Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanks to all our Grey Area Contributors!

Third Person Press would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the following donors for their support and generosity during our Grey Area Indiegogo campaign.  Thanks, one and all, including our anonymous donors who do not appear below. You all helped make Grey Area a success!

Gary David Henderson
Dennis Nicholson
Katrina Nicholson
Mark A. Rayner
Krista Miller
Anita MacKeigan
Cheryl MacKeigan
Lillian MacKeigan
Terry Ramsey
Jane Peterson Burfield
Lisa Auerbach
Joanne Menchefski
Karen Waldman
Gerry Evans
Denise Howatson
Mark Ramsey
Herb Rosenberg
Kathryn M. Beaton
Ethel L. Clark
Shawn Sullivan
Bradley Miller
Karen Buffett
MA Churchill
C. Remillard
Joanne Ryan
Beverly Phillips
Scott Gillard
Jo-Anne Citrigno
Chris Thomson
Voula Kappas-Dunn & David Dunn
Maurice Musial
James FW Thompson
Bill Conall
Lynne O’ Neill
Genevieve MacIntyre
Mona Anderson
Sue MacKay Miller
Walter Carey
Paula Bartlett
Boularderie Island Press
Larry Gibbons
Louise Rahey
Julie Curwin
Donna D’Amour
Barb Donovan
Anastasia Daniels
Virginia MacIsaac
Jill Campbell-Miller
Shelley Porter
Eternal Elf Creations
Michael & Tracy Hall
Peter Andrew Smith
Pat Ritter Richie
Meg Horne
Caro Soles
Sandra Dunn
Victor Sakalauskas
Kevin S. Moul
Christina Dufrene
Sandy Lacey
Kerry Anne Fudge
Robbie Shepard
Michael MacDonald

Monday, October 7, 2013

Grey Area Launches October 24th!

Our newest anthology, Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories launches on October 24th, and we're getting excited! The launch takes place at the McConnell Memorial Library, 50 Falmouth Street in Sydney, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There'll be readings, refreshments, and of course the opportunity to buy the book! If you're a supporter of the Indiegogo campaign, you'll be able to pick up your perks at the launch.

Grey Area includes stories from thirteen Cape Breton writers: Hugh R. MacDonald, Meggan Howatson, Leah Noble, D.C. Troicuk, Nancy S.M. Waldman, Charlotte Musial, Voula Kappas-Dunn, Julie A. Serroul, Nancy MacLean, Diane J. Sober, Katrina Nicholson, Theresa Dugas, and Sherry D. Ramsey.

The book will be for sale through the Third Person Press website and at online retailers in both print and ebook formats following the launch.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Story Teasers III

We know you've been waiting! Here are the teasers for the rest of the ghostly stories...

"Grey Area" by Katrina Nicholson - Can a person make better choices after death than they did in life?

"Stillborn" by Hugh R. MacDonald - The warning was clear: don't go in there. But sometimes you don't have a choice...

"Mildred Mudd's Epiphany" by Charlotte Musial - Mildred has always prided herself on her unwavering good sense and can't explain the reasons for her sudden unravelling to her best friend. She can't even explain it to herself.

"Teetering on the Edge" by Voula Kappas-Dunn - The edge of a cliff is as sharp as the line between sanity and insanity, past and present, life and death...

"Not on This Earth" by Theresa Dugas - A little girl, far from being spooked by the shadowy woman in her room at night, is comforted by her "Mother Goose," who returns to help out at just the right moment.

The Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories release is scheduled for October 24th. Stayed tuned for details!

Help Us Reach Our Day's Goal!

Please donate today!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Story Teasers II

Hungry yet? Here are four more Grey Area story bites for you!

Tuck in:

"ePrayer" by Sherry D. Ramsey - A call center employee takes a call that will change his life...and his understanding of death.

"Revenant" by Nancy MacLean - Cassie knows her obsession with finding a man who haunts her dreams is unreasonable, illogical...and all-consuming.

"Night Swimmer" by Leah Noble - A young woman wakes up in a pastoral cemetery to find that her dream has just begun.

"My Mews" by Nancy S.M. Waldman - The four walls of a beloved apartment entomb a young widow in her grief until she discovers that she shares the space with another soul, far more lost than she.

Take a moment to support this anthology by clicking over to the Grey Area Indiegogo campaign. Join us in supporting excellent writers!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Story Teasers

The stories in Grey Area are all so different--not only from each other but also from the stereotypical idea of what a ghost story might be. We're posting these tasty tidbits to whet your appetite for more.

