Emz Newz

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, now on Kindle! #ilovemrgrumpy

Emmy Z. Madrigal

I’m excited to announce my first Regency book,
Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe
is now available on Kindle!

LHLDNewFrontLord Alexander Harrington’s life is rather tame until a shoeless, coatless waif is found wandering his estate with no memory of who she is. Despite his stoicism, Lord Harrington finds himself drawn to the lost girl who he compares to a scared doe. Caring for her illness despite speculation of her mental state, he develops feelings for her.

Is she an escaped lunatic, or simply a lost woman desperately in need of his help? A revelation about his own family’s history with the mental asylum down the road causes him to question his feelings. When a massive fire breaks out on estate grounds, will he lose her forever?

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California Event: Con-Volution 2016

Come celebrate monsters with us!cropped-2016convoageofmonsters_withdates-100px

Con-Volution is an annual 3-day science fiction, fantasy, and media convention featuring guests, performers and vendors from a wide spectrum of the speculative fiction industry and community.

emzCome meet Emerian Rich as she discusses podcasting, monsters, and horror!
Hyatt SFO
1333 Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, California, USA 94010

Podcasting 101: How to Get Heard

Friday 5:00pm, Parlor 2036 (Hyatt Regency SFO)

Want to start a podcast, but have no idea how to start? Our podcasting pros will give you the lowdown, and help you figure out how to get yourself on the cast!

Ric Bretschneider (M), Emerian Rich, Daniel Cortopassi

Monsters In the Mirror

Friday 9:00pm, SandPebble C (Hyatt Regency SFO)

Reflecting societal fears in genre fiction and media, and why it’s important to us.

Emerian Rich, Robyn Bennis, Margaret McGaffey Fisk (M), Sumiko Saulson, Setsu

Devilishly Daring- Demonic Monsters

Saturday 12:00pm, SandPebble D (Hyatt Regency SFO)

We’ll discuss the devils, demons, succubi and lords of the underworld that feature in our genre fiction and media SO often- because we adore them!

Chuck Serface, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich, J. L. (Jim) Doty, Laurel Anne Hill (M)

Meet HorrorAddicts.net!

Sunday 10:00am, SandPebble C (Hyatt Regency SFO)

Meet and chat with the authors who comprise HorrorAddicts.net, and find out more about their monster favorites!

Emerian Rich (M), J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson

Crocheting Monsters! with Emerian Rich

Sunday 1:00pm, Bayside A/B (Hyatt Regency SFO)

Bring hooks if you have them (materials fee of $1.50 if you need them) and crochet yourself a monster pal to take home! (all other materials provided)

Emerian Rich (M)

Seattle Event: Come chat with Emz Tonight!

crystalcon

Come chat with Emz and friends in
Seattle, September 9th

emzCome join horror authors Emerian Rich, Michele Roger, Heather Roulo, Crystal Connor, the host of Psychology in Seattle podcast’s Dr. Kirk Honda, actress/director Abe Eke, anthropologist and author Conrad Wesley Clough and author Joe Teeples for an evening of light appetizers, fancy soft drinks, robust conversation, trivia and prizes in a round table discussion of how and if our bedtime stories still influence us as adults.

Friday, September 9, 2016
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)
The Leaky Cauldron
115 North 85th Street # 202
2nd Floor of the Works Progress Bldg,
Seattle, WA 98103
View Map

Tickets available at:Eventbrite

 

Seattle Event: Come chat with Emz!

crystalcon

Come chat with Emz and friends in
Seattle, September 9th

emzCome join horror authors Emerian Rich, Michele Roger, Heather Roulo, Crystal Connor, the host of Psychology in Seattle podcast’s Dr. Kirk Honda, actress/director Abe Eke, anthropologist and author Conrad Wesley Clough and author Joe Teeples for an evening of light appetizers, fancy soft drinks, robust conversation, trivia and prizes in a round table discussion of how and if our bedtime stories still influence us as adults.

Friday, September 9, 2016
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)
The Leaky Cauldron
115 North 85th Street # 202
2nd Floor of the Works Progress Bldg,
Seattle, WA 98103
View Map

Tickets available at:Eventbrite

 

New Fiction: Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe #ilovemrgrumpy

I’m excited to announce my first Regency book,
Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe
is available now!

LHLDNewFrontLord Alexander Harrington’s life is rather tame until a shoeless, coatless waif is found wandering his estate with no memory of who she is. Despite his stoicism, Lord Harrington finds himself drawn to the lost girl who he compares to a scared doe. Caring for her illness despite speculation of her mental state, he develops feelings for her.

Is she an escaped lunatic, or simply a lost woman desperately in need of his help? A revelation about his own family’s history with the mental asylum down the road causes him to question his feelings. When a massive fire breaks out on estate grounds, will he lose her forever?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter might remember me talking about a character my husband affectionately called “Mr Grumpy” and now he is here! Enjoy Lord Grumpiness in the comfort of your own home now with this print book.

You can win a signed copy of this book along with a special edition favor pack! Check out how here: Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe Enter to Win! #ilovemrgrumpy

Writing in the Blood?

Is writing or the wish to write genetic?

It never occurred to me that it could be until I was looking at some old pictures my mother had. I found three pictures of the women in my family at their tables writing. They aren’t writing about vampires or love stories, but they did spend a large part of their time writing.0810151750a

My great grandma, Edna, was a school teacher and a boarding house owner. She wrote letters to her kids and kept the family abreast of news. She was also a seamstress and made a lot of notes about measurements and clients. She kept records and did all the books for her businesses.0810151749c

My grandmother, Beulah, was a thrift store manager and kept their books. As a church secretary she was in charge of the church programs and bulletins. She was also the mother of five kids and hundreds of grand kids, great grand kids, and great, great grand kids. She was the link to the generations, writing  a hand full of letters every week to family, friends, and those in need of a cheery letter.0810151749a

My mother is a minister and when I was little, was always studying for her seminary classes. After that, she wrote sermons, bible studies, and activity programs. Even now, she writes a great deal. Her favorite things to write are church plays and skits. That’s also where I get my sense of humor and performance background.

0220162153aAnd then you have me. I started writing very young. Usually journals or letters, but when I was 11, I decided I was sick of writing journals about my boring life and I would start writing stories. My first “novel” was 86 pages of big bubbly pencil writing. Since then I’ve written millions of words, everything from magazine articles to interviews, ghost stories to love stories.

Looking back on my history, it’s not the fact that all of us wrote–many people write, it’s a fact of life–but that we all took pleasure in writing. The act itself is fun to me and those that tell me to write my stories on computer, just don’t get it. It’s a pastime I enjoy and although I use voice recognition software, and can type rather fast, I will still write. I will write until I can’t any longer. They will have to pry the pen out of my cold, dead fingers!

Is there a trait you share with your family? How does it effect your outlook on life?

 

Podcast Voice Accents

People often ask me how I practice the voices for a certain character before I record. It’s really the same as an actress would. I access accent examples through movies, TV shows, and the internet. YouTube is a great wealth of knowledge if you get the RIGHT person who knows what they are talking about to teach you.

I have often joked about my Markham O’Leary accent on Night’s Knights and how one day I am sure that 100 Irishmen will knock on my door and beat the hell out of me.  For Markham’s accent I sourced what I knew about the Irish accent from growing up along with watching movies like Far and Away and an awesome podcast by two Irish dudes that no longer exist. When looking for sources, I’d rather listen to true natives than movies where the characters are being acted by non-Irish speakers.

The video below is NOT a video I studied for my Irish accent, but I remember watching it in the early days and getting a good laugh about it. When choosing to study an accent, you can sometimes feel like this clueless dude in Irish class.

So what is the secret to learning an accent really? Listening and repeating. Do that 100x and you will be good. When in doubt, ask a FB friend from the country to record a sample of the text for you or meet them on SL and have a good chat.

Just remember, as a podcaster, you just have to study as hard as you can and then just let go. No one expects you to be perfect, but you should know enough to make it sound believable. Happy podcasting!

5 Books that Changed the Way I See the World

theoutRecently, I was talking to a friend about my favorite authors and it launched into a discussion about the authors I enjoy reading, versus books that really touched me, made me cry, or changed the way I saw the world. We can all rattle off 10-15 authors we love to read or that come to our minds when we think of books, but it’s not as easy to think of those that really changed our lives.

noeasyHere are five books that really changed the way I thought and managed to bring tears in most cases. I am not going to tell you why I liked each one. I’d like you to read the books and see what kind of effect they have on you. I can tell you that one thread running through them is each of these books deals with a hard truth of life. It’s difficult as an author to bring real-life messages through a fiction setting in a way that will change the reader’s thought process. These did it for me.

