#HOWCon 2020: Live Shout Box Events!

It’s that time of year again! Time for the HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference! Take a little winter time out with us February 25-27 at http://horroraddictswriters.freeforums.net/ to focus on YOUR writing thanks to our writing articles, author interviews, and publisher how-tos. Browse at your leisure regardless of time zone or pajamas, or join HOW for our Live Shout Box Chats featuring noted editors and horror authors!

 

Here’s the Schedule for our Live Shout Box Events:

Tuesday, February 25 8 p.m. est/ 5 p.m. pst HOW Shout Box Welcome Party

Tuesday, February 25 9 p.m. est/ 6 p.m pst NGHW Winner Jonathan Fortin.  Jonathan is a winner of The Next Great Horror Writer Contest. His LILITU: THE MEMOIRS OF A SUCCUBUS will be available on March 27th, 2020, on both Paperback and Kindle. It’s being published by the award-winning horror publisher Crystal Lake Publishing. Visit www.facebook.com/pg/JonathanFortinAuthor for more!

Wednesday, February 26 12 noon to 1 p.m. est / 9 a.m. pst Horror Author Charles F. French. Charles is a college professor and the author of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1; Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2; The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook; and French On English: A Guide To Writing Better Essays. For more information about Charles visit
www.charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 26 9 p.m. est/ 6 p.m. pst Naching T. Kassa Chilling Chat Hostess and HorrorAddicts.net Publishing Editor

Thursday, 2 p.m. est 11 a.m. pst Horror Author Nancy Kilpatrick. Nancy has been a 4 time Bram Stoker Award finalist, a 7 time Aurora Award finalist, a 2 time Paris Book Festival winner for anthologies, the ForeWord Reviewers Award silver winner for collections, the winner of the Murder, Mayhem & the Macabre award; The Standing Stone short fiction winner award; Interzon winner; and winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for best mystery story. For more information, visit nancykilpatrick.com/

Thursday, 12 est 9 p.m. pst Shout Box Late Night Finale Party

See you at #HOWCON2020!

Paranormal and Horror Author Panel – South Jersey Writers Conference

Moderator Brian McKinley joins authors William Gold, Christine Norris, J.P. Simmons, and J.L. Brown to discuss vampires, science fiction, young adult, paranormal, steampunk, urban fantasy, witches, and much much more on the writing process, world building, social media marketing, and author brands at the South Jersey Writers Conference November 10.

 

 

Videos also available from the South Jersey Writers Conference include Networking Night with mystery author Ilene Schneider and the NaNoWriMo address from speculative writer K.A. Magrowski.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/southjerseywritersconference/

Fiction and Genre Panel – 3rd Indie Author Day Event

Moderator and horror author Brian McKinley is joined by science fiction writer William Gold, humorist Loretta Wish, mystery and thriller author J. Lauryl Jennings, dark fantasy author Kristin Battestella (yes that’s me! Your trusty Kbatz!), and urban fantasy storyteller Laura Kaighn for the Fiction and Genre Panel at the 3rd Indie Author Day hosted at the Heggan Library in Sewell, NJ.

You can see the entire 7 part video below or also view the Childrens and Non-Fiction Panel from the Indie Author Day.  For more photos and author events, visit the South Jersey Writers Conference, Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Interview with Author Stephanie Ellis

Stephanie Ellis is a busy woman of horror.

Based in Southampton, United Kingdom, Ellis divides her time as a writer of dark, speculative fiction; as editor of Horror Tree’s weekly ezine, Trembling With Fear; and as co-curator and contributor of The Infernal Clock anthologies.

Her latest project, Dark is my Playground, is her solo debut, a collection of dark verse and twisted nursery rhymes released on July 24.

Visit https://stephellis.weebly.com/ for more about Ellis and her writing.

In an exclusive interview with HorrorAddicts.net, Ellis discusses her new book and the other hats she wears.

THE LIGHTNING ROUND

  1. A favorite movie? The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  2. Favorite binge-watching series on Netflix? Being Human
  3. A favorite author? Terry Pratchett
  4. A favorite book? The Stand
  5. A favorite visual artist? J.M.W. Turner
  6. A favorite musical artist? Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails
  7. Any song stuck your head? Soultaker, “Blutengel” (this classical version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_sNkmGgF8o)
  8. A favorite website? Horror Tree!
  9. Pet peeve? Writing to a deadline and missing out on real life events only for the deadline to be extended when you’ve bust a gut to submit in time.
  10. You have one last meal. What do you want to see on that plate? My eldest, Bethan’s, Chilli Mac (vegetarian).

THE REAL INTERVIEW

Q1: You released Dark is My Playground in July, a collection of dark verse and twisted nursery rhymes. What draws you to the horror genre?

ELLIS: The atmosphere and emotion it generates. I’ve never been one for romance novels. I read most of my mum’s Georgette Heyer and Catherine Cookson books when I was about 11 years old, but found I didn’t have the patience for the ‘heroines’ in such books. I like stories with a bit more meat on them, a serious problem to overcome and usually that means something dark. Horror for me is darkness, not gore or gratuitous violence, and I like to read (and write) about what someone would do when confronted with some of their worst fears. How far would a person go to save themselves or someone else? I think horror allows you to explore human emotions and motivation at a deeper level, our baser instincts if you like.

Q2: You’re a talented writer who’s been published in numerous anthologies and collections, yet you indicated in your blog that there was a bit of trepidation in releasing Dark is My Playground, your first major solo project. You said that being among a list of other writers in anthologies was a “comfort blanket,” giving you something to hide behind. What were you hiding from?

ELLIS: Thank you, that’s kind of you to say but the answer’s easy – fear of failure. Like all writers I have huge bouts of self-doubt, fighting that old ‘imposter syndrome’ on a regular basis. It’s also partly because this is self-published and this means it’s me thinking they’re good enough to be read more widely – but what if I am deluded? I also hate promoting myself and my work, a very British trait.

Q3: You obviously love words. In Dark is My Playground, the poems are so beautifully written. I’ve already expressed my admiration for the phrase “bark-womb of the bellied tree,” which you said was inspired by an image. How important are visual prompts to your poetry?

ELLIS: Very. I’m one of those people who spent their childhood seeing images in clouds, something I still do and something my own children (now adults) also indulge in. The visual provides a more immediate trigger to an idea and allows my writing to almost become a stream of consciousness without having to think about it. Visual Verse where The Deceiver was first published only allows one hour to write 50 to 500 words and that allows a freedom in writing. No pretence or trying to be clever, I just play with the words. That particular poem is actually my own personal favourite. I look at it sometimes and still can’t believe I wrote it. Old flash competitions, sadly no longer with us, such as Flash Friday and The Angry Hourglass, would use images, and I think what I enjoyed the most was the personification of the inanimate. There was a house in one picture which had one window closed and immediately it brought ideas of eyes and watching to mind, giving me the introduction ‘I have a house. It sleeps with one eye open. Watchful in the wilderness, it keeps me safe.’ The picture gives me the ‘way in’ to a poem or story.

Q4: You are also the editor for one of my favorite online features on Horror Tree website called Trembling With Fear, which publishes short stories and drabbles (100-word shorts). With time always being an issue for writers, why do you wear that editorial hat, which must cut in to your writing time?

ELLIS: Firstly, because Stuart Conover, editor at Horror Tree, asked for help and as I had achieved much of my publishing success as a result of his submission calls, I figured it was a way of saying thank you. The other part was due to me assessing my future in writing. This last year or so, I decided was the time I was going to take it seriously and not just in terms of trying to get a novel published or extra short stories out there but by becoming more involved in the horror community. Writing is very isolating and with no community as such in my part of the world, it does not feel ‘real.’ By becoming involved with TWF, I’ve made contact with a lot of great writers – yourself included – and I now feel like a ‘proper writer’; I’ve even met a couple of other writers in real life recently and turned online friendships into real ones. In terms of time, I had not expected it to take up as much as it has done, but that’s a result of TWF growing and becoming more well-known. What I also enjoy is coming into contact with writers who say TWF is the first time they’ve ever subbed for publication and I like being able to give feedback and encouragement even if they don’t get selected – pulling them into the ‘family’ if you like, removing a little bit of that isolation we all experience. It’s also great when I see them being published for the first time, and they’re over the moon about it. Actually, a knock-on effect of these demands is a greater focus on my writing time. If I have free time I procrastinate; a deadline or limited time forces me to concentrate … mostly. Editing is something I’ve done a lot of in the past, although as a tech writer/project manager in a technical publications company has also made this aspect easier for me.

Q5: Speaking of time, you’re also a co-curator for the time-themed anthologies of The Infernal Clock. Why the time themes and why the passion for this particular project, which is yet another time-consuming demand?

ELLIS: The Infernal Clock is something born very much out of friendship, going back to my roots in the FlashDog community. The FlashDogs are a looser pack these days as we are all doing different things but it was effectively an online group of people who competed against each other on flash fiction sites such as FlashFriday, Angry Hourglass, MicroBookends and other places. David Shakes was one of the original members of this group. I became part of it about a year later and we became online friends (and again have met in real life). He had the idea for the first Infernal Clock project, which a large number of FlashDogs submitted to – and then asked for help getting it out. Do you see a pattern forming here? So, I stepped up, we got the first book published (The Infernal Clock) and had some good reviews and then before I knew it we were discussing a follow-up (CalenDark) and now we are in the process of finalising DeadCades, which is due for publication October 1st. This latest anthology includes a number of writers from Horror Tree’s TWF as well as old FlashDog friends, each writing a story set in a particular decade from 1880 to 2020. We have been amazingly lucky to get writer-of-the-moment Vox author Christina Dalcher (who also wrote us a story for CalenDark) to write our foreword and our first long story in the collection is from award-winning author Deborah Sheldon. We also have some great stories from the other contributors, so I have high hopes for this book. The time theme was in keeping with the Infernal Clock name. Shakes muttered something about centuries, but I said no … DeadCades is the last of the time-themed anthologies. It won’t end there though. We have plans for a magazine, but some research and planning is required. We want to make this a paying market, so will be taking our time in sorting out exactly what we want to do with it. Glutton for punishment.

