Friday, March 2, 2012

Carole Gill's House on Blackstone Moor

My guest today is Carole Gill, author of  The House on Blackstone Moor. Welcome, Carole.
Please give us a brief bio, and include something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
Thanks, Susan. Surprises: I went to the same acting school Al Pacino did but not at the same time unfortunately. Learning The Method I think benefited me with regard to dialogue writing. Currently I am widely published in sci-fi and horror anthologies. I wrote my first story at age 8. It was about a Martian invasion of earth which wasn’t all that unusual as both of my parents were sci-fi fans.Life got in the way of my writing but I turned back to it some years ago, joined a local writer’s workshop and just started to write for publication. North West Playwrights of England selected me for further development, but I found I preferred fiction writing. Besides, I didn’t think I would be another Harold Pinter! My debut novel, The House on Blackstone Moor was published by Vamplit last year. It’s been pretty well received. Vamplit suggested I do the sequel and I am. Unholy Testament will be released in the spring.
 How many books have you written?
I actually have written about three, but never sent the other two away (just as well, I think)!
Give a short synop of The House on Blackstone Moor.
The House on Blackstone Moor is a tale of vampirism, madness, obsession and devil worship as Rose Baines, only survivor of her family’s carnage, tells her story. Fragile, damaged by the tragedy, fate sends her to a desolate house on the haunted moors where demons dwell. The house and the moors have hideous secrets, yet there is love too; deep, abiding, eternal, but it comes with a price, her soul.
How do you motivate your protagonist—with fear, desire, both or something else?
I don’t write anything without first thinking of the character’s motivation.
I mentioned The Method which teaches the actor to become the character he/she is playing, well frankly, I ‘method write.’ As I wrote Rose Baines (and the other characters), I became them.
Once I do that everything else evolves. Also, I don’t (I would if I could) write with an outline. So the motivation is the key thing for me. For example, the sequel to my novel is about a demon’s confession of all the sins he has committed in his existence. His reason for doing this is so that the woman he loves can better understand him, if she can understand him at all. His love for her is the motivation for the novel as it is his motivation. To answer your question more specifically, anger, fear, hatred, love evolve fairly easily when the motivation has been carefully considered I find.
What elements are important to include in your plot?
There again—those elements that make people act the way they do. Dare I say it: motivation! Conflict must be present. Not a punch-up but the conflicts and challenges we all deal with in the course of our lives. We are always overcoming something or striving for something or waiting for something.
In school we might have a crush on the school athlete who doesn’t know we’re alive. For me and the way I write it’s all tied in with motivation really as it’s the conflict that makes the story evolve by kick-starting everything.
How do you make certain that you’ve included all necessary elements in the book? Do you use specific techniques like maps or timelines?
I suppose I do. But they tend to be in my head. I mean take the sequel, it spans thousands of years. My protagonist has an encounter with Countess Bathory for example. Well, I know when she lived and where she lived so I just read some books about her. I find that once I get a feel of the time and place I am comfortable enough to start writing.
What sets your book apart from others?
I think all writers want to write the best book they can. But we write for different reasons. In my case I read that gothic romance was passé.I didn’t believe it was and studied the markets, I found there is a wide readership out there for it. In my opinion it probably needs to update itself. I’m not talking about paranormal romance with ‘racy bits.’ I am talking about dark gothic horror with romance combined.
I guess you could say I had that in mind when I wrote my novel. Further, I want to continue writing in this vein. I have with regard to my sequel and intend to for the book after that.
Is the book available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
Yes, it is available in print, ebook and kindle also.
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
Seeing that I was able to keep to a commitment, actually sitting down nearly every single day for several hours was most rewarding to me. During the entire writing process, first being able to summon up enough courage to actually send out a story, was rewarding. Getting rejected on occasion and not letting that deter me in the slightest was also rewarding as it made me feel stronger and more determined.
Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others?
Yes!!! The sequel, Unholy Testament is by far the more challenging.
I’m meticulous about research and well, my main protagonist has existed for thousands of years—well that was a lot of ground to cover! It helps to be a nerd though, which I am. I love reading history. But it was and continues to be very challenging!
When writing, how do you determine when enough is enough?
Seriously? When I begin to nod off at my laptop! I overdo it most of the time. So I have to be careful not to perish from exhaustion!
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook are handy as well as my blog. I prefer a blog to a website, though. I find the website is too static for me. Promotion is so difficult and finding the right balance is the key whatever sites you use!
Can you tell us your writing goals for 2012 or beyond?
I’d like to write a book a year. Actually I’d like to write two a year. I can’t see myself not writing!
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gary Val Tenuta

