In The Woods has launched!

Yesterday, my writers group and I launched our third anthology. The first was called Sex Death and Grain Elevators, because any story told about the Canadian prairies supposedly needed all three ingredients. The second was called, Where In The World Is Carmen Manitoba? which contained stories about aliens and UFOs because in the ’70s the town of Carmen was the home of Charlie Red Star, a strange red light that traveled the highway into town, attracting UFO hunters from all over the continent.

Off The Wall presents In The Woods is the title of our latest collection of fiction, poetry, actual sighting reports and photos of the elusive Sasquatch. The book was self-published using the Espresso Machine at McNally Robinson Booksellers. The Espresso Machine is a wonderful new invention that creates a book for you in about five minutes, right before your eyes! The machine, located right inside the doors of the bookstore, has glass panels through which you can see the pages printed, the cover printed and bent, glue applied to the binding and the whole thing put together. It really is amazing to watch!

Anyway, here are a few shots of the group, ‘Off The Wall’ – at least, those that could make it to the launch – flaunting their stories:

Me! :)

Me! 🙂

I was chosen to introduce the group and read first, along with my Sasquatch buddy Sassy. 😉

Fatima DeMelo

Fatima DeMelo

A life-long resident of Winnipeg, Fatima recently rejoined the group, (she was a member back when it first started). We hope this will be the first of many pieces of writing from her. She currently works as a Library Technician for an academic library, taking pride in helping her students learn how to search for creditable information. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, going out for walks, and writing posts for her own blog at stacksandranges.wordpress.com

Evelyn Woodward

Evelyn Woodward

Before home schooling her three children, Evelyn’s writing revolved around research, following her graduation from Brandon University. She has come a long way from work she termed ‘not interesting for anyone to know about’ to an accomplished writer and one of the original members of the Off The Wall group. She has published three books, Caught in the Web, I Am The Gatekeeper, and The Way of the Kyma, available on Amazon.

Cas Courcelles was unable to attend because of travel plans that were made before our launch date was set, but she was there in spirit. Cas is a Canadian author who summers on the level lands and winters south of assorted borders. She wrote Harliquin Romances for a number of years under the pen name Samantha Day but has since branched out into the suspense genre. Her novel, Down Dark Deep, can be found on Amazon and you can find her on Twitter @cascourcelles.

Our camera shy member, Russell Corbet, was also unable to attend. After a thorough University of Manitoba education in dead languages, Russell embarked on several failed careers: double-naught spy, professional shark bait, day care provider and cult leader. He now lives somewhere in the Western Hemisphere with a mortgage, a minivan, no cats, and a sage plant. He continues to be bent on world domination. 🙂

Chris Rutkowski with his mechanical Sasquatch friend (behind & to the left).

Chris Rutkowski with his mechanical Sasquatch friend.

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Chris is a Canadian science writer and educator. Since the mid-1970s, he’s written about his investigations and research on Ufos, for which he is best known. However, he has been involved in many other writing and media projects for more than 30 years, including TV specials (The Monster of Lake Manitoba, 1996), planetarium shows (Moonlight Serenade, 1983, and Amateur Nights, 1989) and newspaper columns, (Strange Tales, in the Northern Times, Thompson, Manitoba,1984 to 1985). He has nine published books on UFOs and related issues, a collection of short stories and has contributed to many other volumes, both fiction and non-fiction. His recent works include A World of UFOs (2008), I Saw It Too! (2009) and The Big Book of UFOs (2010). In addition, he is a book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press, appears often on TV and radio, teaches courses on Writing and is currently president of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. He is on Twitter (@ufologyresearch) and blogs at http://uforum.blogspot.com/

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Signing books for our fans.

We had a great time. The weather was lousy, strong winds whipping around buckets of rain, but that did not deter our family and friends from coming out to support us. We appreciate every single one of them! As well, we want to thank McNally’s for not only helping us through the process of getting the books printed but also for providing a space to launch the books and all the promotional stuff they did and will do. Wish you all could have been there, too. 🙂

Friday Reviews

While I do have several books I want to personally review, I am waiting on the interviews that go along with them, so I hope you will be patient until I get everything sorted out. In the meantime, there are others who have been reviewing books so I thought I’d share their links. You might want to add some of them to your summer reading list. 🙂

The first is Jennifer M. Eaton’s review of Surrender by Aimee Lane. I love her cookie ratings.

The second, if you have a passion for zombies, is a review by Derek Newman-Stilles (Speculating Canada) of Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos by James Marshall. He speculates that the story shows how “our society [has] become like zombies, not questioning, not changing, following outdated patterns, and mindlessly destroying”.

If you like poetry, here are a couple of links to sites where new works of poetry are being discussed:

Julie Catherine has a poetry collection, Poems of Living, Loving & Lore and a few more poems to share.

Christy Burmingham has just produced her collection of inspiring poems, Pathways to Illumination.

To round out the selections, Cheri Champagne has just published, Love and Deceit, the third of the Mason Sibling series of Regency Romances. These aren’t your usual period romances, with simpering leads fawning over men they can’t possess. Cheri has strong female characters who are embroiled in mystery, intrigue and high adventure, as well as antics in the bedroom!

If you’ve ever contemplated life, death and its mysteries, Evelyn Woodward’s story I Am the Gatekeeper presents a different perspective on the world around us. Evelyn also has a chilling mystery, Caught In The Web.

Finally, Cas Courcelle has her engrossing adventure, Down Dark Deep, on Kindle. It draws you in and captures you with suspense!

Do YOU have any good books you’d like to share? 🙂

Scary October, Day 14

It’s another Off The Wall Sunday Interview day, everyone! Today, I am pleased to introduce another of my writer’s group, Cas Courcelle. If you dropped by on Friday, I posted a taste of her story Down Dark Deep. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Hi, Cas! Welcome to my blog. Please introduce yourself. 🙂

Hi—I’m Cas Courcelles

How long have you been a writer?

My grandmother told me she remembered me writing stories before I knew how to read or write. And I do remember very carefully writing a letter to my parents when I was in the hospital. I was four and not especially precocious—I scrawled a series of loops that I was convinced were the words I wanted to say. (I asked Dad to paint my bedroom pink and blue.)

Why do you think you became a writer?

Simply put, I like to daydream.

Haha! Don’t we all?

What does your writing process look like? Where, when, how (computer, pen/paper or both) do you write?

I use a computer now—the keyboard lets me keep up with my thoughts, something that was very hard to do when I wrote my first book by hand. And I don’t have to worry about deciphering my handwriting later on. Also, I need solitude—and solitaire. Keeps me focused.

Down Dark Deep

Have you written any other scary stories besides Down Dark Deep?

‘Tickle Games’ is pretty scary and gruesome in parts—there’s an axe murdering serial killer on the loose—but it’s really a suspense novel. (It’ll join Down Dark Deep on Amazon within the next couple of months.)

I thought Down Dark Deep was plenty scary enough for me! 🙂

Is this a genre in which you normally write?

I  like to write suspense, but I could do horror in the future. Who knows what might inspire me?

What compelled you to write Tickle Games and Down Dark Deep?

I got tired of being nice. (I used to write Harlequin Romances.)

Then this is quite a departure from your usual type of story! 🙂

Do you normally read stories in this genre? If so, what is it about these types of stories that you like?

I have read many suspense novels, but not so much in the horror genre. But a good story is a good story, although I want to be engrossed, not grossed out.

Ah, a girl after my own heart! 🙂

Would you like to share any social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc) where we can find you?

I have a Facebook page under Cas Courcelles.

I’m on Twitter under the same name.  

Also, you can check out my author page at amazon.com/author/cascourcelles

In closing, is there anything more you’d like to say?

Read lots, write more!

Always good advice! Thanks for joining us here, today, Cas! 🙂