Melancholy Dreams – Surviving the Battle of Depression/Poetry celebrating Mental Health Awareness


Hello Fans!  I’m sorry for being so “away” from you guys.  There has been a lot going on since the COVID-19 pandemic.  People I know personally have struggled mentally because of this pandemic, among other things, and that is the topic of choice:  Mental Awareness.  There are different types and there are different ways in which people can cope with them.  My cup of tea is Depression.  Over time, I have dealt with Depression in not a constructive way, whether I drank myself away or cut myself down (literally!).  I am not ashamed because I have cut myself multiple times trying to cope with my Depression, but I can say I have learned new ways in which to cope.  Talking to someone, at first, was not an option, but it is now.  Also, I have learned that since speaking is not always easy, writing is!

It is a challenge to help someone who might be suffering from Depression.  You never know if you will end up adding to the triggers.  From personal experience, I always appreciated when someone offered their ear to listen, that’s it.  To me, someone willing to truly listen was what made Depression easier for me to cope.  Now, I offer my ear to listen to those who are going through different stages of Depression.

I have been working on another poetry collection, Melancholy Dreams – Surviving the Battle of Depression.  This book is important to me because I had to gather my thoughts on what I was feeling when I was depressed.  Broken down into 3 parts: Part 1 – The Beginning Triggers, Part 2 – Into the Darkness and Part 3 – The Aftermath; I take you to what started it all and how I’ve come out of it.  By no means has it been an easy journey, but one I am still walking on. 

What I did learn from my Depression is just how strong I really am on the inside.  I am not ashamed for what my Depression has put me through, because then I wouldn’t be able to talk to others who have experienced the same mental illness.

To end with a wonderful note, I have this to say.  Please, be patient to those who suffer or have suffered from Depression.  You may not understand why they go back and forth with their emotions, and that one day they may be up or may be down.  Encourage them instead and give positive reinforcements to get them out of that mind set.  Don’t fight with them, instead reach out your hand to them.  On the outside, they look alright but on the inside they’re screaming for help.  Please be that help.  Let them know you care.

I love you guys!

❤ Stay Safe and Take care of YOU!

❤ Cristina Isabel

(If you are interested in delving deeper and aren’t afraid to read my thoughts, here is the kindle link to Melancholy Dreams – Surviving the Battle of Depression –> Surviving the Battle of Depression)

Women in Horror Month – Red Lagoe

author photo, Red Lagoe


AUTHOR BIO:

Red Lagoe grew up on 80s horror and carried her paranoia of slashers and sewer creatures into adulthood. She often spends several hours a day spewing her horror-ridden mind onto the page. When she’s not writing, she is substituting at the elementary school like a normal upstanding citizen. Red also enjoys amateur astronomy and can be found lingering in the inky shadows for a better view of the stars. 


AUTHOR Q&A:

1.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

RL:  There was no sudden moment of realization. I’ve always enjoyed creating art. And I enjoyed stories. But the two didn’t meet up with each other until 2011, when I decided to write and illustrate a children’s book. After that, I knew I wanted to keep writing, but it wasn’t until years later that it really clicked that I should be writing horror. That’s when I started approaching my writing more seriously.

2.  How long does it take to write your book(s)?

RL:  My upcoming collection, Lucid Screams, is a culmination of three years’ worth of stories. Fair Haven, my debut novel, took almost two years. But that was a lengthy learning process as well. I would write, then learned a little more about writing, and then rewrite. I did that several times, so Fair Haven took a lot longer than it should have. Now, a book usually takes me a few months to finish the first draft. But then after that, it goes through several months of revisions, editing, and polishing. If I had to estimate, I’d say around a year for a novel-length book at this point in my career.

3.  What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

RL:  I am fortunate that I work only part time. So when I’m not working out of the house, I write (or edit, or promote, or other writing career-related things). When I’m working on a book, I’m incredibly focused. As soon as the kids are off to school, I’m in the chair. And I’m not done until they get home.

4.  Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?

