Tag Archive: Helen Krummenacker



Just in time for the Christmas season, a good old fashion ghost story is the theme of the Helen’s second solo book…

The year is 1947 and private investigator Rafael Jones has already learned the hard way that the supernatural is all too real. Having been turned into a vampire, albeit one who has no problems with holy objects, he’s trying to continue working as a detective. While back on the continent his Interpol love, Clara Thomas, is using her considerable “occult” contacts to find a way to help him.

In the meantime he has a new case to deal with. A friend has asked him to prove a mansion he’s inherited is NOT haunted. Unfortunately, it is and the ghost has reached out to Rafael for help and justice.

Can our hero find answers to a 20 year old cold case no one knew about? Can he find the Prohibition gangster who murdered the young flapper? And can our boy survive the fact that he’s not the only one who knows about supernatural beings and how to deal with them?

Find out in “Forever Haunted” available December 1st in Trade Paperback and Kindle:

 

 

*LINKS for Trade Paperback, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords coming soon*

As many of you have learned from my last post, my great adventure in audio recordings has begun. So far I have recorded only the one short story “Wolves and the Northern Lights”, which comes from our first anthology book “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time”. But simply recording one story is a far cry from turning a full-length novel into an audiobook. However, that is indeed my long term goal. At this point, I’m keeping things simple for myself as I still get used to the equipment both for recording as well as editing to get the best sound quality for listeners.

To keep things manageable for myself, I’m planning on recording the rest of the 25+ stories from the anthology, as well as slowly begin recording it’s predecessor “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  Like the anthology, that novel is mainly comprised of blog, e-journal, and e-diary entries from various characters in the book.  And I plan on doing different voices for the authors of each entry, in an effort to bring the entire story and cast more to life for you all.

I have already started compiling what I call my “Voice Library”, which currently contains over 140 different voices (most based on actors and characters from movies, television, and even cartoons). I’ve always been a vocal mimic since childhood, and am taking great joy in finding a constructive outlet for all those years of trying to amuse myself and friends. I may share some brief recordings here, featuring some of the voices so you can get a better idea of just how versatile I can be.

But with all that said, the main topic I’d like to share with you all how I’ve been able to make all this happen. I know many of you might be wondering if I rent time at a local recording studio, or did I set up my own inside my home? If I’m doing it at home (which I am), how much special equipment did I have to buy? Did I have to soundproof an entire room? Who is doing the editing of my recordings? Will they be available through Amazon’s Audible program? If they will be available through Audible, how did I submit my work to them? What are their requirements, etc.?

Okay, let’s begin with how I got started down this particular path. As I’ve mentioned in a post last August when I first began thinking about this, I had been asked many times if any of our books were available in audio. Whenever I said I’d been thinking about it, but couldn’t decide on a reader I would be told “You should do it yourself! You’ve got a great voice…” So that of course got me thinking.

I did wind up trying a few samples back then, but I wasn’t happy with the quality of the recordings and kind of went off the idea a bit.

Then Helen not only began but finished her first solo novel. Besides listening and helping beta-read for her, I wound up doing the cover art for her. Then we had to focus on marketing the book to build up interest. So besides promoting the book on blogs, FB, Twitter, etc. but I wound up creating my very 1st book trailer. Anyone wanting to see the results can click on this YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNoPA_ytUvc.

While not 100% perfect, I was quite happy with the results, especially the voice-over you hear in the trailer. Shortly afterwards we held a book launch party for her novel “Forever’s Too Long”. During the party I did something I’ve been thinking about for some time but never tried, namely loud readings using the voices of character’s appear in the scene for those who attended. Their responses were much more positive than I’d expected.

As a result, I finally decided to go ahead and begin doing audio readings. But first I had to start gathering the right equipment for such an undertaking.

TO BE CONTINUED….


Available at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

      Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

      AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

      AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

      AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

     Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also there will be signed trade paperback copies available upon request. Simply leave a comment in the section below, or e-mail me at: 

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com


Welcome to the first solo novel of Helen Krummenacker, co-author of the Para-Earth Series.

