A Conversation with Supernatural Horror Author Brian Moreland: Sneak Peek at The Devil’s Woods!

I’ve got a second interview with one of my FAVORITE writers!! Sit back in your seat and take some time to read this fabulous, mind-picking (promise no ice picks used) conversation with supernatural horror author Brian Moreland (www.brianmoreland.com). He wrote my favorite book of 2011, which I reviewed here (CLICK HERE to read DEAD OF WINTER review and our FIRST INTERVIEW!)….then keep reading for our second interview. I promise, it’s worth it…why?

I promise he is not as scary as his books!! We’ve got some great discussion ranging on how religion and horror connect to cupcakes, so I promise it’s deep AND fun. We also get a…gasp, SNEAK PEEK at the opening chapter of this third novel, The Devil’s Woods!!! Don’t miss that as you get further into the interview. And after the blog, Brian and I will be chatting below in the comments section and we’d love for your to join us or post your thoughts.  Pull up that blanket around your chin, lock your door, and open your mind. Let’s get to the interview!

Intro

Welcome Back, Brian!! I am so happy to visit with you again and hear how 2012 is treating you! I hope your novel, Dead of Winter, is having huge success. I can’t wait to talk about what else is coming up the pike for you (besides a canoe, which would be fun though wouldn’t it?)!

Thanks, Erin, it’s great to be back. And I love paddling in canoes. The year 2012 has already started out as a good one. I completed my third novel The Devil’s Woods in February, so I already feel like I’ve accomplished one of my New Year’s resolutions. Now if I can just get myself to stay on my exercise routine. Maybe when it gets warmer this spring, I can get on the lake near my home and get in some kayaking or go canoeing on one of our Texas rivers.

Q1:  How has the feedback for Dead of Winter been and what new things did you learn about your writing from publishing it and from reader feedback?

A1:  Feedback from over a dozen reviewers, as well as a plethora of readers, has been mind-blowingly positive. We’ll say over 90% of people have thoroughly enjoyed reading Dead of Winter. One reviewer told me the book gave her nightmares and said she couldn’t sleep with her back to the door. She kept dreaming about the demons in my book. I took that as a great compliment since my goal was to write books that scare the be-Jesus out of readers. What I’ve learned from a variety of reviews is that some readers have different tastes than mine. I stand behind every chapter I wrote and wouldn’t change a thing about the book. I’m quite proud of it.

Q2: How much time did it take you to delve into the research needed for the historical content of this book? Where did the idea come from and how did you research it?

A2:  I did about two years of research while writing Dead of Winter. The idea came from reading a non-fiction book about legendary monsters of ancient cultures. One chapter talked about a demon spirit that stalked the woods every winter and terrorized the Great Lakes tribes in Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario. I found those native campfire tales fascinating, so I built a story around a supernatural killer stalking a fur-trading fort in Ontario and turning people into cannibals. I love mixing real history with fantasy.

The entire novel is set in Canada in 1870, so all my research was done through reading history books on the fur trade in 19th Century Canada and using the heck out of Google to find websites about the history of the Jesuits, Algonquin and Ojibwa Indian legends, and the early settlers of Canada. I even read books on cannibalism to understand this mental disease which really exists, even today. Also, because one of my main characters, Father Xavier, is a Catholic exorcist, I read a lot of books on exorcism by living priests who still perform exorcisms today. I learned so much that I could probably exorcise demons myself. So if you have a demon that needs to be exorcised, just email me. Kidding, of course.

Q3:  How much of Dead of Winter is based on fact or legend as it is surrounded by your imaginative characters and plot?

A3:  While indeed a work of fiction, I wanted this book to feel real. Throughout the story I interweave several facts I pulled from history books and an interview I did with a descendent from a Canadian Ojibwa tribe. I learned that back in the 1800s, the Algonquin tribes migrated every winter because of their superstition of this winter demon spirit that wandered the woods feeding on humans. Some tribes even performed a ceremonial dance to ward off this evil spirit, which I included in the book. This legend also spooked the white fur traders, like the Hudson’s Bay Company, who lived in isolated forts all across Canada and traded with the Indians [First Nations to be politically correct, but back in the 1800s they were called Indians or “heathens”].FortPendletonis a fictitious fort named after one my characters, a tycoon by the name of Master Avery Pendleton. When the mysterious killings start plaguing the colonists living within his fort, Pendleton hires Tom Hatcher to solve the case. Tom teams up with an Ojibwa tracker and shaman, Anika Moonblood. She doesn’t believe the killer is a man or animal, but something much more terrifying. In the book, everyone in the neighboring Ojibwa tribe is spooked by the stalker out in the woods.

 As I researched this legendary evil spirit even deeper, I discovered an article about a real isolated fort inQuebecwhere all the colonists went crazy and turned cannibal. In the late 1700s, a Jesuit priest who visited this fort documented the case in his journal, describing the deranged colonists as possessed by the devil. This is all factual and documented by the Catholic Church. I also did extensive research on the history of frontier life of Canada in the 1800s. During the long winter months out in the wilderness, cannibalism became a way of survival for isolated villages that ran out of food. And sometimes soldiers would arrive at a fort to find that everyone was dead except one man, who survived by eating the others. So, a lot of this book is based on real facts. As you reach the end of the book, you’ll see that my imagination just went wild.

 Q4:  The bloody circular symbol on your book cover for Dead of Winter, and mentioned in your book, really intrigued me. Around the time I was reading your book, my 8-year-old was drawing the same symbol in pretty colors all over multiple pieces of artwork. It had to be a coincidence, but it certainly did freak me out a little. Can you explain about the symbol and why symbols as a whole have seeped into many fiction novels of this decade? (And please tell me that my daughter drawing those symbols was coincidental!!)

A4:  You just gave me chicken skin. Symbols have been around since man first started engraving hieroglyphics on stone. Symbols are very powerful because their meanings bypass the conscious mind and into the unconscious mind. If they are given a special meaning and show up over and over in art, teachings, architecture, or propaganda, that meaning begins to become a part of people’s belief systems. Think about the holy cross, the sitting Buddha, or the swastika and how those symbols have influenced the masses. The spiral is an ancient symbol that has been used in many cultures from native tribes in America and Africa to pagans in the Gaelic cultures of Ireland. I took the liberty of using that symbol to be a part of the mystery in my book. Your daughter might be highly intuitive or maybe she saw it on TV or in a painting. Sometimes the sun is painted like a spiral. It’s probably just coincidental.

Q5:  I loved your female characters in Dead of Winter, especially Anika. How do you develop your characters with such intricate personalities?

