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.

Book Trailer

Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James - Book Trailer

Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James

Some things are very real and need to be told.

The unseen things we feel watching us from the shadows in the corners of our eye. 
Something unseen that hides and lurks within the very darkness of the shadows. 
The quiet can become quite deafening in its haunting persistence. 
Even in silence you can hear its faint whisper coming out of nowhere. A very distant and hushed sound that seems like it's far away, yet very close. Very close. 
Close enough to touch you...too close. 

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a fear of the dark. 

I never dreamed my fears would be real.

Learning at an early age that there are unseen things that exist which are able to reach into our world from within the shadows. He spends his short life trying to avoid and ignore them until they finally force themselves on him, making him question his own sanity until he is finally pulled into the darkness himself and learns the truth.  

Coming into possession of an artifact that he'd dreamt about years ago, things begin to really go sour as paranormal attacks begin to escalate in a variety of forms. A home life irreparably falling apart and forces him to flee from both an abusive home life and the ever increasing spectral attacks. He seeks refuge in a new start where his passion for a girl he secretly loves is crushed and mocked by the unknown. Devastated with no answers, he is drawn into the world of the occult which sinks him deeper into the shadows where he is finally confronted and discovers the secret of the dark shadows themselves. 

They are called different things by different cultures. 
But one thing that is the same throughout human history. 
They are there. 

They watch you now.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Working on Book Trailer

Sorry I haven't been on much lately.  I've been busy making a "Book Trailer" for 'Concealed in the Darkness.'  A short video about the book to lure in readers.

I am totally unfamiliar with pretty much all the software.  So much of my time has been spent on learning how to actually do things.

~ I am using Photostory 3 for Windows to put the whole thing together.
~ My old Photoshop 7 to tweek the needed photos.
~ Google to search for Royalty-free images I might be able to use.
~ My camera to take pictures for photos in my mind I can't find on google (I use photoshop to get full effect)
Audacity to mix the audio and make my voice sound like James Earl Jones when I narrate (I couldn't afford to hire him to do it for me).  Additionally mix background music and sound effects.

So far, I've got a test one to work with sound and images.  Now I just have to fine tune it all and should be good to go.  I am optimistic about it.

♥ J.K. James

Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James - Paperback $14.99
Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James - Kindle Edition $3.49

Amazon UK - Concealed in the Darkness by J.K, James - Paperback £9.35 - UK
Amazon UK - Concealed in the Darkness by J.K, James - Kindle £2.25 - UK

Saturday, November 16, 2013

About your Guardian Angel

We've all heard about Guardian Angels and most Judeo-Christians believe they have one.  That an angel is assigned to them when they are born to watch out for them.  Some believe it's not an angel but a loved one, such as grandma or an ancestor.  Some believe it to be a distant ancestor or perhaps a spirit of something else, such as a house or forest spirit.

Let me quote an excerpt from the book, "Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James"

