Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Stephanie Ellis

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is Stephanie Ellis who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

My story, Hands of Time, takes place in the subterranean world of Wonderland, in the dark dungeons and cellars no one ever really thinks about. Their existence, never referred to, must be real, after all the Queen of Hearts was always arresting her subjects and demanding their beheading. So, where did these miscreants go and who despatched them? This is where the Executioner comes in, a hooded figure shrouded in secrecy … like the world he inhabits. And like all people with a trade, he has his apprentices. These are his hands, one of whom will become chosen as his successor. Together with the TimeKeeper, who is in charge of the Queen’s clocks, he selects Rab as the one to follow his trade. But how is this choice made and what happens to the other hands … well, you’ll just have to read the story.

What inspired the idea?

“Off with their heads!” The line that everyone remembers. But whether you read the book or watch the film, you never see much of the Executioner. I wanted to know more about him and his world. I also played around with the different meanings for the word ‘hands’ – hands on a clock, work hands, actual flesh and blood hands (although not for long!!) and linked them all together. And suddenly an idea was born.

When did you start writing?

Several years ago, mostly privately and just ‘scribbling’, I didn’t think about doing anything more serious. Then about four years ago I saw a submission call for a horror anthology, thought it looked like fun, so had a go. It wasn’t successful as it didn’t quite fit but the feedback was positive so I tried again and this time got in. The then editor, Theresa Derwin (now of Quantum Corsets), was extremely supportive, and took other stories of mine for other anthologies. This encouraged me to try the wider market and here I am. Slow but sure.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

The darkness of the soul! Whatever I write, it always ends up dark. Some stories feature a bit of blood and gore but it’s not by any means all ‘slice and dice’ and only a few have standard horror tropes, ie tend to avoid vampires and werewolves. I prefer to hint at darkness, build up a sense of horror in setting and atmosphere, twist what might seem innocent at first.

What are some of your influences?

It goes without saying that Stephen King is one of them, he is amazing at creating such a real sense of place and time. He also shows that horror can be written in many different ways and he is certainly never repetitive. Ray Bradbury, particularly for Something Wicked This Way Comes, again the atmosphere, the characters, and its gothic feel. Then there’s Shirley Jackson, Edgard Allan Poe. But it’s not only these more famous authors. There are other writers I’ve met online, particularly a small Flash Fiction community called the FlashDogs and they have pushed me to raise my own standards. We compete against each other weekly in flash competitions and there are some amazingly dark people amongst them, particularly David Shakes, Mark A. King, Tamara Rogers to name but a few. The latter two have also recently published their first novels.

Another influence isn’t a book or a writer but a place. I grew up in an isolated rural area in a country pub, The Cider House in Shropshire . And something that’s always stayed with me is the atmosphere of that area and the feelings it generated: getting off the school bus and then facing the long walk home along narrow country lanes in gathering dusk; of the stillness before storms when birds stopped singing, branches stopped rustling and everything seemed to be waiting; of fog shrouding the fields and woods around the pub and walking through those mists and becoming totally disoriented. It always made me feel there was ‘something else’ at work around us and that’s an element I try to include in my writing.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

The evil man can do, how it could even be considered. I just can’t comprehend how some people can commit the atrocities you hear of in the world today. What is it that drives them? Is it this idea of the Devil, is it a disturbed mental state? Who actually pulls the strings to create the nightmares? Perhaps there is more ‘out there’, a supernatural realm. Horror allows you to explore this darkness, consider the ‘What Ifs’. It makes you think and shakes you up but always delivers you safely on the other side … it keeps the monsters between the pages.

What are some of the works you have available?

I have had a number of short stories published in horror anthologies, all available over at amazon but I would like to mention the following in particular:

The Infernal Clock, co-edited by myself and David Shakes which has a story for every hour of the day. It features two of my stories, The Graveyard Shift-a new take on the Sandman legend-and Whispers which centers on a dysfunctional family in a haunted house.

Weird Ales Volume 1 (edited by the wonderful Theresa Derwin) which includes my story The Yowling, cider-making taken to a whole new level!

Masks edited by Dean M. Drinkel (again, another very supportive editor) which contains my story The Face Collector, a gothic story in which the Devil always collects.

What are you currently working on?

I have just finished my novel Black Switch, a near-future, industrial-type horror I suppose you would call it. What happens when humans run out of fuel, out of electricity but then discover a way of turning the lights back on; a way which could only be described as immoral. If you discovered someone had the ‘capacity’ to become a human battery, would you plug them into a Generator just so someone else could have a hot bath? Would you, could you trade another person just to save a member of your own family knowing what that trade would lead to?
The book is now out with a small group to beta-read before I take any further steps with it. To get over the nerves whilst I await their response I’ve started to mull over ideas for a new novel and since my Hands of Time story featured an Executioner, the whole idea of what ‘makes’ an executioner has stuck in my mind.

Where can we find you online?

I’m @el_Stevie on Twitter and can also be found at http://stephellis.weebly.com/ where my blog is usually only randomly updated. I’m hoping to improve on that slightly this year though.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: K.L. Wallis

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is K.L. Wallis who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

My story is called ‘Half Past’. It is about a woman who follows a mysterious man though the subway and somehow travels back in time to the late 1800s where she finds the world turned on its head; instead of the patriarchal norms of the past Alyssa finds herself in a world where women are the superior sex and the moral boundaries of the 21st century no longer exist.

What inspired the idea?

I’m not quite sure. I experiment with my writing, and I think that is what ‘Half Past’ is. Hearing about the theme of this anthology pushed me to see if I could meet the challenge.

When did you start writing?

I wrote down the initial idea about a year ago, but due to having limited time to work on my own writing, I only really started to pull it together a few weeks before I submitted it to Horror Addicts.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I write a lot of Gothic fiction, but to different degrees depending on the story. I find a lot of my work crosses a couple of genres. I find most often I end up writing mythology and legend or fairytale inspired stories.

What are some of your influences?

I am quite heavily influenced by music, things I have seen on television shows, things I have read in other literature, or real life history or mythology. I like to explore in my writing why people do the things they do, quite often writing from the point of view of the villain.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Horror ties in well with my Gothic focus, so I guess it’s a natural theme for me to write about. Horror is interesting as it shows the darker side of humanity, and in the manner of fairytale, is often cautionary. As I am currently researching in my honours thesis, horror ‘figures’ – such as the Grim Reaper, vampires, zombies etc. – are often the physical manifestation on the page (or screen) of deeper human fears.

What are some of the works you have available?

My short story Briar was published as a part of last year’s Horror Addicts Anthology – Once Upon a Scream. Three other of my short stories – A Woman Scorned, Burnt and In Limbo – were published online in the July, August and September issues of The Australia Times – Fiction.

What are you currently working on?

My honours thesis is currently absorbing all of my spare time, unfortunately, leaving me little time to write creatively. I have however, several incomplete stories I hope to return to very soon – a retelling of a Greek myth, a vampire novel and a chic lit I started forever ago.

Where can we find you online?

My online presence is minimal at the moment – another thing I am hoping to work on later in the year. My business website can be found at: https://restrictedquill.wordpress.com/.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Emerian Rich

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. The editor and one of the authors in this anthology is Emerian Rich who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What inspired you to put this anthology together?

I’ve always enjoyed the thought of Alice. Is she really travelling in a strange world? Is she dreaming? Is she mental? I’ve also always enjoyed clocks, watches, time in general fascinates me because I never have enough of it. Is someone robbing me of the time? Is my life clock wound extra fast? I always feel like my time is short.

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

“Midnight Dance” revolves around the clock tower in the center of Wonderland and how it has somehow changed the residents in to zombies. The Hatter is the only one who knows and he spends a never-ending Groundhog Day-like series of evenings trying to fix the problem.

What inspired the idea?

I’ve always been fascinated with time and the thought of a second chance, or third, or fourth. What would you do differently if you had the chance and would it change the outcome? Or are we trapped in our destiny that will find us no matter how we try to change it?

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. First in journals, and then about 6th grade I wrote my first “novel” but still, I didn’t really know I wanted to be a writer till in my 20’s. I always just thought they were silly little stories I wrote for myself only. I recently had a blog about my first story here:
https://emzbox.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/my-first-story-emerian-rich/

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Subjects vary wildly with me. I like vampires, ghosts, spooky things…but I also enjoy a good love story. If it’s a horror love story, all the better.
What are some of your influences?

