Author Cheryllynn Dyess gives her thoughts on creepy clowns!

creepy-clowns-pic-5

I asked authors concerning  their feelings about the phenomenon of “creepy lowns”

Cheryllynn Dyess replied…

It’s not long at all… but this is my experience and where it all started .

Why clowns creep me out all begin with the movie Poltergeist in 1982! I was a whopping ten years old and my mother thought this would be a good movie to watch. Yeah, well not so much but it did start the life-long trend of not liking clowns.

I remember when we sat down and watched this movie. I remember the room we were in while watching the moving.  I remember it being night because of course who would show this to their ten-year-old in the middle of the day, right? I even remember eating popcorn as it played and how my mother and her friend sat on the floor to get in closer.

That clown terrified me. I would never look at clowns the same way. While that has been 34 years ago, I still don’t handle clowns well. I am not terrified of them as I was in my childhood, but I do tend to give them their space and watch them ever so closely.

I have been to amusement parks where clowns try to be cheerful and I just stand back and shiver inside. Around 2008, I remember going to a theme park for Halloween and a scary clown came at me, I hit him. Poor clown was just doing his  job.

About Cheryllyn

Cheryllynn’s vivid imagination comes through in all she does in life. Her writing started in junior high, although she never truly shared her work until recently. They were kept hidden away in an old tattered orange folder. Original works she wrote as early as 1984 still hold ink on the pages and are just now coming to life. Paranormal and Fantasy are her favorite genres with Mystery and Thrillers close behind.

Born in Northwest Florida and raised in Southeast Georgia she developed a love for nature and the outdoors. Her experiences outdoors allows her to create universes with vivid detail. After a detour of almost twenty years in the health care industry and obtaining her Bachelors of Science in Healthcare Administration/Healthcare Information Systems she has returned to her love of writing.

Currently living in Central Texas with her family, she has begun a new chapter in life that has opened her heart and soul to many great adventures. Her hobbies include fishing, crochet, gardening…and of course reading.

Part of a Halloween holiday  blog hop, read other articles by writers and bloggers.

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‘Out of the Dark ’ by Claire Riley, released 26th of May

Out of the Dark front cover

We are temporary. Finite.

The choices we’ve made, the people we have loved. Who we used to be no longer matters.

Because now it is all about the ending. And the ending always comes too soon.

There’s fear in the dark. And behind every drop of light, the shadows creep and the darkness comes in the form of clawing, red-eyed monsters. They hunt us—stalk us…they are desperate to destroy us.

But I have a reason to fight the darkness and everything in it. A small glimpse of light that lives within my golden-haired daughter, Lilly. She is my strength. She is my everything.

Every life is an untold story, each scene unfolding until the final act. But our ending has yet to be written, and I will continue to protect us, until I can not.

Add it to your bookshelves here –> http://bit.ly/1Sd6pE4

Review quotes:

 Riley delivers a story that is equal parts thrilling and breathtaking. It beautifully illustrates the lengths we go to survive and what it means to love when we’ve lost everything.

NYT & USA Today bestselling Author A. Meredith Walters

 

Riley’s ‘Out of the Dark’ holds a special place in my heart. Before I’d devoured it, I’d never read a book that so beautifully and eloquently captured the distressing, aching love a mother holds for her child. It is built into the heart strings of a woman, natural and uncontainable. It goes past biological and into spiritual.

In her most unique and mysterious way, Riley has given us a transcendent picture of love in the midst of a terrifying climate. She has shown us what it means to choose your family, that it is a matter of honor and earning and not a matter of a blood bond and obligation. I am honored to have read this book pre-release and I know it will stick to me like honey, nearly glued onto the fabric of who I am as a human being.

Speculative fiction author – Eli Constant

 

A beautifully written story that makes you realize that you should always have hope, even in the most desperate of circumstances. It will tug at your heart strings, until by the end, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.

Goodreads & Amazon reviewer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer and an Amazon top 100 bestseller.

Her work is best described as the modernization of classic, old-school horror. She fuses multi-genre elements to develop storylines that pay homage to cult classics while still feeling fresh and cutting edge. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy. Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, three daughters, and one scruffy dog.

 

Author of:

 Odium The Dead Saga Series (3 books),

Odium Origins Series (3 books),

Limerence (The Obsession Series) (2 books),

Thicker than Blood series (2 books),

& Shut Up & Kiss me,

Plus much more.

 

Contact Links:

 www.clairecriley.com

www.facebook.com/ClaireCRileyAuthor

http://amzn.to/1GDpF3I

 

‘She writes characters that are realistic and then kills them without mercy’ – Eli Constant author of Z-Children, Dead Trees, Mastic and much more.

Out of the Dark teaser graphic slide.png

 

Out of the Dark Claire Riley

Out of the Dark full wrap

‘Out of the Dark ’

We are temporary. Finite.

The choices we’ve made, the people we have loved. Who we used to be no longer matters.

Because now it is all about the ending. And the ending always comes too soon.

There’s fear in the dark. And behind every drop of light, the shadows creep and the darkness comes in the form of clawing, red-eyed monsters. They hunt us—stalk us…they are desperate to destroy us.

But I have a reason to fight the darkness and everything in it. A small glimpse of light that lives within my golden-haired daughter, Lilly. She is my strength. She is my everything.

Every life is an untold story, each scene unfolding until the final act. But our ending has yet to be written, and I will continue to protect us, until I can not.

Add it to your bookshelves here –> http://bit.ly/1Sd6pE4

Review quotes:

 Riley delivers a story that is equal parts thrilling and breathtaking. It beautifully illustrates the lengths we go to survive and what it means to love when we’ve lost everything.

NYT & USA Today bestselling Author A. Meredith Walters

 

Riley’s ‘Out of the Dark’ holds a special place in my heart. Before I’d devoured it, I’d never read a book that so beautifully and eloquently captured the distressing, aching love a mother holds for her child. It is built into the heart strings of a woman, natural and uncontainable. It goes past biological and into spiritual.

In her most unique and mysterious way, Riley has given us a transcendent picture of love in the midst of a terrifying climate. She has shown us what it means to choose your family, that it is a matter of honor and earning and not a matter of a blood bond and obligation. I am honored to have read this book pre-release and I know it will stick to me like honey, nearly glued onto the fabric of who I am as a human being.

Speculative fiction author – Eli Constant

 

A beautifully written story that makes you realize that you should always have hope, even in the most desperate of circumstances. It will tug at your heart strings, until by the end, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.

Goodreads & Amazon reviewer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer and an Amazon top 100 bestseller.

Her work is best described as the modernization of classic, old-school horror. She fuses multi-genre elements to develop storylines that pay homage to cult classics while still feeling fresh and cutting edge. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy. Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, three daughters, and one scruffy dog.

 

Author of:

 Odium The Dead Saga Series (3 books),

Odium Origins Series (3 books),

Limerence (The Obsession Series) (2 books),

Thicker than Blood series (2 books),

& Shut Up & Kiss me,

Plus much more.

 

Contact Links:

 

www.clairecriley.com

www.facebook.com/ClaireCRileyAuthor

http://amzn.to/1GDpF3I

 

‘She writes characters that are realistic and then kills them without mercy’ – Eli Constant author of Z-Children, Dead Trees, Mastic and much more.

Out of the Dark front cover

W is for what makes a great story?

W for Twitter

Confronted with a blank screen, poised to  tap away,  how to go about creating that great story. Perhaps one primary consideration is the theme.  Maybe the theme should  be a ghostly shadow within the confines of the story, not screaming at the reader, but there none the less.  It may make the reader think about their own lives, there might be a moral to be learned, but a writer should not take on the role of a preacher.

Then there has to be a plot, all the conflict or struggle that the main character or characters go through. The conflict should develop in intensity and excitement, reaching some kind of climax.  If you are writing a novel there may be a number of conflicts interspersed, but a short story will have only one principal conflict.

Moving onto story structure,  the story has to entice the reader, right from the first sentence.  Equally then ending has to round things off perfectly.  You may have your theme and an outline of the story, but how are you going to tell it… a writer needs to decide about writing the story either in “first person” or in “third person.”  Will you be using “he,” “she,” and “it”—so writing in third person means telling a story as if it’s all about other people., or will you be writing using “I”—so writing in first person means telling a story as if it happened to you.  If in your head you have a rough idea of the theme,  you will also know which tense you are going to use,  either “present tense” or “past tense.” Writing in past tense means writing as if the story already happened, which is typical  manner in which most stories are written. Writing in present tense means writing as if the story is happening right now.  Normally you can’t mix the  two.

An important consideration is the characters.  I like to “live” with characters in my head, before committing to write about them.  For me the name of the character, says a lot about the character, for example in my short stories, I have a character called “Bugeyes” and the story revolves around the fact that he is person who suffers intensely, due to his oversized eyes.  Lead characters should be someone readers can feel something in common with, or feel empathy. In my stories I love to create evil characters.  My characters are far from perfect have flaws, and idiosyncrasies.  Characters are interesting if they are not too one dimensional,  even evil characters have to have some kind of redeeming feature, or perhaps they have been victims themselves in one way or another.

Settings are also paramount. In my book there is quite a range of different settings,  some are set in America, for example my story “Opium” is set in America, post-civil war.

Then there is the question of language,  it has to really correspond with your story.

A writer will tend to use actions and speech to let readers know what’s happening. Shoing , rather than telling, using  direct more “real life” quotes like “Go away!” instead of indirect quotes like “She told him to go away.”

You don’t have to write over elaborately to write well. Don’t shy away from using simple words and simple sentences, so you words and sentences cut through easily.

I often spend a long time mulling over what is the best word to use, glued to a thesaurus. Each sentence and paragraph should resonate, I often spend a lot of time, writing and rewriting so as to get the optimum sentence. Some sentences or paragraph can be redundant. You can get carried away, lose sight of the story, or go off on tangents.

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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H is for how to write a killer short story.

 

 

h finished 2

To write a good short story, you need immediate impact, meaning your first sentence has to be a killer. You have to create an opening sentence like no other, that grabs the reader’s attention.   For example my story “Bugeyes” from Flight of Destiny  begins with… Bug-eyes was due a life of toil. Seed begins with Captain Spender’s wife was ovulating.  Cast from Hell begins with There it was: I was to be banished from hell.

Your plot is going to be vital as to whether your short story is a success. Deborah Eisenberg states that “the plot of a good story is likely to be a stranger, more volatile and more evanescent sort of thing than the plot of a novel”. You can’t meander with a short story.  A short story,  can’t  evoke the expanse  and diversity of life, and takes the reader’s attention towards a more limited aspect.  With full novels, the author is forced to wrap things up,  whereas the short novelist can afford to be ambiguous.  So a novel and short story have different constraints.

With short stories, you face limits, you have  create characters, that the reader will immediately identify with.  You have to create strong dialogue.  An important element in writing  for me in writing a great story is to come up with a really nasty evil character, who during the course of the story does the most despicable things. Writers  might contrive a cocktails of character flaws (don’t create a one dimensional character) into their characters, to come up with an interesting and memorable deviants.   A mindless slasher killing for no obvious reason is not going to engage readers, whereas a murderer with a lot of previous baggage and an air of sophistication will.  Writers really need to delve deep to create their deviants. Readers love an evil character, literature is strewn with them.  I would say an interesting evil character is often multi-faceted,  never straight forward,  they themselves are often in a way victims.

Being short story writer, so I am constantly looking out for ideas for new stories.  My stories are dark and surreal,  so I rely on a supply of dark thoughts flowing through my mind, as well as other sources drawn from real events, read a newspaper, they are usually brimming with ideas for short stories.

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/sign-ups-for-2016-to-z-blogging.html

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G is for Gomford

G finished

Gomford is one of the longer short stories in my book Flight of Destiny.  Gomford is an ugly businessman, who arrives in a secluded village,  with a beautiful young girl on his arm.  This immediately causes the village to go into a hive of gossip and speculation.  The libidos of the men in the village are sent into overdrive, each desiring the young girl.  When Gomford  leaves for one of his regular business trips,  the men try to take advantage of his absence and  try to seduce the young girl, who is surprisingly willing, but at the same time far from being amorous.  She treats each with utter disdain, making each man feeling sexually inadequate, which causes the men to go into deep depression.  It is like the village is under the spell of this young beautiful woman,  which grabs the attention of a Reverend Salmon, who sets about to address this situation.  When he tries to perform a ritual on her doorstep, accompanied by the other villagers,  he falls foul to the young girl’s brusque tones  and is made to look a fool.  Despite being set in modern times,  the Reverend Salmon, chooses to use a method, long confined to the history books, namely dunking the young girl in the local river. The girl is abducted by the Reverend and a vigilante group.

Gomford is a story about somebody who is deeply wronged. Like in many of my stories,  Gomford in the end gets his revenge.

Gomford returned to the village with more than his customary ragged suitcase. Clutched firmly in-hand was the vision of an angel who went by the name of Clarissa Honeychild. A man with seemingly all the particularities of a businessman in his thirties, Gomford nonetheless cut an awkward figure. His face was perpetually bloated, and when he spoke, it was in sniffles and snorts. His eyes resembled those of a crocodile. His thick neck, likened by many to that of a tree trunk, gave him the illusion of massive strength, and left others feeling diminutive and anxious in his presence. Gomford, through no fault of his own, was shunned by his fellow villagers and ostracized by all.

Seemingly due to his looks, Gomford was condemned to a life of celibacy, and had shared his bed with only a handful of women, all of whom demanded pre-payment for services rendered. Some outright refused him, despite the fact that as a businessman he was extremely adept, over the years having amassed a considerable fortune, and always paid notoriously well for their services. The idea of this stumpyman smothering them, even for a sizable fee, filled most working girls with aversion. Even Glynnes Trout, the local prostitute responsible for introducing practically every male denizen to sex, an old pro inspired by abject greed and with a reputation of willingness to perform eve the most depraved of acts in any and all manner and with any and all manner of men, had disrespectfully declined Glomford, despite his waving at her a sizable wad of bank notes in each fist. The event, told, retold and by now highly embellished, became a favorite topic of social conversation in the local pub when conversation had run out.The fact that he had returned with a woman on his arm, and furthermore, a young woman of such incomparable beauty, sent the village into a frenzy of agitated speculation. When it was further revealed that he had married the woman, the whispering campaign hit an unprecedented high, drowning out every other possible topic.

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/sign-ups-for-2016-to-z-blogging.html

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F is for Flight of Destiny

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Flight of Destiny is my first published book.  It was a long haul to complete this book.  There are twenty two short stories in this book,  which cover a range of themes.  The book opens with a story called “Arrival” …Flight of Destiny… “Arrival”…do you get it? It seemed a logical beginning.  The story revolves around a man who can’t place a name and this niggling problem grows into an obsession,  as paranoia starts to grip his mind. “Snatched”, the second story,  concerns  a parent’s worst nightmare when a  child goes missing, however readers are left to ponder,  is it the fault of the father? Can ever be forgiven by his bitter wife ? Does the blame really lie with him?  Another title is “Opium”.  Oscar Wilde said The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation” in this story a righteous man is driven down this bumpy road.  Onto Bugeyes. We live in a world of body image stereo types, are perpetuated by the media. Those unfortunate beings, born with abnormalities, could face a lifetime of cruel jokes, and in this story’s case rejection.  “Seed” is a story about a woman who is simply desperate for a baby and is surrounded by young virile officers in an army barracks, while her husband can’t seem to provide her with the  offspring she craves. “Mutant” is a story about a scientist who takes the ultimate revenge on his cheating wife.  “Maggot” is a story based around a circus owner, who is forced to sell his daughter to a slimy tyrant

I suppose I will admit to having a few favorites. “Flawless” is a favorite, for sentimental reasons, because it was the first story I wrote which got published in a small literary magazine called Rat Mort (Dead Rat. It set me on the way to write other short stories. It is about a man who is proposing to the woman of his dreams, when suddenly a colorful insects arrives and he is forced to swallow it. He develops a terrible inexplicable skin disease and his life goes in a downward spiral. His fiancé soon deserts him for his younger brother, leaving him bitter and betrayed. Totally out of character he decides to take his revenge, on the day of his brother’s wedding. As he is about to enact his revenge, the insect suddenly exits and his skin is back to normal., to pay off his circus debts.  

 The book is full of quirky characters,  horrible odious characters,  oddballs, freaks. The stories usually have a dramatic twist at the end.  I have been heavily influenced by the short stories of Roald Dahl (Kiss Kiss).

 Reviewers  Comments

Francis H. Powell is a masterful storyteller. He successfully kept me on the edge of my seat as I paged through from one story to the next in FLIGHT OF DESTINY—a fantastic collection of 22 short stories. Here he weaves humor, surrealism, and contradictions into tales that reveal errors in commonly accepted definitions. Each story is uniquely different with twisting endings and story plots that challenge commonly accepted concepts. The characters are true and undeniably out-of-the-ordinary. Such stories as DUKE and FLAWLESS will bring into question all you thought you knew about people and the universe —I know they did me. These stories kept me guessing until the last page.

As with all great literature, these tales provide excellent food for thought. There is a bitter sweetness to humanity, in terms of what man is capable of doing to one another. In FLIGHT OF DESTINY this paradox is magnified, examined, and spit out in artful, literary way that is brilliantly captivating.

 

I love the dark tone of the short stories and how the underlying theme of each is this sense of shock over what humans would be capable of if there were no reality based limits. While the stories do not tie together, the tone of the work connects them all and makes it easy to flow from one story to the next.

I enjoyed these tales as they gave me a fantastic break from my daily routine and I enjoyed remembering them and day dreaming about them afterwards. They’re a little Ray Bradbury, a little Stephen King, but with Powell’s own unique twists. Very interesting read.

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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This article is part of a blogging challenge,

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/sign-ups-for-2016-to-z-blogging.html

follow me on Twitter

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