“To All a Good Night” Holiday Short Story



The breeze sneaked through the crack in the window as the noises in the house disturbed Adam Ballinger from his slumber. He rustled under his covers, feeling the cold tickle his feet. This was no ordinary Christmas Eve; there was something whispering in the trees. Lifting himself from the bed, the young boy rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Another thump from downstairs made him thrilled that Santa had finally arrived. He swung his feet from the bed and tiptoed across the oak floor. Not one little peep came from the boy’s mouth.

A jingle and jangle echoed from the tree downstairs just around the corner from the last step of the stairs. He pressed his back to the wall, cautiously creeping to investigate the noises, but there was something sinister in the air. It was not jolly and filled with joy. Tonight the cold air was like a ghost warning him to run back upstairs and hide under his bed.

The wicked giggle broke the silence. An eruption of sparks and whistles cascaded around the corner. Adam continued to the final stair and when he peeked around the corner Santa was not there. It was an estranged elf sitting at the stoop of the fireplace. A cigar balanced between his fiery red lips and his round doll eyes twinkled with a blaze of hate. The boy stepped into the doorway and watched the elf blow a puff of smoke from his mouth. The bell jingled from the end of his hat as he rubbed the stubble across his jaw.

“Where is Santa?” Adam asked with a shiver. “And why are you not in his workshop?”

“Kid, it’s all a lie. There is no Santa Claus that funnels down the chimney or reindeer that fly. Your mother and father lied. It is all a hoax to distract you from reality.” The elf coughed and got to his feet. His green shoes curled back like the ends of candy canes.

“Who are you? Why are you saying those things?” He stepped back to the doorway. His eyes rolled over to the staircase, where the shadows toiled from the tree branches outside.

“I’m the helper that haunts your dreams on Christmas Eve. The Christmas spirit you never hear about in the dark abyss.” The elf walked towards Adam and flicked the cigar into the tree. The embers caught the rug on fire and the branches engulfed in flames instantly.

Adam watched as the joy turned to horror. He tripped on the first step and crawled to the top landing. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw saliva dripping from the elf’s sharp teeth, the elf’s eyes thirsting for Adam’s blood. He ran down the hallway, but the door extended further from him. His tiny little fingers wiggled in the air, but he could not reach the door handle. A tug on his ankle made him roll across the floor. When he flipped over onto his back, he saw the elf overpowering him and glaring down at him like an insane elf from hell. Adam crossed his arms over his eyes.

“Mom, Dad, help me!” His cries rattled the walls of the hall and a light consumed the darkness. “Help!” he screamed as the elf’s sharp nails dug into his neck.

The bitter cold no longer gave him chills. Heat underneath his back and around his face made him cry harder. Flames surrounded him and smoke billowed overhead.


The noise pounded in his head as a hand grabbed him from the hallway. His body was whipped into the air and he was hung over someone’s shoulder like a sack. His eyes burned from the heat and he dared not try to speak. A final jolt through the front door brought the cold Christmas air rippling down his back. He looked up into the sky at the white specks of snow, the moon hanging high, and the trees rustling in the wind. When he saw the fire truck and the police cruisers in the cul-de-sac, he realized the fire had consumed the house.

“You’re going to be okay, kid!” the firefighter yelled, plopping Adam onto the back of an ambulance. The man turned to the police. “I’m going back in to find any other survivors.”

Adam watched the windows explode, shards of glass glistening in the air. Pieces of the curtain fabric blew through the broken windows. It was a ruined Christmas for Adam, but was the elf only a dream? He looked up towards his parents’ bedroom. There was the menace, blood dripping from his lips. The glint from his mother’s wedding ring twinkled from the severed hand. It was not a dream, the fire was a distraction and Christmas was the fuel that awakened the beast.

A blinding light flashed over Adam’s shoulder. He saw his father running towards him with another woman – the neighbor a few houses down. Adam closed his eyes as tears rolled down his cheeks, but all the chaos disappeared in a matter of a blink. A chill brushed his sleeve, and when he opened his eyes, he heard the sound again.


The room was black and the chill from the open window tickled his feet. He was excited because Santa was finally here. Adam flipped his feet over the side of the bed and ran to the door. He raced down the hall to the stairs where an orange glow lit the foyer below. When he turned the corner, the elf was waiting with a blood-stained grin. The elf dragged his feet towards the boy and flicked the cigar at the tree. Flames engulfed it instantly.

“You thought you could run. How did that work for you? You even hid like a mouse in a hole. You will always remember this night especially because you caused your mother’s death.” The elf gestured its head towards the floor.

Adam looked down and there was the culprit: a pack of matches between his feet. He turned around to discover the fire consumed the walkway behind him. The elf’s lips curled back into his mouth as he reached out to grab Adam.

“They all think they can escape their nightmares, but your fate was already decided when you died with the flames…”

William Lloyd Biography

William Lloyd has a home in Atlanta, Georgia, where he enjoys spending his days playing music and watching football. His specialty genres are horror and suspense as well as science fiction/fantasy. He released his first novel Horizon in May 2014 and is currently working on a new novella called Afterlife: What Happens Next. He loves playing golf, video games on PlayStation 3, and reading horror novels in the evenings. He attended college at the Art Institute of Atlanta, where he studied Audio and Video Production.

Author Page


#AuThorsday with William Lloyd


Well I have one interview down about me lol hope you guys enjoy!

Originally posted on Sunshine Somerville:

61VnhSSGqGL._UX250_Today I’d like to welcome William Lloyd, author of the soon-to-be re-released, Horizon.

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

I am currently pulling together a series of books that are being written in five separate trilogies, but a dimensional overlap sends all of the worlds into one dimension.  This leads to a war of the worlds and survival of the fittest.  Science Fiction/Fantasy/Romance/Psychological

Sounds ambitious!  So is that what you’re working on currently?

I am currently working on my novel Horizon which is the start of the Amniwar Trilogy.  I’m also doing multiple segments on my blog called “Interview with the Awethors” where I discuss their interests in their personal life, as well as, feedback about their current novels.

Authors interviewing authors is so much fun. (wink.)  So what is your favorite scene you’ve written?  

My favorite scene would have to be an interrogation…

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Kids & Pros Locker Room Chat| College Football Hall Of Fame
Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Time: 5:30-8:30 PM
Where: College Football Hall Of Fame
Cost: $100 per ticket adult/$50 children ($125 at the door)
Attire: Business Casual

**The event will benefit Kids & Pros – a local non-profit, dedicated to developing athletes’ football skills and character both on and off the field. Kids & Pros camps and clinics are FREE of charge, to the public. This fundraiser will raise money for more camps and clinics in areas of need.

Below, please find a summary of the event, should you need it—and a link to a dropbox for potential photos to use; would love if you were interested in coming out for the event. Just let me know!

Thank you,


Former Hometown Quarterbacks, David Greene (UGA), and Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), as well as former Atlanta Falcons QB Dave Archer, go head to head off the field at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-a Fan Experience, Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 5:30-8:30 PM.

This entertaining Kids & Pros fundraiser, hosted by emcee, Kevin Butler (kicker, University of Georgia, Chicago Bears), includes plenty of hors d’oeuvres, adult beverages (cash bar) and laughs, while guests mix and mingle with former football legends and outstanding athletes, and hear the “inside the scoop” on what really happens inside the huddle. Tickets to the Locker Room Chat are $100, which includes entry to the College Football Hall of Fame, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a drink ticket, access to the silent auction, and entrance to the Locker Room event. Fans can purchase tickets at: http://bit.ly/lockerroomchat (More details on the website.)
Jennifer Prince
(On behalf of Buddy Curry/Kids and Pros)

P.O. Box 4
112 Crogan Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Facebook: GrunduskiGroup

Afterlife: What Happens Next


Here is the first chapter reveal for my novella. I hope you guys enjoy. This is a second rough draft.

Chapter 1

The bubbles rose from Nigel Dawson’s lips as the ventilator pumped oxygen into his lungs. He opened his left eye feeling the after effects of a possible hangover overbearing the right side of his face. He shielded his eye from the bright haloed auburn and teal lights overhead which waved at him through the surface of the water. Panic washed through his weak heart when he realized he was being contained inside of a pod. The liquid he was resting in was like watered down syrup hindering him from making any sudden strokes with his arms. He pressed his chin against his chest seeing the white tube running into his mouth and deep into his esophagus.

“What happened?” he thought to himself. “Why am I here?”

He sporadically flailed his arms and pulled himself towards the glass as claustrophobia settled into his psyche. The walls were narrowing around him and he struggled to breathe under the water. Thoughts of drowning and suffering echoed in his head, while he tried to find the hidden strength dwindling in his subconscious.

Nigel grasped the slick white tube and wrenched it from his throat. It ripped through his esophagus and throat leaving an aftertaste of built up iron in his mouth. There was a red jelly clouding the end of the tube. He slung it to the side and watched the billowing bubbles of blood rise over his head.

An unsettling moan and croak from the bottom of the pod made him jump. He pressed his back against the wall watching the water lower around him. The air was frigid and a chill ran up his naked body. Every hair stood on end and his muscles tightened against his chattering bones. The right side of his face was burning when he felt the air touch his face. He saw a shadow appear through the transparent glass. Ripples of the liquid rolled down the glass. Nigel leaned forward and pressed his forehead against the cool glass and saw the person toil with the consoles down the hall as multiple lives flickered underneath each stroke of his fingers. He balled his fist and pounded the door with all of his strength hoping the person would hear him.

“H….” He could not speak. His throat was too sore to even say one word. He could feel his numb tongue flop around in his mouth, but he struggled to even flick the tip against his teeth.

The person turned his head slightly from his hunched position as though watching Nigel from afar. Nigel saw the smooth pale white of the person’s head, but the rest of the body was opaque through the murky glass. The man pressed his palms against the table and pushed away walking to Nigel as though annoyed by the interruption. He stared at Nigel through the hazy goo rolling down the inside of the glass. He leaned forward revealing the wicked pearl teeth and gaping eye holes of a skull. The concaved cavity of his nose made Nigel press his pack against the wall in fear. There was no flesh or muscle attached to the bony man. He was a skeleton.

“What’s wrong? Never seen a dead guy before?” the mystery man asked. “Actually, it’s kind of weird that you are conscious… So soon…” his raspy tone slithered into Nigel’s ear.

“Wh…” It felt like sandpaper scrapping the inside of his tonsils as air left his lips. He cringed and looked away.

“Don’t try to speak. There really is no point,” he chuckled. “You still have much to learn about this place, but I wouldn’t worry so much about the obvious struggles you’re experience. You should be more concerned about what’s coming through that door soon.” He nudged his head towards the door at the far end of the hall.

Nigel’s eye widened and he reached for the edges of the glass hoping to find a latch to open the pod. His nails followed every tiny crevice but there was no possible way of opening it from the inside. He gave up and stared at the man outside while slamming his fist against the surface.

“Do you remember anything, Nigel?” the hiss was sinister with an unpleasant tickle to his ears. Nigel closed his eye as a tear rolled down his cheek. “It has been a while since I’ve seen tears in this place. There is something unique about you that I find intriguing.” He scratched his temple with his slender skeletal index finger. “There may be hope for you yet.”

“Nigel?” he thought to himself.

“Forgot your own name? I’m sure your memory will eventually come to, but first you need to realize what happened yesterday.” The stranger glanced over his shoulder towards the round steel doors. “Focus your thoughts on mine. It’s the only way you’re going to escape from this place.”

Red lights flashed in the corners of the room. Nigel watched the shadowy figure glide to the opposite walls behind the pods across from him. He glanced over to the doors as a blinding white light engulfed the hallway.

“Pretend you are still unconscious. If they see that you are awake, escaping that pod will be the least of your worries,” the stranger’s voice whispered.

His hairs stood on end from the nape of his neck down to the back of his wrists. The fright was tumbling in his gut while his chest tightened against the fear of what was to come through those doors. He saw all the pods lined from the panels at the doors all the way to him and even further passed him into the abyss of darkness. Clicks from high heels echoed around him as two shadows appeared in the light. Their bodies were hauntingly curved in the shape of a woman but when they stood next to Nigel’s pod, he saw the charred patches of skin and ripples of blood in the cracks. Frizzy hairs poked from patches on their bald heads, while their eyes were glazed over by a blue haze.

“We’ve collected more of them this week than we have in the last month, Madison,” one of the women staring at all of the pods. “It seems your plan worked to bring in more souls.”

“It doesn’t work if the lost souls haven’t passed into the next life yet, Andrea. We have to wait for judgement on all of these.” Madison cocked her head back. “It could be eternity before the boss sees any of these in his realm.”

“I thought if they were sent to purgatory they were already judged by….

“Shh… Do you want him to appear? If you say his name, we will surely be obliterated into dust. Now, c’mon, we need to retrieve Abigail, Sarah, and John.”

“What’s wrong with this one?” Andrea asked, pointing at Nigel.

“Andrea, stop getting distracted! It’s probably another defected pod. It’s not like he’ll wake up anytime soon.”

The women walked away and continued down the hall. Nigel released a long sigh and peer through the edge of the glass. He peered across the hall but the stranger was gone. He was alone.

“Where are you?” he asked through his thoughts.

“Did you hear that?” Andrea hissed, lifting her chin over her shoulder.

“You’re probably just hearing a dream. Probably some lost loved one or whatever they care about in the life they left behind.”

“Now that’s silly,” Andrea cackled a wicked laugh.

“Here they are. Go ahead and release these two,” Madison said. “Abigail and Sarah.”

Nigel pressed his forehead against the glass and peered down the hall. He saw the two pods that the women were standing in front of. Andrea knelt down and pulled a lever next to the pod and the floor opened beneath it. A golden orange glow resonated from the floor to the ceiling as both pods dropped into the floor, disappearing to the next realm. He watched as two more pods descended from the ceiling and latched to the floor. Clouds of smoke hissed from the hydraulics as the pods filled with the liquid.

“Alright, Joshua should be a few more pods down.”

Nigel saw the stranger glide through the shadows across from him. His sinister grin curled up inside the black of his hood. He watched him until he was at the control panels again fiddling away with the buttons.  Tiny lights flashed at his fingertips as Nigel felt the pod rattle and quake. His body felt weightless as he shot up into the ceiling. He leaned back against the wall and watched the gray tunnel spiral on the other side of the glass door. He stopped in a different chamber. A dim light hung high above multiple floors of spiraling walls, where pods continuously flipped backwards into different tunnels.

His pod moved to the right as the one before him dropped into the tunnel he just came from. The door opened and he was set free from the prison he was locked inside. He reached for the edges of the door feeling the cool air press against his wet face. The right side of his face burned and stung as he left the vacancy of his pod.

He stepped out to the epicenter of the spinning wheel of pods. Overhead he could see more levels of pods spinning and dropping into the room he was in. He waited for the mechanism to stop before he ventured to any of the pods to see if he could find any familiar faces. He jumped over the gap between the center of the room and the platform the pods rotated on.

He gripped his fingers on one of the pods. When he looked inside, he saw a pale man with blue lips. He had a brown beard that covered most of his chin and chest. His hair was greyed above his ears and the tip of his nose was rounded like the tip of a cigar. The floor rattled beneath his feet as it opened another path to a realm. The pod descended into the tunnel and Nigel pressed his body flat against the surface of the pod holding on to whatever crevices he could find.

“It is okay to wander, but don’t get lost. One wrong turn… could….” The stranger’s thought became a distant whisper the deeper he dropped.

“What? Say that again,” Nigel said to himself, but the noise was too loud as the wind whistled passed his ears. The mouth of the tunnel opened as a light engulfed everything around him. He was blinded momentarily by a white light, but the fresh smell of trees and grass filled his nostrils.

Nigel rubbed his irritated eye as he saw the outlandish world where pods fell from the sky like massive droplets of rain. He felt his descent accelerate as the wind blew harder against his back. His face pressed against the glass and clenched his fingers tightly against the sides. He finally crashed against the ground as rocks and dirt flew in the air. Nigel was tossed from the pod and rolled across the grassy hill, where a tree stopped him from rolling over the side. A crater formed around the base of the pod as the door slid open and slimy liquid rushed to his knees.

The man inside was wearing a fancy business suit with a black tie that tucked underneath his black jacket. Between the man’s navel and sternum, there was a ten inch gaping hole raining with blood. His pants were drenched in the thick liquid and his intestines were hanging out of his lower back like thin sausage links latched together. He watched the man’s lungs inflate and deflate on each side of the hole. Nausea crossed over Nigel as he turned away from the ghastly sight and stared out into the distance at the many hills, plains, and rivers that winded in and out of each other.

“What is this place?”

He watched more pods crash into the hills surrounding him as the doors slid open and more bodies walked in the same direction. He watched his dead sidekick walk passed him as the hole healed itself in a matter of minutes. The miraculous sight left him speechless and confused.

He saw a woman with thick scars and bruises wrapping around her neck stumble in front of him from another pod. He reached to help her up but when she whipped her head back, one of her eyes bounced from the socket like a ping pong ball swinging from a rubber band.

“This can’t be right. I’m not supposed to be here,” he said, feeling sick and dizzy. “Am I….” He breathed heavier and shook uncontrollably.

He walked with the man across the glistening rapids that flowed in the river. The water was cool against his legs and his emotions were at ease as he remembered the touch of water against his skin. He saw a pod crash at the peak of the hill ahead and climbed to it. He pulled himself up with the help of underlying branches and thinned bushes. When he reached the top of the hill, he stared over his shoulder to see multiple bodies piling up at the lip of the river. The dead were unable to climb over the steep hill side. He turned to see the door to the pod slide open, but no one walked out of it.

When he peeked inside of the pod, there was a woman’s dismembered body piled on the floor. The ground was stained with her blood from the flush of thick liquid spilling out of the pod. Her arms were flattened at the base of the pile, while her torso rested on top of them. The smooth legs were chopped up and torn to bits as though a shark had ripped into her flesh. Her blond hair was stained with bright red blood and her glazed eyes were ghostly white. He watched her lips quiver as she attempted to speak.

“I… I… I,” she was speaking in his thoughts. Her words were repetitive.

He turned his head and walked away from the door, feeling helpless and unable to control whatever hell he was in. An eerie suction of blood and bones popping behind him made him return to the sight of the woman. Her body was piecing itself back together. Each part of her body attached itself back together and she was able to step out of the pod. She walked towards Nigel and halted for a moment to stare him down. The woman looked to be in her twenties and she was naked from head to toe.

“She was not ready to die. It’s a shame that some women fall victim to evil and land themselves in this place,” the stranger’s voice echoed in his head.

Nigel peered over his shoulders searching for the mystery man that had released him from his imprisonment. “Where are you? What are you talking about?”

“Still having trouble with your memory? You don’t recognize this woman at all?” he asked with a chuckle. “Think really hard about what you saw a few days ago. Maybe you’ll remember a little better if you touch her.”

The woman reached out with her hand. He swallowed hard feeling compelled to receive her. His fingers touched hers and his whole body went frozen. The blood clotted in all of his joints and turned to ice in a matter of seconds. A spiral tunnel of stars and galaxies appeared before his eyes as splotched colors surrounded him. He was pulled back into the living world, where a young girl stood at the bus stop in the middle of nowhere. Nigel looked up at the sign overhead that read: Sin City Las Vegas, Nevada Ten Miles.

“Why are we here?” Nigel yelled, but the woman did not notice him call to the black sky. He walked over to her across the street and touched her shoulder, but his hand went through her body. She moved her shoulders as though she felt a chill. “I am… dead?” The question stabbed at his tongue as he plopped backwards onto the bench. He closed his eyes to pray, but his throat ached every time he made the attempt

Interview with the Awethors Featuring Matthew Harrill

I’ve had a busy weekend digging into authors with interesting and compelling novels. Sunday Night I found myself sucked into a Facebook event with the host being Matthew Harrill. He had just recently released the final novel to his series ‘The ARC Chronicles’ Hellbeast. Words can’t even describe the imagination and determination Matt has for his books and characters, so today, I had to have him jump on the series. Here’s a little bit about him and we’ll bounce into the interview.


Born and raised in Bristol, England, Matthew W Harrill is an international award-winning horror author. His series, ‘The ARC Chronicles’ consists of Hellbounce (which has received acclaim at the Halloween Book Festival, the London Book Festival and most recently the 2015 International Book Awards), Hellborne and the final book of the series, Hellbeast is imminent.

In addition to his mentor David Farland (The Runelords, The Courtship of Princess Leia [as Dave Wolverton]), Matt is always thankful to know the British author Juliet E McKenna, who has helped him countless times. He is a fan of fantasy, loving Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series. He also has a lot of time for the truly bizarre horror of H P Lovecraft, citing this as an influence on his work. He also cites the fictional author ‘Hank Moody’ as an influence.

Matthew has worked as a labourer, a barman, a cleaner, a joiners mate. In addition he has dabbled in commercial insurance and has for the past 12 years implemented share plans for Xerox.

When not working, Matthew enjoys tennis with his son, watching movies and television series such as Supernatural and Grimm, blogging and cookery.

William: Thank you for joining us today, Matt. Who or what inspired you to write ‘The Arc Chronicles’?

Matt: I wanted to explore the greater consequences of what might happen if Hell actually froze over. What would cause it? Where would the inhabitants of Hell go? What would they do to guarantee survival? In terms of who, my mentor David Farland was a heavy influence. When I came up with the idea, a two hour brainstorm set me on the course to the series, and I have not stopped in nearly 4 years.

William: Wow, I can tell you were extremely passionate about this series. If any readers haven’t already picked up his book, do it today because this is an awesome story to get lost into. Here’s a quick blurb of Hellbeast:

Hellbeast final

The fate of the world is balanced on a knife-edge. Despite everything Madden and Eva have been through to prevent it, the ARC Council is in disarray, demons roam the Earth. The Apocalypse is closer than ever. The solution couldn’t be further from her grasp.

Enter the final chapter of The ARC Chronicles, where Eva throws off the yolk of personal tragedy and follows her destiny to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the one place she cannot hope to avoid.

Hellbeast: Heroes don’t always walk in the light.

William: What can you tell our readers about Madden and Eva in the story? And a little insight on how you developed the two characters?

