Eight talented authors from different writing backgrounds have come together in this anthology to spin stories of beings we find only in our deepest dreaming. Can you handle the power of the Twisted Tale?
Twisted Tales, a paranormal anthology featuring Phoenix Johnson, Stacey Jaine McIntosh, Gina A. Watson, Cherie Nightingale, Jordanne Fuller, Sandra Wiltjer, Liz Butcher and Carole Weave-Lane.
Due to time constraints, two members of the crew couldn’t attend today. However, the rest have plenty to say!
- Welcome, The Attic Crew. For those who might not be familiar with you all, would you be a dear and tell the reader’s a little about yourselves? How you got your start in the writing business?
Jordanne: I met an awesome author named Andrea and she introduced me to the wonderful world of book parties. I have known for years that I wanted to get published, and I even have a fully written novel waiting to be edited. But she was who introduced me to the beautiful CHBB (Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly) family and I’ve not looked back.
Sandra: I am Sandra Wiltjer; a freckled, four eyed, Dutch, redhead who fell love with the English written word ever since reading the novels of Jane Austen at age of 14. I also found that I have a darker streak in my writing, which loves dark spirited drama.
Carole: I was an avid reader when young and it was with excitement that my sisters and I visited the local library each week. I lived in my imagination so words and pictures became my best friends. I wrote little stories and when I travelled I would write a diary of my happenings that included leaves, pictures etc. I used to submit small stories for competitions, until I completed a novel online for a writing course I took which is The Hidden Parchment, now published and I have not stopped since.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
Liz: Stepping away from it for a little while helps. I find going for a walk in the fresh air with some music is the best thing for it.
Sandra: I start with banging my head against the wall, then start complaining about the horror which has come upon me. It usually ends in a brain storm session with either fellow authors or friends who are willing to endure my weird little state of mind.
Carole: I handle it by walking, looking at trees and nature. I also swim. These two areas take me away from where I am and they allow me to dream.
- Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
Phoenix: When I’m not writing, I’m either building my network online, pimping out other authors and their books, or studying. I’m less than 9 months away from finishing my Bachelor of Arts Degree, with high hopes of being invited to do Honours, after which I plan on going on to my Master’s Degree. In the “real” world, however, I’m usually trying to relax with my fiancé, our daughter and our cats. And the dog, when he’s not in trouble haha
Gina: I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend and my family when I’m not studying of course.
Jordanne: I spend time with my son and my fiancé and/or my friends. I knit, sew, make costumes, play with my 4 cats, or bake. I’m often on Facebook showing off what I’ve made.
Sandra: Involuntary doing the mandatory cooking and cleaning – you know “housewife” stuff. (I really hate cleaning).
- I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
Jordanne: Everyone knows I write. I can’t keep that kind of stuff in. I love to share my work with the world and the people closest to me usually get the brunt of it. They’re all used to it though.
Liz: Initially when I started writing again, I kept it a secret. I wasn’t sure if I would be any good at it after so long. But of course, I then remembered that you can’t expect anyone to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself! Since then, everyone has been very kind and supportive of it.
Carole: My family know that I write, but I really do not talk to them about it. In fact I keep that side of myself fairly much in the background.
- Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
Phoenix: Hmmmm… Anne Bishop, J K Rowling, J R R Tolkien, James Clemens, Kim Faulks, Cassandre Dayne, J S Morbius, Kiki Howell, Nicole Daffurn and Toby Bishop. Trust me, I could add so many more!!!
Gina: Top 10? Wow. Maria V Snyder, Sarah J Maas, Richelle Mead, Colleen Houck, Rachel Caine, Gena Showalter, Cameo Renae, Karen Ann Hopkins, Jana Oliver, Rachel Vincent
Jordanne: Yeah, you’re right, it is a long list. I would have to say J.K. Rowling, Scott A. Butler, Nicole Daffurn, Gina A. Watson, Sandra Wiltjer, Garth Nix, Ian Irvine, C.M. Owens and Bella Roccaforte… Oh crud, I forgot Richelle Mead… She’s a big one. I’m sure I’ve left so many out. I also just did right now, of all time would be impossible to record.
Liz: Off the top of my head, I would say Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Paul Jennings, Shel Silverstein and RL Stine when I was a child, and then JK Rowling, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Anne Rice and Dan Brown.
- If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
Phoenix: I’ll admit I definitely want to see my next title, Persephone, on the big screen. For the leading lady, Persephone, I think I’d have to go with Astrid Berges-Frisbey, who played Serena the mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I didn’t write Persephone with an accent, but Astrid has that beautiful mix of fragility that hides immense strength. For Daniel, I couldn’t choose between Gary Oldman and Jeremy Irons, both are brilliant actors. As for her doomed lover, Adrian, it has to be Jensen Ackles!
Sandra: Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. I don’t really have a cast for it. But I love it to be an all new cast with non-famous people, but maybe narrated by Josh Wheaton.
Carole: I would love to see my books, one written which is The Hidden Parchment, the second will be Enter the Fey, the 3rd The Cauldron Boils and the conclusion will be The Dragons Enter. Why because it is all part of a series, it is very visual, fast paced and adventurous. It taps into Past Lives, is set in four different locations and enters another time realm. Another I have which will be finished next year is The Sidhe Cat Beckons and it will be set in Bassendean, here in Perth and ancient Bulgaria. That is mystical yet set in real time too.
- Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
Phoenix: I am currently waiting for 3 more titles to be released this year, plus a few more box sets to write short stories for. I’m keeping any hints of them under wraps for now, but I’m also slowly working through a couple thrillers (some paranormal, but not all), as well as a contemporary romance that will indulge my love of cowboys and horses. To be honest, my Work In Progress list currently sits at 16!
Gina: Right now I am working on a few short stories, a fantasy novel and a top secret novel with a friend of mine.
Liz: (In a whisper….) I am just going through the editing stage of my first novel. It is book one in the Jonah Sands series, so I am very excited about it. Watch this space!
Sandra: Working on Japanese based story about a possessed sock looking for its counterpart. It’s for a Japanese/English magazine.
- Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
Phoenix: The first 2 installments of my Wolf Smitten trilogy (The Wolf In The Neighborhood, followed by award winning Once Bitten Twice Shy) and The Return of Their Master (standalone vampire romance, which will one day get a follow up!) can be found directly through Naughty Nights Press, on Amazon (.com, .co.uk, .com.au etc), Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance eBooks and iTunes.
Gina: I have 1 story in the Lurking in the Deep anthology (My story is called Enticing Waters), I have another story in the Love Sucks anthology (My story is For the Love of Fire).
I have 2 stories in Twisted Tales (Angelic Sight and Rogue Moon)
And in September I will have 1 story in Mystical Bites anthology (The Black Rose)
- Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
Gina: I have a Facebook page that I update regularly. https://www.facebook.com/BookInProgressByGinaWatson
Jordanne: I can be found mostly on Facebook and my author page is http://www.facebook.com/authorjordannefuller, but I do have a author page now on Goodreads here https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14008244.Jordanne_Fuller
Liz: You can follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liz-Butcher/1394868604152823
Or view some of my flash fiction at WordPress: http://lizbutcher.com/
Carole: Where to find me. Well I am on Carole Weave at Ex Libris.com, Barnes and Noble, the Libraries in Australia and USA, Amazon, there are a couple of little bookshops in Sydney as well. Facebook- The Hidden Parchment, Carole Weave Lane. A Mystical Site, Carole Weave-Lane on Goodreads. firstname.lastname@example.org, and Twitter is @threadsofwebs.
- Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
Phoenix: Firstly I want to thank Gina and Stacey for being amazing support throughout the compilation of Twisted Tales. I seriously could not have done it without you ladies. There were things that wouldn’t have occurred to me, or things that I couldn’t fit in with time running short, and they both stepped up to the plate when I asked for help. I also appreciate all 7 of the other authors in this for working with me to get the word out there, and do as much as they all could. And a tremendous amount of gratitude for Nicole Daffurn, for this was her brain child. We all only hope that it is even remotely close to what you envisioned for this! Plus of course my wonderful fiancé for his constant support and understanding when I was near insanity with organising this, and my beautiful publisher, Gina Kincade, for helping me work out the kinks with getting the title to POP on the cover! Much love to you both! And many thanks to you, Kam, for having us here to celebrate the release of Twisted Tales.
Gina: I’d just love to say thank you to everyone who supports me and my writing. I would also love to thank everyone who has bought any of the anthologies or will buy them.
You guys rule!
Feel free to follow me on Facebook and let me know what you think!
Jordanne: I am fluently bilingual but can also speak, write, and understand Spanish. This has been as much of a boon as it is a hinderence. I am known by some as a walking thesauraus, but it also means I make up a lot of words because I swore something in one language was derrived from english, or vice versa when in fact, it is not.
Liz: I have a ridiculous number of interests – all of which can be a distraction if I am in procrastination phase! I am learning French, and have a BA in Psychology. I have loved reading about every kind of paranormal phenomenon, ever since I learnt to read. I also have a passion for history and mythology. Quiet often, something will peak my nerdy interest and I just have to get a book to learn more about it. I also love astronomy, knitting, sewing, art, music, painting, drawing….. And on and on it goes!
Sandra: I have 6 apps to study Japanese on my phone, a language program on my laptop and a text book… And still I’m no closer to an actually conversation with a Japanese speaking person. I also tend to wonder why every one is studying Japanese all of a sudden…
Carole: I am very appreciative of being included in the Twisted Tales Anthology compiled by Phoenix Johnson who has spent so much time in doing so. My tales are The Wytche of Salem 1692 and The Snare – Baltimore 1850. I also thank you Phoenix for your time and energy in compiling it.
Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed meeting The Attic Crew. If you have any questions or comments for any or all of them, by all means, leave a message below.
Thank you in advance for your visit!
The Flight of Phoenix by Jordanne Fuller
I open my eyes to see my seemingly very worried mother looking down at me.
“Oh my god! Honey, are you okay?”
