Enter the world of Jack Wendell:

Thank you Andrea Zug, for your wonderful and thoughtful review of Vampire Syndrome!

Andrea Zug at Lancers, Inc.

This seems to be my month for reading Epic Vampire Novels. I love it when an author gives me a new twist on an old favorite. That is precisely what Daven Anderson does in his novel, Vampire Syndrome.

After reading Dark Road to Paradise a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I could be surprised again. I was truly wrong in my assumption. Daven adds a twist, wrapped up nicely in the hero of his tale, Jack Wendell. Adding to the suspense is the fact that Jack has Down Syndrome.

I wasn’t sure just how this story would go as I tried to envision a special needs vampire, and what that fact might add to-or detract from-the Vampire persona. Let me just say that there was no detract from, in this story…it was all add to.
You will find non-stop action in this read. Edge of your seat-what’s…

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Concept Is Not Story!

I have often said that the world’s greatest writer could win the Pulitzer Prize for writing a novel about a man who collects gum wrappers off the sidewalk.
And even if you get that “great, original idea”, it’s you who will have to write it.

The Ravings of a Sick Mind

“I’ve got a great idea for you,” someone inevitably says to you when they find out you’re a writer. Their eyes gleaming with mischievous pride as they fight to contain their smile, they slowly spell out either a painfully clichéd idea that you’ve seen listed on Hackneyed Premises to Avoid At All Costs or else is something so far-fetched and desperately “original” that you have no idea how to begin telling them why it would never work. Of course, they couldn’t be bothered to take this brilliant idea and do anything with it, but they’re positive that they’ve just given you the answer to all your prayers. Because, naturally, being a writer is all about taking other peoples’ ideas and spinning that straw into gold, right?


What makes me laugh/cry about this kind of situation is what a profound lack of understanding it…

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“So You Want to Be a Writer?”

I didn’t recognize you without your hat, Brian!
(just kidding!)

You guys are awesome! 🙂

The Ravings of a Sick Mind

You want to be a writer? Then write! But once you’ve written something, be prepared to promote the hell out of it! Here’s a bunch of us Jersey writers sharing our knowledge and experience with the public while also getting the word out about our books.   This time we were at the Haggen Library in Sewell, NJ and being hosted by the South Jersey Writers. They put out a lovely spread of food, which made me like them immediately. There was cake, fruit, cookies, drinks, more cake, and even some vegetables (I think).

You thought this was going to be a picture of the food table, didn't you? You thought this was going to be a picture of the food table, didn’t you?

Melissa Teta of Melissa Teta Photography took a bunch of wonderful pictures again, so I’m going to post a representative selection of them and make snarky comments in the captions.

There's just no reason not to have this photo in every blog post. There’s just no reason not to have this photo in every…

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Discovering Talent and The Artistic Dream

I am proud to share Peter Wells’ brilliant blog post about what “art” means.


Very early on in my muddled career, I worked in what is called “The A & R Department” of a record company: that is the department which received all the tapes from would-be recording stars. There was at least a sack of tapes a day, so your chances of being listened to were remote. If you were heard, and the song did not grab our attention in the first two bars, it was the bin for you, and no letter saying “We are sorry we cannot pay you more attention at this time but we were already bored by the fourth note.”

On the back of this, with a friend, I started a side-line professionally recording  songs for hopeful artists, using ourselves and session musicians we knew: all great stuff and loads of fun.  What struck me, even then, was the amount of amazing talent out there, and that there…

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Writing Is A Journey, Not A Process

My friend Victoria Adams recently asked us, What IS a writing process?

A loaded question, for there are many meanings of the word “process.” Most all of which imply the rational and the mechanical, as opposed to human creativity.

Do we say “I’ll process that information,” or “I’ll think about it”?

One of the few phrases using the word “process” which implies human involvement is, of course, the editorial process. The second novel of my Vampire Syndrome saga, “Vampire Conspiracy”, will soon be ‘processed’ in this manner. Most of you would think my use of the word “processed” in the previous sentence to be a misnomer, and in spirit you are right. The fearless editors at PDMI will dig their fangs into Vampire Conspiracy, in a ceaseless search for the tiniest of continuity errors and the like. Professional editing arguably has the most intimate human involvement of anything referred to as a “process.”

So where does that leave writing?

Inspiration, and the act of first creation, are the antithesis of the finite, physical world we live in. The act of writing fiction literally creates new worlds that our minds could never visit otherwise. Worlds which lived only in the mind of one author before they were published have gone on to capture the imaginations of millions. The words written by fiction authors have opened readers’ minds to essential truths they never would have realized from any other way.

Can a computer’s processor accomplish any of that?

