See a book, buy a book!

The simplicity of the above statement is not a line for a new children’s book, but brought to you by my imagination as preparation for the book signing I’ll be attending Saturday July 13th from noon until 4pm in Havre de Grace at the Spencer Silver Mansion at  200 Union Avenue.

The building, like much of the town, has a history of ghosts.

Another Havre de Grace house noted for its haunted history is the Senecca House.   Dr. Frank Wolbert lived there and on August 15, 1967 died there.  He was supposedly found strangled with his head bashed in after an evening spent with an AWOL marine who stole his car.  Facts about the doctor’s life are vague and mysterious, with even some stories claiming that the eccentric doctor kept a collection of shrunken heads and an alligator in his basement.  The Senecca house is currently home to doctor offices whose employees supposedly often deal with objects disappearing or being discovered in odd places.  When such things happen it is suggested that ‘Frankie’ (AKA Wolbert’s ghost) is to blame.

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Picture taken of the Senecca House during a tour I guided years ago. Notice anything odd about the picture of the old empty house?

Other Havre de Grace tales of murder include the end met by a cab driver on the Havre de Grace back road once referred to as Lover’s Lane.  Plus the town’s ample population of inns often plays host to ghost.

I will be at the Spencer Silver to sign and sell copies of my book Midnight Writings.  Written while I led ghost tours for a local Havre de Grace group, one chapter revolves around regional ghost stories I’ve learned.  Other offerings include fictional tales I devised, such as Recipe For Writing about an author’s quest to achieve good stories and Proof Positive about a collector of items used by murderers whose evil powers may still  hold sway.

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Writer W. P. Rigler’s books of science fiction, fantasy, and horror include Midnight Writings and Stranger Thoughts.

I’ll also have copies of Certain Shadows I Have Known and my newest effort – Stranger Thoughts.  Stranger Thoughts explores the blurred line between horror and humor with sections of fiction, poetry, and quizzes as well as my frightening dating experiences.  Quizzes included allow the reader the identify what supernatural entity they might be dating.

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Joseph Farley whose numerous writings include his newest novel Labor Day, a tale of a strange new world and its stranger citizens.

 

Other writers to be in attendance with their books include Labor Day writer Joseph Farley and children’s writer Patrick O’Donnell of Do Dinosaurs Have Dentists?.

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Writer Patrick O’Donnell, author of the children’s book ‘Do Dinosaurs Have Dentists?’.
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Author Signing Approaches

A month from now it will all be over  A part of the past.  A memory.  Hopefully a good memory.

July 13th there is to be an authors’ signing at the Spencer-Silver at 200 South Union Avenue in Havre de Grace, Maryland.  I will be in attendance with my books, as will children’s book writer Patrick O’Donnell and the imaginative author Joseph Farley whose diverse work includes the futuristic strangeness of Labor Day.image1

Writers will have copies of their work to sell and sign.  There may be some talks too.

 

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Joseph Farley whose numerous writings include his newest novel Labor Day, a tale of a strange new world and its stranger citizens.
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Writer Patrick O’Donnell, author of the children’s book ‘Do Dinosaurs Have Dentists?’.
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Writer W. P. Rigler’s books of science fiction, fantasy, and horror include Midnight Writings and Stranger Thoughts.

 

Happy Birthday Malcolm McDowell

It may be the 13th, but it’s not a Friday.

June 13th is the birthday of Malcolm McDowell.

I have been a fan of his for ages.  I find his acting is mesmerizing, ranging from the science fiction romance of Time After Time to the dramatic intensity of an escape from fascist Germany in Voyage of the Damned.  He has collaborated with such celebrated directors as Stanley Kubrick for the horrors of a futuristic society in A Clockwork Orange and Lindsay Anderson for a dramatic critique of modern society in the Mick Travis films.  His diverse work in continuing series include the comedy Pearl as well as Mozart in the Jungle.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet him at several conventions.  At the last one when I sat down next to him, he commented, “You again?  You’re at all of these.”  I had him sign Never Apologize, a dvd of his one man show about Lindsay Anderson.  When he asked me if I had watched it, I luckily replied that I had and recalled the final scene.  I suppose I satisfied his curiosity, otherwise he warned he might have to quiz me on it.

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Myself holding Never Apologize with Malcolm McDowell.

Rare Monkee Gems

I am not a tremendous music buff.  In fact, most musicians I am a fan of I have come to from interests in other mediums.  I became a Beatles fan after being mesmerized by the Malcolm McDowell narrated 1982 bio pic, The Compleat Beatles.  My enthusiasm for David Bowie began after hearing several film themes, such as the one for 1982’s horror film Cat People which starred Malcolm McDowell.  Notice a reoccurring theme here?

And then there’s The Monkees.

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Michael Nesmith and I at Chiller.

