Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Many colored soldiers made their way to the Nickel and Dimer, dressed in their military uniforms, to knock back a few bottles of whiskey, tell some war stories, and gamble. The crowd welcomed the soldiers like they were colored celebrities. One soldier, in particular, Hezekiah Bennett, nicknamed Rock in the War because he had a head shaped like a rock, all lumpy and dented, bragged about how he saved a whole white infantry unit, telling the story with zeal, other soldiers refusing to recant their war stories, wanting only to forget the whole experience, the nightmares and flashbacks paralyzing them to the point they couldn’t acclimate themselves back into society.
“At daybreak, you see, we were starting our advancement,” Rock narrated, holding a whiskey bottle in one hand and a soldier’s smoke in the other.
“Yeah, and what happened then?” one patron asked, listening intently to his tale.
“The enemy forces were closing in, you see,” Rock added.
“Uh huh, uh huh,” another patron said, urging Rock on, who had paused to take a swig of whiskey and a long drag on his Camel cigarette.
“There were men all over, see?” Rock continued. “Men laying out, some wounded, some dead.”
“Go ‘head,” the first patron insisted, tired of his slow progress in the story.
“We couldn’t stop. We had to leave the wounded,” Rock said.
“Why?” the other patron asked.
“There was gunfire and shells all over our heads,” Rock said. “We couldn’t stop advancing until we got to a position to take the enemy out.”
“And what happened then?” the first patron asked.
“Two white soldiers and me, we saw a shell hole and made a run for it,” he replied.
“Yeah, uh huh,” the other patron said, hanging on to Rock’s every word.
“I managed to dive in,” Rock said.
“Yeah?” the other patron said.
“They fell in after me,” Rock added. “They was hit, both of them.”
“And,” the first patron egged on.
“I bandaged their wounds and got them stable,” Rock said. “One guy lost his life. The other lost just his hand. Then I advanced forward. I had to leave them and take out the enemy.”
“Did you take them out?” the other patron asked.
“Hell yeah, I took them out,” Rock boasted. “We pushed them damn Germans back. We beat they asses. They gave us medals and welcomed us back to D.C. Colored soldiers, a colored platoon did that.”
“Damn, you the man,” the first patron commented. “You the damn man. Barkeep, get this soldier another drink!”
As more patrons entered the joint, they gathered around to hear Rock retell his story many times that night, each retell embellished a little bit more with exaggerated details. Rock didn’t see any harm in it. He was a hero in their eyes, no doubt.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
There is nothing quite like your first time.
The tension of the moment is overwhelming. A beautifully formatted ebook, a cover, a blurb, and the platform...all culminating in that scary "Save and Publish" button.
My first novel has been uploaded.
What a wild ride. Two years ago, I "attended" my first Nanowrimo with nothing but a recent dream and the idea that evolved from it. In thirty days, I pounded out a rough draft of The Temple while moaning and groaning about how hard it was (it wasn't.) When the last mug of coffee had been downed and the story had been clocked at Nano for over 50 thousand words, I wasn't really happy with it. After celebrating my achievement, I threw it aside.
I started some new projects after that Christmas season. A couple ideas for new books were penned, several short stories were finished; whatever I could do to keep my mind off the finished novel, I did. By some brilliance of procrastination, I didn't return to The Temple for a year.
When I did return, it was a mess. While reading over it, I alternately wanted to cast it into the flames and pet it lovingly (like everything I write.) It took a lot of rewrites and revisions to make it the story it is now. In true form of any neurotic writer, it's still not as perfect as I want it to be. My dad says, though, sometimes it just has to be "good enough."
The publication of my first novel has been delayed numerous times. The product I've uploaded isn't actually the final one--the real cover isn't finished. I'll be releasing a "second edition" before the end of the summer with a unique watercolor by my sister. Until then, I wanted The Temple out there instead of hanging out on my flash drive where it was giving me sullen looks.
