Author Alathia Paris Morgan Explains a Historic Mystery: It was Zombies!

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To warm us up going into February which is Women in Horror Month, I got to chat with author Alathia Paris Morgan. I picked up her book Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster after I saw it on twitter and it was recommended in a Facebook group I belong to. Not only was it a great read, but it explained a question about history that has always bugged the heck out of me: how did no one see the giant iceberg that sank the Titanic? Well, Ms. Morgan has given me the most plausible explanation yet, it was zombies of course! Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 8.02.36 AM

Knowing the story of the Titanic, tension was already high before I began to read, but then the author twists the screws and I could not stop reading, I had to find out what happened. I even found myself googling facts about the Titanic to try and guess if my favorite characters would have a chance at survival! Zombie outbreaks are pretty intense when you can run away, but try that on a ship at sea and see how far you go and how long you survive! Now I’m questioning a variety of other historic disasters and I think I’ll blame zombies for a vast majority of them.

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Alathia, I am so excited to have found your work! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I’m an avid reader. I have about 4k books and have always dabbled in writing. With three children and a hubby my life got crazy busy. I started Avon as I finished college and it was a great way to be flexible with kids and make money for us. Then some unexpected life changes happened and I realized that life was short, I couldn’t wait to become a writer when I retired. I had stories that needed to be told now. So I started during a NaNoWriMo camp in April of ’14 and I finished it after the July camp. Since then I’ve been writing and learning a lot and hope to continue writing because I keep getting more ideas with every story that actually gets written.

Life has a way with us, doesn’t it? What led you to pursue writing?

I had written some in high school, but the need to write wasn’t there. Now, I have to write because the voices in my head need to find a way out onto the page. Some stories jump to the front wanting urgent attention while others wait quietly until it’s their turn. So this is why I’m a writer because the world so obviously needs one. (Wink Wink) 😉

Well, I for one certainly enjoyed your story and look forward to reading all the others. What genres do you write in?

So, the two genres I write in are zombies and mysteries. I hope to branch out as time goes on into other areas.

Two of my favorite genres! What about the zombie genre intrigues you the most?

While the zombie thing has been done a few times, I wanted to give zombies a new twist. Put some reality into the end of the world, where are all the children? What happened to the military? Why are there no babies born? Or are there?

Sounds intriguing!

Your book “Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster” is brilliant! Where did you get the idea for the story?

My daughter loves Titanic and she said, “Mom wouldn’t it be fun if there were zombies on the Titanic?” So I asked if I could use her idea and it took about six months to get it right. Along with watching the movie for atmosphere while writing, I’m good with not watching the movie for a few years.

I could see your story being made into a movie. Do you hear that Netflix or SyFy? Zombies. Titanic. Need I say more?

I keep a running tally of things that scare people so I have ideas on how to spook readers. What kinds of things scare you?

Unlocked doors. Unexplained noises.

Thank you! Filed away.

What’s next for you?

I am working the 3rd book in my Nova Ladies Adventures for Nano and I have the 2nd book in the Against Zombies series featuring the Military.

Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

Alathia Paris Morgan Stalker Links:

Author page: www.facebook.com/apmorganbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/alathiamg

Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1442476186066361/

Book Launch: https://www.facebook.com/groups/533488213404927/

Website & Newsletter signup: www.alathiamg.wix.com/books

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8611387.Alathia_Paris_Morgan

Thank you so much Alathia! Keep the books coming and have a happy Women in Horror Month!

Until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights!

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Did the Supernatural Affect History?

The first week of July is when I get to celebrate two holidays, Canada Day and America’s Independence Day, the 4th of July! Why both? I’m an American, who was expatriated to Canada during my childhood and then repatriated during my teen years. I have family and friends in both places, so I celebrate the 1st and the 4th!

The U.S. and Canada are pretty good buddies, and some Americans are eyeing it as a good place to resettle these days, but did you know that America and Canada once went to war? Well, to be accurate, it was war with Great Britain, but Canadian and Native-American troops participated with the British effort against the United States for 32 months.

Catalysts of the War of 1812 were British attempts to limit U.S. trade, the Royal Navy’s impressment (forcibly taking American seaman into their naval service) of sailors, and America’s growing desire to expand her territory to the north. In fact, at the very beginning of the war, America launched a failed attempt to invade Canada! Can you imagine star-spangled maple leaves?

What does that have to do with the usual weird things and things that go bump in the night on this blog, you ask? I’m getting there.

Perhaps one of the most shocking incidents of this war came in August of 1814. A British force led by Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn overtook and occupied Washington, D.C. It is the only time in history that the U.S. Captial has been occupied by a foreign military. They burned most of the city, including the White House and other government sites. A dark day for Americans, but before you take up pitchforks and head north, understand that the attack was spurred in part as retaliation for the American destruction of Port of Dover in Ontario, Canada. Tit-for-Tat, the usual business of war, but I digress.

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Rear Admiral George Cockburn. Behind him is the US Treasury and Capital Building in flames.

Here, my friends is where things get juicy.

Perhaps a coincidence, or supernatural divine intervention, the occupation would only last 26 hours.

While the invading troops were busy setting fires, the skies began to turn dangerous. The

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Tornado*

gathering storm clouds blotted out the sun plunging the city into darkness. The blackened sky came alive with lightning and sheets of rain began to fall. The howling winds joined forces in a swirling tornado that ripped through the center of the town headed directly for the British on Capitol Hill. The tempest picked up cannons, tore buildings apart, and tossed trees aside like toothpicks. The torrential rains continued for two hours, dousing all the fires. Several British troops were killed by flying debris or crushed by toppling buildings. In the wake of the storm, the British withdrew from the city and returned to their ships that had also been ravaged by the storm.

Many American commentators at the time saw it as divine intervention and favor for the U.S. They invoked stories from the Bible for comparison, such as in the book of Joshua. God hurls hailstones at Isreal’s enemies during a battle, killing many. The British would disagree with that assessment. As reported in the meteorological book Washington Weather:

As the British troops were preparing to leave, a conversation was noted between the British Admiral and a Washington lady regarding the storm: The admiral exclaimed, “Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?” The lady answered, “No, Sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from our city.” The admiral replied, “Not so, Madam. It is rather to aid your enemies in the destruction of your city.”**

Tornadoes are a rare occurrence in Washington, D.C. Since the storm of 1814, that spawned three tornadoes, I can find data on only seven other reports. Do the math, that’s a total of eight tornadoes in the past 200 years or so!

Coincidence? Proof that God loves the U.S.? A show of favor for the British? Meddling from something/someone else? Maybe God just hates to see his kids fighting, and he sent everyone to their room. You will have to come to your own conclusions. This may not be as weird as some of the stuff I write about here, but any way you slice it, it was a very strange occurrence.

For me, it’s a good reminder that there are forces that all mankind is subject to. Powerful militaries or not.

Happy Canada Day! God Save the Queen! God Bless the U.S.A., and may we always remain friends.

Happy 4th of July everybody.

fireworks

 

* Photo by Justin1569 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5943918

**“NMAH | The War of 1812.” Accessed July 3, 2016. http://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/the-war-of-1812.aspx.

Florissant Pioneer Cemetery

I’m very fortunate to live where I do. The Rocky Mountains are like old friends who have watched over me and mine since before I was born. I love to be outside in the mountains, smelling the pines, listening to birds sing, and watching the wild life do what it does. I don’t even mind it when our elementary school has a mountain lion or coyote dismissal. For the uninitiated, that’s when one of these predators is lurking near school and kids are not allowed to leave for home without an adult. No worries, we are in their backyard after all.

I’m especially found of driving or hiking off the beaten path to see what treasures nature might hold for my efforts. Sometimes its a spectacular view, a hidden lake, a mysterious mound that looks like it might be a grave, or perhaps a long forgotten cemetery (you knew this had to take a dark turn!).

The most recent cemetery I explored was with my ever patient husband on our way to a kid-free night out, a rare occasion indeed.

We decided to take a long drive on a road we had never taken to finally end up in Cripple Creek for dinner and a little gambling. Our trek took us through Florissant, Colorado where I spotted a humble sign pointing the way to the Florissant Pioneer Cemetery. Dinner and later-regretted-money-loss would have to wait.

We always treat any sight like this, no matter how long abandoned, with the utmost respect. We are careful not to tread where we shouldn’t and are mindful that these are memorials of someone’s loved one. They only thing we take home is the mud on our shoes and photos.

It is a pastoral setting, nestled peacefully in the tall pines and quivering aspens. Reading these headstones is always poignant for me but when we discovered  modern burial sites mixed in with the pioneer memorials it was quite moving. Some of the markers are mysterious which always gets my writer’s imagination churning.

Entrance to Florissant Pioneer Cemetery

Entrance to Florissant Pioneer Cemetery

Entire families with death dates within a few weeks of each other; was it an illness, an accident that left some languishing, or broken hearts? Huge elaborate pillar shaped memorials that you don’t see today. Such beautiful workmanship for people loved and respected, and missed. Once carefully placed grave-markers washed almost blank from time and the elements, a rather sorrowful metaphor.

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This hand-made marker made me feel an overwhelming sense of loss for Catherine. I could almost feel the maker’s grief pouring from it. I’m not big romantic but how could you not feel the sting of a lost love looking at this?

IMG_0582 “Catherine; 1964-1995; Love is the pain in my heart that cannot be Stopped*” *last word is unclear

I found this hand-made marker attracted me like a moth to flame. The vibrant colors in a sea of somber stone tell me of a person who was probably vibrant in life. The little skeleton figures at the bottom make this as mysterious as it is beautiful.

Name and data obscured for owner's privacy

Name and data obscured for owner’s privacy

This person is lucky to have family looking out for them still. Gargoyles are used to keep evil at bay. I like that he has a brother wolf to help  him keep watch.

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Anyone who knows me will tell you that I rarely get the willies. This guy caught my eye the minute the we pulled up. Obviously he was placed here because this person liked or collected pigs in life and it’s a thoughtful tribute. However, there was something so strange about his eyes. I can’t really explain it but I didn’t want to get too close to him and I could not look into  his eyes without feeling repulsed. I’ve never had that experience before or since.

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pigeys

Thanks for joining me on my exploration of the Florissant Pioneer Museum. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. You can read more about this historic place in Colorado at Teller County Attractions.

Never turn off the lights, that way little piggy won’t be able to sneak in your closet, or under the bed, or IN the bed!