No More Tiptoeing Through The Tulips.

I love tulips. They are lovely and graceful, and so colourful!  

My goodness, though, they’re delicate. It doesn’t take much to make a tulip wilt and bend its head to the ground. One might be tempted to think that a flower that needs to have its bulb frozen during winter in order to bloom might be a little more resilient… but apparently not.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the people in my circles— not all, but a hefty percentage of them— are like tulips. As long as the environment suits them, they are fine, but when they are unhappy for some reason, they just don’t cope. It doesn’t take much to upset the balance: just do something they find confronting. The more brave and nonconformist the act, the stronger the effect.

Don’t get me wrong: I do like most of the people in my circles. 

What I don’t like is having to kowtow to their apparent discomfort about certain things that matter to me, when they demonstrate zero tolerance to who and what I am. 

I am weary of having to live with the perpetual awareness that many people I know don’t mind me being an author as long as I never mention it. Some wouldn’t mind my multiple ear piercings either if I grew my hair longer to cover them. Others don’t mind my tattoos as long as my clothes hide them. They feign politeness when I talk about the theatre company I’m in or the musicals I direct at school, but very few of them have ever bought a ticket and come to see a show. And let’s not even start on how they feel about my political views. 

And yes. Those very different things get exactly the same reaction from a lot of people.

It’s ridiculous, and I’m over it. 

I am not less than them. 
I do not matter less than they do. 
My feelings, thoughts, passions and pursuits matter just as much as theirs do. 
I am as worthy of their interest and respect as they are of mine.

And I am very proud of my poetry and my stories… and of my shows. I’m rather fond of my tattoos and piercings too, for that matter. 

What I write happens to be pretty darned good: all those reviews my books receive from strangers are proof of that. Why should I hide my work under a cloak of secrecy when they can freely discuss being a builder, a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker?

Nobody looks at them with thinly veiled suspicion. Nobody questions if what they build or make is any good. Nobody asks how much money they make per job. Nobody asks if their kids are real, or if they are any good. 
They are all quite free and welcome to talk about their kids in front of me even though I don’t have any, and I certainly don’t respond as though they are trying to sell me a child.

So, no more tiptoeing around. I won’t be shoving a book in their face at every opportunity — that’s not me — but I’m not going to allow others to pretend they don’t exist, either. They don’t have to read my work, but they will know that I expect their respect and acknowledgment.

I will not allow other people to treat me as less than I am.

I will not allow them to suppress my thoughts and feelings. 
I will call people out on double standards. 
I will refuse to be made to feel small.
I will be as diplomatic and gentle as I can, but I will assert myself.

And if they insist, I will know they are not really my people, and were never really in my circle.

Advertisements

Women in Horror: Sue Rovens

Today’s Women In Horror featured author is Sue Rovens.

Thanks again to the Unusual Fiction blog for this author interview.

Unusual Fiction

Welcome to our last Friday of Women in Horror Month 2019. It’s been a short, dark month but we’ve done our best to make your days that little bit brighter by showcasing the work of so many talented authors of dark fiction. Today, I’m delighted to be shining the spotlight on author of horror and suspense tales, Sue Rovens.

Sue Rovens is an indie suspense writer with two novels currently out in the world. Badfish, her first novel, was published in 2015. Track 9 was published in 2017. She also has two books of short horror stories, In a Corner, Darkly: Volume 1 and Volume 2. All her books are available on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Her third horror/suspense novel, Buried, is almost ready. It will be available for the public sometime in the first half of 2019.

Sue works at Illinois State University…

View original post 652 more words

I am an Indie Author and I Write My Own Books.

As a teacher of senior high school English and Humanities, the ONE thing I impart to my students every time I assign a task is that they must do their own work. They all know what plagiarism is, and why it is wrong. They understand that, both at school and beyond, it is an act that has serious consequences. 

If high school students can grasp this concept and comply, it beggars belief that an author – who also claims to be a lawyer, no less – thought they could get away with stealing the work of other authors, mashing it together, and claiming it as their own.

