Saturday, 24 September 2016

4Q Interview with Guest Author Angella Cormier of New Brunswick, Canada


Angella Cormier grew up in Saint Antoine, a small town in south east New Brunswick, Canada. This is where her love of reading and writing was born. Her curious nature about everything mysterious and paranormal helped carve the inspiration for her current passion of writing horror and mystery stories. She is also a published poet, balancing out her writing to express herself in these two very opposing genres. Angella is a mother of two boys as well as an established freelancer in graphic design.

Previous titles include "Dark Tales for Dark Nights" published in 2013 (written under Angella Jacob) as well as "A Maiden's Perspective: A collection of thoughts, reflections and poetry" published in 2015.

For more information, please visit:
www.MysteriousInk.ca



 
 
 

4Q: Your latest book is a novel in collaboration with author Pierre Arsenault and it has just recently been launched. Tell us about the novel.

AC: Oakwood Island is our first novel which ironically wasn’t supposed to be a novel at all. It began as a series of short stories written by Angella and eventually Pierre came on board.  Together they merged those original stories and added much more to complete a full novel.  Those three short stories are now part of one bigger novel about strange occurrences on the small Oakwood Island. It is a horror book with some supernatural elements.  Here is a synopsis of the book:
 


There are many mysterious and evil things lurking on Oakwood Island. Things so strange that the locals are left wondering if their small coastal community will ever be the same. The police are concerned when Maggie, the local waitress, shows up at their doorstep cold, weak and frail, after having escaped a kidnapper that she describes as a monster.  Her strange symptoms of a mysterious illness that seems to be growing stronger baffles her nurses and doctor. What happened to her? 

A few local residents hold some of the answers, but will they be able to save their neighbours, and better yet, do they want to?  What is watching them as they try to hide?  The residents are all part of a much bigger mystery than they realize.

The island holds many secrets, but will they come out in time to save them all? Caught between the past and the present, good and evil both find their place on the island, but which will prevail and at what cost?

What started as a few short stories grew into the much larger story of Oakwood Island.  It is a multi-layered tale with several twists and turns, mystery and intrigue. The authors invite you to join them on the island, for a trip you will never forget. Just one important tip:

Don’t forget to check the schedule for the ferry back to the Mainland.

You wouldn’t want to get stuck on Oakwood Island for too long…

 

4Q: I always wondered how two people work on the same book. How did your partnership in writing with Pierre begin?

AC: When we first met, our passion for stories is what made us click as friends.  The idea of us possibly collaborating together came up soon after our initial meeting.  Once we figured out what our strengths and weaknesses were as writers, we decided to try writing one short story together to see how it would go.  It was really not hard at all to collaborate with Pierre. Our appreciation for stories and our common goals to create characters and plots was all it took to make it fun and rewarding.  We shared many cups of coffee and time spent discussing our characters and how they would react or where they came from. It didn’t feel like work at all and to share in the accomplishment with a great friend is very rewarding.

As for Oakwood Island, I wrote the first three short stories solo (it didn’t start out as a novel) and shared them with Pierre, and other readers. Pierre and I had already started to work on other short stories together, and he kept asking me about my plans for Oakwood Island. He was enthralled and needed to know more. This led to me trusting him with my Oakwood Island series and its cast of characters.  Pierre started to help grow said cast and aided in the development of the short stories into one larger tale. There isn’t one specific reason why it happened the way it did, it just fell into place that way, naturally.  In 2013, we published our first collaborative book, which was a collection of short stories. Oakwood Island is our second publication that we collaborated on together, but hopefully won’t be the last.

 

4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or story with us.

AC: For a writer like myself, that creates monsters out of thin air and settings that would make a reader cringe, my childhood was, for the most part, pretty tame!  So, for lack of coming up with an interesting anecdote, I will share with you why I believe I became a horror writer instead of so many other genres I had to choose from.  I believe that what we choose as our genre, is almost entirely based on a few things: our life experiences while growing up and what we choose to read or watch on the screen. For me, it was a gradual process that eventually made me the writer I am today. You know, the one that enjoys hearing that I grossed you out or that you couldn’t get that one scene out of your head and it haunted you for a while. Yes, that’s me. J


The first book I can remember reading as a young child started it all. There was a large hard cover copy of The Grimm Brothers Fairytales at the St. Antoine Public Library. It had a light blue cover with a very detailed front cover illustration. Each page was illustrated so well and in so much detail, I would look over the illustrations just as long as I would spend reading the stories. I remember getting lost in that book, time and time again. I must have sat at the same back table there dozens of times reading out of that book, taking in every word, my mind aflutter with visions of old witches, big bad wolves and morphing ravens.  I wonder if they still have it on the shelves. J Of course, that was only the first one.

I remember reading The Adventures of Tintin and I would be enthralled by the mysteries he faced and that he had to solve.  Nancy Drew Mysteries was another big one. I also loved TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries, The Edison Twins (who remembers THAT besides me?) and also the popular shows Are You Afraid of the Dark and The Twilight Zone. Movies like IT, Christine and Pet Sematary.

Combine those along with an overactive imagination and lots of free time and you have the beginning pieces in place for a future horror lover. I also believe that certain life experiences, such as the passing of my best friend at 21, as well as having dealt with anxiety and depression through the years has helped me find my most authentic writing voice in the genre that chose me.  These events affected my writing style, especially when it comes to character and the emotional charges that I can personally relate to by having experienced them firsthand.

I enjoy reading and writing mystery and horror stories that have some supernatural or paranormal elements, but I don’t limit myself to any one genre or subgenre for that matter. I especially enjoy reading and writing those that show how the characters will react and deal with being pushed to their most extreme limits and how that will change them after the fact, be it good or bad.


 

4Q: Tell us about your other work and what’s in the future for Author Angella Cormier.

 

AC: Previous titles include "Dark Tales for Dark Nights" published in 2013 (written under Angella Jacob and in collaboration with Pierre C. Arseneault) as well as "A Maiden's Perspective: A collection of thoughts, reflections and poetry" published in 2015. 

In 2013, I created and managed an indie magazine (Codiac Chronicles) which unfortunately I had to put on hold indefinitely.  It was a huge undertaking, and one that I did on my own.  It was fun while it lasted, as I was able to meet several local artists, writers and photographers during that year it was published. It may be revived one day, but for the time being, it is dormant. Maybe in hibernation. If it ever reawakens remains to be seen. J

I am currently working on a collection of short stories (solo) that I hope to publish in the future as well as a new blog that I am putting together. That should be set to go live by the end of October, if all goes as planned.

My other love is graphic design.  I have been doing this for over 18 years and enjoy it very much. Over the past few years, I have been targeting my work to help other writers and publishers. I find it very rewarding as it’s the industry I have the most passion for and I know how important it is for writers to have not only the words crafted just right, but also the presentation of the covers and overall feel of the book’s design. I do everything from creating book trailers, bookmarks, posters, business cards, setting up static webpages, as well as consulting self-published authors through the many steps from idea to end product.

 

 

Thank you Angella for sharing your thoughts on the Scribbler's 4Q.

For you readers, please check out the links below to discover more about Angella and where you can buy her novels.

 






Email: Angella@mysteriousink.ca

Don't forget to leave a comment ! ! ! !
 

 

 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Guest Author Daniel Cubias of California.


Daniel Cubias has been a professional writer/editor for more than a decade, specializing in Hispanic culture. His articles for the Huffington Post and Being Latino magazine have provoked thousands of reader comments over the years. Furthermore, he is the creator of the website the Hispanic Fanatic. His fiction has been published in numerous literary journals and won several awards. In addition, he has ghostwritten a book for a Hollywood costume designer, worked on the desk of the Hollywood Reporter, and edited over 100 books.

 

His first novel, Barrio Imbroglio, is autobiographical in the sense that the lead character, Abraxas Hernandez, is a Latino who grew up in the Midwest and labors in the white-collar world. It is not autobiographical in the sense that Abraxas pursues killers in his spare time and gets shot at a lot.
(Read an excerpt below)


 
 
 
His new novel, Zombie President, is being serialized online. It is about a defeated presidential candidate who comes back from the dead to take the White House by force and to win the country’s heart in the process. The book is a horror/black comedy about getting the kind of leaders we deserve.

 
 
Links for Daniel are listed below.

 






Barrio Imbroglio (excerpt) 
 
Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission
 

Chapter 1

 

I felt bushwhacked and bitch-slapped.

Up until that point in the evening, I had been perfect. My eye contact was steady but not creepy. I exuded confidence without any bitter overtones of arrogance. And I even got her to smile once or twice.

Then my damn phone went off. She looked at me, confused, and I ignored it. The thing rang again a moment later, and I fumbled to silence it. That failed miserably, because a stream of trills indicated that text messages were flowing quickly toward me. And then it rang eighty-eight times in five minutes.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Someone’s fucking with me.”

