The Green Man

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Green Man I See

By Virginia Carraway Stark

Green Man I see you peeping

In the woods while it was dark and

On the mossy carpet I was weeping

I see you watching from the burls

And your hair moving in the moss and twigs

Through the dappled air your presence is seeping

Green Man I feel you watching

When I come into the forest shadows

As I was a-climbing, fishing, catching

I saw your eyes appraising me and thinking

In your mind that moves like leaves and does

Each time we see each other I feel us meshing

Your eyes are full of sorrows for the things that are no more

Once your realm was every mountain and vallley

Where springtime came and greenbuds bloom

Now the world has shrunkens small and there is no room at all

But still you are never shrinking

Green Man is the size that Green Man is and there will never

Be another like you

Green Man I feel you feelings

I feel it too, the coolness of the air

The entry into the cathedral of your temple

And I can hear your heartbeat beating

I walk on feet that feel like flying as sunbeams

Bathed in green like shafts come stabbing

In your holy place I feel you, I feel me healing

Green Man I see you reaching

With the spring turned to summer

The Universe itself has you in His keeping

You feel no fear, you have no trepidations

Those are human was of talking

What is will be, at bud, blossom or harvest’s reaping.

– mixed media on paper, copyright 2014 Virginia Carraway Stark

You can watch Virginia Carraway Stark read her poem here:

Here is some information about The Green Man, the famed mysterious god of Northern Europe:

Abbey_Dore_painted_Green_Man

Deep Notos: The South Wind

Deep Notos: The South Wind

by Virginia Carraway Stark

Here we go again,

My eerily prescient friend

Stirring up our passions and chasing

The horses and wild things

Who must run when they feel your crop

We all respond to the heat of your loins

Whipping flames into a fury

Chasing both across the fields and forest

Notos, Deep Notos,

We are lost in you now

We have forgotten the bite of winter

In the blast of your passionate kiss

How well you raise our passions

How you stir our hearts

You make our blood pump with fervor

That no other wind will know

I don’t care what they say

Your deep kisses bite harder

Than even Boreas’ ice cold lips

There is no warm hearth to escape you

Are you having fun?

Turning the ground into parched cakes

Turning all that was green to brown

Ready for your flames

Notos, I long for you

My Southern Lover

All winter long while Boreas taps at my windows

And howls at my gates

But once you’re here your passion

Overwhelms me, I am weak in front of you

You freckle me and wilt me like a crocus after spring

– mixed media on wood, Copyright 2009 Virginia Carraway Stark

You can watch Virginia Carraway Stark read her poem here:

Here is some information about Notos, the God of the South Wind:

http://www.theoi.com/Titan/AnemosNotos.html

Kisses from Boreas

Kisses from Boreas

by Virginia Carraway Stark

 

After some twenty of them

had been disposed of

during the waning moon

with costumes and masks and
enchantments

he now wished he had not sacrificed
his sons

laughing

they would never throw themselves
down weeping

to die of grief

we have to rise

just as vegetation dies only to
reappear in the springtime

what’s wrong with the way I kiss?
Asked the winter wind

everything

I replied even as I thanked Boreas

in the deep of my heart

for the sweet relief from the smoke
and the flames

then it was

during the waxing moon

when costumes are removed

masks unmasked

enchantment revealed

and winter is come

– art pencil on paper, 8×10, Copyright 2008 Virginia Carraway Stark

Poerm previously published in “In Flight” magazine.

You can watch Virginia Carraway Stark read her poem here:

Here’s some information on the mythic Boreas, God of the North Wind:

https://i1.wp.com/www.theoi.com/image/img_boreas.jpg

Madder Family Portrait

Madder Family Portrait ca. 1888

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This piece, along with others from artists throughout Canada’s northern territories, is part of the Art Walk in Dawson Creek, B.C. this year. Pieces from StarkLight Press can be seen at Faking Sanity Bookshop in downtown Dawson Creek throughout the summer.

The Madder family is one of Victorian London’s premiere families, with a textile empire father Geoffrey Madder forged from the riches of the Indian colony. His three girls were some of the most sought-after matches in the Empire. When Geoffrey disappeared in the wilds of Asia, those three girls were left to their own devices- only their closest neighbor and friend, Horus Haut de Nuit, came to their aid and tried his best to keep them from the circling society vultures. Horus left his inventions and trekked to India to divine the fate of his dear friend Geoffrey, and returned with a massive, beautiful tiger… with Geoffrey Madder’s eyes.

