Saturday, December 14, 2013

Black Eyed Kids

Black-Eyed Children, don’t invite them into your home

Black-eyed children have but one consistent request, invite us in. Whatever you do, don't invite them into your home!

Imagine this. You and your better half are on your way home after a late night out on the town. You pull into a convenience store, and you wait in the car while he runs in for something. You’re sitting there in the dark waiting for him to return when suddenly you get an inexplicable, overwhelming feeling of terror. You sit up a little straighter and glance toward the driver’s side window. There staring in at you are two children – but not just any children. These are “Black Eyed Children,” and they want to get into the car with you.

Sound like something from a horror movie? Well, it’s not. It’s as real as it gets. According to David Weatherly, a paranormal investigator and author, who has written a book called “Black Eyed Children,” incidents or visitations by these strange children are occurring worldwide. They have one simple request, they want to come in. They appear on doorsteps, at car windows, hotel rooms and even boats.

Weatherly says there are thousands of reported sightings of these Black Eyed Children. Sometimes they travel in pairs, sometimes in groups and sometimes you’ll see just one. They knock on doors and tap on windows all over the world, asking to be let in.

Witnesses report these weird children asking to come into the house to use the phone or for a ride home because they’re lost or they forgot something. They speak in a demanding monotone and regardless of what is said to them, they don’t say much more than “Let us in. We won’t hurt you. This won’t take long.”

Their most outstanding feature is their solid black eyes, eyes completely void of color or light, showing no pupils, no irises. Witnesses say looking into these eyes evokes intense feelings of terror.

Could they be wearing black contact lenses? Weatherly agrees that this may be true in some cases; however, black lenses covering the entire surface of the eye would not only be expensive, but extremely uncomfortable.

These strange Black Eyed Children, who can appear or vanish at a moment’s notice, seem to be between the ages of 8 and 16. Their skin is pale or pasty colored, described by some as looking plastic or artificial, and their mannerisms are odd. Witnesses describe their clothing as odd and drab – blue jeans and a hoodie or very old-fashioned, handmade clothing. Bizarre electrical phenomena occurs when they are around, such as a garage door inexplicably opening.

When a man in Dallas arrived home, he saw a boy at his door who repeated "I think it's food time. You should invite me inside." The man's protective pit bull came running toward the front door, but as it got closer to the boy, it whimpered and ran away, hiding under the bed for days afterward.
A man named Paul was home alone when someone knocked on this door. He opened it and saw two kids about 10 years old standing on his steps with their heads down. They said, "Hey, we just thought we'd stop in for a bit." The kids insisted they be let into the house. Thinking they had the wrong house, Paul stepped forward to get a better look and made eye contact. Their eyes were solid black, including the sclera.
Jason Offutt, another researcher into the Black Eyed Children phenomenon, gives this account:

Around 10:45 on a warm night, as 18-year-old Carris Holdsworth approached her apartment in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, she saw two teenagers in hoodies and jeans standing in her yard with their backs to her. As she attempted to slip away unseen, she fumbled in her purse for pepper spray. At that very moment, the boys turned to face her and, as if reading her mind, one said, “No need for that, we just want to borrow your phone, miss.” When she caught a glimpse of their pitch black eyes, not a trace of white or a pupil, she panicked and raced to her apartment, locking the door behind her. The boys following close behind, knocked on her door. She ignored it. After a second knock, fearing for her safety she phoned a friend to come over. When the friend arrived, the boys ran away.
What exactly is this growing phenomena? Who are these sinister appearing black-eyed children? Are they inter-dimensional beings who feed off the energy of fear they create. Are they be alien-human hybrids. Are they demonic entities? Are they simply a modern urban legend born of the computer age?

Weatherly believes they may have some sort of demonic origin because in some reports these black-eyed children vanish into thin air, and some witnesses report a run of bad luck after an encounter with these children.


Some experiences from "Thought Catalog."

He told me to never agree to help them.

by bloodybones:

It was a cold October evening, not too far off from Halloween. I remember sitting in my room, playing the original suikoden. The evening was slowly creeping by so I decided to go to the corner store. It was only 3 blocks, shouldn’t be much trouble right.
During my walk I see the normal. The occasional person putting up Halloween decorations and kids playing in their yards, but this story is about something far more sinister. I remember seeing two teens about age 14, knocking on a door asking to use the phone, which of course I thought was weird because most teens these days have phones. As I kept walking, they stopped and stared at me for a short moment. I felt the blood in veins chill. I felt so creeped out I hurried to the next block. The next block seemed fine, until I looked behind me and saw the two teens were following me. I took off sprinting to the store at this point.

I saw the sign for the store, and relief washed over me. I opened the door, and I told the cashier about what happened on the way here. He looked at me slightly creeped out, and told me a story about this happening to him in his hometown and how they found him the day he left, and asked for his help, in an emotionless voice, and he told me to never agree to help.

He told me another story, but at that point I was no longer paying attention because they were standing at the door asking to be let in. The cashier freaked out, and locked the door.

The teens never seem to waver or leave. They wouldn’t step away from the door. It had been an hour. The cashier and I were ready to fight our way out, but instead he took me out the back. The one teen came around the back just as the door shut behind us.

Can you help me is all he could say. He was closing in on us, and his eyes. They were black as a starless night. They were peering right into my soul. I couldn’t help but gaze into his eyes. The terror, I can’t remember too much of what happened next, but I do recall the sounds of struggle.

