Talking Scary Stories and the Silver Screen with Quoth the Raven Author Susan McCauley

Susie's Headshot 2015

To celebrate the release of Quoth the Raven, edited by Lyn Worthen and published by Camden Park Press, I’m getting cozy with my fellow anthology contributors to learn more about their stories and what inspires their dark little writers’ hearts.

Next, I’m interviewing Susan McCauley, author of “The Cask” in Quoth the Raven.

Quoth the Raven celebrates the eerie and influential legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. What is it about Edgar Allan Poe’s work that speaks to you (perhaps from the grave)?

There is something haunting about his work. His stories and the way they’re told have a way sticking with you – even years after you’ve read them.

Pick three adjectives to describe the story you wrote for Quoth the Raven.

Dark, twisted, eerie.

Imagine you’re in an old-timey elevator, a rickety one that boasts a well-worn, rusty cage. There’s a man in all black in the elevator with you, and he asks what your story is about. What do you tell him?

Assuming we’re in present day, I’d let him know it’s a modern re-telling of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, and that the story is about betrayal and revenge. Unlike Poe’s original story, the reader finds out why Montresor has his revenge on Fortunato.

Okay, I’m continuing with this scenario thing. It’s 1849, and you’re at a gathering of literature lovers, a salon, if you will. Across the room, you spy Edgar Allan Poe, and you simply must go over to him to compliment his work. What is the story or poem of his that you laud to excess? And why?

Of course I would have to talk to him about “The Cask of Amontillado.” I love “The Tell-Tale Heart,” too, but “The Cask of Amontillado” has impacted my life in so many ways in both my teaching and writing – especially due to my re-telling of the story and the subsequent short film that was made based on my story. I’d love to know how Poe was inspired to write “The Cask of Amontillado” and what his process was like with writing it.

As a writer, what do you think are the most important elements of dark fiction?

I think that atmosphere and tension are extremely important elements in dark fiction. Certainly all fiction needs tension to pull in a reader and keep them reading, but I think a combination of atmosphere and tension (along with some unexpected and/or disturbing events and images) are vital.

As a reader, why are you attracted to dark fiction? Why do you think we like to read about the things that terrify us?

I honestly don’t know why I’m so drawn to dark fiction. I can only go so far with it – and I don’t like gore. I prefer psychological and supernatural horror. I think why people like things that terrify us is because of our basic survival instincts. For hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of years humanoids have had to fight or run to survive. In modern life, we’re much safer and our basic needs are met. So, I think that by going to scary movies, reading scary stories, and going on scary rides, that helps fulfill a part of us that isn’t being used very often – at least not in countries where all of our major survival needs are met. So, I think it’s psychological and biological.

What’s a story or poem – by any author – that has truly creeped you out (in the best way possible, of course)? What was it about that particular story that just got to you?

The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson creeped me out. I first read it in my early twenties and had to sleep with the lights on for several nights. I don’t remember exactly what about the story got to me, but it was psychologically haunting. I’m going to read it again to see what it is about that book that created so much fear in me.

Who are some of your literary inspirations?

I’d say that William Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and Shirley Jackson are some favorites. I have several more modern authors I find inspiring, too. Jonathan Stroud and Mary Downing Hahn are two of the authors I find myself returning to over and over again.

What are you currently working on right now?

Well, I’ve got two feature films (I’m also a screenwriter) in development. One, The Murdering Kind, is being directed by Academy Award winning SFX makeup artist, Barney Burman. For the other, The Lost Children of York, I can’t announce the director just yet because we’re still in the negotiation process. I also have a short story, “The Devil’s Tree,” which you can read for free on WattPad. I’ve turned “The Devil’s Tree” into a novel (it’s currently on submission). I’m also planning to adapt that short story into a short film and direct it myself.

Where can we find more of your work or connect with you online?

You can find more of my work and can connect with me online at http://www.sbmccauley.com/ I’d love to hear from you! And, if you’re interested, you can see the short film version of my story of “The Cask” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/55jEBuSdJAg

About Susan:

Susan is a writer / director / producer of horror, supernatural, and fantasy films and fiction for adults, young adults, and middle grade audiences and readers. Susan fell in love with writing, theater, and film when she was eight-years-old. That passion inspired her to receive a B.A. in Radio-Television with a minor in Theater from the University of Houston, a M.F.A. in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and a M.A. in Text & Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and King’s College in London. Susan also studied acting at Playhouse West with Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic ParkIndependence Day) in Los Angeles.

