Tagged: author

Cynthia (Cina) Pelayo on ‘Children of Chicago’ and Life as a Writer!

I’d like to send a personal welcome to Cynthia (Cina) Pelayo for today’s interview. Not only is she an awesome author in her own right, but I’m biased from both her being a Chicago resident and a past contributor on Horror Tree. On top of this, she received two Bram Stoker Award nominations for her work released in 2020. So, I’m thrilled that Cynthia is joining us today to talk about her crime noir tale ‘Children of Chicago.’

Horror Tree: Cynthia, welcome, Thank you for taking the time to join us for an interview. I’d like to also offer an apology for how long it took me to get you these questions. I wanted to finish the novel before sending them over so I could fully do you justice with these questions. First up, if you could let our readers know a bit more about ‘Children of Chicago’?

WIHM 2022: The Haunted Shirley Jackson

The Haunted Shirley Jackson

When I told my husband about this article he said, “Who’s Shirley Jackson?” I mentioned a few titles and he remembered her work. But he has a legit question. Who was Shirley Jackson? So many writers cite her as an inspiration. Who was the woman behind the words?

Shirley Jackson led a complex- some would say chaotic- life. Born December 14th, 1916 she was anything but conventional. Even her birth (a little over 9 months after her parents married) was borderline. Her parents hoped that their daughter would learn to think and behave the correct way, say the correct words. She did none of these things.

October 2021: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration


Happy Preptober for those of you doing NaNoWriMo and break a…pen…in November!

So, as part of your prep, get ready to scare the wits out of your readers with this month’s “writer’s inspiration” tarot card reading!


Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Setting: King of Wands. A world in flames, torn apart by warring factions. Hate and rage fuel this martial society, and there will never be a winner, yet the fighting seems like it will continue until there is nothing left but a destroyed, blood-soaked landscape.


Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Character: The Chariot. Ruling over this world is the penultimate Queen of War. She will not yield until her cause is won. But her real end goal is unknown to the cadre of warriors she leads into battle. She has dual roles to play in the future of the world. She sees the infinite threads of fate and the universe with her powerful eyes, and knows that this planet has been distorted by a time fault. She is both an actor and a director in the flow of space and time, and, while her warriors are united to a their cause, she is using them as a sacrifice to create the world anew–to bring it back into the harmony of the universe over which she rules.


Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Theme/Development: Four of Cups. Although martial in character and on the battlefield, even the Queen of War has to yield to the balance and order of the universe. To ignore that is to also bring about her own demise. Which, being the immortal essence of the universe, is not really a demise, but a purgatory. And even though centuries have passed while the opposing sides continue their warfare, even she is tiring of the constant battle. The flames of hate and rage are now threatening to extend out into the universe, as the planet’s inhabitants have built better technology. If they manage to make it off the planet, the balance of all time and space will be disrupted. She has to stop it.


Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Conflict/Climax: Four of Coins. However, the queen has gotten too accustomed to life on this planet. She’s finding it hard to give up the comforts of living a life within a concrete physical form–the entertainment, food, warmth, and security her castle provides. Not to mention she’s fearing the more quiet, dull life that awaits her once the universe regains its necessary balance. But the world she inhabits in physical form has begun to decay with the deleterious effect of the technology the planet’s inhabitants continue to invent. Soon, she won’t have a world under her feet, and the decay will spread throughout the universe. She has to make a choice; to create a world within which all life can live, or she can die with her soldiers.