Modern Horror with the Connecticut Em-Dashes

The Em-Dashes, a Connecticut writer’s group, will be reading original stories at the Whiton Memorial Library in Manchester, Connecticut from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The members of the Em-Dashes are Stacey Longo, John Valeri, Dan Foley and Ryanne Strong (Terry George). With Halloween this weekend, it’s the perfect time to listen to four Connecticut authors read four scary stories that are perfect for this time of year.

Check out the event’s Facebook page here.

The Wilton Memorial Library is located at 100 N Main St. in Manchester, Connecticut.

The ROCK Comic Expo Has Been Postponed

According to the organizer of the ROCK Comic Expo, the convention has been postponed until further notice. There were “many unforeseen circumstances” that caused the convention to be postponed. The organizer wants to provide only the best entertainment, the official statement said. Refunds will be given for tickets purchased. The organizer apologizes for any inconvenience.

The organizers’ original statement is located on the convention’s Facebook page here.

How a Horror Fan became Miss Terror Con

 

By Jason Harris

Sarah Michelle. Photo courtesy of Sarah Michelle.

Sarah Michelle. Photo courtesy of Sarah Michelle.

 

Sarah Michelle is a model, actress, and wrestler. She has also been named Miss Terror Con. When she first heard about the newest horror convention in New England, it was as “a fan of horror,” she said.

“I was very excited that there was something like this going to happen in my hometown because it’s the first one,” Sarah said. “This is exactly what Rhode Island needs.”

She wanted to be involve in some capacity whether as a spokesmodel, helping out with flyers, or anything else she could do to help out the horror convention.

“I knew I could be beneficial to them.”

She sent the organizers an email and they responded with the idea of Miss Terror Con.

This isn’t Sarah’s first time in the spotlight. She started modeling about seven years ago when she was helping out a friend who was going to school for photography.

“I was really tomboyish. I still am at heart so the whole fashion, glamour thing was really new to me.”

After Sarah started her modeling career, she liked what she doing and was having fun doing it. Within the last few years, she started taking it seriously, she said. Since she loved horror, she started to wonder if there was anyone who would be interested in taking horror photos.

“I found out that there were a lot of people interested in that.”

Through her horror work, she started doing fetish work. When she started, she didn’t realize it was fetish work. She was working with the production company, Damsels in Distress Visual Productions. During the production, there were a lot of close-ups being taken of her legs, which were stuck in the mud. All she was thinking at the time was that it was a job and that it would give her a chance to practice her acting. After being told it was a fetish work, she was fine with it.

“I have always been very curious about different fetishes and things like that.”

After that first experience, she found out about different types of fetishes like bondage and vore, “which is essentially someone being eaten by something.”

She focuses mainly on fetish and horror photos and videos now. She handles her own business. She gets projects through Facebook, Twitter, and email. She has a shoot coming up in New Hampshire, which she got after the photographer saw some of her work on Twitter, she said.

“I enjoy doing it,” she said about fetish work. “It’s a lot of fun. I get to travel.”

Her work has taken to different states and overseas to England where she filmed a quicksand fetish for Damsels in Distress Visual Productions.

“I never thought in a million years I would be going to England especially not for fetish work.”

You can find Sarah’s work by clicking here.

You can meet her in person this weekend at Terror Con, which runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Author Travels State for ‘The Signs of Connecticut’

By Jason Harris

Tom Fatone

Author Thomas Fatone took over 15 years to complete his book, The Signs of Connecticut. It took him 13 years to drive around the state taking the pictures of all the blue town history signs and another two years to write the book, he said.

1. What was the impetus behind the book?

My impetus behind the book was my interest in history within the state I live. I also did not have much money to travel to far places when I was younger, so I decided to make Connecticut my own little playground, traveling to all corners of  our great state. The CT Post did a story about me when I was 50 signs in. They said “give us a call when you write your book.”

2. What year did you start the project? How old were you at the time?

My project began with my 1st picture of the Trumbull Sign in 1997. I was approx. 29 years old at this time, still had hair and was wet behind the ears. It had taken me a lifetime to finally stop and take a picture of this 1st sign. From there on in, I was hooked!

Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Post.

Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Post.

3. Did your job as a traffic coordinator for the Department of Transportation inspire this project? And did having the job help you in your project at all?

Working as a traffic coordinator helped me a great deal when it came to this book. My job has me dealing with maps often. So by working with the maps, it helped me a great deal in getting familiar with the roads before they were traveled.

4. What were some of the most memorable towns in Connecticut that you visited?

This is a question I receive often. There is not one favorite town, but I like to go with my top 5. They would be, in no order: Washington, Ridgefield, Milford, Woodstock and Branford. This list could continue, but these are the most memorable.

5. Since you will be speaking at Books & Boos in Colchester in March, did you learn anything about Colchester when you took a picture of the Colchester sign? 

The thing that’s stands out about Colchester is that it seems all the state roads in the state come together here at the town green. I also, learned about legendary Harry’s, as it was right down the road. Of course, I stopped for a hot dog and shake.

6. Where is the Colchester sign located?

The Colchester sign is located on its town green, like most of the 169 signs. But not all.

7. Did you learn anything about the different Connecticut towns during your travels that you didn’t know about them? 

There are so many things I learned about CT while traveling the state and taking the pictures of the signs. This is why I wrote this book, as I wanted to share my experience. Some that stand out are that the highest point of the state is in Salisbury, visiting the Book Barn in Niantic, and that Mystic is not officially one of the 169 towns. How about getting books for buying a meal at the Travelers Restaurant in Enfield?

8. Since you have been to all 169 towns of Connecticut, have you thought about writing a book about what each town offers and what people can find there?

In my book, I not only have taken the pictures of the blue town history signs, but I have also documented my experience as well. It’s two stories in one. You have the history of the town itself based on what is written on the sign. Then you have my experience, based on a place I ate, a person I met, a picture I took and anything off the beaten path.

9. Do you have any current projects?

At this time, I have no current projects in mind, though I would love to do another book. Maybe boroughs of Connecticut, more signs of Connecticut or anything Connecticut. I love this state!

You can order The Signs of Connecticut here. You can also check out the book’s Facebook page here.

Thomas Fatone will be at Books & Boos with his book, The Signs of Connecticut, on Saturday, March 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. He will talk about his experience working on the book and answer any questions about this endeavor.

January Sale at Books and Boos

 

Books & Boos, an independent bookstore in Colchester, CT. is having a sale, which started this past Tuesday and runs through the end of the month. You buy three used books and get the fourth one free (of equal or lesser value). They offer used books of all genres.

The bookstore also sells new books by local, Connecticut, and New England authors including Dale T. Phillips, Stacey Longo, Dan Waters, Jan Kozlowski, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover to name only a few. They carry over 50 plus authors on consignment.

The bookstore also sells Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games bookmarks made by a local company, zombie Poe t-shirts, and other interesting items.

Game of Thrones booksmarks.

Game of Thrones booksmarks.

Hunger Games bookmarks.

Hunger Games bookmarks.

Books and Boos' Zombie Poe t-shirt.

Books and Boos’ Zombie Poe t-shirt.

You can find everything mentioned here in the physical store, but some of the items are available through the bookstore’s website. If you are looking for a particular book, they can work with you through Paypal or put it on the website for you. Just give them a call at (860) 861-6214.

Books & Boos also has an Amazon storefront.

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Erin Thorne Promotes Latest Book at Four Places in May

new author picMassachusetts author Erin Thorne will be appearing at four places this month to promote her latest book, Behind the Wheel.

The first stop on her tour is the Westfield Athenaeum on Tuesday, May 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. She’ll read from her latest work, Behind The Wheel. She will be signing copies of all of her books, which will be available for purchase. Her other books are Diane’s Descent and Deals Diabolical.

The Athenaeum is located at 6 Elm Street in Westfield, MA. This event is free and open to the public.

Her second stop is Books & Boos on Saturday, May 18, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. She will be reading from Behind the Wheel. Her other books will also be available for purchase at this event, which is free and open to the public.

The bookstore is located at 514 Westchester Road in Colchester, CT.

Her third stop is at Books & Beans on Saturday, May 25. She will be signing copies of all her books, which will be available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The store is located at 100 Central Street in Southbridge, MA.

Her fourth and last stop in May is at the Sutton Public Library on Thursday, May 30, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. She will read from Behind the Wheel and sign copies of all of her books, which will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

The library is located at 4 Uxbridge Road in Sutton, MA.

Please check out Erin Thorne’s Amazon page here or her Facebook page here where you can find out about her and her three books, Behind the Wheel, Diane’s Descent and Deals Diabolical.

Erin Thorne welcomes different types of speaking engagements and signings. Feel free to contact her by phone at (508) 347-3677 or (774) 757-7159. She can be contacted by email too, AuthorErinThorne@gmail.com

Giveaway: SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D /Signed posters

The New England Horror Writers are having their first giveaway. Starting at Monday at midnight and ending Thursday at midnight, the NEHW will be giving away two signed posters from the new movie Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which opens in theaters Friday. The posters are signed by the two stars Adelaide Clemens (X-men Origins: Wolverine) and Kit Harington (television series Game of Thrones), director and writer Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane), and producer Samuel Hadida (True Romance).

To win a copy of the poster (shown above), email your name and address to nehwevents@gmail.com. Two names will be chosen at random.

Check out the movies’ Facebook page by clicking here.

Are the Skulls for sale? Helpful advice for NEHW members.

Are the Skulls for sale? Helpful advice for NEHW members.

by Rob Watts

Author Rob Watts autographing his novel, Huldufólk, for a fan. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Rob Watts autographing his novel, Huldufólk, for a fan. Photo by Jason Harris.

For almost a year now, I’ve attended just about every, if not all NEHW signing events. In addition to my own scheduled appearances, I feel the various offered events that are hosted by the NEHW are a valuable resource for an independently published author and anyone who hasn’t taken advantage of them is sadly missing out. In addition to gaining exposure and promoting your work, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the friends you make through the organization as well as creating new friendships along the way.

As a frequent guest of these events, I have learned a thing or two about people’s’ reactions to our presence at some events. Most people love us, and it has nothing to do with the fact that we are so frigging cool, but more-so due to the fact that we are a unique brand. In a sea of repetitiveness, we fully stand out amongst the jewelry booths, the handbags, the jam counters and the  birdhouses. When people approach our booth, they are pleasantly surprised to discover that we are the authors of the work in front of them. They are even more thrilled when we offer to sign their books for them personally. There is something to be said for making someone’s day without so much as breaking a sweat.

If you are planning on attending a future event or even if you are relatively new to the scene, here are a handful of tips to keep in mind when spending the day at the NEHW booth/tent.

First of all, try to make every effort to be on time. If an event begins at 10:00 a.m., try to be there then or a little bit before. The reason for this is simple; it makes setting up our display easier. Space on the table is limited and the earlier that the display can be set-up, the better organized it will look. It can get a little crazy when visitors approach the booth and books are still being set up in front of them.

Keep the front of our booth clear. Nothing keeps visitors away more than cluttered table. Keep the conversation and socializing behind the booth or in a more open common area. You want a visitor and potential buyer to feel comfortable and invited to approach our booth. I know when I see too many people in front of a table I keep walking. I have seen if for myself at these
events as well.

No Book Blocking! What is book blocking? Book blocking is when a visitor may be showing signs of interest in one author’s book and a fellow author or guest of the author intervenes to talk up their own book. This is a huge no-no at events and is greatly frowned upon. I’m not saying it happens a lot, but I have seen it once or twice and it warrants illustrating. There is plenty of opportunity for authors to make sales throughout the day. There is no need to prevent a fellow author from making a sale, especially if it’s their only sale that day.

Keep food and drinks off the table space. We don’t want anyone’s books getting damaged by spilled sodas or pizza sauce.

Don’t complain that you didn’t do well at an event. Every event is different. Some are well-attended, some not so much. There isn’t a science to this, it just pans out that way. How well your book does is entirely up to the author. You might sell one book, you might sell five. You may even walk away with no sales that particular day, but there is no one to blame for that. It’s the chance you take when going out to promote your book. I’ll admit, the NEHW had a touch of a dry spell during the last couple of events, but this past weekend in Middletown, CT. we made up for that dry spell and then some. Every author sold multiple books and walked away feeling good about the day. But when it doesn’t go so well, it’s no one’s fault. You’re only making yourself look bad when you whine about not doing so well at an event. The events aren’t booked with the promise of stellar book sales. It’s just a venue and opportunity for you to promote your work. How well your book does is entirely up to you. Spending the entire time at the event increases your chances of sales as well, so it’s best to devote the day to promoting your book.

Learn about your fellow authors and their work. The one thing I’ve always admired about the authors I spend the day with is the fact that it’s a team effort. If a visitor asks for a book about zombies, then we will direct them to a certain author’s book. If they are looking for young adult, then we’ll direct them to another. It’s helpful to know who writes what so we can be supportive of our fellow authors. If they want my book, then of course I’m happy. But if they are looking for something completely different from what I have, then I’m more than happy to direct them to someone else’s work that they might enjoy.

