Monday, October 27, 2014


I met Ms. Nelson-Hicks at IMAGINARIUM 2014 during a writers panel discussing Lone Hero vs. Heroic Groups. A very cool gal with some very awesome work out there, and coming out in the near future.

The main thing that snapped my head around while hearing her talk about her Single Shot JAKE ISTENHEGYI tale was the mention of ZOMBIE CHICKENS. -- PJW

When a Hungarian immigrant out to live the American Dream rents a room to a private detective with his own aspirations, voodoo and demon chickens must follow, right? 

They do in Author Nikki Nelson-Hicks’ A CHICK, A DICK, AND A WITCH WALK INTO A BARN, the first in Hicks’ Pro Se Single Shot Signature Series featuring her original character, Jake Istenhegyi, The Accidental Detective. 

When Jake Istenhegyi inherited a used bookstore in New Orleans, he thought he had finally found a haven. Here, he could hide away and spend his days reading and drinking coffee in peace and quiet. Then he rented out a room to Barrington “Bear” Gunn, WWI vet and aspiring gumshoe who dreamed of living the life of his detective pulp heroes. 

Jake never wanted adventure or mystery but when his friend goes missing while on a case, he goes looking and ends up trapped in a shed with a hundred demon possessed chickens clucking for his blood…it’s a hell of a way to spend a birthday.


1. I am Barney Stinson.

Not in the ‘sex with anything in a skirt’ way but in that I can’t resist a challenge.

Here’s a little back story on how Jake came into being: I was at PulpArk, a convention in Arkansas for writers of pulp fiction, where I was approached by Tommy Hancock from Pro Se Press with the challenge was to write a story, in the pulp style, that involved, in some way, chickens. 

“Challenge accepted.”

I couldn’t resist. This was an excellent opportunity to finally flesh out the character my husband and I talked about when we lived in Budapest in 1989. Our kids went to a school on Istenhegyi Ute (God’s Hill Street). Brian and I thought, “Wow, what a great name for a private investigator. Jake Istenhegyi, Private Eye!”

Now, all I needed was a way to bring in chickens. 

At the time, I was working on a short story about voodoo. So, voila! Zombie chickens!

I dropped the other stories I was working on and just barreled head first into creating a story with Jake, Bear Gunn and zombie chickens. It was a blast! 

I got it done by deadline….only to find that I was the only one. NO ONE ELSE had finished a story for the Poultry Pulp anthology so it was scrapped.

Still, Tommy liked the story so we decided to put it out as a Single Shot Signature Series with a new story, every six months, following the adventures of Jake Istenhegyi, The Accidental Detective and whatever I can throw at him.

So, now I’ve gotten a reputation taking on weird mishmash storylines.  Steampunk Superheroes? Got it. Historical Western figures fighting fairytale monsters? No problem! 

Everything starts somewhere, that is why….

2. Journals are wombs

One of my rules when I start every story gets a journal all their own. It doesn’t matter if it gets finished or published. Every story gets a place to grow and that is what journals are in my process. The journal doesn’t need to be leather or have a pedigree like a Moleskin. Jake was written in a Five Star spiral notebook. It is where I doodle, figure out plotlines and create characters. It is where my Big Bang begins. And I think that is because….

3. I like discipline.

Not the leather and strap sort (okay, maybe a little) but I do need the threat and the comfort of having a set deadline and a defined word count. It all comes down to the bare fact that…

4. I hate writing.

I like creating ideas, journaling and basically sculpting the universe in my notebooks and I like HAVING written but the actual writing part….gawd, BORING. So tedious, hard and just…..bleck. Well, not always….sometimes…RARELY but….sometimes it’s like hitting a vein and the magic just rushes out, time ceases and it is a glorious, delicious, braingasming high. 

But usually it is just typity typity type. But, really, it all boils down to the fact that….

5. I have no idea what the fuckity fuck I am doing.

Yep. Not a clue. I started A Chick, A Dick and A Witch Walk Into a Barn on a bet and just ran with it. I had NO idea it would blossom into a full series. Do I have a story arc? A story bible? A freaking clue where I want this guy to go? Hell, no! I barely know where he comes from myself! Terry Pratchett is quoted as saying ‘The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.’ 

So, yeah…..when it came to write the second story for Jake, “Golems, Goons and Cold Stone Bitches”, I was terrified and excited and angry and giddy. Basically, a bipolar banquet of emotions. One part of me, the anxious scared part, was crying, “But we don’t know what the hell is going to happen next? What if we screw it up? What if we can’t do it? What if we suck?” And another part of me, the fun, immortal, forever 9 year old, was grinning, “Yeah, that could happen…..but what if we don’t? What if we rock this fucker out of the park? Wouldn’t that be FUN?”

And it was.  


Author Bio

Nikki Nelson-Hicks has been described by a fellow writer as the 'unholy lovechild of Flannery O'Connor and H.P. Lovecraft'. An accolade she finds terribly amusing. She is an editor and writer for Pro Se Press. She is the author of the Pro Se Press Single Shot Signatures digital series, Jake Istenhegyi: The Accidental Detective. The first of the series,  A Chick, A Dick and A Witch Walk Into a Barn is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. The sequel, Golems, Goons and Cold Stone Bitches,  will be coming out soon. She also has a story in the Pro Se Press anthology, Once Upon a Six Gun. She has stories in Nashville Noir and Nashville Gothic (Parthenon Press), Soundtrack Not Included (Nashville Writers Group), Capes and Clockwork, volumes 1 and 2 (Dark Oak Press) and she edited the horror anthology, Comfort foods. She looks forward to seeing her stories in many of Pro Se Productions anthologies to come. 

Nikki Nelson-Hicks can be found constantly haunting the pages of Facebook, on twitter (@nikcubed) or creatively procrastinating on her blog,

Coming late 2014, a brand new Sherlock Holmes adventure, Sherlock Holmes and The Shrieking Pits from Pro Se Press.


The second story in the Jake Istenhegyi: The Accidental Detective, GOLEMS, GOONS AND COLD STONE BITCHES, is coming out in November 2014. The third will be out in Spring(ish) 2015. The goal is to run Jake through the wringer every six months or so. 

Other goodies coming out soon from NNH are:

Stone Baby, a short story in the anthology Nashville Gothic, that the publisher said after reading he wanted to “bleach his eyeballs out” is coming November 2014

A Sherlock Holmes novella from Pro Se Press, The Astonishing Tales of Sherlock Holmes – The Shrieking Pits is coming out early December 2014.

Delilah Ditch: The Galvanized Girl is a short story that will appear in the anthology, Capes and Clockwork that will be coming out late 2014/early 2015. Hopefully.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


In a violent and turbulent world a young woman must decide, vengeance or destiny. 

Justice Xavier has lived half of her life enslaved. Traded from owner to owner for her stubborn refusal to capitulate to her owners’ wills she has lived a life of torture all in the name of hiding her true nature. That of the Order’s hope of Bella Morte, beautiful death. She is believed it be a skilled warrior and a commander of the elements all in the name in leading them to victory over the all-powerful Eleanor of Ke’lan and returning the world to a pre-apocalyptic state where the Order can protect the world behind its shield of anonymity against the men who would see all women and children subjugated to their collective will. 

Duncan is called Legend. An enslaved gladiator who fights to survive in the arena of the Queen he is favored by her in their illicit trysts. Only this time she is calling upon him to murder Bella Morte. But he is not alone in the tunnels, in the adjacent cell is William, a gifted and trained healer, who appeals to whatever humanity that might remain in Duncan. 

And when Duncan’s connection to Bella Morte is revealed they are faced with a choice. Depend on one another or face death apart.


[And now, Ms. McCorkle cuts to the short and sweet of it with her FIVE THINGS LEARNED...]

1. That I can indeed go the distance in writing a full length novel, just barely 70K.

2. That my villains can not only be bad to the bone and love being that way, but be complicated and human at the same time.

