Z-Files Video for Author Meet & Greet

Last week Cal Z did a video interview with me and M.C. Brown for Z-Files, and I was just sent the link. This is all to promote the Author Meet & Greet this Saturday May 22 at the Crestview Public Library from 10 a.m. til 4 p.m. 15 authors will be participating, signing and giving away swag!

I will have a limited number of Snakespeare books available, first time in this large edition, as well as Literary Lizard and both poetry books. I’ll also be giving away a gift basket as well as a free, tiny book of Lizard Haiku until I run out of them.

Posted in Writing Life | Leave a comment

Last Day for Communicator’s League Contest

communicators leagueThe Communicators League invites writers from all parts of the world to participate in the maiden edition of its creative writing contest aimed at bridging the gap between arts and humanity. Hurry, because their deadline closes today. They are looking for poetry and flash fiction.  More details.

THEMES

  • Poetry – Social Injustice
  • Flash Fiction – Nostalgia (Good old days)

REWARDS

  • 1st Prize – ₦25,000 ($80) for each category
  • 2nd Prize – ₦10,000 ($32) for each category
  • 3rd Prize – Books worth ₦5,000 ($16) for each category

Exceptional entries will be published in an electronic anthology available for free download on http://www.communicatorsleague.com.

Posted in Writing Life | Leave a comment

Chillin’ in Chicago… it’s FREEZING up here!

At Grapevine Cemetery

At Grapevine Cemetery

My youngest son and I made it to Chicago and it is COLD! Us poor displaced Floridians are looking unprepared in our flip flops and lack of outerwear. We started the day in Madisonville, Kentucky where we stopped by to visit the infamous Grapevine Cemetery where there are reports of a crying angel and screams when love songs are played.

We found a gorgeous angel near the front of the cemetery that we photographed. The cemetery was beautiful with lovely, dignified headstones. Very clean and orderly, this place is obviously loved very much.

We paid our respects to the Moore family, who the angel guards, but witnessed no angel tears as reported. We also played Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers and heard nothing out of the ordinary. We haven’t checked the audio files yet for unusual sounds.

A true Kentucky Mountain Hobbit. Now I know where it comes from...

Great Aunt Dolly, a true Kentucky Mountain Hobbit. Now I know where I get it from…

That done, we headed over to Sacramento where I lived as a baby and caught up with my Aunt Dolly. The last time she saw me I was a babe in her arms. She seemed familiar to me, even though I couldn’t possibly have remembered her, and I felt like I reconnected to something precious. She was as short as I am, even a bit smaller, and I was told everyone in my family is this size. I guess I do come from the Kentucky Mountain Hobbits.

Afterwards it was straight to Chicago so we can celebrate my oldest son’s Naval graduation. He walks tomorrow, so I expect a day of emotion and happy tears. Tonight we are ready for showers and bed. Early day tomorrow, and then we will head back down south where it’s warm.

Posted in On A Personal Note, Writing Life | Leave a comment

WAAZ-FM 104.7: First Radio Show & GHOSTS!

After the interview I had just enough time to change and get a quick selfie with Amazing Assistant Laura...

After the interview I had just enough time to change and get a quick selfie with Amazing Assistant Laura…

Anyone in Northwest Florida going to be up on Saturday, May 20 at 7:05 a.m? I have an interview with Cal Z on 104.7 on his Z-FILES show and I will still be out of town and miss it.

I’d love it if someone could grab an audio file of it for me. There will also be a show posted on the Z-FILES channel at WCVCTV.com. If you are able to record it, please post it on Facebook and tag me or send me a message.

We are in Kentucky right now, getting ready to stop by the infamous Grapevine Cemetery where reports state there is an angel statue that cries tears of blood and a voice will scream if you play love songs. My son and traveling companion and I are debating which love song to play. From there we will head to see if we can find the first house I ever lived in and get some photos.

Any suggestions on best love song to play for a ghost?

Posted in Writing Life | Leave a comment

Shoe Drive Halfway to Success

20170508_124621 (1)New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary is halfway to their goal of collecting 100 bags of shoes before May 31. The shelter began the shoe drive in early April to raise money for our area’s homeless dogs.

New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary earns money based on the total weight of the shoes collected. Funds2Orgs, a fundraising organization, will purchase the donated footwear.  Funds raised will benefit local animals with food, shelter and medical procedures as well as education to prevent the problem at its source.

To maximize the benefit, New Beginnings must reach their goal of 100 bags of shoes. You can help by donating gently worn or new shoes at Niceville Animal Clinic, 509 East John Sims Parkway in Niceville. Together we can make Okaloosa County a habitable place for abandoned pets.

Pictured, Veterinary Receptionist Christal Huntzinger holding Chicken Slider. Chicken Slider is a male Golden Retriever puppy who is available for adoption.

Posted in Good Karma Alert | Leave a comment

Catching up at home…

We got used to the Hollywood life pretty quickly... for the weekend.

We got used to the Hollywood life pretty quickly… for the weekend.

I officially dedicated myself to a full time writing schedule as of April 15—and I’ve had almost no time to write since. Three weeks of back to back trips has kept me occupied.

The first trip was for 310 Nutrition to LA. They brought Mr. Smith and I there to shoot a small video about how I lost the fifty pounds last year. There were two other “big losers” happily participating. 310 really fêted all of us.

We went to Pancho’s for some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had and we got to work with a real Hollywood make up artist and camera crew. Mr. Smith was there to demonstrate an awesome new line of home work out equipment created by 310 called 310 Gym.

Flying back, I spent a day at home and turned around and went right back to California for StokerCon 2017 on the haunted Queen Mary ship in Long Beach. Same airport, passing the same places. I had serious déjà vu.

This is what a group of paranormal investigators look like at 4 a.m. after 5 solid hours of hunting.

This is what a group of paranormal investigators look like at 4 a.m. after 5 solid hours of hunting.

Stokers was as amazing as always. I met fantastic writers—my highlights include taking Jonathon Maberry’s Act Like a Writer class and Linda Addison’s poetry workshop.

Biggest thrill? Maberry reading a copy of my poem, Fear Shimmers, from Escape Claws. At the (violent) prompting of my assistant, I had the presence of mind to take a quick video but the audio was too faint.

Too bad. His reading was so well done it sent chills down my spine. When he handed me the book back I realized that my poetry sounds amazing when read by Jonathon Maberry. To be fair, he could probably read a grocery list and make it sound good. This remains one of my favorite memories of StokerCon 2017.

I made many new writer friends, met George R. R. Martin and had the best volunteer team (and personal assistant!) beside me fighting fires and managing the crowds.

I also took a five hour paranormal tour in

Flying back from LA again was full of exhausted shenanigans.

Flying back from LA again was full of exhausted shenanigans.

the underbelly of The Queen Mary. Did I see anything? No, but I was poked in the back twice by John who lives in the boiler room and had an interesting conversation with him via dousing rods.

He and I talked about who he missed the most, and through a series of yes/no questions, he told me his father. Later, this was verified separately. I was pretty excited when the rods started actually working!

As soon as I was done with Stokers it was home for a few days and then on to Panama Beach for the weekend. This time I got to relax as a guest of a Baptist Ladies Retreat group. Yes, I realize some would see my follow up trip as ironic but I enjoy all sorts of people as long as they are kind people. The women I met this weekend were definitely kind people and I enjoyed myself.

Panama City was a welcome bit of down time on the beach with wonderful new friends.

Panama City Beach was a welcome bit of down time on the beach with wonderful new friends.

That brings us up to now. I am home this weekend but playing catch up with quite a lot. I have a final trip coming up mid-May to watch my oldest son graduate from Navy boot camp.

I am preparing my fall class schedule at the college. I’ve signed up to participate in Crestview Library’s Local Author Meet & Greet May 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. I was recently interviewed by Joe Compton (great interviewer!) for Go Indie Live and I’ll post that video when it’s available.

Right now I’m working on a full size version of Snakespeare (I know, finally!) and working on a new Lizard story that involves a super fast reading tarantula named Trueman. I also have a full schedule of appearances scheduled thanks to the diligent work of my assistant Laura who constantly pushes me outside of my comfort zone… for which I’m grateful.

Those are the highlights. I am appreciative of all the wonderful people I’ve met in the past few weeks. I actually ran out of business cards for the first time ever and had to order more. All three trips were amazing adventures, each of them a yearly highlight individually, but back to back as they were they made for a three week marathon of good times.

Still, happy to be home and living the boring life… for at least a week.

Posted in On A Personal Note, Writing Life | Leave a comment

In LA with 310 Nutrition

IMG_20170421_183125_330We are living it up in LA this weekend as the guests of 310 Nutrition.

Today we are touring the 310 Nutrition headquarters, exploring Manhattan Beach and eating fish and chips while we watch surfers. Life is good :)

In exchange for the royal treatment, tomorrow Mr. Smith and I will be working with 310 on videos about their new 310 Gym line of work-out equipment and how I lost 50 pounds last year. Tomorrow we will be off to play in Hollywood and Little Tokyo.

