Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’

Welcome to the Starblood Release Day Blog Hop

Firstly Carmilla would like to thank every friend and supporter who is helping share the news of the relaunch of the Starblood series.

On December 11th Starblood is being published by Vamptasy Publishing at an introductory discounted price of only 99c/99p. The discounted price will be available until December 12th and after that the novel will be sold at the regular price of $2.99. The book is available here. A paperback release is also planned for the novel.

What is Starblood? For those of you new to the story Carmilla has recorded an eight minute video in which she discusses the background to the first novel and the series. You can find it here.

Here are some of the highlights –

Starblood2018promo2

Starblood is the first book in a series of at least four novels. Starblood was Carmilla’s debut novel back in 2011. It has been edited and perfected for this re-release. Starblood looks at magic, sexuality and the personal struggles of being female while negotiating a place in the world. The book has three central characters who are bisexual. We begin in Satori’s (aka Steve’s) bedroom. His girlfriend, Star, has split up with him but he cannot or will not let her go without a fight. Satori has spent much of his young life studying and practicing magic, and he decides the best way to win Star back is to enlist the help of a demon. As he starts the ritual he is excited, afraid, sad and angry, but his training forces him to be careful and protect himself with sigils and spells. We witness his battle of will over emotion. Some readers may feel sympathy, others may marvel at his naivete, while many will realise what he hopes to achieve is morally repugnant and paramount to enslaving his so called beloved. This last group might recoil in horror at his plan and hope he fails.

 An excerpt –

Satori stands in the centre of his bedroom. His fingers and the lace cuffs of his shirt are stained from the charcoal he uses to scribble symbols. Markings cover every surface: the bare floorboards, ceiling and walls. Even his wardrobe and door are covered in intricate black sigils.

He unbuttons his shirt, swearing as he leaves fingerprints on the cotton. After tossing the garment on to his bed, he unzips his jeans, and forces the denim over his legs and to the floor. Standing naked, he smells himself. There is no trace of her scent on his body. Realising this feels like losing her all over again.

His fragile-looking, angular body is lost in the forest of writing. It expands around him, a web of ancient knowledge. The tips of his fingers prickle with energy.

He pulls silver rings from his fingers. Pushing back his shoulder-length hair, he removes the hoops from his left ear, and finally the silver stud from his sharply pointed nose. His jewellery jingles like tiny bells as he lets it fall, scattering like distant stars across the midnight duvet. On his pillow, dozens of photographs lie like fallen leaves. Some are intact but most are torn or defaced. Her face holds his thoughts for a moment: pale, perfect and framed by a mass of ebony curls. He shakes his head to clear her image. After this is over he will make her love him again. Maybe she will beg for his forgiveness. A wolfish grin grows across his face at the thought of Star on her knees, begging him to take her back. He licks his lips. His face feels hot, his body cold. In spite of his impatience to start the ritual, he waits. Sucking deep breaths in through his nostrils, he collects his thoughts—he mustn’t rush. He must be in control of himself and his desires.

Whispering, he draws the same glyphs on his body. He starts with his toes and the soles of his feet, moving upwards and over his skin with practised dexterity. Charcoal drags against his skin, which blossoms pink below each mark. The growing tattoo obscures his features.

Although he knows the words he needs to say, he reads the passage again, to be certain. He draws two circles on the floor and steps into one of them. With the fingers of his right hand he traces a pentagram in the air before him. Then he recites the words, his voice slow and clear, pronouncing each syllable with care.

‘ … This is my will,’ he says finally.

Lifting a silver dagger above his head, he concentrates. An excited grin spreads across his graffiti covered face and with tremendous force he plunges the knife downwards, severing the air in front of him. Through the tear he can see swirls of darkness: Chaos. He calls to Furfur, creator of love between man and woman, to share with him his demon’s power so he can win Star back.

A long, slender leg steps through the gap, followed by a lily-white body. The interloper is female, naked and hairless.

‘I am Satori,’ he says. His voice quivers with fear and excitement. He coughs and tries to speak with more authority. ‘I have brought you—’

‘Brought me? I think not. I saw the door and came to see the fool who caused it to open.’ Her emerald eyes are full of contempt.