While living in Los Angeles, Susan wrote the story for and produced a short film, which later won awards at the Houston International Film Festival and the Seabrook Film Festival. In 2002, Susan moved to London to further explore professional theater. While in London, her stage adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose” was performed at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s George Bernard Shaw Theatre; and, scenes from her play The Prisoner: Princess Elizabeth were performed at HMS Tower of London. She returned home to the U.S. in 2005. In 2007, she was the line producer of the Emmy Award nominated Civil War short film Now & Forever Yours: Letters to an Old Soldier. In 2016, her short story, “The Cask,” was made into an award winning short film that played at film festivals around the U.S.

Quoth the Raven coverAbout Quoth the Raven:

The works of Poe were dark and often disturbing. From dismembered corpses, rivals bricked behind cellar walls, murders in back alleys, laments for lost loves, obsessions that drive men – and women! – to madness, his stories have had a profound impact on both the horror and mystery genres to this day.

In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe’s work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and goth horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe’s tales, and faithful recreations of the author’s signature style.

Purchase your copy of the anthology HERE.

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Getting Spooky with Quoth the Raven Contributor Sonora Taylor

sonora-taylor-2

To celebrate the release of Quoth the Raven, edited by Lyn Worthen and published by Camden Park Press, I’m getting cozy with my fellow anthology contributors to learn more about their stories and what inspires their dark little writers’ hearts.

Next, I’m interviewing Sonora Taylor, author of “Hearts are Just ‘Likes'” in Quoth the Raven.

Quoth the Raven celebrates the eerie and influential legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. What is it about Edgar Allan Poe’s work that speaks to you (perhaps from the grave)?

I love that his work focuses on a slow building of unease that culminates in terror, as opposed to jump scares, “Gotcha” endings, or supernatural creatures. I’ve read some great horror that incorporates those things, but the horror that sticks with me the most is atmospheric, slow-burn horror that’s rooted in reality – and if something otherworldly is present, it’s not the scariest part of the story.

Pick three adjectives to describe the story you wrote for Quoth the Raven.

Connected. Frenzied. Violent.

Imagine you’re in an old-timey elevator, a rickety one that boasts a well-worn, rusty cage. There’s a man in all black in the elevator with you, and he asks what your story is about. What do you tell him?

It’s an update on a story written when this elevator was likely constructed, and most of it takes place on this phone I’m going to use to call for help when the elevator likely breaks down.

Okay, I’m continuing with this scenario thing. It’s 1849, and you’re at a gathering of literature lovers, a salon, if you will. Across the room, you spy Edgar Allan Poe, and you simply must go over to him to compliment his work. What is the story or poem of his that you laud to excess? And why?

It’s “Hop Frog.” I love many stories by Poe, and think his talent for dark fiction is unique. But as dark and atmospheric and lovely as his works are, “Hop Frog” is the only one that scared me. I still remember everything about reading it: the one lamp on in my room, my old middle school room adorned with posters of JTT and Devon Sawa, the small font and the purple, glossy paperback cover of the book in my hands, and the imagery in my mind of a dwarf stringing up the king and his men in their orangutan costumes, sentencing them to their deaths in front of all of the king’s subjects with none of them the wiser. I had trouble going to sleep that night. I’d tell him all about that (and then explain who the men on the posters were).

As a writer, what do you think are the most important elements of dark fiction?

I think the build towards the terror is important. Jump scares and sudden surprises accomplish scares, but it’s the slowly-building terror that sticks with you and settles into your bones. I also think having a sense of the characters beyond their function to the plot is important – internal thoughts, mental processes, etc. Without these, it’s easy for the characters – both good and bad – to just be cartoons that aren’t that scary because they don’t feel real. We know a lot of horror isn’t real, but it has to feel real in order for it to be effective.

As a reader, why are you attracted to dark fiction? Why do you think we like to read about the things that terrify us?

I like to read journeys into dark corners, especially the dark corners of someone’s mind. The mind can be terrifying, especially if it’s a nervous or anxious mind. I’m most drawn to stories that aren’t just about a dark force, but how someone’s responding to that darkness. For instance, my favorite story by H.P. Lovecraft is “The Rats in the Walls,” because the terror isn’t from the rats, it’s from the narrator’s complete mental breakdown at the end.

I enjoy reading these kinds of stories because it’s a way to engage with terror without feeling it so fully. I both read and write stories rooted in suspicion, anxiety, distrust, and fear because those are feelings I struggle with (though not at the dark extremes of my characters). Though it’s a hellish experience in my day-to-day, I feel a strange sense of comfort when experiencing it in fiction. I get the same sense of comfort in dark humor, which I also like to see in the fiction I engage with.

I think many fans of dark fiction have a similar experience. Reading dark fiction allows one to experience darkness at a safe distance, and – unlike the characters – come out safe by the story’s end. It’s choosing to experience fear on your own terms and with a sense of removal from the terror’s grasp.

What’s a story or poem – by any author – that has truly creeped you out (in the best way possible, of course)? What was it about that particular story that just got to you?

“Shadder” by Neil Gaiman. It’s a tiny story that appears in the introduction to “Trigger Warning.” I read it in bed (having learned nothing since reading “Hop Frog” in bed all those years ago). Even though it’s short, even though I knew it was fiction, even though I had all the lights on and even though my bed is up against the wall, I still felt the urge to look behind me by the story’s end.

 Who are some of your literary inspirations?

I really like the dark fiction of Flannery O’Connor. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a great example of a subtle, slow-burn build-up to darkness. The way the fate of the family unfolded really stuck with me, as well as O’Connor being satisfied with most of the violence happening off of the page.

I also really like the work of Augusten Burroughs. He writes about a dark life, but with biting humor. “Sellevision” is excellent, but I find the most inspiration from his memoirs. I often re-read “Running with Scissors,” “Dry,” and “A Wolf at the Table” all in a row as a trilogy.

One of my most enduring inspirations is comics. I grew up reading newspaper dailies, slice-of-life indie comics, and Archie. Newspaper dailies and daily web comics especially inspired my humor, slow-burn build-ups, and dialogue. My biggest inspirations include Jeph Jacques (Questionable Content), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), and Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine).

What are you currently working on right now?

I’m working on my second novel, Without Condition. It’s about a serial killer navigating through her first relationship – namely, what a relationship means for her side gig. It’s part dark comedy, part chiller, part romance, and part family drama. I expect to release it on February 12, 2019 – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Where can we find more of your work or connect with you online?

The best place to find me online is my website: sonorawrites.com. You’ll find information about me and my books, as well as a blog that I update once every week or two.

I’m also active on social media. I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account.

You can also follow me and shelve/review my books on Goodreads.

Finally, you can find my books – both in ebook and paperback – on Amazon.

About Sonora:

Sonora Taylor has been writing for many years. She is the author of The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales, Wither and Other Stories, and Please Give. She is also the co-author of Wretched Heroes, a graphic novel co-written and illustrated by Doug Puller. Her work appears in Camden Park Press’s Quoth the Raven, an anthology of stories and poems that put a contemporary twist on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. She is currently working on her second novel. She lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband.

Quoth the Raven coverAbout Quoth the Raven:

The works of Poe were dark and often disturbing. From dismembered corpses, rivals bricked behind cellar walls, murders in back alleys, laments for lost loves, obsessions that drive men – and women! – to madness, his stories have had a profound impact on both the horror and mystery genres to this day.

In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe’s work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and goth horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe’s tales, and faithful recreations of the author’s signature style.

Purchase your copy of the anthology HERE.

10 Creepy Questions with Quoth the Raven Contributor Steven R. Southard

Steven Southard

To celebrate the release of Quoth the Raven, edited by Lyn Worthen and published by Camden Park Press, I’m getting cozy with my fellow anthology contributors to learn more about their stories and what inspires their dark little writers’ hearts.

First up, I’m interviewing Steven R. Southard, author of “The Unparalleled Attempt to Rescue One Hans Pfaall” in Quoth the Raven.

Quoth the Raven celebrates the eerie and influential legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. What is it about Edgar Allan Poe’s work that speaks to you (perhaps from the grave)?

