AHOW Blog Tour Cont’d – K.N. Johnson

Today marks the tenth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – and this time the author is K.N. Johnson.

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Title:

The Blue Amberol Turns Again

Blurb:

Two families, two eras, one house, and one haunted music cylinder. Does it foretell the future or just replay the past?

What inspired you to write this story?

I love to roam antique shops. In a particularly cool shop in Louisville, KY, I discovered loads of phonographs, including an old Amberola and a box of dusty cylinders. And that’s when I remembered my trip to the Thomas Edison house where I learned Edison recorded music on wax cylinders before records were invented. The scratchy melody coming from these things is eerie – like a voice scratching its way out from the past.

How long have you been writing?

As a child, I’d create family newspapers, children’s books in scribble pads. My sisters still remember me forcing them to act in my plays. In middle school, my best friend and I wrote a paranormal YA book for fun. I was the high school newspaper editor, but also churned out handwritten pages of a soap opera for a few close friends. When my twins were toddlers, I wrote a screenplay with my husband. Miramax passed on it and I haven’t tried romantic comedy again. I worked as a reporter and email marketer for years before finally giving time to my pile of short story ideas.

What genre do you associate most within your writing?

In general, I write horror. But it’s not the slasher gore most people consider horror. It’s more cerebral, strange, unsettling. I’ve been drawn to Folk Horror recently. I think the combination of woodlands and religious elements reminds me of my childhood.

What are you working on now?

I had a Netflix marathon of reality forensic shows about young kids who committed murder. Really disturbing stuff about the Slenderman murder and other cases. This inspired a story about a psychopathic teen who manipulates another into helping her commit murder. They get away with it and head their separate ways. But paranoia sets in. Each begins to wonder if the other will rat them out and if one more murder is necessary to keep their secret from ever coming to light.

What else do you have published?

My dark science fiction story “Regolith” will appear in the upcoming anthology Terra Nullius later this year. My dark story “Frigid” won Mythraeum’s Pygmalion contest and is available to read on their website:http://mythraeum.com/story-pygmalion-contest-winner-frigid

What advice would you offer to new writers?

Read writers you love and try to figure out why you love their stories. Then, make time to write. Write absolute rubbish just to get your story down. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write, write, write.

List links where people can find your writing:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/knjohnsonauthor/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/K.N.-Johnson/e/B01KUNOBP6

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

AHOW Blog tour cont’d – FA Fisher

And we’re off again! Today’s AHOW interview is with author F. A. Fisher and this story is well worth a read.

Title and synopsis/blurb of your AHOW story:

“Fighting Sleep”

The new crib smells wrong to Ross. His parents won’t listen to him because he’s only four, but how can he protect his new sister from it all by himself? The truth is, he’s afraid the crib is haunted.

He’s right.

What inspired you to write this story?

I overheard a small girl when she walked into a room, looked at the crib, and said, “That crib looks evil.” I thought the idea of an evil crib sounded pretty cool, so I wrote the story.

How long have you been writing?

Off and on for thirty years. Last year I decided to get serious about it, and published my first two novels.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

Science Fiction and Fantasy

What are you working on right now?

The third novel in my Cloaks series.

What else do you have available/published?

My first novel is Cloaks. The sequel is Pandir Decloaked.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Keep writing. Don’t stop (repeatedly!) like I did.

List links where people can find your work:

My website is:

http://fafisher.com

Cloaks is on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.com/Cloaks-F-Fisher-ebook/dp/B01FYCUL02/

Pandir Decloaked is also on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.com/Pandir-Decloaked-Cloaks-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01N9GKDPV

And it should go without saying that my story “Fighting Sleep” is in the anthology, A Haunting of Words.

AHOW Blog Tour cont’d: Laurie Gardiner

On we go with the blog tour for A Haunting of Words, the anthology that has a story for everyone!

Today’s AHOW interview is with author Laurie Gardiner.

