Friday, October 31, 2014

REVIEW: Tell Me My Name

Fated Stars .5:
Tell Me My Name
Mary Fan

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Glass House Press
Publication date: 10.14.2014
Pages: 64

Recommended by: Mark My Words, Read 2 Review
Date read: 10.30.2014

Summary: In Mary Fan's second novella from Glass House Press, a teen girl wakes up in an icy cell, alone and frightened.  She has no memory of who she is or how she came to be there.
            She does know that she must get out, at all costs.  And that escape must start with remembering the simple things - her own name.  Her place of origin.  Her possible powers.
            When a group of dark magicians reveal themselves to be her captors, she finds herself in the clutches of those who will stop at nothing to uncover the secrets locked within her lost memories.  With her life fading under their merciless spells, the need to escape becomes dire.
            But can she get out when she doesn't even know who she is?  Can she count on one unlikely ally for help?  Or is it already too late for her, a girl without a name?  Tell Me My Name introduces the main characters in Mary's new fantasy series, Fated Stars, with her first book, Winborn, due in late 2015.

There are two things that made me read this novella - that amazing cover AND the fact that it is by Mary Fan.  Having read books from her other series, I was excited to see what she had to offer here - and, as usual, she did not disappoint.  Mary has a way with words, describing things in such detail that you feel you are looking at it with your own eyes, pulling you into the story where you are the one that experiences the events.  I liked the story of creation in this book - interesting and creative.  I also really like the characters - even the bad ones - and can't wait to find out more about them in this series.  If you haven't had the chance to experience Mary's writing, this is a great place to start.  :)


Fluta:  Hi Jonathan!! *waves*

Abry:  Welcome to The Gal, Jonathan.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jonathan:  I'm a husband/father, a teacher, and a writer.  I pride myself on being predictable in my personal life and unpredictable on the page.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are five things most people don't know about you?

a) I've had stitches on my face multiple times, mostly via sports-related injuries, but the biggest one from jumping on (and falling off) a bed when I was four years old.
b) My grandpa (the one I never knew) played in the NBA, and my mom was an Indiana Pacers cheerleader.
c) I was the smallest boy ever born at the Air Force base in Colorado Springs.
d) My wife and I met when we were cast opposite each other in Cinderella.  She was Cinderella, and I was *cough* Prince Charming.
e) I'm the world's worst dancer, but I love having dance parties with my kids.  They're total jam sessions.

Abry:  What is the first book you remember reading?

Jonathan:  Stephen King's The Tommyknockers.  Most say it's one of King's worst, but I don't care.  That book transported me and showed me wonders and joys that I didn't know existed.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are you reading now?

Jonathan:  Several things, which is normal for me.  A few of them are Robert McCammon's The Wolf's Hour, a play by Beth Henley called Crimes of the Heart, Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, and some short story re-reads by M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe.

Abry:  What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Jonathan:  King inspired me, but I didn't begin to write until I was eighteen.  At that time, my high school basketball career came to an end, and I realized I needed to have interests outside of sports.  I started writing a novel, and though it was terrible, the experience really turned me on to writing.

Cordelia Windygale:  Do you have a special place you like to write?

Jonathan:  I do!  I have a faux leather (or maybe it's leather) chair and matching ottoman upstairs in our house.  I sit by the window and our huge magnolia tree and let the words flow.

Abry:  Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Jonathan:  Hah!  I have several, though most of them I'd be embarrassed to share.  I will say that I have several places in the area I go that help me connect with the settings of my stories.  There are parks, forests, vast stretches of countryside, a major and old university ... basically, I can implant myself into one of my settings with just a short drive and a little imagination.  This really strengthens my bond with the tale.

Cordelia Windygale:  Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Jonathan:  All over, really.  Sometimes it's a childhood event.  Other times it's a passage in a poem or a moment from a song.  My upcoming January novel The Nightmare Girl grew out of an incident one of my Facebook friends shared about witnessing a mother abusing her toddler.  That's obviously an unpleasant example, but inspiration can come from anywhere.

Abry:  What books have most inspired you?

Jonathan:  Ray Bradbury and Stephen King always inspire me.  I'm also very stimulated by Elmore Leonard's prose.

Cordelia Windygale?  Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Jonathan:  Slowing down.  I know I've been having a lot of stuff come out lately, but this is an opportunity for which I've worked for several years, and I don't want to pace myself now.  I want to write.

Abry:  What do you think makes a good story?  

Jonathan:  Everything matters, but nothing matters more than great characters.  Beyond that, I love cracking tension, moments of tenderness or humor, a vidid sense of place, snappy dialogue, and a thousand other things.

Cordelia Windygale:  Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Jonathan:  Personality-wise, I'd say I'm most like Sam Bledsoe from Savage Species (minus the adultery, of course).  There's also a good bit of me in Ben Shadeland (from the Sorrows books) and Cody Wilson (Dust Devils).  Oh, and I'm a good deal - a great deal, actually - like Joe Crawford, the protagonist of my upcoming The Nightmare Girl.

Abry:  Why did you pick your particular genre?

Jonathan:  It picked me.  I had a pretty scary childhood.  I grew up between a graveyard and a cemetery, so it was almost like things were preordained.

Cordelia Windygale:  What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Jonathan:  Hm.  Great question.  At the risk of sounding pompous, I really think folks get their money's worth with my books, but that's, of course, like, my opinion, man.  To paraphrase The Dude.

Fluta:  What's in your "trunk"?

Jonathan:  I have one book there that'll some day be reworked.  It's called Garden of Snakes, and I think when I get it right, it'll be awesome.  It's the one non-horror novel I've written - technically, it's probably more suspense/thriller - but there's a strong horror sensibility in it.

Fluta:  The song that best describes you?

Jonathan:  George Strait's "I Cross My Heart."  There's a combination of deep love and humility in that one that, I think, captures how I feel about my loved ones and how I'll always do everything I can to help them be as happy as possible.

Abry:  What can we expect from you in the future?

Jonathan:  Hopefully, a great many more stories.  I had Castle of Sorrows in July.  Exorcist Road in September.  The Nightmare Girl will be published by Samhain Horror in January.  And an as-yet-unnounced novel will also appear in August of next year from Samhain Horror.  I'm working on that one right now.  I have another book done that I can't talk about yet; I'm editing it late at night.

