The zombies are coming

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VampiresI’ve always thought that I was a vampire and werewolf kind of girl but as it turns out, I’m really a zombie girl too! Sure, I’m big Walking Dead fan but I still didn’t think that made me much of a zombie enthusiast. Only after I learned the SyFy channel was filming a new zombie series in my neck of the woods did I understand. A call went out for zombie extras and I thought…why not? I signed up with a local talent agency. Following their recommendations, I did some homework by watching the suggested zombie movies. That’s when I discovered the truth about myself. Of the list provided, there was only one movie I hadn’t seen or in fact, owned. ONE! Of course, I have since remedied that oversight. Oh yeah, I’ve seen them all now.

So, when zombie audition day came, let’s just say I was prepared. That’s not to say I wasn’t scared to death. I mean, acting just isn’t something I’ve ever really done or even thought about for that matter. I’m a writer not a thespian. Except to be a zombie extra was just too good to pass up. I was born for a role like that! I went, along with about 700 others in the local community, to audition for the producers, the director, and the casting director. Scared as I was, the audition process was incredible fun. No, I’ve never acted but the moment my turn came, I WAS the zombie. It took amazingly little time to be in the moment and in the character. I couldn’t quit smiling when I finished.

Then came the wait. Who made the list as recurring zombie extras? Yeah, it was me, me, me! The filming has begun and as of yet, I’m still waiting for my call to the set. I don’t mind waiting though, it’s been a hoot so far. Stepping outside my comfort zone and doing that audition was the kind of experience that was worth facing fear for. Forget about what others might thing, forget about looking silly, forget about the anxiety. Be the zombie and the world opens up.

And remember…the zombies are coming and one of them might just be me.

Women’s History

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DSC_0001Usually I like to talk about ghosts and goblins and witches, oh my. Not today. Instead, I want to take a moment to reflect on women. Yeah, you’ve caught me, I’m a die hard feminist. Oh wait, you probably already figured that out considering what I like to write. That and the fact that the heroines in my books are always tough…they kick ass and take names. No soft and fluffy females in my books.

But seriously, I have to take a few to thank some women who made a difference. Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Mae Arkwright Hutton, and more recently, Gloria Steinem, Justice Ruth Bader Ginzberg, and so so many others who have carried the banner for women’s rights. These women blazed trails, made waves, and most importantly, made a difference for me and every woman in the United States. To them all, I say thank you and that like them, I will carry the message each and every chance I get.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program…

Gothic Love & the Lady in White

With the June release of Vermilion Justice I say good-bye (at least for now) to my favorite vampires, Riah, Ivy & Tory. We’ve had a lot of fun together and it’s going to be bittersweet when the book comes out.

Then again…the new series is in the hopper and well, let’s just say it’s taking me back to my youth. Why, you ask? Well, I absolutely LOVED Gothic stories. If it was dark and moody and full of things going bump in the night, I was hooked.

And then…there was the Lady in White. I was maybe ten or eleven, sound asleep in my bedroom, the last one down the hallway. I woke up, the house was quiet, and night deep and dark. Sitting up, I rubbed my eyes and then caught movement out of the corner of my eyes. Looking toward my door-opened onto the hallway-and there she was. Tall, dark-haired, and dressed in a white gown she stood in my doorway. My heart beat like wild-fire, my breathing went crazy. I put my hands over my eyes and counted to ten. When I opened them again, the Lady in White was gone.

As I pondered doing something new and different (sans vampires) I decided I wanted to reach back and touch two things that were such a large part of my younger days. .Yale_OpenGateAll these years later, I still remember the feeling those Gothic stories invoked in me and I can still see the Woman in White as clearly as on that long ago night. Can I capture those feelings in my new stories? I hope so. I know I’ll try.

