Prepared to be spooked, readers! Today I bring you the prolific Julie Lynn Hayes to tell us about her latest release, a horror story titled Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. *shivers*
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On a dark and rainy night, a group of travelers takes refuge at the Black Raven inn, seeking shelter from the storm: Two knights who are brothers, and who believe in diametrically opposed doctrines. A brother who questions the path his sister has chosen to take. A mysterious doctor whose presence gives the innkeeper’s daughter chills. A handsome dwarf, half owner of a traveling troupe of actors. Will they find more than they bargained for?
What is the mystery of the locked door?
Get your copy at Muse It Up Publishing
Welcome back to In A Dream Beyond, Julie!
As an author not afraid to touch upon genres, this is your first incursion into horror. What drove you to decide to write this tale?
I was enticed into writing my story by my editor, Chris Speakman, who edited both The Belgian Chocolate Remedy and Revelations. She had an open call for submissions to her Locked Door series, and I thought why not? It’s always good to try new things, and I am a long time horror fan, so I thought I’d put my brain to the problem and come up with a story. Hopefully.
Did you do any research when writing Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? Tell us about it.
I didn’t need to do a lot of research, actually, as it takes place in a land inside my imagination, and I drew on characters of my own making. I was inspired for the character of Dr. Ulysses, I must admit, by Brad Dourif, who is a very talented actor. I did research the wagon of my dwarf, Duncan Wylde, and read about various types of wagons and looked them over before deciding that what he drove was a Burton wagon. A small detail in the scheme of things, but one that gave me something to go on for my own peace of mind.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night has a large cast of characters. Tell us one flaw and one good thing about each of them that could potentially save them or get them in trouble.
Kaorin is a man of principles, with a good heart. His brother Jintaro has his own ideals and isn’t afraid to do what must be done for the greater good. Nerene loves her brother, and she is very self-confidence. Winter loves his sister and he is a trusting soul. Florenza is a bit of a flirt and she fears her father’s wrath. Helveticus means well, but he is blind to his daughter’s needs, rather more attuned to what she can do for him. Duncan portrays himself as weak, because of his lack of stature, but he has a huge heart and great loyalty. Dr. Ulysses is something of an enigma.
One or more songs to get us in the mood to read your horror story?
I would suggest this snipped from Swan Lake, which is the opening theme to Bela Lugosi’s Dracula: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxAEQgCuY4c
Then something a little more modern but very effective, from Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB92kcrwBo4
You’re stranded in the middle of nowhere with one of your characters. Which one and why?
Gosh, right off the top of my head, I’m going to say Lucifer, from Revelations. Because I think he’ll be very entertaining, and because I don’t believe he’ll leave us stranded for very long lol
What are you currently working on?
I always have several irons in the fire lol My co-author M.A. Church and I are working on the second book in our Moonlit Skies series, and S.L. Danielson and I are working on the fifth in our Southern Comfort series. Myself, I am finishing up Trapped in Time, which has been contracted to eXtasy Books, and I’m working on the first of a new series that I’m calling Dead Vibrations, which comes before my flash fiction series Stan and Ollie, and concerns how they met and began.
Yay! If you haven't read Stan and Ollie the chapters are at Julie's blog. Sorry for the interruption, go on, Julie.
I’m also working on a m/m PI novel, and have begun writing my own serial killer, who happens to be a demigod.
About the author…
Three things you can’t live without
My writing, coffee, my children
A favorite quote
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt
A favorite book
Gone With The Wind
Have you ever had writer’s block? If yes, what did you do to cure it?
Oh yes, I think every writer has at some point. Sometimes the cure is as simple as stopping and playing a simple card game on the computer, or something else that is fairly easy. This engages the practical side of the brain, and allows the creative side the freedom to release and free itself to spin more tales. Also, I read and/or watch a TV show or movie, because I feel it fills up my creative reservoirs and inspires me to keep going.
Any real life horrific experience you’d care to share?
I can think of a few lol Okay, here is one. It was a long time ago, when I was maybe 21. I was a widow (I was widowed young) and I had a job working at a bar near my house. I’d come home one night, after the bar closed, so it was maybe 2 am. I’m taking my boots off and the zipper jams, which is infuriating, but as I’m trying to work it off I hear a knock at the door. At 2 am? Right... so I cautiously go to the door and talk through it, asking who’s there. A male voice tells me he’s broken down nearby and saw my light and could he come in and use my phone (keep in mind, this is before the day of cell phones). My gut instinct said no, so I regretfully declined. He pressed, asking was I upset about something and did I need help (I was only upset about the zipper, but that was still creepy of him to ask – had he been looking in the window?) I kept saying no, and finally he went away. After a time I looked outside. I saw no vehicle anywhere. Plus, I live well into the subdivision. So why did he choose me?
Second story. This takes place a year or so later. I’m still living in the same house, and I have a tenant/friend living in my garage. It’s a warm night. I have the front door open to the screen door, my bedroom window is open, and there are lights on all over the house because not only am I home but so is my roommate and his girlfriend, in the garage, and there are lights in the living room and family room too. Plus probably three cars in the drive – obviously people are there. I’m sitting on my bed, reading a volume of Poe, when I get the feeling someone’s watching me. I pooh pooh the idea and keep reading. But it won’t go away. Well, I’m feeling silly, but I set the book down, and go to the front door. (My room at that time was right by the door). Humoring myself, I open the door and look around. There, beneath my bedroom window is a ladder. Wth? I’m staring at it when suddenly a strange fellow comes around the corner, is surprised to see me standing there and takes off running. Breaking from my stupor, I start yelling for Mike, my roommate. He comes running, I tell him what’s occurred and he then stands in the doorway yelling for the guy to come back there! (major eye roll that he thought that would work). Needless to say, the guy did not come back. So I called the police, made a report, and kept the ladder.
Thanks for having me again, Elyzabeth!
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her other published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, MuseitUp Publishing and No Boundaries Press, and coming soon with both Extasy Books and Torquere Press. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.
You can find her on her blog at http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com, and you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How about an excerpt?
Lightning sliced across the night sky like a jagged scar. It briefly illuminated the countryside, throwing twisted-limbed trees into momentary sharp relief. The thick ripe foliage of summer was long gone, and the land was left naked in the barrenness of winter. Several heartbeats later followed the thunder, a dull drumming in the background of the heavens that steadily increased in volume with each repetition.
The horse was skittish and pulled against the reins at the sound, but its rider pressed a reassuring hand against its heaving flank and it grew still once more; the clop of its hoofs echoed eerily in the momentary peace between the waves of sound. A second steed stood beside the first; it, too, pawed the ground in disquiet, its ears flattened against its head, expressive of its disapproval.
“The storm approaches,” the second rider observed. His flat voice revealed nothing. “Perhaps we should seek shelter for the night?”
“Perhaps,” the first rider agreed. “But it changes nothing. Simply delays that which is inevitable, Jintaro.”
A wry smile curled the younger man’s lip. “Nothing is written, Kaorin, until it is written. Much can yet happen. It is not for us to know until it does.”
“You are right, nothing is written in stone. You can still change what will be. Tell them what they wish to know. Give them the names of the others with whom you conspire, and you will feel their mercy.”
“Do you think so little of me that I would betray my comrades as well as my ideals?”
“You were always the foolish dreamer, wasting your time with ridiculous schemes. And what have those dreams gotten you? You have betrayed the queen, and for that you shall die.”
“At least I dared to dream, elder brother. At least I have had hopes. What have you? A life given to a faded ideal whose time is long gone. That is no life at all.”
Kaorin stiffened and turned away as another flash of lightning illuminated the landscape, the accompanying thunder growing louder. “I too have had my dreams,” he murmured, but the wind held his words as it swirled between them, and the horses stamped nervously, anxious to move on, away from the elements that threatened to engulf them at any moment.
What was that? Kaorin turned his head and in the light of the next flash, he saw what appeared to be a woman’s pale face, framed by long blonde locks, floating in the air before him. He blinked and the illusion was instantly dispelled. He wasn’t entirely convinced it hadn’t been there, though.
“I know of a place we can stop for the night. Let us go.” He would not concede it was not his idea, nor give his brother the satisfaction of being right. He kicked his horse’s flank; the other horse followed automatically, having no choice, as they were tethered together. Jintaro said nothing, but Kaorin was sure he heard a soft snort of laughter, which he chose to ignore.