Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Post: A Paranormal Pit-Stop Interview with Barbara Dole Pt 1

A good friend of mine, from the magical land of Canadia, has written a book, The Watchtower. She's self-publishing this paranormal mystery, which means I won't have to wait for it to come over to this side of the lake to get my hands on it! Thankfully, I'm not Barbara Dole. In what is sure to be a fantastic book from Darke Conteur, some people aren't just people. This interview will give you a taste of that, I'm sure. Details on part two can be found below.

Story Blurb:
His first day of work wasn't what Martin Cunningham expected. A sultry boss, a classy receptionist, the drama-queen foreigner, and a painfully shy techie who prefers hiding to human interaction, was the oddest group of characters he'd ever met. When an assassination attempt is made against his new boss, Martin comes face to face with the stuff of nightmares.

Now he and his new co-workers must race to prevent another attack, but where do they start? There's very little to go on, and the only solid piece of evidence escaped through the u-bend in the toilet. By the end of the day, Martin becomes one of the privileged few who really understands what lies in the shadows, and what it means to work in THE WATCHTOWER.

Take it away...

Thanks for the intro, Paul!

Welcome Humans, to another addition of The Paranormal Pit Stop. Your one-stop E-zine on the Ethereal-net for everything in the paranormal world. This week, we're privileged to have the other woman in the line-up at Terin Global. Psychic, and personal secretary to Jezryall--Barbara Dole.

Paranormal Pit-Stop: Hello Barbara, so nice of you to join us!
Barbara: Thanks, I think.

P.P.S.: So tell our human friends a little about you?
Barbara: Well, I was born in Nice, but my parents came to Toronto shortly after I was born. We lived in Mississauga for a few years before moving into right into the city.

P.P.S.:  Living right in downtown Toronto is expensive, but you're family has money, don't they?
Barbara: My father had the money, not me. He reminded me of that every time I asked him for something. Even if it was something for school.  

P.P.S.: Is that why you ran away at eighteen?
Barbara: I didn't really run away. I was an adult. I had every right to leave home, but yeah, that was a big part of it.

P.P.S.: When did you first realize you could receive information by touching things?
Barbara: I'm not really sure. Seems like I've been able to do it all my life. I'd touch people and learn who they were, what they were like. Do that a few times and you learn how to act like them. I used to do it all the time when I was a teenager. It was fun pretending to be someone I wasn't. Then I realized I could travel through their life. See places they'd visited and things they'd done. Now that was cool.        

P.P.S.: Is that when you decided to become a criminal?
Barbara: I didn't do it on purpose. Wasn't like I made a conscience effort or anything. I kinda fell into it.

P.P.S.: You kinda fell into scamming rich, old men?
Barb: I wasn't scamming them and I didn't force them to give me anything. They're the ones who offered to give me stuff. I never asked them too.

P.P.S.: Too bad the cops didn't see it that way. What were they going to put you away for? Ten years? Good thing you were able to cut a deal as a witness in the de Jont murder trial?
Barbara: I thought it was a good idea. If I testified against Louis de Jont, they would reduce my charges to timed served and put me on parole. The cops were desperate. They needed me as much as I needed them. I tell you, I was never so scared in all my life. He kept staring at me the whole time I testified.

P.P.S.: It was your run-in with him that changed your career path?
Barbara:  Yes. He thought I was a rich debutant and was going to kill me for my money. At least I think it was for my money. When I touched him, I traveled down his time-line. All I saw was blood and death. I never felt so much anger or hatred.
P.P.S.: You saw the killings through his eyes. What was it like watching those people die?
Barbara: Horrifying. I can still see their faces when I close my eyes, but the worst was that I could feel what he felt too. He enjoyed killing them. Fed off the power it gave him. He knew he held their life in his hands, and he took pride in torturing them.

P.P.S.: Did you know he escaped?
Barbara: What? Are you serious? When? Why didn't you tell me sooner? I gotta get out of here…

Well, that's all the time we have for this week's interview. We would like to thank our host Paul Carroll for allow us to post this interview on the human internet.

If you'd like to learn more about Jezryall and her staff, you can find more information at the links provided below.

More Character Interviews:
Novel Information:

Join us next time when we invade the blog of foodie Marlene Dotterer, with the second half our two-part interview with sexy Barb Dole.  So, until next time, this is The Paranormal Pit-Stop saying; just because it's dead, doesn't mean it's not alive!

Darke Conteur is an author at the mercy of her muse. Writing in several genres, she prefers to write in paranormal and science fiction, and has stories published in Brave Blue Mice, Bewildering Stories, and The Absent Willow Review. When not busy writing, she looks after one wannabe rock-star, one husband, two cats, and one ghost dog. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Inspiration and November

This seems the sort of post that belongs on my website, but this is more subjective mumblings as opposed to an objective advice article. I had lectures, this week, on Keats - you know, the great Romantic poet who died young, that guy. There was nothing especially inspirational in terms of stories in the poems that we looked at, not for me, anyway, at that particular moment in time.

The inspiration came from the lecture's choice of words. I won't reveal them. See, he used an expression to describe what Keats might have been writing about, and the four words he used have inadvertently given me an idea for a novel. The idea sort of clicked straight away, but I have a rule: leave it a day.

So, yesterday morning I thought about it properly again. I looked at those four words, which I wrote down separate to my notes, and the whole thing came flooding back in more detail. My head works weirdly that way, and I took advantage of it. Over a cup of tea and listening to The Saw Doctors on the bench just outside my college in the smoking area, I started to plan the book.

This is one of those books that would be categorised incorrectly if it was in a bookshop. It's a paranormal. It has some romantic elements. It would be classified as a paranormal romance, but it's not. Paranormal romance implies that the romance is paranormal, when the book has wholly independent paranormal and romantic elements. There are no vampires, werewolves or any other Gothic clichés that have been overdone in the last six years in the world of teenage fiction.

I am tempted to write the book for NaNoWriMo, but it occurs to me that actually taking part in NaNoWriMo will be impossible with college this year. While I do have a lovely break from college at the very start of November, I will be in France with no Internet connection, laptop, or privacy. This is part of my course.

When I get back, I will need to have two essays written by the following Thursday. Towards the end of the month, I will need to have written a journal of at least ten pages on Gothic films and books. Before the end of the semester, I will need to create two podcast-type documents - one audio, one video - for another module, while also getting a project about France done. This project will need to include more information than I currently have on a number of religious figures and movements.

I will also be taking part in an intensive, involuntary teaching programme. I will need lessons plans and I will need to teach. To add to this, I will need to get schemes of work done for my teaching in January. I'll also have to visit the school, and though it's local, this will take up a whole day in itself.

I have no problem doing this work. I accept that it is part of my college course. My problem is that I don't also have the time to write a novel, especially not if I'm losing several days at the start of the month. I have to run my college's magazine, The Scribbler, while also writing a short story for my website and another for the book I'm putting together in college. In short, I will be busy with these minor extra curricular activities.

And guess what? That's not it. While running The Scribbler and while writing two short stories, on top of all of the work I have to do, I will also be part of the play the Drama Soc are putting on. I don't yet know how much time that will take up. I also have two more poetry writing workshops to attend during the month of November. That's more time gone.

The simple fact of the matter is that, because of the sheer volume of work I have to do, I will not be able to partake in NaNoWriMo this year. I will still be writing various things, like essays and short stories and articles for my website, but I will not be able to focus on writing 1667 words a day, particularly not when I will be losing so many days. I won't even get into the climb of Croagh Patrick (again) in November.

What I will be doing is writing about NaNoWriMo. I plan on adding a "pep talk" to my website for each week in the month. I may write about characters and plots and settings and making things believable, and how to avoid stressing out, how to stop your family from annoying you and how to live with a writer (for the families that are cursed with one of us!). I just can't focus on a novel with all the work I have to do that is suddenly three times as much work as we'll have had to do since third year started.

I don't regret this decision. Yes, it means I won't reach my own personal deadlines, but I can still work on things, like editing Meet Sam, during the month, especially if I'm going to be stuck on a plane and on buses for three of the thirty days in the month, between France and the mountain out west. I would like to actually get that done properly, so I could finally move on with the damn thing. I'll probably need to print out a few different parts of the book, get a blank page or two and draft the additional details and scenes that will not only bulk up the book, but also make it better - there's so much depth not yet explored in it that a lecturer of mine was kind enough to mention when she read it, and I think the book will benefit greatly from this stuff.

I just need to actually get myself to do it. On that note... *reminds self to copy the post-it notes onto less sticky paper* It's something I can work on in France and on the bus to and from Croagh Patrick and in the mornings over a cup of tea. This novel is important to me, having evolved from an idea adapted from a film and a vision of this city I live in to something more and greater than that. It's a novel that doesn't draw on the lives of those around me. It's a novel I can be proud of, having written it in the November before my Leaving Cert exams. Even since then, it's stuck with me. I can't just abandon it now.

