Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer of Zombie 2014 SPOTLIGHT ON: Timothy Baker

Timothy Baker is a retired firefighter and an aspiring, perspiring, horror writer. He is published in Fifty Shades of Decay by Angelic Knight Press with his zombie/erotica story, Love Stinks, and the forthcoming Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker's Nightbreed from Tor. Tim has also received a commendation in the Australian Horror Writer’s Association 2009 Short Story Competition. We're grateful to feature him on the Summer of Zombie Tour today!

So: What is your latest zombie release?

Quick description of it (no spoilers)
In Tibet, in a village riding a foot of Seche La Mountain, the zombie apocalypse arrives. With hundreds gathering for a holy day, the carnage is overwhelming and the town burns. Five survivors, a Chinese soldier, a Buddhist High Monk and his bodyguard nun, a ten-year-old boy, and a Nirvana seeking Shoalin monk, flee in the only direction they can: into the high mists of the mountain to barricade themselves against the following dead in the long abandoned, cliff-clutching monastery, Eagle's Nest.

There's a lot of zombie stories out there. Tell us something unique about yours.
The Tibet setting, a rural village that thrives near the top of the world. And it has a Kung Fu monk and a mute, badass, warrior nun!

Learn more about Timothy Baker at:

There's also a great interview with him at Beauty in Ruins!

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

AND so you don't miss any of the posts in June, here's the complete list, updated daily:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dark Poetry: Anthony Crowley

‘I never felt alive on this dreaded world called Earth,
I’ve been driven into sadness and pain all my past life,
The darkened blessed shadows allowed me for a beginning of a
symbolic rebirth..'
(from Sanitarium Magazine 14)

Today, we take a detour into the world of poetry. Many of the great early horror authors, like Poe, Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith, were poets as well as authors. I normally interview fiction authors, but British author Anthony Crowley is also a dark poet. I haven't written much poetry, so I thought I might learn something if I asked him a few questions.

Q. Does poetry offer you a different type of satisfaction than writing fiction?
A. I have complete satisfaction from both poetry and fiction. But when I write I can express my writing in the different forms and styles with a different emotion involved into the idea. When I write stories I can be more descriptive with the Characters and themes and let my mind travel and wander around the whole nightmare or scenario and revert back to the original plot and with my poetic writings I focus mainly on one theme and subject and be descriptive and fluent as I can.

Q. What drew you to horror?
A. From childhood I always felt comforted by Horror; it was my escape and felt perfectly natural, it is my scenic home and mental abode. But also I was inspired by the classic literature of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker. Dennis Wheatley and H.P.Lovecraft and two of my favourite story adaptions was 'The Devils Ride Out' and 'The Raven'. I also have several more inspirations within these subjects, but these are just an example.

Q. Can you tell us a little about your writing process? (for instance, do you have a secret hideout that you go to when you're working, or maybe a comfortable chair overlooking the garden) 
A. My hideout is my mind; the doorways within there create thoughts regularly on a daily basis. Sometimes one word can open up a visual piece of literature. All around us is inspiration and the creation of ideas.

Q. Who is your favorite author and what really strikes you about their work?
A. I have several influential Authors I could name and including the Authors I mentioned in previous question. One of those has to be Edgar Allan Poe and when I first heard The Raven' and Masque of Red Death' I really admire the mysterious atmosphere in which Edgar creates visually and poetically.

Q.What is your current project?
A. I am working on several projects. Some of these writings are unfinished works from during the last 6 years. I am also working on a few new projects and I have just published 'The Black Diaries (Volume One) which forms part of a new series which shall include a variation of Horror themed short stories and poetic dark verse. Tombstones is a collection of a variation of horror-related poetic literature which is also available now on both paperback and kindle editions.These publications were also in the Top 10 Horror literature charts at five consecutive Amazon sites. I have this week revised my first published Supernatural short story of 'The Light of Keeps Passage'. During these recent days, I have been editing and finishing my long-awaited novella 'The Mirrored Room', which was a semi-finalist at the 2013 book awards at 'authorsdB'.

Thanks for visiting with us!

Learn more about Anthony Crowley and his writing on his Amazon page at:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hoosier Hoops and Hijinks Interview: Andrea Smith

Published by Blue River Press.
Please allow me to introduce you to yet another author from Hoosier Hoops and Hijinks. The tales in Hoosier Hoops, the current anthology from the Speed City Indiana chapter of Sisters in Crime, all involve one of Indiana's greatest obsessions: basketball.

Today's guest is Andrea Smith, the president of the Speed City chapter. She began writing mysteries and romantic suspense because there were few positive African-American female protagonists in her favorite genre. Smith has published three short stories featuring her Chicago police detective Ariel Lawrence. Her story in this anthology, "Fallen Idols", introduces a new character: Lenora Wise.

Q. What gave you the idea for "Fallen Idols"?

I actually sort of ripped it from the headlines. When we chose a basketball theme for our chapter’s third anthology, I thought about all the sports figures who were in the news for behaving badly. Indianapolis really loves its basketball, so I wondered what if there are some heroes on the city’s beloved team who aren’t what they seem and don’t deserve the pedestal they’ve been put on.

Q. You're using a new heroine in this anthology: Lenora Wise. Tell us a little more about her.

Like many who go into law enforcement, Lenora Wise became a cop after losing a loved one to crime. Her mother was shot and killed in a carjacking, and the killer was never found. Every time Lenora catches a murderer, she feels she’s getting justice for her mother. I developed Lenora for this story because I wanted to explore what it’s like for a detective to move to a new city and have to fit into a new police structure. Lenora had been with the St. Louis police department and became disillusioned because her superiors were more concerned about boosting their careers than getting criminals off the street. She hoped the Indianapolis police department would be different.

Q. Will there be more stories with Ariel Lawrence?

Absolutely. I have an Ariel Lawrence novel under revision. She has to catch a serial killer while working with a partner she loathes. There are ideas for three other stories in the Ariel Lawrence detective series. Ariel’s a fierce defender of justice for the everyday person who can’t defend themselves. And she believes neither money nor prominence should make a person immune from the law. Often her cases involve white-collar criminals who believe their position and their millions mean they don’t have to play by the same rules as others.

Q. Who is your favorite author (or current fave) and what really strikes you about their work?

Walter Mosley who writes the Easy Rawlins Mysteries is one of my faves. His writing is lyrical to me, and he’s created an iconic character who will forever live in readers’ minds. That’s something I’d like to achieve.

I also enjoyed Lisa Scottoline’s legal thriller series and like her stand-alone novels. She draws strong women characters and mixes thrilling plots with humor.

Q. What's your current (or next) project?

In addition to the Ariel Lawrence novel, I’m finishing a historical mystery short story for our chapter’s next anthology. It’s set in 1930s Indianapolis, and features a husband and wife who find themselves hunted by police for a murder they didn’t commit. I also plan to turn a short story I wrote featuring an amateur sleuth into a novel. The character, Lela Ames, is a feisty, middle-aged beauty salon owner/entrepreneur who everyone brings their troubles to. Usually those troubles result in Lela having to solve a murder.

Thanks for visiting us today!

Check out Hoosier Hoops and Hijinks on Amazon. You can learn more about Andrea Smith at the Speed City chapter's website.


Sunday, March 16, 2014


When I take the trash and recyclables to the curb on Sunday, I often think about the changes my life has gone through.

I used to think, "A year ago, I was in my own home."
Then, it became, "A year ago, my father was alive."
Now, it's become, "Two years ago, I was in my own home."
Next month, will I say, "Two years ago, my father was alive--?"

Do we ever stop grieving for what we once had?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mardi Gras Murder interview: Meet Selina Alaniz

Art by Karrett Barbosa
Selina Alaniz contributed "The Jester and the Girl" to Mardi Gras Murder. When the story begins, you think you know what's going to happen... but there's a surprise. We decided to ask her for more details.

Your story, "The Jester and the Girl", deals with an unusual meeting. Can you tell us what inspired the story without giving too many spoilers?  :)

My inspiration for "The Jester and the Girl" came from me wanting to tell a story that was a little different and a little twisted. I wrote these characters with this in mind and just allowed them to take me down this mysterious path. I also think New Orleans itself helped shape some of the elements like the tone and atmosphere. The city has a lot of history and has an allure that lends itself to telling a story like this.

