Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Step Beyond ~ Josh Lanyon


Well, gang, waving the flag a bit early for Josh Lanyon, but I just couldn't wait!


One Step Beyond
Hi there, I’m Josh Lanyon, and -- like the Cowardly Lion -- I do believe in spooks. I do, I do!

Okay, if you’re familiar with my work, you know that I write M/M romance -- usually within the framework of a mystery. Well, mysteries or suspense -- with the occasional action-adventure popcorn book thrown in. My work is known for its realistic elements, in particular realistic characters, which is my way of explaining why I don’t write a lot of paranormal or supernatural stories.

In fact, you’re about as likely to read a vampire or werewolf story from me as you are to read a M/F/M ménage, which is to say: not in this lifetime.

But I love ghost stories.

I love mummies.

I love ancient curses and psychic powers and faked séances that turn into the real thing…

Sexy demons with black fingernails.

Uh, little green men…not so much.

Yeah, I grew up watching shows like One Step Beyond and Night Gallery. (God, remember that thing with the Kachina dolls?) I love stories with supernatural elements -- provided they seem grounded in some recognizable reality. That’s not to say that vampire and werewolf romances can’t be realistic -- or at least follow their own believable internal logic -- just that those things don’t particularly grab my imagination. I’ve never wasted one drop of perspiration over the thought that a vampire might have his red eye on me, but I’ve been in many a dark, ramshackle house that I found myself wondering who had lived and died there. And I’ve caught myself glancing over my shoulder at the squeak of a floorboard or a banging shutter.

That delicious little frisson of fear…who doesn’t enjoy that? Provided it doesn’t end with slashing knifes and flying body parts. Because, yeah, I’m a little squeamish -- and I’m pretty much hung up on happy endings

My favorite ghost story or paranormal has that perfect blend of horror and cozy -- well, and lots of hot romance. And maybe a tiny mystery at its heart, like “Ghost of a Chance,” the ghost story I did for the Scared Stiff anthology.

And why am I thinking about these things? Because I think it’s important for writers to keep pushing, keep trying new things, and so next year -- yep -- I’m going to try a couple of paranormal projects. First up is a novella story called “The Dark Farewell” for The Mysterious, a three-author historical ghost anthology with Alex Beecroft and Laura Baumbach.

Meantime, I thought I would recommend a couple of my favorite spec or fantasy novels: Teot’s War and Blood Storm by Heather Gladney (not M/M exactly, but the series was moving in a promising direction), Chrome by George Nader, and Dragon’s Winter by Elizabeth A. Lynn.

So let me ask you, what do you look for in spec fiction? What elements spoil the fun, what captures your imagination -- and can you recommend your own favorite spec or fantasy novel?

107 comments:

K. Z. Snow said...

Me, me, call on me!

I love good horror fic. Have since I was a kid and got hooked on Poe. I've incorporated elements of the genre into some of my books, but I can't seem to write a straight-up horror novel.

Its essence? For me, atmosphere. External and internal. Oh, and what a deft touch is required for the weaving of it!

The scariest damned story I've ever read (and I've read a lot of them) is The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Its opening paragraph alone is a textbook example of how to establish appropriate atmosphere. Pure apprehension is packed into that understated description.

H. P. Lovecraft, although vastly different in style and sensibilities, also knew how to ramp up the chill factor.

Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine is the Grand Dame of psychological horror, and even the august Ian McEwan excelled at it in some of his earlier works.

What kills the shivers for me (or the "zero at the bone" factor, to borrow from Emily Dickinson) is an inordinate emphasis on gory violence. Sad to say, most contemporary horror relies heavily or exclusively on blood-letting to scare readers. That, among other things, is what ultimately turned me off to Stephen King: slash away, slash away, slash away all! Ugh. No thanks.

K. Z. Snow said...

I can't seem to let this one go.

Demons with black fingernails? Belimai Sykes in Wicked Gentlemen!

Serling? Genius!

Forgot to say, I'm looking forward to your ghostly anthologies and paranormals, Josh. 'Bout time!

Josh Lanyon said...

Its essence? For me, atmosphere. External and internal. Oh, and what a deft touch is required for the weaving of it!

I am so with you there, KZ!

Oh yeah, it is absolutely essential -- and much harder to do than you'd think.

What kills the shivers for me (or the "zero at the bone" factor, to borrow from Emily Dickinson) is an inordinate emphasis on gory violence. Sad to say, most contemporary horror relies heavily or exclusively on blood-letting to scare readers.

Yes! Because fear is largely about suspense -- about the waiting, the dread of what's going to happen. Once it's happening, it may be horrific, but the response turns into panic or anger or desperation or horror...it's that period of not knowing for sure that is so terrifying.

Josh Lanyon said...

Forgot to say, I'm looking forward to your ghostly anthologies and paranormals, Josh. 'Bout time!

Thanks so much. We'll see if you're still thanking me once I've written them. *g*

Jeanne said...

