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Archive for the ‘Ghosts’ Category

Beverly Stowe McClure photojpg

Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.
Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.

You can learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com or her blog at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

Would you call yourself a born writer? 

Nope, not even close. Everyone might think I was, since my eighth-grade teacher sent “Stars,” a poem I wrote for a class assignment, to a high school anthology and it was published in Young America Sings, a high school anthology. That poem was my only claim to publishing, as well as my only attempt at writing anything except school papers, until I grew up into an adult. I wasn’t really interested in becoming an author. When the writing bug finally bit me at a much older age, and I decided to become a famous author, haha, I had no idea how to start, so I took a couple of courses on writing for children. I worked hard, following my instructor’s directions. Writing was tougher than I thought it would be. I kept at it though and am so happy I did not give up.

What was your inspiration for A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat?

On a visit with my son and daughter-in-law, who live on James Island just outside Charleston, SC, we decided to go to Folly Beach and watch the sun rise one morning. Morris Island Light House, built before the Civil War, sits in the Inlet. As the sun peeked above the horizon, turning night into day, I pictured a ghost living in the light house. Who was he? Why was he a ghost? Why was he in the lighthouse? Then the vision of a pirate ship cruising in the waters, searching for something appeared. A pirate, tricorn hat on his head, cutlass at his side, stood on board the ship. Some people might think I’m a little on the weird side. But isn’t the imagination the place where many stories begin? Ghost stories are quite popular in Charleston. I heard a lot while I was there. According to legend, many of the old houses have resident ghosts. I’ve written one ghost story and knew I’d soon write a second one. Now I have: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. Since my target audience is children and teens, my characters are tweens, thirteen years old. And the ghosts … well, you may  recognize a couple of them.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I seldom think of themes when I write, but I’d have to say “family” is an important theme to me. I’m big on family and I think it shows in my writing. Also honesty and love are found in many of my novels.

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

I started the novel in early 2010. Revised, revised, and revised. My critique group gave me expert advice. I revised some more. I confess to being a slow writer. The English teacher in me cringes at punctuation errors and such, so I spend a lot of time correcting myself. Finally, the manuscript was ready to submit in fall of 2011.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Most of the time, yes, I stick to a schedule. Having a set routine goes back to my teaching years, I think. I accomplish more if I write down my goals for each day, not that I always reach them, but they motivate me to stay busy. I generally start writing around 9:00 AM, after I’ve checked email. If I’m working on a new story, I do it first, and write until 11:00 or 12:00. I usually have more than one story going at a time, in different stages. Right now, I’m working on a new YA historical fiction novel, editing a YA contemporary that I hope to submit around the first of the year, if not sooner, and tossing about ideas for a couple of new stories. I alternate working on the new and editing the old.

Afternoons I search for promotion ideas, post blogs, read other’s blogs, and read books to review. My brain doesn’t create well in the afternoon, so I seldom write then. Perhaps a short story, but nothing that takes a lot of energy. Evenings I spend reading.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?pirate-blockade-runner-cat-200x300

Since the pirates in the story are “real” instead of fiction, I had to do a lot of research to make sure I portray them accurately. Many young readers will be familiar with Major Stede Bonnet, the gentleman pirate, and surely they’ll know Blackbeard, one of the most notorious pirates that ever lived. Also, the setting had to be authentic, because it’s where the pirates were part of the time in real life. Children are smart. They catch the little details and being wrong will stop them reading.

What do you love most about being an author?

When someone tells me they love/like/relate to my story, and that it helps them see a solution to a similar situation they might be facing. I write for the reader, and for the reader in me.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com

http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/102015270528558455280/about

https://twitter.com/beverlymcclure

http://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

http://goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

Thank you for hosting me today. Please stop by my blog and leave a comment. Thanks.

 

Purchase at MuseItUp Publishing or Amazon!

 

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Chance of a GhostChance of a Ghost is the fourth installment in the Haunted Guesthouse series and the first that I’ve had the pleasure to read.  While this is not how I would usually describe my reaction to a mystery novel, there’s really no other way to say it:  I was charmed.

The story picks up where (I assume), the last book, Old Haunts, left off.  Alison Kerby, a single mother and guesthouse owner, is just trying to get by and give her precocious ten year-old daughter, Melissa, a good life.  Now that right there could be the start of a romance or a drama, except for one thing:  Alison Kerby sees ghosts.  And so does her widowed mother.  And her daughter.  It’s like a genetic disease.  Alison is especially sensitive to the presence of two specific ghosts – a muscular Canadian P.I. named Paul, and the tech-savvy former owner of the guesthouse – an acid-tongued woman named Maxie.  While still amongst the living, Maxie had hired Paul to uncover who was threatening her and lo and behold, they both ended up dead.  In previous books, Alison had helped uncover their killers and subsequently got her P.I.’s license.  Needless to say, life hasn’t quite been the same since.

But Chance of a Ghost takes a far more personal turn for its freshly minted private eye.  When Alison’s deceased father stands up her very living mother for their regular Tuesday date, things start to get very suspicious.  A new ghost with a theatrical flair and a murder to solve (his own) suggests that Alison’s father may have met with other-worldly foul play.  Faced with painful memories of her father’s arduous death from cancer, Alison must determine whether her father has finally gone to the other-other side, or if something more sinister is at work.

In Alison Kerby, we readers get a wise-cracking, foot-in-mouth would-be gumshoe.   And one who has managed to crawl into that little space in my reader’s heart and set up camp.  Admittedly, I’m a sucker for a good laugh and a great ghost story, and Chance of a Ghost delivers both.  It’s not the knee-slapping, comedy club at two in the morning kind of laugh, but it is the sort that keeps an unshakable smile on your face – at least until the suspense gets dialed up.  And fear not, it does.

And there’s a sweetness to EJ Copperman’s writing, too.  He brings you into a family – a quirky, but loving family – without sacrificing what often makes a mystery most delicious, which is an off-kilter, unlucky at love protagonist with a dry wit and stubborn moral compass.

In short, Night of the Living Deed – the first in the series – is next up on my reading list.

Reviewed by Victoria Dougherty

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GIVEAWAY!

