Friday, March 30, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this interview for your chance to win three copies of Ghost of a Threat. Don't forget to leave your email address in the following format: parayournormalteam(at)gmail(dot)com. Now for the interview!
The house at 432 Abercorn Street in Savannah is actually one of the stories from my first book, Georgia Spirits and Specters. The book is a collection of Georgia ghost stories, and I was amazed by how much interest there is in that particular story. People started sending me e-mails,
sharing their experiences at the house and showing me photos with strange anomalies.
The story I was originally told about the house involves a little girl dying in the front window, although some say that’s made up. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction: the house is built on top of an old burial ground! I’ve heard first-hand accounts from several people about that house, so
whatever the story behind the haunting is, there is no doubt that there is paranormal activity there.
We’ve pretty much debunked the “girl in the window” photos, because it turns out the architecture
of the fireplace in that room looks like a girl’s face if you get it at just the right angle. However, I’ve
seen plenty of photos that I cannot explain.
As for me? I don’t like that house. It gives me the creeps in the broad daylight.
2. What drew you to ghosts and the paranormal? I see how you were naturally drawn to racing. *grin* But what about the ghosts?
A lot of it stems from my first trip to Savannah, when I was a kid. I picked up a copy of Margaret
Wayt-DeBolt’s Savannah Spectres and was hooked. I loved the blend of paranormal, lore and
history. From there, I started buying local ghost books wherever I traveled. I jumped at the chance
to add my own work to that collection, and Georgia Spirits and Specters was born. The book gave
me the opportunity to go on my first paranormal investigation, and now I can’t get enough of it.
3. What inspired the Ghost of a Threat novel?
I knew I wanted to write a series about a ghost hunter since I love the paranormal and have first-
hand experience to draw from. Savannah was the perfect setting since it’s reputed to be the most
haunted city in America. Plus, my mom lives there now, so I’ve gotten to know the city a lot better,
and she helps me get my Savannah facts straight: I like to include real locations in the books. The
story kind of stalled until I thought up the character of Maxwell. He was inspired by, of all things,
a trip to Disney World. Disney used to have a nightclub complex called Pleasure Island. Mom and
I went there for one last hurrah before they closed, and we were reminiscing about a mural there
that featured a train named “Maxwell’s Demon.” I suddenly got this vision of a crisp white business
card that said, “Maxwell, Demon.” Maxwell was the catalyst that really got the series going, and I
started Ghost of a Threat as soon as I got home from that trip. Maxwell might be a demon, but he is also my muse!
4. The people who review your books say they’re really glad there are no vampires! LMAO! Can you tell us a bit more?
I love vampires, and I have ever since I read Dracula in high school. However, plenty of other authors are doing a great job of covering vampire territory. I wanted to do something with ghosts, and of course, demons wound up being a part of the series, too. What I love about the demons is that I
could really get creative with their abilities and history: there aren’t as many pre-conceived notions
about them as there are about vampires.
5. What inspired these characters?
Characters have a tendency to spring into my head pretty much fully formed. I’ve said before that
I don’t make up the story, I just write down what my characters do. So even though Maxwell was
inspired by a trip to Disney World, I feel like characters just form themselves. I knew I wanted a good nemesis for Betty, though, and Carter Lansford fit the bill. I just love writing his character: he’s so arrogant, and he’ll do and say things that really annoy me. He and I have a love-hate relationship!
6. What was your favorite part of the research to create this book?
I think my favorite part was plotting Betty’s world on a map. I got a map of downtown Savannah—
the historic district—and figured out where she lived, where her favorite hangout was, and other
locations. Seeing it all laid out in front of me really gave me a feel for Betty and her adventures.
7. So you’re writing Book 2. Is there anything you can tell us without giving away the plot?
I’m actually working on book 4 now! Book 2, Ghost of a Whisper, has some sad scenes in it, and
Betty finds herself faced with a tough choice: will she sell her soul to save Maxwell? Book 3, Ghost
of a Memory, deals with revenants—the walking dead—and that plot gave me a chance to really
have some fun with Carter. Book 4, Ghost of a Hope, is the final book of the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter Series. Betty finds herself in a war against demons, demon hunters, and even some violent ghosts.
8. Where can readers purchase your book? (I may have already done that, but share with the class.)
You can get Ghost of a Threat in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon. It’s also available for the
Nook through Barnes and Noble and for the iPad through iTunes. Or, if you want a signed copy, drop
me an e-mail (beth at bethdolgner.com).
9. May we read an excerpt from the book and can you provide it here?
demon, but she still doesn’t believe him…
While Maxwell talked, he absently rubbed the thumb and forefinger of his free hand together. A few
bright sparks of flame erupted from his fingers; tiny pinpoints that disappeared nearly as quickly as they were created.
