AHOW Blog Tour – my own story!

Today I’m talking about my own short story, “Joe,” that appears in the anthology A Haunting of Words alongside many other fabulous stories.

“Joe” is about a day in the life of a mother, her young son and their dog, Rufus. An altercation in the park goes some way to ruin their lovely day out.

Inspiration:

Without giving any spoilers away, I simply put myself in the place of the mother in this situation and the potential it had for what actually happens as the story unfolds.

How long have I been writing?

A long, long time! I’ve only over the last few years begun to take it seriously and taken the leap into publishing any of my work. It was a tough decision to make – would people laugh at my efforts? Would they tell me I’m no good? Any writer puts a piece of their soul into their work, so I think that taking the plunge is possibly one of the hardest things to do as it leaves you open to the public eye (and I’m actually quite a private person). However, I love writing and I wish I’d taken it seriously much, much sooner than I did!

What genres do I most associate with in my writing? 

That’s a tricky question to answer! It all began by my making up my own tales on a nightly basis for my children during their growing years –  so putting a fantasy story that was begging to be written onto paper was quite easy and it wouldn’t let me rest until I’d developed it into a trilogy. I have also written a young adult book about how social media can have an effect on lives (comedy/contemporary fiction) and loved writing it, and more recently, I’ve written a darker, more adult book that is paranormal based, and, of course, the even darker tale of young Joe. I’m quite into these stories at the moment and have various ideas tugging at my subconscious mind!

What am I working on right now?

I have two things on the go at the moment; a spin off from the fantasy trilogy that was triggered by a reader asking me what would happen if… and an adult book that involves someone witnessing the kidnapping of a little boy and the murder of his mother.

What else do I have available/published?

Okay, the books I have out at the moment are: The Seelie Princess; Rise of the Dragons; The Seelie Queen (they make up the fantasy trilogy); Nan Nose Best – about how a teenage girl’s nan posts on her social media page and the change it has on the family when her posts go viral; Sunshine Girl – a paranormal story about a girl who’s not quite dead enough, oh, and The Christmas Turkey – a rhyming story for youngsters that looks at Christmas from the point of view of an enterprising little turkey.

What advice do I give to new writers?

Get stuck in! Find out what works for you – do you need to write an outline of your story? Or are you just going to start writing with a good idea of where you want it to go? There’s no right or wrong way, just your way. If your story gets told, it’s what’s good for you! Join writer groups if you can (Fiction Writing on Facebook is rather fab) but be prepared to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to any advice that’s given out. I always lurk in the background and get a feel for who actually knows what they’re talking about before I’ll interact! Oh, and don’t ask family members to read your work, you won’t get true reactions from them – ask other writers to beta read for you (you’ll find these via the groups you join – and they won’t hold back on telling you where you need to sharpen up so be careful who you ask)!

Links where people can find your work:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M
https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M
https://authorjmturner.wordpress.com/

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 & Noble, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

 

AHOW Blog Tour Cont’d

Today, author Donise Sheppard takes over my page with a discussion about her short story, “Coal Run Road,” appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, “Joe”.

Blurb: Jennifer’s in love with her family’s new house. Her youngest daughter copes with the move by making an imaginary friend. When objects start moving on their own, Jennifer begins to wonder if the bargain house has a secret. There’s a perfume stench in the bathroom that won’t go away, and Jennifer sees wisps of blonde hair when nobody is around. Maybe the drawings behind the wallpaper in the bedroom are just a sick joke from a previous owner, but what if they aren’t?

What inspired you to write this story?

Ghosts terrify me. I wanted to write something that would scare someone else just as much as it scares me.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing for fun when I was a little girl. I didn’t realize I wanted to be an author until I was in college.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I like to write Young Adult with science fiction and romance elements. I like the idea of incorporating real life with fantastical elements.

What are you working on right now?

At this moment, I am working on a Young Adult science fiction novel and another short story in the horror genre.

What else do you have available/published?

I have previously published six young adult novels, three of which are part of a dystopian series.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Read whenever you can, and write at least an hour a day, even when you have writer’s block, because writing anything is always better than writing nothing.

Where can people find your work?

https://www.facebook.com/authordonisesheppard/
https://www.amazon.com/author/donisesheppard

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.

Blog Tour Cont’d – DW Vogel

Continuing on with the blog tour, today I am talking to DW Vogel whose story ‘Rowdy’ appears alongside my own new story, ‘Joe’, in the A Haunting of Words anthology.

