AHOW Blog Tour #12 – Patricia Stover

Today we have the twelfth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – Patricia Stover. Her story “Plastic Boy” is an unnerving tale of a woman and her tormentor – her young son.

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Title:
Plastic Boy

Blurb:
After the death of her husband, Linda struggles to keep her difficult son happy. When he insists on a strange toy castle for his birthday, she watches her son’s defiance grow into an obsession with terrifying results.

What inspired you to write this story?
It was just one of those things that pop into your head when daydreaming I guess. I can’t tell you what inspires most of my stories, they just sort of happen most of the time. I think everything in life inspires a writer. I do know that after I finished the story there were some similarities to Jimmy’s stick horse and hat and my son’s.  So I guess I pulled pieces of my life into the story without knowing it.

How long have you been writing?
I was around 24 and attending college when I found my love for writing. I was attending MSC working on my basics for nursing. I took a writing course as one of my required arts. The class was asked to write a short screen play, around two or three pages I believe. Seven pages later my screen play was still unfinished. I handed in the assignment, positive it would receive an F since unfinished. The professor loved the story and suggested I take a creative writing course. I never thought writing would be something I would enjoy before that. I took the creative writing course and several literature courses. I fell in love with writing and literature. I looked forward to attending my classes. I had been a nurse aide for years before that and thought being a Nurse was my calling. It had never occurred to me I could be a creative person. Once I finished my Associate’s degree I went on to try for my Bachelors in English and Writing. I met my husband, got married and pregnant, so school went on hold. After I had my son I stayed at home with my son. I was thirty-two when he was born.  An idea for a horror novel hit me while driving one day and I thought, “I’m going to sit down and write this book.”  I wrote day and night and three months later I had the first draft of “Hitchhiking with the Devil” written.  Somewhere along the way, I joined a writing group, Fiction Writing. I wanted to learn more about writing, and since I wasn’t in school I thought the best way would be to research it on the internet. An article I read suggested joining a writer’s group.  The “A Journey of Words” anthology was open to submissions. I had one written that fit the theme, so I polished it and had it edited and it was accepted into the anthology.

What genre do you associate most within your writing?
I write horror, dark fiction/weird fiction, although I hope to expand into other genres.

What are you working on now?
I just finished a short story titled, Night of the Eye. Also, I am still working on my first horror novel, Hitchhiking with the Devil.

What else do you have published?
My short story, Creepers, is featured in Scout Media’s, “A Journey of Words” anthology. It is about a greedy and bitter old woman who will stop at nothing to win a gardening contest. She stumbles across an unusual green house. Violet purchases seed that will give her what she “needs”.

What advice would you offer to new writers?
Read and write a lot. It takes time and practice. Watch out for vanity publishers, and hire a professional editor.

List links where people can find your writing:
www.PatriciaStover.wix.com/PatriciaStover
www.facebook.com/authorjkenedy
www.Scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-journey-of-words
www.Scoutmeiabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words

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 #11 – Brian Paone

Today we have the eleventh author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – Brian Paone. His story “Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys)” is a twisty, disturbing ride through the psychosis of a drug-addled teen. Well-written, and not for the faint of heart. It is worth noting that Brian also owns Scout Media, the company behind the “… Of Words” anthology series, making him the first publisher to publish one of my stories. Please check out his site below and see the many talents of Paone.

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Title:
Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys)

Blurb:
A disenchanted-youth ghost story, with a cat named Bonnie, a restraining order, lovers on the rocks, and a hanging teenager, swinging from the trees near the train tracks by the lake.

What inspired you to write this story?
It’s a rock-fiction adaptation of Porcupine Tree’s “Fear of a Blank Planet” concept album.

How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first story, “The Night is Young,” in 1988 but, my first novel, “Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts,” wasn’t published until 2007.

What genre do you associate most within your writing?
I write in a genre called rock fiction—which is a sub-genre of musical fiction—where a single song, an entire album, or the span of a band/artist’s complete work is novelized, using the literal lyrics to directly create the plotline and story arc, and usually the title of the book/story is taken directly from the song/album that the work is an adaptation of. But what makes it special, is being able to write a story or novel where the reader doesn’t even need to have ever heard the songs/album to understand and enjoy the work. These novels and stories, although adaptations of albums or songs are also stand-alone books. Just like you don’t have to have read a book to enjoy or understand the movie adaptation, you don’t need to have heard the album (or even need to have ever heard OF the band before) to understand or love a rock-fiction novel. Rock-fiction novels are unique in the sense that they already have two built-in audiences right out of the gate: the fan base of whatever band’s album is being adapted, and the fan base of the genre the book is written in. It’s not a prerequisite to know the album to read a rock-fiction novel. In fact, I bet most people read a rock-fiction novel purely based on its blurb and have no idea it is an album adaptation. That’s the beauty of rock fiction.

What are you working on now?
My upcoming 4th novel, “Moonlight City Drive,”  is currently being sent to my editor this week. It has a November, 3 release date (the novel’s book release party is scheduled at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland during a two-day concert event featuring Dog Fashion Disco and Chuck Mosley, of Faith No More). It’s a supernatural crime-noir thriller set in a Dick Tracy meets Sin City atmosphere. The story follows a detective on the trail of a Jack-the-Ripper-style killer, who he starts to admire and has to decide if he should continue the cat-and-mouse chase, or join the killer and his cult of ghouls in his cleansing of society.

What else do you have published?
My novels:
“Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts” is about what it would be like to befriend a rock star who becomes a drug addict, and the trials and tribulations of having a friend who’s dealing with fame, drug addiction, depression, social anxiety, and the throes of the music business.
“Welcome to Parkview” is a cerebral-horror novel where the town itself is the main character, and the stories of the residents and how the town starts to eat away at the fabric of their lives. (One reviewer described it as early Stephen King meets The Twilight Zone.)
“Yours Truly, 2095” is a time-travel romance novel about a man who wakes up 114 years in the future. A future that has many opportunities for a new start from the past that is shrouded in a failing marriage and a deceased daughter. And he has to decide whether he wants to stay forever in his life in 2095, or go back and try to reconcile and repair the life he left behind in 1981.
My short stories:
“Outside of Heaven” (which appears in “A Matter of Words”) is a rapture-monster, post-apocalyptic story that deals with a group of strangers at a motel, who have to survive the night of the rapture, and the monsters who are sent to fulfill its prophecy.
“The Whaler’s Dues” (which appears in a “A Journey of Words”) is a modern-day, mythological-romance story about a man who falls in love with a stripper who is not what she appears to be. And the adventure that ensues.
The third story is my A Haunting of Words story discussed above.

What advice would you offer to new writers?
Sleep is for the weak.

List links where people can find your writing:
www.BrianPaone.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.

WIP – The Californian

Below is the initial draft of the intro to a short I am working on called The Californian.

Cecil kicked the door to room 630 shut behind her and slammed the hotel keys on the table next to it. Muffled voices down the corridor laughed and said something like “Welcome to The Californian!” in a mocking tone.

Jerks. And what hotel still uses old-school metal keys?

She rolled her luggage to the bed and laid on her back with a sigh. Her reflection from the mirror on the ceiling looked back at her with annoyed exhaustion.

Real classy, Californian. So glad that Steele Airways put me up in this dump.

Cecil was on her way to Puerto Vallarta to meet with the rest of her Winslow girls. She wasn’t as flush as they were, so she had to take the red-eye flight with a layover in LAX. A suspicious package forced an evacuation of the airport between planes, and all flights canceled until tomorrow, but free accommodations to all inconvenienced. Cecil was pretty sure she’d prefer sleeping in the terminal.

What was it Don at the Front Desk said? ‘You can check out any time you like?’ I wonder if it is too early now…

A soft thud from the bathroom banished all thoughts from her head. She was on her feet almost immediately, listening intently. A nearly inaudible hiss of something sliding along the bathroom floor caused goose bumps to sprout on her arms and the hairs on the back of her neck to prickle.

AHOW Blog Tour #5 – Kari Holloway

Today we have the fifth author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – Kari Holloway. Her story “Gunpowder & Wool” reflects her her upbringing in a southern town, where Civil War re-enactments are common.

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Title and synopsis/blurb of your AHOW story:
Gunpowder & Wool
Corporal Hulett greets the morning on the eve of battle, readying his men to march forth, but what comes through the ghostly fog of gunpowder and scattershot leaves him defending the merits of battle and the rights of brothers-in-arms.