I’d thought that his trick during our first dinner together had been just that: a clever trick that would
have made a veteran magician jealous. Now, though, Maxwell seemed almost unaware of what he was doing, and he certainly wasn’t doing it to impress me.
Maxwell followed my gaze and his fingers stopped moving. “Sorry, it’s a bad habit.”
“What are you?” The words just popped out of my mouth before I could stop them.
“We’ve covered this territory before, I believe.”
“Yeah, that’s the problem,” I said carefully, hoping I wasn’t throwing away all politeness for the sake of honesty. “You believe, but I wasn’t sure I did.”
“I generated fire for you. I got rid of Sam’s demon for you. How much more proof do you need?”
“I thought the fire was a trick of some sort, like maybe you had a lighter hidden in your shirt cuff or
something.” Saying it out loud, I realized how unlikely that was. Maxwell had held the flame in his
hands; there had been no hidden lighter.
Maxwell didn’t respond, so I continued awkwardly. “As for Sam, well, I just thought you were really
experienced at dealing with paranormal entities.”
Maxwell’s eyes were intent on mine, and for the first time since I’d met him I felt real fear. I couldn’t
look away and I couldn’t shut my eyes against the sight of his face, his jaw rigid and his pale skin almost glowing. My hand was growing hot, and I realized that it was still entwined with Maxwell’s. His grip hardened, and the searing heat flowed up my arm and into my shoulder. I would have cried out if I hadn’t been transfixed.
It felt like hot coals were coursing through my body. I’m going to be burned to death, I thought. My skin will be charred and my blood is going to boil.
The image of Maxwell’s face blurred as the heat slithered up my neck and into my head. I realized I must be passing out and felt relief: at least I wouldn’t be conscious when my body burned.
My relief soon turned to a new fear, though, as images crept into my mind. I saw flames leaping up from a dark pit, smoke curling around me so thickly that I could feel it brushing against my face. I tried to hold my breath, but still the stench of smoke and sulfur filled my nose. The heat was nearly unbearable, pressing at me from within and without now. I looked down but couldn’t see my body. Instead, I saw the precipice on which I seemed to be standing, the dirty rock scored with long gouges. There were two sets of long scratches, and somehow I knew that fingernails had made those as someone fought against whatever had dragged them into that pit of fire.
I shut my eyes against the sight, and the heat dissipated immediately. There was only one part of me
that still felt warm, and that was my hand, which was still clinging to Maxwell. I opened my eyes and he was looking at me grimly, but with sympathy in his eyes.
“Now you see why I wanted to get out of hell,” he said quietly.
10. Where can your readers connect with you on the web?
My blog is at http://www.bethdolgner.com/blog and you’ll find all of the stories and photos about
432 Abercorn there. I’m on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/#!/bethdolgner, and my Facebook page
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this interview for your chance to win a copy of Clockwork Genie. Don't forget to leave your email address in the following format: parayournormalteam(at)gmail(dot)com. Now for the interview!
Thank you and all of ParaYourNormal for sitting down with my genie friend and I.
As a child I discovered comic books and soon knew I wanted to create comics and super heroes of my own. They would eventually become FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY.
While taking art courses to learn how to draw muscular heroes as realistically as possible, I discovered what I was really doing, no matter the medium, was story telling.
This turned into short stories, the first appearing in my college newspaper, and on to scripts for comic
books and for television animation such as for the Japanese series MIDNIGHT HORROR SCHOOL (a series that has as of yet not appeared in America.)
I continue to have a passion for comic books and for animation, but a few years ago I took a serious dive into writing novels. As part of Nanowrimo I wrote a science fiction tale, but about half way through it, a complete different story idea came to me. I paused long enough to write down a page of notes and then finished the story I had committed myself to doing. Once November was over I jumped right into the new idea, a fantasy tale that eventually became my first published novel CLOCKWORK GENIE.
How do you carve out time to write?
I wish I knew. It was easier to find the time to write until about a year ago when I picked up a 'day job' with the scholarship foundation of my local community college. Truthfully, having a restricted amount of time has forced me to dedicate more of it to serious writing. When I have all the free time in the world, nothing gets done. Deadlines are good. No, really, they are.
What’s the biggest creative difference between writing a novel and writing/illustrating a comic?
