THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB discussion

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Authors and Their Books > AUTHOR FORUM- LOUISE BOHMER

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Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
Bio:

Louise Bohmer is a freelance editor and writer based in Sussex, New Brunswick, and a member of the Editors Association of Canada. Her debut novel–The Black Act–is available from Library of Horror. You can read her short fiction in the upcoming Courting Morpheus, Ladies of Horror, and Into the Dreamlands. Her poetry can be read in the Death In Common and These Apparitions: Haunted Reflections of Ezra Pound.

For more information, drop by her website at www.louisebohmer.com or visit the novel’s web page at www.theblackact.com


Book:

ISBN: 1449511198
ISBN-13: 9781449511197
Published by Library of Horror
Genre: Horror / Dark fantasy
Released: September 22, 2009
Trade Paperback
6 x 9
Pages: 240

Link on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/69067...

Back cover:

The history of a curse is fraught with bloody battles, bitter hatred, and dark secrets.

Through five generations, ghosts of war haunt the Wise Women. When the Rebellion of Glenna ends, their curse sleeps bound in the Tunnels of the Dead, waiting for its chance to re-awaken the battle between the Wood People and Dalthwein Clans.

Claire, a distraught young Wise Woman born in the sacred valley of the fae, unwittingly helps it escape imprisonment. While her twin sister, Anna, receives psychic glimpses of ancient secrets she must unravel. With her scribe teacher, Rosalind, she also struggles to uncover the reasons behind Claire’s strange behavior, ever escalating since the death of their Guild Mother, Grianne.

The Age of the Wise Women will cease, if the curse does not end with Anna and Claire. Perhaps inheriting the mistakes of their ancestors, and learning the truths of their identities, will bring great suffering for these witch twins?

Book trailer can be viewed at Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK-4ql4O3...


Writing Techniques:

I enjoy character development in stories I read, so achieving strong character development in my stories is important. One method I use I refer to as getting to know the characters. Imagining a conversation with your character, writing up a fake interview for your character, can be used to flesh out their personality quirks and fine details. Much of this won’t end up in the book, of course, but it is, I find, a great way to keep your character from becoming the dreaded stereotype, and makes them more human.

I like to edit as I write, and I re-read the portion I wrote previously on a story before I start writing for that day. Re-reading what I’ve already wrote, making editorial notes in the rough draft as I go and editing out what I decide I don’t need, helps cut down on rewrites, and keeps my drafts clean and easier for me to follow. It’s a great way too catch those pesky inconsistencies too.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
Louise- how did you come up with your plot? was it somwething that you thought about writing for a long time?


message 3: by Brian (new)

Brian | 274 comments Fascinating idea for a book. I find it refreshing that the the main characters are female. Is that an aspect of your writing you wanted to pursue? Is there an author that you really enjoy that loosely inspired your book? Welcome to goodreads!


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Rick and Brian, thank you for the questions.

"Louise- how did you come up with your plot? was it somwething that you thought about writing for a long time?"

The Black Act started off as a short story I wrote for a Halloween themed anthology. I wanted to write something loosely based around the origins of Halloween, Samhain, and I wanted to use witches who were more like what we might historically perceive of as witches. (ie. The woman skilled in herbs and natural medicines, midwifery, and a keen observation of seasons). I also decided to incorporate the Celtic New Year's honoring of the dead, and faeries who were a bit closer to traditional folklore. The short was called "Queen of Samhain" after a faerie queen who is a part of the original short.

Later, I submitted the story to a small press as a reprint. They liked it enough they asked me to write a novel based around the witches and faeries in the story. This was when I went to work creating the world, creatures, and characters for the novel. It took about a year of notes, drafting maps and a family tree, before I started writing, then two years to write. The plot really stems from my love of fairy tales and folklore, and wanting to tell a fairy tale that was a bit darker, like original fairy tales were.

---------------

"Fascinating idea for a book. I find it refreshing that the the main characters are female. Is that an aspect of your writing you wanted to pursue? Is there an author that you really enjoy that loosely inspired your book? Welcome to goodreads!"

Thank you, Brian. I enjoy writing strong female characters, and I've always liked the strong female leads writers like Margaret Atwood create (the strength of my main characters was somewhat inspired by the lead character of The Handmaid's Tale). The creatures I created in The Black Act are loosely inspired by the monsters of Midian from Clive Barker's Cabal (another of my favorites by him).