Unable to find a means to rectify the accursed transformation that Geoffrey had undergone, Horus instead developed a showy collar for his friend, so that Geoffrey could accompany his youngest daugher, Rosie, to all of the business meetings, society functions and other neccesitous events required to keep up the Madder fortunes.

Although lauded throughout London for the creation of Rosie’s amazing clockwork tiger, Horus was not satisfied until he had created an actual clockwork man. Link, the brass and steel artificial man, not only had his own sentience, but could be used in place of steam and gas powered devices. Would Horus’ latest invention be allowed to remain a free creation, or would the interests that had shaped the steam-powered Victorian age do anything to stop Link and his father from changing their world?

You can read the first installment of The Madder Family Chronicles in Holly and Ivy, A StarkLight Steampunk Christmas Anthology. 

Find a link to the print book and e-book here:

http://www.starklightpress.com/starklight-bookstore/

You can hear Alfie Elkins reading a passage from the story upon which this painting was based here:

For more information about steampunk as a genre and a cultural movement, check out these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

http://steampunkworkshop.com/

Blizzard of Sieggy

Blizzard of Sieggy

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This picture came about due to the uncanny similarity between hard rocker Ozzy Osbourne and beloved springer spaniel, Siegfried. His homey behaviours evoked J.R.R. Tolkien’s recalcitrant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and the rest pretty much painted itself”

Anthony Stark.

This original work can be viewed as part of the Dawson Creek Art Walk, where local businesses display fine art in their establishments. You can find Blizzard of Sieggy at Dawson Creek’s premiere bookstore, Faking Sanity.

You can find links here to J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale, The Hobbit, as well as The Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit print book:

https://www.amazon.ca/Hobbit-J-R-Tolkien/dp/0261102214/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466645216&sr=8-2&keywords=the+hobbit

The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

https://www.amazon.ca/Lord-Rings-Written-Publisher-Paperback/dp/B00SQBAP3C/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1466645296&sr=8-10&keywords=the+lord+of+the+rings

Here’s a link to The Tolkien Society, the world’s premier Tolkien preservation society:

http://www.tolkiensociety.org/

On the Ozzy side of things, here’s a pic of the great original album art:

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Here is a link to Ozzy Osbourne’s album, Blizzard of Ozz, available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.ca/BLIZZARD-OF-OZ-REMASTERED/dp/B00015U1A8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466645397&sr=8-2&keywords=blizzard+of+oz

And, just for the purists out there, here’s a link to  Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On, which perfectly embodies the wanderlust that Middle Earth can evoke:

The Great Space Race

The Great Space Race

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Howard Donovan rolls his eyes in exasperation at the offensive antics of the Pismarian pirate racers as the starting lineup for The 187th Annual Galactic Grand Prix waits. This year’s Grand Prix takes place in the Gamma Quadrant, a dangerous and primitive part of the Milky Way. Pirates and shady characters have found their way into this year’s race as a result, bringing stolen technology like the Winged Particle Surfer to try to increase their winning edge. The Galaxy’s most versatile personal flight craft, the Donovan Jump Jet, will have its work cut out for it in this motley collection of space ships of intergalactic design. Howard will have to be on the look out for cheats and sabotage of all kinds as he tries to negotiate one of the most challenging space race courses in the GAGA.

The account of this thrilling space sport is told in the science fiction anthology, Tales from Space 2. Available this July from StarkLight Press, Tales from Space 2 features this story as well as tales about the wroiling mass of consumers, workers, stars and soldiers that make up the GAF Mainframe science fiction universe.

You can find the first volume of Tales from Space here, in print:

https://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Space-Anthology-Tony-Stark/dp/1518816614/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466644672&sr=8-2&keywords=tales+from+space

Look for the Tales from Space e-book on Scribd here:

Look for GAF Mainframe books An Incident in El Noor, The Arkellan Treaty and Space Stranded, coming later this summer from StarkLight Press.

