Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2013

794 Here at Wood’s Edge, the night is dark and rainy – a most fitting evening for ghosts and spirits to wander. “It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but having fallen, it was blood.” — Edgar Allan Poe [Silence – A Fable]

There was a scrap of sun this afternoon, and stars winked in the sky earlier in the evening, but it seems the moon and stars have vanished on this All Hallow’s Eve. “And they put out the star-light/ With the breath from their pale faces.” — E. A. Poe [Fairy-Land]

This past weekend, I participated in HallowRead, a delightfully ghoulish celebration of dark fantasy, horror, and paranormal romance writing. Each of the Ellicott City locations for writers’ panels were supposedly haunted – and talk of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other paranormal creatures (contemporary or ancient) certainly added to the spooky vibe. “Horror and fatality have been stalking abroad in all ages. Why then give a date to the story I have to tell?” — E. A. Poe [Metzengerstein]

Plus, I’ve been participating since October 23rd in a Halloween blog tour with other members of Broad Universe – a wonderful organization which supports women who write speculative poetry and prose. “And then, hour after hour would I linger by her side, and dwell upon the music of her voice – until, at length, its melody was tainted with terror…” — E. A. Poe [Morella]

So I encourage you to read all the posts (some here on my blog) and especially to check out my guest blogs on the other sites. See what day dreams (or nightmares) I write about – for “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — E.A. Poe [Eleonora]

Check out: Ogerhunches and Other Goblins at TJ Wooldridge’s A Novel Friend, Hedge Witches at Elizabeth Black’s blog, Were-Beasties at LC Hu’s blog, and Ravens at Justine Graykin’s blog.

IMG_2395 And as the witching hour draws closer, the rain raps on my window pane like a lost soul, and I wonder where the murder of crows which visits my yard daily are roosting tonight – I wish a Happy Halloween to all, and to all a haunted night!

Read Full Post »

The Kelpie: Trusting Children’s Intellect by T.J. Wooldridge

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, you write it for children. – Madeleine L’Engle

thekelpie_front_only “One of the (many!) cool things about working with Spencer Hill Press is that I know our rights sales person and we occasionally get to hear feedback from people who want to buy rights for the various books—be they foreign publishers or movie or TV execs.

For The Kelpie, I received rejections saying that it was too complex for them, particularly TV or movies. They didn’t say it was too scary, at least, but we’ll get to that.

Thing is, I had about a dozen beta readers in my “target demographic” – kids 11-13—and they all followed it fine. My crits from them were mostly on how my kids spoke and, especially, how they texted and wrote on Facebook. I also got word from several teachers, librarians, and booksellers that they needed advanced reading for kids in this age bracket. They were running out of stuff.

That warmed my heart.

One of my most admired authors, one who was a light shining through my childhood thanks to her books, is Madeleine L’Engle. I still see kids carrying her books around. Not but a few years ago, they were all re-released with new covers.

There has yet to be a movie or even mini-series that has done any of her work justice.

Maybe it’s not so bad to be “too complex.” That’s why we read, right? Books are written because they are the best medium for the stories they tell.

I wrote The Kelpie for readers. I wrote it for kids.

I’ve always believed most kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. Goodness, I know plenty of kids who are smarter than most adults sometimes. In fact, I would even offer that kids lose some of their spark the older they get, the less they believe. I also believe children are braver than adults. They have to be.

As a kid, everything is still new. And scary. You don’t know a lot and you’re thrust into situations they don’t know and they have to flounder and figure it out. That’s normal life. A kid as to adapt faster than adults. New schools, various family events, changing friends, changing enemies. What you say and do can change things in big scary ways.

Magick exists. Magick is the power of the unknown. The things not yet discovered. It can be amazing and helpful. It can also be terrifying. Deadly.

In books, for children, it’s another thing to adapt to.

Heather, Joe, Rowan, and all my Kelpie kids come up with some pretty unexpected and imaginative ways to cope when magick and the dangerous monsters that turn their world upside down. They have ideas that adults wouldn’t have. Plans that just might work because they haven’t “grown up” too much to discard an “impossible” idea—the idea that just might work.

