RSS

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ten Questions + 1 with Author Connie Kingrey Anderson

Kingrey Anderson BksMed (2)Connie Kingrey Anderson is the writer behind Creepers Mysteries: Haunted Cattle Drive. In checking her bio on her website you will find the following factoid. The fact she lives on a colorful cul-de-sac in Minnesota with one funny husband, two furry friends, and three times the average imagination.  The imagination comes through when you read the book. So without further discussion here are the questions.

 

Question 1:

What inspired you to write Haunted Cattle Drive, Book 1 in the Creepers Mysteries series?

A: When I was starting this series, I happened to watch the movie “City Slickers.”

The idea of Movies for the Ear books/scripts was to let kids jump into the story and become the characters in it.  In City Slickers, Billy Crystal and the gang become cowboys on a cattle drive.

What a fun adventure that would  be, right? Doesn’t everyone want to be a cowboy?

So I plopped that premise onto three kids: Harry, Gillian and Arvin, and of course the outcome was entirely different.  Their adventure includes a floating face of a toothless old prospector, and a snarling cowboy who is there one minute, and is simply a face on a 100-year-old wanted poster the next.

Question 2:

Is there any significance to the names of your main characters?

A: I chose the names Silver Dollar Dan, Dead Man Jack and Smokey Joe because I wanted to give the kids the feel of a classic Old Western Movie. Kids haven’t seen as many (if any) of the old classics as adults have. So names like these  evoke a time and a place that are brand new to them.

Question 3:

During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?

A: It reminded me of when we were kids and did playmaking without a script.  Kids abandon that kind of imaginative/improvisational play at an earlier age now and migrate toward electronics.  One way to get them back to it is to give them a script. Everyone wants to be an actor!

Question 4:

What were some of your favorite books growing up?

A: The Betsy-Tacy Series, the Katie John books, Pippi Longstocking, Five Little Peppers. These are mostly girl books, because I am, you know, a girl.  But Creepers Mysteries are 100% for boys and girls.

Question 5:

Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do, what do they say?

A: They want more. Fast readers gobble up the books because they’re short with lots of action — so they keep turning the pages. But I also hear that kids like to read/produce the Movie for the Ear scripts over and over. One afterschool program director said the kids rush to the area where the books are so that they can get first dibs on doing the play that day. A mother told me that her son gets in the car each morning and recites all the lines in the script on the way to school – every morning. And a young girl wrote and asked if I would have another book ready by the time her birthday came around because she wanted to act it out at her birthday sleepover party. (I’m writing…I’m writing…)

Question 6:

What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

A: I loved the art work! The covers really pop and there’s no doubt that’s what gets people’s attention at first. But when they look inside, they see the great interior drawings and professional book design and typesetting. The cover art is by B.J. Nartker, the interior drawings are by Scott Rolfs, and the interior book design and set-up was done by Liz Tufte. They are truly fabulous team!

ToadiesQuestion 7:

Do you continue to write?

A: Of course, it’s the Creepers Mysteries series.  Plus, there’s a little girl’s birthday sleepover party that needs another book…

The second book in the series is Toadies, and I’m currently working on the third book called Superstition Alley.  I love that title. Although I probably shouldn’t say so, it could be bad luck.

Question 8:

What is the message you want people to take away from the book?

A: To have fun, be creative and READ.

Creepers Mysteries help kids read and interact with other kids. They get up out of their chairs and away from video and computer screens. They learn new words and pronunciations, proper intonations, comprehension, and how to speak and respond to others.

Creepers Mysteries is the series that has everyone talking…

Question 9:

If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

A: There are three main characters: Harry, Gillian and Arvin, as well as the elusive narrator/host: Ebeneezer Stump. When I look in the crystal ball, I see them all growing and becoming more interesting in the upcoming books. Except for Ebeneezer Stump – he’s still a puzzle, but a charming puzzle.

Question 10:
Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

A: I dedicated Haunted Cattle Drive to Ebeneezer Stump, who appears and disappears at just the right times…

If you would like to learn why I dedicated the book to him, go to www.creepersmysteries.com and  click on “Ebeneezer Stump” in the About Us section.  He’s an elusive guy, so this is as much as I can tell you about him.

The + 1 Question:

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?  

A: Some place where kids are poor or underserved or have other struggles that get in the way of learning how to read. If kids have love and the ability to read, they can reach their dreams.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Interview

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Haunted Cattle Drive, Creepers Mysteries, Book 1

HCD

Ghost stories are probably as old as storytelling itself.  This type of storytelling usually revolves around a dark night with limited lighting. Often the story teller is using a flashlight to highlight they are the one sharing their story. This is probably why when you scroll through the opening of Creepers Mysteries Haunted Cattle Drive at the Table of Contents it reads: Turn the lights down low, and crank the fun up high! Read it with a flashlight, if you dare! 

Haunted Cattle Drive is a children’s book that can be read to most ages and even some adults should enjoy the book. The book is also unique as within its pages there is an opportunity for parents and children to interact in some fun.  I am getting a head of myself by saying this so let me talk about the book first.

The story is written by Connie Kingrey Anderson and opens with a description of the western sky, and the bluffs. The opening includes a slight forwarding of what you may find as you continue reading as it’s mentioned that long rides in a saddle can lead to people seeing “things”. What are these things? What could they see, or come across? Well those are the questions.

Haunted Cattle Drive introduces the reader to a trio of kids on their way to Smokey Joe’s ranch. Harry and Gillian are on their way to help their mother’s travel agency by checking out the ranch. They have their friend Marvin, I’m sorry that’s Arvin along with them. You see, Arvin has ridden a horse before unlike Harry and Gillian so he should do well at the ranch.  Arvin isn’t the greenhorn the other two children are, and he tries to show that in the book.

The tourist bus they travel in, to get to Smokey Joe’s ranch, is driven by Smokey Joe himself. He introduces himself and talks to the children as they begin the long drive. He even points out some really old wanted posters hanging within the bus to the kids.  The drive is a long one and soon the children find themselves asleep as the bus continues down the road. Harry is awoken at one point and he and Gillian get quite a surprise as others appear and disappear from the bus.  An event that is later discussed and leads down the path of an adventure.

The adventure will take the kids on a cattle drive into the wide open spaces under a dark sky.  A drive that takes them along paths used by rustlers and thieves back over time, and where the thought of gold leaves Arvin a bit pre-occupied with finding this gold.

What author Connie Kingrey Anderson does within these pages matches well with the publisher of the book, Movies for the Ear. You see this is a story that should be read out loud and enjoyed by all involved. The story may not seem to very scary to some, but the characters are well developed. Anderson also does a great job in giving you the back story on the protagonists in the story. Along with how a legendary bounty hunter may have been tricked by his “final” arrest. All of this ties well into the book and makes for an enjoyable read.

As I mentioned earlier the book has some additional items that parents, and children, will enjoy. After the main story there is an opportunity for people to “Create Your Own Movie for the Ear”.  You will be introduced to Holly who takes the reader through the finer points of casting, rehearsing and adding sound affects to your “movie”.   This includes everything on how to use what you have just learned to put on a performance that others will enjoy.  This is something rare in many children’s books and is a unique in this genre. In the entire book and the additional bonus material is something that is enjoyable and should be fun for all.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , ,

Ten Questions + 1 featuring author SB Knight

I have reviewed a few books from Author SB Knight and just recently a short story.  Below you will find the interview that I did with SB using his book Demathia Rising as the focus for the questions. I hope you enjoy what comes from his mind and a bit of an insight into his inspiration and writing style.

Me Half FaceQuestion 1:

What inspired you to write Demathia Rising? I’m always looking for fresh story ideas or new angles to old stories to explore. Surprisingly, I get many of my ideas from the History channel. I was watching Mysteries at the Museum and they were talking about this stone tablet with Scandinavian rune markings on it. I began thinking about that and Norse mythology…it lead me to a creature by the name of Hel. She was the protector of the underworld. The story started to form from that and then exploded into Demathia Rising. 

Question 2:

Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters? Well, yes and no, I wanted the main characters of the Rune family to have a Scandinavian heritage which, in my opinion, meant a strong name. I picked Mason for that. Felicia is my wife’s favorite name so I used that as an acknowledgment to the support my wife has given me. I really try to select names that fit the personality of the character which can be difficult when you first start a story.

Question 3:

During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories? Oh yes, the cottage scenes and the moments at the water was inspired by the memories I’ve made at the family cottage we have on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My grandpa had a cast iron bell that he would ring whenever it was time to make a special beverage to break the heat of the day. Of course, as a child, that meant it was time for me to have a Root Beer.

Question 4:

What were some of your favorite books growing up? Believe it or not but I wasn’t a big reader while young. Throughout my teenage years comic books were the main source of my reading. Yep, I still have a collection of them now. Of course, in high school we read a great deal more than what they do now a days but my desire to read was set aflame after seeing the Fellowship of the Ring. I simply could not read enough fantasy novels. Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist, Robert Jordan (RIP), and Tolkien top my list of authors.

Question 5:

Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say? Oh yes, I hear from fans…first off, I am always amazed when I think that my novels have fans…Some of them I hear from often. They are part of the Knight Stalkers which is becoming my street team. Other fans will leave messages on my Fan Page about a particular novel and how much they enjoyed it even though it scared them. I’ve received a few emails from readers…one in particular stands out, the reader stated that she had to sleep with the lights on after reading Born of Blood.

Question 6:

What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book? Accomplishment! It was the thought – I did it, I’m a published author. To hold a finished product in your hand that you’ve worked on for more than a year is exhilarating and, for me, inspiration to write more. 

Question 7:

Do you continue to write? Absolutely! I have three novels out now (Born of Blood, Drago’s Revenge, and Demathia Rising) and one short story (Game of Straws). I have hopes to release a second short story in July titled, The Passage and I am working on my fourth novel titled, Christian which is book three of the Blood Chronicles. At the same time I generate more story ideas.

Question 8:

What is the message you want people to take away from the book? First, I want them to be entertained and taken on a journey away from the stresses of reality. In Demathia Rising, I would like them to see that hope is always there and real love knows no limits. You can also see, from Mason, that even confused and distraught you can still do the right thing.

Question 9:

If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be? Well, I can see a bright future of happiness and family but with a hint of caution and an eye for certain details or signs. They will be living by the water and trying to live a normal life.
Question 10:
Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?  It reads – “To all my friends, fans, readers, and family – thank you for your support.” These groups, these individuals are one of the reasons why I write. It is their support that bolsters me during the tough times of writing a novel.

The + 1 Question:

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why? I would go to Europe. Think about it, you could tour multiple countries by car and site see at the same time. It would be an awesome tour. I would finish at the world book fair in London.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Interview

 

Tags: , ,

Game of Straws by S.B Knight

StrawsHow many of us have grown using games of chance to make a decision? I’m sure some have either flipped a coin, played Eeny, Meeny, Miny, moe, or in some cased picked the short straw.  The question is have you ever considered what could happen in any of those games if the rules were more “twisted”.

Writer S.B. Knight will help you take that journey and gives the reader a taste of what outcomes would come from a different form of pick the short straw.  In the short story Game of Straws the reader will find out what just is in that imagination.

Adam takes his girl, Melody, and their friends Jack and Jennifer to his grandfather’s old home. The place can be called picturesque if it wasn’t so far out in the sticks.  Adam and Melody have a plan to eventually make the place a bed and breakfast but first they must check the hold home out.

It is inside this house that the group comes across an old wooden box. Adam is hesitate to touch the box as his grandfather had told him it needs to be protected.  The scary thing, the box needs to be protected from people, not the other way around.

It is here when the short story takes the reader into an interesting game of chance that will impact all those in the house.  The details of what happens are better left for those who read the short story.

S.B. Knight takes the same style of writing he’s used in his other books and puts this to good work in the story.  He takes a bit of time to get you used to the characters involved, before sending the challenge their way.  He is also able to take a game many of us may have played when growing up and give it a completely new twist.  This is a short story many readers will enjoy.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Ten Questions + 1 featuring author Doug Lamoreux

Below is the interview from author Doug Lamoreux who is the writer of The Melting Dead, his newest book.  He has also written the book Dracula’s Demeter.  The man is also an actor the photo that he sent for this post appears to be from one of the movies he acted in. The film by Peter O’Keefe, titled Infidel. I do hope you enjoy his answers to the questions as they are just below.
DougLQuestion 1: What inspired you to write The Melting Dead?

My love of horror films and my need for a laugh coming off of writing Dracula’s Demeter.  That was a wonderful experience with a book I’m deeply proud of, but it is a studiously researched literary work and following that I needed to do something that made me laugh and scream at my keyboard.  And with zombies being all the rage, right then, I thought I’d try my take.  The Melting Dead is the result.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters?

Yes. Usually and this time certainly.  Some of the characters here are named after characters in horror films, some after friends, some after not-friends.  For fun, The Melting Dead is filled with references to, allusions to, titles of, quotes from over 600 horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films within the prose.  Some are out in the open, some pretty well hidden.  Some are in the names, but only a few.  Aside from being a fun read for everyone, it’s a nifty word search for horror geeks.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?

Always. But I’m never sure how or if that translates to the story.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I was a film buff, devoted to Famous Monsters and other horror magazines and comic books.  I didn’t read many books until much later in life.  A sad fact with our education system; they don’t encourage reading, they’re more interested in regurgitation.  I did read the horror classics, of course, and 1984, Lord of the Flies,  Brave New World, Animal Farm, and others, but they were few and far between.  I am a voracious reader now, usually two novels at a time.  In the last three years, I’ve read all the books I should have read as a boy: Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Captain’s Courageous, The Three Musketeers, Robinson Crusoe, Heart of Darkness, and nearly everything in the Rex Stout, Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan Doyle canons.  You MUST read to write and when I’m not writing, I read.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

The Melting Dead is so new it hasn’t any fans yet. (And I appreciate, Shawn, you giving it a look. Thank you.)  I have heard from fans of my other works and, I’m delighted to say, people have been wonderfully complimentary and gracious.  One of the greatest things an author can hope to hear is some version of, I’m looking forward to your next book, and I’ve been fortunate to have heard it a few times.  A nice feeling.  I will tell you, as a horror film historian and fanatical fan, nothing could best being told that Dracula’s Demeter was a worthy addition to the Dracula mythology.  I’ve heard that from Fangoria, Famous Monsters of Filmland (the magazine I grew up on), and from Professor Elizabeth Miller, the world’s foremost authority on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and President of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula.  What more could a horror fan hope for?  I didn’t intend to toot my own horn but, to that, TOOT!

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

My brother, wildlife photographer and writer Daniel D. Lamoreux, shot the cover for The Melting Dead and it turned out beautifully. The colors are brilliant, yet eerie.  I was delighted, there was my melting zombie island.  Now, go back to Apparition Lake, my first novel (co-written with Dan) or The Devil’s Bed, my first solo novel, then you get jumping up and down.  But you can’t jump up and down after all of them, my knees aren’t what they once were.

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

Absolutely, until I’m forcibly stopped.  Just finishing a murder noir novel, An Agent of Wrath, the first ‘Nod Blake Paranormal Mystery’ of what I hope becomes a series, set in 1979 Chicago with a dinosaur of a private detective who acts as if it’s 1949.  Then it’s back to straight horror with something I can only tease by not teasing it yet.

Question 8: What is the message you are want people to take away from the book?

There are a few messages in there, I’m sure, but I’m not trying to build a better world through melting monsters.  I’m trying to entertain.  If folks read my books, then put them down feeling they’ve been entertained by the experience, it’s all good.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

It would be… a sequel.

Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

This answer brings us back to question one.  The Melting Dead is dedicated to “The writers of all the filmic horrors from Georges Méliès to the present.” which is exactly what I meant when I said I loved horror films, the good, the bad, and the so bad they’re ugly.  This book is my Thank You to the folks that enriched my childhood with films going bump in the night.

The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

The United Kingdom.  Ireland, Scotland and England.  Ancient histories, gloomy moors. I’d love to sit in the cemetery overlooking Whitby harbor, or see Stonehenge, or visit Dartmoor, or speak to the ghosts in the Tower of London.  I wouldn’t sell many books but I’d have a grand time!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Interview

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Melting Dead by Doug Lamoreux

MeltingDeadOften you hear how scary movies or scary stories will cause a person to have nightmares. They often tap into a primal fear that awakens within someones subconscious as they sleep. The outcome is a sudden alertness as you can awake screaming, shaking or just in a pool of your own sweat.   

Now those used to these horrific tales are not often found to have these nightmares. If your name is Angela Roskowic you are well used to the fear that can be induced by horror. You are a fanatic and can draw references to any horror film as you just observe the daily life you lead working in Chicago in Theatre.  

So you can imagine the nervousness that Angela feels when she finds herself having these scream evoking nightmares suddenly. She’s about to begin a trip to find a possible retreat for those in the Chicagoland Directors’ Guild to “get away and play.” Angela was surely kicking herself for missing the meeting when the plan was discussed as she was “volunteered” to find a location. 

This is the starting point to the book, “The Melting Dead”, written by author Doug Lamoreux. This is a book that will take you within the zombie genre, BUT has enough twists that it may not seem like any zombie book you have read.  

As the story evolves in the book you are introduced to a good cast of characters. The story takes place around an island located in the Mississippi River. The area has simple people that do not take too kindly to a group of Goths who rob a local gas station.  The local police and sheriff become involved in the eventual chase for the robbers.  The theft does not go off as planned as the reader will find out as the getaway ends up to create a large “stink”. If you are wondering why the quotations around stink, well you must read the book to find out why. 

To help the reader get an idea of what you will find yourself getting into let me give you an example of what you will find coming from the mind and thoughts of Angela as you read the book.  There is a period where it is referenced that Angela is entering the small town territory of Salem’s Lot and Let’s Scare Jessica to Death.  A small town where stares followed her like stares from the Stepford wives. Now these are somewhat paraphrased but near direct quotes from the book and some of the things readers will hopefully love about the book. 

Doug Lamoreux’s writing style is also something found to be quite interesting. The story seems to follow Angela’s story line for the most part but at times there is a break in the story.  A change in the story taking you away from one piece of action is not forgotten. A “narrator” type of tone will help bring you back to a piece of the story you feel may have been forgotten.  The story has elements of humor tossed in as well that is well placed amongst the action of the book. 

The other thing that Doug does well is develop his characters.  A great example is how the fear of one fisherman’s wife is used to explain the man’s “willingness” to act as a one way taxi to the island. One way, you ask, well he will drop some people off and head back to the main land leaving them stranded. There are of course other characters within this story that are equally well developed. A sample: the islands park ranger, a group of squatters, and the islands caretakers. 

The Melting Dead is one of those books that could be missed within the Zombie Genre. Potential readers could find themselves going, “Oh just another zombie book.” This would be a shame as the book is one of those that should be read and enjoyed for its story.  The book is well written and you may wonder do I know all the movies Angela’s character mentions throughout the book. It was something that is included well within the story as not since Scream has there been a good story that evokes other horror themed entertainment in this way.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Ten Questions + 1 featuring author Michele Roger

In a continuation of the Author Interviews I bring you Author, Michele Roger. Michele wrote the book, The Conservatory.  I do hope you enjoy the Ten +1 questions.

MrogerQuestion 1:

What inspired you to write The Conservatory?

The Conservatory is an emulsion of childhood fears, real life experiences whilst living in an actual haunted house and midnight walks at the local community college that was once a TB Sanitarium.  It too is said to be haunted.  Being a music teacher and harpist in real life also added to the authenticity of the plot.  The hack and slash style of blood and gore, I can only say probably was inspired by the fact that I was going through a divorce at the time.

Question 2:

Is there any significance to the names of your main characters?

I am completely inept at subtlety when it comes to character names.  I would love to write a fusion of name and character in Henry Miller fashion but alas, the best I could come up with for the female lead music teacher sadly, was Melody. Her lover, and the male lead, Dr. Lewis is based on the good looks of a friend of mine and the logic and profound calm of my best friend, Stacie for whom, Martin Lewis derives his last name.

Question 3:

During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?

When I was four, I had a bad case of pneumonia with a high fever that lasted all night.  When I woke the next morning, I ran down the stairs straight into my grandmothers arms and told her that the little blue doctors were coming back to take me away.  I then told her of their tiny knives and drills and that I was trying to call out for her but I couldn’t scream.  To this day, I can still recall their rubbery skin and their nasal breaths.  Was it a dream or was it real?  I don’t know.  But it was such a vivid memory, I used it.

Question 4:

What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I loved  all kinds books.  I read my grandmothers recipes and cook books in French.  I read a lot of Asimov.  For a while, I collected the sci fi series of books, “V”.  Then I started my print addiction to everything Steven King.  But it was in high school that I learned there was books that people said I shouldn’t read.  It was a lovely form of rebellion to banned books.

Question 5:

Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

A woman in London recently wrote me and said that she can read The Conservatory on her morning commute into work.  But in the evening, when its dark outside, it frightens her too much.  That is the best compliment I ever got!  Another woman told me that she loves music and hence decided to read my book.  She had never read horror before and now she enjoys the genre.  Converting people to a new form of literature is a great feeling.

Question 6:

What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

I was sued over The Conservatory.  I never thought I would see it in print.  So when the first copy arrived, I felt as if I could finally exhale.  No matter how it performed on the market, The Conservatory had come to life so to speak.

Question 7:

Do you continue to write?

Yes.  My short story, “Though She Be Little, She is Fierce” , my first zombie story, is going to be published in an anthology this fall by Evil Girlfriend Media.  I am self publishing a collection of stories written by myself and friends in my own anthology to be released this summer.  And finally, I’m launching a huge, new novel and podcasting it.  The podcasts will of course be free.  The book will be released next spring.  It’s called Eternal Kingdom.  Think vampire crossed with the Gladiator movie and you have an idea of the blood bath the story takes on.  The characters are deep and driven and I’m having a great time writing it!

Question 8:

What is the message you are want people to take away from the book?

The Conservatory itself is rather tongue and cheek.  When they say the music business is “cut throat”, it is.  But in the Conservatory, I mean it quite literally.

Question 9:

If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

If I tell you that here then I give away part of the ending of the Conservatory….sorry.

Question 10:
Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

I dedicated the book to my son and daughter.  Both are in college right now.  Both of them are taking creative career paths.  I have been ridiculed for raising two kids on my own by means of music and writing.  If I had a dime for every time someone asked, “why don’t you go get a real job?” I would be rich.  The point of the dedication is small but poignant.  Do what you love, kids, the money will come.  Furthermore, if you are doing what you love, the things many people spend money on to be happy wont be necessary.

The + 1 Question:

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

There is a space ship leaving in something like ten years to go colonize Mars.  I think I would like to do a book tour there.  How do I set that up?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Interview

 

Tags: , , ,