Friday, May 29, 2015
I've known Skip for about five or six years now, maybe a little longer but time flies when you're drunk and writhing in the throes of debauchery. Not that Skip would know anything about that. He's a good friend of mine, not just on Facebook but in real life as well. We've drank together, smoked cigars, and wandered drunkenly through the quiet halls of hotels. We've talked about motorcycles, books, and our lives. He's a good man with a good heart and a twisted mind. I asked him to slice open his veins and bleed on the page for me. As always, Skip has come through. Read on to find out what he thinks:
What is Horror?
May 1, 2015
However; you have to ask yourself “Is horror a scary book? A Troma film? A slasher flick? Or is horror something that lives deep inside of your ID? A horror that you don’t understand why you have it?
I know several people that are extremely afraid of being buried alive. So afraid in fact that they can’t watch a movie about it or even read a story that involves someone being buried alive. This horror is quite frightening to me yet not a real threat to my psyche. Simply because I would be put in a position where being in a dark, oxygen lacking position where I’d eventually suffocate in a preferably euphoric state. Hell, I’d get to sleep.
Others are afraid of home invasions and serial killers invading their lives. I’d like to think I’m experienced enough with handguns and weapons where I’d be able to at least inflict serious bodily injury on the S.O.B. before he took me and my family out.
I used to be afraid of heights. It’s true. Then one day, in 1976, I was forced against my will to the top of the Washington Monument. When I finally worked up enough courage to look out the windows and observe our Nations Capitol, I was astonished. I was flabbergasted and I became hungry for more. I wanted to see what everything looked like from a birds eye view. After all, everything looks different from a distance and everything looks planned and natural when viewed from afar.
Like a prom queen. Remember prom? Where boys and girls dressed up in finery and pretended to be adults and then experimented with the emotions and physical awareness of being an adult? Yeah, I thought you would.
That is what horror is to me. It is a complete and utter lack of knowing and the ability to act. I suppose that is why I read so much. I learn so much. I try to understand so much. So that when I’m faced with the unknown, I am prepared. Like a boyscout or a girlscout.
For example, I spent six years working for a law enforcement agency and five years working for a government law enforcement agency and I’ve always had a knack for going through the shooting range and the obstacle course on the shooting range. So much so that some my actions were used in training films. When asked by the instructors where and when I learned how to do what I did, I simply answered “I did what I had to do to survive.”
Fear is a tangible substance. It manifests itself in different ways for different people. Some freeze up. Some act. Some just give up and accept their fate, not truly understanding they control their own fate. After all, we are all just here for a short time and what we do influences and affects others in our lives. In other words… it’s all relative.
Your fear, what makes you freeze up and accept the unacceptable is not what defines you as a person. It is an obstacle in your life. An obstacle that you can overcome and not be chained to. Whether psychological or physical, you can overcome it. I can’t tell you how to overcome it, but I can tell you that it can be overcome. You just need the tools and equipment to overcome it.
Horror to me falls in the same file folder as religion. We each have our own and we each believe in our own saviors and monsters. When you realize that fact then you realize you have the power and the choice to pick your own path in belief and life. You can act and live or you can freeze up and die. I choose to act. I choose to live. I choose to confront my fears head on and read, watch, and listen to what others have to say and then, when confronted with something I have not been aware of… educate myself and find out how to survive it.
I used to be afraid of spiders. Deadly spiders. Like the Recluse spider and a nest of Black Widows. Then I spent a summer working as a “Heating and Air Conditioning” installer. I quickly found out that if you don’t fuck with them, they won’t fuck with you. Not to mention the fact that there are great bug killer sprays on the market. I did my job. I encountered the bugs and I survived. Even though I was in a two foot tall space, lying on my back and with no real defense against the unknown under four tons of brick and motor, I survived.
