I'm a guest tonight with Sally J. Walker at the radio show ANYTHING GOES. It's at 10 PM EST. I hope you give it a listen. I'll talk about my erotic, romantic, and dark books.
Blurb: "This is Bennet Pomerantz. Welcome to ANYTHING GOES. Tonights Guests will Be Novelist Elizabeth Black and Sally J Walker ... There will be a MYSTERY GUEST as always, come join the fun."
Friday, August 17, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art. – Henry James
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation. – Graham Greene
Writers have a reputation for going off the deep end. Being crazy seems to be a requirement in the job description. The nature of writing tries your sanity anyway, with endless rejections and sometimes crippling self-doubt. Writing by nature is very isolating. Think of the stereotype of the starving poet writing his sonnets in his lonely garret. The emotional roller coaster of feeling your characters bare their souls as you type out your manuscript can easily wear down your own soul. After all, Ernest Hemingway said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
Hemingway committed suicide with a bullet to the head. He's not the first writer to suffer from mental illness. Virginia Woolf drowned herself. Sylvia Plath stuck her head in her oven, but only after giving the kids milk and cookies as a snack. Her colleague and friend Anne Sexton also committed suicide. Zelda Fitzgerald was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and she spent the last years of her life in an asylum. F. Scott Fitzgerald suffered from depression and alcoholism. Hunter S. Thompson shot himself. Susanna Kaysen stayed in a mental hospital and later wrote "Girl, Interrupted". Hermanne Hesse, who may have been bi-polar, attempted suicide and spent time in several mental institutions. Another possible manic-depressive and definite violent alcoholic, Malcolm Lowry, spent time in a mental institution and died a "death of misadventure" combining booze and an overdose of sleeping pills. Whether his death was suicide, accident, or murder remains unanswered. Spalding Grey long suffered from depression and he committed suicide after leaping from the Staten Island ferry. Mental illness isn't confined to writers. Patty Duke, Vivien Leigh, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Jeremy Brett were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.
What if you're lured to The Dark Side anyway, and you are already a creative type? Confession time – I have dealt with these issues since I was a child. In fact, the past few weeks have been sheer hell for me, but I'm improving. I know that many forms of depression, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia are biologically-based and not merely a problem of suffering from "the blues". The idea of "picking myself up by my bootstraps" would make me laugh out loud if I didn't feel so damned miserable when people who should know better say something asinine to me like that.
What did make me laugh was a post I saw at Boing-Boing about ads in a 1956 issue of Mental Hospitals magazine. Did you know that Pepsi was viewed at the time as the best drink to force on restrained mental patients? One ad described Pepsi in this manner: "Cheerful visitors are a great help during convalescence. So is Pepsi-Cola. A familiar old friend, Pepsi refreshes without filling." Another ad described Pepsi as "a ready, popular supply to a medical demand – Pepsi-Cola when forced fluids are indicated." Yippiee!! So if I'm trapped in a Snake Pit trussed up in a straitjacket and I need something to quench my parched mouth, Nurse Ratchet would force-feed me Pepsi. Even though I prefer Coca-Cola. Then pump me full of Thorazine. Sure brings new meaning to "Have a Coke and a smile!"
Are writing, acting, painting, and other creative pursuits a natural fit for people with these kinds of disorders? The ups and downs of writing, submitting, rejecting, and acceptance fit my normal pattern of ups and downs. I've always felt a great need to express myself, and I started out in acting and later crew work. I've written fiction since I was a child but I didn't take it seriously until a few years ago. I use my writing as a means of expressing not only my lusts and dreams but my frustrations and pain. Like Hemingway, I bleed all over my keyboard. It feels good – very freeing – and I leave no scars. Well, not physical ones at any rate.
So you noticed the presence of alcohol in the lives of many of those people I mentioned? Yup, what kind of writer doesn't have a glass of spirits of some sort by her side? I like my vermouth, champagne, and occasional glass of microbrew IPA or stout, but if I drink too much my writing is worth a barrel of spit. There are lots of alcoholic creative types out there, in particular Dylan Thomas, who once said "an alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do." Other famous alcoholic writers include William Faulkner, Dorothy Parker, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe (although his alleged alcoholism has been debated), Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams.
