#NGHW News Episode #140

 

Hello, Addicts!

How has everyone been during the break? Have you survived without us? Well, no need to fear, no need to fret, our fearsome fifteen and the horroraddicts.net team are back this week.

Did you all enjoy Episode #140? It has been a little while so I will give you a reminder. The last episode was a bit of a change up from the “norm” and the writers were challenged to write a script. The script was for a spoof commercial for a make-believe horror product. This was a great way to stretch the writing muscles that are not normally stretched in the horror genre. The spoof had to be original and funny. The mini prize was to have their script professionally produced.

The spoofs that made it through to the semi-finals were Dead Fresh Air Freshener by Fiend, Earl King by Jonathan, The Spoof is Happening by AE, Fang Blings by Jess, Full Moon Undies by Naching, MonsterMatch.com by Timothy, Little Bites Kiddie Coffin by Daphne, Home Stench Plugins by Grave by Sumiko.

The fearsome fifteen were in fine form this episode. All of the semi-finalist did a great job, their commercials were all hilarious and on point. But, alas, only three could make it through to the finals. Fang Blings, MonsterMatch.com and Full Moon Undies were the chosen ones.

This brought about discussions about Monster Body Positivity and the such. This led me to think about dating monsters or horror movie/book characters or bad guys in general.

I have recently noticed that, as a young girl, a had a thing for bad guys. This is not something that I am particularly proud of but it is something that I have noticed now that I am older. Anyone from Jareth from the Labyrinth, the Erl King from Raymond E Feist’s Faerie Tale, even the Riddler from Batman (1966 not Jim Carrey’s) So, I had to ask the fearsome fifteen “If you had to (or got to) date a monster or horror character who would you choose and why?” And I got some very interesting answers.

I would normally chop a little to keep them short or choose only three or so to add, but I just loved everyone’s answers. But here are the six answers that made the cut.

“I would date a siren. I love music so I think we would probably get along pretty well. Unless she liked Nikki Minaj, in which case I do not think we would be very compatible.”
– Timothy

“I’ve had the hardest time answering this. “Horror character” just left so many possibilities. Ultimately though, my answer would be Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although I don’t normally like vampires entering into my romantic dreamworld, I’ve had a crush on Spike most of my life at this point. There’s something about a bloody awful poet turned kick ass bad boy that’s as irresistible as his British accent. I loved the black nail polish, the bleached hair, the singing voice – and of course, he’s the type of man who can really get away with wearing black leather. I also love that he’s so passionate about everything he does. When he’s in love with someone, there’s no limit to what he’ll do to redeem himself in their eyes. The other great thing about Spike (as opposed to my other fictional monster crushes) is that his great love story is one-sided. Unlike many of the other people I considered, if we were dating, I wouldn’t be breaking up a couple that was perfect for each other.”
– Cat

“In horror, most of the monsters are pretty undesirable as potential mates. Paranormal romance is a bit better, but it’s still drama-filled. I would go with a safe monster. I like Reuben Golding in Anne Rice’s Wolf Gift because even though he’s technically a monster, being a werewolf, he’s kind of like Bruce Wayne, and I do love Batman. Reuben is probably less Byronic that Batman. And I do love my Byronic heroes. Come to think of it, maybe the older gent, Felix Nideck, who is darker, more mysterious, and Byronic as all get all would be better, but I think he’s gay, so I’ll stick with Reuben. The werewolves in Wolf Gift only kill and eat the really evil people, like chomos. They hunt as a back, and they keep murdering, dismembering, and gobbling down corrupt Catholic Priests and rings of child molesters. They’re almost like superheroes. When they aren’t killing off the wicked – who they can smell, and sense, with their Ghost Rider like superpowers, they have lots of fun sexy times with their pack mates. Wolves mate for life, don’t you know, so even the not so monogamous ones, while not faithful, are loyal as all get all. That’s hot.”
-Sumiko

“If it were my choice, I’d go with a heroine archetype, like Laurie Strode, from the original Halloween, who was intelligent and resourceful, or Mina Murray, from Dracula (the book version), who was so diligent, so sweet and loving, that she managed to overcome being corrupted by the monster. My perfect date, I think, would be Evelyn Carnahan, from The Mummy (the 1999 film), who was a kick-ass librarian (just imagine all the stories she would know about Egypt and its mythology. Amazing). If I had to, that would mean I would not have a choice. However, this being hypothetical and all, I’d have to go with the devil, as portrayed in the Bedazzled remake. It’s always fun to make a wish just for it to be granted the wrong way (or the right, too literal way). Either that or with a succubus. Succubi seem cute.”
-JC

“I absolutely love Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is something so alluring about a dangerous man that would drain the world, but save one – the woman that his dark heart has always loved. I think my favorite line, the one that popped into my head as soon as you asked us this question, was when Dracula says, “I have crossed oceans of time to find you”. It’s so timelessly romantic, and I’ve always loved that. It’s definitely one of my favorite films.”
-Riley

“When I was young, I had a crush on the cutest, sweetest, funniest vampire ever. He had a terrific green complexion and a snappy wardrobe. He was a great father, grandfather, and animal lover. Yes, I had a crush on Grampa Munster and if you had asked me thirty years ago who I would date, he would’ve been my answer.
Would I answer the same today? Are you crazy? No way! I’m a happily married woman!
I also wear glasses.”
-Naching

Bahahahaha … Love it, Naching.

So, if you don’t already know, I will not hold back any longer! MonsterMatch.com by Timothy took home the mini prize this episode. You can go and read the script here or listen to it here. All the congrats go out to #TeamTimothy and MonsterMatch.com

I must say, I am super excited for this next challenge! The challenge for episode #141 is a 650-700 word horror romance poem. It can be rhyming or free form, but it must have a horror romance theme. It will be judged on sexiness, style, and theme. It can be erotic but porn, rape and/or pedophilia is strictly forbidden. The love must be between two consenting adults. “Think Morticia and Gomez,” says Emz.

So make sure you join us for this next episode, where things are going to heat up! Bow Chicka Wow Wow!

Stay Spooky, Addicts!

Hugs xxx

#NGHW News Episode 139

 

Hello, Addicts!

This week was super interesting on the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. On the horrifying podcast there was a twist to what, I guess, most of us were expecting from this competition. This week’s challenge was to write a horror blog post. The non-fiction horror blogspot was judged on blog-ability, topic and writing quality. We were only given snippets of the top eight posts. But what were given makes me want to read more!

  1. Horror Without Women by Naching Kassa
  2. Five Filmmakers changing the Face of Horror Cinema by Quentin Norris
  3. The Warrens Occult Museum – The Button Eyes of Evil by Riley J Pierce
  4. The Culture of Horror and The Horror of Culture by JC Martinez
  5. Horror Binge by Daphne Strasert
  6. Virtual Reality is revolutionizing horror by Harry Husbands
  7. The True Horror Cat Voluer
  8. Horror Addiction – Is There a Cure? Feind Gottes

The winner this week will be gifted the prize of being featured on Cemetery Confessions, a horror podcast hosted by The Count, who also happens to be our guest judge for the week.

The Count commands THE BELFRY NETWORK, which is a community website, blog, app and podcast which aims to bring us goths, HorrorAddicts, and other pretty little weirdos together.

Blogging is hard. But it is one of the many necessary evils that challenge writers of today. Writers can no longer be the recluse, vampiric (and sometimes, alcoholic) hermits they used to be. With so much out there, so many quality (and not) books being released, something has to make you stand out from the crowd. And a good blog, coupled with quality fan interaction, is often the way to do just that.

Blogging is a skill that takes practice and a successful blog is a creature that must be nurtured and tamed. So, having our fearsome fourteen write a blog post is a great way of showing how well they will cope with their future career.

Emz and Heather discussed briefly the pain of having to give writers bad news and judging them. They discussed how writers are forced to disconnect from their pieces and about how writers can learn, over time, which criticisms to take on and which ones to filter out. And how sometimes, a piece of writing may have been good but may not have been suitable for the audience. “No fluffy bunny posts,” said Heather. But I don’t think this means that we cannot try to stretch the genre boundaries.

Genre is a tricky beast and our genre – horror – is sweeping and vast. It is not just about the blood. It’s not just about the scare. It’s not just about the monsters or ghosts or madness. It is about the feelings horror instills and conjures inside us. Looking for new, genre-bending, fiction, in all forms and mediums, should be our goal.

So, back on topic!

This week Daphne Strasert and Quentin Norris were our runners up and their full horror blog posts can be read here.

And, the winner for this week is Harry Husbands! His piece on Virtual Reality playing a pivotal role in the future of horror films and horror fiction was the blogspot that won the judges’ favor. But, alas, you will have to wait until the 2nd of June, 2017, to hear the whole thing. It will be read and discussed on Cemetery Confessions. Congrats #teamharry!

Harry has his own blog as do many of our other contestants.

Adelle also has her own blog and she says, “I love blogging and I have been lucky that through blogging and communicating with other bloggers that my book Wisp has been promoted and reviewed. Also, I have some amazing blogs on my reading list, from the esoteric, horror, sci-fi and self-help. Along with lots of writers who support one another. Articles have helped me enormously in my own life as well as my writing life.” You can check out her here. You can also go check out what is inside JC’s head at Slimy Yet Tasty. Naching can be found lurking at the Frighten Me! Blog. And our dear, busy, Daphne has not one but two blogspots – Write As Rain and Daphne Reads X-men.

I feel like that is enough blogging about blogging for now, so go and follow us on the social media and join in the discussions. And, as always, STAY SPOOKY!

Hugs xxx

Adelise M Cullens

#NGHW News 138

 

Hello, Addicts!

Well, how good were this week’s stories! I can’t tell you how happy I am that our judges did not agree. This way, we were blessed with seven stories instead of the promised three. And oh my Odin, what stories they were!

So this week’s challenge was to write 250 words about a monster. Seven monsters we were given, three survived to the next round and then one was picked and deemed worthy of the mini prize – Professional audio production of the winning short story.

Our stories, this week were:
1 LARVAE #teamsumiko
2 THE PET #teamdaphne
3 LINGUA #teamJC
4 BLOODWORM #teamjonathan
5 THE ODDMENTS MONSTER #teamadele
6 THE LAUGHING MAN #teamnaching
7 ALWAYS HUNGRY #teamcat
You can read and/or listen to all these brilliant stories here.

In the discussion after the stories were read, we learned some juicy deets about our beautiful, spooky host, Emz. Our leader into the night is scared of insects and monkeys! And even though the contestants have been warned, it will be interesting to see if any of them draw on this info for their next projects. Knowing what spooks the judges could give them a leg up or tear them down. Only time will tell if any of them dare to scare our dearest Emz.

But this discussion leads me to think … What do our fearsome fifteen fear? What makes our makers of fear jump in the night? I simply had to ask. (And if you’re wondering what scares me, it’s koalas.)

We had some super interesting answers. AE Kirk – our archaeologist – was freaked out by skeletons as a child. Sumiko – the author of LARVAE – has an irrational fear of maggots, which may explain her monster. Naching – our winner for this week’s challenge (oh, had I not mentioned that yet!) – is claustrophobic. Ten points to who can guess what JC is scared of …

One story, which I really wanted to share with you, was from our sweet Daphne. I will let her tell you the story…

“I am TERRIFIED of ladybugs. Yes, the little red and black beetles that populate gardens and children’s story books. I wasn’t always afraid of them–I wore a ladybug dress to my first day of kindergarten–but that all changed when I was ten.
My parents, after twenty-plus years of marriage, finally built their dream home in the Missouri countryside: a magazine-worthy log cabin situated on five acres of wooded land. All was well. The house was completed and we moved in. But at some point during the construction process, ladybugs had laid eggs in one of the interior rooms–specifically, what would become my room.
After a few weeks, the eggs hatched. Thousands of them. While the room had been open to the environment when they were deposited, it was now sealed, locking the beetles inside the house along with me. They were everywhere: in my bed, my clothes, my hair. Their tiny armored bodies blocked out the light that streamed through my windows as they swarmed toward what they thought was freedom. My father would vacuum my room every day (taking the wriggling, writhing mass of insects outside for disposal), only for more ladybugs to appear in their kin’s place. This continued for months before a significant majority of the monsters had been rehomed outside (where I assume they went on to reproduce more of their abhorrent kind). Yet, to this day, when visiting my childhood home, I, without fail, find one of them creeping over a couch cushion or across my arm.”

So, back to the contest. The top three stories this week were BLOODWORM by Jonathan Fortin, THE PET by Daphne Straset and THE LAUGHING MAN by Naching T Kassa. But I totally already spoiled it by telling you that Naching won. Her story, set in a war zone and crossed with creepy bedtime tale, won her this week’s mini prize which you can also hear on the podcast.

Next week on the #NGHW contest is challenge number 3! Write a 450-500 word, non-fiction, blog post about anything horror. This is to test our fearsome fifteen’s ability to blog which is a super important asset for any writer’s career. This is a very different challenge that may see some different contestants take the limelight. It will be really interesting to see how the contestants handle non-fiction. They will be judged on:
• Blog ability. What will appeal to the readers.
• Topic interest. Is it something horror addicts are interested in today.
• Writing quality.
The winner will have their subject discussed on a prominent horror podcast.
So, who will you follow? Perhaps you will be on #teamjonathan – the gothic, demon lover with a taste for the unique and bizarre – or #teamfeind – Cthulu’s best friend and our favourite metal head – or #teamquentin – our filmmaking fan of Frankenstein’s monster – or #teamriley – the beautiful cosplaying gal who loves herself a little bit of Freddy. Let us know in the comments or on the social media.

Stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise M Cullens

#NGHW News 137

Hello Addicts!

I tell you what, I thought I was excited before but now, that I have seen what our fearsome 15 are capable of, I am just about imploding with dark delight.

The stories we experienced this week were the words that won our 15 a spot in this comp and it is easy to see why they got in. Some stories made me laugh (maniacally, because my sense of humor is a little messed up) I even got a little teary-eyed. And of course the goose bumps…

And isn’t that one of the best parts about horror?

That moment that turns your skin to gooseflesh, sending a shiver over your body, creeping you out and possibly (if you are so lucky) making you a little skittish.

This is what these authors managed to do in just 100 words.

It takes a lot of talent to write a great 100-word story and our fearsome 15 just nailed it. I’m totally glad I am not on the judging panel because that would be bloody hard.

We also got to learn a bit more about our 15, which was cool. You can learn more about them and even connect with your favs by going here and following them up on the social media. I have spoken to the authors and have a few messages for all you addicts out there…

“I loved listening to all our stories. It felt amazing and I’m still smiling now. I’m enjoying the contest and the challenges set, so far, lol, I’m grateful that I was picked to participate. I’m just so happy about it. I’d like to wish us all good luck in the coming months and a huge thank you to all who arranged the contest and judges and everyone behind the scenes. A big thank you to you as well” -Adele Marie Park

“I’m feeling proud to hear something I’ve written read out on such a well-produced podcast. I’m proud that I’m competing alongside such great horror writers and I’ve really got my work cut out for me.

I just want to say how awesome it is that horror has incredible writers to keep the genre alive and that this contest is doing such a great job of showcasing them. I loved everyone’s stories and it only makes me more excited to see what everyone can produce as the contest develops.” -Harry Husbands

“I am enjoying myself very much, I am writing, and I hope we (as in the addicts) can keep reading the beautiful stories that all the contestants write. I think success is that, to just “make good art” … as Neil Gaiman would say.” -JC Martinez

This week, Emz and Dan also discussed the reasons why these 15 were chosen and why you, if you entered, may have been passed over. So if you entered but are not a chosen one, don’t be disheartened and sit there in the corner screaming “WHY!?” Take a listen, they shed some light and some of the things that they talk about are super important for aspiring writers.

At the moment, all of our 15 are on a level playing field, but that will all change next week … Only the 3 stories will air on the show next week. But only one of them will win that challenge and take home that weeks mini prize.

So, who will you follow? Perhaps you will be on #teamcat – the Dothraki speaking goth – or #teamtimothy – our West Virginian Stephen King – or #teamjess – the girl-next-door who appears sweet on the outside but is creepy on the inside. Let us know in the comments or on the social media.

Stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise M Cullens

 

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Naching Kassa

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

 

What do you love about horror?

The best thing about horror is the fun. I enjoy watching a movie and identifying with the girl who creeps through the haunted house with a killer on her tail. I love cheering for Ash as he revs his chainsaw or Kolchak as he fires a crossbow at a shape-shifting monster. I can’t wait to turn the page of a great Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or R.L. Stine novel and see whether the character falls victim to a killer or triumphs over him. Most of all, I like to scare those who read my work, to make them question the creak in the floorboard or the scratch of skittering feet. Horror entertains and I love that.

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

The first horror movie I fell in love with was Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi. I saw it on TV when I was five and I loved it. I liked Vampires for a long time after that. (When I grew older, I liked werewolves but that’s another story.) My first horror story was told at bedtime. It’s called “Where’s My Golden Arm?”. The ending was especially startling. My first book was “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux. Eric was frightening and tragic. He’s an all to human monster. And, my first horror TV show was “Kolchak: The Nightstalker” starring Darren McGavin. The first episode I saw featured a female vampire. She was frightening. The scene where she killed her sister was just brutal and I loved that a clumsy guy like Carl Kolchak could vanquish such a monster.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

I write stories of good and evil, of hope glimmering through the darkness. My stories are character driven and entertaining. If the reader isn’t deriving some pleasure from my story, I’m not doing my job.

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

I listen to a lot of rock (mostly Journey and Kiss). I also listen to some country. Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice” album is haunting and kind of macabre. (There are several songs referring to death.) Bernard Herrman is great. (He composed music for Alfred Hitchcock films.)

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I bead, cross-stitch, and embroider.

What is your favourite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is meeting the characters for the first time. I don’t use an outline so everything is a surprise. I just go where the characters lead.

What is your favourite word?

My favorite word is LOVE.

What is your least favourite word?

My least favorite word is HATE.

What turns you on in a book?

Strong emotion turns me on. (Watchers by Dean Koontz is a prime example of a book that evokes strong emotion.) I have to care about the characters or I won’t enjoy the book.

Why should people be on team Naching?

I’m going to give them chills and thrills. This contest isn’t about me. It’s about the people listening and I want them to have fun. A good writer serves the reader and I’m going to do just that.

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Patrick R. McDonough

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

What do you love about horror?

I love how it seems to never run out of scares.

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

The first one that I remember falling in love with, was the 1999 remake of “House on Haunted Hill”. It’s a movie that I can watch over and over again, and never lose my love for.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

My horror stories tend to be more on the strange and macabre side.

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

I almost always listen to music while I write. I listen to nearly everything, from classical to movie and video scores, classic rock, EDM, and nu-metal.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

Outside of writing, I enjoy playing video games, riding my bike, and working with my hands.

What is your favourite part about writing?

My favorite part about writing is that I don’t need to pay a therapist loads of money. It’s my positive outlet.

What is your favourite word?

Love, that is my favorite word. That word alone conjures up too many images to describe in this interview. I lovvve it.

What is your least favourite word?

My least favorite word, hmm, never thought about that one before. I don’t think I really have one. I love words! Ut-oh…there I go again with that word.

What turns you on in a book?

Compelling characters and a stimulating story turns me on more than anything in a book. Throw in some fun, new, or obscure words that flow nicely, and you got me sold.

Why should people be on team Patrick?

My roots are buried in New England. My mind is spread amongst the odd wonders of the universe, and my hands release the combination of the two. If those aren’t good enough reasons to join team Patrick, then maybe my stories can convince you otherwise.

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Jess Landry

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

 

What do you love about horror?
That’s a tough one to pinpoint, but I suppose the love is a nostalgic one. My childhood was full of horror, from the Goosebumps books that gave me nightmares, to TV shows like Tales from the Crypt that I used to sneak around to watch — I have nothing but happy memories when I look back at my upbringing. That, and I’ve always had a strong infatuation with strange things.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?
The first movie, in general, I remember falling in love with was Army of Darkness — it definitely shaped my taste in film (and totally leveled up my sarcastic abilities). Book-wise, my first memories are from a kids book called Popcorn. In it, a little bear is left alone on Halloween night while his parents head out to a party. He decides to invite some bear friends over, and everyone brings popcorn as a gift. There’s so much damn popcorn that it fills the whole house and the kids have to eat their way out of it. When his parents come home, they bring him a gift for being a good kid while they went out. And yup, it’s popcorn. I actually still have the book, and it’s now in my little one’s library.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?
I tend to write stories about family bonds, be it between sisters or a father and daughter, any combination, really. I try to focus on having strong yet believable characters that go through extraordinary events. Usually, the characters do not come away unscathed.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?
When I’m writing emotionally charged scenes, I put on Max Richter. He composes some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. I usually listen to instrumental songs only, as I find lyrics can sometimes be distracting (I’m a toe-tapping sing-a-longer).

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?
I’m a voracious reader and movie-watcher: I will read and watch anything, good or bad (I actually love terrible movies. It’s weird.). And, because I had a baby last June, I’ve now taken up crawling as a hobby. It’s a great way to see all the disgusting things living in between your floorboards even though you just cleaned (or, at least, thought you did).

What is your favourite part about writing?
It’s definitely the creative expression. I love being able to put down the images that pop up in my mind onto paper — it’s like taking a weight off the old shoulders.

What is your favourite word?
“Bescumber.” It’s the fanciest way to talk about flinging poop.

What is your least favourite word?
“Moist.” Nobody likes that word. I feel gross having typed it.

What turns you on in a book?
Nothing turns me on more than Canadian spelling. It’s a delight to my eyes to see a “U” where it’s supposed to be.

Why should people be on team Jess?
If you’re going to be on a team, be on Team Everyone. Sure this is a competition, but writing is tough. Hell, writing and putting it out into the universe is even tougher. I’m already a fan of everyone participating in the contest because it takes guts to pursue your dreams. So, go Team Everyone! I’m rooting for you all.

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