I hope all you Horror Addicts out there had a great St. Patrick’s Day! This week our author is none other than returning Wicked Women Writer, Arlene Radasky.
For HA episode 38: Devil / Possession, she has written a short story titled The Nibblers. “My story about the devil is not as scary as some of the other stories you have had on, but I hope it makes you wonder what will happen…It was not easy to write, I don’t really believe in the devil but I do believe some people are very evil. That is the route of my story.”
When asked for a sneak-peek of the story Arlene told me, “Imagine the devil and his demons creating an evil person from a very nice young man.”
It was interesting to learn that Radasky co-hosts Free Audio Bookshelf with fellow Wicked Women Writer (and HA episode 37 featured author) Rhonda Carpenter. I asked Arlene if she would share with us a little information about their blog-talk radio show. “We talked about where else we could get our books seen and heard and came up with this Free Audio Bookshelf (FAB). She walked me through the steps, and now her book, The Mark of a Druid is in archives there and I am playing my book, The Fox. We want listeners to come and talk to us live. We are there to answer questions about our books, writing and/or recording. I am happy as it is another place I can play The Fox and have people hear the music I used from Steve McDonald. When I am done with my book, we will invite other authors and play our recorded short stories as well.”
For many years Arlene has been working with nonprofit organizations to help her community and countless others. She mentioned how “lucky [she has been] to have had the time to help in many ways.”
Radasky explained to me that, “The Red Cross was a big part of [her] life for 15 years. Now Hospice of Santa Barbara is where [her] heart is. It is where [she is] supposed to be and without what [she] learned there, [she] could not have written The Fox. [She has] been a CASA working with foster children and the court system, and years with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Each added to [her] life in many ways.”
Arlene has also “been fortunate to have walked upon each of the seven continents on the earth.” I wondered if those experiences had affected her writing in any way. She replied, “Yes [it] certainly has affected my writing. Because I have traveled I met many wonderful people and early came to realize the govts (sic) we see on the news are not anything like the people walking the streets. Everyone has the same needs and cares. That is what I remember when I write.”
Though, she has the title of “a scholar of ancient history,” Radasky “did not receive formal training in history. [H]owever ancient history and its mysteries have been a passion of [hers] for a very long time. [She has] read much and studied on [her] own for many years.”
Now on to the novel that has been said to be “so accurate of Celtic life” that it has been used by historians to teach their students…“The Fox”.
“The Fox is about two couples who have to overcome difficulties. The ancient couple, who live in Scotland in the first century, have to overcome the Roman invasion. A modern archaeologist who finds where they lived, has to find herself after an abusive marriage. It is the story of how they make life changing decisions.”
For those of you that have heard that you can read The Fox online for free. You were right…Arlene explained to me about this decision. “Yes, this is very true. I decided early to give the story away in as many ways as I can and have never regretted it. I only decided to get it printed by a self-publisher after I had recorded it for Podiobooks.”
“Through them I am also available in the Barnes and Noble ebook catalog and found a new fan/friend through that list. He is going to paint a picture for me for the cover of Sea Hawk! One of the first places I put my book up was on FreeEBooks.net and that is where I have found so many worldwide readers. The best thing to do to find where my book is posted would be to visit my website.”
Speaking of Sea Hawk, (the novel Radasky is currently working on) the story “is about a woman’s life journey in Great Britain about 2400BC.” She said she wanted “to write her struggle to live and love in those times. Civilization was changing and moving and many great things happened then.”
Being me, of course I asked for a little preview of the story and Arlene was gracious enough to let us read the first page of Sea Hawk.
Skara Brae, The Mainland
Orkney Islands, Scotland
Waves crash against the cliffs. I stand on the brim of the outlook, leaning over the edge, my white hair drips sea spray. There it is, the rock ledge where the nest had been. My mind spins and I step back to regain my balance, memories beating their wings in my head.
It was here my life changed. This is where I stand in my dreams and watch as my home is destroyed. My dream. My vision.
The storm is whipping and dark, the wind strong, one that would sink our boats if the fishermen did not know their craft. I stand as tall as a henge-stone, buried to my ankles in the wind-blown sand and face my village. I see my home is there, on the edge of the circle, one of the last to be built on the side of the sea.
Something is out of place. The roof is not secure on my home. It blows up and away. I try to call out but my mouth is rigid and does not move. Helpless, I watch as the wind- carried sand fills my empty bed and removes all traces of my life. The black sea-waves finish the destruction by spinning the wall stones out to the depths where the whales play.
On my travels as an adult, after a sleep filled with pictures and sounds, I would awake after my vision, breathing hard and skin salty with sweaty fear deep in my gut, I knew it was real. My childhood home was being lost.
So I came back, to feel the stone walls of parent’s home. The stone walls still stand but the village is empty, my bed not slept in. My people are gone. The corridors outside the rooms echo with forgotten laughter and tears of my childhood, and now, the cry of baby gulls that nest in the rocky nooks.
My life is almost over. I do not walk on steady feet, chewing is a chore and my bowels do not behave as they should. And I am alone.
My love is dead. My son is dead. All but one of my daughters left behind.
I have lived more years than are remembered in the memories of those still alive. I have lived five times two hands and more. I am old. I am tired.
It is time and so I shall go to the tomb of my grandmother and mother, rub their skulls with my fingers and die.”
Being known as “a scholar of ancient history,” I was curious as to what sort of research Radasky has done for Sea Hawk. “In my research for The Fox, I came across two finds that were fascinating to me, Skara Brae and the Archer, a body found near Stonehenge. Both are of almost the same age and my mind started working on the story.”
“My library of research books and articles is just a big or bigger than for The Fox and I was able to take a trip to the Orkney Islands, have an archaeologist show me Skara Brae and ask her questions. That was very important to me.”
I also wondered “what sort of difficulties she had to face while writing 2,000+ years in the past.” Arlene said, “Two things come to mind, the first is the difference in language. I didn’t use contractions in the ancient conversations because that is what my ear heard when Lovern and Jahna were talking to me and the second was to be extra careful not to use modern words for things. I had to put myself there and describe in the terms they would have used, for instance no steel-grey colors and the like.”
Look forward to many poems and short stories from Radasky while she continues working on Sea Hawk. “I get inspirations all over the place, for poetry and short stories so I am usually doing something. I usually post them at my website in my blog. I really have to buckle down on Sea Hawk, and have promised myself to have the first draft done this year.”
To learn more about Arlene Radasky or read some of her work visit these websites:
Her website – www.radasky.com
Twitter – @aradasky
Second Life name – Imarad Breen
The Fox can be downloaded at this site – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3039
Her poem Forever – http://www.radasky.com/Site/Blog,_poetry_and_short_stories/Entries/2009/4/19_Forever_released_again!.html
and short story Farmer’s Market – http://www.radasky.com/Site/Blog,_poetry_and_short_stories/Entries/2010/1/16_Farmer’s_Market.html