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Tales for October – Boogieman in Lavender

This will be a Halloween season like no other. Fears are real. Trick-Or-Treat may be cancelled. Costume shops are devoid of costumes. Wearing masks has taken on a new meaning. With more time to read, the escape of good horror fiction has never been more needed. The fine writer Greg Herren has released a collection of mystery and suspense stories; “Survivor’s Guilt and Other Stories.” (Bold Strokes Books.) Including such fine tales as “Annunciation Shotgun” and the title story blending gripping plotting with fine character studies. Many of Herren’s stories have the feel of episodes of the old “Alfred Hitchcock … Read more

Pride Month Interview With Anthony Cardno – Boogieman In Lavender

My friend Anthony Cardno celebrated Pride Month with a series of Interviews with artists, writers, performers and others in the LGBT community, a series of interviews which stretched into July. (Just think of every month as a source of Pride!) Anthony omitted an interview with himself, so he graciously consented to answer a few of my questions (and a few reworded questions he’d asked me and others!) Hi, Anthony! I’ll start off by borrowing one of your own questions:  What are you doing to stay creatively motivated in these unusual times? If I’m being honest (as one should be), I … Read more

Boogieman in Lavender: The Fire This Time…

“The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today…” —Cole Porter, “Anything Goes.” As I write this, America is on fire. Not everywhere, but L.A., New York and Minneapolis are the scenes of riots complete with burnings and clashes with police following the murder (we can call it that now) of George Floyd in Minneapolis during a police stop. Lootings have occurred and opportunistic politicians are screaming. A convenience store a few blocks down from where I used to live had its windows shattered. But all may not be as it seems. A far-right group called the Boogaloos has … Read more

writing For Podcasts: Jeff Baker, Boogieman in Lavender

                 Invasion of the Podcast People                                          By Jeff Baker                                           Some brief advice (with grateful thanks to Angel Martinez for invaluable information.) on writing a story for a podcast.             When I started writing fiction (back in the ‘90s) there was no such thing as a podcast, at least not that I know of. Now they are a regular, viable market for fiction of all kinds. Sometimes, they pay! As I have had my stories read on a podcast or two I can offer a few tips (which hardly count as expert advice, but every bit helps!)             … Read more

Boogieman In Lavender: Random Notes for March

Mike Resnick

A few random notes this month. Every writer has inspirations. If they’re lucky, they get to meet them, and the meeting isn’t a letdown. Mary Higgins Clark died a few weeks ago. The bestselling suspense writer needs no introduction, but her magazine does. Running for a handful of issues in the 1990s, Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine included fiction and regular features about mystery writers and their characters. I hadn’t thought too much about trying to write any mysteries before I read the magazine. In my undisciplined way I didn’t get around to writing or publishing any mysteries until about … Read more

Boogieman in Lavender: The Tiptree Solution, or The Woman Men Didn’t See.

Jeff Baker - Boogieman in Lavender

James Tiptree, Jr. was the pen name of science fiction writer Alice B. Sheldon. The previous sentence is probably the least complicated information about Alice Sheldon. The first fiction under the Tiptree name appeared in the 1960s. Most of her work was in the short-story form, stories of science fiction, fantasy or horror. This was in the era of the “New Wave,” when sex was beginning to show up in science fiction. Tiptree was believed to be a male writer by the public, and she did nothing to dissuade that belief. Several famous science fiction writers asserted that the kind … Read more

Jeff Baker, Boogieman In lavender: Halloween Reading; Clive Barker

        By Jeff Baker    The year was 1993 (or pretty close.) I was running a delivery route in-town and on my lunch hour I ran into a used bookstore and grabbed a horror anthology I hadn’t heard of. “Masters of Darkness,” edited by Dennis Etchison. In three volumes, the books feature horror stories selected and introduced by their authors, stories they think may not have gotten the exposure they deserved on first publication. Robert Bloch, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell. And Clive Barker.             I’d heard the name, but this was where I first encountered Barker. His selection was “In the Hills, … Read more

When Carmilla Ruled the Night – Boogieman in Lavender

Jeff Baker, Boogieman in Lavender             But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.                                                   ———from Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu She prowls the night, looking for blood—and women. She sleeps in late, usually rising at one in the afternoon, but it is at night that she seeks what she truly desires. She is Carmilla, seemingly a victim of a carriage accident recovering in a neighboring castle. The residents of the castle see nothing too unusual, even as … Read more

Jeff Baker—Boogieman In Lavender: “Remembering Dennis Etchison.”

                       Remembering Dennis Etchison                                                  By Jeff Baker             A fine writer I know, well-versed in the field of horror, had never heard of Dennis Etchison. This seems to have been a problem for Etchison who was continually being referred to as a “new discovery,” even though he began publishing fiction when he was in school in the early 60s. Etchison published horror stories in the girlie magazines (then a thriving market) about the same time Stephen King was breaking in to print. Etchison passed away at the end of May. I never met him or even spoke … Read more

Following Oscar Wilde – Boogieman In Lavender

Oscar Wilde

       Following Oscar                                                 By Jeff Baker “In the old days, men had the rack. Now they have the Press.” —Oscar Wilde. It is possible, in the United States, to have crossed paths with the legendary Oscar Wilde without knowing it. Wilde did a lecture tour of the U.S. in 1882 that was supposed to last a few months. He wound up staying about a year, and crossed the States, touring the East and West coasts, traveling through the South and even visiting Canada. For years, however, the specifics of Wilde’s itinerary were a matter of debate, but now a … Read more