Monthly Archives: July 2018

Ladies of Horror for July

The month is already over and it’s time to post the rest of the Ladies of Horror flash fictions going up over at Nina D’Arcangela’s Spreading the Writer’s Word blog. Earlier this month I posted the first seven here.

Here is the rest of July’s posts…

Against the Clock
by Melissa R. Mendelson

The Beast
by Kathleen McCluskey

Warning
by Lydia Prime

Just in Time
by Angela Yuriko Smith

Time to Kill
by Kim Richards

Mother’s Song
by Ela Lourenco

Blizzard
by Lori R. Lopez

The Heart Fades
by Naching T. Kassa

Grandpa’s Old Clock
by Terrie Leigh Relf

The Risen
by Elizabeth H. Smith

Shattered Youth
by Nina D’Arcangela

A Proud Papa
by Bailey Hunter

Waiting
by Selah Janel

Season of Silence
by Gina Johnstone

Little Brother
by Nina D’Arcangela

Lantern Light
by Stacey Turner

Darkest Planet in the Universe
by Christina Sng

Countdown
by Asena Lourenco

Made the Marquee!

It’s always a nice surprise to find yourself as an author… especially when that find is on the Horror Writer Association’s book marquee!

I happened by the site today looking for details on the upcoming HWA Poetry Showcase and I spied Bitter Suites scrolling by alongside some of the best books in the genre.  You can visit the site yourself at Horror.org. Be sure to check out the great line up they have.

From their website: THE HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION (HWA) is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. HWA was formed in the late 1980’s with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today——with over 1250 members in countries such as Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, United Kingdom and the United States——it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.

One of HWA’s missions is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of good Horror and Dark Fantasy literature. To that end, we offer the public areas of this web site, we sponsor or take part in occasional public readings and lectures, we publish a blog and produce other materials for booksellers and librarians, we facilitate readings and signings by horror writers, and we maintain an official presence at the major fan-based horror and fantasy conventions, such as the World Fantasy Convention and the World Horror Convention.

HWA is also dedicated to recognizing and promoting diversity in the horror genre, and practices a strict anti-harassment policy at all of its events.

As part of our core mission, we sponsor the annual Bram Stoker Awards® for superior achievement in horror literature. Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenwriting, graphic novels, young adult, and non-fiction. In addition, HWA presents an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to a living person who has made significant contributions to the writing of Horror and Dark Fantasy over the course of a lifetime.

From Soraya: The Melancholy of Haruo Satō

Haruo Satō

Today I have another guest post from my Spanish speaking friend, Soraya Murillo Hernandez. Today she shares the translation of her article on the work of Haruo Satō.

Sato was a Japanese novelist and poet active during the Taishō and Shōwa periods of Japan. His works are known for their explorations of melancholy. Thank you Soraya for introducing me to this new writer. You can find many of his works on Amazon here.

From Soraya Murillo Hernandez:

Haruo Satō was one of the most influential writers of Japanese literature in the second quarter of the 20th century. It is the first time that they translate their works into Spanish.

In the first pages of the book you can read a biography of the author. This anthology gathers five stories from his first years written between 1917 and 1929. The House of the Spanish Dog, the work that launched the career of Satō, will be the first story we read.

Before following the review, I want to make a small paragraph. Japanese literature always has a character of moral teaching, so in these stories we will find that background. The Tao is the way, there is no goal or anything like that, just choose the path. The protagonist wanders a path chosen by his dog, and is happy and open to explore anything that life brings him. That road will lead to a house which will no longer belong to this world. A story full of magic.

The second story is entitled “A Beautiful City.” A painter will tell us the story of a Utopian city that should be built in Tokyo, but to live there future inhabitants must meet certain conditions. An old architect, the painter and his millionaire friend will be the protagonists. Dreams that are sometimes the engine that drives people to continue living.

That very Japanese background of submission and acceptance, with a certain lesson that sometimes morality should be ignored for the greater good. It’s wrong to lie, but if it works for good, is it still wrong?

We will arrive at the third one that gives title to the book “The Demonic Bird.” More than a story, it has the form of a legend. Whoever narrates it to us will be a Japanese traveler who one day explored the interior a wild land. We will enter the world of superstition, and in a way reminds us of the trials that were made in the West to witches.

For the Japanese, an animal inhabited by a spirit is usually a demon that takes that form, but they fear more to who can dominate them than to the bird itself; after all, it is the power of the entity and not the physical attributes that can cause damage. A cursed bird, but in the end it is always the people who caused the sadness. The child finds beauty in the natural world, but when people get involved, the pain continues. Our need to own and dominate creates misfortune.

I make a break in these wonderful stories. How can we be guided through the diffuse world of the Eastern tradition? The oriental culture is rich in symbolism. Each color, relationship and object in a story, a message in itself.

On the other hand, it is a fundamental pillar in the Japanese mentality, one of its moral bases, the cult of the ancestors that unite them to their land. For them, Japan is not just the islands, the territory where they live and feed and do business or whatever it is like the rest in our countries: it is the land linked to the ancestors, where the ashes that have joined that land remain and they are part of it.

That is why they are connected to the past, honoring the ancestors, and have a belief in a more unified spiritual energy that encompasses all those we know in the West as distinct. In this rich culture nothing is always bad or good, only our reactions and responses determine it.

Fourth story “The Mystery of the Fan.” In Taiwan, in a city that little by little was moving away from the sea, people tell the old story of an exotic house in ruins and the misfortune of its inhabitants. A story so many times told that in the end it ended up being a myth.

The author narrates it to us as if it were a typical tale of Chinese ghosts, but as always, reality overcomes fiction and in itself hides a sad tragedy. The author has chosen to use the idea of ​​a ghost as a provocation, but the true story is very different … And we will close the book with “Crónica de Nonchalant.”

The inhabitants of the lower substrates of a dystopian vertical metropolis of the XXIX century have the opportunity to feel the sun for the first time in their lives. But what should be an event of great joy will end up becoming something sinister and painful.

We finish this wonderful anthology of stories that for the first time you can read in Spanish. Where its author left everything written with a very melancholic prose. He did not write for us to identify with some of the protagonists, he did it to make us think about what he told us. It is a book that every self-respecting reader should have in their library.

In a way, Satō Haruo turns us into lovers without knowing or having physical contact. When a reader connects with a book so profoundly as to feel marked, the writer knew how to achieve his purpose—reach our soul.


Soraya Murillo Hernandez

From  Soraya Murillo Hernandez: I am an early reader, I started reading very soon and I was interested in terror, I liked to look for monsters and ghosts in the stories. Then I knew that the greatest terror came from humans. I am a book reviewer in Spain, I do it free to help its authors to know their works.

Soy una lectora precoz, comencé muy pronto a leer y me interese por el terror, me gustaba buscar monstruos y fantasmas en las historias. Luego supe que el mayor terror venia de los humanos . Soy reseñadora de libros en España, lo hago gratis para ayudar a sus autores a conocer sus obras.


***Find out how to win $25—100 in an Amazon gift card 
by entering the Bitter Suite Reviews contest.***

Why Wait?

Now on Kindle: Bitter Suites

Bitter Suites is now available in two formats—ebook and paperback. Visit here for a chance to win a free copy… and don’t forget to leave a review for a chance to win an Amazon gift card. Details at the bottom of this post.

A few of the reviews so far:

“Angela invites a reader into a strange world where controlled death and resuscitation give characters a fresh outlook on life… Bitter Suites is a fun and fast read full of complex and dynamic characters. I’m ready for the sequel!”
Robin Wiesneth author of TAILS OF IMAGINATION

“After reading this novel I’m eager to pack my change of clothing and check myself in to the Bitter Suites! Wonderfully written and uniquely conceptual! ” —Lady L

“This book will definitely make you think about what you value in your life. Sometimes creepy, sometimes touching, sometimes funny, always thought provoking.”
—CafeMama


***Find out how to win $25—100 in an Amazon gift card 
by entering the Bitter Suite Reviews contest.***

Dreaming America: Voices of Undocumented Youth

Poetry, at its highest form, gives a voice to the mute. Scribbled on a scrap of paper, it can become a flag to stand behind. It can become a beacon for the lost to follow. The poetry in Dreaming America is in its highest form and accomplishes all of these things.

Besides shedding light on a hidden minority—children facing prolonged detention and/or deportation—this collection gives insight into the resilience of these children who have lost all. Written in Spanish and English, the poems display anger, hopelessness and acceptance. They keep their past alive while knitting together the foundation for a future.

The intensity of the words spring from the darkest of places and prove the worth of true words well written. A gorgeous collection that will have you thanking your stars and shaking your fist in anger at the same moment. Profits from sales of this book will be donated directly to a legal defense fund for these children.

You can order your copy of Dreaming America at Settlement House Books. Seth Michelson, editor of Dreaming America, recently discussed this project on ABC. You can watch that here.

From the website:
Dreaming America: Voices of Undocumented Youth in Maximum-Security Detention is a bi-lingual anthology of poetry, selected by the poet Seth Michelson from writing workshops he has conducted in the most restrictive detention center for undocumented, unaccompanied youth in the U.S. Because they are deemed “stateless people,” by federal law these children are not entitled to legal representation. In an effort to secure their legal defense, profits from sales of the book will be donated directly to a legal defense fund for them.