Adventure, humor, film noir, and dark urban fantasy blend in a unique vision that will appeal to fans of Harry Dresden or Marvel’s horror comics.

Enter the world of The Forever Detective Series…

Ultimate Final Cover Forevers Too Long GIMP

Raphael Jones’ love of adventure took him into police work, military service, and finally a career as a private eye. But when his first couple of cases combine to drop him into deep trouble, can his sense of adventures survive? For that matter, can he? A practical man with a kind heart, he never expected to encounter supernatural evil threatening the people he cares about.

“I was reading along enjoying the Raymond Chandler vibe and suddenly WHAM! Night Stalker!” – author Danarra Ban

Available June 1st, 2019 for e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!

Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589


Brain Twister

Review by Helen Krummenacker

This book was copyrighted in 1962, which explains why it reads like a very old-fashioned, Cold War Era story on one hand, with the language of the era, and yet has elements that would be futuristic by today’s standards. It also predates the period where writers decided longer is better– it’s decidedly light on padding and has a crispness to the language. Overall, it reads like a Young Adult novel, not demanding much of the reader but imagination and a bit of tolerance for mild sexism and ablism.

The writers, Randall Garrett and Lawrence Janifer, give us an FBI agent assigned a seemingly impossible case: there is a spy working, presumably for the Russians, to ferret out what is happening with a project for a new kind of space drive. The reason that catching the spy may be impossible is that the spy is a telepath. By coincidence, a second research project at the same facility had been studying telepathy and developed the means to determine when someone was having their mind read– but they had no ability to determine who or where the mind-reader was. Their own telepath passed away before they could try to use him to find the enemy telepath– and it is doubtful he could have, as he had intellectual impairment.

So the FBI seeks more telepaths, and they start to find them, every single one institutionalized for mental illness. Not because they seem crazy to people who don’t know they are mind-readers, but rather because the presence of other minds speaking to them all the time has made it difficult to develop a stable sense of self. In fact, the most coherent and helpful of the is perfectly sane except for her believe that she is Queen Elizabeth I, a delusion that worked to give her a strong core identity and manage the voices.

It’s quirky and amusing, and a rather fast read (I read it over the course of two one hour lunch breaks). It isn’t going to change your life, but if you like sci-fi crime/spy novels, it holds together with internal consistency, a quick pace, and fun imagery.

 


When it came time to work on the cover for “The Vampyre Blogs – I: Coming Home” I was finding myself coming up against a wall as far as cover art ideas went.  The other books had been relatively easy because of their two word titles: “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. But this time the title was much longer, so I needed to come up with something different.

Since we were using the word ‘blogs’ as part of the title, I thought about incorporating a computer or laptop into the picture.  So I experimented with Adobe Photoshop and came up with this image:

While very effective in many respects, some people told me they missed seeing my original artwork on the cover. Many said it helped make our books stand out more.  So I began wracking my brains for a a new cover style and wasn’t coming up with much. Mind you, at this point we had not even started writing the novel and decided not to worry about it.  I figured once the story was written I’d get some inspiration from what we created and borrow from a scene in the story.

Eventually we completed the first draft and started work on a second one and I still hadn’t come up with any solid ideas for the cover.  I’d considered showing the interior of a coffin with a laptop resting on top of the occupant who was typing on it.  The logo I created for the original image could stay and I thought that would be great.   However, my skills at designing and creating a convincing laptop in soft pastel was not up to snuff.  Furthermore, our vampyre does not use a coffin at all, so I scrapped that idea.

Finally, Helen suggested the idea of a room in the old manor that belongs to our vampyre, and to have a laptop amidst all the antique furnishings and cobwebs.  Alas, my skills at making a decent-looking computer had not improved as much as I’d have liked so that held me back.  However, another thought did occur to me.  What if I created an image where we are looking out of one of the windows of the old manor and seeing a shadowy figure (our vampyre) on the night he finally comes home to stay.

