Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Stanley Hotel Writers Retreat

Yesterday I arrived in Colorado and spent the night in Estes Park at the Silver Moon Inn.

Today I'm at The Stanley Hotel, sharing a room with two other horror writers. Time to get down to writing. I've set a 1,800 word daily goal.

I'm going to try and meet my goals but with such amazing views it's difficult to believe that I'll be able to tune out my surroundings and get down to work. Crossing fingers.

I guess the place that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining should be able to inspire me, then again, isn't inspiration overrated. Writing is a matter of doing, sittting down and writing, then inspiration comes.

This morning I woke up at the Silver Moon and there was a weird sound coming from outside. It was like the whistle of a whale song. I looked through the window. Elk, a whole herd of them. Milling about across the stream from the inn. Some called to each other, most were grazing on shrubs and bushes. It was the most amazing and magical sight.

I took some pictures.
Unfortunately the sun was at a weird angle so they are partial in shadow. I'll have to work on them later.

It was magical but hasn't brought any ideas to mind for dark fiction.

Then again, the clerk at the inn and I were chatting about the flood that happened in Estes Park last year.

Estes Park gets major flooding every decade or so. This most recent flood had uncovered objects that were covered up by mud in past floods. A few cars circa 1980's showed up. The people in charged warned the search crews to be respectful of any vehicles revealed because there could be dead bodies in them.

Wow. How's that for dark inspiration?

For over twenty years I've visited a town in the Catskills called Fleischmann's. A couple of years back they had their own flood. Part of a motel floated down the stream by the raging water and wound up in the backyard of the B&B we always stay at.  An elderly woman who was a holocaust survivor drowned.

But that's the makings of another story...

Tonight there will be readings by members of the Writers Retreat of their own works at the Estes Park Library. I'll be with them.

Do you know of any dark tales involving a mountain flood? Share it here.

Also, just a few more days for my October specials--see below.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Because I love October

For the month of October you can get free copies below of my two short story collections and the anthology which I edited.

 Click here and use Coupon Code EN73R

What is Love?

In the eye of the beholder or something more?

In these four dark tales, zombies, ghosts, ancient spells and modern crooks show us that love conquers all--even death and despair.

 Click here and use Coupon Code EB62E 

Sexbots threaten to destroy a marriage.

A half-alien embryo remains the only hope for the human race.

Tempting Cupcakes that aren't just bad for your waistline, but may result in permanent injury.

Welcome to the realm of April Grey.

 Click here and use Coupon Code EN73R

Six talented writers explore the various paths Evil can take when in Hell's Garden.

Featuring tales by Rayne Hall, Heather Holland Wheaton, Jonathon Broughton, Mark Cassell, Eric Dimbleby and Jeff Hargett.

Edited by April Grey.

Also, in the last post you will find the first chapter of my dark fantasy, Perdita. If you want more, e-mail me to join my mailing list and I'll send you a Smashword's coupon when it comes out later this month.

Perdita- First Chapter

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cover Reveal- Perdita

Here it is, the latest from April Grey.

I'll be posting the first chapter here on Wednesday, October 1st and then for those who wish to read the rest of the novel for free, send me your e-mail address to join my mailing list. On the release day you will get a coupon for a free Smashwords copy of the novella.

Fairy Tales can come true, it can happen to you...Run fast!

Down on her luck and out-of-work, actress Cindy White's life changes -- and not for the better -- when her roommate kicks her out. Landing in new digs in an old Chelsea tenement Cindy discovers a tunnel from the building's basement that leads to the land of Perdita, a place she'd thought her father had made up in the fairy tales he'd once told her. A dangerous, ruined place of fairies, demons and captives -- like her father, whom she thought was dead. In PERDITA, a dark fantasy, a young woman discovers her true self and must align it with the old in leaving the world she knows behind in an effort to free her father. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A guest blog from last May

Improve Your Point of View by Going Deep

   Saturday Guest Post contributed by Author April Grey – Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mastery of point of view (POV) is important to all writing; however, I feel that some genres need to have the POV reach deeper under the skin than others. Both horror and romance appeal to the emotions (note how these genres are named after emotions-AHA) and require readers to get lost in the feelings of terror or love generated by the story. 

In comparison, science fiction and mysteries might be seen as more appealing to the mind. A distant POV where the reader is trailing behind the character like a steady-cam or drone can be effective. It has a chilling quality. The reader is kept outside the body of the main character.  He/She is held at arm’s length, is distanced. And in any writing a combination of POV depths is highly recommended.

Still, for romance and horror you want to dive down deep into the character. Readers need to feel, taste, smell, hear and see what is happening to the character in order to experience it for themselves.

Here are two quick tips to help you wiggle under that character’s skin. To be sure there are many more techniques, whole books have been written on POV, but I’m keeping this short .
  1. Use all five of the senses. Too often we are told about the world through sight and sound. By using the sense of smell, taste and touch, it’s like being on the holodeck of the Enterprise. This comes back to the (in)famous, “show don’t tell” writers are told. Chekov (Anton—not Pavel) said it best: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Even better, don’t rely on sight alone, let your character feel that glass crunch under his feet maybe have a shard pierce the sole of your character’s shoe. Make you want to cringe, doesn’t it?
  2. Remove the filters in your writing. Much of this technique is a matter of deleting tags. Once you are firmly established in a character’s viewpoint throwing in: he could see, he saw, he could feel, he felt, he thought, he wondered, etc. becomes unnecessary and only serve to remind your reader that he’s reading. These unnecessary verbs, which do have a habit of creeping in, takes the reader away from the deep viewpoint you want.
"He could see the sun rise." vs. "The sun rose."

Also, removing the filters streamlines your writing, making it lean and mean. Any direct thought can be expressed in italics.
"He thought she was really hot." vs. "She’s so hot.”

As mentioned above, there may be times in your writing when you do want to draw back. Finding the right balance is a matter of practice but also paying attention to other writers and seeing how they create their own effects. Most of all, as a writer, you need to experience what the character is feeling. Your heart needs to pound and your mouth needs to go dry. Gosh, isn’t it amazing that fear can create the same symptoms as love? But you don’t want your reader to be inundated with non-stop throbbing pulses and surges of adrenaline. Find the right balance between these scenes of intense excitement and pulling back. There’s a rhythm to be found in any work.

Summing up, though you want to remove the filters (tags) you still need to filter everything through your POV character. Your female lead may notice different things than a male one, keep  in mind how different characters perceive the world differently. This is the filter which you need.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Christmas in July

Summer Promo

Go here for free and discounted dark fiction by or edited by April

For Free: The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe, St. Nick's Favor & The Vision
For 99 cents: Hell's Garden and I'll Love You Forever.

 Go here for discounted and free April Grey fiction

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Interview up at Horror Digest

An Interview with Short Story Author April Grey

April Grey
Author April Grey
April Grey’s short stories have been published in such anthologies asDemonmind's Halloween 2010The Best of Everyday Fiction 2, Northern HauntsEphemeraHaunted: Ten Tales of GhostsBites: Ten Tales of VampiresUndead: Ten Tales of Zombies, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyanceand Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry. Many of these stories can be found in her collection, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe.
She is also the author of the urban fantasy novels Chasing the Tricksterand St. Nick’s Favour.

For the rest of the interview:
An Interview with Short Story Author April Grey

Thursday, May 29, 2014

At New York Book Expo Today, Friday and Saturday!

Horror Writers Association

View Booth on Floor Plan: 2558

I am so excited to be attending the BEA through the HWA. I'll be helping to man our booth 2558 from 9-11am and from 1pm to 3pm today (Thurs.); From 10-12pm and 2-4pm on Friday and 9-10 am on Sat.

Also, on Saturday I will be giving away signed copies of "I'll Love You Forever" from 2-3 pm along with some swag kindly donated by my publisher Eternal Press.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May looks to be busy!

I'll be at the NY Book Expo at the end of this month:

I'll be at the Horror Writer's booth all three days and I will be signing free copies of I'll Love You Forever on Saturday May 31st.

#1 Book & Author Event in the U.S.

Thursday, May 29 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Javits Center, NYC

And how wonderful-- A review!

A collection of short and medium sized stories ranging from hysterical to yucky, but all quite brilliant.

Like little brain farts of horror AG throws weirdness after bonkers at you in this collection; from decaying mothers to super heroes to mad scientists she has not left a stereo type out.

Some have random gore in them but most are just very quirky with an underlying hilarity.

“Russell Stover is your friend” I think was my favourite of the little shorts as it was only a few paragraphs long but it really stayed with me for quite a while.

The second part of the book is all longer stories.

Exile is a brilliant reminder that all life is precious.

Objects of Desire veers off at such a sharp direction I literally laughed and snorted on the plane (I was travelling to the WHC when I read this book). Not so much a plot twist as a full somersault. 

At the end of the Day was such a sad vampire tale with a cruel ending that is was totally absorbing.

Hell is Lonely Without You was a strong tale of revenge that came with a big dose of morality and really made me wonder where the roots of this story lay for the author.

The Butterfly Dream was a powerful story but it was so short I read it twice to make sure I had not missed anything and felt it should have been in the first half of the book.

Problems of Communication was just weird! A dolphin mind meld and some strange movie watching, fascinating if a little off the wall.

What you Will was a brilliant ending to a great collection, short sharp but not so sweet – it did leave me with a grin though.

April Grey certainly has a way of telling a story that grabs you straight off and throws you around the room a bit before letting you sit down on a spikey surface.

I always enjoy her short stories and would love to see a novel by her, the comedy angle that she manages to capture amongst the most gruesome of ideas is great!

Thank you Vix!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lunacon is almost here

If you are near Rye, NY Lunacon is being held this weekend (March 14-16) at the Hilton Rye.

I expect to have a great time! Hope to see you there...

5:30 pm The Biggest Writing Mistakes New Authors Make
7 pm       Origami for Beginners
8 pm       Basic Crocheting

10 am     The REAL cost and Problems of Self-publishing
3 pm       When should you self-publish?
8 pm        Horror: It ain't just Chainsaws and Zombies

10 am      Genre Bending: Making Good Cross-Genre Mashups
12 pm      Autographing

Friday, January 17, 2014

Welcome the new year with Hell's Garden!

Click on image to purchase.

The word garden evokes the image of a place of peace and moderation--the opposite of discord. A gardener decides what plants to cultivate and what is a weed to be destroyed.

But what if the gardeners themselves run amok?

Both "Gunda's Gnomes" and "When the Devil Came to Hell's Kitchen" ask what to do with bullies in community gardens.

In "The Orchid" a young woman discovers a new way to look at weeding.

While in "Round and Round the Garden" a girl plays with her friend with disasterous results--our Bad Gardeners. In "Ten Minutes Till Deadtime" mysterious messages draw a man to his back yard.

Finally, in "Compost" a family is threatened bya specter in their family vegetable plot.

These six dark and fantastic tales explore the various paths evil can take when in Hell's Garden.

Featuring stories by Rayne Hall, Heather Holland Wheaton, Jonathan Broughton, Mark Cassell, Eric Dimbleby. Edited by April Grey.