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Monday, December 17, 2012

In memory of the lives lost in Newtown, Connecticut on 12/14/2012

If you have watched a second of news, turned on the radio once, been on Facebook for more than a minute, or talked with one other person in the last three days, then you have undoubtedly heard about the terrible tragedy that took place Friday morning in the small community of Newtown, CT.

What happened is unspeakable, and something that no one in their right mind would ever do.  I won't say the name of the killer or tell you anything about that person, because I feel that the "glory" of infamy should not be rewarded for what that person has done.

Twenty six people are dead now.  Most of them were kids, no older than seven.  Their whole lives were ahead of them, cut unfairly short.  Though I don't have any children of my own yet, I have seven nieces and nephews with one more on the way; I don't know how I would cope if it had been any of them.

The brave adults did their best to shield and protect the children, several giving up their own lives to save the lives of their students.  What they did was selfless and incredible, and their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

The media has plastered the killer's name everywhere, but I refuse to do so.  It is a name I have heard but will never repeat.  The following names are the ones I want to honor, to remember, to pray for, to think about.  Their birthdays go to show just how young they were.  These are the innocent, the ones we mourn for and hold in our hearts:

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05
Rachel Davino, 7/17/83
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06
Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/60
Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05
Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06
James Mattioli , 3/22/06
Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60
Emilie Parker, 5/12/06
Jack Pinto, 5/06/06
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06
Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06
Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06
Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982
Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06
Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06

There is nothing that would take away the pain from the families of the fallen.  Some wounds will never heal; people just learn to live with the pain.

My thoughts, heart, and prayers are with those affected by this.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another zombie novel, a supernatural novel, and a memoir... too much?

Almost a month has passed since my last post.  The sequel to Silence of Souls is nearing completion, and (if things go well this week) I am still on schedule to release it sometime between Christmas and New Year's.

The novel is better than the first, or at least I think so.  It's much deeper, more emotional, and far different than any other zombie novel I've read so far.  Hopefully, it'll gain a lot of readers, though I'm sure there will be people who hate it because of a certain event that takes place in the novel.  This one is definitely NOT for children, and I think parents should be aware of what happens before letting their teenagers read it or not.  Once it's released, I will put up a fair warning (while trying my best not to give away any important plot points) on the page so that people know it has mature content.

Thanksgiving was a fantastic long weekend.  I spent the long weekend camping with family and friends and didn't get on the computer at all.  I didn't force myself to think about work at all either.  It was a good idea, because I came home with a clear head and an imagination yearning to get to work.  As my mind cleared up, new ideas came rushing to me for the rest of Resurgence as well as for my next two novels.

The next novel is a vast expansion of The Secret Room and is going to be an epic battle between good and evil.  It's going to have a lot of supernatural elements in it, and my ideas keep expanding and growing, and I'm loving where this is leading to.  In all likelihood, this will be another series, which I am okay with.  (Don't worry, zombie fans: The Silence of Souls series will continue!) As soon as Resurgence is finished, I'm getting to work on The Secret Room novel (though it won't be called "The Secret Room"; I don't yet have a title for it, though).

Part of me is considering taking on a challenge I've never done before- writing two novels at once.  One will be The Secret Room novel, and the other will be the memoir I've been considering writing for a few years now (and more and more encouragement has come from friends and family to write it).  Discipline will have to be a top priority if writing two at the same time, though one being fiction and the other non-fiction might make it a little easier.  We'll see how things go after Resurgence is released.  :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Signing

Over the weekend, I had my first book signing event.  It was at the local library, and they were also doing a book sale.  (I got a box full of books for just $2- what a deal!)  The library is only a couple years old, so it's a gorgeous building and very spacious.

I sold every copy that I had, and had to take orders for more.  It was so much fun, and the feeling of having people come and ask for my novel and autograph was surreal.  There were several people who made the trip special just to see and support me, and I am grateful to each and every one of those people.

It was also very cool to have people I didn't know asking for my novel and autograph.  I'd tell them the basic gist of the story, and some people got very intrigued.

Proceeds from sales were donated to the Friends of Acton-Agua Dulce Library (they do all sorts of awesome reading, writing, and educational activities for the community), Susan G. Komen For The Cure, and St. Jude Children's Hospital, so it all went to good places.  Even though I didn't make any money off the sale, it was a very profitable weekend- I met some great people, made some new contacts, and may have opened the door to two more book signings in other communities, which is very exciting!

Halloween is tomorrow, and I think the whole "scary season" is really getting to me, in a good way.  I've been getting so many ideas for different paranormal stories lately, and some of them really intrigue me.  A few dreams and old memories have washed up on the shores of my mind and are taking up root in my imagination.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What do you really want to be?

The other night, I was thinking about something- what do I really want to do?  Why do I want to be a writer?

The obvious answer is that I love to tell stories.  I love being able to create worlds, characters, and situations and blend them all together to create a story.  It's a deep passion that I've had as long as I can remember.

But there's a deeper reason why I want to be a writer- I want to be a positive influence on the world.

I want to write stories, inspire people (including myself), gain a voice, and help create a better future for our world.

