Monthly Archives: July 2014

Guest Post: Russell R. James

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Black Magic

When I moved to Florida, people said “Aren’t you afraid of hurricanes?” I laughed. What were the odds?

In 2005, I got my hurricane. Actually, I got three. This triumvirate of terror ruined the entire summer for the state. All three hit my house. Hard.

A hurricane is an exercise in fear. Weather hits all the extremes; high wind, blinding rain, hail, tornadoes, waterspouts, floods. You always think your home is your literal castle, a concrete block fortress against animals, insects and the elements, the place to go to be safe. A hurricane tests those assumptions. At some point the awful realization hits: all that stands between you and the howling hell outside is a thin pane of glass. One flying branch shatters it, and inside becomes outside in seconds.

Just like you know the character in the hockey mask always kills again, you know the power to house is going to go out. You ride out the storm, watching the hurricane track on the TV news, just waiting for the inevitable blip of the screen and the plunging of the house into darkness. The arrival of that inevitable darkness is almost a relief.

Then the next clock starts running. How long will food in the refrigerator last? How much canned food have we got? Did we buy enough bottled water? You worry that the candles will burn down the house.

While the backyard fills with water, you realize that you are utterly powerless. You can’t muscle the storm away, you can’t reason with it. For the hours or days it thrashes your home, you are at its mercy.

In BLACK MAGIC, my May release from Samhain, a sorcerer calls forth a hurricane to level South Florida. The citizens of Citrus Glade go through hell to survive the storm. I’ve been told that the storm sections are harrowing. For this novel, I used that basic bit of writer’s advice: “Write what you know.” Buy yourself a copy and experience a hurricane the best way possible, vicariously.

*   *   *   *   *

In this magic shop the magic is real. And the trick is on you.

Citrus Glade is a dying town that needs new businesses, but the one that just opened is doing much more harm than good. Stranger Lyle Miller’s magic shop seems to only stock what its select customers desire. When four outcast boys buy common party tricks, only Lyle knows what those tricks can really do. As subtle changes occur around town, a few residents realize that something is amiss…and getting worse. But it may already be too late. Lyle’s black magic has empowered more townspeople to help him execute his Grand Adventure, a plan that will reduce the town, and half the state, to rubble.

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Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida. 

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic and Dark Vengeance. He has two short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Dreamwalker, releases in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.” 

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What I learned while editing a short story anthology

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I’m lucky enough to be in this anthology! Great editor!

SIMON DEWAR

As I send the Suspended in Dusk anthology off to James Roy Daley at Books of the Dead Press for publication, I think now is probably the right time to look back on the experience and see what lessons I learned. So I guess this post is as much for my benefit as it is for all you guys and gals.   I think, ultimatley, these piece of advice are values based and really translate to anything in life.. or at least to writing and publishing generally. Editing a short story anthology was a truly educational experience for me and here is what I learnt.

1.  Aim High

aim high2

When I started this project, originally with my dear friend Nerine Dorman, I thought I’d see whether I could get a favourite author of  Nerine’s (Angela Slatter) to submit a reprint story.  I contacted Angela and told her about the project, told her…

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August Is MandoWriMo – Catchy, Right?

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I’ve been having loads of fun these past months, going to horror conventions and running the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour right after doing Authors Supporting Our Troops, and doing a month of promotion for my latest release, Dying Days 4… but now it’s time to get serious again… the actual goal each day, each week and each month is to write. Right?

I have quite a few projects I’m working on right now (I’ll list them below so you get an idea of the crunch) and need to get back on track. To that end, I’ve decided to unofficially do an August NaNoWriMo of 50k in the month, although mine will be 60k and I must do it. No excuses. No days off and hitting 10k a week and being done with it. I need a true 14k a week, 60k in 31 days month. If I have to do a 24 Hour Writing Marathon to catch up or get ahead, so be it. I call it MandoWriMo. Because I have an ego, I guess…  the extra day gives me only one shot to slack, too. 

