• Who We Are

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    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

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  • Mighty’s Tweets

Melissa Groeling’s New Release LIGHTS OUT sheds a harsh light on tough topics #Suspense #Occult #mystery #thriller

Today we have the pleasure of visiting with our friend, Melissa Groeling. Of course, catching her was a bit of a challenge. She kept muttering something about a new release as she dashed about the blogverse. When she finally fell into our trap stopped, we managed to interrogate ask her a few insightful questions. 

If you feel the need to assist in keeping her calm, don’t forget to pick up your copy of LIGHTS OUT, her second book, and watch your back as you travel through Paul Holten’s dark and disturbing world. 

For now, I give you Melissa!  

*aside to Eerie* Why don’t you go check on your free range Zombie herd, you might be down a few head…

Jami! Hey there! *pauses to catch breath* Just barely made it past those shambling hordes you mentioned down at the end of your driveway. Persistent little buggers, aren’t they? So hey, you know it’s good to be here…in one piece too. Thanks so much for having me once again! I considered babbling through my own post for this second go-round but I was reading these questions you sent me and well, some of them were just too good to pass up. So if I may…

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Paul Holten, my main character from Lights Out, who I tormented relentlessly, has so many issues he’s a lot like those old cars with ten thousand bumper stickers slapped on the back end. With all the edges overlapping, the pictures faded and blackened with exhaust smoke. But the one warning that would be clear would say something like, “Beware: Unstable Ground Ahead.” Now Aaron who is Paul’s boss, would have a warning label in a neon sign over his head. I imagine it would say something like, “Dangerous Curve Ahead.”

Yeah. These two guys are not really conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

 –We all know “healthy” isn’t as much fun as “demented”.

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

I guarantee that every single one of my characters would describe me as confused and slightly unhinged. They would demand to know why I’m putting them through so much crap. They would probably scream at me to give them something to smile about and I try! I really do but…*sighs* I just can’t. They would call me mean, heartless but I’m trying my best to get them through their issues! Believe me, it’s hard work getting them to see things my way.

 –Tell ’em to pull up their big boy pants cuz there’s no such thing as great art without a little pain and suffering. (Yeah, tried that with Raine, have the scars to show how well that went over…)

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

I am going to say the most cliché line ever but man, is it the truth: don’t give up. If you give up, you’re only going to regret it later. Then you’ll have nothing but resentment and you’ll end up taking it out on your wife, your husband, your parents, anyone because you didn’t follow through. If you want something bad enough, you go after it and you keep going after it until you get it. Plain and simple.

 –Amen, sister!

Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?

Okay, so this wasn’t really research, per say but when I was writing my first book, Beauty Marks, my main protagonist had been splashed with something…and I’m not going to tell you what because that would give it away. *winks* As a result of being splashed, she was left with some brutal-looking scars. So my job was to find out just where the scars would fall given the distance and the amount of the stuff that was thrown at her. Does that make sense? I hope so. So this was in the middle of February and it was at least 20 degrees outside. I stood on the deck, outside (there was no way I was going to do this indoors—what a mess!) and my dad stood about three feet away from me and tossed a glass of water at me. I jotted down where the water marks were on my T-shirt. Then I changed my shirt, had my dad stand about six feet back and he tossed another glass of water at me. I was laughing so hard I think I ended up snorting half the water up my nose when it hit me. My dad of course was having a field day and my mom was taking pictures. It was insane so apparently I will risk hypothermia for a book!

–Love it! The sacrifices we make for our writing.

We’ve lost Melissa again (Eerie, I told to hold that rope tighter!), but we did get the following bullet list out of her before her disappearing act…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Blades

–The bestest things ever!

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Beauty and the Beast

 –I’m amazed at how many writers love this one (including me).

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Grim Reaper—End of Days by Steve Alten

–mmmm, variety, the spice of life… 

Greatest one liner of all time?

See ya in the funny pages!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism

–Of course!

