October Special: Freak Friday

Now we all associate October and Halloween with trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks and telling scary stories. But one of my favorite past-times is cuddling up on the couch and scaring the bejeezus out of myself by watching horror movies.

There are countless movies about serial killers, vampires, monsters, ghost, ghouls, goblins and anything else that goes bump in the night. So to honor all those hair-raising beings, every Friday on Talk Supe for the whole month of October will be Freak Friday. Every Friday we’ll be profiling one of our favorite or most feared movie / book freaks.

For those of you who make it a tradition to watch a horror movie during Halloween, here are a few horror/thriller movies coming out that’ll make you jump out of your seats: Dream House, Munger Road, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Texas Killing Fields, The Thing, Paranormal Activity 3

So who or what gives you goose bumps/makes you run and hide under your bed covers?
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Neverland Syfy Movie Event

Like most girls I grew up with the “princess mentality” with Cinderella and Snow White. But unlike most girls I wasn’t a big fan of frills but rather enjoyed Tarzan, Hansel and Gretel and the very whimsical Peter Pan and his bestie Tinkerbell.

I mean how awesome is it to have fairy dust and fly! Plus we get to be carefree and whisical kids forever! Now Syfy has a two-night movie event coming out in December and based on the trailer and their press release below, it sounds fantastic!

From http://www.syfy.com/

Neverland, a prequel to author J.M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan, sweeps in time from the turbulent seas of the pirates of the Caribbean and the back alleys of Dickensian London to a world of pure imagination. The cast includes Rhys Ifans (Pirate Radio, Notting Hill) as James Hook,  Oscar nominee Keira Knightley as the voice of Tinker Bell, Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) as Captain Elizabeth Bonny, Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins as Smee (who previously played the character in Steven Spielberg’s feature, Hook), Raoul Trujillo (Tin Man) and Charlie Rowe (Pirate Radio) as one of literature’s most cherished characters, Peter Pan.  

Peter (Rowe), along with his pals of young pickpockets, have been rounded up by their mentor Jimmy Hook (Ifans) to snatch a magical orb which transports them to another world – Neverland.  Filled with white jungles and imposing cities formed out of trees created by Dr. Fludd (Dance) and inhabited by a colony of tree spirits led by Tinker Bell (Knightley), this mysterious realm welcomes unknown friends and enemies snatched from time.  These include power-mad Elizabeth Bonny (Friel) and her band of 18th century pirates who search for the answer to eternal youth, a secret guarded by a Holy Man (Trujillo).  As the fight to save this strange and beautiful world escalates, Peter and his crew consider that growing old somewhere in time could be less important than growing up—right here in their new home called Neverland.

 

Directed by Nick Willing who have worked with Syfy in previous TV Movies such as Tin Man and Alice, reinterpretations of the classics Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland respectively. Neverland promises to be nothing short of spectacular from the cast to the special effects. For more information go to www.syfy.com/neverland

Neverland Syfy Movie Event

Like most girls I grew up with the “princess mentality” with Cinderella and Snow White. But unlike most girls I wasn’t a big fan of frills but rather enjoyed Tarzan, Hansel and Gretel and the very whimsical Peter Pan and his bestie Tinkerbell.

I mean how awesome is it to have fairy dust and fly! Plus we get to be carefree and whisical kids forever! Now Syfy has a two-night movie event coming out in December and based on the trailer and their press release below, it sounds fantastic!

From http://www.syfy.com/

Neverland, a prequel to author J.M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan, sweeps in time from the turbulent seas of the pirates of the Caribbean and the back alleys of Dickensian London to a world of pure imagination. The cast includes Rhys Ifans (Pirate Radio, Notting Hill) as James Hook,  Oscar nominee Keira Knightley as the voice of Tinker Bell, Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) as Captain Elizabeth Bonny, Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins as Smee (who previously played the character in Steven Spielberg’s feature, Hook), Raoul Trujillo (Tin Man) and Charlie Rowe (Pirate Radio) as one of literature’s most cherished characters, Peter Pan.  

