Interview with Krystal Garrett

Krystal Garrett

What are cemeteries like in the USA where you live?

Most headstones here are rectangular,  made of marble or granite. In some cemeteries, the headstones sit above ground, in others, they lie flush with the ground.

Do you know where your ancestors are buried? Do you visit their graves?

Although I know where my ancestors are buried, I do not visit their graves as often as I should, and I plan to change that.

I have an aunt who passed away as an infant and, to save expenses, was buried in the same plot as a great aunt of mine.  Now that our family have the money to bury her separately, we cannot, because other family members do not want to disturb our great aunt’s final rest.

There is no headstone for the infant, no inscription, nothing. Unless word gets passed down through oral tradition to the next generation, nobody will know she is there.

How would you like to be buried?

The idea of being buried in a casket six feet under the ground for all eternity terrifies me, so I want to be cremated.  I would like my ashes to be sprinkled in the oceans and mountain tops.

Have you ever been to a haunted place? What was it like?

Our town has a famous haunted graveyard: Greenwood Cemetery. People claim that ghosts still hang from trees there. 

One Halloween, we took a tour of the cemetery in the middle of the night to get a glimpse of those ghosts.  Did I see any? No. However, there was a creepy feeling about the place, and my senses were alert, screaming at me all the time not to look over my shoulder. 

I did look over my shoulder. I didn’t see anything, but the creepy feeling never left.

What scared you when you were a child?

Dolls, especially porcelain dolls. I stayed the night at a friend’s house one night and she had a room full of them.

Four or five of us were sleeping in that room, surrounded by creepy porcelain dolls wherever we looked. We all woke up in the middle of the night at the same time… and saw that the dolls had moved! Not just one or two of them, but every single doll in the room.

They were motionless now – but they had changed their positions and locations. Their lifeless eyes and pale faces stood motionless watching us with their blood-stain coloured lips.

Had one of the kids secretly moved the dolls while the others were asleep? Naturally, they all denied it, and I believe them.  How could a child move all the dolls in the entire room around, acting in full darkness, without waking at least one of us?  I have no rational explanation.

I still don’t own a porcelain doll and never bought one for my children.

As a reader, what kind of short stories you enjoy most?

I enjoy horror short stories. Any kind of horror really. I appreciate it all from gothic to gory.

What do you like about the Horror Genre?

Being scared. Hands down.  I enjoy that.

Who are your favourite Horror authors? What do you like about them?

Stephen King. He is able to portray the darkness of humans in his work. He focuses his work on neighborhoods where we should feel safe. He keeps us enthralled in the writing, waiting until the danger strikes.

How do you go about research for the fiction you write?

As a paramedic, I have a pretty good idea of the limitation of the human body so I apply that when writing a gory scene. If I need to know anything else, for example, how an officer would react in a certain situation, I interview people who have experienced this.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a creepy horror novel about a dark curse on a witch, inspired by a dream I had. 

Do you ever wander around cemeteries, read the inscriptions on strangers’ headstones, and wonder what their lives were like, how they died, what families they left behind?

When I was a child, my mum and I used to walk around and talk about the people we thought were buried there. We were always  a little sad when we read the headstones that belonged to children.

Has a real-life cemetery, grave or headstone ever inspired you to write a story?

Whenever my mother and I visited the cemetery, I was intrigued by the widow’s chair. It is said to bear a curse:  whoever sits in it will die exactly one year later.  I’ve never put this curse to the test, but it has inspired me to write a story about someone who is brave enough. The story is not finished yet.

What scares you? 

Spiders! They are the only thing that has the power to terrify me. When I see a spider, my heart speeds up and I lose the ability to function as a normal human. What if this eight-legged creature crawls on me  its tiny legs tickling my skin and its fangs feasting on my flesh? After a bite from a brown recluse spider my skin will first redden, then turn bluish black with  ulcers, then rot away… The thought paralyses me with panic.

What are your literary influences?  

I have always been a huge fan of Stephen King and Dean Kootz. As I ventured into short stories, I came to admire Rayne Hall and how she uses the environment around her to create stories. I never knew that Gothic Horror was a subgenre of Horror until I took a writing class and was introduced to her work.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

It was a writing contest entry. I’m a paramedic, and I  wrote my story from the perspective of a paramedic, showing how the job makes us susceptible to so many deadly things. It didn’t win, but I learned so much that I could use to improve my next story.

Describe your writing voice.

My author’s voice is creepy, thrilling, suspenseful, scary, and a little bit magical.

For your story ‘1999’ in the book Among the Headstones: Creepy tales from the Graveyard, where did you get the inspiration

I gained inspiration from a scary story I heard as a child. The story involved a painting of a cemetery. Every time someone walked past the painting, a deceased person began crawling out of the grave.  The story ends with the zombie coming through the painting.

I wanted to create a story that brought to life the idea that maybe we aren’t as safe walking in a cemetery alone at night as we think we are.

Thank you, Rayne, for facilitating the interview!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krystal Garrett lives in Midwest USA with her husband and three daughters. Her love affair with horror began as a child when the good guy doll, Chucky, graced her TV screen. She loves all things horror. She is a paramedic by day and a writer by night.

ABOUT THE BOOK

This book, edited by Rayne Hall, presents twenty-seven of the finest – and creepiest – graveyard tales with stories by established writers, classic authors and fresh voices.

Here you’ll find Gothic ghost stories by Robert Ellis, Lee Murray, Greg Chapman, Morgan Pryce, Rayne Hall, Guy de Maupassant, Myk Pilgrim, Zachary Ashford, Amelia Edwards, Nina Wibowo, Krystal Garrett, Tylluan Penry, Ambrose Bierce, Cinderella Lo, Nikki Tait, Arthur Conan Doyle, Priscilla Bettis, Kyla Ward, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul D Dail, Cameron Trost, Pamela Turner, William Meikle and Lord Dunsany who thrill with their eerie, macabre and sometimes quirky visions.

You’ll visit graveyards in Britain, Indonesia, Russia, China, Italy, Bulgaria, Thailand, USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan, and you can marvel at the burial customs of other cultures.

Now let’s open the gate – can you hear it creak on its hinges? – and enter the realm of the dead. Listen to the wind rustling the yew, the grating of footsteps on gravel, the hoo-hoo-hoo of the collared dove. Run your fingers across the tombstones to feel their lichen-rough sandstone or smooth cool marble. Inhale the scents of decaying lilies and freshly dug earth.

But be careful. Someone may be watching your every movement… They may be right behind you.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/Headstones

The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2022. (After that date, the price will go up.)  A paperback is about to be published.

Iarna în oraș

Sursă- internet – iarna 2017 în București

Demult nu mai ninge

de sărbători, ci mai târziu.

Cel mult o ploaie răzleață

ne urează prosperitate.

Dar și ninsoarea, când cade,

își pierde magia la oraș,

devenind, în loc de tablou clasic,

fleșcăială cenușie, haos, accidente.

Colindătorii nu mai vin

să ne aducă vestea cea bună

a nașterii pruncului Sfânt.

Ce părinți își lasă acum copiii

să sune la uși străine,

fie și în același bloc?

Radioul, televizorul, calculatorul

i-au înlocuit.

Pe ecrane se păstrează

imaginea idilică a tradițiilor duse.

Le revedem în fiecare an, nostalgici

după vremuri ce nu se mai întorc.

Și în multe sate, tradițiile mor

odată cu ultimii bătrâni

ce-și așteaptă, zadarnic,

copiii plecați peste mări și țări.

Interview with Author Robert Ellis

Robert Ellis in an interview for Marina Costa’s shipload of thoughts

Do you ever wander around cemeteries, read the inscriptions on strangers’ headstones, and wonder what their lives were like, how they died, what families they left behind?

I like seeing the very old dates in old English graveyards.  I really don’t wonder about these people’s lives or how they died. To me, it is more interesting that they just “were.”

Do you know where your ancestors are buried?

My parents are buried in a cemetery at the foot of the modernistic Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida (USA). They share a single headstone, engraved “Together forever.”

What gives you the creeps?

Watching a sick or old person expire in front of my eyes. Their breathing slows down, then just stops, and you realize it isn’t going to start up again – ever.

Have you ever seen a ghost?

Absolutely, positively, definitively, do not believe in ghosts. And yes, I have seen one!

What’s are your favourite short story? By whom, and why do you love it?

The best horror short story I have ever read is Steven King’s  “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut.” He manages to work in so many themes, including the Maine back country, the difference between Mainers and “outa-staters,” aging within a marriage, aging alone, and good old undying lust. All this in a totally original, scary tale. Just warning you, be careful how you fold a map, and never remove the critters from the grille of a car without wearing gloves!

What do you personally, as a reader, like about anthologies?

I love anthologies of short stories. I only write short fiction, and the chance to discover a new voice or a twist on a tale that I hadn’t ever thought of is wonderful. It inspires me to put finger to keyboard and start something new right away.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing?

I find inspiration in two main areas. One is location. For example, a reviewer once said that the city of New Orleans (USA) was just another character in my story. I think they were saying that the French Quarter had a physicality and a personality equivalent to the humans in my story.

The other is in older males acting inappropriately out of lust and a “seven-year itch” type of situation. Don’t worry, they are always punished appropriately; how could they not be?

How do you go about research for the fiction you write?

I don’t write what I know, I write about where I am/ have been, and about people who are foolishly like myself. So, I don’t really research; instead, I look outside at location and inside at misbegotten motives.

Thank you, Rayne, for facilitating the interview!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Ellis, a retired financial services exec, has lived and worked on three continents and swum in all the oceans of the world. Now living in Florida, he writes quirky short fiction.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Among the Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard edited by Rayne Hall, presents twenty-seven of the finest – and creepiest – graveyard tales with stories by established writers, classic authors and fresh voices.

Here you’ll find Gothic ghost stories by Robert Ellis, Lee Murray, Greg Chapman, Morgan Pryce, Rayne Hall, Guy de Maupassant, Myk Pilgrim, Zachary Ashford, Amelia Edwards, Nina Wibowo, Krystal Garrett, Tylluan Penry, Ambrose Bierce, Cinderella Lo, Nikki Tait, Arthur Conan Doyle, Priscilla Bettis, Kyla Ward, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul D Dail, Cameron Trost, Pamela Turner, William Meikle and Lord Dunsany who thrill with their eerie, macabre and sometimes quirky visions.

You’ll visit graveyards in Britain, Indonesia, Russia, China, Italy, Bulgaria, Thailand, USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan, and you can marvel at the burial customs of other cultures.

Now let’s open the gate – can you hear it creak on its hinges? – and enter the realm of the dead. Listen to the wind rustling the yew, the grating of footsteps on gravel, the hoo-hoo-hoo of the collared dove. Run your fingers across the tombstones to feel their lichen-rough sandstone or smooth cool marble. Inhale the scents of decaying lilies and freshly dug earth.

But be careful. Someone may be watching your every movement… They may be right behind you.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/Headstones

The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2022. (After that date, the price will go up.)  A paperback will follow.

The black man’s lament – An executioner’s tale

Ia mai citiți și din vechiturile mele…

Corabia cu gânduri a Marinei Costa - Marina Costa s shipload of thoughts

I am the disdained one
Who carries out orders, to survive.
They call me the black man, under my mask.
How many people I have killed
In ten years of service?

I haven’t counted; I can’t do it.
I had been, once, a butcher and a slave.
My master, the magistrate, promised me freedom
And a good pay from the city’s coffers.
Could I have refused then? Now I wish I did.

My family has never starved since then,
Even if eating modest meals.
I was promised to be able to manumit my children
When they’d be of the right age.
My son didn’t wait; he ran away to freedom while young.

Ten years when I saw the last gaze of convicted
Men and women; even children who had as only blame
They stole a coin to survive, or they were born to wrong parents.
From the rich, disgraced victims…

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Marina Costa – „Viața mea de printre cărți”

Mulțumesc, Naty, pentru interviu!

Cei care nu știați detalii despre cărțile mele, aflați acum…

La o „ceașcă” de carte cu Naty Budu-Grati

ărți”

cunoscută oficial ca Lelia-Elena Vasilescu și de ce anume acest nume a fost ales pentru a semna frumoasele dumneavoastră scriituri?

Sunt un om ca toți oamenii, economist pensionar, traducător, visător… Am o prietenă pe blogul căreia, la descriere, scrie Despre mine, să vorbiți voi! – mi s-ar potrivi și mie, ceea ce fac ar trebui să spună mai multe despre mine decât ceea ce zic eu.

De ce Marina Costa? Povestea este lungă, în 3-4 episoade. Oricum, la mine a fost întâi personajul și pe urmă pseudonimul.

Dacă aș fi avut o fată, i-aș fi spus Marina, probabil Emilia Marina sau Roxana Marina, unele dintre numele mele preferate. Dacă aș fi avut băiat, Andrei sau Alexandru. Și ai să întâlnești des aceste nume în cărțile mele – că ele sunt copiii mei… Cred că primele povestiri având-o ca personaj pe Marina (cu sau fără fratele ei, Andrei sau…

View original post 2,791 more words

A rollercoaster year, 2021

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year 2022!

2021 has been a rollercoaster of a year – not only for the pandemic, neither only for the two years and three months isolation I have undergone, way longer than the pandemic, but for everything added up to… boiling inside me. It brought me struggles, and pain, and lack of focus. Let us hope for a brighter 2022!

I did not win NaNoWriMo this November, with only about 8,500 words written, and I won the two Camps NaNoWriMo with about 10,000 words each. I did not meet most of my literary goals this year, but I have still been able to write some short stories for contests and literary magazines. Some of them brought me prizes (first and second, for a couple of times each) and honourable mentions. This is an achievement.

I also succeeded to publish, at the end of September, a short story volume from the 3-4 or more which are under preparation. It is titled On nostalgia, on love, on deathDe dor, de dragoste, de moarte, because all these three elements are part of our life. And, given that there has been nothing meaningful in my life except writing and colouring, the post is counting my achievements only in this respect.

2021 will also remain forever the year I lost my mother, may God rest her in peace!

I am still dealing with the related paperwork and housework, which will extend into 2022 for a while. It is difficult, but I hope everything will be solved well. Emotionally I am still struggling from time to time, and my health is not the best either – at least I am seeing some doctors and keeping on treatment (with other doctors scheduled in the first months of 2022 – there just are some things that I could not afford to do yet).

I have started timidly to attend the few literary events I can, and it is a blessing. I missed them during these more than two years. I am back writing (or trying to – still problems with focusing) and I hope for more published books in 2022. I am trying to keep living and going forward, according to the motto I have always lived according to: Caminante, no hay camino – se hace camino al andar! (Antonio Machado, as sung by Juan Manuel Serrat) – Traveller, there is no road – you are forging the road with your steps!