E.F. Watkins
August 8, 2009
About E.F. Watkins

E.F. Watkins: Growing up in Cranford, NJ, Eileen always
aspired to write novels. As soon as she could print, she
began folding sheets of letter-sized paper in half, drawing
cover illustrations and attempting to write "books." Her
earliest efforts involved adventure stories about horses.
During her high school years at Benedictine Academy in
Elizabeth, NJ, she moved on to Nancy Drew-type mysteries.

In her freshman year at Marywood College in Scranton, PA,
Eileen won first place in a college-wide short story contest.
The real turning point occurred later that year, when a friend
lent her a paperback of
DRACULA. Eileen read it by flashlight
during a thunderstorm and blackout in the dorm, and
instantly knew that was the kind of book she wanted to
write. More contemporary horror and suspense authors who
have influenced her work since then include Ira Levin, Dean
Koontz and Barbara Michaels.

Since 2003, Eileen has published four novels with Amber
Quill Press LLC, three of them paranormal thrillers under the
name "E. F. Watkins." Her first,
DANCE WITH THE DRAGON,
received a 2004 EPPIE Award from the national organization
EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection.) as Best
Horror Novel. Next came the "straight" romantic mystery
RIDE A DANCING HORSE (as “Eileen Watkins”). Her third
book,
BLACK FLOWERS, made it to the finals in the Thriller
category in both the 2006 EPPIE Awards and the 2007 Indie
Excellence Book Awards. Her latest is
PARAGON.

Watkins is a founding member of the
Garden State Horror
Writers, and also belongs to the mystery-writers’ group
Sisters in Crime/Central Jersey and The Writer’s Workshop of
Bergen County, NJ. She has taught fiction-writing seminars
for the adult school in Wayne, NJ.

F. Paul Wilson, best-selling author of
THE KEEP and THE
SELECT
, has said “E. F. Watkins is a writer to watch!” The
Internet site Roundtable Reviews observed, “Watkins
manages to combine the supernatural with everyday issues
to create a world that is horrifyingly like our own,” and the
magazine Eternal Night has called her "a true master of
terror.”

A professional journalist for more than 30 years, Eileen has
written about art, architecture, fine crafts and interior design
for daily newspapers and local, national and international
magazines. She shares her 1922 house in northern New
Jersey with two cats--Bela and Harley--and decorates it with
furniture, fabrics and accessories from the 1930s-40s.

Visit Eileen's website at
www.efwatkins.com.
Event Recap

We had a great time Saturday, 8/8/09 at Face the Fiction
with our guest
E.F. (Eileen) Watkins. Ms. Watkins wears
several hats: Eppie Award winning author, founding member
of the Garden State Horror Writers, member of the mystery-
writers’ group Sisters in Crime/Central Jersey, member of
The Writer’s Workshop of Bergen County, NJ, and teacher
(taught fiction-writing seminars for the adult school in
Wayne, NJ).
Ms. Watkins also put together the Deadly Ink
conference in 2008 that had
Todd and Sandy Schlosser (who
took time off from writing her most recent
Spooky Series book
to join us) on a panel about the blending of genres.

Ms. Watkins opened her presentation with a brief
background, her path to being published and provided brief
descriptions of her books. Her books include her latest,
Danu’s Children; Dance With the Dragon (an Eppie Award
winner in 2004),
Paragon, Black Flowers and Ride A
Dancing Horse
.

After giving us descriptions of each book,
Eileen explained
her research techniques, influences and even her
preferences for good, old-fashioned horror rather than the
contemporary leaning towards ‘slasher’ films. The audience
agreed. We had a great time talking ‘vampires’ for well over
an hour! We covered vampires in film, books, legend and
then some.
Ms. Watkins was extremely knowledgeable and
gave insight to some things we hadn’t previously
considered. Her book,
Dance With The Dragon has
vampires, so of course we had to know every detail about
her specific vampires. We were thrilled to find out her vamps
are much closer to the vamps we prefer – hers is a cult
leader who does some ‘creative recruiting’ for his cult.
Chilling.

The discussion ran the gamut from books, movies, cults and
why you should never drink the Kool-Aid – lol.
Ms. Watkins>
kept us well entertained. This was a fun night. After
discussing her books, characters, research, settings and
rationale, we asked
Ms. Watkins to read a passage. We
were fortunate enough to have passages from two of her
books read to us.

First up was a passage from
Danu’s Children. We sat
quietly and listened as a character experiences a not-so-
usual road trip. We’re experiencing the harrowing journey
through the characters eyes and then
Ms. Watkins
stopped!! Poor
Chris couldn’t believe it, he sat there saying,
“What! What happens!” You know we laughed at his misery.

Next up was a passage from
Dance With The Dragon. Ms.
Watkins
read a passage that has the cult leader (aka the
vampire) bringing back a cult member – from the dead. The
scene was creepy. Of course,
Eileen stopped just as
‘reinvigorated’ member starts getting up from her coffin!! Did
she go on a rampage looking for blood?! Do the cult
members think this is a miracle and have no clue this is a
vampire – those blood-sucking fiends of myth?! We were
hooked. After the readings, the floor was opened for
questions.
Ms. Watkins gave information about the
publishing process, keeping your characters/storylin es
true/consistent, and being able to accept some criticism. We
got a heads-up regarding her upcoming book about a
haunted house and the psychic unfortunate enough to live in
it.
Ms. Watkins combined humor with her vast knowledge
and was a wonderful guest.

She closed the meeting and we started getting up to make
our purchases and chat with
Ms. Watkins. I swear I took
two steps when my phone rang – I kid you not – it was
Todd!! Even from Rhode Island he managed to be the first in
line to buy the book! I couldn’t believe it – lol. I answered
the phone to hear, “Can you get me a book?” Does he have
radar? Talk about a paranormal moment. We made our
purchases and chatted with
Ms. Watkins. Aurelia purchased
Danu’s Children with Suspense Central in mind. We look
forward to
Ms. Watkins joining us to discuss the book – and
poor
Chris can finally have his questions resolved.

Thank you
EF Watkins for a nice time! Please check out
www.efwatkins.com for book info and more.

We headed out and a group of us had a great time at
TGIFriday (Thanks to
Gene for the awesome coupon that
saved us all $$).