Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

Posts tagged ‘Writer’

COMING SOON – SLIVER

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Well, It’s Almost Done!

I’m pleased to say that after numerous re-writes, arguments with characters and the odd gender reassignment, my latest novel, Sliver, is finally out of my head and onto paper!  There’s still some editing, correcting and general faffing to do, but here’s a taste of what it’s all about:

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I’ll let you know when the Beast is Unleashed.

Nicola

weirdworld@hotmail.co.uk

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2017

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BLOODY HELL, MARY!

Well, we have a nice turn up for the books today – I am delighted to be able to present you with a one off interview with Bloody Mary herself.  Bloody Mary is known by many names (Mary Worthington, Mary Jane, Mary Whales and Mary White to name but a few) and she has taken time out from her hectic mirror stalking schedule to be here with us today.  Just in case you are not familiar with Bloody Mary’s work, take a few seconds to observe the following:

I’ll give you a moment to come out from behind the sofa.

Nicola Kirk: Bloody Mary, welcome to Weirdworld!

Bloody Mary: Hi, nice to be here, thanks for inviting me.

NK: Wow, where to start!  You seem to be doing very well for yourself these days?

BM: (Laughs shyly) Yes, well, there are a lot of mirrors out there.

NK: For those out there who aren’t aware of who you are, would you like to tell us a little about yourself?:

BM: Sure.  Well, I kind of popped up in the 1970s, at least that’s when the folklorists and urban legend people started to take notice of me.  I’ve built up a rather terrifying reputation for myself over the years, even if I do say so myself. I love Googling myself to see what comes up.  There are endless tales of people being terrified out of their wits after having summoned me and then have me crawl out of their mirrors and trying to kill them – ha!  I’m quite the horror celebrity these days.  But people always seem to have found mirrors fascinating, haven’t they?  People try everything with them –  from divining the future to, well, calling up dead people.  You know, historically, young women would try out a little ritual where they would take a lit candle and walk up stairs backwards with a hand mirror at midnight in the hope that they’d see their future husband in the mirror .

NK: Sounds like something exciting to try.

BM: Well, yes and no – if they looked in the mirror and saw a skull looking back at them then it meant they would die before they got married.

NK: Oh.

BM: Yes.  Although, from my point of view, this sort of ritual can be quite entertaining.  Some girls can’t decide which version of the ‘ritual’ to use.  Should they carry the candle, and eat an apple at the same time, whilst walking backwards and trying to brush their hair?  You know, some people just aren’t born multitaskers and the end results can be really amusing to behold.

NK: How have rituals progressed over the years?  Any bloody sacrifices?

BM: (Sighing) Nothing that exciting.  Sometimes, if they’re brave enough, people try to summon me on their own, in their bathroom with just with a candle, and other times, if they’re drunk enough, people try in groups with a bottle of vodka for backup.  The drunk groups are the best.  There’s always someone who runs into the wall while everyone else runs for the door.  Sometimes I don’t even have to put in an appearance, they spook themselves out before they’ve finished the chanting and run away.  That can be disappointing, especially if I’ve been gearing myself up for a grand entrance.

NK: So, if someone was minded to try and summon you, how would they go about it for the best results?

BM: The most generally accepted way is to stand in front of a mirror in a dimly lit room, candles are a nice touch, and to chant ‘Bloody Mary’ three times.  Some people call for Mary Worth or Mary White, I even had someone calling for Mary Whitehouse once – I’m not sure what they were expecting but they looked pretty shocked when I appeared and asked them what they thought about social liberalism.  Sometimes people try calling for the Candyman for a change but I don’t pull off the brutalised black male artist look too well. But a friend of mine, Hanako-San, she has a tough job.  She haunts toilets in Japanese schools.  People are forever banging on third cubicles on third floors and asking if she’s there.  They get horribly frightened when she actually says she’s home – I don’t know why people go looking for us if they’re just going to run away screaming when we answer.  I suppose it could be something to do with the way we sometimes attack them, but sometimes we can be nice.

NK: Hanako- San doesn’t know Moaning Myrtle does she?

BM: Who?

NK: From..uh… Harry Potter – okay, not to to worry, let’s move on.  What’s your average customer like?

BM: Young and female.  I don’t know why, but it’s always girls having slumber parties.  The number of times I’ve turned up to find everyone in a onesie.  It’s like no one makes an effort these days.

NK: What sort of thing can people expect when you appear in their mirror?