That's where I stand right now. My decision to be a self-published author has officially become an actuality. It will be touch and go from this point as I learn how to promote, how to handle the bad reviews (and live through the adrenaline of the good ones), and move forward into publishing future novels. There's no right way to do things; if there were, this self-publishing thing would be a lot easier! I'm extremely thankful to have the support of the Indie Writers Unite! group on Facebook; they are an amazing group of people. I'll be chronicling my successes and failures over at my blog, so stay tuned. I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I'm doing it anyway.
The wheels are in motion.
Vale Avari has a mysterious past and a laundry list of super-powers, but that's nothing compared to what she finds upon moving from small town U.S.A to jolly-good England.
A chance dart throw lands her in Quicksilver, an off-the-map place with a big problem - people are dying, and word is, it's supernatural.
At her new place of employment, a temple dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess, Vale learns something even more shocking - women guards are disappearing at an alarmingly patterned rate; women who possess special gifts like her own.
Supernatural powers aside, Vale isn't ready to believe in the Wild Hunt as the culprit, and she's determined to prove the deaths are acts of human violence.
Plagued by a brute with a history of domestic violence and lusting after a dark-eyed man with a secret, Vale has a limited amount of time to discover the killer before he strikes again. In the process, she'll learn things aren't always what they seem and the supernatural might not be so extraordinary after all.
The Hunt could ride for her.
The Temple is published at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for 99c.
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-temple-heather-marie-adkins/1031704624?ean=2940012874009&itm=1&usri=the%2btemple%2bheather%2badkins
My blog: http://heather.bishoffs.com
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Vividly. My mother is a police officer. When I was ten years old, she was promoted to Detective (she is now a Major!) and was transferred to the Crimes Against Children Unit. For about three years, she worked 4 pm to midnight, and I was stuck home alone and entertaining myself. Without my own income to keep buying new books, it was read the entire Goosebumps series over and over and over or find a hobby (I've never liked TV). My daddy has written his entire life, so it felt natural when I started doing it. The stories began to come swiftly. I wrote eight novels during that time frame, none of which will EVER see the light of day.
What do you consider most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Making myself do it. I get so frustrated when I stare at a blank page and can't move forward that I end up procrastinating for days at a time. Once I do begin writing, it just floods out; it's getting to that point that's tough.
Have you ever had writer's block? If so, what did you do about it?
All the freaking time. I drink a lot, b&*ch at my boyfriend, and moan about writer's block on my Facebook status. All very motivating, of course.
Your book, The Temple, is being released this week. Let's talk about that.
How did you come up with the title?
The Temple is (despite being an inanimate object) the ultimate main character of the novel, so the name just makes sense. Now that I think about it, there are more scenes taking place in or around the Temple than anywhere else...
Can you tell us a little about the main character, Vale Avari?
Vale Avari is fearless, sarcastic, and completely insecure. She threw a dart at a map and ended up in England, so she's either brave or insane, and she has absolutely no idea what she's doing. She has multiple superpowers including super-strength, telekinesis, the ability to talk to ghosts, and she can give an orgasm with just a touch. She doesn't like to talk about that last one.
Why did you choose to write this particular book?
A dream. It was so vivid and clear. It's actually in the novel at Chapter 10, I believe. It was me in the driver's seat for the original, but I put Vale there in the book. Her story needed to be told or my brain was going to kill me. It had the poison ready and everything.
You write about people with supernatural powers, if you could have any power you wanted, what would it be?
Telekinesis. I'm extremely lazy.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future?
Of course! I have four more novels finished that I'm hoping to release before the end of the year, and in between those I'll be releasing free short stories. I'm currently working on five new novels, and I also have a list of ideas for next year's projects. I'm going to be all over the place. I am a hurricane, coo coo ki choo. When I make a decision, i.e. to self-publish, I rush headlong with reckless abandon into said decision.
Have you started another book yet?
If I'm not always in the middle of four novels and eight short stories, then I'm dead. Send EMS.
