By now you’ve all heard of the WOCA (Writing Out Child Abuse) Project that we’ve been working on. You’ve heard from J.S. Wayne whose idea originally kicked off the project, you’ve heard from Renee Vickers about her story. Today Amber Greene joins us to talk about her story from the anthology. Exit, Horatio holds the honor of being the first story in the WOCA anthology A Light in the Darkness.
Please make Amber feel welcome by leaving your questions and comments for her in the comments section following this post.
By Amber Greene
Exit, Horatio starts with a young stage apprentice forced into prostitution. This is, he’s told, the price of glory on the Elizabethan stage. But his new patron is a vampire, and Horatio’s corpse is dumped into the Thames. His murderers expect him to be forgotten, a book closed forever. But the boy who clung so fiercely to his dreams has become a ghost who clings just as fiercely to his new goal: stopping the murders.
One of my favorite movies is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, based on a play by Tom Stoppard.
Here’s a quote: For a handful of coin I happen to have a private and uncut performance of “The Rape of the Sabine Women,” or rather Woman, or rather Alfred. And for eight you can participate.
Alfred in the movie is an adult, but in the play he was a resigned eleven-year-old struggling into a woman’s dress. That disturbed me.
Knowing how true-to-life that portrayal might have been disturbed me more. After letting the images roll around in the back of my head for a few years, I realized I had to write a better future for him. So maybe I cheated by adding the paranormal. Maybe someday I can write it straight. But for now, we have Horatio, the ghost, confronting his pimp and his murderer. I hope you like the result.
I’m pleased to introduce R. Renee Vickers. I met Renee recently at a BVS author chat and we had a good time. Today Renee is here to talk about the Writing Out Child Abuse project and her story in A Light in the Darkness (the Writing Out Child Abuse Anthology).
The layout for the anthology was completed today. It will now get a final proofreading pass from me…any corrections will be made…and it will go back to the authors for their final approval. Once we have the author’s approval files will be submitted to the printer and the various ebook retailers who carry our books. You’ll definitely want to watch for it. It’s a great introduction to the work of six talented authors and all of the proceeds are being donated to charities working to end child abuse.
I’d like to thank Laurie and the wonderful folks at Black Velvet Seductions for having me here today. And thank you all for hanging out and reading!
You’re welcome Renee, I’m delighted to have you here today. I’ll have tons of questions for you in the comments section. I hope everyone else steps forward with some as well.
Did you know that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month? It’s an entire month dedicated to raise awareness to not just a national, but a world-wide epidemic affecting the most vulnerable members of our society. I’ll save you all the heartbreak of discussing statistics, but as you can imagine, they’re staggering. And those are just the instances that were reported or documented. I think what we can all agree on is that even one child abused or neglected is one child too many.
When faced with an issue such as this, it’s difficult to not feel an emotional obligation to do something to bring about change, even though it seems like an insurmountable task. But it’s completely unacceptable to do nothing in the face of tragedy. The best way to guarantee the perpetuation of victimization is to do nothing at all.
“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.”
What small thing can I do to help prevent child abuse and neglect? I imagine that’s the question J.S. Wayne was thinking when he came up with Writing Out Child Abuse. Writing Out Child Abuse, or WOCA, was founded to help raise awareness for the victims of abuse through stories of survival and triumph. In its first anthology, A Light in the Darkness, six authors have come together to share their craft to show that even in the worst of times there is hope and redemption in the world. Working together with Black Velvet Seductions all proceeds from this book will be given to charities focused on aiding victims and survivors of child abuse.
I was honored to be asked to contribute to this project.
A Light in the Darkness is expected to be released in, April 2012, but if you’re interested in learning more about this project and the authors participating, please stop by the Writing Out Child Abuse website.
Blurb for A Light in the Darkness:
In A Light in the Darkness, the inaugural anthology from the authors of WOCA, a dark world awaits you. Spanning centuries of time, encircling the globe, and running the gamut from eerie historical fiction to gritty urban fantasy to page-scorching erotic romance, these authors unflinchingly dissect the horror of child abuse in all its forms. These authors have taken great pains to ensure the innocent are assured justice and the guilty pay for their crimes in the unique fantasy worlds they have created. Sadly, in real life, this is not always the case.
Blurb for my contribution, Chasing Ashes
Special Investigator Grace de Pierre has a sixth sense when it comes to abduction cases, so when Madeline Sanders is reported missing from her home in Macon, GA, Grace is called in to help with the investigation. In the race against time, the detectives struggle to find the right clues to save Madeline. Grace knows all too well what could happen if they’re too late.
An Excerpt From Chasing Ashes:
The sound of the engine rumbling up the driveway tore her from her sleep. The light flooded in from the window perched high up on the wall, washing the barren gray surface on the other side of the room in its sickening glow.
She remained as still as possible, hoping against hope that the Boogie Man wasn’t real. And that he wasn’t back. Hoping it was just a bad dream, that she was actually in her room with her mom and dad down the hall.
The light shut off, leaving her staring into the pitch black dark. She blinked against it but it did her no good. Her eyes were slow to adjust to catch any glimpse of illumination. She held her breath, and hoped she didn’t hear the creaking of the stiff door as the latch popped out of the jamb and it swung open. Her mind pushed at her reality to will the usual sequence of events to fade away like a bad dream.
But the hollow-sounding crack broke the silence. The pop crashed against her ears before she heard the stiff thuds of his boots landing on the asphalt. The aged metal of the car door whined a protest just before he slammed it shut.
