How to Write Live like a Goblin on Memories and Ghosts

Another Monday another post by my resident Goblin. This time he narrates live about ghosts and writers.

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“…feed me goblin, so many ghosts and so few posts…”, “…but slot, what if many of those ghosts and still alive…”, “…well just post their live ghosts then goblin, that’s what the present becomes anyway, besides you promised the muse and had better do it before you become a ghost too…”, “…ok alright slot, I remember it’s “honesty, a shared life and thick skin” but I never thought this muse pact thingy would be so weird to live through, I mean they’re everywhere and anytime…”, “…goblin, people have their memories but writers have their ghosts, that’s all, and those ghosts own you until you dispel them and that is all it is, isn’t it…” and with that the hungry slot and the haunted goblin just looked at each other as the ghosts closed in for the post

 

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A Menu of Death by Lucy Pireel

A Menu of Death

 3D-MofD

AMAZON | SMASHWORDS | KOBO | iTUNES | B&N | FLIPKART

A collection of short stories about vengeance, obsession, cravings, and selfishness.

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Pick one item of the Menu or devour the entire buffet

Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew

Read, but not with greed for

Death awaits, ready to come and collect its due

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Why not listen to some music while we wait for the main course to be served?

Featured Author and Giveaway – Thomas Rydder

thomasHi Thomas,

I’d like to start with a few ‘personal’ questions. Just for the readers to get a feel for the person behind the author. If that’s okay with you?

Hi Lucy! What a pleasure it is, being here with you. Thanks so much for the opportunity. Sure, I’m all about personal – go for it…

Anyway, I’ve laced your coffee with truth serum, so I guess there’s no dodging this. 🙂

Given the choice, where would you live? In a big city with all the buzz of it, or in a remote area with nature and its tranquility surrounding you? Knowing that in winter you might suffer power loss.

Just for the record, you’ll get more truth of of me if you lace my java with Bailey’s.

(Hehehehe, he doesn’t realise that is my choice of truth serum)

But for now, I’m not much for city life. In fact, my wife and I have joked numerous times that we’d like to be on the side of a mountain in a snug cabin, a large garden outside the door, a few hundred acres off woods beyond, and a lake at the bottom of the hill. One with plenty of bass and catfish. I really don’t think we’re joking…

Taking the kids on holiday, what is the dream vacation? Camping, or a completely organised trip in a luxury hotel?

We live a simple life, and work hard. Do pretty much for ourselves, cook rather than eat out, and don’t spend a dime if we can get by with a nickel. So, conversely with where I’d like to live, my idea of dream vacation is a cruise, all the frills included. Excellent meals, dances, onshore tours and activities, and being totally pampered for a week or ten days. Occasionaly, everyone needs pampering, you know.

Are you a star gazer, or a take the devil by its tail kind of person? i.e. do you think and re-think, or do you do what is necessary and to hell with the consequences.

I do civil engineering for a living, and in that, I have to be very calculating. Many things within a design can and will affect some other component, so I have to be careful in all aspects. That might be a compelling reason why the rest of my life is a bit spontaneous. I particularly like to jump in the car and go. No destination in mind, just drive and see where you end up. You can discover some interesting places like that.

Do you like to break the rules every now and then, or do you live your life by the book?

I’ve broken more rules than Evil Knievel broke bones. The trick is to know which rules you can break, and which will get you in real trouble. Minor rule-cracking is the only really smart way to be an outlaw in our world.

That was it, not too painful, was it? But that’s not why you are here. I can tell you’re itching to talk shop.

So shoot! What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Not too painful – but I’ll take another Bailey’s 🙂 (Did he know after all?)

At the risk of “breaking a rule”, I’d like to mention both books I have out now. My debut werewolf thriller “The Clearing” takes place in Small Town USA, where a pack of wolves move into the countryside around the town, and it doesn’t take the town folk too long to realize they are dealing with much more then typical Canis Lupus.

The Clearing cover-1

AMAZON

My latest work is an anthology of three ghost stories – a novella and two rather long short stories. They all involve spirits who, for one reason or another, are compelled to interact with live folks – violently.

Restless SoulsAMAZON

Did you have difficulty coming up with the titles?

