Renee S. DeCamillis ~ Author Interview

Renee S. DeCamillis is the author of the psychological thriller/supernatural horror novella The Bone Cutters, published through Eraserhead Press as part of their 2019 New Bizarro Authors Series.

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out renee’s books below!

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The Bone Cutters – Horror Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural Horror, Bizarro Fiction, Addiction Horror, a novella from the 2019 New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press.


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Fred Pangbourne ~ Author Interview

Recently retired, Frederick Pangbourne now resides in Florida. The ex-Marine has been a fan of the horror genre since childhood in both literature and films. He has three horror anthologies of his own now out in publication and is currently working on a fourth. His latest is Nightmares of the Damned. 

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out HIS book below!

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Frederick Pangbourne, author of the ‘Reflection in the Abyss’ horror anthologies, presents his third anthology of the frightful world of the macabre collected in 19 short stories of extreme fear. Nightmares of the Damned will sweep you into a realm of inevitable horror where man does not escape their grisly fate once they step through. Follow a returning crusader home on his final confrontation with evil. Venture across a seemingly harmless sand box which hides an unseen death. Open an abandoned trunk in a basement and discover its monstrous contents. Visit a psychiatric ward where an old photograph holds a hellish secret. These stories and others await those within these pages as the reader enters into the Nightmares of the Damned.


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the HALF that you SEE #giveaway

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The Half That You See ~ Genre: Horror Anthology

Edited by Rebecca Rowland

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
-The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether by Edgar Allan Poe (1845)

Poe’s classic tale told of a state of the art hospital boasting a curiously experimental treatment, but things were not as they seemed. In The Half That You See, twenty-six writers from around the globe share their literary optical illusions in never before seen stories of portentous visions and haunting memories, altered consciousness and virulent nightmares, disordered thinking and descents into madness. Take a walk down the paths of perception that these dark fiction raconteurs have tunneled for you, but keep a tight grip on your flashlight: the course twists and turns, and once you’re on route to your destination, there is no turning back. That which creeps about in the poorly lit corners of the human mind has teeth, and it’s waiting for you.

“Chalk” by Elin Olausson

A young man rents a room at a bed & breakfast and meets a girl who sleepwalks during the day and is only herself at night. 

“Winnebago Indian Motorhome by Tonka” by Eddie Generous

Chasing down nostalgia, Josh Dolan buys a vintage Tonka Winnebago, but it isn’t quite like the toy he’d had as a kid; this Winnebago knows the future, and it knows Claire Dolan’s secrets.

“Sepia Grass” by Sam Hicks

A young man begins to question the recurrent visions he has always believed to be flashbacks to a childhood drug overdose.

“Prisoner “by T.M. Starnes

Kidnapped prisoners sometimes survive, but that’s when their terror truly begins.

“Turn a Blind Eye” by Kelly Griffiths

An explosion leaves an ornery pharmacist with shards of mortar in his eyes and disturbing changes to his vision, especially when he looks in the mirror.

“Falling Asleep in the Rain” by Robert P. Ottone

A man recounts his youth through a dream, revealing as a young boy his experiments with love for another boy, only to face the ire of his murderous father.

“Black Dog Blues” by Luciano Marano

In a story inspired by an actual urban legend popular among American truckers about a spectral black dog that appears to drivers just before a lethal crash, a haunted man recounts his own devastating encounter with the creature and sets out for revenge with a hapless hitchhiker reluctantly in tow. 

“Imaginary Friends” by Nicole Wolverton

Julie Strawbridge is called in to see the principal of her nephew Augie’s school after he is expelled for selling imaginary friends to his classmates for a dollar.

“Boogeyman” by Susie Schwartz

One boogeyman; two perspectives, and the horror of mental illness that torments them both.

“Safe as Houses” by Alex Giannini

Carrie and Will moved into a new home, into a new phase of their lives. But every love story is a ghost story, and theirs is no different. 

“The New Daddy” by Scotty Milder

A crumbling marriage and a new home is filtered through the eyes of its smallest witness.

