Author Archive

An interview with Mark Slade

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2015 by David Watson

meOur featured author for episode 113 of the podcast is Mark Slade. Here is what Mark had to say about his work and what draws him to the horror genre:

 

 

 

When did you start writing?

I was 14.Iwrote a story after watching a movie on Elvira and quickly realized how bad that was compared to The Twilight Zone, Hammer films and Alfred Hitchcock Presents that I had been watching. I thought I could do better than that movie on Elvira. actually, I was wrong.  I wrote for years then stopped in my late twenties. I picked it up again at age 41 after a friend urged me to.

What kind of stories do you like to write?

Mostly I like to write stories with surprise endings. I love doing Twilight Zone type stories which is actually a huge canvas with fantasy,horror, and sf. I’ve always tried to find a good bridge between stories in the style of my fav writers like Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Joe Lansdale, Dennis Etchison,  and Clive Barker along with influences from Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote,  and too many to list. Robert E. Howard has been a great influence as well, and I love Manly Wade Wellman and John Collier! no one ever talks about Collier. It’s a shame, he was really good.

Could you tell us where we might read some of your work?

Horrified Press has published a lot of my stories in their anthologies. They published my weird/western “A Six-Gun and the Queen of Light.” I have a book published by Sunbury Press called Electric Funeral. and some audio dramas I wrote for 4077th/all better audio productions. I have to thank Jeff Niles and Viktor Auralis for giving me the chance to write scripts for their audio dramas. I’m having a blast doing it.
I’m also in Demonic Visions anthologies edited and published by Chris Robertson. I also write a column called FROM THE GRAVE for Horror Metal Sounds website, run by Kenneth Gallant. Kenneth is hoping to transition to print soon. I get to look back on old favs from horror and underground categories. Maybe one day collect all of those articles in book form.
Could you tell us about Nightmare Illustrated magazine?22529373
Unfortunately NI is over with. It never really took off. It was meant to be in the style of EC comics what they called picto-fiction. It was hard to explain to artists how to do that, so I gave up and accepted what art I could get for the stories. some issues are better than others. I think issue 2 is the best. But we got to involve some good writers and artists. Got to have interviews with Joe Lansdale and a few others.
BIZZARE VOL 1
Could you tell us about your story in Bizarre Fantasy?
Bizarre fantasy is a comic book anthology edited with Gavin Chappell. in the same vein as Heavy Metal Magazine. got a lot of great art and some cool stories. That’s one thing I have to hand it to Nathan Rowark and Gavin Chappell. They are really good at giving writers and artists chances to express ideas and start-up projects. They’ve been good friends in these endeavors.
What’s the difference between writing a story that would be considered bizarre fiction as opposed to other genres?
I really couldn’t tell you. It’s all genre oriented aimed at those who like pulpy type of fiction. Really it’s more a name for the volumes coming out.
What do you like about the horror genre?
The fact that characters experience worst kind of situations and make it out changed people. Also that they are gruesome stories. Or funny. Sometimes the weirder the story, the better.
To find out more about Mark Slade check out his blog: http://bloodydreadful.blogspot.com/

Review: Laugh To Death and Bizarre Fantasy

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2015 by David Watson

With the topic of episode 113 of horror addicts being Bizarro fiction I’ve got a couple of works of literature that are not your average reads:

23646976Salero was born into a family of circus performers. They were all acrobats but Salero decided to go against the family’s wishes and become a clown. Salero worked hard and he won the respect of his family and several awards for being a clown. He joined a traveling circus that’s on a tour of America and he is the star of the show, but he doesn’t fit in with the rest of the performers.

Salero is the only one in the circus that travels with his own Italian sports car along with having half a train car as his living quarters. Salero is clown royalty and he is also a serial killer. Not just any serial killer either, he targets young women who have a fear of clowns and he likes to sexually torture them before finishing them off. He makes kids laugh by day and women scream by night and as he travels from town to town he makes sure he covers his tracks. His killing spree may be coming to an end though as two detectives from New Orleans are on the case and closing in.

Laugh To Death by Charie D. La Marr is like no book I’ve read. After spending 9 years as a clown, Charie has started her own genre called Circus Punk and  Laugh To Death is as dark as Circus Punk can get. To say this book is disturbing is an understatement. I’ve never read sexual torture scenes that went on for so long. The Sex scenes are so descriptive and so unbelievable that even the most hard-core S and M fan may start squirming. Salero also  psychologically tortures his victims as he rapes them which makes this book even more shocking.

When I read a horror novel I usually don’t like it when it’s obvious that the author is going out of his or her way to shock me. In Laugh To Death it’s pretty clear that Charie D. La Marr is pushing the reader to the breaking point and trying to see how much the reader can handle. Though for me unlike other books I’ve read where the point is to shock, I wanted to keep reading this one even though I found myself feeling sick to my stomach. I can’t even describe the most disturbing scenes because I would be embarrassed to write about it, but the writing is so good in this book that I kept on reading.

The story may be pretty thin in Laugh To Death but the complex characters kept me wanting more. Salero may be a sadistic killer but there are some great scenes where the author makes him seem compassionate. It was also interesting finding out what his victims’ feelings are and how they question their own feelings. The two detectives in the story have a lot of great conversations with each other that made this book better.

Despite its flaws, Laugh To Death is a book that has its moments. In particular it gives a detailed glimpse at what a serial killer might be thinking and what the victims might be feeling. Beware though, this book is 436 pages and I would say 70 percent of it is describing brutal torture scenes. I think this book could have been better with a little less description and if it was a 100 pages shorter. That being said I would love to read more books by Charie D. La Marr in the future.

BIZZARE VOL 1Next up I wanted to talk about a new comic magazine edited by Mark Slade and Gavin Chappell called Bizarre Fantasy. This is a new magazine available from Rogue Planet Press which is a division of Horrified Press. In the intro of the first issue of Bizarre Fantasy, Will Viharo talks about how the combination of comic books and pulp magazines have influenced pop culture. Bizarre Magazine combines both genres and shows that pulp fiction and comics are just as relevant today as they were in the past.

This magazine is a passion project started by several writers and artists that grew up with a love of comics and old pulp adventures. There are seven stories here that range from shocking to humorous and there is some great artwork to go along with it. One of the stories that I loved in this magazine is Remnant written by LA Sykes and illustrated by Steve Wenta. The story is about a dying man who is writing about a demon that has laid waste to the world he lives in. Though as you read you find that things may not have happened as the one writing the story suggests. This story was a great example of how you don’t need a lot of words to tell a good story.

Some of the other stories here include one about a man who is turned into a snake after sex. This was a funny story that gets into the guilt that goes along with sex. The other ones in this collection include a kid who is having nightmares about outer space and runs away to join a circus, a mystical female warrior, a strange creature who gets control of a giant robot that changes his life, an alien’s worst nightmare and a strange vampire tale. I can’t say enough good things about Bizarre Fantasy Volume 1. The art is great, the stories are well written and the magazine was simply a lot of fun to read. If you consider yourself an indie comic geek, this is a magazine that you don’t want to miss out on.

Writer’s Workshop Winner: Jesse Orr

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2015 by David Watson

For episode Horror Addicts episode 112 our featured author is the winner of our annual writer’s work shop Jesse Orr. Jesse’s band Murder Weapons has been showcased on the horror addicts podcast last season:

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/dawns-dark-music-corner-murder-weapons/

 

Jesse also has a 12 part story that is being showcased on the horroraddicts blog this season. The series is called Grant Me Serenity and you can read part one at this link:

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/grant-me-serenity-jerry/

unnamed

Here is what Jesse had to say on his music and writing:

1. When did you start writing?

Earliest memory of writing I have is it being part of our daily routine in elementary school. One of my favorite activities was to take a picture from a metal box containing laminates of various random things, then write a story based off of it. I don’t remember most of the photos but two I recall are a gorgeous looking strawberry shortcake and some sort of tranquil wooded creek scene. I used the creek scene for a my first ever story with chapters. There were five chapters in that story, each one maybe fifty words. I remember being irked that they were so short upon typing them. There was also a unit called Written and Illustrated the whole school did every year in which as the title implies we would write and illustrate our own stories, then bind them into crude but awesome books. I still have some of them that I wrote, one of them a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
2. What are some of the subjects you like to write about?
Invariably something dark with a high likelihood of no happy ending. I wouldn’t say I have certain subjects I prefer over others. Generally nothing supernatural but that could be changing. I wish I could give a better answer but I’ve spent forever trying to and the idea of choosing to write about subjects is completely alien to me.
3. What is your story about for episode 112?

