Thursday, May 31, 2012

Will the Real Retro Zombie Pleeeez Stand Up?

Hello, my pretties. As promised I am bring you a taste of the sublimely odd, the uniquely retro by way of Mr. Retro Zombie himself, Jeremy Hawkins. Please give him a round of applause for putting up with my crazy questions. I got him to open up and give me some great answers to some tough questions ( I especially wanted to know if he was a Cubs or a Sox fan). And he has a book out, and I'll provide the link within this post so that you can check it out.

One of my first questions: (and this has been bugging me) Why Retro-zombie? Are you into zombies? And retro? Explain. (this should be good)

I started my zombie love a few years back and it started as a joke on my website and has turned into a monster of a site. A joke because I wanted to make famous people into the walking dead, funny thing it was more of a success than I would ever know. Now I have been working on the crossover to all things retro and that isn’t true either, I just want it to have the feel of that.  What is retro anyways? I mean what does it mean to me…I have always loved things from the past sometimes the older the better. I used to do photo restoration and loved imagery of old photographs and it became my weird passion. This had nothing to do with the zombies and I said in my head… passion meets dead stuff, brain meets design and me somewhere in the middle… like two great things I invented my version of the Retro-Zombie… So less Zombies, More Retro…

I notice that you have below the title “Art is available for print” - this would be promoting a service, I'm presuming?

Most of the time I build the design for things I am working on and make the art/design bigger than it needs to be, if you see any thing made by me on my sites… there is always. I think that after I am gone someone is going to find these things I made and think… wow he was an artist, let’s sell it now that he is gone. I wanted to leave some type of legacy of being on this Earth for so many years, if were a child, book or a piece of art… so far two out of three isn’t bad. So I guess to answer your question, you can get my stuff from me… I am hoping you find something you like.

Your book is images and words. You said to me that it's like a coloring book for adults. Some are rather interesting and I see that you use skulls and skeletons on a couple of pages. These images you've layered over words, and words over images, and that's pretty cool. How could this apply to something a person needed for, say a blog, or is there something specific one could use this for as in a book, if they needed it?

I see everything as some type of art from old books to street signs I have always done this seeing life in a photograph or design. I know you are going to laugh at me but I am going to share this weird passion with you I go to World War II reenactments from time to time and I try to take different things each time I go… one year it was things of metal, next it was people, next abstract things… So this real pretty lady dressed to the nines from head to toe… I asked her if I could shoot her legs to show her stockings. I got the weirdest look from her and the several people around, I got my shot… I say it is just different. You dress up you have to think there are weirdos like me there. It wasn’t that I was trying to be dirty I just wanted the certain look.

So I got away from the question, I love meshing text with images… I think I have 75,000 images of stuff on my computer just to maybe use it someday. I have no problems designing things for people might need it; I get requests to make something special for banners/badges/headers. People get the wrong idea that I design just monster stuff, not true… here is just some of the things I am able to do, it’s a great feeling when it’s not spooky. I am not a monster, really… I am what I call a retro artist, I love making things look old or make old things new… did I mention I am not a monster?

Pssst: He is willing to work for you! Prices are very reasonable! He does ebook covers and you can hire him for creating banners, badges, and blog headers. Some of these are familiar to me. Go and check them out!

Your poetry:
I see throughout that in some cases you take a familiar line, a cliché, and skewed it either slightly, or have fashioned a new meaning from it, and you've arranged these into poems. I write poetry too and know it takes me a while to come up with lines and then sometimes they just slam into me and I have to get it all down or I lose it. How do you go about this?
I love some of these lines. [a quote from “Fear” on page 10]:“Knives steal wounded blood” and I find that when you read “Monsters” you have drawn from life—“borrow our tools from neighbors” You realize the monsters are everywhere in real life, and they are us. I tend to agree.

It’s funny I love words not for just the meaning of what they are suppose to mean, but what they could mean. I like to take a meaning and reverse it, if to scare you, make you think or at the very least pull a reaction. I am not even sure sometimes what I am going to get when I start, but I guess that is everyone. Sometimes it rolls like water so fast I cannot keep up, like a dream where you have to remember key words or it is lost. I sometimes just fill ideas around the key words and make something more than it was ever meant to be. I will use the alphabet sometimes to in my head by giving a subject its own letter example: Gnome… A is…, B is…, C is… and fill it in until the letter Z. Monsters are everywhere and it’s just a matter to look at things on an angle, I wrote a piece called “Paper Clips” where the meaning is you can hurt someone… maybe kill them with the smallest object. Just the way you use it, we see evil… but can you simplify it to innocence?

I LOVE that answer! I've experimented with words too, in my poetry. You get hooked so easily when you do this chaotic thing with words. Cool!

Tell us a little bit about Howlin' Wolf Records and how you became involved in this blog and promotions?

The creator of Howlin’ Wolf Records, Wall Crumpler, is great person, as him and I are always trying to figure out how we became friends. We just are and we are both happy how things turned out, I started covering score releases that came out from the label. I started asking questions to him, the composers, actors of the films being composed and finally the film’s directors. It opened up to me doing some designs for them to help promote their stuff as it got released and over the next several years I wanted to do more. I approached them to be their update site, but didn’t want to lose what I have accomplished so far.  I will be still doing the same types of reviews, music and interviews… just with a little more backing from this independent label. We shook our virtual hands and with a little design… name change we are working together. It opens some better doors for several reasons… you are no more just a blog covering stuff; you are a site being backed by a real place. Hopefully together we can share our common passion for music, books, art, films and talented people across the world. My idea is of Pinocchio from wood to a little boy and finally an adult… where wood he is now.


Rules of this is I give you a choice and you pick one. Ready? Here goes...

Chevy, all the way… I drive a Chevy S-10… 

Cherry Coke, but the kind where they put the cherry juice in it. 

Baseball… who cares about baseball? Go Bulls! :)

VAMPIRES or ZOMBIES? (trick question)

VAMPIRES or DEMONS? (I think he's sweating now)
This is tough, but I say Vampires!


Superman! We have a family tribute to my brother’s son Alex who died a couple years back and he was strong man confined to a wheelchair his whole life. He was strong like Superman we always said, also been a fan for years… let me show you my collection.

