It is another last minute convention posting for me because: deadlines… and other things.
This will be my first StokerCon and I’m super excited about it, so if you’re going to this amazing horror and literature convention—where they award the prestigious Stoker Awards—come and find me!
I will be splitting my non-panel time between the New England Horror Writers, where I and many other fine writers and friends of mine will be selling fabulous books, and the Broad Universe information table, where members will be signing books after their readings and the awesome Larissa Glasser and I will be there to answer questions about our beloved non-profit supporting women in horror.
Outside of those two places, here’s where I’ll be:
Reading with Cory Cone and Larry Hinkle. There will be chocolate—it is packed. Yes, I’m bribing you. This is the first reading slot of the convention. Please don’t let us be lonely? <3
Saturday, March 3; 2:00 PM; State Suite C – Fairy Tales: A Child’s First Taste of Horror
with Leslie Thomas (M), Edward Ahern, April Grey, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Charie LaMarr
A reader’s first encounter with horror often comes in the guide of fairy tales. Children’s stories and nursery rhymes are full of trolls, evil stepparents, witches, giants, and other terrifying characters. Our panelists will discuss these stories as the roots of horror, the brutality done to children in the tales, and the perpetrators. Where do these tales overlap with folk lore? And what do they say about society?
Saturday, March 3; 3:30…
I have a pitch session that I’m super excited about! Wish me luck!! <3
Saturday, March 3; 7:00 PM; Grand Ballroom – Bram Stoker Awards Banquet and Awards Ceremony
Saturday, March 3; 10:30 PM; L’Apogee – Bram Stoker Awards After Party Cocktail Reception
Sunday, March 4; 11:00 AM; Salon 2 – YA Horror – Something for Everyone
withJG Faherty,Elizabeth Massie, James Moore, and Daniel Waters
Interest in Young Adult horror is growing by leaps and bounds–and it’s not only for teens anymore. Join our panelists in a look at what makes YA horror so popular, why its popularity spans across age groups, and why the lines are so blurry between YA, new adult, and adult-oriented books.
There it is! It’s not as jam-packed as some conventions, but that’s okay because I’m looking forward to thoroughly enjoying myself by attending some panels and catching up with friends!
While October is usually extremely busy for me, being that I tend to write dark fantasy, dark SF, and horror, October 2016 is especially so! I’m back in my blogging saddle, so let me give you a quick round-up of things to expect (some of which do make blogging challenging because I’m not at home much). Here you go:
TOMORROW, October 22: I’ll be at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival! I’m super excited about that, AND I will have a limited (only 18 copies) run of a glossy softcover edition of “Tea with Mr. Fuzzypants” for sale. They’ll be numbered and with some surprise original drawings inside by me! Besides myself, there are about 35 other amazing horror authors who will be signing, a great set of panels, and all sorts of Halloween surprises, so do come and check it out.
On Monday, October 24, I will have a special blog post as part of the #HoldOntoTheLight movement, where over 100 authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror talk about their experiences with bullying, mental illness, and more. Find out more about this important movement on their website, and check out my Monday blog for my experience.
About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
On Thursday, October 27, I’ll be running my Group Tarot Workshop at Generations in Oxford, MA. If you are interested in learning Tarot for divination or writing or your own personal interest, come join us! I’ll be looking at the “scariest” cards in the deck, and sharing a little surprise.
And then, Monday, October 31, it’s Halloween, and I plan on snuggling up to the hubby and watching scary movies and getting cheap take-out. Because that’s how you romance this girl, right here. <3 (Also, due to our location, we don’t actually get trick-or-treaters… which is sad.)
What are you folks up to? Hopefully the rest of your Halloween Month is as full of treats as mine has been so far!
I’m sooooo excited to share this cover with y’all! 🙂 First, my author Daisy has been a sweetheart to work with and I just adore this book! Second, the cover is by the super-amazing Slake Saunders!
😀 Now, bask in the wonderful evil cuteness of bad cat, good dog, and squirrel zombie shenanigans!
BEN FOX: SQUIRREL ZOMBIE SPECIALIST AT YOUR SERVICE
By Daisy Whitney
Ten-year-old Ben Fox has good friends, a great dog, and a lightning-fast little sister who drives him a bit batty. The only thing in the fifth grader’s life that’s truly annoying–well, besides having to wear braces on his feet every day–is the family’s wily Siamese cat, Percy. Ben has always suspected something was off about Percy…
But now he’s sure of it—Percy has raised an army of squirrel zombies in the backyard and they’re ready to take on Ben’s beloved dog, Captain Sparkles.
Now Ben must figure out how to stop the dastardly cat, especially since Percy and his newly reanimated squirrel friends are gunning for nothing less than a full-scale Animal Zombie Apocalypse—when all the dogs start to behave like cats!
The battle won’t be easy though, because squirrel zombies are the most dangerous animal zombies of all…
Title: Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist At Your Service
Elizabeth Black is a Broad I’ve met more recently than the other women on this tour, but I’m so glad to know her now. And I am such a sucker for haunted house stories! I sooo want to go here!
I Stayed At A Haunted Bed And Breakfast. Twice.
By Elizabeth Black
Yup, I was foolish enough to stay at a haunted bed and breakfast – twice. This B&B dates back to the Revolutionary War, and it sits on a river. I had heard about it from one of my ex’s friends, and after much planning I finally stayed there when I was in town for a theater stage crew convention.
The story behind the haunting is as follows:
British soldiers came up the river and proceeded to set the small town on fire, destroying most of it. Soldiers threw torches on the porch of this B&B, which was originally a brothel. The proprietress swept the torches off the porch with her broom. She made a deal with the soldiers. She would house them, feed them, and allow them to use her services as long as they didn’t burn the place down. They agreed, and this B&B was allowed to stand whilst homes around it burned to the ground. The haunting involves the ghost of the proprietress wandering the halls in the dead of night, checking on her clientele and the women to make sure everyone was comfortable. There have been other sightings as well. The B&B itself is absolutely beautiful, decorated in Victorian splendor. It includes a lovely bar and discounted dinners every Friday night. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very homey in that Victorian style I liked very much.
The first time I stayed it was off-season in mid-winter. I was in a room overlooking the river. What a view! I enjoyed a delicious meal and the company of a man I met in the bar. He came to the B&B several times per month to enjoy dinner when in town on business. No, I did not take him to bed, although he was very handsome. We ate dinner together. That night I slept well until about 3 am when I heard a party going on in the room next to me. There was a lot of noise. I managed to go back to sleep. At about 4:30 am I heard heavy footsteps walking up and down the hallway. I immediately thought of the ghost of the proprietress stalking the halls checking on everyone and went back to sleep. I wondered whys she wore combat boots, since her footsteps were very loud and heavy. I felt very safe, secure, and comfortable. Not the least bit scared.
The next day, when I went down for breakfast, I told the clerk about the party and the footsteps. She told me I couldn’t have heard anything because I had been alone in the building all night. Yeeeahhh!!!!! The party! The footsteps! None of it could have happened!!!
Of course, I had to return. 🙂
The second time I stayed I was with my current husband. While we slept, someone turned on the overhead light in the middle of the night. I was a very light sleeper and I snapped awake the moment the light turned on. My husband snored away next to me. I was far too tired to get up and turn off the light, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up shortly before dawn, the light was off. I asked my husband later about the light and he said he had turned it off before going to bed. He didn’t get up during the night at all.
So who turned on the light? And who later turned it off?
I heard those footsteps in the hallway again, and felt as safe as I did the first time. No party this time, though. At least this time there were other guests in the place. I wasn’t alone in the building again.
So there you have it. I had my own ghostly experiences. Granted, I think there were perfectly natural explanations for what I heard. The kitchen was downstairs right off my room and noise from clean-up could have carried up the stairs. I could have mistaken those noises for a party. It’s also likely my husband simply forgot he didn’t turn off the overhead light. But I like to think I had ghostly experiences both times I stayed.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
My stay at the Kitty Knight House influenced my erotic romance novel “An Unexpected Guest”. Here are buy links and an information page.
Here’s where to find me on the web. Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and check out my books! I’ve included my Amazon author pages for both of my pen names, so whether you’re into sexy or spooky, I have stories for you!
I’m honored to have our own Hostess with the Mostest who put this blog together, LC Hu, for today’s post! 🙂 And I’m also extremely pleased with this article on vampires because for a long time, I shared her disdain of these particular monsters. I love how she refound the spark of horror.
Revamping the Vampire, by LC Hu
Happy almost-Halloween, everyone!
A quick shout out to Trisha for hosting me! It’s great to be here.
Today, I want to talk about revisiting a classic Halloween monster–the vampire–twice, and what it means to me to reimagine a subject.
We’ve all heard the old adage “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Or the stars, in a vampire’s case.) And it’s true–it’s hard , if not impossible, to come up with something completely new; even if you think of something that’s pretty original, odds are good that someone else has thought of it too. There’s a lot of people pondering a lot of subjects out there.
So for me breathing fresh life into something old is more about adding a personal touch. Finding what unsettles me, or interests me, and adding that little bit to the existing monster. And hitting a common note is just fine–wanted, perhaps, because it will help my audience connect.
In recent work I’ve revisited the vampire twice. I find this a little funny–since outgrowing my Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite phase, I’ve carried around a little bit of hipsteresque disdain for the befanged blood drinker. But for the Re-Vamp project, we were doing a tour of all the old, classic, monsters, so I was obligated to revisit the subject. And for Midnight Carnival shared world project, part of why I tackled a vampire was precisely my disdain; it seemed like a personal challenge, to make this overdone monster interesting to me again.
Re-Vamp was all about trying to bring the classic into the current, to be both nostalgic and contemporary at once, so for the vampire in my short story “Lump,” I read a lot about the origins of the vampire. I decided to go with the elements that disturbed me: the corpse-like pallor, the distended/bloated belly, elements that hearkened back to people being frightened of decomposing corpses. Decay and rot are unsettling to a lot of people. For the contemporary angle, I used situation and location–by the side of the highway, the dark woods, the quandary of helping someone (or something) injured by the side of the road, or leaving it out of fear.
Being a shared, established world, The Midnight Carnival had established certain rules for vampires already, so I only had so much room to work with: they could be wounded or killed by holy water, fire, sunlight, silver; they were made, not born; they live on blood; they are stronger and faster than humans, and able to heal quickly. So it became the little things about my individual vampire, Carver, that I played with to make him interesting to me. I tried to imagine how a vampire like that might blend into the human world best, become the wolf in sheep’s clothing as best as possible. What biological alterations the transformation would cause, and what neurochemical or other personality-influencing changes.
His teeth, for example: they are all sharp, like a dog or cat’s teeth, even the molars. The canines are longer, the front teeth more flattened/bladelike, but they are not the two puncturing canines of the classic movie vampire. They also retract. The human set and the vampire set are interchangeable, sliding back into the gums, one set replacing the other. Or his breathing–Carver breathes so he can speak, because I liked the physicality of it, the little obedience to the real world, that you must have air in your lungs and expend it to speak. It’s also good camouflage, when you’re pretending to be human.
And I mentioned mental changes too–it’s not clear, in the MC world, if it’s a demonic soul outsting a human one to cause the vampiric change, or a virus, or something else, so I went with it being more physical, including alterations to the brain and brain chemistry. Once upon a time Carver was a very good, upstanding man, a detective with a beloved wife and two beloved daughters, and I started thinking about what kind of a vampire a man like that would become, if you took away his regret and a large part of his empathy and handed him a ravenous, unending appetite for blood.
…I could go on all day. Suffice to say, I interested myself in this old, reliable monster again, and had good fun with it too. In the end, I think that’s all it takes to breathe a little new life into the old–have fun with it, go crazy, let yourself break rules or obey them, just learn to enjoy the monster–or whatever subject matter you’re revisiting–again.
For the good part of about two years, now, my friend and fellow Dragon*Writer, Anthony Francis and I have been working on the DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME anthology–and it finally comes out this Tuesday!!
I am so seriously proud of this baby…there was a lot of beauty and a lot of heartache (some amazing, amazing, amazing stories got sent to us–and we couldn’t even fit them all!!) and a lot of time (heh!) and a lot of sweat and blood into this anthology. I hope you love it as much as we do!
We’re planning a bunch of promotional thingama-gigs over the next month or so, so stay tuned. 🙂 If you happen to be going to DragonCon this year, though, check out our release party at Ray’s in the City! Consider this your invitation!
And just in case you needed more incentive than an awesome anthology, free food, and cool people… well, we’re also raffling off this AWESOME stained glass piece from Stained Glass Creations and Beyond!
Now, onto the coolness of this anthology. Here’s the back copy:
Everyone wishes they could get an extra hour in the day.
But what if you could?
What if you had a special device that gave you an extra day every week? You could use it to get ahead at work…unless your boss had it too.
What if you knew a spell that gave you an extra hour every day? You could use it to correct a mistake…or make a new one.
What if you could just stop time? You could accomplish a myriad of wonders…if you only knew how to get time started again.
Time loops and time travel, time apps and time outs, time machines, time merchants, and more can be found passing through these doorways into worlds where time can be spent like money…or where extra time can only be bought at a terrible price.
With stories and poetry by Jody Lynne Nye, Walter Hunt, Erica Cameron, Martin Feekins, Anthony Francis, L.M. Graham, R.E. Gofstein, Melina Gunnett, Betsy Miller, Susan Mittmann, Brenda Moguez, Jenny More, Ira Nayman, Errick A. Nunnally, Kate Saturday, Gayle Schultz, Rich Storrs, Keshia Swaim, Aimee Weinstein, and Trisha J. Wooldridge, Doorways to Extra Time presents twenty twists on the idea that if only we had a little extra time…