“Cauterization” by Mack Moyer

A woman on a methamphetamine binge harbors a dark secret from her past that begins to manifest in vivid waking nightmares that may, or may not, be real.

“The Tapping at Cranburgh Grange” by Felice Picano

When an American couple leases and then buys a manse in England, they become aware of a strange noise only some people can hear. 

“Elsewhere” by Bill Davidson

Colin lives a stressful life in an overcrowded flat with a sick daughter and a mother with dementia, in the middle of crammed and noisy London. More and more, however, he is elsewhere.

“Daughters of the Sun” by Matt Masucci

A retired homicide detective living in Florida finds that a past case investigating a dark nature cult twists into his reality.

“The Coffin” by Victoria Dalpe

A young woman still grieving a recent loss discovers an exhumed coffin on the street. 

“Old Times” by Mark Towse

A man suspects his wife is cheating on him, and when she leaves for the evening, he considers the possibility over a bottle with an old friend.

“Lonely is the Starfish” by Lena Ng

Many people have pets, but one lonely young man becomes too close to his pet starfish.

“Hagride” by Justine Gardner

A cormorant speaks, and Josie tries not to listen as it begins to resemble ghosts from her past.

“Raven O’Clock” by Holley Cornetto

A man seeking shelter from the tragedies of his life finds more than he bargained for in a mysterious cabin.

“Officer Baby Boy Blue” by Douglas Ford

An eye injury and a grotesque gift from a police officer in a hospital emergency room ultimately leads a young man to special properties of sight.

“The Intruder” by Lamont A. Turner

Suspecting someone has invaded her home and the homes of those close to her, a woman struggles with delusions that may not have originated with her.

“Alone in the Woods in the Deep Dark Night” by Edward R. Rosick

Trapped in his cabin by a howling snowstorm in the desolate wildness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Gary Chandler finds that freezing isolation is only the beginning of a descent into bloody madness.

“Mesh” by Michael W. Clark

A regular guy wants too much control in the modern global community: over both his home and his wives.

“Der Hölle Racht” by Laura Saint Martin

A victim of domestic violence embarks on a drug-fueled journey and rampage.

“The Red Portrait” by Mahlon Smoke

A frustrated artist spies a forgotten portrait in a shop and finds himself consumed by its beauty.

**Get the anthology for $5 off or get $10 off the book/candle set HERE!**

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The Half That You See is written by twenty-six authors from five different countries, including Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalist Felice Picano, Feature Writer of the Year recipient Luciano Marano, and honorees from Ellen Datlow’s most recent Best Horror of the Year, Bill Davidson and Sam Hicks. Editor Rebecca Rowland is a dark fiction writer whose previous Dark Ink anthology curation work includes Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness and Shadowy Natures: Stories of Psychological Horror. Dark Ink Books is the proud home of UnMasked, the best-selling memoir of horror legend Kane Hodder, and Savini, the special effects icon’s coffee table biography.

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing The Half That You See.

What Really Scares Me: Addiction in Horror

What Really Scares Me: Addiction in Horror by Holley Cornetto

I have a confession to make. Most horror doesn’t really scare me.

Horror writers primarily deal in fear, and what frightens one person may fall flat for another. I’ve found this to be true in my reading and writing. Some reviewers may call something terrifying, while others call it boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing about ghosts and monsters and deranged killers wielding chainsaws, but those things don’t keep me awake at night.

So then, what does scare me? The death of a loved one. Sickness. Grief. Insanity. Sleep paralysis. Snakes. Addiction.

Most of my fears, snakes aside, have to do with a lack of agency or a loss of control. To date, two of my short stories have dealt with the topic of addiction. It is this particular fear that I wrestle with most often. In part, because addiction is a scary thing, but also because addiction is so often stigmatized in society, that those who suffer because of it often fail to seek out help.

In his article titled “The Compassion of Addiction Horror,” Mark Matthews discusses addiction as possession. In this view, addiction to and withdrawal from substances is akin to “…being spiritually occupied and living through a painful mutation of your physical self” (2020) It is worth noting that the fear here is twofold. It manifests both in addiction and in withdrawal. People who suffer from addiction may feel a loss of control over their bodies and minds. Friends and loved ones may notice a change in the person that they attribute to the substance abuse. Withdrawal has its own set of horrors as addicts suffer a plethora of physical and psychological effects as the drugs leave the system.