Matt: Madden and Eva are based on real people. Ewa is a young lady who I used to work with who pestered me to start writing again after a long break, and Chris Madden helped solve the conundrum of ‘what scares a demon?’ for me. Now Eva Ross and Madden Scott are very different to their ‘owners’ – Madden especially. He was born into privilege and never really had to do a thing for himself. When an unfortunate event compounded that fact, he just went with it. Eva on the other hand is very clever, very driven and has worked hard to get where she is. And as the song goes… opposites attract….

William: ‘Owners’ I absolutely love it! When you are writing, are there any specific bands or type of music you listen to that sets the mood for your stories? How about outside of writing?

Matt: It depends on my location. On the bus, where I write during the commute and I will write to whatever is playing on my iphone, and that could be pop, rock, instrumental, or pure idiocy. I have it all.

In the office, I have set favourites, all lyricless: Deep and Chilled Euphoria (Various Artists)

Desderii Marginis: That which is tragic and timeless

Atrium Carceri: Kapnobatai

God is an Astronaut: All is Violent, all is bright

Vishuda Kali & Chaos is Shelter: The mirror

William: Those are some interesting pieces for the office. I’ll have to go through and check them out! Do you have any specific quotes in each novel of ‘The ARC Chronicles’ that just press at you?

Matt: “Demons Don’t Always Hide In The Dark” for Hellbounce

“Follow Your Instinct” for Hellborne

“Heroes Don’t Always Walk In The Light” for Hellbeast

William: Quotes to live by today! How long have you been writing this series and how did you find yourself writing in this genre?

Matt: Since February 2012, when I had the epiphany about Hell freezing over. When I came up with the idea, it just fit. The ARC Chronicles would never be a political thriller…. Though I actually think there are a lot of elements of many other genres in my writing.

William: When an author successfully molds multiple genres in a book, it is a sweet victory for everyone. I’ve really enjoyed the enthusiasm you’ve brought with your novels. Now, stories like the one you’ve written normally have biblical significance to it, will we see technology advancements mold into it?

Matt: It is very biblical. I draw on a lot of elements of the bible, twist some, totally rewrite others. The technology comes from the necessity in the series to combat the biblical element, which in itself has significant technological advancement.

William: That answer gave me goosebumps, Matt. I love it when authors do these types of changes in a story. Now, before we wrap things up do you have any advice to writers, particularly things to avoid, while writing an apocalyptic world?

Matt: Keep it real. My apocalyptic world is present day. I wanted real settings that you could go to and imagine what happens in the books. Aside from one very obvious exception in book 3, everything is real. Humans can associate with real. It gives them a sense of comfort, something to grasp on to. It’s not all devastation… that is to come in the next series…

William: Thanks for doing this today, Matt. Before we go, I wanted to leave a sample for anyone jaw dropped by the ideas of Matt’s ‘Arc Chronicles’. Thanks again, Matt for providing an awesome sample for my readers!

Two camels sat side-by-side, evidently content to wait for their owner to invite them to stand. One chewed feed, its jaw moving laterally. The animals did not need feeding but the treat helped cement the bond. Their owner had been with them for a while. He knew their temperament.

It was the middle of the afternoon; the temperature approached forty-five degrees Celsius. The sun blazed in the cerulean desert sky, roasting the crusted hardpan. There was little, if any, moisture in the Gobi desert. Camels were the only creatures able cross the great expanses and not perish. They were also much more anonymous than off-roaders.

He had been crisscrossing the desert for six months now, seeking any sign of clues that related to a Holy City in the sky. The Convocation of the Sacred Fire had been convinced of the city’s existence long before its media debut only weeks ago. His job was to find the answers.

Now, an unprecedented event overshadowed even that. In mid-air, maybe three or four hundred feet above ground level, perhaps two miles in the distance, a cloud had formed, moisture spinning from nowhere to coalesce directly above the waves of heat radiating from the ground.

The cloud, which should have been forced up by the thermals, remained stationary, ever growing, black and threatening. Sparks of lightning began to appear around the outer rim of the cloud, dancing about its surface. Then something the watcher had never before witnessed began to occur. Bolts of lightning launched up from the ground, touching the base of the cloud and working their way up until a continual chain of lightning fed the center. The bright white core of the cloud began to expand; the noise that much concentrated heat combusting generated was almost too much for him.

And then, as quickly as the pyrotechnics had started, the show stopped. The lightning winked out and the cloud was finally forced into the sky. The only indication it was ever there was the tangy stink of concentrated ozone.

The observer reached under his robes, bringing out a sat- phone. He pressed one button, a prepared number.

“This is Baxter,” he said in a posh English accent. “Sir, it has begun.”

If you haven’t already checked out Matthew Harrill, go to the links below to find him. You will be blown from this world when you see what is boiling inside this author’s head!

Buy Links:


Amazon.com author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00M0D7UWQ

Goodreads.com author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8288084.Matthew_W_Harrill

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Matthew.W.Harrill.Author?fref=ts

Official Website: www.matthewharrill.com

For any authors, if you are looking to interview on the series “Interview with the Awethors” Please contact by email at: lloyd.jr@aol.com

  Continue reading

#AuThorsday with Tom Fallwell


I had to reblog this after seeing how well Sunshine Somerville hosted this interview with Tom Fallwell. Please give her a reblog, tweet, and share on Facebook. Awesome Job!

Originally posted on Sunshine Somerville:

TomFallwellToday I’d like to welcome Tom Fallwell, Fantasy author of A Whisper In The Shadows: Rangers of Laerean

Tom, can you give us your quickest description of your books?

I can sum up all that I write with this phrase, “Heroic, fantasy adventure on an epic scale.”  I feel my stories relate not just heroes, but larger than life heroes. Those whom everyone looks to in great times of need.

Sounds like exactly my kind of thing.  About how many main characters do you use?  And are they humans, or do you use fantasy peoples like elves, etc.? 

In Rangers of Laerean, I deal with several characters that I would consider main characters.  While most are human, I do have some non-human characters as well.  I created my own races for the series, though there are some similarities with dwarves and elves for a couple of them…

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Interview with the Awethors Featuring Lisa Veldkamp

Hope everyone is doing well today! I rushed in this gem this morning for a last minute interview before I break for the week. Poet and Short Story author Lisa Veldkamp is with me to discuss some of her poetry in the book “Nothing is Forgotten”, and her upcoming release of the teenage short “The Bridge Between Yesterday and Tomorrow”.

Lisa Veld

William:  In “Nothing is Forgotten”, were there any memories in particular that sang to you? Maybe a memory that constantly reminded you of your past or a lesson learnt?

Lisa: Well Will, I’m a firm believer of the concept reincarnation. So actually Nothing is Forgotten should be taken quite literally. Apparently I have not forgotten. I’ve had flashbacks of several lives, sometimes alone, sometimes shared with people I love and know in this life. So this collection is about those memories.

William: That is a very interesting concept that intrigued me about you. Hence, why you’re on the blog today. What is your most memorable reincarnation memory?

Lisa: Most memorable reincarnation memory. Wow, okay… *throws aside the feeling of being judged a lunatic*

I guess the most memorable are the ones which are related to people I know in this life. Some I’ve shared my memories with. And some just find it rather uncanny I seem to know them so well. What moves them or makes them tick. Oh dear, that’s my cover blown! Fact of the matter is, I do know them. I know their soul. And even though souls evolve, you still recognize them. Well, I do anyway. Not the human being in this life perse, but on a higher level, I do. It’s not a great conversation opener, trust me Some things are best left hidden in shadows. Me, I like the quiet.

William: No one will judge you here, and I’ll be here to defend you if they do. No worries. Writers and poets like you are a fascinating find for anyone that is looking for something new and different to read. What kind of tone does your poetry have?

Lisa: Someone once said my poetry reads a lot like lyrics, which is why my second collection is titled When Words Start To Sing. I’m a visual kind of person, so I try to create images, which leads to conjuring emotions. Or so I hope.

William: What can we expect in your upcoming short story “The Bridge Between Yesterday and Tomorrow”?

Lisa: I’m very excited about it! It’s my first short-story and the first story I’ve written for teenagers. My family-in-law lives in Sweden and whenever I’m there, I’m in another world. A peaceful world, full of hidden depths and I can almost sense the trolls, hiding behind the trees and rocks. That’s how The Bridge Between Yesterday and Tomorrow came to life. It’s about Eydis, a little troll girl who falls in love with Talib, a human boy. One big problem, humans aren’t supposed to know trolls exist!

William: I for one am amazed at the idea of this story. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a troll falling for a human. It’s very unique and I can’t wait to grab it to see this love story take place. When you were growing up, what was your ideal fantasy world?

Lisa: Ideal fantasy world would have Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. I loved those books as a child and I still do. Back then I didn’t have a dog, I was an only child like George and I desperately wanted an island of my own! Their adventures were just so glorious, yes, that would have been quite something.

Nowadays I would say Hogwarts. When someone said to me: “You do realize it’s not real, right?” I wanted to kick him for spoiling my adult escapism. Harry’s world is far from perfect and those dementors scare the living daylights out of me, but I’d take on Voldie and his death eaters any day and twice on Sunday just to be at Hogwarts. Bring it on!

William: I understand that now you have a dog named Miss Ginger Rogers. Can you give us a little background on her and what breed is she? She seems like a very sweet dog from what you have on facebook.

Lisa: Hahaha, she’s a mixture of a Papillon and something else. People have also called her a mini version of a Duck Toller Retriever and I can see why. She’s from Romania, where she was roaming the streets with another little male dog. They named her Ginger Rogers because of her colour and he became Fred Astaire. Fred was also adopted by a Dutch family, but we never saw him again. We picked her up at Schiphol airport. It was love at first sight!

William: I can see why it was love at first sight. I remember when I brought my Husky Shepard home and I just about devoured her with love and kisses. Sweet girl. Her name is Luna. Sorry for veering off a little bit, Lisa. Back to your short story, what role does your main character have in the story? Maybe a few characteristics?

Lisa: Eydis is a pretty troll girl (her own words) with yellow eyes and a long smooth tail with a tufty bit on the end. She loves her family and she is heir to the thrown. However, she also loves Talib, a human. She’s very loyal to her tribe, so she struggles with her feelings for Talib a lot. She’s wise beyond her age, partly because she lost her mother when she was very young and partly because she has the gift of the shamans. Building bridges. How this works exactly, you’ll just have to read the book.

William: I couldn’t help myself, but I understand you have a novel coming out October 31 called “The Elemental.” Let’s break to a video trailer that gave me goosebumps from the start of it.

William: Just an amazing video that I did not want to let fall at the tail end of our interview. You really have captured a sense of urgency in this trailer that is pulling me even more to just want to have another one of your novels in my hand.

I want to dig deeper into your own life. How have your parents impacted your writing so far?

Lisa: My parents always taught me to think outside the box and to chase my dreams. My grandmother used to play writing games with me when I was just a little girl and poetry runs in the family. Reading and writing was quite common in my family and also among my friends. My best friend is an awesome writer, even though she does something completely different now. She’s always been a great inspiration to me and one of my biggest supporters.

William: Parents seem to be the backbone for most authors which is truly inspiring to hear. I want to rewind back to your upcoming novel. I understand you had a dream about “The Elemental”. What was the dream that you had which nudged you in the direction of a writing career?

Lisa: Ah yes, the dream. The dream actually came later. It started with a vision at Pinkpop festival 2009. Placebo was headlining and they were about to play ‘Come Undone’ under the most perfect pink, purple sky. Brian, the singer, said the song came to him in a dream. That’s about the last thing I heard, because when they started to play, I drifted off to another world. The world of Catherine van Dyk, the main protagonist of the story. That’s how it all started. Later I dreamed the entire story, the complete trilogy and I took it as a sign. For weeks I listened to nothing else than Battle for the Sun, at that time the latest Placebo cd. I think I drove everybody crazy. Now, almost six years later, it will see the light of day on October 31, with Halloween. Never thought it would come to this.

William: I understand you love London. I’ve read that you quoted it as “the city where magic dwells”. Why do you feel this way? Maybe describe a few examples.

Lisa: Lots of cities hold magic, but London is special to me. It’s hard to describe, but anything can happen in London. This is the city of James Bond, the city where JK Rowling created Diagon Alley. In short, things are hidden here. Best way to describe it, is a heartbeat. Our hearts beat at a certain pace. The moment I arrive in London, mine falls in sync with the beat of the city. I’ve fallen in love with many places, but I never had this experience. This is why, to me, this is the city where magic dwells.

William: London really is a wonderful place once you pinpoint all the amazing art and writers that grew out of those parts. Is there a favorite coffee house that you enjoy going to?

Lisa: Sigh…. Barista Café, what can I say? They’re my home away from home. Over eighty percent of The Elemental was written here. I love the coffe, love the menu, the buzz of people coming and going and, of course, the staff. They’re just amazing and so supportive of my writing. Whenever I have a deadline coming up for example, they keep an eye on me. If I have my iphone out too often I get this look. The look that says: “Don’t you have a deadline coming up? Put the phone away.”

Irritating as hell, but very helpful. Love those guys!
William: It’s an awesome feeling though when the people around you push and motivate you to get those books rolling. Especially if it’s the ones that are serving you or watching you write in a coffee house. It’s quite extraordinary! If only all of us could have those kind of people watching over us.
So Every author has music that they listen to. At least I’m pretty sure most do. What kind of music do you listen to while writing? What do you enjoy listening to in general away from your writing atmosphere?
Lisa: Obviously, Placebo. Brian really is my muse. I devour his lyrics and then transform them to something else. My own interpretation of the meaning behind them, my emotions.
But I’m quite eclectic when it comes to music. I love Chopin, Dustin O’Halloran, Lavinia Meijer, Muse, Foo Fighters, Valentine, A-ha, Paul Simon,  Mumford & Sons, Sarah McLachlan, Ella Fitzgerald, too many to name. Oh, and I’m a big Frank Sinatra fan. Nothing beats Placebo though.
William: You definitely have a great group of artists there, Lisa. I just want to say thank you for letting me dig into your creative spirit and mind today. It was fun with many laughs, trolls, and memories. I’m sure all of the readers out there feel more inspired hearing about your stories and your back ground.
The Elemental
If you would like to follow Lisa Veldcamp and keep up with her writing progress follow her at any of the links below.
Lulu Link to purchase her poetry:
Thank you all for dropping in this weekend for all the wonderful interviews that took place on my blog. If you get a chance, give all these awethors a round of cheers and I’ll be back next week for two more awethors that have grabbed the interest of many readers’ hearts from the start. Thanks again and if you are interested in an interview, please send me an email: lloyd.jr@aol.com. I really won’t bit you like a troll. Well, maybe a little…

Horizon (Relaunched) Chapter Reveal


Chapter 1

May 26, 2113

Sydney, Australia


Engines roared beneath the surface of the water as fishermen departed to the Pacific blue. One boat remained though at the far end of the wharf. The Chanda II bumped against the wharf as it lifted and fell against the wakes of the water.

