†3 DARK – Author Spotlight: Christa Wojciechowski & Mental Illness in Horror Fiction

†3 DARK – Author Spotlight: Christa Wojciechowski & Mental Illness in Horror Fiction

Hello all! I’m ecstatic to have been signed on by the †3 DARK Project. I know it’s still a mystery to most of you. I will post all the details very soon. In the meantime, follow †3 DARK on Facebook and Twitter.

There is nothing more validating for a writer than to be recognized by another writer whom they greatly admire. Enjoy this spotlight Joseph Sale has written about The Sick Series and grab the first two books – they’re free for a few more hours.

Originally posted by Joseph Sale †3 DARK – Author Spotlight: Christa Wojciechowski & Mental Illness in Horror Fiction

Today we’re going to be beaming the spotlight down on another one of our incredible †3Dark authors: Christa Wojciechowski.

It’s an honour to have Christa involved in the project. I’ve been a fan of her fiction for while, ever since I read the first book of her Sick series of novellas.

SICK PART I med Mental Illness in Horror Fiction

Here’s an extract of a review I wrote for Sick:

‘Sick is a brilliant novella that explores the nature of human dependency and self-deception. The voice of the protagonist, Susan, is crystal clear and never wavers throughout, drawing you completely into her world and her way of thinking. This voice also generates a fantastic sense of dramatic irony, leading to a genuine tension. We want our heroine to realise the truth but her antagonist is convincingly devious. Normally, novels in which there is a truth evident to the reader but not the characters can be frustrating, but Sick manages to remain compelling and true to its characters throughout. Most importantly of all, however, this novella triumphs because it is so psychologically insightful.’

What’s unique about her approach to horror is the genuinely in-depth explorations of mental illness, addiction and relationships. While so many horror authors pander to the stereotypes of mental illness or psychosis as something to be feared and abhorred, Christa is more empathetic, getting to the roots of it, and exploring it in a nuanced way. As such, her characters are frighteningly three-dimensional, to the extent that we feel we can inhabit them.

And that’s where the real horror comes in.

SICK PART II med Mental Illness in Horror Fiction

In two ways, really.

Firstly, we feel empathy for their fear, their uncertainty. We feel we can relate to it at a primal level.

Secondly, and even more powerfully, it challenges the binary perception of mental illness as something some people have and some don’t. We’re all susceptible to moments of aberrant behaviour, irrational thought or delusion, and Sick really made me feel how fragile the self-constructed perception of my well-being was, and how easily I could fall into the addicted trap of her protagonist Susan. Some writers create aesthetically sensational larger-than-life characters, but Christa’s work is much in the vein of Stephen King: the extraordinary – in both the good and bad sense – can be found in the most ordinary, real people.

As a generous offer to followers and supporters of †3Dark Christa has put Sick Part I and Part II for FREE on Amazon today! 

Christa is currently working on a new series The Sculptor of New Hope, partly inspired by the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (The Rape of Proserpina). She describes it as: ‘a dark, gothic romance that begins in New England and ends up right here in Panama.’ Bernini’s work happens to include many of my favourite sculptures, capturing the impossible sensuality of flesh in marble. The Rape of Proserpina, harrowing as that title is, is one of the most astonishing pieces of art you’ll ever see.

If you want to find out more about Christa and her work, you can read the incredible interview she did with Storgy magazine. Christa’s †3Dark story will feature in our July slot. I just can’t wait to see what dark wonders she unleashes on us.

Adieu for now


Bloggiversary: 2 Years of Sweet Delirium

Crazy man mime My Sweet Delirium

I was just informed by WordPress that this blog turns 2 years old today! I want to thank all of my subscribers and readers for being so supportive and always giving me much to think about. I’d also like to know what you would like to see more of on My Sweet D in the future.

  • Are there any topics you’d like me to cover?
  • Are there others you’d prefer me to shut up about already?
  • What were your favorite posts?

I know I haven’t been writing a lot this past year. I know it’s inexcusable and I plan to change that very soon. There are so many blog post ideas in my notebook that I haven’t written. Also, look forward to upcoming:

So, please, give me your questions, suggestions, and feedback. Love you all!


Paying it forward: If you have a book coming out, a promo going on, or just need some exposure for a friend, leave it the comments section below and I’ll tweet it out for you.


Oh by the way…

The people have spoken. In the vote for SICK the Sequel100% of SICK readers voted in favor of continuing the story. Despite the nausea and concerns for my sanity, SICKER is written and in revision mode. To be released April 13th, 2016. Yes…

SICKER: is available for preorder.

Welcome to the mind of John Branch.


Reserve your Kindle copy.

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Thanks again, everyone. I’m a very, very grateful blogger 🙂

Learn a foreign language effortlessly! #Indiegogo #Crowfunding Campaign

Hello, Hola, Ciao, Bonjour, and здравствуйте!

Have you ever dreamed of becoming fluent in another language? Have you imagined whispering in Italian to your sweetheart, ordering your entrée in perfect French, or traveling to Latin America without a foreign language dictionary?

As an expat, I know the frustration that comes from not being able to communicate efficiently and effectively with speakers of other languages. I also know that after so many years in Panama, I only do so well with Spanish because I’ve been immersed in the language.

Here’s the exciting news!

I’ve been working on a side-project with my dear friend, Marina Latcko, and a group of scattered language enthusiasts. Marina is an English teacher in St. Petersburg, Russia. She’s a intelligent and passionate person, as well as a published author. (She’s been kind enough to help me with The Sculptor, developing my character and his history from a genuine Russian perspective.) She’s also a brand new mom!

Marina’s dream was to create a game that actually immerses you into the world of the language you want to learn. She developed the concept of a casual game that uses a story narrative, called The Identity Quest, that includes everyday situations enabling players to pick up a language in a more natural manner. Unlike Rosetta Stone or verb conjugation books, The Identity Quest teaches you the conversational skills you would need in everyday situations without you having to make an effort to do so.

This project needs funding to get off the ground so we’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign. Visit The Identity Quest Language Learning Game campaign page for all the details. You can also view the artwork and demos where you will hear me as the voice of Clarissa! Let me tell you, if anyone has the determination to pull this project off it’s Marina. She’s so focused on making this game a reality that she convinced me to record my voice! This is monumental because I HATE recording myself in any way. The demos are not nearly as sophisticated as the real game will be, but you can get an idea.

The Identity Quest Indiegogo

Click for full info.

The first languages to be released are English, Spanish, French, and Russian for speakers of each language respectively. More will come in the future if the project is funded. I’m voting for Mandarin. What language would you like to see next?

If you’ve always fantasized about speaking comfortably and confidently in a foreign language, please support the project by making a donation or sharing the campaign.


Thanks, Gracias, Grazie, Merci, and спасибо!!!