Here is an excerpt of Virginia Carraway Stark reading an excerpt from The Great Space Race:

The Ginger Mob

The Ginger Mob

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One of the many beautiful pieces of art available for sale during the SPCAC’s Art Walk. The Ginger Mob can be seen this summer at Faking Sanity Bookstore and Cafe in Dawson Creek, B.C.

This classic punk retelling of one of Sherlock Holmes’ best known adventures is not the first foray into the Holmesian genre for Anthony Stark. His original tale, The Case of the Porcelain Doll, appeared in Sleuth Magazine and was nominated for a Spyglass award in 2015. Anthony has compiled an anthology of original and re-told Sherlock Holmes stories for StarkLight Press, featuring tales that elucidate such varied subjects as:

Watson’s time in Afghanistan as a member of the British Army

Holmes’ adventures following his plummet from Reichenbach Falls

A Canadian adventure along the frontier that takes place in the close of the 19th Century

In addition, three re-tellings of classic Conan Doyle stories are included in this anthology, which is entitled Holmes, Watson and the Baker Street Gate.

Below you can find links to the original Sherlock Holmes story, The Red-Headed League, as well as links to Sleuth Magazine and the Wisteria Lodgers, Western Canada’s foremost Sherlock Holmes club.

Read the Original Red-Headed League online for free:

https://sherlock-holm.es/stories/pdf/a4/1-sided/redh.pdf

Canada’s best Mystery Magazine, Sleuth,  featuring Tony Stark’s Holmes adventure, The Case of the Porcelain Doll:

https://www.amazon.ca/Sleuth-Magazine-E-Bell-ebook/dp/B018UGTR0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466641337&sr=8-1&keywords=sleuth+magazine

Wisteria Lodgers of Edmonton

https://sherlockholmesedmonton.wordpress.com/

And finally, and awesome radio broadcast of Sir John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson performing The Red-Headed League:

 

 

Virginia Carraway Stark and Her Posse of Great Ladies

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Virginia Carraway Stark has a diverse portfolio and has many publications. Getting an early start on writing, Virginia has had a gift for communication, oration and storytelling from an early age. Over the years she has developed this into a wide range of products from screenplays to novels to articles to blogging to travel journalism. She has been published by many presses from grassroots to Simon and Schuster for her contribution to ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible’ as seen on ABC. She has been an honorable mention at Cannes Film Festival for her screenplay, “Blind Eye” and was nominated for an Aurora Award.

She has written short stories in well over twenty anthologies as well as magazines, novels, poetry, poetry anthologies, blogs, journals and many other venues. She is Editor-in-Chief at StarkLight Press as well as for Outermost: Journal of the Paranormal. She formerly worked writing medical papers into language for the lay person and worked on scientific papers for numerous platforms and did professional editing as well.

https://virginiastark.wordpress.com/about/

https://www.facebook.com/Virginiacarrawaystark/?fref=ts

https://virginiastark.wordpress.com/contact-me/

Hi, Virginia, thanks for spending some time sharing insights into your writing today. The Great Ladies Anthology was impacting for everyone who worked on it, how did it impact you?

I ended up writing several stories for this anthology. A lot of people had a hard time with it as an assignment so I ended up with the whole spectrum of what could be considered, ‘great’. Great is a word we throw around without thinking about it much and when it is aptly applied to people, particularly historical people, it is a word with a lot of power to it. “Great Ladies” aren’t often very ‘nice’ ladies and that’s part of how they worked to become great. They had the will and the determination to manifest their light into a world that was predominantly ruled by men. That wasn’t an easy job and nice girls need not apply.

Some of the great ladies were truly great in their time, but Hitler was truly ‘great’ during his time too. He made a HUGE impact on the world and as we counted the toll after the war his ‘greatness’ grew and grew. He caused great horror, great death and great trauma. Nevertheless, he was still ‘great’.

great ladies isabella virginia

Queen Isabella of Spain was the great lady that I wrote that impacted me the most. She was strikingly like Adolph Hitler in how dogmatic, brutal, bloody and racist she was, and yet we owe much of the modern world to her impact on it. She shaped the world in her image and that is in the end greatness whether we want to admit it or not. Great also doesn’t mean likeable, politically correct or ethical.