“Um, so you passed out.” My dad obviously tries so very hard to hold his laughter in. He fails miserably. The man chuckles out a few low sounds before he continues. “We rushed you to the hospital. The nurses couldn’t find anything wrong. We told the doctor what the teacher said happened. Doctor. Blake assumed you passed out from the sight of blood.” Doubling over in a fit of laughter, my loving father was gone from the world.
“Oh dear, don’t listen to him. I’m sure it was very frighting. The doctor cleaned you up so he could look at you and make sure there was no sign of trauma. You hit your head pretty hard and he wants to keep you for a few more hours to make sure you don’t have a concussion. It looks very positive though. There are no signs of damage so far. They just want to supervise you while you’re awake.”
Oh how embarrassing. Welcome to my first day of High School ladies and Gentlemen. I wonder how Caellum is doing. He may be the biggest jerk in the world, but he is so damn pretty.
The Summer Girl by Stacey Jaine McIntosh
The ground was fast becoming slick with blood that poured out from the wound in the girl’s chest. It’s then that Tristan realised his mistake. Taking the arrow out now would kill her as surely as it would if it stayed where it was.
“Standing before one of your own,” the wolf scoffed. “How noble.”
Tristan whirled around, pulling an arrow out of the quiver and setting up the bow. “She’s not—”
Tristan’s voice got carried away with the wind, and his eyes too got swept away by the sight before him.
The wolf shifted before his eyes, where there once was a man, was a wolf in his place. He darted forward his jaws clamped around the girl’s neck, shaking his head in a wild frenzy.
Tristan turned away. It was too late to save the girl but perhaps he could at least see that she had a decent funeral. Perhaps Gloriana could help.
Unlike her mother the Queen, the Summer Princess was more generous when it came to granting favours. Favours which he had no right to ask for in the first place.
Putting the arrow back in the quiver he ran through the woods towards the Summer Palace.
“Tristan you shouldn’t be here!” Gloriana hissed. The alarm was clear in her voice. “Mother will—”
“Mother will what Gloriana?” Queen Odessa materialised before them as if plucked out of thin air.
Gloriana bowed her head. “Nothing your Majesty. I-I spoke out of turn. Forgive me.”
“Then perhaps Tristan can explain his sudden appearance in court when he should be out on the battle field, fighting. After all it’s an honour to be fighting out there against those,” the Queen turned her nose up a little. “Those dogs.”
“Your Majesty, forgive me,” Tristan said bowing low at the waist. “But there’s been an accident. A stray arrow shot a human girl in the chest. I was about to assess the situation when a werewolf… tore her to shreds. I thought you might consider arranging a funeral on her behalf. Nothing elaborate, just something simple. I’d hate for something to—”
“For something to what Tristan?” Queen Odessa asked. “Out with it boy! I don’t have all day. My time is precious as you should well be aware.”
“Yes Your Majesty. I’m sorry Your Majesty,” Tristan bowed his head. “As I was saying, I’d hate for something to happen. I mean if word got out that a human stumbled into Arcadia and then died…
So Mote It Be by Phoenix Johnson
“Hecate, Dark One, hear my plea.
Bring justice now, I ask of thee!
Right the wrongs that have been done,
Avenge me now, Oh mighty one.
Turn misfortune back to those
Who cause my problems and my woes.
And heap upon them karmic debt
Lest they all too soon forget
Their wrongful actions, words and deeds
Don’t let them get away scot free.
Bring them forth from where they hide
Bring swift justice-wield your knife.
Hasten, Dark One, hear my plea, do what it is I ask of thee.”
The sudden silence was almost painful as the chanting of those around her halted on her last word. The quiet stretched out and Siobahn threw her head back, arms wide as she allowed herself to feel at one with the night. Her thin white shift flapped around her slim frame and her long red hair took on a life of its own, dancing in the wind. Although her eyes were closed, she could sense her sisters around her swaying and moving to the beat of an unheard drum. They were all connected and were, in fact, dancing to their heartbeats, the music of the earth beneath them and the trees and sky that were over them. Chills scurried across her skin as the moment continued, unbroken by the outside world.
The caw of a raven startled her out of her reverie. Siobahn opened her eyes and was stunned to see a pure white bird perched on the headstone of her love, Pascal. Her breath caught in her throat as the message sunk in. Hecate had heard her prayer, and here was her answer.
She held her arm out and the bird fluttered over to her as though it had always known her. In a way, she supposed, it had. Pascal’s surname literally translated to white raven. There was no way that this was just a coincidence. Siobahn ran her finger down the raven’s soft feathers, and she felt an incredible calm and peace come over her that she hadn’t felt since before Pascal’s untimely death. The raven reached towards her and nibbled on the neckline of her simple dress, then rubbed its head against her shoulder. Her heart ached as she gently patted the bird. A tear slowly travelled down her cheek and she whispered to the raven. “I miss you, Pascal. You were my everything. Why were you taken from me?”
The bird had no answers. It merely leaned against her cheek as she allowed herself a moment to mourn her lost lover.