Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

The Nightmares Before Christmas Holiday Horror Stories! It Begins!

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’ Donuts intensely mediocre Mocha Mint.  Dual post by the Undead Duo

The time has come!  Lock up your daughters and hide the valuable gifts you bought.  And I know you did, not because we’re stalking you or anything.  Don’t ask.

Tomorrow begins the unveiling of The Nightmares Before Christmas Holiday Horror Story Collection.  Thank you so much to all of the talented rock star writers who took time out of their busy lives to make our blog more beautiful.  Again, I, Julie, have said a little too often just how impressed I am with the submissions we received, most making me feel like I should never have quit my day job.  This doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to keep our readers up at night.  We are accepting stories through December 10th, or if Julie has it her way, FOREVER.   Because submissions are still open, here is the schedule for the first week only:

12/1   Dylan J. Morgan, The Wind and the Damned

12/3   JC Michael, Untitled

12/5   Steve Bridger, Happy Horrordays

12/7   Mari Wells, Thief

These stories are in no particular order, though I agonized over it for no reason at all.  Did I mention there are no prizes?

We are looking forward like nobody’s business, getting all of our friends’ amazing works on our blog, and showing you all how awesome they are.  We keep good company.  Support each other, make nice, and prepare to be creeped out.

Advertisements

New Adult November–Check It Out!

Today’s Brew:  Hot Cocoa. It’s snowing!

Please take a minute and check out Kristen’s guest post on Hannah Membrey’s Girl In A Cafe Blog!  It’s New Adult November at the Cafe. I tell you why I choose to write in this category and a little about how I got to the place where I was ready to write a book.  There’s also guest posts and interviews with other New Adult offers as well as some giveaways!  Stay ahead of the curve on this emerging trend and explore all things New Adult!

Mari Wells

The Undead Duo at Deadly Ever After have a wonderful post today about vampire myths.
Thank you for the shout out ladies. I really appreciate it.

So they have some really cool info about vampires, too much to comment about there so I will comment here.

The farther I get into the myths the funnier I think they are. A very strange thing I’ve noticed is, what we now have as myths isn’t always what was believed centuries ago. I’ve also noticed that they are all similar even though they are worlds away.

For example, we mostly agree that Vampires can’t father children. I remember reading somewhere a large group of people freaking out because Stephenie Meyer’s Edward fathered a child. A dead being can’t have children. It isn’t possible. They said. Most writers agree.
If we look at those old myths we find a few types of vampires can…

View original post 753 more words

Vampire Evolution

Today’s Brew:  I may or may not break into the Seasonal Nog, and I may or may not doctor it with some Kahlua.

When I began writing Immortal Dilemma, I needed to come up with a mythology to back up my undead darlings.  While the reading masses want originality, it seems like too much originality is frowned upon.  After all, real, masculine vampires do not sparkle in daylight, right?

What makes a unique yet compelling vampire story?  What are we willing to accept, and what will always be true?

Julie has done some amazing posts on vampire myths and legends around the globe (see below for linkage).  Mari Wells writes a compelling column exploring common vampire traits every Wednesday on her blog.  I am reading an anthology of vampire accounts and stories from the 18th through 20th centuries.  What strikes me most about these tales are the common themes, especially in the ancient myths.  They didn’t have the luxury of Google to compare their stories against those on the other side of the world.  But yet, they are all eerily similar.

Most vampire legends seem to stem from the unfortunate practice of burying people before they were dead.  We didn’t have the scientific explanations that we did today about aging and disease.  People just knew that their fellow villagers were getting sick by the boatload.  They didn’t have the sophisticated medical equipment to detect heart beats, or medicine to make all of it just go away.  So when people appeared to be dead, their loved ones did the Christian thing (if indeed they were Christians) and buried them.  Unfortunately, some of them weren’t dead, and they weren’t ready to spend the rest of eternity in a coffin.

Our medical and scientific knowledge has evolved, why can’t vampire mythology evolve as well?

In early lore, vampires were zombie like beasts, attacking innocents for blood.  But now, thanks to Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, and Stephenie Meyer, vampires are beautiful creatures to be desired.  With familiarity and allure comes a comfort level.  Would you be frightened to find out someone was a vampire, or just simply intrigued?  They no longer rank with murders, thieves, or even charlatans.  Would they be more fearful if they weren’t attractive?

I’m thinking survival of the fittest here.

Wouldn’t a race of vampires that could go out in sunlight be stronger than those creatures of the night that lost half the day worrying about burning to a crisp?  Stephenie Meyer had a dream about a sparkly guy.  He became Edward Cullen.  Dreams, as interesting as they can be, are not evolution.  After all, we evolved from a race of hairy cave dwelling beasts to become the awesome species we are.  Dracula didn’t burn in sunlight. Even some of Anne Rice’s characters aged to the point they could withstand the sun.  I have not been able to find an explanation why the sun is vampire kryptonite.  Why do we have such a hard time accepting ‘Daywalking’ (which is even the proper term for it) vampires?