Greatness is also influenced by the fashions and beliefs of the era. Isabella is the perfect example of this. She was following the ethics and morality of the Catholic Church and she obeyed the Pope in everything he told her to do. She came to the throne at a morally degenerate stage in Spain’s history. The country was in anarchy and her half brother had been weak willed but worse yet, far worse by Isabella and the Church’s standards, her half brother had also been gay.

Isabella honestly believed that she had to do anything the Church told her to save her brother’s soul and she didn’t care who she had to kill, invade or exile to do so. She invented the Spanish Inquisition, overran the largely peaceful area of Grenada that had been home to Muslims, killed or exiled all the Jews and then started in on heretics and witches.

But it gets worse.

Unlike Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Regime, there was a clear-cut beginning and an end to the horrors he caused. There was an end to the death and to his political power. Isabella, on the other hand, not only had a long and bloody rule but her standards for the Inquisition continued for HUNDREDS of years after her death. Isabella was buried and people were still being tortured, maimed, hunted and killed for their religion, their beliefs or just on the accusations of people who were afraid themselves of being burned at the stake and tortured. Or maybe having a finger pointed at you because someone, somewhere, doesn’t like you.

This is another area where Isabella’s ‘greatness’ smacked me hard in the face. She didn’t look for a way to kill millions as painlessly and efficiently as possible, she looked for ways to torture the human body to its utter limit to make the pain last as long as possible.

As I researched her I realized that she was great, but not in the way I had thought. Not in that way at all. She was a great killer and the most terrifying thing is that I’m positive she died believing she had done the will of God and would go to her reward in the afterlife for how incredibly great she was. Even now when we describe history’s greatest monsters I have never once heard Isabella of Spain referenced even though I’m sure she earned the title.

So, I guess to answer your question, the impact on me of Great Ladies was that first of all, I was thoroughly educated in the history of many women that I had a less than complete understanding of and second of all, I had to completely re-evaluate my concept of what the word ‘great’ was. I had to do this without being reactive and disgusted. I had to think about things from Isabella’s perspective and I had to most of all, not judge her, but be her. It was a queasy feeling but I think it made me a legitimately bigger person to learn and understand these less than desirable qualities of greatness.

What Ladies did you end up writing about?

Great Ladies was an invitation only event and we had a lot of people who just couldn’t do the job and so they dropped out. Some people found the lady that they had been given wasn’t a good match for them. If I could find a good match for the lady I would replace the person but the ones that were ‘lost’ I adopted and took onto myself to write. We also had a few people who had last minute problems and so I had to re-write stories after the fact to make up for this.

great ladies aphra behn virginia

The Great Lady that I actually drew was Aphra Behn. I had never heard of her before. I had looked up names of great ladies on the internet and wrote down their names, usually based off of how often they were listed. Aphra Behn was mentioned repeatedly and was a compatriot of Charles the Second of England. I was surprised I had never heard of her since this is a period in history that I have researched relatively thoroughly. She was truly amazing and after learning about her she became a hero to me. She was fearless, creative, beautiful and utterly loyal. I enjoyed the definition of ‘great’ much more in reference to Aphra Behn than I did to Isabella of Spain!

Isabella, I have, of course mentions, I also wrote Eva Peron, Catherine the Great and we will be editing in a new version of Joan of Arc that I will write for the second edition of this collection. If I have time I may also include Elizabeth Woodville. We lost both of those stories, one to plagiarism and one to grumpiness of the writer involved.

great ladies marie curie virginia

How did you deal with those last minute re-writes?

Everyone was shocked to find the original author for Elizabeth Woodville had plagiarized her story. When it was run through a plagiarism checker it came up as 99% plagiarized! I think the one percent that wasn’t was probably just the author putting her own name on the story. The author denied the accusations vehemently even when she was shown the results of the checker and an interview that clearly states what Phillipa Gregory made up and what was on the historical record. The author had just read Gregory’s novel and counted it as historic research and claimed fictional thing from Ms. Gregory as her own creation.

