Day 22: THE PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY
Day 22 of #scrypthalloween involves my #compilation #novel THE PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY. Here are some facts: 1) the novels included are SOULS 4 SUPPER, DEVIL’S DESSERT, and TECHNO FEAST, but there are also 3 spinoff #books included GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, DEMONIC ENTITIES, and VIRAL UPGRADES. 2) the trilogy was published on 11 September 2014. 3) the #coverart by @dpipito is akin to the style of statues I describe as existing in Atlantis. For the cover however Dan included hints at the content. There is a soul emanating from a technological power source in its chest while other parts seem machine like. There’s a wilted demon wing on one arm and an angelic feathered wing on the other. 4) there’s bonus content that hints at the next book in the series. That content is a list of clones genetically engineered with various traits and abilities. These are only hinted at in this collection so it gives the reader something to look forward to. 5) the book is available in print and digital formats on lulu.com, amazon and Barnes and Noble sites.
Day 2: SOULS 4 SUPPER
Day 2 of #scrypthalloween outs the spotlight on my novel SOULS 4 SUPPER. Here’s an excerpt and some facts: 1) this book placed me on the top 100 author list, 2) it was published on 10/26/12 and is available in print and digital at lulu and amazon, 3) most of this #novel was inspired by experiences I have had at some point in life, 4) I wrote a scene so terrifying that I actually freaked myself out while #writing it. 5) Atlantis, Joan of Arc, Aladdin’s Lamp, Pandora’s Box, JFK, the Tower of Babel, and Veronica Berenice Allred’s all of the historical or mythological elements that play a role in the plot. #authorsofinstagram #book #bestseller #ghosts #haunted #halloween.
On the 4th Day of Christmas…
ON THE 4TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME… 4 Lost Souls…
3 werewolves, 2 vampires, and zombies in a story.
My novel SOULS 4 SUPPER and its spinoff short GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS were both commercial successes for me. I finally got the knack of writing a compelling and intriguing story at this point to paint a clear picture of where I wanted to go. Depicted at the right is a pic that has been circling media and internet for years. There’s definitely something strange going on in it. Do you think this could be a spirit or is it just an odd exposure from the camera?
Order a copy for yourself or a friend. If you want personalized copies then shoot me an email (Rickpipito@hotmail.com), otherwise they can be purchased in print or digital at Lulu.com or on Amazon.
Day 22 – Pandora’s Chaos Trilogy
Day 22 of #scrypthalloween shows my PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY. @dpipito did the cover, which shows a statue with mechanical parts, angel feathers and demon wings, and my version of Pandora’s Box in the center of its chest with an escaping vapor of a soul. The #book includes the #novels: SOULS 4 SUPPER, DEVIL’S DESSERT, and TECHNO FEAST as well as the spinoff short stories: GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, DEMONIC ENTITIES, and VIRAL UPGRADES plus a teaser for the follow up novel.
It is available in print and digital at Lulu, Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites…
official description: Three novels from one of the most fascinating horror series are now together for the first time in one collection. In SOULS 4 SUPPER Gordon Lightcap, Moira Donatelli, & their team of specialists race to prevent the opening of Pandora’s Box. With the #ghosts of thousands #haunting their way into the afterlife, the team must make
sacrifices while attempting to not lose their own lives in the process. DEVIL’S DESSERT takes the team on a new mission to save humanity. They must seek out the truth in order to survive. Where will the human race stand when the ancient battle between #Heaven & #Hell comes to a front on earth itself? TECHNO FEAST takes the threat to a whole new level. A super computer has upgraded itself & taken control of every networked system on earth. Friends must unite with enemies to win back their own creations. The only team capable of destroying the Network Entity are separated and targeted for eradication. They must find a way to victory in this final battle.
Day 8 – Ghostly Hauntings
Day 8 of #scrypthalloween spotlights my short story GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS. The cover picture was taken in a local brewery’s kitchen and @dpipito merged the steam with faces of people to resemble escaping spirits. The graphic novel version of this brought in artists from around the world including Japan and The United Kingdom…..
official description: You’re speaking with your grandfather. It seems like forever since you have last seen him, but your conversation reminds you of being a child again. Then it dawns on you. Your grandfather has been dead for years. As you focus your eyes on him, he vanishes. His absence forces a feeling of dread as your hair stands on end. Available in print at www.lulu.com or as part of the Pandora’s Chaos trilogy at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Day 7 – Souls 4 Supper
Day 7 of #scrypthalloween takes a look at my novel SOULS 4 SUPPER. This was the first book I won awards for and it placed me in the top 25 list of authors. The cover art by @dpipito depicts my version of Pandora’s Box. A majority of the plot revolves around the lost city of Atlantis…
official description: A new beginning has been granted to all humanity. After finding the Garden of Eden, illness and disease have been eradicated. Order has been restored, but when a decisio…n is made to seek out balance, the quest to find chaos begins. As a damned soul struggles to make his return, Gordon Lightcap and his allies race to the lost city of Atlantis. Will they arrive in time to prevent the opening of the legendary Pandora’s Box? What dangers do they face and who can they trust?
Novel is available in print and digital formats at Lulu.com and Amazon, as well as part of the Pandora’s Chaos Trilogy at Barnes and Noble.
Mayhem at the Cape
Cape May, New Jersey is one of my favorite places to escape to for writing and inspiration. I’ve been wrapped up with a few books in process, but needed a little escape, and this weekend was perfect. Instead of staying at our normal place, my wife Roberta was invited to review the Congress Hall hotel. (Check out http://www.homemadedelish.com for her review).
The history in that place alone is amazing, but the town has so much more going on than just that one land mark. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (www.capemaymac.org) has a wide array of tours and events available all year round.
We’ve previously done the horse and buggy tour, but decided to go for something a little more in my realm of writing. I originally intended to do the ghost trolley tour, but Susan Krysiak (director of media relations) suggested I check out the Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour.
This goes beyond just telling about the many haunted tales of the town, but delves into the history of some bizarre rituals and practices that people did during the Victorian Era.
I don’t want to spoil much about the ride itself on the history end, because it is something you need to see for yourself. What I can say is that even if you aren’t a history buff or fan of the weird and spooky, this is a very relaxing and fun half hour ride.
One place I will mention that was the highlight of the tour was the story about the Emlen Physick Estate. I’d always seen the house but didn’t know how intriguing its history was. My next trip to town will definitely include a tour of the estate, which is also run by the same knowledgeable people as the trolley tours.
If you’ve ever been on one of these tours, then please comment below and share your experiences. If you haven’t then make sure to visit http://www.capemaymac.org to see what you’re missing. Feel free to contact their media relations at 609-224-6036 or email@example.com #capemaymac
Think, Sip, Write: Ep 21 – Ghosts and Hauntings
Roberta joins me once again as we discuss what inspired me to write my award winning novel SOULS 4 SUPPER, and its spinoff short story GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS. We talk ghosts, haunted places, and some spooky things.
What kind of creepy stories do you have? Share in the comments below.
The Short Stories trailer
A new trailer is up for my short story spinoffs.
From top 25 author, Rick Pipito, comes 9 short spinoff stories from the award winning Eternal Hunger Saga. Each book expands upon the world created in the novels. Existing fans and newcomers will love what is brought to life here.
The novels and short stories are available at lulu.com in print. On Amazon the novels are in digital, and the shorts are in the trilogy collections.
Feel free to contact Rick on social media @rickpipito or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Dan Pipito for the artwork, and Roberta Pipito for cover assistance.
The novels are: FLESH AND LEFTOVERS, BLOOD THE SECOND HELPING, BONES AT BREAKFAST, SOULS 4 SUPPER, DEVIL’S DESSERT, TECHNO FEAST, GENETIC MORSELS, PLANET ATE, and DEVOURED UNIVERSE.
The Short stories are: ZOMBIE INCIDENTS, LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, DEMONIC ENTITIES, VIRAL UPGRADES, EVOLVED MUTATIONS, ALIEN ENCOUNTERS, and COSMIC ORBITS
More info is at http://www.scryptcomics.com
Day 11 – Ghostly Hauntings
You’re speaking with your grandfather. It seems like forever since you have last seen him, but your conversation reminds you of being a child again. Then it dawns on you. Your grandfather has been dead for years. As you focus your eyes on him, he vanishes. His absence forces a feeling of dread as your hair stands on end.
#scrypthalloween continues with GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS. This spinoff of my novel Souls 4 Supper, was the last graphic novel we published at sCrypt. It is now available in short story text form as well, so for the rerelease you can grab a copy in print at lulu.com or on Amazon as part of the Pandora’s Chaos Trilogy download.
What’s your favorite ghost related item, story, or topic? Post on social media and hashtag #scrypthalloween for a chance to win one of my novels. The more posts the better.
Pandora’s Chaos trilogy trailer
On this past Friday the 13th I released a trailer for the Pandora’s Chaos trilogy. It was a fitting date to do so, and here it is.
Pandora’s Chaos is a collection that includes the novels: SOULS 4 SUPPER, DEVIL’S DESSERT, & TECHNO FEAST.
Also included are the novelized versions of the spinoff stories: GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, DEMONIC ENTITIES, & FINAL UPGRADE.
Bonus content includes 3 new short stories that exist in the same world & a look at what’s to come.
Souls 4 Supper – trailer
To round out the trilogy of trailers I’ve done, here’s the one for SOULS 4 SUPPER. I’ll be working on more with different approaches for the novels I haven’t done a trailer for yet. Enjoy and share!
Interview: PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY
The following is a compilation of some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received from people in reference to my PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY. I figured it was time to post them up as the next book will be ready soon. Enjoy and feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments below. 🙂
Q: How does this trilogy stand out from the last?
Rick: Like the Star Wars saga, I tend to think of this as a starting point for newcomers to my work. Books 4-6 are really well written in comparison to the original three because of what there was to work with. It is a lot easier to be more creative with ghosts, demons and technology (the focuses of the novels in Pandora’s Chaos), than it is with zombies, vampires and werewolves (books 1-3 in the Eden’s order trilogy). I wrote it in a way that anyone can jump in from this as a starting point and when it grabs their attention there would be two reactions. If the reader enjoys what they see here, then it will not only compel them to want to see what happens in the next trilogy, but also what happened before book 4 that established this world.
Q: Are you always writing in trilogies?
Rick: I think that is the most logical approach, yes. I’ve always loved a good series. The problem is finding a part for people to start. Someone might get turned off if they find out there are multiple books and they’re already 6 novels behind. The purpose of trilogy writing is multiple… I can focus on a new antagonist throughout, and have separate threats that are secondary antagonists in each novel. Sure you can read just any individual novel of it, but it really feels fuller with all three. I won’t always write in trilogies, but for this it seems fair.
Q: Where will the next trilogy take us then?
Rick: Into the future. There is a twenty five year gap between books 6 and 7 in order to introduce a mostly new cast. The past novels have happened and there will be references, but only when necessary. GENETIC MORSELS is going to enable me to do more creatively while building on an already existing world, and yet keeping it fresh and new.
Q: What is your take on Pandora’s Box and the whole Atlantis angle you’ve included?
