Friday, September 28, 2012

Karina Fabian, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator: I Left My Brains in San Franciso




Welcome back, Karina Fabian.  Last time Karina visited, she talked about Neetz Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.  Karina and Neeta are back with another humorous zombie adventure. 
NOTE:  See below for a special contest Karina and Damnation Books are running.


Author name: Karina Fabian
Book Title: Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator: I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Publisher: Damnation Books

Please tell us about yourself with the following favorites:
Food?  No faves.  I love trying to do new stuff.
Drink (non-alcoholic)? Coke Classic.  It’s my biggest vice.  I do my best to limit to one a day, but I often fail.  This is why I never got into drinking alcoholic beverages—what if I liked them as much?
Flower?  Carnations.  I love their fresh smell.
Day of the week?  Being a writer, they tend to blur. 
Time of day to write?  Schooltime, when the house is quiet, but late at night works well, too.
Place to write?  Wherever I can.  Right now, I have a desktop, which is good for my posture, but not the most comfortable, so I get on my laptop and write around the house to mix it up.  I even write standing up at the kitchen counter.
Season?  Spring
Holiday?  Christmas
Color? Depends on my mood
Animal?  Big cats
Hobby?  I don’t really have any aside from writing.
Sport?  Haidong gumbdo—Korean sword martial arts
Song?  Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves.  It’s Rob's and my song
TV show? Firefly
Movie? Galaxy Quest
Book? A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeleine L’Engle and Hitchhiker’s Guild to the Galaxy come to mind first
Author?  Terry Pratchett
Word? Serendipitous
Quote?  This year, Peter 5:10-11:  You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again.  He will confirm, strengthen and support you.  His power lasts for ever and ever.  Amen.

Now some easy one-word answers:
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Veggies or fruit? Veggies
Cat or dog? both
Plot or not?  depends
Desktop or laptop? varies
Pencil or pen?  pen
Rain or sun? either
Mountains or ocean?  mountains
Plane or train? plane
Car or motorcycle? car
Run or walk? walk
Casual or dressy? casual
Indoors or outdoors? indoors
Reading: EBook or paperback? either
Reading: Short story or novels? both
Theater or rental?  Streaming
Vampire or shifter?  For…?
Horror or romance? Sci-Fi



Tell us about your new/latest release:

Title: I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Genre: Comedic horror

Blurb: Zombie problem? Call Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator...but not this weekend.  On vacation at an exterminator’s convention, she's looking to relax, have fun, and enjoy a little romance. Too bad the zombies have a different idea. When they rise from their watery graves to take over the City by the Bay, it looks like it'll be a working vacation after all.

Enjoy the thrill of re-kill with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.

Short Excerpt:

"Hi! Welcome to Zomblog!  It's ‘Time to Re-kill!’  This is Kelsey Gardenberger, and we are reporting to you live from Fisherman's Wharf, where zombie exterminators Rii and Hi Lee of Bay Exterminations have been called in to take out a zombie."
Police held back spectators who had cell phones to film the event.  On the ground lay a man in a black-and-white striped shirt, black pants with suspenders and gold makeup on his rotting skin.  He pounded on the air with imaginary fists, and then felt along imaginary walls with his hands.  Where he should have had fingers, only mangled skin and bare bones showed. Rii and Hi, both in protective gear, watched the prone figure and spoke among themselves.  The zombie continued his act unconcerned, except to pause now and again and make drinking motions before pointing to the top hat waiting beside him.
"It looks like Rii Lee and Hi Lee have decided on their strategy.  Despite the fact that the zombie appears so docile, it could turn violent at the slightest provocation--and if you don't believe me, check out 'Don't wave that thing at me!' on the Zomblog archives.  They're starting!"
While Rii stood by with a power blaster of anti-zombie foam, Hi ambled up to the prone zombie, sword relaxed but ready in his left hand.  He watched the undead mime its struggle against the imaginary coffin, nodded appreciatively, and tossed a twenty into the hat.  The Wasted Mime started clawing with fervor, dug himself up, and brushed himself off.
Some of the crowd in the front stepped back.
It picked up the hat, checked the money.
The crowd took in a breath.
It faced Hi.
Hi bowed.
The crowd gasped.  Cameras flashed.
The zombie bowed back, deeply and theatrically.
Hi lashed out with his sword, its blade cutting deeply and theatrically into the zombie's neck.
The re-killed corpse folded over.
The crowd broke into wild cheers.
Kelsey smiled big for the camera.  "And there you have it!  Looks like a mime isn't such a terrible thing to waste after all."

