FALL INTO HORROR: October Magic with Selah Janel

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome SELAH JANEL as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a strange, deep love of the unusual and the frightening. I loved decorating for Halloween because it meant digging out the witches and mummies for the windows, unboxing all the ceramic haunted houses and hanging bats and other nick nacks that take over a house that time of year. I invented a long-running series of adventures for all of these weird characters, and every October before I was ten or eleven was a constant soap opera every time I looked at our sideboards or mantle. I was also an outrageous scaredy-cat and was unable to look at even the commercials for horror films on television without having a panic attack and having to hide my eyes and plug my ears. Plus, it was the 1980s, so every sitcom had a freaky deaky Halloween episode and you were told at school every day of all the four thousand ways you could be abducted, kidnapped, poisoned, drugged, beat up, or razor-bladed by candy. Then there was that time I was nearly locked in an ancient burial site during a family vacation, but that’s another post, entirely. That part of me was a strange dichotomy my parents could never quite figure out. Things terrified me, but I kept sneaking off to be near them. They’d find me reading the box backs of movies I’d never be allowed to watch, I may have run an underground library for RL Stine and urban legend titles out of my locker in middle school even though the stories freaked me out something fierce for a while. One parent readily sheltered me because they knew they’d just have to deal with the nightmares later, and the other told me family stories passed down from German relatives, and believe me, no one does a scary story like older Germans. In my adult years it was working in haunted houses and then designing for them that fully plummeted me into a love of horror films, because I realized I had options and tons of subgenres to explore. I’d slowly wandered into literary horror in college through Anne Rice and Ray Bradbury, slowly wading towards the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, and Nancy Collins. I’m the type of person that’s always going to be contemplating the what if’s– both the wonderful and the terrifying. There’s a possibility in the horror genre that entices me…that bit about waiting for the other shoe to drop and finding out what kind of shoe it is, even if I probably don’t want to really know. That tension is electric, and there’s some outrageously high drama in ghost stories and urban legends that we don’t get anywhere else. It reveals things about us as people, and the fact that these archetypes are constantly being reinvented and recycled says something about the genre, proves that it isn’t just schlock, but something that hits us at a primal level. I love Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and try to read it every fall. It feels like autumn in a book to me. It’s a near-flawless history of Halloween (some of the history is admittedly a little off), but emotionally it’s perfect. There’s an underlying current of why people love Halloween, but it could also be used to express why people are attracted to the horror genre. Way back when, we had to fear predators coming to get us, we weren’t guaranteed that we’d see another day, we felt at the mercy of the cosmos because we weren’t sure that the sun would rise again. It’s that thin line between today and tomorrow, safety and danger, life and death, that makes the horror genre what it is, and is probably why I could be freaked out and drawn in by it as a kid. As a writer, I love playing with that line, whether it’s real-world anchored horror or otherworldly creatures, or a mixture of the two. Part of the reason I’m so drawn to Lovecraft-type themes and vampires is I like the thought of shaking up how we perceive the universe and the people in it. The fact that my characters are going about their lives and then some little thing happens that changes everything in a sentence or two is an incredibly powerful concept to me. I personally love characters that you wouldn’t expect to show up in stories like that: maybe they’re in historical settings, maybe they’re frustrated teens, who knows? At the end of the day, everyone is affected by those same what if’s, so it’s interesting to see how various people would react. In some ways maybe that helps me fight for the control I didn’t feel as a kid when I watched trailers for Nightmare on Elm Street or The Blob on TV. Maybe it’s a way of immersing myself into the October magic that doesn’t quite feel the same now that I’m not a kid. Either way, I love the genre, and I’m proud to be part of the tradition. Plus, it just gives the relatives one more thing to be confused about.


ABOUT AUTHOR

Selah Janel is the author of three e-book titles for Mocha Memoir Press, as well as other stuff. You can read about her pioneer vampires in Mooner and her world-ending invisible friends in The Grotesquerie. Follow her ramblings on her blog or answer the question of the day on her page on Facebook!


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

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Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

FALL INTO HORROR: An Interview with Xenith, by John F. Allen

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome JOHN F. ALLEN as he shares his thoughts on fall and horror.

Hello, my name is John F. Allen. I’m a speculative fiction author and I’m here with Ms. Xenith LaCroix, witch-in-training and part-time adventurer. This is an impromptu interview with her before she embarks on her intense training at the hands of a master sorceress.

John :Hello Xenith, thanks for granting me this interview.

