Hello and welcome to my blog!!! Today, I’m turning over the blog to Connie for an interesting post about reading. Please enjoy and leave a comment!!
Description of The Color of Evil:
Publisher: Quad City Press
Date: March 9, 2012
Available in Print and Kindle: 252 pages
Tad McGreevy has a power that he has never revealed, not even to his life-long best friend, Stevie Scranton. When Tad looks at others, he sees colors. These auras tell Tad whether a person is good or evil. At night, Tad dreams about the evil-doers, reliving their crimes in horrifyingly vivid detail.
But Tad doesn’t know if the evil acts he witnesses in his nightmares are happening now, are already over, or are going to occur in the future. He has no control over the horrifying visions. He has been told (by his parents) never to speak of his power. All Tad knows is that he wants to protect those he loves. And he wants the bad dreams to stop.
At Tad’s eighth birthday party (April 1, 1995) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the clown his parents hire to entertain Tad’s third-grade classmates is one of the bad people. Pogo, the Killer Clown (aka Michael Clay) is a serial killer. So begins 53 nights of terror as Tad relives Pogo’s crime, awakens screaming, and recites the terrifying details to his disbelieving family. The situation becomes so dire that Tad is hospitalized in a private institution under the care of a psychiatrist–who also does not believe the small boy’s stories.
And then the police arrest Pogo, the Killer Clown.
Flash forward to the beginning of Tad’s junior year in high school, 8 years later. Tad is 16 and recovered from the spring of his third-grade year. When Michael Clay was caught and imprisoned, the crime spree ended and so did Tad’s bad dreams.
Until now, in the year of our Lord 2003, when evil once again stalks the land.
This is a terrifying, intense story of the dark people and places that lurk just beneath the surface of seemingly normal small-town America. As one reviewer says, “Wilson nails the darkness beneath the surface of small-town Midwestern life with an intense story based on fact.”
Tad must wage a silent war against those who would harm the ones he loves. A battle to the death.
“The Color of Evil is old-school psychological horror, artfully blended with new-school shocks and twists. Not only won’t you see this coming, you won’t believe your eyes when it does. Bravo!”- Jonathan Maberry, New York Times Best-selling author of Dust & Decay and Dead of Night and multiple Bram Stoker Award Winner
“Connie Corcoran Wilson is a born storyteller! Her new novel The Color of Evil is a real page-turner, and a very good one, indeed! Wilson, in this, her second novel (and the first in a trilogy), takes time with each character and handles them quite well…The reader is kept informed and fascinated. It all works. It moves the story forward, scene-by-scene, in a controlled way. The Color of Evil is total entertainment. Wilson’s got a winner here!”- William F. Nolan, Logan’s Run and Nightworlds, Living Legend in Dark Fantasy
“The Color of Evil is the kind of read that grabs you by the lapels and doesn’t let go until much mayhem has ensued and the tightly-coiled plot has unwound. Wilson keeps the reader engaged and on edge as this story of a ‘a small-town gone wild’ plays out in horrific detail. Make sure you lock the doors and windows before starting, because you won’t want to get up and check until you have finished this one!”- Donnie Light, Dark Justice and Ripper’s Row
“Connie Corcoran Wilson’s ‘The Color of Evil’ is a scary, entertaining novel. Dealing with a young person’s supernatural powers, bringing Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ and John Farris’ ‘The Fury’ to mind, Wilson introduces us to Tad McGreevy, a young man who can see people’s auras. A haunting childhood experience has already taught him the color of evil. This territory has not been mined in a while, and Wilson’s take is fresh. With first-rate writing, a strong story, and believable characters, THE COLOR OF EVIL is a winner. Highly recommended!” -Pete Giglio, “Anon,” “A Spark in the Darkness”
“The Color of Evil by Connie Corcoran Wilson is an engrossing page-turner! Although I am not a regular reader of horror stories, I was “hooked” within the first few pages and involved with the characters who seemed both familiar and believable. I think we all know a Tad or a Jenny or a Charlie Chandler and care very much about what happens to them. Also, the author’s use of the “aura” device is fascinating and effective. Wouldn’t we all love to see what “aura” surrounds some of our acquaintances!
Now I can’t wait for the next one in the trilogy and hope that Stevie will be O.K. while I wonder what will ultimately become of the evil Michael Clay. I imagine Wilson will deal with that very creatively.”- Jdnord, Amazon Reviewer
“Connie Corcoran Wilson’s The Color of Evil about a Midwest teen’s power to sense the unimaginable was a page turner for me. The characters were well developed and the setting was familiar. Events were frightening yet not so horrific as to scare me away (I’m not a horror story fan). A good read made even better by this talented writer.- Ibmamski, Amazon Reviewer
About Connie Corcoran Wilson:
Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (MS + 30) graduated from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University, with additional study at Northern Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago. She taught writing at six Iowa/Illinois colleges and has written for five newspapers and seven blogs, including Associated Content (now owned by Yahoo) which named her its 2008 Content Producer of the Year . She is an active, voting member of HWA (Horror Writers Association).
Her stories and interviews with writers like David Morrell, Joe Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, Frederik Pohl and Anne Perry have appeared online and in numerous journals. Her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction,” “Writer’s Digest” (Screenplay) and she will have 12 books out by the end of the year. Connie reviewed film and books for the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) for 12 years and wrote humor columns and conducted interviews for the (Moline, Illinois) Daily Dispatch and now blogs for 7 blogs, including television reviews and political reporting for Yahoo.
Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and cat Lucy, and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their two-year-old twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey, recently graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a Music Business graduate.
Reading as a pursuit in America is in peril. Studies conducted over the past few years prove this, even if our observations of the world around us haven’t provided proof enough.
"Reading at Risk", (a 2008 NEA survey), surveyed over 17,000 adults aged 18 or older, asking them about their reading habits in regards to novels, short stories, poetry and plays. The focus was mainly on literary reading trends.
In a separate study entitled "To Read or Not to Read," statistics were gathered from more than 40 national studies on the reading habits of children, teenagers and adults. This study dealt with all kinds of reading: books, magazines, newspapers, online reading.
According to the NEA, less than 1/3 of 13-year-olds read for pleasure every day, a 14% decline from 20 years ago. The percentage of 17-year-old non-readers doubled in that same twenty-year span. If you're an American between the ages of 15 and 24, you spend 2 hours a day watching television, but only 7 minutes a day reading, according to this study.
Timothy Shanahan, a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago and past president of the International Reading Association says that many young people say they don't read because it's lonely. When they are online or text messaging, they feel involved with others, but they do not feel this sense of community when reading by themselves. "What kids like about IM-ing and text messaging is that it's playful and interactive and connects then to their friends,” said Shanahan in an article entitled "The Grim Reader" in the March/April, 2008, issue of Poets & Writers. (pp.10-13).
Shanahan continued, "The Harry Potter books were read not mainly because of this wonderful story and the language, I don't think, but because it was this huge phenomenon that allowed young people to participate in it. What was exciting was reading what your friends were reading and talking to them about it. People of all ages are hungry for that kind of community."
The article continues discussing the need for community and how the Internet seems to fill that void for many disconnected individuals. It is not difficult to see that reading a book, as opposed to going online, might suffer, if the desire for feedback and community, lacking in today's anonymous society is satisfied most by the online substitute for actual human interaction.
Of some concern to me was the survey that was printed with the article "The Grim Reader", a survey of 75 readers who voted on the 2007 Best Award-winning novel. Sixty-two percent of those responding believed that Cormac McCarthy's novel "The Road" deserved that distinction, which it well may, based on its plot-driven story and theme.
The problem is that Cormac McCarthy doesn't much believe in the use of traditional punctuation, particularly apostrophes. I realize that no less a luminary than e.e. cummings similarly refused to capitalize, but picking "The Road" only reinforces our drift, as a nation, towards literary anarchy, defined in this case as a failure to recognize, honor or attempt to follow in any way the rules of grammar and punctuation.
Sometimes, we veteran English teachers feel like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. We know that the dike will give way if we remove our finger, but what are we to do? Language is constantly changing, yes. It is not set in stone and there are new words and terms and techno-speak being added every day. I am much more likely to use a "sentence fragment" in stories I write today, because I have changed with the times.
But some appreciation for following the rules handed down by great writers seems prudent. Poet e.e. cummings was the exception that proved the rule, not a groundbreaker who made new ones. It will be interesting to assess Cormac McCarthy's effect on language from the perspective of a decade hence.