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Dan Dewitt Inspires Dread for Fun :)

I meet the coolest people on twitter. If you read my blog and have not yet joined twitter…please leave now. I give up. *throws hands in air* LOL. Just kidding. I meet all sorts of people, and one of those people was Dan Dewitt. Lucky me. Dan’s become one of the little avatars I look for when I’m online, and today I get to share him with you. He’s fabulous fun AND he writes horror.<– Right? I’m afraid of my shadow and therefore avoid my shadow. A perfect match for Musings because I’ve never had a horror author on deck. So, I begged him to blog for me about his love of horror and I’m so amped…. he agreed!

Please welcome Dan Dewitt, snark master, 90s rocker, zombie fighter, and the man….

I owe Julie A. Lindsey. Were it not for her obsessive random person following on Twitter, I’d still be a guy with 30 followers who never Tweeted. Now I’m a guy with over 600 who no one listens to, but I owe her nonetheless. Then again, she owes me a pair of Hammer pants, but I’ll do the post anyway.

I consider myself a multi-genre writer, but horror is my first love. I touched on this a while ago on my blog. I’ve also developed a bit of a reputation for being a zombie guy, though I have no idea why. Really, no idea at all.

The question Julie posed to me was, “Why?” Why do I read it? Why do I write it?

Believe it or not, I’ve asked myself that question many times before. What is it about the horror genre that attracts me so much, and has since I was a kid? Why is it that dire circumstances and nefarious monsters make millions of people, including me, shell out their cash?

In one of my blog posts, I wrote:  “When compared to other genres, horror can offer the greatest consequences for its characters. Everyone can die. If our heroes fail, the world itself can be at risk. And then their souls can be tormented for eternity. See where I’m going with this? In a well-crafted horror novel, the suffering never has to end.”

I guess that’s a good jumping-off point, but it goes deeper, much deeper, than that. Most, if not all, humans share some fears: death, the unknown, eternal pain…and everyone I’ve ever met gets anxious when the lights unexpectedly go out. We may not be afraid of the dark itself, but what’s hiding in it is a different kettle of fish. Or tentacled, sixty-eyed, flesh-eating monster. One of those.

So why do people flock to horror books? Why have writers like Stephen King made a bazillion dollars scaring the crap out of us?

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s largely a matter of control. For starters, reading a scary book is a form of escape from the everyday horrors that we hope never touch us and we’re powerless to influence or prevent. We choose the author, the book, the place, and the pace.

The reader may be a slave to the author between the covers, but has complete control of when and how to relinquish that control. Consider this scene from Friends:

Rachel: Umm, why do you have a copy of The Shining in your freezer?

Joey: Oh, I was reading it last night, and I got scared, so…

Rachel: But you’re safe from it if it’s in the freezer?

Joey: Well, safer. Y’know, I mean, I never start reading The Shining without making sure we’ve got plenty of room in the freezer.

Something like this has happened to me a grand total of once in my life. At one point during IT, I started to see things out of the corners of my eyes in the completely dark backyard. I closed the book and moved into the brightly-lit living room. That was probably the single greatest moment of my reading life, because an author finally made me “go freezer.”  I got to experience a moment that made my heart race and my paranoia kick into high gear, all without leaving the safety of my house. I was free to impose my will on that stupid clown and turn on every light we have.

I believe that we, as readers, tend to become far more emotionally invested in characters who are facing seemingly insurmountable odds. When the monsters have our heroes on the ropes, we want them to dig deep and overcome. We want them to exhibit the qualities that we hope exist within ourselves. Not that any of us ever want to find out for sure how we’d react when faced with a horde of zombies. Unless you’re insane or, you know…me.

I write horror because I can force the action, I can put my characters through the wringer and make them stronger, and I can just let my imagination do what it wants to do. As long as it’s well-written, people will gladly go where I want them to go, regardless of what I may have lurking around any given corner. Horror enables me to tell incredible stories and inspire those same feelings of dread in the reader. In other words, suffer as I have suffered and I will consider my time well-spent.