When I came too, the cashier was struggling with both teens. He was calling out to me for help. I ran towards them, grabbed him by his collar and pulled him between the two, and knocking them over in the process. I didn’t look back until I was near my house, the cashier was gone but the teens were still following behind. I ran into my house, closed all the blinds, and turned the music up.

I got lucky that day, but I’m not sure how long I can keep out of there grasp. I tried to find and thank the cashier for saving my life that day, but he didn’t show up to work after that. I asked his boss, and he told me he called over the phone and quit. He said he was moving.

To this very day I sometimes feel the fear of those eyes watching me as I drive to work. I sometimes will look out my window and swear I see them watching my house from a couple blocks away. Waiting for their next chance.

Survival story.

by pyric_lancaster:

i helped them once. never, ever, under any circumstance do it. im not sure what they do but it feels as if they are ripping your soul out, they get really close to you, and you get amazingly drowsy, if it weren't for my girlfriend showing up mid-”invasion” and kicking them out i probably would be dead. i didn't even see the black eyes until i had let them in, they’re getting smarter.

They’re on my balcony.

by CutiePa2T:

Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m in my early twenties, I just moved into this apartment and I tend to live a very private life. I don’t even have a Facebook account. I work during the day at a grocery store. Ok. So, I’m walking up my flight of steps to get to my apartment and I hear these kids laughing and then I heard whispering.

It was kind of late so I thought this was weird but I ignored it and walked into my apartment(i live on the third floor). I was getting ready to open my balcony door, it was really muggy in my apartment. I walk over to the door and pull my blinds and two kids are fucking staring back at me(sorry for the F bomb, but i’m still shaking). I screamed and backed away smashing my leg into the in table. They were both in blue jeans, and the oldest(he was taller)had on a green shirt with white stripes and the younger had on a button up light blue shirt. The oldest one touched the sliding door, ”Hey miss, can you let us in?” The younger one just kept looking around, I still just stared at them. I finally was able to say, ”How’d you get on my balcony?” I walked to the door and noticed how excited the older one got he moved closer to the entrance, ”Can you let us in?” I wasn’t thinking I unlocked the door and when I looked up, their eyes, you guys their eyes were black. The entire eye. I quick locked the door and told them I had to call the police because my door was jammed and I couldn’t unlock the door. so I called the police, the oldest boy pleaded with me the entire time to let them in.

The police arrived about an hour ago, they came in and walked to the balcony. When they opened my balcony door nothing was there, they looked down and saw Two children they were running in the parking lot away from the building. The police took a report and said they had to of had help getting up there, and that they would question the neighbors. I’m freaking out, I’m crying i don’t want to stay here but then again I don’t feel safe going outside right now.

“No. You won’t be calling anybody.”

by hammerhands:

The incident took place about 13 years ago. I had just moved to a new city with my wife. We were small town newlyweds from the Midwest. We moved cross country to one of the biggest city’s in the Southwest so I could attend graduate school. Being naive and new to city living, I habitually answered the door without a second thought. Never again after this.

The first thing that should have tipped me off to the peculiarity of this situation was the fact that someone was knocking at 6:00 in the morning. The second thing that should have dawned on me is this kid had to reach over a rather tall patio gate to unlatch and open it.

The knock at the door was startling. My wife and I were getting ready for work, a pretty normal routine. The moment I opened the door, I was overtaken with an inexplicable sense of fear. To this day, I can picture him. Teenager, average height, average build, knee length black leather coat, short black hair and sunglasses. The sunglasses at 6:00 a.m. struck me as odd and even more odd, he was eating an apple. He was very polite and asked if he could come in and warm up. I said, “No”, closed the door and slid the security chain in to place. A moment later, another knock. I opened the now chained door, and before I could speak he asked again if he could come in and warm up. “NO!” I reply and attempted to close the door. Before the door could shut, he put his hand out stopping the door on its hinges. He looked directly in to my eyes, still wearing his sunglasses, and said, “Can I at least get some ketchup for my apple?”. “Fuck that!” I reply, albeit a little confused. “Get the hell outta here! My wife is calling the police!”. He takes a moment to let this information sink in, lowers his glasses, revealing eyes as black as obsidian and says, “No. You won’t be calling anybody.”. At that moment I force the door closed, lock it, and call out to my wife, she is scared shitless hiding in the bedroom. All jacked up on adrenalin, I rip the curtains back to look out the window next to the door. He’s gone. Absolutely no trace of him. I go out on the patio and check the gate, it’s still latched from the inside. That was fucked up, I think to myself and as I turn to enter the house I notice a half eaten apple lying on the ground.

Experiences source:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lovers of Paranormal Author Interview with J.K. James

Lovers of Paranormal Author Interview with J.K. James

Welcome, JK James, to the Lovers of Paranormal Book of the Month club. As you know, Concealed in the Darkness was one of the books selected to be read as a group. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write your book?


1. Tell us about your book? 

Concealed in the Darkness is about a young man coming of age and faced with hardships that only get harder when world of the paranormal, that has always followed him, reaches into his world and turns everything upside down.  Things escalate to a point where he can no longer avoid and hide from it, but is forced to confront it and by doing so learns the secrets hiding in the darkness.

2. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

I found keeping and holding the flow was the most difficult.  It's very hard to hold and maintain a reader's attention when you have to fill in important details for the story.  You risk making things boring.  In the first version of this book, the first three chapters included background information to help explain things that were happening throughout the book.  I found doing that to be a mistake because adding too much detail painted too much of a picture and made it harder for the reader to relate to the characters and what they were experiencing.  There was much learning behind this writing.

3. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The very first chapter I got a kick out of telling.  It was a story my mother used to tell me about what happened to her when she was a little girl living in an old farm house.  I made several changes to the story to allow the reader to better relate and also to help it tie into the whole book.

4. How do you develop your plots and characters?

Developing the plots and characters was the easy part.  Most horror themes are works of fiction and reflections of the author's nightmares, but this one is different.  This one is based off real events that happened in the lives of several people.  I took these experiences and put them together into one story.  It's a bit horrifying when you're reading about an attack by a spectral entity and realize that this actually happened to someone.  It's not made up.

This book is based on what lies out there in the unseen world that is able to interact with our own world.  Able to touch our lives and not in very pleasant ways.  Things that are able to manifest themselves to us in a real physical manner, as real as everything else, and get into our heads in a hidden way that makes us question our sanity.

How often do we pretend we didn't see the shadow move in the corner of our eye.  We try to brush off the feeling of something behind us making chills run down our spine.  We don't want anyone to know we think we seen something in the darkened room.  Even heard it whispering to us.

Every culture throughout history mentions these things.  They've always been with us.  But why do they seem to hate us.  Why do they reach into our world and try to rip it apart.

I hope this book will get under everyone's skin because it doesn't tell of a made up monster chasing you in the woods waiting for you to fall down.  This is about the thing you already know about that watches you sleep.  The thing you cannot hide from.

5. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

I had to rewrite the book several times.  I learned that I can't just tell the story as is.  I must insert hooks to immediately grab and hold the reader's attention and believe or not, the original version of it had a very different ending.  I had to change it because it apparently made some people angry.  They didn't like the psychological tragedy I had in store for them.  I toned some things down so the reader could at least turn off some of their lights at night...but not all of them.

6. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Don't so quickly dismiss the things that go bump in the night.  We can't all be consistently suffering from mass disillusion for thousands of years across every culture and people in the World.  Every religion and culture mentions these things that hide in the shadows of the darkness.  Even the skeptic shivers with goose pimples and nonchalantly looks over their shoulder.  Something's there, we can't explain it but we also can't deny it.

7. What books have most influenced your life?

I think the book that influenced me the most was a book I read when I was around 11 or 12 years old.  It wasn't even in the genre I read so regularly Today.  It was “The Boy Who Sailed Around The World Alone.”  This book taught me that perseverance always wins the day and never to give up on your dreams.

8. What are your future project(s)?

I have several projects I am currently working on.  All of them deal with the paranormal and unseen things.  Of course, in my usual twisted way I can't just make up a story.  I have to use things that everyone seems to already question and believe in.  Even worse, things that can trace back into history and relate to every culture.  I don't discriminate when I scare, I must horrify everyone regardless of their background and beliefs.

9. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

If I couldn't be an author, I would love to be an artist.  I used to do oil paintings and murals, but I found myself literally being the starving artist.  My art changed and became more about dark fantasy and macabre.  After people became too afraid to come into the same room my paintings were in, I figured it would be best to not tell the stories in pictures but by words.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your LoP readers? 

Stay loyal to the genre, we have so many things hidden in the Cimmerian shade of your mind to show you.


Thank you, JK, and thanks for answering all our questions. I hope Lovers of Paranormal members will feel free to post additional questions in the thread below, and if they have the chance, to grab a copy of Concealed in Darkness and join us in the BOTM thread HERE:

Be epic!

Concealed in the Darkness By J.K. James is available at these following locations:


Buy Paperback Direct and get 33% off with Promo Code Use Promo Code: KRCEDA5N

Amazon Kindle eBook

Amazon Paperback (get the Kindle Matchbook free with Paperback)

Barnes and Noble Paperback


Amazon Kindle UK

Amazon Paperback UK


Amazon Kindle Canada

Amazon Paperback Canada


Amazon Kindle India

Amazon Paperback India


Amazon Paperback Italia

Amazon Kindle Italia

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kindle vs Nook - or have BOTH

Did you know you can put Kindle books on your Nook?
And Nook books on your Kindle?
-For a Nook, download Kindle app from Google Play.
-For a Kindle, download Nook app from Amazon app store.

No more being tied down to one format or the other. - the competition is over as far as "we users" go.


 - - Many people don't know --


Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James
Get your copy now.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Danish Wedding Cookie Recipe

Danish Wedding Cookies - MOCK RECIPE.

First, the disclaimer to keep me from being sued.  The above image is not mine. I got it from the web to use as a "fair use" reference.  This is not the recipe to Keebler's Danish Wedding Cookies, I don't know their recipe.  I only figured out the recipe that tastes just like their Danish Wedding Cookies.

This recipe is my recipe that I trial and errored until I got it as close to the Keebler Danish Wedding Cookies as I could.  The ingredients are the same.


1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
1 cup Sugar, granulated
1 cup packed light Brown Sugar
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups flour
1 tsp Baking SODA
1 tsp Salt

1 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup sweetened Flaked Coconut - chopped into tiny bits
3/4 cup Chocolate Chips - chopped into tiny bits

* 1/2 - 3/4 chopped Pecans - chopped into tiny bits *OPTIONAL*
(optional if you have nut allergy, the Keebler recipe doesn't have nuts in them - but I think they taste better with them)

Powdered Sugar (for rolling cookies in)


Okay, here is how I do it.  I don't own any fancy equipment - I use just a bowl and wooden spoon for my mixing.

- Preheat Oven to 400° f.

In one bowl:
  - Mix the Shortening (I mix half sweet unsalted real butter with mine), Sugar, and Brown Sugar.
  - Mix in two slightly beaten eggs and the Vanilla Extract.

In a separate bowl:
  - Mix Flour, Baking SODA, and Salt. (I stir mine with a whisk until it's mixed well).

- Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until incorporated.

- Stir in Rolled Oats.

- Stir in Chocolate Chip tiny bits, Chopped Coconut Flakes, Chopped Pecans.

Drop spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly (Slightly flattened drop cookies).

Bake at 400° f  for approximately 12 minutes (pending oven, latitude, etc..)

After removing cookies from oven and they have cooled enough to handle (you want them still warm, not hot), roll them in Powdered Sugar and set on rack to cook completely.

After looking at their box and seeing the Ingredients, I deduced that these cookies are nothing more than Chocolate Chip - Coconut - Oatmeal cookies rolled in powdered sugar.  They don't add chopped pecans in theirs, but I found that I liked them better with the chopped nuts in them.

Here's the batch I made Today.  I ate four of them. So this is about how much a batch makes, minus 4.

If you like this recipe and would like to thank me for sharing it with you, please take moment to look at my books at Barnes and Noble Booksellers: <HERE>

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

40 Creepy Things said by Kids

Out of the blue, kids can say the creepiest things.  Here's a list of 40 of them.

1.  My daughter had an imaginary friend named Sally, she told me once about how Sally was in jail for chopping her mom’s head off…

2.  My daughter when we were home alone one night, “mommy, who’s that man on the ceiling?”

3.  “The shadow man keeps talking to me at my window.”

4.  I was reading a story to my daughter when she suddenly slammed it shut, point to the empty doorway, and screamed “you get out of here! You’ve killed enough people!”

5.  “Daddy, when can we get rid of that kid hanging in my closet?” I asked her what she was talking about and she told me all about a teenage boy who was hanging by a belt around his neck in her closet. I went to her closet there was nothing there, and she said he only is there when I’m not around.

6.  “There are three dead kids buried in our back yard. They told me where we can find them.”

7.  “Mommy, there’s a kid covered in blood in my bedroom and he won’t go away.”

8.  My 4 year old shook me awake one night and asked if she could sleep with me because tonight the old woman at the window was being mean for some reason.

9.  An 8 year old I used to teach had a hard time with eye contact and appropriate touch. He looked me straight in the eyes one morning, not missing a beat, and told me, “you know, I think you’d look a lot better if you were dead in my basement.”

10.  “Mom, why is that lady from the cemetery sitting in my room?”

11.  Two nights ago after I put my son to bed. I heard talking come from his room. I found him standing in the corner in the pitch black saying, “stop tickling me! Stop tickling me!”

12.  “I watch you sleep at night then I go back to my room.”

13.  Just a couple of months ago, my two year old daughter and I were in her darkened bedroom as she was getting ready to sleep. Like any kid new to numbers, she loves to count. So she pointed to herself and then me, counting, “One, two…” before jumping up and pointing around the empty room. “Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten! TEN PEOPLE!” she yelled proudly.

14.  My son was about two and a half - three years old and we had just moved into a new house. He was playing in the living-room, his father and I were sitting on the couch when he tripped, I dove to catch him but mid fall he stood right back up. I hadn’t touched him. As he stood up he said “thanks.” I asked him who he was thanking and he said “grandma. She caught me.” As he ran away there was a single ring of smoke by where he was standing and the whole living-room started to smell like cigarette smoke. About 30 minutes later his dad’s Mom (my sons grandmother) called to tell him that his grandma (my son’s great grandma) had passed away that morning. It was definitely creepy!

15.  Last night I was sitting on the porch and my seven year old said “do you feel like someone is watching you”, I said “yeah, you!” He said “no, like out there” and pointed toward the street. We live in the sticks so its dark and you can’t see crap. Needless to say my night on the porch was over!

16.  My three year-old and I were home all alone. We were walking around the house doing various things. Eventually we went into the basement. After we had been downstairs for a few minutes he stopped suddenly. Then he said, “Hey, why didn’t the man come with us downstairs? ” I was like, “Who?” He said, “The guy that was just with us upstairs. How come he didn’t come downstairs too?”

17.  My daughter at age four was screaming at the wall one night then screaming for me to make the man go away. I told her I couldn’t see the man so she had to tell him. So she screamed at him to go away. She then told me the man had long black hair and red eyes.

18. I bolted awake in the middle of the night because I heard a woman’s voice say my name. My four year old bolted up at the same time. He looked up and said “mommy, who was that?” My grandma died in our bedroom.

19. My niece puts her hand on my wife’s pregnant belly and says,”Your baby is gonna die.”.

20.  My family and I went on a trip to Gettysburg, PA when my daughter was four and son was six. The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the civil war…the whole town is hallowed ground, lots of death and blood. Well, anyway, we were on our way home and talking about our favorite part of the trip. My daughter said her favorite part of the trip was “seeing the soldier on the horse in the field”. The issue is: there was no soldier on the field, or horse. We were not there during any reenactments, and never seen anyone dressed up riding a horse!

21.  When my son was four, I colored him a Winnie the Pooh picture and put it on the fridge, while he was sleeping. When he woke the next morning I said “I made you something” he said “I know, I saw you ” I asked him “you saw me what?” He said “you colored me a picture” I asked how he knew he said “I saw you when I was sleeping” kinda creeped me out.

22.  My daughter, age seven, to her school counselor: “I was born to hurt people.”

23.  “There’s a man and woman that live in our house. They follow me to school sometimes.”

24.  One night my daughter who was then 5 got into bed with me, after both of us going back to sleep I had a terrible nightmare where I was a murderer…anyway I woke up in the morning and was thinking about my dream when my daughter woke up and looked at me and said ‘Mummy I had a dream that you were killing people”

25.  “Mommy, you are going to die tomorrow.” ‘My child – age 3′

26.  My kids ( ages 5,4,&3) are constantly talking about the “bloody girls” in their rooms. They each go into detail about them. Their names… Their clothes, what they talk about. It started when my oldest had just turned three. He said that they had been in a small green car, that fell in the water. The water turned red and their mommy and daddy were really sad. He said they liked their rooms because they have fun toys.

27.  Two years ago my door bell rang. When I answered there was a little kid 4 or 5 standing there that I didn’t recognize. Before I could say anything, she yelled “just so you know it’s your turn to die!” and she disappeared around the corner again. I followed but couldn’t see her anywhere. Luckily I didn’t die.

28.  My son was crying in bed at 3 am and tells us he is afraid because there is a man in his bed. We ask him about the man and tell him to ask the man to go away. The following day he tells us the man’s name is Frank…my husband’s uncle who died the night before. Also later that week we were driving along in our van in complete silence and my son said “Frank’s here.”

29.  My son was crying in his room saying mummy Elmo keeps talking to me, I went in his room and tickle me Elmo was laughing…..ummm he had no batteries!!

30.  My six year old was crying in her bedroom. It took lots of asking and she finally told me that a strange man had shown up and told her that I would be dead before midnight.

31. “Aren’t you gonna say hi to Uncle Chris ?” By my 3 year old when I was watching her jumping on the trampoline….Uncle Chris drowned in the lake 9 years before she was even born, and nobody in our family talks about it, ever. I asked her where he was and she pointed to the garage and said ” He tells me to be careful ” Whoa….

32. As she pointed to the old wood stove in the middle of our front room: “Jimmy said that was where he did it.” I asked her who Jimmy was and what he was talking about, she said “Jimmy is the guy who comes and talks to me at night. He said he killed his mom right there.” My daughter was five.

33. “I’m watching you make my sandwich so that when you die I will know how to do it.”

34.  My two-year-old said there is a fairy in his room. He points to the corner with the air conditioner. He says it most nights. One day I was showing him some old family photos. I show him one of my mother and he points to it and says, “Fairy fairy bedroom.” The photo was of my mum as a girl. She died 4 years ago.

35.  When I was 3, I was sleeping in my parents bed when I sat straight up and asked “Mommy who is that man in the corner?” She was terrified. This happened every night until she went to the corner and talked to him asking him to leave us alone because he was scaring me. Still believe in ghosts because of this.

36.  My kid was in the bathtub one night with the bathroom door open and I was puttering around in the next room. She called out and said “hey mommy, who was that blue guy who just walked down the hall?” She said he was tall and thin and featureless like “the shape of those men on the bathroom door like at a restaurant”. Creeped me out!

37.  My little brother said something eery to my grandma.  “I like this mummy better than my last mummy. My last mummy locked me in a room and I drank some paint and died.”

38.  My son was two. He was in a pattern of waking us up at about 5:00 am every morning. One morning I took him downstairs and plopped him in front of the TV so I could try to go back to sleep for about 30 minutes on the couch (right by him).  I woke up a few minutes later and he was standing in the foyer, pointing into the kitchen, laughing. He then said, “Mommy is floating in the kitchen.”  I didn’t think much of it…went back to sleep for a bit.  About 30 minutes later his mom came downstairs having just woken up, saying she “had one of those weird dreams where she flew out of her body, went downstairs and found herself in the kitchen.”

39.  I had a music teacher, who took his 4-year-old daughter to an old theatre in Alaska. She started crying immediately when she walked in, so he took her outside – and she stopped crying. He took her back in, she started crying again, so he took her outside again. He asked why she was crying, and she said: “That’s where the people with no eyes watch you.”

40.  My son was 3 when I was tucking him into bed one night and he said, “Mommy what’s that big thing?” I replied, “What thing, baby?” Then he said, “That big thing right behind you”  I knew there was nothing right behind me but a wall, I just did the scumbag mom thing and backed out of the room and shut the door. He wasn’t scared of ‘that big thing’ but I sure as hell was… creepy kids!

Monday, November 25, 2013

How to Make a Book Trailer for FREE

"How to make a book trailer," or "how I made my book trailer."

They say having a book trailer for your book is a great way to help promote it and grab more readers.  I am yet to see if this even makes a difference.  Nevertheless, having one definitely couldn't hurt and if there is any chance to grab more readers - I'm on it.

Promoting a book is hard and getting readers is even harder.  It's not like I am Stephen King and can scribble anything down and it sells.  Nor do I have a budget and marketing professionals.  In fact, I am a new author and have: no readers, no fans, no budget - in sum, I have nothing but a dream.  I am a complete unknown with a book nobody knows about or even wants to give a chance because they don't know my name like they do Stephen King, John Carpenter, or Anne Rice.  Does that stop me?  No way!

My book will never be on TV commercials, popular magazines, or in ads all over the place like you see the famous author's book.  I don't have that kind of money.  It would be nice, definitely, but it's just not in the budget.  In fact, it's far from the budget.  There is no budget.

So do I give up?  No and neither should you.  What we have to do is work around these obstacles and that is all they are, obstacles.  We have to think out of the box and be clever - without being annoying.

So one good way is to make a book trailer.

Don't worry, I am not going to make you read all this and then at the end leave you hanging by telling you you have to buy my software to continue.  Yeah, I come across those websites myself daily, it's frustrating.  Like I said, I'm broke and made mine for free and I am going to tell you how I did it.

Okay let us begin:

1.  Sum up your book.  The highlight of it.  What are the key points about it.  What makes ANYONE want to read it.  Sum this up into a few basic sentences.  Remember at this point you're a car salesman.  You don't want long sentences.  You want short ones to grab their attention.  Get the author way of thinking out of your head and get into the sales representative mode of thinking.

2. Get on youtube and watch some book trailers.  See what is being shown in the trailers for other books.  Get an idea of what it should look like, how it's presented, and what wording they use AND how they use it.  Just log on to youtube and search "book trailers" and/or "book teasers."  Watch a few and think about what they are doing and what you want to do.  Be realistic of what you can do.  I wanted James Earl Jones to narrate mine, but that just isn't going to happen.

3.  After you watched a few videos of book trailers, Sum up your book again.  YES!!!  Do it again.  You had one idea of what you wanted, but now you've seen other book trailers and I hope you noticed:
- They didn't have entire excerpts in them
- They didn't tell the whole story
- They didn't even have entire "blurps"
What they did was get your attention, stay on track of the genre, tell about the book in breif, and try to hook you into it to make you want more (so you'll buy the book).

So rethink what you want to put into your own book trailer.
Keep in mind you're going to want to keep your book trailer brief.  Like a TV commercial, try to stay under 2 minutes (90 seconds (1 1/2 minutes) is best) or you will lose their attention.  Do not fill it with spoilers, you want to hint to them, but not give it away.  They key is to spark interest in your book, not give it all to them in a short video.

4. Now that you have an idea of what you want to put in your book trailer, it's time to make a script.  Nothing fancy.  You want to consider the visual references to your story.  Consider one photo for each sentence.  Perhaps even a couple photos for a sentence with a few "effect" ones as well.
Make a script.  This is important.  Don't go off and freehand this.  Have a plan.

5.  Search the internet for ROYALTY-FREE pictures.  Do NOT just use whatever photos you please.  That is copyright infringement.  Most pictures on the internet are copyrighted in some form or another.  You see a lot of g+, pinterest, facebook pics that people have photoshoped.  Believe it or not, most of them are copyright infringements because the pic maker does NOT have the person's permission to use them.

Okay with that being said.  Don't worry there are still many pictures, drawings, and photos you can use.  Just search for royalty-free images.  Find pictures you like, may or may not use and fit into your mental imagery for the script you have written for your book trailer.

In mine, because my book is a paranormal horror I decided to focus on pictures of darkened rooms that described the sentences I made for my script.  For example:

Sentence 1 - "Some things are very real and need to be told."
I decided to just put that on a simple black background.  In this case, less is more.

Sentence 2 - "Something unseen that hides in the very darkness of the shadows."
The second sentence, I found a picture in the woods - with fog and light in the background shining through the trees.  To give an eerie feeling.

Gather pictures for the imagery of each sentence you wrote in your script.  Grab a few for each picture.  Make sure they are free of copyright and you are in fact allowed to use them.  Take some pictures of your own if you know how.  This is why writing a script first was so important.  You may change some of this later, but at least you are focused on what you need and want.

Make sure the images you get are at least 640x480 and clear.  This is so they look good when someone expands to watch the video in full screen.  If you grab small images and zoom them to full screen, they turn into pixels (no longer a picture but a bunch of color blocks instead - ugly).
Put them all in one folder, so you can find them easy.

6. Start making the trailer.  I used Photostory 3.  This a FREE software for Windows (I am using a laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed).  Here is the link directly from MicroSoft

I am not sure what to use for Apple or Linux, but all this software does is put together the images and allow you to make modifications, set view timing, and add music and sound.

Install Photostory 3 if you haven't already.

 Open Photostory 3

 - Choose: Begin New Story and click Next

Click Next >

- Import Pictures.
simply click import pictures, select the folder you stored your images in (I hope you put them all in one folder to make things easier and not forget any).

Add the images.  You will see them at the bottom.  This is the order they will show, but you can change this.

The picture you click and select on the bottom will show in the larger window above.
You can rearrange the pictures simply by left clicking, holding them and dragging them into the place you want them.  So if you didn't import them in the desired order, don't worry.  You can change the order any time you want.

Under the "Import Pictures" button will show a button to "Remove black borders..."  This is to have the software remove the black borders for you.  This is optional, when you click it and it will show the pictures one at a time, starting with the first one.  Showing a comparison of the black border it has and what it will look like when you remove it.

*Remember to Save your project*

Click Next >

Add a title to your pictures.  This is optional.  This puts text across your photo.  You type the desired text in the box that says: <Type text to add a title on the selected picture>

The first button above it changes the font, size, style, and color of the text you add.

The second, third, and fourth (middle) buttons position the text to either the left, middle, or right of the picture.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh (buttons on the right) position the text in either the top, center, or bottom of the picture.

In my example, on my second picture (see how the second picture is chosen on the bottom) I wrote some text and changed the font color to white so it would show up on the black background image.

The pull tab "Effect" below your picture changes the effect of your picture.  You can change your pictire to make it like a painting, charcoal drawing, pencil, etc. if you want.  You just have to play around with it to see what you like and best suits your needs.

*Remember to Save your project*

Click Next >

This is where you narrate your picture and customize motion to it.  Personally, I didn't add any narration.  That is simply clicking the record button and you read aloud your scripted sentence for the picture.  I have a better way to do this I will show you.

On this same page is where you customize the motion, fade, and timing shown in your picture.  Click the "Customize Motion" button directly beneath you picture and another window will open up.

We'll start from top to bottom on this one.
The first tab being open (by default) is "Motion and Duration"
Click and check the first box "Specify start and end position of motion."  I found it best to simple check this and set it yourself instead of letting it do it randomly.  When you checked this box, you will notice the two boxes under the picture light up as well.

Click and 'check' the boxes below the picture
The first one is: "Set start position to be the same as the end position of the previous picture."

What that does is sets to position of the viewed box to the left (the start) in the same place that the previous picture ended.  If this is picture 1 (the first picture in the list), it will not be lit up.

Click and 'check' the box below it labeled: "Set end position to be the same as start position."

This places the viewable box of your picture in the same place where it started.
I check this box on pictures that don't move just to make sure they don't move when shown.

Now, at this point, you can adjust the viewable portion of your picture.  In the picture to the left, the start position, you will see a clear box within the picture with the border of it greyed out.  This shows what part of the picture will be shown at the start.  There are eight little boxes around it (I circled five in the example above).  Use your mouse to adjust the position of the visible box that you want showing in your picture.  If you want your picture to show the whole picture from start to finish, then make sure you expand the box all the way and check the bottom box labeled: "Set end position to be the same as start position."

In the above picture I have the viewable boxes expanded across the whole picture, so in the slide it will show the whole picture from start to finish.

If you want some motion in your picture, for example, to move from the left to the right when viewing. Make the viewable box small on the left and position it where you want it to start at and then uncheck the "Set end position to be the same as start position." (I always keep it checked when I position the left box, so the right box is automatically made the same size).  Then position the left side (end position).

In my example above you can see where I have the viewable box on the left side centered and to the far left and the box on the right side, centered and to the far right.  This will create a faux sense of motion going from left to right.

Click the "Preview" button on the bottom (red arrow above) to see a preview of the motion you just created.  A small window will open up to show you a preview of the motion in that picture (circled red above).
In the example you will see the motion moving from the left to the right.

Now to adjust the timing of the movement and how long the picture displays. Click and select the button labeled "Number of seconds to display the picture."  I found it is best to check this and set it each time and not use where it sets the duration automatically.

Try different times to see which you like the best.  I found about 3 seconds to be ideal in most cases.

Now the next step is to set the transition.

Click the second tab on top of the page labeled: "Transition."  I circled it in the picture above.  This sets the transition from one picture to the next.  You can use a variety of methods, fade in, page turn, etc..  I generally keep mine at default which is a fade in from one picture to the next.  But you can adjust this to your liking.

The three pictures in this tab shown from left to right:  The previous picture (left side), the transition preview (middle) and the current picture (right side).

You can play with this to see how you like yours to be.  You can view it by clicking the "Preview" button below.  Once you are satisfied, click "Save" and then "Close."

*Remember to Save your project*

Click Next >

Add background music.  This is where you add the background music, sound effects, and narration to your trailer.  The center button "Create Music" has a selection of generic background music you can use.

You can listen to the various samples and see if there are any you like.  Personally, I didn't like any of them.  They didn't suit my needs, so I made my own - and I will show you how.

Don't worry, we will make a sound file and come back to this.

So go ahead and SAVE YOUR PROJECT!  Get into habit of doing this regularly.

Before we go to making our own sounds, click preview and see how long your book trailer is so you know how long you need to make your background sound/music.

In my case, the length of my Book Trailer was 1 minute and 31 seconds (91 seconds)

The first thing I did was search for sound effects and background music that fit the book trailer's atmosphere I wanted.  I went to several places in search of sounds, such as  Now remember, the rule with music and sound effects is the same as using pictures (and everything else).  They MUST be royalty-free.  Otherwise you cannot use them.  I found several sound effects I thought I wanted to use, downloaded at least 30 or more of them and only used parts of two and made the rest myself.

After you found some sounds you might use, the next step is to make your background sound.  The software I use is Audacity at

It is free and comes in versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Download the software and install it.

Open it up and and the first thing you want to do is click File > Save Project As
Name your project and save it.

Now import your selected background music.  File > Import > Audio

Find the music file you have selected and it should look like this:

My first clip, my chosen background music is only 1 minute and 7 seconds long (67 seconds) and I need at least 1 minute and 31 seconds (91 seconds) of sound.  Now, I have several choices of what I can do.  I can have my music repeat or I can add to it.  In my case, I had a mix of background music and sound effects I wanted to add to get the final result.  So I had my music fade out where the sound effects picked up and then faded out.  Because I am promoting a Horror Book, my intent was to make it creepy.  So to achieve this, I had some creepy background music that started a couple seconds after the trailer started playing.  I faded the music in and added a sound effect of a child singing with some fire crackling in the background, which in turn also faded out a few seconds before the trailer ended.  Leaving you suspenseful and feeling creeped out.  This is gold for a Horror Book.

Your needs or plans for music may be very different from mine.  I am just showing you how *I* did mine.  I was learning this software as I went.  The software I used to do this, I had just downloaded myself.

I then imported the second audio file I was going to merge with it.
 File > Import >Audio

The second file will appear below the first one, like mine above.

Now, I wanted the second sound to play towards the end.  So to get this to happen, I clicked the "Time Shift Tool" up top (I have a red arrow pointing to it in my example).  I selected the bottom audio I wanted to shift position.  I clicked where I placed a red "X" in the example to make sure it was selected.  Then I clicked on the line just in front of the bottom music box (where I have the red two-way arrow circled) and dragged it to the left to where I wanted it.

You can see how far I shifted it to where I needed it.

Clicking the green arrow button will play the whole thing together for you, so you can adjust it to exactly where you need it.  As you can see by the blue squiggly lines my sound effect was much louder than my background music.  I needed to tone that down.

To do this, select the "Envelope Tool" on top (red circle with arrow).
Then go down to your music selection you wish to alter. Click the top of the link and then move it down to about where you think the level should be (red arrow).

In my example, I used the "Envelope Tool" to lower the sound level to about the same as the background music above it.

Now I want the effect to "fade in" at its start and "fade out" at the ending.

I clicked the "Selection Tool" on top (red circle with arrow) and then went down to the sound effect on the bottom and highlighted a small part of the beginning (red circle with two-way arrow under it).

Then up top, select: Effect > Fade In (example below)

The sound waves now should cone at the beginning. (example circled in red)

Now fade out the ending of the sound effect / music by highlighting the potion you want to fade out.

Then click Effect > Fade Out

The result should be a reversed cone at the ending, such as is in my example below.

What I have done is just a very tiny bit of what this software is capable of.  It does have a manual you can see by clicking Help > Manual (in web browser).  Additionally, there are hundreds of tutorials for this software on the web.  I have only shown you what I did to make my own.  I was learning as I went, so my knowledge is very minimal.  I learned to do what I needed to do and moved on.

Okay, now we want to Export our now 'modified to serve our purposes sound file' so we can use it in our book trailer.

Click File > Export

Name the file (I named mine "Example1") and save.

Now we go back to Photo Story 3 and add our background sound.

Open Photo Shop 3, select "Edit Project," and click Next.

Select you saved project file and click open.

Now that your project is open again. Click "Next" three times until you get to the "Add Background Music" page.

Click the photo where you want your music to start (in my case, I wanted my music to start on the third picture. (red arrow label 1. in my example)

Click "Select Music" (red arrow labeled 2. in my example) Click the Music file you just made and click Open
--- and ta-da!

It should look like my example with an orange music line now added. (red arrow labeled 3. in my example)

Click preview to listen and watch, to make sure you got everything timed properly.  If not, you can go back anywhere and make adjustments until you get it right.  TAKE YOUR TIME!!  Get it right.  It took me a few days and I went through several screw ups until I finally got it to where I wanted it.  Getting the sound effects to happen at the right time in the picture was the toughest.

Once you are satisfied with what you've made it's time to save it in a format you can use in most readers, including youtube. (.wmv)

Click "Next" to get to the "Save your story" page.
Choose "Save your story for playback on your computer." (red arrow labeled 1.)
Click Browse to save it in the location you can find it. (red arrow labeled 2.)
Then click Next (red arrow labeled 3.).

And that is it!!!  Yay!!  You did it, you made your first book trailer!!!

Make sure you put a picture of the book and where you can find it in the ending.  After all, the whole purpose of this is to create enthusiasm for your book - they have to know where to find it.  Just like in my Book Trailer, I wanted to build suspense and end it just at the point they want more.  This is where I link them to where they can get the book.  Make sure you also include links to your book where you add the video.

Put your new book trailer video everywhere you can think of putting it - get the World's attention.
Uploading it to Youtube makes it easier because you can get the "embed" code from the youtube page.

Share it everywhere especially on your social media sites (G+, Facebook, Twitter, etc..)
Put it on your Amazon Author Page.
Put it on your Goodreads Author Page.
Put it in your blog.
Put it in your website.

Share it in a "How to Make a Book Trailer for Free" post you've made on your is mine:

Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James
Kindle Concealed in the Darkness
or get it in Paperback

Notice how I put the book title and author directly under the trailer and then added links below it where you can get a copy? A brief 'blurp" or synopsis is good as well.