Keep in mind that space is limited. Most times we are working in a 4×8 space at indoor events. That’s enough room for two chairs behind the table and the rest of us are standing behind or near the booth. Keep this in mind when attending events. We don’t want a cluttered appearance and we certainly don’t want to take room away from a potential book buyer. The outdoor events are bit more flexible on space because of the open area, but indoor venues are almost guaranteed to be small and cramped. A good rule of thumb is to check with the (NEHW) event coordinator ahead of time to see how much space is available before inviting friends or family to join you at the event.

Show appreciation for the coordinator(s) for that event. In addition to being thoughtful and considerate towards the actual venue (we want to be invited back), you should also take a moment to think about the hard work that goes into being a part of the day’s festivities. Whether it’s Jason or Stacey, Scott, Tracy, T.J., et cetera, a lot of their personal time and effort goes into setting these events up. They are not getting paid to wake up at the crack of ass, pack up their personal vehicles with supplies, materials, food and drinks and so on. They do it for the benefit of the NEHW and its members. So give them a show of appreciation by saying thank you. Perhaps even hang around after the event to help break down the area. I’ll tell you first hand that that EZ up and down tent isn’t all that easy and after a 6 to 8 hour day out in the sun, breaking down that thing is the last thing anyone wants to do. But it has to be done and the more hands available, the quicker and easier it will be and everyone can get on their way. In short, make yourself available as best you can. It goes a long way with the people that busted their hump to set the day up.

Author and NEHW Co-chair Stacey Longo signing a copy of Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend for a fan. Photo by Rob Watts.

Author and NEHW Co-chair Stacey Longo signing a copy of Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend for a fan. Photo by Rob Watts.

Lastly, there are five questions that have and will be asked at every single event. To help you feel welcome and part of the team, memorize the five questions and answers and you’ll be a pro before the end of your first event. Good luck!

  1. Are the skulls for sale? No, they are only there for decoration, but if you’d like to buy one, you might want to try the fish tank aisle at Walmart. That’s where this skull was purchased.
  2. Do you have any children’s books? Yes, as a matter of fact we do. We currently have Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend by Stacey Longo, and Good Night Fright by Kimberly Dalton.
  3. Are you a publishing company? No, we are an organization of New England area authors, illustrators, screenwriters, publishers, et cetera. We attend these various events to help get our name out, and it’s a good opportunity for us to meet other writers and spend the day together.
  4. My son/daughter is a writer and he/she would absolutely love your group. Can he/she contact you? Yes, you can take one of our NEHW cards or flyers and have them contact us via the website. We also have a Facebook page that they can join which is a great way to communicate with other members.
  5. Are you crazy because you write horror? Yes, we are all clinically insane and you should purchase our books to avoid any certifiable behavior that may come on as a result of you walking away from our booth empty handed.

Got all that?

Practical PR in Five Steps or Fewer

Practical PR in Five Steps or Fewer Or, I just joined the NEHW … now what?

by Kristi Petersen Schoonover

There’s strength in numbers, and that’s what the New England Horror Writers Association is all about. Through membership, you’ll have access to promotional opportunities—such as selling your books at conference tables and getting yourself out there on the web through the NEHW website—that you wouldn’t otherwise.

That said, we’re all busy people: today’s writers and artists are expected to blog, social network, teach, lecture, promote, critique—never mind create, and that’s on top of our “normal” lives. If you’re in a time crunch, how do you take advantage of yet another opportunity?

You can. In not even five minutes a day. Here’s how!

1. FOLLOW THE NEHW ON TWITTER AND RE-TWEET.

Follow the NEHW at @NEhorrorwriters. We’ll follow you back. We often re-tweet your tweets—and you can re-tweet ours. It’s especially helpful when you’ve got nothing to put out on your feed—and a heck of a lot of news goes everywhere and all it cost you was one second.

2. JOIN THE NEHW FACEBOOK GROUP AND PARTICIPATE.

The NEHW Facebook Group is an easy way to stay informed of upcoming opportunities— and is another place to post your own news and gain exposure. In addition, some pretty interesting posts pop up over there. It’s a cinch to click “Share” or “Comment.”

