Guest Blog: Adam L. Bealby on Alice in Wonderland

Adam L. Bealby on Alice in Wonderland

She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What will become of me?’

I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.

When I was a kid I enjoyed the feeling of being trapped. Yeah, I know. Weirdo, right?

At night I would wrap myself up in my duvet and pile a load of pillows, cushions and covers on top of that, seal off any stray air vents, and pretend I’d been caught in a freak landslide, or fallen down a hole into a deep crevice. I would lie in my fabricated womb of cotton and eiderdown, growing increasingly hot and dizzy as the oxygen thinned out, as the sweat dappled my skin, and I would lull myself into a meditative state, away from the troubles of the real world.

Because it was either that or panic. The idea of actually being trapped filled me with dread. It still does.

Descent? That film was terrifying before the monsters turned up.

Which leads me to why I like the Alice in Wonderland books so much. They’re a characteristic attempt to enter the dream world, much more successful than my artificial womb. They also have a claustrophobic atmosphere that no amount of weighted quilts could hope to emulate.

My Alice-inspired story “Alice’s Scars” is out now from HorrorAddicts.net Press. It’s about a guy who meets a gal and they fall in love. Only the gal is all messed up and leads him down the rabbit hole into her abusive past – one in which she retreated into a Wonderland fantasy.

At any moment the dream could turn into a full-on nightmare, and there’s something primordial and intoxicating about gazing into the abyss isn’t there?

Or maybe I was just a weirdo-kid. I also enjoyed pushing my thumbs into my closed eyes and watching the black and white kaleidoscope whirl of jagged shapes…


Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby now available at Amazon.com

Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

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Guest Blog: A Bit ‘a Alice by Adam L. Bealby

A Bit ‘a Alice
By Adam L. Bealby

“Nurse! Do let’s pretend that I’m a hungry hyena. And you’re a bone!”

I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.

When I was eight I was with my gran in a supermarket when I saw a tower of stacked bread baskets, perhaps thirty feet high, just beginning to totter. Naturally, I ran over to prop up the leaning tower with tiny hands enticed to noble action. Buttressed from the base, the top of the tower continued its inexorable fall, but so unhurriedly I had time to take in the enormity of my error, to calmly consider my impending doom. Time sped up only as it dawned on me I should be using this god given grace to get the heck out of there. Time sped up so quickly, in fact, that the tower bore down on me with a malicious grinning ferocity, getting bigger as I got correspondingly smaller, consuming me in a sudden landslide of plastic.

Whereupon, and wherein, I began to have an asthma attack. A shop attendant pulled me out by the scruff of the neck and there was much panic and flapping and attention focused my way. With my gran in attendance, belligerently calling the shots (“My Adam could have died as a result of your negligence!”), we were whisked up to the canteen, where I was fed buttered toast and milk (“It’s free, you know,” Gran whispered, “So you better have another slice.”)

Of course, looking back now the baskets couldn’t possibly have been stacked thirty feet high. Time didn’t slow down; it didn’t speed up. The tower was neither grinning, nor malicious; it just was. It didn’t grow bigger, it came closer, and that made me feel small and vulnerable, and I was shocked and probably a bit embarrassed to be knocked off my feet, and that made me wheezy.

All of these subversions of memory are the result of my having been an eight-year-old kid, making sense of the world through a child’s eyes. They’re also subversions employed in the Alice books, of course. Lewis Carroll was appropriating a child’s eye view – the eyes of Alice Liddell – when he first concocted, narrated, no doubt embellished-in-the-telling, a story that so mesmerised his young charge she persuaded him to write it down. That first manuscript came to be known as Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.

Primeval stuff we tend to be closer to when we’re younger, that fades into the wonderland of the unconscious as we enter into adulthood – that’s the power of the Alice books. Or one of their powers at least.

An epilogue of sorts. As I was hoicked from the bread basket wreckage I heard an incredulous voice. A witness, drowned out, thankfully, by a tidal wave of well-meaning intentions:

“He pushed it! I saw him, he did!”

But I never did.


Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby now available at Amazon.com

Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

Guest Blog: My Alice by Adam L. Bealby

My Alice
by Adam L. Bealby

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.

That’s why, when I saw the call for HorrorAddicts.net’s Clockwork Wonderland submission call, I thought one of my weird horror stories would be a perfect fit.