The question should be, “What doesn’t influence me?” I am influenced by so much, from a chance conversation in the grocery store to today’s headlines, to an art opening, to my favorite authors like Anne Rice, Andrew Neiderman, and Jane Austen.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

There is a feeling of comfort and homecoming about reading or watching a really good classic horror tale. It’s something you either feel or don’t. Those of us who get it, adore it. I don’t think it’s something I can really explain if you don’t feel it.

What are some of the works you have available?

Gothic and Fantasy Adult Coloring Book

Costumes, creatures, celebrations, and story characters set the stage for a coloring experience like no other. How far will your imagination take you? Enter the world of Emerian Rich, a place where reality steps aside allowing fantasy to take hold. Where each picture tells a story and the stories are only hampered by your imagination. 48 DESIGNS TO COLOR.

Artistic License

Leslie Marietta is the last known heiress of a palatial estate just south of Los Angeles. When she takes possession of her birthright, sudden creative inspiration allows her to paint alive anything she imagines. Enchantment and wonder transform her life into a fairytale, but as with all fairy tales, there is a dark presence. Phantom servants sneak through the house, horrifying shadow creatures threaten to destroy her, and a band of Edwardian house guests are trapped in the walls.
Lord Ashton Northing is a man of property and situation, with a duty to his people that could tear him from his new love, Leslie. Can Ashton convince Leslie she is worthy of her legacy in time to save them from the evil that dwells in her house?
Night’s Knights

Vampires on a quest for knowledge attempt to create the perfect offspring, but from the shadows, an even more demonic evil threatens their immortality. Markham is a simple Irish immigrant striving for the American dream in 1860 when coach robbers cause his untimely death. Severina is an exotic beauty from the jungles of Brazil whose family is brutally murdered by the same man she later calls her lover. Julien is a knight who serves as a guardian angel to his family but has no clue about his predestined fate. Will a powerful mortal named Jespa be the one to save them all?

What are you currently working on?

My vampire sequel, Dusk’s Warriors. It will be coming out this summer and I am very excited about it! My poor Biters have been waiting since 2009 for the next book.

Where can we find you online?

http://www.emzbox.com

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: N McGuire

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is N McGuire who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

The story that I wrote for Clockwork Wonderland is Riddle. The Mad Hatter’s tea party gets a little more twisted.

What inspired the idea?

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I can remember, but maybe even before that – making up fantastic stories about the lives of my toys.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I don’t think that I have a favorite. Generally I write whatever funny idea ping-pongs around in my head long enough that it get’s written.

What are some of your influences?

Christoper Pike, R.L Stine, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Ernest Hemmingway, Margaret Atwood, Lynn Townsend, Charlaine Harris, Jen Lancaster, Janet Evanovich, J.K. Rowling – if I keep going this list is going to get pretty darn long…

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Killing without the mess or arrest

What are some of the works you have available?

Riddle is the first publication I have under the pseudonym N. McGuire. My other publications are more adult (sex, sex, sex) in nature.

What are you currently working on?

World domination.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on most social media as @oopswrongcookie or at www.oopswrongcookie.com

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Dustin Coffman

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is Dustin Coffman who took some time to tell us about the book and his writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

King of Hearts. It’s kind of like a prequel to the original Alice in Wonderland.

What inspired the idea?

As a long time fan of the tale, I have always wanted to know more about the whole backstory of Wonderland, like how things were before Alice showed up, so I thought I would give it a shot. I must say…I really like the outcome.

When did you start writing?

The earliest I can remember writing is in the first grade. I kid you not, I used to have my teacher help me spell everything. I even remember one of the stories, about a kid, a stone dragon, and a wizard. I guess I was just born a story-teller.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

That’s a hard one. I guess horror would be my bread and butter, but that isn’t always my favorite. I would probably say fantasy is up there, along with Sci-Fi. I’m a nerd so I enjoy embracing that sometimes as well. I burn myself out on horror a lot and take a break to try something new, I don’t want to be remembered for one thing.

What are some of your influences?

R.L. Stine is the first person I started to read as a kid. Then I moved to Anne Rice, and Stephen King and finally Jim Butcher. These four authors have molded me into the writer I am today and if you look closely, you can see their influence in my work.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

It’s such an open field. Why do you think Stephen King has never quit? There is just so much to write about. I love it, I find ideas in the strangest places. I could be driving to the store or cleaning or cooking and boom a random thought will pop in my head. “Man it would suck if- or it’s kind of freaky how that looks like.”

