This Saturday from 10 AM to Noon I’ll be with many other local authors at the Brownsburg Public Library at 450 S. Jefferson Street, west of Indy, for their second annual author fair! I’ll be signing and selling my paranormal trilogy. 10% of all sales during this event goes to the Brownsburg Public Library Friends of the Library Group.
This weekend, I launch into convention / book fair season with a fun gathering in Madison, Indiana. The Book Fair hosted by That Book Place is going on its fifth year (I hooked up in year two and haven’t missed it since). I can’t express enough how grateful I am for book stores in little communities like That Book Place in Madison, IN, and its owner Frank Hall, who goes far above and beyond with events like these to support us local authors.
But first, due to some recent political ugliness that has nothing to do with representing true Hoosier values, Frank offers the following to all guests:
“This store has been and always will be open to everyone. We are a safe haven for people to be themselves with out fear of harassment or ridicule. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion and we accept that, but Bigotry is something that is unacceptable.”
Frank speaks for myself and every author and book vendor I know that is likely to attending this event.
Anyway, on to the cool stuff. The event has grown every year, and this year it is bursting at the seams, coming very close to 100 authors (if it hasn’t hit there by now) and will be off site from That Book Place for the first time ever. Also for the first time, food vending will be available onsite for authors and guests.
I am attending Saturday 10 am-6 pm only, but in the unlikely event you might want to see other authors as well (I suppose it’s possible) festivities begin Friday night with reader- and writer-related panels, and continue through Saturday. Author readings are also scheduled all day, with yours truly offering up a little something from Haunting Blue at 1:40 pm.
The blog tour n support of the re-release of Haunting Blue by Seventh Star Press has kicked into full swing and continues all week. During that time, Haunting Blue will be discussed somewhere in the “blogosphere” several times a day. But how’s a casually obsessed RJ fan supposed to keep track?
Fortunately, I make it a goal to take good care of the casually obsessed RJ fans, so I’ve provided this single link page, which I’ll update, so all you need to do is keep checking here once a day to see the latest.
Monday, July 14 Jess Resides Here A new interview with my good friend Jessica Lay. Beauty in Ruins Setting, urban legends and self-identity as examined in Haunting Blue. FUOnlyKnew A whimsical top ten “bucket list and new 4-star review!
The drive was smooth and the weather perfect (though I’m glad I remembered my sunscreen) for the Fourth Annual Author’s Fair at That Book Place! But enough about me, if a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a novella to check out!
This weekend marks my third consecutive appearance at the annual Book Fair at That Book Place in Madison, Indiana. Pretty cool, given this is only the fourth annual event.
At the second annual event, I was honored to be one of perhaps 20 authors. This year, Frank Hall, the owner of That Book Place, is making room for more than 40 authors. Fortunately, he’s expanded his store to double its previous size, which means room for more books and more authors than ever!
The Annual Book Fair at That Book Place has turned into quite a mini-gathering of regional authors. This year, I know for sure, that Seventh Star Press will be well represented, with authorly buddies John F. Allen, Eric Garrison, and Michael West joining me, plus Selah Janel and the awesome Stephen Zimmer. I expect to see Ren Garcia, Matt Adams, Tony Acree, and….wow, I just looked at the guests list. Click here to check it out for yourself.
It’s no exaggeration that That Book Place has thousands of new and used books in an astronomical variety of genres. And Frank makes sure that indy (and Indy) and small press authors are well represented at That Book Place. That’s why we love him, and that’s why we gather up in force at his little shop every year. John Allen recently called it the “pre-season event” of the convention season, and I think that explains it well.
This year I’ll be bringing the always popular Haunting Obsession, and new since last year , my latest novel, Virtual Blue. Although it is out of print, I will have very limited copies of the Haunting Blue paperback on hand. All paperbacks are sold through That Book Place, and as always, Frank is offering a discount on all Fair merchandise.
Autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.
If the weather is as warm as predicted, there’s a very good chance that Blue, the main character in my series, will make an appearance! She doesn’t like the cold, but it looks like the weather will hold out.