Possession stories aren’t the only narratives that include elements of addition. In the article, “How the Horror Genre Helped Me Understand my Addiction,” Tabitha Vidaurri writes that “Vampires are a pretty thinly veiled allegory for substance use disorder if you swap out blood for alcohol/drugs” (2020). But the article doesn’t stop with vampires. Werewolf narratives also allude to substance abuse wherein “people are always waking up the next day, naked, in a field with fuzzy memories of the night before and a bad taste in their mouth” (2020). Whereas possession narratives focus on the changes a person may undergo while under the influence, or during withdrawal, these vampire and werewolf narratives borrow from addition itself. The insatiable need, in the case of the vampire, and in the case of the werewolf, the consequences of our actions when we are not in full control of our faculties.

Addiction in and of itself is a scary thing, not only for the above stated reasons, but also because it is something that society often neglects to discuss openly. In the past, society has stigmatized addiction, often blaming addicts for their own condition. In recent years, thanks to advances in mental healthcare, we’ve learned that there is so much more to drug addiction than bad choices. In many cases, there never was a choice. Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from a range of other health issues, from mental illness to chronic pain.

So, how does this relate to horror? Horror has always served as a venue in which society can safely discuss and work through the fears that lurk in the shadows and dark corners of our minds. Horror does not shy away from bleak or upsetting subject matter; it specializes in it. It celebrates it. Horror serves as a safe space to work through the scary shit that bombards us each day when we walk out of our doors (figuratively speaking, for those of us in lockdown). It may seem like an oxymoron to refer to horror as a safe space, but when reading horror fiction, or watching a horror movie, you are directly in control of the situation. Unlike real life, when the book or movie becomes too much, you can choose to put it aside or turn it off. You can sample the fear in small doses, at your own level of comfort.

I firmly believe that society needs horror fiction as an outlet. Horror readers and writers are some of the kindest and most well-adjusted people that I know, and I can’t help but think it is in part because we work through our problems in fiction rather than bottling them up inside ourselves. Horror helps us learn and practice empathy, and empathy is something that we could certainly use more of, as far as I’m concerned. 

So, now that you know what scares me, go out there and write a story. One that will terrify me. One that I can (hopefully) read in small doses, and at my own pace.

In Holley Cornetto’s story in The Half That You See, “Raven O’Clock,” a  man seeking shelter from the tragedies of his life finds more than he bargained for in a mysterious cabin.

Holley Cornetto was one of 26 authors that contributed to the horror anthology, The Half That You See!

Robert Ottone ~ Author Interview

Robert P. Ottone delights in the creepy. He is an author, teacher, and cigar enthusiast from East Islip, NY.

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out HIS book below!

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Her Infernal Name & Other NightmaresA Goodreads “Best of Horror 2020” Selection

From waking fears to heart-breaking nightmares, this collection of short fiction is a glimpse into the terrors we face every day from the mind of Robert P. Ottone.

In “The Arborist,” a woman hears the mysterious call of the forest.

Five friends exploring an archipelago find themselves set upon by the island’s hungry inhabitants in “The Monitors.”

A young woman confronts the mystery of her infertility in “Kelly Watch the Stars.”

These works are joined by the title novella, Her Infernal Name, about the cruel intersection of desire and desperation, and many other stories crafted in the hopes of keeping you up at night.