A5:  I love Anika and Willow, myself. Both women were really fun to write. I did my best to make them complex as they secretly battle one another over Inspector Tom Hatcher. Part of developing character personalities is spending over a year with them. They usually start off as sketches of people with a few traits and a little back history to get me started. The more I write my characters in scenes and see how they respond with other characters and the dangerous situations I put them in, I begin to see who these people really are and what they’re made of. It’s amazing what you learn about a person when you put them face to face with a serial killer or the devil. Characters like Father Xavier rise to the occasion, while other characters succumb to their dark sides.

It may take a few drafts before I come up with the complete back story of the character. For instance, the book’s villain, Avery Pendleton, plays the violin and fiddle, and has a red violin that he made with his grandfather when he was a boy. All of that detail and back story got added two years after I started writing the book. Sometimes I feel like a character needs more depth, and I will keep adding details about who this person is–their likes, how they dress, beliefs, and temperaments–as I go through a number of drafts. I usually write more than the reader needs to know and cut a lot of the back story to keep the main story tight. In Shadows in the Mist, I had intricate back story for every soldier in Lt. Jack Chambers’ platoon. I knew their birthdays and hometowns and childhood events that shaped their lives. That helped me see them as people rather than just characters. Most of that back story got cut, but the main story is about Jack Chambers and everyone else is in the story as a supporting character.

I might change character names half a dozen times before I end up with just the right one. I believe names define a character, think Hannibal Lecter. That name just sounds menacing. For my serial killer in Montreal that was Tom Hatcher’s nemesis, I thought long and hard as I came up with the name Gustave Meraux, the Cannery Cannibal, and his complex history. He was another character who evolved over many drafts until I felt like he could just walk right off the page and into nightmares. For me, creating characters is the most fun part of writing.

Q6:  I’m a lover of Native American fiction, non-fiction, and culture. Does their history and culture intrigue you? Why or why not? How do you feel their culture and legends impact us today in America?

A6:  I’m a lover of Native American culture because it’s part of our country’s history. I’ve also studied shamanism, witnessed shamanic pipe ceremonies, and endured the sweltering heat of sweat lodges while a shaman chanted. The native tribes of the previous centuries were deeply connected with the land and animals and the spirit world, at least in their beliefs. I find their legends fascinating and very translatable to writing horror fiction. My next novel, The Devil’s Woods, also deals with a Native Canadian mystery, although this one is more from my imagination than from historical fact. I don’t know how their culture impacts us today in America. For the most part, I think our tribal ancestors have been pushed aside and now they mostly represent sporting team mascots and casinos. If you go to places like New Mexico and Arizona and Vancouver, there are still tribal descendants who keep native traditions alive.

Q7:  How do you feel horror novels of the psychological variety parallel religion and its role in society?

A7:  Wow, that’s a heavy question. I hope I can do it justice. I write mostly supernatural and often include religious characters or mysteries based on religious history. Like worshipping an invisible God, supernatural horror explores the unknown. H.P. Lovecraft was a genius at creating horror stories based on mythos and otherworldly gods. Since my stories are battles between light and darkness, good and evil, they suggest that unseen forces exist behind all good and bad that happens in the world. Perhaps with free will, man is free to express his goodness and his dark side, influenced by his inner demons. Horror fiction gives us a place to pit those two sides of man against one another to see which prevails. Stories about heroes battling monsters date back thousands of years. Whether they are told in mythology or religious books, they serve as metaphors. Moral choices we must make. I think horror stories serve society in that they give us outlets to express our relationship with the unknown and all the complex emotions we have going on inside us. They help us in our search for deeper and greater meanings of our existence.   

Q8:  I know you loved comic books as a kid, is it still a guilty pleasure? If so, what comic books do you like today? What comic books inspired your imagination?

A8:  I did love comic books as a kid and read them well into my twenties. Big influences were Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, Aliens vs. Predator, The Thing, and some of Clive Barker’s comics. I’ve since outgrown reading comics for the most part and mainly read fiction and non-fiction. I do enjoy movies based on comic book heroes. I’m looking forward to seeing The Avengers this summer.

Q9:  My stove is heating up in the kitchen, what kind of cupcakes am I baking you?

A9:  How about chocolate cupcakes decorated with faces from the Monster Mash–Frankenstein, Dracula, Werewolf, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, plus some ghosts, witches, and Jack-o-Lantern faces? Really, you can’t go wrong. I love all flavors of cake.

Q10:  What are some of the films that cross from entertainment and into the realm of literary genius?  Do you find that some of the best are usually stemmed from books?

A10:  I’ll mix in some recent movies with some of my classic favorites–Alien, The Exorcist, Prophecy, The Shining, Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, and more recently Black Swan, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Lord of the Rings. A lot of great movies stem from books. Occasionally a screenwriter pens a brilliant script like Pulp Fiction and The King’s Speech. I love movies that make you feel and make you think.

Back to serious questions…let’s talk about your novels…

Q11:  Dead of Winter has been out in e-book since October and now available in paperback as well. This was your first novel with new publisher Samhain, who launched their new horror line in October 2011. What’s the latest news on your debut novel, Shadows in the Mist, coming back into print?

A11:  My first novel, Shadows in the Mist, has had a successful journey so far. I originally self-published it back in 2006 in trade paperback. In 2007, it won a gold medal for Best Horror Novel in an international contest, and I got to go to New York to receive my medal. Then Berkley/Penguin bought the rights to it and re-released it in small paperback in 2008. In 2010, a German publisher released it in Austria and Germany under the title Schattenkrieger, where it is still selling today. After three years with Berkley, I got the rights back to Shadows in the Mist and signed a new book deal with Samhain Horror, who published Dead of Winter. This gave me an opportunity to revise Shadows in the Mist based on feedback I had gotten over the years from reviewers and fans. I’ve tightened up the opening chapters and even eliminated a few scenes to get to the World War II part of the book even faster. With Samhain Horror, I’m also getting to use the original blue cover that I designed with renowned artist Les Edwards back when I self-published the book. For those who haven’t read my first book, Shadows in the Mist will re-release as an e-book and trade paperback September 4th, 2012. The cover can be seen above and at my website http://www.BrianMoreland.com.

 Q12:  What is Shadows in the Mist about and what inspired you to write it?

 A12:  The historical novel is a supernatural thriller set in the foggy woods of Nazi Germany in World War II. After 60 years of silence, a secret pact between two war heroes is about to be broken. Buried beneath the blood stained soil of Germany lies a Nazi relic that could destroy armies if fallen into the wrong hands. Now the diary of WWII hero Jack Chambers is being delivered to the U.S. Army to reveal a dark conspiracy. This is the untold story. The real reason Jack Chambers’ entire platoon vanished in October, 1944.

