Acclaimed Authors, Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall, Release New Anthology

This week I am delighted to welcome back again authors Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall telling us a little more about their highly successful writing careers. Welcome back to both of you, and thank you, once more, for being my guests.
Guest Blogger Jenny Twist's image on Amelia Curzon's Blog - Curzon

Tara Fox Hall and Jenny Twist launched their anthology of speculative fiction, Bedtime Shadows, on the 24th September. The book has already received high praise from other authors and is said to rival the short stories of  M. R. James, Philip K Dick and even Stephen King.

The two writers became friends when they both contributed to the highly acclaimed anthology, Spellbound 2011, issued by Melange Books in October last year.

“I was so proud to be in that anthology,” says Jenny, whose own anthology, Take One At Bedtime, was chosen as Editor’s Pick when it came out in April of the same year. “I thought every single one of the stories in it was interesting and well-written and the authors were all such fun to work with.”

“I was excited to make the jump from short horror stories to longer works,” added Tara, whose flash fiction and short Guest Blogger Tara Fox Hall's image on Amelia Curzon's blog - Curzonstories have appeared on-line at Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, The Copperfield Review, and Microhorror. “I’d just published my first paranormal romance e-novella, and was anxious to be in a print book. Spellbound 2011 introduced me to some wonderful authors, some of whom have become very good friends.”

The two writers could not have come from more different backgrounds. Jenny was born in England and worked at many different jobs including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant before returning to full-time education at the age of 28 and doing 2 history degrees at Manchester and Oxford. Eleven years ago she retired to Spain. “I feel like I’m finally getting on with my real life,” she says. “I always wanted to write and now I’m finally doing it!”

Tara was born in the United States, earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a double minor in science at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and is currently an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop. In addition to speculative fiction, Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include non-fiction  action-adventure, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. “I love that my stories resonate with people,” she says. “That they can lose themselves in my stories means I’ve done my job.”

Bedtime Shadows by Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall - Book cover“We chose Bedtime Shadows as the title,” Jenny says, “to reflect my anthology, Take One At Bedtime and Tara’s Just Shadows. We are very proud to have an introduction by the illustrious horror writer, T. Fox Dunham (no relation to Tara) and we have been very lucky to have some excellent authors give us advance reviews.”

The book is a mixture of horror, speculative fiction and romance – stories of ghosts and vampires, future dystopias, travel through different dimensions, a holiday romance that changes everything, and a new twist on an ancient myth.

Here is what other authors have to say about it.

“I recommend this collection without any reservations” – Herbert Grosshans.

“Together these two authors will strap you to your chair and lock your attention to the magic they weave.” – Su Halfwerk

They know how to write stories that entertain and involve their readers. Someday I think we may identify them with authors like Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and HP Lovecraft.” – John Mecom

“This literary progeny of authors Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall was a joy to read for a couple of reasons. There’s a nice variety of stories ranging from dramatic to speculative to downright gruesome.” – Mysti Parker

Daily-living captured and stylistically rendered with a ‘twist’ of macabre lurking behind each provocative tale…BEDTIME SHADOWS delivers a punch — watch out for the unexpected.”
~ Douglas Wickard 

BOOK BLURB

The Man With No Face Jenny Twist

All her life Deborah has been haunted by the memory of a couple locked in a deadly embrace. She thinks the woman may be the mother that abandoned her but she cannot see the man’s face. Who is he?

All That Remains – Tara Fox Hall

This thrilling sequel to The Origin of Fear (Spellbound 2011) takes us back to Latham’s Landing. Will Tina and Sandra survive their encounter with the ghosts that inhabit the haunted isle?

The Children of Hope Jenny Twist

It is 1963 and Ginny is unmarried and pregnant. Her parents consign her to one of the infamous Mother and Baby Homes which  are little more than prisons and workhouses. Will she be able to escape before they come to take her baby away?

 The Bull-Dancer Jenny Twist

The twelve chosen bull-dancers are sailing out of the harbour under a black sail, bound for Crete and the deadly Minotaur, while a mother looks on in anger.

Take the Chance– Tara Fox Hall

A young girl growing up in post-apocalyptic America is determined that she and her sister will survive – whatever it takes!

A Victorian Dolls’ House Jenny Twist

When Violet sees the dolls’ house in the antique shop she has to have it. But the Delacorte House is no ordinary dolls’ house – and it is definitely not a toy!

Heart’s Bells– Tara Fox Hall

Theo and Casey are in love, but so many things stand in their way. They suffer separation and heartbreak but still remain true – until something happens to Theo that changes everything.

Doppelganger Jenny Twist

When Christine wakes up in a sumptuous white room with silken hangings, she assumes she is in heaven. But she soon finds out she is not in heaven. And before too long she begins to wonder if she is even still Christine.

Voices Jenny Twist

Olivia and Aidan are telepathic twins. Olivia is used to hearing Aidan in her head, but she is terrified when she hears a new and sinister voice.

Return to Me – Tara Fox Hall

Determined to find the source of the nightly creaking she alone can hear, Sam Reading discovers Harrison Benning, a ghost who becomes corporeal for one night of the year; the summer solstice. Their warm friendship soon becomes powerful love that lasts through decades, tragedies, and even beyond death.

Catch Me If You Can Jenny Twist

Willy prowls the streets at night, listening to all the sounds of the old town. But does he have a more sinister purpose?

Shades of Grey– Tara Fox Hall

Throughout history there has always been a Seer making sure that the world follows its proper course, keeping the world in balance. Yet when the old Seer prepares to hand over the burden to his apprentice Tim, he realizes too late that Tim has his own ideas of how things should go.

Other books by Tara and Jenny

Just Shadows by Tara Fox Hall - Book cover

Take One at Bedtime by Jenny Twist - Book cover

To find out more about the authors, go to:

Jenny Twist

Website

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads Blog

Amazon Author Page

Tara Fox Hall

Website                                          

Email

Tara’s Blog

Tara’s Facebook Page   

Twitter

For info on my recently published work, Lash, click here:

For info on my recently published work, Just Shadows, click here:                               

Thoughts on Writing Flash Fiction by Jason Sullivan

 A huge welcome to my Guest Blogger for the week, the wonderful Jason Sullivan, talking about the challenges and advantages of writing flash fiction. “I think we will be seeing much more flash fiction in the years to come”, he offers.  Perhaps you disagree!

My first flash fiction piece was actually a short story that I made even shorter. It was a “short” short story at a little under two thousand words, but I still had some cutting to do. When I pared it down under one thousand words, I was worried I would not have enough story. What I found, however, was that I very much enjoyed the sharpened focus of the flash.Guest Blogger author Jason Sullivan on Amelia Curzon's Blog - "Curzon" I posted the story and received a lot of helpful feedback from other Friday Flash participants, so from then on I was hooked on flash fiction.

I have always enjoyed reading short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Conrad Aiken, Franz Kafka and many others.  When I started to write it was often in the form of a page or two of fiction, or non-fiction, usually for a homework assignment. Maybe these were my very first flash fictions—of course, I did not know it at the time! As I got older, I dabbled a bit in short stories, partially because I liked the form and perhaps because I figured I could never get all the way through writing a novel. Well, now I have written a novel, three to be exact, although one is yet to come out—look for it sometime this summer!

After I wrote my first flash, it was around Halloween and everyone was writing a flash with a spooky Halloween theme. I thought why not give that a try. This is one of the nice things about flash fiction; almost anything can act as an inspiration for a story. Holidays and seasons are often a good source for ideas. Well, my Halloween flash, about a writer with spider problems, went very well. I plotted it like a mini-short story. The first and last paragraphs needed to be tight and focused. Of course, the first and last sentences of a flash fiction are perhaps the most important of all. They are like the opening and closing punch.

CloudsI also realized that flashes bring a clarifying perspective to dialogue. Perhaps one or two exchanges are all you get. This is a challenge, but I never shrink from a literary challenge (LOL), and again there is the opportunity to hit home with a quote or two that not only lets readers hear the character, but also tells them something about him or her. Much of the world building and descriptive content is similar. There are no words to waste. One must get right to the point. Of course, this is the same for pacing and structure, not a lot of verbose eddies in which to linger.

I went on to write quite a few more flash fiction stories, I actually put together an eBook with ten of my favorites. It is entitled, Foresight and Other Rescue Plans. Another wonderful aspect for writers is the opportunity flash fiction provides for experimentation with different genres. A writer can try new things without pouring a lot of time and energy into a novel only to discover, after much effort, that it is not going to work.

Perhaps the best part of flash fiction, however, is what it provides for the reader. Often people are very busy online and do not have time to read a full-length short story. Flash fiction allows readers to sample many different authors. This, I think, certainly gets readers interested in a writer’s longer works. For writers, too, flash fiction is good for their novels because it teaches the importance of thoughtful word selection, well-chosen actions, character development within the dynamics of the story, and world building as a process. It is true that in a novel, authors have the luxury of building scene upon scene and chapter upon chapter into a wonderful universe for the reader to enjoy. Even in the middle of great tomes, however, readers have little patience for sloppiness, poor focus or haphazard wandering. In this respect, flash fiction is an excellent practice tool for removing redundancy and honing the art of writing prose.

I hope you have enjoyed some of my thoughts on writing flash fiction. Although short in length, it is a large topic. I think we will be seeing much more flash fiction in the years to come. Please leave your thoughts on the medium or share one of your experiences with writing flash in the comments below.

Thank you, Amelia, for this opportunity to guest blog at your wonderful website. I want to encourage everyone to read Mungai and the Goa Constrictor. I read it and totally loved it! It is a superb tale filled with memorable characters. It is a great read and contains a very important message for the times in which we live.

My blog: http://differentoutcomes.wordpress.com/
My flash fiction collection: http://www.amazon.com/Foresight-Other-Rescue-Plans-ebook/dp/B007BPA228/
My Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Sullivan/e/B00488V1XK/
A recent flash fiction of mine on the #amwriting website: http://amwriting.org/archives/11539
Friday Flash collector: http://fridayflash.org/press/the-collector/

Jason Sullivan lives in Lawrence, KS. In graduate school he studied religion and philosophy with a focus on epistemology. For many years he lived in Maryland in a circa 1850s farmhouse that he helped to renovate.