This was written sometime back in 2001 and was lost on a dead hard drive for about a decade. Once recovered, I had no memory of the story outside of knowing I’d written something ”fucked up and bloody” and retooled what I found to fit in with the origin part of a vampire story I’ve been working on for years. As you might guess, this is the origin of the vampire species itself on earth, with the newly turned largely running on mad savage instinct alone. What you don’t see in the story I submitted is that the longer one of these creatures stays alive, the more refined it gets and becomes less a zombie and more the vampire we are familiar with since Mr Lugosi redefined the role.

4. Could you tell us about your music career a little?

No.
Just kidding. The thing which started me on the path to where I am now was a review for a KISS concert in Anchorage Alaska in January 2000. I didn’t even go to this show, but the photo was very striking. I thought, “Holy shit, people are allowed to look this weird on stage? You can do that???” I started playing drums, took up bass upon moving out of my parents’ house, and moved to Seattle to further my career, Alaska not being known for producing musicians. I joined two projects within a month of moving here, one experimental avant-garde industrial and one 80s metal, the former I played keyboards and the latter I honed my bass skills with the help of the frontman. In 2009 I joined Desillusion, where I learned a whole new school of musicianship. I always wanted to start my own project though, and so I finally started writing my own tracks and looking for people who would play them with me. Murder Weapons was born in 2012 and we’ve been playing shows since. Currently we’re about to put out a CD and we’re planning a music video.
5. Is the process for writing a short story a lot different then writing a song?
The strangest things randomly inspire me, and I frequently wake up with gibberish scrawled on my dry erase board I have only a hazy recollection of writing. When writing a story, I always have it in my head, at least a concept for it, and then it’s just a matter of transcribing it. With a song, I frequently just sit down, choose a key and a cool sound and let it go from there. Sometimes I’ll have a sample or a concept in mind but normally I have no idea how a song will turn out when I start. With writing I normally have at least a vague idea.
6. Which one is easier for you?
They are equally easy when the muse is in. I wrote an entire song once start to finish within six hours because the muse was screaming in my ear that night. I have also had songs in progress for years and not finished. The same is true with writing. Some weeks I’ll have 10000 words, some I won’t even press a button. The hard part is being able to indulge the muse when it knocks, which more and more frequently is about ten minutes after I lay down to sleep.
7. What are your plans for the future in writing and in music?
With writing, I’m always trying to push myself to write at least in a way I haven’t yet. I like to write about certain things, and when I write about them time and time again I have to find some way of making it fresh. I’m hoping the column I have biweekly on this site is well received and eventually I’d like to publish some sort of book, or something. In music, I’m following the logical progression of album, music video, promotion, shows, repeat.

https://www.facebook.com/murd3rweapon5

Review: The Undying

Posted in News with tags , , , on April 4, 2015 by David Watson

22638090Post Apocalypse fiction is a genre that never gets old, because it shows you how humans might act under the worst circumstances. This is showcased well in The Undying by Ethan Reid. Jeanie and Ben arrived in Paris to celebrate the new year with friends. As the clock strikes midnight, the lights go out all over Paris and fireballs rain down from the sky.

Jeanie and Ben are now stuck in a foreign land as society crumbles around them. With all communications with the outside world cut off, no one knows what’s happening. To make matters worse there are intelligent, fast-moving, bloodthirsty creatures roaming the city and their numbers grow by the hour. The situation seems bleak as a small group of survivors go deep in the catacombs under Paris to escape the city in flames.

The Undying has a story that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. The author gets you to care about the characters by giving a glimpse into their background and then throws them into a situation that seems hopeless. The heroine in the story is Jeanie who is dealing with the loss of her father. She didn’t handle the loss well and came to Paris to visit an old friend to get her life back together.  You feel sympathy for Jeanie because she had already gone through a lot before the apocalypse.

Ethan Reid does an excellent job making you care for everyone in The Undying.  I loved the way the author uses flashbacks to make you feel empathy. The setting is great in this book as well.  Two of the characters are Americans, they don’t speak french and don’t know their way around, which adds a lot of suspense to the book. Another great part in this book is when the main characters go in the catacombs under the city. I loved the description of the catacombs and how being in a dark place filled with old skeletons slowly makes the characters turn on each other.  Paris is almost like a character in this book and I felt like I had spent time in the catacombs when I was done with the book.

My favorite part of the book was in the beginning as things are first falling apart and one of the characters starts saying what he thinks is happening. Once again we see how the author makes you feel sympathy for everyone as we learn that his wife is in a hospital that has lost power close by and she is having a baby. You start to see how hopeless their situation is but at the same time they have to do what’s right and get to the woman and baby.

The Undying has some great characters, suspenseful moments and a great setting. The one problem I had with it was that it needed more action. Early on we find out that  zombie/vampire hybrids are walking the streets, but they don’t have a big part until the end. However I did like how they are introduced and how only one of the characters notices them at first. The Undying is a book that preys on your emotions, it might not have much action but it makes up for it in atmosphere and getting deep into everyone’s feelings. If you like books about the apocalypse check this one out.

Review: Somnalia

Posted in News with tags , , on March 21, 2015 by David Watson

10423262_10153131197557246_7282674637382451459_nLast time we saw Flynn and Charlotte in Happiness And Other Diseases things were not going well for the young couple in love. In Sumiko Saulson’s Somnalia things have gotten worse for them and the gods of the underworld. With Brash the god of erotic nightmares gone, Phobetor the god of nightmares is looking to expand his kingdom. He tries to win the trust of Flynn and Charlotte, while another god releases two dream demons in the form of children into the real world to wreak havoc. Chaos reins supreme in the land of dreams and in reality. Earth’s only hope is in the hands of two lovers who have been separated after making a supreme sacrifice.

The best part of this book for me was the interactions between Phobetor and Flynn. The early scenes with these two were like a therapy session and as the book goes on, you see their relationship change. Both characters manage to learn something about themselves from the other. While Phobetor does have an agenda, Flynn is too trusting and they are both different characters by the end of the book.

One thing Sumiko Saulson does well in her novels is use characters that you don’t see in most books. Some of her characters suffer from mental illness,  many are minorities and the main hero in the book, Flynn is a person who doesn’t want to be a hero. Flynn is someone who fell in love and got much more than he bargained for. He has power over a kingdom and other gods want him dead. All he really wants is to be with Charlotte and be happy. The characters are what really make this book interesting because they all are like people whom you would meet in everyday life.

Another character I liked was Sympathy. She starts the book as part demon and works with her sister Mercy to bring destruction to everyone they come across. As the story moves along Sympathy changes and the story gets suspenseful as she tries to escape with her sick mother.  Somnalia is an interesting look at what makes a person do what they do and how they change when they see the error of their ways.

Somnalia is not your average horror novel. There are no monsters jumping out at people, it’s light on the gore and, until you get into the last half of the book, there isn’t much suspense. Somnalia is a psychological thriller or in other words an intellectual horror novel. Sumiko brings a lot of different mythological figures to life and lets you see everything that’s going on in their heads. This book also gets heavily into the theme of redemption, loyalty, love and even has an interesting section that focuses on the grieving process.  Somanlia is a book for readers who like complex characters and like to look for a deeper meaning in literature. It also has some good humor and some good horror scenes. You might not look at twins the same way again.

Black Jack

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2015 by David Watson

Final6x9-200x300Hey Horror Addicts, On this season of the horror addict’s podcast we will once again be having an audio drama that will be running season long. Starting with episode 111 you will be able to hear Dan Shaurette’s story Black Jack. Dan is a  staff writer at horroraddicts.net and his story Black Magic ran during season 8 of the horror addict podcast. Black Jack will be a full audio production with multiple voices and sound effects that you won’t want to miss. To get a feel for what to expect from Dan’s story I asked him a few questions about his work:

What is your story about?
Without giving away too much, the story is about Jacob Springer and his investigation into who killed his mother. It is set around the murderous reign of terror committed by Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel, 1888.

What inspired you to write it?
While writing Black City, my current novel in progress, I created Jacob Springer initially as a throwaway character, but he wasn’t too keen on that. He’s a bit of a rogue, you see. So as he became more involved in the story, I gave him a back-story, which evolved into this tale, Black Jack. Much like the side bits I discovered while writing Black Magic, it was the discovery of butchered bodies dumped in the Thames River and around town that are not (usually) attributed to Jack the Ripper. These killings started about a year or so before, occurred during, and lasted a year or two after Jack’s ripping spree took place. They made headlines, usually being blamed on Jack, but the police kept them separate while investigating because they were a different style of mutilations. It was the story of a victim who was unnamed at first, but later called “Fairy Fay”, that gave me the core of the tale.

5791268Who are some of the voices who will be in it?
In addition to Emerian Rich who brings voice to three different characters, my good friends and local podcasters Jack Mangan and Dani Cutler were roped in to help. Murdo Morrison and Mat Weller who voiced MacGillivray and Black in Black Magic are back. I also worked with Lucie Le Blanc again, who provided the voice of Abby from my Masters of Macabre story a few years back. She directed me to contact the phenomenal Veronica Giguere. Rounding out the cast are Pete Lutz, Sean Young, Glenn Hibburt, and Ted Wenskus, all of whom answered the call online for voices, and each and every one has been a pleasure to work with, and I hope to work with them again.

What can we expect in upcoming episodes?
Fairies, demons, and serial killers, oh my. Oh yes, there will be blood and gore. Gee, I hope this is the right place for that.

What do you like about this time period?
Especially this time period, the one dominated by Jack the Ripper, I find it fascinating researching the life and time of these people. Whitechapel was a piss-poor place to live back then, and the Ripper was a truly frightening killer. It was a dark and horrifying time and the mystery of who Jack the Ripper really was lingers to this day. In this story, I advance my theory as to who the Ripper might have been — had they been assisted by some supernatural elements, of course.

Is it related to your story Black Magic or Lilith’s Love?
Black Jack is a direct prequel to my novel, Black City, which Black Magic was a parallel story to. In Black City, Jacob Springer teams up with Matt Black and Andrew MacGillivray to find out who is killing women during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. If my stories were compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these would be two stand-alone origin stories with Black City being The Avengers. With that analogy, Lilith’s Love is like one of the Spider-man movies — it came out a long time ago and you know the stories are connected somehow.

How long did it take to produce an episode?
Once everyone turns in their recorded lines to me, it takes me at least a week to edit everything together with sound effects and music to make one episode… which runs less than 10 minutes.

Will you eventually turn this into a book?
Yes, just as I did with Black Magic, I will edit and publish Black Jack. Then I have to finish up Black City before I go insane. You know, again. After that, I have so many more stories to tell, I promise, you haven’t heard the last from the Black Books.

 

For more information on Dan check out his website:

http://dan.shaurette.com/

Review: Ketchup On Everything

Posted in News with tags , , , , on February 27, 2015 by David Watson

21796953

Elliot Tather is a man who has lost everything. He had a good life but one event caused it all to fall apart and now he is a lonely person traveling the countryside in an RV searching for meaning. He finds what he is looking for one night when he arrives at an all night diner and witnesses something unbelievable that changes everything.

I’m not even sure where to begin on talking about Ketchup On Everything by Nathan Robinson. This is one great novella, but if I talk about it too much it will spoil it. When I started reading it I immediately fell in love with the main character, Elliot. Everything is described from his view-point and he goes into great depth describing the diner that he goes into and the waitress that is taking his order. You begin to care for the waitress as well as Elliot’s inner thoughts describe the kind of person he thinks she is. In the beginning you also get a quick glimpse of the RV that he is traveling in and I found myself wondering what brought Elliot to the diner and why does he talk like his wife is with him.

The story may unfold slowly with very little action but you are so into the characters that you don’t really notice. We eventually hear about Elliot’s past and I found myself wondering would I be like Elliot if this happened to me? When I was half way through the book I was thinking  where is this story going?  Then a whole new story begins that makes you question what happened earlier in the book. This is a masterfully told tale that has a slow build and ends with a lot of action and an exciting climax.

Ketchup On Everything combines real life horrors with fictional horrors. This is the perfect horror novella because it preys on your emotions. You care about Elliot and you watch him go through every parent’s worst nightmare and then you get hit with a surprise twist. This book may have an odd title but it does make sense when you read it. The title and description of this book gives no clue as to what comes in the second half of the book, which is where everything changes. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Ketchup On Everything.  You won’t regret it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,386 other followers