My morals are (in no particular order):
• equality for all
      -not being judged based on your gender, ethnicity, orientation, religion, political beliefs, etc.
• freedom for all
      -to achieve your dreams
      -to do what you love
      -to be who you are
      -to have opportunities
• love
      -for each other
      -for animals
      -for our planet and environment
      -for children and the future they have
• education
     -for all; smart people make smart choices, so good education would solve lots of the world's problems
     -creating a passion for learning in our children
     -self-learning and betterment
     -self-evolution and continuing to strive for understanding of the human experience
• working together
      -understanding each other
      -helping those in need when we have no obligation to

By no means am I anywhere near perfect, but I want to continually make myself a better person.  The person I want to be is one that doesn't think about giving, just gives; doesn't worry about possessions, but about people; doesn't care about impressing those more fortunate than her, but helping those who are less fortunate; doesn't judge or criticize others, just loves them for who they are.

Who do you really want to be?  Are you on your way to becoming that person?

p.s.- don't forget that all month long, proceeds from book sales will be going to Susan G. Komen and St. Jude's Children's Hospital to help fight cancer: The list of books and stories that will help cancer research and treatment is here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Zombies, Ghosts, and Psycho Killers for Breast Cancer Awareness!!!

While I was lying in bed last night, it hit me. October is the perfect storm for something I've been wanting to do for a while.

October 2012 means:
-The return of The Walking Dead for season three. (And you all know I love ZOMBIES!)
-Breast Cancer Awareness Month
-This October marks 19 years for me of being cancer-free, and 19 is my lucky number. (I am the survivor of a very rare childhood cancer called germ cell cancer of the ovaries; sometimes also called germination cell cancer. Even though it wasn't breast cancer, people still become more aware of cancer during this month.)
-Silence of Souls has been nominated for Book of the Month on The Paranormal and Horror Lovers Group on Goodreads. (Winner will be announced tomorrow.)

So, with all this adding up, I've decided that I will donate 50% of all my income from book (both eBook and paperback) sales for the month of October to cancer research and treatment.  Every time someone purchases one of my works, a donation will be made to cancer research and treatment, for the benefit of those currently battling cancer, those who have fought and won, and those who have been lost to cancer.

The donations will be given to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

If you like reading scary stuff, ghost stories, thrillers, or zombies, check out something to read and help make a difference in someone's life!  Author Page with List of Works

"Silence of Souls" is wearing a pink ribbon this month.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Big things are happening!

Even though I was sick, this weekend turned out to be pretty awesome.

Friday morning, I went down to the local library where they were having a meet-and-greet with the new librarian (her name is Valerie, and she happens to be a friend and a wonderful woman). It was nice- Val talked about herself, her love of books, her experiences, and what she planned to do for the library.

After the introduction, there was mingling and some refreshments. The head of the Friends of the Acton Library committee was there, and she approached me and started talking about upcoming events. Long story short, she asked me to do a book signing at the end of October! I was thrilled.

Then, on Saturday, I had some major story revelations for Resurgence that I am pretty excited about.

Sunday was awesome, too. I discovered someone had posted a glowing review of my novel on a popular zombie-forum website! Here's a screenshot:
Click to enlarge

Also on Sunday, I found out that Silence of Souls has been nominated for book of the month over on a Goodreads group!  Here's the screenshot of that:
Click to enlarge

It's very exciting, and I'm thrilled that Silence of Souls and Resurgence are gaining buzz!

One last thing- the Goodreads giveaway for autographed copies of both the novels is up and running.  Be sure to enter and tell your friends about it!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Silence of Souls by Stefanie Oberhansley

Silence of Souls

by Stefanie Oberhansley

Giveaway ends December 19, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fictitious dreams that influence the future.

Last night, I had a dream about one of my characters from the Silence of Souls series.

First, an announcement: I've decided on a title for the sequel.  It's going to be Resurgence.

I'm working on the sequel, and it's going to be so much more intense and emotional than the first.  The first, in hindsight, was really just setting the stage for the series.  In the sequel, there is a deplorable, absolutely horrible thing that happens to one of my characters.  I debated for a long time, and spoke to several people about it, before I decided to actually do this thing in the novel.

Back to the dream... last night, I dreamt about this character whom something terrible happens to.  This character was very sad, very hurt, and couldn't understand why this terrible thing had to happen.  I held this character in my arms and comforted them as they sobbed.  I told them they would be alright, and that times may seem hard right now, but they would get better in the future.

I promised my character that life would go on for them, and that it would, eventually, be great.  I think, inadvertently, that I have (unofficially) committed to continuing the series for as long as the story keeps going.  It may end after three books, it may end after twelve.  We'll see.  All I know right now is that my character is having a hard time understanding why this terrible thing had to happen to them, so I must continue on with the story until things get better for that character. It could take a while- there's a lot more hell they'll have to go to before they start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The story must go on.

I'm doing a giveaway, so pass along the word.  You could win autographed copies of Silence of Souls AND Resurgence!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Silence of Souls by Stefanie Oberhansley

Silence of Souls

by Stefanie Oberhansley

Giveaway ends December 19, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win