October 27, 2013

Very Superstitious Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Very Superstitious Blog Tour! Today I have a guest post to share with you and don't forget to scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway!

Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends and Tales of Superstition
Authors: Delany, Jackie Morse Kessler, Stephanie Kuehnert, Jennifer Knight,

Marianne Mancusi, Michelle E. Reed, Dianne Salerni and Pab Sungenis
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Anthology
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Month9Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-9883409-4-7

ISBN eBook: 978-1-939765-75-8

Buy Links: Amazon / Kobo


The stories are based on urban legends, myths, tribal tales and superstitions from around the world. A charity anthology to benefit SPCA International with stories by Shannon Delany, Jackie Morse Kessler, Stephanie Kuehnert, Jennifer Knight, Marianne Mancusi, Michelle E. Reed, Dianne Salerni and Pab Sungenis. 

 Inspiration by Michelle E. Reed
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the past few days thinking about inspiration. Where does it come from? How do we tap into it? Where do I get my ideas?

In my experience, I’ve found I get two types of inspiration: random, and directed.

The first, random, is far more common, and something that can come from anywhere, at any time. It can be sporadic. It can be inspired or silly. It is, at times, a rush of ideas as though floodgates have opened. At others, it’s a trickle, a tiny glimmer of something a bit out of focus.

This is the kind of inspiration that has taught me to keep a small notebook by the bed, and another in my purse. I’ve learned the hard way that when I wake up in the middle of the night with “the next great idea,” there is approximately zero chance of me remembering it in the morning.

Random inspiration can grab me out of nowhere and give me a good shake in a “eureka!” moment that sets my imagination running. It can also be fleeting, a brief conversation with a stranger that goes nowhere, a hello as you pass in a store—pleasant enough, but nothing that sticks.

The second type, directed, is inspiration I actively seek on a given subject. When Month9Books announced the theme for Very Superstitious, I began to research myths, superstitions, and urban legends, looking for inspiration. I read ghost stories, tales of bizarre happenings, anything that might grab my interest and set an idea in motion. When I researched the origins of the superstition relating to opening umbrellas indoors, I finally found my spark, and my short story, Midhalla, began to take shape.

Directed inspiration settles in like an old friend. I’ve spent so much time working on coming up with an idea (in the case of Very Superstitious, over a month), that once I begin to write, it’s comfortable and familiar.

Both types of inspiration can lead to great things, but random is my favorite, because on some level, it isn’t really random at all. I believe it’s a result of the subconscious mind trying to tell me something, seeking a way to get an idea into our conscious thoughts.

That’s why I always need to be listening, and if you’re looking for inspiration, so should you.

Never miss an opportunity to daydream. Seek inspiration from the world around you. Try and look at life in new ways—find the uncommon in common things. Let your weird out.

You never know where a silly train of thought might lead you. Admittedly, I have yet to find any great wisdom or inspiration from my musings on how Han Solo keeps the Millennium Falcon clean. Does he have a maid service? And while we’re on the subject, does he have a fully-stocked kitchen? Who does the cooking while they’re running from the Empire? I mean, a rebel/scoundrel’s gotta eat, right?

Great ideas are out there, just waiting to be found.

The beginnings of my upcoming novel, Life, A.D. came to me while listening to a song I’d heard a hundred times before. In a moment of considering the familiar in a new way, I was open to receive the first glimmer of what would become my debut novel.

So put your mind and your thoughts out there. Ask “what if” and “how” questions. They never fail to lead me to creative thinking.

What if someone died before they were ready? What if someone ignored a silly superstition?

You never know where creative thinking may lead you.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today and sharing what inspires you Michelle!

Shannon Delany 

Shannon Delany's newest novel, WEATHER WITCH (St. Martin's Press) is already available for pre-order (which both stuns and delights Delany)!  Shannon Delany has written stories since she was a child. She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through Textnovel.com .  Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a contract for a series about her 13 to Life characters. She expanded on the cell phone novel version, adding the subplots and characters she didn’t have time to during the contest. As paranormal as werewolves seem, the grief Shannon used to build Jess’s character is something she personally experienced with the loss of her own mother. Focusing on Jess and Pietr’s story of loss, love and dramatic and dangerous changes, Shannon came to better grips with her own struggle. The resulting novel has earned her blurbs from authors she respects most.  The first novel in Shannon’s YA paranormal series, 13 to Life, debuted June 22, 2010, and was followed by Secrets and Shadows, Bargains and Betrayals, Destiny and Deception, and the Rivals and Retribution (August 2012).  Shannon has also debuted with interactive science fiction in her short story ("To Hel and Back") for Spirited: 13 to Haunting Tales (Leap Books) and will make her high fantasy debut with Month 9 Books' charity anthology titled Two and Twenty Dark Tales (October 2012, "Pieces of Eight" with musician Max Scialdone).   Shannon's new series (a steampunk trilogy titled WEATHER WITCH, also with St. Martin's Press) will launch June 25, 2013.  Previously a teacher and now a farmer raising heritage livestock, Shannon lives and writes in Upstate New York and enjoys traveling to talk to people about most anything. 

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Pab Sungenis 

Born in the swamps of Southern New Jersey, Pab Sungenis developed a childhood fascination with cartooning and drew a daily strip for his own amusement for two years before realizing he couldn’t draw. He wound up in broadcasting, worked for numerous stations including WSBU, WOND, WMGM, WSKR, WBNJ, WWBZ, and WKTU. He describes his drawing ability as like that of “a mentally challenged rhinoceros on a Ny-Quil bender”, but thanks to the wonders of photo-manipulation and computer image editing, on February 8, 2006 he found himself creating The New Adventures of Queen Victoria, which has appeared ever since, first on Comicssherpa.com., and now in online syndication with gocomics.com. Pab Sungenis is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to SIDEKICK: THE MISADVENTURES OF THE NEW SCARLET KNIGHT. 

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Stephanie Kuehnert 
STEPHANIE KUEHNERT got her start writing bad poetry about unrequited love and razor blades in eighth grade. In high school, she discovered punk rock and produced several D.I.Y. feminist 'zines. After short stints in Ohio and Wisconsin, Stephanie ultimately returned home and received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago. She currently resides in Forest Park, IL. 

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Jennifer Knight 

Hi. I’m Jen. I am twenty-two years old and live in Miami, Florida with my family. I’m a lifelong lover of books, romance and anything even vaguely supernatural. Except zombies. Zombies scare me.  I started writing in college after trying and failing to find a major. It was all I really knew how to do and since school was going nowhere, I threw myself into it. I wrote my first book in a matter of months and watched it go up in flames.  Smoldering, but still determined to make this writing thing work, I moved on to something completely different. Werewolves! Love them. Who doesn’t? I wrote the first draft of Blood on the Moon in about two months, during which I locked myself in my room and thought about teeth and moons and kissing.  I must have done something right, because Running Press bought my book and now you’re here reading this. I guess that means you liked the book. Yay! If I had a cookie, I’d totally give it to you. You deserve it.  Anyway, now that Blood on the Moon is done, I’m writing the sequel. And also some other stuff that hopefully you’ll see one day. 

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Mari Mancusi 

Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession --journalism -- instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults.   When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure--videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and their dog Mesquite. You can find Mari online at www.marimancusi.com orwww.bloodcovenvampires.com. 

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Michelle E. Reed 
Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully. 

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Jackie Morse Kessler 

Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)  Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.  

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Dianne Salerni 

 DIANNE K. SALERNI is a fifth grade teacher by day and a writer by night. She's the author of YA historical novels, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks) and The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH), and a forthcoming MG fantasy series, The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014). The Caged Graves is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and We Hear the Dead was the inspiration for a 10 minute short film, The Spirit Game, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.http://vimeo.com/64738099 In her spare time, Dianne is prone to hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Giveaway Information:
An ebook of each authors' work (INT)
One (1) physical copy of the Very Superstitious Anthology (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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