I'm delighted to welcome author Gary Val Tenuta back to the blog. Welcome back, Gary. Please give us a brief bio, and include something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
Sure, Susan. My name is Gary Val Tenuta. The name, Tenuta, is Italian. It’s a word that translates into a broad definition pertaining to the ownership of land. You’ll see it on the back label of some Italian wines as a prefix to the name of the vineyard, or the owner of the vineyard, where that wine was produced. For example: Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, or Tenuta Valdipiatta.
I’m a book cover designer ( and a former feature article writer for Fate Magazine (U.S.) and Beyond Magazine (U.K.).
Something readers might be surprised to learn about me? The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that I was fortunate enough to have seen what has become known in the field of ufology as the “Black Triangle” UFO. It was a close-up sighting as the object was only about 500 feet above me. My affidavit attesting to the details of the event was among 30 others that were offered into evidence in a legal suit filed by attorney, Peter Gersten, against the U.S. Dept. of Defense in an attempt to get the DoD to release whatever files they had pertaining to that particular unidentified craft. The whole story is available here:
 How many books have you written?
Two completed and one in the oven.
Give a short synopsis of each book.
The latest book is Ash: Return Of The Beast, a modern-day occult crime thriller inspired by a real-life (or should I say real-death) mystery from more than 60 years ago. It’s a work of fiction based on a little known factoid about the death of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the notorious occultist the British press once called "The Wickedest Man In The World". Crowley’s body was cremated but the whereabouts of his funerary ashes has remained a mystery… until now.
The story carries the reader through a series of odd (and sometimes unsettling) events spanning the years from 1947(and the death of Aleister Crowley) to the 1990s and the coming-of-age (and eventual stardom) of a "death-metal" rocker named Rodney Duckworth.
The time-line shifts to the present day where Brian Kane, a gruff and gritty, street-worn Seattle Police Detective, reluctantly teams up with the mysterious Rowena Ravenwood, an attractive female FBI agent. Their task is to figure out why good, healthy, God-fearing preachers in their fair city are suddenly dropping dead.
What is the meaning of the strange symbols branded onto the bodies of these hapless victims? Are they all part of some bizarre cult? No eyewitnesses. No fingerprints. Is it really murder? Where’s the evidence? If it is murder, what is the ultimate goal of the killer? And what is the disturbing secret that Detective Kane is holding so close to his chest?
The investigation catapults Kane and Ravenwood headlong into life-threatening situations as they wind their way through the strange, dark labyrinth of the world of the occult and find themselves battling the powerful forces of ritual magick.
Problem is, the clues to help solve the case are in terribly short supply. Worse yet, so is the amount of time left to stop the mysterious killer's reign of terror before all Hell breaks loose. And – according to Special Agent Ravenwood – that’s not just a figure of speech. (Powerful video trailer and more:
My first novel, The Ezekiel Code, was released in 2007 and quickly became a “bestseller” on and remained in the top 50 in three categories for over 57 weeks. Much of its success is due to the fact that it was one of the few novels that incorporated the 2012-end-of-the-Mayan-calendar phenomenon into the story line.
In The Ezekiel Code, December 21, 2012 (the end of the ancient Mayan calendar) holds the promise of a window of opportunity for the next step in the evolution of human consciousness. But a catastrophic event of global proportions looms on the horizon, prior to that date, threatening the annihilation of our planet and the end of civilization.
Zeke Banyon is a handsome Catholic seminary dropout who now runs a homeless shelter in Seattle's old waterfront district. Angela Ann Martin is an attractive young widow who just wants a simple part-time job at the shelter. But a single twist of fate turns their simple lives upside down when together they stumble onto a mysterious code and a rumor about a lost scroll penned by the prophet, Ezekiel, thousands of years ago. They soon find themselves tumbling down the rabbit hole into a world of secret societies, synchronicity-run-rampant, high strangeness, metaphysics, mystery and murder as they jet across continents in a race to understand the code that will lead them to an ancient artifact of profound importance. Dodging rogue Jesuit priests at every turn and unaware that the Illuminati are ever-present in the shadows, Zeke and Angela soon discover it's not just their own lives that are in danger but also the lives of everyone on the planet.
 Is Zeke Banyon the Chosen One of an obscure ancient prophecy? And if so, can he successfully accomplish the mission fate has in store for him? Nothing in seminary school could ever have prepared him for this. (Video trailer and more:
