live specimens

Q&A 2017 | Buttercup of Doom 2.9



This week I answer questions from the peanut gallery in a year-end Q&A. From opinions on Flat Earth people to pot brownies to tattoos and dinosaurs, pretty much no topic is left unsullied… including the birth of #thepainofthegraze hashtag

Available FREE on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunesI♥Radio  •  StitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors:  Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)

Merchandise: pillowssockstees, tanks, hoodies, coffee mug or stickerbeach towelphone case

Suggestions/Requests: n/a (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Baby It’s Cold Outside lyrics | Live Specimens | Black Bubbles

Hashtag Hell: #flatearth #pot #brownies #deanmartin #daterape #dreams #xmas #christmas #ornaments #sleepingbeauty #nutcracker #ballet #writing #dialogue #betterthings #oakisland #SSHS #classof87 #tarantino #cusack #dinosaurs #subculturecorsets #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: location location location – rules – little white lies – and whatever you suggest I whine about. So suggest something, already!

 

Wag the Fox and FLOATERS

I did an interview. I talked about stuff. And as sometimes happens, the website is no longer available, but I have the backup and am able to post the content for you. Here you go… a nice warm chat with Gef Fox of the old Wag the Fox website.


 

What was the spark behind Floaters?

It’s almost “where do your stories comes from” but not quite, which is usually very difficult to explain because it’s like asking a crazy person what’s wrong—but this time, I can actually answer that. The “spark” for Floaters came directly from a twisted childhood memory of the local graveyard floating away in the high waters of a spring thaw. Of course, it wasn’t nearly as dramatic as that, but when you’re a kid, you imagine this crazy visual. I wrote that visual, and asked the question, what else was buried in there. And then I broke the riverbank free and let it all float out into the general public and cause havoc.

What was it about this book, if anything, that you approached differently from your previous titles?

 For starters, it’s closer to horror than some of my other works. Not quite the red shirt blood bath of Live Specimens, but definitely more than White Picket Prisons or Six Days, which are often called and generally considered thrillers with horrific elements, rather than horror. This is a monster, with tentacles, there’s no sugar coating that—it’s horror. Also, because it was based on a real graveyard with a twist on some real history, I had google maps printed and bodies plotted and my table looked a bit like a strategic war room.

Other than that, I knew from the very beginning that I never hated the monster. I loved it. I loved what it was, what it stood for, the pain and suffering it had gone through, and the general agony of its history and current situation. This monster was my nod to Frankenstein, and *spoiler alert* I didn’t want it to die but knew it had to, or I’d get yelled at for open endings and setting up sequels, neither of which this story needed.

What was the allure to Lake Superior as your setting?

I grew up on Lake Superior. I’m intimately familiar with her temperament, cold weather, bad attitude, and ability to change moods like a hormonally raging teenager. And yes, she does occasionally cough up her dead. Dotted along her shores are remnants of Indian settlements, mostly relocated by will or force to large reservations and other communal gatherings, but I know they’re there. In my wanderings, I’ve stumbled across the old foundations and forgotten grave markers. My bloodline includes Ojibwe Chippewa from the Bad River Tribe thick enough that I’ve had relatives on the council, and been to a powwow or three. Between the lake, the Indians, and the topography, there’s a rich history in that area just waiting to be tapped and given some monster to come crawling up from the depths.

I can’t say there’s been any “floating” mishaps with the graveyards in my neck of the woods. Well, there is the legend of Charles Coghlan’s coffin getting washed out to sea by a hurricane that hit Galveston, which floated all the way up from the Gulf of Mexico to his home of Prince Edward Island. So the story goes. Any odd local legends that compare in your stomping grounds?

No legend, there really were bones poking out of the ground at that mass grave on the hillside. They were still disrespectfully left exposed last time I was there doing research with my mom and taking pictures for the book, long before it even had a title. I’ve heard they’re planning on transporting them back to Wisconsin Point and I hope that actually happens.

Other crazy things? Well, I grew up being told horrible campfire tales my mother later pulled me aside to explain were real and based on Ed Gein, so there’s that. The lake has sunk a damn lot of ships, boats, and small craft other than the famed Edmund Fitzgerald and there was always the panic of something touching your foot in the water being not a fish. And then we had the Fairlawn Mansion (which is supposedly haunted), and the abandoned orphanage (haunted) I spent way too much time at as a teen that has now been torn down, and many tales of “bad things” in graveyards. Creepy area, deeply supernatural people, lovely fodder for a young overactive imagination.