Title: “Thief”

Synopsis: Luna Fiore promised to be with her twin sister, Cira, when she dies. Instead, Luna’s own death sends her on a journey through memories where she must explore her mother’s darkest secrets. Can Luna find the truth and make her way back to her twin before the thief in Cira’s head releases her?

What inspired you to write this story?

The song of the same name by the band Our Lady Peace. It’s always been one of my favourite songs by OLP simply because of the emotion it conveys. When I was brainstorming story ideas for A Haunting of Words, I watched the video for “Thief” and inspiration hit.

How long have you been writing?

Almost as long as I can remember.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I write mainly contemporary drama and women’s fiction. Writing a paranormal story pushed me slightly out of my comfort zone, which, I think, turned out to be a good thing!

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a series of flash fiction stories centered around the theme of elder abuse.

What else do you have available/published?

So far, my publications include: debut novel, Tranquility, published in 2015 by Escargot Books; short story “Retribution” in Scout Media’s 2016 “of Words” anthology; “Thief” in Scout Media’s latest anthology, A Haunting of Words.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Never stop learning.

List links where people can find your work:

http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

https://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Gardiner/e/B00RZPBBTC

 

 

Blog tour cont’d – A Haunting of Words

Today’s AHOW interview is with author R.J. Castiglione. You can buy your very own copy of A Haunting of Words here. (It features my own short story, ‘Joe’, too!)

Title and synopsis/blurb of your AHOW story:

“The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” follows a young ghost as he haunts his family’s mansion over the course of a century.

What inspired you to write this story?

When I first read about the “Of Words” series, I thought it an interesting anthology concept.  The opportunity to be selected is what ultimately inspired me to create a story.  However, “The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” was conceived when my husband and I went to a boutique hotel in Newport, RI for dinner.  The hotel itself was beautiful, although the ambiance, to me, screamed paranormal.  I began to imagine the hotel haunted and created a few ghosts in my head.  The one ghost that muddied through my creative process was Jonathan, a young boy who plays tricks on hotel guests.  The rest of the story came together from there.

How long have you been writing?

Although I have been writing my entire adult life, my first self-publication released in March 2017.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I am currently focused on writing Literary RPG (“LitRPG” for short).  This story style allows me to combine my love for writing and my enjoyment of open-world RPG video games into one.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on three stories at the moment.  Fjorgyn: The Deep Below is my largest LitRPG endeavor.  It is the second book in the series.  I am also outlining and will release Lacrimosa Online, another LitRPG stand-alone novel that takes place in a macabre landscape.  Lastly, and unrelated to my favored niche, I am writing a paranormal, M/M romance called When Mountains Weep.  This story is a harrowing adventure about a domestic abuse survivor as he flees to his family home in Maui.

What else do you have available/published?

The only book I have published at this time is Fjorgyn: A Rebel Rises, available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Writing is not just about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  Creating the first draft of your story is only one step in a complicated process.  First, tell a story that you would like to read.  Second, shelve it for a while.  Third, self-edit it to hell and back again.  Fourth, spring for proper editing and cover design.  If you’re self-publishing, don’t skip this step.  If you’re traditionally published, don’t pay for this.  You’re only hurting yourself if you release something without editing.  Fifth, get some beta readers to really help polish your work.  Sixth, self-publish it and spend as much time marketing your book as you did when producing it, if not more.

These steps above make the world of difference.  They’re what distinguish writers from authors.

List links where people can find your work:

Links to all of my present and future works can be found on https://rjcastiglione.com

A Haunting of Words Blog Tour cont’d…

This is the sixth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – and up today is Amy Hunter. Her story “Salted Ground” displays both her amazing talent at storytelling, alongside her very talented artwork  – she created all of the interior artwork within A Haunting of Words, including all of the images in these interviews.

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at:www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words or find it on Amazon.

Title and synopsis of your AHOW story:
Salted Ground
Marley was convinced she had found happiness with Adam when he helped her escape an abusive relationship. When tragedy strikes, will she find hope or torment?

