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Two and Twenty Dark Tales Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

Friday, November 16, 2012
Today, as part of the Two and Twenty Dark Tales tour stop at Imaginary Reads, I have for you a guest post from Pam van Hycklama Vlieg and a giveaway.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales
by various authors

Publication: October 9, 2012
Pages: 400
Publisher: Month9Books
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

This unique collaboration’s proceeds (from the first 5,000 copies sold) will be donated to, an organization that fosters the advancement, reading, writing and acceptance of young adult literature worldwide.

Plot Monkeys and Word Count
Guest Post by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

Writing a short story isn’t as easy as it sounds. When you sit down to write a full novel you know you need around 80,000 words. That’s a pretty big number, and it is kind of daunting and intimidating.

Writing short fiction is kind of like doing laps in the hot tub. You have to get the plot, characterizations, and world all in a very small amount of words. In any book every word should count, every scene should advance the plot, but in short fiction it matters so much more.

Like that 350 word paragraph that explains exactly the color green le hot boi’s eyes are. You had to cut it to make room for actual plot. It was way more important for you to know le hot boi’s brother is a killer.

Jared Leto
Jared Leto
Photo by Umbrella Beach
Source: Flickr

I could talk about how hot Jared Leto is for like 100,000 words. Talking about his supreme sexiness in 5000 words is much harder.

In 100,000 words I can talk about how we view pretty in psychology. The inches that your eyes are spaced apart, the plumpness of the lips, the color of the eyes. In 5000 words I sound more like JARED LETO IS LYKE SO FREXING HAUTE!!11!!!!.

No one wants to sound like a fangirl on meth.

Basically, in my Two and Twenty Dark Tales story "A Pocket Full of Posy" I wanted to touch on the original Ring Around the Rosy rhyme and dispel the myth that the rhyme is about the black plague.

Lots of research went into this story. I had to first read several folklorists’ books as they waxed poetic on the subject of the rhyme and its origins. Then I had to read about fifteen versions of the rhyme several times to get some ideas.

At first I wrote a black plague story even though I know the rhyme is not based on that. I wanted to go with the flow and adhere to the common misconception. That didn’t work out for me.

Then I wrote a dystopian futuristic plague story set in DC. The city had been closed off in a ring and the people inside infected. That also didn’t work.

Finally I decided to use little pieces of the poem and the image of a boy waking up with blood on his hands came to me.

A Pocket Full of Posy has all kinds of hidden stuff inside. My kid’s names are in there. Two names from my favorite video game are inside, and the boy with blood on his hands is modeled after none other than Jared Leto. His name’s Jake.

I hope you like my story, and the rest of the book!

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg writes short stories for anthologies. She is also an associate agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco, a reviewer at Bookalicious for four years, and a professional writer for the San Francisco Book Review. She is married to a code monkey and has two monkey children. Pam loves animals and houses a Jack Russell with a Napoleon complex, an English Bulldog who thinks he's a pit bull, and a small Peruvian Guinea Pig who will do anything for an apple slice.

Visit other stops on the Two and Twenty Dark Tales tour stop.

An e-copy of Suzanne Young's A Need So Beautiful has been provided for a giveaway.

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10 comments on "Two and Twenty Dark Tales Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway"
  1. The book seems very interesting. And I'm super intrigued what it might divulge. :)

    OH MY... A need so beautiful <3

  2. I would have to agree with Jas. It is something I'm going to watch!

  3. The anthology sounds great, I never thought that it would be harder to write a short story than an actual novel...

  4. I already has the anthology on my wish list. It looks absolutely amazing.

  5. I read this book and I'm not a fan of short stories, but there were some really good ones! :)


  6. This book seems interesting. I can't wait to read it.

  7. oh i LOOOOOOOVE Jared Leto!!!! thanks for the giveaway


  8. I love the post! It was very informative! I always thought writing a novel and having to come up with more material was way more difficult than writing a short story. I guess it does make sense that a short story is more difficult because you have to make every word count! Thanks for the giveaway!


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