Friday, November 22, 2013

Inn on the Edge - Only Two Weeks Left

In honor of the release of Inn on the Edge two weeks from today, I am sharing an exclusive interview with Angie Taylor, the main character from the novel. Get to know her and see how she's coping today, six months after her life-altering experience with a demon...

Captured by a Demon:
An Interview with Angela Taylor

(The main character of Gail Bridge's erotic horror novel, Inn on the Edge)

- A note from the Interviewer, Gail Bridges:

This is a very special interview with a young woman who has been through a grueling, life-threatening experience with the darker side of the paranormal world. Angela Taylor has agreed to talk with me about her experiences from the Spring of 2013, when she had a shocking encounter with a demon while on her honeymoon at the Inn on the Edge hotel in Washington State. Angela now feels ready to share what happened on her aborted honeymoon, which was simultaneously terrifying and - surprisingly - magnificent in ways she has promised to discuss with me. Angela has been understandably hesitant to speak about what happened those four days last April, and I am honored that she has agreed to speak with me.

- The Interview -

Gail Bridges: Let me know if this is too much for you, Angela, and we'll quit. Okay?

Angela Taylor: Call me Angie. I'll be fine.

Gail: If a question makes you uncomfortable...or if anything gets too personal, you'll let me know?

Angie: Sure. (She laughs.) It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable these days, after what Josh and I went through!

Gail: (Checking her paperwork.) Josh. Your husband. May we talk about him for a second? He chose the place you went for your honeymoon, if I recall?

Angie: He did. The Inn on the Edge. It seemed like such a great choice! He was so proud to have found it. A romantic bed-and-breakfast Inn on the Washington Coast - it had it all. Scenery, the ocean, a cute little tourist town within walking distance. And the food - oh, the food was wonderful. The Inn had everything: free meals, free lessons, friendly employees, other guests to hang out with. Ha! What's not to like?

Gail: Sounds like Club Med.

Angie: (Snorts) Not at all like Club Med.

Gail: Oh? Sorry. Go on.

Angie: It wasn't...(Takes a deep breath)... what we thought it was. (Falls silent.)

Gail: How so?

(No answer.)

Gail again: Are you talking about the Demon? Mr. Abiba?

Angie: (Sighing) Yes. We met Mr. Abiba right away, when we checked in, but we had no idea who - or what - he was. He took a shine to Josh and me pretty soon after we got there, but we didn't know that either! Or else we would have left immediately. We would have been out of there so fast!

Gail: A demon. Wow. You've met a real-live demon.

Angie: (With a far-away look) Yes.

Gail: He must have been awful.

Angie: You're right. He was! (Falls silent, then speaks in a whisper.) And ... he wasn't.

Gail: What? I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

Angie: He was wonderful, Gail. When Mr. Abiba wasn't being cruel ... being a monster, he... he... (She clears her throat.) May I have a drink of water? (Drinks.) Thanks. When he wasn't being the scariest thing you've ever imagined, he would be amazing, generous, kind. He gave us gifts! Thoughtful gifts. He gave me a set of imported brushes for my artwork. He gave Josh an antique guitar. Mr. Abiba could be absolutely marvelous when he wanted to. (She shifts in her seat.)

Gail: How so, Angie?

Angie: You already know this. I already told you about the sex.

Gail: Tell me again?

Angie: Mr. Abiba needed it. He was into sensual energy. Really into it. (She turns thoughtful.) But it was more than that. He loved everything about sex, and he wanted Josh and me and the other guests to love everything about it, too. He wanted us to be free, to share our sexual bounty with each other, all of us. Share freely and generously - that was his mantra.

Gail: Did you? Share?

Angie: We did.

Gail: You had sex with people you'd just met? On your honeymoon?

Angie: We were manipulated. But we did have sex with the others. And we liked it.

Gail: Umm...I can imagine! You had sex with the demon too? Was he a good lover, then?

Angie: No! I never had sex with him. None of us did. (She clears her throat again.) Well, not that way anyway. He didn't participate in the constant sex, at least not physically. He had helpers for that.

Gail: Then, what? How was Mr. Abiba so amazing?

Angie: (Puts her hand to her throat.) See this pendant I'm wearing? It was his. He conceived of it, he made it, he infused it with magic. And he gave it to me, at the end, before everything fell apart. Here, do you want to see it? (She hands me the pendant and its golden chain.) Pretty, isn't it?

Gail: Yes.

