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Talking about Sick, Mental Illness, and Book Marketing with @MoreStorgy

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Storgy is a high-caliber literary site, lovingly edited by a staff of creatives who are passionate about art, film, and books. I can’t tell you how honored I am to be featured on Storgy among so many talented writers. I’m looking forward to having Storgy on the blog soon. In the meantime, check out my interview today and celebrate with a free copy of Sick (with its updated cover).

About Storgy Magazine

STORGY was founded in 2013 by Tomek Dzido and Anthony Self as a means by which to explore the short story form and engage with readers and artists alike. An online literary short story magazine consisting of a core group of dedicated writers, STORGY aims to inspire artistic collaboration and provide opportunities for creative minds to meet.

INTERVIEW: Christa Wojciechowski

So Christa, thank you for having this interview with us, we were interested to learn that you used to tame lions and chase storms; how did this come about and why?

When I lived in Florida, I managed a private animal sanctuary that was open to the public. I took care of nearly a hundred animals. We had tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, lynx, primates, canines, bears, macaws, a camel, llamas, deer, a horse, a donkey, an otter, raccoons, and a wallaby. There were also snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators, all the way down to scorpions and tarantulas.

The big cats were all fed by hand. I had to hack up eighty pounds of bloody horse meat each day for the carnivores. Then I’d chop up buckets of fruit and vegetables for the herbivores. We bred rats and mice to feed the snakes. There was lots of poop. Lots. It was a dirty, laborious, and dangerous job, but I loved each of those animals as if they were my own children.

A few years later, the animal sanctuary was forced to shut down because they were widening the highway in that area. That’s when I went to work with my dad at the power company. In 2004, we had a crazy series of hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. During emergencies, all the staff at the power company is called in for hurricane duty. This means you work about 16-20 hours a day in very dangerous conditions. My dad and I teamed up to go survey the power lines to see if there were any urgent situations and to tell the crews where the damage was. We also turned on some customers’ power while we were there. That was not protocol, but we did it anyway, and they were very grateful.

Your website says that you’re an Internet marketer which can be a full time job in itself, so when did you first discover your passion for writing? And how do you find the time with all the other things you seem to be doing?

I was a child when I first discovered my passion for writing, but I never committed to it until I moved to Panama. I couldn’t legally work here so I had a lot of free time and solitude. I decided to try writing a memoir about experiences I had in my new country. I’ll probably never publish it, but it broke the seal and helped me to realise that I had the ability to finish stories.

My job as an internet marketer came later. I used to just help family and friends with their websites and social media. It was a part-time gig for travel and Christmas money. Now it’s a full-time operation that continues to grow. I have had no time to write during the past six months and am a little grouchy because of that. You know what Kafka says about a non-writing writer, so I’m planning to turn my freelance operation into a firm and hire some people to join my team. I’m also in the process of developing some e-courses to generate passive income.

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Your fiction, in particular the Sick series, demonstrates an incredibly subtle style of Horror-writing that arises from psychology and character. How did you come to develop this unique style?

This is a great question because I never consciously planned this story or the characters. I had a nightmare about this pale, sick man covered in bruises. I think he had a broken leg. I was his wife–not myself, but another woman entirely. The bedroom was disheveled and dirty. The scene was repulsive to all five senses, but the most frightening part about it was the way this woman I inhabited felt. Her husband was obviously very, very ill and yet he exuded this powerful menace. The uneasy feeling of the dream stuck with me, and after some months I decided to purge it by writing it as a story.

The psychological aspects of your writing are one of its greatest strengths. Where did your fascination with the human mind arise? Can you name a key event or moment in your life that triggered your interest and desire to explore further?

I’ve always rooted for the deranged characters in books and movies. I’m drawn to the troubled souls and insane villains, but I know I’m not alone in this. Everyone loves a good pyscho or they wouldn’t be so popular.

Some of my family members have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. I, too, went through times in my life where I felt like I might lose my mind (I’m really not quite sure if I haven’t). I’m mystified by how thoughts and emotions can break your sanity. Sure, some brain diseases can be seen in a scan, but most mental illness is in the intangible. You can look at the brain and it will be physiologically sound, but the person is incapable of functioning. It’s this invisible entity that is damaged. How does that happen? How does this ethereal organ break?

What makes it even more interesting is that the mind can repair itself through words. Therapy or writing can fix mental illness–words, which are nothing but a sound vibration. They are ink marks on paper. They’re black pixels on this screen, and they have the potential to destroy and heal. It’s all very spooky when you think about it.

Continue reading this interview on Storgy

 

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#BookReview: Roses are Red by @CarrieGreenBook

The SICK Series has been dubbed as horror by quite a few bloggers and reviewers, but I’d never even read modern horror! I was curious, so one late night, I began investigating on the internet to seek out fellow female horror writers. That’s how I discovered author Carrie Green, who was kind enough to send me a review copy of her book. Here’s my review of her Top 100 Amazon Bestselling collection of short stories, Roses are Red.


Roses are Red: Not Just for Horror fans.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 10.55.27 AMThis book was like a dark chocolate sampler of Carrie Green’s writing. Each story is unique in plot and theme. Her writing is descriptive without unnecessary gore, and her characters are all too human, which is why they are so chilling.

Green gives us an impressive amount of information within the brief space of a short story without bogging us down with details. Not only does she cleverly reveal her characters’ flaws, we know exactly what motivates them.

A Long Distance Relationship starts off as a brutal murder, but becomes much more than a crime story. I found it tantalizing because you could view it as a ghost story or one where guilt executes the ultimate revenge.

A Lucky Human surprised me. I’m not familiar with scifi, and this turned out to be my favorite tale. Green’s vision of the future was realistic and believable, and the concept of the story was brilliant.

Cash Only focuses on one of my favorite themes, discovering the ugly truth about oneself and deciding whether or not to accept it.

What I found most charming about Carrie Green’s stories is the understated delivery of the denouement. It takes a minute for the complexity of the endings to sink in. When they do, you just sit back and go ‘Wow.’

Not only will horror fans love this collection of horror stories, readers of literary fiction will appreciate them too. I’m excited to read more of Carrie Green’s writing. It is a horrific pleasure to read.

Get your copy.

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Connect with Carrie Green

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Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Coolthulhu Presents A New Book Spotlight On SICKER by @ScifiandScary

Did you read SICK ?

Get a free copy of SICK for a limited time.

Care to delve into Novella 2?

Read the first published excerpt from SICKER

and enter to win one of two paperback copies up for grabs!

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SICKER Pshychological Supsense Series Novella 2 small

 

My Latest News: Giveaways, Guest Posts, and more

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I apologize for the lack of meaty posts lately. Work has been unbelievably busy, and I’ve neglected my blogging duties except for posting the bare minimum. I hope to return to a regular schedule soon. In the meantime, here’s what’s going on in my little corner of the web.

SICKER Paperback Release

Sicker: Psychological Thriller Series Novella 2 is available in paperback on Amazon.


SICKER Paperback Giveaway Starts May 31st

Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday May 31st, SciFi and Scary will be hosting my book spotlight and
giving away two of the new paperback copies of SICKER.

Hint: SICK  free on Kindle for May 31st so that all entrants for the Scifi and Scary giveaway can read Part I before possibly winning Part II.

Visit ScifiandScary.com to enter.


YOVgjVPl_400x400Guest Post on Konn Lavery

Konn Lavery is a talented graphic artist, web designer, and author of the Mental Damnation series. I’ll be on his blog talking about the process of writing and book marketing in the very near future. Stay tuned for post date.


IndieAuthorButton150-1.pngGuest Post on Scifi and Scary

I’ll be returning to Scifi and Scary on June 19th as a guest to talk about why Psychological Thriller/Suspense novels like SICK might creep us out more than traditional Horror.

I’ll be sure to reblog that here so you don’t miss it.


christa wojo client spotlightChrista Wojo’s Client Spotlights

I’ll be periodically hosting interviews with my wonderful clients so they can tell you about their projects, their challenges, and their plans for the future.

 


Seafood Stew with Crab at La Playa EcuadorTravels

Also, I’ll be heading back to Ecuador sometime soon. Get ready for a continuation of the Ecuadorian pig-out and hopefully some cool photos too.

 


Questions? Comments?

Please leave your thoughts below.

Would you like for me to stop by your blog?

I’m available for features and guest posts. Let me know!

“…a wonderfully twisted read.” #Bookreview of SICK by @JeremyRDyson

 

SICK Free Promo Dyson

SICK is free today on Kindle.

Originally posted on jeremydyson.com.

I’m honored and thrilled to have the support of so many amazing reviewers and bloggers. This latest review was published by Jeremy Dyson yesterday. Here’s what he had to say about SICK.

“John Branch is a sick, sick man. Born into a wealthy family, John has since fallen on hard times. As the family fortune disappears and his health fails, John is taken care of by his faithful wife. Susan struggles with the burden of supporting her husband emotionally, physically and financially.

This story is really about the struggles of an “unhealthy” relationship. One partner of the marriage is forced to bear most of the burdens of life, whether that be earning a living or stealing painkillers to ease the pain of her ailing spouse. Tragically, there is nothing Susan won’t give to their marriage, even if it means giving up her life to make John happy.

Sick is a wonderfully twisted read. It brings to life the struggles of marriage through a realistic relationship of characters. This story is well-written and crafted by a very talented writer, reminiscent in style to works by Chekhov or Dostoyevsky. Will definitely check out the sequel.”

imageGet your free copy of SICK


Jeremy Dyson is the author of zombie novels with a literary flair. Follow Jeremy Dyson’s blog and learn more about his work here.

 

This reminds me of someone I know…

Sick By Shel Silverstein

Kind of creepy how much this favorite childhood poem reminds me of young John Branch.

“I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more--that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

Who is John Branch??? Find out!

#BookReview: Sick: A Novella by @ajoobacats

Here’s a new review of SICK I missed on AJOOBACATS BLOG. She enjoys “good psychological and literary thrillers that show a depth of understanding of human nature.”  Be sure to subscribe to her reviews, and read what she has to say about SICK!

Ajoobacats Blog

Susan has been taking care of her husband’s ill health from when they first met. As a nurse and devoted wife she holds onto hope that his mysterious and numerous symptoms will be diagnosed and cured. Susan is tired and barely holding onto her job, can her life be transformed once her husband’s health improves?

A harrowing and frank look at living with someone who is chronically ill and equally manipulative. It’s impossible to stop reading this novella as you pick up on its sinister undertones.

A well written macabre short story. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Links To Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads

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90s Monday: Serial Killers Don’t Kill Their Girlfriend

I didn’t realize how creepy this album was until listening to it again. So dark! Love it.

Here, under your bed I wait for you
'Cause I know, I know you want me to
Skeleton in your closet was never so true
You're so very pretty when you're turning blue

When I hear the sound of your voice
You leave me no choice

Lyrics

Get SICK and SICKER – Free book and new release

SICK and SICKER

Celebrating the Release of SICKER

I’m giving away SICK for the next two days. Here are the latest reviews:

“Disturbing yet gripping at the same time!”

“SICK is a story that you can’t shrug off easily.”

“Dark and clever.”

Get free copy of SICK

SICK A novella by Christa Wojo on Kindle

FREE 4/13-14/2016

Everyone has a breaking point.

Part I. Is this marriage based on unconditional love or a unhealthy obsession?

Susan Branch’s life revolves around the care of her charming and inscrutable husband John, a man born into wealth and prestige who lost his family’s fortune when his mysterious chronic illnesses left him bedridden. Together they live a decrepit existence beholden to the current owners of his family’s former estate.

After years of devoting herself to John’s care, Susan is worn out and frustrated. Yet she is determined to scrape together whatever resources she can to keep John comfortable and happy. This includes stealing Demerol from the doctor’s office where she works to feed John’s ever-increasing need for pain medication.

As John’s condition continues to puzzle doctors, Susan begins to notice strange objects appearing around her house. Ever wary of creepy Old Pete, the groundskeeper, Susan decides to confront the elderly man and put an end to his snooping for good.

John suffers a critical emergency, but he is saved and is soon released from the hospital. His health begins to improve, and Susan dreams of a normal life, but her hope for a miracle transforms into a nightmare one fateful afternoon when she discovers
the true cause of John’s sickness.

Get free book.


Get SICKER

SICKER EBOOK COVER Horizontal 3 sm

Release 4/13/2016

How did John Branch get so sick?

Part II. The gruesome psychological suspense series continues.

John Branch’s sickness has dominated the lives of all those around him, consuming all it can from well-intentioned doctors, compassionate strangers, and trusting loved ones. His chronic illness also bonds him intimately to his wife Susan, trapping them in relationship of unhealthy psychological attachment.

But John’s disease isn’t the only blight in the Branch family.

Injured and loaded with Demerol, John Branch tells his life story from his filthy sickbed. He confesses the horrific secrets of the past. Most disturbing of all, he reveals the philosophy he’s constructed around his condition and tries to indoctrinate Susan. Will she stay with him now that she finally nows the truth, or will she put and end to the madness?

Buy the book.

 

 

Book III coming soon…