I survived because I taught myself how to act and what to expect. I believe that is the root of all horror. A person not knowing what to do and when to do it. If you look at all the films and books for the past one-hundred years it is all about people who don’t know what to do when the shit hits the fan. Yet the books who have survivors and are fighting the good fight are about people who have some knowledge and some experience with the end of days working together to survive.
That is what I’d like to think about. That maybe I am one of the survivors of whatever apocalypse befalls the human race. That I’d be prepared, not in a crazy sort of way but in a normal, I go to work every day and try to do what is right sort of way. That my family, my progeny and my basic knowledge of life would help me continue my existence.
Yet, I can’t help but believe that there are people out there, people who have been so damaged that they will never be able to act in the best interest of themselves or their family. People who have so much to offer to the world but will never be able to say it. Their voices have been stifled by negativity that they have lost the truth of who they are.
This is my fear. You will never know how to overcome your own fears and I have the answers which will only fall upon deaf ears. Because your fears prevent you from hearing my voice and the voices of reason in your life.
Have a great week.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but Travels with Rufus was in full effect and I just didn't have it in me to put it all together. So I sincerely apologize to Mr. Clay. Now...
J.G. Clay is another Forsaken author with a mind as warped and twisted as any of us. Just perusing his website jgclay.com gives one the willies. So pull the covers up to your chin and ignore the noises coming from under the bed. Enjoy!
J.G. Clay is another Forsaken author with a mind as warped and twisted as any of us. Just perusing his website jgclay.com gives one the willies. So pull the covers up to your chin and ignore the noises coming from under the bed. Enjoy!
I was going to give you a short story, but there's a slight problem. As my editor - the great Chris Nelson- and my proof-reader - the workhorse known as Michael-Israel Jarvis -can testify, my short stories aren't that short. I'd be rubbish at Flash Fiction, let's put it that way. So, instead, here's a slightly whimsical gonzo take on my Booktrope journey so far. Where the Crazy Carousel of Clay ends up is anyone’s guess.
Sometimes I Fantasise.....
Writing's a bit of an obsession for me. It's the closest I get to OCD in my day to day life. It has to be done, rain or shine, in sickness and health. Maybe that's why I do it. Maybe it's my way tiny bit of order and calm in a life that's borderline anarchic. Writing in itself though is only ever meaningful if there's someone out there to read it. That's strictly my point of view, by the way, before you grab your flaming torches and pitch forks.
Ever since I first put pen to paper, there's always been a desire behind the process, the desire for someone to actually read what my words and hopefully be affected by them in some fashion. Whether it's admiration, repulsion or offence, it doesn't t really matter to me. As long as there's some sort of reaction. And, as any jobbing writer knows, to get these reactions,you need to get the words out there. You need to pay obeisance to the Great God, Publishing.
Over a year ago, I self-published a little tome called 'Tales of Blood and Sulphur'. It was pretty good - a bit rough and ready with a tinge of self-consciousness but not a bad read. At least, according the six people who reviewed it anyway. It didn't exactly set the world on fire. Thoughts of yachts, flash cars and a lifelong season ticket for my beloved Birmingham City evaporated in the cold light of the Amazon Sales Rank. But optimism is the name of the game in indie publishing. As my fellow author S.E Rise says you've got to 'piss or get off the pot'. (He didn't actually say those words by the way. It's the title of a great little writing guide authored by the man himself. It's a good read).
So, anyway, as I flounder about in the unforgiving Desert of Indie, I come across that fabled citadel known in hushed tones as 'Booktrope'. There's no guards about, so I shuffle up to the door, Adidas clad feet kicking up tiny dust devils, a harsh wind blowing through what little hair is left on the top of my head. I knock on the giant wooden door fully expecting a weird contingent of mutant Monkey Guards to come gambolling through, ready to kick my sorry scruffy Indie backside into the heat and dust of Desert Indie. To my surprise and sheer delight, it doesn't happen. A hirsute but genial chap called Jesse James smiles, opens his arms, ushers me in and places my fragile creative ego under the care of a blonde pocket rocket of energy known as Maddie Von Stark. It's been a long road but the journey has just begun.