The tale of The Monkess has been told numerous times.   A notice was placed to recruit four multi-talented young men to portray band members.  The zany exploits of the fictional band were covered in a a TV series that ran from 1966 to 1968.   Then with music from the show released as the series ran, the group performed concerts.  At first The Monkees’ songs were written by noted songwriters such as Neil Diamond and Carole King while professional musicians were used to craft the music.  Eventually seeds of revolution were planted (it was the 60’s) and the four members of the band wanted to fashion their own music.

Each Monkee had a personality style all his own (some say linked to/inspired by the Beatles).  Micky Dolenz was the drummer who was a friendly funny fellow.  Davy Jones was the charming heartthrob who incidentally was the reason for Bowie abandoning his birth name of David Jones.  Peter Tork played the naive one.  Michael Nesmith was the intellectual and famous for wearing a wool hat during the series.  He was my personal favorite.  He would go on to create Elephant Parts in which one could foresee upcoming media trends such as MTV.  Nesmith would continue with his music career, notably with The First National Band as well as reuniting with The Monkees.  At one point all The Monkees took part in various reunions, including a TV special.

Showing my age, in my music collection only The Monkees and David Bowie span from vinyl to CDs.  Recently while attempting to get my things in order (perhaps a hopeless task) I discovered a working audio tape player.  Of late, I have been listening to ancient audio tapes.  Last night I selected The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees.  Released in 1968 I believe, the album boasts few songs known from the TV series (such as Valleri) and a greater experimental nod from the group.  One such number is Zor and Zam a simple and direct tale of war called for by the monarchs of a distant land who get no response from its citizens.  The song’s anti-war sentiment seems obvious.   The song and album is a favorite of mine, even though it found little mainstream success.  Headquarters seems one of the group’s major successes with the melancholy Shades of Grey,  Zilch (perhaps one of the first rap performances?), Micky Dolenz’s powerfully sung Randy Scouse Git, and Michael Nesmith’s simple yet directly hummable You Told Me.  The 1967 album is an impressive accomplishment of the group.

Alas today only half of The Monkees remain, Davy Jones and Peter Tork have died.  Luckily I managed to see them both perform.  Jones did so at a Pennsylvania convention I was at and seemed very pleased amongst his fans even though there was a dismal turn out.  I got to see Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues perform at a Maryland club.  Considering the band name, it’s no surprise that of the many song styles featured in the set, the blues dominated.   Afterwards when I got an album and his autograph, I misspoke the title of a TV series he had guested in.  I think I said Queen of Kings instead of  the King of Queens.  Thus we both had a laugh.

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Peter Tork and I at Club 66 in Maryland.

Written Works of W. P. Rigler

I have been writing for some time.  In school my meager tales managed to catch the attention of some fellow students.  I even remember one retrieving  a story abandoned in a trash can.  Things seldom change, eh?  Perhaps popularity has eluded me but I have produced a number of books available…somewhere.

The collection of W. P. Rigler books is mainly comprised of anthologies.  The first was created when I grew tired of rejection letters stating the story was well written and original.  The letter would then continue with reasons why it just wasn’t right for them.  Now you can judge for yourself.

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SUMMONED SECRETS was my first anthology attempt.  Published at the start of 2012, its eighteen stories were born of such genres as suspense, horror, fantasy and science fiction.  My humble selections for best story offerings within include…

Bad for Business – An unscrupulous self proclaimed medicine man roaming the wild west meets an unfortunate fate when he is offered a wagon ride.

A Sin’s as Good as a Change – A police officer on an alien world investigates a murder which leads to an ancient plot.

Hot Times at the Horse Hoof Hotel – A mysterious stranger offers sisters at a run down desert hotel an offer that cannot be refused…at least one of them can’t.

The Whitechapel Wagers – A game of cards has sinister implications.

The Infinite Killer – When a man is disappointed in alternate realities can he kill himself?

Also included were twelve poems, reflecting my interest in the afterlife, fantasy, and just the bizarre in general.

MIDNIGHT WRITINGS from 2015 centered more on horror and suspense.

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The stories included…

PROOF POSITIVE – A collector of items with horrific histories learns there might be more to his newest aquisition than meets the eye.

THE CUSTOMER – A bartender is quite fed up with a talkative client.  So much so that death might be the final statement.

BLOOD RITES – A man with a link to the Jack the Ripper murders is transformed into a vampire.  The short story version of my book Terror’s Taste.

For a change, this time I also threw a few articles into the mix.  They dealt with my monstrous mini-adventures in the world of filmmaking (in brief appearances I’ve portrayed both zombie and vampire – I preferred the later as there was no bloody makeup used plus I had a line!) and my time leading ghost tours in Havre de Grace.  Plus I reminisced some about my previous writings.  Seem familiar?

TERROR’S TASTE – Centers on plots to control the world dating back to ancient Atlantis.  One ritual includes the Jack the Ripper murders, and when a man involved with one of the murdered prostitutes is transformed into a vampire, a quest for bloody vengeance is unleashed.  There are more characters and subplots at work then in the short story version contained in Midnight Writings, but at around a hundred pages it is still a fast read.

