OF MICE AND MONSTERS by Tirzah Duncan: Troubled by ghosts within and without, Benjamin struggles to become the man his girlfriend needs instead of the monster he is.
GO GENTLE by Julie Barnson: After the death of her boyfriend, a young musician uses her talents and a fabled violin to stop the fatal accidents at a dead man’s curve.
DEAD WATER by Amanda Banker: A stalled truck, an abandoned graveyard, and a town not found on any map take two brothers on a detour they’ll never forget.
COLD SPOT by Jay Barnson: When a laptop is stolen from their computer security company, two high school buddies go to extremes to investigate. But, will they manage to return?
THE WEEPING LADY by A. F. Stewart: Eva Douglas must face her mother issues, past and present, when the disappearance of her sister forces a confrontation with a terrifying ghost.
THE POLTERGEIST AND AUNT BETTY by Ginger C. Mann: Aunt Betty is eccentric, but how much is ghost, how much is medication, and how much is just plain crazy?
THE ‘GRIM’ REAPER by L. K. McIntosh: When a soul reaper loses the source of their power,
they must either find the witch who stole it or a new purpose for living.
SHRINE OF MIRRORS by F. M. Longo: A spy on a mission becomes a believer in the supernatural when the theft of three ancient relics threaten to bring down the empire.
DEAD MAN HOCKING by T.N. Payne: A world-weary zombie learns to beware what you wish for, and not all sure bets are worth the gamble.
ST. PETER’S FISH by Alex McGilvery: Sam is a walking disaster of biblical proportions, but how much is he willing to sacrifice to escape, and will the Powers That Be allow it?
THE DIORAMA by Sebastian Bendix: A play set turns life around for Martin Taper, but things take a turn for the worse when he neglects it and the lonely child obsessed with it.
DATE DUE by Danielle E. Shipley: A magic library’s guardian determines to protect her treasured books, whether their authors elect to do things the easy way . . . or the fatal one.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at Go Gentle, and its author Julie Barnson.
I very much enjoyed the myths woven into this well-told story. Music and magic have always belonged hand in hand, and I appreciated the stories Julie drew on for this–a fabled violin, miraculous in origin, played as Rome burned, played as the snakes fled from Ireland, and now in the hands of a bereft young woman.
The atmospherics were handled marvelously, the mood as haunting as fiddlesong. Go Gentle is a classic ghost story well told, eerie and bittersweet. I found it straightforward, but rich with new details, and had no regrets for the ride.
Now, a few questions for the author herself!
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? When I was in third grade. Then I became an adult and decided that I didn’t have anything to say. Recently my children have been growing up and leaving home, and I’m starting to realize that maybe third grade me had the right idea.
2. How does writing impact other parts of your life? I’m a professional storyteller, and I’m hoping to use writing to tie in to some of my performances and to define who I am as a storyteller of the oral AND the written word combined.
3. What was the hardest part of writing your story, and how did you overcome it? Me. I was the hardest part. When I decided to be a professional storyteller, I promised myself that I would give up being a chicken. I have been able to do amazing things with my storytelling because of it. Writing, however, was a big terrifying hurdle that I was avoiding. Writing this story was a reminder of that promise that I gave up being a chicken, and that applies to writing too. This was an exercise in bravery, that I could actually write and finish something and submit it. I never expected to get in, but it has been so worth it!
4. What are some of your other published works? I have a CD that I self published, and have stories in two other cd’s that were produced by the Utah Storytelling Guild. Beyond that and a few contributing recipes in local recipe books, this is my first foray into the publishing world.
5. Name one entity that you feel supported your writing, outside of family members. Amanda Banker. The idea of writing and really trying to enter a contest or get published was terrifying. I didn’t tell most of the people that I knew that I was even thinking about it. I knew she wanted to be a writer, I knew she was a great writer, so I told her she should do this with me. She didn’t read my story until just a little while ago, but she and I were both starting out in this together, and I felt like I had someone in my corner cheering me on.
Julie Barnson has been a professional storyteller in Utah for over ten years. Many authors call themselves storytellers, but in this case, she means the oral tradition, not the written one. She is a member of the Utah Storytelling Guild, and performs to audiences all over the state.
Her favorite stories are ghost stories. Her Octobers are filled with jobs telling stories for ghost tours, cemetery tours, Halloween parties, and other spooky events. She has a huge ghost story collection, and studies ghost folklore over the summers to prepare for her Halloween obsession.
It is only natural that her first published story be a ghost story. She is married to Jay Barnson, who also has a story in this anthology.
Spooky is a family affair.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars
Hunger Games or Divergent? Hunger Games.
James Bond or Jack Ryan? Jack Ryan
Sherlock: Robert Downey, Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch? Benedict Cumberbatch, absolutely
Spock: Leonard Nimoy or Zachary Quinto? Leonard Nimoy
X-Men or Avengers? Avengers
Aliens or Predators? Aliens
Minions or Penguins? Neither
Batman or Superman? Batman
Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean? Yes.