Christmas Lites Authors: JG Faherty

51PhQyYi12LOur next Christmas Lites’ author, JG Faherty is best known for his horror tales with a distinctively dark humoristic twist, but for this year’s anthology he has gone a different route…

Let’s hear the story behind A Christmas Tale from him, and be ready to shed a tear or two. I did.

 

 

 

 

“A Christmas Tail – How I Came to Write a Happy Story

By JG Faherty _1015271 - Copy

Christmas Lites V is, obviously, the fifth in this series of holiday-themed anthologies for the benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). I’m proud to be in three of them. Each year, Amy Eye puts together a fine collection of stories from a variety of authors who work in all sorts of genres. My particular expertise is horror, sometimes with a twist of dark humor, and in the past I’ve provided her with stories about a demon Santa toy who delivers a terrible wish to a bad, bad child and a vengeful Santa who teaches some naughty children a lesson after they steal his magic bag of presents.

So when it came time to do a story for Christmas Lites V, my first instinct was to do another scary-funny tale. But something odd happened when I started writing. You might say it was a Christmas miracle.

It wasn’t scary, and it wasn’t funny.

One of the basic tenets of writing is you have to let the story write itself. At least during the first draft. Don’t create word limits. Let the story take you places you didn’t expect to go. And A Christmas Tail quickly departed from the path I’d originally intended, veering from a boy and his ghost dog who decide to get back at the people who ruined Christmas for him into something totally heartwarming.

A rare occurrence for me!

Not that I haven’t ever done heartwarming. I’ve had some very emotional scenes in some of my books. And over the years I’ve done some non-fiction stories for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (if you’ve read my horror fiction, that will come as a real shock to you!).

So I let the story take me where it wanted to go.

What I ended up with was a tale of love and loss, family and friends, and redemption.

The love and loss wasn’t hard to capture. At the time, it was still only a year since I’d lost my own dog, a Chocolate lab named Harley. She’d been my constant companion at my desk while I wrote every book and story published before 2015. Even now, I sometimes look down and expect to see her there, staring up at me with her deep brown eyes, waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently!) for a cookie or a walk.

Family and friends? Easy enough. I’m blessed to have all my close family and friends still with me, and I get to see them all for the holidays.

Redemption? That was a little harder. What’s it like to be estranged from everyone you care about, to be alone on the streets at Christmas? To live hand to mouth while bitter cold sucks the life from you and nothing else matters but finding a warm place to sleep and maybe a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup to stave off hunger for a few hours?

That was the hardest part of the story, but it’s what writers have to do—put ourselves in other peoples’ shoes—if they want to create something that will touch people in some way.

When all was said and done, I ended up with a story radically different from what I’d intended, but one that I was very happy with. You know you’ve done good when you go back to proofread/edit it and certain scenes make you smile or bring a tear to your eye.

Because ultimately before we can write for others, we have to write for ourselves, and if a story doesn’t work for the writer there’s no chance it will work for the readers.

Even after I finished it, I still wondered if perhaps I should put it aside and write something more in line of what my readers, and Amy, tend to expect from me. But then I thought, maybe this is the best time to put out a story like this one. The world is becoming more and more violent, and people are becoming angrier and more frightened and more confused.

Maybe they need to see that there’s hope at the end of the day.

After all, that’s what the Christmas Lites anthologies are all about. Bringing hope to victims of violence.

Pick up this book. It’s filled with great stories by people like Ottilie Weber, Douglas Wynne, Angela Yuriko Smith, Monica La Porta, and, of course, compiler and all-around great person, Amy Eye. And don’t forget volumes I-IV, which include stories by Patrick Frievald, Cassie McCown, Phil Cantrill, and many others.

Heck, it’s Christmas! Buy them all. Give them as gifts. Make someone smile and support a good cause all at once.

Or next year you might end up on the wrong end of my very unhappy Santa.”

