Monday, February 24, 2014

Guest Post: Allison M. Dickson, Author of Strings

Hello! Welcome to The Real World According To Sam! If you were here last week you might remember the Spotlight Promotion we had for the book Strings. Today, you get to read some words straight from the author's pen about being a horror writer. Without further ado, here is a guest post by Allison M. Dickenson:

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 “What’s in the Mind of a Horror Author,” 
by Allison M. Dickson

I am a horror author, but I promise I'm not a freak. There isn't a body hidden beneath the floorboards in my house, and I don't have anyone tied up in my basement (because I don't have a basement, but that's beside the point). I also don't revel in violence and I'm far from titillated by blood and gore. If anything, I'm as much disturbed by some of what I write as any of my readers are, and I'm even more prone to being afraid of some of the movies and books I read. I don't know where my desire to write about the dark side of life comes from necessarily, and I'm not sure I want to know. I'm only grateful that it's there, because it's given me a career.

In a recent interview, I was asked what's inside the mind of a horror author and I was later asked to expand upon it. Originally, I said horror authors’ minds aren’t much different from any others but they do have this desire to shine a light on the darkness that lives in all of us. People who aren't a fan of the horror genre aren't without this darkness. They just don’t like to look at it, and that's okay. There are people who like to highlight on the positive and make people feel good, but make no mistake: horror writers like to make you feel good too. Only, it's more of an inverse process. Anyone who has ever been through a rough time in their lives, be it losing a loved one or financial hardship or being the victim of a violent crime, I think we can all say that when we reach a place of peace and healing, we have a new gratitude for it.

To get technical about it, horror stories try to simulate those events by activating the same parts of the brain that are active during times of peril. It serves the same purpose that minor thrill seeking does, like riding a rollercoaster or skydiving. By the time you put down that book or finish that movie, we want you to feel more alive than you did before. We want you to feel glad it's over and that you have this otherwise normal and sort of mundane life, but at least you're not being held captive in a decrepit old mansion by a human spider. Sometimes when I watch movies or read books that are too positive, the opposite happens to me. I look at my life and find it starkly unfulfilling and mundane in comparison, and that can depress me. Maybe that's just an odd quirk about my mind, but I think it's why I tend to stray to the darker side of things. I crave that shift in perspective, and I think a lot of people out there do too.


Another thing people assume about dark fiction authors is that we are cynics and pessimists in daily life. Now, I don't want to fool anyone into thinking that this isn't the case. Writers can be some of the most jaded people out there. In many cases, it's why they write. But I also argue that there is a lot of optimism buried in horror, because the underlying message in a lot of it is: "See how much WORSE things could be?" My book STRINGS is probably the most grim piece of fiction I have ever written or will ever write, but it was also written by an optimist who believes that human beings are as equally capable of good as they are of bad, and that even the worst among us have a spark of humanity that can be coaxed into a flame under the right conditions. Of course, it could just as easily go the other way too, but that's not pessimism. That's just reality.
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Author’s bio:

Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction living in Dayton, Ohio. Though STRINGS is her
debut novel, she has been writing for a number of years, with several short stories (including “Dust” and “Under the Scotch Broom”) available on Amazon. Two of her stories were featured The Endlands Volume 2 from Hobbes End Publishing. In 2014, Hobbes End will also be releasing her dystopian science fiction novel, THE LAST SUPPER, and she is independently producing her pulpy dieselpunk noir novel, COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER to be released in November of 2013. When she isn’t writing, she’s one of the co-hosts of the weekly Creative Commoners podcast.  She might also be found gaming, watching movies, hiking the local nature preserve with her husband and two kids who also serve as willing guinea pigs for her many culinary experiments.

Author Website: http://www.allisonmdickson.com      


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This concludes a post here at The Real World According To Sam. If anyone is interested in reading a sample of the book Strings, I have the first chapter. Due to my potential audience I chose not to put it up as a post.






However, if you are thinking of purchasing the book or just want a taste to see if its something you'd like to read, you can e-mail me at sammiekparkland@sbcglobal.net OR message The Real World According To Sam on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealWorldAccordingToSam
If you liked this post and would like to see some more like it, let us know! Leave a comment! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spotlight Promotion: Strings

Hello everyone!!

Today I'm doing something new. Sometimes authors or their agents e-mail me with requests, but I'm not too interested in the books or I just don't have the time to read them. However, I know that everyone is into different stuff and it wouldn't be fair of me to not let y'all know that these books exist if you ARE interested or have the time to check them out. Posts like these are what I'm calling Spotlight Promotion. This means that the post isn't a review, but that you'll get a summary and an image of a book with links to get more information or to purchase it. Hopefully some of y'all are interested in giving these books a shot since I can't. If you do, you can leave your thoughts in the comments, as well as any questions you may have. Also, feel free to e-mail me or message me through The Real World According To Sam's facebook page about these highlighted books if you read them or any other book you might be interested in me reviewing.

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SPOTLIGHT PROMOTION

Strings 
Author: Allison M. Dickinson
Genre: Horror/Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: Hobbes End Publishing
Publication Year: October 2013
*Note: this book is intended for a mature, adult audience*


About the book:
After four years of turning tricks in a mob-run New York brothel to pay off a debt, Nina is ready to go back to a quiet life in Iowa. Just one more client and the whole nightmare will be behind her, but this last trick turns into a battle for her soul. Meanwhile, the brothel’s sadistic Madam has been hiding away money in order to move up in her family’s organization, and she only wants the half million dollars the reclusive millionaire pays for the girls. But her driver Ramón has other ideas, making off with the money left behind when Nina’s last trick goes unexpectedly awry. The theft comes at a great cost to the Madam, setting off a horrific chain of events that changes them all. The hooker. The driver. The Madam. All of them on a collision course to a place where only madness holds sway.



You can purchase this book by clicking on the following link: Amazon



About the author:
Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction living in Dayton, Ohio. Though STRINGS is her debut novel, she has been writing for a number of years, with several short stories (including “Dust” and “Under the Scotch Broom”) available on Amazon. Two of her stories were featured The Endlands Volume 2 from Hobbes End Publishing. In 2014, Hobbes End will also be releasing her dystopian science fiction novel, THE LAST SUPPER, and she is independently producing her pulpy dieselpunk noir novel, COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER to be released in November of 2013. When she isn’t writing, she’s one of the co-hosts of the weekly Creative Commoners podcast.  She might also be found gaming, watching movies, hiking the local nature preserve with her husband and two kids who also serve as willing guinea pigs for her many culinary experiments. Website: http://www.allisonmdickson.com.


***DISCLAIMER***
The Real World According To Sam does not guarantee the quality or enjoyment of any book posted for Spotlight Promotion Posts, as the books showcased are  books that I have not personally read, but am helping to market. Do not hold me responsible for any lack of enjoyment you may experience when reading these books and let it be known that author bashing is never allowed on my blog in comments, we're all friends here trying to spread the good word about books and reading. 

Thanks for stopping by The Real World According To Sam, there will be a guest post from this author coming up next week so please come back and check that out. Until then,....get your read on!!!!