They don’t disbelieve in the magick. It can hurt them…but it can work for them, too. Because they believe.

Most writers I know share that quality with kids: We haven’t “grown up” too much to discard our “impossible” ideas.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your magickal ideas are impossible, either. They might just be the ideas that work!

Happy Halloween!”

T. J. Wooldridge’s debut novel, The Kelpie, from Spencer Hill Press, will be available through all bookstores (request it if it’s not on the shelf!) and Amazon on December 3rd. You can pre-order your copy today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite local bookstore!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Thanks to Trisha Wooldridge for her guest post. Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words on All Hallow’s Eve: a bit of Halloween lure from yours truly.

Read Full Post »

Thanks to speculative author Gail Z. Martin for stopping by and sharing her thoughts on epic fantasy. Enjoy!

Suspense, Horror and Romance in Epic Fantasy by Gail Z. Martin

0061-eWomenNetwork One of the things I love about writing epic fantasy is that within the genre, there is room for elements of other genres. Like the old spaghetti sauce ad, “it’s in there.” Part of it is the scope of epic fantasy, with its large scale, sweeping storylines and large cast of characters. That creates a lot of opportunity for drawing on a variety of elements, because you’re working on a bigger canvas (and a larger page count) than many other genres permit.

I know that suspense has its own genre, but certainly any dramatic fiction requires more than a dollop of suspense to keep the reader turning pages. If you want your readers to stick with you over the course of hundreds of pages, there has to be a strong “what’s going to happen next” sense, with tension at the end of every scene and every chapter. I love when readers tell me that I kept them up late or made them run over their lunch hour because they couldn’t put the book down!

Maybe other genres can get by without a touch of horror, but it fits well inside epic fantasy. We often write about brutal times and brutal people–warlords, kings, soldiers, mages and monsters. There’s going to be bloodshed, and often, to illustrate just how bad it is or just how black someone’s heart is, the writing veers into the horrific to make a point. Unlike a horror novel, an epic fantasy doesn’t stay mired in the horrific, nor does the protagonist remain helpless for long. But we definitely touch on it, and can often use it to good purpose.

Epic romance also often lends itself to elements of romance. Dynasties are at stake, and the men and women who produce the next set of rulers are going to have their loves and dalliances, their betrayals and unrequited affections. It can up the stakes for a hero’s survival if someone is waiting for his or her return. When people are thrown together under stressful situations for periods of time, romantic relationships are going to happen. I find that a bit of romance can be a respite from all the battle action and grit, and after having that respite, the hardship seems even more difficult.

The next time you’re stewing up your next epic fantasy, add some spice with horror, suspense and romance. It makes for a mighty tasty story!

Gail Z Martin Ice Forged Come check out all the free excerpts, book giveaways and other goodies that are part of my Days of the Dead blog tour! Trick-or-Treat you way through more than 30 partner sites where you’ll find brand new interviews, freebies and more–details at www.AscendantKingdoms.com .

Ice Forged will be a Kindle Daily Deal with a special one-day price of just $1.99 only on October 31! Get it here: http://amzn.com/B008AS86QY

Reign of Ash, book two in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga launches in April, 2014 from Orbit Books. My new urban fantasy, Deadly Curiosities, comes out in July, 2014 from Solaris Books. I bring out two series of ebook short stories with a new story every month for just .99 on Kindle, Kobo and Nook—check out the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures or the Deadly Curiosities Adventures.

About the author: Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga and the upcoming Reign of Ash (Orbit Books, 2014), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen ) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread) from Orbit Books. In 2014, Gail launches a new urban fantasy novel, Deadly Curiosities, from Solaris Books. She is also the author of two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures. Find her at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com , on Twitter @GailZMartin, on http://Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms , at http://DisquietingVisions.com blog and http://GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com

Thanks again to Gail Z. Martin for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests (including tomorrow’s post from author Trisha Wooldridge), blogs from me, and Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a fantastical day! – Vonnie

 

Read Full Post »

Fun Recipes For Halloween By Elizabeth Black

3 Bad Moon Rising small My favorite time of year is the fall. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I like it even more than Christmas.