Rick: Without giving too much away Atlantis has always been fascinating to me. There is so much that we don’t know about the history of mankind and I wanted to touch on that. I believe that every legend begins with a certain truth. My own ideas for stories are based on realistic things that have occurred in my own lifetimes, so incorporating that with the past really gives me a lot of working room. There had to be something opposite to the order established with the Garden of Eden in the first three novels, so when I wanted a source for chaos I immediately knew Pandora’s Box would be the thing to do just that. My take on it is completely unique to those prior, but still keeping true to what the original idea was.
Q: With your next trilogy taking place in the near future, what will you call it? What will it focus upon?
Rick: I have a few ideas about what to call the trilogy as a whole, but nothing definitive at the moment. I currently have the rights to my ideas in book 7 and book 8 which will focus on the next step in human evolution and aliens respectively.
Q: Is it impossible to tie up every loose end? There are a few characters who I wonder about their fates.
Rick: Nothing is impossible, but in order to keep new novels fresh I don’t like to include every little thing that may have gone untouched. Take the fate of Cain. I like to leave that open to the reader to have their own thoughts. It isn’t necessary for me to go back to a place I’ve already been without having really good reason. I try to eliminate the reader question of “what if?” as often as I can. Mostly there are no loose ends. Each trilogy ties it up fairly well. For those things I left open, well I reserve them for the comic book spinoffs.
Q: In the Eden’s Order Trilogy there was a timeline and the graphic novel spinoff stories as bonus content. What are the extras included in this trilogy?
Rick: As I did in EDEN, I included the novelized stories that are and will be in the comic book spinoffs, plus three new additional stories. They are all short and are just meant to be supplemental material. Instead of a timeline with this one, I included a “document” that drops a hint as to what the main antagonist (I won’t say who here) is trying to do in book 7.
Q: I understand that you won some awards for this trilogy. What was that like?
Rick: I was blown away. I received extremely positive reviews on SOULS 4 SUPPER and it took the trilogy to new heights. It moved me from non placement on the independent author chart into the top 100… then two weeks later I had been moved into the top 25 of authors. I’m still on an adrenaline rush and am so thankful for all of the feedback and people who made this possible through support and word of mouth.
Q: What is the symbolism behind the cover art?
Rick: When I approached my brother (Dan Pipito) to do the cover art, we discussed how we could represent all three book themes as well as the underlying plot of it all. The look of an ancient sculpture came to mind, with modifications. In its chest you can see what is my version of Pandora’s Box. Emanating from that is a greenish mist that represents the souls within it. If you look at the wings behind the statue one is feathered and one more like a dragonfly. This is to represent the angels and demons. Finally, the sculpture itself is very mechanical looking with seams and rivets in places, which is where the technology is represented. It is a simple piece with many complexities hidden within (much like the mysteries revealed within the books).
Q: Where can we get PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY?
Rick: The trilogy as a whole can be found in print at www.lulu.com, as well as the three novels that are included in the trilogy as separate entities. You can download SOULS 4 SUPPER, DEVIL’S DESSERT, and TECHNO FEAST for the Kindle on www.amazon.com
Day 26: What’s the Deal with the Stick Figures
Back when we were working on the first sCrypt Comics spinoff, my brother and I had been having discussions about how everyone had those window sticker stick families on their cars. It was overkill and I made the comment of “you think they’d do something different.”
A week later, Dan had made sure to have some stickers of his own printed up. The zombie stick family began, and we threw it in the concept art pages as a joke. Now with each installment, we add to the theme another family. I did the ghost one, but still it was fun.
If you’d like your own window sticker, or other merchandise check out our online store at http://www.cafepress.com/scrypt
Day 21: Currently Published Plots and more
I figured since it is getting closer to Halloween, I should make a quick list of the current publications I have and a brief idea as to the summary of them.
FLESH AND LEFTOVERS: While zombie incidents plague the world, the survivors must unite to prepare for a much bigger threat.
BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING: Vampires have been a thing of legend, but throughout history they’ve played an important role. Now a team of humans who have survived horrific incidents must seek out the vampire lord and destroy his clan.
BONES AT BREAKFAST: A sinister villain has evolved into a creature beyond imagination. With his army of werewolf servants and allies, he will attempt to reshape the world in his image.
SOULS 4 SUPPER: The ghosts of countless people roam free in a desperate move toward the afterlife. Can a small group of covert operatives surpass them to prevent the opening of Pandora’s Box?
DEVIL’S DESSERT: Hell’s demons have chosen earth as their final battlefield against the forces of heaven. With humanity caught in the center of this eternal war, they will have to choose their own path toward survival or face extinction.
TECHNO FEAST: A supercomputer has evolved and taken control of all networked technology. With the world at its command, humanity must find a way to combat the threat, by seeking out answers that have been hidden from the public eye.
Non fiction books:
NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS: A lighthearted look at arguing through personal experience will give you a few laughs, might teach you a thing or two, and help better your approach when disagreeing with someone. At the very least, you will know how to deal with certain personalities.
Graphic Comic Books:
ZOMBIE INCIDENTS: spinoff filling in back story of events in Flesh and Leftovers.
LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE: spinoff building on the world of Blood, The Second Helping.
IN CASE OF WEREWOLF: spinoff of events in Bones At Breakfast.
GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS: spinoff stories from Souls 4 Supper
EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY: Collects Flesh and Leftovers, Blood the Second Helping, & Bones and Breakfast, as well as novelized versions of Zombie Incidents, Legends of Vampire, In Case of Werewolf and bonus material.
PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY: Collects Souls 4 Supper, Devil’s Dessert, & Techno Feast, as well as novelized versions of In Case Of Werewolf, Demonic Entities, Final Upgrade, and bonus material.
All of the above listed are available for purchase in multiple formats through the links on the right of this page.
Day 9: The Story Behind the Art
While the stories to the books written by Rick Pipito are the main content, a good cover to the book is what catches the eye. Let’s take a few moments to talk about the ideas behind each cover and the art that Dan Pipito brought to life.
FLESH AND LEFTOVERS has a cover that come into mind over the phone. I pitched my idea for the first book to Dan and he immediately said, “Zombies? Okay, I’ve got it. The cover is a set of teeth tearing into a raw hunk of meat.” He felt that it matched the title of horror and food amalgamation.
For the spinoff comic ZOMBIE INCIDENTS, the concept was mine. I had access to various fake body parts that looked and felt real. In my mind I thought, “What would Hannibal Lecter keep in his fridge?” We set up my spare refrigerator with a bowl of bloody leftovers, through in the fake body parts and snapped a picture. Then Dan put the whole thing through a celophane like filter to give it that artistic touch (after all, leftovers ARE often found wrapped in plastic).
BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING’s vampire theme is evident in the cover. Dan incorporated a lot of the story elements from the book. The city bathed in blood is symbolic, while the shadowy outline of the antagonist’s face is seen behind the large fangs. A pivotal scene from the book is also shown with a reconstructed body rising from the fountain of youth. It’s a very busy (in a great way) cover that keeps with the theme of the teeth from F&L.
LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, the BTSH spinoff comic, was another of my ideas. Wanting to keep the real photograph idea of the first comic, this time we had a friend pose for us holding a glass of wine. The closeup shot of her neck with the wine (which is good for your blood of course) was put through an antique filter to give it an oil painting appearance. Dan added the fang marks and highlighted veins to be more pronounced to give it the “I’ve just been bitten by a vampire” paleness.
BONES AT BREAKFAST is the last in the first trilogy, so it made sense to close it out with a similar theme of teeth. This time Dan had the full snout of a wolf prominent in the foreground. You can notice that the jaw is not as pronounced as a normal wolf, giving it that human likeness of a werewolf in front of a very full moon.
The comic spinoff, IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, was another photograph idea. I gave Dan the concept and he took some bones from a medical office skeleton, threw them on a plate with some prop hair, and added a cup of coffee and orange juice to symbolize the bones at breakfast aspect. Again, he passed the photo through a filter before adding text and finalizing the cover.
THE EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY cover is a simple tree. This is no ordinary tree. Upon second glance, you can see that the bark of the tree is stretched skin like in texture, the branches are in fact shaped like bones, and the red tips where the buds would be is blood. This is to show not just the tree of life from the Garden of Eden (a place we visit in the novels), but also to represent the flesh, blood, and bones from the titles of the included books.
SOULS 4 SUPPER marks the start of a new themed trilogy. Dan went simpler this time. I told him about what my version of Pandora’s Box would look like and that is what we decided for the cover. He added intricate gear and piston layouts, and I told him I wanted souls to be wisping from the top of it like they were escaping. His decision for the textured background and very little color is perfect for focusing on the object depicted.
The comic spinoff, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, came as an easier venture. Dan worked in a kitchen at the time, so when I said I had this idea to have ghosts escaping from a pot of stew, he grabbed the biggest deepest pot he could and took a picture of the steaming contents. Then he added ghostly faces into the stew and steam. The even better part of this is that the faces are actually warped and altered photos of famous people and pieces of art. They are altered to the point beyond recognition, but if you look closely, you may just see something you recognize.
DEVIL’S DESSERT has an intriguing cover. The Crown of Thorns, the Spear of Destiny, and the Sword of Eden are all artifacts crucial to the book’s storyline. Those are the items represented in the two tone cover, with a little bit of orangy-yellow fire coming from the blade.
TECHNO FEAST’s cover was another mutual idea. The main threat of this book operates from a satellite. This satellite depicted isn’t necessarily THE antagonist, but it makes sense once you read the novel. Outerspace in the background with the purplish gasses displayed among the deep blue make it a contrast that is eye captivating.
PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY is another combination idea. The Statue is a way of representing the ancient history involved in the story (think roman architecture). It’s one arm has a broken limb. You can see feathers of what is an angel wing, while a dragonfly like demon wing droops to the other side. It’s face is very mechanical looking, while his heart is Pandora’s Box yet again, but with ghostly energy emanating from it. Souls, Demons and angels, & technology (the focus of these 3 books) are represented evenly.
NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS is the only book by me (Rick Pipito) that does not have a cover done by Dan. The idea here was to represent the turmoil of arguing that the non-fiction book’s topic is about. I had wanted to represent the two sides to one’s own psyche. There is a wavering of opinions that often are quite contrasting without facts. So, I had my wife take a picture of me facing one way with my glasses on and a different hairstyle. Then I removed my glasses, and took another shot of me with some facial scruff. By putting the two of them together and filtering them to look like a blueprint of arguments, it seems as if my two selves are in a dispute with each other. It not only symbolizes some of the times that I’ve struggled to decide what is right or wrong, but also gave me the experience of making my own cover for what will eventually be a trilogy of non-fiction.
In addition to these amazing covers, there is also the few pieces of internal art that work with the stories when they are needed, and then there is of course the comic books which have multiple artists representing the plots. All of the above book covers can be seen in closer view through the novels and comics sections of this site. They are also available through purchase links on the right side of this page.
Be sure to follow Dan on Instagram and twitter @dpipito, as well as myself @rickpipito. Like our facebook page for all the published works http://www.facebook.com/fleshandleftovers.
Day 5: Haunted Origins for SOULS 4 SUPPER
Now that we’ve covered the first trilogy, let’s take a peek at the beginning of the next one. Book 4, which can be read on its own or as part of the series is a great starting point for anyone who wants to just jump in. When I decided to write SOULS 4 SUPPER, I had personal experience and those of others as inspiration.
This book focuses on ghosts, spirits, hauntings and lost souls, and it can be a very controversial topic. I’m not saying I believe or disbelieve in any of the aforementioned, but I do feel that at the very least our minds connect us to a different plane of existence… you can call it a higher power, or the afterlife, or just a figment of our imagination, but something is there.
When I was in grade school, I remember as plain as day being tucked in to bed one night. About fifteen minutes after my parents turned out the lights my grandfather walked in to speak to me in his soft voice. He stood in my doorway at the foot of my bed and silhouetted by the hall light (which seemed very bright) he told me “Ricky, don’t worry about anything. It will all be okay, and I’m always going to be watching over you.”
I was very young, but this stands out in my mind today, even though his facial features seemed distant. The one thing that I thought was odd back then was that my pop-pop didn’t live with us. We saw him maybe once a week and for that hour it was strange but I thought nothing of it and went to sleep. The next day my dad picked me up at school halfway through the morning. I knew something was wrong because he’d never pull me out of school. He wouldn’t tell me why, and when we were halfway down my street I said, “Dad, it’s pop-pop isn’t it?”
His eyes began to tear, and my dad who almost never cries wanted to know why I said that. I noticed he had slowed the car to an almost stop in the middle of the road as he stared at me. When I told him about my visit the night before, he lost it. My grandfather had died around the same time I had the “dream” the night before.
Similar things happened afterwards with other family members, but not quite so distinct. When my other grandfather died I remember seeing his cancer ridden body lying in a coma. He’d been unconscious and we’d all known he was going to pass soon. When I kissed him on the forehead and said “Goodbye” I knew it was the last I’d see him. I felt something in my heart and I swore the corner of his mouth curled upward (almost smiling) but very faint. Minutes after I left he died.
Then there was my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease yet even though she was incoherent in her speech at the end, the last time I saw her she had a burst of coherent speech and knew who I was. It was the end and her body and mind reached out to me one final time.
Okay, so you’ve heard the depressing side of it all, but there is also a good side. When my daughter was 2 months old we went to Jim Thorpe, PA for my uncle’s annual Christmas party at his Bed and Breakfast. We slept in the attic, which is a small library room and my little Lana was smiling in her swing chair late at night. Normally this wouldn’t be strange, but she was doing so and staring in the corner in a way that it seemed she was interacting with someone. I got up to see what she was looking at, but saw nothing there. She stopped smiling when I stood where she was looking and I felt a sudden degree drop in the room. Now the attic is a cold place that time of year and maybe the nostalgia of the antique building, plus the glasses of wine I’d had, were messing with my mind. Who knows?
Later that night I’d woken to use the restroom a floor down and was surprised that there were still people awake. When I reached the bottom of the stairs there was no one there. The voices that I’d heard and the movement in the dim lighting that I’d seen must have been sleep in my eyes. I used one of the two bathrooms that were open, and when I’d exited to return to bed, the other door had closed. There were no drafts in the hall, and no one was in the restroom.
Now again, all of these experiences, and a few others I’ve had could have been tricks of the mind, or a mental state I was in. No matter what it was, the experience fascinated me. I was never freaked out until after I’d thought of it. (I still look forward to going to the bed and breakfast each chance I get). Those personal ties, plus ones of many others I’ve read over the years made me want to write a book about ghosts, hauntings etc. There are many different “stories”, and I wanted to include as many as I could and have it make sense in a larger setting.
Be sure to check out SOULS 4 SUPPER and its graphic comic spinoff, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS in multiple formats through links on the right side of this page. Also, I highly recommend checking out my Uncle and aunt’s place http://www.timesjimthorpe.com. The bed and breakfast is romantic, the owners are amazingly awesome, and the whole town just has that old time feel.
Interview with sCrypt Comics about “S4S: Ghostly Hauntings”
The following is an interview that Rick and Dan Pipito of sCrypt Comics did back in November 2013 for the release of their 4th graphic novel. Feel free to comment and ask any additional questions.:
Q: “Ghostly Hauntings” is the 4th title from sCrypt Comics. Can you tell us what it is about?
Rick: It is a spinoff from my novel “Souls 4 Supper,” and centers around different ghost stories.
Dan: And a touch of other paranormal things.
Q: Who are the artists involved, and can you tell us a little bit about them?
Dan: There are nine artists in all. Mao Estheim is our first international artist. She lives in Japan and has a very classic Manga style. She brought her vision of our story about a haunting hoax, by incorporating heavy influences from Japanese horror films.
Rick: Jacob Greenawalt actually found her for us, and he came back to join us for another round on this one.
Dan: Yeah, Jake has a very crisp line and caricature style to his art. He was able to take characters that we’d already had done in our first comic, and make them his artwork while staying true to what the original design was. His story in this one is actually a direct sequel of the first story I did back in our first issue “Zombie Incidents,” and I was very happy with the outcome.
Rick: Michael A Garard Jr found us through Google Plus, and he has a very comic booky style. He was one of the few artists who did full color this time around, and you can tell he’s very passionate about the genre. He’s also our savior of this issue, and did two stories instead of just one. Both used differing ideas and styles that made them each unique, and entertaining.
Dan: He also did everything in half of the time as everyone else without sacrificing quality.
Rick: Next up we brought back Kelly Swann whose military style art is very realistic and accurate to the eras she portrays. Kelly’s story centered around a genie of the lamp, which I think expanded her area of expertise. As supernatural as it was, she was able to keep it grounded and still hold the magical feel we desired.