I quickly began sketching and testing out a color palette for the view outside the window. Since he was coming home during the autumn I figured lots of leaves on the ground would be appropriate, so I whipped out my reds and golds pastels and set to work. As soon as I got the image started I knew I was onto something. Looking over the story I reminded myself that we’d established there was a small family cemetery out back, and it occurred to me that would be the first place Nathan (our vampyre) would go upon deciding to come home for good. And because people associate coffins with vampires, I threw in the shadow stretching from behind him to help prospective readers make the connection of what he was right away.

 

As view outside the window evolved, I still had to decide whose room the window belonged to. To create a touching contrast to the little cemetery and shadow, by making it the room of his little sister who he adored with all his heart. So I researched some toys a little girl might have back in the 1860’s and put them in front of a window.

After I got the image just the way I wanted, I had to decide on how to present the title and our names. First I tried putting the lettering on top of the image as seen below:

I didn’t really care for this as I really wanted the image to be seen, so I went for borders on the top and bottom of the image and placed the words there instead.

  As you can see I wound up having to put borders on the sides as well, because too much of the image was being cut off in those locations.

Up until this point all the books were novels, but Helen and I decided to try a collection of short stories involving characters from our Para-Earth Series. Most of the collection focuses on the characters from “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, however there are a few that also feature some familiar faces from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. Of course when dealing with multiple stories, we had to come up with a whole new concept for cover art.

On this occasion Helen asked to be the one to take up the challenge and I agreed, especially after I heard what she had in mind. Instead of a single image, she was planning on doing a number of small pieces that would capture scenes from some of the stories in the collection. Originally the idea was to go with eight images, but due to time and life demands she completed four and we went with those.

We thought about using these on the front cover:

Then the other two on the back:

However, once more once we started putting the lettering over the images, things weren’t working. Dark letters blended in too much, and lighter ones were too startling. So we went with all four, sandwiched between a green border with the lettering:

Again this left the images clean and easy to see, while also keeping the lettering away from the edges without being cut off as had happened on “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. I also really liked this concept as it allowed us to give visual glimpses of what the reader would encounter in the collection.

We’ve already decided to keep doing multiple image covers for future short story collections which we already have under way. But that’s a tale for another entry.

Keeping with creating your own cover art, we recently got back to work on our novel “The Door”, which is a sequel to both “The Bridge” and “The Door”, and focuses on the cast of characters from those books. With this in mind, I knew we’d want to keep the cover for the latest installment in the same style as those two books. So I began sketching and experimenting with designs….

TO BE CONTINUED…


With 2018 drawing to a close, I’m sure a lot of us are reflecting on what’s happened in each of our lives as well as wondering about what 2019 holds. For me 2018 was a strange year of revelations, new opportunities, as well as upheavals. Two bouts with bronchitis, the second one becoming pneumonia, really took a lot out of me and my vacation time from work. I was supposed to be off this last week and not returning until January 2nd.

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Our 1st anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” had been slated to be released in late September/early October but didn’t see the light of day until early this month (not a great time to push a new book, not when the big publishers are pushing a bunch of titles they’ve been holding back in time for the holidays). However, things will pick up. I know this from past experience, so I’m not too worried.

However, the big question of course is what can you all expect from us in the coming year? Well, quite a lot. Firstly, we’ve been gathering our thoughts on a number of writing topics to share here on the blog. We’ve got plenty of insights from our adventures to share with you all, so we hope you’ll still be checking in regularly and re-sharing our posts with others.

The Pass

Secondly, there are things that have been happening behind the scenes we haven’t shared with you yet such as what’s been happening with the collaborations. As you know, my high school friend Rich Caminit and I have been working by e-mail and Skype on a project involving Chinese vampires and actual historical events. I am happy to announce that the first draft of our collaboration “The Pass” is nearing completion as I write this post. Part of the reason the project has taken so long is the fact that the story was becoming more and more lengthy and farther removed from the Para-Earths vision Helen and I created. So, we decided to make “The Pass” the first in a new paranormal/historical set of books we are considering calling “The Paranormal History Series” (tell us what you think in the comment section below please). Furthermore, we decided to break the story up into two books because it was getting so long. We’d already found the perfect cliffhanger for the end of the “The Pass”, as well as a startling beginning for the second part of the story which will culminate in a battle scene of epic proportions.

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Thirdly, Helen and I have embarked on yet another new series that she is taking the lead writing role on, called “The Forever Detective Series”. The first book is “Forever’s Too Long”. Set in the late 1940s, the detective, a former policeman and officer has opened his business as a private investigator to find out that the cases he’s working on are leading somewhere there is no coming back from. She’s already written over 19,000 words of the first book and we have already started building a website for it over at https://foreverdetective.com/. Mind you the site is still under construction, but if you click on the “Blog” tab you’ll find some interesting background information about her leading man. And there will be a lot more coming soon to that site, so you might want to bookmark it. Her current goal is to have the book out by summer so stay tuned. She’s a lot faster writer than I am so the likelihood of it being out on time is very good.

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Finally, I want to let you all know that the long-awaited sequel to “The Bridge” and “The Ship” is once more fully under way. “The Door” takes up where both those books ended in a hospital where the wail of an infant leads Alex Hill, Veronica Ross, Cassandra Elliott, and Julianna Cloudfoot to face old and new threats from the realms of two different Para-Earths. Part of the reason this book has taken so long to write was the simple fact that I had a good idea of what I wanted the main story to be, but not a clear vision of how it should unfold. This is what led to our branching off and doing “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” tale, which was more clear and complete in my mind.

New Photos 003

That book also allowed me to find the missing pathways I needed to get “The Door” back on track with new characters and scenes that will “bridge the gap” (please excuse the pun) between the first two books and “The Vampyre Blogs” part of our Para-Earth Series. The story that will be unfolding in “The Door” will start the beginning of bringing the casts between all three books together creating opportunities for many more stories down the road, including one that will bring Alex face-to-face with the nightmare dwelling that nearly destroyed him in every sense of the word. I am of course referring to “Harlequin House”.

As you can see, there’s a lot coming your way in 2019 and beyond. We hope you’ll keep joining us for the ride ahead. It will probably have more twists and turns than a roller-coaster, and I hope will be just as exciting.

New Year 2019

Until time, we wish you all a very Happy New Year, and urge you all to keep writing!

 


 

The-Handmaids-Tale

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

I’m starting this book review with the book still unfinished. It’s the kind of book that you think about a lot while reading it, even as you itch to turn the pages again. I can’t compare it to the movie or TV show, as I wanted to read it rather than watch it. I would advise this, although the adaptations may be excellent. The voice of the narrator is crucial.


The voice of the narrator is crucial to the story’s style. We begin, a little scared, a little confused, picking up meaning from tiny details– because that is what she can give us. Her voice becomes clearer, gradually, as she moves farther from the drugging and brainwashing and has time to rebuild her story and factor in the new things. But even ¾ of the way through, I still don’t know what goes on in the colonies that has her worried about being sent there, or what the real fate of Unwomen is. Sometimes, it sounds like she’s afraid of being executed and sometimes it sounds like there is something worse in store for her. The people in charge probably like to keep everyone uncertain, because it makes them more pliable.

The voice of the narrator is also an important part of the story itself. There are many women in this story, but the narrator’s story is very much hers, very personal. She finds joy in little things, and fear in them as well. She was left with a pillow that has Faith embroidered on it, but reading is forbidden to women… so she stands, when she finds the pillow, reading that one word over and over, enjoying breaking one of the stupid rules, but wondering if she will be held responsible for a pillow she did not choose. Internal moments like that are a tremendous part of the narrative, and they make the dystopia seem far more real than an external storytelling would.

One thing that is difficult in reading it is that she speaks in the present tense even when recounting dreams and memories. We don’t always know what is real until we have read enough to place it in her timeline. But this reflects her own struggle to handle it all. Her memories, her reality, her hopes and fears jumble together when she is left to sit alone for hours with nothing to do.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, the story takes place in a near future time when theocrats take over. There are wars and perhaps disasters as well that have left the majority of people unable to create healthy children. The narrator had a healthy child, before the theocrats took over but after some of the pollution events, and so she is seen as proven fertile, and eligible for status as a Handmaid, a caste of women who are, in theory, to be honored for trying to keep humanity alive by acting as breeding vessels, but are in fact despised for having a life defined by their sexual potential. They are circulated in assignments among the elite, and if they give any of the Commanders a healthy child, they will have a future. If they do not, at a certain age or after a period of time, they are removed from Handmaid status and death or exile seem to be their fate.