KZ! You mentioned my scariest story, too! The original movie in B&W of the tale was also scary. So much so, that my boyfirend had to sit with his arms around while I shivered watching it. You never saw anything; just saw the reactions of the people. The remake was a travesty!

Another scary story was "The Willows". Can't remember who wrote it, but it's an oldie.

I knew if Josh hung around with so many paranormal writers, he'd eventually cave! :~D

Josh Lanyon said...

KZ! You mentioned my scariest story, too! The original movie in B&W of the tale was also scary. So much so, that my boyfirend had to sit with his arms around while I shivered watching it. You never saw anything; just saw the reactions of the people. The remake was a travesty!

The remake was one of the funniest things I ever saw.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Josh, it's good to see you trying something new - you set a good example. Okay, I know that's boring, but for many writers we get stuck in the same old and never venture far from home.

I've written some paranormal, okay, several, some with vamps and werewolves, but honestly, for me, those elements are only as small part of the story - its the characters, first and foremost.

But, when writing horror - wow, that's almost as tricky as writing comedy. Like K.Z. I read King, Lovecraft, Poe, and others, just to have the beejesus scared out of me. Now, not so much. Not that it's the gore, I'm not that squeamish, but there isn't enough creepiness, suspense, I suppose, to make me shiver and startle at any small creak I hear while reading.

Can't wait to see what you come up with - I'm sure it'll be great. It always is.

Josh Lanyon said...

Josh, it's good to see you trying something new - you set a good example. Okay, I know that's boring, but for many writers we get stuck in the same old and never venture far from home.

Hey there, Lynn!

But you're right, we've got to occasionally move out of our (watch out for flying cliches!) comfort zone in order to keep the writing fresh -- for ourselves as well as our readers.

I've written some paranormal, okay, several, some with vamps and werewolves, but honestly, for me, those elements are only as small part of the story - its the characters, first and foremost.

I think great characters make any story work -- as long as I like the characters, as long as I care about what happens to them -- heck, I read a story about ELVES and loved it.

Now...seriously...

But, when writing horror - wow, that's almost as tricky as writing comedy. Like K.Z. I read King, Lovecraft, Poe, and others, just to have the beejesus scared out of me. Now, not so much. Not that it's the gore, I'm not that squeamish, but there isn't enough creepiness, suspense, I suppose, to make me shiver and startle at any small creak I hear while reading.

Yeah, gore -- I usually find it boring or repulsive. And neither should be what a writer aims for -- not if he wants repeat customers.

Can't wait to see what you come up with - I'm sure it'll be great. It always is.

Oh, you're a sweetie! Thank you.

Jeanne said...

I've only written paranormal/fantasy/spec fic, etc. so for me, my next venture into writing m/m is strictly historical!
Much of my writing has historical elements are is set in the past, but my single author antho for MLR Press, won't have even a hint of otherness.
Now, I think I should stand up for my guys in "The Sweet Flag". They certainly don't act all that much like your average weird critters. And that part of the story really just is hinted at until the end.
Still, I haven't tried my hand yet at a mystery like Josh's Adrien English ones.
I think I'd be a bit intimidated!

K. Z. Snow said...

I am so with you there, KZ!

Good...because that means your stories won't suck. ;-)

The original movie in B&W of the tale was also scary.

Wasn't it? Amazing what the director did with camera angles, sound effects, and actor reactions. The actual script was pretty bad in terms of dialogue, but all in all that is one creepy movie. And, yes, the remake was absurd.

I knew if Josh hung around with so many paranormal writers, he'd eventually cave! :~D

But, Jeanne, he's yet to discover the erotic joys of vampires!

Now, I think I should stand up for my guys in "The Sweet Flag". They certainly don't act all that much like your average weird critters. And that part of the story really just is hinted at until the end.

You needn't stand up for your guys, Jeanne. They do a fine job of standing up for themselves...so to speak. But I, too, backed off a bit from the paranormal when I "unvampired" Adin Swift at the end of Plagued. Still, vampirism is a tough condition to shake. (Won't say more, but I'm having fun right now playing with the possibilities!)

Lynn Lorenz said...

"Yeah, gore -- I usually find it boring or repulsive. And neither should be what a writer aims for -- not if he wants repeat customers."

And yet, millions flock to those slasher flicks! We want to see it, but not read it? Or maybe guys (teens) want to see it? I know most women I know don't care for it at all.

Jeanne, you'll be great at whatever you set your mind to, for sure.

For me, suspense comes not from just the setup, its the "knowing" and the "waiting" and the atmosphere the writer creates. If you look at great suspense movies, (Hitchcock) its the settings, the atmosphere, the chain of events that builds to where you least want to go - that so slide into terror... eek! scared myself there. LOL!

Hill House was an incredibly scary read - and I remember another book she wrote or maybe its the first line - "I have always lived in the castle" k.z. did you read that one? Maybe I'm confused. That was a scary book.

lisabea said...

I love that Rhys in Ghost of a Chance. He's one of my favs because you nailed those elements I love: sexy, vulnerable and funny. Then you added the ghost/paranormal and all that hot cop tension, well, good times abound. Two thumbs up and please pass the spf 15.



