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I get so excited when my characters agree to interviews. I am glad to introduce the first interview in a series of interviews with questions asked directly by readers and answered by the characters of “Forbidden“, my newest novella.

Today, we will be hearing answers from Reverend Elijah Colstock, and at the end of his interview, he will be selecting one question that wins a $5 Amazon Gift Card (woohoo!). Throughout the interview, I will be listed as “E” and Colstock will be referred to as “C”. So, without further adieu, we bring you week one of character interviews.

E: Welcome to my blog, Colstock.

C: *Clears throat*. “C”?

E: Is that not okay?

C: Lest you forget, I am a pastor. Therefore, “PC” is appropriate.

E: “PC”? Well..umm, okay. Let’s not begin on bad footing. “PC”, how’s that?

PC: It will suffice.

E: We have some fantastic questions today. So, let’s begin with our first one. Samantha Ann Leigh asks, “What is your greatest fear?”

PC: The Bible says “Fear Not” approximately 365 times. I do not have fears, for stand, do I, devout in the Lord. Why, the Lord is speaking to me right now. He says, ‘Colstock, thou hast no fear.’ What an affirmation. What a joyous interlude.

E: Well then…continuing. Melissa Sell would like to know, “What is your least favorite Bible passage?”

PC: Blashpemy, for His word commandeth me in my way, lest I slip and burn in the pit of fire. A righteous man, a leader, such as myself finds no error in the Holy Word of God. It is those who misconstrue his Word, those who believe we should accept others and love other people as though we are on even footing that I find disdain in. For our God is an angry God. We must be in constant prayer and vigilance lest we be deceived by lies.

E: Well, that’s umm, passionate. Cait Marie has three questions for you. I will begin with the first. She asks, “What is your favorite childhood memory?”

PC: My father, the late Josiah Colstock would oft take me to the pulpit, and for a brief time, allow me to stand behind the wooden structure–the alter of our God, open his Bible, and read aloud a verse. It was a rather rare occasion, but as the future leader of Paradise Grove and its prestigious religious establishment, one I treasured more than any other.

E: Mine was painting rocks and selling them to the neighbors…not that anyone cares, but…Anyhoo…Back to our interview with another question from Cait who asks, “If you could be an animal, which would you be and why?”

PC: Well, I have yet to think on this. For these are the thoughts of an idle mind. Who would be an animal? For, it is not I. I was created to be a leader of men, to spread the Lord’s word. A sin, would it be for me to contemplate this question. I shall not walk in the ways and path to hell.

E: Is that an answer, then?

PC: Yes, I believe it is.

E: For your final question, Cait asks, “What is your greatest achievement?”

PC: Is that not obvious? Perhaps it is not. My greatest achievement is leading Paradise Grove in the ways of the Lord. When we bide our time in faith, we do not fall into Satan’s evil hands. I will keep my people safe by listening and translating the word and meaning of God to them and for them. They listen to me in all they do, they trust me, and they obey when I speak.

E: Those are all of the questions I have. I really appreciate you taking the time from your “busy” schedule to come and give us clarity on your thoughts and feelings about the world.

PC: I try to be charitable when it suits me.

E: I’m sure you do. By the way, who is the winner of the gift card?

PC: Those plastic cards of yours will lead to your demise. Hear me now, they are the ways of sin. Nevertheless, I abstain from judgement and pick Cait Marie who was astute enough to ask of my accomplishments.

Well, there you all have it. Pastor Elijah Colstock in the first of a series of interviews from characters of “Forbidden“.

Congrats Cait Marie on winning! I will be contacting your soon in regards to your gift card.

Stay tuned, I will be announcing next week’s character on Wednesday!! 

 

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“The leaves are all brown.” And no, I didn’t go off the deep-end–I didn’t misquote The Mamas & The Papas lyrics– I’m not that kinda girl…don’t you all know that by now? SMDH.

“What are you doing, then?”

I’m quoting little Megan in Matthew Brockmeyer’s debut novel “Kind Nepenthe” that takes place in Humboldt County, California–more specifically, in the dead center of marijuana country…oh, now I have your attention. Great!

Throughout his work, Brockmeyer leaves no stone unturned–metaphorically, that is, and this begins with the title itself and its tragic-beautiful tie-in to the novel. Allow me to save you a bit o’ Googling. Nepenthe is a mythical drug believed to erase sorrow and suffering.

You’re welcome, by the way.

