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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Trick or Treat? with Michael Boccacino - September 30, 2012




Trick or Treat? with Michael Boccacino - September 30, 2012


(Laurel Parker Wolfe is the author of book of fairy tales in Charlotte Markham and The House of Darkling.)



Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling
William Morrow Paperbacks, July 24, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Trick or Treat? with Michael Boccacino - September 30, 2012
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling—one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.



If you haven't yet read Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling, it will be on sale after the Trick or Treat? voting ends!

Interview with Michael Boccacino & Giveaway - August 26, 2012

Please welcome Michael Boccacino to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling was published on July 24, 2012. You may read Michael's Guest Blog - A Good Start - here.


Interview with Michael Boccacino & Giveaway - August 26, 2012


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Michael:  I tend to get almost all my ideas from dreams. I keep a note pad on my nightstand so I can write them down as I have them. So when I'm having trouble figuring out a plot point, I tend to literally "sleep on it" to find the solution.


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Michael:  Neil Gaiman and Susannah Clarke are two that I draw the most inspiration from. They both have such an eloquent way of folding human elements into fantastic situations. They never lose sight of the emotional weight of the what their characters are experiencing.


TQ:   Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Michael:  I fall somewhere in between. I have a clear sense of where I want to go, but I'm often surprised by how I get there. It's like a half-planned road trip. Discovery is part of the fun.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Michael:  Finding the time, and a story you're passionate enough to live with for a number of years. It's like a sprint and a marathon at the same time. You have to be just slightly crazy to make it work!


TQ:  Describe Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling in 140 characters or less.

Michael:  2 cups Jane Eyre, 6 oz of Lovecraft, and a tbsp of Tim Burton. Serve with ice cream.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling?

Michael:  Charlotte Markham began life, quite literally, as a dream: an English governess stood on the side of a dirt road with her two young orphaned charges as they consulted a homemade map. They were debating whether or not to enter a forest up ahead and I knew, as dreamers often do, that something terrible awaited them in the woods. I remember waking up and being fascinated with where they were going. I felt the most lovely combination of dread and excitement, because I knew that their journey would be extraordinary, terrible, and wonderful, even if I remained uncertain about their final destination. The dream stayed with me, but didn't really crystallize until my mother died of cancer at the age of 44. I dreamt of her nearly every night afterwards, and though we both acknowledged in the dream that she was still dead, we continued to have a relationship. The idea fascinated me, and I quickly realized that the children from my previous dream were looking for a way to reconnect with their dead mother.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling?

Michael:  I reread a lot of the books that inspired me to write in the first place. For me it wasn't so much about recreating a specific time period, but tapping into the "tone" that runs through some of my favorite books, like Wuthering Heights, Coraline, Jonathan Strange, and others.


TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Michael:  James was the easiest, because deep down I'm not sure I ever stopped being an excitable five years old. The hardest was probably Duncan, since he had to convey a lot without really saying anything.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling?

Michael:  The fairytales were my favorite bits to write, but as a reader, the scenes with Duncan and the candle wax people.


TQ:  What's next?

Michael:  I'm working on my second novel, which is inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll, C. S. Lewis, and J. M. Barrie. It's a book about children placed into fantastic situations, but written for adults. I hope to be done with my first draft sometime early next year!


TQ:   Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Michael:  My pleasure! Thank you so much for having me.



Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling
William Morrow Paperbacks, July 24, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Michael Boccacino & Giveaway - August 26, 2012
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling—one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.



About Michael

Interview with Michael Boccacino & Giveaway - August 26, 2012
Michael Boccacino's poetry has been published in the St. Petersburg Times. He currently lives in New York City. This is his first novel.

Website
Twitter
Facebook








The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering one of the following questions:

What is one of your favorite Gothic novels?
or
What is one of your favorite fairy tales?

Please remember - if you don't answer one of  the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, September 2, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Guest Blog by Michael Boccacino - A Good Start

Please welcome Michael Boccacino to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling was published on July 24, 2012.


Guest Blog by Michael Boccacino - A Good Start


A Good Start

I tend to have very particular dreams.

Last night, after celebrating the release of my first novel, Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling, I dreamt that a book appeared mysteriously on my nightstand. It was bound in cracked black leather, and the letters of the title were embossed in faded white paint: How To Be a Successful Writer.

I’ve been in something of a panic leading up to my “release date”, and the term itself has come to mean more than just the sale date of the book as neuroses and anxieties I didn’t know I possessed have slowly started bleeding into every facet of my life. Have I done everything I could to get the word out? Is there anyone else I should have tweeted at? Is it weird that I’m Googling my book so often? Will people like it, and if not, DEAR LORD WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?!

In the dream, I picked up the book and began to flip through its pages. There was one section dedicated to blogger outreach strategies, and I distinctly remember a passage about how authoring a guest post on The Qwillery, would improve readership by 37%. Whether this detail was a result of the fact that I was terribly late on delivering the post you’re now reading, or a simple reminder that Sally was the first blogger to welcome me to the surreal and wonderful world of book promotion remains a question for my subconscious. Try as I might, I’ve been unable to recall any further specifics from the mystery book. It’s faded away, my nightstand is empty, and I remain as anxious as before, consumed by the question that the book articulated: how do I know if I’m doing this right?

It’s a strange thing to put your heart and soul into the writing of a novel for years on end, because the moment the book is released into the world it stops being the author’s. In many ways, the writer is losing something secret and special that no one else could ever understand as well as they do, until, that is, someone else reads it and the book becomes theirs. To truly share a piece of yourself, you have to be willing to lose it entirely, to let it become part of someone else’s life.

In the end, the only rule that matters is to let go. Not to stop caring, but to acknowledge that you did what you set out to do. The “secret” of the book may be gone, but that doesn’t make it any less real. The “success” of the book is that it happened at all, and for me, it’s sitting on the shelf at my local Barnes and Noble between Judy Blume and Boccaccio. For now, that’s a good start.



Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling
William Morrow Paperbacks, July 24, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Michael Boccacino - A Good Start
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling—one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.



About Michael

Guest Blog by Michael Boccacino - A Good Start
Michael Boccacino's poetry has been published in the St. Petersburg Times. He currently lives in New York City. This is his first novel.

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Trick or Treat? with Michael Boccacino - September 30, 2012Interview with Michael Boccacino & Giveaway - August 26, 2012Guest Blog by Michael Boccacino - A Good Start

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