We were mortified! We had trusted the woman involved and when we ran her other stories through checkers the worst came up as 15% plagiarized so, she could write, she just decided that she liked Phillipa Gregory’s story so much that she would take it for herself. How she thought she would get away with it? I have no clue. Pure delusion is the only conclusion I can come to. Gregory’s book The White Queen (which I had read and lead to us running it for plagiarism), is being turned into a mini-series so stealing from it was beyond self destructive. The fact that she thought she wouldn’t get caught out when it was not only from an extremely well known and respected historical novelist but also a mini-series suggested to me that their may have been some mental instability involved.

As for the Joan of Arc story, the author of that one made it plain that he wasn’t happy and then demanded free books and I think was looking for a position as an editor. It was unpleasant and rude and that’s why my husband started a press, so we wouldn’t have to work with jerks. So we cut his story from the second edition and my story will be made available instead.

We don’t like people who undermine and make power grabs at our press. When it comes down to it I would rather help a new writer blossom than a more experienced writer whine and moan at me about every little thing. There comes a point where if you are that critical of the people you work with, then you should spare everyone (including yourself) and just go somewhere else where hopefully you can be happy. Some people, however are happiest when they are miserable lol!

What are your thoughts on doing a sequel to Great Ladies? Who would you pick?

I would definitely like to be involved in a sequel. As for who I would pick for a great lady this time around, I have no clue. There are so many women who are largely unacknowledged or who were in the firs anthology and such a small slice of their life was written about that it would be great to write more about them.

Women come from an angle in history that is totally different from men. There are these huge hurdles that come up before they even get to the meat of the problems of life. With men there is a problem and they can either attain success or not. With women, there is this whole other aspect to things where you have to prove that you even belong on the chessboard before you can start to play.

How did this contrast with the ‘Game Changers Anthology’ due to come out for Labor Day?

I answered some of this one earlier, of course. When writing about men you can kind of cut right to the chase but with women there is always the ‘proving’ stage. It’s kind of assumed that men belong while with women, in nearly any situation you have to make room for yourself.

I chose Leonardo Da Vinci for the Game Changer’s anthology. He’s a fascinating historical figure and had a lot of ideas that seemed to be utterly out of time and space. He was like a time traveler to the era. I think that’s why I chose him, in a way, he starts out of place like a woman does. He had ideas that couldn’t be enacted because they just didn’t have the technology to measure up to what he believed was possible. He was a dreamer and he was out of phase with the rest of the world.

In this way, I find my choice for Game Changers similar to the Great Ladies Anthology because unlike most men, he didn’t fit in with the other men around him. The way he thought, the way he acted and his beliefs in the impossible made him an outsider who had to bend himself out of shape to play by the established rules of the time.

As a mother’s day gift, how do you think ‘Great Ladies’ measured up?

I think that it’s a pretty cool mother’s day gift. It’s hard to express to our mothers how deeply they impact us for good and ill in our lives. Even if a mother dies during childbirth or if a child is given up for adoption, ever action their mother takes is ‘great’. They are our creators and for all the amazing things they do they can mess us up too.

This anthology, as an actual mother’s day gift makes a statement that is deeply profound and possibly, just a little bit insulting but mainly aggrandizing. It is a way to say to our mothers that they are everything to us, their actions affect us on a cellular level from the very start and they can be queens, commoners, monsters or a combination of all three. They can be any thing to us and accepting our mothers as human beings that are capable of evil as well as good is both a high compliment and acknowledgment as well as a realization that they are human and capable of destroying us more than anything else.

Any closing thoughts to share?

This was to date the most challenging of all the anthologies I have been involved with. Other than novels, I have never had to bend my mind around so many corners to understand the essence of people. The histories of these women, their childhoods alone were remarkable. The heights that they rose to were astounding and doing it in the past, where the world was even more of a ‘man’s world’ than it is today makes everything they accomplished exponentially remarkable.

I still think about what I learned from writing about these women frequently even still and I think for everyone involved that these women moved into our heads in a lot of ways. 

StarkLight Press Makes Book Launches Shine!

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Many thanks to our intrepid, sociable authors who helped to make the Merely This, Poe Goes Punk book launch sparkle over the weekend!

 

In addition, StarkLight was pleased to take part in a second charity book launch on Sunday, Stardust Always, a compendium of David Bowie/Alan Rickman centric fiction. While Stardust Always is a charity book with proceeds that go to Cancer Research, Merely This proceeds go to Paws for a Cause.

