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Rambling about Obsession (Fourth-Wall Friday with R.J. Sullivan)

I was able to do the cover reveal for one of  Seventh Star Press’s  latest authors,  RJ SULLIVANwhose latest novel, Haunting Obsession, is finally here! I also going to also add it here, but first here is a really cool Fourth-Wall Friday piece! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and have a great time. 

[R.J. walks into the bedroom, (no, this isn’t one of those blogs–his writing desk and laptop occupy a corner of the bedroom) Little Mermaid mug in hand. He sees the ghost of Maxine Marie reclined across the bed, holding RJ’s print proof of Haunting Obsession in front of her. RJ almost spills several precious drops of his magical mermaid java right then and there]

RJ: Yikes! You scared me half to death. What brings you around here?”

Maxine: Hmph! [She drops the book onto the bed and folds her arms, her protruding lower lip ensures that RJ knows She Is Not Amused.]

RJ: Oh-oh! What’s wrong, Maxine? [RJ rotates the chair around to face her and sits]

Maxine: ‘What’s wrong’? How can you [she points a long, bony finger tipped with a needle-sharp nail at RJ] …write that about me… [She turns the deadly digit toward herself] and then dare to ask what’s wrong?

RJ: Um…so…you didn’t like it?

Maxine: Would you like to be shown as some sort of a psychopath who only thinks about themselves all the time?

RJ: [struggling to keep face neutral] Oh, Maxine, I know you’re not a psychopath.

Maxine: Well, that’s good, because I was…. Hey, wait a minute—!

RJ: But the Maxine Marie in the book is sort of swept up in forces beyond—

Maxine: —because I would never do something like that, you know.

RJ: I wasn’t saying that you—

Maxine: —I think you should change it.

RJ: What? No, I can’t. It’s done. I already have a bunch of copies ready to go for the book launch tomorrow.

Maxine: Oh, well, isn’t that just elegant for you! My big literary debut and everyone gets to see me as some sort of ghost-monster!

RJ: [draws deep, calming breath] Look, you know you’re a fictional character.

Maxine: Well, yes, but fictional characters have feelings, too!

RJ: Uh…okay, but look, what I’ve never really explained to you is, your an homage to a real person. A real-life dead movie star, er, read dead. Or something. [awkward pause] Anyway, she was a lot like you. Or rather, you’re a lot like her.

Maxine: Oh. Did she die of an accidental suicide, like I did?

RJ: Yes. (Well, there are a lot of theories, but that’s the one I believe, yes.)

Maxine: Well, as your fictional character who had to really go through it, that was awful! So now I’m really mad at you.

RJ: Forget that for now. The point is, Maxine, in the book, your character represents something greater than just yourself. Think of Haunting Obsession as a commentary on when fandom gets out of control.

Maxine: I’m sure I have no idea what you mean. Let’s talk about me some more.

RJ: Well, we are, bear with me–it’s like the football fan who gets season tickets and follows his favorite team on the road. It’s one thing if you can afford it. It’s another thing when he can’t get new clothes for his kids or he never sees his family because of it.

Maxine: [blank look] People really do that?

RJ: I think happens more often than some people think.

Maxine: Do you do things like that?

RJ: Well….

Maxine: Uh-huh, so in other words, this is the voice of experience?

RJ: Well, I suppose, yeah. For instance, I’m a big fan of Marilyn Monroe. I own all of her movies.

Maxine: That doesn’t sound so extreme. What was that, about 10 movies?

RJ: 12 by my count. I have all of those movies in my collection, even though I don’t even like some of those movies. I may only watch them every few years, but it’s a collection thing with me, I have to complete the set, even the films I don’t like.

Maxine: Well, isn’t that some kind of dumb!

RJ: But compared to other fans, my behavior is pretty mild. For example, my collection is only her major starring films–others want to collect any film in which she had even a minor walk-on part, regardless of the film. I don’t take it that far. And there are others who want all the books, the photos, the merchandise. They make new product every year, so it’s never-ending.

Maxine: Sounds like it can get a little out of control!

RJ: Now you’ve got it! We all have that potential, from where you’re in control of your interests, and then crossing over to where your interests control you. How much is too much to pay for a rare card, or an autographed picture? How far is too far to travel? How many hours of ignoring your family, your life, in pursuit of that thing before it’s no longer reasonable?

Maxine: So…you’re saying you have me acting like an evil witch in this book to deliver some message about that?

RJ: Exactly.

Maxine: [folds arms and shakes head] And you think that gets you off the hook?”

RJ: [shrugs] Well, it was worth a try.

Maxine: Oh, sit down already. I guess you’re forgiven. What are we going to write about today?”

RJ: Not you, Maxine.

Maxine: Oh, poo, you’re no fun.

RJ: So, knowing that, what did you think of the novella?

Maxine: Oh, I guess it’s okay then. But tell me, where did you get the inside information on my ‘bedside manner’?

RJ: Maxine, I am the inside information on your bedside manner. I dreamed it up.

Maxine: [rolls eyes] you were dreaming alright, Mister. Alright then, see you later. I’ll be back…when you least expect it.

RJ: [Nods and turns chair toward desk] That’s how this usually works.

(Maxine giggles and vanishes. R.J. begins typing on the next chapter to Virtual Blue).

Haunting Obsession Cover Reveal

She wants to be loved by you…alone!

Daryl Beasley collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl’s girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.

Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta’s birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he’ll never forget.

About the Author:


R. J. Sullivan’s first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller. R.J. is holding the book launch for forthcoming release, Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, tomorrow. The book goes live online early next week.

R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona’s story, Virtual Blue, coming from Seventh Star Press in 2013, followed by two more novels over the course of 2013 and 2014. R.J. resides in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He is a member of the Indiana Horror Writers, drinks from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it. Check in to regularly to learn the latest about R. J. Sullivan.


  1. Thanks for having me today, Cabin Goddess!

  2. Ah, those controlling interests… I love this conversation–brings more than just the character to life.

  3. Don’t you just love when characters take on a life of their own and demand attention? This is a perfect illustration of that. Great job! Most elegant.
    Show me some love!

  4. hahahaha Quite elegant! But we want to see “others who want all the books, the photos, the merchandise” when it comes to all things R.J.! LOL
    Show me some love!

  5. I hope Rj comes through on my request for the tour I shall be uber sad face other wise


  1. Virtual R.J. on the March - […] I am no stranger to the Fourth Wall Friday blog. Check out my 2012 post in which I chat…

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