They Hide: Short Stories to Tell in the Dark collects thirteen chilling tales that weave through the shadows, exploring the nature of fear, powerlessness, and control.
– A series of murders in a New England colony – An untamed beast in pre-revolutionary France – A mysterious stranger who invades 18th-century Ireland – A traveling circus that takes more than the price of admission – A gathering of the Dark, telling tales on the longest night of the year, and more.
Francesca Maria writes dark fiction surrounded by cats near the Pacific Ocean. She is the creator of the BLACK CAT CHRONICLES comic book series and her short story collection, THEY HIDE: SHORT STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK will be out from Brigid’s Gate Press in 2023. You can find her at francescamaria.com and on Twitter @Writer_of_Weird
What inspired your latest novel? It is actually a comic book called Snarc. The character came to me in a dream in 1982. I believe it was initially inspired by an alien abduction experience from my childhood.
How did you come up with the title? The title and the name of the character is from the dream
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, we have to work together to solve our problems because time is running out.
How much of the book is realistic? Snarc visits various locations in the USA where real life problems are happening (i.e., the border with Mexico).
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? My wife Ginger says that I am Snarc. I pay close attention to what is going on around the country. So, yes.
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone? Snarc is a comic book series. I have already written enough stories for three more issues.
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? Snarc is my favorite. He is part human, part alien, all heart. He is learning about the troubles we face as humans from a totally objective viewpoint and with an eye toward helping all of us survive the upcoming calamities.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? I write non-fiction, I write theatre plays, I love writing.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? Totally right brain seat of the pants and awaaaaay we go!
What is your best marketing tip? I use FaceBook and direct mailers. Old and new.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance? Definitely a great tool, but don’t forget about the old ways and use those too!
OPTIONAL QUESTIONS What do you enjoy most about writing? Writing is life, and I enjoy life.
What age did you start writing stories/poems? Age 7.
Do you read for pleasure or research or both? Both, but mostly research.
Where is your favorite writing space? My home library, my sanctuary.
If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be? Mark Twain.
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? Northern Norway.
Do you see writing as a career? Yes, a second career.
Bruce Olav Solheim was born in Seattle, Washington, to Norwegian immigrant parents. Bruce was the first person in his family to go to college. He served for six years in the US Army as a jail guard and later as a warrant officer helicopter pilot, and is a disabled veteran. Bruce earned his Ph.D. in history from Bowling Green State University in 1993. Bruce is a distinguished professor of history at Citrus College in Glendora, California. He was a Fulbright Professor in 2003 at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway. Bruce has published eight books and has written ten plays, two of which have been produced. He is married to Ginger and has four children and a grandson. Bruce has just published his second paranormal book, Timeless Deja Vu: A Paranormal Personal History. Bruce’s mother was psychic and introduced him to the magical realm. His first paranormal experience took place in northern Norway in 1962 when he was four years old. Bruce took a parapsychology class while he was stationed in West Germany in 1979 and has wanted to write about his experiences ever since. He has continued to have paranormal experiences throughout his life and has developed advanced mediumship capabilities. It was only three years ago that Bruce had a spiritual awakening after a vision and communication with his departed close friend Gene that Bruce decided to publish his paranormal stories and overcome his fear of being rejected and ridiculed by his peers and the college administration. Bruce studies quantum theory and has developed a model that may help explain our quantum reality, ghosts, reincarnation, alien contact, and more. He is interested in all esoterica and oddities. Bruce teaches a Paranormal Personal History course at Citrus College and has his own radio program. He is also an associate member of the Parapsychological Association.
Please welcome Jeremy, a prolific writer from an early age. A perfect match for today’s word – Voluminous – definition: 1) a. having or marked by great bulk or volume : large b. having much material; 2) filling or capable of filling a large volume or several large volumes.
a) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I have a love for most, if not all, of my characters, even the nasty ones. I would say my favorite at this point is the main protagonist I’m creating for my current work-in-progress. His name is Koran, and he is a slave who is forced to fight for the Yhiss Empire, ruled by a snake-like race called the Yuan-ti. He inspires me to be a better person, and I don’t know if I’d be as strong as him if I were subjected to what he has to endure on a daily basis.
b) Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I love developing my characters! Also, I enjoy organizing elaborate battle scenes. Who doesn’t love the besieging of a castle-fortress, or a flashy sword-fight?
d) Have you got a favorite place to write?
I usually do most of my writing on my laptop, and though I have an office, I tend to do most of my writing while sitting on the couch, with the TV on in the background.
e) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I plan and outline a great amount of my stories. In fact, I have a rough outline for at least my first 9 books or so for the series I’m working on. However, I always leave plenty of room to adapt to scenes, and to the flow of the book, as I write it. The planning is just a guide.
f) What inspires your stories?
I daydream a lot. I was daydreaming about my current work-in-progress a couple years ago, long before any of it ever landed on paper. I would say one element that seems to inspire me the most is music. There is a group, called ‘Two Steps from Hell’, that creates music generally used for movie trailers that has inspired many battle scenes for me.
h) Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?
Not really, although I’ve always liked to create stories, whether by writing, or making comic-books (my drawing is absolutely terrible).
i) Do you have any pets?
I have had dogs and cats in the past, but at this time, I do not. However, my wife and I are looking at getting a beagle puppy, or maybe a basset-hound.
j) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I am currently a member of “Writer Unboxed”, “Fantasy Writers”, and “Connecting Comic-Book Writers and Artists” groups on Facebook. I am also a member of the “Internet Writing Workshop” (IWW), which is a critique group that operates through e-mail mailing lists, moderated by Penn State.
k) What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started writing in grade school. I wrote tons of short stories as I was growing up. When I was in high school, I teamed up with a friend of mine, who was an amazing artist, and we created a comic-book series called DIRESWORD. He did all the artwork, and I wrote and organized the plot and dialog for the series. We released an issue around the school once a month for three years, finishing with the 36th issue.
l) Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
I don’t have anything published yet. My current work-in-progress is the first project I intend to try to publish.
m) If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
I would want to meet either Ed Greenwood or R.A. Salvatore, authors in the Forgotten Realms series, and avid Dungeons & Dragons players. I enjoy the game, and I think it would be fun to play a game with them.
n) If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
English: St. Louis, Missouri skyline in September 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
That’s easy. St. Louis, Missouri, or a nice suburb in the area. I am a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, and my family took numerous trips to St. Louis when I was growing up, to go to games. The city is special to me, and holds a lot of memories.