BM: Depends what sort of mood I’m in and if they’re interrupting me while I’m doing something important.  I’m not always a bloody faced screaming corpse you know, I do have quite a repertoire.

NK: Funnily enough, I did try to Google reports of people having met you on a good day and I thought I was onto something when the search turned up ‘A friendly welcome and a good Bloody Mary!’ but unfortunately it was just a pub review on Trip Advisor.

BM: (Shrugs) Yes, well, you can’t have everything.  I have to tell you, being summoned all the time by people looking for a bit of a thrill does get a bit tiresome so you can appreciate that I’m not always going to be sunshine and smiles.

NK: Um, not ever by all accounts.  Having read a few experiences left by people on the internet, they’ve reported being screamed at, cursed and apparently you sometimes try to strangle people?

BM: (Holds hands up) Guilty as charged.  Although I did see a piece of viral tat going around on Facebook once that if you didn’t forward a post on to at least fifteen people then I would appear at midnight to slit wrists, throats and pull eyeballs out with a fork.  I mean really…

NK: Bit over the top?

BM: I don’t even own a fork.

NK: Right.  You have become more famous as the years have gone on, haven’t you?

BM: I really have!  I’ve had films made about me and all sorts.  There was Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005), The Legend of Bloody Mary (2008) and I even got in on that Paranormal Activity 3 (2011).

NK: Yes, we featured a clip from that film at the beginning of this interview.

BM: Nothing like a little publicity.

NK: Have you see the doll they’ve made of you?

BM: Seriously?

NK: Bloody Mary Doll

BM: (Recoils in horror) Woah!  That’s… that’s just nasty.  I don’t look like that, do I?  What’s going on with the hair?  I do like her dress though, I think I could make that work.

NK: There are all sorts of back stories attached to your legend, aren’t there?

BM: Oh yes, I’ve got so many possible origins these days, it’s hard to keep up with them all.  The one I like most is that I am Bloody Queen Mary, famous for her violently imposed religious views.  Not that I’m particularly religious but being mistaken for royalty is quite flattering.  Other stories I’ve heard about myself is that I was a particularly vain woman who spent so long looking in mirrors that I came back to haunt them, and anyone who dares to call me up in a mirror will do so at their peril – but I don’t think I’m that vain.  I spend more time looking out of mirrors than into them these days.  One thing I did read (an essay by Alan Dundes called Bloody Mary In The Mirror: A Ritual Reflection of Pre-Pubescent Anxiety) was that elements of my legend could be linked to the onset of menstruation due to the similarities in feelings between that and how people feel when summoning me.

NK: Yeah, I’m not so sure about that one.  When I hit puberty I don’t recall experiencing mindboggling terror – certainly nothing in the same vein as being murdered by something leaping at me from my bathroom mirror.  Getting your monthlies is a bit different, I think.

BM: I think it’s also something to do with the association with blood and the bathroom, too.  An interesting notion but not one I personally like to be associated with.  I still prefer the ‘mess with me and I’ll rip your face off’ approach to my legend.

NK: And finally, do you have any words of advice for people who are considering summoning you to their mirror?

BM: Yes: bring a change of underpants.

NK: So there we have it, coming to a mirror near you: Bloody Mary!

BM: Thank you!  

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

OUIJA – NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK


Ouija boards… I’ve seen many mixed reactions from people when it comes to the use of Ouija boards.  Some are openly terrified of them.  Others, such as myself, think they make a very nice table mat when they’re not being used (although I did eventually have to put it away as people often spilled their coffee when they realised what they were using as a coaster).  I am the proud owner of two Ouija boards (is this Ouija broadband?) and I’ve got to say I have not been subject of any interdimensional invasions, possessions or paranormal terrorism.  Perhaps this is just sheer luck or maybe the paranormal world just doesn’t find life at home with the Kirks that appealing.  Perhaps an invasion has been attempted but the Wraiths From Beyond got fed up with treading on my son’s Lego and decided to try somewhere less dangerous instead.

Anyway, this particular novel goes a bit like this…

Lisa, Lex and Rena are best friends – they do everything together, but when an evening’s fun with a Ouija board gets a little out of hand they soon find out just how deep their friendship actually runs.