And thank you for the welcome. :-)Thanks for giving me this cozy corner, Rick.


message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian | 274 comments I think it is great to have strong female characters. Perhaps it is just me, most books I have read are the opposite. All the more interesting that some influence was inspired by Clive Barker. I am a fan of his writing, Clive has a very wild imagination. I find it fascinating how you edit your ideas. Such a structure would be much more proficient. How is the responce to your book so far?


message 6: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Hi Louise,

Welcome to the forum! How difficult is it to define your main plot and also your sub plots before even writing the book? Did they change at all from when you started to when you completed the book?


message 7: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments I agree with you, Brian. There aren't enough strong female leads in books, I find, and that's part of my goal, I admit. To do the opposite, and try to create more realistic, strong women. I use my Gran as inspiration for that strength she taught me. :-)

"Clive has a very wild imagination. I find it fascinating how you edit your ideas. Such a structure would be much more proficient. How is the responce to your book so far?"

He was the first writer to teach my the full possibility of imagination. Remember the angel in Weaveworld who just wishes to see itself? I love how he creates these marvels that are almost inexplicable. Almost reminds me of Lovecraft a tiny bit, in that sense.

Response so far has been fairly positive, and much thanks for asking. I've had some wonderful reviews from Horror World, Bitten by Books, and some other reviewers, and the novel made the Bram Stoker preliminary ballot this year for the superior achievement in a first novel category.

Thanks for the questions.
------------------------

Welcome to the forum! How difficult is it to define your main plot and also your sub plots before even writing the book? Did they change at all from when you started to when you completed the book?

Hello, Gary, and thank you for the welcome. :-)

Keeping track of the main and subplots, keeping them cohesive, consistent, and intertwined, was one of the biggest challenges, I think. I worked with five generations over the book, deciding to tell it from third person limited, but from the multiple viewpoints of these witches. So, you can see how re-reading what I'd written before became necessary to keep all plot points and sub plots straight.

The first draft I scrapped completely, and started a fresh one with just the basic skeleton from the first. I cut out some unnecessary characters, tightened up consistency a lot, and trimmed unnecessary scenes and subplots. So, there was quite a bit of change in the intricacies of the book, but the main plot points stayed much the same, other than re-working for tighter consistency. Before I sent it to the first publisher, I believe I went through four drafts total, and then when I approached my new publisher, I asked to do an additional edit on the book. Writing my first book taught me just how grueling crafting a novel can be, and gave me that much more respect for veteran writers.

Thanks for the questions. This is a friendly forum. I'm enjoying the conversation.


message 8: by Louise (last edited Feb 25, 2010 02:40PM) (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Oh, I didn't really answer your first question well, Gary. Apologies.

"How difficult is it to define your main plot and also your sub plots before even writing the book?"

Since I decided to create my own world for the story, I had to do a fair amount of outlining before the main plot and sub plots really gelled and showed themselves clearly. I knew I wanted to write about twin witches who found out their lives were cursed by a heritage filled with lies, and that they inhabited an alternate world with some fantastical creatures, but that was all I really had.

Before I wrote anything, I made up a file of notes on my fictional people, the witch guild, the planet, and the faeries inhabiting it. This helped a great deal for fleshing out the plot and sub plots. I also created a family tree for the five generations of witches involved in the tale, and sketched two maps of the main areas where the book took place. Then my story began to solidify for me and I started writing.

Thanks again~

Louise ~


message 9: by Brian (last edited Feb 25, 2010 03:20PM) (new)

Brian | 274 comments I am glad to hear the positive reception you are receiving regarding your book. One of Clive's books that revealed much about his wild imagination was "The Great And Secret Show". Often I thought that women needed to be utilized more as an antagonist pertaining to characters in books. Equally among books and movies the villians are mostly men. I wondered often why is there not more women written in that role. Some authors claim there is no such thing as writers block. From some very accomplished authors including Stephen King, such a phenomina exists and others just describe the problem in terms of much less words that flow during some of the times they were writing a book. Have you experienced this and if so how did you achieve a way to bypass the problem? Also when writing a chapter for example, do you set a goal of how long to write it or is your style more like crossing each bridge when you arrive there?


message 10: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments That's a good point on females as villains, Brian. I agree. I have one female in The Black Act who works in conjunction with others as the antagonist, and another who is torn between doing what is perceived as 'right' and following what she wants. I think we definitely could use more multi-faceted women in fiction. I'd love to see it become more prevalent. Woman as villain, woman as heroine, rather than written in a narrowly defined passive or virtuous role. And I like to see layers of personality too, where the hero(ine) is not always clearly 'good' and is tested, and where the villain even shows some redeemable traits.

(Great and Secret Show -- Excellent read.)

---------

Some authors claim there is no such thing as writers block. From some very accomplished authors including Stephen King, such a phenomina exists and others just describe the problem in terms of much less words that flow during some of the times they were writing a book. Have you experienced this and if so how did you achieve a way to bypass the problem?

Yes, I've had writer's block, and it definitely (at least for me) can be described as a flow of less words, rather than the inability to write anything. I find it happens sometimes when I'm working on a difficult part of a story--maybe a high tension scene or something that needs to build slowly and pacing is delicate. It's like the words stall and come in little drips. When this happens in a difficult or crucial area, I usually step back from it for a few days, maybe a week, and let that section of the story take form, gel, in my head. I ask myself questions like: "What would the character do here, if this were a realistic situation? How would they react? How would things play out?" I let the section play out in my head, visualize it, until I feel that "Eureka" moment, and can get back to the keyboard.

I also experienced writer's block after finishing the novel. I felt somewhat drained of words after, and it took me a bit to kick myself back in gear with other short stories and longer projects.

-----------------------

Also when writing a chapter for example, do you set a goal of how long to write it or is your style more like crossing each bridge when you arrive there?

With The Black Act and most of my short stories before it, I set word counts (usually 1000 a day for shorts, but I had a goal of at least 2000 a day with the novel. I was thrilled when I had a 3000 to 4000 day word count). Now, I write more in the vein of just letting it flow until I hit a roadblock or run out of fumes.

Thanks again for great questions, Brian. :-) (And enjoyable conversation.)


message 11: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Just thought I'd pop by and share a link to a recent interview, done by Fatally Yours:

http://www.fatally-yours.com/intervie...


message 12: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Thanks Louise! Very interesting reply! Do you ever go through periods where it is much more difficult to write than others? and if so, how do you overcome this?


message 13: by Louise (last edited Mar 03, 2010 04:43PM) (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Most welcome, Gary. :-)

Yes, I do have those times when it's more difficult to write than others. Kind of like the tap is just dripping words. Usually to overcome this I'll force myself to write through it, and try to write every night (although when I have a lot of editing projects, like lately, I do end up missing a few nights). Even if what I end up writing isn't great, I remember I can go back and tweak it, fix it when I re-read it and edit. Sometimes I'll also focus on poetry more when I go through a slump, just jotting down some rough imagery I'll later work into poetry form. Just keeping those words flowing in some manner seems to cure the slumps and bring back my focus.


message 14: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments And here are a few excerpts & links to reviews of The Black Act.

“The novel is written deftly by Bohmer and she enthralls you with not only her unique mythology but also her engaging writing style. Her highly detailed descriptions of the Wood People make them both fascinating and frightening and her human characters are so developed that you feel like you know them. The book pulled me in from the opening pages and I finished it in merely two sittings!” –Fatally Yours Reviews

Read the full review at: http://www.fatally-yours.com/horror-l...

5 out of 5 Tombstones for The Black Act from Bitten by Books

“The Black Act is a stark and powerful tale. Louise Bohmer has created a world unlike any I’ve ever read, and her Fae are absolutely unique – both in their vintage and philosophy. The construction of the story is seamless, weaving back and forth through the generations. It’s done in a manner that is more storytelling than written, and one can imagine sitting around a campfire listening to the horror that oozes out of the Black Act. The contrasts between beauty and bleakness are outstanding. It is neither a comfortable read nor a pleasant one, but it is gripping, fascinating entry into the unimaginable.”

Full review can be read at:

http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=13836

“Louise Bohmer’s The Black Act is a wonderful example of what a talented, creative author with a deft, light touch can achieve in bringing to life an interesting and inventive world built upon a carefully and detailed integrated mythos developed to a high and fine degree. The underlying world the author creates is fascinating and unique, and she then proceeds to populate it with an equally interesting accumulation of not only different races and species, but, more importantly, with truly appealing individual characters that readers will empathize with, and places them into a storyline that readers will find both captivating and entertaining. The Black Act is a truly praiseworthy, passionate, and provocative novel and highly worth purchasing and reading. After all the care and skill Bohmer displays in creating the world of The Black Act, the novel’s dénouement left me wanting to know and learn even more about the place and the beings who inhabit it, and I certainly hope she revisits this fascinating destination again soon.”

