Everything’s Coming Up Superheroes

Divine Five

This week is shaping up to be decidedly super. My husband and I are halfway through the Netflix adaptation of The Umbrella Academy graphic novel series (more fangirling on that later!). I have my ticket to see Captain Marvel this weekend in the fancy Dolby theater at our local AMC (the one with leather recliners that rumble, surround sound, and gorgeous projection). And yesterday, Divine Five: Dawn published, an anthology of superhero origin stories, which just so happens to feature my story “Shock to the System.”

Fun fact: I’m wearing a Wonder Woman shirt today in celebration, but I digress…

This was such a fun project! The editor/publisher, Timothy Pulo, simply provided me with a location (Marseilles, France), a name (Nikolas Travers), and a superpower (but I’m not spoiling that part for you!), and said, “Uh, go for it!” So yeah, the story was completely up to me. I had full reign to create the world, the relationships, the storyline, and the character of Nikolas. That kind of freedom is so liberating! And I had a blast writing my very first superhero story. (Although, I think it’s fitting to apologize to my protagonist, Nikolas. I put the poor kid through the ringer!)

Here’s a sneak peek of my story:

Excerpt of Shock to the System

By Tiffany Michelle Brown

Three blocks later, the métro sign appeared. Nikolas nearly sank to his knees in relief, but the thought of Marceline propelled him onward. He raced down the concrete steps, past a group of figures who wore dark-colored trench coats and argued in harsh whispers—Drug deal gone sideways, Nikolas thought—and into the underground tunnels of Marseille.

He was greeted, as always, with the stale smells of urine, mold, and grit, but the foul odors barely registered, because Nikolas had somewhere he desperately needed to be. There was a short, yet slow-moving line at the métro turnstile, and he briefly considered jumping the barrier, but knew he’d regret the decision later. He stood in line, like everyone else, then fed his métro card into the turnstile and pushed onto the platform. An overhead announcement proclaimed the next car would arrive in five minutes.

Nikolas ambled to the knife edge of the platform, ignoring the yellow safety line, and peered down the track, into the cavernous tubes of the métro line, as if he could summon the car with his mind. Of course, nothing of the sort happened. All Nikolas could see was darkness.

Nikolas sighed. Of all the nights to be late. Though perpetual tardiness was his status quo, he’d promised himself—and more importantly, he’d promised Marceline—that he would arrive at her place at a decent hour that night so they’d have ample time to celebrate.

And he’d broken that promise.

Flushed with disappointment, Nikolas reached into his pocket and retrieved his cell phone. The time was 8:02. He’d meant to arrive at Marceline’s an hour ago. And, of course, there were a slurry of text messages from his girl.

At 6:45: Still planning to be here at 7? I’m making your favorite! J

At 7:20: I’m guessing the métro is backed up or you left a little later than expected? I’ve got dinner ready for whenever you get here. Give me a call and let me know what’s up?

At 7:50: Nik, if you’re still at the office…

At 8:01: I’m not mad (well, maybe a little). But now I just want to know you’re ok. Call me?

“Idiot, idiot, idiot,” Nikolas muttered. “And for what? A medical app? An email that could’ve waited until tomorrow? You have to make this right.”

Nikolas paced the platform wildly, thinking through what he’d say once he got Marceline on the line. He concocted harebrained excuses—the office was under siege! He practiced over-the-top apologies—I’m sorry to the moon and back! He considered chucking his phone in the trash, so he could explain that he’d lost his mobile and couldn’t have contacted her.

In the end, he settled on a simple apology, coupled with an assurance that he was fine and on his way. They would talk more once he got to Marceline’s. He took a deep breath to steady his nerves, took a step away from the platform—and his ankle rolled.

Suddenly, Nikolas was pitching past the yellow safety line and toward the buzzing tracks of the métro. As he fell, he thought of Marceline—her golden, cat-like eyes, the raspy way she laughed, the way he felt safe wrapped in her arms—and sadness swept through him.

But then he stopped, mid-flight, and was pulled backward with a sharp jerk. Nikolas stumbled away from the rails, gulping in air, his body a patchwork of fine tremors. Beside him, a woman wearing a black trench coat stood calmly, as composed as a statue.

Merci, merci,” Nikolas managed between shaky breaths. “You…you saved me.”

“Yeah, I did,” the woman said. “I had to. You’re him.”

Nikolas frowned. What did she mean? “Have we met?”

“No. This is our meet-cute. Charmant, oui?

Nikolas wondered fleetingly if she was high—and then decided she must be. All the signs were there. She’d been reckless enough to save a man tumbling onto the métro tracks, risking her own life (although she’d seemed preternaturally strong). She was talking in riddles with utmost confidence. And it looked like her eyes were all black—so perhaps her pupils were dilated?

“Sure,” Nikolas said. “Listen, I’m really, really grateful. I don’t have much on me, but can I give you a little something?” He produced his wallet, but the woman caught his wrist before he could offer her anything.

“No,” she said. “You’re all I need.”

“O—kay,” Nikolas said. This exchange had become truly uncomfortable, and the woman still had a grip on his wrist. A really firm grip that Nikolas wasn’t sure he’d be able to break. “Thanks again, but I need to be go—“

“Could you tell me the time?” the woman asked, her black eyes peering into his.

Nikolas lifted his wrist—the one free of the woman’s grip—and glanced down at his watch. 8:05.

Huit heures…” he began, then felt fire in his wrist as the woman wrenched him to the side—not further into safety but toward the humming track.

She’s strong—too strong, Nikolas thought.

And then his feet left the earth and he flew. But this time he knew the mysterious stranger wouldn’t halt his fall. She’d initiated it this time, and Nikolas had no idea why.

As he tumbled, Nikolas heard the screams of passengers waiting on the platform, but they sounded warped, like he was underwater. He felt a sickening jolt as his body struck and bounced like a ragdoll. Heat seared through him, and it ran so hot, he almost felt cold. Nikolas’s back arched and his limbs stiffened as an electric current swept through him, painting his world in pain.

To find out what happens on the other side of Nikolas’s fall, pick up your copy of Divine Five: Dawn today!

 

kINKED Gets a New Cover!

kINKED

I will always have a soft spot in my heart (and my loins) for kINKED. Published by Pen and Kink Publishing, kINKED explores the intersection of ink and kink. And it just so happens to contain my story “Begin Again,” a tale that marks the first time I had the guts to publish something really, truly sexy.

Of course, a sexy collection deserves a sexy cover. And y’all, when kINKED first published, it had a cover that’ll make you blush…which proved a little problematic on good old Amazon. The OG cover is, well…visually risqué. And it made finding the collection organically via their search engine pretty difficult.

So…kINKED has a new, slightly less steamy cover. Check it out!

Kinked_photo_full_final_rework2

And here’s a little teaser of “Begin Again”:

“When the blue door swung open, Melissa lost her ability to speak as her gaze swept over the man she presumed to be the tattoo shop owner. Warm, amber light outlined his lithe yet strong figure, his dark, unruly hair, and the tattered jeans precariously slung about his narrow hips. He wore a gray t-shirt that clung to his chest as if he’d been standing in the rain, and where cotton ended, color began. Every inch of his muscular arms were covered in radiant koi fish, dark, twisty woodlands, long-dead rock stars, and lines and lines of block letters and script.

Melissa’s fingers tingled as an overwhelming desire to sketch him stretched through her arms. As far as drawing subjects were concerned, he was her type, someone who would be more at home on the battlefield than lounging nude in the heavens flanked by angels. Well, the nude part would be okay.

Melissa reached for the pencil she routinely kept in the back pocket of her jeans. But having forgotten where she was and what she was wearing—a black pencil skirt and a sequined top—she grasped nothing but air. Coming up empty, she clutched the arm nearest her, unsure of which friend it belonged to in the moment. She was afraid if she didn’t hold something, anything, she’d reach forward to trace her fingertips along the elegant arcs of color on this stranger’s forearms.”

If you’re looking for a steamy read, you can easily search for kINKED on Amazon…or you can use this direct link.

Happy reading!

Four Stories to Kick Off Your New Year!

Apparently, I should go on vacation more often—because while I was traveling and visiting family for the Christmas and New Year holidays, four of my short stories were published!

Normally, I’d spotlight each publication individually, but since they all happened in such a tight time frame, I figured I’d tell you about all of them at once.

You can read two of these publications for free (hooray!)—and the other two are part of benefit anthologies with all the proceeds going to two very deserving charities.

First up, my romantic short “Anything But Plain” is included in the Giftmas 2018 Advent Anthology, published by Rhonda Parrish and benefiting the Edmonton Food Bank. Read all about the fundraiser and the advent theme HERE. And yes, while we already surpassed our fundraising goal for December 2018 – and you can read all the stories for free on Rhonda’s blog –  all proceeds from the sale of the anthology itself will continue to go to the food bank. (And bonus, you’ll have them all in one place, so they’re extra easy to read.) So, if you dig the idea of reading a super diverse anthology with stories across genres (for a good cause!), check it out in either ebook or paperback format!

Secondly, my sad but sweet, punk-tinged meditation on teenage grief, “Unspoken Words,” was published in Christmas Lites VIII. This anthology, compiled by Amy Huntley, benefits the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The collection is family friendly (PG13 at most!) and features some stories by kiddos, too! Right now, the anthology is only available in ebook format, but I believe a print version is forthcoming.

Next, my drabble “All That Glitters” graced the Christmas edition of Trembling with Fear, which you can read for free online. Not for the faint of heart, Trembling with Fear keeps the merry scary going with stories of maniacal elves, age-old hauntings, revenge, and, in my micro-story, a grave decision.

Lastly, you can read my image-inspired flash fiction piece, “Le Cauchemar Vivant,” on Nina D’Arcangelo’s blog as part of the Ladies of Horror Flash Project. Can I scare you in less than 1,000 words? Check out my story to find out!

And with that, I’m off and writing into the New Year! On the docket so far for 2019 – a superhero origin story, a trilogy of M/M vampire romance novellas, some Black Mirror-inspired shorts, and much, much more.

Wishing you all a happy new year!

Quoth the Raven Author Victoria Weisfeld on Crime Writing, Dark Fiction, and the Timeless Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Victoria

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.

For my final interview, I’m chatting with Victoria Weisfeld, author of “Tooth and Nail” 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)?

As a crime writer, I appreciate how he built up characters who could get under your skin. Growing up reading Poe and Dickens, those long loopy sentences still carry me right into the story, though that writing style is definitely out-of-date today. It’s fun going back to it.

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

Obsession, compulsion, and (this is a long one) seeing the world through a cracked lens.

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?

“Well, Mr. Poe, it’s about a woman who sees her twin brother as the other half of herself and will stop at nothing to keep him close.”

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?

After gushing shamelessly, and extolling “The Gold Bug” for igniting my interest in cryptography, and “The Purloined Letter” as an example of a police procedural, I’d settle on “The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym,” one of Poe’s longer works, as one of the best adventure stories of all time, especially for an 1849 reader as yet unacquainted with the National Geographic and television nature programs.

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

Atmosphere comes to mind first and characters whose darkness (or by contrast, whose innocence) reveals the danger of their environment. Naturally, dark fiction employs sinister plots, but a plot that just piles on gore without establishing a sense of menace or without developing characters the reader cares about falls short. (A flaw in some modern crime fiction, as well.)

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

This is not an original insight, but sometimes reading about—exposing oneself to—supremely terrifying things makes it easier to deal with the fearful events encountered in everyday life. Some experts suggest this accounts for the popularity among women of a certain kind of thriller. Reading about sexual violence helps readers contemplate not just the terror of such an event, but also its survivability. Maybe.

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 Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. It was the first psychological thriller I’d ever read, so I wasn’t prepared for how far he’d go. Julia Heaberlin’s Paper Ghosts is a 2018 example. A young woman, Grace, embarks on a road trip with a demented elderly man she thinks may have killed her sister a dozen years earlier. The cat-and-mouse game between them, as she tries to figure out how lucid is he, really, is nerve-wracking!

Who are some of your literary inspirations?

I am a Dickens fan, and my last trip to England was to be part of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of his birth (favorite book: Our Mutual Friend). But since I’m a crime/mystery writer I have many sources of inspiration. I’d love to achieve the comic voice—even occasionally—of Joe Ide; the humanity of James Anderson; the literary power of Hannah Tinti, the suspense-creation of Gin Phillips. And many more!

What are you working on now?

Two novels are complete and appearing on publisher’s desks. One set in Rome, involving Eugenia Clarke, whom I’ve published several short stories about. Genie is a travel writer whose curiosity inevitably lands her in difficulty—deadly difficulty in this case. The other novel is about a New York architect whose mistress is murdered. On the surface, it’s about figuring out why she died and who killed her (and why they are plotting against him), but fundamentally it’s about a man trying to regain his self respect.

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

I have an active website—vweisfeld.com—with a page on “My Writing.” You can link directly to many of my short stories there, including the Derringer award-winning “Breadcrumbs.” The website includes book, movie, and theater reviews; covers topics writers fret about; and offers some travel tips, possible fodder for Genie’s next adventures.

About Victoria:

My short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine; Betty Fedora, Big Muddy, and the recent anthologies Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat, Murder Among Friends, and Bouchercon 2017’s Passport to Murder, as well as Quoth the Raven. I’m a reviewer for U.K. website crimefictionlover.com and Broadway-based theater review site TheFrontRowCenter.com.

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.

An Interview with Quoth the Raven Poe-etess Tonia Kalouria

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 Tonia Kalouria, author of “Advice is for the Birds” in Quoth the Raven.

Briefly describe the poem you wrote for Quoth the Raven.

A rhyming, ironic sublimation of my disdain for poetry editors who will accept nothing but free verse. “If it rhymes, don’t waste your time!” Note I did not use “our” time, as it takes no enterprise to toss another’s soul in the trash heap.

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 poem is about. What do you tell him?

I was inspired by the notion that unsolicited, unwanted advice is something that is “for the birds,” as we used to say. And, Hitchcock notwithstanding, menacing, nay-saying birds = Poe’s Raven, of course.

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?

What work has “creeped me out”?  The Exorcist — book and movie! By reading the book first, I viewed the film not as fiction, but fact. I was considering therapy for almost a week I was so traumatized. And pea soup was definitely off-menu for a very long time.

Who are some of your literary inspirations?

Wordsmiths I admire:  I love the surprise twist endings and Irony of O’Henry.  I admire the light verse of Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash, and Mother Goose’s rhymes.  I immensely enjoyed reading Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

But I think the “heard word” deserves consideration as well when discussing the outstanding use of language. To wit: The late James Reilley, head writer for NBC’s soap “Passions” cranked out delightful scripts to fill five one-hour shows per week. And said scripts encompassed multi-genres: romance, mystery, fantasy, and especially, humor!

The rock opera, Jesus Christ Super Star with lyrics by Tim Rice is another example of brilliance with the heard word.

And not least, dear radio icon, Paul Harvey. I eagerly awaited his fifteen minute noon newscasts from elementary school days when I would run home for lunch, until his last broadcast as an adult.

What are you currently working on right now?

Utilizing my fondness for irony and memorable endings, I am currently tweaking a flash fiction piece called: “Blind Justice.” As with the five serious poems I wrote for the 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly Blog, it too,  has a moral, or “message.”

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

I can be reached on Linkedin or Facebook.

About Tonia:

Tonia is the mother of two wonderful sons and grandmother of one lovely granddaughter, and a former high school Spanish teacher in Toledo and Elyria, OH. She was also “Dr. Wilson” from 2002-2007 on the NBC soap “Passions.”

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.

Dark Tales and Devious Plots with Quoth the Raven Author Donea Lee Weaver

Donea Lee photo

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 Donea Lee Weaver, author of “The Ca(t)sualty” 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 think what really speaks to me about Poe’s work is the way he delves into the psychology of madness. So many triggers and so many reactions and consequences. It’s fascinating!

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

Morally-gray, snarky, accidental.

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?

I’d ask him, “Have you ever been married?…Happily?…If your answer is ‘yes,’ then my story is a cautionary tale of what could happen if you pushed your spouse too far – and liked the cat more than her…”

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?

I’d tell him that the story that has stuck with me from when I first read it in school, is “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The image of the old man’s eye and how the main character tries to convince the reader that he’s not mad…yet, he so clearly is…it’s awesome.

