Happy Release Weekend to Georgia Gothic!

This weekend I’m pleased to announce that the anthology featuring a slew of authors from the Atlanta Chapter of the Atlanta Horror Association has been released! Please give a big welcome to Georgia Gothic.

Folks don’t think much when it comes to horror in Georgia. When we’re lucky, they think about a woman who would have been good if there had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life. When we’re less fortunate, they think of banjos and bad canoe trips. This book aims to fix that.

These stories fully inhabit Georgia, from the cities to the swamps, the mountains to the shore, from Buford Highway to the roadside barbecue stand. Within are stories set among the kudzu that is working to reclaim the buildings of times gone by. Follow the hand-scrawled roadside sign for BOILT P-NUTS, and hear the summon of the cicadas towards the fecund rot of the swamp swirled by an ocean breeze.

The Gothic begins with the locus of horror—crumbling castles and soaring cathedrals. In Georgia, the crumbling castle is replaced by the antebellum plantation house with secrets in the attic. The soaring cathedral is replaced by the revival tent and the Sunday potluck. Georgia Gothic explores through a lens of struggles and transgressions that are particularly southern such as slavery, reconstruction, prohibition, and Jim Crow. The Southern façade of perfection holds up politeness as a chief virtue while sheltering ugly truths. Some things just won’t stay buried.

Buy your copy

My story, “The Girl at Wahuhi Creek”, features a woman who is living in a hotel after getting evicted. She’s struggling to make sense of her new life and trying to figure out where she goes next. One cold winter evening she sees a little girl playing in the creek in merely a nightgown. She should leave well enough alone, but she simply can’t.

Check out all of the incredible authors who are also included in this anthology! I’m so honored and thrilled to be included alongside them.

Foreword by Gini Koch
“Marthasville” – Benji Carr
“And Dark Confound Us Here” – David Powell
“All Roads Lead To” – Kelley M. Frank
“Dream House” – C.O. Davidson
“The Woods Are All I Need” – Vanessa Reid
“The Heap of Root and Stone” – Kelley M. Frank
“We All Gotta Eat” – Jessica Nettles
“Cicada Tales” – Kitty Sarkozy
“Little Buddy Gus” – Can Wiggins
“The Old Meadow House” – Persephone Justice
“The Dress Begins to Fade” – Peter Adam Salomon
“Love Letters from the Devil’s Beard” – Jessica Ann York
“The Dead Line” – David Powell
“Ghostwriter Wanted” – D.C. Phillips
“MeeMee” – Can Wiggins
“Tommy’s Field” – Nathan McCullough
“The Body Hidin’ Spot” – Jeff Strand
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country” – Jamie Grimes, Kitty Sarkozy, and Jessica Ann York
“Ghost Child of the Creek” – Darrell Z. Grizzle
“The Girl at Wahuhi Creek” – Marlena Frank
“Best Friends Forever” – Dawn Major
“Plantation” – Peter Adam Salomon
“Grady’s Plantation” – Tony Sarrecchia
“I Will Not Walk in Darkness” – Jamie Grimes

I have to give a huge thank you to Alex and Vicki (and Peter, of course) for putting this all together, to Lynne for the gorgeous cover, and to Kelley for the amazing interior art.

This is also one of the final projects that Peter Adam Salomon worked on as an editor before he passed away in September. Our Atlanta Chapter was distraught by his unexpected passing. He was an incredible author and poet whose work I both admired and collected. If you have followed my website for a while, you’ve likely seen many books of his that I’ve reviewed, loved, and highly recommended. He gave me the chance to read some of his work before it was published to give him some feedback, and at least one of those stories never made it to publication. I will always miss that I didn’t get the chance to chat with him more during Decatur Book Festival in 2019, and that I’ll never get to read more of his surreal and incredible stories.

This anthology is dedicated to his memory.

First Newspaper Interview!

It’s been busy around here! I barely get news out before more comes my way.

I had my first newspaper interview get published with the Daily Citizen-News of Dalton, GA!

Check out the full interview here!

A big thanks to Logan Petty, the YA Coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library for reaching out and making this happen.

Bullet Journaling as an Author: A Sticker A Day

Since my first blog post about using trackers in my bullet journal was so popular, I thought it couldn’t hurt to do more in this vein. Clearly there are a number of authors out there looking for ways to keep on track when working on their novels. Heck, I was that way too not very long ago.

While trackers are wonderful for long-term planning and smashing out goals, what motivates you on the short term? I know during the work week, I don’t go flipping to my progress chart very often. I’m too busy fixing the nuts and bolts of work and life every day. So I wanted to find a way to give myself a little bit of a boost for squeezing in maybe just ten minutes of writing over my lunch, or maybe dedicating a whole hour one evening to tackling that scene, or giving myself the space to work on edits. Do you know what I found was super inspiring? Stickers.

Yes, I know, it’s very grade school. I remember helping my mom set up sticker boards for her classroom for a number of years, and seeing it slowly fill up as kids did awesome things. A sticker at the end of the day was a way to easily see how great you did, and made it easy to look back over the week to see how you did.

Guess what? It works for us adults too!

You can buy little flower sticker sheets at Amazon or Etsy. They’re adorable, and just the little burst of inspiration I needed to keep going some days. If I had a rough week, just seeing a bundle of stickers spread out over the pages made me proud. That was work on something I enjoyed. That was proof of what I accomplished, even if my word count had barely nudged, I did something worth celebrating.

Lately I’ll admit I haven’t written on my WIP as much as I would like, and seeing my pages lack those stickers makes me sad. Even their absence is motivating. But I’m getting that inspiration rolling again.

Of course, this little trick could work for anything that you want to work on a little bit each day. When my life gets really crazy busy though, I find that my writing time suffers. It’s hard to pull the words out and it’s hard to delve into my fantasy world, the characters, or the plot when life is pulling my attention in a dozen different directions.

Having an easy way to glimpse my progress helps immensely. Remember, all it takes is a sticker a day.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman 

Finished: June 11, 2017

Malerman was featured on The Outer Dark podcast sometime last year, I believe. I liked what he had to say and the title and description of the book intrigued me, plus they gave it high praise on the podcast, so I added it to Goodreads. Fast forward to this summer, and Goodreads tells me it’s on sale for $2, so I just had to give it a try!

My review:

Josh Malerman’s Bird Box was one of the more terrifying horror novels I’ve read in a while. There are a number of scenes that are so suspenseful that you almost don’t want to find out what happens next. The scene in the bar was one of the more painful scenes for me. That was when I truly started admiring Malerman’s style and how intense his writing became. I binged half this book in a day because once it got rolling, it was hard to put down.

The only difficulty was the constant changes in perspective. It changes times a lot and sometimes it was difficult for me to pinpoint when a scene was happening and I had to reread sections. Overall this didn’t change how good the novel was, but it did make it slower to start. I definitely recommend it!
What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Definitely! I actually found it hard to stop once I reached the halfway point.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? I’ve actually been dropping plot pieces to friends, describing the dystopian world and the claustrophobia of the blindness that Malerman is so good at. The premise alone sells this book, but the stellar writing is what makes me finish it.
  3. Would you re-read it? I typically don’t reread many books, but I would reread sections of this one. The writing was beautifully gruesome.
  4. Does it stick with you? Oh yes! Sometimes a bit too well. 😉

My overall rating? 5/5

Halloween is Coming

not-your-average-monster-2-cover-smallIf you missed out on grabbing a copy of Not Your Average Monster Volume 2 a few months back, you can pick it up quite cheap right now on Amazon, and just in time to enjoy reading throughout October.

In other news, I just finished submitting my blog post for HWA’s Halloween Haunts blog series, which will be posted throughout the month of October as well. Authors will be making posts, giving peeks at upcoming pieces, and having giveaways daily. So don’t worry, we’ll make sure there’s plenty to help you enjoy the Halloween season.

Now that I’m finally recovered from DragonCon (and all the con crud that came with it), we’ll be putting up our Halloween decorations soon. I plan to post pictures of how we decorate our home and would love to see yours too! We just made our Target run the other day since their Halloween items just got put on the shelf too.

Thank goodness Halloween is coming!