Posts Tagged ‘When The Lights Go Out’

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I think this interview has been a long time in the making, and I’m glad it’s finally happened.

Today’s author is a woman who you might have seen commenting a lot on this blog. She’s an author of several vampire novels, as well as a contributor to Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, and a contributor/editor/compiler/whatever to the Ink Slingers’ anthologies, including Strange Portals and the recently published When the Lights Go Out. It’s Joleene Naylor, and I’m looking forward to hearing what she has to say!

Welcome to the blog, Joleene. So tell us, what are your short stories about and what inspired them?

Unforgotten is about a pair of old school chums in the UK who go on an annual trip every year on the same date. This years’ trip is complicated by Gordon’s missing wife and the ghost of a little girl who wants to be found. It’s actually based on a dream I had. It started out the same: in a car discussing having been interrogated by the police. Only there was no ghost girl.

In Beldren, a group of former indentured servants decide to take what they feel they are owed from an easy mark; a household of women. Their plan is perfect except for one thing: the women are vampires.  This one was inspired one night when a pickup kept going around and around past our house and my brother got nervous they were “up to something” and I thought, “I wonder what would happen if robbers broke in and found out the people of the house were serial killers? Or vampires? Hmmmm… That could be an interesting story…” Hopefully it is.

I read the first one and liked it, so I have high hopes for the second one. Now what else have you written?

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The Amaranthine vampire series. Shades of Gray is the first, and the newest is book seven, Clash of Legends. I’ve tried to make the story creepy and disturbing, and at times bloody and horrific, instead of just the usual romantic sop that a certain YA book has turned the vampire genre into. There’s no sparkling and no high school, just blood, fighting, and vampires who feed on humans and burn in the sun.

Are you a traditionally or self-published writer?

Self published because I want to own the rights to my own work.

What got you into writing in the first place?

My mother was a writer and poet, so it never occurred to me not to “make up stories”. My brother and I used to make (and illustrate) books for fun when we were children. (I also used to draw book covers and catalogs, complete with product descriptions – I was strange.)

What is it about scary stories that you think draw people in?

People enjoy being scared – safely. We like that little “Oh!”, the tiny burst of adrenaline and that aftermath giggle, but we like when we know we’re not *really* in danger, and a scary story can give us that.

Are you working on anything these days?

I’ve reworked Patrick: A Prequel, but I need to edit it. I am also working on Masque of the Vampire, the eighth book in the series, and the Tales of the Executioners short story collection. There are four of those, three are available for free through most retailors (except Amazon) and the fourth, Beldren, is included in the When the Lights Go Out anthology.

What is some advice you would give to other writers, regardless of their level of experience or background?

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Write what you want to read because if you want to read it, then edit the heck out of it. Change words, shorten scenes, add scenes, delete scenes. The original version may seem like a masterpiece to you, but it isn’t – it’s a rough stone that needs cut down and polished in order to shine.  That may be hard to admit sometimes, or to acknowledge, but it’s the truth for everyone.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take three books with you, what would you take?

I think short story collections give you more bang for your buck when it comes to being stranded for a long time, so: The Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, The Faun and the Woodcutter’s Daughter by B. L. Picard, and right now I really, really, really want to read A Candle in Her Room by Ruth M Arthur, only I can’t find a copy priced at anything I can afford, so in fantasy land I would have it. Alternately, if it has to be a book I owned, I’d swap it out for My Sweet Audrina by VC Andrews.

Well, thank you Joleene for joining us today. Really enjoyed picking your brain. And readers, if you want to check out more of Joleene, you can find her on her website, her blog, her Facebook page, on Twitter, and on Goodreads.

Also check out the Interviews page for my talks with other authors and even some characters.

And make sure to check out When the Lights Go Out, available from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. It’s the perfect way to start the Halloween season.

You remember my recent interview with author Barbara G. Tarn? Well, she also interviewed me and it was just awesome. If you’d like to check out the full interview, check out her blog, it’s got some great stuff on it!

And as always, check out When The Lights Go Out, where you can find creepy stories from the both of us within. Now available on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. It’s the perfect reading for getting into the Halloween season.

Barbara G.Tarn - writer

unnamedAnd it’s a guest! From the Ink Slingers Halloween Anthology but he was also in last year’s anthology! When I read “Travelers”, I thought I wanted to know more about the guy, but look, almost a year went by and… he did it again! His “Tigress Lizzy” gave me the right chills at the right times… so go grab your copy right now! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rami Ungar!

Where do you live and write from?

I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio, though for the past two and a half months I’ve been living and working as an intern with the US Army in Wiesbaden, Germany. As to where I write, anyplace I can plug in my laptop and let my creative juices flow, whether that be at home, in a café, a library, or even in the office when there’s nothing going on (rare moments, I tell you).

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As you know, I got to contribute to an anthology that was published recently, When the Lights Go Out. The Amazon and Smashwords links were available immediately, but Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes apparently took their time with it. Or something. I don’t know, it wasn’t my department.

Anyway, WTLGO is now available on five different websites, and I’ve got the links. So if you wish to check it out, you now have a bunch of different options to do it. It’s got 25 different stories by a variety of different authors, including my very own “Tigress Lizzy”, which is about a teenage girl who gains a very dark power and uses it to get revenge on the bullies in her life (no, not telekinesis, that would be a rip-off of Carrie, and this is paying tribute to Carrie). I also was lucky enough to write the introduction, which I’m told is pretty good.

And it’s also October, so some new, creepy tales are just what is needed to get in the mood for the season. Besides pumpkin lattes, I mean.

So go check WTLGO out, whether it be through Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. And get ready for a spooktacular good time.

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve done an author interview, but hey, I’m glad when I have the chance to do one. Today’s interview is with someone else who’s work is being featured in When The Lights Go Out, which if you haven’t checked out I highly recommend you do.

Barbara G. Tarn prefers the term “world-creator”, which I can understand, seeing as she not only writes but does graphic novels and a few other things too. She’s lives in Italy, which I think is pretty cool, and she’s constantly working on something (boy, does that sound familiar). And apparently I know her husband, as do many other writers. Lots of interesting connections here. Her story in WTLGO is related to her upcoming novel, which sounds very interesting if you read the summary. And speaking from personal experience, her short story is pretty awesome as well.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Welcome to the show, Barb. What is your short story about and what inspired it?

The Return of the Crusader is historical fantasy. It’s Halloween – when it was still called All Saints Eve – in 1150 AD Lincolnshire and the lady of the manor is hoping her husband will come back from the crusade… which he does, but as a vampire.

This story was inspired by the fact that Miss Naylor [Joleene Naylor, who helped put together WTLGO] wanted a Halloween story and I thought it was a perfect day for someone to be turned into a vampire! So I wrote this “origin” story for Kaylyn, who is Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, and next year I will write her full story. For now you can see her in Rajveer the Vampire, out Nov.1st.

I’m a middle ages lovers and my historical novel  The Fern and The Cross is still in the drawer since I’m not happy with it. But all the research I’ve done for it will be useful to tell Kaylyn’s story, from 1150 AD to the new millennium – out Nov.1st, 2016.

Tell us what else have you written?

Star Minds is a science fantasy series. Then there’s Silvery Earth, adult unconventional fantasy. All books are actually standalone in both series, but if you follow the chronological order, you might see a pattern. Both series have lots of LGBT characters. Urban fantasy – Samantha’s body switches – and other contemporary titles are also out now. You can find everything at the Unicorn Productions website (that’s a logo I’ve had since the 1990s, when I did photocopied b&w fanzines to sell at the Italian comicons)

Are you a traditionally or self-published writer?

Indie because I’m scared of the draconian traditional contracts. But I’m submitting short stories to traditional markets – and rejections are piling up. Although I did get a Honorable Mention at Writers of the Future (and then indie-published that novella).

Nice! What got you into writing in the first place?

I’m writaholic. I’m married to Mr Writing. I’m an introvert and hate spoken words. I’d rather be writing than hang out. Should I say more? Okay, I was uprooted at 13, so that kinda shut me off from the real world… That’s when I started writing stories!

What is it about scary stories that you think draw people in?

I don’t read (or write) many scary stories, so I have no idea…

That’s a shame. Now, are you working on anything these days?

Redrafting Daya (another vampire that appears in Rajveer’s novel – probably a novella that might come out maybe at the end of this year or the beginning of 2016)) and Beautiful (a “retelling” of Sleeping Beauty with m/m protagonists).

What is some advice you would give to other writers, regardless of their level of experience or background?

Heinlein’s business rules: 1) you must write 2) you must finish what you write 3) you must not rewrite unless by editorial demand (and I mean editor in New York if you have a traditional contract, not a hired freelance) 4) you must put it on the market 5) you must leave it on the market until sold (either trad or indie). Don’t look for perfection or you’ll be stuck in rewriting hell forever. If you must take a course, go to professional writers such as Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland or Dean Wesley Smith. I’ve taken online and offline classes at WMG Publishing – and I started writing back in 1978. Thing is… you never stop learning.

Finally, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only take three books with you, what would you take?

Aren’t we past this with e-readers? 😉 Without wi-fi the battery would last long enough to read more than three books! I don’t know, I don’t have favorite books at this time… I’d probably spend the time telling stories to myself that I might eventually write…

Thanks for joining us, Barb. If you would like to check out more of her work, head to her blog, Facebook, Goodreads, or Amazon page for more. And make sure to check out When The Lights Go Out or Rajveer the Vampire, out November 1st.