To this end I’m not going to be on Facebook much, except to promote other authors with guest posts on my page (but those are sent to me pretty much completed, so no big deal) and do some basic promotion to keep me out there. If all goes according to plan, I should have a couple of anthologies I’m in to promote as well such as the first two State of Horror ones from Charon Coin Press, so looking forward to that. 

I’ll still be doing my Mando’s Manic Melodies show on 97.3 FM http://www.flaglerbeachradio.com on Friday nights from 10 til midnight EST, but expect quite a few to be pre-recorded. For August I’ll put my Monday night show, Mando’s Metal Covers, on hold and see where I stand in September. My main focus (besides writing) will still be Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast. New episodes every Friday. I’m having fun with it so far. 

Now, onto my list… as I’ve been doing for years, this is more for me than the readers of this blog. I hope you’ll follow along and see how I do, but for me it just gives it another place where I can get called out on if I slack off. 

1. Movie Adaptation (30k) – 10k done but I only get to see the dailies of the actual filmed movie every few days, so this one is taking forever. A new experience in how to write for me, too.

2. Children of The Grave anthology (10k) – I really need to get my head around my story so I can actually write it. This has been due so need to make it a priority

3. Change Jar Books Part 3,4 and 5 (15k) – 2k done so far, really behind. I need to tackle these this month and get closer to finishing the Flagler Beach Fiction Series

4. Necromance 5 (5k) – 3k left to write. I know the story, just need to sit down and finish it. 

5. Dying Days: Origins 2 (25k) – 16k left to write. Looking for a November release, so I need to get moving on this first draft.

That gives me 62k right there… I can do it if I get focused, right? 

Wish me luck… and if I’m ignoring you on Facebook I have a really good reason. Or I’m using it as an excuse to ignore you. Either way… 

Armand

Interview with Armand Rosamilia

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Interview with “House Party 2” star Armand Rosamilia #dyingdays

Scott M. Sandridge

10403409_10204114432081167_310592458127484597_n33Dying Days 4 Print 2An interesting thing happened on my way to work today. I ran into a horde of zombies only to get rescued by a motorcycle-riding fella’ named Armand Rosamilia, wielding a shotgun in one hand and a pen in the other. And his pen proved deadlier than the shotgun. Go figure.

But since he saved me from becoming Zombie Chow, I figured the least I could do was interview him.

And now on to the interview!

Introduce yourself to the readers.

Hi. I’m Armand. (pause so you can say Hi back). I’m a full-time author. I have an unhealthy fascination with midgets. Actually, dwarves. I actually saw “House Party 2” in a movie theater. I write a lot, and I’m totally famous for my Dying Days series.

What’sDying Days 4 about?

Nonfiction book about the proper way to make hot sausage. Sorry, wrong book. Dying Days 4 is the…

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Guest Post: Jonathan Winn

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SYNOPSIS:

And cradled in her kindness, I dove back into the blood soaked memories of this, my life. 

With those words, the immortal Maruk’s tale continues. 

From modern Paris, he speaks of his life in the religious chaos and pagan magic of 3rd century Antioch. Of his friends, a man haunted by grief and regret, and a woman with secrets as thick as the woolen of her constant cloak. Of days marked by the greed of Rome and the ambitions of those driven by dangerous delusion.

He remembers wandering souls who returned with their own stories to tell. Who shared their own memories of blazing deserts and a darkness with teeth. Of being imprisoned in a myth built by the lies of others. And then Martuk recalls a magic so dark it summons demons from a cloudless sky and rips the sleeping dead from their slumber.  

The past revisited, Martuk ends his tale with a confession. A modern-day betrayal so cruel, the rest of his life everlasting threatens to be one of searing regret and never-ending shame.

This sequel to Jonathan Winn’s Martuk … the Holy is a tale of stumbling humanity and shocking brutality. Forgiveness and release. Death. Immortality. And the tenuous hope for blessed redemption. 

This is Martuk … the Holy … Proseuche.

Bio:

Screenwriter, playwright, actor, and author of Martuk … the Holy and The Martuk Series, Jonathan Winn was born in Seattle, WA. He currently lives in the US. Martuk … the Holy: Proseuche is his second full-length novel. 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LLLGBF0

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/martuk-the-holy-jonathan-winn/1119920244?ean=2940149790333

Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/455863

What are you waiting for?

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RCC speaketh the truth…

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Here are Ten Rules About No One:

1. No one is waiting for you to get your life together. They want results, not excuses.

2. No one is waiting for your next book. They say they are, but they will forget you soon and they have plenty of other things to do. Be memorable and come back quickly.

3. No one is waiting for your next blog post, so don’t apologize when you miss a day or three. Get to the topic instead.

4. No one is waiting for you to organize or self-actualize. That’s your business. Organize to build your business. If business is good, you’ll get closer to self-actualization, too.

5. No one is waiting for you to get past your procrastination, so write now.

6. No one is waiting to rescue you. If you need help, ask. Otherwise, everyone assumes you’re fine. Chances are good you’ll still have to…

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Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions

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Kindle Unlimited

David Gaughran

amazon_kindle_unlimitedAmazon launched Kindle Unlimited on Friday, giving self-publishers a big decision to make.

The long-rumored subscription service will allow users to download unlimited books for $9.99 a month, and reader reaction has been, from what I can see, overwhelmingly positive – especially because they will be able to test the service with a month’s free trial. Writers have been a little more cautious, for all sorts of reasons I’ll try and tease out below.

The main stumbling block for self-publishers is that participation in Kindle Unlimited is restricted to titles enrolled in KDP Select – Amazon’s program which offers various additional marketing tools in exchange for exclusivity. Author compensation will be similar to borrows under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – a percentage of money from a fixed pool. The only real twist is that payment will be triggered when 10% of downloaded books have been read.

At the…

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Kindle Unlimited: Connection and Market Correction?

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Kindle Unlimited… What does RCC think? #amazon #kindle

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Kindle Unlimited is up and running at Amazon. For about ten bucks a month, readers can read a lot and authors will get paid if 10% of the book is read. Across the writerverse, we are speculating. Is it good news or bad news?

I suspect it’s good news. Here’s why I’m not worried:

1. There are other subscription services and there wasn’t really much outrage about them. Questions, certainly. Usually the question was, “Is this new thing I’ve never heard of legit?” Since it’s Amazon, the question is often, “Why are they out to destroy the world?”

The answer is, they want to own it, just like every other company. Competition and all that. That’s all of us. We’re all selling something, so let’s keep calm and bang a gong. 

2. Those other subscription services have failed to usher in The End Times. This is one marketing idea among many. Some of…

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Interview with Author Armand Rosamilia

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Rebecca Besser Interviews Armand Rosamilia #dyingdays

Life With Words

10516633_10204171118138283_4296768031839309486_n Author Armand Rosamilia

Bec: Armand, welcome to my blog once again! It’s been awhile since I’ve last shared you with the world. For those that don’t know you, please tell us a little bit about yourself –

Armand: No. I am a very private person. Actually, I’m a New Jersey boy currently living in Florida. I write full-time and feel blessed I can pay the bills doing what I love doing. I just got engaged to the perfect woman and can’t wait to be married to her. She supports me and allows me to write and not worry too much about the business side of my career. I like M&M’s, no walks on the beach and air conditioning.

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

Armand: The latest is Dying Days 4, the next part in my extreme zombie series. The zombies have begun to evolve and now they’re starting…

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Guest Post: Ken MacGregor

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Kid Stuff

Ken MacGregor

 

There are challenges related to being a writer that I never would have imagined prior to doing it. Which is funny, because imagining stuff is what writers are good at, right?

My son, who is seven, was talking about some pretty disturbing stuff (blood, decapitation, guts) and I told him I was worried about his brain. I may have mentioned his needing therapy in years to come.

“But, Dad,” he said, “I need to know about horror. You write horror, and you’re my Dad.”

Now, before you think me beastly, I don’t ever let my kids read the scary, gross stuff I write. I’ve written some children’s books (unpublished as yet, though one has been accepted – Yay!) and some light fantasy I’ve read to them, but I keep the horror on the highest shelf. However, my Facebook feed shows posts from other writers who frequently put up horror images. My own story collection, An Aberrant Mind has a seriously creepy clown on it. When my kids first saw it, both were taken aback. Now, they’re used to it, but my four-year-old daughter still occasionally shrieks when she spots it. But, I’m pretty sure she’s just pretending now.

So, the concern is that the kinds of things I write are having a negative impact on the mental health of my own children. I know it’s not really likely to damage them (so long as they don’t actually read it), but I worry anyway. They’re my kids; of course I worry.

Conversely, I know my son is proud of me for being an author – few things in this world are better than hearing your child tell someone else: “My Dad’s (or Mom’s) a…” with pride evident in their voice and body language.

It’s tough, because I want them to be excited about what I do, but I don’t want them to be adversely affected by the horror genre. I was talking about this with David C. Hayes yesterday, in fact. He’s the fellow who wrote the introduction to An Aberrant Mind. David’s great. He doesn’t seem to have any filters at all. Anyway, I mentioned being worried about my kids getting into horror too young, and he said, “We all did.”

He is introducing his niece to the old Universal monster movies and slowly working up to more modern horror as she gets older and better equipped to handle it.

I have already taken my boy to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon (in 3-D!) at the local art house theater. He loved it. I think we’ll have to hang out with Karloff, Cushing and Lee sometime soon. Because, David (who is a hell of a nice guy, by the way) is right: we all started young. And I turned out all right. Sure, there are some very strange things running around in my brain, but they’re not real and they can’t hurt me or my kids.

Right?

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An Aberrant Mind

Ken MacGregor

 

ABERRANT is defined as unusual, abnormal or different. The stories in this book not only differ from most of what you read, but also wildly from each other. A retired school teacher takes on an elder god and his minion; a werewolf picks fights with sea creatures; a neighbor’s lawn may be eating people. Twenty-two stories: scary, funny, weird and different.

 

In these pages, you will find darkness and fear, revulsion and terror. Mixed with it, however is quite a bit of humor. Sometimes both happen at the same time. So, open it up, join Jim as he fights off zombies with a potato cannon; witness the bloodbath reunion of the first man and his homicidal son; enjoy the monsters, the demons and the deranged.

 

A word of warning, though: you may never eat a bagel with lox again.

 

Available for purchase at:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

CreateSpace

Smashwords

 

***

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. You can find Ken on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and at ken-macgregor.com. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken hopes you enjoyed the stories in this collection and that you sleep just a little less well because of them. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats.

 

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Giveaway information:

 

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

 

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGreogor

Armand Rosamilia | Authors are People | DYING DAYS 4

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Eli Constant interviews Armand Rosamilia #dyingdays

The Blog of Eli

Armand Rosamilia

Author Superhero with Over 120 Releases, Radio DJ Extraordinaire, Good Samaritan (Authors Supporting Our Troops)

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Armand celebrates the release of his 4th installment in his Dying Days Series!

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Over 120 releases. The latest is Dying Days 4 in the continuing zombie series (Find on Amazon). Praise for DD4: “I got an advanced reading copy of Dying Days 4. Here’s my honest reaction: I read it all in one evening and had a great time! The pace is fast. The characters are fun though the story has some genuinely scary elements. My favorite character isn’t Darlene, though. I loved the villain. Any enemy that’s so difficult to defeat makes for great heroes and challenging plots. The author is really working here to do something more with zombies than you might expect. I love clever zombie stories with depth. This has that, plus jokes. Best of all for me…

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Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 3 – Karner And McKinney

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Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 3 – Karner And McKinney #podcast #horror #interview

Arm Cast Podcast

Coming Friday July 18th to iTunes, Stitcher and my rss feed… 

For the third podcast, I wanted to mix in a non-author. How about a horror filmmaker? I know Dave personally, and we spent a long weekend writing a screenplay for my Keyport Cthulhu novel. Before I untied him I forced him to do my podcast. It was actually the first interview I did for it… 

Dave Karner grew up making Super 8mm films with his friends throughout high school. After a stint in the USMC, Dave wound up at the USC School of Cinema-Televison in Production. After college, Dave worked for various directors in Los Angeles on commercials, informercials and specialty shows. In 2006, he founded and is owner/designer of a web design company. Recently, he began redirecting his efforts to film by volunteering as a camera operator for a local filmmaking club. This led to his first position…

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Reblog: Why You Need To Review My “Dying Days” Series

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Reblog of a Reblog: Importance of Reviews #dyingdays #zombie

Dying Days

I wrote a heartwarming guest post for Leah Rhyne’s blog… and I think you need to read it, especially if you are a reader. If you can’t read you’re probably not reading this anyway, so ignore it… but if you do love to read, you need to help out an author! (Like me, for instance…)

http://www.leahrhyne.com/2014/07/guest-post-armand-rosamilia.html

Dying Days 4 Cover with Blurbs

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Guest Post: RJ Sullivan

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Introducing Haunting Blue

 

 

Starting a Series with a Great Hook

 

Hello, and welcome to the R.J. Sullivan Blog Tour. Thanks to Armand Rosamilia for hosting this entry. I was asked to choose between introducing either the novel or the series. Luckily, I can do both.

 

Haunting Blue is my latest release from Seventh Star Press. It’s also the first novel I’d ever published and the first book in my loosely connected paranormal thriller trilogy.

 

When you know that Haunting Blue is a re-release, it’s not that confusing. Haunting Blue originally came out in 2010, my first novel, originally put out by another publisher. Seventh Star then published my second and third books, and then in December 2013, the rights to Haunting Blue reverted back to me.

 

I love the editions that Seventh Star put out for Haunting Obsession and Virtual Blue, and having SSP reprint the first book gave me several advantages. 1) It created a unified set of covers and interior art by the fabulous Bonnie Wasson. 2) The entire series now has a similar branded look, and 3) It gave me a chance to fix little errors and make some enhancements to the first novel. I added a new poem, and I fixed a timeline problem from the original edition. 4) A better, higher quality e-file (at a better price for the reader) and greater distribution, through outlets not originally available.

 

Since December and until recently, my novel, Virtual Blue has been available through Seventh Star. Virtual Blue is a direct sequel to Haunting Blue, which meant I was trying to sell the second half of a bigger story without the first half available. As of May, that is no longer the case. Haunting Blue is back, and there’s never been a better time to check out my series.

 

Though all three books can be read on their own, the series is best enjoyed in this order:

 

Haunting Blue: is the story of how new student and punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer meets computer nerd “Chip” Farren at the high school of small town Perionne. Blue’s mother moves her from a suburb of Indianapolis to a conservative small town. Whether Blue’s feelings of alienation are real or a self-fulfilling prophecy, the odd couple are drawn together. Her friendship with Chip takes a romantic turn, and he draws her deep into a local mystery. Back in 1990, Gunther Stalt, a psychopath with a hooked hand, pulled off a daring daylight bank robbery and was never captured. Ignoring numerous stories of the “Ghost of Gunther” Blue is determined to help Chip solve the mystery of the robbery, even though it may cost her more than she can possibly imagine.

 

Haunting Obsession: is another ghost story–this one about Daryl Beasley and his girlfriend Loretta Stevens. Daryl has a fixation on the Hollywood icon and sex symbol Maxine Marie, who died tragically in the early 60’s. Daryl purchases a rare but arguably tasteless souvenir from Maxine’s past, and to his surprise and delight, finds himself “haunted” by the object of his desire. Loretta is not amused, but her warnings fall on deaf ears. Soon, Daryl’s encounters take a turn for the worst, and Loretta seeks help from the mysterious Rebecca Burton, a paranormal investigator and woman of many powers and secrets.

 

Virtual Blue: picks up two years after Haunting Blue. With their relationship on the rocks due to problems brought on by the events of Haunting Blue, Blue travels to Indiana University over Thanksgiving Weekend to confront Chip and resolve their relationship one way or the other. At the same time, an extremist cult has targeted Chip’s work-in-progress multi-player heroic fantasy video game, and plans to use his technology to teleport a demon into the real world. From ghost hunter to demon slayer (and a healthy dose of techno-thriller), this may be more than Blue and Chip can handle, even together. Fortunately, paranormal investigator Rebecca Burton is already on the case.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of R.J. Sullivan’s “trilogy” as it now stands. An upcoming short story collection will include two additional tales of Rebecca Burton, and a fourth novel is in the works!

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About RJ Sullivan:  Haunting Blue is the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer. This is the 2014 revised edition by Seventh Star Press. Seventh Star also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale. R.J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith: Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction novelettes.

R.J. resides in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks coffee from a Little Mermaid mug and is man enough to admit it. http://www.rjsullivanfiction.com

 

Haunting Blue Book Synopsis: Punk, blue-haired “Blue” Shaefer, is at odds with her workaholic single mother. Raised as a city girl in a suburb of Indianapolis, Blue must abandon the life she knows when her unfeeling mother moves them to a dreadful small town. Blue befriends the only student willing to talk to her: computer nerd “Chip” Farren.

Chip knows the connection between the rickety pirate boat ride at the local amusement park and the missing money from an infamous bank heist the townspeople still talk about. When Blue helps him recover the treasure, they awaken a vengeful ghost who’ll stop at nothing–not even murder–to prevent them from exposing the truth behind his evil deeds.

Haunting Blue is Book One of the Adventures of Blue Shaefer

 

Author Links:

Website: http://rjsullivanfiction.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/R.J.SullivanAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5199299.R_J_Sullivan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjsullivanauthr

Why I Went Into Podcasting

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Why I Went Into Podcasting

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Guest post by author Armand Rosamilia

Armand            I know the general consensus for doing something is because you see or hear someone else do it and think (in your infinite wisdom and arrogance) that you can do it better. I am here to tell you, at least with me, it was not the case. I went into podcasting because it was my next challenge.

            I’m a blessed man. I am truly living the dream, being able to write full-time and stay home in my Big Bang Theory sleep-pants and drink coffee and get even fatter (almost at will, that last one). I do two music radio shows from the comfort of said home as well. I have a wonderful fiancé and great kids and I keep doing what I want to do: write books.

            In fact, let’s get the heavy-handed plug out of…

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Wattpad – Do I Dare?

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Yes, actually, I’m going to. And you have Robert Chazz Chute to blame, because any time he mentions something I haven’t immersed myself in, I jump in, add 57,006 people to follow, and give it a spin.

Case in point: this coming week I’m going to play around with a new Dying Days story I’ve had spinning in my head for awhile but didn’t know where it would fit in the actual books. I figured I’d leave it alone until I decided to write short stories for perhaps Still Dying 3, but I’m going to explore it now… a few sentences or paragraphs or chapters at a time on Wattpad, and see where it goes. I’m also going to be writing a bit different than I normally would… yep, going to try it with a YA angle using one of the characters from Dying Days 4

Care to join me and see where I go with it? You can follow me at http://www.wattpad.com/user/ArmandAuthor and let me know you’re reading and hanging out. Sound good?

We’ll see what happens… as usual, I love a new challenge.

Armand

Dying Days 4 Cover with Blurbs

Guest Post: Michael West

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Writing Cross-Genre Fiction

 

When I sit down to write, I don’t think to myself, “Today, I’m going to create a Horror story” or “I’m going to do a Sci-fi tale.”  No.  Instead, I sit down to tell the best story I can, about characters that appeal to me, and who I hope will also appeal to readers. 

     Most of my novels can fall firmly into the Horror camp.  They have ghosts, demons, and supernatural monsters.  But my Legacy of the Gods series is classified as Urban Fantasy by my publisher.  This fits, because the novels do take place in our modern world; in small towns and major cities like New York and Tokyo. And while they feature creatures like satyrs and dragons, which are more common to epic Fantasy fiction, they also feature aliens and more bloody, horrific elements as well.

     The downside to writing cross-genre fiction is that it is much more difficult to sell.  When I first started shopping the first manuscript for my series around, the traditional Horror publishers came back and said, “It’s not scary enough to be Horror, and it has these fantastic and Sci-fi elements which we don’t do.”  Then, when I sent it to the Sci-fi/Fantasy publishers, they told me, “This is too horrific for us.  Try the Horror markets.” And I kept going in those circles for years.

     But I did not want to cut out the horrific elements to make it more Sci-fi, just as I did not want to get rid of the more fantastic elements to make it pure Horror.  All those aspects helped to tell the story I wanted to tell, and I felt they were equally important to the mythology I was creating.

     Finally, the publishing world seemed to catch up to my vision.  Cross-genre stories became more commonplace.  And Urban Fantasy seemed to become a catch-all term for those square pegs that did not fit easily into the old-fashioned round genres. 

     Seventh Star Press released Book One: Poseidon’s Children in 2011.  Since that time, the novel has gone on to sell copies in England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, and of course, the United States.  And now, with the release of Book Two: Hades’ Disciples, the excitement for the series has only grown. 

As I sit down to write book three of The Legacy of the Gods series, I am not thinking about the genre elements that make up the tale.  I’m thinking about the characters and their individual storylines.  I’m thinking about the story that I want to tell, and if it ultimately gets classified as Urban Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, or something in between, I hope that my readers will enjoy it.  That, after all, is the only thing that really  matters.  

    

About the author

Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

  

Book Synopsis for Hades’ Disciples

 Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

 

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

 

Author Links:

Website:  http://www.bymichaelwest.com

Twitter: @bymichaelwest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bymichaelwestpage

 

Amazon Links for Hades’ Disciples

Print Version

http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael/dp/1941706002

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael-ebook/dp/B00KBIB6W2

Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 2 – Robert Chazz Chute

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Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Podcast Episode 2 – Robert Chazz Chute #podcast #zombies

Arm Cast Podcast

This week’s episode will debut on Friday July 11th and features only one interview, because once Robert and I start chatting it never stops… so instead of two interviews you get an in-depth 45 minutes or so of my Canadian Brotha From Anotha Country

Me B&W

Robert Chazz Chute is a suspense novelist best known for This Plague of Days. Host of the Cool People Podcast, you can find out more about his books at AllThatChazz.com and ThisPlagueOfDays.com. He writes a blog for writers at ChazzWrites.com.

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Why you’re going to make it

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Ahh, Positive Vibes from Robert Chazz Chute!

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

As indie authors, we’re all encouraged to work harder. That’s frustrating to hear because I don’t know any indie authors who aren’t working hard. But I’ve got good news. Your chances of achieving some measure of success are better than we’ve been led to believe. Here’s why:

1. Businesses fail all the time, big and small. But our overhead is so low, we can continue after we fail! When your hardware store goes out of business, you’re done. We get a few kicks in the ass, but authors also get more kicks at the can.

2. Every business that ever made it to sustainable got there because the boss/producer didn’t quit. Many of the biggest success stories come from people who failed and failed and failed at their chosen path but were too dumb to quit. Stubborn is our advantage.

Being a writer isn’t just a job. It’s an identity. It’s a compulsion. How…

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Guest Post: TW Brown

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Spring_new

Behind the curtain of the DEAD series

 

When I first sat down and wrote the opening line for the DEAD series, I was thinking, “Maybe I have a five book series here.” By then end of that book, I knew it was going to take more than that. My mind was made up that I was going to write the “Wheel of Time” equivalent for the zombie crowd. I was set to build an entire world and then take the reader on a whirlwind tour of the apocalypse populated with a cast of characters that might reach a hundred in any given book. And yeah…I knew it was risky. But I also felt that the zombie fans were a group that deserved something with depth.

The formula that I chose was inspired by George R.R. Martin. If you have dipped your toes in the books that the very popular “Game of Thrones” series is based upon, then you know how he does each chapter from a different perspective of one of his characters. I tweaked it for my own devices and came up with “Steve’s Story”, “The Geeks”, and “Vignettes” as my three rotating chapters. If you have read any of my DEAD series, then you know that each book is always 18 chapters long (6 per story line). However, things have changed some since that first book. I learned some lessons.

Of course, Steve’s chapters are all in first person. That lets you really see things from one person’s perspective. You are only as clued in as he is during any particular moment. The Geeks was my homage to every single zombie fan who thinks that the Zombie Apocalypse would be so freakin’ cool. This is the story that I get to sink in to as I write it. I channel many of my friends and the snippets of conversations that we have had since that day in the 70s when we all came out of the original Dawn of the Dead with some fairly silly adolescent fantasies. However, it is the Vignettes where I think I have learned the most as a writer. And that is sort of my focus here as I let you peek behind the curtain.

The vignettes were initially just supposed to be snapshots of the world in chaos. I even toyed with the idea of folding every one of those stories in to my two main story lines. Somewhere along the way, many of those shorts began to take on a life of their own. In fact, they are the source of the most hated and loved (according to reviews and personal emails) of my character; Garrett being the former and Juan the latter.

In the first book, DEAD: The Ugly Beginning, I wrote the vignettes as they came to me. So, there was no order, rhyme, or reason. However, as some of the stories began to take on a life of their own, I started to really get invested in what would happen. By the second book, DEAD: Revelations, I realized something: I needed to keep the stories in the same order chapter by chapter. By the third book, DEAD: Fortunes and Failures, I had a refined formula. What I would do was continue to keep the main vignettes in order, but I would give each vignette chapter what I termed as a one-timer. This would be a single open-and-closed short.

Funny thing about when an author sits down with an idea. They are usually the only one who understands it. So was the case with Vignettes. The idea is one that I would not change as a whole, but I do think that I would have modified it to some extent. And that is where I believe it to be now.

Readers of the series have had to go through this process with me, but I do think what I have now is the way to go. Now, in Vignettes, there are the main story lines that have endured since the first book or two of the series. However, since I try to complete the main ideas of a story arc in each three-book offering, I now introduce a new vignette at the start of books 4, 7, and 10. That will allow me to write a bit of a novella-length story. Some will fold in to the main stories, some will simply reach a climax and end, and others might be melded into one of the other vignettes.

Now, I realize that I still run the risk of “too many characters” as some critics have pointed out. However, I believe that, once you become engrossed in this DEAD world, you will find it a very rewarding experience.

At least that is what I am hoping.

As book nine, DEAD: Spring, hits the ground, I am more excited than ever before. For one, I can’t be sure, but this might be the largest (in terms of word count) of any zombie novel out there to date. And if you find a longer zombie novel, you have to let me know because I am as much a fan as anything else and I would love to read it (if it is good).

Book eight was the riskiest for me due to all of the cliffhangers. But I was fairly confident that, if you have come along for this much of the ride, then you are probably a fan and will be on board for the next one.

So, I hope that you enjoy it. I think that it is my best to date.

TW Brown on Amazon

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