Author Corner–A Year in Review

Author Corner will be taking a break for the holiday season and will return the first week of January with all new interviews.  I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who helped make this year a great one for Erindipity, from the authors who popped by for interviews and guest posts, to the people who stop by every week to read them.  Thank you.

Here are some of my favorite Erindipity moments from the past year:

  1. Charlie, because who doesn’t love a pet corpse.  Sure, he oozes on my furniture, eats the middles out of all my pies, and gets handsy with the guests, but he’s very loyal.  From taking him to the zoo to watching him chase the Evil Jester around the sitting room for violating my leg, he’s a great pet corpse.
  2. Cruel and Four Days.  No, no one is putting me up to this.  If you have not yet read these books, make it a resolution.  These were the two most memorable books I’ve read this year.  They are worth feeling the need to shower afterwards.
  3. Rafael Alvarez.  I love all my interviewees, but if I had to pick one interview to highlight, it would be this one.  He is a classy guy who was fantastic to work with.  His book, Tales from the Holy Land, is out now from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.
  4. New Work Responses.  I don’t often post what I’m working on, but when I do, the reaction has been wonderful.  Thanks for letting me give you my words.  They’re the most precious things I have.  Well, besides my kids, but you can’t have them.
  5. The Authors.  This gig lets me meet so many different, wonderful people.  From Lehua Parker, who used pigeon in her books, to Charles Day, media kingpin, and everyone in between.  These people were kind enough to let me bug them for an afternoon and I took a little something away from every one of them.

If you have your own favorite moments, please feel free to share them.  I’d love to know.  Thanks again for a wonderful 2013, and here’s to making 2014 even better.

Author Corner–Charles Day Returns

Charles Day and his Evil Little Jester come back to the blog to talk about the very productive year they’ve had.

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

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

E: Welcome back Charles!  How has life been treating you since the last time you were here?

C: Okay, been real busy, but I guess that’s a good thing. Glad to be back.

E: You had a new book come out a few weeks ago, Deep Within.  What can you tell us about it?

C: Yes, I did. I actually wrote this book years ago. I was excited when I finally felt it was ready for publication. It revolves around an ancient evil, reborn in an insane asylum, and now it’s determined to stay alive. My very first NOT YA book. 

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E: The cover is fantastic.  I think you said the building was a former psychiatric hospital.  Can you tell us a bit about what went into the design and how you chose the photographer?

C: I came up with the idea of getting the creature, who has these illuminating blue eyes, to somehow show up on the cover, even if just a close-as-I-could-get  approach. I wanted to have a large psychiatric institution included so my readers would get an idea where the story is going. As a fledging artist, I tried to do my own cover, and I even had a bunch of my Facebook friends support me, but when it came down to it, I just couldn’t deliver the professional image I envisioned.

That said, I reached out to my two good friends who are also staff with my own publishing company at Grant-Day media Inc., Joseph Sigillo and Lorraine Kappus Correira, and holy jeez, they did an incredible job bringing my cover idea to life with a real photo of a local hospital that closed years ago, and a professional image shot by Lorraine.  After joe took the photo and created the creatures’s eyes, and did the title treatment and pulled it all together,  we posted the exclusive first look cover and WOW; I had close to 500 likes and a ton of shares on my Facebook page. Hell yeah, I was glad I didn’t publish the cover I tried to do. Yikes!  Hehehe.

E: You’ve had some pretty great things happen with your publishing empire.  What new changes have you made?

C: Yes, next year we will be breaking ground for the Evil Jester Amusement Park within the loving embrace of Disney World. Hehehehe! Just teasing . . . for now.  Well, first and most important, I met an awesome and genuine person, Taylor Grant, who shared my love for the evil jester and the anthology comic I was developing. We continued to talk on the phone for a few months, getting to know each other more, and we just knew we both had SO much in common. We went on to become partners and formed a registered corporation, Grant-Day Media Inc. I pulled in our imprints I founded, Evil Jester Press and Hidden Thoughts Press (non-fiction) and he and I formed Evil Jester Comics, where he’s also the Deaditor-In-Chief.  And from there he took over my anthology comic idea that was still in its infancy, and made it so freaking awesome.

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The man is beyond talented, fully knowledgeable, and carries a Rolodex of well -established connections he’s made over his 20+ years in the entertainment industry, especially in animation, film, production, and internet business marketing and e-commerce, and he’s an amazingly talented screenwriter who has successfully sold scripts to major movie producers and film companies. In addition, he’s a copy editor, author of many short stories that found homes in successful publishing presses, and he’s also an actor, and owner of close to 60,000 comics. He also worked with Stan Lee in the 90’s to help build his comic book internet company.  I’m beyond grateful to have him as a business partner and a great friend. He’s running our Hollywood office with some of his key people, and all of our staff are just beyond excited.

