Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Story Behind the Story: Guest Post by Andy Peloquin

Zowie! Two posts in one week! Obviously, Im busy with my editing and consulting biz, my own writing projects, and my recent political signifying, since Jellyfish Day has lain mostly fallow for two years . . .

As you know, if youve read here before, Ive posted several book reviews in tandem with author interviews, and now that Ive cranked up the ole blog again, I decided to experiment with guest posts. Guest posts will save me half to a full day of composing and revising. Most of my posts until this week have been long, doable in the past but almost impossible to squeeze in lately. (I hope to do more short posts in 2017 - make them brief but fun).

But even with guest posts, I still have to wrangle with Blogger.com, which works smoothly most days but sometimes sends me to the pits of digital hell to claw my way back to a presentable post, which eats up the hours. Thats likely a user issue and not Googles fault, but I digress . . .

. . . Andy Peloquin is a fantasy author who came to my attention on Facebook through his energetic and high-spirited marketing approaches and willingness to network with his fellow writers. Hes a dedicated and energetic writer with several novels under his belt, and is quite an articulate and productive blogger as well. 

His upcoming novel (January 17, 2017) is Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1). It can be pre-ordered in Kindle format.

Without further adieu, please welcome author Andy Peloquin!


The Story Behind the Story


Every superhero and supervillain has their origin story. Batman lost his parents. Captain American received Super Soldier Serum. Spiderman got bitten by a radioactive spider.

If only we authors had as awesome an origin story! Perhaps, in a Doctor Who-esque twist, I was pricked by a radioactive quill and transformed into Super Writer Man. I wish.

No, the story behind my stories is a simpler one, one that starts in a psychologists office…

I had begun visiting a psychologist because I was eager to find out what made me tick, why I do the things I do, and so on. Through the course of the sessions, it became clear that my brain and mind were abnormal. Eventually, I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

According to Wikipedia, Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Aspergers, is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. As a milder autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it differs from other ASDs by relatively normal language and intelligence.”

In the wake of this diagnosis, I delved into psychology and studied the human mind, psyche, thought patterns, emotions, and everything else I could find to help me understand why my brain was different than others. The more I studied, the more I realized that the human brain was one of the greatest antagonists my characters could face.

I started out by writing an assassin who is as much a victim as the people he kills Because of the voices in his mind (classic dissociative identity disorder), he is driven to kill. Thus, he has become a killer out of necessity.

Throughout his story [The Last Bucelarii] (two books published to date, four more to come), this character faces all manner of disorders: psychopathy, sociopathy, bipolar disorder, Williams syndrome, schizophrenia, and more. Each disorder gives the characters a unique flavor, and provides a rationalization for why they do what they do. They also affect the assassins perspective on the world, and slowly he comes to understand his actions as well.

For the new series (launching now), I wanted to examine how a killer is born. Genetic predisposition to psychopathy aside, it takes a lot of abuse, trauma, suffering, and extenuating circumstances to turn an innocent, happy child into a hardened criminal. Writing the story led me down some fascinating holes, delving into thought control, indoctrination, abuse, and more.

A series of short stories (all set in my world) delve into topics like PTSD, fibromyalgia, autism, sensory perception disorder, and more—all through the lens of a fantasy world.

My stories are not intended to GLORIFY these problems. On the contrary, theyre meant to shed light on very real issues. However, Ive found that in seeking to understand myself, Ive come to understand the human mind a lot more. And the mind, for all its amazing capabilities, can be a truly terrifying thing!


Author Andy Peloquin
On that note, Im just now discovering Andy is AS while I open his Word doc and post his essay into the post composition field! Im both surprised and delighted with this serendipity, because three of my four kids are diagnosed bipolar, plus, I have an autistic grandson, and all are bright souls with active minds and busy lives. In fact, these brain and brain chemistry aberrations are sometimes more a gift than a liability and often enhance imagination and creativity. (I dont mean to sugarcoat the very real struggles that AS and bipolar people experience, but there are often unexpected advantages that balance the disadvantages).

Thank you, Andy Peloquin, Super Writer Man, for your heartfelt and illuminating essay. Best wishes for your new novel and your works-in-progress! 

Read more about Andy and his fantasy novels at:


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Upcoming Publication: The Contest by Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson

Since the jaw-dropping US presidential election on 8 November 2016,  swarms of jellyfish thicken in troubled waters, with few sundogs in sight as President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team appoint ever more controversial people as candidates for key government posts. Already, in the opening week of 2017, the new Congress has distinguished itself by its attempts to dissemble the bipartisan ethics committee and to discredit the work of President Obama, as well as introducing legislation that would make it difficult for we, the people, to question and oppose Congressional actions. Not to mention that Trump refuses to deal with intel reports of Russia meddling in the US election process or his business conflicts of interest, all while continuing to embarrass himself on Twitter. Apparently Trump is so obtuse that he doesnt seem to realize that hes embarrassing himself, which is as entertaining as it is terrifying. 

But I digress - Trump is definitely not who I signed in to post about!

The GOOD news is, author Joe DiBuduo and I are releasing a connected collection of collaborative short stories (Tootie-Do Press, 2017, a project in the works since 2011).


T h e    C o  n  t  e  s  t

Inspired by the works of international artists, this Young Adult / New Adult collection contains dark fantasy, slipstream, magical realism, and fabulist tales, connected by a novella.

Le Café de Nuit - Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Peter John Rizzo, an emerging creative writer and 1960 graduate of Yale Universitys journalism program, inherits Classic Art Exposé, an established but floundering art journal, from his uncle, John Rizzo.

Petes father, Peter Rizzo, is a banker who hates his late brother, jealous of his siblings influential relationship with his wife and Pete, and scornful of his work in the Arts and Humanities.

Pete and Jason, Uncle Johns devoted but unorthodox editorial assistant, and two local English student interns, sisters Shirley and Evie, start a monthly short story contest with artwork prompts, hoping to increase Classic Art Exposés readership and settle its debt.

As the short stories are vetted and published over the following eighteen months, Pete discovers a sordid family secret as he battles his fathers nefarious attempts to jeopardize his business and ruin his reputation.


“Cheater” first appeared in Western Weird, Volume 4, Manifest West Series, (Western Press Books - Western State Colorado University, 2015).

“Night Café” won the quarterly New Short Fiction Award (Jerry Jazz Musician, 2012).

“Lost Memories” first appeared in The Memory Eaters anthology (CP Anthologies, 2012).

“A Twisted Garden” first appeared as “The Yellow House” in Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy (May December Publications, 2011).

“The Snow Globe” first appeared in Best Served Cold: An Eye for an Eye (Runewright LLC, 2011).

Stay tuned for a fundraiser promo for this fun and educational literary endeavor.

We wish all beings a happy, creative, and prosperous new solar cycle!


The Contest ~::~ Joe DiBuduo and Kate Robinson