Fridays 5 02/25/2022


This week I ask: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Clicking on the authors name will take you to their website or amazon author page. Check them out, show some love, maybe you’ll find a new author to follow.

Dave Wimset

Dave Wimset author photo

A: I was taking a novel writing course many decades ago with a bestselling author and thought the manuscript I handed in the first week was fantastic. The instructor detailed numerous deficits, all of them true. I wandered out of the classroom feeling terrible and reached an intersection. There was a trash can next to me. I said to myself, out loud, “All tight. This is where you choose. Either throw this manuscript in the trash and never write again or accept that you need to stop thinking of your writing as your baby or your blood on the page and learn to take criticism and use it to improve. That is the point at which I became a writer.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered, Half Awakened Dreams, and Covenant with the Dragons.

He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

Alice Sobo

A: I think it was Rita Mae brown that said to celebrate your rejections, it means you’re off the porch and running with the big dogs. When I started submitting to magazines and contests, I considered myself officially a writer. Before that I think it was just a hobby. The commitment to finish a story, polish it and research a market for it made me feel like it was for real.

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters, and a satisfying culmination.

Pete Mesling

A: Garrison Keillor once remarked that an artist is someone who gets up in the morning and does art. By that definition I remain something of a failure. I get up most days and go to work like a schmuck. The writing I do when I can, and that means lunch breaks evenings, and weekends, folks. But publishing has done a lot to make me feel like a proper writer, especially having some books out there with only my name on them. Writing every day is important for me, too. I’m not masochistic about word counts, and I’m happy to let blog posts qualify on a slow day, but having my head in the game more or less daily keeps me going—and feeling like a writer.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press.

A.M. Harte

A: I’ve been writing for far longer than I can remember, but I honestly never seriously thought of myself as a writer until recently.

I started out as a voracious reader. I lived books, breathed books. Writing was something I did on the side, for myself, a clumsy attempt to emulate the books that gave me so much pleasure. A way to get those characters rattling around in my head out onto a page, to live out my dreams.

Throughout my late teenage years, things changed. From emailing chapters to my sister, I progressed to posting work online. I gained readers — readers who came back every week for more. Their encouragement and support made something click in my head. It confirmed to me that I wanted to be a writer, wanted to keep writing and sharing stories.

That’s when I started thinking of myself as a writer.

See, despite the romantic ideal of the lonely author locked up in a cave somewhere, inscribing words on a stone tablet fuelled only by alcohol and caffeine, I ultimately believe that writing is for readers. If you don’t want someone to read that story one day, why write it down? I think that’s why I only recently began to think of myself as a writer, because previously I wasn’t really writing to share.

 Are you a writer if you don’t have readers? If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

Bio: A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.

Wednesday Lee Friday

A: From age 5-11, then not again until my 30’s. There was this whole, wide swath of time when I didn’t think I could ever “really” be a writer. I thought I needed someone else to tell me I was a writer, instead of just getting the hell out there and writing. Glad I finally figured it out—but wish I’d started 20 years earlier.

Bio: Wednesday lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and two crafty cats. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and also enjoys Shostakovich, Dexter, loom knitting, The Simpsons, crafty things, quality horror of all kinds, and kettle cooked potato chips. She covers TV and movies for 411Mania, sexy stuff at, and has done a ton of ghostwriting…though not about ghosts.

This Way to Heaven

Click on the image above to start reading today.

26 Episodes now available.

Kindle Vella: Stories told one episode at a time.

Synopsis: As if their lives weren’t tough enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world for four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to embrace the darkness that lives within, if they hope to survive. It isn’t long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries boil to the surface within their small group.

If that wasn’t bad enough they find out the basement is haunted by the ghosts of the past and a creature that needs to feed on their fear. Trapped between the terrors outside, and the horror within, their only hope lies behind a solitary door in the basement that appears to offer refuge.

But what will it cost to escape.?

About the author: Richard is the author of eight novels, three novellas, and a collection of short stories. His most recent novel is a paranormal ghost story titled Cursed. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, and the Maryland Writers Association.

Weekly Writing Challenge 02/24/2021


Managed another 620 words even though I was tired after a day shift at the hardware store where I work. But it’s what you gotta do when you’re a writer. You have to develop the habit of consistency, and the only way to do that is to write every day whether you want to or not. I’m far from perfect when it comes to that, and I’ve let distractions take me from my work, watching TV or playing games when I should be writing. It is what it is though, and for me the writing itself is the best reward. To see the story come together in the readers mind and know I’ve touched their life no matter how brief is what drives me.

I’m anxious to get to the end of this one so I can start the rewrite, and add the emotional elements to the skeletal structure of the story. So without further adieu I give you the next installment of

Third Times a Charm

“I’m fine, I’ll be right back.” He wasn’t sure what was going on, how could Mona be here? He killed her. He saw her die with his own eyes. Was someone playing games with him. Was it her brother?  Her Sister? They had never liked him, believing Mona was too good for the likes of him. That’s what it was, wasn’t it? Her siblings were playing mind games with him. He’d show them. He waited for the elevator, watching the light above the door as it counted down to his floor. The doors opened with a ding and he stabbed the button for the lobby with his thumb. He’d show them.

