The end of October was so mild and November started off pretty mild but now that cold wind cuts to the bone and all I want is to get inside, put on some sweatpants and warm socks, and drink some hot chocolate. LOL! How are you feeling these days?
So, let’s see… what cool stuff has been going on here? Well:
I just got four Official Selections for three of my screenplays (Inexorable, Elevator, and Don’t Answer Your Phone!). All of you who are wishing me good vibes in the movie world, keep putting that out in the universe, please, because you are making good things happen!
I’ve been writing! I’ve finished three short stories and a poem since we last spoke and I’m kind of excited about that! I’m about to start writing the next novel. It’s about… hahaha! You thought I might slip, didn’t you? But NOPE!
I saw the cover for The Tryst and, oh my gosh, it is AMAZING! I can’t wait for you to see it! The Tryst is book #1 of my experimental series that is coming out in February 2022. Here’s a snippet from the webpage:
The Tryst is the beginning of an experimental series that will challenge the way you think about love, life, connection, and purpose, The Tryst will catch you in its whirlwind and never let you go. Each book in the Affinity series will combine of mixture of mystery, thriller, psychological horror, action, suspense, science fiction elements in differing measures, always with romance as an undercurrent.
Crescendocame out… again! My first novel has been re-released by Cedar Grove Publishing and it is flipping gorgeous. Crescendo is a novel about fate and the lengths we will travel to avoid the inevitable. Set in tranquil Rockland County, New York, this tale of suspense and horror will take listeners on an emotional roller coaster of anger, anxiety, compassion, and indelible fear.
Welcome back, sweetheart. I LOVE your new dress!
SFA is OPEN! We are adding classes every week and having a blast doing it! Do you know someone with a passion for writing? This is a FANTASTIC holiday gift for the writer in your life… even if that writer is YOU!
Sign up for the annual membership (best value – a month FREE!) or take an individual class. Buy a gift card for someone. Do something amazing for yourself.
What else is going on? Everything! All the stuff. I’ve watched 28 horror movies this month (my annual 31 horror movies in October activity). Lots of new ones too, but I did have to make sure that I saw my season faves like the original Fright Night, Christine, and of course I will watch Halloween on Halloween.
Book 2 of The Realm series released this month and I am so incredibly pumped about that!
Let’s have the strangest staggered launch ever, shall we? Book 2 of The Realm is out NOW on Kindle!
It’s called Cacophony and if you loved Patrick in book 1 and want to know what happens to Gabby, check it out. If you want to know who Patrick and Gabby are, check out Cacophony and the first book (The Realm) out! If you like action and horror and edge of your seat, page-turning fun, check it out! Just check it out – you won’t be disappointed.
Yes… yes I did quote Tony from West Side Story. Because it is so apropos (and a fantastic play too!). I mean, this news… I can barely contain myself because, well, watch… you’ll see:
See what I mean? I am over the moon about Cacophony! Seriously excited to share the next book in this action-packed existential, psychological, cosmic horror saga. The Realm series makes you think about so many things at once:
To what lengths would you go to save your family?
What happens after death?
Can you change your fate?
And those are just a few of the questions that will bounce around in your mind as you join Patrick, Doug, and Gabby on their rollercoaster ride.
Wanna see some back cover copy?
Lemme show you some back cover copy!
Toddlers and playdates and white picket fences. Afternoons in the park, steak on the grill – all in the perfect neighborhood. Gabby was living a life that many people could only wish for and she was over it. It wasn’t that she disliked her world – it wasn’t that at all…she loved her family and the life that she and her husband had made. She just wanted more – more action, more stimulation, more excitement. Gabby was bored. But while she spent her days washing sand out of hair and making PB&J sandwiches, a battle was going on in The Realm, a cosmic tug of war over the most inimitable of prizes: Gabby’s very soul.
Cacophony will be released on October 13, 2021 but it is available for preorder now!
If you are wondering who Patrick, Doug, and Gabby are you can catch up by checking out The Realm. The crisis that they are going through is expressed pretty well here:
You thought you were dead.
Waking up and looking all around you, you realize all you learned about The Afterlife was a fantasy. You don’t know where you are, but you do know it’s not a pleasant or suitable place. You need to run. Hard and fast.
Eventually, you meet others doomed to live in this terrifying Realm with you. Here are gathered the newly dead from all over the universe. A formidable race of giant beasts hunts them. The likes of which have never been seen by those in the living world. This place is like nothing you ever learned about in life—neither Heaven nor Hell, neither Purgatory nor Sheol.
You encounter clusters of people huddled together for safety. You’re a lone wolf—they don’t trust you, nor you them. Perhaps with good reason.
Patrick is key to the future of The Realm. He must right old wrongs and fight against all the terrors it has in store. He must fight to save his family and, most importantly, all of his descendants. His revelations will impact the living world, as well as what comes next.
Patrick is the future of humanity.
Can he succeed?
(Ha! I just got you to read some more back cover copy! LOL!)
Pretty picture time!
Let’s see… what else…? The Speculative Fiction Academy – that’s what else!
The Speculative Fiction Academy launches in October! If you’ve always wanted to learn to write horror fiction, fantasy, supernatural romance, and science fiction goodness in the form of prose, poetry, or screenplays, come check us out!
Then this coolness happened! I was part of this miniature poetry festival (check the esteemed line up here – wowza!). Interesting, this poetry thing. I have another one coming out in 2022… maybe I am (still) a poet and didn’t know it!
What have you been watching?
Since the last newsletter I have gone to see the new Candyman and loved it (get it, Mr. Peele!) and started and finished Midnight Mass and loved that (go Hamish Linklater!). Such good stuff out there right now. I am getting ready to start Squid Game – having flashbacks of The Running Man, which is a good thing!
What are you reading?
I finished Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland (book two of the Dread Nation series) and loved it – definitely worth the read for you zombie fans out there. I’m reading The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill now and enjoying it.
No new music for me these days – been listening to my faves and I having mini personal parties in preparation for all the festivities coming in October. On my playlist today? Much Kehlani. Check this one out – I jammed to it twice today:
Ok, well, I think that’s it. It was a lot. So, I guess that’s enough.
And yes, I know that summer isn’t technically over until almost the end of September, but still. August 31st is tomorrow. I never grew out of this one thing from my youth: the end of August is the end of summer.
I didn’t go to the pool (!).
I didn’t roast marshmallows (seriously, what in the world?).
I didn’t make a fire and sit outside until it burned down in the wee hours of the night… oh, wait… I did do that!
I also listened to my two favorite sounds: waves crashing onto a beach and the wind blowing the leaves of trees.
I drove a convertible.
I cooked out and ate outside.
I played in the rain and watched a rainbow emerge from the gloom.
I stared at the stars (through a telescope that I never figured out – and I mean not after 5 years of half you-know-whating it. That I gave up and stared at them with the naked eye more than once has absolutely no bearing on this story – lol).
I grew my hair out, then cut it off, only to wonder if maybe I want to grow it out again after all (don’t judge me!).
I learned a new paint pouring technique. Indeed I am planning my next paint pouring (throwing… it’s more like throwing for me, if I’m being honest) session soon – this time on a BIIIGGGG canvas.
Hmmm. Maybe I didn’t have such a short summer after all, if I was able to fit all of that in!
Ooh! I finished writing a novel too! A novel I can’t talk about yet because… well, ’cause! So far my editor is smiling and that is always a good thing, let me tell you!
I messed around with the website a little – made a Coming Soon section that I am pumped about .
And this is BIG…
I experienced a dream come true… well, almost. I mean kinda sorta, but not entirely yet. Cryptic? Perhaps. Let me explain. I realized a while ago (like 20 years ago) that I enjoy teaching – like, really enjoy it. I’ve been doing it on and off, sometimes in workshop form, but often in the classroom, for a pretty long time now. I had the chance, years ago, to create a college course called Introduction to Horror Writing and had the time of my life teaching it. And now, friends, I’m at it again.
So much BIGGER!!
Really… I mean look at this! It’s this kind of big! It’s LOGO big!
I brought some people who are amazing at what they do in to help me put together the dream come true I talked about before… the Speculative Fiction Academy!
We aren’t open yet, but soon… so very soon! You can sign up for the SFA newsletter and peruse the classes we have so far, and check out the amazing instructors that are part of this groundbreaking academy. We are adding more classes in the next few months to provide a robust curriculum at launch because this academy isn’t just for horror writers or genre writers… it’s for podcasters, screenwriters, fantasy writers, sci-fi writers, non fiction writers, aspiring writers, business-focused folks (and writers), and more – holy cow! Check us out – tell your friends. I’ll keep you posted on our launch date, for sure.
