Tales of the Undead – Includes my story: Unlucky, Geoff

 

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New anthology out now, includes one of my original stories. Short stories inspired by the artwork of Stephen Cooney and published Horrified Press. My picture was very gruesome indeed – a zombie holding a severed head. Now, you know I love zombies so coming up with a scenario that includes that visual was not exactly difficult. ‘Unlucky, Geoff’ was born from my sadistic musings and inspired by a truly great piece of artwork.

You can download your copy here: 

 

 

Interview with Eden Royce

Eden PictureTell us about your publishing journey…

The first story I ever had officially published was an erotica short with Oysters and Chocolate. I was terrified of even sending the email to them, but they were wonderful to work with. After that, I started focusing on horror/dark fantasy tales and submitting them to small presses. I currently have over a dozen in various anthologies. Last year I released my first self-published novella, “Containment”.

What do you love about being an author?

The creativity. The fact that I can say, “WTF” as I am writing and know that can be a good thing.

Do you prefer editing or writing?

I enjoy both. Editing when I’m feeling precise and writing when I’m in a more artsy mood.

What’s the hardest part of being an editor and working with other authors? ContainmentFinalFront

Keeping up with all the submissions. Spreadsheets rule!

What advice would you give to would-be writers looking to get published?

Research the publisher or agent before making contact. Find out the correct formatting for your manuscript, learn the craft of writing (sentence structure, pacing, etc…) and READ widely. In and out of the genre that you write. It helps you become a better writer.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

This is a difficult question as I have several I’d like to choose. Hmm… I think Hannibal Lecter. As long as I wasn’t on the menu, I’d trust him to create a menu for us. I’m sure it would include an excellent wine.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

I like the idea of a sexy Byronesque lead that can become a monster when the situation calls for it. Vampires should always be dark and dangerous and mysterious, without fairy-like qualities.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Stop worrying! (I may have been given it sooner, but I didn’t listen.)

Grotesquerie_72dpiIf you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’d be a djinn. Shape-shifting, wish-granting, time-traveling immortals. What’s not to like? But I’d only grant certain wishes at my discretion.

Where do you write best?

Typically at home at my desk. Occasionally I’ll venture out to a coffee shop and make a lot of progress, but I mainly end up having too much espresso.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I read “Bronze Gods” by A.A. Aguirre. I loved that I had no idea until after I read it that it was written by two different authors, a husband and wife team. The story was seamless; a believable world paired with realistic characters that made me care about them. I won the book, but I’ll be buying the next in the series.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’ve written in several genres: horror, erotica, dark fantasy, and steampunk. If I had to name another I want to tackle it would be mystery.

Where can fans find you online?

http://edenroyce.com/

http://darkgeisha.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/EdenRoyce

https://www.facebook.com/eden.royce

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eden-Royce-The-Dark-Geisha/175439055801467

Book Review: Path Unchosen by Kim Cleary

Path-Unchosen-by-Kim-ClearySynopsis:

When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that’s a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life.

Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.

About the Author: authorheadshot2

 Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.

When not writing, revising, or thinking about writing, Kim gardens, plays with her dog, chats on social media, catches up with friends or cooks an Indian feast. She is a member of Writers Victoria, Romance Writers of Australia, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and a certified chocoholic.

Kim grew up in Birmingham, UK, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in South Australia and has worked all over Australia and in London. She now lives with her husband and an adorable Cocker Spaniel in Melbourne, Australia.

My Review:

With soooo many zombie books about nowadays it’s hard to find a good angle that hasn’t already been flogged to death, risen and been shot in the head. But Kim Cleary has actually managed this with Path Unchosen. To have your main character as a necromancer in the zombie invasion is a brilliant concept!

It kind of reminded me of ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ where, although its set in the future, it very much feels like we’re with the characters in the past. The beginning of the book was a little slow to get cooking, the orphanage was very binding to the protagonist, Judy (as it should be) so I was chomping at the bit to see her spread her wings – which was probably what the author wanted. Sadly, even when Judy is free she doesn’t develop much as a character, and comes across still very child-like, even though she is supposed to be 18 – maybe because she had a sheltered life?

From a writer’s perspective, it was very well written with some lovely turns of phrase that really impressed me. The flow wasn’t overly steady though, and the plot seemed jerky at times. There were also a few grammatical errors – but hey you can probably find some here too of you look hard enough ;)

The front cover is nice, but doesn’t stand out to me. I think if it were to have Judy on the front and perhaps a more dystopian feel to it, it would be more attractive and represent the book much better.

Overall I’d give Path Unchosen 3 out of 5 stars. My hat is off to Kim Cleary for the whole concept and it’s a promising start to a new series.

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List of Romance Genres

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I just can’t stay away from those lists!

My two top genres are horror and paranormal romance and as I’ve already covered horror genres, I thought I’d do the same for romance. Looking at the list, the explanations tend to be a little obvious, so rather than patronize you with over-blown explanations, I’ve kept it brief and included links to examples where necessary.

Adventure Romance:

Strong hero, even stronger heroine. These face paced and full of danger and can be set anytime and anywhere. Happily Ever After OR HEA is preferred here by most publishers, but as always, do read each publisher’s guidelines carefully when submitting.

Chick-lit:

Relatively new genre, these are romances with a dash of humor and HEA (happily ever-after ending) is more flexible here. It’s a bit cliched but think Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding.

Contemporary/ Main Stream:

Not to point out the obvious, but this is set in the present and will date quickly. HEA is optional. So many authors and examples here, as they are set in the normal world, with natural human characters.

Dark Fantasy:

This combines elements of supernatural abilities and paranormal creatures. It goes a little beyond the normal sword and magic fantasy romps, but can also have quite serious themes. A good example of this is the WindLegends series by Charlotte Boyett-Compo. HEA here is optional.

Erotic Romance:

Not to be confused with Erotica, Erotic Romance focuses on the development of romantic relationships through sex making it a consistent theme through the story. The sex is not there for titillation sake but should be so bound into the story line that taking it out would ruin the plot. HEA is a necessity here.

Erotica:

Shall I just say it… Fifty Shades of Grey. Although there’s a case that E L James’ novels should be sitting in Erotic Romance, as the main character’s relationship is both cemented and complicated through sex. I personally think that the amount of it required to show this is less that what was shoe-horned in. You’ve also got a lot more license in Erotica to delve into the darker/ more fetish related practices here. A great example of well written Erotica is Liliana Hart’s Erotic Fairy Tale books. HEA is optional, although I think still preferred by most publishers.

Fantasy:

Like Fantasy in general there are both saga and political elements involved with this genre. Game of Thrones is a classic example of a good fantasy. When adding this element into your romantic mix though, you have to be careful. It’s a strong genre and can easily over power your romance. It’s kind of like banana in a smoothie, it doesn’t matter what other fruit you put in there, if you throw in a banana – it only taste of banana! HEA is optional.

Futuristic/ Sci-Fi:

Strangely Stephanie Meyer’s The Host comes to mind. Set in the not too distant future, and with a strong theme of ‘love will conquer all’ and an emphasis on the deep love of both family and partners. This is a great genre to really let your imagination run wild. You can create your own world and therefor tailor the situation to the needs of your romance. HEA is not always found in these worlds, but personally I’d always try for it.

Gothic:

I think we’re on the verge of a comeback for Gothic Romance. Often described as brooding and dark, a classic example would be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Check back at my horror genre list for more info on Gothic Blue Books.

Historical:

Not hard to work out what these ones are all about, but tread carefully, some time periods are just simply not interesting so won’t appeal to either readers or publishers. Lots of information and authors can be found on Historical Romance Writers.

Medical:

Novels in this genre centre on characters in the medical profession and even have their own Mills & Boon line. These books reached their peak in the 1960s but still have a place in modern romance, especially if mixed with other genres. Vampire doctors and werewolf surgeons?

Military:

Don’t just stick to the obvious on this one. Think sexy assassins and sassy bounty hunters – also don’t be afraid to throw in the supernatural on this one too. Kaylea Cross does this genre justice and she also has some great suspense romances too. Usually a HEA here, or Happily Ever After For Now – again check guidelines.

Mystery/Thriller/ Suspense:

Danger abound in this genre. There’s usually something to solve either a murder or another crime. These can get pretty dark and HEA is optional.

Paranormal:

My personal favourite. I love reading them and writing them. They’ve never been so popular and have even morphed into Dark Romance too. The best example, and one of my fav authors, is Keri Arthur, although some of her books also drop into other genres listed here too.

Regency Romance:

The Regency period was between 1811 to 1820 and although strictly a Historical Romance, is so popular that it has a genre all to itself.  For a massive list of books see Regency Reads.

Time-Travel:

I shy away from time travel in my stories, as its hard to keep a good grip on what’s going on. If you tackle this one you have to be ubber vigilant with your plotting. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a strong example of this genre.

Urban Fantasy:

So, as per the horror list, this is supernatural elements within an industrial/ town/ city setting. I personally love these as the setting itself makes the paranormal aspect slightly more believable. Lots of examples here, however there’s a really comprehensive anthology aptly called The Urban Fantasy Anthology which would give you a great selection of authors such as: Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black & Patricia Briggs.

Young Adult:

The Young Adult category was introduced in 1983 and includes all the above, but for a younger audience. We’ve spoken a number of times about this genre and of course the most obvious and popular example for this genre is The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer.

 

There are probably hundreds of more genres for romance, after all, its one of today’s most popular reads. If I’ve missed any off this list, please feel free to leave a comment with the addition, a description and links to good examples.