All of the above never really happened by the way. I submitted my manuscript, got accepted and picked up by Forsaken. I was still placed under Maddie’s stewardship, however.
I haven't looked back since. My experience has been extraordinary, amazing and rewarding and I haven't even released a book yet. I'm no longer floundering around on my own. There's a community and more importantly, a team, behind me. It's a great feeling. Having other people casting an eye over your work leads to insights never before seen - ideas that would have vaporised becoming crystalline and solid and a sense of confidence almost impossible to maintain when you go it alone.
This is just the start of my Forsaken journey. The ‘Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor’ is close to release. I can only wonder just how turbo charged this ride is going to become from that point onwards.
J.G Clay is definitely a Man of Horror. There can be no doubt. Putting aside the reverence he has for the horror greats, such as King, Barker, Herbert, Carpenter, Romero and Argento, there is another fact that defines his claim for the title of the ‘Duke of Spook’. He was born on Halloween night. By a quirk fate, it was also a full moon that night. Co-incidence?
The 41 year old hails from the Midlands in the United Kingdom, is married with one step child and two dogs that bear a strong resemblance to Ewoks. Beyond the page and the written word, he is music mad and can hold down a tune on a bass guitar pretty well. He is an avid reader and also has an enduring love of British sci-fi, from the pages of the ‘2000A.D comic to the televised wanderings of Gallifrey’s most famous physician. Clay is also a long-time fan of the mighty Birmingham City Football Club and endures a lot of flak from his friends for it.
Friday, May 22, 2015
K. C. Harper is a Badass Horror writer with Forsaken, the horror imprint of Booktrope. I've connected with her on Facebook and gotten to know this talented author a little bit, and now is your chance to get to know her a little too. Behold and revel in all that is...K.C. Harper -
This poem is part of Whispers, Book 3 in The Lakeshore Evil Series. It gives you a glimpse of Sheriff Artie Donovan's deepest fears after the brutal murder of Deirdre Hallsey. Whispers, Book 3 will be available for purchase this fall.
By K.C. Harper
© Copyright 2015 K.C.Harper
The darkness surrounds me, pulls me further down.
I feel myself slipping deeper.
A dark force pulls me to the depths of darkness from where I know I won’t return.
Her voice is now a whisper, a faint cry in the dark. It was my only hope and now fades like ashes in the wind. I close my eyes and watch as her soul dances in the embers. The beating of her heart echoes in my ears. I watch as she fades in and out. I reach for her, but it’s too late.
Her eyes that once lit up are now dark and grim. The strings of her soul are torn wide open like a flesh wound bleeding down on me. All of her pain courses through me. Her last breath chokes me as I watch her fade into the darkness forever.
If only I could have done something to save her, even if it was from herself. I watched as she lay there, holding her cold body in my arms as she left the world.
Her last words ring in my ears. The name spills from her pale mouth and replays over and over in my dreams. Like a nightmare with no end in sight.
The shadows in the darkness return. They lurk, feeding off my fears, my regrets . . . of not saving you.
I hold onto your soul, my hands attached to you like strings to a puppet. Each one being torn as the darkness consumes me, pulling me further down.
Darkness surrounds me as I let go.
Every piece of you is torn from me as if you were never there.
The darkness fills the empty void you left inside of me. It consumes, gives me a new purpose.
K.C. Harper is a best-selling author, mother of four and has a degree in Psychology. She writes Contemporary Romance, Horror Mystery and Thrillers. Her Lakeshore Evil Series is an Amazon best seller in Horror and Suspense. You can find K.C Harper on social media and her books on Amazon and BN.com.
Links to purchase:
The Lakeshore Evil
Social media links
Monday, May 18, 2015
I found the man with a very long name skulking around the Forsaken page on Facebook. He's an interesting guy, as you can tell by his bio. He's also a pretty talented writer, as you'll see by the short below. He's promised to do another guest spot with all the gore attached, at a later date.
I had originally intended to write a short story here, but decided instead to recount one of the strangest and most terrifying experiences in my life.
Seven years ago, my then best friend Eric and I were tasked with interviewing past studentsfrom the law school we attended about their experiences after university. We were given one of the
old empty storage rooms at the end of a narrow, long hall in the basement of an ancient biology building on campus. The dingy small room had a mucus-green carpet and was illuminated by a single flickering bulb hanging from its centre onto the rectangular table and chairs below.
Eric and I had just finished another lengthy interview and were standing in the hallway thanking the participant for their time. As soon as she’d left, I looked down at my clipboard to see who to expect next, when he said something like, “Um, he’s already here,” in a concerned, surprised tone.
When I turned, I saw what I guess was a man sitting on one of the three chairs around the table. I’d never seen anyone like him. A shaggy clump of hair sat atop his head and his brown skin, which was so thin and tight it appeared dessicated, was visible through the torn, dirty white shirt he wore.
His most striking features, though, were his prominent pointed nose and perpetual grimace that stretched all the way back to his ears. His shoulders were slumped forward, his back curved, and his gaze fixed on a spot somewhere on the table.
Eric and I looked at each other quizzically for a moment. I honestly thought it was a prank
someone was playing. Just in case, I think, we both went in, closed the door, and sat down opposite the man.
We welcomed him and proceeded to tell him how lon the interview would last, that he would remain anonymous, etc. Throughout the entire introduction, the man remained exactly as he’d been when I’d first seen him. I noticed then the strange intensity in his eyes, and that he wasn’t blinking.
Eric had quite a short temper and I could see him becoming increasingly aggravated by the
man’s unresponsiveness. All of a sudden, he stopped mid-sentence and said, “I’m sorry, but are you
even listening?” I was feeling pretty awkward by this point. When the man didn’t respond, Eric flew off the handle and started saying that he was wasting our time, that the guy was being pathetic, etc.
Just as he was getting up, probably to show him out, the man began giggling and muttering
under his breath. I’d known Eric a few years and knew it was never a good idea to laugh at him. “Look,Mr. Nelson – ”
“Not Nelson. ” The man’s voice was high and nasally, but had a strange threatening tone to it.
“What d’you mean? You’re not Mr. Nelson?” Eric’s body was tense, and I knew he was about to lose it.
Without a word, the man shifted his piercing gaze on him, his wide grin unmoving.
“Right, you little shit!” Eric had started walking around the table, when the man suddenly began
jumping up and down in the chair with a crazy look on his face. “Oohoohooo! Ohoohoo! Oohoohooo!”
That’s when it stopped being funny for me. I already didn’t like him, but now wanted the creep gone as soon as possible.
“What the fuck are you doing?” The look on Eric’s face reflected my own perplexity. I don’t think he
knew what to make of him so, when instead of threatening the man he walked to the door, I knew he wanted him gone gone as much as I did. Eric reached for the handle, but when he turned it, the door was locked.
The man became more excitable, banging his hands on the table as he continued to shout
“Why’s the door closed?” I asked him if he’d locked it. “Now why the fuck would I lock it, David?”
I don’t know how he did it, but in the space of time it takes to blink, the man had appeared by Eric’s side, his face not an inch from his.
“Now we play my game,” the man said right before whispering something in his ear. I couldn’t hear
what he said, but it caused Eric to become completely immobile and docile, as if hypnotized.
I stood up, knocking the chair over, and turned with the intention of rushing up to them, not really knowing what I’d do but, no sooner had I done so, did I feel an immense pressure on my chest that caused me to fall hard on my back. Before I knew what happened, I opened my eyes to see the man leaning over me, his grimacing, dessicated face right above mine.
“We’re going to have fun,” he said in a low tone. His hot, humid breath smelled like decay.
I think I asked him who he was, because the last words I can clearly remember him saying were,“Call me Mr. Cage.”
Everything I have told you up to this point is as clear in my mind now as it was when it
happened. What followed, however, is hazy. Broken. No one, including the authorities, has ever
believed me. But it happened.
"Despite my love of writing, I dislike doing so about myself. So here are the basics:
I was born in Brussels, Belgium. I have lived in The U.K. and in various places in Spain, where I currently reside.At university, I studied English law and Spanish law. I didn't like it. I, then, studied translation. I didn't like it, either.
Currently, I am an English teacher in the South of Spain.
I have far too many interests, I'm told. A few are basketball, tennis, swimming, playing my old guitar, learning Japanese, painting, reading
and writing (obviously), cooking...(See? Too many).
Not a day goes by, however, where I don't write something, be it under a palm tree or on a bench at a bus stop somewhere."
You can find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.singercarter
And Twitter: @MrCage1
Monday, May 11, 2015
We're going international now, skipping across the pond to have a chat with kick ass Booktrope author and friend, Dane Cobain. I asked him to drop by Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children and tell us what scares the crap out of him. So...
5 – Injustice
Five Horror Tropes that Scare the Crap Out of Me
Hi, folks – Dane Cobain here! I’m a writer, a poet and a friend of Christian’s – in fact, we’re both represented by Forsaken, the specialist horror imprint of Booktrope. Forsaken will be releasing my debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked, on May 29th.
When I found out that Christian was looking for guest bloggers for his site, I jumped at the chance – we writers tend to rise to the challenge whenever there’s some copy to be created. But I didn’t know what to talk about – the only rule that I was given is that there are no rules!
But because Christian and I were brought together by horror, I thought it only fair if I wrote about that, and so this blog post was born! Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be terrified.
5 – Injustice
Horror novels excel at this. Generally speaking, most fiction is rooted in justice – the good guy always wins in the end, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and no innocent bystanders end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. In horror, all of that goes out of the window, and there’s just something deeply sinister about a book in which the bad guy wins, the hero ends up dead (or worse), and little old women are getting bumped off left, right and centre for no real reason.
4 – Zombie Animals
Zombies themselves aren’t a problem – after all, they’re slow, they’re simple and they’re pretty easy to pick off from a distance. But once animals get infected, all bets are off – where the hell are you supposed to hide when there are infected birds and dogs knocking about? Especially when you consider that one little nip is all that it takes to become infected!
3 – Creepy Little Kids
You know what I’m talking about here – think of the twins in The Shining, or the possession of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist. Perhaps it’s because I don’t like children, although there’s also something to be said about evil corrupting the pure, if you believe that children are ever really innocent. Either way, they creep me out.
2 – Computers Killing Stuff
I remember when I watched Resident Evil for the first time – I was absolutely terrified when the computer was killing people, but then I was fine once the zombies woke up. Well, until the zombie dogs, at least. The thing that scares me the most about computers killing people is that, unlike zombies, vampires, werewolves and the like, it could actually happen. It probably already DOES happen.
1 – Mental Illness
As a depression/anxiety sufferer myself, I’m allowed to say this. Fictional people with mental illnesses can be terrifying, if the author so desires, and it works whether you’re a sufferer of the same mental illness or not. If you can relate to the character, you know exactly what they’re capable of, and if you can’t relate to them then they can seem unpredictable, which is often even worse. But it has to be done tastefully, or not at all – that’s why it’s so effective.
So there we have it – now you know how to write the perfect story to scare the crap out of me! If you happen to pen a novel about a creepy little zombie puppy with schizophrenia, who develops a computer programme to kill everyone who isn’t a banker or a politician, you’ve got yourself a reader.
Dane Cobain is a writer and poet from a place you’ve probably never heard of, somewhere in England. His debut novella, a supernatural thriller called ‘No Rest for the Wicked’, will be released by Forsaken in the summer of 2015. When he’s not writing books, he’s reading and reviewing them on his book blog, SocialBookshelves.com – Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene and Phillip Pullman are favourites. He’s very sad that Terry Pratchett died, and is hoping to come across Death in a Forsaken book so he can ask him what he’s playing at. Find him at Facebook.com/DaneCobainMusic or follow @DaneCobain on Twitter.
Make sure to show Dane, as well as all my guest bloggers, some love. Follow them on twitter, like their facebook pages, check out their books, and read their blogs. Also don't forget to follow this blog and the guy who puts it all together, Christian Jensen. Authors like to know what you think about them, so comment here. And always tell your friends about the cool things you find. Thanks!
Friday, May 8, 2015
S.E. Rise is an author I've gotten to know over the last few months. We connected over at the Forsaken team page and have a similar way of thinking about a lot of things. I've gotten to enjoy his posts and comments, and you should too.
Check out his book trailer to get an idea of who he is and what he writes :
Check out his book trailer to get an idea of who he is and what he writes :
The Neuron Universe and a Monkey’s Paw- A Thought Experiment.
There are a good amount of hours in the day. For most of those hours I am busy thinking about things that most people don’t want to contemplate or don’t care about. It’s not because I have a super brain or anything close to it. But, I do let my mind think and imagine things without parameters. To some this could be viewed as a thought experiment.
This is one of those thought experiments.
What if every book you have ever read or story you have ever heard somehow creates a small world inside your mind? A world or a memory formed on one of the trillion or so, neurons or neural pathways inside your brain. What if those worlds or memories never go away? What if they keep growing and evolving without your input?
What if our own world is but a memory or a story that has been forgotten?
What if our brains in turn are but small universes?
What if, at our birth, we create a small world from a memory that then continues to grow independent of our conscious thoughts? Would we ever remember it? Would we ever be able to return to that small first thought and see what it has become? Would we ever want to?
I am a writer and I create worlds. When I write, I create places that I can see, hear, smell and touch. I know what the air tastes like and what the clouds in the sky look like. I can also leave this place inside my mind and return days or even weeks later and it will still exist. Most of the time, I let the characters run amuck and figure out problems on their own. But, there are times when I return and they are waiting. They are waiting for me to fix their problems or situations so they can continue on with their story. At those times, I might give them a nudge or change the circumstances in which they find themselves. But rarely do I do this.
When I write, I try to let my creations do and figure things out on their own. I let them evolve into characters that are sometimes not exactly what I had envisioned for them in the beginning. But that’s okay, because if I solved every problem or guided them in every way then they really wouldn’t be that interesting. If I molded them into exactly the way they were supposed to be then what would be the point of the story. There would be no surprises, and the characters in this world would be cliché and predictable. There would be nothing new.
But though I have given them free will, I have also set into place certain rules and physics that they must abide by; only because it differentiates them from other genres in writing. Yes, there are many genres but without some sort of structure or rules it cannot stay together.
But not to get away from my original intent in writing this, I will steer back in the general direction.
These worlds I write about are places I have created within my mind. Who is to say that they do not exist?
What if to them I am God?
I am their Creator. I could be their Destroyer. I can, as well, be their Time Keeper. In fact, if I so wanted to, I could actually resurrect them from the dead. Does this not qualify me as a divine figure in its general definition? What if it does? Does that mean we are all, in some sense, Gods to the small universe that is our human mind? They say there may be as many neurons inside a single human head as there are stars in the universe.
Would a character on one of those small little worlds be able to look up at their Cosmos and see it for what it really was? Would it see it as an ever expanding universe or might it recognize it as the trillions of bright flashing neurons of its own Creator?
Well, since I am the writer and the creator of these worlds…I guess that answer would be up to me. But, what if one of my characters evolved without my knowledge into something that could figure out its own existence? Maybe it’s one of those insignificant characters that I forgot about and just left it to run amuck?
If it did try would I hear it?
If I heard it would I answer it?