From the first page, I couldn’t help but feel an unsettling presence that seemed to float along with me through the piece–one of the many aspects that made putting “Kind Nepenthe” down, next to impossible–that’s right, not even a tub of gas station nachos was enough to lure me away from the deep-rooted–no pun intended–okay, bad joke– evil that was about to take place, and no amount of therapy sessions would’ve ever prepared me for the ending. How did it end? Here’s the obligatory “Buy” link.

Muwhahaha…

We meet Rebecca–a dreadlock sporting, vegan hippie type who, tired of society, wishes to raise her daughter, Megan, in a quiet setting where they can live off the land. Speaking of land? Matthew Brockmeyer has an impressive knowledge of horticulture so I had to ask him if his repertoire came from research or experience.

“Well, my wife is an herbalist and I am a permaculture designer. We live on a small farm/homestead. So, most of this knowledge did come first hand. I love the use of nature in literature, both as world building and as metaphor. In particular, John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy both use it to great effect. You can convey so much with descriptions of the natural world, from majestic and awe inspiring beauty, to a forlorn sense of dread and creepiness.”

Squeaky grocery cart wheels aside–okay, only McCarthy fans will get it…hmm–the “Creep” factor is ever-present. There’s this whole Stephen King vibe in the ‘recovering’ addict, Diesel who is struggling to rekindle a relationship with his son DJ in anticipation of becoming a grandfather–all the feels, right? Maybe. If what you’re feeling is an eerie vigilance. So much so, that if Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King had a love child, it might be “Kind Nepenthe”, and Thomas Hardy just may have Saturday visitation.

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“Diesel had pictured the boy’s face as the metal tore into it, crushing his head into a pulp of blood and bone in the gravel.” (Kind Nepenthe)

 

Everybody is watching for something– Calendula, Rebecca’s ‘hippie’ boyfriend, is watching the grow room, Rebecca’s watching for Coyote, the owner of the land, to return and pay them, and Diesel is watching his son DJ follow in his footsteps of drug addiction and domestic violence.

All the while… who is watching Megan?

The land?

Yikes… and double-yikes, because I’m saying…it’s the same land where Spider, the ghostly solitaire-playing creeper, buried dead bodies.

Back to the solitaire…I put the question to Brockmeyer–Would he play solitaire with a ghost? He wittingly points out the flaw in my question–smartass…yeesh.

Even so, here’s what he had to say:
“Well, it’s a one-person game, hence the name. That’s the thing about ghosts, their utter aloneness, separate from everything yet stuck there just the same. Would I play cards with a ghost? Sure. I’ll play cards with anyone or anything, I suppose. As long as they’re buying the drinks.”

Despite the sarcasm of the above answer, I still enjoyed “Kind Nepenthe”–for anyone who hasn’t already drawn that conclusion. What made the book real to me was the characters: the dichotomy of hippie culture meets that of gun-toting-good-‘ol-boy, makes for the perfect storm once the two enemies meet–literally a storm.

Who doesn’t know the lady who lives in a trailer, watches home shopping channels, and buys trinkets such as Christmas ornaments? The absent father struggling to clean up and reconnect with his son? The mother who wants to make a better life for her child?

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“This (“Kind Nepenthe”) was a long time coming. I had the idea of a horror story set in a back-hills marijuana grow for some time before I ever commenced to putting it down in writing. Southern Humboldt County, California, where I live, is world famous for its cannabis cultivation. Being a horror freak it occurred to me long ago that I need to write a horror story about the crazy clash of cultures here between rednecks and hippies. It took about a year to write the rough draft, and then another year to rewrite it. There were significant changes in the rewrite, whole sections edited out and new ones written in. Then I spent several months editing it down from 76,000 words to 70,000 in order to quicken the pace, make it meaner and leaner. I’m terrified of boring the reader.” –Matthew Brockmeyer

 

When we sew evil into physical nature, we can’t help but reap that same darkness, and this is the perfect juxtaposition to the human element–when we’re ensnared by our own dreams, when they turn dark, and hold us captive, do we reap a bleak future?

Perhaps we do, and in that, we find that maybe it’s not the dead we should fear. Maybe we should be more afraid and aware of the rapid transition of our best intentions into malice and how that translates into our future.

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“Even when he wasn’t in the grown room it permeated is consciousness, filling his brain, controlling his thoughts. Staring down into the open top loader, thumbing his wart, his left eye twitching, he grinned an idiot’s grin and giggle quietly as he wondered: Who serves who? Do I control the grow room, or does the grow room control me?” (“Kind Nepenthe”)

 

Until next time, my friends. Thanks for reading, and if you’re still awake, feel free to leave comments.

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I’m back to the blog once more. Guess what that means…

I have gas station nachos?

Most likely.

More episodes of the Chronicles of Ashzaria?

Yea…

You published your second full-length novel?

YES!… well, tomorrow. That’s right, August 22nd, I’ll be releasing the second installment of the ‘Sync’ Series, “Menoetius”. Finally!

I won’t lie– I’ve worked hard on the proofreading and editing phases to bring a smoother, better narrative into this action-packed series and I feel amazing about it.

 

What else have you done, Erin?

Well, I’m glad you asked…

Today I started a YouTube Writing Workshop that I intend to upload videos to on a weekly basis. I’m excited for this project because I get asked a lot of questions about my writing process, and I cannot wait to try to answer them.

You can find the video on my YouTube channel, but just in case, I’ll enter the link on this post, too.

 

Hmm… are the thumbnails the worst expressions? Who sits in the cubicle at YouTube Inc. and monitors these things?

Well, my next video will be in landscape mode… I’m a newbie, so give me a break.

For now, I’m out. Sorry for the short post. I will be writing more over the upcoming weeks/months. Yayyy….

In the mean time, check out my online shop for all the “Synchronicity” Fandom…

ANNNND… the new page for my domestic violence support website, When She Walked Away.

Peace, my friends. Look for more updates and articles SOON!

 

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While not much is written about Menoetius, or Menoitios, or at least much that I’ve came across, he is thought to be the god of rage and anger who fought against the Olympian gods and was struck down by Zeus.

The literal translation of Menoetius is “to defy fate” or “ruined strength”. But, is there strength in the defiance of fate? Or, if fate has a certain design, would fighting against it only be doing yourself a disservice?

One of the questions I get asked a lot has to do with how I chose to title the books in the ‘Sync’ series. Most understand the idea behind ‘Synchronicity’. If you don’t, Google Carl Jung– mostly because I’m lazy and I refuse to add the link right now. I’ll wait. I won’t wait long, but I’ll be here… for a little bit….

Finished? Great!

I was almost finished with ‘Synchronicity’ and still didn’t have a title. I’ve mentioned in precious posts how the working title was ‘Medium’, but as I wrote, I realized the telepathic abilities of my characters didn’t need to involve contacting the dead. Rather, I took a different approach.

The word ‘Synchronicity’ never would’ve came to mind if I’d sat and racked my brain, but while researching telekinesis and telepathy, I was fascinated by the many subcategories. So, like many writers, I dug deeper… about a hundred open tabs into the subject, I ran into ‘Synchronicity’ and Carl Jung. Eager to justify procrastination, I refreshed my memory on Jung’s theory.

I connected with the idea that occurrences aren’t a matter of coincidence. That everything happening around us, good or bad, has a purpose; there’s a much bigger picture. I slammed the top of my laptop down and exclaimed, “That’s it! I have it! The title has to be Synchronicity!”

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I slammed the top of my laptop down and exclaimed, “That’s it! I have it! The title has to be Synchronicity!”

 

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I was bubbling with excitement, so I told a close circle of friends with eagerness. My replies were, “Cool, explain it.” Fair enough. Right?

Without going into details, my life hasn’t always been stable, and by no means has it been ‘normal’. Humor became a defense mechanism. But, more important than searching for the comedic lining in things, I had to believe everything had a reason. No matter who did what, or when. There had to be a reason because without one, I doubt I would’ve held it together, much less survived.

If book one in the series speaks to the idea of events working together and connecting for a greater purpose, I thought it only logical that book two speak to the entity who designs and directs the objective.

‘Menoetius’ begs the question of fate. Is it fate’s doing? And if so, do our choices ultimately construct our fate? Or, is everyone’s end game already set?

Woah, that’s a lot, right there!

I know…

‘Menoetius’ explores the old argument of, ‘You gotta help fate out a bit. You’re not going to meet the love of your life sitting at home on the couch, or you won’t start that career if you never apply for jobs.’

But, can events happening outside our own lives affect our choices?

To clarify, let’s take the person in the above scenario and call him Fred. Fred’s sitting on his couch… for those who require more imagery, let’s imagine Fred’s couch is burgundy because it sits well with his white carpet. White because, let’s face it… Fred doesn’t worry about stains because HE DOESN’T DO ANYTHING… ever…

Okay, continuing… SO… Fred lives on his couch and watches infomercials and Court TV. Even though Fred is stagnant, events around him continue.