Do you have any specific last thoughts you want to say to your readers and fans?
I love to write; it's almost a prerequisite for being a novelist. It is necessary for my general health and well being to write. I don't pretend to be a great literary mind, so all I hope is that people enjoy the escape my novels can give them.
That's all for now, folks. But, keep tuned... Ms. Adkins will be returning later this week with a guest post and links to where you can buy her book, The Temple. In the meantime, here's where you can connect with her online and read one of her short stories for free:
My blog : http://heather.bishoffs.com
Underneath, my free ebook short story at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65758
Two 5-star reviews and one 4-star!
You can also find many examples of my writing on my blog, where I've posted short stories for the past few years.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.
Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.
An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?
Friday, June 10, 2011
Passchendaele, 1917. Private Reg Wilson is a man with a name but no memories. A soldier who remembers nothing of life before the fighting began. Until he comes to Black Wood, a tainted place that knows him intimately. There, he will discover a darkness buried long ago by time and dust. An appetite that has been awoken by war. A hunger that will feed upon his blood, his regrets and his worst fears. It will show him what he has forgotten. It will show him nightmare made flesh. And, before he dies, it will make him look deep into the eyes of the dead.
The idea just came to me really. Bringing together vampires and the First World War had not been done before to the best of my knowledge and I’ve always been someone who can only be seriously interested in a project if it’s not run-of-the-mill or the norm. It has to stand out and strike me as having some originality to it.
What character speaks the loudest to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
The lead protagonist, Reg Wilson, speaks the loudest to me, partly because I’ve known him for almost five years now in various incarnations. The other characters have been fairly consistent as the book has grown and developed but Wilson, who goes through the most punishment in the novel, has also gone through the most punishment as the novel has gone through the editing process more times than I can remember now. It’s also been a rough four years for me as I’ve been starting out so I guess my identification with Wilson has grown because of that as well. He’s become a mirror for some of my own frustrations and pain.
What do you do when you're not writing?
Not much to be honest and that’s because I don’t think a writer ever stops writing. We’re always thinking of stories, characters, ideas and sometimes dreaming them into being when we should be getting a restful night’s sleep.
What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write in?
My first introduction was the collection Monsters, Monsters, Monsters by Helen Hoke. It had a number of the greats between its covers like Joseph Brennan, Arthur Conan Doyle and Ray Bradbury but the one that had the most lasting effect on me at the time was the story the collection closed with; H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider. It was a melancholy coda and it resonated with me very deeply indeed.
Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?
All the time. Every day. That is usually how I start a novel. I need to be able to conceive of something unsettling, disturbing or grotesque enough to unnerve myself before I set to work. If I’m not scared then the reader won’t be either.
What project are you working on now?
I’m working on the second book in the series begun by The Eyes of the Dead. The title is The Shapes in the Mist and it is set during the zeppelin air raids of London during the First World War.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers and fans?
I would like to say that I hope they enjoyed the book and that I wish to continue to entertain them with everything else I write.
Some just for fun questions:
What's in your refrigerator right now?
Well, I live in shared accommodation so there’s a variety of things. My share of the goodies though includes a bottle of Coca-cola, because I need the caffeine to top up my nervous energy reserves, a cottage pie and tomorrow’s lunchtime sandwiches.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
My favourite superheroes are Batman and The Punisher so I think I would eschew superpowers in favour of being a merciless vigilante in black leather like them.
What is your favorite movie?
The Whole Wide World, directed by Dan Ireland, starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Renee Zellweger. It’s a dramatisation of the romantic relationship that took place between Robert E. Howard and a schoolteacher he befriended, Novalyne Price. Her diaries formed the basis of the screenplay and they make very moving reading as well. I also think the sequences where D’Onofrio ‘acts out’ Howard’s character, Conan, are more intense and powerful than all of the other film adaptations of the man’s work put together.
The Eyes of the Dead is available at:
Further information on G.R. Yeates is available at: