Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet Calamityville Horror's Cat, Lynx, and Ryan

You all know me...I am always trying to find people in the world that are doing cool things. I love writers. Writers are my heroes. Always have been. So today, I want to introduce you to some people that it has been my pleasure to get to know, even a little bit. Two of them are writers (big surprise) but all three make up the ghost-hunting team responsible for a new YouTube show called "Calamityville Horror." 
There show is a lot of fun to watch, mostly because all three of them are a lot of fun! 
So without a further ado, I want to introduce you to Cat, Lynx, and Ryan, ghost-hunters! 

What got all of you started in ghost hunting?

Cat - Lynx and I started visiting haunted locations a few years ago when writing a novel with characters who did ghost hunting for a living.

Lynx - our mate, Dave, told us about this abandoned summer camp, called Boys Village, which he'd gone to and found it terrifying. We had to go there, so dragged our mum along to be our lookout. It was more urban exploring than ghost hunting, but that became the first episode of our show - Calamityville Horror.

Cat - We called ourselves C.A.T.S. as a joke - Cardiff's Answer to Supernatural - because Supernatural has 2 brothers who hunt ghosts and we're 2 sisters. We joke that our mum's Bobby, 'cos she's always on the end of the phone to bail us out. Then we met Ryan. Except he's not from Cardiff but we refuse to change the name.

Lynx - We've always been interested in the paranormal and one of our Facebook friends posted us a link to an overnight ghost hunting event so we booked Ruthin Gaol.

Ryan - Ruthin Gaol was the start of it. It showed us what we could do and we had fun doing it.

Do you spend more time reading, writing, or ghosthunting? Tell us about your writing projects.

Cat/Lynx - Writing, definitely. We write pretty much all day every day, except when we're looking after our animal army or exercising. We go ghost hunting every other weekend so the rest of our time is spent editing the footage, researching the history and ghosts of new places and writing. At the moment we're working on releasing a collection of ten twisted fairytales. That's very nearly ready. Our debut novel, Soul Asylum, which is set in a haunted asylum, will hopefully be released later this year. We visited the asylum where we set the book but only made it as far as the door before being thrown out for trespassing. As we left, the notorious caretaker arrived with his Alsatian. We got out there sharpish! Perhaps walking through the front gate wasn't the smartest move. We've should've snuck in like stealthy ninjas.

What made you decide to take your ghosthunting adventures to YouTube?

Ryan - I have no idea how it ended up on YouTube. I only really twigged it was an actual show round about episode 4.

Lynx - it was another Facebook friend's idea. She thought our style of dress and personalities would be great on YouTube and would help promote our writing so she suggested we do something.

Cat - We filmed Ruthin Gaol just because it was part of our trip up there then I remember saying we should make our own ghost hunting show on YouTube, just for fun. Episode 3, Margam, is the first episode where we're consciously making a show.

Do you really believe in ghosts?  Tell us more about what you believe.

Ryan - yes and no. I've had a lot of experiences I can't explain. I believe in the paranormal but not necessarily ghosts as such. I have to admit, when the K2 goes off inexplicably, I do freak out a little bit.

Lynx - we're more of the opinion we don't believe anything until we see it. But we absolutely love all things paranormal so doing this we can go to really cool places that have great stories behind them.

Cat - no. But we really want to see a ghost. Absolutely desperate to see one. We'd be so excited.

Tell my readers a story about hunting for ghosts? You said you stayed the night in an old prison?

Cat/Lynx - Ruthin Gaol was really cool. We were locked in the punishment cell with a K2 meter, which was on. The event organizers warned everyone to take it seriously but we can't take anything seriously. We were messing around in the pitch black cell, telling the ghosts to touch Ryan inappropriately then decided to ask some questions. We asked if there was anyone with us and got no response to that or other questions. When we asked "were you executed here?" The machine lit up and bleeped. We were so excited. We repeated it and again got the same response. We asked "did you murder someone?" Again it responded. It also reacted to "were you hanged?" and "are you standing by us right now?" We were more thrilled about that than we probably should've been, considering if there was a ghost there, it would've been a prisoner! We got nothing anywhere else in the jail. Later we discovered the only person executed there murdered his wife and he was executed on our birthday, but 80 years before we were born.

Have you ever encountered anything in your ghost hunting? A ghost? Tell us about that.

Ryan - The K2 went crazy in the basement of Newton House. Later we learned one of the guides thought he saw a ghost down there. They call him Walter. When we went back to the basement and said this name, the machine went nuts. It also bleeped outside the billiards room, where a smoke entity has been seen. When we returned to that spot on the hidden house tour, the K2 was silent.

Cat - in Woodchester Mansion I thought I saw someone walk past a window and mentioned it to Lynx and Ryan, hoping to frighten Ryan. He's not as enthusiastic about seeing a ghost as we are. When we got inside we discovered the mansion had no floors. Now I think I hallucinated.

What do all of you do for a living?

Ryan - Service Desk Technical Analyst. 

Cat/Lynx - writing. And we set out chairs for community meetings. It pays much better than writing!

If each of you could do only one thing for the rest of your lives, what would it be?

Cat/Lynx - we're doing it.

Ryan - motorsport or film making. Or both. I could attach a camera to the car.

Tell us about your next ghost hunting excursion and the history behind the place?

We have a few lined up. Berkeley castle, where Edward II was tortured and murdered, the SS Great Britain, which is supposedly haunted by its missing captain and Shrewsbury castle, which has the ghost of a man who murdered 8 women and was hung, drawn and quartered. In September we're spending a few days ghost hunting in Cornwall, doing Jamaica Inn, Bodmin Jail and a ghost walk round Penzance. In October we're spending the night in the Skirrid Inn, Wales' oldest Inn. They hanged people above the stairs. We'll also be spending Halloween in Newton House. We're hoping we'll be able to sneak off from the tour and go back to the basement, see if anything happens in the dark. We speak to one of the guides, Scott, regularly, so maybe if we're really nice to him, he'll let us stay a while.

What makes our show different to other ghost hunting shows is we don't do it overnight to create a spooky atmosphere. Mainly because we wouldn't be allowed! We go during the day when there are tourists around. We think it makes it more believable as it's tourists and staff who usually report sightings in the day. We also don't freak out over every tiny noise. Most of the time we don't even notice stuff and only see it when we play the footage back. We're not exactly professionals! But we have a lot of fun and most of what would usually go in other shows' outtakes, we keep in the episode, things like us tripping over, going to the wrong location, getting lost. Some shows try to convince you there's something paranormal in each episode but we don't. If nothing happens or the K2 doesn't react, we release the episode anyway because having something spooky in every episode just wouldn't happen.

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Check out an episode!


I just want to thank Cat, Lynx, and Ryan for agreeing to do this and for being some of the most fun people I have ever met on Twitter. You guys are great! 
If you want to have a compulsively good time watching a show, please check out "Calamityville Horror" on YouTube, or hook up with them on Twitter for links to their episodes.  I know I'll be watching! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finding the Story by Sheila Pierson

Hello, my lovelies! In my quest to bring you the most quality people in the world, through guest posts, author interviews and book interviews, I have run into one of the coolest people in the world, Sheila Pierson! She is a blogger, a poet, and an author. And she is a good friend, so treat her well! Without further ado....Here's Sheila!