I answered my phone and didn’t get the first syllable of “Hello” out before the familiar, wince-inducing voice of that ditz rammed into my ear. I hung up on her when she wouldn’t stop caterwauling, and I sighed.

It was the Moment. By that, I mean the instant that changes your life. For most people, it’s meeting your future spouse, or seeing your first kid get born, or getting that acceptance letter from college, or stepping off the plane into your new country. It’s supposed to be something majestic like that.

For me, however, it was the high-pitched shriek of a lunatic redhead whom I hated, screaming at me over the phone that he was dead, he was dead, he was dead.

I put the phone back into my pocket and turned to the woman seated across from me. Sasha was stunning, a blind date gone right for once. Like a lot of Hispanic men, I went for the fair-skinned beauties. Specifically, blondes in black jeans — like Sasha — had always been a serious problem for me. Then again, I wasn’t exactly looking for a solution.

My phone rang again, and I said, “I have to leave.”

“But we just ordered dinner,” Sasha said. “Expensive shit too.”

“Yeah, but apparently, someone has just been murdered, and I need to drive across town to check it out.”

“You’re a detective?” my date said, a flash of excitement crossing her face.

“What? No, I’m in computers. I told you that over the appetizers.”

“Oh, yeah. An IT guy,” she said, her enthusiasm morphing into disappointment. “I really wasn’t paying attention when you said that.”

“Good to know. I’ll pick up the bill.”

A moment later, I walked out the door while mumbling vague apologies to Sasha. She ignored me and dialed her phone, making impromptu plans with an ex-boyfriend named Jimmy or Johnny.

“This asshole just called off our date,” she said into her cell. “I’ve got nothing better to do, so I might as well come over and jump into that sex swing in your living room. You know, for old times’ sake.”
 
 


I said goodnight to Sasha, but she was already deep into dirty talk with Jimmy or Johnny. So I turned and hurried toward the parking garage.

Delta’s phone call had unnerved me, of course. And my distracted state, combined with my haste to get to Hugo’s place, meant my perception was not as sharp as it should have been. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t immediately register what had happened to my car. Or maybe I was busy visualizing my date clambering into Jimmy or Johnny’s sex swing.

Regardless, it was only after I opened the driver’s door that I paused, stepped back, and looked at my car. That’s when I saw it.

Someone had spray-painted the words “Fuck Police” on the vehicle’s side.

“Hijo de puta,” I muttered.

I wondered if the taggers had meant “fuck the police” or “fuck da police” but were so time-pressed that they dropped the article and ruined their gangsta homage. Or perhaps they meant it as a literal statement, in which case they were most likely police officers themselves and were advising citizens to take on a cop lover. Or maybe the dripping words were the tag of a local gang, the fierce and dreaded Fuck Police, and members were just marking their territory. Regardless of the origin or significance of the spray-painted display, however, I could not figure out why they had earmarked my piece-of-shit Hyundai with 180,000 miles on it to make their bold statement.

And I couldn’t even get my parking stub validated. So I left the parking garage and drove all over town with the words “Fuck Police” in bold red paint staining the entire side of my car. A few pedestrians read the manifesto while I waited at stoplights, their eyes flitting to me for explanation, but I just shrugged at their baffled looks. Nobody offered me an interpretation. It would remain a mystery.

In any case, it was a long drive to Hugo’s restaurant, which was where Delta had originated her frazzled phone call to me (at least I thought she had said that before I hung up on her). As the blocks whipped by, the neighborhoods went from upscale sophistication to strip-mall blandness to struggling bohemian enclave to abject shithole. Then it started a fresh cycle. I had lived in this city, East Phister, my entire life. I knew it was a vast amalgamation of freaks, nutjobs, and social deviants — spiced up with the addition of the shrill, the hyper-religious, and the criminally insane — all jammed into a hundred godforsaken square miles in the American Midwest. But hey, it was home.

I turned onto Seconth Avenue, so pronounced because the city had labeled the street signs “2th Ave,” either in a fit of dyslexia or avant-garde civic boosterism (it was never determined which). That wasn’t as bad as a few blocks over, which was labeled “5rd Ave.”

I drove past a psychic’s shop that Vic had once dragged me into for kicks. We wound up not being amused at the psychic’s earnest declaration that Vic and I were doomed to lives of unbearable torment and raging inferiority. We didn’t tip her. I noticed that the place was boarded up now, with a sign outside that read, “Psychic shop closed due to unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances.”
 