You know, I didn’t. It might sound crazy, but I’ve always been good with names. I used to walk down the street, and make up fictitious names for people I happened upon, based on their features or physical makeup. It was a game, and one that’s served me well in naming both my characters and my books.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

I wouldn’t do that. In my mind, any book belongs in a given genre, based upon its theme and story line. To change that goes against the nature of the book and won’t work. Werewolves kill, ghosts scare, and there’s not much that can change that – or should. I’m not going to go against my instincts in order to pacify a publisher. Not in today’s age of indie publishing. I’d simply put it out myself. Outlaw, you know…

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

Whew, that’s fun, isn’t it? I actually had a lot of that in my novella “Simona Says.” In fact, I struggled with the story a lot. It was gratifying to get the little chunks right and finally see it heading in the right direction. I’ll typically give myself a little fist pump and move on. Typically, when something like that happens, it means I’ve hit a groove and don’t want to waste it on celebration. So I take a minute then keep writing.

What don’t you like about writing.

Re-writing, hands down. I published “The Clearing” this past March, and got a few reviews that mentioned an aspect of the book that they didn’t care for. I recently re-wrote those parts and re-published it. But it was tough, you know? Once you have the story line hard-wired into your brain, it’s difficult to come around the other side and look at it in order to change it up. At least for me.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

Marketing – my second least favorite endeavor. I really don’t like to push myself or my work on people, but it’s necessary, isn’t it? I do a lot of things. I have a pretty good blog that gets a fair number of hits, I socialize on Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads and Triberr and try to get my books listed on as many sites as possible. I’ve been doing a lot of guest posts lately. Pretty much anything from a more personal standpoint that might make someone reach for the Amazon button. In other words, I’m trying to sell without selling.

Now, don’t get me wrong. All the socializing is great fun, and I’ve met with a bunch of splendid friends. I’ll keep you posted on how the marketing is going.

Plese do that, because experiences of others are always the best way to ‘learn’ a new way of going about marketing better.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not in my writing, no. I like to think my books reflect life, and the characters are real people. Different people eat and drink a variety of things, and it would be disingenuous to have it any other way.

In life is different. I’m a coffee lover, and a Kahula enthusiast. Pasta – many types of pasta – are on the top of my list, but my tastes are widely varied.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

tamale pieIt’s pasta, as you can imagine. My wife makes one wicked tamale pie. Odd name, and it has nothing to do with mexican. It’s similar to lasagne, and I could eat it four times a week. I’ll ask her about the recipe :). It’s pretty exclusive stuff…

 I’ll be waiting for that recipe then 🙂

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I don’t think anyone can come up with a viable excuse for not writing. There are all kinds of fake ones – tired, frustrated, bored, fidgety, angry, rushed, sick, depressed, excited. The excuses don’t matter, as they don’t in any facet of life. If you’re going to go to work, go to work. If not, then don’t. Same with writing. But if you don’t, then don’t bitch and moan because your book isn’t done. As my dad used to say, it ain’t gonna do itself.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Oh God, what I’d give. You kidding? You call that slaving? I’d be in my own little corner of Heaven. My wife and I have also discussed living at the beach – somewhat more convenient than the mountain cabin, and you don’t have to go to town twice a month to get flour and sugar. My favorite vision is sitting in my screen porch overlooking the ocean, my glasses perched on my nose, a White Russian frosty and delicious on the tray next to me, and a warm breeze wafting through my fingers as they fly over the keyboard. One of these days…

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something no one has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Fair enough. I not only write about ghosts, but also believe they exist. We’ve watched all kinds of shows and I’ve read extensively on the subject, and am convinced we aren’t alone on earth. Why the spirits are here are anyone’s guess, but the reasons are undoubtedly widely varied. Some folks might think I’m whacked out, and so be it, but the evidence is so compelling and intense, I don’t really see any way around the beliefs I hold.

One of my favorite shows is Long Island Medium, where a lady by the the of Theresa Caputo allegedly connects with folks that have passed and allow them to communicate with loved ones who remain. I believe in her abilities (Before you go judging me, go have a look at her show – you might end up converted), and part of my reason is hope.

See, I was born late in my parents’ lives, and I wasn’t, shall we say, the ideal son early on. I got in trouble a bit, left home early to go to the Marines, and then was a wild party boy. Consequently, I didn’t enjoy a close relationship with Mom and Dad the way some have. I’d like to have the opportunity to be with them once again, see what they think of the way I’ve turned out. (That’s a dicey prospect) and tell them I’d like to have it back to do again. It’s often said you can’t go back, and it’s true. But to see them just once more…

That is a very intimate snippet of your life you’ve shared there. Thank you, Thomas.