This week, the revelation has been made — and proven — that one person has done exactly that. 

It didn’t take long for the Twitterverse to light up with the scandal, and the flames of shock and indignation soon spread to other social media. The fires are still burning, and it seems there is plenty of fuel. 

I am not going to recount the whole story here – for all the sordid details, you can google #CopyPasteCris or search for that tag on Twitter. 

It is sufficient to say that upon being discovered and accused, #CopyPasteCris promptly defended her integrity and blamed the whole fiasco on the ghostwriters she hired on Fiverr. 

Seriously? Even if the plagiarism was done by someone else, the books were published in her name, she agreed to the publishing terms of service as the creator and owner of the work, and she received the royalties of every copy sold. I am confident that I am not alone in thinking that this is on her and nobody else. 

Here’s the thing.

  • Even if one hires ghost writers, why on earth would she not still read the finished book before publishing it? 
  • Upon reading it, how on earth would she not realise that there were inconsistencies of style and plot… and fix them? 
  • How did her editor not catch it? 
  • Or… did she not bother with an editor? 
  • And if she doesn’t have an editor, what quality control does she have in place for her books? 
  • What makes her think she is smart enough to get away with repeated, blatant plagiarism when her readers also read the authors that have been plagiarized? 
  • Was she never taught right from wrong? Did she ever actually think about the consequences of her actions? 

Perhaps the biggest question, though, is how did it take so long for this to be discovered? 

As an Indie author who does, in fact, write all her own material, , the entire situation leaves me furious. This one person has thrown the integrity of every honest, hard-working and worthy-of-being-read Indie author into question. 

This behavior is the kind of thing that justifies in the minds of the traditional-publishing-snobs the various stigmas that good quality Indie authors have been working so hard to overcome: sloppy writing, books riddled with errors, and people playing at being legitimate authors when they are not. 

As a reader, I am offended and outraged. Just how stupid do people like this think their readers are? 

Although I fear it is not, I hope this is an isolated case. 

And I hope every author who was plagiarized lawyers up and sues #CopyPasteCris for every penny they deserve. 

Women in Horror: Kris Weeks

Meet Kris Weeks, author of horror of the hot and steamy kind!

Intrigued? Read on!

Kris’ interview comes to this blog courtesy of Unusual Fiction.

Unusual Fiction

Another dark February day dawns and we continue our daily dose of hellish horror with author of dark fiction, Kris Weeks.

Kris Weeks has been writing since she was young with many of her stories published in Hustler Magazine. As well as writing together with her husband, horror writer TJ Weeks, she has published quite a few standalone horrors. She loves writing about crazy women who have the urge to kill yet live normal lives.

Question 1.

Which horror genre do you write in ?

Erotic Horror

Question 2.

Why do you write horror? Tell us about your horror journey?

I started writing erotica as a teenager and had numerous stories published in Hustler magazine. I quit writing for a long time until I met my husband. Once he realized I liked to write as he does, we began to write together and I began writing my own style of…

View original post 394 more words

Women in Horror: Caroline E Farrell

Today’s Women in Horror Month spotlight is in author and filmmaker Caroline E Farrell.

Once again, this post comes to you courtesy of Unusual Fiction.

Unusual Fiction

It’s Day 15 of Women in Horror Month 2019 and the horror bus keeps on rolling. Today, I’m excited to welcome back Caroline E Farrell to Unusual Fiction. Caroline is a filmmaker and award winning author of dark fiction.

Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger from Dublin, Ireland. She once blogged a vampire novel online, which becameArkyne, Story of a Vampire. She has also written the award-winning novel, Lady Beth. Caroline is the writer of three short films, ADAM (2013), IN RIBBONS (2015) and FRAMED (2018) which she also directed. She has also written several published shorts stories and award-winning feature screenplays.

Question
1.

Which
horror genre do you write in?