We're pleased we're the ones who got to be your first short story publisher. Any more stories in the works? Novels?

I am so thankful and grateful that Mystery and Horror LLC were the ones to publish my first story. I don't have anything definitive yet but the wheels are turning so we'll see what I can come up with.

Speaking of novels... What do you enjoy reading?

I have to mention R.L. Stine because he was the author I grew up reading. I read every Fear Street and Goosebumps published. I still have most of those books and intend to keep them as long as possible. I love Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, and Stephen King. I also love Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters. Right now I am reading Dystopian novels. I find it interesting to read all these different authors ideas of how people would survive in these end of the world scenarios.

Plotter or pantser?

That is a good question. I think I am a pantser with a hint of plotter. I like to have a general outline of my characters and story but I will sit at the computer and just type away. I'll let my characters do the talking and just go with it even it differs with what I initially started with.

Thank you for being with us today!

Mardi Gras Murder contains thirteen tales of crime that take place during the carnival season. It's now available at in print and Kindle formats. Other authors in Mardi Gras Murder include Paul Wartenberg, Nathan Pettigrew, and Debra H. Goldstein.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mardi Gras Murder Interview: Meet Daniel Moore

Today, we're meeting Daniel Moore, the author of "Even". The tale is straight-up modern noir and I knew that I was going to be sending an acceptance before I even finished reading it. What drives an author to write noir? Moore gave me some clues.

Sarah: What inspired the idea for "Even"?

Daniel: While going through my personal backlog of books a few months back, I found myself reading all the Ken Bruen titles on the list. Bruen's a brilliant crime fiction author who once lived a criminal life alongside people who were obvious inspirations for the heroes in his books. That kind of credibility rally pulled me in. The book which got me into the drafting process for "Even" was "Her Last Call to Louis Macniece" where an aging English hood gets tangled in an affair with an American pickpocket. The idea that a seasoned crook and murderer could've been so easily crippled by a young woman paying him too much attention and wind up disrupting his entire enterprise struck me as an easy-to-understand joke that related far beyond crime fiction. It was a nice reminder of what a villain could look like to a protagonist that appears almost too capable in the face of danger.

Sarah: How did you pick the genre/setting/era you write in?

Daniel: I wrote this piece as a crime story because I think criminality and the law are the home of the modern and postmodern romances. Whether this speaks good or bad about society today I can't say, but there is, I feel, a deep fascination with what is and isn't criminal and who falls on either side of that line. I have that interest too and I think that's to blame for why the story takes place in seedy dwellings just beyond more civilized settings. I think the story reads as thought it takes place today, but I never think of my stories in the present but rather years from when I'm putting the words to paper. I think if you read the story with that in mind it'll drastically change the experience.

Sarah: Who is your favorite author and what really strikes you about their work?

Daniel: I can't give enough praise to William Gibson as being the author who speaks most directly to my imagination as a reader and a writer. If there's one external influence I'm grateful for in giving me the idea of going down the path to becoming a writer it'd be him and his work. Gibson has a way with words I don't think any other author has. Sometimes it reads as though he's perfectly translating what's in his head onto paper in a way that makes no compromises for the sake of the reader and forces you to bend to his will. And after a page, you'll do just that. Whether it’s the exploration of the mind through drugs or choice or technology, Gibson has a way to remain scarily relevant and topical after decades of writing in a way that only Vonnegut was capable of. His work has always been a source of inspiration. If one day my work were ever to be compared to his, it would be the only time a comparison wouldn't feel like an insult.

Thank you for being with us today!

See Daniel's story for yourself. Mardi Gras Murder is now available at in print and Kindle formats. Other authors include Harriette Sackler, Nathan Pettigrew, and Marian Allen.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Must-see news from A Strong Man's Cup of Tea

Any survivor of the USA holiday marathon MUST read this post from Keith Stewart.

A Strong Man's Cup of Tea: Holiday News You May Have Missed
NOW is the appropriate time for the Hallelujah Chorus to wash over our cities and towns, for the almost never-ending "Holiday Season" is finally complete. For whatever rea$ons, we have stretched and pulled what really is a 2-3 day celebration and made it into a 3-4 MONTH blowout.

Seriously, go there and read the entire article. Hilarious.