Author Corner–Brenda Corey Dunne

E: Hi, Brenda.  Welcome to the blog.  Care for some candies?

B: Yum! I’ll take a chocolate mint please…Delicious!

E: You have a new book coming out from Jolly Fish Press, Dependent.  What can you tell us about it?

B: Dependent is the story of a military spouse, Ellen, who has lost her sense of self—something easy to do in the military lifestyle. Through a series of events—early pregnancy, marriage at a young age, frequent moves, abuse of power by her husband’s superior officer…she becomes a dependent in the true sense of the word. The story follows Ellen as she rebuilds herself and finds her inner strength. It’s a story of love and loss and regrowth.

cover 1

E: You also have a book that you self-published, Treasure in the Flame.  What can you tell us about that one?

B: One of my favorite places is the world is a living museum on the East Coast of Canada called Kings Landing. It’s like walking into history when you walk through the gates. My kids were there for a week of summer camp—wearing traditional costume, milking cows, making butter and working in the carpentry shop. I was walking around visiting them and thinking that it would be a great place to set a story…and the story just sort of grew in my head. It became my NaNoWriMo project for the year, and I wrote the first draft in just under a month.


E: What factors went into your decision to self-publish over traditional publishing with your first book?

B: I did start with an eye toward traditional publishing, but only sent out about five queries. Of the five, I had a full request and a partial…so I knew that the story had some merit. I also had a small market (the museum gift shop) and the desire to learn more about the publishing business. After a year of waiting for responses I decided it was time to move on, and started searching for editors, graphic designers and formatters. Treasure in the Flame was published about 8 months later.

E: What has your experience with traditional publishing been like so far?

B: I’m publishing with a small press, so there are many similarities.  There are no huge advance checks and no big-business powerhouses behind you with a small, independent press. It’s a trade off—I lost some control of things like cover design (although I had input) and publishing dates, but I gained the expertise of other like-minded book professionals.  With my publisher behind me I also gain exposure to foreign rights and things like movie rights that wouldn’t have been available to me before.

E: Have you learned anything through this process that you wish you had known with your first book?

B: I had a great experience with my first book, so I learned a lot. I know how difficult it is to get in with big box book stores, I know the work behind book publicity, and I know how a book gets put together. What I didn’t expect was the support of other publisher and agent mates, and the sense of community we have, through Facebook groups and email. I’ve met many authors (virtually) and have a wonderful source of information that I didn’t have before.

E: You have plans for a sequel to Treasure in the Flame.  Will you self-publish that one as well, or will you go for the traditional publishing route?

B: Good question. I’m in discussions with my amazing agents at Literary Counsel about the Treasure sequel and where to take it. I’m certainly not against the idea of traditionally publishing it, but the Treasure series is my little project. The feedback has been so positive for my first little story. I think with the right publisher and at the right time I’d happily sign a contract. More publishing support equals more time to write!

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?

B: Dependent will launch from Victoria, BC, Canada (at the Chapters on Douglas) on August 2nd. It’s going to be an amazing day! After that I’ll be doing signings and events throughout Vancouver Island, Mainland BC and the Seattle area over the summer. I’ll update my blog ( as things are finalized.

Thank you so much for allowing me to hang out on your blog, Erin! Really appreciate it. And good luck in all of your writing endeavors!

You can find Brenda on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Corner–Mary Borsellino

E: Hi, Mary!  Welcome to Erindipity.  I trust you found the place ok?

M: Thank you so much for having me, it’s a pleasure.

E: Your book, The Devil’s Mixtape, is being released as a second edition.  Can you tell us what’s new with this edition?

M: The new edition has fanart from readers, which is always an exciting treat for me and which I’m really glad to be able to share with everyone. There’s also a very grim little short story by me, ‘Shots and Cuts’ that felt like it fit thematically with the novel.


E: Looking through your catalogue, the title that jumped out at me as very different from the rest is Sharpest—a tour diary.  Can you tell us a bit about it?

M: It’s funny that you say it jumps out as very different, because in many ways I feel like it’s the direct ancestor of The Devil’s Mixtape – both are about live music, physical travel, and using those things to cope with loss and darkness. Sharpest came first, and dealt with my own experiences, and then Mixtape was the translation of those themes into a fictional narrative.


E: You have a series, The Wolf House, which deals with vampires and werewolves.  How is your series different from all the other vampire and werewolf stories?

M: It doesn’t actually have werewolves! I love werewolves, but the use of wolf in the title refers more to how the vampires are pack animals. I also wanted to invoke that little red riding hood vibe, of stepping into a place that seems welcoming but is very dangerous.

If anything, the other horror creature which appears – though only through reference, not as a character – is Victor Frankenstein’s creation.

I guess the thing which makes my series different is that I wanted to tease out the things usually only addressed in metaphor by vampire stories, and make them manifest as their actual selves rather than just as oblique references. The first book opens with a discussion about how vampires are still scary because of AIDS, but later on there’s an actual character with HIV. Queerness is present in the text, not just the subtext. One character had an eating disorder when she was alive, and that plays into how she feeds as a vampire. Things like that.


E: You also write a lot of steamy books and stories.  What do you like best and least when working with erotica?

M: I like how easy it is to write short stories in erotica – apart from occasional anthologies, other genres of writing aren’t as big on short stories, but they’ve made up the bulk of my erotica work.

What I like least is probably the way everyone immediately asks ‘are you going to sell 70 million, like fifty shades?’ as soon as they find out I write in the genre!

E: You write for both YA and adults.  Subject matter aside, what adjustments do you make when writing for these different audiences?

M: None, really. YA appeals to me because it tends to play with broader strokes than adult fiction; all the emotions and stakes and events are bigger and louder. I don’t really have much of an interest in writing anything mundane or cynical, and I think those are what makes a book ‘grown up’. Adults can read my books, teens can read my books.

I’ve never been sure what differentiates the two audiences from one another, I think the books in the two categories tend to be more different from one another than the two groups of readers are.

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc.?

M: I do! On 30th July at Warragul Library in Melbourne I’m giving an author talk with my friend Narrelle Harris, who also writes vampire novels. And at some point in the next few months I’ll have a launch for a novel I’ve got coming out, but I don’t know the details of that one yet – I’ll post ‘em on as soon as they’re worked out.

E: What are you currently working on?

M: I’m writing three video games right now. I’m enjoying the challenge of writing a more open-ended narrative form; the rules are different to straight up fiction, but I’m loving it so far.



Author Corner–Johnny Worthen

eleanor-blog tour-banner


E: Hey, Johnny!  Welcome back to the blog.  How goes things in the land of tie dye?

J: Exciting and vibrant. Colorful and casual.

E: You have a brand new book.  What can you tell us about it?

J: ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN is my new young adult paranormal novel. It’s been called a romance and a horror because there’s a monster in it, but just one little one. I think of it as a fable.

It is the story of a fifteen year-old girl growing up in a tiny Wyoming town. She quiet and unassuming, average and easily ignored. But is not as she seems. She is a sea of contradictions; lost but found, old but young, malleable but fixed. She is most human and not.

It is a character study of a confused but loving little girl who has to face some real challenges. It is centered around a metaphor that change is hard but necessary. It is a book about things not being as they seem and the challenges of growing up. It delves into some serious issues; Bullying, prejudice, love and forgiveness. Courage and cowardice. Trust. It is a haunting tale that will stay with the readers long after it’s finished.

It’s getting great reviews and I’m very proud of it.

Eleanor Cover

E: The Unseen Saga is at three books so far.  What can we expect from future books?

J: ELEANOR is a stand-alone title. I want to make that clear. I always feel a little tricked when I buy a book only to find out an ending isn’t included. My publisher put “Book 1” on the cover, but it stands wholly and completely on its own.

However, if you love Eleanor as much as I and are curious to continue her tale, it does so in the next book CELESTE and the third book  DAVID which again has an ending.

Without spoiling anything, I can say that in these later books the stakes get higher – much higher. Eleanor’s struggles on, still afraid but feeling her potential. Her secretes still haunt her and she has to come to terms with her own prejudices and fears. Danger and discovery wait around every door and catastrophe is but one slip up away.

E: Do you see the Saga going beyond the three books or will you stop here?

J: The three books are written and at the publisher, so if I die, Eleanor’s story will still be told. I’m happy about that. If THE UNSEEN is popular enough I have some ideas on the progression of the story, but I am very satisfied with the conclusion of the trilogy as it stands now, as I am the conclusion of the first book. 

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?

J: The official date of release is July 1, but I have a June 28th launch date at the biggest Barnes & Noble in the state. Check this out.

I’m doing all kinds of conventions and book stuff all summer, including teaching at the League of Utah Writers and going to Comic Con. I’ll fit as many book signings in as I can. Lots and lots I hope. Check my website. 

E: Jolly Fish Press is doing a giveaway for Eleanor.  What formats are up for grabs?

J: Jolly Fish has this give away:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have this one:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m not sure what Jolly Fish is giving away, but I’m giving away a signed paperback copy from my own stash. Enter both. 

E: Do you have any other projects going on?

J: BEATRYSEL and DR. STUART’S HEART are still going well. I’m promoting them to readers with darker tastes. In 2015 look for another complete change of gears from me when THE FINGER TRAP, a comedic noire detective mystery/social commentary comes from Jolly Fish and my comedian slacker detective Tony Flaner is unleashed upon an unprepared populace.

E: What has been the most memorable part of your publishing journey so far?

J: Getting to talk at conventions and conferences. I love the attention and I can share my scars so other people don’t have to get them to get where they’re going.


Author Corner–Max Booth III

E: Hey, Max!  Welcome back to the blog.  Of course, you had to bring me guacamole.  Why can’t you bring me pie like normal people?

M: It is pie. It just happens to be filled with guacamole. I don’t understand why you won’t just eat the damn thing. It’s delicious. This is what killed Hitler. It’s good for us. Trust me. One bite.

E:  You have a new book out, Toxicity.  When did it release and what can you tell us about it?

M: Toxicity was published by Post Mortem Press back in April. Post Mortem Press is probably best known for publishing the short fiction of Joe Hill and Clive Barker through various anthologies, along with the ongoing columns by Harlan Ellison in their quarterly dark fiction journal, Jamais Vu.

