul.  I have words, though.  I think of them as crayons.  The more words I learn, the bigger my box of crayons gets, and really, who doesn’t love crayons?

Several weeks ago, I discovered a new word: zugzwang.  It looks funny and it sounds funny, but there are many times in my life where I have been in this position (and not in a chess game).  Not moving isn’t an option, but all of the options you do have are bad in varying degrees.  No matter what you do, you’re going to take some damage.  You can’t ignore it.  You can’t avoid it.  All you can do is choose the best of the worst options, take your lumps, and keep on going.  Obviously, this is my definition as it applies to life.  It has more rigid and official definitions within game theory.  This word called out to me and I decided to make it my own.

I'm glad this isn't Victorian times. I could get stoned for showing you this. And by stoned, I mean people would chuck rocks at me. Rocks hurt.  Screw that.

I’m glad this isn’t Victorian times. I could get stoned for showing you my ankle. And by stoned, I mean people would chuck rocks at me. Rocks hurt. Screw that.

In chess, the best I could hope for is a draw, but in life, I could still yet win.  The trick is to keep on playing.


One of the things I will be doing this summer is taking a screenwriting class.  I have no idea if I’ll be good at screenwriting or not, but it’s a form of writing I haven’t taken yet and I’m looking forward to trying out a different format to see what happens.  The book we’re using for the class is Writing Screenplays That Sell by Michael Hauge and I’ve just started reading my assignment for next week.  I have to say I appreciate any book that tells me to go watch movies.  I have been challenged to watch at least two movies a week, so what movies should I be watching?  What are your favorites from 1985 to the present?

Author Corner–Jessica McHugh

So today, I had the pleasure of having the beautiful and wickedly funny Jessica McHugh over for margaritas and some author chat. She wanted me to mention that she has an amazing rack, but I didn’t feel that was appropriate. True, but not appropriate. 

This is Jessica. She needs a refill.  Be right back.

This is Jessica. She needs a refill. Be right back.

E: Jessica, welcome to Erindipity.  Pull up a…Dammit, Charlie!  How many times have I told you “No corpses on the furniture!?”  Ever since Charlie started getting fresh with interviewees, we’ve had a “no corpses on the furniture” policy.  Just shove him on the floor, Jess.  He won’t mind.  Care for a margarita?

J: You read my mind—but make sure to cut me off after a few, or I might end up violating that new policy, too. It’s embarrassing, but I get really careless with my corpses when I’ve been drinking.

E: I almost don’t know where to start.  You have a lot of work out there.  You’re currently working on a re-release, right?  What can you tell us about that?

J: Song of Eidolons is my favorite story I’ve written. Not my favorite all over book or favorite writing, per say, but it’s remained my favorite storyline since 2008. When eTreasures Publishing offered to renew my contract, we decided to give it a better cover and a new revision. It’s been a bit of a tough process, but it will be worth it in the end.


E: What made you decide to re-release it? 

J: Call me crazy, but I think “Song of Eidolons” needs to be more popular. And there were a few issues that I believe prevented that. 1, it wasn’t available on Kindle before. 2, the cover was terrible. There was some miscommunication there, and I don’t think it turned out how either of us intended. I think people didn’t give it a chance because of that, and I don’t blame them. When I got reviews, the book was always very highly rated. It received 9.5 out of 10 from Indie Author Book Reviews, and I was so proud. But the book still didn’t sell. 3, In spite of the reviews, I think the prose needed some tightening. I divided a lot of run-ons and deleted a LOT of adverbs. It’s going to be a much better book for the re-release, and I’m so excited to reintroduce Delaney Lortal, Dags, and the Orisanima to the world.

E: Like I said earlier, you have a lot of work out there in a relatively short period of time.  Tell us about that process.  Did you have several books saved up, or did you write them and send them out when they were finished?

J: Except for the first three books in the “Tales of Dominhydor” series and my novella “A Touch of Scarlet,” my books were written post-2008, after my first publication “Camelot Lost” was released. I used to write and edit a lot of faster, and I used to work on 2 or 3 projects at a time back then—compared to the 5-7 nowadays. Writing and editing a novel took me 5 months at the most in my mid-twenties. But the editing was terrible, so there’s that. It’s probably better that it takes me forfuckingever now.