All for now. I’ve got a few more interviews coming up, so keep an eye out for those. You have a great day, my Followers of Fear!

It’s Friday again, so you know what that means! No, not Happy Hour (though that is something to celebrate too). Nope, it’s #FirstLineFriday! In case you’re unfamiliar with the rules, here’s the deal: on Fridays you write a post with the title like this post, and then you post the first one or two lines from a potential work, a work in progress, or a completed or published work. Then you ask your readers for their thoughts and critiques on what you’ve just posted.

This week’s entry comes from “Tigress Lizzy”, the short story I wrote that was published in the recently released anthology When The Lights Go Out. Check it out:

Lizzy Markham slouched her way into the Magic River High School art room, her spirits as damp as her school uniform was at the moment.

Not the most dramatic opening to a short story, but it gets much more interesting as you read on, believe me. But what are your thoughts? Anything you’d change? Let me know. And if you’d like to read “Tigress Lizzy” and the other terrifying stories in WTLGO, you can find it on Amazon and Smashwords. Trust me, you’re going to want to check it out.

Well, that’s all for now. This weekend, contrary to prior declarations, I think I’ll be taking it easy at home, maybe just hang around Wiesbaden and see what Oktoberfest craziness I can get up to. After all, this is my last weekend in Germany. Might as well go all out in the city I’ve come to think of as home, right?

Have a good weekend, my Followers of Fear!

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Well, I didn’t know this was happening so soon, but I guess it’s an early treat, which is always better than an early trick. The latest anthology from the Ink Slingers’ League, When The Lights Go Out (also known as WTLGO for the sake of keeping things short), has just become available for download! This creepy Halloween anthology contains a variety of terrifying stories from a plethora of authors, including yours truly, and I even got to write the introduction and help out with picking a title. Other authors in the anthology include Joleene Naylor, DM Yates, Barbara Tarn, Tricia Drammeh, Roger Lawrence, Adan Ranie, and many more!

If you’re still unsure about whether or not this anthology is for you, here’s the description:

A collection of twenty-five short stories just in time for Halloween. Enjoy thrills, chills, and mysteries. Meet ghosts, demons, vampires, and monsters everywhere from dark city streets to the English countryside. Scares lurk in the most unexpected places and, when the lights go out, no where is safe and no one will be spared.

Doesn’t that sound creepy? And if you need any more incentive to check it out, the entire anthology is very affordable. It’s available for a little under a dollar from Amazon and for free from Smashwords. And as it becomes available on more formats, like Kobo and iTunes, I’ll be posting those links on my Stand Alones & Other Works page.

Once again, thanks to Joleene Naylor for making me part of,this anthology in so many ways. I’ve already started reading it and I’m impressed by what I’ve seen so far. I’m looking forward to reading the rest and I’m so glad you thought one of my works was worthy of this impressive and terrifying collection of tales.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you decide to check out WTLGO and have a spooky good time with me. Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

when the lights go out cover

Some of you may remember a previous post where I announced that a short story of mine, “Tigress Lizzy” was going to be published in an upcoming anthology by the same folks who did Strange Portals. I’m very pleased to announce that the anthology now has a name and a cover, and I have more news besides that!

Alright, as the title of this post indicates, this anthology is called When The Lights Go Out, a title I suggested to anthology editor/vampire novelist extraordinaire/indie colleague Joleene Naylor, so I’m very honored that she chose it for the title of this anthology. She also did the cover for this anthology, by the way. And holy shit, is that creepy to behold! It’s like she crossed Ring with Grudge and The Exorcist! I’m getting goosebumps just looking at it!

Or is that the ghost I suspect is haunting my apartment? I’m never quite sure.

Oh, and I have some more news relating to WTLGO (yes, I am starting that abbreviation. You shall use it to save time when referring to this anthology because it is just that much easier). In addition to being the author of one of the twenty-five short stories featured in the anthology, I was also asked to write the introduction. Yes, that’s right. I got to write the introduction! I’m really happy about that, and Joleene tells me she really liked it, which I call very high praise indeed!

Finally, WTLGO will be coming out sometime early next month from e-book retailers everywhere. As soon as it comes out, I’ll be posting links so you can check it out! The anthology will be free of charge, so if you’re of little pocket money but still have a device to read this on, you won’t have to miss out.

Though if I were you, I wouldn’t read this one right before bed. You might never sleep again…

I’ll post more when I have more. I’m riding a huge high right now, so I’m going to ride that high right to bed (it’s nearly ten at night here in Germany and I have early mornings!). I’ll celebrate with you guys in the morning. You have a great one, my Followers of Fear!