Tag Archive: Stephen King

Since I am interested in the paranormal and write in the paranormal genre, I thought I’d share the books and movies that have had the most influence on my beliefs and my writing. Why? Because sharing the things that have influenced me in this field might be of interest to others who are curious-about or are interested-in paranormal subject matter. More and more people are becoming fascinated with this mysterious supernatural element of our lives. And why not? Someday we will be a paranormal entity ourselves when we transition over to “the other side” of life. Since it’s a place (more like a state-of-being) we are all headed, I figure the interest is quite warranted!
Now, those of you who have read my blogs know that I used to live in a haunted house. I moved into it when I was seven and moved out of it when I was fourteen. Although quite a bit of paranormal activity occurred in the house, other things have happened throughout my life to convince me that there really, truly, without doubt IS a life for us after physical death. So, obviously one of my earliest influences was the haunted house experience. Apart from reading any and all non-fiction books I could get my hands on (Linda Goodman‘s books and anything dealing with Edgar Cayce being two of my favorite), I’ve also been influenced by FICTION books and movies. Now, the thing about fiction is…the stories had to come from somewhere, right? Sure, sure…the imagination but what influences that? Where do those ideas actually come from? A connection to the spiritual world maybe? There is truth in fiction and fiction in truth. So with that, I’ll get on with it.

My first exposure to the paranormal was probably the soap opera Dark Shadows. I was pretty young at the time but I remember it well enough. At least, I remember that although I didn’t always understand the adult nuances of the show, I understood the spooky stuff well enough to be scared (yet fascinated enough that I couldn’t NOT watch it!). An interesting aside here…Dark Shadows is purported to have been influenced by my hometown! Truly! I lived in Bucksport until the age of seven (when we moved into that haunted house in the next town over) and Bucksport is the influence for Collinsport (the fictional town in Dark Shadows…in fact, Bucksport was often mentioned in the soap!). Why? Probably, because its town founder, Jonathan Buck, was supposedly cursed by a witch he was rumored to have put to death! In fact, this legend influenced my writing Hidden Voices which was published in paperback on the 23rd of August 2012 and in ebook today (24 August 2012)! Bucksport has a few other spooky mysteries as well and I’m hoping to explore those a bit more with my Tess Scafer-Medium book series!

One of the first books I can remember reading that truly started influencing my beliefs was The Amityville Horror. I read the book and saw the movie and both of them scared me to freakin death! I think what really added the scare element was the fact it was supposed to be based on a true story. The part where the little kid sees red eyes in the window truly got to me because my family and I experienced a similar event in our haunted old house! (see Living With Ghosts Part II for the “red eyes” story). Now I have to tell ya, I think a lot of the stuff depicted in the book was a little far-fetched and the movie even more so, but I’ve no doubt that SOME of those paranormal instances occurred and it’s those parts that scared the crap out of me! It didn’t matter that I didn’t know which elements to believe or not, the fact is…SOME of that scary crap might have happened and that was enough.

Another book that had a lot of influence over me was The Shining by Stephen King. Now, I grew up in Maine about a half hour’s drive from where Stephen King lived and because he is the King of Horror and Maine’s most known celebrity, I was naturally interested in anything the man wrote. But The Shining really grabbed my attention and activated my imagination on many levels. I mean, really. Here’s a book about a haunted hotel (hmmm…sort of like the haunted resort in my first book Be Still, My Love!) and lots of scary, ghostly crap happened there (just like in that haunted house I lived in!). Now, the horror part of it…you know where Jack goes berserk and tries to kill his family…that sort of stuff I don’t like. Horror, per se, does not interest me. I can’t handle all the blood and gore. I am attracted to spooky, scary…and that’s IT. Despite that, I couldn’t put the book down and I honestly felt sometimes that reading the darned thing was attracting spirits to me!  And speaking of that…I think the more we think about this stuff, the more it DOES attract otherworldly occurrences! So, if you get a chill while reading this or suddenly feel someone standing behind you…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Another book that really got me going was Audry Rose (it was also made into a movie and actually stayed pretty true to the book). Man oh man! Suddenly I’m thinking about reincarnation and wondering how that fits into our lives and then I’m having weird dreams that seem too real to be dreams. After reading that book, I started wondering if I was actually dreaming about my past lives! Seriously, Audrey Rose totally influenced my writing No Matter What about a little girl (Clara) killed for witchcraft and whose spirit becomes trapped in our world. To save her lost soul, her spirit is reincarnated into another little girl who ends up moving into the house and befriending her (synchronicity of the universe at work on that one!). Compounding Clara’s problem (and her fears) is the fact that those who killed her have reincarnated as well! One way or another they all become mixed up with each other. I totally found the whole evolution of that book fascinating…how all the characters’ present lives were affected by their past lives and what they needed to do to get over it. That book will be out in October and I can’t wait to share it with you!

When The Entity came out, I was just starting my military career. I went to see the movie while attending technical training school (in Colorado which is where I’d wanted to go ever since seeing The Shining!) and it fired up all the stuff I’d been interested in and experimented with before entering the military.

Busy and fully engaged as I was with my military life, I had to let my paranormal interests drift off to the wayside for awhile. The never-ending itch to write, however, was strong within me and I continued to start story after story (never finishing a darned thing!). Then I saw the movie “The Changling“. Wow. That one really got me going! Talk about a spooky, haunted old house and scary crap happening! That one made me think about Automatic Writing (which was done in the movie) and I even dabbled with it for awhile with great success mind you. Really, if you like a good ghostly movie, this one is pretty good and should fit the bill.

Of course it goes without saying that Poltergeist fired up my imagination. I thought the movie was pretty good until it got crazy…you know, with the creature thing coming out of the closet and all that. What really worked in that movie was the creepy stuff that happened before all the horror crap took over. Honestly, what is creepier than a jester doll sitting in a chair staring at you, then suddenly its NOT in the chair anymore! Nothing used to scare me more than thinking something was under my bed! Seriously, I just got the willies thinking about it.

When The Sixth Sense came out, I really got fired up (again). By some odd coincidence (which I believe is actually the universe working in synchronistic brilliance), my old notebook that contained the No Matter What story (begun when I was 17) was laying on my bed when I came home from work one afternoon (it was around the same time I saw this movie so I was primed to write again). I took it as a sign that I needed to finish that story and a dear friend of mine at the time, Teresa, totally encouraged me to do it. I bounced my ideas off her and she was so enthusiastic and supportive of the story that I kept going with it. She died while I was pitching it around to various literary agents. Breast cancer is a real bitch. Now, thanks to the advent of the glorious ereader, I’m going to publish the book myself and dedicate it to my dear friend now residing in spirit. What I totally loved about The Sixth Sense was the fact it was a great ghost story! No one died (other than all the spirits haunting that poor kid of course) and it didn’t get crazy toward the end either. In fact, the ending blew me away and I had to go back to watch it again. You know…I went to see that movie with Teresa and it scared the crap out of her. I think my arm took a few days to recover from all the clutching she did! (smile) Gosh I miss her.

Another movie that got me thinking was Defending Your Life and even though this isn’t a ghost story and it isn’t creepy, spooky in any way, it deals with the afterlife and I found it interesting. Certainly I think this movie has influenced my thinking on what might happen after we experience physical death. Another movie along these lines is What Dreams May Come. That one, too, deals with life after death and reincarnation. I was quite intrigued with that movie. And since I’m on this particular kick, Only You, oddly enough, got me to thinking about just how important coincidences are! In that story a girl named Faith is playing around on the Ouija board with her brother and she asks it who she’s destined to marry. Her brother, bored with the game, manipulates the planchette to spell out Damon Bradley. Not long after that, she goes to see a psychic and asks the same question … who is her soul mate? Now, her brother, not wanting to waste time dealing with silly psychics, pays the woman to give his sister the same name he gave her on the Ouija board. Convinced now that she must marry a man named Damon Bradley, Faith waits for him to show up in her life. A few years later, she gives up on this dream and settles for someone else. But, on the eve of her wedding, a man calls to leave a message for her fiance and his name is none other than Damon Bradley! She sets off to find him (in Italy which is where I was living when I saw the movie!) and so the story goes. The fact is…the name was made up and yet it is Damon Bradley who helps her find her soul mate. This movie really made me think about how all things affect each other. And I can’t not mention Frequency when discussing fate! This is a great movie. A son contacts his dead father on an old ham radio by connecting to him from 30 years earlier and ends up changing his entire life! That movie truly is a powerful story in my humble opinion. I marvel at the person who thought it up (or perhaps channeled it from spirit?).

I was editing No Matter What (again) when I watched The Others and that movie just helped me focus more on my own story. Why? Because it so intrigued me I wanted to write a story that would do the same thing…intrigue people! I just knew I was on the right track with my book after watching that movie. Also, I looked into the Spiritualist church right after seeing it and so I guess you could say it had a pretty strong impact on my life by pointing me in that direction. The movie got me to thinking about that stuff (ghosts, life after death) and when talking to someone about it (I was running a campground at the time and was chatting with a camper), she told me I should check out the Spiritualist church in Augusta (Maine’s capitol and not far from where I live!). I did so, had my grandmother come through (they do readings from spirit during the last portion of their service) and she told me to get going on my book. So I did!

Of course many other books and movies have added to my paranormal influence, but these are the ones that stick out the most. What about you? What books or movies have you read/watched that influence your thoughts on the paranormal? I’m always up for a good spooky read or a good scare-your-socks off movie!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!

I found a YA book series called “44” that I really enjoy and so I wrote to the author Jools Sinclair to let her know.  It’s one of the perks we enjoy in the world today…having the technology to contact an author almost instantly!  Nowadays you can “friend” them on Facebook, “follow” them on Twitter, email them directly or subscribe to their websites and blogs.  I love the connectedness of it all.  Well, at least sometimes I do!

So anyway, after reading 44 Book 3 in the series (by the way, Book 1 is FREE!), I contacted Jools and asked her if she’d be willing to do an interview.  She said, “Yes”!!  Even though she’s busy with the recent publication of Book 4 and all the hoopla involved with that AND she’s working on Book 5, she still took some precious time to answer my questions.

Before we get into the interview, I’d just like to give a bit of background on the “44” series.  It begins when seventeen-year-old Abby Craig plunges into an ice-covered lake and drowns.  She is declared dead and for 44 whole minutes remains thusly.  But then, miraculously, she wakes up and the world as she knew it is different to her.  She can’t see colors, memories have been erased, and her friends all hate her.  The love of her life, Jesse, is acting strange and as if that isn’t all bad enough, she begins to have visions of a killer.  Her life, Abby soon comes to realize, is changed forever.

Seriously, as you get into the books, you really come to care for poor Abby and are intrigued by the characters surrounding her.  It’s a decent series and I hope Jools has many more stories for Abby to endure!

I’ve always been intrigued by people who have “come back to life” after suffering through a period of death.  It surely must be life-altering.  Many people who have done so seem to develop psychic skills or spiritual connections they hadn’t experienced before their “death”.  This is really a topic right up my alley.  And because of that, I just HAD to contact Jools again and get to know her better.

So, without further ado, here’s her interview! (Gosh, a poet and didn’t know it…sorry, couldn’t resist).

Jools:  Deb, first off thank you SO much for inviting me to your fantastic blog. It is an honor to be here!

Me: Thank YOU, Jools, for agreeing to the interview!! So tell us, what inspired you to write the “44” book series?

Jools:  I’ve always been interested in stories about psychic abilities, whether it’s a novel or TV show or article or movie. I love those type of stories and I’m sure that everything I’ve read and watched over the years has inspired me in one way or another.

Another huge inspiration is living here in Bend, Oregon. Bend is such a great and interesting town. It’s a little off the radar and full of eclectic people and surrounded by lush, natural beauty. I knew it would make a great setting for a novel and a series and had wanted to write about it for a few years, even before I started the series.

And finally, I guess having a few paranormal events happen in my life probably fueled my interest in writing about such things.

Me: What kind of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite?

Jools: Honestly, it would be hard to choose a favorite. I’m an avid reader and read in all genres (except Sci Fi!). But I will say that Ernest Hemingway has always been a huge inspiration. A few years ago I had a “Hemingway Summer,” and read all his books and short stories. I love his style, which is stark and blunt, and I love how he experienced life to the fullest and then wrote about those experiences. One of my very favorite books is Old Man and the Sea, which I reread every few years.

I love short stories too, and am a huge fan of Ron Carlson, Amy Tan, Stephen King, Antonia Nelson to name just a few. I also love mysteries and thrillers and non-fiction as well. Of course, a good ghost story is always exciting!

Me: Totally agree with you about the ghost stories, they sure can be exciting! What is your favorite movie and/or TV show?

Jools:  I love movies and have to admit that I watch a lot of them! Usually you can find me in front of my large HD TV late at night after I’ve closed the lap top and my eyes are aching and blurry from writing all day!

My taste is pretty eclectic and I’m all over the board, depending on my mood. Some nights I’m like Abby in that I want to watch old black and white movies, like Out of the Past, Ten Little Indians, Casablanca, The Stranger. But I also love Hannibal,  Gosford Park, and The Godfather. And, of course, I especially love ghost stories, with the 1989 BBC version of The Woman in Black topping my list.

There are also some amazing TV series out there too…Madmen, Justified, Game of Thrones. I’m also into Downton Abby these days, which I mention in Book Four.

Me:  I totally love Downton Abby!  Granted, it’s not spooky, but it’s epic and a great depiction of the aristocracy in an era gone by and those that served them. But let’s get back to you! How many books do you hope to write in this series?

Jools: I’m not too sure. As long as I feel there still is a fresh energy in the series and a story to tell, I’ll just keep writing them. I love the characters and what’s happening, so I’ll go as long as it feels right. I feel that there’s probably enough there for a few more years.

Me: That’s awesome to hear! I’m quite excited to read more of Abby’s adventures.  So, why did you pick the location you did for your books?

I was born in Los Angeles, raised in the San Fernando Valley, and then lived in the Portland area for a while. So when I finally got to Bend, it was incredible. I walked outside and saw seven snowy mountains in the distance. You can go kayaking on the river before breakfast, hike on a trail in town on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s just an entirely different way of living and I love it.

The small city is pretty cool as well. So I thought, why not add a little bit of a paranormal to a story based here? Plus, I like to write what I know. I know Bend pretty well now. It helps a lot living here.

Me: I think it’s great that your stories take place in your home town.  I’m doing the same thing now with my own Tess Schafer, Medium series (an idea totally inspired by you, by the way!). So, what do the “locals” think of your books?

Jools: I’ve heard from a few fans who love the books and I was invited on the local morning show, Good Morning Central Oregon, and was interviewed. The host, Kristi Miller, was amazing and a fan and once I got over my nervousness, it was a blast! So I would have to say it’s been great so far!

Me: How totally cool to have a local television show recognize you for what you are doing!  That must have been an awesome experience! So tell us, Jools, do you believe in ghosts?

Jools: You bet I do! But I’m like Abby…I keep my eyes down and make sure they don’t catch me staring at them! And I really, really believe in them about one in the morning, walking through the dark living room to the kitchen for a midnight snack! Yikes! Sometimes I just give up on the snack plan if the goose bumps get too intense.

Me:  I do wonder sometimes if writing about ghosts conjures them up.  It sure enough seems that way on occasion!  Obviously ghosts scare you, does anything else?

Jools:  Rattlesnakes, paddling in a canoe on a large lake in the wind, grizzly bears, and sharks when I’m trying to relax in tropical waters. My list used to be much longer, but I’ve learned that it’s important to move past my fear so I’ve cut down on a few of them.

Me:  That’s really pretty cool that you are cutting down on your fears.  I think it’s something many of us need to work on…fear can really have a stranglehold on our lives sometimes.  You’ve just released Book 4 in your series and you say on your blog Jools Sinclair that you are working on Book 5.  Just how often do you write?

Jools:  Well, pretty close to every day. I do take about two weeks off after I’ve finished a book, but even then I’m thinking about the next story. Since I’m working on 44 Book Five now, with a release date of August 1, I will be at the computer every day for a lot of hours until it’s published.

As the book unfolds, the hours I write each day increase. The first few weeks I’m writing maybe only 4 hours a day. Then it’s 5 or 6. And then, during the last few weeks before publication, I go into an insane mode where I’m writing and editing from morning until night. It’s a crazy time, but quite magical, because in those last few weeks I literally never leave the story or the characters. I wake up, start writing, and stop late into the night. And no matter what I do for the rest of the time, the characters and scenes don’t stop talking to me. I’m right there with them until publication.

Me:  Yeah, a writer’s life can be all-consuming! What advice would you give to the fledgling writers hoping to publish, or the newbie writers struggling to get their books noticed?

Jools:  Follow your bliss. It’s the best advice I’ve ever heard (Joseph Campbell) and it applies to everything, including becoming a successful author.

If you’re a writer, make sure you love doing it, that it calls to you from the depths of a dark night, that there is no choice whether you write the story in your head or not. That you shake when you write those emotional scenes. That you feel something very special, very intense, very satisfying deep down after putting in a long day with your words.

If those things are happening for you, if you are following your bliss by writing your stories, then you’re already there. No advice needed.

Me:  Great advice!  Truer words are not often spoken!  So, I’m quite curious, what do you do in your spare time?

Jools: I love to cook, eat great food, watch my favorite international soccer teams play (Go, Barcelona!), watch movies, go to concerts, hike up in the mountains in the summer and snowshoe through forests during winter, kayak and canoe down rivers and across lakes. I love traveling, and love the Southwest and hiking in red rock country. I also love going to Europe and even though I don’t get there as much as I would like to, I am obsessed with reading blogs about Florence and Paris and Barcelona and always have a plan for returning in the works.

But lately, spare time is hard to come by so most everything I just mentioned is on the back burner! But that’s okay since it feels incredible to be doing what I love and I’m so very appreciative that I get to write for a living!

Me: Those all sound like very nice activities!  Especially the cooking and eating great food! (smile)  I’ve been to Barcelona, Paris and Florence (while serving in the military) and all three cities are beautiful.  I too hope to return again someday. Thank you so much, Jools, for stopping by for a chat!  I look forward to all your future writing projects.  You ever have a yen to visit again, please let me know.  You are always welcome. 

Jools:  Thank you SO much, Deb, for inviting me to visit your amazing blog! I think you’ve got quite a special hometown too and love how you’re writing about it!

So that concludes my chat with Jools.  She sounds like an amazing person, doesn’t she?  You can visit her blog Jools Sinclair  and/or follow her on Twitter: Jools Sinclair.  Feel free to leave a question or comment!  I’m sure Jools would love to hear from you.  I know that I would!  Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!

For those interested or curious about the supernatural, writers of such books are some of the best people in which to engage a conversation!  If they aren’t reading about it or writing about it they are thinking about it!  At least they are in context of how it applies or factors in to their stories.  To write supernatural thrillers, you have to have a pretty good imagination.  Okay, okay, to write ANYTHING, you have to have a good imagination but when it comes to writing stories that include supernatural elements, you have to let that imagination take you places that might feel uncomfortable.  You have to unleash your creativity, really let it go, and set your logical reasoning aside (you know, the “this is impossible” kind of thoughts).  Writers of such books are also READERS of such books and I don’t think you’ll find a writer in existence (not a really good one anyway!) who isn’t a voracious reader.  Jeff Bennington does it all.  He writes books, he reads books, he maintains a very active, popular blog about those things and he is the founder of The Kindle Book Review which helps authors, especially INDIE authors (individuals who are publishing on their own).  As promised, here is Part II of my interview with the very cool, very imaginative Jeff Bennington!

Questions for Jeff are in Bold print and any comments I made to his answers are in Bold Italics.

You obviously write what you like to read…so what other books have you particularly enjoyed that are similar to your own stories?

Not many actually. I’ve always been a non-fiction reader. Fiction had always come in second place for me until the last few years. I’ve read a little Stephen King, a little Koontz, a couple of Scott Nicholson books. I think those authors have influenced me some, but I haven’t read enough of any of their works to have adopted their styles. I think my writing style has been influenced more by classic authors like Charlotte Bronte and Robert Louis Stevenson. The more I write, the more I desire to get to the heart of the character.

Stephen King had quite an impact on me as well.  His book “The Shining” really got my imagination going.  As for Dean Koontz, I love his Odd Thomas series in which the main character can see ghosts. But the book that really fired up my imagination was “Audrey Rose“.  That story has actually had the biggest impact on my own writing interests.  I think the books that attract and influence writers can tell readers a lot about the kind of stories you are going to get from them.

Can you share a little about how Twisted Vengeance came to be? Is there a sequel in the future? (I’m hoping!)

YES, I’d love to! Twisted Vengeance was the result of one of those WOW moments when I was driving. I remember driving with my wife into town and for no apparent reason the concept just hit me: a creepy kid haunts a cop who’s already struggling with life and as he investigates several unsolved murders, the boy leads him to the killer… but then there’s the TWIST and the MYSTERY, the WHO DUN IT and the WHY OH WHY ending. That hit me all at once and I practically crashed the car! I had to write the story line down… on anything. I think I used a napkin from the glove compartment.

I’m excited to say that there is a sequel. I’m on chapter 5 right now and plugging along nicely. I think Detective Rick Burns has a lot of potential for an extended series. The sequel is going to take Rick out of Indianapolis and bring him into New York City — Hell’s Kitchen to be exact… a place I’ve visited often and plan to revisit this summer/fall.

I’m excited you are writing a sequel to this book!  I am very intrigued with Detective Rick Burns and I can’t wait to see how his gift to see ghosts influences his work and his life!

Your book Reunion was obviously prompted from your curiosity to how victims of a school shooting would respond (with a paranormal twist to make it even more interesting), can you share how this book made you feel once you completed it?  Did you learn anything from the writing of it (exercise any “ghosts” sort of speak)?

How I felt was not what you’d think. My first book was a flop and I thought it was perfect when I published it. But Reunion was a totally different story. I knew my writing had improved significantly, but I was so scared to hit the publish button. I felt like Reunion would either propel my writing career forward or it would crush me, killing my career. I was very worried that readers would think it was offensive, that I wasn’t sensitive enough, or that the reading public was not ready for fiction surrounding a school shooting.

I was wrong. Reunion has sold tens of thousands of copies and was an Amazon bestseller, hitting #55 in Amazon’s Top 100 and #1 in Ghosts, Occult and Suspense categories. The reviews have been phenomenal and I have gained a lot of fans. THANK GOD!

Tell us a little about “Creepy“… are these stories inspired from a desire to “creep out” and scare your readers?  Why do you think people like to read or watch something that scares them?

Creepy is a collection of scary stories. Again, I’m not as much into creeping people out as the title implies. This collection includes my three supernatural experiences in detail and two of my short suspense. I didn’t think this book would go that far either, but it has been in Amazon’s top 20-40 in the ghost/occult categories for several months now. I’m surprised, but not really. The stories are real and a little creepy. But what I’m really excited about is that I am publishing CREEPY II in October 2012. CREEPY II is a collection of true ghost stories that I have been collecting from my fans and many other people from around the United States. And if I’m lucky, I might convince you and/or some of your readers to submit their stories to me as well. If you or anyone reading this would like to submit a real life supernatural experience, please contact me on Twitter @TweetTheBook or by email at jeffbennington@ymail.com.

Well, here ya go all of you folks out there who have had brushes with the supernatural!  Jeff is a willing and eager audience!

Do you believe in supernatural evil? Do you think it can be overcome (is there a defense to it)?

Yes. Evil was a choice from the beginning and I believe that evil persists today in the spirit realm as much as it did from the beginning. Although I do not desire to dabble in the dark side, I am not afraid of it because I trust in the one who created all things, and He has ultimate power over evil and my soul, so I’m not worried about supernatural evil effecting my eternal position. However, because we live in a broken world, where sin and death are part of our reality, I know that I have to keep my guard up and be careful to not give evil a foothold … that’s why I’d rather stay away from the line instead of walking on it.

Have you ever been on a ghost hunt?

I have not. But I’ve been invited by an online ghost-hunting program to be a guest.

Any future projects in the works? Can you share anything with us concerning them?

I plan to publish Twisted Vengeance II, CREEPY II by October 2012, and then I’d like to continue working on the two non-fiction books I want to write before I die … Spiritually Self-Medicating and Jesus was an Alien.

You are an Indie writer, what have you liked best about being the master of your own publications?

Everything. Sounds like a great topic for my blog, The Writing Bomb.

Do you believe other writers who have yet to make the plunge, should give Indie publishing (going it on their own) a try?  You’ve written a book to help Indie authors (The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe) on their publication journey, do you truly believe it’s worth all the effort that’s involved to self-publish or do you think it’s more for certain writers?  (a particular genre for instance)

I think Indie publishing is the best way to start your writing career no matter who you are. You’ll discover many things about yourself, your talent, your business savvy, your marketing abilities and you will test your time management skills. Then if you can succeed at this level, I think you can probably do anything, including attract the attention of national book store chains, agents and publishers. I know that’s possible because it’s happening to Indie authors already. Think of Indie publishing as the new minor leagues; some authors rise to the big leagues, some start their own team, some experience mid-level success and some get the first ticket home after publishing their first book.

Do you believe in Karma?  How can you apply that belief to your writing and publishing goals?

I believe you get what you give. Like I said earlier, my writing goals revolve around a greater purpose for me. It’s not the other way around. I feel like I was fortunate enough to discover my purpose and I don’t have any plans to abandon my post. The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe is the result of my desire to help other authors figure this business out … right along side of me. My writing is my way of connecting with people, touching nerves, impacting thoughts, and maybe changing the way people perceive themselves and the world around them. That’s a tall order, but the last thing I want from life is to die with regrets, walking through the gray matter haunted by a wasted life.

Will you ever write anything (besides publication and writing tips!) that is in a genre other than thriller/suspense?

Yes. I already eluded to the non-fiction titles that are in the works. But I also want to write a couple literary fiction titles. One that is dear to my heart is a book called Henry Brooks and another called Martin and Me.

What sort of readers would like your books?  Who do you write for?  Why should they buy your books particularly?

The readers that love my fiction are looking for more than just a rush. They want to read stories that get to the heart of humanity and our struggles, but they don’t want to be bored either. I write for me and my family and for the God who gifted me, but I also write for readers who want to read a book sprinkled with lots of salt and hot peppers.

This concludes my interview with Jeff.  I can’t thank him enough for agreeing to “chat” with me.  I know he’s a busy man and his taking the time to answer all my questions was very generous of him.  Links to all his books can be found in Part One of this interview.  I think authors will find his blog “The Writing Bomb” a helpful and informative one that they’ll want to visit often!  His blog “The Kindle Book Review” will interest authors and readers alike!  I know he’s running a very cool contest right now for Indie authors so if you fall into this category, I highly encourage you to check it out!

Until next time … Many blessings to you and Peace out!!

”]Cover of "The Shining [Blu-ray]"In the literary world Stephen King is a name brand for horror writers.  I imagine there are few people in existence who don’t recognize his name or not know what he writes.  Until I picked up my first Stephen King book, Carrie, I was mostly reading romance books and anything I could get my hands on concerning paranormal phenomena.  Yeah, two very different genres I know,  but one was for enjoyment, the other for survival!  You see, I was living in a bona fide haunted house at the time and dealing with dead people.  I needed to know how to protect myself from things going bump in the night (and sometimes during the day), and I needed to understand just what, exactly, was going on.  Why was our house haunted?  What on Earth did they (the ghosts) want?  Why didn’t they float off to heaven and stay there?

But, I digress.  I read Carrie when I was in the eighth grade.  My homeroom teacher was disgusted with the book and ordered me to take it home and not bring that filth back into his classroom.  True story!  He only read a few random pages, not sure what part turned him off so badly but needless to say, I was pretty surprised by the reaction.  Can a teacher do that?  Can they tell you what you can read on your own time even if you are at school?  This, folks, was many years ago.  I hesitate to admit how many but it was long before all the crap going on today in which every aspect of our lives (or so it seems!) is under attack by someone!

I told my mom about my teacher’s reaction and she just piffed (my own word but I think you get the picture) it away.  “Who cares what he thinks.  I’m your mother and if you want to read that book, then read it.”  Yeah, my mom was a great one for going all “mother bear” when it came to defending her “babies”.  In any case, I did read the book and I enjoyed it so much that I went on to read more of King’s work.  One of them became very influential on my life…The Shining.  Speaking of which, I recently learned that King has a sequel to that book coming out in 2013 titled “Dr. Sleep“.  I’m quite excited about that and can’t wait to read it!

When I read “The Shining“, it scared the crap out of me.  And strangely enough, I’m not talking about the mallet bashing psycho intent on whacking his poor family into the afterlife.  No, it was all the ghosts hanging out at that hotel that scared me to death.  I was, after all, living with a bunch of ghosts myself and here was a book where a family is dealing with the same thing.  On a more evil scale of course.  Thank God for small mercies, right?  I have to admit, the one part that scared the bejeezus out of me was that danged dead woman in room 217.  That, my friends, totally creeped me out!

The Shining spurred my interest in reading other works of fiction in which ghosts were involved (it is only natural, is it not, that I would go on to write ghost stories myself?).  You want to know a really cool thing about all this?  I met Stephen King the summer after I read that book!  I lived in Maine, he lived in Maine (a mere 15 miles away…not even a stone’s throw by Maine standards!).  We were bound to meet at some point, right?  Not.  I got LUCKY!  I was waitressing at a really cool place right on the shores of Alamoosic Lake (my best friend’s parents owned the place) and King rented the facilities to treat his family and friends to a bona fide Maine picnic complete with lobsters, steamed clams, crabs, shrimp…you name it, he had it on the menu.  What a nice guy, right?  So anyway, I’m standing behind the buffet line keeping a close eye on the food levels, making sure nothing runs low, and this man starts by that looks awfully darned familiar.  My heart starts pounding (I was a teen at the time and quite impressed with celebrity anything) and I think to myself, “Is that Stephen King?”  Then, realizing the unlikelihood of such a thing, immediately dismissed the thought, “No, of course that isn’t Stephen King.  What would he be doing here?”  But then the woman next to him said, “When’s your next book due out?” and I KNEW!!  Instead of standing there gaping like a starstruck idiot, I ran for the kitchen and grabbed my friend.  “Stephen King is going through the buffet line!”  Of course she didn’t believe me and headed for the buffet line post haste to see for herself. Seconds later she returns and heads for her father (head chef for the day).  “Dad, is Stephen King supposed to be here today?”  Her dad is clueless.  “Who?”  And once he realizes how excited we are, he offers to go get the check because now that he thinks of it, he did seem to recall that the man paying for the event was somewhat well known.  Somewhat well known?  Seriously?  Once it was confirmed, my friend and I commenced to spy, covertly of course, on the famous man within our midst.  Was he normal?  Was he as weird as his books? He did write some pretty bizarre stuff after all.

Well, I’m here to tell you, we noticed nothing strange or unusual about this master of the macabre.  He was very friendly and attentive to everyone, especially his kids.  We wanted to meet him something fierce but didn’t want to bother him.  That didn’t stop my friend, however, from fetching one of his books from her room and asking her dad to get it autographed for her.  We peeked through the doorway as her father did her bidding.  King didn’t seem the least annoyed to have his meal interrupted by the request.  He happily obliged.  Then her dad points to the door where we were trying our best to stay out of view.  As King turns to look our way, we squeal (we were teenage girls remember) with embarrassment, pull our heads back into the kitchen and slam the door closed.  I was so danged jealous that my friend just snagged an autograph and it was me that started reading him first and who was the bigger fan and who wanted, after all, to be a famous writer someday!  Since we were not just the waitresses but the dish washers, food preparers, cleaner uppers and whatever else my friend’s parents threw our way, we began to wash the big pots waiting for us in the sink.  There we were, up to elbows in soapy water and my friend’s dad comes into the kitchen and says, “Ladies, guess who wants to meet you!”

NO WAY!  Oh yes.  Way.  Stephen King gallantly kissed our soapy hands, chatted with us for a bit and then thanked us for doing such a great job.  Yeah…(sigh)…he really is a nice man.

When the movie for The Shining came out, I went to see it for my birthday.  It was, I’ll admit, my first ever date (with a real boy and everything!)  The movie disappointed me somewhat because they (Hollywood) changed it so much but the scenery was magnificent!  I decided right then and there that I wanted to go to Colorado.  A year later, I joined the US Air Force.  I mentioned in another post (Military Lessons: Yes I Can and So Can You!) that I entered a career field which had recently opened to women, it’s primary job was bomb building and the like.  I wasn’t all that enthused to work with explosives until my recruiter said the magic words.  “You’ll be attending your technical training at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado.”  Colorado?!  “I’ll take it,” I said and just like that, I made a career decision that was to affect me for the next 20 years, 5 months and 17 days.  A decision, mind you, based on a Stephen King novel (because it was the book, after all, that led to the movie).

Shortly after arriving to basic training, I was pulled aside by an important looking official who proceeded to offer me a different job.  My first question, “Where is the school for it?”  The man, very obviously convinced that this other job was a much better career choice, said, “California.”  And I made another decision based on that dang movie (and thus, the book!).  “I don’t want to go to California, I want to go to Colorado.”  The man looked at me as if I were daft (and yes, I can say now that I was).  “You are basing your decision on the state in which the school is located?”  I could feel my face go hot because it did sound stupid and I didn’t like looking stupid.  Who does?  But I remained firm with my decision.  It was something I would live to regret but you know, things go how they are supposed to go.  Looking back, I wouldn’t change a single, solitary thing.

I do think it interesting how things can influence us so profoundly (though we don’t really realize it at the time) and how differently our lives can go based on those influences.  Mine took a pretty drastic turn because of a book I read.

That, my friends, is the power of a book!  Until another time, blessings to all and Peace Out!!

Cover of "Brother Odd (Odd Thomas Novels)...

Cover of Brother Odd (Odd Thomas Novels)

I love books involving supernatural elements and paranormal activity.  Dean Koontz delivers those elements in all of his books…he’s a master of the macabre after all.  The thing is, for all my fascination with the paranormal, I’m really not into spine-crawling, OMG, hands to the eyes, heart pounding fear that most horror works initiate.  There’s usually just too much evil involved for me to enjoy it.  Honestly, I find horror way too horrifying.  Yeah, I know, that’s so cliche a statement but there it is.  That’s how I feel.  Thankfully (for horror writers and movie makers), there are a ton of other people who don’t share my sentiment.

I do, however, like spooky, scary stuff.  For me…unseen entities up to who knows what or when is more spine-chillingly captivating than evil gore, blood, guts, and over-the-top horror.  For make no mistake, almost anything in the horror genre includes death and blood.  Usually lots of both.  I’m not so much into blood.  As for death…I prefer dealing with those who are already dead rather than watching the gruesome process people often go through (especially in horror novels!) to enter that state.

Yeah, I’m a ghost/spirit fanatic.  Angels fascinate me too.  Spirit activity never fails to captivate my attention and curiosity.  I’m all agog about the idea of dead people interacting with our world.  And I’m most curious as to what takes place in the afterlife.  After all…each and every one of us will enter it someday.  No exceptions!  It’s perfectly understandable that I’d like to understand my ultimate destination.  It’s also quite understandable that, as a writer, I would enjoy writing books involving those interests.  And, of course, I love reading other people’s books involving them too!

One book series I’ve come to enjoy is Dean Koontz’ Odd Thomas series.  Koontz is a great writer.  He really is.  I respect and admire his skillful handling of the writing craft.  But, that doesn’t mean I like ALL of his books.  Some of them are a little too out of the ballpark for me.  Either that or the subject matter just doesn’t interest me.  The same goes for Stephen King.  He’s another master of the macabre and one of my favorites.  Even so, I don’t particularly care for ALL of his books either.  But you know, that’s okay.  A great writer often appeals to a broad audience.  Those guys have my attention with certain books and other people’s attention with other books.  That is a true master story teller…one who can appeal to a broad spectrum of personal story taste!

The character Koontz has created, Odd Thomas, is an interesting one.  He can see dead people.  He can’t hear them though.  Bummer on that one…it would make things so much easier if the ghosts who appear to him could say, “That guy you just passed? Yeah, he’s about to destroy the town.”  A quick 911 call, a police raid and the story is over.  Town elimination averted.  And what a conundrum that would be, for we now have no story!  Thomas has another interesting ability…if he just goes with the flow, wherever the moment takes him, he is led right to where he needs to be to garnish clues involving the disaster about to unfold.  Like it or not, Odd is tossed into the role of amateur private investigator, despite the fact that he regards himself as nothing more or less than a short-order cook.

Odd has, however, taken on other odd (pun intended) jobs since the first book “Odd Thomas“.  Although he was quite content to be the short-order cook for the Pico Mundo Grill, things didn’t go well for him in that first book.  He suffered a loss that sets him on a course that leads to lives-depend-on-it adventures in  “Odd Hours“, “Forever Odd” and “Brother Odd” (new book “Odd Apocalypse” due out in July!).   Odd is at once, from the very first introduction, a likable guy.  He’s very respectful, neat, polite, caring … and he has the support of Pico Mundo’s police chief to boot!  A good thing since he’s pulled into future tragic disasters in the making!

Poor Odd doesn’t quite know what to think of his gift, he even wonders if maybe he’s cursed.  Some people might see it that way…having dead people show up at all hours seeking help or hoping to offer it.  Regardless how Odd feels about spirits seeking him out, he does his best to help them.  What’s really cool about the Odd books is that all the action takes place within a couple days at most!  And man, are those hours filled with suspense, drama, mystery and thrill-building excitement.

I think one of the things I found particularly amusing about these books is Odd’s sidekick ghost.  Who isn’t going to like a guy who has attracted the King of Rock and Roll himself?  Yes, Elvis Presley puts in a regular appearance, at least for a time.  So, guess that solves that little mystery…yes, folks, Elvis Presley really is dead (a moment here of respectful silence).  Sadly, the beloved King does eventually move on…to where, who knows, and although I miss him, other spirits come along that are interesting enough to fill the void.

What Koontz has done is create an endearing character with some very interesting supernatural abilities.  This intriguing character, who is as odd as his name, befriends an assortment of supportive characters and the catastrophe’s Odd must somehow prevent from happening (hopefully!) keeps us enthralled until the nail-biting end.  As soon as I finish a book, I’m on line looking for when the next one will be out.  It’s a bummer to have to wait until July…I’ve been waiting a long time already, but I will.  I’m that devoted.  And that’s the kind of following I hope to have someday!  I hope people will like my stories and characters enough that they can’t wait for more, no matter how long the wait!

I’m hoping my Tess Schafer character (introduced in “Be Still, My Love“) will be one of those endearing characters people will look forward to following in future books.  Tess is a medium, she speaks to the dead, she regularly communicates with her spirit guide Sheila and she channels stories that give clues to the mystery she’s trying to solve (involving a restless spirit … or two…of course!).  I’m really liking the second book in the “Tess Scafer – Medium” series because she’s becoming more and more a real person to me and I’m learning things about her as I go that make me vastly intrigued with each word.  I never thought I’d be writing paranormal mystery novels.  I’ve always been a big-time romance fanatic (still am!) but that seems to be the way I’m going.  Besides, who is to say this young 25 year old widow won’t find love again?  After all, Kade Sinclair – a Marine whose career ended with injuries he sustained while on tour in Afghanistan – is definitely in the picture.  The two make an unlikely pairing and who knows where it will lead…if it leads to anything.  But I’m sure going to enjoy the evolution of their story as it filters through my brain onto the keyboard!

So, if you are a fan of the supernatural, if you like paranormal elements in a book’s story, you should give the Odd Thomas books a try.  If you have already…do you agree with my assessment?  Aren’t they great books?

Until next time, my friends, blessings and Peace Out!!

The Stephen King Influence

I read an article on Stephen King recently and it made me think about how much this man, whom I only met briefly, has influenced my life.  Sure, he’s provided countless hours of reading enjoyment, but he has done so much more than that.

I was in the eighth grade when I read his book Carrie.  It was my first foray into horror as I was mostly reading romances at this point.  But since Stephen King lived in the same state as I did, and not far away from me at that, I figured I needed to read something from Maine’s celebrated author. Besides, a couple friends suggested I read it! I was hooked from page one (good for him to have such a great hook!!). So it was that one day during school, I finished my classwork early and decided to pull my book out and read a few pages.  My math teacher (who also happened to be the school principal) Mr. Mercer, hunkered down beside my desk (I think he was impressed that I was reading a book!) and asked me what I was reading.  I showed him.  He took the book from me and leafed through it.  I could tell from the expression on his face that he was not impressed (sorry Mr. King!).

Mr. Mercer snaps the book shut and looks at me.  I squirm uncomfortably beneath that stare.  It wasn’t good, that look.  I wondered what could be the problem?  Finally he shakes the book at me, his eyes narrowed in displeasure.  “I don’t want to see filth like this in my classroom again.  You put this book away and if I see it again, I will take it away from you.”  He handed me the book though it was pretty clear he wanted nothing more than to toss it into the garbage.  “I can’t believe your parents are letting you read this.  Do they know what you are reading?”

Truly, I was at a loss.  What exactly, was wrong with the book?  He didn’t read but bits and snatches so how could he know anything about it to pass judgment like that?  I asked him what was wrong with the book and he would not clarify. He was too disappointed in me to give me any more of his attention.  I had committed an unforgivable sin apparently.  So, I took the book home and told my mom what happened.  She rolled her eyes, unimpressed with Mr. Mercer’s viewpoint.  Maybe he didn’t like books with blood in it.  I don’t know, but it made me aware of how something simple like a choice of reading material can sway someone’s opinion of you.  In return, however, my opinion of Mr. Mercer had dropped a little as well.  Clearly the man had a closed mind!  No doubt he was thinking that I clearly had a trashed one!

The next Stephen King book I read was The Shining.  I was once again enthralled.  I couldn’t put the book down and it scared the crap out of me (especially as I was living in a haunted house at the time!).   I mention this because it is this book that will later play a very important part in my life choices!

In the fourth grade a new girl joined our class.  Her name was Katrina and we became very good friends.  Her parents bought a lodge right on Alamoosic Lake which was only about a mile from where I lived.  They rented out rooms for overnight guests and catered many parties there.  Katrina and I initially pitched in helping with those parties and eventually we became their only “hired” help (not much in the way of pay but we sure did have a good time!).  Katrina and I helped in all aspects of their catering business.  We assisted with preparing the food and serving it.  We were also pretty much in charge of the clean up afterwards. Looking back on it, I see they (her parents) had a pretty good deal going on! Cheap labor that was really worth something!  We worked hard and took pride in what we were doing.  And if we were treated to a movie or an ice cream or a twenty dollar bill now and then, cool!!

So, one summer we are catering to an all day party…the works were being served…seafood (we did live on the coast of Maine after all!) to include lobsters, crabs and steamed clams.  Katrina and I decided the person funding the party must be rich to afford all that expensive food.  So, I’m behind the buffet table keeping watch, ensuring nothing ran low, when a man makes his way through the line that looks an awful lot like Stephen King.  I stare at him, realize that I’m staring and glance away.  Trying to pretend at this point that I am only interested in the food dishes before me, I listened as he talked with the woman following behind him in the line.  She asked him when his next book was due out. He replied.  Can’t say what he said because my jaw dropped open as realization hit that the man looked like Stephen King because he WAS Stephen King.  I raced into the kitchen.  “Katrina, I think Stephen King is here!”  She doesn’t believe me. I drag her out to the buffet table.  He’s near the end of the table at this point and as soon as she sees him, she knows I’m telling the truth.  Something about our manner must have caught his attention because he looked up at us and smiled. If he thought our behavior strange, he didn’t let on that he thought so.  I know we were looking like two star-struck idiots.  We stood there, still as trees, staring at him with our mouths hanging open and our eyes wide with wonder.  He was, after all, our very first sighting of a celebrity in the flesh.

Embarrassed to be caught staring thusly, Katrina and I turn and flee back into the kitchen, making a bee line for her father. “Dad,” says Katrina, “who is paying for this party?  Did you know that Stephen King is here?” Her father, unimpressed with our excitement and even less so with the name, stared at us and said, “Who?”  We impatiently tell him who Stephen King is and he wrinkles up his forehead as he goes into deep thought.  Truly, I remember this day as if it were yesterday.  Finally he says, “Well, it seems that I do recall something of the man being well known.”  He then pulls a folded check out of his shirt pocket and reads the name on it.  “Well,” he says, “what do you know.  It is Stephen King.”  He shows us the check.  Katrina says, “Oh my God!  You have to have him sign my book.” (Which she hadn’t even bothered to read mind you! Yes, I was very jealous that she was going to get an autographed book and I, who read his books and loved them…who recognized him in line and informed her that he was there…I was going to get nothing).  Katrina raced out of the kitchen and went to retrieve her book.  I, in the mean time, went back out to the dining room so I could watch this person who wrote books that scared the living daylights out of me.  I had to know…was he normal?  What kind of person thought stuff up like that?  Did he consider himself better than those not quite so successful as he? Lots of things went through my mind, I was curious and so I watched him, his every move.

I have to add here that he seemed like a very pleasant man.  His son was quite small then and running happily about the place.  Stephen King chased him as any father would.  They laughed, they had fun.  At one point his son ran passed the buffet table and Mr. King chased after him saying, “Earth to Owen, Earth to Owen!” and then when he finally managed to catch him, he swung him up into the air as little Owen squealed in delight. People constantly bothered him and he was courteous to them all.  He didn’t act weird or bizarre or eerie or anything like the books he produced.  Now, is that passing judgement on someone or what?  Talk about judging a book by its cover, it seems we also judge a writer by his books!

Finally I see Katrina’s dad come out of the kitchen with her book in his hand.  He strides right up to Mr. King (who is still trying to eat his dinner) and asks him if he’ll sign his daughter’s book.  Katrina is hiding in the kitchen, peaking from the doorway.  I go in and tell her how lucky she is to be getting an autographed book.  Slightly miffed, I begin scrubbing pots.  Katrina pitches in to help.  Soon we are both giggling over sudsy water and how we can’t wait to tell everyone at school that we worked at Stephen King’s party.  The kitchen door opens behind us and Katrina’s dad booms in a very loud voice, “Girls, guess who wants to meet you?”  We swing around, our hands dripping in dirty water, suds up to our elbows and stare open mouthed as Stephen King comes over to us and gives a slight bow.  A bow! To us. “Ladies,” he says, “it is a pleasure to meet you and I want to thank you for the excellent job you are doing with this party.”  He holds his hand out and I put my slippery wet hand into his.  He then gallantly raises it to his mouth and kisses the back of it.  He does the same to Katrina.  He asks us which books we’ve read.  I hid my smirk as Katrina admits that she’s just starting The Shining (the book he signed).  I proudly tell him that I’ve read Carrie, Salem’s Lot and The Shining.  He smiles, he’s pleasant, friendly, engaging. Then he says, with regret in his voice (certainly an inflection he put there just for us), “Well, girls, I must get back to my guests.  Thank you again for all your hard work and for reading my books.”  And he was gone.

As I wanted to be a writer at this point in my life, I thought to myself, “Someday, I’m going to be just like that when I’m a rich and famous author!”

On my eighteenth birthday, I went out on my first date (yes, you read that right…I was pathetically lacking in the romance department my entire venture through high school) and he (my date) took me to see The Shining.  I fell in love with the scenery of Colorado (where the movie was shot).  I decided right then and there that I would someday go to Colorado.  And so, indirectly, Stephen King was about to influence one of the most monumental decisions of my life.

A year after graduating high school, I joined the Air Force.  Because they had so many people wanting to go in, I had to wait for a job to open up.  I waited for nine months and then got the call.  My recruiter tells me that a career field has just opened to women.  I would be working outside building munitions (yes, that means things that blow up!).  At the time, I had worked so many office jobs through high school that I wanted something more exciting than a desk to work at.  He tells me that I will be a pioneer, paving the way for future women to follow.  All quite grand to be sure.  But…bombs?  No.  I tell him that I’m not sure that’s what I had in mind when I said I didn’t want to be sitting behind a desk. But then he says, “Well, you’ll be attending technical school in Denver, Colorado. I’ve heard it’s really a nice school.”  I’m sure, thinking back, that the recruiter had no clue on whether the base was nice or not.  It didn’t matter.  I wanted to go to Colorado!  “I’ll take the job.”

While attending basic training, I was taken aside, led into a private room and a man of high rank tried to convince me to change my job choice to something else.  I listened to his spiel and then asked, “Where is the school for this job?”  He says, “California.”  I said, “But I don’t want to go to California, I want to go to Colorado.”  He looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind.  “You are making a career choice based on where the school is located?”  Okay, he can look at me like I’m a moron, I don’t care.  I was determined.  I was going to Colorado.  Truly, he just sat there and looked at me as if I’d suddenly grown a second head and one not so appealing at that!  I figured out many years later why.  Building bombs was not a fun job.  At least, not for me.  In fact, I pretty much hated it for most of my 20 year military career. And that, being stuck in a job I did not enjoy, I can now say was Stephen King’s fault!

I read his book The Stand when I was stationed at a military base in Virginia.  I think it was around 1986.  As I was reading the book one day (people were dying en mass of a flu epidemic in the book) the news came on.  People were dying of a flu epidemic!  I remember being a little freaked out at the coincidence.  Mr. King, I thought, is a smart man!  Thank God we didn’t lose our world population. Still, the book inspired me, and I began writing again.  I wrote my first story at the age of eight.  I was sure I would be an author, a published one within a few years of graduating high school.  But, the Air Force took over my life and then my kids and so it went.  But after reading The Stand, I dug out my old notebooks and began again to dream my dream.

I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, when I read Stephen King’s “On Writing“.  I started the book while my husband was in surgery.  I remember laughing a lot (who knew the master of the macabre had such a great sense of humor?) and getting curious looks from the others sharing the waiting room with me.  Finally I had to go in search of a highlighter.  Good stuff to remember!  I found a store, bought a yellow highlighter and a pen and went back to the waiting room so I could mark my favorite passages and quotes.  There were a lot.

Not long before this, I rediscovered a manuscript I’d started in high school (my first “horror”…inspired after reading Stephen King’s “The Shining”) and thought it must be the universe telling me I needed to finish that story.  It was laying on the bed when I got home from work.  I recognized the notebook right away and wondered why it was there.  I hadn’t seen it in over ten years! (my husband had gone digging for a notebook and of all the notebooks I’d packed away, he pulled that one out and tossed it on the bed).  A friend who knew I was working on a book bought me King’s “On Writing” thinking it would help. It did.  I became more inspired than ever to finish that book!  Someday I will publish “No Matter What”.  But first to get my “Be Still, My Love” out into the reading public.

I’m excited about the pending publication of my book (I’ve decided to join the ranks of other author hopefuls and publish it myself).  It’s been a long journey for me but considering the person from whom I’ve been inspired and influenced, I figure it’s a good omen.  I watched an interview King gave one time and he said, (paraphrasing somewhat) “If a story grabs you and excites you and you can’t wait to write it down…well, then you probably have the potential for a best-seller on your hands.”  That pretty much describes most of the books I’ve written so far! (the first part that is…about the story grabbing me with its hurry to be written down…but not, unfortunately, the second part…yet).  There is one particular quote from Stephen King’s book “On Writing” that really stuck with me all these years.  He said, “If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”  He’s got me there.  Writing is the one thing I’ve been doing almost all my life.  It’s been something of an obsession.  So, it must be my God given gift.  Can’t think what else it could be!  So, thanks, Stephen King, I think I will…take your advice and use my God given gift.

How about you?  Are you using your God given gift?

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Exploring consciousness and spirituality through channelling, out of body experiences, dreams, and communication with those who have passed.

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Emma's Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction

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The Big Séance Podcast

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Theosophy Watch

"Ancient Thought in Modern Dress"

To Become A Writer

Blog home of master wordsmith Renée Pawlish, author of mystery novels, horror books, and the Writers Workshop.

Book Lovers Buffet

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eBooks under $5.00!

Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty, a little bit nice

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Write on the River

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Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

The Reader's Guide to Epublishing

Your destination site for the Best in Ereading

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