This is another one of her many books.  There are strippers and bowling. Seriously, why aren't you buying this yet?

This is another one of her many books. There are strippers and bowling. Seriously, why aren’t you buying this yet?

E: You handwrite all of your manuscripts.  I don’t know if that makes you a genius or insane, or if there’s really a difference between them.  What do you get out of handwriting your manuscripts that you don’t get working off of a word processor?

J: A few people have mentioned my handwritten first drafts like they’re an oddity. I didn’t realize so few people still wrote by hand! I wish I could write on the computer, but it just doesn’t work well for me. With ink in hand, the words come easier—as if the pen knows them before I do. Writing by hand is more visceral, and for me, more enjoyable. I write faster than I type and make fewer mistakes. Plus, a blank page never pressures me like a computer screen.

I really admire folks who can type their first drafts, but this wacky writer chick will always think in (pen) ink! 

E: You have another project you’re working on that you’ve been taking fan submissions for.  Can you tell us about that?

J: With pleasure. By the way, thank you for keeping my drink filled. You should be a professional maid-of-honor. J

For the past few years, I’ve posted Facebook updates on my author page tagged #DeepThoughtsy. My fans really seemed to dig them, so I decided to compile them into a collection called “Virtuoso at Masturbation, and More McHughmorous Musings.” But it’s not just funny one-liners. There will also be writing prompts based on the DeepThoughtsys, and most important, there will be fan illustrations. There are still spots open, so your rad readers can visit for more info or email me to get the list of available DeepThoughtsys. I’m not looking for great artists. Hell, I’m not even looking for good artists. I’m looking for fans, friends, family, and fun to fill this collection, no matter the stage of artistic talent.

E: You’ve worked with a lot of different people over the years, publishers, editors, etc.  What has that experience been like?

J: It’s been a wild ride, for sure, but I think I’d made a decent go at it. Sometimes I don’t see eye to eye with an editor or publisher, but I’ve learned what and when to compromise. Being flexible and having a good attitude is so important in this business—and in life. Without positivity and confidence, no one wants to listen to you, let alone buy what you’re selling. And in this age of social media, I think it’s important to be vocal about how much you love what you do. Publishers nowadays check up on your social media sites—to get a taste of your personality, sure, but also to see your willingness to market your work and what kind of fan base you’ve already established.

Throughout this inky journey, you’re bound to clash with certain people. Just remember that your book is what’s important, not being right. If you have to stand your ground against editors, have good reasons for “your way” and present those reasons with cool confidence. Despite the head butting, you might just earn their respect.

E: You’re not currently working with an agent. There’s a lot out there about the pros and cons of having one.  Is that something you’ve ever considered doing?

J: I’ve submitted to agents before and haven’t gotten any nibbles. Publishers seem to respond to me better than agents do, so for now, I think I’ll just stick with what works.

Unless an agent is reading this right now and wants to play the Represent Jessica McHugh game. In that case, I’ve always thought agents were awesome people and snappy dressers. Hit me up.

E: One last thing before we get back to the serious business of fishing the worm out of the tequila bottle.  What advice can you give about marketing your work and what has worked for you in the past?

J: Like I said before, positivity and confidence are key to marketing, as well as recognizing when to stop pushing your product and show your personality instead. I’m doing a webinar for Promo Day 2013 called “Hooker with a Heart of Ink” which outlines my “rules” for marketing on social media. It’s free to sign-up here and there will plenty of other awesome authors sharing their experiences with the indie author community. But I’ll give your readers a little teaser for my INKTIPS.

Immerse (Engage your audience)
Noteworthy (What makes you different?)
Knowledgeable (Know what you’re talking about)
Transparent (You’re a person, just like them.)
Informative (Promote your work, but know when to stop)
Positive (Good attitude is key)
Share the Love (We are a community)

I’m afraid you’ll have to sign up for the webinar for elaboration. 😉

Gee, I hope my mouth is free of the tequila worm taste by then. 

You can find Jessica nursing her hangover at her website, her Amazon author page, her Facebook page, and on Twitter.