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A plush laughing skull that no longer laughs

 –What does it say about us that we have skulls on our desk? Mine has some lovely tribal artwork…

Favorite supernatural creature?

Hmmmm….Shape-shifter

Ready to find out just how tough it can get for an assassin? Then pick up your copy of LIGHTS OUT by Melissa Groeling. Shoo *waving hands* go forth, my faithful Swamp followers. Just make sure you keep the lights on!

Lights out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

            Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Available NOW:

AMAZON     BARNES AND NOBLE   SMASHWORDS    ARe     GOODREADS

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Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

Come find me    FACEBOOK    TWITTER    BLOG

 

T’was The Night Before The Zombie Apocalypse

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Greetings and Salutations,

This is the last Friday before Christmas so I’m re posting my version of The Night Before Christmas. It is in the name of fun, so enjoy.

On a serious note, remember we are celebrating the birth of our Savior. So be a little more patient, a little more forgiving, and a little more loving.

 THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

T’was the night before Christmas when all through our shelter,

Not a creature was stirring, not even the smelter.

The mac-tens were hung by the chimney with care,

For the undead horde that soon would so

The guard dogs were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of raw meat danced in their heads.

Mom and her uzi and I with my launcher,

Had just settled down to plan for the slaughter.

When out on the lawn there arose such a racket,

I leaped from the bunker and put my jacket.

Grabbing my Kevlar I flew like a flash,

Turned on the search lights looking aghast.

The lights on the breast of the new fallen dead,

Gave luster of midday to zombies in red.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight zombie reindeer.

The driver was quick, his head wrapped in gauze,

I knew in a snap it was Zombie Clause.

More rapid than missiles his coursers they came,

He grunted and slobbered, and called them by name.

“Now, Femur! Now, Sacrum! now, Kidney! and Bicep,

On, Liver! On, Stomach! On, Colon and Tricep.

To the top of the porch and over barbed wire!

Now dash away! Dash away! Far from the fire!”

Above all the landmines and away from the moat,

They went higher and higher like some flying boat.

So up to the lookout the reindeer they flew,

With a sleigh full of entrails, and Zombie Clause, too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each rotting hoof.

I switched off the safety and pulled back the hammer,

Down the chimney came Zombie with quite a clamor.

He was dressed all in fur from head to the floor,

And his clothes were all bloody and splattered with gore.

A bundle of severed limbs on his back,

He sat himself down to have a late snack.

His eyes—they were sunken, his flesh was so pale,

His nose was held on with a bright shiny nail.

The stump of a leg he held tight in his teeth,

As I pulled my new sword clear of its sheath.

He was rotten and putrid but looked quite surprised,

As I sliced off his arm and poked out his eyes.

He ran to the chimney forgetting his snack,

So I picked up my shotgun and gave him a whack.

Sticking a finger far up his nose,

Giving a nod up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the led from my pistol.

I heard Zombie moan, as he flew through the night,

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite.

To You and Yours,

Have a Scary Christmas and a Happy Ghoul Year

Dave Benneman

Fright-days welcomes, drum roll please, Howard Phillips Lovecraft

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Greetings and Salutations,

Today we are back at the unconsecrated graveyard to visit with another author. I’ve been hoping for weeks that our next guest would grant us an interview. I am very excited to have him with us.

He is a writer who is widely seen as the most significant 20th century author in Horror Fiction. At the time Weird Tales Magazine was building a reputation, he was a regular contributor, he turned down an offer of the editorship. Some of his most celebrated tales including The Call of Cthulhu, canonical to the Cthulhu MythosHorror, fantasy and science fiction author Stephen King called him “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” Graham Harman said, “No other writer is so perplexed by the gap between objects and the power of language to describe them, or between objects and the qualities they possess.” So with no further a due, I present, Howard Phillip Lovecraft.

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HP; Thank you, Bob warned me the accommodations were less than ideal, but he assured me the warm welcome would make up for it.

You’re referring to Robert Bloch?

HP; Yes, he convinced me to come. I tried to make two weeks ago, but something happened on our end and some other guy jumped through ahead of me. A Richard Baitman, or something? He was too big for me to argue with.

Richard Bachman.

HP; That’s it, Bachman. He wasn’t a very nice fellow.

That was very unsettling for us all. He hasn’t returned either. I do hope that fellow Steve Brown, and Stephen King are doing alright. He made some thinly veiled threats as he left. Enough about him please let’s talk about your influences.

HP; Of course Edgar Allen Poe was very big. Arthur Machen’s tales of ancient evil returning to the modern world. Joseph Addison and Jonathan Swift. My own vivid nightmares are certainly a contributing factor.

E.A Poe and yourself have many biographical details  in common. Like Poe your work was out of step with your time. You both passed on at a young age and you were both penniless when you did so.

HP; The loss of our parents, bouts of deep depression, self-imposed isolation, the list goes on. 

You must be happy with the high regard with which you are held today and the endless list of authors you have influenced.

HP; Happiness is not something experienced in the plain where I exist. It would have nice if all this veneration presented itself in my life time. It does me little good to know that I am appreciated years I died a painful, lonely, penniless death.

Sorry I brought that up. One of your reoccurring themes is the mysterious information stumbled on by unsuspecting characters.

220px-Weird_Tales_March_1944220px-Cthulhu_sketch_by_LovecraftHP; Ahh yes usually with a Promethean ending. You say unsuspecting character, yet they are driven to learn knowledge that is forbidden them. Their curiosity, ambition, and the temptation of acquiring power compel them to open Pandora’s box and unleash the evils within. They are not naive dupes as you suggest. on the contrary they often make choices without consideration to the consequences. hence the person who acquires the knowledge is utterly destroyed.

Of course you’re right, but the reader identifies with the character as somehow being coerced or deceived into making those choices.

HP; That would be naiveté on the part of the reader. Just as in the Cthulu stories the antagonist is an alien being who is indifferent to humans at best more often hostile, and yet they are worshipped by clans of humans as Gods. You may see the worshippers as poor savages, Where as my view is they bring this on themselves at the hope of becoming the beneficiary of the god like powers.  They are not innocents, they are greedy, manipulating, and selfish. They perpetuate a modern era decadence, and they receive their just deserts.

What of, The Rats In The Walls or The Alchemist, surely you make exceptions where a character gets punished through no fault of their own.

HP; Inherited guilt is something of a paradox. Where the fortunate circumstances of the character are due to the misdeeds of a forebear and yet they themselves are innocent. The piper must be paid, Mr. Benneman, better he is paid in this life than in the next.

I see my flame is burning low, so allow me to leave you with one thought. Support living writers and artists now, while they are among you. Do not wait until they have long passed on to acknowledge their commitment to society.

Whooosh

“Wow that was a pretty dramatic exit. I didn’t get to ask him about all the films based on his stories. OH, well. What an amazing guy.

Let’s close with a quotation from the man himself.

“It is only the inferior thinker who hastens to explain the singular and the complex by the primitive shortcut of supernaturalism.” H.P.Lovecraft.

Thanks for stopping by,

Write On,

Dave Benneman

  

The Spotlight’s on…me! My turn in holiday anthology! #ThingsThatGoBumpForHolidays #holidays #anthology #paranormal

As part of my part in spreading the word on the upcoming holiday anthology THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS coming December 14th by the fantastic group of Black Opal authors, the spotlight has spun to…me!

My contribution, WRAPPED IN SHADOWS, takes place before Shadow’s Edge. A fun, quick ride with Raine McCord, Gavin Durand and Xander Cade, this story proves holidays can really be hell. I hope you’ll add it to your To Be Read list. 