Toxicity is a dark comedy about drug addiction and dysfunctional families. It features three main characters and their individual stories, who all eventually clash together toward the end of the book. So, it’s kind of similar to certain Quentin Tarantino narrative techniques in that aspect. Many reviews actually have compared the book to Tarantino, as well as the Coen Brothers, Elmore Leonard, and Carl Hiaasen.

Toxicity Front Cover

E: Where did you get the idea for the book?  What’s the weirdest, or most unusual, thing that has inspired a story?

M: I grew up loving the hell out of films like Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. I wanted to write a humorous crime novel in the same sort of style. The actual idea? Man, I don’t know. I started off by writing about a dysfunctional family very similar to my own family, and allowed the craziest shit I could imagine to continue from there. After many rewrites, an actual novel had formed.

E: You’ve got some short story news recently.  What got accepted and where can we find it?

M: My short story “The Neighborhood has a Barbecue” was recently accepted in Michael Bailey’s psychological horror/science fiction anthology, Qualia Nous. He had previously published my story “Flowers Blooming in the Season of Atrophy” in his horror anthology, Chiral Mad 2. “The Neighborhood has a Barbecue” is written in the same style as old Twilight Zone episodes, so fans of that show will probably really dig my story. Well, that’s the idea, at least.

Vincenzo Bilof also accepted my short story “One Day I’ll Quit This Job and Rule the World” in his anthology, Surreal Worlds. My story is…surreal.

Both anthologies should be available sometime later this year.

E: You’ve got a fairly busy convention schedule this year.  In fact, didn’t you just get back from one?  Where else can we find you this year?

M: Indeed I did! I just returned home after a great convention at Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. I spent most of the time panhandling on the streets with Christian A. Larsen.


The remaining conventions for this year all happen to fall on September. I will be at the following conventions, hosting a vendor table for my own small press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing: Monster-Con (San Antonio, TX – September 06-07), Enter the Imaginarium (Louisville, KY – September 19-21), and Alamo City Comic Con (San Antonio, TX – September 26-28).

Side note: I’ll also be attending Enter the Imaginarium in September.  If you’re in the surrounding area or you’re willing to drive and you’ve got a burning desire to meet us, that’s where we’ll be.  Charlie can’t come.  They said something about “biohazards” and “fumes.”  Bastards.

E: You have another book coming out this fall from Kraken Press.  What can you tell us about that one?

M: The Mind is a Razorblade will be published this September by Kraken Press. It’s a supernatural neo-noir horror novel of a man born into death. Drowning, he wakes beside two corpses. His memory has been wiped clean. He doesn’t know his name, what he’s doing here, who these people are, or even why one of them is a cop. Questions plague his mind like hellfire, questions that begin a journey leading into the rot of downtown America, a journey that will not end until every one of his questions have been answered, despite who has to die in the process. Even if those who have all the answers aren’t even human.

A story of identity and redemption, satanist cults and funny bunny slippers, The Mind is a Razorblade is the deformed lovechild of a lunatic raised on cheesy ‘80’s science fiction movies.


E: You’ve also edited another tribute anthology.  What was behind choosing Charles Bukowski and what are your plans for future tribute anthologies?

M: I’ve done two tribute anthologies so far. Volume one focused on Kurt Vonnegut, and the second featured Charles Bukowski. Both of these authors inspired me both as a person and a writer. They affected not only me, but millions of fans. I’m currently putting together a new volume for Elmore Leonard, and if any writers are interested, they have until September 30 to submit something to me.

I am actually on the fence about continuing the tribute series after Elmore Leonard. If I do, I’ll either tackle Flannery O’Connor or Roald Dahl.

Roald Dahl sounds like a lot of fun, to be honest.

E: If you could change any part of the publishing industry, what would you change and why?

M: Besides all the ass kissing that’s involved, probably the really shitty “publishers” popping up every two seconds. You know the kind I’m talking about. The publishers that pretty much release only anthologies, offering zero payment or contributor copies, and exist solely to make money off of writers’ friends and families. I would love to see them all fall off the face of the earth.

Max headshot max is homeless


Max Booth III is the author of two novels, TOXICITY and THE MIND IS A RAZORBLADE, along with a collection of flash fiction called THEY MIGHT BE DEMONS. He is the co-founder of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and the assistant editor of Dark Moon Digest. The editor of numerous anthologies, he has studied under Craig Clevenger and award winning editor, Jennifer Brozek. He writes columns for Litreactor, Revolt Daily, and Zombie POP. Raised in Northern Indiana, Max currently works as a hotel night auditor somewhere in San Antonio with his dachshund and life partner.  You can find Max at his website  or on Twitter.

Author Corner–Simon Sylvester

E: Hi Simon and welcome.  Pull up a chair.  I’ve locked Charlie in the closet so you should be safe for the time being.  We’ve been working on his impulse control but it’s not going well.  Corpses.  What can you do?

S: Not a problem. If I’d only known, I’d have brought my shovel.

E: You have your debut novel coming out very soon.  What is the name of it and what can you tell us about it?

S: It’s called The Visitors, and it’s equal parts mystery, thriller and coming-of-age. The main character, Flora, is a 17-year-old girl living on a remote Scottish island. She would very much like to leave, but then two weird strangers turn up – and islanders start disappearing. Unravelling the mystery takes Flora to some terrifying places, and leads her to question her entire sense of self. The story is bound in Scottish folklore, too, and rooted in the Scottish islands. It’s about isolation and friendship. It’s a murder mystery about love.

Comp copies small

E: What has the process been like for this book?  What has been the most frustrating and the most rewarding parts of the journey?

S: It’s been a relatively short journey, I guess – just under three years from conception to publication. Most frustrating have been occasional parts of the editing process. I enjoy editing, but I did three or four huge redrafts of The Visitors, including a partial reworking that damn near finished me. But for all the hard graft, there’s nothing like that feeling when the story accelerates away from me – when I’m no longer in control of my characters, and they’re deciding for themselves what they want to do next. That’s why I write – for that dizzying, exhilarating moment when I’m part of something bigger than myself.

E: You also have a book of flash fiction pieces out.  What can you tell us about it?

S: That’s called Marrow. It’s a collection of 28 stories ranging between 13 and 1,000 words. The subjects flit from voodoo to lion tamers, fighter pilots to guinea pigs, and avocados to the end of the world. I love flash fiction. In 2010, I started writing 140-character stories on Twitter. I’ve pretty much stopped now, but I’ve written about 1,500 of them over the years. I moved onto longer flash fiction when 140 characters simply wasn’t enough. I love working in a 300-500 word range – it’s plenty to shape a sense of character, or a glimpse of a world. Telling a good story in that space is a real challenge, but it’s fun, and when I’m so strapped for time, flash fiction gives me the hit I need to stay sharp. I’ve also started reading and performing my work at open mics and spoken word nights more often, and that’s fuelled the need for shorter stories – I prefer reading flash fiction to excerpts from longer works – it’s more satisfying to share something complete, and flash fiction encourages a bit of theatre.


E: You chose to self-publish this one.  What are some of the major differences you encountered between self-publishing and having a publisher (either pros or cons)?

S: I self-published Marrow for a few reasons. I didn’t think there was much hunger for flash fiction collections from traditional publishers, for one thing. But as The Visitors was going through the editing process, and I was learning more about how a book is put together, I decided that I wanted to learn some of the skills for myself. So I taught myself enough InDesign to lay out and typeset the collection, then flailed my way through Photoshop to design the cover, and bounced the roughs off my friends for feedback. I liked being in charge of the process and creating everything from the ideas in my head to the finished book in my hands. I’ll probably self-publish the next collection, too. But my experience of traditional publishing has been life-changing, and I wouldn’t change it for all the tea in China. Thanks to Quercus Books, I have a phenomenal editor who challenged and encouraged me to develop the story far beyond my original manuscript. Her ideas and guidance have massively improved my book, my process and my writing. Working with the Quercus team has been really positive. The copy editor picked up inconsistencies no-one else had noticed, and the designer created a cover that took my breath away. The book looks and feels better than I could have achieved with self-publishing, and the story is stronger. Quercus have managed all the online listings, and we’re now starting to plan events around the book that I couldn’t have done without them. They’ve been incredible. It still feels like I should be waking up.

E: You’ve just finished a novella, The Year of the Whale.  You work with multiple story lengths: short stories, flash fiction, novellas, novels.  Do you have a favorite length to work with?

S: The story dictates the length. Of those 1,500 Twitter stories, I’ve found myself going back to redraft some of them in longer forms, because 140 characters simply wasn’t enough for the idea, and it was bugging me to leave them unfinished. Generally speaking, I seem to gravitate towards the extremes of flash fiction and novels, missing out the short stories and novellas in the middle. I started with short stories, and they were how I learned to write, but it’s only in writing novels and flash fiction that I’ve improved my storytelling – flash fiction taught me to be precise and concise, and novels gave me the space to expand on my ideas and make a world of my imagination. The Year of the Whale is a peculiar piece. It was all I could salvage of a novel I abandoned at 50,000 words a few years ago. I was left with 15,000 words of a character I loved and an idea I couldn’t shake. I’d been wanting to finish it for years, but The Visitors, Marrow and next novel The Hollows always came first. Then I discovered a novella competition with a month before the deadline, and decided the time had come to wrap it up. Cue long days and late nights to get it finished in time. I don’t think I’ll write another novella in a hurry. I have so little time to write, and the next novel is shouting louder than ever. It’s about a man who loses his memories, and the woman who goes to find them. It’s almost 20,000 words in, and I’m starting to know my characters. It’s beginning to evolve, and that’s really exciting.

E: You have an agent.  What was that process like?  What advice would you give to other authors who are currently seeking representation?

S: My agent is a wonder. She’s called Sue, and she’s incredible. I was very lucky. A friend of mine heard she was taking on new writers, so I sent her a short story about a WWII fighter pilot and an outline for the novel, which at that stage was three-quarters finished. She liked the story and was intrigued by the novel – so I finished it as quickly as I could, spent months and months redrafting, then submitted it. A week later, she wrote back to say she loved it. That was The Visitors. I wouldn’t have found Quercus without Sue. She’s heavily involved with the editorial side as well, which is brilliant – she totally gets me and my ideas, and it’s fantastic to talk to her about my stories. She’s also extremely nice; whenever I call her up to discuss some part of the job, we usually spend half an hour talking about Game Of Thrones or the mice in her office. As for advice on finding an agent – do your research. Make sure your work is a good fit with the agent you’re approaching. Follow their guidelines. Be realistic about where your work fits the market. Be nice. Read the Slushpile Hell Tumblr, and don’t do any of the things on there.