Angie: He called it a Tool. They were for his guests to experiment with, to play with. There were a lot of different Tools, each better than the next - you can't imagine! They were kept in special Toolboxes. (She puts the chain around her neck again.) This one is called the Storybuilder Tool. It was amazing, Gail. There's no way you could understand unless you experienced it.

Gail: Oh?

Angie: Mr. Abiba's Tools made everything better, brighter, more exciting. Magic.

Gail: (Leaning forward.) Did the Tools make sex better, too?

Angie: What do you think?

(Interviewer and Interviewee, laughing.)

Gail: So you had plenty of good sex. Exciting, magic sex, hmmm?

Angie: You could say that. (She tugs on her hair.) But not all of it was good. Toward the end there were times when the sex was so intense it was ... scary. Yeah. (She looks at her lap and bites her lip.) Really scary.

Gail: I'm so sorry, Angie. It must have been horrible. Can you talk about when things went bad, when they fell apart?

Angie: (After a long silence.) I'm not sure I want to talk about that. I'm sorry. I thought I could.

Gail: (Trying not to sound disappointed.) It's okay. What matters is that you got out alive, that you and Josh escaped.

Angie: Yes.

Gail: And that you and Josh helped each other through the aftermath.

Angie: That, too. Yes.

Gail: And that the Demon is gone now.

Angie: (Jerking upright, looking over her shoulder.) Is he? What happened to Mr. Abiba, really? I thought he was gone for good ... I thought we'd taken care of him, but now I wonder. (She shivers so violently she shakes her chair.) You know, sometimes I hear things at night. Sometimes I feel a cold breeze and I smell cinnamon - he always smelled like cinnamon, did I tell you that? - and then I'm all terrified again. Terrified ... but at the same time I'm longing to be back there, yearning for those four days at the Inn. Hell! I can't do this, Gail. Do you mind? Can we stop now?

Gail: Of course we can. Of course we can.

- End of Interview -

It is now an hour later. The interview is over. Angela Taylor has left my office, and I'm alone, wondering about everything she told me. I re-read my notes. I listen to the recording I made. I ponder Angie's astounding story, the likes of which I've never before encountered: a hotel by the ocean. A Demon. Magic-infused sex Tools. Wild, wonderful, mind-blowing sex. A demon, destroyed. Wow. What happened in that Inn, anyway?

Holy shit, what a story Angela Taylor has. I stare out of my window.

I admit it: I wish I had been there.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

America's Darlings goes on Tour

I'm proud and delighted to announce my first promotional Book Tour. Today, my novel America's Darlings begins a two-week-long grand tour of book review sites, reader blogs, and other internet destinations. Bon Voyage, my Darlings!

Want a chance to win a fantastic America's Darlings-themed prize, chosen by yours truly? Please visit the following link to see the very cool things I've selected, and to sign up for the giveaway. Oh, and to join the tour!

If you're in the mood, why not give me a shout-out on Twitter @GailWBridges, and a "Like" on my Facebook page?

A huge thank you to everyone! I love you guys.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Remembering to Breathe - Classical Guitar In the Recording Studio

Introducing: The Arvey-Francis Classical Guitar Duo

As many of you know, for more than four years I've been playing in a classical guitar duo with my great friend Mark Francis. It's been wonderful. I've loved every moment of it.

Our first gig - a lovely event in a beautiful island setting

Our goals from the beginning have been to:

  1. Enjoy ourselves
  2. Enjoy the music
  3. Play to the best of our ability
  4. Take lessons towards that goal - individually and as a duo (mostly as a duo)
  5. Not rush to play pieces in public that "aren't quite ready yet"
  6. Get out into the world and play for other people - open mics, recitals, masterclasses, etc.
  7. Record pieces once they're deemed ready by our teacher - who has a very high standard
  8. Put our recordings (live videos) on YouTube
  9. And...make a CD eventually!
I'm proud to say we've followed the path we set out for ourselves. Mark and I have been committed to our music and kept our duo going strong even when life tried to get into the way. We've encouraged each other to go further than we ever thought we could - and we have the YouTube videos to remind us what hard work can achieve. It's taken a while, but we've attained every one of our goals except for the last: making a CD. 

And that goal is closing in fast! One more recording - one more! - and we'll have enough to make our first CD. The time has now come to pull it all together - we have that last piece: the final movement of a delightful Vivaldi concerto. All we have to do is get a good recording of it.

In The Studio

Three days ago, on a windy, rainy Wednesday evening, Mark and I drove to West Seattle to work on doing just that. Kevin Callahan, our teacher, is a gifted mentor and it's safe to say that the Arvey-Francis Duo would never have gotten where we are without him. 

Kevin Callahan with his beloved late kitty, Pounder

Kevin is multi-talented: he is a composer and a software coder as well as a guitar teacher. He also has a great studio. This is where Mark and I headed, hoping we'd come out with a good recording.

It doesn't always happen. It's very hard. The week before, Mark and I had tried to get a live recording: we played the Vivaldi piece over and over and over - but something always went wrong. Twenty-one times something went wrong...twenty-one takes! By the end, we'd exhausted ourselves and just couldn't get it together. So we went back again to West Seattle the next week to give it another go.

Mark and I let ourselves in to Kevin's outer studio, the small room we call the "ante-chamber". We took out our guitars to let them acclimatize to the inside temperature, and began to warm our fingers - which is my way of saying that the Vivaldi piece (concerto for two Mandolins 532) goes at LIGHTENING SPEED and there is no way of playing those bursts of triplets if your fingers aren't at tip-top condition. We ran through the Vivaldi piece several times. After a while, Kevin ushered us into the studio proper.

We sat down in front of a dark cloth. Kevin rolled the camera into position front of us. He turned on the flood lights. And the microphones. He shifted my seat to the right. He adjusted the microphones. And did it again. Then something happened.

"Oh oh," Kevin said.

Mark and I looked at each other. Oh-oh didn't sound good, not at all.

Kevin frowned and poked at something on his computer keyboard. "Hmmm. This isn't right. It's the ______(fill in the blank) on the ______, and it's not doing _____like it should. I'll have to do a work-around with a______and if that doesn't work, I'll try again with the other ______. Damn it all!"

Obviously, I'm not terribly computer literate.

Mark and I waited as Kevin fiddled with the recording stuff. I tried to keep my fingers supple as Kevin downloaded a patch (or something) to repair the sound card (or something). 

 Keeping our fingers supple in the studio

Finally, the faulty programs were repaired. Kevin adjusted the microphones one last time and did several sound checks. He sat down at his console and nodded. Mark and I held our guitars up at the ready and took deep breaths. Kevin raised his right hand - his signal to start playing.

We did. We played six whole measures. Then we came to a screeching halt.

"Sorry about that," I said. "My finger missed the note."

"That's okay," said Mark.

"Start over," said Kevin.

We did. We started over. Over and over and over. Nothing new there. Each time we'd get partway through, make a mistake, then have to give up. In a live video recording such as this, there is no going back later and "fixing" bad notes. What you play is what you get. With every mistake, we had to go back to the beginning and try again. We'd shrug our mistakes off - or try to - and start over with a fresh start, doing our best each time to capture the energy and life that Vivaldi requires. 

Good thing we'd stopped at our favorite cafe, the C&P in West Seattle, for tall full-caffeine mochas right before our session, even though it was 7:30 at night. We needed all the help we could get.

Recording - you can see the miniature Arvey-Francis Duo on the camera screen.

And Finally - Success!

Mark and I played our hearts out. It was take number eleven, and this time we got further...and further...and further into the piece without mishaps. I fairly stopped breathing, it was intense. Would we get all the way to the second-to-last measure, and then screw it up? Would we get through the difficult passage near the end? Would I remember to breathe?

With a slightly-too-enthusiastic final chord, we played the Vivaldi all the way through! We'd done it. We were ecstatic. Speaking for myself, at least. All you have to do is look at the grin on my face at the end of the video to know how pleased and relieved we were to have achieved it.

The YouTube Video 
Vivaldi Mandolin Concerto, movement 3, arranged by Mark Francis 

Our next project: to gather all our recordings, tweak them so that they sound great as a set (with Kevin's help), and make them into a CD. We hope to have it ready for the Holidays.

An apology to Kevin: I know I have the recording scene terminology all wrong. Forgive me?

A bonus: The C&P is the world's greatest coffee shop, in a wonderful old house in West Seattle. If you're ever in the area, stop in and say "hi" to the owner, Pete. Tell him the Arvey-Francis Duo sent you!

A final note: you may have noticed Mark and I are wearing different clothes in the pictures than we are in the video. That's because I took the pictures on the week we didn't manage to get a recording. Bummer!

As always - thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoy the music! If you would like more, here is our duo website: