Tag Archives: Candy’s-Monsters

Poetry contest! [for the playfully inclined….]

meeka thumbs upIf you’ve ever wrangled a haiku, sighed at a sonnet or lol-ed at a limmerick, here’s your chance to have some fun and be in the running for a $20 Amazon gift certificate!

Where:     Candy’s Monsters

When:      October. The winner will be drawn on October 31, 2016

 

How:        Either on the contest page [public] or via email [private]

email:       candyATsweetcopyDOTcom

Just remember, the idea is to have fun. 😀

cheers

Meeks


A great new feature on Candy’s Monsters

Okay, I know I’m biased as my books feature on Candy’s new ‘Other Authors’ feature, but I honestly think it’s a great idea, implemented really well. And that ‘implemented really well’ part is super important because any feature that doesn’t work as advertised simply turns visitors off.

Those of you who have seen Candy’s website will know how delicious it is. The layout and graphics all work together to create a bold, yet ‘clean’ design with an enormous visual impact. It reminds me of the HBO production of Carnivale, which I also loved.

candys monsters site pic

Candy then works on that impact with her stories, which often have a twist at the end. Even when you’re expecting them, those twists always surprise!

So if you haven’t visited Candy’s Monsters, I really recommend that you do. And while you’re there, -cough- you might want to check out her ‘Bookstore’ where you’ll find that ‘Other Authors‘ feature I mentioned. -cough-

Happy Sunday morning,

Meeks


Dr Jekyll and Dr Hyde

The Robert Louis Stevenson classic, ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ tells the story of Dr Jekyll and his beastly alter ego Mr Hyde.

It’s an old story, and there have been many versions of it brought to the big screen – over 123 according to Wiki – but the version I want to tell you about today is very new, and very different. In fact, it’s not a retelling of the old story at all. It’s Candy Korman’s latest, thoroughly modern Monster Tale!

dr hyde picAs with all her Monster Tales, Korman turns the original, tired idea on its head. For starters, Hyde is neither evil, nor male. Hyde is Dr Emily Hyde, a young, highly respected skin specialist who treats melanomas.

But after spending her whole life being a good girl, Emily Hyde feels as if she’s missed out on something. While her friends were out raging at parties, and having adventures of one sort or another, Emily had her head stuck in a book. The rebellious teens passed her by completely.

Now Emily wants to make up for lost time, but being Emily, she doesn’t turn to drugs. Instead, she buys a motorbike, goes dancing, and meets Dan.

Handsome, seductive, mysterious Dan invites Emily to a party at the Club, and that’s when life starts to take a strange turn.

At first, Emily is sure her life has taken a turn for the better, but those odd memory lapses are a bit of a worry…

And that’s all you get. Sorry. 😀

Those of you who’ve read Candy’s earlier Monster novellas know what to expect. For everyone else, you will find a beautifully written story with strong, 3D characters, a tight plot, and odd little homages to other stories. I found one that made me lol [laugh out loud] with delight.

Needless to say, I couldn’t put ‘The Strange Case of Dr Hyde and her Friends’ down, and I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind staying up late to finish a damn good story!

cheers

Meeks


For the blogger who has everything – the Liebster award. :)

candy's liebster awardI haven’t done an award post for a very long time because I sort of ran out of things to say. Then along comes Candy’s Monsters with some interesting new questions, and I’m drooling to get started. Who am I to ignore my inner me? lol

So thank you for nominating me Candy! This Liebster is for those blogs with under 1000 followers. I know a lot of us qualify there, so if I nominate you and you choose to pass on the love, please pass it to blogs that aren’t blogging mega stars already.

Okay, here are Candy’s eleven questions, and my slightly irreverent answers. 🙂

1: Do you dance?

Frequently…around the kitchen. I did learn classical ballet as a kid, but apart from still knowing how to suck my stomach in, on occasion, I couldn’t pirouette to save my life.

2: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself, when would you “drop by” and give sage advice?

This one really made me think. My first thought was that I have no regrets, so what would I whisper sage advice about? And then it hit me! Sage advice comes in many flavours, and not all are medicinal. If I could go back and whisper something to my younger self it would be “Don’t rush through this glorious moment.  Savour it. Treasure it. Remember it!”

3: What book do you remember from your childhood?

Just the one? That’s impossible. I remember Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, and another one she wrote called, I think, The Wishing Chair. I remember Peter Pan and Swiss Family Robinson and Grimm’s Fairytales and Greek myths and Dot and the Kangaroo and The Once and Future King and Mary Poppins…. Books are like chocolate, you can’t just stop at one. 😦

4: With an unlimited budget and a month to spend on a vacation, where would you go?

This one is easy – Japan! I’ve wanted to visit Japan since I was about ten and fell in love with The Samurai on TV.

