Sally Bosco

Author of Dark Fiction

Welcome!

Cevins Deadly Sin 72dpi2inThanks for checking out my website. My newest novel is Cevin’s Deadly Sin.

Who knew that a little pair of red lace panties could get him into so much trouble…

Cevin thinks that moving to a small Florida town is the worst thing that ever happened to him…until he falls for Tessa. She may be the one person who can accept his cross-dressing, but her brother Hunt’s goal is to make Cevin’s life a living hell. When Hunt “outs” him at school, Cevin has to figure out how to come to terms with his own identity in order to keep Tessa and quite possibly save his own life.

Click on my Books tab to read about, Cevin’s Deadly Sin.

Cevin’s Deadly Sin is live on Amazon!  Link to Amazon.

See my blog below:

Review of THEN AND ALWAYS by Dani Atkins

I continue my exploration of alternate realities in young adult fiction with my review of Then and Always by Dani Atkins. It’s an addictive read that keeps you guessing about what’s real and what isn’t. But then that’s my favorite kind of fiction.

Click here to read my full review on Inveterate Media Junkies.

Bosco_062514_YA_ThenAndAlwaysCover

 

Jobsite’s RETURN TO FORBIDDEN PLANET is a Campy Riot

A mash-up of 1950’s sci-fi, 1960’s pop songs and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Return to Forbidden Planet is an entertaining romp from its first moment to its last. This was one of the most fun nights in the theater I’ve spent since Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

forbidden-planet01-225x300

Loosely based on The Tempest, the plot unfolds as Captain Tempest (Jonathan Harrison), Science Officer Gloira (Heather Krueger) and crew become locked in a tractor beam from planet D’Illyria. This planet is inhabited by a sinister scientist, Dr. Prospero (Owen Robertson); his delightful daughter Miranda (Amy E. Gray); Ariel a faithful robot on roller skates (Jaime Gaingrande-Holcom); and an uncontrollable monster, the product of Prospero’s Id. And wackiness ensues.

The hugely talented cast and musicians rocked the Jaeb Theater. Actor, Spencer Meyers (who played Hedwig in the Jobsite Production) stole the show as Cookie, the comedic sidekick. His rendition of “She’s Not There” was a delight; Heather Krueger’s strong voice really stood out; and Jonathan Harrison did a fine job as the Captain. The final “Born to Be Wild” and “Monster Mash” roused the audience with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Director David Jenkins has really outdone himself with this one. Return to Forbidden Planet is a definite go-see.

For showtimes and tickets, click here.

 

 

Jobsite, Return to Forbidden Planet, David Jenkins, Jaeb Theater.

My Debut Column for Inveterate Media Junkies – Introducing a YA Lit Junkie

Really excited about my debut young adult column for “Inveterate Media Junkies.” This month I’m reviewing Ann Brashares’ THE HERE AND NOW, about a group of travelers who have escaped to our current time from a ghastly future.
Click on the link below to read my review:

Sally Bosco’s Young Adult Bookstore™ – Introducing a YA Lit Junkie.

The Here and Now

Cover Reveal for Al Wendland’s Novel, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes

I first met Al Wendland in 2001 when I attended Seton Hill University in pursuit of a Master of Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Al was one of the co-creators of the program, which focused solely on genre fiction. His enthusiasm for the program was infectious, and I grew to love the program. I’ve been an avid Seton Hill supporter ever since. In fact, I loved the program so much that when they offered an MFA in 2011, I returned to Seton Hill U and earned that degree as well.
Al is now Program Director for the Seton Hill U Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. He first opened my eyes to the Sublime in writing. A concept I’d never heard of. The sublime is a term used in regard to the features present in a Gothic or Romantic piece of literature. It is concerned with the spiritual wonderment experienced by an individual after he or she is emotionally affected by an awe-inspiring situation that is almost always related to a scene of natural grandeur. For that reason I’m really looking forward to reading his novel. I’m pleased to take part in the cover reveal for The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes!

What could draw poet, explorer, loner and paranoid Mykol Ranglen away from the relative peace of his own ring-in-space habitat?He has no choice in the matter as one by one acquaintances are murdered or disappear altogether. Propelled by ever changing and deepening mysteries Mykol embarks to uncover secrets which could make people rich beyond their wildest dreams…or tear apart human civilization.

