Tapping IT

When I first moved into horror, both in my reading and my writing, there was one author I aspired to. I loved (love) Clive Barker, Dean Koontz and many more, but the writer I read the most, and wished to be, was Stephen King. I read all his books, including his memoir and writing guide On Writing. One of my absolute favourites was, and still is, IT. Yes, it can be heavy going at times, but the essence of the story, the cast and the ‘baddie’ are classic.

Pennywise. How many characters have captured the imagination of and terrified so many?

Of course, Tim Curry’s portrayal was iconic. It will be so difficult to beat him, but Bill Skarsgård looks to be equalling Curry’s might. And I can’t wait.

Released this Friday, the 8th of September, IT is already being applauded by critics. So, why am I telling you this? Well…

As you may know, I’ve worked on some amazing campaigns for Wattpad. The Purge: Anarchy, Sinister II, The Boy, Goosebumps, DC Comics and Incarnate. Wow. I’m amazed at how lucky I’ve been. Now, Wattpad, earlier this year, launched their Tap platform. Tap brought a new style of stories to the world – that of text conversations. It’s been a massive success and I have loads of stories on there. Recently, the people behind Tap, Wattpad and Warner Brothers got their heads together for the movie. They wanted a story based on the film and… they wanted… ME to write it!

Yes, ME! I was stunned. I’d previously written my ‘Imagines’ story To Kill a King, in which you, the reader, were shown the King’s secrets. It would always be a dream to work with or for or in some way to do with Stephen King. And, yet again, Wattpad made that dream come true.

So. Do you want to join The Loser’s Club? Do you want to venture into The Barrens? If you haven’t already got the app (it’s free), download it now and then you can float too…..!


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Deltaville – The 34 Seconds Tour by Stella Samuel #IndieMinons

Welcome to the tour hub for the 34 Seconds Tour, a debut novel by Stella Samuel. Setting is everything when I’ve written my stories in the past, so Stella is here to talk about Deltaville…

Much of my new book is set in a little town called Deltaville, Virginia. If you’ve never been to Deltaville, put it on your bucket list. It’s a must see.

With only one road in and out of Deltaville, few just happen upon the little town unless that are under duress in the water.

Legend tells a story of Captain John Smith coming across Deltaville’s point in 1608. While exploring its beaches and coastal waters, John Smith was stung by a stingray. He told his crew to dig a grave as he thought he’d die right there on that point. He didn’t, of course, but he did leave a name for the point, Stingray Point.

Residents of Deltaville still say the little ‘town’ is a fishing village. People travel from miles around for the seafood caught in the area waters. Folks living there will say they are lucky to be in the most beautiful village around.

Though my book takes place in Deltaville, and I’ve taken many liberties with the village by creating roads and places that are indeed fictional, many from Deltaville will know where my mind was while writing.

Nikki is a small town girl who felt she had to get away and live a full life in a city with sidewalks and coffee shops. I chose to use Deltaville, Virginia as Nikki’s small town backdrop because it’s a place where I spent my childhood. My father lived there for more than thirty years. He’s buried in Deltaville. When my father passed away in 2012, I knew I’d never have a reason to go back. Sure, I have family nearby, but I could visit family and never get real close to the actual village of Deltaville. I may never go back. Using Deltaville in 34 Seconds gave me an opportunity to honor a place I love as well as gain closure I needed on a place I may never see again.

Stella Samuel

Stella Samuel is a debut author who reads multiple genres.  Her first book, 34 Seconds, talks about the moments where life changes suddenly, and the choices we make in those moments where the people that hold parts of ourselves from the past meet.  A literate and lyrical view at love, life and fate, this story is both uplifting and satisfying. Stella is a debut author who loves nothing more than connecting with fans on social media.  Her blog bio is: Stella Samuel – Writer, Butterfly and Singer of Silly Songs. Smiles under sunshine but dances in warm rain. Silently wishes to winter in Phoenix.


Nikki and Will fell in love a lifetime ago in Deltaville, Virginia. Now living in Colorado with her family, Nikki is invited to attend Will’s wedding back in Virginia where she finds her past staring her in the face. Will never wanted a wife, and he broke Nikki’s heart long ago. Nikki knew what she wanted: a strong, happy marriage and children, a future. She found those things when she married Chris, and she and Will managed to grow their friendship after heartbreak. A year after the wedding, Nikki is faced with her painful past again. She soon discovers she must find the strength to help Will on his own personal journey. In thirty-four seconds, she sees him slip from her life forever. Watching Will cross over to his fate, her past collides with her present, and Nikki learns she’s never been in control of her own destiny. Her own journey back to her family in Colorado becomes one of self-discovery. With the help of Will’s voice to carry her across the country, Nikki must decide how she will move forward.

Buy 34 seconds here

You can follow Stella on various social media platforms and her blog.
Join us at Tour Central to find out where we’re visiting during the week!
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Would you like to win a $25 (or equivalent value) gift card or a signed book from Stella Samuel?
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Sin…featured book on Wattpad

I’m proud to announce that Sin is a Featured Book on Wattpad, where it reached 666,000 reads on Halloween!
To read the serialisation, please drop by
Remember that, if you would like the full novel, you can find it here

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Somewhere Over the Scatterbrain…

Today is a fuzzy headed day.
I feel like the thoughts in my head are a whirlwind of black birds (not necessarily blackbirds or even crows) spinning in a giant vortex, lifting up high till an errant thought tips the precarious balance and they’re dashed against the floor.  They’d be so haphazardly scattered, they’d actually make a pattern.  In the same way you look at clouds and see dragons, you’d look at the remnants of my mind’s meanderings and see…
What would you see?
Smiley faces?  Hell?  Chocolate chip cookies?
Who knows.  Not I, said the fly.
I don’t know what’s got my head so muxed ip.  Today is just another day.  There’s been no dramas and everyone has been fairly relaxed.  Almost comatose in some cases.  Edna Dullwitch (or ‘De Witch’ as she’s obviously called) did try to steal Boris’s (real name’s Ben but he likes to put on a Russian accent – for ‘intrigue’) crusty roll at lunch, I suppose.  That’s something like a drama, but once he’d pulled a fistful of curly, frizzy hair from her head, she replaced the roll and scuttled off into the corner to whimper.  Boris put the wrenched clump of fuzz up his sleeve for safe keeping.
I don’t particularly want to know why he’d keep it.  Perhaps he’s building a replica Edna in his room – or even rebuilding the existing one.  Maybe he’s claiming various body parts as time goes on.  He’d start off small – the hair, a discarded fingernail and so on.  Then he’d move on to bigger prizes.  An arm.  A leg.  She wouldn’t notice one or two limbs missing, would she?  Nah.  It’ll be reet.
Apart from that, however, the hours have been as lazy as the patients.  It was 8:00 am about fourteen days ago.
Perhaps that’s why my thoughts are off kilter.  Maybe they’re wanting to have a wiz around to try and coax time into joining in.  Or they’re hoping to suck up the minutes and send them spinning into the future, dragging us along with it.
Or, even, what if my thoughts are Dorothy’s tornado?  What if they are building up to snatch houses, girls, dogs and fussy old women on bicycles and throw them into other lands where they save the day, save the munchkins and save a fortune in fuel costs (what with broomsticks and flying monkeys).
Or, they could simply be having a fuzzy headed day.  They could simply be having a day where they need to whip themselves up like a dog having a mad five minutes, tail chasing and pigeon worrying.
Still, I think I’ll have a look out of the window.
There might be a rainbow.
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The Interview

Hi everyone.  I’m Shaun Allan and I’m an author from Grimsby in the UK.  I’ve written for most of my life (I couldn’t hold a pen in the early days) and have penned a variety of stories, ranging from science fiction to horror to humour to children’s.  I’ve also written a paranormal thriller called Sin, and have appeared on Sky TV to discuss traditional versus electronic publishing.

Except, of course, I’m none of those things.  I don’t really exist.  I’m a pigment of Sin’s emancipation – as Sin himself would say.  I’m not surrounded by girls (in the shape of my partner and daughters) with only our three cats (all male) to back me up – we have fish too but their sex is undecided… although, as I don’t exist I suppose I don’t have fish…

Being unreal can be confusing sometimes.

So.  I’m Shaun, and I’d be pleased to meet you if there was any chance of escaping the confines of Sin’s imagination.  Going by some aspects of him, though, I wouldn’t like to say that isn’t actually possible.

Hi.  Oh, I said that.  Well.  I’m here to interview Sin, lunatic extraordinaire – or, as he would have us believe, non-lunatic ordinaire.  Why would one interview a madman?  Well, it worked for Clarisse when she met with the goodly Mr. Lecter.  And, as Sin protests that he’s not actually crazy, I may get some more sense.  We shall see.

SA: Hello Sin.

Sin: Hi Shaun.  How are you?

SA: I’m fine thank you.  It’s a little dark in here, but I don’t mind.

Sin: I’m sorry about that.  I’d like to brighten it up in there, but the gloom in the hospital kind of invades my head.

SA: A little like I’m doing?

