Friday, July 13, 2012. What better way to begin such a feared and dreaded day by bringing to you three of my favorite authors, whom I shall now bestow upon them the title Mavens of Macabre!
You may be asking yourself: How can these lovely ladies be horror writers? Those sweet, beautiful faces surely can't make your hair stand on end, can they?
Indeed they can!
Maven is the perfect description for these incredible women. They are experts in their respective genres and strive to pass along their hard-earned knowledge to the rest of us struggling authors, freely imparting their wisdom and support.
Ahhh, macabre! Gruesome. Horrid. SCARY! Yes, these bevy of beauties will knock your knickers off with their intricate tales of terror.
Each of these talented women have a special place in my heart. This is not just because all three write riveting books, but because each one has taken time to mentor and support other authors, myself included, with passion and conviction. What a trio!
Although their respective writing styles differ, they each possess that ability that all writers strive to achieve: a way to pull their readers into the pages of their books and hold them hostage until the last word is ingested.
**** Barbara Watkins writes horror masterpieces that will truly make your hair straight (or curly, depending upon how it started). I have read and reviewed quite a few of her books, including Hollowing Screams, Awaken Spirit, Mortal Abomination and of course, the intense thriller, Six-Pack of Blood (with Ms. Betty). To say that I am a huge fan would be the understatement of the century! My Stephen King collection has been moved aside on the shelf, replaced with her frightening tales!
**** Yvonne Mason is the QUEEN of true crime novels. She is the voice for those that no longer are able to confront their killers. Her novels are heart-wrenching, painful and full of hours upon hours of tedious research into the atrocious crimes committed. Her words speak for people that have long since been forgotten. Silent Scream and The Last Rites made my heart ache for the victims and my blood boil and rage against the monsters that drained these innocent souls of their blood. My admiration runs deep for the love and compassion she infuses into telling the story of the silent ones. Of course, she also likes to throw in a bit of humor now and again, and her book When Fates Collide is a hysterically funny ride that will keep your sides aching from laughter.
**** Betty Dravis. A true inspiration to each and every writer out there for a wide gamut of reasons. Mentor. Friend. Experienced publisher. Interviewer to the stars. Writer beyond compare. Mother. Grandmother. Twitter Princess! Where do I begin? Her works range from the emotional roller-coaster 1106 Grand Boulevard to the "back stage" peek of the life of celebrities in Star Struck. Of course, since this is the Mavens of Macabre post, her fantastic foray into horror with her three shorts in Six Pack of Blood are PHENOMENAL.
Ladies, my big southern hat is removed and I bow humbly before each of you. May "all y'all" continue to grace the world with your literary masterpieces! I now hand the reigns of the blog over to:
My name is Yvonne Mason. I am currently a resident of South Florida but I was born and raised in Georgia. I am as eclectic as the books I pen. When I graduated from high school in 1969 I didn’t go to college until 2004 when I was 52 years old. I decided it was time re-invent myself so I earned my degree in criminal justice with a 3.50 GPA and decided to fulfill a dream. I became a bounty hunter. Once that was accomplished I decided to fulfill another dream. That was to become published.
I spent over thirty years trying to publish my first book. That dream became a reality in 2007. Since then I have published eight books from inspiration, to true crime, to crime fiction, to historical fiction to comedy. I also have a horror short story which be only be found on Nook and Kindle, hopefully to be made into a book. I refuse to be put in a box. Too many authors get caught in that trap and can never escape.
On May 17th of this year, my audio book A Voice From the Grave won first place for the CIPA EVVY award in Colorado. This was such an honor.
Later this year toward August I will be releasing my second audio book Dream Catcher, Failure Was Never an Option. This book is the reason I write. It is the true success story of my brother who is challenged and was never supposed to succeed.
Currently I am working on two books a comedy crime story and another historical fiction.
My books are best sellers on Amazon kindle which appears to be the way most folks are going in the new century.
I have been asked to tell the reading public what scares me. As I think about it I can’t think of anything that really scares me anymore. I have been around the block way to many times. I have done too many things to really be frightened of anything. True there are things that I really don’t care for like snakes. But as for being scared, not really they are more afraid of me than I am of them.
You can find me on facebook as well as my website at http://indieauthoryvonnemason.com
First and foremost, I want to take this time to thank you, Ashley Fontainne – thank you for honoring me and my work by sharing this awesome write up on your fabulous blog…! To be showcased with these two fabulous writers, Betty Dravis and Yvonne Mason is a dream come true. These two women have many awards and writings of the highest standards and I consider myself as being one of their greatest admirers.
Hollowing Screams is a character driven tale of a mother and daughter’s betrayal, manipulation, and pure insanity. When lives tormented by paranoia and schizophrenic delusions collide with the aspect of the supernatural world, it sets off a multitude of bizarre and unexplainable events defying all reality. The inhabitants of a small midwestern town find themselves questioning their strict religious beliefs when confronted by a mysterious stranger with extraordinary paranormal abilities. Dabbing into the spiritual world of the unknown, Hollowing Screams will evoke mixed emotions from even the most skeptical of nonbelievers.
FEAR- TERROR-DEATH- it’s all around you! Can you feel it? It’s coming your way unless you heed my words. Listen to my warnings- STOP the impending doom! Your town- Patton will be enveloped in evil- there is no turning back. My name is Lola- I see it all before it happens. So, can you- read this black book- take it from me if you dare- open it- and learn what are in store you, the town, your family, and others in the future? Relive your past, fear what is in the present, and learn who among you is the planner of the diabolical events that will plague your town unless stopped.
Who is manipulating the minds of those who are weak? Who is causing these unexplained deaths? The town of Patton will experience events changing course of many lives- and definitely not for the better. Katrina White is insane- or is she? Driven to hearing voices, seeing things, violent outbursts from the time her daughter Shannon was born- there is only one thing that could end her tirades and mad behaviors: Committing her to an asylum. Feeling dejected or maybe just for appearances, Shannon White learns early on how to use desperate measures and manipulate situations to her advantage in order to survive. But, to what lengths will she go, and just how far will she go to destroy anyone that tries to hurt or belittle her along the way?
My inspiration for “Hollowing Screams” was an old Indian psychic – a gypsy of sorts, which I personally was introduced to as a young teenager growing up not far from the town of Patton in Missouri. She was known only by the name of ‘Lola.’ She traveled from town to town, but her home was a two room decrepit old trailer, which she shared with her mentally ill young daughter. She often told stories of changing peoples lives by foretelling their future. She would give them warnings about their health or loved ones that were in danger. She personally read me twice and at the time I was a skeptic, but everything she told me played out in my life – some of which played out years later. I picked the town of Patton, (in Missouri), as it is a small rural setting with a small close nit community of people.
About a year ago, I was networking on Facebook and met a wonderful young director from Zodiac Entertainment in New Zealand by the name of Dimi Nakov. After researching some of his work – impressive to say the least, I kindly ask if I could send him a few of my books, no strings attached just wanted his opinion of my work. A few months later, I received a personal e-mail stating that he was quite impressed with my style of writing. He said he had a screenplay (a thriller) that was being adapted to a short film entitled, BlindSide, and would I be interested in looking at the main characters monologue. He wanted my opinion! I know I was just as surprised as you are now, lol! To make a very long story short, I made a few changes and added my own flavor to the script and they accepted them. As the credits roll at the end of the film it reads, Writing Credits, Barbara Watkins Voice-Over Monologue for main character, Becky. I have since signed a film contract with Zodiac Entertainment for my book, Hollowing Screams.
I’m proud and honored to say, “BlindSide” has been accepted into several film festivals and made its debut at the 2012, Cannes Film Festival – a distinguished honor.
I was born and raised in Missouri - the (showme state), whatever that’s supposed to mean, lol. Don’t tell me – showme! Years ago when I read ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King, I thought, this is what I want to do. I want to entertain with my words, scare, horrify, and take the reader into a world of which nightmares are made. I hope that I have accomplished just that in my own tales of horror.
When reading a tale of suspenseful horror, what makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up – makes chills run up and down my spine, you ask? I think that question is best answered with a quote I prepared, "As a writer, I will go down any dark alley, inch my way through the tightest crawl space, and feed on your every fear. I will take your sense of calm and tear it to shreds." Yes, I have a tendency to scare myself at times, lol…!
A few other books by Barbara, including her inspiration behind them!
I began to write “Behind the Red Door” when confronted with my three-year-old grandson’s apparent ability to communicate with the unknown. Just as in the book, we believed his so called make-believe friends was just that. However, we soon found out they were more than that. He related to us that one of his so called make believe friends appeared to him as his guardian angel, and referred to itself only as “The Green man,” which I coincidently used in the book as well. My grandson and daughter were the inspiration for this supernatural tale. I used actual events and exaggerated upon them to add suspense. I, as a young child, experienced supernatural phenomena, as my own children and their children subsequently have had. I also wanted to write a story that expressed how important it was to have faith and to trust in your own intuition.
