psychological suspense

3 Independent Authors You Must Read Now

Joseph Sale: Graphic-Horror Writer

Hello everyone,

We live in a world of big brands, big names and celebrities, as is so wryly satirised in Ben Elton’s most recent comedy gold: Upstart Crow. In some ways, we have always had this culture. The gladiators of ancient Rome were much like the Olympic athletes we worship today. The Forum philosophers were no different to the TV personalities we watch now, offering advice on everything from sex to home-improvement.

But, the difference between our world and the ancient one (even going back only a hundred years or so) is saturation. There are simply so many more people than there used to be.

How then, can we find the gold, when everyone has a blog, everyone has a self-published book or song or film, and everyone is crying out to have their voices heard? It’s not easy, but one way is through simple recommendation. Who is being recommended and who…

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Author Q & A on Chat About Books

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I stopped by Chat About Books with Kerry Parsons and answered a few questions about my writing process, naming characters, and other ramblings. Please check it out and subscribe to Chat About Books. If you’re an author or publisher who would like her to review a book or feature you on Chat About Books, I’ll leave all her links at the bottom of this post.

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The Horror of Being Human: Guest post on @ScifiandScary

Originally posted on ScifiandScary.com

horror psychological thrillers

Christa Wojciechowski is just an awesome person. There’s no other word for it. She might write stories that utterly disturb me, but she’s great. She is, to date, the only author I actually correspond with on a semi regular basis. That says a lot. She’s written Sick, which I’ve reviewed here, and Sicker which I hosted a giveaway for. She’s got a talent for getting under your skin, and was the perfect person to write this piece on Why Psychological Thrillers Terrify Us. I hope you enjoy reading it, and high recommend you check out her books!

The Horror of Being Human: Why Psychological Thrillers Terrify Us

by Christa Wojciechowski

Horror books are scary because they trigger human beings’ most basic survival instincts: fear of creatures that might eat us, fear of the unknown, fear of the bogeyman, and fear of other nasty possibilities such as disembowelment or possession. It’s easier to face our fears by inventing monstrous archetypes because it’s “just pretend.” But the most terrifying monsters lurk within each one of us as life twists and shapes us by our experiences.

I’ve been told my psychological thriller series, SICK, is disturbing. I didn’t necessarily set out to frighten and disgust anyone. My goal was to tell the story of John and Susan Branch. I see their relationship as an exaggerated version of any marriage dynamic. Beneath the “honey-dos and sweetie pies” is a constant power struggle and insatiable craving for the beloved’s attention. At the heart of SICK is a romance that shows how two terribly f*cked-up people are trying to survive with their mental health issues.

The reasons behind their freakish behavior are desires we all share: safety, acceptance, unconditional love. I think that’s why readers understand John and Susan even when they hate to admit it to themselves.

One of my readers, a mother, felt uneasy when she associated John’s clutching neediness with her relationship with her toddler. Several readers identified with Susan’s resentments and frustrations about caregiving and the conflicting emotions between wanting a sick person to live and wishing they would die.

We all have a shadow side, and depending on what school of psychology you ascribe to, this side can be slightly different things, but what’s agreed on is that this darker side is lurking in our unconscious mind. We are either unaware of it, or we blot it out and ignore it.

Another reason I write about psychologically disturbed characters is because mental illness is present in my family, and losing my mind is one of my greatest fears. As a writer, I’m always analyzing and observing people. I pick up little clues in their body language and in their speech. They’ll flash their shadow side, exposing some selfish or childish trait or pattern that I recognize in myself. I wonder how easily I could end up like them. Are they aware of how crazy they sound? Will I know it if I’ve lost my mind?

That’s why it’s important for me as a writer to explore this shadow side through my characters. We must be vigilant of our true motivations, fears, and desires so they don’t consume us.

The reason books like SICK may affect readers on a deeper level than a traditional horror novel is because they expose this desperately hidden dark side. Underneath the bright and ordinary exterior of everyday life, people like my characters DO exist. We see parts of ourselves in each of them, and facing the inky void of our shadow side is the most frightening confrontation our conscious selves can imagine.


About Scifi and Scary:

SciFi and Scary is run by Lilyn G., a female with a serious love of horror and “hard” science fiction.  I also have an almost obscene love for bad puns. Since the beginning of the year, including about 30 short stories, I have read 120 books according to my Goodreads Challenge for 2016. Pagewise, that comes out to 24,174 pages as of 11:39 p.m. on 4/8/2106.

So, you could say: I Read. A Lot.

Visit the site!

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Start the SICK series…


What do you think is scarier? Zombies, vampires, or your own inner demons?

 

Photo credit

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

Sicker Paperback Cover pic small

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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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…