KIDNAPPED BLOG/ Chris Ringler: Once Upon A Time On Halloween

halogokidnappednotdateOnce Upon A Time On Halloween

By Chris Ringler

HalloweenThere’s something primal about Halloween. It reaches not just back to our youth but to the youth of the human race. It reaches back to a time when the darkness held within it a dangerous world we could barely imagine. A time when we felt the presence of the dead all around us and felt compelled to honor and appease them lest they take their mischief out on us. Much has changed over the passing of hundreds of generations but the dark heart of Halloween remains the same – an appreciation that in one way or another the dead are amongst us and that mischief is at hand on Halloween.

It’s been a very, very long time since I have been trick or treating but I can still feel the effects that the holiday had on my childhood. I can still remember the skeleton costume my mom made out of some blue jeans I had, or the plastic Spider Man costume I had that I both loved and hated at the same time. I remember the adventures my friends and I had as we went on an epic quest for as much candy as would fill a pillow case, never quite reaching our goal but happy-halloween-house-wallpaperalready planning for the next year. I even remember the sorrow I felt at knowing I had gotten too old to trick or treat. Halloween is a time for children to free their imaginations, a night where the monsters are out from under the beds and stalking through the night. A time for adventure and exploration and a healthy fear of a very big world. This is a holiday for children, yes, but not just for children. Not at all. For many, too many, Halloween is something that adults need to put behind them to, well, be adults. We, well, we know better.

The best part of Halloween, our modern version of it, is that it embraces both children and adults. For kids it’s a time to dress like your favorite hero, monster, cartoon, profession, or anything your heart desires. For adults it’s a time to either craft a magic holiday for your kids or to revel in the mystery and fun of the season for yourself. And it trick or treatIS truly a season, though, perhaps too LONG of one. Let’s just admit it, putting Halloween stuff out the first week of September is ridiculous. There’s a reason we get burned out on the holidays – we celebrate them for too long, and Halloween is part of that. Keep it to Mid-September at the earliest, when the haunts open. THAT is when the season really starts. Yeesh, I adore Halloween but even I get a little sick of seeing the decorations for two months just to see it all pulled down and gone the day following the holiday. Heck, if you want to lose that ‘holiday spirit’, just work in retail, it’ll ruin it in no time.Back to Haunt Season though, the time when haunted attractions open up leading into the Halloween season. Haunt Season is the thing that makes the modern Halloween something really special for adults because it lets us experience a horror movie live and we get to tell the tale afterward. The best haunts remember to craft a credible story that suspends your disbelief long enough to imagine you may actually be in danger. The best haunts create an atmosphere of danger without being dangerous. The best haunts mix animatronics and people to create a sense of dread and horror. The best haunts are not a fear grindhouse, churning out stale ideas and half-hearted scares because it’s a good way to make some money, no, the best haunts are a thrill ride that stays with you long after you have experienced them. Too many modern haunts rely on gore, jump scares, and ‘extreme’ horror without building tension or dread. We have all been to mediocre and bad haunts. How many though have you been to that stick with you? That you remember fondly? THAT should be the standard, shouldn’t it? A haunt that people talk about, reminisce over, and that they look forward to experiencing again. And it’s funny because if you go to enough mediocre haunts you start to think that it must be some sort of 640x480_2544_Trick_or_treating_2d_cartoon_picture_image_digital_artarcane science behind a good haunt. It isn’t. It’s remembering the basics of horror and what makes horror work – story, suspense, dread, laughter, fear, and pay off. You have to ramp things up to a climax and pay off in a way that makes the person feel like they actually survived something scary. THAT is what makes a great haunt.

For some though Halloween isn’t about kids or haunts, it’s all about the party. THE PARTY! WOO! Sadly, most parties consist of sleazy, or offending store bought costumes, cheap beer, and people standing around talking about their jobs. Yeesh! Where’s the fun? The scares? The, uh…less cheap beer? We can take a cue from kids when it comes to our parties – we need more fun. I get it, we’re older – most of us – and a fun night is a night away from kids, and work, and darn it cheap beer can still be refreshing, I guess. But maybe Martha Stewart has something in the notion of creating an atmosphere for the party. Maybe she’s right that there should be themed food and drink. Maybe we AREN’T too old for games. And maybe, JUST MAYBE we could try a little harder on a costume. I mean, we can’t do better than wearing a mask of a political figure or wearing some sexed-up version of a television or movie icon? Really? For real, do we really need a sexy Michael Myers? Can you REALLY make Freddy Krueger, a child killer, sexy? Just saying. Halloween is one night, a night about having fun and cutting loose (safely kids, remember to do it safely!) so why not really go for it? Why not dance, and sing, and eat food and candy and just have some darn fun for a change, like we did when we were kids?

