Monday, January 28, 2013

Ghosts, Spirits, and the Afterlife - Feb 23, 2013, Worcester, MA

UPDATE 02/06/2013 In anticipation of a major snowstorm, Annie's Book Stop of Worcester has made the wise decision to reschedule Ghosts, Spirits, and the Afterlife to Saturday, February 23rd, time to be announced.

I'll be participating in a panel discussion on a very interesting set of intersecting topics: Ghosts, spirits, and the afterlife.

Here's the announcement about the panel taking place at Annie's Bookstop, Worcester, the "little bookstore that is bigger on the inside." (Dr. Who fans will get that allusion.)

"Just in time to celebrate Parentalia (February 13th – 21st), an ancient Roman festival commemorating the dead, join four New England authors for an informative and fun panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of writing about ghosts—both real and imagined, the dead, and the afterlife. The authors will share their differing approaches to writing about the subject matter as well as their knowledge of various beliefs, myths, and customs ranging from the lighthearted to the downright scary, from real-life encounters to those that are completely fictitious. The presentation will be followed by a book signing. Copies of the authors’ books will be available to purchase."

Terri Bruce ( writes science fiction and fantasy stories from a haunted house in New Hampshire. Her debut novel, Hereafter, is about a woman stuck on earth as a ghost, searching for a way to cross over to the afterlife.

Jennifer Pelland ( is a Nebula-nominated writer of speculative fiction. Her work includes a "Sacrifice," a short story about dying, and "Ghosts of New York," a short story about the afterlife.

Kristi Petersen Schoonover ( is a Connecticut-based author of horror and dark fiction. Her works includes Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole: Tales from Haunted Disney World, a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks.

Morven Westfield ( is the author of dark fantasy and horror stories featuring vampires and witches. Her work includes Darksome Thirst, a story combining vampires, Wiccans, and computers, and its sequel, The Old Power Returns.

Saturday, February 9, 2013
Presentation: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Book Signing: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

UPDATE 02/06/2013 In anticipation of a major snowstorm, Annie's Book Stop of Worcester has made the wise decision to reschedule Ghosts, Spirits, and the Afterlife to Saturday, February 23rd, time to be determined. 

You can

Annie’s Book Stop
75 James Street, Worcester, MA
For directions: or call 508-796-5613

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Little Joys of Computing

Y'know what I hate about computers? The one-way conversations.

Today my computer flashed a message that said "Windows is looking for FolderA" (FolderA is not its real name, but you get the idea, right?)

I wanted to ask "Why are you looking for FolderA? Did I tell you to look for FolderA?" And it could have told me something like, "Well, you started application X and ..."

If it did, then maybe I could say "I didn't start application X" and it would tell me "No, you didn't. Application X starts automatically."

Then it could just say "Tell it to UNstart automatically. I'm busy and I don't need to use application X."

And then it could tell me...

On second thought, maybe I'm glad I can't have a two-way conversation with my computer. I wouldn't get anything else done!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Witches' Almanac #32: What the Moon Sees

Again I have the pleasure of seeing one of my non-fiction articles in The Witches' Almanac.

"What the Moon Sees: Moonshine and Moon-cursers" is an article from a different perspective. Countless poems, stories, articles, and treatises have been published about what we see when we look at the full moon, but what does the full moon see when looking down on us?

This article appears in the 2013-2014 issue, whose almanac pages start on the first day of Spring. Did you receive a gift certificate for a book store, but can't think of what to spend it on? Do you need to buy a gift for someone with a birthday coming soon? This handy little tome makes a great gift.

I'm not just saying that because I have something published in this issue. There's always something new and fascinating to read, whether it be in the featured articles or the regular columns.One of the more popular regular columns of The Witches' Almanac is the yearly astrological forecast for each sign by Dikki-Jo Mullen, who now has a blog at Dikki-Jo has been their house astrologer for ages.

The Witches' Almanac has been publishing since 1971, and I look forward to it each year. This is the eighth time I've contributed an article there.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Another Podcast Interview: Hal Bodner

As the clock ticked toward the end of 2012, I ticked off another To Do item as I posted another of my short interview podcasts. This time it was author Hal Bodner, a fascinating and entertaining person I meet at Necon years ago. (Necon is an annual horror writers' convention in the state of Rhode Island.)

I interviewed Hal about his novel Bite Club, in which Coroner Beck O'Brien teams up with her old friend, Chris, and his flamboyant lover, Troy to find the secret lair of an ancient vampire preying on hot young men. Bite Club is the first in a series of campy, vampy novels set in West Hollywood, CA. Hal was recently a guest blogger on my blog here.

You can listen to the podcast directly at or download it from iTunes.

This series of short interviews are the result of me asking established writers about their vampire fiction. Many of them had written vampire fiction that I hadn't heard about because I was busy with work, night school, or life at the time of publication.

Previous interviewees in this series are writer F. Paul Wilson, who has been writing bestsellers for over thirty years; Heather Graham, guest of honor, New York Times bestselling author of over 150 novels and novellas; Jeff Strand, also guest of honor, who exquisitely mixes comedy and terror. The next episode should be my interview with writer Scott Goudsward, where we learn, among other things, how to pronounce his name.