David’s Haunted Library: Drive-In Creature Feature

Soda? check, Popcorn? check, Blankets? check. These are some of the things you might need if you are going to your local drive-in theater. If you’re 30 or younger you probably don’t know what a drive-in is. You also don’t know the joys of sitting in your car with a group of friends while you watched giant creatures destroying the city on the big screen. Luckily Eugene Johnson and Charles Day have put together a horror anthology that captures the spirit of the Drive in.  Drive In Creature Feature contains 19 stories for anyone who loves a good monster tale.

Since it would take too long to talk about each story I’ll spend some time talking about my favorites. The Tattering and Jack by Clive Barker is about a demon who has the task of driving a man crazy. The job ends up being much harder than the demon thought as the man shows he has no emotions and won’t be driven off the deep end. This story has an awesome twist and goes back and forth from being funny to scary. Another good story is The Forrest That Howls by Michael Paul Gonzalez, this is easily the best Bigfoot story I’ve ever read. It answers the question of why there is no proof that the creatures exist.

Ghoul Friend In A Coma by John Everson is a bizzaro love story between a teenage boy and a ghoul. This is another one that combines humor and horror. I love how even when the teenager sees his life in danger he still thinks with the wrong head, this is exactly like I would expect a teenager going through puberty to act. This story teaches us that a couple having sex then carrying a corpse together to the basement is what true love is all about.

Double Feature by Jason V. Brock actually takes place at a drive-in theatre in the Seventies. The story centers on a father who is taking his two kids to a movie. The father and mother are going through a divorce and the story begins with an argument between the occupants of the car. Their problems become secondary though when the drive-in becomes a battleground between a bunch of giant monsters from outer space. This story was a lot of fun but what I really loved was how the family puts their problems aside and works together when a crisis happens.

I also have to mention Popcorn by Essel Pratt, this is another one that takes place in the drive-in. A group of teenagers is at the theatre looking for a good time, but things get ugly when a giant popcorn monster attacks the movie-goers. I love the idea of a monster made of popcorn and there were some creative death scenes here, you may never want to eat popcorn again.

This book is one fun ride, it’s funny in places and scary in others. It also does an excellent job of capturing a bygone era and bringing back a lot of great memories of watching horror movies at the drive-in. There were a couple of stories here I didn’t care for but all in all this book reminded me why I love horror literature. It has humor, great monsters, and good storytelling, what more can you ask for? This is a must-read book for horror literature fans.

Rick Hautala and James Herbert RIP

portraitIn the month of March we sadly lost two big names in the field of horror literature. James Herbert passed away on March 20th and Rick Hautala passed away on March 21st, leaving behind some great horror novels. Back in the 1980s horror was one of the biggest genres in book publishing and you could easily find horror novels on every newsstand. Rick Hautala and James Herbert were two of the authors that you would find in every book store. Since both of these men left quite an impact on the world of horror, I thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to them.

James Herbert was born on April 8th 1943 in London England. As a kid he enjoyed telling stories to other kids on the playground and also had a love for drawing and painting. At 16 he enrolled in the Hornsey College of Art, where he studied graphic design, print and photography. He graduated and started working in the field of advertising and design.

At the age of 28 in 1974 he wrote his first novel called The Rats which was eventually turned into a movie called Deadly Eyes in 1983.  He went on to write 22 more novels along with several short stories and two non fiction books. James Herbert has sold 54 million books worldwide and in 2010 He was presented with the World Horror Convention Grand Master award by Stephen King.

James Herbert’s books ranged from the supernatural to science fiction but they all had elements of horror to them. James’s best known books include: The Survivor, Haunted, The Fog and The Secret of Crickley Hall. His last novel was released in 2012. It was called Ash and is the third in a series about a paranormal detective named David Ash. To find out more about James Herbert’s books visit his website at jamesherbert.com.

rickRick Hautula was born on February 3rd 1949 in Rockport Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Maine with a Master of Art in English Literature. His first book was called Moondeath and was released in 1980. His third book was called Nightstone. It was released in 1986 and became an international best seller. Since then Rick has written 29 more books and  had several short stories released in anthologies.

In 2011 Rick Hautala won the Horror Writer’s Association’s Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also served terms as Vice President and Trustee for the Horror Writers Association. Another honor he received was in 2000 when Barnes and Noble called his short story collection Bedbugs one of the most distinguished horror publications of the year.

In honor of Rick Hautala and to raise some proceeds to help support his family, several publishers are offering deals on his books with profits going to Rick’s family in their time of need . Some of those publishers include Cemetery Dance, Necon E books, Kings Way Press and Evil Jester Press. For more information on Rick Hautala, check out his website at: rickhautala.com.

Press Release: Deep Cuts Anthology Honors Women in Horror

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DEEP CUTS ANTHOLOGY HONORS WOMEN IN HORROR

Co-editors Angel Leigh McCoy, E.S. Magill, and Chris Marrs announce the publication of DEEP CUTS, an anthology of short horror stories celebrating Women in Horror Month, February 2013. Both genders submitted stories, and they also submitted recommendations for short horror stories written by women writers. There are 60 recommendations in all.

“Deep Cuts smartly sidesteps the bloody ‘women in horror’ debate and puts its money where its mouth is. This fantastic collection, featuring both genders, pays tribute to the best dark tales told by women. A deeply cerebral experience that is at times honest and intimate, but always chilling.” – Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Beautiful Sorrows

Title: Deep Cutscover_half600
Publisher: Evil Jester Press
ISBN-13: 978-0615750897 | ISBN-10: 0615750893
List Price: $14.95
Publication Date: Jan. 14, 2013
Format: Trade Paperback; 286 pages
Dimensions: Length 6″ Height 9″ Width .7″

Brief Description:
Deep Cuts presents 19 stories of mayhem, menace, and misery by today’s writers, in honor of the women who write horror. And, like songs buried deep in an album’s track, gifts you with 60 recommendations for their powerhouse tales, all for your terrifying enjoyment.

Three spotlight writers included in the anthology are Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, and Mehitobel Wilson. Lisa Morton wrote the Introduction.

NANCY HOLDER is a New York Times Bestselling author. Her work has appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, amazon.com, LOCUS, and other bestseller lists. A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times. She has sold many novels set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.

YVONNE NAVARRO is the author of twenty-two published novels and well over a hundred short stories, and has written about everything from vampires to psychologically disturbed husbands to the end of the world. Her work has won the HWA’s Bram Stoker Award™ plus a number of other writing awards.

MEHITOBEL WILSON has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award™. In addition, she received an Honorable Mention in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror five years in a row. Her work is featured in Sins of the Sirens, a Dark Arts book.

LISA MORTON is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. She plays an integral role in the horror community as Vice President of the Horror Writers Association. In addition to her accomplishments and accolades, Lisa is also well-known for being a champion of women writers in the horror genre. Her most recent works is the graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, written with Rocky Wood and Greg Chapman, published by McFarland.

THE EDITORS of Deep Cuts are Angel Leigh McCoy, E.S. Magill, and Chris Marrs. Between them, they have decades of experience as writers and editors. We are available for interviews or guest blog posts and would greatly appreciate any publicity you can give our project.

You can find the original post here: Deep Cuts

Mr. Peepers and The Quarry

There are three books that I want to talk about in this post. The first one is a short story by a new author named Akela Cooper. Akela has written a few short stories that are available through Biting Dog Press and she has been a staff writer for ABC’s V, She was also a writer’s assistant on Dexter and worked on CBS’s Jericho. She is currently a staff writer for the NBC series, Grimm.