E: What is the most difficult part of your journey as a writer and what are some ways you overcome those difficulties?

S: The hardest part is time. I work very hard as a teacher at a local college, I make short films for local businesses, and I have a wife and daughter I want to spend more time with. As a result, I don’t get a lot of time to write, and I find that frustrating. I often work very late, or cram a lot of writing into my days off (I once wrote 11,000 words in a day). But that means I get tired and stressed. I crave writing, and there’s nothing else I’d rather do, but at the moment my hands are tied by real life. I have my next five novels lined up and good to go, but no space in my head or time at my desk. I try not to beat myself up about it, but it does get me down sometimes. Writing is all I want to do. One day, I’ll find a way. For now, I have my half-hours of flash fiction, and half-days of my second novel.

Good questions. Thanks for having me along!

IMG_0491 IMG_3768 Photo on 13-12-2013 at 10.48 #4 reading at WPM

Simon Sylvester is a writer, teacher and occasional filmmaker. He was born in 1980 and grew up in Scotland, England, Germany and Northern Ireland. He studied English Literature at Lancaster University and Film Production at the University of Bristol.
After years working as a camera assistant and then a magazine journalist, Simon started writing fiction in 2006. His short stories have been published in journals, anthologies and magazines including Dark Mountain, Gutter, Valve, [PANK], Fractured West, Fire Crane, Southpaw and Smoke: a London Peculiar. He won the Flashtag short short story slam in 2014, was shortlisted for the Drowned Villages poetry competition, and has written more than a thousand very short stories on Twitter. His debut novel The Visitors will be published by Quercus Books in June 2014 and he is now working on his second novel, which is called The Hollows.
Simon lives in Cumbria with the painter Monica Metsers and their daughter Isadora.

Author Corner–Angela Hartley

E: Hi, Angela!  Welcome to Erindipity.  I see you’ve got something there.  Did you bring me a present?

A: Why yes, yes I did. I brought you some chocolate covered cinnamon bears as a tribute to Copper Descent’s release next month. I made them special just for you—a thank you gift for having me. No Charlie! Those are Erin’s! Animals aren’t supposed to have…err… chocolate. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’s fine. Look, he’s smiling. Would you like to give them a try? There’s a few left without slobber on them. I promise you’ll never be the same after you’ve tasted their decadent loveliness.

Charlie is now banished to the basement until further notice.  Bad Charlie!

E: Your first book is coming out very soon.  What can you tell us about Copper Descent?

A: In this New Adult novel, you’ll find procreating angels, demon rock stars, Lucifer’s story tied into Native American legends, and temptation. Let’s not forget temptation. Nineteen-year-old Nina Douglas faces the ultimate enticement when she meets Sinauf, the dark god of her ancestors. Later on she discovers the gods in the legends were actually angels and fallen angels, and she’s the key that could tip the balance. It isn’t too much of a surprise. Her mother always said that Nina would fall for Sinauf. I have to admit, he’s pretty irresistible. Speaking of tempting, you still haven’t sampled any of my treat. Don’t you like candy?

E: Your main character is Native American.  What was your research process like?

A: Funny you should mention it. Nina kind of knew she was Native American way longer than I did. The demographics and story structure were set up in such a way that I had an awkward moment in my third revision where she finally came out and admitted it. I changed her ethnic background and it all came together just like that! I’d already placed legends and folklore I loved as a child into the story, so the transition was seamless.

I also spent a lot of time researching ancient texts, mainly the book of Enoch in The Dead Sea Scrolls. Ezekiel was a complete nut, but he carried knowledge a man of his time shouldn’t have possessed. He talked about the gateways to heaven, eleven total. Four by sea, and seven on land. How could he have possibly known how many continents and oceans were on the earth? This was the premise I started with, and the rest kind of took on a life of its own. Ah, I see you couldn’t hold out forever. Aren’t they amazing? I can’t think of any flavor more sinful than chocolate and cinnamon combined together. My antagonist knows all about sin, he orchestrated the first, after all.

E: I think writing about Lucifer is an interesting craft choice.  Have you received any negative comments about that choice?

A: On several occasions, I’ve been asked what could have possibly possessed me to write on this topic, but the answer is simple, really. I, too, was afraid of the monster. To overcome that fear, I decided to shed some light on the torrent of emotions tied to his name. I wanted to know if it was the entity who caused such a strong reaction or the array of feelings he represented.

The most resistance has come from the way I portray Lucifer, but it really wasn’t my image to begin with. I was fascinated with Milton’s take on Paganism and Lucifer’s role in our fall. Take the gods in most Mythologies and Occult arts. What happens if you put angels or fallen angels in their place? The beliefs become rather similar to a single god faith. Think of Lucifer walking the earth from the beginning of time, posing as gods. Does it make sense that he is ugly, or would he be beautiful, charming and irresistible? I imagined he’d be consumed with vengeance and superiority. What better role to play out his ego trip than a famous rock star with millions of adoring fans?

I also wanted to make a path to overcome his hate and find a way home, but only if his pride allow it. Even if he managed to make this choice, how would he cope with his permanent disfigurement and the judgment of his own race? He was capable of loving once. Unable to die, does he still pine for a possible mate? His banishment is eternal, carried on until Humanity’s suffering is at an end. Of course, he would do everything within his power to speed up the process.

Considering all of this, do I think his actions are justified? Absolutely not! But after I developed his character, I found I no longer feared Lucifer, but pitied him. Even though his return to grace would be best achieved by eradicating evil, he has continued to create misery instead. He has chosen to remain in a hellish existence. After all this time, he’s still fighting his war, but we can decide not to participate or play into his hands. Just like the chocolate cinnamon bears. The candy isn’t responsible for being tempting even when it’s covered in slobber, but we can decide how we react to wanting it. In many ways, this is the power Lucifer uses against us. He likes to play on our flawed nature.

E: What are you currently working on?

A: Iron Resolve, the second book in The Sentient Chronicles. There will be six or seven total, depending on how many it takes to tell the full story. In the next, we follow Myke Preston, a man with a weak disposition. He walks away from his wife and daughter to discover his world has literally crumbled beneath his feet. The only way back to his family is through a hellish maze of doors that lead through his tragic past. I touch on some pretty heavy issues in this novel, like addiction, infidelity, and domestic violence. I’m also working on a cautionary tale of hypnotherapy and mass murder called D-Brie.

E: How has your publishing journey been so far?

A: Fox Hollow has been awesome to work with. They’re in it for the long haul, and work tirelessly to make their authors happy. I feel very fortunate to have come in on the ground floor on a company I believe will have a very promising future.

Now, on a personal level, I’ve had a few moments where I’m like, “What the hell were you thinking?!” All writers have to be a little crazy to expose ourselves even more intimately than if we were standing in a room full of people naked, but our words are pointless if they’re never shared. So I make myself crawl out of the fetal position, and try remember that my work doesn’t define me, it just enhances what’s already there.

E: What part of the process has been the most fun for you?  Which has been the most tedious?

A: Character development has to be my favorite part of writing. I like to get into the heads others and try figure out how they tick. Naturally, I do this with fictitious people as well.  Once I have my characters pegged, I can figure out the best ways to mess with their heads.

The hardest has been the rejection. You need to have a pretty thick skin to make it in this business. If I wouldn’t have loved the craft so much and wasn’t so stubborn, I probably would have quit in the beginning.

E: If you had to pick one author to be your unofficial mentor (unofficial because they wouldn’t actually know about it), who would you pick and why would you want to use them as a resource?

A: Stephen King. I read The Talisman when I was eleven-years-old. Now, I don’t recommend for children to read Stephen King (I had a rather interesting childhood), but for me, something in the other worldy feel of his work resonated to my core. I didn’t really understand the connection until years later when I, too became a writer. Originally, I wanted to write for kids, but my work was way too macabre. No matter how hard I tried to be light and funny, I just couldn’t. Around this time, I picked up The Dark Tower series.  I can’t remember exactly in which book it happens, but the main character, Roland carries on a conversation with Stephen King. It was profound—the creator speaking to his creation. The dialogue was life-changing for me. King talked about channeling his work, having it come from somewhere else. He really has no control over what happens. Finally, I understood why some work came so easily and the rest was like pulling teeth. When I was forcing the story go the way I wanted, it fought me. My expectations needed to be set aside so I could allow the plot to derive from that other place. I’m good at scary, and that’s okay.

536188_2465020840214_854053515_nAngela Hartley spent much of her childhood being shuffled from house to house with only a book for companionship. The magic she found in the written word saved her in many ways, transporting her into worlds far more enjoyable than the one she resided in. Literature became a passion and the idea of writing carried her through years of uncertainty.

After high school, she met and married her own Prince Charming. They rode off into the sunset in his blue Toyota and a whole new world full of hope and happiness opened up. He claimed they could move mountains together, and they did.

While facing the painful realization that sometimes there are no tomorrows following her father’s tragic death in 2005, she decided it was time to follow her dreams. With the love and support of her family, she dove into another world, full of procreating angels and demon rock stars.

Her debut new adult horror novel, Copper Descent will be released on Amazon May 2014. Angela currently resides in Midway, Utah with her three children and husband.  You can find her on her blog  or on Facebook.

Author Corner–Perrin Pring

E: Hello, Perrin, and welcome to Erindipity!  Thanks for stopping by.  Yes, that is a corpse petting a kitten.  No, you shouldn’t be alarmed.

P: It seems to me that cats, while having a reputation for being fickle, clearly aren’t. If you give them love, they’ll love you back, in their own way. They don’t discriminate based on if you have a pulse or not. This should give us hope in case some sort of dead reanimation apocalypse comes to pass. At least our furry friends won’t run away screaming.

E: You recently debuted your novel, An Appointment at the Edge of Forever, with Glastonbury Publishing.  What can you tell us about it?