At the moment, I am drawn to psychological horror.
With regard to genre though, I don’t really fit into any specific category,
which suits me as I can only write what truly captivates…

View original post 500 more words

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Jessica Flaherty

Today’s featured author for Women in Horror Month is Jessica Flaherty.
I’ve borrowed this interview from Fiona at Unusual Fiction, as she is featuring some great authors that have not yet been featured at WordyNerdBird.

Unusual Fiction

It’s our second weekend of fabulously fearsome fiction and today I am delighted to welcome to Unusual Fiction author of paranormal horror and fantasy, Jessica Flaherty.

Jess Flaherty is one lucky writer. She has two great kids, a day job that she loves, and she gets to co-write an ever-expanding paranormal universe with her very best friend, her husband Keith.

Their novel, Always Darkest, features a demon named Ben. It garnered a review from fantasy icon Piers Anthony, who called it, “A very different story” and “A solid fantasy novel.” Fans have compared their style to a combination of Douglas Adams, George R.R. Martin, and Christopher Lamb. It was selected as Book Talk Radio Club’s Best in Fantasy for 2018 and continues to garner strong reviews and a dedicated following.

Something’s Gotta Give takes another look at Ben’s life, from before the adventures of Always Darkest. This story of a…

View original post 1,038 more words

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Pam Lecky

Pam Lecky was featured earlier this month on the Unusual Fiction blog. I have read some of Pam’s stories, and they are very good, so I thought I would share her interview here, too.

A special thank you to Fiona Cooke for also featuring some amazing women of horror on her blog this month.

https://unusualfiction.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/welcome-to-women-in-horror-month-2019-introducing-historical-fiction-and-ghost-story-author-pam-lecky/

Women In Horror: Carmilla Voiez

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Carmilla Voiez

Carmilla Voiez is a proudly bisexual and mildly autistic introvert who finds writing much easier than verbal communication. A life long Goth, living with two kids, two cats and a poet by the sea. She is passionate about horror, the alt scene, intersectional feminism, art, nature and animals. When not writing, she gets paid to hang out in a stately home and entertain tourists.

Her books are both extraordinarily personal and universally challenging. As Jef Withonef of Houston Press once said – “You do not read her books, you survive them.”

Carmilla’s bibliography includes Starblood (Vamptasy Publishing, Dec 2018), Starblood the graphic novel, Psychonaut the graphic novel, The Ballerina and the Revolutionary, Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales.

Carmilla writes horror that is female-orientated supernatural horror, full of demons and seriously flawed women.

Starblood.
Book 1 of 4 in the Starblood series.

Star craves freedom, but her lover, Satori, refuses to let her go. He casts a spell to make her love him again, opening a gateway through which Lilith, mother of demons, enters their lives. Lilith serves no man. Instead she seduces Star, assuring her that there is no shame in love, only completion. Thus begins a strange and terrible love triangle that leads them to Scotland and the Cairngorm mountains.

Reader Review: “ A genius work of contemporary fiction. Should become a future Horror classic. Highly recommend *****”  on Amazon

Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales

Thirteen tales of the macabre from horror author Carmilla Voiez. Meet a confused ghost, a vampire, searching for love, and a woman bent on revenge; visit a gateway to hell, a hotel in faery and an abandoned asylum, in this unique collection of stories. Includes the novella Basement Beauty.

Reader Review: “ I found my mind drifting back to the various tales at all times of the day, they got under my skin and haunted me long after I powered down my kindle. At the end of a story, you emerge bloodied, battered and genuinely grateful to have survived. It’s what horror should be like; raw, frightening and thought provoking.”  on Amazon

You can find and follow Carmilla Voiez on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB 

Women In Horror: Joanne Van Leerdam

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Joanne Van Leerdam

Joanne is an Australian writer of horror, poetry, and occasionally fantasy stories. Her tag line is ‘Poetry with soul. Horror with none.”

