#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant : JC Martínez

What do you love about horror?

The gut-wrenching goosebump it gives you, that spreads all over your body through your spine.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

It’s a tie between 1988’s film Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters and 1993’s videogame Zombies Ate My Neighbours.

 
Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

Is “no” an acceptable answer? I never follow a single line of thought when it comes to writing horror. I am fond of the supernatural, and very much like a good thriller, but I could not give a specific label as to the sort of stories that I write.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I usually prefer to write in silence, so I just listen to the beats of my heart.
Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

Reading books, watching films and TV shows, and listening to music are my most important hobbies. I also love to eat… sweets, mostly.
What is your favorite part about writing?

Dreaming up stories, even before putting them on paper. Also, I am very fond of writing dialogue.
What is your favorite word?

In English, my favorite word is “sentient”. In Spanish, it’s “decididamente,” which translates to “decidedly”.
What is your least favorite word?

“Responsibilities” Both in English and Spanish.
What turns you on in a book?

Its cadence. If it hooks me and makes me want to keep reading until the very end, it’s golden.
Why should people be on team JC?

With me, they are in for a wild ride. I will fill their dreams with the sweetest nightmares.

 

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant: Sumiko Saulson

 

What do you love about horror?

Horror is the genre we use to tell cautionary tales, to warn humanity of the folly of our ways. It’s the genre that celebrates the struggle of the spunky underdog against nearly impossible odds. Win or lose, we are so deeply mired in the life of that character that we are concerned about his or her future. Horror is a character-centered genre because we need to care about the protagonist in order to relate to his or her fear. For all of the criticisms about how horror desensitizes us, it also forces us to learn empathy for those unlike ourselves, whose struggles we do not often consider, by asking us to take a cold, hard look at man’s inhumanity to man. Using monsters and other supernatural creatures to convey the story creates enough distance from our bad behavior as a species to allow us to think things over without immediately going on the defensive.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

Although “Planet of the Apes” is generally considered sci-fi, as a child the subtextual plot about the destruction of humanity that replaced us with intelligent apes was my first exposure to dystopic fiction, which many consider being horror. I was terrified when they showed the Statue of Liberty and revealed that this had all happened on Earth and was pretty obsessed with the movie when I was about five. However, the first purely horror film I fell in love with was “Ben.” I saw it with my dad when I was eight – he thought I’d like it because I had a pet house. It was a double feature with “Willard”… I absolutely loved it, and the Michael Jackson song as well. I was 8, so you know I thought Michael Jackson was cute – every little black girl in America did back then. But he wasn’t the one I was in love with – it was Ben. I was totally incensed by the cruel treatment of the poor, beleagured Ben by the evil rats and the cruel humans who picked on him because he was a rodent.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

My primary genre is psychological horror, such as you see on “Twilight Zone,” “Outer Limits,” or movies like the “Stepford Wives” and the recent Peele film “Get Out.”  I also write gothic horror and dark fantasy, but there is always an element of psychological horror, even when there are monsters like zombies. My horror stories are character-driven usually involve multicultural or Afrocentric characters, and often have strong female characters as their central protagonists. There is a lot of range in terms of goriness, depending on the type of supernatural threat and what the audience is, but some of my stories are really violent and relatively disgusting.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I often listen to gothic or alternative rock music, punk, grunge, or metal. I also listen to rap, hip-hip, R&B, and soul. It really depends on what the story is. I usually pick out music that I think the character I am writing would listen to. Because it helps me to get into character and visualize the world that character lives in.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I enjoy drawing and painting… in fact, I make comic books and little zines that are mini-comics. I work primarily in acrylics on paper, but also, on canvas or wood. I’ve had paintings exhibited in galleries and cafes. I also enjoy fashion, music, and going dancing.

What is your favorite part about writing?

I find writing very therapeutic.

What is your favorite word?

Proactive.

What is your least favorite word?

Ulcerated.

What turns you on in a book?

Humor. If I don’t like an author’s sense of humor, I am unlikely to find the story particularly interesting, regardless of the genre it’s written in. I can usually identify a particular author by his or her sense of humor once I am familiar with their work.

Why should people be on team Sumiko?

My stories make people think. I think I have something important to bring to the world of horror.

 

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant : Daphne Strasert

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

What do you love about horror?

I love that horror brushes just on the other side of reality. It is so closely related to the real world—that’s what grounds it and makes it scary—but it still has the elements of the fantastic. Like Alice slipping to the other side of the looking glass, things are the same, but just ever so slightly out of place. That dissonance makes my hair stand on end. I know something is wrong, I just can’t tell you what it is.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was eight-ish when I first saw it and it scared the spit out of me. It had such a moody, dark atmosphere that still gives me the chills sometimes. At the same time, it was so campy and nineties that I couldn’t stop watching.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

My stories are pretty clean, not so much blood and gore. They are more psychological—what’s real, what’s not, what blurs the line between the two. I play with the ideas of consciousness, insanity, and sense of self. Particularly, I explore how the appearance of humanity doesn’t necessarily keep someone from being a monster.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I do! So much music. I have tastes all over the board, but when I write, I prefer things without lyrics. I’ve been listening to lots of instrumental electronica lately (think Lindsey Stirling). I also really enjoy orchestral (Two Steps from Hell is a great example).

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I’m an avid comic book fan. X-Men were my first love and I credit that with jumpstarting my interest in storytelling.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Finding the perfect word or description is so deeply satisfying. As a writer, stories appear a certain way in your head and that may never be accurately reflected on the page. Taking any step closer to that is a huge feeling of accomplishment.

What is your favorite word?

‘minimum’

It’s so much fun to write, like a bunch of squiggles.

(The longer you stare at it, the less sense it makes…)

What is your least favorite word?

‘conscientiousness’

I always spell it wrong and there is no way to say it without my tongue tripping over itself. I mostly mumble and hope for the best.

What turns you on in a book?

Characters. Good writing is important, but I can overlook so much if I love a character. On the flip side of that, if a story lacks a compelling protagonist, nothing drives me to finish reading.

Why should people be on team Daphne?

Addicts should be on Team Daphne. I’m charming, I’m witty, and most importantly, I use my blinker when I drive. I love a challenge and enjoy exploring new ideas. This competition is perfect for me, because I get to try new things and stretch my capabilities. I’m excited to be exposed to so many people who share my interests.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

Press Release: The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling

prtodd

 The Final Reconciliation

By Todd Keisling



TAKE OFF YOUR MASK.


Thirty years ago, a progressive rock band called The Yellow Kings began recording what would become their first and final album. Titled “The Final Reconciliation,” the album was expected to usher in a new renaissance of heavy metal, but it was shelved following a tragic concert that left all but one dead.

The sole survivor of that horrific incident was the band’s lead guitarist, Aidan Cross, who’s kept silent about the circumstances leading up to that ill-fated performance—until now.

For the first time since the tragedy, Aidan has granted an exclusive interview to finally put rumors to rest and address a question that has haunted the music industry for decades: What happened to The Yellow Kings?

The answer will terrify you.

Inspired by The King in Yellow mythos first established by Robert W. Chambers, and reminiscent of cosmic horror by H. P. Lovecraft, Laird Barron, and John Langan, comes The Final Reconciliation—a chilling tale of regret, the occult, and heavy metal by Todd Keisling.

A thoroughly captivating and entertaining read…”The Eyes of Madness

“The finest take on the Yellow Mythos I have ever read. Keisling takes you through a powerful story with such skill and intensity that you’ll lose your breath.” Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red and Pretty Little Dead Girls

Order today: http://getbook.at/TheYellowKing

Links

Official Launch Page: http://www.crystallakepub.com/the-final-reconciliation/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33958141-the-final-reconciliation

Website: http://www.toddkeisling.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/todd.keisling/
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/todd_keisling

#NGHW NEWS: INTERVIEW WITH CONTESTANT: Quentin Norris

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

What do you love about horror?

Art and stories that dive into the stuff that makes us uncomfortable or scared can be a lot more than just shock, it’s a mirror reflecting the unpleasantries of humanity while also illuminating some of the beauty of it in ways you’d never imagine. That and there is something so primally fun about being scared by something that can’t actually hurt you.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

While growing up, I was scared of almost everything.  So for most of my childhood, I avoided most things related to horror. Even though at the same time, I was always obsessed with ghost stories and gothic folk tales. I always loved poems like Poe’s “The Raven”. Every now and then I’d work up enough courage to crack open a copy of Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark and then I wouldn’t be able to sleep with the lights out for a whole month. I think my horror fandom started in middle school. I saw Edward Scissorhands which was a gateway into discovering and obsessing over Universal Monster Movies, which became a gateway into the horror genre as a whole after that.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