What inspired you to write this story?
One of the many things I struggle with is not knowing when to let go… of anything. Marley became sort of a hero to me. In the first paragraph, she salted the ground and moved on, and in the rest of the story, she deals with the consequences.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since my early teen years. Earlier than that, if you count the childhood plays my friends and I would perform for my mom (all of which received standing ovations). I moved on to high school journalism, which I thought I would make into a career, but here I am at thirty-three, diggin’ the hell out of fiction.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
Suspense, Creative Nonfiction

What are you working on right now?
Monster’s Edge. When Coralie manipulates Shane into committing a crime, he double-crosses her and leaves her with a parting gift she’ll never forget.

What else do you have available/published:
So far, aside from ‘A Haunting of Words,’ I also have a story called “Core” in ‘A Journey of Words.’

What advice do you give to new writers?
A piece of advice saved my life once and continues to do so every day. I feel like it applies here. So: remove the cotton from your ears and put it in your mouth. Listen and learn from those who came before you. Don’t assume you know everything. And hire an editor. Okay, so the editor thing came later, but do it. You’ll be glad you did.

List links where people can find your work:
https://www.facebook.com/AmyUnleashed/
https://www.amyhunterauthor.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15700724.Amy_Hunter

Moving House

It’s always interesting when a house move takes place – quite apart from all the packing, the move itself (I liken it to going to hell in a hand-cart), and the subsequent unpacking, there’s also the need to get used to the new locality.

It’s pretty here. It’s also quiet, and that’s taking some getting used to. We’re not too far from the city, and we’ve been in a couple of times, negotiating the traffic and new one-way systems that haven’t been updated on the SatNav yet (we’ve had a couple of hairy moments – least said about that, the better)! There are no street lights, so it will be interesting come the winter when the days draw in, and (luckily) the immediate neighbours appear to be very nice.

The cat is enjoying herself. She’s only just been allowed out so she’s busy exploring and making the acquaintance of the neighbours – amusingly, she’s the double of next door’s cat (although he’s a male and his eyes are more round than hers). Next door has a new baby and a new dog – their cat, I was told, has packed his little knap-sack and moved out in a huff. (I can’t say that I blame him – the dog is somewhat, um, bouncy, shall we say? – It’s jumped out of their windows twice since we’ve been here and watching them chase him up and down the road has been almost a Keystone Cops experience!) Their cat originally took to meowing outside my window with a pleading look in his little eye, but now that my own cat is out and about, I doubt we’ll see much more of him.

I said it was amusing that the two creatures are so similar. This is because, earlier today, I caught the man next door trying to coax ‘his’ cat into their house by rattling the food bowl and screeching its name at the top of his lungs.

I looked out to see what the commotion was and spotted my cat sitting at the top of their garden, eyeing him disdainfully. When he swore and went back inside, she happily sauntered home to eat her own.

Should have gone to Specsavers…

Continuing the blog tour for A Haunting of Words

I’m back again with another author who features in this anthology.

Today author Kari Holloway takes over my page with a discussion about her short story, “Gunpowder & Wool,” appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, “Joe”).

Synopsis: Corporal Hulett greets the morning on the eve of battle, readying his men to march forth, but what comes through the ghostly fog of gunpowder and scattershot leaves him defending the merits of battle and the rights of brothers-in-arms.

What inspired you to write this story?

Where I am from, Andersonville, Georgia, is a staple from school field trips, national holiday activities, and the yearly re-enactments honoring the men who lost their lives for a cause they believed in. Not the cause of the government, but the cause of being beside their neighbors standing up together as a united front. Millions were affected by the civil war, and we like to look at it as an overview, but for the men serving, it wasn’t black and white, ideas vs truth.

How long have you been writing?

Professionally, July 2015 marks the starting point. I wrote Cracked But Never Broken and haven’t stopped writing since. Prior to that,

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

Southern fiction is the umbrella I write while the specific genres would be romance (my Laughing P series) and paranormal (my Devil’s Playground series).