5: What was your dream job when you were eight?

I didn’t have one. 😦 Boy, kids grow up early these days. When I was eight, the next term of school was eternity…

6: Captain Kirk or Captain Picard?

Hah! Mr Spock of course.

7: What’s your preferred fiction genre?

Another easy one – science fiction. 🙂

8: What was the best birthday present you ever received?

Strangely enough, this was an easy one as well. For my 40th birthday, dear, dear friends organized [and paid] for me to be chauffered to the restaurant where we would be having lunch. In a Porsche Carrera. My husband knew about the big present but I didn’t, so he sent me out into the driveway, ostensibly to see if our friends had arrived yet. They hadn’t, but this glorious Porsche convertible had. The driver was leaning against the car. He looked up at me, and I knew. And I cried. You see everyone who knows me knows that I’ve had an unrequited love affair with Porsche cars since my early 20s. Unrequited because up until my 40th birthday I had never even sat in one. Nothing beats my memory of that hour long drive. 🙂

9: What is your most memorable Halloween costume?

Nada. Zip. Nothing. 😦 Australia is only just starting to catch on to Halloween fun.

10: What’s your favorite city?

Paris. Just thinking about it makes me smile.

11: Are you an adventurous eater?

Hmmm… I’ve eaten frog’s legs and snail [French style, not straight from the garden], kangaroo and crocodile, but I don’t think I could stomach crispy fried locusts, or haggis, so maybe not that adventurous.

Now it’s my turn to nominate some lovely blogs.

Allergic to my life battle
Anelephantcant
Anne Lawson
AV Carden’s Blog
A spoon full of sugar

The more observant amongst you may notice that all my nominees begin with ‘A’… Well no, that was not laziness on my part. I’m following so many great blogs. How do I choose just a few? Next time I’ll nominate the ‘B’s. X, Y and Z may be tricky but I will persevere!

[Note to self : don’t forget to inform the nominees that they have been nominated]

And now to my questions to the nominees! Mwahahaha… -cough-

1. Which is the movie you have hated most in your entire life? [If you can’t think of a movie you may substitute a TV show]

2. Which is your least favourite colour?

3. How superstitious are you?

4. If you could change yourself into one fictional character, who would it be? [You can gender swap or even choose an animal – e.g. Lassie]

5. Which animal would you NEVER have as a pet?

6. You are abducted by aliens and you’re told to choose one plant to save out of all the possible plants on earth. Would you choose wheat, rice, sugar cane, or the cocoa plant?

7. Which is the worst make of car you have ever owned? [If you don’t drive you can nominate some form of public transport]

8. If you had to choose between a Da Vinci painting, or one by Picasso, or Van Gogh, which would you choose?

9. Would you rather play chess against a computer, or Solitaire?

10. Red wine, white wine, beer or spirits?

11. If the zombie apocalypse hit tomorrow, what would you take with you into your bunker – a tablet full of music or a kindle full of books?

A lot of those questions are tongue in cheek, but I am interested in the answers so please feel free to give your answers in comments – whether you were nominated or not!

Okay, the last thing I’m supposed to do is tell you all some little known facts about myself. To be honest I can’t really think of anything that would be very interesting. I mean, do you really care that I hate brussel sprouts with a passion? Or that oysters in any form make me gag?

Thought not. So how about telling me some little known fact about yourselves instead? Let’s have some fun!

cheers

Meeks


Best un-review ever!

Author Candy Korman posted this article on Candy’s Monsters, and used Vokhtah as one of her examples. I am so chuffed I just had to copy/paste the whole article.

A Sense of Time & Place
Posted on May 16, 2013

When I read, I really enjoy a clear sense of time and place. This goes for all genres. If your ghost story is set in a lonely mansion on the coast of Maine during WWII — make sure I believe the setting is truthful and I’ll believe that the ghost is real, too.

I’ve recently read fiction by two new authors — new friends from blogging, Twitter & LinkedIn — and I’m pleased to report that these two entirely different writers have both produced settings that were vivid and so real that the characters actions ring true.

As I don’t review books on this blog and don’t want to start. I’m not going to do full out reviews of “Such is Life” and “Vokhtah.” I will simply use both of these new books as examples of the best use of distinctive settings.

In her science fiction book “Vokhtah” A. C. Flory invites the reader to a hostile planet “peopled” with creatures best described as winged sociopaths with Machiavellian motivations, a fully-realized cultural mythology, a hierarchic society and an unusual manner for procreation. Vokhtah is a brutal planet and survival of the fittest (shrewdest, most devious & cunning) code underpins all the characters interactions.

The sense of place is so clear and finely drawn that the actions of the characters flow as a consequence of where they are in geography and the rigid caste system of the planet. A less complete environment might have made the creatures a bit comical or, worse, two dimensional. A.C. Flory’s achievement is in creating a credible, incredible world.

Jeri Walker-Bickett didn’t have to create her lonely landscape — she found it in various locations here in the United States. Her hyper-realistic short story collection “Such is Life” is set in a range of places — a suffocating small town in Montana, New Orleans, a suburban community determined to protect their children from outside influences, etc. It’s America today.

In each story, the sense of time and place anchors the story. The story “Leaving Big Sky” begins in a laundromat. The protagonist is watching laundry tumble in a dryer because, unlike the laundromats in Butte, this one has no TV, magazines and coffee to keep people entertained. The sense of abject loneliness is so much a part of the environment that the author doesn’t have to tell the reader what John is feeling. We feel it with him. The squeaky clean town in the story entitled “Not Terribly Important” hides a cruel streak of bigotry beneath its family friendly veneer. For a moment I wanted to shake the protagonist’s shoulders and tell her that the writing was on the wall.

By inviting the reader into specific and coherent environments, both of these authors give their characters real places to come to life.

For those who may not have read Candy’s own writing, she creates thoroughly modern stories inspired by classic ‘monster’ fiction such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And when Candy talks about ‘time and place’ it’s because she herself is a master at making the incredible feel utterly real. 

Cheers from Meeka doing her happy dance. 🙂


A behind-the-scenes look at author Candy Korman

I promised you all a treat today so I’m stepping into the wings as freelance writer and author Candy Korman takes centre stage. Go Candy!

***

When Meeka asked me to share the back-story on Bram I was honored and then embarrassed. I was embarrassed because it means revealing my wacky process. You see, “Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet” started with a violin player living next door. He’s very nice looking, but I only see him in the evenings and… No, my vampire Un-Romance is definitely not autobiographical. The genesis goes back to growing up with those old Bela Lugosi movies on TV. “I want to suck your blood,” was more funny than scary, but it was intriguing and I know I’m not alone in my romantic dance with the vampire image.

Back to the embarrassing back-story and my process, I often stumble on ideas, snippets of assorted ephemera, that roll around in my head for a while, mixing and mingling until they glom onto other bits & pieces to form the background, character or hook for a story. Meeka was among the participants in a blog conversation on my Candy’s Monsters blog: http://candysmonsters.com/ that led immediately to a new short story.

I had posted a short riff on the kind of vacations a monster might take. I imagined a lonely vampire living at an island resort and in no time I was asking for ideas about rum punch names and scribbling what became “Hurricane Castle.” That’s how I “make” a short story. Longer works of fiction take much more time, but the process of gathering and filtering and shuffling and playing, is pretty much the same.

Reading Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” knocked me off my feet. It was nothing like the long chain of movies that followed. In many ways, it’s the quintessential gothic novel — gloomy castle, mysterious characters and tons of atmospheric details. It’s an epistolary novel (written in letters, diary entries and other documents) a fiction format that was very popular at the time. The story unfolds slowly and with it a late 19th century erotic sensibility and fear of female sexuality.

Beware of young ladies who walk in their sleep!

I did not want to write an imitation of “Dracula,” so I took the epistolary form and updated it, mined “Dracula” for character names and subtle descriptive details and then let go of Bram Stoker’s story. Well, not exactly. I didn’t really let it go; it hovered. There is a great and terrible loneliness and sense of isolation in “Dracula.” That kind of isolation is a key element in “Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet.” Willie is not visiting a faraway castle to get a mysterious stranger to sign some legal documents, but she is living a subway ride away from her usual haunts and her temporary home is a weird sanctuary, a place to hide, while she gets her act together.

Her strange castle is an apartment on Tompkins Square in the East Village in New York. If you know Manhattan, you’ll know that there are many important landmark “squares” including: Madison, Cooper, Union, Tompkins and Washington Square. I live near Union Square and lived in a dorm off Washington Square back in my college days at New York University. Even if you’ve never set foot in the city, Washington Square will ring a bell because it’s the name of the famous Henry James novella set on that square.

My original title for Bram was “Tompkins Square” in homage to the James masterpiece. My protagonist, Willie, is not at all like the good-hearted, yet unattractive heiress that Henry James created. But how the lovely Olivia de Haviland was cast in that role in the 1949 film (“The Heiress”) is something that Willie might ponder during one of her long walks with the dog.

That trek with the dog circles us back to the back-story/process that mixes and mingles various influences. While Willie is in her self-imposed isolation, recovering from a romantic disaster, her mind is a sponge absorbing — seemingly without a sensible filter — extraneous facts, images and ideas from everything and everyone around her, including Jerry Springer, Oscar Wilde, her horoscope in the newspaper, postcards from her former fiancé, email “fun quizzes”, voicemail messages from her mother, conversations with strangers, etc.