Now let’s move on the blood.  In days before CSI Las Vegas, New York, and Miami, vampires had it made in the shade, so to speak.  When Big Brother wasn’t all over our collective shit, it was pretty easy to make someone disappear.  Just ask the Mafia.  Now, we know the minute someone is missing and we almost immediately begin tracking that person down.  If they’re found dead, science can trace back to the exact time it happens and they’ll probably be able to figure out the body is missing all of it’s blood.  If vampires have DNA, they are so screwed.  At the very least, the four, five, and six o’clock news are going put a rash of neighborhood vampire attacks on blast.  There’s no place to run, no place to hide for our friendly bloodsucker.  Drinking blood is no longer an efficient means of vampire survival.  You just can’t get away with these things like you used to.  So unless we let vampires feed on death row criminals or they somehow can line up some willing kamikaze type victims, they’re up the creek without a paddle.  Charlaine Harris introduced Tru Blood, a synthetic blood substitute that everyone seems to accept, but again, the poor Cullens get their asses handed to them for only feeding on animal blood.

As someone who is scratching at the door of the paranormal writing community, it interests me to find out why people are willing to accept certain liberties to legends while we reject others.  After all, we’re talking about stories about dead people doing very human things.  That has become accepted in mainstream culture, so why do we resist their changes?

Julie’s Vampire Mythology Series:
The Japanese Do It Right: Gashodokuro & Hagoromo Gitsune
The Reason NYC is The City That Never Sleeps
Vampires, Eh?  What’s That All Aboot?
Bonjour!  French Vampire Mythology and Sightings
The Rhode Island Vampire Girls

Ready…Set…Scare Us!

Submissions are officially open for The Nightmare Before Christmas!  We’ve already got a great response from some eager short story writers who were so excited to share what they wrote they totally ignored the starting time.  It’s alright, we still love you even if you can’t follow directions. Writers are, after all, known for thinking outside the box.

So what do you have to say for yourself?

Participating is easy.  This is what you do:

  • Write a short story.  1000 words or less.  If you just participated in NaNoWriMo, this will be a piece of cake.  Hell, maybe you participated in NaNo and  you’re horrified because all you came up with was 1000 words.
  • The theme is horror.  Most of the stories have had a holiday sub theme.  You can be festive and do this, but if your scariness knows no season, that’s fine too.
  • When it’s all prettied up, send it on over to undeadduo (at) hotmail (dot) com.  Subject line:  Nightmare Before Christmas.  Please include your social media contact information (blog, twitter, facebook, whatever your platform of choice happens to be) so your new fans know where to find more words of wisdom from you.

We will be sharing short stories between Dec 1 and 25.  This is not a contest, there are no prizes.  Just the warm, mushy feeling of giving and sharing in the season. We do reserve the right to fix typos.

Julie and I can not wait to see what all your sick twisted minds come up with.

The Nightmares Are Coming! Love For Our Writing Friends

TODAY’S BREW:  Green Mountain Eggnog. Delish.

The Nightmares Before Christmas short story non-contest, in which there will be no prizes, is nigh!  I, Julie, speak for us both when I say we are especially psyched out of our minds for this.  The response has been fantastic already, and the “rules” that Kristen made up say submissions don’t even really start till tomorrow.  Awesome.

I read all the submissions as soon as I got them.  Did I mention I am excited?  I am absolutely blown away by the talent of the people we have gotten to know.  That may sound like general blog reader pat on the back, but I assure you, I have been raving to everyone around me how bloody fantastic the group of writers we run with is.  Also, if I have nothing nice to say, I just won’t bother.  I am greatly impressed by the minds of the people who have submitted so far.  You know who you are.

This being said, all but one of the writers who have submitted to us included some clause of sorts that said, “If it’s not good enough, just say the word, oh you who has no right to do so, and I will scrap all of my hard work and feel bad about myself to make you happy.”  Then we have other writers, some of who I personally asked to write for us because I am so enamored of them and their work, that are afraid they are not good enough to submit.  I AM APPALLED, PEOPLE!

Yes, we asked you to write for us, but always, always write for YOU.   Be confident in your work because you made it.  Stop being your own worst critic.  Reserve that right for those who are not as good as you that will point out your every flaw, because, like your mother said, they are just jealous.

And another thing!  Scary is in the eye of the beholder.  You don’t need to write with blood, guts and gore to write a scary story.  Think of the thing that you never want to become, the thing that terrifies you to lose, the thing that stands to hurt you the most.  Then become it, lose it, and get hurt by it.  Now write it down.  Not that you need me to tell you what to do, because you are writing for you, remember?

What I find truly frightening is the idea that the writers I have had the great pleasure of getting to know, and I would love to mention by name here but won’t, may not write something one day because they think it  isn’t good enough.  I offer facts now. Our very own Kristen Strassel, now complete with representation, almost didn’t write Immortal Dilemma, or the fantastic novella she has finished because she thought it might have been a dumb idea.  Heard that from her a lot.  A good friend of mine from Authonomy. com almost stopped looking for an agent to self-publish because he thought an agent would tell him he sucked.  Then, just like I told him, he got one because his book is incredible.  Never doubt me.  This is not to say that the word of an agent is the word of God, but they represent the reading world, and know what appeals to them.  To think, we were almost denied these great works because of needless self doubt.

I cannot WAIT to introduce you all to the amazing writers we have come to know, and hope you all are as eager to support each other.  Because if you aren’t you will see something very scary.  Angry Julie.

Did I mention there are no prizes?  Need the scoop on participating?  Click Here.

Giving A Thank: Kristen’s Turn

Today’s Brew:  I won’t crack open the adult beverages til kickoff.  FOOTBALL ALL DAY, BABY!!  Go Patriots!

I’ve never been a huge holiday person, but I enjoy Thanksgiving.  Okay, I enjoy the bonus day of football and pajamas.  I’m looking forward to yummy food, my recently discovered cousin Liz coming down later (we’ve been great friends for years and then discovered we are related by marriage) for a sleepover, and if I didn’t mention it already, I’m looking forward to football.

Today could be a really shitty day for me, but instead I choose to be thankful.  It is a choice.

I’ll be sappy for a moment.  I’m thankful to all the great friends who got me through the absolute worst year of my life with only a few bumps and bruises.  This could be a very different post right now without all of those people.  I will never forget what they’ve done.  I’m also thankful for the army of angels who have guided me through to find a nice place to love with plenty of wall space to hang lots of stuff (home decor is turning into an obsession) and given me hands down the most successful year of my careers…so far.

I’m thankful to have Julie as a writing partner.  Somehow, she got a cohesive book out of me.  I finished it, and you know what?  It’s pretty damn good.  We have weekly writing dates, we hold each other accountable, we don’t censor each other, we give each other ideas, and we make it fun.  It took us a long time to be able to give true constructive criticism, but we are getting better and better at editing and seeing when things don’t work.  Immortal Dilemma would not exist without Julie.  Fact.

I’m thankful for the online community we’ve found.  From Linked In to Authonomy to Twitter, we’ve found awesome people who’ve helped us hone our craft, find resources, and given us feedback and criticism we would have never given ourselves.  I would have never known the category New Adult existed if it wasn’t for Twitter. I loved the rush of participating in the contests. I love reading all the blogs about writing, and written by writers. And mostly, I’m thankful for you, our blog readers.  You guys kick massive quantities of ass. For a blog written by two thirty somethings in the burbs with not much more than wild imaginations and a need for attention, I consider this blog a resounding success.  Thank you for reading, and coming back for more.

I’m thankful I found Pam van Hylckama Vlieg.  She’s my agent lady.  I actually found her through Twitter, then cold queried her.  Slush works, kids.  I’m thankful I have an agent who believes in my project, even when we heard that it is nearly impossible to get representation for a vampire project.  I’m thankful for excitement and her feedback.  I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish.

Most importantly, I’m hoping those Mayans are wrong because I want to see what we can all accomplish in 2013.  Writing has given me a new goal.  I’m competitive, and I need something to strive for.  I hope that both Julie and I have a year of awesome news to share with all of you wonderful readers, and I look forward to cheering you on with your projects as well.

Eat, drink, be merry, and watch football!  Did I say Go Patriots?

Obligatory Thankfulness Post: AKA Pat Yourself on the Back

TODAY’S BREW: Mimosas! It’s Thanksgiving, baby!

 

I love Thanksgiving.  Huge fan of turkey, as big a fan of stuffing.  I love watching the Macy’s parade on tv over several mimosas with the kids.  It always happened at my house growing up, minus the mimosas.  For someone who doesn’t love football, and that is how you know Kristen isn’t writing this post, I like the sound of it in the background.  It means the people I love are with me.  Granted, I would like to know that over the sounds of say, a decent movie, or Duck Dynasty, but I will take what I can get.

I will not bore with you with my thankfulness for my family and shelter and food, blah blah blah.  (But I am thankful for those things, and make a point of saying it every day.)

I am thankful TO BE A GOOD WRITER.

There, I said it!  Writers have a really bad habit of self-doubting.  I get it, your imagination and uniqueness is out in the open for all to see and reject.  Case in point, if you put it out there to begin with for people to see, you are already a good writer!  You already love your own work enough to think someone else will.  Chances are, you’re right.  Remember in school when they would tell you to ask the dumb question because someone else will have the same question and is too afraid to ask it?  It’s like that, but with writing.

I am thankful that I know the difference between my best work and my worst.  I am thankful that I have good grammar.  I am thankful for ideas that are completely mine, whether they be based in popular culture or not.  I am thankful that I can envision a character and create a world for them.  I am thankful that I can stick out a story until the end, and never give up on it.  I am thankful to have an amazing writing partner and a husband that encourage and support me and tell me the truth.  Which I often ignore, granted.  I am thankful that even though I have completed my first novel, I am not afraid to make revisions on it to make it stronger, not because anyone said it was weak, but because I think it makes it better. Just me.  I am incredibly thankful to have the time to write.  It’s that simple.

Most of all, I am thankful that I need to write.  This is what makes me a good writer, the need I have for it.  I am willing to bet, it is what makes you a good writer, too.  I need to express myself on paper, yes good old-fashioned, tree-killing paper, or the whole world suffers.  I am so thankful that I have been given a gift like this, that I recognize and act on.

Having written all my life, like many of us, once again, I never really thought it was anything all that special.  It came to me so easily.  When I told the first person on the outside that I was writing a novel, my assistant manager at one unnamed lingerie retail store, she was in shock.  She said she didn’t have the imagination to even be able to read something like Running Home, let alone write it.  My way of thanking her for helping me realize that I had a talent was by making her a character.  She asked to be a bitch, and boy do I deliver.  Enjoy, Jenn, I will post an excerpt with you in it.

My point is, be thankful that you have an ability to even want to put your words on paper!  Don’t wait for anyone else to tell you that you are a good writer.  YOU ARE A GOOD WRITER BECAUSE YOU WRITE.  So there.

Everybody Wants to Know What I Think of Breaking Dawn 2

TODAY’S BREW: Eggnognut.  The last scoop of Hazelnut + Eggnog Coffee

I need my coffee today, because of course, Kristen and I went to see Breaking Dawn 2 last night, keeping us both up until the wee hours.  Kristen was not as drunk as I expected…I thought she would be yelling at the screen and cursing.  She had popcorn, I had Cookie Dough Bites, these are the things we always get.  I used my good shampoo in case Rob could see me through the screen.  This is the last time we will get to see a Twilight movie at midnight!  So sad, the end of an era.  Until Beautiful Creatures comes out.  You know how you think about a movie after you leave, and then is when you really decide if you liked it or not?  I really liked this movie!  A lot! It was a good ending to the era of midnight movies.

First things first, everybody looked great.  Well, except Carlisle and Emmett, who just looked weird.  Jasper’s hair, which you may or may not realize is a source of distress for me, was finally good!  Finally, he is as hot as he can be.  Kristen disagrees, and says it’s all me.  Jacob was at an all-time high.  Truly supreme looking.  Edward, well, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.  Yeah, the girls looked gorgeous, too.

Enough of that.  You probably have heard about this surprise ending, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.  I won’t give it away, but I will tell you that it was action packed enough even for a guy to enjoy, and only gave me a moment of “Oh, Jesus Christ, really?!”

Renesmee, who Kristen just loathes, was not as obnoxious as even I thought she might be.  The child who played her brought her to life quite a bit.  She was sweet and endearing and mature, but not in that little kid who gets way too much positive reinforcement way.  I enjoyed her.  More new additions to this movie, are the vampires from around the world that each bring a special gift or story to the table.  This was done very well, though I would like to have seen a little more of what a few of them could do, particularly in the battle scene.  Benjamin, if you have read the novel, is spot on.  Very cool power that is shown well by a thoughtful actor.  I would have liked to see more Zafrina, who had great potential in the movie.  The actress was awesome that played her, bringing a real creep factor and intensity.  Garrett kicked ass.  We both like him a lot.  The Volturi get a lot more character in this movie that I wished they had had all along!  You really disliked them by the end of it, and they all had personality.  I mean, you didn’t like them, but at least they showed a little something more than ugliness.

What I think I liked best was Bella as a vampire!  This was done really well, you truly believe she is strong and different than the human Bella.  Kristen Stewart is unbelievably beautiful in this movie, and carries herself with as much force as the rest of the Cullens.  Even in the way she stands when projecting her shield is animalistic, primal.  Very cool.  Her hunting scene is kick ass…this was my favorite scene in the movie, and it’s early on, so I was interested to see more of what she could do.  I was impressed with the amount of energy she put into making Bella the vampire different from the human Bella.

All in all, I want to see this movie again!  I will have to bring a different friend, but I am totally into it.  Go see Breaking Dawn 2 and tell them Julie sent you.  Well, you don’t have to, they won’t have any idea who I am.

It’s true! Healthy people drink coffee! Take that, doctor who said I had heart palpitations from overdoing it!

Post Navigation