Book Review: The Hatch by Joe Fletcher

The Hatch  is a book of poetry by Joseph Fletcher.

Drawing upon Edmund Burke’s definition of the sublime—the odd beauty associated with fear and self-preservation; our astonished delight in what destroys, what overpowers and compels us toward darkness—these strange poems mine the sinister fault lines between weird fiction, expressionism, gothic horror, and notions of the absurd, cracking the mundane shell of our given metaphysical order. In the traditions of Nerval, Trakl, Schulz, Tadić, Poe, and contemporaries Aase Berg and Jeff Vandermeer, the wonderful disassociation brought to bear on the reader lies in the conjuring of unprecedented worlds, their myths and logics, their visions and transformations—worlds that resist interpretation almost successfully, and reveal to us the uncanny and nightmarish.

On first impressions, this book boasts an incredible cover which conveys an uncanny look at the emotion contained within. Each poem embraces the reader with a mountain of emotion and collapses upon them until every emotion spirals into a dark chasm. If I have to be honest (which I do because…well, this is a review), the poems aren’t what I’m used to.

Admittedly, I’m not a poetry expert. With that said, I am used to-and prefer-another style. Don’t let that stop you from reading this book though, because this author delves deep. If those kind of poems are what you’re looking for, then this is the book for you. I’m more used to poems with more rhyme, and gentle flow but Fletcher’s style rocks you out of your comfort zone and causes you to scramble for the light at the end of the tunnel.

In the end, you will feel every scar-emotional and mental-this author has experienced in some way throughout his life. I recommend it to anyone who wants a little something different. Rinse your pallet and give this one a go

Serial Scribbler : Tips This Season From the Serial Scribbler

This season on Horror Addicts, I’m going to focus on how to build your brand, as well as giving you some tips for building your business as a writer. Below is an outline of some of the things we’ll cover. I hope you’ll get something out of it, and let me know how they work for you!

  • How to build your brand
  • Should I get/be a mentor? What are the benefits?
  • Should I give/get critiqued? What are the benefits?
  • Pointers for building a successful website, and is it necessary to have one?
  • Do’s and Don’t’s for engaging your audience
  • Is Self-Publishing for you?
  • Should I get an agent?
  • What to look for in a publisher
  • I got a one-star review, now what?

Have a question for me and would like to have it answered here? Email me at vasquez@stitchedsmilepublications.com! Don’t forget to put “Horror Addicts Question” in the subject title!

 

 

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Lisa Vasquez is an author (The Unfleshed: The Tale of the Autopsic Bride, The Unsaintly) and CEO of Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. She volunteers for the Horror Writers Association as the Publisher’s Liaison and is a mentor to authors both there, and with her own company. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies which can be found both on Amazon or on her website: www.unsaintly.com

Press Release : The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride

Press Release : The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride

By Lisa Vasquez

 

 

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A plague has washed upon England’s shore, bringing death in its wake. While the sickness plucks the lives of the victims indiscriminately, something else moves in its shadows, using it as a cover. Victims without signs of infection have been brutally murdered and dismembered. Suspicions already surround the infamous Doctor Wulfe when his eccentric behavior takes a more sinister turn. His interest in the young Morrigan spirals into an unhealthy obsession. Angus manipulates her father, giving him hope of a cure in return for his daughter’s hand in marriage. But, when his bride-to-be awakens with an insatiable appetite, will she be forced to go through with the arrangement? Or will the plague save her from a deal made with a devil?

 

 

 

 

Purchase here: http://books2read.com/unfleshed

or here: Amazon

Review – Chameleon by Layden Robinson

Chameleon by Layden Robinson
Edited by: B.Z. Hercules, Jessica Hueras and Layden Robinson
Cover Art by: Daniel Johnson (Squared Motion)

Synopsis: Epic tale of a mysterious man in search of peace, love and eternal answers. An acid trip frenzy that delivers color and intensity the whole way. Think a David Lynch movie meets Stephen King “Wastelands” with a hint of Chuck Palahniuk. Download this massive story. You will not be disappointed.

This short read by Layden Robinson will definitely put color in your vision and perhaps even your dreams if you read it before bedtime. It was a cross between poetry and campfire stories with the Manson Family. Is that a bad thing? I’ll let the reader decide. I wouldn’t say it had a feel of Chuck Palahniuk, but definitely a “Mickey and Mallory” peyote trip under the stars. I found a few instances where the wording was redundant, which disrupted the flow of the story. This book is definitely for readers who love flowing, psychedelic prose while curling up with chill music (for more effect, add incense). The cover work was genius and gives you all the set up you need for what’s inside!

I gave this read 3.5 stars because I felt the editing could’ve been a little tighter and because there were a few spots I hit a bump in the rabbit hole.

Find What Works For You

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Finding what works for you as an author is the first step in also finding your voice. It takes experience, time, exploration, and trying different techniques that will keep you motivated to write.

The Ritual:
This is something that successful writers create for themselves. A ritual gets your mind ready to switch into “creative work mode”. This is similar to a bedtime or waking ritual. If you need to work with a cleared space, you could start there. Clean your workspace, or wipe down your desk. Add some music, or turn everything off. Whatever it is, do it religiously. This will trick your mind into getting ready for your word count.

Aromatherapy:
Believe it or not, this ties in with ritual…and not in the witchy-burn-small-animals-at-the-stake kind either (unless that’s your thing, which I hope it isn’t). Having the same thing to drink (coffee, tea…whiskey *cough*), keeping a snack, and even lighting a candle will tell your brain, “Hey! It’s time to work. Let’s get down to business.”

Goals:
Man, do you know how many times I have talked to authors that don’t have goals before they sit down at the laptop? While this may work most of the time, it won’t always. Having a finish line keeps you focused. Again, most successful authors know this. They set either a timer, or a word count goal. Definitely put this on your “I should try that” list if you haven’t incorporated it, yet.

Outline: (Optional)
Some authors find that an outline helps them organize their thoughts. It doesn’t work as well for me, but if I start to drift or lose the story, I do try to outline it so I can stay on track. An outline isn’t set in concrete. You can move things around if they don’t work, or delete them. It’s up to you (and your editor).

Force it:
Yeah, I said it. Force yourself to write. You don’t have to force yourself to write your current work in progress, but find something else to rinse your palate. Do a writer challenge, find an interesting picture and tell the story you see, rewrite an old short story, or just blog about how you don’t feel like writing.

And last but not least…

Do not give up. No one sits down all the time and writes. Even Shakespeare took some personal time (hello? muses?). Just make sure that you come back to it and don’t stop. The more you write, the more your brain fires up, and the better you get at your craft. Whatever it is that works for you? Do it.

What things do you include in your writing ritual to get you in the mood? If you listen to music, what music is your “go to” when you write? How do you get over the writer’s blues when you fall into the pit?

The Serial Scribbler: An Author’s Integrity

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One of the things I want to discuss today is an author’s integrity. This can encompass many things. Obviously, the first one that comes to many peoples’ minds would be that the work isn’t stolen. And you’d be correct. Stealing another author’s work is probably right down there with pond scum.

Personally, I’ve dealt with it. Whether it’s someone parasite’ing off your idea, your branding, your marketing or even, oh I dunno, a book title that is unique. It makes your skin crawl and your brain sizzle, am I right?

But there are other aspects to an author’s integrity that we don’t quite think about. Those are the things I want to dig into.

As a small, independent publisher I see much of the same crowd and I know many of he same people my authors hang around with. If you think that I don’t hear the rumors, and see things like lies, sabotage, manipulation and more, you’re sadly mistaken.

Probably the most heinous act of one author is to assassinate the character of an undeserving fellow author. This can happen in the form of a review (or what I like to call the hyena attacks where groups of friends all converging on the author’s book), Facebook posts, interviews, and more. I like to point out to my own authors that this is deplorable behavior and if those people were to focus all that energy on marketing and engaging their own readers, they’d probably see a more fruitful result.

My advice to authors, new and veteran, is to build your reader base, and build your integrity. If you say you will have a book done by a certain date, do all that you can to do that. Be yourself, be unique. (There are no truly unique ideas, however, your take on the idea is what sets you apart.) If you hear negative talk about another author, ignore it.

Do not let negative words come out of your mouth (or be typed) toward anyone else.

I’d like to point out that this rule doesn’t apply to your close inner circle. We all need someone we can confide in and tell situations to. These people should also have good integrity and realize that there are “Vegas Rules” attached to your trust in them. However, you must understand that there is a clear, and defined difference between “gossiping” and “venting” or “explaining for the purpose of gaining advice”.

Business is Business and it’s a jungle out there. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a cannibal. Don’t chew up your own and spit them out.

In my company, I have staff and members that will tell me what they’ve seen and heard about an author, then, if they aren’t already friends with them, they will watch how they interact, what they say and how they present themselves, etc. It’s not something I ask them to do, it’s something they do on their own. They are so protective of our image and our reputation (which took tons of hard work) that they want to know if this person is going to represent us in the same protective way.

Is this a fail safe method? No. There’s always someone that will slip through the cracks, but being labeled “difficult” from a publisher is professional suicide. It will affect everything you do.

Again, Business is Business.

In the role of an author I try to be helpful, courteous, and professional at all times. I never know who I’m talking to and I understand networking as an independent author is my (and any indie author’s) lifeline. I have to deal with this group of creatives on a daily basis, so it’s important that they know they can trust me.

Believe me, I hear a lot of things about a lot of people. But because the buck stops here, as the saying goes, I’m able to weed through it and pluck out the “B.S.” rather than marinate in it. One of my mottos is: I’m allergic to bullshit.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what a lot of other publishers are looking at, as well. We see, we do not say, but we’re aware. In addition to publishers, you have outside opportunities that may become closed off; interviews, podcasts, radio shows, etc.

Tell me what you think about this week’s subject: Integrity. Do you feel your reputation is important? Do you think you should be judged on your reputation, good or bad? How do you avoid gossip?

 

The Serial Scribbler: Read, Practice, and Challenge Yourself

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As a publisher and as a writer, I’m often surprised that I hear authors say they don’t read very much because they’re too busy writing. I have to ask the question, “Do you trust a doctor that doesn’t continue their education?”

Practicing writing styles and reading other books helps the author to expand their skills. We’re inspired every day by things we expose ourselves to. It would seem only logical that you would surround yourself with the works of authors that you respect but also seek new works and authors.

The indie publishing age is upon us. No longer are we limited to what one big house publisher thinks we might like. We now have the power to tell them what we are interested in.

One of my favorite things to do is learn about other cultures. Many times, listening to someone talk about their family or tales from their culture will inspire something that I write. I also gain inspiration from reading other authors and seeing how they portray their characters or their scenes. I love seeing how another author constructs their stories, laying them out for the reader to discover the plot.

The art of storytelling relies on the author’s imagination and passion. If the only passion you have is for your own work, it seems rather narcissistic but it also seems rather naïve. Break rules and be a trend-setter but remember there are others who readers will flock to for good reason.

Challenge yourself to be well-versed. Read something outside of your normal genre. Read more in your genre from the past and also current works. It’s similar to studying music. Everything you hear is derived from the masters of the past and the unique sounds inspired from it of today.

I always advise authors to join active writing guilds who challenge them to push past their comfort zones and push their writing limitations. I also practice what I preach and do the same. I can say from personal experience it has only enhanced my craft.

Weigh in! Who inspires you to be a better writer?