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the third Devil’s Playground novella, the final proofing for the second Devil’s Playground, titled Cry of Gold, which is due to be released in June. Never too Late is headed to the editor to finish up my Laughing P. I’m gearing up a book signing at Xion and having a table at Epicon.

What else do you have available/published?
Cracked But Never Broken (http://books2read.com/CrackedButNeverBroken )
Behind the Lens (http://books2read.com/BehindtheLens )
Forgotten (http://books2read.com/DPForgotten)
Beneath the Mask (http://books2read.com/BeneaththeMasks ) [a perma free short story found on all e-book retailers]
Unbound (http://books2read.com/UnboundAnthology )
Love, Lust, and Scary Monsters (http://books2read.com/LoveLustScaryMonsters )

What advice do you give to new writers?

Just because one idea doesn’t work now, doesn’t mean that idea won’t work later.

List links where people can find your work:

For the easiest list, they can check out my site http://KariHolloway.wix.com/fiction or www.facebook.com/k.l.holly. I use books2read links which lead to global and universal links making it a one click button for those around the world.

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

You can also find my own work here: https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M/ – and if you’ve already read any of these, please do leave a review as this helps with how the books are shown to the public. Thanks, folks!

Next stop on the A Haunting of Words blog tour!

Today’s interview is with author J.M. Ames. If any of you have followed the “of words” series, you will remember his heartbreaking story, The Last Ride, which appeared in A Journey of Words.

What is your story about?  Wendy flees from her abusive boyfriend, daughter in tow, to her families’ cabin in the woods, only to discover what is already residing there is far worse. The story is based on the Transpose song of the same name.

Today’s interview is with author J.M. Ames. Readers who have followed the “of words” series, remember his heartbreaking story, The Last Ride, which appeared in A Journey of Words.

What is your story about?  Wendy flees from her abusive boyfriend, daughter in tow, to her families’ cabin in the woods, only to discover what is already residing there is far worse. The story is based on the Transpose song of the same name.

What inspired you to write this story?

 The desire to write a disturbing tale about a haunting, coupled with the imagery captured by the lyrics of the song.

How long have you been writing?  

Professionally, since January 2016. As a hobby, as long as I can remember.

What genres do you most associate with your writing? 

I am definitely a multi-genre author. I don’t really stick to any of them exclusively.  I usually try to evoke some kind of emotion, include something unusual\weird, and to incorporate a twist. With that in mind, Fantasy (all kinds), Horror and Sci-Fi probably make up about half of my work. Rock Fiction (stories based on songs or albums) are becoming a fairly common thing for me, too.

What are you working on right now?

How much time you got? I have too many works in progress to go through here, so I will go through the ones I think you can see from me in 2017:

Not Yet Dark: War devastates a man’s life, and he goes to extremes to get revenge on those who’ve hurt him. Based on “Masters of War,” by Bob Dylan.  Fourteen Years: Non-fiction biography of my best friend of 38 years, and his struggle to return to his life to normalcy after a horrific accident that left him heavily injured and another of our friends dead. The River Sticks: An elderly man awakens in the middle of the night to discover his long-dead wife and poker buddies are back for one night only. Stakes are high, as he must now play for his own life. Somewhat inspired by (but not based on) Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”  I have several other completed works I am actively marketing to various publishers.

What else do you have published?

“The Last Ride,” which is available in the A Journey of Words anthology.

What advice do you give to new writers? 

Read, a lot. Write even more than that–never stop. Hire a good professional editor. Use Beta readers, but only make suggested changes that you agree with and make sense, or a large number that readers suggest. There are many paths to becoming an author, not just one–find your own path.

Where can people find your work? 

https://jm-ames.com/    (includes links to many other Social Media platforms)

https;//www.facebook.com/JMAmesAuthor/

A Haunting of Words (paperback and eBook) can be purchased through Scout Media’s online store at:

www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get a FREE exclusive companion soundtrack CD or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon

Travis West – A Haunting Of Words author interview

Today’s author interview is with Travis West. Here he is discussing his short story, “It’s Not Okay, If It’s Not the End,” which appears, alongside my new short story, “Joe”, and several others in the A Haunting of Words anthology:

Synopsis: With the help of a late music icon, a newly deceased rock band embarks on a cross-country trip to help their drummer deliver a message to his ex-girlfriend.