Here are the first four --

"Letters to Mom" by Julie A. Serroul - When you're eleven, life can be confusing; especially if you're living with a ghost and a murderer.

"This is My Land" by Diane J. Sober - Our connection to the land we love can be strong...is it strong enough to survive death?

"A Glimpse of Light" by Meggan Howatson - A reluctant teenage boy takes his little sister out on Halloween, but he's the one who receives an unexpected, otherworldly treat.

"Out of the Deep" by D.C. Troicuk - In the deepest recesses of a coal mine, trapped miners face their mortality, the odds of survival fading as swiftly as their helmet lamps.

Watch for the next installment. In the meantime, if you haven't ordered your copy(ies) of Grey Area yet, click over the Indiegogo campaign and pick the perk you would like to have. Only 18 more days to go; we need your help today!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hugh R. MacDonald on "Stillborn"

Today, Hugh MacDonald, author of Trapper Boy, talks about his Grey Area inspiration,

Q: Where did you get the idea for your story, "Stillborn"?

Hugh: The idea for "Stillborn" was a memory from my childhood. I remembered hearing what happened to babies who were stillborn. Once I had the first few sentences written, the story took off from there.

I later turned it into a screenplay and made it into a short film.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Mystery Bonus Perk Gift Unlocked

Congratulations Contributors!

We are over the $1k mark in our Indiegogo campaign. THANK YOU! This means our first MYSTERY BONUS PERK for all supporters has been unlocked!

Every person who contributes to the campaign, regardless of the amount, will receive a unique, digitally signed, multiformat ebook copy of "Why Little Green Men Don't Dance" by Sherry D. Ramsey. This perk will be delivered digitally to ALL supporters, when other perks begin shipping at the end of October, 2013.

Way to go, supporters! Now let's climb up to the $2k milestone!

Charlotte Musial discusses the origins of "Mildred Mudd's Epiphany"

Today we talk to author, Charlotte Musial about her story in Grey Area, "Mildred Mudd's Epiphany."

Q: What sparked the idea for your story?

Charlotte: Although I reject the idea of ghosts of the 'spectre' variety, the concept of benevolent spirits intrigues me. So when Third Person Press invited stories of this genre, I wondered if I could rise to the challenge.

I began to imagine one small soul's response to its interrupted journey to planet Earth. To my delight, the character of Mildred seemed to flow out of my pen and onto the page, with her friend, Bridget, right behind her. Together they took me on an interesting journey with a surprising ending.


We hope you'll pre-order your copy of Grey Area today. Click on the Indiegogo widget on the sidebar or HERE to find out what else you'll get with your pre-order!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Voula Kappas-Dunn & "Teetering on the Edge"

Grey Area author Voula Kappas-Dunn talks about her story today:

Q: What was the inspiration for your story in Grey Area?

Voula: Some time ago, I found several of my friends and family members undergoing divorce from their spouses. Two other elements combined to set me working on "Teetering on the Edge."

My father had bought a property in his native Greece that was rumored to be haunted. A distant relative committed suicide within its walls, but I discovered nothing more of the circumstances. Instead, I set my imagination to work.

The story I wanted to tell required a North American setting. The cottage I describe once belonged to my in-laws. I spent many pleasant weekends there hiking, attending lobster suppers, and mediating in the loft, just like Ethel.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Diane J. Sober discusses "This is My Land"

Here's today's author, Diane J. Sober, to tell us a little about her story, "This is My Land"...

Q: Can you tell us a little about the writing of your story for Grey Area?

Diane: I've always been attracted by old farm houses. They have hidden secrets, especially the vacant ones with odd things left behind. You can sense happy moments, sadness, nostalgia. The land around those homes wants to tell you about the work and the way of life that filled it.

I had met a friend 2 years ago whose father (from Norway) had been a pioneer in northern Alberta. He was farming and he remembers his father walking in winter to the nearest railroad station--about 10 miles--to get a bag of salt for the cows. Without it the cows would have aborted their calves. I was touched by that story, so much that it sent me writing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Revenant," a romantic ghost story from Nancy MacLean

Today we have Nancy MacLean with a few words about her tale, "Revenant:"

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for your Grey Area story?

Nancy: Although I never returned to Cape Breton to live, my heart often goes there and the island has provided a setting for a few of my short stories and two of my novels. The craggy coastline, combined with inclement weather, creates the perfect background for conjuring ghosts.