Can't wait for more.

K. Z. Snow said...

I remember another book she wrote or maybe its the first line - "I have always lived in the castle" k.z. did you read that one?

We Have Always Lived in This Castle--yup, another great one, Lynn.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Josh, what I want to know is did you ever figure out what "spec"
was?

And thanks k.z. - that was it, I still have a copy of it somewhere.

Josh Lanyon said...

Josh, what I want to know is did you ever figure out what "spec"
was?


It's the hip new name for SF and Fantasy. *g*

Josh Lanyon said...

Still, I haven't tried my hand yet at a mystery like Josh's Adrien English ones.
I think I'd be a bit intimidated!


A mystery novel really amounts to a series of interesting and interrupted interviews.

Where most aspiring/wanna be mystery writers fall down is they don't a) know how to make every interview interesting (and/or entertaining), and b) they either give away too much or too little in the interviews. Every interview needs to deepen the mystery, while still moving it forward toward solution.

Josh Lanyon said...

But, Jeanne, he's yet to discover the erotic joys of vampires!

I confess to loving Laura Baumbach's vampires -- and I've read a few others I enjoy.

Werewolves, not so much. I have trouble getting past the mouthful of fur thing.

Jeanne said...

I stopped enjoying gorey movies awhile back.
My dh still loves 'em, though.

The historical m/m will be set in the late 1870s to 1890s. An interesting time for the world and my little group of travelling players.

I've found there is too much gore in "real" life.
That being said, I have some over the top nasties in the sequel I'm working on for "The Shimmering Flame".
This couple are what happens when two sociopaths take BDSM beyond the safe word. Not revealing any secrets, but they get their well-deserved punishment.

And, guys, if you're looking for a real live gay ghost hunter, drop by the Spooked! Blog I have listed.
Ken is the real deal!

Josh Lanyon said...

I love that Rhys in Ghost of a Chance. He's one of my favs because you nailed those elements I love: sexy, vulnerable and funny. Then you added the ghost/paranormal and all that hot cop tension, well, good times abound. Two thumbs up and please pass the spf 15.

Thanks, LisaB. I love the idea of investigating paranormal -- ghost hunters are one of my favorite story ploys. I wish more writers would do them.

Jeanne said...

"ghost hunters are one of my favorite story ploys. I wish more writers would do them."
Not enough time in the day to wrtie the sequel to "The Sweet Flag", but I do intend to bring Brandon back for more investigations.
I now have quite a few gay ghosts to investigate!

K. Z. Snow said...

Werewolves, not so much. I have trouble getting past the mouthful of fur thing.

Heh-heh. And the smell thing, and the flirting-with-bestiality thing. Yeah, werecritters have never been my cuppa.

Lauralyn said...

Okay in films, The Uninvited...The Haunting...The Last Man On Earth, which is now I Am Legend and was at one time the Omega Man...The Sixth Sense... (cause I never, ever saw that coming) and... um... there was this television movie with Hershel Bernardi which was a romance story about a girl and a ghost... Someting about 'Sand', I think.

I don't actually read too many scary stories because I'm impressionable and like to sleep. Lately the creepiest thing I've read was "A Rose for Emily."

Yeah mostly I'm with you on vampires, you know I love the bite club, but not the way it's portrayed most of the time. I prefer to see being undead as sort of like...choosing to eat Kosher... so the EMO factor tends to be a bit much.

What is spec short for? I should know this. Spec Fiction. Remember when I had to ask what sf/f meant? I thought it was a crack pairing.

Lovely to see you blog and stretch your horizons. SuperMentor.

Lauralyn said...

Lisabea... funny you should mention sunscreen... and Rhys in the same context, cause... ow.

Lauralyn said...

Oh, I found it. Speculative fiction...duh.

Lynn Lorenz said...

You know I have a real problem with some of the vampires that are being written about - and I know you can stretch the rules, cuz it's your world and all, but really, vampires and sunlight should just not mix.

I'm all for tortured souls.

As for were's... "Werewolves, not so much. I have trouble getting past the mouthful of fur thing."
I figure if there's fur involved, you're not doing it right, or it belongs in a completely different book. LOL!

That being said, God, I love all that alpha male territorial what big teeth you have stuff!! But, I draw the line at wolf/man or woman sex - smacks too much of bad porn involving german sheperds... the dogs not the sheepherders.

So, thanks for clearing up the spec issue...now I won't seem so clueless.

Jeanne said...

Lauralyn:
Spec/fic = speculative fiction
which is a new fancy term for scifi, perhaps. It's just as wide and undefined and subjective as any of the other terms we throw aoround the place.
To me, anything that smacks of not my everyday life might be paranormal or fantasy or whatever.
It's almost redundant:
Speculative - Not based on fact or investigation
So much of fiction is not based on fact or investigation. We create our own worlds and even though they're grounded - sometimes - in what people call reality, I tend to think of most fiction as speculative.

