Ponderings

Author’s Thoughts: Promises, promises (Horror & Gun Control)

I’m listening to the audio book of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson currently. It’s a great story and I plan to pick up the novel at the library soon. I got a little lost in the house while the doctor was describing how everything was built during his tour. (He did this so the group could avoid getting lost, ironically, and learn each floor’s layout.) Hill House was built in concentric circles with the inner rooms having no windows or doors. Furthermore, everything was built slightly angled, about 15 degrees off–on purpose. The mansion was intended to catch you off guard, it seems, to perhaps idly trap you inside its interiors. It disoriented your senses, disturbed your balance.

I tilted my head at the windows and then at the stairwell, trying to catch just how everything was tilted. I couldn’t quite grasp it and I thought it was silly and dubious to waste a contractor’s time with such frivolity. A set of doors had closed earlier in the dining room and we were seeing if footsteps on the angled floors caused the doors to shut on their own. I sense these details are themes that will come back around in the closing pages. Ms. Jackson is a sharp writer and she’s leaving her bread crumbs in the pages, beguiling. I scurry along, following the group as we leave doors open behind us, turning our heads to check them before crossing into an adjoining hallway. One particularly heavy door has a stool put before it to make sure it stayed open. We’ll see if they’re closed or open when we return.

Horror is fine, it seems, if we can control it or try to make sense of it. When Halloween comes and goes, the decorations and ghost stories seem comical afterwards, don’t they? Horror movies can be paused; masks taken off and put into storage, easily forgotten about until next year. But what about real horror? What about people getting shot in a bar, running around defenseless in smoke curtains created by a stalking predator? What about Jews worshiping in their synagogue and being slaughtered?  What about children and teenagers, coming to class and not leaving alive?

Our country averts its eyes back towards the rotting Jack-O-Lanterns. They stare back, gaping at our stupidity.

Continue reading “Author’s Thoughts: Promises, promises (Horror & Gun Control)”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins, Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Book Publication Announcement: “Memory Bound” (Horror)

Exciting news! Memory Bound is now officially available in e-book and in print! It’s also available in Kindle Unlimited if you have a subscription to that service.

This is my first, real book publication. I hope you enjoy a good horror read filled with layers of provoking thoughts, what if’s and dark corners. Oh, and of course, a dog. If you follow along with my writing, you’ll see dogs are a reoccurring theme.

If you like the cover art, please check out the below links to look into getting your own cover art done. The artist I worked with was Donna Dean. Her and her fellow artists created the following websites to display their work. Please be sure to check them out.

My primary editor was Ms. Starr Waddell of Quiethouse Editing. She was fantastic to work with, I highly recommend her. Please check her out as well.

More updates and blogs soon to come! Thank you everyone.

Brief Humor & Check-Ins, Novel Snippets

Author Interviews Herself on New Book: Memory Bound (Humor)

Interviewer: “Good afternoon, Arcians! We are excited to have with us today, up and coming indie author A.R. Clayton. Peregrine Arc is her platform and Memory Bound is her first pending publication. Welcome!”

Author: “Thank you. I don’t know what an Arcian is but thank you for having me.”

Interviewer: “It’s something I came up with backstage. Your followers need a name, right?”

Author: “Do they?”

Interviewer: “…Yes. Yes they do. Moving on. First question from our fans. What inspired you to be a writer?”

Author: “I’m still stuck on the Arcian thing. Followers should already have names, unless the hospital forgot to write them in on their birth certificate. Or their parents couldn’t make up their minds. Or maybe they were switched at birth, and their actual name is something horrible, like Swinebottom. Imagine finding that out when you’re twenty. That would be dreadful…”

Continue reading “Author Interviews Herself on New Book: Memory Bound (Humor)”

Novel Snippets

Book Update: Cover Reveal & Title

Above, you can see the cover of my upcoming book–Memory Bound. I finally feel comfortable releasing the cover for view as I (really, truly) believe publishing is very close at hand. A second editor is going through my narrative currently as a “last proof” edit and is also formatting my book for ebook and hard copy print. It’s definitely been a long journey but I’ve learned a lot.

The editor is hoping to get the book back to me before Halloween, but I’m not establishing a firm publication date at this point in time. Every time I’ve set a deadline, another step has popped up I need to complete. It’s become comical really, and is to be expected (I think) with one’s first book.

Or so I tell myself. With hands shaking and eyes twitching. Pass the wine, would you?

Continue reading “Book Update: Cover Reveal & Title”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Novel Snippet: A Paragraph Reveal & Other Exciting Updates

Thank you for fifty subscribers! As a warm thank you to everyone, I’ve included a small paragraph snippet of my upcoming novel–M.B. I will be doing both a title reveal and a cover art reveal in the near future. My goal is to finish the edits this week, before Labor Day vacation ensues here in America. Please light a candle for me.

Some other quick updates. I will soon be launching my YouTube Channel–Peregrine Arc. I am putting together my writing office which will also serve as my recording studio area. I’m gathering up artwork that will be shown on the back wall of my filming area that’ll help create my writing nest and also add visual appeal. The Saint is helping me design this and put this together.

This week I’m also meeting with a business adviser to put together my own LLC and help with the business side of administering Peregrine Arc–my official writing platform and also the name of this website. I took a business class last weekend to get primed for this counseling session. Ready, set–let’s go.

