Tag Archive | Fuller’s Curse

October Approaches

…which means it’s time for the Granbury Paranormal Expo in Granbury, Texas.

This year’s expo marks many firsts. For the first time in five years it will be held outdoors. For the first time in five years it will be free. For the first time it will be held on the downtown square. For the first time ever, it will feature a Zombie Pub Crawl. To read more about the Granbury Paranormal Expo, see the press release below from one of the organizers, Brandy Herr.

Fifth Annual Granbury Paranormal Expo Kicks Off Halloween Season

Street Festival Brings Together Paranormal, Horror and Sci-Fi

The Fifth Annual Granbury Paranormal Expo will kick off the Halloween season on October 1, 2016 from 10 am to 5 pm with a street festival in the middle of Granbury’s historic downtown square. This festival is free to the public and will feature ghost hunters; psychics; horror, sci-fi, cosplay and fantasy vendors; and much more.

“We are considering it to be a ‘Comic Con’ with ghost hunters,” said Brandy Herr, co-founder of the Granbury Paranormal Expo. “We wanted to bring everything together into one big event to ensure that we have something fun for everybody!”

alex-vincentThis year’s special celebrity guest will be Alex Vincent, best known as Andy Barclay from Child’s Play 1 & 2. He will facilitate a Q&A session about his work on the horror franchise. Joining Vincent as a guest speaker will be Shelley Kaehr, Ph.D., aka “The Past Life Lady.” And finally, the Austin Ghost Tour Gals will also lead a special session on ghost hunting.

 

For the animal lovers, Tugg the Superhero Bull Terrier will be making a special appearance to promote his comic book series. tugg

Several restaurants on the square will be showing their support for the Granbury Paranormal Expo by hosting a Zombie Pub Crawl, a separate, ticketed event to be held the evening of October 1.

For more details, visit Granbury Paranormal Expo and the Ghost Scribes.

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I’ll be there as a vendor, promoting Fuller’s Curse and the Ghost Scribes, a collective of paranormal/supernatural fiction writers who write good books about bad people. If you’re in the area, stop through. If this year’s expo is like last year’s (and it will be), it’ll be great fun.

Tour through Blogland

tour-through-blogland-2[1]

Thank you, Carol Balawyder for inviting me to be a part of the Tour through Blogland experience. Wow! What a pleasure to participate. The exposure to interesting blogs, writers and writings has been enormously enriching.

Carol Balawyder Carol Balawyder, Writer/Author

Carol and I met, obviously through our blogging and in the year we’ve been online cohorts, I have discovered that she is a diverse writer with publishing credit in women’s fiction, memoir and crime writing, making her an accomplished fiction and non-fiction author. On top of her writing talents, she is also a welcoming and supportive person. I have enjoyed learning about her and her accomplishments, and I am so glad our blog paths crossed. I can’t wait for the day I meet her in person! I know it will be a blessing. Until then, I continue to enjoy her features on www.carolbalawyder.com and I hope you’ll take the time to link over and familiarize yourself with her and her latest works, Getting to Mr. Right and Missi’s Dating Adventures.

gettingtomrright_kindle_small15Missi's Dating Adventures

I’ve read both of her books and found them to contain insightful commentary on some of today’s relationship issues…and not just romantic relationships. Her works are important and engaging and I think you’ll agree with me once you have read them. Thanks Carol for inviting me into your world and for your contributions to the literary world.

Carol and some of the rest of you know that I’m not big on rules so I was glad to see that there were only a few requirements to participate in a Tour through Blogland. They are:

1. Pass the tour on

2. Give the rules to the other blogger and a specific Monday to post

3. Answer four questions about my creative process

Okay, simple enough; I can handle that. So without further delay, I present to you a blogger/author who I greatly admire and to whom I am passing the tour opportunity, followed by my responses to the creative process questions. I hope you enjoy!

meet-the-author

Serena Wills:  Poet, Essayist and Inspiration/Self-help Writer

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When I thought of all the bloggers with whom I could share this experience, Serena rose to the top. Not only because of her recently released poetry book, Reconstruction:  Pieces of Life, Volume 1, A Poetry Book, but also because she is an amazingly productive, multi-faceted and inventive writer. Also, I settled on Serena because she lives her life as we all should:  combining grit, faith and goal-nurturing to overcome adversity (that occasional blip that happens in every person’s life). Read her poetry book and you’ll get a glimpse into the challenges she has had to overcome and how she overcame them.