This is part of a larger theocratic totalitarian state, but the Handmaids are important not only because this is the story of one, but also, I must say, Gilead (the state they are in) is both correct to be desperately trying to make more citizens and at the same time, doomed by its methods. The rules controlling the Handmaids, the infertile Wives, and the men of all ranks, makes it less likely there will be successful offspring. Cheating leads to death (and I suspect some Handmaids are trapped into it by angry Wives), but the Commanders often are sterile. The atmosphere of fear and mistrust seems unconducive to reproduction. At best, stress hormones aren’t great for a pregnancy, while at worst, the people are actively undermining the possibility. If Gilead really wants babies, it should make procreation fun and free rather than coercive, but the people in charge want to control everything more than they really want another generation.


* * *
Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m finding myself surprised by some things I heard in the past. I have to wonder if people saying, “Serena Joy was worse than the Commander” were talking about the movie, because my feeling about her in the book is quite different. She was unhappy and oppressed as well, and sometimes showed some genuine kindness in spite of her general jealousy. Even when she had something specific to be jealous about, she didn’t want the Handmaid destroyed– she alone had the nerve to make a slight protest when the narrator was led away.

The ending, I won’t say exactly what it was, but this book manages to pull a The Lady or the Tiger end which I look at from the optimistic perspective, finding it more in keeping with the way I interpreted a couple of characters. It certainly gave more room for optimism than 1984 or Brave New World, mostly within the personal story, but also, I believe that Gilead is doomed/ They have no real ability to convince the people they are oppressing that their regime is the best thing around. They have only existed for a few years and already they are riddled with corruption, resistance, hypocrisy, inconsistency, poverty, and a death rate much higher than the birthrate. Either the regime will be pulled down or it will collapse under its own failure to work with human nature.

I wonder if the people who found the book more depressing than I did mostly identified with the narrator more. I don’t say she was difficult to identify with. Actually, she’s a fairly normal woman. I’m just not normal, and found myself more drawn to side characters. I also kept thinking that in that world, I would have been sent to the Colonies (forced labor areas), if I wasn’t killed outright,  and wanted to know more about life there.


 In my last entry I explained how I had settled on the idea of Parallel Realities for the premise of my series.  But what could I do with it that was new and different? Well as Doctor Who would say, “This is where things get a bit tricky.”

      We all know that a lot of choices are man-made, but events are also a major player in our world and our lives.  There’s an old school of thought that says, for whatever choices we make another alternate timeline exists where a version of ourselves exists who follows the path not taken.  I began pondering this concept and asked myself, “What if not just choice could lead to a parallel reality?  What if events that didn’t happen in our reality, did happen in another reality?  And what might be the consequences and effects of that event?”  This idea really intrigued me and I began to think about the concept on a much LARGER and OLDER scale…

      Current theory says that that moon we all know and love was made as a result of an event that took place in Earth’s very early childhood, long before the first dinosaurs or any life-forms evolved.  At the time our planet was much bigger than we know it to be now and it was hot and molten.  Then another planet crashed into our world and literally knocked the stuffing out of us.  Debris was scattered into space and floated there for centuries while the two worlds slowly fused into the size and shape we know now.  As for the debris, caught in the new Earth’s gravity it circled around our world and slowly coalesced and formed the moon we all know and love.  This also explains why moon rocks brought back by our visits showed the same compositions as are found here on Earth.

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      With this thought in mind, suddenly all the beings and entities I had been thinking about writing suddenly became more real to me.  They weren’t aliens from other worlds, or magical demons from other dimensions, they were Earth beings.  Just not from this reality.  They came from alternate Earths where either the creation of the moon or some other kind of cosmic event (an asteroid that missed us in this reality, actually struck and brought some microbes, or some other kind of calamity) changed that other Earth’s development which in turn altered what kind of life might or might not evolve.  I quickly realized that the possibilities were endless and that I wouldn’t have to limit myself to just one alternate version of Earth.  I’d have dozens or hundreds available for storylines…  In that moment I came up with the phrase Para-Earths.

