Author Marie Gilbert is a member of South Jersey Writers Group
Stories: Where Are You Zeppie? and The Night of the Attack
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in South Philly, but my husband and I moved to South Jersey after he retired from the Philadelphia Fire Department. I’m retired from the Academy of Natural Sciences where I was the manager of the Changing Exhibit Hall and the Birthday Party Coordinator, along with being a part time staff in Outside-in, Mummy Expert and Diorama carts manager. When you work at a museum, you wear many hats and that’s a load of fun. I have nine grandchildren who pull me into their many adventures and I return the favor by dragging them into many of my wacky trips. If I’m not with the kids, I’m usually on a ghost hunting escapade or I’m at a Steampunk Event. My husband Dan, tells me that since I’ve retired, he hardly ever sees me. I also advocate for UNICEF and Somaly mam against human trafficking and last year I became a member of the Zombie Squad. Life is never dull.
What got you interested in writing and when did you start?
I know exactly when and where I was when the urge to write, hit me. I was around eleven years old and accidently saw a documentary on television showing what would happen if an atomic or hydrogen bomb was dropped on the populace. Now you have to understand I was the type of child that always questioned authority…not the smart thing to do when you’re born into a strict Italian family or when you’re in a Catholic school run by nuns. I not only drove my parents crazy, but had enough detention slips to wall paper the entire house.
At school, we would have monthly bomb drills, and were instructed to hide under the desk in our classroom. With our arms around our heads, we were lulled into thinking we were safe…yeah, right! My parents didn’t know that I was watching this documentary and what I saw that night frightened the hell out of me…and the only way that I was able to cope with this nightmarish truth was to write poems…scary poems.
What type of stories do you enjoy writing?
Well on my blog site, I write about the grandchildren, ghost hunting, Steampunk, and family trips, but mostly the blogs are meant to be funny and entertaining. My stories, however, are dark and consist of horror, Sci-fi, paranormal…seasoned with Zombies, Demons, Angels and Aliens as the main characters.
I’m writing a graphic episode called Lilith’s Escape that you can find on my blog: http://gilbertcuriosities.blogspot.com along with the interviews I do of people, places and events. This year, thanks to another awesome writer, Glenn Walker, I was asked by Andy Burns, the Editor-In-Chief of Biff Bam Pop! to write a weekly review of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. You can find my reviews of this show on my blog site and on www.biffbampop.com and click on my name. I’m editing book one of my paranormal, sci-fi, romance trilogy, Beware the Harvesters, which I will submit soon and I have a two part Zombie novel in the hands of a publisher for consideration. Wish me luck.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
Newspapers and the news stations…it’s a very scary place out there and sometimes, real life can be much more frightening than any vampire or ghoul. “Beware the Harvesters” book one of my trilogy was started in response to a horrible story I had read on human trafficking where very young children in Russia were being used for sex by business men from here in the States.
Why did you pick these particular stories for our anthology?
Well “Where are you Zeppie?” is a very funny story from my blog about what happens when people ask you to join the many Facebook online games. The other is an off shoot horror story from the novel that I'm working on and is called “The Night of the Attack and it’s about…well…you’ll just have to buy the book. Can you tell that I’m the marketing person, too?
What advice can you give to our readers who are interested in writing and getting their book published?
Never give up on your dream. Write what you know…but keep an opened mind. Don’t be afraid to submit your work and even a rejection can be a learning tool.
Is it important for new writers to join a writer’s group and why?
Oh my goodness, yes! You learn so much by allowing your work to be seen. I would have never started a blog if Amy Hollinger, our illustrious editor, had not urged me to write about the funny stuff that happens in my family. Everyone of the members of our writing group South Jersey Writers Group, are talented and caring people who take their time to guide and help each other through the ups and downs of being a writer. This year Amy Hollinger asked me to assist with the editing and marketing of the short story anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, and it's been one hell of a fun ride, and such a valuable learning tool.
You can find me at these sites:
Biff Bam Pop!: www.biffbampop.com