What inspired you to write this story?
Where I am from, Andersonville Georgia is a staple from school field trips, national holiday activities, and the yearly reenactments honoring the men who lost their lives for a cause they believed in. Not the cause of the government, but the cause of being beside their neighbors standing up together as a united front. Millions were affected by the civil war, and we like to look at it as an overview, but for the men serving, it wasn’t black and white, ideas vs truth.

How long have you been writing?
Professionally, July 2015 marks the starting point. I wrote Cracked But Never Broken and haven’t stopped writing since. Prior to that, writing was a dirty little secret I hid from everyone, even my parents.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
Southern fiction is the umbrella I write while the specific genres would be romance (my Laughing P series) and paranormal (my Devil’s Playground series).

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the third Devil’s Playground novella, the final proofing for the second Devil’s Playground, titled Cry of Gold, which is due to be released in June. Never too Late is headed to the editor to finish up my Laughing P. I’m gearing up a book signing at Xion and having a table at Epicon.

What else do you have available/published:
Cracked But Never Broken (http://books2read.com/CrackedButNeverBroken )
Behind the Lens (
http://books2read.com/BehindtheLens )
Forgotten (http://books2read.com/DPForgotten)
Beneath the Mask (http://books2read.com/BeneaththeMasks ) [a perma-free short story found on all e-book retailers]
Unbound (http://books2read.com/UnboundAnthology )
Love, Lust, and Scary Monsters (http://books2read.com/LoveLustScaryMonsters )

What advice do you give to new writers?
Just because one idea doesn’t work now, doesn’t mean that idea won’t work later.

List links where people can find your work:
For the easiest list, they can check out my site http://KariHolloway.wix.com/fiction or www.facebook.com/k.l.holly. I use books2read links which lead to global and universal links making it a one click button for those around the world.


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 #3 – Travis West

Today we have the third author interview for ‘A Haunting of Words’ – the talented Travis West and his story “If It’s Not Okay, It’s Not the End.”

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“If It’s Not Okay, It’s Not the End” – With the help of a late music icon, a newly deceased rock band embarks on a cross-country trip to help their drummer deliver a message to his ex-girlfriend.

What inspired you to write this story?
The punk band Rancid has a great song called “Ghost Band.” I heard it one day and knew that I should write about a phantom music group. Originally the band wasn’t going to meet anyone famous, they were just going to discuss the possibilities of meeting their late heroes. As a matter of fact, the original title was going to be, “Do You Think We’ll Meet Keith Moon?” Then I happened upon a quote attributed to the rock star in question and the entire story unfolded in my mind within minutes. Funny how that works. I feel this is my deepest story yet, even if the premise isn’t entirely original. In hindsight, realize it’s about regrets. Regret over loved ones left behind to achieve fame, and those used as stepping stones for the same purpose.

How long have you been writing?
Seriously writing, only three years. With a story published at the end of each year.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
The majority of my short stories are speculative fiction, but I don’t think any of them fit into a Sci-fi/Horror/Fantasy box. I’ve only in the last few months discovered Slipstream. All ideas I have for possible novels are more contemporary or literary fiction.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on my own project. I’m writing a series of short stories involving a government shadow group who over the past century and a half attempt to infiltrate an alien race for their own nefarious purposes. Each story takes place in a different period in time from the 1800’s until now. It’s very “pulp” and heavily influenced by old comic books and magazines, such as Weird Tales and Planet Comics. The stories will be strange, violent, funny, and hopefully readers will find it to be entertaining.

What else do you have available/published:
My story “The Most Beautiful Boy” is available in A Matter of Words, and my story “The Errandsman’s Folly” is in A Journey of Words. Both are from Scout Media.

What advice do you give to new writers?
Keep writing, of course, and always hire a professional editor. A great editor is an invaluable asset. If you use beta readers, which I do recommend, use a balance of men and women. Even if you don’t use a beta reader’s suggestions, at least give those suggestions ample consideration. Don’t assume your story is perfect simply because you think so. A wise person once said, Your ego is not your amigo.

List links where people can find your work:
ScoutMediaBooksMusic.Com
Facebook.Com/TravisWestWrites
TravisJackFlash.Blogspot.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

Writer’s Spotlight Episode 15: CL Steele

For this fifteenth episode of Writer’s Spotlight, we have CL Steele – a newer member of the Scribes’ Circle whom I have gotten to know over the past few months. CL is a wizard of the written word – definitely one to watch!

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What names do you write by?
I write under the pen name CL Steele. I’ve always been partial to writers with initials. It seems so mysterious.

Give us a short introduction to you.
I’m an American living in the Midwest with my husband and my muse a dog named, Dezi. I have two boys who assure me they are 20 somethings, but I see them as eight and four-year-olds. I have great friends from all over the world. I consider myself lucky, and I’m having a wonderful journey.

How long have you been writing, professionally and/or as a hobby?
I’ve always been a storyteller. At age four I announced to my mother that I was going to be a world-famous author. Which mom thought was odd since no one had asked. I made up stories to tell my sisters at bedtime and enjoyed writing stories. I even thought I’d like to live in a small apartment in New York, which everyone I knew thought was crazy. In high school, I chose the practical field of science, but it was my English teacher who suggested college, and a college counselor who sewed my eclectic transcript into a teaching degree. From there life happened and I held many careers.
I hadn’t written in decades. Then one day two years ago, a story came to me and I started writing twelve hours a day for months, like a mad woman. I joined groups and learned as much as I could. It has been heaven on Earth. Blissful learning and creating fill my days and I cannot imagine living any other way. Paradigm Shift, my debut novel, will be out in time for Christmas.

In what genre(s) do you write?
Most of my work is magical realism. Science fiction/fantasy is my genre of choice but I have stories in romance, women’s literature, and children’s literature. I don’t believe in limiting myself to one genre.

Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you let the story grow as you write?
I’m a Hybrid. My novel was a pure pouring out of a story followed by a year of reorganizing and changing. Now, most of my stories have a flexible outline, but they rarely stick to the original outline. The characters drive the story and often plot lines give way to heart-lines. In the end, I hope to have a plot in which the characters agree it was a fun ride. For me, planning a story is a collaboration between me, the characters, the muse, and the logical plan.

Which authors have influenced and inspired you the most?
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle opened a new world for me. Who doesn’t like JK Rowling? Then there are Toni Morrison, Dean Koontz and Shonda Rhymes and so many more, including Cat Rambo who has the coolest real name. I love books with power and meaningful themes. I can only hope to write like that someday. 
I think that is the thing most writers forget. Writing is a process. You get better as you write. I’m sure there is a thing called talent, but I’m discovering that talent is a magical creature which exists, but can also be built and cared for and elbow greased into a larger existence. My favorite meme is of Dory, the fish in Finding Nemo, singing “Just Keep Writing”. I often feel oddly connected to Dory and her struggle to just keep on, keeping on.

Do you write in other ways, such as poetry, songwriting, technical articles, etc?
Nope, just short stories, and novels. I’m trying to write a blog but … I do write some bad poetry from time to time and make up a song’s lyrics in the shower and while singing with the radio in the car. I have my lyrics and Adele has hers. Who’s to say which is wrong?

How has your life experiences affected your writing?
Well, isn’t that what writing is? I mean the art is to take life and disguise it as fiction so one can both escape life while experiencing the worst and the best life offers. Everything I write comes from my life experiences and that is what makes it poignant and bittersweet and hard and joyous all at the same time. Writing to me is complexity pie with sweetness ala mode.

What scene that you’ve written has moved you the most, and why?
Of the stories that are out, “Our Place In Time” a short story in the Once Upon A Wednesday anthology the protagonist struggles with her dissatisfaction of how her life has turned out and in one scene finds herself crumpled and crying on the tile floor of the shower. In a short story titled Artificial, (that needs a publisher) the main character pulls at her string of faux pearl beads and watches as the orbs roll across the hardwood floor at the realization that her life is spinning helplessly out of her control. In my novel Paradigm Shift, there is a scene where Sam is trapped inside a cocoon (it makes sense in context) and must face her own reflection of self-doubt. That was difficult to write. However, the scene where she emerges still makes me smile every time I read to edit.

