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Tag Archives: Aaron Shook

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

I’m feeling nostalgic today. Remembering times when things ‘seemed’ simpler. I’m positive they weren’t but in retrospect, they certainly seemed that way.

A decade or so ago I worked in an office and one of the few souls there who I honestly felt was a friend used to share his life experiences regularly. It seemed that the funnier or stranger a story was, the more we were pulled into it. He used to toss his hands in the air at the end and say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

We all understood what he meant. No matter how odd life can be at times, truth (it seemed) was stranger than fiction.

I have no doubt the honesty and veracity of his many stories, but I’ll admit that many might seem far fetched to those who didn’t personally know the storyteller.

And that leads me into the real subject of this post…

As I said, I was feeling nostalgic today. I made the mistake of checking my author rank and to get myself out of the depression, I checked some of the reviews…just to see some of the feedback. I ran across a glowing review for Whispers and in it, the reviewer made the comment, “Stallcup did an excellent job of researching thus making the haunting more real.

Whispers

That statement made me smile. I was instantly returned to the time we lived in our previous house…a house that was most definitely haunted. There was little ‘research’ put into Whispers…no, it was more like using life experiences and putting a twist on them in order to use those experiences in a story.

Now, to those of you who don’t believe in haunted houses…I really don’t care. I didn’t believe they were real until I experienced it myself. Even then, it took me a while to admit that what was happening, was truly happening.

I remember trying to tell my father in law about the haunt and he stopped me. “I don’t believe in that stuff and you’ll never convince me that it’s happening.” I asked why and he stated that it “Went against his beliefs and what the Bible says.”

Okay. I can respect that. I told him as much. Then I told him what was going on and you could see him visibly pale. He finally admitted that the physical things had no logical explanation, but he refused to believe it was a spirit. A demon perhaps. Well, thanks a lot pops for upping the stress levels to maximum. :-/

To those who are chomping at the bit, wanting to know ‘what kind of things’ actually was going on…I’ll give you a taste. Whatever ‘it’ was, it had seemed to focus on my youngest son. Slamming doors. Stomping across the upstairs floor. Throwing things. Pushing him in the shower. Scratching down the middle of his back (and yes, drawing blood) where he couldn’t possibly reach. Yelling at him (and his friend) to ‘get out’ of his room. Scratches along the inside of the wall (and when we accessed the space to put rat poison, there was ZERO sign of vermin). Shadows crossing the loft. Electronic things going off and on on their own.

But the activity that convinced me…the first thing I observed? A Dora the Explorer floatie.

We had shut down the pool and the kids brought their toys in. The kids were scattered to the winds for the night and our best friends came over for dinner. We stayed up late and were playing a board game in the dining room when the Dora floatie (that I had earlier tossed upstairs into the girls’ room…I saw it bounce off the bed and hit the far wall) floated OVER the railing then slowly lowered itself and settled gently into my wife’s recliner.

Meh, big deal, right?

My best friend is a heat and air guy. In fact, he had just installed a new unit in our house. When the floatie was slowly dropping straight down into my wife’s chair, his wife grabbed my wrist and pointed, “DO YOU SEE THAT BLANKETY-BLANK FLOATIE?!”

Her husband and Jess both had their backs to the living room and didn’t see it, but Holly and I had a front row seat. Her husband picked it up. “It’s cold. The air conditioner must have blown it down.”

“Dude, you installed that unit. Do you really think it blows hard enough to blow it out of the girls room and over the rail?”

“No.”

I carried it to the top of the stairs and dropped it. It swished to the side and slid into the couch. We tried again, dropping it on edge (even though that wasn’t how it came down) and again, it swooshed to the side. I tried twice more and never could get it to fall straight down…but when it fell, it was easily two to three times faster than what Holly and I saw.

Time went by, my son was harassed and I eventually called our states version of Ghost Hunters…who drove out and had all of their brand new equipment fail at exactly the same time. Although their things would be moved around and they saw and heard some strange things, they couldn’t get it on tape, so it was ‘unprovable’. A second group came out to simply observe. I explained to them that whatever it was didn’t always participate, but since they had ‘minimum’ activity, they declared the house clear and removed the residence from their list.

I had made a few comments on an internet forum and got the standard questions about burial grounds, murders in the house, etc…none applied. Eventually, we moved and the activity stopped. The family who moved into the house were friends of ours and although the wife was informed and ‘looked forward’ to coexisting with whatever it was…she soon refused to stay in the house alone. Whatever it was, she felt it was evil. Duh. Pretty sure we told you that.

Anyway, long story short…there wasn’t really a whole lot of research put into Whispers.  But I’m glad it seemed accurate to those who have experience in the field.