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Umbra by Yana Barbelo #giveaway

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Umbra by Yana Barbelo ~ Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

“A chilling and deeply psychological horror work that forces us all to face the deepest fears of our souls…” ~ K.C. Finn, Readers’ Favorite

Ohno Hoia is a custodian of a mysterious collection of seeds and a lonely soul tormented by her hideous, malignant shadow. What world did she come from? What century? She can’t remember. She is a stranger to herself, a God’s mistake.
Driven by the desperate wish to break free from the shadow and save the seeds, Ohno arrives at present-day California’s desecrated shores. There she plants a garden the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Eden. While the garden’s extraordinary power shocks humanity out of despair and transforms the land, Ohno’s shadow grows fiercer and soon begins to threaten everything she holds dear. Now Ohno has no choice but to follow her tormentor as it takes her into the surreal, terrifying wilderness of her own soul – The Forest of Everlasting Night.
There she must meet the demons of her own making and ask the question she is dreading most: Who am I?
A spellbinding blend of horror and satire perfect for fans of Clive Barker, “Midian Unmade,” Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman.

“Dark fantasy at its best, Umbra is a story that is symbolic, fertile in the interpretations it allows readers… A spellbinding story that had me enthralled and completely pulled in. This is a story for readers who are seekers.” –  Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite

“I never read anything so beautiful and unnerving at the same time.

Yana Barbelo crafts a tale that is imaginative yet intriguing, delighting readers and frightening them at the same time. The writing is incomparable… You need to read this story to discover its beauty.” -Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

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Yana Barbelo is a Russian-American writer, illustrator, psychiatrist. She is fascinated with fringes, edges, brinks, and all manner of liminality. She writes Literary Horror/Weird fiction, which explores the darkest contradictions of human nature.

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The Hensley Mansion by Judith Holstrom #giveaway

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The Hensley Mansion (The Jinx Series Book 1) by Judith Holstrom ~ Genre: Paranormal Horror

Drew has always lived in the shadow of the Hensley Mansion, a sinister southern home up on the hill.
Once you enter, you really never leave and Drew discovered that no once but twice.
The first time she was sixteen-years-old with a group of friends on Hallow’s Eve and the second time to get rid of an abusive husband she couldn’t escape, but it cost her more than just her freedom.

To make it worse now, Drew Anderson has to relive her time in the Hensley mansion to help demolition constructor Stansley flatten the evil brooding in that house. But little did she know she has to visit for a third time to fulfill the task.

Will she be brave enough to finally help destroy the mansion that is the cause of all her nightmares?

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Judith Holstrom is a full time author writing in the genre of mystery & thriller crime as well as horror. Both genre’s is her favorite to read and to watch as a viewer.
She has a very dangerous relationship with serial killers and can name them the way some people can name the presidents of the united states.
She has always been fascinated with the crime channel and binge watchs it like some viewers binge watch their favorite series and horror isn’t far behind her love for mystery and thrillers.

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I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information on The Hensley Mansion by Judith Holstrom.

Douglas Ford ~ Author Interview

Douglas Ford is the author of the recent collection of weird fiction, Ape in the Ring. His short stories have appeared in such venues as Dark Moon Digest, Tales to Terrify, Weird City, as well as The Best Hardcore Horror, Volumes 3 and 4.

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out HIs book below!

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APE IN THE RING – From the author of The Reattachment comes a frightening and twisted collection of stories that demonstrates Douglas Ford’s imagination at its best.

In these stories, a woman uncovers the buried memory of how she once disappeared inside the house of a murderer; a father waits and waits for his son to come out of a playground structure, unprepared for what finally does emerge; a group of foster children play an unconventional form of divination while protecting a secret together; the closet of a hotel room hides an unspeakable voyeur; and in the title story, a carnival offers ritualized combat with something that may or not be an ape.

Douglas Ford wields language like a sinister surgeon with a night-black scalpel. These stories cut down to the bone, exposing the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of our everyday world. This collection is a midnight carnival of dark wonders, terrifying and fascinating in equal measure.
–Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author, Tim Waggoner

Ape in the Ring and Other Tales of the Macabre and Uncanny is a must have collection for every horror library. Douglas Ford crafts stories that are disturbing, dripping with atmosphere, and claustrophobically frightening. You will be thinking about this book long after you have set it down.
-Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author, Owl Goingback


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The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel #giveaway

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The Odd and the Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction by Harvey Havel ~ Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Surrealist, Fabulist

A Collection of Very Short Fiction from a variety of genres, including but not limited to horror, science fiction, politics, and the surreal. These celebrated very short stories have been collected over a number of years and have been published in a variety of online e-zines and posted on various websites.

THE ODD AND THE STRANGE by Harvey Havel is a collection of urban tales that toe the line of reality.

The subtitle of Harvey Havel’s THE ODD AND THE STRANGE is A Collection of Very Short Fiction. A better one would be A Very Long Book of Normal-Sized Short Fiction. There are 89 stories in all, most 5-10 pages long (though a few stretch to nearly twenty), with unassuming titles like “Visitation,” “Girlfriend,” and “Daughter.” Though set in the real world, the stories tease reality with nameless characters–the candidate, the doctor, the Big Man–and fantastical occurrences, similar to the parables of Jorge Luis Borges (Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature).

Being a librarian, I was eager to read the story “The Librarian.” A young male librarian–unnamed, naturally–looks into a mirror in his office and sees not his reflection but a woman with “walnut hair luxuriously long and her skin as supple as a young girl’s.” He has seen her many times, and though the two cannot touch, they can talk. What do they talk about? The books he steals from the library and passes into the mirror for her to read. Eventually, his boss confronts the librarian over the missing books only to be told that the latter he gave them to his mirror-world girlfriend. To prove this claim, the librarian tries to summon the woman, and when she doesn’t appear, the librarian smashes the mirror. You can imagine the rest.

Some stories are less Borges and more Stephen Crane (author of The Red Badge of Courage): bleak, violent. Like “Lightning Love,” narrated by a wife whose husband changes into . . . something (the twist at the end is brilliant). Others are political fables, like “Santa Claus and Madam Secretary,” which makes Havel’s proclivities as clear as the image on a 98-inch TV. His style can be clunky–one woman’s breasts are described as “shaped like a queen’s”–and some endings are telegraphed. A few stories, like “Sex Toy,” are more like story fragments. Yet THE ODD AND THE STRANGE is quite an accomplishment: unusual, provocative, and honest.

Mixing the fabulism of Jorge Luis Borges with the bleakness of Stephen Crane, the tales contained in Harvey Havel’s THE ODD AND THE STRANGE draw the reader into a world they won’t soon forget.

~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader

**Get this book at 50% off at Smashwords and check out Harvey’s other books – a lot of them are FREE or on sale at Smashwords too!**

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Harvey Havel is a short-story writer and novelist.

His first novel, Noble McCloud, A Novel, was published in November of 1999. His second novel, The Imam, A Novel, was published in 2000.

Over the years of being a professional writer, Havel published his third novel, Freedom of Association. He worked on several other books and published his eighth novel, Charlie Zero’s Last-Ditch Attempt, and his ninth, The Orphan of Mecca, Book One, which was released several years ago. A full trilogy of this work had been completed a few years after Mr. Big is about a Black-American football player who deals with injury and institutionalized racism. This book was published in 2017. It’s his fifteenth book.

The Wild Gypsy of Arbor Hill is his sixteenth book, and his seventeenth is a non-fiction political essay about America’s current political crisis, written in 2019. He has just now published his eighteenth book, The Odd and The Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction.
Havel is formerly a writing instructor at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. He also taught writing and literature at the College of St. Rose in Albany as well as SUNY Albany.

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An interview with Author Harvey Havel:

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I went to a tiny college in Hartford, Connecticut.  In my sophomore year, I joined a fraternity.  In my senior year, there was a fraternity brother of mine named Jason Morfoot who told me this story about a group of guys who wrote poetry and literature all the time, smoked a lot of pot, dropped a lot of acid, and drove around in a psychedelic-painted bus with the Grateful Dead.

Once I heard this story, I asked Jason to tell it to me over and over again, probably to his chagrin.  I was so charmed by what the Beats did way back when that I said to myself, ‘Gee, maybe this writing thing is for me.’  Of course, it never turned out the way it turned out for them, but I never would have gone into writing had Jason not told me about the Beat Generation.  At the time, it sounded like they lived a fairy-tale life.  Perhaps they did.

Where were you born/grew up at?