–From Norm L. Rubenstein’s review of The Black Act (Horror World)

Full review at: http://www.horrorworld.org/december_2...


message 15: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments I also have a collection of excerpts from the book (first edition), and some pre-recorded readings, listed on The Black Act website:
http://www.theblackact.com/?page_id=54


message 16: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Thank you! Really great work!


message 17: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Thank you, Gary! :-)


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
"Louise Bohmer’s The Black Act is a wonderful example of what a talented, creative author with a deft, light touch can achieve in bringing to life an interesting and inventive world built upon a carefully and detailed integrated mythos developed to a high and fine degree." what a profound statement- as the author- can you explain that in layman's terms!!


message 19: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Thank you, Rick! :-)

The book takes place on an alternate planet, Dala, and one thing that was very important to me was to kind of create my own interpretation of fae. But I also wanted to intertwine them in my own mythos. So, the creation myth for the planet Dala is outlined, very briefly, in the prologue. But, on top of that, there are other legends / histories sprinkled through the book. In some ways, I wanted to try and do something like what Tolkein did with LOTR series, but I don't claim to be anywhere near as deft at it. lol

So, the novel ended up basically having a world with its own myths, legends, and histories attached to it. For instance, Dala's creation myth goes as such, more or less: The planet is a living being (something I adopted from and expounded on fictionally from researching the Gaia Hypothesis), and it wanted to experience itself within another form, so from twigs, bark, roots, and bone, the planet fashioned its first beings, which are said to be the fae. The fae in my world are a combination of the planet in humanoid form.

Great question! There's also a history of a king corrupted by power, who wages war on the fae, and passes this war down through his bloodline.

Take care,

Louise


message 20: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Hello everyone,

So sorry it's been so long since I've stopped by. How rude of me. I've just been a bit buried in edits, writing, and other things, but wanted to stop by today to update my little corner and say hello.

The Black Act has some new reviews. You can check them out via my Livejournal here:

http://louise-bohmer.livejournal.com/...

Also, outside of The Black Act news, I have a new story available for readers in the Courting Morpheus anthology, now available from Belfire Press. Here's a bit of information about my contribution, Night Terrors Revisited, and the link to where you can grab a copy.

Night Terrors Revisited -- Veronica and Andrew are childhood sweethearts haunted by their doppelgangers. Twisted by forces nesting within New Bedlam, the Fetch, said to be co-walker of a human soul, has been corrupted to a more malevolent nature, feeding on the spirit of the people it attaches itself to.

Buy link for Belfire: http://belfirepress.com/main/?page_id...

And you can also pick up a copy via Amazon.com

Thanks, folks. Hope everyone is having a lovely summer.

My best,

Louise


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
Louise wrote: "Hello everyone,

So sorry it's been so long since I've stopped by. How rude of me. I've just been a bit buried in edits, writing, and other things, but wanted to stop by today to update my little c..."


welcome back Louise!!
happy to haveyouback and bestof luck with your book!


message 22: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Thank you, Rick! :-) Hope you are well.


message 23: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Hello, everyone.

Hope you are all enjoying the end of August. I just popped by to let you know THE BLACK ACT is now available on Kindle for the low price of $2.99:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Black-Act-e...

Have a wonderful week!

Louise


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
Louise wrote: "Hello, everyone.

Hope you are all enjoying the end of August. I just popped by to let you know THE BLACK ACT is now available on Kindle for the low price of $2.99:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Black..."


wonderful Louise- I will copy -paste this post to BOOKS AND WRITINGS BY MEMBERS- so as many members can see this great offer as possible!


message 25: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Thank you kindly, Rick! :-)

I come back because I am quite forgetful. Silly thing, I am. I have more good news to share. I'm pleased to say I have a poem included in Death in Common: Poetry From Unlikely Victims edited by Rich Ristow, now up for pre-order from Needfire Press. I'm so pleased to be part of a collection that includes writers I look up to, like Monica J. O'Rourke, Wrath James White, Marge Simon, and many more.

Please take a peek at:
http://belfirepress.com/poetry/?p=79

It's on sale for $7.99 if you pre-order this week.

Thanks again, Rick, and everyone!

My very best,

Louise xox


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
Louise wrote: "Thank you kindly, Rick! :-)

I come back because I am quite forgetful. Silly thing, I am. I have more good news to share. I'm pleased to say I have a poem included in Death in Common: Poetry From U..."


wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 27: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Thanks, Rick! :-)


message 28: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Hello, dear folks,

I'm running a bit of a contest for The Black Act. For readers, it's a chance to have their favorite character from the book custom drawn. Details on my Live journal:

http://louise-bohmer.livejournal.com/...

