Here’s Another Reason Not to Fear Short Attention Spans: The Slow Reading Movement

image by Jayel Aheram, StressedTechnician

 from Ink, bits & Pixels

Earlier today I posted an argument against authors writing for shorter attention spans. I argued that attention spans weren’t actually getting shorter; instead, readers will stick with a book which interests them no matter the interruption. I still think that is a good argument, but it’s not the only one I could make.  An article… Read More »

Source: Here’s Another Reason Not to Fear Short Attention Spans: The Slow Reading Movement | Ink, Bits, & Pixels

10 books Millennials should read this year

millennials and books
Photo by Carly Scott

Books are great escapes

Publisher’s Note: Kara Cronin a contributor to Elite Daily and Gen Y’er put this list together of 10 books Millennials should read this year. Call it your 2015 book reading bucket list.

By Kara Cronin

As a single, adventurous 20-something, I have found books to be the greatest companion and reading to be the best escape from my current reality: Job searching, Netflix and constantly attempting to navigate the balance of being a fun, carefree postgrad and a serious young professional.

I have found comfort in plopping myself down at a coffeeshop, opening a good book and escaping to an alternate universe where I can forget about my troubles and spend time acquainting myself with fictional characters.

When I find a book in which the words on the pages come to life, I know I’ve found a keeper.

Something about experiencing the characters’ ups and downs alongside them makes me feel connected, like I’m getting to go on their adventures with them.

In attempt to help my fellow Millennials add a little spice to their lives while expanding their minds, I put together a reading list of my 10 favorite reads from the past year.

These books will make you laugh, cry, smile and question. Click here to see Kara’s list>

12 Celebrities on Their Favorite Books

Jennifer Lawrence, Jon Hamm, James Franco and 9 others reveal the books that made a difference in their lives

james franco

Photo: Walter McBride / Getty Entertainment

James Franco

 I Lay Dying

By William Faulkner

“My father gave me this book when I was getting into trouble in high school,” says Franco, whose story collection, Palo Alto, focuses on several delinquent teens, including one on probation for drunk driving. “I was spending a lot of time alone at home,” he continues, “and that’s when I really started reading.”

Read more about the other celebrities.

Related articles

How To Become a Better Reader in 10 Steps from Publishers Weekly

How To Become a Better Reader in 10 Steps

Gretchen Rubin –  Photo Credit: David Cross

By Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, is back with Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. Here, Rubin shares 10 tips for becoming a better reader.

Reading is an essential part of my work, it’s an important aspect of my social life, and most importantly, it’s my favorite thing to do. I’m not a well-rounded person.

But reading takes time, and most days, I can’t read as much as I’d like. As I was writing Better Than Before, my book about habit change, I adopted many new habits to help me get more good reading done. Consider whether these habits might work for you – click here to read the rest of the story.

Sex After Sixty wins this year’s Wattys

Recognizing the best in Digital Storytelling

Ok, so what is a Watty? You’ve watched the Oscars. You know what an Oscar is.BookCover6x9_Cream_290FINAL TO PRESS What, pray tell, is a Watty?

The Wattys are Wattpad’s official annual awards that celebrate the best in digital storytelling. Be it fanfiction, romance, urban, sci-fi, poetry, or short stories, we acknowledge stories of all genres and styles.
READ MORE

New Survey Finds Millennial Readers Clinging to Print | Digital Book World

Good News for Authors

Millenials prefer print books over ebooks.

Millenials prefer print books over ebooks.

A new study by Publishing Technology finds U.S. millennials—defined as people currently between the ages of 18 and 34—almost twice as likely to read a print book as an ebook.

That finding squares with similar print preferences Pew researchers found among older readers as well. Among adults 18 and up, 28% read an ebook in 2014 as compared with the 69% of those who read at least one print book.

Results from the Publishing Technology survey also suggests young readers are equally comfortable with digital and analog modes of book discovery. 45% of millennials report learning about new titles by word-of-mouth recommendations, 32% by online browsing and 25% by browsing through a physical store or library.

via New Survey Finds Millennial Readers Clinging to Print | Digital Book World.

Highlighted from The Atlantic online

What Writing Has in Common With Happiness

The author Yasmina Reza says that Borges taught her fiction, like joy, is borne of mysterious, instinctual processes achieved in an unconscious state.

Have “Breakfast” on us for $2.99

Now you can have “Breakfast” on the Publisher with a special Kindle price of $2.99, regularly $7.99 from Outer Banks Publishing Group. Order your copy of Breakfast at the Diner here before it gets cold.Want the full course? Breakfast at the Diner in print is available for $8.99, regularly, $15.99. Order a great “Breakfast” here.Breakfast at the Diner, a novel by bestselling author Scott FieldsIt has been two years since the death of his wife, and Frank Watson still struggles with the loss. Every morning, he meets with his friends at the local diner to talk and to exchange gossip, but inevitably must return to his farm that remains undisturbed since his wife’s death.Then, Pepper Ledley breezed into his life. She was the new waitress in town nearly half his age and offered Frank something he had never before considered, a new beginning.  However, it somehow didn’t seem right to Frank.As he struggles with his new feelings and the memory of his beloved wife, Frank faces the biggest crisis of his life. A large foreign corporation needs five hundred acres of land to build an egg factory and Frank alienates himself from the rest of the town when he, steadfastly, refuses to sell.What transpires is a web of deceit, manipulation and murder. Get a taste of “Breakfast” – download a free sample – A taste of Breakfast
or order your copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle List Price: $7.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
240 pages
Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0990679011
ISBN-10: 0990679012

 

From Buzzfeed

24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing

Ten years ago, my first novel Prep came out. Three novels later, here’s what I’ve learned about the publishing industry and writing since then.

Curtis Sittenfeld
BuzzFeed Contributor

A-real-bookstore

 

  1. When it comes to fellow writers, don’t buy into the narcissism of small differences. In all their neurotic c, competitive, smart, funny glory, other writers are your friends.
  2. Unless you’re Stephen King, or you’re standing inside your own publishing house, assume that nobody you meet has ever heard of you or your books. If they have, you can be pleasantly surprised.
  3. At a reading, 25 audience members and 20 chairs is better than 200 audience members and 600 chairs.
  4. There are very different ways people can ask a published writer for the same favor. Polite, succinct, and preemptively letting you off the hook is most effective.
  5. Blurbs achieve almost nothing, everyone in publishing knows it, and everyone in publishing hates them.
  6. But a really good blurb from the right person can, occasionally, make a book take off.
  7. When your book is on best-seller lists, people find you more amusing and respond to your emails faster.
  8. When your book isn’t on best-seller lists, your life is calmer and you have more time to write.
  9. The older you are when your first book is published, the less gratuitous resentment will be directed at you.
  10. The goal is not to be a media darling; the goal is to have a career.

Read the rest of the reasons>

Is Your Writing Frozen This Winter?

A WRITING RETREAT ON TOPSAIL ISLAND, NC

OBXLiving0031

House at Southern Shores, NC

 

Winter is a good time to write – less distractions, less daylight and less to do because of the colder weather.

Warm up your writing this winter with a long weekend at quiet Topsail Island in NC at the Winter Beach Writeaway with Mimi Herman & John Yewell.

Because sometimes writers just need to get away.

Spend a long weekend in a cozy house right on the beach, perfecting your poetry or prose with the help of other brilliant writers. The Winter Beach Writeaway is designed for writers of all genres and abilities, from beginner to MFA to professional. $400 per person includes double occupancy lodging, all meals, and wine.

Topsail Island, NC, Feb 27- Mar 2, 2015

For more information, go to www.writeaways.com or email John or Mimi at writeawaysinfo@gmail.com

Not a beach lover? Give your writing a romantic touch – write in France.

WRITEAWAY IN FRANCE

Is your writing missing a certain je ne sais quoi? Experience a week of great writing, authentic French food, and unforgettable ambiance in a 15th century French chateau, complete with 300 acres of vineyards, rose garden, and world famous topiary. Tour Loire Valley wineries (during la récolte!) and celebrate the equinox (Sept. 23) under a harvest moon!

Writeaways are designed for writers of all levels–beginner to MFA to professional. $2,250 per person, double occupancy, full board (including wine and after-dinner drinks), writing consultations and daily classes.

Chateau du Pin, Champtocé-sur-Loire, France, Sept. 21–27, 2015

Mimi & John in Paris

Mimi & John in Paris

For more information, go to www.writeaways.com or email us at writeawaysinfo@gmail.com

“One must be ruthless with one’s own writing, or someone else will be.”
-John Berryman

Breakfast at the Diner cooks up Love, Deceit & Murder

Now have “Breakfast” on the Publisher with a special pre-launch discount of $8.99, regularly $15.99 until Feb. 15, 2015 only from Outer Banks Publishing Group. Order yours here.

By Scott Fields

Breakfast at the Diner

Now $8.99, regularly $15.99. Order your “Breakfast.”

It has been two years since the death of his wife, and Frank Watson still struggles with the loss. Every morning, he meets with his friends at the local diner to talk and to exchange gossip, but inevitably must return to his farm that remains undisturbed since his wife’s death.

Then, Pepper Ledley breezed into his life. She was the new waitress in town nearly half his age and offered Frank something he had never before considered, a new beginning.  However, it somehow didn’t seem right to Frank.

As he struggles with his new feelings and the memory of his beloved wife, Frank faces the biggest crisis of his life. A large foreign corporation needs five hundred acres of land to build an egg factory and Frank alienates himself from the rest of the town when he, steadfastly, refuses to sell.

What transpires is a web of deceit, manipulation and murder.

Get a taste of “Breakfast” – download a free sample – A taste of Breakfast
or order a full copy from our bookstore.

____________________________

List Price: $15.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
240 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0990679011
ISBN-10: 0990679012

Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore

 

 

 

 

Wishing you and your family much happiness & success

Capture

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon Offers All-You-Can-Eat Books. Authors Turn Up Noses.

Amazon wants to be the publishing dictator of the world

From The New York Times
Author H.M. Ward

The author H.M. Ward says she left Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program after two months when her income dropped 75 percent. Credit Joshua Bright for The New York Times.

Authors are upset with Amazon. Again.

For much of the last year, mainstream novelists were furious that Amazon was discouraging the sale of some titles in its confrontation with the publisher Hachette over e-books.

Now self-published writers, who owe much of their audience to the retailer’s publishing platform, are unhappy.

One problem is too much competition. But a new complaint is about Kindle Unlimited, a new Amazon subscription service that offers access to 700,000 books — both self-published and traditionally published — for $9.99 a month.

Read the rest of the story>.

Merry Christmas and a Successful New Year

 

 

May All Your Dreams Come True

 

Xmas tree

Courtesy of Timeline Photos

Looking for YA Authors

We are currently seeking Young Adult novels to add to our list of ever-growing titles.

books on sidebooks on side

 

 

 

 

If you have a completed manuscript you would like to submit for consideration, please email the first 1-3 chapters to query@outerbankspublishing.com

Please include the following information with your submission:

  • Short description of what your book is about no more than five pages
  • Word count
  • Contact information

Thanks. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
The Publisher

The Roots and Rise of ISIS

ISIS spawned by the People’s desire to control their Destiny

Publisher’s Note: Doug Roberts lived and almost died under the tyranny of a brutal dictatorship in Tehran in the 1970s when he was stationed there as a US Serviceman in Administrative Services office in the U.S. military advisory unit to Iran, ARMISH/MAAG. He knows first-hand what it is like to live in fear of Tehran’s secret police monitoring his every move, especially when he carried out a daring escape for his girlfriend and her mother and reuniting them with their exiled father and husband.
His story comes alive in his dramatic retelling of the events in his book, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, available at our bookstore for $9.99, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in ebook versions. Here is his POV on ISIS and the current situation in the Middle East.

By Doug Roberts

Capture

Photo by Welayat Salahuddin/AFP via Al Jazerra

As the world watches each new horror ISIS creates, I think it is instructive to note that the forces which shaped ISIS and similar movements began a long time ago after the end of World War I when the old Ottoman Empire was carved up to artificially create six brand new nations: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine (now Israel).

As Andrew Torre [mostly] correctly points out in his recent column for The Manchester Journal, the motives were for economic exploitation by western interests. To that end, governments were put in place to foster economic exploitation.

“Clearly, this was not a good deal for the masses of Middle Eastern people, who have predictably been fomenting revolution ever since. Their unceasing attempts to overthrow the exploitative system reached new heights immediately after WW II and have been regularly squelched by Western power ever since. England constantly repressed Iraqi uprisings; Nasser’s Pan-Arabism of the 1950s was successfully opposed; in 1948 Israel was established as a foil against Soviet influence on Middle Eastern revolutionary movements; and in 1952 the U.S. successfully conspired to overthrow and assassinate the first democratically-elected president of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, who had the audacity to claim Iranian oil for the Iranian people, rather than foreign interests.”

 
(Despite his committing one small factual error, I invite the reader to study his entire column as it is highly instructive. I am including a link to Mr. Torre’s article)

But let me follow up on what happened to Mossadegh. Though he was tried for treason, (a capital offense) he was placed under house arrest, and was not assassinated as many have claimed. His treasonous act? Let me quote from the wiki:

“Mossadegh had sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now BP) and to change the terms of the company’s access to Iranian oil reserves. Upon alleged refusal of the AIOC to cooperate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize the assets of the company and expel their representatives from the country.”

Heaven forbid Iran actually being in control of its own oil!  The end result of all this was the CIA and MIA installed The Shah of Iran as an autocratic repressive leader for many decades. The relationship worked for a while. The U.S. helped Iran keep the Soviets at bay and strengthen Iran’s Ministry of Security. The U.S. got a lot of oil out of Iran in the process and also sold the Shah an enormous amount of weapons.

I lived in Iran during part of his reign. The year was 1971, the 2500th anniversary of Iran as a nation. Unseen to most people, the seeds of revolution were brewing. One reason was because the Ministry of Security began spying, arresting and torturing its own citizens. The Shah’s secret police were notorious. I got a few clues because, while serving in the U.S. Army,  I worked in the classified message center of Sitade Buzurgh (similar to Iran’s version of the Pentagon.)

I thought that what I had seen was important enough that I wrote my first novel, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, loosely based on what I had experienced.

By 1979 I was watching on television the rise of Iranian militants against western imperialistic interests, and the overthrow of the Shah by the Ayatollah Khomeini and his extremist supporters. They were not called Islamist back then, but in retrospect that is what they were. What else can would you call a group who overran the U.S. Embassy and took 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days, in flagrant violation of international law? My second novel deals with this period.

People can tremble at the thought of ISIS making good on its threat to become a bona-fide nation state of radical religious extremists,  but that is exactly what happened in Iran in 1979. To appreciate it fully one needs to understand that the extremism we saw from the militants who overthrew Iran was fueled by a deep resentment of western meddling in its affairs – a fact all to easy to forget in the heat of the moment.

Had anyone bothered to ask the question if such a thing could happen in any of the nations artificially created by western powers after World War I,  the answer of course would be a decided ‘yes.’  And in fact that is exactly what we see today in Iraq and Syria.

When the U.S. invaded Iraq as a response to 9/11 in 2001 to overthrow Saddam Hussein, those who were against it correctly warned of unleashing a Pandora’s Box of unwanted consequences. With the repressive dictator gone, old ethnic rivalries were unleashed which, added to the the deep resentment of how Iraq was artificially created in the first place, and this only compounded the chaos.

When the United States invaded in 2003, Shiites made up nearly two-thirds of Iraq’s population of 25 million. But members of the Sunni minority had ruled Iraq since its independence in 1932. That is until the U.S. created a Shiite-led government, which was famously corrupt and repressive in its own right. Not a recipe for success, I think.

So complete is the chaos in Iraq today, one could argue that Iraq as we knew it no longer exists. The civil war in Syria, and the following disastrous collapse of law there allowed Sunni militants from Iraq to regroup and set up a safe haven from which to gather their forces. In its current form we know it as ISIS/ISIL.

Though the entire world, including every known Muslim group, sees ISIS as a threat, including most ironically, Iran – the U.S. response has been to drop bombs on ISIS in Iraq – over a billion dollars worth and counting. But wait. ISIS is actually headquartered in Syria, where the U.S. “supports” ISIS efforts to overthrow the Assad regime. Say what?

The folly of this approach seems obvious to anyone willing to ponder it, I think. Dare I say, that if continued, it will have an impact on the 2016 presidential election?

A better approach, in my opinion, would be to do everything possible to strengthen the one remaining island of stability remaining in the region: the area we call Kurdistan. The Kurdish army is known for its fierce fighters and the Kurdish population has a vested interest in keeping this stable and prosperous area (rich with its own oil reserves), stable and prosperous.

____________________________

Order your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $9.99. Click here.


Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAK

 








List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
376 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993125
ISBN-10: 0982993129
BISAC: Fiction / Espionage

Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore

 

Now priced lower than Amazon

Curl up to a warm fire with these blazing titles

Two great titles from OBX Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor are now reduced through Outer Banks Publishing Group. Visit our bookstore to order.

Tabor Price Reduction copy

 

 

 

 WHO BY FIRE – Fiction. Print version $7.99; Kindle $5.99

WHO BY FIRE breaks new literary ground: A complex tale of love, betrayal, and the search for self. A male narrator tells the story he does not actually know but discovers through memory, through piecing the puzzles of his marriage, through his wife’s goodness and her betrayal. He confronts paradox with music, science and a conflagration he witness in his native Iowa. Underlying his search is the quest for heroism and for his own father. WHO BY FIRE has earned its places among books that matter.

“The beauty of the prose, the nuances of the characters, the ever-building plot—everything is in place for a novel that will touch you in all the right ways.”—Lee Martin

“Mary L. Tabor’s WHO BY FIRE is a lovely, innovative, deeply engaging novel about how it is that human beings make their way through the mysteries of existence.”—Robert Olen Butler

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982993145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982993149
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches

 

 (Re) Making Love – Nonfiction, Print version $5.99; Kindle $3.99

(Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty story

By Mary L. Tabor

When Mary L. Tabor’s husband of 21 years announced, “I need to live alone,” she cratered and turned to the only comfort she had left: her writing. What resulted was (Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty story, a fresh, witty, funny and brutally honest memoir of everything she felt and did during her long journey back to happiness. This deeply personal account of her saga takes the reader from Washington, DC to Missouri to Australia through the good, the bad and the foolish from Internet dating to outlandish flirting and eventually to Paris where an unexpected visitor changed the author’s life forever. Her story offers hope and joy told with passion and brilliance that is highly refreshing with the single and most prominent message—it is never too late to find love—and oneself even after age sixty and beyond.

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098299317X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982993170
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches

Writing Retreats

Inspire your writing in romantic France, Italy or the Outer Banks

Writeaways founder John Yewell tells about the writer’s retreats he and business partner Mimi Herman provide in France, Italy and the Outer Banks and how they inspire writers to find their muse.

By John Yewell

Mimi & John in Paris

Mimi & John in Paris

Go to our Writeaways web site, with its pictures of a centuries-old French chateau and an Italian villa, and your initial reaction is likely to be: What a great vacation! And it is, of a sort. But it is so much more than that.

We created our writing getaways in exotic places to get you as far from your daily life as possible, to set you free from care while giving you the guidance you need to unlock, or unblock, the writer within. We welcome writers of all levels and genres, and now have programs in the Loire Valley, Tuscany, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

“I didn’t know until I got busy how essential to the process being removed from my regular life would be. John and Mimi took care of all the necessities, creating a space for us to write and indulging us along the way. The food was amazing!” – Charity, North Carolina

 

We take care of everything. Each morning in France, you are greeted with a complete breakfast, including fresh croissants purchased before sunrise at the local boulangerie. In Italy, our hosts Patrizia and Paolo serve you continental style.

Afterwards, we engage in our specially designed workshop and private consultations for two hours. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll find the constructive help you need to produce your best work in a cooperative, but rigorous, atmosphere.

“I first met Mimi and John at their writing retreat at Chateau du Pin. While I had a very interesting story I’d thought about writing for years, I did not think of myself as a writer. Thanks to their thoughtful guidance, I finally began writing that story–and I’m still at it. John and Mimi made me believe I could do it, and gave me the tools I needed. I can’t thank them enough.” – Regina, North Carolina

 

After lunch – buffet-style in France, Tuscan-style in Italy – you are free to write or explore. In France, the chateau is surrounded by 300 acres of topiary, rose gardens, meadows and vineyards. In Italy, you can wander in the olive orchards, sit by the pool, or explore Tuscany as widely as you like. In both locales, we offer tours of the surrounding region, including tastings at local wineries. All of this is included in the program.

In the evening we reconvene for cocktails and wine, then sit down to a spectacular dinner prepared by professional chefs. Afterwards, relax with a digestif or cocktail of your choice in relaxed reflection, surrounded by five-hundred year old walls.

Writers enjoying a great meal during a writeaway.

Writers enjoying a great meal during a writeaway.

Our program in Southern Shores, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is a weekend intensive class designed to jumpstart a dormant writing project or launch a new one.

After people began coming to us and asking if they could put together their own groups of friends and families, we began organizing self-organized getaways. We expect to make the first such trips a reality in France and Italy in the spring of 2015.

We are also developing a Master Class intensive program, which would be limited to two students for a week in Beaufort, NC.

Writeaways is based in Durham, North Carolina, although our students have come from all over: Texas, Wyoming, Virginia, Canada. Our long-term plan is to create writing getaways in the kinds of places people dream about going, so that we can pair that dream with their own desire to become better writers.

Mimi and I are both writing professionals with complementary backgrounds. Mimi Herman has taught over 20,000 students to fall in love with writing, especially their own. A Warren Wilson MFA graduate, her teaching style captures students’ imagination and creates a supportive learning environment. As one student said of her time with Mimi, “It is an experience that I will hold with me throughout my whole life.”

I am a writer and editor with an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University and twenty years of experience in journalism. I teach a memoir class in Durham and consult as a private editor and writing coach.

For more information, please go to www.writeaways.com, or write to us at writeawaysinfo@gmail.com.

Do you believe in Ghosts? OBXPG Author Scott Fields does!

Hauntings at the Ohio State Reformatory

OSR-cropped“You might ask what is my association with the place, and I will tell you that there were two men who killed six people in a two week period back in 1948 and they met each other while serving sentences there. Their names were Robert Daniels and John West, and that two week rampage is the subject of my book, The Mansfield Killings.

 

And if you happen to be in the Mansfield area on Aug. 30-31,  meander over to OSR to meet Scott during a book signing  and maybe, just maybe, you may see a ghost.


By Scott Fields

The Ohio State Reformatory (OSR) has been a landmark in this part of Ohio for over a century.
Located about an hour’s drive north of Columbus, the reformatory boasts two features that make it famous throughout the United States. The first claim to fame is the number of movies shot within its walls which include The Shawshank Redemption and Air Force One among others. The second feature of the Ohio State Reformatory that has made it famous is that it is quite simply haunted.

OSR is considered by many to be in the top ten of the most haunted places in America.  Not only has the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures visited the reformatory; it has been explored twice by Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters show. It has also been featured on Fox Family Channel’s Real Scary Stories, Scariest Places on Earth, and Most Terrifying Places in America.

The prison opened its doors in 1896 to its first 150 young offenders. The doors to the prison closed in 1990 after housing over 155,000 men. Since then it has remained intact by the help of donations and volunteers by the hundreds. Guided tours are conducted throughout the summer months but come to an end in September due to the fact there is no heat in the building.

Scott-4

Author Scott Fields

I have conducted many book signings in my life. Some were good and some not so good, but I never experienced anything like the signings that I have done at the OSR.

I had heard about the eerie things that people had experienced. I believed some but dismissed most of the stories. But that all changed when I sat there and listened to actual witnesses to such events. Even my own daughter had two experiences and she has only visited it a few times.

I think the most astounding story that I have ever heard was told to me by an older man while I was conducting a signing. He pulled out a photograph that he had taken of his brother standing in the aisle next to the empty prison cells. Standing directly behind him was the image of a much bigger man. The man, or ghost or whatever you want to call him, was posing for the picture and standing so close it looked as if he was touching the man. You can clearly see him.

spirit

Ghostly image captured at OSR

Once a month, about a hundred people are allowed to spend a night in the place. They can come and go as they please looking for ghosts. A friend of mine said that he and his wife decided to spend the night sitting quietly at a table and wait for something to happen. Suddenly a figure poked its head around the corner of a window. They spoke to it and it pulled its head back. It soon reappeared then disappeared. This went on for quite some time until my friend had had enough. He walked over to the window and stuck his head outside to find no ledge, no floor, nothing to stand on.

I was next to my daughter when she took a picture of a window from the outside of the building. It was a part of the building where nobody is allowed. When we looked at the photo, there was a figure standing in the window, and I know for a fact that it was not there when she snapped the picture. She also took a picture of a cell and caught a large pink circle on the wall. We were both staring at that wall and did not see it. She immediately snapped another picture to find nothing there.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Even the Ghost Hunters from the SciFi network have been there several times.

Do you believe in ghosts? I do.

The Mansfield Killings Cover II

 

 

 

 

 

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group (October 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982993137
ISBN-13: 978-0982993132
Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine bookstores everywhere. And now the ebook is $.99

I always have three of four ideas for books I want to write, says OBXPG author Scott Fields

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Scott Fields shared this recent newspaper article with us on the release of his newest book, The Geezer Bench.

Reprinted with permission from John Jarvis and The Marion Star

By John Jarvis
The Marion Star, Marion, Ohio

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 6.27.45 PM

The Geezer Bench

Scott Fields had written more than a half dozen books when a friend sat with him at his house to share his idea for another.

“I even have a title, The Geezer Bench,” Fields said, recalling the conversation. “Well, with just the title he got my attention.”

The novel tells the story of four friends who share their thoughts of the day as they sit on a public bench before returning to and from their private lives of mixed sorrow and happiness.

According to Fields, the book has been getting attention, “doing real well,” which pleases him for himself and for his hometown of LaRue, where he set the story in his eighth book.

“It’s not quite the same as it was back in the ’50s,” Fields, now a Mansfield resident, said. “In the ’50s it was your Norman Rockwell kind of setting: three or four grocery stores, five gas stations. You didn’t have to worry about taking your keys out of your car. … I’d go down to the Scioto River and go fishing and swimming.”

His previous book, “The Mansfield Killings,” based on a murder spree in 1948 in the Richland County city, has been his best-seller, he said. It also represented a departure from the type of writing he prefers: “I like for people to have a good feeling when they get done reading a book of mine, to see there’s a bright side at the end. That’s what life really is. That’s what I try to put in my books.”

Ironically, he’s writing another book about Robert Dale Henderson, a serial killer who claimed victims in southern Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida. He learned of the murders at a book-signing for “The Mansfield Killings” in Delaware, where he met a woman who said her aunt had been married to Henderson.

“I’ve got to write something I can’t imagine,” he said, referring to the violence at the center of the story.

Retired from retail management of Kmart and Pep Boys stores, the 65-year-old Fields in his youth was a talented pitcher for Elgin High School, having been drafted 34th in the 1966 Major League Baseball Amateur Baseball Draft by the Detroit Tigers, after future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and before stars such as Steve Garvey and Bernie Williams. He chose instead to go to Ohio University “to learn about writing.”

Scott Fields, sitting, at one of his recent book signings.

“My grandson still does not forgive me for that,” he said. “I played baseball. My dad worked with me all those years. (But) I really didn’t like baseball. I loved to pitch. … It’s something I’ve got to live with the rest of my life. You’re 18. You don’t know much about the world. I decided I’d go to college to learn about writing.”

He said the college instruction helped, but decided a person either has the skill to write or doesn’t. “You just need to practice,” he said.

Professional writing for Fields began about 20 years ago with short stories. “I got a few published, and someone said, ‘Why don’t you write a novel?’ So I did.”

He then started looking for an agent to help him market his books. The process took about 10 years, he said, remarking, “It’s harder to get an agent than to get a book published.”

The effort has been worth it, he said, sharing that with his agent’s help he likely will have two more books published this year.

He’s been around writing his entire life.

“My mother was a writer,” he said. “She never got published, but she was a very talented writer. From the time I can remember, probably since I was 5 years old, I had the idea of a story I always wanted to write. The pressure of family and making a living kind of put it on the back (burner).”

He said in his retirement he always has three of four ideas for books he wants to write. His son, Michael Scott Fields, also recently had a book, “Spirits of the Darkness,” published.

He said he “absolutely loved writing” his latest novel, adding that typically he doesn’t read a book after he writes it, but did read The Geezer Bench and found tears running down his face. “And I wrote it. It has some real touching things in it.”

LaRue has been the setting for some of his other books, as well, but not always without constructive criticism from local residents. He said none of “The Geezer Bench” arises from his own life, adding that he won’t even claim any allusion to places and things in the story to be entirely accurate.

“Even the stuff I put in as fact like the bench in front of the dry good store is up for debate,” he said, good-naturedly.

He said although they are not yet scheduled, he plans to do two book-signing events in Marion County.

jjarvis@marionstar.com
740-375-5154
Twitter: @jmwjarvis