I ask myself am I attracted to The Dark Side because I'm a writer, or am I a writer because I'm attracted to The Dark Side? Could go either way. I do know that writing is a great stress reliever and problem solver except when I'm feeling so poorly I can't even get out of bed. There is definitely a stigma in admitting you see The Dark Beyond The Veil, and sometimes that scares otherwise "normal" people. They see Joan Crawford shrieking "no wire coat hangers!", or Vivien Leigh writhing on a shock treatment table for real, or Olivia de Havilland doing the same but in a movie, or Frances Farmer with an ice pick in her eye socket, or a wild-eyed Norma Desmond slowly creeping down the staircase, waiting for her close up with Mr. DeMille. I don’t care. We're not all like that, including me. I am who I am, and I won't apologize for being me, erotic stories and horror fiction and all. Besides, I'd rather jump into the abyss and feel what goes on around me than shut myself down or be "normal". All my experiences improve my writing. And they improve me.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Jamais vu is the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognizes in some fashion, but that nonetheless seems very unfamiliar. Often described as the opposite of déjà vu, jamais vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer's impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that he or she has been in the situation before. (Wikipedia) Jamais vu occurs in certain types of amnesia and epilepsy.
I have never experienced déjà vu. If I calm down and think about it long enough, I always remember where I first encountered something that seems familiar yet I know I've never run across it before. Most of the time it reminds me of something in my past, a movie I've watched, or a book I've read. Once I recover that memory, the feeling of déjà vu disappears.
However, I used to experience jamais vu all the time. It's a very unsettling feeling. I feel that it's more unsettling than déjà vu. Most people have experienced jamais vu but they don't know it. Have you ever driven down a familiar road and suddenly don't know where you are? Then you get to the next exit and that horrid feeling disappears. This is especially creepy if you're driving down a road you've driven down numerous times, such as on your way to or from work.
Another term for jamais vu is "dissociation". I was quite good at that when I was younger. I'd hear my own voice or my mother's voice and I wouldn't recognize it. I'd hear music I'd listened to for years and suddenly couldn't remember the lyrics. I grew up in a rather tumultuous household so I use to detach from my surroundings as a means of survival.
My soon-to-be-released story "Shattering The Meat Tunnel" has a scene with a brief experience of jamais vu in it. Look for this story to come out later this month. It's in the anthology "Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre", edited by Trent Zelazny.
"Someone's in my apartment!" I caught the image of a disheveled, wild-eyed banshee in the decorative, smoky mirror on the opposite neighbor's door. Who was that frenzied woman?
Then I realized she was me. Did I really look that bad? It couldn't have been me! Granted, I hadn't showered in four days, and the last time I brushed my teeth was so long ago a layer of fuzz grew on them. I hadn't brushed my waist length hair in so long that it matted, and I swore I had the beginnings of dreadlocks at the nape of my neck, but I knew I couldn't possibly look like that harridan in the mirror. She was someone else, some changeling elves left in my bed while I slept. That explained why I felt so out of sorts. I had no idea who I was.
And now, for something completely different, here is information and a blurb about my paranormal erotic romance novella "Filthy Leuker", which is about the antics of two bisexual male werewolves. This book is the sequel to "Feral Heat", but it can stand on its own.
Romance Divine: Coming Soon
Rainbow Ebooks: http://tinyurl.com/6lpd3ko
Amazon Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/7tbt76n
Erotic author Elizabeth Black is back. And she brings with her those lusty, bisexual werewolves/stagehands from her hot and sexy FERAL HEAT. This time Grant and Sam have their eyes on the show’s luscious male dancer: Leuker. To keep it all interesting, the lithesome ladies, Lina and Charlotte, are also along. It’s a paranormal, erotic, anything goes FIVE-some. Blame it all on…FILTHY LEUKER.
Sam Hightower's pulse raced at the sight of ripped abs and muscular thighs. The man who flowed across the stage with such little effort looked so much like his lover, Grant Newsome, that Sam blinked his eyes a few times to make sure his vision wasn't playing tricks on him. Who's the god with the rapt attention of every man and woman in this room?