Is it foolish to imagine a dedication for the book already? Possibly. That's another little secret of mine, that tiny little message to go in the front of the book that not everyone takes notice of. I guess, of all the people I can think of dedicating my début novel to, this one just feels more right. Suppose I just have to make sure that happens by finishing and then submitting the book, eh?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Drama all over again!

So, Drama starts back nice and proper tomorrow with auditions for the play. I've got to find my acting mode first (switch off one type of crazy for another, essentially), and then try get the director's drunken words out of my head.

There's something oddly dis-settling by "I am going to mould you" that I can't quite place my finger on...

The play won't be my own (I wouldn't act in that anyway), but The Rest is Silence has been read. If we have enough actors and money, both might go ahead. This is one of those times when "We'll see" isn't a straight no. I really would love for my play to go on this year (or at all!), but obviously there are certain constraints. I can't steal the cast for the play that's already been decided on and told about to the rest of the college!

I'm taking a bigger interest in the Drama Society this year, though. I didn't plan to - I was going to limit myself to writing one play and acting in another - but duty calls: I'm standing in as PRO (Public Relations Officer) until such time that the appointed PRO shows up or gives up. This means I have all the fun of doing a poster to advertise auditions tomorrow and Wednesday. Fun!

I think the real fun will be in performing monologues. I picked one from Doctor Who, The Big Bang Two. I didn't think I'd get the chance to do something like that, but there is a very definite monologue there.


You know, when he's going to disappear...


Also, you know, seeing the director again will be fun. I should probably tell my parents I won't be home until late, though. I suppose they need to know that for dinners and all that jazz. Going home then going back just won't do it, not when the bus takes half an hour to get anywhere in rush hour traffic and there's a fifteen minute walk home from the stop! So, it'll be a bit of a long day for me. Lectures start at ten (but I'll be in earlier!) and end at half four, but the auditions don't start until seven.


Still, I'll bring Frankenstein and everything will be dandy! But I will be hungry. That's the real trouble. I don't exactly have the money to buy extra snackage while I'm staying in college (thank you trip to France...).

This is going to be my life, isn't it? All work and no play. No hang on... it's the other way around, isn't it?

Friday, October 7, 2011


Dear Blog,

I'm sorry I neglected you of late. Things have been busy and strange in varying proportions lately, and finding the time to come and write something has been at the bottom of my list. But then I decided, even though I have a dozen other things to do (okay, four, three of being read a book), I'm writing now. Are you happy?

So, the website is going well. I thought it wasn't getting as much traffic as I'd wanted it to, until I accidentally clicked "Old version" on Google Analytics, and it showed me a pageview total. So I added that to the New Version and now I'm happier with the amount of traffic I got. It's certainly a lot better than just visits. I do feel like a bit of an idiot for not noticing this sooner, of course.

College... well, college is college. I've got this trip to France coming up in a month, but I don't know for the life of me how much it will cost. I'm guessing my bank account will hate me for it, though. It won't talk to me for weeks, I'm sure. In the meantime, I've got to read lots of books. Those three I mentioned earlier? Well, one is God is Love Alone. The guy who wrote it set up the community in France we're visiting. The other two are novels on our Gothic module, but we get to pick which two we write about.

But I did set up a Writers' Soc. I think I mentioned that before. The problem, initially, was that no one really contributed to the meeting much. So Pinkie and I - that's her blogger name, not some kinky and/or strange nickname I'm giving her - set out a full plan of deadlines and whatnot. We have another meeting on Monday, when we can tell people writing for the new magazine - The Scribbler - when the first deadline is. That'll be fun!

Everything is pretty much going well. The Rest is Silence is almost completed fully, and I have a deadline to hand it in by, so that will get me working better than usual. The only real problem I have in life is with one friend who doesn't really see me or anybody else as a friend. That sucks, right? I mean, that's downplaying it an awful lot, but it sucks. I wish I could make this friend see some sense, but that's not really possible when I'm not allowed say anything. It makes me feel like I did a couple of Mondays ago... when I threw up on the bus.

I won't tell that fascinating story again.

So, there you have it. Mostly life is good, and aside from the sucky situation with the friend who doesn't see me as a friend being the saddest thing ever, I'm happy. The first years are now finally around long enough that they're not just miscellaneous faces sardined into the building. Some of them stick out from the crowd now. Some of them are curious people I feel I should be talking to more but won't, because that's the sort of person I am (shy and timid, not stuck up and pretentious). I had that same experience last year, and when I started in college, and I think the only way to let those sorts of people into my life is to either (a) join a club or society they're in or (b) just let it happen. That's pretty much how I spoke to every single friend I have now.

Now, blog, if you'll excuse me, I have to pretend I have plans for the night.

Neglectfully yours,