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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Witches and Other Spooky Stuff

. Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween, grrls! We have a special guest post on this special day. Please welcome Kathryn Meyer Griffith, who is here to talk about:



Witches and Other Spooky Stuff

(Originally a 1993 Zebra paperback and

now a Revised Author’s Edition from Damnation Books)

By Kathryn Meyer Griffith

 




 

Now, first off, let me say, that by no means, am I or have I ever been a…witch. Nothing against Wicca but I’m just not one. I have no magical powers or cannot foresee the future. Nada.

I have seen a ghost, though. Right after my Great Aunt Mary passed away, the night before her burial, I saw her ghost in my parent’s hallway (I was sixteen and still at home) and, let me tell you, it scared the bejesus out of me. But she was just looking for my grandmother, whom she’d lived the last ten years of her life with, and I knew she meant me no harm. It was still a shock. She appeared in a ghostly halo of mist at the end of the hallway beckoning me…in German. I couldn’t spell German but I got the idea. She was lost, didn’t know she was dead and was looking for my grandmother, whom she’d loved so much in life. I ran, hid in my bed and pretended it’d never happened. Hey, but I know it did.

I have, though, always loved the eerie, the unexplained. The spooky. Horror.

Anyway, we’re talking about my book Witches-Revised Author’s Edition.

In 1991 I’d already been writing for about twenty years, on and off (though there was a long gap where I didn’t write because of a divorce, the finding of a full time job to support myself and my son, and a remarriage…life) when I contracted my fourth novel, my first of four to Zebra paperbacks, a romantic horror called Vampire Blood, about a family of vampires who ran a movie theater in a small town. I’d already had a fifth novel, The Last Vampire, completed and in with them when they asked me for another novel.

Got anything about witches, they asked. Witches are hot right now. Hmmm.

For many years I’d played around with an idea about a present day white witch who finds a diary of a long dead witch – either good or bad, I hadn’t decided – in her old house’s attic, or basement, or under a floorboard. The story would have been about the good witch reliving the other dead witch’s life through the diary. I’d always called that possible book Rachel’s Diary in my head.

So in 1991 or 1992 I began the witch book and it quickly metamorphosed into a story of a present day good witch, Amanda Givens,  who’s yanked into a perilous seventeenth century past by an evil witch, Rachel Coxe, to take her place…and die a horrible death as an accused witch. I had the idea then to actually send Amanda into the past to live (for a while) the other witch’s life. Of course, being a good witch, Amanda, changes the other witch’s unsavory reputation but still ends up in a prison waiting to die for Rachel’s earlier crimes. The story, simply put, would be how Amanda overcomes her trials and tribulations, finds her lost eternal love again in the past, and finds a way to return to the present alive. In the process, learning some important life lessons about accepting what life has dealt her and the value of sisters, friendships and the love of those around her. Or good versus evil and, in the end, good wins and is rewarded. I also threw in a few touches of humor in the form of three precocious witches’ familiars…a mind-reading and speaking cat called Amadeus, a mouse, Tituba, and a tiny bat, Gibbiewackett …all with feisty personalities and quirks of their own.

I was excited about the book as I was writing it and when it was done, pleased with it, but had no idea that over the years it’d become the jewel of my writing career and the book that my fans would love the best of all my books. I loved the cat face cover Zebra did for it (a rare occurrence as I’d learned the hard way that covers weren’t always what I’d envisioned and in the early days I had no choice but to accept whatever the publisher’s gave me…and some weren’t so hot, let me tell you!).

Witches came out in 1993 and did well. I noticed soon after as I went on to publish other books that I got the most response and admiration for it. Readers loved the three sisters, Amadeus and Amanda, Gibbiewackett and Tituba. In those days I was too busy working full time as a graphic artist, living my life and writing new books to notice. It went into a second printing in 2000 and after that, sadly, went out of print. But my fans never forgot it. I’d find comments on it and discussions on the Internet…even customer reviews raving about it years and years later. I tried talking Zebra into reissuing it but after Zebra and I parted ways there was no talking them into it.

Then in 2010 when Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, the publisher, Kim Richards, asked about all (there was 7 at the time) my out-of-print Zebra and Leisure backlist novels and if I’d like to have them reissued as new paperbacks and, for the first time ever, in e-books. Sure, that’d be great! I told her. And, as they say, the rest is history. Between June 2010 and June 2012 all 7 of them (and now another 3 of my Wild Rose Press novels and two short stories from 2007) updated, rewritten and with stunning new covers will be out again. All in e-books for the first time.

Of course, that’s meant a heck of a lot of rewriting. A lot of work. Those early novels go back twenty-seven years and were first written in the days of snail mail and on an electric typewriter before the Internet, e-mails and Windows Track Changes (for editing). Oh, boy, did they need revising. As of today I can happily say they’re all rewritten now except the very first one, Evil Stalks the Night, 1984; yet even that one will be completed soon.

I’ve often been asked what I think of e-books and I have to say it feels strange, all these years later, to be so into them. I think it’s fantastic to be able to put thousands of books on one little lightweight hand-held contraption and sell them as inexpensively as we do. I started publishing e-books four years ago and have seen such great changes in even that short a time. I love the editing process now. With Track Changes it’s truly a collaborative effort between the editor and the writer and it’s taught me far more about the craft of writing than the old way of just sending off the manuscript, being asked to change certain things, but then never seeing any of those changes or the basic edits until the book was printed and in my hand. Now, no more pages added by an editor (That actually happened in Evil Stalks the Night. The editor, who I never met, added three pages of his own and I didn’t even know about it until I held the book in my hand. And the three pages didn’t make sense…ech!) that I never know about or see until the book comes out. Yeah.

With a chuckle I recall a writer’s convention I attended in 1990 – yes, that far back – and the main topic back then was…OMG the electronic books are coming! They’re going to make us authors obsolete! Print books are going to die a terrible lonely death…etc., etc. Lack and alas, what are we going to do? Ha, ha. It’s ironic that 21 years later I’m in love with e-books. They’re the future. And I think there’ll always be room for print books as well as electronic ones.

So Witches…(Damnation Books) was rereleased 2011. I’m thrilled. The cover is still of Amadeus, the cat, and Dawne Dominique did an amazing job on it. My editor, Alison O'Byrne, helped me make it a better book than eighteen years ago. Of all my novels, I’m most proud of it. It’s held up pretty well. I hope it finds many more readers and fans.

So that’s the story of Witches…the little book that wouldn’t die.

 

Thank you!   E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net

                                                                ***


                                                                                                                                                

Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:

Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, 2012) 

The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722327  

Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)  

Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 

 
Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615724253

The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615722075 


Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011) 


The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723201 

The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 


Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003…soon to be an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)

All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006…soon an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)

Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  Eternal Press buy link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724437  My self-made


Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724604)

You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg

The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)



Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)



BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) 

Damnation Books buy link: httphttp://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615721313

You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo  

The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010) 


You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y

The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) 

Dinosaur lake (from Amazon Kindle Direct 2012)

 

My Websites:

http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

http:// www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG   
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486


http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486

http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith

http://www.jacketflap.com/K.Griffith

http://www.shoutlife.com/kathrynmeyergriffith



 

E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net  I love to hear from my readers. ***

 
http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723553

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