Friday, April 12, 2013

My Review Of A Halloween Tale By V. L. Murray

I love this cover. It is so creepy looking that it draws me in begging me to read. I love creepy ghost stories, and this is a Halloween tale I'll never forget. And I'm sure Olivia won't either. More of my review of this story at the end. Today I have Lynne Murray on my blog.

1. Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.  


The short story seemed to come out of nowhere. I just started hearing the beginning of it in my head, grabbed a notebook and started writing. It came pretty much in one felled swoop.


The back cover blurb probably best describes what it’s about.

       “It’s the most exciting night of the year in their town, as Olivia and friends prepare for the annual Hallowe’en celebration

      When the teens set off for the party, Olivia’s mother asks them not to take the rural back lane to the old southern mansion where the event is to be held. Ignoring her mother’s request, they find themselves crashing into trees in the near darkness before reaching the rear grounds of the mansion.

      When a gallows suddenly appears out of nowhere, the teens realize they may be about to witness a hanging. Could this be the ghost of Olivia’s ancestor? The one executed for witchcraft? Olivia’s stubborn curiosity overwhelms her friends’ fear, and she leads them into an adventure the teens could never have foreseen when they encounter a glimpse into history.”


Here’s a brief excerpt from the story:


“The path appeared to be darker than Olivia had imagined, especially on this full moon night. There seemed to be a lot of eerie shadows, and the occasional hoot of an owl or cry of some other wild creature coming from the woods.

“Wow, it’s hard to see.” Artesia clung to Olivia’s arm. “Whose idea was it to come through the fields again? Didn’t your mom tell us not to take this route?”

Olivia’s stubborn character refused to allow her to even contemplate she may have made a poor choice, but her friend wasn’t going to let it go.

She stopped to fix Artesia’s green fairy wing. It was hanging at an unusual angle and she hoped it hadn’t broken when they both crashed into that tree.

Olivia wished she had brought a flashlight. I’m such an idiot! How could I come this way and not even bring a light? She was having a bit of trouble negotiating the terrain. Her floor length, heavy black skirt was certainly warm enough for this slightly chilly autumn evening, but it dragged on the ground and so she kept tripping on the hem.”


 2. What three words best describe your main character?

Olivia is an inquisitive, headstrong teenager, who has a lot of leadership skills and likes being the centre of attention.

3. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?

The characters sort of present themselves, almost like they are real people and I am just taking notes. I like to pick names that describe their character. I also choose ones that I think are interesting or, in the case or Artesia, Olivia’s best friend, pretty much made up. I think believability comes through when we immerse ourselves into the character and really see things through their eyes. I am lucky in that I taught kids for almost thirty years and so I can see lots of different young people whom I have known who would fit the roles of these individuals.

4.  Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?

I think it is a combination. At some point I know what the plot is, or is supposed to be, and then the challenge is to make them go along with it. I try to keep them in check but sometimes events will come out of nowhere that must go into the storyline and may slightly deviate from the original plot for a moment or two, and then they might take off and go exploring with me trailing behind, yelling, “Wait up! Where do you think you’re going?”

5. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you over come it?

Yes, that happens all the time, so I have loads of stories I am working on and I just set the piece aside and let my brain sort it out without me applying any attention to it, while I work on another project. Usually after a week or two, when I go back and reread the story, the next part will jump up and start running.

6. What types of books do you like to read?

I am a mystery fan, especially anything with Native Americans or archaeology, ancient Egypt or time travel. I also like to read biographies, poetry and teen books. I still read Nancy Drew books all the time and others from the same era, the Hardy Boys etc.


7. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I love nature and walking with my dog out in the forest. I also love taking long drives through the country, going to antique and flea markets, watching television and just zoning out.

Oh, I love going to flea markets.

8. What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I am working on a series of short stories based on the characters from A Hallowe’en Tale, and their community, both past and present. I have the outline for five more and have started the second one. I am also working on a novella entitled Cyrus and The Birds about a fellow who is very special and has grown up in an abusive environment. It is a psychological-paranormal work. There are others in the non-fiction field plus two poetry collections.

Oh, good more Halloween Tale.  

9. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Write everyday. My music composition teacher told me that forty years ago and it works for anything creative, really.


10. Where can readers find you and your books?


I have a website, facebook author page, and blog, plus I am also on twitter.

Here are the links. and my main writer/editor blog is Facebook author/editor page is and twitter @vlynnemurray

You can purchase my work at the following locations:

My latest is my short story A Hallowe’en Tale by V. L. Murray available from MuseItUp Publishing at , at , at , Kobo at , Barnes and Noble at .

V. L. Murray is an author, poet, composer and editor. She lives in Surrey, British Columbia. Lynne has spent much of her life playing with music and interacting with the spoken and written word. She believes that form and punctuation are just other ways to make words sing. Lynne loves to write stories that intertwine the mystical and divine into everyday life and seeks to remind her readers that the other side is only a breath away.

Thanks for having me here today, Kay. I have enjoyed spending some time with you.

Thanks, Lynne, for being here. It was nice to get to know you better. And I look forward to reading more of your books.

Now for my review of A Halloween Tale. I give this book a five star review. I loved it.
Creepy elements to the story kept me reading, waiting to see what will happen. Because I just knew something was going to happen. Then after it happened it was so mysterious. Just a reminder that the other side is only a breath away.  I will read more books by V. L. Murray. Thanks, Lynne, for a great read.