Q6: I follow you on Twitter, and I see you are constantly writing, or reading and editing other writers’ submissions, or helping with publication of anthologies … I’m tired just thinking about it. Where does this passion for the written word come from?

ELLIS: I have just loved reading. For as long as I can remember I’ve had piles of books around the place. I remember going to town as a child with my Dad to visit the library and being able to leave with a pile of books was wonderful. Growing up in an isolated country pub when your parents work pretty much all day leaves you on your own a lot of the time. I had sisters but you still had to find ways to entertain yourself – no 24-hour or satellite TV or internet then. So reading became my escape. They became movies in my head, and I was able to experience a different reality if only for a while. I still love to read, and sometimes I have to put everything on hold and just read a book from cover-to-cover; it’s almost a physical need in a way. I can’t imagine not reading. Words are amazing; they have so much power whether triggering wars, providing a religious code or instilling an emotion. History can turn on what has been said or written.

Q7: How does your family feel about your writing? Outside of advice on fonts, how do they influence or inspire your writing?

ELLIS: In the past, I always called my writing ‘scribbling,’ as if it wasn’t something I took seriously, so they didn’t pay too much attention to it. Once I started getting published they took a bit more notice but not too much. Now they are all very supportive, even if they don’t always read what I write! My daughters now give me advice, including what to write about and the range of merchandise it could generate, not to mention being a box set on Netflix. I remember when they read the poem ‘The Darkness is my Playground.’ they were shocked at the violence implied in it. Not something they’ve ever associated with me. I’m the most harmless person you could imagine – but it is nice to shock people sometimes, deliver the unexpected.

Q8: You’re from the United Kingdom, but in your role as an editor, you read stories from authors all around the world. Do you notice any differences in style or tone between UK writers and writers from the USA? Have you noticed any writing trends in any countries or regions?

ELLIS: Apart from the spellings, I don’t see any real differences. The same topics and tropes appear, and I never approach reading or writing with the idea that we are somehow separate. I think it’s because we are all ‘Westerners’ so we have a lot of common ground. I do have to try and avoid correcting U.S. English at Horror Tree, although I standardise to UK English for Infernal Clock.  I have been invited to write a flash piece for an anthology edited by Oleg Hasanov (Russian). This particular publication will include many writers from across the globe including those from Eastern European and Asia, and I’ll be really interested to see what the authors from those areas come up with. Which reminds me, I must get to work on it – and I do have an idea, based on a picture I saw on a van.

Q9: What defines success for you as a writer? Is it enough to be published or is success something more?

ELLIS: It changes as I go on, e.g., first publication, first contract, first invitation to write, but ultimately success is validation of my writing, knowing that people genuinely enjoy what I write and aren’t just being nice. And yes, I’d love to get my novel published.

Q10: What scares you?

ELLIS: On a mundane level – daddy long legs. Otherwise it’s water. In my first-ever swimming lesson, I think I must’ve been about 5 or 6, we lined up by the pool and one of the other kids pushed me in the deep end. I can still picture myself underwater and hearing the teacher say, ‘Don’t worry, she’ll get herself out.’ And I did. But lessons from then on saw me down on the shallow end and even now water over my face makes me remember that feeling of suffocation and panic.

An Interview with Horror Bites Author, Adam L. Bealby

An interview with
Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars author,
Adam L. Bealby.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved writing! When I was about ten I was obsessed with thinking up zany characters and concocting outlandish situations for them, plotting be damned. Political correctness and copyright also be damned. I lived in a fairly closed-minded ex-mining community, and I was as naïve as a barefoot pilgrim. So in the mix was a crippled baby clown, an Indian taxi driver called Curry (ooff!); as well as a couple of characters from an obscure British Marvel comic book I liked, and a lengthy character-jamboree sequence stolen from (we’d call it ‘parodying’ these days) the third Star Trek movie, entitled The Search for Bogart.

 

Actually, there’s something to be said for liberating yourself from social (and literary) mores and graces when you’re writing. I don’t think poor Curry will be making a comeback any time soon, though…

Who were the biggest influences on your writing?

I’m a huge fan of Michael Moorcock. I like the idea you can write about anything, and that there’s really no barrier between high literature and genre writing. Be bold and brave and go where your imagination leads you!

I’m also very impressionable and tend to be influenced by whatever book I happen to be reading. I have to make a concerted effort when I’m writing to find my own voice, or a voice that suits the story, and not appropriate the stylistic traits of other writers. Although I was impressed with a rather nasty little story I wrote off the back of my time with a Chuck Palahniuk anthology! It won’t be seeing the light of day any time soon, but as a taboo-breaking exercise it was very therapeutic!

What is “Alice’s Scars” about?

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-inspired fantasy.

What inspired “Alice’s Scars”?

The first book I ever bought my wife was the collected Alice works. It was the first year of Uni and I even wrote a loving dedication in the frontispiece. That was over twenty years ago. So when I heard the call for Clockwork Wonderland, the HorrorAddicts.net anthology “Alice’s Scars” was originally written for, I knew I had to mine the first few months of our burgeoning relationship for inspiration.

I’ll say now that my wife isn’t Alice/Katie, the main character in “Alice’s Scars.” She’s much more together than that! When I asked her what was in her drawstring purse that first night, it proved to be money, not a rabbit’s foot – which is clearly completely different.

Many of the scenes in the story do riff off people and situations from my Uni days, including an episode in which I merrily chased a distraught girl through the night. But enough of that.

Did you have to do any research for the story?

Just a quick flick through the Alice books, really. The same collected works I bought for my wife all those years ago! As I said, there’s a lot of real life in there, jumbled up with the stuff-I-thunk-up, and that feels like a good compromise for a story about the grey areas between reality and fiction.

What are your favorite things to write about?

Psychological horror, especially the type of story where you can lead the reader to question what’s real and what’s not. I also like writing rollicking adventures for kids – it makes a nice change of pace.

What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a book about a suicide cult, alternating between research and drafting short ‘suicide vignettes’, which will be interspersed between the chapters of the main story. My internet search history makes for worrying reading. Let’s see: ‘I want to commit suicide’, ‘slitting your wrists’, ‘suicide bag’, ‘I want to drink anti-freeze’, ‘experiences of depression’, ‘suicide and reincarnation’…

I really hope I can do the subject justice. I’m very proud of how some of the vignettes are turning out.

Where can people find you online?

Many of my stories are available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Adam-L. -Bealby/e/B01EE49YWW.

You can also catch up with my sporadic ravings at @adamskilad.

Author Interview: Lily Luchesi

 

Who doesn’t love a good vampire novel? If you enjoy reading horror stories with strong female characters, lots of action and maybe a little romance, then you should check out the books of Lily Luchesi. If you’re not convinced then check out our interview with Lily:

When did you start writing?

I started writing with the goal of making it my career when I was eight years old. I had a teacher who inspired me and made me want to pursue it. I’ve always been creative, though. When I was little I used to draw quite a bit, and act out scenes with my “imaginary friends”. As I got older, I just started writing them down instead!

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Well, I will always love writing about monsters and creatures. They’ve been an obsession for me since I was a toddler and saw a vampire on an old Scooby-Doo rerun on the Cartoon Network. But I write about many deeper subjects, disguising them in between horror and action. I write about unconditional love, xenophobia, racism, LGBT+ issues, women’s rights, and the growing violence in America (particularly in my home city of Chicago).

I like strong female leads who don’t look like Victoria’s Secret models, and male co-stars who support and encourage them. Real people are flawed in many ways, so I believe characters should be as well.

What do you like best about vampires?

You know, that’s harder than you might think for me to answer. I don’t know what initially attracted me to vampires, but now that they’ve evolved so much, I think it’s an unnatural allure for danger. Even if a vamp is sexy, they’re still deadly. They might be the deadliest creature of them all, yet humans are undeniably attracted to them. I love that power they have over the human heart.

What was the first horror movie or horror novel you read?

The first horror movie I watched could be considered the cartoon version of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, or possibly Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Non-animated, that would be Carrie (the original version) when I was twelve.

My first horror novel was YA horror when I was ten, and that was The Cirque Du Freak Series by Darren Shan (also about vampires, you can see where my tastes ran). Adult horror was also Stephen King, I got a used copy of Rose Madder for free and fell madly in love with his writing.

What are some of your influences?

Stephen King is definitely a big influence. I love how so many of his books are interconnected (like with towns, characters, even plots) and that he can bring fear over seemingly innocuous things like those wind-up monkeys with the cymbals, or a painting, or even your own grandmother. It takes great talent to be able to do that.

Other horror authors who have influenced me are Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Thomas Harris, and Darren Shan.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

The fact that there are so many ways to scare people! And that fear doesn’t just come from gore and violence. It comes from the shadow outside your window at three in the morning, or the scraping sound you hear inside your walls when it’s quiet, or a strange car following you down a deserted road. Fear is the core of humanity, because fear fuels every emotion. Fear spiders? Kill them. Fear losing someone? Hold them. Fear failure? Work harder. Fear is everything and to be able to bring it, even a little, is power.

What are some of the works you have available?

I am the author of the Paranormal Detectives Series published by indie horror/UF great Vamptasy Publishing. The story follows mortal detective Danny Mancini as he discovers that monsters exist and are everywhere. In the first book, Stake-Out, he finds a vampire murdering a human and it sends his life into a tailspin. Angelica Cross, my female lead, recruits him to help the FBI apprehend the offending vampire and the series goes from there.

It’s not strict horror: there is a romantic subplot that plays a big part that readers discover slowly as they go through to book five, Last Rites. It deals with destiny and humanity and the true meaning of what constitutes a monster.

There are four books: Stake-Out, Miranda’s Rights, Life Sentence, Right To Silence, and Last Rites. The series is complete as it is, with book five being the “end of an era”, so when the series picks up again next year with book six, Skin Deep, it will be set further into the future after book five ends and won’t affect those original five books.

What are you currently working on?

Well, I just released my fifth book, Last Rites, on June 14th, and am now working on editing my December WWII urban fantasy release Never Again, which is a standalone spin-off of the Paranormal Detectives Series. It follows male siren Sean Wireman (whom you’ll meet in Last Rites) as he discovers his powers, and moves on from 16th century Israel, traveling over Europe, and eventually fighting for America in WWII, where he finds terrifying monsters being controlled by Nazis. It will feature some cameos of other PDS characters, too, for faithful readers, but will hopefully appeal to an entirely deeper demographic.

