six days

Stay Home Book Sale

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling conventions and appearances, I have decided to offer signed copies mailed direct to you… Welcome to the Stay Home Book Sale!

Available stock is shown below, and because I have limited supplies, this will be on a first-come first-serve basis.

 

        

wiltedlilies-cover72colorBIG     

duo-chapbook  coloring book    

Please use the form below to choose the items you want and get in the queue. I will then contact you with a PayPal total (and any changes or updates to inventory as it may affect your request). Note: I am willing to ship to anywhere, if you are willing to deal with the extra shipping costs for non-domestic addresses. (And yes, I will ship as “gifts” to recipients of your choosing)

Stay home. Stay safe. Read a book! We won’t all experience this pandemic in the same manner, but hopefully we all get to the other side.

 


 

 

 

SOLD OUT (thank you!): Forgotten • Black Bubbles (hard cover) • Black Bubbles (paperback)

Other items restocked for virtual cons and remainder of 2020, will note when they are gone.

 

Election 2016 | Buttercup of Doom ep 64

bodep64-election2016

This week I finally cave and lament about the presidential election of 2016. In two days, the world will change forever… I bring up some points, asks some questions, and wonder why all my friends have gone batshit. #franger #doomed2016

Available FREE on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors:  Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)| Project Entertainment Network (P.E.N.)

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

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Six Days on SALENaNoWriMo • John Oliver & Last Week Tonight’s Why We Vote on Tuesdays • Lewis Black’s Longest Election CycleI Side With ← most important link ever

Hashtag Hell: #NSFW #election #politics #jaws #omen #obama #johnoliver #lastweektonight #voting #lewisblack #sixdays #nanowrimo #payhip #halloween #mulder #potus #flotus #propaganda #trust #bbc #wikileaks #anonymous #foxnews #cnn #msnbc #hillary #clinton #trump #amazon #democrats #republicans #vagina #crazy #ww3 #riots #martiallaw #civilwar #russia #china #syria #apocalypse #zombies #isidewith #subculturecorsets #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up:  #cyber stuff #thanksgiving #genre …and your suggestions

This Week’s Rating: R (definitely R, for language, oh yes, not safe for work) buttercup ratings system info here

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!

 

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 

 

Interviewed by A Crazy Man

I adore Paul Goblirsch of Thunderstorm Books, and I’m honored that he continues to believe in my writing and publishes my works. As a special treat for his members a couple months ago, he did an interview with me. Now that they’ve all seen therapists and dealt with the trauma, we’re releasing it on the rest of you… Enjoy! (And go buy some of his books!!)

10 Questions for Kelli Owen

  1. 1. Exactly how many times have you recommended to your publisher to add masturbation to make your story better?

Just that one time. But he was slightly crazy. He questioned motivation for something. The masturbation was originally there and I had removed it. When I told *cough* him *cough* that, he responded with “Ohhhhh, put it back!”

2. White Picket Prisons vs Six Days.  Who wins and is it by knockout or decision?

Ouch. Um. Six Days is like your first true love. You never really stop caring about it. But White Picket Prisons… Hey, wait a minute. How come I have to answer this? I asked YOU this question and you refused to answer because it was too difficult a decision. So why? Ohhh, I see. You’re just evil. Okay. Fine. Where was I? Oh yeah, first love vs your college boyfriend.

White Picket Prisons. By decision. While my favorite will always be “whatever I’m working on” because I feel you had better be in love with it to do it justice, in this instance and given these options, WPP wins. I’m stronger now—in both voice and style. I have more time and knowledge under my belt. There are more levels to the story. It’s richer, and well… there’s masturbation.

3. What are the best and worse things about working in the small press?

It’s like being one of the kids in those “special” classes. You get treated very well by your teachers, lots of one-on-one time, but the “normal” kids don’t always want to play with you. In other words, the involvement is awesome. I love being asked my opinion on art and layout and sig sheets and all the fun fancy stuff. The distribution (and some would argue cost of books, but they’re collectibles) is really the only downfall, but ebooks change everything about that.

4. What is your favorite Thunderstorm line, especially now that you have had work in nearly all of them?

This smells like a trick question! Define “favorite.”

I love the small, easy to carry Elementals. Not a lot of people are doing collection lines, so it was awesome to be invited to put together Black Bubbles for White Lightning. I was thrilled to be the maiden voyage of Maelstrom—and the box edition is sexy as hell. Set’s Quartet was really fun and unexpected. WPP is coming out in both Black Voltage and Hard Rain series, and I’m very intrigued to see how that works out. I love them all… If I have to pick, then I’ve got to go with Black Voltage or Elementals. Love both formats, and both series have lots to choose from.

Now then, how exactly do I get into Supercell?

5. Tell us what it was like to receive a dead bird in the mail.  Where you excited?

LOL! That was Keene. I got the teddy bears left on my picnic table. A dirty, beat-up momma bear holding two cubs and a separate boy bear. Garage sale toys at best. Creeeeeepppy. Yeah, I was REAL excited. I was so excited, after I dusted for fingerprints, I shut down my facebook page to the general public.

6. Answer one, and only one, of the following questions:

  1. Where do you get your ideas?
  2. Since you are a writer, you must be rich, can I borrow some money?
  3. I have a great idea, if I share it and you write the story, can we submit it together and split the profits?

Har har har… Although by ‘c’ I’m guessing you’ve met my sister. You know darn well how much money I make so ‘b’ is a moot point. We’ll go with ‘a’.

I get my ideas from EVERYWHERE.

I’m weird. I admit it. I blame my mom (who brings a 6 year-old to see Jaws on the big screen?!). I don’t see things like normal people. You may see two people having coffee—I see two people plotting to murder their boss. You hear someone say something as they intended—I hear what an evil antagonist would be hiding between the lines. A lot of writers I know have a brain that plays “what if” all the time. I used to think that’s what I was doing. Then I realized no, I’m just strange and imagine the worst when I see things.

I also pull from my messed up dreams. Bob (Ford) says it’s not natural to have nightmares as often as I do, but I can use 80% of them, so I figure it’s okay that my muse is a sadist.

7. Do you ever think you will revisit The Neighborhood?  Do you think this is the fan favorite of your work so far?

You know, when I wrote it, I didn’t think I’d ever go back there. But several writers have said I should and a lot of readers have requested it. We’ll see. I don’t have anything for it right now, but who knows, I might see someone having coffee tomorrow and be hit with an idea (which will be put on the backburner for at least two years… I have a backlog!)

Favorite? No. Actually, I’d honestly guess that’s their least favorite. Waiting Out Winter seems to be everyone’s go-to choice.

8. What is it like living with another writer?  How does it affect your work?  When is Bob (Ford) going to finish The Compound?

I live with a writer? Hmmm… Wait, I live with another person? I thought I just lived with that open laptop and the strange shadow wearing its writing hat that sits behind it… because all he does lately is write—on break, during work, after work, all night, while driving, in the shower—to finish The Compound for you. And every time you bring it up I giggle myself silly at his reactions. Thank you for that.

But seriously, it’s nice. We have different writing methods, but it’s all good. It’s awesome to have someone who understands when your eyes glaze over it’s because the muse has grabbed you. We recognize and respect it—we’ll both just stop talking if we see the other doing that because we get it. And we both understand writing is not always done at the keyboard. He never gives me shit when I need to play Guitar Hero while I’m working through something.

Affect the work? Maybe in the sense that if one of us is writing the other feels compelled to do so, or jealous if they can’t for whatever reason at that moment. So as long as one of us has a deadline, we’re both writing and that’s good (and no, I don’t need more from you… you’re getting a novella and two more books in the next two years, but feel free to give him another deadline after The Compound—just don’t tell him I said that!)

9. Ebook question…what the fuck is up with those things?

HAHAHAHAHA… those are the strange little files that aren’t really physical but people can still enjoy them. You know, those things I conned you into expanding into =)

Once upon a time I was hesitant regarding eBooks, or defiant—it depends how well you know me which word you’d choose. But times change, technology advances, and I guess I don’t care what format they prefer, so long as people are still reading. EBooks were once the “adventurous” route, or “experimental,” now they’re pretty much a standard simultaneous release for new material. They’re going to become stronger, not weaker, as a market and viable format. Though I still hate to think they may be the way of the future and regular books could become nothing but a token collectible only the shelves of only the rich or elderly. I like the smell of books, the feel in your hands, the way they don’t argue with you or make you sleep on the couch.

10. Finish this joke:  A writer, an accountant, and a gypsy all walk into a bar…

And order a shot of tequila, a coffee, and a bottle of water? Yeah, I know I’m a weird combination, but I never let my personalities play together… those drinks would taste really gross mixed together!

Ginger Nuts of Horror – interview

While the amazing Ginger Nuts of Horror website is alive and well, and continues to cover horror through reviews, interviews, features and more… it did go through a reboot once upon a time.

During said reboot, my first foray into the world of McLeod’s chewy goodness was lost, but I (again) save everything. So here is the original, first, interview I did with Jim over at Ginger Nuts of Horror… way back in the day. Enjoy!


 

Ginger Nuts of Horror (GNOH) – Hi Kelli, how are things with you?

Peachy! Of course, I always say peachy, even when it’s not true. So you’ll have to figure out if I meant that or not.

GNOH – Could you please tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m a frog. No, that’s not what you meant. I’m a short, loud, opinionated… not that either? Okay. I have two amazing kids and two insane cats. I went to college with the intention of an English major until I realized I didn’t want to be a teacher or a journalist for a day job, so I switched to accounting—because it wouldn’t burn out the muse 9-5 and I could still flirt with her at night. But I am still a frog. And short and loud and opinionated.

GNOH – Would you care to let slip one fact about yourself that is not widely known? For example I have punched a well-known British comedian in the face, he deserved it by the way.

Slip? I did mention I was loud mouthed, right? The real me is pretty much what I throw out on the internet, but let me think… How about this? I used to be a ballerina. I once worked for Miss Cleo. I make the most amazing soup on the planet and it should be packaged so I can buy a beach house. I am the most forgiving human on the planet (Mother Theresa and I will actually be duking that one out in the afterlife). And I’ve never punched any comedians, British or otherwise.

GNOH – So what is the appeal of horror to you?

I’m a twisted human. What can I say? As a fan, I’ve always loved the adrenaline rush. Horror makes you feel alive. I’m a big wuss and will never jump out of a perfectly good airplane or tie a rubber band to my ankle and dive off a bridge. I like my thrills nice and fictional. As a writer, I play with bubbles and sidewalk chalk, but my muse is a dark evil thing on which no amount of sun can shine. You may see a couple eating at the sidewalk dinner. I see a wife looking at her husband adoringly… wondering how long the bloody poison is going to take to kick in.

GNOH – I’m sure you have been asked this hundreds of times, but I always like to know what makes an author tick. Why do you write, and can you remember what first caused you to put pen to paper?

You understand most writers roll their eyes at this question, right? I write because I must. Not because anyone needs to see it, but because I have to get it out. There’s only room for so many voices in a person’s head and we (writers) kick out the ones we can.

What first caused me to put pen to paper was the realization that people did this. The first story I wrote was in 2nd grade, I still have the bizarre purple mimeograph copy of it in a box. (No, I did not just date myself!)

GNOH – As a, dare I say, a fledging writer, what do you make of the current state of horror fiction?

Ah, now I’m bummed. I thought I’d climbed out of the mire known as fledgling. Damn. Well, from the bowels of the genre, I would say the current state is the same as it’s always been—in constant flux. Though the insane speeds at which things are changing lately can be completely blamed on the technology.

GNOH – Do you think the current boom in ebooks makes it easier for new writers, or do you think the deluge of sub par work will drown out too many talented authors like yourself?

Yes.

Don’t you hate when someone answers a multiple choice with a yes or a no? But yes. I think it is easier for new writers, and it’s easier to get lost in the deluge of work. But not all of it is subpar. You can get lost to both talent and sub par work, just by the sheer volume. A part of me still sees it as self-publishing without validation, but if they’ve got the chops and the editing is actually done, then go for it.

GNOH – How would you describe your style? Do you try and maintain a voice throughout your work, or does your style change with each story?

That’s two different things. My style is my style and that remains the same throughout. I have certain grammatical tools I use and/or abuse. I have a certain rhythm to my sentences and paragraphs and the way the stories unfold. But the voice? The voice is the character’s, not mine, so that does change with each story. “Waiting Out Winter” was all Nick and his worries. “Six Days” was all Jen. Of course, bleeding on the page and writing what you know means putting some of you into each of them. Each and every single one of those demons that get kicked out of my head have their own voice.

GNOH – Who would you say are your favourite three authors, and how would you say they have influenced your writing?

I like him and him and him. And that’s all you’re getting. Heroes lose their powers when revealed and I have been very careful to never ever let that slip. How have they influenced me? Easy. I try to be as gung-ho as him, as graceful as him, and as loved and long-standing as him. I write a bit more brutally than he does, have been compared to him on some levels, and want to stand next to him one day as an equal. Of those I can talk about? Poe, Lovecraft, Dickenson, blah blah blah… standard answers.

GNOH – How easy or hard has your journey been from unpublished author to rising star?

Wait, now I’m a rising star? I thought I was fledgling? It has sucked, with a capital S. And I’ve earned every scar I’ve gotten along the way. Something those going straight to ebook self-publishing will never understand, never earn, never appreciate—scars are sexy. I did exactly what I was supposed to, when I was supposed to do it. I had the dry spells of constant rejections and stood my ground. I had the naysayers and backstabbers. And I’ve watched others that started with me rise above me, while others in our group fell behind. I don’t know that it’s been easy or hard. It’s been exactly what it needed to be.

GNOH – I’ve heard you and Brian Keene both refer to each other as friends close enough to be siblings. How helpful has someone as influential and talented as Brian been to honing your craft?

He has not been helpful at all in honing my craft. Remember, I edit him, not the other way around. When it comes to the words, I’m all me. Although, he did threaten me and give me a deadline for the first novel, a push if you will… right off the cliff.

On the business side of things, however, he’s been beyond helpful. We were friends before I started writing (again). We share what we’re seeing, trends we’re noticing, things like that. If he never wrote another word, he’d still be my friend, my big brother, and we’d still discuss the genre and the industry.

And I’d still do the exact opposite of what he tells me to, just like a sister should =)

GNOH – How did you feel when the news about Brian’s heart attack broke. I was shocked.  

NO WAY ARE WE DISCUSSING THIS… sorry. He IS like a big brother to me and we keep some things private =) please remove this from the interview. Thank you.

GNOH – Another firm friend and cohort of yours if Alethea Kontis, how long have you two been friends?

Alethea and I met on a trampoline in the garage of a castle, long ago, in a land far away. How many friendships can say they started out like that? We’ve actually only known each other for a handful of years, but we bonded on that trampoline like sisters separated at birth.

GNOH – Is there any sort of friendly rivalry between the two of you?

Oh god, no. There never is with anyone in this business. You cheer for your friends, even when you’re going for the same thing. You hold them when they’re down, and you celebrate when they’re up. It’s a strange business—your friends are your enemies, and we’re all really okay with that. Plus, I tend to stick with horror and thriller, while Alethea’s much more fantasy and science fiction.

GNOH – How much of an honour was it to be part of Maelstroms debut collection?

It was a surprise, that’s for sure. And the beginning of a beautiful relationship with Paul Goblirsch at Thunderstorm.

GNOH – Can you tell us about Six days?

The official blurb? Sure: Jenny Schultz wakes up in a dark basement with no recollection of how she got there.  As she looks for an escape, she discovers remnants of previous captives¾a plate, a tooth, a bone. To survive, she confronts the darkness within herself, tapping it for strength. Unfortunately, her own demons may destroy her before she finds a way out.

GNOH – Will it ever be released in another format?

I’m working on that right now. Details will be forthcoming on my blog.

GNOH – Your novella the Neighborhood has received a lot of praise, can you tell us what it is about?

Officially?

A missing girl. A found fingertip. A puddle of blood without a body.

A small town neighborhood full of rumors and imagination through the eyes of its youth. Their world is a combination of grass stains and dried mud—the badges of childhood, that often look like blood in the right light.

GNOH – It’s told from the viewpoint of the town’s kids. Is this sort of book that all horror authors need to tell? These stories are among my favourite. I’m reaching an age where looking back at the things of my childhood brings back great memories.

Oh no, no. Do not confuse this with the all-important-everyone-should-do-one coming-of-age story. That is not what this is. The kids were used because kids change things, assume things, make horrible guesses and even worse mistakes. Adults are more factual. The coming-of-age story? Yeah, that’s next year… watch for #mitm hashtags on twitter to know when I’m working on that.

GNOH – What’s the overriding memory you have of your childhood?

Overriding memory? Wow. That’s like asking which piece of popcorn in the bowl tasted the best. Hmm… If I had to say something: adaptation. We moved a lot when I was a kid. And by a lot, I mean I went to 10 different schools from elementary to senior high, almost a school a year. I learned how to fit in quickly, make friends on the fly, and adjust to almost anything. Almost.

GNOH – You have also written a man verses nature novella called Waiting Out Winter. What was the inspiration for this novella?

The Wisconsin DNR did this to us! Well, okay, they didn’t actually release killer flies, but they did realize flies to kill off tent worms. They were horrible biting black sand flies and they were everywhere that summer. People cancelled vacations. You couldn’t go outside. It was awful. And that evil muse I mentioned, that wonders about the poison in the couple’s sidewalk coffee, she immediately inserted “infected” into the fly situation and made it worse.

GNOH – So what’s your least favourite creepy crawly?

WOODTICKS! I hate those things. The only thing worse than my hate of woodticks is other people’s dread of me finding a woodtick—because I will scream and flick it, and now they have to figure out where it went. I’ve always said hell for me would be stuck in a glass elevator (hate heights), full of woodticks, with nothing but Barry Manilow muzak.

GNOH – Have you ever been tempted to go back and expand these novellas in to full blown novels?

Nope. Though I do tend to borrow characters and situations, so you’ll likely see some crossovers in other things. i.e. “The Man Who Slept Through Tomorrow” mentioned the fly invasion, and “Calling the Dead” included one of the characters from The Neighborhood as a main character.

GNOH – All of your books have great covers, how much say do you have in the cover art?

Actually, I’ve been very lucky with cover art. The novel and both novellas all came out from Thunderstorm and Paul involves the writer on every aspect, including cover art. He takes suggestions, tells you what the artist’s ideas are, and shows you progress along the way. I’ve had far more involvement than I ever expected with the cover art.

GNOH – Do you have a favourite of them?

The fly is bloody awesome! Period. A part of me wants to see it in color, but the black and white is just so amazing it isn’t necessary.

GNOH – Can you tell us about any future projects you have in the pipeline?

My pipeline is full. My whiteboard (to do list) is a hot mess.

I have a story in the Flying Spaghetti Monster anthology (supported by Bobby Hendersen himself) that just became available for sale. I have handed in my first collection, Black Bubbles, for spring publication (other details being withheld for time being) and am editing the next novel due at month end for a fall 2012 release (nope, no details yet, but #wpp is my twitter hashtag when I’m discussing it). I am finishing up a short story for a sequel anthology to be released next year (yep, that’s all the details you’re getting for that). I have just been asked to write a novel for a new publisher to become part of their lineup (very excited about this, no details for you!) and am diving into that novel (#LS twitter hashtag). Also, watch for a twisted alphabet book not for children, coming from a (re)new(ed) imprint of a popular horror magazine, and a handful of straight to ebook titles in the next few months. And when that’s all caught up, I dive into the coming-of-age novel #mitm, followed by a return to the apocalypse #T. Did I mention my whiteboard was a hot mess?

GNOH – Thank you so much for popping by for a chat. Keep an eye out for my reviews of The Neighbourhood, and Waiting out Winter, they are locked and loaded into my review schedule?

Oh I’m very excited to see what you thought of them and have to say about them. And thank you, very much, for asking me to do this. Always a pleasure to see what kind of fun questions people come up with.


 

Yet again, thanks to Jim for asking me to participate!


 

 

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— · Merrimack Valley · —
Halloween Book Festival
TBA 2020
Haverhill, MA

— · Scares That Care WI · —
2020
Racine, WI

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