RL:  My ideas just come to me in everyday life. Something might strike me when I’m walking the dog, or when I overhear a conversation. With a simple “what if” I turn that seed into a little sprout of an idea. Then I put it in my phone in my idea folder. When I’m ready to start a new book or short story and I need an idea, I look to that sometimes for inspiration.

5.  When did you write your first book?

RL:  I don’t know if it counts, but I wrote a short story (that I called a book) when I was eleven years old. Creature from Over the Hill. As for my adult life, I was in my 30s when I wrote that first children’s book, and pushing forty when I finally settled into horror. My debut horror novel Fair Haven came out in 2017. It was meant to be a practice novel, but as I wrote and rewrote, pouring everything I had into it, it became more than just a silly zombie story to practice writing. I grew to love the characters and the plot. Those who read it, loved it, and encouraged me to publish. So I did.

6.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

RL:  I substitute at an elementary school. It’s the perfect job for me right now as it doesn’t interfere with getting my kids off the bus, or after school chauffeuring. When I’m not substituting, or doing general mom things, I enjoy amateur astronomy. I volunteer with my local astronomy club and do free public outreach in the community. Astronomy is my first love, and often has a way of sneaking into my writing.

7.  What does your family think of your writing?

RL:  My family thinks I’m insane, but that probably has little to do with my writing. When it comes to writing, they’re incredibly supportive. The kids, my husband… my mom—they’re my number one fans. It’s so important to have people encouraging me to keep going.

8.  What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?

RL:  Aside from the surprising number of survivals from nail-gun injuries that pierce the skull? (Google research surprises me almost every day.) I don’t know if I was surprised, but it certainly was a bit of an awakening for me when I learned there was no scientific formula to writing: Just because you study, read, take the workshops, take the advice from experts in the field—just because you follow the rules—doesn’t mean you’ll get accepted. I’m very much a “become the best at what I do” kind of person, so when I put everything I had into making my stories better, making them what I thought the industry wanted, it was a rude awakening to find out the system was so subjective. Once I stopped trying to write like a pro, and started writing like myself (following some important rules, but letting some rules go for the sake of voice or style) I started getting an occasional acceptance. Every publisher, editor, and agent has their own individual preference, and all I can do is provide the best story I can tell that’s authentic and mine, and hope it resonates with someone.

9.  How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

RL:  I have Fair Haven and Lucid Screams. Fair Haven has a dear place in my heart because it’s the zombie story I’ve been dying to tell since before I knew I wanted to write. It’s also the book that taught me so many things about being a writer. But Lucid Screams has most of my short stories to date. I think the quality of writing in Lucid Screams is better than Fair Haven, but they both mean so much to me for different reasons.

10.  Any tips/suggestions on getting started?

RL:  Absorb as much as you can. Read. Take classes and workshops on craft, if you can. Find a local writers’ organization that might help you find affordable workshops. Join a critique group that you vibe well with. Listen—really listen—to the critiques and make changes to your work. You may find that not all the advice works for your piece, and that’s okay, but you have to at least consider it. I highly recommend writing short stories in addition to your novel. Write, submit, get rejected, rewrite, submit, repeat…until eventually that story gets accepted.

11.  What do you think makes a good story?

RL:  I love when the author’s choice of words allows the mood or the tone of the story to bleed through the pages. This, with solid pacing and tension that turns those pages for me, really makes for an excellent reading experience.

12.  As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up?

RL:  I wanted to be an artist. Painting or drawing. Something creative. I have no regrets with the paths I took in life. My husband and I worked our butts off full time for many years just trying to feed the family, so my art took a back seat. I’m very fortunate to be in a position now, even if it’s at 40 years old, that I can set some time aside to pursue my love of art. It may not be the art form I thought it’d be when I was a child, but it’s still creating. And creating is my happy place.


LINKS:

www.redlagoe.com

www.twitter.com/redlagoe

www.facebook.com/redlagoe

www.instagram.com/redlagoe

 

Lucid Screams: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50260509-lucid-screams

https://www.amazon.com/Lucid-Screams-Red-Lagoe-ebook/dp/B084KK2GPN

 

Fair Haven: https://www.amazon.com/Fair-Haven-Red-Lagoe-ebook/dp/B0717B2PJ7/


PUBLISHED WORKS:

 

Women in Horror Month – Angel Gelique

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AUTHOR BIO:

Angel Gelique is a mother, wife and recovering attorney from Long Island, New York.  Author of the disturbing Hillary  series, Angel enjoys exploring the dark regions of her imagination and incorporating the horrors therein within her books.  As gruesome as her horror novels are, Angel does not limit her writing to horror.  Her debut novel, Mother, is an emotionally-charged young adult story about a tumultuous mother/daughter relationship and she has even written a romantic comedy, Yesterday vs. Tomorrow.
Called “The Queen of Gore” (with good reason), Angel’s horror stories tend to be extreme and depraved so please read and heed the warnings.  
Angel welcomes feedback and constructive criticism and is always happy to hear from readers.  Feel free to send comments via email: info@angelgelique.com and/or connect with her on Goodreads:

AUTHOR Q&A:

1.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
AG:   When I was very young—maybe seven or eight—I would write stories and turn them into little books, complete with masking tape spines and corners (very professional!) 😊  You would think that would give me a clue as to my passion for writing, but nope…!  I never seriously considered the idea until after going to college and then wasting my life becoming an attorney pursuing a degree in law.  Sadly, it wasn’t until 2012 when I finally decided to give writing a try that I realized what I’d been missing.  Now I have no doubts whatsoever; I want to spend the rest of my life writing stories.
2.  How long does it take to write your book(s)? 
AG:  I can generally write a short story (fully edited) in about a week or two.  A novella takes anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months, depending on my other obligations at the time.  I have written full-length novels in as little as four months but  they typically take about six to twelve months to complete.
3.  What is your work schedule like when writing a book?
AG:   When I’m writing, everything else becomes secondary (much to my husband’s chagrin!).  I spend the vast majority of the day writing and during the editing phase, I go into overdrive spending what seems like countless hours preparing my book for release.
4. Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?
AG:   Ideas just come to me, often at the strangest times and in the strangest places (like the shower, for instance, where a lot of stories come to me for some reason).  Just the other day I was in the kitchen working on dinner and an idea just popped into my mind.  If I’m able at the time, I jot down brief descriptions of my ideas for later use.  
5. When did you write your first book?
AG:   I wrote my first novel, Mother, back in 2012.  It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since then.
6. What do you do when you’re not writing? 
 AG:  When I’m not writing, I spend my time with my family.  My kids are all grown up now, with my youngest (my daughter) heading off to college in the fall.  My eldest son is currently in South Korea and my youngest son is in the Navy.  It gets increasingly difficult for us to all get together.  Thank God for Skype and FaceTime!
     And then there’s my addiction to Words with Friends!  Sometimes I curse the day I discovered that game!
7. What does your family think of your writing?  
AG:   My family is very supportive of my writing despite the nature of most of my books (disturbing extreme horror).  I know that my family members are proud of me for pursuing my dreams and for treading down the riskier ‘road less traveled’ with respect to the nature of most of my books and the subject matters therein.  They might require therapy at some point as a result 😂 but as for now, they cheer me on.
8. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?  
AG:   The most surprising thing I have discovered during the writing process is that I have a truly sick mind!  Seriously, I am shocked by some of the things I come up with, especially during a gory scene of torture.  I know that I have a bad habit of crossing the line—going way over that line, in fact—but the way I see it, books should place readers into the story and enable them to feel what the characters are experiencing.  I think true (and hardened) lovers of horror can appreciate the ride into unchartered territories.  For a while, I struggled with determining appropriate levels of gore and whether or not I should continue including controversial and tabu material.  I have decided to just continue with what I do best—writing extreme, depraved and disturbing horror stories.
9. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?  
AG:  I have written seven novels, five novellas and four short stories.  My stories have appeared in anthologies and some have been published in other languages, as well.  My Hillary trilogy has been published in German by Festa Verlag and I was recently contacted by an Asian publisher interested in my work.
     Of all the stories I’ve written, I think my favorite is Man Cave because although it is extremely vile and gory, it is (sadly) realistic—not supernatural or far-fetched.  Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon to read/hear about horribly heinous crimes, many involving victimized women and children.  Man Cave explores the savagery against two young abducted women.  Amidst the horror lies a psychological component—a struggle for survival in the face of dying hope.  It is twisted and explicit but terribly engaging.
10. Any tips/suggestions on getting started? 
AG:  I am always encouraging people to write.  All you need is an idea, and not even a fully formed one at that.  Part of the thrill of writing is seeing how the story develops as it’s being written.  You don’t need an outline complete with an ending.  Just write and see what unfolds.
     Don’t ever let fear stop you from starting that first book.  Write just for the sheer enjoyment, not for financial gain.  Enjoy the writing process.  It will be full of moments of joy, triumph and great frustration but it will be well worth it.
     Don’t let people discourage you with negativity.  Heed constructive criticism but don’t pay any attention to people who are just downright nasty with their feedback.  Readers will see their reviews for what they are.  
     Have fun writing and enjoy the journey.  You never know where it will lead you, so what are you waiting for?
11. What do you think makes a good story?  
AG:  I think a good story is one that pulls the reader in and keeps them fully engrossed in what’s happening.  Good stories have well-developed characters that readers can relate to.  I think figurative language is vital to providing the necessary details that enable readers to visualize the scenes and comprehend the characters’ varied perspectives.  A good story takes readers on an unforgettable adventure; the especially good ones are thought-provoking, too, allowing certain aspects of the story to linger and provoke reflective contemplation.
12. As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up?   
AG:  I wanted to live on a ranch (specifically in Texas!) and ride horses!  I don’t recall ever having any career goals.  I know my mother wanted me to become a doctor and I did consider it at one point (hence, my undergraduate degree in biology).  I really don’t think I had any true aspirations to become anything in particular.  If I could return to my much younger self, ready to begin college, I think I would study psychology.  But as a child, all I wanted to do was ride horses!
13. What’s in store for your writing career? 
AG:  2019 was a woefully unproductive year for me, as far as writing.  I plan to make up for it in 2020.  First up, I am planning to release the conclusion to my Merry Murder series, Merry Mayhem.  Afterwards, I hope to release a novel I started a couple years back, entitled Mother Mayhem.  Yes, there’s plenty of mayhem in store.  😊
If I can be very disciplined, I am planning a companion novel to my first book, Mother.
 I am hoping to take my writing more seriously and possibly submit work to other publishers.

LINKS:

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PUBLISHED WORKS:

Women in Horror Month – Cécile Guillot

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AUTHOR BIO:

When Cécile is not busy doing vintage shopping, saving cats or drinking tea, she writes stories. She likes to navigate between different genres and atmospheres… Horror, Gothic or Chick-lit and children’s fiction. Reading her books is like a journey into a curiosity cabinet, sometimes dark, sometimes sweet.


AUTHOR Q&A:

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

CG:  I sent a short story for an anthology – just for fun – and the publisher loved it and decided to publish it. It was a big surprise and it made me want to write more and try to publish other stories.

 

  1. How long does it take to write your book(s)?

CG:  Between 6 months and a whole year.

 

  1. Do you read reviews of your books?

CG:  Yes, I do. Good reviews are always good for the ego, and bad reviews is also important: it makes you understand what your strengths and your weaknesses are and help you improve your writing. (Of course, bad reviews must be argumentative and respectful).

 

  1. Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?

CG:  I don’t really know where my ideas come from – maybe a mix of feelings and moods inspired by other books or music, but concerning information, I love doing research and often buy nonfiction books to help me.

 

  1. When did you write your first book?

CG:  10 years ago.

 

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing?

CG:  I’m working in a french publishing house. At home, I take care of my daughter, I read a lot and I like doing crochet or embroidery.

 

  1. What does your family think of your writing?

CG:  My parents think something like “stories about witches? what a weird idea, there are so many subjects more interesting. Nobody reads this kind of bull.” XD

Fortunately, my husband thinks it’s great.

 

  1. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?

CG:  Maybe, that it could help me know myself better and it could help people feeling better by reading it.  Stories are not just stories.

 

  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?  CG:  15.  My favorite is my last one THORNGROVE, a horror story for YA.

 

  1. Any tips/suggestions on getting started?

CG:  Write what you love and be yourself. Don’t try to stick to a genre, or to follow a trend.

 

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

CG:  Consistent characters and emotions.

 

  1. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

CG:  I wanted to be an artist or a journalist.


LINKS:

http://www.cecileguillot.fr/

https://www.facebook.com/cecile.guillot.auteur/

https://www.instagram.com/cecileguillotauteure/


PUBLISHED WORKS:

Women in Horror Month – Kerry E.B. Black

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AUTHOR BIO:

Kerry E.B. Black writes from a butter-yellow bungalow sinking into a swamp along the Allegheny River. This lover of fairy tales attended Penn State University and has worked several “day jobs” to support her writing habit, including journalist, membership and event coordinator, horse groomer, karate instructor, waitress, and pharmacy tech. Hobbies of this confirmed bibliophile include world travel, costume design, archery, gaming, and of course reading.


AUTHOR Q&A:

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

KB:  I’ve always been both a reader and a writer, so I suppose it was bowing to the inevitable. 

 

  1. How long does it take to write your book(s)?

KB:  I write fast and edit with excruciating slowness. 

 

  1. What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

KB:  Whether working on a book or short pieces, I write in the evening after my kids go to sleep and before I collapse. 

 

  1. Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?

KB:  Life is filled with possibilities and experiences. These provide foundations upon which to build haunted houses, Gothic castles, and cottages in enchanted woods. 

 

  1. When did you write your first book?

KB:  In a strange way, it’s good that my first writing is lost to the dust of antiquity. I began writing when I was quite young as I said earlier in this interview, and I’m not vain enough to believe myself a virtuoso. My work’s benefited from further scholarship and critique, and I hope I can continue to hone my skills.

My first published novel, Season of Secrets, came out on Halloween, 2018. It’s a YA paranormal thriller published by Rhetoric Askew. 

Through Tree Shadow Press I have two compilations of short scares. Carousel of Nightmares released in September, 2018 and Herd of Nightmares dropped in January, 2019.

 

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing?

KB:  I’d love to say I explore all the world’s greatest places. I adore travel. However, instead of jet-setting, I mostly care-give. I teach my littlest. And, of course, I read. 

 

  1. What does your family think of your writing?

KB:  My family’s marvelous. They support my writing. 

 

  1. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?

KB:  I know many odd things. Some of them creep into my stories.

 

  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

KB:  Besides those listed above, I’ve many short stories published in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. 

My favorite cover is from Herd of Nightmares. My brother Chris Blickenderfer hand-drew the art.

 

  1. Any tips/suggestions on getting started?

KB:  Dream it, then do it, of course. Find a group of like-minded people, support them, and allow them to support you. Listen to critiques from those who care about your growth, but always heed your inner voice, too.

 

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

KB:  I adore beautiful language, interesting characters, and perplexing situations. 

 

  1. As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up? 

KB:  Besides being a superhero, you mean? haha! 

I planned to become a jockey, but my growth spurt destroyed that plan. I aspired to theatre, too, and enjoyed my time on the stage, but writing has always been my dream.


LINKS:

https://www.amazon.com/Kerry-E-B-Black/e/B00IKURGVS/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

https://www.facebook.com/authorKerryE.B.Black/

https://www.instagram.com/kerry_e_b_black/

https://twitter.com/BlackKerryblick

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874880.Kerry_E_B_Black

https://kerrylizblack.wordpress.com/


PUBLISHED WORKS: