This Place. A short story for Halloween.

The seat was a fallen tree, a once-mighty oak, now moss-covered, and beginning to rot. It had lain at the top of the hill for as long as I can remember.

It was the place where I often sat in solitude, looking out across the valley to the hills, and onwards into the purple haze of beyond.

I am surprised more people do not know of this place, the place I think of as my own. Yet over the years of coming here, I have only seen a few people before today. The occasional dog walker, the tramp who wandered too far from the village, the little girl with the kite, and one or two more. I have never seen any of those people more than once. It seems that visitors to this place are far and few.

Perhaps, the problem is the woodland. To get to this clearing on the hill, one must trek through the densely wooded area, known locally as the Gallows Trees.

There are rumours abound regarding the woodland.

One such tale is the woods are so named because the town’s gallows were built from the old oaks that grow here. Like the one I often sit on. It is said the lost souls of all those hanged now wander aimlessly amongst the trees.

Another story is, years ago, a fellow called Gallow owned these woods, he was a woodsman. One day a cavalry officer rode up to the Gallow’s cottage on his charger, demanding Mr. Gallow’s surrender his daughter, so to become the officer’s wife.

Gallow’s refused, and a fight took place. As Mrs. Gallows tried to separate the fighting men; the officer sliced off her head with a mighty swing of his Sabre. Mr. Gallow retaliated by hefting his axe high into the air before bringing it down with all his might.

At that precise moment, young Annabel Gallow’s ran from the house, coming between the men. The axe cleaved Annabel’s skull in two.

Mr. Gallows was hung in the town square. His body was left dangling for a week, suspended from a frame he himself fashioned from the very oak trees of his own woodland.

Locals delight in telling this tale to outsiders, informing them Mr. Gallows ghost is constantly looking for Annabel within the woodland. On quiet, windless nights, it is said you can hear him calling her name.

“Annabel”, the air whispers, “Annabel, where are you?”

This is the story the locals tell. But others say it is not true.

One time, not so long ago, something unusual happened here.

A group of men came to this place. They carried with them an array of equipment. I heard they were called Ghost hunters, Spectral engineers, or Paranormal researchers. It really depends on who you listen to.

They were a strange lot, wandering about fixing camera points, heat sensors, movement detectors, microphones, and all sorts of gadgets throughout the woods, and around the green where the tree trunk lies.

Five day’s they stayed. Sleeping in a van, and a few oddly assorted tents at the north edge of the woods, next to what once was Black Mill Farm.

Every morning they milled about drinking coffee and checking their machines. They took turns watching the dials and screens they precariously placed on rickety trestle tables in an open-sided tent.

Nothing happened.

Nothing at all.

This is why, I supposed, they seemed somewhat dejected the morning they were leaving.

I thought I would never get another chance to see exactly what they were doing here, so that morning I walked closer, watching as they unplugged their equipment, and began to pack it away.

I was surprised how much care they took in placing their strange machines into those big black padded cases. Two men carrying them, gently lifting them, and sliding them into the van without dropping, banging, or jolting them.

So intent was I watching the men’s activities, I walked very close to their tent, much closer than I intended.

That was when everything in the tent started to buzz and beep. The men jumped, startled expressions appearing on their faces as they rushed about in excitement. I watched as they stared at the lights flickering and buzzing, pointing, and stabbing their fingers at the screens, and dials.

The men were looking up, out of the tent, in the direction I stood. I looked around and about myself, I could see nothing which would cause them so much excitement.

One man called out… ’Who are you?’

I thought he was speaking to me, so I answered him, ‘I am Annabel,’ I said.

I am surprised more people do not know of this place, the place where a once-mighty oak stood, now fallen, moss-covered, and beginning to rot, the place I think as my own.

© Paul White 2014 _ FFCO2104‎2014/U21/808


If you enjoyed reading ‘This Place‘, I am certain you would love to read my psychological suspense story, ‘Three Floors Up‘, published as an eBook/Kindle, and available from Amazon, https://amzn.to/3uZ5W0q and universally via D2D, https://books2read.com/u/mlYqN7

Writing in Isolation

We are into the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been a tumultuous year as we adjusted to a new vocabulary; masking, social distancing, quarantine. Yes, we’ve heard those words before. We read them in books, maybe, heard them in movies or on television dramas. Now the words were a part of our daily conversations.

I have been out of my house less than twenty times in the past fourteen months. I have seen my children and grandchildren less than that.

I have learned a valuable lesson, and it came as a shock.

I’ve always been something of a loner or homebody. Many would disagree with that assessment. I like people, but I love my own space. Being stuck at home shouldn’t be a problem for me. Generally, that’s true. However, this super social distancing reached a peak a few months ago.

I’ve always committed to writing at least two thousand words a day. That’s what Stephen King does, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s certainly good enough for me.

When staying home was recommended by health officials, I believed this would afford me more time to write. I might double my daily word count. I had several unfinished works, and this would provide the ideal opportunity to whip them out.

Why, I might even finish them all before the quarantine ended!

As the weeks passed into months, I found I was writing less, not more. I would sit with my trusty laptop and read over what I had written the day before. Pages became paragraphs. I would have an idea of what I wanted to write, but I couldn’t get my motor going.

It wasn’t until last month that I realized I hadn’t written anything in over three weeks. I’d edited projects I was working on for others. But I didn’t have a word of my own to show. What was happening? Was this writers’ block?

Somewhere in my ruminations, I recalled something one of my English professors told us. He advised we carry notebooks (this is pre-tech days when pen and paper were the methods of the day) and write down bits of conversations we overheard, descriptions of people we encountered, or places we saw.

I’m a writer and much of my writing draws on outside sights and sounds. My imagination may turn everyday events and conversations into more elaborate (and often disturbing) experiences.

A writer needs a good imagination. A writer also needs to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the world outside her head. Being cut off from the sounds of busy streets, rolling waves, crunching leaves, bits of conversations, and other real-life noises removed them from my conscious and then my subconscious.

Living inside, I missed the end of one winter, the bright colors of spring, summer heat, the crispness of fall, and another winter.

I missed Valentine’s dinner at our favorite restaurant with my husband, watching my grandchildren hunt for Easter eggs in the grass that was beginning to green. There was no giggling and splashing in the backyard pool, no picnics at the lake where the sounds of motorboats cut the air, no weekend at a cabin for our anniversary.

The pumpkin farm and haunted trails never happened. No big family Thanksgiving dinner where everyone brought a dish to share. I did my Christmas shopping online without the hustle and bustle of crowds, both joyous and stressed.

I don’t know about other authors, but this writer cannot write in a vacuum. I need to smell the change in the air as seasons drift one into the other.

I need to hear snippets of conversations and build a story around an innocuous remark I overhear in the supermarket or restaurant.

It seems, things are beginning to loosen up. I’ve gotten my Covid-19 vaccinations. I will still double mask and be responsibly socially distant. But I feel safer venturing out into the world where my inspirations are waiting.

Somewhere a woman is complaining about the price of milk, a man is discussing a sporting event, teenagers are giggling at a TikTok video.

Tomorrow the sun will rise over a late winter day, and spring will beckon me to go out and play, to smell the freshness of growing grass, to see the heads of flowers forcing their way through the rich soil.

And I will once again begin to weave commonplace occurrences into tales.

In fact, I think I have an idea tickling the back of my mind now.

© Elizabeth Noreen Newton


ELECTRIC ECLECTIC BOOKS, Visit @open24 THE AMAZON STORE FOR READERS AND WRITERS

Story Behind the Story

by Karen J Mossman

What is it that makes a writer want to write a story? Where does the idea come from?

Sometimes it is a single image that will inspire them. Other times, it’s a song, or a place, or just something they overhear.

Today we are looking at Toxic as shown below. Two books, two authors and one story.

Why would you have two different books if they are one story?

I’m going to answer that question by telling you the story behind the story.


The idea came from Karina, and so I got in touch to ask her about it.

I am not a huge Science Fiction fan, but have always wanted to write about a world that lived underground. It was more dystopian story that I wanted to write.