Cordelia Windygale:  Thanks for stopping by, Jonathan.  We always love having you.  Before you go, where can we find you?

Jonathan:  You can find me at my blog here, my Facebook page, my Goodreads page, or on Twitter @jonathanjanz.  I LOVE talking to fans!!

Thanks so much for having me.  It's always a pleasure! :)

About the author:
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a way, that explains everything.  Acclaimed author Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012."  The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."  Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, "Fans of old-school splatter punk horror - Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows - will fin much to relish."
            His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliche happens to be true.
            One of Jonathan's wishes is to someday get Stephen King, Peter Jackson, Jack Ketchum and Joe R. Landsdale together for an all-night zombie movie marathon.  Of course, that can only happen if all four drop their restraining orders against him.

(Note: In the picture, for those of you who are thinking 'Those two look familiar' - that's Brian Moreland and John Everson.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

REVIEW: Writers of the Future Volume 30

L. Ron Hubbard Presents:
Writers of the Future 
Volume 30
Orson Scott Card, Mike Resnick, Robert Silverberg, Val Lindahn, Terry Madden, Amanda E Forrest, Anaea Lay, KC Norton, Randy Henderson, Liz Colter, Leena Likitalo, Shauna O'meara, Paul Eckheart, Megan E O'Keefe, C Stuart Hardwick, Timothy Jordan, Oleg Kazantsev, L Ron Hubbard

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Publication date: 4.13.2014
Pages: 400

Recommended by: Read 2 Review
Date read: 10.29.2014

Summary: Celebrate new writers, new winners, new worlds.
            This is your window into incredible worlds of wizardry, warfare and wonder.
            This is your escape into fantastic realms of the human mind lurking just beyond your imagination ... and reaching deep into your wildest dreams.
            This is your ticket to tomorrow.
            Celebrate the future of science fiction and fantasy ... now.
            Included: Bonus short stories by Orson Scott Card, Mike Resnick and L Ron Hubbard and a color spread highlighting the story illustrations.

Illustrators include: Seonhee Lim, Vincent-Michael Coviello, Kristie Kim, Sarah Webb, Adam Brewster, Trevor Smith, Bernardo Mota, Kirbi Fagan, Michael Talbot, Cassandre Bolan, Vanessa Golitz and Andrew Sonea

I have loved science fiction since I was little, sitting next to dad watching Star Trek episodes on TV.  So when this book came across my desk, I decided to give it a read.  It is really a great read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading different kinds of science fiction.  Each author - and each story - are very different and the artwork that the illustrators did were beautiful.  What an awesome idea to put all of these together every year, giving these authors the opportunity to get their stories out there.  And, considering this is number thirty, I have a lot of back reading to do. :)

AMONG THE STACKS: Stephen Kozeniewski

Fluta: Before we get started here, Stephen, I would like to say that's a mighty big piece of pizza you have there.

Abry:  Fluta!! 

Fluta:  Okay, Okay, I'm sorry.

Abry:  Hi, Stephen.  Welcome to The Gal.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Stephen:  I am a good work ... guy.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are five things most people don't know about you?

Stephen:  Five things?  Dammit.  I never now how to answer these.  Um ... I saw Napoleon Dynamite in the theater.  I kept a political blog in 2011 that no longer exists.  I've probably watched Gremlins II more than any other movie.  And those are the five ... (three, sir) ... three things most people don't know about me.

Abry:  What is the first book you remember reading?

Stephen:  A Study in Scarlet

Cordelia Windygale:  What are you reading now?

Stephen:  Insurgency by Kurt Schuett

Abry:  What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Stephen:  I've written for as long as I can remember.  I think I just thought it was easy.  And it is, when you're a kid, the same way drawing is easy when you're a kid.  You have no capacity to judge the outcome.

Cordelia Windygale:  Do you have a special place you like to write?

Stephen:  Dusseldorf.

Abry:  Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Stephen:  I light candles.  I don't know if that counts as a quirk.

Cordelia Windygale:  Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Stephen:  Lots of people think that the good idea fairy visits in the middle of the night and sprinkles my head with plot dust.  NOT TRUE.  I just make shit up.

Abry:  What books have most inspired you?

Stephen:  Oh, shit, this is probably something that people are going to judge me on.  Better go straight douche literati.  Um ... Ulysses?  And ... Infinite Jest?  And as for The Corrections, well, it needed none.

Cordelia Windygale:  Is there anything about writing you find most challenging.

Stephen:  Getting reviews.  You'd think I was begging for live organs.

Abry:  What do you think makes a good story?

Stephen:  All good stories consist of three basic elements: telephones, hookers, and kale.  Without those you're just standing around with your genitals in your hands.

Fluta: *whispers*  Stephen, that's the best answer we've received yet.

Cordelia Windygale:  Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Stephen:  Braineater.  He's basically me on steroids.  Or ... not steroids.  Brain steroids.  Whatever those are called.

Abry:  Why did you pick your particular genre?

Stephen:  I didn't PICK horror.  Horror picked ME.  No.  That's a total lie.  I dunno.  A lot of the books in my trunk are actually sci-fi and fantasy.  I think maybe I just happened to be on a horror kick when I finally got picked up by a publisher.

Cordelia Windygale:  What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Stephen:  I'd be lying if I said my novels were unlike any other horror novels out there.  They're unlike any other FICTION out there, period.  When it comes to the modern literary landscape, it's just me, Gillian Flynn, and a bunch of ants.  Give me a call some time, Gilly, baby.  We'll collaborate like they do on the Discovery Channel.

Fluta:  What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done to impress someone?

Stephen:  Agreed to this interview.

Fluta:  AUNT MEGHAN!!!!

Abry:  Fluta, be quiet.  What can we expect from you in the future, Stephen?

Stephen:  More drinking.

Cordelia Windygale:  One last thing.  Where can we find you?