Ouija is a fictional novel about three women who suspect their Ouija board might just be a direct telephone line to Satan.  Some would say that on its own is terrifying enough, but when a murderous Occultist and her demons set their sights on the women as potential sacrifices for their nefarious rituals, things look pretty dire for the three friends.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE KINDLE VERSION OF OUIJA

CLICK HERE FOR THE PAPERBACK VERSION OF OUIJA

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2012

Book Cover Image and Design ©Nicola Kirk 2012

A GHOST OF A CHANCE – NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK


I think out of all the things I’ve written to date, this book is possibly my favourite.  Tiennador will always have a special place as it’s the first book I wrote, but I had a really good time writing A Ghost Of A Chance.  I’ve been lucky enough to have been on a few paranormal investigations and although none of them turned out quite like the investigations in this book, the experiences helped to lay the groundwork for the characters and events I’ve written about (I hasten to add that none of the events in this book are based on real people or occurrences, but I wish they were!).

Part of this book was cooked up out of one of my infamous dreams.  I can still remember it now – I dreamed I found a mummified bird in a box under my bed, and my mother kept referring to it as if it had been my baby and called it ‘my poor little bird’.  It was a very surreal and I awoke thinking I could add this to the story… I even write when I’m asleep, how about that…? Anyway, here’s a flavour of what this book is about:

Dee Matlock is 30 years old and fresh out of  a disastrous relationship.  In her desperation to meet someone else before she turns “thirty, single and crazy” she decides to join a dysfunctional paranormal group based at an old manor house.

Between the the founder of the group, the suave and sexy Aaron Myers, and The Manor’s owner, arrogant heiress, Amelia Haughton-Rose, who enjoys nothing more than trying to make Dee feel as insignificant as possible, Dee soon finds she has more on her plate than she can handle.  But just when Dee thinks things couldn’t possibly get more complicated, she soon finds herself embroiled in the dark and murderous history of The Manor…

CLICK HERE FOR THE PAPERBACK VERSION

CLICK HERE FOR THE KINDLE VERSION

 
Nicola

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2012

Book Cover Image and Design ©Nicola Kirk 2011

SKARAN – THE SEQUEL TO TIENNADOR NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK TOO!

Heather King and Alex Charlton return in Skaran, the sequel to Tiennador

Well, I’m loving this.  All my scribblings are becoming available in paperback as well as in Kindle! Having spent ages writing these things, it’s so nice to be able to inflict it all on the world at large.

So here’s my second offering – SKARAN:

“Sometimes being a paranormal investigator isn’t all fun and games, especially when there’s a blood thirsty demon out to get you. When Heather and Alex discover that the Clans of Tiennador are plotting against them they decide it’s time for drastic action… but at what cost?”

If you are feeling so inclined to follow up Tiennador with a copy of Skaran to see what Heather and Alex get up to next, and you want to get your hands on a luverly papery paperback copy, you can do so here:

PAPERBACK COPY OF SKARAN

Or if you’re in the mood to be Kindlised, you can get a Kindle copy here:

KINDLE COPY OF SKARAN

Go on, you know you want to…

Cheers everyone!

Nicola

Email: weirdworld@hotmail.co.uk

(c) Nicola Kirk 2012 and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2012

TIENNADOR – NOW AVAILABLE IN LOVELY PAPERY PAPERBACK FORMAT!

TIENNADOR

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I am easily pleased.  It’s true.  So when one of my bloggy writer friends, Kay Glass, mentioned she has her literary creations available in paperback format, courtesy of Create Space on Amazon, I must confess I almost tap danced on the table with glee, because that meant that it was now possible for me to do the same! Woohoo!

Kindles are great – they’re light, easy, everyone on the train on the way into work of a morning is glued to them!  But I love paper.  Lovely, lovely papery paperbacks that I can hold in my hands and bury my nose in and, I’m guessing, I’m not the only one who feels this way.  So, I am now delighted to announce that Tiennador is available in paperback format (at a sensible price!).  I hope some of you might be tempted to purchase a copy (hey, who called me pushy? Quiet there in the back row!)…

So, what’s Tiennador all about then?:

“First rule of an investigation – always go in pairs.”

These words come to haunt paranormal investigator, Heather King, when she reluctantly agrees to let her best friend and colleague, Lynette Matthews, go off on her own to investigate supernatural goings on deep in London’s West End. When Lynette goes missing and an egotistical private investigator is brought in to track down the unfortunate woman, Heather can’t believe things can possibly get any worse… until she meets the bloodthirsty clans of the Tiennador Lands.

Caught up in a desperate race to save Lynette’s life as well as her own, time is running out to reach the Fortress of Kirator before hell is unleashed on earth.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE PAPERBACK VERSION OF TIENNADOR

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE KINDLE VERSION OF TIENNADOR 

Reviews available here: Amazon

And for those of you who enjoyed Tiennador, the sequel, Skaran, (which is already available for Kindles) will also be available shortly in paperback format too.

Best wishes.

Nicola

weirdworld@hotmail.co.uk

(c) Nicola Kirk 2012 and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2012

BEING MY OWN BOSS…

Must write! Must wriiiite!!!

When I first finished Tiennador, my first book, my initial thought was, right, time to find an agent to get this out into the world. I’m tenacious, I have oodles of patience, I will wear them down until someone gives in and publishes me! So, I wrote letters (oh, did I write letters…) and sent out sample chapters, wrote emails and generally made a right nuisance of myself. I worked my way through the Writers and Artist’s yearbook, ticking off the people I’d bugged and chasing them up after a couple of weeks if I hadn’t heard back from them.

One morning, as I perused my next batch of victims, I noticed one of them hadn’t given an email address. It’s expensive, and not to mention not very green, to keep posting wedges of paper off so being able to submit via email is wonderful. But hold on a mo – there was a fax number. What the hell, I thought … and faxed over the first three chapters and a cover letter. Looking back now (and this was a few years ago, so please make allowances for the folly and sheer bloody mindedness of youth) it seemed a reasonable thing to do at the time. The recipient, however, was somewhat cross. When my mobile rang, I was all excited. Someone was calling me – it could be in response to my book proposal!
“Hello?”
“Is that Nicola Kirk?”
“Ummm… yes?”
“What do you think you are doing? You don’t fax me pages and pages of your book…” This wasn’t quite the kind of phone call I’d been expecting and the woman was… well, clearly she was Grotbags’ Evil Twin! “Who do you think you are…blah blah blah…” the woman raged on, giving it to me both barrels.  Now it’s always been quite interesting to me how my generally quiet demeanor will barricade its doors and board up its windows when faced with this kind of person and instead a quite different personality grabs the steering wheel.

“Goodness me, you’re incredibly rude, aren’t you?” I cut across her, coldly. Amazingly enough, she shut up. “I don’t think I’d want you as my agent even if you asked me. Goodbye.” I hung up, tucked my mobile back in my pocket, and carried on photocopying. My colleague was looking at me open-mouthed.
“Who was that?” she asked. Quiet Me peeked out of a boarded up window and had a quick look around. It appeared to be safe to come out again.
“Hmmm?” I replied. “Oh… no one. Damn, not another paper jam…”

They really ARE all talking about you...

I know people say that it doesn’t pay to be paranoid (and they also say that not everyone is talking about you, but we know that they’re wrong on that one, don’t we?) but in the wee hours of the morning following that angry phone call from the grumpy agent when I surfaced long enough to form a coherent thought, I wondered if Grotbag’s Evil Twin hadn’t got on the phone to all her agent buddies (that, in the world of Paranoia, would be every agent in the Writers and Artist’s Yearbook) and told them to avoid me at all costs.

What's that now? You want to sell my book for how much a copy!?

But I did find a publisher eventually, called Publish America. I was delighted! Over the moon! They had to scrape me off the ceiling with a spatula before I left a sticky stain. But, alas, the delight was short-lived as PA priced my book so highly that no one, other than my wonderful family and guilt ridden friends, bought it. Who on earth would consider £15.50 a reasonable price for a paperback book? But no, PA thought it was a fair price. Publish America – my dear friends, how do I tell you this? – IT WASN’T.

But, times change, fortunately. And when I discovered I could be my own agent and publisher and get my own work out into the world at a sensible price on one of the most popular mediums ever (ahhh, Kindle… what a wonderful creation you are) I thought all my Hallowe’ens had arrived at once. So now, I no longer have to chase after agents. I no longer have to gaze wistfully at other people’s books or people reading their favourite novels on Kindles and e-readers and think, if only… because I can publish myself! Mwah ha haaa…

I am a realist, however, and know it’s unlikely that I’m ever going to scale the dizzy heights of the best sellers list, but you know what? I don’t care. Because if just one person reads something I’ve written, it was worth all the time and effort I put into writing it. I have successfully inflicted my writer’s imagination on someone other than my long-suffering mother (and what a star she is too, painstakingly critiquing my novels for me and offering advice to a daughter who has got to be the worst person at taking criticism). I also take immense delight in peeking at my stats on WordPress and seeing that people have been reading the things I write on here too!

So thanks guys and gals for reading my ramblings – you make a writer very happy.

Nicola

weirdworld@hotmail.co.uk

(c) Nicola Kirk 2012 and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2012

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