Reconstruction

Click here to access her site, and we can all look forward to her Tour through Blogland post in April or May (set date to be communicated).

Questions about My Creative Process

  1. What are you working on at the moment? My friend Renita likens the job of today’s writers to the juggling team of Vova and Olga, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljnmYQ5NJjQ. Their job is to keep all of the balls, clubs or whatever they are juggling in the air. So, like Vova and Olga, I am juggling many items that include:  a blog; a memoir; marketing and promotions for “Fuller’s Curse” and “Voices from the Block;” a non-fiction personal development book; a children’s book; the programming for a non-profit organization; and involvement in three writers groups. I try to work smart to keep all of these from crashing to the floor, but some days it’s a real struggle. Now, really, truth be told, what I should be working on is “Tremont’s Curse,” the sequel to “Fuller’s Curse,” but that’s an entirely different juggling act that is too exhausting to think about right now.
  2. How does my work differ from others in my genre? This is a tough one because I write in so many genres. “Fuller’s Curse” is a horror fiction novel. “Voices from the Block” features two mainstream short stories. And “The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Again” is a dark short story to be featured in an upcoming anthology (spring 2015). Plus, as I shared earlier, I have a children’s book in the illustration process, as well as a memoir and a sequel in the drafting stage. So I’ll lump all of my works together, strip away the genre classifications, and say that the main focus with many of my works is to blur boundaries and pummel perceptions in an effort to make people think about the labels we attach to people, places and things. I attempt in my writings to push readers beyond the obvious to see what else can be gleaned even if it makes them uncomfortable.
  3. Why do I write/create what I do? Stories, ideas, characters, questions, titles come to me and will not depart until I have locked them down on paper. I have had an idea for a play incubating in my head for 10+ years and yet I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast. So why do I write? Because I don’t have a choice. I have to write. Even before I was born, writing chose me and I choose to answer the call. Why do I write what I do? Because I am a creative who is fed by life experiences, and those life experiences translate into written works that take the shape of different genres and forms.
  4. How does my writing/creative process work? The creative process is as mysterious as the Bible so I’ll just respond to the writing process. As stated earlier, ideas, questions, titles, characters and such flow to me like city water through pipes. Idea generation is the easy part. What’s hard is committing words to paper:  making myself sit down to write, anchoring myself to the chair, and creating the right string of words. So like other writers, I have learned tricks to make the writing process less strenuous. Like…ending a writing session at the height of dialogue or action; outlining the beginning, middle and end of a scene (I write scene by scene in linear order); reading a quote or inspirational piece at the start of a writing session; setting up a reward system for number of pages written, scenes completed, etc.; capturing story notes on a separate document that I refer to when I’ve written myself into a corner; writing and editing the same scene a minimum of four times; making my final story edits the old school way (on paper with red ink); and mostly, praying a lot for help.

It Wasn’t Halloween, But…

You know how there are some things that happen that may remind you of a related, yet unrelated other thing? I’m not being clear, am I? Well, here are a couple of examples. I’ll have my head in the refrigerator, looking for something to eat, see a bowl of grapes and up pops a memory of me and mom at the Farmers Market. Or, I’ll be driving and turn left on Stella Street and up pops a scene from the movie, “Rocky.” You remember the one where Stallone is yelling his lady love’s name? So I say all this to say that recently I was on Facebook (something I find totally overwhelming which is why I visit my page infrequently), smiling at photos of my nephew on the beach and up pops a memory of the most terrifying moment in my life. It’s close to Halloween so I thought, heck, why not share?

In 2000, I attended the Maui Writers Conference, which is one of the best writing conferences I’ve attended (and not just because of the setting although that had a lot to do with it). The hotel where I stayed sat on the edge of a cliff and the cliff eventually eroded into the Pacific. I was so delighted when I reached my room and saw that I was on the ground floor with my patio facing the ocean. Visions of early morning coffee on the patio with my laptop and/or my journal and pen danced in my head.

