Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Carmilla Voiez #Fantasy #Horror

Author name: Carmilla Voiez

I got carried away and answered 13, but some answers are quite short.

Please tell us about your publications/work.

Starblood was my debut novel, a violent and erotic dark fantasy which was released first in 2011. Due to a recent publisher folding, some of my work (including the Starblood series) is currently out of print. That series and a new supernatural thriller novel set in a women’s prison have been submitted to publishers for consideration. A co-written Southern Gothic Horror entitled Our Fearful Roots is currently available both in paperback and digital formats. My short story collection Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales, and an urban fantasy The Ballerina and the Revolutionary can be downloaded for free from my website (epub) version or can be purchased on Kindle or as paperbacks. Work continues on the third graphic novel in the Starblood series, but the first two, Starblood and Psychonaut, are available in hardcover, paperback or digitally. I will be featured in a new anthology of LGBTQIA+ horror, and my short stories can be found in a number of horror anthologies including Zombie Punks Fuck Off, Elements of Horror: Water, Slice Girls, and D is for Demons.

Do you think the written word (or art) bring power and freedom?

I think they encourage us to find our own power and freedom, partly by knowing others share the same struggles. Horror is amazing because it teaches us how to overcome adversity.  

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

I’ve learned a lot over the years. To be honest, I am glad I learned it gradually or I might have felt that I could not succeed in an industry where 50% of trade paperbacks only ever sell twelve copies. I will share two pieces of advice: own your words and do not back track when others tell you that you are wrong. This means ensuring that you do not write merely to shock but have a truth you want to share with the reader, something rich that they can take away after they finish the book. It also means avoiding stereotypes, especially of groups whose identity you do not share.  Sensitivity readers are a god send if you write outside your own experience. Understand that if readers do not like your work and write a bad review for your book that’s their right and getting defensive and attacking reviewers is a terrible look and the fastest route to damaging your career, perhaps irrevocably. My second piece of advice is that it’s impossible to spot all the errors in your own work. If you cannot afford an editor, swap with someone who will pick your book apart while you return the favour. As a reader, it is incredibly frustrating to pay for a book that is riddled with errors.

What’s your greatest networking tip?

Be authentic; celebrate the success of others, and cross-promote.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

I research everything I can, including using Google Maps to walk through images of streets where my story is set. I know all the stages of decomposition and the difference between Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder and the symptoms of each. I read religious and magical texts alongside medical ones. I’ve even studied quantum physics for a short story. Writing, like reading, can open up the world for you if you let it.

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

I would argue that any culture is entirely built from the stories we tell ourselves and each other. It is the most powerful thing we have.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

Only you can tell your story. It doesn’t matter if similar stories already exist; it is your voice and your experience that makes your story unique.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

I would definitely be a mischief making demon. I enjoy challenging assumptions.

Which authors have influenced you the most?

Clive Barker, Thomas Ligotti, and Toni Morrison.

What is your writing space like?

An armchair and laptop with a cushion to support my spine. I’m blessed with hyperfocus, so I don’t need much.

What’s your next writing adventure?

I am working through Venus Virus for re-release then I plan to concentrate on short stories for a couple of years. In my experience, submitting stories to magazines and anthologies provides a more robust financial return than spending years writing a novel.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work?

There are so many authors to choose from, and once we find an author we love, we tend to consume everything they write. I think that offering one or two free books makes financial sense, but I also believe it’s a decision each author should make for themselves.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews?

I think it’s a terrible idea personally, especially when the author feels defensive.

How do you deal with bad reviews?

I move on. Not everyone will like what I write, but some readers love it, and those are the ones I write for.

Links to all my books can be found on my website at www.carmillavoiez.com

Bio

Carmilla Voiez is a British horror writer living in Scotland. Her influences include Graham Masterton, Thomas Ligotti, and Clive Barker. She is pansexual and passionate about intersectional feminism and human rights. Carmilla has a First-Class Bachelors in Creative Writing and Linguistics. Her previous work includes stories in horror anthologies published by Clash Books and Mocha Memoirs, a series of dark fantasy novels (currently out of print), a co-authored Southern Gothic Horror novel, and self-published graphic novels. Graham Masterton described the second book in her Starblood series as a “compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie world vividly to life”. Carmilla is also a freelance editor and English tutor who enjoys making language sing.

Excerpt – So Many Nights, So Many Sins – A Vampire’s Tale

Excerpt – So Many Nights, So Many Sins – A Vampire’s Tale

From Dark Tales and Twisted Verses (c) A. L. Butcher

Amber firelight flickered in the small grate, casting a dancing pattern on the grubby walls of the cellar-bar known as The Cavern. It was, some said, hypnotic; others said the fire heard and saw all – for even in summer it was never truly out, merely banked to embers. Fire had been the friend and enemy of man since Prometheus snatched it from the gods, and this particular blaze had been smouldering for years. Some said decades, even centuries, and that it watched all that went on. Whether this was true Wolfgang had no idea, but it was not a normal fire, and such tales served his purpose.

The Cavern had stood on this spot for at least three hundred years, and before this, various structures from longhouse to army tent to inn had been in the vicinity. This land was old, saturated with history. And blood. Battles had been fought, lives taken, lost and even given and through it, all the Cavern stood in one form or another, and its fire burned. Creatures who lived in the twilight world of the undead were drawn to this place. Perhaps it was the blood, perhaps there was something special here. Life was a lure, to those who possessed a parody of it, but in truth, no one really knew or dared to discover. It was the sort of place no one asked too many questions or expected honest answers and so those patrons with things to hide and enemies aplenty caroused in The Cavern in an uneasy truce. The fire saw all, and so did its current keeper. For now, both the fire and The Cavern had Wolfgang’s undead patronage, and both knew it.

Wolfgang Feuerleiben turned his bright hazel eyes despondently towards the blaze and shivered; as usual, he could not seem to get warm even close as he was to it. This place, generally, was cold, as old buildings often were, even with the impressive blaze. Wolfgang had no internal heat, nor did any of his kind; but habits are hard to shake and even a vampire likes to be warm. Bodies with no inward heat found themselves stiff and slow and it wasn’t like a vampire could bask in the sun. Wolfgang surmised it was a throwback to his human past. Memories faded, became corrupted or were forgotten; it was a curse and a blessing – an elder had told him. Wolfgang considered this – ‘memories went with morality. One could not be haunted if one had no memory of past sins and past transgressions’ the Elder had said. Yet almost all his kind suffered nightmares – or rather daymares and the Vampire Scholar who’d propounded his theory had died raving in a fire of his own making. Driven mad by the guilt of split blood. It was hard to be a monster. And much, much harder to be a monster pretending to be a man.

Synopsis

Dark tales of ghosts of war, blood from the Autumn of Terror, the wrath of nature, an unusual murder and a cynical vampire. Twisted poetry of loss and mayhem.
Some adult themes and language.

Winner of the NN Light Book Heaven Award for Short Stories 2021

https://books2read.com/DarkTalesTwistedVerses

Excerpt – The Watcher – A.L. Butcher #Horror #Darkfantasy #HistoricalFiction

Excerpt The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Tale (c) A. L. Butcher

There she was, that whore. Once more. There she was.

Beneath the flickering gas lamp at the corner of Dorset Street, Whitechapel, she strode, grinning a seductive smile at a passing sailor, just ashore and looking for company. He, as bad as the bitch whose breasts he felt and whose ear he nipped with yellowing teeth, the unseen Watcher thought. With eyes burning hatred and a menace previously unseen and misunderstood. It was, he thought, a righteous hatred, and they blaze all the brighter for it. The beast within told him so. For he was the beast and he was its creature, at once the same.

She could have been twenty or forty; the Watcher neither knew nor cared. She’d not see another year, another week, another night. The dim streets grew ever wickeder to those of her sort spreading around their sin, their poison. Defiling this town, this land, defiling HER. The Watcher shook his head; no more whores and this place would rise like the jewel it was. Not jaded and dull but glorious and fit for a queen. The beast within whispered in his head. “Cleanse this town, make it fit again.” And so he did. A knife in the darkness, once more.

Geneva liquor and poverty aged a person far better than mere passing of the years. In the greatest Empire on Earth, they blighted the land. Gin palaces, opium dens, and hash houses aplenty gave heaven and hell to those with money, and those without. Life was cheap, and oblivion cheaper. The Watcher knew these unfortunates dropped their drawers for a taste of it, panting and moaning beneath the bridges and in the alleys, with their grunting men, and their penny a tumble.

The sailor moved on. He’d had his pleasure with another of her kind and spent his last pennies in the tavern, and she was here to work.  Nothing was free in her line of employment. Except for death.

So there she was, alone. Death walked these streets – and tonight it watched the red-haired whore, who sang and smiled and patted her new bonnet. There she was. The whore. Alone.

The minutes passed, creeping towards death; ebbing away from heaven and him ever closer to immortality. The whore did not know it. Of course, she’d heard the tales, everyone had. Screamed by newsboys on every corner “another ‘orrible murder” but rent still needed to be paid. And so she plied her trade. Afraid. Denying it would be her turn this night. A whore, alone.

Another night, another customer. Fear curled in her belly; these streets were streets of blood, four of her sisters slain in just a few weeks. But hunger was the greater force. Desperation made Mary-Jane brave – so she walked the streets, as she had often done. It wouldn’t be her, she thought. As they had. It couldn’t be her. Besides the police watched the alleys and the thoroughfares. The streets were largely empty, save the desperate and the foolhardy, and those too much in drink or lust to know or care.

The Watcher stood, beyond the pool of light from the gas lamp. This night was his. She would be his. This woman wasn’t as much a drab as some of her sisters-in-sin. Lust rose, entwined with his loathing. Two joined as one, desire and disgust, powerful and compelling. He’d never understood why they went together, but then he was a simple man, not one of the mind-doctors who had been so influential of late. The beast within did not care. Lust and hatred, pain and desire…bound so close he could experience little else when the darkness overtook him. Now, however, he watched.

The hunt was almost as enthralling as the kill; the knowledge of their fear, their desperation, and yet still they strutted themselves, offering a screw in the alleys and passages of the East End, and more if the customer had money and the taste for it. Filthy strumpets, he’d said to any who’d listen. Never did he consider the terrible choices they made. Never did he consider their choice was no real choice. What cared he for desperation and poverty? Respectable women did not sell their bodies. They kept sex for the marriage bed. SHE did – his icon, the woman he loved above all others.

The whores’ sins, the watcher thought, was what damned them. And they would pay, in this world and the next. He’d save London. He’d save it for HER. Blood would cleanse the streets.

Synopsis

The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown, but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.

18 rated for scenes of violence.

https://www.books2read.com/TheWatcherJTR

The Crymost Blog Tour #Supernatural #Horror

The Crymost

by Dean H. Wild

Genre: Supernatural Horror

The town of Knoll has a dark secret…

A pact made over fifty years ago to protect the town has expired and a slumbering evil is about to awaken in a sorrowful place just outside of town, The Crymost.

When the last surviving resident of the pact is murdered, it’s up to Mick Logan and a small group of friends to decipher the mystery left behind.

Long-kept secrets will need to be unearthed before the entire town succumbs to the will of a powerful stranger who works hand in hand with the hungry entity crossing Knoll’s borders, invading its homes and executing a soul-draining grip on its citizens.

Join Mick Logan and his small band of friends as they battle The Crymost!

Goodreads * Amazon

Dean H. Wild grew up in east central Wisconsin and has lived in the area, primarily in small towns surrounding the city of Fond du Lac, all his life. He wrote his first short horror story at the tender age of seven and continued to write dark fiction while he pursued careers in retail, the newspaper industry and retail pharmacy. His short stories have seen publication in various magazines and anthologies including Bell, Book & Beyond, A Feast of Frights, Night Terrors II and Horror Library 6. His novel, The Crymost is an exploration of tradition, superstition and encroaching horror in a small Wisconsin town. He and his wife, Julie, currently reside in the village of Brownsville.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

McCool Mythos Blog Tour and #Giveaway #Horror

McCool Mythos: Tales of the Dark and Mysterious

by M.I.H. McCool & John R. McCool III

Genre: Horror

Think carefully before turning the cover…

Prepare yourself for an escape into a world of the harrowing and peculiar. McCool Mythos: Tales of the Dark and Mysterious is a collection of bite-sized tales brought to you by the brother/sister duo, John R. McCool III and M.I.H. McCool in their debut collaboration.

From stories following average people facing supernatural horrors to legends of strange circumstances involving even stranger creatures, each tale is sure to make you think twice before shutting off the light.

Goodreads * Amazon

M.I.H. McCool grew up in southern Mississippi and currently resides in the little town of Danville, Illinois with her chunky pug, Otis, and her turtle, Roosevelt. When not writing, McCool can be found participating in her community’s rich theatre scene, making decorative color-changing potions, writing nerdy articles for 101 Militia Gaming, and enjoying being the ‘cool aunt’ to her nieces.

Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

John R. McCool III hails from a small town in the great state of Mississippi. He fell in love with writing at a very young age, oftentimes writing stories during class rather than paying attention. He now resides in Danville, Illinois where most of his time is spent attending to the day-to-day operations of a local coffee shop, which is like a second home to him. When not writing or sipping coffee, John loves spending time with his wife and kids who give him the inspiration to pursue all of his dreams.

Facebook * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon


a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

The Legend of the Dogman Blog Tour #Suspense #Horror #Thriller

The Legend of the Dogman

by David C. Posthumus

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense

Something dark and malevolent stalks the majestic Northwoods of Michigan, and each corpse sends a new wave of terror through the small town of LeRoy. Anthropology professor Jack Allen uncovers a pattern of strange encounters, disappearances, and unsolved murders that shake him to his core. The deeper Jack delves into the horror in the woods, the more his life falls apart around him. With his family and all of Northern Michigan hanging in the balance, Jack must find a way to stop the cycle or risk losing everything to the ultimate predator. Meet a new kind of monster in David C. Posthumus’s bone-chilling suspenseful thriller, The Legend of the Dogman!

Add to Goodreads * Amazon

Get it discounted from Timber Ghost Press !

David C. Posthumus began his writing career at age six, when his grandfather read one of his first-grade publications and labeled him “Ernie (Hemingway) Jr.” Posthumus is a voracious reader of many genres, fiction and nonfiction, and an avid horror fan and fiction writer. He has published extensively in the fields of anthropology and Native American studies, including one published book (All My Relatives: Exploring Lakota Ontology, Belief, and Ritual, University of Nebraska Press, 2018), one book forthcoming (Lakota: Culture, History, and Modernities, University of Oklahoma Press, 2022), as well as several journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. Aside from having the perfect surname for horror, Posthumus loves dogs, the great outdoors, and is also a musician and lifelong music lover.

Website * Facebook * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

Dark Tales and Twisted Verses – NN Light Book Heaven Finalist

Dark Tales and Twisted Verses is a finalist in the NN Light Book Heaven awards for 2021, for the short story category.

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/2021-book-award-finalists

Check out the awesome books here.

Dark tales of ghosts of war, blood from the Autumn of Terror, the wrath of nature, an unusual murder and a cynical vampire. Twisted poetry of loss and mayhem.
Some adult themes and language.
https://books2read.com/DarkTalesTwistedVerses

Monsters Among Us – Blog Tour – Horror

Monsters Among Us
by Liz Zemlicka
Genre: Horror
Are there truths in legends? How far would the people of a small town go to keep the truth? When four bored and curious teenagers; Gabby, Max, Luke and Becca explore the forest surrounding their small town. They stumble upon something terrifying and deadly.
Soon it stalks them until one of them is dead, one is missing and they send one away for twenty years.
Now adults, a determined Gabby and Max set out to find the truth about what happened to their friends. But what they find in that forest is nothing they ever could have imagined.
Sometimes the truth is far more horrifying.
“Quite intriguing, a very good read from start to finish.”
— ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Richard Biddle
Liz started writing as a teenager and has always stayed an avid reader. With inspiration from great writers of horror fiction like Stephen King, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury and many more. She has improved her writing style and found her niche in storytelling and entertaining. Born and raised in the Midwest. A nurse, mother to three boys, and a pit bull rescue mama. She always had a fascination with the unseen and things that can play with your mind and terrify you beyond the reach of your five senses.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$15 Amazon giftcard,
Swag Pack,
Paperback Copy of Monsters Among Us
– 1 winner each!

Tapi dans l’ombre

Nous sommes en 1888, à Whitechapel, au cœur même de la capitale londonienne. Mais le cœur saigne. Un tueur mystérieux traque les femmes dans les rues — sa véritable identité est inconnue, mais ce personnage mythique entrera dans l’histoire. Jack l’Éventreur est au centre de cette nouvelle.

Scènes de violence : récit destiné aux plus de 18 ans.

https://books2read.com/TapiDansLOmbre-Watcher-French

#Jackl’Éventreur, #Crimehistorique, #Romanpolicier, #Horreur, #Nouvelle 

Narrator Interview – Lesley Dessalles

*Name: Lesley Dessalles

*Tell us a bit about yourself:

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? That is a long story…but I have an Actor friend who has always said I should use my voice, eventually I reached a time in my life when I could investigate that option. I approached a voice artist local to me, Andy Turvey who is somewhat of a guru and whose advice I have valued and continue to appreciate. Audible told me to contact ACX and here I am, just over 18 months later, 16 books through ACX and various voiceover jobs completed.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? Titles have varied from Thrillers, the paranormal, Ghost stories, the story of Joan of Arc, and Children’s books.

Do you have a preferred genre?  Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this? I seem to work on a number of Ghost stories. I am not sure why. My first commission was Veiled by Kat Green, which was pretty gruesome.  I have now completed 3 books for Kat and numerous other ghost stories, including a phantom caper in Las Vegas, the sad tale of a Mistletoe Bride, and of course The story of Blossom Rise.

If you could meet anyone from history or literature for dinner who would it be and what would you eat? I think it would have to be Joan of Arc, having narrated a book about her life. I have had connection with France for over thirty years, I would be interested to see what she would have eaten with the Men that supported her quest, although not in battle when she simply had bread and wine, to see if there are dishes that are still recognised on a French menu today. I expect so!

What are you working on at present/just finished? I have just completed a children’s book and I am about to work on a new genre for me, it feels very like a ‘chick flick’, in style.

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) First thing, is to read the book carefully and think about the tone and the accents of the characters. I like to know the author’s take on characters too. It is important that the author recognises their work! I then work through chapter by chapter, usually working with the author to ensure that they are happy every step of the way.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable? I enjoy finding the voices and accents for each character. It is not always easy, and if it is a long book I make sure I know in which chapter the characters appear, so that I can ensure the voice is right later on in the book.

What do you find least enjoyable? The editing side. The ironing out the lumps and bumps within the sound file. I don’t think listeners necessarily appreciate how long this takes for a humble narrator in their own studio or sound booth. They are used to seeing clips of famous actors in a studio with a sound engineer on the other side of the glass who will ultimately edit and clean the files.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this? Do you think this a fair split for your time? It is a good way for a beginner to gain experience. I am hoping that one day I get to have a sound engineer on the other side of the glass!

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? My friend, who has been shielding over Lockdown says that audiobooks stop her feeling lonely. I guess, in our busy lives, audiobooks can be absorbed whilst doing something else such as driving or exercising.

Do you prefer a spoken book, or reading? For you how do they differ? Reading, every time I am afraid!

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? To Kill a Mocking Bird, Narrated by Sissy Spacek, she is perfect.

If you are an author, do you produce your own audiobooks or do you prefer to look for an independent narrator? Why have you made this choice? Maybe I’ll write something one day…

What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? I was told to be persistent and patient.

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? A book that went on to be an unexpected bestseller would be nice…especially if I was able to narrate it with a sound engineer behind the glass!

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I sneeze when I eat mints and good quality chocolate! I am the same height as Dolly Parton!

Where can we learn more about you?

Social Media links:https://www.facebook.com/LezDezVoice/

Facebook Lesley Dessalles – Voice

Lesley has narrated the Secret of Blossom Rise

Audible.Com

Amazon.com audio https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Blossom-Rise-Ghost-Story/dp/B08CNCBNJC/

Audible UK

Amazon UK audio https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Blossom-Rise-Ghost-Story/dp/B08CNF6KJP/

Audible France

Audible Germany