Multi-passionate writer, author and solo-preneur

Month: October 2011 Page 1 of 2

Spooky Encounters #3: Strange Things Afoot at the Cousins House

Reminder! Speaking of restless spirits, today is the last chance to snag your FREE copy of my novel, Restless Spirits, on Smashwords. Coupon code FU23M expires at midnight!

For the first two years of our marriage, Matt and I rented out the upstairs of my mom’s house. At the time, my mom basically ran a boarding house. After building her big dream house after my dad passed away, at some point she decided that it was too much house for her alone and started taking in boarders, mostly extended family and people from her church who needed a place to stay and couldn’t afford a lot of rent. During the time of this story, the house’s other residents included my mom’s sister and her grandson, and another guest who will remain nameless.

This last boarder was the sort of person who you never knew what sort of stuff she or her associates might be into. It was during the months that she stayed there that all of this went on.

Indie Author Spotlight: Todd Russell on Horror, Halloween, NaNoWriMo and Other Scary Things

This week I’m hosting my last IWU blog tour guest until NaNoWriMo is out of the way. As appropriate for Halloween, my guest this week is indie horror novelist Todd Russell, author of Fresh Flesh, the first entry in his Fresh series.

Spooky Encounters: Demons In My Bed

I was 22 years old and living at home after a stint away at college, and my father had recently passed away. Battling insomnia, I had been lying in bed for hours. As I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling, trying to will my mind to settle down and stop thinking long enough to let me fall asleep, I kept imagining weird, creepy faces floating around my room. I told myself that this was the beginning of dreaming and I was FINALLY starting to drift off to sleep, and the dark nature of what I was seeing must be due to stress. But sleep still eluded me, and I was starting to get creeped out, so I decided to get up and read or watch TV or something.

Spooky Encounters: 320 South Boston

320 South Boston

Photo credit: the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.

In the run up to Halloween, I thought I’d share some of the spookier experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Apart from assuring you that I am not making this stuff up, these are submitted without comment — you can make up your own mind about what, exactly, it was that I encountered. Watch for more of these stories to appear over the weekend.

Back in the fall and winter of 2004-2005 I spent several months temping in this iconic downtown Tulsa building. It’s one of the oldest buildings downtown, built in 1917, and I believe it was considered Tulsa’s first skyscraper, although the tower section wasn’t added until 1929.

I was working for the building management office at the time, as a shared receptionist and operator for several different businesses in the building. If I recall correctly, the management’s headquarters were on the 9th floor (it might have been the 7th; either way, it was in the oldest part of the building), and they had a big office suite with a private lounge where I would often go to grab a nap on my lunch hour. Back by the lounge was a large private bathroom. The whole area was pretty secluded.

Authorly Updatiness

I’ve been mostly chilling and enjoying the fall weather this week, and also enjoying what’s left of my down time before the hecticness of NaNoWriMo and my new client’s web project both kick into high gear by doing a lot of crafty stuff and working on my Halloween costume, both of which will get their own posts in the near future.

But in the mean time, the IWU blog tour has been chug-chug-chuggin’ along. I’ve done two new interviews just this week, both with smart women who asked some great questions. Some excerpts…

…from Susan Jean Ricci’s interview:

SR: I loved the post on your Twitter, that went something like this: “It’s a good sign you’ve hit all the emotional notes, when editing your own story makes you cry.”
What makes you cry about your writing that you’d like to share with our readers today?

JB: I tweeted that while I was editing the first chapter of my current novel-in-progress, Dominion of the Damned, and it was a scene where my protagonist was going through something really horrific and tragic that would shape her for the rest of the book. As I re-read what she was going through and what it was making her feel, I really got choked up. When I write an emotional character like that, I think back to watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and how every time Buffy cried about something, without fail, I would cry. So I really strive to create characters that my readers can connect with on that level, and care deeply about what they’re going through.

…and from my interview with Jennifer Rainey at Independent Paranormal:

JR: Do you watch many horror/supernatural movies? If so, what’s your favorite and did that inspire you to write a ghost story?

JB: I’ve always been a big fan of horror movies, although I tend to like monster and slasher movies better than ghost stories; mainly because, as mentioned earlier, ghosts freak me out. Movies about ghosts and demons and exorcism–those tend to stay with me and give me the wiggins in the middle of the night (I STILL have nightmares about that little girl from The Ring). I enjoy a good scare, but I prefer to be able to shake it off and get on with my life once the movie’s over. I decided to write a ghost story mainly to confront that fear. That said, my favorite horror movie of all time is John Carpenter’s Halloween. I’m also partial to his version of The Thing. As for more recent movies, it doesn’t get much better than The Descent.

Also, don’t forget: Halloween weekend is the last chance to get Restless Spirits FREE at Smashwords with coupon code FU23M!

Indie Author Spotlight: Julia Crane

Julia crane is the author of the Coexist: Keegan’s Chronicles. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination. Although she’s spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.

Guest Post: LeAnna Shields’ Top 5 Tips for New Indie Authors

Please welcome my special guest author this week, LeAnna Shields. LeAnna is the author of the indie sff series The Alestrion Chronicles, and these are her top 5 pieces of advice for anyone thinking of taking the self-publishing plunge. Take it away, LeAnna.

Indie Author Spotlight: Interview with G.W. Jefferies

G.W. JefferiesMy guest this week for the IWU Blog Tour is indie fiction author G. W. Jefferies, whose latest novel is the literary epic, Apolo Drakuvich.

An author and poet, G.W. is a native Texan. A writer of contemporary and dystopian fiction, Jefferies’ themes of counter-culture and dystopian views are usually included in some form in his works. Jefferies influences include Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahniuk, William S. Burroughs, and George Orwell. To learn more, visit his blog at GWJefferies.com.

Get Restless Spirits FREE Through Halloween!

‘Tis the season for ghost stories and haunted houses… with a little zombie and vampire action thrown into the mix. To help get into the Halloween spirit, you can get my paranormal fantasy about a ghost hunt gone wrong, Restless Spirits, FREE on Smashwords with coupon code FU23M. And that’s not all! As a bonus I’ve added a special sneak preview of the first two chapters of Dominion of the Damned, my in-progress vamps-vs-zombies post-apocalypse epic. And that’s a lot of hyphens right there.

So if you’ve read it, now’s a good time to read it again, or just snag it for the free preview. Now is also an excellent time to tell other people about it. And remember, on Smashwords, you don’t need an e-reader. You can download it in any format, or just read it on the web site. And if you DO have an e-reader, that’s covered, too.

A Word Count and a Snippet

Administrative note: the house is much improved, but there’s still a lot to get done, so expect this week to be light on updates. Meanwhile, I stopped letting the house be an excuse to not write, so here’s a word count, albeit an anemic one:

Today’s word count: 315
Total: 70,713

And here’s a snippet from today’s session:

A line of vehicles rolled up in front of the building; an old school bus, covered in makeshift armor, flanked on each end by two modified Hummers with machine guns mounted on their roofs. The Hummers were each packed full of men with guns, and more armed men peered out from the windows of the bus, along with a few women and children. Most of the men wore some combination of camouflage and trucker hats. To Hannah, they looked like something out of a redneck version of The Road Warrior.

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