Monday, January 27, 2014

My Four Question Interview

Here at Thumps, Bumps and Thrills, I focus on the mysterious and macabre, and steer clear of author interviews.  However, I was asked by fellow writer/friend Julia Pierce to participate in a self interview for my blog.  You can see Julia's answers here,

So here it goes....

What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on an urban fantasy which deals with witches, ghosts and...VAMPIRES.

How is your story unlike other stories in your genre?

With the oversaturation of a trope like vampires, it's extremely difficult to come up with something new and completely original.  For that reason, I will not go into too much detail here on the specifics of my current Work in Progress (WIP).  But I am willing to give a few general descriptions of some things I have going on.

Instead of fire-wielding, complete fantasy types of witchcraft and magic, my books (yes, plural) focus on a more true-to-life, Pagan based belief system.  I've been finding that even though this approach is limiting in terms of what can be done in my books, it helps to keep things grounded as well.  My future readers should be less likely to stray from reading because something seems too implausible. 

I also incorporate a mixture of vampire lore, history and mythology that gives a twist on some traditional paranormal topics.  Whereas some of these things have been touched on by other authors every so often in order to further characterization, my books would fall to pieces without them.

Why do you write what you write?

I smile every time I see this question.  It is very daunting at times when I think of how hard it will be to break out with topics such as the ones I've chosen to write about.  But I've found that a writer needs to write what is in their heart and in their mind. 

I saw my first vampire movie when I was nine years old.  It wasn't the nice, bloodless paranormal romance stuff that is so prevalent today.  The Lost Boys was a hard-core vampire movie that had its characters ripping people's heads off!  From that moment on, I was completely sucked in.  Vampires never frightened me.  Instead, I was always totally fascinated by them.  I like to say that I grew up with vampires.  I hate to make myself sound like a nutcase (this is my area of geek...everyone has one), but I think about vampires all the time.  For nearly every story, song, or what-not I hear, I can think of a vampire story to reflect its moral.  When that happens to a writer, how could they not write about vampires?  It's in my blood!

What is your writing process?

It's hard to concentrate on writing during the day while chasing two very young, active children around.  It simply can't be done in my case.  So I figure I've got two options:

A) I could wake up earlier than everyone else to get my writing time in. 
B) I can stay up after everyone else has gone to sleep and let my twisted little brain work its magic.

Yes, of course I go with option B!  I've never been a morning person and never will be.  So many people told me that I would become one while I was still pregnant with my first-born child.  Boy, were they wrong!  I'm a night owl, always have been.  I love the quiet stillness (and creepiness) that is the night.  It relaxes me and helps get the creativity flowing.

So that's a little bit of information on me and my writing.  I'd be happy to answer any more questions if  you have any for me, just ask!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Do you like clowns, or do you hate them?  Do you laugh at them, or are you afraid of them?

Most of us are aware that clowns are usually part of a circus act, where grown men (or women) dress up funny and act silly to get their audience to laugh.  This has been the main purpose of the clown since the late 18th century.  However, many people (myself included) fear clowns.

Though it is not a recognized psychological disorder, the fear of clowns has been termed coulrophobia.  It is thought that with children, the skewed outfits and facial makeup of clowns are off-putting.  With adults who fear clowns, it may be more of a culturally induced phobia (characters from movies and books).

For myself, I'll never forget the time when I was a little girl (the exact age I can't remember) and I caught a glimpse of the main character, Pennywise, from the movie version of Stephen King's It.  I was so scared, I screamed and ran into another room.  The movie had me afraid to pass by sewers on the streets I walked because I though an evil clown was under the street, waiting to grab me and eat me!  It took many years until I was able to watch the movie again.  When I did, I laughed at my younger self for having been so frightened.

Another movie from my childhood that left me with a bad taste for clowns was Poltergeist.  All I ever remember is, seeing that little toy clown in the kids' bedroom with it's devilish smile and growing arms.  Again, frightening!  I still hate that scene.

More recently, my husband and I took our two kids to the circus.  I must admit, my belly was full of apprehension when I thought of having to view the nightmarish characters.  As it turned out, the clowns were extremely colorful and made my son laugh hysterically.  Just seeing the smile on his face was enough to make my childhood memories seem silly!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Persephone and Hades

From the moment I first studied Greek mythology in middle school, I fell in love with it.  So many wonderful stories and twisted, fantastical themes.  Below, I will summarize my favorite Greek myth - the story of Hades and Persephone.  Love, abduction, incest, changing seasons...what's not to love? 

But first, some background information. 

Cronus was the leader of the Titans.  With his wife, Rhea, he fathered six children (Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Hestia and Demeter).  Since Cronus was worried about being overthrown by his children, he ate the first five of them when they were born.  Rhea was able to trick Cronus when Zeus was born, and thus he lived into adulthood.  Zeus was able to force his father to regurgitate his siblings and together they killed him.  Now with no Cronus, there were three areas that needed to be ruled, the underworld, the air and the sea.  The three brothers, Hades, Zeus and Poseidon basically drew straws.  Zeus became ruler of the air, Poseidon was the ruler of the sea and Hades took the underworld.  The earth was not ruled by anyone, and all were free to be there.

Now on to Hades and Persephone.

One day, Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was picking flowers in a field with her friends.  Hades caught a glimpse of Persephone and immediately fell in love with her.  So he rode into the field and abducted her.  Hades took Persephone back to his realm, the underworld.

Demeter, goddess of the harvest, became very worried because she couldn't find her daughter.  So she went in search of her and when Demeter couldn't find Persephone, she forbid the earth to grow and live.  (Yes, this would make the season of  winter).  This eternal winter of course brought cause for alarm as it had the ability to wipe out all of humanity.  After some searching, Zeus was able to find out what happened to Demeter's daughter. 

Since no one ever returned from the underworld, Zeus made an exception (the lives of men were at stake).  As long as Persephone didn't eat anything while she was with Hades, she could return to her mother.  So of course, when Hades heard of the exception, he gave Persephone a pomegranate seed to eat, making her the queen of the underworld.  Since Persephone ate the seed, Zeus decided that she could not go back to her mother for the entire year, but she could go back for a while and then return to Hades after.

So each year when Persephone returns to the earth to be with Demeter, spring is born.  The two women love and play and are so happy that summer develops.  But soon, Demeter realizes that Persephone will need to return to Hades.  So Demeter loses a little of her happiness and leaves and flowers begin to die with the coming of fall.  When Persephone must return to the underworld, Demeter again gets so depressed that winter comes until Persephone can return to the earth.

If you know me, then I'm sure you can see why this is my favorite Greek myth.  Love and death combine in this story to create a wonderful tale that is not far off from a vampire romance.  Are you familiar with Greek myths?  Mythology from another culture?  What's your favorite myth?