Guest Post: Leah Rhyne

Author Image Leah Rhyne

One Horror Writer’s Secret: I’m Always Afraid


People often look at me funny when they find out I write horror, and I get it. Really, I do. I look pretty sweet and innocent with blonde curls and blue eyes. I can usually be found wearing either girlie dresses or running clothes, and my black lipstick and nail polish only get worn on Halloween.


I definitely don’t look like a horror writer. In fact, I look more like the first-to-die in a 70s slasher flick.


But I’ll tell you a little secret. I write horror and dark fiction for one reason and one reason alone: I’m always afraid. Always. I never live a day without fear.


I guess you could say it started when I was very small, the year Gremlins came out. I was five, and I fell in love with Gizmo, the brown-and-white, fluffy mogwai. I watched the movie again and again on our brand-new VHS, and begged my parents for a stuffed Gizmo doll that made little jingle sounds when you shook him. I LOOOOVED him so much, I brought him to kindergarten show and tell…TWICE.


But at night, after the lights went out….that’s when I was afraid of the gremlins! I’d sit up in bed, wide-awake, clutching Gizmo with sweaty palms, waiting for the green goblins to come and eat us both. I’d picture their long, clawed fingers slithering around and under the bedroom door.


I was terrified.


A few years later it was Freddy Kruger and the ghosts of Poltergeist that got under my skin, setting the stage for a lifetime of fear-induced insomnia. After that came The Silence of the Lambs and Buffalo Bill’s kidnapping of the mayor’s daughter in that windowless white van. I’d stare at strangers everywhere, suspicious that they’d want to snatch me up and throw me in the pit with the puppy and the lotion.  When a little boy was kidnapped and murdered in my hometown the year I turned twelve…well, let’s just say I didn’t sleep for months.


Nowadays my fears take a much different shape. I’m not afraid for myself anymore. Not really. Now I fear for my child. She’s six, and spunky and sweet, and I’m terrified that one day someone’s going to try to snatch her from me. I’m terrified that she’s going to get hurt. I’m terrified I’ll have to die to defend her, because I’d take a bullet in a heartbeat if it meant she’d get to live a full and happy life.


So yeah. Always afraid of something. That’s me.


So it’s no surprise that whenever I sit down to write, dark stuff comes out. In my first books, it was zombies, because who’s NOT afraid of creatures that used to be like you and me, but are now mindless, insatiable beasts? With my new book, JO (out September 1st), you see a lot of my childhood fears coming to life.  You see a kidnapping. A mutilation. An ominous, windowless van. Monsters, coming to life.


It’s there. All of it. The only thing missing is ghosts, but I’m leaving them for a later story.


But now you know it. If you want to write horror, you can start by being afraid. All the time. Once you are, the stories will practically write themselves.


Jolene Hall is dead – sort of. She can walk, think and talk, but her heart doesn’t beat and her lungs stopped breathing ages ago. Her body’s a mosaic of jagged wounds and stapled flesh.


Jolene Hall has a choice: turn herself in to the authorities, led by a suspiciously handsome police officer, or team up with her roommate Lucy and her boyfriend Eli to find a way to save herself. To Jo, the choice is clear. She’d like to know who turned her into a monster, and she’d like to live to see another sunrise.


But that choice has drastic repercussions.


On a trip deep into the snowy White Mountains, to a hidden laboratory filled with danger and cadavers, Jo and Lucy find more reanimated girls. Part body, part machine, run by batteries and electricity, these girls are killers, created by a shadowy Order with a penchant for chaos…and murder.


To make matters worse, a photo on a wall of victims reveals Lucy is next in line to be “recruited” into this army of beautiful, walking corpses.


When Jo’s physical condition takes a turn for the irreparable, and the Order kidnaps those she loves most, she must sacrifice herself to save them all.


*   *   *   *   *

Leah Rhyne is a Jersey girl who’s lived in the South so long she’s lost her accent…but never her attitude. After spending most of her childhood watching movies like Star Wars, Alien(s), and A Nightmare On Elm Street, and reading books like Stephen King’s The Shining or It, Leah now writes tales of horror and science fiction.  Her first novel, Undead America Volume 1: Zombie Days, Campfire Nights, released in the fall of 2012, and it’s sequel, No Angels, released in the fall of 2013. The final book in the trilogy is coming in 2014. She writes for, The Charleston City Paper, and for herself at Leah lives with her husband, daughter, and a small menagerie of pets. In her barely-there spare time, she loves running and yoga.



About these ads

Spotlight On Peter Welmerink #Imaginarium

Welmerink Photo

SPOTLIGHT ON: Peter Welmerink


How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I am an author/writer working with Seventh Star Press.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

TRANSPORT: Book One is my latest release. It is a cross between a Military Action-Thriller and Zombie Apocalypse.

 Transport Book One

Quick description of it.

Captain Jake Billet and his quirky crew of military misfits have to covertly bring a much hated lakeshore government official roughly 40 miles across West Michigan while trying to avoid everything and everyone who wants to stop, kill, eat and dismember them along the way. And not necessarily in that order.  


Something unique about it.

It’s a post-post zombie apocalypse world. We’re still here. They’re still here. The local zombie “civilians” are protected. The outside city limits ones, fair game if they don’t get you first. A very militarized WALKING DEAD-type series with a 72-ton armored heavy transport vehicle and crew dealing with it all.


Links for people to buy it.


Barnes & Noble


Schuler Books

iTunes Books


Your promo links.

A review of TRANSPORT


Discussion on Action, Adventure, Adversity and the Undead in TRANSPORT


An excerpt from TRANSPORT


A review of TRANSPORT



Your short Bio.

Peter Welmerink was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel venture. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys. He can be found at and, for TRANSPORT-related additional goodies,



“Imaginarium is an entire convention centered on creative writing taking place September 19-21 in Louisville KY, featuring over 140 panels and workshops organized into 12 categories.  Over 130 professional guests will be featured in the programming, covering all aspects of creative writing in the worlds of books, eBooks, screenplays, comics/graphic novels, and even game design.  All of it is set within a fun, convention atmosphere that includes activities like a Masquerade, gaming room, film festival, and more.  Please visit for further information.”

Guest Post: Bob Freeman


Do You Believe in Magic(k)?
(Cheap Day Return)

by Bob Freeman


Time and time again the sacred words are spoken, passed from one wordslinger to the next, like an arcane mantra from a dark and distant age. “Write what you know,” they say. All well and good, but when you’re traversing subject matter as weighty as black magic, sorcery, and necromancy, where does that road even begin?

For me it began in the early seventies with a forgotten hermetic tract I found in the bottom of an old steamer trunk in my grandparents’ second floor spare room. The trunk had been my great-grandmother’s, an ancient woman by the time I met her, eerily silent and confined to a nursing home. We visited her nearly every Sunday throughout my childhood, delivering graham crackers and well wishes.

Stranger was that mysterious trunk, silent and confined in its own way, tucked into a corner and buried beneath a veritable mountain of old quilts and crocheted blankets. Within its musty cavity was a treasure trove of books and pamphlets, mostly dealing with herbs, medicinal plants, and astrology, all dating to the thirties and forties. It was an intriguing find for an eight year old boy who’d already become accustomed to sneaking out of his parents’ house in the dead of night to while away the hours in a nearby boneyard.

But the true treasure found in that trunk, at least for me, was the aforementioned tract. Penned by the philosopher and mystic Manly Palmer Hall, Unseen Forces was a revelation. It was, after all, my first book of esoterica, my metaphysical primer, if you will, and it opened up a world of possibilities to me. This slender pamphlet, which had belonged to my own flesh and blood, quickly became my most prized possession. Through it I was introduced to the denizens of the invisible worlds and our connection with them, including the ‘Dweller on the Threshold,’ elementals, nature spirits, thought-forms, ghosts and spectres.

I was already consumed by the likes of Dark Shadows and The Night Stalker, and I’d just begun to read Poe and Blackwood and Wheatley alongside The Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators, and Marvel Comics… and now here was a book purporting that the world out there was far stranger than it appeared on the surface, that there was an esoteric and wondrous (and frightening) world that existed in the shadows?

I had to know more… Of course, growing up in the rural Midwest, occult books were hard to come by, especially for an eight year old boy, but not impossible. I managed to get my hands on books by authors such as Hans Holzer, Sybil Leek, and Gavin and Yvonne Frost, and even managed to score a tattered copy of Gerald Gardner’s Witchcraft Today.

It was all eye-opening to say the least. Unseen Forces added fuel to my interest in the preternatural, the occult, and the hermetic sciences — an interest that is still alive and well today. I had continued my studies through high school, college, and beyond, with the support of Nightstalkers of Indiana, an occult and paranormal research group I formed in 1983. I became obsessed with the works of the magicicans and alchemists of the Elizabethan era, the Golden Dawn, Thelema, Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft, and later the Discordians and Chaos Magic, and I kept abreast of advances in parapsychology and physics.


