Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff- an Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from Virginia Carraway Stark’s comprehensive series on the histories of the Gods and Goddesses, as read by the author on YouTube.

This particular excerpt is from the story of Jinx, a beautiful and enigmatically transparent goddess with whom most of us are familiar… though many would not know it 😉

 

 

These stories are set to be published by StarkLight Press in 2015. Check back with starklightpress.com for more video updates, written excerpts, pictures and more content from these fascinating tales of the universes in their nutshells and beyond.

 

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO, StarkLight Press.

An Interview with Rhonda Parrish

In anticipation of the flood of interviews loyal readers will soon have to peruse, here is a fascinating Q & A with Alberta Author Rhonda Parrish, author of A is for Apocalypse and upcoming follow-up B is for Broken.

 

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  1. When did you first realize that you liked the horror/apocalypse genre?

You know how when an interviewer asks someone ‘When did you first start writing?’ and they say, ‘Ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil,’ and you kind of sigh because while you believe what they’re saying is true, you really wanted to read a different answer to that question? Well… this is kind of that.

I have liked horror and apocalyptic themes for as long as I’ve known they exist. For example, when I was a kid we didn’t play house, we played runaways. The idea was that we’d (my siblings and I) run away from home and we were out in the wild alone somewhere, trying to rebuild a life while fighting off monsters. More survivalist-y than apocalyptic perhaps, but the two definitely go hand-in-hand, don’t they?

As for horror, my mother was a horror fan and we were always welcome to read anything on her bookshelves and join her in watching scary movies. I watched the original Dawn of the Dead when I was about 7 or 8, and various other 70s and 80s horror movies before that… and I remember reading Stephen King far earlier than any of my friends (I did a book report on Christine when I was in grade 4. Looking bad I kind of feel bad for my grade 4 teacher LoL What an awkward position to be put in).

So… yeah. Pretty much forever

  1. What scares you?

So many things.

Losing the people and pets I love.

Death.

Suffering.

Fire.

Climate change.

50% of the Earth’s animals wiped out in the past 40 years.

All.

The.

Things.

  1. Why do you think people are so intrigued by zombies and ideas of the apocalypse? Why are you drawn to these topics?

Oh wow… I could write thousands and thousands of words on each of these questions LOL I won’t, don’t worry, but I could.

One of the things I think draws people to zombies is their uncanny nature. They are like us, but they aren’t us. That is horrifying! Also, I suspect they play into our fear of death… and relieve it a little bit. Once you see that thing which is worse than death, it makes dying seem like maybe it’s not so scary/bad after all.

As to why I’m drawn to zombies and the apocalypse… well, again, so many reasons, but one of the big ones is this: don’t we all, at least a little bit, want to be one of the few left standing at the end of the world? The ones to start over and do it right? I do.

Also I stress and worry about the things humankind are doing to our planet and the creatures we share it with. Often that takes the form of self-interested “This is bad because it has the potential to affect me!” thoughts, but sometimes… sometimes I find myself thinking about how much better it would be for every life form except people if most of us were just wiped off the face of the earth. That requires specific types of apocalypses but still…

LoL and now I sound completely cynical and pessimistic. And I’m not. Remember the part where I want some people to be left standing (self-servingly I want to be one of them, but still…)? That’s because I really enjoy the re-building part of apocalyptic fiction and fantasies too. Especially zombie apocalypses.

  1. Could you tell us about a few of your other interests?

I read, of course. A lot. Of course.

And I enjoy gaming. I’m in between major addictions right now and spend most of my video game time with old school Plants vs. Zombies or Sims 4 with a little Hearthstone thrown in. I’ve recently started playing tabletop Dungeons and Dragons again, too. In some ways it’s a crazy jump from 2nd to 5th edition, but in other ways it’s completely comfortable and familiar. I’m falling in love with it all over again.

I also like crafty stuff. I quilt, cross-stitch, crochet, paint fabric, that kind of thing. I used to joke that I was grandmother trapped in a younger woman’s body… but as I get older that joke has become less and less funny. Go figure.

  1. Zombie poems? What a brilliant and unusual idea to make an entire book of them! Whatever gave you the idea? How do you think people will react to it?

I make a habit of participating in the November Poem-a-Day challenge (with varying degrees of success), and several years ago my theme for the challenge was zombies. Most of the poems in White Noise came from that challenge. They’re polished up, of course, and many of them have been published between now and then, but that’s where they come from. Now that all the various rights have returned to me, it just seemed like a natural thing to bundle them together into a collection.

  1. What advice would you give to people who want to write scary stories?

I’m not really good at generalized advice, partly because I really firmly believe that we each have to carve our own path. What works for me may not work for someone else and vice versa. However, I do think that Samuel Beckett was on to something when he said, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

On a pseudo-related note, my next tattoo is going to be one which says ‘Fail better’.

…that’s not super helpful is it? See? This is another reason I don’t do generalized advice LOL

 

 

Many thanks to Ms. Parrish and to our interviewer Virginia Carraway Stark for this engaging interview.

You can find more about Rhonda and her works at http://www.rhondaparrish.com

 

-Tony Stark.

Announcing the Winners of our Third Short Story Contest

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Here they are, the winners of StarkLight’s Third Short Story Contest.

We were inundated with submissions for our third contest, with over 100 different stories to peruse. Truly impressed with this great turnout and the stories themselves, it was our most difficult determination yet.

We would like to give a big thank you to all our submittors, and congratulate the following winners:

G.W. Renshaw
Veronica Robbins

Van Fleming
Roxann Harvey
Jennifer Duell
Robert Marquiss

These lucky authors will be joining E.L. Caine, Virginia Stark and myself as co-contributors to StarkLight Volume 3.

Congratulations, and bravo for your stories!

-Tony Stark,
Publisher and CEO, StarkLight Press.

StarkLight Press Mission Statement

I would like to offer a warm welcome to all of our new blog followers, Facebook fans and superlative fiction aficionados.

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Welcome to StarkLight Press- the Center of the Media Galaxy!

 

What does our awesome tagline mean, exactly? Well you should ask.

At StarkLight Press, we believe in two things above all else- the Imagination and the Power of Story.

We believe that the Imagination is truly the seat of everything great in the human psyche. Without its fire in the crucible of our minds, we would not be able to rise above our misfortunes, our limitations, and our pain. It allows us not only the ability to develop innovations in our lives in terms of concrete reality, but it is an integral first step in raising the tones of our hearts and minds. Without imagination to provide us with windows into There, we would never be able to soothe our spirits so heavy with the troubles of Here.

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To that end, StarkLight Press fosters an Immersive Fiction Experience, with credibly fantastic worldscapes, characters and action that gives the mind a playground for the Imagination, with plenty of tire swings and monkeybars for all.

We believe in not just casting a light on other realms, worlds and dimensions, but illuminating them as fully as hearsaid experience might convey, so that the reader has fodder for their imagination long after they put down one of our books.

By stoking the fires of the imagination with such vibrant and intricate worlds, StarkLight Press provides you, the reader, with an escape that will lift your spirit throughout your day, and inspire you to look at your own familiar worldscape with a fresh perspective. A fresh perspective that maybe will make your own worldscape a little bit more awesome.  This freshness of subject matter is the key to releasing all the positivity the human imagination can produce.  We hope at StarkLight Press to inspire this world to blossom with ideas and purpose beyond the limits set for it, and us, by those who lack imagination entirely.

The Power of Story is the cordwood by which the fires of the imagination nurture both our hearts and our future.  By telling fascinating, credible and, well, amazing stories, StarkLight Press aims to remind the reader that the Universe is in fact at least as amazing as those childhood fancies entertained, and that they can exist in the adult realm as well by providing our grown minds with the added intricacies, information and plot that are required to stoke the fires of a more developed reader.

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We’ve heard the wistful wishes of fans from all over, that they only wish they had MORE of a story, or knew MORE about a certain aspect of this, or that. More… and better. Stories that don’t deliberately fall flat for mass consumption. Characters that are pale versions of what they should be to sell… whatever. Worlds that are REAL, not just slapped together with the spit and baling twine of a dozen writers scanning fan commentary after every new installment comes to the public trough.

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StarkLight Press believes that its readers are canny, cognitive and reject the mass-media spoon with its conventions full of mushy and indistinct snippets of story.

We know you can handle it.

That’s why we make certain our fiction serves only two masters- Imagination, and the Power of Story.  If it doesn’t come to mind to speed your morning commute, we won’t publish it. If you don’t find yourself bringing it up at the dinner table the next week, it’s not yet good enough. If it doesn’t make your eyes widen with the delight of your starving inner child who is finally able to satiate its grown up mind on fiction that not only soothes but satisfies- you sure won’t find it here.

That’s what we’re all about, which is why our GAF Universe has been a cult favorite amongst the brightest and most creative folks out there.

That’s why our StarkLight Anthologies are so popular, filled to the brim with new authors armed with new, exciting tales.

That’s why our non-fiction imprint, Arras Books, is ground-breaking, because it re-introduces the mundane world to the reader by adding the truth behind the dusty history.

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That’s why we keep our universes living, and infinite, not vague past histories of dreams once dreamed, now dead.

Our stories are the future- they have tales to be told, and worlds to be explored.

Most importantly, they have things they are willing to share with each of us, here and now, today.

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO, StarkLight Press.

 

Well, it’s finally happened… StarkLight Press Goes Hollywood :-0

– in the best possible way!

Robert Marquiss, CEO of Marquiss Films, personally took our posters to downtown Los Angeles the other day.

Proud to be making inroads in Tinseltown with our fabulous, first-rate, immersive fiction universes and our short story anthologies,

StarkLight Press is now advertising in various venues in Sunny Southern California- including these pics taken at Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd!

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Thanks to Robert Marquiss, visionary creator of the Kingdoms of Magic universe, whose trailers you can check out here http://youtu.be/EVsfk-yVX00

and whose Kingdoms of Magic short story you can check out in StarkLight Volume 2, available on Amazon kindle and Barnes and Noble.com, or by emailing us at starklightdesk@gmail.com.

Now Hollywood knows where to come to get the stories for the next series of blockbuster movies- StarkLight Press.

 

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO, StarkLight Press.

Friendly Faces at VCON

StarkLight Press and our intrepid reporter had a whirlwind Saturday at VCON, making new friends, meeting old friends, and going to the regal Victorian High Tea for the renowned Aurora Awards.

Many thanks to all the friendly faces and gregarious creative minds at VCON for making a truly memorable convention experience!

 

See you in 2015- Time Travel is the theme, and StarkLight Press can’t wait to see all the creative ideas, media and costumery!

– Tony Stark, CEO StarkLight Press.

Into the Fray- VCON Saturday

VCON, like any convention, is all about the costumes, the collectibles, and the fellowship. All three are in evidence on the floor over the weekend, where garage sale collectibles, handmade gems and original art mingle for the science fiction-minded peruser.

For those lucky enough to be scooped from the convention floor by Virginia, (and who had the time), a suite full of comestibles, fine wine and first rate literature and merchandise awaited at the StarkLight Literary Oasis. Many, many thanks to our loyal VCON customers, who cleaned out our stock before Saturday was finished! Thank you so much!