Tag Archives: Writing

The Perfect Cast

So many times I’ve come across the question if you could cast your own characters for the movie version of Girls & Monsters, who would it be? that before starting my thriller for young adult KILLER GIRL, I asked myself: who would I want to cast as my characters? Then I found this poster and almost died under the weight of inspiration.

First, I had to go with one of my favorite actors of all time (and near neurotic devotion): Gary Oldman. Our relationship (one-sided, needless to say) started with Sid & Nancy. Raw, brutal, addicts in love, he got me the second I laid eyes on him… and he looked so much like Sid Vicious that I had to remind myself this wasn’t a documentary but the fictional rendition of the Sex Pistols’ bassist final days. Then, there was Dracula (my one and only) and Harry Potter (oh, to bear the name Black) – The Professional, Romeo’s Bleeding, Immortal Beloved…so many, too many to even remember. And for Killer Girl, he’s my nemesis, he’s my monster: a man named Barnaby who turns kids into killers. Perfection.

Growing up, I wanted to be Winona Ryder. Oh no, not only because she played Mina (Dracula, again. I see a theme, here), Lydia in Beetle Juice or Kim in Edward Scissorhands, but also because she dated Johnny Depp and Christian Slater and was so beautiful and talented. Obsessed by her big doe eyes and that porcelain skin, I so wanted to be her… until what happened happened and the glass around her world shattered, a little. But fear
not, she’s back, she’s creepy (hello, Black Swan) and she’s my Kate: broken, fragile, but never a victim. A reunion with Oldman in my imaginary movie? Yes, please.
Then there’s my kick-ass girl lead: Roe: not afraid to shout about what’s right and wrong, she’s ready to take down the world, especially Barnaby. So I’m thinking Elle Fanning (with the help of Black #1) just because she’s pretty but not candycoated sweet… and she could go dark in the blink of an eye (I’m talking about her soul, now). Also, there’s something about her that screams ‘don’t make me say it twice’ that’s just alluring to me – no Disney or rainbows, but rain and darkness, just the way I like it.
And now I need YOU guys to help me pick my pretty boy, Dev: sensitive but not a wuss, he’s a fighter with an edge – as in you don’t want to mess with him, ever. I’ve settled for black hair/grey eyes combo, but I can’t find anyone matching that description. If you do, please step forward, and who knows, I might thank you in the acknowledgements. ♥

Horse Crazy Kid = Horse Crazy Author

My friend Julie Campbell is one prolific writer: she just published a series of novellas about a ghost-hunting dog, and now her full-length novel Sabaskia’s Tale is coming out today!! I was really touched by the story’s sensitive voice and endearing characters, and wondered why Julie loved horses so much ♥

Sabaska's Tale eBookAnne, thank you for having me here today. I’m going to talk a little about my love of horses and my Sabaska and the inspiration for my novel.

I don’t actually know how the horse bug bit me, but it did. As long as I can remember I’ve been riding horses. My parents let me do pony rides and trail rides as a kid and as soon as I got big enough they let me take lessons relatively frequently. There’s a barn close to where I grew up and I learned to ride English-style on Saddlebreds. I took lessons until I got to high school and then I got too busy and horses kind of went on a back burner. However, when I went to college in Colorado they came flooding back into my life. There were horses everywhere and I was going crazy that I couldn’t ride. Finally I found someone with a few too many horses and she let me ride with her, and learn from her and that’s where I met Sabaska.

