Wednesday, 22 October 2014

COFFIN HOP 2014


WELCOME COFFIN HOPPERS...

COFFIN HOP GIVEAWAY: WIN a Katie M John Randoms pack
This year for Coffin Hop, I have decided to do a little scroll of micro-blog posts on this one blog page. It's a chance to share with you my love of Coffin Hop and writing horror. It's also a chance for some of you to catch up with what's been happening over the last 12 months - like a sort of Halloween round robin ... only he's wearing a comical arrow through his chest and a lot of fake blood.

PSST... There's a funky giveaway at the end of the scroll for a chance to win a Katie M John randoms pack, which includes a signed paperback copy of 'Beautiful Freaks', a Tibetan silver & Semi-precious stone book charm, and a set of groovy plastic skull string lights
 :D

WHY I LOVE COFFIN HOP

1) It's the one time of year that I actually check in with some amazing writer / author peeps who I admire and respect - and like every true friendship, it doesn't seem to matter that a whole year (where the hell did that go?) has passed since we last talked properly, we just go on and hook right back up where we left of.

2) I get to check out a brilliant array of fringe horror - by that I mean, Horror stories that are not afraid to play around with expectations, tropes and boundaries. Many of the Coffin Hoppers are independent authors and with their work comes an amazing authenticity of voice that personally, I feel is a little lost in the mainstream horror market.

3) It's great fun and I get to have a go at bagging lots of funky swag - some serious and some that is just darned right ludicrous. (In this vein, check out my cheesy Coffin Hop prize this year - tasteful, I'm sure you'll agree.)


2014 saw the launch of WITCHCRAFT (Book One Of The Meadowsweet Chronicles) 

I've just launched book one of The Meadowsweet Chronicles, called 'Witchcraft'. It is the first book of a seven book series that explores and blends together The American Gothic and traditional English folklore and Pagan mythology.

I cut my teeth on works like James Herbert's 'The Magic Cottage' and films like 'The Wicker Man'. When I was a teenager, I fell in love with retro 70's road trip movies that inevitably ended up with some poor blonde virgin being stuck on an altar - and of course, their was Poe and Lovecraft. In a way, The Meadowsweet Chronicles are a very selfish indulgence - it is a project for my own entertainment; blending every trope and feature of such cultural cache. Be sure to have your trope bingo board ready.
You can find out more about 'Witchcraft' at US Link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NG5CLTE and UK Link http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NG5CLTE

As part of the launch celebration for 'Witchcraft' I am running an epic giveaway, which includes a Samhain Blessings Chest - whilst you're here take the opportunity to enter at http://www.katiemjohn.com 

NaNoWriMo - A chance to indulge the dark-side

This year I shall be using NaNoWriMo to attempt the completion of my adult classic style horror novel called 'The Crow Man'. I have been wanting to dedicate the time to finally writing my first full length adult horror novel for years - only I've come to realise that I don't have the luxury of time. I did my first NaNoWriMo back in 2012, and with spirited newbie enthusiasm I completed it - almost to the word. In 2013, life became a little more demanding for all kinds of reasons and I Failed miserably, only completing just 4,000 words of 'The Crow Man' manuscript. Not this year! This year I am going to do it. Especially as I have kind of challenged my fabulously talented friend Belinda Frisch to the finish line.


BECOMING A FULL TIME WRITER: Why Teaching and ; Writing Aren't Always an Easy Marriage. 

In Spring of this year I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life, I quit my day-job. Only my day job was a job I loved; it was teaching English in a London secondary comprehensive school (High School for my U.S friends) After 13 years of passionate teaching service, I came to the heartfelt decision that I needed to take a sabbatical from the profession. The main reasons for this were, firstly, my children - who may as well have been in boarding school for five days of the week, and secondly, my other baby, my writing. I was becoming intolerable to live with - a frustrated writer with too many stories and characters in their head with too little time to let them free.

Teaching and writing are not exactly easy bed fellows - they both demand your whole soul. But more than that, when writing I was always conscious of my social role and position in society. I write primarily fiction for Young Adults and so there are of course 'normal' boundaries in place when writing for such an audience, however, any deviation, challenge or subversion of such structures put me in a really vulnerable position. And yes, I could have written under a nom de plume - but somehow it didn't feel right - somehow that made it feel even more dishonest and unacceptable.

This was especially the case when it came to writing horror. No matter how carefully crafted and tailored the pieces were, I always lived with that fear that someone, somewhere would take offence and even more so because I was a teacher with the responsibility of young innocent *coughs* teens in her care. It's not that I want to go out there and write torture porn or extreme gore (casting no value judgement, just not my thing) but I do want to write books that explore the nature of 'evil' both in a traditional sense and a contemporary one - and sometimes the findings of those explorations don't fit neatly with the twin-set and pearl image of a high school English teacher.



Phantasmagoria

Heart sorrow full, followed by pale phantoms
He winds his way through darkened avenues.
Far in the distance, the echo-yap of
A hell hound’s bark splinters the silence. 
This citadel of restless, walking dead,
Holds not the warmth of a beating human heart; 
Save one. 
The fading heart of Lillibet. 

Suddenly, the fear of being alone,
Is outweighed by fears of duplicate shadows
There is blood on the moon, cries from the ground, 
For in this place only the dead are found. 


A STORY

Last year for Coffin Hop, I wrote a short flash story called 'Burial Rites'

Here is the opening ...


Ever since the sixteen year old Lillian Gladstone had been the unfortunate child to have been locked in the play chest as a playful prank, her worst fear was being buried alive; the thought of suffocating on her own screams plagued her dreams for years. 
 In an attempt to know her enemy better, Lillian had become obsessed with all things death – it was an obsession that both her parents and her peers thought too weird to be loveable, and so death ironically both her dearest companion and her most fearful foe.

To read more, head over to Wattpad on this link http://www.wattpad.com/story/9337711-burial-rites-a-coffin-hop-treat  I would love to hear your comments and feedback.


That's all folks - oh except for the giveaway. 

So to be in with a chance of winning these fabulous skull head lights, a handmade 'Witchcraft' book mark made from real semi-precious stones and Tibetan silver, a signed paperback copy of 'Beautiful Freaks' - call it a pack of Katie M John Randoms, all you've got to do is leave a comment in the box below.



HEAD BACK TO THE COFFIN HOP and HAVE LOTS MORE FUN HOPPING AROUND. CLICK http:/www.coffinhop.com TO GO.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to leave your comment.

44 comments:

  1. I'm a huge Katie John fan so I'm thrilled about this giveaway!

    Cheers, @ashkrafton

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    1. Awwww - thank you Ash - that is such a sweet thing to say x

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  2. Hello! Here from Coffin Hop! Love the cover of your new book Witchcraft. Congratulations on becoming a full-time writer.

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    1. Hi Jolie, thanks for stopping by and thank you for your sweet comments. Hope you have a fabulous Coffin Hop :)

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  3. Thanks so much for the chance, Love the blog and excited about the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and taking part, Robin.

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  4. A wonderful post and good luck with NaNoWriMo.

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    1. Aw thank you A.F Stewart. I love Coffin Hop - it's so nice to meet up with old buddies and new faces :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Wow, that looks like a great book, and I love the cover. Happy hopping!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Anthony and your kind words about the cover - much appreciated. Happy hopping to you too. Can't wait until I'm home from our weekend and then I can catch up with the party :)

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  6. You have such a great blog here! I'm looking forward to reading more from you :-)

    Happy Coffin Hop!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanette for stopping by. Happy Coffin Hop to you too. <3 my horror homies LOL x

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  7. Great post, Katie! Happy Hopping!

