Friday, June 27, 2014

This House Third Edition Coming Soon!

After a few months of holding my breath, but all in all not too long of a wait, This House: The True Story of a Girl and a Ghost will be re-released in its third edition glory by Breaking Fate Publishing on August 12! The book's new cover is stunning, and readers can expect some interior changes as well. The book's text has been polished and updated throughout, with extensive changes to chapter eight, now called "Today" (formerly titled "Proof").
Over the years, I have received mostly positive, and sometimes not so positive, feedback from readers concerning wanting more clarification about Walter: who he was, the true nature of our "relationship," and how I continue to relate to him in my everyday life. I have really taken this to heart and tried to include enough new insight to satisfy some of these curiosities, while appropriately allowing certain mysteries to remain mysterious.

The book still caps out at around 100 pages, making it difficult for me to believe that my life’s pride and joy weighs less than a half pound and can fit into my purse. But it will nonetheless suit the young adult and young-at-heart ghost story lover as much as ever. This House will cost $10.99 for paperback and $2.99 for Kindle, and will be available on Amazon and through your local bookstore.

I want to thank Willy Adkins and Jason Davis of Breaking Fate Publishing for scooping up this project immediately. Thank you all out there as well for your patience and support. Check back for progress reports on the re-release of Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State and Breakfast with Bigfoot, and other great new things currently in the works!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Big Book News: The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful

I have some good news and I have some bad news.

I’ll start with the bad news. It’s no secret that times are tough for small and independent publishers. Black Oak Media, current publisher of all three of my books, is closing at the end of April. This means that all of my books in all formats will go out of print as of May 1.

First, I want to thank Michael Kleen for helping to launch my career, and I wish him luck with his next endeavors. All of the authors at Black Oak were shocked and saddened to receive this news in January, but we largely understand the reasons behind the closure and have wasted no time since to ensure that our books will go on.

To that end, here’s the good news. I have successfully sold This House and Breakfast with Bigfoot to new publishers, with release dates pending for later this year. I am waiting to hopefully clinch a good deal for a revised edition of Maryland Ghosts, and at worst, will simply re-publish it myself. This means that all of my books will in fact be re-released fairly soon and in finely polished, updated editions, which is actually great news.

I will be working diligently to update all social media channels with the most current updates and specifics about each book. Check back here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. In the meantime, anyone with questions, concerns, or contract offers (hello, agents and publishers!), please email me at
Stay tuned! I’ve been very blessed so far in dealing with this situation. Life continues to be beautiful and this, too, shall pass.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Check out Amelia on 30 Odd Minutes

This week I made my small-screen debut on the show 30 Odd Minutes, talking about haunted Maryland, Walter's House (from This House), and even Bigfoot's favorite snacks. The show aired live and will be available on more than 100 cable channels around the U.S. and U.K. in the coming weeks.

Click to watch the episode above, but also be sure to check under the show's where to watch tab to find out which television channels will be showing it near you and when! The episode is also available on iTunes, YouTube, and Roku.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's National Haiku Writing Month!

February is National Haiku Writing Month, and I’ve recently dedicated a page here on the website to my ever-growing (slowly, but growing!) list of haiku publications. I’m mostly known for my writing on various topics related to ghost geekery, so I thought I’d share a few words about haiku poetry and their importance to me.

I’m often asked what haiku are and the nature of their literary significance. Haiku poetry is an oft misunderstood literary form. Modern Haiku, a leading haiku journal, defines a haiku as: “a brief verse that epitomizes a single moment. It uses the juxtaposition of two concrete images, often a universal condition of nature and a particular aspect of human experience, in a way that prompts the reader to make an insightful connection between the two. The best haiku allude to the appropriate season of the year. Good haiku avoid subjectivity; intrusions of the poet’s ego, views, or values; and displays of intellect, wit, and facility with words.”

Haiku that are published in literary journals, chapbooks, and anthologies generally do not adhere to the school-taught structure of a three-line sentence with a 5-7-5 syllable scheme, but are generally one to three lines and use as few words as possible to capture the image and feeling of a single, present moment. Haiku poetry originated in Japan with a similar 17-syllable structure, and has been adapted into other languages over the course of several hundred years, but Japanese syllables differ in length and emphasis than those in other languages. When executed properly and according to the more important rules of haiku (such as capturing the poem's "haiku moment" and depth of meaning), the form does not need to stick to the whole 5-7-5 thing.

Sound confusing? It totally is. Haiku are simple and poignant, but have many rules and are challenging but rewarding to write, which is part of their artistic appeal for me. I have always enjoyed writing poetry, but I generally don’t like the long-winded, self-indulgent stuff that uses flowery language for the sake of sounding cool and taking itself too seriously. I was attracted to haiku for their brevity and the fact that they are meant to be accessible to all readers, not just artsy poetry folks. As such, many haiku also speak to me, and to other haiku fans, as brief meditations and even tiny works of art.

For more information on haiku and to get started on writing your own, visit the Haiku Society of America and read examples of excellent haiku in their official journal, Frogpond. You can also view a comprehensive list of other haiku journals, websites, and organizations under their Links section.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Amelia Inducted into The Society of Midland Authors

In late October I was invited to become a member of the Society of Midland Authors, which is a tremendous honor. I was recommended by fellow author and current member Arnie Bernstein, who I had the pleasure of assisting briefly with some historical research during the writing of his latest book, Swastika Nation: The Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund. Society of Midland Authors was launched in 1915 and past members have been some of the Midwest’s greatest legends, including Jane Addams and Clarence Darrow (you know, just sayin’). There are currently 350 distinguished members, including several that I know, such as Arnie, Ursula Bielski, Jim Graczyk, Adam McOmber, and Gunter Nitsch.

To be qualified for induction, authors must have published at least one book demonstrating literary style with a reputable publisher, be affiliated with one of the 12 Midwestern states either by residence or by birth, and be nominated by a current member. For more information, visit their main site or their blog.

I’m incredibly grateful and plan to pay the honor forward in the future!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Recap: Bigfoot, The Haunted Letters, Chicago Ghosts & More

Summer is quickly winding to an end in Chicago and some incredible things have happened since the release of Breakfast with Bigfoot at the end of April. The book has been received warmly and became a Kobo best seller in August, ranking at and around #36 in the Food & Drink and Outdoor categories. The book’s release party in June was also a success and was attended by publishing professionals and paranormal enthusiasts alike, including Beth Yoke, Executive Director of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA, a division of the American Library Association), and my book editor, Michelle Jacksier.

In July, I completed my Uncle Bernie’s collection of true ghost experiences, which together we titled The Haunted Letters: True Tales from a Ghost Storied Life. His paranormal encounters have happened in places ranging from hunting expeditions, to the jungles of Vietnam, to his home states of Maryland and Pennsylvania. I am making the collection available as a free PDF to anyone who wishes to read it! If you would like a copy, please email me at As always, several of his most interesting experiences are also featured in Maryland Ghosts.
In other news, I am now officially a tour guide for Ursula Bielski’s Chicago Hauntings Ghost Tours! I’m wrapping up training in time to be ready for the busy Halloween season. The tour is equal parts Chicago history and chilling ghost stories, and I have been surprised but thrilled to learn that many people do have strange encounters and capture compelling photographic evidence while on the tours. If you’re in the Chicago area, feel free to request me as your guide for an upcoming tour!

Other highlights of the summer included a July trip with the Chicago Paranormal Seekers to Willow Creek Farm in Cherry Grove Township, Illinois, and a weekend trip in August to Indianapolis for the 7th Annual Paranormal Meet & Greet and overnight stay at the Roads Hotel in Atlanta, Indiana. Both Willow Creek Farm and the Roads Hotel really resonated with me. I enjoyed the investigations as usual and got seriously spooked more than once, but the locations (and their spirits) really spoke to my heart. I felt a deeply positive connection with both places.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Breakfast with Bigfoot is Here!

Breakfast is served! My highly anticipated children’s book, Breakfast with Bigfoot, has been nearly as elusive as the big hairy guy himself, but I can announce today with great joy that it has finally been released!
Breakfast with Bigfoot, illustrated by Charles Swinford and for ages three through six, is available for $11.95 on Amazon and Barnes &, and $2.99 for the Kindle and Nook. In-store distribution should follow shortly. Keep up with my Appearances to find out where you might also capture an autographed copy of this mysterious, untamed book in person. Additionally, this is just the first in a planned three-part series, so stay tuned as more details on books two and three develop!

Please share this exciting news with the Bigfoot and nature lovers in your life, both big and small!

So, Bigfoot does exist, but does he like peanut butter and goldfish crackers? Find out in Breakfast with Bigfoot, written by Amelia Cotter and illustrated by Charles Swinford. Adventure and laughs are just around the corner as Gretchen and her new pal Bigfoot discover a thing or two about both the kinds of food that people eat and the kinds found in nature. For children three through six.
This book’s journey began in January 2009 when the manuscript was accepted at Barclay Bryan Press, after being rejected six times elsewhere. Progress moved slowly from there with repeated setbacks, including having to hire a new illustrator. The book even came within minutes of going to press in December 2011, but production was stalled and never picked up again. I was left thinking at times that maybe this project wasn’t meant to be.

Finally, after so much waiting and anticipation, Barclay Bryan bowed out due to difficult financial times. I was deeply saddened, but not surprised. Small presses have no easy time staying afloat, especially in the recent economic climate, and I appreciate the support and cooperation of Barclay Bryan Press, particularly my dear friend Cristina Bryan and the book’s wonderfully talented illustrator, Charles Swinford. Luckily, my disappointment was short-lived and Black Oak Media, the publisher of my first two books, stepped in quickly and picked up the project this January. I am equally (and always) grateful for Black Oak’s and Michael Kleen’s quick action and enthusiasm.

So, the book that I originally believed would be my first and might launch my children’s-book-writing career, has turned out to be my third in a solid lineup, so far, of supernatural-themed books for all ages. After four years, two illustrators, and two publishers, I am truly relieved that things have worked out, I am so proud of this book, and I have learned so much in the process!