She was basically half wild and barely trained. As I worked with her, teaching her that people were kind of cool, and learning from both her and my friend what it was to train a horse, I fell in love. Eventually I decided it was time to have my own horse and I wanted Sabaska. I bought her and moved her closer to my home so I could work with her every day. Progress went quickly. Sabaska had an eager and willing mind and she enjoyed doing things with me. I discovered endurance racing and decided that was the sport for us. This discovery set me and Sabaska on hundreds of miles of trails and adventure, which inspired this story. Sabaska was an amazing horse, as you’ll discover if you read the novel. A lot of her personality comes through in the fictional Sabaska. She was brave and bold and I couldn’t have had a better companion. One day while we were out riding I realized it really felt like we were in a different world and this sparked a story idea. What if I really was traveling to a different world? I wrote this book knowing it was the book I wanted to read when I was a kid, but didn’t exist. Hopefully it will find its way into the hands of horse crazy teens and inspire them to fantastical adventures on their own horses.

I lost Sabaska in 2012 to colic, but our adventures live on in these stories. She’ll never be replaced, but she gave me so many valuable gifts and lessons and the joy of having that special bond with a horse that I’ve never seen matched with any other creature.

 

***

Sabaska’s Tale
Series: Tales of the Travelers

By J. A. Campbell

Genres: Fantasy +  Young Adult, Horses

Published: July 5 2013

Untold Press www.untoldpress.com

Word count: 63 000

Pages: 224

eBook Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sabaskas-Tale-Tales-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00DSOCNWS

Amazon Smart Url: http://bookShow.me/B00DSOCNWS

Goodreads– book link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18134649-sabaska-s-tale

Sabaska's Tale GiveawayPromoBlurb:

To Anna, horses were more than a fascination, they were everything. Luckily, she had the opportunity to spend every summer on her grandmother’s horse ranch in Colorado. Life was perfect, until she received the devastating news that her grandmother had been tragically killed. Anna knew she was the only member of her family who could take over the ranch and hopefully find new homes for her grandmother’s beloved Arabians.
Anna wasn’t alone for long. Her grandmother had hired a local teenage boy to help tend the horses for the summer. Anna didn’t stand a chance against Cody’s quiet charm and the two rapidly become friends. However, even with the responsibilities of the ranch, Anna quickly discovers the secrets her grandmother had been hiding and a legacy that sends her on an adventure she never thought possible. An adventure in the saddle of a horse that wasn’t a horse at all. Sabaska, her grandmother’s favorite Arabian, was a Traveler; a magical being that could travel between worlds. With Anna at the reins, they find themselves trapped in a fight against evil with the highest of stakes… Their very survival.

 

Campbell_authorpic1Author Bio:

J.A. Campbell

Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult urban fantasy series The Clanless.

Find out more about Julie at  www.writerjacampbell.com  and follow her on twitter @Pfirewolf

Blogs: http://writerjacampbell.wordpress.com/blog/

http://phoenixfirewolf.livejournal.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.A.Campbell.Author?ref=tn_tnmn

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/j-a-campbell/35/535/b25

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4708012.J_A_Campbell

 

 

 

 


Chatting with… Brown, the border collie

Campbell_authorpic1

I’ve been very lucky meeting great friends over the internets, and Julie Campbell is one of them. A truly unique writer, her latest books are about a ghosts hunter who’s also a dog – how cute is that?! So here’s my interview with Brown, ghosts hunter and border collie extraordinaire ♥

 

 

Hey there, boy! *scratches the ears*

Anne, thank you so much for having me here today. I’ve never been interviewed before. It’s almost like I’m famous. Elliott, that’s my human, says dogs can be famous. Wouldn’t that be neat if I were famous too? Thank you for taking the time to help tell people about my ghost adventures.

Why did you choose Elliott: was it destiny that lead you to him or did you know he was a good human at first glance?

I could tell by the way the baby lambs responded to him. They were never afraid of him which made me curious, so I started working with him and decided to make him my own human. Fortunately, the farm owner saw how much I liked him and allowed Elliott to take me with him when he moved away.

Aren’t you ever scared your human will get into so much trouble you two might be separated? And what would you do, if it happened?

We’ve been separated twice and it was the most awful thing both times. Once I thought he was dead because a monster took him and hid him in a cave. I had to defeat the monster, it was a sand dragon, to get him back. The other time he got abducted by Martians… boy were they messing with the wrong dog. I had help, but we got him back and told the Martians a thing or two. I’m more afraid of losing Elliott than I am of ghosts, that’s for sure.