Title:

“Rowdy” is the story of an old dog’s last day on earth. It’s a quick piece to remind us that love never dies, and best friends are forever. 


What inspired you to write this story? 

I’m a veterinarian. The story comes from twenty years of wielding the needle that sends beloved pets on to their eternal rest. It’s an honor to be trusted with that final moment, and it’s so important for the pets and their families.

How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing seriously for about five years. An avid reader since forever, I was always one of those people who said, “I can do that. Someday I’m going to write a novel.” In 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and suddenly “Someday” became a huge question mark. I realized I might not have too many “Somedays” left, and if I wanted to write a novel, it was time to sit down and write it.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

My science fiction series is going strong, with book two due to release at the end of June. I also had a fantasy novel published which is currently out of print due to publisher closing. My agent is currently shopping a couple of mystery/thrillers and we hope for great things in that genre.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve just finished the first draft of a really fun project that my publisher put together. Five of Future House Publishing’s authors are writing a series together, based on a board game world. It’s a collaboration with the game’s publisher, and I was given book two of the series. The concept of writing in someone else’s world, and working with other talented authors has been a big challenge and I think the final product will be amazing.

What else do you have available/published?

I’m the author of Horizon Alpha: Predators of Eden (2016, Future House Publishing), Horizon Alpha: Transport Seventeen (2017, Future House Publishing), Horizon Alpha: High Wire (short story set in the Horizon Alpha world, 2016), Flamewalker (2015, Word Branch Publishing, out of print), and I’ve contributed short stories to several other science fiction anthologies.

What advice do you give to new writers? 

The best advice is to read. Read everything. Read in the genre you want to write, and read in genres you never thought you’d like. I can teach you how to put words on a page. I can teach you how to use commas, why you should eliminate filters, and why “then” should be cut whenever you see it. But I can’t teach you the kind of instinctive flow that comes from a lifetime of reading well-written novels. I can’t teach you rhythm. I can’t teach you pace. You can only absorb that by immersing yourself in the works of the masters, absorbing their skill with their words.

List links where people can find your work:
www.wendyvogelbooks.com

AHOW Blog Tour Cont’d – Suanne Kim

Today, author Suanne Kim is talking about her short story, “Objects in Motion,” which appears in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, “Joe”.

Blurb: The last fours years have been difficult for Miles. In a stroke of luck, he finds love under the most unlikely circumstances–while rescuing strangers in a subway station. Mattie is everything he’s ever wanted: witty, beautiful, intelligent. Or is she?

What inspired you to write this story? I had no intention of submitting. I was engrossed working on my novel, “Prism.” But the sheer challenge of writing about a haunting called to me. And I liked the supportive camaraderie of the Fiction Writing group so I decided to throw my hat into the ring last minute.

How long have you been writing? Like most writers, forever.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing? I write mostly poetry, lit fic, women’s lit, crime fic and romance. But like my many of my main characters, I enjoy a challenge so I don’t limit myself to genres or styles. I’m always up for trying new things.

What are you working on right now? I’m working on a novel called “Prism” about a woman who wakes up in a hospital and has no memory of being viciously attacked along with her boyfriend. The man who calls 911 for help disappears and the detective tries to piece together the mystery surrounding the event. Is the caller the culprit, accomplice, witness or another victim? I’m also working on a short story about a Korean woman–a former thief and assassin–who’s out for revenge.

What else do you have available/published? I’ve had poems published with Newtown Literary and Nomad’s Choir.

What advice do you give to new writers? Hone your craft, keep reading, and develop a thick skin when asking for critiques. All are lifelong endeavors.

List links where people can find your work.
www.facebook.com/SuanneKim.author

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 – Laura Ings Self

Today I’m chatting to the rather wonderful author, Laura Ings Self, about her short story, “Home,” that appears in the anthology A Haunting of Words, alongside my own brand new short story, “Joe”.

Synopsis:

After losing the love of her life in a car accident, Nicky can’t bring herself to leave the flat they shared together. She is convinced she still sees flashes of her lost love, but lately the sightings are becoming less frequent.

What inspired me to write this? 

I find the best ideas come when I’m not looking for them. I was focusing on other projects, although I was aware of the open submissions for AHOW, when the idea of Nicky and her traumatic bereavement just took root in the back of my mind. The story came to me pretty much fully formed and I wrote it in just a few hours.

How long have I been writing? I wrote my first “book” aged 7 and have dabbled on and off my entire life, blogging and attempting novels and short stories, but I didn’t really throw myself into it until 2012, when I figured I would write a children’s novel during my maternity leave (hahahahaha!) and eventually finished that book in 2015. I have since written another novel and am working on getting both published.

What genres do I most associate with my writing?

Primarily drama/realism. I like exploring psychology and the human condition. I like writing flawed protagonists.

What am I working on right now?

I have put my novels to one side so I can approach them with fresh eyes at some point in the near future. Currently, I am working on a stage play called ‘Fear Itself’ about a team of security guards working the night shift at a pharmaceutical company and an as yet untitled ‘Black Mirror’-esque short story that I hope to submit for ACOW involving a reality TV show.

What else do I have published/available?

‘Home’ is my first published work.

What advice do I give to new writers?

Find a decent editor and a good group of beta readers/critical partners. There is so much more to writing a good story than telling it efficiently and with good grammar (although those things help!). I thought I knew what made a good book (I can certainly point out what makes an awful book) but I have learned so much from people in the Fiction Writing group and Facebook pages like The Writers’ Circle as well as feedback I have received from editors and agents.

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 – Dawn Taylor

Today author Dawn Taylor talks about her short story, “Pepe,” appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, “Joe”.

Blurb:

Diane accepts an internship at a law firm. Shortly after settling into her new apartment, a clown appears under her bed disturbing her sleep. Who is he? What does he want? Will Diane have the strength to conquer her tormentor before he destroys her sanity?

What inspired you to write this story?

I have always had a fear of clowns. They emit an eerie presence and must never be trusted. The thought of one hiding under my bed, waiting to torment me is a nightmare.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing as a child, but my first short story titled “The Double Nickel Tour,” was published in 2016 in Scout Media’s A Journey of Words.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I like to write psychological horror and stories with a twist ending.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I have written a debut novel, which I hope to publish by the end of the year.

What else do you have available/published?

I have published a few short stories. In addition to “Pepe” and “The Double Nickel Tour,” I have published “Katey,” “Dirty Gypsy Girl,” and “The Price of Admission.”

What advice do you give to new writers?

My advice to new writers is to study the craft. Learn grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and all the necessities of writing, and then allow your imagination to soar.

I can be found at
https://www.facebook.com/authordawntaylor/
http://www.dawnmtaylor.com

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 – Patricia Stover

Today’s A Haunting Of Words interview is with Patricia Stover.

Title and synopsis/blurb of your AHOW story:
Plastic Boy
After the death of her husband, Linda struggles to keep her difficult son happy. When he insists on a strange toy castle for his birthday, she watches her son’s defiance grow into obsession with terrifying results.

What inspired you to write this story?
It was just one of those things that pops into your head when daydreaming I guess. I can’t tell you what inspires most of my stories, they just sort of happen most of the time. I think everything in life inspires a writer. I do know that after I finished the story there were some similarities to Jimmy’s stick horse and hat and my son’s. So I guess I pulled pieces of my life into the story without knowing it.

How long have you been writing?
I was around 24 and attending college when I found my love for writing. I was attending MSC working on my basics for nursing. I took a writing course as one of my required arts. The class was asked to write a short screen play, around two or three pages I believe. Seven pages later my screen play was still unfinished. I handed in the assignment, positive it would receive an F since unfinished. The professor loved the story and suggested I take a creative writing course. I never thought writing would be something I would enjoy before that. I took the creative writing course and several literature courses. I fell in love with writing and literature. I looked forward to attending my classes. I had been a nurse aide for years before that and thought being a Nurse was my calling. It had never occurred to me I could be a creative person. Once I finished my Associates degree I went on to try for my Bachelors in English and Writing. I met my husband, got married and pregnant, so school went on hold. After I had my son I stayed at home with my son. I was thirty two when he was born. An idea for a horror novel hit me while driving one day and I thought, “I’m going to sit down and write this book.” I wrote day and night and three months later I had the first draft of “Hitchhiking with the Devil” written. Somewhere along the way I joined a writing group, Fiction Writing. I wanted to learn more about writing, and since I wasn’t in school I thought the best way would be to research it on the internet. An article I read suggested joining a writer’s group. The “A Journey of Words” anthology was open to submissions. I had one written that fit the theme, so I polished it and had it edited and it was accepted into the anthology.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
I write horror, dark fiction/weird fiction, although I hope to expand into other genres.

What are you working on right now?
I just finished a short story titled, Night of the Eye. Also I am still working on my first horror novel, Hitchhiking with the Devil.

What else do you have available/published?
My short story, Creepers, is featured in Scout Media’s, “A Journey of Words” anthology. It is about a greedy and bitter old woman who will stop at nothing to win a gardening contest. She stumbles across an unusual green house. Violet purchases seed that will give her what she “needs”.

What advice do you give to new writers?
Read and write a lot. It takes time and practice. Watch out for vanity publishers, and hire a professional editor.

List links where people can find your work:
www.PatriciaStover.wix.com/PatriciaStover
www.facebook.com/authorjkenedy
www.Scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-journey-of-words
www.Scoutmeiabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words

AHOW Blog Tour Cont’d – Brian Paone

On we go with the blog tour of the A Haunting Of Words anthology. Today’s author is Brian Paone with his story ‘Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys)’. Take it away, Brian…!

Blurb for “Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys)”

A disenchanted-youth ghost story, with a cat named Bonnie, a restraining order, lovers on the rocks, and a hanging teenager, swinging from the trees near the train tracks by the lake.

What inspired you to write this story?

It’s a rock-fiction adaptation of Porcupine Tree’s “Fear of a Blank Planet” concept album.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first story, “The Night is Young,” in 1988 but, my first novel, “Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts,” wasn’t published until 2007.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?

I write in a genre called rock fiction—which is a sub-genre of musical fiction—where a single song, an entire album, or the span of a band/artist’s complete work is novelized, using the literal lyrics to directly create the plotline and story arc, and usually the title of the book/story is taken directly from the song/album that the work is an adaptation of. But what makes it special, is being able to write a story or novel where the reader doesn’t even need to have ever heard the songs/album to understand and enjoy the work. These novels and stories, although adaptations of albums or songs, are also stand-alone books. Just like you don’t have to have read a book to enjoy or understand the movie adaptation, you don’t need to have heard the album (or even need to have ever heard OF the band before) to understand or love a rock-fiction novel. Rock-fiction novels are unique in the sense that they already have two built-in audiences right out of the gate: the fan base of whatever band’s album is being adapted, and the fan base of the genre the book is written in. It’s not a prerequisite to know the album to read a rock-fiction novel. In fact, I bet most people read a rock-fiction novel purely based on its blurb and have no idea it is an album adaptation. That’s the beauty of rock fiction.

What are you working on right now?

My upcoming 4th novel, “Moonlight City Drive,”  is currently being sent to my editor this week. It has a November, 3 release date (the novel’s book release party is scheduled at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland during a two-day concert event featuring Dog Fashion Disco and Chuck Mosley, of Faith No More). It’s a supernatural crime-noir thriller set in a Dick Tracy meets Sin City atmosphere. The story follows a detective on the trail of a Jack-the-Ripper-style killer, who he starts to admire and has to decide if he should continue the cat-and-mouse chase, or join the killer and his cult of ghouls in his cleansing of society.

What else do you have available/published?

My novels:
“Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts” is about what it would be like to befriend a rock star who becomes a drug addict, and the trials and tribulations of having a friend who’s dealing with fame, drug addiction, depression, social anxiety, and the throes of the music business.

“Welcome to Parkview” is a cerebral-horror novel where the town itself is the main character, and the stories of the residents and how the town starts to eat away at the fabric of their lives. (One reviewer described it as early Stephen King meets The Twilight Zone.)

“Yours Truly, 2095” is a time-travel romance novel about a man who wakes up 114 years in the future. A future that has many opportunities for a new start from a past that is shrouded in a failing marriage and a deceased daughter. And he has to decide whether he wants to stay forever in his life in 2095, or go back and try to reconcile and repair the life he left behind in 1981.

My short stories:
“Outside of Heaven” (which appears in “A Matter of Words”) is a rapture-monster, post-apocalyptic story that deals with a group of strangers at a motel, who have to survive the night of the rapture, and the monsters who are sent to fulfill its prophecy.

“The Whaler’s Dues” (which appears in “A Journey of Words”) is a modern-day, mythological-romance story about a man who falls in love with a stripper who is not what she appears to be. And the adventure that ensues.

The third story is my A Haunting of Words story discussed above.

What advice do you give to new writers?

Sleep is for the weak.

List links where people can find your work:

http://www.BrianPaone.com

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 – 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.