Peter (Rowe), along with his pals of young pickpockets, have been rounded up by their mentor Jimmy Hook (Ifans) to snatch a magical orb which transports them to another world – Neverland.  Filled with white jungles and imposing cities formed out of trees created by Dr. Fludd (Dance) and inhabited by a colony of tree spirits led by Tinker Bell (Knightley), this mysterious realm welcomes unknown friends and enemies snatched from time.  These include power-mad Elizabeth Bonny (Friel) and her band of 18th century pirates who search for the answer to eternal youth, a secret guarded by a Holy Man (Trujillo).  As the fight to save this strange and beautiful world escalates, Peter and his crew consider that growing old somewhere in time could be less important than growing up—right here in their new home called Neverland.

 

Directed by Nick Willing who have worked with Syfy in previous TV Movies such as Tin Man and Alice, reinterpretations of the classics Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland respectively. Neverland promises to be nothing short of spectacular from the cast to the special effects. For more information go to www.syfy.com/neverland

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

read first TEN chapters here

Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy 3
Format: Hardback
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Purchase Link: Amazon

Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be ‘cursed’?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that’s not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she’s leaning towards the werewolf…

Definitely not normal.

Chloe Saunders rebellion against the Edison Group concludes in The Reckoning.

Chloe and her ragtag group of defectors found refuge with Andrew, a former Edison Group employee and the Bae’s family friend. Here they get more information and training on how to use their supernatural powers.

But it seems that peace is far off into the horizon because once again they are being pursued by mercenary werewolves out to capture Derek and it appears that the people behind it are Andrew’s team.

Turns out Kit Bae, Simon and Derek’s father, is still alive and was being misled by Andrew. On top of that, Chloe’s powers are growing and inasmuch as she can harness it for good, she’s also a shining beacon to unmentionables such as demons and other malicious spirits. In the end, the reckoning between the groups happen and though they managed to stop Dr. Davidoff and company, their trials are far from over. They are far from normal teenagers and through this very trying time in their lives they’ve opened doors and exposed themselves to other supernatural groups that may or may not go after them in the future.

This trilogy took me by surprise and I never expected that I will thoroughly enjoy it. Til the end the pace of the story was consistent and though it’s dark, the characters did not wallow, they fought for survival and what’s right. Chloe, though hesitant and frail, did not succumb to her weaknesses; Derek remained loyal and the protector, never wavering in his mission to keep them from harm; Tori who at first appear to be the bad girl finally found the courage to fight her own battles and accept herself even if it meant going against her controlling mother; Simon, the sorcerer remained in the shadows.

Simon’s character didn’t really shine in the series, being a sorcerer he could’ve been more than Derek’s brother, instead he just got lost in the background. Aside from this, Chloe’s necklace, which is the focal point on all the book covers, wasn’t really explained aside from it is a talisman that will protect her. I’m kept wondering why the color changes and what are the implications of said change? Where did the talisman come from? Will my questions be answered in Darkness Rising?

This trilogy and this book never relented on scaring me. The parts where she was unconsciously raising the dead while sleeping is creepy especially during her necromancy practice in the cemetery. Yup, not the perfect venue for a powerful romancer of the dead. She had a Ghost Whisperer moment when the dead started asking her for favors so they can move on and that was sort of a wake up call for her that even if she can control her powers, her conscience would demand that she makes use of her “gift” for something good.

My favorite part was when amidst her practice session in the graveyard, there was a burial about to take place and the guy to be interred started moaning and knocking from inside the coffin which scared the pallbearers and the mourners, dropping the casket, displaying his twitching hands. Can you imagine witnessing that ruckus?

But the scariest part for me was when she was possessed by the spirit of the Edison Group founder, Dr. Banks, and for a moment there I thought Chloe will become the target.

I highly recommend that you read the series. Like what I mentioned in our Facebook page yesterday, if you love YA books but hate whiney teenagers and their passive-aggressive behavior, angsty and sarcastic talk backs and all that emo lingering feelings, then this series if for you. Kelley Armstrong wants NONE of that and just writes about teenagers who though special, were raised right by their parents.

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

read first TEN chapters here

Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy 3
Format: Hardback
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Purchase Link: Amazon

Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be ‘cursed’?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that’s not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she’s leaning towards the werewolf…

Definitely not normal.

Chloe Saunders rebellion against the Edison Group concludes in The Reckoning.

