Saturday 29 October 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Pierre C. Arseneault of Moncton, NB, Canada.


Spooky Time! with Pierre C. Arseneault of Moncton, NB.

With Halloween just around the corner, what better than a horror story from a talented author.


Pierre’s been here before. Most recently in February with a SBTS for another of his works - HERE

His first visit to the Scribbler was in February 2015 – HERE.


It’s been a pleasure to work with Pierre on the Paths Anthologies as part of the Seasonal Collective. See more HERE.


Read on about Pierre’s newest novel.



The youngest of eleven children, Pierre C. Arseneault grew up in the small town of Rogersville, New Brunswick. As a cartoonist, Pierre was published in over a dozen newspapers. As an author, he has six titles published so far. You can also read short stories by Pierre in the Paths anthology series.

Working Title: Maple Springs



Synopsis: Maple Springs is a town with a lot of history, and a lot of mystery. People seem to disappear at an alarming rate, yet the townsfolk brush the disappearances off with bizarre explanations. But some, like Robyn Skidmoore, think there is more going on in Maple Springs. As Robyn searches for her missing friend, she deals with tales of a legendary recluse, monsters, mobsters, and meddlesome neighbors.



The Story Behind the Story: I always love to hear what inspired a story. Sometimes it’s the most mundane things like an image on a book cover which is what inspired my novel Poplar Falls, the Death of Charlie Baker. Or perhaps it’s some small event that happened to you on the way to work, like what inspired my short story called Melvin in the upcoming Winter Paths anthology. Sometimes you just set your mind wandering on a topic and a weave of a tale starts to form, like my short story A Path to Redemption in the Autumn Paths anthology.

I recall having coffee once, long ago and all around the booths, there was a slot in the backings. Patrons had inserted pennies which were a perfect fit. I remember telling my friend that stories can comes from just about anywhere, I said pointing to the coins in the slot.

“Penny for your thoughts,” said I as I proceeded to talk of Delroy, a homeless man with a curse and a gift rolled into one. Right there, I had the premise for a short story that would get published in my anthology Sleepless Nights.

Origins of story ideas fascinate me almost as much as the stories themselves. For this new horror novel called Maple Springs, its origins stem from a few places. The first being this idea I had for a gifted woman who had abilities. Things she learned to use at a young age to get the things she wanted. I had her in the back of my mind and even though I’m one of those people who don’t have a mind’s eye, I could picture her. Long wavy blonde hair, large golden hoop earrings, a long flowing black skirt that reached the ground and a man’s button blue shirt with the sleeves rolled to her forearms and a large knot tied at the waist. She had a boldness about her, even before I wrote a single word.

Which brings me to the second part that inspired this horror novel. A television show that never ended, leaving me hanging with unanswered questions. Too many times, I began watching a show that captured my curiosity only to have it get cancelled with forever unanswered cliffhangers. Happy Town was one of these shows for me. I absolutely loved the characters, settings and mysteries. In Happy Town, people were vanishing mysteriously at the hands of someone they called the Magic Man. I’m positive this entire show was inspired by the song from the band Heart. This show was epic, but after airing six episodes during the summer, it was pulled off the air. There was a total of eight episodes filmed and blam… cancelled and left hanging forever. So, with what felt like an itch that I needed to scratch, I decided to write my own story about mysterious disappearances. Only I would answer the questions.

With that said, don’t go thinking I stole the idea. The only premise which is similar is the mysterious disappearances which wasn’t an original idea that the creators of Happy Town had invented. There are many books, television shows and movies out there also about mysterious disappearances and even they didn’t invent this either. This is something that many real-life monsters have made a sad reality for many. But I’m not alone in having a fascination for dark fiction. So, I sat down to write a novel about mysterious disappearances, monsters and things that live in the darkness. Things that might scare some and attract others. All you have to do is go to a Halloween store to see the evidence of this fascination with the macabre and horrific.

Maple Springs is one of those novels that I got so engrossed in writing that it took over my life for a short while. Which leads me to mention the hardest part of being a writer.


When you write a story you love as much as I love this one, you want to share it with readers. I was itching to have someone read it. But I’m often hesitant to have someone delve into it before my publisher or even close friends read it. It’s a strange feeling to be sitting on this new book you’re completely excited about only to have to wait to share it. And the strangest part is writing something new while you still have this on the back burner, waiting to put it out there.

I could tell you more about this novel but that would involve way more spoilers than I’m comfortable with. But Maple Springs was a labor of dark love and I’m excited to finally get to share it with readers.




A question for you before you go, Pierre.

What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?


My favorite part of writing is the very beginning as the possibilities are endless. Before you write a single word, you could be a pirate captain on a ship about to face a mutiny. You could be a gunslinger, about to face an opponent that you know will be your undoing. You could just as well be a warrior in armor on a battlefield as much as an accountant on the brink of insanity. You could be in space, on another planet, in Detroit or at the bottom of the ocean. You could be anywhere, anything and anyone… just about anyway. You can’t be Harry Potter or Batman. Someone out there might have something to say about that. But you could be a time traveling accountant who’s on the brink of insanity and is now convinced he’s Batman. That you could do.

My least favorite part of writing is when I hit a wall. Denial that writers block is something I can get was once a thing but no more. Sometimes you write and get to a point where you realize that the novel you were writing has dried up. What comes next? Sometimes you know what comes next but if I write that part, well my novel could now be a novelette or novella. But I can’t stop there, can I? Not if I want to make this a novel. Like as I write this, I’m thinking about the crime thriller I’m trying to write. I’m stuck. But like most writers, I’ve been there before and will get through it. So, type on, people. Stories don’t write themselves…



I think a lot of authors feel like you do, Pierre. Sometimes we get stuck and have to redo, or pause , or reflect but as you say “… and will get through it.”




Thanks for sharing the news about Maple Springs, Pierre. It’s a great story and we wish you continued success with your writing efforts. 

And a humongous-Grand-Canyon-thank-you to all our visitors and readers. It's all for you. 

Do you like/love spooky stories? If not, what's your favourite? 

Please tell us in the comment box below.



Saturday 22 October 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Tawnya Torres of the Pacific Northwest.


The release of a book is a great reason to celebrate.

 This week we share the excitement with Tawnya about her novel – A Silent Discovery - which was released a few days ago. 

The story sounds captivating, and I'm sure it will be a great success.

Read on as she tells us about herself and the story.




I'm a half white half Asian girl living in the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not writing, I'm hanging out by the beach with my dog. I was born to service industry parents and work in the industry myself. Right now I do a little bit of everything in a coffee shop and bakery that overlooks the river but I’ve always been attracted to the arts. When I was a kid I thought I was going to grow up to be a painter or comic book artist but it turns out I’m better at writing. 



Working Title: A Silent Discovery

Synopsis: Being a mute princess isn’t easy, especially as the oldest of four sisters. Amadeus Sloane has to be wed first in order for her siblings to get married. Her sister Adrian is resentful and cruel as is her mother. Adrian constantly terrorizes Amadeus for her affliction. Her other sisters Penelope and Margaux keep their distance due to the family’s broken nature. Queen Kathryn makes Amadeus feel worthless. Every time a suitor rejects Amadeus her mother acts harshly, driving the silent princess further into despair.

         Her father was a great king but died during the chimera wars when she was a child. Because of this the kingdom of Syrosa no longer fights their own battles, they outsource to other armies and pay swords for hire. Syrosa is a wealthy kingdom but lacks integrity. After many rejections Amadeus is worried her mother’s wrath may be more than she can bear.

         The baby sister Margaux has been sneaking into the woods to meet with a human-animal hybrid which is forbidden. Amadeus catches Margaux with the deer boy but keeps her secret. Only when the queen realizes Margaux hasn’t bled in three months is she found out and kicked out of the castle. Amadeus becomes closer with her sister Penelope only for her to die from illness.

         Alone with Adrian and their mother brings on an incomprehensible hurt. Not like having to have a wedding and funeral the same day. Amadeus is informed the chimeras are back and the great warlord Kade of Tessafaye has agreed to take her hand in marriage as payment for fighting in their place. This frightens Amadeus and she worries Kade may be more brutal than her own family. The rumors say the warlord is a merciless man with windswept hair and eyes the color of desert sand. He leaves for the war right after their wedding. Their relationship confuses Amadeus but she waits for his return. She is nervous when he comes to retrieve her but is glad he kept his promise to come back for her. He takes her to his land where she finds herself happy and accepted although she isn’t sure if she trusts Kade. She waits for the day he will abuse her–but he never does. An unlikely match falls in love despite it being an arranged marriage and together they find truth in the silence.

The Story Behind the Story: I started writing after I lost my job for the second time during the pandemic. Determined to overcome my trauma, I worked hard on my mental and physical health. It was cathartic for me. I used images and emotions inspired by my EMDR therapy sessions. A Silent Discovery is the 5th book I’ve written, but the first to be published. I wanted to write an expressive character with no dialogue, creating the main character Amadeus, who is mute.


Find more info HERE



A question for you before you go, Tawnya:

What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?


I love exploring the characters and crafting their personality, diving into their emotions, or the world they live in. I find editing dreadfully boring but it’s a must!



Thanks for being our guest this week, Tawnya. Wishing you lots of success with your novel and writing journey.


And another BIG thank you to all our visitors and readers. You folks are THE BEST!

What is your favourite novel? Your favourite Author? 

Please leave us a comment & thank you again.

Saturday 15 October 2022

The Story Behind the Story with J. Ivanel Johnson of New Brunswick, Canada.


It’s always a treat to welcome another New Brunswick author to the Scribbler.

Johnson’s novel is garnering a lot of attention these days and we’re fortunate to have her visit this week to tell us about it.



J. Ivanel Johnson is the pen name for an author/playwright (with disability) who now resides on a farm in the Appalachians of New Brunswick. As in Just A STILL LIFE, she strives always to write about marginalized and culturally-diverse characters, many based on people from the First Nations, inner-city or mountain communities where she has previously lived and taught across the UK, USA and Canada. Her full-length musical, Rough Notes, also set in NB’s Upper River Valley, is currently being rehearsed for 2 professionally-workshopped performances in October and a number of Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmac and several others from Black, Acadian and Latino communities of NB are involved to represent her range of characters.



Title:  Just A STILL LIFE (first in the JUST (e)STATE mysteries series)



Synopsis: In the simpler times of 1971 Inspector Philip Steele, recently transferred to Fredericton, takes a much-deserved holiday with his elderly godmother in her quaint Victorian-styled village just north of the capital city. After a happy week exploring some of his boyhood haunts from summer vacations past, a bank robbery occurs. Later that night Oliver, a teen-age boy, is shot and killed. Having been an instrumental leader earlier that year on the case of one of Canada’s first serial killers, Phil is emotionally exhausted. Reluctantly, however, he must now return to long days of investigation with his oft-misquoting sergeant Zareb Woodbridge, a former journalist, who struggles with questioning some of the more racist locals. (In the remote, mostly-treed province of New Brunswick in that decade, a black person - especially one in authority - sets local tongues wagging behind his back and lips firmly pressed shut in his presence. )

    The youth’s murder is not the only one to occur in the village; soon after two more people are killed in fairly quick succession. New Brunswick potato and orchard farmers whose families helped settle the Upper River area a century ago are offset with the likes of Carol Caribou, a First Nations Wolastoqiyik post-office intern who is able to help gather gossip as potential clues. Additionally, North Shoreman Gaston Hauche and fingerprinting expert Jose Santana, (whose Cuban family have lived in Atlantic Canada since the 1700's cod/sugar trades but who is still considered an outsider) are also part of the culturally-diverse problem-solving team.

    And while Phil's godmother P.J. secretly prepares her annual Harvest Moon Ritual to be used as a trap for the murderer, he himself has fallen in love with the accused: watercolorist Beth Grimball, enjoying new-found 'freedom' albeit in a jail cell. Phil finds he is not only urgently compelled to solve the crimes because it's his job, but to save the lives of those he has always loved. And those he has just begun to. First in the new 'Just (e)State' mysteries, the following books prequels to Just A STILL LIFE.

The Story Behind the Story: This is a doozie, and goes back exactly 75 years! My grandmother originally drafted this (originally entitled “Prison Is A Private Place) in 1947, and she set it back then. I made her a death-bed promise, some forty-five years later, that  I’d someday rewrite and ‘update’ it. Which took me another 30 years of on-again,  off-again attempts (as well as the various drafts crossing the ocean and the continent several times with me as I moved to various countries/provinces/states). I only updated it to the early 1970s, though, as I wanted to keep its intrinsic simplicity (no high-tech stuff, most of which I don’t use and can’t abide, including cell phones!) The sequels to this book, all part of the Just (e)State mysteries, are actually prequels going back two years each. Thus, the next book, Just A STALE MATE is set in 1969.

The original manuscript my grandmother whipped up was set in “Straffordville”, the village in Ontario where we both grew up. Well, I was actually two miles out of the village on a small rural ‘estate’, thus the title of the series, interestingly an anagram for Astute Jest, which is rather a running theme through the series. But I still understood very well how villages/small towns function – often with copious amounts of gossip salted with racism and bullying, all stemming from boredom and ignorance.


When we moved to New Brunswick six years ago I wanted to change the setting to this province, give NB more exposure in the literary world because Ontario already has quite a bit. So I reinvented our original flat-lands village, plunked it in the rolling mountains and called it Victoria, my grandmother’s first name. But I also liked the name of Victoria because we live in Victoria County and it suggests an old-fashioned, more genteel time, doesn’t it?




Website: HERE


A question for you before you go, Julie:


What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?

              I think MOST authors feel the same as I do – we love the creative part of planning, plotting, devising and actually doing the writing, for the most part. But the majority of us don’t care for all the revisions, re-writes, re-reads, ‘killing our darlings’, multiple submissions, and all the promotion work!  Occasionally I’ve heard a writer say they LIKE to edit their work, and once in a while I hear someone say they enjoy doing interviews, plugging/selling their books, etc.

         But not very often!

Having said the latter, thanks for this opportunity, Allan – it feels good to do this interview for a NB-specific site, and I hope lots of NB readers will be keen to see how much of their province and its people appear in Just A STILL LIFE (incl. fallen Fredericton officers Costello and Burns, whose families kindly gave me permission to use their names as otherwise-fictional 1970s police investigators).



Sounds like Philip Steele has his hands full!

Thanks for being our guest, Julie. Wishing you lots of success with your novel.




And a big thank you to our visitors and readers.

Don’t be shy to say Hi.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Guest Author Kabishev Alexander Konstantovich & The HYPERPOEM Project.


This week, the Scribbler offers you something different which will appeal to the poets and authors as well as you readers.

Earlier this year, a local poet and friend, Richard Doiron (he’s been a popular guest on the Scribbler, and you can read about him HERE), introduced me to our guest this week - Kabishev Alexander Konstantinovich – who has developed the HYPERPOEM project. He’s going to tell us about the project.



Kabishev Alexander Konstantinovich (K.A.K.) is an engineer, a graduate of the D.F. Ustinov Military Technical University, a poet and writer, an artist of a new direction in literature and art - choism. Volunteer journalist of the magazine "POET", active participant and director of the magazine at the foundation "LIFE LINE OF EVERY CHILD", founder and head of the international creative and cultural project "DEMO GOG", editor-in-chief of the magazine "HUMANITY", author of the collection of short stories "NIGHTMARE", collection of poems "DANCE OF POETRY", the novel "RED CORAL". Curator and organizer of collections of modern prose and poetry "SILICON AGE" (2 volumes), the collection "WHISPER IN THE WIND", the first Russian-Vietnamese collection "DAWN", the first Russian-Serbian collection "FRIENDSHIP". Director of a documentary about the charity "ECLF". Founder and mentor of the world record project – HYPERPOEM. Member of the Russian Union of Writers. The leader of the youth movement of the Russian Union of Writers. Member of the Writers' Union of North America. Winner of the 3rd degree of the international literary award "Not a day without a line". Co-author of many collections and publications in magazines and online media. A number of his author's works have been translated and published in Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Vietnamese, French, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Serbian, Greek, Tagalog and other languages (Russia, the city of St. Petersburg).




Description of HYPERPOEM


The idea of the HYPERPOEM project originated in the summer of 2020. Then, as part of the work of the DEMO GOG group, it was planned to create a large Internet poem with the participation of several dozen authors. However, at that time the project did not receive proper coverage and attention from poets and their readers, so it was suspended for a while. Everything changed in the fall of 2021. When the number of band members approached 10,000, people began to ask about the project and express a desire to take part in it. In light of those events, the project was revived and restarted!

Project idea

The idea of the project is very simple – to connect as many authors as possible within the framework of a given topic: "International cooperation and friendship" to set a world record in the Guinness Book in the direction of: The largest poem in the history of mankind by the number of participating authors (accompanying: by the number of languages in one work). To participate, each author needs to: write a quatrain within a given topic (in their native language or English) and fill out a participant questionnaire. The questionnaire is designed to protect copyright and at the same time is proof that the participant is a real author.


Now more than 1000 authors have taken part in HYPERPOEM (for a record, you need to connect at least 1500). What deserves special attention are authors from more than 50 countries and most of them offered quatrains in their native language!


Now the main task is to collect 1,500 quatrains by the authors, with the subsequent obtaining of a world record, but HYPERPOEM will not stop there. There are already plans to work in the second half of 2022 and continue to connect the authors after the recognition of the record. In addition, after obtaining a world record, HYPERPOEM is planned to be presented as a monument of world literature in Unesco.


Although the current situation in the world remains tense, both against the background of political differences between large and developed countries and regional conflicts, projects such as HYPERPOEM allow authors from different countries to get to know each other, exchange creativity and establish universal friendship on planet Earth. And even though it may seem insignificant now, great things begin with small things. We are for world peace!


Here's the link to the names of the authors/poets who are participating: (4) DEMO GOG | All GOG! Now we have 1236 authors | Facebook



Good luck with your project and thanks for sharing with my readers.

Saturday 1 October 2022

Winter Paths - An Anthology

 Monumental. Remarkable. Extraordinary. Historic. Colossal. (Love those words!)


Winter Paths

An Anthology.


A year in the making and soon to be published

October 31, 2022

 We're anxious to share the good news. 

From the back cover:

Nine writers – Seasonal Collective - from both sides of the Atlantic, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have created a second miscellany of stories.

From the frozen north, across continents, space and time, these stories will mystify, enlighten, intrigue and perhaps bring a tear to the eye.  With a linking theme of winter - in all its guises - experience the warmth of friendly hearts, find companionship and place, encounter battles, uncover secrets, meet ghosts and witness the strength of maternal love.

There’s a story for everyone in this thrilling new collection.

Introduction - Eden Monroe

Snowdrift - Sandra Bunting

Melvin- Pierre C. Arseneault

The Path to Healing - Chuck Bowie

Zebu - S. C. Eston

Marguerite - Angela Wren

The Weight of a Snowflake - Monique Thebeau

The Abyssinian - Jeremy Thomas Gilmer

The Road of Life - Allan Hudson

Click Clack - Angella Cormier

A terrific follow-up to Autumn Paths.

Review of AP by Author Sally Cronin: 

“Although the theme of all the stories is ‘Autumn’ the stories showcase a number of genres including sci-fi, YA, thriller, mystery and dystopian. This provides an excellent collection with something for everyone... and an introduction to genres you perhaps might not read normally. The authors did a wonderful job creating engaging and thought-provoking stories around the central theme.”

 Review by Author MJ LaBeff: 

“The short stories in this collection are a mix of genres, including mystery, romance, historical, sci-fi, and adventure. They share a common theme regarding life’s paths either taken or to be taken. Don’t let the title Autumn Paths mislead you! These snappy, well-written tales are sure to delight no matter the season.”


Read more reviews HERE.


If you love short stories, add this one to your list.

Or add both!

Watch here for more details.