3. FRIEND OTHER MEMBERS ON FACEBOOK AND HIT THE SHARE BUTTON.

Friend other NEHW members on Facebook—plenty of our members are active and have lots to share. If they post something interesting, that’s your cue to click “Share” and/or “Comment.”

4. IN A BLOG JAM? DIRECT FOLLOWERS TO NEWS ON THE NEHW WEBSITE OR TO OTHER MEMBERS’ WEBSITES.

There’s a near-constant newsfeed—and even older helpful articles—on the NEHW website; in addition, other members’ blogs are pretty active. If I’ve got nothing to post on my blog, I head over, grab a link to something interesting, write a two-line introduction— and voila! Instant post. Just be sure you’re not copying anything verbatim from anyone’s website without their permission; if you’ve got WordPress and so does the poster, you can hit “Reblog” and add a comment, and WordPress will merely show a truncated version and provide the link.

5. ADD US TO YOUR E-MAIL SIGNATURE.

You can add “Member New England Horror Writers Association~www.newenglandhorror.org” to your permanent e-mail signature. You only have to do it once and it’s there until you take it off. How does that benefit you? Clout, of course. It shows you’re a member of a writing organization and that you’ve got a passion for what you do— especially great for when you’re submitting to editors.

If every member of our group did this, think of how much coverage we’d have…and that’s just the beginning. By participating in these five activities when you can, you’ll help yourself—and our organization—gain the exposure we all deserve.

Facebook 101

This funny take on learning about Facebook comes from the blog of  the Co-chair of the NEHW, Stacey Longo, which can be found on her website.

Facebook 101

by Stacey Longo

My sister finally gave in and joined Facebook this week, or, as she succinctly put it, “I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.” Tasteless Jim Jones reference notwithstanding, I was crazily excited to have my sister on Facebook—which is a little bit ridiculous, really, since we talk on the phone every day. But now I could talk to her online, too! And put up photos of shamrock shakes and tag her in them! Oh, the possibilities were endless! I spent two hours walking Kim through her first tentative Facebook steps. She navigated her way through the privacy settings, discovered how to leave her wall and successfully return to it later, and even gave the search bar a shot. “I can’t find O____ B_____,” she complained, trying to look up an old friend from high school as I sat with the phone propped up to my ear, tagging photos of her. “Don’t worry about it, she just found you,” I said, watching as O.B. ‘liked’ the picture of Kim I’d just put up and left a comment. Within moments, Kim had a friend request. “That’s a little scary,” she admitted. And it is. Which is why I’m offering these tips to my sister and the other 36 people in the world who are just now joining the Facebook nation:

1.  Remember that creepy guy from high school, the one who wore plastic vampire fangs to class and stared at you all day? Yup, he’s on Facebook too, and he’s about to send you a friend request so that he can finally confess to you that he was in love with you 30 years ago and that you are still just as beautiful today. Feel free to ignore his friend request.

2.  Remember your younger cousin, the one who set off firecrackers in the chicken coop and it caught on fire? He hasn’t changed. Ignore his friend request, too.

3.  People will tag random pictures of you. They do not care if you were thirty pounds heavier in that photo or had just had your hair done like Gene Simmons of KISS for a costume party. They also don’t care if your mother is on Facebook and will not find it as hilarious as your friends do to tag you in a picture of a bong shaped like Elvis’s head. You do have the power to un-tag yourself in those photos. Do it.

4.  Good news!  Your mother is not on Facebook. Yet.

5.  Some of your Facebook friends are quite vocal about their political views or feelings on social issues affecting our nation. Some of these people are, in fact, crazier than fruit bats. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes it’s better to just bite your fingers instead of commenting.

6.  Yes, if you post something on someone’s page, all of their friends can read it. So if you want to tell your friend Jeanie that you still regret not marrying John Taylor of Duran Duran, send her a private message instead of posting it on her wall where your husband might see it.

7. Of course Duran Duran has their own Facebook page! You can only ‘like’ it once, though.

8. Don’t keep updating your status every five minutes. Honestly, nobody cares if you just found a great deal on toilet paper at Target. (Wait. How great of a deal was it?) Also, why do you want creepy vampire fang guy to know where you are at all times? Facebook can be a little scary for newbies. Personally, I’m thrilled to have my sister on there with me, mostly because my cousin Lori keeps ignoring my Farmville requests, and I want someone to play with me. Plus, it’s better that she figures Facebook out now…before her children do!