Meet Dan online! Tweet him @Dan_Dewitt, check out his blog, even better…check out his books on Amazon!

ORPHEUS by Dan DeWitt

Cameron Holt is fortunate enough to survive the initial outbreak that turns his New England island community into a hive of the undead. So is his son, Ethan. Now, the only thing keeping Holt going is the determination to rescue his son from the undead…or remove him permanently from their ranks. Unfortunately, zombies aren’t the only thing getting in his way.

 

Oh, also leave a comment and say Hi!

THANK YOU DAN!!! (but I’m keeping the Hammer pants).

Death by Chocolate? Whatta Way to Go….

I was lucky enough  to score a spot on an awesome, amazing , fabulous blog and I’m dishing about Death by Chocolate. I hope you’ll click over and see the story behind my murderous housewife and smile.

I know your time is precious, but if you have a minute, click over to The Daily Blog and check it out.

*I’m in Ohio doing the Snoopy dance.*

Come say”Hi.” See the story behind the story at The Daily Blog. BTW: While you’re there you might wanna read about Erica and her infamous home bikini wax debacle, I’m just saying. It’s hysterical and awful and sad and ooooooh…..I so love Erica. LOL! Find her on Twitter. Seriously people, Get. On. Twitter. A blurb:

Book 1: Death By Chocolate

Ruby Russell has reached her limit.  When she discovers her hipster husband has a dirty little secret, she whips him up a Viagra-infused-chocolate mousse punishment, but in the morning, her husband’s a stiff.  Armed with a lifetime of crime show reruns and Arsenic and Old Lace on DVD, Ruby and her best friend Charlotte try to lay low until after Ruby’s son’s wedding, but a nosey therapist, meddling minister and local news reporter are making it very difficult to get away with murder.

Thanks for stopping! See me at The Daily Blog!

Muwah!!!  xoxoxoox

 

I’ve Been Tagged

So I’ve been tagged! This is a blogger thing and when you get tagged, you share ten facts about yourself on the blog. I blog all my business on here, so I might have to reach into my frazzled brain to come up with stuff I haven’t told you. Meanwhile, you can get to know the delightful blogger who tagged me at Simply Put.

Here we go:

1. I’m a Midwestern girl. Born and raised in Ohio and quite happy about it. I love the local Amish community and small towns and parades with firemen and little girls wielding flags.

2. I have a ginormous bounce house in my living room some days. When I need to read or write, I set my three kids loose in there.

3. I can drive a stick shift.

4. I love Twilight. Whatever. I said it. I love the books, the movies, the story of obsession and a love not bound by time.

5. I ADORE my husband, like seriously there could be something wrong with me, but I think he’s the best thing ever.

6. I like to make up words. When I can’t find one to fit, so I make up a better one.

7. I also like to rename nail polish colors because so far I’ve found few that really fit the color.

8. I’ve never had a traffic ticket, or been caught violating any law. *caught* being key word, though I try to behave.

9. My closest friends are almost all people I’ve met online in the past year or two. People I may never meet & couldn’t pick out in a crowd unless they wear a t-shirt with their Avatar on it for me LOL

10. I desperately want to build a home on 6 acres of land we bought 3 years ago. I have a three ring binder full of details and specs. It will be a throw back to the 1920-30s. Craftsman style, wide dark woodwork and pillars, stained-glass windows, glass door knobs, a schoolhouse light over the island in the kitchen, soaring flagstone fireplace in the family room, beveled glass in the french doors to my office….swoon. That’s my someday dream. A girl’s gotta dream.

Tagging these bloggers now:

Nikki Brandyberry

Valerie Haight

Jennifer Anderson

Erica DeLuca

To Prologue or Not to Prologue. THAT is My Question

So, I wrote this YA and I’m dying to run something past you. The prologue. I’ve yet to decide if I’ll attempt to find a traditional publisher or maybe try my hand at self publishing…there are limitless decisions that go with the completion of a manuscript. Today I’m stuck on this. So, to gather information from the minds of the business and all you word nerds, I thought I’d do two things. First, I’m going to give you a blurb (so you know what the story is about). Next, I’m going to show you two prologues I’ve teetered between for this story.

I’d REALLY like to hear what you think. Do you like one far better than the other? One is written in the same first person as the novel. The other is completely aside, a glimpse from the killer – the only one you get. Or should I stick with no prologue because I hear that’s not an editor’s favorite thing to see. Let me know what you think? THANK YOU!!!

PS. Don’t be mean. No one’s making you play ;)

Blurb:

Witness is about a young girl whose painfully dull life takes a terrifying turn when she learns a serial killer is stalking the campus of her new boarding school and he’s come there searching for her.

Gabriella’s dad isn’t an insurance adjuster, and he doesn’t work for a conglomerate. They don’t move for his work, and he isn’t emotionally distant from grief. Her mother’s death wasn’t an accident, and Gabriella Smith was never even her real name.


Prologue option One: The Killer

The killer waited outside the campus coffee shop. The girl had come there every night for months. His foot pounded against the floorboards. His right hand flicked a silver topped lighter open and shut. Click, snap, click, snap. She had one hour to show up, or he was going to her apartment. This time, he planned to do worse than skewer a little pumpkin.

He cleared his throat and pulled away from the curb. Maybe another visit would remind her she should be afraid. She shouldn’t be out whoring around. She should’ve been home early, afraid and waiting for him to show her the truth. All the years of lies, would be remedied in a few short minutes with him, and he couldn’t wait to share his story with her.

As he drove, he pictured her lovely and untarnished, pale like the tendrils of smoke spiraling into the air before him. He truly regretted the way things had ended. He never meant for her to live. It grieved him to think of all the years of sadness. It wasn’t right. The cigarette crushed into his thigh, burning and relieving him as the car barreled forward into traffic.

He smashed his head hard into the steering wheel as he slowed for a stoplight. Her father lied to her. All these years he’d watched her grow and he heard the lies. Her mother died in a car accident. It made him sick. She’d died in a car, but it was no accident. He’d never received credit for that, and the girl never feared him, never knew him. They should’ve all died together. His plan was ruined without even a consolation.

That was about to change.

Prologue Number Two

Cold night air whipped strands of tangled hair into my face. Terror burned my sore, frozen eyes.

“Run.” The voice pleaded, and my feet moved against the street. Run where? Puddled pavement stretched before me in the space between parked cars and dumpsters.

My chest ached, and a thousand claws raked down my throat. No one heard me cry.

Except him.

Screams pierced the darkness behind me, and a thundering crack vibrated in my soul.

“Run.”

Panic beat a hole in my chest. I couldn’t see him. Where was he? I ran on until silence engulfed my world.

So what’ll it be? Prologue number one? Prologue number two? or Keep it to Yourself Julie! Can’t wait to hear!

Today I Got a Date with a Devil

Hey! Not THE devil, silly!
So, it’s not super often I get to guest post for my smexy bestie, and fellow bookish babe @NikiBrandyberry , but today’s the day! Nikki’s awesome romance review blog Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind has romance readers talking and she let me come by to swoon and bat my lashes over summer love. She’s so fabu she made this a double feature by reading the Turquoise Morning Press Summer Shorts Anthology (featuring one little short by yours truly *Fireworks*) and tomorrow she’ll post her thoughts for all to see. I love, Love, LOVE her for doing this. I know given the choice she’ll take hot & steamy over chaste & cutie most days, but for these two days, she’s making sweet romance cool.

Come by and say Hi so she asks me back sometime. LOL. If no one comes she may lose my number….also you romance lovers may find a review blog you need to save in your favorites. Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

And, for kicks and because I adore it *fists hands over heart and twists at waist* Here’s a taste of what I’ve got going on over there…Enjoy!


**SUMMA LUVIN**

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