halloween_haunted_houseMore than anything else Halloween, and all holidays to be honest, are opportunities to create our own traditions. Chances to take the tried and true and to make them our own. Whether it’s trick or treating and scary stories with the kids or it’s a haunted attraction tour, or an over the top Halloween bash with friends this is one of those holidays that we can put a stamp on. Our OWN stamp. Halloween can be so magical, so powerful for those of us that celebrate it because it takes us back to being a kid again and captures a piece of that wonder for a world that still seemed scary but which had candy for those of us brave enough to venture out into the night. The Halloween season is a time for movie marathons, for ghost stories, for experimenting with make-up kits, for checking out the store displays, and for re-living, if just for a little while, a time in our lives when we didn’t worry over work and bills and relationships. It’s a time to think about the people we have all lost, and to wish them well on their journey as the veil between their world and ours is at its thinnest. We never want to live our lives in the past, regretting that we had to age but we do want to cherish the memories and that sense that we can, in some small way, go back to our youth. A time when movie monsters were real and we loved them because they were. Halloween is ours, however we celebrate it. Let’s just make sure we DO celebrate it this year.


66dc1104709eb6e7c4ceff10214070f5Chris Ringler was raised in Linden, Michigan, a where he lived and attended school. He fell in love with writing as a teenager when he started writing short stories and began working on fanzines with friends. In 1999 BACK FROM NOTHING, a short story collection was published by University Editions. Since that time Chris has been published in BARE BONE and CTHULHU SEX MAGAZINE, received Honorable Mention in THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR twice, was voted Best in Blood on HORRORADDICTS.COM, and has been working on his writing and art.

Chris has written and published nine books which range from horror and dark fiction to fairy tales.

Chris is a writer, artist, weirdo, and was the creator of many events in the Flint area such as the Flint Horror Convention.


KIDNAPPED BLOG/ Chris Ringler: Something In The Water

halogokidnappednotdateSOMETHING IN THE WATER

By Chris Ringler

First it was one, then two, then three and by the end of the night there were thirteen little bodies washed ashore, their pale peace a startling reminder of the brutal life existed outside of this paradise. The day was overcast and there was no one to witness the landing of the children. No one to welcome them. No one to mourn them. The winds were moderate, the air was cool, but the sky was filled with clouds that warned that the sun would not be making an appearance any time soon. With no sun the tourists stayed away and with no tourists the food vendors stayed away and with no food vendors even the gulls stayed away. The children were alone on the beach, together and alone.

They had come dressed for war. Their clothes torn and burned; faded and small. The oldest of them was ten, the youngest was four. They came bearing no luggage. They had no identification. Lying with the children was a small a black teddy bear with no head held tightly in the grip of a little girl with dark hair and a deep bruise around her throat. The sun rose on the bodies and no one came. The sun rose higher and no one came. The sun finally reached the top of the sky and no one came. The sun stood silent watch over the children for a time before slowly receding and falling and all the while no one came. There were none to bear witness. None to give forgiveness. None to save their souls.

There was nothing but the water.

But the water did not leave the children.

The water did not abandon them.

The water kissed their wounds.

The water caressed their prone bodies.

The water held their hands and whispered that Hush everything would be all right.

Everything would be all right.

By midnight the water had had enough. The sea could bear no more. The children were but three hundred feet from a major roadway and no one, not one person, had noticed the horror that lay on the beach. Not one person had taken their minds away from themselves long enough to give tears to the tragedy that lay in the sand. The water that had risen around the children began to bubble and slowly the mouths of each child opened and in rushed the water, filling each of them with the whispers of the sea.



Come back to me.

Come back to Mother.

Come back to your first Mother.

Your only Mother.

Come back.

The children stirred.

The children rose.

Thirteen children stood silently on a moonless beach, their bodies bent, broken, and bloated from the ocean’s kisses. The ocean roared behind them and the children began to move slowly, deliberately, holding each other’s hands as they walked slowly towards the roadway and the cities beyond them. When the children reached the rocks they helped one another up them until they were on solid ground again beside the road. The street lights revealed thirteen children with cold, gray eyes, and white skin, holding hands and moving slowly towards the world.

They were no longer human.

They were of the sea.

They were loved.

They were angry.

Behind them the brothers and sisters of the thirteen children began to make the beach, their bodies far less human, the work of the ocean far stronger on them and their purposes far darker. One by one the children of the sea made land and began marching on humanity as the thirteen that had come first all smiled and moved forward to tell the world of the coming flood.




66dc1104709eb6e7c4ceff10214070f5Chris Ringler was raised in Linden, Michigan, a where he lived and attended school. He fell in love with writing as a teenager when he started writing short stories and began working on fanzines with friends. In 1999 BACK FROM NOTHING, a short story collection was published by University Editions. Since that time Chris has been published in BARE BONE and CTHULHU SEX MAGAZINE, received Honorable Mention in THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR twice, was voted Best in Blood on HORRORADDICTS.COM, and has been working on his writing and art.

Chris has written and published nine books which range from horror and dark fiction to fairy tales.

Chris is a writer, artist, weirdo, and was the creator of many events in the Flint area such as the Flint Horror Convention.

BLOG 122, Dario Ciriello


Horror Addicts Episode# 122

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe


dario ciriello | glass android | mario bava

Find all articles and interviews at:

27 days till halloween

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Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon! blog Kindle syndicated


Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…


h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Mimi Williams, Lisa Vasquez

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email

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Horror Addicts Guide to Life – Available now!

FinalFrontCoverHorror Addicts Guide to Life

Available now! 

Cover art by: Masloski Carmen

Editor: David Watson

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?

Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.

Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir. 111, Horror Addicts Guide to Life

Horror Addicts Episode# 111

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe


horror addicts guide to life | xy beautiful | the twilight zone

Find all articles and interviews at:


216 days till halloween

valentine wolfe, catch up, new staff, lillian, don, jesse, other contributors, crystal connor, killion slade, voodoo lynn, what are you watching, dead filed, z nation,, artistic license, zombie cruise, wicked women writers challenge, master of macabre contest, tarot, books, somnalia, sumiko saulson, horror addicts guide to cats, david watson, it came from the library, dean farnell, kings of horror, touched by death, forbidden fiction, voodoo lynn, nightbreed, phillip tomasso2, madness, mimielle, stephen king, the golden notebook, emilie autumn, morbid meals, dan shaurette, carne adovada, serpentine delights, lillian csernica, nightmare fuel, d.j. pitsiladis, rawhead, old betty, xy beautiful, dawn wood, jesse orr, black jack, dead mail, advice from marc, marc vale, kbatz, twilight zone, horror tv shows, the munsters, twilight zone, alfred hitchcock, horror addicts guide to life, david watson, killion slade, j. malcolm stewart, ron vitale, h.e. roulo, james newman, eden royce, chris ringler, sumiko saulson


Horror Addicts Guide to Life

Horror Addicts Guide to LifeDo you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle?

Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?


Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written

by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is

your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with

Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.


Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette,

Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee

Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt

Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel

Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris

Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia

Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi

A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.




Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…


h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr.

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

Upcoming Events

October 13th / Monster Fest / Chesapeake Va. /  This free horror convention includes trick or treating, a costume contest and a movie marathon. Some of the special guests include: Justin Cristelli author of Caprice and Other Stories and Tony Ruggiero author of Coven and panal discussions on monsters from around the world. For more information go to:

October 20th / Flint Horror Convention / Flint Michigan / This convention  includes appearances by Performance artist Lucifer Fulci,  Make Up artist Tom Sullivan and Paranormal Expert John E.L. Tenney and a showing of Bloody Bloody Bible Camp, Refugio 115 and other films. For more information go to:

October 20th / Monster Bash Movie Marathon / Ligonier PA / Included are showings of White Zombie, The Terror and The Last Man On Earth.  There will also be a live performance of the play Wait Until Dark performed by The Valley Players. For more information go to:

October 19th -21st / Dark Carnival Film Festival / Bloomington Indiana / The Sundance of horror features appearances by Michael Berryman, Joe Bob Briggs and the cast of Syfy channel’s Ghost hunters. Also there will be showings of the films Dead Friends and An Evening With My Comatose Mother. For more information go to:

October 19th – 21st / Macabre Faire Grim Gathering / Rockville Centre New York / Long Island’s only Horror, gothic and steampunk event includes a costume contest, a film festival, horror themed charades and performances by Dark Wave Burlesque, The Wandering Cellist and Monster Dolls. For more information go to:

Flint Horror Convention Parting Words

More than anything we want to thank everyone for their support, their interest, and their trust in us as we put the convention together. It was a really rough road to go but with everyone’s support we managed to pull everything together. The convention was truly a dream come true for all of us involved and we were honored to be able to work with all the filmmakers, artists, actors, and vendors.

For one day in Flint horror movies were king and we were able to show over ten hours of indie horror shorts and features, bring this region actors and filmmakers that had never been in this area, and were able to surprise Hal Delrich of THE EVIL DEAD with a Book of the Dead birthday cake and had the convention singing ‘happy birthday’ to him, something none of us will soon forget.

