Writer Wednesday – Jacob & Jenny Floyd

Writer Wednesday

 

1. Tell us who you are and a little bit about what you write.

Jacob: My name is Jacob Floyd, I write paranormal nonfiction with my wife, Jenny. We are also ghost hunters who own and operate two history and haunts tours in the Louisville area—Jacob Floyd’s Shepherdsville History and Haunts Tour and Jacob Floyd’s NuLu History and Haunts Tour. I also run a blog called Jacob Floyd’s Ghosts and Monsters, which focuses on dark fiction and nonfiction paranormal topics; on it, I conduct interviews, post reviews of books, film, and television, and post other articles on related topics. I also write horror, as well.

Jenny: My name is Jenny Floyd. I am co-author of Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions. I am also a photographer that specializes in cemetery photography. I love antiques and Disney, and I am a ghost hunter.

 

2. What is something that your fans would be surprised to know about you?

Jacob: I don’t know. Maybe that, other than my wife, my best friend is my toy poodle named Snow White, and we call her BooBoo. People are also often surprised to find out that I’m a fan of pro wrestling.

Jenny: I am a descendant of Daniel Boone. Also, the northern route of the Wilderness Road once crossed through the property of the Brooks Plantation, which was a family home and the first chapter of Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions.

 

3. What made you become a writer?

Jacob: It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. When I was a kid, I used to carry notebooks around and write down everything that came to my mind. As a teen, I wrote poetry and outlined a lot of stories I never finished. As I got older, I started writing full stories. After my wife and I started getting involved with ghost hunting, we both decided it would be cool to write books about the things we found out. She has a lot of ideas and knowledge regarding the paranormal.

Jenny: My dad used to give me antique books—the chapter books with the gilt edges—and I always thought, “I got stories to tell.” In first grade, I wrote a book called Ghost, and it was about a ghost that did different things. The most memorable thing was that he ate pizza. The book was a hit with my class. LOL

 

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jacob: Mostly plotter. For the ghost books, Jenny and I always sit down and lay out a table of contents before researching. For fiction, I always have to plot. I write out what’s going to happen chapter by chapter and then get to writing. But, it’s only a vague outline. The details often evolve organically around the plot. I used to be a pantser, but the storyline always suffered. It’s better for me to have an idea where I’m going.

Jenny: I’m definitely a plotter. My goal is to have a series of paranormal books.

 

5. What is the biggest mistake that you’ve learned not to make while writing?

Jacob: For nonfiction paranormal, writing something down without thoroughly researching it, even if it’s something as minute as a detail of the building or what street corner it’s on. You have to always make sure to get that right. For fiction, not plotting the story was the biggest mistake I always made.

Jenny: Not to get ahead of myself.

 

6. What is the last book you finished reading? What did you think?

Jacob: I just finished reading Knife’s Tell by Daniel Dark. I thought it was a very unique and engrossing book. I wrote a review for it on my blog, Jacob Floyd’s Ghosts and Monsters.

Jenny: Skull Full of Kisses by Michael West. I really enjoyed the stories.

 

7. Would you like to pimp a specific project?

Jacob: Well, I already mentioned my blog, and our tours. You can check out my Amazon author page for my books.

Jenny: We are working on our next paranormal books, so stay tuned to see what’s forthcoming from the Frightening Floyds.

 

8. Is there a URL or social media account you’d like to share?

Here is a link to our Facebook page, The Frightening Floyds: https://www.facebook.com/FrighteningFloyds/

Our cemetery photography: https://www.facebook.com/FloydsCemeteryPhotography/

Here is my author page: https://www.facebook.com/jacobfloydauthor/

A page to my blog: https://www.facebook.com/JacobFloydsGhostsandMonsters/

My blog site: https://wordpress.com/view/jacobfloydsghostsandmonsters.wordpress.com

The tour pages:

https://www.facebook.com/shepherdsvilletour/

https://www.facebook.com/eastmarkettour/

 

On Writing

We just think it’s important to keep writing and moving our work forward. We are trying to create our own brand on the paranormal side, which is very meaningful to use because it’s something we have created together. Jenny has a lot of ideas on the topic, and we bounce those ideas around and come up with great projects together. We have a few series planned for the paranormal writing. We built the tours together through a lot of interviews and research, and it’s been a great experience as they have helped us get the ball rolling for our books.

As for fiction, the same thing only reversed: I have a ton of ideas and my wife helps me make them better when we bounce ideas around; often times, she helps me fill in plots, or come up with great beginnings and story arcs. I have a lot planned for the fiction side of things, as well. We have a ton of ideas and don’t plan on stopping. We work together on everything and that’s why we love what we do.

We also work together on ideas for the blog, which helps us progress in both arenas—fiction and nonfiction paranormal—whether it’s who to interview, what to review, or what topic to tackle. Jenny has really gotten the hang of designing the ads, and that has given the blog the necessary visual to bring it attention. That’s how the Frightening Floyds work!

 

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Book Review: Seventh Night by Iscah

Title: Seventh Night

Author Iscah

Format Published: Smashwords Edition, published by Amoeba Ink co.

Published: 2013

iscah

Writing fairy tales today is an interesting task.  It seems that every few years, someone puts out a book that is either seeking to or somehow accidentally redefines how fairy tales are told.  Sometimes, it’s something like ‘The Princess Bride’, a book that takes a rather irreverent look at all the conceits of fairy taledom and plays them in a rather tongue in cheek fashion. Other times, it’s a book like ‘Wicked’, and all the various ‘retellings’ of classic tales, fairy and non fairy alike, that seek to pull a deeper meaning out of the familiar cast of characters, often by putting more meat on the fictional bones of a little realized character from the original work.  And then of course, there’s always the attempt to revolutionize how a fairy tale is told, to do something completely new and different.

‘Seventh Night’ by Iscah….accomplishes all three.

The plot is basically that in order to bring peace between her land and another, a princess, the Seventh Night of the title, agrees to marry a Prince from the other land.  Only it turns out the Prince may not be the Prince….and along the way, she trips across a Magician’s Apprentice who is also not a Prince, but may be someone she could be in love with.  Mix into this liberally a murder plot, a few royal family secrets, and a quest like sojourn into a land literally of wizards and sprinkle in the required bad guys, who may actually appear to be good guys first in this book, and the good guys, who are ambiguous at best as to which side of the line they stride sometimes, and what you end up with is wonderful tale replete with magic, love, monsters, betrayal, unicorns, intrigue, and …all the stuff fairy tales are made of.

Iscah’s ‘Seventh Night’ definitely bears comparison to ‘The Princess Bride’ for its rather brusque and modern style of storytelling.  The characters obviously should fit certain fairy tale molds and even some are conscious that they should and do not, so there is a lot of humor and winking throughout at the story at the original source material. If not handled well, this can often be distracting or weigh down a tale. Not in this case. Iscah masterfully weaves a tale and never once loses her sense of humor or wonder for the genre she is working within.

This is not so much a retelling of any particular fairy tale, but more of a retelling of fairy tales in general.  Isaac takes the established patterns, regular storylines, and, instead of really tearing them apart and making something new, she actually utilizes the tropes that already exist and gives new life to them.  Also, she takes the classic character types and, by giving them a certain degree of self awareness, redefines the stereotypical princess to be married off, the underdog love interest, the sorceress, and all the other character types that have to populate a good fairy tale.  This is how she both essentially produces a retelling of fairy tales that gives more insight into the characters AND creates a new way to tell them, which in large part involves seeing the old, familiar pieces of fairy tales through imaginative and modern eyes.

Iscah’s ‘Seventh Night’ is definitely five pages out of five. It is also perhaps one of the best books I read in the last year and is most definitely the best and most successful attempt to bring the fairy tale into the modern era, not be changing the setting, but simply by taking all the parts that work and casting them in a thoroughly updated light.

By my personal scale, this gets Six out of Six bullets.  It is fantastic and fun read, fully loaded to entertain one and all.

 

 

Book Review – Warm Bodies… by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies

Author: Isaac Marion

Format: Paperback

Published/Written: 2011

Despite having already reviewed one book that has had a recent movie come out for it… I will say that it is not too often that I decide to pick up a book because a movie of it is coming out.  Yet, this was the case with Warm Bodies.  I fell in love with the story line from the first preview I saw in theaters.  I always thought it would be interesting to do a Zombie love story… I was excited to see  someone had done it even if it was just a film… I later discovered that the movie was based off a novel and I got even more excited… I knew I needed to pick up the book even if there was a forever long waiting list for it at the library…

When I sat down to crack the book open… I was surprised by how the story was conveyed.  One would not think that a zombie would make a good narrator for a first person perspective novel… but Isaac accomplishes a very realistic voice that is quite compelling and has a rather strong vocabulary.  (It enthralled me to read words that I hardly see in type let alone hear spoken.)  I know it seems bizarre for a zombie to be able to tell his story in such a way… but it works considering that the life of “R” before he became a zombie indicates that he was a well-educated man.

For me… the story gripped me right away and this book is what I would call something of an escapist book… every time I picked it up… I was lost to the world around me and entered into the post-apocalyptic America where zombies rule the world and the living are few and far between.  The root cause of this happenstance is uncertain… but not really important.  The focus isn’t so much on the how and why but on “R” as he deals with the issues of being a zombie and protecting Julie the girl he meets… after killing her boyfriend.  If you have seen the previews… you know the general plot of the story, thus I don’t feel it would be a spoiler to mention how the gradual change of “R” was masterfully done as it was so subtle… and quite powerful at times.

Over all… I found the book to be very well written… Isaac is a master of short syllabic dialogue, communicating a lot through short conversations and prose.  On the whole… I loved this book, despite knowing most of what would happen based on the movie previews… I was surprised by the twists and turns the journey took to reach the end… I do have a few complaints about the book though.  In the book there are two different narrators, the first of course being “R”… and then a second additional one.  My problem wasn’t with the second perspective, as it gave a lot of depth to the story… the problem was that it was hard at times to realize the switch right away… it didn’t take me too long to discover the change but… it was enough that I had to go back and reread some.  I also took issue with there being a shortage of dialogue tags… most of the time it was fine… considering the brevity of the dialogue but there were a few occasions where I would have to sort of count to see who said what.  This would have been more problematic if the speech patterns between some characters weren’t vastly different from one another…  it did become an issue on occasion though. With that said… I am still going to give this book a 4 page rating…it is not too often that I find a book that I can’t really put down and can finish in about two days.  So… if you are looking for something unique, or are into zombies… this book is a must read… for those not so into zombies… you might still want to give it a try… but I won’t blame you if zombies aren’t your thing…

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