Buy links:

SPECIAL CONTEST:

Are You the Next Zombie Idol” singing contest?  Damnation Books and Karina are looking for someone to sing the theme song she wrote for I Left My Brains in San Francisco.  She has the words and the tune; but she needs a singer.  They are offering prizes for the best singer, the most creative audition video, and are giving one in ten entries a copy of the e-book.  The details are at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html


Bio:


Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem) and a Global eBook Award for Best Horror (Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator), Karina Fabian’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars online. 




Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kathryn Meyer Griffith Returns with Dinosaur Lake




Dinosaur Lake’s Backstory Essay
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Available at Amazon Kindle:

Of all my 16 novels Dinosaur Lake has the strangest story attached to its creation, death and rebirth…20 years later…of any of them.
Not so much because, as a few of my books, it took so long to write or publish, but because in 1993 it was contracted, edited and the final galleys had been proofed by me for a 5th  paperback book release from Zebra (Kensington Publishing) after 3 earlier novels with Leisure Books. I even had a stack of the full-color, printed and embossed covers; it was only weeks before it was to go to the bookshelves (in those days the brick & mortar stores were still king, no Internet or ebooks). I strongly believed it’d be my breakout book. You know, the book that’d make my career and launch me into the stratosphere with Stephen King and Anne Rice? How wrong I’d be. But, hey, I thought who wouldn’t love a tale of a cunning but malevolent rampaging prehistoric dinosaur living in Crater Lake, Oregon, and the Park Ranger who, along with a ragtag gang of heroes who’d try to stop it? I mean, I’d always loved anything about dinosaurs…dinosaur books, playing with those little plastic figurines and watching old stop-action dinosaur movies of the 1950’s and 60’s…who hadn’t?
Apparently someone. My new editor at Zebra.
By 1994, after four novels with them, I’d lost my sweet editor there and a new one took her place...and over the next year he didn’t like anything I wrote for him and later that year Zebra unceremoniously dropped me and my book (Predator…which never came out but still lingers to this very day like some weird ghost book in every computer on the global Internet) only six weeks away from going to the bookstore shelves. When we were editing the book and deciding on the title and the cover, I’d begged the new editor not to call it Predator (his choice as they hadn’t liked my American Loch Ness Monster title), bad title since there was a popular movie out of that name and the movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, was nothing about a dinosaur, and the cover was awful, an empty boat on a lake…what!!! Having that book–my first ever–dumped like that was a crushing experience, let me tell you. I had a stack of finished, printed covers and my final edits were done! But nothing my agent or I could say or do would change their minds. They said they were cutting their horror lines and setting adrift a lot of their mid-list horror authors because horror (in 1994) was on the decline. The new editor-that-didn’t-like-my-writing explained: “And no one wants to read a book about a dinosaur.” Yeah, sure.
And six months later Jurassic Park the book came out! We all know how that story ended, don’t we? People loved the book, the movies; they loved dinosaurs.
I’ll never know the real reason they cut the book but that male editor never bought another book from me…which was another weird thing because when I’d met him in New York (I went for a Horror Convention) in the summer of 1993 he’d taken my husband and I out to lunch and gushed over me and said how much he’d loved my last release WITCHES. Hmmm.
Anyway, I got to keep my advance but the book was officially dead. It never came out. I grieved.
I was so disgusted I stashed it in a drawer somewhere and tried to forget it.
Until now. After I’d finished revising and rereleasing all my new/old 15 books (and besides paperbacks they’re in ebooks for the first time ever) from Eternal Press/Damnation Books in June of 2012 I remembered about my American Loch Ness Monster novel, took it out and reread it.
Whoa, like a lot of my older novels now years later I could see what was wrong with it and how to fix it. Back then I hadn’t seen the head-hopping I did or the awkward phrasing, stiff or overly dramatic dialogue, repetitive words and other things I’ve learned since to recognize and stay away from. Of course, computers help make the editing so much easier. I think I’d done the original book on my electric typewriter.
Anyway, telling myself the dumping of that book had been a turning point in my writing life–sending me in the wrong direction for a long time apparently…I couldn’t sell a book for eight long years after that–I decided to rewrite and finally release it. In fact, I was going to do something that twenty years ago would have been unheard of and frowned on…self-publish the book myself. With Kindle Direct. For the first time in forty years I was walking away from the traditional publishers and going on my own. Thank you J.A. Konrath’s blog! I figured I could sell the Kindle ebook a lot cheaper and, thus, use it to introduce (as bait) more readers to my writing and perhaps, if they liked it, they’d buy some of my other fifteen novels, novellas and various short stories.
It could work, right?
So here it is, retitled, rewritten, updated and with an amazing new cover I love by Dawne Dominique… Dinosaur Lake. I hope my readers will like it.
Written this thirtieth day of Aug, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net   