I’d like to say I’ve been making tons of progress on Enraptured, but I’m afraid I can’t do that.  I’ve made some progress, but I haven’t been working on it much.  I’m on vacation.  I didn’t go anywhere in particular, and I didn’t do anything new and/or exciting.  But here’s what I did do:

  • sleep
  • baked homemade bread
  • played video games
  • read a book I’ve been meaning to read
  • played more video games
  • saw Iron Man 2 with friends
  • watched Thor on Netflix
  • played even more video games
  • blogged a little
  • managed to get some writing done
  • yep, I’m still playing video games

In fact, even as we speak, I have a character on Lord of the Rings Online riding a horse to Esteldin so I can do some crafting.  And while I’m at it, I’m discussing having bookmarks made up for Celia.  I’m loving having time off to do time wasting stuff.  I’ve got a pot of herbs growing in my office, the garden is planted, and I’m actively avoiding weeding my front planter bed.

Now that my summer work schedule no longer conflicts with the Creative Writing Club meetings, I have a weekly venue to workshop the new parts of Enraptured.  I’m going to be lazy for another week, and then it’s back to work.  I’m still writing the first draft, but the general consensus I’ve gotten from readers thus far is, “Hurry up and finish the damn book!”  I’m taking that as a good sign.

You may or may not know about my website.  I plan on upgrading it later this summer, but I mention it because I have a couple of short stories posted on it.  If you’re interesting in reading some examples of my work, please feel free to pop by the website and have a read.

Enraptured and Scrivener

Ok, so I want to start off by saying I am not being paid to endorse Scrivener, but if you know how I could make that happen, let me know.

When a friend suggested the program to me, I was skeptical.  I’ve messed around with other writing programs before and they always seemed like they were more hassle than they were worth.  However, he said there was a free trial, and I do love me some free stuff, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I love this program.  I had already started Enraptured back in November for NaNoWriMo, so I plugged in what I had and played around with it.  I love how easy it is to move things, and to reference things.  I really do love this program.

The initial feedback for Enraptured has been pretty positive so far.  Most of my writer friends finish an entire draft before they start looking for readers, but I have a pretty workshop-heavy background where I only workshop beginnings of stories, or specific chapters in books.  I’ve gotten used to showing off incomplete works and basing future writing on current feedback.  The thought of finishing an entire manuscript with no feedback really makes me uncomfortable.  So, at 26 pages in, I sent it to some friends of mine.

The general consensus is that it’s rather creepy.  Considering the amount of horror writers I count as friends, I shall take that as a compliment.  It even creeped out Charlie, and he’s dead.  It’s a multiple POV piece, but each view shift is a new chapter, so no one has mentioned having any problems following it yet.  In fact, the one person who has finished going through the draft likes that choice.  The book moves between four perspectives, so it shouldn’t get too difficult to navigate.

Since I’m writing it in Scrivener instead of Word, I get an overview of the entire manuscript as I write.  It’s very easy to jump to specific sections to see what I wrote.  Moving content is as simple as grabbing a file and dragging it to a new location.  I’ve already used that feature, and the thought of doing the same thing in Word makes my head hurt.

Freshly Degreed, A Haunted Death, and a Disturbing Lack of Pie

Last night was my graduation ceremony.  It was long, and it was hot.  I was sitting so close to people that when the man who sat next to me’s cellphone vibrated, it wiggled my leg.

Yeah, it was a lot like this.

Yeah, it was a lot like this.

Glad that it’s over.  Today’s goal is working on Enraptured.  I was doing some mind mapping last night to try and work out some character issues.  I’d like to get at least 1,000 new words now that the house is quiet and I can hear myself think.

A week or so ago, I had the lovely Susan Dorsey over to talk about her new book, A Haunted Death.  I’m pleased to announce that book is now available in paperback and ebook formats.  Show her some love and tell her Erin sent you.  Maybe she’ll bake me a pie.

Which brings me to my final point: I have no pie.  Steven brought me an apple pie yesterday, I went to graduate, come back to no pie. :/  So seriously, go show Susan some love.  The sooner I get pie, the better it is for everyone.

Author Corner–Interview with Steven Donahue

Today is a special day at Erindipity.  I am graduating this evening with distinction after a 4.0 semester.  As it happens, today is the day that Steven Donahue popped in for a chat.

Grey shirt 2013

And what, sweet mother of Zeus, does he have with him?!

