Category: Horror


The Dent Sisters recently spent a glorious afternoon with two Writers’ Groups from different locations in New Hampshire. We came together for a ‘gathering.’ Twenty-eight people brought no more than 1000 words (4 pages) of whatever they wanted to read. This included finished shorts, drafts, poems, or something they wanted to showcase in front of an audience. Fiction writers, screenplay authors, poets and word smiths gathered in one place to share. It was awesome.

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We met at Sake, a Chinese restaurant in Milford, New Hampshire, organized by the fabulous Gregory Norris. We did the same thing last year at an Inn and were incredibly inspired, went home and wrote for several hours. The inspiration and warm memories lasted for several days.

What makes this one day event so special was the enhanced feeling of connectedness with so many other writers. As you all know, sharing your writing and listening to others adds to the depth and texture of what you create. The readings ranged from mystery, horror, to sci-fi and poetry.

Yes, you say, but I attend a weekly or monthly critique or support group. The difference lies in being able to gather together with a large group of people you haven’t seen in months or maybe only on Facebook, or at conferences. It only lasts a few hours but it’s a fun event.

The best part – It can be done anywhere, but our favorite hook up is a private room in an accommodating restaurant where the smell of delicious food and relaxed atmosphere adds to the ambiance. The difference between a Sunday Soiree and a Play Date is the number of people who attend and share their writing, news and laughter. And think “No mess, no fuss, no cleaning or cooking.” This kind of event doesn’t happen weekly or monthly but on those rare occasions when writers crave a play date.

As usual, we all went home stuffed, itching to get back to our short stories or opus, reconnected with old friends and made a few new ones. If you haven’t tried it, do. You won’t regret it.

Hi All ~ Waylaid by the holidays we are just now catching up on some of our news.

The Nashua Public Library held a Local Author’s Night December 4th from 7-8:30 p.m. Fifty authors were invited to set up tables, sell, sign books and meet the public. We got a chance, along with other authors, to meet new writers and say hello to old friends we hadn’t seen in a while.

The place was packed. Since we signed up as ‘The Sisters Dent’ we were assigned a table together allowing one of us to mingle while the other manned the table. Thus we both got a wonderful chance to talk to other writers, exchange e-mails, FB and website info.

The public who showed up were a warm and interested group and the Nashua Library held a “raffle” which was a brilliant idea. Visitors went from table to table, talked to the authors and then had their ‘raffle’ ticket signed. The one with the most signatures was the winner. Fantastic idea to motivate open discussion between a reader and a writer. No pressure to purchase a book, but a great opportunity to get someone interested in your writing. Most writers had some sort of ‘swag’ to hand out to the public – magnets, bookmarks etc. allowing a person visiting their table to remember their name and check out their books if interested.

We found the one thing in common throughout the night, was the overwhelming ‘love for and enthusiasm of writing, from horror to YA. The relaxed atmosphere and experience enriched us both and we look forward to attending other writing events.

When it was over, we joined friends, Tony Trembly, Bracken MacLeod, John McIlveen, Trish Wooldridge, Pam Marin Kingsley and Scott Goudsward for a nightcap at a local pub.

Libraries are a definite resource for writers in so many ways. And remember, if you have a book that’s been published, please introduce yourself and donate a copy to your Library

Interesting Facts: Did you know the earliest known libraries consisted of clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in Sumer dating back approximately 2600 BC?

Greece, Rome, the Christian church, Islamic dar al-‘ilm or Halls of Science, the Library of China during the Imperial Zhao dynasty, and all the great civilizations that followed, had libraries. Of course, those who had access to them and what they consisted of evolved over the years.

Today, libraries offer not just books, but specialty items: CD’s, DVD’s, cassettes, microfilm, periodicals, newspapers, income tax forms, manuscripts, Blue-ray Discs, e-books, audio books and databases. You will also see a room with computers, meeting rooms, upcoming book signings and a children’s section. Their staff are there to help you find what you’re looking for, whether you know the author’s last name or just the plot and setting.