 Congratulations on the success!
What sets your book apart from others?
The Ezekiel Code is the only novel ever written in which English gematria provides the plot device that drives the story. Not familiar with the term, gematria? In a very broad sense, you could think of it as a form of what might be called “sacred numerology” although it is much more than that. It’s a form of both “coding” and “divination” that was used by the ancient Greek and Hebrew priests and mystics, using their respective alphabets and languages. I’ve developed an English-based form of this same system. (
 I’ve also incorporated a bit of English gematria into the plot of Ash: Return Of The Beast, although to a much lesser extent. It appears only briefly as part of the deepening mystery that the two protagonists are struggling to solve.
How do you motivate your protagonist—with fear, desire, both or something else?
The protagonists in Ash: Return Of The Beast are motivated initially by their sense of professional duty as law enforcement officers. That sense of duty, born of their profession, becomes a sense of duty on a much grander scale as they discover the survival of the entire human race has fallen upon their shoulders.
In The Ezekiel Code, the protagonists are initially motivated by sheer curiosity. That curiosity, however, leads to a profound discovery. The motivation of simple curiosity is then replaced by a sense of duty to save the planet from total destruction.
What elements are important to include in your plot?
 Since Ash: Return Of The Beast is an occult crime thriller, it was necessary to include the elements of suspense and mystery, of course. But also it had to incorporate a sense of the supernatural always present just beneath the thin surface of the mundane, normality of everyday life. The big challenge was to find a way to make the unbelievable believable, to take a very down-to-earth, street-worn, big city cop and place him into a situation in which everything he believed was only found in low-budget horror movies and Stephen King novels was actually real. To help accomplish this, I did something not often found in a novel. I started the novel with a preface. A preface is usually only found in non-fiction books. But, since this story is actually rooted in a real-life mystery (as I mentioned earlier) about a man whose entire life was so bizarre and so enmeshed in the darkest realms of occult activity that the British press labeled him as “The Wickedest Man In The World”, the preface immediately sets a tone for the historical “reality” and perceived “possibility” of paranormal and supernatural activity.
The Ezekiel Code, on the other hand, was quite different. From the beginning, I had a purpose for the book that went beyond just telling a compelling story. I’ve had a life-long interest in the paranormal, ancient mysteries, esoteric lore and, more recently, the intriguing ways in which some aspects of quantum physics seems to be providing possible explanations and support for some of those previously unexplainable phenomena. So my goal with The Ezekiel Code, beyond just telling a story, was to include just about everything I’d learned about those things so that readers who knew nothing at all about any of it could become informed about such things. It was a gamble, to be sure, because not all readers want to be inundated with that much information. It was a huge experiment of blending fact with fiction that resulted in the book being nearly 700 pages long. The press release for the book began with the following paragraph:
 It's all here in one puzzling page-turner of a novel: conspiracy, codes, secret societies, UFOs, the CIA’s remote viewing program, ancient mysteries, sacred geometry, the prophetic Mayan calendar end-date of 12/212012, alternative interpretations of Biblical events, mystifying metaphysics, good guys, bad guys, murder most foul, a touch of romance and a trace of sci-fi. All of this, and more, is intricately woven into the multifaceted storyline of THE EZEKIEL CODE.
In what formats are your books available?
Ash: Return Of The Beast ( is only available on Kindle right now. I hope to have a paperback edition available by March of this year. The Ezekiel Code ( is available in both paperback and Kindle.
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
Definitely it would have to be the process of creating an entire world, a whole “reality”, including the characters, that began as an idea and a blank page. Watching it all develop and change throughout the writing process is a fantastic experience.
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
All the usual online suspects: facebook, twitter, youtube, goodreads, and a host of other social networking sites. Offline, I’ve put posters in the back passenger windows of my car and an 18”x4” banner in the rear window. Great exposure over a long period of time.
Can you tell us your writing goals for 2012 or beyond?
I have an unfinished YA fantasy that I keep threatening to get back to. That will likely be my next project.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
Ash: Return Of The Beast,
The Ezekiel Code,

Wishing you every success, Gary.

Thanks for having me over, Susan. Same to you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bobby Nash returns

Bobby Nash has been on the blog before and it's a pleasure to have him back.

Bobby, welcome back. You've been busy since last we spoke. Please give readers a brief bio and tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.

Susan, it's always great to visit your blog. 
Readers might be surprised to learn that I started out wanting to be a comic book artist, not a writer. The writing came about because I started writing stories for myself to draw. Eventually, I realized I was a much better writer than artist and started to focus my efforts on writing.

Here’s my bio:

From his secret lair in the wilds of Bethlehem, Georgia, Bobby Nash writes. A multitasker, Bobby is certain that he doesn’t suffer from ADD, but instead he... ooh, shiny.

When he finally manages to put fingers to the keyboard, Bobby writes novels (Evil Ways; Fantastix; Deadly Games!), comic books (Fuzzy Bunnies From Hell; Demonslayer; Domino Lady vs. The Mummy; Lance Star: Sky Ranger “One Shot”), short prose (A Fistful of Legends; Full Throttle Space Tales: Space Sirens; Green Hornet Case Files; Tales of The Rook; Zombies vs. Robots), novellas (Lance Star: Sky Ranger; Ravenwood: Stepson of Mystery; Nightbeat; Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars), graphic novels (Yin Yang; I Am Googol: The Great Invasion; Bloody Olde Englund), and even a little pulp fiction (Domino Lady; Secret Agent X; The Avenger; The Spider) just for good measure.  And despite what his brother says, Bobby swears he is not addicted to buying DVD box sets and can quit anytime he wants to. Really.

When not writing fiction, Bobby attends conventions and writers conferences, promotes his books, teaches writing courses and panels, and is a part-time extra in movies and television. Bobby is also the co-host of the weekly Earth Station One podcast ( and writes for New Pulp ( and All Pulp ( news sites.

For more information on Bobby Nash please visit him at,,,, and among other places across the web.

How many books have you written?
 14 published Short Stories/Anthologies
 29 finished and in the hands of editors awaiting publication
 3 published novels
 2 finished and in the hands of editors awaiting publication
29 published Comic Books/Graphic Novels
6 finished and in the hands of editors awaiting publication

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the projects that are in process and not yet completed.

Holy crap! I didn’t expect this number to be quite this high.

I'm almost afraid to ask you to give a short synop of each book.

With there being 83 stories to choose from I will save you some space and point you toward where there is information on most of these projects available. Some have not yet been announced by the publisher officially, even though they are completed so those are still hush-hush at the moment.
Whew! Thanks. My blog can't handle all of that:-)

How do you motivate your protagonist—with fear, desire, both or something else?