E: Steven, welcome to Erindipity.  I see you brought me a pie.  I think I’m going to like you.

S: Erin, thank you for inviting me to your page. I hope you like apple pie.

This is an apple pie. There are many like it, but this one is mine. And if you try to eat any, I will cut you. No really, I'll cut you.

This is an apple pie. There are many like it, but this one is mine. And if you try to eat any, I will cut you. No really, I’ll cut you.


E: I do, indeed.  You just had a new book come out.  What can you tell us about it?

S: My newest release is Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications). It is a young-adult science-fiction novel. It tells the story of twelve-year-old Amy Sutter, a girl who steals an experimental spacecraft named Liberty Bell to rescue her father and his colleagues from alien captors called the Crownaxians. She is pursued by Lt. Yale Brown, the officer who was in charge of the ship’s security, who has orders to bring back the Liberty Bell at any cost.


E: Are you working on anything new at the moment?

S: I have another book slated to come out later in 2013. The book is titled The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press), and it is about a private investigator and a Philadelphia homicide detective who try to catch a serial strangler in the City of Brotherly Love.  

E: How old were you when you first started writing and what made you start?

S: I started writing in grade school after reading books by author Matt Christopher. His sports books inspired me to be a writer.

E: Who has influenced your writing?

S: Matt Christopher (as mentioned above), John Jakes and Ernest Hemmingway.

E: What is your process: plot it out or fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best?

S: I plot it out. I write an outline for the entire book to use as a guide and then I add things as they come to me while writing the manuscript.

E: It seems like most of us have day jobs.  Do you have one, too?

S: Yes, I work as a communicator for a healthcare company in Pennsylvania. 

E: What was the best piece of writing advice anyone ever gave you?

S: I don’t remember who said it, but sit yourself down for at least one hour or until you write one good page every day is the best advice I’ve ever been given. 

Thanks a lot for stopping by, Steven.  Now, if you folks will excuse me, I’ve got a pie to eat before graduation.



Recommend It Monday–Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb

Now that my insane semester is over, I can finally get the blog back on track.  I read Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb for today’s RIM.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m a borderline Robb/Nora Roberts fangirl and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Anyone who can keep me interested in a series for 30+ books deserves it.

As usual, this book doesn’t disappoint.  The characters, in my opinion, make this series.

Eve has been making personal progress up to this point, and Robb gives her a setback.  She works through it, because she’s Dallas, Lieutenant Eve and that’s what she does, but I love how realistic Robb makes her.  She’s learning to trust other people on a more meaningful level, like with Dr. Mira.  She recognizes that keeping people in the dark, while more comfortable for her, isn’t fair to those people, like with Peabody.

It was also nice to see Robb do something with Peabody besides the usual.  I love Peabody, but she’s rather predictable for the most part.  In this book, we see a darker side to her, even if it’s only for a moment.  I would like to see some of her sparkle wear off in the future books.  I’d like to see her get angry with Eve.  For over 30 books, Peabody has kissed her ass because she’s the superior officer, but she’s also Peabody’s partner and that comes with a different set of dynamics.  Just once, I’d like to see Eve be Eve and have Peabody call her out on it.  That could get old really fast, but if it’s handled right, it could give Peabody some much needed dimension.

Roarke is also kind of static at this point.  If he was more important to the series, I’d have a bigger problem with that.  As it is, he’s mostly a foil for Eve.  It’s her personal growth he facilitates.  Still, he is an important facet of the series and I would like to see more dynamics with his character.  Nothing he does surprises me anymore.  Again, if not handled well, that could get old fast, but it would be interesting.

The problem with this series, if you want to consider it a problem, is that there are too many scenarios which would end the series.  If Eve got pregnant, regardless of how that pregnancy progressed (or didn’t, she’s in a violent line of work after all), it would end the series.  Someone close to her being murdered, Mavis or Peabody, Dr. and Mr. Mira, would end the series, I think.  If Eve didn’t avenge the death herself, I think Roarke would, which would put the kibosh on things.  Although, if Somerset put things right for her, she might be able  to keep things going.  Still, Somerset is an important antagonist for Eve, and she would have to kill off Mavis or Nadine (or someone similar: important to Eve personally but not critical to the series itself).  I don’t think the series could recover from losing Peabody of Mira, but that’s just my opinion.  I’d love to see the personal crisis Eve would have if she ever had to bust Roarke for wrongdoing, but that’s a series ender.  Because of course it is.

I love this series.  If Robb puts out 100 more “in Death” books, I will read every last one of them.  But I think the series is starting to stagnate.  She’s written the series into a position where doing anything new will end it, so we’re stuck between ending the series and having the characters stay in a holding pattern of sorts.  I’d almost rather see it end than have everyone go stale.  She has some wiggle room left, though.  I wonder if she’ll take it.

What Happens When the Lights Go Out?

Why, we take our final exam in the dark.  Apparently, there was an accident yesterday afternoon that took out power to half of the city, campus included.  I did my best to convince my Professor that final exams were overrated anyway, and surely this was a sign that we didn’t really need one.  He didn’t buy it anymore than you just did.  So, we opened the blinds, sat with the lights out, and took our final.  I do feel I am adequately qualified to discuss with you, at length, Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity and all of the many ways it is illustrated through Shakespeare’s comedies, how racism is inextricably entwined with Othello, the colonialism rampant in The Tempest, and how Elizabethan England had a seriously messed up world view and how that totally harshed Hamlet’s mellow.

Because there were no lights, there was also no awards ceremony last night.  I’m not sure when that will be rescheduled, or if it will be rescheduled, but it’s ok.  I also finally tracked down my honors cords.  I don’t know what makes me more proud: that I earned the cords or that I figured out how to properly wear the cords.  They came with an instruction card.  Yes, it was that complicated.

Today is my last day of work before I get two glorious weeks of vacationy bliss.  I’m spending the weekend with my small men, and then on Monday it’s back to work on Enraptured.  I’m starting to get nasty emails about its lack of completedness.  Someone even threatened to withhold pie.  Shit just got real.

Awards Ceremony, Random Stuffs, and an Update on the Babies

Today is my last day on campus as an udergrad student.  I have my Shakespeare final and then I’m done forever.  I have another awards ceremony tonight.  The last one I went to was for the English Dept. Writing Awards.  This one is for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Awards.  I’ve asked my friends if they own a kazoo because my procession should have musical accompaniment.  I think they’re working on that.

Now that I’m not so bogged down with school, I have time to post more fun stuff.  I’m a weirdo, and it’s probably best for everyone involved if we get that out there sooner rather than later.  For example, I have declared 2013 as the Year of the Pantsless Summer.  I’m buying a bunch of sundresses and that’s what I’m living in because it is much too hot for pants.  Also if you post any of those “Use your initials to figure out your name” pics on Facebook, I will do them.  I did one yesterday to figure out what my cat’s name should be.  I have no cat, but if I did, I should call it Princess Hissy McMittens.  That’s an awesome name, and since I have no cat, I’m using it for myself.  Because I can.

Now, for the sad news.  The babies were much too small to try and care for ourselves.  My dogs must have found them soon after they were born.  We tried the whole eyedropper thing, but they simply weren’t getting enough food.  We rebuilt the nest, put the babies back in it, and covered it as best as we could so the dogs wouldn’t find it again.  I hope Mama is still around.  We took them inside because of the dogs.  The nest is in our backyard, so leaving them out there was just begging the dogs to kill them.  Now it seems we have no other choice.  The dogs will have to be supervised from now on to make sure they don’t raid the nest.  I hope they make it.

The Babies

I’ve been posting on my personal Facebook page about the nest of newborn baby rabbits that my dogs found in our back yard.  This was a very bad thing.  We found three baby survivors but have no idea how many were originally in the litter.  So far, at least two of the three are males.  The third one hasn’t flopped over yet to let me see what it’s packing.

My dog Cocoa, in particular, is infamous for the wholesale slaughter of countless newborns of varying critter varieties, but she is especially fond of rabbits.  Yes, I called her the bad word.  A lot.  All three babies sustained injuries.  The first one we found seems to be the one with the most serious injuries.  He is paralyzed.  It breaks my heart to see him dragging his hind legs around the cage we set up for them.  We built them a new nest indoors in our spare rabbit cage.  We have pet bunnies, so we already had bedding and the spare cage handy.

Hello, children. My name is Lucius B. Rabbit, Esq. But you may call me Master.

Hello, children. My name is Lucius B. Rabbit, Esq. But you may call me Master.


I’m Gizmo. Drop the food and back away from the cage, or I’ll be all over your hand like a mongoose on a king cobra. True story.

I’ve started calling the paralyzed bunny Artie.  Even if we managed to rehab the other two babies, Artie will never be able to go back into the wild.  Since it was our dogs that mangled his poor baby bunny body, it is our responsibility to care for him until he expires.  The other two babies have minor looking injuries.  We’re feeding them cat’s milk from an eye dropper, so I hope they live long enough to at least open their eyes.  We have calls out to wildlife rehab folks, but as of yet we have no return calls.  We have two more cages we can use if we need to keep them indoors instead of releasing them back to the wild like we had hoped.  We found them two nights ago, though, and they’re all still alive.  I hope they make it.

Arthur (Artie), Reginald, and Eugene/Petunia (depending on what it's packing)

Arthur (Artie), Reginald, and Eugene/Petunia (depending on what it’s packing)

If you work with wildlife rehab or you know someone who does and you/they are in the Northern Indiana area, please leave me a message.  I want the best chance for these little guys to live the way nature intended them to.

Author Corner-Weston Kincade

For the last month, I’ve been doing a series of author interviews that I’ve posted in the place of my usual Recommend It Monday pieces.  This is a feature I intend to keep, so I’ve christened it Author Corner and it will move to Tuesdays.  Yes, I’m aware that it is, in fact, Wednesday.  Sometimes, stuff happens and stuff happened but better late than never.  So, let’s welcome Weston Kincade .

E: Weston, it’s great to have you.  Just shove that corpse off to the side and have a seat.  He’s beyond caring at this point.  We’ll just pretend this…unpleasantness never happened, yes?

W: Of course. Thanks for having me. I think I saw him take a breath, but it may have just been the rodents scampering over his body, checking for loose change and cheese.

E: You’re an editor.  Can you tell us a little bit about your services?

W: Sure. For the most part I work for fiction authors, but at times nonfiction authors and US agencies like the Department of Energy hire my services at WAKE Editing. They contract me for proofreading presentations. However, novels are much more in-depth projects and what I work on primarily. There are basically three levels: proofreading, copy editing, and line editing. Depending on what your novel needs and your budget, it’s set up to accommodate struggling, first-time authors to hone their projects to fully meet their potential and veteran authors, who may only need a proofread. Either way, I always strive to improve the book and the writer’s skills. I also ghostwrite.

E: You also have several titles listed on Amazon.  Can you tell us about the newest release?

W: Sure. My most recent release is the sequel in the A Life of Death collection entitled The Golden Bulls. Like the first book, Alex Drummond has visions and dreams when he touches something a victim was holding when they died traumatically, reliving their death or murder through their eyes, feelings, and thoughts. While the first book was a tale about how it all began, The Golden Bulls takes place later, during what seems to be the culmination of a serial killer’s annual date for ritualistic murder, September 20. Using his hidden talents, Alex tracks the killer to DC and finally back to his small Virginia mountain town, where the consequences for getting too close to uncovering the real killer could be closer to home than he realizes. Along the way, he finds newfound respect from scientists and a side of his ability he never considered, uncovering the truth of Ancient Egyptian murders.


W: You must be referring to the anthology Strange Circumstances, the supernatural short story collection dealing with fate. It was different, both because it was short stories, but also due to trying to match voices and tones within the story, not to mention requiring more patience. We started it off kind of as a writing exercise that soon became the notion for a book. It was one of those round robin writing activities where you write some, pass it to the next guy or gal, and they continue writing some. Then it got passed around to the next person. There were three of us, so most of the stories went around once, while others were more involved and had to make a second pass. It was kind of chaotic though. Instead of just working on one story at a time, we all started a different story simultaneously, passed each one around to the next person, and so on. But when writing a novel entirely myself, I simply brainstorm, outline, and write, making use of all the time I can get. Unfortunately, there are just twenty-four hours in a day—never enough. I’m still waiting to find out what the cure for sleep is.


E: You write across a couple of different genres.  Do you have a favorite?

W: The consistent genre for most of my work is fantasy. I love exploring every avenue from the unlikely but plausible to going for the secrets and taking the red pill to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Beyond that, I write the stories that grab and shake me, the ones with claws gripped in my shirt collar that I can’t pry off. Those are the ones that demand it and just won’t get out my head. The story ideas normally branch off from main-stream fantasy and explore the mysterious possibilities in our world, wherever that takes them, be it alternate planes, ghosts, vampires, zombies, or mutants.

E: Are you working on anything right now?

W: Yes, I am. I started writing the sequel to Invisible Dawn over a year ago, but one of those ideas I mentioned took hold for The Golden Bulls, and I had to set my current project aside for some months. Thankfully, I’ve gotten back to Salvation, book two in the Altered Realities series, and things are progressing well. A couple fans of the first book have contacted me asking when it will be out. I was hoping to have Salvation out right now, by the end of April, but writing a book is a time-consuming process, especially when you have a day job. However, it’s getting close. I even have a graphic artist finalizing the cover image Eleanor Bennett entered that won the cover contest some time back.


E: What was the last book you read for pleasure?

W: That’s a difficult question to answer considering my job. I enjoy reading a lot of books that come to me for editing, but for pleasure, the most recent one was one of Jim Butcher’s Dresden File novels. I never can get caught up on them with how quickly he writes and how little time I have, but they’re always a wonderful way to escape this world for a while.

E:  Who has influenced your writing style?

W: My writing style . . . hmmm. I honestly don’t know for sure. People have said my writing reminds them of famous authors like Jack London, William Golding, and James Patterson, but I don’t try to model my writing after anyone. I just like good stories with characters you love or love to hate. Those are the ones I can never put down, so I try to write that way, bringing the characters out of my head and doing my best to write them for all to enjoy like long-lost friends coming back in each book. I don’t worry about style so much as just writing the characters as they should be and making everything as realistic, but easy to read, as possible. I’m a firm believer of characters that readers fall in love with or hate and a story that flows well so as not to interrupt the reader’s experience. The importance of this can be seen in any movie you’ve seen (we’ve all sat through one or two of these) where the people weren’t fully developed, so I could care less about them personally. At that point, when the protagonist’s father dies, or whoever, I don’t really bat an eye or even care to watch more—hence, the importance of believable, realistic characters. However, I generally also integrate controversial issues in current events or the personal lives of my characters, like Alex’s rough childhood dealing with his stepfather’s alcoholism and abuse. Think about it—who would want to read a story about characters with no problems whatsoever? I find that the best ones are those people can connect with due to their own personal experiences. In addition, the teacher in me hopes my characters and stories will help adolescents and adults realize they aren’t alone in trying to overcome these issues. Sometimes, we all need a friend, and the characters in books are always there waiting for us.

E: We’ve had a few guests here at Erindipity where they wore more than one hat, but you are the first teacher that’s stopped by.  What’s the most rewarding thing, for you, about teaching?

W: LOL, yeah, I guess I wear lots of hats. I particularly like Ivy Caps. So far as jobs though, I am all over the place. Before turning to editing full time, I taught English for seven years, as you know, and the great thing about teaching and learning is that it never stops. I still love teaching and even sub in the local school districts when I have time (I’m actually writing this during my planning period while subbing today), but working as an editor, I get to work one-on-one with authors to help both their book and their writing skills improve. As they get better and their books are picked up by publishers or received well by readers, I know the author feels good and is proud of him or herself. I get to be a part of that. Whether it is a student I taught in high school who just graduated from college and started their career or writers working on their craft, seeing them succeed and strive to reach their potential are some of the most rewarding parts of teaching.

E: One last thing before you go.  If you could only give your students one piece of advice, what would it be?

W: Good question! I guess the biggest thing I have heard in the past that really irks me is when people say, “I can’t do that. No sense in trying.” I’ve seen that self-defeating attitude time and again, but it’s the few who don’t accept that as reality who put themselves out there and eventually find success. So, simply put, nothing’s impossible, but that’s exactly what you will achieve if you don’t try: nothing.

If you’d like to know more about Weston, his editing services, or upcoming projects, you can find him on Facebook or Twitter.