As for the future we are actively discussing what comes next.
We have a few things we are working on will announce them as soon as possible but for now all we can say is there is more to come.
Much more.


Chris Ringler

Flint Horror Convention Part One

The Flint Horror Convention ended back on 10/30/11, and those behind the event should be very proud of what they accomplished. Chris Ringler and Geary Roe pulled off a first time event that was well attended and had some great vendors and some very special guests showing that Horror of all types has a home in the state of Michigan.

The convention brought together several Independent film makers, artists, writers, photographers and more importantly fans of horror into one building.  This building is Flint’s Historic Masonic Temple which I found may have been a special guest to the convention and I will get into that a bit more.

The convention had a long list of guests and vendors and they all were more than willing to take time to talk to those attending.  I saw people sharing their stories, their products and many cases a handshake as people spoke together.  This of course is a great sign for a convention when those involved feel welcome be it from vendor, to guest, to visitor.

The layout was special as the films featured at the convention where shown in an auditorium that served as a perfect setting for them.  Those who were able to attend one of the nine films were able to view them in their own room with little to no interruptions.  The panels were along the same floor but far enough way that there was no problem hearing them and those doing the panels did a great job of helping them move along, which was a rare issue.

The vendors were on a separate floor and had a large room setup in a logical manner that it allowed people to flow freely among them all.  As I wondered the floor I came across some names from Horror Films fans may recognize.  Tom Sullivan, Hal Dietrich, Ken Sagoes, David Hayes, and Kevin Lindenmuth to just name a few of those seen across the vendor floor as you wandered around.  Horror Addicts fans would have found Michele Roger and Mark Eller among those at the convention.  Actually for many they would have found Mark at the door as he was volunteering his time with the convention.  Michele shared a bit more then her writing as I found out that she is an accomplished harpist.

The artists and photographers who were displaying their work had a great showing as their works displayed were stunning.  It was not easy walking away from some of the vendor tables without breaking the bank to find funds to purchase some of their great works.

Now the one special guest that some may have not realized were provided by the building itself.  You see, rumor has it the Masonic Temple, which has been around since the late 1800’s is haunted.  In speaking to some of the convention attendees there were some similar stories coming from people.  The main being the elevator stopping at empty floors with no one there and no buttons pushed.  Another was odd feelings people got as they decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator.  In speaking to some associated with the building there have been other events that have happened as well.  Guest John E.L. Tenney may have found this very interesting.  Fans of Unsolved Mysteries and Paranormal State may recognize this name as he has been a research for both shows and will be on camera when the new version of Paranormal State starts with a new team.

The convention was open from 12 to 10pm and it was great to see people coming and going throughout the day.  The attendance was still there by almost 9pm that evening as there were still people walking around and looking at the vendors’ booths.  I have to say as someone who attended the convention you could not tell this was their first one.  There were several vendors who told me they were surprised with the turnout and the way the convention ran.  Tom Sullivan shared with me a horror story of another convention he was to attend and compared it to the Flint Convention.  To paraphrase what he said the differences were black and white between the two conventions.

The Flint Horror Convention is something fans of Horror not only in Michigan, but elsewhere, should keep an eye out for when future conventions are announced. I’m sure with the professionalism that this was run and some events held prior to the event there will be more.  It was a privilege to attend the convention and share with people information about Horror Addicts as I made my way around the convention.  The one thing I got from all my discussions was how great the convention was going. So, to all the volunteers and to the Flint Horror Con Committee great job to all and hope to see you next year. Lastly to those I spoke with I apologize for not mentioning everyone by name during this but the time you took to speak to me was greatly appreciated.

13 Questions with the Masters

Have I got a treat for all you Horror Addicts out there… today marks the begining of the end. That’s right, it’s finally time for the Masters of Macabre and Phobia Phollies!

I’ve got a little information here for you about the contestants for the first ever MMM Challenge and the basics of their stories. Each one of the contestants was given a phobia, a place, and a boy toy as the building blocks of their stories.

First up, a name Horror Addicts are sure to recognize is Season 4’s Best In Blood, Chris Ringler!

Ringler’s phobia for the challenge is Agyrophobia (which is the fear of crossing roads), his place – Graduation and his item – Golf Clubs.

Born in Flint Michigan, Chris was raised in nearby Linden where he lived and attended school. He fell in love with writing as a teenager when he started writing short stories and began working on fanzines with friends. In 1999 Back From Nothing, a short story collection, was published by University Editions. Since that time Chris has finished writing a novel, a children’s series and has been published in Bare Bone and Cthulhu Sex Magazine. He has also received Honorable Mention in THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR twice.

His latest book is Noches De Corazones De Negros. Along with writing, Chris is also an artist and photographer and he currently resides in Flint and battles invisible space beasts in his free time. In October he and some friends will be bringing Flint their first horror convention.

Also by Chris Ringler: Back From Nothing, This Beautiful Darkness, The Meep Sheep, Red Dreams, and The Kreep Sheep.

For more information about Chris check out these websites:

Our next spotlighted author is Don Pitsiladis whose phobia Astraphobia (the fear of lightning & storms). His place and boy toy are a Sporting Event and Riding Mower.

Don Pitsiladis is a married 35 year old with 4 boys, 2 dogs, and 2cats.  He has been writing off and on since the 7th grade, but only seriously started looking at trying to make it a career, even a small one, within the past two years.  “The Problem With Neighbors” will be his very first story ever presented to a large audience.

In Don’s words, “What better way to debut than sharing one’s own fear with the world?”

For more information on Don, check out his myspace and twitter pages:!/dlpitsiladis

Next up is author Jerry Davis. Jerry was given the fear of technology, Technophobia, as his phobia. With Y2K being his place (or in this case time period) and his toy, surprise, surprise…a Computer.
Jerry J. Davis is a writer and photographer in the Chicago area. During the day he’s a mild-mannered webmaster and digital marketing specialist who works for a large international corporation. At night, however, he lives in a small cottage at the edge of an enchanted forest preserve, and spends time dodging mosquitos and searching for the fabled Stonehenge made of old refrigerators which is rumored to be somewhere behind his porch.

For more info on Jerry check out this site:

Failed writer, failed actor, and failed human being, Rish Outfield can be found hosting The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine (, a podcast presenting genre stories performed with a

full cast, followed by lengthy geekcentric chatter.  When he’s not working on that, he can often be found thinking of you and feeling sorry for himself.

Rish’s phobia for the MMM Challenge is Entomophobia (the fear of insects). His story will take place during a Luau, and his boy toy…a Hang Glider!

Check him out at:

Our next Master of Macabre contestant hails from Germany.

Shaunessy Ashdownlives in Berlin, where morbidity is mother’s milk and horror lurks round every corner. His job is fashioning insidious instruments of torture known as schoolbooks. These are deployed in institutions throughout Germany and Austria for the purpose of traumatising and corrupting the youth there.

Ashdown has the challege of writing about Spectrophobia, which is the fear of mirrors and one’s own reflection. Take that and mix it in with a Bachelor Party and a motocycle and you can expects crazy things to happen!

FInd out more about Shaunessy Ashdown by checking out his Facebook page:

Next on out list of MMM contestants is R. Michael Burns. His challenge was to create a horrifing tale center around Ailurophobia, the fear of cats, as well as a Stereo or Sound System, and a Parade.

R. Michael Burns is an October child with a background in philosophy, theater and other occult arts. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group, and the Gainesville Fiction Writers Group.

His fiction has appeared in various magazines and e-zines, including Dreams of Decadence, City Slab, Dark Regions, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Dark Recesses, Lovecraft’s Weird Mysteries, The Shroud, and Arkham Tales, as well as in the anthologies Orphans of the Storm, Bell, Book & Beyond, Cthulhu Express, Extremes 5, Goodbye, Darwin, Bound for Evil, and Horror Library III. He has other fiction forthcoming in the e-zine Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. His article “Creative Writing 301” was picked in a Predators and Editors poll as the second-best non-fiction article of 2006.

A Colorado native, he lived for the better part of five years in Japan, where he taught English to Japanese students from 1 to 70. He currently resides in the dark swamps of Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches high school English, runs the Creative Writing Workshop an the Japanese Pop Culture Club, and coaches speech and debate.

For more informations about R. Burns, be sure to check out these sites:

Colin F Barnes herds words in  an often random order; not unlike a room of monkeys battering away at typewriters with their poop covered paws. (Do monkeys have paws or hands?). The usual outcome of this seemingly random plucking of words is a glimpse into a dark world of psychological malopropisms, dystopian nightmares, and fluffy children’s stories. *one of those is a lie.

The basics of Colin’s story reminds me of the movie/game Clue. At the Gallery Opening with the Hunting Knife, throw in Necrophobia (fear of death & dead) and you’ve got one twisted story coming your way!

Find out more about Colin at:!/Colin_Barnes

And last but certainly not least is author Tom Andry who was given the task of basing his story around Osmophobia (fear of smells). His short story takes place at a picnic and involves a telescope.

Tom Andry is the Associate Editor of and host of the AV Rant podcast. He’s been writing mostly reviews but has lately returned to his prose roots. He has written many unpublished short stories, poems, and a few screenplays that may still be produced. Tom the father of three boys, is happily married, and currently resides in Perth, Australia. His background is in drama, creative writing, and research psychology which basically means his kids are in for a pretty rough time. His wife, Tanel, doesn’t have it so easy either. His first work for public consumption is an eBook titled Bob Moore: No Hero. The followup, Bob Moore: Desperate Times, is scheduled for release October 2011.

Follow him at:

Season 4 Best In Blood: Chris Ringler

Best In Blood for season 4 is none other than Chris Ringler.

“I am really excited and utterly surprised to be voted Best In Blood. It was such a strong season and there were such good stories and I am just thrilled that the readers really connected to the story so it feels great. Sorta speechless, actually,” Chris told me.

He then added, “This really is a great honor for me. While I have been writing for some twenty years now it is always great when a story connects with the audience. As much as I am a writer, too, I am a huge nerd, and I find when I read things I know what I want from that story and I know whether or not it delivers and it is great to get an honor like this because it means you did something right. It’s not often that a self published author gets much acclaim or acknowledgment and that your readers dug the story means the world to me. Sometimes you never know if people are getting into what you are writing and winning Best In Blood is a great boost to my confidence.”

This is the second time I’ve have the honor of interviewing Chris. The first time being for the 13 Questions series. I did my best to get new information for all you Ringler fans out there.

Did you know: “I started really early with horror movies, seeing Friday The 13th at a drive in when I was six so I have always loved horror. I was into horror movies, seriously into them when I was around ten and that built the base of my movie nerd status. As a writer it was Stephen King, Clive Barker, and H.P. Lovecraft that got me into horror stories. It seems like everyone cuts their teeth on King these days and I am no different – that is probably why I am drawn to the occasional grim ending to a story. The three big books for me when I was a teenager though were At the Mountains of Madness, The Shining, and The Damnation Game. Great, great stuff.”

Also, “when [Chris] was eighteen some friends and [him] were making a horror movie. [He] was scouting a cemetery location with [a friend] and little did [they] know but a local serial killer had hidden two bodies near where [they] were scouting. [The bodies] and him were discovered not long after [they] had shot our scenes there.

Ringler’s goals for the future are “oddly enough, split between [his] local artistic endeavors and [his] writing. [Chris] will always write, and [he intends] to keep getting the work out there one way or another, but [he is] also active in the arts scene here in Flint, Michigan and [is] getting art shows and other funky events going here. [Ringler] definitely wants to be able to do more conventions and get [his] books out to more people and to get all of [his] books fully converted for e-books. Beyond that it is just about writing and art for [him] and working to get better at both. Oh, and [he wants] battle some manner of cryptozoological creature in a cage fight. [He needs] to train but [he] can do it.”

Fans, be sure to keep an eye open for Chris’ upcoming projects. “I just finished work on a couple new stories that are foran anniversary issue of a ‘zine some friends and I did in the 1990s. I am also working to finish a couple stories that will be part of a collection coming out in Spring of this year. It will be called The Kreep Sheep and is another collection of stories connected to my book The Meep Sheep. I have several art shows happening here in the Mid-Michigan area. Putting together a top secret show for late in the year around here that will be fun. I have my novel A Shadow Over Ever in a friend’s hands for editing and will release that in 2012. I am going to try to do a couple conventions in my area. And finally I am supporting my previous books as well as Red Dreams, which came out the first of 2011 and which has Pyramids and Butterscotch in it (under the title From Distant Temples).”

Chris had some parting words for everyone, “I am just so honored to receive the Best In Blood, it’s hard to tell you how great it feels. And honestly, what people need to remember is that whatever their passion is they need to pursue it. Even if you don’t make a living at it, if it makes you happy then you have to find time to pursue it. If you follow your passion you will find people that will appreciate it because people will always connect to things done with passion. Oh, and floss, which I hear is very good for you, despite my not doing it myself.”

For more information on Chris Ringler check out these sites: (You can order his books here, as well as view his art)

Guest Blog: Rattling Bones and Writing Horror – Chris Ringler

Rattling Bones and Writing Horror
By Chris Ringler

Oh, pity us poor fools who fall in love with the horror genre. Pity us because once you’re in love, man, it’s hard to kick the old ghost outta bed in the morning. I, for better or worse, love horror and part of that love came from the movies and writers I found as a kid. The logical, maybe, outcome of this silly infatuation with horror was to jump knee deep into it, and so, since being a teenager, I have been a writer. Now, I am a writer of no great import or fame, but I have had my nods toward legitimacy, but those aren’t the reasons I write. No. I write because I have to. And I think that’s the heck of it with anyone that works in the arts – you do it because you have no choice.

I started pretty simply, writing stories that were high on blood and imitation and low on real chills but these old stories were the first steps that I took as a writer and without those old stories, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Now, I didn’t set out to be a horror writer, and am not sure I would say I am wholly one now but oh, I can tell you with all certainty that I write stories that are meant to remind you of what it was like to be a child in the dark, when all is quiet but for the sounds coming from your closet or under your bed. I started writing, seriously writing, because of all the weirdness that was roaming around in me, the germs of stories waiting to be born. It was like wherever I was, whatever I was doing I could see some potential for horror. Now, I have never had aspirations to be the next big anyone, nor have I tried to imitate any of the people that influenced me but it’s hard not to want to do honor the writers that filled you with the passion in the first place.

And that’s where you get to the core of it. You write, well, I write for a couple reasons – the passion, and the past. I write because I have to. Even when it aggravates me, when it drives me nuts, when it makes me wonder why on earth I keep doing it, well, even then you keep writing. Even when the fear of not ever getting anything seen creeps in you keep at it. It’s a passion that drives you. A fire that can’t be put out, no matter what you do. And after the passion there’s the past. The want and desire to pay forward the things that influenced you. The want to inspire people as you were inspired and thus get people to look at the people who inspired you. As a writer I have so many people that inspired me – Kathe Koja, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Toni Morrison, H.P. Lovecraft – and the list could go on and on and I feel I owe some debt to them for their work and their inspiration. So I want to write stories as a tribute, in the hopes that I can capture some of the darkness that they passed to me, and so we pass this darkness from person to person to person in the hope of keeping intelligent, scary, good horror alive.

Writing is a challenge, but it’s always been a challenge and always will be. The challenge now comes in getting it out there. The publishers are not taking as many looks at new fiction as they used to, and the same goes for agents and magazines. So it hasn’t gotten easier. Only, it has. With self publishing starting to gain legitimacy and the advent of the internet you can always have an avenue to get your work out. Patience is always the key when it comes to writing – the writing, the editing, the editing, the editing, and then getting it out to people. Phew. It’s daunting, but it can be worthwhile. It can be amazing, really. And with the advent of e-books and e-readers we have a new world opening up to us. Me, I dream of a day when I can match a story with images, with video, with footnotes, with every manner of device that will not bog the story down but which will help to tell it. To advance it. It’s scary…and so, so exciting to think of what technology will do for the story. It seems sometimes as if books and reading are passing away but is evolving and we’re at the edge of it. It’s our job now not just to tell stories, to tell good stories, but to, bit by bit, figure out how to make technology help us tell our stories new and exciting ways – in ways that will make them last until the next generation is ready to pay our scares forward. And as for me, I’ll be waiting for you, not under your bed, or in your closet, but just out of sight and watching from the dark, and waiting, quietly waiting for you to just fall asleep.

CHRIS RINGLER: I am the author of three books – Back From Nothing, This Beautiful Darkness, and The Meep Sheep and have had stories published on 3 AM Press, and in the anthology books Bare Bone 6, 7 and 9 as well as in Cthulhu Sex Magazine. I have also received Honorable Mention in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror numbers 19 and 20. I have also been featured on Horror Addicts.


13 Questions with Chris Ringler



This week, I had the privilege of interviewing Horror Addict Chris Ringler.

 I asked Chris how it felt to be featured on Horror Addicts, he had this to say, “I am pretty stoked to be the featured author. I am friends with Mark Eller, who has been featured here in the past and he really pushed me to try to get onto the show. I am still shocked. Any time you can take part in something that promotes and respects Horror and genre stuff, and heck, the weirder aspects of art and literature, it’s pretty great.”

 His short story Pyramids & Butterscotch will be featured in Horror Addicts episode 35: Mummy. Here’s a sneak-peek, “Basically Pyramids & Butterscotch is my homage to the mummy with a bit of re-tooling. The mummy is such a scary mix of the ghost and the zombie but over the years has become a bit of a joke so I wanted to really get back to the idea of the mummy being something scary, and which doesn’t need to run after you to harm you. I tried to take the story at a different angle and hope people dig that.”

 Ringler’s first book Back From Nothing is a collection of short stories. I wanted to find out what had inspired the creation of the book. Chris was eager to share with us, “Back From Nothing came together out of years of writing short stories and having nothing to do with them. I had all these stories that I believed in and there weren’t as many outlets in ’99 for me to get the stories out there so I lucked out and found a publisher willing to take the book on and that was what got it going. The book is a lot of dark stuff and some things that feel as if you are peering into someone’s emotional bedroom window.”

 His newest book, This Beautiful Darkness is, like Back From Nothing, a collection of short stories. “This Beautiful Darkness is sort of a best of collection of some of the stories I have done in the last few years. I tried to capture a range of dark stories that were closer to horror and a couple that were just emotionally dark. This is definitely some of the best stuff I have written.”

 Ringler also added, “I wanted to put This Beautiful Darkness together because it had been so long since I had gotten Back From Nothing published and it felt like it was past time to get a new book out…[b]asically, this book was about re-committing to myself as a writer, and I am utterly thrilled with it.”

 A question many aspiring writers ask is, “What gets an author in the writing mood?” When asked, Mr. Ringler said he didn’t know. “I usually just have something – a person, something I see – that starts a pebble to roll and then bit by bit it picks up speed and I am compelled to really sit down and try to do something with that idea.”

When he was younger, Ringler worked on and published a horror magazine titled Ghoulash. “[It] was a short lived magazine I did with some friends when we were twenty. I had been doing ‘zines with a friend for a few years and we had gotten better (and stranger) with what we did and Ghoulash was the one where we got a chance (via writer and comic creator Joe Monks) to get the book out nationally for an issue. It was a mix of art, cut and paste weirdness, movie reviews, stories, and was not really like anything you saw on magazine racks but was a bit too much for everyone to get a handle on.”

Ghoulash survived one issue nationally but the numbers were just not there to really keep it out there. It broke our hearts at the time but that is the business. It was great to be able to work on it. From there I worked on another local ‘zine for a few years and then just started focusing on my personal writing and doing movie reviews for a website called Jackasscritics.”

Not only is Chris an author, he is an artist as well. You can find many of his pieces of work on a few of his websites. With all his different pieces of work, I wondered what Ringler enjoyed more…writing or art? His response was honest and very interesting.

“I don’t think anything will ever top writing for me. It is what I have loved longer, and feel like I am better at but I really have come to fall back in love with art as well. I am lucky enough that I love art, writing and photography and if there is something I want to say, a story I want to tell that I cannot tell in another way then I have three ways to choose how to tell that story. Each of the three has its benefit and drawback but it is great to have the options.”

I was curious to know whether he had always wanted to be an author and artist. Chris revealed to me that he “actually started out as a kid wanting to do the special effect noises in movies – thinking that people made them with their mouths and other random things. From there [he] wanted to be a cartoonist, then a make-up fx artist and then [he] got really serious about writing and it just clicked. [He has] been deeply in love with writing for most of my life, and while it can stress me out to try to find a publisher or an audience, the writing has never been in question. [His] art, [he] got back into over the last three years. [He] would doodle, and did [create] the cover for Back From Nothing and [his] chapbooks but it took a friend giving [him] a starter acrylic set to get [him] to really start doing art more seriously.”

Chris has a popular blog, Visions of Darkness, in which he posts samples of his writing, pictures of his artwork, photography, and movie reviews. You can “get an idea of who the guy behind everything is. It’s a fun place to get new work out there and to let people see some of the things [he is] doing.”

In his blog he mentioned the release of a new book in May of this year. Interested, I asked if he could give us some information about the book. “The plan is for [it] to be out in May for the Motor City Comic Con, which is about an hour from where I am and I am hoping to get the book there to sell alongside all my other work.”

“The new book is a collection of fairy tales I have been working on for a few years that deal with three characters and the journey – emotional and physical – that they go on to discover who they are. That’s sort of a copout general explanation but that’s about the best I can give for now. It is some of the best stuff I have written and is really different than what people will be used to if they have read anything by me before. Essentially I wanted to create a fairy tale world and to present a story that arches over several short stories but which takes the reader and the character someplace organic and honest. I love the heck out of the stories and cannot wait to get this out to people.”

Besides the release of his book, I wanted to know what his fans could be looking forward to. Jokingly, Ringler said, “Heck, me having fans by May would be pretty awesome to me!”

Then he added, “I am gonna get the new book out in May and then just spend the summer promoting the new book and the other two books as well as my art. After that I want to focus on getting a publisher for a novel I have written that is about a pumpkin-headed hillbilly and the part he plays in a heavenly war to end all wars. Anything that I do will be posted in my blog though and people can always reach me there if they want to get in touch.”

If any of you Horror Addicts out there will be attending the Motor City Comic Con, be sure to keep an eye out for Chris and his work.

To learn more about Chris you can visit any of his websites: – story and art blog – My Space – stories and art on My Space – Facebook – movie reviews

You can also purchase his book This Beautiful Darkness at