For my teaser, I actually choose an excerpt from the third installment of the Kyn Kronicles, SHADOW’S MOON, coming Spring of 2014…

Dread settled like a stone in her stomach. “Do you think it’s Chavez?”  Someone had an ax to grind with Warrick. The psychic peek of those venomous taunts directed at him was very personal. Normally it wouldn’t give her pause, her Alpha was more than able to take care of himself, but something about this set her and her wolf on edge. The urge to protect this stubborn male dug in with vicious claws.

He rose to his feet and shook his head.  “There hasn’t been enough time.”

Not enough time for the grieving Southwest Alpha to get past losing his psychopathic mate who had almost killed Xander three weeks ago. Nowhere enough for him to forget that Warrick had approved her death and stood aside while it was dealt.

“He’ll come hunting us.”  Her voice was soft, but her certainty was rock solid.  No wolf, no alpha, would forgive the death of a mate.  Even if their mate deserved it.

“I know.” Warrick move to stand beside her.  “But this isn’t him.” He turned back to Ryuu and Sebastian. His leg brushed her shoulder, sending a streak of heat through her that chased away the icy trepidation.

“Then which enemy are we facing?” Ryuu’s question was directed at Warrick as the shrill song of sirens came to a screeching halt outside the club. 

Xander set Sara aside once again and rose to her feet. 

The thump of car doors slamming sounded from outside. It was soon followed by raised voices trying to corral the agitated crowd outside.

Warrick’s lips thinned and his frustrated anger leaked through their connection.  The loss of this lone wolf had hurt him, just as it was suppose to.

An echo of the hateful taunt whispered across her mind. “How many deaths will it take?” 

“The phone call says its personal.” She kept her voice low and even as she moved closer.  No need for his wolf to think she was challenging him. 

Those who knew Warrick understood the line between his human mind and his wolf was thinner than most.  Which meant you had to deal with the animal as much as the human.  She could challenge the wolf in private, and had done so numerous times, but in front of Pack he was first and foremost her Alpha.  

Standing next to him she couldn’t miss his low growl or the way tension had stiffened his body. She fought her wolf and kept her hackles down.  Sebastian and Ryuu kept their gazes lowered.  No one moved, holding still and giving Warrick’s wolf a few precious moments.

Slanting a look at him from under her lashes to judge his control, she continued.  “Someone wants your job. Who’ve you pissed off lately?”

Suddenly he was crowding her. The weight of the power that made him alpha pressed against her, demanding submission. “Just you,” he growled.

She let her wolf out just enough to stand against him.  It was dangerous, so dangerous to do this dance with him publicly, but it was necessary.  One of the reasons she was fighting their bond so hard was because Warrick was the most dominant male in the Northwest.  She had no intention of turning into his submissive bitch. She had fought tooth and nail for her independence.  There was no way she was going to toss it all away because he had decided she was his.  Even if Warrick was a wickedly intelligent hunter who knew all about patience and prey. She wanted to be a partner, not a door mat.

“Besides me,” she hissed.

Even as she stood her ground, there was a tiny part of her that wanted to tuck tail and bare her throat in the face of his fury. But the woman knew if she gave in, whatever slim chance they had of this relationship working would be snuffed out. So she locked her knees, clenched her fists, gritted her teeth and met that burning stare without blinking. 

Grim amusement lit his dark eyes.  “No one else important.”

“Vidis,” Ryuu’s voice snapped the tension. “Incoming.”

Warrick shifted his attention from her to the club’s entrance, inserting his body between her and the approaching humans.  She let out a shaky breath and prayed Warrick wouldn’t lose it. 

“Non-threatening,” she muttered the reminder and stepped around him.  Too many witnesses meant they had to stick around and help. At least until Division joined the party.

His eyes narrowed as she stood at his left.  She raised her hands above her head and arched an eyebrow at him.  His lips quirked as he copied her movements.  Sebastian and Ryuu followed suit.  She sighed and watched the cops pour into the club. 

