In Vein – Vampire Charity Anthology!

In Vein - Charity Vampire Anthology

In Vein – Charity Vampire Anthology

Recently I was given the opportunity to contribute a vampire-themed short story or novella to In Vein – a vampire charity anthology book where 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital!

My story is entitled ‘Mom’. A lonely school child brings home his first friend, but struggles to hide the fact that his daylight-hating mother is a vampire.

This anthology was spearheaded by the endlessly energetic Jodie Pierce – author of the Vampire Queen trilogy. Thanks, Jodie! You are a star.

In Vein is available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Giveaway! A special set of ebookmarks will be sent to the first reader to comment on this post!

Contributing Authors:

Tara Fox Hall

Mark Knight

Ann Snizek

Mark Mackey

Zoey Sweete

Autumn Starr

Geoffrey Porter

Frank Franklin

Jay Wilburn

Errick Nunnally

Samuel Southwell

Lourna Dounaeva

Mathias Jaanson

TP Keating

T.G. Reaper

Laurie Treacy

Charie D. La Marr

Jodie Pierce

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Passing Time with Indie Author, Ellie Garratt!

Today I am very happy to have indie author Ellie Garratt as an interviewee here on Written Worlds!
Author Ellie Garratt

Author Ellie Garratt

Ellie Garratt is a science fiction and horror writer. A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror meant writing was the logical outlet for her passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre and Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories are now available on Kindle. Other eBook formats to follow soon. In early 2014, she will be launching a nine-part science fiction serial called The Third Dimension.

Please tell us a about yourself. 

My name is Ellie Garratt. I’m from the United Kingdom, and live in the sometimes sunny South Devon. I’m also fortunate enough to live a five-minute walk from the sea. When I’m not writing, I love to read and go on long walks.

Which project are you currently promoting?

Due to technical issues with Amazon Kindle, I’ve just published second editions of my two short story collections – Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre and Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories. I’m also in the process of making both these books available in other eBook formats.

What genre do you generally write, and why did you choose it?

I write horror and dark science fiction. I love to read and watch movies/television programmes in both genres, so it feels natural to write in both.

What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?

I was lucky to have parents who knew the importance of learning to read and write, and I devoured books as a child. The library was one of my favourite places. I was also a child who wouldn’t stop talking – my school reports can contest to that fact- and I loved telling stories, whether true or made up.

Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?

There are two books. The first book I fell in love with was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I remember reading it over and over, even using a torch under the bed covers so that my parents thought I’d fallen asleep. It opened my eyes to how magical books can be. The second book is The Stand by Stephen King. It introduced me to the horror genre, and the idea of creating not just a story but a whole different world.

Who is your author idol?

That’s a tough one to answer. I would have to say Stephen King, but there are a few authors that have come close over the years. This year’s would be Hugh Howey. If you’ve not read his Wool trilogy, you must.

When you’re writing a book or short story, do you plan it out meticulously or just write stream-of-consciousness?

I usually have a rough idea of the start and how it may end, but I’m what’s known as a pantser – the story generally ends up writing itself. If I try to plot, my creativeness is stifled and I lose interest.

What does your workspace look like?

I have to admit I’m a little OCD about my writing desk. It has to be tidy and organized, or I can’t write. My desk is in front of a big full length window, and I can see the river. It’s a great view.

What is the best advice you can give to a new author?

Read a lot. Then practice a lot. Finally, don’t expect the first draft to be perfect. It won’t be. That’s what editing is for.

Thank you, Ellie, for a great interview!

You can find out more about Ellie Garratt and her work via these links:

Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre

Passing Time by Ellie Garratt

Passing Time by Ellie Garratt

Book Blurb

Nine dark fiction stories that may just give you nightmares.

A man lives to regret Passing Time. A father will do anything to save his son in Expiration Date. An author finds out her worst nightmare is back in The Devil’s Song. A woman gets more than the claim fee when she takes out vampire insurance in Luna Black.In Dining in Hell, the Death Valley Diner becomes the wrong place to stop. A serial killer wants to add another file to his collection in The Vegas Screamer. In Eating Mr. Bone, an undertaker could meet an unfortunate end. A con man meets his first ghost in Land of the Free. And will truth finally be set free in The Letter?

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Book Links

Amazon

Amazon.co.uk

Facebook

Goodreads

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Fantasy author Ellie Garratt, fresh from her success with her anthology of the macabre, Passing Time, releases Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories! Congrats to Ellie from Written Worlds – this one looks to be another creep-tastic smash!

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Book Blurb

Science fiction stories of time and space…

The future of humanity must be decided in Next Phase. Winning the Planetary Lottery is not as lucky as it first seems in Schrodinger’s Gamble. An apocalypse and its aftermath threaten to tear one couple apart in Daiker’s Children. In Life As I Know It a reclusive man finds both his heart and home invaded during an alien harvest. In Taking Time a demon seeking shelter on a distant planet finds himself facing a very different kind of demon, after answering a frontier settlement’s plea for help.

Stories range from flash fiction to novelette in length.

Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Goodreads / Facebook

Competition

Win one of two $25.00 (£15) Amazon gift cards and a character named after you in an upcoming novella…

>>>> Rafflecopter giveaway!

About The Author

Author Ellie Garratt

Author Ellie Garratt

A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead.

Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre was published in March 2013 and contains nine previously published stories. Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories is her second short story collection.

Author Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Excerpts

Schrodinger’s Gamble

They–the lottery officials–are waiting for me. It turns out the last door on the right isn’t an exit, rather a walkway that leads past the fleet relay station, now buzzing with activity, and on to lottery headquarters–a large room with a metallic desk and four chairs in one corner.
“Hi,” I say as I walk into the room. An elderly man and middle-aged woman I recognise from lottery advertisements are standing behind the desk.
“Charles Schrodinger?” the elderly man asks.
“Yes.”
“Excellent,” he says.
I hear an eruption of cheers travelling our way from the flight deck and suspect I’m being ousted from the draw after all. I glance at my ticket and begin examining it for signs of forgery.
“There are a few things we need to go over before the planet is officially yours, Charles. You understand there are matters that need to be addressed?”
I must give the impression of being vacant at that point because the old man repeats himself twice.
“But that would mean I’ve already won,” I mutter.
“Yes. We thought you’d been briefed.” The old man and woman glance at one another.
The female official, who I finally remember is called Janna Brisbane, makes a tutting sound.
“Take a seat, Charles. There are a few things we need to discuss,” Janna says with an exasperated tone to her voice. I stay standing.
Ignoring my failure to sit, she continues. “The thing is safety–your safety. We couldn’t possibly leave you out there to be savaged by the fleet. Have you any idea of the tactics those friendly-faced terraformers would use to part you with your ticket? The deceit they would employ to pass themselves off as you? No. We won’t even start talking about the religious groups. So, the draw is pre-determined in this way.”
“Pre-determined?” I ask.
“You don’t think we leave it to chance, do you? Let a random person or ship win a planet. Considerable research and thought goes into deciding who is the best candidate for the job. Of course there’ve been mistakes; the first planet and the isolationists, but on the whole I believe we got it right.”

Daiker’s Children

I picked up the heavy bundle of survival rations left for me in the exit corridor, took one last look at the door to The Facility through which one kind of future was offered, and then walked out into the yellow-tinged atmosphere of Southern England. The aliens’ offer of a safe living environment and human facsimiles stopped being an option the moment I learnt Jen had not made it to their facility. I had to find her even if it cost my life. She was my world, and a world without her was not one I wanted to live in.
During the days of alien-enforced quarantine–I have no idea how long it lasted because there were no clocks to tell the time or date–I forgot just how acrid Earth’s atmosphere had become. The toxic air outside the facility scratched my lungs like cats clawing sharp talons down my windpipe. My breathing slowed and became more laboured. I could hear myself starting to wheeze. As my eyes burned and watered and my vision deteriorated, I dropped my heavy backpack on the ground and pulled out the gas mask they gave me. A few fumbling seconds later, the clear plastic mask covered my nose and mouth, and cool, clean air refreshed me. Within seconds, my breathing returned to normal though the mask could not remove my memory of devastation’s stink–the sweet scent of burned bodies and a burnt-out civilisation.
I found it hard to believe there was ever a world, a safe world, as I gazed in horror at the toxic wasteland before me. A sea of atomic destruction blinked back. Nothing remained standing or intact except for the ruins of Exeter in the distance. I’d allowed myself to bask in a happy kind of naivety, ignorant of the destructive power our governments and military harboured. Now I faced the consequences. I vowed never to be so naive or stupid again. To find her meant questioning everything.

Taking Time

A tall, lithe woman of a similar age to Ing approached me. Her short-cropped hair was the colour of darkness, and there was a confidence to the way she swaggered up to me. She was the person in charge.
She stopped only a couple of inches from my face, almost breathing down my throat. I prayed she didn’t notice my lack of breath–the undead had no need for air in their lungs.
“You don’t look well, bounty hunter,” she said.
As I stood taller, so that my already imposing six-foot frame loomed over the human female, I knew I’d have to talk her around. “I’ve not been on solid land for a few months. I’ve been running down illegal passage ships and cargo. Illegal cargo.”
Her eyes flashed bright with something. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but the word illegal had excited her.
She held out a hand for me to shake. “The name’s McCaffrey. Formerly of any planet left to colonise.”
I took her hand and shook it, then re-introduced myself. “Victory Dead. Formerly of Earth.”
McCaffrey dismissed everyone but the scare-faced Ing, and they took me into a bar like all the others I’d passed through since travelling the frontier–a cheap and fast assembly metal-frame construction. It contained only the most basic furnishings. There were more patrons than I could count, and they went silent when we entered.
When I reached the bar, a stone-faced human male behind the counter slid a bottle towards me. I wasn’t sure what it contained but accepted it anyway–to refuse would have been rude and invited trouble. “Compliments of Daring,” he said as I placed my supplies on the floor beside me.
“Thanks,” I replied before pretending to sniff the contents of the bottle. As a vampire, I could only smell blood.
The bartender turned his attention to McCaffrey and scar-face. “Evening, Captain. Thought I told you to keep Ing away.”
Ing scowled and stepped forward, his hands balled into fists. McCaffrey placed an arm across his chest.
“You know it’s not Captain anymore. I haven’t been a captain since I crash-landed here three years ago. And Ing won’t be causing you any trouble while I’m here. You have my word.”
The owner grunted something and then moved off to serve another customer.
I wasn’t sure how long a Revelation year lasted, so when McCaffrey spoke of crash-landing three years ago she could have been talking any number of Earth years or months.
“Well it’s about time,” said a voice behind me, interrupting my thoughts.

Author Roy Huff!

My blog tour for Blood Family – Quest for the Vampire Key has come to an end, but it goes out with a bang! Today I am very happy and honoured to be featured on OwenSage.com – the website of YA author, Roy Huff! Roy has written a spectacular interdimensional tale – Everville.

About the book:

Everville Everville

Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. His excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between.

With a race against time to save both worlds, his short time at Easton Falls did not quite prepare him for the evil, dark forces he must fight in order to conquer The Other In Between.

About the author:

'Everville' Author, Roy Huff ‘Everville’ Author, Roy Huff

Roy Huff is the author of Amazon’s #1 international bestselling epic fantasy novel, Everville: The First Pillar. This is the first installment in the remarkable Everville series which combines elements of epic fantasy and young adult fiction in a form that nearly anyone will enjoy reading, young or old. He is a man of many interests including but not limited to science, traveling, movies, the outdoors, and of course writing teen and young adult fantasy fiction. He holds five degrees in four separate disciplines including liberal arts, history, secondary science education, and geoscience.

Roy Huff’s background includes work in art, history, education, business, real-estate, economics, geoscience, and satellite meteorology. He was born on the East Coast but has spent more than half his life in Hawaii, where he currently resides and writes his epic fantasy sagas.

Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre FREE

Passing Time Short Story Collection

Passing Time Short Story Collection

Free on Kindle from May 13th to 17th.

Celebrate! My good friend, author Ellie Garratt, is giving away her superbly scary short story collection Passing Time for free from May 13th to the 17th. Tell your friends, enjoy a free copy, and leave her a great review on Amazon – make this great writer very happy!

Book Blurb

Nine dark fiction stories that may just give you nightmares.

A man lives to regret Passing Time. A father will do anything to save his son in Expiration Date. An author finds out her worst nightmare is back in The Devil’s Song. A woman gets more than the claim fee when she takes out vampire insurance in Luna Black.

In Dining in Hell, the Death Valley Diner becomes the wrong place to stop.

A serial killer wants to add another file to his collection in The Vegas Screamer. In Eating Mr. Bone, an undertaker could meet an unfortunate end. A con man meets his first ghost in Land of the Free. And will truth finally be set free in The Letter?

Book Links
 About The Author
Author Ellie Garratt

Author Ellie Garratt

A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror, meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time is her first eBook collection and contains nine previously published stories. Her science fiction collection Taking Time will be published later this year.

Author Links:  Website   Amazon   Facebook   Goodreads  Twitter

‘From Elsewhere’ – Paranormal short story collection – available now!

From Elsewhere_Collection

Ghosts? Angels? Aliens? This collection of short tales concerns entities which could be any of these. Unearthly visitors have always fascinated me. Could they really exist? Or are they only part of our imagination?

Last month, I introduced my short story collection – ‘From Elsewhere’. This is a collection of six paranormal-themed short stories about unearthly visitors. Many of these stories were accepted and published in anthologies and magazines over the past few years. Gathering them together into one volume seemed the right thing to do.

In December, I released one of these tales, ‘Forbidden’ – about the illicit love affair between an angel and a demon – as a freebie. It has done very well on Smashwords.com, having 160 downloads since its publication on December 23rd. I then released two other stories (also as freebies), ‘Them’, and ‘Grey Eyes In Silver’. Both are accumulating downloads just as fast as ‘Forbidden’ did!

‘From Elsewhere – Six Tales of Unearthly Visitors’ (ISBN: 9781301729739) has been published on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, and soon will be available on Barnes & Noble, and other book outlets.

I enjoyed putting this collection together, and loved writing these stories. Huge, heartfelt thank you to those people who have read the free stories and gave them the thumbs up!

Strange visitors is a subject that has always fascinated me. Do we have unearthly entities interacting with us and our planet?

Grey Eyes In Silver

‘Grey Eyes In Silver’, a short story about a discarded mirror that brings more than just everyday reflections.

Who, or what, exactly stares back at Penny as she gazes into an old mirror? A hallucination…or portent of death?

Part of the From Elsewhere short story collection – six tales of unearthly visitors.
Read it now on Smashwords and Goodreads.

http://bit.ly/VdGSdR

A discarded mirror brings more than just everyday reflections.

Excerpt:

Pen stroked the child’s sweaty head. “Hey, sweetheart,” she said soothingly. “Did you have a bad dream again? Look – look at what we have…”

Taking her son in to her arms, she held him in front of the mirror.

Immediately the boy stopped crying.

“Who is that?” she asked him in a high-pitched voice. “Who is that in the mirror?”

Continue reading

‘Them’ ~ New short story

The Christmas spirit is with me! A second short story from the upcoming From Elsewhere collection is now available FREE on Smashwords and Goodreads.

‘Them’ – Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim’s point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim's point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim’s point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Excerpt:

I don’t like the feel of Their skin. But there’s nothing I can do, now; They’ve taken me.

For as long as I can remember, beings that could only be referred to as ‘alien’ have been in my life. It was nothing I’d asked for.

And it’s not just Their skin that gives me the creeps; it’s Their eyes. Everyone talks about those eyes, the way they stare right through you. They’re cold and … oh, what the hell, I have to use that word again, alien.

The only way I have kept sane is by telling myself, over and over, that They are scientists just like I am. Well, Their science is different than ours, incredibly so, and it seems as though it’s sole purpose is for the study of us. Sometimes I feel as though its sole purpose is for the study of me.

When I was younger, I was totally unaware of Them. I had heard things, of course, but never in my lifetime did I think that one I day might actually interact with Them! God, just the image of Them, the eyes, the difference in height … I’ve got to get a grip.

‘Forbidden’ ~ free short story

My Christmas present to all of you – I am delighted to bring the first short story of the From Elsewhere collection as a free download in all major e-formats, via Smashwords!

Massive thank you to L K Campbell for her excellent formatting service and to Tatiana Villa for her amazing artwork for this series.

‘Forbidden’ – a short tale taken from the From Elsewhere collection – six short stories of unearthly visitors.

What are the consequences when an angel falls in love with a demon?

Forbidden - free short story

Excerpt:

The Council Chamber shone as though sculpted from light.

But for the nine male and female Council members it was a place of serenity, order. Lesser beings would shrink in here, shielding their eyes and cowering amidst the magnificence of it all. This was, after all, the Council.

“Call forth the accused.”

As the head of the Council, Saliha was always the first to speak. Tribunals always began with her. Out of the nine Council members seated at the semi-circular conference desk, she was the youngest, though exuded a special gravitas all her own. Each of the blue-clad members was equal in every way, however. Each decision weighed neatly and fairly against those of the others. Saliha was the leader, but the Council of Nine acted as one.

A young woman approached the dais. She was just as striking as Saliha, though in a markedly different way. Slim, sylphlike, with hair so fair as to be almost white. There was a glow about her – brighter than the room itself but not quite as bright as the members of the Council who now bore their eyes deeply into her soul.

The young woman stood upon the dais, chin held high. Despite the vulnerability in her crystalline blue eyes, they fervently declared to the Universe: ‘I have done nothing wrong’.

“Your designation please,” said Saliha.

“Phaedra,” replied the accused.

“And your function.”

“Angel.”

A male Council member to the right of Saliha – clearly the oldest of the nine – leaned forward slightly.

“More specific than that, Phaedra…” he said.

“Messenger,” said Phaedra. Then, after a small pause, “In training.”

Saliha kept her gaze riveted to Phaedra’s eyes. “Do you know why you’re here, Phaedra?” she asked.

The young angel messenger did not bat an eyelid. “Yes,” was her cool response. “Because I was caught.”

A question for my fellow writers…

Hey folks. I am pleased to say that the formatting and cover art for my short story collection is coming on very well indeed. I expect to announce their release after Christmas!

A question for my fellow novelists. Do you plan your novel meticulously, hammering out endless notes, snatching images off the internet as inspiration, laying out index cards on big tables so that you can play with sequences of events … or do you just begin Chapter One and see where it takes you?

I am of the latter ilk of writer. I plan meticulously, making pages and pages of notes on Word, taking months to do so, and not writing the actual novel until I am happy. I plan right to the end, as I need to know where I’m heading. But I’m careful not to plan everything to the nth degree; if one does that, I feel, you leave no room for spontaneity. But this is simply what works for me.

Stream of consciousness? I have done it once, with short story, and it worked out fine. I began it with no notion of the ending. Just a concept. I wrote, and saw where it went. And I liked where it went. But a whole novel?

I am not decrying this method – far from it. I am interested to know what you like about the stream of consciousness method as well as the mega-planning method. It is not a question of what is best, but it what is best for you.

I am very interested to hear your thoughts on this one. Happy Holidays!

Image

Index cards used for pivotal scenes in my YA novel, The Ones. While most scene planning is done on the computer, sometimes I find it is best the have a plot beat on a single card that can be physically moved around, to see what works best, and in what order.