Satori’s confidence withers. Malice thickens the air like gelatine and the demon’s aura chills the room. Although he suspects it is fear rather than the cold that makes his body shake so violently. Staring at her in silence, he realises he has made an error. Through all his planning and preparation, he did not see this coming. What went wrong? Instead of Furfur, contained and compelled to do his bidding, ready to elevate him back into the arms of his beloved, he is faced with something else, something threatening. He raises his dagger above him again, ready to expel her before it’s too late, but before he can open his mouth she knocks the dagger away with the back of her hand.

‘I am your guest not your minion, and you will not dismiss me,’ she says.


Starblood crosses numerous genres. In the tradition of Wuthering Heights it could be considered a Gothic Romance. There are scenes of violence that sit comfortably in horror. There is a preoccupation with Magic and Demonology that nudges it into the dark fantasy genre. And finally there is the story of a young person searching for her identity in a world that confuses, traps and frustrates her, containing enough existential crises and philosophy to dip its toes into contemporary women’s fiction.

A graphic novel based on Starblood is also available for those who prefer comics to novels.

Starblood2018promo3

Want to win some Starblood loot? Check out this prize draw. You can enter by buying either book, sharing news of the new release or subscribing to Carmilla Voiez’s newsletter. Ends Monday 17th December.

About Carmilla –

Carmilla Voiez is a proudly bisexual and mildly autistic introvert who finds writing much easier than verbal communication. Her books are both extraordinarily personal and universally challenging. A life long Goth, Carmilla lives with her daughter, two cats and a poet by the sea. She is passionate about horror, the alt scene, intersectional feminism, art, nature and animals. When not writing, she gets paid to hang out in a stately home and entertain tourists.

Carmilla grew up on a varied diet of horror. Her earliest influences as a teenage reader were Graham Masterton, Brian Lumley and Clive Barker mixed with the romance of Hammer Horror and the visceral violence of the first wave of video nasties. Fascinated by the Goth aesthetic and enchanted by threnodies of eighties Goth and post-punk music she evolved into the creature of darkness we find today.

Carmilla’s bibliography includes Starblood (Vamptasy Publishing, Dec 2018), Starblood the graphic novel, Psychonaut the graphic novel, The Ballerina and the Revolutionary, Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales. Her work has been included in Zombie Punks Fuck Off (Clash Books), Slice Girls (Stitched Smile), and Another Beautiful Nightmare (Vamptasy).

Links –

Website – www.carmillavoiez.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Author.Carmilla.Voiez/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/carmillavoiez
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/carmillav/starblood-the-graphic-novel/
Quora – https://www.quora.com/profile/Carmilla-Voiez#
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4893389.Carmilla_Voiez
Amazon Author Page (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Carmilla-Voiez/e/B00AMZKZ5I
Amazon Author Page (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carmilla-Voiez/e/B00AMZKZ5I/

Beauty is the Beast Cover

Full disclosure: I don’t do a lot of interviews. In fact, I really don’t do them at all. I decided to sit down with Gretchen for a little chat, and a lot more came up than I expected. Gretchen is a hairdresser and violinist. She is on the tall side, favoring a Latina heritage, looks to be in her early to mid twenties, but she is much older than that. What’s her secret, you might ask? Well, it’s because she is not entirely human. She struggles with that –  appearing human. And not just figuratively but literally.

Scott: So, you’re a werewolf, huh? What’s that like? Were you born that way or what happened?

Gretchen: I was bitten by a fae wolf, way back in mid-1800’s, I think, I’m fuzzy on the dates. He asked me first, and like an idiot, I said yes. I didn’t think I was going to end up a lone wolf for the century and a half.

Scott: Do others know about you? I mean, werewolves in general.

Gretchen: All the fae and a limited number of humans do.

Scott: Are there those against you? Again, werewolves in general. Do you have to deal with the threat of people trying to kill you just because you are a werewolf?

Gretchen: The occasional vampire, & I’m sure there are some humans in the know that hunt us, but I don’t know any personally.

Scott: Are vampires real, too? This whole thing seems to open up Pandora’s Box.

Gretchen: Oh yes. My best friend is a vampire, actually. We met back in the 80’s during cosmetology school.

Scott: Hairdresser and violinist? For how long? I’d suppose you could be pretty adept at both. Do you perform as a violinist in any sort of famous capacity?

Gretchen: I learned to play violin not long after I was bitten. I still play the same instrument, in fact. I’m certainly not famous, that would be too many eyes on me for my liking. My band, Chaos Theory, is pretty well liked locally, though. I play an electric violin during rehearsals and during gigs so my sound fits in (we play rock)

Scott: Back to the werewolf thing, how exactly does that work? Are you able to control it? If not, how do you deal with it?

Gretchen: I can control it, to a certain extent. During the full moon, my wolf is completely in charge and there’s no humanity in me. In contrast, during the new moon, I can’t shift at all so I’m basically human. The rest of the time, I can shift at will. The closer to full moon, the less control I have. I’ve been told I have rage issues.

Scott: Yikes! So, what do you do during the full moon? Do you lock yourself up or anything?

Gretchen: I do. My friend, Percy, remodeled one of her barns to house me. It has titanium bars lining the inside and I lock myself in for the three days around the full moon.

Scott: So, werewolves, vampires, and fae are real? Anything else? And is a fae werewolf a fae who became a werewolf?

Gretchen: Yes, they’re all real, and much more. All those Greek, Norse, and whatever others you can think of? All fae. People just worshiped them as gods, because in comparison, they were. As for the fae wolf, no, they’re not werewolves, but their bites create one. A werewolf cannot create another. It’s kind of like God created the two parallel universes and decided there should be wolves on both sides, and fae wolves are just the much more intelligent version.

Scott: Do you all have to uphold a masquerade with “regular” humans, then? Will this interview get you in trouble? Am I in trouble?

Gretchen: Yep, gotta pretend to be human all the time. I’m pretty terrible at it, actually, but somehow, I’ve managed. I think. No, we won’t get into trouble. Do you think I’d really risk that? I’ve had several names over the years. I’m pretty good at making them up.

Scott: You are from the mid 19th Century. That is amazing. What do you most miss about those times? What do you most love about modern day?

Gretchen: Nothing. I miss nothing. Well, the ability to disappear was much easier, record keeping wasn’t what it is now. For background: I was born in a brothel in Texas, and I lived there, and eventually employed there until I was bitten, the moon turned, and I killed them all.

Scott: Kill them all? Who do you mean?

Gretchen: Well, when I shifted that first full moon, they had no idea what I was. I barely knew, and I certainly didn’t know I’d lose control, but I did. When I came to, every person in the building was slaughtered. I can only assume it was me.

Scott: Let’s get back to these parallel universes. Are you saying there are two worlds, obviously having some sort of conjunctions, and the fae populate that other world? They clearly seem to have some level of interaction with this world.

Gretchen: Exactly. There are pathways, thin spots, between the two worlds where the fae can get through. Well, humans could too, but they’re much less likely to survive the trip, once they’ve reached the other side. The fae had been crossing back and forth for centuries, but when King Arthur took the throne, he banished the fae, since he was a half-blood, and having Excalibur, he mostly succeeded and the remaining fae went into hiding. Some still crossed, of course, he wasn’t able to close the travel ways, but he hunted down and killed any he could find. He wasn’t the good guy that everyone believes. With less fae using magic in our existence, the magic of earth faded away, for the most part.

Scott: This has all been rather heavy and even a bit frightening. Let’s try something lighter. What do you do for fun?

Gretchen: I like to run. A lot. I also play violin both for myself and in my band, Chaos Theory. There’s something incredible and therapeutic about letting loose through music.

Scott: Thank you so much, Gretchen. This has been very enlightening.


To read Gretchen’s adventures, get Beauty is the Beast by Jennifer Zamboni.

Follow Jennifer on Facebook or check out her blog.

Psychonaut01

What would you do for the one you love? Satori would travel worlds and battle demons, but however much Star begs he just can’t let her go.

Psychonaut the Graphic Novel is out September 1st, 2018. Written by Carmilla Voiez with art by Anna Prashkovich, this is a comic for mature adults, containing scenes of sex and violence. Psychonaut is the sequel to Starblood and forms part of The Starblood Trilogy. Backed by Kickstarter supporters this gorgeous volume is available in print (hardcover and paperback), on comiXology and Kindle.

