Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Dustin Coffman

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is Dustin Coffman who took some time to tell us about the book and his writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

King of Hearts. It’s kind of like a prequel to the original Alice in Wonderland.

What inspired the idea?

As a long time fan of the tale, I have always wanted to know more about the whole backstory of Wonderland, like how things were before Alice showed up, so I thought I would give it a shot. I must say…I really like the outcome.

When did you start writing?

The earliest I can remember writing is in the first grade. I kid you not, I used to have my teacher help me spell everything. I even remember one of the stories, about a kid, a stone dragon, and a wizard. I guess I was just born a story-teller.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

That’s a hard one. I guess horror would be my bread and butter, but that isn’t always my favorite. I would probably say fantasy is up there, along with Sci-Fi. I’m a nerd so I enjoy embracing that sometimes as well. I burn myself out on horror a lot and take a break to try something new, I don’t want to be remembered for one thing.

What are some of your influences?

R.L. Stine is the first person I started to read as a kid. Then I moved to Anne Rice, and Stephen King and finally Jim Butcher. These four authors have molded me into the writer I am today and if you look closely, you can see their influence in my work.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

It’s such an open field. Why do you think Stephen King has never quit? There is just so much to write about. I love it, I find ideas in the strangest places. I could be driving to the store or cleaning or cooking and boom a random thought will pop in my head. “Man it would suck if- or it’s kind of freaky how that looks like.”

What are some of the works you have available?

I have three books out right now, one of which is a novel while the other two are short story collections. Damien the Newborn Devil is a vampire story about a young man in New York City who has the worst luck around, it has gangs, sex, blood and everything a good vampire book needs. Twisted Tales from a Twisted Mind is my first short story book. It has tales ranging from a killer Easter Bunny to hell hounds to a real local ghost story. Blow Your Mind, is vol 2 and it has even more stories to keep my readers happy. This is probably my favorite of the three because I feel it has my best work in it.

What are you currently working on?

I’m always doing short stories, they’re fun and easy checks, so they keep me going. But I’m working on my next vampire novel, and another stand alone novel I have been wanting to do for a long time. Plus I’m still in every issue of Horrorcore Magazine so busy, busy, busy!

Where can we find you online?

I’m pretty much on everything, but my site and Facebook is the best place to find all my stuff. 

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Profile: Laurel Anne Hill and the The Engine Woman’s Light review

One of the authors featured in Clockwork Wonderland is Laurel Anne Hill. Laurel Anne’s story is called Gone a’ Hunting and is about a girl who goes on a rabbit hunt and gets caught in a place where she has plenty of time to think about what she has done. Laurel Anne Hill has been featured on the horroraddicts podcast a few times, being voted most wicked in 2011 for her steampunk/horror podcast: “Flight of Destiny. She has also been published in several anthologies and recently released her second novel, The Engine Woman’s Light. To learn more about her visit her website: http://laurelannehill.com/ and keep reading for my review of The Engine Woman’s Light.

Jaunita has had an interesting past, she was abandoned and left on a train going to an asylum for the poor. Luckily she was saved by her great grandma Zetta and the ghost of Zetta’s husband,  Javiar. She ends up in a small village where at the age of fifteen she has a mystical vision of a dead captain in an airship. She is told that it is her mission to put a stop to trains carrying California’s unwanted masses to an asylum where they will live and work until they die. A plan is in place to murder part of the asylum’s inmates to bring the asylum’s population down and Jaunita may have to murder people to put a stop to it.

Jaunita will not be alone though, she will have the help of her ghost ancestors and will meet other characters with complicated pasts. Jaunita will learn that her family has a dark side and she herself will have to do some horrible things to fulfill her mission. Jaunita is on a path that will change history along with her life, the question being can she live with the new person she will become? Jaunita lives in an alternative nineteenth-century steampunk world where spirits communicate with the living and our loved ones never really leave our sides.

If I was to use one word to describe Laurel Anne Hill’s The Engine Woman’s Light I would use “different.” Laurel Anne has created the world that made me think of an old western with steampunk elements and spiritualism thrown in for good measure. The way the settings are described really bring everything to life and you can see yourself living in this world with its vivid descriptions. Since I haven’t read too many westerns or much steampunk, this book was like entering a new world, which was easy to get hooked on. Right away you are invested in Jaunita’s story since she was a baby she defied all odds. After being abandoned and saved, she is forced into a lifechanging mission that she has to accomplish whether she wants to or not.

One thing I like about this story is that all the characters are shades of gray. Some characters here can be considered good, but sometimes they do bad things. There is a theme of redemption that runs through this book for a couple of the characters and even Jaunita wants to be redeemed for some of the actions she is forced to suffer through. The spirits in Jaunita’s family have done bad things in the past and are looking to get redemption through Jaunita and some of their actions have a bad effect on her.

Another theme in this book I liked was the idea that the people you love or have a connection to, are never far away. Jaunita’s ancestors still talk to her, even though they are dead. Even Jaunita’s dead mother who she never met is always close to her.  At one point we discover that two of the men in her life have a connection to her going way back. While reading this I felt that Laurel Anne Hill wanted to get the idea across that we are all connected whether we think it or not and even when someone is gone, they are never really gone.

One of my favorite scenes in The Engine Woman’s Light is when Juanita is starting to have feelings for the man she calls Guide. When Guide reveals who he really is and what he has done in the past, Jaunita’s heart is broken, but they stay together to continue their mission and their relationship changes. Everlasting love is also a theme in this book as well as accepting someone for the good and bad they did in life. If you like books that transport you to a different time and place, then check this one out.

http://laurelannehill.com/

The Engine Woman’s Light

Clockwork Wonderland

 

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Trinity Adler

Horroraddicts.net Publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a bloodthirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is Trinity Adler who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

My story is called “Clockwork Justice”. In the story, Alice is a young woman whose tutor leaves for Holiday. It gives Alice a chance to take a break from studying her French and typing. She finds a pocket watch in one of her family wardrobes. In short order, she learns it has a magical connection to the Cheshire Cat, who is the Police Chief Detective Inspector for violent crimes in Wonderland, and he’s intent on apprehending Alice. Apparently, the Queen’s White Rabbit has been murdered at the gates of the Red Queen’s palace. Since no stranger but Alice has visited there from the outside, she’s the prime suspect. He takes her back where she has one day to choose a guide, investigate her own case, and prove her innocence or it’s “Off with her head!” by order of the Red Queen.

What inspired the idea?

I’m active in Steampunk cosplay events and a member of a tea club, I enjoy writing westerns and murder mysteries. I’ve always loved the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Alice’s tea party is popular in Steampunk circles. Since I own a number of pocket watches, pieces of jewelry made from vintage typewriter keyboards and I remember all too well longing for a break from the repetition of language practice and typing classes, I blended a number of those elements into the story. Even though it’s set in England with a tip of the hat to the characters from the Carroll novels, the story is a murder mystery with many elements of a classic western. The sheriff, the Cheshire Cat, is determined to bring his wanted criminal, Alice, back to justice. There’s a potential death sentence for the criminal, plenty of suspects, and the protagonist has until sundown to prove her innocence or face a sentence of death.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil and spell. I wrote poems until college then I began writing short stories. My first stories were westerns for my dad but I branched out from there to fantasy fiction. The Steampunk genre is a perfect fit for blending fantasy and the Wild West.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I like writing about strong, inventive women with big ideas, interests in business, the occult, automatons, airships and a sense of justice. I like the fact that the West has always been a place that attracted people from throughout the world who want to write their own rules and are bold enough to make new dreams into reality. To achieve their goals in my stories, they’ll have to face supernatural beings and personal demons that could win in the end. I love including ghosts, Chinese mythology, American Indian mythology, legendary creatures of South America and others all working outside the bounds of mortal control. I don’t mind werewolves or vampires turning up in a plotline to change the rules of reality for my characters either.

What are some of your influences?

I had the good luck to be born into a family of teachers, scientists, and compulsive readers. My Dad’s favorite books by Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour, and my Mom’s favorite Agatha Christie mysteries and Stephen King novels were always stacked all over our house. Growing up, I read everything from Bradbury and Doyle to Shakespeare. There’s a lot of horror in Shakespeare. But my first deeper appreciation for literary horror came when I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It still chills me to read it. My love for Anne Rice’s Vampires and her other supernatural horror work is close to that. Anne Perry’s Victorian murder stories and the Steampunk novels of Gail Carriger had a big influence on me as a Steampunk writer. Strong female protagonists excel in their stories.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

To some extent, it’s the thrill of wondering what if we don’t survive contact with something unspeakably horrible? But horror also gives me that vicarious journey as a heartless villain. I think that’s a key to my attraction to Count Dracula and Lestat for example. You can’t help but put yourself in their shoes and cheer their survival even if it means certain death for the hapless victims. I love the excitement that bubbles up from the tension and suspense inherent to the battles between mortal and immortal, good and evil.. Horror wouldn’t be effective without it.

What are some of the works you have available?

I have work in two anthologies in current publication. I have a story in Clockwork Wonderland called “Clockwork Justice”. I’m featured in Written Across the Genres with the poem “Hope”.

What are you currently working on?

I have several works in the process of editing. Two are Steampunk children’s books “A Clockwork Christmas” and “The Mad Scientist’s Tea”. I have a collection called “Tales of the Haunted West” near completion, and two Steampunk novels that are finished and ready for editing. The first is called “Glory Anna’s Heart” and the other is titled “Amber Dragon, Clockwork Tiger”.

Where can we find you online?

I have a Trinity Adler author page on Facebook and a webpage at www.trinityadler.com. As work is published announcements are added to each of those sites.

By The Fire Episode 140: Challenge 4: 60 second commercial horror spoof

Hey Horror addicts, we just had our fourth challenge in the horroraddicts.net Next Great Writer Challenge. The challenge for this episode was to write a 60-second commercial spoof of a make-believe horror product. Wow! This could be a fun challenge but it could also be very difficult. First of all, you must have a sense of humor and be able to get an idea across in a short period of time.

The contestants were judged on a comedy level, spoof product originality, and entertainment value. Luckily with this little project horror, comedy and 60-second spoofs can all go hand in hand. There are a lot of make believe products that monsters, ghosts or masked maniacs could use to make their jobs easier. For one thing, let’s talk about werewolves. Werewolves don’t get the respect they deserve so maybe what they need is a publicity agent. A werewolf publicity agent can help promote how dangerous werewolves really are, how many kills they made and reasons why they are a better monster than vampires.

Another useful monster product maybe a body count keeper for masked murderers. Sometimes a hooded maniac can lose track of how many people they killed and they need something that can help them keep track of things a little better. I’m thinking of a pedometer that tracks kills. What killer would want to lose track of how many people they have disposed of?

Another good 60 second spoof could be for a monster dating service. Everyone needs love including monsters but of course, if they went on a regular dating site, they probably won’t have much luck. Monsters need a dating service where they can meet their own kind. A human and a vampire won’t mix but a vampire and a zombie might have a lot in common.

So if you took part in this competition to do a 60 second horror commercial spoof what would you write about? The ideas seem to be endless and it’s a fun topic to write about. Leave a comment and tell us what horror product would you parody?

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Guest Blog Post: Jaap Boekestein

The Tick, Tock Story

By

Jaap Boekestein

Like any text nowadays: spoilers ahead! Those who enter with be corrupted with knowledge.
I need to write. When I don’t write, when I don’t create I get unhappy and I die a little inside. The never-ending urge to evade death by creating. Dear Sigmund no doubt would have had to say some interesting things about that. Or not, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Now am I in the happy circumstances I can purely write for fun. I make my living by doing things to computer systems and that allows me to be a non-commercial writer, photographer, and illustrator in my spare time. So basically I can be totally selective in what I write. For me, the theme for an anthology or magazine must be interesting, challenging or fun. Not too broad, not too restrictive and it must take me places in my mind I haven’t visited before.

Basically every evening I check a bunch of websites for interesting calls for short story submissions. When and where I first learned of Clockwork Wonderland I really can’t tell. Probably a few websites at the same time because there usually is a fair amount of overlap.
Alice in Wonderland…
Horror…
Time…

Now, that is interesting, I thought. Alice in Wonderland with Horror. ‘Real Horror’ said the submission if my memory serves me well.
Ah! And Time.
Aha!

Now does Alice in Wonderland lend itself easily for satire, adventure, humor even erotica (or porn, but you can turn everything into porn), but horror? For a good horror-story the reader needs to feel for at least one character. The reader must care so you can take grab that feeling by hairs and push it slowly towards the rotating blade of a lawnmower. (The blade is rusty, you feel the wind, you hear the engine. Slowly, slowly. You fight and scream, to no avail. What will be first? Your nose? How much will it hurt? And will that evil bastard push on, slicing up your face, breaking your jaw? How long will you feel before you pass out?). Yes, it is a dirty job to be a horror writer, but somebody has to do it. Sweet sadists like yours truly for example.

Anyway, I just didn’t see myself building up Alice as a character to care for. Way too much luggage, too many clashing images I had to overcome. Too many movies, books and games with Alice as the heroine. No, that wouldn’t do at all. But of course Alice needed to be a major character in the story, so I decided to make her the villain. What would happen to Alice when she was all grown up? A nasty, bloodthirsty, manipulative, murderous lady clad like a bad ass Dominatrix? Sure, why not. Always fun to write about your dream lady ;-).

The easiest way to get your readers to feel for a character is to use the love story. Or a slightly crooked but still sympathetic character. So I used both. Shot both barrels, so to say. Now I had the love story, I had Alice as the Big Evil, but I still needed to incorporate Time.

My twisted mind conjured up an image of a huge clock working like a kind of guillotine. Yes, I definitely would use that! Still, that was not enough. Time had to be part of the story, from the first to the last second. How?

Getting ideas for a story is just asking yourself a bunch of questions and finding original answers. It is not a big secret.
Anyway, when did Time play a role in the original stories?
Duh, right from the beginning! One white rabbit with a watch, remember?
Yes! But what to do with that nugget?
Well… I considered introducing Father Time somewhere, but the Alice movie that just came out around that time used that same idea. So no, that was out. Time, time, time…

That watch. What if it was a huge watch with people running around on it?
Or… What if it was a normal watch with a lot of tiny people running around on it? And when our heroes were hiding on that watch?
The story was born.
So dear reader, I hope you will enjoy or have enjoyed my story.
Let me know if you want more.
You can trust me.
I am a horror writer.
I will start the lawn mower.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544785518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493493560&sr=8-1&keywords=clockwork+wonderland

 

Jaap Boekestein

http://jaapboekestein.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/jaapboekestein.com

http://www.moordenmysterie.eu/

http://www.wonderwaan.info/

 

David’s Haunted Library: Monsters In Our Wake and Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt

Some people think of space as the final frontier but we have another unexplored area that is a lot closer to us. The deepest part of the ocean is still a mystery and who knows what kind of creatures live down there. In the deep waters of the South Pacific an oil drilling ship is about to find what lurks bellow and they will be very sorry they disturbed it. The ship lowers its drill into the territory of  a family of Nokkens who hate humans with a passion.

The Nokkens are more intelligent than humans think and in their minds its the humans who are the inferior creatures.  In retaliation for invading their space, one of the Nokkens attacks the ship leaving it disabled and thousands of miles away from anyone who can help. Now the humans are starting to turn on the lone woman on the ship, marine biologist Flora Duchovney Flora begins to wonder if the worst monsters are on the ship or in the depths of the ocean.

The first thing that sticks out about Monsters In Our Wake by J.H Moncrieff is that the book starts from the monster’s point of view. Right off the bat that made this book better than your average horror novel. The point of view shifts from the Nokken to Flora, to the members of the ship’s crew. The big question in this book is who really is the monster? The Nokkens, the humans, or both.

The who is the monster theme lasts throughout this book. We get to hear about how the Nokkens hate the humans because of the damage they have done to the ocean and its creatures. Another reason why the Nokkens think of humans as monsters is because they kill each other, which to them is insane. We see this start to play out on the ship as well when the crew become desperate. The Nokkens show how they can be monsters too though as they teach the humans lessons in respect.

Flora was my favorite character in the book because despite things being bad for her she is the strongest character. When things go wrong she takes the blame whether it was her fault or not and at one point she even gets labeled as a witch because the rest of the crew believes she summoned the monster. What I found most interesting about her though is when we see her having an anxiety attack as she wonders about how she will survive and get back to her son at home. Though when things get worse on the ship she does what she needs to do and has no problem with her anxiety.

There was a lot to like about Monsters In Our Wake, the book is a lot of fun. While it’s mostly a horror novel with a deep meaning to it, it has a little humor to it also. There are some unanswered questions about the creatures that I would like to know, but it didn’t take anything away from the overall story. The characters have a lot of depth to them, they are shades of gray instead of black and white. The Nokkens have done some terrible things to the humans, but also show compassion. On the other hand, some of the humans have shown that they have a heart but do some evil things as well. The only one who can be described as good is Flora and she comes across as the most interesting character in the book. Despite some minor flaws, this was an entertaining read and I’m hoping to read more from J.H. Moncrieff in the future.

Dorsal Finn is a strange place sitting on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Weird things seem to happen there and it has its fair share of odd characters. For one thing, there is a dark entity living under the bizarre little town and it seems to have created a magnet for people who have evil agendas. Luckily, 15-year-old Beatrice Beecham and her friends are on the scene and ready to solve mysteries and stop evil, dead in its tracks. Beatrice and her friends call themselves the Newshounds and they are a force to be reckoned with.

This adventure has its beginnings way back during World War 2 when two young girls rescue a German scientist who is working on an invention to change the world. The scientist didn’t survive the war but a part of him may have. Flash forward to the present, one of the young girls who saved him is now an elderly woman and is hearing the scientist’s voice in her hearing aid. Underneath the Dorsal Finn Library lies something that can change the world and someone sinister is looking for it. To make matters worse, an organization called the Blue Thunder Foundation is having a strange effect on the town. It’s up to Beatrice and her friends to figure out what’s happening in Dorsal Finn.

Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt by Dave Jeffery is a complex supernatural mystery novel aimed at a Y.A. audience. There is so much going on in the plot that its hard to describe it without leaving things out. This is a book that both adults and kids will like and it will really test your ability to pay attention. Because if you blink you will miss something. What I really enjoyed about this book was how the senior citizens and the kids work together to save their town. I also like that there is a historical fiction aspect to the book as it gets into the history of the Nazis and their dealings with the occult.

This book has several themes running throughout it and most appealing is the importance of friendship and how to deal with bullies. There were a couple of scenes where Beatrice and friends stand up to adult bullies and bully their own age. In one case the newshounds help a deaf girl who is being mistreated by the town bully and accept her into their group despite her differences. It doesn’t work out as they planned which was my favorite part of the book that I don’t want to give away, but the main point is that nothing keeps true friends apart.

The only problems I had with this book was I kept wondering if kids are really this nice, some of their conversations are so nice that it seemed unreal to me. Also, there was a point about half way through the book where I felt the author was adding way too many complex ideas to the story and he really needed to add a little suspense. The suspense comes though in the last third of the book as the story goes from historical mystery to action adventure. Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt is a good book to give to a teenager who doesn’t like reading. With the great adult and kid characters and the excellent story, it’s almost guaranteed to get a non reader to start a love of reading.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: James Pyne

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 5th anthology called Clockwork WonderlandThis is a book where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book lies tales of serial killers, insane creations, a blood thirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Clockwork Wonderland includes 15 tales that make Wonderland into a place of horror where all your worst nightmares come true. One of the authors in this anthology is James Pyne who took some time to tell us about the book and his writing:

What is your story in Clockwork Wonderland called and what is it about?

“Blood Will Have Blood” is about a large clock pendant once owned by the White Rabbit and now is the property of Alicia Henderson. This particular clock has a large appetite for blood. Without it, it stops ticking and if it stops ticking really bad things happen.

What inspired the idea?

Once I read the submissions guidelines for Clockwork Wonderland, the image of the original Alice hanging from a tree branch popped up and it went from there. I’ve been a Wonderland fan for years so this was right up my alley. I’m excited to be part of this anthology!

When did you start writing?

It all started with Hardy Boy books. One day I was walking home from elementary school reading a “A Figure in Hiding,” volume 16 in the original Hardy Boys series. I was bad for reading while walking home and it made me a target for bullies. One such bully blindsided me as I was walking across a wooden bridge arching over a brook. He pushed me on the snow and was ready to punch me silly until seeing my Hardy Boys book next to us. He started bashing my face with it, shouting how he hated people who read and how the only people he hated more was the people who wrote the books. He warned me I better never write or he’d cut my hands off. I didn’t listen and still have both my hands. That bully did me good in the end. I’d thank him if I could.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Dark Fantasy and Horror are my comfort zones but I occasionally stray into other genres from time to time.

What are some of your influences?

I’m all over the place when it comes to my influences. John Gardner (Grendel. Sunlight Dialogues. The Art of Fiction). Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Knut Hamsun. Margaret Atwood. Sade. And tons of others. In the dark fantasy and horror fields: Karl Edward Wagner, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Lucy Taylor, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson. William F. Nolan. Harlan Ellison. H.G. Wells. One of my favorite short stories of all time is “Evening Primrose” by John Collier. We’ll give life in general and family and friends and strangers, especially creepy ones, the rest of the credit for my influences.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

There are no limits if you’re willing to go there. I don’t live by the belief there’s nothing new under the sun. There’s always new ways in scaring people because we as a species find new ways in hating and killing each other and come up with new inventions that need to be scrutinized and exposed in the horror genre. I love the fact horror can be graphic but the best kind, in my opinion, is the kind that hits home no matter how fantastical it might be. I love everything about horror. Shades of horror can be found in the greatest literature. The dog hung by a handkerchief from Wuthering Heights is a perfect example. More times than not, you’ll find some form of horror in the greatest literature. Some kind of fear that hits home hard like a baseball bat to the face.

What are some of the works you have available?

To be honest, after many years of learning the craft, I just started submitting back in March 2016. I was slaughtered the first few months. Then my first horror story was published in James Ward Kirks Ugly Babies 3 anthology in May. Early June 2016, Dorthy Davies of Thirteen O’Clock Press gave me the best critique I could ever get. She showed me where I was going wrong and sixty-three published stories later, I haven’t looked back. This isn’t bragging. This is a shout out to anyone out there that doubts their art; don’t. You can do this. And if an editor takes time from their valuable minutes to bitch slap you awake, embrace it. Don’t run away from it.

What are you currently working on?

I have two novels on the go but haven’t visited them much due to flooding the market with short story submissions. I’m trying to make up for lost time and make new friends in the horror field along the way. But this month I’ll be working on both books. The first, Big Cranky, is a mythological soap opera and has a little of everything, from Lucifer to Death and his lovely wife Santa Muerte, with almost every pantheon of gods and goddesses throughout the world. It’s been a wild ride to write and you know what, it’s time to get back on. The other novel I’m working on is Woe, a very graphic horror novel with, I hope, a unique heroine who’s forced to adapt if she wants to survive in my version of Hell.

Where can we find you online?

The best place to keep updated on me is my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjamespyne  Feel free to add me, everyone.