I’ll miss my vampires ladies, they are such a part of me. But, I’m looking forward to standing on the beach while the waves of the Pacific Ocean crash and roar, and I’m looking forward to seeing the Woman in White once more time. Maybe this time, I be brave enough to find out what she wanted

The Walking Dead

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1376587_10201961085006174_1718606953_n[1]Now it probably comes as no surprise that I’m a vampire girl. Have been intrigued with vamps for as long as I can remember. So when The Walking Dead came out, I just didn’t pay too much attention. I mean after all it was a show about zombies. Pffff, zombies! Then came all the buzz yet still I resisted. Until now…

Oh. My. God. Me loves zombies. The Walking Dead rocks. Who knew? I got sucked in like you wouldn’t believe. What I didn’t realize is that the show is less about zombies and more about the human spirit. How can you not get sucked into that?

The only problem? I belong to a K9 search and rescue team. We train and we search out in the wilderness, in the dark. The next time I’m out there alone, I guarantee I’ll be watching and listening for zombies…

Kicking in Gear

The summer has gotten away from me in a blaze of speed and flurry of crisis, work, and yes, even a fair amount of fun. I don’t know where it went nor did I realize how long  I’ve ignored this blog. My bad…

Fall is on the way and my favorite holiday creeping up. Oh yeah, you know where I’m going with this…Halloween! Usually my plan includes the Monster Dash a 5k run complete with costumes. Stepping it up this year and going for a half marathon called The Trail of Terror. Seriously, don’t you think it has my name written all over it? I did and signed right up. The deal sealer though wasn’t just the name it was that the aid stations will be manned by vampires, werewolves, zombies and the like. Got chills just thinking about it:-)

In the meantime, however, it’s time to kick it in gear and get back to the business of the preternaturals. A vampire book to complete editing and finish up the first book in a new series featuring a reluctant psychic. Good times. Good times.

Adios summer. Buna zuia season of ghosts, witches, and all things that go bump in the night.

The Watcher

In my book, Souls of Sorrow, the Watcher is a key character. I’ve been fascinated by the Watchers since I discovered them in the Bible’s Book of Enoch. Angels sent to earth to watch over humans, they ultimately fail in their mission and become the fallen ones. For their sins they are “kept in everlasting chains under darkness” until Judgement Day. When I found the Watchers, I knew these were bound to turn up in at least one book. Seriously, angels in darkness? Had my name written all over it. And so the Watcher came to be.

I thought when the Watcher became a part of Souls of Sorrow that he was a minor character. I was wrong. In fact I was very surprised when I had readers tell me how much they liked the him. If it had only been one reader, I’d have been flattered. Except it wasn’t just one, it was so many more. It’s times like this that make a writer happy. Something that had captured my imagination did the same for others. It’s a wonderful thing.

Recently I signed a contract for a three-book series called the Reluctant Psychic. After hearing of the upcoming series, a friend and reader asked me if by any chance the Watcher was going to be in these books? It made me smile…and think.

“You know,” I told her. “I think he just might.”
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In the strangest places

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I will freely admit that I have an odd way of looking at things. Maybe it’s because I like my stories just a step off and thus all the vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghosts that show in my stories even when I’m trying NOT to write them! But I think it hit an all time high last week. Here’s what happened. I had a membrane attaching itself to one of my retinas and affecting my vision. I underwent eye surgery to repair before it caused serious damage to my retina. Of course, I was given some mighty powerful drugs since they were working on my eyeball. Then in the operating room, they cover my entire face with a protective sheet. If not for the drugs, I’d have probably had a panic attack.

As it turns out, not even a twinge of panic. In fact quite the opposite. With the one unaffected eye, the lights of the operating room came through the shield with an eerie glow that got my mind whirling with stories. If I was tense before, I calmed immediately and my brain, drugged as it was, began spinning tales. The doctor began to work on my affected eye. Sounds creepy and if I think about it too much…ewwwww. But strangely enough, I could see him work although it was only shapes and movement. It was quite frankly fascinating and only added to the wave of imagination happening. It seems the mind of a story-teller never rests even in an operating room. Goes to prove that stories can be hatched in the strangest places. Or at least in my head anyway!:-)

