Guest Blogger – Armand Rosamilia


Hey guys, today I’m proud to present my first ever guest blogger in the form of Horror writer Armand Rosamilia. Armand is currently on a blog tour to promote the latest book in his Dying Days series. There are chances to win a copy too, so check out the details at the end of this post. I hand you over now to Armand…

Product Placement

I remember, in my early twenties, subscribing to Writer’s Digest, and seeing so many ads from Jeep, Coke and others. But not just regular ads, these ran full-page and said something to the effect: “Jeep is a registered trademark. You can say car, auto, SUV, automobile, riding thing with wheels, motorized car – but don’t say Jeep or we’ll sue you.”

Author Armand Rosamilia

Now I actually don’t remember them saying they’d sue me, and I’ve used the word Jeep in a story or two in the last twenty+ years of writing.  I’ve also mentioned McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, and a bunch of other restaurants, food items (a Diet Coke seems more realistic in a tale than ‘generic soda’, and everyone knows its cooler to say Budweiser than ‘generic beer’, right?), and used real places in my stories like hotels, cities, airlines, Styrofoam (they had an ad as well, now that I think of it)…

I’ve also been edited in several short stories over the years, where I’ve mentioned the protagonist and his whimsical sidekick were eating at Dairy Queen and talking, and the editor came back with ‘can’t use a real place, make something up’ or ‘make it a non-descript restaurant.’ Did I agree with that? Nah. No, if I’d said Satan worked the grill at Burger King and was cooking souls and making them anyway you ordered it, sure I could see a problem. I just never subscribed to the fictional world where you strip all reality out of it, no Hondas, no Walmart, no White Castle, and no Barbie Doll. Yet, I keep getting edited on the side of caution and told simply ‘you can’t use real things.’
But is that right, and is it realistic?

Not really. Think about writing a story with your hero using his new pair of Nike running shoes to get across town to the Texaco to buy Kleenex and a pack of Marlboros for his wife, before jogging to the Olive Garden to pick up dinner.
Is there anything wrong there? Nope, it’s benign product placement and it dips your tale in reality. A boring reality, but reality nevertheless.                                                                         Now, suppose our villain is using his Nike shoes – outfitted with laser beams and a saw-blade on the toes – and going down to Texaco to buy crack, which he wraps in Kleenex to transport in the Marlboro boxes, and takes his stash to Olive Garden, where he picks up dinner (even villains have to eat). Is that going to get you sued?
Actually, if you were Stephen King or James Patterson it might, although they wouldn’t even try to add that scenario in and their editor would have a cow.                                       But you and I? Nah. Unless your story goes viral, sells a ton of copies or someone makes a huge huff about it… actually, nah. No one would touch that one, and no company would waste their time with a lawsuit with some ‘unknown’ writer.
Would I write that? Never. In the case where I’ve added an evil company or product that directly affects things, I make it up myself. It’s fun that way.
But I’ll still get an editor in my future who insists I take out Cheetos (Cheesy Poofs, perhaps?) or Clorox or Hefty, even though it isn’t an evil item after world domination.
I once had an editor delete my throw-away line in a zombie flash fiction piece “You can’t leave, all the plants will die”… as if Bill Murray and the producers of the movie Stripes would be upset I stole it from them, or sue her and have her anthology removed forcibly from the store shelves.

But that’s another story all together…

Armand Rosamilia

* * * * *
I’m actually running a Giveaway for my Dying Days series of zombie books, although you might not have gotten that from the blog post… anyway…

Want to know more about the Dying Days series? Want to win free eBooks and maybe print books of them? My contest is simple: e-mail me at armandrosamilia@gmail.com with DYING DAYS in the subject line and I’ll enter you into the daily giveaway… also, post a comment here and you get another chance… follow my blog at http://armandrosamilia.com for yet another chance, and friend me on Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) and simply post DYING DAYS to me, and you’ll get another shot… nice and easy, right? If I get enough people joining in the giveaway there will be a print book given away that day!

Dying Days series information can be found here: http://armandrosamilia.com/dying-days-series/

The Versatile Blogger Award – Part 1


Woo Hoo!! This is is my 50th post and I couldn’t have wished for a better way to celebrate. Last month Lovely Louise (as I call her in my head) awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award (otherwise known as the Verseys). To accept a Versey, a set of rules need to be followed. I need to:

1. Thank the person who gave me the award and link back to them in my post
2. Tell 7 things about myself that others might not know about me.
3. Pass along the award to 15 newly discovered bloggers (I’m going with 9 here, sorry).
4. Contact these bloggers to let them know they’ve received the award.

First things first, about Louise Jaques.
I’ve known Louise for about 2 months now but after only a week, I already declared her my kindred spirit (except she’s much younger and better looking). You can check her out over at My Other Book is a Tolstoy. She is startlingly intelligent for a young woman her age and her blog posts reflect this. Have you ever met someone and had this overwhelming feeling that they were destined for great things? Well that’s how I feel about Louise and this is all the more reason I feel honoured to receive a Versey from her, thank you sweetheart!

As if the nature of blogging isn’t narcissistic enough, I am now required to reveal 7 things you might not know about me. Okay, here we go…

1) I’m a herbal/flavoured tea addict. People cannot understand how I can drink green tea. Well I can’t understand how they can drink normal tea with its gross tannin after-taste.
My favourite flavour however is peppermint, but also like Jasmine, English Breakfast and Earl Grey.

2) I like to knit. Yes, I’m in my twenties but there is something therapeutic about the craft. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, knitting while listening to an audiobook, is the most relaxing thing in the world to me.

3) I used to be an amateur ghost-hunter.
This is kind of a joke but I’m still very proud of this for some reason. When I lived in Scotland, I belonged to a ghost-hunting group but we weren’t very professional like the way proper parapsychologists are. The only equipment we had were camcorders, cameras, flashlights and walkie-talkies. We would visit haunted sites and hold short vigils at night or if it was during the day we would have a picnic. Like I said, not very serious but still loads of fun.
One of my short stories, Vigils at Yester, is somewhat autobiographical and based on these experiences but unlike in my story, we never experienced anything out of the ordinary and I, myself, have never seen anything spooky. Thank God.

4) I get star-struck very easily. I become paralyzed and get the chills when I see someone famous in person. Whereas most normal human beings find it very easy to run up to a celebrity and ask for their autographs, the very thought of me doing the same leaves me in a catatonic state.

5) I get very, very scared when I watch horror movies. Yes, me, the great Ghostbuster and bragger of how knowledgeable she is about the horror genre, has to close her eyes when the chilling, ominous music reaches its crescendo. It’s all a façade, people. Inside I’m one great, big chicken!

6) When I was 12, I tried to write an autobiography of Michael Jackson.
I was a huge MJ fan back then and I still think he’s a legend (May his soul rest in peace) and who better qualified to tell the King of Pop’s story than little ol’ me? Ha ha, not surprisingly my only sources of information were an unauthorized movie of his life and a little bit of knowledge gleaned from reading music magazines. After writing about 6 pages, I realized it was a joke and scrapped the project.

7) Continue reading

DAY 19 – Book that turned you on


My biggest fear here is that I may come across as a prude. I have never read any Mills and Boon (a fact that I’m proud to admit), Danielle Steel or any other famous romance novel for that matter.

I once attempted to read one of those ‘penny-dreadful’ (my own term) erotic novels only to descend, 5 minutes later, into fits of laughter. Hardly a turn-on.
I’m of the firm belief that when it comes to sex in any art-form, less is more. The less graphic it is, the more exciting it tends to be. The power of suggestion and the power of the imagination are completely underrated, which is why gratuitous scenes in books, debase themselves to farcical proportions with its aim lost to the reader. Unless the reader has no brains or imagination off course.

Written in 1872, Carmilla predates Dracula by 25+ years and is described as the first lesbian vampire story.

Getting back to the topic…

My choice here is based on a memory going back more than 10 years. When I picked up Carmilla, I was very young and this choice is influenced by my initial reaction to reading this novella. I don’t remember the exact details of the story but I do know the gist of it and recollect these two very important facts:
1) I recall admiring Le Fanu’s style of writing and 2) I remember giggling like a virginal school girl who has yet to be given the ‘Birds and Bees’ talk.

As a juvenile-minded young teenager I found certain passages to be highly suggestive. Suggestively lesbian that is. Yes, Carmilla is a vampire whose only victims are young pretty girls. I’m sure Sappho would have loved this book.
Because I read this book so long ago, I wondered if my reaction now as an adult would be the same as back then. Would it still be so hot? Or would it be as erotic as a picture of a puppy?
Unfortunately because I had borrowed this book from the library, I don’t have a copy of my own. Thankfully we have the internet. Searching the net I found this passage:

Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardour of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet over-powering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips travelled along my cheek in kisses…

I can hear a few men screaming “More! More!” Sorry boys that was it.

Okay, so not exactly PG18 material, but it’s still hot in its own way. Or is it? What do you think? Was I being young and naïve back then? Or is this enough to make a straight gal question her sexuality?
Hmmm I wonder……

NM 😀