And now I'll reveal my ignorance (or forgetfullness. I am an old fart)
What's EMO?

Lauralyn said...

Well, I suppose I should admit to writing a vampire story in which vampires can be out in the sunlight. But they most definitely do not sparkle. Cause I'm not into boy/bling.

Jeanne, Emo is that teenaged angst thing with black hair and nails and 'why me' and self abuse. My daughter sings a song, "I'm an emo kid, non-conforming as can be, you'd be non-conforming too if you looked just like me."

I was emo before emo was cool. But once I hit thirty, I realized... you can't be a credible disaffected nihilist at thirty cause nobody's looking anymore. At my age emo is just another word for train wreck.

K. Z. Snow said...

What's EMO?

I only associate "emo" with whiney, skinny, melodramatic male teenagers who have a lot of piercings, but I've seen the label slapped on any male character perceived as overly sensitive or angsty. Vampires get stuck with it a lot.

Now, I have me a gay Jewish vampire who witnessed the Black Plague and, in the midst of it, lost his parents to bigotry . . . and if that man isn't entitled to experience some angst occasionally, I don't know who is!

Lauralyn said...

I guess I've been reading a lot of whiny, skinny, melodramatic vampire fic. Mostly fanfic, though.

Oh, I am so undead. Woe is me. Now, if you've got an undead teenager. Yeesh.

Oh, I am so undead. Woe is me. I really like this girl...but I don't know if four fricking thousand pages is enough to show her I'm conflicted.

Lauralyn said...

Oh, and Josh, I haven't forgotten this blog is about you...

Enough with the teasing... don't you have a tiny snippet? even a hint of what your "The Dark Farewell" might be about? A taste? A paragraph man, come on...

K. Z. Snow said...

... don't you have a tiny snippet? even a hint of what your "The Dark Farewell" might be about? A taste? A paragraph man, come on...

I agree, lauralyn. Flash us some spooky or paranormal tidbit, Josh!

Ken said...

Holy moses! I should've written here earlier!

Night Gallery and Twilight Zone were wonderful shows. Tales from the Darkside had its good moments. We all love a good spooky tale (being a ghost hunter, especially), but blood and guts aren't my cup of tea either (I'm a bit squeamish myself). Give me a good, psychological scare any day. those are the stories that leave me sleeping with one eye open, the covers pulled up tight around my face trembling like Ichabod Crane.

I know I'll be crucified for this, but I hate formulaic writing. I know... is there any other kind of book out there? Doesn't everyone follow a formula? Well, yes, but I mean in the sense of the same, worn-out plots written in the exact same layout with different characters. I like surprises and twists that are, in fact, unexpected. Good writing. Clear writing. Delicious descriptions that I can lose myself in and vividly imagine myself there. After all, we read (and often write) to escape into something...

I don't have that many recommendations in the genre, really. I will say that Daniel Hecht's Cree Black thrillers are very well-conceived. Logical yet paranormal. Of course, I love a good humorous story. One of the best I've read with a certain supernatural element in recent times is Deadline by Stephen Cooper. It made me want to read his other books, but they're on a long list of reading (I'm ashamed to say I only read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil recently. I'm way behind on books and movies.

There are some good ones people are mentioning here though. Some I've forgotten that I wanted to read over a decade ago! Hmm... does Rebecca qualify? It's creepy enough...

Jeanne said...

KZ wrote:
Now, I have me a gay Jewish vampire who witnessed the Black Plague and, in the midst of it, lost his parents to bigotry . . . and if that man isn't entitled to experience some angst occasionally, I don't know who is!

LOL funny in a weird way

And I second the motion:
Josh a snippet?
A paragraph?
A synopsis? Er, sorry, snuck that in.
I'll take a blurb.
Anyone for a blurb?

Ken said...

Oh, and to clarify "emo"... I just say it's what "goth" turned into. LOL Long hair. Manic depression. Poetry. Whining about life being difficult when you're 15 and haven't lived yet. you know... typical teenage stuff.

Jeanne said...

Ken!
Just thinking of you!
Not to make him blush (yeah I will) Ken is the daring young man I mentioned earlier. Real life Ghost hunter and collector of many a delicious haunting!
I think Rebecca can qualify as spooky. That husekeeper could scare the socks off of me!
But I really hated the nameless heroine.
Talk about wimpy.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Okay, Josh, we know you just want to hear us beg....

Please...please...just a little, a taste, a crumb or a morsel...

And then, how long do we have to wait for this to come out?

And by the way, in my vampire book, the older male vamp is bored to tears and the younger vamp is pissed as hell. No EMO here, thank you. I'd just want to slap the emo right out of 'em.

Lauralyn said...

Um. Rabble roused. Josh? Anything?

Lynn Lorenz said...

Ken - have you ever been to New Orleans to hunt ghosts? I'm from there and have been to several homes that had sightings and weird happenings...its the stuff of great stories...I may have to head in that direction myself...if I ever get a moment free!!

Josh Lanyon said...