Lucy, thanks so much for having me on today. I appreciate it more than you can know…now, just one more of those tasty coffees of yours, and I’ll be on my way…

Here’s one, again laced with Baileys, but I guess you already figured that one out, eh?

I’d like to thank you for your candor and would love to see you back, a guest post perhaps?

Laughing we say our goodbyes, and Thomas asks me to tell you to enter his giveaway.  Later I find a note on the coffee table.

note

He’s left behind links to where he can be found online should you want to stalk him. Of course I mean follow! Yes, follow!

Blog http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thomas.rydder

Twitter – @ThomasRydder

LinkedIN – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/thomas-rydder/5a/994/23a

But I must not forget to include the link to the giveaway Thomas has organised. Click the link to go to the Rafflecopter giveaway

But also go to his site and read the great post he’s done on halloween reading, answer his poll and stand a chance to win, win, win!

Featured Author Rosary McQuestion

Picture0042 Today the lovely Rosary McQuestion has agreed to be grilled, erm I mean interviewed, by me.

Hi Rosary,

Have a drink, sit down, and make yourself comfortable, because you will be here for a while. 🙂

Is living in Michigan very different from life in the Big Apple? And would you ever want to live in a city that never sleeps again?

Actually, I was very young when we moved from New York and really didn’t experience much so I can’t make a clear assessment. However, I have traveled there many, many times for business throughout the years, and the city is always electrifying! I especially love Manhattan. In Times Square I can always find a beautiful knockoff designer purse, the last one was a Gucci. No matter where I am or what I’m doing in the city, I love it there! Many times I wished we would never have moved. I’d love to live there, but my husband wouldn’t.

How did you get from writing advertising and marketing related things to being a fiction author?

For many writers struggling to write that first novel, advertising has proven a useful field. For one thing—it pays. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Don DeLillo, and Helen Gurley Brown, who worked as copywriters in their early careers, I, too, was a copywriter (and and account manager). I began working for advertising agencies in the eighties when I lived in Wisconsin, which ultimately led to opening my own agency.

In a way it makes a lot of sense that the advertising field would spawn successful writers, as the above mentioned famous people. In advertising, whether you’re a designer, part of the marketing team, and especially if you are a copywriter, it’s imperative to think out-of-the-box to get ahead of the competition. It takes lots of imagination and creativity to ping out creative copy for hundreds of print ads, brochures, TV advertisements and the like.

Copywriters learn how to write economically and on deadline, and discover fertile subjects in the business culture around them. Therefore, for me, copywriting was like a prerequisite or exercise for one day writing a novel.

Why do you prefer cats over dogs?

I love both, but bogs are like children, they need to be taken for walks and to do their business and if you leave for any extended amount of time, even a day, you need a dog sitter. With cats, they only need a litter box and a self food/water feeder. SIMPLE!

When you are old and you and your husband are sitting in your rocking chairs, what is the thing which will be most retold?

It’s the story of how we were both broke, newly married and a very depressed because my husband had lost his job. We were living hand-to-mouth. Times were tough. One night as we sat on the swing on the back porch, I looked into the stars and told my husband that one day we are going to look back on this and laugh. I know he thought I was crazy, but I told him that it’s meant to be that we’re going to live in a huge, beautifully furnished house one day, have sleek new cars and everything we want. I distinctly said, “I promise you.” He didn’t say anything, but in his head I know he was thinking that I’m such a dreamer. Six months later, things turned around for us, and through the 26 years we’ve been married, the words I spoke have all come true. This is a story we have shared with many people, plus our children and we will never forget that night on the back porch under the stars.

That is a beautiful story!

With the personal questions out of the way, let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

 First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

The title is Once Upon Another Time

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AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Yes, I did. I went through several titles. Then one day, I got to thinking about the main character, her life and how her happily-ever-after-fairytale crumbled when her husband died. And I immediately thought of Once Upon Another Time, because it sounds like a fairytale of lost love.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

I’d stand my ground, because it really couldn’t be any other genre than what I wrote it in.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

I do a butt dance while still seated in my chair, and pump my fists in the air while saying “Yes! Yes! “Yes! ”

Is there anything else you’d like to share about the book and how it came to be? Or can we take the alternative route now?

The book came to be, because I’ve always been intrigued with the spirit world – spooky unexplained sounds during the middle of the night, the world from beyond trying to claw its way through to our world. Or a chill that rattles the spine when one senses that something unnatural is near. However, most consuming in my life has always been the question of what becomes of us after we die? Therefore, I knew I wanted to write about someone who died and manages to cross back over and contact the one they love.

I love that! I truly believe there is more than just this life.

What don’t you like about writing?

My butt gets sore from sitting in a chair for 14 hours a day!

sore butt sitting

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

That’s a good question. I think a good marketing approach is to make a lot of friends via Twitter and Facebook and have conversations. I used to think that getting the word out about my book via twitter would help generate lots of sales. I was wrong, Twitter is for socializing, and therefore, I believe a different approach should be taken. I think tweets should make people think, whet the appetite and entice people to want to click the link. Tweets that say Buy My Book, sound so desperate and it’s a turn off. I think that not talking about a book at all but creating something clever is a way to get people to notice. I’ll be experimenting with a string of tweets and Facebook posts I’ve created to test the waters.

However, I have found success in people buying my book when I welcome a new follower. I always thank them for following “Once Upon Another Time.” I don’t mention following me, but following the book. I do add that it is #1 in 4 categories on Goodreads and leave it at that. People respond very well to this because I am not asking them to buy the book. All I’m doing is peaking their curiosity as to why the book is #1 in all those categories. And it seems people want to know, so they check it out.

That sounds like something worth trying. Thanks for the tip, I’ll certainly look into it. *makes note to create page for books*

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not really.

But you must have a most favourite dish, right? Can you give me the recipe?

I have many favorite dishes, but Quiche Lorraine is right up there with the rest. I’m happy to share the recipe.

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Quiche Lorraine

8 slices of bacon, chopped to about 1 inch pieces, which ends up being just over 1 cup of bacon.

2-3/4 cups of heavy cream (If you’re afraid of having a coronary, you can do a milk and cream mix or a milk and half & half mix)

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups Swiss cheese, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

6 wedges Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Cheese

1-cup asparagus, sliced into 1-inch long pieces on the diagonal

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 deep-dish pie crusts (I use the frozen ones and thaw them)

Preheat your oven to 375. Sauté the bacon over medium to medium high heat stirring frequently; render the fat, but keep it soft. Once most of the fat has melted away, move the bacon pieces to a plate with paper towels to absorb any lingering grease.

In a sauce pan, bring the cream up to a simmer. Simmer the cream for 4-5 minutes to infuse the cream. Remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Temper the eggs by pouring a scoop or two of hot cream slowly into the eggs, whisking constantly. Once tempered, pour remaining cream into egg mixture to incorporate completely and then mix in the dry ingredients.

Prick the bottom of the pie crusts. (Do not prebake crust). Sprinkle the bacon into the bottom of each. Then add the Swiss cubes. Break or smoosh the Laughing Cow cheese as best you can and drop bits of it into each crust. Pour the custard mixture slowly and evenly into each. Place the 2 pies onto a cookie sheet and put on the middle rack of your oven. Then bake for 20 minutes.

While the quiches are baking, steam the asparagus until just fork tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and dry well. Once the first 20 minutes of baking are up, pull the quiches out, sprinkle the tops with asparagus, and bake for another 15 minutes. You may need to put foil collars around the piecrust if you feel they’re browning too much.

Cool for 1 to 1-1/2 hours to let the pies set up properly. Serve with a salad mixed with sweet berries and a light citrus vinaigrette to complement the bacony saltiness of the quiche.

Delish! It is a pie that can be eaten for breakfast (with the berries), as snack, or even for tea served with a green salad.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written in a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

My computer had gotten a really bad virus and shut down my whole system. I’d spent the afternoon searching for and calling PC techs to see who could repair my computer and finally settled on Best Buy. So I drove the fifteen miles there, waited in line for twenty minutes, then finally got waited on. When they told me it would take three days to a week get my computer back, I wanted to scream, “Are you insane?! I spend fourteen hours a day on my computer, the thing is like my lifeblood, I can’t possibly go without it that long while the cyber world passes me by!!!!”

By the time I got done pleading and begging, dinner time was closing in on me. I reluctantly left my computer with the service representative and drove the fifteen miles back home.

I had forty-five minutes before my husband would get home from work, so I started to prepare dinner, got all my ingredients together and realized I was missing a main ingredient. I hopped in the car, drove the twelve miles to the grocery store, and raced back home. After putting the meal into the oven, I heard a gagging sound.

I raced into the living room to see my cat ready to heave. I quickly picked him up to get him off the carpeting and onto the hardwood flooring when he did a projectile vomit down the front of my blouse and onto the floor.

I quickly put him down to clean the vomit off of me, when he started heaving again! This went on for the next few minutes. All the while, I’m smelling like cat vomit.

My husband arrived home to see me in a mess. I finally cleaned up all the messes, got out of my nasty clothes and took a shower.

After dinner, I was going to work on my book and simply write it out on a legal pad, when I noticed a foul odor wafting up from the basement. I went to investigate, and almost lost my dinner when I saw that my cat’s little box was dripping down the sides and all over with what looked like chocolate syrup, but smelled like something had died.

I instantly started to gag, and then panicked, wondering, where in the hell did the cat go! Frantically, I raced around the house from room to room, hoping he wasn’t going to have an accident, when I heard him heaving, again!

I quickly tracked him down, hiding in the bathroom, thank God, lifted him up, this time at arm’s length and noticed his normally fluffy tail was covered in do-do!!!! I was gagging and stumbling toward the laundry room, and once I got there I put the cat in the room and closed the door.

Long story short, after the headache with my computer, which was going to cost a couple hundred dollars to fix and cleaning all the messes the cat made, plus wrestling with the cat to bath him and then taking another shower, I opened a bottle of wine. By the time I was relaxed, I knew I wasn’t in any shape to think about writing anything that would make even the smallest bit of sense, and fell asleep in front of the TV. I had finally crawled into bed at around two in the morning.

That is quite a story! I feel for you, but to be honest I chuckled once or twice too. 🙂 

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Because it’s fun to live vicariously through my characters. Their lives are much more exciting than mine!

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Hmm, well I know you’ll be rolling your eyes on this one, but it’s the truth. Now, promise me you won’t think I’m a loon, but I used to have premonitions. They came to me in a dream. Most were of sad or bad things like people who were going to die or some other tragedy, and one time, even of a man who was shot and killed. So, there you have it, my deepest secret.

I will not roll my eyes, but instead I am most interested to hear more of this. Maybe another time?

That was it folks. If you have any questions for Rosary, you can ask them in the comment section and if you would like to follow Once Upon Another Time you can find Rosary and her book online at Facebook, on Twitter, and her website

And finally I would end this with a small tease of Once Upon Another Time

Aubrey McCory’s husband died in a tragic accident when she was twenty-eight and pregnant, which ended her happily-ever-after fairytale dream. Six years later, she’s still emotionally damaged with an unhealed heart, and sometimes fantasizes about what it would be like to see her husband one last time, like in her favorite movie “Ghost” when Sam said his final goodbye to Molly. Then five days before the seventh anniversary of his death, a glitch in the universe gives Aubrey the psychic ability to hear what people are thinking. And by all accounts, she seems to also have made a psychic connection with the dearly departed – namely her deceased husband.

As fate would have it, she also meets hunky Gavin Donnelly – whom she feels might be the next Mr. Right – and her life becomes topsy-turvy.

Her hippy parents, the Abbie and Anita Hoffman of suburbia, have Aubrey questioning her sanity after they leak a secret that Aunt Millie threw herself off the Brooklyn Bridge after hearing voices. Then there’s the fiasco of Aubrey trying to hold a connection with the dead when her new psychic ability doesn’t come with an instruction manual or tech support. And she can’t lean on her best friend, former debutante Laura Wentworth, who inhabits the heady spheres of society, without looking like a kook.

Aubrey’s life was complicated enough before photos rattled off bookshelves and the sound of wind chimes played in her head. Soon she’s juggling a demanding career, a six-year-old son, a freaky spiritualist, and the belief that her husband’s ghost is trying to tell her something of great importance. All while she tries to reclaim her heart and not lose the next love of her life.

Sign Up for the Book Blast – A Menu Of Death

A Menu Of Death

by Lucy Pireel

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Release and blast date September 30th

Do you ever feel watched?

Have you ever thought about a life changing decision?

What if a craving gets the better of you?

Should you want to know it all?

Is a shortcut really what you need?

Find out the answers to these and more questions in this short story collection

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