Dan: Muhammad Nurul Islam is another international artist. He was born in Indonesia and resides in Great Brittain, so his culture has influenced his talent. What he did was portray a ghost story in a way that was family friendly to begin with, but made it almost feel like you were reading a children’s book, which is what we wanted.
Rick: Joe Parisi is another veteran with us. He’s actually the only one aside from us that has been involved in all four of our sCrypt publications, and his art is ever evolving. I’ve never seen an artist who can stay true to themselves while portraying a wide range of work; until we met Joe. He’s really a pleasure to work with, and is passionate about taking on another of our stories. He even told me he feels like he has to continue stepping up his art because of the increasingly good talent we bring on board. The funny thing is that the story he drew in this one was perhaps the most difficult one to make work so far, and he managed to capture it well.
Dan: Then we have Asher Humm, who had scheduling conflicts and wasn’t able to do our last one, but he was more than eager to come back this time. It’s his third venture with us, and as a professional artist, he has complexities that can’t be easily mimicked. The detail he puts in really makes a six page story feel like a full novel at times, and we look forward to continue working with him.
Rick: Kristie Vanderzee had first choice of stories this time because she’d been our last minute saving grace with our previous publication. With a little more time to work on the art, she did some really cool things. I don’t know how, but she managed to juggle getting married in the process, and found a new job in the comic book world as well. With everything she had on her plate, I’m amazed at the quality and effort she put in. Her final product was outstanding.
Dan: Finally, there is me. I’m just trying to find a style to fit in, so I’m constantly trying new things. I’d like to take my art to a definitive style with comic books, and I feel I’m close to what I finally want to settle upon.
Rick: Dan’s got a lot on his plate with these comics. He not only does a story, but is a consultant to the stories I write, and brings my cover art ideas to life as well. It gets a little hectic at the end with trying to piece it all together, but we’ve been happy with the final outcome, and it gets better each time.
Q: A project of this magnitude often comes across obstacles. Did you guys run into any hurdles along the way?
Rick: Well, we won’t go into specifics, but this time around one of our artists had an unfortunate health issue, and he wasn’t able to complete the story he wanted to do. Thankfully, as we mentioned before, Michael Garard Jr was able to step in at the last minute and do it. Sometimes these things just happen that are out of our control, and for the artist who had the health issues, we only wish that person the best, and hope that we can one day work together again.
Dan: There was also some printing issues because of sizing and boundaries in post production. That was annoying, but we worked through it.
Q: How did the cover art idea come about? How does the cover differ from working on the rest of the comic?
Dan: Rick had the idea to have a kettle with boiling souls escaping in the steam. Luckily I worked in a kitchen at the time and I was able to get a good picture. If you look closely at the ghostly faces in the steam, you might see something recognizable. I incorporated some classic horror face poses into it as a sort of tribute, and fun Easter egg. I like the photographic covers as opposed to fully illustrated. It makes it more of a real item than just a collection of fiction stories. This is also a new trilogy in the novel forms, so being able to introduce a new color palette in the graphic novel counterparts is exciting.
Rick: We were really limited to mostly red colors with the vampires, zombies and werewolves, so now that we’re on to the next thing, it allows our color range to open. Ghosts, demons, and technology leave a lot of room with which to work, and it’ll help make our comics stand out as trilogies (just as the novels do).
Q: When can we expect the next entries in the novels and in the sCrypt Comics graphic novels?
Rick: “Techno Feast” is the next novel in the series, and comes out in March 2014. Then we are going to take some time to get reorganized. Instead of publishing another comic in 2014, we will work on the novel trilogy, which will have those stories in it plus extras. 2015 will be our next sCrypt release. We just want it to be right, and it takes our attention away from our normal projects greatly. Don’t worry though… they keep getting better, and the extra time will allow us to make it even more so.
Dan: “Demonic Entities” is the title right?
Rick: Yes. Our next comic will be about angels and demons, and the “Devil’s Dessert” spinoff will be called “Demonic Entities.”
Q: Do you have a particular favorite story in “Ghostly Hauntings” that stands out above all of the rest in your mind?
Rick: Being as I wrote them all, they each hold an equal place in my heart. I can’t really choose a particular favorite of them all. If I had to absolutely narrow it down, it would probably be the “Dreams” story because it has very important historical ties, and is a key element in the novel.
Dan: For me, I think it’s a three way tie. Rick had chaos as a common theme throughout the book and the comic, and he wanted to see how an artist would portray chaos. So, for those frames, we have Pandora’s Box opening, and each particular artist’s version of what would come out. It is really cool to see a total inventive translation like that, and gives insight into the artists’ minds. They look like they actually collaborated together in some aspects, when in reality they had no contact at all. The reason I chose the story that I did was because Rick based it on events from our childhood, and so it held a place in my mind that sits above the rest. I didn’t want anyone else drawing that story because I knew what I had envisioned it as.
Q: The tie ins you mentioned establish that continuity you mentioned. What really made you take this route?
Rick: I actually hadn’t thought to do it until the stories were already written. It was an afterthought in the storyboarding phase where I wondered how I could make them coexist better. It comes natural to me in novel form. Art is out of my jurisdiction, so I had to think on a different level. I figured that it would help to describe Pandora’s Box contents even better if I could emphasize that chaos in one person’s mind doesn’t necessarily mean it is the same in another’s. I’d like to do more of this with future installments as well.
Q: There is no concept art page this time. What made you decide to get rid of it, after it was present in the first three installments?
Rick: Timing really. The end was a lot of rushing around, and not many of the artists had concept submissions. It takes hours to put together something like that out of cutting, splicing, and finding the correct parts to fit like a glove. We didn’t have time to put together a jigsaw puzzle of scrap art.