Chloe and her ragtag group of defectors found refuge with Andrew, a former Edison Group employee and the Bae’s family friend. Here they get more information and training on how to use their supernatural powers.

But it seems that peace is far off into the horizon because once again they are being pursued by mercenary werewolves out to capture Derek and it appears that the people behind it are Andrew’s team.

Turns out Kit Bae, Simon and Derek’s father, is still alive and was being misled by Andrew. On top of that, Chloe’s powers are growing and inasmuch as she can harness it for good, she’s also a shining beacon to unmentionables such as demons and other malicious spirits. In the end, the reckoning between the groups happen and though they managed to stop Dr. Davidoff and company, their trials are far from over. They are far from normal teenagers and through this very trying time in their lives they’ve opened doors and exposed themselves to other supernatural groups that may or may not go after them in the future.

This trilogy took me by surprise and I never expected that I will thoroughly enjoy it. Til the end the pace of the story was consistent and though it’s dark, the characters did not wallow, they fought for survival and what’s right. Chloe, though hesitant and frail, did not succumb to her weaknesses; Derek remained loyal and the protector, never wavering in his mission to keep them from harm; Tori who at first appear to be the bad girl finally found the courage to fight her own battles and accept herself even if it meant going against her controlling mother; Simon, the sorcerer remained in the shadows.

Simon’s character didn’t really shine in the series, being a sorcerer he could’ve been more than Derek’s brother, instead he just got lost in the background. Aside from this, Chloe’s necklace, which is the focal point on all the book covers, wasn’t really explained aside from it is a talisman that will protect her. I’m kept wondering why the color changes and what are the implications of said change? Where did the talisman come from? Will my questions be answered in Darkness Rising?

This trilogy and this book never relented on scaring me. The parts where she was unconsciously raising the dead while sleeping is creepy especially during her necromancy practice in the cemetery. Yup, not the perfect venue for a powerful romancer of the dead. She had a Ghost Whisperer moment when the dead started asking her for favors so they can move on and that was sort of a wake up call for her that even if she can control her powers, her conscience would demand that she makes use of her “gift” for something good.

My favorite part was when amidst her practice session in the graveyard, there was a burial about to take place and the guy to be interred started moaning and knocking from inside the coffin which scared the pallbearers and the mourners, dropping the casket, displaying his twitching hands. Can you imagine witnessing that ruckus?

But the scariest part for me was when she was possessed by the spirit of the Edison Group founder, Dr. Banks, and for a moment there I thought Chloe will become the target.

I highly recommend that you read the series. Like what I mentioned in our Facebook page yesterday, if you love YA books but hate whiney teenagers and their passive-aggressive behavior, angsty and sarcastic talk backs and all that emo lingering feelings, then this series if for you. Kelley Armstrong wants NONE of that and just writes about teenagers who though special, were raised right by their parents.

Tears of a Mermaid an Evernight Story

Get it on Amazon, or XoXo Publishing
Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness

As children, we feared the boogeyman. Our parents comforted us when the monster under the bed or in the dark depths of our slightly opened closet threatened our safety. We cried when those evil creatures invaded our nightmares and stole us from peaceful sleep, but what if those monsters truly existed? What if they lived in a world not unlike our own, where all they wanted was the same basic needs that every human being spends their lives searching for? What if the things that go bump in the night only wanted to be loved?

In these twelve stories, you will read about vampires and werewolves, angels and demons, and monsters of all kinds overcoming some of the most difficult hurdles simply to find their one true love, to find their happiness. You’ll read of heated, salacious trysts beneath the moonlight and of lovers doomed before they even have a chance to find the one person who completes their souls.

TEARS OF A MERMAID
by Aaron Speca and Patricia Laffoon

The 10th of 12 short stories, Tears of a Mermaid is a grown up version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid although while reading the 7 paged story (pdf file) I was imagining Syrena and Philip in Pirates of the Carribean 4.
The story is a love triangle between Rudy, a sailor, Trish, the mermaid, and Aaron who I’m assuming is a water creature. Trish of course chose the decent one, Rudy, but it wasn’t as easy as that, Aaron exerts a certain claim on Trish and will fight Rudy to death. What happens next is some old fashioned testosterone fest that did not end well. 
I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of anthologies and I haven’t heard a smidgeon about Evernight. But there’s always a first time for everything PLUS Mr. Speca himself requested that we give it a look see. Who can refuse a request like that, right?
Verdict? I enjoyed the story and though short it was complete. The premise and ultimate conclusion were pretty much given so you won’t be left guessing. As for the tupping (Highlander effect), I’m always anxious reading love scenes from authors whose style I’m not familiar with. In my opinion, specially with romance themed stories, this is an integral part and can make or break the tale. So with teeth clenched I forged ahead, preparing myself for some cringe worthy love scene that will put a sailor’s mouth to shame. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be romantic and beautiful and I’m glad that my worst expectations didn’t come to pass. Probably Patricia wrote it because it sounds like a woman’s POV, sexy but cerebral. LOL sorry Mr. Speca but my faith in men and romance is limited to fiction right now.

The only inconsistent thing was the part after Rudy and Aaron’s fight and Rudy sort of lost his “sailor accent” by dropping YE, maybe Rudy didn’t grow up in the docks but is a learned runaway? And what kind of creature Aaron, is he a merman or some other water creature? But these are questions intended for us readers to ask so even after we read the story, the tale will remain lingering in our minds.

I still have to read the other 11 stories and I hope that it’ll be as fun and light as this on. For the meantime, please check another episode of our Writer Wrangler Series featuring Patricia Laffoon and Aaron Speca.

Writer Wrangler with Patricia Laffoon and Aaron Speca

This episode of Writer Wrangler is with Tears of a Mermaid writers,
Aaron Speca and Patricia Laffoon. Tears of a Mermaid is the 10th of 12 stories
Evernight Romance in a World of Darkness hosted by Allison Cassata
published by XoXo.

Talk Supe: Mermaids are often related to Disney’s Ariel, was this a grown up nod to the Little Mermaid?
Aaron:  I’m going to let Patricia answer that question, since Trish is her character.
Patricia:  No, not really, I created this character with the help of a close friend Brandon Yeung, and the memories of the original Hans Christian Andersen novel, when I joined a role play (RP) group and she has grown from there.

TS: On a more serious note, why write a story about a sailor and a Mermaid? (I was actually imagining Philip and Syrena in the latest Pirates movie)
Philip and Syrena
Aaron:  To me, mermaids were the dream, the ideal for sailors that lived in that time.  They represented beauty and mystery, and the unobtainable answer to the loneliness of the men who spent so much time at sea.  Actually meeting and falling in love with one … I can only imagine the intensity of it.  It’s funny you mention Philip and Syrena, there is a scene from another part of Rudy and Trish’s story … when they first meet … that is very reminiscent of their story.  And to tell you the truth, I think they were actually my favorite part of the last Pirates movie. 
The reason we even wrote in this time period, is that a friend and member of our RP group created an online page and challenged us to step out of what we normally wrote (present-day paranormal) and write in the Golden Age of Pirates … so we started our characters again from scratch and took them there.
Patricia:  Well I am more than a little embarrassed to say I have not seen the movie as much as I love the Pirates movies.  But as Aaron mentioned a close friend of ours built a group page giving all the role players something to do during our down time this summer. It caught on like wildfire and it was the most natural thing for “Rudy and Trish” to do this story line.

TS: So I’m assuming the characters Trish, Aaron and Rudy are you guys, talk about heat! Who wrote the love scene?
Aaron: *Looks at Patricia and smiles.*  Well, we work together on every scene of every story we write.  These characters have their origin in RP, and we basically write off of each other.  Sometimes we know how things will go, sometimes we don’t.  We go where the characters go.  But we never script the love scenes in advance.  To answer your assumption, yeah pretty much Rudy is my character and Trish is hers, and the way we collaborate in role play works because you get both characters’ unique points of view.  Aaron was actually Patricia’s character she created as an antagonist for Trish’s backstory, and the funny thing is she created and named him before we ever met.  She often asks me if I want her to change the name, and I always answer absolutely not.  I actually get a kick out of it.

TS: What is Aaron exactly? Is he a merman or part of Davey Jones’ crew?
Patricia:  Well as Aaron (the writer) has so kindly put it, I had Aaron as a character way before we even met; the name thing, yeah, I asked many times if he wanted me to change it but he insisted on keeping it. But yes he is a Merman…and not a very nice one at that.
Aaron:  I can’t stand the guy *chuckles*

TS: Is this your first published work?
Aaron:  Yes it is for both of us.  It’s an incredible blessing as this is also our first attempt to get published and to have it actually happen, it’s just an amazing feeling.  Our RP characters have a small but devoted following, and it feels great to have an opportunity to share these characters that we love with a larger audience.
Patricia:  Yes, and was a shock to say the least, when Aaron told me he had submitted one of our stories. Of course I was pleased that he would even consider sending in one of ours but never dreamed it would be accepted; hoped mind you but never dreamed it would be accepted.
We both enjoy our RP group and finding the time between our busy lives to fit in writing as much as we can. It has been a great experience writing; when I started this I warned Aaron I was no writer and that he would be ever cleaning up after me but the more I write the stronger I become and finding Trish’s voice has been a dream come true for me.

TS: How did the idea of participating in an anthology came about
Aaron: It was really sort of spur of the moment — it happened so fast.  I had just recently become Facebook friends with Allison Cassatta, and I noticed she was doing a call for short stories for a paranormal romance anthology.  There were only a couple of days left before the deadline, so I took one of the pirate/mermaid stories we had built through RP, cleaned it up, and submitted it.  Just a few days later I got the word.  I didn’t even tell Patricia I was doing it until it was already done.  *Laughs*  I’m not sure if she was excited or shocked or angry at first.  Funny thing is – I stayed home sick the day that I saw the post from Allison … had a nasty cold.  If I hadn’t had stayed home that day, and been able to spend the day working on cleaning the story up … this probably never would have happened.  Life is just funny.

 

TS: Are you working on something new right now? Is it another collaboration?
Aaron:  Everything’s been happening so fast, but we do have tons of material, notes, etc, to build from.  I just finished editing a novel by another first-time writer, Dawn Treadway, and we are hoping that will catch on with a publisher very soon.  It’s another paranormal romance that basically pairs up a former demonic resident of a hell-like realm and a human woman with empathic abilities.  As far as future projects, first thing is, Patricia and I need to decide how to continue this story.  There will be a Volume 2 to this anthology, I understand, so we could easily do a prequel or sequel short story with Rudy and Trish in the age of pirates.  But I’m also wondering if we shouldn’t just go for it and expand it into a novel.  I also have a very rough collaborative story with another hopeful writer, Jammie Yeung, involving a demon/demon romance.  These are two “bad guys”, but sometimes it becomes fun to root for the bad guy, and judging by reactions from people who have read parts of it, these characters could be a big hit.  It will need some work, so it might be a while away.  There’s also a “labor of love” that I’m working on that will probably never get published as anything more than fan fiction because it involves characters and situations from another writer’s series, but it’s been nagging at me to get written.  My wife, Wendy, has even been working with Jammie on their own paranormal romance involving a world alternate to ours.  Our biggest challenge is time … I do have a full-time job and we have three school-age kids, so things often get kind of crazy.


TS: They say two heads are better than one but I know that creative writing has its challenges even on your most inspired days. You mentioned about making decisions, do you often find yourselves being at odds about how the direction of the story will go and all the other details? Especially for you Aaron since you’re working on another collaboration, how much of your vision do you have to “sacrifice” in cases when you have different ideas on how you want the story to be? 
Aaron: Well, amazingly Patricia and I have been writing incredibly well together for the past year. Very rarely have we had any conflicts about where the story or characters would be going. That’s why we are able to do a lot without scripting it in advance… we both enjoy “setting up” the other character and the excitement of seeing where the other writer will take it, and then getting the satisfaction of saying “I hoped that was where you were going to go!!!” And even when we don’t, it’s the ad lib aspect of the way we write that makes it a lot of fun. At least to me. The other collaboration I’ve been working on, as I said is still very rough, but we also write well together and had similar ideas of where we wantd the story to go. I guess it’s just a willingness to be flexible, open to the other person’s ideas… and above all, since we each “own” the characters that are part of the story… NEVER tell the other person how THEIR character should react to a given situation.
Patricia: *Smiling* At odds No. Surprised by each other almost daily, absolutely. Aaron has made writing together a great adventure. I find that we work well together. If I get stuck he says a word or a phrase that will inspire me, at just the right time. If we reach a point where neither of us are comfortable we stop look at the situation and work it out. That has been our game plan from the start and has worked for us both so far.