P: An Appointment at the Edge of Forever is the story of an unlikely group of people faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge. A plague threatens the universe. Evil gods, the Afortiori, are systematically enslaving all beings with Free Will. Ryo can stop them, but she doesn’t know it. She doesn’t even know who she is. Filion knows Ryo’s secret but in order to protect her, he has to first find her. He enlists the help of Captain Eri and her band of rag-tag smugglers. Together, they will search the wastes of space for Ryo. The question is, will Filion and his crew find Ryo before the Afortiori do?

Beyond the plot summary though, An Appointment at the Edge of Forever, is a quick read. You don’t have to be into ‘hard’ science fiction to understand it. You don’t know a thing about astrophysics? That’s okay. You don’t want to even read the words ‘time dilation’? Once again, that’s okay. The story isn’t driven by theoretical physics. It’s driven by a set of un unusual people who are forced to work together. Picture four of your most opposite friends stuck together in a confined space (like a space ship) and then being tasked with saving the universe. You might not want to be there while they do it, but reading the book afterwards could be fun. At the same time, An Appointment at the Edge of Forever will appeal to those who like science fiction/fantasy. It takes place in SPACE! There are phazers, alien planets, aliens, epic battles, and mind controlling gods. You want to leave your cubical for a while? I’ve got the perfect vehicle.

Appointment Cover 12-13

E: This is Book One in a trilogy.  What can we expect from future books?

P: Well, I’m actually taking a break from editing the third book to answer these questions, so I’ll start by saying this, the trilogy has been completed. Book two and three are in various stages of edits. It all comes together in the end, and I’m pretty happy with it.

As for specifics… In book two, the readers are going to get to know a lot more about Captain Eri, including what happened to her wings. Ryo is going to do something that she shouldn’t be able to do, and Red, as usual, is going to screw some stuff up. I’m going to introduce some new characters, many of whom will make an appearance in book three. Also, some love interests are developing, but don’t get too wrapped around that because no one is going to have all that much free time – the crew of the Dark Horse is on a schedule.

I’m not going to say too much about book three, other than there is a pretty epic battle scene. Perhaps if we do another interview for book two I’ll have more to reveal.

E: So far, the trilogy is getting rave reviews on Amazon.  Has anyone mentioned something that was surprising to you or that was particularly helpful to you as a writer?

P: One thing that has been really surprising is the wide range of people who are enjoying my book. I’ve been told by multiple people (most of whom I had no idea bought my book) that while they don’t usually like science fiction, they really liked my book. This is big to me for two reasons. One, it means people are buying my book, and two, it means I’m attracting people who aren’t ‘science fiction’ fans, per se. I also find it interesting the number of people who have read my book on their phones. That is a huge compliment to me, seeing as it takes a lot of dedication to read anything on a phone, let alone a novel.

E: On your website, you list your top books of the year, with The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time #12) by Robert Jordan as your honorable mention.  I’ll have you know I’m up to Book 11.  Yeah, I’m showing off a bit.  Who are some other fantasy/sci-fi authors you read?

P:  Well first, congrats on making it to Book 11. You should show off. You’re going to be pleased with book 12, for sure. The battle scenes are awesome. So, authors I read… Obviously, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (I’m going to read some of his other stuff after reading the last three Wheel of Time books). I just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. In the past few years I’ve read Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Lois Lowry, Robert Heinlein, Ernest Cline, Joe Haldeman, Christopher Moore, Hugh Howey, Sherri S. Tepper, Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut, Orson Scott Card, Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman, Hilary Jordan, J.K Rowling, Philip K. Dick, S.M. Sterling, Kazuo Ishiguro, Richard K. Morgan, Stephen King, Paolo Bacigalupi, David Brin, David Mitchell, Gail Carriger, J.R.R. Tolkien, Max Brooks, Michael Chabon, and Peter Benchley, and others.

I can’t say I liked all of the above author’s books, but reading a wide variety of stuff, particularly stuff that doesn’t always appeal to me, makes me a better writer. I learn what I like, what I don’t like, and how I want my books to sound.

E: When did you decide to take the plunge into writing and was there ever a time you thought about giving it up to do something else?

P: Well, I’ve been writing long pieces since high school. My first long work was a narrative about my travels with the junior and senior US national wildwater kayaking teams. I spent my senior and junior years of high school traveling around the country and the world to compete in whitewater kayaking, and I wrote a memoir, I guess you could call it, of one of those summers. It still gets passed around by my old coach, but I haven’t seen it in years. I’d be afraid to look at it. I’d want to edit it!

I wrote another long non-fiction piece while in college, also about one of my summers on the river. After I graduated, the economy tanked (August 2008 – welcome to the real world, college grads), and I found myself working at a rafting store in Montana. Well, August turned into winter, and there I was selling boats to no one while I watched the snow fall. I was trying really hard to be a real adult and get a ‘real’ job, but  the only job I really wanted was that of a writer. I tried to come to my senses and stop writing, but I couldn’t. I spent all day doing nothing at my job other than thinking of stories. Finally, I realized that no matter what I was doing, be it trading stocks on Wall Street (right!) or re-arranging the neoprene gloves for the fifth time in a day, I was going to have to write.

Once I accepted the fact that I couldn’t stop writing, I just had to budget my time. I became a seasonal worker, first for the US Forest Service, then for the National Park Service. I would take the winters off and use most of my time to write my own stuff. I had other jobs for a while (promotional blog writer, substitute teacher, kayaking coach, intermittent government worker) but after Appointment at the Edge of Forever got picked up, I quit working part time in the winter. Now I work in the summers and write in the winters.

There have been a lot of moments when I wanted to quit (thank you Hobbs and Sam and Kendall and Mom and Dad for your constant support). Writing, like most art, is hard because every rejection can feel like a personal attack. I started a folder in my email for my REJECTIONS (as the folder is titled). What’s interesting is that for every ten queries I’d send, I’d only receive a handful of form letter rejections. It’s a weird world where getting an email that says ‘Dear Author’ is better than getting no response at all. It can be a demoralizing process, but my determination seems to have paid off.

I used to read articles by other published writers all the time that would say, Keep at it! J And they would piss me off because I was so frustrated. I guess one thing I’d like to say to people who are going through the cycle of rejection, is that if you are actually writing, and querying, and e-publishing, and editing, you’re so much more dedicated than most. When I graduated college, everyone wanted to be a writer. I had tons of friends who would describe themselves as writers. What I saw though was, as people entered the ‘real’ world, most of those who said they were writers didn’t actually make time to write. They just wanted to be a writer, ‘in the future’. If you write, you’re a writer. If you edit, you’re really a writer. Keep that in mind. There are those who say they are writers, and then there are those who are writers. You don’t one day wake up and become a writer when you’re an adult. You wake up and write, and therefore are a writer, every day. There is no ‘becoming a writer in the future’. There is ‘becoming a better writer in the future’ but that’s only because of the effort you’re putting in now. So good job to all you writers out there, whether or not your work has been publicly validated.

E: What was the last book that you read that surprised you?  It can be good surprised or bad surprised, or maybe even a bit of both.

P: Well, I’ll give you two books. This past December I read The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey and, as I mentioned, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. What surprised me about The Devil’s Teeth (a non-fiction book about a Great White Shark research team based on the Farallones, a set of rocky islands within the San Francisco city limits) was how much I loved the first part of the book, and how much the second part of the book was like watching a drunk cause a car wreck. From a completely intellectual stand point, it is impressive how distinct the two halves are. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can read my review of The Devil’s Teeth on Goodreads, if you’re interested.

So, that was a bad surprise. A good surprise was the next book I read. I actually listened to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I was only doing it because it was a book club pick. I’d read Neverwhere and the first of Gaiman’s Sandman series, and I was just not that into Gaiman. I found Neverwhere hard to follow and the Sandman series really dark. The Ocean at the End of the Lane though, kept me thoroughly entertained, and while there were some really dark bits, I listened to the entire book in a single sitting. Perhaps it helped that the audio version is read by Gaiman himself.

E: You bake pie.  This pretty much makes you my favorite person on the planet.  Will you bake me a pie?  I’ll even share it with you.*

*There’s no way in hell that I’m sharing it with you.

P: Ha! I would make you a pie, but it won’t ship well. You’ll have to come to me, then I’ll do it. The secret’s in the crust. It’s hand made. Send me an email, we’ll talk…


You can find Perrin on her blog, on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, and on Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Corner–Christine Haggerty

E: Happy New Year, Christine!  Hope the holidays were good to you.  There’s some leftover turkey if you want it.  I think it’s a bit…well, suspect, but Charlie insists it’s perfectly fine.

C: I’m sure Charlie knows his turkey. Thanks..wait, this tastes a little like cat. Where’s Smeagol?

No kittens were harmed in the posting of this interview. Charlie’s lucky.

E: Your debut novel is called The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions.  What can you tell us about it?

C: Acquisitions opens in a world devastated by a bio-engineered plague. It’s been about half a century since the plague first hit, and after a second attack, the world is more intent on surviving than recovering. The main character, Cam, is being shipped to a new version of Rome to be sold as a slave. He has lost his family and tries to recreate some of those relationships with the friends that he makes. There’s some humor and some romance, but overall it’s about a kid learning how to grieve and figuring out what his value system is.

Plague Legacy Acquisitions Book Cover

E: The title sounds like this will be part of a series.  Are there more books coming and what can you tell us about it?

C: The second book of the series, Assets, will be released Fall 2014. The overall series arc involves repeating some of the history from the Roman Empire, the Black Plague, and the Crusades. The second book is set in Salvation, the new civilization set in Italy that is based on the arena, and there is more fighting and survival involved. My main character, Cam, is loyal to a fault, but he sort of loses himself in the adrenaline rush of being a gladiator.

E: The book is a dystopian novel.  What is it about dystopia that gets the creative juices flowing?

C: I think that deep down inside, humans are watching themselves destroy our world and we all theorize what it will be like to survive once the world goes down. We’d like to think that we’d be one of those to make it in the end. I think that the fascination with dystopian is related to our fear of the future.

E: What was your publishing journey like?  Were there things that surprised you about the process?

C: My publishing journey was long in one respect and short in another. I originally had a life goal to be published by the time I turned 25, but by that age I had two kids and a teaching career and it took me ten years to come back around to writing as my main goal. I started with short fiction pieces because I didn’t have the time to write novels, and I was surprised when I won first place in a short story contest out of over 700 entries with “Standard Issue.” I didn’t even know I had entered a contest when I registered with an author site.

After that, of course, I worked on rearranging my world so that I could write. My husband and I moved, and I instantly made connections with professionals and within months all of the pieces fell into place and I have a book with my name on it. I feel very fortunate to have a relationship with Fox Hollow Publications and expect to be with them for my career.

E: There is conventional wisdom that says a writer should read everything, even if she hates it.  What genres of books make you wish you were getting a root canal instead?

C: Anything technical makes me feel like I’m eating cotton balls. I’m so glad I’m done going to college and dealing with textbooks. IKEA instructions fall in to this category.

E: Do you use any writing software, spreadsheet setups, etc. when you write or do you just dive right into Word?

C: So far I’ve gotten way with just working in Word. I do some loose outlining and backstory writing. I am getting to a point with my world building for Assets that software like Scrivener would be helpful, but I think I’ll get by with what I’ve got. I use 3×5 cards to write down quick reference character descriptions and I also draw what I can. I’m working on the House tattoos for the gladiator houses in Salvation with my limited drawing skills.

E: What one piece of advice would you give to a writer that’s just starting out?

C: Practice. It’s all just practice.


You can find Christine on her website, on Wattpad, on Amazon, and on Goodreads.

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. 



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.



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.


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!


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.  

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE HorroticaPreviewFront d839284cfd325c2f9330f494f8229cc4 29416_443019849089364_1669993935_n 819CTHkMRsL._SL1500_ 71Xzi6vrTxL

Author Corner–Matthew Dexter

E: Hail and well met, Matthew!  Thanks for popping in.  And you brought me pie!  I Knew I was going to like you.  Just put it up someplace high so Charlie doesn’t eat the middle out of it.  He only likes the middles.  Some corpses, I tell ya.

M: Gorgeous place. Thanks for having me. I heard about Charlie. The pie was from the forest, and the Ritalin was from Connecticut. Charlie don´t touch that.

Charlie did, in fact, touch the Ritalin.  Sweet mother of pie, if he wasn’t already dead I would have killed him.

E: You had a book come out earlier this year, The Ritalin Orgy from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.  It’s the next book in my review pile, actually.  Once I get caught up on some of these papers, I plan to dive on in.  What can you tell us about it?

M: It’s a novel about a teacher losing his mind at a boarding school. It’s about the morons and rich snobs who bully and haze their way to fancy careers. It’s about the faculty who live amid the privileged and the scholarship students doing what they can to survive. The Orgy is not of a sexual nature. The Ritalin use is pervasive and now replaced with cocaine.

Ritalin Orgy

E: What made you write this particular book?

M: I had written a few manuscripts about this prep school and wanted to get it out of my system before dying. If I can save one life, it is worth it.

E: You have 10 stories coming out.  Can you tell us a little bit about those and what publications those will be in?

M: I have a novelette about a drug smuggler coming out with Sententia: The Journal: 6. I have narrative nonfiction forthcoming in Pea River Journal and Gravel. One piece is about a Mexican highway and the other is about getting high while working at National Rental Car. I have flash fiction and short stories coming out in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Adroit Journal, Vending Machine Press, and other venues. I have a restaurant review forthcoming from Sleet Magazine. I have more stories submitted but am trying to focus on starting a new novel. Sometimes such attempts turn into shorter pieces. These sometimes find homes and readers.

E: You have a substantial amount of story publications.  And by substantial, I mean holy crapballs, that’s a lot of stories!  What does your writing schedule look like?  Do you writer at the same time every day or do you grab time when you can?  Living in paradise, I imagine it would be easy to get distracted.

M: It is easy to get distracted. I try to write as soon as I wake up, but would be lying if I said I write thousands of words on end. There are days I do not write. These are the worst days. I am trying to eliminate these and bang out at least 500-1,000 words. When writing a novel, I typical write at least 2,000 words every day for a few months till I have enough pages for a first draft. Many things I write do not get published, either because they are terrible, I never finish them, or they get lost for another project.

E: You have a second novel coming out.  Can you tell us anything about it?

M: First, I have to write it.

E: You have a lot of Hunter S. Thompson quotes listed as inspirational.  What is it about him that draws you in?

M: I admire the prose and humor and recreational drug use. Also, the freelance writer mentality of living in a foreign country is something that I enjoy.

Interesting side note: Inspirare, in addition to meaning to inspire, can also mean to breathe or to inhale.  Or maybe it’s not that interesting and it’s just me being an English Major.  Carry on.

M: I think it is interesting. I was lost in Old English and Greek vernacular, and that caught my eye.

E:  There are a lot of conventions and such coming up.  Are you planning to attend any of them?  And are there any upcoming promotional dates for you?

M: I would be up for anything if the possibility existed. I am confined to Mexico with my son and wife and many of these things cost money, so I am not a conventional convention star. Put me at a bar in front of the ocean, and I will read you some stories, some Ritalin Orgy or other tales for your inebriated pleasures.

You can find Matthew on his website or on Facebook.

Author Corner–T. Fox Dunham

E: Hi, Fox!  Welcome to my humble blog.  Sorry for it being so cold in here.  I find the lower temperatures help keep Charlie from smelling so bad.  Do you need a blanket?

F: I have a gorgeous blanket, brown and covered in foxes, that Tara Fox Hall made for me. All my friends have seen it. I take it to Author’s Cons. She’s making me a bigger one too! I adore it. Who the hell is Charlie? The blanket is very small, but I will try to share.

He doesn’t know about Charlie?  Heh heh, he’s in for a treat.

E: You have a story coming out soon as part of the One Night Stands series from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing titled, “Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven.”  What can you tell us about the story?

F: I’m a very sick man, and I should be locked up. The story is mostly about stasis, about standing still. Doc K wanted to free us from a painful afterlife, and in the book, he invents a cure for mortality, obviating euthanasia. Everything stops. And Gods is Doc K pissed when he goes to heaven. I wrote the story in a Vonnegut style but also my own literary voice. It’s one of my favorite pieces.  I’ve written so much for PMMP. I’m Max Booth III’s bitch.

E: You also had a book pre-release a few weeks ago from Gutter Books.  What can you tell us about The Street Martyr and do you know when it will be available for everyone?

F: The Street Martyr is my first novel, though several are following it up. Short fiction authors reach a plateau and must move to long fiction to further their careers. I am told through our distributor, IPGN, that it will be available by the holiday season, in book stores, libraries and online. It’s about two low-level drug dealers trying to survive in impoverished Philly.  When one of them is accused of the death of a pedophile priest, it becomes a fight for life against the city, the mob and police. Vincent will eventually expose a deep and depraved circle, protected by the system, that only a vigilante street hero can fight. And he will rise to the light.

E: You just finished up a trip to Anthocon.  You did a reading there, correct?  What was that like?

F: I read to friends and the dead. They scheduled me last, so we had a lot of shadows. Still, I blew the roof off the place with The Street Martyr. Cons are hit or miss. It’s nice to see friends, to make deals, but they’re not always helpful. But wow. Seven Jameson’s Whiskey for only 22 dollars? Dangerous Dangerous place, NH.

Word of caution: if you’d like to check out more about Anthocon, just click the link.  Don’t misspell it.  I misspelled it and got Anthrocon.  For the love of pie, don’t look that up!  You’re looking it up now, aren’t you?  

E: You’re also going to be a special guest author at Noircon this year.  What does that entail?

F: I’ll be doing special readings of the Street Martyr, signings, hanging at the Gutter Book table, sitting on panels and talking about my favorite subject: ME. I’m also doing a wild story for their anthology. The Con is in Philly, so I expect that my editor and several bum friends will be staying at my house. The bums!

E: Do you have any other events that you’re going to be a part of either at the end of this year or early next year?

F: I’m setting up several events around and in Philly over the next year. I plan to be reading from street corners, art galleries, coffee shops and lots of events in Lansdale have invited me to speak. The next reading is an event from Amy Rims, local artist in Lansdale PA, at the Water Gallery in Lansdale on the 22nd. You can find info for it on my author’s page

I will probably be at Texas Frightmare in Dallas, Texas with Max Booth III and Lori Michelle, both editors at PMMP, and I’m hoping to swing up to the WHC in Portland. It depends what’s being published at the time that requires promotion. I do nothing but travel anymore or sit at Molly’s and write.

E: You have a book coming out from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing this summer  with a very long title: DESTROYING THE TANGIBLE ILLUSION OF REALITY; OR, SEARCHING FOR ANDY KAUFMAN.  What can you tell us about this title?

F: That it’s officially the longest title they’ve ever published. I’m proud of that. I like making Max work. Well it’s all about dying of cancer and the way reality becomes an illusion. You realize that so much of what we call reality is tangible and an illusion—a construct of the mind. This is something that Andy Kaufman understood as reality bled for him. What is death and life? My characters seek to discover this as they head north, seeking proof that he is the lost son of Andy. That’s not implausible. Andy was a sexual addict.

E: You’ve written and published a lot of stories.  Do you have a favorite?

F: That’s difficult. I have parts of me scattered all over the field like I jumped into a helicopter blade. Still, the piece that comes to mind, the one I felt the best has to be The Unhappy Accident or Feelin’ Feel in the PMMP Vonnegut Anthology, So It Goes. If I had to throw a story at the Divine Creator like a bag full of burning shit on his lawn, it would be that one. I got to speak like truly me, from my own deep and natural voice as I wrote about what I loved. I am grateful to Max Booth III for seeking that voice out in me—ergo the Kevorkian piece and Andy and several other stories. He’s still a Lil’ Bastard, but I adore the guy.

MAX! MARRY ME!!!!! I Want to them babies of yours!!!

You can find Fox on his blog and on Twitter.

And now the age old question has been answered.  You know what the fox says.

Author Corner–James Dorr

E: Hi, James!  Welcome to Erindipity.  Would you care for refreshments?  Charlie wanted me to serve brains and threatened to go on a hunger strike until I did.  I told him to let me know how that works out for him, seeing as he’s dead and all.

J: Actually I’m more of a blood man myself.  Would Charlie mind if we just had drinks?  

E: You had a book come out this past May from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, The Tears of Isis.  It’s currently in my review stack and I can’t wait to get started on it.  What can you tell us about it?

