Tag Archives: horror

Coming Full Circle

Recently, my short vampire story “It’s in Your Blood” appeared in Bites – Ten Tales of Vampires.

Years before, I’d written an anthology called Tales of Terror. Basically, it consisted of three horror stories written on notebook paper and stapled together. There were three “issues”.

Keep in mind, I was in the sixth grade and just starting out. I was influenced by Ida Chittum’s collection of ghost stories, also called Tales of Terror (one of my favorite childhood books), Alfred Hitchcock’s anthologies, and shows like Night Gallery and Twilight Zone.

I moved on to writing poetry while in high school but did write the occasional short story. For several years, my English teacher used one of these stories as an example of descriptive writing.

It wasn’t until college when I pursued short story writing again, this time focusing on the literary genre. I still wrote poetry and a friend was trying to convince me to write screenplays, something I wouldn’t do until a few years later.

Despite my creative writing endeavors, I wanted to be a journalist for an alternative press newspaper. After college, I spent a couple of years writing freelance magazine articles for local magazines, only to return to my fiction writing roots.

Which brings me to the present. I’m back to writing those dark genre stories I enjoyed as a preteen. Right now I have two awaiting publisher responses, am working on one, and am thinking of ideas for more. All this while I work on my short novels.

Why do I like writing short stories? I tend to be someone who likes to get to the point, which is a reason I can’t write novels. (I know. I’ve tried. Trust me.) Short stories provide a way for me to get material out without spending the time it would take for a longer piece. (Not that writing short stories is easy and there are authors who prefer not to write them.)

However, if writers like Charles Beaumont, Rod Serling, Ray Bradbury and others were able to elevate the short story to another level, I can only hope I might do the same one day.


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Putting the “Fan” in Fandom Fest

     (Cross-posted from Write Club.)
     This past weekend, two types of fans descended on the sci-fi/fantasy/horror con known as Fandom Fest. The first consisted of authors, readers, editors and publishers devoted to speculative fiction. The other kind blew air on perspiring con attendees. Yes, folks, when other bloggers mention the unbearable heat, they speak the truth.
     Nevertheless, this con is particularly special because not only did I participate in an Author Reading, I also sat on my first panel: “Urban Fantasy – Can You Define It?” Other authors on the panel included Michael Williams, Denise Verrico, Missa Dixon, and Julie Kagawa. Yes, folks, I sat next to a RITA winner. For those of you who don’t know, Julie Kagawa won the 2011 RITA for best young adult romance with her novel, The Iron King.
     The problem with panels, of course, is not being able to attend them all. Fandom Fest offered a diverse selection, ranging from “Academic Credibility for Speculative Fiction” to “Cover Art – A Book is Judged By Its Cover” to “The Paranormal in Fiction.” And no, I can’t tell you my favorite panel. I enjoyed them all.
     Also enjoyed hanging out with three other members of Savvy Authors: Amy McCorkle, Marian Allen and Fiona Young-Brown. Except for Amy, I hadn’t met Marian or Fiona in person until then, even though they live in the region.
     Of course, cons are for networking. Not only did I collect a number of business cards and bookmarks, I also chatted with authors and publishers, some who I’ve met before at previous cons. Gwen Mayo, a Kentucky mystery writer, gave me some good advice about noting information on the back of someone’s business card for future reference. And Missa Dixon gave me tips on how to prepare for a panel. I’m happy to say my first time went pretty well. Not perfect but better than I expected.
     Credit also goes to Gwen and Sarah Glenn of the local chapter of Sisters in Crime for telling me about Fandom Fest and encouraging me to contact Stephen Zimmer, the literary track director. And thanks to Stephen for letting me play in his sandbox.

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