Diversity and representation might be current buzzwords, but they are also important. Starblood and Psychonaut, two graphic novels from the Starblood Trilogy are both written by an illustrated by women. It’s a story that has strong women at its heart, with themes of sexuality – including bisexuality, and self-identity. The antagonist is a woman who rages at the world and the protagonists are searching for their places in that world.

On release day Carmilla will be hosting a party on Facebook from 9pm – 11pm (UK time +01.00) and a live chat on her website from 11pm to Midnight. You are welcome to attend both.

We are setting up a rafflecopter which will be live from Sep 1 – Sep 8, with three prizes for the winner and runner ups. You can enter by completing various tasks including helping us promoting the book release or purchasing a copy. Rafflecopter Prizes: First prize – a) if winner resides within the UK – signed paperback copies of Starblood and Psychonaut the graphic novels OR £20 Amazon voucher (winner’s choice). b) if winner resides outside the UK – paperback copies of Starblood and Psychonaut the graphic novels OR $25 USD Amazon voucher (winner’s choice). Runner up prizes: Second prize – Ebook versions of the following PLUS $5 USD Amazon voucher: Cristy Stoat – Brown House, Faith Marlow – Being Mrs Dracula, Lily Luchesi – Skin Deep, Cathrina Constantine – Tallas. Third prize – Ebook/pdf versions of the following: Elaine White – Decadent, Cathrina Constantine – Rising Star, The Erotic Tales of Carmilla Voiez. Rafflecopter link here – http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ce99b5c58/?

Check out some of the pages from Psychonaut the graphic novel and find a link to the Rafflecopter at http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2018/08/27/Psychonaut-the-Graphic-Novel and enjoy some Feminazi Splatter Goth fun.

Black Sun the Graphic Novel, the final book in the trilogy, is currently in production. Two of our Kickstarter backers will feature as characters in the third volume. To keep up to date with news on the final book join my blog or subscribe to my newsletter. After the success of the Psychonaut Kickstarter it is very likely we will use the crowdfunder again when Black Sun is ready.

About The Starblood Trilogy –

I wrote The Starblood Trilogy during the final years of my second marriage and a lot of the things I was feeling then found their way onto the page. The three main characters represented aspects of myself, Star was my confusion, Satori my sexuality, and Lilith my rage. It was cathartic but very painful too.

One of my favourite lines from the first book remains – “There is no shame in love, only completion.” Lilith says this to Star, but the words are at odds with Star’s experiences throughout the trilogy. Shame and love seem to go hand in hand for Star.

If you want to find out more about the Starblood story it is available as a trilogy in one volume – here’s the Amazon link, but it can also be found on iTunes, Kobo etc – http://smarturl.it/TheStarbloodTrilogy

About Psychonaut –

Satori is caught between two worlds. There is something he needs in one, but the other keeps drawing him back. However, he is in love and he isn’t going to let a little thing like death get in his way. To reach his goal, he must face unimaginable horrors, not least of which is his true self.
Star’s tortured and broken body awaits Satori, but does she really need him to save her? His rival, a rage-filled young woman, grows more powerful and becomes as twisted as the ribbons in her hair while the demon, Lilith, draws each of them inexorably towards her. Who will survive the coming battle?

Full of sex and magic, “Psychonaut” is an exploration into the human psyche and the second book in Voiez’s “Starblood” trilogy.

“Carmilla Voiez is more of a singer than a writer. She tells her compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie world vividly to life.” Graham Masterton

“Psychonaut is a book of mad impulses, inner vision, sadism, escape and belief. You feel uncomfortable reading it, like Alex strapped to the chair in Clockwork Orange being taught to feel sick at atrocity. Rather than leave us crippled by response, though, Psychonaut bears you through the hurt towards the only paradise we can be assured of…a love past fault.” Jef Withonef, Houston Press.

What is comiXology? “comiXology is home to the largest selection of digital comics anywhere, comiXology takes comics further with [their] revolutionary Guided View™ reading technology on all your devices. Start building your digital comics library and lose yourself in the world of comics, graphic novels & manga. Guided View allows you to swipe or tap to cinematically shift from panel-to-panel at your own pace! Each Guided View experience has been handcrafted by a comic lover to make sure you have the best possible adventure, no matter how small your device.”

Find out more here – https://www.comixology.com/new-to-comixology

Want to create your own graphic novel or just see how Anna and I created Starblood? Check out this blog post (includes page images and some of the script) – http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2017/03/28/How-to-create-a-graphic-novel

Do you have a favourite character in Starblood? Mine’s Freya. In fact she’s demanded I write a new book just for her. I’ll be working on that this November, and if successful, Starblood will no longer be a trilogy. It will be a series. Here’s more about my favourite character – http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2017/03/06/Freya-is-one-hell-of-a-fucked-up-character

Links to everywhere you can find Psychonaut the graphic novel – http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/graphicnovel

Psychonaut02

I love to leave references in my work, Easter eggs, as it were.  Some of them are much less obvious than others.  The name of one of my protagonists, Lilja Perhonen, is one, a big one.  I also leave clues that are sort of homages to writers that have had a large impact on me.

Take this excerpt from my second book, Sword of the Butterfly:

“Wilbraham?” came the inevitable summons, the professor moving his head around as though in search of whom this may be, though nearly all of the small body of the class had by now been announced.

“Here, sir,” he finally spoke, his voice an odd mixture of deep, gruff, but with a scratch of break, as though of pubescence or merely suffering from some chronic allergy.

“That is a good, old name from England,” Professor Edwards remarked with utmost sincerity, then consulting his list, looking back up, “Pothos? That’s your first name?”

Pothos nodded, slowly, almost laboriously.

“Your parents must also be students of mythology to give you a great name like that,” the instructor carried on, letting his dark, bushy eyebrows rise as though throwing a question mark onto the supposition.

That alludes to what becomes a huge Easter egg.  It also references an experience I had back in college, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to figure that out.  The layers do begin to get a little complicated, and sometimes I forget why I crafted things the way I did.  Still, I think it adds to the journey, and I hope there are those who discover these things and feel the same.

If you’ve read my work and think you have some guessed, please leave a comment.  If you have not, then grab a book and begin the hunt!

My Amazon Author Page

gothic_egg_by_mehmetkursat

Iniquity Book Cover

Darkness has come unto the land.  What is left of earth’s civilization is concentrated into towns, reduced to living a life like that of the middle ages, but this is in the future.  Demons have risen from beneath the surface of the earth and plunged humanity into a serf-like existence where modern comforts are only remembered by the oldest still living.  The demon overlords of each village decide the “destiny” of every woman when she reaches twenty-one years of age.  What befalls Athena, the protagonist, proves unexpected and monumental.

This is the setting for an interesting and personal journey as the tale is told entirely from Athena’s perspective.  She is an inquisitive, stubborn, and practical young woman, and she never strays far from her ultimate goal – somehow restoring the light to the surface and hopefully displacing the despotic rule of the demons.

The story is intriguing and deals not only with these strange situations but also more mundane matters. It is all woven against the overwhelming backdrop of humanity’s new existence beneath its powerful masters.  The story paints a picture of depth, even as it dances with cliché ideas that would be welcome in a fairy tale.  I liked that these tropes were sometimes inverted or presented in a not so clean context.  The tale is not clean; it is, just like life, complicated.

I will confess I grew somewhat impatient during some portions.  The setting pulled me in with wonder as to what had happened and what would befall this poor girl.  Things never calmed for her, but things sometimes felt tiresome.  I will say that this was well indicative of Athena’s plight, though I did feel myself eager to get on with it.

As the story progressed, things changed, alarmingly, and we’re met with another sort of beginning.  It does not take long for everything to become more and more threatening for our unique heroine, and though we are again met with a potential cliché in the end, things are not at all going to be left “happily ever after”.  A tremendous revelation comes to light, and we’re shown how things will be very different and dangerous going forward.  I am eager to continue the story in volume two.

Iniquity, the Ascent, Book One (Amazon link)

Finding Books

Posted: December 4, 2017 in Blog
Tags: , ,

Have you ever read a book just for the cover or title?  Have you ever just randomly grabbed a book and decided to read it?  I don’t usually do that.  I tend to over-research when I am looking for something new to buy.  If I don’t go that route, it is usually a recommendation from friends.