I’m very excited to announce an upcoming event taking place in my local community during the Arts in the Park festival at Pioneer Park Saturday, October 12, 2013. Several loccal local peer authors are joining me to serve as instructors during a series of free community workshops on crafting thrilling fiction. You’ll find us among dozens of community artists and performers who will sing, dance, and display their unique creations during the all-day festival. The event is free and open to the public.
We’re planning three one-hour sessions, aimed at, but not limited to, late elementary school through high school aged-writers-in-the-making. Adults who have recently caught the writing bug or who have put off their aspirations are also welcome. If you are interested in getting feedback from a professional author at no cost to you, you need to be here—don’t let the word “horror” scare you! We have an instructor to advise any beginner with a passion for writing thrilling tales of any genre.
The suggested format will be “flash fiction,” and the suggested theme will be “The Creature of Pioneer Park,” though writers are free to compose within their comfort zone. Writers can use the pens and paper provided, bring their own, or bring their laptops. Participants will spend the first half hour composing their work. During the last half hour, the authors will review the drafts and offer individualized instruction on how to best sharpen their writing skills. Writers may, alternatively, submit a pre-composed sample of their work for a critique (limit 1000 words).
The authors will strive to pair you with an instructor that best fits your style, and you will receive individualized instruction on your submission.
What is Flash Fiction? The unique challenge of flash fiction is to compose a “complete” story of roughly 1000 words. With fiction coming to readers on their pads, cell phones and reading devices, flash fiction has grown in popularity in recent years. It’s also ideal for a workshop. Not up the challenge? Don’t worry–writers may instead compose part of a larger story for review. To respect everyone’s time, instructors reserve the right to limit their review to roughly 1000 words per writer.
The Arts in the Park is an all-day event. The Artists’ Shelter will offer books by the instructors, who will be happy to sign and personalize every purchase. The free workshop sessions are courtesy of the Mooresville Arts Partnership, a non-profit organization that provides instruction in dance, tumble, visual arts, music, and drama to children and adults in the greater Mooresville area. Learn more at the MAP Website.
John F. Allen is an American speculative fiction author of Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Paranormal Mystery. He resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and two children. The God Killers, an urban fantasy, is his debut novel.
Matthew Barron spends his days mixing and analyzing human blood as a medical technologist in Indianapolis Indiana. His writing ranges from children’s books and short comics to robot erotica. His books The Lonely Princess and Secular City Limits are available now, and his short fiction has appeared in House of Horror, The Welcome to Indiana Comic Anthology, and the Roboterotica anthology.
Nicole Cushing is an author of weird, dark fiction. Her debut novella, Children of No One, received praise from several prominent genre outlets (Famous Monsters of Filmland wrote: “If you read one debut this year, this should be the one you read.”) Forthcoming books include The Choir of Beasts and The New God.
Crystal Leflar is a blogger book reviewer, previously with Fantasy magazine and Afterthoughts.com, now for Horror Novel Reviews. She’s a promotion specialist and slush reader for Nightscape Press. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of anthologies and she has several projects in the works.
R.J. Sullivan (you’re on his website!) writes paranormal thrillers and is expanding into science fiction. He is known locally as the story editor for the Morgan County Business Leader and as business writer “Copybob.” His books include Haunting Obsession, Haunting Blue, and Virtual Blue. His short fiction has appeared in the acclaimed anthologies Dark Faith Invocations and Vampires Don’t Sparkle.
Today, Indiana horror fans from my generation, give and take a few years, received the sad news that Hoosier TV pioneer Bob Carter has died. If you lived outside of Indiana, you’re probably saying “who?” Even if you lived here, the name may not immediately click. But if I tell you Bob Carter was the real-life identity of Sammy Terry, recognition and fond memories are bound to set in for so many who watched Hoosier television from 1962 to 1989.
Since the news hit, dozens of tributes and memories have flashed across my Facebook page. At the same time, it saddens me to see the “official” local media gloss over or minimize what Bob Carter brought to Indianapolis television for almost 30 years.