About the author:
Stephen Kozeniewski lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie.  He was born to the soothing strains of "Boogie with Stu" even though The Who are far superior to Zep, for reasons that he doesn't even really want to get into right now.
            During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where, due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star.  The depiction of addiction in his fiction is strongly informed by the three years he spent working at a substance abuse clinic, an experience which also ensures that he employs strict moderation when enjoying the occasional highball of Old Crow.
            He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor's is in German.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

AMONG THE STACKS: The Light Brothers - Evans and Adam Light

Abry:  Today we are doing something a little different.  We have two Light Brothers to review and, when I asked Aunt Meghan which one was her favorite (so we could post that one's interview first), she said she likes them both equally (which is the same thing she says about her twin nieces ... and us).  So we decided to interview them together.  

Adam and Evans, welcome welcome WELCOME.  Make yourselves comfortable.  Fluta ... behave!  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Evans:  That I'm too lazy to adequately answer this question might tell you a little something about myself.

Adam:  I really suck at talking about myself, so I'll do the best I can here.  There's really not a whole lot to tell.  I live in Florida with my wife and youngest daughter.  I actually have two daughters, the oldest is just about to graduate from college.  The thing I care about the most will always be my family.  They are the world to me.  They come before all else.  They seem to really dig me, too.  For that, I consider myself to be the luckiest guy on earth.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are five things most people don't know about you?

Evans:  If I listed those five things, then people would know them.  That might be a bad idea.

1. I was born in the mountains of West Virginia, where I lived until I was twelve.  I was also an Army brat, and at one point my dad was stationed at Fort Knox.  At one point, when I was probably two years old, I was made an honorary guard.  I don't remember it, but I think I still have a few gold bars lying around somewhere.

2. I have a deep and everlasting hatred for tomatoes.  Yeah, they really gross me out more than anything.  Have you ever noticed that the insides have the consistency of undercooked egg whites?

3. I am an avid pool player.  I like to think I have a decent amount of skills on the table, but my wife still systematically destroys me.  One day, I hope to beat her in a best of five tournament.

4. I am a notoriously dreadful morning person.  I never want to get out of bed to get ready for work.  I have to have caffeine, and lots of it, before anyone thinks about having a logical conversation with me.  Every morning, without fail, I end up leaving and coming back about five times due to a stubborn refusal to remember anything I need to bring along with me.  This also goes for pretty much anywhere I need to go.

5. I've been playing guitar for fifteen years and I only know three songs from beginning to end.  I love to make up my own songs.  No one else loves this quite as much as I,

Abry:  What is the first book you remember reading?

Evans:  Jack in the Sack, by Ken Wagner, and The Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter, by Evelyn Scott.

I still have and love both of those books.  If you've got kids, check them out (if you can find 'em).  The first "horror" book I read as a child was The Monster at the End of This Book, the one with Grover from Sesame Street.  I remember being pretty stressed about turning that last page.

Adam:  I started reading when I was three or four, and the first book I remember reading was the Bible.  I have since developed a distaste for this particular book, but I do recall the family sitting around awestruck while I rattled off the beatitudes or other such complex passages.  Did I understand what I was reading?  Doubt it.

Other books I remember from childhood would be Where the Red Fern Grows, The Hobbit, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, The Land That Time Forgot and lots of adventure stories like White Fang and Call of the Wild.  I spent a great many afternoons with a cedar chest full of extremely old Doc Savage books my stepdad passed down to me, as well.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are you reading now?

Evans:  Dweller by Jeff Strand, Best of Cemetery Dance Volume 1, and Cruelty Episodes 1-5, by Edward Lorn, plus multiple other short story horror anthologies I grab and read whenever I feel like it, including Toybox by Al Sarrantonio, Bleeding Shadows by Joe R. Lansdale, Black Evening by David Morrel, and Dark Universe by William F. Nolan, to name a few.

Adam:  At this time, I am reading a Bentley Little book called The Town.  I find Little one of the most bizarre imaginations in the business.  For instance, the scene I just read involved a woman giving birth to a cactus.

Abry:  What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Evans:  I've been writing for as long as I can remember.

My first completed story was called "Freddy Frog Face," back when I was five.  It was about a kid who accidentally dented his own head in with a hammer, and the resulting deformity gave him the appearance of the titular amphibian.  Thinking about it now, I guess it was a slightly horrific weird tale even then.

I was a little surprised to see an animated film with the same title recently appear on Netflix.  They better send five-year-old me some royalties!

Adam:  I've loved writing as far back as I can remember.  My mom still has tons of stories I wrote as an elementary school student.  A few years ago, I finally decided it was time to share my writings with he world, and so began the journey into self-publishing.  Now I am having the time of my life doing what I enjoy the most.

Cordelia Windygale:  Do you have a special place you like to write?

Evans:  Usually at the desk in my study, surrounded by my stacks of books, but recently I picked up a wireless keyboard for my laptop and have been trying to reduce my "sitting time" by standing up while writing more.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Adam:  I can write anywhere there are no distractions.  The slightest commotion anywhere near me kills the process completely.  The best place for me is in the garage on my laptop, especially when it is raining out.

Abry:  Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Evans:  I try to capture any ideas I have as soon as possible, many times using the voice-to-text function on my phone and the Notepad app.  I usually sketch out a one to five page general outline before I start writing just to make sure the story works, but once I start writing, the story usually takes on a life of its own.  The outline is really just the "bottle" I store the idea in until I'm ready to write it in earnest.

Adam:  I have to say, I am horrible at producing a first draft.  I continuously find myself going back and fixing errors as I go along.  This probably doubles the time it takes to get to finish anything I write.  I'm working on that, though.  I also like to take a basic idea and let the people take me where it wants to go.  Outlines are my bane.

Cordelia Windygale:  Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Evans:  Most of them arrive to me unbidden, usually when I least expect it, when I'm not even thinking about writing - almost like a voice starts whispering directly into my mind.  When this happens, I try to find a quiet place to listen and take notes.  Usually, stories that come to me this way are revealed a little bit at a time, often over the course of a few days or a week - I just have to keep an ear out for that little voice when it starts talking.

Other stories come to me in dreams, and I'll wake up and run through the house straight for my desk to write it down before it evaporates away in the light of day.  My works Arboreatum and Candie Apple are both the direct results of dreams.