Comic books are a visual medium and 90 % of the story is told in the pictures. If I'm writing for another artist, the description of the scene has to be made clear enough for the artist to understand, but not overly detailed that it takes away his/her own creativity when drawing it. When I am writer/artist on the comic I don't have to be as detailed as I already have a clear idea of what I want to draw and most of the story comes together as I start sketching the art. The story then has to be told in a 22 to 36 pages comic, usually with 6 to 8 panels per page, sometimes less. When Shannon and I write our webcomic FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary online, Each page has to tell its own story because people reading may not have seen the pages before it, and hope it will entice them to stick around for the next page a week later.
With comic books as my background, my novel writing carries some of the same style. I don't always
fully describe the details of a scene other than what is absolutely necessary for the story or to se the mood, and let the reader fill in the gaps with their own imagination as if they were the artists of our shared comic book. Am certain I have a lot to improve upon, and am still learning with each new story I write.
Which book are we talking about today and what is it about?
CLOCKWORK GENIE is my first published novel and is both a Contemporary Fantasy and a Murder Mystery, and in some ways it is also a Paranormal Romance. There may be no ghosts, vampires, or werewolves, but there is a very powerful magical genie that just learned her master has been murdered.
The story is about Cecilia Orchard who has been struggling on her own since graduating from college to earn enough money to pay the rent of her apartment. Her data entry job isn't great and she's always on the verge of being fired by a very nasty boss.
If that's not bad enough, Cecilia has just been informed she's the prime suspect in the murder of
a grandfather she never knew existed. Why did the cop that wants to arrest her have to be so darn
Cecilia discovers she's the heir to a vast fortune, and then is given a golden pocket watch. She finds
herself the new master of a very powerful magical genie. The entire world could be hers at the mention of
a wish, but what does Cecilia really want?
You may also be interested to know that I painted the cover of the novel.
What inspired this book?
The original kernel of an idea has been sitting in the back of my head for quite a while, maybe back to childhood. Like many of my stories it grew out of a question: "If a genie is so powerful, why is it trapped in the lamp?" The idea morphed through the years, until it took the form of the golden pocket watch. Along with the relationship with its new master and the people around her, I explore that question and give one plausible answer.
From there the story grew pretty quickly, and I dumped the first drafted on to the keyboard very quickly. It would take several more drafts and rewrites, and introduction of other characters along the way until it became the book that now sits on virtual bookshelves.
Tell us something about your characters that we wouldn’t be able to figure out by reading the book.
I suppose what no one knows is that Cecilia is, minus the magic and millions of dollars, is me. As a writer with a pretty vast imagination, that if I was ever confronted by the supernatural or aliens, I would take it fairly calmly and matter-of-factly. So I took that idea and transferred it to Cecilia. She writes fantasy and mysteries like me, and so when she confronted by it. She's surprised by it but takes it coolly, or at least tries to.
Last month I released my second novel, entitled: REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST. This story
takes me back to my first love of the masked heroes. Going back to the 1930s' Pulps the heroes grew out of and became the super heroes of the comics.
I am currently working on a sequel to CLOCKWORK GENIE. Without going into a lot of detail, our
heroine and her friends must deal with the consequence of the genie's existence. Wishes out of the past come back to haunt them.
Where can readers purchase your book?
Currently my books are only available online as ebooks.
CLOCKWORK GENIE can be found at most major ebook distributors, and some, to my excitement, not so major. Best to start off at Amazon.
REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST is also available on Amazon and soon at other locations.
FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY - The webcomic that Shannon Muir and I have
been producing for the last ten years can be found at it's own website: http://www.flying-glory.com
May we read an excerpt from the book?
Certainly, here is an important scene from Chapter 4 of CLOCKWORK GENIE, after this everything goes crazy:
“Tastes like a tin can.” Cecilia said after the third bite of the microwave dinner.
As Cecilia ate, she kept reading each entry on the man who was supposed to be her grandfather. He owned a multinational corporation, which included many subsidiary companies in Los Angeles as well as New York. It went on and on. It was all just crazy.
“There is no way in the world that all this could be possible,” she said as she dropped the dinner
tray into the already overflowing trashcan beneath the kitchen sink. Cecilia felt confused and didn’t know what to do next. She picked up her purse from where she had dropped it on the couch and pulled out the cell phone. She scrolled through the contact list until she reached the right number and pressed Talk.
Her uncle Phil had always been there for Cecilia when she needed the extra support as she
struggled through college. She could always call him when life got too much for her. This was one of
The phone rang three times and then went to voice mail.
“Darn! Hi, Uncle Phil, it’s me. Can we chat one of these days? No rush, I’ve just got a question
about my dad…” Her voice trailed off when her eye caught the glimmer and sparkle of the watch as it gently swayed in the glass case.
After a moment of silence she realized she was still on the phone, “I’ll try to call you tomorrow.