Where can we find you online?

You can find my books at http://smarturl.it/LilyLuchesiAmazon (I have plenty of other stories in anthologies, all of them horror)

You can find me on social media or my official site:

http://lilyluchesibooks.wix.com/lilyluchesi

http://facebook.com/lilyluchesi

http://twitter.com/LilyLuchesi

http://instagram.com/lilyluchesi

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369101.Lily_Luchesi

#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!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Timothy G Huguenin

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

What do you love about horror?

Part of that has to do with the themes that can be dealt with in horror in a unique way, like death, the afterlife, the supernatural, evil, the darkness in human nature. It is true that I like to read and write horror to explore those themes, even though I don’t usually like stories that are simplistic and overly moralistic (I do love complex layers of meaning when you don’t notice until you really start mulling over the story after reading). I keep that answer ready for most people who ask because it’s easy to understand and package even if one isn’t really drawn to the horror aesthetic.

But honestly, I mostly like spooky, creepy books, for the same reason I like vanilla ice cream over chocolate, even though my dad thinks I’m crazy for it (chocolate rules in his house). I just, you know, like it (you remember the old Apple Jacks commercials?). My grandfather always says, “Everyone goes crazy different.” Some people like to read high fantasy. Some people like to watch Hallmark Christmas movies. Some very strange, disturbed souls think Florida Georgia Line plays good country music. I like to read books with a creeping sense of dread.

Okay, so maybe there might be something a little weird about that…

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

My parents bought me a collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe one year for Christmas. I think I was in middle school at the time, though I’m not certain. I’m not sure if that was the very first, but I do know that Poe was highly influential in my desire to write horror.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

I don’t necessarily limit myself to this, but I tend to set my stories in the Appalachian Mountains, where I have lived most of my life—West Virginia, in particular. I feel a deep connection to the area, and I often like to integrate its culture and myths into my fiction, as well as kind of be a creator of new Appalachian lore, if I can. So there is that about my work, that makes it a little more distinct. A bit of my fiction falls into pretty standard categories like haunted house or ghost stories, probably because that’s the kind of stuff you grow up hearing as a kid late around a campfire on a cool summer night in West Virginia. On the other hand, some other short stories I’ve been working on fall a little more into the realm of weird fiction, or if not that, than some other murkier category that is hard for me to pin down. I’ve written stuff with really twisted human villains, too. I don’t really gravitate toward monster fiction as much as the supernatural or weird. But I’m open to almost anything.

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

I wish I could be one of those cool, rockin’ writers jamming to favorite tunes while cranking out novel after rad novel. Unfortunately, I find music too distracting. It’s hard enough sometimes to get the words to really flow even in complete silence. Even classical music makes it hard for me to write.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I like a lot of outdoor activities. I love to ski in the winter. I grew up next to two downhill ski resorts and did a lot of that in high school. Lately, I’ve gotten more into cross-country skiing. I’ve done some rock climbing, but I’m not really dedicated to it like most climbers are, so I’m not very good. I like to go backpacking, I like to fish, and even better if I can do both of those at once. I’ve run a couple ultramarathons, but over the last few years I’ve gotten out of shape, and I’m hoping to get back into trail running when the snow melts.

As a kid, I was interested in building and programming computers, and while I haven’t stayed current with that kind of thing these days, once in a while I’ll tinker around with installing different Linux distros on my Macbook.

What is your favourite part about writing?

When your characters really come alive, saying and doing things that take your story in a direction you didn’t expect, that is so cool. There are a few scenes in When the Watcher Shakes near the end (I would describe them but I don’t want to spoil anything), that just kind of happened, and I remember just stopping and thinking, This is really cool, I don’t even feel like I thought of this myself, it just happened on its own this way.

What is your favourite word?

I was a kid in the nineties, so I say “dude” a lot. I also get all warm and fuzzy inside when I hear the phrase, “Do you want some ice cream?”

What is your least favourite word?

“Irregardless.” It’s not changing or adding to the meaning of the word “regardless,” and it isn’t shorter or easier to say. It doesn’t even sound better. It’s just a wasted syllable that immediately compromises the speaker’s credibility.

Now, “dude.” That word makes you sound like a genius, dude.

What turns you on in a book?

Characters that feel like real people. Not just characters that are realistic. The ones that are real. You finish a book and you’re sad because you feel like you’re saying goodbye to friends you’ve known your whole life.

I’m also a sucker for terrible, depressing endings. Especially if an ending depresses or unsettles me in a new, creative way.

Why should people be on team Timothy?

Alliteration is always a good reason to follow someone, right? Listen peeps, join my fan club, and I’ll even let you say “Team Tim.” That’s quick and catchy enough to win over anyone, I’d reckon.

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant: Jonathan Fortin

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

What do you love about horror?

There are a lot of reasons. I like how free it is content-wise, and I’m a sucker for anything with a pretty gothic visual style or a unique, well-developed monster. But on a deeper level, I think it’s because it makes me feel like I’m facing my fears. When I was young I was too scared to watch horror movies, but as I got older I forced myself to do it more and more until I was totally desensitized. It made me feel brave to take myself out of my comfort zone. Good horror frightens us, but in so doing it also makes us feel strong because we faced something we were afraid of and lived through it. And that is, ironically, extremely life-affirming.

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

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but it was probably the Goosebumps books. I think even as a kid I knew they were stupid, but still, I got a kick out of them. I mean, where else could you read about a tornado made out of werecats? My favorites were the Give Yourself Goosebumps choose your own adventure books–the ones where almost anything you did would lead you to a horrible fate with “THE END” written in big bold letters. You’d make the wrong choice and end up becoming a wax figure or getting eaten by a vampire poodle or whatever. I loved it.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

Primarily dark fantasy and gothic horror. I’m big on dark magic, bloody rituals, demented characters, macabre visuals, and otherworldly monsters that call into question our very beliefs about reality. Gothic horror also tends to be highly plot-driven, building complex mythologies and twisted worlds that we can really dive into, and I enjoy that. That said, my sense of humor is pretty sick, so I’ve also been known to write horror/comedy. I’ll also write erotic horror now and then.

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

All the time, partly because whenever I want to write in public it’s too noisy for me to concentrate. I’m very easily distracted by sound and tend to find music with discernible words too distracting to write to. So I’ll often listen to movie and video game soundtracks, as well as ambient or instrumental music. Metal is also great to write to–bands like Alcest, Opeth, and Wolves in the Throne Room are always nice to have in the background. Black metal is also a good bet, not only because the dark tone matches my writing style, but also because the growled lyrics are difficult for me to understand without paying attention, so it isn’t very distracting.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

Acting, voice acting, playing video games, watching anime, dancing (poorly), doing death growls (poorly), and wasting far too much time on the internet. I also really like cute animals. No, seriously. I squeal like a kid when I see red pandas.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Connecting the dots in my head. I tend to plot novels like delicate houses of cards, and I love that “ah-HAH!” feeling of realizing how the ideas I’ve come up with can link together.

What is your favorite word?

Aberrant.

What is your least favorite word?

Toss up between “Chagrin” and “Preternatural”–the former because Twilight overused it, and the latter because Anne Rice overused it. Those words are dead and gone.

What turns you on in a book?

I like it when a book grabs me by the throat and never gives me time to get bored. I want lush prose, a fast pace, and interesting characters. I want action and mysteries and hanging threads of suspense that build to explosive crescendos. I want sub-plots tying together in interesting, unexpected ways. I want stories that fill my head with incredible visions, and take me to worlds beyond my imagination. I want to laugh and cry and bite my nails in fear. And I don’t want to be bored, not even for a second because then I might never finish reading, even if everyone tells me “it’ll get better.” I have a stack of half-finished books next to my shelf that I keep telling myself I’ll finish someday, and then years have passed and I still haven’t done it because, for whatever reason, I got bored with them.

I really admire books that feel like they take place in unique worlds, but also do a good job of orienting the reader in them. China Mieville’s Bas-Lag books and Dan Simmons’ Hyperion series blew my mind and made me rethink what speculative fiction could be.

Why should people be on team Jonathan?

You know, I think that’s up to you. The other contestants are all very talented writers who are more than worthy of your support. Do I hope to win the contest? Oh, absolutely. But I respect my competition too much to act like I’m better than them this early in the game.

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant : JC Martínez

What do you love about horror?

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

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

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

 
Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant: Sumiko Saulson

 

What do you love about horror?

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

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

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

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

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

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

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

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

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

What is your favorite part about writing?

I find writing very therapeutic.

What is your favorite word?

Proactive.

What is your least favorite word?

Ulcerated.

What turns you on in a book?

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

Why should people be on team Sumiko?

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

 

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant : Daphne Strasert

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

What do you love about horror?

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

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

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

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

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

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

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

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

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

What is your favorite part about writing?

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

What is your favorite word?

‘minimum’

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

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

What is your least favorite word?

‘conscientiousness’

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

What turns you on in a book?

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

Why should people be on team Daphne?

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

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

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant: Riley J Pierce

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

What do you love about horror?

I think my favorite part of horror is the feeling of fear. I love that fear is humanity’s common denominator. It is the one thing that connects us all. It can make the most rational person appear insane, and make the sanest person appear psychotic. Horror makes you question the simplest things like a phone ringing, or a nightmare, long after the movie is over. Horror is my lifelong companion and one of my greatest loves.

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

When I was in elementary school, we each had to be in charge of a section in the library. It was just one shelf, but it had to be organized and dusted daily. I chose the horror section and read every book. Alvin Schwartz was a huge inspiration to me. I love his scary stories! I still own those books and read them quite often. I’ve been addicted to horror for almost my entire life and enjoy finding new genres and ideas.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

I tend to be drawn to the storytelling side of horror. I am very influenced by the work of Guillermo Del Toro, and admire the depth and layers of each of his characters. When I write, I want to tell a well-rounded story that has a richness to it. As far as genre, I lean towards the paranormal and the occult. I’m a skeptic, so when I write this genre, I research a lot of firsthand accounts of paranormal witnesses. I like that genre because it’s something that a lot of people say they’ve experienced, so the story would seem more real. My goal would be to scare someone long after they’d finished my book.

