Today’s Forecast: Foggy with a Strong Chance of Creative

Today’s Forecast: Foggy with a Strong Chance of Creative

I think most people avoid dark, gloomy weather, but to be honest, I love it!

Maybe there’s something wrong with me. Or maybe it’s my preferred genre, horror, that requires a somber environment.

Whatever the reason, when it’s cold and gray outside, I get the urge to create. I brew some coffee and snuggle under a blanket since I prefer not to wear clothes if I don’t have to, and I dive into the recesses of my imagination, conjuring blood and villains.

So while all those so-called “well adjusted” people out there crave summertime and sunlight and vitamin D, I’m over here waiting for the fog to roll in.
Now remind me … why did I leave Oregon again?

Big hugs!


Rowling is About to Start Another JK Ripple Effect!


With all the hype around JK Rowling’s new movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” I predict we are about to see another wave of what I like to call the JK Ripple Effect.
So how does the JK Ripple effect work?
I’ve noticed that after any new Harry Potter book or movie comes out, we see an explosion of books involving wizardry and magic.
I understand why authors do this. Magic and fantasy are obviously popular topics, and why not give readers what they want? Book fans vote with their hard-earned dollars, and given how many people have plunked down their money on HP tales, they obviously like what they see.
Here’s the thing, though: I think HP would have been popular even if there hadn’t been a single magical element in it. Not a centaur, not a snitch, nor a Nearly Headless Nick. It’s easy to forget that inside all those trappings is a classic coming-of-age story that touches on major themes of hardship, loss, despair and resilience. The books are stuffed full of well-developed, believable characters, and JK managed to work in themes that seem especially relevant in today’s Trump America.
In other words, it isn’t the magic that made HP magic.
I predict that people are going to love Fantastic Beasts. And they will continue to revel in JK’s brilliant worlds. And writers will continue to tap into the fantasy she creates.
So for the next few months, we can expect to see a lot of robes and wands on book covers.
Big hugs!

For All Writers On All Levels…We All Have Critics…


When Criticism Becomes Bullying

So here’s the thing: As a writer, I welcome feedback. I need feedback if I’m going to grow and develop my talents. And book reviews are a great way to get that feedback.

If done well, reviews serve a dual purpose: they not only let potential readers know about the quality of a work, but they can also provide a red flag to observant authors.

But that only works if the feedback is CONSTRUCTIVE. Unfortunately, there’s a line where book reviews can become outright bullying.

Unfortunately, I witnessed this behavior lately. After posting a story to Amazon, I received a scathing review that at first devastated me as a budding writer. Was I really as bad as this person claimed?

It was only after doing some research that I realized it wasn’t personal. This woman wrote a lot of reviews, and I couldn’t find a single one that was positive.

Not one.

In fact, most of the reviews I found weren’t even about books. They were about hair dye.  And candy bars.

Candy bars!8e087caa89abfb1f16a8bd0ed9e7893a

I got over my pain really quickly.

Plus, thankfully, I have received more balanced criticism of my work. I have gotten reviews that told me specifically what worked, what didn’t, and where I could improve my work. It didn’t tear me down without any effort to try to build me back up.

Because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Big hugs!


My Writing Secret: Silver Screen Horror!

Writing can be monotonous business, especially when you live alone, like I do. That’s a lot of hours to spend in front of a computer screen, so I typically turn on an old black-and-white movie and let it play in the background.

My writing companions include Nosferatu, the Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein’s monster.


I don’t typically WATCH the movies – not actively, anyway. In fact, most of the time, they’re on mute. But I take comfort in having them in the background. They give me something to look at when I need a distraction, and they provide the inspiration for the type of horror I like best. What I love about those old-school horror movies is the way directors handled horror in those days. The movies were not only creepier and more gothic, but relied more on building suspense.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love blood and guts. I get why people enjoy today’s more gory horror movies. But back then, directors knew how to allow harness the power of suggestion. They allowed the viewers to torture themselves with their imaginations. 

I like to think that one of my strengths as a writer is creating that same silver-screen suspense in my writing.  Because letting someone’s mind work against them? That’s a power any dom can appreciate!

Big hugs!


Why do I Write Horror?

I suppose anyone who writes horror gets the same question: Why do you write that stuff?
Typically, the person who asks you this question is watching you closely … possibly to make sure you aren’t crazy or homicidal or something.

Well, I’m not crazy or homicidal … as long as I get my coffee in the morning! But I do love writing horror. I also love watching horror. As I mentioned in my post about writing routines, I put on a vintage horror movie every day while I write.
Love horror. Love it.
And for me, it wasn’t an acquired taste. While most people come to horror later in life, once they outgrow the need to sleep with a night light, but I never had to grow into it. I’ve been cool with it as long as I can remember. When I was little, my older siblings would try to scare me by locking me in a dark room while movies like “IT” or “Poltergeist” played. But I was the one who wound up scaring them when I didn’t react the way they thought I should. I seemed to enjoy the movies, and while I’m sure I was in shock, I found excitement and comfort in horror/mystery/thrillers.
I still do to this day. For me, horror writing is like wearing sweats and eating mac and cheese … comfort food for my mind.
Big hugs!

Coffee and Cork Boards: My So-Called Writer’s Life

Writing isn’t one of those things where you snap your fingers and words appear on a page. It’s a slog. You spend hours in front of a computer screen each day. No wonder writers develop little habits and routines.
My routine technically begins before I even open my eyes in the morning. My mind starts racing with ideas, and I start working through issues with the plot.
Once I finally do wake up, I make coffee and I put on an old black-and-white horror film. Those are my fav, though sometimes I just mute the volume so I can see it in the background. It’s nice to have the movement–gives my eyes something to look at!

I have a cork board on the wall near my computer. Every time I come up with an idea, I write it down and tack it up, which means it gets so cluttered I have to clean it like every third day!
Right now I have about four different outlines of “The Midnight Dinner Party” Parts 2 and 3 mingled in with random stuff I like: pictures of haunted mansions. Pictures of fog-shrouded landscapes. A delinquent electric bill. And a pair of high heels I really want!
My workspace makes sense to me, though if a stranger came in and tried to connect the dots, I’d have to say … good luck!
I’m very old school in my way of writing. I do everything by hand, totally OCD. If I don’t like how my handwriting looks, I throw it away and try again until i like it and then I type out the final product.
Which reminds me … I need more pens!
Oh well. The writer life’s for me!
Big hugs!

Splatterpunk? Or Just Scary?

Hyper intensive horror with no limits–that’s how I’ve seen splatterpunk defined. Graphic, gory, gut-wrenching, stomach-turning. If done well, Splatterpunk fiction is visceral and upsetting. It is even more divisive than a presidential campaign, creating dedicated fans or outright haters. Critics keep claiming the genre is as dead as some of its victims, yet it persists, filling readers with graphicscenes of blood.


So what’s a good lil’ girl like me doing writing such awful stuff?
Well to be fair, I don’t really write splatterpunk completely. I write about torture, yes, and snuff and kinky sex, but my line walks a fine balance between being terrifying and horrific. I don’t delve into the bloody little details that define most splatterpunk stories. Instead of showing you outright, I’d rather tease you with tiny glimpses of what’s happening. It’s a bit like a burlesque for bloodletting; I hint at what could be, and I let your mind fill in the details. I have no doubt it’s up to the challenge …
And then sometimes I just let the guts fly.

Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on my latest project, a three-part serial novel called ”The Midnight Dinner Party.” I will be publishing it soon, and it does involve some torture. But is it splatterpunk? I’ll let you decide once you read it!
Big hugs!