Chilling Chat Episode 152: Valjeanne Jeffers

valjeanne-jeffers-author-picValjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College and author of ten books including Immortal and Mona Livelong I and II. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies including, Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures, Sycorax’s Daughters, and The City and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler. She was honored as a “Seer” by the HWA Diverse Works Inclusion Committee in 2016 and is a screenwriter for the horror anthology film, 7 Magpies (in production.)

Valjeanne is a remarkable woman. During our interview, she shared some interesting facts about her early life, creating characters, and her upcoming projects.

NTK: Thank you for chatting with me, Valjeanne. You have a varied background. Your parents are English teachers and you have an MA in Psychology. How does this inform and affect your work?

VJ: Because my parents were English teachers, I came in contact with writers at a very early age. They were in and out of our house wherever we lived. I remember my mother cooking for them…poets, writers, artists and I got a chance to sit in on their discussions.

NTK: Wow! What writers?

VJ: This was years ago, so I can’t remember very many names. Quincy Troupe was one I remember. Another regular visitor to our house was Eugene Redmond. I re-connected with him about nine years ago and he published me in his anthology Drumvoices Revue (poetry.) It’s been a huge honor because my poetry appeared in an anthology with some really famous folk.

We did have a library and I was reading Richard Wright and Chester Himes from age 9 or 10. The authors I read had a huge impact on me. Himes and Wright’s use of magical realism influenced my writing horror and science fiction.

NTK: Did this interest in Himes and Wright lead to your writing Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective?

VJ: Yes, and I had other influences. Mona Livelong is an urban novel. And, Robert Beck (believe it or not) and David Goines brought this out. You know Robert Beck as “Iceberg Slim.” He’s notorious for his anti-heroes but he’s also a brilliant writer.

Tananarive Due and Brandon Massey are also huge influences, especially when it comes to writing horror.

NTK: Which of their works are your favorite?

VJ: For T. Due, it’s My Soul to Keep (the series.) For B. Massey, it’s Within the Shadows and into the Dark.

NTK: You’ve spoken of Stephen King and Dean Koontz as favorite authors. Which one do you like best?

VJ: Stephen King. Definitely. He has been a huge influence.

NTK: Which of his books do you like the most?

VJ: The Talisman and The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three.

By the way, earlier, you asked about how my MA affects my work. It helped me construct personalities and also “character careers.”

NTK: What made you choose the career of “paranormal detective” for Mona?

VJ: I had been toying with the idea of a paranormal detective for a while and I decided to take the plunge and just do it.

NTK: What’s the process of creating a character like that? Do you decide what she’ll do and won’t do? Do you decide what powers she’ll possess?

VJ: Characters for me are based on people I have known and sometimes, those I see on TV that week. I take someone and add and subtract the things I feel they should have. And, some, (Tehotep from Immortal, for example) come straight out of my unconscious. Both Mona and Karla (Immortal) are based upon a young woman who babysat me in California. She was coping with the death of her mother and brother and raising her two remaining siblings.

NTK: Did Tehotep come from a dream? Or, did he just come to you?

VJ: Tehotep came to me in waking dreams, bit by bit. As far as their [character] abilities go, that’s a process of imagination. Since I decided early on that Mona would be a sorceress, I had to decide what she could and couldn’t do. Her powers had to be limited. If that makes sense.

NTK: Let’s talk a little about Sycorax’s Daughters. How did you become involved in that project?

VJ: Two of the editors, Linda Addison and Kinitra Brooks, contacted me. They said they were publishing Sycorax’s Daughters and asked if I’d be interested in submitting something. Of course, I said yes!

NTK: How did it feel to be included among such original voices? Sycorax’s Daughters is an anthology like no other. All the writers are women of color.

VJ: I was blown away! We made (are making) history and to be a part of this—it’s incredible!

NTK: It was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.

VJ: Just to be nominated was incredible.

NTK: Could you talk a little about 7 Magpies?

VJ: Yes. What would you like to know? It’s still in the works.

NTK: Is it an anthology film? What is the significance of the Magpies?