But in the end my Alice didn’t fit.

Not with the other Alices at least, as marvelously punked as they were. She stood apart, gazing at them with contempt from across the room, cultivating an air of enigmatic disinterest at the end of a menthol slim.

Or locked away in her room with her Cure CDs and subverted memories.

Or running wild in the dark, clammy fingers pawing at the back of her neck.

You can have your cosy anthology, she thinks. I don’t care. I don’t play well with others anyway. Even when I try.

But when HorrorAddicts.net invited her to a solo gig she was secretly pleased, just as I was not-so-secretly pleased, to accept their invitation.

When I was at University the first book I ever bought my future wife was the collected Alice works. I penned a loving dedication on the first page. “May this book bring you wonder.” Twenty years later and I’ve got that book in front of me as I type this – and please, I’m struggling here. I’m not usually the gushing, sentimental sort. I’m much more familiar with tenebrous passageways and blunt trauma.

Twenty years later, and I’m dedicating another story to my wife, but one I wrote this time. “Alice’s Scars” is the first in what I understand to be a series of Horror Bites, coming at you from the kennels rabid and hotly snapping, courtesy of your twisted friends at HorrorAddicts.net.

And I’m dedicating it to Julia, my Alice. Sometimes I think she saved me from going down the rabbit hole.


Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Stephanie Ellis

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 Stephanie Ellis 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, Hands of Time, takes place in the subterranean world of Wonderland, in the dark dungeons and cellars no one ever really thinks about. Their existence, never referred to, must be real, after all the Queen of Hearts was always arresting her subjects and demanding their beheading. So, where did these miscreants go and who despatched them? This is where the Executioner comes in, a hooded figure shrouded in secrecy … like the world he inhabits. And like all people with a trade, he has his apprentices. These are his hands, one of whom will become chosen as his successor. Together with the TimeKeeper, who is in charge of the Queen’s clocks, he selects Rab as the one to follow his trade. But how is this choice made and what happens to the other hands … well, you’ll just have to read the story.

What inspired the idea?

“Off with their heads!” The line that everyone remembers. But whether you read the book or watch the film, you never see much of the Executioner. I wanted to know more about him and his world. I also played around with the different meanings for the word ‘hands’ – hands on a clock, work hands, actual flesh and blood hands (although not for long!!) and linked them all together. And suddenly an idea was born.

When did you start writing?

Several years ago, mostly privately and just ‘scribbling’, I didn’t think about doing anything more serious. Then about four years ago I saw a submission call for a horror anthology, thought it looked like fun, so had a go. It wasn’t successful as it didn’t quite fit but the feedback was positive so I tried again and this time got in. The then editor, Theresa Derwin (now of Quantum Corsets), was extremely supportive, and took other stories of mine for other anthologies. This encouraged me to try the wider market and here I am. Slow but sure.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

The darkness of the soul! Whatever I write, it always ends up dark. Some stories feature a bit of blood and gore but it’s not by any means all ‘slice and dice’ and only a few have standard horror tropes, ie tend to avoid vampires and werewolves. I prefer to hint at darkness, build up a sense of horror in setting and atmosphere, twist what might seem innocent at first.

What are some of your influences?

It goes without saying that Stephen King is one of them, he is amazing at creating such a real sense of place and time. He also shows that horror can be written in many different ways and he is certainly never repetitive. Ray Bradbury, particularly for Something Wicked This Way Comes, again the atmosphere, the characters, and its gothic feel. Then there’s Shirley Jackson, Edgard Allan Poe. But it’s not only these more famous authors. There are other writers I’ve met online, particularly a small Flash Fiction community called the FlashDogs and they have pushed me to raise my own standards. We compete against each other weekly in flash competitions and there are some amazingly dark people amongst them, particularly David Shakes, Mark A. King, Tamara Rogers to name but a few. The latter two have also recently published their first novels.

Another influence isn’t a book or a writer but a place. I grew up in an isolated rural area in a country pub, The Cider House in Shropshire . And something that’s always stayed with me is the atmosphere of that area and the feelings it generated: getting off the school bus and then facing the long walk home along narrow country lanes in gathering dusk; of the stillness before storms when birds stopped singing, branches stopped rustling and everything seemed to be waiting; of fog shrouding the fields and woods around the pub and walking through those mists and becoming totally disoriented. It always made me feel there was ‘something else’ at work around us and that’s an element I try to include in my writing.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

The evil man can do, how it could even be considered. I just can’t comprehend how some people can commit the atrocities you hear of in the world today. What is it that drives them? Is it this idea of the Devil, is it a disturbed mental state? Who actually pulls the strings to create the nightmares? Perhaps there is more ‘out there’, a supernatural realm. Horror allows you to explore this darkness, consider the ‘What Ifs’. It makes you think and shakes you up but always delivers you safely on the other side … it keeps the monsters between the pages.

What are some of the works you have available?

I have had a number of short stories published in horror anthologies, all available over at amazon but I would like to mention the following in particular:

The Infernal Clock, co-edited by myself and David Shakes which has a story for every hour of the day. It features two of my stories, The Graveyard Shift-a new take on the Sandman legend-and Whispers which centers on a dysfunctional family in a haunted house.

Weird Ales Volume 1 (edited by the wonderful Theresa Derwin) which includes my story The Yowling, cider-making taken to a whole new level!

Masks edited by Dean M. Drinkel (again, another very supportive editor) which contains my story The Face Collector, a gothic story in which the Devil always collects.

What are you currently working on?

I have just finished my novel Black Switch, a near-future, industrial-type horror I suppose you would call it. What happens when humans run out of fuel, out of electricity but then discover a way of turning the lights back on; a way which could only be described as immoral. If you discovered someone had the ‘capacity’ to become a human battery, would you plug them into a Generator just so someone else could have a hot bath? Would you, could you trade another person just to save a member of your own family knowing what that trade would lead to?
The book is now out with a small group to beta-read before I take any further steps with it. To get over the nerves whilst I await their response I’ve started to mull over ideas for a new novel and since my Hands of Time story featured an Executioner, the whole idea of what ‘makes’ an executioner has stuck in my mind.

Where can we find you online?

I’m @el_Stevie on Twitter and can also be found at http://stephellis.weebly.com/ where my blog is usually only randomly updated. I’m hoping to improve on that slightly this year though.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: K.L. Wallis

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 K.L. Wallis 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 ‘Half Past’. It is about a woman who follows a mysterious man though the subway and somehow travels back in time to the late 1800s where she finds the world turned on its head; instead of the patriarchal norms of the past Alyssa finds herself in a world where women are the superior sex and the moral boundaries of the 21st century no longer exist.

What inspired the idea?

I’m not quite sure. I experiment with my writing, and I think that is what ‘Half Past’ is. Hearing about the theme of this anthology pushed me to see if I could meet the challenge.

When did you start writing?

I wrote down the initial idea about a year ago, but due to having limited time to work on my own writing, I only really started to pull it together a few weeks before I submitted it to Horror Addicts.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I write a lot of Gothic fiction, but to different degrees depending on the story. I find a lot of my work crosses a couple of genres. I find most often I end up writing mythology and legend or fairytale inspired stories.

What are some of your influences?

I am quite heavily influenced by music, things I have seen on television shows, things I have read in other literature, or real life history or mythology. I like to explore in my writing why people do the things they do, quite often writing from the point of view of the villain.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Horror ties in well with my Gothic focus, so I guess it’s a natural theme for me to write about. Horror is interesting as it shows the darker side of humanity, and in the manner of fairytale, is often cautionary. As I am currently researching in my honours thesis, horror ‘figures’ – such as the Grim Reaper, vampires, zombies etc. – are often the physical manifestation on the page (or screen) of deeper human fears.

What are some of the works you have available?

My short story Briar was published as a part of last year’s Horror Addicts Anthology – Once Upon a Scream. Three other of my short stories – A Woman Scorned, Burnt and In Limbo – were published online in the July, August and September issues of The Australia Times – Fiction.

What are you currently working on?

My honours thesis is currently absorbing all of my spare time, unfortunately, leaving me little time to write creatively. I have however, several incomplete stories I hope to return to very soon – a retelling of a Greek myth, a vampire novel and a chic lit I started forever ago.

Where can we find you online?

My online presence is minimal at the moment – another thing I am hoping to work on later in the year. My business website can be found at: https://restrictedquill.wordpress.com/.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: Emerian Rich

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. The editor and one of the authors in this anthology is Emerian Rich who took some time to tell us about the book and her writing:

What inspired you to put this anthology together?

I’ve always enjoyed the thought of Alice. Is she really travelling in a strange world? Is she dreaming? Is she mental? I’ve also always enjoyed clocks, watches, time in general fascinates me because I never have enough of it. Is someone robbing me of the time? Is my life clock wound extra fast? I always feel like my time is short.

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

“Midnight Dance” revolves around the clock tower in the center of Wonderland and how it has somehow changed the residents in to zombies. The Hatter is the only one who knows and he spends a never-ending Groundhog Day-like series of evenings trying to fix the problem.

What inspired the idea?

I’ve always been fascinated with time and the thought of a second chance, or third, or fourth. What would you do differently if you had the chance and would it change the outcome? Or are we trapped in our destiny that will find us no matter how we try to change it?

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. First in journals, and then about 6th grade I wrote my first “novel” but still, I didn’t really know I wanted to be a writer till in my 20’s. I always just thought they were silly little stories I wrote for myself only. I recently had a blog about my first story here:
https://emzbox.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/my-first-story-emerian-rich/

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Subjects vary wildly with me. I like vampires, ghosts, spooky things…but I also enjoy a good love story. If it’s a horror love story, all the better.
What are some of your influences?

The question should be, “What doesn’t influence me?” I am influenced by so much, from a chance conversation in the grocery store to today’s headlines, to an art opening, to my favorite authors like Anne Rice, Andrew Neiderman, and Jane Austen.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

There is a feeling of comfort and homecoming about reading or watching a really good classic horror tale. It’s something you either feel or don’t. Those of us who get it, adore it. I don’t think it’s something I can really explain if you don’t feel it.

What are some of the works you have available?

Gothic and Fantasy Adult Coloring Book

Costumes, creatures, celebrations, and story characters set the stage for a coloring experience like no other. How far will your imagination take you? Enter the world of Emerian Rich, a place where reality steps aside allowing fantasy to take hold. Where each picture tells a story and the stories are only hampered by your imagination. 48 DESIGNS TO COLOR.

Artistic License

Leslie Marietta is the last known heiress of a palatial estate just south of Los Angeles. When she takes possession of her birthright, sudden creative inspiration allows her to paint alive anything she imagines. Enchantment and wonder transform her life into a fairytale, but as with all fairy tales, there is a dark presence. Phantom servants sneak through the house, horrifying shadow creatures threaten to destroy her, and a band of Edwardian house guests are trapped in the walls.
Lord Ashton Northing is a man of property and situation, with a duty to his people that could tear him from his new love, Leslie. Can Ashton convince Leslie she is worthy of her legacy in time to save them from the evil that dwells in her house?
Night’s Knights

Vampires on a quest for knowledge attempt to create the perfect offspring, but from the shadows, an even more demonic evil threatens their immortality. Markham is a simple Irish immigrant striving for the American dream in 1860 when coach robbers cause his untimely death. Severina is an exotic beauty from the jungles of Brazil whose family is brutally murdered by the same man she later calls her lover. Julien is a knight who serves as a guardian angel to his family but has no clue about his predestined fate. Will a powerful mortal named Jespa be the one to save them all?

What are you currently working on?

My vampire sequel, Dusk’s Warriors. It will be coming out this summer and I am very excited about it! My poor Biters have been waiting since 2009 for the next book.

Where can we find you online?

http://www.emzbox.com

 

Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: N McGuire

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 N McGuire 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?

The story that I wrote for Clockwork Wonderland is Riddle. The Mad Hatter’s tea party gets a little more twisted.

What inspired the idea?

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I can remember, but maybe even before that – making up fantastic stories about the lives of my toys.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I don’t think that I have a favorite. Generally I write whatever funny idea ping-pongs around in my head long enough that it get’s written.

What are some of your influences?

Christoper Pike, R.L Stine, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Ernest Hemmingway, Margaret Atwood, Lynn Townsend, Charlaine Harris, Jen Lancaster, Janet Evanovich, J.K. Rowling – if I keep going this list is going to get pretty darn long…

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Killing without the mess or arrest

What are some of the works you have available?

Riddle is the first publication I have under the pseudonym N. McGuire. My other publications are more adult (sex, sex, sex) in nature.

What are you currently working on?

World domination.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on most social media as @oopswrongcookie or at www.oopswrongcookie.com