Reaching the lobby he raced out the front doors and stopped. The flow of pedestrians had dwindled to a trickle and he stood on the sidewalk, looking first one way, then the other. A siren wailed, its warbling voice getting closer with every passing moment and he ignored it. Focused on trying to find the person or person responsible for this little game. From his right came a familiar sigh and he swiveled his head in that direction, catching sight of Mona as she slipped into the alley.

He followed, one hand on the butt of his pistol as he raced down the garbage strewn street. A couple of vagrants were arguing over the contents of a garbage pail. He paid no attention to them as he walked by, his gaze scanning every possible hiding place for his target. He imagined they were watching him while he searched. Probably laughing at his futile attempt to find them. Reaching the end of the alley he was forced to admit defeat and turned back to return to his apartment.

Coming around the front of the building he saw a police cruiser and an ambulance parked at the curb with their emergency lights flashing, a small crowd gathered around them. It was a common enough sight for this area so he didn’t pay much attention to what was happening as he entered the building. When the elevator doors slid open he knew he was in trouble. The hallway was filled with the other resident that lived on his floor, all eyes fixed on the police officer at Nicks door, whispered questions followed him to his apartment.

The policeman held up his hand as he approached. “You can’t come in here, sir.”

“It’s my apartment, what’s going on?”

The police turned to Nick’s open door. “Detective, the occupant of the apartment is here.”

“On my way,” a young Latino dressed in a suit said. Nick recognized him as the detective that originally questioned him when he shot Mona, but he couldn’t recall the detective’s name.

“Nick Falon,” the detective said, extending his hand, “strange we should cross paths like this again.”

“How’s that, Detective, I’m sorry I seem to have forgotten your name.”

“It’s detective Martin, do you know a Miss Denise VanMeter?”

“She’s my neighbor from across the hall, why? Is she okay, Denise? Is everything all right?” He tried to see what was happening in his apartment but there were two other people standing at the doorway to the kitchen, blocking his view. What is happening?”

“That’s what I was going to ask you. Did you invite Miss VanMeter to your apartment?”

“Of course I did we were going to have dinner, I had to run an errand.”

“I’m going to need you to come down to the station.”

“I can’t, not until you tell me what’s going on.”

“We’ll talk about it down at the station.”

“I’m not going, not until you tell me what’s happening.”

“You don’t have a choice,” Detective Martin said, nodding at the patrolman behind Nick.

To be continued!

I know it’s too early to say, but what do you think?

Fridays 5 1/29/2021


January 29, 2021

If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

William F Nolan:

A: Bradbury said that he wanted to be buried on Mars in a Campbell soup can in the “Bradbury Abyss”. I’d ask Ray Bradbury if he found his way home to Mars.

Bio: William writes stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He is best known for coauthoring the novel Logan’s Run, with George Clayton Johnson. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.

Scott Nicholson:

I’d like to ask Mark Twain what he thinks of the 21st Century. I am sure he’d have a grand time making sport of Facebook!

Bio: Scott haphazardly trades words for magic beans and uses “haphazardly” as often as possible while decrying the overuse of adverbs. He had 105 rejections before his first story sale and over 400 before he sold a novel. He hasn’t learned much from his mistakes but thinks he’ll probably improve with practice. If nothing else, he’s become a better liar.

Rick Hautala:

A: I’d ask Shakespeare not where he got his ideas, but how he developed them … or I’d ask Hawthorne why he seemed to be depressed all the time …

Bio: Rick arrived on the horror scene in 1980 with many of his early novels published by Zebra books. He wrote and published over 90 novels and short stories from the early 1980s on. In 2011 the Horror Writers Association awarded Rick and Joe R. Lansdale the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. Sadly, on March 21 of 2013 we lost Rick to a heart attack. For me personally he was a writer who was always willing to help those of us starting out, and though I never met him personally I counted him among my friends.

Craig Saunders:

A: Joe Hill…when’s the next book coming out!? haha – I love Joe Hill, since reading Heart Shaped Box.

Bio: Craig Saunders is the author of around fifty novels and novellas, including the Amazon bestseller ‘Vigil’. As ‘Craig R. Saunders’ he penned the seven-book fantasy saga of the world of Rythe, beginning in ‘The Outlaw King’ and culminating with ‘Beneath Rythe’.

Jo-Anne Russell:

A: I must say, this is one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer. To choose only one is torture. However, it would be Ray Bradbury, and I would ask him;  “What is it like on the other side?”

Bio: Jo-Anne Russell is a horror writer, and publisher, living in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Her stories have appeared in anthologies by Brazen Snake Books, Static Movement, Wicked East Press, and Hidden Thoughts Press, just to name a few.
Her taste for the macabre has provided her imagination with a feast that fuels her writing and creativity. If you like horror, the bizarre, or you just don’t like to sleep at night, give her books and short stories a try.

Calling all authors of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. If you’d like to participate in Fridays 5, follow this link.

Fridays 5