J: The Tears of Isis is a collection of 17 stories and an opening poem beginning with the “sculptress” Medusa, and ending with the title story of another sculptress searching for inspiration through the Egyptian myth of the Weeping Isis.  These are dark stories for the most part and not all necessarily directly about art — along the way we meet vampires, insects, sea creatures, alien landscapes, people who make things from human bones, others who keep pets, even a dragon — but by the end, hopefully, all relating to a theme of beauty linked with destruction.  Creation and death.  For of course, without death, where would there be the need for new life?      

You can also find Tears of Isis on Barnes&Noble.


E: I don’t usually spend a lot of time talking about cover art, but I’d love to know what inspired this cover.  It’s very striking, and as far as covers go, it’s one of my favorites.  What went into designing it?

J: I had sent some suggestions to the publisher, mainly several descriptive passages from the story “The Tears of Isis” along with some samples of Egyptian art showing Isis in her vulture-winged aspect, which were passed on to the artist, William Cook.  I was a bit surprised myself with what he came up with, having envisioned something perhaps more scene-like, and yet, with its strict bilateral symmetry evoking Egyptian motifs, yet not constrained by ancient Egyptian stylistic convention (the wings, for instance, perhaps more resembling an eagle’s than an Egyptian vulture’s — but most of the stories in the collection not on Egyptian motifs either), the design was, as you say, very striking.  Stark, almost, with its deep, dark background lit by the Isis-figure’s sun-disk headdress, and yet with other elements (the barely-seen eyes, for instance, peering out through the background darkness) pointing toward the book being about more than just Egypt.  From that, my only further suggestions had to do with where and how the lettering would be positioned, to reinforce the formal symmetry of the art.         

E: You also have two other book collections out.  What can you tell us about them? 

J: Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance and Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, published by Dark Regions Press in 2001 and 2007 respectively, are also short fiction collections, but each with a section of poetry at the end.  They differ in one way in that they are not as strongly themed as The Tears of Isis (although one reviewer has suggested a preponderance of strong female figures in Strange Mistresses in particular), reflecting, perhaps among other things, the way the collections were put together.  With these the publisher chose the stories from larger samplings that I provided, whereas, with The Tears of Isis, I had complete control in terms of both the material used and the order in which it would be presented.  That said, however, both are primarily fantasy collections leaning toward horror — including stories originally published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Gothic.Net, Short Story Digest, etc.,  as well as new material — with the second probably the darker of the two.     



E: You just had a story accepted.  Your website calls it an “Eco-horror Veggie Anthology.”  That sounds fascinating.  What can you tell us about “Seeds” and about the anthology it will appear in? 

J:  The guidelines called for “any kind of story related to plants, nature, forests, gardens, or anything scary/dark/bizarre in relation to vegetable matter.”  In short, ecology gone wild — horribly wild.  In view of that, my story “Seeds” (a reprint, incidentally, originally from KEEN SCIENCE FICTION more than a decade ago) may seem almost tame, only having to do with a newly-planted backyard flower garden gone wrong.  But the story’s protagonist really didn’t want to plant it, it having been his wife’s idea, and the female assistant at the seed store shares with him a love of Chicago Cubs baseball. . . .  The anthology will be called GROWING CONCERNS, to be published by Chupa Cabra House 

E: You write poetry as well as prose.  For you, how do those genres influence each other in your writing?

J:  From writing poetry, I believe one gains a greater love for words and the way they sound, as well as using them concisely and, at least in formal verse, in a context where patterns (such as rhyme and meter) have to co-exist with meaning.  I’d like to think that poetry has had a great influence on my prose, making me pay more attention to structure and cadence, and to picking the exactly right word or phrase — to be hyper-aware of, as Mark Twain might say, “the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  It also heightens, I think, a sense of character and voice, how different people, or even different kinds of stories, will just sound different if done correctly.  And there’s a connection the other way too, that a sense of story in writing fiction can guide me in seeing an individual poem as possibly part of a greater concept.  To not-so-subtly sneak in a plug, a book we haven’t mentioned yet, Vamps (A Retrospective) published in 2011 by Sam’s Dot (now White Cat Publications), is my first book-length collection of poetry, in this case all having to do with vampires even if individually employing a variety of approaches and styles.    

E: Are you a plotter or a pantser, or some combination of the two? 

J:  The straightforward answer is a combination.  I usually will have a good idea of where a story will end — sometimes even writing out a tentative ending first, then struggling to find where the story begins.  However, I’m not sure there’s all that great a difference between these approaches insofar as, in my own case, when I was just starting out I often wrote out extensive notes on what sequence events would happen in and how each scene might act to advance a story, whereas now, once I’m properly started, I just let the words flow.  But doesn’t this simply mean that I’ve learned enough through sufficiently long experience that what I once had to work out consciously now just gets done on an unconscious level?  That is, that I’m still doing the same sorts of things, but now I don’t have to think about them (at least not as much).      

E: What has been the most valuable experience for you as a writer?

J:  It was through writing, a very long time ago, that I met The Woman Who Was To Become My Ex-Wife.  While I can joke about it now as well as harbor a few regrets, for a time there was, I believe, a genuine love between us.  And that is always a valuable thing.    


You can find James on his blog or on Facebook.

Author Corner–Richard Thomas

E: Hi Richard, and welcome to Erindipity.  Charlie has a story idea he’d like to pitch you.  I mean, I already told him writers hate that sort of thing, and that the likelihood of you speaking corpse is probably low, but he threatened to pout until Christmas unless I brought it up.  Trust me, you don’t want to see him pout.  It’s not attractive.

R: Love to hear it. I’m sure he has some excellent insights he could share with me. Lay it on me.

E: You were included in the charity anthology Bleed from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.  What was it like writing for this project where the monsters being fought were metaphors for childhood cancers?  And which charity were you raising money for?

R: Of course I couldn’t say no when Lori Michelle approached me. We talked about a few different stories I had, and I sent her over “Death Knell.” It deals with a mother’s side of the grief after she loses her son to a random accident. It was a bit of flash I wrote later, in response to my original story, “Say Yes to Pleasure” which appeared in Warmed and Bound. There are always two sides to a coin, to a story, and it was interesting to explore both of them. There is a line in one of my stories that goes, “I was autistic with pain,” and that’s how I feel when I think about children and suffering. It’s so horrible. The charity is The National Children’s Cancer Society.

E: You had another anthology release earlier this month.  What’s the name of your story and what can you tell us about it?

R: I had two come out this month. Reloaded: Both Barrels, Volume 2 includes a bit of Southern gothic noir entitled, “Trinity” about three women who share a childhood secret, based on my time down in Conway, Arkansas. And there’s also my story “Victimized” collected in the anthology, The Best of the Horror Society 2013. This story came out a few years ago, originally in Murky Depths at 5,000 words, but later in its full version in my collection of stories Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press). It’s a story set in the near future where victims can find redemption in a boxing ring, fighting, and often killing, the men who raped and murdered their family members. It’s told from the POV of a female protagonist, Annabelle, and it’s a wild ride, for sure. And on Halloween, I have a story coming out in Fear the Reaper (Crystal Lake Publishing), “The Culling,” which is my homage to “The Lottery,” a tale about family and wolves and the choices you make to protect your own. October is definitely one of my favorite months.

41-VqHLKcOL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ 1057172_10152293326585299_229111885_n

E: In addition to your short story writing, you also write columns for Storyville.  What can you tell us about the column?

R: It’s a lot of fun to write. It started as a way for me to share my experiences—you know, misery loves company. I talked about what I was going through, how I struggled, and eventually, how I was breaking through. I write about craft, process, submitting, the business, you name it. My hope is that it will help other authors with their own writing, to become better, more educated about the process, and to not give up hope, no matter how long they struggle to get their stories and novels out there.

E: You’ve also written a novel, TransubstantiateHow was that experience different for you than short story writing?  What do you like best and least about the novel length manuscript?

R: Well, the scope of it is just so much bigger. And for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to take this neo-noir, speculative thriller, a mix of Lost, The Truman Show, and The Prisoner, and tell it from the POV of seven different people. It was a challenge, for sure. You have to stay focused, and think in terms of short arcs (scenes), medium arcs (chapters) and the big arc (the novel) with several different threads, plots and sub-plots, all meshing together. Hopefully, it’s cohesive and the audience can follow you. I want to entertain, but I also want it to stay with people, by using lyrical language, and emotions we can all relate to, whether good or bad, happy or sad, light or dark. The hardest part is staying with it, on task, and to keep the voice going. The best part is having the room to really expand the narrative, sit in those moments and scenes for pages and pages, really getting all of the details, and emotions, and impact that you can. My agent is currently shopping my second novel, Disintegration, so keep your fingers crossed for me.


E: I’ve heard you offer editing services.  Is there anything you are unwilling to edit and what are your rates per service?

R: I try to work on writing where I feel I have something to say, some experience. And I’ve been lucky enough to write in many different genres—horror, fantasy, SF, crime, noir, neo-noir, transgressive, magical realism, surreal, bizarro—even literary. I probably wouldn’t take on romance, since I don’t write it or read it. I don’t write MUCH YA, but I’d read that, edit it—I’ve read Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and Lemony Snicket. I’ve only turned down one client because he was SO BAD that I was nearly in tears trying to edit him. He had SO far to go. The formatting, the structure, it wasn’t really even a story. I suggested some books, and some classes, and refunded his money. He had a strong vision, but he wasn’t ready. I charge $1-3/page depending on the amount of editing, whether it’s big picture overall criticism, a closer edit, or a full on copy edit that covers everything. I’ve been really thrilled to see “my clients/students” go on to sell novels to Perfect Edge Books, Post Mortem Press, and Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, as well as short stories to places like Juked, Red Fez and the American Nightmare anthology (Kraken Press).

E: You’re insanely busy.  On top of everything else, you’re also the Editor-In-Chief of Dark House Press.  What’s the best thing about being in that position and what is the one thing you wish you could change?

R: It’s really a dream come true to be able to publish the voices I’ve been reading over the past 5-10 years, authors that have inspired me, and pushed me to write, to take risks, and get my writing out into the world. In addition to Letitia Trent’s Southern gothic supernatural horror novel, Echo Lake, the Joshua City fantasy trilogy by Okla Elliott and Raul Clement, and the literary horror collection by Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off, we’ve got two excellent anthologies coming out. In 2014, our first book, is the “best of neo-noir” anthology, The New Black, with stories by Brian Evenson, Stephen Graham Jones, Craig Clevenger, Paul Tremblay, Lindsay Hunter, Roxane Gay, Kyle Minor, Micaela Morrissette, Benjamin Percy, Roy Kesey, Craig Davidson, Matt Bell, Richard Lange, Joe Meno, Vanessa Veselka, Nik Korpon, Antonia Crane, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Tara Laskowski, and Craig Wallwork. There’s also a foreword by Laird Barron. I’m really excited about this book. Exigencies in 2015 is all new stories, and a fantastic collection as well.

I only wish I had more time, more money, more resources, more staff, etc. We’re only doing 4 titles in 2014, and 5 in 2015, but I could easily accept 10 books a year, 20. There is just so much fantastic writing going on out there, and so many authors that deserve to be discovered.


E: Clearly, you must be a master of time management.  What advice would you give new writers about effectively managing your time?

R: Well, I don’t know about that. I’m constantly struggling to meet deadlines, turn in blurbs, get my columns done, and I’ve been slacking on my own writing, too. I think the best thing you can do is to make a list, short-term and long-term goals, and check things off as you go. It’s always a good feeling to go, “DONE!” Otherwise, you can feel overwhelmed. Sometimes when that happens, I just turn off the technology, back away from the computer, and get some fresh air—asking my kids to take a walk with the dog, or I hop on my bike, or grab a bowl of ice cream and watch dumb tv with my wife. I have to remind myself why I’m doing all of this, and also, to enjoy it. If you’re not enjoying it, the process, the writing, the submitting, all of it, then maybe this isn’t what you should be doing. I have to remind myself that sometimes. It can be frustrating, sure, it can be a slow process, but really, it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done—writing, editing, teaching, and publishing. It gives me a lot of peace and joy. 



When he’s not listening to my pet corpse pitch novel ideas (ideas about novels, not original and splendid ideas because lets face it, Charlie just isn’t that creative) he can be found on his website.

Author Corner–Rafael Alvarez

Rafael Alvarez, a writer for the HBO series The Wire, stopped by the blog today to talk about his new book.

RA 05.07.13 no. 1

E: Greetings and welcome to Erindipity, Rafael!  I’m glad you could stop by.  Care for a refreshment?  Cookie?

R: Tap water is fine. Thanks.

E: You have a new book coming out in January 2014 from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing called Tales from the Holy Land.  You’ve described it as a mural.  Can you tell us more about that?

R: Since about 1988 (in ficciones) I have been writing one huge book – a very marginal history of Baltimore across the 20th century – a single story at a time.

The setting is always Baltimore (the “Holy Land” of the title) and – like Altman or Woody Allen – I tend to work with a trusted troupe of characters, perhaps two dozen who appear over and again in the stories: fictionalized versions of myself, my family, friends of my grandparents when I was young, obscure local legends (eccentrics) who make Baltimore the goldmine of narrative that it is, along with completely fictional characters, best exemplified by Orlo the Salvage King and his young Greek lover, Leini Leftafkis.

Each story is a panel in the mural. I do not write these stories in chronological sequence. I wait for one of the two dozen characters – Basilio Boullosa or Cherry Triplett or Leini’s cross-eyed daughter Little Leini – to speak to me and then I step back from the mural and see where there might be a gap in the chronology.

E: You have several other books out.  Out of all the titles you’ve published, which one was the most fun to write?  Which one was the hardest to write?

R: Not sure fun is the right word to describe it. I was most thrilled when my first book – The Fountain of Highlandtown – was published in 1997 because I’d worked so long for a book and sometimes wondered if it would ever happen. Most fun is when I’m not thinking about publication, when I’m not thinking about the internal carpentry of the story, most fun is when I’m a kid again, taking my characters down from the shelf like puppets and playing with them for my own amusement.


The hardest was First & Forever: A People’s History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore” because it covered 400 years of Maryland history – beginning with the Ark & the Dove (the Catholic Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria!) and going all the way through the election of Pope Benedict the XVI. But again, the subject matter was dear to me and I was able to combine a lot of my interests – such as faith and seafaring – in chapters on chapels in ships docked in the Port of Baltimore. It took me seven years to write and the pay was minimal at best.


E: Your website is a place I could get lost in for hours.  I think my favorite part is all of the old black and white photographs of Baltimore.  What is it about these pictures that grabbed you?

R:  Those photographs evoke what I try to capture in the stories: a simple, working class enchantment (food, work, love, struggle), perhaps not so great to have lived through (though every octogenarian I’ve interviewed looks back on them fondly) but a time when there was work if you wanted it and the pay was enough to put a good meal on the table. 

E: The Aging Newspapermen’s Club is another fantastic section of the site.  How did working in the newsroom of the Baltimore Sun shaped who you are as a writer?

R: I learned to write – basic construction, the carpentry I mentioned earlier – as a young man on the City Desk of a once-great newspaper, a room of mostly good souls and bosses who wouldn’t spare your feelings to make a story better. That was my MFA. I ornamented that carpentry with a poetic ear I acquired by listening to a lot of music: the British Invasion (Ray Davies of the Kinks is an extraordinary storyteller; the great bluesmen (I covered Muddy Waters’ funeral in 1983); glam-rock of the early 1970s (Bowie, Mott the Hoople); and listening to the Who’s Quadrophenia (1973) every day for about five years. The other aspect of the newsroom was I got paid to “study” the city I love. Not only was I learning to write but the subject matter was often lives that had taken place in those enchanting black and white photographs. I also wrote a lot of obituaries, which was great for getting to the nuance of relationships by talking to surviving family members. It’s fascinating the things people remember about loved ones or not-so-loved ones. 

E: Your website also lists The RosaryProject as a documentary you’re working on.  What inspired the project?

R: The Blessed Mother is very important to me, crucial to my daily life.

E: You make a lot of nautical references, from photographs to stories about the sea.  What was it like growing up in the second largest American seaport?

R: My Spanish grandfather was a marinero who landed in Baltimore on a ship in the 1920s; my father first went to sea at age 17 and spent most of his working life on tugboats in the Baltimore harbor and I worked on ships twice (two years right after high school and again two years after leaving The Sun in 2001. I draw on all of these experiences (those lived, those only heard about) in my fiction.  Seafarers are notoriously good storytellers. The old joke is: “What’s the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story?”

                Answer: “A fairy tale begins, ‘Once upon a time …’ and a sea story begins: ‘This ain’t no shit …’”

E: What has been the hardest thing about being a writer and what has been the most rewarding?

R: The hardest thing has been making a living. The most rewarding are the notes and conversations from people who say, “I was going through a hard time and your story made me feel better, helped me to get through it …”

md-occupy-baltimore-p01-davis Rafa_8011fk

You can find out more about Rafael on his website.

Author Corner–Sue Lange

A few weeks ago, I had The Perpetual Motion Machine Club on Recommend It Monday.  Today, author Sue Lange joins us for Author Corner.


E: Hi Sue, and welcome to Erindipity!  I made up some hot cocoa for us.  Care for a shot of peppermint schnapps for yours?

S: Funny you mention that. I just mixed up a Brandy Alexander for the occasion. Cheers!

E: Your book, The Perpetual Motion Club, just came out this summer.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  How did you come up with the idea for it?

S: I gave myself the challenge of writing something from the world of physics. Something that many people would consider too dry for a light novel. I wanted to make the topic entertaining, to prove that this stuff is interesting if only you’ll look at it the right way.


E: My favorite part was the perpetual motion machines.  How much did you know about them going in and how much did you need to research?

S: I did a lot of research. When I first started, I kept the image of one of my high school teacher explaining why Villard de Honnecort’s overbalanced wheel wouldn’t work. He told us it was because of friction at the axle. When I did my research I disocovered that was totally wrong. The truth is much more complicated. So I had to go back and relearn physics that I thought I had left far behind. It was enlightening. The most interesting thing I discovered was this whole world of fanatics working tirelessly to invent a perpetual motion machine. It’s a cult actually and not much different from the way I depicted it in the book. It’s tied in with evangelism and God plays a really big role, because in the end you have to “believe.” There’s no other way to break the laws of thermodynamics. Fascinating.

E: Are you currently working on anything?

S: I’m working on a stageplay entitled “The Digital Divide.” It has a lot to do with the technological Singularity, a subject I’ve written a lot about. I wanted to get into writing plays and thought I’d start with something that didn’t require so much research. I’m almost done with my first rewrite and I’m hoping to find a theater group that would like to do a staged reading so I can figure out what works. It’s a new medium for me and I’m really excited about it.

E: What is the hardest thing for you, personally, about being a writer?

S: There’s a lot of emphasis on marketing nowadays. I don’t like to do it. In fact I’ve written a manifesto against social media. I love the world and intend to keep on living in it. Spending a lot of time in virtual reality, i.e. the Internet, takes me away from the world, so that part of being a writer is so adios.

 I like writing, I like the editing process. I like just about everything to do with the artistic end of writing. Selling my work? Not my bag.

E: Is there anything you won’t write?

S: I won’t write anything gratuitously exploitative of animals, people, or the planet. Try not to, anyway. When you write satire, you walk a fine line. I try not to hit someone when they’re down. Some people are so far up, though, that when they’re down, they still need to be drop kicked to the cheap seats.

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?

S: I’m doing the Celebrate the Book event in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on October 19th. (85 Marsh Drive, 9am to 4pm)  I’ll be giving out freebies, holding sales, berating the passersby: the usual stuff.

E: Have you ever been tempted to give up writing?  Not the usual frustrations of writing, but an actual moment of wanting to walk away from it?  And if so,  what made you change your mind?

S: No, not really. I write all the time even if it’s not for public consumption. Even if I stopped writing novels, short stories, or stageplays, I’d still write something. I’ll write letters to my friends, blog posts, emails to the President. Something.


Thanks, Erin, for inviting me to Erindipity. Fun! Keep up the good work.

You can find Sue on Twitter or on her blog.


Author Corner–E. E. King

E: Welcome to Erindipity!  I hope you didn’t have any trouble finding the place.

EEK:  No, Great name!

E: Your first novel is Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife: All You Need to Know to Choose the Right Heaven Plus a Five-Star Rating System for Music, Food, Drink, and AccommodationsWhat inspired you to write this novel?


EEK: Divine Inspiration. 

E: You have a story collection and a novella coming out later this year.  What can you tell us about those?

EEK:   The stories range the gamut – some bite –sized, others a full meal – sometimes funny, occasionally tragic, often poetic and usually entertaining.  I intertwine biology, quantum theory and fantasy. My mentor and fabulous friend Ray Bradbury said the stories were “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought provoking. I cannot recommend them highly enough.”

The novella is about a moonlight card game between Fate, Destiny, Chance and Luck where every card tells a tale.

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?

EEK: OH YES! Thank you for asking. I’ll be in LA for a reading and launch party for my new Collection of Short Fiction (& novella) “Another Happy Ending,”

@ Ray Bradbury’s favorite Bookstore Mystery and Imagination Bookstore

October 20th @  2:00 -3:00 pm

238 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91203 818-545-0206

also I’m performing bits from my first novel,

 “Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, all you need to know to choose the right heaven.”

(in costume)  and reading from the new collection

October 30th @  7:30-8:30

@Echo Park in “Stories Book and Café.”  1716 West Sunset Blvd • Los Angeles • CA [213] 413-3733

I will also be speaking at Loscon around Thanksgiving at the LA convention Center

And you can catch me on the Skeptically Speaking Podcast on October 25th 7:00 PM and on YouTube. 

E: Are you currently working on anything?

EEK: Always! I just finished a novel “Blood Prism” – it’s very had to categorize. It’s a literary, romantic -thriller. Although it has some with vampires, it is not a typical vampire story. It deals with AIDS, the tragic history of the Catskill Indians, Mythology and the biology of the dispossessed (crows, coyotes, etc.)

The story is observed by the Greek Fates, who own a small antique shop in San Francisco. They watch, weaving the threads of the story into a single cloth. 

The story traverses the Bay Area and Upper New York State, interweaving tales of Native American tribes, gold rush madams, robber barons and the unsavory mating habits of orchids into a weird tapestry.

Now I’m working on “Electric Detective” a noir series about a detective who is hit by lighting. This allows him to see into other dimensions and “speak electric.”

E: In addition to writing, you’re also a painter.  Can you tell us a little bit about your artwork?

EEK: hummm… well you can see it here. A picture is worth 100 words, but words are pretty cheap.

If you’re in LA  and go downtown just off the 101 at the Exposition Freeway near USC  look left! Yu will see a really big mural that’s mine. 



stolen Mist-24x48 Calla_Lilies Brazil-36x28

E: You’ve traveled all over the world.  If you could only recommend one place, where would you tell people to visit?

EEK:  Where ever I’m not! I don’t enjoy crowds

E: If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and what would you talk about?

EEK: Well – I can think of about 20 live authors and even more dead ones – so one is difficult. I’d have to say Shakespeare. Not only could he shape language into a thing of beauty and joy forever, he seemed to know about things he could not. For example, he wrote my favorite quote on diving….

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that does fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

It captures the way even a scrap of rug can become a magic carpet full of life underwater… how could he know that? If you remove things from the sea they lose their beauty… also coral- there is no coral in English seas. And then there are so many phrases, words and whatnot he gave to the language… including whatnot.  (Actually I just made that up about whatnot.)   

What would we talk about… well how old is he when I talk to him? Where are we? In 1600 England or 2013 America… it makes a difference.

Maybe I’d ask him to write me a part in his newest play.


Author Corner–Lucy Crowe

E: Welcome to Erindipity, Lucy!  Did you bring me anything?  It’s been awhile since someone has brought me anything.  You did, right?

L: Hi Erin! Thanks so much for having me! I hope you’re a rum drinker because I brought you the best – Captain and Coke. Here’s a toast to all of us hard-working authors – cheers!

As it happens, I do like rum.  I like it very much.

E: Your book is called Sugar Man’s Daughter.  What can you tell us about it?

L: Well, “Sugar Man’s Daughter” has its share of demons, both real and imagined, but it is not a horror novel. It has more to do with confronting those demons and becoming stronger. My main character is a woman who has recently returned to her childhood home, the Sugar Inn, after a miscarriage and the dissolution of what had once been a promising relationship. Of course the inn is haunted! But the main story line – without giving too much away – has more to do with an abuse victim facing her past, scraping up the courage to pursue her dream career, and maybe even falling in love.

E: Where did you come up with the idea for the book?

L: Oh, it’s been percolating away in my brain forever!  I think the first little bubble floated to the surface several years ago when I was watching – don’t laugh! – an episode of The Golden Girls, where Dorothy was writing a letter to her deceased father. That got my attention – what would you write? And so, I actually built my story from that foundation. My character sat down, wrote a letter to her dead father, and we went on from there.

E: This is your debut novel, right?  What has your author journey been like so far?

L: My author journey has pretty much been a life-long proposition, lol. I wrote my first full-length novel in high school, and my mother typed the whole thing out for me. Back in the day. Before computers. When my daughter was an infant, I actually had a publisher on the hook! But then my son came along, and life got very, very busy for quite some time, and that novel was laid aside. This latest chapter in my author journey has been the most fascinating. I’m learning so much about networking and marketing – which is not at all as I had anticipated. As it turns out, the writing of a novel is actually the easy part! But I’ve been blessed to have found Lyle at Rainstorm Press, and I now have a college-age daughter who is very marketing-savvy, so we are working through this!

E: Are you currently working on any new projects?

L: Oh yes, I am pretty much always working on a project! I’m currently pecking away at the sequel to “Sugar Man”, which involves working a little more closely with some of the minor characters, giving them their own spotlight. It’s fun to see the stronger personalities emerging.

E: Who are some of your writing influences?

L: I think anyone I’ve ever read has had an influence – good, bad or indifferent. Of course, The Greats probably carried the most weight for me – Steinbeck, Harper Lee, the Brontes. Solid characters and lovely description – these authors didn’t scrimp on words, which is something we are all too often urged to do as writers.  Modern day? Oh, the list is endless, but James Lee Burke sits at the top, followed by Elizabeth George, and, on the lighter side, Janet Evanovich and Charlaine Harris.

E: What is the best piece of advice you have gotten so far about the publishing industry?

L: Lol! Keep trying, I suppose! It’s a tough market, and you have to have a thick skin. There will be rejections!

E: It’s very difficult to find information about you and your book.  Apparently, there is a soprano by the same name.  (Sopranos are icky, but that’s a blog post for another time.)  (Go alto or go home!)  What are the best ways to find you?

L: I know! Silly soprano with the same name as me! But I’m truly hoping that anyone who is searching for me knows that I’m an author, lol.  If you Google “Lucy Crowe, author” or “author Lucy Crowe” I pop right up!  But I do have links, thanks for asking! Here is my website  and my Facebook page.  I am currently in the process of updating my status on Goodreads to author (so exciting!) since my novel only just came out, and “Sugar Man” is available in Kindle on Amazon, with the paperback very soon to follow!  So, I can be found easily at any of the above!

Thanks so much for having me, Erin! This has been fun!

And remember, if you’ve found a page about an icky a very talented soprano, you’ve gone to the wrong page.

Author Corner–Kurt Reichenbaugh

E: Hi, Kurt.  Welcome back to Erindipity.  How does it feel to be an interviewee instead of a commenter?  Wait.  You don’t have to answer that.  Pie?

K: Why, thank you, Erin. I love pie! Blueberry…my favorite for this week! As for being the interviewee? Well, for as many times as I’ve had to pound the pavement looking for a daytime job, it’s something you get used to.  But this is the first time I’ve been coerced with pie.

E: Your book Sirens came out earlier this year from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.  What can you tell us about it?

K: I think I took to heart the classic advice to writers. That is to write the kind of book you want to read. So, I took an idea I used for a short story, and rolled with it. It’s a book about four friends in the 1970s who, through a combination of boredom and bad instincts, get mixed up with an assortment of psychos, both of this Earth, and otherwise. I took common garden variety ingredients of lust and obsession, and threw the stew into it and Sirens was the result.


E: How did you come up with the idea for it?  Who were your influences?

K: It’s the result of a youth spent reading noir paperbacks, books about UFOs, watching cheesy midnight movies and pining after girls who ignored me. You know, the kind of teenage life we all lived, right? Please tell me I’m right…Anyway, I had a number of influences. They range from Ray Bradbury to Blue Oyster Cult. A reader from Germany recently asked if I was influenced at all by David Lynch movies. I hadn’t thought about it, but I was thrilled that he saw those elements in the book. So there are probably more influences than I’m aware of, or could succinctly list.

E: In addition to the book, you’ve had work appear in Dark Eclipse.  What was featured?

K: I write a monthly column for Dark Eclipse that mainly features reviews of older books and stories that one would find haunting used bookstores. I admire today’s horror writers like Bentley Little and Tamara Thorne, to name two that immediately come to mind, but I like to write about the old stuff. Prior to that I’ve had a noir story in Phoenix Noir from Akashic Books. More recently a story in the Zombies Need Love, Too anthology from Dark Moon Books. And various dark and twisted stories in small press publications.

E: What are you currently working on?

K: I’ve recently completed a noir novel called Past Due that is prepped for shopping around. It’s based in contemporary Phoenix, with nary a zombie, vampire or extra-terrestrial alien in sight. It’s about a nine-to-six working stiff who, once again, lets bad instincts get him into trouble.  Also, I’ll be in a collection of graphic illustrated stories drawn by artist Vince Larue from authors based in the Southwest.  It’s planned for a 2014 publication.

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, blog tours, giveaways, etc.?

K: No, I’m pretty much a home-body. I work full-time as a financial analyst so it doesn’t give me much time to get out there and tour. When not at work, or not festering on the sofa, I can be found sporadically posting to my blog The Ringer Files.

E: Is there any kind of writing that scares you (romance, MG, non-fiction, etc)?  I’d love to write a fantasy series, but it intimidates the crap out of me so I haven’t done it yet.

K: Yes. I don’t think I could reasonably pull off a Western or Science Fiction novel. I admire the folks that can do that.

E: If you could get advice from any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you ask them?

K: Hmm…that’s a tough one! I think I’d rather eat more pie. Writers are a curmudgeonly lot, in addition to being just downright weird sometimes. Ironically, it’s the advice from folks who don’t write that I have to deal with most often. Maybe we all can relate to that.

You can find Kurt writing up articles for Dark Eclipse or loitering on Twitter.