Xenith : Hello Mr. Allen. You’re welcome, I’m happy to be here.

John :I just love your name! What can you tell me about it?

Xenith :Well, I’m glad you picked it out for me. As for what I can say about it, the name is unique and not just for the spelling, ‘Z’ replaced by an ‘X’. Xenith means, “The highest point reached in the heavens by celestial body, and/or a culminating point.” I think the ‘X’ represents the unknown, as in the mathematical sense.

John : That’s fascinating indeed. I think it speaks to what your life has in store for you and your tales yet to come. So, as a change of subject, fall is here and that is a time of year which happens to coincide with Halloween. Witches and Halloween go together like peanut butter and jelly, your favorite snack, so what do you personally like most about fall?

Xenith :The brisk air and the falling leaves in their kaleidoscope of colors. As for Halloween, it’s quite the busy time for us witches. You know, all those cauldrons to boil, brooms to fly and children to bake (smiles).

John :Uh, you’re kidding right (gulp)?

Xenith:  Wouldn’t you like to know (smiles)?

John :(sigh) Yeah, moving right along. What is your favorite fall color?

Xenith Hmm… I think I’d have to say red.

John: What would you say is the biggest difference between fall weather in Chicago, versus fall weather in your native New Orleans?

Xenith :I would say that fall is much colder in Chicago, than it is in New Orleans. And, given the size of the city and the number of people, I mean that in more ways than one.

John : Are you feeling homesick?

Xenith: Not really. New Orleans only serves to bring back bad memories I’d just as soon forget forever.

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John : That’s right, you moved to Chicago to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend and a checkered past. You were taken in by Zaji Laveau, a powerful witch and a descendant of the voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau.

Xenith : Again, I’d rather not talk about New Orleans.

John :My bad, please don’t hurt me.

Xenith : Relax Mr. Allen, you’re safe for now.

John:Uh, okay. Anyway, let’s talk about your mentor instead. What’s it like to be under the tutelage of such a powerful sorceress who hails from such an infamous legacy?

Xenith: Zaji is a taskmaster. She’s strict and all about business.

John :So, your training isn’t going so well?

Xenith:  Actually, on the contrary. I am challenged and held accountable for my actions and inactions. This is something which I’ve never had in my life before. The structure she provides can be a real drag and sometimes I feel like pulling out my hair, but at the same time I wouldn’t have it any other way.

John : That’s good. Has your ability to control your powers improved significantly?

Xenith : I’d say so. Although I have a long, long way to go, I can now recognize the road I’m on for what it is. It won’t be an easy road, for certain, but anything worth doing or having is worth the effort and struggle.

John : That’s a very mature attitude, good for you. Well, thanks for sharing with us today. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we conclude this interview?

Xenith : Just that folks who are interested in learning more about me and my adventures, should check out the novelette, Witch Way Is Up, written by you and published by Mocha Memoirs Press. Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

John :Thanks Xenith, Happy Halloween to you as well!


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

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Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

FALL INTO HORROR: Ramblings of a Horror Geek with S.H. Roddey

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome S.H. Roddey as they share their thoughts on fall and horror.


Ramblings of a Horror Geek

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I watched Hellraiser last night. The last time I sat down and watched that movie was more than ten years ago. And it was quite a bit longer ago that I read the book. I was a lot younger and a lot more impressionable then, and the Cenobytes used to scare the hell out of me. The Chatterer still freaks me out because I used to have nightmares about things that looked like him when I was a kid. Then I dreamed about killing zombies. It seems whenever these crazy zombie dreams manifest, Selah Janel is always there. Last night she helped me cut down hundreds of zombies while trying to simultaneously rescue someone and get out of a drive-in theater park. Last time we went on an adventure in my dreams, we were looking at buying a house where the groundskeeper was using zombie labor to rebuild an old manor owned by giants. Don’t ask…I can’t explain any of it. So at two o’clock this morning I was lying awake in bed, trying to sort out the ramblings of my mind, and this crazy thought appeared in the forefront: I’m a writer. Why not put all these things together and actually make a book out of it? Which meant that at 2:15 this morning, I was sitting in the dark with a notebook and a pen, scribbling down ideas in a vain attempt to create a reasonable plot out of the madness in my head. By 2:30, I was watching old Peanuts cartoons and wondering exactly where I detoured into left field. I wasn’t always this weird, warped creature. When I was a kid, I was … Oh hell, who am I kidding? I was never normal. After the movie last night, my husband and I had an interesting discussion about iconic movie monsters. Nine times out of ten, when I ask someone to name a slasher flick monster, one of six names comes to mind. Let’s review the list, shall we? Chucky: Okay, so I don’t really consider Chuckie all that “monster”ish. He’s basically Pinocchio on LSD. And a pretty stupid character, in my humble opinion. HOWEVER, when it comes to creeps and chills, he’s definitely up there on the list of horror icons. He’s rude and he’s crass, and there’s not much stopping the director from firing it up with a bit o’ doll-porn in later episodes of the franchise. Not my favorite, but definitely note-worthy. Michael Myers: He’s not a monster in the sense that the others are, but he’s still scary. When dealing with serial-killing psychos, this name seems to pop to the top quite a bit. I personally enjoy the Rob Zombie remake better than the original even though the story of the original face being a cut-up version of a William Shatner mask makes me giggle with manic glee. Except that the chase scene goes on for about half an hour too long. Plus it was a lot of fun at Fandom Fest a few years ago watching him play pool with Jack Sparrow and the Borg in the bar. Leatherface: Again with the murderers! Mutated mass murdering psychotic monsters? Yep, you got ’em right here. The movies themselves are a light-plotted bloodbath, yet based on true events. The concept seems to appeal to the masses on a fundamental level, yet I almost find myself pitying Leatherface himself because of his sad, sadistic lot in life. Random yet related: Bob Elmore is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. It’s not every day you turn around to find a real-life movie monster (minus the mask) standing behind you. I’m not a big fan of the gore, but I gained a new respect for the character that day. Pinhead: See above. Creepy, bizarre, and all around nasty individual. Plus his backstory as a human-turned-monster is interesting. The makeup on this guy is kickass and the character’s personality is one that leaves nothing to the imagination. He’s the ultimate hedonist, presented in a way that you can’t help but love him even as he’s turning you inside out and destroying your soul. Just another reason why I aspire to be Clive Barker when I grow up. Jason Vorhees: Okay, so he’s one of the big ones that EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD knows and adores, but can I just say that I don’t buy it for a second? The original “Friday the 13th” was a great movie because the crazy person wasn’t Jason. However, the story in the first movie created a wholly unrealistic basis for the character that would become the icon for the franchise. JASON VORHEES DROWNED AS A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD, PEOPLE!!! HE CAN’T COME BACK AS AN ADULT MAN WITH INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF MACHETES! Regardless of what I believe, people love him, and the franchise has, in fact, made a ludicrous amount of money allowing him to run around and hack mostly-naked teenage girls to bits over and over again. Freddy Kruger: Now we’re talking. When I was a kid, Freddy was my big one. He scared me senseless. I still to this day can’t watch Dream Warriors without a chill crawling up my spine. Yeah, the character itself has a few holes in his realism, but the scariest part of Freddy? You can’t kill what doesn’t actually exist. Which is why I have to call bullshit on Jason Vorhees winning that battle. The writer and director failed miserably on that one. But I’m also a little biased, so it’s all good. Well, at least until you hear the knocking and that creepy little voice. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…” So in the end what do we take from all of this? Pinhead is freaky and Freddy Kruger is the stuff of which my bad dreams are made. Now tell me, Creeps, who’s your worst nightmare?


ABOUT S.H. RODDEY

South Carolina native S.H. Roddey has been writing for fun since she was a child and still enjoys building worlds across the speculative fiction spectrum filled with mystery and intrigue. She brings to the literary world a unique blend of humor, emotion, and wild ideas filled with dark themes and strong characters. She is a voracious reader, wannabe chef, and video game addict with two full-time jobs: administrative professional and mom to human and furry children alike. She also enjoys being married to her best friend and full-time muse. Stalk her at: http://www.shroddey.com http://creepyauthorgirl.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSHRoddey http://www.twitter.com/draickinphoenix


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:

ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

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Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

FALL INTO HORROR: It’s In the Air with Marcia Collette

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Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome MARCIA COLETTE as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.


 

MarciaColette.jpg It’s in the Air. It was about a week before it school started when I first started paying attention to the Halloween things that were going up on the shelves in stores. Honestly, I think the stores put out the drab things first to gain some interest and get them off their hands before they start putting up the really cool stuff on the shelves. Anyway, I can’t help but go down those aisles because I love seeing the scary costumes, decorations, and party things on display. It makes me wish I had the time or the inclination to throw a Halloween party for my munchkin someday. I start thinking about how far I want to take my Halloween decorations, too. Do I want a giant blow-up pumpkin on my front lawn? Heck no. Do I want my front door to look like a haunted house? Uh-uh. Would I like to turn my garage into a haunted house? I sure would, but I also have this New York thing going on where my trust is hard to come by and I don’t want anyone stealing my stuff either. What about the candy? It’s not Halloween without candy. I don’t believe in doing the cheap stuff, but I don’t believe in getting a bundle of candy either. More than anything, I hate it when people give my child something like a box of raisins or some other crap that’s healthy. Yes, I’m a mom and I care, but I also believe in Halloween traditions that involve gooey stuff that sticks to my child’s fillings. With my youngling being in kindergarten now, I can already tell things are different. She’ll probably need a Halloween costume for school and I’ll have to give her something “healthy” to bring to a class party. She’ll also need a sturdy trick-or-treat bag we plan on hitting as many houses in our neighborhood as possible. I’m hoping her school doesn’t ask for parent volunteers for the Halloween Party because I’ll end up forgetting that I’m an adult and end up rolling around on the floor with the kids. Having a child, my tastes for the macabre have changed, in that, I’m more excited about something like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Disney World) than I am about Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando). Not because I don’t want to be frightened, but rather, I prefer to spend as much time with my daughter as possible and seeing life through her eyes. Things like blood splatter and chasing people around with chainsaws are not a part of the picture. That’s not to say I won’t get my healthy dose of The Walking Dead. Oh, heck no! I’m not that crazy. I’ll just wait until the youngling falls asleep before I watch it. What decisions do you find yourself in the middle of as Halloween approaches?


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:

ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

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Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM


FALL INTO HORROR: What Lurks in the Darkness with Tom Olbert

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WHAT LIVES IN THE DARKNESS?

And fall is here. Only just, but its chill fingers can already be felt creeping up our spines. Before we know it, the leaves will turn, the days will shorten, and the shadow of the equinox will creep in silently in summer’s wake. The time of transition, when, it is said, the veil between this world and the next runs thin, and spirits walk the earth. Time for tales of horror to slip under the wire of our reason and stoke the fires of our nightmares.

Horror takes many forms, both subtle and gross. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves and ghouls. The shadows of arcane superstition that never stop haunting us, even into this digital age. The unknown touching our primal fears from the inky blackness of the dark.

But, there’s another kind of horror, too. The horror of the dark places within the human mind and the dark places buried deep in the human soul, where we fear to look, perhaps even more than we fear the darkness outside. The demons we carry within are the ones we can never escape. Such evil can take many forms. Like the shadowy figure of Jack the Ripper skulking in the shadows of dark, misty, gas lit midnight streets, transcending time and space, a seemingly eternal horror that will always be with us. Because such evil is waiting to be born in the depths of each human soul, and will never die.

In my novella Black Goddess, I tried to explore those dark depths we call evil. The evil of the torturer. Of the murderer. The evil of hate and revenge and unimaginable cruelty that defies all reason and devours the soul of both victim and victimizer. Such darkness has been with us from the beginning, in particularly dark chapters of history, taking on forms of evil so pure, so horrific that our darkest dreams pale in comparison.

The eternal question presents itself to a troubled young man who has seen evil up close and intimately: Is evil merely a

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random perversion of human emotion spawned by violence and chaos, or is evil a primal force, like a dark infection stealing its way into the human soul, feeding on it from within like a parasite, until nothing beside remains?

The protagonist of Black Goddess becomes obsessed with the nature and essence of the evil that has destroyed his life and his faith. His search for answers evolves into a dark quest that is destroying him, little by little. The closer he draws to the dark, forbidden cosmic truth at the heart of the darkness, the more he hungers for it to the exclusion of all else, like a drug addict endlessly seeking his next fix. He has given his life, and possibly his soul to a dark experiment through which he reaches closer and closer to the center of time and space. What will he find at the center of creation? God, or Satan? When he looks into the mirror of the first moment of time, will he find light or darkness at the core of his own soul?

What can any of us expect to find, when we peel back the layers of sanity we show to the world, and face the darkness we carry inside?


The #FallIntoHorror Blog Tour continues through Oct. 2nd!  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for the tour prize– a $25 Gift Card!


Mocha Memoirs Press logo b_smallMocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

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GUEST POST: E. Chris Garrison Talks About BLUE SPIRIT

BlueSpirit_cover_1200X800I’m really excited today because I have the pleasure of bringing you to a work close to my heart.  Blue Spirit is a fast-paced modern fairy tale that blends the fantastical and the humorous.  It’s really no surprise as it’s author, E. Chris Garrison whom I find completely hilarious.  I love the book and I know you will too.  But don’t take my word for it….

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.

Hello and thank you for having me on your blog! I’m Chris Garrison, an indie author from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am here because my publisher, Seventh Star Press, is helping get the word out about my latest release, Blue Spirit, a Tipsy Fairy Tale.

About me? Well, I’m a fan of all things science fiction and fantasy, though I mostly write urban fantasy, science fiction, and some steampunk. I am a long time homebrewer, and have been jokingly named Seventh Star’s official Brewmaster. I think it’s just to get me to bring “samples” of my stuff to conventions. I love board games and spending time with friends and family. My favorite band is Five Year Mission, who are doing a rock song for every original Star Trek series episode.

What inspired you to write Blue Spirit

Blue Spirit is a sort of spin-off of my Road Ghosts Trilogy. I had finished those three and wanted to move on to other characters and situations. I had the thought that rather than ghosts and demons, I’d like to write about fairies in our modern world. I also wanted to write something even funnier than the Road Ghosts, and I wanted it to be in first person so I could filter the world through one person’s senses and thoughts. I’d written in a sort of comic relief character in the second Road Ghosts book, Sinking Down, a drunken vampire roleplaying gamer named Skye, and it came to me that she might be the most fun to turn into a protagonist. Originally, I thought about setting it in Chicago where Skye lived, but instead went with what I know and set it here in Indianapolis. It was fun thinking up places in my own city that could be magical.

Blue Spirit is a fairy tale, of sorts.  What are some of your favorite fairy tales and why?

I am a huge fan of the Little Mermaid, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s the Disney version that I love best. I empathized with Ariel wanting to transcend the world she’d grown up in to become something else. Skye’s definitely impulsive and brave like Ariel, though she’s a bit older and makes more questionable decisions. I love the story of Pinocchio as a child, because I knew what it was like to yearn to be more than I was. I guess this is a similar theme with the Little Mermaid too, now that I think of it.As an aside, I watched Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons as a kid, and I loved the Fractured Fairy Tales segment most of all. I loved the skewed take on classic fairy tales, the sense of humor, and visual jokes. I guess that’s why I am a bit wry in my telling of my own fairy tales. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Although he was meant to be a sort of whimsical side character, I love the Transit King, Bask. He wasn’t meant to be more than a humorous plot device initially, but he’s turned out to not only be my own favorite, but a fan favorite as well. He’s also been borrowed by fellow Seventh Star Press authors R.J. Sullivan and John F. Allen in their writing. There’s just something irresistible about the little Fairy Godfather, riding the buses granting favors to those in need – in exchange for any favor he asks later. Also, I have great fun writing his vaguely Celtic accent and using him to say cryptic and prophetic things to my characters.  

Chris, you’ve been writing for quite a while now.  What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?

I’ve learned that you’ve got to love writing. It’s not a quick path in any sense of the word. It’s a skill you have to work on by doing it often, and by getting feedback from others. I highly recommend finding or forming a critique group with other writers. The most important thing while writing the first draft is to keep going, don’t worry about whether your grammar and spelling or details are perfect. If you’re uncertain about something (say, a character’s eye color, or the length of a zeppelin) make a note as a comment in bold and move on. Write now, fix later. And be sure you do fix it later, go over the result before giving it to beta readers. When you get feedback, don’t feel obligated to change anything, but be sure to listen to what’s being said. If one reader says one thing, but others say different things, then it’s probably a matter of personal preference. But if many readers point out the same thing, it’s probably something you’ll need to fix.

Art seems to be a big part of the Seventh Star marketing model.  The cover art on this book is pretty extraordinary and it’s my understanding that the authors have a lot of say in the covers. Did you work closely with the artist, Anne Rosario? Tell us about that process.

Anne is a fantastic artist, a real professional, and a friendly person. I supplied her with a file containing my (often hilariously 1_Illustration_BlueSpiritbad) whiteboard sketches, along with notes and blocks of text from the book to go with the scene. She came back excited and had many questions about the characters, what they looked like, their personalities, and so on. She sent me pencil sketches of her ideas, and used feedback from me to produce the beautiful artwork you see on and in Blue Spirit. I very much look forward to working with her for the sequel, Restless Spirit. I’m interested to see how she’ll draw my trolls.

Blue Spirit is available right now!  Tell us where we can get it!!

 Print:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-E-Chris-Garrison/dp/1941706827

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-Tipsy-Fairy-Tale-ebook/dp/B00X6571BC

Barnes and Noble Link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-spirit-eric-garrison/1105805795?ean=9781941706824

I also have a book trailer video, which features the artwork of Anne Rosario, along with other information about Blue Spirit here:

http://sillyhatbooks.com/blue-spirit

My Blog and contact information are at http://sillyhatbooks.com and I can be found on Facebook as E. Chris Garrison, author.

Thanks once again for having me as a guest!

Synopsis of Blue Spirit: Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships. With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

ECGarrisonAuthorPhotoAbout the Author: E. Chris Garrison (who also writes as Eric Garrison) is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

Chris’ novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013.

Seventh Star Press is the home of Chris’ supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ‘til Late, Sinking Down, and Me and the Devil.

Holly and Ivy Blog Tour: An Excerpt

HollyAndIvy72dpi (1)Hi everyone!  Selah Janel has a new book, Holly and Ivy, which has just been released with Mocha Memoirs Press. So today, I have an excerpt of this awesome Christmasy tale for your reading pleasure…

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“What do I do with it?” I asked. I told myself I was just playing along, suspending reality to make Ivy feel better. Although if that was the case then perhaps I should have really examined the fact that Ivy was real and not me suspending reality to make myself feel better.

“You hold it now until it gets to know you. You keep it safe in your possession and it shall bring you ease and grace,” the tree sprite giggled.

“And that really works?” No matter how I tried I couldn’t hide my skepticism.

She turned up her pointed nose. “How else would I have survived so well with murderers on the loose? It’s worked for a good long while.” I raised an eyebrow as a sly grin spread just a little too far across her face to make the smile look human. “Do you remember when I snuck to school with that sapling you took for show and tell?”

The next smile didn’t hurt quite as much as I traced the delicate edge of the tiny plant with the pad of a finger. The petaled head shivered and softly brushed against my calluses.  “I thought everyone was going to have a heart attack when you burst out of the thing and started singing to everyone! Mrs. Robinson finally played it off as the whole class playing a trick on her. We had to go without milk time for a week.” I’d gotten in so much trouble with my parents for lying in school and saying that I had a magic plant. Given that I was adamant that I’d been telling the truth, it was a hell of an ordeal for a six-year-old.

“’Twas so much fun!” Ivy paused mid-pirouette. It was downright disgusting that she could hold the arabesque for so long and not even wobble or suffer a leg cramp. “Though I would not want to live in such cold halls all the time.” She paused and took a long breath, much longer than I or any other human could possibly inhale. Before my eyes her skin became greener, infused by the crisp clean air. “You need to be in the trees, Holly. Mortals refuse to understand that they must live where things grow. Now that you’re home, let’s play!” She leapt over my head and landed effortlessly beside her home tree, staring at me expectantly.

Maybe it was being back home or maybe it was just being back in the good fresh air, but her suggestion made me giddy. It suddenly sounded like the exact prescription I needed, the one thing I’d been missing through all those frustrating years. My fragile mind and heart demanded an escape. They couldn’t take any more disappointment, any more expectations or responsibility, and they especially couldn’t take any more reality. I nodded and tucked the strange clover deep in my pocket. The breeze had dried my tears and the heavenly scent of grass and pine put the sudden urge to run in my feet. Suddenly the heavy air and the blazing sun didn’t matter so much and my anxieties were willing to take a momentary backseat to the chance to goof off for an afternoon.  “Are you sure you’ll be okay?” I hesitated, hand still at my pocket.

Ivy flashed a bold grin and stretched up on her toes; her fingers wiggled over her head, making her resemble an odd, scrawny plant. “With you here? Of course! Just remember to come look after my tree when the murderers come around the winter harvest time. You can even help me choose which tree will be my final home so you’ll know where I’ll be.” The words were no sooner out of her mouth when she tore off, dodging branches and bark as quick and swift as a deer. I groaned as I pulled myself to my feet and tumbled after her, muscles screaming at the sudden exercise. Still, I found myself laughing the entire time.

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Author Bio

Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that 0908_Selah_Hedshots_60Cfairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Author Links

 Bloghttp://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

Fandom Scene Columnhttp://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel

Facebook Author Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Facebook Book Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/intherednovel

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

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BTW… Selah is going to be giving away copies of the book, so don’t forget to follow the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b8d20639/