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CERTAIN SHADOWS I HAVE KNOWN – A hit man is dubbed a shadow stalker for his willingness to carry out a gangster’s supernatural contracts as prescribed.  The hit man doesn’t believe in the paranormal, but that changes after the surprising revelations of his last kill.  I am quite proud of the work, but at a hundred and twenty pages it is further proof that in both writing and reading matters I am a literary sprinter and not a literary marathon man.

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STRANGER THOUGHTS – My newest work again combines short story and poetic offerings.  Short story offerings include…

Within the Water – A husband can’t get over his wife’s death at sea and experiences odd sightings in his new house’s pool.

Wicked Reign – A small western town is the threshold of a curse and monsters.

Buried Treasure – A pirate’s chest contains more then plunder, horror waits within.

Her Car – A murderer can’t seem to escape the judgement of his killed wife’s car.

Forbidden Visions – A writer’s study of a mysterious book involves a missing woman and a late mystic whose cult supposedly actively lingers on.

Plus Stranger Thoughts contains a section entitled The Ultimate Guide to Dating While Avoiding Supernatural Menaces which combines my true life dating experiences with a humorous history of dating.

Summoned Secrets and Midnight Writings by W. P. Rigler can by ordered via lulu.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/wrigler

Certain Shadows I Have Known by W. P. Rigler and Stranger Thoughts by W. P. Rigler can be ordered via Amazon or from their publisher Rowanvale Books.

https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/certain-shadows-i-have-known

https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/stranger-thoughts

Happy Halloween Officer Depp

While Johnny Depp may not be the first actor thought of at the mention of horror films, he has starred in two movies of supernaturally mythic proportions.  FROM HELL deals with the Jack the Ripper murders and SLEEPY HOLLOW finds him facing off against the headless horseman.

Depp makes a memorably heroic lead in both tales.  He first came to prominence as a star of Fox’s TV smash 21 Jump Street, in which he starred as an undercover police officer fighting crime in high school. After the series he became a leading man of offbeat films.  He is certainly a favorite of fantasy director Tim Burton, with which he has collaborated often and had a number of successes.  While I’ve never been a huge fan of Depp, he has starred in a few movies I liked greatly.  One is the 1995 black & white western Deadman.  In that movie he portrays an Easterner out of his depth after a smoke strewn train takes him west and on the run as a fugitive.  The memorable supporting cast includes Lance Henriksen, John Hurt, and Robert Mitchem.

While Halloween is many moons away, I recently watched and enjoyed Sleepy Hollow.  From director Tim Burton, the film is based on the story by Washington Irving which tells of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane’s journey into the colorfully leaf strewn autumn New England countryside.  There certainly is plenty of color in this movie, especially blood red.

While the story of the legendary ghost seeking a head stems from Irving’s pen, Burton reinvents much of the tale for the film.  Ichabod is still slightly awkward, but is now a police constable instead of a meek school teacher.  The Headless Horseman’s origin is revealed and actor Christopher Walken revels in the horrors the specter unleashes as well as engaging in exciting swordplay.  A copious amount of magic and mystery is added.  The special effects are tremendous as a world of dreams (or nightmares) is conjured.  I liked it.

There are several versions of the long lived tale.  I must admit a definite fondness for the  1980 TV film version starring Jeff Goldblum. There’s no digital effects, but the simplistic story is well served in its family friendly rendering.  It retains a scary atmosphere.

And then there’s From Hell.  Once again, Depp stars as a police officer.  This time he is residing in London’s Whitechapel district when the Jack the Ripper murders occur and must be dealt with.  The film is based on the comic book series and deals with theories attached to the mysterious murders.  There is enough blood and mayhem to label it for adults.

It’s interesting that both films transpire in the autumn.  The ideal time for a mysterious murder?

Well if you want to indulge in a fictional murder for Fall, these are two good bets.  Until then, happy Halloween.

 

Enter Stranger Thoughts

Today is the day.  It’s the release date of my book, Stranger Thoughts.

This book is a bit of a change for me.  For the first time I am recording true life experiences in reflection for my humorous section entitled The Ultimate Guide to Dating While Avoiding Supernatural Menaces, which includes a history of dating as well as helpful quizzes.  Poetry and short stories are also included in Stranger Thoughts.  Previous writing efforts have included anthologies mixing suspense, horror and science fiction.  My longer tales have been a blend of genres but mainly horror.  However , even my longer works have measured in at under 150 pages.  I suppose I bore easily so I’m a literary sprinter, both in regards to writing and reading.

The stories of Stranger Thoughts include…

Within the Water – A husband can’t get over his wife’s death at sea and experiences odd sightings in his new house’s pool.

Wicked Reign – A small western town is the threshold of a curse and monsters.

Buried Treasure – A pirate’s chest contains more then plunder, horror waits within.

Her Car – A murderer can’t seem to escape the judgement of his killed wife’s car.

Forbidden Visions – A writer’s study of a mysterious book involves a missing woman and a late mystic whose cult supposedly actively lingers on.

Stranger Thoughts can now be ordered via publisher or at Amazon.  Enjoy.

https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/stranger-thoughts