Neil Gaiman is a finalist for The New Prize in Literature

Photography by Beowulf Sheehan

I have repeatedly stated what a huge Neil Gaiman fan I am, so when I got this news in my email I of course have to act, share and repeat. Neil Gaiman has been nominated for this year’s top international literary award, The New Academy’s New Prize in Literature. And this year, we get to help choose the recipient!

The New Academy created The New Prize in Literature as a substitute of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, which was suspended this year by the Swedish Academy.

Neil is among 46 finalist selected by Sweden’s librarians, including Zadie Smith, J.K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, and many more internationally beloved authors. Learn more about the The New Academy here.

Voting is open to the public until August 14th. The three authors with the most votes will move on to the next round of final judging by an expert jury. The winner will be announced on October 14th.

Help choose the winner of this year’s top prize in literature! Vote for Neil!

Cast your vote here!


***Find out how to win $25—100 in an Amazon gift card 
by entering the Bitter Suite Reviews contest.***

My Favorite Brain Twinkies

Everyone has certain comfort songs and videos that never cease to cheer them up—like Twinkies for the mind. They are sweet, fluffy and make us feel better.

I’m no different… but apparently my favorite videos are. I recently shared a list of my favorites with friends and got mixed responses. Most of them were along the lines of WTH?

That makes me think I must enlighten and educate the masses. Be ready… these are some of the best brain Twinkies available on Youtube. I have to watch them 1-10, beginning with Birds, or I get stuck on just that video for hours.

I’m always looking for new, bizarre distractions. Share your favorite comfort watchlist in the comments.

1. Vitalic – Birds

My all time favorite video. Of the 3.3k views this video has, I could easily be 1,000 of those. This hypnotic instrumental (with an audio cameo from The Cure) sends me into a deep creative state every time.

2. I Love It (Cover by Steam Powered Giraffe)

Steam Powered Giraffe robots—The Spine, Hatchworth and Rabbit—do a cover version of Icona Pop’s song, “I Love It.” If I’m feeling angry about anything, this is my go to song.

3. Diamonds (Cover by Steam Powered Giraffe)

Why is Steam Powered Giraffe on here twice? Because they are awesome. A musical performance act located in San Diego California. You can find out more about them and their music at http://www.steampoweredgiraffe.com

4. He-Man Hey Yea Yea Yea Ye What Going On

This is such a sarcastic and yet happy video, I can never help singing it out loud. “Don’t cry out loud…Keep it inside. Learn how to hide your feelings.” 

5. Time Goes By Con Loli

“A Faaaaabulous Spanish drag clip of Madonna’s Hung Up” These guys look like they have so much fun making this, it’s infectious.

6. Vitas – La Donna E Mobile

So sexy… everything about this video is magic. Ever hear an angel sing? Watch this and all the hair will raise on your neck. I’ve never had a crush on a voice before…

8. Do You Want To Hide A Body (Frozen Parody)

A parody of the Frozen movie song “Do You Want to Build A Snowman.” Hilarious and irreverent.

9. Ylvis – The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)

Yes, I can’t help it. I love this video. This is probably as close as I will ever get to a furry party. I feel like this song is based on a real situation.

10. Vitas – Opera N2

I’m not into fishmen, fish or that much water… but Vitas pulls it off with much broken glass, chaos and explosions.


***Find out how to win $25—100 in an Amazon gift card 
by entering the Bitter Suite Reviews contest.***

Ladies of Horror Entertain Darkly

The Ladies of Horror have been at it again, and their flash fictions have been going up over at Nina D’Arcangela’s Spreading the Writer’s Word blog.

Prepare to be horrified and entertained—these shorts from some of the best female names in horror share their inspirations from photo prompts.

Here’s who has been posted so far in July…

I Never Learned to Swim
by Rie Sheridan Rose

Searching
by Ashley Davis

Shadows and Light
by A.F. Stewart

The Time Lord’s Error
by Marge Simon

Beneath…
by Julianne Snow

Midnight in the Oak Grove Cemetery
by C.A. Verstraete

The Gathering Gloom
by Suzanne Madron


***Find out how to win $25—100 in an Amazon gift card 
by entering the Bitter Suite Reviews contest.***

Writing Tips

I found these writing tips on Pinterest. They are common sense, but sometimes the most basic advice merits a repeat. What are your tips?


***Find out how to win $25—100 in an Amazon gift card 
by entering the Bitter Suite Reviews contest.***