I watched some fantastic movies thismonth, Free Guy among them. Kingdom: Ashin of the North was everything, but perhaps the stand out for this month was The Paper Tigers:
If you are of a certain age you will be laughing so hard you won’t be able to catch your breath. Like me… I’m of that age. I literally thought I wouldn’t make it through without holding my sides and wiping my eyes. There are so many head-nodding moments in there. Good stuff.
The Promise Keeper got a make-up change. New cover, loves, and I think it’s pretty snazzy!!!
Yo! Did you see that Telecommuting was on an Amazon bestseller list for like 5 weeks?!?!?! It was #2 for a few days too! HOLY COW! Bucket list, guys! WOOT! Have you read this crazy tale yet? If so, THANKS SO MUCH for checking me out. If not, this might be a great short read for you – it’s fun one!
Oh, and I now can confirm that I love this song:
I only know maybe 7 words of it but I sing them enthusiastically and I’m ok with that. The people around me are invariably not, but YOLO, right?
How was your summer? Tell me about it! Come back and visit sometimes – you never know when I will add something new to the site. Tell your friends too – all are welcome (can you name the movie the last part of that sentence is from? I dare you to say it in the voice it was first uttered in out loud!).
Thank you to Silk Sonic for giving me that title. I use it a lot now because it is exactly what I want to ask people most of the time. ‘Whatchoo doin’? Where you at? Oh, you got plans…?’ Do you know what I’m talking about? No? Yaassss? Well, let me introduce or remind you of this beautifulness right here because everybody could use a little Bruno in their lives:
But I digress.
Can you believe that July is almost over? Ok, maybe not almost but the last time I looked it was the 1st, so it is flying by at a pretty quick clip to me. If you were to ask me what I’m doin’ and where I’m at I’d tell you that I’ve been an editing fool for the past few weeks, trying to get a piece ready for your consumption at some point down the road. Once this is done I will start the next piece, a &^%#@ about (*&%! – lol! That’s right, I’m not gonna spill the beans just yet.
What I will talk about is all the goodness coming up soon – very soon. The Promise Keeper will re-re-release (lol) with style (ch-ch-changes!) and right around the same time the novel that started it all, Crescendo, will come back out into the world! I am so excited about both of these. And wait until you see the covers!
Ooh – this is big! Telecommuting is ON SALE! If you haven’t picked it up yet, this is the perfect time to dive into this fast-paced novella because it is only .99 until the 18th!
I had the honor of speaking a few times at the In Your Write Mind conference last weekend and it was a complete blast. I gave a talk called Breaking the Rules – The Path to Authentic Writing, participated on a couple of panels, and interacted on others with people I respect the heck out of. Great way to spend a few days.
I’ve done a few cool things this month too – spoke at Mocha Memoirs’ 10th birthday celebration on Facebook and did a Destination Research segment on ConTinual. You should check out the fun – I covered the beautiful Sint Maarten in my segment.
What are you reading? I am listening to Dread Nation by Justina Ireland and reading Silenced by Nicole Givens Kurtz. Just started them both and am loving them in equal measure.
Creepy movie made creepier by how close to reality it could be. Yick! I just got the chills thinking about it again.
Where am I (at)? Underneath all of the papers I’m editing with red ink smudges on my hands. But in a few months I will be at some cool places, specifically Multiverse! They even made me a card, see? WOOT! Maybe I’ll see you there!
And I think that might be it! Shoot me some book and movie recs – I never get tired of those. I would tell you to leave the door open like Silk Sonic does but that might be irresponsible considering what I write. Soooo I will go with lock your doors and block entry with something heavy, burn sage and walk it around the interior, and hunker down.
Well, not quite yet, but it’s getting there! Summer is right around the corner and that means sitting by the water, sitting on your deck or patio, sitting in the AC – wherever you like to sit – with a book in your hand. Luckily I have a few that you can choose from and they fit just perfectly in your palm or Kindle. 🙂 Yeah, there’s a reason I’m not in Marketing (that was… whew!).
But still… I do have a few books you can sink your teeth into (and you KNOW I meant that pun!) plus a new(ish) release coming right around the corner. Ok, let’s get that out of the way first because YAY!
Like alternative realities with a bit of mystery, copious amounts of thriller, and a pinch each of cosmic and psychological horror? The Realm is PERFECT for you! Literally. Unsettling and filled with action, this story introduces you to Patrick and the curse his family must endure.
Like vampires and the lure of the forbidden, the ferocity of a mother’s love, and darkness that only evil can bring? The Promise Keeper is your JAM! And it’s a little sexy too! Just sayin’. Fangs, the Caribbean sun, New York, NY, and a promise that is too dangerous not to keep? What’s not to love?
Like creepy, eerie tales about the dark and what lives there and fear that starts at the base of your neck and creeps down your spine, cold, cold, like ice in your veins? Ahem, Telecommuting is for you! Psychological horror at its most pure, this story will make you beg your own mind to stay clear, to always be true, to protect you from… from… well, you’ll see!
Oh, and then…
The novel that started it all is coming back, rising out of the shadows, pulling back the veil… too much? I might have gotten a little carried away there, but whatever! In July, my first novel, Crescendo, will be re-released by Cedar Grove Publishing! My first book baby! I am so excited about this! The cover? OH MY! Let me just say… Lynne Hansen has done it again! I can’t wait for you to see it but the folks tell me I have to wait to release it – something about a cover reveal… you know how it goes! 🙂 Look for this beautiful artwork on July 1st. The book comes out later in the month of July – I know you know I’ll tell you when!
I love this story. I love all of my stories, but I love this one so much that I adapted it as a screenplay… and was lucky enough to win a Best Horror award for it at a film festival. (WOOOTTTT!!!) I’m so excited that it is coming back and new readers can check it out again. Soon, soon… very soon!
*If you go to my website and see a cover there, ha, that’s not it! But wanna see the book trailer? It’s fun!
A quick note about reading and books and the like. I don’t know if you know this, but reviews are incredibly helpful to authors. If you are so inclined, please post them where you buy and learn about books (Amazon, Goodreads, etc.) – it is the next best thing you can do to support the writers you enjoy. Thanks to all who do so already and to those who will consider doing so now!
So, what else has been up? Have you seen any good movies? I have!
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
to name a few. I also REALLY enjoyed A Quiet Place II. REALLY, REALLY enjoyed it. Saw it at a drive through (seriously, if you have never done this, try it. There’s nothing like watching a creepy, dark, scary movie in the dark, exposed to the woods… with no protection other than the flimsy windows in your car… There is so much texture in this movie! And John Krasinski – he’s just brilliant. I’ve been a fan for a long time (The Office has to be one of my favorite TV shows like EVER… ok, now I think I will be watching a few episodes tonight! LOL!) but this is John at a whole other level. And I’m liking it.
Books? I have not finished anything this month, I am sad to say. Still nursing the ones from last month and had the nerve to buy a few new titles to sit on top of my TBR list. Ha, oh well! No one who knows me should be surprised by that! Book enthusiast – that’s me!
I got the chance to do some cool stuff recently:
Went on Just Joshing and spoke for about 2 hours with Joshua Pantalleresco. Laughed more than I talked. It was a flipping blast.
Had a convo between writers session that will go live soon. Venessa Giunta and I chatted for a little over an hour about “stuff”… and it was good stuff. You’ll wanna see this when it goes up!
Got interviewed by NFReads – a fun and quick read!
Finished writing a novel! (WAHOOOOOO! And now comes the editing – a little less wahooooo.)
Wrote three short stories – shorty shorts, like I like ’em. None of them are over 1k words and that suits me just fine!
Have decided that I really should figure out how to work my telescope so I can see some of the beautiful stuff up there in the night sky. It has been collecting dust for years. It’s like a piece of art – immovable art. I need to change this.
One of my short screenplays, the one that is an ode to the one I wrote and shot and proceeded to misplace during my freshman year at Howard University – 271 Raeburn Avenue – won Best Short Screenplay at an international film festival! YAYAYAYAYYAYA! So very exciting to see my work out there – honored beyond belief.
I think that is all. So all I have to say in closing is bring on more good movies, bring on a few extra hours in the day so I can finish reading one of the books open on my nightstand, bring on the warm weather… and the ice cream, because I must have ice cream.
I’m ready for the world.
And I’m not talking about these guys, though they have a couple tunes that were my JAMS back in the day! (Ha… I said “jam” in all caps twice in this newsletter!)
Get ready for some fun in the sun, friends! Tell YOUR friends about what we do here and have them join the newsletter, get into the conversation on Twitter (@LMarieWood1) and join the FB group (facebook.com/LMarieWood). Share the love!