One time, though, I was in a large book store (I forget which, but it was a big one like Barnes & Noble), and none of the books on my to-buy list were there.  Rather than leave empty-handed, I decided to look over the spines and pick one that lured me.  I found Noir by K.W. Jeter.  Now, this may illustrate my own failings since before then, I did not even know about K.W. Jeter.  Allow me to apologize for this.  But I saw the title, the aesthetic of the cover, and I thought, ‘if it’s called Noir, it had better be good.’  I figured the author was pretty ballsy to use that title, so I felt it was worth the chance.

It did not disappoint.  I was blown away, and it has become one of my favorite novels.  Not only that, but it obviously led to my learning of Jeter, and I have since gotten more of his works.

I am somewhat cynical when it comes to covers, but I am less so regarding titles.  In my opinion, the titles and cover should be representative of the contents of the story; however, it’s an abstract.  The results of this will vary from person to person.  Some publishers also have control over the cover image, title, blurb, etc. so it may be a less sincere marketing effort.  Of course, we have to glean new readers somehow, right?  Titles and cover art work in that effort.

So, do you ever just randomly pick a book?  If so, how do you make your choice?


Books on Shelf

 

Well, we’re almost done with October. Let’s see what we have as we draw toward a close.

22: Publishing Tales – aside from some very rudimentary self-publishing and the occasional feature on a webpage, I did not get published until recently. I submitted queries to a handful of publishers, and before I could even figure out who would be in round two, I was lucky enough to find someone to publish my first novel. Thank you, Optimus Maximus.

23: TBW – To Be Written – I have several irons in the fire, as it were, which is usually the case. Once I complete the third (& likely final) book in my Butterfly series, I have two other novels to work on, probably three, maybe more. The two are vampire related, though they are not connected. Both deal with different ideas of how vampires began. I am looking forward to working on both. The third deals with wizards and dragons, but it is not a typical fantasy tale.

24: RP:Rejection stories – I made a lengthy post on this. You can read it here.

25: Horror Story – I grew up with asthma, horrible asthma. It nearly killed me once. I was in a hospital emergency room, and they were losing me, so they life-flighted me from that hospital to another one more suited to handle such trauma.

26: Scary-Awesome Bloggers – Nicolajayne Taylor, Meghan at  The Gal in the Blue Mask, and Patricia Statham at Books to Curl Up With.

27: Best Writing Candy – if I am going to eat candy while I write, it needs to be some kind of dark chocolate, maybe with ginger or chili in it, but definitely dark chocolate.

28: Book Babies – I don’t know what is meant by this prompt, soooo, I am going to skip it.

And there we are! I’ll wrap up Oct next week and bring us into November. Thank you all for being here, and if you are interested in my writing, please visit my Amazon Author Page for my books.

dotb-twitter

October is just zooming by. A lot is going on, and it can be difficult to stay focused, but let’s roll with the third week of IG Writers month and see what we get.

15: Fav. Scary Read – Okay, this is timely. It by Stephen King. I enjoy horror stories, but they rarely actually scare more. I usually find them to be darkly entertaining, but to experience real fear whilst reading one is uncommon. I have read a few stories recently by some independent authors that gave me some trepidation and fright. Thank you Carmilla Voiez and Jeffrey Kosh. The Exorcist also scared me, but It is my favorite. I love the novel, and I have read it several times.

16: Writer Foods/Fuel – Coffee. There is no specific food I associate with writing. In fact, I rarely eat while writing. There is always a drink on hand, though, and it is usually coffee.

17: Author Crush – I don’t really have one.  There are several authors I’d like to me, but no crushing is happening.

18: Page 13 of your WIP – I made a post about this on my Twitter. Feel free to check it out.

19: Book Dedication – Dance of the Butterfly is a tale that very nearly did not happen.  It took time to take  hold and even more time to truly blossom.  Were it not for the ceaseless help of a very dear, close friend, it would not have been done.  In a very real way, it parallels that relationship, taking from that story to add to its own.  For this, I deeply thank you, Jane.

20: Killed Darlings – I am not sure I like this one being here. A killed darling generally comes with a shock. If I say who has died in my books, then the shock is gone. If you have not yet read them, you would not be emotionally invested, anyway. Suffice it to say, there are some. Read to find out.

21: Plot-Twist – I love these. Both of my books have a few and the third will as well. I enjoy setting things up and having a few different twists and turns happen throughout. I also like to use red herrings, and one in my first book is layered with some subtle referencing. I have even followed patterns in my series, so that, in itself, becomes a clue.

There we are. I hope you have enjoyed this third week of IGWriters month. Please do visit my Amazon Author Page for my published works. I’d love to have you as a reader.

dotb-twitter

And it continues …

So, I feel stupid. The IG in IGWritersOct is for Instagram. I don’t use Instagram, just set up a meager little account. I’ll have to get more into it, but I digress.

8: BRAINstorming – another one I am not sure what they mean, but basically, my brainstorms generally come from dreams. I pull from my dreams for a great deal of my inspiration. My urban fantasy series began from three different such experiences. My other form of brainstorming is more deliberate, and it happens when I really focus on the story and maybe talk it out or plot it and see what I may be missing or what can be added. Completely unexpected ideas have come from this, and I value the technique.

9: Writing Adventures – Yes, I can do that. Ah, but maybe they mean adventures that happened to me because of writing. I had my first convention as a published author at this year’s Scares that Cares. That was very exciting. I got to meet my publisher face to face along with other authors and friends. It was a great weekend.

10: Mental Health & Writing – I would say that writing can be very therapeutic. The way I write, though, it can also be difficult. I really get into my writing, and sometimes it spawns unpleasant feelings. There are some scenes that once I wrote them, I had difficulty editing them. Once edited, I don’t read them again.

11: Handwriting Sample – I am going to pass on this one. I rarely use handwriting for anything at all in my life.

12: Pantser or Plotter – I do both. I generally plot out the major points, then I fill in the blanks and details with stream-of-consciousness writing. That seems pretty much by the seat of the pants.

13: Writing Rituals – I don’t really have one of these, though my writing usually does not get done without some coffee on hand. I sometimes choose very specific music to help, and then it is on low volume.

14: Dead Manuscripts – Oh, boy, do I have these. I have thousands of pages of unpublished poetry, short stories, even novels. Most of those are incomplete, but there are two that are complete and one that was about 95%. Looking back on them, very few seem worthy of resurrection.

And that’s another week! I hope you enjoyed, found something thoughtful, or in some way found value here. Thank you for reading. Comments and questions are always welcome, and if you are interested in my published works, please visit my Amazon Author Page.

Thanks!

dotb-twitter

So, this month is IGWriters month. I wish I could tell you what the IG stands for or what brought this on, but here it is. Take a breath, and let’s dive in.

1: INTL Coffee Day – great! I love coffee. I generally drink a Vietnamese instant coffee during the week, so that is international, assuming INTL stands for international. If you want to learn about a quite exotic coffee, I suggest kopi luwak. It’s expensive and partially digested! Give it a try, and let me know how it is.

2: Your WIP – I am currently working on the third book in my dark urban fantasy series. It will be different from the first two, and it will probably be the end of the main story.  Here is an excerpt:

It is a large man, his suit jacket open, clothing showing disheveled, torn, bloodstained, and if the darkly-coated butcher knife in his fist were not sign enough, his eyes bleed out with a strange, red hue.  Those orbs see Lilja and the other three, and he roars out, eating a few precious seconds before he launches himself at his prey.

3: Writing Tools – I use a computer. I began with a typewriter. I have hand written a few things, but for the vast majority of my writing, I have used a keyboard of one type or another.

4: Writing w/ animals – I am not sure what to say on this one. I don’t use animals to write, and I don’t have a pet. No cute pics of a cat trying to get my attention as I tap away at the keys.

5: Author Bucket List – This was another one I was not entirely sure about. I suppose my author bucket list is to someday make a living as an author. I’d also like to visit the regions in Europe that I used as inspiration for the setting of my first two books.

6: What makes you smile – a lot does, actually. Spending time with my family usually leads to a great deal of laughter. I also love talking to my readers. That will often get a smile on my face.

7: Your favorite character – Another tough one. I suppose this is meant to mean a character of my own design. I am going to ignore the obvious and look to a minor character who still played a big role and choose Interpol Inspector Gaspare Duilio. He is a corrupt officer who ends up playing a part in all three books. Not only do I find him an interesting and many-layered person, but the experiences he has and how they shape him allow him to show further depth and have a larger impact on the overall tale.

And that is it for the first week. I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave any comments are ask any questions you may have. Please also visit my author page and read my books! Thank you.

dotb-twitter