Have you ever seen a dog-ghost and if so, what did you do?

I’ve never seen a dog ghost, but I hope if I ever meet one it’s a nice ghost. I’d hate to have to banish it too. I talked to a ghost once, strange, I know, and it told me that ghosts are spirits that couldn’t leave for whatever reason, and most ghosts are nasty. I can’t imagine a dog wanting to stay around and be mean all the time. Maybe to guard their people?

kira_brown1How long do you plan to hunt ghosts? Are you thinking of retiring soon?

Retire? What’s that? Do you mean stopping working? Why would anyone want to stop working? I get bored when I don’t have something to do, and hunting ghosts is the best, well, besides herding sheep. I’ll hunt ghosts as long as Elliott wants too, which will hopefully be forever.

What’s worst: ghosts or cats?

Squirrels. *Doggy grin* Cats though, definitely cats. I can hunt ghosts and banish them… I have to leave cats alone, and that’s no fun. They’re so arrogant, like they could hunt ghosts better than I can. I’ve never even seen one try.

How old were you when you noticed or interacted with your first ghost?

Umm, I’m not so good with years but it was after we moved out west. Elliott and I were partners for a long time before we finally saw a real ghost.

Favorite Treat?

Steak

What’s more annoying? A dead ghost cat or a live one?

I’ve never met a ghost cat, but I can’t imagine they are any better than live ones, except maybe I’ll be able to chase a ghost cat. Live ones since I can’t chase them.

What do you like to do when you’re not chasing ghosts?

Herd sheep or cows. It’s the best life.

What was the worst ghost you ever had to chase?

The ghost in the saloon was the worst so far. It turned into two ghosts and tried to hurt all of us.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever smelled or the best thing?

The worst thing would be Squirrels, or maybe skunks. The best thing….fresh cow pies.

What do ghosts taste like?

Sort of like they smell, musty and old.

Can other dogs be trained to see ghosts?

Sure. I’ve met several that have helped me hunt ghosts before.

Where did you learn your trade?

Elliott says I’m a natural. I learned sheep herding on the farm and it seems to work on ghosts too.

Detective Katherine Pig wants to know. “What do you find to be the best way to locate a wayward Ghost?”

Follow the sounds of screaming people. They are really afraid of ghosts.

Brown’s Blog Tour Schedule:
Intro – June 11th – J. A. Campbell
Part 1- June 12th – Sam Knight
Part 2 – June 13th – Bea’s Book Nook
Part 3 – June 14th – Amaleen Ison
Part 4 – June 15th – Jen Wylie 
Part 5 – June 16th – David Riley 
Interview with Brown – June 17th – Anne Michaud

The Brown Contest:
Follow the link to enter a contest to win a copy of Science Fiction Trails 10 in which Brown battles Martians. US only I’ll send the winner a signed copy, the rest of the world, you have to take an unsigned copy, sorry. You gotta be willing to give me your address though. Alternately the winner can chose a Kindle copy. Contest runs from June 11th through June 30th. I’ll pick three winners.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

IMG_2020Bios:
Brown – Brown is a Border Collie who hunts ghosts, and other things as it turns out, with her human, Elliott Gyles. You can find out more about her adventures here: https://writerjacampbell.wordpress.com/eye-of-the-dog/

Julie’s Facebook

Julie’s Twitter


Chatting with… Michelle Birbeck ♥

Another great twitter-friend with a book!! Who is Michelle Birbeck? Let’s find out, shall we?

Me: What got you into the world of the paranormal?

MB: My first taste of anything vampire was when I was fifteen. My friends and I started reading the Nightworld Series by LJ Smith, and I was hooked. From the first book I wanted more, and when there were no more, I wanted other books. I devoured everything I cold get my hands on. From there I found Anne Rice and loved her; I still go back to her books on occasion and my favourite has to be Pandora. These days my favourites are the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, but I still have a huge soft spot for the Nightworld series, even though it has never been officially finished.

Me: In such a saturated market of vampire books, how does yours stand out??

TheLastKeeper_Cover (2)MB: Because it isn’t about vampires. The Keepers’ Chronicles aren’t your typical human girl falls in love with vampire and wants to be turned into the undead. It is nothing like that, in fact! Sure, there’s love in the books, and there are plenty of vampires, but what it’s really about, the whole series, is the Keepers.

They’re what make The Keepers’ Chronicles stand out, because they’re new. All these vampires, all these takes on the mythology, they all have one thing in common: Vampires are supernatural creatures with the strength and ability to wipe up poor humans from the face of the planet.

So why don’t they? Power corrupts, that saying is older than I know, and it stands as true now as when it was first uttered. The vampires of the Keepers’ Chronicles are no exception, and what is stopping them is the Keepers. Immortal beings with the power to influence the mind, to keep the immortal races hidden in the shadows. But they have a weakness at the start of the series: when they meet their partners, their mortal lives become theirs. Kill a Keepers’ partner and the Keeper dies.

So for those looking for a twist on the vampire genre, a new take on the myth of the undead, the Keepers’ Chronicles has just that. Love, danger, vampires, wars, and everything in between.

Me: You’ve written 3 books for that series, will you stop after those are out or will this be an ongoing saga??

MB: Two books and a short story, yes! And it is not stopping there! The initial series is four novels long: The Last Keeper, Last Chance, Exposure, and Revelations. Then after that there are a couple of other characters who speak loud enough in my head to want their own books, but instead of being sequential, they will be tie ins with the series. The short stories came about because there are some ‘missing years’ in book one, The Last Keeper, and I got a number of requests to write what happened in that time. However, given the circumstances, it wouldn’t make a very happy book, so I decided to write A Glimpse Into Darkness. This is a short story set in those missing years, 1064’s U.S.S.R, to be exact, and it follows some of Serenity’s life during that time. There will be more short stories in the coming years as the series progresses, but I don’t know what they are yet!

Me: With all those subplots demanding their own spotlights and all the books coming out, do you think you’ll ever write something else than the Keepers series?

MB: Oh, absolutely! I am in the process of looking at publishing a young adult novel called The Stars Are Falling, and I am actively publishing short horror stories. the next one out will be The Phantom Hour due on October 26th. I have a whole folder dedicated to ideas and plots, though, so I have plenty to keep me going for years to come!

Me: Famous last words?

MB: If you want to be a serial killer, try being a literary one: less mess, less jail time!

BUY THE KEEPERS!!

owlMichelle has been reading and writing her whole life. Her earliest memory of books was when she was five and decided to try and teach her fish how to read, by putting her Beatrix Potter books in the fish tank with them. Since then her love of books has grown, and now she is writing her own and looking forward to seeing them on her shelves, though they won’t be going anywhere near the fish tank.
She blogs and Tweets @michellebirbeck !!

Girls & Ghosts, an inspiration

Here’s one of my not-so-secret secrets:
I have tons of journals filled with ideas and a bunch of half-written
stories dispersed in my computer. Oh no sir, I’m not the type of
writer who leaves projects unfinished, but it happens that after
starting a plot, its complexity or direction isn’t working for me. So
I let go more than abandon, because one day, I’ll come back to it –
and I always do.

Not this time, folks. Only fresh ideas
for this new collection of ghostly stories where girls confront their
deepest fears… and I’m actually scared. Of course I’ve been
thinking about this project for a while, so ideas are slowly growing
into creepy plots, but there’s nothing already written on my plate
like my past collections of novellas, and it makes me jittery.

So what is a girl to do? I’m trying to
grasp as much information as I can, about things we don’t fully
understand with the little evidence out there. Like a junkie, I’m
watching all these ghost hunters shows where people go willingly to
haunted places to poke at spirits and gather EVPs, images of shadow
figures and responsive communication – if any. Sceptic or not, it’s
beginning to form in my mind: girls who are scared, girls who don’t
believe, girls who are trying to help, girls who see dead people, and
girls who won’t confront the truth. And very slowly, they tell me
their stories and how they deal with the fact that in the end we all
die, and that we might become ghosts ourselves.
And then some miracle happens and someone captures such inspiring pictures,
I completely lost my breath – and I’m still trying to catch it. Neil Gaiman posted this
abandoned amusement park on Tumblr

Haunted, much? Seriously, look at the
fog and the plants invading the structures – you can almost hear
the screams of glee as the roller coaster rides down the rusty rails.
But it’s only an echo, because like many other places in New Orleans,
it never got over the catastrophic disaster and it’s slowly dying
after being deserted and forgotten.
I can’t forget, though – a bit like those ghosts who can’t let go of what
they knew and who they loved and how they used to be. So that will be
my inspiration, an homage to
people who are gone, places that are falling apart, and things we
used to believe in.

Wish me luck? I need it, embarking on this Girls & Ghosts quest to give a voice to those who don’t have any. One thing for sure: dark it will be, I
promise.
***
Want an autographed softcover of Girls & Monsters? Giveaway ends June 28th, don’t miss out ♥

a Rafflecopter giveaway


So now what?

keepcalmIt’s been a crazay year so far with Girls & Monsters coming out, the extensive blog tour and the begging and pleading for reviews… so now what? I’ve been working on Girls & Aliens (a soft sci-fi collection of very dark YA novellas) and I’m planning my novel Killer Girl (a creeptastic thriller for YA), but now that the book is launched, doing nothing about promotion leaves me empty…

So I’ll be doing another blog tour. *throws confetti in the air* *pops open champagne bottle* *swallows two Xanax*

Insane? Indeed. This time, reviews and/or interviews only, and an autographed softcover giveaway thrown into the mix. Keep your eyes opened for the schedule, coming out next week!

Wait, what is that you’re saying? You want to buy Girls & Monsters?? Go here. Wait, no, I misunderstood, you want to be part of the tour? Tweet me @annecmichaud and we’ll arrange a little something-something.

Keep spook ♥


Girls & Monsters Blog Tour – Week 5

LIVE CHAT WITH ME ON APRIL 30th AT 9PM (east) OVER AT DARKFUSE!!!!!!!

Girls&Monsters-banner

Come on over and visit these wonderful blogs where you’ll discover something new about me, my book, and everything in between…

Monday, 22th of April: Victoria Griesdoorn

Tuesday, 23rd of April: Gothic Angel

Wednesday, 24th of April: Marianne Su

Thursday, 25th of April: Lisa Forget

Friday, 26th of April: Aheila

The Monster Collection SkelliesWanna win a Girls & Monsters softcover with The Monster Collection Skellies of 5 pieces, handcrafted by me? Click HERE. The winner will be announced during my DarkFuse LIVE CHAT on release day, April 30th at 9PM (east) – don’t be shy, I do love challenging questions ♥


Girls & Monsters Blog Tour – Week 2

Girls&Monsters-banner

Come on over and visit these wonderful blogs where you’ll discover something new about me, my book, and everything in between…

Monday, 1st of April: Ren Warom

Tuesday, 2nd of April: Adam Sydney

Wednesday, 3rd of April: Rainy of the Dark

Thursday, 4th of April: Krista Walsh

Friday, 5th of April: Julie Campbell

The Monster Collection SkelliesWanna win a Girls & Monsters softcover with The Monster Collection Skellies of 5 pieces, handcrafted by me? Click here and fill up the form. The winner will be announced on release day, April the 30th at 9pm (east) during my LIVE CHAT at Darkfuse!

See you there ♥