His work reminds me of Jules Verne’s with its precise and exacting language, and the frequent sprinkling of numbers with the text. Unlike Verne, Poe could convey deep terror and fear in a way that sucks you in and makes you feel it, too. Also unlike Verne, Poe, as a writer of both poetry and prose, could maximize the effect caused by the sound and rhythm of English words.

Pick three adjectives to describe the story you wrote for Quoth the Raven.

Bizarre, humorous, and lunar.

Imagine you’re in an old-timey elevator, a rickety one that boasts a well-worn, rusty cage. There’s a man in all black in the elevator with you, and he asks what your story is about. What do you tell him?

“Considering the rust on this rickety cage, I’m not sure we’ll even make it to our floors, so it’s tough to concentrate on answering your question. My story is a sequel to Poe’s tale about a trip to the Moon by balloon. Trouble is, Poe left so many questions unanswered: What were the Moon’s inhabitants like? What happened to the traveler, Hans Pfaall? Did the city of Rotterdam ever send a rescue mission? Poe intended to continue the tale in future installments, but never did. Someone had to write the sequel and tie up all the loose ends, so I did it.”

Okay, I’m continuing with this scenario thing. It’s 1849, and you’re at a gathering of literature lovers, a salon, if you will. Across the room, you spy Edgar Allan Poe, and you simply must go over to him to compliment his work. What is the story or poem of his that you laud to excess? And why?

“Mr. Poe, I could go on for hours trumpeting your praises for many of your works, but your poem ‘Anabel Lee’ is, in my view, your utmost achievement. The tight rhyming scheme, the skill in describing a love so intense it makes angels envious and survives death itself, and the romantic imagery, all combine in six short stanzas to produce poetic perfection. What are you drinking, sir? I’m buying.”

As a writer, what do you think are the most important elements of dark fiction?

To me, the most important element is mood. Whether it’s dark fantasy, horror, or some other form of dark fiction, it must convey a negative mood such as hatred, fear, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, or melancholy. Successful dark fiction drags the reader through the depths of the chosen mood, such that she can claim to have experienced it merely by reading the words.

As a reader, why are you attracted to dark fiction? Why do you think we like to read about the things that terrify us?

Actually, as a former engineer, I’m attracted to problem-solving protagonists, whether in dark fiction or other stories. Poe’s “A Descent into the Maelström” and the detective tales featuring C. Auguste Dupin are problem-solving stories, and are also dark. Most dark fiction readers love the opportunity to experience, endure, and transcend fear and terror in a no-consequence setting.

What’s a story or poem – by any author – that has truly creeped you out (in the best way possible, of course)? What was it about that particular story that just got to you?

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow. It’s a re-telling, and update, of George Orwell’s 1984, and it’s a chilling tale of how easy it may be to slip into totalitarianism.

Who are some of your literary inspirations?

Jules Verne belongs on my top pedestal. Sharing second place are Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Larry Niven, and Edgar Allan Poe.

What are you currently working on right now?

I’m writing the second in a planned series of alternate history stories about Brother Eilmer of Malmesbury Abbey. He’s a medieval Benedictine monk who creates technological inventions far in advance of his time. My first such story was “Instability,” which appeared in the anthology Dark Luminous Wings, and was based on an actual recorded event.

Where can we find more of your work or connect with you online?

My website and blog are at stevenrsouthard.com, where I’m known as Poseidon’s Scribe. Readers can follow me on Twitter at @StevenRSouthard, and like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/steven.southard.16. My Amazon author page is here: https://www.amazon.com/Steven-R.-Southard/e/B002QO00TO/, and my Goodreads author page is at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2953497.Steven_R_Southard

About Steven:

Having spent time near Baltimore, it’s possible that author Steven R. Southard has somehow absorbed a measure of the still-lingering aura of Edgar Allan Poe. During the night’s darkest hours, by the light of a single candle, Steve pens tales of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and alternate history. His stories appear in more than ten anthologies and one series. The bravest and most curious among you may venture to his website at stevenrsouthard.com, where you may discover Steve waiting, lurking, and well hidden behind his codename: Poseidon’s Scribe.