Is the threat of the unknown real?  We are constantly discovering things in this world that we don’t fully understand. Whether it be a simple ghost sighting or something else. 
The word “demon,” also spelled “daimon” or “daemon,” comes from Greek mythology for an inferior deity or an attendant spirit also know as a “genius.” It's interesting that the word genius has a meaning beyond our regular usage for someone with an exceptional intellect, but also means a spirit. The plurals for the word genius are geniuses (or standard usage) and genii, which comes from Roman mythology meaning a tutelary deity or guardian spirit of a person or place. The Romans plural the word genius into genii to mean a deity or spirit and the Muslims spell genii as jinni or djinni, which is pluralized for those words jinn or djinn. 
In some Islamic beliefs, the djinn or jinn are any of a class of spirits lower than the angels and are capable of appearing in human or animal forms and influencing humankind. In the original Hebrew text used in Judeo-Christian tradition the word djinn or jinn doesn't occur of the Bible, although in old Arabic translations the word jinn is often used. Modern translations instead use words like: demon, spirit, and other words like seraphim, such as the burning/fiery ones that appeared to Isaiah (Isaiah 6). 
Islam teaches that the djinn are creatures with freewill that were made from smokeless fire by Allah (God) as humans were made of clay (Adam). According to the Holy Qur’an, Iblis (the father or leader of all djinn) refused to bow to Adam when Allah ordered the angels and djinn to do so. For disobeying Allah (God), Iblis and the djinn that followed him were expelled from Paradise and called "Shaytan" or Satan (sound familiar?). Shaytan is often simply translated as "the Devil," but the term can refer to any of the djinn who disobeyed God and followed Iblīs. There are several classes of djinn and they aren't the “Genie in the Bottle” that pop culture depicts them as. They would be more accurately depicted as nonhuman spirits, demons, and shadow people. 
Djinn are frequently mentioned in the Qur’an and are similar to humans in that djinn have freewill allowing them to do as they choose, even follow any religion or none at all. They are usually invisible to humans and humans do not appear clearly to them. Djinn have the power to travel large distances at extreme speeds and are thought to live in their own communities, have kings, government, and a world of existence of their own separate from our own. In Islamic theology, the class of djinn known as Shaytan are the "whisperers" whom whisper into the chests of men and women urging them to commit sin. Djinn are pretty much what we Westerners think of as demons, shadow people, and other nonhuman spirits. Those unseen hidden beings that we can't exactly explain. 
These hidden beings come in a variety of themes and names depending on which culture they are told from. But one thing consistent is that every culture throughout history tells of them in some form or another. The Norse (Vikings) called them hidden people (Huldufólk). They are also known to the Old Norse as vættir or wights, which are nature spirits and literally means “beings,” more specifically, “supernatural beings.” Belief in various forms of vættir continues today, especially in Iceland, regardless of Christian efforts to eradicate such beliefs over the past centuries. Most of these beliefs are taken in the form of house spirits or house dwellers. In contrast to many faery tales that have a variety of depictions of them, good or bad, in all cultures these beings are unseen or invisible. 
The bible forbids the worship of house spirits or household deities. Which implies that they exist by modern religious standards, no matter what they are called. Each culture calls them something different with their own angle of what they are and where they come from. Typical of many modern beliefs, house spirits are usually labeled are guardian spirits that watch over us or in some cases cause mischief. Some Islamics believe a djinni is assigned as a guardian spirit for every person born, whereas many Christians believe an angel is assigned as a guardian. It must be noted that in some Islamic teachings the djinn helped the angels, it was only a portion of them that refused to serve mankind (the Shaytan) and were expelled from Paradise. Many Christians call this same happening as the fallen angels that were expelled from heaven. You say to-may-toe and I say to-mah-toe, nevertheless it's still a tomato. 
So, the words demon, daemon, genius, djinn, genii, jinni, seraphim, seraph, house spirit, nisse, goblin, shadow people, tomte, vættir, and wrights all mean the same thing, non-human unseen spirit-type beings. It's merely a matter of language, culture and custom, but they are all the same thing. Every single religion, mythology, and peoples of the World speak of them. The unseen things that go bump in the night have always been known to humankind and are even known today. Today, we place new labels on them and try to deal with them rationally. Ghost hunters try to record evidence of them by means of cameras, video, electronic voice phenomenon, and with the use of sensitives and mediums whom are more in tune and able to detect them slightly better than the average person. 
So what of these things? Are these ghosts and shadow people that so many swear are real and that they've seen, really there? The skeptics that can't explain certain phenomena and try to come up with scientific explanations that later convert them to being believers when they see things they wish they'd never seen. The unseen things that go bump in the night that have been called so many different things that are said to exist by every culture in the World since as long as we know." 
(source: Concealed in the Darkness by J.K. James, Foreword pages 4-8.)

What's being said here?  There are things that exist which we cannot see?  We know this already.  It's hard to find a single person who doesn't believe (even when they deny it) in some form or another that something is there.  Scientists no longer downplay or deny their existence.  They simply quote 'energy' and that the very essence of our minds is comprised of energy and energy can never be destroyed, it just changes its form.  This rational scientific explanation implies that when we die, we don't actually die but exist in another form and thus must be the explanation for ghosts or spirits.

The bible tells us there are spirits, in fact it tells us directly and also implies in several cases that there are many kinds of spirits.  We are told about and instructed not to worship household deities (Genesis 31:19) and not to worship other gods (Exodus 34:14, Exodus 20:3, Jeremiah 25:6).

The practice of either worshiping, paying homage, or respecting household "beings" is known and practiced across ALL cultures throughout history.  From as long as we can tell with primitive humans to modern days.  And this is all cultures, languages, and peoples - whether they had contact with each other or not.  Their stories are all the same.  There's something there we cannot see, we don't know what it is but we know it's there.  Some of these unseen things are evil, some are good, and some are neutral.

In some Islamic beliefs (and Arabic before Islam), they don't believe an Angel is assigned to us, but a Djinni.  This is an interesting concept.  As explained in the book excerpt above, the Djinn are also creations of God (Allah), made after the Angels and before Humans.  They were made from smokeless fire as the Angels were made from spirit and humans were made from clay.  They are different from angels, because like humans they were given the gift of freewill.  It is taught that before humans were created that many Djinn used to help the Angels.  They also helped the angels when mankind was created and helped watch over Paradise.  When God(Allah) created the humans, He ordered the angels and djinn to bow down to the humans.  Some djinn refused to do this.  They felt they didn't need to bow down to the inferior humans because they were created before them and should not be their servants nor be considered lower than them.