Her heartbeat crawled into her throat. She strained to listen beyond her thundering pulse as she counted the foot falls of his approach. Seven clunky steps fell against the walkway on the other side of the wall. Three thuds up the stairs. Two steps to the door, then a pause. A crashing clattering as keys struck the wood above her head shattered down her spine as her body stiffened against the sound. She listened to him grumble some curse and dared to gasp her first breath since she woke. She threw her hand to her mouth knowing he must be able to hear her as clearly as she heard him. She did not want him to know that she was awake.
R. Renee Vickers’ Links:
Find WOCA on the web: http://writingoutchildabuse.wordpress.com
Visit me on the web: http://museampoule.wordpress.com
Thank you all for hanging out with me today!
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest author, Gillian Golbert. If you stopped by on Saturday when J.S. Wayne was here, you’ll remember that he talked about the WOCA (or Writing Out Child Abuse) project. I’m pleased to say that the first WOCA anthology A Light in the Darkness has been written and edited and is currently being formatted for paper and ebook release. Today’s guest author Gillian Colbert wrote Reborn for the anthology. She’s here today to talk about the Writing Out Child Abuse project, her story Reborn, and what she has to do to remain true to herself as an author.
About Gillian Colbert:
Gillian Colbert discovered writing later in life, but is now addicted to words, syllables and phrases. She loves books and stories of all shapes, sizes and genres, but most of all Gillian loves to write about people overcoming their insecurities and finding their mate. After all, risk and passion are what make life worth living.
In her spare time, Gillian is a mother and dog owner. Her two Pitbulls have proven to be a love story in and of themselves. Every day, their affection and bond grows and deepens. In truth, their deep canine love with its angst, joy, play and encouragement is inspiration for Gillian. Everyone should love so purely.
Other works by Gillian Colbert include the novella Coming Out of Her Shell, as well as several short stories.
Writing What You Want to Read
By Gillian Colbert
I became an erotica author, simply because I couldn’t find enough erotica books I wanted to read. That is not to say I didn’t have a huge selection to choose from, typing in the simple keyword “erotica” returns 78,916 results at Amazon and 51,122 at Barnes & Noble. The reality is that there is a swarm of books available under the label erotica. What I was struggling with was that once I went outside my favorite authors or publishers, I simply was dissatisfied with what was available.
Speaking purely for myself, the best erotica is actually a psychological exploration of human sexuality in all of its forms. The sex itself is merely the catalyst for the exploration, not the point. My favorite authors all search out and examine the character’s motivations and the events in their histories that have shaped them. These stories are always satisfying in that you’ve taken the journey with the character whether the ending is happy or open ended. That is the erotica I like to read.
Over and over, however, I was finding books that had lots of highly explicit and/or kinky sex, but I couldn’t tell you anything meaningful about the character or the story itself. I am a voracious reader and the best books are the ones I think about for days or months after the last page is read. I want to connect with the characters and feel like I’m going through their struggles, and pleasures, with them. I was coming away from what I read feeling flat and disconnected.
One day, I just got fed up. I’d deleted yet another selection from my iPad, this time without even finishing it when it occurred to me that I probably wasn’t alone, so why not try my hand at writing a selection that I would want to read. Coming Out of Her Shellwas born of that idea.
Like most people, I learned quickly that it was not as easy as I’d assumed to write a quality piece of erotica. I struggled over developing a realistic plot, grammar, formatting and whether to try and go through a publisher or self-publish. However, like a firstborn child, it is my favorite piece of writing to date. I’ve practiced more and grown as a writer since it came out. I’ve even gone back to school to get my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The one lesson I learned above all else, however, is to write what I want to read, it is the only way to be true to myself as an author.
Website and blog: www.blackdoorpress.com
Facebook: Author, Gillian Colbert
An Excerpt From “Reborn”
From The Anthology: A Light in the Darkness
by Gillian Colbert
“You in there?” Kyle’s smoky voice pulled me out of my head and I jumped as he snapped his fingers in front of my face.
The book in my lap slid to the floor, as did all the papers I’d been reviewing.
“Damn it! Now look what you made me do.” I knelt down and began stacking the scattered papers.
“Geez, calm down will you?” He scowled at me and knelt next to me. “Here, I’ll help.”
He picked up my Econ book and reached over to set it on the coffee table at the same time I put my papers down. Our chests came within a hair’s breadth of touching and every cell in my body began to vibrate. His warm breath tickled my face and his eyes darkened from glowing emerald green to a smoky moss. I could smell the tang of Dr. Pepper and pizza on his breath mixing with the scent of his soap. I was shocked to feel my nipples harden. I’d never experienced that sensation without physical stimulation and I gasped.
Kyle’s eyes dropped to my suddenly dry lips. I licked them in a futile attempt to replenish their moisture and Kyle groaned. Before I could react, his lips touched mine. I’d never been kissed by a man and it was a very different feeling from Katie. His lips were firm and warm and brushed mine with feather-light tenderness. I surprised myself by leaning in for more. He smelled so good and his lips felt like heaven on mine.
I inched closer until our bodies were just touching. My nipples grazed his chest and I felt the intake of his breath at the contact. His lips continued to brush against mine. The kiss was so light, it was almost teasing. I leaned in and pressed our lips together more firmly, reveling in the silken feel of his skin, the slight bristle of his late afternoon stubble and spicy clean scent of his skin. It was an amazing feeling to be kissing the man I loved. He reached up and brought his hands to my biceps. Gripping me tightly, he deepened the kiss.
My brain short-circuited. I forgot who he was. I forgot where I was. I lashed out and pushed him away from me. I heard a loud crack as his skull made contact with the wood coffee table, but all I knew was that I had to get out of there. I snatched up my backpack and ran.
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