Okay these are arbitrary questions relating to vampires:

Which would you go to see:

Vampires playing baseball


Zombies playing Quiddich?

If we are talking about “Harry Potter” Quidditch I am so going to say this, because I feel the first option fits into the modern eyes on the vampire lore. Zombies playing any type of sport would sometimes feel like watching golf, but from 200 feet away from the action.

Which do you prefer?

Sparkly vampires or non-sparkly vampires?

Non-Sparkly… I think it is an insult to the world of vampires from the goth to the writings, because they all work so hard to make it a statement. Not just some crazy attempt to sell some type of watered down soda pop to a bunch of teenie-boppers. I would like to call them “Suckers”… no insult intended. Now I am basing this off the movies, not the books… my wife says that the books are much better.

I had a great time getting to know and interview Jeremy Hawkins. I hope you go and visit his blog and check out the other links here too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Rasputin's Gaze

Hello, my pretties! I thought I would do something a little different today. Instead of giving a teaser from one of my books, I'm going to treat you to a portion of someone else's. This book is called "Rasputin: The Holy Devil" by Rene Fulop-Miller. No, you've never heard of this one as it was printed in 1928. This is a book I coveted so much in high school, I never took it back to the library (shhh!) It not only covers Rasputin's life, but also the last days of the Emperor of Russia and his family, how it came about, in great detail. The historical factor alone is a given. But I must admit I have been smitten by those eyes, even through the lens of a camera!
Rasputin the holy monk
I recall finding this book and began reading about the most fascinating holy man of his time, Grigori Efimovich Rasputin. His gaze, and the miracles he performed became widely known. But the one thing that made him most famous was the fact that he was able to some how alleviate the hemophilia of Alixis, the young czarevich, when no doctor could. After which he gained influence over the Empress Alexadra, and eventually Nicholas II--the last Tsar of Russia. Rasputin's end was not pretty. He was assassinated, but it took a lot to put this holy man down. Drowning was the official cause of death, but they had poisoned, shot and threw him into a river--there was actually a bullet hole in this forehead!

Rasputin's infamous gaze became well known throughout the country. No matter who you where, or what youy thought of him (even if they hated him), they were all affected by his mesmerizing gaze. Here are a couple of excerpts:

All the characteristins which had made him seem coarse and common on his first entry into the drawing-rooms of St. Petersburg underwent a peculiar transfiguration in the eyes of his credulously enthusiastic women worshippers. While they nervously awaited his coming a stifling atmosphere of overwrought excitement hung over the expectant company. When at last the door opened and revealed Rasputin on the threshold, a tremor passed through all present, as at the announcement of a miraculous event.  If he stopped before the women to kiss them three times with bowed head after the manner of the wandering monks, they thrilled with ecstasy of a religious experience, and called him by names proper only to a saint. They were convinced that God revealed Himself in his words, that the Holy Ghost met them in the glance of his little, water-blue eyes, that his touch transmitted even to their sinful bodies the grace dwelling in him and that his kisses and embraces sanctified each one of his faithful disciples.
Many people, of course, attempted to withstand Rasputin's magic.They tried to keep their heads, and fought with all their might against his compelling influence. But even the few who succeeded, and continued to see the human being with his common features, small, cunning eyes, and unkempt beard, could not quite escape his mysterious power.

Some spoke of hypnotism, and tried to break the strange spell of the miracle-worker with a dry, scientific word; but this was of little avail against the living impression of Rasputin's personality.

"How peculiar his eyes are," confesses a woman who had made efforts to resist his influence. She goes on to say that every time she met him she was always amazed afresh at the power of this glance, which it was impossible to withstand for any considerable time. There was something oppressive in this kind and gentle, but at the same time sly and cunning, glance; people were helpless under the spell of the powerful will which could be felt in his whole being. However tired you might be of this charm, and however much you wanted to escape it, somehow or other you always found yourself attracted back and held.

I wanted to include more, but maybe next time I'll put up an actual moment from the book of someone's experience in his presence. Hope you liked it. And I hope all my Russian readers liked it too *waves*

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Watch Your Language!

Hello, my pretties. I see I've got  your attention. Good.

Today I wanted to talk about the language you will find your characters using in fantasy. Especially when this fantasy takes place in another world, or a distant past. It's important to figure out early how your characters will talk before you begin writing a page of dialogue. Or, at least at some point in your first draft.

It took me maybe 5 years to work on my first fantasy, Spell of the Black Unicorn. While working on it, I realized that these people may have different sayings. You know those trite things people say. Like For Pete's sakes! That sort of thing? Well, they wouldn't say this if they were from another planet, would they? They have a different life apart from ours, so everything they say, and even the way they may think is quite different. They may have different terms for things. And their rules of life, as well as how punishment is worked out, would be different. Especially when you're dealing with magical beings.

A short description:
Zofia Trickenbod is from another planet, but is stuck on Earth for the time being, as she's sworn protector of the Stone of Irdisi, and needs to keep it out of the hands of a very evil sorcerer. the humans are called ugwumps, and her invisible servant, Biddle is a Ghogal. Both of these are made up words, and believe me it took me a while to come up with them. I had to make sure that neither one was used as something, just in case.

The word Transvect is not a made up word. It means to move--fly, basically--from one place to another. I have a number of books on witchcraft and came across it one day. This was used in the days when people believed that witches could fly. It was perfect, and because it no longer is in use, it does sound made up.

Whenever I felt that my character had to curse, I wanted to stay away from modern, Earthly terms. I began to experiment with other things. Using words that they would use, plus a code of conduct. Here's what I came up with:

Set-up, Zofia's long-thought dead husband, Dorian, returns/finds her on Earth and she has let him into her home. She has learned he has been turned into a vampire.

Eyes watching his languid gate, they slid up to his butt.Imps! Didn't mean to go there! It wasn't like she could claim him as her husband. He was an Undead, and under Code 137-7 (or was it Code 126-7?), the Undead could not return to their home and claim to be married, because of the Taboo against doing it with a vampires. Taboos were definitely the biggest no-no's to break. Breaking Code was one thing, and people broke one or more on a daily bases. Breaking any Taboo brought some serious consequences, and usually someone would find out because someone would blab. It could send you into Hamparzum's, which was filled with the most vile and wicked wizards, sorcerers, demons, Ghogals, and anything else they threw in there. You'd be lucky to survive it, and if you did, come back sane.

