Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beware, The Pumpkin Man

Today I welcome master of the macabre, John Everson, who's been a guest here before. He's stopping by today to share a little about his latest release, The Pumpkin Man, which I can't wait to sink my fangs into. Some of you may have read his short story, Pumpkin Head, which was one of those which didn't quite leave me.

Editor's note: Go to the new site for The Pumpkin Man: http://www.thepumpkinman-horror.com and ask the online Ouija Board your darkest questions! And then enter the contest to win free autographed John Everson books or e-books, as well as autographed CDs from the band New Years Day. Make sure you note that you are entering the contest from Nerine Dorman's blog when you enter the contest--someone from the blog will win an e-book edition of The Pumpkin Man, and be added to the Grand Prize contest!

You've got this thing for pumpkins. There was that infamous short story a few years ago. What prompted The Pumpkin Man and is there any connection to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow?

I do love my jack-o-lanterns! Love to carve them, and love to see them in October--they just MAKE the mood of Halloween for me. The genesis of this novel does go back in a sense to that "infamous" story you refer to (Pumpkin Head)--due to its erotic horror nature, the story couldn't really be read in mixed company, though it's my most popular piece of short fiction and is perfect for Halloween. A few years ago I was doing a lot of Halloween-oriented library appearances where I would read a short story and talk about horror to both kids and adults, so I decided to write a more "family friendly" horror story, again using that Halloween standard--the pumpkin. The original story The Pumpkin Man was about kids who go visit this pumpkin patch where the proprietor is known for his amazing jack-o-lantern carvings. But then the darker side of it all comes out when one of the boys witnesses him carve his friend's face into a pumpkin... and the friend is never seen again after that night.

When it came time to write my fifth novel, I thought about the "horror" of that short story--the idea of a guy who could transfer people's essence to a gourd with his knife--and decided there was a much bigger tale to tell there. The novel uses that short story (which is going to be reprinted next year in an anthology called All American Horror of the 21st Century) as deep background. The novel is set 20+ years in the future of the short story. It seems that back in the 1980s, The Pumpkin Man of the short story was captured and hung by a lynch mob after being accused of murdering a half dozen children. Today, Jennica and her friend Kirstin, two young school teachers, move into a California coastal cottage that Jenn inherits after the murder of her father. But the townspeople shun her for her relationship to the previous owner (Jenn's aunt, who had the reputation of being a witch), and it seems The Pumpkin Man has returned for a new cycle of killings... if Jennica doesn't use the arcane books and magical detritus left behind by her aunt to discover the true history of The Pumpkin Man quickly, the lives of everyone she knows may be forfeit!

What are some of the underlying themes running through The Pumpkin Man?

This is a classic horror novel about the unstoppable "thing in the night". You don't know quite what it is, or why it is... but it's coming for you. There are themes of loss (Jenn has just lost her dad and a few months earlier, her aunt), loneliness and isolation, but it's also a story of coming to terms with who you are, and what you want in your life--positive affirmation. I played with the whole "urban legend" element that you see in movies like Candyman, as well as the idea of the Ouija board as a channel to contact the other side. But when you open communication with the other side... you're never quite sure who you're talking to, are you?

What in your mind makes for good horror in fiction?

Good horror fiction, like any fiction, should make you feel for the characters so that you're eager to turn the page to find out what happens to them next... but at the same time, you're afraid for what might happen to them next! It should play to fears that most people can identify with, so that the reader is really drawn into the fear that the characters are experiencing.

Are there any anecdotes you'd care to share that occurred while writing The Pumpkin Man? Did you visit particular locations or conduct any research that was out of the ordinary for you?

The Pumpkin Man really continues my love of the northern California coastline. I'm from the middle of the United States, near Chicago... so we don't have mountains or ocean here. But one of my favorite destinations in the world over the years has been San Francisco. I've been lucky enough to have multiple business trips there, and also have taken a couple vacations there. I love the mixed culture of the city, and the amazing geography--you can go an hour in any direction and experience just about any season!