I wrote this paranormal/thriller to remind those that there is nothing more sacred than the trust and love of family. However, I wanted to show the disastrous domino effect that happens when that love and trust is betrayed. I used the Mother and daughter as the main victims in this tale, as I believe there is a bond between the two that cannot be denied. I wanted to show what could happen when a person is belittled, betrayed, and manipulated by one whom they should have the complete respect of. I wanted to write a story that showed the differences between revenge and justice.
You may find out more about Barbara and her books at the following locations:
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Watkins/e/B002FZQ5B6/ref=sr_tc_2_rm?qid=1341006735&sr=1-2-ent
Betty Dravis is a retired newspaper publisher and career journalist who also hosted a Cable TV talk show. She is a celebrity interviewer and author of seven books, including her latest two e-books, "Six-Pack of Blood" (with Barbara Watkins) and "Star Struck: Interviews with Dirty Harry and Other Hollywood Icons." Three are novels in print and e-book format: "1106 Grand Boulevard," "The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley" and "Millennium Babe: The Prophecy." Two others are nonfiction in print: "Dream Reachers" and "Dream Reachers II," collections of celebrity interviews (with Chase Von).
Dravis also wrote three short stories that were consistent best-sellers in the Amazon Shorts program and had short stories published in the anthologies "Every Child is Entitled to Innocence," "Sweet Sunshine," "Just Our Best Short Stories 2005." She recently finished her first full-length horror/paranormal book "Evil Voices" (unpublished at present).
She is the devoted mother of six (two are now angels), grandmother of nine, and has five great-grands and one great-great grand. Dravis, a decades-long resident of Silicon Valley, currently resides in the Central Valley of California. She's a Kentucky Colonel, an honorary title bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky, featured in two Who's Who books and former San Jose (CA) Woman of Achievement. She's also a member of American Author Association (AAA) and Dames of Dialogue, a former member of Sigma Delta Chi and San Jose Newspaper Guild and is an Amazon and Midwest Books Reviewer.
Her most recent awards are: "BEST PARANORMAL/HORROR BOOK," presented for "Six-Pack of Blood" by Dimi Nakov, producer/director of ZODIAC ENTERTAINMENT of New Zealand: TOP 20 IN BEST OF WOMEN'S FICTION, presented by Heart Press; and placed 18th in the 4th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL SHORTY AWARDS (author division).
Of writing, Betty always says, "It's exhilarating--like sliding down a rainbow with a huge smile on my face, filled with love for the whole of God's magnificent creation." She laughs as she adds: "Yeah...and marketing is like trudging through a field of 'chewed' bubblegum on a hot, sticky day." :-)
About SIX-PACK OF BLOOD: "When people ask me why 'a sweet lady' like me writes such malevolent, creepy stories, I say, 'I cut my teeth on John Saul, Steven King and Shirley Jackson. Roasted over an open pit of hot coals, they were tasty morsels, indeed.'" - Author Betty Dravis, on writing horror
I’m overwhelmed that our creepy tales in Six-Pack of Blood
prompt reviewers to call our stories “horror masterpieces,” and am definitely humbled when they compare me and my co-author Barbara Watkins to Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Rod Serling and other horror masters. Renowned movie critic/book reviewer Bennet Pomerantz even went so far as to compare our creepy tales to “Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery.” Author Jessie B. Tyson blew my mind when she wrote in a review, “It’s a pity good old Alfred Hitchcock is dead now…because he would have had a field day with these stories.”
With this book being anointed by acclaimed horror director/producer Armand Mastroianni (Dark Shadow, Pandemic
and more) and legendary e-book author John Locke, and given the Best Paranormal/Horror award by Zodiac Entertainment’s Dimi Nakov (whose “Blindside” was honored at Cannes this year), what writer could ask for more. All I can say is to take Armand’s advice when he invites you to “Sit back and enjoy with a six-pack…or a fine wine…” Mastroianni invites you to begin the first story and promises you that you won’t stop until you’ve devoured them….but not too quickly. He recommends you savor each one.
Barbara and I also welcome you to our dark world where malevolence rules and anything that can happen does happen… Once again, I caution you to leave the lights on and lock all the doors and windows… No telling who—or what--is lurking in the shadows.
To learn more about Ms. Betty: