Recently I signed up for a photoshop class at a local photography school. I have always been interested in photography and have a taken a few classes at this school before. With all of the amazing pictures that I've seen on Pinterest and other sites I wanted to learn how I can create my own photos with a surreal or creative look.
The class that I signed up for is called Mirror of the Mind and I have learned so much in such a short time. Here is one of pictures that we created in the class...
In this photo I took a picture of my niece who fell asleep in her car seat and placed her on a bed of flowers. You can see that in the first photo she has her seat belt straps and in the second one I removed them. I also styled her hair.
I had a bit more fun and with photos I had on hand I put this together for my online read Haunted Souls...
Today I would like to welcome Isabel Kunkle and her book Hickey of the Beast. Here is a little info on her book:
Connie thought freshman year might suck. She never thought it’d be literal. Bad dreams? No big deal. After all, Connie Perez is starting her first year in the prep school her mom runs. Anyone would be a little stressed, right? When she starts dreaming about strange creatures and places that don’t make sense, she doesn’t think much about it: there’s other stuff on her mind. Then she starts noticing that the people she dreams about get sick right afterwards.
Then everything gets weird.
There’s something bad on the campus of Springden Academy. Something that feeds on students and warps their minds. And, as Connie and her friends try to figure out what’s going on, it starts to look like she’s the only one who can stop it. Freshman year was hard enough without having to fight evil after class. Hickey of the Beast Isabel Kunkle Genre: YA / Fantasy Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam ISBN: 978-1-936460-22-9 ASIN: B004S7B21C Number of pages: 272 Cover Artist: Kate Sullivan
Hickey of the Beast is the first YA novel I’ve written, and the first novel I’ve published that had a modern setting. There are a lot of really fun things about that: there’s a casualness to a modern teenager’s voice that makes it a good time to write, I could work my own memories into the story, and hey, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time explaining how the world works, because my audience knows.
You know what was tough, though, that I didn’t expect at all?
Connie and her friends are modern high school students. They’re pretty socially active, which means they go to dances and listen to new albums; they’re also on the mainstream end of things. The music they listen to would be the music that most people their age listen to--which was where I ran into a few problems.
See, I don’t really listen to the radio very often: Grooveshark and Pandora are my friends at work, and I take the train rather than driving. I also Netflix most of my TV shows, which means I’m anywhere from two to forty years behind the times there, and I don’t go out to many bars. My own taste is, um, eclectic: Connie doesn’t seem like she’d listen to nearly as much Billy Joel as I do. And while I could be vague about music in most places, I wanted to at least have the references right in case they came up.
What did I do? Well, like Connie, I turned to my friends. I know a few people who actually are more connected than I am, and I asked them for references, and YouTube links. (YouTube is kind of awesome that way.) I also exploited the fact that I already liked Ke$ha (yes, I know, shut up) and trusted in Pandora to take it from there.
In the end, I thought I had a pretty good idea for whatever musical references came up--and I ended up discovering some cool new songs. That’s another advantage of this whole writing thing: it gives you an excuse to learn.
First two chapters, in a flippable mini-widget:
About the Author Isabel Kunkle lives and works in Boston, where the winters have yet to kill her. She’s been the headmaster’s kid at a number of prep schools and attended Phillips Academy Andover herself, but has yet to develop mystic powers, unless you count the ability to eat nearly anything. When she has a moment, she likes reading, roleplaying, ballroom dancing, and watching bad TV from the Eighties.
My latest YA will be released later this month and here is a small preview...
New Orleans, LA
They told her to never venture down alleyways on dark nights—not when the moon was hiding, too afraid to show itself. She was also told to never let her cell phone run low on its battery, so low in fact that a call could not be made on it. Her cell phone had powered down on its own only moments ago and was useless to her now. A howl reverberated down the alleyway, at first it sounded far away, but it seemed to travel down the alley until the howl become deafening. Rosemary had to cover her ears as she quickly looked about for signs of the beast that made the noise. Chiding herself for being fearful she urged herself down the remaining alley drawing her arms close around her self almost as if she meant to ward off evil spirits and keep her soul safe. She had made her decision very late into the night; her mind had raced from one scenario to another. Seeking peace Rosemary grabbed her coat, still dressed in her night gown she walked on foot to Henry Davis’ home. He kept a residence in the Garden District, a residence that he had assured her his own wife didn’t even know about. A dark shadow blocked the light from a street light at the end of the alley; Rosemary halted her steps, straining her eyes she tried to make out the shadow. Squinting, her eyes unable to see, she took one step closer than gasped in fear. It was the last sound she made as an unseen blunt force struck her from behind dropping her to the ground. Rosemary’s breathing came to a stop and her eyes went missing from their sockets with the greatest of ease. “No witness,” a raspy voice stated. “No witness,” it repeated once more. A shadow dropped down beside Rosemary as it searched through her pockets, they did not come away empty handed. Clutched within the shadowy grasp was a diary containing loose pictures, within seconds the shadow was gone leaving behind the remains of a fallen Rosemary.