Hello, and welcome to my Spotlight Author Guest posts where you can meet independently published authors by sampling their work. The whole idea was to give independent authors another place where they could connect with readers.
I asked for posts dedicated to the themes of fairies, myths, and magic where authors could show off their writing skills by stretching their wings and stepping out of their genre comfort zones if need be.
This week, I am pleased to introduce you to author, C. S. Boyack. Craig is a paranormal fantasy author. I have read and reviewed quite a few of his books. His stories always deliver a few chills and thrills!
Craig has a new novella out called, The Hat. And, here’s Craig doing his other favorite thing when he’s not writing… Take it away, Craig!
“I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.”
“Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.
She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.
Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.
Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.
Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.”
Thanks for inviting me over today, Colleen. I have a new book out that I want to talk about. It’s kind of a paranormal superhero story with my own brand of craziness included. It’s a novella, so it’s only going to take an afternoon to read. Or, you can stretch it out if you’d like. It’s called “THE HAT,” and I’ll provide a cover and blurb so you can check it out.
I’ve had loose threads of something like this floating around in my mind for a long time. It never came together until Christmas time of 2016. I must have heard the song, Frosty the Snowman, a billion times in my life.
Frosty the Snowman – Image credit: blvcccvrd.com
Then one day the line about magic in that old silk hat kind of brought everything together.
Lizzie St. Laurent meets up with the hat, and the two of them have to form a symbiotic relationship to rescue some missing babies. It’s the sum of the two that makes everything work here. They both bring skills to the table, but cannot completely function alone.
I mention that so I can walk you through a bit of “hat” backstory. Dating back to the Greek city-states, one of the warriors noticed his friends were all disappearing over time. As one of the older soldiers, he wanted to give himself an edge. He visited a witch and paid her to whammy his helmet so he could have eyes in the back of his head.
Things worked out the way he wanted, with a little something extra.
The hat is a creature from another dimension.
He’s been magically bound into the shape of a hat in our world for what seems like all time. His fate is tied to Lizzie’s bloodline, but not her family name. The bloodline can jump across family names, making his sentence pretty much forever.
This leads to some untold stories that I think give depth to the one I’m telling. There is a historical line of superheroes dating back thousands of years. There must be some good tales in that history somewhere. I’m not telling those stories, but it gives a nice feeling of depth to the tale. It also leaves the door open to Lizzie learning about her family via the hat.
I pepper tiny bits of that history into the story, but as a novella, it’s doubly important to stick with Lizzie’s tale. It might be a fascinating backstory, but it’s still backstory.
They start out on kind of a bad foot, and that’s part of the fun here. These two aren’t likely to forge much of a relationship. This is when I circled back to Frosty. Music helps the two create a kind of mentor and student relationship.
Antique upright bass – Image credit: lemurmusic.com
The hat owns an old upright bass. He can only play it if Lizzie lends him her arms and fingers.
The bass gave me an opportunity to add a training sequence, which is part of most speculative fiction, and yet keep it fresh in many ways too. Lizzie also appears to have a musician’s future ahead of her, even if nobody knows the hat has all the talent.
I’m really happy with the way a larger world revealed itself in this book without bogging down the story. Lizzie isn’t a witch, but witchcraft exists. There are genuine monsters in our world, but I only glanced upon them. Magical artifacts are rare, but Lizzie can use them if she finds any. Lizzie’s grandfather was a monster hunter, and nobody knew about it.
I’d kind of like to revisit Lizzie and the hat one day. I’m known for writing stand-alone stories, but these two may have more stories in them.
I’d really appreciate it if the readers today would check it out. Getting a book off the ground these days is a tough gig. I’m only asking 99¢, and as a novella, it tells a decent story without requiring a bunch of your time. Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B078YYCNSF
The Hat sounds like an excellent read. I’ve already gotten my copy! And you know, I’m all about my hat! Hey, would you be interested in appearing in my Author Spotlight – Guest Posts? I’m looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an enthusiastic author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more.” ~Colleen~
“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
Click: What is a Rhyme Scheme?
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.