Night. Love ya.”
Cecilia put the phone down and sat at the table. She stared at the watch for several minutes, almost mesmerized by it. Finally, curiosity got a hold of her.
“I’m probably knocking a thousand dollars off the value just by opening the case,” Cecilia said as
she did just that, “and ten thousand by touching it.”
She unhooked the chain from its support and examined the watch. The outer case had fine ornate engravings all over it and as she turned it in the light the patterns seemed to change, to dance. Sometimes it looked like writing, other times decorative floral patterns, and then again like mechanical gears of what must be inside.
“Has to be a trick of the light,” she moved away from the desk lamp to look at it under the fluorescents of the kitchen and yet again the pattern was different. She saw brushes and quills.
“So exhausted I’m seeing things. Wake up already Cecilia,” she said to her herself.
She was returning to the table to put the watch away when her finger came across the little
clasp and the watch popped open.
“Oh, no. I’ve broken it!”
The crystal face of the watch was perfect like a diamond. The hands pointed exactly at the right
time but suddenly spun around the dial and stopped on twelve.
Light flared across the crystal startling Cecilia and she fell back on to the floor, tightly grasping
the watch so it didn’t break.
“Tommy? I’m sorry, Tommy? Really I am. Tommy? Hey, where am I?”
Cecilia’s vision was blurred from the flash, but she could make out a woman’s form standing in
front of her, “Who’s there?”
“Who the hell are you?” the woman shouted down at Cecilia on the floor.
“I…” her vision cleared. Standing before Cecilia was a young woman; her hair was red like flames
of a campfire. Though dressed in an emerald green evening gown, she wore a leather bomber jacket over it. She was quite beautiful.
“Now this confirms it, I’m dreaming. I’ve gone insane,” Cecilia said aloud, “That woman from
those photographs is standing in my apartment. That … that Genevieve woman.”
“Of course, I’m Genevieve, that’s Tommy’s watch,” the woman said with a childlike voice yet
scolded like a parent.
“The watch?” Cecilia looked from the woman to the watch and back again, “This is my
Genevieve gasped, “Your grandfather? How long have I been in there?” She looked about and
began to panic.
Cecilia gathered herself and stood up, and noticed fear in the strange woman’s eyes.
“You have the watch.”
“You have Tommy’s watch!”
“Ya, this was Thomas Granger’s watch, what of it?”
“Where is Tommy? Where is he?” Genevieve demanded, tears filled her eyes.
“Oh, God, you don’t know. I thought maybe the police had finally contacted you, or that lawyer
Kramer sent you to talk to me.”
“Tell me where Thomas Granger is!” Genevieve was shaking now; tears flowed down her cheeks.
“I’m sorry to be the one that has to tell you this. Thomas Granger was killed yesterday.”
“Killed? No, no, no.”
“Ya, I’m sorry, but he was murdered. The police are still investigating. They’ll probably want to
talk with you. I should call Detective Lambert.”
“I don’t want to be alone,” Genevieve said through her tears.
“Why would you be alone?” Cecilia was doing her best not to freak out, yet she seemed to be the
calmer head here. It was this figment of her imagination that was going nuts. Certain this was all going on inside her head; the stress of work had finally gotten to her. If her imaginary friend had just cracked, didn’t that mean she had already lost it herself?
Genevieve looked at the watch again, and forced away her tears as she looked towards Cecilia.
Suddenly the woman dropped to her knees and bowed her head to the floor facing Cecilia.
“Mistress,” she said humbly.
“Your wish is my command.”
The best place to find me online is my blog where I ramble on about writing, comic books, animation, and from time to time put up a book review: http://kevinpsbroden.blogspot.com/
You can follow me on Twitter: @Kevinpsb00
Thank you for this opportunity to explore what's Para in my Normal with you. Genevieve had a good time too.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Hi Everyone. Today we are chatting with Eisley Jacobs, author of Runaway Choices, a Christian Speculative Fiction/Fantasy novel. Eisley will be joining us for a live interview on Blog Talk Radio, Wednesday, March 14th, at 3:30pm Pacific Time. We hope you'll stop by and listen in.
Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this interview for your chance to win a copy of Runaway Choices. Don't forget to leave your email address in the following format: parayournormalteam(at)gmail(dot)com. Now...for the interview:
Monday, March 5, 2012
Joining us today is Regan Black, author of The Matchmaker's Mark. If you'd like to win a free copy of this paranormal romance novel, please leave a comment below. Don't forget to include your email address.
On Wednesday, we'll be chatting with Regan, live, on our Blog Talk Radio channel at 3:30 pm Pacific Time. We hope you'll listen into the show. Now, for our interview...