Friday, 30 December 2011

An Interview: Antoinette Bergin

Filing Words is proud to have Antoinette Bergin, author of Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate, with us for a chat.

Firstly, and I have to put this in before I start asking questions, Antoinette (Nettie, for short) has self proclaimed on her own website that: You might know me as the founder of "Nettie's Law," a piece of legislation that swept the United States a few years ago. Oh, alright. I'm not the founder of "Nettie's Law." Apparently, I'm the reason for it. "Nettie's Law" states that children's caregivers must undergo extensive psychiatric evaluation before becoming live-in nannies (even if they've worked for the bloody Queen!). It's currently under some sort of civil rights appeal and I've no idea why they've slapped my name on it.

We’ll find out how much of that is true in a moment, but first, I must lay down my hammer in respect of the real reason that she is here; Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate.

If you haven’t read it, it is time to leave here, follow one of these links to Amazon (US is here, UK is here) and purchase it. If you’re here, it’s because of the word horror – it’s what I do, and trust me… if you like my twisted tales of strangeness, you’ll love this.

Take this as my review:

Rolling in at the length of a good Novella, Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate is most definitely not for children you even remotely like. As charmingly, and, dare I say it, bedtime story-ish as it reads, it reads like Mr. King himself has just awoken from a Grimm nightmare. It is a rollercoaster of I didn’t see that coming, mixed in with Oh my God, did it really say that? I read it in one sitting, and although there are some formatting issues with the production, I couldn’t tear myself away.

So without further ado:

FW: Antoinette, welcome to Filing Words. I won’t beat about the bush with this. How much of it is true? Did you really skew American Legislation, or is it all ‘smoke and mirrors’?

AB: Although I'd love to take credit for being the cause of something like “Nettie's Law,” I must confess it is fiction. Antoinette is a character I created originally for stand-up comedy performances. I quickly learned that I loved writing the material but dreaded being on stage. Hence, my book was born (or forged in the fires of Hell, whichever way you prefer to think of it).

FW: Assuming that BSFCYH is all fiction (and I hope it is), where on earth did you come up with the deliciously dark twists?

AB: One of the stories is actually true but keeping to my evil nature, I shall not tell you which one. As for the rest of them, it's just how my mind works. Even as a child I was tilted to the dark side. Perhaps I'm genetically predisposed or was deprived of oxygen in the womb. I don't know. I do know, however, that writing a straight-forward story with a happy ending would probably kill me.

FW: And are you influenced (and by whom) in what is clearly, the horror genre? (To all my regular readers: I know horror is not a genre, but what else am I supposed to call it?)

AB: My dad was my first influence. He sort of gave me quiet permission to embrace the humor that could be found in weird, horrific, and morbid situations. He gave me the most wonderful copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Later, when I saw what Disney had done with some of them, I felt ill. I will also profess here and now my love for all things Stephen King and Tim Burton, save and except for the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Awful. Just Awful.

FW: So what’s next? Is the mooted More Bedtime Stories coming? A novel? More Nannying (Eek!)?

AB: No Nannying! It is perfectly safe to leave children with me as long as you're not particularly concerned with the condition in which they are returned to you, but it's really not what I do. I am working on More Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate and I had good intentions at Halloween and Christmas to write freakish holiday stories but life kept getting in the way. Rest assured (or uneasy) that the world has not heard the last of Antoinette Bergin!

FW: I’d like to thank Antoinette for being with us, and wish her well for the future, and of course, part with only these words:

Go. Go and buy it now. (But don’t read it to the children… please God, no.)

Antoinette Bergin can be found at her website, here, and her blog, here. She is an inspiration to the Nanny, claimant of Nettie’s Law, and an author who, by my estimation, will shock and scare us all, in whatever she serves up to us as dinner in the future.

Thank you for joining us.

‘Til next time…

(PS: Buy it. US here and UK here. I loved it.)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Buy this Now: The Plan by Charles Day

Frankie is about to come into a large, large amount of money. He listened in on a secret, and now he’s devised a plan to retrieve these unmarked bills before those he heard it from, get to it first. However, he’s going to bring a few of his friends in to help him collect. They will be needed in order for his plan to work.This is not going to be easy for Frankie, and he’s not even sure he trusts his buddies to keep things under the radar after they get this loot. Nonetheless, he recruits them with the impression that they are getting together to do another assignment from their higher ups in suits.As things progress, Frankie will soon find out he’s made a grave mistake and will have to pay the ultimate price.The Plan is full of mystery, suspense and a conspiracy that should have never came to be.Welcome to Frankie’s twisted and dark world.

The Plan is now available for only $2.99.

Do it! Buy it! Buy it NOW!
(PS: I've known Charlie for a long time. His stuff is cool)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Being An Author: Writing Your First Novel Part One

So, as the title suggests, your first novel.

Firstly, and I say this from experience, if you're a short story writer (a bit like myself) then you'll think: How hard can it be? I mean, I write everyday, it's just a longer short.

*Enter big crashing failure sound*

Oh no, my friend. Oh no.

So starting again from the beginning.

To plan, or not to plan: that is the question.

You see, the short is easy. I get an idea in my head, think it's good, and write it down. 1K to, say 14K. Okay, that's fine. That's how I roll. For the Novella, I plan a bit. Get a sort of sticky, oozy idea of how the story's going to go, but be sure of the beginning, the end, and something about the journey between them.

But then there's the novel. Hm. Experience has dictated to me that the novel is not something that you want to rush at with no ideas about. I had one of those sticky, oozy ideas when I started. Uh-huh. No way. Big mistake. The crash happened just over a third of the way through.

Crap. Where do I go with this character? Who did what what? Crap, trawl back over thousands of words finding the make of the car. An idea does not the novel make.

Here's my hints:

Write your character traits before you start. Get an idea of what they're actually like.
Know the beginning, middle and end. Especially the journey in the middle. Don't leave it to chance. It won't pay off.
Write it down. Really. In Excel, or Word, or in Photo shop. I don't care which, but don't think it's fine, you'll remember it. You won't.

So once you've got the plan, then what?

'Til next time.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Wicked East Press: Soul Reflections (or, yep, I'm editing)


Soul Reflections

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: April 15, 2012 Midnight (EST)

Edited by Mark Taylor and Jessica A. Weiss


They say that the mirror reflects the soul, the Egyptians believed that the shadow held great power and could move at great speeds, and Narcissus believed that his reflection in water was a vision of his own sister - a woman of unsurpassed beauty. Sometimes a reflection shows us what we want to see, other times it shows us the horrors of what we don't. We are looking for dark fantasy/horror stories revealing the truth behind the reflections, and most certainly not limited to those mentioned.


Slash and hack, blood and gore for their own sake. Graphic rape, torture, child molestation, and animal torture have their place, but not here. No erotica or adult themes.

We prefer stories written in the third person—will consider first person if you knock our socks off.

Looking for short stories in the 3,500- 6,000 word range, but will consider stories slightly over 6,000 words. Lower word count is FIRM.

Payment is ¼ cent a word upon publication.

Email submissions to:

Please put SUBMISSION, followed by the title of the story, and word count, in the subject line of your email.

Submissions should:
Already be self edited
In .rtf format
No spaces between paragraphs
Single space after sentences
“Double quotations” for conversation
No hard returns
No headers/footers
Use italics NOT underline
No hidden formatting
Font in Georgia or New Times Roman

Submissions pasted in the body of email will be rejected, unread.

Questions about this anthology?