I have never collaborated with an author and it had been a long time since I had written anything new. I’d worked with Karen J. Mossman before, as she was one of my clients at KKantas Author Assist, and I put the idea to her.


My initial thought was to write one book with both our names on the front. After the story came together we realised how much science fiction was involved as well as romance and thriller. Toxic has a lot of sub genres and will appear to most lovers of dystopian and romance.

We talked online about it as I am in Greece and she is in Wales. The first thing we needed was a brainstorming session to build a world for our characters. I set up a Zoom meeting and we spoke, wrote, and chatted for over an hour and one important thing from it. Both of us wanted something different, and we weren’t at first, sure how to reconcile it. I wanted the romance to be erotica and Karen didn’t. So this was a stumbling block and it was Karen that came up with the idea of having two books, same story, just differently written. I’ve never heard of anything like that before. So that is what we did.

I have never brainstormed with anyone before, never mind write with another author. When I spoke to Karina she mentioned that during our Zoom session, it was amazing how our story laid itself out in front of us as if was magic. We had our world, our characters, and the plot was there, and as we wrote it changed and took on a life of its own. It was a real pleasure to write and work with Karina.

We each wrote a chapter and sent it to the other to look at and add to it or change it. Not always easy when you write what you think is a good scene only to find the other has changed it. That’s why you need an author who you trust, and have respect for. Changes were never a problem because it only enhanced the story.

A hundred years ago acid rain fell to earth and the people took to living in the mountains. Over time the humans developed into Maloks, just a new name for those who lived and worked in this new environment. With a committee to govern them, life inside was never easy, as young Lexi finds out.

We knew that we couldn’t leave it there once we had finished, and Toxic 2 is currently in the process of being written. After that a third, and final novella will be penned by Karina and I, where the magic will once more take us on a journey that we are not expecting.

Toxic 2 will be out late summer or Autumn of 2021.

Meanwhile, why not choose a story to suit you.

Blurb

Lexi isn’t your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well. 

Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.

Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.

“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.

Give your books their best chance

We are all guilty, at times, of taking things for granted, and that includes me.

For example, I have taken it for granted you know what Electric Eclectic is and how it works, which I know you, or at least many people, do not.

So, I shall endeavour to explain…

Whether you are an established author, an emerging writer or a debut novelist, all of us have one main wish when it comes to our works; we want our books to be read.

To achieve your dream, you must let the world know you have written a great work, a wonderful collection of short stories or poetry, an enticing novel, your mémoire, or whatever writings you may publish.

This is when things become difficult for indie authors. Few of us have the funds, the know-how, the contacts, the experience or the backing to compete with mainstream publishing houses.

Neither do most have the luxury of time; many indies hold down full-time jobs, have children and family members to care for, along with the many other commitments.

Life can be hectic and demanding.

These are a few of the reasons I founded Electric Eclectic.

Electric Eclectic is NOT a publisher. We do not take any royalties.

Neither do we claim any rights over your work. What is yours, remains yours.

So, what is Electric Eclectic?

In its simplest form, Electric Eclectic is a marketing brand.

Technically, Electric Eclectic is a decentralised international co-operative alliance, managed by members in various countries around the globe, forming a strong branded synergy of collaborative association specialising in authorship, book branding, publishing, marketing and promotions.

Using Electric Eclectic branding, being part of the alliance, allows authors to penetrate deeper and wider into the publishing marketplace reaching many more readers than one can do alone.

Electric Eclectic authors work together and for one another while promoting their books and author presence.

Electric Eclectic concentrates in promoting the brand itself, creating marketing opportunities and offering services for the benefit of its member authors.

As an Electric Eclectic author, you also have the backing of the other members, who will willingly advise, help and support you when required.

Electric Eclectic has a far-reaching, multi-platform social media presence encompassing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, MeWe, LinkedIn and many more.

Plus, we have a great ‘friends’ network, these are other author networks and publishing houses who work closely with us in promoting indie authors books and those published by the small press, therefore greatly extending our market penetration.

We have a large range of information; Documents, Files, Links, Giveaway books, and various Services to aid and assist Electric Eclectic authors and to help and encourage the use of the marketing and promotional opportunities available through Electric Eclectics initiatives.

Electric Eclectic is not a membership scheme.

There is no annual fee or charge.

It is NOT FREE to join, but it’s darned close.

We do ask for a once off, lifetime author registration fee. This confirms you as an Electric Eclectic author. You’ll be surprised just how small this fee is.

The second cost is a licence fee, allowing you to use the Electric Eclectic branding. Each book using the Electric Eclectic branding requires a licence, as this is linked to the books ISBN or ASIN. Again, this is a very small amount.

We do NOT claim Electric Eclectic is the answer to your all your prayers.

This is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. Nor do we promise the sales of your books will increase a million-fold overnight or the number of ardent fans will rocket through the roof.

Electric Eclectic should form ‘part-of‘ your authorship, publishing and marketing armoury.

It is NOT intended to replace it. You will still need to work at promoting your books.

What Electric Eclectic is, is a low cost, effective method of reaching a wider audience, connecting with likeminded authors, gaining accesses to help, information & documentation, and benefitting from Electric Eclectic’s marketing initiatives.

To find out more how you can become an Electric Eclectic author, please email us at, eebookbranding@mail.com

Keep Happy, Paul White, founder of Electric Eclectic.


Orphans of the pen

Like many writers I have a store of part written works. Literary orphans, many of whom deserve better parenting than I have given.

Some are first drafts of short stories, ones which need attention before I could possibly allow others to set eyes upon them.

Some are beginnings of new books and novels. Many are several chapters – or more – in length. A few far longer, yet abandoned and gathering dust in the archives of ‘I’ll take another look at it, soon, one day, when I have time, sometime.’ 

Some are mere scribblings, outlines of thought, rough drafts of similar concept, or of unjointed notes, sort-of-bullet-points, fleeting notions.

Occasionally, I have pulled the odd page from the depths of neglect. In a few instances, I have reworked such a piece, even developed it into a viable story.

But those times are seldom.

Generally, when I unearth an old unfinished, partly written, abandoned tale, I quickly scan it, faintly recall its birth and return it, with a promise of coming back and spending some time with it ‘when I can give it the attention it deserves.’

Which is probably, almost certainly, a long way off from this current day, like… never.

We make the excuse of having more pressing and urgent tasks as current commitment. We enjoy the conception of creation, of having new babies in the making and we look forward to the birth of out next.

That is, if they reach as far as the publicatory birth. If our current focus is not waylaid or distracted by another fancy, another attractive proposition of literary lust which causes us to forsake the unborn penned pages, formed only weeks ago, during our crazed desire to conceive another narrative fable.

We, as writers, are not good rolemodels for caring and nurturing our creativities.

This is, as you can tell, one of the ‘things’ which I have been silently musing over during the past however-long it has been.

I wanted to understand why I could not simply open a file, drag out the unborn foetus of past indulgence and continue writing where I had left off. Even a re-read and re-write, rather like a genetic splicing of characteristics, to take each past abandoned child of mine from infantile scrawling to full blown beauty and let them loose.

So, I tasked myself to do precisely that. To wrench open the doorway of dusty archives and let the light flood in.

I was astounded by the mass of unloved writings huddled in the dank corners of my hard drive. However, I was determined to make amends for the neglect suffered by these poor word documents. After all, they never asked to be created.

One by one, I read the works.

By the time I reached mid-way point of the fifth part-work, I had my answer.

It is all to do with mood, muse and moment. At least it is for me.

Allow me to explain…

As I said earlier, literary lust and crazed desire set us on a special relationship in the attempt to conceive a beautiful outcome, a desired work of the bestselling nature.

While our mindset is concentrated, focused on a single relationship we flourish, some of us are capable of holding two, maybe three such affairs on a steady and productive track.

But each and all of these are balancing on a knife edge of frustration, distraction and boredom. Unable to help ourselves, our minds are constantly on the look-out for other attractive propositions and exciting ventures.

Therefore, once our muse is diverted the love for what is under our fingers wanes. Rarely is it lost, just lessened, it diminishes, at least for the present.

Then, one day we find these lost loves, or that which we once begat from such a relationship; they reach out, arms feebly grabbing for our attention.

But are we ready to take them to our bosom once more?

Most time, the shame is, we are not. We are not ready or willing. So, we slam the door in their faces, committing them to the darkness of closed files one again.

Why are we so cruel in our neglect?

The answer, I have found, is that mindset I mentioned earlier. To pick-up and move forward, we must rekindle the fondness we felt before, relight the old flame of particular creation.

Without us being ‘in the zone’ with regards to each individual story, we shall never see them grow into the works they surely deserve to be.

Maybe, to assuage your guilt of the shame and self-reproach I have now raised in your heart and mind, because of your wicked neglect over your part works, maybe you should unlock you archive doors and take some time with your unborn literary children.

Bring them out of the shadows, let them dance in the sunlight of new development and re-writing nirvana. You never know what wonderful orphans you may have forgotten.

Need more encouragement?

Then do this…

Dust off one of your lost children, re-write and re-work it into a Novelette or Novella, then publish it as an eBook or a Pocketbook or both, under the Electric Eclectic brand.

Share your creation with our Electric Eclectic authors, allow us to help you spread the word of your new-born, to introduce it to our loving readers.

Become an Electric Eclectic author today and start sharing your once orphaned works with the world.

Email Electric Eclectic, eebookbranding@mail.com

August edition of the Electric Press magazine is now live online…

The August 2020 edition of Electric Press – Literary Insights magazine is now online. Read for FREE below

We welcome contributions and submissions for the next edition of Electric Press magazine, the November 2020 edition. Click HERE for details


The Fun of Fairy Tales

by Karen J Mossman

Did you know that we at Electric Eclectic also have a Facebook group? No? If you like stories, good quality articles, memes, humour and sharing, then you should come over and take a look.

You will be welcome to post and share something interesting, as we love interesting things! We try to make our group a little different to the norm. We love stories and life is full of stories. How are you coping with isolation, for instance? What is your passion or your hobby? These are the things we would like to know. Share your experiences, and read what others think, do, and enjoy.

When I was a child, I was brought up on fairy tales and nursery rhymes and it was where my love of stories first came from. I’m a multi genre author and tried my hand at fairy tale, something that creates the magic I remembered; think vivid colours, castles and princes and princesses – and wicked stepmothers!

On Saturday 25th April, and for the first tim, we are going to hold a book launch in our group. Themed around fairy tales, you can immerse yourself on the stories you grew up with. Throughout the day there will be fun posts, images, a quiz, and giveaways. Get your thinking caps on, gather a few thoughts and images, and come and join us by posting about your favourite stories.

This is the link, come and join us now and when it starts the posts will automatically appear in your newsfeed – just like magic!

Enter Here

 

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Two books ALL authors NEED

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Whether you are writing your first book, consider yourself an emerging writer or are an established author, there is always something more, something new to learn about our business.

We may be well versed regarding grammar or have a literary doctorate under our belt; it does not mean we know what Etherpad or Zoho are. Trim sizes and paper weight may confuse us and we may never decipher the difference between the Frontispiece and a Colophon.

If you are looking to publish small press or mainstream it is good to know the accepted word counts of various genres. It also makes sense to understand publishers and agent’s jargon, such as Boilerplate, Permissions and Blues.

What does 4/0/0/4 mean to you? Or Casewrap? Are you familiar with Endsheets?… I’m just asking.

Who should write your books Foreword and who should write your Preface? Do you need either one if you include an Introduction?

Do you understand Copyright and why you might need a Disclaimer? Is it a legal requirement to have an ISBN… and where do you get them anyway?

How would you like some clear advice regarding the difference in formatting eBooks and Print books (Paperback and Hardcover) along with font style advice and free downloads?

How about some samples to help you write your back cover ‘blurb‘ and getting to know how literary agents work and what is it they do… exactly?

All these questions and more are answered, many with examples you may copy and use; along with links, site addresses and downloads to make your life a whole lot easier, to save you money, time, and ton of wasted effort and frustration.

EEnewLogoPaul White, the founder of Electric Eclectic, has two books designed to aid authors and writers to understand the publishing world and what you need to know to be a successful indie author.

Paul’s books are not about the writing process, neither do they offer advice on promotion or marketing… there are a plethora of publications, blogs, vlogs and podcasts which portend to do that.

Do not expect his books to be ‘self-help’ handbooks or a ‘step-by-step’ instruction manuals… they are not.

‘The Frugal Author’ focusses on the cost of self-publishing, giving detailed information Publication1on reducing expenses while maintaining, if not increasing, quality.

Paul says’ “No one needs a large ‘book debt’ before publishing. I advise how authors can be in profit from their first few book sales.”

Following the success of The Frugal Author, (revised edition now published), Paul received many questions about publishing and writing. This encouraged him to write a second book on ‘being indie’ where he addresses, in detail, the most frequent questions asked.

AuthorStuffThe result is ‘Lots of Author Stuff you Need to Know’, a weighty tome of understanding, knowledge and experience of the printing and publishing world. It is a book every author needs to have to hand regardless of experience.

“These books are full of the distilled results, the acquired knowledge and personal practice of being a successful, award-winning, Amazon bestselling indie author.” Says Paul.

The Frugal Author: https://mybook.to/FrugalAuthor

Lots of Author Stuff you Need to Know: https://mybook.to/Authorstuff

Prices on hold until the corvid 19 crisis is over. So, now is the perfect time to download both.

 

An update…

EE2020header

This is a short post to let you know what is happening with this, Electric Eclectic’s blog, right now.

As part of Electric Eclectics re-organisation and streamlining we are moving more information about Electric Eclectic to this site.

Regular visitors may notice the increase in the number of pages and there are more to come, along with links to relevant online pages, information and services.

Of course, we will still keep blogging so you are entertained with short stories, book excerpts and we will notify you when the latest edition of Electric Press magazine is ready for you to read. We shall continue recommending and reviewing books, hosting new book launches and, maybe, even indulge in the odd giveaway?

During the transition, we may not post as many times as we normally do, but please keep dropping by to see the changes we are making and feel free to browse the archives, which you can do by scrolling, selecting a date from the left-hand menu, or by selecting on the ‘archives page‘ from the top menu. Whichever way suits will lead you to a plethora of exciting and informative material.

Thank you for reading this and please come back soon.

Keep happyScreen Shot 2020-04-08 at 11.58.14

Paul

Call for submissions

Call for submissions to ELECTRIC PRESS – LITERARY INSIGHTS MAGAZINE.

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Electric Press is an online magazine for readers who love indie and small press authors.
Wanted for the MAY edition, articles relating to writing, books & publishing; written for/directed toward the ‘Reader’ & NOT other authors.
Suggestions for content include:
  • ‘A day in the life of ‘….’?
  • Author interviews.
  • Author Profiles.
  • Illustrator/cover designer interviews.
  • Some words on Editing/Formatting.
  • Poetry.
  • Short Stories.
  • Book reviews.
  • Life Stories.
  • Blog Posts.
  • Publishing Insights.
  • Market trends/movements
  • Effects of Coronavirus on indie authors.
  • Reports.
  • Upcoming/Cancelled Events/Shows.
  • Forthcoming Online Events/Broadcasts.
  • Competitions/Challenges

Contributions and Submissions are welcome from Indie authors, Small Press authors & Publishers, Author & publishing support services, Illustrators, Photographers, Artists & Cover designers, Book related websites/blogs, Book Reviewers.

Electric Press is a QUARTERLY periodical. Therefore, when contributing consider this edition covers May, June & July 2020 inclusive.
DEADLINE. Midnight BST, 20th of April 2020.
Please note, all accepted submissions will receive a promotional opportunity for the marketing of the contributor’s book/artwork/service etc. including images, short bio & purchasing links. (if required.)
Contributions & Submissions: Email, TheElectricpress@mail.com