Fall is also the time for baking. While I make the usual fall goodies like pumpkin bread, banana nut bread, and various types of pies, I like the fun foods for Halloween. The first two recipes here are fun foods ideal for the scariest night of the year. The second two are more traditional fall treats. Enjoy!

BROKEN GLASS CUPCAKES

13 Owl Flying extraIngredients:

1 Can white frosting

1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix

Sugar Glass:

2 cups water

1 cup light corn syrup

3 1/2 cups white sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Edible Blood:

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup water, or more as needed

15 drops red food coloring

3 drops blue food coloring

Directions:

1- Prepare Red Velvet Cake Mix According to box, line cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.

2- Divide cake batter between lined cupcake tins.

3- Bake according to box instructions. Let cool and frost cupcakes with white frosting.

4- Make the sugar glass. Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup corn syrup, white sugar, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Use a candy thermometer and boil sugar syrup until temperature reaches 300 degrees (hard ball), stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken as water evaporates. When sugar reaches 300 degrees, quickly pour onto a metal baking pan. Cool until completely hardened. Break into “shards” using a meat mallet.

5- Make the edible blood. Mix together 1/2 cup corn syrup and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly stir in the 1/4 cup of water, adding more if necessary, until the corn syrup mixture has thickened to the consistency of blood. Stir in the red and blue food coloring.

6- Stab each frosted cupcake with a few shards of broken sugar glass. Drizzle on drops of “blood” to complete the effect.

UNICORN POOP COOKIES

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrq8v9ijPs4&feature=youtu.be

Ingredients:

1 C. sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

50 gram cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cup all purpose flour

Preparation Method:

1- Combine butter, shortening and cream cheese in a large bowl, beat together until smooth. Add sugar and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined and gradually add the flour beating until combined.

2- Form dough into a ball with your hands and then into a log shape, divide the log shape into six portions (or how ever many colours you want).

3- Place each portion of dough into individual bowls and tint the dough different colours.

4- Chill tinted dough in the refrigerator 1 hour or freezer 15-20 minutes.

5- Divide each tinted chilled dough ball into 8 equal pieces.

6- Take one piece of each colour dough ( leaving the rest in the fridge while you work) and roll out like a rope or snake on your counter-top. If you use a piece of waxed paper on the counter, you shouldn’t have to add any flour.

7. Roll the rope shape to about 6 inches long. Continue rolling all the colours and stacking them into a pile. Gently press the ropes together and roll the large multicoloured “rope” on the counter to round and smooth it and if desired to lengthen it to 10 to 12″.

8- Cut the multicoloured “rope” into two pieces, using both hands, roll with your palms in different directions on both end of the rope pieces to twist it gently.

9- Coil the rope into a poop shape, using your imagination as to what you think unicorn poop should look like

10- Press in some silver candy balls (dragee) into the dough pieces to decorate if desired. Place dough on greased cookie sheet (or one covered with parchment or silicone mat) and bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes until cookies are set and bottoms are light brown, they will not spread very much.

11- Cool on wire rack.

12- Coat with sparkle gel and/or disco dust to give them some sparkle and add some sprinkles to the still wet gel for more texture. Let cookies dry completely before stacking.

CARAMEL CORN

5 Gifts in the Dark smallIngredients:

1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Butter

1/4 cup Corn Syrup

1/4 cup Molasses

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Maple Syrup

1/3 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

4 Quarts Popped Corn

1 1/2 cup Mixed Nuts or Spanish Peanuts

Directions:

1- In saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, molasses, corn syrup, and salt.

2- Boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.

3- Add flavorings, cream of tartar, and baking soda.

4- Stir in nuts and cover the nuts completely with the mixture.

5- Stir in popcorn a bit at a time and coat completely.

6- Make sure to mix the nuts well with the popcorn.

7- Bake in 200 degree oven for one hour.

Hint:  Don’t eat it all at once!

MAPLE CANDY

The directions for making maple candy reminds me very much of making English toffee. It’s all in the chemistry.

Ingredients:

2 Cups Fancy-grade Maple Syrup

Directions:

1- In a heavy-bottomed 4-quart pot, boil maple syrup on medium-high heat to 235 degrees F, stirring the surface occasionally to keep it from boiling over.

2- Immediately remove the pot from the heat, leaving the thermometer clipped to the side, and place the pot on a wooden board to cool. (Do not touch the syrup while it is cooling, or large crystals will form.)

3- Cool the mixture to 175 degrees F, approximately 10 minutes.

4- Beat the mixture rapidly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the syrup becomes lighter in color, thick and creamy and begins to lose its gloss (about 4 to 5 minutes).

5- Pour into rubber maple-sugar molds or a buttered pan. If using a pan, score into squares immediately). Set aside to cool.

6- When the candies are cool, turn the molds upside down and remove.

7- Candies will store up to 1 month in a container in a cool, dry space. Makes 18 to 20 one ounce maple leaves.

Hint: The outside temperature dramatically affects the degree to which you boil maple syrup. 235 degrees is considered the “soft ball stage.” To obtain the “soft ball stage”, maple syrup is boiled 22 degrees past the boiling point of water. You will find that water will reach the boiling point at anywhere from 209 degrees to 217 degrees depending on the outside temperature and humidity.

Here’s where to find Elizabeth Black (EA Black) on the web. Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and check out my books! I’ve included my Amazon author pages for both of my pen names, so whether you’re into sexy or spooky, I have stories for you!”

Elizabeth Black – Blog and Web Site: http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Black – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethablack

Elizabeth Black – Twitter: http://twitter.com/ElizabethABlack

Elizabeth Black – Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/elizabethblack

E. A. Black – Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/~/e/B00BBWHMFM

(Note: Elizabeth Black’s blog contains adult content.)

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Thanks to Elizabeth Black for her guest post. (I can’t wait to try out a couple of the recipes). Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words between now and All Hallow’s Eve: speculative authors Trisha Wooldridge and Gail Z. Martin. Missed some of these fabulous guest posts? Check out the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour for links.

Read Full Post »

The Demon and the Author: An Interview by L.C. Hu

“Earl of Hell Glasya-Labolas, aka Obed Brandt, is head of security at the Midnight Carnival. In the spirit of the upcoming observance of All Hallow’s Eve, he has agreed to interview Re-Vamp and Midnight Carnival author L.C. Hu. He gratefully acknowledges Vonnie Winslow Crist for playing host to them.

tumblr_mqxmcbfdjR1scakoko1_500 OB: Good evening, LC. Thank you for joining me. We at the carnival know you as our Ringmaster, in a way, and we’re all curious to know more about what’s behind all those shadows.

LC: Oh, I’m only half the Ringmaster, if that, so don’t give me more credit than is due. But thank you for having me! And I suppose I could let you have a peek.

OB: Much obliged. So, what would draw you to the carnival, as a patron? What kinds of things would you most want to see or experience?

LC: Hmm. The sideshows, I suppose, though part of the carnival’s power, as you know, is to draw people in no matter what their interest. But the sideshows would be what caught my attention. The firebreathing, the tattooed lady, that kind of thing. Part of the draw of those shows are the hopes you’ll catch a glimpse of something really odd, and I think at the Midnight Carnival, you’d see that.

OB: Could you be convinced to stay there?

LC: Oh, probably not, I’m a bit of a coward, heh.

mc_cover OB: Speaking completely hypothetically, of course… if you were to make a deal with a devil, what would you want from the bargain? What would you be willing to do or give up in exchange?

LC: I… I don’t think there’s much that could get me to make a deal with a devil, even one as handsome as yourself. I’m too much of a control freak. I suppose the one exception would be if something threatened one of the people I loved; I should be willing to give up quite a bit to help them. But even that would have to be pretty drastic, as I also feel that some bad situations are just to be endured and learnt from.

OB: Let’s say you did decide to settle in at the carnival. What job would you want? Why do you think that would be a good fit for you?

LC: Ha honestly, I think I’d be fit to maybe sell slushies or do admin work for the Ringmaster. I’m not much of a carnie. Maybe I could take tickets, like Carver does.

OB: You seem very comfortable with horror, and with horror-influenced writing. What draws you to that? What do you like most about it? Least?

LC: I enjoy the tension and release of being afraid and then understanding. I suppose that’s why much of my favorite horror is resolved–not just unfathomable evil (with a few exceptions). There’s an element of mystery to a lot of horror that I’m drawn to. I like puzzling over a story, trying to figure it out, to find out motivations and outcomes. The thrill of the scary moments, and the relief of the resolution. My least favorite thing about horror is that there’s a lot of it that brutalizes or objectifies women, or takes pleasure in the fear of women. We’re 50% of the population, but we get more than 50% of the fictional brutality. Although, sadly, that fact is probably reflected in reality, I wish that fiction could give us more of something else. I also really, really am not into super-sexualized violence against women, and that happens a lot in horror, too.

OB: In the carnival you deal with a wide range of supernatural creatures. What species do you most easily identify with? Which is the hardest for you to relate to?

LC: Oh, werewolves have always been my fictional “spirit animal” of sorts. I can relate to that uncontrollable anger, the beast within as it were, and the struggle to control the animal inside. Hardest to relate to… I suppose the mermaids. That’s just a species I’ve never been super aware of, so I don’t know all the mythology behind the species.

OB: Anything you’d like to add?

LC: Only that Halloween seems like the holiday made for the Midnight Carnival, but that’s the last place I’d want to be on Halloween. You and yours have made it a wonderful, terrible place to be.

OB: Thank you again, LC. A pleasure, as always.

Thanks to Liz Neering for writing Obed Brandt!”

L.C. Hu co-edited and contributed to the anthology Re-Vamp and The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only. To learn more about The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only, available this Halloween, visit maddocsoflit.com or find L.C. Hu at elsiewho.wordpress.com!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Thanks to L.C. Hu for her guest post. Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words between now and All Hallow’s Eve: speculative authors Trisha Wooldridge, Elizabeth Black, and Gail Z. Martin.

Read Full Post »

Stubborn as Summer by Justine Graykin

j_graykin_photo “I’m standing on my deck looking out over the leaf-strewn grass, through the woods towards the wetlands. It is a warm October day, drawing close to Halloween, a time, as we say in New England, when the frost is on the pumpkin.

Except there has been no frost.

It is as if summer is holding its breath, refusing to give way to fall.

I am more than half a century old. This seems to me quite remarkable. I remember a world before computers, before the Internet. My grandmother knew an inconceivable world without telephones, cars, or electricity. I was amazed to think about it when she described that world. Now my children look at me the same way.

This year I finished climbing all the mountains in New Hampshire that are four thousand feet or higher, including the Presidentials, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Monroe, windswept rocky piles where the weather can change quickly, the conditions turn deadly, and lives are lost every year. I hiked those mountains and camped out in them alone.

On the trail, the 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings, excused themselves to pass me, striding along, leaving me behind. But I kept plodding along, and I reached the summit eventually through sheer stubbornness.

This year saw the publication of one of my novels, at last, after years of effort, writing and rewriting, submitting and compiling the long list of rejections. At last I had success with Archimedes Nesselrode, a whimsical romantic fantasy rather different from my others. But then again, they are all different from one another. I am asked what kind of fiction I write, and I am at a loss to say. It rambles in all sorts of directions, save one: It is never dark. There is enough suffering in reality. I’ll only allow suffering in my fiction if I can put an end to it.

ANcoverLarrythumb So, publishers seeking dark and dystopian, gritty and urban, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching Oprah books, have passed me by, until now. And readers, exhausted from reading all that emotional mayhem, embrace the gentle humor of Archimedes Nesselrode with delight. Because we all need a bit of fun, a touch of the whimsical, now and again.

At conventions and author events, all those 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings have their stack of books, their publishing history. But here I am with Archimedes, and I’ll get there through sheer stubbornness.

In many traditions, Halloween marks the turning of the year. It wears the face of the Crone as it watches summer wither and fade, taking on the appearance of Death as it pulls over its head the cold blanket of winter. But this year, summer digs in its heels, refusing to yield. And here I am, more than half a century old, climbing mountains and persisting in this damn fool ambition to be a writer, suddenly with success. Plodding on. Stubborn as summer.”

Justine Graykin is a writer and free-lance philosopher sustained by her deep, abiding faith in Science, Humanity and the belief that humor is the best anti-gravity device. Author of Archimedes Nesselrode, a book written for adults who are weary of adult books, she is producer of the BroadPod podcast. She lives, writes and putters around her home in rural New Hampshire, occasionally disappearing into the White Mountains with a backpack. You can find her on her website at www.JustineGraykin.com

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour.

Thanks to Justine Graykin for her guest post. Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words between now and All Hallow’s Eve: speculative authors L.C. Hu, Trisha Wooldridge, Elizabeth Black, and Gail Z. Martin.

Read Full Post »

Thanks to Rachel MacNeill Rawlings for allowing me to reprint a post she wrote for One Story Slinger about the process of planning HallowRead. I will be among the authors participating on panels and signing books on Saturday, Oct. 26. I hope to see some of you there.  HallowRead will be held the weekend of Fri., Oct. 25 through Sun., Oct. 27.    For more information including tickets, please visit the links at the end of this post.

hallowread_red

HallowRead – The Process of Planning a Panel

By Rachel MacNeill Rawlings, author and founder of HallowRead

The panels for HallowRead, much like the event itself happened organically. From the get go I wanted all of the participating authors to be involved in the panel process. After all, if they’re not excited about the topic, no one will have a good time. Readers want to see energetic and engaging authors when attending panels. The best way to achieve that is to have the authors engaged in the process of planning a panel. This is our first year, and nearly everything about HallowRead is different from other conventions. Since I cold-called the majority of authors attending this year, we didn’t have a panel submission process. What we did have was an open discussion in the author group I created on FaceBook. I started a few threads in the group asking the authors what topics they wanted to talk about, some were more vocal than others — and I mean that in a good way! From there we expanded on those ideas, and I would post names and descriptions for the panels asking for their opinions and often adjusting according to their suggestions. Twenty plus creative minds really are better than one.

One of my favorite parts about the panels for HallowRead is the different locations. The town and its eclectic mix of business owners and residents really become a part of the event, because the authors and attendees will be moving through the historic district. A unique feature made possible by the close proximity of each location. Comfy shoes are still encouraged. All of the buildings hosting a panel – from the Trolley Stop, known in its past life as the Bloody Bucket, to Cacao Lane and Diamond Back Tavern – have a haunted history, making them the perfect backdrop for our authors and panel topics.

A panel that isn’t really a panel? That’s kind of how I feel about the SteamPunk Tea. Friday October 25th, several SteamPunk authors will be taking over Tea On The Tiber. Dressed in full garb, Victorian high tea isn’t the only thing on the menu. Authors will be moving throughout the two tea rooms reading from their novels and talking about this unique genre of fiction. A separate ticket is required but well worth the low price of admission which does include a full tea service.

And last but certainly not least is the swag! Door prizes and give-aways are the concurrent theme for the HallowRead panels. Authors have all sorts of fun things to give away. Have a burning question? It just might score you a free book or signed swag!

Whatever you fancy, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, SteamPunk, we’ve got a panel for that! So come out and join us. At HallowRead the authors are dying to meet you!

For more information about the HallowRead and/or author Rachel MacNeill Rawlings work visit the following sites:

www.hallowread.com
www.facebook.com/Hallowread
http://www.hallowread.blogspot.com/
http://www.hallowread.eventbrite.com/

http://www.rachelrawlings.com/
http://www.facebook.com/TheMaurinKincaideSerie

And make sure to follow Rachel on Twitter: @rachelsbooks

Thanks to Rachel MacNeill Rawlings for sharing her HallowRead planning experiences. Look for more guest posts, including a special Halloween series on Whimsical Words. Have a magical weekend – Vonnie

Read Full Post »