JG Faherty is the Bram Stoker Award®- and ITW Thriller Award-nominated author of five novels, seven novellas, and more than 50 short stories. He writes adult and YA horror/sci-fi/fantasy, and his works range from quiet, dark suspense to over-the-top comic gruesomeness.
A lifelong resident of New York’s highly haunted Hudson Valley region, JG grew up amid Revolutionary War graveyards, haunted roads, and woods filled with ghostly apparitions. His varied professional career includes working as a resume writer, laboratory manager, accident scene photographer, zoo keeper, scientist, and salesman. He began writing fiction in 2001, and his short stories, poetry, and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.
For more information about his books, or to arrange signings or readings, visit:

www.jgfaherty.com

www.facebook.com/jgfaherty

www.twitter.com/jgfaherty

Christmas Lites Authors: JG Faherty

Christmas Lites Authors: Dani J Caile

Every year, a group of talented authors bands together under the guidance of a great 51PhQyYi12Leditor, Amy Eye, to provide readers with the best Christmas Lites’ edition yet. I asked my fellow anthologists if they wanted to talk about the inspiration behind their shorts, and they enthusiastically answered with insightful posts.

Without further ado, let’s welcome Dani J Caile, our first featured author, who wrote for the anthology a science fiction short, Ulysses II.

About the making of Ulysses II:

“When I first heard about the anthology “Christmas Lites“, I jumped at the chance, especially when I found out that every cent was going to such a worthy cause (NCADV). The only thing I regret is that I got to 12313654_930040423699027_6522444894343036484_nhear about it so late, as this is the fifth collection. But I feel lucky to be included this time.
My story, “Ulysses II”, is set at Christmas time, 2256, a time when almost all traditions have been forgotten in favour of survival against an alien race threatening to annihilate the human race. The aliens represent the violence forever present in our lives, ready to pounce at any moment, and the humans try to keep the status quo of peace and tranquility. In the end, it is only the ‘call’ of Christmas that rescues the humans onboard Ulysses II from certain death or a life of slavery. On another thought, the POV isn’t from the hero trying to control the situation and push for a conclusion, rather the POV of a sideliner, a coward, a bystander to the action, but with the means to ‘give’ the solution. We all have that power, and some even have luck on their side, if they try.
I’m reading the anthology now and it’s full of heartwarming Christmas stories. I feel honoured to be in this company of writers. I’d like to thank Amy Eye for allowing me to contribute.”

Dani J Caile

Dani J Caile is a teacher and proofreader (BA in Philology specialising in Pedagogy) who is 12295237_930041737032229_5383007049790910287_ncurrently residing in Budapest, Hungary. After a lifetime of reading clones and a decade of proofreading coffee table books, in retaliation he has written 5 fantasy books and 1 novella, including ‘Man by a tree’, ‘The Bethlehem Fiasco’, ‘The Rage of Atlantis’, ‘Manna-X’ and ‘TDX2’, (plus ‘Alice on the Outside-In’). His latest book, ‘How to Build a Castle in Seven Easy Steps’, is available now. He has also published a short story compilation on smashwords.com called ‘Dani’s Shorts’ available for free, and his stories can be found in many anthologies. When not writing, dabbling in Shakespeare, teaching English, proofreading, washing up, hoovering, and driving all over the place, he is busy with his loving and long-suffering family.

http://danijcaile.blogspot.hu/
Twitter: @jedlica
Free ebook (Dani’s Shorts 5): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/587914

Christmas Lites Authors: Dani J Caile

Christmas Lites V

Layout 1

It’s that time of the year again!

Just in time for the holidays, the wonderful Amy Eye has compiled the fifth anthology in the Christmas Lites series. As always, this book supports the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. So, if you want to donate to a great charity like NCADV and read awesome shorts, consider buying Christmas Lites V.

Below is the list of authors who participated in the 2015 anthology. I contributed with a short set in the future of The Immortals universe, starring Daniel (Marcus and Diana’s son) and Arianna (Alexander and Ravenna’s daughter.)

Frank Smith
Dani J Caile
Rachel Reese
Ja Clement
Tricia Kristufek
Annabelle Kristufek
Douglas Wynne
Monica La Porta
Phil Cantrill
Tiffany Michelle Brown
Stacy Garrett
Sean Pothier
JB Lynn
Anita Stewart
DT Dyllin
Ottilie Weber
Angela Yuriko Smith
JG Faherty
William Gent
Brandon Eye
Vered Ehsani
Alana Lorens

Christmas Lites V

Christmas Lites IV

Cristmas Lites 3 x800

I am so proud to be part of Amy Eye’s Christmas charity project once again. This year, in addition to a space opera short I wrote for Christmas Lites IV, I also made the cover.

Help support the NCADV (The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) by diving into 20 delectably wonderful Christmas tales told by authors from all over the world. Go on a space adventure, meet a demon with a heart not quite made of gold, find true love, discover a serial killer and much more. Every dime of your purchase goes to help support the victims of domestic violence. Enjoy your holiday even more knowing your purchase benefits so many people in this special time of year!

The fantastic authors who participated with their stories:

Ron C. Nieto

Phil Cantrill

Mysti Parker

Vered Ehsani

Tricia Kristufek

Jonathan Tidball

JA Clement

K.A. Davur

Frank W. Smith

Mark Mackey

Addison Moore

Amy Eye

Monica La Porta

S. Patrick Pothier

Anne Sanders

MaryMargret Tucker

A.F. Stewart

D.T. Dyllin

Angela Yuriko Smith

Brandon Eye

Christmas Lites IV

Christmas Lites III Cover Reveal

Christmas Lites III CoverThe Christmas season is upon us yet again. Yes, my friends, it is a time of giving, loving, and sharing. Within these pages is a way you can help many people desperately in need of love, support, and goodness: the victims of domestic crime. By purchasing this anthology, you are sending every last dime made off this book to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The NCADV is an amazing charity that saves these people and lets them know there is still hope, still goodness, and still a reason to carry on.

Twenty-one authors have joined in this year, giving their time and their stories to these people – and to you. We all hope you enjoy our holiday tales captured in bite-size pieces. Whether you read this on the bus, before bed, or snuggled by the fire, please, do read – and share.

Authors in this anthology:

Addison Moore

A.F. Stewart

Amy Eye

Angela Yuriko Smith

Ben Warden

Cassie McCown

Elizabeth Evans

J.A. Clement

JG Faherty

Jonathan Tidball

M.L. Sherwood

Monica La Porta

Ottilie Weber

Patrick Freivald

Phil Cantrill

Robert Gray

Ron C. Neito

S. Patrick Pothier

Tricia Kristufek

Vered Ehsani

*Brandon Eye bonus story

Editor/compiler: Amy Eye of The Eyes for Editing

Cover Design Kyra Smith

Christmas Lites III Cover Reveal

Something to Read on the Ride: James Griffiths

Today, I am pleased to host a debuting author, James Griffiths. Let’s welcome James into the publishing arena by buying Something to Read on the Ride, and don’t forget to let him know how much you liked his short, Through Glass.

James Griffiths author picIn his own words:

I’m 18 studying journalism at Cardiff University. My “Something to Read on the Ride” contribution was my first properly published piece of fiction, however I am a contributor to the student newspaper too.

Currently juggling the prospect of being a journalist or an author or both! I also dabble in theatre from time to time and constantly seem to find myself with a guitar in my hands. You can follow me on Twitter @JGriff95, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m sure you won’t regret the decision!

Now, let’s hear his answers to my 8 questions: 

1. When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

It’s something that has changed a few times but I’ve always wanted to simply be creative. During my childhood I wanted to be an author and still do, but I’ve also felt inspired to become an actor or a journalist more recently. I tend to stick with “writer” to answer that question these days!

2. The first book you read was…?

I can’t remember the exact first book I read but I remember as a child absolutely loving “The Edge Chronicles” by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. My friend gave me a copy of “Beyond the Deepwoods” and I never looked back, Riddell’s illustrations are so rich and brilliantly complemented the imaginative world that I read about.