This was the great rebellion where those djinn that refused were cast out of paradise and called shay'tan (satan or the devil(s)).  This is the same story told by Judeo-Christians, except they don't mention the djinn, they call them angels that were cast down from Heaven into Hell.  Most often it is taught that one-third of the angels were cast down - our fallen angels.  Or as taught in Islam and Arabic folklore, the Djinn.

Now it should be noted, especially due to proxemics and disregarding the fact these three religions (Jewish, Christian, and Islam) have been at war with either other since....forever.  That they all use nearly the same religious books.  Without arguing the differences, I am just saying the same texts and books in the "Old Testament."  Yes, they have big differences, but they also have the same root teachings.  So their stories are nearly exact.  I am not going to speak any deeper on that, I don't want to light up a religious debate.  I am merely trying to point out that they have the same teachings in many regards.  One of these stories is that of Solomon.  In Judeo-Christian teachings, King Solomon enslaved demons to work for him and build the Temple.  In Islam, Solomon enslaved djinn and had them work and built the Temple.

This is where the grey area comes in between djinn, angels, demons, and spirits as far as some of the most common religious teachings as concerned.  Those religions speak of unseen things, good and bad (and neutral).  Some Jews and Christians believe of these unseen things, an angel is assign to watch over us as a guardian.  Some Islamics believe a djinni si assigned to watch over us (note: not all the djinn disobeyed Allah (God) and were cast from Paradise (Heaven) and some still serve Allah (God) and help the Angels.

I am of Norwegian descent, so my heritage comes from Old Norse beliefs.  In those beliefs, we also have household spirits.  Unseen beings that live with us, often refer to as fairly-like creatures.  They are usually considered 'neutral' beings, neither good or evil.  They don't serve us, but if they 'like' us they will be helpful to us (and if they don't like us, they will make life a living hell).  We call them Nisse (pronounced: 'nees-sah').

Every religion and custom has them in some form or another.  Unseen things around us.  We've always known about them, just never really had a grasp of what they are or where they come from and why they hide from us.

So what are these so-called "Guardian Angels?'  Angels, Djinn, Nisse, Faeries, ghosts of our ancestors?  Some other ghosts or spirits that seem to like us and look out for us in their spare time?  We've also come across some of these unseen beings that don't like us and do everything they can to make life miserable.  What are these things?   That's a huge question I don't think ever gets answered until we die (then we can't tell anyone about it) or is simply NEVER answered.

I wrote the book, "Concealed in the Darkness" telling of some experience with these things.  It's a true story about events that took place, but it's written as a fiction.  Because after who reads nonfiction ghost-type stories?  Well I do and I am sure many of you do as well.  But we are few, so I wrote it as a fiction and pretended it was a made up story to reach more readers and try to get the word out.  It was my attempt to not only entertain the reader, but to make them think about the unseen things they catch in the corner of their eye.  To relate to the story and reflect upon it and wonder, what are these things?

Are the Shadow People what are considered the Djinn?  Are they spirits?  We seem to be able to catch glimpses of them and even communicate in limited means.  With our modern technology and cameras just about everywhere, we're all too often catching that shadow walking down the hall or up the stairs (apples and pears - ha, the only Cockney I know).  We can see its form and its movements, but are too fast to deny it as a camera glitch.  Can all of our cameras across the World have the same glitch?  Literally millions of cameras of various designs and makes set up in different ways all be glitching the same way?  Somehow I doubt that.

Why are we able to communicate via EVP?  They answer questions and tell us things we can't hear with our ears but are able to record through sound equipment.  As much as we'd all like to believe it's just a hoax or gag, we can do this ourselves whereas we know nobody's hoaxing us.  Way too strange and unexplained.

How often have we heard someone admit to seeing something in the corner of their eye or a brief glimpse of something walk across the room.  I have been in a room where there were several of us and we all seen it at the same time.  Not one of us could explain what we'd just seen.  Heard whispering, unable to make it out because it's too faint but swear it was right next to our ear.

I only have the possible explanations that I've already given with no real answers.  Hard to believe that literally billions of people see and hear them, but none know what they are.  Even through hundreds of centuries of them being told about.  The same things we see now, they seen thousands of years ago.

I mention an experience with these unseen things in my book, "Concealed in the Darkness" and I hope you get the opportunity to read it.  To be able to look within your own experiences and wonder, what are these things.  Perhaps maybe you will be able to come up with the answer.

© 2013 by J.K. James. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I hate google sites

I just have to say, google sites is about the most user UNfriendly site I have ever used.  Sure, it's okay if you're just doing a basic website with some pictures and text, a few premade gadgets that google sites have on their list.  But to go beyond that and use your own gadget, such as adding widgets.  It is about the worse I have ever encountered.

Now, I do plan a formal website, hosting etc.., but I thought I would prep it on free google sites for now.  That was a mistake.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Few Book Cover Concepts

Here are a few Book Cover concepts I came up with.  Please, tell me which one you like best.


Which one do you like best? 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,or 9?