It varies depending on the book, the theme, and the characters. There is not a specific motivating factor that I use all the time.

What elements are important to include in your plot?

The most important element for me is well-rounded characters. If I have defined the character and he or she feels real to me then all I have to do is insert them into the story and follow the character’s reactions to the plot. Cohesiveness is also important. I want to make sure the plot holds together. I hope it makes sense to the readers.

How do you make certain that you’ve included all necessary elements in the book? Do you use specific techniques like maps or timelines?

Sometimes. I have been known to make notes and graphs, especially if there is a mystery involved so I can track the clues I’ve placed throughout the story. I’m fortunate that I’m somehow able to keep the plots straight in my head. Not sure how I do it, but I do. For the shorter works I usually put a brief plot in the manuscript so it is easily accessible as I go along, leaving little notes, hints, character names, etc. so they are there if needed.

What sets your books apart from others?

I’d like to think that I have a unique voice that makes my books stand out. I have been told by people who have met me in person that they can hear my voice in their head when reading the story. I don’t try to emulate any particular style of storytelling. I write the story the way that I would like to read it. Fortunately for me my readers and publishers seem to like my style.

Are all of them available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?

Yes. All of my books are available in print (although some have gone out of print at this time). Most, but not all are available digitally. I am working with various publishers to get more of the books out there for electronic devices. Hopefully, that will happen. You can check the digital edition tab at to see which books are available as ebooks.

What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

There is a moment when writing where suddenly everything makes perfect sense and you get into the writing zone. It’s almost like a literary epiphany and the words just flow out of you as if a creative dam has burst. I love that feeling.

Me too, Bobby.

One of the most rewarding moments is when someone comes up to me and wants me to sign a copy of my book for them. Very humbling and flattering.

Yes, indeed, it is.
Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others? 

Oh, sure. Working on anthologies, I often find myself writing characters that I did not create and might not be as familiar with. As a result, sometimes it is more of a challenge to get into that character’s head than others are so the challenge is to connect with that character and tell a good story. And usually I have to do it quickly to meet the deadline.

When writing, how do you determine when enough is enough?

Usually, it’s based on the word count limit given to me by my publishers. On the novels that I write then shop around I write until the story is done, although I know what publishers are generally looking for length-wise so I try to stick close to that.

Bobby, we all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?

Promotion is very important and I spend a good deal of time doing promotional work. I have a website (several, actually) and I try to update them regularly, especially as it gets a good bit of traffic. I also use social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, writing forums and message boards, comic book forums, and the like. Wherever I am allowed to post, I do.

Off line I visit stores, make and pass out promotional postcards and flyers, attend conventions, set up book signings and other appearances, and always have copies of my books on hand because you never know when someone will be curious about what you write when you talk to them.

The trick is to balance promotion with other things. I see some writers who only post “Buy My Book” posts. I find myself ignoring those posts. I mix in updates about books I’m reading, what other writer friends are doing, convention, favorite movies and TV shows, etc. in addition to information about my books. Promotion is selling your books and yourself.

Can you tell us your writing goals for 2012 or beyond?

2012 is already shaping up to be a busy year and I have deadlines stacking up around me. So far this year I have 13 short stories/novellas to write, 5 comic books/graphic novels in productions, 5 novels I need to write or finish writing (3 are already in progress), 1 novel that is being re-issued by a new publisher so there will be a small amount of work there, and 1 completed novel that I will be releasing through my publishing imprint, BEN Books so I have to do design and layout work on that. Definitely a busy year.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

You can always find information about me, my books, and my appearances at I’m also at,,, and,,, and on a fairly regular basis.
Well, Bobby, you've probably missed out on at least one book by taking the time to answer these questions, but I'm glad you did. I hope you get all of that done. Continued success with all endeavors.

Thank you, Susan. The same to you.