And in case you’re interested…check out USAToday Happy Ever After blog…Scarlet Revenge is one of the featured books. Yahoo!! http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2013/04/25/new-releases-paranormal-romance-april-2013/2110337/

We’re all Irish for a day

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I’ve always loved vampires…books, movies, TV shows (who didn’t watch the original Dark Shadows!) but it was an Irish writer who took my love of the undead to a new level. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s short story “Carmilla” opened up a new world that ushered in a change in my life. When my mentor professor suggested I read the story as I was trying to narrow down the subject of my Master’s thesis, I thought it was just another vampire story. How wrong I was. Not only was it written 25 years before Dracula but the feature of the story was a female vampire. It was even more interesting because “Carmilla” wasn’t just a woman, she was a lesbian. Considering the story was written in 1872, it was fascinating for a whole bunch of reasons. I was off and rolling on researching my thesis. My focus was set.

It worked out great too. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the research and the writing of the thesis but once finished, approved, and submitted, it was subsequently nominated for outstanding thesis of the year. A thesis on a vampire story. A thesis on a lesbian vampire story. The stuff of dreams for any paranormal buff.

It continued to work it’s magic. Some years later I wrote a novel featuring a lesbian vampire as the hero of the story. It was a joy to write. Incredibly freeing and personally gratifying. At first no one was interested. Sure, they all liked the storyline and liked my writing style, but…there was always a but. Until I met Radclyffe at Bold Strokes Books. I figured it would be a bust there too because of the parallel straight love story in the novel and I was wrong. Crimson Vengeance my tribute to my Master’s Thesis and Le Fanu’s progressive vampire story came out in 2011. I found a home with Bold Strokes Books and have never looked back.

All it took was one little Irish vampire story written 130+ years ago to set me on a vampire path that makes me smile every single day. Yeah, it’s good to be Irish even if it’s just for a day.

Imagination

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I’ve always had an active imagination. In fact, some might even argue…over-active imagination. Where others see romantic moonlight, I see werewolves. Where others see glowing mist, I see vampires. It’s just the way I roll. Always was. Always will be.

SRiverCase in point…if you weren’t already aware, I do triathlons and distance running (although distance trotting might be a more accurate description of my running style) and this past weekend I participated in the Snake River Canyon Half Marathon. It is an out and back course along the river that cuts through the Snake River Canyon. Beautiful, beautiful area. But, because I am less than speedy, there were sections on the return portion where I found myself by myself. Okay with me, I like solitude and enjoying the beauty of my surroundings. EXCEPT…all of a sudden I noticed odd sounds coming from the canyon walls. Odd hissing sounds…in SNAKE River Canyon. All I could envision were coils of snakes on the rocks their glinty little eyes staring at lonesome me trotting along the road. Not just oh no, more like OH HELL NO!

Not surprisingly, my pace picked up until finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. I stopped dead in the road, closed my eyes and really listened. Then I laughed at myself. No hoards of snakes waiting to slither down and give me the big one. Nope, it was run off that because of the landscape simply sounded more like a snake than running water. Or perhaps to everyone else in the run it sounded like running water and to the lone paranormal writer trotting along by herself, imagination got the best of her. I’m not saying that’s what happened but then again it wouldn’t be the first time I saw or heard something far different from those around me.

Oh yes, imagination is a wonderful thing.

If I was a hunter

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I watched Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter last night. Didn’t really think I’d like it but I did! Surprisingly I liked it a lot. It made me think what it would be like if I lived my normal life and yet found myself in Abe’s shoes. If I was a vampire hunter:

**I would move with the speed and grace of a ninja.

**I would have cool weapons I actually knew how to use.

**I would be able to sense evil when it approaches.

**I would keep the world safe without anyone ever knowing.

**I would be one with the night…in a good way!

Yeah, if I was a vampire hunter, I would be so much cooler than the real me! Ha! As it is, I will have to be content with the less-cool me and be content to let my imagination soar in my stories. And you know what? That’s okay because inside my head, an awesome vampire hunter lives to fight another day…or rather night.

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