One of Akela’s short stories is called Mr. Peepers and centers around a cat that may be more then just a cat.  A woman named Genny just found out that her brother died mysteriously in a farm house that he recently bought. She goes to the house to investigate and finds out that three other people had also died mysteriously in the house over the last year. When the bodies were found there was a cat named Mr. Peepers by the body and the look in his eyes is not the look of a normal cat. Could Mr. Peepers be the cause of the deaths? If so does Genny have what it takes to put an end to Mr. Peeper’s reign of terror?

When I read Mr. Peepers it kind of reminded me of a Tales From The Crypt episode. It has some humor to it and it has some violent moments that come across as funny and creepy at the same time. The story itself  is well written and even though I thought the ending was predictable, it still worked.  One of the best scenes in the story is where a woman has a run in with Mr. Peepers and things get a little heated. After that, lets just say that she doesn’t see to clearly anymore. 

Another short story by Akela Cooper that I recently read is Tinderbox Blues. A confederate soldier returning from war one day comes to a house of an old slave woman. The woman offers him some treasure if he gets a tinder box out of a pit for her. The solider decides that if the box is more valuable to the woman then the treasure, he must have it for himself and steals the box. Little does he know the box is cursed and he now must suffer the consequences.

Tinder Box Blues has over the top violence with a story that’s a little confusing. It reads a lot like one of Grimm’s Fairy Tales or like a gothic ghost story of the 1800’s. I think the point of the story was to gross out and scare the reader and it does a good job of that. There is some great imagery to this story and it makes the story well worth reading, if you like scary old folk tales you will like this one.

The last book I want to talk about is a novel by Mark Allan Gunnels called The Quarry. The Quarry takes place at a picturesque college campus on the edge of a Quarry named Lake Limestone. The lake is 400 feet deep and the students are warned to stay away from it. It was formed in the 1950’s, when a work truck tapped into an underground spring, filling the quarry and leaving all the work vehicles at the bottom of the lake.  At least thats the story that everyone thinks is the truth.

One student on campus named Dale decides to find out what really lies at the bottom of the lake. He scuba dives to the bottom and comes back forever changed and this is when the horror really starts. People start dying on campus and something evil is stiring. Dale’s friends go on a search for answers to what lies beneath, but what they find has been there since the dawn of time and may be unstoppable.

The Quarry is one part mystery and one part horror. You dont know for sure what is in The Quarry and what is truely responsible for the killings until the very end. The book leaves you subtle hints as to what is going on, but leaves you guessing. The Quarry is not an over the top bloody horror story, its much more reserved then that. While none of the death scenes are gruesome or very long, they are still scary because  Mark Allan Gunnels makes you care about all of his characters and you don’t want to see them meet an untimely demise.

That is what maked The Quarry a great read, because you are invested in the characters. Even for the bad ones you get to know them, you feel for them and you see them change throughout the story. You see Dale change from a popular kid to a raging psychopath. You see his girlfriend go from self assured and confident to questioning everything she once believed and Dale’s freind Emilio goes from a timid coward, to finding out what kind of person he truely is. You also see the supporting cast go through changes, with each one being different from how they started out.

I had a couple of minor complaints about The Quarry. One was  that I wanted a little more action, I think the maint point of the stories was to build strong characters and see how their lives change when faced with extreme circumstances. So I guess to much action would have taken away from the character development, but I thought there were parts where a little more action could have made the story more interesting. My other complaint was that I was a little disappointed with the end. The ending was satisfying but I wanted a happy ending for all of the characters because I liked them so much. I guess its not horror if you don’t kill off a couple of people and make your main characters suffer. The Quarry is a masterpiece and I look forward to reading more from Mark Allan Gunnells.

Werewolves and Vampires

For this review we have to get in the time machine and go back to 1980 and take a look at  Moondeath by Rick Hatula. Moondeath was Rick Hatula’s first novel and was originally released by Zebra books. From 1977 to 1994 Zebra books was a major publisher of horror novels, but as the horror boom of the 80’s died down, Zebra books died with it. So for several years you probably couldn’t find a copy of Moondeath until late 2011 when Evil Jester Press re-released Rick Hatula’s Moondeath.