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

I actually listen to ambient noise from the setting of the story I’m writing. I’ve listened to the beach, thunderstorms, and even sound effects. It really helps me transport myself to the story so that when I’m writing I can help keep myself focused.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I do! I’ve been going to comic and horror conventions since 2002 and I also make my own cosplays. I really like to create things, and it works wonders on writer’s block. Lately I’ve been working on collecting supplies for my next one – Eva Ernst, aka The Grand High Witch. I also write a blog where I interview a lot of upcoming artists, post tutorials, and write about various topics I find interesting. My free time outside of work is spent between being creative, binge-watching movies with my husband, and playing with our pets. We currently have a cat, two dogs, and four mice.

What is your favorite part about writing? Writing is the only way to show someone else what you see in your mind. It’s incredible to think that just by using words, you could share your imagination with the world. That is so amazing to me! There are so many times that I read something and am just in awe of the author that created it. I hope that with what I write, I can make someone else feel that way too.

Writing is the only way to show someone else what you see in your mind. It’s incredible to think that just by using words, you could share your imagination with the world. That is so amazing to me! There are so many times that I read something and am just in awe of the author that created it. I hope that with what I write, I can make someone else feel that way too.

What is your favorite word?

I really like the word “unearthly”. I usually see it to describe someone, or something, so beautiful it’s almost not even human, or from this world. When I hear this word, I instantly imagine a siren, or some other mythical being.

What is your least favorite word?

I despise the words “reboot” and “remake”. Those words have been the kiss of death to a lot of the movies I’ve loved. I’m a firm believer that there will never be a shortage of ideas, so when a reboot, or remake, comes out, I get the feeling of disappointment that the budget wasn’t spent on a new, original idea.

What turns you on in a book?

I absolutely love twists and endings that I can’t predict. I’ve seen and read so much horror that I tend to correctly guess the ending long before it’s over – ask the theater of people that are probably still upset that I spoiled “The Sixth Sense” for. It’s so refreshing when I think I have everything figured out and suddenly it changes course and catches me off guard. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like it to, but when it’s done well, it’s fantastic.

Why should people be on team Riley?

I want people to read what I write and wonder how I sleep at night with all of those monsters in my head. I may be only 5ft tall, but my writing goals are massive! I’m well versed in everything horror from the classics to modern thrillers, and I plan on bringing the best to this contest!

 

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

Kidnapped! Automatism Press

halogokidnappednotdate

Automatism Press is a two-person operation based in San Francisco. It was started in 1990 by Mason Jones and Loren Rhoads, went dormant for several years after the death of Morbid Curiosity magazine, and has recently returned with the books Lost Angels and Black Light, both published earlier this year.

Horror Addicts: What inspired you to start a press?

Loren Rhoads: When Mason and I first moved to San Francisco, we went to a lecture by Vale and AJ of RE/Search Books. They’d already published the William Burroughs/Brion Gysin/Throbbing Gristle book and the Industrial Culture Handbook, both of which we’d bought in Ann Arbor. At the time of the lecture, they were looking for help with their next book, which turned out to be Modern Primitives. They were very open about how they produced books, from interviewing subjects to design and layout to fulfilling orders. Working for them was a real education.

HA: Tell us about Automatism Press’s first book.

lend-the-eye-cover191

Loren: It was called Lend the Eye a Terrible Aspect, after the St. Crispin’s Day speech in Shakespeare’s Henry the V. We published it in 1994. It was a collection of stories and essays about North America on the brink of the 21st century: very earnest, very punk rock. In fact, it includes an essay by Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys about legalizing marijuana. One of my favorite essays is about the human need to form tribes by Claudius Reich.

 

HA: What inspired your second book, Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries?

Loren: My best friend’s husband was dying of AIDS in the early 90s. Blair gave me a bunch of photographs of graveyards he had visited. Originally, I was just going to publish his photos, but the more people I spoke to about the project, the more personal essays I got for it. Death’s Garden has been out of print for years, but I’m still really proud of it.

HA: How did Death’s Garden lead to publishing zines?

Loren: Mason started an indy record label called Charnel Music, which brought a lot of Japanese bands to the US. He hit on the idea of interviewing the bands and reviewing Japanese records, movies, candy – every part of Japanese underground or pop culture – so he started a zine called Ongaku Otaku. He would get the best things in the mail for the zine…and I got jealous. I wanted cool stuff in the mail, too. I realized I needed to publish my own zine.

I’d really enjoyed the process of assembling Death’s Garden, particularly the part where I got true stories from strangers. So I decided I wanted to receive confessional essays from people I didn’t know.

I never considered any other name for the project than Morbid Curiosity.

mc10_cover

HA: Morbid Curiosity magazine was published annually for ten years. What was it like putting it together?

Loren: It was an amazing amount of fun. I was always impressed by the things people would confess to, from deeply personal medical issues to coming in contact with serial killers to adventures that might possibly get them arrested. I never knew what was going to come in the mail next.

Even better were the live events. I started out hosting yearly release parties at Borderlands Bookstore, which brought together hundreds of people. I just adored hearing people confess in front of an audience. Those readings led to open mics at the World Horror Conventions and then on to being on NPR and all kinds of crazy stuff.

HA: Why’d you quit?

Loren: By 2006, the world had changed. Stories that would have come to Morbid Curiosity were going up on Livejournal instead. Tower Records had been one of my biggest distributors, so when it closed down, it was suddenly a whole lot harder for me to sell magazines. I lost thousands of dollars in their collapse. And I had a kid by then, so I didn’t have the time or patience to make the magazine great any more.

Ten issues seemed like a good place to go out: while the magazine was still good, still loved.

HA: What came next?

Loren: Automatism published a couple of chapbooks. The first was Ashes & Rust, which Alan at Borderlands Bookstore recommended I put together after he invited me to read at my first Litcrawl in 2005. Ashes & Rust collected up four of my science fiction stories that had been published in little magazines. I described it as “Sex. Drugs. Rock’n’roll. Space aliens. Demonic possession. Murder. Friendship.” All the best things in life.

After that, we published the Paramental Appreciation Society chapbook. The Paramentals were a writing group that I belonged to for six years. It included Claudius Reich (who had been in both Automatism anthologies and most issues of Morbid Curiosity), Lilah Wild, Seth Lindberg, and A.M. Muffaz, all of whom I’d worked with on Morbid Curiosity. Mason was a member of the group, too, for a while.

The chapbook contains my erotic vampire story set in Golden Gate Park, a witchy fairy tale set in the Tenderloin, a dragon slayer’s adventure set in Lower Pacific Heights, and then explores what the BART trains are really running from.

HA: Then the press went silent for a number of years.

Loren: Yeah, my own writing and editing career took off finally. I sold Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues, a best of Morbid Curiosity book, to Scribner, which led to a collection of my cemetery travel essays called Wish You Were Here on Western Legends, a novel on Black Bed Sheets, a space opera trilogy at Night Shade, and a bunch more short stories published in books and magazines. I was too busy to be a publisher for a while.

HA: What brought you back?

Loren: The contract expired on my succubus novel and I got the rights back. It had always been planned as a two-book series, so I released the first book, Lost Angels, in April with my preferred text and a new cover.

HA: How did you publish the next book?

Loren: I served as a beta reader for Martha Allard’s Black Light. It is an amazing, aching ghost story with psychic vampires set in the rock-n-roll world of the 1980s. Martha had been planning to self-publish it when Mason heard me raving about it. He suggested we do it for her. I can’t say enough good things about the book. It’s beautiful and devastating.

HA: What’s next?

Loren: The second succubus novel was meant to be out this month, but I got offered a big project on a short deadline for a big New York publisher, so Angelus Rose is on hold until that monster is turned in. I’m still waiting on the contract, though, so I can’t announce its name yet.

When the second succubus novel finally does come out, Angelus Rose will complete the story of Lorelei and Azaziel. They burn down most of LA in the process. I’m excited to see it in print finally.

HA: Any plans beyond that?

Loren: I want to update Wish You Were Here, my cemetery travel essays. I’ve been collecting essays for a second volume of Death’s Garden called Death’s Garden Revisited. Emerian Rich has written a lovely piece for that book, actually. I’m hoping to kickstart the funding for that book next summer.deaths-garden-cover001

In addition, I’m going to experiment with putting a dozen of my Alondra short stories out as singles on Amazon. “The Shattered Rose,” from the Paramentals chapbook, is one of them.

But everything is on hold until I get my mystery project written. It’s supposed to come out in October 2017, so time is very, very short.

Lend the Eye:

http://www.charnel.com/automatism/lend.html

Death’s Garden: https://lorenrhoads.com/2016/10/11/deaths-garden-revisited-2/

Morbid Curiosity: https://lorenrhoads.com/editing/morbid-curiosity-magazine/

All the available books on my bookshop: https://lorenrhoads.com/bookshop/

 

An Interview With Suzanne Madron

What is your story for episode 135 about?

28101675The story is a sample of a longer work titled For Sale or Rent, available on Amazon. It’s about a house that never seems to be lived in for very long and seems to go on the market every few months, but this time, nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way out is to attend the house-warming party.

When did you start writing?

I began writing in grade school, initially just journaling with a few stories here and there. In high school, I wrote what would become the first draft of my first novel, NEMESIS.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Ultimately it depends on my mood, and which pseudonym I’m writing as that day. I enjoy writing vampire horror, Lovecraftian horror, and hard-boiled occult noir mysteries. Sometimes I even write how-to and training documentation. It would be hard to pin my favorite into one category.512hsuf4k7l

Who or what inspires you?

Everyday life inspires me quite often. In For Sale or Rent, it was our neighbor’s house across the street, which was on the market a lot over the years until they moved in and fixed the place up.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

The ever-present glimmer of hope – usually. In some more recent horror stories, I’ve noticed a trend of no hope and no end to the nightmares. In older horror stories, there was always hope at the end, and if not a happy ending, at least a temporary reprieve until the next battle between good and evil.

Could you tell us about the Immortal War series?

The Immortal War Series starts off in three books dealing with the events before, during, and after a war that would become known as the Immortal War. NEMESIS is the first book, and we meet the main characters. Somewhere in the blood and violence 51qvotf0wplis apparently a love story, or so I’m told. In the second book, LAMIA, we learn more about our main characters and what makes them tick. When the Immortal War begins, we discover how it began. By the third book, THE TOWER, twenty years have passed and the Immortal War has ended. To give more details would be to ruin the surprise.
The fourth book in the series is a break from the initial books in that SCYLLA is more young adult horror, the fear is very much based in human monsters rather than those of legend.

What are some of the other books you have available?

For Sale or Rent, The Cat with Cthulhu Eyes, Apocrypha of the Apocalypse, and Love Notes are all available on Amazon. Other books (written as James Glass) include The Murdered Metatron, The Dispossessed, and The Vampire of Plum Run.

Where can we find you online?

 

An Interview With Loren Rhoads

Our featured author for episode 134 of the Horror Addicts Podcast is Loren Rhoads. Loren had an article in Horror Addicts Guide To Life and has written guest blogs for our blog in the past. Recently we asked Loren a few questions about her writing:

What is your story for episode 134 about?

29741039It comes from my book Lost Angels, which came out earlier this year. The succubus Lorelei sees an angel in her boss’s dance club.  She pursues Azaziel, who inflicts a mortal girl’s soul on her.  Lorelei has to survive Hell’s attacks long enough to find a fallen priest who can exorcise the mortal soul from her infernal body.  The scene I’m reading for the podcast takes place after Lorelei is possessed, when she’s trying to make an alliance with a fiend to protect her until the exorcism.

When did you start writing?

I started writing stories down in junior high, after I discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe.  My family visited the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia – and Poe’s dorm room at the University of Virginia – and I realized that he was a real person who wrote real stories.  I’m not sure what I thought created books before that, except that they seemed fully formed objects without humans attached.  Once I figured out that people wrote stories, I wanted to do it too.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

That’s a hard question.  Last year I wrote a space opera trilogy.  This year, I’m completing a series about2148570 angels and devils in the real world.  Next, I’m going to finish a book about a witch doing everything she can to prevent the death of someone she loves.  I’ve written a lot of stories about Alondra’s adventures, which have appeared recently in the books Fright Mare: Women Write Horror and nEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery, and the Macabre.  One of my Alondra stories will appear in Best New Horror in 2017.

I guess my favorite topics are women, because I find the ways they think and interact with the world fascinating.  I’m also interested in love, what it is and how it is used. And I’m interested in traveling, how being out of your familiar space shows you who you really are.

Who or what inspires you?

6355365Strangely enough, I find a lot of inspiration on Facebook.  I’m curious every morning to see what we will be angry about each day. All kidding aside, I’m glad to see the discussions of racism and sexism and how people grapple with those issues.  We’re in a place now where people feel they can speak out, which I think is amazing.  Of course there is a lot of turmoil, but it’s leading to growth.  I find it all riveting: challenging, but ultimately positive.  My stories are my attempts to add to those conversations.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

I’m glad to see so many women bringing their stories to the genre now.  When I was growing up, it was all King, Straub, Streiber, then Clive Barker.  The only well-known woman at the time was Anne Rice, but her vampire books weren’t considered “real” horror.  Now we have Gemma Files and Caitlin Kiernan and Dana Fredsti, Maria Alexander and Lisa Lane and Eden Royce … more women than I can name in a paragraph. No one can deny that they are writing real horror, whatever that means.  And they are all writing such different stories.  I can’t wait to discover more of it.

Could you tell us about the As Above, So Below series?

23130135Originally Lost Angels and Angelus Rose were one massive novel. No one would publish it at that length, so I split it into two books. Black Bed Sheet Books originally published the first book in 2013 as As Above, So Below.  When the rights came back, Brian and I decided that it was time to publish the second – more apocalyptic – half of the story.  Angelus Rose will be coming out on Automatism Press in November 2016.

Could you tell us about your nonfiction writing?

In my not-so-secret other life, I write about visiting graveyards.  As I travel, I always stop into local cemeteries to see how they reflect the cultures that surround them, what’s different and what is similar from place to place. I always like to grab a little peace when I travel, so a graveyard is the perfect place.

In August, my parents took me to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to see a couple of plays.  I snuck off one morning to see St. Mark’s Churchyard, which predates the War of 1812.  One of the large flat grave markers is all gouged up.  Apparently, when the church served as a hospital during the War, that gravestone was where the surgeons performed amputations. The marks of their cleavers striking off limbs is still visible, two centuries later.  Great story, right?

18010009At the moment, I’m publishing other people’s stories on my Cemetery Travel blog.  The goal is to gather a collection of them to be published as Death’s Garden Revisited.  I encourage anyone who has had something special happen to them in a graveyard – whether they took a date there or visited the grave of someone meaningful or stopped in while they were on vacation – to get in touch with me at cemetarytravel.com.  The call for submissions is here: https://cemeterytravel.com/deaths-garden-call-for-submissions/.

What are some of the other books you have available?

The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, my space opera trilogy, have been accused of bringing grimdark to outer space.  The books are about surviving in the galaxy after humanity started – and lost – an interstellar war.  They’re available in paperback, as ebooks, or as audiobooks.

My collection of cemetery travel essays, Wish You Were Here, collects my stories from Morbid Curiosity magazine, my cemetery column at Gothic.Net, and from various literary magazines.  The essays range from London to Paris to Prague to Rome and Tokyo, then across the US from Boston to Maui.  A new edition of the book will be coming out from Automatism Press early next year, but for now, the book is still available from Western Legends Press.

976431Back in the misty past, I edited a magazine called Morbid Curiosity.  It published confessional nonfiction essays about all kinds of things, from adventures in modern medicine to grim travel destinations to encounters with serial killers and much, much more.  A collection of my favorite pieces from the zine came out as Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual.  It’s available online as an ebook, but I still have some copies of it in paperback.

Where can we find you online?

My homepage: www.lorenrhoads.com

My blog: www.lorenrhoads.com/blog

The As Above page: http://lorenrhoads.com/writing/as-above-so-below/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loren.rhoads.5

Twitter: www.twitter.com/morbidloren

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/morbidloren/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/976431.Loren_Rhoads

Cemetery Travel: https://cemeterytravel.com/

An Interview With Lisa Mannetti

Our Featured author for episode 132 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast is Lisa Mannetti. Lisa writes what I like to call historical horror fiction. Recently she talked to us about her work:

What is your story for episode 132 about?

Stoker_NomineeI will be reading from The Box Jumper, my stand-alone novella about Houdini which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Awards and won “Novella of the Year” from This is Horror. The protagonist or narrator is Leona Derwatt, a former “box jumper” i.e. assistant to the great magician himself. Thirty years after Houdini’s death, she says she’s going to reveal his secrets about the paranormal—but is she telling the truth? Leona was in love with Houdini and she helped him debunk fraudulent Spiritualists, but in the present (1956 in the novella) she’s trying to guard herself from telling a shady medium/magician named Emory the real source of Houdini’s powers. As the book progresses, we (as readers) realize she’s been drawn into a dangerous situation with Emory and two of his cohorts that is more nefarious than she ever imagined. The novella’s five parts and main structure follow the five classic symptoms of demonic take-over—from “invitation” to “summoning” to “obsession” through “infestation” and finally, “possession.” Has Leona been “invaded” and overcome by dark forces? Or is she merely a tragic, lonely figure who’s fallen prey to madness? Terrifying and poignant, the novella delves into the darker side of a broken woman who worshipped an immensely charismatic public figure—and maintains—was loved by him in return.

When did you start writing?

I first started writing when I was eight years old—and the very first story I dwatch 277x419wrote (that wasn’t an assignment from one the nuns who taught at my school) was a psychological tale about vampires. Sounds pretty sophisticated, right? It wasn’t though. It turns out my parents were going crazy because I had night terrors and I was keeping the entire household awake night after night. When I wrote the story, my mother read the “Twilight Zone” ending I’d tacked on which was that the girl’s frightening nightmares and dreams were actually triggered when her mother came in each every evening to kiss her while the child was asleep and resulted in her bolting upright and screaming an hour or two later. This goodnight ritual was my mother’s routine because she was going for an advanced degree from NYU and by the time she got off the train and came home, I was already in bed, asleep. The great thing from my parents’ point of view was that by writing about it, I saved them megabucks at the psychiatrist they were just about to drag me to. The important thing for me was that if you let your subconscious run, great stories (not this one, necessarily) can happen. And sometimes it doesn’t matter if truths about the author emerge—I mean unless you have my mother as your first reader, chances are excellent you won’t know what the hell you’re revealing and won’t have to feel embarrassed.

What are your favorite topics to write about? 

I really like writing about the dark side of life. Disease and disfigurement are prominent themes. I’ve written about polio, glanders (a disease that afflicts horses but can also spread to humans), radiation poisoning, and a host of other terrible ailments. In fact, I think one of the reasons the door to my imagination opens wider when I set the stories in the past is because the medical treatment was so abysmal compared to today’s standards that disease (of all kinds) was more part and parcel to everyday life. I like to write about the things that “seize” us mentally or physically and force us to cope with what’s beyond our control. I also like to write about the changes a disease has—not just on our bodies—but on our psyches. Both disease and possession/manipulation in my work are metaphors (ultimately) for the things around us we can’t control—those profoundly painful moments each of us face in life. We all encounter deep disappointment, death of loved ones; harrowing circumstances that make us question ourselves and the world around us. I like to write about that nexus—the things that impact our lives and create permanent change in our bodies, minds and hearts.

Who or what inspires you?

I think a lot of my stories are still attempts to reckon with the fact that we all die someday. Because my mother was a nurse (later a public health director) we had plenty of medical-type textbooks around the house and the pictures and the diseases both fascinated and terrified me. From fourth through seventh grade, for example, I was obsessed and phobic about getting leprosy. It sounds funny now, but I really did worry about it to the point I was getting up in the middle of the night to check and see if my palms were turning yellow or if I’d lost feeling in my feet. The Catholic nuns were big on discussing it back then (and collecting money to send to leper colonies) and there was plenty to read in the school library about notable figures like Father Damien. The big thing about him, as I recall, is that during one Sunday sermon he began speaking about the affliction “we” lepers endure and that was the hint to the rest of the colony that he’d joined their little weeping sore club. There were also tons of books in each classroom that dealt with the lives of the martyrs—all of whom died gruesome, miserable deaths. (Everything from being shot with arrows, to roasted over coals, to thrown to lions) and between those books and my mother’s handy pictorial guides, disease became a lifelong fascination for me. I didn’t really move to the next level—how it impacts our personalities—until I was in my late twenties and diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor that turned out to be no big deal. But, while I was at the doctor’s office, I saw a woman about my age who was not only disfigured, but completely miserable. Don’t get me wrong. I had the utmost sympathy for her, and it was abundantly clear she was suffering. It was also obvious that she couldn’t help snapping and being somewhat nasty to people around her because her life had been utterly ruined by her disease. It was terrifying to me to contemplate—not just the havoc and devastation the disease wrought on her physically—but how her mind and heart had given way and succumbed, too. Years later I read Pet Cemetery and realized Stephen King was probing the same idea when he depicts what Rachel went through on account of her crippled sister.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Tom and Huck adult 2014Well, one thing that strikes me—as both a reader and a writer—is that the genre has both suffered and gained from a schizophrenic perception of its merits and faults. The first gothic supernatural novel, The Castle of Otranto written by Horace Walpole in 1764 (which was both enormously popular and truly awful) claimed to be drawing on the works of Shakespeare. In my personal opinion the only thing Walpole really has in common with the bard derives from what I consider one of Shakespeare’s more preposterous works: Titus Andronicus. Castle includes some pretty laughable scenes including one where a giant helmet falls out of the sky, and Titus has a lot of over-the-top action, too—his daughter, Lavinia, enters at one point carrying her father’s severed hand between her teeth. Sure, there were and are some terrible horror novels—just as there are in any genre and in mainstream books as well. As a reader and a writer, I find it both fascinating and wonderful that authors like Stephen King and Peter Straub and Shirley Jackson (and many others—too numerous to mention) completely legitimized and elevated horror—and it’s a pleasure to be able to write serious, literary works in their wake. Without their achievements, horror would be consigned to remainder tables, beach reads, and scrap heaps for the most part. The general public seems to have difficulty in making the imaginative leap or transitional analysis that (for example) makes them aware that a book like William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice or a play like Tennessee Williams’s Suddenly Last Summer are fraught with horror—and that many of us draw upon the same kinds of important themes when we write.

Could you tell us about 51 Fiendish Ways to Leave Your Lover?

It started as a little joke to amuse myself, then P.D. Cacek suggested I find an illustrator and she introduced me to the wonderful and wonderfully talented Glenn Chadbourne. 51 Fiendish Ways is a macabre gag book of mostly one-liners about the nasty side of breaking up. There may be copies here and there, but alas it’s pretty much out of print. The good news is that sometime in what I hope will be the near future, Glenn and I are going to reissue the book with new cover art, a new introduction, etc. I’ve always been drawn to dark satire—it’s a skewed perception of a situation—just as horror the “overlay” used by horror writers.

This is a small video trailer of 51 Fiendish Ways for your enjoyment.

Could you tell us more about The Gentling Box?

Although it wasn’t the first novel I wrote, it was my “debut” novel and I was thrilled beyond measure when it won the Bram Stoker Award.

The book is set in 19th century Hungary and Romania and its protagonist (who is suffering from a fatal disease), Imre, a half-gypsy horse trader; his immediate family; and his close circle of friends have all been duped by his wife’s mother, a sorceress named Anyeta whose goal is to gain personal power and to throw off a curse that will condemn her to being eternally awake and aware in her own grave. But, the only way to make an end of Anyeta and to grant her victims peace is gentling—a crude surgery performed on wild horses in order to tame them. Imre’s most hellish childhood memory is witnessing his father opening the crate-like gentling box and placing the wooden and leather devices around the heads of a herd of wild horses. Jutting inward from the circular bands are metal spikes which penetrate the horses’ brains and Imre cannot forget the sight of the blood or, more sorrowful still, the dimming of intelligence in the horses’ huge glossy eyes. Despite his trade, he has never gentled a horse—nor can he bring himself to face the ironic fact that in order to free Anyeta’s human victims, he must gentle them. His decision, then, is whether he can summon the courage to heal himself of his disease by claiming the curse known as the hand of the dead, knowing that once he does so, he must also ultimately face the terror and the freedom of the gentling box.

Here’s the trailer from the second edition:

N.B. The book is currently in its third edition (with wonderful cover art by Steven Gervais) published by NightScape Press and available from Amazon and other online retailers.

It seems like a lot of your work is a mix of historical fiction and horror, Do you have a favorite time period to write about and how long does it take you to research a book before you write it?

gbox+280x419My background (actually my graduate degree and half my Ph.D.) is in 18th and 19th century English Literature; but this is a sort of chicken vs. egg situation since I’m not sure which actually came first. I’ve always been drawn to that period and it seemed like a natural fit when I began writing fiction. That said, I’ve set books and stories in 16th century Scotland, the late 19th and early 20th century in America, as well as in the present. I find that the past often opens the door imaginatively for me and I often write in the first person because it’s a natural and immediate identifier for the reader. Unconsciously, the reader accepts and becomes one with the narrator and therefore finds it easier to slip into the past as present.

It depends on the story or book; but six weeks for a story and six months of research for a book are pretty typical. I also continue to research as I write and will look up whatever I need: a street address, the name of a song, a diagnosis. It keeps the process very interesting to say the least and I select what I find mind-boggling so hopefully the reader will also get caught up in those details. While I’m writing a particular piece, I also watch any videos and read any other books I can find that touch upon the topic—it keeps me close to the lives my characters are experiencing and even unconsciously influences the subtle details of the tale. So, for example, when researching Houdini, I not only read all his written work and biographies about him and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and watched videos of his and Doyle’s films, I also read up on and watched anything I could find about mentalism, the Spiritualist movement, séances, magic, hypnotism, demons, 1920s New York City and Boston, mediums, and witchcraft. Plus a lot more that I can’t think of right off the top of my head.

What are some of the other books you have available?

YA Tom and Huck 547 x 819There are tons of my stories published in numerous well-edited anthologies that also include some other wonderful authors—so I can recommend them all without reservation. (Check out my Amazon Author page.) But, also available are my Stoker nominated stories, “The Hunger Artist” –which can be found in Zippered Flesh 2 (Smart Rhino Publications), and my short piece about Lizzie Borden, “1925: A Fall River Halloween” in Shroud Magazine #10. “Everybody Wins,” which was made into a short film starring Malin Ackerman (Bye-Bye Sally) is available in Uncommon Assassins. (Smart Rhino Publications).

Among my books (fiction) are The New Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (Smart Rhino) and Deathwatch, (NightScape Press) which is a collection of two related novellas, “Dissolution” and “The Sheila Na Gig.” “Dissolution,” which was nominated for a Stoker Award, is set in 1893 and will soon be a feature-length film directed by Paul Leyden. It’s the story of a young medical student who’s been expelled from university and finds himself in an isolated town in upstate New York where he learns that though he’s been ostensibly employed as a tutor to twelve-year old twins, their father has actually hired him as an assistant in an endeavor to separate them because they’re conjoined. “The Sheila Na Gig” is also set in the 19th century and concerns a young man and his dysfunctional family and his grandmother’s supernatural powers. Both novellas are very dark.

The New Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (Adult and YA editions) is a lighthearted tale in which Twain’s Tom and Huck have been reincarnated as twin white cats and familiars to a witch. They long to be boys again—scheming accordingly—and, as New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry writes in the introduction, “The novel is equal parts Mark Twain’s quaint and homespun humor and Mannetti’s sharp-as-a-razor modern-day wit…an adventure into the funhouse of intelligent imagination.”

Finally, “1925: A Fall River Halloween”; The Gentling Box, and The Box Jumper (April 2017) have all been translated into Italian.

Where can we find you online?

Just about everywhere! I’m also a member of the HWA and the Author’s Guild.

Websites:

www.lisamannetti.com

https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Mannetti/e/B001HPT6J8/

http://lisamannetti.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/LisaMannetti

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMannetti.Writer/

https://www.pinterest.com/lisamannettiaut/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1978203.Lisa_Mannetti

The Chancery House:

www.thechanceryhouse.com (my virtual haunted house)

Lisa 2Lisa Mannetti’s debut novel, The Gentling Box, garnered a Bram Stoker Award and she has since been nominated four additional times for the prestigious award in both the short and long fiction categories. Her novella, “Dissolution,” will soon be a feature-length film directed by Paul Leyden.
In addition to The Box Jumper, her novella about Houdini which was nominated for both The Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Awards and won “Novella of the Year” from THIS IS HORROR, she has also authored The New Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn; Deathwatch; a macabre gag book, 51 Fiendish Ways to Leave your Lover; as well as non-fiction books, numerous articles and short stories in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. Recent and forthcoming works include “Arbeit Macht Frei” in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, “The Hermit” in Never Fear: The Tarot, and a novel about the dial-painter tragedy in the post-WWI era, Radium Girl.

An Interview with Valarie Kinney

Our Featured author for episode 131 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast is Valarie Kinney. Valarie is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction.  Recently she talked to us about her work:

What will you be reading for episode 131?

25848622I will be reading an excerpt from my novel SlitherSlither follows the story of Zari, who is on the run from her family of snake-god worshipers. She has run away, gotten married, started a business, and thinks she is safe. Suddenly, her family and Slither are back in her life, threatening to harm her husband if she doesn’t submit to their will.
Zari’s husband, Emmett, has a past as dark as her own. He is ready and willing to stand between Zari and Slither, but first she has to be honest about the threat that is coming for them.

When did you start writing?

I wrote a lot in junior high and high school, took a pause for a time while raising a family, and came back to it about six years ago.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

My favorite things to write about are difficult topics, such as pain, addiction, struggle, and heartbreak. I really enjoy digging down beneath the surface to find the reason people act the way they do in a given situation.

Could you tell us a little about your book Kapow?28176119

KAPOW (Kick Ass Powerfully Original Women) is a collection of stories about super chicks presented in literary form. This is the first book in a dual anthology, and shows us the “bad girls” who get into some trouble. KAPOW 2 is when the “good girls” come in to save the day (we hope.) My bad girl super chick is Copper, a nearly seven-foot-tall redhead with a talent for breathing golden lightning. One thing you don’t want to do is make her mad. All the authors for these collections are female.

What is Dragons of Faith?

Dragons of Faith is a collection of short stories revolving around dragons who all have different belief systems. When the fate of the world is at risk, they must learn to work together to save the world. I didn’t write a story for Dragons, but I wrote the poetry at the beginning of each story.

Who or what inspires you?

I am often inspired by authors who write about difficult or uncomfortable topics. Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Diana Gabaldon all come to mind.

What fascinates you about the horror genre?

28495292My favorite thing about writing horror is that it is such a departure from my everyday life. In real life, I work from home, have four kids, and spend a lot of time washing dishes and doing laundry. When I write horror, I can live in a world where evil, talking snakes are real; where I can murder a character and describe the scene in detail; where the creepiest of monsters might be your next door neighbor. Often, the stories I write are just plain weird and often gross, and that’s what I enjoy writing the most. It’s fun.

What are some of the other books you have available?

My first book, Just Hold On, is a drama/romance.

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Hold-Valarie-Savage-Kinney-ebook/dp/B00JLUHRD8?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

My latest release, Heckled, is a psychological thriller.

https://www.amazon.com/Heckled-Valarie-Kinney-ebook/dp/B01ADXRSCQ?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Where can we find you online?

On Twitter and Instagram @kinneychaos

My blog https://organizingchaosandothermisadventures.wordpress.com/

FB https://www.facebook.com/ValarieSavageKinney/

http://www.amazon.com/Valarie-Savage-Kinney/e/B00KIQE17E

I’m also on Wattpad and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

An Interview With JH Moncrieff

Our Featured author for episode 129 of the horroraddicts.net podcast is JH Moncrieff. JH is a journalist who loves to travel to exotic locations and write horror in her spare time. Recently she talked to us about her work:

What is your story for episode 129 about?

25118244I will be reading an excerpt from The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave which is the story of Josh, a ten-year-old boy who is struggling to deal with his beloved father’s death while adjusting to life with his new stepfather. While the stepfather tries to portray himself as an all-around good guy, Josh feels he knows Michael’s true nature, and those suspicions are confirmed when Michael gives him a teddy bear–a teddy bear that seems determined to make Josh’s life a living hell…not that anyone believes him!

When did you start writing? 

I wrote my earliest novels when I was five years old. I’d lost all my stencils except two–a bear and a fish–so I created a series of books about a family of fish who live in terror of a bear that stalks them under the ocean. When I was in Grade Four, I had a story about vampires published in the local paper. I’d recently learned the word “devour” so my vampires ran around devouring everyone. It’s a classic.

What are your favorite topics to write about? 

I love to delve into the relationships between people and how the sins of the past can return to haunt us. Interestingly enough, three of the books I’ve written most recently have involved ghosts or hauntings of some form or another.

Who or what inspires you? 27037191

Travel. Travel, travel, travel. It’s where I get all my best ideas, and when I read a book I’ve written while inspired by a particular place, the memory of being there comes right back to me. It’s a great way to relive an amazing trip.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

I’ll start by saying that I really wish people would expand their idea of what horror is. So many people reject it out of hand, claiming they “don’t like horror,” when what they mean is they don’t like torture porn, or they don’t like slasher flicks. But horror is also true crime. It’s the vast majority of our history books and our newspapers. It’s the quiet ghost story, it’s 1984, it’s Gone Girl. What I find fascinating about horror is that there are no guarantees how it will end–a happy ending is not a given. And that it’s so difficult to do well. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s much easier to make people laugh or cry than it is to truly unsettle or scare them.

Could you tell us about your podcast The Write Cast?

The Write Cast is a podcast for writers by writers. On the first of each month, three very different writers–a romance author, a horror author, and one who writes YA action-adventure–discuss different issues creative types struggle with, including lack of discipline, how to handle rejection, and how to avoid playing the comparison game.

What are some of the books you have available?jhm

I’m a journalist, editor and publicist during most daytime hours, which is my excuse for having so few of my books available right now. The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave is available as an ebook on pretty much any online retailer, and there’s also an audio version on Amazon.com. If you’d rather have a physical copy, it’s available in the Childhood Fears collection, along with novellas from four other talented writers. I also have a dark psychological suspense that’s free if you sign up for my newsletter.

Where can we find you online?

My website is the best place to start–I blog every Tuesday about all manner of spooky things, from unsolved mysteries to creepy places in the world and the true story behind various horror movies. I’m also on Twitter and have the ubiquitous author page on Facebook.

An Interview With A. Craig Newman

Our featured author for Epispde 128 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast is A. Craig Newman. He grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and was raised on the works of Stephen King. Recently A. Craig Newman answered a few questions about his writing:

What is your story for episode 128 about?

3ab6fea455b8b4fedce5461374d4672ab6bd6b19“Randall’s Visit” is about a man who is talking to his therapist while being plagued by the spirit of a little girl.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since 1984 when I was 10. I was telling my dad a story one day and he told me to write it down so he could get some sleep. Been writing ever since.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Insanity is a frequent feature in many of my stories. I also like to explore sex, religion, power, and the abuse of all three. I like twist endings that makes the reader want to go back and see what clues they missed. Hence, I say my stories are written to be read twice.

Who or what inspires you?

I draw a lot of inspiration from my life. I’ve been the guy on their therapist’s couch working out his demons. I hope to help the reader escape from their reality for brief moments and enjoy a trip down the rabbit hole.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?e7586778cd932d0101b886dfa1b6cbbe8f758800

Horror seems to be a warped take on many concepts found in faith and religion. As a man who grew up in the church and even wanted to be a minister at one point, I find it fascinating to explore the flip side of belief.

What are some of the books you have available?

Burn” is about a man in pain who takes drugs to relieve his suffering. But he isn’t careful and with this relief comes new consequences for his actions.
“Dierste Hamelin and the Pied Piper” is my update to the old fairy tale. Dierste hires Piper to take care of a pest. All goes well until she has to pay.
“Wages of Sin” is about a future were the punishments for certain crimes are more creative than today. The reader sees two women punished for the crime of loving each other

Soon to be available ( hopefully by the time this airs) is my first published full length novel, “The Apocalypse Plan”. Michael and Liz are FBI agents on the task force investigating the destruction of the United Nations building. As they follow the trail, they come face to face with their own demons and secrets and End Times Prophecy .

Where can we find you online?

Here, my books can be purchased and more information about me can be found. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ACraigNewman

http://www.acraignewman.com/

Once Upon a Scream Author Spotlight: MD Maurice

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 4th anthology called Once Upon a ScreamRemember the Fairy tales that you grew up reading? Well, they are back again with a horror twist. Once Upon a Scream includes 18 tales that are fantastic and frightful. One of the authors in this anthology is MD Maurice and recently talked to us about her writing:

What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?
OnceUponAScreamFrontMy story is called “Lake Tividen”. It is basically, a modern retelling of an old legend involving a dangerous Norse water sprite called the Nokken, sometimes referred to as the Water Horse in Norwegian mythology.

What inspired the idea?
The original piece was inspired by a prompt in my writing group where we had to write about mythological creature. I wasn’t familiar with the Nokken, but the more I read about it, the more intrigued I became. I loved the idea that it could take on multiple forms, entice and manipulate through its appearances. There was something very powerful and dark that appealed to me. This particular legend had elements that I really loved. I thought I could twist and expand on in both very visual and visceral ways. It just took off on me and began something bigger. Also, I always loved the ominous nature of those fairytales that promised something wonderful but demanded a higher price than one was prepared to surrender.

When did you start writing?
I started writing publicly in early 2001, that is to say, I starting to pursue publication for my work. I have been writing in some form since I could spell, I think. I can remember as a young girl in middle school, I began writing really terrible poems and cheesy song lyrics. Then, I actually started writing fiction pretty early in adolescence and I was hooked totally on the craft.

What are your favorite topics to write about?
I’ve had some of my adult fiction published over the last several years in erotic horror and sci-fi anthologies. The recent mainstream popularity of works like “Fifty Shades” have made it easier to find markets for that work. I welcome the way erotica lets me freely focus on all the varied emotions and physical connections we have to our passions and our most basic instincts. I do tend to write many stories that are darker in nature. I like that they allow me to explore the shadows and fine lines that reside in all of us. I like things that make me feel uneasy or slightly off-centered because I’m a person with a scientific background who was always taught there is an answer for everything. So, it excites me to think that not everything can be explained so easily. I like the mysterious, the creepy…that thing you thought you just saw out of the corner of your eye… I’m also a pretty active blogger, it keeps the creative juices flowing. It also gives me a venue to write about: parenting, family, travel, other interests and pursuits I enjoy on a daily basis. Plus, I like having some pieces I can still share with family and friends that are more mainstream…with far less blushing and explanations involved!

What are some of your influences?
I’m influenced by so many things and people, but my favorite authors are Gabriel Garza Marquez and Anis Nin. I also love James Lee Burke, Greg Iles, Joe Hill and Gillian Flynn – all very different, but they all do what they do so exceptionally well. I’ve read lines in all their works that have made me just sit back and say, “Good God, that’s so fucking great…” You have to take a few minutes to just absorb the way the words made you feel. I’m also influenced every day by the authors in my writing circles and in my group at Writing.com…So many unrepresented, amateur writers who find success just by keeping the pedal to metal and grinding out amazing material every day, working to make their craft as good as it can be.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?
I love the freedom by not being bound to anything. There are no rules because the unknown and unexplained are so ripe with endless possibilities and fear is so relative. One of my most favorite novels of all time is “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King. The imagery and descriptive power in that book, and in other early King works, could actually keep me up at night. The story had my heart racing hours after I put the book away. I love that about this genre, it can make me feel something in my gut that stays with me in a real residual way.

What are some of the works you have available?
I’ve had pieces previously published in print in the Rainstorm Press, “Nailed – An Erotic Death Anthology” and also the sci-fi anthology, “Abaculus II” by Leucrota Press. Some of my short stories have been published previously in Bare Back Magazine,  Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, online at Erotic Nights and other sites devoted to erotic fiction. I’ve also had some non-fiction work featured in the River Poets Journal and self-published a children’s book called “Mugsly’s Forever Home” about a rescue mutt. Also, a memoir about my great-grandmother entitled “Claudette’s Lovely Dementia”.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a horror novel about a succubus demon which ironically just drains me, and a serialized novel about two ladies who run a sinfully sweet chocolate shop. Also, several short nonfiction pieces for upcoming anthologies that focus on loss and addiction. I try to blog every day and have several articles almost ready for submission…fingers crossed! I hope to begin drafting something for the new upcoming HorrorAddicts.net anthology just announced – as I am a huge, huge fan of Alice in Wonderland myself and I’ve very excited for that! I try to be as productive as I can while working full-time in my day job and raising a young daughter…some days I’m better at it than others!

Where can we find you online?1798535_604919092931153_1567880026_n

You can find me online at MD Maurice official. I’m a regular contributor and moderator of the Sensual Infusion group based as Writing.com. You can also find me on Facebook/Mdmaurice and on Twitter @MDmaurice2015.

An Interview with Mark Taylor

Our featured author for episode 125 of the HorrorAddicts podcast is Mark Taylor. Mark recently answered a few questions for us about his work:

What is your story for episode 125 about?

Crossing Guard CoverThe excerpt comes from ‘Total Entertainment’, a short story from my collection ‘Strange’, published in 2015 by Eleventh Hour Literary Press. It is a dark dystopian telling of a future where employ is everything, and where dreams have become a commodity in the entertainment industry. Dreams are sold as interactive simulations.

The story has been so well received that my publisher has contracted me to turn the short into a novel, which will be coming out later this year, entitled: ‘A Night at the Dream Theater’.

What inspired the idea for using dreams as a virtual reality game in the future?

I was thinking about where the next stages of entertainment were coming from. With virtual reality now becoming a reality (if that makes sense), what next?

My answer was of course something similar, but in a place where every journey, every game, is different. You are experiencing a reality created only by a subconscious. Which of course doesn’t limit the experience to someone’s imagination. A theme explored more in the novel.

When did you start writing?witches tea party_small

I tinkered with writing when I was a teenager. My English teacher seemed to think I had a penchant for it, however, life gets in the way, and I ended up as a guitarist in a metal band. After that it just fell to the wayside. I picked it up again when I was in my thirties, and haven’t looked back since.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

If you’d asked me two years ago I would have said horror, straight up and without a doubt. These days? Well, I suppose I prefer things a little less cut and dry. I like to experiment with genre particularly, and ‘Dream Theater’ not only bends genre, it’s a bit of a brainteaser itself. I think of it as extreme horror with a spoon of hard science fiction, and a drizzle of humor. So I suppose I’m leaning more towards the weird and surreal at the moment.

And skinning people. For some reason a lot of my work has human skinning in it.

Who or what inspires you?

It’s a mixture of things, to be honest. I love reading. I read a lot of indie work, which I feel is important. I also love the masters too. But on top of that I’m a massive film buff, horror in particular. So all of that inspires what I write, but my inspiration to actually get down and get on with it? That would be my wife. She’s my rock.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Strange CoverIt’s the ability to be able to do whatever I want. Had a bad day at the office? Someone’s getting murdered tonight. It allows me to vent my frustrations as a person as well as my frustrations as a writer. It allows me to delve into the human psyche…and fiddle with it.

And on top of that? I love the reactions from my readers, but not with the gore and splatter stuff, but when I write things that ‘get’ to them.

What are some of the books you have available?

I have a few short story collections, ‘Strange’, as I have already mentioned, but also ‘The Human Condition’, and ‘Small Cuts to the Psyche’. I have a couple of novels, ‘Shutter Speed’, and ‘Redemption’, and two novella series, ‘The Devil’s Hand’, and ‘Witches’.

Where can we find you online?

You can find my website at Mark Taylor Official, my blog where I ramble and review atMark Taylor’s Blog, and on social media on Facebook at Mark Taylor Facebook, or twitter atMark Taylor Twitter.

An Interview with Jaq Hawkins

Our featured author for episode 119 of the horroraddicts.net podcast is Jaq Hawkins. Jaq has written several non fiction and fiction books, recently Jaq told us a little about her writing:

When did you start writing?

Well, it depends on where you want to start counting. I started my first autobiography at age 6, in pencil on notepaper. I wrote short stories through high school and decided then that I wanted to be a writer. I started getting non-fiction (occult) books published in 1996, but finished my first novel in 2005, which was Dance of the Goblins.

What do you like to write about?

newgoblinI’ve always been a Fantasy reader (Traditinal, not Romance) and love making up imaginary worlds or adaptations of the real world. Like in The Wake of the Dragon, my Steampunk novel. Most of it is based in a properly researched Victorian world, but with airships.

Who are some of your influences?

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Roger Zelazny, Anne McCaffrey and Mary Stewart stand out, although I have great admiration for Stephen King as well.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?13601727

Horror was a natural progression from Fantasy that kept getting darker. As someone who has studied and written about the occult, the scope for extrapolating the Fantasy worlds into scary landscapes has a natural appeal. I lean towards entities like ghosts and before they got sparkly, vampires and werewolves in my tastes for Horror. I’ve enjoyed films made from Lovecraftian stories, especially those with unseen creatures that become visible under special conditions. As a child I loved films and stories with odd creatures, like in From Hell It Came, which has a tree-like monster. My brother and I watched that film every time it came on television.

Could you tell us what inspired the Goblin series you have written?

What inspired the story was a polical situation, which has a certain irony because I hate politics. W. Bush was about to get elected for the second time in the U.S. and I had been 13635472in contact with various Anarchist groups and tried to stir a protest movement, only to find that most of these groups were very limited in their smaller agendas. The whole power thing between politicians and mini-oligarchys of protest groups kind of culminated in a line that went through my head, “We are not like you. We do not glory in having power over our own kind, or imaging that we do.”

What are some of the other books you have out?

Dance of the Goblins turned into a series and was followed by Demoniac Dance and Power of the Dance. I’ve also released a combined edition with the full Trilogy. The Wake of the Dragon is my Steampunk book, which will be followed by more in the genre, but I have other projects to finish first.

What will you be reading for episode 119 of the podcast?

An excerpt from Chapter Four of Dance of the Goblins. Writing this chapter is where I learned that I rather like creating dark imagery. I expect that future books will explore this sort of thing further.

Where can you we find you online?

My fiction website is http://jaqdhawkins.com. The occult books are on http://jaqdhawkins.co.uk.
Social networks are:

 

An Interview with Mercedes Yardley

Mercedes M. Yardley is our featured author for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast. Mercedes has written several essays, short stories, poems and novels. She said her writing specializes in the dark and beautiful. Recently Mercedes answered a few questions about her writing for us:

When did you start writing?

Beautiful_Sorrows_-_Mercedes_M._YardleyMMY: I’ve always been writing. I was writing and reading stories aloud to my classmates when I was about eight years old. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I loved telling stories. I especially loved telling ghost stories and seeing the other children’s eyes widen. There’s something so elegant about darkness.

What do you like to write about?

MMY: I’m a bit schizophrenic in my subject matter and style. I use writing as a way to process, and sometimes I really don’t know how I feel about something until I’ve written about it. Some of my themes include monsters who love and broken people who have shine. Flowers, stars, and water turn up quite a bit. I write about pretty, deadly things.

Who are some of your influences?

MMY: I was heavily influenced by Erma Bombeck and Elizabeth Berg. Erma Bombeck because she was funny and wrote about everyday things. I loved that she made these common experiences fascinating and meaningful. Elizabeth Berg wrote a book called “Pull of the Moon” that had such a feminine style. It was full of mystery and unabashedly womanly. Up until that point, most women I read sounded stereotypically male, so Berg’s work impacted me.

 What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

MMY: I adore the emotion of it. I love that the horror genre can pull fears and thoughts and sorrowspldg out of readers. It’s a safe place to let those anxieties run free and hopefully get them out of the reader’s mind and soul. I think it’s healthy. I also think there’s something that bonds horror lovers together. We just shared this amazing experience that made you feel things. There’s something so personal about that. Being afraid? Catching your breath? That’s what being alive feels like.

What are some of the books you have out?

MMY: My first book was a collection of short stories called Beautiful Sorrows. It’s 27 different tales ranging from sweet to quite dark. I’m also in an anthology called Grimm Mistresses with my darkest work in there, called “Little Dead Red.”  I have a novella called Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, a novel called Nameless (Book 1 of the Bone Angel Trilogy), and Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. It’s my favorite thing I ever wrote. Unfortunately, Apocalyptic Montessa, Nameless, and Pretty Little Dead Girls are temporarily out of print since the grimmbeginning of July. I split with the publishers, which was a very tough decision. But another publishing house seems interested in acquiring and releasing all three, so they’ll be out again very soon. Meanwhile, all three books are available as audiobooks on Audible, if somebody would like to experience them aurally. The narrators did a wonderful job.

 Publishing is a tricky business and things like this happen. I think the important part is to be happy and keep writing. Writing is one of my biggest sources of joy, and if it isn’t working with one place, it’s time to come at it from a different angle. If I lose the passion to write, then something is drastically wrong and it’s time for change.

What will you be reading for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast?

MMY: I’m so excited for this reading! This is an excerpt from Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. The setup is that Bryony, the girl, is destined to be murdered, and since Peter, the runner, is a serial killer, he’s delighted to help her out. But then somebody else trespasses on his territory. The scene starts with Peter hiding in the blackberry bushes while Bryony jogs down a popular running trail. Then she begins to scream.

 Where can you we find you online?

MMY: I’m all over the place online! You can find me on my blog at www.abrokenlaptop.com. I’m also on Twitter as @mercedesmy, and Facebook under Mercedes M. Yardley. Please stop by and say hi! I’d love that. Thank you so much for the interview! It was great fun.