Or, would I leave it just as I found it? Leave it, because I was afraid of influencing it and in a sense possibly destroying it with my acknowledgment. What if my presence changed the very genre that it existed in and inadvertently ruined the story?
I think I would not answer it directly. I think if I found myself in the same position as my hypothetical character I would really not want to receive an answer. Primarily, because then I would know that he/ she existed and if he or she existed then I would have to accept that they might be omnipotent and all knowing. This, of course, would lead down a line of thinking that does not have a positive outcome.
Not positive? How so you ask? Because, I would then have to ask the question “Why?”…Why would you have created so many things that are bad? And, if they are bad then why haven’t you fixed them? Why do so many have to suffer when in all actuality they don’t have too? The questions would continue on and on until one of us grew angry.
If I were this created character that lived on a world within the universe that is my brain, I think that I would not want an answer from that kind of God. I don’t think I would like this God entity very much if I did.
I would not want to have an all knowing entity to blame for the sadness, tragedy and travesty that happens to the world, to my loved ones or to me. I think that I would rather believe in a creator that has given us all the tools we need to succeed, left us on our own and then maybe accidentally forgotten about us.
I would rather not want to rely upon on a God that does not or cannot answer everyone’s prayers. But then, as we know, that doesn’t work very well either. Who would win the Super Bowl? And, don’t forget the story of the Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jennings.
But in conclusion, this was not meant to piss off the entire God fearing world. This was a thought experiment and it was designed to make you think outside of the box and maybe see the Cosmos and yourself a little differently.
I think I like the thought of being a writer. I create worlds that exist in the universe that is my mind. I think that the best thing I can do for the characters of my created worlds is to let their stories unfold as they will, to continue writing the stories that I see, and to offer them up for the world to read.
And of course learn how to edit them better.
S.E.Rise is a writer of Erotica, Horror and Thrillers. He lives with his family in Anchorage, Alaska. He has written a dozen or so books in various genres and is currently republishing them with Booktrope Publishing. His first release with Booktrope is an Erotic Thriller. Simmering is due out on May 16th and his first Thriller/Horror is due out in July with Booktrope Publishing as well.seriseauthor.com
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
A guilty conscience, a wounded girl, and a series of lies merge to create an evil so vile it can only be claimed by Satan himself. It was just supposed to be a game, a way for the sorority to pass a boring night better spent studying. What happens when six sorority sisters find an old Ouija board hiding in the shadowy recesses of their basement? When one of those girls harbors a sinister guilt hell crashes down around them, plunging the girls into a spiraling madness created by the Father of Lies. Can Adrianna overcome her past, or will the truth drive her mad? Demon kills is the exclusive, free read available only on Ibooks from Cassandre Dayen and Christian Jensen.
COMING VERY SOON!
On writing with a co-author
It’s a question that comes up whenever the two of us are together, or whenever one of us mentions our combined work: What’s it like working with a co-author?
For many, that question is veiled in polite compliments that mask a harbored frustration. I’ve known dozens of authors who have written with someone else for a book or two but quickly found every excuse to end the partnership. It can be incredibly frustrating and tedious. It can test friendships and push professional relationships to the limit. It can just plain suck. I’ve had my fair share of horror stories when dealing with other authors, but found a comfortable and amazing relationship with Cassandre Dayne.
It’s not just lightning striking. The secrets we’ve unearthed about each other is more like an apocalyptic storm that just keeps churning and growing in intensity. To date we’ve written 5 books, one short story, and are halfway through our sixth. Toxic Leash, the first book we wrote together, was finished in a week. So yeah, there are no veiled compliments or feigned appreciation. We actually like working together.
Why? There is a mutual respect. We appreciate each other and acknowledge what the other brings to the table. I push Cass in certain ways, and she pushes me in others. We know the other’s strengths and weaknesses and work within and around them. We are both obsessed with writing and are prolific as all hell. We’re the only people that can keep up with one another. Also, our styles are so similar at times we can’t tell who wrote what.
We don’t plan or plot, highlight or outline a story. One of us starts it, then sends around 5,000 words to the other and it just goes from there. There is no discussion, no notes passed back and forth, no messages exchanged or lengthy phone conversations about the plot or characters. We each have free reign in our world and respect the other’s choices in condemning or blessing the subjects in our little kingdom. Everything we do is organic.
The fun part is the challenges we leave for each other. Whenever possible we end our section and send it off with a cliffhanger the other has to work out of. It makes the books more interesting, more exciting, and much faster reads. Something is always going on because neither one of us wants to turn in a boring segment of the book. We need to outdo each other, push the other past their comfort zones and into uncharted territory. We work harder on our combined work because there is always a burning need to enthrall each other. At the end of the day, our first reader is our co-author, and we want to impress, shock, and outdo each other.
So for me, what’s it like working with a co-author? It fucking rocks! So throw up those devil horns, bang your heads, and check out our books, all of which are being re-released through Booktrope in the coming months.
Toxic Leash, I like to Watch, The Darkness Within, Believe in the Darkman, Beauty and Rage, Witch Hunter, and the short story free for Ibooks, Demon Kills. By Cassandre Dayne and Christian Jensen. Passion, Pain, and Perversion. Escape to the extreme.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
I found Sheri Williams skulking around the super secret Forsaken page over at the 'ole Faebooks. She was just kinda standing there, hanging around the shadows, taking notes and looking much more innocent than I knew she really was. Okay, that's not true. Mostly because there are no shadows in Facebookland. Nothing one big old spotlight over there, right? So anyways, I found Sheri, or rather she found me, and next thing I know she's on my blog. Give her some love and let's Comment and Share.
First, let me say, May the Fourth be with you. I know that’s not why I’m here today, but I couldn’t not say it. And now, on to why I’m invading your screens today. Horror! Yes, horror. And if you know me, you’re already going, “What the what?” cause I am a scaredy cat. No lie. I scare so easy. I don’t watch horror movies, except for classics and vampires. So why am I writing about horror you ask? Simple. Well, not simple. Super convoluted actually. I write romance. That’s my thing. I’m fairly good at it. So why change genres? Because I have author multiple personality disorder. AMPD may not be an actual medical thing, but in my world it’s real. It explains how I went from romance, to mid-grade, to gothic horror. Now to be fair, there is romance in the story I am currently crafting for Forsaken, but it’s not the main plot, or at least after about five rounds of editing, I hope it’s not the main plot.
The story started a long time ago as a sample for a freelance job that didn’t get accepted. I had 4,000 words about a group of paranormal investigators searching for werewolves in Germany. I talked to the amazing Maddie Holliday Von Stark and she said I might could sub it to Booktrope’s new Forsaken imprint. I was all “who me? Romance writer? Eh, why the hell not?” So I tried to fill it out. Add some more words. And then. Then. One nightmare about werewolves in Victorian London later, I scrapped the almost 9,000 I had worked up to, and started over. Yes, I started over. Because it needed to be Gothic Horror (with a splash of romance). Like I said, AMPD. It’s a problem, really.
I have to say though, I have met some of the coolest people through Forsaken. And am now about 2-3 scenes away from finishing the rough (holy super rough) draft of my story. It’s not scary yet. I think I’m going to have to layer that in. But despite constantly worrying that I am going to fail in a spectacular fashion (I’m talking fiery crashing chariots here), I keep going. Because I really like my story. And I hope you do too.
Bio: Sheri Williams is a mom. A writer. A nerd. She lies in the south and spends her days fighting her need to write against her need to play in the dirt. She has an unhealthy appreciation of BBC America and has been known to lose whole days to Netflix binges. Sheri has published a novel, a few short stories as part of anthologies, and two choose your own adventure stories for online publisher SilkWords. She is currently working on what will hopefully be the first of many Forsaken titles.
You can find Sheri at: https://www.facebook.com/Williams.Sheri.Author