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Each anthology began with a short story contest with open submissions from authors all over the world. Both works featured excellent tales by Virginia Carraway Stark, and Merely This included a tale by Tony Stark as well. These two StarkLight authors were joined at the launch parties for both books by a bevvy of fellow authors, including:

Jenn Spaulding

Van Fleming

Krista Michelle

Will Norton

Leanne Caine

Alfie Elkins

What a turnout for our fellow anthology-makers! StarkLight Press wants to thank all of our authors who took the time to chat with fans and drop-ins at the launches. In addition, our authors took time to host great contests that included e-copies and print copies of StarkLight Publications!

Winners for our plethora of contests will be announced in the coming week as results are tabulated.

Congratulations to all the authors, editors, layout artists, artists and publishers who took part in the crafting of these two fine anthologies!

Thanks again to all the great talent that makes StarkLight Press The Center of the Media Galaxy!

Proud to have you all on board 🙂

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

Quality Time with L.E. Caine

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L.E. “Leanne” Caine is a recalcitrant author who has submitted some truly remarkable work to StarkLight Press. Her classic tale of a LoveBot who gets self-determined during Valentine’s Day is no exception.

Leanne Caine is from Kamloops, British Columbia. She has been a ghost writer for a number of years. Recently, she has started working under her own name and has published in various magazines as well as from Starklight Press. Her day job is in the world of customer service which is why she generally avoids all human contact when not at work. She has a young daughter who is the center of her world. Other than that she is a practicing pagan and eccentric witch. She practices herbology and has a garden that she has learned to use intensively to provide safe, healthy vegetables and herbs for her and her daughter.

You can read an excerpt of her story for Hearts Asunder here:

He put it on and I traced the profile of the woman on the cameo with my fingertips. I had glanced at her briefly but I pulled up the details in my inner screen and looked at the optic footage again. She was a lady, her head held high and her bearing one of dignity.

“Thank you, Del, it’s nearly perfect.” It was more somber than anything else I owned, my belongings were few and mostly designed for the bedroom. It was a grown up thing too. Oddly respectful of the man who had given me a ‘Mrs. Clause’ Corset and panty set with Santa hat for Christmas a few months before.

“Nearly?” He went and got another bottle of wine. He liked fine wine but always struggled with getting the cork out.

“Yes, I had imagined for a moment that it would be a ring,” I said.

He stopped his struggle to look at me, “You thought I was asking you to marry you?” He asked, his voice shocked.

“I didn’t really, because you only think of me of a thing, but I had hoped, just for a minute, that maybe you loved me.” I returned to my now cold lobster tail. It was nearly plucked clean now anyway but it was my new favorite food.

 

Leanne answered our interview questions below:

  1. Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life?

    So many. I’m a single mom and honestly so jaded by the dating scene, I hate it. I’m not saying that I will never have a meaningful relationship, but I am thinking it. Seriously, I’ve met so many nuts out there that after a point I have to wonder how anyone is ever compatible ever. I had one guy break into my house in some sort of ‘grand gesture’ and scare the hell out of daughter. Thank gods he was just a needy freak and not a knife wielding psycho, or lobster fork wielding psycho.

  1. What do you find makes the combination of love and horror such a potent combination

    Because love sucks. It gets you all excited and if it fails it’s already that they’ve ripped your heart out and thrown it at feet. How to explain that to someone who has never experienced it?? You almost wish they’d kill you if you actually fall in love and then they leave you. Love is a horror story waiting to happen, writing one was more a matter of ‘which one’ than of finding inspiration for it.

  1. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?

    Blind dates. Or just dates. I’ve been on so many and yes, I have had violent fantasies about doing horrible things to the person who just ate my evening. Fortunately I’ve written them down to avoid doing hard jail time (I’ve got a daughter to think about).

    If you’ve gone on a bad date you know how it is. You have the awkward. You have the weird. You have the sudden declarations of the bizarre, frightening or messed the hell up. I think that dating is traumatizing and to deal with it I’ve had to learn to disassociate. It’s not healthy.

    I’ve felt this way on dates, I’ve felt like a robot on dates, I’ve felt like a cake on a platter waiting to be gobbled up by the wolf across the table from me.