I was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1971.  I immigrated to the United States when I was just a newborn.  My family first moved to Buffalo, New York, and over the years, we found ourselves in New York City by the mid-1970s.  Back then, New York City was in dire straits – high crime, intense poverty, drugs, etc.  I still can’t believe how my mother got through it all, living in the toughest neighborhood in the city at the time, which was then known as Alphabet City, or what is currently known as the Lower East Side.  God must have been with her the entire time.  I am really amazed at how she persevered. She was incredible woman, even though our relationship was not.

What inspired you to write this book?

Interestingly enough, these stories were somehow stored on my computer for several years before I accidently found them in a hidden file on my hard drive.  I discovered nearly ninety short stories that I forgotten I had ever written.  It turns out that nearly seven or eight years ago, the poet, John Allen of Albany, New York, had asked me to submit stories for his website, The New Surrealist Institute, which is now defunct.  This site had really been thriving, and a core group of authors had submitted avidly to it.  It was also quite popular with many readers.  When the website went offline, I had simply forgotten about the stories.  When I found them, I just knew I had to compile them into a book.

I wouldn’t say that anything in particular inspired me to write these stories, though.  The ideas came to me out of nowhere, which is why it took a lot of effort to construct them.  Some of the political stories were inspired by the 2016 elections, for instance.  There’s a science fiction story that is more a personal response to my past relationships with friends who have now grown up to do amazing things with their lives.  A couple stories are tributes to old friends of mine who had passed on: a painter friend of mine who had committed suicide in the 1990s and also a Black-American bluegrass musician who had recently passed away a couple of years ago.  But I can’t say exactly how I got the ideas for them, which is strange.  They are very diverse and, I hope, fun to read.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Right now, I am working on a book about September 11, 2001, when the Word Trade Center in New York was hit by a terrorist attack.  I haven’t been working on the project consistently as of late, though, but I hope to have it done in a couple of years.  Sometimes, life gets in the way of writing every day, which is something I made sure to do.  But I really do want the September 11th book to be my finest publication, so it is always on my mind, and when I am working on it, I am working really hard.

Who designed your book covers?

I have to do everything on the cheap, as I have self-published for a long time.  I usually find ready-made covers on the web, purchase them, and use them for my book covers.  I use a site called www.selfpubbookcovers.com.  There’s a guy named Rob there who runs the show, and he has always been very responsive and helpful.  He has hundreds of covers to choose from.  Hiring designers for the job is just way too expensive for me.  Ready-made covers from great designers are a great way to package my books.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Never give up!  Never give up!  Never give up!

How long have you been writing?

I have been a professional writer for nearly 30 years without much success.  While I have published 18 books, it seems that it is hard to attract the public to read them.  I am definitely not able to make a living off of any of these books.  Instead, I have a fixed income every month from a variety of sources, including Social Security Disability, that has sustained me for all of these years.  While I am very happy to see all of my peers succeed and do very well in life, it has been equally as difficult to remain within the same income bracket for so long.  But then again, if you are concerned about the money, writing is definitely not the right career path to choose, or so is my experience.

Lately, I have been taking it easier.  I hope to continue writing for the rest of my years, but I do admit that I am a bit tired of always being broke and pinching pennies all the time.  That is the hard part.  But somehow, I have made it through, and my books are all out there, should anyone find them.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

I invest a lot in the research process.  After a general story idea comes to mind, I refine that idea into a plot outline.  Once that is done, I target those parts of the plot that I know nothing of. 

For instance, I wrote a book about football.  While I had known about football from playing it in my youth, I needed to investigate how professional players practice, not generally, but specifically.  So, with that example in mind, I had to go to the library, or surf the internet, to find books that detailed the drills that professional coaches used in their practices.  I took this information and then put them on notecards.  Then, I added this information to the plot outline and created a chapter-by-chapter outline with the research included in every respective chapter.  That’s how it has worked for me thus far.

Also, I find it extremely important to include a bibliography at the back of the book, should I use research.  That way, the writing is based not only on my imagination, but also cold, hard facts.  One should always cite one’s sources anyway.  Plus, I have found it really fun doing the research.  It’s incredible how much I have learned about a variety of subjects over the years.  When writing historical fiction especially, research is always key.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Not much.  But then again, I haven’t read much of what is out there.