Well, I suppose I should admit to writing a vampire story in which vampires can be out in the sunlight. But they most definitely do not sparkle. Cause I'm not into boy/bling.

And I do love the sound of that vampire story of yours -- and that little snippet I read once upon a time...very promising.

Ken said...

Me? Daring? Obviously, you haven't heard me scream like a teenage girl when my flashlight shone upon a bat hovering inches from my face during an investigation. LOL

True, the new Mrs. de Winter was a wimp, but it was written in a time when female characters weren't expected to be bold. And I still have that mental image of the housekeeper dying in flames at the end of the film version.

Josh Lanyon said...

Um. Rabble roused. Josh? Anything?

Sorry! I had to finish a section of the current slog that is Adrien. (Only this part -- I was enjoying it a few days ago.)

Ken said...

Lynn, no I haven't been there yet, though I lived in Shreveport for a while and collected dozens of stories. I desperately want to hit New Orleans... and there are a few hauntings there I'm researching for a book I'm working on. My one dream is to have a few drinks at Cafe Lafitte in Exile and try to bump into the ghosts of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. The male strippers have nothing to do with my motives. Honestly!

Josh Lanyon said...

There are some good ones people are mentioning here though. Some I've forgotten that I wanted to read over a decade ago! Hmm... does Rebecca qualify? It's creepy enough...

Howdy, Ken!

I don't recall Rebecca as particularly creepy. A bit sinister, melancholy, eerie...all that, yes.

A real life ghost hunter? How very cool.

Josh Lanyon said...

So much of fiction is not based on fact or investigation. We create our own worlds and even though they're grounded - sometimes - in what people call reality, I tend to think of most fiction as speculative.

Very true! But if an editor puts out a call for spec fiction, and you offer up a hard-boiled detective novel -- someone in that novel better be a witch.

Okay, I'm kidding -- sort of. Spec fiction is mostly just publishing code -- like "chick lit" for what amounts to young women's fiction.

Lauralyn said...

Now that you've cast a benevolent eye... snippage?

Cause you know I can't get enough of the Josh-y stuff.

Josh Lanyon said...

I now have quite a few gay ghosts to investigate!

Sounds good to me!

Ken said...

I don't recall Rebecca as particularly creepy. A bit sinister, melancholy, eerie...all that, yes.

A real life ghost hunter? How very cool.


Howdy, Josh! true, though I do recall the author alluding to the presence of "Rebecca" still being in the house, in a somewhat mystical-psychotic type of manner.

Yes, we do exist. lol But honestly, it's far more dull than television makes it seem. It has its interesting moments, though...

Josh Lanyon said...

Enough with the teasing... don't you have a tiny snippet? even a hint of what your "The Dark Farewell" might be about? A taste? A paragraph man, come on...

I was lucky to come up with a title! The only thing I know for sure is it's to do with spiritualists, and probably the 1930s as a setting.

Josh Lanyon said...

Okay, Josh, we know you just want to hear us beg....

Please...please...just a little, a taste, a crumb or a morsel...


No, no. Really! If I had it, I'd share it.

And then, how long do we have to wait for this to come out?

I think the aim is October '09. Halloween.

And by the way, in my vampire book, the older male vamp is bored to tears and the younger vamp is pissed as hell. No EMO here, thank you. I'd just want to slap the emo right out of 'em.

Sounds fun. Er...you know what I mean.

Josh Lanyon said...

Now that you've cast a benevolent eye... snippage?

Cause you know I can't get enough of the Josh-y stuff.


Oh, the next weeks will bring all the Josh you can handle, believe you me.

After this marathon, novellas are going to seem like drabbles.

Josh Lanyon said...

Yes, we do exist. lol But honestly, it's far more dull than television makes it seem. It has its interesting moments, though...

I bet.

And have you put any of these experiences into non-formulaic fiction? *g*

Ken said...

And have you put any of these experiences into non-formulaic fiction? *g*

Well, I did start a novel years ago. Just ask Jeanne; I sent her the first few chapters of the draft. It began as a short story, and I ended up turning it into a spec script for a film adaptation. I'll probably get back to work on it eventually. Part of me does miss the freedom of writing fiction!

K. Z. Snow said...

The only thing I know for sure is it's to do with spiritualists, and probably the 1930s as a setting.


That makes me think of Lily Dale.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Josh,
If you want that stuff in the '30 and '40's Edger Cayce is a must read, the man swore he could do astral projection. He's got several books about him and written by him. I think that's when he was around.
My mom did astrology and she and I read that stuff until our eyes crossed.

Ken, In Nola, you must hit The Napoleon House and have a Pimm's cup - incredible.
And you can't beat the drag queens and male strippers there - (I used to know a few)
Lots of spirits - and lots of cemetaries - you'll have ghosts coming out your...

Lauralyn said...

Fiction writing is free? It's cost me a whole lot of sleepless nights, a messy house, raggedy looking kids, and a cranky husband. Oh. Freedom. As in license. Ah.

Lauralyn said...

Lynn Lorenz, it's like we had the same mom.

Ken said...

Ken, In Nola, you must hit The Napoleon House and have a Pimm's cup - incredible.
And you can't beat the drag queens and male strippers there - (I used to know a few)
Lots of spirits - and lots of cemetaries - you'll have ghosts coming out your...


SOLD!!! Now all you have to tell me is it's rumored to be haunted and I can die happily. LOL Can we say "business expense"?

I am hoping when this book deal eventually goes through (there is no "if"-I'm determined), NOLA will be first on my list of places to head for research and a little investigating.

K. Z. Snow said...

KZ wrote:
Now, I have me a gay Jewish vampire who witnessed the Black Plague and, in the midst of it, lost his parents to bigotry . . . and if that man isn't entitled to experience some angst occasionally, I don't know who is!

LOL funny in a weird way.


:-D He never did whine, though, just got even. (And could also move around in the daytime and liked cannibal sandwiches and didn't sleep in any moldering casket). And now . . . well, hell, getting royally laid on a regular basis is a pretty good angst killer.

Lynn Lorenz said...

lauralyn...here's a secret...just between us, I wouldn't put it past here.
She was a dancer in N.Y. in the '40-50's and taught at Arthur Murrays...didn't settle down until she was almost 30...
and this is really odd, my real name and yours are the same....
(play the twilight zone theme)

Ken said...

Fiction writing is free? It's cost me a whole lot of sleepless nights, a messy house, raggedy looking kids, and a cranky husband. Oh. Freedom. As in license. Ah.

Lauralyn, the same goes with non-fiction. Two years being bitched at daily by my ex while working on my first project and trying to juggle it along with everything else. It's hell, I say. Hell!

Lynn Lorenz said...

Ken, when you go, let me know and I can tell you all the good places to eat - the dives, convenience stores, neighborhood bars...
and the ghosts - all the buildings in N.O. are old as dirt, so there are lots of unsettled spirits. Not just the kind you drink.

Jeanne said...

Spiritulaists, huh?
Sounds yummy!
The 1930s was prime Edgar Cayce time.
I used to haunt (shuddup) the book shelves of the Grand Army Plaza Library in Brooklyn because they had an incredible collection of Cayce stuff, plus there was a periodical, damn the title escapes me, back in the early 60s that focused on parapsychology.

Well, at least we got the germ of the idea from Josh.

Lauralyn said...

Lynn, could be... really. Except I know my birth mom was from Hawaii... But the rest of it? Yeah.

Ken, non fiction is definitely more difficult than fiction.

Ken said...

Ken, when you go, let me know and I can tell you all the good places to eat - the dives, convenience stores, neighborhood bars...
and the ghosts - all the buildings in N.O. are old as dirt, so there are lots of unsettled spirits. Not just the kind you drink.


And tell me where NOT to go, Lynn. I'm not a fan of muggings. LOL So, odds are the Napoleon is haunted. Good! I'll just dig around for some concrete facts. Of course, it wouldn't be a true NOLA experience without sampling both forms of spirits.

Lynn Lorenz said...

That's so funny, Jeanne - my mom and I (I had to drive her cuz she refused to drive) to this little bookstore called Golden Leaves, and it carried nothing but paranormal books - from astrology to witchcraft to how to have a seance - which I held with girlfriends!

Josh, I hope you'll have some of those seances in your story!!

lisabea said...

HI. ::slides in on adrien english bobblehead slippers:: How are ya LL???

Fiction writing is free? It's cost me a whole lot of sleepless nights, a messy house, raggedy looking kids, and a cranky husband.

You failed to add a new wardrobe. Of stretch pants.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Ken, yes, knowing where not to go can keep you alive and healthy in Nola.
By the way, I'm a believer, having experienced things myself.

I've even started a paranormal that takes place in Nola, pre-katrina...it's a great setting for sure.

Josh, I can imagine your story will have familiar elements of your writing style, your humor and you wonderful way with words. And great characters, of course.

We'll forgive you not coughing up a chunk of the story, but as soon as you have something, anything, please let us have a taste.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Josh,

Are you worried that this may be too big a departure for your fans, or that it will fit in with the body of your work, and make everyone happy. Despite the old adage about some of the people...

Lauralyn said...

Lisabea, ah, the stretchy pants secret is out! Dang. I thought it was just me.

Lauralyn said...

Josh. Did you seriously say October 9th? This year? This year?!! (if ever there was a time for the question mark exclamation this is it.)

Aren't you, like, writing three hundred books this year? And BTW. Never worry that your fans won't follow you wherever. I'll be there, anyway, carrying that fanyon flag like Liberty leading the people ...er... except with clothes on, you know?

Even if they are fricking stretchy pants miss Lisabea.

lisabea said...

Lauralyn~Tab and Lean Cuisine, baby. Breakfast of Champions. And lunch/dinner of champions as well.

Laura said...

Okay, vampires are the best and gay vampires are king! Obviously, I write a lot of vampires.
My favorite is my damaged little Harley, the vampire hustler from 'Dark Side of the Moon'. I'm going to write more with him next year I think. Or the year after that. Or...Well, my second favorite is the tough guy from 'Winner Takes All'.

I love and adore writing sensual, sexy, supernatural studs.

I loved the characters in Josh's ghost story A Ghost of a Chance'. I'm REALLY looking forward to reading what he does with the next ghostly piece for the Halloween anthology with Alex Beecroft and myself. No one weaves a mystery like Josh and Alex's historical's are the sweetest! Talk about being intimidated to submit a story to go beside those two!

But I love scary. I love anticipation and anxiety inducing stories.

Oh, hey, I love werewolves, too. There's not a politically correct bone in my body. I like the feeling of fur rubbing over my skin. lol.

Jeanne said...

LOL, Lauralyn!
I think Josh said 2009...
Though I kinda wiah it were this year, too.
KZ
"Now, I have me a gay Jewish vampire who witnessed the Black Plague and, in the midst of it, lost his parents to bigotry . . . and if that man isn't entitled to experience some angst occasionally, I don't know who is!"

Didn't want to pass this up.
Question to the group:
One of the things I ejoy about some of the more recent vampire series is the lack of that "Lose your immortal soul" business except when the bad guys enter the picture.
Still, KZ's vamp is one of only less than a handful of non-culurally tradtional vamps who miss going to church, etc.
Adin's background is really something else again!
BTW,
a million brownie points to anyone who knows the origin of his name!

Jeanne said...

I promise to check my spelling before I post again.
(Beating my hand with a wet noodle)

Laura said...

That anthology with Josh is 2009. Or I'm going to be really, really late with my part of it.

lisabea said...

::waves to laura::
I think there's so much on the slate at this point, we need a big count down calendar...uh Lauralyn...

Laura said...

Hi lisabea, fellow Josh stalker!

The countdown calendar is beside me at all times. But that's just the MLR Press Lanyon masterpieces. A master calendar with all his various deliciousness is in order! Maybe Santa will bring one.

Josh Lanyon said...

Ken, In Nola, you must hit The Napoleon House and have a Pimm's cup - incredible.

Whoah, Jeanne! Pimm's plays a major role in the new Adrien.

Josh Lanyon said...

That anthology with Josh is 2009. Or I'm going to be really, really late with my part of it.

You and me both!

Josh Lanyon said...

A master calendar with all his various deliciousness is in order! Maybe Santa will bring one.

Maybe the Great Pumpkin will bring one. I don't know if I can wait for Santa.

Laura said...

Maybe the Great Pumpkin will bring one. I don't know if I can wait for Santa.

***

Now there's a plan! Leave it to the mastermind. lol.

Josh Lanyon said...

Oh, hey, I love werewolves, too. There's not a politically correct bone in my body. I like the feeling of fur rubbing over my skin. lol.

You wrote the most vivid werewolf extravaganza I've ever read!

And I love that little vamp Harley.

Laura said...

And I love that little vamp Harley.

***
So are you going to tackle a sexy vamp soon day? Or how about a serial killer who thinks he's a vampire because he imagines he was attacked by one and survived to turned into one?

Josh Lanyon said...

That makes me think of Lily Dale.

Yep. The research is the fun on this one.


If you want that stuff in the '30 and '40's Edger Cayce is a must read, the man swore he could do astral projection. He's got several books about him and written by him. I think that's when he was around.
My mom did astrology and she and I read that stuff until our eyes crossed.


Absolutely! Good thought, Lynn.

An interesting childhood you must have had. *g*

Josh Lanyon said...

So are you going to tackle a sexy vamp soon day? Or how about a serial killer who thinks he's a vampire because he imagines he was attacked by one and survived to turned into one?

I saw a real life case like that -- and then I think some TV show did a take off on it.

Josh Lanyon said...

BTW,
a million brownie points to anyone who knows the origin of his name!


Why don't I know this? I give up.

Laura said...

No such thing as an original storyline anymore. So sad. I'm miffed.

Jeanne said...

well, 'tweren't me that talked about Pimm's in NOLA, but it is a city that I've always wanted to visit.
I wish I wrote as quickly as Josh. I've sped up my speed but only because I hit a well-planned out point in the wip. I've grown from a pantser to a plotter because the worlds I'm creating are getting more complex - just like the real world!

BTW, I see we still have no takers regarding KZ's vampire's name.

And that leads to a question for Josh.
How do you come up with your characters' names?
I absolutely love the sound of Adrien English. Very musical

Lauralyn said...

That was the nicholas cage movie... wasn't it? The not a vamp at all story?

Jeanne said...

Josh wrote:
"Why don't I know this? I give up."
Don't feel too badly about not knowing where KZ got Adin's name.
Though most folks think it's a mispelling of the more familiar Irish name, Aidan. KZ took her vamp's name from the Hebrew for "judgement". Fits her character's personality to a T.
BTW, the main reason I knew this is my real name is derived from the same source!
If you check back in the bible, you'll find Jacob's daughter Dinah (from Red Tent fame) whose name is pronounced "Dee-nah", not Dinah.
Bible study class over. But it is Wednesday, isn't it?
LOL

lisabea said...

I read that as: Adrien English, the musical.

Jeanne said...

Lisabea wrote:
I read that as: Adrien English, the musical.

I think Josh would be mortified, but wouldn't that be fun?

Josh Lanyon said...

No such thing as an original storyline anymore. So sad. I'm miffed.

And there hasn't been since practically the dawn of man. What makes a story worth reading is what you DO with it -- the characters, the writing, the twists, the way YOU put the package together.

Don't make me read my writing book at you!

Josh Lanyon said...

And that leads to a question for Josh.
How do you come up with your characters' names?
I absolutely love the sound of Adrien English. Very musical


I wanted a name that would be a cross to bear for a smart, sensitive, sarcastic kid.

I have to get the names right before I can write the characters, usually -- I rely heavily on my 1001 Baby Names book.

The name helps me "see" the characters.

Josh Lanyon said...

Bible study class over. But it is Wednesday, isn't it?
LOL


It is, and I have my writing group tonight!

Hey, thanks for having me today, Jeanne. I really enjoyed it. And thanks to all who popped in and commented.

This was a lot of fun. I'm going to beg to come back next year when The Mysterious comes out. *g*

Jeanne said...

Thank you, Josh for sharing your day with us.
This was a reward for me for finishing off another chapter in my wip.
I figured I could use the excuse of inspiration from one of my favorite authors.
And you're more than welcome to drop by anytime!
I'm holding you to that visit when your paranormal story comes out.

In fact, I may beg for everyone in the antho to join me!

Lauralyn said...

Well, I love the name Adin, and crazy coincidence, K.Z., I'm going to actually admit this... that's the name of the human love interest in my Vampire story!!!!

What are the fricking chances of that! I have to go drink something like absinthe now. When I chose the name Adin, I thought, well, at last there's a name no one else will EVER use, cause it's so rare. And its not Adrien, Adrian, Aidan, or Aiden.

*sighs* Josh is right. He told me nothing is original. I thought he just meant my stories. *g*

Dear heavens. Can we have an 'Adin-- the name' fan club? At least mine's the human. Great minds think alike, K.Z. Jeanne told me you're blogging next week, I'll be tuning in!

Lauralyn said...

Oh Lisabea... the MUSICAL... I'm thinking sort of a Flo Zigfield, Busby Berkely thing, opening on a frail sort of teenager under a single white spot...

Inside my heart
there's an ache (high kick)
cause it's dodgy,
plus, there's Jake... (five, six, seven, eight)

Josh Lanyon said...

Inside my heart
there's an ache (high kick)
cause it's dodgy,
plus, there's Jake... (five, six, seven, eight)


I worry about you two. I do.

Josh Lanyon said...

Well, I love the name Adin, and crazy coincidence, K.Z., I'm going to actually admit this... that's the name of the human love interest in my Vampire story!!!!

And what a perfect weird coincidence for a blog on the supernatural.

Did I ever tell you about when Laura and I each wrote our stories for Scared Stiff...yes, I'm sure I did. I'm going to turn into one of those old codger writers.

"Did I ever tell you youngins how Laura Baumbach and I crossed the Great Divide in our covered ebooks..."

I'll be brief: two characters named "Mason" in two different stories.

lisabea said...

Aw. We're just joshin.

Laura said...

LOL! I knew I could make you say that!

Lauralyn said...

Oh J. I was so good. So restrained. So not the person I would be if I were really writing "Adrien English" the musical.

What rhymes with closet?

Oh... Adrien sings...

The question I'd posit,
is what's in the closet,
that could ever compare...
with me.

Goodnight, Mr. Lanyon... Wherever you are...

lisabea said...

::wipes tear::

Standing ovation.

Bravo! Bravo! Flurry of rose petals.

G'night y'all.

K. Z. Snow said...

lauralyn, that deserves a full-throated holy shit! Just assure me his surname isn't Swift. And his lover's name isn't Jackson.

Thanks, Josh, for being a cool dude in a loose mood.

See y'all next week! (Why do I use y'all? I'm from Milwaukee, for crying out loud.)

alex-beecroft said...

I love Lovecraft but possibly because I don't find him particularly scary. I have a trickier time with ghost stories because I can't rule out the fact that ghosts might be real. So while I'm never likely to meet Great Cthulu, the next time I'm alone in the dark might be the first time I meet a ghost. I think the supernatural has a hint of wrongness about it which automatically terrifies, and that film makers too often show you the monster. That's never quite as frightening as what you can imagine.

LOL! Also I love elves!

P.A.Brown said...

I'm reading Scared Stiff right now. Lots of fun. Oh, the Kachina dolls! Is that the one with Karen Black who ends up possessed by the little demon doll?

Josh deserves a fan club. He's a wonderfully talented writer. Some day I may actually meet the guy.