How intensive does the research process get for you on a story like this? What little tricks have you picked up with approaching the research phase of writing?

Each project requires a different kind of research. If it’s completely fictional, fantastical, then you can just make up whatever you want. But if it’s specific, or touches on reality, then it’s a different story. Then it needs to read like reality. It may be location, it may be a people, tribe, or nationality you’re unfamiliar with, or it may be historical information to twist into a legend of your creation. Trick-wise, I try to do the research I think I’ll need before I even start, but there are times when you’re happily typing along and all of sudden you need a three hour lesson on Blah. Off to the internet you go, careful of rabbit holes and unnecessary side visits to social media, and you get through your on the spot research. It’s quicker than the days of stopping everything, packing up, going to the library, digging through the aisles and tomes, and then going back home—but there was something romantic about the library that the internet lacks.

With this one I did a bit of google image mapping for the area so I could logically plot out the creature’s feeding grounds and radius of travel, as well as have a visual for the line between the mass grave and Wisconsin Point, and know Granny’s house and trek to the cavern. There was a lot of research into the truth of that mass grave, rather than relying on my childhood memories. And there was a ton of fun research into Indian mythologies, because I had a monster I needed to be able to slip into that mythology logically and smoothly. Floaters, overall, probably had more research into different things than most. In comparison, my next project will have no research, as it can be located anywhere and relies on the people rather than the environment.

What is the worst piece of writing advice you ever received? Or what piece of writing advice do you wish would just go away?

Kill your babies. Meaning, if you’re writing and you find you really love a turn of phrase, or a sentence strikes you as poetic and beautiful, you should immediately rewrite it because if you feel that way you’re not being objective and there’s something wrong with it. No. There’s more to it than that, but I wasn’t told that and it wasn’t explained to me properly, and there was no google way back when.

Horribly, I listened to that incorrectly and followed it for years, but it’s wrong when explained as just that. I think when it comes to the overly pretty turns of phrase, sentences, etc., if anything you should notice them and question what about it is so pretty, and why isn’t the rest of the work as attractive. What makes it stand out. It’s not an automatic death sentence, but rather a call to examine it. If it’s purple upon closer inspection, kill it, but if it’s not, then appreciate it came from somewhere inside and keep going. I have a couple I like. Not many, but a couple.

The phrase is talking about killing off prose that will improve your story. Not killing of a sentence here or there that you are fond of, but rather, overall improvements and admitting and willingly axing those things that drag the storyline, slow an arc, or otherwise do not further the story on a whole—even when you really like the sidebar, random character, offshoot, or whatever it is that requires a literary guillotine. Take it out. And for those new writers who don’t fully understand this phrase, please research it and get a full idea of what it means before you start randomly rewriting sentences just because they’re pretty.

Who do you count among your writing influences?

I’m actually technically influenced by what works for me, what scares me, because I wanted the ability to do that to others. So I would actually try and figure out why one thing scared me but another didn’t, and sometimes from the same author. But if I looked at what did work for me over the years, at what things I was drawn to, or authors I continued to return to, well then it becomes the broader definition.

And in that case, my influences go way back to kindergarten and Mary Shelley, then they bounce around my dad’s bookshelf full of HP Lovecraft and Dean R Koontz (note there’s still an R in there when I think of that time). Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickenson were discovered on my own and requested for Christmas and birthdays. I’m fairly certain I had the complete set of Nancy Drew at one point. A countless number of school bookclub purchases, including one I remembered only the cover for and spent twenty years tracking it down. And then there were the horror paperbacks of the 80s, my teen years and a time when my tender sensibilities didn’t always appreciate my horrific imagination, especially after sundown.

I remember some very specific books to this day, which can only mean they had an impact on me and influenced something: The Amulet (omg the laundry scene!), Baal, Howling 2 (which is completely not what the second movie was, so if you didn’t read the books, go do that), The Keep, Nathanial, Pet Sematary, Mirror, Phantoms, and probably more if I thought about it. Oh and the novelization of Halloween—that messed me up for a bit and led to a whole month at the library learning everything I could about the Celts.

When I started making friends with my mentors and becoming colleague to my influences, the lines began to blur, and my adult influences are mostly found on my friends list at this point.

What projects are you cooking up that folks can expect in the near future, and how can folks keep up with your shenanigans?

Cooking? Projects? Well… I am currently working on Forgotten, a wonderful little tale about a young woman found with no memory and an empty car seat, but I have to finish it to know how much I can say after that without spoiling it. That will be the next thing out, and should be released in time for Christmas. After that, in no particular order because they’re all currently battling for alone time with the muse, are: The Man in the Moon (my coming of age tale), Magic Man (yeah supernatural ghouls), and a sequel to Wilted Lilies with the current working title Passages. We’ll see who wins…

My shenanigans are everywhere! www.kelliowen.com is a good place to start. From there you can reference any and all of my books and where to find them, as well as get to my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, find info about the podcast Buttercup of Doom, and for those paying attention, now there’s Wattpad as well.

Thanks for having me!

 

Summer Vacation | Buttercup of Doom ep 48

BODep48-summervacation

Available FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In
and now available on Google Play Music

A short and sweet episode for the 4th of July. Because, hey, I wanted to celebrate too. So a quick talk to cover: seasons in writing, summer vacation entertainment, and what to do with those children (who find themselves out of school with the whole world to explore and yet say they are “bored”). I have a kiddie pool, a hammock and a half-hour to spare. How about you?  (note: random clicks in background is firework noise and couldn’t be fixed. sorry)

Sponsors: THE TERMINAL byAmber Fallon (fb . tw . www) | Necrocasticon | Project iRadio’s Patreon

Suggestions/Requests: n/a (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Thunderstorm Books | Brian Keene | Tim Lebbon’s WHITE | mandatory.com’s 4th of July tweets | Geocaching

Hashtag Hell: #summer #vacation #maelstrom #TimLebbon #BrianKeene #ThunderstormBooks #jaws #TheShining #Floaters #50shadesofgrey #LiveSpecimens #geocaching #catwoman #HalleBerry #lickable #greenlantern #RyanReynolds #RIPD #deadpool #JohnnyDepp #TheLoneRanger #IndependenceDay #ID4 #4thofJuly #RobZombie #halloween #kiddiepool #overstimulating

#patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #feareverything #colors #labels #hipsters …and your suggestions?!

This Week’s Rating: R (language) buttercup ratings system info here

Opinions | Buttercup of Doom ep 42

BODep42-opinionsAvailable FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In
and now available on Google Play Music

One for me, one for you, hell, let’s live big… opinions for everyone!! From how to deal with reviews to how to ignore the inbred, er, I mean, the uninformed stances which usually comes with a bullhorn. Editorials, politics, comedians, hell, even faith is nothing but opinion. So first we differentiate between fact, assumption and opinion, and then cover the types (tropes) of opinion, and then… Oh there’s just so much chewy goodness. And even a little commentary — because that’s yet another type of option, so I give you a link to “Don’t read the comments” by Just Between Us girls Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn.

Sponsors: Project iRadio’s Patreon Page | Kelli Owen Patreon Page | Scares That Care: org / weekend | Armcast Podcast

Suggestions/Requests: n/a (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Live Specimens | Black Bubbles | Six Days | Waiting Out Winter | Anne Rice vs. Amazon Reviewers | @RobertSwartwood |  The Horror Show w/ Brian Keene  | Arm & Toof | Necrocasticon | hashtag of the week: #goreexplode | *ahem* #putbuttercuponthebanner

Hashtag Hell: #thong #jimbelushi (I said Jim, I meant John) #johnbelushi #goreexplode #80sHorror #reviews #stephenking #amazon #goodreads #allisonraskin #gabydunn #justbetweenus #youtube #theview #rushlimbaugh #fox #wb #cw #dailyshow #jonstewart #trevornoah #satire #rightwing #leftwing #politics #faith #butthurtbrigade #IMO #trust #debate #roku #patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #moviesVSbooks #graffiti #keene

This Week’s Rating: R (language) buttercup ratings system info here 

 

Read Tuesday

readtuesday14Read Tuesday is like Black Friday, but rather than general merchandise,
this is designed for buying and gifting books at amazing sale prices.

And of course I’m playing along!

Every single one of my* ebooks is currently set with a matchbook price of $0.00

Zero

Nada

Zilch

Zip

That’s right. If you’ve ever purchased one of my physical books from amazon, the ebook is free for you to grab right now as a way for me to say Thank You for your support. Thank you.

And if you’ve got a favorite, one you’d like to share, or one you think someone else would enjoy—now’s the time. Purchase the book for someone on your holiday shopping list, and get the ebook version FREE for yourself. Or the physical for one person and the ebook for another . Two books for the price of one? Yeah, that simple. You’re welcome.

 

6days-72dpiWaking to an unknown darkness, Jenny must figure out who kidnapped her and how to escape, before time runs out…  buy SIX DAYS on Amazon wpp-2013Detective Mark Baker wants a justice system that works, but quickly learns to be careful what you wish for!  buy WHITE PICKET PRISONS on Amazon LS-cover-teaseA ship carrying genetically altered creatures crashes on an unsuspecting town in Michigan’s upper peninsula. buy LIVE SPECIMENS on Amazon bb-2013Short story collection of ghosts, zombies, imaginary, and the worst monsters of all… humans. Introduction by Tom Monteleone. buy BLACK BUBBLES on Amazon

gravewax-coverGeorge will do anything to keep his wife alive. Seeking the help of a local witch is just the beginning… buy GRAVE WAX on Amazon survivor's guiltStarting over after presumed dead on 911, Ryan’s been judge & jury for a decade. Now it’s his turn in the chair. buy SURVIVOR’S GUILT on Amazon buried memoriesGlimpsing a childhood he doesn’t recall under hypnosis, Ben begins to remember more than just the past. buy BURIED MEMORIES on Amazon crossroads coverA group of legend hunting teenagers mess with the wrong ghost, and learn the present is worse than the past. buy CROSSROADS on Amazon

tn-2013The imagination of children can be overpowering, but so can the truths they see with unbiased vision. buy THE NEIGHBORHOOD on Amazon wow-2013Can Nick and his family survive long enough for nature to correct science’s mistakes? buy WAITING OUT WINTER on Amazon

 

*Unfortunately, this only pertains to those I have full control over, and does not include the novella Deceiver, or any anthologies and/or magazines for which I have no control of pricing

 

‘Tis the season

holidaybooksale

Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Yule…
whatever it is you celebrate, do it with a book!

And finally, the last Kindle countdown holiday sale of 2014. This one runs a little longer than the others so you can either pre-load those Kindles you’re gifting out to others, or grab one for yourself with the gift cards shoved in your own stocking. I hope you’ve enjoyed the sales and have a wonderful holiday weekend… happy reading!!

 

WHITE PICKET PRISONS

xmassale-wppDetective Mark Baker is an honest cop and an all-around good guy. After a chaotic night, Mark starts to reexamine his role in the system he no longer believes in.

That’s when an ominous letter arrives from his estranged sister. She sounds distraught, suicidal. Her words send him on a mission to a small Midwestern town, uncertain if he’ll find her dead or alive.

Valley Mill is a quiet little utopia. Everyone gets along. There’s zero crime. On the outside, it’s exactly what Mark thinks society should be. But what Mark discovers behind the pristine fences and closed doors is far worse than anything he could have imagined.

And he learns very quickly to be careful what you wish for…

get WHITE PICKET PRISONS on Amazon regularly $4.99 only 99¢

limited time: Dec 24 to midnight on Dec 27


There you go, your Christmas sale shopping list. Enjoy your holidays…with the lights on!

 


 

Sale Ended: once a sale is over, I’ll move the book down here… grab them while you can!

 

xmassale-gw

GRAVE WAX

George Morey would do anything to save his wife from certain death and has tried every treatment known, from chemical to homeopathic to prayer—all to no avail.

So when the local witch requests unique ingredients from the town’s gravedigger, George complies without question—willing to sacrifice his own past to secure a future with the woman he loves… more than life itself.

get GRAVE WAX on Amazon regularly $2.99 only 99¢

 


 

xmassale-ls

LIVE SPECIMENS

 

The town of Mackinaw is all but abandoned at the end of tourist season. Now, with an approaching blizzard, a strange transport ship has crashed along the frozen shoreline—its escaped cargo genetically engineered for only one purpose…

Death.

Howling winds hide the screams of townsfolk, as retired biology teacher Ken Jardine leads a small group to first understand and then destroy what they’re dealing with, before the storm gives the upper hand to the Live Specimens

get LIVE SPECIMENS on Amazon regularly $4.99 only 99¢

 


 

xmassale-wow

 

WAITING OUT WINTER

Nick and the boys return from the summer’s last hunting trip to find the streets empty, the beachfront and park abandoned, and the windows of their own homes boarded shut.

The hunters have become the hunted, in an apocalyptic plague that pits man against beast—very tiny beasts. And Nick is determined to keep his strength, courage and family alive during what could very well be the last winter of their lives.

get WAITING OUT WINTER on Amazon regularly $2.99 only 99¢

 

Subscribe for Updates

*New Release*


click cover to buy on Amazon

Travel Plans

—· Scares that Care ·—
August 2-4, 2019

—· Killer Con ·—
tba 2019

—· Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival ·—
tba 2019

Archives