Thursday, April 29, 2010

Author Blog Tour: A SC-Fi Noir Thriller: Human Trial

Timothy Stelly’s HUMAN TRIAL (2009, All Things That Matter Press) and HUMAN TRIAL II: ADAM’S WAR (2010, All Things That Matter Press), present the tale of a ragtag group of survivors of an alien-launched thermal war that has destroyed nearly all human amd animal life on the planet. HUMAN TRIAL raised the question, What happens when all that remains of the world is fear, distrust and desperation? HT II follows the group on a cross-country trek that results in a final, frenzied battle against the extra-terrestrial invaders.

Reviews for part one of Timothy Stelly’s sci-fi noir thriller, Human Trial, have been positive. Readers and critics from the U.S. and Canada have praised the book for its grittiness and frightening tenor.

“…Superb. It's as if I'm one of the 10 going through the same trials they are. I can hardly wait to read the next installment.”—T.C. Matthews, author of What A Web We Weave

“The book scares me because of the possibility of this happening in our future and how we will handle it. Scary. Deeply thought out…Timothy definitely has his own voice and it is powerful.” —Minnie Miller, author of The Seduction of Mr. Bradley

“Human Trial was a well written, well thought out book with plenty of biting, satirical social, religious and racial commentary interspersed within the dialogue. The drama, and the pathos, were nonstop, and I never knew what to expect next.” –Brooklyn Darkchild, author of This Ain’t No Hearts and Flowers Love Story, Pt. I & II

“[This] story has been haunting me-reminds me of Octavia Butler's 'Parable of the Sower’…Stelly's work haunts me two years after I read it.”

--Evelyn Palfrey, author of Dangerous Dilemma and The Price Of Passion

“4 out of 5 stars. I felt the echoes of other notable science fiction novels, including "Parable of the Sower" by Octavia Butler, "Lucifer's Hammer" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and "Manhattan Transfer" by John E. Stith. Timothy Stelly creates a believable milieu of small-town America being turned upside down by forces beyond comprehension, and puts the reader right in the middle of the action.—Claxton Graham, review

“Human Trial is at once a sci-fi story, a look at the psychology of survival, and a timely cautionary tale regarding current environmental woes; our individual and collective responsibility to one another and to the planet…It is an entertaining and intricate story that can be read and enjoyed along with the likes of Mitchener, King, or Peter Straub. Stelly intuitively knows what everyday people will do to survive and how their interactions with each other will sound.”—Brian Barbeito, Columnist and author of Fluoride And The Electric Light Queen

“Gritty and intense, Human Trial will leave you stupefied and terrified, neither of which will protect your gut from wrenching. The message finally revealed is not only horrifying, but real, as is the omen foretold. Turning tables and unbalanced scales foster confusion and terror in an epic far greater than its words.” - Brian L. Doe, Author, The Grace Note, Barley & Gold; Co-Author, Waking God Trilogy

“Oh the suspense, the drama, the intensity, the love I’m having for this story…trust indeed that my adrenaline cannot go any higher. This will be a series finale you don’t want to miss.” – Walee, author of Confession Is Good For The Soul and What’s On The Menu? All Of Mw!


Timothy N. Stelly is a poet, essayist, novelist and screenwriter from northern California. He describes his writing as “socially conscious,” and his novel, HUMAN TRIAL, is the first part of a sci-fi trilogy and is available from, and in e-book format at Reviews of HUMAN TRIAL can be read at

HUMAN TRIAL II: ADAM’S WAR (All Things That Matter Press) is scheduled for release in MAY, 2010. Stelly also has a short story included in the AIDS-themed anthology, THE SHATTERED GLASS EFFECT (2009) . His story SNAKES IN THE GRASS, Is a tale of love, betrayal and its sometimes deadly consequences.

In 2003, Stelly won First Prize in the Pout-erotica poetry contest for his erotic piece, C’mon Condi.

Contact Info:

Both books available at, and

Visit me at: or

Human Trial is still available from and Paperback

$18.99, e-book (kindle) format, $10.99.