Here, we can speculate.

What if Fred’s sister passes away? Or, what if she’s terminally ill? Perhaps, there’s a fire at the neighbor’s house that might spread to his. Or, his television is on the fritz and he telephone’s a repair service.

Any of these events set into motion could trigger a series of occurrences that result in Fred leaving his couch and venturing into the jungle of suburbia. What happens from there?

At least one, if not more times in ‘Synchronicity’, Lila asks herself if her parents hadn’t been killed prompting her to go on the run with Wesley, would they share an attraction? Was all of it, including the tragedy, a push for them to connect?

I felt that if book one asks those questions, naturally the follow-up would concern fate.

The last thing I want is for the series to provide answers. Rather, I hope the books serve as a vehicle to dialogue about possibilities. This is the joy of writing in first person. I have a means to explore a variety thoughts on the matters.

For example, (The following Might Will contain spoilers for book 2)

If fate is working to bring Lila and Wesley together, Why? And how do they feel about it?

It’s safe to say by book two, Lila’s been through the wringer. She’s lost her entire life and the two most important people in it. She’s learned she’s been living a lie. She’s capture by Sullivan and dehumanized and stereotyped.

Forgive her if she seems a wee bit disconnected and jaded by the time you roll around to “Menoetius”. Coming out of the trauma and struggling to redefine herself, the last thing she wants is to build a new relationship. I don’t think she’s ready to trust that it won’t fall apart. She’s not prepared to give answers when Wesley asks for them.

She scrutinizes the idea of fate, wondering if its a ‘cheat’ for her and Wes. She asks, ‘If fate is working so hard to bring us together, is the connection we feel, our elation, and our need for one another simply an illusion? Would we feel the same if fate wasn’t fighting for us?  If fate hadn’t tried so hard for so long and we were just two people in the world, would we be able to pass by one another and not give it a second thought? And if so… is this genuine love and ecstasy?’

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Coming out of the trauma and struggling to redefine herself, the last thing she wants is to build a new relationship. I don’t think she’s ready to trust that it won’t fall apart. She’s not prepared to give answers when Wesley asks for them.

Then, there’s Wes, the borderline narcissistic lady’s man. You’d think he’d be the one angered at the idea of being with one person. In book one, he makes it clear he never wanted a relationship.

You got that, right?

In case you didn’t, or you missed it in the book, I’ll write it once more: Wesley doesn’t want a relationship; in fact, he never has. He’s perfectly content with a conveyor belt of women.

But why?

SKIP THE REST IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS.

Okay, that was your warning…

When you dig through the surface, it’s because of the secrets he’s had to keep. His telepathy, for example. He’s lived nineteen-and-a-half years carrying the burden of this veiled world and all the implications that follow.

He feels like he can never truly get close to someone because they’ll never really understand him, but Lila does.  When he’s with her, he doesn’t have to hide behind his arrogant mask (although, I find his arrogance human and endearing and it’ll be a quality that follows him through the series). He can allow himself to care about Lila so much because she’s essentially his equal. She a representation something he’s never had and I think that’s a large reason why when she snaps her fingers, he can’t help but come running.

His feelings about how fate is working is to the tune of ‘Why does it matter if we’re happy’.

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He feels like he can never truly get close to someone because they’ll never really understand him, but Lila does.

I realize, for those who’ve read the first book, it’s hard to believe that a character like Wes would let the question go. I don’t think it’s a stretch. I feel like he’s questioned so much throughout his life that if being with Lila is good, he’s afraid that asking those questions could ruin it.

Again, I don’t want the series to carry the burden of answering why things work out the way they do, or why bad things happen and how fate works in that. I want them to create a conversation and explore the possibilities.

Unfortunately I can’t write out all my feelings on the topic right now, but free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ll start off by drawing your attention to the new layout of my blog. I had no part in this, it is the creation of a wonderful and talented friend of mine, Amber Newberry. I linked her blog; check it out because she’s an amazing writer, human, and friend.

This is post is going to be chalked full of little known facts about “Synchronicity” for all three of you who’ve read it, want to read it, or have just ran out of shows to binge watch on Netflix and feel like this article might be an entertaining substitute… boy, are you going to be disappointed. I did want to add a warning: This piece might  will contain spoilers. (more…)

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OMGeeeez, I don’t pay enough attention to my website, or blogging. Recently, it’s seemed as though the plague descended upon me and no amount of antibiotics will treat it. Whining aside, I wish I had an excuse for not keeping my site updated.

If you follow my Facebook or Instagram, you’re aware that in addition to the ‘Sync’ series, I’m working on a separate novel, “Snowfall” due out next year as well. I posted a trailer here (Note: you should be able to click the word ‘here’ and it’ll take you to the video. I’m only saying because I think I’m cool now that I’ve mastered the ability to add ‘links’ to my blog) I’m excited for the challenge of publishing two polished, action-filled novels in 2017.

In other news, I entered my very first writing contest, Sudden Denouement’s divergent literature contest and won second place with a piece titled “Suburban Suicide”. More rewarding than actually winning was happening upon a site chalked full of amazing poetry. I’d recommend checking it out. You will not be disappointed– Promise! But all-in-all, what a humbling experience. Absolutely incredible and when they posted the top five, I read them. Fantastic, strong pieces of writing.

To be honest, I rarely submit pieces to anything. It’s not necessarily because I fear rejection, although I do to some extent. It’s because I question my work… a lot.

I write what I feel, how I feel and early on in life I was taught my instincts were off. It’s only now, I’m learning perhaps they were spot on that whole time and those telling me otherwise were determined to see me fail. Even as an adult, I receive passive aggressive messages on media platforms such as Facebook from voices of the past, attempting to censor me (Kinda desperate, huh?).

Everybody has a voice. Never let another person convince you otherwise, don’t ever believe it if someone scolds you because, “people will think you’re weird.” Weird is good. Different is good. Our world needs all kinds of ‘different’ and ‘weird’. So just go for it… you do you (this is my pep talk for all three people reading this).

Until Later! (And I promise it won’t be much later!! I’ll update soon!)

 

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Why on earth would I attach a photo of this bandstand in my post about an upcoming sci-fi sequel?

Spoiler Alert: Because apart from its conspiracy based, scifi, love mumbo jumbo (Just kidding, not really mumbo jumbo. Unless you don’t like sci-fi, or romance, or reading in general. If that’s the case, wth are you reading this? Just sayin’)  a significant portion of the new novel “Menoetius” known to my autocorrect as Mennonites, takes place in my hometown. El Dorado Springs and while each new character introduced is purely fiction, many of the places are not.

More specifically, one of my favorite aspects of the small community, the city band. Shout out if the fact a tiny town still exists who has an actual bandstand with a band that preforms on weekends during the summer just caused you to fact check me to make sure it’s for real life. No joke! gnarly huh?  I thought so.

Anyhow, enough rambling… this is my attempt to keep the two people following this blog ‘in the know’… It’s officially here… my not-so-epic-i’m-a-writer-not-a-cinematographer-derived Book Trailer.

(Look at that… if you click the words “book trailer” it should go to YouTube and pull up the book trailer.) If it doesn’t, shout out and I promise to work with diligence to ensure the link goes up.

And feel free to share because if you haven’t noticed the chaos of my website, I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’m new at all this and word of mouth helps out tremendously. So, if you’re dropping a message in a bottle or getting ready to send a smoke signal to some friends, drop a few lines about “Synchronicity” and its upcoming sequel “Menoetius”!

Until Later…

 

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Hey folks!

I first would like to apologize. I am terrible at keeping my blog updated with new info, and I’d blame it on the day I ran out of tin foil and spent the next month being chased by aliens from outer space who turned out to be Shemar Moore lookalikes who mesmerized me and caused me to temporarily lose my remaining threads of sanity. But that’s just making excuses which never did anyone any good.

If you didn’t know, “Synchronicty” is out. Woohoo! I’m creating a link… I think.. Try clicking here to check it out.

Did you click? Oh, sorry, yeah… right back there… two sentences ago, last paragraph. That’s the link to view it on Amazon. I’ve even managed to get a few pretty groovy reviews. Not even kidding, I’m digging the feedback and an equal mix of humbled and flattered that my little ‘ol book is getting read. Very cool!

I am currently working on a sequel to “Synchronicty” entitled “Menoetius” (Side note: Autocorrect tried to change it to Mennonites. Not that I have a problem with Mennonites, but I’m not sure they’d fit well in my telepathic-conspiracy driven-young adult- scifi-romance- thriller. We’ll see…

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting a YouTube link to the first trailer to “Menoetius”.

In the meanwhile, KNOW THIS… I Love The Support. I Love the emails and kind words.

Thank You ALL!