Tuesday, February 28, 2012

INTRODUCING: NIGHTSCAPE PRESS


Mark C. Scioneaux and Robert S. Wilson, founders and co-editors of Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology, have teamed up with Jennifer M. Wilson to form Nightscape Press. Nightscape press is a horror press that will publish novels, novellas, and occasionally anthologies with a strong focus on variety and quality over quantity. Along with this focus will be a firm concentration on nurturing and promoting our greatest resources, the author and their work.
Nightscape Press will open to submissions on April 2nd, 2012 immediately following the World Horror Convention.
They are serious people, with an ample experience in the field, respectful of authors and readers alike.
I'm very glad they have joined forces to create this new publishing reality.
Mark C. Scioneaux  is the author of "Faye Believes," "Riser," "The Wanderer," and "How Stopping a Zombie Invasion Will Get You Grounded." His short story, "The Demon in the Water," is published by Severed Dead Press. His newest short story, "How Slappy Ended Christmas," appears in Dead Christmas: A Zombie Anthology. He is also the author of the thrilling zombie novel, Hollow Point, and the editor of the anthology, Bigfoot Tales. His smash-hit novelette, "The Glass Coffin" is available for download on Kindle. 
Robert S. Wilson is the author of Shining in Crimson, book one of his dystopian vampire series: Empire of Blood. His novella, The Quiet, appeared in the anthology Not in the Brochure: Stories of a Disappointing Apocalypse. He is currently working on book two of the Empire of Blood series and is co-editing the anthology, Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology. 


Jennifer M. Wilson is director of proofreading for Nightscape Press. Having been through eight years of Advanced/Honors English coursework, she has a sharp eye for grammatical detail and takes a solid critical approach to style and the mechanics of prose when proofreading.
http://www.nightscapepress.com/






Sunday, February 26, 2012

SPOTLIGHT ON: AUTHOR KAT YARES

Well, I'm biased here.
Kat Yares isn’t just a great author, but a great woman to me.
Mother of seven and granny of two (soon three), she lives with her hubby, Kevin, in the wonderful landscape of the Ozarks. A cheerful attitude and a serene outlook hide the twisted nature of her writing.
She never goes for the gross or for the easy trick, but goes for what I like best: the evil that man (or woman) may bring on him/herself. As a fan of ‘true human’ horror, I add her to my growing list of female authors worth reading.
Beyond the writer lies the person. Kat is one of the most caring people I ever met on the web.
She always has a good word to share with those in distress. And believe me; a word from her is able to lift a mountain of sorrows.
I’m glad this life offered me the opportunity to meet her, and hope one day to be allowed the honor of kiss her hand in the flesh, not just virtually.

Here is an extract of her Amazon Page:
Kat Yares has been writing fiction her entire adult life. She is an indie author, screenwriter and filmmaker. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous print publications and online. Currently she, along with her husband Kevin, is editing several short film adaptations of her stories for submissions into various film festivals around the country.
Her fiction is primarily in the horror/thriller genres. Unlike many, she writes horror not to gross out or startle her readers, but to make them think. Most of her stories are mind games and deal with mans (or woman's) inhumanity to man (or woman). Her first book, Kats Tales: Journeys Into the Velvet Darkness - Revealed Evil is an exploration into the wickedness that lives in the heart and what type of event allows it to become reality.
Her novella, Vengeance is Mine, is available as a Kindle exclusive. More novels, short stories and novellas will be released as 2012 progresses.
Kat's Tales Journeys Into the Velvet Darkness: Revealed Evil
Visit her Website:
http://www.katyares.com/

Friday, February 24, 2012

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: SIOBHAN C CUNNINGHAM


Horror has many faces, yet not all of them belong to unnatural monsters.
It takes courage, experience and knowledge to write about ‘Human’ monsters.
That's what Cunningham does.

Her personal website tells us:
‘Cunningham writes gritty, erotic, psychological thrillers, full of twists, turns and intrigue, goose bumps one minute, laughter the next, injecting a fresh energy into the fiction market. With a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humor and pulsating sex scenes, she has it all; fear, laughter, arousal, thought provoking questions, leaving the reader wanting more.’

Now, I’ve found more in this fantastic author’s writing style; a dark, yet erotic passion for details, at the same time eschewing from the simple trick of titillating the reader with trashy pornography.
Her characters are scary, some even disgusting, but all richly painted in a background of all-too-real world.
Although I’m a ‘storytelling shaman’ of garden-variety traditional Horror (that is, supernatural abounds in my short stories) I was really impressed by her ability to convey another kind of darkness: the one which lies right within ourselves.

I do not even dare to put my ‘Feeding the Urge’ on par with her masterworks, yet my seminal work used the pretext of the ‘unnatural’ to highlight the horrors that humans do.
Because inside me, I'd like writing about these human monsters.

To know more about her
Here’s a link to her website: Author S. C. Cunningham
And this is her Amazon Page: Amazon Author Page
The Penance List





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SOCIAL NETWORKS AND MONSTERS


After a series of unfortunate experiences on Facebook, I've found myself wondering on human’s weird nature.
How it's possible we are so fascinated and easily upset by social networks at the same time?
We are social creatures – gregarious but competitive – and easily fall into the traps of interpersonal communication; we can’t help.
The fact we don’t act different from ‘real’ life interactions can be questioned. Yet, I’ve noticed a further substratum of lack of proper communication lying below the funny pictures, open behavior, and superficial joviality of many users.
Yes, the computer screen does more than showing us the latest of George Takei’s demotivational posters. It also acts as its namesake, shielding from things we don’t want to see, or better, we don’t want to reveal.

Being a social guy (in both real and virtual life), I had a real boon with these new technologies; they allowed me to extend welcoming hands to several people around the world, with no need for expensive calls or travels (and let’s admit it, you wouldn’t be happy to receive a stranger’s call at 3 am from a hombre who wants to meet new people).
On the reverse, being a naïve person, it even had me fall in the pit of misunderstandings and misinterpreted feelings.
That was when private life mixed with virtual one.
I’m not going to bore you with details on my complicated relationship with women; bear in mind I love ‘em, getting better along with gals of any age than with their male counterparts; but we always end messing up our friendship when baser need rears its ugly head.
Ok, I’m a good-looking guy – even if don’t see myself such way – and this can affect expectations some member of the opposite sex (even of the same sex) want from me.
I’m flattered by this, but sometimes leads to frustration.
And being a sensible person, I often surprise myself returning affection; especially when I feel alone.
This doesn't happen just with women. In the last two years on FB, I've had wonderful relations and chats with males, too. But they all ended the same way: a sudden flare of communication, then sporadic contacts when something changes in their life.
You could argue I only meet weirdos … or I am a weirdo.
Perhaps I’m a boring person, perhaps not. But since I invest so many feelings in my dealings with people, it always hurts.
Add to this I suffer chronic depression ... and you get the picture.
Sometimes, these kind of people do not help, quite the contrary; they make you feel inadequate, asocial, or worse.

Well, all this stuff crawled into my mind lately, and it tuned to a new frequency on the Great Interdimensional Radio, which contains all those fantastic stories I write.
And a new tale came out.
I call it ‘In the Web’ and it recounts the unfortunate meeting between a social network-dependent lonely man and a ... charming something from Beyond.
It's not going to end well.
As you can figure, it is a horror paraphrases of the lure these ‘FB Monsters’ exert on us all; filling with joy at first … and putting at risk our own real life sentiments in the end.

I dedicate it to all my ‘Facebook Monsters’

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SPOTLIGHT ON BRITISH AUTHOR LISA HINSLEY - a blog interview by Jeffrey Kosh



Today I want to introduce you a very special guest, Author Lisa Hinsley.
Lisa has successfully published three novels and a zillion short stories. In her own words she describes herself as a compulsive writer with a passion for dark themes, under-the-bed-monsters, and a deep dislike for domineering men.
Let’s get acquainted to her:


Jeff: First of all, welcome to my blog, Lisa. I feel a bit intimidated by your presence here. I mean, hey you’re an accomplished author! I should be serving you a cocktail by the pool, rather than getting the honor to interview you. As you probably know, I’m a newcomer in this artistic endeavor.
Now, please introduce yourself to our public –


Lisa: Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, it’s a pleasure to be here. You’re very kind about my writing. I’m not so sure I’m such an accomplished author, just a little bit lucky here and there. I am a horror, thriller and sci-fi author, often crossing over the genres. I love writing, and the greatest thrill comes from knowing someone has read and enjoyed one of my books.


Jeff: Where does that passion for darkness and scary things stems from, Lisa?


Lisa: Not sure… I had an unusual amount of nightmares as a child. I am a vivid dreamer, even now, but thankfully I haven’t had a nightmare since I was a teenager. When I was fourteen years old, I discovered Stephen King after reading many years of science fiction novels and from there jumped to James Herbert, Clive Barker, and many any other horror novelists. Looking back, I experienced some relatively dark times as I grew up, and I found the horror genre familiar and almost comforting to my state of mind.


Jeff: Domineering men. I’m not going into personal stuff, yet can’t help asking you why there are a lot of them in your stories?


Lisa: Not sure how much I can say as this will be public. Let’s just say once upon a time I knew someone who wasn’t such a nice guy. I was scared for a long time after the relationship was over and then discovered writing it all out was a form of therapy. Coombe’s Wood took the brunt, and it is an intensely personal book.


Jeff: I see you have a varied career at your back. Architectural technician, pet sitter, pharmacy supervisor, and you even perform as a care worker for elderly ladies. What has led you to experience all these professions?


Lisa: Hmm, many reasons. The biggest reason is that my husband and I believe in kids having a parent at home, so my work is defined by the hours they go to school. The youngest is ten now, so that’s getting easier. I’ve also had my career disrupted by far too many moves, from England to Portugal, back to northern England, bounced to the south, and I have finally settled in the north once more. When we moved to the Wirral, I found out there was very little work to be had, so I answered an ad in a shop window for a care assistant, and I’ve been doing that since. It’s a very rewarding job, and I truly care for the elderly lady I currently help with. Whatever I do, I do with 110%.


Jeff: On your website I was charmed by this introduction: ‘Beach huts appeal to me. They’re like stories – each different, waiting to be opened up and lived in for a while’.
Do you see the writer’s job as someone who opens those huts?


Lisa: Absolutely! There are so many themes to explore, so many what if’s to investigate. I love nothing more than searching through a newspaper, reading an article and then as I ponder the events have my mind take a left turn as it tries to work out what would have happened if things happened in a slightly different way. That’s where I get a great deal of my inspiration.


Jeff: What’s your favorite novel among the ones you’ve written?


Lisa: My favourite novel is the last one I wrote. For now, that is Plague, a novel about a modern day outbreak of bubonic plague and how one family copes.


Jeff: What time of the day do prefer for writing?


Lisa: Any time I’m not allowing myself to be distracted. Blame it on the blonde hair, blame it on my age (although to be honest I’ve always been like this), but it doesn’t take much for me to lose an hour to doing nothing of consequence.


Jeff: Do you like reading books from Indie authors? If so, what’s your favorite genre?


Lisa: I’ll read anything and everything. It’s fair to say I focus in on horror and science-fiction novels, as they are my favourite to read, and the genres I write in. I used to say I didn’t like historical novels, but then I discovered Indie writer Gemini Sasson. And I didn’t care for zombie novels, then I discovered Robert Decoteau. I still struggle with romance, though, whoever is writing it!


Jeff: What’s your favorite book of ever? *Psssst; say Feeding the Urge!* I’m joking.


Lisa: Favourite book ever? That’s so hard, I’m not a person who finds favourite, I have so many books I love and feel are incredible reads. The last book that took my breath away was The Handmaids Tale by Mary Atwood. The one before that was I am Legend by Richard Matheson.


Jeff: Who is your favorite author?


Lisa: Stephen King is probably the author I have read most, and admire and aspire towards. But again, I’m not one for keeping favourites, so I’ll add Michael Crichton, HP Lovecraft, James Herbert, Clive Barker, Roald Dahl and Michael Marshal Smith to the list.


Jeff: What’s your favorite color, oops sorry! Colour?


Lisa: They’re all fabulous. I originally wanted to be an artist, and attended painting and drawing classes from a young age. All colours have their place – so perhaps I should say that shimmery mix of colours you find on an oily puddle.


Jeff: I’m not going to ask you if are a Cat-lover or Dog-lover. With four beautiful little furry things running around your home that would be stupid. However, I know you love animals and you care for them. Tell us something weird or funny which happened while you were a pet sitter.


Lisa: I got the inspiration for Coombe’s Wood on a visit. I was doing the last visits for the night, and took a short cut through a country lane. It was dark and raining, and thick woods encroached on the lane. I came to a slippery stop when I realised an old tree had fallen in the way. My son Tom was with me, and we had to get out and move it as there was no way of turning the car around. Me being me, with my over-active imagination, thought I heard noises in the woods. The noise became a beast, and idea turned into a book.
As for actual animal stories, beware chickens. They really don’t like handing over their eggs.


Jeff: Share with us something about your latest fatigue: Plague.


Lisa: Plague came into being after a conversation with my husband about the bubonic plague and how most people think it’s gone the way of history. It in fact keeps showing up all over the world. This got me thinking, and I wrote Plague in just over a month. I then discovered Daniel Defoe and his book, A Journal of a Plague Year. Written about the plague outbreak of 1665, I realised just how awful and destructive the bubonic plague really was. I went back and revised, handed over the manuscript to my lovely editor, John Hudspith, commissioned a cover from JD Smith, and released Plague on Amazon. In my opinion, it is my best work yet.


Jeff: Is there anything more you would like to share with us?


Lisa: Something not many people know about me: I love arts and crafts but jump from one to another, driving my husband nuts. I currently have hobby items stashed in different locations about the house so he doesn’t realise just how much I have…



You can find me at www.lisahinsley.weebly.com


Jeff: Thank you for sharing with us, Lisa. My best.


Lisa: Thank you for such a lovely interview!


Buy Plague here!

From Lisa Hinsley's own Biography

Lisa C Hinsley's career has been varied, working as an architectural technician, a pet sitter, a pharmacy supervisor and most recently a carer/companion for elderly ladies, all the while writing when she can. Born in Portsmouth in 1971, Lisa grew up in England, Scotland, and America. She now lives on the Wirral, in northwest England, with her husband, three children, and four cats. Her hope is not to be thought of as the American cat lady, but some things are just inevitable.
Recently, Lisa's novel My Demon has been published by PfoxChase Publishing and is available as an eBook and paperback. Her novel What Alice Sees placed as runner-up in the 2010 UKA Opening Pages Competition and placed in the May Best Sellers Charts on Arts Council website YouWriteOn. An earlier novel Coombe's Wood finished in the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2009 and was awarded runner up in the all-genre Book of the Year Awards 2008 on YouWriteOn. Now listed on Amazon Kindle, Coombe's Wood has sold over 2000 copies. Lisa's novel The Crocodile was short-listed in the Undiscovered Authors 2006 competition. Several of Lisa's short stories and poems have appeared in print publications.


Monday, February 13, 2012

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER OR BETTER BEING BIPOLAR OR DYSTHYMIAC?


    I have always been a moody guy, with wild swings of extreme optimism, soon followed by dismaying lows of darkest self-esteem. People who know me got used to this odd side of my character, yet it also caused several arguing and fights in the past.

    As a teen, I was the geek of the group, embracing everything unpopular; from Heavy Metal to Goth, from Romantic Literature to slasher movies. Nonetheless this never made a nerd out of me; I was never isolated by the most popular, but neither was part of them.
I lied in the middle, in that gray spot situated between the bright light of Admiration and the darkness of Ostracism. Never bullied (I was particularly brawny for my age), I was a kind guy, one of those everyone gets along, but no one would admit being friend to.

    Despite of my inner darkness, I always appeared as a cheerful person, ready to help anyone in need, or laughing at those communal jokes only bad boys exchange.
Things did not change for the better with the coming-of-age, when I found myself confronting the harsh and selective world of employment. Too short, too dark. Too bright, too much scary. And so on. So, I learned to attune at other’s expectances, showing them only what they liked to see.

    On-the-job I was always correct, obedient, and professional … even talkative and funny.
But outside, in my inner world, I was (and still am) an introverted and dreary individual, dreaming about Death, morbid things, and most of all … solitude.
Do not get me wrong, I abhor true isolation, they socio-psychological one, I mean.
Nevertheless, I longed for physical solitude, often discovering myself looking for secluded places in which my weirdo mind could revel in complete silence.

    Lately, things took a serious turn.
After moving to Thailand, I experienced a series of small personal victories, framed by a multitude of exacerbating problems. The culture shock may be one thing, but spending your time wishing for Death to ease your sufferings is another.
So, after I involuntarily caused a woman to cry in a chat because of my extreme moodiness (I again apologize with you, my Brit reader), causing the same to my wife, and generally making a fool of myself on my Facebook wall, I decided to consult a doctor.

    Holy cow!
I went to a private clinic in the area and explained all my symptoms to a Dr. Pamboon (hope you’re reading this, idiot!). After my long rants about feeling depressed and reacting wildly at innocent jokes or teases, he calmly stated I was a sufferer of Bipolar Disease.
I was shocked.
My wife was shocked.
He had me pass some stupid tests and examinations, confirming his theory.
I paid the extremely high bill (for Thailand) then got away in the darkest of moods.
Now I had motives.
I spent a sleepless night, trying to figure how I had developed that mental illness and causing further arguments with my already distressed spouse.
The next day we decided to check for another clinic for a second opinion.
And guess what?
This gal, Dr. Stewart of Nopparat Thara Hospital, cleared me of all doubts.
I do not have Bipolar Disease, but I’m a simple sufferer of Chronic Depression. She also stated that Dr. Pamboon was a renowned charlatan whose only goal was to spill as much money he could from distressed foreigners. She suggested me to try a simple cure, with much tranquillity (and that’s the hardest part here in chaotic Ao Nang), antidepressant drug therapy, along with some type of talk therapy. Now, this surely is something I must try to fight, yet it’s not as bad as having Bipolar Disease. Symptoms are very similar, but chronic depression does not necessarily leads you down the path of schizophrenia.

    So, now when you see I’m in a bad mood, please forgive me and remember I’m still that jolly dude you used to know.

    Anyway, I feel relieved, but still have to pay a visit to dear Dr. Pamboon.
Besides, I have to get the final results of his tests by the end of the week …

For those interested about the symptoms of Dysthymia or Chronic Depression I refer you to this useful link:

A special thank goes to Author Heaven Liegh Eldeen and Simona Rossetti which supported me in one of my direst moments.

My Best




Friday, February 10, 2012

AUTHOR REBECCA BESSER INTERVIEWS ME!

Yesterday I was honored to be hosted at Author Rebecca Besser's Blog.
She is a brilliant writer and an exceptional woman. Click down to learn more.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: TRAVELERS & LIARS.


I do not want to bore you to death, my faithful reader, with continual promos of my new novel.
Besides, there are many of you out there who do not give a damn if it’s good or bad (take notice, I’m not complaining; it’s part of my job accepting critics, bad reviews, and lack of feedback) and that’s fine to me, because numbers are speaking. One month after publication in all formats the ‘book I do not want to name’ it’s going pretty fine and getting positive reviews.
Not bad for it coming from a ‘previously unknown writer’, that is.

No. What I want to share today is about ‘Travelers & Liars’ – wouldn’t make for good damn title? – Or my experience with a friend globe-trotter I had the pleasure to chat with at last night’s party.

This guy has been blessed with a zillion of weird meetings in his extensive trips around the globe, from South America to Africa, from Asia to North America.
I all these voyages he met  strange people claiming to be everything; from narcos on the run, to ex-gun smugglers, from former golpists, to high-class thieves, hiding out in a foreign country until waters calm down. He has collected all these stories in a series of files and I suggested him that could be turned into a damn fine nonfiction book.

The point is: were these people lying? And, if yes, why?

I’ve noticed traveling people tend to lie about their true identities while on a trip. Maybe they’re just having fun, or maybe they feel the need for self-aggrandizement. I do not know.

I’d like to hear some opinion on this topic, because I’m thinking about writing an introduction to his book, should it come to the press.    

My Best

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FIRST 5 STARS REVIEW AT AMAZON!

What can I say? I feel excited; after seven months of hard labor and doubts my fledgling novel was honored with an excellent, if accurate review of my writing style by Franklin E. Wales, author of the funtastilicious DEADHEADS: EVOLUTION.
Read it by yourselves here: First Five Star Review at Amazon


Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE IMPORTANCE OF EDITING


I’ve learned the hard way that one of the most critical part in my pursuit of being a good writer is the part on editing out my spelling and typos. Grammatical errors or missed words not only give a bad impression to your potential publisher, but also ruin the pleasure of enjoying your story.
Editing is a hard work, requires skills, knowledge, and good judgment. Something that dedicated software like spell-checkers can’t offer you.

That’s why I recommend the assistance of an excellent professional Editor.
Do not waste your hard-gained money on vanity press; they just give you the ok on whatever you wrote, caring more for your bucks than your career.
A good editor must be someone who cares about your writing and doesn’t overcharge you for a poor quality product.
There are many out there, yet they can be quite expensive.
Always cheaper than the services of vanity presses (these can charge you something like 7000 to 10000 dollars) editorial service can really improve your manuscript.

As an example here is a link to an honest and professional Editor I know.