Beta Readers – Yes or No? Why?
Yes! I have the best beta readers in the world. They give me advice and correct all my grammar and share their honesty with me. I love these people. They give me the confidence I need to take that next step. Without their encouragement, I am sure I would have never submitted any of my work to anyone and been a reader-less writer. I can’t think of anything sadder. I’d list their names but I’m afraid they’d get stolen from me, but they know who they are and I thank them with every stroke of the keyboard every day. I hope they know how important and special they are to me.

What inspires your story ideas?
Remember my answer on talent being hard work? Well, it is, but I think the difference in writing and being an author is how inspired you are. Inspiration, that great idea, that different way of thinking and seeing the world is what separates great authors from hobby writers. Inspiration is the key. I joke that my dog Dezi is my muse. She literally sits on my feet as I write and I get a sense that she is sending me writing vibes as she snores. But really, inspiration comes from everything. Mainly little things. Often with me, it is a scientific principle that gets wrapped around a small action. I was reading about fractals when I wrote Paradigm Shift and Artificial Intelligence has always been a passion of mine I suppose from watching and worrying about Spock on Star Trek. My feelings about women’s rights and human rights inspired Our Place In Time and Which Shoes was inspired by a fight my sister and I were having and me trying to solve it while doing errands at the mall. I’m now working on a story about change that was inspired by my inability to whistle. I never seem to be out of ideas for stories. I have tons to write and think of more daily. For those who struggle with what to write, I’d say start with something small and ask why is that important. Then turn your mind off and let your soul speak. Then write your outline with your mind on.

Do you belong to any Writing Groups?
United we stand, right? I belong to several writing groups. Once that first story came to me and I wrote like a mad woman for a few months, I realized there was a lot I didn’t know. Google could help but the questions I had needed the human touch. So, Google gave me Fiction Writers. It’s lovely band of 300 or so people there when I joined nurtured me. They corrected my bad thinking and told me I could if I would. I learned so much just by interacting with these doers of writing. The group grew and is now so large that I wonder if it is a closed group. I still belong and always will. I owe them my writer life in a lot of ways. I also belong to An Author’s Tale and SciFi/Fantasy Writers and a few more that I check in on from time to time. Recently, I was asked to join The Scribes’ Circle. I am humbled to be a part of this group of talented writers who are passionate about making their craft better and caring enough to give back. I am very lucky to be part of this group. If you are new to writing, these groups will help you figure out the web of publishing and give you great things to research and explore and contemplate. Join one … or five.

Tell us about all of your works in progress (include your favorite snippets).
My Ideas folder has over fifty story ideas and outlines or partial outlines. But I’ve learned through my writing groups that having just one WIP (work in progress) at a time is the way to be the most productive. My current WIP is in rewrite after being rejected by an editor. I love the short story and I’m rewriting the ending to give it more punch. I want to drive home the idea of what is artificial and what isn’t? Can love be artificial like intelligence?  Here is an excerpt from my WIP Artificial:  

          As the sun was setting, I put my key into the front door lock of our townhouse and slipped into the sanctity of our home. That night, away from all the people, I put on our music. I stood in the middle of the living room held up my arms as if to dance with him and swayed. The long pearls moving side to side, my bare feet feeling the warmth of the floor and my memory filling me with the last time I had worn this dress—the time he slowly unzipped the back and begged me to leave the pearls on because he liked the way they swayed when I moved. We danced in nothing but my red heels and long pearls. And while I’d made it through the worst days of my life without a single tear, tonight a horrible thing happened. Everything connected again. In anguish, I pulled at the knotted pearls and they rolled across the floor and all around me as I laid sobbing on the hardwood floor remembering my red heels and watching the orbs of my life roll away. 

 

 And here is an excerpt from my upcoming novel Paradigm Shift Sam has just arrived in a new land, a very strange new world. She has no idea how she has gotten here or who this guy is or even if he is human, but she feels a connection to him: 

     Ahead, there was a shadow. As I approached, I recognized David. He had his hands on his narrow hips, and was looking back at me strong, assured, and with a cocky smile. It made me boil with anger. My hands clenched, my stride grew wide and powerful, I leaned toward him, my face hot and tight.   
     “You bastard, how dare you leave me alone.  You know I’m lost; and you leave me?  What kind of …” and then I stopped. I was going to say man, but was he?  Being—perhaps, but were his social rules the same as my social expectations?  He just stood there frozen in that stupid half-smile. I wiped my hands over my face to cool it. “Sorry, I’m just…” 
     “Scared,” he completed my sentence. I was going to say angry, but he had cut right to the point. I was angry, because I was scared. 
     “Yes,” I said. 
     “You have every right to be. It’s okay. It’s just that I knew you were safe and strong enough to be on your own, but half-way back it occurred to me that maybe you didn’t know you were safe. So, I came back to check on you. Is that … okay?” 
     “Yes,” I said, feeling ensnared by him. 
     “It’s late.  I want to show you around the community; but I don’t want to alarm them this time of night. This will be a lot for them to take in. Let’s find a place for you to sleep; and I will come for you in the morning. Will this meet your needs?”  
     “Yes,” I said, feeling awkward at the repetitiveness of my yes-es. I returned a half-smile, shook my head and rolled my eyes at my lack of composure and the unease I was feeling being so near him. 
      He stifled a laugh and looked down momentarily. Then he looked at me, as if he had done so millions of times. I felt connected… but, I couldn’t be.   
     “This way,” he said softly. And I followed.

Have you been published?
Two years ago, if you’d asked me about being published I’d have laughed. Even just a year ago it was a dream that would probably never come true. Six months ago, I considered self-publishing and then decided to submit some stories to see what would happens. That was January. In February, I had been accepted and in March my second story was accepted for publishing. My third story met with a crushing rejection but I’m dusting it off. I have several that I will be submitting soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.  Here is where you can find my stories: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=CL+Steele .  

“Our Place in Time” in the anthology Once Upon a Wednesday is about a woman who is at the end of her rope when magic from her past sets her moving forward again in a new life. 
Excerpt:  Our Place and Time 
By CL Steele

            The clock read 3:33 AM. Twelve hours ago, I had entered Dr. Wallace’s office to sell him medical equipment that he didn’t need, but my commission account did. I hated that part of my job. To be honest, I hated all parts of my job. Yet, I had been in medical equipment sales for decades. Decades …  

Time mystified me. Moments could seem longer than days and decades could fly by; as if we flew in and out of time, as time ticked its steady metronome. Time used to tick, like a steady metronome. The sound was a reminder of the passing of our lives and purpose. Now, in the digital age, time had been silenced. We can rely only on our eyes to notice its passing. For me, without the ticking reminder, life passed by in habits instead of aspirations. How else could I explain decades consigned to my station in life? Not that I was poor, my employment had afforded me middle-class status. Rather it was my place in time, my dreams of changing the world, that had remained stagnant for decades. Simply put, I was marching in place. 

 

One of my favorite stories for its world building is “Which Shoes”. It is about two sisters torn apart by tragic events. The younger sister has lost her memory and the older must decide if it is wise to restore the memory. The worlds they live in are intertwined with our own and just on the other side of our visual spectrum.  

Excerpt of “Which Shoes” in the Chasing Magic Anthology: 

          “Do you remember?” Glinda asked. 

Locasta’s swallowed hard, and forced a poker face. A glaze overcame her eyes.  

Why, why doesn’t she want to remember, Glinda thought. 

“I remember that I came here for a great dress. Something sexy and elegant,” Locasta said opening the door and allowing Glinda into the shop. 

If the window was magical, the interior of the shop was bewitching. A grand spiral staircase flowed thought the middle of the shop. Glass catwalks flowed from either side of the second story landing and emanated to various areas of the shop. The second story had no floor other than these glass catwalks and you could see up to the dresses above while standing on the first floor. Occasionally blue slivers of sky could be glimpsed between the attire from the above glass roof. The tuxes seemed to know to hide within the walls, while the dresses danced around greeting us with a curtsey. One sparkly-sexy number simply shimmied a welcome. Locasta startled as the disc she was standing on raised out of the floor. Grabbing the rising railing she was swooshed out and into the dresses.  

Behind her Glinda called out, “…on the panel fill in the information. Select black for color and enter your size.” Locasta did so. Dresses flew up glass cylinder tubes while black dresses in a size six rushed into place from other cylinders and began to twirl and dance. Each greeted her then pirouetted from view. Locasta laughed with true delight. 