Dorian explains what happened and why it took him so long to find her:

"Not only was my soul taken, but also my memory. That's why I couldn't communicate to you what had happened." He stifled another yawn with a fist to his mouth. "Sorry," he said. Glancing at his watch he said, "Oracle of Zamora! No wonder I feel dead on my feet. I need my nap." He surged up the stairs. Half way up he paused, pivoted, and regarded her. "This is all your house, isn't it? I mean, you don't share it with any Ugwumps, do you?"

My thought on the Codes of Ethics and figuring out a form of punishment/jailing for infractions and serious crime-doing by magical beings such as sorcerers. Hamparzum's is not a jail, it is a place. I explain further into the story how all the imprisoned are magically held there. It is also guarded by other creatures if one wanders too close to it.

I figured out along the way that these people were originally from Earth and right around the time when they began persecuting witches, the Immortals found a new home, and were able to take them there in magical orbs, and things called a Sorcerer's Tree.

When I began writing this story, in the very beginning, I was going to write a mystery and Zofia was going to be a common, everyday woman who owned a wiccan shop. There would be a murder, and something would happen at her shop that would draw her into this murder (a cozy, I guess). At some point, Zofia decided she was NOT a human, but a sorceress. Zofia has far more exciting things to do than just work in a shop. Further more, she wasn't from Earth, but from another planet, they call Euphoria where they rule and the humans are somewhat inferior to them. But all kinds of fantasy creatures abound. Especially unicorns.

This book was written after I began consuming the first of the Harry Potter series. I realized that I loved fantasy the most. You can allow your imagination to soar.

It took me about 5 years from start to publication (self-published). I was so very excited to finally have a book with my name on it in physical form. But because I used a second party by which to publish this (had to pay for it), they set the price for the book, and there was no ebook (unless I paid again for that). Well, I've taken control out of their hands--which was a little bitter sweet, since this book meant so much to me, and they were very easy to work with and answered questions within 24 hours. But, again, I had no control over the price of the book. It was going for $17.95. Since the first year it came out, I've sold 0 books. It made no since in leaving it with them when I could put it out there as my own Indie book, and put it out as an ebook on Amazon, and Smashwords, and set the prices myself.

Well, that's what I plan on doing. When that will happen, I don't know. I've got other things I'm working on. But this book, and its sequel are special to me, as it was the first book I ever had published. Both the first book, and sequel, are paranormal romances, and I'd love to get this first one out there again, give it new wings, because I think people will like it!

Hope I've given you things to ponder about your next fantasy.

Hope everyone has a happy, safe, and good Memorial weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Passion. The word can apply to writing. It can apply to anything you feel is important to you.

But it is the title of a season #2, episode 17 of Buffy. Written by Ty King and directed by Michael E. Gershman, it was one of the more emotion-filled episodes of that season. It was building up to something.

You might recall when Angel lost his soul and began to target people around Buffy--her, and her best friend, Willow, and then Giles. This is the one where Angel kills Jenny Calendar, sets things up in Giles' place to look as though they are about to have a romantic interlude and he finds Miss Calendar dead in a bed of roses.

Whenever I find myself at a loss for creating some sort of emotions in my characters, when I have trouble showing the conflict, and yet underlying that the love between two people is there even when neither speaks of it. There is always Buffy to the rescue. Joss Whedon's show has always been one of my favorites, but its also one to put on when I feel I need a boost to my writing. Joss is able to take two characters and make them so real, the situation real, like the "talk" between Buffy and her mom. Or when Giles goes to exact revenge on Angel, and Buffy gets there in the nick of time, but because the place is on fire--and Angel points out that Giles might burn--she has to save him and let Angel go. Giles says to her, "This wasn't your fight!" But you know it was, really.
Buffy hits him. "What are you trying to do? Get yourself killed?"
"I can't go on with out you!" Buffy tells him and they crumple swept up in their raw emotions.

We need passion in our writing, but we also need the emotional pendulum. We need to pull the reader into these emotions, get them worked up, weep when someone dies, or when things seem lost. It's tough to do. It's easy to write a book and set sail on calm seas, but if you don't show more than just conflict, if you don't show love, hate, jealousy, and justify it in the end, your reader won't really care either.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To Ride A Punca Tour with Heather McCorkle!

Hello, my pretties. Today I have a special treat, and I'm very excited about it. A very good friend of mine, Heather McCorcle's book ,To Ride a Punca, is making the rounds on the blogs for a tour. Give Heather a nice warm greeting, please, and maybe there might be a little something fun for you to win, if you behave yourselves!
Take it away, Heather!

Hi Lorelei and friends, thanks for having me over. Today I’m dropping by to celebrate the release of my young adult historical fantasy about the last of the druids in ancient Ireland, To Ride A Puca. Though parts of it were heartbreaking to write, this one was a labor of love that will always hold a special place in my heart. Here is a bit about it:

Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again.

Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?

Disclaimer: This novel contains some violence and difficult subject matter. It is recommended for mature YA and up.

I’ll be giving away great prizes, a new one to a new winner, every week for the next four weeks. This week I’m giving away an eBook of BECOME by Ali Cross, a twist on a Norse tale that will leave you breathless, and RUNNING WIDE OPEN by Lisa Nowak, an adrenalin pumping ride with a hot tempered teen who loves car racing. Stop by this link to enter to win. The contest will be open until May 27th, the winner to be announced on the 28th.

Wow! This looks like a great read, Heather. And I know you are very passionate about your writing, Heather, as we've been pals from our beginnings here at blogspot! Thank you for coming over for a visit! It was great!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Dante, shift changer

If I've posted this one before, forgive me. Perhaps those who did not see it before (if I did post it before), will find it amusing, and if not somewhat intriguing.

Absently, I threw some fluffy white kernels on the floor for Dante, who snapped them up with his tongue as though he were starving to death, and then looked expectantly up at me for more. He had wolfed down his share of spaghetti earlier, and didn't complain that the sauce had come out of a jar — something he would never have served were he human, as he's part Italian. I was convinced that he'd had plenty to eat — for a dog. I quickly reminded myself he'd gone through a lot in the past forty-eight hours, and I didn't blame him for being overly hungry.
Earlier, when I'd arrived, Jena and Tera both had thrown their arms around Dante as soon as they saw him. From all the excitement generated by “the dog,” I was certain that it would be difficult to get them to bed. But they had gone obediently up to bed about an hour after dinner, and I'd read from one of their story books while Dante lay on the floor beside us with his head between his paws. It wasn't long before the girls had dozed off.
Dante made one of his soft “woof” sounds, startling me, when I quit throwing him popcorn.
It's gone,” I said. “See? You ate more than me.” I tipped the empty bowl toward him, and he stuck his head into it, and licked it. I yanked it away from him and set it on the table. He stuck his head in and licked the bowl again.
No!” I jumped up and grabbed the bowl before he knocked it off the table, and took it into the kitchen, placing it in the sink. Dante followed me the whole way, tail wagging, then followed me back out. He jumped up on the couch with me and knocked me back. I half-giggled and half-grumbled at him for it. He was in a playful mood, and I had to tussle with him some before he settled down. He was a heavy dog, probably a sturdy, solid eighty pounds of muscle. I tried to push him off, but he would have none of it, so I lay there with a large, black dog sprawled half-way on top of me, wondering how this would look if Randy and Constance came through the door just then. At least he hadn't tried to hump me. He was still a gentleman, even in dog-form.
Then he became uncharacteristically still. I studied him. He looked as if he were going to be sick.
Oh, God. Don't be sick all over me,” I said, desperately trying to push him off.
With a loud whimper, his body made a sudden jerk.
Dante, what's wrong?” I tried to keep my voice down. The open oak stairs weren't far from where I sat, and the girls might hear us. I didn't want them to come down wondering what was happening, and then see something they shouldn't.
Dante made another heart-wrenching sound, and then something happened. Right in front of me—and on top of me—he shifted. The bones in his body moved with an awful bone crunching sound that made me grit my teeth. I felt his body elongate, then his head reshaped itself, and I actually saw his dog form change, the entire molecular restructuring happening right before my eyes. The next thing I knew I was drenched in something warm and liquid-y. I didn't understand it. My brain thought blood, but I looked and saw that it was clear, warm, gelatinous liquid. Ewww, yuck!
The jaguar's eyes glinted, they were a beautiful green with dilated pupils. With his large paws on my chest — much larger than the dog's — he stared down at me and made a loud purring. I saw his long tail whip around behind him. A moment later, he made another more vicious sound, and I saw a flash of huge, dagger-like teeth. Oh, crap. I hoped he wasn't hungry. My heart thudded inside my chest. I held my breath as he dipped his head toward me.
Stiffening, I snapped my eyes closed and felt a big, raspy tongue lick up my neck and over my face, again and again. Then, he licked lower, to my chest and arms. I looked to find that he was actually cleaning the viscous liquid off me. Relief flooded me.
Good kitty,” I said, my voice shaking. I hoped he didn't sense that he'd scared the pee out of me. They say animals know when you're frightened of them. I didn't want the jaguar to become too interested in me.
Very, very slowly, I brought my hand up to his head. He didn't seem to mind that I touched him as I smoothed my hand over his beautiful, soft fur. This was the first time I'd ever seen him up close and personal as his chosen animal. His coat wasn't totally black. I could see some iridescent purple coloring as spots, over his body. The bright green eyes contrasted like jewels against black velvet. He was a gorgeous animal. I thought that if I were a lady jaguar I'd be into him. I admonished myself for the devilish ideas that evolved from that one little innocent thought. I never knew what exactly we'd done that first night I had shifted into my Were-animal, and he'd turned into a wolf. For all I knew, we had a fantastic time, werewolf-style.
His tongue slid over my face, not as wetly as a dog's tongue, it felt like a soft version of a rasp. In fact, I thought he'd taken some skin with it from the way it had felt. Nothing like getting exfoliated by a jaguar.
Damn it, Dante, get off me. You're heavy!” He was. I thought he must weigh in at two hundred pounds of cat easily. If he were a wild cat, he'd have chowed down on me right there in my brother's living room.
Then, something happened, and I saw the cat throw its head back and let out a loud, primal screech. Stunned, I pressed myself back, beyond imagining what more terrifying might occur at this point.
Again, I felt his body shift. The icky bone crunching, sliding sounds associated with his shifting filled my ears. Once again, the warm liquid coated me. While my feminine side was worried about cleaning up the yuck, my more logical side wondered what animal he had shifted into, and worried it would eat me because it would undoubtedly be hungry after shifting so many times in such a short time.
I heard a gasping above me, felt strands of silk touching my skin at my neck and face. I realized I had shut my eyes and now opened them to look up into Dante's face. The silk had been his beautiful long black hair, only, it was wet with the slime.
I pulled in a sharp sound of marvel. “Oh, my God! You're back!” I shrieked, grasping his face in my hands. I wanted to pull him into a fierce hug, but first things first.
I was suddenly aware that I had a naked man on top of me — his eyes tightly closed and his face pulled into a grimace as though still feeling the effects of shifting — but a naked man. No matter what, an animal on top of me would have been a whole lot easier to explain away — naked man, not so easy. I feared that one, or both girls could be spying on us right at that moment, and I strained my neck to scan the stairs. I didn't see any little pair of hands on the open railings, no little faces peering out at us. I eased out a sigh of relief — we were okay, for now.
Dante lifted himself up on elbows and knees, and looked down at himself as though checking to make sure all his equipment was intact. It was, I assure you, and he was awfully glad to be with me, and that one detail was not lost on me, believe me.
Oh, hell,” he groaned as his body sagged back down, and his head rested on my shoulder. I was awash with the shifting goo again.

Coffee Klatch Monday ~ How YOU Doin'?

G'mornin' my pretties!

After my big post yesterday, and all the turn out for it here and at facebook, I'm gonna swing things over to you.

How long have you been writing, and why did you stick with it? Any bumps along the way. Some of you, I know your story, but I'm inviting you to share if you want.

So... how are you dealing with your writing? Any thing you want to share go for it here, or if you can't leave a message, hit me over on facebook. I'm a good listener.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Milestone~Forty Years of Writing!

I was digging around in a box of old writings I had--yep, kept stuff from way back--trying to find an older story, and didn't realize the germ of the idea was something I'd written in 1979, for a creative writing class I took in college. I graduated from high school in 1972, but I didn't get my 2 year degree until ten years later in 1982. This piece I had written in 2001, and tried to publish it--but got rejected. It's called "The Unholy Devil", it was a short story about Rasputin--one of my favorite historical figures.

I am a prolific writer, and when my father died, and I had to clean out things that I had left there from the 1970's thru the 1980's, I discovered whole drawers full of my writing. I brought back one box and 3 large paper bags filled with paper--all with my writing on it!

I had to get rid of most of it, some of it was pretty bad. I don't know how many pages this could have been. But piled up it would have probably reached my chin. Novels of my fantasies (non-stop, in the beginning written on Gregg lined notebooks) about the Beatles and me. Other fantasies that might be considered sci-fi, adventure, and LOTS of poetry.

I was an artist turned to a writer. (My 2 year degree is in art.) When I took a creative writing class in my senior year in high school, and took it again (with teacher's permission), I realized I could put down a story in writing much faster than my little cartoons. So, when I was near the end of my senior year (looking forward to not being in school), I told my English teacher that I wanted to become a writer/author. She told me that I would be better off doing something else because my spelling and grammar was terrible.

Can you imagine? She pointed this out, and thank you for that, but she said nothing about my writing abilities. So, in my last year of college I was pleased to see they had a creative writing course and I took it (because I did not quit writing just because someone told me I couldn't spell). Mind you, this was years later, and I had continued to write and tried to work on those areas of spelling etc.

The creative writing teacher in that college class was much kinder. He encouraged us all. Me too! I had a terrible time with teachers who chose to ignore me because they thought perhaps I was a lost cause. I couldn't learn. I had trouble. Duh! I'm dyslexic, come to find out (not until I turned 40, did I figure this out about me).

So, back to this piece I was scrounging around for (and my re-writing of it will probably publish/put up somewhere). Inside the file folder, with this typed up manuscript (2001), I found the ORIGINAL yellowed paper, typed up on two pages. I had dated it April 1979? (the question mark, because I wasn't sure). The title was Father Gregori. It was very different from the story which came from it, but my teacher very lightly circled misspelled words in red, made little notes where it was "good" and one where a line was "vague". At the end he wrote: "Good character sketch - clear conflict - I see this as one scene of a longer story - needs expansion so that the reader has time to develop certain attitudes and expectations"

I wish I could remember this teacher's name, but it escapes me now. He was a writer, as well as an English teacher. Soft-spoken, red hair, and I remember he had this way of wetting his finger to turn pages on the inside of his bottom lip. I remember after that year he was moving, his wife had some sort of military job and he was taking time off to write. He was published in various small publications--which he had given us addresses of and encouraged us all to try them. Which, of course, I did. My first piece was published in ByLine, which back then was not as tough to break into, and allowed people who were just starting out writing to be published. I remember being thrilled about it. I had a few other things published in ByLine over the years, but that first piece had lifted my hopes.

Aside from the writing classes, I did join a writing critique group in 1983-84. I learned much while there, saw one of our members get a contract with Zebra for her historical novel (which thrilled me beyond measure).
After that experience, I took time off from writing, but always had to come back to it. I could not stay away from it. When I did, I missed it. I realized something after a 4-year time away from it (while working on my crafts), that nothing else gave me the sense of accomplishment that writing did.

With that said, you must realize it has taken me all this time to have a novel accepted by a publisher. I joked that I would paper my walls with the rejections slips. When I reached my 40's it seemed like a string of dreams crashed every time I got a rejection slip! By age 50, I decided I'd had enough and would self-publish. The new age of Internet was what brought me around to this. But you still had to pay someone to do this. Now, anyone who has the ambition can publish a novel, short story, etc. How times have changed. I'm still not certain for the better. The jury is still out on this one, because a lot of bad writing is put out there, along with the good.

As for me, I need an editor. I may self-publish my original Spell of the Black Unicorn, again, which is back in my possession and I do want to re-work it and try and put it out on Amazon or somewhere. At this point, if I make a little money, it's fine. For the last 3 years I made $1.79 (not sure how that happened, as the book was for sale at $17.95) from that book, after having made all of my $400, and a little bit more that I had paid them.

So, maybe you could call me the writer who never gave up. I'm like Harry Potter--the boy who lived. I survived those decades, did not give up. I saw times when a writer could still approach a major publisher w/o an agent, and now, you need no agent, no publisher, if you don't wish to go through that headache and heartache.

So, you now know I do know the struggle of getting no where, spinning my wheels, coming up short and wanting to throw out my writing, and give up.

I sure didn't give up. I may have taken breaks, which allowed me to come back fresh and excited about it, and things keep on changing. For the better or for the worse, I don't know. I only wish I had had the chances some of you have now. You would wait months to get some manuscript back from either a publisher or an agent back then--only to have to try the next one. That was the only thing I gave up on--traditional publishers and agents.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Post ~ Events

Birdsong waking me up in the morning... nothing better. Unless I'm outside enjoying coffee with my husband. The birds were all making a good racket. The woodpecker drumming on his favorite branch, the geese down in the pond getting things going early as the sun rose in the east. Beautiful morning, but will become hot quickly. He has just installed the window air conditioner in my office, so I'll be comfy (^;

Got a few things to announce. First, my third book, Vampire Nocture, is with my publisher, so that's out of my mind for now. Then, after finishing the short story, I went and turned to the fourth book. Wouldn't you know it? Like a siren's song, I was drawn to it. This one is slightly different, and a little bit of a challenge as I will be writing the book from different POV from other characters, such as Bjorn Tremayne, Bill Gannon, and so on. I'm writing from Sabrina's POV in first person. Everyone else is in 3rd person. This one has required me to look into different real places for the book. I've had to pull up maps of places like Colorado Springs, and also Paris. I happen to love doing research, so I don't mind digging up stuff for the background of my characters. It takes time, but I don't mind it. I like to take Sabrina to new places. Some places I've been before (like Colorado Springs/Colorado, Nebraska, etc.), and others I've never been at all (like Paris).


Up-coming post: I will have author, Heather McCorkle over for a visit on Thursday. I'm very happy to be part of her book tour, for her book To Ride a Puca. This sounds like a great read about the Druids! I'm excited for Heather!