The story opens in present day, when retired war hero Jack Chambers is an old man haunted by his past. The story flashes back to World War II where Lt. Chambers and his platoon are fighting the Germans inside the bloody Hürtgen Forest. As they cross enemy lines on a top-secret mission, the platoon comes across something supernatural that is killing both American and German soldiers. Lt. Chambers and a few survivors from his squad take refuge in an abandoned Catholic church in the woods and discover a Nazi bunker where occult-obsessed Nazis had unleashed something deadly into the woods. I won’t give away too much more of the premise. It’s all based on historical facts I uncovered about the Nazis and the occult and it blends the genres of war history, conspiracy theory, and supernatural horror. Some reviewers have described it as Band of Brothers meets The Da Vinci Code.

Q13: I know you mentioned to me that your grandfather inspired some of this novel based on his military service.  The story of your grandfather is so amazing.

A13:  Thanks. I believe that article tells the story best, so I’ll let readers click the link below to read my grandfather’s true story and watch clips from the documentary that I filmed. My grandfather was a real-life World War II hero who did inspire me to write Shadows in the Mist.  It was so freaky that after I wrote the book, he was contacted by a museum in France that had his C-47 airplane. There are scenes that happen in my novel that ended up happening in real life about three years after I released the book.

How wonderful for him to travel to France and be recognized there, honored as an US service man who helped to save France, and his (and your) experience, as he was reunited with his famous airplane after many years of thinking it lost. 

I’ve linked to an article and the photos on your blog that you wrote some year back: http://brianmoreland.blogspot.com/2008/08/war-hero-returns-to-normandy.html

 Q14:  Do you have any more novels in the works? I know many readers that loved Dead of Winter are itching for more from you. What say you??

 A14:  As I said earlier, I just completed The Devil’s Woods. My third horror novel is about a secret forest on a Cree Indian reservation up in British Columbia, Canada where a lot of strange things are happening and people are vanishing. This one has both ghosts and some really cool creatures. I don’t know why I keep setting my books in Canada. I guess because there are some places up there that are still isolated. Plus, I love the wilderness, and British Columbia is absolutely beautiful. The story starts out with an archeologist disappearing while on a mission inside the ancient forest. Then his two adult sons and daughter–all half Cree–return to the reservation in search of their Cree father. They begin to unravel the mystery behind all the disappearances and why their reservation is haunted. This novel has plenty of scares and ties in a lot of the Native American [First Nation] culture we discussed earlier.

My aim is to release The Devil’s Woods in 2013. For those who would like a sneak peek, here’s an excerpt of the opening chapter:

 SNEAK PEEK at THE DEVIL’S WOODS!!!!

=>>>>http://brianmoreland.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/excerpt-of-the-devils-woods-coming-2013-10-2/

 Q15:  What are your goals for 2012 and what do you want to accomplish?

 A15:  Well, first I’d like to finalize the book deal for The Devil’s Woods and get that one into production. I’ve got some local book signings lined up to promote Dead of Winter and in the fall I’ll have two books to promote with the release of Shadows in the Mist. It’s important to keep writing, so I plan to work on some short stories, a novella, and start my fourth novel, which at the moment I’m not sure what that will be. I will continue to study the craft of writing and read novels by other authors to sharpen my skills. I also plan to attend some horror cons and get out there and meet fans of horror.

 Q16:  Again, how can readers connect with you?

They can email me at Brian@BrianMoreland.com.

Friend me on Facebook by looking up Author Brian Moreland, and tweet me on Twitter @BrianMoreland.

My website is http://www.BrianMoreland.com.

I love meeting fellow book lovers and writers and welcome people contacting me. I also have a blog: http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com where I post news and interviews.

 Brian, it is also so nice to have you come and visit with me. You’re an amazing writer and a super great fellow. I wish you continued success in your writing. Stop back soon!

 Thanks, Erin, I’ve enjoyed both interviews and appreciate all that you’ve done to help promote my books. I wish you lots of success with your own PR business and writing your own novels. Hopefully, one day I can sample some of those delicious cupcakes you’re always baking.

(Erin: Thanks for that Brian, I appreciate you!!)

Cheers, Brian
_______________________________________________________

Who is Brian Moreland?

I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I come from a large extended family from both West Texas near Lubbock and South Texas near San Antonio. I admit to having a pair of cowboy boots and enjoy two-steppin’ and spinning a lovely lady around the dance floor. I love football and am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. Since I graduated from U.T. Austin, I also bleed orange and root for the Texas Longhorns. Hook em’.

My writing journey began over twenty years ago when I started my first novel and wrote a few short stories. I studied creative writing and screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin.

I haven’t always been a professional writer. While living in Dallas, I spent several years working as a producer and film/video editor. I edited the documentary Band of Champions, as well as hundreds of corporate videos. I traveled to Iraq twice with the Tostitos and the USO to film TV commercials with the troops. My commercials played during the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, and the 2011 BSC Championship football game. One of my proudest accomplishments is a WWII documentary I produced about my grandfather.

I’ve lived most of my life in Texas. For an amazing year and a half, I got to live in Hawaii, on the tropical island of Maui and learned a lot about myself. Today, I’m back living in Dallas. I am writing my next horror novel and editing and designing books for other authors.

I also write a blog, Dark Lucidity, about the exciting and often bumpy career of writing for a living. I’m also an amateur photographer, so I like to include plenty of photos of my outdoor adventures.

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69 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Q and A with Authors

69 responses to “A Conversation with Supernatural Horror Author Brian Moreland: Sneak Peek at The Devil’s Woods!

  1. Follow up Q1: It really was a great book Brian, I usually can tell most people how to improve (lol) but honestly, your book was gem in the world of books. I love how you mix history with fantasy. Do you think you’ll ever write another type of genre?

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  2. Great interview! I really must read Dead of Winter. It sounds so good and scary. Plus, it marries my two favorite genres–historical fiction and horror. Might I say also that Brian is very handsome. 🙂

    Thanks for the heads up, Erin. I’m following your blog now so I can stay updated on everything.

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  3. Thanks Michelle, and Brian is as nice as he is handsome. He won’t give up the secret though about if he is single or not. 🙂

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  4. brianmoreland

    HI, Erin, thanks for doing such a wonderful interview. I do plan to write outside the horror genre at some point. Right, I’m focused on branding myself as an author who writes stories that frighten readers. I plan to write and publish 15-20 horror novels in my career. I love the genre–books and movies, so I write about what I enjoy most for entertainment. I do love writing romance, mystery, historical, action-adventure, and comedy, as well, and do my best to mix other genres with the horror.

    Michelle, nice to meet a fellow book lover and history buff. You have over 3000 books … that’s amazing. You had me blushing at the “handsome” comment.

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    • I can understand one, writing what you enjoy and what “calls” your inner muse and I can understand the branding too. I would love to see you also write an historical novel as well. I think it would be great if you put your Grandfather’s WWII story into a book. For now, I am enjoying your supernatural horror, and probably because you do already mix in many different genres into it.

