Thursday, August 28, 2014

Short Story Featured in Horror Anthology

I contributed a rhyming horror story (yes, rhyming) called "When the Goatman Comes" to the Lost in the Witching Hour anthology, released this week by Breaking Fate Publishing. a native Marylander, I grew up with the local legend of the Goatman, a half-man, half-beast that is said to attack unsuspecting victims along desolate roadsides. The legend is also popular in other parts of the U.S. and naturally stirs up images of Pan and the Christian devil. Combining my interest in U.S. as well as European monster and demon lore, I created this story about what it might be like to come face to face with this mythical, manlike creature. The story calls upon some classic horror writing conventions, while whimsically exploring a young lady's frightening and subtly sexual encounter with the mysterious (and, in this case, super suave) Goatman.

I'm not really a serious horror writer, so as the title suggests, there are splashes of humor throughout. My last longer work of short fiction was the dark, experimental "Dakota Morning," about an incestuous and ultimately murderous love triangle, featured in the Winter 2010 (and final) edition of Black Oak Presents: A Journal of Mid-American Culture. "Goatman" should hopefully conjure up a few more smiles.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This House Third Edition Now Available!

This House: The True Story of a Girl and a Ghost has been released in its third edition glory by Breaking Fate Publishing! This House is available on Amazon, through the publisher, and through your local bookstore. At 118 pages, the book costs $8.99 for paperback and $2.99 for Kindle.

I would like to thank Jason Davis and Willy Adkins of Breaking Fate Publishing for their support of this project. Thank you all out there as well for your patience. Check back for progress reports on the re-release of Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State, which will also be published by Breaking Fate Publishing.

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 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 originated in Japan with a similar 17-syllable structure, and have 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 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 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 small 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!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Maryland Ghosts on Bio's My Ghost Story

Tune in to My Ghost Story this Saturday, March 23 at 10pm EST! Margaret Perry Ehrlich and Ronda Dixon of Inspired Ghost Tracking will share their amazing story and ghost photo from the Dr. Mudd House in Waldorf, Maryland, which are also featured in Maryland Ghosts! The Mudd House chapter is one of the book's signature stories.

I'm so proud of these ladies and of the book. So don't miss the show and read along at home!

Update (3/25): Here it is! My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera - 59 (Season 5, Episode 5). The segment starts at 35:00.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 in Review!

This year has been far and away the most successful of my life and, looking back, will probably be considered my “breakout year.” I’m so grateful to each and every person who has supported me in all my endeavors. From my family and close friends, to connections on Facebook and the readers I’ve never met, thank you all so much!

In 2012, my writing, which included my books, haiku, and news and feature articles, as well as my public presentations and radio interviews, reached audiences in countries throughout the world. I went on a successful book tour across parts of the Midwest and Maryland, and both of my books together sold more than 1,000 copies!

Maryland Ghosts was released in March and became available in Barnes & Noble stores across Maryland shortly thereafter. The book has stayed consistent in Kindle’s top 100 in the South Atlantic U.S. Regional Travel category, debuting at #13 in its first week and being listed as an Amazon Hot New Release. It also dipped in and out of Kindle’s Supernatural top 100 throughout the spring and summer. This House also remains a fixture in Kindle’s Supernatural top 100, after the self-published version ranked in the Ghost Stories, Horror, and Children’s categories throughout 2010 and 2011, for both Kindle and regular Amazon sales.

I’m looking forward to starting some new projects in 2013, as well as some potential television appearances, and hopefully expanding and updating Maryland Ghosts! I can’t wait to see what else the new year will bring. As always, check back here on the blog and under the Appearances tab for updates and further info. Here’s hoping you had an incredible 2012, and wishing you all a supernaturally successful and happy New Year!