Daniel Yocom, creator of the Guild Master Gaming blog did a really nice review of my collection of horror stories, Tales from the Storm: Vol 1. Check it out!
Things have been pretty crazy in the Langille house as of late. For one, my kids picked up a virus at day care, RSV to be exact. I'm pretty sure RSV translates to, really shitty virus. Here's the funny thing too, I don't even need to take my kids to day care. My mom lives with us and helps out tremendously by watching the kiddos while my wife and I work. She's a godsend. That being said, my kids are in the house most of the day and don't get to interact with anyone outside of family, especially other kids. My oldest, who is three years old, LOVES playing with other kids. Whenever we go to the park, or Kangaroo Zoo, or anywhere else another kid could possibly be, she lights up and wants to play. Enter the day care....
I've been wanting to get them to a place where I could have them play with other kids. We found this day care that seemed pretty good and safe, so we took them there for 1.5 hours. Both my children had a blast! Loved every second of it and still talk about wanting to go back to this day. However, they brought back a special friend named RSV. This virus has swept through our house taking us all out one by one. Plus, RSV likes change. It can't just be a simple virus, no it changes into sinus infections and ear infections. Double plus, it doesn't know when to leave. It gets its grubby little talons hooked into you and won't let go. We've been dealing with thing in one form or another for two weeks now.
Coughing, puking, infected eyes, fevers, crying, ER visits, Insta-care visits...the whole shebang. #partofit. #nosleepfortheweary #OMGcanweallstopbeingsicknowplease
Basically what this translates into is, go to work, come home take care of sick kids, rinse and repeat. Progress on much else has come to a halt. I'm hoping there is a bright side, that perhaps they are growing antibodies to this particular strain and won't be affected again.
Meanwhile, my writing has come to a slow crawl. The time I used to find is fading away and I haven't found a new groove yet. The shitty thing, is that I've got a deadline looming so I need to kick it into new gear and get the words flowing again. Along with that particular deadline (book three of the Dark Tyrant Series by the way), I've got so many other projects I want to start it's insane. I need time. Which brings me to my next point: the future (future, future, future, future....echoes).
I'm less than 18 months away from retiring from my current career. If things work out, the stars align, and Cthulhu wakes from his dreamlike slumber, then I can step away from the grind and focus on raising kids and writing books. I find the future to be exciting and scary as F#&K! I've got no idea how it's going to turn out. I suppose nobody does really. What I'm hoping for, is that with the new time I can really kick my writing in to high-gear and fully embrace that part of me. I know it is going to take discipline to make it happen, but I also know that I can do it if I put my mind to it. Which is why I need to get back into the groove NOW. I can't keep waiting for the proverbial later. I think to keep me honest, I'll post regular updates on my works-in-progress.
Finally, on top of all of this, I found out that I drew out for a Black Bear hunting tag! About three or four years ago I got an itch that I wanted to hunt and eat a bear. I'd done a lot of research and found tons of info saying how tasty they are and how incredibly hard to hunt they are. I started putting in for the draw. Well fast forward to now, three years later, and I finally drew a tag. My reasons for wanting to hunt a bear go deeper than mere curiosity. There's something about it that draws me in. Bears are elusive, and the particular hunt I've drawn means I either have to use dogs or spot-and-stalk. I don't have bear dogs, nor do I know anyone with dogs, so it means I've got to spot-and-stalk which also means that my hunt just got that much more difficult. Bottom line, I'm looking forward at the prospect of getting into some new wilderness, pursuing new game, and putting my hunting skills to the ultimate test. (Given my track record, the bears will probably be very safe around me)
I'll keep you all posted on what happens with this, and it may be the only time I ever go bear hunting. If you don't approve of hunting, I can understand that and respect it. It's definitely not for everyone. I'm not here to argue my point. I'm just here to share my experience.
Final thoughts...stay healthy, stay active, keep writing, and beware the Really Shitty Virus!
I just put together my first collection of horror stories! I'm pretty excited about this because it revives a lot of stories that have been previously published under various presses. I give a little insight as to what was going on at the time it was picked up, or what inspired each tale. Another cool thing, was this was my first time creating my own cover art. It was quite the learning experience for me, but it was definitely fun. Check it out!
The storm rages on, leaving death and destruction in its path. With the chaos comes strange tidings and wicked ordeals.
From C.R. Langille, author of the Dark Tyrant Series comes a collection of weird and horrifying stories spanning all across history: the Spanish Conquest; the Old West; present day; and even a desolate, apocalyptic future.
Haunted hotel rooms, mysterious, mind-bending spots, infernal cargo, and misplaced wishes abound in this collection.
Last year I sold my short story, "Kathy Loves Kittens" to Tales to Terrify. It just recently debuted as an audio short story on their podcast. The story is about a man who survives a horrible car wreck, only to find out that his wife died in the crash and his daughter disappeared. She didn't just go missing, but has been completely erased from existence. Her room is empty of furnishings, pictures that used to be of her are left empty, and nobody believes that she was ever real. Things get even stranger when a short wave radio appears on his doorstep, pre-tuned to a numbers stations playing his daughter's voice.
You can listen to the story here for free!
We continue our trek into authorland with our next stop being, Jay Wilburn.
What kind of books/stories do you write?
I write horror and other speculative fiction.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Probably in elementary school. I was writing bad knock-offs of the fantasy stuff I had been reading. Believing I could was when I came in second or third in some contest and got a check in the mail with the memo line "Payment for Zombies!"
What do you consider the most influential book you've ever read?
The Stand by Stephen King. It changed the way I think and put me on a path to exploring the apocalyptic in all its forms.
What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you become a better writer?
Armand Rosamilia, Chuck Buda, Max Booth III, Brian Keene, Chris Larson, Jessica McHugh, Brent Abell, Jack Wallen, Sean Grigsby, Frank Edler, and the more I list here the more I realize I'm going to leave so many out. The biggest way they challenge me is by writing well and forcing me to strive to be a better version of myself in order to share the same air. Each has been generous with time, cross promotion, and support in a hundred different ways. They are good friends even when writing is removed from the equation. Moreso with it in, I suppose.
What’s the best way you've found to market your books?
Look for something different. I'm doing a lot of direct sales off my site instead of Amazon solely. I'm going to sell a few titles only from the site coming up here soon. I have supporters on Patreon and do exclusive material there. I've done holiday mystery boxes to package books which have done well. Connecting with other authors to do blog tours and shared promotional pieces has helped. Working together at conventions helps. Strategic advertising - when to use Facebook ads and when to use Amazon ads, etc.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It varies. I research a lot during the writing and the editing. Reading of all kinds is indirect research. I spend a lot of time writing short stories on the subject or in the genre as I'm attempting to work out ideas and rules for a new novel. Time travel, vampires, ghosts, a new kind of monster, gritty steampunk, or whatever. I find short stories help me explore when I am taking on something new.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
Readers are a precious thing these days. I love and crave all of them.
Day three of Stokercon was a little more relaxed. I went to a couple of panels, but the highlight of the day was the interview session with George R.R. Martin. During his interview, he said a few things that really stuck out. One, was fortune is great! Fortune improves your quality of life. However, he said fame was a double-edged sword. Before his Song of Ice and Fire series really took off and became a television show, he said he could go to a convention, put on his name tag, and people would recognize his name. But after the convention he could take off the name tag and go across the street to McDonald's and eat his Big Mac in peace. He said nowadays, he can't eat out in public in peace or go anywhere without being bothered (price to pay for all the fortune I suppose). Another interesting thing he said, was that he doesn't outline. That kind of blew my mind given out large and complex his Song of Ice and Fire series is. His advice to aspiring writers was, if you find yourself stuck on a scene, just push forward, or skip it and save it for later. He mentioned he couldn't write the Red Wedding scene, so he skipped it and finished the book. Then he was like, well I finished this damn thing, now I guess I have to go back and kill everyone.
Other highlights of the day included meeting Chuck Wendig who seemed super nice, and seeing S.T. Joshi give a talk. Joshi is considered one of the leading academics with regards to Lovecraft and Weird Fiction. I also sat on a panel to offer insight on how to form a regional HWA chapter (learned some great things to bring back to the Utah Chapter as well), and had a book signing. The signing was kind of a bust, but you can't win them all. Finally, I got to watch my good friend K. Scott Forman read his short story, "Lost at Sea."
Overall, Stokercon was a great experience. Next year they plan on having it in Providence, RI and I hope I can make it. I might even get banquet tickets to the Stoker awards. I wasn't able to attend this time around, and I feel like perhaps I missed out. Next time for sure. Here's to new friends made at Stokercon, and to old friends reacquainted.
My second day at Stokercon was even better than the first. I attended a few panels, one by Michelle Belanger on the Occult in Writing was fan-freakin-tastic. She's appeared on numerous television shows, including Paranormal State, but what was even more impressive, was the the extensive knowledge into ancient religions, the occult, and the paranormal. It was more than obvious that she has studied up on all those things, and had a detailed, well-educated answer for any question that arose.
Another highlight of the day, was ghost tours. I took a one-hour tour during the day that explored some of the history of the ship, as well as some of the urban legends surrounding the hauntings. The tour guide was amazing and I learned a lot. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know much about the Queen Mary before coming here. During its heyday, it was the largest fastest ship of its time. It carried English Royalty as well as many celebrities before being converted into a troop transport during the war. During normal operation, it carried 2000 passengers and 1200 crew members; however, during its military service, it carried many more, and at one point it carried over 16k troops in preparation for D-Day.
It was so infamous and fast, that Hitler had put out a 250k bounty for any submarine captain that could sink her. The Queen Mary was under orders to not stop for anything, and that was put to the test when it collided with the HMS Curacoa in 1942. The Queen Mary cut the other ship in half and didn't stop due to fears of German ships in the area. 337 crew members of the Curacoa died while only 101 survived. During the ghost tour, the tour guide stated sometimes people could see ghosts of Curacoa crew members walking around the bow area and the propeller area.
I didn't get to see the propeller area during the day tour, but I did get to see it when I took the two-hour long night tour, which was just as awesome. Below you'll see the bow area that still shows damage from the collision as well as the massive propeller. Didn't see any ghosts on my tour though.
Another story brought up during both tours, was the crew member who was crushed to death when when of the water tight seals closed. Throughout the ship, they had a series of doors that were steam operated and meant to close and seal off sections of the ship. Apparently during one of the closings, a young man got trapped in the doorway and was killed. His ghost is said to roam the area from time to time. Here is a picture of the door that killed him.
Finally, what's a ghost tour without some creepy hallway shots?
I have to say, so far, Stokercon 2017 has been great. For those of you who don’t know what Stokercon is, it’s the annual convention of the Horror Writers Association. This year, it’s located in Long Beach, CA at the historic Queen Mary.
The trip out wasn’t too great. My flight was in the afternoon, and security at the airport was sloooooow. I gave myself plenty of time, so there wasn’t a rush, but it’s never fun to stand in line for a long time. Plus, and I knew this was coming, they had to inspect my bag. I suppose when you have 30 books in your bag and it goes through the scanner, it looks a little weird.
The plane was packed as well; however, Jet Blue Airlines is great. Even the cheap seats had enough room to make them comfortable, plus they had free WiFi.
The real horror began with the cab ride from the airport to the Queen Mary itself. The ride gave me flashbacks of public transportation in Ecuador, the only difference being the car was nicer. The cabbie pushed that Prius as fast as it would go, but was constantly hitting the brakes, then speeding back up, weaving in and out of traffic. We about hit another Prius in front of us that was almost hit by a truck (California is the land of the Prius by the way). Yet, I survived!
After checking in and getting my books to the vendor here for consignment, I finally got to wander around. Meeting up with old friends from Seton Hill, and friends from my local HWA chapter was great. Socializing and networking is really what these conventions are about in my mind. The panels and other activities are secondary. I’ve already made some new friends and I’m sure before the convention is over, I’ll have made some more contacts.
The ship is great as well. There is so much history packed into these walls. I’m going to go on a haunted ghost tour of the ship, but check out some of these pics.
The opening ceremonies were fun. Mainly because I got to hang out with friends and meet this dude! George R.R. Martin! He’s such a nice guy too. I went up there to get my picture taken with him and he engaged me in conversation and seemed genuinely interested in who I was and what I do.
I haven’t seen any ghosts yet, but I plan on delving into that aspect a little more seriously tonight or tomorrow. Now it’s time to finish my overpriced (but delicious) breakfast, and get back to stoking the Stokercon fires.
My newest short story, "All Aboard" is available now on Amazon Kindle. It's the second installment in the Tales from the Storm series. The story originally debuted in Horror the Odd and Bizarre published by Sirens Call.
"All Aboard" takes place in a sleepy Utah town where the residents wake one day to find a set of railroad tracks have appeared out of nowhere. Some townsfolk mysteriously begin to disappear while others find themselves unable to leave the town at all. To make matters worse, those left behind start to receive tickets to a train that is scheduled to depart soon.
You can get your copy of "All Aboard" here.
Time for a little cross-promotion for friends and fellow Seton Hill alumni. Check it out!
CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE
Eight Magical Stories of Fantasy Romance
Stars and Stone Books
Featuring: Heather Bythesea, Elsa Carruthers, M.T. DeSantis, Traci Douglass, L.J. Longo, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, and Mary Rogers
Traci Douglass - "When Hermes Met Eos"
One night. Two star-crossed immortals. Will their vibrant connection survive beyond sunrise?
Sheri Queen - "The Girl with a Broken Wing"
A story of courage and sacrifice--and finding love where you never thought to look.
Cara McKinnon - "Love at Dawn"
Sometimes mortals need a little push from a god and goddess to fall in love…
M.T. DeSantis - "A Hunt for Love"
Can a djinn and a clueless guy beat the clock, avoid the curse, and maybe even find true love?
L.J. Longo – “Seaweed and Silk”
A mermaid: hundreds of miles from her home on the ice, on a ship with a troll, a goblin wizard, and a pack of wolves. What else can go wrong? Oh, right. A flippin’ sea monster.
Mary Rogers – “Spring Fling”
A druid’s bargain gives Carson revenge against his former lover Carrie–at the price of her memories of them together. But did she truly steal his magic all those years ago? Or was the real theft his heart?
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS
STARS AND STONE BOOKS: http://starsandstonebooks.com/
FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/2062183134008615/
ANTHOLOGY WEBSITE: http://starsandstonebooks.com/crazy-little-spring-called-love
C.R. Langille writes horror, fantasy, urban-fantasy, dark fantasy, and is considering stepping into the sci-fi realm. He has a grasp of survival techniques, and has been a table-top gamer for over 16 years.