My previous novel Siren is set in a remote town a couple hours' drive north along the coastline from San Francisco, and as I finished the editing of that book, I was really fortunate to have a trip that took me to San Francisco again. I tagged on an extra day to the trip and drove up the coastline to essentially do "location" scouting. I made sure my descriptions in Siren were accurate (in a general sense--the town I set Siren in doesn't exist). At the same time, I scouted the place where I wanted to set The Pumpkin Man. I found a town called Jenner which was perfect. It's a tiny seaside spot with the echo of sea lions barking in the distance from the estuary north of town. I changed the location a little bit to suit the novel and renamed the town, but Jenner is the model for River's End. I even wrote a couple chapters of the book while I was on that trip.

How do you approach your writing process? Do you work with an overview or does the story flow organically? Do you have any writing tips you'd care to share?

I used to sit down with just a loose idea of the beginning of the story and where it might ultimately end up... and then I would just come up with everything on the fly. As my career has progressed, I've had to get a little more structured, since I'm selling my novels to my publisher ahead of writing them--which means I need to present them with a much clearer idea of what I intend to write than I used to have when I wrote my first three books! The stories still invent pieces of themselves that I never imagined at the start, and that keeps it fun for me--while I'm writing the story, I'm also entertaining myself--telling me the kind of story that I want to read each day that I sit down to write. Because of that, I am a completely linear writer--I write the story from beginning to end, I don't jump around, as I know some writers do.

In terms of writing tips? The main one is to just force yourself to maintain a regular writing schedule. Writing fiction is just like any discipline--the more you practice it, the better you become (hopefully!). It's not something where you wait for the magic to strike, and then you sit and miraculously transfer that to the computer. The magic only hits because you've put your butt in a chair and worked every day or every couple days for a long period of time. And sometimes, the parts of the book that you thought were the slowest and least inspired while writing turn out to be really good, in retrospect. So you can't doubt and second guess yourself while writing -- you just have to force the story out onto the page.

Worry about editing the blob later after you have it down start to finish.

Or, in my case, carving the blob into a really refined, haunted face!

Happy Halloween!

Visit The Pumpkin Man at www.thepumpkinman-horror.com. And stop by John's main site too, at www.johneverson.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wolves of Singapore, a meeting with J Damask

J Damask and I have walked a long path already. She was one of those rare finds I saw glistening in the slush pile and when I read the opening lines of her debut novel, Wolf at the Door, I just knew this was an author whose voice was special, who was able to bring the magic of dreams to life in her prose. Well, we've just completed work on her second in her Jan Xu Adventures, Obsidian Moon, Obsidian Eye, and the story is every bit as magical as book one.

Today I welcome J Damask to my world, to share a little more of hers.

Tell us a little more about the Myriad of Singapore. How did this setting come about? And why wolves?

The Myriad of Singapore are basically non-human types, the "other kind". They comprise mostly of the types we tend to see in fantasy or urban fantasy: elves, fae, dragons, phoenixes and were-animals. Likewise, Singapore being right smack in the middle of Southeast Asia, the Myriad also includes the existing non-human types from this region. The term is an umbrella term for this non-homogenous group (or groups) of beings.

Singapore is a cosmopolitan island-state, straddling both East and West. Her culture is a mishmash of cultures, both merged and distinct. The setting itself Рboth East and West, a m̩lange of cultures Рis perfect for urban fantasy.

Post-colonial themes are strong themes in your writing. Can you tell us more about how your culture influences your fiction?

My grandparents came directly from China (Shanghai, Fujian and Guanzhou) and settled in Singapore who was then under British colonial rule. So my education is pretty much Anglo-Saxon and for a while, I struggled with the dichotomy of trying to speak Queen’s English (or Standard English) and coping with Chinese dialects at home. As a family, we keep to our traditions and celebrate the major festivals like Chinese New Year, Duan Wu, Midautumn Festival and Winter Solstice. This observance of festivals comes through strongly in my stories, because I feel that we need to hold onto our culture as it forms our intrinsic identity.

I love the festivals, not only because of its food(!), but by the fact that it is also family.

How do you go about balancing your day job as a teacher with your writing?

Like juggling spinning plates. No, really, I am serious. My weekdays are spent planning, marking and teaching – my creative energies – most of them! – go into all these aspects. So when it comes to writing, I have to plan… wisely. I tend to write at nights (but then, I have my kids to wrangle). I also find time to write. During examination periods and marking phases, my writing tends to dip – which is fine with me. ;)

Is the ebook revolution happening where you live? How do you go about marketing yourself to your potential readers?

My personal observation: not really. People are still fixated on print books. There is a small group of people who are also publishing ebooks, but on the whole, the big publishers here in Singapore are still print book focused.

I make use of social media (Twitter and blogs). I also use Smashwords which is – so far – a good platform for ebook publishing.

I have had to choose: obscurity or nothing.

How do you go about crafting your stories? Do you write an overview or do you just get stuck into chapter one and go from there?

Hmm. I sometimes plan. That’s right – sometimes. I write an outline, follow it and sometimes discard it, because the characters end up taking charge. I also write snippets as ideas come off and on in my head and merge them later into the story or expand them into individual stories.

J. Damask is on Twitter as @jolantru and she maintains her writerly blog at A Wolf's Tale: http://awolfstale.wordpress.com

Her urban fantasy novels at Lyrical Press
The Jan Xu Adventures:
Obsidian Moon, Obsidian Eye (due to be released on the November 7)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Inkarna uncovered!

Some of you may have heard rumblings about my dark fantasy novel, Inkarna, which I sold to Dark Continents Publishing earlier this year. Well, I'm pleased as punch to reveal the cover art. Artwork is by none other than Dr-Benway himself, who's known for his fetish, glam and bizarre photography. Not only that, but he's one of the scriptwriters and directors for BlackMilk Productions, an award-winning independent film production company. He also happens to be my Dear Husband, who has to put up with me dwelling in my imaginary worlds.

A little about the novel: Inkarna is the tale involving conflict between members of an ancient Egyptian reincarnation cult. It plays off in Cape Town, South Africa. There's plenty of action and misadventures which follows my protagonist, Ash, who returns to the material realm in the wrong body--then has to deal with the consequences of unwittingly getting lumped with a terrible secret.

The novel's currently undergoing its first editing rounds and I'm very excited (and just ever so slightly nervous) to find out what my editor is going to do to it with her red pen and scalpel blades.

If you want to keep up to speed with my assorted authorly antics, do follow me on Twitter @nerinedorman or like my author page on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A few words with TuesdaySerial

A few months ago I posted a serial story on this blog entitled On an Empty Shore. It was for me a lovely experiment in flash fiction featuring a mash-up of some of my favourite themes, namely vampires in a post-zombiepocalyptic society. I picked up a good few new readers and thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting this story out. Using Twitter and the TuesdaySerial hashtag, I put the story out there, to great success.

Today I'm pleased to have Tony and PJ of TuesdaySerial over on my blog, to tell us a little more about this process.

When and how did TuesdaySerial come about?

Last year (on May 1, 2010, to be precise) a few of the writers on Twitter were discussing how most existing hashtags for promoting and/or finding fiction were geared toward standalone stories, not toward serials. After kicking around a few ideas, we proposed a new hashtag, #TuesdaySerial, to help authors and readers of online serials and serialized novels find each other. From the idea on Twitter came the website with the weekly collector and then the regular contributions of writers, editors and publishers who have an interest in serials on the web.

How does TuesdaySerial benefit authors?

For writers of serials, connecting with readers poses a special challenge. You need to entice that demographic slice of readers who are looking for longer form fiction, but also readers who might be new to it and are willing to give it a shot. At the same time, within that group are readers whose primary interests will lie with one or more specific genres. When readers have to sift through a lot of things they don't care about to find those things that they like, it can turn them off from the whole experience. TuesdaySerial benefits authors and readers by having a structured, easy-to-use means to get serial fiction out there for people to see. If you want toys, you know you'll find them at Toys-R-Us. If you want serial fiction, you know you'll find it at TuesdaySerial.com.

We also bring guest posts to our readers and contributors that generally have to do with serial fiction or other topics of interest. We try to do everything we can do support the community and help our contributors grow and find readers.

In a nutshell, explain how TuesdaySerial works.

Each Tuesday, from midnight to midnight Eastern Time, the TuesdaySerial collector is open for new entries. The author of a serial will provide the title of the serial, the genre of the serial, what episode is being posted that week, a link directly to that episode, special notes if it is a debut episode of a new serial or the finale of an ongoing serial, and the author's name. Readers who just can't wait can then come to the Collector page that day, or, if they are a bit more patient, come to the Weekly Report, which will list all the week's episodes. This information lets readers track the work of favorite authors, find serials in favorite genres, be aware of new works and get a handle on completed serials that they could read start to finish. Completed serials are listed on our Graduates page.

What sort of stories have proven to be the most popular?

That's the great thing about TuesdaySerial. Stories which might have only a thin following can be brought up to the fore and find a readership that will fall in love with them. The serials range in genre and tone, from horror and thriller to science fiction and fantasy. Some of them run for more than fifty episodes, others tell a complete story with a dozen or less. One part of it all which has been a great joy for us as writers is the TuesdaySerial Hall of Fame. This is collection of serials which had been promoted through TuesdaySerial which have been published in print or ebook. These talented writers and eager readers connected with each other via TuesdaySerial. It's a great object lesson on how social media can help to build bridges and open new opportunities.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Icy Sedgwick and her Guns of Retribution

I got to know Icy through her Friday Flash pieces--well worth stopping by her blog when she puts these up. Her tales are dark, yet carry a kind of quirky humor. Without further ado, I hand over my blog for a little Q&A.

You're interested not only in writing but film. Do you envision combining your two loves at some point?

I don't know. I've occasionally toyed with the idea of writing a script but I'm not sure where to start. I think in a fairly cinematic way, in that I tend to see my story unfold and I describe what I see, but I'm not convinced I'd be able to translate that into writing. It would be like visualising something, distilling that into words, and then reconstituting it as visuals again. Maybe I'll have a go one day, but for now I think I'll keep my fiction and my film theory separate.

You're quite the mistress of dark short stories. How do these come into being? Visions? Sudden flashes of insight?

It can be anything. It can be a random snippet from a newspaper story, a photo somewhere, a conversation I overhear on public transport - I either get a full blown idea, or just an image in my head, and then I keep asking "What if?" until I get a plot. That's a bit of an oversimplification but I don't even begin to understand the real process behind it so I just go with the flow when it happens. I suppose they tend towards the dark side because I find the darker side of life far more interesting.

You and your partner regularly go ghost-hunting. Has any of this spilled over into your writing? Ever had some strange occurrences you care to share?

I certainly find lots of interesting stories, both in the history of the places we visit, and in the information we get during the investigations, but I don't always like to use them. I suppose in some ways I would feel like it would be disrespectful to use them in a fictional sense. Having said that, I think the strangest experience we had would have to be when we were doing a ouija session at Kielder Castle and Grey O'Donnell, the bounty hunter from my Western, came through to say thank you to me. It really makes you wonder if these characters you work with are complete fantasy, if we bring them into being through the amount of energy we lavish on them through the power of thought, or they're entities that attach themselves to writers.

You've selfpublished a collection of short stories. Tell us more about how you pulled these together and where people can find it?

All fifteen of them were previously published online over the course of two years, but due to some of the sites having funding problems or simply clearing out their archives, the stories had disappeared from the internet. I wanted people to still be able to read them, so I edited them and put them out as a collection. They're mostly what I'd call "weird fiction", so not really horror, but more just about strange things that happen in everyday life. Checkmate & Other Stories is 99c on both Smashwords and Amazon.

You've also written a Western. Tell us a little about Guns of Retribution.

It's a pulp Western set in Arizona in the 1880s. It stars my bounty hunter, Grey, and he is drawn back to his hometown of Retribution while on the trail of a murderer. He has to confront an old nemesis from his past, because if there's one thing Grey doesn't like, it's a bully. It's really inspired more by the Western as a film genre than a literary one, but I did plenty of historical research. I wanted to try and capture the emotional side of the genre, and tap into the mythos somewhat, but I didn't want people to be jolted out of the story by a misplaced gun reference! Plus I really enjoy writing historical fiction so any excuse to do some research is fine by me. I'm currently outlining the sequel, where things take a more supernatural turn.

Who are the three most influential authors in your life, and why?

I couldn't do an interview like this without mentioning Roald Dahl. I loved his books as a child, and I still love them now. I was fascinated by his humourous twist on the macabre, and I think he really wrote books that celebrated children who are seen as a bit "different". I suppose I could relate. I'd also say Neil Gaiman - the breadth of vision in The Sandman is truly astounding, and I love how imaginative his books are. I also want to give credit to Carrie Clevenger, too. The lady is really going places but she's always been so generous with her time, and she's very supportive of me. I really look up to her and I admire how she handles everything.

In brief...
Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and is based in Newcastle. She spends her time gallivanting around the North East as a blogger and researcher for a paranormal investigations company. Icy has just had her first book, a Western named The Guns of Retribution, published through Pulp Press.

Twitter: @icypop

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet Joan De La Haye

Today I have the pleasure of featuring fellow South African author, Joan De La Haye, here on my blog. She is the author of Shadows and is fast making a name for herself in horror fiction.

Welcome, Joan. When did you know you wanted to write novels? Do you have any amusing anecdotes related to your first writing attempts?

I wrote my first story at the age of twelve. It was a fairytale called The Wonderful World of Candy-floss. My mother sent it off to a local publisher who felt that I should write in Afrikaans, since I obviously couldn't spell in English and my surname (which was Groenewald at the time) wasn't English either. I was devastated! It took me a few years to get over the rejection. My mother just said the man was obviously an idiot and gave me some chocolate. Now, whenever dealing with rejection I need chocolate.

Why horror? What is it about the genre that turns you on?

I find horror to be a fascinating genre. It's all about pushing the boundaries. It's not "safe". Most other genres are very much in a box and have very fixed rules, which horror doesn't have, and I love that. I love that it's filled with free thinkers, both the authors and the die-hard fans. Plus, let's face it, in some perverse way we all love to be scared. It makes us feel alive in a manner that no other genre can.

What are some of the prevalent themes running through your stories?

Insanity and rape. I think we've all had moments where we've questioned our own sanity and that of the people around us. Rape is one of the most horrific experiences a woman can have and survive. It's also something that is way too often swept under the carpet and ignored.

Tell me a little more about your existing publications. What path did you follow on the road to publication?

Shadows is published by a small indie publisher based in the States called Generation Next. I'm a huge fan of indie presses. They do so much for their authors and provide a lot more freedom. My second novel, Requiem in E Sharp, will also be released shortly by Generation Next.

How do you approach the craft and art of writing? That being said, do you have advice for writers who're approaching their first novel?

I try and write everyday, but sometimes my muse decides to take a holiday which can last for anything from a couple of days to a month. When that happens I grab the chocolate and ride it out as best I can. Apparently I get rather bad tempered when the muse is on a break, so the chocolate prevents me from killing anybody.

My advice would be to just write the first line, then the first paragraph, then the first page. Focus on the line in front of you, not the next hundred pages. I would also suggest reading a LOT! Also read Stephen King's On Writing. It's a must-read for all writers. I reread it everytime I get stuck or when the muse has pulled another disappearing act.

Lastly, who are the authors you'd like to thank for setting you on the path of being a horror writer? What is it about their writing that keeps you returning to their books time and again?

The obvious one would be Stephen King. I think most of us can blame our love of horror on him. His body of work is awe inspiring and he is so easy to read.

The less obvious one would be Dennis Wheatley. I grew up with his books and didn't even realise that they were classified as horror novels. I loved the adventures he took me on and the exotic places he took me to.

Buy Shadows at Amazon, Smashwords or Exclusive Books.
Follow Joan on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JoanDeLaHaye

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Beneath the Skin with Amy Lee Burgess

Today I welcome one of my Lyrical Press authors, Amy Lee Burgess, creator of The Pack novels. Beneath the Skin is her debut novel, and I'm both thrilled and honoured to introduce her to you here on my blog.

Where does Stanzie originate? Was she a fully formed character?

I knew I wanted to write about a woman shape shifter and about wolves. I had the opportunity to participate in NaNoWriMo last year and knew that on November 1, I would begin a tale about werewolves. But I had no story or plot line in mind. Stanzie came to me in a sort of lucid dream Halloween night. Just her name Stanzie and that she’d be blond with blue eyes. I remember struggling with the idea that Stanzie was more of a nickname and what would her full name be?

At first I thought “Constanza” but that didn’t seem right because I wanted her to come from New England and “Constanza” sounded Italian. So then I thought “Constance”. Newcastle is the name of a street I drive past frequently only I didn’t consciously pick it, I realized a few weeks later that it must have come from there. Apart from that, I only knew that I didn’t want her to be a standard, ass-kicking, violent, ninja warrior woman and that I didn’t want her to have any special talents or powers. I wanted her to be an ordinary woman (who happened to be able to shift into a wolf) under extraordinary circumstances. What those circumstances were I didn’t work out until after I started writing.

How does your Pack differ from ordinary wolf shifters?

For one thing they are a separate species who cannot interbreed with regular humans. Their bite does not turn a regular person into Pack. Most shifter novels I’ve read have shape shifting abilities tied to magic, a curse or a virus.

I don’t think my Pack shifters are as violent as most wolf shape shifters seem to be. They don’t have a lot of fights and solve their problems with their fists. They are generally “normal” people who live by their cultural and societal rules. They have their own laws and their own system of justice and they do not tend to befriend outside the Pack.

Aside from being able to shift into wolves and enhanced senses, they possess no super powers. They cannot read minds, they are not exceptionally attractive or physically fit although they don’t age as quickly as humans.

In order to be able to shift, they must have male/female sex and when they do, they have a twenty-four to forty-eight hour window in which they can shift.

While they become wolves when shifted, they still retain a sense of self and can think almost as intellectually as they can while in human form.

They exist in packs, but all adults above the age of twenty-six need to be bonded with one or two other members of the pack. I call these duos and triads. Duos are male/female but triads can be male/male/female or female/female/male. I think most Pack are bisexual, but the majority tend toward hetero because they need male/female sex to shift.

Packs are led by the Alpha duo or triad, but leadership is frequently changed in order to give fertile females the chance to reproduce. Only the Alphas can reproduce and once a woman has a full-term pregnancy, she can never get pregnant again.

What are some of the key themes you treat in Beneath the Skin?

Isolation is a big theme in Beneath the Skin. What do you do when you want desperately to belong but have been set apart from your peers? The Pack itself is isolate from human society. They exist within it, but apart and in secret. Stanzie and Murphy are both isolated from their packs and are trying to realign after a long exile where they lived alone and struggled with grief and guilt. Even when they bond together, they still have to act in secret and are apart from other Pack members.

Fear is another. How do you handle it? Do you let it rule you or do you rise above it? I think Stanzie faces her fears, although sometimes they get the better of her whereas Liam Murphy fights his or turns his back on everything and pretends it doesn’t exist.

How do you go about creating tension in your writing?

I like to set my characters up and have them accused of crimes they did not commit but cannot prove they didn’t do. Lots of shades of gray. I also use sexual tension – one character falls for another but is convinced his/her feelings are not reciprocated so they stay silent yet cannot keep away.

I’m not above using the weather or repetitive sounds or even strange angles in a room description to set up tension.

Which authors have been the most inspirational in your writing?

Stephen King and Agatha Christie definitely. For years. Lately, Kelley Armstrong, Lilith Saint Crow, Marjorie M. Liu, Patricia Briggs, GA Aiken, Ilona Andrews and Eileen Wilks.

Tell us a little more about your writing process.

I use lucid dreaming a lot. I fall asleep plotting out scenes and wake up with dialog and ideas in my head. Most of my novels come from an opening scene I come up with in a half asleep state and then I write it down. I let myself get maybe two chapters in and if I don’t have a coherent plot and ending by then, I stop writing until I do. I like to use recurring characters and reveal more and more of their back stories in subsequent novels.

I write every morning before work whether I want to or not. At least one hour every week day. Sometimes I come home and write until bed, but definitely at least an hour in the morning.

It’s a pretty fluid process. Sometimes halfway through a novel, I realize something I’ve already written is not going to work or is contradictory to where I want to go and I’m not afraid to go back and rewrite. I re-read what I’ve written every few chapters and sometimes I have an “aha” moment where a seemingly throwaway line or description takes on a whole new meaning and changes everything. I both love and hate it when that happens!

I like to have a few main ideas in place, but let the details work themselves out as a write. I also write about places I’ve been, live, or want to go. I buy a lot of travel books with photos of cities I write about so I can get details right. I hate reading books set in cities I’ve lived and know right away the author does not know what he/she is writing about.

I don’t think I’m very good a descriptive writing. I want the reader to have a high level understanding of a room or a house, for instance, so I find that room or house online and write about it as I stare at the photo.

Stanzie is obsessed with shoes and every pair of shoes she wears or sees in Beneath the Skin I’ve found online.

Curious about Beneath the Skin? Read more about it or purchase it here.