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← Click to join my mailing list and receive a free copy of my short story Crystal Servants, delivered through MyBookCave. Learn about some of the major players in my novel Crystal King and its sequels Crystal Queen and Crystal Empire.

Adrian, a spy for the King, sees a nobleman murder a servant. His desire for truth is pitted against the dangers of a high-stakes political game. When his friend Draken insists on pursuing justice, Adrian must protect those he cares about as the political games of powerful men alter the lives of everyone around him.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beyond the Wail - Twelve Grave Stories of Love and Loss

I am still only part way through an advanced reader copy of this book, but what I have read is a lot of fun, particularly if you like reading about paranormal and relationships. That's what paranormal is all about, isn't it? I have a couple of long-time personal friends who have stories in the book, but I'm going to highlight the anthology as a whole and one of the other authors today.

About the Anthology

What is it about fear and the unknown that pulls so passionately at the human heart? Perhaps we are drawn not to the darkness itself, but to the resolution, the overcoming of what we most deeply dread. After all, the more terrible the struggle, the greater the victory when it comes at last. Presented in this anthology are twelve remarkable stories of the darkness that overshadows us, and the resolution that may be found beyond them. They are stories of fear and oppression, but ultimately stories of hope, stories that will take you BEYOND THE WAIL.

At twelve stories, this is a large anthology. There is plenty to sink your teeth into here. We'll check with one of the authors about her story now.

About "Date Due" by Danielle E. Shipley

Danielle describes her story thus:
Let's talk for a bit with A magic library’s guardian determined to protect her treasured books, whether their authors elect to do things the easy way … or the fatal one.

How did you come up with the concept for your story?

I came across an image accompanied by the phrase, “I wish I had a secret library with all the books in the world in it.” My brain’s third reaction – after playing a few bars of the intro from “Into the Woods” and just generally drooling over the thought of ALL THE BOOKS – was to question: Suppose someone had a library full of all the books never written? How far would this bibliophile go to keep the books’ authors from writing them out of his/her possession? I wondered “aloud” on my Facebook page, and multiple responders commented, “You totally have to write this.” My muse seconded the motion, and the “Losers Weepers” theme of Xchyler Publishing’s then-upcoming anthology contest matched my premise perfectly, so I basically had no choice but to get the tale down on paper.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted something equal parts library-related and ominous. “Date Due” – the little phrase seen on library book check-out cards/receipts everywhere – fit both criteria to a tee. Like a librarian’s dark day of reckoning.

Please provide some insight into or a secret or two about your story.

One of my inspirations was Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Both Poe’s narrator and mine are anonymous – the text never once gives their names – and both insist throughout the story that they’re not insane, despite the fact that they are blatantly out of their minds. And, y’know, they’re both murderers.

What was the most surprising part of writing this story?

It was slightly slow going, for a short story of mine. I can normally knock out a story of this length in a day or two, but this one took me ten. My narrator would not be rushed. She wanted to give me her tale just so, and in her own sweet time.

What was the hardest part of writing your story, and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part was titling all of the books the narrator called out by name. Coming up with a title is hard enough for me when I’m familiar with the story in question. To name a book I’ve never read? Horror! Fortunately, once I’d gotten a first draft out of the way, with “[TITLE]” acting as a placeholder wherever necessary, a couple of my best pals were willing to toss out some random options, and I picked and tweaked my favorites from the list to insert into the blank spaces. 

Sherlock: Robert Downey, Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch? 

Very much enjoyed what RDJ brought to the table, but I’ve got to give this one to Cumberbatch. All my love to BBC’s Sherlock!

About Danielle E. Shipley

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. . . . Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble.

There are a zillion ways to get to Danielle's web presence. Here are a few places to learn more about her:

About Xchyler Publishing

The publisher is running a give-away raffle, so loot is involved! Enter and see what you can win. These have had some cool prizes in the past. Here's the link to it:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

They've also put together a cool trailer for the book.

You can buy Beyond the Wail at Amazon, and find it on GoodReads.