Thursday, February 28, 2019

Interview with Derek Muk author of Private Number/Claws

 When it comes to communication from the other side, what would make a radio station a good way for them to communicate?
Great question! And a timely one, too. Actually, that's something that's addressed in the story. I don't want to drop any spoilers so I'll let the readers have fun and find out for themselves:)

What makes Albert Taylor the best paranormal investigator to look into the incident at the radio station in Private Number?

 The radio station has a talk show on the paranormal and the host reaches out to Albert Taylor, because she's sort of a fan of his work (nerd/geek!) and had heard positive things about him, to look into spooky goings-on concerning a caller from beyond the grave. That concept is one of my favorites (and one I had wanted to write about for a while) because I find it pretty chilling and surreal.

In Claws, you write of a small community, what was your reasoning behind that instead of a larger city for the animal like attacks?

  I've always been fascinated by small towns. Sometimes I go on road trips just to explore them to try and get ideas for my writing. There's something creepy and mysterious about them, like they are harboring dark secrets and little lies, suppressing truths. A place where everyone knows one another and their business (like who's dating who) is certainly scary! To me at least. So that's why I chose that particular kind of setting for Claws.

What is it about Albert Taylor that readers may not know about?

 He has a thing for women who are nerdy, (brainy) bespectacled scientist types. Particularly if they have a foreign accent. Just kidding!:)  Well, for those that don't already know it, he just loves and adores vintage plaid blazers (especially the ones with suede elbow patches) and corduroy pants from the 1970s. And he likes his cars pre-1980.

As a writer what of the "Albert Taylor" stories do you find most interesting to write about?

  Creating the character (and also the other characters) and doing the world building. And being able to tackle different topics in the horror/paranormal genre, of having a different 'case' or mystery for him to work on. Doing the research for the writing is fun because I get to read a wide variety of books/articles on different subjects. Needless to say, I get side tracked and distracted easily!

What as a writer do you feel you struggle with the most?
  Show and tell, POV, the promoting and marketing of books.

Are there any new projects in the works that you can tell our readers about?

  I'm currently revising and polishing up two novellas and going back and revisiting some old short stories.

Where can our readers look to know more about you?

 My author website is:
(includes my social media links) and has all the information on my writing.

Where can readers find Private Number/Claws?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Interview with Author Ruschelle Dillon

What's your favorite thing about writing, what is your most challenging?

Creating SOMETHING from NOTHING is an exhilarating feeling. Those that have spewed imps from their tenderloins will understand. And because I feel like being graphic, let me explain… If a writer gets “lucky” he/she is impregnated with an idea. (Just go with it dudes. Pretend you’re some alien with a womb and a weenie.) Sometime that idea takes, and other times…well have fun trying again. But when it does latch on, like an adorable little parasite, it gestates and grows inside the writer. And eventually, after days, weeks, months or years (Damn elephant babies), our water breaks and we poop ourselves a little but our beautiful story baby is finally born. And afterwards... we eat the placenta- which tastes nothing like chicken.
My most challenging thing about writing. That’s easy. Writing. My story pregnancies are pretty damn rough. Don’t even get me started with the strange cravings and hemorrhoids. 

Why do you think readers enjoy reading Horror or the darker side of fiction?

 We all have dark thoughts. Weird, awful, bloody thoughts. Reading horror gives us permission to explore our darker side without the criminal aftermath; washing arterial spray and bits of squishy flesh out of our hair and underwear gets a little tedious.

Dark humor plays a role in some of your stories, why is that is?

I don’t take things as seriously as I should and that includes horror. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism. I’m kind of an ass. But in a good way. Many of my characters have adopted my shi**y attitude. And because of that, many of my characters have met nasty fates. And honestly, we can all find something funny in the horrific. We feel bad about it but we laugh so we cry or run screaming. For example, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse from my fourth story in Arithmophobia are terrifying dudes! They want to murder the world and bathe in a sea of our blood. I think they’re into the trendy Elizabeth of Bathory Spa treatment. I hate to tell them it’s too expensive and it doesn’t work. But the modern world doesn’t respect the End Of Days and Hell and hilarity ensues! Does that answer the question or did I just dance naked around it?

Many writers say they have something that inspires them. What inspires you?

I wish I were one of those writers. Inspiration doesn’t always come easy for me. I wish it did. I’m quite envious of those lucky bastards who have a live-in Muse whispering sweet somethings in their ears. I hear a few also do their laundry! DAMMIT!!!  My muse is in rehab. REHAB! I do hear from her but the  bitch just wants money for smokes.

At the beginning of each story in Arithmophobia, you give a little blurb, almost a pre-cursor to what is to come; the feel of it is almost like a Twilight Zone episode, was that your intention? 

The Twilight Zone definitely was an inspiration for Arithmophobia. As a little girl, I grew up watching reruns of the Twilight Zone, along with many other strange and creepy television programs; Tales From the Crypt, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits, Tales From the Darkside etc.  To this day I’m a sucker for a twist ending. However, to answer your question, the beginning was definitely an homage to the original smoking man himself, Mr. Rod Serling.

In many of your stories in Arithmophobia, the characters' interactions are what drive the stories. How important was it for you to get the dialogue between the characters just right?

 I love writing dialog. When I craft conversations they need to be natural and organic to be believable. I often simply listen to the way people speak. Their words aren’t stilted. There’s a flow to it. Take a fifteen year old’s conversation with their friend; they’re not going to say, “Hello Carl. Where were you today? We missed you in Home Room. The teacher was looking for you.” That’s not real. If you go out and listen to some of todays youths, they’re going to say something along the lines of, “Yo, Carl where the f*ck you been? Mrs. Big Tits in home room was looking for you. When she finds you, she’s gonna smother you with those big ass titties of hers.”  Yeah, this is over simplified and it doesn’t represent all teenagers. But when writing dialog, if you want the reader to believe the character (and apparently, this one has a saucy mouth) they have to feel and read real.

What is the one thing you would like readers to get out of reading Arithmophobia?

Be wary of plastic surgery. Peeps will understand when they read the book.
 And they will agree.

Can you tell our readers what you are currently working on?

I am finishing up a novella. It’s a story of a family living on a cursed plot of land battling an ancient evil. There’s a few twists ala my Twilight Zone inspiration. So hopefully, I’ll have it ready early this coming year.
I have been in interview mode with a few brave men and women gifted with psychic abilities so their unique and often misunderstood stories can be heard. So my next book will be a collection of real-life events that have shaped the lives of those with abilities. I’m looking forward to telling their amazing stories.
Let’s see…oh, I’m preparing child and adult workshops this winter on the art of crafting flash fiction as well as a six-week course for adults interested in writing short stories. But as I stated earlier, I think my muse went out on a bender and may be in rehab so I’m waiting for her to dry out and get her ass back to doing what she’s supposed to do and find me a good anthology or three to tear into.
I do entertain on the Face Book. Okay, I attempt to entertain. Some people actually dig me. And not just my mom!

Where can readers follow or find out more about you?

They can stalk me on my blog
Follow her on Twitter @RuschelleDillon

Monday, August 13, 2018

Guest Post Dan Jolley Author of The Gray Widow Trilogy


A bit about me: I'm basically your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, bog-standard white guy. I like hard rock, cold beer, and movies in which stuff blows up. I am, for good or ill, America's vanilla cis-het poster boy.

I used to think I had a bit of mystique about me, buried way back in my genetic lineup, since we had a bunch of stories in my family about a couple of 100% Cherokee women who'd married a couple of my great-grandfathers. There was even a bit of anecdotal evidence that we'd descended from one particular group composed of equal parts white people, Native people, and freed slaves.

Disappointingly—crushingly so, for some of my immediate family—a couple of reputable genetics testing kits indicated that my family is half British and half German, and if any Native or African blood flows through my veins, it's in too minuscule a measure to show up on the test.

In short, as far as current consumer-level science can determine, I'm solidly part of the majority that's run things on this continent for the last few centuries.

I never really wanted to be part of the bog-standard majority, though. Forget Luke Skywalker—I wanted to be the eight-foot-tall Wookiee. Playing Street Fighter II? Forget Ryu or Ken. I always played as Blanka or Dhalsim. The most fascinating characters in Original Flavor and Extra Crispy _Star Trek?_ Spock and Data, by far. Sure, Kirk and Picard and Riker were cool and all, but they were no Vulcans.

Yet it seemed as though, everywhere I looked, growing up, the protagonists of just about every work of fiction around me were *just like me*. Straight, white, and male. It grew even more pronounced once I started working in the video game industry, where it's so unusual for a protagonist to be anything other than straight, white, and male that it's often considered newsworthy when it happens.

And the whole time, a thought kept popping up in my head: "How BORING."

I have heard some creators of color say that they started writing because they never saw themselves in fiction. I guess I had begun to see too much of myself in fiction.

I will freely admit that I have, in the past, written plenty of straight, white male protagonists (many of them licensed characters—Batman, Dr. Strange, most of the cast of G.I. Joe, etc.). The main character of my original comic book series, BLOODHOUND, looks like the professional wrestler Triple H. (Though, in my defense, that's largely because my then-wife was a huge Triple H fan.) But I know that shouldn't be the *default.* Which is why, when I got a chance to re-create the DC superhero Firestorm, I deliberately steered the new character away from the straight-white-male mold.

One of the best stories I ever heard came from Whoopi Goldberg, who said that seeing Nichelle Nichols on screen as Lieutenant Uhura made her believe that she could be an actress, too. Well, I'm looking around, and the world I'm seeing is not just straight, white, and male, and I have no interest in depicting the world in a way I know to be false. That's one of the biggest reasons why the protagonist of the GRAY WIDOW books, Janey Sinclair, is a woman of color.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know better than to think I could write "How Stella Got Her Groove Back." I'm not about to try to tell a story presenting the definitive experience of being a person of color, or a woman, or a member of the LGBTQIA community.

But if I'm telling a story like GRAY WIDOW'S WAR, in which a group of humans have been experimented on by extraterrestrials, and end up becoming superhuman military archetypes intended for use as raw material in an interplanetary war... a story in which the characters have to learn to trust each other, and eventually love each other, even as they're fighting horrifying bloodthirsty shapeshifters and heavily armored aliens... Well, why shouldn't the protagonist be a young multi-ethnic woman? Why shouldn't her love interest be a first-generation Indian-American? Why shouldn't they have a close friend who's Muslim, and fight alongside someone who's asexual?

That makeup of humanity is the world I see around me. So that's the world I try my best to write about.

About the author:   Dan Jolley began writing professionally at age 19. Starting out in comic books, Dan has worked for major publishers such as DC (Firestorm), Marvel (Dr. Strange), Dark Horse (Aliens), and Image (G.I. Joe), and soon branched out into licensed-property novels (Star Trek), film novelizations (Iron Man), and original novels, including the Middle Grade Urban Fantasy series Five Elements and the Urban Sci-Fi Gray Widow Trilogy.

Dan began writing for video games in 2007, and has contributed storylines, characters, and dialogue to titles such as Transformers: War for Cybertron, Prototype 2, and Dying Light, among others. Dan lives with his wife Tracy and a handful of largely inert felines in northwest Georgia, and enjoys connecting with readers via his website ( and on Twitter (@_DanJolley).
More about Dan Jolley:


Twitter: @_DanJolley

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Interview with Martha J Allard author of Black Light

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Guest post Author Georgia Jones

I would like to start by saying “Thank You” for having me as a guest on your blog.  I appreciate the opportunity.
My basic story is not that of rags to riches, that would just be too easy.  I have written my entire life.  I have always enjoyed jotting things down and I recall spending an entire day, at a family gathering many years ago, using a paper plate as my easel to paint a picture with words. I created a story where everyone present had a part, some good and some bad.  I have just always written things down, usually in some form of fantasy. 

When I first began to think of Legends of Darkness, the first book in the series, I didn’t see it as a series.  I saw it as a single book with an unusual story. I wanted to create something different from everything else I was reading.  I wanted to incorporate different things into the storyline.  I remember thinking how awesome it would be to have a book that incorporated a little history, legend, and myth all wrapped up in a storyline that would be unique and unusual.  That was my goal, to create something different. I had the book brewing in my mind for a year or so before I ever wrote the first word.  I couldn’t find my beginning.  Finally, the beginning of the book presented itself to me and I began to write.  I’m one of those weird old fashioned people that have a computer, but actually enjoy the act of writing on paper with an actual pencil.  (Yes, I really said pencil.  That’s what I use for my original manuscripts.)  I was about halfway through the storyline when I pulled out another notebook and started keeping notes in it also.  There was just so much more to the story that wouldn’t fit in the story of one book.  My characters began to take shape along with other creatures that I knew I could use later.  So, at that point I had two notebooks with scribbles that nobody, and I do mean nobody, could ever understand.  In my mind it was taking shape as a series though.  I would wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and pull out my notebook to jot a reminder.  By the time I was done with Legends of Darkness, I had the whole series drafted to be a five book series. I have since shortened that to a trilogy.

I have been asked if the series stays on course with my outline, as I write each book…the answer to that is “Not completely.”  As I write, things change.  Sometimes they are small details, and sometimes entire characters die, for one reason or another, but the actual plots of the other books have remained the same.  So far the biggest changes have been in the worlds that I’m creating.  As they grow and my world building talents evolve, so does the future of the books in those particular locations.  By the way, I love the world building aspect. 

I write my first draft on paper then for the second draft I transfer it to the computer.  On my first novel I did so many drafts that I lost count, probably somewhere around ten.  On the second book, I did six rewrites.  I have heard authors say that they don’t like doing the edits and rewrites, but I really don’t mind it.  I like adding and taking away from the story where it is necessary.

I’m currently working on the third book in the Remnants of Life Trilogy as well as several other projects.

If you would like to know more about me or my writing please visit

Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Review of Keepers of the Dead by Bob Freeman


_"Foolish pup," MacGregor chided the werewolf, "you don't get it. 
Laddie, if water were evil I'd be but a drop. What lurks below is an 

From the haunted halls of Cairnwood Manor to the bowels of Rosslyn 
Chapel, Bob Freeman hurls you into the very heart of the eternal 
conflict between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. 

It's fang versus claw, spell versus steel, and love versus death in an 
epic battle of blood and thunder. 

When a sinister cabal converges to unleash the ultimate evil against an 
unsuspecting world, only the combined strength of the Wolves of 
Cairnwood Manor and the Circle of Nine Skulls offers up a glimmer of 
hope as werewolves, vampires, witches, immortal warriors, and an army of 
the undead collide in a battle of epic bloodshed." - From the Editors at Seventh Star Press

When reading Freeman's Keepers of the Dead, I was amazed how much I fell in love with the characters and story line. It was not impossible for one to fall deep into the characters such as Michael who is fierce and loyal. The idea of this loyalty causes him at times turmoil on how to protect his family, his house. 

What was really amazing is the artwork that added to this story. Each illustration caused me a pause and I was able to experience the story as if I was really there.

It would be a shame to miss this story that has so much suspense, so much action and so much emotions on what it means to be a family of any kind and what you would do to protect it.

Available at Amazon and where are books are sold.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Guest Post by Stephen Zimmer author of Hellscapes:Volume II

Dimensions to Hell

The Hellscapes collections of short stories are very aptly named, as they involve various conceptions of Hell and the experience of it.  I’ve always found the ideas of Hell found in all kinds of religions to be very fascinating, ranging from the more uniform kinds of Hell found in Judeo-Christian faiths to the more individualized ones found in many Eastern faith traditions  (and a more Eastern concept of Hell is shown vividly in my Rising Dawn Saga, in the 4th book, The Undying Light). 

I’ve always gravitated toward the idea of a more personalized, or customized Hell, where the punishment fits the crime, so to speak.  This notion is not just relegated to religions, as it also has a powerful foundation in literature with Dante’s Inferno and the nine rings of Hell, where the condemned souls are assigned to places and torments that relate to the kinds of sins they committed in their lives.

The idea of a Hell being designed from the ground up in a personalized way is not absent from John Milton’s Paradise Lost either.   Satan gathers the fallen angels within what is essentially an infernal wilderness and sets about building up a new kingdom shaped directly to his will. 

Writers in the modern age have definitely explored these kinds of concepts, whether it be a novel like God’s Demon, by Wayne Barlowe, which I found to be truly amazing and very visual/cinematic in its conception of Hell, or the time-honored Heroes in Hell anthology series spearheaded by Janet Morris.   So, the idea of a personalized hell for those who dwell in it is certainly is not new and has a history from past to present.
For me, as a storyteller, working with a range of visions of hell, or levels of hell, gives me the ability to construct a story that is visceral and macabre, yet still has purpose.  The characters reap what they have sown in life, in an even more individualized way than you find in Dante’s Inferno.  Monstrous creatures might be spawned from the actions of the condemned character, and sometimes there are figures, who are given names like the Stranger (in Hellscapes Volume I, in “The Smallest Fish”), or the Hustler (from “The Club” in Volume II), who play the roles of guides in bringing the characters closer to the horrific realization of their situation and fate.

The personalization of the experiences, situations, and environments allows for a limitless scope in the kinds of stories and depictions included in these collections.   Like Dante’s Inferno and the various circles of Hell, it also allows for a variance in the intensity of the characters’ experiences.  Some face very brutal violent fates, while others face an unrelenting torment that is more psychological in nature than it is physical pain.  
In a given volume like the first or second, that variance among stories allows for a range so that the reader is taken through and ebb and flow rather than keeping everything at the same intensity level all throughout.    These kinds of dynamics make the harder-hitting moments hit harder, and the more reflective moments sink deeper, in my view.

Therefore, the levels, or variations, in the depictions of Hell serve a dual purpose.  Within the story they provide personalization to the particular characters.  In the creation of each tale, they become a powerful asset for the art of telling the story itself. 

The personalization of the various visions of Hells suits both character and plot in a much more organic way, and in the end I think results in a better story overall.  I invite new readers to adventure in the Hellscapes and see if they enjoy reading these various depictions as much as I enjoy bringing each and every infernal variation to life in writing them.