So, now that we have a corporate office out here in New York, and the other in Hollywood, we are able to combine our resources. In other words, my passion for publishing and the publishing background and connections I’m humbled to have made in the industry over the years, and his professional background in comics and movies, we’ve formed our company to take advantage of producing comics and novels that we intend to cross-over to video games, graphic novels, TV and movies, and game apps. We also have some awesome merchandising plans for our evil dude and mascot, the evil Jester. Will there be an evil jester doll that pops out of his Jester box and has a kung-Fu grip? Well, maybe not the grip, but the doll, yes. And even more is in development.

Many successful comic book companies have some of our marketing strategies, and we aim to do even better. We currently have 5 strong projects in development that we are leveraging to take advantage of our business model, and we are excited to be making announcements on these over the next 6 months, or sooner. 2014 is going to rock the evil Jester box. I hope he’s not in it when this happens.

And Evil Jester Press is also positioned to rock in 2014. Thank you to our Executive Editor Peter Giglio and our Acquisitions Editor, Shannon Michaels, we have a great line-up of books forthcoming, many from authors you all know and love. We’ll be changing some things next year, but the end result will always be author and reader priority. Promise you will not be disappointed. We will still have excellent opportunities for authors and artists and other creative types, and we will stay committed to provide top quality, engaging titles.

E: Evil Jester Comics is set to release the premiere issue.  What sets this issue apart from other comics?

C: It’s really simple. We have awesome stories we’ve adapted from great talent such as Jonathan Maberry, William F. Nolan, Joe McKinney, and Jack Ketchum.  World-class artists who’ve graced the pages of Dark Horse, Marvel, DC, and Image comics. And on the top of all this, we have Taylor Grant, who  took the lead  developing our first EVIL JESTER PRESENTS series, and put his heart and soul into this alongside Aric Sundquist, Joseph Sigillo, Tamara Cribley, Catherine Matta, and Eduardo Alpuente.

Bottom line, everyone put a 110% into making this a great comic. Not to mention our huge campaign supporters, who helped fund this project.  Without them, this would never have happened. We went WAY over budget, but the end result is just worth it to all of us involved.  Again, it’s now available for purchase in either ebook or print at

E: What news is there from Hidden Thoughts Press?  I think I saw that you have a new title coming out soon from there?

C: Yes we do. We’ve recently released our newest title, AN AMAZING JOURNEY,  a memoir by Elizabeth Ann Brechter, which follows our other successful collections and our very first memoir, UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, by Lauren Panobianco. All of our books are on Amazon and you can also visit our Facebook page to find out more about our open submissions.

E: Do you have any events coming up? 

C: Yes, as an author, I’m setting up a book signing tour for DEEP WITHIN for 2014, and for my company, I’m working on the 2nd annual conference for Hidden Thoughts Press and a MAJOR 3-day convention, sort of a mini- version of Comic Con, both to be offered here on Long Island, NY for 2014. We are planning a writers/actors/film-makers/ artists/celebrity guests/panels/movie screenings/ vendors/ event, which is already in the works. This will be under the umbrella of Grant-day Media Inc. and we couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be coordinating with the Suffolk County libraries, independent film professionals, authors and artists, and I also intend to have a Sat & Sunday pitch session/ audition screening set up as well.  There are just TOO many untapped resources and a whole bunch of entertainment and publishing professionals here in NY a few who have already agreed that this would be a welcome addition to some of the other established events in NY. More information to come.

E: So, it was great having you back on the blog.  Do you notice anything different about me?  You know…something about my legs.  Well, one leg in particular.  Your jester is humping my leg again.  I thought we talked about this the last time.

C: Jester dude, back off from Erin. Let go of her leg, you hear?  Back inside your Jester box.  Now!  So sorry about that Erin. He does like ya! But he needs to be more civilized. We’re working on that.

I love having Charles on the blog, but there better be a loofah in my stocking from the Evil Santa.

Author Corner–Essel Pratt

Today’s blog features Essel Pratt.  Essel and I go way back, as he <ahem> kindly points out.

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E: Heya, Essel.  Long time no see.  Glad to finally have you on the blog.

EP: Great to be here!  It has been a long time, high school wasn’t it?  Man, now I feel old.

Thanks for pointing out we’re old now.  Jerk.  Just kidding, Essel.  Sort of.

E: You’ve been recently published in Blood Type: an Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge.  What was your story?

EP:  My story is titled “Damned to Life” is about a young female vampire that was trapped in a basement pit by a man that tortured her every day, suppressing her supernatural powers.  When she finally frees herself, she finds out some unexpected details about her existence.  Oh, and there is glitter, but not in the popular movie vampire sort of way. 

I loved writing the story and had a lot of fun doing so.  I actually have an idea fermenting in my mind to create a full novel from the short.  However, I want to finish a few other ideas first.  Blood Type:  An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge is also a charity anthology, where the funds go to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Fund, so you are not only purchasing a fantastic book (with other authors such as Peter Watts, William F. Nolan, and Mike Resnick included within), you are also helping out a great cause!

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E: You’ve also got several other stories accepted.  Can you tell us about a couple of them and when they become available?

EP:  Absolutely.  One of my upcoming pieces will be included in the Hero’s Best Friend Anthology, by Seventh Star Press.  This one is about the unsung animal friends that fight alongside the heroes within most stories.  This story, titled “Brothers” is a little different than my normal works because it is not exactly horror themed, but more fantasy.  It takes us to a time after a battle the human and wolf companion shared, where they meet again.  The ending is rather sad, but touching.  It is estimated to release near the end of December.

I have another short that was accepted into Horrified Press’s Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vol.2.  The story, titled “Makin’ Bacon” is a strange tale of a beast that is found in the kitchen and wreaks havoc with the lady of the house.  However, he does leave a pleasant surprise for the man of the house in the morning.  This anthology is still in the works and does not have an exact release date as of yet.

E: You’re involved with the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA).  What did you have to do to become associated with them and what all do you do for them?

EP:  Joining the HWA is fairly easy, and the level that you join at is dependent upon your level of writing success.  When I joined, I had not yet sold any stories at professional rates.  So, I am currently a supporting member.  Now that I have a few pieces sold at pro rates, I will attempt to upgrade to an affiliate level when it is time to renew my membership. 

Currently, I am the HWA’s Event calendar Coordinator.  Despite the grandiose title, I essentially review all upcoming events that are submitted from current HWA members (Book signings, lectures, roundtables, etc.) and ensure they are entered into the event calendar for all to view.  Once a month I compile the events and submit them to the monthly newsletter.  There are some amazing events that occur each month, especially the HWA roundtable discussions.

E: For people who aren’t associated with a writers’ guild, can you tell us about some of the benefits to being a member?  What’s in it for you?

EP: I definitely recommend joining a writers guild, there are quite a few benefits to take advantage of.  For example, it is a great place to network with other writers of similar interests, each at different levels of success.  Whether in the forums or at a local chapter meeting, there are many avenues to learn more about the writing process, share failures, success, and absorb best practices from each other. 

There is also a mentoring program that allows writers that are new to the art to pair up with someone more experienced to learn the tools of the trade.  With over 1000 members, there is a wealth of experience to reach out to and learn from. 

For me, it is all about networking and absorbing from their experiences and knowing that if I have a dilemma, there is someone there that is willing to help me out if needed.

E: You also participated in NaNoWriMo this year.  You won, I do believe.  Good job!  I know it’s still going to be rough, but what can you tell us about your project?

EP:  I did!  In the past I told myself that I would participate, but never did.  So this year, I went for it.  I already had the novel outlined and ready to start, but just couldn’t find the time.  So, I used NanoWriMo to jump start my progress.  The novel is still rough and needs a lot of TLC, but I am up to the challenge.  My project is actually an expansion of a short story I wrote in the past.  It takes place in a post-apocalyptic earth, where magic has replaced the mechanical wonders we use today.  Animals talk, and pure magical beings are the monsters hidden in the dark.  Although it is still rough, actually finishing the first draft is extremely gratifying.  I am already plotting out my next novel attempt.

If anyone would like to follow my writing escapades, they can follow me on Twitter, or search EsselPrattWriting on Facebook.  They can also follow my blog.

E: Horror writing is your thing.  What genre (or subgenre) terrifies you to write?

EP:  Although my main focus is on horror, I do tend to write fantasy and adventure from time to time and have been thinking about expanding into some Bizarro fiction after writing a couple Circus Punk pieces.  However, I was challenged to write a romance novel at one point.  However, I am terrified to do so.  My mind is a strange place, and writing such a book could become a strange mess.  I fear what the final result could become.

E: Your daughter was recently published in a collection.  That’s pretty awesome.  Take a minute and shamelessly promote her work.

EP: I am extremely proud of my youngest daughter, Vyvecca.  She was recently published in the Bones Anthology, by JWK Fiction.  I was pretty excited when she brought me a poem that she wrote last year and wanted to submit it somewhere.  It was pretty rough, but I thought it would be a good lesson in rejection.  So, I found that the Bones Anthology was taking submissions for poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and art.  I emailed the editor and queried whether he would entertain the idea of a twelve year old girl submitting.  He said yes and we sent it off.  Within a day or two, he sent it back with some suggested edits and constructive criticism.  I guided Vyvecca through the edits, offering advice and tips, and resubmitted.  I honestly did not think it had a chance in the beginning, but it wasn’t a couple days later that she received her first contract.  She is already preparing for the next volume when subs open in December. 

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog!  I apologize I didn’t bring any cake or confectionaries, my dog ate them before arriving.  

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