Actually, yes, when it is used as a conduit for the words humans create. Most published authors now begin their creative works when they enter their precious words onto computer hard drives. Words can now exist as nothing but digital bits and bytes as they navigate their path between the author’s typing and the readers’ devices. Processed at both ends, for the mutual enjoyment of humanity.

So, yes, our words are processed. But the creative impetus behind their creation is anything but a mechanical, rational, logical process. Fiction, our dreams and aspirations in print, is the essence of what makes us human, and a driving force of change in the world’s culture.

When I recollect the twists and turns my life has taken since I conceived the Vampire Syndrome saga back in 2009, the cold, hard, mechanical associations of the word “process” are not what I recall. I think of the friends I have made, the readers I have touched, the work I do with PDMI behind the scenes. I have found my calling on this journey, and my soul. And that is what my writing means to me.

The worlds we authors create live not just in our heads, but within all who are privileged enough to read them. I would like to introduce to you three other authors whose worlds I have been privileged to visit, through the power of their pages.

J.D. Brown knows that vampires exist because she’s dating one and no, he doesn’t sparkle. Unfortunately, he’s not immortal either (or maybe her standards are too low). A magnet for subcultures and weirdness, J.D. was that socially awkward girl with more fictional friends than real ones. As a child battling a hearing loss and a medical condition with no name, J.D. found comfort in books where strong women always saved the day and got the guy. An obsession with Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer lead J.D. to believe that her mutated chromosome made her something more, not something less. Thus her stubborn flare to persevere was born. A lover of fine cuisine, coffee, and shoes. She resides in Wisconsin were she writes urban fantasy—aka vampires for adults—and has political debates with her dogs. She loves to hear from fans and is active on Facebook.com/AuthorJDBrown and on Twitter @AuthorJDBrown.

One day, Emily Guido conceived an idea of two characters who needed to have their story told. Not ever dreaming a week later, she would have over 100,000 words written. Emily’s creation became “Charmeine,” the first novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”, featuring an ill-fated hero, Tabbruis, and the heroine, Charmeine. A couple who would literally go through Heaven and Hell to be together. Their story is a star-crossed relationship where love conquers all, with some paranormal thrown in for spice.
When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough.
In August of 2012, Emily accepted a publishing contract with PDMI Publishing. She is very excited to see her books flourishing under their direction.
Visit Emily at http://www.emilyguido.com and her Facebook Author Page. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily__Guido.

Clay Gilbert has been hearing the voices of aliens, vampires, and people from the future since about the age of four. It wasn’t long before he started to think taking notes on what they said might be a good idea. This has led him many places—through the halls and classrooms of many schools, where he’s been both in front of the teacher’s desk and behind it, himself—to presenter’s podiums at conventions, and, most often, to the comfortable chair behind his writing desk at home, where he uses his Dell computer as both a beacon and a translator for the voices that still find their way through from countless worlds and planes of existence. These days, the place he calls home is Knoxville, Tennessee, where his cat, Bella, and his ball python, Andy, keep him company between visits from a teenaged alien named Annah, an undead, blood-drinking English professor named Martin Cabot, and a boy from the future named Eternity. And it’s a good thing, too—life is busy. And Clay’s still taking notes.
Read Clay Gilbert’s musings on life at http://portalsandpathways.wordpress.com/, and Annah’s musings on life at http://childrenofevohe.com/.
Follow Clay on Twitter @ClayGilbert1 (he loves new followers!)

The blog posts which inspired this:

Rhonda Little (who started this blog loop!):

Andrea Zug (who tagged me!):

Cindy Koepp:

Elizabeth Mueller:

Victoria Adams:

Don’t Dream It, Be it: What “Rocky Horror” Means to Me

I made the “noob” mistake of throwing untoasted slices of bread at my first midnight showing of RHPS. And my friend threw rolls of Charmin at the Scott cue… 😛
1981, those were the days… 😉




What do you say when your favorite movie is one that’s been written about over, and over again; a cultural icon with a subculture surrounding it that often eclipses the film itself, like the traveling Deadhead movement (of which I was a part) often eclipsed the music of the Grateful Dead?

Well, in the case of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,”  I say–‘Don’t dream it, be it.’

I first encountered “Rocky Horror”–or a clip from it–in 1980, when I was a media-conscious, sci-fi and horror loving, precocious 9 year old.  It was in a short feature about cult films, a term I didn’t even understand at the time, on Siskel and Ebert’s “Sneak Previews” show on PBS.  The song “Science Fiction Double Feature”, and the red lips against a background as black as the midnight which has always been the film’s traditional screening time, instantly captivated me.

The song…

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