Dan: It is unfortunate, but he’s right. We will definitely add that back in to future comics, but we had to skip it for now. The funny thing is that I don’t think we missed much. A lot of the time, concept art is often just pencils of what becomes the final product, so it isn’t like you would have seen a whole lot more.
Rick: The only thing I actually regret about this decision is that we didn’t get a ghost stick family, as Dan did with the previous three.
Dan: Yeah, they were fun. Maybe we will get one for the website though.
Rick: Or maybe we can work on a merchandizing idea for it in the future. I could see a custom sCrypt Comics bumper sticker with the creature family of your choice.
Q: Are there any hidden “Easter Eggs” in this issue?
Rick: Ha! Tons. Dan, did you put any in yours that I’m unaware of?
Dan: No. No hidden penises this time. It was straight cut and dry.
Rick: There are a few hidden items as tribute. The cover as Dan mentioned has some things in it. The sCrypt Comics logo was written into the story in a coffin scene. Slimer, The Wizard of Oz, Evil Dead, Aquaman, and even fitting in our last name, as well as one of the artists’ last names ended up in the final product. I love that kind of stuff for people to look at the detail closely. There are others too, but you have to look for them.
Q: I understand you now have a free online comic as well. Tell us about that.
Rick: When we were kids, we’d read the Sunday Funnies in the newspaper, and wanted to do something similar. So, I began writing “Munchies and Deedoos.” It’s a family friendly thing we post on our site that has a touch of humor and cuteness. A lot of it is inspired by my own kids, so it’s a lot of fun to do.
Dan: Rick told me about the characters and I began sketching the art for them right away. I think it’ll be interesting to see how each artist renders them. I like the smartness with which it was written, because it is relatable to everyone, even if you don’t have kids. We were all children at one point, which is why it is universal.
Rick: We also wanted to stick with what sCrypt is all about, so the two main characters are not human. Munchies is kind of like this slug like alien creature with hair that has a mind of its own, and Deedoos is a robot with a pajama like butt flap that displays gears instead of butt cheeks. The horror of it all comes into play with how the two characters perceive everyday things. Kids have wild imaginations, so you really get to see what a child might be thinking in a really disturbing and humorous way.
Dan: When I heard the name “Deedoos” I immediately thought of the beeps and boops that old computers made, and I knew he had to be a robot. Munchies was actually my niece’s (Rick’s daughter) idea. I asked her what kind of creature she might be, and she said “I think she’s a slug, but not really a slug, and her hair is just like mine.” Her really curly and long hair combined with a slug gave me the instant image of Medusa, but my niece has big bright eyes too, so I added cartoonishly large eyes. With that and how I find the old comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” so simple, yet so intelligent, I eventually came up with what we have now.
Q: So will you work the other artists into “Munchies and Deedoos” the way that you do with the other comics?
Rick: Not exactly the same way, but yes. We’d like to have a different artist for each chapter. It’s a great way for people to get their names out there, and if someone doesn’t make the cut for one of our bigger productions, then they can still have a place here because it will probably fit their styles differently.
Q: One of my favorite features on your site is the “Artist of The Month” spot. Do you only spotlight artists with whom you’ve worked at sCrypt, or is it open to anyone?
Rick: So far, it’s only been people who’ve done work for sCrypt, and I think I want to keep it that way. It makes it a little more special. That being said, however, we are always open to more, so if someone were to send us fan art or wants to get involved to some capacity, that door is always open.
Q: Where can we get copies of sCrypt Comics graphic novels and the Rick Pipito novels?
Rick: The comics (Zombie Incidents, Legends of Vampire, In Case of Werewolf, and Ghostly Hauntings) can be found at www.indyplanet.com, and the novels (Flesh and Leftovers, Blood The Second Helping, Bones at Breakfast, Souls 4 Supper, & Devil’s Dessert) can be found in print at www.lulu.com or for the kindle at www.amazon.com
short story – Ghostly Hauntings
These are stories that expand upon the novel “Souls 4 Supper.”
You’re speaking with your grandfather. It seems like forever since you have last seen him, but your conversation reminds you of being a child again. Then it dawns on you. Your grandfather has been dead for years. As you focus your eyes on him, he vanishes. His absence forces a feeling of dread as your hair stands on end.
**UPDATE: This is now available as a short story in text form in print at lulu.com and on amazon in digital as part of the Pandora’s chaos trilogy extras
Written by Rick Pipito, with featured art by: Dan Pipito, Joe Parisi, Kristie Vanderzee, Michael A Garard Jr, Jacob Greenawalt, Kelly Swann, Muhammad Nurul, Mao Estheim, and Asher Humm.
Artist Story Details:
Joe Parisi returns as a sCrypt veteran artist, and this time, he is illustrating a story about a haunted book where the pages tell the tale of its reader.
Dan Pipito goes back to his own childhood in this issue, and helps to tell the tale of old man Butsy, who murdered his wife. Her spirit will not be happy.
Kelly Swann brilliantly illustrates the story of Djinn, a spirit trapped within a lamp, whose magical wishes are not all that the wisher desires.
Michael A Garard Jr is a newcomer whose art is featured in two stories. The first of which tells about the lost souls and their connection to heaven and hell. The other story takes the main character to a graveyard to investigate why the spirits there are so angry.
Kristie Vanderzee returns by showing us the ghost town of Atlantis after it has risen from the depths of the ocean.
Jacob Greenawalt illustrates a sequel story from issue #1. Detective Hwong has had a near death experience leaving her with the ability to see the ghosts of the dead.
Asher Humm had a one issue hiatus, but is back to show just how close to the spirit realm we travel while sleeping.
Mao Estheim comes at us from Japan with her Mangaesque style in a haunting that may just be a hoax after all.
Muhammad Nurul resides in Great Britain, but this Indonesian native draws the story of a child whose imaginary friend is more than just in his mind.
Souls 4 Supper: Ghostly Hauntings is TM and © Rick Pipito. All rights reserved.
Souls 4 Supper featured on podcast
Aaaannnd in another halloween related post, a haunting from Rick Pipito’s 4th novel, Souls 4 Supper, has been read on the latest Think About This podcast episode. You can of course listen through the Stitcher network, Itunes, facebook, or the podcast site, linked on the name above. Check it out for a ghostly tale, free for your listening pleasure. Feedback greatly appreciated.
Halloween Spotlight: Ghosts
My fourth novel, “Souls 4 Supper,” and its comic book spinoff, “Ghostly Hauntings” center around the topic of death and the afterlife. The stakes are upped for all of the protagonists as the deal with ghostly entities. What kind of ghosts are we talking? All kinds. As with my other novels, i attempted to incorporate all variations of lore and bring about something new, where it can all coexist.
My ghost and spirit world breakdown is as follows in my books…
1) Seeing the dead: Some people with near death experiences survive only to be able to communicate with the lost souls of the dead. They are forever tormented unless they find a way to release each lost soul into the afterlife.
2) Ghost Towns: More than just myths and urban legends, if an entire city’s residents were to die from some tragic event, and their souls are unable to find their way to the afterlife, then their ghostly remnants are left behind to wander. Unfortunately over millennium, they begin to lose their minds, so while some ghosts have purpose, most wander aimlessly, unaware of their former existence or the need to find final rest.
3) Djinns (Genies): These are people who have done something so wrong, that their spirits are forced inside a magical object. The longer their spirits remain, the more powerful they become. However, their powers come at a cost, as it is unpredictable to how their final usage will appear.
4) Children: Up until the age of 5, most human children are able to see ghostly apparitions. They often giggle, and interact with what us adults perceive as them having imaginary friends. In reality, the children aren’t imagining anything.
5) Hoaxes: Many ghostly reports are false. Some people thrive on scaring others by creating spectres, photographs, and tall tales to create the urban haunting legends.
6) Ghosts trying to communicate: Some spirits are trapped here with a purpose. They will not rest until their murderer is discovered. Often these ghosts move objects in our world to try to leave clues for us to find. These spirits often become angered, and frustrated at our lack of perception.
7) Catching Ghosts: Ghosts can be captured by linking the four planes of existence. There is Heaven, Hell, Earth, and the spirit realm. By disrupting these planes with extreme emotion, it is possible to summon a spirit here or make it visible. Then it can be contained through certain uses of EMF (Electromagnetic Frequencies).
8) Dreaming: When we dream, our souls have the ability to leave our bodies. In this state, our spirits travel to different places, times, possible futures, and alternate realities. The reason that we cannot often recall these dreams is because the human brain can’t fully process this type of travel. Our souls are fully aware of what happens even though we may not.
9) Reincarnation: If you were to die, would you come back as someone else? Depending on whether you repent for your misdeeds or are honored for your heroism, tells how those can return. Not everyone is reincarnated. Only a few are given this chance.
10) Famous Encounters: Traveling spirits take a look closely at events throughout history. Veronica Beranice wiping Jesus’ face, Joan of Arc, JFK’s assassination, The Tower of Babel, The Rosetta Stone, Hua Mulan, Bonnie and Clyde, and Atlantis are some of these seen closer in Souls 4 Supper.
11) Pandora’s Box: This fabled box is in fact shaped like a pyramid. Its contents, if opened will spew forth chaotic realms. It acts as a gateway for souls to enter to the afterlife, or something more powerful to exit into our world. Chaos comes in many spiritual forms. It all depends on who opens it.
12) Book of Knowledge: This haunted book will be different for every reader. Its spiritual essence, born of the tree of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden, will gaze into one’s soul and biography their life.
13) Possession: Some spirits are friendly, while others are quite the opposite. When two souls inhabit the same body, an internal struggle begins. Only the most powerful and willing soul will become the dominant entity.
14) Ectoplasm: Ghosts powerful enough to exist in this world will leave behind a gooey residue. This residue will evaporate however in direct sunlight or bright light, which makes analyzing it a difficult task.
15) Wraiths: Wraiths are vampires that die and are unable to pass on to the afterlife. These immortal beings are strengthened and able to return to the real world if they consume enough powerful souls to empower them.
Without going too far into detail, those are some of the ghostly entities in my books. For this round, we enjoyed the bottle of wine shown above. You’ll notice that the comic book cover is in a picture frame. That is because at this moment of posting this, I am still awaiting my final proof copy of the issue. It’s all the same. Here are some of our favorite ghostly things not related to our own creations…
Rick’s favorite video game involving ghosts is Silent Hill. His favorite ghost movie is the Sixth Sense. His favorite ghostly character is DC comics’ Deadman. One of his favorite ghostly books is Philadelphia Ghost Stories by Charles J Adams III.
Dan’s favorite video game involving ghosts is Soul Reaver. His favorite movie about ghosts is Ghostbusters. Lloyd the bartender from The Shining is Dan’s best ghost of the year. Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Dan’s favorite ghostly book.
What are your favorites? Are you a ghost story fan? Grab yourself a copy of “Souls 4 Supper” the novel. It is available at www.lulu.com in softback book and on www.amazon.com for the Kindle. Also, the spinoff comic book “Souls 4 Supper: Ghostly Hauntings” is available for purchase at www.indyplanet.com. Help support our soul sucking.
“Souls 4 Supper” and its spinoff are (C) 2012 by Rick Pipito. Stay tuned for our demon spotlight…