AHOW Blog Tour #8 – Laurie Gardiner

Today we have the eighth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – Laurie Gardiner. Her story “Thief” is one of my favorites in the book. Told from a child’s perspective, it bounces from sweet to sad to downright infuriating. As with all of Laurie’s works, the writing is intense.

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Title:
Thief

Blurb:
Luna Fiore promised to be with her twin sister, Cira, when she dies. Instead, Luna’s own death sends her on a journey through memories where she must explore her mother’s darkest secrets. Can Luna find the truth and make her way back to her twin before the thief in Cira’s head releases her?

What inspired you to write this story?
The song of the same name by the band Our Lady Peace. It’s always been one of my favourite songs by OLP simply because of the emotion it conveys. When I was brainstorming story ideas for A Haunting of Words, I watched the video for “Thief” and inspiration hit.

How long have you been writing?
Almost as long as I can remember.

What genre do you associate most within your writing?
I write mainly contemporary drama and women’s fiction. Writing a paranormal story pushed me slightly out of my comfort zone, which, I think, turned out to be a good thing!

What are you working on now?
 I’m working on a series of flash fiction stories centered around the theme of elder abuse.

What else do you have published?
So far, my publications include: debut novel, Tranquility, published in 2015 by Escargot Books; short story “Retribution” in Scout Media’s 2016 “of Words” anthology; “Thief” in Scout Media’s latest anthology, A Haunting of Words.

What advice would you offer to new writers?
Never stop learning.

List links where people can find your writing:
http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/https://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Gardiner/e/B00RZPBBTC

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

AHOW Blog Tour #7 – R.J. Castiglione

Today we have the seventh author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – R.J. Castiglione. His story “The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” is another superbly haunting tale which can only be found within this anthology.

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Title:
The Jonathan of Bracken Manor

Blurb:
“The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” follows a young ghost as he haunts his family’s mansion over the course of a century.

What inspired you to write this story?
When I first read about the “Of Words” series, I thought it an interesting anthology concept.  The opportunity to be selected is what ultimately inspired me to create a story.  However, “The Jonathan of Bracken Manor” was conceived when my husband and I went to a boutique hotel in Newport, RI for dinner.  The hotel itself was beautiful, although the ambiance, to me, screamed paranormal.  I began to imagine the hotel haunted and created a few ghosts in my head.  The one ghost that muddied through my creative process was Jonathan, a young boy who plays tricks on hotel guests.  The rest of the story came together from there.

How long have you been writing?
Although I have been writing my entire adult life, my first self-publication released in March 2017.

What genre do you associate most within your writing?
I am currently focused on writing Literary RPG (“LitRPG” for short).  This story style allows me to combine my love for writing and my enjoyment of open-world RPG video games into one.

What are you working on now?
I am working on three stories at the moment.  Fjorgyn: The Deep Below is my largest LitRPG endeavor.  It is the second book in the series.  I am also outlining and will release Lacrimosa Online, another LitRPG stand-alone novel that takes place in a macabre landscape.  Lastly, and unrelated to my favored niche, I am writing a paranormal, M/M romance called When Mountains Weep.  This story is a harrowing adventure about a domestic abuse survivor as he flees to his family home in Maui.

What else do you have published?
The only book I have published at this time is Fjorgyn: A Rebel Rises, available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

What advice would you offer to new writers?
Writing is not just about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  Creating the first draft of your story is only one step in a complicated process.  First, tell a story that you would like to read.  Second, shelve it for a while.  Third, self-edit it to hell and back again.  Fourth, spring for proper editing and cover design.  If you’re self-publishing, don’t skip this step.  If you’re traditionally published, don’t pay for this.  You’re only hurting yourself if you release something without editing.  Fifth, get some beta readers to really help polish your work.  Sixth, self-publish it and spend as much time marketing your book as you did when producing it, if not more.
These steps above make the world of difference.  They’re what distinguish writers from authors.

List links where people can find your writing:
Links to all of my present and future works can be found on https://rjcastiglione.com

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

AHOW Blog Tour #6 – Amy Hunter

Today we have the sixth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – Amy Hunter. Her story “Salted Ground” displays her amazing talent at wordsmithing, and deep, emotional themes. She is also quite a talented artist at making book covers and postcard images – she did all of the interior artwork within A Haunting of Words, including all of the images in these interviews.

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Title and synopsis/blurb of your AHOW story:
Salted Ground
Marley was convinced she had found happiness with Adam when he helped her escape an abusive relationship. When tragedy strikes, will she find hope or torment?

What inspired you to write this story?
One of the many things I struggle with is not knowing when to let go… of anything. Marley became sort of a hero to me. In the first paragraph, she salted the ground and moved on, and in the rest of the story, she deals with the consequences.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since my early teen years. Earlier than that, if you count the childhood plays my friends and I would perform for my mom (all of which received standing ovations). I moved on to high school journalism, which I thought I would make into a career, but here I am at thirty-three, diggin’ the hell out of fiction.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
Suspense, Creative Nonfiction

What are you working on right now?
Monster’s Edge. When Coralie manipulates Shane into committing a crime, he double-crosses her and leaves her with a parting gift she’ll never forget.

What else do you have available/published:
So far, aside from ‘A Haunting of Words,’ I also have a story called “Core” in ‘A Journey of Words.’
[JMA] – you can order A Journey of Words here]

What advice do you give to new writers?
A piece of advice saved my life once and continues to do so every day. I feel like it applies here. So: remove the cotton from your ears and put it in your mouth. Listen and learn from those who came before you. Don’t assume you know everything. And hire an editor. Okay, so the editor thing came later, but do it. You’ll be glad you did.

List links where people can find your work:
https://www.facebook.com/AmyUnleashed/
https://www.amyhunterauthor.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15700724.Amy_Hunter

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at:www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive com

AHOW Blog Tour #4 – J.M. Ames

Today we have the fourth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – and what do you know, it’s me! Read on to learn about my story “Only the Dead Go Free.”

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Title and synopsis/blurb of your AHOW story:
Only The Dead Go Free
Wendy flees from her abusive boyfriend, daughter in tow, to her families’ cabin in the woods, only to discover what is already residing there is far worse. Based on the Transpose song of the same name.

What inspired you to write this story?
The desire to write a disturbing tale about a haunting, coupled with the imagery captured by the lyrics of the song.

How long have you been writing?
Professionally, since January 2016. As a hobby, as far back as I can remember.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
I am definitely a multi-genre author. I don’t really stick to any of them exclusively. I usually try to evoke some kind of emotion, include something unusual\weird, and incorporate a twist. With that in mind, Fantasy (all kinds), Horror, and Sci-Fi probably make up about half of my work. Rock Fiction (stories based on songs or albums) are becoming a fairly common thing for me, too.

What are you working on right now?
How much time you got? 🙂 I have too many works in progress to go through here so I will go through the ones I think you can see from me in 2017:
Not Yet Dark: War devastates a man’s life, and he goes to extremes to get revenge on those who’ve hurt him. Based on “Masters of War” by Bob Dylan
Fourteen Years: Nonfiction biography of my best friend of 38 years, and his struggle to return his life to normalcy after a horrific accident that left him heavily injured and another of our friends dead.
The River Sticks: An elderly man awakens in the middle of the night to discover his long-dead wife and poker buddies are back for one night only. Stakes are high, as he must now play for his own life. Somewhat inspired by (but not based on) Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”
I have several other completed works I am actively marketing to various publishers.

What else do you have available/published:
“The Last Ride,” which is available in the A Journey of Words anthology.

What advice do you give to new writers?
Read, a lot. Write even more than that – never stop. Hire a good professional editor. Use Beta readers, but only make suggested changes that you agree with and make sense, or a large number of readers suggest. There are many paths to becoming an author, not just one – find your own path.

List links where people can find your work:
Website: https://jm-ames.com/  (includes links to many other Social Media Platforms)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JMAmesAuthor/

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at:www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive com

AHOW Blog Tour #2 – Lauren Nalls

Today we have the second author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – the talented Lauren Nalls.

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“The Rub” is a journey into the hell of the human mind and soul; from the line that splits reality and madness to the place the rules of the game of life, and death, become blurred.

What inspired you to write this story?
This story was inspired by one of my current works in progress, I was thinking about what happened “after” and this was the result. I also pushed myself to see if I could write outside my usual genres.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been professionally writing for three years, but I’ve really been writing my whole life.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
Great question! This particular story is way outside my comfort zone as a macabre thriller and was a challenge for me. I normally write dramatic fiction, historical, and women’s fiction.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a historical fiction coming of age story. I have a few more works in progress at various stages of development as well.

What else do you have available/published?
My other publications include my short story “Loose Ends,” A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016), and a poem, “Burgeon,” published in Fredericksburg Literary Review (Spring 2014 Volume 2, Issue 1). I also blogged briefly for Fredericksburg Parent and Family, “Tortoise and Hair series” (2014).

What advice do you give to new writers?
Read, study, practice, and learn from mentors you trust. Keep going, don’t give up. Subject your work to critique but don’t get upset at criticisms. Writing is art and it’s up to the artist to discern what advice to keep and what advice to reject, but always be kind and grateful. That being said, art isn’t completely without rules, we have to learn the rules, or expectations, then break them with intention.

List links where people can find your work:
www.LaurenNalls.com
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurenNalls/
https://twitter.com/Scribbleglitch
https://www.pinterest.com/scribbleglitch/

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

AHOW Blog Tour #1 – Monica Sagle

Today we begin a new series of author interviews, this time for fellow authors in ‘A Haunting of Words’ the newly-released anthology by Scout Media.

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Title:
Storm House by Monica Sagle

Blurb:
Storm House is about a house that, with every storm, sees the ghostly re-enactment of a murder. A wife killed by her husband. In recent years, the wife has managed to change things and now they take turns killing each other. This time, she thinks she may have found a way to sleep through those annoying storms altogether.

How long have you been a writer?
I have always written little stories for myself. However about four years ago I decided to take it seriously, learning as much as I could about the craft and art of writing. I joined a critique group for my novel work and I am a member of several online critiquing groups.

What genre do you associate most within your writing?
I generally say that I am a fantasy writer. Although some of my short stories are Sci-Fi and speculative fiction.

What are you working on now?
I recently finished my first novel, (I ‘m looking for an agent at this time,) and I have started a new novel.

What else do you have published?
Storm House is my first publication, but I am hopeful that several other short stories will find homes soon.

What advice would you offer to new writers?
Learn the craft, then the art of writing, and be prepared to be learning for the rest of your life, as the learning never ends. And find a good critiquing group, either physically or online, to help you hone your craft.

List links where people can find your writing:
I don’t have any places for that at this time, although I am considering a website soon. For now, people can find me at www.facebook.com/MonicaZwikstraAuthor/ or @monicasaglezwik on Twitter.

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.