Thank you to everyone who’s joined Peregrine Arc along the way and has been patient as I finished M.B. It’s been quite a learning process getting the foundation of indie writing down but I’m getting there. The blog is growing at a steady pace and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading another person’s thoughts.

And without further ado, here is a selected paragraph from the prologue for your reading pleasure. Please remember to like and subscribe if you’d like to continue on this merry ride with me. Happy writing!

-A.R. Clayton

Continue reading “Novel Snippet: A Paragraph Reveal & Other Exciting Updates”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Author Talks with her Protagonist: Persistence & Humor

I’m having a hard time wrapping up my final edits on my horror novel, M.B. Finishing a book, I’m finding, is like letting go of a friend. Anne is the name of my protagonist and she’s modeled a bit after me (but not entirely). We’re both intelligent women, both love old houses and each of us have our quirks. And our stubbornness.

I’ve been visiting Anne at her house, dragging my feet around her hallways while she pecks away at her laptop busily. Anne works as a freelance programmer inbetween renovating her house in her semi-retirement. I tend to mope and throw myself across her couch, counters, floors and rugs. I hide behind her long curtains and look out onto her front yard and the tree I placed at the edge, just outside the front row of bushes. Anne ignores my antics politely and reminds me to wipe up my smudge marks I leave on her windows.

Anne’s blunt and direct, like me, but slightly more patient. One of our latest conversations went a bit like this…

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Contest Entries

Flash Fiction Aug. 9th: “Peering Through” (horror)

Here’s my horror take on this week’s Carrot Ranch’s flash fiction. Thanks for reading.

Continue reading “Flash Fiction Aug. 9th: “Peering Through” (horror)”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Book Update & Thoughts on Bugs Bunny

On this side of the screen, I received my manuscript for M.B. back from my editor. I’m going through it slowly, combing through the suggestions. I’m plastering over plot holes, sanding down sentences, squirting oil into squeaky words and listening to see when the engine hums. M.B. is a horror novel with a sprinkle of mystery. It’s partially a reflection on the world and how vulnerable people tend to be treated (not too great).  M.B. has lots of layers of meaning, some tucked behind dark places. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

I’m aiming for an early to mid Fall publication date. It will start as an ebook and then will become available in print later. More on M.B. to come as publication approaches. Continue reading “Book Update & Thoughts on Bugs Bunny”

Ponderings

Thoughts on Auschwitz & The Appearance of Evil

Some of my personal interests are crime, psychology and history. These areas of study often intersect as humans tend to kill one another, often times over differences they can’t or won’t remedy. The Holocaust is a prime example of this trifecta intersection. From 1933-1945 roughly, the Holocaust was carried out by Adolf Hitler and his Nazis with great detail and intentionality. The Germans were very well organized and kept paperwork and records on everything they did, including in each death camp.

I started learning about the Holocaust around 8th grade, or around 13 years of age. Even now, when I see pictures and footage of Auschwitz, I feel confused. Surely, this wide brick gateway with the glass lookout tower wasn’t so bad, was it? It looks like an airport tower, or even an entrance to a theme park. Everything appears so orderly and ordinary, if a little old and European looking. I expect Hell on earth–flames shooting out of the gate, the Devil walking around on the railroad tracks, bloodstains on the fences, anything really.

How could evil look like so ordinary, so efficient? Where were the flashing lights, the warning signals or other clues? No. There was just brick, mortar, glass and railroad ties at the entrance. And something else I learned recently—Auschwitz is massive. The immensity of the death camp be seen in the BBC drone footage here.

The evil was in the ordinary.

auschwitz2

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Thoughts & Reviews

A Partial Movie Review & Thoughts on the Horror Genre: “The Quiet Place”

My spouse bought the tickets, got us free glasses of ice water and I scurried off to use the restroom. I sat down in the dark theatre, baffled by the motley collection of previews that ranged from the dramatic yet playful “Avengers” series to an odd, demonic horror movie of  uncomfortable supernatural darkness. I was reminded how even though I write horror, most horror I’ve come across I dislike and avoid. More on this later.

I relaxed as the “The Quiet Place” finally began and flashed my husband a grin. I was geeked about this movie, particularly because I could learn more American Sign Language (ASL). As I mentioned previously, I’m attempting to become fluent in ASL and was curious how the language–and maybe even Deaf culture–was incorporated into the film.

“A Quiet Place” is the story of an American family cobbling a bizarre, post-apocalyptic existence while striving not to make the slightest noise. The parents are raising children, one who is a teenaged deaf girl and two younger boys who are hearing. Alien neighbors surround the town and farm where the family scratches out an existence. The aliens are blind, armored predators; they target and kill anything that makes the slightest noise (including unlucky raccoons). The family walks barefoot on sand paths, eats on lettuce plates and plays Monopoly with soft fabric playing pieces. They cannot cry loudly and struggle with expressing (and suppressing) their emotions. The parents whisper hoarsely to their kids and use ASL to communicate and teach their children how to survive.

I made it through about 40 minutes of the 90 minute film before leaving. Hats off to Mr. John Krasinski, the director, for the movie’s unique power. I walked out of the theatre, afraid to make any noise in case an alien was hiding around the corner ready to ambush me. I blared my Pandora station with courage at home and proceeded to clean my house–until 2 in the morning.

Continue reading “A Partial Movie Review & Thoughts on the Horror Genre: “The Quiet Place””