Take care~

Louise


message 29: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Hello Rick and everyone,

A most Happy Halloween month to you all! :-) I just popped over to also remind you The Black Act Choose Your Own Character Contest is over October 31 at midnight, so that means you only have 11 days to enter! Details on the contest found here: http://louise-bohmer.livejournal.com/...

And I should have some short story news coming up around Christmas time. I'll post more as details develop.

Take care ~

Louise


message 30: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Hello Rick and all,

I just stopped over to post the winner of The Black Act Choose Your Character Contest. The winner was K.V. Taylor. I'd like to thank Rick very much for entering with his wonderful review of The Black Act.


And my guest blog is now up at S.D. Hintz's Hideaway. It's a bit of folklore about the Shag Harbor Incident in Nova Scotia. You also have the chance to win a free ebook of Courting Morpheus, an anthology that includes my story Night Terrors Revisited, when you comment on the guest blog.

http://sdhintz.com/louise-bohmer-gues...


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7271 comments Mod
Louise wrote: "Hello Rick and all,

I just stopped over to post the winner of The Black Act Choose Your Character Contest. The winner was K.V. Taylor. I'd like to thank Rick very much for entering with his wonder..."


wonderful Louise- happy to be a part of a great contest!


message 32: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Hello Rick and everyone~

Sorry I have been absent for so long! I hope everyone is well, and that spring might be showing itself wherever you are. I have a new contest and new book to pass along, plus a new book trailer. I've also got free ebook offer for everyone.

Old School Anthology

Recently, I had the chance to work with dear friends and some talented up and coming writers of dark fiction and horror on a traditional horror anthology. Entitled Old School, it is now available in print and ebook from Belfire Press and its usual outlets. You can view the book cover and full information on Goodreads by clicking the small book cover below.

Old School by Belfire Press

Old School, a traditional horror collection born of seven twisted minds, invites you back to a time when vampires and werewolves were monsters who made humans quiver in terror. Fourteen short tales offered by David Dunwoody, Jackie Gamber, R. Scott McCoy,Natalie L. Sin, Horace James, Gregory L. Hall, and Louise Bohmer, all tied together by selected poems from Zombie Zak – Old School reminds one of terrors best not forgotten. Within these pages, evil children terrorize, witches gather the teeth of the young, cosmic blobs eat the world, while creepy crawlies ruin a man’s life and a headless ghost seeks revenge. Wander down this spooky path with poems and stories that revive our nightmares about golems, harpies, and other forgotten creatures.

Old School book trailer (which I'll also be uploading here):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HZF9N...

Also, Greg Hall and R Scott McCoy, who compiled and created Old School, have a contest running until March 25 that gives you the chance to win a copy of Old School. Full details below:

From now until March 25, at midnight, you can enter to win a copy of the Old School anthology. All you have to do to enter is write 100 words detailing what your dream date with R. Scott McCoy would be like. Send your entries to Mr. McCoy at: rscottmccoy@necrotictissue.com

Winners will be announced on The Funky Werepig BlogTalk Radio show Greg hosts with Scott, which I had the pleasure of joining the men for recently, as part of their monthly harroink:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-funk...

Free Courting Morpheus

As well, Courting Morpheus, an anthology themed around insomnia, creepy small towns, and what lurks there, is now available for free, in ebook format, from Smashwords, for a limited time. I contributed "Night Terrors Revisited" to this collection, the story of childhood sweethearts haunted by supernatural evil twins.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...

That's about it for now. Take care!

Louise


message 33: by Louise (new)

Louise (louisebohmer) | 22 comments Happy Halloween, Rick and everyone! :) Sorry it has been so long since I dropped by. I have some more Old School news to share with you, a blog about monster love, plus free Halloween reads.

Old School Excerpt and Review

The wonderful Velvet of vvb 32reads recently helped out a bunch with promoting Old School. Below, you can read her review of this traditional horror anthology, and you can check out an excerpt from an R. Scott McCoy story that is included in Old School.

Old School Review:
http://vvb32reads.blogspot.com/2011/1...

Old School Excerpt - Play Time by R. Scott McCoy:
http://vvb32reads.blogspot.com/2011/0...

And if you love classic monsters as much as I do, surf over to Gef Fox's place to read my contribution to his Monster Movie Marathon.

Monster Love: Thanks to the Squad and Universal:
http://waggingthefox.blogspot.com/201...

I have free Halloween reads up at my site, for anyone who enjoys a spooky story. Some flash fiction and a longer tale. Both links below.

http://www.louisebohmer.com/site/2011...

http://www.louisebohmer.com/site/2011...

Take care,

Louise


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