      Stemming from your comment from A6, I believe that the Native Americans certainly have had a lot to do with our make-up today. Settlers were taught to be able to live here, eat here, and survive here by the same people that they ended up destroying. I think we could have learned so much more from them. Their legends, stories, political structure, and family structure certainly has impacted more of our culture, even subconsciously, than we know. I think you’re right, their history and legends are great fuel for the fodder for the imagination when writing historical fiction of any genre, but especially supernatural.

      How much of the supernatural do you actually believe in? What happens inside you as an author when you read these factual reports of the unexplainable? Is that also why it can be so scary to readers? The hint of truth?

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      • brianmoreland

        I believe that enough unexplainable things happen that we just don’t know the whole spiritual truth of our existence. I’ve experienced first hand the presence of ghosts and real haunted houses, so I fully believe there is a ghost realm and there are places on this planet where we can have encounters with unseen forces. I don’t necessarily believe in the Devil and demons. But I do believe spirits can have either positive/benevolent vibrations or negative/harmful vibrations. When I studied real modern-day exorcisms for researching DEAD OF WINTER, I read some stories from priests that made me wonder if possession was possible. I also witnessed a person go through an exorcism and behave as if they were possessed by an entity. It was freaky–eyes rolling back into their head and all that. I even held the person as she convulsed. For these reasons, I believe there is more to this world than just the physical world we see everyday. I also believe with our vast universe that there must be other lifeforms out there, but that’s another topic to explore in a future novel.

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      • I agree. I am too intuitive myself to not feel that there are forces around me, though I do believe in the Devil. I believe in all the Spirit world, and that includes God and the Devil. Amazing what you’ve witnessed. We have some pretty heavy duty haunting sights in our neck of the woods too. The Mansfield Reformatory in Ohio is 15 minutes from us. This is the old prison they used in Shawshank Redemption and they even do ghost tours now. From the 1200s in Europe, to the Native American culture, to our world today, all have remnants of magic, supernatural, spirits, and how we all try to live in peace with each other.

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  5. Craig S.

    That was an outstanding interview–both the questions and the answers. Love reading your stuff, Erin, and Brian’s a writer not to be missed. His is a name we’ll all be hearing for years to come.

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    • Thank you! Some great horror writers out there beginning to be published dealing with supernatural and vintage horror for the mind. I am loving it. Brian is great, as is Jonathan Janz. I love where their books take the readers.

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  6. I agree Brian, having had experiences that have confirmed my believe that there is much more to the world than just our physical existence. Your experiences with exorism sound fascinating.

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  7. brianmoreland

    Hi Denise, yes my experiences with ghosts and exorcisms were eye opening. I visited a house where the couple who lived there said it was a half-way house for ghosts and the couple guided the lost souls to heaven. While they looked silly saying it, they were dead serious. I was very skeptical to say the least. They challenged my belief by telling me to go out in the back yard and try to walk a straight line. I did. I tried to walk 15 feet and I kept falling over. It was the weirdest thing. A buddy of mine was with me and he kept getting tipped over too. The couple told us that a giant ghost lived in the backyard and was a prankster who liked to tip people over. No matter how hard I tried, I could not walk more than few feet without feeling as if someone were pushing me sideways. It was freaky and funny at the same time. My buddy and I kept laughing–and no alcohol was involved. I’ve also learned to stay away from Ouija boards.

    What kind of experiences did you have? If anyone else has a ghost encounter, I’d love to hear it.

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    • This past summer, Tim really had an itch to write a book about ghost stories from our region. We have the Reformatory here, where you can spend the night, and most people actually see ghosts. At Malabar Farm, home of the late author Louis Bromfield, is also haunted. A woman in one of the houses on the Farm (prior to him buying it) killed her family. Many people say you can see her walking down the highway. We live in a place with a lot of Native American history too and there is a legend of an Indian who walks looking for his final “ear” to add to his conquests. Coincidentally enough, this Indian was a friend of my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather who was captured by Indians and escaped. In the stories, he was portrayed as a friendly Native American. I haven’t had any experiences myself, I’m too WUSSY. Tim would love to though, he is dying to find someone to go ghost hunting with him. I hope more people post their stories….

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      • brianmoreland

        Okay, Erin, now you’ve got me curious to come visit Ohio to check out the haunted Reformatory and Malabar Farm. Maybe even drive down the roads hunting ghost walkers.

        Interesting you say that the Indian ghost (Native American to be p.c.) was a friend of one of your relatives. One of my great-great-great-great grandmothers had a famous cousin, Herman Lehman, who was abducted by Apaches at the age of 10 back in 1870 and raised with the tribe. Herman went on to write a book called NINE YEARS AMONG THE INDIANS. It has nothing do with ghosts, but he’s just another reason I’m drawn to writing about Native American legends. Also, my grandfather is a quarter Cherokee. It’s in my blood and my lineage.

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      • You would love them. There are a few more buildings too, another building which is also very old and used in the movie Shawshank. Here is the website to the Reformatory: http://www.mrps.org/ and here is the website to Malabar Farm, http://www.malabarfarm.org/, though they don’t talk about it being haunted there, since it is a State Park and it scares people maybe. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall were married there though and it is the most beautiful place we go. It is so peaceful and I love it. The cabin at the start of Shawshank where he finds his wife in bed with someone else is also on the Farm. I just took a photo with me kids by in last weekend.

        Yes, Christian Fast in my family was abducted and lived with the Native Americans for many years. There were Mohicans in this area. He also spent a long time with the tribe before escaping. Years later he ran into this N.A. and it was reported how friendly this N.A. was. In fact, he had given himself the name of Tom. He was friendly to white people, so it always seemed odd to me that he would be roaming trying to cut ears off. I wonder how much gets embellished. Native American, First Peoples…they are also in a part of me and I feel connected to them. I have long been wanting to visit a reservation in the West and do some missions.

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    • I have grown up with ghosts and never feared them. I feel they are a part of life as energy never dies, it just keeps moving through the universe. In my current home, a non-descript Cape Cod, there has been much activity. I believe it is the energy of the older couple who lived here. They are kind folks whom never do harm, just drop by from time to time. About 1 1/2 years ago we had some activity that alarmed us and turned my husband from a non-believer into a believer. I had a friend who is a psychic medium come in to check things out for us.

      She discovered that the mirror in our hallway is/was a portal for the other side. All types of spirits were coming through. She suggested we remove it immediately. It was here when we bought our home and I thought nothing of it. As an aside, I always wrote under headphones, blasting music. Once that mirror came down my house suddenly became very quiet. I guess I was trying to drown out all the”noise” around me. I have since put up artwork where the mirror was and probably will never put up a mirror there again.

      I also have an old dresser in my bedroom that drawns spirits to it. I love it and refuse to remove it. The psychic reminded me that furniture carries energy as well and who knows where this dresser has been?

      Despite hanging crystals and removing the haunted mirror, there are times when I feel the presence of energy in my home but nothing that alarms me.