The escalating quest takes him through worlds of many dangerous extremes, leading him to confront the deadly alien Fist of Thorns, extinct species refusing to give up their power over the future, and those racing against him to uncover the secret first. But in the course of his pursuit, he must also face his own secrets. And some of these are even more dangerous.

The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes by Albert Wendland

Cover Art by Bradley Sharp

Foreword by William H. Keith

Space Opera Paperback coming from Dog Star Books in June 2014

~~~

What They’re Saying About The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes

“Mystery, heart-pounding adventure, and the dazzling wonders of far-flung space play significant roles in Wendland’s breakout novel, all while gifting us with a mesmerizing tour of alien landscapes destined to get under your skin and remind you of the very reason science fiction exists: Not to escape to other worlds, but to find ourselves within them.”
–Diana Dru Botsford, author of THE DRIFT and FOUR DRAGONS

Inside are alien worlds and titanic space habitats and a brilliant and paranoid hero, all skillfully blended together with long-vanished galactic secrets. Science fiction… good science fiction, by a college professor of literature who loves good SF.”
–From the foreword by William H. Keith, New York Times Bestselling Science Fiction Author

Jared Leto Wins Oscar for Best Supporting Actor!

“For those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”

These were the closing world of Jared Leto’s acceptance speech for having won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing HIV-positive transgendered woman, Rayon, in the film The Dallas Buyers Club. This is very exciting for transgendered people everywhere. It signals a level of acceptance by society that is gradually becoming mainstream.

The Dallas Buyers Club is based on true events of Ron Woodroof, a Texas man who was diagnosed with AIDS, sought alternative medicine, and eventually started the Dallas Buyers Club, selling medicine that hadn’t been approved by the FDA to other patients. Woodruff is played by Matthew McConaughey. Rayon and Woodreff become friends, and Rayon eventually (and reluctantly) becomes Woodroof’s business partner.

Jared Leto Dallas Buyers ClubJared Leto displayed a tremendous amount of sensitivity in playing the transgendered Rayon. In interviews he said that he had only two weeks’ notice before starting the role of Rayon. In that time he completely starved himself, and that act f starvation put him in touch with his character’s vulnerable condition. He needed to stay in character during the entire shoot in order to maintain his focus.

The Dallas Buyers Club was nominated in several categories: best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, costumes, editing, makeup and hairstyling, and original screenplay. The Dallas Buyers Club did win the Oscar for best costumes, and Matthew McConaughey won for Best Actor.

In his acceptance speech, Leto gave special thanks to his mother Constance. She’d been a single, teenage mom, but still she found the resources and courage to raise her children to be hardworking, creative people who weren’t afraid to pursue their dreams. Leto further said, “To all the dreamers out there watching this, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”

Marketing Tip #1: Deconstruct the Marketing Approach of a Similar Novel

This blog post will be the first in a series of marketing tips for writers. In promoting my book, Cevin’s Deadly Sin, I wanted to hone in on what works in our digital age for reaching the widest audience. Out with the book signings where you might reach a couple of people. In with trying to get reviewed by an online journal that has the potential to reach thousands of people.

First of all, we’re no longer “marketing,” we’re finding our target audience and providing content that interests those people. It’s the idea of providing value and building a community, rather than hard-selling your book.

Marketing Tip #1: Deconstruct the Marketing Approach of a Similar Novel:

Choose a book that is similar to yours and do a search to see how the publisher marketed the book. First of all, choose a successful, well-known book, then take a look at the following:

  • Who reviewed this book? Send review requests to those reviewers. “Since you enjoyed X book, I thought you might like to read and review mine.” Don’t ignore the power of the book bloggers. They have helped to boost the careers of many indie authors.
  • Where do interviews for the book’s author appear? Send interview requests to those sites.
  • Did the author write any blog posts? Generate a list of possible topics and send a relevant one to that blog. Blogs and journals are always looking for content.
  • Do a search for articles about books that share your target audience. Write to the article’s author and ask her if she’d be interested in reading your book. This has worked very well for me and actually generated some recommendations for other reviews.
  • Make note of web pages that appeal to your target audience and interact with them by offering to write articles, join chat groups, etc.
  • Keep a simple spreadsheet of your contacts. That’s the only way of keeping it all straight.

These steps seem simple, yet they accomplish a wonderful goal—finding your target audience. I’ve found that by performing these steps, I’m connecting with people who want to read what I’ve written. And I’m building a base of readers for my future books.

Do you have any marketing tips you’d like to share?

Happy Promo-ing!

Sally

Book Review: Platform-Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt

platformPlatform-Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt is a really excellent book about developing your platform, and though it’s not specifically geared toward writers, I found that there were a lot of ideas I could use for my writing.

For example, he has an interesting take on writing blog posts. Use a blog post template,  with the following elements: Lead paragraph, Relevant image, Personal experience, Main body, and end with a Discussion question in order to encourage responses.

He recommends making video interviews of other authors and post them to your blog. Send the interview ahead of time, and record the interview through Skype.

Post your own videos in which you speak about various aspects of writing or of your books.

Create a public speaking tab on your website:

  • Have a “check my availability” button. This is less presumptuous than a “book me” button.
  • Post a one-minute welcome video.
  • Did you know that there is iPad teleprompter software? It is HDi Pro2.
  • Include a photo of yourself speaking

Hyatt tells us to Kiss Marketing Goodbye. Marketing is dead. Tribe-building is the new marketing. It’s about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers and building relationships.

  1. Discover your passion.
  2. Volunteer to lead.
  3. Be generous. When you lead by serving and giving, people follow.
  4. Provide a way to communicate.

Write informative guest posts on other people’s blogs.

Offer to give away a free e-book in exchange for people signing your mailing list.

He emphasizes the importance of using Twitter to build your brand. Some useful tips are:

  • Customize your Twitter page with your photo, info about you and a link to your blog or web page.
  • Comment on and re-tweet other people’s posts.
  • Keep your posts short enough to re-tweet.
  • Post often, but don’t over-promote. Offer interesting content to your readers

Become an Amazon Associate and use an affiliate code in links to your own books. This generates extra income every time someone buys one of your books through your link.

Hyatt offered some ideas for novelists, such as:

  • Post excerpts from your novels.
  • Backstory your novel: why you wrote it, how did you settle on the story, did you do any research.
  • Behind the scenes look at what the life of a novelist is like.
  • Write “directors notes” for your book: why you chose to start with a particular scene, did you have to delete or add scenes to improve the story
  • Interview your editor: Ask your editor what her day-to-day job is like, what’s it like to work with writers, get stories about best and worst experiences, what prompted her to get into the business

Hyatt has many more ideas and recommendations that are applicable to writers. This book is a great read for anyone interested in developing and building a platform, and I’d highly recommend it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Johnny Weir!

Johnny WeirHappy Valentine’s Day, Johnny Weir! Johnny Weir is an award-winning Olympic figure skater who is known for his fierce style sense and reputation for being outspoken. I’ve admired his fashion for quite some time now, but I especially admire him for flying in the face of Russia’s anti-gay stance by dressing in his Chanel + Hunger Games fashion for his Olympic commentary at Sochi.

According to a recent Huffington Post article, Johnny’s inspiration for his Olympic fashions is Stanley Tucci’s flamboyant character from The Hunger Games. (In fact, some say that Tucci trumped Jennifer Lawrence in the famous dystopian epic.)

Johnny has been posting his fabulous outfits on his Instagram account all week. I’ve posted a few here. Also below is a video of his flawless  short skating program from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Since Cevin’s Deadly Sin has been published, I’ve been noticing articles about trans and gender questioning people everywhere–from Facebook adding a new “trans” category to their gender classification choices to trans models being in major fashion shows. The world is gradually opening up to accept people in all of their varieties. There are still some who disapprove, but, to quote Victor Hugo, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” The time has come for inclusion of all shades of gender.

Yes, Johnny Weir is a true American hero, standing up for what he believes in and furthering the cause of gay and gender queer people everywhere.

JW instagram

Today’s look. Thank you @ericksonbeamon, RAI LA, @RICKOWENSONLINE, and @BPCM. by @johnnygweir

JW instagram

Today’s Look: Blazer Vintage @Chanel, Jewels @joomilim, Leathers @GPugh_Studio, Wedges @RICKOWENSONLINE by @johnnygweir

JW instagram

Today’s look and two flames: Billy Reid NYC jacket, @joomilim necklace, RAI LA leather leggings and @RICKOWENSONLINE wedges. by @johnnygweir

This is Johnny’s short figure skating program from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. (tweeted by Johnny himself yesterday) It’s a great example of artistry, talent and hard work combining to transcend the the physical medium and lift the performance into the realm of the divine.

Cevin’s Deadly Sin is Live Today!

Cevins_Deadly_Sin_72dpi3inWriting Cevin’s Deadly Sin has been a wild ride for me. Literally six years in the making, seeing the culmination of my work published is a huge thrill for me. First, this is a departure for me, before I’ve always written horror and paranormal. For this project that didn’t fit. At first I toyed with the idea of having a cross-dresser vampire or cross-dresser werecat, then I decided, no. This story needs to be told in a realistic fashion.

Cevin’s Deadly Sin is the story of a closeted hetero teen cross-dresser. In most ways he’s a normal kid, yet has that one difference he has to hide. It makes him feel that no one will accept him for his true self. It’s the story of feeling like an outsider, and who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another?

This was my thesis novel for an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I struggled with the plot tremendously and ended up scrapping and rewriting the entire book after graduation. Then once I had it finished, it was difficult finding a publisher. Publishers told me they liked it, but they didn’t know how to market it. Cevin is hetero so he didn’t fit into the LGBT category, strictly speaking. He doesn’t want to have surgery to become a woman, so he doesn’t fall into the transgender category.

My present publisher, Queer Teen Press, is a little more broad in its content, so they seemed like a good fit to me. I was so happy when they accepted it for publication.

Why did I write this book? I’m fascinated with gender. How much of it is inherent and how much is from upbringing? Why do people in our culture react so violently against someone who defies gender?

I have cross-dresser friends, and I’ve interviewed a lot of cross-dressers, and I know that they had no support groups they could access during their school years. I’m writing Cevin to help them out—to bring awareness to the public about cross-dressing and help CD kids to realize that they’re not alone.

Also, how do we treat those who are different in some way? Tessa is totally taken with Cevin, but when he tries to tell her about how he’s different, she doesn’t want to listen. She becomes afraid and pulls away from him.

In many ways, this is a universal story. Has there ever been a time when you felt like an outsider?

Link to purchase Cevin’s Deadly Sin:

Queer Teen Press logo small

The Cellar Door Anthology and My Fascination with Weird Architecture

I’m just realizing that I’ve never written a post about the “Cellar Door Anthology” in which one of my stories is published. Edited by Shawna L. Bernard, the book is a compilation of tales of beauty and terror about what may lie beyond the cellar door.

Cellar DoorI have a fascination with weird architecture that started when I read The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and it grew when I read the stories of H.P. Lovecraft.

I wanted to write something involving weird architecture for this anthology. My result was my short story, “What Grows In Between.”

My inspiration for this story came from doing research on the Dupli House, which is located in Marbach, Germany. It was in disrepair and had to be torn down. Here’s a photo of the original house.

Dupli house orig

The architectural firm of J. Mayer Arquitectos took on the task of building a new modern house in the footprint of the old house. Actually, they came up with a new footprint by duplication and rotation of the out line of the old house:

Rotation

The result is breathtaking:

cellar door house

I thought, what if the spirit of the old house wanted to come through the framework of the new. That idea gave birth to my story, “What Grows In Between.”

Here’s the synopsis: Emily and Daniel have ditched high-powered jobs for a more low-key life. Though Daniel actually prefers more traditional architecture, Emily falls in love with an ultra-modern house that is situated out in the woods in Massachusetts. They’ve been waiting all their lives for this. He’s going to start painting and she’s going to do freelance architecture from home. That was the plan, but when the house grows an old-style cellar door, they start to realize that it has motives of its own.

The following is an excerpt from a review written by Dr. Robert Curran, psychologist and author of several works on folklore and the paranormal:

“There are some places in my mind where I seldom go. They are rooms of imagination, impression and memory that are often better left undisturbed because they are full of old fears and terrors which still have the power to grip me. They are better off left to moulder behind locked doors. This anthology tells me that I’m not alone in this respect.

“There are too many stories and poems within this anthology to review comprehensively–and I’m not going to try–but each one reflects the horror of some dark world, lying around the foot of the descending cellar steps or up in that shuttered attic. And they are brilliantly illustrated in paintings and drawings which are evocative of each tale.

“This is definitely a book for the winter, when the nights are dark and the wind makes strange houses through the house. It is a book to be savoured and shuddered at. It will take you to places in your mind where you really shouldn’t go.”

Cellar Door Anthology – Link to Kindle

Cellar Door Anthology – Link to paperback

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