There you have it folks, a very insightful and candid interview with these noveau writers. For more information about Evernight, please visit

Til your next story guys, best of wishes and keep the words flowing!

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Everybody knows the fable of the young brother and sister who outwitted the cannibalistic witch who lived in the the house made of gingerbread, cake and candy, but what we don’t know is what happened afterwards. Now, Paramount Studios has set forth for the rest of the world to find out how Hansel and Gretel moved on after their traumatic event in the woods.


The cast includes Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker), Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia), Famke Janssen (X-Men), and Peter Stormare (Prison Break).

Movie Synopsis:

Catching up with Hansel (Renner) and Gretel (Arterton) 15 years after the traumatic incident involving a gingerbread house, the siblings have evolved into vengeful bounty hunters dedicated to exterminating witches. Over the years, the siblings became expert hunters, famous for their proficiency at tracking and taking down their prey. Although still recovering from their ordeal, their work is relatively easy as for an unknown reason harmful spells and curses do not work well against them. Now, Mayor of Augsburg recruits them to rid the town and nearby forests of an evil sorceress (Janssen) who is planning to sacrifice many local children at the witches’ gathering during the upcoming ‘Blood Moon’ night in two days time. To make things worse, the duo also has to deal with the brutal Sheriff Berringer (Stormare) who has taken power in Augsburg and conducts a very indiscriminate witch-hunt of his own.

Jeremy Renner as Hansel
Gemma Arterton as Gretel
Now how awesome is this concept? There have been many tellings and versions of the Famous Brothers Grimm children’s story over the years but I’m pleased that we’re not just getting another retelling of the classic tale. Taking the perspective the the siblings as adults is pretty original. Obviously, therapy wasn’t an option to dealing with PTSD. 

The film is directed by Norwegian writer/director Tommy Wirkola whose projects have included Dead Snow, the tale about Nazis and Zombies. This  choice of director has given me hopes that the film will have a darker feel given the career path Hansel and Gretel have taken by hunting witches. 

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is slated to come to theaters March 2, 2012. 

How does Hansel and Gretel as a pair of witch hunters sound to you?

Tears of a Mermaid an Evernight Story

Get it on Amazon, or XoXo Publishing
Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness

As children, we feared the boogeyman. Our parents comforted us when the monster under the bed or in the dark depths of our slightly opened closet threatened our safety. We cried when those evil creatures invaded our nightmares and stole us from peaceful sleep, but what if those monsters truly existed? What if they lived in a world not unlike our own, where all they wanted was the same basic needs that every human being spends their lives searching for? What if the things that go bump in the night only wanted to be loved?

In these twelve stories, you will read about vampires and werewolves, angels and demons, and monsters of all kinds overcoming some of the most difficult hurdles simply to find their one true love, to find their happiness. You’ll read of heated, salacious trysts beneath the moonlight and of lovers doomed before they even have a chance to find the one person who completes their souls.

TEARS OF A MERMAID
by Aaron Speca and Patricia Laffoon

The 10th of 12 short stories, Tears of a Mermaid is a grown up version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid although while reading the 7 paged story (pdf file) I was imagining Syrena and Philip in Pirates of the Carribean 4.
The story is a love triangle between Rudy, a sailor, Trish, the mermaid, and Aaron who I’m assuming is a water creature. Trish of course chose the decent one, Rudy, but it wasn’t as easy as that, Aaron exerts a certain claim on Trish and will fight Rudy to death. What happens next is some old fashioned testosterone fest that did not end well. 
I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of anthologies and I haven’t heard a smidgeon about Evernight. But there’s always a first time for everything PLUS Mr. Speca himself requested that we give it a look see. Who can refuse a request like that, right?
Verdict? I enjoyed the story and though short it was complete. The premise and ultimate conclusion were pretty much given so you won’t be left guessing. As for the tupping (Highlander effect), I’m always anxious reading love scenes from authors whose style I’m not familiar with. In my opinion, specially with romance themed stories, this is an integral part and can make or break the tale. So with teeth clenched I forged ahead, preparing myself for some cringe worthy love scene that will put a sailor’s mouth to shame. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be romantic and beautiful and I’m glad that my worst expectations didn’t come to pass. Probably Patricia wrote it because it sounds like a woman’s POV, sexy but cerebral. LOL sorry Mr. Speca but my faith in men and romance is limited to fiction right now.