The captain of the boat, Aaron Lambright, wrestled underneath the sheets. He groaned shielding his blue eyes from the Sun’s light. Aaron threw the sheets off of him with annoyance and rose from the bed. His shaggy brown hair matted against the side of his head in a jumbled mess, while he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and reached for his alarm clock.

“7:30 am….” He yawned as he stretched his arms above his head feeling his bones crack from his knuckles to the middle of his spine. Aaron twisted the face of the alarm towards him again and slapped his palm against his forehead. “Damn, Abi’s going to kill me.”

He slung his legs over the edge of the bed and walked to the porthole. All of the other boats already set out for sea for the day. He walked away from the window and stumbled on an obstacle of beer cans underneath his dirty clothes. The odor of fish and sweat reeked in the cabin. He opened the bathroom door and leaned his head against the doorframe to balance him, while his hangover pounded at his temples. A bottle of Captain Morgan: Spiced Rum smiled at him from the countertop like a satanic jackal eager to tear into his liver.

“You really tore me up last night,” he said, tilting the bottle to his face. The amber liquid rolled up the side of the glass away from the label. “Mm….” He turned the label away from him as his throat gurgled with vomit. He clenched the toilet pressing his forehead against the wooden lid. His back arched as he puked profusely into the toilet.

He grabbed the edge of the counter pulling him back to the mirror. His bloodshot eyes were swollen and watery at the rims of his eyelids. Sweat beaded across face and trickled off of his soaked brown beard. He flung the medicine cabinet closed and pulled down the small white bottle of Advil.

“Thank God man made you,” he said, tossing two maroon tablets into his mouth. He reached for the bottle of rum and washed them down his throat. “Woo!” he cringed while shaking his head. “That’s rough.”

He set the liquor bottle back on the counter and turned on the faucet, splashing cold water on his dry face. His cellular phone rattled on the end table in his room, but he shut the door to ignore the call.

“I am currently too inebriated to take your call. Please leave me the hell alone,” he said, flipping over the knob in the shower to hot.

*       *      *

Aaron sat on the side of his bed after his shower with a white towel wrapped around his waist. He cupped his palms and relaxed his head in them pressing his elbows against his knees. He reached for his phone on the end table and saw the name Abigail scroll down his missed calls list six times.

“Nah, I’m not ready to call her back yet.” He tossed the phone to the foot of the bed and laid down.


He shot back up and tensed his posture when he heard the heels outside on the aft. He ran to the cabin door and locked it.

“I know you’re down there, Aaron!” Abigail yelled from the top of the stairs. He heard her stomp down the stairs clapping her heels on the wood like a horse’s hooves. The door rattled and she wrapped her fist against the wood with rage. “Open this door! Where the hell were you last night?”

“Shit!” he mouthed in silence. The towel fell from his waist as he ran to the dresser to find a pair of red swim trunks and white tank top. He quickly slipped the clothes on and dug into his top drawer, where he tossed balled up white and black socks onto the floor. “Just wait at the top of the stairs, Abi! I’ll be out in a minute!”

“Wait? Wait! You want me to wait? That’s just perfect. Two years, Aaron, and you still tell me to wait on your sorry ass! If you respected me, you would at least give me a courteous phone call telling me you weren’t going to show up last night.”

Aaron shook his head and pulled the black box from inside the sock drawer. The suede texture was soft against his fingertips as he flipped it open to find his mother’s wedding ring nestled in the crease of the fabric inside.

“Please save me,” he said, snapping the lid shut. He turned his head to the porthole, where Abigail’s face was peering into the cabin. “What the-?” Aaron gasped, falling back to the floor.

“I see you, Aaron! Open the door now and face me like a man!”

“Okay, I’ll meet you at the top of the stairs,” he said annoyed. He shook his head and walked over to the door, when he face disappeared from the window. He jammed the black box into his pocket and opened the door to meet her on the aft.

When he reached the top of the stairs, Abigail had her hands clenched to her hips like a boiling tea kettle. He watched her tap her toe with a menacingly constant beat. Her narrow jade eyes and tensed cheeks intimidated him.

“Abi, I can explain,” he said with his arms raised and palms out in front of him.

“Where is she?” She glared at him with contempt.

“What are you talking about?” Aaron walked to her with a sly grin. “How can you even think that? I mean… I’m appalled!” He stumbled with his words as he walked to her, but she pushed passed him and marched down the stairs. He chased after her but could not help but admire her black work attire that hugged against her curves tastefully. He slid down the rail of the stairs and entered the cabin behind her. “Now, Abi, you know this isn’t healthy. A strong relationship is built on trust. Accusing me of….

Abigail whirled around with her arm outstretched stopping Aaron from flapping his lips. “Don’t talk to me about healthy relationships, Aaron. I’m not in the mood for you back peddling so that the tramp you were with last night can escape.”

“Oh really? A tramp? Do you really think I’d open the door for you if another woman were here?”

She marched to the bathroom and slammed the door open. She came out with the half consumed bottle of rum. Captain Morgan’s grin sickened Aaron as he rolled his eyes and ripped it from her hands.

“So this is what you were doing last night?”

She stepped on an aluminum can and heard it crunch beneath her heel. She fell forward into Aaron’s arms. He smelled the fragrance of her melon shampoo enter his nostrils. His free hand grazed the curve of her hip which flooded fantasies of sex with her in his bed. She pushed him back and peeled the dirty clothes from the floor to discover a smashed beer can on the floor.

“I swear, I only had a few last night. The rest of those were from other nights,” he lied. He slicked back his hair with irritation. Glancing towards the bed, another surprise made his heart sink into his belly. A pair of red laced panties poked out from underneath his pillow.

“I thought you were over this stage of your life. You even went to rehab.” She dropped her arms letting the can bounce across the floor. “What did you tell me? Two years since your last drop?”

Aaron shrugged without a word from his mouth.

“I’m tired of all the excuses, Aaron.” She whipped her hair back and wandered to the porthole where the sun was peeking through. “You told me when we met that you wanted to stop. You wanted to build a better future for us. Now you’re starting again?”

Aaron rolled over the bed, while she looked away, and shoved the panties in the crevice between the headboard and mattress.

“You said that you wanted me to be sober. You even tricked me into thinking I was the reason you wanted to change.” She turned to Aaron with widened and moist eyes. “Has it all been a lie?”

“You’re making this out to be more than it is, baby,” he answered, reaching for her hands. She rejected him quickly pulling her hands away.

“Never call me baby again. I am no one’s baby.” She trembled with rage. “You can keep drinking if that’s what brings you closure, but I can’t be a part of this anymore. It’s not worth the pain anymore.”

“I’m overloaded with work, Abi. I don’t know what to tell you!”

“Ha! Overloaded with work? You sit in a damn boat all day and watch fish. If that makes you turn to drinking, you really have no control at all.” She rolled her eyes and walked passed him.

Aaron stood in the cabin alone, circling his room with guilt. “Wait, don’t go!” he yelled, chasing after her. He gently grabbed her wrist at the top of the stairs.

“Leave me alone!” She whipped her hand back and ran across the aft to escape Aaron’s attempts to mend what is already broken.

“Abigail Marie Thomas, will you marry me?” His hands trembled as he pulled the black box from his swim trunks. He flipped back the lid and the diamond sparkled in the sunlight.

Abigail lowered her head and glanced over her shoulder at Aaron. She hesitantly walked back to him.

“Are you serious?”