VJ: It’s a film anthology. Each person involved contributed a story or poem. We got the Magpies from the creator, Lucy Cruell. It’s based on a nursery rhyme. “One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.

I contributed an excerpt from Immortal III: Stealer of Souls to the film. All the screenwriting will be done by screenwriters Lucy chooses. Here’s a description of the film from the website:

“The first horror film anthology written and directed by Black (or African-American) women. Authors include: Tananarive Due, Sumiko Saulson, Eden Royce, Crystal Connor, Valjeanne Jeffers, Linda D. Addison, and Paula Ashe. The directors are: Lucy Cruell, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nicole Renee, Robin Shanea, Lary Love Dolley, Meosha Bean, and Rae Dawn Chong.

NTK: What did you think of the adaptation process? Was it difficult bringing your excerpt to the screen?

VJ: Actually, I looked at what Lucy wanted and chose stories I felt were appropriate. She picked the Immortal III excerpt. That one was my favorite too.

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What work do we have to look forward to?

VJ: Quinton Veal (my cover artist and guy) and I are planning on releasing Scierogenous II: An Anthology of Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy. Scierogenous I was well received.

I’m also writing Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective III: The Case of the Vanishing Child.

NTK: Will you include horror stories in Scierogenous II?

VJ: Maybe. We’ve got a great crew so let’s see what they come up with.

NTK: As you know, season thirteen of HorrorAddicts.net is CURSED. Do you have a favorite curse? If so, what is it?

VJ: Sorry, I don’t have one.

NTK: If you were to have Mona face a curse, what would it be?

VJ: (Laughs) Girl, I don’t know.

NTK: (Laughs) Ok, thank you for chatting with me, Valjeanne. It’s been a pleasure.

VJ: Thank you so much.

NTK: You can find Valjeanne’s work at the following link:

http://tehotep.wixsite.com/immortaliiiaudiobook

And, you can follow her on Twitter here at: @Valjeanne

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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

Book Review: Sycorax’s Daughters

Sycorax is an unseen sorceress and presence in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. She is present in the memories of men and though invisible; she is the force behind her son, Caliban.  The anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters, introduces us to women like her.  Women whose existence as storytellers is outside mainstream entertainment. Black women who weave stories of enchantment and horror.

And, they excel at it.

Sycorax’s Daughters is imaginative, lyrical, intelligent, beautiful, and terrifying. The editors, Kinitra Brooks, Ph.D., Linda D Addison, and Susana Morris Ph.D. chose powerful stories, poems, and novel excerpts. When you read them, you step into another world.

The book begins with a “Tree of the Forest Seven Bells Turns the World Round Midnight” by Sheree Renèe Thomas. In this tale, a man’s journey to meet his lover’s mother meets with chilling results. The story is a perfect introduction to the book. It gives a taste of what’s coming.

Within these pages, monsters receive fresh and startling retellings. Vampires aren’t tired, Transylvanian Princes. They are far more deadly and erotic. Mermaids are outcasts among their own kind, demons require vengeance, monsters prey upon males (and wear interesting footwear), paranormal detectives investigate, and ghosts seek to leech off the living.

My favorite story concerns a woman called Naomi and her spirit partner, Alexa. Though Alexa can possess Naomi, she is not a demon. Rather, she is an ally, one who aids Naomi in her chosen profession. Alexa also disapproves of Naomi’s choice in men and must take matters into her own hands. I hope the author will consider turning this tale into a book. The world she created is amazing.

The book ends with an afterword (in the form of a poem) by Linda D. Addison. It’s called “Sycorax’s Daughters Unveiled,” and it’s a fitting and beautiful piece.

I’ve read many anthologies. Most have included big name horror authors. None of these previous anthologies thrilled me as much as this one. I kept expecting to find a lump of coal among the gems.

I never found one. I don’t think you will either.

#NGHW Top 6 Poetry Excerpts

These are the top 6 poems from the Horror Poetry challenge.

Poem 1:  Under the Water by Sumiko Saulson
Over sea, floating ye, staying abreast of watery crests

Midwinter air caresses curls unfurling over briny sea

Cool wet skin, paper thin… I can see your soul within

Every capillary pumping blood, intestinal processes digesting food

Your loving heart plain to see… how intimate your transparency

 

A sea-deep mystery, stories untold, windows into your ancient soul,

Your eyes speckled, flecks of gold cascading within jet black coal

Encasing your exquisite charms, enfolded within my fragile arms,

I am the contemplator of your delicacy, hear ye now my mortal pleas

May your ethereal heart, thorny spine and eternal love be ever mine

 

Adrift on my back, your tentative fingers in mine entwined

Long slender tail wrapped around my thighs, tendrils twixt toes

The smooth flesh of your undercarriage where barnacles grow

My flesh puckers where their tiny mouths burrow into my skin

Digesting the healthy white blood cells within


Poem 2: Siren’s Song by Riley Pierce
Through crashing waves and dying light

I fight, I fight, I fight the night.

Many begged to turn away,

But on this final course I stay.

 

The siren sings again tonight,

And so I wait until I might,

Find her perched upon the rocks,

With eyes of red, and golden locks.

 

She’ll sing her song, but just to me.

I’ll belong to both her and the sea.

My crew, at last, they hear her song,

And I’ll be hers before too long.

 

Mystic music through the air;

It moves like wind and lingers there.

It seeps into their ears, my crew.

Yes! My god! The tales are true.

 

The moon is up, it pulls the tide,

And our wooden ship from side to side.

The wind has blown, all light is gone.

This ship will not survive the dawn.

 

A sacrifice to her, I bring,

Shall earn me last to see her sing.


Poem 3: Flesh Passion by Fiend Gottes
All my desires, I’ve fulfilled them all
A deviant well overflowing from hell
Demons speak, voices tell me all
Spewing forth they entice dark desire
Dark visions boil in my mind
Bathe in blood of the pure
Snuff life within the eyes

Dreams of death dance within my mind
With my hands I strangle out their life
Yearning to know
Where is my sorrow

Then I saw
Beauty profound
I felt confusion
Ache in my heart
Time stood still
Could she be?
Warmth in the cold
Or merely a dream


Raven hair floats upon the breeze
Electric blue eyes mesmerize me
Olive skin glistens by the moon
Her soul cries a song only I hear
The voices tell me she is mine
For me to taste, me alone
Heart no longer stone

Feel her flesh
Vanquish her light
Eternal smile
Echo of her screams
My need to feel
Her last moment
My need to feel
Something pure


Poem 4: A Warning on Wings by Jonathan Fortin
His prayer was drawn in blood, the circle like a door

He sat beside the threshold, book open on the floor

This will never work, to himself he sighed

But he was so lonely that every night he cried

 

He was a somber man, not blessed with good looks

Hated by his village, he found solace in books

Tonight he stripped naked, legs crossed, arms spread

He whispered the words that from the pages bled:

“For you I’d be the greatest that I could ever be

I would do it all, anything you ask of me.”

 

The circle was no prison; he did not seek a slave

Nor mindless copulation, which would bore him to the grave

No, he sought the thing that was most beyond his reach:

A love felt too deeply to be bought or breached.


Poem 5: The Only Thing That Remains by Jess Landry
Summertime blossoms as you take your first steps

onto a path laced with dirt and stone.

Though your feet know the way,

your heart’s lost count as to how many times

you’ve walked this forgotten road,

you’ve watched the sun rise,

you’ve heard the same birdsong echo from the trees.

A leafy canopy sways high above,

a cathedral ceiling with light piercing through.

Lilacs in bloom follow the morning breeze;

olive grass as high as your dress’s frayed hem

ebb and flows like the sea,

the wind teasing them along to its silent rhythm.

Your hands swing at your sides and you breathe in,

remembering what it was to take a breath,

remembering how he took it away the first time you met—

steely eyes, blithesome smile—

how his touch was as warm as the sun’s.

The path clears to an opening,

an unkempt field forgotten by man and time,

and there he stands,

as always,

like a lighthouse on a cliff of a pear-coloured ocean.


Poem 6: A Vampire and a Zombie by AE Kirk
I shall tell you a tale of a romance most deluded,

Between a zombie and a vampire and nothing else included,

They once came together during the end of the world,

The vampire was a man and we think the zombie was a girl,

 

He tried to attack her, but all she did was groan,

He bit her rotten skin, all she did was moan,

He pulled back and frowned, looked at her dry-bloodied face,

Flicking the maggots off, she was the last of the human race,

 

She had no toes and half of a head,

She was the only body to keep him warm in his bed,

And although she craved no blood, nor food, or sleep,

He made up his mind, for her he would keep,

 

They went for long walks; rotting corpses did they pass,

They played with dead dogs, birds, cats it was a blast!

Then every evening, they sat and stared,

At the crumbling city around them, which they could never compare


Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

Linda Addison On Winning A Bram Stoker Award

Linda D. Addison is the award-winning author of four collections including How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend. She is the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award® and has published over 300 poems, stories and articles. Linda is part of 7 Magpies, a film project involving 7 black female horror authors & filmmakers based on the old nursery rhyme. Catch her latest work in the upcoming anthology Scary Out There (Simon Schuster). Linda was kind enough recently to answer a few questions about winning the Stoker and her work in general:

How did it feel being the first Black Bram Stoker award winner?

2002 NYC Linda Mom First Stoker color2LA: It was mind-blowing experience (to quote a cliche). I literally was so excited to be on the final ballot with people who were my heroes that it didn’t occur to me that I would actually win. The awards were in New York City so my mother came up from Philly for the awards banquet. It was amazing to receive it and have my mother there (she passed in 2009). She was my biggest supporter and it meant everything to me for her to see this great honoring. I could barely speak. I did get it together enough to make my mother stand up and wave to everyone. It’s one of my happiest memories.

I didn’t realize then that I was the first Black award winner until someone bought it up and I looked back at the history of HWA Bram Stoker winners. One awesome thing that came out of winning was that my high school, Germantown HS, in Philadelphia asked me to speak at a graduation.

For what did you win the award for?

LA: I received the HWA Bram Stoker award® for “Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes”, a poetry collection published by Space & Time, with an introduction by one of my favorite authors, Charlee Jacob and cover by Colleen Crary, interior illustrations by Marge Simon.

When it came out I had the first book signing set for Sept 11, 2001 in Rockefeller Center in NYC. Yes, that day! I had the book propped up on my desk at my day job as a software developer. When that day came to an end I couldn’t even look at the cover. The first poem is called ‘Fire/Fight’, which I write years before 9/11 but suddenly was too relevant.

As NYC and I tried to find a new normal after the Towers were destroyed I slowly returned to my book. I was interviewed a couple of times about the book title and opening poem.

What is it about?

LA: It’s a poetry collection I put together around the concept of transformation after destruction. There are three sections titled: Things Gone Bad, In Between, Transformation. The poems cover many kinds of loss and transformation, for example: a mother mourning a lost child, a lover loss of self, a revengeful lover, even a human losing their soul to a Voodoo Goddess.

What other stories have you received nominations for?

LA: After “Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes” I was nominated for two collections that I wrote alone and won for both: “Being989336 Full of Light, Insubstantial”, which was 100 poems (Space & Time, 2007) & “How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend” a collection of short stories and poetry (Necon E-Books, 2011).

A collaborative collection, “Dark Duet” of music inspired poetry written with Stephen M. Wilson, published by Necon E-Books 2012, was on the final ballot. This was a very special collection for me. Stephen approached me with the project and I was excited to work with him because he did poetry that made shapes on the page and I wanted to try something different. We worked seamlessly together and I’m extremely proud of this book. Unfortunately, Stephen died from cancer in 2013.

My fourth HWA Bram Stoker award® was received in 2014 for “Four Elements” with Charlee Jacob, Marge Simon & Rain Graves, published by Bad Moon Book. The book has four sections for the four elements, Earth, Fire, Water and Air. Each of us picked an element, mine was Air which I wrote as a person who travels through time and space. I’ve known the other authors for years and it was a great honor working with them to create this collection.

When did you start writing?

LA: I would say I’ve spent my whole life making up fairy tales, poetry, etc. I started writing to see myself in print when I was in high school. I had a couple of poems published in my high school magazine. Once I got out of college I started seriously submitting work (and collecting a good number of rejections), eventually the rejections became acceptances around 1994.

What inspires you to write?

LA: Everything around me, the news, my past, my hopes for the future, all the positive and negative things that humans do to each other and the planet. I moved from NYC in 2014 to Arizona and went from a city kid to being surrounded by mountains and nature. The mountains  and desert have an overall settling effect on me which help me focus.

What advice would you give other writers?

13264877LA: Write, write, write. Write every day, even if only for a few minutes. I believe most writing happens in our subconscious so if we sit down each day the subconscious gets to know, ‘ah so I can show up now’ and it will pour out what it’s been mulling over.

Know that even when you’re not putting words on paper/computer you’re writing. Living is writing. Everything we do feeds creativity, even in the most un-obvious ways.

Don’t edit while writing first draft, just get it out. This is a rule I often struggle with because I know the quality I want, but I also know it’s important to write it from beginning to end and the editor mind doesn’t help that for me.

Read (all kinds of writing, even the kind you don’t do), listen to music, go to art shows. There is such energy from creating and it’s important to feed all the senses.

Once your work is as good as you can make it Send It Out! Don’t spend time wondering if it will be accepted or not, just get it out the house and start something new. If it comes back and you can make it better, do it. If you can’t make it better, Send It Out anyway. We writers are not the best judge of our work. For sure, your writing will get better the more you write, not necessarily rewriting the same piece.

What are some books that you have available?

LA: All of the books I mentioned above are available as print and/or eBooks. The links are on my website.

What are you working on now?17263849

LA: I had a story, “Twice, At Once, Separated”, published in the first Dark Matter anthology years ago, that I’m developing into a SF novel. The novel is a new form for me and I’m learning a lot about writing while tackling it.

The end of last year I started writing daily twitter poems (which also show up on my FaceBook page) just to get my poetry fix in each day. I write them with very little editing because I didn’t want to get off the novel track, but I really needed to get some poetry writing in.

Folks can check my site for updates on work that will be coming out this year, like poetry I will have in the upcoming “Scary Out There” horror anthology for young adults (Simon Schuster) edited by Jonathan Maberry, including work by fantastic authors like R.L. Stine, Joyce Carol Oates, Christopher Golden, Lucy Snyder, Marge Simon, Nancy Holder and others.

I’m attending several events this year (see my site) and I will have work in the WHC 2016 souvenir anthology as well as teaching a poetry workshop at StokerCon.

Where can people find you online?

LA:

Website: www.lindaaddisonpoet.com

Facebook=Linda D Addison

Twitter=Linda Addison@nytebird45

Instagram=nytebird45

 

FreeFiction Friday: The Sin-Full Man

The Sin-Full Man

by

Elliot Thorpe

I watch you walk and move and talk
Knowing that I cannot stay away
I need you here I want you now
I care not for who is in the way

My feelings for you grow stronger day by day
Until I can no longer breathe
Others have had you but I want you for me
For my pain there can be but one reprieve

From without your life I stare and wonder
How you feel, how you smell, how you taste
To un-know you now is truly not enough
So I will own you and soon with all haste

Watch over your shoulder and take care of yourself
Keep everything safe you must
Let no one harm you or take you away
For you will satiate my lust

My appetite is wanton wholly for desire
for nourishment, for satisfaction, for you
You will not ignore me, you will not escape me
I know every little thing you do

I will have everything, you will give me all
Every inch of you will be mine
There is never too much, always too little
You will love me and our love will shine

Every waking moment I feast on what you are
Until my body is consumed and full
Your flesh is ripe and aching to be had
So I know I will still find the pull

Under my hands you will be piece by piece
There is nothing to subdue me, exultantly
Your blood will I drink to warm my belly
You will feed my gluttony

Mine you are mine I want nothing more
But wear you I really must
Like a familiar shape over my trembling frame
All other memories gone to dust

Take me now as I take you
Raw, passionate and alive
You will lay before naked and bare
Under me I will feel you writhe

All of you, nothing else of you
You have no say in what I need
I will rip out your tongue so you cannot speak
Yet you will experience my greed

You will never be without me, forever at my side
No need to go anywhere but here
We will exist in one place, have everything to hand
Languor in our own special sphere

Why would you run? Your legs I would remove
To save you the agony of movement
You have no need to go anywhere else
Just stay forever in the moment

Do not be afraid of being alone
For loneliness is the criminal of time
With me you will never be solo
Your acceptance will begin to climb

Lay with me, stay with me
Covered in a love-soaked cloth
Unconscious desire you will find
To do nothing together but sloth

You won’t leave me, I will not let you
Don’t try to because when push comes to shove
I will hurt you to keep you and hold you close
So don’t dare cross me or betray my love

You make me angry, so very very angry
With your beauty and unalloyed skin
I don’t just love you, I hate you as much
My feelings are not borne on a whim

I detest what you stand for, your purity and light
It turns my stomach so
But don’t leave me, I cannot be without you
I will never let you go

You will be who I want, no more no less
I will take you down a one-way path
Don’t look up, don’t look around
Or you will feel the power of my wrath

I wish I wish, I wish for you, never a day goes by
When I don’t want you so completely
And what you must know to be true is true
That you and the others will not defeat me

So you have no choice, no room to move
For I will get what I truly want
I will possess you, and be with you
You will remove all discontent

Take leave of my senses? Never! I could not
For that would mean I lose my heart
The blood in these veins pumps for you
I cannot stop what I must start

There is no limit, no cost I would avoid
It’s not a matter of money
You are priceless, unique and a treasure to behold
Everyone, see how they will envy!

I will not share you but will let people know
That before you there was just a hole
They need to see what you mean to me
How much you bless and poison my twisted soul

I fear you will wonder, of what you might miss
Or what you might find that are lies
They will see in but you will not see out
For I will pluck out your eyes

Your face, your body, I worship it all
I want everyone to grasp how you’re in my head
So I will put you on display, in a box of glass
Eternal, forever and dead

You will be preserved, beautiful and pure
Like a butterfly, for you I will not hide
Never to age, never to whither
And never to dull my pride

***********

Elliot Thorpe 4566a-1024x683

Elliot Thorpe (Twitter: @elliot1701) is a freelance writer, having worked with the sites Den of Geek, Shadowlocked and Doctor Who TV.
In 2005, he scripted ‘Doctor Who – Cryptobiosis’ starring Colin Baker and his first horror novel ‘Cold Runs the Blood’ was released in 2013. Some of his short stories have been published in the anthologies ‘Grave Matters’ and ‘The Extraordinary Lives of People Who Never Existed’. He has also contributed to and co-edited ‘Seasons of War –Tales From A Time War’.
He has a column in the San Francisco-based magazine ‘Search’, and is currently writing a biography of Dean Martin.  https://elliotthorpe.wordpress.com

Live Action Review by Crystal Connor: Moments: A Small Poetry Collection by Ursula K Raphael

51rbyHkk4pL._UY250_ I didn’t read the forward so I was completely caught off guard by the collection of poems that make up Moments.

Ursula K. Rapheal is known within the horror community as AstraDaemon and it would be hard pressed to find a zombiephile worth their weight in salt who doesn’t know who she is. Many of us who write horror wait months, sometimes longer, to have our books reviewed by her. And she is also one of us, an author, the author of The Survivor and Out of the ashes.

I was so expecting to be plunged into darkness as I wandered around the deep crevices of a twisted and tortured mind, but what I found instead were the warm heartfelt Moments of a young person’s life.

Some of the poems made me smile, others made me feel like I was reading someone’s diary. The Mosh Pit made me laugh out loud, I saw The Last Time coming, and Paper Doll tugged at the heart-strings.

The heartbreak over an unfaithful lover, the heartbreak of growing up and growing apart from  your sibling, the fits of uncontrollable laughter in the study hall, and for the love of cats, if I were to describe this collection as a whole I would say it’s the lyrical equivalent of Instagram.

Winter is coming … and that means Christmas. If you have a friend or loved one who isn’t into #allhorroreverything like we are, or you read outside the genre and want something rich and textured to read while waiting for the bus, subway, or tram this is the perfect gift electronic stocking stuffer or treat yo self gift.