Pen or type writer or computer?

I usually hand-write a manuscript, revise it on paper, and then I type it into the computer, constantly revising it. I then print out the manuscript and revise it again.  But I usually do this chapter-by-chapter, not the entire manuscript at once.  I find it easier to break it down into manageable parts.

I used to hand-write it and then use a typewriter, but luckily for everyone, the personal computer came along.

Advice they would give new authors?

Definitely do not put all of your eggs in the one basket of writing.  If you are going to write or edit for a job, or work as a journalist for a decent salary, that’s fine.  But please do not make the same mistake I had made by banking it all on writing fiction novels at an early age.  Even though I have developed as a writer through hardship, I don’t think it was really all that worth it. 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a career with a good salary, so that I could have afforded a good car, attracted a nice girlfriend, afforded a simple house, and did what most of my peers have done, or at least developed how most people are portrayed in the media of today.  I wouldn’t have had such a cavalier ‘all or none’ attitude about a becoming a writer. 

Betting it all on the one hand and winning at it is the stuff of dreams and fantasy and not reality.  I am definitely not saying that it won’t happen, though, because a new author definitely could hit the big time with a book or a number of books.  But if you find yourself broke and on the street in the freezing cold, as I have witnessed in every city I have lived in, you should really stop and reassess where you are heading.  In my opinion, it is not possible to write under conditions of abject poverty for too long.  Better to get a roof over your head before writing that next line.

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel.

To Have or Have Not by Jared K. Chapman (giveaway)

Jared K. Chapman is an author, filmmaker, and educator. He is a native Californian who spent his formative years at school in frigid Alberta, Canada with his father and summer vacation in arid central California with his mother. He holds degrees in psychology & religious studies and is currently a doctoral candidate studying the social psychology of extreme groups. He lives in a little oasis just east of Los Angeles with his wife and three sons. 2HVØRHVNØT is his debut novel.

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2HVØRHVNØT: To Have or Have Not by Jared K. Chapman ~ Genre: Dystopian Superhero Fantasy, Horror

Welcome to Fellowship City, where the Haves are super-powered, and the Have-Nots are just like you.

The Mighty have all the wealth, fame, power, and superpowers, but even they are subject to the monastery’s control. To maintain peace, telepathic monks see into the past, present, and future to police the other Mighty and the minority of powerless Citizens, who have nothing but their identity tags tattooed on their wrists.

Twenty-year-old Mario lives with his kid sister in one of the many camphouses on the island south of the city. Unlike the other citizens he stands in line with every morning waiting to be bussed to work, he actually likes his downtown job and the Mighty restaurateur who employs him. 

At least, he did.

This morning, the grisly, undetected murder of his boss changes everything. In a flash, Mario becomes the primary suspect and must race against time to prove his innocence in a world that oppresses the powerless.

Part READY PLAYER ONE. Part DIVERGENT. Part MINORITY REPORT. Totally Superpowered! 2HVØRHVNØT has fast-paced action, suspense, horror, and mature themes that are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

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Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card or one of three Exclusive Signed Prints by Derek Smith (cover designer/artist)? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


What inspired you to write this book?

I had a thought in my head about to be or not to be but applying it to the situation of haves and have-nots, which resulted in the title to have or not to have. I thought that was too presumptuous and cumbersome, so I kept thinking and though To Have or Have Not sounded much better, and I am a Hemingway fan, so there’s a little homage there. I kept thinking and thinking about this title and one day while driving home the numeronym popped into my head 2HVORHVNOT. I thought that would be a cool title for a book, so I began to think what a book with that title would be about.

I immediately thought about a tattooed identity code on someone’s arm. I thought about how it could be scanned and used in the future like credit cards, but I thought that was too obvious and really wasn’t sure what the story would be. Poor people are Have Nots and can’t even use their codes while the reach people can… it seemed like something I’ve seen many times before. So, my mind went somewhere darker. What if only the Have Nots have these identity codes and they’re forced on them? I began to think about the Holocaust and poor lives lost in the camps. I began to think about Nietzche’s idea of the Ubermensch inspiring the Nazis. I began to think about Japanese internment camps and signs that said No Jews Allowed or Colored Only Section. I began thinking about the X-Men stories where normal people wanted to round up the mutants and put them into camps. Then, I thought what if that was flipped. What if the people in power, the majority, were the ones with superpowers.

I started to think about what kind of world that would be. I drew upon a lot of the social psychological theories I had learned through the course of my collegiate life. I found myself really drawn to Sherif, Asch, Milgram, and Zimbardo’s famous experiments. Ultimately, I wanted to delve into conflict resolution between two completely different groups. I also drew upon my religious studies and my interest in science-fiction/fantasy, post-apocalyptic/dystopia speculative fiction, particularly 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, The Dark Tower Series, Running Man, Demolition Man, Minority Report, and Ready Player One. All of these inspired me to create the world of Fellowship City.

In Fellowship City, there is a caste system with the highest, most powerful Mighty being the telepathic seers, monks of Sol & Luna, who police the other Mighty. This creates a world without heroes or villains, because the monks stop any crime or wrongdoing, even wrong-thinking before it happens. They eliminate the bad elements to create a utopian world for them, but in doing so, life is mundane. Their superpowers are meaningless. In this world, a pyrokinetic has a job as a barista reheating coffee in the ceramic mugs of old customers. But in nearly every utopia we find some dystopian element, and for those without powers, this world is a nightmare. They are forced to serve the Mighty, live in camps or slums, and must be tattooed with their scannable identity codes.

What can we expect from you in the future?

This book is launching a world. I am currently working on a prequel trilogy describing the rise of the Mighty. I’m editing the first book, writing the second, and have the third outlined and ready to go. I’m also working on a short story that doesn’t fit in the prequel books or in any sequel books, and I have plans to write more of these short stories to complete the world. I set up 2HVØRHVNØT to have a sequel, which I am currently outlining and expect to release next year. After that, I plan to write a third book in the series, making it a trilogy. I also plan to write three shorter books focusing on three of the character’s origin stories.

Once I have published all the Fellowship City books, I would like to complete the epic novel I started in 1996.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have or Have Not?

There are tons of colorful and interesting characters in my book. The two primary protagonists are Mario and his sister, Zelda. They live in a camphouse on the island south of Fellowship City. Mario works downtown at a trendy restaurant where he has recently been promoted from dish-boy to server. Zelda is still under 18, so she doesn’t have to do “real work,” although she volunteers her time in the orphan house when she’s not the story-keeper for a role playing game called SOFA that she plays with her friends.

My book has three episodes, and Mario is the main protagonist of the first episode. He likes working at the restaurant, because the Mighty who employs him is a good guy compared to some of the other horror stories he’s heard. He and his sister lost their parents seven years ago and lived in the orphan house until Mario was able to get his own camphouse and take Zelda in as her guardian. He’s always felt responsible for her and even now fears that he may not have prepared her for the world she will soon enter, because he’s treated her like a princess ever since. Mario has an eidetic memory, which serves him well as a server, but it’s not always entirely perfect. He’s filled with internal conflict as he blames the Mighty for the loss of his parents but needs to work for the Mighty to survive.

Zelda becomes prominent in episode two. Her brother is the most important thing to her in the world and when things look bleak, she feels that she needs to do something. Usually, she seems rather level-headed and the leader among her friends, but her brother is her kryptonite. She gets tunnel vision and will stop at nothing to protect her protector. She’s smart, funny, and athletic… a butt-kicking princess.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

Mario and Zelda are obvious, I think. Their father loved the retro games of yesteryear and named his children after his favorites. Jakandy is actually named after Jack Handey from Deep Thoughts on Saturday Night Live. DerMööve is a telekinetic of German ancestry, so I was going for something that could get that across. The Arcane Sawyer just came to me out of nowhere as a blend of Paul Bunyan and Thor. There are many more names with backstories, but I don’t want to give too much away.

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about To Have or Have Not by Jared K. Chapman.