Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guest Blogger: Chris Marie Green

Chris's winner is: Rosie! Congrats, Rosie. Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Chris. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Legend Tripping

Halloween!

Ghosts, goblins…things that go bump in the night. As a writer of vampire books, it’s a season when I’m in my element. I have scary movie marathons. I read all the short horror stories I can get my paws on. And, loveliest of lovelies—I get some fun ideas for my own work because I’m so steeped in thrills and chills.

Actually, when people ask me how I get ideas for my Vampire Babylon series at any time of the year, I tell them about how these “things that go bump in the night” can inspire me. Okay, maybe when I’m lying in bed thinking that I hear a serial killer in my closet (as with my second Vampire Babylon book, Midnight Reign), I’m not all that cool with the situation. But in the morning, when the light spills through my window?

Very thankful.

I’d like to tell you about one “bump in the night” element in particular though. I suppose you could even say that I grew up preparing to write vampire tales that include a touch of urban legends or folk tales because of this.

When I was a teenager, I was a legend tripper.

What’s that, you ask? Well, evidently, it’s a sociological thing where “young people” go to places like graveyards and haunted houses to prove their courage and, thus, impress whoever they’re trying to impress. Back then, I had no idea I was participating in such an activity. Sure, my friends and I (and the guys we were targeting) started off with your basic scary movie parties and visits to those haunted houses that civic groups put on at Halloween. But, after a few of those, it wasn’t enough to keep our hippity hormones hopping.

So, one nippy night, we decided we’d go to the Ol’ Mud Meetin’ House.

There was supposed to be a caretaker with one eye who watched over the scattered graves as well as a church-like building where slaves used to gather for worship. We crept past the chained gate, then snuck up the dead leaf-strewn hill, hoping to catch a flicker of a ghost.

Alas, after several visits, we didn’t see much besides beer cans--evidence of other hopeful legend trippers. So we graduated to more so-called haunted places around the area.

For instance, there was an isolated old home that was said to be a former civil war hospital. Inside, we thought we saw bloodstains on the wood floor. But outside was where the real terror was supposed to manifest: when a ghost was in residence, the window shutter would be open and, perhaps, a face would be visible.

Of course, on the night we went, it was closed.

Foiled yet again, we set off to another deserted house on a different weekend. At this location, legend had it that if you went upstairs, you’d find a chair in front of a mirror in a bedroom. And, if you looked in the mirror, you’d see the ghost of an old woman.

We never got that far, mainly because, this time, we were freaked out right off the bat.

On the first floor of this house lay a spread of toys: dolls, action figures, cars. Seriously, we had to wade through them, and the question of why they were there got to us. Where had the kids gone in such a hurry? More importantly…why?

Finally spooked, we ran out of the house. Outside to the right, I thought I saw a dark shape, and I “eeep”ed!

It turned out to be a cow, and it was the scariest bovine creature ever.

Yes, as legend trippers, we were perfect candidates for victims in a slasher movie. We were setting up ourselves to be ducks in a row for Jason Vorhees or some up-and-coming psycho who’d just escaped from a nearby facility with a hook instead of a hand.

But, oh, the research I ended up with!

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Chris Marie Green, who writes urban fantasy, also creates romances as Crystal Green. Her latest release is The Path of Razors, Vampire Babylon, Book Five, which continues the adventures of Dawn Madison and her vampire hunting team. Book Six, Deep in the Woods, will be released in March of 2010. To learn more, you can go to her Web site at www.vampirebabylon.com or follow her at Twitter at http://twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen.

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Chris will give away signed mass market copies of Night Rising, Vampire Babylon, Book One, and Midnight Reign, Book Two to one lucky commenter. Her winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Please stop back by to see if you've won.

20 Comments:

Blogger Natasha A. said...

Oh! This sounds most excellent! I would love to win a copy! :D

7:22 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Loved the story, thanks for shring. I've always loved thses types of stories.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

what fantastic covers. And I would love to win this series.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Cecile said...

Hey Ms. Lynda! Thank you for having such a wonderful guest!!! Well Chris! The series sounds very intriguing! Please put my name down for a chance!!!
Hope all is going well for both of you! Have a great night and wonderful Monday!

9:43 PM  
Blogger donnas said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing! Although really why were all those toys there?

9:53 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi, Chris!

I laughed uproariously at "It turned out to be a cow, and it was the scariest bovine creature ever." But I shouldn't 'cause I'm a wimp and that would have scared me too! Ha!

Great post, I definitely need to check out your books. :)

5:47 AM  
Blogger RKCharron said...

Hi Chris :)
I loved your story, it makes for a great story told over a campfire or in a tent with a flashlight.
Love & Best Wishes,
RKCharron
xoxo

7:16 AM  
Blogger Crystal Green's Blog said...

Good morning, you guys! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Natasha and Mary, welcome, and thank you!

PamK, I love those covers so much. I just got the one for DEEP IN THE WOODS, and it has my heroine, Dawn, in front of a scary threat of trees. Nice!

Cecile, thank you, too--and all is well (I also hope the same for you!). Today, I'll be writing chapter 6 in a second series I'm doing for Ace. It's a "postapocalyptic urban fantasy western noir." Whew!

Donna, good question about the toys. It was almost BLAIR WITCH PROJECT-esque (and my adventure happened way before the movie came out).

Wendy--isn't it embarrassing that I was overcome by the sight of a cow? Yeesh. What a ghostbuster I am.

RK--ooo, I love the campfire reference. I'm currently blogging about all the scary movies I'm watching for a Halloween mini-marathon. TRICK 'R' TREAT was one of my entries, and that's a perfect "campfire story" movie!

Thanks again, and I'll see you all later!

7:48 AM  
Blogger Scott Romanski said...

These books sound awesme. Definitely in my to be gotten and read uickly list.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Tiffany Talley said...

Haha, loved the blog, Chris! I was sitting here laughing, because my friends and I were always to freaked out to do anything other than plan a haunted adventure! Our entire football team got scared so bad by a Ouija board that they wouldn't go near a cemetary for MONTHS. I love love love the Vampire Babylon series, and it would be absolutely fantastic to win! p.s. I follow you on twitter! (@tiffanydiane08) :) Thanks for a great blog!

10:52 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

What a fun post, made me laugh! I'm enjoying the series so far!

10:57 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

This series is on my tbr list, so I'd love to win a copy. Thanks!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Crystal Green's Blog said...

Hello again,

Scott and Rose, thank you, and I'm so glad you want to read all about Vampire Babylon!

Tiffany! LOL for the football team and the Ouija Board. One day, I'll blog about my college Ouija experience.... Thank you *so* much for reading the series and for being my bud on Twitter!

Tetwa--so happy to hear you're enjoying the series! I appreciate it. :)

Later....

2:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara E. said...

Great story. I lived near a graveyard when I was young and we loved to hang out there, reading the gravestones and making up stories about the people buried there. We didn't do the scary stuff too much, I was too young to be going there at night, LOL.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

I did my share of legend tripping as a kid. I'm glad to have a name for it now.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Crystal Green's Blog said...

Hey!

Barbara, I would've been right there with you in the graveyard. Even now, I *love* to go to them. (In a previous blog here on Lynda's site, I wrote about a research trip I took to London for the second three books in the Vampire Babylon series. I went to Highgate Cemetery so I could set a scene there. Best day of the trip!)

Abigail, I didn't know there was a name for it, either, until about two years ago. Imagine my surprise when I realized I was engaging in a documented social "thing"! I feel like a rat in a lab now. :)

8:24 PM  
Anonymous witchypam said...

It is strange how we all are attracted to the paranormal yet if anything out of the ordinary occurs, we are frightened and run.

Good story though, reminds me of many a dark night tiptoing through graveyards lest we disturb the occupants!!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Crystal Green's Blog said...

LOL, witchypam! While I was watching PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, I realized just how awful "things that go bump are." All I have to do is watch THE EXORCIST to be reminded of where I want my paranormal entertainment to stop....

11:16 AM  
Blogger Cybercliper said...

Oooh, this sounds like a wonderful series!!!

I grew up in the country and there wasn't a lot to do so I guess my friends and I were "Legend Tippers" also. We were always trying to scare the devil out of ourselves. There were lots of "haunted" places where folks had died or killed someone (pretty common occurence in eastern Kentucky). Graveyards were also favorite place to hang out. I never saw anything myself but I was usually too busy running and I learned early on - don't look back!

4:00 PM  
Blogger Crystal Green's Blog said...

Cybercliper, no way! My legend tripping took place in *central* Kentucky! It's that small-town thing, and you're right about there being many haunted places to choose from. Too funny!

Thank you so much for playing, you all. It was fun. Have a happy, legend-trippy Halloween!

7:59 AM  

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