Writing Wins and Woes: Hexes and such

1264I mentioned previously that my husband and I love to go to book sales. We went to one last summer and I got a booklet entitled, Facts and Folklore of York, PA.  Being the bookworm i am, I read it. A lot of it was  just info about tourist traps in York, PA but one of the articles in the booklet was about the 1928-29 Hex murders. This event is a little confusing because it involves a murder of a man named Rehymyer by another man named Blymire and two of his friends. The two similar names threw me quite a bit. Anyway, Blymire was a man down on his luck who happened to believe in hexes, being somewhat of a witch himself. At one time he performed pow-wows to help people’s ailments and such, but he lost this power, if he ever had it, and his livelihood went south and he began to look for a reason for his misfortunes. So, he consulted another witch who told him the reason for all his troubles was that Rehymyer had put a hex on him and he needed to get a lock of his hair and his hex Bible to undo it. So he gathered up two underage conspirators and set off to obtain these items which Rehymyer had no intention of giving up. Therefore, they killed him. Incidentally, they never found the Hex Bible. They were able to cut the hair after they murdered the man, but it didn’t seem to help his luck because he went to jail for murder for 23 years. This article prompted me to read the book, Hex by Arthur H. Lewis. Don’t bother looking for it. It’s out of print and hard to get and it’s not worth reading really. It contains very little interesting detail about the actual murder and more on hexers in general, name dropping and talking about delivering people from warts and such.  It doesn’t say much that I found the booklet info more exciting than the actual book about the event.

So, what do you think? Do you believe in witches, hexes or pow wowing? Sounds like it could make a good story.

Well, enough for that. Here’s two more interviews. Hope I’m not overwhelming you with all these.

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

I loved comic books as a kid—anything that showed a world that was more mysterious, more fabulous than my school-bus/school-day existence. But I was never satisfied with reading other people’s stories, so I wrote my own. As far back as I can remember, I wrote thinly-veiled autobiographical tales of superpowers and magic. I illustrated them, folded them into booklets, and shared them with friends and family. As I got older, the stories matured and I began to experiment with different genres and media, including music.

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

There are so many great books that planted spec fic seeds in me, but, if I was forced to choose one, it would have to be The Phantom Tollbooth. Why? Because that story brought magic to the real world. To think that an ordinary kid just like me could stumble upon something so fantastic, so magical—really?!?! Sign me up.

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

My all-time favorite book … hrmmm … that’s a hard one because I love so many stories for so many different reasons. But pressed to decide from among my darlings, I guess I’d have to go with Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow. Why? I suppose it was her use of realism and human drama as a frame within which she unfurled a wild science fiction tale. Reading the book, I felt as if I was experiencing that crazy planet and alien life because I was so connected to the character’s emotional arcs. It was very effective; images from that book have haunted me for years.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

I can’t really point to any one author who inspired me to start writing. I come from a family of story tellers—there wasn’t a day that passed by that wasn’t made more interesting by some creative embellishment. Writing came naturally to me. It was a way to explain and respond to the word. That said, there are several authors whose unique use of language inspires me when I put pen to paper, including Karin Tidbeck, China Mieville, Kathe Koja, and August Strindberg.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

Don’t be afraid. You will constantly hear voices telling you that you can’t do this or you can’t do that. Listen and understand why we have so many “rules” to art. But don’t fall into blind obedience. Experiment. Make mistakes. Be Bold. Most of all, write your truths. Never, ever let anyone make you afraid of your own voice.

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

Without a doubt, waiting for responses to submissions is the hardest part of the publishing grind. I love writing. I love editing. I hate waiting. When I’m done with a story, I’m a proud dad. I want to post pictures of my wriggling, pink story all over my social media channels, but I can’t. I have to lock that baby in a dark closet and let it squirm all cute and bubbly until it’s finally selected for showcasing in a magazine or anthology. Sometimes, it’s still a little darling (like Eyes of Woods, which thankfully was selected while it was still an infant). Other times, the tale is grey and grizzled and almost unrecognizable from age.

7. On what projects are you currently working?

I have a literary Sci Fi story, A Song Unheard, coming out later this year in the anthology, Startling Sci Fi, to be published by New Lit Salon Press. Tissues are a necessity. Several of my fantasy and magical realism short stories are in the submission/publication process, including my fantasy novella (which subverts the mage’s apprentice trope).

Read Brian’s story, Eyes of Wood, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

BRIAN T. HODGES lives in the mossy forests of the Pacific Northwest, where he works as a lawyer, researcher, and non-fiction writer. He is also a musician, having released several albums of esoteric and ethereal music under the moniker, the Blue Hour. His fiction has been published by New Lit Salon Press, Liquid Imagination, The Strange Edge, received an Honorable Mention from the Writers of the Future contest (V31 Q1 2014), and was a finalist in the 2013 N3F Amateur Short Story Contest.

..Connect with the Author..

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

I wrote my first story in 6th grade for a class assignment and I haven’t been able to stop.

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

Harry Potter; it opened me up to a world I never knew existed.

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. When I first read it, I fell in love with the writing style and I felt like I connected to Mercy.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

Stephen King. His determination to have his work out there is inspiring.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

Writers need to rember to have fun. Its too easy to get caught up in edits and promoting. Both are important, but you need to have fun writing so you keep doing it. Don’t let the pressure get to you.

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

Edits. I like getting lost in the story. When you edit you can’t, you need to check grammar and spelling, make sure the story flows.

7. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart the others?

Scarlette Gunn. She’s the main character in a series I’ve been working on for a few years. She is who I want to be, but won’t become. She stands up for herself and won’t let anyone beat her down.

8. On what projects are you currently working?

My latest paranormal romance, Emily’s Captive, was just released on May 30, 2015.

Read Bobbie’s story, Iron Strong Adalie, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

BOBBIE PALMER writes both paranormal and thriller novels. She loves reading just about anything and when she’s not writing she has her nose stuck in a book. She loves to cook and hang out with her nephews and two cats. She is very involved in the writing community, hosting a writer’s breakfast once a month and a former municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo.

..Connect with the Author..

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