Well, it turned out that my schedule was so heavy with lectures, writing exercises, feedback sessions and group meetings that I didn’t experience a single lazy morning on the patio, not one, so instead I started leaving the patio doors open at night. At least that way the ocean breeze could fill my room while I slept and the sounds of nature could soothe my soul while I rested—a satisfying concession. On the fourth or fifth morning there, some primal instinct woke me a few hours before dawn and before I could open my eyes I knew I was not alone. Instant fear shrouded me, constricting me from head to toe. I could not move except to open my eyes and face the fear. Normally in the dark, the eyes need time to adjust, but not this time. I immediately saw in the corner of the room a dark form. It was not a solid form; I could see through it, but it was material enough that I could make out the shape of a fully grown man; and, its presence was commanding, powerful. I knew at every level of my being that it was EVIL, and I also knew that it was there to take me out, to end my life by snatching my soul. I was so afraid, so wrapped in fear that I could not yell out, turn on a light, or hide under the covers—any action that would protect me, as if those things could. The spiritual entity didn’t move. It stood still, posing as an ironic juxtaposition to the innocently billowing curtains behind it. Finally, my mind freed itself from fear, just enough to allow me to do one thing—cry out to Jesus. It was a feeble cry, not even articulated, simply carried out in my mind, Help me, Jesus, help me. I closed my eyes and not even a second later opened them. Evil was gone. In an instant, I was freed of its presence. In a flash, I was freed of fear. Peace settled within me and I fell back asleep.

Later that morning when the sun was fully dazzling and I sat in group lecture, I could not concentrate. Even though my heart and soul were still at peace about the encounter with evil, my mind would not release that terrifying moment. The incident from beginning to end had only lasted a few seconds yet the intensity of it forced my mind to rewind it over and over. And I could not shake the accompanying questions:  why me, why here, why now, what did the visit mean?

My time in Maui came to a close and on the long plane ride home and for months afterwards, I continued to ask why questions. Then one day while meditating and praying, answers started pouring into me. The answers did not come in audible tones but as thoughts, simple ordinary thoughts:  The Evil One had come to dissuade me from my life’s purpose–writing. It especially did not want me to write the particular book I had been working on in Maui, “Fuller’s Curse.” And, it did not want me to live because of the impact my words and works would have on others.

When the answers came, I was transformed. I experienced an awakening that led to discontent with my current profession (I resigned from my corporate career four months after the conference) and forced me to accept my call as a writer and to pursue my writing career more seriously.

The most terrifying moment of my life led me to life fulfilled and this I recall all because of my handsome nephew’s photo on Facebook. Go figure! Oh, and happy Halloween!

From Me to You…Happy Birthday!

On September 2-3, I celebrate my new year! …the start of another year of living and learning.

I am so excited about what the next twelve months will unwrap for me that I’ve decided to share my excitement in an unusual way. Instead of receiving birthday gifts, I plan to give gifts.

For one day only, on September 2-3,  the ebook version of “Fuller’s Curse” will be free on Amazon.

Fullers Curse Front Cover Promo

To claim your free gift, simply go to www.Amazon.com, access the ebook version of “Fuller’s Curse,” click download, then select your method of delivery. Just four steps to my birthday gift to you!

Happy birthday to me!

Restrictions: One ebook per reader. Promotion runs for one 24-hour period. Cake and ice cream not included!

Naming Rights Contest

In April 2013, the Naming Rights contest kicked off. This was a contest aimed at securing book reviews for Fuller’s Curse. In exchange for a written review published on any book review site, one lucky reviewer would win the opportunity to work with me to name a future character(s).

The contest dates ranged from April 23 to October 23 (six months) with the winner announced on October 28. Well folks, today is that day so drumroll please….

Elizabeth Klein

…you are the winner!

I’ll be contacting Elizabeth soon to discuss one character in Trémont’s Curse (book two of the Curse series). After our initial conversation, she’ll receive a character analysis sheet and then the fun part for her begins–coming up with names for consideration. We’ll decide on a final name together and then everybody joins in by reading Trémont’s Curse…and guessing which name Elizabeth contributed.

For everyone else who submitted reviews, I can’t thank you enough for your time and effort. I enjoy reading your reviews (yes, I’ve read them several times) on Amazon and Goodreads; they really warm my heart and propel me to keep striving.

Some of you may be wondering why I focused on book reviews for this contest. It’s because book reviews have replaced hand-to-mouth sales (or maybe it’s mouth-to-hand sales, I have already forgotten). If you recall the old days when independent bookstores graced neighborhoods, the sales associates in those stores sold books via hand-to-mouth. Meaning, they would actually put a book in the customer’s hand and talk the book up. Unfortunately, with independent or small bookstores being squeezed out by conglomerates and e-tailers, hand-to-mouth is being replaced by book reviews. Hence, my focus on obtaining book reviews. As is the focus for most authors.

So again, I thank you all, and I believe your reviews helped Fuller’s Curse land in the featured spot on Amazon’s Literature & Fiction bookshelf on October 22.

Sending love and light to all…

Fuller’s Curse, It’s Official!

On Saturday, September 28, my family and friends hosted the official launch of my latest novel, Fuller’s Curse. Even though it was raining with dark clouds over head and loud thunder, more than 30 die-hard people showed up at Freedman’s Memorial Cemetery in Dallas for the launch.

To those people as well as my family, I say…well, I can’t say anything because I get too choked up. When I think about the sacrifice of time and effort, as well as the risk you took in possibly catching a cold or having a wreck all to help me acknowledge this special moment, strong emotions overtake me and I have to pause. Like now. I am loved; you showed that on Saturday and I pray that I have been or am as good to you as you are to me. I would love to name names, but I don’t dare because I will inadvertently leave off a name and that would be unacceptable. Just know that I appreciate the grand, over-the-top show of support. You are truly my reason why…why I keep dreaming, why I keep achieving, why I keep loving.

For those who tried to attend the launch but failed because of horrible directions from internet maps, or those who showed up at the original (right-wrong) address, or those who suffered through the weather-logged traffic only to arrive at the end of the program or after its end, I say THANK YOU. You, too, warm my heart and make me smile. I hope you know how grateful I am for your presence in my life and for your loving support. Oh, and my apologies for the miscommunication and the difficulty in finding the location.

Below is the program for the official launch. We were unable to pass out programs; it was just too wet. But I want everyone to have a copy and be reminded of the fun, informative time we had. Also, I hope it’ll help others feel like they were there.

 

Fuller’s Curse:  Linking the Past to the Present

Program

Mistress of Ceremonies – Pam Fields

4:00 – 4:30   Tour of Grounds & Sculptures, Don Payton

                      African Drumming, Linda Jones

4:30 – 4:40   Welcome & Occasion, MC

4:40 – 5:20   Comments/Reading/Q&A, Ann Fields

5:20 – 5:30   Genealogy Overview/Drawing, Cynthia Ford

5:30 – 6:00   Tour of Grounds & Sculptures

African Drumming

Saturday, September 28, 2013 – 4:00 pm

Freedman’s Memorial Cemetery – Dallas, Texas

 

Thank you to the following people for going with the flow and sharing unselfishly…

Don Payton, African American historian and Freedman’s Memorial Cemetery expert

Cynthia Ford, Genealogist

Linda Jones, African drummer

Pam Fields, Mistress of Ceremonies (and my sister)

Joycelyn Powell, Scentsy Sales Associate (she offers a special Fuller’s Curse scent; get yours today!) and

Ruthie Turner, Tea Cakes by Ruthie!

Oh and for those of you who questioned the cemetery as a location for a book launch, I think once you read the book you’ll make the connection. Trust me…there was method to my madness!

Again, thank you all! I love you! And I’m sending you all a big hug and kiss. Ready for it? Here it comes…

Sisters of Adinkra Book Club

The Sisters of Adinkra Book Club is hosting “Dinner and Conversation with Author, Ann Fields” on Saturday, August 24th from 2 pm to 5 pm at Pappadeaux Seafood restaurant (800 East Highway 67, Duncanville, TX 75137). If you’re free that afternoon, come on out and join the fun! It’s open to all.

I love spending time with all book clubs but the Sisters of Adinkra in particular because we have a shared history. They formed as a book club in the 1990s, which is around the time I started my romance writing career. In fact, I received one of my first five-star ratings from them. Of course, the five-star rating is not the only reason I adore this group. We’ve been on cruises together, hosted a conference together, worked on literary projects together… The list goes on and on and shows why I am so thrilled to spend time with them next weekend.

A BIG hug and kiss to each member of Sisters of Adinkra for their loveliness and for selecting me and “Fuller’s Curse” as the featured author and book for this event.

So come join us! You’ll want to meet them, enjoy some great food, play some unusual games, and receive a complimentary gift. I promise you’ll have a great time!

Register at:  Ann Booksigning and Appearances SOA Flyer August 2013.