When I decided to become serious about writing fiction it was only natural that I would turn to this lifelong study and interest as source material for my stories. It was, after all, a time honoured tradition. Hell, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn alone was virtually a who’s who of famous authors of occult and horror fiction, including Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Aleister Crowley, Bram Stoker, and Dion Fortune, to name but a few.

“Write what you know”? Well, they, like so many before and since, certainly did.

Writing successful occult fiction requires a certain amount of verisimilitude. Having an intimate understanding of the esoteric sciences adds weight to your stories. If you want to write about the fantastic, you must make it live and breathe. You have to cast a spell on your audience, so that even if it’s just for a little while, they too will believe in magic.


About Bob Freeman:  Bob Freeman doesn’t just write and draw occult detectives, he’s also a card carrying paranormal adventurer who founded Nightstalkers of Indiana in 1983.

A lifelong student of witchcraft, magic, and religion, Bob’s studies are reflected in his art, both as an author and illustrator.

Bob lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.

He can be found online at


Shadows Over Somerset Book Synopsis:  Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. He soon finds himself drawn into a strange and esoteric world filled with werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to fourteenth century Scotland.

In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance… and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.

Shadows Over Somerset is the first Cairnwood Manor Novel.


Author Links:



Twitter: @OccultDetective

Amazon Links for Shadows Over Somerset:

Kindle Version:

Print Version:


Spotlight On Jill Ranney-Campbell #Imaginarium

author pic

SPOTLIGHT ON: Jill Ranney-Campbell


How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I noticed my PR rep (Babs) was a guest and emailed her asking about it. She then asked Stephen if they were interested in a newbie author and he emailed me inviting me along for the ride.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release is The Awakening: Celtic Rose Saga Book 2 it’s an Urban Fantasy.

 The Awakening 200x300

Quick description of it.

The Awakening is a new beginning for the Celtic Rose crew. I can’t say much about why it’s a new beginning because it would give too much away about the first book for those who haven’t read it yet. There’s mayhem everywhere as the awakening happens. Everything has changed for the lovers and their family and friends because of it. Powers grow to epic proportions, good turns to evil for a second time but with the best of intentions. A new prophecy is revealed that could devastate both the Irish and Scottish lines for all eternity.


Links for people to buy it.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

I live in a small town in North-Central Oklahoma. I started writing when I was seventeen years old. I dreamed the story and then embellished that dream into a manuscript. I had over half of each book in my trilogy written when they were destroyed. I was devastated and quite writing for a very long time. I started writing again a few years ago when my cousin had me tell the stories to friends of ours and they inspired me to start writing again. They all loved my stories and supported me as I wrote. My Muse came along and helped me to develop the stories to have more comic relief. Most of the dark humor in the book comes from conversations with him.


“Imaginarium is an entire convention centered on creative writing taking place September 19-21 in Louisville KY, featuring over 140 panels and workshops organized into 12 categories.  Over 130 professional guests will be featured in the programming, covering all aspects of creative writing in the worlds of books, eBooks, screenplays, comics/graphic novels, and even game design.  All of it is set within a fun, convention atmosphere that includes activities like a Masquerade, gaming room, film festival, and more.  Please visit for further information.”

MandoWriMo – Slight Change Of Plans

Just a quick update for ya…

The best laid plans of mice and men and all that…

I love planning out my month, because it usually changes halfway through… which is exactly what August did to me, but I roll with the punches and adapt and survive… and totally stress out. 

The changes:

1. The 30k movie adaptation ended up being PRIORITY #1 and also ended up being 38k and written exclusively for quite a few days, which is always odd for me. I like to work on 2-4 projects each day if possible, but this one needed to be released. And it was. Zulu Six: Origins is the expanded book version of the upcoming independent film (they tell me a later 2014/early 2015 release) and I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Readers who remember my Miami Spy Games: Russian Zombie Gun novel will enjoy this. Coincidentally (or not), I wrote it for the same people. 

But adding an extra 8k to this forced me to drop some other stories I wanted to finish… keep reading, you’ll see it…

2. Children of The Grave short story is done. 10k and I liked where the story ultimately took me. I just need to clean it up and send it off to the publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, for the editing round now. 

3. Change Jar Books Part 3-5… I finished Part 3 and sent it to my editor a week late due to other deadlines. It was supposed to be out last week, but I’m hoping I can get it released this week. I wrote only 1k on Part 4 so far, a victim of adding to the movie adaptation. I’m hoping to finish at least part 4 before next Sunday, when August ends.

4. Necromance 5 is done. 5k and I just got it back from my editor. Now it will go to Hazardous Press for their turn before releasing it in their Hazardous Encounters horror erotica short story series. I’m really beginning to have fun with the main character, a sexy demon hunter who loves Metal and guys and gals. 

5. Dying Days: Origins 2 was another victim this month, but it is my main focus this week to get as far ahead on it as I can. I only managed 5k, so I have almost 11k left to write to hit 25k, although the story looks like it will be longer. I also set up a pre-sale page on Amazon at 99 cents (when the book is released it will go to the normal $2.99, so get yours now). The cover should also be ready in a week or so, featuring David Monsour and his back-story.

How am I doing? 54k in 25 days so far… a bit ahead, but need to finish as many projects as I can, because I just signed another huge movie adaptation contract, which will begin on September 1st and run until October 30th… 100k in 60 days. Can I do it? Of course I can. But I’m hoping I can also find the time to write everything else I want to write in September. 

Regardless, this is going to be fun…


#Retweet this Top Ten: For the love of Twitter

Armand Rosamilia:

Twitter Knowledge from RCC

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

Though often useful, Twitter can be a strange place. For instance, I just discovered I’ve been blocked by a user who retweeted me. That was odd because I’ve never had a nasty exchange with them. What did I do? That bothered me for a few seconds.

No, that’s a lie.

It bothered me for about a minute. I hate a mystery, so I googled the user who blocked me and checked out their website. Into the second minute of cyber stalking I realized I was acting like a guy who should be blocked. I let it go and I’ll never know what terrible thing I did. (Cries into pillow, wipes tears, big breath…)

Besides, I was breaking my prime directive about Twitter. Twitter is for in-between times. It’s not a primary activity. Writing books is what I do. Everything else — bathing, childcare, self-respect — is secondary.

Tweet when you can’t…

View original 640 more words

Spotlight On Jay Wilburn #Imaginarium




How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I’ve made the mistake of writing in a wide range of genre instead of establishing an identity. As a result, I’ve made contact with a number of people that are smarter and more successful than me with genre circles, publishing, and such. I’m also not entirely sure that this is not some elaborate intervention that is being staged to talk me out of being a full-time writer and focusing on a respectable day job that adults are supposed to have. I guess I have a thing or two to offer as a guest, but I sure have a lot to learn. Imaginarium seems to be shaping up to be uniquely set for providing great content regarding creative writing, the process, and the life.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release is Zombies Believe In You with Hazardous Press.

 zombie collection cover 2

Quick description of it.

Zombies Believe In You is a collection of zombie novellas and longer “short” stories. Some of them explore fantasy worlds and distant time periods like zombies.


Something unique about it.

I think adding zombie grit to high fantasy is something a little different. One story focuses on economics through the apocalypse. Another novella and short story combination tell the same events from two perspectives creating entirely different meaning from the same timeline. There is a story set so far into the future that the origin of the zombies has become legend on a Biblical/religious scale. There are elements of classic romance in one story. It is either brilliant or a mess as all zombie fiction should be.


Links for people to buy it.






Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in the coastal swamps of South Carolina. He left teaching after sixteen years to care for the health needs of his younger son and to pursue a dream of full-time writing. Both his family and his writing are going well. He has work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies: More Recent Dead with Prime Books, and in Fat Zombie with Permuted Press. His novels include Loose Ends and Time Eaters. In addition to Zombies Believe in You, Jay has a shared anthology with T Fox Dunham with original artwork by Amy Rims called Dragonfly and the Siren. That trio is teaming up again for another work coming soon. Follow Jay’s many dark thoughts at and @AmongTheZombies on Twitter.



“Imaginarium is an entire convention centered on creative writing taking place September 19-21 in Louisville KY, featuring over 140 panels and workshops organized into 12 categories.  Over 130 professional guests will be featured in the programming, covering all aspects of creative writing in the worlds of books, eBooks, screenplays, comics/graphic novels, and even game design.  All of it is set within a fun, convention atmosphere that includes activities like a Masquerade, gaming room, film festival, and more.  Please visit for further information.”