Boo! Fore! Horror Anthology #Halloween

I’m pleased to share Boo! Fore! Amazon link

A mixed bag of tricks and treats, this Halloween anthology is sure to have something for everyone.

Moving On – Leland Dirks
Beneath a Bloated Yellow Moon – Nicole Storey
Floating – Laurie Boris
Miss Clemency Fisher – Mark Morris
Letter From the Road – Erin McGowan
Masquerade – LB Clark
Dead Broke – Jen Daniele
A Tricky Treat – Ann Cathey
Full Moon Rising – Nancy DeCilio Gauthier
Ghost Ship – Kristina Jackson
Hiding – Joshua Lay
Sensitive Skin – JD Mader
The Watcher – AL Butcher
Blood Brothers – Erin McGowan
Robin Hood – Laurie Boris
Smoke on the Wind – Ann Cathey
Hitchhiker- Leland Dirks
Untitled – Rich Meyer
Cautionary Tale – LB Clark
Clown Harvest – Jen Daniele

Personally I’ll be avoiding the clown one as I don’t want nightmares but the others are a great mix.

All the profits go to a veterans’ charity to help soldiers and ex soldiers deal with mental health issues such as PTSD.

Boot Campaign’s reboot:

Over the next week or so I’ll be interviewing the various authors involved.

#Horror #Halloween #Indieauthors

Echoes of a Song – New Release – Dark Fantasy/Horror/Phantom

Those of you who know me fairly well will be aware that the love of my life is the Phantom of the Opera. I first saw the stage show in London with the great Michael Crawford when I was 11 and from then I adored it. The original story was written by Gaston Leroux, a French author of mystery, suspense and horror in 1910 (and 1911 for the English translation).

I’m sure many of you know the story – or think you do but I’ll summarise it here:

The Paris Opera House has been ‘haunted’ by the mysterious Opera Ghost, whose antics include fleecing the managers out of a good deal of money, causing mayhem among the young and niave corps de ballet and a number of other rather mischievous and wicked events. Many tales abound of this strange figure but no one has really seen the man he truly is.

Christine Daae – the young and rather innocent daughter of a Swedish musician joins and the Phantom becomes her ‘maestro’, her ‘good genius’. Giving her singing lessons, filling her niave head with tales of angels, and fantasy he weaves a spell for them both that can only end in tragedy. And it does.

Erik, for that’s the name he uses, although we never learn his real name, is disfigured form birth. Leroux’s book describes him as a human skeleton – with pale, yellowish flesh, sunken glowing eyes and just a hole where his nose should be. Hence he wears a mask, hides himself away and is rarely seen by anyone except as the ghost. Erik is a tragic soul – he is a man, with a man’s desires, emotions and needs but because of his appearance cannot find love, or even affection. He claims not even his mother loved him. So when he falls hard for the young singer he tries to win her love with his voice. For he has ‘the voice of an angel.’ To complicate matters Christine is wooed by the young, handsome and equally niave Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny who ends up fighting the phantom for her hand. Someone is going to lose. And I confess I cried the first time I read the book, pretty much every time since then and at every show I saw – considering I worked for a month or more on the National Tour I still blubbed at the end. This story is passionate, tragic, filled with suspense and is, ultimately, a love story – and whether it has a happy ending depends on your point of view.

So what’s my point here? Echoes of a Song is a short tale from Raoul’s point of view set twelve or so years after the events at the opera house. Keep in mind his brother died there, he was imprisoned there, he was forced to try and rescue his fiancee there and almost die and so it’s not somewhere filled with happy memories. Raoul has issues. I guess now we’d call it PTSD or something similar. Anyway he’s not a happy bunny but he’s doing the best he can for his young family, despite what appears to be a curse on his family. In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his dreams.

Madness, obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short, tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.

I haven’t seen a great deal of stories from Raoul’s point of view (I’ve read a few… not that it’s an obsession or anything) and so this is his story.  It’s dark, and leaves much unanswered, but that’s part of the point. Was Erik more than a man? Was Raoul and Christine’s life going to be simple? What aftermath was there?

This is a tale of love, of hatred and mystery – much like the original.

Available on Amazon for just 99c (99p) this a great coffee break read for phantom fans, and those who like old style horror.

Please note the Phantom of the Opera is a public domain work.

mask in hand.halloween concept


Echoes of a Song – Legacy of the Mask Tales

A dozen tumultuous years after the dramatic events at the Paris Opera House Raoul, Comte de Chagny is still haunted by the mysterious Opera Ghost – the creature of legend who held staff at the Opera House under his thrall, kidnapped Raoul’s lover and murdered his brother. In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his dreams.

Madness, obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short, tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.

Back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – Altos the Angel

Now who’d expect to find an angel in Hell, except of course his lordship, the Fallen One? Amongst the damned his presence is…unusual. So over to you… (brave angel this one…misguided perhaps but brave).

Character Spotlight

About yourself:

*Who are/were you? I am Altos, an angel on special assignment.

* Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? I am here to rehabilitate His Satanic Majesty.

Who are your friends/allies here? All well-meaning souls I consider my allies, those not entirely given over to iniquity.

Describe your home/environment in Hell. I arrived with the fallen and have watched Hell develop from total darkness to its current state. Although I hail from on high this is my home for now, wherever the Prince holds forth you will find me.

Do you have any enemies here? My adversaries are the blind passions of the damned, most significantly Vengeance.

Come on be honest, what do you think of HSM leadership? Satan is comprehensible, if not justifiable, and actually a lover of beauty in his way.

Author Spotlight

*Name and bio.

Chris Morris

* Tell us about your story for this edition. The Wager relates an incident involving Satan and Altos where militaristic hordes from all ages have gathered for a “final” reckoning.

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen? Satan’s isolation and profound understanding of humanity are fascinating, yet very difficult to draw—in this story by resort to a ghastly and grand-scale event demonstrating the worst proclivities of his charges, the lost souls of men. Because of his proposition to the angel—his most worthy, divine audience—he can indulge his urge to instruct his eternal adversary on high. Even Satan loves company.

What are you currently working on? I’m narrating audio books; I’ve completed The Sacred Band a novel by Janet Morris and myself and I, the Sun by Janet Morris. Next up is Shards of the Glass Slipper II: Queen Alice, by Roy Mauritsen.

Name the last two books you’ve read – tell us about them. Re-read The Golden Sword by Janet Morris, the second volume in her Silistra series quartet and The Best Poems in the English Language by Harold Bloom, his compendium of great poetical works and a great starting point for those like me who seek a chronological framework in which to appreciate the history of poetry in our language.

What marketing tips/writing advice can you offer other authors? Until you’ve found your storytelling voice as distinct from those writers you admire, write only what you know as passionately and articulately as you can without distorting your effort by trend-following or obeisance to niche-market rules and practices. Find and write what only you can and love the moments of total immersion necessary to bring them to life.

Heroes in Hell (series)

Back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – Doc Holiday

Welcome back to the infernal interview service, offering you close-ups of the damned like never before.

Character Spotlight

About yourself:

*Who are/were you?  Name’s Doc Holliday – Gambler, gunfighter, lover and sometimes dentist.

* Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? On account of some dark deeds committed throughout my life. I killed a lot of men in my time, and swindled a whole bunch more who didn’t understand the nature of their opponent when it came to games of chance. I got no complaints about where I ended up. I made some choices along the way that maybe I wouldn’t have if I’d known how things would work out. Some folk would call me an evil sonofabitch… can’t say as I’d blame them.

Who are your friends/allies here? I’ve met me an odd bunch here in hell, an eclectic mix of folks who all have one thing in common, a love of gamblin’. I’ve got my gal, Calamity Jane, a crazy ass Gaelic chieftain by the name o’ O’Neill – mad as hell but a good man to have at your back. Then there’s a genuine member of English royalty, the Earl of Sandwich. Finally there’s a Russian philosopher and writer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Describe your home/environment in Hell. HSM in his infinite wisdom has chosen to bind me to a saloon in a frontier town called Helldorado. As a gamblin’ man I’ve always sought that elusive moment where your heart is beatin’ so strongly in your chest it feels like it’ll jump clean out, just before you turn the last card over, knowin’ that everything you own is sittin’ in a heap in the middle of the table. That ultimate high, the rush you experience an instant before the reveal, has been taken from me by HSM. Every hand I play here in hell I win, empty victories when the outcome is preordained.

Do you have any enemies here? I have enemies in every damned place I’ve ever laid my hat. Here ain’t no different.

Come on be honest, what do you think of HSM leadership? As evil overlords go he’s pretty much got the job nailed. Sadly the better he is at running this eternal prison for the damned the worse afterlife becomes for the citizens of hell.

So, this plague – who’s responsible? Sadly, no one ever tells me anything.

What is the technology level of the culture you chose to write about? My story is set in a western environment and time.

Author Spotlight

*Name and bio. Paul Freeman is from Dublin, Ireland where he lives with his family. He is the author of the epic fantasy series, Tribesman. He has also co-authored a zombie apocalypse, collaborative novel, Season Of The Dead. In TAXI, he moves away from his usual speculative fiction genre, stepping into a more literary field, examining the effect on the life of a taxi driver after a single moment of madness which results in the death of a teenage girl, and how this event results in devastating consequences for him and those closest to him.

* Tell us about your story for this edition. My story is called Hell Noon. It is set in a western frontier town called Helldorado. The basic premise is that Doc Holliday and a collection of other famous gamblers are holed up in a saloon playing cards (Holliday is cursed to win every hand he plays) when they are invaded by a wild bunch of infected plague carriers. A gunfight ensues and the group come up with a plan to escape… nothing in hell runs smoothly though.

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen? I really liked the idea of writing a western-themed story and as the title was Doctors in Hell I figured Doc Holliday would be the perfect MC to choose.

How did you become involved with this project? I was invited by Janet Morris to join and thought it would be a really fun thing to be involved in. And it is!

Writing for a shared world is challenging, how do you meet that challenge? By trying not to step on anyone’s toes.

What are you currently working on?  I’m currently writing a vampire apocalypse book. My normal genre to write in is fantasy, particularly epic fantasy, but I like to stray out of my comfort zone every now and then.

What are your views on authors offering free books? I have absolutely no issue with how anyone chooses to market their books. If it works go for it.

What marketing tips/writing advice can you offer other authors? Watch what I do very carefully and then do the complete opposite.

What other books/short stories have you written? Books currently published are my two epic fantasy novels from the same series: Tribesman and Warrior. I’ve just recently published a novel called Taxi about a Dublin taxi driver who becomes involved in a road traffic accident that was not his fault, but he is left to deal with the consequences. I have also co-authored a zombie apocalypse novel with three other authors. The premise for this is that each of us wrote from our own perspective in our own locations, so the book is set in three different countries and the apocalypse told from four different points of view.

I’ve also contributed a short story to a steampunk anthology called Strange Tales From The Scriptorium Vaults. Also another collection called A Turn Of The Wheel.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Back away from the keyboard.


Back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – John Milton

The Jack O’Lanterns are carved, and the marshmallows are toasting over the hellfires. Pull up a pitchfork and join me once more in the devilish domain of His Satanic Majestic.

Characters and authors aplenty for your infernal entertainment.

Character Spotlight: John Milton

About yourself: I am the author of Paradise Lost, the English epic in blank verse, and other reflections on life and immortality, including Areopagitica, a blow stuck against pre-publication censorship. Free speech and freedom of the press were my passions while alive.

*Who are/were you? A poet, a revolutionary, a sentry guarding the gates that kept ignorance at bay. Samuel Johnson called me an acrimonious and surly Republican. Perhaps. I did fight with my tutors, who felt need to tame my mind’s adventurism, put caution in my heart. Caution has no part in an honest heart. I was born in 1608. I was eight years old when Shakespeare died. In 1660 I hid from the restoration lackies, avoiding a warrant calling for my life and the burning of all my works. In 1674 I died, blind and destitute, of kidney failure – to escape such pain, I welcomed death.

*Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? Paradise Lost brought me to Hell, for taking Satan’s part. I tried to make Christianity classical, make freedom the birthright of any soul on Earth, and failed because politics have no part in the true struggle, against death itself.

Who are your friends/allies here? You jest. The Great Deceiver finds me useful, and that puts me on the opposite side of Cocytus from most penitent souls. Nor am I penitent -, nor will I ever be. But no fool, these days, with an infernity around me. The fallen angels enjoy my company.

Describe your home/environment in Hell. I make my home in Pandemonium – a term I thought I coined, for a place I thought a product of my own mind. Pandemonium is a vast breath of foul air and brimstone, a citadel whose spires scrape the heavens, with adamantine walls and filled with Satan’s legions, both doomed souls once men – full of mischiefs and hardier souls who’ve never been men. Some days I have comfort, more than most, when I’m sent with messages or punishments to this damned soul or the other. From Pandemonium ‘tis a long walk to anywhere, but a short flight when the angelic wings of the Devil’s stalwarts wrap me round.

Do you have any enemies here? Do I have anything but enemies? I brought the underverse to life, made infernity real and inescapable. The damned duly hate me.  I have peers – quite a different story; an innumerable lot, including Kit Marlowe and his wittol, Will Shakespeare. These two love words for their own sake – and each other. I find them too full of greatness self-proclaimed, chasing after this clever turn of phrase or that rhythm:  they forgive all for tragedy and comedy, and naught for the true fight: the fight for freedom of the mind. But the devil doth love his Bard of Avon – more than me, so until obliteration comes to pass, I suffer them, and fool upon fool, so every realm of hell is littered with their wrongs.

Come on be honest, what do you think of HSM leadership? Honest?  About the Prince of Darkness?  About the Father of Lies? About my hero – whose glorification brought me here to waste away and away?  The Adversary allows me my sight, so I can see all the evil done and blamed on me; he allows me my youth, so I can go among the damned from one hell to another – except for Tartaros, so far: even a glimpse of the afterlife of Hellenes is denied me, who wanted so to put a Christian face on Homeric odes.

So, this plague – who’s responsible? The damned themselves: the selfish, the foolish, the overly bold and the bloody. The plague seeks the damned, who in their turn seek escape, every dumb brute among them. Satan’s so-called rulership of all the New Damned fell to laxity: the problem with the devil is he’s not devilish enough, by half, to suit the Maker. So those who rule Above sent down Erra and his Seven personified weapons, to put the punishment back in hell that Satan’s sly courtship of the doomed eschews. Satan’s plan is too clever for those punishers from Above: his ever antic calculated to prove the damned are damned by their flawed nature, by all they do and all they say, and Satan’s soft-seeming leadership forces the Almighty into the role of Overlord of Evil. This, Satan watches, and bides his time, and proves again and again that humanity’s flaws are intrinsic, and not the fault of the stars or of hellfires where their souls finally abide. Thus, call humanity the bringer of plague, not the Babylonian god who brings pestilence only on orders from higher powers. And call the devil the greatest of poets, who brings this tragedy to life and light.

What is the WORST thing about being here? The worst thing about being in hell is that mankind creates it every day, anew and worse. As I said in my poor play, obliteration is the cure.  Sad cure.  And yet the animal within each soul wants only to live to struggle on, and on…

Erra and his Seven – what’s going on there then? I said all I should need to say about the lackeys from Above, those ministers of due punishment and undue suffering alike. Erra’s forte is plague and mayhem, and hell is, truly, where he doth find his place.

What are your best tips for surviving in Hell? Keep eyes averted.  Write and say the truth. Hell is no worse than Reformation England, really – with faults aplenty to fight and fools to spare.

Before you arrived here did you actually believe in HSM and his fiery domain? Bet that was a shock! I thought…I’d dreamed Paradise Lost. Yet when I wrote it, each day was a summoning of His Infernal Majesty. So here I came, and am, and will be until obliteration can be mine – and sleep.

Eternity – that’s a damned long time. How to you spend the endless years here? I foment what discontent I may, and take commissions from the lords of hell when warranted.

What do you miss most about your old….life? Nothing. My life turned out to be practice for my sentence here. If what I publish here is bowdlerized, at least to some those words strike true and ring the knell all the damned so crave:  their final rest.

What is the technology level of the culture you chose to write about? Technology provides amusement for the shallow and ungifted, who’ll proliferate inanities until we slog waist deep in the dimmest wits ever born. What humanity does is no better or worse now than before technology – yesterday’s, today’s or tomorrow’s. All gadgets reproduce, but ne’er make anything unknown become known – or knowable. I wrote about infernity, about humanity’s reality – about what we are: our wizened souls, our selfish lusts, our need to break others to our will. Now I can be anywhere among the manifold mistakes of the Almighty’s cruelest jokes:  they are no better in the future than in the past. I wrote about this hell in which I stand, and now here I am.

Author Spotlight

*Name and bio.

Janet Morris.  Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 40 novels, many co-authored with her husband Chris Morris or others. Her debut novel, written as Janet E. Morris, was High Couch of Silistra, the first in a quartet of character-driven novels with a female protagonist. According to original publisher Bantam Books, the Silistra quartet had over four million copies in print when the fourth volume, The Carnelian Throne was published. Charles N. BrownLocus Magazine, is quoted on the Baen Books reissues of the series as saying, “Engrossing characters in a marvelous adventure.”

Morris has contributed short fiction to the shared universe fantasy series Thieves World, in which she created the Sacred Band of Stepsons, a mythical unit of ancient fighters modeled on the Sacred Band of Thebes.

She created, orchestrated, and edited the Bangsian fantasy series Heroes in Hell, writing stories for the series as well as co-writing the related novel, The Little Helliad, with Chris Morris.

Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Her 1983 book “I, the Sun”, a detailedbiographical novel about the Hittite King Suppiluliuma I was praised for its historical accuracy; O.M. Gurney, Hittite scholar and author of “The Hittites,”[2] commented that “the author is familiar with every aspect of Hittite culture.”[3]

Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of non-fiction, as well as papers and articles on non-lethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics.

*Tell us about your story for this edition. In Doctors in Hell, with Chris Morris, I wrote about the underworld’s single volunteer angel, and a wager he made with the Price of Lies. Chris then wrote about Milton, who is sent on a mission for Satan. Then together Chris and I wrote about Shakespeare and Marlowe, to whom Milton is sent with the true ‘cure’ for the plagues in hell. Hearing this ‘cure’ gives Marlowe the malady an author most dreads when facing an infernity never-ending: writer’s block. And Shakespeare tries to help Marlowe by taking him to the most fearsome and famed witch doctors in New Hell… so they think until they cross a certain threshold…

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen? I wrote these characters almost accidentally: I was doing an introductory story for Rogues in Hell, and down came a clutch of new characters, into my story which was called Babe in Hell. One I’d had a taste of Shakespeare and Marlowe, they found enticements against which I was helpless, including the introduction of John Milton. Milton is daunting to portray, and his voice complex, so Chris and I waited as long as we could to introduce him – first in walk-on roles, and now finally, in an entire story that’s worthy of such a character, therefore a story that begins to turn hell on its collective and pointy ear.

How did you become involved with this project? Serendipity, truly. I had a multibook contract with Baen Books, and proposed the Heroes in Hell series, since at that time my parents were dying and death and what may lie after were much on my mind.

Writing for a shared world is challenging, how do you meet that challenge? Writing for a shared world is challenging, yes; but editing one, and writing the introductory and final stories for the volumes, tests me every time I do so. But in HIH I can try things, do stories I wouldn’t try to do elsewhere.  Hell is, in its way, liberating.

Tell us why you chose this story to tell out of so many possible options? This ‘story’ is actually a group of three:  one an introduction, followed by Chris Morris’ characterization of Milton, then in turn followed by Chris and my final story for the volume, in which the final story “Writer’s Block” sets some groundwork for later volumes while bringing our several strings of plot together.  Writing this way is difficult but great fun.

What drew you to these characters? These characters came because I wanted to rewrite and use the first story, which was the only HIH story that Jim Baen wouldn’t publish because the content offended him, and so we sold it to be published in different form for the current version in an a literary sf quarterly, Argos.  Since that story would have been the first in a different volume, it was already structured properly to be an introductory story, so we updated it and rewrote it into the current HIH moment, where it worked very well. SO we had had Altos the volunteer angel for a very long time, and it was a good time to re-enter him.  As for Milton, he’s a bit daunting but in Hell, we choose a story we want to tell, then we find characters who would be the best a telling that story. For the story we wanted to tell that would wrap the Doctors in Hell volume, we needed to end with Shakespeare and Marlowe – and a few others….

What are you currently working on? A novel.

Name the last two books you’ve read – tell us about them. Euripides, The Rhesos, Lattimore translating; Aeschylus’ Suppliant Women, A. J. Bowen.

One is directly for the book I’m doing, Rhesos of Thrace, in which the Euripedes version figures;  the Aeschylus is part of my rereading of Greek tragedies, as much to recover the sensitivities of this period as to clarify what concerned the writers and protagonists.

I really always write the book I want to read, and to write Rhesos the way I want to read it I need to be deeply seated in his culture, both while alive and what Euripdes made of him.

What are your views on authors offering free books? In general, I think that people don’t value what they do not pay for.  In the book business, however, there is a long tradition of giving books to people to read who may talk positively about what they’ve read.  The numbers of copies involved now are simply greater.

What marketing tips/writing advice can you offer other authors? Write what impassions you:  you’re trading away your real daily life for time spent in an imagined construct:  make sure it’s worthwhile for you to do so.

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?

“Hell is just a frame of mind.” – Marlowe in Faustus.

What other books/short stories have you written?

From Wikipedia:

Science fiction novels ·         High Couch of Silistra

·         The Golden Sword

·         Wind from the Abyss

·         The Carnelian Throne

·         Dream Dancer

·         Cruiser Dreams

·         Earth Dreams

·         Threshold

·         Trust Territory

·         The Stalk

·         ARC Riders

·         The Fourth Rome

·         The 40-Minute War

·         Active Measures

·         Outpassge

·         Target

Heroes in Hell ·         Heroes in Hell (book)

·         Heroes in Hell (series)

Fiction ·         I, the Sun

·         Medusa

·         Warlord

·         Kill Ratio

·         Afterwar

Historical fantasy ·         Beyond Sanctuary

·         Beyond the Veil

·         Beyond Wizardwall

·         Tempus

·         City at the Edge of Time

·         Tempus Unbound

·         Storm Seed

·         The Sacred Band

Short fiction ·         Raising the Green Lion

·         Vashanka’s Minion

·         A Man and His God

·         An End to Dreaming

·         Wizard Weather

·         High Moon

·         Basileus

·         Hero’s Welcome

·         Graveyard Shift

·         To Reign in Hell

·         Power Play

·         Pillar of Fire

·         Gilgamesh Redux

·         Sea of Stiffs

·         The Nature of Hell

·         The Best of the Achaeans

·         The Collaborator

·         […] is Hell

·         Moving Day

·         Sea Change

Nonfiction work ·         Nonlethality: A Global Strategy

·         Weapons of Mass Protection

·         The American Warrior

If you could have a dinner party with any man and woman from anywhere and anywhen who would invite and what would you eat? Heraclitus of Ephesus, Homer, Sappho, Harold Bloom, Suppiluliumas 1 of Hatti, Kit Marlowe.

Which 10 books would you save to keep you sane after the apocalypse? (Only 10 allowed). Oxford Classical Dictionary, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Complete Shakespeare (RSC), Lattimore’s Iliad and Odyssey;

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t, unless some specific review was important to your development and you’re commenting in the course of an interview that includes something salient to say about a review/reviewer.

Which books/movies/plays have influence your life? Too many to list.

In these days of movies and video games are books really influential? I hope so.

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Twitter: @uvmchristine


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Back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – Dr Neill Cream

The Jack O’Lanterns are carved, and the marshmallows are toasting over the hellfires. Pull up a pitchfork and join me once more in the devilish domain of His Satanic Majestic.

Characters and authors aplenty for your infernal entertainment.

About yourself:

Who are/were you?  I am/was Dr Thomas Neill Cream. Doctor by day, serial killer by night, with victims throughout America, Canada, Scotland and England. A most delightful little spree that came to an untimely end through no fault of my own.

Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? I think that’s obvious, don’t you? In life, I became known as the Lambeth Poisoner and enjoyed using my position of trust to lure my victims into positions whereby I could prey on their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. I showed no remorse for my crimes and was hanged at Newgate prison, London, in 1892. For some reason, many people think I was Jack the Ripper. I can’t imagine why…?

Describe your home/environment in Hell. I live in the Lambsdeath district of Olde London Town. That’s in the Juxtapose level of Hell, an area beset by fractures through sheolspace whereby different eras come together in a mishmash of times and eras. You can be crossing the cobbled streets of Victorian London one moment, only to be forced to jump out of the way of a modern-day Hackney carriage the next. I like it here as the rifts allow me to cover my tracks as I go about my business.

In fact, here’s a little picture of me out on a stroll in the Lamdsdeath/Bittersea area of Olde London Town


Care to join me?

Do you have any enemies here? Not really, I keep myself to myself and use others as and when I see fit. The only problem I seem to get is from the damned Reaper who seems intent on making my unlife as uncomfortable as possible.

What is the WORST thing about being here? The fact that I’m just one of the crowd.

Back topside, people reviled me for what I did and the suffering I caused. And although I racked up a goodly number of murders – most of which they never managed to pin on me – my hard work and tenacity didn’t mean a thing once I got here. There are so many denizens of Hell who committed far worse crimes than I did. Genocide and mass murder. I mean, how am I going to compete with that? It’s not like I can get my sorry ass back into the land of the living so I can go on a fresh killing spree is it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d bite my arms off for the chance. But that blasted Reaper seems to haunt my every step. One day…one day…

What are your best tips for surviving in Hell? Be yourself.

Be true to who you are and live up to it. Submerge yourself in the filth and the decadence and brutality and shout for more. I’m a narcissistic sycophant, and proud of it. Just the ticket for the rabble that infests every nook and cranny of this place.

Before you arrived here did you actually believe in HSM and his fiery domain? Bet that was a shock! I never really gave it a second thought. I was far too preoccupied with my own desires to think that far ahead. But after they killed me…well, what a delight!
Could you imagine having to be good all the time? Float around on a cloud all day – or whatever it is they do up there – and endure paradise. No murder. No fornication. No simply being yourself. Perish the thought. I’m glad I travelled the right way.

What do you miss most about your old….life? The fact that nobody can truly die here. It takes all the fun out of things.

Don’t get me wrong, I still ply my trade wherever and whenever I can. But sometimes, I think…what’s the point? All that planning and preparation. And for what? Yes, they may expire before me in agony, but I miss that look in people’s eyes as they breathe their last, knowing I’ve consigned them to the grave.

Here, all it means is that the nastier individuals will probably come back seeking revenge after their visit to the Undertaker. That’s why I like working from the shadows so much. If they don’t know who you are, they can’t very well come back to even the score can they.
And so long as I don’t wake up with my throat cut or my heart in a jar, that’s all that matters.

My dear, I do apologise, but I must be off in a few minutes. I have an appointment with a rather inventive friend of mine who says he can help me with my long-term plans.

But before I go, I don’t suppose I could interest you in this little health tonic I threw together? It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly it’ll set you up just right for the future. Honestly, you’ll never get sick again J

cream_002[1] (2)

Author Spotlight

Name and bio. My name Andrew P. Weston and I’m a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with my wife, Annette, and our growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, I’m the creator of The IX and a number of other science fiction and fantasy based series, and I also have the privilege of being a member of the British Science Fiction Association, and British Fantasy Society.

When not writing, I devote some of my spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and I write educational articles for and Amazing Stories.

Tell us about your story for this edition.

Entitled Grim, it’s an introductory tale regarding a character I’m hoping readers will come to know well, Satan’s chief bounty hunter, Daemon Grim. In this story, we find him hunting a fugitive from injustice, Dr Thomas Neill Cream, a very foolish individual who incurred His Infernal Majesty’s wrath.

In life, Cream was known as the Lambeth Poisoner, a narcissistic sycophant who delighted in watching the suffering of others as they slowly died at his hands. Such was the depth of his depravity that once arrested, he showed no remorse, and revelled more under the assumption that he might be Jack the Ripper than in atoning for his crimes. After his arrival in Hell, he quickly became dissatisfied, and was always on the lookout for ways to increase his bad boy reputation. And that, leads him into a lot of trouble.

How did you become involved with this project? By invitation.
Several reviews I’d completed on other books caught Janet Morris’s eye. Through them, she was drawn to my work. After she’d checked-out a few stories, I was extended the privilege of contributing.

Writing for a shared world is challenging, how do you meet that challenge? By doing my homework.
If you’re going to collaborate in such a huge, well established universe like Heroes in Hell, you have to find out what the rules are and what makes it tick. How flexible can you be? What are your boundaries? Are there any taboos, if so, what? And what degree of interaction with other contributors might be allowed? You see? There are a lot of factors to consider. Once you’ve done that, you have to determine exactly how you’re going to contribute and how it will add to or enhance the overall flavour of the universe. Hard work – but fun in the end J
What are you currently working on? At the moment I’m beginning to lay the foundations for the second Hell novel involving Grim.
The first one – Hell Bound – is due out toward the end of this year. This new story continues his quest of hunting down Satan’s enemies and dispensing instant injustice.

(Please check out the blog tour for Hell Bound and see the link below.)

I’m thoroughly enjoying developing this character as I’ve managed to incorporate his adventures into the Heroes in Hell universe in such a way that each anthology will leapfrog and enhance what takes place in the novels.

In that way, I’ll be able to maintain the exact feel and flavour of what Heroes in Hell is all about.

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite? “…He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you…”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Which 10 books would you save to keep you sane after the apocalypse? (Only 10 allowed). Lord of the Rings trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson
Magician – Raymond E. Feist
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawkin
The complete works of Shakespeare
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
I the Sun – Janet Morris
The Wilt compendium – Tom Sharpe (I cried with laughter the first time I read them)
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The IX – (Andrew P. Weston – how could I not include my first true epic?)

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Me? I must admit, I like to add a personal touch. I like to thank anyone who takes the time to puts a thoughtful, honest review out for others to read. However, I never – NOT EVER – respond to trolls. When you get that kind of bile, it’s always best to let your audience answer for you.

In these days of movies and video games are books really influential? Hell yes!

I’m and avid reader and I love films. For example, look how well the LOTR films have done. But as skilled as Peter Jackson is, the films aren’t a patch on the books where the reader can let their imagination loose amongst a rich and vivid landscape. You can go places in your mind that a film never can. Or The Hunger Games trilogy, for example. The films are very popular, but they come nowhere near to capturing the mood and depth of feeling the people of Panem face as they struggle to find the fortitude to break the grip of a tyrannical government. If you’ve read the books, you experience that sense of loss, because celluloid entertainment will never encapsulate such depth and breadth in the limited 2 hours they have to convey an entire story.
And it’s not just popular ‘current fantasies’ like LOTR or Game of Thrones where this rings true. You get it in the older classics like Wuthering Heights, the Thirty-Nine Steps, and Of Mice and men to name several masterpieces.
Thank goodness for books. Whatever technology we develop, they’ll never go out of fashion.

Although not entirely in context, I’m reminded of a superb quote by Stephen Fry…

“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

And I think that rings true regarding films as well.
One day, when I’ve made it big, I’ll have a room like THIS in my house

homelibrary (2)

And you’re all invited.

See you there. J

Andrew Weston’s Author Pages and Links:



The IX


Doctors in Hell

Rage of Augustus

Fairy Tale

For more please check out Andrew’s Amazon Author page.

Welcome back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – Jack William Finley

The Jack O’Lanterns are carved, and the marshmallows are toasting over the hellfires. Pull up a pitchfork and join me once more in the devilish domain of His Satanic Majestic.

Characters and authors aplenty for your infernal entertainment.

Welcome to Jack William Finley, one of the authors from the Heroes In Hell shared universe series.

Where are you from and where do you live now? From Logansport Indiana and now live in Indianapolis.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My writing has been compared to old Twilight Zone stories, that’s probably a pretty fair comparison.

Where do you find inspiration? I think one of the most important parts of becoming a decent writer is knowing that ideas and inspiration are everywhere. If you can write and write, not even well, just competently, there is nothing you can’t use.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Nope. Sounds like it would be fun to do at some point.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Yeah, probably. I’m pretty opinionated and I can’t imagine that doesn’t bleed into the writing. No, I don’t think it’s all that important.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) OK, here’s the argument-You’ve gotta have interesting character because no one will care if you don’t. People will watch/read really interesting characters no matter what they are doing or where if you don’t think so, watch 5 minutes of something popular on TV. But, flash over substance works too, just watch a summer blockbuster or in too many cases read one. As often as not these things fall apart under close examination, but if they have enough spectacle they’ll entertain people for the length of a book or movie. Technical perfection doesn’t mean a thing if you have nothing to say. If you think you must have technical perfection you’ve never read Cormac McCarthy and I hear he’s done pretty well for himself. I think this is a terribly dangerous road for writers to get on. If you let yourself believe any part of the writing is more important that another you focus too much on that part. Good writing should be a cohesive whole. I think if anyone can point at some part of your story that stands out as being better than the rest you’ve made a terrible mistake and need to fix the stuff they didn’t like or tone down the thing they did like because the story is out of balance and a story can never be as good as it can and should be if it’s out of balance.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? Exclusively self edit? Hell no. I think one of the worst things you can do is assume that you can catch all the things that are wrong with a story without anyone else’s eyes ever being on it. I think one of the most catastrophically bad things about the ease of self publishing is that some of these new writers think they can do it all and it’s a train wreck way more often than it isn’t. You have to self edit some what, that part of the job of writing but to rely on just that is asking for trouble.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? I think publishing is in a transition state and because of that people are putting way to much time into thinking about the wrong stuff. What makes a good story hasn’t really changed since cave men telling stories around campfires-and someone somewhere is annoyed I said cave men and not cave people-we’ve putting way too much stock in where the writing comes from and what format it’s in. The only thing that should matter is whether or not it’s good story telling. Yeah, I do think they are seen differently. Some people champion self publishing because of a David vs. Goliath attitude and some people think if it wasn’t good enough to be picked up by a REAL publisher it probably sucks and I think it’s all very unfortunate because it’s distracting people from what’s important and that’s-is the story any good and is it well told. Everything else to me is just an annoying distraction.

Well, I don’t rule out self published stuff. I think the only thing that matters is if it’s good, no matter what the source is and even if it isn’t good, sometimes you can learn a lot about what not to do reading stuff and isn’t good.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Engaging with reviewers is, to me a waste of time, but I know people who do it very well and get a lot of attention doing it. I suspect they are preaching to the choir and very possible not getting good value for the investment of time, but that’s just me. I’m a writer. I think anything that isn’t making the next story better is an annoying waste of time. I’m told by smart people reviews are important. I try really hard to give a rat’s…it’s a work in progress

When buying a book do you read the reviews? No, not really. I have a lot of smart friends with good taste and I tend more toward recommendations from people I know rather than the random opinions of people I don’t.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? You don’t read enough, read more. You don’t write enough, write more. Find people you trust to tell you when your stuff is good, because you probably won’t know.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? I really suck at the whole favourites think so, no, not really.

Do you have a favourite movie? There’s a list. It’s longer than this questionnaire/Interview and it generally changes before I can get from the first on on it to the last one on it.

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?  I did, I think, half a day as a telemarketer once. It was many years ago and I’m not entirely sure I’ve scrubbed myself clean from it. Did I learn anything useful? Maybe. Just about everything you ever do is useful in some way or another at some point or another, but I couldn’t pick it apart and tell you when or how and I’m not sure it would be useful if I did. That’s just the sort of thing you learn by doing. You write enough and at some point you think-how I remember when that thing happened to me and yeah, that would work really well with what I’m doing with this story write now, but it’s something that just happens. I don’t think it’s the sort of thing you can plan.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Probably not. I suspect I suck at silly even more than I suck at favourites.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Jack’s author page:


Rogues in Hell

Dreamers in Hell

Poets in Hell

Doctors in Hell

Heroika: Dragon Eaters

Terror by Gaslight

Character Interview Number Thirty-Three – Nanette Louise Burton – Paranormal

Name (s) Nanette Louise Burton (Max Murdoch, my pesky ghost may show up, too)

Age 27

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Nan: I was born and raised in Irvine, California, and worked as an IT programmer until my job with a local bank ended in 2008. Fortunately, I inherited a cottage on the sand in Laguna Beach. Just in time, too, since I had nowhere else to live. Along with the house, I inherited a dog and an annoying, self-important, arrogant, demanding ghost.

Max: I resent your characterization. I am a well-known and established author of women’s literature.

Nan: Romance, you mean. And you wrote as Maxine DuBois. Very few people, and certainly no one under the age of a hundred, would have a clue as to who Max Murdoch is.

Max: Harrumph.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less.

Nan: Dirty blonde, curly hair, tall, lean, ordinary.

Max: I would hardly say ordinary. After all, you resemble your great-great-aunt Nanette, and she could have passed for a movie star.

Nan: Max, the request was for ten words or less. Please let me do this on my own.

Max: How can one adequately express oneself with such restrictions?

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it?

Nan: Care for others, and no matter how dire the circumstance, there still is hope. I moved into my cottage at a time when I had no job and no prospects. Then I met Max, and he forced me to complete his old manuscript.

Max: Just a moment. Our collaboration resulted in a new career. Your association with me opened whole new vistas for you.

Nan: Exactly. Just when everything looked bleak, Max came into my life, and I discovered so much more than I ever dreamed possible.

Max: Thank you, my dear.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

Nan: Through the past year, I’ve discovered how resourceful I am. As an only child, I guess I depended on my parents as a safety net. When they weren’t around, I had to figure out some things for myself.

Max: Harrumph.

Nan: With Max’s help, of course.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why

Nan: I love my parents. For many years, I was closer to them than to anyone else. While working on Max’s book, I met Helen, his former secretary. I grew to love her like the grandmother I never had. Oh, and then there’s Steve. His father and grandfather were Max’s publishers. Now Steve is mine. Well, he’s a lot more than my publisher. In the past, I made some poor choices of boyfriends. Steve taught me how a guy should treat a girl he likes. Yeah, now that Helen’s gone, Steve is definitely my best friend.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions?

Nan: Along with the cottage, I inherited Mitzi, my great-great-aunt Netta’s spoiled shih tsu. I certainly didn’t want a dog at first, but now I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you?

Nan: Swimming in the ocean. I nearly died when I was a little kid. If it hadn’t been for a lifeguard, I’d have drowned. From my window, I can see the ocean. I jog on the beach, and I love to watch the surfers, but I’m not going out in it.

Tell Us About Your World

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

Nan: Laguna Beach is a small town on the coast of Southern California. Lots of artists live there because it’s so beautiful. In fact, I have a really nice painting on my wall.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where?

Nan: No. Without a car I was pretty well stuck in Laguna. Fortunately Steve came down and took me around the area.

What is the technology would you not be able to live without?

Nan: When I moved into my house, I discovered it had no TV or microwave. At least I had my laptop with me so I could work on Max’s novel, but I really needed the microwave. I ordered one online, and it took forever to arrive.

Max: When it did, you nearly burned the house down.

Nan: Max, stuff a sock in it and stay out of this. It’s my interview.

What made you choose computer programming as a profession, and how did you end up completing Max’s novel?

Nan: I took programming in college because we were told there would always be a need for programmers. What I hadn’t counted on was the collapse of the banking industry. There were few jobs, and none requiring my specific experience.

When I moved into the house, Max refused to let me sleep unless I typed up his stupid manuscript and finished it. I couldn’t even decipher his scribbling, much less make sense of the story.

Max: Now see here, young woman. My final effort would have been a masterpiece if you had not tinkered with it.

Nan: Max, it’s only a good story because I fixed it.

Max: It did not need fixing by you or anyone else.

Nan: The publisher thought it did.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Nan: Write what you know, but don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. You are then forced to do research until you do know.

Max: I believe I said that to you.

Nan: Yeah, Max, you did. I learned a lot from you.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Ghost Writer

Blurb for Ghost Writer:

When unemployed computer programmer Nan Burton inherits a California beach cottage from her great-aunt, she’s delighted. But she’s in for a huge surprise: The house is haunted by the ghost of famous romance writer Max Murdoch (pen name Maxine DuBois) who insists Nan complete his last novel, threatening to keep her from sleeping until she agrees. The ensuing clash pits youth against the long-dead but still egotistical author with humorous and moving results.

Author name: Lorna Collins

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

You can find out more about me at our website:

Follow my blog at:

Social Media links:


Twitter: @LornaCollins


LinkedIn: Lorna Collins

Character Interview Number Thirty-Two – KL – Zombie/Horror

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s): KL

Age: somewhere between 30 and 40, a lady never tells. *snort* but I’m not much of a lady.
Please tell us a little about yourself. Well, what’s there to tell? I have the best job ever. I get to dress up as a character and go to all the Con’s and sign comic books with my Wife. She does all the illustrations and her character is basically my sidekick.

We hang out with a Zombie Response Team and have lots of fun pretending to kill zombies. Zombies aren’t quite the same thing as Revenants, but pretty close, so the gig sells books.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Black long coat, black hat, motorcycle boots, black leather belt, and bracers. Blonde Mohawk.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Oh, yes. My moral code isn’t quite PC. Basically, if you aren’t worth saving, I’m not gonna be the one to sacrifice me or mine to get you out of the rut you put yourself in.

Would you kill for those you love? Definitely. Actually, I’d just say count on it.

Would you die for those you love? I only love one person, so yes. For that one person.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? IDGAF. That’s it. I don’t get attached, and I’m pragmatic. That makes it easy to make tough decisions that others seem to bellyache about. On the other hand, people tend to think I’m cold…or indifferent. Meh. I can live with that.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? My wife. She’s my soulmate and the only one I care about.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? Animals are great. They don’t ask silly questions and they are loyal. Back home we have cats and horses. I hope they are all okay.

Do you have a family? Tell us about them. My wife, Roxy is my family. I guess our team, what’s left of them, are what you would call extended family. Roxy is the military mind…she keeps everyone in line and I back her up.

The others? Well, there’s Paul and Lauren, a nice couple who can kick ass when needed. Lauren is tiny, but she’s hell with a 9mil. Bobby is a veteran, a little disturbed and he hardly ever talks. When he does, you better bet your ass you should listen to what he has to say.

Jason is a ginger freak…at over 6 feet tall and 240 lbs of muscle, he’s Mr. Clean with an attitude unless there’s a woman involved, then he turns twelve and tongue-tied.

We have a couple of newcomers. Ann wasn’t supposed to be one of us, but she’s good with the kid, and she keeps Jason in line. I wasn’t too impressed with her at the beginning, but somewhere along the way she found her place in our little group.

Last but not least, we’ve got Carol Ann. We found her at the Con and she’s a weird little thing. The verdict is still out on whether she’s right in the head…but we don’t argue about one thing, the little girl is creepy as hell. I’m not usually a kid sort of person, but she just makes you want to protect her, you know what I mean?

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? You know, a Zombie Apocalypse kind of puts things in perspective. What was past is past, it’s irrelevant now that the world’s gone to hell.

Do you have any phobias? Oh, Jeez. You had to ask. I hate, hate, hate, hate….elevators. Little square boxes of death.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I think this will surprise you. One of the biggest things that pisses me off about the zombie apocalypse is the fact that I may never get my latest tattoo finished. I mean, really? All the good artists are probably gone, and then there’s that pesky need to sterilize. Getting an infection now is so not a good idea. Sigh.

Tell Us About Your World

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Well, it’s 2019. Things have been going south for a while. We’ve got problems with the fringe groups who aren’t happy that the 2nd coming hasn’t happened and between them and global warming, there isn’t much good to say about the world. Surprisingly, or not…depending on how you see it…escapism is alive and well because people need it, desperately. The Con’s and other shows are popular as hell. I mean, when the world sucks, dressing up as a superhero and traipsing about is one way to make you feel good about your life. It’s not all bad, but it’s a weird mix of paranoia out there.

The zombie apocalypse removed a lot of things people were tired of, like bills, mortgages, bosses, etc. etc. Sure, you’re dirty and have to deal with the aftermath, but hell, you aren’t pulling 9 to 5 at a mind numbing desk job anymore.

No one expected that fantasy world to become reality. You know what they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. It’s a duck. Well, live your life like a zombie…and one day, poof, there you are, one of the soulless ones looking for a free lunch and people are on the menu.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. Well, I tend to avoid organized religion. There are a few groups out there that think the “Good ole days” are the only way to ensure survival of the human species. Me and my wife? We don’t fit into that mold so we lay low and avoid those groups.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Right now, we’re just trying to get home. That’s proving to be more difficult than we expected.

Name and describe a food from your world. Mm. My favorite food used to be french-fries…I’m not sure I want to tell you why they aren’t anymore.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? You know, I’m not sure anymore. Before yesterday, I’d say hell no. But today? After what I’ve seen…there’s some weird stuff going on. I think the rules have been changed.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

The Misadventures of Two Reluctant Zombie Hunters: Zombies at the Con

Author name: Rhavensfyre

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Characters of Rhavensfyre  on Facebook

Author Interview Number Ninety-Seven – E.M. Nelson – Horror/Apocalyptic

Welcome to E. M. Nelson

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m originally from the great state of Utah, but for now I call Bavaria, Germany home.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My debut piece is a short story in the apocalyptic horror genre titled Dark Assent. It is published in the anthology Nation of the Moon. I don’t generally stick to that genre though- preferring coming of age and dystopian themes more.

Where do you find inspiration? Google. Ha, only partly joking. I actually draw most of my inspiration from everyday life- how could I not living in the lands where the Grimm brothers got their stories from? My husband enjoys talking about how cool it’d be if… fill in the blank here with any number of out of the box ideas. His suggestions get the juices flowing and the next thing I know, I have a full story built up waiting to come out.

Are your characters based on real people? Some of my characters are based on real people- I have one character in each of the pieces I work on who is based completely off my best friend. We are close enough to be sisters and I feel it’s only fitting to include her in the stories since she is a huge part in my motivation to write. I also used my youngest daughter as part of the inspiration for Dark Assent.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Ha ha, not yet, but don’t put it past me. That’s a warning to all of my enemies- if I had any… darn, guess I’ll have to stick to my imagination.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? Research is my favourite part! There’s something so thrilling to me to figure out what a place would look like, how a certain scene will play out based on the natural way things happen in the world, or what to name that pesky character who insists on being in the story but doesn’t provide the name they wish to be called. Seriously, if you ever need to relax while you’re on the computer try searching for abandoned theme parks… probably one of the most amazing  things you’ll ever see.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Dark Assent does have an underlying theme of preservation, determination, and love, but I also hope that the reader will take away from it the idea that no matter how dark and dismal our destiny proves to be, it is ours alone and we should embrace it and accept it as shuch.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Nation of the Moon is offered in both print and digital format.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I think all authors do to an extent. It helps us realize just what needs to be improved. I also think every book needs professional help because after so many hours of talking to yourself, you tend to become a little stiff and a good editor can take that and help you massage your work until it flows the way it should.

Do you read work by self-published authors? I love indy authors! There’s something great about someone who doesn’t just give up when others say no and instead choose to take their destiny into their own hands and run with it. Don’t get me wrong though, there is a ton of crap out there by those too lazy to put the effort in to polishing their piece, but overall I do believe the self-published author is a great asset to the industry.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Reviews are the lifeblood of the market- especially the indy market. I don’t think authors should respond to the reviews directly though. I’ve seen this go badly on one too many occasions. A general thank you to the readers for their reviews and for simply giving them the time of day is awesome, but when the author starts the trend of commenting on each review, it can lead to trouble when the inevitable bad review arises.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? I graze them. I enjoy seeing the good and bad, but I find that reading the full reviews before reading a book tends to spoil the experience of discovering the book on my own.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? World building. Our brains are way more efficient at taking a sentence and turning it into a magical experience than any movie out there. Besides in a book you are forced to connect with the characters, feeling like you are almost living the story while in a movie you are merely along for a ride.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Don’t stop until you finish. I mean at all. Make it a daily challenge to make the words come out.

Editing is for the second draft, not while you’re writing the first- I struggle with this one daily.

Write for you because if you are writing for the money, the fame, or to appease the masses, you will only fail and hate yourself while doing it.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Is this even a question? If you are writing for the love of writing and you want to put all that work and dedication into something and hand it out freely, be my guest! I love many a free book that I have read- I’ve hated equally as many but we’ve already discussed the why behind that.

Do you have any pets? I have 5 children. There is no time for pets.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I can lick my nose. It’s a talent really. Most people can’t even get close, but me? I can lick the top of that bad boy!


As we begin pulling out of the parking lot, there is a flurry of movement in the building across the street. In an instant, a group of raggedly dressed people come rushing out, waving weapons and yelling loudly. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. It isn’t words but howls, like those a wolf would make.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

notm cover