Podcast for the Ages: Running and Screaming and Giant Frogs

I love podcasts.  There’s something about them–maybe the fact that I can walk around and do other things while listening to them. So rare for me lately to not be tied to a computer screen. It also gives me a back in the day sort of feeling, listening to the radio while doing chores.

There’s a radio show on BBC Radio 4 called The Unbelievable Truth, that I also enjoy listening to. It’s a quiz show with comedian David Mitchell in the chair– love that term– and is described in the program’s introduction as “the panel game built on truth and lies.” The object of the game is for the participants to lie on a subject, while trying to include the truth without being detected. The other contestants have to spot the lies to win points. You can find episodes of it on You Tube. I used to listen to it while washing dishes, kitchening, packing, or daydreaming about what I need to write.

This... this is what I need to finish writing.  I mean, It's going to be released in another month or so.
This… this is what I need to finish writing. I mean, it’s going to be released in another month or so.

I also find not having the visual to focus on more stimulating to the imagination. If you’ve never listened to a podcast online, I recommend Crucible of Realms. It’s fun and crazy and geeky and always makes me laugh.

Some of the comments made are enough to inspire stories on their own.  I mean, check the title of this podcast:

Running and Screaming and Giant Frogs.

So listen to the latest Epoch iteration on the fantastic Crucible of Realms.  To quote the podcast: “Go out there and create something. The world needs more stuff.”

Disclaimer: There’s a little bit of a skip toward the end of my reading, but I don’t think it distracts from the excerpt.

Graveyard Shift Sister: Janet Eckford

The next installment of my interviews with Black female horror authors includes the multi-genre author Janet Eckford.

Janet is also a successful romance author as well as a horror author. Her collection of dark stories is called “Whispers in the Dark”.

WhispersInTheDark

Disclaimer: A few days before this post was to go live, I found out from Janet Eckford, the author of the collection “Whispers in the Dark”, that her contract with her publisher was over and she was removing the book from sale. Since this was after I’d read the collection and interviewed her, I was at first needless to say, surprised, then disheartened. I asked her if she’d found another publisher, but she said she didn’t have immediate plans to re-publish.

She asked if that would pose a problem. Honestly, I wasn’t sure. I wanted this series of posts on women writers in horror to be a way of recognizing what we as women of color are doing in the industry (and possibly making a book sale or two.) Also, me going on and on about a book that the readers of this blog can’t buy is a bit of a bait and switch.

After discussing it with Ashlee Blackwell, the founder of Graveyard Shift Sisters, I decided to move forward with posting this book review and interview. Partially because I want to support Janet’s work as a female writer of dark fiction, but mostly because I’d love for her to re-release this collection for all to enjoy.

While Janet pulled her book for personal reasons, I think this is a great segue into why it’s important to give authors your support. Buy their books, leave reviews, send them a message on social media to say you enjoy what you do.

It’s difficult as a writer sometimes to stay motivated. Few reviews, precious little feedback, sometimes even smaller financial compensation. Some Black women horror writers I’ve spoken with also have to contend with family and societal pressure because we write dark fiction. We come across a lot of: “Girl, what’s wrong with you?” and “You need to go to church more.”

To those people, I say, “Learn to separate the author from their work.” Writers are creators of worlds. We conceptualize, we imagine, we ask the what ifs. If there’s a murder down the road from you, more than likely your friendly neighborhood horror author isn’t the culprit. We’re hard at work with our noses to the screen writing the next big thing. But we’ll probably use it in a story somewhere down the line.

With that I’d like to extend my best wishes to Janet with placing and/or updating her collection of horror short stories. Visit the Graveyard Shift Sisters site  to read the full  post I wrote for “Whispers in the Dark” by Janet Eckford. I’ll keep you updated for when the book becomes available again.