The first two books, SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL are available now, just click the BOOKS link on the website tabs above!

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Stay tuned because next week we get to meet Juila Joseph and Liv Rancourt!

Check out Eric Henson, our spotlight author for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! #newauthors #holidayreads

After last week’s cover reveal, I decided to invite all my fellow Black Opal Authors who are in THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS anthology over for a little sharing time. 

First up, Eric Henson, his short “I Thought The Grinch Was Green” is part of our collection available December 14th from Black Opal Books. 

Just to whet your appetite, here’s a little peek into his story….

Excerpt from: “I Thought the Grinch Was Green” by Eric Henson

Carol sat up so fast that she grew dizzy. Whether awakened by some internal alarm or external sound she did not know. Outside the winter wind gusted and rattled her old bedroom windows. The plastic insulation her father fastened over them ruffled from the draft seeping beneath. Carol listened but heard nothing more than the moaning wind.

She looked at the clock hanging over her dresser. Unable to focus on the hands she rubbed her eyes clear and discovered it was eleven thirty-four. Laying her head back down on her pillow, Carol waited for sleep to find her again. Just as her eyes grew heavy and her mind drifted off, she heard a muffled sound. Carol lifted her head and faced her door. Her heart skipped a beat and said—Santa Claus!

Who else could it be?

Carol jumped from her bed, slipped on her favorite fuzzy pink slippers, grabbed her matching favorite pink robe, and dashed for the door. Anticipation built within her as she slowly open the door and inched out. Carol, who wished to go unnoticed by Santa, slinked along the wall to avoid the spots on the floor that creaked. She watched for the shadows within their lighted Christmas tree as she drew closer to the living room. Carol almost squeaked in excitement when she heard the jingling and the tinkling of bells. She pressed both of her hands against her mouth as an uncontrollable smile took her face.

Only two words existed for her right then, Santa and Claus.

Then the rhyming and chiming bells became mixed with other sounds—the clattering of chains, a swift whooshing followed by a light thud, and the unmistakable sound of whimpering. His goat-like image seemed to float across her mind before she turned the corner. It was eerie, frightening, almost as if she herself had willed Krampus into being.

Taller than the Christmas tree, the creature hunched to avoid hitting the ceiling. In one hand Krampus held a bundle of birch branches and in the other he had Peter by the ankle. Her brother tossed and wailed, upturned, as the hairy monster birched him. The sight looked more like Halloween then Christmas. Carol shook her head and rubbed her eyes.

When she opened them Krampus was closer. He looked at her with his head titled to one side, in a confused dog-like manner. She looked at upside-down Peter’s reddened face, at the slight tremor along his jawline, and it broke her young heart.

Krampus tilted his horned head the other direction and in a deep-rumbled voice said, “You should not be able to see me child. You should be lost in slumber.”

Little Carol closed her eyes tight and shook her head hard. Krampus watched her. Well aware of what she attempted to do—every child did the same. When she reopened her eyes, he was even closer. It was as if the monster advanced when unseen. All it took was an instant and he moved in on you. They were impossible odds. At some point you had to blink, had to look away. The mere sight of Krampus assured this. 

Want more? 

Then check out THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a collection of paranormal shorts from Black Opal Authors, coming December 14th!

Interested in taking a ride with Eric?

His debut novel, HARROW, is the first installment in a series centered on the aftermath of a small group of fallen angels who, in order to prevent the cacodemon Báalzbub from destroying all of existence, sought the help of those they once betrayed. The second installment, titled UNKINDNESS, is in progress. 

Harrow

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

Books A Million           Barnes and Noble           Amazon          Black Opal Books

Eric Henson

Eric Henson is an American fiction writer of dark fantasy, supernatural horror, suspense, and thriller. Henson is known for intertwining theology, mythology, science and psychology into his writing. Born in Salem, Massachusetts and lived the majority of his life in New Hampshire, Henson’s writing generally takes place in fictitious towns in New England. With Harrow, New Hampshire being the center point. Other towns include Clayton and Salem Willow.

Henson has severe dyslexia, a learning disability that impairs one’s ability to read, speak, and spell. Over time, Henson managed to overcome many of the hurdles created by his disability, and hopes to inspire others suffering from dyslexia not to give up on themselves.

Henson is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Atlanta Writer’s Club. He currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

You can find Eric on the web at:  www.hensonfiction.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/EricHensonAuthor

Fright-day welcomes Robert Block

Greetings and Salutations,

I took last Fright-day off to celebrate my birthday. The good news is we’re back and with a very special guest. He is an American writer of crime, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Including short stories, novels, and screenplays for radio, television, and film. He’s a prolific writer and a lover of puns. However he is best known as the Author of Psycho, please welcome, Robert Bloch.

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RB; Thank you so much for having me. Where are we if you don’t mind me asking?

This is the abandoned, unconcecrated, Catholic, cemetery. Pretty nice, huh?

RB; I see. Yes, quite comfortable.

I ‘d like to ask about your mentor H.P. Lovecraft. Is it true he was the inspiration for several of your characters? I’ve heard he gave you permission to kill off a character inspired by him in a written certificate.

RB; Let me begin with telling you what an honorable man Howard is. I was a teen when I first wrote him. A fan, waiting for the next issue of Weird Tales magazine. He responded by encouraging me to pick up my pen and write. I outright copied his style in my youth and he granted me permission to use his characters in tales of my own, most notably The Cthulhu Mythos. As far as killing him off, yes, he said it was fine. Of course he turned around and wrote me into a story of his own in which I died a horrible death. And I might add he did very little to conceal who the character represented. It became quite the joke in the Lovecraft circle.

I’ve not been able to get in touch with him. I would very much like to have him as a guest.

RB; I’ll mention it to him when I see him next.

The list of your books and awards would take us all day to get through. Is there any you are especially fond of we can focus on?

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RB; My very first publication, The Thing is close to my heart. It was published in my high school literary magazine The Quill, but it is far from my best work. Psycho brought me much fame even though I had little to do with the movie. It was my first full length novel in which I employed modern urban horror relying on the horrors of interior psychology rather than the supernatural. I realized, as a result of what went on during World War Two and of reading the more widely disseminated work in psychology, that the real horror is not in the shadows, but in that twisted little world inside our own skulls.

That certainly comes through in Psycho, the twist being that Norman Bates, was also his mother.  The psychology behind Normans actions and his references to the Oedipus complex are startling when you read the book.

RB; Norman did more than desire his mother, he became his mother.

Yes, and as his mother, he said and did things that made Norman mad and question his own manhood. What a paradox you created in the characters mind.

RB; Yes and the mind cannot operate under that kind of stress for very long. Norman’s mind snapped long before the opening scene in the novel.

The charade of a normal, if unhappy man soon falls away when he has to clean up the murder of the girl for his mother’s sake. Yet, you keep the dual personality of Norman away from the reader long past that event.

RB; The reader wants to see Norman take charge of his life and have his mother put away. They route for the underdog until they realize–

Let’s not spoil the ending for those who haven’t read this classic of horror, thriller. One of my personal  favorites is, Your’s Truly, Jack The Ripper, a marvelous story with another twist ending.

RB; Ever since my early childhood I enjoyed the short story format. I read all the pulp fiction magazines growing up. Writing short fiction was where I learned to write. I enjoyed the prospect of revisiting infamous characters from the past and fictionalizing a tale about them. The facts surrounding their atrocities becomes a starting point for the tale. Grounding the story in reality and focusing on the psychological aspects of the character’s mind are the things I liked best about creative writing. Jack the Ripper, the Marquis de Sade, and Lizzy Borden all provided fertile soil in which tales grow. Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.

Very nice Mr. Bloch, I know that revisited Jack the Ripper in several short stories. He must have really caught your imagination.

RB; The fact he was never caught is the attraction. The story of Jack the Ripper begs for a suitable conclusion, and the beauty is, there is no right ending. Your imagination is the only limitation to Jack’s legacy.

I couldn’t agree more. 

RB; I was fortunate to have been around when radio and television devoured short fiction faster than writers could produce it. Short fiction has fallen off with the demise of pulp fiction magazines, as well as radio shows and television.  The Twilight Zone for example hungered for good short stories. I see my driver has arrived so I will take my leave, but I’ve had a wonderful time, I’ll be sure to mention your invitation to Howard.

Thank so much for coming. Robert Bloch ladies and gentlemen.

That might have been the best interview yet. Wouldn’t it be great if Mr. Bloch convinces H.P. Lovecraft to visit? What a nice guy. Well we’ll wrap it up here in the usual way.

We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight.
H. P. Lovecraft 

Cool COVERS-Things That Go Bump For The Holidays–A Paranormal Anthology w/ @JamiGrayAuthor & A Touch Of Winter Anth. #newrelease #BlackOpal

*Jumping up and down with unrivaled excitement*

Guess what? Come on, guess! There’s something special coming for the holidays.

Don’t know, here’s some hints:

It’s coming December 14th, 2013

It’s part of larger gift

The givers are the most awesome group of peeps ever

Give up?

*clapping hands*

The greatest anthology EVER is coming out from Black Opal Books and I HAVE A STORY IN IT!

I’m proud to announce the impending arrival of:

THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS–A Collection of Short Stories

Check out the cover:

3D Paranormal Anthology

Isn’t it beautiful?

And look! I’m right there on the front!

And if that’s not enough to tantalize your taste buds, there’s a second anthology coming, because we couldn’t squeeze all that goodness into one book.

Oh no, we have another anthology: A Touch of Winter to encompass the rest of our great authors!  It’s coming December 14th as well!

photo

So make sure you add these to your TBR piles and lists, you don’t want to miss out!

And checking in for NaNo week 2–currently word count is: 15,893

It’s Fright-day, Welcome E.A. Poe

Greetings and Salutations,

Sorry I wasn’t here last week, Fridays aren’t the same when I don’t check in with those of you on the ether. I had to kick the mud from between my toes and venture into the real world of writers, publishers, and agents. Oh my. That’s a wordy way of saying I attended the Writers Digest West Writers Conference last week. It was great, I met and had discussions with wonderful people, who understand or pretend to understand writers. I was enlightened, overwhelmed, and energized. Horror is my thing and while I believe all fiction has the possibility to be frightening, not every writer has the courage to turn to the dark side. Not every reader is hoping for that either.

With a full charge in my batteries I’ve decided to change things up here on Fridays. From this day forward Fridays will be known as Fright-days at the Swamp. So come my children of the night, and we will tour the The Swamp in the dark. The way it is meant to be seen. When it is at its most terrifying.

Jami Gray’s wildly popular interview series has given me the idea to follow her lead. Fright-day will take a slightly different tack. Taking a small diversion from the comfortable setting of the Interview pavilion, we will venture to the unconsecrated graveyard for our ghostly interviews with those authors who are no longer in our midst in the physical sense. As you will find out they are very much with us on the spiritual plane.

Our first guest is the man credited with invention of  the detective genre. A poet, author, publisher, magazine editor, and literary critic. A man who’s very death is a mystery to this day. Please welcome, Edgar Allen Poe.  

deasf00a

EA: As you know, I do not have an abundance of time. Please, let us get on with it. 

“Of course Mr. Poe. Thank you for coming. Do you agree that a man is the son of his work?”

EA: I should imagine this is so.

Your body of work is disturbing in its representation of madness, and morose subjects. What kind of son are you?