Read the Brian Barbeito review of HUMAN TRIAL at: Read more online reviews at and

"Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol." -- Steve Martin


Thursday, April 22, 2010

author Blog Tour: They Plotted Revenge Against America by Abe F. March

An American attack on Baghdad leaves heartbroken and angry survivors. Two families, one Muslim and one Christian, are wiped out; their young adult progeny are determined to avenge the loss of their loved ones. David Levy, an Israeli Secret Service Agent with a grudge of his own, knows just how to tap into the vulnerabilities that grief leaves, and organizes the training of select individuals whose desire for vengeance is strong enough to consider a deadly covert mission in America. Trainees will learn to blend in, disappear in the multicultural mix of the US and then infest the food and water supply with a deadly flu virus capable of mutating and infecting the human population. The antidote - if it works - will only be revealed under strict demands. Some team members come to realize that they could ultimately be responsible for millions of innocent deaths. Their actions could break the stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians - or bring on unparalleled tragedy.

(Excerpt – page 148)

…Now she expected to endure the same fate at the hands of the security police, as she would have expected in Russia. She bit her lip. Her face took on a determined look. No, she would not give them what they want and they would not break her. Without her knowing it, someone had been sitting in the room observing her. She was startled when the person said,

“How did you come to know David Levy?”

“Who’s to say I know David Levy?”

“Are you denying it?”

“I simply want to know who is saying that I know him. And why was I abducted?”

“I’m asking the questions. You will answer them.”

“I am not required to answer any of your questions. You have kidnapped me and brought me here by force. And why must I remain blindfolded. Are you afraid to show your face?”

“I ask you again, how do you know David Levy?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“You impertinent sow.” He slapped her across the face. Her head snapped back like whiplash. The stinging of the slap was nothing compared to the fury she felt. If only I could get my hands on that person ,he would never slap me again, she thought…

Review by Malcolm R. Campbell for PODBRAM

”Terrorism frightens people because it operates outside the traditional rules of war. It's hard to combat because the attacks are no longer limited to people wearing military uniforms at well-formed battle lines: they can happen anywhere, at any time, and they may well target people who don't have any direct knowledge of the peoples and issues involved. Part of the terror is the pervasive feeling that nobody’s safe.
This is the arena of chilling novel They Plotted Revenge Against America. The novel is chilling, not because it's filled with “just more violence” in the Middle East, but because the story occurs on American soil as survivors of the American attack on Baghdad blend in to mainstream society to personally extract revenge against everyday citizens.
They Plotted Revenge Against America is a plausible, sobering, intricate and effectively plotted story about a group of well-trained, well-coordinated teams who slip into the U.S. with forged papers and then painstakingly work through a plan that will infect food and water supplies with a deadly virus.
These team members are not the gun-wielding, grenade-throwing stereotypical terrorists we see in most TV shows and movies. They are everyday people who have suffered personal loss and who want to fight back. Once their mission is complete, they plan, if possible, to go back to their normal lives. As the mission unfolds, they alternate between excitement and doubt while trying to avoid detection, and in the process, they discover while blending into community life, that Americans are not the monsters they expected.
March’s story tends to humanize both the terrorists and their victims, showing Americans as largely unconcerned and ill-informed about the agendas and issues involved in the long-time conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors. On the other hand, the terrorists see themselves not as criminals but as soldiers responding to what they view as acts of war taken against their communities.
Since the overall mission leader is a double agent working for Israel's Mossad, group members must not only avoid Homeland Security and other U.S. law enforcement agencies, but the highly effective Israeli intelligence agency as well. This subplot is a nice touch in a book that suggests we're more vulnerable than we suspect.,.”

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Spice Guild Navigators of Dune & Folding Space

When the main character, Sean, took over my novel in progress, Fireworks: Interference Equation, and created a chapter I had not intended, I discovered how novelists are like the Spice Guild Navigators of Dune. 
We fold Space, thereby altering time. Perhaps the spice Melange could be compared to our need for story and metaphor, our addiciton to playing with words.
However, it was only after I stood back two days later and examined the runaway Chapter 30, that I realized Sean, a splinter of my imagination, folded space.
I traced four real life events which happened over a span of 15 years juxtaposed and compressed into this brief scene lasting only 692 words. In fact, through Sean, I had folded both space and time and they combined experiences emerged in the scenes like the vivid three-dimensional scene which pops upp in a pop-up book.  These experienced had been pulled from their original places within a flattened plane of linear time to create a more well-rounded and complex scenario.

In my view, our characters are splintered off Jungian archetypes, who have something to teach us or to release. As an unpredictable quantum physicist, Sean has more leeway to act out things I'd never persoanlly dare or consider.
And when a book is rattling along at a speed we can no longer harness, only hold on and steer the best we can, a character can disrupt a timeline, leave other characters sitting in the dark, because of what needs to be brought to light to create a more complex and well-rounded story.  
And while, this act of Sean writing the chapter is totally screwing with my head, and I’ll have to restructure a confrontation which took months and chapters to put into place, it's proven to me how powerful and strangely logical the suboncscious can be.
The runaway chapter took me no time to write. It's filled with the metaphors I often struggle to pull from the ether. 
And the fact that the chapter drew upon, four different real life events which took place over a span of fiftteen or more years still amazes me. 
The first was a mempory of driving by a cemetery in a freak snowstorm around Valentine's Day, a second even in 2004 or 2005 when I had a rather heated discussion with Wil Martin, lead singer of the band, Earshot. We were discussing if we gain the same satisfaction from what we create whether we have an audience or not. The third the was another freak winter storm we had this past February and the fourth, related to stumbling on the video, Misunderstood, on You Tube by accident.
Of all the experiences over the course of my life, this chapter wanted to "enfold" those four events to tell the story and to reveal more about the character.  Odd.
John Fowles, author of The Magus, The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Collector, in his March 16, 1975 journal entry, addresses the way novelists have an inadequacy in time perception. He thinks fiction writers look at past and future events in the present tense, and often turn to metaphor and hypothesis to view both time and events.
"I think the only way to historianize the personal past is through fiction: that is, by treating one's past self as a fictional situation as a hypothesis,"  he wrote. "Others like myself (all novelists, probably) see their pasts in highly metaphorical terms.  They are primary ore, counters in the game, mere raw commodities before processing and refinement and manufacture."
 So now as Fireworks, Interference Equation stands at 30 chapters and 57,000 words, I feel as if I'm digging into my own personal past to "mine" some of the philosphical, psychological and even spiritual issues buried there. Things I don't know or won't admit on a conscius level.
By letting Sean take the lead, I negate the censor, the editor in my brain who would stop me from airing controversial issues or concepts which would make me look  like a bad person, or someone out of control, someone I might not even like.
But by airing these asepcts in my fiction, I not only tell a more complex story complete with human fraility and faults, but also bring things to light various aspects of my psyche so I can look at them without fear or judgement in a more objective rather than subjective manner. 
I still believe that writing a novel is the best therapy a person can undergo.  Once the story gathers momentum, we can barely slow it down from going further and further into the far reaches of our psyche to draw up new material.  Granted by the time it reaches the page it's so altered: by metaphor, by fitting the events into our story, by many factors that it make it unrecognizable from the actual event.
But still, we as novelests do something only theorized in quantum physics such as wormholes... or only managed by beings such as the Spice Guild Navigators... a remakable feat which constantly surprises me - and that perhaps isa  the spice, Melange, I'm addicted to.

