Upcoming Publication Announcement!

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Dying Print”, has been purchased and will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Wild Musette Magazine next year!

Image result for detectiveThis is the sixth mystery featuring the character Detective Shaw to see publication. There are several other Shaw stories kicking around the slush piles out there – my plan is to eventually compile a FREE anthology collection of all the “Shades of Shaw”. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, sign up for my newsletter here so you don’t miss out!

(I promise I won’t spam you or flood your inbox – I know how annoying that is! My newsletter is never sent more often than quarterly, and only when there’s enough great new info to make it worthwhile.)

Poll: Which “Teaser Word” Makes You Want To Read A Book More?

For this week’s poll, I want to know about you as a reader. Specifically, when you read a blurb about a book, what “teaser word” is hardest to resist? If you respond most to a word not included in the poll, feel free to add it in the comments section below!

 

The results from the last poll are as follows:

Which Picture Creates the Best Sense of Atmosphere?
Empty and abandoned church nave. 37.5%    
Trail through the dark woods. 25%    
Abandoned amusement park. 25%    

Derelict house in the woods. 12.5%   

Poll: Which Picture Creates the Best Sense of Atmosphere?

For this week’s poll, I’d like to know which picture you feel creates the best sense of atmosphere. Does one of the pictures invoke a stronger feeling or response than the others?

The results of last week’s poll are as follows:

What Do You Find Scarier? 
Having the feeling that someone is watching you, when you believe you are alone. 33.33%    
Waking up in the middle of the night with the feeling that someone – or something – else is in the room with you when you should be alone. 33.33%   
Having an instinctual fear reaction, like the hair raise on the back of your neck, without knowing why. 16.67%    
Realizing that the sounds of nature around you have stopped when you’re walking in the woods by yourself. 16.67%   

Poll ~ What Do You Find Scarier??? 👻☠️🧛💀🦇               

👻 ☠️ 🧛 💀 🦇 👻 ☠️

In the spirit of Halloween, I want to know what you find scarier:

 

Thanks for your participation, and if you have an idea for a poll that you’d like to see posted, please let me know in the comments section below!

The results of last week’s poll are:

Who is the best female villain? 

  1. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates in Misery) 33.33%
  2. Other: View 33.33%
  3. Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl) 16.67%
  4. Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar – Cruel Intentions) 16.67%

👻 ☠️ 🧛 💀 🦇 👻 ☠️

Who is the Best Female Villain?

It’s my favorite time of year and I wanted to do something Halloweeny (it’s an actual word, an adjective-who knew!) for this week’s poll. Naturally, I started think of the best villains. Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface . . . notice a theme here?

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The most common villains are from horror movies. If you do a Google search, you’ll also get plenty of other villains, from gangsters to terrorists, but they’re almost all male. If you search specifically for female villains, they’re mostly from fairy tale, Disney, super hero and comics movies.

What’s going on here? I don’t think we as a culture shy away from portraying women as villains, but it does seem that they aren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts. So this week I’m asking who you think is the best (realistic) female villain. Feel free to add your own if your pick isn’t represented!

 

The results of last week’s polls:

Which situation would you least like to find yourself in?
* On the side of an empty stretch of highway miles from anything with a broken down vehicle and no cell reception. 45.45%  (5 votes)  
* Any location where I was isolated and by myself with no way to communicate with others. 45.45%  (5 votes)  
* Spending a night in a derelict house believed to be haunted, all by yourself but with a working cell phone. 9.09%  (1 votes)  
* A ski lodge cut off from communicating with the outside world by a blizzard. 0%  (0 votes)  

* An Island resort cut off from communicating with the mainland due to unknown circumstances. 0%  (0 votes) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ Introverts, Interaction, Networking & Community

Writers need to write.

It’s simple enough. Rather basic, really. No big surprise there. But when you look in greater detail at what successful writers do, there’s more to it than just writing (or writing well).

Writers need to network. They need a #WritingCommunity.

Image result for lone wolfWait. What? But aren’t we all shy? Lone wolves doing our own thing, fearful of leaving our safe writing spots and interaction and (gasp) conversation. With other people?!?!

I’m what you’d call a severe introvert. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, I’ve seemed to have outgrown that throughout the years, but I’m horrible at small talk. Bad at starting conversations with strangers. I’ve read that people like being asked questions about themselves, but I can’t seem to do that, either. Sometimes, when people ask me questions, it feels like the Inquisition. It seems cruel to do that to someone else.

Isn’t this the way you’re supposed to be as a writer?

Image result for writer's digest conventionThen what are all the conventions about? Big gatherings of people – who write – all across America, held for the purpose of meeting, talking, networking. How does this work, exactly? And how do we learn to step out of our comfort zone to join the chaos  nightmare  fun?

Are there enough writers who are extroverts? Do they carry the conversation for all of us, or are they the only ones getting networking done? I need a large dose of courage, stat!

Next month I’m attending my first conference. Just me and several hundred strangers. That’s not uncomfortable at all. Gulp. 😨

I’ve read up on what I’m supposed to do. I’ve checked Twitter to see who’s posting and what’s trending about the event. In this case, very little indeed. So there’s really no one to follow, no one to ‘pre-meet’ before the event from behind the safety of an electronic device, no way to integrate myself into a ‘social’ group beforehand. Unless I make it happen.

Twitter is the #1 recommendation I’ve seen for introverts trying to prepare for writer events. Since tweeting takes very little effort, I’m going to try building my ‘pack’, see if anyone connects with me if I try throwing myself out there. If anyone reading this is going to the 2018 New England Crime Bake, (and is not opposed to a little pre-conference convo), send me an email (AuthorShannonHollinger@gmail.com) or a message in the comment section below.

If anyone’s been to some of these events before, and has some advice, I’d love to hear it!

Image result for lone wolfIn the meantime, I’m researching members of the panel, familiarizing myself with everyone and everything that I  can so I don’t get struck mum and wind up regretting that I didn’t say a word to anyone the entire time. This lone wolf is ready for action, prepared for stranger danger and ready to say some words! (I think hope am!)