Even when I’m not writing horror, my stories tend to fall into the urban fantasy or magical realism category, so I think most of my horror stories tend to be dark and macabre fantasy stories, typically in a modern setting.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

The music I listen to when writing usually has to perfectly reflect the mood and atmosphere of what I’m writing or it usually becomes a distraction. When writing horror I tend to gravitate more towards Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, or other theatrical artists with dark and strange narratives woven into their lyrics. Sometimes lyrics are distracting though and then I’ll put on a good creepy soundtrack. I’m particularly fond of Mica Levi’s masterful soundtrack for Under the Skin.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I’m a cinephile and I spend a lot of time dedicated to watching films.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Stephen King compared writing to discovering dinosaur bones, finding each bone separately and finding out how they all fit together in order to make something whole. I completely agree with that philosophy and it’s what I find so fun about crafting a story. There’s a rush to it like no other feeling.

What is your favorite word?

Oof. I don’t know if I have just one. There are too many good ones. I guess maybe “salubrious?” I read it in a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip when I was a kid and have always kind of been obsessed with it even though I hardly ever use it.

What is your least favorite word?

Capitalism.

What turns you on in a book?

Interesting, complicated characters wrapped up in an immersive world to get lost in.

Why should people be on team Quentin?

This team has narratives that are like if Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Hayao Miazaki, David Cronenberg, and Tim Burton all collectively made a story baby.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

Submission Call: Crescendo of Darkness, HorrorAddicts.net

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

There’s a funny thing that can soothe the soul after a rough day at work, can put you in the mood to take on any challenge, or can transport you back twenty years in time. It’s the most widely enjoyed mode of entertainment and the most used form of mood alteration. Music.

Your story must involve music in some way. This could take the form of a specific genre or song, but also the creation of music, an instrument, or even the lack of music. What would you do if you didn’t have your favorite music to calm your mind or to motivate you? What horrible deeds are prevented on a daily basis because someone listened to their favorite song? How many people are alive because someone heard the right song at the right time? What is the power of music?

Note: This is a HorrorAddicts.net anthology. Your story must be a Horror story and contain something emotionally, physically, or mentally horrifying.

Manuscript Format:
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.

In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog

Subject of the email state:
CRESCENDO OF DARKNESS/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.

Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/17). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.

If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

For any other questions, please send an email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant: Harry Husbands

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

What do you love about horror?

I’ve always been fascinated with what frightens me, in any form that happens to take, real or supernatural. My love of horror is simply an extension of that fascination and I’m constantly seeking books, movies, TV shows, documentaries, anything that causes my hair to stand up on end. I’m just chasing that dragon like everyone else at Horroraddicts.net.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

It was a movie that I now find hilarious because it’s so terrible. An adaptation of The Worst Witch that features the always wonderful Tim Curry, who even does a cheesy musical number that I still remember the lyrics to. I was terrified of the two ‘bad’ witches as a four year old and religiously rented the VHS from our local library. I think that movie formed the basis for my love of horror.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

I try to write stories that are subtle in terror and creep into half-conscious thoughts while falling asleep. There’s always humor and often a touch of the bizarre but they’re mostly about people. It’s my aim to write characters so human that when awful things happen, you suffer alongside them.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I can’t listen to anything with lyrics because I get too drawn in by them and it scrambles my thought process. I do occasionally put on something atmospheric and dark. Horror soundtracks, classical music compilations, something creepy to get me in the mood.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I adore music across all genres and spend a lot of time listening to it, as well as writing and recording songs. I play instruments to relax. The banjo has been highly therapeutic for me recently. I’m a guitar man at heart though and there’s little else that brings me peace like improvising over some twelve-bar blues.

What is your favorite part about writing?

There’s not much I don’t enjoy about the whole process. From spilling my guts onto the page initially to the editing process where I refine my words into something more coherent. That said, if I had to pick a favorite part it would definitely be the first draft because it’s just raw creativity and I get so excited with what I’m doing.

What is your favorite word?

Currently, gadzookery (thanks to Merriam-Webster for their Word of the Day feature), which refers to the overuse of archaic language.

What is your least favourite word?

I’m not a big fan of the word necessary.

What turns you on in a book?

In horror, I want to be scared out of my skin. Otherwise I like believable characters, gripping plots and a writer whose style is distinctive but doesn’t take themselves too seriously. The usual stuff.

Why should people be on team Harry?

I’m not sure. I’m barely on team Harry myself. If someone was to read what I have to offer though and deem me worth following that would be a dream come true in itself.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!