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      • brianmoreland

        Denise, I agree and also believe that “energy never dies, it just keeps moving through the universe.” I used to be a Feng Shui consultant and I would do space clearings on people’s homes. Often times when people moved out, they left behind a psychic imprint of all their emotions while living in the home. One house I did felt very toxic. I could literally feel the anger in the walls and carpet of the arguments that must have happened there. After I did space clearing ceremonies, the energy in the rooms would shift and feel lighter, more welcoming. Whether it’s spirits who never left the earth or people’s psychic energies clinging to the walls and furniture, I do believe that we can feel subtle energies if we are sensitive and open to it. I’ve always been naturally intuitive. The idea that “energy never dies” is great fodder for supernatural stories. And mirrors have always been mysterious to me.

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      • I need you to come do this in my house. It is over 100 years old and we swear with what happens to all our electronics that something is interferring. I need a cleanse. 🙂

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      • Denise, they do scare me…probably because I tend to believe that they are real. Sometimes I feel too much is the issue, I take on any trauma anyone has around me in a very physical way. Sometimes I might not even know where it comes from, so without knowing who’s drama it is, I feel it. It heightens my own even. That is why I can’t go to these haunted places, I have too much response to it. I could never stay overnight somewhere haunted because I couldn’t physically deal with it. I think some people can walk right by the forces and not feel it at all. That’s probably how most people are, but I can’t. My parents say it is my over imaginative nature and laugh at me, I think it something more. I’m not trying to be creative, it just is there. Maybe the same thing in my nature that allows me to be creative in writing, art, life, also allows me to feel much more sensory stimulation.

        I am both in love and scared to death of your mirror story!! What a GREAT short story that would be. You should take that and write a novella! About the people that come in and out. I love it. I am intrigued. Now I know why mirrors always have scared me. I always laughed at myself…mmmm..that is so interesting about the furniture too. I am a vintage shopper and love to collect old pieces from sales and so forth, and try my hand at re-doing the pieces. I never thought about there being a connection to them all.

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  8. brianmoreland

    Thanks, Craig. I appreciate you believing in me. And I agree with you, Erin, that some fresh new horror writers are beginning to enter the book world–Hunter Shea, Frazer Lee, and Ronald Malfi come to mind. I just ordered Jonathan Janz’s THE SORROWS off Amazon this past week and am looking forward to reading it when it arrives in the mail.

    Like

    • I finished the The Sorrows and it is amazing. It is just like the old Edgar Allen Poe I used to love reading, but with a modern plot structured around it. I love it, but be ready it’s seductive and will lure you in. I would love to check out those other writers too. Thanks for letting us know about them. I am excited about where the genre is heading, I think it is different than what most people think. I don’t think King will have the corner pocket anymore (though of course he is still amazing).

      Like

      • brianmoreland

        I also recommend:

        SNOW by Ronald Malfi
        THE LAMPLIGHTERS by Frazer Lee
        FOREST OF SHADOWS by Hunter Shea
        SIREN by John Everson
        DEAD CITY by Joe McKinney

        Like

      • Sound like good choices, I think a few of those are highly rated, if not all. I just remember reading about a few of those from Samhain. I need to check them out.

        Like

  9. Brian, stemming from question Q12: The success of your first book Shadows in the Mist, was AMAZING. You even topped above Da Vinci Code at that time. How did that feel to you as a writer to accomplish that feat? With its topic, I think it will have some further success when it comes out in paperback and is sold again in ebook form. Do you feel there will be more come out about the Nazi relationship with the occult? What interested you about the topic?

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  10. brianmoreland

    Yes, topping DaVinci Code on Amazon’s Best-Selling Mystery and Thrillers List and reaching number one was a surreal moment. It lasted all of 2 hours, just long enough for me to do a screen grab of SHADOWS IN THE MIST at #1 and DaVinci Code at #4. You can see it here at my blog, just scroll down for the Amazon page: http://brianmoreland.blogspot.com/2008/08/publishing-shadows-in-mist-part-2.html

    As far as more stories about the Nazis and the Occult, I’m sure there will be more as WWII books and movies return in cycles. The movie HELLBOY touched upon it. As did James Rollins’ thriller BLACK ORDER, which came out the same month as mine. While I was writing the book the HIstory Channel kept running a documentary called The Nazis and the Occult. Believe me, I didn’t make this stuff up. Okay, while my story is pure fantasy, it is based on a real group within the SS who practiced Occult Magic and were capable of creating the horrors the my Nazi characters unleashed into the German woods.

    Like

    • Brian, can you talk a little about the research that went in to your book? Why do you think so many people, especially men, are intrigued by WWII stories, fact and fiction?

      Like

      • brianmoreland

        Sure, Erin. I think men love war stories in general. WWII has so many fascinating stories related to it. For one, it included our country, our fathers and grandfathers, and in some cases, our grandmothers, who worked for the war effort back home or as Red Cross nurses abroad. The Nazis, as sinister as they were, make interesting villains in books and movies. They were attempting to dominate Europe and at the same time were led by a madman. I can’t speak for every man’s reason for being intrigued by WWII, but those are some of my reasons. I did a lot of research about the Nazis and the Occult for SHADOWS IN THE MIST. I read a number of history books about the war itself and about the Nazis and their occult practices. I studied Heinrich Himmler, the mastermind by the SS and the mysterious Black Order, whom I include in my book. To make the WWII aspects of my story as real as possible, I interviewed U.S. soldiers who fought in Europe. I also traveled over to Germany and interviewed some German (non-Nazi) soldiers. It was interesting to hear both sides of the story. The German veterans I talked to did not support Hitler or his ideals of a Third Reich. The fought against the Allied soldiers only because the Germans were forced to defend their country. If they disobeyed Hitler’s orders, the German citizens would be shot along with their families. That’s what they told me personally. World War Ii was an epic battle with clear Good vs. Evil, everyday heroes vs. murderous foes. It’s the stuff that makes stories compelling.

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      • I think to young men and women in this day age, it all seems so fantastical. Probably why some say it never happened. I took a college course while getting my degree in History on th Holocaust. It is a good thing to all of us now (though stupid of them at the time) that they video taped and logged most everything–recorded all their atrocities, ideas, and manipulation. Their extreme evil doing, when reading of it, takes people to another place and makes history exciting and fascinating even if what they did was horrible. But we have to keep talking about it so it doesn’t happen again. We can never let another race or ethnic group be treated that way again. However, the many amazing stories of survival as well are so inspiring to read about. I also heard an ex-Naxi solider speak once on a book he wrote and on his experience. He said the same thing you did about they just did what they had to even if they knew it wasn’t right. They also endured much. It was a great book too, if I can find it in my book stash, I’ll send you the title. There is so much non-fiction wrote on the subject though, that I think it is fun to delve into the fictional side of it as you did with Shadows in the Mist.

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  11. The haunted reformatory sounds scary. Greystone psychiatric hospital is in my neck of the woods. Some of the buildings are beautiful but the energy there is too much for me. Presently, the county has turned much of the property into a county park and built a new facility but many of the older buildings remain. Scary place.

    Like

  12. Erin wrote “I am both in love and scared to death of your mirror story!! What a GREAT short story that would be. You should take that and write a novella! About the people that come in and out. I love it. I am intrigued. Now I know why mirrors always have scared me. I always laughed at myself…mmmm..that is so interesting about the furniture too. I am a vintage shopper and love to collect old pieces from sales and so forth, and try my hand at re-doing the pieces. I never thought about there being a connection to them all.”

    Erin – yes I too have never really thought about antiques and the energy they might carry with them but when I think about it, of course they have imprints as well. I like your idea about writing a novella about a mirror. Once I finish “channeling” book two I may take you up on it.

    Like

    • Of course, since your readers are patiently waiting for part 2 of Immortal Obsession, please please keep writing!! 🙂 But the mirror thing is great…I can already picture it. If you ever end up not wanting it, give it to me. I’ll be waiting. 🙂

      Like

  13. Brian, stemming from question Q14: Wow! Your new book sounds amazing!! Great job meeting your goal and completing it. I love the topic and I can’t wait to read it! How hard is the process now to get this book published for you? Readers will be anticipating it, I’m sure. I know I am. How do you plan to deliver it to them?

    Like

  14. brianmoreland

    Thanks, Erin, I’m really excited about releasing THE DEVIL’S WOODS, because it is a love story in addition to being a horror novel. It gave me the opportunity to explore new themes that I had yet to explore in previous novels.

    The process of getting published has gotten easier now that I’ve published a few books and developed a track record and relationships with publishers and editors. I also have a literary agent now who represents me on the global market and keeps her eyes and ears open for what publishers are looking for. I can’t mention any publishers yet until I’ve agreed to a book deal, but I have been approached by a couple who want to read my future works. I will be submitting THE DEVIL’S WOODS as soon as I feel it’s ready. Right now, I’m waiting on feedback from a few readers I’ve selected and then I will do one more revision. Once it sells to a publisher, which I’m hoping will happen this spring, it will go into editorial and production mode and will probably be scheduled to release a year out. I’m hoping by spring/summer 2013. It will release in paperback and e-book through the usual channels–Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, and other book sellers.

    Like

    • Congratulations on having a literary agent. That is fantastic Brian.

      Like

    • I wish you great success with this novel. You really do a great job at mixing various genres together and weaving your story lines together into one complex, layered piece of art. I can visually “see” what you write, which is why these would be great for the screen. We will absolutely be on the look out for The Devil’s Woods to publish.

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      • brianmoreland

        Thanks, Denise, it took a lot of persistence and many rejections, but I kept at it and eventually found the right agent to help me with my career.

        Erin, thanks for your ongoing encouragement.

        Like

      • Maybe you can offer some tips or encouragement for other writers in regards to going from self-published to being represented?

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  15. brianmoreland

    Erin, I’m sure a lot of your readers know you as a great book reviewer and interviewer. Do they know that you are also a fiction writer? Can you share anything about any books or short stories that you are writing? Any plans to publish?

    Like

    • Ah, turning the tables on the interviewer huh? I suppose it’s only fair and I appreciate you asking me. I am a journalist by trade (degree in Journalism/English and also in History). I suppose that is why I write good reviews and know how to interview. I throw the promotion in because I can’t help myself, it’s the PR experience in me. With my love of books, it is hard not to just run with the promotion of them. With all that said, I am a writer first in my heart. Ever since I was little. I won essay contests, poetry contests, and was encouraged to pursue writing. Since getting into PR back in 2000, I’ve written numerous press releases, non-fiction articles, newsletter articles, etc. And it was fast paced. I wanted to slow down and find myself again. For a couple years after leaving my job (I left 3 years ago), I started to get back into really reading for pleasure and writing poetry. Then my muse came back and whispered in my ear. I’m so diverse and with having small children, it has been so hard to find the time. All my children are big readers, so I decided to write a chapter book series based loosely on my two younger daughters. It’s fantasy. I’m working on these while Tim is also working on his novel, which is an adult fiction thriller. You can see it here: You can read Chapters 1-10 of my novel, “The Truth” at http://www.scribd.com/tbusbey/shelf. I am encouraging him to get his finished first. While I started working on mine a year ago, I am not finished. I don’t have good set time for myself with the kids. However, my youngest will go to Kindgergarten this Fall and I will have sudden hours alone in the day! I plan to write. Finally. Which is good because I have several ideas for some adult books as well in the historical, paranormal, and even non-fiction genres. I am excited to see where my finger typing takes me. 🙂

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      • brianmoreland

        I know how busy schedules can be living with a family and having to squeeze in time to write. That’s great that you and your husband are both writers. You can support one another and respect each other’s need for space and time to write. Writing reviews will keep your saw sharp, and when your youngest child enters Kindergarten, you’ll be primed to write all those novels you’ve been holding back for the right moment.

        Like

      • It gets difficult for sure. But I believe in making the kids a priority and I’ll have time to finish up soon enough, you can never get their younger years back. I don’t ever get set time to write, but I do stay up late (too late sometimes) doing my blog or writing. I’ve still been working on the chapter books, but it’s slow. I did do a radio interview when I first started out with them last year in February 2011. Here’s me on the radio: Here I am talking about my writing on BlogTalkRadio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2011/02/14/dellanis-tea 🙂

        But you’ve been one person that has really helped inspire me to get my adult novel writing going. I have lots of historical fiction rolling around in my head. I am descended from Nathaniel Hawthorne and I’m intrigued to use him in some kind of book.

        I guess I encourage Tim more, since his novel is pretty well underway and I think it’s pretty good. He knows I’d tell him if it wasn’t. He is having trouble getting the ending finished up though. He keeps wanting to go back and rewrite the rest of it. But it’s a thriller, and that is what sells, so I think he should keep trying.

        Like

      • That link to my interview didn’t go directly to it, once I clicked on it, I had to search for Dellani’s Tea Time and the 2/14/11 interview. Nothing is ever easy!

        Like

  16. Brian, you mentioned that besides promoting your books you plan to keep reading other writers to help your own craft. I am a huge believer in that and many writers I read, including you, inspire me. What writers do you read now that you enjoy? Who inspires you? What non-fiction do you love to read that spurs creativity in you?