The two men could have been brothers. Grant's twin wore his hair at shoulder length, thick and full, with tendrils falling in his shining green eyes. Those eyes are emerald green, so green they glow like an aurora in winter. His face bore the same smoldering look of extreme concentration. This man would snap at Sam, turning on him in an instant if he interrupted his train of thought, much the same way Grant grumbled if he did the same thing. Each twist of his hip and roll of his shoulder enhanced the earthy lust his meager leotard couldn't contain. The dancer strutted amid his shorter and less stellar-looking partners bringing a flush to Sam's cheeks. He moved with a grace Grant lacked, but animal magnetism oozed from every pore. Tall and majestic, he glided across the stage is if his feet didn't touch the ground, his elegant form so beautiful he took Sam's breath away.
"Sorry, luv, you're a day late and a dollar short. We've already had him," that sultry and husky feminine voice jarred him from his daydream. Charlotte stood before him with her arms akimbo, hip thrust outward, giving him a cheeky grin. Dressed in tight black jeans and a tighter black tank top that squeezed together her huge breasts, she twisted her bee-stung lips in an amused grin that she once again bested him in the fucking department. "His name's Leuker Pearce and he's a stallion in bed."
"I'd love to pierce him."
"You might be able to," Lina said. The quieter of the two women stood behind Charlotte, her arms wrapped around the gutsier one's waist. Quite the virago, Charlotte's lusty nature thrilled Sam on the few occasions they found themselves in bed together. Or in the back seat of his car. Or those two times in the catwalks with their groans echoing throughout the theater. Charlotte preferred women to men, but Sam enjoyed her touch and smell too many times to count. He teased the woman by sneaking up behind her to grab her boobs. She retaliated by bursting unexpectedly from behind road boxes to squeeze his cock. Despite the sex play, they were buddies more than sex partners.
She and her lover Lina settled in Portland after years traveling on the road. Amazed at how much the two looked alike, he admired their sleek arms and hands, strong from years of painting sets. They could be twins – or doppelgangers. Harbingers of doom. And now his lover's twin writhed before him, making love to the stage as he twirled and leaped. Imagine the fivesome we could have. It would be like something out of a Penthouse letter!
"He swings both ways," Charlotte said. "I can see a hot little threesome there; you, Luke, and Luke's evil twin. You need to be adventurous. You now how much I love adventure."
Should he mention his fantasy fivesome? No, not just yet… "So you noticed the resemblance, too?" Lust tingled the hairs on the back of Sam's neck. That beautiful creature moved like a majestic elk in the Alaskan high country. "What kind of name is Leuker?"
"It's Dutch. He goes by Luke. It's also his middle name. Says his first name is horrible."
"And 'Leuker' isn't?"
Her deep, throaty laugh reverberated amongst the flats. "He told me it's his mother's maiden name. Says it means good-looking."
Sam gawked at the tight ass and strong legs that sashayed across the stage.
"Can't deny that."
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The Blair Witch Project was special for me since I went to college in that area. Don't groan! I know how hated that movie is. The only reason it did anything for me was because I've been in that area numerous times. I knew every ghost legend in Burkittsville, Maryland and I'd never heard of the Blair Witch. I immediately knew it wasn't real. Still, the movie scared the piss out of me but only the first time I saw it. After that it was kinda meh. I saw it when my husband was away on a business trip so I was alone in the house. After the movie I went for a walk in Dogtown near my home. That's an old, five mile deserted former Colonial settlement stuck in the middle of the woods. If you've seen Blair Witch, you can guess where my story is going. I was fine until I was on my way out of the woods. Some kind of animal shrieked high up in the trees and I couldn't pinpoint exactly where it was coming from. I only knew it was following me and getting closer. It was also getting dark and I was terrified. Either way, I wanted out of there. I high-tailed it out of the woods, nearly taking the wrong hiking path farther into rocky terrain. When I finally reached familiar territory I felt relieved, especially since that high-pitched shrieking stopped following me. I was on my way out of the woods but that shriek kept back. Every time I walk in Dogtown I think about that high-pitched shriek and I wonder what it was. It wasn't an owl. I've heard owls before. It could have been a fisher cat, and those things are vicious. Good thing I didn't run into it after all.
Curse of the Demon
Here's the sound of a fisher cat. Imagine walking in the deepest part of the woods alone with that not far behind you. This is almost identical to what I heard during my hike.
Here are some of my favorite horror movies.
Braindead (aka Dead Alive)
The Devil's Backbone
The Ring (Japanese original)
Curse of the Demon
Quatermass And The Pit
Any Hammer horror film, especially those starring Peter Cushing
One Missed Call
… and many more.
What are your favorite horror movies?
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
My paranormal erotic romance book An Unexpected Guest is a ghost story. I based the book on a haunted bed and breakfast on Maryland's Eastern Shore. This B&B dates back to the Revolutionary War, and it sits on a river. I had heard about it several years earlier, and after much planning finally stayed there when I was in town for a theater stage crew convention. The story behind the haunting is as follows: British soldiers came up the river and proceeded to set the small town on fire, destroying most of it. Soldiers threw torches on the porch of this B&B, which was originally a brothel. The proprietress swept the torches off the porch with her broom. She made a deal with the soldiers. She would house them, feed them, and allow them to use her services as long as they didn't burn the place down. They agreed, and this B&B was allowed to stand whilst homes around it burned to the ground. The haunting involves the ghost of the proprietress wandering the halls in the dead of night, checking on her clientele and the women to make sure everyone was comfortable. There have been other sightings as well. The B&B itself is absolutely beautiful, decorated in Victorian splendor. It includes a lovely bar and discounted dinners every Friday night. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very homey in that Victorian style I liked very much.
The first time I stayed it was off-season in mid-winter. I was in a room overlooking the river. What a view! I enjoyed a delicious meal and the company of a man I met in the bar. He came to the B&B several times per month to enjoy dinner when in town on business. No, I did not take him to bed, although he was very handsome. At the time I was not married. We ate dinner together. That night I slept well until about 3 am when I heard a party going on in the room next to me. There was a lot of noise. I managed to go back to sleep. At about 4:30 am I heard heavy footsteps walking up and down the hallway. I immediately thought of the ghost of the proprietress stalking the halls checking on everyone and went back to sleep. I wondered whys she wore combat boots, since her footsteps were very loud and heavy. I felt very safe, secure, and comfortable. Not the least bit scared.
The next day, when I went down for breakfast, I told the clerk about the party and the footsteps. She told me I couldn't have heard anything because I had been alone in the building all night. Yeeeahhh!!!!! The party! The footsteps! None of it could have happened!!!
Of course, I had to return. :)
The second time I stayed I was with my husband. While we slept, someone turned on the overhead light in the middle of the night. I was a very light sleeper and I snapped awake the moment the light turned on. He snored away next to me. I was far too tired to get up and turn off the light, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up shortly before dawn, the light was out. I asked my husband later about the light and he said he had turned it off before going to bed. He didn't get up during the night at all.
So who turned on the light? And who later turned it off?
I heard those footsteps in the hallway again, and felt as safe as I did the first time. No party this time, though. At least this time there were other guests in the place. I wasn't alone in the building again.
So there you have it. I had my own ghostly experiences. Granted, I think there were perfectly natural explanations for what I heard. The kitchen was downstairs right off my room and noise from clean-up could have carried up the stairs. I could have mistaken those noises for a party. It's also likely my husband simply forgot he didn't turn off the overhead light. But I like to think I had ghostly experiences both times I stayed.
Here is an eerie excerpt from "An Unexpected Guest". Enjoy!
When she reached the top of the stairs, she walked into the hallway. A small ball of light floated out of the Blacklight Room, sped down the hall, and took a sharp right turn out of her line of vision. Curious, Annie walked down the length of the hall. Her footsteps against the wood sounded loud in the unusual silence that engulfed her. She followed the trail of the ball of light, and turned right at the end of the hallway. The door to the Bridal Suite was a few feet in front of her.
She saw no light. What was it, and where did it come from?
Why did the air around her seem so cold?
Annie shivered. Why was she shaking? There was nothing to be afraid of. It was only a ball of light. It was probably caused by static electricity.
Stop it, Annie. You're being silly. There is nothing to be afraid of.
A moan came from the other side of the door. Annie wasn't sure if she actually heard it. She craned her neck, and listened closely. A woman sobbed from somewhere inside the room.
"Help me! Please, help me I can't breathe. I can't catch my breath."
Annie knocked on the door.
"Hello? Are you okay in there?"
"I can't breathe!"
Annie knocked again, but heard no reply. The cold around the door intensified so much that Annie's teeth chattered. Her breath came from her lips in gusts. She saw the mist from her breath in front of her face.
She turned and ran to her room. She was so nervous that she had difficulty fitting her key in the lock.
Her room was warm, much warmer than the hallway. She placed the paperwork on her bed. Her skittishness settled somewhat, and she walked into the hallway and locked her door.
She looked around. The hallway was preternaturally quiet. She could not shake the unsettling feeling that she was being watched.
Don't be foolish, There is no one up here. You're alone on the second floor.
All she wanted to do was to get out of there, run downstairs, and surround herself with live people. Shoving the thought of ghosts from her head, she rubbed her arms with her hands to ward off the goosebumps. She needed to find Ruth. What if someone in that room needed help? The woman crying in that room sounded like she needed a doctor. Annie bolted down the hallway and down the stairs without looking behind her. She was afraid of what she might see.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Welcome to my web site, blog hoppers! I'm E. A. Black, and I write horror. I'm thrilled to participate in this blog hop.
I'm afraid of Barbie dolls. Especially being tickled by Barbie dolls. This is a phobia I've had since I was a kid. Yes, it sounds strange, but not as strange as the guy I read about on the Internet (so it must be true) who is afraid of being drowned by peacocks.
Barbie dolls don't look human (especially the older, fashion model type vintage Barbies). I'm sure you've heard of the Uncanny Valley. These things are deep in it. They can't bend their arms or knees. Imagine one of them running to you, on their tip-toes, hopping on stiff, too-long legs with their feet permanently stuck in the fuck-me pump position.
Gives me the creeps.
It turns out that fear of dolls is called. pediophobia, and fear of being tickled is called pteronophobia. I suppose the fear of being tickled by dolls could be pteronopediophobia. Genus Barbie.
I wanted to briefly discuss phobias and make a list of some of the more interesting ones. Speaking of fear of Barbie dolls, here is an excerpt from my WIP "Subversive Children's Games", in which I describe a jumbled box of discarded Barbie dolls. I hate those creepy little monsters.
Once dressed in fine velvets and shimmering satins, the dolls lay in a jumbled heap atop each other, naked and exposed, plastic corpses in a mass grave. Arms and legs jutted at odd angles. Chopped hair stuck out in clumps on several tiny heads. Magic Marker in purple and green stained the once golden tresses. Revulsion overwhelmed Julia, who turned her nose up at the disgusting creatures. She had always hated Barbie dolls. They didn't look quite human. She shivered, teeth chattering from the attic's chill and the uncanny sight of twig-thin arms and legs. One doll's cheek had a big, gaping hole in it, exposing the hollow interior. Julia swallowed her unease but it caught in her throat.
Everyone has heard of triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) and coulrophobia (fear of clowns). How about these phobias?
Speaking of coulrophobia, don't forget pupaphobia (fear of puppets). Gymnophobics experience anxiety from nudity, even if they realize their fear is irrational. Nomophobia: fear of being out of mobile phone contact. Ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Likewise, fear of dogs is cynophobia. Fear of your teeth falling out is ordontophobia. This one also covers fear of dentists. Fear of bridges or of crossing them is gephyrophobia. Fear of success is Achievemephobia, whilst fear of failure is called Atychiphobia. Fear of wasps is spheksophobia, and fear of bed bugs is called scabiophobia.
Poe would appreciate this one. It's tailor-made for the horror set: the fear of being buried alive or being in cemeteries is taphephobia or taphophobia.
Sex and Relationship phobias. I had to cover this one since I've written erotic horror.
* Caligynephobia is the fear of beautiful women.
* Erotophobia is the fear of sex.
* Fear of losing an erection is medomalacuphobia.
* Fear of an erect penis is medorthophobia.
* Fear of female genitalia is kolphphobia.
Then there are the really odd ones, like anatidaephobia (the fear that somewhere in the world, there is a duck watching you) and arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth).
Quite interestingly, there is also phobophobia - the fear of phobias.
So tell me… what are your phobias?
Here are the other participants from the Paranormal Novellas Blog Hop:
This is a Blog Hop!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
This is the new cover and new title of the upcoming release "Mirages", which was formerly entitled "A Splintered Mirage". The book comes out later this month. My short story "Shattering The Meat Tunnel" appears in this book.