Libraries rock! Visit one near you and see for yourself.

In keeping with our plan to post a monthly blog (or more if inspired), keep tuned. Till then!

Christmas was coming and my sister Roxanne had recently written and sold a Regency novel called “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” In September, she had a brainstorm: send a letter with a copy of her book to Tim Coco at WHAV Radio, a local station and offer to read a couple of chapters on air.  She promptly mailed both letter and book and waited. October came and went. November was almost gone. Thanksgiving was over and we were looking forward to gearing up for Christmas. Roxanne was sending out stories and writing new ones and put it out of her head. Besides, we were both focused on upcoming book readings and signings not to mention shopping for gifts.

Around Thanksgiving, Roxy got a call from Mr. Coco. “I’d like to interview you on “The Open Mike Show” and have you read a bit from your book. How does December 1st sound?”

Now you have to know Roxanne to realize how bone chillingly horrifying this was for her to hear. She wasn’t prepared. She needed time to plan. She needed time to assimilate. She needed more TIME!

But time was not a commodity she had. Mere days away, fear bloomed and threatened to ruin her self-confidence, her interview and the opportunity she herself, sought out.

Roxanne made a conscious decision despite being scared witless, to overcome her fear and talked herself off the ledge. She realized over the past few years, she’d been reading her fiction at various places: a theatre, bookstores and at EWAG, her writing support group. Not to mention reading aloud to me ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper. So she knew she’d feel comfortable reading on the radio show. She was less sure of the spontaneous interview part, but after we played Host / Interviewee for a few hours, she felt more prepared.

That was, until she found out one hour before her interview that WHAV Radio was also a live television show with an audience of at least 64,000 viewers.

My sister confessed, had she known about being on camera, she probably wouldn’t have sent her initial query letter and book. Some surprises from the universe are best left for last.

After Roxanne accepted she was the one who set in motion this wonderful opportunity, she relaxed. Trusting that this was a good thing, instead of freaking out (well, not much) she embraced the challenge and prepared for the show.

It turned out to be a milestone of accomplishment. Tim Coco, was a wonderful Host with a long history on WHAV. At seventeen, he became an intern at “WHAV Broadcasting Co., Haverhill.” He is the Founder and Chief Executive of The Open Mike Show on WHAV Radio where he talks about news, history, holds interviews and yaks about trivia with call-ins. Easy to talk to, Mr. Coco possesses the gift of gab and made Roxanne feel safe. For that, he is my Hero.

Roxanne actually enjoyed the experience and said she would do it again. I thought she appeared calm and natural. Watching the interview with an eye to improve, rather than as a negative critic, she felt she could have elaborated on a few subjects and could have looked more at the camera. But on the whole, she was proud of what she’d accomplished and felt greatly empowered.

Acting on an intuitive idea, Roxanne took a risk and followed through. It made her stronger. She actually said she didn’t think she’d ever be afraid of stepping out from her comfort zone again.

In the past, Roxy remembered attending cocktail parties at her agent’s that included writers, actors and editors. Like her, the writers all sat on couches sipping drinks, not speaking and counting the minutes when it would be an acceptable time to leave. The actors stood around the piano singing and talking about the latest part they were in or exchanging backstage gossip. She envied their ease and gregarious, outgoing ability to talk about themselves and their work. While not everyone has an actor’s personality — everyone can surprise themselves; shed their self-imposed limitations, try something different and expand their horizons.

I have huge admiration for Roxanne. It was a bold and courageous move for her to follow through on her burst of intuition. The payoff was a feeling of accomplishment, and trust in herself.

We encourage you to listen for that hunch whispering in your ear to do something you’ve never done before. You may surprise yourself. Roxanne might still feel nervous about trying something new but insists it won’t hold her back. And that alone is priceless.

Look for our blog week about our attendance at “Authors Night” at the Nashua Public Library where over 50 authors attended. Ciao, till then. 