For those of you who haven’t ‘experienced’ Whispers yet, let me know. I’ve got a few audio codes left that I’ll trade you in exchange for an honest review. Aaron Shook did a helluva job bringing this story to life!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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This is HUGE For Me

Pardon me if I make little sense in this post, but I’m pretty stoked right about now.

Paul Stokes just posted a review of Whispers at AudioBookReviewer and it is a WIN!

Whispers

To say that I’m a bit giddy right now would be an understatement.

It’s hard enough to write a story that people might like to read, but to find the right narrator to bring that story to life? I think I hit a home run when I stumbled upon Aaron Shook. Judging by the reviews, those who opted to try it truly enjoyed the story. But to read the review posted by Audio Book Reviewer? Wow…just…wow.

“Excellently written and vividly described in great details.  Although the rape scenes were not vividly described, there is no doubt how vicious they were.”

“A long listen but one filled with twists and turns, action packed excitement and realistic characters. At one time in my life I was a paranormal researcher.  Stallcup did an excellent job of researching thus making the haunting more real.

Stallcup is an author that knows how to tell a story!”

“A well deserved 5 Star rating.”

“Aaron Shook did an excellent job of narrating.”

Yeah…somebody scrape me off the ceiling!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Exciting Week Ahead

This week will be a rather exciting one for me.  Rarely do I have more than one thing going on at a time, but this week I have two things to look forward to.

For starters, the Monster Squad Compendium has been released on Smashwords and should be ready shortly on Amazon. Due it’s size, it will only be available as an e-book or hardback.   It IS nearly 365,000 words.

Rise of the Sicarii - Heath Stallcup

For those who aren’t familiar (and yes, I’ve actually been asked, ‘what is a compendium’) it is the first four books, re-edited, rechaptered and placed back to back…the way the story was originally written.  A complete saga with a new cover, new title and the same great characters in the same story.

My second big thing to look forward to?  The audible edition of Whispers should be made available some time this week.  For those who don’t know, Aaron Shook narrated this story and he did a helluva job! When your story is based in Texas, get a Texan to tell it!

Whispers

I know I’ve said it a hunnerd times, and I’ll say it again, any time somebody else can read my own story to me and leave me wanting more…I know I picked the right guy for the job.  I’m hoping that this story will sell a gazillion copies, if for no other reason than to repay Aaron for all the hard work he put into it. Trust me, once you hear it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So, that’s it really.  It’s a waiting game now. Trust me though…once everything is available, I’ll definitely let you know.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Clean Mouth

The audible version of my first release has hit a serious delay.  Apparently the Producer was simply too busy.  Or perhaps I simply chose wrong.  I can’t say for sure.  After numerous delays in production, the deadline was reached and passed and when I called him on it, he backed out of the project.  I’m seriously hoping that I can convince the narrator for Whispers to pick up the project as he is a much more professional producer…but that’s another story.

Of the few chapters that were posted for my review, my ears caught something I hadn’t really noticed before.  It had been brought to my attention by a few readers, but I always dismissed it as ‘adding realism’ to the military characters.  That something was the prolific use of profanity.  When I first wrote ROP, I never intended for it to actually be published.  It was a pet project meant only for my wife to read and to see if I could actually COMPLETE a writing project.  I based many of the military characters on people I had known in my past.  I tried to write their dialog based on how those guys actually spoke.  I guess that’s why I found it so humorous when one reviewer tore me to shreds because I had ‘the stereotypical huge black guy’…um…excuse me?  He was based on a REAL person.

Yet again, I digress.  So easily sidetracked without my coffee.  My point was, until I heard somebody else read the story back to me, I hadn’t realized just how prolific the profanity truly was.  Oh, an occasional F bomb during times of duress or emotional distress is understandable.  Or to truly emphasize a characters anger, but…ALL the time?  No, this wasn’t going to work.  So, I took a break shortly after beginning the draft for MS5 and began re-editing the profanity from the first four.

Honestly, sometimes it just doesn’t work.  When a guy that I knew tries to say ‘darn’ when it would have been a STRING of expletives?  But, these are characters, not the people they are based loosely off of.  Will it make the stories ‘readable’ for kids?  NO.  Situations happen in Phoenix that still just aren’t appropriate for kids IMHO.  Think Senator Franklin and the redhead in New Orleans.  Some kids, that scene wouldn’t phaze a bit.  Others?  I wouldn’t want to expose to anything like it.

So, that’s it.  Cleaning up the operators mouths a bit, fixing a few minor errors that I saw and then getting it ready for Aaron to read to see if the project is something he can take on.  Should make for a lot better listen when it does come out on audio.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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