My contribution to Grey Area, entitled “Revenant”, contains another ingredient that is consistently found in my writing: romance. My protagonist finds herself driving to a remote corner of Cape Breton in a storm, searching for the man who has haunted her dreams. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

D.C. Troicuk talks about "Out of the Deep"

Today, D.C. Troicuk answers our question:

Q: Where did you get the idea for your Grey Area story?

D.C. Troicuk: Writing for the theme ‘unearthed’ it was a no-brainer where my story would be based. My Dad was a coal miner.

I remembered a day when a mechanical breakdown prevented the usual exit of the shift up into the mine yard and the men walked out via an airshaft near our house. For some reason, this always intrigued me. How did they get up to the surface? Was it a vertical shaft or did it angle downward? Was it an actual emergency exit? I have no answers. I went over to see the shaft entrance (or exit?) which remained, sealed, after the mine was closed. I did not expect answers. I just wanted to see what it looked like now, whatever remained. I would have used that description. But there is no sign of it now.

Also fresh on my mind were the thirty-three Chilean miners who had been trapped underground for ten weeks that summer. Who didn’t wonder – especially those of us living in coal mining communities – how it must have been for them during those long weeks?

I learned that it takes as much effort to avoid details as to get them right. My in-house consultant – my Dad – is no longer with us. The best I could do was to google a few technical questions to give some sense that I knew what I was talking about. Like: how long will a cap lamp retain battery power? But overall I purposely – but not simply – avoided being too technical. The rest is pure speculation.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Katrina Nicholson and the "Grey Area" Title

Katrina Nicholson has a special claim to fame in her story about her tale in Grey Area:

Q: Where did you get the idea for your story?

Katrina: I used to watch Ghost Whisperer a lot when it was on and it occurred to me that although there were a lot of characters who could see ghosts, none of them used their peculiar talent the way I would: to get the true facts about history.

This spawned an idea for a novel that would read like a cross between The Sixth Sense and Indiana Jones: an archaeologist who sees dead people travels the world with his dead cousin writing reports based on his conversations with ghosts that the academic community would treat with about as respect as Erich von Daniken's theory that aliens built the pyramids. It was in generating Ethan and Paul's backstory that I came up with “Grey Area,” which I felt could stand on its own.

Incidentally, it was originally called “Shades of Grey” after Paul's greyscale vision, but Fifty Shades of Grey ruined that title forever, so I changed it to “Grey Area,” which the editors liked so much they used it for the whole book!

Thank you, Katrina for your wonderful story and for allowing us to use the title of it for our anthology. We knew immediately that it was the perfect one for this collection. Order your copy today--we offer ebooks and print versions. You will not only be helping Third Person Press continue to publish authors like Katrina, but also getting so much more for your dollars. Visit our campaign now!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meggan Howatson: one of our NEW writers!

Here's Grey Area author Meggan Howatson's answer to today's question about her story:

Q: Where did you get the idea for your story in Grey Area?

Meggan: I came up with the idea for my Grey Area story while taking a Gaelic class at Cape Breton University. I had the best instructor. He was so much fun!

He used to tell us lots of stories, and in my first year of classes, at Halloween, he told us about how the rift between our world and the otherworld was believed to be at its thinnest at the time of harvest. It was a belief of the Gaels. The day my instructor told us this, I left class feeling inspired to write this story.

After much rewriting and tweaking, I finally got the story to what it is today, and I have to say, I am satisfied with how it turned out. I hope everyone enjoys it! And Hector, if you're reading this, thanks so much for the awesome Gaelic classes, and the inspiration for my first published story!

Third Person Press has a passion for finding, nurturing and publishing new authors of speculative fiction. Help us continue our mission by ordering your copy of Grey Area today!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Today, author and Dream Big Cape Breton blogger Leah Noble tells us a little about the idea spark for her story, "Night Swimmer."

Q: Where did you get your idea for your Grey Area story?

Leah: My story started out as a writing prompt; I was in a writers' group at the time and every month we would give ourselves a sentence and then have to write something that was inspired by it.

The prompt was "Reading on the hill." So from that came the image of the "Neighbour" that my main character encounters early in the story, a ghost who is sitting on a grave in a cemetery just reading a book.

Then I had to ask myself, "Well, who is my main character and how did she get here?" The story went from there. My story isn't a "spooky" ghost story, so much; it's more of a love story as it follows the main character through her process of crossing over.

Thanks, Leah. Be sure to visit Dream Big Cape Breton.

Follow us as we hear daily from all our contributors to Grey Area. And be sure to pick a perk on our crowd-funding Indiegogo Campaign soon! We need your help and you can get some great rewards for your support.

Read All About Us!

Over the weekend, Third Person Press and our Indiegogo Funding Campaign were featured in an article by Greg McNeil in the Cape Breton Post. Thanks Greg for a comprehensive article that explains why we are asking for broad community help in funding Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Julie A. Serroul Discusses Murderers and Ghosts

Author, TPP co-editor and fledgling blogger, Julie A. Serroul talks about her contribution to Grey Area.

Q: What was your inspiration/impetus for writing "Letters to Mom"?

Julie: I was toying with the concept of unusual living arrangements and igniting them with the torch of "What if".

One of the ideas that leapt into my head was a character living with a ghost and a murderer - that was an interesting "Three's Company" concept for sure. Then, as occasionally (and blissfully) happens to me, the character arrived in my brain fully formed as a young boy and, wow, did he live an interesting life (as in the "may you live in interesting times" ancient curse type of "interesting life"). From there the story wrote itself in only a few hours.

Find out more about Julie by visiting her shiny new blog at: http://julieaserroul.blogspot.ca/

Pre-order your print and/or ebook copy of Grey Area now by helping us with our crowd-funding campaign: here.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grey Area Author Q & A: Nancy S.M. Waldman

Our next story about a Grey Area story comes from TPP co-editor, author and book cover artist, Nancy S.M. Waldman!

Q: What was the most interesting thing about writing your story for Grey Area?

Nancy: I had a good time writing “My Mews” which seemed a little odd, because it's a story about two very sad people whose spouses died way too young. But, I enjoyed it because I found the main character fun to work with.

On the outside, she seems utterly unmotivated and lost in her grief and she's also freaked out by living alone in an apartment that seems scary all of a sudden. However, once you're inside her head, you know that she's going to be all right eventually—even if she doesn't—because she's spunky and creative and has a quirky sense of humour. She might not make the same decisions that you or I would in the same situation, but she finds her way, with the help of that other, even more lost, spirit. And, her apartment is fabulous!

I hope you'll have fun with this story too. Join us in our campaign; the stories are all so unique.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grey Area Author Interviews: Sherry D. Ramsey

We've asked our Grey Area authors to tell us a little bit about the origins or writing process of their stories, so we can share them with you.

First up is author, Scriptorium publisher, jewellery designer, and co-editor with Third Person Press, Sherry D. Ramsey.

Q: Where did you get your idea for your Grey Area story?

Sherry: My story in Grey Area is titled "ePrayer." The spark for this story actually came from "Spark"--the culture and technology radio program on CBC radio. (I'm a bit of a CBC radio junkie, for those of you who don't know.) A few years ago, they did a show about digital culture and religion, with an interview with Rachel Wagner, assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Ithaca College in New York. This radio piece didn't involve anything about ghosts, but it did talk about the notion of computer-generated prayers; in particular, a service that would have a computer recite prayers on your behalf.

Which offered lots of food for thought...would such prayers "work"? How popular might such a service become? And most importantly...how might such prayers be answered and what would be the result?

That's where the story idea came in...when I started asking the writer's most valuable question: "what if?" The story started out to be about a sort of artificial intelligence appearing on these prayer servers, but it took a turn and really came to life (pun intended) when the notion of the ghost showed up.

"ePrayer" is not a particularly spooky sort of ghost story, but it was a lot of fun to write, and, I hope, to read.

The Crowd-funding Campaign is Underway!

Our Grey Area Indiegogo Campaign is well underway! We so appreciate those who have generously supported us so far!

 If you haven't visited the site yet, please do so today. Choosing one of our perks is a great way to ensure that you'll not only get your copy of  “Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories,” but also reap other awesome rewards--all while supporting Third Person Press in its mission to promote local writers of speculative fiction.

Thanks to Sherry D. Ramsey and Emily Ramsey for our wonderful video!

Stay tuned for: A series of interviews from our “Grey Area” authors. Their answers will give you some fun insights into their writing process and their stories, but without spoilers!  You can also see these posted in Updates on our campaign page.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grey Area Campaign Goes Live

Our Indiegogo campaign in support of our newest anthology project, Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories started today. We have some great perks and some great stories lined up, so check out the campaign, the video, and the array of rewards. You can also help us out just by spreading the word!

Here's the link to the campaign.

More about the anthology in the coming days!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The TPP Story Review Process

So, we've just closed to submissions for Flashpoint, and if your story is in our submission pile (especially for the first time), you might be wondering what's going to happen now. By now (or very soon) you should have an email acknowledgment from us that we've received your story. No need to sit around biting your nails and wondering if your story has been lost in cyberspace or that occasional abyss of the postal service. You'll know we have it, safe and sound.

Then...the waiting. Honestly, we don't have a set schedule for reading stories during the submission period, because this is not a full-time endeavour for any of us. We read stories when we have a chance, so if you submitted early, it may already have been several months with no response. We do know what it's like to be on the waiting end, and we'll try our best not to keep you hanging too long. Now that submissions have closed, we'll be buckling down to read stories as quickly as we can. If it gets to the point where you just can't stand it, drop us a quick email, and we'll do our best to let you know where we are in the process with your story.

Then what?

Possible Responses
  • Rejection. IF we have to write you a rejection letter, rest assured that we will tell you WHY we are not accepting your story. You won't hear “it's just not suitable” from us. We want to help you improve your story, even if it's not working for our needs, so that you have a better chance of marketing it elsewhere. So if we are not in love with your story, we'll tell you why. The only exception to this is if your story is not SPECULATIVE, in which case we'll likely just tell you that. Since that's our genre, we won't attempt to make comments about stories in other genres, and we make it pretty clear in our guidelines what we're looking for.
  • Rewrite Request. We may get in touch with you to ask for a rewrite. If this is the case, again, we'll tell you precisely what it is about the story that isn't working for us, and give you some suggestions about how we think it might be changed. Whether or not you choose to rewrite it to editorial suggestions and re-submit it is entirely up to you. Sometimes a story “is what it is,” and for any one of a dozen reasons, the author doesn't feel comfortable changing it. That's fine—you won't hurt our feelings! Just let us know that you'd prefer to try the story somewhere else as it is.
    • If you do decide to rewrite and resubmit, we can't guarantee that we'll accept the rewritten story. Sometimes a rewrite still doesn't work, and we'll have to regretfully decline the story even in its new form. However, we will explain our thoughts on the new version and why it's still not working for us. We promise not to leave you in the dark.
  • Short List. We may, at some point, notify you that we've placed your story on a “short list”. That means that we really like it and are seriously considering it for inclusion. It's not a guarantee of acceptance, but it means that your story has definitely struck a chord with us. It's likely that if you're on our shortlist, you won't get a final answer until after the submission period ends.

  • Conditional Acceptance. We may also go a step further and offer a conditional acceptance. This means that we really, really like your story, but there are one or two things that still need a bit of attention. If you can fix those problem areas, your story is in.
  • Acceptance. The best case scenario—either with or without some rewriting, we let you know that we love your story and offer you an acceptance. Indulge in your happy dance...but the process isn't over yet.

Line Editing

After we've decided on the stories we're accepting, all stories are line edited by all three of us. This means that we will go through your story—every story—with a fine-toothed comb, looking for problems with grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, word choice, and other technical matters. We might also make suggestions that go to flow and clarity at this point. We strive to walk a very thin line—retaining your individual style while making sure that the writing is polished until it shines.

Sometimes this is a difficult and unnerving process if you haven't been professionally edited before. We understand that, and we're willing to discuss suggested changes with you if you want. You don't necessarily have to approve of everything we suggest—but we do expect you to accept most of the corrections. And we are sticklers for the grammatical issues. If something is actually wrong, we'll expect it to be fixed. Those things are deal-breakers.

Sound harsh? It's not, really. We just want your story to reflect well on you, and on us. We want it to be the best that we all, working together, can make it. You look good, we look good, and the reader is the one who really wins.


Once all the back-and-forth is finished and we have a good, clean copy of your story, we'll typeset it, and then at least two of the three editors will proofread the final version again. At this stage, we will likely still find small corrections to be made. Spelling errors, punctuation misfires, typos, capitalization glitches...it's kind of amazing how many of these little things we still find at this stage, but we won't necessarily run them past each author again. If any more serious oversights cropped up at this point, of course we would contact you about it. But for these minor issues, we generally just fix them.

And that's it! Now sit down and start writing your next story, while we get to work reading... 

Photo credit: mconnors