Sunday, December 6, 2015

How Barbara Walters Launched My Writing Career

I started reading before I entered kindergarten, thanks to having a mother who shared her love of reading with me by buying books for me, nestling me on her lap, and reading to me. I have deep, warm memories of spending time with her this way, often.

The first time I spun a story of my own was in the first grade. For whatever reason, I was a big Barbara Walters fan, and I loved watching her anchor the evening news with Harry Reasoner (whom I have always confused with Walter Cronkite). So, I wrote a newscast script, assigned my guy friend the Reasoner part, and we delivered it to our entire first grade class.

From there, I went on to write a few more plays in elementary school, a really back knock-off of Superfudge, and a short story about a duck whose feet were too big.

In middle school, there were the tortured, lonely, sappy, sickly romances. In high school, a little more spicy romance and a WHOLE lot of self-indulgent, whiny journaling.

Fast forward to today, many decades later - I'm venturing into the world of for real, sho 'nuff fiction writing. I'm only beginning to dip my toe into these waters, but I have to say, I feel like I've been writing all my life. I can't wait to see where this new path leads, and I'd be happy to have you along for the journey.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Never Fear...Christmas Terrors

Hi there, thanks for stopping by! You picked a good day to visit, because it just so happens that a group of the authors of the new book, Never Fear Christmas Terrors has put together a blog hop to introduce you to this book and give you sneak peeks and inside information you won't find anywhere else. And, best of all, you have a chance to WIN a copy of the book, which is due out tomorrow.

First, a little bit about Never Fear Christmas Terrors: This book is an anthology of 22 Christmas themed horror short stories, written by New York Times Bestselling and award-winning authors, including: a new ghost story by Heather Graham, a Repairman Jack Christmas adventure by F. Paul Wilson, a spine tingling tale by master of horror Thomas F. Monteleone, and a special tale of Christmas wonder by Jon Land. In a unique experience—a story within a story—you will follow along when the MacDonald family discovers an unidentified present under their Christmas tree. Who gave it to them? Where did it come from? No one seems to know. And when they open the mysterious gift, it sets them on a course to a Christmas of terror they could never have expected. Unbelievable, right?

Here's a little peek inside my own short story, titled "The Gift That Won't Stop Giving:"

Holly could barely contain her glee as she raced to open the door for the FedEx guy. She actually let out a childish squeal as she signed for the package and snatched it from his hands. His truck hadn’t even left the driveway before she was ripping through layers of cardboard, tape, and packing peanuts. When her hands touched the smooth cold stone, she shivered with anticipation. She extricated it from its wrappings and held it up to admire it. The ancient Mayan mask smiled back at her, its gleaming, vacant eyes staring at her. She held it to her chest, thrilled that she had finally managed to find the perfect gift for Chris.

Holly goes on to discover that the mask she has purchased is, in fact, cursed, which wreaks havoc in her home. She learns that in order to rid her family of this curse she must pass it along to someone else. Can she do it? And if so, to whom? Find out when you read Never Fear Christmas Terrors!

This story was inspired by my seemingly terminal inability to ever pick out an appropriate gift for my husband. He gives me diamonds, I give him bathrobes. He is a truly talented gift-giver, and I completely suck at it. So I let my imagination wander to what it would feel like to have a big win like Holly's scoring a gift a husband would love. I gave her husband, Chris, a passion for all things ancient Indian (about whom I happened to be teaching my fifth graders at the time), and "The Gift That Won't Stop Giving" was hatched.

Now a bit about me: I was born and raised in North Louisiana, and have lived here all my life. Except for that one year in Texas, but I got back home as fast as I could. I've been a writer all my life, but have only recently ventured into the world of fiction writing and publication. "The Gift That Won't Stop Giving" is my first published piece, aside from the many articles and cartoon strips I wrote for my high school newspaper a very long time ago.

As for personal experience with the paranormal, I have none. I adore ghost stories, but if I ever had an encounter of my own, I think I would surely die of fright. What about you? Click below and comment to  tell me your ghost story for a chance to win a FREE copy of Never Fear Christmas Terrors. Giveaway closes Friday, December 4 at midnights.

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Now on with the blog hop! Visit these author blogs and Facebook pages for more scoop and chances to win a free book:
Rich Devin:
Mat Kafuman:
Kristi Ahlers:
Crystal Perkins:
Debbie Grahl: