About the author:
Vanessa lives out on Long Island with her evil cats; Lama and Sombrero, and her more evil partner, Erin. Vanessa is a former chef and lawyer who now writes science fiction and romance while teaching English Composition. She has published 2 collections of poetry with The March Street Press. Her work has recently been in Silver Blade, Veil, Aphelion, The New Renaissance, Contemporary American Voices, and A Generation Defining Itself anthology. Vanessa edits the Abramelin Poetry Journal. She has been nominated 3 times for the Pushcart Prize. Vanessa enjoys watching cheesy movies, cooking, gardening, and Star Trek!
What inspired you to write your book?
A love for scifi the paranormal and romance.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Elaine really enjoyed the mornings. She got up long before her roommate and most of the others in the dorm. She usually took the time to go down to the lounge and read or work on her equations. This was the only chance she had to find some peace. During the rest of the day, and late into night, the television and games would be blaring. That was when she stayed in her room and studied. Even if her roommate, Jill, was there listening to music, it didn’t bother her studies too much. No, the only time she wanted serious quiet was when she was reading for pleasure like she was this morning. It just so happened that the pleasure reading she was doing was about the greatest unsolved problems in mathematics. As a theoretical math student, Elaine dreamed of one day solving one of these great mysteries. She looked at them in the same way that most of her classmates looked at romances or mystery novels. The equations were a passion, an adventure, and a mystery all wrapped up in one for her.
The only sound was the gentle hum and whoosh of the laundry machines off to the side of the student lounge. She had put her laundry in before she sat down on the couch with her book. She set the book in her lap for a moment and glanced around the room. She had the strange feeling that she was being watched. She had this sort of feeling often, however, and since the room did appear to be empty, she dismissed it and dove right back into her book.
It was late October of her Sophomore year at Ohio University. In fact, it was October the 30th: the day before Halloween. This did not mean very much to Elaine. She had enjoyed the holiday as a child well enough. She just didn’t really care for the adult version with the sexy cat or nurse costumes. She didn’t understand why that was so cool. To her it was just another excuse for people to swill beer and ‘hook up.’
The school year was going well enough, though sometimes she wished she didn’t have a roommate. Jill wasn’t so bad she guessed, especially since she spent a lot of nights out, but she was a little too social sometimes for Elaine. On mornings like this when she had time to herself she thought maybe it was good to have a social roommate. The balance was healthy for her. At other times, when Jill had a large group of people crammed into her dorm room, she had a much different opinion. Jill’s parties never created any sort of balanced equation. During those times she often went for long walks. The area around the university was beautiful, and Elaine had always really loved the fall. Some of the trees still had their golden and red leaves, though some were already bare. The air was crisp and clean. It filled her with energy and the feeling that anything was possible. She wasn’t sure what she might do, or even try to do, but she had the feeling that whatever it was, she could accomplish it. Sometimes she even imagined that something would fall from the sky and hit her over the head like Newton’s apple on one of her crisp autumn walks. It seemed more likely, at any rate, than inspiration falling from the dusty pipes that gurgled over her head in the laundry room.
Elaine was deep into her book. She was lost in a dark forest of equations that she could not penetrate. It was as if she was living with a group of peasants and rebels, hiding from a pack of bloodthirsty knights who had burned them out of their village. It was easy to take refuge in the heart of a primal forest, but once inside, sometimes it was impossible to get back out. Her calculus teacher had warned her about this sort of obsession in high school, telling her stories of his own years of obsession as a young man. Since he seemed more than a little ‘eccentric,’ Elaine tried to take his advice. Everything was, she reminded herself, all about balance. She did not want to turn out like Mr. Adams, no matter how kind he was to her.
She suddenly had the feeling again that she was being watched in real life. It returned in a jolt ten times more powerfully than before. Her stomach did a somersault, and she peered over the edge of her book to see Jill standing by the doorway, accompanied by her boyfriend, Mike. Elaine didn’t need to look at her watch. She knew it was still before 8 a.m. In fact, she was 90% certain it was between 7:45 and 7:50. What was Jill doing up so early? Forget about Jill. She had never seen Mike up before noon. Now Mike’s two friends, Travis and Jake, poked their heads into the lounge as well. They seemed to be attached to Mike like two moons orbiting a gas giant. She held herself back from laughing at her choice of words. Mike truly was a gas giant. He wasn’t fat, but he was filled with hot air. He had an opinion on absolutely every subject, and he was right about all of them.
Travis had shaggy and dirty blonde hair. He was tall and thin and the more adventurous of the two moons. He went right to the sofa and plopped himself down next to Elaine. “What’s on?” he asked. He didn’t wait for an answer before he followed up with, “Where’s the remote?” as he grabbed it from the arm of the sofa and began surfing through the channels.
Elaine didn’t answer. Now Jake came in and began messing with the arcade games against the side of the room. One of them had a blue gun you used to shoot at monsters or something and he was pointing it all around the room firing imaginary lasers. Jake was something of a mystery. He almost never spoke. Sometimes she thought it was because he was too intelligent for Mike and Travis, and sometimes she worried that he was psychotic. Whatever the answer, he had the darkest eyes, almost black, that seemed to burn at times with fire. Finally, Elaine’s nerves took over and she asked Jill, “What’s going on?”
Jill only responded with a sly grin. It was Mike who answered, “We are going on an adventure, and we want you to join our expedition.”
This was curious, especially the way he phrased it. Elaine had learned over the past two months that you could always count on Mike to choose his phrasing carefully. Still, she didn’t take his bait, but waited instead for an explanation. He seemed only mildly disappointed at her silence, and pressed right on to tell her, “We are going on a Halloween adventure – the five of us.”
Elaine panicked for a moment. She thought of going back to reading to hide her face and pretend that she hadn’t heard what Mike had said. Instead, she closed her book and set it in her lap. She looked up at Jill, who was again grinning slyly at her. Jill said, “Come on, Elaine, it’ll be fun.”
“Where are you going?” Elaine asked her.
Jill said, “We are going to an Indian burial ground.’ Then she made an “Ooo” noise like a ghost.
Mike corrected her at once, “It’s a Native American mound structure built around 1000 B.C.”
“Why do you want me to go?” Elaine asked.
Jill said, “Oh come on, Elaine. You can’t leave me alone all day with these three maniacs. Please. I promise you’ll have a good time.”
Elaine thought about it for a moment. As events went for Mike and Jill this one actually sounded pretty interesting. She had not visited any of the parks with the burial mounds yet. She knew there were quite a few of them within driving distance of campus, and since she was from across the border in Pittsburgh, she hadn’t been to them on any high school trip either. Elaine turned Mike and Jill down most of the time when they tried to get her to do things with them. If she accepted this one it would buy her a lot of future refusals. She stood up, put her book in her backpack, and told Jill, “All right. I’ll do it. when are we leaving?”