Q: What inspired you to write this story?

A: The punk band Rancid has a great song called “Ghost Band.” I heard it one day and knew that I should write about a phantom music group. Originally the band wasn’t going to meet anyone famous, they were just going to discuss the possibilities of meeting their late heroes. As a matter of fact, the original title was going to be, “Do You Think We’ll Meet Keith Moon?” Then I happened upon a quote attributed to the rock star in question and the entire story unfolded in my mind within minutes. Funny how that works. I feel this is my deepest story yet, even if the premise isn’t entirely original. In hindsight, I realize it’s about regrets. Regret over loved ones left behind to achieve fame, and those used as stepping stones for the same purpose.

Q: How long have you been writing? 

A: Seriously writing, only three years, with a story published at the end of each year.

Q: What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

A: The majority of my short stories are speculative fiction, but I don’t think any of them fit into a Sci-fi/Horror/Fantasy box. I’ve only in the last few months discovered Slipstream. All ideas I have for possible novels are more contemporary or literary fiction.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: Right now I’m working on my own project. I’m writing a series of short stories involving a government shadow group who over the past century and a half attempt to infiltrate an alien race for their own nefarious purposes. Each story takes place in a different period in time from the 1800’s until now. It’s very “pulp” and heavily influenced by old comic books and magazines, such as Weird Tales and Planet Comics. The stories will be strange, violent and funny and, hopefully, readers will find it to be entertaining.

Q: What else do you have available/published?

A: My story “The Most Beautiful Boy” is available in A Matter of Words, and my story “The Errandsman’s Folly” is in A Journey of Words. Both are from Scout Media.

Q: What advice do you give to new writers?

A: Keep writing, of course, and always hire a professional editor. A great editor is an invaluable asset. If you use beta readers, which I do recommend, use a balance of men and women. Even if you don’t use a beta reader’s suggestions, at least give those suggestions ample consideration. Don’t assume your story is perfect simply because you think so. A wise person once said, Your ego is not your amigo.

List links where people can find your work:
ScoutMediaBooksMusic.Com
Facebook.Com/TravisWestWrites
TravisJackFlash.Blogspot.Com

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

2nd Author Interview on AHOW

Here we go folks: today’s A Haunting of Words interview is with author Lauren Nalls:

“The Rub” is a journey into the hell of the human mind and soul; from the line that splits reality and madness, to the place where the rules of the game of life, and death, become blurred.

What inspired you to write this story?
This story was inspired by one of my current works in progress, I was thinking about what happened “after” and this was the result. I also pushed myself to see if I could write outside my usual genres.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been professionally writing for three years, but I’ve really been writing my whole life.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
Great question! This particular story is way outside my comfort zone as a macabre thriller, and was a challenge for me. I normally write dramatic fiction, historical, and women’s fiction.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a historical fiction coming of age story. I have a few more works in progress at various stages of development as well.

What else do you have available/published?
My other publications include my short story “Loose Ends,” A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016), and a poem, “Burgeon,” published in Fredericksburg Literary Review (spring 2014 Volume 2, Issue 1). I also blogged briefly for Fredericksburg Parent and Family, “Tortoise and Hair series” (2014).

What advice do you give to new writers?
Read, study, practice, and learn from mentors you trust. Keep going, don’t give up. Subject your work to critique but don’t get upset at criticisms. Writing is art and it’s up to the artist to discern what advice to keep and what advice to reject, but always be kind and grateful. That being said, art isn’t completely without rules, we have to learn the rules, or expectations, then break them with intention.

List links where people can find your work:
www.LaurenNalls.com
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurenNalls/
https://twitter.com/Scribbleglitch
https://www.pinterest.com/scribbleglitch/

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

Author and Poet
LAURENNALLS.COM