#Creepfest | Jessica McHugh and The Elves

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour.

It’s the 19th….Seven days into the #Creepfest Blog Tour….Having fun yet? Chilled to the bone!! Winning some early Christmas gifts? Are you talking it up? Are you hopping along to all the spots on the tour (click on tree above)?

Today this seventh day in the Blog Hop…I have the pleasure of Jessica McHugh on the blog…Jessica is a fantasy author who spins some wickedly crooked flash fiction too….Have a look at her latest offering…

#Creepfest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.
Max words: 200

“This one is perfect. There are quite a few elves beneath this house,” Santa said as he landed his reindeer by the back door.
“Calling them ‘elves’ doesn’t make it any less creepy, you know,” Dasher snorted. “Maybe you should just stop being lazy and deliver the presents the old way, down the chimney.”
“If you don’t shut your snout, I’ll send you down the chimney.”
“Okay, forget the chimney. How about those elves?”
“I thought so.”
Santa twisted his mittens into the snow and the ground began to shake. Then, up through the ivory banks, a multitude of skeletal hands wriggled. Santa hooked bows on bones and placed presents on palms. When a beagle’s rotting skull popped out of the snow, Santa tossed the gift cards and Fido caught them with a yip.
“Be careful with those gifts,” Santa warned the decrepit “elves” as they pulled the presents underground. “Oh, and do mind your manners if there are any children around when you pop in. Especially you, Fido. If a kid catches a glimpse of you, it might put them off dogs forever. Gift cards too.”

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Jessica’s’s Flash Fiction is the sixth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the sixth offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this sixth story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, imaginative Jessica McHugh out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways yougot on to either the naughty or the nice list.

Except for all of the holiday flash horror in which I’ve killed Santa, I think I’ve been pretty nice this year. Or I just haven’t been especially naughty. I drank lots of champagne, but not excessively. I ignored an annoying co-worker instead of bitching about her. And I set aside my writing many times when my husband needed a good cuddle.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?
I do love the cannibalistic witch from the Hansel and Gretel story just because I find it incredibly clever to use a candy house as bait. However, you’d think someone that clever wouldn’t lean so far into the oven… Oh well, I imagine she had a good run.

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?
I’d prefer to be “Fozziwig” from “The Muppet Christmas Carol” because I like to party hearty and I laugh at my own jokes.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?
A huge bottle of wine one must drink entirely to read the note at the bottom which says, “You’re working tomorrow. Merry Christmas.”

LINKS
http://www.JessicaMcHughBooks.com/
http://www.facebook.com/author.JessicaMcHugh
@theJessMcHugh
http://mcnito.blogspot.com/

Jessica McHugh

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction that spans the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, poetry, and playwriting. She has had ten books published in three years, including “Rabbits in the Garden”, “The Sky: The World” and the first three installments in her “Tales of Dominhydor” series. More info on Jessica’s speculations and publications can be found at JessicaMcHughBooks.com.

Thanks for that sneak peak into your imaginative mind Jessica…I am not going to be able to look at elves in the same way again…what did I hear someone say they are made up? Wash your mouth out…as Jessica has just shown, even if you cannot see them, does not mean they don’t exist! Happy Creepfest and Merry Christmas Jessica! 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by#GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucherThe runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#HolidayHop Barbara Silkstone

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...

Today I have the pleasure of Barbara Silkstone’s talented words on Dragonfly Scrolls.

Santa and the Super-Glue

By Barbara Silkstone

To:  Kit@DancingQueen.oops

From: Alice@Wonderland.oops

Kit,

Just a short note to let you know I arrived safely in London last night. The tube of super-glue you gave me in case I break a nail came in handy. No, not for me, my Christmas-red fingertips held up nicely even in the baggage claim at Gatwick which was as rowdy as the World Cup and nowhere near as polite. You are the best nail-tech / drag queen in Miami. I miss you already.

London looks like a precious Victorian Christmas card, all lights and smiling faces. The jingle of bells is a constant over the babble of tourists from around the world. Grinning like the Cheshire Cat, I walked to Harrods from my hotel this morning, certain I’d find some lovely gifts for all my friends back in the States. I promise NOT to bring home any English gentlemen for myself, no matter how much they look like John Cleese, but perhaps you’d like a Colin Firth look-a-like?

You are not going to believe what happened when I got to Harrods. I followed signs that offered a free gift to ladies who visited Santa in Ladies Lingerie. No, silly. He wasn’t wearing it. I stood in the queue waiting to sit on the skinny Santa’s lap. There was something familiar about his cockney accent. Just as it was my turn, which I can’t believe I even considered, Santa’s left ear popped out from his head. He yelped and pressed the ear to his white-wigged noggin. As the ladies in the queue gasped, his right ear jutted loose.

