Maritime Murder by Steve Vernon

I was just doing my research and I stumbled across this blog entry reviewing my historical true crime collection, MARITIME MURDER. I’m always happy to hear from satisfied readers, so I’ll repost that entry today.

Friends of Atticus

“It was the kind of morning that made a body feel as if there was no way in this world anything bad could ever happen—but Nova Scotia weather can often fool you.”IMG_2104

Ever since I first moved overseas not a year has gone by that, on Christmas or my birthday, my parents do not send me some token of home by way of a gift. Sometimes these gifts are of a purely Canadian flavor, like maple syrup cookies or Tim Horton’s products, but far more often they’re connected to my home province of Nova Scotia, and the Maritime Provinces (or “the Maritimes”, as we call it) in general: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. These have included local products, clothing, and perhaps most timelessly, books. I think the books are their way of helping me keep connected to my roots, and they very much do.

The longer you…

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Train to Busan (2016) – Just get on board and hang on tight!

Train to Busan
Okay, so it was a long old week and I decided to take my wife out for supper.
We started out by walking over to Fries & Company on Chebucto, right across from The European Pantry where I bought myself and my wife a wonderful supper of fish and chips. She had a Coors and I had a Rickard’s Red and she ordered a bowl of curry dipping sauce, which is GREAT on french fries.
Then we went across the street to the European Pantry where she picked up fancy cookies and I grabbed a couple of steak and mushroom pies for my breakfast this morning.
Then, after a leisurely walk home, we sat down to watch a movie. A freaking no-holds barred zombie movie – from Korea. It’s called TRAIN TO BUSAN and it is available on Netflix and it blew our minds.
I know that some folks don’t enjoy subtitles – but take my advice. Man up your sissy butt and wrap your head around reading subtitles – because this movie is worth the effort.
By the time you are fifteen minutes into this movie you are going to be hanging onto the arms of your easy chair. I am talking about white-knuckled death gripping tension. These zombies aren’t like any kind of zombies I have ever seen before.
In fact, the word “zombies” isn’t mentioned in the entire movie – but these are teeth-gnashing stress-inducing back-from-the-freaking-dead ZOMBIES!!!
Let’s start out the beginning. These characters evolve into living and breathing people that you truly care about. You are going to worry about the Dad and the little girl, and the husband of the pregnant woman. You are going to worry about the engineer and the two older women.
You’re not going to worry about the evil tycoon, though – mostly, because he sucks.
These zombies are like I’ve seen so far. They move fast, and they tend to twitch and shake like walking seizures. There is a little bit of velociraptor in them, in that they track movement. There is a little bit of chicken in them, in that darkness confuses the heck of them.
They are unique.
Listen, just take my word for it. This movie freaking rocks. Get yourself onto The TRAIN TO BUSAN and just try and hang on. Just make sure that you’ve got a good supply of TV snacks handy, and an industrial pair of adult diapers on – because you aren’t going to want to interrupt this movie, not even to pee!
Yours in Storytelling,
Steve Vernon

Quentin Tarantino’s THE HATEFUL EIGHT – or what the horse left behind…

My wife and I sat through THE HATEFUL EIGHT this weekend on Netflix.
Let me start out by being totally diplomatic.
What a pile of steaming shit.
Whoever told Quentin Tarantino that it would be a good idea to cross an Agatha Christie cosy with a spaghetti western set-up ought to be shot to death with a cannon-load of poisonous Goldfish crackers.
I know that someone is going to pipe up and tell me how I missed the point of his brilliant juxtaposition of two completely disparate genre. I know that somebody else will mention the gorgeous cinematography and the impressive Morricone score, but I still call it the way that I smelled it. I stuck right through to the end, hoping that he would remember that this was supposed to be SOME kind of a western and it just came on rattling on and on with the endless blathering needless and pointless exposition that I could pretend was ironic through the first twenty minutes or so and then as the characters continued with a nonstop yadda-yadda-yadda I began to look around for that cannon-load of Goldfish to blast out my brains with.
I guess, in my totally diplomatic opinion, Quentin Tarantino hired some poor fellow with a beat-up snow shovel to run behind that team of stagecoach horses, shoveling up what the horses left behind and dumping it into his bloated, mind-numbing excuse for a script.
Mind you, Samuel L. Jackson did a heck of job with the dialogue and I even phoned him up and told him so and he said me the meme that you see proudly displayed below this paragraph.
Samuel L. Jackson
Now pass me those Goldfish, would you?
Yours in Storytelling,
Steve Vernon

#GuestBlogger – River Boners – Checking for Typos!

I’m working my way through a rewrite right now, pushing into a book draft that my editor passed back to me. I don’t carry how many times a writer reads their own work – there is ALWAYS a typo that slips by!

Here’s author MARY DEAL’s take on the find art of blooper detection.


River Boners- The need to check for typos.

I sent a query letter for one of my short stories to a magazine. Of course, I included the names of my novels in my brief Bio. The New York editor actually called all the way to Hawaii (where I lived at the time) and thanked me for the best typo she’d ever seen!

A couple years ago, I began taking nutritional supplements that have done wonders for my health. Even my fingernails, which normally never grew but flaked instead, now extend a quarter inch past my fingertips. It’s a great sign that the nutritionals help in many ways.

However, my long fingernails now interfere with being able to use the keyboard at warp speed. I press a key with the fingertip, or the side of my fingertip, but the nail depresses the key next to it. As a result, I had…

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The Mighty Thor 360-362 – The Death of the Executioner

Something for those folks who wondered why that bearded dude was using those assault rifles in THOR: RAGNAROK!

Awesome comic book storytelling!

Comics My Mom Should Read


This story is from Walt Simonson’s legendary run on Thor and since I’ve talked about Walt before I’m going to just go into the story because that art is great as always.  So for me, this is about the perfect comic book story.  Now I’m trying to compare it to say a book like Maus, but that’s because Maus is in a whole different category and if you haven’t read it you really should.  This story is so good because it does what a good super hero book should, it’s a mini-epic that hits notes that are as old as storytelling and for a good reason!

For a little background to set the stage this is a good way into Simonson’s run. Odin seems to have died stopping the destruction of Asgard, Thor has been dealing with plots from Asgard on earth and the latest one has let Hela steal…

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ACX Storytellers: Joe Hempel

Audiobook Creation Exchange Blog (ACX)

Joe Hempel StatsAudible Approved Producer Joe Hempel took up audiobook narration and production on a dare. Over the next few years, he invested his full focus into learning his craft, and made audiobook production his full time career in 2017. 176 audiobooks and 6 ABR Listener’s Choice nominations later, Joe joins us to share the highs and lows of his journey and the value of leaning on his fellow creatives in times of need.

Q: How did you become an ACX Producer?

A: I became a narrator/producer in an odd way. Back in 2014, I was starting to gain some traction as a book reviewer, writing for sites like Horror Novel Reviews. I reviewed an audiobook, and while I took pains to avoid being overly harsh, I did give it a poor review. I was later contacted by the narrator and told “If you think you can do so much better,

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How I brought a dead book to life

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Originally posted on Trisha McNary's newbie book marketing experiences:
What worked and what didn’t work—all the tried, untried, and bizarre marketing tactics I’m using to get my books Alien Pets and hypnoSnatch from zero sales to some sales. 3/31/2018…