As if just losing the weight wasn’t enough… 310 Nutrition has somehow made it even more awesome.

20170421_190933

Posted in On A Personal Note, Writing Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lit Lizard Makes SWEET Debut

Gina Marini made an amazing Literary Lizard cake for the Edible Book contest held at the NWFSC LRC as part of their READS week.

Thanks to my good friend Gina for making a Literary Lizard cake for the Edible Book Contest at the Northwest Florida State College LRC.

Her cake was massive in size, amazing in detail and quite tasty. A GORGEOUS job from an amazing, multi-talented woman. Her cake won “Best in Children’s Books” and “People’s Choice!” More information about the contest.

Later, we donated the cake to Twin Cities Pavilion, an assisted living facility, for all the residents to enjoy.

Gina Marini is also the director of the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, a wonderful museum dedicated to bringing the history of Northwest Florida to life and preserving it for future generations. Located in Valparaiso, the museum is one of our local treasures that needs to be preserved with the same care and dedication given to the community.

Offering craft classes, heritage skills, informative lectures and detailed displays, be sure to visit the museum soon. April 29 will be the annual Saturday in the Park event, something I look forward to every year. Click the image below for details.

Billboard SITP 2017

Posted in Good Karma Alert, Writing Life | Leave a comment

Horror Panels & Cover Wars

Escape Claws on Joe Live 2Today was the last day for Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo and it was far from winding down. The panels were lively discussions of all things genre related, and beyond.

I was happy to participate on the horror panel, but some technical difficulties made the panel a real life horror experience for me. All I could hear, for most of it, were garbled robot voices. Still, you can see me at the beginning, and my faulty tech clears up just enough at 1:06:13 for me to join in for a brief plug of Escape Claws… and make horror sound effects.

More excitement came shortly after the show as all the cover designers competed for the coveted “Best Cover” spot during the Cover Wars. When I popped over to check on how Escape Claws was doing, I saw we were in third place. A quick post on Facebook lit the fire and we shot to first place, winning by a landslide. Now, my cover designer, Kyra Kile, can boast about being an award winning designer… and she deserves it. She does all my recent covers and they are all brilliant.

If you missed the horror panel with Joe Compton, here it is archived. I watched it afterwards and there is some good discussion on horror, what defines it and the genre as a whole. And windchimes.

Posted in Writing Life | Leave a comment

B2BCyCon: Escape Claws is Available Now!

Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book ExpoEscape Claws front is happening now, and here’s all the details on how to participate and win stuff!

At the B2BCyCon, you can find me in the Book Expo, the blog hop, the horror genre tour and in the cover wars. I’ll also be on with Joe Compton and Karina Kantas on #GoIndieNow this Sunday as part of the horror crew.

For the genre tour, visit here and scroll down until you see horror. You can also hop over to Debbie Christiana’s blog to read my guest post Penning the Darkness: The Therapeutic Benefits of Horror. She did a gorgeous job with formatting—thanks Debbie!

For the Book Expo, click here to see some of the best new books in the genre on display. The blog hop landed here yesterday, but I invite you to join in with a Walk with the Monsters Blog Hop by clicking here. Girl Zombie Authors is the next stop.

Finally, the Cover Wars! All the excitement of WWE Wrestling, intergalactic battle and high school drama caught up in one contest. A circle is drawn in the sand… two covers enter, one comes out… 

Maybe a little less dramatic than that, but the artists of our covers get to compete with their designs and the winner gets cash. What’s a book without it’s cover? This is one way authors can show our appreciation for those that make our books beautiful. Follow this link to vote up Escape Claws, and make my cover designer happy :)

My cover designer is Kyra Kile. Her work has been featured on a number of books including… Bipolarity, In Favor of Pain, The Heaven Grift, Christmas Lites III, The Braid, Karmic Circle and Pirantulas. This isn’t all the covers she has completed, just the ones I know about. Thank you to Kyra, and graphic artists everywhere, for making covers worth judging.

Finally, the Stalk the Monsters Horror Scavenger Hunt: Here’s your challenge. On this blog find an image of a girl climbing out of a well. What is the name of that book’s title? Submit your answer HERE ONLY on the Horror blog hop page.

As part of the festivities I’ve released my second collection of poetry as well. Escape Claws, a study of four haunted houses from my childhood written in narrative and poetry.

As always, please share, read, review and be loved by authors everywhere. #B2BCyCon2017

Posted in Writing Life | Leave a comment