 
 


Up the block, the fledgling restaurant row kicked into gear. It was mostly Mexican establishments, with a few Central and South American diners interspersed, and a couple of ancient Irish taverns still hanging on. The city was proud of this oasis of multicultural entrepreneurialism, and the mayor had christened the area El Barrio, possibly the least imaginative appellation for a Latino neighborhood ever. Beyond the press releases and self-congratulation, however, the fact remained that upscale East Phisters were still terrified to come to this part of town. The stretch included pawnshops, tattoo parlors, and a dilapidated gas station/convenience store called the Pump N’ Munch. None of it screamed, “Date night for suburbanites.”

When I got to Hugo’s place, I double-parked, hoping that the city would be merciful and tow the damn car out of my life. I rushed toward the swirl of police lights and the jabbering, jostling crowd in front of the Ferrocarril restaurant.

Until that moment, I had assumed that Delta was exaggerating in her endless quest for drama. Surely, no one had been murdered. I had only hurried down here just in case something mildly bad was transpiring to her or Hugo. But the police presence and the excited throng of onlookers convinced me that some serious shit had indeed gone down inside. It took a lot to get this many people worked up in El Barrio.

After all, this was a neighborhood populated with immigrants from Latin American hellholes. They were used to death and devastation smashing into their homes, taking a seat on the couch, and never leaving.

And their kids — the first-generation Americans — maintained badass demeanors despite the fact that the neighborhood was no longer quite so thuggish. Hell, the place was getting more and more gentrified every day. I couldn’t imagine even the most fearsome cholo preserving his street cred when he walked into the newest neighborhood addition (a Starbucks) to order a no-foam, half-caff double latte.

Still, my old neighborhood instilled a certain detachment in its residents, as if they had seen it all and would merely scoff if drug-runners from Guadalajara opened fire on the streets with AK-47s. But urban cool was not on display tonight. This was a real-life, genuine, first-degree crime scene, and its exoticness captivated the residents.

I couldn’t get in the front door with all the cops milling about, so I stepped into the alley off 99th Street. The backdoor was unlocked, as usual, and I walked into the kitchen.

Perhaps this wasn’t the best move. Clearly, the panicky young guy who stood there waving a gun at me didn’t think so.

No, he didn’t approve of my arrival at all.
 
 

 Thank you Daniel for this enticing excerpt. A story I look forward to reading.
 
Check out Daniel's links to discover more about him and his books.
 
Barrio Imbroglio

Zombie President

Website

Twitter         @DanCubias
 

 
 

Dear reader, please take a minute and leave a comment.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Guest Author Lockie Young of New Brunswick, Canada.

Lockie Young is the only author I know personally whose work has been stolen. Yes, someone stole one of his short stories and posted it on their blog. It went viral and was shared thousands of times and commented on that is one of the funniest stories ever. He was rightfully "pissed off".  Just shows how good this guy really is even though he never got paid for the entertainment.

Locks is a regular guest on the Scribbler. He lives in Albert County with his wife Trish. A published author with a Young Adult series of novels as well as many short stories. A clever story teller and a poet.

This week on the Scribbler he has agreed to share both and tell us a bit about each one.

Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission.





Grandson (Tiny Angel)

L.F.Young

 

Tiny fist pressed tight against mouth so small.

What gift is this?

Small drool trail catching sunlight’s glint

And crooked smile…leads us to think

Of the wonder of it all.

 

Tiny angel in my palms.

My hands wrinkled with age and wisdom, hold you strong.

My thoughts travel through time as I look in your eyes

Reminding me of times

When I held your parent, just as fragile.

Same face, same smile, same eyes.

Oh my how time flies.   

 

I wrote this poem around the time of the birth of my first grandchild. I think the things I thought and expressed at the time are shared with every grandparent who holds their grandson or granddaughter for the first time.


 

 
 
Baby No More

L.F.Young

 

 

Little baby boy

Of not so long ago

Miles in between, sights have been seen

Flashes of smiles missed.

Flashes of cries kissed.

You look at me

A boy I see.

No baby here.

In your big voice crashing

Running hell bent for greatness

In your dragon quest

Or dog tails best

As you pull for all you’re worth.

Little baby boy

Of not so long ago

Fly away home, lands left to roam

Flashes of golden clouds

Flashes of cries aloud

You look at me

And a man you’ll be.

Now my eyes cloudy with age

Wrinkled hand on crown

Little boy now grown.

 

This poem, also about my grandson was inspired by this picture taken by his dad. When they visited in the summertime, the little guy loved to pet the dogs and gently pull their tails, and I can still hear his child’s voice shouting as he ran from one end of the house to the other, so full of energy and play. They grow up so fast.
 
 
 
 

 
  

Diary of an Orphan

L.F.Young

 

Sun dried dirt on sun browned feet

Dust clouds rise in the village street.

Walking from here to over there.

Walking from here to everywhere.

 

African sun beats down on my head

No food in my tummy, no soft place for bed.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, the same

Tho hungry and dirty I have no shame.

 

I want to live on, to love and to laugh

I want to belong, forgetting my past

So much death, so much sorrow

Will I see some hope tomorrow?

 

Sun dried dirt on sun browned feet

Food in my tummy and off of the street

This is my home now with people to love

This is my hope now, sent from above.

 

In 2008 I had an opportunity to visit South Africa with my family. While we were there we were going to visit an orphanage in a neighboring country called Swazi Land. Swazi Land is a landlocked kingdom, and is a very poor country with some alarming statistics. At that time the average life expectancy was 35 years of age and due to education has recently rose to 5o years of age as of 2013. In 2002 the World Health Organization reported that 64% of all deaths in Swazi Land were caused by Aids or Aids related diseases.

My Mother in law was over there as part of an educational contingency to educate the Swazi people about the dangers of unprotected sex, among other things such as hygiene and proper nutrition. According to her, and not a widely publicized opinion there, the King did not believe his people were poor, and therefore there was no need of any orphanages or any support for them. The consequence of this was very bad, because clearly over half of the population was dead or dying, and as a result, there was no middle aged population. This meant that grandparents were left to rear children, as in many cases both parents and even older siblings were dead because of this terrible epidemic. As a result I wrote Diary of an Orphan after my visit to one of the many non-publicly funded orphanages in that country. It is written from my imagining what a young girl or boy would experience when there was no one left to care for them.

L.F.Young

 

 



 

Diary of an Orphan

L.F.Young

 

The water leaked from my eyes and made snake trails down my dusty face, just to fall from my cheek onto the mud floor of my house, in silence.

Grandmother is dead.

She passed from here to there sometime last night. She wasn’t sick like the others. She was just old. She was just tired.

My mother, father and brother, the others… are all dead. They had the sickness and they left me a long time ago. I hope I don’t get the sickness.

Grandmother has looked after me for so long now, but she has left me too.

Now I am all alone. My belly is sore again. When I eat my belly feels good and is not so sore, but now it is sore again, and I am so afraid.

Like the water from my eyes fading into the dirt of the floor, they have all disappeared.

*

Today a nice lady arrived at my house to talk to me. She said that I could go with her to the mission and get some food for my sore belly. I don’t know what a mission is, but I like food for my belly and I said I would go with her.

She is a nice lady and she smells like clean sweet grass growing in the fields.

We left the village and took the dirt road that leads to nowhere. It was a very long trip, and when we came over the last hill I saw a place in the distance. It was all wavy from the heat of the road but it became clear as we got closer.

There was a big building in the center of this village. It had two sticks on the very top of the roof, and they were white. The nice lady who brought me here said she was teacher, and the big building was called church. She said a man named God lived there, and that someday I would meet Him. It was a fine house.

Teacher brought me to another building where there were lots of boys and girls my size. The floor was different then my home. It was made of wood. And there was food for my belly, and my belly told me it was going to stop the pain. That night I slept in peace, and did not dare to dream.

*

I awoke in a strange place, and was very scared. I could see the sunlight just peeking under the door, and then I remembered everything. I was safe. I was near God’s house and today I would meet Him, and see Teacher, and the other children who were here with me also greeting this new day.

After some good food, which made my belly quiet, I went to the house called school, where Teacher was to be. I liked this place and I had a warm feeling in my heart. It felt like when I hurt my toe on a sharp rock, and I went to Grandmother, and she held me and talked softly to me and said I would be safe. This was safe, and warm, and even if Teacher was not Grandmother, it felt the same and I was happy to be in this place.

Today I went to God’s house. He was not there but his friend who looked after God’s house was there, and he said welcome. He said that God was always in His house, even if we could not see him. He said God would always love me no matter what. I thought of Grandmother. I could not see her but I knew she was there, and that she would always love me too. I think God and Grandmother are a lot alike, and that makes me feel warm inside.
 
 
 
 
Thanks again Lockie for being our featured guest.
 
Find more of Lockie's work here.
 
 
 
The Legend Returns:
 
 
 
 
 
Ryan's Legend:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Get your thoughts in gear, drop down a bit and leave us a comment. Would love to hear from you.