Sammy Terry was the brainstorm of Carter when he joined the programming staff of local TV station WTTV Channel 4. TV itself was still fairly new, local TV with an identity even more so. Though there were sporadic gaps during his run, the show remained a local staple until 1989, when Bob’s Sammy wished us all ” many… pleasant… nightmares!” for the last time. I saw him for the first time as a single-digit-aged boy of the early 70s, and through the years he introduced me to the Universal horror movies, to Hammer films, to Vincent Price, to the first two Blob movies, and to Godzilla (and his less intimidating counterpart Gamera) and much, much more.
But more than that, he was a part of a time when TV stations were truly local and community-driven. WTTV had a stable of such hosts. As a kid, I started the day with “Cowboy Bob” hosting cartoons, “Janie” hosting more cartoons, and “Popeye and Peggy” hosting….you guessed it, still more cartoons. We also had Jim Gerard, a TV talk show who focused exclusively on things Indianapolis. Throughout my childhood and into my college years, Sammy Terry came on Friday and/or Saturday nights, and I missed very few of them.
Depending on where you lived, each major metropolitan area had its own late night horror host. Every city had its own “local” celebrities, embracing the best parts of both words, local and celebrity, each with fans in the hundreds of thousands. You could see Cowboy Bob at a popular restaurant, Janie at the local schools. Mrs. RJ’s girl scout troop took a tour of Peggy’s studio.
While I am prone to exaggerate to prove a point, I was truly a huge fan of Sammy Terry. I think back to my poor sixth grade teacher who had to read through my three-part multiple-page “epic” creative writing assignment “Sammy Terry Versus Dracula” (Sammy won) and hope it brought a smile to her face as much as this fact makes me blush today. I have two signed photos of Sammy–an official publicity shot and a piece of fan “art” I drew myself. I presented both at the Paramount Music Palace restaurant (another Indiana treasure now gone) to which he quipped “Oh, what a HOR-rible picture!” Which was, of course, a compliment.
But removing my personal memories, Bob Carter was part of an era difficult to explain to those too young to have lived it. Like so much connected to horror, the local horror host was part of a grass roots effort, this one by TV stations to re-introduce classic horror films to a new generation, (that TV hopped on this trend on the heels of the success of Forrest Ackerman’s magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland is, I’m certain, no coincidence).
Then with the dominance of cable, movies and cartoons went “national”, and TV programmers sought alternative programming, giving rise to the info-mercial. The result of this speaks for itself. Quickly, and before most people realized it, true local community television died, and for reasons baffling to me, cable stations have failed to try to make the TV host a national phenomenon. (What few attempts I have seen are sad short-lived shadows, but that’s another discussion.)
One of the many reasons why the original mid-80s Fright Night will forever rock is its homage to this era (an homage mostly lost on later generation viewers who think a random Chris Angel riff works just fine) in the character of Peter Vincent, played by the marvelously underrated Roddy McDowell. Peter is a fictional local horror host who speaks for all local horror hosts of the time to comment on TV’s then-changing attitudes toward their status. Peter Vincent is horror films’ acknowledgment of the debt it owes to all such local horror hosts (and as far as I know, remains the only such tribute).
But in Indiana at least, there’s a sort-of happy ending to this melancholy tale. About three years ago, Sammy Terry-mania returned in a big way. Bob Carter, who’d retired from personal appearances in the early 2000s, gave his blessing to his son to take up the Sammy Terry persona. To some people’s surprise (though not mine) the buzz from the local community has been fairly strong, and last year, Sammy Terry returned to local television, with Mark Carter donning the makeup, clothes, and shtick.
Today, five new TV specials and tens of thousands of fans spanning multiple generations later, the hand-off is complete. Mark will never replace his father, but he just might take Sammy Terry into the 21st century, and make the old ghoul relevant again. And that, as I like to say, would make me unreasonably happy.
Rest in peace, Bob Carter. Your legacy as a Hoosier television pioneer is secured, and you will be remembered fondly for generations to come.