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    1. Hi - so lovely to see you again. Hope you are well and being blessed with creativity and productivity. Happy Coffin Hop. Looking forward to bumping into you on the hop :)

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  8. Having read Beautiful Freaks when it was part of the cannibal challenge, I would love that autographed paperback :-) Love what you're doing in the Littlebird Book Store. Happy Hopping!

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    1. Hi Rebecca - so lovely to see you xx Hope you're well and that you are having coffin hop fun :) See you around on the hop later this week. Yes, you are very observant to recognise the origins of 'Beautiful Freaks' as that short story (incidentally the first I'd written) way back in 2010 - goodness how time flies. Do you know, the essence of that story just wouldn't leave me - and part of me thinks that maybe it isn't quite over yet LOL...
      xxxThanks for calling in

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  9. Great post Katie! Good luck with NaNoWriMo too! I was thinking about it this year but I don't think I'll have the time... :(

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    1. Hi, Julianne. Thanks for stopping by. It's a real shame that you're not doing NaNoWriMo but I completely understand the whole time aspect - it isn't an easy thing to do. Just finding time on a daily basis is pretty much impossible - it always puts into perspective that as a mother / wife / worker how little time we get to ourselves generally LOL. Aside from time, I hope you are still managing to be productive and creative. <3 x

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  10. Hi, Katie. You are so right about time getting by us. It probably has been a year since our paths crossed. *sad face* Best wishes for everything you have been are currently are juggling. My wife teaches 5th grade, so I know how teaching isn't something you leave behind every afternoon. As for me, I attempt to juggle Indie writing with a 12 hour day job. I would quit and write full time, but my wife says there'd be no more money for wine and iTunes - so I guess I'm stuck! ;)
    Thanks for the chance to win some of your cool swag.
    Seriously, best wishes to you, and Happy Hopping!

    -Jimmy

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    1. Hi, Jimmy - I know it's bonkers how quickly Coffin Hop comes around, although it still always gets me a little over excited LOL. I love the fact that it pulls our little community back together into the fold and allows us to catch up. Yes, wine and itunes may be on rations for a little while - but fortunately (or not) my teaching salary was barely covering our daily childcare costs so at the moment, it's a financial trade off - I'm not sure in the future (when they are both at school) how that is going to balance - but for the time being I'm going to give it my best shot.
      Really looking forward to catching up with you on the Coffin Hop and I'm excited to see what you're up to. Take care. See you about, Kate :D

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  11. I am juggling teaching and writing too, but I teach computer programming part time at the local community college, so it is not much of a conflict of interest. I do feel your pain about how much time it takes though. Good luck with Nano. I am hoping to finish Louisiana Snowflake during Nano.

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    1. Hi Rachelle - thank you so much for stopping by. Ah, yes, fellow understanding teacher LOL. I think it's such a good idea to complete a project during NaNo - it makes it a really constructive exercise. I seriously considered using it to complete Book Two of the Meadowsweet Chronicles, but to be honest I did the first NaNo whilst working full time so really I have no excuse not to do both simultaneously - just got to find the discipline now HaHa. Happy Coffin Hop - see you about this week x

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  12. Hi Katie, you are a new to me author, but I am so excited to have found you! We need more women writing horror fiction, because some of the stuff we come up with blow the dudes out of the water. Thank you so much for being in the hop and letting me find you! I will be following you around to see what's new.