What are some of the works you have available?

I have three books out right now, one of which is a novel while the other two are short story collections. Damien the Newborn Devil is a vampire story about a young man in New York City who has the worst luck around, it has gangs, sex, blood and everything a good vampire book needs. Twisted Tales from a Twisted Mind is my first short story book. It has tales ranging from a killer Easter Bunny to hell hounds to a real local ghost story. Blow Your Mind, is vol 2 and it has even more stories to keep my readers happy. This is probably my favorite of the three because I feel it has my best work in it.

What are you currently working on?

I’m always doing short stories, they’re fun and easy checks, so they keep me going. But I’m working on my next vampire novel, and another stand alone novel I have been wanting to do for a long time. Plus I’m still in every issue of Horrorcore Magazine so busy, busy, busy!

Where can we find you online?

I’m pretty much on everything, but my site and Facebook is the best place to find all my stuff. 

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Trinity Adler

Horroraddicts.net Publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a bloodthirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is Trinity Adler who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

My story is called “Clockwork Justice”. In the story, Alice is a young woman whose tutor leaves for Holiday. It gives Alice a chance to take a break from studying her French and typing. She finds a pocket watch in one of her family wardrobes. In short order, she learns it has a magical connection to the Cheshire Cat, who is the Police Chief Detective Inspector for violent crimes in Wonderland, and he’s intent on apprehending Alice. Apparently, the Queen’s White Rabbit has been murdered at the gates of the Red Queen’s palace. Since no stranger but Alice has visited there from the outside, she’s the prime suspect. He takes her back where she has one day to choose a guide, investigate her own case, and prove her innocence or it’s “Off with her head!” by order of the Red Queen.

What inspired the idea?

I’m active in Steampunk cosplay events and a member of a tea club, I enjoy writing westerns and murder mysteries. I’ve always loved the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Alice’s tea party is popular in Steampunk circles. Since I own a number of pocket watches, pieces of jewelry made from vintage typewriter keyboards and I remember all too well longing for a break from the repetition of language practice and typing classes, I blended a number of those elements into the story. Even though it’s set in England with a tip of the hat to the characters from the Carroll novels, the story is a murder mystery with many elements of a classic western. The sheriff, the Cheshire Cat, is determined to bring his wanted criminal, Alice, back to justice. There’s a potential death sentence for the criminal, plenty of suspects, and the protagonist has until sundown to prove her innocence or face a sentence of death.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil and spell. I wrote poems until college then I began writing short stories. My first stories were westerns for my dad but I branched out from there to fantasy fiction. The Steampunk genre is a perfect fit for blending fantasy and the Wild West.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I like writing about strong, inventive women with big ideas, interests in business, the occult, automatons, airships and a sense of justice. I like the fact that the West has always been a place that attracted people from throughout the world who want to write their own rules and are bold enough to make new dreams into reality. To achieve their goals in my stories, they’ll have to face supernatural beings and personal demons that could win in the end. I love including ghosts, Chinese mythology, American Indian mythology, legendary creatures of South America and others all working outside the bounds of mortal control. I don’t mind werewolves or vampires turning up in a plotline to change the rules of reality for my characters either.

What are some of your influences?

I had the good luck to be born into a family of teachers, scientists, and compulsive readers. My Dad’s favorite books by Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour, and my Mom’s favorite Agatha Christie mysteries and Stephen King novels were always stacked all over our house. Growing up, I read everything from Bradbury and Doyle to Shakespeare. There’s a lot of horror in Shakespeare. But my first deeper appreciation for literary horror came when I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It still chills me to read it. My love for Anne Rice’s Vampires and her other supernatural horror work is close to that. Anne Perry’s Victorian murder stories and the Steampunk novels of Gail Carriger had a big influence on me as a Steampunk writer. Strong female protagonists excel in their stories.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

To some extent, it’s the thrill of wondering what if we don’t survive contact with something unspeakably horrible? But horror also gives me that vicarious journey as a heartless villain. I think that’s a key to my attraction to Count Dracula and Lestat for example. You can’t help but put yourself in their shoes and cheer their survival even if it means certain death for the hapless victims. I love the excitement that bubbles up from the tension and suspense inherent to the battles between mortal and immortal, good and evil.. Horror wouldn’t be effective without it.

What are some of the works you have available?

I have work in two anthologies in current publication. I have a story in Clockwork Wonderland called “Clockwork Justice”. I’m featured in Written Across the Genres with the poem “Hope”.

What are you currently working on?

I have several works in the process of editing. Two are Steampunk children’s books “A Clockwork Christmas” and “The Mad Scientist’s Tea”. I have a collection called “Tales of the Haunted West” near completion, and two Steampunk novels that are finished and ready for editing. The first is called “Glory Anna’s Heart” and the other is titled “Amber Dragon, Clockwork Tiger”.

Where can we find you online?

I have a Trinity Adler author page on Facebook and a webpage at www.trinityadler.com. As work is published announcements are added to each of those sites.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Guest Blog Post: Jaap Boekestein

The Tick, Tock Story

By

Jaap Boekestein

Like any text nowadays: spoilers ahead! Those who enter with be corrupted with knowledge.
I need to write. When I don’t write, when I don’t create I get unhappy and I die a little inside. The never-ending urge to evade death by creating. Dear Sigmund no doubt would have had to say some interesting things about that. Or not, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Now am I in the happy circumstances I can purely write for fun. I make my living by doing things to computer systems and that allows me to be a non-commercial writer, photographer, and illustrator in my spare time. So basically I can be totally selective in what I write. For me, the theme for an anthology or magazine must be interesting, challenging or fun. Not too broad, not too restrictive and it must take me places in my mind I haven’t visited before.

Basically every evening I check a bunch of websites for interesting calls for short story submissions. When and where I first learned of Clockwork Wonderland I really can’t tell. Probably a few websites at the same time because there usually is a fair amount of overlap.
Alice in Wonderland…
Horror…
Time…

Now, that is interesting, I thought. Alice in Wonderland with Horror. ‘Real Horror’ said the submission if my memory serves me well.
Ah! And Time.
Aha!

Now does Alice in Wonderland lend itself easily for satire, adventure, humor even erotica (or porn, but you can turn everything into porn), but horror? For a good horror-story the reader needs to feel for at least one character. The reader must care so you can take grab that feeling by hairs and push it slowly towards the rotating blade of a lawnmower. (The blade is rusty, you feel the wind, you hear the engine. Slowly, slowly. You fight and scream, to no avail. What will be first? Your nose? How much will it hurt? And will that evil bastard push on, slicing up your face, breaking your jaw? How long will you feel before you pass out?). Yes, it is a dirty job to be a horror writer, but somebody has to do it. Sweet sadists like yours truly for example.

Anyway, I just didn’t see myself building up Alice as a character to care for. Way too much luggage, too many clashing images I had to overcome. Too many movies, books and games with Alice as the heroine. No, that wouldn’t do at all. But of course Alice needed to be a major character in the story, so I decided to make her the villain. What would happen to Alice when she was all grown up? A nasty, bloodthirsty, manipulative, murderous lady clad like a bad ass Dominatrix? Sure, why not. Always fun to write about your dream lady ;-).

The easiest way to get your readers to feel for a character is to use the love story. Or a slightly crooked but still sympathetic character. So I used both. Shot both barrels, so to say. Now I had the love story, I had Alice as the Big Evil, but I still needed to incorporate Time.

My twisted mind conjured up an image of a huge clock working like a kind of guillotine. Yes, I definitely would use that! Still, that was not enough. Time had to be part of the story, from the first to the last second. How?

Getting ideas for a story is just asking yourself a bunch of questions and finding original answers. It is not a big secret.
Anyway, when did Time play a role in the original stories?
Duh, right from the beginning! One white rabbit with a watch, remember?
Yes! But what to do with that nugget?
Well… I considered introducing Father Time somewhere, but the Alice movie that just came out around that time used that same idea. So no, that was out. Time, time, time…

That watch. What if it was a huge watch with people running around on it?
Or… What if it was a normal watch with a lot of tiny people running around on it? And when our heroes were hiding on that watch?
The story was born.
So dear reader, I hope you will enjoy or have enjoyed my story.
Let me know if you want more.
You can trust me.
I am a horror writer.
I will start the lawn mower.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544785518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493493560&sr=8-1&keywords=clockwork+wonderland

 

Jaap Boekestein

http://jaapboekestein.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/jaapboekestein.com

http://www.moordenmysterie.eu/

http://www.wonderwaan.info/