She lives near Warrnambool in regional Victoria, Australia, with her husband and two furbabies.  She spends four days a week teaching senior high school  English, History and Drama/Production. She is an active member and performer in Camperdown Theatre Company. Her hobbies include reading, music, travel and photography. 

Joanne loves travelling, and has visited many places in Australia as well as holidaying in New Zealand, Fiji, the USA and Canada at different times. Other than Australia, eastern Canada is her favourite place in the world, and she’s proud to have been adopted as an ‘honorary Canadian’. 

Joanne is the author of  thought-provoking and profound poetry, horror and short stories. She has won a number of awards for her books ‘New Horizons’, ‘Nova’ and ‘The Silver Feather’.

Joanne writes horror with a strong element of poetic justice, especially those stories that focus on Friday, a magical black cat with a devilishly strong sense of right and wrong. 
Other stories explore various types of horror – fright, the unexplained, fear of the unknown, and the macabre. 

The Silver Feather

A graveyard.
A talisman.
A confrontation with evil personified.

When Phil loses the girl he loves, life as he knows it comes to a screeching halt. Little does  he realise that there is so much more yet to be lost. 

A haunting, macabre tale that will please all lovers of horror and dark fiction.

Reader Review: ” A delightful tale that begins in the prosaic world of unrequited high school romance, only to suddenly veer into a shadowed realm of loss, violence and evil. Van Leerdam’s writing is crisp and insightful, her protagonist achingly real, and I guarantee you will devour this dark confection in a single sitting. Highly recommended.” on Amazon

Lac du Mort and Other Stories

From the macabre to the deeply disturbing, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories delivers eight chilling tales that will please lovers of horror and dark fiction.  

These macabre tales that will make you look over your shoulder at moments you never expected to.

Reader Review: “Well written, fresh horror grabbing at the reader from a the first story. A few tales stab at the mind, some tear away at blood and bone. We get one visit to hell. I am a fan.” on Amazon

Curious Things

Stories about a magical black cat, superstition and strange events. 
Friday is a black cat with a lucky habit of being present when curious things take place.He’s highly intelligent, fiercely loyal and devilishly handsome.

Curious Things delivers thirteen stories of people encountering justice for their wrongdoings, all as Friday watches on. Is he responsible? Or is it just lucky coincidence that he is present when these strange events take place?

If you’ve ever wished for karma to move a little faster, indulged in uncharitable thoughts about certain annoying people, or suspected that having a black cat cross your path was not quite as unlucky as people seem to think, this book is for you.

Reader Review: “Vengeance may be sweet—but, meting out justice vigilante-style just isn’t practical. Then along comes Friday, a black cat whose intelligence and curiosity gets the better of those who deserve their just desserts. Obvious or implied, Friday shows up where the wrath of Biblical justice is called for. And, it’s so gratifying to watch the gruesome details unfold!” on Amazon

You can find and follow Joanne Van Leerdam on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTERESTGOODREADS | BOOKBUB | AMAZONWEBSITE



Sylvermoon Chronicles VII: A New Release Anthology

Sylvermoon Chronicles is an annual short story anthology created by The Confederacy of the Quill, an international writers’ cooperative. I am very proud to have one of my stories, Contaminus, included in the 2019 issue of this highly regarded anthology series.

While the book releases on Valentines Day, it should not be mistaken for a romance collection.

Rather, I like to think of it as a gift for those who, like me, would sooner read genres other than lovey-dovey romance, and a welcome distraction from all the kissy-face sentimentality often associated with February 14th. The Sylvermoon Chronicles series features stories in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Adventure. 

It is an honor to be published in a series which I have very much enjoyed as a reader, alongside a number of authors whose work I have previously read, reviewed and fangirled over. I was both excited and slightly surprised when my story was accepted, especially given the inspiration behind the writing of Contaminus.

New worlds await you in the newest Sylvermoon Chronicles collection, which hit the shelves today. The ebook is widely available now, and the paperback will be available soon.