Remembering “Escape Claws”

Rachel Reese with one of the last copies of Escape Claws at Cafe Bienville, Niceville.

I got this great email this week about Escape Claws. Another surprise was this photo shared on Facebook from a different reader.

With my brain all full of Bitter Suites, I haven’t given Claws a thought in awhile. Nice to be reminded that I do have other books out there.

You can find Escape Claws on Amazon here… and here is the email that made my day.

Thanks Joe and Rachel!

Hi Angela,

I read your book ESCAPE CLAWS last night, and enjoyed it. I worked for years on the Discovery Channel series A HAUNTING, and I’m a sucker for true ghost stories.

Your writing reminded me of what it was like to be a child, afraid of the thing in the dark. In my own case, the thing in the dark remained hidden – but I was absolutely certain that it was there, lurking, night after night.

If I had ever actually heard or seen a ghost, I’m not sure if the experience would have been overwhelming or if it would have provided a kind of relief, confirming what I thought I already knew but couldn’t verify.  Is dread the worst part of such experiences?

Then again, maybe I did hear or see something at some point, and have simply blocked it out.  Memory is a tricky thing.

When I finished your book, I was left with the feeling that there’s still a lot of meat on the bones.  I think ESCAPE CLAWS could be a trial run for a novel, opening the door to a much bigger story.

—Joseph Maddrey

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A Suite Peek

The paperback formatting for Bitter Suites is finished and ready for Amazon. As it goes under review, I took a few screenshots to show off how it has turned out.

I love the chapter designations. They were designed to look like hotel room numbers. The image of Azrael on the title page was created by Kyra Starr from Kyra Starr Author Services.

Bitter Suites is a hotel that specializes in renewable death experiences. Renewable death, also known as recreational suicide, has many beneficial applications ranging from therapy, gaining true perspective and bonding as well as for simple entertainment.

Azrael owns and manages the Bitter Suites and is on hand to greet each guest personally. Renewable death is always beneficial… at least to someone.

I’m so excited to release this on July 13!


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Celebrating 8 Years of Blogging

Will I have a good next year as a writer? Eight Ball says “Yes.”

I don’t celebrate my own birthday with much fanfare, but when my blog turns another year older I’m always stoked. I started this blog on June 23, 2010 and have posted almost daily since. Why do I blog so obsessively?

  1. It keeps me writing. Even when I’m tired, if I just post a lackluster piece I dislike I have accomplished my purpose—to write.
  2. It keeps me current. If authors don’t stay active on social media between books, we can be forgotten. Then, when we publish again, we find we have to build back up the interest from the bottom. Keeping an active blog is one way I keep myself visible.
  3. It can do good things. Having my own platform allows me to share information I believe will benefit my readers. From supporting social causes, sharing publishing info to discussing the creative process, I hope my blog contributes something of value everyday.

As this blog celebrates eight years, I am in the finishing stages of releasing Bitter Suites. It’s been a long road from my first baby steps into indie authorship, and I know I am still just now developing maturity as a writer. There is still quite a lot of road ahead. I look forward to it.

To celebrate eight years, I asked a virtual Magic Eight Ball if I would have a good next year as a writer. Eight Ball says “Yes.” Ask this neo-classic oracle your own questions here.

What was my first blog post eight years ago? I was saying goodbye to my motorcycle and moving to Australia. Originally I named the blog Dandilyon Fluff, then DandiFluff and then finally changed it to just my name. Dandilyon was my online gaming tag.

Here are some of the past posts I’ve done to celebrate this day…

2010 Year Zero: Bye Bye Burnsie

2011 Year One: One Year Blogiversary

2012 Year Two: Dandilyon Fluff is Two

2013 Year Three: Dandilyon Fluff is Three!

2014 Year Four: Celebrating Four Years

2015 Year Five: Dandilyon Fluff is Five

2016 Year Six: Dandifluff is Six

2017 Year Seven: Blog-iversary Number Seven

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Don’t Send Help

Sometimes silence is required while growth occurs. Lately quite a lot has been changing in my life as I move from one phase to the next. Writing has always taken a central role in my life, but lately it has been taking over completely.

The muse has tossed me into a padded room while she pokes me into new growth. My rational self resists—I can’t give complete control to a delusory entity! I have bills to pay, breakfast to make and shopping to do.

The muse says no.

Instead, she has filled me to the bursting point with radical dreams until my brain bleeds words. As much as I try to resist, she is turning out to be the stronger of us. Soon, there may be nothing left of me but this.

As she eclipses my sense of self with creative flow, I find that the Me and the Work are merging into a single entity. She stays nestled behind my ear, whispering madness into my brain and causing my heart to race. The world in my mind and the world I participate in are merging to become a fantastical place I have always been aware of, but so far resisted permanent residence in.

She gives me occasional, brief forays into sanity, but her grip stays firm on my collar. I only have a few moments in the sun before she hauls me back. I am required to attend to her needs.

Perhaps she will release me in the future. I’ll wander into the grocery store one day, blinking and confused by the absolute normality of life in her absence. For now, my resistance fades beneath her crushing demands. Life takes on technicolor hues as she forces open my inner vision.

Don’t send help.

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Polish Your Word Skills with a Free MOOC

Hone your writing skills with the newest MOOC* from University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. Titled “Moving the Margins: Fiction and Inclusion,” during this course you will have the opportunity to read and listen to writers discussing voice, character, setting, style and language.

The focus of this free course will be on “moving the margins” of the known and the expected. Participating writers will work on balancing vivid imagination with craft, moving towards an inclusiveness that allows for different kinds of thinking and different kinds of writing.

The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program’s MOOCs are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, free of charge. This next MOOC session runs July 15 – Aug. 31, but the course site will remain open until Sept. 15. You may take the course at your own pace during that window of time.

Sign up here!

*MOOC-Massive Open Online Course

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Experience Ec·sta·sten·tial·ism

From Shots of Awe with JASON SILVA: “Reality, it seems, is multiple, and tightly coupled to perception. The conditions of perception can be varied within a broad range by a variety of psychedelic technologies.” -Diana Slattery

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Single Mindfulness

From Shots of Awe with JASON SILVA: “We are beset with a thirst for meaning and connection that centuries of skeptical philosophy, hardheaded materialism cannot eliminate… today we turn to “the cosmic awe conjured by science fiction, or the outer-space snapshots of the Hubble telescope as it calls forth our ever-deeper, ever-brighter possible selves.” -Erik Davis

Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz.

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5th Annual Book Pipeline Competition

The 5th Annual Book Pipeline Competition seeks material for film or television adaptation. Open to writers worldwide, the contest accepts any genre, fiction or non-fiction. Published or unpublished. Visit Book Pipeline here.

One Grand Prize Winner receives $10,000 and circulation to Lakeshore Entertainment (Million Dollar BabyAmerican Pastoral), QC Entertainment (producer of Academy Award Nominee Get Out), Good Fear Film + Management (Polaroid), Energy Entertainment (Extant), Silent R Management (reps Academy Award winning director Barry Jenkins), and other leading production companies, managers, and agencies best-suited for developing the selected projects.

Finalists and semifinalists also receive circulation consideration with the specific intent of getting them on the fast track to film and TV production.

Most recently, contest winner I Am Raymond Washington was optioned by Zero Gravity Management (OzarkBeasts of No Nation). Book Pipeline execs sent the material to several production companies before the biography was picked up.

Submit your work here!


Special Entry Deadline: June 20th, 2018 – $50/entry

Early Deadline: September 5th, 2018 – $60/entry

Regular Deadline: November 15th, 2018 – $70/entry

2018 Semifinalists Announced: February, 2019

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Partnering with Kyra Starr Author Services

There’s a new tab on this page for Kyra Starr Author Services. I’ve worked with Kyra for years for my book covers, trailers and now audio books.

She has done all my covers from The Braid to the recent Bitter Suites. I owe a lot of my success as an author to her. I am also lucky to call her my daughter.

Now she is offering her skills to the public. From book trailers and covers to professional grade audio readings, she does everything outside writing and editing your actual book.

She has been working with a variety of clients for a few years but generally she only took recommendations from people that were already clients.

Contact her via her page to get a quote for your latest project. Just don’t keep her too busy—I have a lot of projects coming up!

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Bitter Suites Cover Reveal

You may have noticed I’ve been a little scarce the past few days. I am busy in the final birthing phase of Bitter Suites, available on Amazon Friday, July 13, 2018. Thanks to the always brilliant work from Kyra Starr, tonight the cover is finished.

I’ll be releasing the cover image over the next 24 hours as puzzle tiles on Instagram. You can watch the progress on my Instagram feed here. For my loyal blog and Facebook followers, no waiting. Here is the Bitter Suites cover now.

Beta readers are responding very well to the arc I released a few weeks ago. Here are some of the comments I’ve received recently:

“I loved the collection and I think your foreword sets a perfect tone. Well done!” —Robin Wiesneth,

“I congratulate you on a very unique collection of stories that are filled with humor and pathos. You’ve got a winner here! The humor is right up my alley. Cherry Pop and Popcorn had me in stitches. Really all of them did. And Tomato Leaf Tea is so poignant.” —Mary Ann Back, HR Boldwood

“I enjoyed it. The stories showcase characters, and the threads of a larger story are woven seamlessly into the whole collection. Of course, the title is clever and sums up the book quite well. I appreciated your introduction because it gave me the right mindset and set my expectations for what I was about to read. As someone who was suicidal at one point, the central idea of reversible death was intriguing. It’s clear to me that you are writing with an attitude of concern. The “addiction” angle was spot-on, as well as the many ways the Bitter Suites service could be misused. The character who ultimately took her own life made me think of the death with dignity movement (which I wholeheartedly support) and was sensitively done. ”
—S. Kay Nash, TypoFairy

And now, of course, the finished cover. Thank you Kyra Starr for the amazing work. Kyra Starr now has a tab up on this blog so anyone can contact her to commission her graphic, video and audio work. Just look up at the menu tabs, or click here.

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