My good friend, Carole Gill also has a book tour coming up, and it is very exciting for her as she is re-releasing her book, The House on Blackstone Moor. To find where she will be visiting in the upcoming weeks, you can go to her blog HERE. to find the links for each stop. There will be giveaways too.

Do you have any plans for the weekend? Let me know, leave a comment, if you want.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random Act of Kindness

Kindness is POWERFUL! We, as writers, know what it's like day in and day out.  We all have hit the wall, whether it is with a piece of writing, or knowing where to turn for advice, and help. Personally, I don't know what I would do without a lot of you guys! I wrote before the Internet and blogging was there, and believe me it was lonely, scary--scarier than it is now. Some of you have no idea what that was like having no one to turn to, unless you were part of a writing group.

I've come to know a LOT  of kind people out there, and at the end of this post I will be mentioning some of you, so PAY ATTENTION! YOU WILL GET THIS AWARD!

With that said I just want to turn you attention to The Bookshelf Muse who has brought a lot of us together to commemorate and celebrate these Random Acts of KINDNESS. To commemorate their release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, that is free to you when you go to their site, Becca and Angela are hosting their Random Acts of Kindness BLITZ for writers. They are encouraging us to name some people we feel deserve the award. This is like a "thank you" to those people who have helped us in some way--big or small--maybe posting you as a guest on their blog, or maybe they have helped you with critiques, or maybe they have offered kind words when you were down. It doesn't mater how, but the fact that they were there when you needed them.

I'm naming three people today, and I want you to go and visit them.

Shelly Arkon for all her acts of kindess, and helping critique a novel of mine, even though she is as busy as ever, now with her grandchild to take care of. She is someone who will not let you down!  YOU ROCK, SHELLY!

I also want to thank author, Carole Gill, who has been helpful and we are now in a joint venture of blogging and possibly much more in the future. We seem to have a lot in common, vampires are just one of those things. YOU ROCK CAROLE!

And Heather McCorkle was my very first follower, and we both came over from another site, and have been following one another ever since--oh golly, it might be 4 years or more! Could that be right? Anyway, she has always been there, and I've always enjoyed her beautiful writing and we have done guest blogs and will continue to do so. She is one of the more genuine people you could ever know out there. HEATHER YOU ROCK!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Coffee Klatch Monday ~ Self Publishing

Hello, and good morning to all!

Today I would normally be at work but I've taken the day off. I'm busy getting the sheets washed while doing this, so I'm getting two things done at once!

Today I want to send you over to Rach Writes because she has been doing a series on self-publishing that I could never have time to do here, nor can I think of anyone around who has brought in so many helpful people to answer questions about self-publishing. Today she has as guest post Rachel Morgan. You will want to stop by because not only do you get pros and cons on using Amazon as apposed to Smashwords, but there is also a giveaway (ecopy) of Guardian (Creepy Hollow #1). But if any of you are thinking of getting your book, or even short stories up and out there on Amazon/smashwords, you'll want to go to Rach Writes.

Rach has hosted the Writers' Platform-building Campaign--which I participated in last year, and it was fun, but very time consuming. She now is participating in something called Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. I may have to go and see what this is all about. I think it sounds great! And I'll have to stop in and see what this is all about. If you go to Bookshelf Muse you can find out how to get a free gift, and join in the Blitz. I think it sounds wonderful!

It's all there, and I really hope you'll stop in and take advantage of this months' posts on self-publishing.

I need to read up on this stuff as well. I have this delivered to my email box whenever there's a new post. So, there you go, my random act of kindness has begun here! Take care all!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Potter More ~ Have you joined yet?

Back when the last movie in the Harry Potter series had come and gone, I found the site to sign up for "Potter More". I had no idea what it would be, and since I didn't want the series to go away, or to miss out on whatever Rowling had going there after, I signed up. And I waited...

Noting happened for many months (since I may have signed up back in July of 2011), and finally, I get an email today and had to go and join this site if this link doesn't work here, it might work if you put it in search engines. (It came to me in email.) Anyway, it was the most pleasant experience as I've ever had in joining any site, and it asked if you are magical. By merely signing up, I've found out that I am magical... but I've always known that *snicker*.

J.K. Rowling must have had a team of people working on setting this all up. There is a shop and a blog as well. You will get regular emailings, and can buy the ebooks too, but I won't since I've got the actual books and have no desire to buy an ebook. But it's all fun, and there's a bit of the magic of the series found at these places. I know that this is geared more for the younger set, but I am young at heart and will forever be a Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling fan.

Now. Today is a beautiful day here, and I've finished all my housework, and plan on enjoying a gorgeous sunny day and go for a walk later. Hey! I lost 4 pounds this week after starting a diet. Good for me!

See you all later this week! Thanks for dropping by and leave a comment if you wish!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Milestone: Third book sent off to publisher

Artwork done by Lorelei Bell in "paints"
Breathing in.... and exhaling. This is what it feels like to me. Freeing! Like I'm out on a lake somewhere fishing.

I've just delivered my 3rd book to my editor, Yolanda Campbell at Copperhill Media. That's right, Vampire Nocturne, the third book in the series, is in the hands of my publisher. Now you all get to wait, and wait, and wait...

I made the decision back a few months ago, that once I got this one done and out, I would take a little break. That's not to say that the fourth book won't be written. It's actually 90% done. I still have some scenes to work on and add to it. But I've other projects I'd like to work on during the next 3 months--through the summer. I'm hopeful to get my first self-published book, Spell of the Black Unicorn, into shape, and want to get it to Smashwords or whatever, by this fall and go Indie with it. I have no idea what I'm doing, really, or what to expect. I will be peddling this one of as a paranormal romance, since it seems to be more that than anything else. Back when I wrote it, I don't even know if the phrase even existed, or if it did I had no idea what it meant.

I'm working on a few shorter projects, as well. I have to get a short story done before the deadline, and I think it should be ready soon. I've got a few guests coming on my blog soon--this month, in fact. Heather McCorkle is taking her latest book tour (Puca tour), and will be on Lorelei's Muse on the 24th.

I also will have Jeremy Hawkins, a.k.a. Retro-Zombie. I have come to get to know him a little better, and I felt it was time to let everyone out there get to know more about him by doing an interview with him. This won't be a cookie-cutter interview, either. I felt I knew him well enough to ask things like "Cubs or White Sox?", "Chevy or Ford". And just how much does he love those zombies, folks? I wasn't afraid to ask! LOL! But he just put out a wicked looking book he published that combines pictures and interesting, somewhat skewed poetry. I will be having him over at the end of the month.

So, there you have it--my short term and long-term plans for the summer. I'm not exactly going fishing... but that would be fun, really, since I will be at my regular job 5 days a week and not looking forward to it one bit. But I've decided to adopt a new philosophy of enjoying my days off, when I get them. I won't be at the grindstone [the thing I call writing] as I have been the past couple of years. This year I'm going to get outside, do some walking (try to loose weight), and enjoy the summer months ahead. And I think my husband and I might do close-at-home vacation trips, since the price of gas is not going down.

Anyway, I hope you will join me, here, and get to know a couple of my friends. I'll still be working with Carole Gill over on Bloody Good Vampires, so, if you are into vampires and would like to check out something on the darker side, come on over.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I'm going with the theme this month: Supernaturals from my Sabrina Strong Series.

Today I wanted to introduce to you the incubus, Jacob, from Dark World. Sabrina doesn't know it at first, but Jacob likes to give pleasure to the ladies. He sort of latches on to her for a time. Let's go take a peek.

"Welcome. I am Jacob. You are a stranger here, yet I welcome you happily," he said in a mellow voice. "Your name is Sabrina?"

"Yes." I was also stunned he knew my name, but, I reminded myself, I was in another realm.

He made a sudden intake of air, his head tilted slightly, and he blinked those brilliant blue eyes. A look of surprised delight lit across his face. "You are the sibyl?"

"Oh, uh, yeah," I said, realizing this might be significant, but I was thinking of the demons who wanted to kill me earlier. I bit my lip watching what he would do, my hand on the laser's handle.

He made a low bow, his long, black hair falling into his face as he straightened and he had to shake it. "I welcome you, mistress. Please, understand that we only wish to give you a retreat, allow you to bathe and--forgive us if our ways are not your ways--but you must dress in something more... appropriate?" He was looking me over. I'd noticed that everyone here (except for Naamah, who was actually nude), was in either a dress or a robe.

"Oh, sure. No problem," I said, relief flooding me.

"This way," he said, hand outstretched toward the next curtained-off threshold.

I went ahead through the entry and found myself in a small, low-ceilinged room with a sunken bath that probably resembled the one Cleopatra herself plunged into. Decorative lanterns cast golden light all along the walls, and their gentle glow reflected in the water. I was happy to see this was a private bath.

"Disrobe, mistress, and bathe. I will return with your new attire."

I watched him duck out. I stood with indecision. This situation sent red flags up all over the place, but the water was scented, and I could tell it would feel soooooo good. Worried I'd be in the middle of pulling off my underwear when Jacob returned, I quickly stripped, letting everything lay wherever it fell. I located the steps that descended into the pool. Poking my toes in, I found that it was a perfect bath temperature. In a moment, I was neck-deep and swishing around in my own private hot tub. Eventually I found that there were a couple of little ledges to sit and settle back on. Luxuriating, I leaned back with my eyes closed. Nice. All I needed was a glass of Moscato, and a hunk of chocolate and I could forget where I was.

My eyes snapped open at the sound of water parting with someone entering the pool.  I saw Jacob, totally nude, striding into my personal hot tub.

"Oh, hey. What are you doing there, Jacob?" I asked nervously.

"I'm here to give you pleasure. We realized that you liked men. That is why I was sent for." And from what I saw, I gathered he was happy to oblige.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I had no idea what to call this Monday's Coffee Klatch. I think the exclamation points and question mark sort of show that. And I've got the goblet here, instead of a cup. It's sort of a theme today.

I've been writing these posts on Sunday, because I feel that it should go up early, and I have no time to write these in the a.m.'s as I'm usually getting ready for my "real" job.

This weekend had some surprises. One was the wonderful review put up by Christina Bahr, who won Vampire's Trill in a contest, and upon realizing this was the second book, she bought the first one, Vampire Ascending. I was totally blown away about it, as she first friended me on facebook, and then posted her link of the review she gave me there on my timeline the other day. If you haven't had the chance to read it, (Although I don't know how you missed it, since I shared it all over the place!), here is the link at ALL THINGS ME. Plus the link is now in my "Reviews" Page.

Plus, yesterday I posted that I was almost finished with edits of the third book, and announced the title. The title was giving me a problem the whole time. And then I reminded myself that I wanted to make all the titles with the word Vampire in it. So, I thought about it some more. Then, because of the fact that I had originally decided the titles would also have something to do with a classical music description, I went back to my old notes and found the word "Nocturne". It was perfect for this one since this book is a mishmash of romance, mystery, adventure, steam punk and the usual Sabrina Strong antics, with a dash of horror, I decided this described it beautifully.

Sabrina will travel once again to another world. This world is stuck in the Victorian age. She's about to meet the most notorious vampire in the world: Drakulya--For real! As with all of my books, I give you another page turner, Sabrina will get to use her Dagger of Delphi in this one several times on some vampires and something I call Dreadfuls in this one.

There are a few surprises and of course some twists and unexpected turns! I haven't even written a description for my publisher yet! But all in good time. I need a break from the series, and will take a three-month one to work on other things.

Well, this post was longer than most, but I hope you forgive me for rambling about "all things me". After I get the book out to publisher, I may have a little more time to loung (yeah, right). I do have a few projects in the wings, and several blogs/facebook groups to keep track of as well.

Hope your week will go great!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

News from Me

Hello, my pretties. How are you all today? I've been busy with my usual Saturday stuff, and now I'm back in my office, and I need to work. But first some news.

First off, if you are into vampires and love free things, I want to send you over to Carole Gill's Official Author page. She has the prequel, "Dreams of a Vampire", to her book "House on the Blackstone Moor" up for free over on smashwords, plus if you wish to win her book you only need to leave a comment there. Get all the information on her giveaways at the link above.

I had the opportunity to read Carole Gill's book "House on the Blackstone Moor, and found it refreshingly different in a sea of cookie-cutter vampire novels. Set in Gothic England, a tale of madness and how a young woman thinks she has escaped it, only to be swept up by even more evil than she had ever thought possible, and also, amazingly, finds love. I enjoyed the book very much!

If you did not know it, Carole and I have teamed up on a sister blog called Bloody Good Vampires.

If you have not stopped by as yet, do so. I have only just begun blogging there, but it is filled with great flash fiction and other tidbits on or about vampires. Everything vampires is our motto! We each will be doing what we call our "Tales from the Vampire Vault". This will be our flash fiction pieces, so do drop in to see what we dig up.

I have other news. I am just pages away from finishing my third novel's edits, and will be sending it off to publisher in a week's time. I've also settled on a title.

Are you ready?

Vampire Nocturne.
I chose the word "nocturne", because it basically encompasses the novel's over-all feel. NOCTURNE means "a romantic or dreamy musical composition/thought appropriate to night." It is my steam punk/vampire novel which has more of a romantic slant to it than the first two. I hope to get this to my publisher quickly so that they have plenty of time to work on line edtis, etc, and you will be reading it before Christmas!

Hope your weekend is great. Ta, for now. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Friday!! Ranting as usual

Well, I'm resisting changing over with bloggers new interface. They will have to tie me up, screaming before I let go of what I'm used to. Dumb a**es. Where do these people get off thinking everyone wants to change? I don't. I've done fine with it all this while, so no. I'm not voluntarily changing.

Also, I don't know why we have to be all that concerned with how "popular" we are. I think everything I do right now is enough. I don't have time to worry about Klout. If you want to be that worried about how popular you are and how many people are checking things out, go see how many books you're selling and then you'll know. I don't have time for Twitter let alone Pinterest. I can't even figure out what Pinterest is really for.

Okay. Done ranting. I've got news but I'm running out of time and will have to come back on weekend. Hope you all have a great Friday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day to you all!

Hello, my pretties! You may not have noticed, but I have replaced my old picture with a new one. Sort of tired of the blood dripping down the chin thing. This one is much better. Don't you agree? Mostly because when the picture is small, you can't tell she has fangs, but if you look close, she definitely has fangs. Plus, well, she's somewhat lusty-looking. I like to turn heads in the virtual world, don't you know?

Since this is Tuesday and I usually do Teaser Tuesday, I was thinking of going on with the idea of putting up different characters of the book. Now that it's a new month (last month was devoted to the women in Vampire's Trill), I think I'll go with the male secondary characters who make up the background of the story and keep things very interesting.

So, today I thought I would introduce you to Rick, the leprechaun. As a writer, I knew if I made the leprechaun very different from what people expected, he would become well received. Rick is part human, but very little of that is evident, aside from his human disability--he has no arms. His hands are joined almost at the shoulders, but he has wrists. I didn't explain it fully in Vampire's Trill--but that will be addressed in a future book (the 4th one). He was born with this birth defect called phocomelia, caused by the mother's use of thalidomide while pregnant. I actually met a person with this defect. He would get on my bus now and then, and go to work at a bar nearby. He was friendly, seemed always happy, and I treated him with due respect I do anyone who gets on my bus.

I had wanted to use a character with some sort of disability, and when I thought of Rick, the leprechaun, I felt he needed to have a big challenge in life, and have a somewhat sad history. Thus, Rick was born in my second book. I leave you with a short excerpt. This is from Chapter 23

I landed on something solid, yet it wasn't flat. It had form.
I clearly had some sort of form myself, now — thank you! Meanwhile, landing knocked the breath out of me, and it took me a while to pull it back in. There’s nothing quite as scary as being unable to get air for a few seconds. Whatever I was laying upon also took one gigantic breath and let it out with a deep groan. My panic rose anew. I thought I was lying on a bear.
I looked up and saw Tremayne's face above mine. As his head rose from its reclined position, I realized I lay right on top of him, chest to chest, as though we had both landed exactly this way.
“Oh, sorry,” I said as I pushed up. My hands grasped each of his wide, muscular shoulders, my legs were sandwiched between his thick thighs putting my knees in a decidedly awkward position against him. Oh Momma! It was too late to remedy this situation, and my panic cord had broken.
“Not at all. You can be on top any time,” he smirked. Hands grasping my waist, he helped me sort of roll off him to land awkwardly on my butt. Oow.
Face burning, I threw him a well-deserved scowl. Then, someone's muffled voice caught our attention. It seemed to be coming from underneath Tremayne. He rolled to the side, and underneath was Rick, sputtering swears that nearly burned my ears.
“You stupid blood-sucking pantie wipe!” Rick fumed as he slowly rolled over and struggled to his knees, his body bent in half.
“Uh-oh, you crushed the leprechaun,” I said.
“Sorry, sorry,” Tremayne said, dipping down. He grabbed Rick by the back of his coat and hoisted him up with one swift motion. Righted and standing on his two feet, Rick looked as mad as a rumpled leprechaun could look. I wasn't sure why Tremayne was so accommodating, apologizing again and again, but it probably had a lot to do with the fact that leprechauns were magical. I guessed that if Rick were truly mad, he could do something to Tremayne. Something nasty.
In the next moment, I lost sight of Tremayne and felt, rather than saw him move with lightning speed somewhere in front of me. We were in a dark place. My eyes were trying to adjust. I saw red and purple lights flashing, mostly, above me, and they seemed to bombard the walls that surrounded us. I didn't look up to see where it came from. Instead, my focus was on Tremayne whose body blocked my view of something that was in front of him. Hunched over, he was in a fighting pose. Growling from both Tremayne and the other creature in there with us filled the chamber. In one swift move, Tremayne had slammed someone, or something, up against a stonewall.
“Holy crap! Come here, darling,” Rick said with a hoarse squeak. He didn't touch me, but I launched away from the fracas that was going on mere feet away, and slammed into the opposite wall.
“Sorry. You okay?” Rick asked in a soothing tone. I realized he'd used his magic to move me quickly out of the way of something long and undulating.
“Yeah, I'm fine. Stunned, but fine.” What's a little bump on the head if it saves me from real danger? I turned my attention to the affray. “What is that?”
“I'm not quite sure yet, but it is buuuutt ugly.”

©2011 Vampire's Trill – Lorelei Bell

Chickens lay eggs, and so do Turtles

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