Remember that creep who testified against me in my trial? The one who committed perjury for theme park tickets? The guy whose ears swung away from his head like two open doors on a taxi when his super-glue gave way while he lied on the witness stand? Algy Green? He was the creepy Santa Claus! He didn’t recognize me but I sure recognized him behind his fake Santa beard.

Revenge is best served cold. I had a delicious bowl of Payback when the Algy – Santa squeaked “Super glue? Anyone got any?” I reached in my purse, took out my tube and pushed his head back. The bozo thought I was helping. Quick as a reindeer on a roof, I spritzed the glue over his lips and pushed his beard into place. I held it for a minute as I pretended to fuss with his Dumbo ears. He’ll be picking white cotton off his face until August. 

All in all my London shopping trip has been a jolly time filled with satisfaction and holiday cheer. Thanks to your super-glue it’s already been the best Christmas ever. See you on the 24th.

Love,

Alice

~

Alice Harte is the heroine of best selling ebook:

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters

Algy Green is one of the many villains who challenge her in this comedy mystery.

Available on Amazon Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BIGFSE/

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters  ~  Wendy and the Lost Boys  ~  London Broil ~ The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman.

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Wendy and the Lost Boys topped the charts in comedy, climbing over Tina Fey, Sophie Kinsella and Ellen DeGeneres. The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters has been a consistent best seller in comedy. Both Wendy and Alice have been in the top 20 Amazon comedies at the same time. Silkstone has been fortunate enough to take part in writing workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, and James Michener.

Barbara loves to hear from her readers. Her blog site is:

http://barbswire-ebooksandmore.blogspot.com/

Barbara Silkstone’s Books


The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters
Wendy and the Lost Boys
London Broil
The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman
Barb’s Wire-eBooks & More
A Moose Walked into a Bar
Thank you Barbara for that wonderful flash fiction. Alice’s adventures sound fantastic… It was a pleasure having you on Dragonfly Scrolls. Happy HolidayHop and Merry Christmas!

 Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you! 

#Creepfest ‘s Ash Krafton’s Christmas Terror

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour.

It’s scary 6th day…half way through the #Creepfest and that much closer to Christmas!

To scare you silly this 6th day of #Creepfest…I have the rare honour of the lovely Ash Krafton, dark poetess, author and blogger…She brings you “A Christmas Terror”

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#Creepfest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

A Christmas Terror

God damn ye, scary gentleman
I’m begging—go away
Remember when I saw you on the night ‘fore Christmas Day?
You slithered down my chimney
toward the tree where presents lay
No tidings of comfort or joy.

At first I’d thought Saint Nicholas
had come to visit me
I saw the fat pack on his back
and almost danced with glee
But then he turned—I saw the face
I wasn’t meant to see—
Where are tidings of comfort and joy?

The scarlet eyes that smoldered there
looked treacherous and cruel
They burned a hateful fire that
fed on demonic fuel
His teeth were long and vicious, dripping
incandescent drool
No tidings of comfort or joy.

I didn’t want his presents, didn’t
want to see that face
I shut my eyes in terror but my
mind would not erase
All images of Christmastime
were tragically replaced
No tidings of comfort and joy

He loosed the strings and tugged it open
I saw what’s inside
A group of children, bound and gagged
their wrists and ankles tied
He could have turned and seen me but
I’d run away to hide
Forget tidings of comfort and joy
None for this boy—
No more tidings of comfort or joy.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Ash’s Flash Fiction is the fifth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the sixth offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this fifth story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, terrifying Ash Krafton out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

Hi, everyone. I’m Ash Krafton and, as you can see, I have the tendency to take the happy and innocent things in life and kind of ruin them just a little bit. I don’t think I ever intentionally set out to become a dark poet. That’s just where I ended up.

Maybe that’s why I ended up on the Naughty list. No matter how much good a person does, it’s the bad stuff everyone remembers. Santa is no different. Shoot, can he hold a grudge or what?

So maybe I dug up a lover’s corpse in The Vigil (Danse Macabre). Well, two, if you count The Downside of Undying Love (Lightning Flash). But I’m not all about reanimating corpses. Sometimes, I make them—like I did in So Long, Warren (Red Penny Papers)—but that time, I think I pled insanity.

Anyway, Santa’s a jerk who won’t remember all the nice things I’ve done because the naughty things were just too great to overlook.

My favorite villain in a classic fairy tale is Godfather Death in the tale of the same name. Although he is meant to be the adversary in the story, I can’t help but sympathize with him. Damn, those Grimms were twisted. They really knew how to tell a dark tale.

When it comes to A Christmas Carol, I’d definitely be Jacob Marley. It might be too late to save myself…but it won’t stop me from trying to save someone else. There is always hope for the living. We can change our ways. We can learn from another’s mistakes. I love what Jacob Marley represents.

He also gets the best light and sound effects in live productions. =)

If I were the Grinch, I’d leave a broken candy cane under the tree. There is nothing more depressing than a broken candy cane, especially if the cellophane is loose and the broken section hangs like a dislocated shoulder. *shudder*

All in all, I suppose I don’t get invited to many Christmas parties…but that’s okay. I’ve seen the true Spirit of Christmas and it’s not something I want to drink punch with.

Thanks, Kim, for being such a great hostess…and for giving me the chance to show off my Christmas Creepfest side. I’m also glad to share my own tidings of comfort and joy—for me, anyway—by announcing the upcoming release of my debut urban fantasy.

BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde by Pink Narcissus Press. Available March 2012

When shy advice columnist Sophie meets dark and alluring Marek, she learns life-changing secrets about them both—he’s a demivampire struggling to avoid evolution and she’s an empathic oracle destined to save him. Sophie possesses the rare ability to reduce the spiritual damage that causes a demivamp to Fall, making her the only thing to stand between a DV and his evolution into vampire. However, as Marek’s dangerous past propels him toward his desperate fate, his enemies make darker plans for him: once vampire, Marek would be second only to the Master himself. The vamps want to cause Marek’s Fall and they intend to use Sophie to do it.

As a special treat, I’ll give commenters on this post an extra chance to win a prize. Once you’ve entered to win on The Kraftmatic Adjustable Blog, leave a comment here and I’ll pick another lucky sonofagun. Easy, peasy, baby-squeezy and you’ve got two chances to win. (More if you’ve been stalking me. In a non-threatening manner, please.)

Good luck, everyone! Thanks for creeping by…

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Thank you for that frightfully scary Christmas Terror Ash. Oh I agree with you, loved those Grimm brothers. Give me the Brothers Grimm over Disney any day. Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas! 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucherThe runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#HolidayHop Kristy Carey’s “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...
Christmas is all about realising the child in you, whether you are adult or child. It is about celebrating childlike ideals and believing in good things. This Hop I am dedicating to the land of our stories and fairytales re-imagined. The first person to take up the challenge of re-imagining a fairytale is the talented Kristy Carey – writer, blogger, and jewelry designer. Take a step back in time to the child within you as she spins “Beauty and the Beast” for us.
Beauty and The Beast come alive once again...

He looked into the mirror and saw only the beast he was, nothing else.  With a howl of rage, he picked it up and threw it across the room.  There was no way he could be loved…. He hadn’t been before and nothing would have changed him now.  That didn’t stop the longing in him.  This wasn’t a fable.  Not fairy god mother was about to pop up and make it all better.  Santa Clause wasn’t going to drop down the chimney with a gift to change it all… There was no wizard behind the curtain, with a bag of tricks.

No, he was trapped in this beastly form… With no chance of returning to the person he’d been before.

Moving to the long broken window, Tri looked out at the garden below, watching Calla as she walked through it.  He figured that she was dreaming of her home… Of a time before she’d ever heard or seen of this place.

With a sigh, he turned away and moved toward the door to call for one of his people, telling them to have dinner ready for them in the dining hall, rather then the small room they had been using before.  Since he planned on letting her go home tonight, he thought it best to offer her the best they had, before letting her return to the family she loved.

Inside his own head, the reflection in the mirror was that of a beast, large and snarling.  Fangs dripping, claws ready to rip into the tender flesh of the people around him.  A beast… A monster.  Tri didn’t understand the truth of his unique situation, he didn’t see just what others saw.  But then in truth, he didn’t care.  The beast was there, that part of him that could kill without caring.  It didn’t matter that he had to call it out, that right now… He looked like a 25 year old young man, with white and black hair and stunning, deep purple eyes.

Dinner progressed normally, even with her surprise at the formal nature of the meal.  She tried to engage him in conversation, tried to draw him out, as she’d tried so many times before.  But instead, he kept himself quiet and barely responded to them.  Even when he told her of her freedom, it was as few words as possible.

Calla watched him walk away and sighed softly.  She did want to go home and see her family, but there was a part of her that also wanted to stay and… Show Tri how she saw him.  He wasn’t the monster he thought he was… Even when she’d seen the other side of him, she’d seen that he was far from a monster.

But, it seemed her future was to be spent at home, away from him.  With another sight, Calla packed her things and was soon setting off for her home.

Weeks went by and Tri debated in his mind the choice of letting her go.  He wondered if she was happy, if her family was well… If she missed him.  Spending more and more time in his other form, the servants tended to stay away from him.

So it was, almost two months since she’d left, that movement was heard along the roadway to the large manor house.  Excitement rolled through the servants, hoping it was the young woman returning to them.  The sight that greeted them instead, was what looked like an army of villagers, marching toward them. The anger seemed to roll off them, directed at the house.

Just outside the gates, they demanded the master of the house be brought out to them.  Voices rose in anger at the seeming ‘monster’, that he was.  One man stood at the front, looking arrogantly about as if, he’d been the one to bring them all here.

Tired and lonely, Tri stepped out onto the balcony over looking the courtyard and stared down at the people.  The arrogant man yelled up, here is the master of the house… Here is the one we’re after.  But the people saw only a sad young man, not a monster.  They remembered the young woman, Calla, who had spoken so highly of the man and how he had cared for her, even as he’d held her here… And he had let her go.

Tri never saw Calla again.  The truth of who and what he was finally came to him and he took up his heritage.  The young woman searched for him, gathering tales of his passing, putting them all into a book, hoping they would lead her to them.  Two young brothers helped her as she grew older.

Wilhelm and Jacob never wrote of her story, choosing instead to carry on her work of gathering up stories, believing there was truth in them.

Tri – The Beast, is from a WIP story about the Ulfur Drykkur, my own version of the Werewolves.
Calla – Reprises her role in the retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  Look for her late next year in my novel ‘The Charming Line: Truth Behind The Fables’

Kristy Carey
~waves~ Hi all!!  I’m Kristy, your guest blogger for the day.  I’m almost 30, proud of my age and… Just starting to learn who I am.  Jobless, I’m in school online to get my BS in Business.  ^^  One year left!!!  I’m also a budding Graphic Designer, self taught and mostly doing jobs as they come up.  Its something I have fun doing.  Last year I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo, and am planning on ePublishing it in 2012.  The novel I worked on this year in November, I’m hoping to have out next December.  On top of attempting to get published, I’m also starting my own business as a jewelry designer.
Kristy's Jewellery

I’ve actually been removing a lot of my stories from the net, as I’m preparing to do some self publishing.  I am hoping to edit a few short LGTB stories I wrote a few years back, into a small gathering and publish those, just to get my feet wet.  All this, while finishing school, editing my novels, building my Jewelry Design business, and generally trying to stay a little sane.

Kristy's WIP - Her upcoming debut novel
Thank you Kristy for awakening the childlike spirit by re-imagining Beauty and the Beast…I look forward to more adventures with your Ulfur Drykkur and Calla. Happy HolidayHop & Merry Christmas!
Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here.  There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch. Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you!

#Creepfest ‘s Axel Howerton’s “Letter to SantyClaws”

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour.

It’s the 17th and the stretching out bloody hand tells us we are 5 days in, the blood is creeping through…Hope you have been hopping to all the above blogs…there is plenty tales of horror and freebie flash fiction as well as some great giveaways, sweepstakes and prizes…

Five days in...

Today I have the pleasure of the wicked hilarious man with a sharp tongue, the one and only Axel Howerton – lately of #CoffinHop 2011 fame…He spins some flash fiction for us that can only be pure “Axel” and tells me a little about his Christmas favourites…did you think he makes the naughty or the nice list? Find out here…

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#Creepfest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it. Max words: 200

“Who’s next Larry?” The booming voice echoes across the rooftops, the giant in his red suit struggling out of the chimney stack, blazenly ignoring every law of physics held dear by the most serious of men. When he finally wriggles free, like a fully-inflated beach ball magically erupting from the business-end of a wrapping paper tube, there’s a squishy “pop”, and a barely audible snicker from the midget standing next to the ornate wooden sleigh with the quad-thrust boosters and touch-screen GPS control panel.

“McGinty, Jimmy. 43, lives with his mom, owns a comic-shop…” Larry squeaks his words out like a mouse in heat.

“43? Jesus. Are you kidding me?”

“You know the rules, Boss Man. As long as they believe.”

The big red beast shakes snow from his long white beard and makes a long reach back to scratch at the expanse of red velvet covering his well-fed haunches.

“But 43. Why hasn’t his mother given him the damn “talk”. We can’t afford to be giving gifts to kids until they’re 50! 12… 13… max! Then we have a nice rollover that allows us to keep up with the… what is it now? 10 MILLION a year?”

“10, 964, 998.8”

Bushy white eyebrows rise as gleaming blue eyes narrow to slits.

“Point-eight?”

“Don’t ask.”

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Axel’s Flash Fiction is the fourth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the fifth offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this third story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, twisted Axel Howerton out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

This may be a little gross for a happy-go-lucky Creepfest interview, but my poor, lovely, saint of a wife lives with 3 boys. SO I spend a lot of time cleaning in front of the toilet. Santa knows what I’m talking about. You hardly ever see girl elves in mainstream depictions of the North Pole… Who do you think cleans up after all those little buggers? It probably is not Mrs. Claus. Nick feels my pain. Ergo – always on the nice list. I could chop up a scientologist and feed them to a nun, I’d still be gold… You know, there’s a whole separate afterlife for janitors and plumbers. They get to sit in a big shiny white room that never gets dirty. They sit there and they eat ribs and drink whiskey and they watch Monk on the greatest HD TV in the Universe.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Let’s see, Rumpelstiltskin was a black-market human trafficker, the witches in Hansel & Gretel were cannibals, the Queen in Snow White was a Republican and the “evil” stepmother wasn’t evil, so much as a real buzz-kill. Soooooo… Grendel. I mean, he was just a giant BAMF berserker looking for his revenge on the men who tormented him out of religious bias. He’s minding his bidness, slaughtering townsfolk and sending half-eaten Viking warriors off to Valhalla, when that smarmy jag Beowulf shows up and rips his damn arm off… Where’s the respect?

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

Well, when we JibJab it, my kids always make me Bob Cratchit and, I suppose, he’d be who I would both most resemble and most relate to. I’m just a poor shmoe trying to afford the proverbial Christmas goose and a couple of lumps of coal. I’m happy and content with being in the middle. I don’t need to be the richest man in town, but neither will I let my kids go hungry or without Transformer KRE-O. Also, my boss is a dick.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

Zee Grinch cares about nosing, Lebowski! Zee Grinch leaves nossing. He comes from nossing and creates nossing! The Grinch is the personification of nihilism.

Axel Howerton

Axel Howerton is most often described – in order of import – as: Badass Dad. Attendant Hubby. Loverman. Author. Reviewer. Time Lord. Bookhouse Boy. Coffee Addict. Dudeist. Sox National. Enmascarado. Reformed pugilist. Ink Monkey.

His work has appeared in Dark Moon Digest, Dark Eclipse, Kitschykoo Magazine, Last Writes, My Good Eye, The Den of Iniquity, EyecraveDVD, and many more. Axel’s zombie novella Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy is available at most online retailers and his story “Hum” is featured in the anthology A Career Guide To Your Job In Hell, alongside the likes of Scott Phillips, Robert Vardeman and Victor Milan.

Click here to Buy Axel's novella...but read it with the lights on...

Axel spends most of his time braving the frigid tundra and rampaging sasquatch tribes of Canada – usually two steps behind his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league. He is also currently hard at work on several new short stories, as well as putting the finishing touches on his crime/comedy novel, “Hot Sinatra”.

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Thanks Axel…As always your macabre wit had me in stitches – pun meant in the spirit of Creepfest. EEww…so glad I am a girl…yes you get to be on the “Nice” list for your good deeds in toilet hygiene. Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas! 😀

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucherThe runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#Creepfest ‘s Annetta Ribken “Naughty, Naughty… Santa”

Four days in and things are crashing against the door…

kim-creepfestlogo

Today I have the lovely Annetta Ribken … an author, editor and blogger who lives to weave webs of words together…

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#Creepfest’s Guest Author Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.

Max words: 200

“What’s this?” asked Santa as he pulled out a stuffed doll from his magic bag. “I don’t remember this being on the list.” He placed the doll under the tree. “As a matter of fact, I though little Miss Maisy was on the naughty list this year.”

Thomas scratched his pointy ear and consulted his notes. “She is. This is a special request from Mrs. Claus.” He squinted. “Say, that doll looks a lot like…”

Santa took a closer look.

“Nah, can’t be. We broke off the affair a year ago.” His hand trembled as he reached for the doll to examine it further.

Thomas didn’t bother shouting a warning as he saw sharp, needle-like teeth erupt from the doll’s mouth and sink into Santa’s hand and chew up his arm. Thomas also didn’t bother to call 9-1-1 or mop up the blood; he simply made a check mark on his list and hurried back to the sleigh, grateful these days everything was automated.

Hey, an elf had to earn his Christmas bonus, right? And Mrs. Claus was very generous. Thomas was looking forward to assuming the big seat next year, although dolls with teeth were definitely off the list.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Netta’s Flash Fiction is the third entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this third story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Annetta Ribken out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you

got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

Naughty and nice are a matter of perspective, don’t you think? That being said, I’m gonna opt for nice.

  1. I took in a shelter kitty this year.
  2. I gave blood.
  3. I didn’t kill any one of the 4,398 phucktards who crossed my path this year.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Rumplestiltskin. I think he gets a bad rap. He’s just a guy trying to make a living. He presents choices to people, and then is blamed when things don’t go exactly the way they’re expected. I think that’s unfair. Although Rumple is muy creepy and gives me nightmares. And I always wonder what the hell he has in mind for all these babies he seems to want. What is up with that??

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

I’d probably be the Ghost of Christmas Past. I have a baby face, and I think it’d be really cool to have light emanating from your head.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

I AM the Christmas Grinch. Heh. I’d leave beautifully wrapped boxes which are totally empty to remind people it’s not the THINGS that matter, but the spirit of giving and sharing. Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Author bio: Annetta has been writing since words were carved on stone tablets with chisels. Not only does she write her own words, Annetta is also an accomplished editor. She lives just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.

Twitter me @netta50

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Annetta.Ribken

Blog: http://wordwebbing.com/

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3414795.Annetta_Ribken

My blog: Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 2 – Rollin’ in the Deep

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Thank you Netta… Your flash fiction was a very original spin on Santa’s visit. No scorn like Mrs Claus it seems…I must say I love Rumpelstiltskin too. Happy Creepfest and thanks for creeping by on my blog. 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.~~~~~~

    So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

    Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

    ~~~~~~


    I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…kim-talesforcanterbury(large)

#Creepfest Erik Gustafson & Santa’s full moon visit

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to the blog tour.

There are more creepy crawlies edging through the doorway…

Three days in...Nine days to go....

It’s the 15th, three days into #Creepfest and the creepiness is only beginning…

Today I have the creepy pleasure of Erik Gustafson…an author who specializes in Apparitions of Fear …Remember to hop over to his blog for more terror this #Creepfest!

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#Creepfest Guest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.
Max words: 200


Santa pulled hard on the reigns and the reindeer clomped to a stop on the asphalt parking lot in front of the mausoleum. The moon was a bright white circle staring down as the jolly man stepped off his sleigh. He stood in the quiet night and surveyed the rest of the cemetery around the ornate stone structure. Bells jingled on his ankles, wrists, and the end of his thick red stocking cap as he walked to the back of the sleigh where massive burlap bags were stacked. The sound of the bells echoed over the shadowy headstones lining the fields around him.
He cried his trademark cheer. “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
The grounds seemed to move and come alive as dirty, rotting hands reached up out of the ground. Santa strolled through the grass unloading his gift of brains he had collected the night before into their undead, clenching hands.
As he grabbed the final bag off his sleigh, one of the reindeer snorted as he skipped past it.
A tall stone door with angel carvings at the front of the mausoleum creaked open. Santa slung his sack over his shoulder and marched inside.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Erik’s Flash Fiction is the second entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this first story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Erik Gustafson out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

I would be on the nice list I think. For one, I help people with disabilities all year long, I am great dad and I haven’t been convicted of any crimes this year!

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Ursula the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. She is cunning and evil, she knows exactly what people want and preys upon that weakness to steal their soul. Absolutely beautiful woman has charm and can sing! Plus who wouldn’t want a pair of electric eels as pets?

4) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

I would be Jacob Marley because it would be fun to come back from the dead and mess with people, and maybe try to convey a message or help someone too would be alright too I guess!

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

I would find the children’s list, get everything on the list and mangled, shred and smash each and every gift then place them neatly under the tree with bright bows on them.

Stop by my Amazon Author page athttp://amazon.com/author/erikgustafson and check one of my stories. My debut novel is Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon.

I also have several short stories including The Fishers, The Blood Knows, and My Lover, My Garden.
Follow me on Twitter at @Eriktiger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you Erik. You chilled me with your flash fiction…bbbr..never going to look at Santa’s sack of gifts the same way now. I must say Jacob Marley is also a favourite of mine. You have to love those clinking chains and padlocks. Remind me not to invite your Grinch to my house 🙂 Happy Creepfest! ~ Kim

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. 

The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#Creepfest ‘s host Rebecca Treadway is “Not so nice”

Click on Poe's green bow tie to take you to the Creepfest home zone and read some great #Creepfest posts from the #Creepfest Authors/Bloggers.

It’s the 14th and you opened that creaking door!

Day 2 of #12DaysCreepfest

It’s Day 2 of 12 Decadent Days of Creepfest.

Today, in honour of the start of Creepfest, I have the pleasure of hosting

the Creepfest Host herself…none other than the wicked talents

of RL Treadway

This woman has mega talent as both an artist, author, blogger and social network guru.

So without further ado, I will give the space over to Rebecca.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#Creepfest Guest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin
on it. Max words: 200

Not So Nice

By RL.Treadway

“Who’s next on the list?”
“Tracy Hoffman.”
Santa eyeballed the palatial living room of spoiled Tracy Hoffman and
snorted.  “What could this rich kid possibly want from me this year?”
“Apparently a rare and I quote “Seventies Super Barbie”.
“Naughty or Nice?”
“Naughty.  Mom and Dad “forgot” to donate to the homeless shelter this year and Tracy said “More for me!”
“You don’t say?”  Santa put a hand on his hip and lay a finger to the side of his nose.
He set an elegant box beneath the tree with the clear plastic front forming a cathedral window around Seventies Super Barbie.  With a wink, the collectible transformed into a tired doll with grey hair, sagging breasts,
dropping eyes, and varicose veins marring spindly legs.
“I’ve seen real women that age in better shape.”  The Elf chortled.
Santa scratched the wall of the master living room, peeling away embroidered, imported wallpaper, sniffed the wall and satisfied – punched a hole in it.
The Elf plugged his nose at the odor of decay overwhelming the scent of pine.
“Oh lookie here, toxic mold.” Santa tossed his moldy glove into the fireplace, then snatched a cookie.
“Want one?”
“Thanks, Santa!”

**

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got onto either the naughty or the nice list.

Rebecca: I’m on the nice list.

I refrained from beating up anyone who hassled me while I took a walk.
I held my tongue, which if you knew me – is rather difficult at times, when people turned unpleasant.
I helped out some street people a time or two with either money or food, or just talking to them like the people they are.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Rebecca: The wicked faerie in Sleeping Beauty.  Being overlooked like that was really mean and that was a wicked vendetta she slapped on their heads.  In the Disney version? I want Maleficent’s wardrobe and the ability to shape-shift into a Dragon!

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

Rebecca: The Ghost of Christmas yet to come.  I tend to be the one in the family reminding people they’re acting like jerks and a “look what’s going to happen to you” if you don’t shape up. :p Probably because I say it to myself all the time.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

Rebecca: The wrapping would be gold foil with a red velvet ribbon. Said gift shall be filled with dust-ridden feline furballs and shredded toilet paper.


So more about me…

I don’t have a novel available just yet.  Here’s the blurb. (I hate these so I went snarky!)

*******

Aside from working on a dark fantasy novel series coming in Spring 2012, Rebecca’s first venture into e-publishing was a testing of the waters.  At  Amazon you will find collections of anxiety ridden and angry poetry written in her early to late twenties, the result is the critically acclaimed with 4 and 5 stars  – by three people – Grotesque Mind Circus. Shortly thereafter, inspired by arguments overheard by her ghetto neighbors – she wrote a freestyle “poem” called The Little Book of F**k You with a soon to be re-released cover make-over.  It’s sequel, the Little Book of F**k You, too!  is in the first draft since the neighbors were evicted.  She’s the Art Director for the
small press publisher Angelic Knight Press and keeps company with snarky intellectuals.
She’s inspired by Michael Moorcock, Robert Howard, and Hong Kong Cinema.

RL Treadway ~ #Creepfest is her brainchild

Here’s the links to the two poems in question and my Author page.

www.amazon.com/Grotesque-Mind-Circus-ebook/dp/B004RCLVNC

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-You-ebook/dp/B004V121Z6

http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Treadway/e/B004RXKLHS

Thanks, Kim!

/R

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks Rebecca…Great post and I had to love Santa’s evil payback on a spoilt brat 😀 Thank you too for taking the time to guest on my blog…I know how busy you are. And if I were Santa’s elf, you would definitely be on the NICE list. Happy Creepfest!

So just a reminder…Rebecca’s flash fiction “Not so Nice” is the first entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this first story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Rebecca Treadway out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant). 

__________________________________

Now…What you readers have been waiting for?

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. 

The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others.

My Guest Blog | Hero with a Rebel Cause

Today I am guest-blogging...

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to guest post, by the talented and lovely Erin Cawood, on the topic of Heroes.

My heroes are very close to my heart so this was a topic I was excited to guest post on.

“The hero of my stories is usually an underdog. My heroes are rough-hewn and rough around the edges. They have a rebellious streak and love bucking the system. They usually do not know they are a hero until push comes to shove and they are thrown into the white hot fires of adversity, conflict and tension. Even though they are underdogs, they are no cowards. They also don’t have the bounties of life offered to them on a silver platter. They have had to fight for recognition and achievement every step of the way. They succeed through honour, integrity, loyalty and above all perseverance. They believe that if you do not stand for something or stand up for someone in life, you will fall for anything.

….

“My heroes and heroines don’t fit the mould of everyday society. They don’t follow the rules. They fight for their own place in society and they make their own rules. They are rebels with a good cause and they will do whatever is needed to fight for that cause whether it be rescuing someone or standing up for what they believe in. You will want my heroes and heroines on your side because believe me they are better friends than enemies. You might say my heroes and heroines are heroic rebels. … read more on the post here 

What qualities make up your heroes and heroines?

Rachna Chhabria | Character Secrets

The Mad Hatter, Alice, Gollum, Samwise, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter…

These are all characters we feel we know as well as our own loved ones. They are characters that we grew up with or came to know and love. The authors of these characters may fade with time but their creators – the memorable characters – will live on in our memories.

So what makes a memorable character? Why do some characters just creep into out hearts? What makes a character jump from the page of black and white words into a fully formed 3d character that lives, breathes and acts?

Rachna Chhabria guest posts today and tells us how she comes up with memorable characters and what the secret ingredients are. 

Creating Memorable and Enduring Characters

 

As readers, long after we finish reading a book, the characters remain with us. These are what we call memorable characters. Many times we put up with dull books because we have developed a fondness for the characters, especially the main character. We put up with the story because of our affection for the characters.

 

When we start writing our own stories and books, we strive hard to create memorable characters that will haunt readers for a long time. I have had quite a few readers telling me that they identified with Leo-the lion, who was the protagonist of my first book ‘The Lion Who Wanted to Sing’. Leo’s passion to learn singing from a singing bird, was something everyone identified with. We all have plenty of desires that we wish to fulfill. Achievement of a Desire, forged a bond between the readers and the character. Leo’s sacrifices: giving up meat, roaring gently instead of loudly to enhance the musical quality of his voice and few other sacrifices struck a strong chord with readers across all ages.

 

Memorable characters are created when a character comes across as a believable character. Readers easily identified with Leo; bored with the monotony of his life as the king of the Jungle. His desire to learn singing to infuse a fresh lease of life into his dull life resonates with every human. We have all tackled boredom and monotony at some stage or the other in our lives.

 

There has to be a sense of oneness in situations, between a reader and the character’s life. Leo had to endure the taunts and jibes from small creatures who use to tremble before him, this is something we all can identify with. Time and again we encounter detractors who try to dissuade us from activities that they consider out of our reach. After that it’s up to us to prove them wrong.

 

It’s a completely false notion that for a character to be memorable they have to be perfection personified. Imperfect characters brimming with fear of failure, battling insecurities, harbouring frequent doubts about their abilities are more realistic than characters who breeze through life whistling a tune. Perfect characters or characters who have very few flaws have an artificiality about them. We immediately detest such superior than thou creatures as they hold a mirror that reflects us in poor light.

 

Characters who are not scared to show their emotions appeal more to readers than characters as closed as a clam. If a reader is getting acquainted with a character and following him page after page, he/she needs to see the character with all its flaws. The reader is literally making the journey with the character and a journey has its fair share of sorrows, joys, fears, success, failures, frustration, strengths and worries.

 

The lion’s frequent questions regarding his ability to carry a tune echo the doubts that often crop up in our minds when we start a new endeavour. This brought about a sense of identification with the character’s emotions: anxiety and doubts.

 

Characters who encounter both success and failure are ones readers identify with. Isn’t life all about both the highs and the lows? The lows the protagonist undergoes makes us rejoice when they experience a high. If characters keep tasting failure without a bite of success, then the readers label them as complete losers. And when characters constantly meet with success, they are labeled as overachievers and the readers start resenting them.

 

To hide his insecurity and doubts from his family, Leo often secretly practiced the singing lessons inside a cave so that the next time he sang before his teacher he would be a little better than the previous session. Leo’s constant battle with the thought that carnivore animals could not sing is as realistic as it can get and becomes a mirror image for all of us. Isn’t life all about conquering fears, both internal as well as external. We have as many inner conflicts to overcome as external conflicts to battle. And our fights with our inner demons is a constant one.

 

Characters who arouse our sympathy, definitely wriggle their way into our hearts. I need to clarify that I don’t mean weepy or weak characters get our sympathy. Characters whose circumstances close in on them, are more sympathy evoking than characters who are caught in a sad state because of their deeds. When we empathize or sympathize with a character, concern for their well-being creeps in a reader’s mind. It’s this concern that sees us enduring the story despite its flaws.

 

Thanks Kim, for giving me this opportunity to guest post on your lovely blog.

 

Find Rachna on her blog: Rachna’s Scriptorium