“Imagine if you found yourself the attention of the entire world . . .
The dysfunctional Keene family awaken one Saturday to find several strangers and neighbours staring at their home. Events turn more bizarre when more hypnotised strangers arrive, all seemingly transfixed with those within the Keene household. As the ominous crowd gathers and grows larger by the hour the Keene’s find themselves under siege in their own home. With hundreds, then thousands of bodies pressing against the walls of their home, a rising body count and grim premonitions plaguing their dreams, the family must work together to discover who or what is controlling the Starers.”
Nathan Robinson‘s novella, “Starers” is a fun, creepy little read. With horror these days, it seems like everything’s being done, redone and done once again. In Starers, Nathan takes a different approach on what creepy is, building suspense with each and every Starer who arrives outside the Keene family home.
Starers was an entertaining read. Definitely something different, the premise having intrigued me from the start. Nathan Robinson has a way of keeping you entranced throughout the story. His descriptive storytelling paints a picture for the reader with every turn of the page, or in this case, flip of the Kindle Page.
Four Out Of Five Stars
I’ve taken to just posting when I have something “important” to talk about.
Or when I’ve read a book that deserves to be reviewed …
This amounts to “not that many blog posts” and when I think of it, I really should be posting more often.
I figured what better time to post than when I’m a few drinks in and ready to talk.
So here it is… 😉
What’s going on in MandyLand…
1 – I’m working on a co-written novel with someone. I love the premise, but I’m struggling cause I didn’t come up with the characters. It’s so hard to throw yourself into the story when someone else came up with it…
2 – I’m working on the backstory to Does This Look Infected? It was once the goriest story I’ve written, but it struggled… It didn’t have meaning, it didn’t have a storyline, it was just sex and gore for no reason… Is that bad? Not really. Is it the be all and end all of my writing? Not even close. I thought it was done, well I assumed it was done and I sent it in and I was rejected…
Why? Cause there was no story line to it. I get that, I wrote it like that. I’m working on it now, for it to make better sense.. Will it? I have no idea, but I hope so.
3 – I have to reread and finish the zombie novel I’ve started.
I’m hoping it’s something people can latch onto, it had strong characters, a good story line and something that hasn’t been done in zombie novels before. Will it catch on? I don’t know, but I sure as hell hope so. It’s what’s on the way…
4 – I am re-editing a horrotica story for an antho that’s due in November.
I love this story, I’m working to make this story acceptable. I want this publisher to love this story like I do, but I have to make it work. It’s all about sex and well, horror…
4 – I’ve started a new novel… It’s very personal and all about me. This makes it the most challenging thing I’ve ever written.
More on that later, as I get it written…
That’s all for now. Enjoy the readables…
“F*cking The Dog” – Soon to be published in Shifters by Hazardous Press
“Desperation” – Unpublished flash story
^^^Maddie Von Stark is responsible for the wicked cover art for the episode.
Happy listening! 😀
Just cause I’m Canadian and French, I decided to read it in French and in English.
Happy reading (and watching)!
There’s a lot happening this year on the travel front for me. Seems I don’t have a lot of time to spend in Ottawa, but the gypsy in me prefers it this way. Here are the places you can come out and meet me, see me read or get yourself a signed MandyBook for your library.
May 11th – Come see me at the Ottawa Horror booth at Ottawa Comiccon. I’ll be floating around the con all day Saturday.
June 13th to 16th – I’ll be attending the World Horror Convention in New Orleans. You’ll be able to find me at the Hazardous Press and Dark Moon Books tables. If I’m not there, you’ll probably find me frequenting a bar. Just look for the afro curls and tattoos, or listen for my cackle/laugh. 😉
July 13th – I’ll be doing a reading and signing stuff (babies included) at The York Emporium for Horrible Saturday in York, Pennsylvania. I was there as part of the audience last year and it’s a great time. Come check it out.
August – I’ll be heading home to Timmins, Ontario, Canada for a week or so and plan on setting up a reading/signing for my hometown fans. More info to come once I get dates set in stone.
November 8th to 10th – Make your way down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Anthocon. I was there last year and plan to head there again. It’s a great time and very writer-centric. Also, I’ll be bringing vodka worms again and you don’t want to miss out on those.
Well, I suppose that’s about it so far… I’ll be all over the place this summer, but the above mentioned places are where my authoring seems to be taking me.
Hope to see you somewhere, sometime. 😉
Once again, I’ve decided to take advantage of the promotion opportunity offered by Books of the Dead.
Believe me, for these prices, you can’t go wrong!
Not only is it affordable, but they have great reach on the web, Facebook and the Twitterverse.
(Aside from book promotions, they can also help you build your Twitter followers for a nominal fee.)
If you’re looking for a way to promote your new book, novella or even a short story, this is the place to do it.
Take a look at the newest ad Books of the Dead posted for my novellette, This Only Happens In The Movies, here.
For more information on the promotions offered by Books of the Dead, check out this link.
Thanks for reading.
I was in the mood to hear my own stories this morning, while I caffeinated my face and woke up a little.
(Okay so this might be a little weird, but I don’t really care.)
I searched through my blog, looking for the post with the link and I realized I hadn’t written a post about it.
(In my defence, I was in Las Vegas when it first aired and well Vegas was keeping my busy… and drunk.)
So here’s the missing blog post with links to the podcast.
(For those of you who may have missed the original podcast or for people like me, who would like to hear it again.)
Check it out! It’s about a half hour long and Nelson does a fantastic job reading my stories.
(He even does voices!)
So you’ve just written a book but you don’t want to spend a small fortune (and possible a limb or two) on advertising?
“There’s only one reason to pay for advertising: to promote. There are only two reasons to promote: One – gain awareness. Two – make money.
If you spend $1000 on advertising and in return you receive $50 in sales, you’ll need $950 in brand awareness just to break even. However – if you spend $50 on advertising and receive $50 in sales, everything you gained in awareness is profit. As an advertiser, that’s what you’re looking for: PROFIT. If you spend $50 in advertising and receive $150 in return your profit is $100 plus awareness. In this case I would argue that every day you don’t spend $50 in advertising you are losing $100 plus brand awareness.
Answer: Spend too much and receive too little…”
There are advertising options for every budget:
Option One: Blog Post plus tweets
Price: $15 – one time fee.
Description: Send me your product info (up to 350 words). Include a link to your Amazon page if you’ve got one. I’ll create a blog post and tweet the hell out of it.
Option Two: Front Page Blog Promo
Price: $20 per week/$60 per month.
Description: Send me your Amazon link, or product info, and I’ll have it sit on the front page of the blog – top right hand corner – for all to see.
Option Three: Twitter Account Build
Price: $30 per week – 4-week minimum.
Description: Having trouble gaining Twitter followers? Let me be your Twitter bitch. I’ll take any TWO accounts and I’ll get you thousands and thousands of Twitter followers. Not fake accounts… REAL accounts – YOUR TARGET MARKET. I guarantee a minimum of a least 5,000 new followers. (My first client gained over 1,000 new followers (horror fans) within the first 36 hours.)
My flash story, “Summer Break” is published in the first edition of Lamplight Magazine, along with writing from other great authors such as Bob Ford, J.F. Gonzalez, Kevin Lucia, William Meikle, Nathan Yocum, Rahul Kanakia, Ian Creasey and Jeff Heimbuch.
The inaugural issue is free to download, but that’s just to tempt to you to get the rest of them.
LampLight Magazine will put out a quarterly e-magazine and then a yearly print compilation of the four issues.
Check out this free issue so you know what not to miss out on.
After having read (and loved) the new release, White Picket Prisons by Kelli Owen, it made perfect sense for me to sit down for a little get-to-know Kelli interview for this weeks installment of Having Words.
Mandy: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about writing, life and whatever else pops into my head. (Hence the randomness of the questions.) Inquiring minds want to know… 😉
Kelli: Thanks for asking. And I’m glad you enjoyed the new novel, it was fun to write.
#1: What’s your favorite food?
Kelli: Yes. I mean, anything with amazing flavor. I have this belief that if we must eat to survive, it should taste good. My family has self-proclaimed all of us to be food snobs because of this. If I had to choose a last meal? Nothing will ever surpass the perfect steak with sautéed mushrooms and onions—though Chinese take-out on the side would be lovely.
#2: What would you consider to be your favorite quote or saying?
Kelli: “To know that a pinprick hurts does not make a pin prick hurt less.” From a collection I found a thousand years ago at a garage sale “The Beachcomber”.
Mandy: I love yard sale finds. I think most of my library may have been rescued from someone’s garage sale. On the topic of books…
#3: What are you reading right now?
Kelli: These questions? 50 Shades of Grey in small pieces, because I don’t get the hype and I put it down constantly. Tons of Lovecraft (research), Savages by Don Winslow (because the movie rocked), and Journey to Istlan (Castaneda) for giggles.
#4: Do you have any book suggestions for the readers out there?
Kelli: The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall and Horns by Joe Hill were the last two I loved.
Mandy: I’ll be sure to add those to my ever-growing, to-be-read pile of books.
#5: Speaking of growing (up), what did you want to be when you were a kid?
Kelli: A writer, then when I thought that was out of reach, silly or impossible, I flipped around such thoughts as coroner, brain surgeon, beautician and even teacher. Do not try to make any of those thoughts work, they were the meanderings of a young teenager. I ended up going to college for an English Major with the idea of writing in mind but realized with that degree I could either teach or be a reporter and I really didn’t want either, so I switched to an Accounting degree to pay the bills and planned on writing in the free time. Long way around the bush, but I got there. =)
Mandy: Awesome, based on your books I’ve read so far, you made the right choice.
#6: When did you start writing?
Kelli: The first story in my possession is from 2nd grade, but I’m sure it was before that, I just don’t have any proof.
Mandy: I can totally relate, even though I’ve lost or misplaced everything else in life (more than once), I still have all my writing from when I was a youngster.
#7: How do you cope with distractions from your writing?
Kelli: I block the world out. Headphones and loud music.
Mandy: I should try that, however I’m pretty sure I can’t use headphones to block myself out. I’m my biggest distraction. 😉
#8: Alright, you have your headphones in and you’re about to hit play… What would a typical Kelli-writing playlist look like?
Kelli: Typical? No such thing. I make a playlist for each work, novella or larger, specific to the theme or pace or feel. For instance, the current bloodfest has a playlist of angry music, White Picket Prisons had an eclectic collection of 90s alternative and current rock, and the next novel will be set in the 80s and has a soundtrack, which had to be hunted down, that has nothing outside of 81-84 rock, metal and top 40.
Mandy: Follow up question, if you have a time sensitive story, (such as your next novel set in the 1980’s) do you always pair it with the music from that decade? Or is this just a one-time happenstance?
Kelli: Well, it’s the first time sensitive story. With this particular tale I’m including some veiled friends from that era and am using the music as a memory nudging tool. Generally, I choose music for the mood or theme, this time I’m choosing for cues.
Kelli: Yes. Hehe… want to punch me don’t you? I like telling the story. I don’t always have control what length it will be. Though my ideas are much bigger lately, the muse is really being a freak, so it’s looking like I’ll be living in novel-length for a while.
Mandy: Excellent, longer Kelli Owen reading! This makes me a happy girl.
#10: Can you give the readers (and me) a hint of what’s coming down the pipeline, either works in progress, or ideas you plan to develop?
Kelli: For the next couple years? Live Specimens will be done this month if it kills me (novel). Then a novella, Headlights. Then the following novels not necessarily in order depending on contracts and deadlines: Man in the Moon, Floaters, Tomorrow, Light of Day (working title), and two sequels to previous works (titles still being chewed on by muse).
Mandy: I hear you’ve stepped WAY out of your normal writing zone with “Live Specimens”. I was at The York Emporium for Horrible Saturday where you read the first chapter and I’m stoked to see what’s happens next.
Kelli: WAY out of normal. I thought. I usually write about the human condition, on some level, and/or a commentary on society. This is a bloodfest (requested as such) and I was really worried it wouldn’t have that same tone… pre-readers have informed me I’m wrong. It’s still me in there, there’s still a commentary under the ink, it’s just covered in much more blood than normal. But that’s okay, since two others on that upcoming list are going to be bloody as well, so this is just a different side of me. The gorier side =)
#11: What if I wanted something signed… Where can we find you? Do you have any upcoming appearances planned?
Mandy: You should totally come to Killercon, I’ll be there. We can get into some Vegas trouble together. 😀
#12: Aside from “Get Paid” and “Contracts can be changed” (both of which are engrained into my brain thanks to your awesome tutelage). Do you have any advice for the writing community?
Kelli: Yes! Read every day. Write every day. Beyond that you don’t have enough room and I don’t have enough time (see above deadline for LS), but feel free to watch kelliowen.com for 101 blog posts aimed directly at the newer writers out there.
Mandy: I’ve made sure to include links so everyone can navigate to your blog.
Final Question: White Picket Prisons paints Michigan as a desolate, creepy state… I ask you: “Why the hate for Michigan?”
Kelli: I don’t hate Michigan, I hate the time wasted there while driving through it when we roadtrip back to family in Wisconsin. Though I am a bit miffed at their lack of decent gas stations and the decision to stop making the cherry coffee. Jerks.
Mandy: Mmmm cherry coffee sounds amazing. There must be somewhere else to get it. If any of our readers out there know where to find it, please comment and you’ll make for two very happy writers.
Thanks for taking the time to grace my blog with your wicked presence and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for your next novel.
Anything to add?
Kelli: Thanks for having me. Next time… make the questions weirder! I was expecting outrageous and these weren’t bad at all =)
Mandy: I promise the weird will eventually read its funny looking head. The first interview’s a pretty normal one but I make no guarantees on any future ones 😉