Mark Tufo is giving away:

$50 Amazon Gift Card

8 copies of The Spirit Clearing (signed print or digital winner’s choice)

audio copy of Zombie Fallout

audio copy of Indian Hill

To enter, sign up HERE.

*****

Some of the elements that make a good ghost story can translate over into any genre, but first and foremost a good ghost story should be scary. It should make you pull your legs in tight to the rest of your body where you can cover them with the monster repelling blanket. It should make you put on extra lights in your house DURING the day. It should keep you up at night wondering if the noise you heard was within the normal scope of things or perhaps paranormal.

There should be characters you are truly vested in, who cares if a cardboard character is whisked away in the cemetery, you need to care, you need to be involved in their lives to make the story more than words on a page. It needs to make you forget that you are reading fiction and that you are now living it. These are things I try to instill in every book I have written, from Paranormal to Zombies to Science Fiction.

A couple of things I try very hard to steer away from is predictability and easy outs. If I get my characters in a tough jam there has to be some fairly believable explanation as to how they got out (if they ever do). I read a story once about young kids as wizards (not Harry) where every time they got in trouble they would instantly discover that they now possessed the exact power they needed to repel the evil. I always thought of that as the author taking the easy way out, kind of phoning it in at that point. So that’s my take on a good ghost story, Have characters you care about, BE SCARY, don’t be predictable, steer clear away from contriteness, and most importantly have fun writing. We write stories because we have a story to share not because we think it’s going to make us rich and famous, writing is hard enough don’t add any more stress to it! Thank you for allowing me to spend some on your blog!

The Spirit Clearing      
by Mark Tufo 

Genre: Horror/ Ghost 

ASIN: B0094JWLYG 

Number of pages: 264

Word Count: 85,713 

Cover Artist: shaedstudios.com 

Amazon    Barnes and Noble   Kobo   Smashwords 

About the book: 

After a horrific accident Mike wakes to find himself blind in one eye. He now sees things that others can’t and nobody will listen to him.

That is until he meets Jandilyn Hollow. Will she be able to pull him out of the depths of his despair?

Can love transcend even death?

About the Author: 

Mark Tufo was born in Boston Massachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA and later joined the US Marine Corp. He was stationed in Parris Island SC, Twenty Nine Palms CA and Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. After his tour he went into the Human Resources field with a worldwide financial institution and has gone back to college at CTU to complete his masters.

He has written the Indian Hill trilogy with the first Indian Hill – Encounters being published for the Amazon Kindle in July 2009. He has since written the Zombie Fallout series and is working on a new zombie book.

He lives in Maine with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs.

Visit him at www.marktufo.com  or http://zombiefallout.blogspot.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Tufo/133954330009843 for news on his next two installments of the Indian Hill trilogy and upcoming installments of the Zombie Fallout series.

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Vincent Hobbes was born in Dallas, TX in 1975. He has been actively writing since he was fifteen years old. His roots lay in horror, but he has recently branched out into other genres. In 2007, he was published. The Contrived Senator was the first book in a fantasy series. In 2008, he released Exiles, the second book in the series. Short stories have always been a favorite of Vincent’s, and in 2010 he teamed up with 11 incredible authors, and created The Endlands. This horror anthology is an ode to the kooky and bizarre. The Endlands was released January 17th, 2011. Vincent is currently working on more novels, including a dystopian book. He lives north of the DFW metroplex with his wife, two dogs, two cats, chickens and ducks.

You can read more about him at: www.VincentHobbes.com

Horror is such a broad subject and there are so many subcategories. Please tell us a little about the kind of horror fiction you write.

Horror indeed has many subcategories. Personally, I can’t stand gore for the sake of gore, or shock value for lack of quality. Now, I don’t mind some blood and guts on occasion, but I feel it’s overused in both the book industry and movie industry. As for myself, I prefer psychological horror—to leave something up to the imagination. Alfred Hitchcock was a master at this, as was Rod Serling. I find if you let the reader’s imagination run wild, it will turn out much scarier.

How did the project come about and how long did it take to complete?

This project has been in my head for years. I approached my publisher a few years ago, and he agreed to it. So, I’d say The Endlands was years in the making, though it took about a year to put together. We searched for talent and found eleven other incredible authors to take part.

What are some of the themes explored in the book?

Fear of the unknown is a common theme in the Endlands. The classic good vs. evil is prevalent. Stories that boggle the imagination and cause the reader to question their own sanity. The Endlands has a little bit of everything in it.

Where is the book available?

The book is available on all major online book retailers, including ebook format. Hopefully it will be on the shelves soon, and many libraries are carrying it.

What is your writing schedule like? Do you have any special rituals or quirks?

I attempt to write every day. It’s important for me to stay in practice, though sometimes life doesn’t work out that way. I try to keep a minimum word count daily, and many nights I stay up late, inspired to peck away at my keyboard until exhausted. A good writing environment is important to me. I cherish silence when I write. My wife has learned to stay away when I’m really going at it. Loud music helps, too. Just depends on what I’m working on.

How do you keep your narrative exciting when you don’t feel like writing but you know you have to? Do you force it?

I always force myself to write, even if I don’t feel like it. That doesn’t mean the words are always good, but that doesn’t matter. If I end up throwing away or deleting what I’ve written, that’s fine…it’s like working out, sometimes you don’t want to, but we do it anyways.

What is your editing process like? Do you edit as you write or do you leave that for the second draft?

I always save editing for later. Usually it’s for a second if not third draft. Then, I have editors who help me after that.

You write short stories but you’ve also written novels. How is your creative process like when writing a short story as opposed to a novel?

With short stories, I write fast and furious. A quicker pace. Usually I can complete a draft in one sitting, or a few days at best. I get inspired and type away until I’m finished. For example, I wrote a short story for The Endlands anthology called, The Hour of the Time. I literally wrote it in an hour. It just came to me; the words flowed and the story came together.

With novels, it’s a different monster. It takes tons of patience and months or even years to finish. I find writing both gives me balance; a short story gives me an instant fix while writing a novel tests my endurance.

Would you say the horror book market is rising, declining or at a plateau?

Hard to say. Horror movies have probably taken away from the book market, and it seems the book industry doesn’t put as much effort into horror as it once did. My local mega-chain bookstore doesn’t even have a horror section. However, there are still wonderful horror writers out there, and many small presses have put out some great work. I think horror will always maintain its spot in the industry, though it’s being defined differently. Nowadays, horror can be labelled as mystery, drama, suspense or whatever, so I’d say horror will always have its spot.

Do you have a website and/or blog?

I do. My website is: www.VincentHobbes.com. I also post blogs on it. I review books and movies, horror mostly (go figure). It’s something I enjoy doing and my fans seem to enjoy it, as well.

What’s inside the mind of the horror writer?

Do you really want to know?

I can’t speak for other horror writers, but for me, it’s to explain the unexplained. Sometimes it’s to face my own fears. I’m inquisitive by nature, always asking ‘what if’ questions. Human nature—our flaws, our quirks—intrigue me. I find myself studying people.

Leave us with some words of wisdom for aspiring writers.

A good writer must read. If you want to write, then WRITE! Don’t think about it, don’t talk about it, just write. Put your heart on paper and see what happens. It’s a journey in itself.

Thank you, Vincent!

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In order for paranormal fiction – any fiction, really – to have an impact on the reader, you’ve got to strive for that old cliché, “the willing suspension of disbelief.” In effect you’re inviting the reader into funhouse of your own creation. You meet him at the entrance and whisper in his ear: “Hey, look, dude: We both know that there’s no such thing as vampires, and demons, and ghosts, and all that. But let’s pretend, you and I – just for a little while. And who knows, maybe you’ll feel a bit differently about such things – in the dark. Now take my hand – it’s time to go inside.” Then the reader turns to page one – and so it begins.

So how do you help the reader get to that cooperative frame of mind that will allow you to really mess up with his head? The answer, in a word, is plausibility. Apart from the vampires, or ghosts, or werewolves (or, as in the case of my novel Hard Spell, all three and more) everything else in the story has got to seem as realistic as possible. It seems to me that there are two ways to achieve plausibility, and the wise speculative fiction writer will use both of them.

One is consistency. Not only do the supernatural elements have to remain consistent with each other (if sunlight fries vampires in your world, then you’d better not have one going for a noonday stroll later in the story – unless he’s using a lot of sunscreen), but also with the reader’s understanding of the real world.

So, say you’ve got a couple of cops, in a universe where the supernatural exists and everyone knows it. Sometimes supernatural creatures break the law, and you’ve got to bust ‘em. But the writer should treat it as normal police routine. You bust a vampire – perhaps you have to use the threat of a crucifix or some garlic to subdue him, but you’ve done it before. You put on the cuffs – maybe a pair that’s silver-plated – read the vamp his rights, and take him to the station. On the way, you and your partner talk about sports, or women, or bitch about your boss. You don’t make a big deal about having a vampire in the back seat, because in your world it isn’t a big deal. Your cops are acting consistent with the way cops act in “normal” TV and movies (which presumably reflects real life, more or less), and that gives you plausibility.

The other route to plausibility is detail. You make your world seem real by putting real things in it, to the greatest extent possible. Your cops don’t stop at “a fast food place” and have lunch. They stop at the Mickey Dee’s on 4th Street where one cop orders the Double Whopper with Cheese and the other gets the nine-piece McNuggets, even though he’s always getting the barbecue sauce on his shirt, which pisses his wife Margaret off no end when she has to launder it. And those cops, they don’t carry “guns.” Each holster contains a 9-mm Beretta, the same model used by the U.S. military, even though Harry’s brother, who’s with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan, says the things haven’t got near the stopping power of the old .45s that used to be standard military issue. Stephen King does this a lot (and very well), and some critics get on him for it, saying that a King novel is a “pop-culture extravaganza, full of brand names and trademarks” (that’s not a real quote, but it’s close). They say that like it’s a bad thing – but its not. It’s one way of making it real. And for your reader to believe the unbelievable, he or she has to be visiting a world that seems real. That’s the only way to gain willing suspension of disbelief – which in paranormal fiction is just another word for “entertainment.”

So take my hand, and let’s go through the fun house together. Yes, I know it’s dark, but the floor is even – you won’t trip. Probably. And if something should reach out for you from the dark – something with cold flesh and sharp claws and breath that reeks of the graveyard – just remind yourself: “It’s only a story.”

About the author:

Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings. After earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army. Following military service, he held a variety of jobs, including speechwriter and professional bodyguard, before earning a Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

He was married to Patricia A. Grogan of Toledo, Ohio, from 1977 until her death in 2007. He misses her a lot. Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State University, where he earned the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002. His academic publications include the book American Rhetoric and the Vietnam War, published in 1993, and a number of scholarly articles that hardly anybody has ever read. In the Summer of 2008, he attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

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Pop culture critic, blogger and commentator Bill Sherman is the founder of Pop Culture Gadabout, a blog focusing on comics, music, TV and film criticism. He's also the Comics Review Editor at Blogcritics Magazine. In this interview, Sherman talks about his blog, the reason why zombies are the 'hard-core champions' of all horror fiends, and what's popular in horror books and films at the moment.

Why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself and your blog, Pop Culture Gadabout?

I'm a fifty-ish free-lancer who works in social services by day. I've played with pop culture criticism most of my life, writing for giveaway music papers and the like in the past – as well as more focused periodicals like The Comics Journal. Per its title, "Pop Culture Gadabout" reflects my generalist take on things pop cultural: on any given day, the blog might focus on a comics title, a new music release, something from TV and/or movies – with an occasional half-assed digression into social commentary. In this, it reflects the flibbertigibbet nature of my own mental processes. I've been blogging for six-plus years now, which sort of amazes me . . . Beyond my home blogging, I'm also the Comics Review editor at Blogcritics.

Vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies, ghosts…. who's the enduring champion after all these years and why?

At the risk of coming across too Hank Yarbo-like ("Robots or werewolves – who would win?"), zombies remain the hard-core champion. Apart from the gore, I think the one thing that most resonates with modern zombie horror (as opposed to the old-fashioned voodoo type best repped by I Walked with A Zombie) is the fear that we all can become mindless and indistinguishable, part of the slavering mob, so quickly. I have a soft spot for vampires from all those Hammer Films that I watched as a teen, but vampires generally feed only on the young and pretty. Zombies bite anybody and fact of becoming one isn't the least bit sexy – to geezerly me, that's the creepiest.