  1. annecrytoThe Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
  2. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  3. The Feast of All Saints, Anne Rice
  4. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
  5. No Easy Place to Be, Steven Corbin

What books changed your mind about life?

 

Music Inspiring Writing: Selah Janel

Welcome to my blog series all about how ♫ Music Inspires Writing ♫

Today my guest is Selah Janel a writer and music lover.

If Music be the Food of Love, Play On

By Selah Janel

“If music be the food of love, play on,” says the bard, but I think sometimes we forget how much music influences our daily lives, and our personal art. As a writer, it cocoons my workspace, puts me in that ‘ready to enter my inner universe’ mode, gets me comfortable feeling the emotions I need to feel to write whatever I’m working on. It validates, encourages, in a uniquely personal way that not much else can.

My personal tastes are all over the map. Growing up, I studied classical voice, and I still like to listen to Benjamin Britten, Purcell, Samuel Barber, Mozart, and on and on from time to time. I love musical theatre and did my time in that world, too, so soundtracks aren’t out of the question. I’m a die-hard classic rock fan, so that’s always going to happen. Still, writing music doesn’t necessarily pull directly from those catalogues. It’s obviously music I write, but I want things that will transport my mind to where it needs to go.

I love instrumental albums. David Lanz, Brian Eno, David Garrett, David Bowie’s instrumental work – I’ve had them all on repeat at different times, because they let my thoughts take the foreground while keeping my emotions on a steady simmer. I love moody artists like Delerium, Tina Malia’s Shores of Avalon, and Emily Autumn for similar reasons. If I need to just sit down and go, I’ll tap one of those, or sometimes pull up artists I’m super familiar with, like Led Zeppelin or Bowie’s massive catalogue, because it’s like having a friend sitting with me, egging me on, but not distracting me. I’ll edit to things like this or to big band, stuff that’s more background and not likely to have me falling too into the story or wanting to rehash things unless they objectively need it.

I don’t know how other people work, but I also have albums and artists that I don’t necessarily write to, but I character build or zone out to. G Tom Mac is my go to example – I love the emotions and textures in his music, and the narratives are open enough that I can apply them to a lot of my manuscripts and characters. If I’m having a problem with a sequence, I’ll play certain songs that remind me of those characters on repeat and let my mind go. Sixx: AM is another great group for this. I may not write with them playing, but their three albums give me loads of ammunition for my characters to work out their issues.

Sometimes it depends on the book. For an urban fantasy rock themed book, I wrote mainly to Zeppelin, Motley Crue, and AC/DC. The name of a short story collection I co-authored, Lost in the Shadows, is from a song title. While none of my pieces were written around songs, to me and S.H. Roddey, the title embodied our philosophy for the book and for ideas and genre in general, that it’s okay to go off the beaten path and delve into a place that others may not get or view as mysterious or apprehensive. That was in definite tribute to the sheer amount of time I’ve at least spent blasting that song during study sessions in college and later during late-night show builds for different places I’ve worked.  For other manuscripts, I name file titles/sequences by the song titles that either inspired them or that remind me of them. I just never know when a lyric or a bit of melody or something is going to catch fire and keep driving a scene into something more. I love that. I love having that support, that momentum, that inspiration from other artists, whether they know they’re giving it or not.

Music is a gateway for me, a spell to the lands that are in my head but not accessible in the real world. I find it fascinating that songs that may have been written with one intent can mean something entirely different when they’re in my ears, and inspire something that I make that is also totally different. That’s magical to me. It’s amazing that a few pitches and sounds and lyrics can mean so much to people as it is, but in a closed room when I’m focused on a manuscript or scratching at a notebook, it means so much more. It’s not always easy to keep working on manuscripts that feel endless, and although people mean well and try to be encouraging, there’s something about writing to music that screams ‘you are not alone, you have all these others with you, just get it out.’ I don’t know if it’s some semblance of permission or just the fact that I like the insulation and don’t want to be bothered when I write, but if I’m having trouble, music is definitely a huge step in overcoming block and getting words on paper.

**************

0908_Selah_Hedshots_60CSelah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. The many people around her that supported her love of reading and curiosity probably made it worse. Her e-books The Other Man, Holly and Ivy, and Mooner are published through Mocha Memoirs Press. Lost in the Shadows, a collection of short stories celebrating the edges of ideas and the spaces between genres was co-written with S.H. Roddey. Her work has also been included in The MacGuffin, The Realm Beyond, Stories for Children Magazine, The Big Bad: an Anthology of Evil, The Big Bad 2, The Grotesquerie, and Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery. Olde School is the first book in her series, The Kingdom City Chronicles, published through Seventh Star Press. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own. Catch up with Selah at http://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com/authorSJ, or @SelahJanel on Twitter.

Thank you Selah for sharing your thoughts!

So what music inspires you to write? Share yours in the comments below and tune in here next time when one of my friends shares their music inspirations.

A Message to Graduating Students

A random meeting this week made me step back and look at my writing career in a different light. At lunch, a young guy eating with his grandfather, asked if I was a writer. Answering that question with a definite “yes” still has my self-conscious calling me fraud. Even after seven novels, a dozen or so anthologies, and being Editorial Director for a magazine, I still don’t feel like I should be calling myself a real writer. But, we’ll talk about that later.

The kid told me he was graduating this week and that he is enrolled in the university for the fall. He wants to be a writer and asked if he really needed to go to college? Did I have any advice for him? I was kind of shocked at my answer, so I thought I’d share it with you and with all the graduates or those thinking of pursuing a career in writing.

  1. YES! Go to college if you can. One of my biggest regrets about my college ages is that I didn’t know then that I wanted to be a writer and went to art school instead. Do I regret going to art school? No. It was a great experience. I do regret not getting an English degree. I believe the basis of the degree would’ve helped me learn the fundamentals that I’ve had to learn on my own or with editor’s help. College in general is something I think everyone should experience. Although many of us change our careers multiple times during our lives, college gives us a good grasp of many subjects. It allows you to learn about other cultures and meet people you would never come in contact with otherwise. It instills within you a regiment and a deadline ability essential in a writing career. Most of all, it’s fun. I might be a weird one, but I just love projects! Every new school assignment was a challenge for me to conquer.
  2. Don’t put yourself in a box. If you truly want to become a writer don’t only concentrate on that one big novel you have in the closet. If you want to become a career writer, you need to write everything, in every subject, for anyone. In today’s world, a writer can’t simply make a living just writing one book unless they are the lucky one in a million that gets picked up by Hollywood. Even those writers would tell you it took them a long time to get to that point. Many writers spend their entire lives writing books or articles or short stories and never make that million-dollar media deal. So, when you say you are a writer, yet only concentrate on that one book, think of it this way: Nobody goes around saying I am “the writer of that one novel”, they say, “I am a writer and I wrote that novel, that short story, and those series of articles for that magazine.” Don’t think you of your life as a writer as only one novel or only one series. If you’re going to make it as a career writer you will have to write more things. Open your mind up to journalism or nonfiction writing or blog writing or writing for magazines and if you want to stick to fiction that’s ok, but know that you will need to work twice as hard to get those short stories out and spread your work so new readers will find you.
  3. DO consider your interests worthy. One of the biggest things that changed my outlook on being a writer was when I started treating my wish to be a writer as a career. Newbie writers sometimes hide behind the “retail clerk”, “admin assistant”, or “waitress” titles that we have to keep our bills paid. Don’t be afraid to put your writer career first, to stand up and say, “YES! I’m a writer.” Sure, you might have to do another job to keep a roof over your head. Big news…most writers still have a day job. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your writing in second place. Own your writer-ness and hold your head up high. Treating the title as a REAL thing, a WORTHY thing, is the only way to show others you are serious and truly will help you remember what your goals are.
  4. Allow your path to change course. For all of you new graduates, I applaud you for knowing what you’re going to do with your life. If I had known that I was going to be a writer I could have taken steps to make my career more successful in the beginning. However, if you find that writing is not for you and you go down a different path, that’s ok too. Don’t stop writing because it’s hard. All life is hard. If you’re going to stop, do it because you enjoy something else better or you have more talent in another area. Also, don’t be so black and white. When in college, we often feel it’s the end of the world if we don’t complete our mission. Well, sometimes our missions change. Allow yourself to change your mission. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t put yourself in a box. And most of all, treat college as a huge experiment. No other time in your life will you be able to explore, test, and discover with so much freedom again.

Good luck graduates! I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us. 🙂