    Like

  17. brianmoreland

    I read a lot of horror, because that’s what I enjoy most. I also like to see what other horror writers and writing and what kinds of styles they are using to bring thrills to readers. I learn something from every writer. Lately, I’ve been devouring Richard Laymon novels (Island, The Cellar, The Woods Are Dark, Dark Mountain). He has such an ease with words, really gets into the characters’ heads, and pulls you in. Laymon is not for everyone. He holds nothing back on scenes that involve sex or violence. Definitely not for the feint of heart. I also like Brian Keene, Clive Barker, David Wellington, Dan Simmons, and Sarah Pinsborough. Outside of horror, I read thrillers: James Rollins, David Morrell, Dean Koontz, Dan Brown. Preston and Child.

    I read a wide variety of non-fiction from how-to books to spiritual and personal growth and history books. Most recent non-fiction that I’ve read are books by Malcom Gladwell: THE OUTLIERS and THE TIPPING POINT. Those books really make you think.

    I’m always improving my craft, so I read a lot books on how to write. Books I recommend to writers:

    FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass
    THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donalad Maass
    ON WRITING by Stephen King
    LESSONS OF A LIFETIME OF WRITING by David Morrell
    THE ART OF STORYTELLING by Nancy Lamb
    The audio series “STORY” by Robert McKee

    Also books on writing Plot, Character, and Dialogue.

    I recommend every fiction writer read at least one book on screenwriting. This will teach writers how to “show” rather than “tell.” How to compose scenes. Because I studied screenwriting in college, I write with a very cinematic style. Every chapter is a scene that the characters act out. I avoid author intrusion or long passages of telling the reader what’s happening. I focus on showing what’s happening through action and dialogue as much as possible. Readers constantly tell me when they read my books, they see a movie inside their head. It’s because I’ve integrated fiction writing with screenwriting.

    I recommend the screenwriting book SAVE THE CAT.

    Like

    • Yes, all writers are so different, even in similar genres. You didn’t use a lot explicit sex but you did have gore (which usually I can’t stomach, but in the case of your novel it was so good it counteracted that). When I read The Sorrows, it was more blunt with the sex which the author told me to “chalk up to all the Laymon novels I’ve read.” I love Stephen King, but I love his more psychological reads. I love Dead Zone, Duma Key, Needful Things, Rose Madder. I never got in to the biological horror at all. I suppose you could say you’ve enticed me to try out other horror. I also read last year a new author named Keith Rommel. I liked it, it was called The Cursed Man. He has a review on this blog from last year. I particularly like the First Peoples books by the Gears. Amazing historically detailed novels and I become absorbed. Their new one that came out last year, I’d encourage you to take a try with it, you’d like it. It’s the First Contact series.

      All the recommendations sound great. Always good to keep reading, reading, reading.

      Like

      • brianmoreland

        Erin, I’ll have to check out some of the authors and books you recommended. I hadn’t heard of Keith Rommel or the Gears. Will be on the look out.

        Like

      • Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, at http://www.gear-gear.com. They have quite a following. They are also very nice. They might be a great native american resource for you as well in the future. They are archeologists too.

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  18. Brian, an off the wall question here: How do we get people to not immediately see the genre of “horror” in such uneducated terms? I know as a writer you want to keep the “scary” connotation, but it’s not all Freddy and Jason and Hellraiser (which by the way I don’t like at all), but lots of it is psychological. For instance, I hate zombies. I really really don’t like anything zombie related. So if I tell people I like horror, they immediately think I like them. Why can’t we like some of it and not all? Why am I judged as evil for liking horror, when at least speaking of you and I, neither of us is evil? I prefer to not be burned at the stake.

    Like

    • brianmoreland

      Hi, Erin, I would just specify that you like psychological horror. I don’t think you’ll get burned at the stake for liking to order a little horror off the menu every now and then. It’s human to have interests in stories that are dark. If you look at many of the supernatural stories, movies, fairty tales, campfire tales, Haunted houses, video games and even cartoons, you’ll monsters, serial killers, ghosts, or spooky settings are often represents. It’s because they are FUN. I think anyone who ignores the dark stuff and only reads feel-good books and movies is repressing a dark side that will manifest somewhere else. Horror stories give us an outlet to express our shadow selves, and I believe the more you are okay with the shadow aspect of your personality and embrace it, the more healthy and well-rounded a human being you are. I used to hide the fact that I wrote horror, now I shout from the mountain top. I love writing horror!

      Like

      • I just got a really crazy photo of you actually shouting arms wide open. 🙂 I think we just have to be true to ourselves right? Why do we always have to impress other people? But as I think I’ve stated before, horror and all its sub-genres are certainly becoming increasingly popular and King always has been. So at some point, many more people will have to confront the skeletons in their mind, if not their closet.

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  19. Erin,

    Funny you should mention zombies. I am not a big fan at all. I mean I loved the movie Night of the Living Dead back in the day… but I don’t read it at all. It has been suggested to me that because zombies are the latest craze I should write a zombie novel but I have no desire to do so. I need to stick with Christian and Michel for the time being. I guess horror is like any other genre: everything gets lumped into one category. I love the authors John Connolly and Jo Nesbo. Their novels are scary and deal with serial killerls along with the paranormal. I guess I would consider then mysteries but they are so much more. Also, consider Stephen King, whom I consider the king of horror (no pun intended) and look at the gamut of his novels? I hate the syrupy romance novels, yet I would consider my novel a paranormal romance. I also agree that folks tend to look at me strangely when I say oh yeah, I love reading about serial killers……Perhaps it’s a gender thing I don’t know.

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    • I can understand the allegory in zombies, you know how we are all just led around, with monotone lives and faces, eating each other up. But it just doesn’t appeal to me really. And scares me in a way I don’t like to be scared. lol I love your novel, Denise, it’s a great paranormal historical yet contemporary novel. I love vampire stories. I like to read about serial killers too, but I used to more. I think now as I have kids and they get older, it really is more realistic and scary to me. Though I do like Dexter, I know Brian does, and if I remember correctly, I think you do too. 🙂 I think people like to stereotype everything without leaking over the sides of the proverbial box.

      Like

      • Thank you for liking Immortal Obsession. Yes, I do love Dexter. Just finishing up Season 6 on HBO on Demand and loving it.

        Like

      • brianmoreland

        I enjoyed some of the early zombie stories. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is a classic. Now, I feel like zombies have been overdone. This summer there’s even a 3-D cartoon coming out PARANORMAN. I think when monsters become cartoons, the genre has run its course.

        Yes, I’m a huge DEXTER fan. In fact, I’m about to start Season 5. Just recevied Disc 1 in the mail from Netflix. Can’t wait to satisfy my Dexter fix. What I love about Dexter is he’s a serial killer with a conscience and a code to channel is dark side in ways that help humanity. That’s how I view horror, mystery, and thriller writers. We channel the dark aspects of our humanity through characters, so we can be kind and loving to the people around us. And people love reading about our evil characters and passionate heroes. It’s win/win.

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      • Zombies have totally been overdone. However, I do like some monsters as cartoons. Like the ones in Scooby-Doo. 🙂 I agree with you about the channeling. I know not all are Christians, as I am. But I don’t like being judged because I read any type of horror or paranormal. It doesn’t make me a monster, it only means sometimes I like to read about them. I accept all things are possible in life. I don’t like conformity AT ALL which is possibly by I like scary things. They don’t conform.

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  20. Just reread my post and sorry about the spelling errors. Embarassing for a writer.

    Like

  21. New QUESTION!! Brian, are there any authors that you’ve met (now that we’ve talked about who you read) who had an impact on your career? If so, what did you learn from them? What advice did they give you?

    Like

  22. brianmoreland

    Hi Erin, I’ve met a lot of successful authors in my career. First, when I was an aspiring writer who had yet to finish a novel, and later, as I became an author myself, I got to hang out with some of my heroes. I have a lot of stories to share on this subject, so I’ll do it in stages. Here is just one of my experiences with best-selling authors who impacted me after meeting them:

    John Saul: When I first decided to write horror fiction at age 19, I admittedly hadn’t read a lot of novels outside the classics assigned to me by my English teachers. For fun, I had mostly read Stephen King short stories. The first full-length horror novel that I read was THE UNLOVED by John Saul. That book and John Saul’s writing voice impacted me, because it showed me how a frightening story could be stretched over the length of 400 pages. I devoured a number of John Saul novels during the age of 19-21, when I was in college, taking creative writing courses. I admired how Saul had published so many books and was always on the NY Times best-seller’s list.

    About 10 years after college, I was still an aspiring writer who had written a few short stories and some amateur novels. I was still hungry for knowledge on how to improve my craft and strengthen everything about my writing. I still yearned to be a published author and had dreams of seeing my books selling in book stores. I joined the Maui Writers Assoc. and noticed that they were having a writer’s retreat in Rome later that summer, and John Saul was going to be one of the teachers. I moved heaven and high-water to be on that trip and spent just about every penny I had to finance it. To me the retreat was a worthwhile investment because I would be spending 9 days in Rome learning from one of my heroes.

    John Saul turned out to be both nice and sarcastic. He didn’t sugar coat anything. I was like a sponge, absorbing all the wisdom he shared. Every chance I got, I sat close to him when our group dined at Italian restaurants; I rode next to Saul on the tour bus whenever we toured the wine country. I must have asked him a hundred questions about writing, publishing, being a celebrity author. He asked me about my career. At the time it was non-existent. I was in the middle of writing SHADOWS IN THE MIST and had gotten stuck and put it down. I told Saul that I was thinking of shelving that novel and starting a new one. He discouraged me from quitting the novel I was currently writing. He told me in a very curt voice, “Finish the damn book!” He stressed the importance of getting to the end of a first draft of a novel, even if you don’t think it’s good enough yet. You can always revise it in later drafts. He even wrote “Finish the damn book!” in a copy of one his books that he autographed for me. Hearing harsh encouragement from an author I admired was the kick in the but that I needed to keep going at time when my dream was fading. Had I not followed Saul’s advice, I might not have ever finished SHADOWS IN THE MIST and experienced all the joys and successes that have come with it. Now, I enjoy receiving fan mail from around the globe thanks to my sticking with it.

    Later, on Maui, I got to do a joint book signing with John Saul and began to take myself serious as an author. I encourage writers and readers to email successful authors they admire. Take their retreats if they offer them. Talking to someone who has already achieved what you’re going after can really spur you emotionally and help you move to that next level. I credit John Saul for that. Even if you’re not a writer, but just love books, meeting authors can inspire you in other ways.

    Stay tuned for stories with Robert Crais, James Rollins, and others …

    You can reach me at http://www.BrianMoreland.com

    I also have a blog for writers: http://www.CoachingforWriters.blogspot.com

    Like

    • Such a wonderful story, Brian. Way to stick to what you wanted to do and fulfull your dream. I should try one of John Saul’s books. Recommend any?

      I bet you’d be a great inspiration to many authors yourself. I know hearing these stories inspire me.

      I hope they take a peek at your website and coaching blog. And if you ever have needing publicity help outside the arena of what you do, please contact me. 🙂

      Like

      • How lucky you are Brian. To have met an author that inspired you and to have such a wonderful relationship with them. Wow.

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      • brianmoreland

        Erin, most of the John Saul novels that read were written in the ’80s ad ’90s: THE UNLOVED, THE UNWANTED, CREATURE, SUFFER THE CHILDREN, THE PRESENCE. They’re a little out-dated (i.e. no cell phones or internet), but fun, creepy reads. You might start with some of his later novels. While I haven’t read it, THE DEVIL’S LABYRINTH is on my must-read list.

        Hey Denise, yes, I’ve been very fortunate to meet a few of my heroes and in every case I seized opportunities and put myself in position to meet them.

        Like

      • I never mind what era books are from! It doesn’t make them outdated. Look at all the classics! I don’t really like novels that put to much of the present technology front and center. Ipad this, and Ipod that. 🙂

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  23. brianmoreland

    Another encounter with a best-selling author was few years back in 2002 before I was published. Robert Crais, author of the Elvis Cole thrillers, came to my home town where I was visiting my parents. Crais did a book signing at our local store. I sat in the audience and listened to him share stories about his journey to becoming an author and writing thrillers. Robert Crais started out writing for TV shows like HILL STREET BLUES and MIAMI VICE in the ’80s and then wrote novels. At this particular signing, his novel HOSTAGE just released. He told us it had gotten optioned by Hollywood. Crais received a personal phone call from actor Bruce Willis saying he was interested in starring in the movie. (I eventually went and saw the movie and it was awesome!) Hearing Robert Crais tell his personal experience of talking with Bruce Willis made me see what was possible for authors who write novels. One day some famous Hollywood producer or actor might just call you up. That inspired me to keep writing books.

    After Crais spoke and I got in line to get an autograph. While he signed a book for me, I told him one day I hoped to be sitting where he was. I asked if he had any advice for an aspiring writer, and he said, “Never give up,” and wrote that inside the book he signed for me. Now, any time I get emotionally down about writer’s block, rejections, the publishing industry, or the pressures of promoting, I just repeat Robert Crais’ words in the back of my mind: “Never give up.”

    One thing I’ve learned in the business of writing, publishing, and selling books, every successful author has one thing in common: they are persistent and keep going no matter what the obstacles.

    Like

  24. Amazing story Brian! Interesting listening to your experiences with these top authors. I do believe in persistence, in fact you usually don’t get anywhere in life without it!

    Like

  25. Brian, THANK YOU for all the time spent on my blog this week!! It’s been amazing and I hope to have you back again soon. Thank you to everyone who spent some time reading and talking with us.

    Like

  26. Pingback: Our Fabulous Fantastic Trip to the Samhain Horror Hang-out at HorrorHound Cincinnati Convention! | Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK!

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