Some people think that horror writers, just because they write horror, must be 'twisted' in some way, but when you look at some of the famous horror authors, you see that most of them are decent, highly moral people. Some would view this as a type of contradiction between an author's persona and the books he writes. Could you comment on this?

Me, I think anybody who writes for a living must be twisted. But, seriously, when I was younger I would've probably pulled out the old catharsis line to help explicate this seeming contradiction, but these days I'm less sure how valid it is.

You review a fair amount of horror books in your blog. What are some of the titles you've particularly enjoyed these past few years? Any emerging talents you think deserve more recognition?

I've had less time recently to read much prose fiction these past few years, so my primary focus has been on horror graphic novels and manga. Of these, I've particularly enjoyed the horror manga of Junji Ito and Hideshi Hino – the latter has a talent for the disturbing that lingers far longer than you initially think it might, based on his caricature-y drawing style. I've also grown hooked on ghost-centric manga series like Mail, which at their best are as creepily evocative as any of the best Japanese ghost flicks.

With western comics, I'm most heartened by the reprints of a classic hallucinatory undergrounder Rory Hayes (So That's Where the Demented Wented), who combined a primitive art style with some gleefully disturbing storytelling, as well as the new Creepy Archives, which reprints the more conservative, but still-enjoyable old-school storytelling of the Warren magazines of the sixties. Some great art in that set by the likes of Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta and more.

I did want to remind folks of Mike Dubisch's Weirdling, a sci-fi horror graphic novel from the end of last year with a strong Lovecraftian feel. The book deserves to be remembered.

What types of horror seem more popular at the moment? Is atmospheric, traditional horror still thriving? If so, what do you think is the reason for its enduring value?

In box office terms, the slasher/psychological wham-bang of Se7en-inspired flicks like Saw seem to be the biggest draw these days. You can even see their influence in teleseries like Criminal Minds. The best ones aren't short on atmosphere, though I've gotta admit a steady diet of dingy warehouse settings and chain-bedecked basements can get pretty wearying. There will always be a place for so-called "traditional" horror, if only because the material is so conducive to metaphor.

What about movies? What are some of the best horror movies ever made? the worst?

I'm fairly unsurprising when it comes to a best-of list: Freaks, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, Eyes without a Face, The Brood. For me, the worst horror flicks are the ones that elicit no response at all, that just sit there. I can enjoy myself at a bad low-budget horror flick like, oh, Horror of Party Beach, or a pure piece of schlock exploitation like one of Herschel Gordon Lewis' flicks because they have an energy to 'em that keeps you watching. But when a flick can't get up the gumption to generate even a simple jump-in-yer-seat fright, that's when I'm gone.

How do you see the horror book market at the moment–thriving or declining?

Far as I can tell, the book market in general has been hurting, though great genre work of all strips has its steady devotees. Don't seem to see as many cheapie horror paperbacks as I used to in the drugstore, though, so maybe that says something about the market.

What does a pop culture blogger do on Halloween?

This year, I plan to take the day off from work and watch cheap Dollar Store DVDs of public domain grade-z horror flicks – which, come to think of it, is exactly what I've done the last three Halloweens. Guess I'm stuck in a rut . . .

Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

Just to advise 'em to have a safe and scary holiday.

Thanks for this interview, Bill!

Interview by Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author and reviewer. Her paranormal books include Embraced by the Shadows (romantic horror/vampire) and Dark Lullaby (atmospheric horror). She is also the co-author of the nonfiction work, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.

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Started in 2009, Echelon Press publishes short stories, novellas and novels in various genres. Under their new imprint 'Quake', they also publish fiction for middle graders and young adults. At present, Echelon publishes two paperback novels a month as well as one or two of their popular short story and novella downloads. Here to talk about the company and how it was created is owner Karen L. Syed. If you want to know what a publisher blog is about, visit Karen at The Life of a Publisher.

Thanks for being here today, Karen. Why don't you begin by telling us a bit about Echelon Press? When did it get started?

Echelon will be eight years old in February 2009. We started the company to make a place for writers to make a name for themselves. People seem to confuse that with not wanting to be successful. It has ALWAYS been my goal for any author at Echelon to go onto bigger and better things. If that means many books with Echelon, great! If that means one or two with us and then a contract with a bigger house, awesome. We are definitely not just a playground for writers who want to be published. I have recently discovered that there is a difference being an author and being a published writer.

You publish a fair amount of horror, both short stories and novels. What type of horror do you publish?

So far it hasn't been as much as I would like. I love the horror genre. What I'd like to see more of is the types written by John Saul or Douglas Clegg. I don't mean alien horror, they are more thrillers. I love the stuff that presents the unknown and grabs you by the throat and holds on tight without letting you immediately know what 'it' is.

What you do not like to see in a horror story and what are the most common mistakes horror writers make?

I am not a big fan of the total gore scene. I love the unknown. Knowing something is right around the corner, your skin crawling with apprehension and fear, while adrenaline rushes through you, leaving you breathless and unable to move. So many of the horror stories I read focus so much on the shock value that they don't give their stories a chance to develop fully. They spew slime and blood all over everything and think that this makes it spooky. It just makes it gross. Why can't authors rely on their senses to indulge the fear gene instead of just wanting to make people sick?

What makes a horror novel or story truly compelling?

The only thing compelling is the unknown. To recognize danger and fear and not know where that danger comes from. To feel the presence of an unknown entity so close that it's putrid breath blows across your cheek. To shiver against the chill of dread caused by words so powerful and explosive you have to close your eyes against the next phrase.

How do you see the state of the horror fiction market at the moment? Is it thriving or declining?

I don't know that it is declining, but neither is it thriving. I think so many authors in the genre have resorted to the shock value of the gruesome. The movie industry has made that so glamorous that authors feel the need to "keep up." This is not the case. Books are not the same as movies. Some people say that Friday the 13th and the Halloween movies are horror, but in fact I think they are more thrillers or gore flicks. Keep in mind this is just my idea, and many others may disagree.

What types horror books do you think are most popular with readers?

I can't even begin to answer that question. Different readers like different books.

You also publish horror for young adults. How much horror is too much horror in a young adult book?

I'll take a stab at this one, but let's be clear on one thing. How much is too much is up to the reader and their parents. For Quake, our new young reader line we like to keep things in the head. We aren't going to go out on a limb and offer gratuitous gore just to sell books. We all know that kids love all that blood and guts spurting here and there, but perhaps it's because it's all we offer them. When you present something as cool then what do you expect? A dude running around chopping off heads is not cool. A cloud of mist that sweeps into a room and envelops a sleeping girl while whispering secrets of evil, a little cooler.

On average, how many submissions do you receive in a month? Of those submissions, what percentage you end up accepting for publication?

Our paperback submissions are closed except for invitations and referrals, and eBooks, but we still get at least a dozen or so unsolicited submissions per week for paperback. Writers seem to ignore the potential for eBook sales and all want paper publication. eBooks have such great potential to build a readership, and if an author can build a readership with an eBook they can do anything.

As for acceptance, we do only twelve titles per year in paperback and right now aren't even getting enough submissions for eBook to do one per month. Did you know that tens of millions of dollars are spent on eBooks each year? Why wouldn’t an author want their share of that?

What tips would you offer authors who are doing book signings this Halloween?

Make them fun! They have to be fun. Don't let the readers wonder why they even bothered to come to your event. Show them with your words, you attitude, and your books that they are important to you. Don't make them wonder. And by all means get into the spirit! A little bit of spook goes a long way!

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

This industry is one of the greatest. Don't take it for granted, whether you are a reader or a writer. Writers, don't ever forget why you sell your books for publication. It's all about your readers. You can write all you want, but if you are serious about being a solid published author, don't ever forget how you get there.

And readers, let the authors know what you like and don't like. Your opinion matters. If you don't like something, don't buy it, be honest and be open about your favorite authors. If the last five books you read by your favorite best seller stunk, then why keep buying them? Don't be afraid to try new authors, they are the future of the industry, and you might be surprised!

Thanks, Karen!

Interview by Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author and reviewer. Her paranormal books include Embraced by the Shadows (romantic horror/vampire) and Dark Lullaby (atmospheric horror). She is also the co-author of the nonfiction work, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.

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C. Sanchez-Garcia is the author of the novellas, Mortal Engines and The Color of the Moon. This latter ghost story was deeply influenced by the famous, old Japanese ghost story of 'Hoichi The Earless'. In this fascinating interview, Garcia talks about his work, the Japanese influence, and compares the Kwaidanshu ghost stories of the East to the traditional Western ones.

Tell us a little about yourself and the type of fiction you write.

I’m a new author, I’ve been writing consistently for about two years or so. I wanted to be a writer ever since I was kid, but it took me this long simply to develop the ability to sit at a keyboard and write. I write different things, but my natural home seems to be erotica . It's something which is very primal and basic to life, and it’s a genre which has been taboo for so long, that now that it's opening into the mainstream you can go almost anywhere with it. It’s the literary equivalent of punk rock. But I don’t want to write crap. As much as possible I want to write character driven stories that are about something. So if I write erotic horror or erotic science fiction or literary, I still have the same goal. I want the stories to have heart. I want them to be about something and to say something. That’s the goal I always aim for. I don’t claim to hit it, but I aim for it.

The main theme of my own life has been a failed search for God. So a lot of my stories seem to arrive at spiritual themes by the time I reach my final draft. It takes me a long time to write a story because I overhaul it and overhaul it and overhaul it. I don’t even know what the story is supposed to be about until the third or fourth draft. My novella “The Color of the Moon” took me about 10 years to arrive at its final form. If any of your readers would like to see it, you can visit the Whisky Creek site here or you can see the book in some detail here (more or less). There's a link there to read the opening scene of “Mortal Engines” and “The Color of the Moon” here.

When did your love for the dark side of things begin?

I’ve always loved a good story. I read the novel Dracula when I was ten and it scared the hell out of me. I used to go to monster movies and have these terrible dreams. I’m still that way. Tell me a good story. So you have to ask yourself – what is a good story? Horror stories tend to be plot driven. But the best ones are character driven. To tell a really scary story I believe you have to care about the person The Very Bad Thing is about to happen to.

Silence of the Lambs. Very scary, because Lecter and agent Starling are people you can like. Lechter is a maniac, and yet you kind of like him. He’d make an interesting dinner guest as long as you don’t turn your back on him. Life can be very dark. One day you reach down to scratch where it itches and you find a lump down there. You’re driving in the dark at night and some kid runs out in front of your car and you can’t stop. Your life hangs on an edge and can fall apart very suddenly. We think of ourselves as good people, but maybe we’ve never been pushed to the limit. We don’t know the things lurking inside our own souls.

Horror stories are fun because you can turn them off. They’re fun because vampires are fun and interesting, but what the guy who lives next door to you is doing to his wife when he gets drunk isn’t fun at all. There’s horror and then there’s horror.

Did you have any favorite scary books during your teenage years?

My literary heroes were pretty diverse. Looking back on what I read then, I had good taste. I’ve always been a fan of Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury. They’re old school, but their stories have stood the test of time. Names to conjure with. Any beginning writer who wants to study plot should spend some time watching those old Twilight Zone stories from the sixties written by Matheson and Rod Serling. Those two were very strong plotters. It's hard to tell a good story in a half an hour and they knew how to make every scene and word count. Matheson especially had the knack of making simple plot structures that were straight forward and powerful. The guy on the plane who thinks he sees a Gremlin. The convict on an asteroid who’s given a robot woman as a companion. Very powerful stories, and those characters had a lot of soul, so you hung around to see how things turned out for them.

Bradbury tends to write vignettes like Anton Chekov did. Little puffs of story, like opening a window and closing it. His novel Fahrenheit 451 is still one of my favorites after all these years. I pop it open once in awhile and study the paragraphs and sentence structures, to try to understand how he does what he does.

Bradbury knows how to make a beautiful punchy sentence that does the work of a whole paragraph. “The blowing of a single autumn leaf. He turned, and the electric hound was there.” If you've been reading the novel up to that point, those two lines are enough to make you go "Oh shit!". A few pages of stuff like that makes you jump at shadows.

Anyone who wants to write well has to love language. You don't have to know what a gerung or a past-perfect predicate is, but you have to love sentences and paragraphs. Sharpshooters like Bradbury and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez can teach you to love the written word. Guys like Matheson and Stephen King can teach you how to tell a story.

Your novella collection, "Mortal Engines and The Color of the Moon", includes a ghost horror story based on the classical Japanese kwaidanshu "Mimi Nashi Hoichi," or “Hoichi The Earless”. Would you tell us about this Japanese tradition and what compelled you to write about it?

“The Color of the Moon” is my riff on the classic Kwaidanshu “Hoichi The Earless”, a ghost story so famous it actually has a bronze monument to the monk-musician Hoichi in the part of Japan where it is alleged to have actually occurred. You can read about that here.

There are even Kabuki plays which reenact this famous Buddhist ghost story, as with many other kwaidanshu. My version, although changed greatly into an erotic love story gone bad is still set in medieval Japan about 1181 AD with roughly the same characters and issues. It took me ten years off and on to write “The Color of the Moon”, published by Whisky Creek Press Torrid. The early drafts were strongly influenced by a Japanese lady named Mire Uno who lived in Miyazaki Japan. She had a web site but it doesn't seem to be up anymore. There you can read classical Japanese ghost stories which I helped her edit. I met her online when I was researching the background for "Color of the Moon" and sent her my first draft. From a historical viewpoint, my first draft was completely off the rails and she let me know it. She knew a lot about that part of Japanese history and straightened me out on the technical and cultural details. So for the most part, my final depiction of social customs in medieval Japan is historically accurate because of her, which I think gives the story a gravity and realism it wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Japan has a tradition of classical ghost stories (Kwaidanshu) going back hundreds of years. Lately they have been revived in the west as popular horror movies. The Ring and The Grudge are western rebuilts of Japanese horror movies (such as “Ju-On”) which in turn are modern retellings of ancient kwaidan such as “Okiku” and “The Peony Lantern”, which every Japanese kid grows up hearing at their grandma's knee. So without knowing it, Americans are being exposed indirectly to Japanese Kwaidanshu in the movies.

American movies have always borrowed heavily from Japan. Star Wars is a space opera version of Kurosawa’s samurai movie The Hidden Fortress. The Magnificent Seven is the cowboy version of The Seven Samurai. It works the other way too. Throne of Blood is Kurosawa’s retelling of MacBeth with samurai instead of Scotts, and Ran is a samurai version of King Lear.

How would you compare Japanese ghost stories to those traditional ones from the West?

Kwaidanshu are subtle in ways that sneak up on you. Mire Uno once explained to me that you live with the ghosts in a daily sort of way, that the ghosts are hidden in everyday objects, the steam coming off of an umbrella. A face in a cup of tea. In “Color of the Moon”, Shoji sees Lady Dainagon’s face for the first time in a bucket of water. In the movie The Ring (based on the Japanese movie “Ring-gu” which in turn is based on the ancient Kwaidanshu story “Okiku” about a young woman who is drowned in a well) the ghost comes out of a TV set. That’s very Japanese. Japanese culture has a thing of seeing even inanimate objects as having a soul and feelings. A rock isn’t just a rock. A tree isn’t just a tree. If you hate the car you drive, you hurt its pride and the car will run even worse. There are cemeteries where toy dolls are buried with markers. Everything has soul. The living and the dead communicate almost routinely through mundane objects. In Asian culture in general the ghosts live side by side with the living. They sit down and drink coffee with you and read over your shoulder. Kwaidan even have a vampire tradition in stories such as “Lady of The Snow”.

Asian stories take some getting used to, because they don’t follow that Aristotle line of beginning, middle and end and climax and finish. They’re usually Ray Bradbury like vignettes. When you reach the end you usually go “Huh? That’s it?” There's no resolution. It’s the atmosphere, the presence of chaos which is spooky. Japan is an island packed with people for thousands of years. In a situation like that, cowboy manners don't work. Everything has to be orderly and socially disciplined and defined. Kwaidan are about order falling apart, a daughter in law who breaks a valuable plate, a blind musician who is called away to perform for someone he can't see. Little things that spin out of control.

Western ghost and horror is plot driven, a decent person in a scary situation. These stories have a beginning, middle and an end. Good wins, evil is vanquished. The monster always dies. Horror and science fiction tend to reflect the national nightmare of any given time. Most of the horror movies of the 50s and 60s were about nuclear weapons. Even the comic book movies today like Spiderman and The Hulk and Fantastic Four originated during the cold war of the 60s, and they all got their superpowers from atomic radiation. That was the national nightmare in the 60s. Now the movies are variations of terrorism and maniacs who break in your house.

Up until a hundred years ago, western horror stories have all been ghost stories, until Edgar Allen Poe came along. In some ways he re-invented western horror stories, with hearts buried under floors, guys walled into basement wine cellars, people buried alive. Now horror can be about almost anything. Stephen King and Richard Matheson come from the same tradition as the Japanese in a way, because they mix horror with the ordinary. Instead of a haunted castle, the monster can be in a supermarket aisle. The vampires can be sleeping in your own garage. The gremlin is tearing up the engine of the airplane you're sitting in. Those are like American Kwaidanshu when you think of it.

Chinese horror movies I think will be the next thing. Chinese film makers are shameless, audacious and nuts. No concepts. There's even a Kung Fu zombie movie with undead karate masters. You name it, its out there.

Did you have to do a lot of research to write your ghost story?

Well, Mire Uno was the first one to straighten me out. After that I knew I had to do my homework. I bought a book called The Take of Heike translated by Helen McCollough. This is a Japanese classic hundreds of years old, and gives the background story for the civil war between the Taira and Minomoto clans and the fall of the Taira at the samurai battle of Dan No Ura. There’s a lot of poetry in that book. Some of the poetry is in my novella, and there is a lot of poetry I wrote myself. The waka poem in the story that begins “I myself I know must sleep as a traveler…” was actually written by the real Lady Dainagon No Suke who was a historical person.

What are you doing this Halloween?

Whatever I can afford, which isn’t much. It would nice if someone invited me to a Halloween party. 

Do you have any other horror books in the works?

I recently wrote a story called "How Paradise comes to the Blind" which would qualify for a horror story. I would really, really love to put together a story collection of international erotic ghost stories from all different cultures. All countries and cultures have traditional ghost stories. But I haven’t been able to find another Mire Uno to get me started. She was one of a kind. Maybe somebody reading this would like to get together on it if they have the expertise.

Who are your favorite horror authors these days?

I like Stephen King of course. I like his older stuff better than his new stuff. I still read the old school guys. I like Anne Rice’s early vampire novels. Interview With The Vampire is definitely still the best vampire novel ever written. Among horror writers, I like Poppy Brite. Neil Gaiman has some really good story collections. It’s rare these days to find someone who actually scares me though. Usually if you can find a good story that keeps you reading to the end you’re doing good.

Anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

Write to your authors. If you come across a story that you really like, tell the person who wrote it. They may not write you back, but they might. Writers are a needy bunch. You write this stuff, you toss it out there and you never know if it reaches anyone. It’s a very solitary activity. So if you read something that really knocks you out, tell that person. Let them know. There've been many times I almost quit, and then someone sent me a note about something they read that I wrote and it fired me up to give it another try. That's why I'm still here.

Thanks for this interview, Chris, and good luck with your writing endevours!

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Dark Delicacies is located in Burbank, California. Run by Del and Sue Howison, this popular horror bookstore has been featured in the Sci-Fi Channel, The New York Times, Daily News, Fangoria and Bookcase magazines. Besides books, the store sells gifts, dvd's, signed first editions, and scary novelties for the horror enthusiast. Here to talk about the store and the horror market in general is Del Howison.

Tell us a bit about Dark Delicacies, Del. What compelled you to open a horror bookstore?

Actually it was the fact that I couldn't find anything to decorate my house with. My wife, Sue and I love horror and we wanted some things to decorate our house with to reflect our taaste. This was 1993 and '94. Nothin'. so we set out on a mission to find all the horror things we could and put them in one spot. thus the genesis of Dark Delicacies.

Do you think the horror book market is declining, thriving, or at a plateau?

It is always fluctuating. Sometimes up and sometimes down. What actually happens is that horror becomes popular because of some good writing so every publishing company in town releases horror – good, bad and indifferent. Then folks get tired of reading bad horror and the market drops. Then good horror comes back and the cycle starts all over again. It is also affected by current events. Whenever there is a war or a "real" horror the populace can't control, horror becomes popular because you can always close a book, change a channel or walk out of a movie. It makes us feel like we have some control again when events feel out-of-control. Note how zombie stuff became popular after 9/11. We'd just seen all those images of ash covered people coming from the rubble on TV.

What type of horror seems to be most popular with your customers?

Like I said it changes with the times. Right now zombies are hot but that may change with the film Twilight.

Do you stock books published by small presses, or mostly by the large publishing houses?

Both. I think it is important to get some new voices out there which is what small press specializes in. However, I get really tired of and don't carry the $40 novella of somebody unknown just because the small press thinks it is cool. Nobody is going to discover a new author by paying $40 for a 90 page book. If you want to discover new writers read the current anthologies and then see if the writers you liked have novels out there.

How would you compare horror books produced by the large publishers as opposed to those by the small presses?

No differently. Good writing is good writing. Just because something has money behind it and is popular doesn't make it bad any more than some book from a small artsy press makes it worth reading. Horror thrives by all of these places producing and the cream rising to the top.

Any tips for authors who are signing their horror books this Halloween?

Nope. If you are signing your book this year congrats because that means you've been published. That probably puts you in the top 5 or 10 percent of writers.

You probably have read a ton of horror books… what is the scariest book you've ever read?

Without a doubt – Ghost Story by Peter Straub.

Who, in your opinion, are the horror fiction masters of the 20th century?

Bloch, Bradbury, Matheson, Straub etc. The 21st Centruy is just figuring it out.

Do you have any special activities going on at your store this Halloween?

It's my wedding anniversary. I'm going to be naked someplace in a very, very dark room.

Thanks for this interview, Del!

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Multi-genre author J.R. Turner dabbles into many genres–romance, suspense, character-driven action, horror, and now young adult. Her new upcoming series, Extreme Haunting, soon from Echelon Press, features a smart, tomboy skater heroine out to fight evil. In this interview, Turner talks about the first novel in the series, DFF: Dead Friends Forever, her love for the supernatural, her favorite authors, and about violence in young adult books.

Thanks for being here today, J.R. Why don't you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and the kind of fiction you write?

I write character-driven action, suspense, horror and romance–and many times a combination. Right now, I just completed my first YA Horror novel and I found the ride thrilling. As a huge fan of horror and action adventure movies, I tend to gravitate toward that in my writing/reading. Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, Stephen King, Anne Rice–I read them over and over.

I wasn't always a writer though. Ten years ago I gave up a fifteen year career as a contract artist and craft instructor for the Milwaukee Public School system when we moved to central Wisconsin. Art, for me, was more of the family business, never my first passion. I could never capture the epic quality of the worlds alive in my imagination on a single canvas. When the moment came for me to make the choice between reestablishing myself as an artist, or exploring my writing in a more serious manner–I jumped at the chance.

Six or so years later, my first book was published and I've been enjoying writing novels ever since.

When did your love for the dark side of things begin?

When I was eight years old, I saw The Exorcist. I had never before, or ever since had such a reaction to a movie. It's one of those things you never forget and changes you forever. At that moment, I fell in love with the horror genre. From Full Moon productions to Class of Nuke'em High and other Troma films, of course all the Meyers, Jason, Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, then on to Japanese influenced films like The Ring and The Grudge. I absolutely adore Resident Evil, so I wouldn't want to leave that out. Hostel, Hostel II, the Rob Zombie movies like The Devil's Rejects, House of a Thousand Corpses, etc. are others I own.

When I was eleven, I discovered Stephen King's book, The Stand and fell in love with written horror. From there, I branched out into John Saul–who has many teenage proganists. Robert McCammon became another favorite, as well as Koontz, Rice, Douglas Clegg, and Clive Barker.

Looking back on my writing now, I'm surprised I didn't try my hand at horror before. It's just amazing writing the supernatural and the intensity those situations have within a character. By far, I'm most excited about this new book and can't wait for it to come out.

Tell us about your upcoming young adult horror novel, Dead Friends Forever. What is it about?

DFF: Dead Friends Forever is the first book in my Extreme Hauntings series. I am in love with Kaylee Hensler, my heroine. She's a tomboy, skater girl with all sorts of real-world problems that at first, she thinks are devestating. Until a dead girl begins haunting her. Things go from bad to worse quickly. It's hard to explain to your psychiatrist father that you're seeing dead people, and that a murdered girl who suddenly wants to be your best friend, is turning up at school, in your kitchen, and in your bedroom. Yet it gets even more intense when she discovers who–and what–is keeping this spirit from moving on. Once she becomes the target, events become mortally dangerous for her.

I can't say how much I completely loved writing this story. My style is action-based, so I worried that without the adult options of guns, bombs, and military training, I'd be left rather empty handed when it came to those fast-paced scenes. Oh boy, was I wrong! Instead, what I discovered was how very suspenseful and charismatic the supernatural can be. Talk about action–I couldn't stop, the story kept evolving, scene after scene of something fantastic happening. I could barely step away from the computer. This experience allowed me to explore areas I feel silly for never attempting before. I don't know if I'll ever write a non-paranormal/supernatural story again.

What prompted you to write a horror novel for young adults?

My kids have been bugging me to write a book they would be interested in for years. My publishing house opened a new young adult imprint, "Quake" and invited me to write a series, for them. Because my kids had nagged me for so long, I said yes. At the time though, I was just wrapping up an action-adventure series and had to wait until that was complete. At first I thought I would do fantasy, as that's a genre I enjoy as well. However, I knew that world-building would be a challenge and coming off my first series and all the challenges I faced with that (exciting-but in some ways exhausting as well) I wanted something a little more natural to my style, but something I would have tons of passion for.

I had picked up a few of my John Saul books from my keeper shelf during a recent move. While waiting for paint to dry at the new house, I read. It reminded me of how much I loved the genre and the younger protagonists were perfect to get me into the right frame of mind. From there, I read a ton of Young Adult horror and mystery books. Then one day, the idea for an Extreme Haunting series just clicked and I could hardly type fast enough.

I need to take a moment here, though and mention a television series I'm absoluetly ga-ga over. CW's Supernatural. It is a phenomenal show and I've been promised the Third Season for my birthday. I'm recording the fourth season as it airs because it just takes to long to get from one Thursday to the next! Almost more than anything, I think this series really cemented the idea of doing a paranormal book.

How much violence is too much violence in a horror novel for the younger market?

There's a fine line, there. I think that the violence has to have meaning and be purposeful for it to be within the bounds of making a story great, or it simply becomes shock value that loses what's truly spectacular about this market: the everyday hero/heroine. What I found most appealing writing with a younger heroine was her resilience and how she coped with what was happening to her, whereas an adult more set in his or her ways might have crumbled. If the violence becomes the focus, then the character gets lost and that can ruin any story, for any market.

Who are some of your favorite young adult novelists these days?

Of course there's the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, and while it's not strictly horror (more sci-fi) I highly enjoyed K.A. Applegate's Remnants series. Maximum Ride series by Patterson is really awesome too.

Some would say that many of the horror young adult novels published these days become famous because of their shock value. What do you think?

I don't think so. The most famous series are those that have more heart than shock. Of course shock will cause a buzz, but it seems to do so more among parents than teen readers, and normally quickly fades away. I do think that books today need to reflect the times. No longer are girls wearing tea-length dresses, or bobby socks and saddle shoes. Today, rightly or wrongly, they are being tested by more and more adult concerns as the world becomes more dangerous and fast-paced. A lot of that is simply survivalism, some of it is most likely unnecessary, but overall, I can't imagine it's easier today to shock a teen than even twenty years ago. So what might seem shocking to us as parents, might be old-hat for teens today, considering what they face in the media, in schools, and on the street. In my book, and in my series, I'm not interested in shocking them–just giving them a substantial and scary read.

Do you have a website or blog where readers may find out more about you and your books?

Yes! My website is http://www.jennifer-turner.com and my blog is http://jr-turner.blogspot.com. I love to hear from my readers very much.

What are you doing this Halloween? Do you dress up?

I'm planning on dressing up like Isabelle, the ghost in my book–as part of a fun Halloween book signing at a store near my hometown. Mostly though, I dress up my kids. They've been everything from a Pepsi machine to a "baseball bat"–a round baseball with bat wings–and a hippo ballerina. We enjoy Halloween almost more than we do Christmas around here.

What is your favorite Halloween monster and why?

Oh gosh–that's a toughie. Vampires are so terribly romantic. Aside from the Anne Rice books/movies, I loved Bram Stoker's Dracula with Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. Frank Langella, though, will always have a special place in my heart. I love the whole Underworld series. Werewolves are great, too. Vanhelsing starring Hugh Jackman is one of our favorite family films. Anne Rice's book, The Mummy and the totally unrelated movies series by the same name starring Brendan Frasier are terrific, too.

Just one?? I don't think I can do that–I haven't even begun to cover how I love zombie movies and end of the world films like 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. I didn't get to mention UnDead, which is a fabulously done film made by the Spierig brothers (special effects done on home computers!) with zombie fish and a very cool and unique plot twist.

I better stop now–you've got me on a roll here and this could take all night. Gosh, I didn't even get to cover all my Stephen King favorites or mention M. Night Shyamalan!

Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

I've got some super awesome plots and supernatural beings coming up in the Extreme Hauntings series. From a haunted hospital to a truly insane asylum, it's going to be a wild ride! But don't worry, Kaylee is going to discover more and more what latent talents she has deep insider her to get her through what lies ahead. I can't wait myself, to write these books!

 

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