October 22, 2012

Guest Blogger: Carmen Jenner (Book Me)

This month our guest blogger is
wife, mother, blogger and she just recently added writer to her resume. 
She's here to talk about her short story
What Goes Around
one of the shorts featured in the upcoming anthology
FEAR:  A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror

brings together, for the first time, tales of murder, monsters and madness, by sixty of the world’s best indie horror authors. 

Discover what lurks in the water at the end of the garden, learn of the unforgiving loyalty of a loving toy and meet a writer, just itching to finish his latest horror story. 

Every author in the Anthology has generously contributed their work for free. All royalties from sales will go directly to the international charities, Barnardo’s and Médecins Sans Frontières

FEAR, with forewords by international bestselling authors, Peter James and Sherri Browning Erwin, is now out in paperback and Kindle.

Talk Supe: How did you get involved in this anthology? 

Carmen: I found out about Crooked Cat through the lovely Miss Emma Silver. She’d stumbled across Book Me! and we sparked up a friendship when I requested an interview with her about her journey to getting published. From there I basically hunted down Crooked Cat, wanting to be involved in any promo stuff for Emma’s debut Blackbrooke, and I ending up running the blog tour. 

I wasn’t planning on writing a short for FEAR. In fact, after two days of deliberation I decided I absolutely didn’t have time, which is really just a lame-ass excuse for being scared out of my wits at having to submit my work to a publisher. Finally, I decided to put on my big girl panties and embrace the unknown. I’m really glad I didn’t let my FEAR get the better of me! See what I did there? Yeah, not really funny, is it? Right, moving on. Next question please! 

Talk Supe: So FEAR's proceeds will go charity, can you tell us more about this worthy cause and what it's about? 
Carmen: 100% of the royalties will be split between charities, Barnardo’s and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Barnardo’s is one of the UK’s leading children’s charities. They work with over 190,000 children and their families every year, providing much needed support to sufferers of sexual abuse and exploitation, child poverty, homelessness, substance misuse and domestic violence. Barnardo’s offer training and support to foster carers, adoptive parents and short break carers, as well as running social inclusion programs for children with disabilities. They’re really an incredible charity! 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provide medical aid in crisis situations – armed conflicts, epidemics, famines and natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. They provide healthcare and disease prevention, have pioneered HIV/AIDS treatment in the world's poorest regions and they campaign for access to medicines for the world’s poorest people, as well as delivering medical and material aid. 

The great thing about being a part of this anthology, isn’t just about selling books or getting our work into the hands of the readers – which by the way, is awesome - it’s knowing that every copy purchased goes to helping lives less fortunate than our own. So you all have no excuse but to buy up big! ;) 

Talk Supe: So let's talk about your short story, What Goes Around. When we heard about it we were so excited for you, please tell us more about this. 
The Blurb:

What Goes Around

Emmy has spent the last two years living like a caged animal. In her prison cell she counts down the hours until her next shower, her next meal, and how many hours until her boyfriend, turned jailer, returns home.

Until one day, he doesn't.

Emmy must devise a way to break out. But the world outside her cell is changing. Will she be prepared for what she finds on the outside?
The inspiration for What Goes Around didn’t hit me all at once. I didn’t have to dodge the debris from the sonic boom that just obliterated every other thought from my mind - which is usually the case with anything I write - the story tends to write itself in my head and I have to sort through the rubble from that bomb blast. This was a more methodical process. I thought carefully about what frightens me, which can be condensed down into anything that I no longer have control over.

I’ve always been fascinated with stories of abduction and what goes on inside the mind of someone who no longer has control over their life, and the complacency you might feel towards your captor over a long period of time. I’d been toying with a few ideas for a YA zombie novel, and though I knew I couldn’t use that here, as FEAR is very much an adult title, I still wanted to write about things that get chompy-with-it. Zombies give me the warm fuzzies, I’m just that kind of girl. I knew I wanted to marry the two ideas together, just to see if it worked. But the key was in fitting all that brainstorming into 4000 words or less.

Talk Supe: It must be so exciting for you to be part of this project, has writing What Goes Around changed your perspective about writing up book reviews now that you're at the other end of the spectrum?
Carmen: This is such a good question. I’ve always been very aware of what I’m putting out there as a reviewer. I think that’s because as a writer I have firsthand experience of what it feels like to have something that you devote so much of yourself to, get torn into itty bitty little pieces. If I don’t enjoy a book I’m careful not to make my review scathing, but I aim to be honest and look at things from a helpful perspective. Saying you hated a book isn’t helpful to anyone, author or reader, but saying you hated it and outlining your reasons for hating it, helps an author to better their work. I think being published has really hammered all this home for me, though I will say it’s kind of terrifying to be the one on the end of the review. I’m shaking in my boots!

Talk Supe: Are you writing any more stories? Books? More Shorts?
Carmen: I’m hoping to get some time to write soon, as blogland and promotions for FEAR are taking up a lot of my time these days. I’m currently toughing out the final edit of book one in my first YA Series. Then it’s all about approaching publishers to take it on board. My plans are to make it a trilogy, but we’ll see where that goes.

I’m working on several different shorts at the moment, though they’re mostly just for fun. Inspiration for short stories usually hits once a day. Then it’s all about wading through the mess in my head and bringing it to life on the page.

I’m currently working on a short for the Blogger Virtual Zombie Walk hosted by Zombie’s Everywhere. It’s much like a blog hop, only we’re attempting to infiltrate the web with some zombie lovin’. That will be posted to my author site on October 19th.

Talk Supe: Thank you for stopping by, Carmen, and congratulations on FEAR and What Goes Around. We are looking forward to reading more of your stories.
Carmen: Thanks so much for having me on the blog and putting up with all my crazy, lovely Ladies! That was fun!

What Goes Around Review

I cheated and read Carmen's short story first and man, I tell you, this girl's got some creepy imagination. You can tell that her writing is influenced by those effed up creepy and dysfunctional stuff we bloggers are so fond of reading. Carmen mentioned what her short is about in her interview and adding to that, she has zombies. Zombies! Brain-eating, flesh devouring zombies! 

Carmen, I don't know what you've been reading or what dark places you've been visiting but girl, you were MERCILESS! Emmy just went from bad to worst in a minute! At least you punished her captor perfectly but still, I don't want to get on your bad side. Nope!

I loved Carmen's story, I was actually surprised because I was expecting something "amateurish" considering this is her first published story but it didn't feel that way. She more than exceeded my expectations and I am looking forward to reading more.

Good job, Carmen! 

P.S. I'll be more than happy to be part of your beta group.



  1. What Comes Around is such a great story! Great post girls, and congratulations Carmen!!

  2. I seriously cannot wipe the smile off my face! I'm thrilled you enjoyed What Goes Around, Braine, over the moon actually! Thanks for the feature, girlies, and I promise I'm not a complete psychopath! Not most days, anyway. ;)


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