Moondeath takes place in the picturesque little tourist town of Coon Falls New Hampshire and follows the story of divorced teacher Bob Wentworth. Bob is looking to make a fresh start and has just moved to town to take a job as a teacher. Bob meets an unhappily married woman named Lisa and starts a relationship and things look good for Bob.

Things change though when a car with a young man and a woman he was having an affair with,  goes off of a bridge and into the river. To the people in town it looks like an accident but the young man was married to a woman named Julie and Julie has some dark secrets. After the accident people start dying on nights when the moon is full. The local sheriff and townspeople think there is a large dog or a wolf doing the killing, but Bob believes the deaths are the work of a werewolf.

Like Julie, Bob also has a dark secret and the townspeople are not willing to believe his story. The townspeople try to hide the fact that they have a werewolf problem but the bodies keep stacking up and secrets don’t stay buried forever. There is something evil in Coon Falls and there may not be a way to stop it.

If you read Moondeath remember that it is a product of the early 80’s because the story seems a  little dated. For one thing there is a scene where a werewolf is terrorizing a man in a phone booth. Also the story reminded me a lot of the slasher movies that were so popular in the early 80’s. You have people dying off in a beautiful small town one by one and no one in town seems to worry about it, until the bodies really start to pile up.

Another thing that makes Moondeath a little dated is the lack of strong women characters. One of the villains in the story is a woman named Julie. She comes across  as slutty and very one dimensional, I think if the story focused on her more and how she feels,  it would have made the story better. The other main female character, Lisa comes across as hateable because she is married to an abusive alcoholic and does nothing about it even though she knows who her husband is cheating with.  I also didn’t like how she wouldn’t  believe what is going on in Coon Falls despite the evidence that is in front of her.

I can forgive Moondeath for having weak characters because in a lot of books and movies in the early 80’s, women were not presented as strong unlike today.  My other complaints was that the book was a little slow moving and there was a couple  unanswered questions that annoyed me.

That being said there was a quite a few things that I did like about Moondeath. Rick Hatula does a great job of using forshadowing. For instance when Bob and Lisa meet for the first time, you see Lisa playing with her wedding ring which tells you right away that this couple is going to be more then friends. Also there is a point after a fight between two boys in a high school takes place and after being beaten up, one of the boys stomps down the hallway, you know we haven’t seen the last of him. Another scene that I liked was one day when Bob is showing up at the high school he sees an ominous looking cloud passing over the school and he thinks that something evil is coming.

I  loved how Rick Hatula describes the death scenes in the book and the parts where black magic is being performed. I also thought it was a nice touch how there we’re scenes in the church where what the preacher was saying was a metaphor for what was going on in the book. Lastly, I did like all of the  male characters in the book but would have liked to have seen more from the villains point of view. All in all I did enjoy Moondeath and would recommend it to anyone who liked horror in the early 80’s.

Also recently I read a short story from Biting Dog Press called Search and Destroy by Nancy Collins. Search and Destroy follows vampire hunter Sonja Blue as she goes to investigate why homeless people are dying at an alarming rate outside a small town in Washington.

If your not familiar with Sonja Blue, she was created by Nancy Collins in 1989. Sonja has had 5 novels written about her and several short stories. Search and Destroy is the first new Sonja Blue adventure in 10 years.

Sonja was only 18 years old when she was raped and fed on by a vampire. She was left on the street to die but miraculously survived and became a living vampire.  She now spends time hunting vampires, ogres and demons. Think Buffy but more powerful, funnier and a lot scarier.

My only problem with Search and Destroy is that I wish it was longer. Despite how short the story is, Nancy Collins does a great job of creating some characters that you quickly grow to like and she gives a good commentary on what its like to be an outcast from society. This is a fast paced story with a lot of action and is very well written, but I wanted more.  Hopefully we will see more of Sonja Blue in the future.

Help Wanted and Dark Blessings

I have read two anthologies recently that I want to talk about. The first one is Help Wanted: Tales of On The Job Terror from Evil Jester Press. This book is edited by Peter Giglio and has short stories by Joe McKinney, Gary Brandner, Henry Snider and many more. As if work wasn’t already scary enough, this book gives you more reasons to be scared. Help Wanted is an excellent anthology that includes some great stories by some master storytellers.

One of the stories includes Agnes: A Love Story by David C. Hayes, which tells the tale of a lawyer named Jack who feels unappreciated at work and by his wife so he starts a relationship with a photocopier. They get along well until the photocopier starts wanting the lawyer to kill for it. The thing I liked about this story was how the author makes you feel sorry for Jack. His two co-workers are happily married and love their jobs while Jack is married to a paranoid alcoholic and he hates and works at a job he can’t stand. You completely understand how he can fall in love with a copier because he is a lonely soul that no one understands except the copier of course.

Another story in Help Wanted is Work Life Balance by Jeff Strand. In this story a man works for a company that starts to let their employees do what they want at work. It starts with letting them come to work a little later than usual, then the employees are allowed to hug and kiss on the job. Things get really out of hand though when the company starts letting employees carry knives and stab each other, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their job. This story is meant to be more funny then scary but still has its scary moments. Jeff Strand does a great job mixing humor and horror in this story.

Another good story in Help Wanted: On The Job Terror is The Chapel Of Unrest by Stephen Volk. This is a gothic horror story that takes place in the 1800’s and has to deal with an undertaker who has the duty of capturing and embalming a ghoul who has been eating dead bodies in a graveyard. Stephen Volk through his use of  imagery in describing the graveyard, the chapel and the clothes of the time, transports you into an 1800’s gothic setting that reminded me of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

One more story in this anthology that I have to mention is Expulsion by Eric Shapiro which tells the tale of a mad man going into a office to kill his fellow employees. This is a very short but very powerful story that gets you into the mind of a disgruntled employee but manages to end on a positive note. Though there were stories I didn’t like in Help Wanted, all in all its a very good anthology. I highly recommend this book but if this one doesn’t appeal to you the people at Evil Jester Press have some other good anthologies available including: Evil Jester Digest Volume 1  and Attic Toys.

The other anthology I want to mention is from Biting Dog Press called Dark Blessings by John Paul Allen. Included here are short stories dealing with a road trip to hell, a child with an unusual appetite and a closet lover with deadly intentions. Dark Blessings was really a surprise for me, I hadn’t heard of John Paul Allen but I read some good reviews and decided to give it a shot.

The first story in this anthology is called Pit Stop at Hoo Hoo Hollow which follows a young couple on their way through West Virginia who have made a career out of scamming the elderly out of money. During  a stop at Poogan’s Pass they end up where they didn’t expect to go and pay for their misdeeds. While this story is not bloody like some horror stories, it manages to scare in away you wouldn’t think about and makes a point that even if you think you are going to get away with something, karma will get you in the end.

The next story in Dark Blessings is called Runs Like Rabbit and follows the story of a native american boy named Runs Like Rabbit that has to give up his heritage and move with his family so his father can take a job in the white man’s world. The family gives up their names and rejects the gods that they once worshiped in search of a better life. The family soon finds out its not easy to leave their heritage behind as they become isolated. Runs Like Rabbit leaves the family and they all pay in the end. The thing I love about this story is it makes you feel the pain and loneliness that Runs Like Rabbit feels but then the story leaves you with a surprise ending that changes your feelings.

Keeping with the theme of John Paul Allen’s anthology which seems to be that all humanity is good but there is a dark self destructive side to it that makes us suffer. My favorite story in this book a love story called Marquee which has to deal with mistreating the ones you love, paying for your mistakes and letting go. The story follows a man named Scott who mistreats a mentally handicapped person named Duffy, but later finds out that he is connected to him through past lives. Duffy holds the key to Scott fixing his relationship with his wife. To talk to much about this story would give it away, it’s a different kind of love story that shows that sometimes to prove you love someone you have to let them go.

Each story here is a gem and shows humanity at its worst and best. Another story here that I found disturbing but illustrates how good comes from something bad was Prader-Willie which tells the story of three boys left to watch a girl with special needs. The story shows that things aren’t always what they seem. Dark Blessings is psychological horror at its best and I look forward to reading more from John Paul Allen.

A Peter Giglio Doubleheader

I’ve just finished reading two books by Peter Giglio who fans of this blog may remember was featured in episode 69 of Horror Addicts. The first novel I want to talk about is from Hydra publications and is called Anon. Rory hates his job, the town he lives in and the woman he’s married to. He would like nothing better then to fix everything that went wrong, especially his relationship with his ex-fiance Faith, but he feels trapped and doesn’t know how to fix it. Then one day he gets called into a meeting with his boss at Anon Financial services. Anon gives him the opportunity to fix all of his problems but the question is what does Anon want in return?

Faith has moved on to a happier life without Rory. She is married to a minister named Cale and they have twin daughters named Dawn and Michelle. Michelle has a strange gift and knows something evil has arrived when Rory reappears in Faith’s life. In order to stop the terror that is invading her family, she will have to listen to ghosts from Rory’s past, learn to use her powers and put down an evil corporation. Rory also has powers and will stop at nothing to get the life he missed out on, with Faith.

The thing I loved most about Anon was how Rory’s story is presented. The book follows Rory from when he was a child to the present and you start to like the character despite the fact that he isn’t always a good person. I found myself sympathizing with him when he breaks up with Faith and goes to work at Anon. I also found myself wanting to see him change his life and get what he wanted even though it meant the destruction of Faith’s Family.

What made the book so much better then the average horror novel are the characters in the book. Peter Giglio does a great job of making you fall in love with a character weather he is good or bad. I also liked Faith’s family and wanted to see them survive what they we’re going through. Most of all I hoped Rory would overcome Anon’s influence and become the hero.

Though I mainly liked Anon there were a few parts that I didn’t care for. I would have liked to see more from Faith’s point of view and I would have liked  more description on how how Anon’s power worked. A description is given but I found it a little hard to follow. There were also two scenes that I didn’t like in the book one was when Rory and Faith take Michelle away from their grandparents and there was a gunfight in a hotel that I thought was unnecessary. Another thing I would have to tell reader’s of Anon is to stick with the story and don’t stop reading. There was one point where I felt the story was getting confusing and almost stopped, but as the story went on everything did get explained.

Anon is a good psychological horror story that makes a great point about all of us having evil and good within us. We make the decision on what path we want to take but there are others that can influence are decisions and control us.

If you don’t care for psychological horror and you want your horror bloody and over the top, then you might want to check out Peter Giglio’s Balance from Evil Jester Press. The Blast, a worldwide snowstorm that blanketed the whole planet and brought with it a terminal virus. It came without warning in October and left just as suddenly, but before it left, infected humans started to change and eat the flesh of the living.

The story takes place after the blast and follows six main characters in the zombie infected world, as they try to find balance in their lives. The characters include Geoff, a sad man trying to find what he wants in life and is in love with Amanda, a woman who doesn’t really know what she wants either and is about to be in a fight for her life. The next couple is Ginny a young mother who is trying to save her family and her husband Shane who seems to know more about the zombie virus then anyone, but has his own agenda. The last couple is Cassandra who is a romance novelist having an affair with a married man named Joe who loves his car more than his wife or mistress.

Balance follows the stories of these six people and during the course of the book you see them all go through changes, some of them even become zombies and part of the story is told from the zombie’s point of view. This is what I think makes Balance one of the best zombie stories I’ve ever read.

My only complaints about Balance was that there was one time where the story changed from being in the present to the past which confused me and I was curious as to how much Shane knew about what was going on. Besides that Peter Giglio does what he seems to do best, he creates characters that you can’t help to fall in love with wheather they are good or bad. My favorite character in Balance is Cassandra who doesn’t let a little thing like being a zombie stop her from helping two people in love.

I don’t know of any zombie stories that look at the zombie’s point of view which to me made Balance an original take on the zombie genre. I also liked that the fact that the main hero in Balance was a zombie. Balance is a fun bloody zombie tale that I think you will enjoy even if you don’t like zombie stories.

13 Questions with Peter Giglio

Not only is author Peter Giglio our featured author for the up coming episode, he is also a member of the Masters of Macabre!

The story he has written for episode 69: Future, is titled Trust; and as Peter stated, “The story will appear later this year in Tales of Terror and Mayhem from Deep within the Box, edited by Charles Day and Jessica A. Weiss (Wicked East Press). With this story I explored the notion of friendship gone awry and the deterioration of the Good Samaritan in modern culture. I also wanted to write a horror story with a cat that didn’t die. I’m tired of felines coming to bad ends in horror. I love cats!”

Though, Peter only has one novel and one novella published, all of his work is available in both print and e-book form. Giglio was kind enough to share some information about his novels Anon, A Spark in the Darkness, and Balance. “Scott Bradley said that Anon is, “Richard Yates meets Bentley Little.” I think that’s a fitting description, and also my intent. I wanted to explore how anxiety seeps into the culture and allows people to turn blind eyes to institutional evil. It’s, in part, a novel of possession, but not demonic possession. Here are the first notes I made on the novel: We are the demons. We are the monsters. We bring sentience to good and evil. And the more evil we allow, the more evil we become. I should also remind everyone that Anon is available from all online booksellers in print and e-book format.”

A Spark in the Darkness is my new release. Joe McKinney, the acclaimed, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Apocalypse of the Dead, said that it, “Puts the bite back in the vampire tale.” I’ll say this, no sparkly vampires here! But there is a spark, and that spark is humanity. This is the work I’m most proud of. Here’s the summary: On the final day of her second life, Edie returns to the family she abandoned five years earlier. Edie is not merely a vampire, she’s a Goddess…one of the vanishing race of beings the vampires need to keep their kind alive. But being dead has taught her much about life, and Edie’s determined to destroy the evil thing she’s become. For something has changed within her, something almost alive in her dead soul. But can a single spark in the darkness be enough to save all she holds dear? I worked with an extremely talented editor this time out, Annetta Ribken. And the publisher, Etopia Press, was wonderful to work with. A Spark in the Darkness is available from all major online booksellers and it’s only $3.99.”

“I don’t have a release date for Balance yet, but it’s coming soon. It’s a kick-ass zombie novella that will take you places other zombie stories don’t. Eric Shapiro (author of Stories for the End of the World ) and his talented wife Rhoda Jordan (screenwriter and star of the motion picture Rule of Three) were my first readers, and they were so helpful! A large chunk of the story is written from the POV of zombies! That’s an idea that will cause some to bristle. Good. I like challenges and Balance was definitely a big one. It’s also a terrific story and I hope everyone will read it. Here’s what I randomly wrote on a post-it that seeded the idea: Zombies—What’s Inside?!?!  I just had to answer the question, and I think everyone will be entertained by my conclusions.”

With such a wide range of horror creatures, I was curious as to what Peter’s research was like for each story. “Most of my research is done online, but I’m very careful to cross-reference sources to ensure the facts are accurate. I also reach out to people with specific knowledge based professions and/or studies. But a lot of my writing doesn’t require copious research. The best research, as always, is to live a full life and write what you know. At the beginning of a project, I figure out what I don’t know and I learn it. My process changes all the time, but one thing always stays the same: Cut out everything that drags the story down! I abhor predictability and filler, so when I edit, I take out the bits that don’t delight me and rework the stuff that seems too obvious. Lately, I’ve been writing longer outlines, step-by-step beat sheets. Discoveries still occur through composition, but I find this gives me a chance to think the details through before I hit the page. At the end of the day, the right process is the one that works, and every project is a little different, so I don’t know if I’ll ever land on any one way of doing things.”

Not only is he an autor but Giglio is an Executive Editor for Evil Jester Press. Before that, however, he “worked in Corporate America for 15 years. His previous jobs have inspired some of his work, but he will admit that he  didn’t have bad jobs with mean, angry bosses. Peter does love to explore evil in the workplace, feeding his fascination with institutional horror. His new anthology, which was previously mentioned, is centered on workplace terror, and he is very proud of it.”

He also added that, “through my job I’m bringing a few classic horror novels back into print and working with authors to publish their novels. My goal here is to improve the quality of horror fiction available, giving equal consideration to authors and readers. EJP’s first anthology, which I edited, is called HELP! WANTED: Tales of On-the-Job Terror, and features Stephen Volk, Jeff Strand, Joe McKinney, Gary Brandner, David Dunwoody, Lisa Morton, Amy Wallace, Vince A. Liaguno, Scott Bradley, and many more terrific authors. My goal here was to bring a new kind of anthology into the horror realm. I will continue to do that. Regarding my writing, my short term goal is to crack a New York house. My long term goal is to become a Bestselling novelist and working screenwriter. With Scott Bradley, I’ve written a screenplay that’s generated some buzz in certain circles. Fingers crossed that it becomes a film, but I’m realistic. These things take time. And I need more than patience; I have to work hard and smart. I think I’m doing that. At least I hope so.

Having the past carreer that he has, I wondered what had gotten Peter into the horror genre in the first place. This is what he had to say, “I read Stephen King as a kid (still do, by the way) and immediately fell in love. Growing up, 50% of my theater-going experiences were horror related. I like that horror is generally honest, willing to look at the underbelly of humanity and not just the pretty stuff on the surface. I think we learn more about ourselves if we explore tragedy, pain, and evil. Ignoring these aspects of our nature allows them, in many cases, to fester and thrive. I’ve noted that horror fans and writers are some of the most generous and decent people in the world. There, in my humble opinion, is a reason for this. I don’t like horror that only seeks to injure; for instance, straight-up torture porn is not my bag! But I do love—and I mean LOVE!—splatterpunk! Innovators like John Skipp remind us that horror hurts. That’s good. But Skipp, who is my favorite author from the splatterpunk movement, also writes about hope and love and courage and redemption. Characters we care for go through hell, and it makes The Light at the End (fittingly, the tile of Skipp’s first novel) all the sweeter.”

Giglio fans, be sure to keep an eye out for Peter’s current projects. “I’m writing a novel with Scott Bradley under contract. It’s called The Dark and it’s really scary and exciting! As I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to get a film made, another collaborative project with Mr. Bradley. My zombie satire, “The Power of Words,” will soon be released in Hollie Snider’s terrific anthology, Live and Let Undead.  And my zombie novella, Balance, is coming soon. I have several planned novels and anthologies, so 2012 should be an exciting year for me.”

Peter also had some parting words for all you readers out there!! “Yes! If you love books, support authors by buying them. I hear so much whining about the death of print. Yet, when I question folks further, I find they don’t routinely buy books. “I can’t afford them. Times are tough,” they say. I understand. But we hold the power, folks. If you want supply, you must demand with your dollars. Starbucks is not going to stop making coffee, because people mindlessly shell out $4-$5 for a 20 oz. latte. Immediate gratification, right? Wait…I thought you were broke? Think about where you put your dollars, as limited as they might be in the current economy. Feed your brain with a book and make coffee at home for a fraction of the cost. We determine the world in which we live! Sure, reading won’t cure all of society’s ills, but it sure doesn’t hurt. In short, buy more books!”

For more information on Peter Giglio, check out his website:

http://www.petergiglio.com/