3. You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

Realizing in primary school that English was by far my best subject, and constantly looking forward to the creative writing tasks. I’m not sure I thought then that I was “good” and I still don’t, but I know writing is one of my favourite things.

4. As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

Either fantasy, sci-fi or thriller. Something with a good adventure, memorable characters and has an edge to it.

5. No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

A Clash of Kings by big George, the second one of the Game of Thrones books.

6. You write…?

A sort of mish-mash of fantasy and sci-fi, I like to go in for good realism and dark undertones.

7. The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

I haven’t really written enough to gather much praise but a couple of people have praised the creative imagination in my writing.

8. What’s next…?

Working on some sci-fi about gangs, sewers and a metropolis. It’s sort of inspired by the Copertina Sandro Beneficenzavideo game Fallout 3 among other things!

 

And once again, don’t forget to buy Something to Read on the Ride to read James’s short. You will also support a great cause, the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal, A Children’s Hospital Charity.

Something to Read on the Ride: James Griffiths

Something to Read on the Ride: Paul B. Kohler

Wednesday on this side of the hemisphere, frigid cold but sunny outside, warm and cozy inside. Today, our guest is author Paul B. Kohler, who, in his own words, when not practicing architecture, works on his writing. He lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife and daughter. Linear Shift, Part One, his serialized novel, sounds rather intriguing.

Linear Shift, Part One

No one said time travel would be easy.
Peter Cooper, a widowed father of two whose life is crumbling around him—until a bizarre encounter with a desperate Army general launches him on a risky mission: to go back to 1942 and change a moment in time. The repercussions will almost certainly alter the conclusion of World War II. But will the ripple effects stop there? And what kind of life will Peter return to?
Unknown Consequences:
A successful mission may not have the success he had intended.
Linear Shift is a serialized novel, with four total parts planned. This is part one.

NB: Part Two is coming soon!

Paul B KohlerPaul has gracefully agreed to answer my 8 questions:

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

Growing up, I wanted to be everything.  My earliest memory was to be a fighter pilot. I loved the Blue Angels and knew that would be me up here one day. The next week, I am certain it was something else.  From the time I was 10 or so, I wanted to be an architect.  That one stuck all through high school, and that is my day job today.

The first book you read was…?

I cannot remember the name of the first book I read.  I know the main character was a bi-plane pilot, and I think his last name was Buchanan.  It was an old book when I read it, and I LOVED that book.  Somewhere along the way, I lost it, as well as the name.  I have occasionally tried to google search on something new I will occasionally remember from it.  It’s hard trying to remember something that happened 30+ years ago.

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

Actually, my first story I ever wrote was Amy.  I wrote it about a year and a half after my daughter was born.  I occasionally, I would write about my day or other lame stuff when I was 29, but after writing that first story and having my wife cry when she read it, told me I was on to something.  Not for making my wife cry, but by being able to dray out emotions with the written word.

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

I LOVE Sci-Fi.  I cannot get enough of it.  Space flight = good. Aliens = good. Time Travel = good.  You get the point.  My love for Sci-Fi has been very intimidating though, as that is the genre I most want to write in, but I feel so inferior after reading so many good stories from so many great authors.

No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

Hmm.  I think there might be a story or two on there that is in the erotic fiction category.  I got them free a few months back, and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I figured why not try and bang out a story in that genre. You’re all safe though, as I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

You write…?

Linear Shift coverI write what moves me.  Right now, I am in starting the 3rd part to a Time Travel serial.  Part 1 is published, and part 2 will be in early December. I have a huge imagination, and I have a ton of story ideas to get to.  From adult-contemporary to horror, and even romance.  My mind is all over the place sometimes.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

I like the surprise aspect. Take my short story Amy for instance: I don’t particularly like to make people tear up from reading my stories, but I’ve gotten so many to get emotional after reading it, I feel like I can actually move people.  I win, and here’s some tissue. The praise doesn’t necessarily mean words.

What’s next…?

After my Linear Shift project, which I am hoping to wrap up in April (if not sooner) I have a few things I’ve been thinking about.  One in particular would be a stand alone literary story, about a father and son finding a common bond after half of their family is killed in a house fire.  I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I feel it’s about time to make more people cry.

Don’t forget to buy Something to Read on the Ride to read Paul’s short andCopertina Sandro Beneficenza support a great cause: The Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal, A Children’s Hospital Charity.

Something to Read on the Ride: Paul B. Kohler

Something to Read on the Ride: Dan Fiorella

Another great guest today on my blog: multi-talented author Dan Fiorella, who has been published pretty much everywhere, is clearly a fun character, and also a PC game writer. Dan gets two pics because he has the most adorable puppy on display on his Amazon page and that gives him twice the right to be seen.

Let’s meet Dan:

Dan FiorellaDan Fiorella lives in New York City. Downtown New York. Very downtown. Okay, he lives in Staten Island. He has written for stage, screen and radio speaker. From Cracked magazine to Prairie Home Companion, his comedy insights and insults have given belly laughs to the masses.

In addition to Cracked, he’s been published in MAD, Reader’s Digest, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Staten Island Advance, Weekly World News and, in France, his Sherlock Holmes parody was included in the anthology “Sherlock Holmes Dans Tous Ses États.”

He’s worked on “The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers” and “The Start of Something Big” for TV and written comedy material for the American Comedy Network and All Star Radio. And was the writer for the PC game “The Lost Cases of Sherlock Homes 2.”

Let’s ask Dan 8 questions:

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

A palaeontologist.  I was in love with dinosaurs and read every book about them.  Then I found out there was an actual name for a “dinosaur guy.”  And an eight-year old who can pronounce “palaeontologist” really impresses adults.

The first book you read was…?

The Dick & Jane series.  Required reading at school.  After that, the Hardy Boys books.

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

I’m not sure I have.  I knew I liked it.  I knew some of it got good reactions.  It probably wasn’t until college when a teacher asked me to write sketches for a weekly lunch program that I started to think of it as a talent I had.

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?Dan Fiorella and puppy

I’m really not sure I have a genre.  I’ve liked different books, but they rarely send me off into other books in a genre.  But I find a lot of books do tend to be in the detective/mystery style format.  But if it’s got a goofy twist on it, I’m in.

No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

I keep reading YA books…but luckily things like Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Artemis Fowl kind of transcend them.

You write…?

Humor, comedy, funny stuff.  Whether  skits, screenplays or this new fangled book stuff, it’s always about setting up a funny situation and the humor that can build out of it.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

That someone laughed out loud while reading my book.  Can you imagine that?  Someone on the subway or bus reads something I wrote and busts out laughing?  And all those people just stare at him like, “What’s his problem?”  I did that!

What’s next…?

I’ve actually fallen in love with one of my characters, Nick Flebber, PI.  I published two novella (Lost Claus & Space Case) and a short story (Cupid is as Cupid Does) featuring him and his off-beat cases, and I’m now laying the ground work for another.  But before that there’s a childhood tale I want to finish about a kid and his adventures leading up to Halloween.

Copertina-Sandro-Beneficenza6To read Dan Fiorella’s short and donate to a great cause, the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal, A Children’s Hopital Charity, buy Something to Read on the Ride. It’s only $2.99 and all the proceeds go to the charity.

Something to Read on the Ride: Dan Fiorella

Something to Read on the Ride: Stella Wilkinson

Stella Wilkinson avatarIt’s the middle of the week, and today’s guest in my cozy corner of the web is Something to Read on the Ride’s very own intrepid captain, British author, Stella Wilkinson.

Let’s meet Stella who has the cutest avatar ever (she also gets bonus points for being the one who thought of putting together the collective):

Stella Wilkinson lives in Somerset, England, UK.
Even though Stella is now old and married and really dull, she wishes she could have been forever a Young Adult/New Adult.

She says: In The Flirting Games series my little world revolves around a group of teenagers at Boarding School in England. Mainly their romances, after all what is more fun than that? Book 2, More Flirting Games, and Book 3, Further Flirting Games are also available. There may be more in The Flirting Games series, if you all like them enough; but I’ve got a few others up my sleeve too, some Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

I love feedback and comments! Follow me on Twitter: @fantastyscribble
Also you can follow my blogs at: http://flirtinggames.blogspot.co.uk/

More than anything I love to read, so chuck some recommendations at me too. Books are more precious then diamonds to me. My desk is in a room filled with shelf after shelf of antique books that I’ve never read but I keep collecting because the view of the spines alone is inspirational. To be fair most of the antique books look pretty dull inside, they have titles like ‘Bridleways of Somerset’. These days, when I read, I use my kindle. My kindle is the item I would save from a fire, after family, and photos of course, oh and my laptop, and perhaps just a few of my first editions, and the chocolate hobnobs…

Now, let’s ask her a few questions… 8 to be precise.

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

Lois Lane. I carried around a notebook looking for good stories to write, and started our school newspaper just so I could print them. I never did get to date Superman though…

The first book you read was…?

Uh, The Bad Tempered Ladybird, I think. If you mean grown up book then I spent my teens devouring Mills and Boon romance novels.

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

I wrote some stories for Harry Potter Fan Fic (HPFF) and got a huge response of positive reviews, that’s when I started on The Flirting Games Series.

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

Riders, by Jilly Cooper. I’ve read it at least ten times. I love all her anti-heros. Bad boys that come good, or sometimes get their comeuppance.

You write…?

Mainly stories for teenage girls. The Flirting Games has three books in the series so far and more to come.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

Emails direct from fans. That someone took the time to personally mail me to say how much they liked the books is a massive incentive. I’m always stunned that with modern technology people are picking up my books from all over the world, it’s so flattering.

What’s next…?

I did a short story on Amazon for Halloween, called Halloween Magic & Mayhem. I got such good feedback from it that I’m writing a sequel, Werewolf Magic & Mayhem, which should be out just before Christmas.

Stella’s Very Important Public Announcement:

We’re also putting together another charity anthology of short stories based on the success of Something to Read on the Ride. It will be called Something for the Journey. People are welcome to email me direct swilkinsonauthor@gmail.com if they are interested in submitting a story.

And finally, don’t’ forget:

To read Stella Wilkinson’s short and donate to a great cause, the Wallace and Gromit’s Copertina-Sandro-Beneficenza6Grand Appeal, A Children’s Hopital Charity, buy Something to Read on the Ride. It’s only $2.99 and all the proceeds go to the charity.

Something to Read on the Ride: Stella Wilkinson

Something to Read on the Ride: Frank Zubek

Frank Zubek portraitI am pleased to start the weekend by having a most gracious guest, author Frank Zubek, on my blog. Frank is one of the authors who collaborated to the anthology Something to Read on the Ride. Frank, who has been a great supporter of the collective since its inception, has donated not one, but two shorts.

In his own words:

Where do you live and what’s the day job?

Greater Cleveland and I work in retail. The rest of my time is taken up writing and a few hours of sleep.

What inspired this story?

Stella suggested for people to submit a story they had hanging around on their hard drive. I didn’t have any so I decided to think up a new story exclusive for the anthology, which is geared toward people who travel to and from work on buses or subways. I was also a bit worried that we wouldn’t have enough submissions to fill a book so I offered to think up two and she said okay. So my two stories take place on a bus.

How long have you been writing?

1999. I currently have several short stories and a few novellas for sale on amazon.

What are you working on next?

I seem to have run out of ideas for contemporary fiction so I’m switching to fantasy. I have a few adventures that are perfect for a novel.

Can people visit your web-page or blog?

Of course! www.frankzubek.net  is the web page and the blog is www.whatbrickwall.blogspot.com  

Can people contact you?

frank.zubek@yahoo.com  

Copertina Sandro BeneficenzaIf you want to donate to a great cause, Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal, A Children’s Hospital Charity, and read Frank’s two shorts, buy the anthology. It’s only $2.99!

Something to Read on the Ride: Frank Zubek