In some ways, Willie’s method for processing her grief and moving on with her life mimics my own process for writing a story and that’s pretty darned embarrassing!

Conceptually, the Candy’s Monsters ebook series offers me the opportunity to explore voices, styles and story-telling techniques in the relatively short format of a novella, as well as the chance for me to revisit the MONSTERS of my childhood in their original form — without the distortions of “Creature Features,” Roger Corman and Vincent Price. That’s how “The Mary Shelley Game” — my Frankenstein, became a Suspense/Mystery and “Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet” became my Vampire/Un-Romance/Comedy.

I’m working on the third monster right now. It’s called POED — yes, I’m using Poe as a verb in the past tense. I want my readers to get Poed (alarmed, tickled, disturbed, frightened and swept away in Poe-like paranoia) by my contemporary story set in the Usher Clinic for the Criminally Insane.

I don’t know if other writers feel this way, but I’m always in love with my current project. I have zero objectivity until later when I see all the flaws. That’s when I feel dreadful and hate my work. If it’s actually good, I grow to like it again later. I hope to have POED done and ready to be e-published by the end of 2012. I’m already booked to do a reading from it at the semi-annual Poe Room night at NYU in December, so I’d better get cracking. A black cat, a purloined letter and a deadly pendulum await me!

Links:

Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet on Amazon:
http://bit.ly/bramssummersublet

The Mary Shelley Game on Amazon:
http://amzn.to/qB5ncq

The Candy’s Monster Blog:
http://candysmonsters.com/

Candy’s Monsters on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/candysmonsters

Candy Korman on Twitter: @CandyKorman

Short stories by Candy Korman are included in the Mardibooks Collection “Unexpected Tales from the Ends of the Earth” to be e-published in August 2012 http://www.mardibooks.com


Tell me about yourself award

Mary Ann from Mypenandme just left a lovely comment on my blog saying that she had nominated me for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ award. I’m rather stunned because I’m still very new to blogging in general and awards in particular. To me just logging into wordpress and seeing those bright orange numbers up there is an award in itself and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has ever read anything I’ve ever written, or may write in the future! My special thanks though go to Mary Ann who has talents in the poetry department that I wish I had.

Now, according to the rules of these awards I have to write 7 things about myself that I haven’t revealed before and then I have to nominate 7 other bloggers for the same award. Oh and copy/paste the proudly displayed award into your own blogs! I hope you guys are paying attention because I know I messed up on the instructions when Daud [aka Lord David Prosser] nominated me for my very first award so try to get it right 😉

Ok, here we go. 7 things I haven’t yet revealed.

1. This is a biggie – I’m 59. That is just one year away from the big six-o when I officially leave the ranks of the late middle aged and become a baby oldie.

2. I’ve learned many things over the last 59 years but none of them has made me grow up, not properly. I can pretend to be dignified for about five minutes but after that I tend to revert to my true age which fluctuates between 10 and 35.

3. I used to ride motorbikes in my twenties and I still love them but I lost my nerve years ago. I blame my Kawasaki 400 which was so big I couldn’t put both feet on the ground at the same time, even on tippy toes.

4. I’m short – see 3 above.

5. When I was younger I used to wear 4″ heels to make me look 5’8″. Being short is hell!

6. I’m an absolute softie when it comes to kids and animals. I do however draw the line at spiders. Nothing with 8 legs need apply.

7. I don’t believe in god or in any religion but I do believe in goodness and I venerate life in all its forms. I justify my stance on roast chicken and spiders as hypocrisy with extenuating circumstances.

Phew, that was actually quite hard. Be warned my lovelies!

Now for the easy part – Seven bloggers I nominate for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ award :

–  Jennifer Scoullar.  Jennifer is another aussie but I’m nominating her because she can write like crazy.

The Pink Agendist.  Because this is a man with a big heart. And he can cook!

Courtney Bluebird.  Bluey is not an aussie but she could be 🙂  She is also teaching me about poetry and deserves a medal of valour for that.

Maggie O.  Maggie is funny and kind, she is also funny and loves animals. Oh and did I say she was funny? Well she is 🙂

Alex Laybourne.  Alex writes horror but it’s his understanding of human nature that is his greatest talent.

Caressingthemuse.  Stephanie is a whiz at marketing and shares her knowledge with great generosity. She also has a way with words that makes learning fun.

Sable City.  M. Edward McNally creates worlds I want to visit and has a sense of humour that hits all the right buttons with me.

I have dear friends I haven’t nominated this time around but DaudCandy, Metan, SweetMother, I love you all!


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