The Fevre and Ice

I just recieved my copies of Storms from the Edge, a small poetry chapbook of mine published by Virgogray Press. Michael Casares editor/publisher did a beautiful job making this book and wrote a synopsis which humbles me.
Virgogray announces the release of its newest collection, “Storms at the Edge” by Gail Gray. Gail Gray is the founder of Shadow Archer Press, editor of Fissure Magazine and author of several chapbook collections, and a novel, Shaman Circus. The poetry of Gail Gray can best be described as contemporary cauterized with a mystic edge that lucidly delves into realms of myth and fantasy though anchored to realities through the severe connections, emotions and understandings of a world that mystifies the poet sensitive to the true nature of things. “Storms at the Edge” is a testament to this quality. Bound is a gripping poem layered in spiritual/occult themes and a higher understanding of the elusive meaning behind things. With gracious determination, it readies the reader for subsequent poems in the collection. Vulnerable, the second poem, literally peels away the intensity that Bound created, but elegantly so with a gravity all its own. ”Storms at the Edge” continues with a sense of longing and a frustration for something (or sometime) higher and purer. There is also a sense of delicacy to this book, as in Foreshadow, with phrases like “delighting in the playground of vulnerability” and “Fragile as sea glass.” Drowning at 3:30 AM was one of my favorites. It is fraught with interesting imagery both whimsical and dark. “Wind dismantles / copper tube chimes / a meticulous / manicure of my psyche ‘ as the shadows spooked to the / other side.” This bipolar lapse of tone and context “play cacophony games / with my past-nightmare / pauses” to a stirring conclusion. Gail Gray’s poems are almost mythic in some instances with themes that recall other times beneath society’s veneer. With “Storms at the Edge,” Gail Gray comes a step closer to perfecting that voice.
What was even nicer is that Michael also sent me a copy of his newest poetry chap Dusking.
Michael and I have worked together off and on for a few years and he's a highly respected publisher, poet, radio host and artist form Austin, Texas.  I also published his chapbook,  The Winter King under my small press, Shadow Archer Press. The Winter King was the first epic fantasy poem I published and it's a complex vivid visual mind ride with many many layers, addressing issues of isolation, loss, despair and hope. Steve viner of th UK did an amazing job with the cover art.
This is a brief synopsis I wrote about The Winter King:
The Winter King delineates all the stark grandeur of Norse sagas, with its visually stunning landscapes and images of high fantasy. The underlying themes, layers upon layers, reminiscent of Shelley or Byron, are carried along in this fluid tale peopled with surreal characters, rich with high symbolism. Readers are swept up as tears turn into beads, leading us alongside our hero. Casares reaches far and wide in this circle of references and symbols creating a beautiful yet frightening mosaic of ice and mirrors.
One of the greatest aspects of working  in this business is the amazingly talented prople you meet from all over the world.  When I received Michael's manuscript from The Winter King, I fell in love with the story, as well as the poetry and imagry. We share some of the same philosophical and spiritual ideas but have such different ways of expressing them
In Dusking, Michael approaches some of the same concepts but from a more cerebral aspect.  In many of the poems, Michael looks to cosmokogy, especially the sun, to explore the paths taken in relationships. Once again his imagery is vivid and bold, but in Dusking, we are confronted with aspects of light and heat, stars and sun, both in the heavens and in relationships, as opposed to the cold, trauma and loss we deal with in The Winter King.  I love it when a writer examines the same subjects from various angles - like holding up a crystal and exploring all the various facets to try and figure out the deeper meanings.  In addition Dusking offers a glimpse of Michaels artwork in the miontage, Full of Laughter.
 It was such a wonderful gift to find this gemstone of a chapbook in among mine.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Author Blog Tour: Lily's Odyssey by Carol Smallwood

Lily's Odyssey

by Carol Smallwood
ISBN-13: 978-0984098453
All Things That Matter Press

Lily's Odyssey unfolds in three parts with the inevitability, impact, and resolution of a Greek play. The dialogue rings true, the concrete conveyed along with moods and half-tones to paint Midwestern middle class flawed characters with poignancy. The psychological detective novel explores the once largely unacknowledged: it is not only soldiers who get post-traumantic stress disorder and child abuse whether it is overt or covert incest is a time bomb. From daughter to grandmother, Lily's voyage is told with lyricism, humor, and irony using a poet's voice to distill contemporary American women's changing role in religion, marriage, and family.
Carol Smallwood has appeared in English Journal, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Writer's Chronicle, The Detroit News. Short listed for the Eric Hoffer Award for Best New Writing in 2009, a National Federation of State Poetry Societies Award Winner, she's included in Who's Who in America, and Contemporary Authors. Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook, is one of her recent American Library Association books. Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages, co-edited, is her 22nd book.

From the Preface:
Weight of Silence, and Nicolet's Daughter were considered as novel titles but it remained Lily's Odyssey. Odysseus, the epic hero from Greek mythology in The Odyssey, helped by the gods with his band of men, maneuvers the Scylla and Charybdis passage as one of his many adventures in ancient times. Lily, from the Midwest, named by a gardener mother she doesn't remember, struggles with a subconscious she fears will destroy her. Her narrow passage is between reality and disassociation, her time the latter 20th and early 21st Centuries. Her odyssey without help from the gods, reflects a passage through linear labyrinths women interpret as round. Lily's fragmentation is echoed in the writing style.

That evening after we saw Dr. Schackmann, Cal said, "You must realize that building my practice takes all my energy, and accept that as reality." He was mixing his martini before dinner on the glass-topped mahogany sideboard. As he spoke, I studied the sideboard's inlaid rosewood and ebony squares, again thinking he was a good surgeon, widely respected, and it must have been my fault that I wasn't a good wife.
I got a coaster and placed it on the sideboard. He frowned and turned it so the pheasant on the coaster squarely faced him. "You don't even know why you're so dissatisfied," he said, and laughed. "How can you not even know that?"
At the luncheon, I made as many trips as I dared to the restroom without causing people to wonder if something was wrong with me. Inside the unheated cement block room, my long deep breaths came out like smoke signals when I opened and shut my mouth to relieve my clenched jaw, shake my head in disbelief. Each time I went in, I saw cracks in the ceiling that I hadn't seen before. Some natural light came through a small casement window dotted with snow, and I recalled making dots of snow on windows into fairy tale pictures when a child.
When people had complained about the cold rest rooms to Father Couillard, who was the priest before Father Mulcahy, he'd say, "Enjoy the cold while you can, my friends. Where many of you are headed, it will be plenty hot."

Smallwood is a watcher. Her eyes are unblinking. And her ears can detect the mercurial ticks of a heart. As a storyteller, she's as sure as any Preakness jockey. She knows when words need to clip-clop up to the gate, when to bide, and when to unfetter them, to let the truth loose. Truth thunders in Lily's Odyssey.

-Katie McKy, author of Pumpkin Town, Houghton Mifflin, and Wolf Camp, Tanglewood Press.

Smallwood is an incredibly gifted author with a broad range of experience. She demonstrates commitment to conscience in her work through Michigan Feminist Studies, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and Best New Writing 2009.

-Sandra Potter, CEO & Founder, Dreamcatchers for Abused Children,; co-author, Unnecessary Roughness: Till Death Do Us Part; The Child Abuse Survivor Project.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chemistry & the Psychology of Love Scenes in Your Novel

Many writers express difficulty when writing a love scene. How do we manage to write a realistic scene without sounding like a Hallmark card and boring our readers? How do we maintain tension yet show the love between our characters?
First of all, during the action of your love scene - from the first gaze into each other’s eyes to the final consummation - what matters most is the WHY. Why are these two people (characters) attracted to each other? What motivates them to take the risk and be vulnerable enough to open up to intimacy and ultimately fall in love?
During the dating period people will be drawn to each other by the pleasure principal. What gives your character pleasure? Do the enjoy quietly reading a book or the thrill of bunjee jumping? What do they enjoy doing in their spare time? What do they pursue as passions? Even in the midst of the tortures you put your characters through, they may miss their normal life. They’d love to return to the easy days when they had time to paint a picture, garden or go to a car race.
Couples may get together because of their common interests, but more often the deep connection comes when a potential partner has something to teach them. They may not be aware of this, according to psychologists, who explain much of our attraction, that intangible called “chemistry,” is subconscious.
So love scenes are a good place to go into your characters' heads – even in the midst of the action, don’t worry, it won’t slow your scene down - as they try to figure out WHY. At first they’ll base it on surface things: common interests, a smile, physical appearance, a sense of humor. But as time goes on, they discover how their “perfect” partner is someone who unsettles their life, as opposed to making it easier. Psychologists, like Carl Jung, believe our choice in partners is often not to make life easy and happy – but as a catalyst for the necessary change. The relationship can enable both people need to develop into the fully authentic people they’re meant to be.
Not an easy road but one which makes for good reading.
Chemistry is unexplainable simply because the majority of the reasons people fall in love is buried deep beneath the surface of their psyches. So as you write your love scenes pay attention to the small details – the particulars, not just physical descriptions, but those subconscious clues which lead to chemistry.
One psychological study found that women unknowingly fall for men on a subconscious level on the timber of their voice. They may have thought it was the man's distinctive eyes, shoulders, hair, hands, or even bank account - when all along it was their voice. When you think of it, women are listeners and communicators, so the voice is a natural for them to pay attention to. The timber of their lover’s voice reminds them of someone they loved in the past:  father, grandfather, uncle, teacher, family friend.
While men are drawn more to the visual and physical appearance in addition to smell. Remember the whole musk research?
Jung believed peak chemistry occurs when the partner ignites a buried side of our personality. The sides we neglected because they didn’t work with the way we learned live in society. - the side we pushed away when we put on our social mask. These partners inspire or taunt us to remove the mask and become the fully authentic individual we are meant to be.
So what do you think are the subconscious triggers which motivate your characters to fall in love?  Do they figure out such triggers in the course of your novel or are they left in the dark about why they are "smitten" with either the right or the seemingly wrong person?  How do these triggers create tension in your love scenes?
Next blog post: I’ll discuss creating tension and the power of your character's sense orientation in love scenes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guest author blog tour with Nick Sansone and Shooting Angels

After we flashed our shorts on the author's blog tour a couple of weeks ago, where can we go from there?  How about Shooting Angels? This week we showcase the new novel Shooting Angels, an abusrdist Sci Fi  romp by Nicolas Sansone.