Quoth the Raven cover

About Quoth the Raven:

The works of Poe were dark and often disturbing. From dismembered corpses, rivals bricked behind cellar walls, murders in back alleys, laments for lost loves, obsessions that drive men – and women! – to madness, his stories have had a profound impact on both the horror and mystery genres to this day.

In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe’s work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and goth horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe’s tales, and faithful recreations of the author’s signature style.

Purchase your copy of the anthology HERE.

“My Love, In Pieces” Serves Up Edgar Allan Poe-Inspired Body Horror

Quoth the Raven cover

Initially, I didn’t plan to write a story to submit to Quoth the Raven, an anthology of contemporary tales and poems inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. I’d seen the call for submissions from Camden Park Press floating around the interwebs, and it sounded like a cool project, but I hadn’t had that lightbulb inspiration moment.

And then, I read a story a friend of mine planned to submit, and as I read her incredible manuscript, I thought, Wow, this is a brilliant retelling…and now I want to be part of this project. (Spoiler alert – my friend’s story, “Marcela,” was accepted for the anthology, because like I said, it’s brilliant! Penny Paling, I owe you, girl!)

So, I did a quick Google search for stories by Edgar Allan Poe, promising myself that I would only invest in writing a new story if I got an idea that melted my face off. That jolt of inspiration came as soon as I read a synopsis and then the full text of “Berenice.”

Here’s a brief description of the story from Wikipedia:

“‘Berenice’ is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. The story follows a man named Egaeus who is preparing to marry his cousin Berenice. He has a tendency to fall into periods of intense focus during which he seems to separate himself from the outside world. Berenice begins to deteriorate from an unnamed disease until the only part of her remaining healthy is her teeth, which become the object of Egaeus’ obsession.”

Now, I didn’t post the full description of the story above, because it contains spoilers for the creepiest, crawliest parts of the narrative, the parts that didn’t jive with readers when Poe first published it. That’s right, folks complained that Poe had gone too far with this particular story. Because of mass public upset, Poe ultimately decided to self-censor the work to make it more palatable to polite society.

So, I’d found a story that had a conclusion so horrific it was censored? Yep, I decided that was the story I wanted to resurrect and give new life.

And it was the right choice, because “My Love, In Pieces,” which you can read in Quoth the Raven (out today!) is one of the scariest stories I’ve ever written.

Here’s a little taste:

“I wasn’t ready to see you like that, broken and bandaged and so very ashen. Your skin, once the color of fresh cream, was the color of dirty snow. Your face was swollen and bruised, a misshapen fruit, thanks to the airbags. Your leg was broken in two places, but it had been reset and shrouded in plaster. The doctor said one of your lungs collapsed and you had a concussion. Your injuries were many. Thus, the medically induced coma. They had you on painkillers and steroids and other medications that had so many syllables, I wondered if the doctor was making them up for my benefit.

The worst part was that wretched plastic tube down your throat, the contraption responsible for your breathing, since you could no longer manage that on your own. I couldn’t see you. I couldn’t see my wife, the shining constant of my life.

My chest grew hot as a branding iron, and I feared I’d spontaneously burst into flame. My flesh would drip from my bones, and then…then, I’d be unrecognizable to you, too. Maybe that would be better.

“She’ll wake up, right?” I managed.

The doctor gave me a kind smile. “In time, yes. We’ll take her off the barbiturates that keep her under as soon as possible, but she has a lot of healing to do. I can’t give you a definite timeframe. Of course, we’ll do everything we can to help in her recovery.”

It wasn’t the answer I wanted. My fists curled and hardened at my sides, ready to fly.

I told the doctor thank you and shook his hand, though my palm was cold and clammy. He left the room, and we were alone. I sunk into a chair, ran my hands through my hair, and listened to the metallic beep of your heart.

It’s cliché, but it all felt like a bad dream.

I thought of that morning, of the time before. You’d surprised me, climbing atop my hips in the gray light of dawn, bringing your finger to your lips while grinning mischievously. You’d bit my shoulder to keep from waking the girls. You smiled at me. You gnashed your teeth in the throes of our lovemaking. You were so warm and alive.

A fine pressure mounted in my chest, and I tucked my head between my knees to alleviate a sudden swoon. As I gulped in sour hospital air, an object on the floor near your bed caught my attention. It was blindingly white, slightly round with distinct grooves, no larger than a fingernail.”

Y’all, you’re so not ready for what happens next! Pick up your copy of Quoth the Raven HERE and see how this creeptastic story unfolds.

Getting Down and Dirty in the Sand with Escaping Exile Author Sara Dobie Bauer

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What happens when you maroon a brutal, brooding vampire and a smart-cracking human naturalist on a tropical island? Primal urges. Hidden desires. Battles with cannibals. Sweaty jungle nights. And a tantalizing story by Sara Dobie Bauer that elevates vampire mythos to new, exciting, erotic heights. If you like reading about sexy men who love sexy men, this first installation in the Escape Series, Escaping Exile, is for you.

Today, I have Sara on the blog to talk vampires, deserted islands, and writing scorching sex scenes.

As evidenced by both this series and the Bite Somebody series, you like setting vampiric stories in beachy locales. Why do you think you keep winding up in the water and on the sand?

I want to live at the beach. Sure, it’s a vision of utopia because all my “beach time” is based on vacation experience. Therefore, my “beach time” is just me on a beach drinking all day and making strange friends. I’m not sure what it would be like to live on a beach full time … but I’m willing to give it a try. I love the laid back lifestyle, and I would wear nothing but bathing suits. I’m also a water baby, so I’d rather be swimming than walking (although I would miss the high heels).

If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you rather have with you – Edmund or Andrew? Why?

Edmund because of his sick sense of humor. And he’d keep me warm at night, whereas Andrew—as a vampire—would not. Plus, Edmund’s look is based on a buffed up Timothee Chalamet, and I wouldn’t mind waking up to that face every morning.

And who would you rather accompany to Mardi Gras in New Orleans?  

Oh, tough one! Probably Andrew because he could defend me from murderers and thieves due to his vampiric prowess. His superhuman strength and height would assist me in efficiently getting drinks, and he knows all the best brothels.

What are your favorite lines from Escaping Exile? (no context needed)

“Not everyone is as morally reprehensible as the two of us.”

“Thank God.” I suck his lower lip and let it go with a pop. “The entire world would be nothing but blood and orgies.”

What is the theme song for our lovers while they’re living on their island?

“Better Love” by Hozier. Such a sexy, sexy song.

What was the best part about writing Escaping Exile? What was the worst?

Best part: Writing the sex. There is so much tension at the beginning of this series, so when the boys finally DO IT … oh, what a relief. They are very good at sex together.

Worst part: Typing “The End.” I love these boys!!! (Although, thankfully, this book is part one of a trilogy, so there’s more to come …)

There are some very, very sexy scenes in this novella! Is there anything in particular you do to get yourself in the mood to write these scenes? Do your characters beg for it?

Ha, I’m always in the mood. TMI? In all honesty, I’m a big fan fiction reader, so I’ve been known to visit Archive of Our Own for some sexy inspiration. Fan fiction writers are sorely underrated. I’ve learned so much about writing sex from reading Johnlock and Charmie stories.

In the case of Escaping Exile, I’m not sure who was more desperate to get laid: Andrew or Edmund. By the time they finally kiss, I’m pretty sure they were both begging for it.

Some say that vampires are written to death (pun intended). Why do you think readers still crave stories about vampires? And why do you still crave stories about vampires?

Vampires will always be sexy—and we all love sexy things. Often, humans like the idea of immortality, too. So maybe we’re fixated on that: the idea of eternal youth. Personally, I’m a fan of biting and vampires are generally darkly charismatic with loads of sensuality and a touch of the nasty. I like all these things. No … I love all these things.

What can we expect in the next installment of the Escape series? Give us a little hint, pretty please?

The love story of Andrew and Edmund continues in New Orleans. Orgies. Eternal love. More vampires. A trans-Atlantic sea voyage. Did I mention orgies?

And, in case you were wondering, here’s the fantasy movie cast of Escaping Exile. 

EE movie cast

 

ABOUT ESCAPING EXILE:

Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream-but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?

 

BUY LINKS:

https://amzn.to/2LAMPWi

https://ninestarpress.com/product/escaping-exile/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40958274-escaping-exile

 

SDB

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody series, among other sexy things. Learn more at http://SaraDobieBauer.com.

 

SARA DOBIE BAUER SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSaraDobieBauer/
https://twitter.com/saradobie
https://www.instagram.com/saradobiebauer/
https://saradobiebauer.tumblr.com/

 

The Ravens Have Landed

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“Parachute” was the magic word. As soon as Kristy Velesko of Kristy Velesko Photography mentioned that she’d be bringing her parachute to San Diego for our photo shoot, I knew things were going to get weird. And I was all about it!

I bought a new corset and some gold body paint. I came up with a super dramatic look for my hair and makeup. And when I met Kristy and Ryan Haringa, my devastatingly handsome and super sweet shoot partner, on the rocks at Mission Beach, I was ready.

We hiked out to an abandoned bait shack, channeled our inner villainy, made some jokes about fluffers and skirt wenches…

…and ladies and gentlemen, the ravens landed.

(All photos provided courtesy of Kristy Velesko Photography and are subject to copyright. The behind-the-scenes shots toward the end are not to be missed!)

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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If you’re like me, and political tensions, social divides, inexhaustible news cycles, and worldwide crises have got you down, I have some practical advice for you. Go watch the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? immediately.

My husband and I caught a showing of it the other night at a local theater, and it was the soothing balm I didn’t know my soul so desperately needed.

I remember watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid, though my recollections are fuzzy and unreliable. Despite these grainy Technicolor memories, while watching the documentary, I immediately recognized Fred Rogers’ sweet smile, his tempered voice, his infamous cardigans, the simple yet resonant songs he composed for the show, and the iconic characters, including Daniel (Striped) Tiger and King Friday the 13th, that he brought to life each week.

The nostalgia produced through revisiting the sights and sounds of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was lovely, but where this documentary truly excels is in moving beyond the nostalgia to reveal everything you likely missed as a kid. And man, I missed a lot.

Sitting in that theater, watching clips from the show and from Fred Rogers’ life, I felt like I was seeing this television icon, as he truly was, for the first time. And I saw so much.

I saw a man who valued the experiences, feelings, and potential of children at a time when the general public knew little about childhood development. I saw a man who, unlike many adults, believed in and understood the validity and intensity of childhood emotions.

I saw a social justice pioneer, who invited a black man to dunk his feet in his kiddie pool on syndicated television during a time when racial divides ran so very deep. The same man treated children with disabilities the same way in which he would treat any child, demonstrating inclusiveness and eliminating social stigma through example.

I saw someone who didn’t talk down to kids, but instead did so with dignity. Someone who didn’t sanitize the good, the bad, or the ugly to make it “child appropriate.” Instead, I saw a man bravely explain the Challenger tragedy, the assassination of JFK, and the terrors of war in ways in which children could easily understand and process.

I saw a man who single-handedly saved PBS from budget cuts, not by railing or shouting or evangelizing, but by speaking from the heart and appealing to the humanity of the members of the U.S. Senate. (By the way, his address is less than seven minutes, utterly incredible, and you can watch it HERE.)

I saw an ordained minister who spread a message of love and acceptance through his work in the television industry, a message that was deeply influenced by his Christian beliefs, but never came across as manipulative, coercive, or self-serving.

The result of all these revelations? Flat-out weeping.

I thought that I went to the theater prepared. I had my tissues at the ready. But you guys, I wasn’t ready.

I’m not a fan of spoilers, so I won’t tell you the exact scenes during which I cried, but I will tell you there were three of them, along with other countless moments where my heart swelled in my chest and goosebumps broke out on my skin.

Seriously, go see this documentary. It’s an absolute treasure. Just like Fred Rogers was.

People always say that we study history in order to learn from it. Often, we we look back and examine tragedies or catastrophes, so we can learn from the chaos and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

But the opposite is true in regard to Won’t You Be My Neighbor? This documentary is an opportunity to look back at something (or rather someone) implicitly good. It’s a chance to learn from the example of a man who had a profound and positive impact not only on educational television programming and American pop culture, but (more importantly) on individuals’ lives.

Most of all, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a reminder of how incredible our communities could be if we simply learned to look beyond ourselves and made a concerted effort to value the lives and experiences of others.

Personally, that’s a neighborhood I’d like to live in.