Monday, March 26, 2018

Night Writer - M. L. Bullock


Cue the ghosts! 👻 Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you my Q&A with Author M. L. Bullock who knows a thing or two about spinning a great haunting tale. I know you'll enjoy her insights as much as I do. But Beware, there are goosebumps ahead. You've been warned. 😉



About M. L. Bullock

Author of the best-selling Seven Sisters series, M.L. Bullock has been storytelling since she was a child. Born in Antigua, British West Indies, she has had a lifelong love affair with beaches and island life. She currently lives on the Gulf Coast and regularly haunts her favorite hangout, Dauphin Island. A visit to Historic Oakleigh House in Mobile, Alabama inspired her successful supernatural suspense Seven Sisters series. 

Books she's written: Here are a few!

Seven Sisters

Historian Carrie Jo Dreams About the Past!

Will the ghosts of Seven Sisters allow her to tell their secrets?

Carrie Jo has a secret--she dreams about the past. The handsome and wealthy Ashland Stuart has hired her to uncover the history and the secrets of Seven Sisters, an aging antebellum mansion in sultry downtown Mobile, Alabama. A series of dreams, an untimely death and the betrayal of someone she loves lead her back in time to uncover the truth about a missing young heiress and a web of secrets. Will Carrie Jo slip into the shadows of Seven Sisters, following in the ghostly footsteps of the lost young woman, or can she solve this tragic mystery and find her own happiness?

The Ghosts of Kali Oka Road

On the Gulf Coast, Things Don’t Just Go Bump in the Night

They Terrorize You and Sometimes You Disappear!

The paranormal investigators at Gulf Coast Paranormal thought they knew what they were doing. Midas, Sierra, Sara, Josh and Peter had over twenty combined years of experience investigating supernatural activity on the Gulf Coast. But when they meet Cassidy, a young artist with a strange gift, they realize there’s more to learn. And time is running out for Cassidy.
When Gulf Coast Paranormal begins investigating the ghosts of Kali Oka Road, they find an entity far scarier than a few ghosts. Add in the deserted Oak Grove Plantation, and you have a recipe for a night of terror.

My Q & A with M. L. Bullock

Was there anything specific that drew you to this genre?

My own experience! Growing up, my father was in the military so we traveled. A lot. And we never stayed on base. My parents preferred off base housing so we always ended up in these kooky houses. Not all of them were haunted but at least two were, and one disturbingly son. My parents discovered a hidden door under the stairs and when they opened it it was like opening a paranormal door because things happened non-stop. Many of those experiences ended up in my books.


What is your favorite Paranormal/Dark/Gothic novel?

Gosh. One favorite? It's always the one I am reading, I think. I love Henry James' Turn of the Screw, that made an impression. Bram Stoker's Dracula, and I loved the movie and so many!


What is your favorite Gothic motif/theme/element? Any particular reason why?

Probably the Lady in White. I love that whole haunted imagery. Seeing her flutter through a tree line or walking up the stairs. She's an iconic gothic image. And she represents so much.

Which resource/s helped you the most in researching for or writing your novels?

My own experiences, I recently photographed something interesting in my pasture. It was totally weird and I didn't see it when I took the picture. I watch a lot of paranormal television shows but to be honest, I steer clear of anything that has to do with possession. It's a big turn off for me. Also, when I was kid I read a lot of books about ghosts. Legends, true stories. I read everything I could. I think that helped me prepare for my current career.


 
What’s next for you? Is there anything you can tell us about it? 

I write a lot. So yeah, I have a few things up my sleeve. The third book in my Lost Camelot is coming out in a few months, that's Guinevere Ascending. (Queen Guinevere as a vampire. Cool, huh?) And I'm continuing my Gulf Coast Paranormal series. The weather has warmed up a lot so I do plan on going on some day trips to local haunted places. That's always fun. 

Do you have any advice or insights for other Dark or Gothic writers?

My advice to up and coming writers is DO THE THING. The minute you to do it, you are a writer. So go write something now. Start with a short story if the idea of a long book paralyzes you for goodness sake, write. The key to success, I think is to write what YOU want to read. Sure, I think about my readers but I write to please myself first and foremost. As far as groups go, know ahead of time that writing can be a lonely pastime. Yeah, there are a lot of groups out there. I love the 20Booksto50k Facebook group but it's not perfect. Kboards will provide you with a lot of information. My advice for those going to those places is read a lot of posts before weighing in. And never let anyone tell you that you can't do it.

Please let us know where we can stalk you.

I'm on my Facebook Fan Page almost every day. 
My neglected website is http://www.mlbullock.com 

Thank you so much, M. L.! I've got the chills now!

Night Writers, as always stay Beautifully Haunted!

♥ Shadow.

ShadowLeitner.com

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Monstrous List of Southern Gothic Elements


Photo by Ashley Knedler on Unsplash

I'd honestly love to see more Gothics set in the American South. So, I'm hoping to spark some writerly imaginations by providing a list of Southern and Appalachian Gothic elements. It would even be great to see some of these elements in a Dark Fantasy, Gothic Romance or some other unexpected Dark Fiction. Here's to your journey into the deeply dark and at times grotesque, but always disturbing, world of the Southern Gothic.



Settings
Decaying Plantations
Tin roof shacks in the woods
Swamp shacks
Bayou
Wilderness
Derelict old houses
Swamps
Southern Appalachia
Mississippi River
Deep South

Characters
Hellfire and brimstone preachers
Steely matriarchs
Henpeck husbands
Redneck/Hillbilly
Patriarchs
Moonshiners
White suited plantation owner
Sherriff
Corrupt government official
Southern Belles
Scantily-clad country girls
Shut in
Locked up grotesque, physically deformed or mentally deficient
Outsider
Loyal housemaid/servant

Themes
Family Secrets
Dark History
Southern values
Hypocrisy
Moral integrity
Demoralization
Sexism
Incest
Alcoholism
Slavery
Racial oppression
Violence
Domestic Violence
Rape
Social issues – Family, Race, Poverty
Decaying morals, decaying society
Mental disorders
Isolation

Other Southern Gothic Elements
Rusty farm equipment/implements
Cotton gins
Spanish moss
Alligators
Voodoo/Hoodoo
Snakes
Decay
Cotillions
Pageantry
The Klan
Lynching/Lynch Mobs
Corncob pipes
Chain Gangs
Shotgun weddings
Good O’Boy network
Civil War and the Confederacy
Dismemberment
Disfigurements
Heat/oppressive humidity
River baptisms
Southern hospitality

Notable Southern Gothic Authors and Reads
William Faulkner. As I Lay Dying.
Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Flannery O’Connor. A Good Man is Hard to Find.
Cormac McCarthy. Outer Dark.
Truman Capote. Other Voices, Other Rooms.

There are many more by these authors and others, you can find more suggestions for Southern Gothic books.

What other elements would you add to this list? Do you have a favorite Southern Gothic novel? Are you using any of these elements in your writing? I'd love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below.

Always stay Beautifully Haunted,

♥  Shadow.

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