The only inconsistent thing was the part after Rudy and Aaron’s fight and Rudy sort of lost his “sailor accent” by dropping YE, maybe Rudy didn’t grow up in the docks but is a learned runaway? And what kind of creature Aaron, is he a merman or some other water creature? But these are questions intended for us readers to ask so even after we read the story, the tale will remain lingering in our minds.

I still have to read the other 11 stories and I hope that it’ll be as fun and light as this on. For the meantime, please check another episode of our Writer Wrangler Series featuring Patricia Laffoon and Aaron Speca.

Writer Wrangler with Patricia Laffoon and Aaron Speca

This episode of Writer Wrangler is with Tears of a Mermaid writers,
Aaron Speca and Patricia Laffoon. Tears of a Mermaid is the 10th of 12 stories
Evernight Romance in a World of Darkness hosted by Allison Cassata
published by XoXo.

Talk Supe: Mermaids are often related to Disney’s Ariel, was this a grown up nod to the Little Mermaid?
Aaron:  I’m going to let Patricia answer that question, since Trish is her character.
Patricia:  No, not really, I created this character with the help of a close friend Brandon Yeung, and the memories of the original Hans Christian Andersen novel, when I joined a role play (RP) group and she has grown from there.

TS: On a more serious note, why write a story about a sailor and a Mermaid? (I was actually imagining Philip and Syrena in the latest Pirates movie)
Philip and Syrena
Aaron:  To me, mermaids were the dream, the ideal for sailors that lived in that time.  They represented beauty and mystery, and the unobtainable answer to the loneliness of the men who spent so much time at sea.  Actually meeting and falling in love with one … I can only imagine the intensity of it.  It’s funny you mention Philip and Syrena, there is a scene from another part of Rudy and Trish’s story … when they first meet … that is very reminiscent of their story.  And to tell you the truth, I think they were actually my favorite part of the last Pirates movie. 
The reason we even wrote in this time period, is that a friend and member of our RP group created an online page and challenged us to step out of what we normally wrote (present-day paranormal) and write in the Golden Age of Pirates … so we started our characters again from scratch and took them there.
Patricia:  Well I am more than a little embarrassed to say I have not seen the movie as much as I love the Pirates movies.  But as Aaron mentioned a close friend of ours built a group page giving all the role players something to do during our down time this summer. It caught on like wildfire and it was the most natural thing for “Rudy and Trish” to do this story line.

TS: So I’m assuming the characters Trish, Aaron and Rudy are you guys, talk about heat! Who wrote the love scene?
Aaron: *Looks at Patricia and smiles.*  Well, we work together on every scene of every story we write.  These characters have their origin in RP, and we basically write off of each other.  Sometimes we know how things will go, sometimes we don’t.  We go where the characters go.  But we never script the love scenes in advance.  To answer your assumption, yeah pretty much Rudy is my character and Trish is hers, and the way we collaborate in role play works because you get both characters’ unique points of view.  Aaron was actually Patricia’s character she created as an antagonist for Trish’s backstory, and the funny thing is she created and named him before we ever met.  She often asks me if I want her to change the name, and I always answer absolutely not.  I actually get a kick out of it.

TS: What is Aaron exactly? Is he a merman or part of Davey Jones’ crew?
Patricia:  Well as Aaron (the writer) has so kindly put it, I had Aaron as a character way before we even met; the name thing, yeah, I asked many times if he wanted me to change it but he insisted on keeping it. But yes he is a Merman…and not a very nice one at that.
Aaron:  I can’t stand the guy *chuckles*

TS: Is this your first published work?
Aaron:  Yes it is for both of us.  It’s an incredible blessing as this is also our first attempt to get published and to have it actually happen, it’s just an amazing feeling.  Our RP characters have a small but devoted following, and it feels great to have an opportunity to share these characters that we love with a larger audience.
Patricia:  Yes, and was a shock to say the least, when Aaron told me he had submitted one of our stories. Of course I was pleased that he would even consider sending in one of ours but never dreamed it would be accepted; hoped mind you but never dreamed it would be accepted.
We both enjoy our RP group and finding the time between our busy lives to fit in writing as much as we can. It has been a great experience writing; when I started this I warned Aaron I was no writer and that he would be ever cleaning up after me but the more I write the stronger I become and finding Trish’s voice has been a dream come true for me.

