Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guest Post: Gayle Carline

We have a special treat today. Instead of a simple Indie Author Showcase, humor writer Gayle Carline approached me about doing a guest blog post here. In return, I am featured on Gayle's blog as a guest writer today. So once you're finished here, jump over to her site and read my reasons for choosing to write

I'd love to hear from other authors who are interesting in doing guest posts in the future. Just e-mail me at ldhesler (at) hotmail (dot) com so we can set up the next big blog swap.

And now... Gayle Carline!

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When I first met David (or, can I call you "L"?) on an Amazon discussion thread, his offer of an Indie Author Showcase sounded like a lot of offers: a really nice thing for someone to throw out there, but if you didn't hunt them to the ground, they wouldn't follow through. Imagine my delight when he sent me an email! He told me I could talk about anything here, but since he writes horror, I want to talk about that.

My acquaintance with horror is limited. I blame this on my mother, who would not let me watch anything scary, lest I have nightmares. Perhaps she was correct - I had a vivid imagination as a child. Hearing "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford frightened me to tears (I don't know why), and even as an adult, I fight the image of a slimy, cold hand grabbing my shoulder late at night when I'm taking out the trash.

But over the years, I've found some horror enjoyable, like a roller coaster ride that leaves you excited yet spent. You may or may not agree with me - my rules are completely subjective and I understand if horror fans have a different viewpoint. I'm just saying, as a non-horror person, if it meets these criteria, I'll read it (or watch it):

1. The monster is not seen. I love those old B-movies where you saw the shadow, heard a throaty female scream, and knew… just knew what happened. I like the build-up of suspense. Don't give me the monster's POV and don't show me what they look like until- until- EEEEEK.

2. The monster must be beatable. You cannot end it with the monster/killer/Jason/Freddy triumphant, or even just escaping. Screw the sequel. There is a hero. They must prevail. I'm a Teflon-coated, glass half-full, things-can't-be-as-bad-as-they-are, kind of gal. Give me hope for a brighter day.

3.  The writing (book or script) must be good. I know that should go without saying, but without a clever plot and smart characters with interesting dialogue, I just can't get into the action. Scaring me isn't enough.

I did write one little horror piece. It was a flash fiction contest, for Halloween, and I won. I called it "Almost." Enjoy.

“This place creeps me out.”

“Stop whining, Harold,” Ken snapped. “We’re almost there.”

Three pairs of feet shuffled through the trees, crackling leaves and churning dust. Suddenly the forest halted and the trio spurted into the open. Standing on the grassy ledge, they were greeted by the pale white moon, staring at its reflection in the lake.

“Is that moon full?” asked Harold. “It looks full to me.”

“It’s not quite full,” Ken said.

“It looks very full to me,” Harold continued. “If it’s full, there could be werewolves out here.”

“It’s not full,” Ken repeated, “and werewolves aren’t real, you moron.”

“They are so real, Ken. My cousin’s dentist’s niece says her neighbor saw one.”

Ken sighed. “Your cousin’s dentist’s whatever is a moron. Tell him, Lydia.”

The auburn-haired girl stood silently, her thoughts engulfed by the giant orb.


Still watching the moon, she answered, “It doesn’t matter if there are werewolves or not, Harold. See how fuzzy the bottom of the moon is? That means it’s not full.”

Harold studied the sky. “You sure? No werewolves tonight?”

“No, Harold,” Lydia said. “No werewolves tonight.”

“Shut up about the werewolves!” hissed Ken. “You are both insane!”

The three friends started down the path to the lake, Lydia bringing up the rear. She strolled slowly, watching the boys and rubbing her ears.

“No, no werewolves tonight,” she whispered to herself.

Fingering the tufts of hair that had sprouted, Lydia smiled. “But maybe tomorrow.”

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Gayle Carline contributes humor articles to the Placentia News-Times in California. 

Also visit her websites below:


  1. Thanks for the blog-swap, David! It was fun!

  2. Tennessee's voice is soo deep! And then that music..I can see where it would be scary! *L*
    I have a hard time with horror. It always leaves me with nightmares. I can't watch horror movies at all. I am still freaked out over The Omen!

  3. March of the Penguins gave me nightmares. We should start a wuss club Gabs. :)

    Gayle is hilarious. Great post L-Dave. I read your post on her blog and I love your style. Your tone has amazing personality. I totally have a writers crush on you. I downloaded the sample of Prismatica. I'm sure I'll buy it if it isn't too scary. <-- WUSS

    Also, the guy on the cover of Prismatica looks a little like Jamie Bamber.

  4. @Gayle: the blog-swap was excellent. If you ever want to try it again, just let me know.

  5. @Gabriella: Two of my earliest movie-watching experiences include Frankenstein & The Shining. When I was a toddler, I didn't have a teddy bear. I had a toy from the Alien movie (I stole it from my brother). It takes very strange things to scare me. Like Snuggies.

  6. @ Jimmie: First, let me say that L-Dave shall be my hip hop moniker should I ever quit writing.

    You also discovered my secret plan to incorporate BSG cast member head shots into my covers. Just wait until you see the cover with Alessandro Juliani AND Katee Sackhoff!