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      Of course this led to new questions I needed to answer such as how do these beings slip out of their versions of Earth and into ours?  Do people from our Earth wind up slipping into those alternate earths?  Are the beings from these Para-Earths malevolent, friendly, or simply following basic instinct like herbivores and carnivores, etc.
      As for the how they manage to intrude into our reality I propose thinking of reality as a tree with loads of branches.  If you actually look closely you will find that branches of course give birth to new branches and in turn to the same, and so on.  Yet a number of these branches will rub up against each other at one time or another. 

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     Now if you picture Earth as we know it to be one branch, and one of those Para-Earths as another branch, they too can brush up against each other and a doorway opens between the two.  In my writings, this is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs every so often.  The reason no one notices is that it doesn’t always happen when someone’s around to see it, from either this Earth or the Para-Earth that is brushing up against us.  Sort of like the old “If a tree falls down in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?” concept.  Even though no one witnessed it, the event happens.  But occasionally someone is there and they see something strange in the woods or out of the corner of their eye.  However, the timing of the opening can be short or long so by the time that person who saw something out of the corner of their eye can turn to focus the event is already over.  Other times, they stare and stare, or maybe they walk towards it and suddenly the doorway closes and they’re left wondering if they need glasses or to stop drinking.
      My first two stories (“The Bridge” and “The Ship”) focused on two occasions when many years ago two openings lasted long enough for strange beings from two different Para-Earths entered our world and got stuck here. 

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        In the third installment “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, two new dimensions were added to the mix.  First I invited my wife Helen, who knows much more about actual science and science-fiction than me (and who had also helped me develop a number of the characters and concepts introduced in “The Bridge” and “The Ship” to actually join me in writing the story.  The second dimension that was added to the endeavor was to focus on a man from our Earth being the one who intruded into a Para-Earth and the consequences of his being there for that world as well as his own. 

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    Of course there are many more stories to come.  Even now Helen and I are currently putting the finishing touches on our first anthology that mainly focuses on characters from “The Vampyre Blogs”, but also re-introduces a couple of characters from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”.  The collection will be the first of what we hope will be many and is currently titled “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time”.  And for those who are wondering, yes we are planning on a major crossover where all these characters comed together and many secrets are revealed.  

     We’re also working on at least 4-5 full-length novels, several of which are already under way.  And we have countless ideas for many more.  In time, depending on how popular the series becomes, we may invite other authors to join in and help expand the series, just as HP Lovecraft gave permission to fellow authors like August Derleth, Robert Bloch and others to expand and build upon his Cthulhu Mythos. (Note: to this day, his Cthulhu mythos is still being expanded by modern writers long after his passing back in 1937). 

     As for how many of these Para-Earths exist alongside our own, we don’t know.  Nor do we know all the different life-forms that may be encountered in the stories down the road, for not all of them have presented themselves to us, much less shared their secrets.  What we do know is that some can exist in this reality, or try to, but don’t always succeed.  Think about all those articles that appear in news feeds about the remains of ‘monsters’ being found.  Suddenly all those stories take on entirely new implications, don’t they?

         

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      In the meantime, Helen and I hope you enjoy the stories we’ve already put before you.  Let each tale open your imagination and fill it with wonder.  There are rules and science behind a lot of the lifeforms you will encounter in these books, and we will do our best to explain them.  In fact, we will be eventually adding another section to the blog called “Encyclopedia Para-Earth” or something along those lines where Helen will go into the science aspects of our series, exploring certain creatures we use and their real-life counterparts from the real world.
      We’d also like you all to keep in mind that not every Para-Earth being we introduce to you and our characters will be hostile. Some are simply strangers in a strange world, and just because their appearance may be monstrous, does not mean they are.  In some cases, you may find yourselves being introduced to lifeforms that have become the stuff of legends in our reality.   So strap in and join the adventure, you never know who or what you might meet along the way.
      Until next time, keep writing!

You can find our books at these online stores:

Amazon: The Para-Earth Book Series

AmazonUK: Para-Earths UK

Smashwords (Nook, Apple, Sony, Kobo, PDF): Para-Earths

Barnes and Noble: The Para-Earths Series


Yesterday I had an epiphany about my writing and the entire Para-Earth Series… it’s been a collaboration all along.  From “The Bridge” to “The Ship” to “The Vampyre Blogs -Coming Home”, the entire journey has been one gigantic collaboration with my wife/best friend Helen.  And I am planning on putting her name on the first two books.

Why didn’t I do this sooner?  And how did I not realize it was a collaboration all along?  Because I thought a collaboration strictly meant two people were doing the actual writing, but that’s not the only way a collaboration works.  Ideas, suggestions, helping shape characters, plot, settings, events… all of that goes into a collaboration as well.

So even though I did all the writing in “The Bridge” and “The Ship”, Helen gave me so much guidance like helping shape the characters personalities, questioning their actions, being my sounding-board for ideas I had but didn’t know where to go with them until she suggested details or options I never considered which suddenly put the story back on track again… you name it.  To me, she has been just as much a part of those books as I’ve been.

Now, some of you might be wondering how did this realization come to me?  Well, it had been bouncing around in my mind for some weeks now but yesterday is when it finally clicked into place for me.  As many of you should know by now, Helen just recently got offered a job at Santa Cruz County.  Well, yesterday was her Orientation Day and she officially starts work on Monday as an Accounting Technician (I’m so proud).

Well, when my day ended we were driving home and I started sharing with her that I was working on a new short story for our other blog “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition” (where we post brand new short stories involving characters from our book “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” Link: https://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/   *NOTE: Characters from “The Bridge” and “The Ship” have also appeared there and will be showing up again soon so keep an on that site).   Some time ago I had decided that Lisa (one of the main characters) was a gifted psychic.

*Note: Lisa is often mistaken for a Goth, but she merely loves old clothing styles and vibrant colors.  She’s actually into clothing design and cool make-up, including special effects*

Mind you she is not nearly as strong as Alex, Cassandra, or the Baby from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”.  Lisa’s talents show up in the form of glimpses into the near future in dreams, as well as being sensitive to strong emotions both past and present, but she’s only starting to realize it.

Anyway,  I was working on a short story with her that takes place between the end of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” and its sequel “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties” which is currently  being written along with several other projects.

*SPOILERS FOR THE SHORT STORY AHEAD: Lisa’s been having dreams where she senses the danger from the first book is not completely over and that more darkness lies ahead for not only her and those she loves, but the entire town where she and Nathan live.  But that was as far as I had gotten when Helen suddenly sprang to life and suggested a scene in the waking world that indicates there is indeed a threat.  A certain modern-day life form, that is similar to the Para-Earth life-form that makes our character Nathan a vampyre, are fleeing the area.  Upon seeing this, Lisa realizes there is something coming prompting her to see if Nathan has returned or not.  This will tie into the opening scene of the 2nd novel in the Vampyre Blogs section of the Para-Earth Series.

END OF SPOILERS:

As soon as Helen made this suggestion the rest of the story came to me in a wave.  I could clearly see the path forward and immediately asked her to help give more life to the characters of Lisa and her best friend Marisa who also will appear in the story.  She naturally agreed, having taken a crack at writing both girls recently for a story in our upcoming anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time” coming in January 2018.

Now, this has been just one of many examples of how a collaboration can work when it comes to writing.  I have many more to share, including one with my other Collaborator Rich Caminit which I will share in my next post.  Plus others that I will continue to share down the road.  For now, I’m going to leave you all for now, before this entry turns into the length of a novella.  But please give thoughts to other forms of collaboration you may have encountered and please share them with all of us in the comment section below.  As I’ve already said, collaborations take many forms and the roles each collaborator takes is not simply one but many, and this is why I feel collaborations are something that should sometimes be embraced whole-heartedly.

And on a final note, don’t be afraid to share the credit for a project.  As Samuel Goldwyn the great movie producer once said…

When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.

Until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.

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