***

About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
                   
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith.

Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, June 2012) 
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010)
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)  
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2010)  You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU77j_q4S8
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2011) 
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc 
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28HZqu-my1g
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) 
You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo  
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010) 
You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) 

My Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)
http:// www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith
E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net  I love to hear from my readers. ***

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Supporting Leader Dogs for the Blind, J.T. Baroni

The author and his brother with leader dog.

Today's guest is donating a portion of his book's proceeds to The Leader Dogs for the Blind.


AUTHOR: JT Baroni
BOOK TITLE: The Legend of Rachel Petersen
PUBLISHER: Damnation Books LLC

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I am fifty-five years of age and have lived in Pennsylvania all my life. Happily married, I have a fifteen-year old son. The three of us share our home with a psychotic AKC Boxer named Butkus. Although my debut novel is a paranormal thriller, I don’t restrict myself to one genre. I write about anything that inspires me.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.     
                                   
Outraged when The Post Gazette overlooks him for a promotion, 39 years old Sports Writer Christian Kane quits and moves to the country to write fiction. Inspiration flows from a lone grave he stumbles upon in the woods. He compiles The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating story revolving around the dead twelve-year-old girl laid to rest beneath the weathered tombstone. His book quickly becomes a best seller; then Hollywood turns it in to a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous, but only to have Rachel rise from the grave to seek revenge on him for slandering her name! Or does she? My story has a killer double twist at the ending.

How long have you been writing?
I have always toyed with words in birthday cards, some poetry and I had a couple of song lyrics put professionally to melodies that a music publisher is currently shopping to the TV industry. However, I only got serious about my writing in the last three years.
What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?        
Ever since an early age, I always enjoyed great literature and thought, “I could write a story”. To me, writers always had that aura of charm and mystique, while enjoying that dignified persona of an intellect; perhaps just in the way they mastered the language and exemplified their imagination. I admired writers while being envious of them in the way the public adored them. Having just said that, I realize now that I must have subconsciously harbored a desire to not only achieve their status, but to be recognized as a writer myself, and I challenged myself to reach that plateau, which I feel I have accomplished. When I found a lone grave in the middle of the woods, a story was begging to be written.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?     
                               
I never use an outline; rather I simply sit down and start writing, page after page until I tire. Then, when I start the next writing session, I critique and edit what I had written, and add more pages. To some writers, it may seem an unorthodox process, but I usually always start at the beginning and fine tooth comb every word, then add more. When I’m satisfied with the beginning couple of chapters, I’ll start the next one in the same manner. When I feel the book is completed, I read it from front to back several times, looking for errors and any ways to improve it.

What comes first: the plot or the characters?                                                                          
Usually, I have the plot pop into my mind first and then I build the supporting role of characters; but I’ve also had a protagonist come to mind who screamed for a plot, like Jack Trotter, a muscle bound, dirty detective that you love to hate, while admiring him.
Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
In The Legend of Rachel Petersen, I’d say I love the attractive Shelby Kane the most because she is the sweet, devoted, caring and supportive wife who understands how sex is more psychological arousing to a man than actually being a mere physical marital duty. I hate the Gatlin brothers because of the heinous crime they commit upon an already emotionally disturbed little girl. Those two inbred scoundrels would also commandeer the fear factor from me, knowing what they are capable of doing to a fellow human being. Rachel deserves the pity for the miserable childhood she endures and the much too early cruel death she suffers.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
That would be keeping my butt in the chair, typing, while knowing my garden was turning into a weed bed, and listening to my fly rod constantly crying out to me that the trout were rising in the brook.
Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?  

Not a whole lot of research, but since my story took place during the Civil War and then carried forward into the 1950s, I had to research those dates and facts. The Legend of Rachel Petersen took me a year and a half to complete it to the point where I liked the end product.

What are some of the challenges in your writing process?                                                        

Other than keeping my butt behind the monitor screen long enough to actually write a story? Not too many, except for using proper punctuation, I have a rough time getting the quotation marks correct. Damnation Book’s editor must have axed five hundred commas from my manuscript. She said I used too many. I rebutted that I used them for effect. My character’s dialog comes easy to me, as does describing the settings.

Describe your writing space.                                                                                                        
A cramped little den with an obsolete computer that suits my demands just fine.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?                                                                       
I fish, hunt, cook, play chess and tinker in my vegetable garden.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?                                                                       

The Devil’s Advocate and The Sixth Sense are two of my favorite stories that heavily influenced the plot structure for my novel, The Legend of Rachel Petersen. I would love to break bread with the greats such as Harold Robbins, Steinbeck, Twain and of course King and Spielberg, so I could pick their brain and learn to think as they do. How do they come up with an original idea, how do they write in general. Just to be in their presence would undoubtedly be an adrenalin rush.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

Look how many small and independent brick and mortar bookstores have closed shop, while all the big boys went on-line! With the Kindle and other book reading devices, e-book sales, in my opinion, will generate more sales than hard copies in the following years.

What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?       
                                                                                                                                            
The Legend of Rachel Petersen is my debut novel, and it’s the only book I’ve had published. Jimmy’s Crab Shack, where my protagonist is Jack Trotter, is still in my editing process, getting shoved to the back burner while I am busy promoting The Legend of Rachel Petersen, which I hope to write the sequel for.

What is your marketing plan?                                                                                                    

Having nice bloggers such as Penny Ehrenkranz having me as their guest on my blog tour! I did a local TV interview, newspaper articles, radio, word of mouth, business cards, with my wife posting my novel on her Facebook page. I’ve been busy getting reviews and posting on writer’s boards.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?                                                          

Learn to do what works for you. Try different ways, such as an outline or a tape recorder. However, the most important point is to put words on paper, or on the monitor; that is the basic start. Research how to write a good story, and then write, write, write! Proper grammar, punctuation, a dictionary, and a thesaurus are all necessary tools. Try not to use the same word repeatedly. The biggest word of advice I can offer is, show the story, don’t tell it. Example, “Becky was sad”, versus, “Becky’s head sank slowly to her chest as her lower lip began to quiver and a tear rolled down her cheek.” Does the classic line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” come to mind, as how to write badly?

Where can people learn more about you and your work?                                                            

My loving, supportive wife built my website, www.jtbaroni.com. Please drop by! And my Author’s Page at Amazon:



EXCERPT:

            “She’s been... talkin’ to you?” he interrupted once again, looking at Thaddeus as if the boy was certified mentally ill. “No, Boy. She ain’t talkin’ to you. That’s your conscious tellin’ you that you did something really awful. Your conscious won’t let you sleep at night. Will it, Boy? Every time you close your eyes, you see her beautiful little face with those big green eyes an’ her red…”
            “No! Please hear me out, Mr. Woodley. Please, sir,” Thaddeus interrupted loudly. Then he talked fast, hoping the old man would not interrupt him anymore, allowing him to explain why he was there. “She spelt out the words help me in my vegetable soup. Then me an’ my brother Seth were playin’ Monopoly, an’ she turned the dice over to a two. I figger it was two people that hung her an’ she didn’t hang herself like everybody says. Then an owl showed Seth an’ me pieces of rope on a beam in my Pa’s barn that is too high for a little girl to throw a rope over. I even seen her, Mr. Woodley...standin’ by your mailbox an’ pointin’ to your house every day this week goin’ to school.”
            The old man leaned forward and buried his face in his hands, slowly shaking his head from side to side.
            “It’s not in my head, I tell ya. My brother seen all what she did too. My Mom an’ Pa seen when she blew the candles out on my birthday cake. She ain’t restin’, Mr. Woodley. I’m tellin’ ya she won’t rest in eternal peace until the truth is spoken. She kinda told me in school today that everything said about her is all lies. I think she knows...that you...know the truth. If you didn’t know her like you say, Mr. Woodley...then how come you knew she was buried with a rosary?”
            “Because my Mother put it on her before my Daddy an’ me buried her!” the old man hollered out, leaning forward as far as he could into Thaddeus’s face. The boy leaned back and tottered on the bike.
            Then Mr. Woodley slumped back in his rocker and closed his bad eye but resumed squinting through the other one. Then he spoke in a lowered voice, as if confessing on his deathbed to a priest, “Ain’t a day goes by...that I don’t think of that poor little girl.” He raised his hand to wipe away a tear, and then continued, “I was maybe twelve, an’ so was she. Her Daddy sent her here to live with her aunt when her mother died. It musta been pure hell for that little girl. Rachel wouldn’t talk to anybody, except for me, that is. My daddy said it was cause I reminded her of her brother back in Ohio, but it made me feel special like anyways.”
            Thaddeus leaned closer so he could hear better. 
            “I would go to her house, your house now, just about everyday. We would play hide an’ seek in the barn or catch frogs by the pond. Some days we would just sit an’ talk. But I always brought a couple of apples, an’ we’d feed the horses. She really liked this one big black stallion in particular that Josef Tremont owned. It was a magnificent horse.”
            Thaddeus sensed the old man had softened up a bit, so he laid the bike down and sat on the top step. He also sensed that this was the first time Mr. Woodley ever spoke about Rachel. To anyone.
            The old man closed the squinting eye and laid his head on the back of his rocking chair. “I went over there one day...an’ the place was...quiet. Too quiet! The men folk weren’t workin’ the fields...her Aunt wasn’t hangin’ clothes or making soap outside. I looked for Rachel...an’ I went in the barn.” He choked up and tears came to his eyes. He needed a moment to continue, and then he swallowed real hard. Then he cried out between sobs, “I found her…Dear God, yes I did!” He pulled his hanky from his rear pocket and wiped his eyes and blew his nose. 



Mr. Baroni is donating a portion of his book’s proceeds to The Leader Dogs for the Blind, located in Rochester Hills , Michigan. This organization has been training Leader Dogs and placing them with blind people, free of charge, since 1939, and they have achieved this amazing feat all from donations. The reason he wants to sponsor a Leader Dog is because his older brother, Gene, was born blind, and is currently on his third canine companion.