“This is wonderful,” Locasta announced with youthful glee. 

“If you find one you like push the green button.” 

How can readers follow you?
If you want to help me, and I need your help, like me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/author.CLSteele/ and be part of the ground level startup of my blog https://clsteeleauthor.wordpress.com/
You can also go to Amazon to buy and leave reviews https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=CL+Steele . Thank you in advance for supporting writers.

Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?
Well, they should know that I am a little crazy, but caring, and love to think deep and write uplifting stories about love and life and the science that holds us all together on this blue dot in this starry sea of the galaxy. If you like magic mixed in with your reality and want to make the world better, then join me. Together, we can imagine it all and become a step closer to better. See you in the pages of a book.

Thanks, CL, for taking the time to share athis rather fantastic interview with us! And Happy Anniversary!

Writer’s Spotlight Episode 14: Scribe X

For this fourteenth episode of Writer’s Spotlight, we the enigma known only as “Scribe X”– another member of the Scribes’ Circle whom I have gotten to know over the past year. Scribe X is a talented writer, and also quite proficient at meme wars. Sightings of Scribe X are as elusive as those of Nessie.

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What names do you write by?
Scribe X

Give us a short introduction to you.
N/A

How long have you been writing, professionally and/or as a hobby?
Writing for 25 years, but only in the last year have I shared my writings with the world

In what genre(s) do you write?
Adult Fiction, romance, and erotica

Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you let the story grow as you write?Plotting vs. Pantsing depends on how the story comes to me. If the idea comes to me underdeveloped, then plotting helps get the creative juices flowing. But if the idea comes as a storyline, even if it’s just a single scene or a single experience, then it’s fun to put the words on the page and see where the story takes you. Whatever your process, the most important thing is just to begin. The end result will take on a life of its own as you work through either process.

Which authors have influenced and inspired you the most?
Oddly enough, the authors I enjoyed in my childhood probably influence my writing more than anything I’ve read in the last ten years. Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Mildred Wirt Benson (writing as Carolyn Keene) excelled at crafting characters we WANT to follow and engage, and telling stories we NEED to see through to resolution.

Do you write in other ways, such as poetry, songwriting, technical articles, etc?
In my professional life, I also write workforce training and development materials. It is a perpetual effort to remove the technical voice from my works of fiction.

How has your life experiences affected your writing?
While I am intentional not to “write my life”, I think it’s important to tap into the human experience, personal emotion, to write well. A writer has to be willing to explore the hidden places of their own soul in order to speak to the soul of the reader. It’s the emotions, not merely the experiences, that draw us in and keep us there, turning the pages.

What scene that you’ve written has moved you the most, and why?
“Moved” can mean so many things. I think I was most surprised by a scene I wrote where a young woman succumbs to the urge to pleasure herself in the restroom at work following an intriguing encounter with a beautiful stranger. I knew I was writing a work of erotica and that things would get hot and heavy, but that scene wasn’t even remotely on my radar when envisioning the course that story would take. It proved to be a delightful detour.

Beta Readers – Yes or No? Why?
Beta Readers? Absolutely! They’re the taste testers in my little bakery. Somebody’s got to lick the bowl!

What inspires your story ideas?
Life! There are stories all around us just waiting to be told. I am honored that stories continue to choose me to amplify their voice.

Do you belong to any Writing Groups?
I Love my fellow Scribes over at The Scribes’ Circle! The ways in which we challenge each other and collaborate with one another bring out the heights of creativity within all of us. I am certainly a better writer as a direct result of this fellowship and I imagine we all share that sentiment.

Tell us about all of your works in progress (include your favorite snippets).
Diverting from my work in short stories, I’m currently 2,000 words into my first as yet unnamed novel following a young woman who has arrived at a monumental ethical crossroads in her life. The short-term effects and long-term implications of her decisions bleed into every area of her life and we join her on the journey to right that ship.

Have you been published?
You can read the works of Scribe X in The Scribes’ Circle’s Unbound erotic anthology
[JMA edit – you can find Unbound here]

How can readers follow you?
https://www.facebook.com/ScribeXScribe/

Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?

Thanks, Scribe X, for taking the time to share a little piece of you with us!