Sin: *laughs* Not quite.  You’re a welcome deviation.  Connors is the only one who invades my head.

SA: Thanks, I think.  Although the hospital is glaringly white.  I wouldn’t have thought the term ‘gloom’ suits?

Sin: Well, you’d think so, but in a building where no one is particularly happy, even the blinding walls can feel dark.

SA: Well.  Yes…  Let’s lighten the mood a little, shall we?

Sin: Unlike the inside of my head?

SA: Indeed.  So.  You’re crazy?

Sin: Hey, don’t waste your time, OK?  I’d prefer it if you’d get right to the point!

SA: I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to be so blunt.

Sin: Don’t worry.  I’ve been called much worse in here.  In answer to your question, yes, I’m crazy.  Except when I’m not.

SA: When you’re not?  You switch it on and off?

Sin: After a fashion, I suppose you could say I do.  I’m crazy as a loon… when i want to be.

SA: So, from that, do I assume you’re not really?

Sin: You can indeedy.  My wibble doesn’t wobble.  I act up so they’ll come and give me the drugs.  Little pricks giving little pricks.

SA: Why would you do that?  I can’t see why anyone would want to actually volunteer to be locked up in an asylum.

Sin: Maybe I’m crazy to do it then?

SA: *I shrug my shoulders.  Maybe he has more in common with a certain cannibal than I thought*

Sin: You do realise, as you’re a conjuration of my consciousness, I can hear your thoughts?

SA: Oh, sorry.  I didn’t mean to offend you.  You just seem to be… contradictory.

Sin: I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.

SA: You’re welcome.  Why, then, did you deliberately put yourself in here?

Sin: I needed it all to stop.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I felt like I was being haunted.

SA: ‘It’?

Sin:  Yes, ‘it’.  The deaths.  The screams.  I couldn’t think of how else I could end it other than locking myself away somewhere where they’d pump me full of drugs to take it all away.

SA: What deaths?  What screams?

Sin: Shaun, people die around me.  I don’t like it and I can’t help it, but they do.

SA: They die?

Sin: Yes.  They die.  So I need a healthy dose of oblivion to keep me out of it, so it stops.

SA: Does Dr. Connors know this?

Sin: No.  He thinks I’m just paranoid.  I’m hardly going to tell him that, am I?  He’ll think I’m…

SA: Crazy?

Sin: Exactly.  Which I’m not.

SA: How’s it going with that plan then?  Is it working?

Sin: Actually, no.  I can still hear their screams and I can still feel their deaths.

SA: Hmmm…  What are you going to do about that?

Sin: I’m going to do the only thing I can.  I’m going to kill myself.

SA: Suicide?  So, people die around you and you want to commit suicide, but you’re not crazy.

Sin: That’s right.

SA: OK… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.  How are you planning on doing that?  After all, this is an asylum.  I assume you’re not even allowed shoelaces?

Sin: That’s the best bit.

SA: Killing yourself has a ‘best bit’?

Sin: It does indeed.

SA: So, tell me.  How will you do it.

Sin: Teleportation.

I think you’ll agree that that’s my cue to take my leave of Sin’s senses, as he’s clearly done so himself.  I must admit, though, that he seems at least as sane as I.  Perhaps that’s his composure, though.  He doesn’t look like Doc Brown for a start.  He looks like you or I.

He looks ordinary.

They do say it’s always the quiet ones.

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Planning a Book

Plan your book?  Plan?  Hold on while I look that up in the dictionary…

Hmmm… I can’t say that applies to me.  Perhaps I should plan my books, but I just can’t.  If I try to, I end up feeling the writing is forced.  Usually, I have no idea where a book or story is going.  Whether it’s a blog entry for Sin’s diary, a short story or a full blown book, I often have no idea what’s going to happen until it does.

I don’t even have the plot in my head.  Or if I do it’s very vague.  I start with a first line or the name of a character and run with it.  Sometimes I lose the race and am overtaken, but most often it works out.  Blog entries are written ‘off the cuff’ and, though the more extensive stories are written over a period of time, I don’t pre-empt the plot or the characters.  It’s a voyage of discovery for me as well as the reader – though the seas may be rough I (fairly often) manage it back to sure unscathed.

An example of this – other than the blog entries – is my Rudolph Saves Christmas book.  I sat down one night with my tablet computer and the TV turned down low, planning on working on the sequel to Sin.  1000 words (ish) later I discovered that Rudolph was sleeping in his chair and was about to be accused of attempting to sabotage Christmas!  I have no idea how one ended up being the other – SO far removed – but it did.

So…  Planning?  Let me just go and look that up again…

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