It's Day Two of the Stalkers Book Blitz and here are the three authors and their excerpts and information.
Don’t Kiss the Dead, Fred by A.E. Killingsworth
About A.E. Killingsworth
A.E. Killingsworth is a writer from Alabama, who favors paranormal and urban fantasy. She has a love/hate relationship with her degree in English and a passion for exploring Southern culture. She loves Jane Eyre, vintage glassware, and hiking in the mountains. Most importantly, she’s married to her best friend and soul mate. She thinks her puppy is pretty special too.
Also, I would never have done this if it weren’t for my CCR writing group. Thanks for the accountability, ladies!
Stalk A.E.: Website
ExcerptHe had the softest smile on his lips. His eyes were sleepy, and when he leaned in close, my heart did funny little jumps in my chest. Was this it? Was this finally the moment I’d always remember as my first kiss?
I shifted my head the tiniest bit closer and, just before our lips met; he groaned real low. I took it for desire and pressed my lips against his, but they were unyielding. He leaned heavily into me, and I instinctively pushed against him.
Imagine my surprise when he keeled over backwards and with a crack, and split his head open on a concrete column. The doctors said it wasn’t the blow that killed him—it was a heat-induced heart attack not even a minute before. It seemed like that blood would never come off my porch.
I also never thought I’d kiss a guy and bury him within a week…
Affliction by S.L. Dearing
Although she grew up in Arizona, S. L. Dearing was born and raised in California and considers the Golden State her home. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying biology, then moved to Los Angeles where she spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She learned the art of storytelling from her father when she was very young and has been writing since the tender age of five. As an author of many genres, she is always hoping to learn more by exploring the world of story. She has written her first novel The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles. She also has short stories in several anthologies: Apocalypse: An Anthology by Readers & Authors, Paranormal Anthology with a Twist and Stalkers: A Collection of Thriller Stories. Shannon currently resides in Los Angeles.
She put the phone back in her pocket and looked up as the light turned green. She stepped forward but was grabbed back as the Corolla sped past her, narrowly missing her.
Kaila nodded as she looked around to see a young man with short curly-blond hair holding her arm. She looked down at his hand.
“Oh, sorry.” He let go of her arm. “He was coming really fast.”
“Ah, no, thank you… I didn’t even see him.”
“Yeah, Douche! He wasn’t even looking.”
“Anyway, thank you.”
“Craig… Craig Pierce. You go to State, don’t you?” He asked.
“Yeah, you T.A. my Poly Sci class… Kaila… Kaila Montgomery.”
“Oh, yeah, third row.”
He smiled and motioned for them to walk as the stop light sign began to flash.
They continued to talk as they proceeded down the sidewalk, and Kaila blushed, putting her hair behind her ear. The figure behind the wheel of the Corolla watched and smiled, before driving in the opposite direction.
Why do I write what I write?
Hmmm, well, I guess sometimes it’s what is required. For instance this anthology asked
us to do something about stalking, so I let my mind wander the dark passages of that concept and rested on the horror of being stalked and being in a stalkers mind. But right now I’m also writing short stories for several romance anthologies. So in that respect, I write what’s required lending my own spin to it and hoping that people like it.
My own work tends to be a mash-up of genres. I consider myself a storyteller and I think most great stories have a little bit of everything. I’m inspired by daily events, moments in history or even the possibilities of the future. I do tend to lean more towards paranormal, but I think that’s because I love the escape of a good book or story and I think that paranormal lends itself to that. I ultimately write to share my ideas of what I want to read and hopefully touch someone with my writing. It’s a powerful feeling to know that what you’ve written has profoundly affected someone else. I like it.
Where can your fans find information on you and your books on the Internet?
Lucid by Andrea Stanet
A freelance writer from upstate New York, Andrea Stanet has been published online and in print since the late 90s. While she typically writes contemporary and urban fantasy, her reading interests span all genres. Andrea is currently revising two fantasy novels that she hopes to have published in the near future.
At the gym, I stumble into the arms of the hot personal trainer I’ve lusted after for ages. I smile and gaze into his eyes, willing him to sense my desires.
The room dims.
The skin on the trainer’s face sags, lengthens, melts. Scarlet tendons and muscles contrast against white bone. He grins. Misshapen lips pucker and stretch toward mine. I scream and try to shield my mouth. His grip on my wrists feels like handcuffs. My head thrashes from side to side. I fight to pull my hands away.
A voice disrupts my escape efforts. It has an unnatural quality, an echo, and seems far away. “Flirt with a stranger.” A chuckle follows.
Faces only melt in dreams. This isn’t real.
I find a focal point—the leg-extension machine—and force deep breaths into my dream-self’s lungs. When I turn, the trainer’s face will return to normal. I will wake up.
“Stop! Let me in,” the voice commands.
The air feels thick, as if the humidity level is one-hundred percent. I can’t breathe.
A shadow passes in front of the machine as I shift my gaze away from the equipment.
I am transported to my room.
I see myself in bed, face buried in my pillow. I glide closer and note the way my back rises and falls, the way one leg pokes out from beneath the sheet, the way one arm tucks under my chin. Several brown strands have escaped the braid trailing out behind me.
My door rattles. I pause. Around me, I try to gauge my bearings—wide dresser, tall bookshelf. Reflecting in the dresser’s mirror, my open laptop sits on the desk next to my queen-sized bed. The Florida room, perpendicular to the far window, is dark. A fluffy, monogrammed robe, with my initials—J.S. for Joey Santiago—hangs on the back of the door like a ghostly blob.
A series of thumps and scratches follows a pitiful yowl.
My breath catches in my throat, and a jolt travels through me.
An interview with Andrea Stanet
What made you participate in the Stalkers contest?
The thriller genre interests me, but I had never really attempted to write it, so it was an interesting challenge. My initial idea came pretty quickly, so I decided to go for it.
What is “Lucid” about?
“Lucid” is about a girl, Joey, who is about to graduate college and struggles for self-determination while living with her overprotective family. Taught lucid dreaming as a child to ward off nightmares, the nightmares start to return. At the same time, her cat starts to behave very strangely. She realizes she’s not alone in her dreams and has to use dormant skills to save herself from her dream stalker.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is pretty bizarre if you ask me. It probably isn’t in reality, but it seems so disorganized and roundabout that it’s hard to imagine why anyone else would want to work this way. I am allergic to outlining and am a classic “pantser.” My ideas usually start out as a single image based on an event or a dream. For this story, the image was of a cat attacking a girl. We have two cats, one of which can be a beast when he wants to be. I normally take him for walks when it’s warm enough, but at the time I started “Lucid,” I had been slacking off, and he attacked my daughter. We started watching a lot of My Cat from Hell so she wouldn’t be afraid to walk through the house. The first draft has the cat as the villain because of course when I think of a stalker, I immediately think of cats. Doesn’t everyone? But by the second and third drafts, I wanted the cat to play a more heroic role, which I didn’t get right (or as right as I could get it by the deadline) until the final (fifth) draft.
After I find the initial image, I like to play. A blank screen is like a big old playground, so I just run around, see if I meet any interesting friends, try to find some fun adventures, and eventually come up with a first draft. That first draft will then go through several transformations. I bounce a lot of ideas off of my husband, often before he’s even awake on a weekend morning, otherwise off of my writer friends because they won’t judge me for all the craziness I come up with. The transformation process can be a little frustrating. Until the story is “right” there’s always a nagging, “naah, something’s still off here,” feeling. Sometimes it’s more of “what were you thinking?” sensation.
I rely a great deal on feedback from different trusted readers who will tell me when I’m leaving out things and then help me pound them out of my head. It’s honestly not as violent as it sounds.
Short answer, I just write, decide what I wrote it terrible, rewrite, less terrible, rewrite…until there’s an actual story I’m okay with attaching to my name.
What is your favorite genre/s?
Favorite genres to read are fantasy, paranormal romance, and some horror. However, if the story is good enough, I’ll read just about anything.
Favorite genre to write is easily contemporary fantasy, but I also really enjoy mixing elements that don’t instantly scream, “perfect pairing.” Fairy tales and psychics; steampunk zombie dragons. You would almost think I’m just pulling things out of a hat. While I often make decisions by rolling dice or flipping coins, I absolutely do not pull story ideas out of hats. Pinkie swear.