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

They absolutely have to be atmospheric, such a dark and riveting setting that when the madness/terror happens you’re already sucked in. I also think they need to really dig into the inner-dialogue of what drives the main character to do this terrible thing they do.

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

For me, it’s always been about the adrenaline rush. When I’m so terrified, I want to cover my eyes and hide away, but I’m still peeking through my fingers, because I just have to know what happens next.

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?

I’d have to go with Frankenstein. It’s terrifying and heart-breaking at the same time. And the way it plays with ideas of gods and monsters is really quite genius.

Who are some of your literary inspirations?

There are many, but some of the stories that have truly stuck with me – the ones I wish with all my heart were real – those are the most inspiring to me, and they were written by: J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, Eva Ibottson, Cornelia Funke, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

What are you currently working on right now?

I’m working on a contemporary, light sci-fi novel that has a creepy explanation about the faces you might see in inanimate objects…

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

I had a short novella published in an anthology a while back, but it has since been unpublished, so my story in Quoth the Raven is the only piece of mine you can currently find online. Hopefully, more to come soon. People can always connect with me on Twitter or Instagram: @donealee

About Donea Lee:

Donea Lee Weaver is a perpetual daydreamer who’s been creating and telling stories since her elementary school days. When she’s not writing about the things she loves (all things fantasy, sci-fi, romance and yes, even a little horror) she’s out exploring with her daughter, dog and husband somewhere in northern UT. She also loves to read, travel and play games with her sisters and best friend. She earned a BA in English from Weber State University and is a member of SCBWI, The League of UT Writers and attends the Storymaker’s Writing Conference every year. Feel free to contact her at donealee@gmail.com or find her on Twitter and Instagram: @donealee

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.

Chills and Thrills with Quoth the Raven Author Emerian Rich

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 Emerian Rich, author of “My Annabel” 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)?

He just gets us, you know? His mind created some of the best moments in horror by just understanding how we like to be scared.

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

Creepy, heartbreaking.

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?

“My Annabel” tells the story of two surgeons caught in a pandemic emergency and their fight to stay alive for one another.

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?

To tell you the truth, I’d probably get too tongue-tied to express myself. Although I can speak in front of crowds and read to hundreds, I would have a hard time addressing someone I held so highly. I’d go into it thinking I would compliment him on “Annabel Lee” but then blurb out some incoherent ramble, ended with apologies and a quick exit!

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

I really just want to scare my readers the way I want to be scared. What I think is creepy and spooky will also get under the skin of my readers. So, it’s getting into the head of a horror reader and pushing them just one step closer to the edge without losing them over the cliff.

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

Horror addicts like to be scared in a safe, non-harmful way. Creep me out, test my limits, push me over the edge as long as in reality I am safe in my warm bed, able to switch on the light and see the monsters are just in my head.

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 Woman in Black by Susan Hill is pretty creepy. I read it after watching the movie because I just adored the film. The book is similar, but it’s got this underlying chill that scared me more than the movie. The house (or the bog) seemed almost like a Cthulhu creature, mesmerizing characters into doing strange things, or paralyzing their thought process in a way that seemed insurmountable to overcome.

Who are some of your literary inspirations?

Anne Rice and Andrew Neiderman are my favorite horror writers. I also enjoy Jane Austen and Regency Romance fiction. I try to take what others have done twist it so it becomes something new.

What are you currently working on right now?

My current WIP is a modern YA rewrite of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. You could call it Gossip Girl meets The Shining. This is my favorite of her books and fits me so well because the heroine in the novel is a horror addict like me. In my modern tale, Kat is a goth gal seeking adventure who finds it during a spooky trek to the snow country where a family is haunted by the memories of their deceased mother.

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

emzbox.com


About Emerian:

Emerian Rich is the author of the vampire book series, Night’s Knights, and writes romance under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal. Her horror/romance crossover, Artistic License, is about a woman who inherits a house where anything she paints on the walls comes alive. She’s been published in a handful of anthologies by publishers such as Dragon Moon Press, Hidden Thoughts Press, Hazardous Press, and White Wolf Press. She is the podcast Horror Hostess of HorrorAddicts.net and you can connect with her at: emzbox.com.

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.