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    1. Hi, Lori. A very warm welcome to you. Thanks for stopping by the blog and your kind comments.
      Yeah I am very very excited to actually have the freedom to explore my love of horror - it's always been the genre for me, ever since I listened to King's Pet Semmetary in Radio 4's 'Book at Bedtime' - after that I became a voracious reader of King, Koontz and Herbert. Even before the whole Twilight thing, I was also a massive Vampire girl too LOL. Never did quite grow out of my Goth 'phase' haha.
      Anyway, happy Coffin hopping - looking forward to seeing you about :D : D

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  13. This sounds like a great book; I'd love to read it. You have a great blog, and I'm excited to read more of your posts. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Hi, Haley. Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely compliments. Good luck in the giveaway and hope you have a great Coffin Hop x

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  14. Sounds good. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping my magic5905 :D

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  15. Great post Katie! I love your NaNoWriMo badge, it looks awesome! One of these days I'll try my luck, but right now I'm just too busy being a mom to 2 young girls. Best of luck to you and happy hopping!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Georgina. It's really nice to see you. Thanks for your compliments on the NaNo badge - that image is pretty much the only plan I've got LOL. I too have 2 girls so I know the demands that two little ladies place on you :D Good luck with your writing and have a great Coffin Hop x

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  16. And I hope my comment posted... ;)

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  17. Ah apparently not. Okay so I'll do it again. I think you have a lot of guts to quit your day job. I understand perfectly, because I got no time to write either, but I still make it happen... I'm the type of writer who needs the day job to be inspired, as I do research by people watching. Great work, great covers, and I wish you the best in your writing! Happy Hop! Johanna aka The Manicheans

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  18. Hi, Johanna. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you are having a good Coffin Hop :) I understand your point completely - especially as I mostly write for a YA audience - and teaching gave me perfect access to knowing my 'audience' LOL - it was honestly something I thought about - I'm hoping to do writing workshops with young people in the future as I love their sense of energy and outlook. But for the time being my people watching is going to mostly take place from Nero - I'm fortunate that living in such an urban environment there is so much inspiration. Looking forward to learning more about your writing. Thanks again x

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  19. I loved your story! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. THanks, Lisa. So nice to see you here. Hope you are enjoying Coffin Hop :) Also thanks for the compliment :D xxx

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  20. Your a new author to me and I am so glad I stopped by. Now I have a new book on my TBR list.
    brandybooks at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Brandy. A really sweet comment too. Looking forward to learning more about your books too :) Happy Coffin Hopping :D

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  21. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jeanette. Happy Coffin Hopping :D

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  22. Thanks for the giveaway! It looks like great prizes.
    What I love about this time of year is NaNoWriMo. So far, I've completed 9 challenges, plus a tenth of my own. I'm pretty impressed with myself (brag, brag, brag) that I've managed to do more than 500k words. Shocked would be a much more fitting word, to be honest. I am intending to do it this year as well. Only a few more days to go before it begins! :)

    Good luck with your own NaNo; it's always good to see other people attempting the challenge. I always hope that everyone gets the chance to complete it; the world needs more books!

    cattsy.goldfinch(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Hi, Cattsy. Thanks for stopping by and taking part. Wow - that is a very impressive NaNoWriMo history :D I am beginning to wonder if it's one of those things you either complete or fail miserably at - I'm not sure that there is a coming close. The first year I did it (relatively easily) the second year, I managed a pathetic 4,000 words.
    I'm quite determined this year, although I am going to be working on Book Two of the Meadowsweet Chronicles at the same time - so we'll see. Wishing you lots and lots of creativity (luck has little to do with it LOL) See you around. :D

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  24. It is a joy to find you. I love speculative fiction and horror, and it's not always easy to discover new authors. I like promoting folks on my blogs (and other sites) via interviews, reviews, etc., and love delving into new writing styles. I'm contemplating taking the plunge into NaNoWriMo tomorrow, so I suppose discovering this blog today was fate...

    michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi, Michelle. Thanks for stopping by. So lovely to meet you. NaNoWriMo is amazing - you should just stop contemplating and do it :D :D :D Look me up as a NaNoWriMo buddy and we'll hook up. Take care.

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  25. A MASSIVE big thank you to all of you who stopped by and supported my blog during Coffin Hop. So to announce the winner. HALEY SCULLY - you WON :D :D contact me on the contact page at katiemjohn.com with your postal address and I'll get it in the post to you xxx

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