A NASA Space Shuttle plummets to Earth. A team of eight rescue workers plunges into a treacherous Texan wilderness to recover the wreckage, and become entwined in a cosmic conspiracy. An uncouth disembodied head enslaves an elderly rancher and uses his cellar as the war room of its campaign against God, a noir-style slickster with a buxom blonde wife and a taste for margaritas, who rockets down from the suburbs of Heaven on a comet to do battle with metaphysical evils. Shooting Angels races from the jungles of Texas, to the dark corners of undiscovered space, to the innermost reaches of the human mind, to the smoggy streets of Central Heaven, where people are free to give in to their most detestable urges. The novel asks its characters to confront their ordering theories of the universe, and raises questions of how we are to envision divinity in a technological age.

Review from amazon user S. Lemme: "Shooting Angels" is an immensely creative and eminently page-turning first novel from Nicolas Sansone. Sansone's imagination delivers a world in which the outrageous is entirely believable, the everyday and mundane are eerily unnerving, and God (as well as Mrs. God) is a truly relatable being. This fast-paced and quick read allows readers to readily consider the "big" questions of faith and reality with good measures of humor, compassion and irreverence. Sansone's tight depiction of his large cast of characters, who range from the ordinary to the downright bizarre, contributes to his characters' accessibility and believability (in the face of the extraordinary). After this read, I can only look forward to what will come next from Sansone's rich imagination. Though his characters and their predicaments may be out-of-this-world, to quote the novel, "They are born of the imagination, but so is everything real."


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Friday, April 2, 2010

Shaman in Exile on location III

I'm picking back up on my location series regarding where I lived and the locations I used while writing my Shaman novels.
Now we continue with the locations of Shaman in Exile (in progress). Starting May of 2006, I wrote the first part of Shaman in Exile in New England, where I had to move for six months to handle the details following my mother's death.  I lived in a 400 sq. foot 1940's cottage in Hampton Village, New Hampshire, a small seasonal coastal town which is nearly deserted  from the first weekend in October until Memorial Day weekend.
For those 6 months I lived without hot water, a stove and had only a college fridge.  I used a hot plate to cook but did have internet via a highly expensive chip (necessary for the legal work).  I did learned to cook full meals on two electric eyes but also ate out at favorite local eateries.  Le Bec Rouge, where I also saw live bands downstairs, Lupo's, right up the street on Ocean Blvd. with a view of the Atlantic Ocean and a TV so I could catch up on the news, and Ronaldo's an Italian place with a North end of Boston chef, and Ouda's, a small gunshot bldg. which tipped over by the ravegas it suffered during the winter.  It's right on the bay and is frequented mostly by fishermen and lobstermen. Ouda is a fiesty and often irreverant German owner/cook who threatens to handcuff you to the girll if you don't clean your plate. The portions are massive and cheap. 
Each of these places are featured in Shaman in Exile.      
For the second part of Shaman in Exile, I lived in my art studio in the Pendleton Street Arts District in Greenville, SC after my return to South Carolina. Pipes had burst in my house, taking out kitchen and bathroom floor and parts of the foundation. So I had to move out while reconstruction went on for another 8 months.  I decided to live in my studios - cheaper than an apartment, no utility bills or security deposits.  Plus I worked a whole lot more with fewer distractions.
This Pednleton link has a lot of photos of the various art studios, including the Village Studios where I lived in the two room studio/bathroom from Oct. 2006 to May 2007, while my house was under reconstruction after water pipe leaks destroyed the kitchen, the bathroom and part of the foundation, while I lived in Hampton. The studio is featured in both Shaman books. 
 This is what my studio looked like while I lived in the two rooms over Christmas (my studio and a bathroom anotyher area about 400 sq. feet.).  There was an area downstairs with microwave and a shower that all the artists could use.
The two nude women are paintings of my characters.  The one on the easel is Shya, who appears in two of my gothic urban fantasy short stories set in New Orleans and the one on the right on the wall is of Mavis, the artist who survived Katrina in New Olreans in Shaman Circus.

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