The diamond left her breathless as he slid it onto her ring finger. It was a perfect fit. A tear streamed down her cheek and dropped from her chin. She twisted her hand mesmerized by the beauty of the rock. She pulled it off of her finger though and placed it back into the box.

“I can’t say yes this way, Aaron.”

Aaron heard a woman’s hum echo from the wharf as they stood their alone. Abigail looked over to the ramp and saw a young woman with curled blond hair hop onto the boat. Aaron glanced at the woman’s white bikini top pressing against her breasts and her ripped jean shorts which came down mid-thigh. He closed his eyes knowing he lost Abigail.

“Oh, I hope I’m not interrupting,” she said, startled to see Abigail glaring at her.

Abigail shook her head and pushed the woman out of her way. Aaron dropped his arms and walked to the rail to watch Abigail storm up the wharf back to the parking lot. He crossed his arms over the rail and tucked his head down, pressing his forehead against the chipped wood.

“What was that about?” the woman asked.

He lifted his head up and stared at the black box. He shoved it into his pocket and looked at his assistant.

“It’s fine, Sandy, you probably just saved me from a lifetime of frustration.” He walked to the stairs to his cabin. “C’mon, let’s get out to sea. We have a long day ahead of us.”

He entered his cabin, where he pulled open the sock drawer and shoved the box back in. The bottle of rum rolled into the heel of his foot as a wave lifted the boat. He picked up the bottle, returning it to the counter in the bathroom. His palms pressed against the sink as he watched the disappointment pull from his eyes. Captain Morgan remained joyful with his charming smile like a serpent tempting him to have a sip. He wrapped his fingers around the handle and stared into the mirror.

“Fuck it,” he said, tilting the lip of the bottle against his mouth. The liquor burned as it flowed down his esophagus. He wiped his lips with his naked arm, but the heartbreak faded as the drunken spell grasped him once again.


Interview with the Awethors Featuring Jason Greensides

I’m back with another segment of “Interview with the Awethors”. I wanted to take a moment and thank each and every reader that has given each one of these authors, I have had the pleasure of talking to, well deserved attention. Each one of these authors has put immense amounts of hard work, time, and soul into their novels, and it gives me joy to see the comments and likes that each author has received. I applaud you all.

The Distant Sound of Violence cover

Today, I’m here with an author that has relaunched his novel “The Distant Sound of Violence”. It’s a story that makes you fall back into your past and think about those teenage decisions that may still be lingering in your mind today. Please give Jason Greensides a warm welcome!

author headshot photo

Jason Greensides has a degree in Video Production and Film Studies and has made several short films, two of which have been broadcast on television – but writing fiction is his real passion.

He’s interested in ‘outsider’ types, people operating on the edge of society. This inspired him to write his first novel, The Distant Sound of Violence. It’s about a group of kids, one in particular, Nathan Dawes, whose philosophical obsessions and criminal connections have made him an outcast at school.

Jason is now working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery, but on coffee breaks he blogs and tweets about writing, and throws in the occasional book

William: In your youth, did you make any questionable decisions that may linger today?

Jason: Not decisions as such. When I was fifteen, though, I had to move to another town from which I’d grown up. Leaving all my friends like that was certainly a significant moment for me, one I’ll never forget and always live with. Some of the things Nathan goes through when he is fifteen, although way more extreme than this, are certainly inspired by this event in my life.

William: I will say reading through your novel, Nathan’s decision were pretty intense at his age. Between Nathan and Ryan, which character do you relate to more?

Jason: I relate to both. Ryan is better adjusted to life – that’s the normal(ish) part of me. Nathan, however, is that ‘outsider’ aspect I’ve always had within me. I’m mixed race, I’m often unsociable, and have spent too much time going from job to job with no real career plan. These are just three ways that, at times, have given me a feeling of alienation.

William: I love books that have an author’s personalities built inside of different characters. What I’ve read so far, you have successfully fulfilled that joy. In the novel, what can you tell readers about the Grove Runners Gang,and is there any significance to the name?

Jason: Apart from its plot significance, the gang were used as a way to highlight the theme of existing ‘outside’ society. Weirdly, however, that the members are part of a gang, to me, ironically gives them some kind of a place in society. In being on the fringes of society, the gang are not separate from it, they affirm it, they define themselves by it whether they know it or not. The name “The Grove Runners” asserts this theoretical idea further. They hang out on Ladbroke Grove, a well-known part of west London near Notting Hill, so again, they are affirming their existence as part of society, not separate from it. They are also used as a comparative device to show how far Nathan falls, a fall which is truly outside mainstream society.

William: You really know how to pack a punch when it comes to highlighting a life outside of society. I want to cut over to a video you posted recently before we continue on about yourself.

William: I can’t describe the emotions that go through any author that receives that proof copy of their novel. I know it was an ecstatic moment for me, and when I see it through another author, it melts my heart for them. In the video, can you describe the feelings that were in you at that moment?

Jason: As you know I filmed this moment in order to put it on YouTube, so to begin with I was more concerned about the technical aspects of having the camera set up right, making sure the lighting was OK, and going over the points I knew I needed to cover, rather than opening the package itself. After a few false starts, I was finally at the point where I could actually open the package from CreateSpace for the first time. Then I was mainly filled with a ludicrous childish excitement. I say “mainly,” as the excitement was only marred by the prospect of the novel looking bad or something being off in the interior – basically the unwelcome prospect of more work ahead. Still, it was a great moment, unlikely to be repeated.

William: “ludicrous childish excitement”, I don’t think anyone could describe it better than you, my friend! Did you happen to receive any “feel good” moments from your beta readers in the weeks before the release? Maybe one that struck you the most?

Jason: When one of them said, “That was better than I was expecting.”

William: While your novel does start in the teenage years of the characters, I want to learn more about you, Jason. How were you brought up and how did that mold you into the man/author you are today?

Jason: When I was a kid I used to love going on adventures in the woods, going on bike rides, and riding that bike hard. I guess at some point there was a part of me that loved taking risks, putting myself on the edge. Crashing into rivers, doing crazy jumps that often ended in injury… That risk-taking certainly comes out in my writing. I’m not about to write something straight forward; I have to push what I think I’m capable of. Also I seem a little schizophrenic. Part of me has a foul mouth and has half my face drooling in the gutter (Nathan’s swearing cat is a reflection of this). The other half has his head in the clouds, loves highbrow art, e.g., literary novels, philosophy, and classical music. My novels are also like this. There are some trashy, guttersnipe aspects to my personality, but conversely, high-blown (and pretentious) literary aspirations, too.

William: I think every author has a little schizophrenia in them. I never really thought of it that way until you brought up both sides of it. I for one, like writing and playing music but the other side would love to sit in a cage with great white sharks surrounding me. A shark tank may not be an ideal place for inspiration but what places do you go to get those creative juices flowing?

Jason: Walking. Anywhere. Or travelling on the tube. The act of walking or the hypnotic lull of a tube journey unsticks my thought processes and are a great way to mull over ideas and workout plot problems.

William: I can’t help but say all your answers so far have been very unique. “hypnotic lull of a tube journey”.You are like a master with words! Before we go, are there any hints of a future release anytime soon?

Jason:  I’m part of the amazing Awethors Facebook group and we are releasing an anthology of short stories later this month. My story, Even Silence has an Echo, is featured. After that they’ll be my second novel due out sometime next year. It’s another literary coming of age mystery about the investigation into a boy’s suicide.

William: I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to pick up another novel next year, Jason. Do you have any shout outs to anyone that has pushed you to this point in your career?

Jason: Wonderful feedback from Nathan Jones and Emma Hensby in the early drafts of The Distant Sound of Violence. And all Awethors for their constant encouragement, advice, and support.

twitter sale copped

Jason’s debut novel, The Distant Sound of Violence, will be on $0.99 / £0.99 Amazon Kindle promotion between Tuesday 29th September and Sun 4th October.

Amazon link for The Distant Sound of Violence mybook.to/TDSOV

Other links:

Website: jasongreensides.com

Facebook: facebook.com/jasongreensidesauthor

Twitter: twitter.com/jasongreensides

Google Plus: plus.google.com/+JasonGreensides

Pinterest: pinterest.com/jasongreensides

Goodreads: goodreads.com/Jason_greensides

Thanks for joining me on another spectacular interview with one of the authors that truly grab the attention of readers from the start. If you are an author interested in joining me the blog series, please send your submissions to: lloyd.jr@aol.com.

Interview with the Awethors Featuring Christie Stratos

It is October, and this month I’m basing many of these posts on awethors that fit the theme of the month whether it is psychological, thrillers, horror, and anything that gives us the bumps up our arms. Today, I have a very special guest that has released her first novel “Anatomy of a Darkened Heart”. If you don’t know her yet, you are in for an awethors treat this week. Give a warm welcome to Christie Stratos!

Christie Stratos headshot_outdoors

Christie Stratos is an editor and award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies, and is an audiobook reviewer at AudioBookReviewer.com. She is also a writer of published short stories, poetry, and novels. She dabbles in all genres. Christie can be reached through her editing business, Proof Positive, her author website and blog, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

William: I’ve been itching to get a hold of your new novel these last few weeks after the cover release, Christie. Go ahead and tell the readers out there the genre of your novel “Anatomy of a Darkened Heart” and some insight on what the novel is about.

Christie: Anatomy of a Darkened Heart is historical fiction that doesn’t have any historical figures in it – it’s historically accurate to the 1840-1861 time period. It’s also heavily psychological. The question underscoring the entire novel is whether your environment (i.e. family, friends, etc.) or your true self ultimately determines who you are. It’s such a complicated question, and I feel it can be explored many times over. AoDH digs into that question in a way that can lead to disturbing realizations about life and the choices we make – and the choices made for us.

William: Now, I haven’t interviewed too many authors that have set their novels in the Victorian Era, but what made you want to write the story in this time period?

Christie: I had a vision of a girl in Victorian dress who was torn between what was really inside her and what everyone assumed must be inside her. I had that vision for quite some time before I finally started writing, still with just that vision in my head. The book is set in the 19th century because it came to me that way, and I’m glad it did. I thought I knew a lot about the 1800s, but when I realized how many nitty gritty details I didn’t know, I started having a lot of fun discovering them and integrating them into the story. Among the etiquette and beauty we see in period pieces on TV and in books, there is a startling amount of darkness in that culture, which just added to the plot and subplots of the book. I’m excited to continue uncovering more and more I didn’t know about the Victorian era and integrating those discoveries into the next four books in the Dark Victoriana Collection.

William: I find it quite amazing and unique when writers dig into their research to discover new and unique material. Here’s the cover that Christie revealed a week ago that will have you wishing you could pull it from your computer screen. If you get a chance, pick it up TODAY! You can find the buy links at the end of the interview.

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart ebook cover_final

William: I’ve noticed you help many authors in the writing community with editing through your company Proof Positive. Also, after reading a few comments from the authors at #Awethors group many have praised you and your team in your efforts to provide quality and speedy work. Give us some details on the services you provide for authors.

Christie: Proof Positive offers proofreading/copy editing, (developmental) editing, and beta reading that can serve as either an in-between option of the previously mentioned two services or classic beta reading with “reader-type” feedback. We are flexible, and if you need a service we don’t offer, we can accommodate it. We also offer free social media publicity both pre- and post-publication as well as a permanent spot on our site complete with buy links.

William: Wow, you are a busy lady! With writing your novels and editing other author’s work, how are you able to juggle the two without banging your head against a desk constantly?

Christie: I won’t pretend it’s easy! I love editing other authors’ work because I can see the manuscript much more clearly than the author (my editor saw my book much more clearly than me, too), and cleaning up all these beautiful gems of stories is a very rewarding experience. I have to work around my editing schedule and set aside time – whether it’s hours or minutes – to write. I often use late weekend nights to do some writing, and I take time off from my job to ensure I can release my own creativity. I have to say, though, that reading other authors’ works every day is inspiring, and it just makes the draw of writing even stronger.

William: We all know that with every great author there is always a line of books that inspired them to get to this point in their career. Are there any particular books in your library that you could not live without?

Christie: I couldn’t live without my Shakespeare collection. I have all of his works in a giant volume, plus individual works in paperback. Shakespeare was the first author to draw my interest to psychology in books – Hamlet was the first play, to be specific. I think without my Shakespeare books, I’d feel lost and a bit empty. In fact, sometimes when I travel someplace new, if I feel uncomfortable about it, I bring Hamlet or Julius Caesar or Henry V for comfort!

William: Ah, Shakespeare! I have a collection as well that I dig into time to time. Especially through the play, Hamlet. Are there any motivational quotes that are special to you?

Christie: I can’t say I have a favorite motivational quote, but what I can say is that every book I read is motivational to me. Reading excites me and makes me want to write, and exploring various genres and writing styles teaches me what I do and don’t like as well as what readers do and don’t like. All of that adds up to the greatest motivation and inspiration to me.

William: What groups or people have brought you to this milestone in your writing?

Christie: My parents always encouraged me in writing, playing music, and sports. Anything I wanted to try, they gave me the opportunity. From there, I was able to figure out what I liked and didn’t like, then what I loved and didn’t love, and finally what I couldn’t live without. It all came down to writing, and have that definite knowledge thanks to them. I also had a World Literature professor in college who showed me how much more literature was built from than just imagination. He used to compare every single thing we read in class to current events and show how that piece of literature was all still relevant, no matter how fantastical or out of date it seemed. This changed my whole style of writing, and there’s a distinct difference between my writing before and after college because of him. And today, I have the #Awethors group, and they took the fear and nerves out of self-publishing. They’ve given me and everyone else in the group so much help and support, there’s no need to feel uncertain. All of those things are more than I ever could’ve asked for.

William: Before we wrap it up, do you have any tips for shy writers that might be hesitant on publishing their work?

Christie: For every writer there’s a reader, and for every reader there’s a writer. That’s why there are so many genres and subgenres and sub-subgenres. And if it’s bad reviews you’re afraid of, visit any bestselling author’s Amazon or Goodreads page to see the bad reviews they’ve gotten – because every single author has them. It’s just the nature of the job. And if you’re too shy to put your own name on your writing, use a pen name. Whatever you do, just get out there and achieve your dreams!

William: Thank you for your time today on “Interview with the Awethors”. It was an honor and pleasure to have you drop in.

Please check out her novel today at the buy links below. If you are looking for a good Halloween read for the month, Christie’s novel, “Anatomy of a Darkened Heart” will be a read you’ll never forget.

Anatomy 001 POD

Buy Links:

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart on Amazon

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart on Smashwords

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart on Createspace

Or buy the paperback directly from the author for the same price as Amazon, but signed and with a personalized note!

Thank you for reading and if there are any authors interested in being a guest on my series “Interview with the Awethors”, please feel free to send me and email at lloyd.jr@aol.com. I welcome any genre so don’t hesitate to send your submission for consideration!