Saturday, January 31, 2015

"How I Came To Write This Story" Columbkill Noonan, "The Curse of the Glamis Castle"

HISTORY AND HORROR, OH MY is a collection of horror stories that take place in the past or  make use of an historical event. You can peruse it on the links at the bottom. This is the story of one story from the anthology.

Glamis Ghost

I was researching my family history, and discovered a connection with Glamis Castle in Scotland. During a subsequent vacation to Scotland, I took a tour of Glamis Castle. I snapped pictures all over the castle, including one of the Kings Bed (an old fashioned, short bed hung with red curtains where kings of England would sleep whilst visiting the castle). When I looked at the pictures later that evening, I noticed that there, sitting on the bed, plain as day, was an image of a little boy, who appeared to be wearing period garb. I got goosebumps, because I had taken the picture in broad daylight, and there had been no boy on the bed. In fact, the entire castle had been empty save for the tour guide and myself: no other visitors, no other staff, not even a cleaning crew! I then read a book that the Castle Administrator had given me, about legends concerning the castle, and there was a story about a little page boy who had died hundreds of years ago when he was forgotten during a punishment and left to freeze when the fires died down, and his spirit is said to haunt that very room. Needless to say, I felt that the only thing to do was construct a story around that tale, as a kind of homage to that poor little page boy.

I visited Scotland in January, and Glamis Castle was closed to visitors for the winter. Luckily for me, the Castle Administrator took pity on my plight, and arranged for me to have a private tour of the castle.

Columbkill Noonan has an M.S. in Biology, and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Maryland. An avid history buff, much of her writing, which could be best described as “supernatural historical horror”, combines historical events with elements of paranormal fantasy.  Her first novel, Night Woods, is available as an e-book on She is currently working on her second novel, which was inspired by a trip to Scotland, particularly by the grim castles and spooky underground alleys of Edinburgh.

In her spare time, Columbkill enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and riding her horse, Mittens. To learn more about Columbkill, and to hear breaking news about her latest works, please feel free to visit her at .

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Bad Plus: We Are the Champions

Friday's Forgotten Books, Friday, January 30, 2015

The links can be found at IN REFERENCE TO MURDER (B.V. Lawson's site) right here. 

Evan Lewis will be manning the helm next Friday, February 6th. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Bad Plus: Heart of Gold

What is Wonderful About the World?

Emily St. John Mandel said (on @Bksandauthors) when she was thinking about her novel, STATION ELEVEN, (a post-apocalyptic story) her husband asked her, "what is wonderful about the world?'
 She came up with the work of William Shakespeare and uses that as a major plot point in her novel.

What is wonderful about the world? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bad Plus: Knowing Me is Knowing You


When an 11-year old girl is seen being dragged into a car kicking and screaming, the police issue an Amber alert. As the minutes and hours pass by, they know their chances of rescuing the girl diminishes. As Tony Hill reviews the evidence however, he becomes less and less convinced that this is an abduction by a stranger and believes that the girl must have known her attacker. The missing girl's mother is overwrought and her stepfather has a conviction for assault. A sudden twist however changes the entire nature of the investigation leading Tony and DI Alex Fielding to realize they had made a fundamental error at the outset.(From IMDB)

This is a very fine episode. To tell you why would ruin it. It is clever in its setup and clever in the denouement. Despite watching it on a defective DVD, I was riveted.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Bad Plus with Wendy Lewis: How Deep is Your Love

Why We Don't Finish Books

I only finish a small percentage of books I start. ( I have said this before). My reasons for this are varied and here are a few recent ones.

Book One: Although the writing is very fine and although there is a fair amount of clever humor, nothing happens. Page after page of nothing happening. And the writing is too self-consciously clever.

Book Two: I could not follow the scientific information in it and this occupied too much of the book for me to skim it. This is not the author's fault. It is mine.

Book Three: A mystery that is an endless series of detective interviews. There is little character development, little good writing. Just following the detective around while he interviews people. The plot might turn out to be clever but I need more than someone following their nose.(This is why I have never gotten into LEWIS on Masterpiece).

Book Four: Looks like this is going to be another serial killer story after all. I have to hear his voice every few chapters too. And I have to think about his victim in the closet. Same old, same old nut.

Book Five: Didn't you do this in your last book, Author? Aren't you writing about the same place, with the same guy, with the same observations again? 

What about you? What was your recent for not finishing a recent book?