Have you ever wanted to talk to someone in your book? So have I, and I just found a way to do it. My friends, all of whom are rising stars in literature, are giving me one-on-one time with their creations. I take walks with characters I read about, and you, my reader, are invited to eavesdrop. Some of these conversations are groundbreaking, and you have not read them before. Come out and walk with us.
A Walk with Thomas Murphy
And Author Julie Barnson
I am fond of my little Walks, you know . . . it’s not every author who gets to act out a scene with someone else’s character. So far, I have been a set of twins, a steampunked tourist, a girl who rides a flying horse, and a medical student. With that understanding, it should come as no surprise to see me play a smarmy, scum-of-the-earth gossip columnist. Anything for you.
Why? Well, to meet this fascinating young man, Thomas Murphy. He’s barely alive at the end of Julie Barnson’s story “Go Gentle.” His granddaughter talks with him in his sickbed. But I, or rather my character, met him way back in the year 1969. Thomas Murphy just bought a farm outside of the tiny little town where I live. I am playing the journalist grand-daughter of an established local family. As a member of the media, I know that the town has a dark history. In fact, I know everything about this town; but I love to dig up scandalous new stories and put them into print.
Today’s walk happened on Mr. Murphy’s property. I traveled there to investigate a popular ghost story, but I had good reason to suspect that the ghost was no rumor. Watch what happened when I tried to tease him out of Thomas Murphy’s barn.
A walk by the River
With Author A. F. Stewart
I am walking today with a young college woman. She just arrived back in town to support her family, and I’m afraid she has come in to a scene of chaos. See, tonight, I am with a number of townspeople involved in a search party. Eva’s sister Layla disappeared today: she went out for a walk by the river, and did not come back. The girls’ mother organized us to look for her. What are we finding? She was here, we can tell, but other than that, the news does not look good. It has been hours now, and we are unable to find anything except some confusing traces of her visit.
Layla is a sister by adoption — Eva’s adoption; but the two are as close as twins. That’s how I’ve known them through their entire childhood. I taught both girls a few music lessons once, but I kept up with the news of them after that. I think of my students as family, so my nerves are a bit on edge tonight. You will read that as you eavesdrop on my talk with this understandably tense young woman. I tried to hide it, but I, too was very worried about her sister. Continue reading
A priest that sees ghosts? Can he help Aunt Betty?
Interviewed by Author A. F. Stewart
Young Father Mahoney never wanted to see a ghost. In fact, the parapsychologist-turned-priest hoped for just the opposite: as a Ph. D. student, he set out to find a cure for paranormal activity. How? By fixing sick minds. College led him to the niche field of parapsych. For Mahoney, it was pure serendipity: to explain a spook as mental illness made sense to him. So, before meeting Aunt Betty and her family, Father Mahoney pursued the exorcism of all spirituality, everywhere.
It might have worked, but the ghosts had other ideas.
Betty woke up, confused and in a cold sweat. She put her hand out, searching for clues to her surroundings. An old-style paper phone book jumped into it. Slowly, she focused her eyes on the words ‘Lake Charles.’
“Oh, yeah,” she mumbled.
“Aunt Betty!” A cheery voice piped into her room from somewhere.
“Somebody’s awake.” She chuckled. Continue reading
Love, death, and books
My walk with a Librarian
and Author Danielle E. Shipley
I was privileged (?) today to walk as myself: a tall, blonde, suburban Texan woman; a new author looking for opportunities. I don’t know what to make of the character who has received me, but her invitation was so kind, so enticing. She said she wanted to offer me exclusive rights to publish my new work-in-progress.
Look, you’re an author. You know how it is, to be up in the early morning burning some outline onto the computer screen before hitting the shower and going to a “paying job”. You know what it’s like to want that one contract that can change everything; the one that brings royalties in excess of $2.98 per quarter? Look, I see your face, but don’t judge me harshly! I am new on the market, and I fell victim to a monster. Continue reading
My house belongs to “them.”
They are everywhere. I put something away, it jumps back out. I walk down the hallway, something walks behind me. The television turns itself on, the lights flicker, a dish falls to the floor. Sometimes, a piano plays. In the thick veil of early morning, I hear them and feel them. They stalk me, they surround me, I am not alone. Continue reading
Betty caught on to that early, but she stopped trying to sell it to anybody else. In Nacogdoches, they were bankers, maybe some of them, loan sharks. They came in hot and heavy after Timothy died. Hoards of them, all zombies, always looking for money-or-flesh, money-or-flesh. They stalked her with horror tales of debt and imprisonment . . . or dismemberment. “This is Texas,” they said, “just try to stop us.” Continue reading
The good niece expects her pretty aunt from twenty years’ past. What will she find instead?
Beverly gazed at the cab as it pulled out of her driveway. It had deposited someone there. A pudgy, awkward creature was staring straight up at her through the window upstairs. It wore giant sunglasses and a daisy on its head. The creature fumed and spat, or that’s what it seemed—like a teakettle on the boil. Continue reading
Everyone has “that family member” right? I mean, it was for them that we invented this phrase: “That’s not just wrong, friend, that’s crazy uncle wrong!” It’s the guy that yells at the Fox News channel and then clears out the room with a single fart. It’s the woman who stalks little children, pouncing out of dark corners to pinch their cheeks, and cover their faces with red lipstick. They have the manners of your preschooler, but not the charm. They are adorable and terrifying. Continue reading
with Neve Talbot, author of “West End”
Today, I am walking with a close friend. I only met her a few weeks ago, but when I did, I loved her instantly. She is one of those people that “fits” wherever she goes. I do not mean she is a social butterfly; she is really very quiet. What I mean is that walking next to her is like walking next to a cool ocean breeze. See, Beth has the gift of healing. She volunteers in a hospital in Jamaica, sitting with people in their rooms and attending to their needs while they are there. I have seen her in action, and seen the radiant smiles of the patients she attends in the hospital. I would venture so far as to say that Beth has saved some lives, lifting broken spirits from the depths of despair.
She is also a resident patient, and I wish her prognosis was a happy one.