EA: A son whose life was snuffed out too soon. A son whose experiences colored his writing. An honest son, whose work reflected the mistreatment of men by those who perceived their high station granted them the right to do so. The egotistical Fortunato for instance. Do you not agree the world is a better place without his ilk?

The Cask Of Amontillado, one of my favorite tales. Yes Fortunato was not a likable person, but Montressor buries him alive in the cellars.

EA:I believe the vile deserve a vile ending. What of poor Hop-Frog whose very name was taken from him? Forced to entertain the King and his advisors. Was setting them alight to brutal a punishment. I think not. In Masque of The Red Death, Prince Prospero flaunts his wealth, lords over his realm even as his loyal subjects die in streets of the plague. Is it not poetic justice that plague, attends his most magnificent party of the season, killing all in attendance?

I see. The punishment should equal the injustice.

EA: Precisely.

You mentioned poetic justice. Can we talk about The Raven? What caused you to write a poem about a man mourning the loss of his love?

EA: I chose this topic because the death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetic topic in the world.

Many think the raven represents the devil.

 EA: a harsh laugh. What do those fools know? The raven symbolizes mournful and never-ending remembrance. The death of a flower before the frost, of a love no matter how much it is felt, can not be received by the intended.

What of the prophetic nature of the poem itself? Two years later you found yourself sitting in that very chamber?

EA: Turns his head away. I believe our ship has arrived in port.

You call the Raven a prophet. 

EA: I imply it may be an Angel, also a thing of evil, bird or devil, do not impose upon my good nature. With a rustle of dry leaves he is gone.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anger you. Quiet darkness is the answer to my apology.

That was rather abrupt, but all good things must come to a timely finish, lest they where out their welcome.

I leave you as always, with a quotation.

All the ancient classic fairy tales have always been scary and dark.

Helena Bonham Carter 

That’s what I’m talking about.

Write On,

Dave Benneman

Today’s SwampGuest…Adriana Ryan!

Welcome back everyone! Nice to see you all here. Today’s guest is the fabulous Adriana Ryan, so stop snickering and singing over there, Muses and focus. Put those damn flowers down, you all are embarrassing me.

Swamp Thing stop handing out those stupid plants! Mischievous, go drag Eerie away from that Venus Flytrap, it’s not his friend. Prankster Duo, release the Piranha Hummingbird and sit!

Adriana traveled all this way, you motley crew, so the least you can do is give her your attention.

*chaos drops to muted rumblings*

Thank you. Now, without further ado I give you Adriana Ryan, the most awesome author of Enlightened Book 1 of The Awakened Series and Her Heart’s Desire.

Pinterest for Spooky Inspiration!

By Adriana Ryan

Unless you’ve been trapped in a wormhole (or are a writer on deadline), you’ve heard of the internet sensation that is Pinterest. Pinterest is a great tool for filmmakers, photographers and others in the visual arts, of course, because it lets you advertise your wares. However, it can also be a great visual dose of inspiration for those of us who pen fiction.

The creepy pictures you see in this post are all courtesy of Pinterest. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a board full of spooky pictures? Imagine all the monstrous tales you could create!

I’m currently working on book two of my Awakened series. I can’t go into details because I don’t want to list any spoilers, but I needed to look up female demons for inspiration for one of my scenes. I just scrolled through Pinterest one evening, and within five minutes, I had scads of material to base my scenes on (and also for nightmares to last me through the century).

Another great use for Pinterest? A visual story prompt. Scroll through the front page until you find an eye-catching picture. Then, using a thousand words or less, challenge yourself to create a story worthy of it. What is happening in the picture? To whom? Why?

Now, the only caveat is: Pinterest in addictive! Use at your own risk. 😉

Adriana Ryan writes spunky supernatural fiction in beautiful Charleston, SC. She is currently at work on an urban fantasy series. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards.

         You can find her at: http://adrianaryan.com                                                     

On Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAdrianaRyan

On Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/adrianaryansc

On Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/adrianaryansc/

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