As we prepare for our reading at Books and Boos April 6th (514 Westchester Road, Colchester, CT) we’ve had an enormous show of support and love.  And it occurred to us that we could return the favor.

Posting a review on one of the major sites is not the only way to show support. With the advent of Facebook, Blogs and Twitter people can get information out in a myriad of ways. And we’re fortunate to be surrounded by an enormous pool of talented people with interests and abilities in many areas.  Just in our writing group alone, almost every person has more than one talent, such as:

  • One writes great sci-fi but also invented a writing program to help with the agony of organizing their fellow-writers works.
  • We have non-fiction writers who take amazing photographs that could be just the thing you’re looking for.
  • Another teaches classes in Word and Excel which will improve your knowledge of the computer, making your writing life that much easier.
  • Plus we also have several members who pitch and sell ideas for new anthologies to established houses.

Along with their writing, other creative projects can be promoted as well by: Reviews, Inteviews, Articles, Facebook/Blog/Twitter mentions, word of mouth — and it only takes a few moments to do.

So The Sisters Dent will list ONE: Book, Article, Short Story, New Program Feature or Submission Alert at the end of each blog for you to “CHECK THEM OUT”.

Enuf about that, What About US?

Roxanne put the final polish on “The Janus Demon,” and “The Poison Pen Murders,” and is in the process of mailing letters to agents.  She is currently working on “Beyond the Iberian Sea,” Book Two of “The Janus Demon,” wrapping up “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a novella Regency and is working on a new short YA fantasy, “The Boy in the Green High Tops.”

Karen has completed her first novel, the paranormal noir “A Case to KILL For” and has begun editing as we post this. She’s completed another short horror, “The Cursed Box” and has begun a loose outline for a Steampunk short with Zombies.

Until our next post …

CHECK THEM OUT:

 S.D. Grady’s newest book, “Heart of the Dragon” is available at www.amazon.com.  Sonya is a writer of erotica, romance, historical fiction and believe it or not, articles on NASCAR.  Her website is www.queensdomain.blogspot.com

This Tuesday we had a creative luncheon with a very dear friend. We dined, yakked and shared our stories with one another around a crackling fire with full emotional support. It was heaven. This made us think about how incredibly lucky we are to not only have creative friends but also to have a writing group that supports each other with acceptance and safety.

Our lovely luncheon reminded us about our Group’s monthly Soirees held on Sunday. The Soirees hold the same magic of inspiration as our luncheon did and are a fantastic prompt for members to write a new short story every month. Think of it –at the end of the year this tally’s up to 12 brand-spanking-new tales that might not ever have been written without the monthly get togethers.

    How It Works

Whoever hosts the event at their house, decides on a Theme. Everyone brings something to Eat, pot-luck style, and we socialize, scarff down the yummy food and then read our stories. Some are short, some long and some aren’t even on the theme – but it’s brand new, gossimer gold spun out of our fertile imaginations.

New Work. New Stuff, New Crafting-of-Words to stretch and expand your writing abilities and enrich your catalogue of tales which you will at some future date submit to one of the many contests out there even if you think the story and theme is too out there.

For our month of February the theme is “Potions and Allergies.” Sometimes you got nuttin’ but you’re committed to come up with something out of respect for your Host. Roxanne blew out yet another short story, “My Zombie Valentine” and Karen’s alter ego wrote “Curse of the Dog” – a fantasy set in the far past, a genre she has never worked with before. Both stories are out of their comfort zones.

The beauty of adhering to a monthly Soiree Theme forces you to write. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be completed–it just has to be ‘created and begun’. This is a wonderful kick in your Muse’s Butt, which leads to building up your repertoire of unique and individual creative projects.

This is a call to go with the flow, accept a challenge, enhance your abilities and stretch your brain.

Both of us have written things outside of our comfort zones. Roxanne who never wrote a zombie story and didn’t think she could, wrote “Zombies at Red Rock” which sold to “A Fistful of Horrors” Her very first ghost and YA story, “The Ghost on Coffin Street,” was written for a Halloween party and sold to Whortleberry Press in their Halloween Dances with the Dead“. It’s one of her favroites. Miss Luella’s Magic Shop,” sold to “Ticonderoga Publications.” for their paranormal anthology, More Scary Kisses.”

Karen’s “Mr. Hoo-Wards Unwise Promise”, a Grade School Christmas Tale was written in honor of the Soiree Hostess, Helen, who wrote the most charming and delightful Children’s stories. It sold to Whortleberry Press in their Peace On All The Earths. The next one was “Grave Mistake” again for Whortleberry and her “Basic Nature” was sold to HOTIP’s Issue of Children and Zombies (definitely NOT a YA or Children’s story)

We’ve had all sorts of themes over the years and you never know what you can do until you challenge yourself to try.

As we’ve mentioned in our previous blogs – we like to share and we can’t think of anything more helpful to the creative spirit than holding a Soiree. It can be with just one or two people or a dozen. But making the commitment, and allowing free access to all sorts of ideas for your Muse to play with is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

We took a short hiatis from blogging so we could finish up commitments, take time for a new critique group and spend a whirlwind of time entertaining. But now we’re back, hunkered down in our homes and thrilled that Nemo, the humongous snow storm didn’t drag down our powerlines. Right now, it’s breathtakingly beautiful outside, providing a spectacular and inspiring setting to write.

NEWS:ADDRESS CORRECTION FOR BOOKS AND BOOS – 514 Westchester Road, Colechester, CT.

The Sisters Dent will each be reading at “Books and Boo’s” on April 6h from 2:00-6:00 pm. Owned by Stacy and Jason Harris, long time members of the New England Horror Writers, “Books and Boo’s” is located at: 514 Westchester Road, Colechester, CT. Please come on down (or up) and join us. We’d love to meet you!

Roxanne has been a busy bee – working on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a charming and hilarious Regency that oddly, doesn’t include snow since she discovered it seldom snowed in that part of England in the early 1800s. Not to be genre specific, she plans on sending out two horror shorts she just completed next Tuesday. Why, you might ask is she waiting for Tuesday?

Tip: A short story sent late Tuesday for a Wednesday read is more likely to be read in it’s entirety and not summarily tossed into the reject pile. Ask us why if you’re curious.

No moss under those tiny feet, Roxanne has begun a new short mystery, “The Man in the Green High-Tops.”

Karen is finishing work on her paranormal noir novel, “A Case To KILL For” and has begun the dreaded ‘Outline’. She’s been working on two more shorts as well, “The Thousandth Tear” a lovely tale of betrayal and revenge and “Curse of the Dog” a very pecurliar genre she’s never written before. Zee Muse she takes liberties.

Just like to add we have both received passes as most writers do. We commiserate and support one another to continue to send out, a HUGELY IMPORTANT step for any writer. Do not get discouraged friends, keep on keepin’ on!

We also kept bugging each other to pick up a pen and continue our blog. Apparently the nagging worked. So – here we are where we hopefully will be a weekly presence to inspire other writers, like you – to share. And don’t underestimate a good nag.

See you soon!

Whether you are drawn to mind numbing horror, Regency romances, Victorian  mysteries, Zombie Apocalypse, twisted fairy tales or YA stories, between the both of us, we’ve written them all.  You can double your exposure by doing what we did.

Sharing a blog and combining our talents made us realize how important and worthwhile it is to share your creative life with at least one other person. Sharing can boost your visability by at least 50%, enhance productivity, cut costs in half — AND having four eyes and two minds to look over your work before sending it out — priceless.

We think this is an incredible way to help writers achieve their dreams with the simplicity of sharing.  We’d like to share what we’ve learned over the years and give you the hard reasons why sharing is a no-brainer for success.

Next weeks blog — breaking down the specific ways and reasons this can work for you, and no – you don’t have to be siblings.

Dent Sisters at Work

Dent Sisters at Work