3. That the good guys can turn out to be spineless and wishy washy even when you intended them to be strong and silent.

4. Not everybody is going to love your book the way you do.

5. And finally when you least expect you can hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller List!


Author Bio

An award winning and bestselling author, blogger, screenwriter and filmmaker Amy McCorkle also writes under the pen name Kate Lynd. Her popular blog, bestselling memoir and soon to be in a theater near you, Letters to Daniel. Her works include The Gladiator Chronicles, Bounty Hunter, When Doves Cry, and the Aurora Black series. She loves to hear from her readers and fans at

Monday, October 20, 2014


Every Hero has a beginning…

As long as man has walked the Earth there has been an internal drive to evolve, a hunger for progress. From this craving the Illuminati were born. The secret society swore to protect and pursue the most impressive intellectual property of each generation, building upon it to perfect every new invention from medicines to industrialization and eventually weaponry and DNA research. 

Francis’ experimentations were the bane of his family’s existence. Out of fear of his sorcery, their village drove him out and Francis narrowly escaped to the depths of the forest where nobody would follow. In his solitude, Francis continued the research. Only his twin brother, Philip dared visit and only under the cover of darkness. 

Then Philip disappeared on the eve of his wedding. 

Blame fell to Francis and an angry mob cast aside their fear in the light of a hundred torches. What they found at the cottage became a cautionary tale for generations to come. Little remained of the cursed shack and what still stood was splintered and spattered in blood. The villagers fled in terror to mourn the loss of their beloved Philip and revile Francis for his wickedness. 

But the brothers’ tales did not end in the woods of their homeland. 

Before joining the Emerald Seer, Dorian Raven White fought another war under a different name and there was nothing heroic about him. Emerald Seer fans will love this new trilogy about Storm’s favorite vampire.


1. F@&$ genres! 

Everybody wants to know what genre I write so this has become my token response. Mind you, I clean it up for youngsters but basically I’m anti-genre. 

I write what I write and that means I tend to bridge multiple genres. Who needs another cookie-cutter, formula-driven story when the possibilities are endless? Why not push the boundaries and write something completely different? Sure you need to pick a genre when you publish but you have the ability to play around with it as much as you like. I say, take advantage of that!

2. There is no “right way.”

There just isn’t. People will always argue that their way is correct but is it really? Does it work for you? I just don’t buy it anymore. 

The publishing world has changed several times since I published my first book in 2011 and it will continue to do so. For that reason, I do things how I see fit and the readers will like it or not, but at least I am true to myself and my characters. 

3. Find the best Beta Readers you can. 

My Beta Readers are the best. They have different tastes and strengths but that makes them invaluable. Find Betas who can be brutally honest, catch your mistakes, and understand what you are trying to accomplish. I always test new Betas when I release a new book, just in case, but my core Betas are irreplaceable. Make sure your Betas are the best you can find.

4. Learn how to market yourself.
Social media is your friend. Learn it, work it, love it. It does not matter how you publish you will be expected to own social media. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are my favorites! Create a blog and make it interesting. Network and make sure you like, follow and share things that represent you, your books, and the interests of your fan base. Basically, become a social media addict or play one on the ‘net.

5. READ! 

It does not matter what. It just matters that you read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Reading makes you stronger is so many ways. It teaches you how other people see the world, shows you what to do and what not to do, introduces new ideas and principles allowing you to grow. 

Read. Read voraciously.


Ms. Patterson graduated from Miami University with a degree in psychology and minor in criminology. She spends her days like most super-heroines waiting for the clock to strike five, so she can escape into her imagination once again to pen another bestselling novel. Be sure to check out her amazing paranormal EMERALD SEER Series.

Twitter: @booksbyviolet

Books by Violet Patterson

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SEAN TAYLOR: Five Things Learned Writing OF MONSTERS AND MEN

INCLUDES "Sanctuary" by Sean Taylor -- featuring the Golden Amazon and Quasimodo!

Nine brand NEW tales of PULP HEROES vs MONSTERS!
The Golden Amazon, Green Lama, Richard Knight, Captain Future, Green Ghost, Moon Man, and more…

Battle demons and monstrosities from out of this world, by some of today's top talents!
1. I learned that characters I've never heard of before can quickly become your new favorites to write.
I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with the Golden Amazon prior to writing the tale, but I fell in love with her attitude and voice as I read the notes and the previous stories that featured her.

2. I learned that sometimes you have to ignore the established story that everybody knows.
Quasimodo was the good guy, the hero, the misunderstood monster. I had to make him a bad guy for the story concept that I was given to work. So I did. (Even if I didn't twist it back around later, but you'll have to read the story for that nugget.)
3. I learned that the Global Chill station on Pandora is one of my best writing tools.
I must have listened to this one non-stop while I was writing this story.

4. I learned that it's important to put your story title in BIG, BOLD fonts so they don't get missed.
The story is supposed to be called “Sanctuary” but it got the generic title of “Return of the Monsters” instead because I typed that on the first line and the actual title on the second line. Sigh.
5. I learned that sometimes one takes a “starter” job for a new publisher, and it can turn into something bigger as time progresses.
I learned that even a “starter” job can turn into something you really, really, really enjoy and lead to a new regular character you'd love to continue writing. (Refer to #1 if you have a short attention span or got distracted by a shiny, new squirrel.)
Sean Taylor is an award-winning writer of stories. He grew up telling lies, and he got pretty good at it, so now he writes them into full-blown adventures for comic books, graphic novels, magazines, book anthologies and novels. He makes stuff up for money, and he writes it down for fun. He’s a lucky fellow that way.

He’s best known for his work on the best-selling Gene Simmons Dominatrix comic book series from IDW Publishing and Simmons Comics Group. He has also written comics for TV properties such as the top-rated Oxygen Network series The Bad Girls Club. His other forays into fiction include such realms as steampunk, pulp, young adult, fantasy, super heroes, sci-fi, and even samurai frogs on horseback (seriously, don’t laugh). However, his favorite contribution to the world will be as the writer/editor who invented the genre and coined the term "Hookerpunk."
For more information (and mug shots) visit and his writer’s blog at
Links to Sean's work:
                     The Taylorverse: My Official Website
                     The Ruby Files
                     Show Me A Hero
                     Lance Star Sky Ranger
                     Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars
                     Many Worlds of Ulysses King
Sean's Social Media Links
                     Linked In
                     Good Reads

Monday, October 13, 2014

MADDIE JAMES: Five Things I Learned Writing Pirates I can Relate to my Own Life

I can't say I have ever read a real deal romance novel or series of stories, but, hmm, the idea of time-travel and pirates, hmm, I may change my mind and try a toe tip dip into one of Maddie's books. As a bestselling Romance author, she obviously knows how to write some great tales and characters.
Here is her "things learned" writing, well, pirate things...  :)
1. Pirates were cool dudes.
They were free spirits. Maybe even they were the original hippies. They floated about the seas on borrowed vessels, from island to island, coastal town to coastal town, nary a care in the world. They often partied all night and slept until they woke up. They loved their lifestyle, although not everyone else understood it.
I have that same free spirit mentality flowing in my blood. I love to sleep until I wake up, although I don’t party all night. Usually I’m up writing or working on a project. (wild woman here) People think it’s cool to be a writer, even though they don’t understand how it can be your full time job. So, pirates taught me to be cool with being cool, just the way I am.
2. Pirates charted their own course.
Although it was not so cool to chart your own course in life at the pain and suffering of others, nevertheless, pirates went “indie” early on, didn’t work for “the man” and reported only to themselves. The raping and pillaging notwithstanding, pirates were ahead of the game.
It took me a while to chart my own course in life. Even though I am a product of the 60s and 70s free spirit generation, I grew up in a conservative little town, within a conservative little family. Things were expected. High school, college graduation, a strong work ethic, get a job, pay your bills. I did what was expected for a lot of years, but the wayward pirate inside of me constantly whispered “you need to write” “you need to be in control of your life” “you need to quite your day job.”
Oops. I quit my day job. I’m now a rogue pirate writer not working for the man. I am charting my own course, and I am still working hard and paying my bills. Happily.

3. Pirates had many names.
I can relate. Pirates often didn’t want their bad reputation going back on their families, so they changed their names. This is why Edward Teach, or Edward Thatch, (even if those were his real names) changed his name to Blackbeard.
And this is why I have pen names. Not that I think I’ll ruin my family’s reputation, but in many cases, it’s just to keep my writing and personal lives separate. And oh, please don’t tell my mother about my erotica pen name….
4. Pirates loved the ocean.
They lived the “salt life.” What is the salt life? (Maybe see #1 above?) I’ve seen the bumper and window stickers, the t-shirts and ball caps. I think I know what it means but to be sure, I had to look it up. Here is what it means to live the salt life. According to the website at the previous link, “Salt Life is an authentic, aspirational and lifestyle brand that embraces those who love the ocean and everything associated with living the “Salt Life”.” Cool. Oh, so very cool. The Urban Dictionary also defines as “a surfer, bodyboarder, or general beach bum whose life centered around the ocean or related beach going activities.” See, pirates were so ahead of their times, again!
It was probably the early 90s when I was lured by the ocean and sand and surf. Once there, I could feel the pull, and it lures me back year after year….
5. Pirates liked pretty things.
Like baubles, and gold, and jewels, and buried treasure. I’m a woman, so I like these things too. In fact, in my book, Brazen, my heroine, Tory, was drawn to a silver-plated, bejeweled skull in a pirate gift shop on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. See?
An abridged excerpt from Brazen, Book Two, Soul Mates Series:
Colt led her another aisle away and as they were about to turn the corner, a sparkling object in a darkened corner of the room caught her eye. It made her halt outright, dragging Colt back to her side.
Sitting on a black velvet covered table, with a small light shining down and illuminating its silver brilliance, sat the chalice.
Blackbeard’s Chalice.
 “Ah, I see you’ve found me pretty.” The strong island voice was behind her now. Close. Too close. So close she could inhale the stench of him.
“What?” She whirled to face him.
“My pretty cup. What do ya think? Made from Blackbeard’s skull, itself. Or so they say. Have ya seen anything so pretty in your life, lass?”
Tory glanced at Colt, whose gaze was pinned to the thing.
“Is it real?” he asked. “The real one?”
A bellow of laughter split the stale air in the room. Both she and Colt tore their gazes away to look at the man’s face.
“Ah, but I could wish. One more quest in me search to find the bastard’s treasure. To possess the chalice would be a blessing. But sadly, this is only a fine-honed replica.” Then he winked, leaning closer to Tory. “At least that’s what I tell the people.”
“The jewels are different,” she muttered.
The man stepped closer. Tory avoided his gaze. “What say ya, missy? The jewels are different? And how would a young miss as yerself know such a thing?”
“Different than she thought they would be.” Colt put himself between her and the man. “Fascinating story, chap. I would love to speak with you more about that sometime. I’m a writer, you see, and I’m writing a book on pirate folklore in the area. A fictional account, however, and perhaps I’ll come back and chat with you another day.”
And with that, he ushered her quickly toward the front of the store, his grip tight on her elbow and his stride so long it was difficult for her shorter legs to keep up with him.
“Shut up, Tory,” he hissed under his breath.
When the door slammed behind them and she heard the tinkle of the bell cease, she kept up with six of his long strides down the street, and then stopped abruptly and jerked her arm away.
“There are no rubies in Blackbeard’s Chalice. Only emeralds and diamonds and one lone sapphire. No rubies.” She exhaled deeply as she said the words.
He moved closer and spoke again, his voice barely above a whisper. “And how do you know this?”
She knew she might as well give him everything. “Because I possess the real Blackbeard’s Chalice, Colt. It belongs to me. My family.”
Soul Mates, Book One (Time Travel, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal)
The Legend of Blackbeard's Chalice
Can souls touch through time and hold on when all odds are against them?
Claire Winslow vacations on an East Coast barrier island, content with her life and her potential future--until the illusion of a man walking the misty shore haunts her. Then one kiss--a beautiful, soulful, stolen kiss in the night--and her life changes forever.
Nearly 300 years past, Jack Porter is in hot pursuit of his kidnapped wife. Not an easy feat considering the year is 1718 and the kidnapper is the notorious pirate Blackbeard aka Edward Teach. Determined to rescue his wife and take the pirate's head in the process, Jack steals aboard the pirate's ship to save her.
Entranced sends Jack and Claire on a wild search through time, not only for the resolution to a powerful attraction between them, but also for a historical artifact that holds the key to their future happiness--the coveted silver-plated chalice made from Blackbeard's skull.
Maddie James is the author of 34 books, including the Soul Mates: The Legend of Blackbeard’s Chalice romance/time travel series, where she writes about pirates of the past and a modern-day pirate cult, all caught up in the name of romance, of course. You can learn more about her books at
Connect on:
Twitter @maddiejames