Very little of what I write comes from trying to think of an idea to turn into a story, even though occasionally I'll try to do that just for fun.  The truth is, the other two methods have delivered so many ideas and story outlines that I could probably spend the rest of my writing life working off the dozens of outlines I already have.

Adam:  For me, ideas can come from pretty much anywhere.  I tend to have my best ones when I am driving or taking a walk.  Times when my mind is free to wander.  It is easy for me to find inspiration in the world around me in almost any situation.

Abry:  What books have most inspired you?

Evans:  The short stories of Edgar Allan Poe fueled my earliest interest in horror, followed quickly and even more significantly by the short stories of Ray Bradbury and the original Tales from the Crypt comics.  The early works of Stephen King led me to the horror explosion of the 1980s, and I've never looked back.

Adam:  Stephen King's On Writing.  Hands down.  Of course, Stephen King has always been a big influence on me.

Cordelia Windygale:  Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Evans:  Doing it.  Maintaining the energy required to complete a project once the original excitement has worn off, and months of writing and rewriting remains.  I tend to have so many new ideas coming at me that it took a while to learn how to quickly capture them and tuck them away for later while staying focused on the project at hand.  I'm getting better at buckling down and getting it done, though.

Adam:  I would say the biggest hurdle I have to jump would be finding ample time to sit down uninterrupted for any substantial amount of time with no distractions.  That's pretty difficult for me.  Also, the editing process gives me night sweats just thinking about it.

Abry:  What do you think makes a good story?

Evans:  I read to be entertained, first and foremost, and that is what I strive to achieve with my own writing as well.  If a work has literary merit, if it is uplifting, profound, educational, culturally significant or any number of other things, that's great - but if it fails to entertain while doing these other things, then you can keep it.

Adam:  I think the qualities I look for when I pick up a book or short story are a unique delivery and characters I can really care about.  I love action, gore, suspense and terror, but if there isn't a cohesive plot, I can't remember it two weeks later.  There are times,  however, such as when I am reading something by Laymon, when all I am looking for is a campy good time.  In those cases, everything else takes second seat to plain old fun.

Cordelia Windygale:  Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Evans:  Thankfully, none!  I may embed little details that relate to my life from time to time for fun, but none of the characters I've created are even remotely based on me, with the possible slight exception of Gerard in Whatever Possessed You - sometimes I wonder where these stories come from, and that story was inspired somewhat by how finished stories arrive to me from time to time.  Maybe it's Maazo Maazo?

Adam:  I have never written myself into any of my characters.  I can honestly say none of them are like me at all.  If there were anyone with similarities to me at all, it would have to be Greg Everett from Gone.  I do tend to be a forgetful slob.  So there you go.

Abry:  Why did you pick your particular genre?

Evans:  Horror is the genre that most closely aligns with the type of stories I write.  Even though some of my work crosses into humor, bizarro and even perhaps sci-fi, they typically end badly for someone, which is a basic trademark of horror.  Horror is the underdog in today's literary environment, and I love swimming against the tide, working from a position of adversity.

Adam:  There was never a conscious decision to write horror.  For me, it seemed the genre had already chosen me.  I write what makes me happy, and I have had a love affair with horror since I was a child.

Cordelia Windygale:  What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Evans:  I think my work often goes places others haven't.  Even if they sometimes start and end in familiar places, I try to choose the road less travelled for the journey.  If I wanted to write a book that's just like other books already available, I'd just go read those instead.

Personally, I like to be shocking without being disgustingly crude, to break up the tension with little moments of levity, and don't mind taking chances with an idea that's so crazy that it's highly likely to fail.

Most importantly, I don't want to ever take myself too seriously.  So much horror today tries so hard to be solemn, serious and "important."  Many contemporary horror writers act ashamed of the genre, hide behind the cloak of "dark fiction" to make their work more palatable to the general public, and appear to be on a ridiculous mission to earn "respect" from the mainstream for the genre.

Literary horror is fine and dandy if it is honestly entertaining, but so much of what tries to pass for "literary" horror these days comes across as whiny, angst emo bullshit, scared to have a sense of fun out of fear it won't be taken seriously.

There are exceptions, of course.  See Kealan Patrick Burke's The Tent for a shining example of how horror can be both "literary" and fun.

Adam:  I would have to say that I write with tongue in cheek a lot, and although there are others that do it well, and certainly better, I think that not taking myself too seriously helps to lend a certain unique tone to my work.

Fluta:  This one is for only you, Evans.  Jerry or Tom?  Scooby or Shaggy?  Ren or Stimpy?  Pinky or Brain?

Evans:  Tom and Ren for sure.  Can't have Scooby without Shaggy, that's just common sense.  You're welcome to keep Pinky and the Brain.  In fact, please do.  

Fluta:  Adam, which super power would you like to have and why?

Adam:  I would love to have the power to stop time.  The reason is really a no-brainer.  If I could make everything stop for any duration, I could write to my heart's content and when I started the clock moving again, everything would go on as if nothing had ever happened.  Plus, I'm not getting any younger, and I feel time passing more now than at any other time in my life.

Abry:  What can we expect from the two of you in the future?

Evans:  Well, Adam and I recently released Harmlessly Insane: The Complete Collection, which is the first volume collecting all The Light Brother short stories and novellas to date.  It's a massive volume (and a great value) currently available only in paperback.  I highly recommend that people new to my work start there.

Look for my brand-new Halloween story in Bad Apples, a new anthology featuring original stories from Adam Light, Edward Lorn, Jason Parent and Gregor Xane.  Some really great stories there.

Also, work continues on the debut novel from The Light Brothers, tentatively titled Tranquility's End.  The release date is still pending as we finish it up and evaluate release options, but hopefully you'll be seeing it on shelves someday soon.  It's been quite a massive undertaking, and I can't wait to set it free.

A second collection of short stories will likely be released in 2016 as well.

Adam:  You can expect plenty of new material.  I have stories that will be coming up in at least two anthologies in the year to come.  In the meantime, there are two novellas that have been in the works for a long time, and the novel Evans and I are slowly but steadily chipping away at.  That one will be the first novel from us, and we are totally stoked about it.

Cordelia Windygale:  Thanks for stopping by, guys.  Before you go, where can we find the two of you?

Evans:  The official website for The Light Brothers can be found at The Light Brothers Horror.  I'm also on Facebook (send me a request, I'm friendly), on Twitter @BrothersLight, and on Goodreads people can join the "Q&A with The Light Brothers" group to receive special offers and freebies.  There's other social media links easily found on Google as well.

Adam:  Our websiteFacebookGoodreads.  Those are the main places you can find me hanging around.  My Amazon page is here.

About the authors:
Evans Light is a writer of horror and suspense who suffers from frequent bouts of delusional grandeur interspersed with moments of soul-crushing suspicions of personal inadequacy.

Adam Light lives in northeast Florida with his wife, daughter, and their Walker Hound aptly named Walker.  He writes horror stories at night and haunts a cubicle by day.

REVIEW: Dark Seed

Dark Seed
Lawrence Verigin

Genre: Ecological Thriller
Publisher: Promontory Press
Publication date: 10.27.2013
Pages: 289

Recommended by: Sage's Blog Tours, Read 2 Review
Date read: 10.28.2014

Summary: A disillusioned journalist and the grieving daughter of a murdered scientist uncover an immoral and destructive global plot by the largest developer of genetically engineered seed and its parent pharmaceutical conglomerate.
          Nick Barnes and Morgan Elles learn that the goal of the man behind these organizations is the complete control of human existence.  He eliminates opposition and interference without hesitation or remorse.
            The couple quickly find themselves fighting for their lives.  And yours.
            Grab hold for a wild ride with this exciting, high concept thriller that tackles one of the big issues of our time.

This was a really interesting story that captured my attention from the very beginning.  The storyline was intriguing, the adventure was fun.  Being part of things as they figured out what all was going on, while trying to stay alive, kept me reading long after bedtime - I couldn't put it down; my brain would not let me stop until I found out the full story.  The characters were an interesting mix: Nick and Morgan, the main characters, seemed to not have much in common when the thing began; Morgan's father was someone I wish had been around longer in the story because he was someone I would have liked to know more about; his two friends that helped them out along the way were interesting as well.  I also liked Sue, Nick's best friend.  The bad guys were well written - you couldn't help but dislike them, but at the same time, you wanted to know more about them.

My issue with the book, and the reason it received a lower rating (4 stars instead of 5, rounded up from 3 1/2), is the editing.  I am hoping that the copy he gave the blog tour company was incorrect, that he accidentally gave them the unedited copy, because I can't imagine how someone could let this go to press.  Besides the punctuation issues and lack of capitalization, there were some repetitive parts, ideas stated more than once, as if it just came to them then, not in the chapter before, or the time it was mentioned before that.  There's also information that is not needed, which messes up the flow, making parts of it a little slow.  I know that there are a lot of people that won't be bothered by such a thing, and usually I just mention the editing issues in passing (even though I am an editor, I read these books purely for enjoyment), but the punctuation and capitalization problem especially made this book a little cumbersome reading.  I would have to go back and re-read a sentence, realizing that I had missed a period and without that capitalization at the beginning of the sentence, I hadn't even noticed that we had moved on to a new one.  Lawrence, cleaned up a little bit, this could definitely be a 5 star book.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AMONG THE STACKS: Gavin Hetherington

Abry:  Tell us a little about yourself.

Gavin:  I am a British self-published author, so I am just starting out in this business so half of the time I don't know what I'm doing.  It's hard to be your own agent and publisher.  Fortunately I love the writing side of things which helped a great deal.  I have a truly crazy imagination which I've had since I was a child.  I would always write silly little stories at school and home and I would never be seen without a book or a pen and notepad.  I don't know if I have stressed enough how much I am in love with Disney and Pixar.  That completely contradicts the genre I am writing in now as horror is far from princes and princesses, but I still cry at The Lion King so I'm a big softie.  I also cry at The Muppets Movie strangely.  And I just completed college and I am on my way to University next month and I am so excited.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are five things most people don't know about you?

Gavin:  I am so modest.  If a family member asks me about my book and tells me congratulations and things like that, I get shy and I don't actually like talking about it.  It's weird but I hate when I become the center of attention.  I get sad a lot.  The people in my life will never know it because I always smile and act like my normal self - when I get sad I don't tell anyone.  I have never had a boyfriend before, but I think that's mainly due to my independent nature.  I just don't think I'd make a good boyfriend.  I am too self-reliant.  I also doubt myself a lot.  I always think I'm not good enough or I'm doing something wrong, but I always try to keep a positive mind.  And last thing, I have an overbite.  I am currently wearing braces that I have had on for over a year and next stage is Orthognathic surgery.  Hopefully by the end of the year!

Abry:  What is the first book you remember reading?

Gavin:  I remember in primary school (I guess that's kindergarten in America?) when I was about 4 or 5 years old, there was a book in the classroom called "We're Going on a Bear Hunt."  It was pretty scary as a child, but I remember enjoying it and thinking it was exciting.  The first proper book I ever read was one of the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine.  He ended up having a big influence on the direction of my writing.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are you reading now?

Gavin:  I am currently reading a few books.  I always end up reading a few books at once because one day I might be in the mood for something scary, but a different day I will fancy something with witches and wizards.  Currently, I am reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, Rivers by Ben Aaronovitch and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

Abry:  What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Gavin:  My love for Harry Potter made me want to write.  I will always credit J.K. Rowling as the person who inspired me to pursue a career in writing.  I always loved reading fantasy so tires and I thought it was incredible how authors could transport me to new worlds with just their words.  It fascinated me and I admired every author I ever read.  I knew I wanted to be a part of that, and something about writing down my stories from my mind to paper has a really amazing effect on me.  I can't describe it.

Cordelia Windygale:  Do you have a special place you like to write?

Gavin:  Not really.  I have a desk in my bedroom which I usually sit at to write.  I have only ever been able to write in the house and nowhere else.  I am so easily distracted and it still doesn't help that it's hard to concentrate in this house too as I live with my mother and younger brother, and my younger brother is one of the biggest distractions ever.  He's only two years younger than me, but you would think he was a decade younger.  I am going to try and hunt for a new place to write, maybe when I get a better laptop that will be easier to transport.  I have always wanted to write in a coffee shop.

Abry:  Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Gavin:  I  usually celebrate completing a chapter with some very loud music and dancing.  I also allow myself to have chocolate or some other fancy treat.  I'm not exactly strict on myself when it comes to writing, which I should probably be as I set myself deadlines and nine times out of ten I'll miss it.  But I just let myself write when the mood comes.  I do plan every chapter in advance of writing it so I know what I should be writing about.  A lot of the time I let the story flow as I write, but it's nice to know what direction I'm heading in.  I love planning and brainstorming ideas.  To me, that's probably more fun than writing.

Cordelia Windygale:  Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Gavin:  For my particular series - Abyssal Sanctuary - a lot of the ideas come from nightmares I have had or little bits of inspiration from different horror stories.  My first book was basically a homage to the horror genre, so now, as I write my second one, it's becoming its own series, so I am just letting the story flow organically without forcing it.  I allow my characters to make their own decisions and I try and abide by what hey would do in whatever situation I put them in.

Abry:  What books have most inspired you?

Gavin:  I am usually inspired by a lot of different things - books, films, television shows, real-life events - that I can't exactly pinpoint the main inspiration, but books are the main source.  I have read a lot, though maybe not as much as other people as I have been slacking over the years, but I guess the books that have inspired me the most are definitely the Harry Potter series and Goosebumps.  It would explain why my book series is a mixture of fantasy and horror, though my books are more adult horror than Goosebumps.

Cordelia Windygale:  Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Gavin:  Sometimes I can picture something so vividly in my head, but when I want to write it down, I can't seem to use the right words or paint the same kind of picture.  The hardest part has to be transferring the right words to the page.  I feel like I am improving with that though, but it's still hard.  Also, trying to find the time.  When you work a part-time job and then you have a house full of loud people, or more specifically a loud brother, then rioting becomes a bit of a chore to find time for.  It's even worse when I am trying to feel in-the-mood for writing among all that.

Abry:  What do you think makes a good story?

Gavin:  To me, a good story is all about good characterization.  I cannot read a story if the characters in it are dull and unreadable.  The plot could be fantastic and exciting, but if the character cannot balance the plot and provide readers with someone to rely on to take us on this adventure, then the story just falls apart.  I wouldn't read a book where I haven't liked the main character.  The main character acts as the reader's avatar - if I wouldn't want to be in their skin, looking at the world through their eyes, then I don't want to read the story.

Cordelia Windygale:  Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Gavin:  I have a main character in Abyssal Sanctuary called Justin Rutherford who I basically modeled after myself.  He isn't completely me - in fact, he's so much better - but I gave him a lot of my traits and personality.  He's also homosexual, which I think is important to have a lead gay character in a story like this.  I can't remember ever reading a horror story with a lead gay character.  I have four other main characters too, and they all take a little something from me, but Justin is definitely the most like me.  I also made him do little things that I have done before, like spray air freshener on myself because I ran out of deodorant.

Abry:  Why did you pick this particular genre?

Gavin:  Horror was the last genre I wanted to pick to be honest.  While I love Goosebumps, that's more for kids so it's not truly horror.  When I was little, horror movies used to keep me up at night crying.  Jaws gave me nightmares for months.  More bizarre though was that Scary Movie made me cry too; even though it's a parody of horror films, it still frightened me.  As I got older, I started to love reading horror and watching it too.  There's something about making your heart stop in suspense and the whole uncertainty of hat is going to happen next, but you know it's life or death.  Like being on a roller coaster.  Excitement is something I look for personally in a book and horror typically comes packaged with excitement.

Cordelia Windygale:  What makes your book different from others out there in this genre?

Gavin:  My book deals with ongoing story lines that weave to and from between different characters. The layout and design of the book is definitely unique in the horror genre.  I have a Prologue that sets up the story of the book with a devastating event.  I then split the book into six sections, the first five sections dedicated to one of the main characters.  Each section has six chapters each as the character plays through their story lines and ends at another event that will have all five main characters come together for the final section.  The Epilogue has three chapters that build up to the climax.  I really enjoy writing the story like this as I can have certain scenes viewed from two different sides and the reader will develop a bigger picture of the story once they read one section and go onto the next.  Things make more sense as the story develops, but a lot doesn't at the same time as not everything is revealed in the first book.  It can be a pretty amazing, but frustrating structure at times, and that's what I love about it.

Fluta:  What is your most unusual talent?

Gavin:  Oh wow, I really don't think I have any besides writing, and that's hardly unusual.  I can remember some very significant details about something, like dates.  Such as, if somebody were to ask the date I bought High School Musical on DVD, I would tell them the 9th of December 2006.  See how unimportant that is?  Nobody would ever ask me that, but it's something unusual.

Abry:  What can we expect from you in the future?

Gavin:  Fortunately my book has taken off so the future is looking pretty bright.  My book, Remnants of the Damned, is a finalist for four awards, two of them at the Readers' Favorite Book Awards.  I will be attending the awards ceremony in Miami in November, so that is so exciting.  I am currently working on the sequel to Remnants of the Damned, which will be out 6 October 2015, hopefully.  I have my heart set on it so I am going to try and make sure everything is ready for then.  I currently have some other book ideas floating around in my head for standalone books and other book series too.  While Abyssal Sanctuary is also fantasy, I have an idea for a fantasy series that will be nothing like it.  I am going to be starting University next month too so my knowledge on how to write and all things literature will improve, so I am hoping the quality of my books will improve too, and I will go back and make sure the first book (and the coming second book) is perfect.

Cordelia Windygale:  Where can we find you?

About the author:
Gavin Hetherington, born 7 May 1992, currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom.  A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural.
            In 2006, Gavin's short story, titled "Vanquished," won a nationwide competition to be included in a children's anthology of short stories.  The book, Telling T.A.L.E.S.: Adventure into Fiction, Volume 1, was published on 30 November 2006.
            Gavin is Gay and has never had a boyfriend, which he is grateful for as he wants his first boyfriend to be "the one."  Call it fictional, but it's true.  Gavin loves film an scripted American television shows.  His favorite films include the Harry Potter series, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Titanic and more.  Almost every Disney animated classic and Pixar film, Gavin loves.  His favorite television shows include Charmed, Desperate Housewives, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy, True Blood, The Walking Dead and many more.
            While writing, Gavin also has a part-time job at Greggs the Bakers in Gateshead.  Gavin attended Gateshead College from 2008 to 2009 before dropping out after feeling lost during a course change in the second year.  Gavin returned to learning in September 2013 when he enrolled at Newcastle City Learning and will attend University in Fall 2014.

Monday, October 27, 2014

AMONG THE STACKS: C Michael Powers

Abry:  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Chris:  I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but because of divorced parents, I moved all over the country. From a young age, I had a wild imagination.  If I got bored of my toys, I'd search for newspapers or magazines and cut images out of them to create my own worlds.  While my friends played war with their action figures, I'd pretend my living room was a foreign planet, my sofas were mountain ranges, my floors were hot lava, and my GI Joes were in danger of being bitten by their buddies and turned into zombies.  I didn't mind getting in trouble and being grounded because it meant more time building insane worlds with my toys.

I grew up and joined the army, where I met my beautiful Panamanian wife (in Alaska of all places).  We moved to South Florida and Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, and eventually settled down with our four amazing kids in the country of Panama.  It's funny, I had to leave my own country to realize my dream.  I was always so busy back home.  Here, I've started writing novels and even have my own website about living as a foreigner in Panama.

I'm a lot like the characters in my first dark fantasy series, Mirror Images.  I'm a nice, fun loving, caring guy who just wants to be a successful author and take care of my family.  My mirror image is a deranged writer who constructs odd worlds and invents insane characters to entertain my readers.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are five things most people don't know about you?

Chris:  Five?  That's tough.  I'm kind of an open book.  Well ... here we go.

1. When I was a young kid, I was terrified of porcelain dolls.  I had to live with my grandmother for a little while, way out on a dark country road, and she had porcelain dolls all over her house.  I nearly pissed myself to sleep every freakin' night.

2. I love musicals.  Oliver is probably my favorite, but I like everything from Oklahoma to Grease and Moulin Rouge.  I have to admit I even kind of liked Glee.  I wrote a musical once (a screenplay). That was fun.

3. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.  When I was in the U.S. Air Force and was sent to Saudi Arabia, there was this little Baskin Robins trailer on base.  Everyone else was busy in the gym losing weight.  I was probably the only person in Saudi getting fatter because I kept buying mint chocolate chip shakes every day.

4. I have this ridiculous thing about me where I can't seem to wait for the toaster to finish with my toast.  It's like I have a serious distrust for my toaster.  So I pop my toast up several times to check on it and usually end up burning my toast in the process.  It's kind of the same with the toilet.  I like to flush the toilet before I'm finished peeing and then race to see if I can finish peeing before it finishes flushing.  I always have to flush the damned thing twice.  You guys are going to think I'm a total nutcase, huh?

5. I played high school football.  That's no secret to the people who know me.  The secret is I knew nothing about football.  I never watched it on TV.  I was sitting in Algebra class one day when the announcement came over the loud speaker.  Anyone wishing to try out for the team needed to go to the cafeteria.  I'd never in my life considered playing football.  In the movies and TV shows they always got the hottest girls.  That was my first thought when I heard the announcement.  My second was, "This will get me out of this class right now."  So I tried out for the team, made the team and played all four years of high school.  I was good enough to play, but not good enough to go anywhere with it.  I was slow.  Ha, speaking of slow, I remember our coach telling us we had to play some other sport in the offseason.  I joined the track team.  Wanna know the reason why?  Because the coach brought gigantic bags of bananas to the practice and track meets.  I'd sit there with my best friend, Brian, and just eat banana after banana (thing #6 about me would be that I love bananas, I think I could've been a monkey in Mexico in my past life because I love Mexican food and I love bananas).  Brian and I would only get off the bleachers to go participate in our event, which we'd both always lose.  We were both too slow.  Then we'd head back to the bag of bananas.

Abry:  What is the first book you remember reading?

Chris:  The first book I remember reading was Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.  I loved that book.  That and The Boxcar Children.  The first book I read on my own was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  She was my favorite author as a teenager.  I read all of her books.

Cordelia Windygale:  What are you reading now?

Chris:  I'm reading The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks right now and I have to ay that it is a seriously badass book.  I saw his name on a list of the best modern fantasy writers and thought I'd check out one of his books.  I'm so glad I did.  I'm a big fan of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books and this one reminds me of those.  I just saw that it's coming out as a graphic novel soon.  I'm snatching it up as soon as it does.

Abry:  What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Chris:  I loved typing.  As soon as I learned to type without looking at the keys, I wanted to touch any keyboard I came across.  I'd even sit on the bus on the way to football games and pretend the seat back in front of me was a computer.  Everyone else was trying to concentrate on the big game and I was punching out fake stories on my imaginary keyboard.  I started writing my first book when I was visiting my grandfather in Oklahoma.  My dad and younger brother went out fishing and I stayed home with my sleeping grandpa.  I found his old typewriter in a back bedroom and started playing around with it.  From that moment on, I never stopped writing.

Cordelia Windygale:  Do you have a special place you like to write?

Chris:  I don't right now.  I wish I did.  When I lived in the suburbs of Chicago and commuted to the city every day, my favorite place to write was Starbucks just down the street from the old fire house on Michigan Ave.  I can't remember the name of the street, but I'd spend each morning writing in that Starbucks.  I finished a couple of screenplays there.  My dream place is up in the mountains somewhere with a window looking out on that beautiful mountain scenery.  I live in the country of Panama and I've seen places like that in the mountain towns here, so eventually, I'll find that dream place and make it mine.

Abry:  Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Chris:  Not really.  I write anywhere I can.  I'm always juggling more than one story as it's hard for me to stay focused on one long enough.  As soon as a fresh idea pops into my head, I feel the need to at least get that story started.  Then I'll go back to my main work in progress.  My only quirk is I love to hear movie scores or nice, dramatic instrumental music.  Music with lyrics distracts me.

Cordelia Windygale:  Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Chris:  I don't know.  But I can't seem to stop them.  I have about 80 ideas written down.  I've recently started writing novellas because I have so many ideas and not all of them would make sense in a big 500 page novel.  I love the novella idea (which was actually sparked by the writer of this blog *thanks Meghan*) because it allows me to put these fresh ideas on paper without forcing them into longer stories.

Abry:  What books have most inspired you?

Chris:  I think the S.E. Hinton books inspired me because they were the first books I read where people seemed real.  Her characters felt like real teenagers with real problems.  Stephen King is an inspiration because the man just doesn't stop writing.  Holy cow.  If I can ever have as many published works as that guy, I'll feel so accomplished.  Also, I have to say I've found a new inspiration in George R.R. Martin.  His ability to make you step into his world is just astonishing.  His character development is like nothing I've ever read.  You care as much about the bad guys as you do about the good guys.  He's awesome.  And someone else who inspired me was the author Patricia Cornwell.  I met her when I was a security guard at a Tiffany & Co. in Boca Raton, Florida.  One of the sales professionals told her I was a writer.  I didn't know who she was at the time, but she walked over to me, extended her hand, and introduced herself.  She even gave me her agent's contact info.  That is cool.  The agent ended up wanting nothing to do with me, but I'll never forget that this famous author was kind enough and down-to-earth enough to introduce herself to me and try to help me out.  If you happen to be a fan of The Gal, Patricia, thanks so much for that moment.

Cordelia Windygale:  Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Chris:  Yes, getting published.  Ha!  Well, now with self-publishing that's easy, but getting recognized for your work is hard to do without one of the big publishers backing you.  Marketing is a bitch.  As a writer, and I'm sure most writers feel this way, I just want to write.  Nowadays, being a writer is so much more.  You have to be good with social media and other marketing avenues.  It's tough.  Writing is the fun part.  Also, I'm still learning to thicken my skin.  I'm a person, just an average Joe trying to put my imagination down on virtual paper, and it stings when I read negative reviews.  It's part of the game and it's part of the process.  It strengthens me as a writer, but some reviewers are just downright mean and that's definitely a challenging part of being a writer.

Abry:  What do you think makes a good story?

Chris:  Whoa, that's a tough one, Meghan.  I'll just say what I enjoy in a story.  I like action and a story that keeps flowing.  I don't like getting bogged down in too much detail.  I  hate having to read the same page several times.  When that happens, I'll either put down the book or skim forward a few pages.  With my writing, I try to keep the action/horror going.  I don't use a lot of big and fancy words.  I just want to tell my story and give my readers a good time.

Cordelia Windygale:  Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Chris:  I guess I'd have to say Gabe.  Gabe is a nice guy just trying to live a normal life.  He's genuine.  He loves his woman.  His alter ego, his image from the other side of the mirror, Cutter, is who I wish I could be sometimes when one of these crazy Panama taxi drivers cuts me off.  He's a mean spirited son of a bitch.

Abry:  Why did you pick your particular genre?

Chris:  I  have a hard time nailing down my genre.  I've stuck with dark fantasy because it seems like the closest thing to what I'm trying to accomplish.  Most of the stories I've either written or plan to write are dark, edgy, sometimes horrific, and always action-packed.  None so far contain werewolves or vampires or ogres or elves.  So urban fantasy and regular ol' epic fantasy don't seem to match what I'm writing.  So I'll just stick with dark fantasy for now.  I started writing in this genre because it's the style I enjoy myself.  Weeks' The Way of Shadows (the one I mentioned I'm reading right now) is close to the genre I'm looking for, if it had a little more craziness in it.  I like monsters and supernatural elements and violence and sex and everything wrapped up in a dark and insane world.  The first Sin City movie would fit in the genre I'd like to be part of.  What genre would that be?

Cordelia Windygale:  What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Chris:  Uh oh.  I think I accidentally answered this question in the previous question.  What makes mine different is I'm not afraid of mixing elements together.  You might see a cowboy and monster with two heads and the Easter Bunny all fighting side by side.  I haven't written that yet.  Let me jot that down real quick.  If I were to write and direct my own movie, it would have elements of horror, lots of action, maybe some romance, and a little bit of comedy.  I would want people to leave the theater saying, "What the fuck was that?  I just don't ... what ... that was so fucking cool."  If I can get that reaction from people, then I'll be happy.

Fluta:  How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Chris:  Honest.  Loving.  Zany.

Abry:  What can we expect from you in the future?

Chris:  You can definitely expect the last 3 books in the Mirror Images series, plus a few dark fantasy, stand-alone books (with possible sequels), and a lot of horror novellas.  I think you guys are gonna love the books I have in mind (several of which I've already begun writing).  I've even found myself thinking, "Where do you come up with this shit?"

Cordelia Windygale:  Where can we find you?

Chris:  You can find me at Baskin Robins, Mexican restaurants, banana farms and at the following places:

About the author:
C. Michael Powers loves bending imagination, twisting emotions, and revving up mental motors to create dark, horrifying, and fantastical stories sure to shock and surprise his readers.  He enjoys juggling novels,  novellas, and screenplays, to keep the stories fresh and to keep the shackles on that dreaded writer's block dragon that dwells somewhere deep down in the basement.  
            Oh, and when he's not busy trying to sound super cool and artistically impressive here in this virtual world, he hangs out with his wife and four kids in the country of Panama, where he also works on his website, sharing his experiences with others thinking of making the move overseas.
            Wait, a few more things, he also likes baked ziti, peanut butter and jelly, cold beer, horror movies, country music (when he's not writing), movie scores (when he is writing), girls who wear glasses (sorry honey, but your eyesight is just too good for me), and the new Looney Tunes show (that Daffy Duck is friggin' hilarious).
            He hates bullies, green olives, room-temperature milk, v-neck t-shirts, and getting those messages on Facebook that want him to prove how good of a friend he is by copying and pasting and sharing the message (WTH, he's a great friend!).
            Okay, enough about this egotistical bastard.