TS: How did the idea of participating in an anthology came about
Aaron: It was really sort of spur of the moment — it happened so fast.  I had just recently become Facebook friends with Allison Cassatta, and I noticed she was doing a call for short stories for a paranormal romance anthology.  There were only a couple of days left before the deadline, so I took one of the pirate/mermaid stories we had built through RP, cleaned it up, and submitted it.  Just a few days later I got the word.  I didn’t even tell Patricia I was doing it until it was already done.  *Laughs*  I’m not sure if she was excited or shocked or angry at first.  Funny thing is – I stayed home sick the day that I saw the post from Allison … had a nasty cold.  If I hadn’t had stayed home that day, and been able to spend the day working on cleaning the story up … this probably never would have happened.  Life is just funny.

 

TS: Are you working on something new right now? Is it another collaboration?
Aaron:  Everything’s been happening so fast, but we do have tons of material, notes, etc, to build from.  I just finished editing a novel by another first-time writer, Dawn Treadway, and we are hoping that will catch on with a publisher very soon.  It’s another paranormal romance that basically pairs up a former demonic resident of a hell-like realm and a human woman with empathic abilities.  As far as future projects, first thing is, Patricia and I need to decide how to continue this story.  There will be a Volume 2 to this anthology, I understand, so we could easily do a prequel or sequel short story with Rudy and Trish in the age of pirates.  But I’m also wondering if we shouldn’t just go for it and expand it into a novel.  I also have a very rough collaborative story with another hopeful writer, Jammie Yeung, involving a demon/demon romance.  These are two “bad guys”, but sometimes it becomes fun to root for the bad guy, and judging by reactions from people who have read parts of it, these characters could be a big hit.  It will need some work, so it might be a while away.  There’s also a “labor of love” that I’m working on that will probably never get published as anything more than fan fiction because it involves characters and situations from another writer’s series, but it’s been nagging at me to get written.  My wife, Wendy, has even been working with Jammie on their own paranormal romance involving a world alternate to ours.  Our biggest challenge is time … I do have a full-time job and we have three school-age kids, so things often get kind of crazy.


TS: They say two heads are better than one but I know that creative writing has its challenges even on your most inspired days. You mentioned about making decisions, do you often find yourselves being at odds about how the direction of the story will go and all the other details? Especially for you Aaron since you’re working on another collaboration, how much of your vision do you have to “sacrifice” in cases when you have different ideas on how you want the story to be? 
Aaron: Well, amazingly Patricia and I have been writing incredibly well together for the past year. Very rarely have we had any conflicts about where the story or characters would be going. That’s why we are able to do a lot without scripting it in advance… we both enjoy “setting up” the other character and the excitement of seeing where the other writer will take it, and then getting the satisfaction of saying “I hoped that was where you were going to go!!!” And even when we don’t, it’s the ad lib aspect of the way we write that makes it a lot of fun. At least to me. The other collaboration I’ve been working on, as I said is still very rough, but we also write well together and had similar ideas of where we wantd the story to go. I guess it’s just a willingness to be flexible, open to the other person’s ideas… and above all, since we each “own” the characters that are part of the story… NEVER tell the other person how THEIR character should react to a given situation.
Patricia: *Smiling* At odds No. Surprised by each other almost daily, absolutely. Aaron has made writing together a great adventure. I find that we work well together. If I get stuck he says a word or a phrase that will inspire me, at just the right time. If we reach a point where neither of us are comfortable we stop look at the situation and work it out. That has been our game plan from the start and has worked for us both so far.

There you have it folks, a very insightful and candid interview with these noveau writers. For more information about Evernight, please visit

Til your next story guys, best of wishes and keep the words flowing!