Horror Addicts Guide to Life Author Spotlight: Catt Dahman

24520262Catt Dahman has written several horror novels including Circle Jerk. For Horror Addicts Guide To Life  Catt wrote an essay called “Writing Extreme Horror.” In it Catt talks about being a horror author and the trends she sees in horror. To read Catt’s article along with several other articles on living the horror lifestyle, pick up a copy of Horror Addicts Guide To LifeRecently Catt was nice enough to tell us what he likes about horror:

What do you like about the horror genre?

The versatility. I can write about romance or anything within horror because it supports the theme. I think I haven’t even scratched the surface of all there is in horror because “horror” can be in so many forms.

What are some of your favorite horror movies, books or TV shows?

I am a Richard Laymon fan. I like Ira Levin and Stephen King as well but too many to name.

In what way do you live the horror lifestyle?

In my house, discussions about cannibals is normal. A ‘relaxing” show is found on crime t.v. We embrace my persona and everything is “She’s a horror writer” as if that is a reason for anything at all. Spilled milk? Blame the need for a particular horror scene and call in inspiration.

What are you currently working on?

I finished some nasty monsters and a Gothic horror novel and am working on a few projects that cover themes such as cannibals (always!), the Donner party with a friend, D.A. Roberts, monsters in a cave, and an apoc-book. I generally write (begin) 3-4 at a time and then focus on one until it is finished.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me at www.cattd.com or http://www.jellingtonashton.com/

NightWhere

If your into bondage, S&M and kinky sex clubs then there is a place for you called NightWhere.  Except you can’t go looking for it, NightWhere looks for you. NightWhere by John Everson is the story of a secret swinger’s club where all your dreams and nightmares about pain and degradation come true.

Rae wasn’t satisfied with her marriage to Mark, she wanted more and whips, chains and  bizarre sex is what she was looking for. Mark reluctantly starts to go to underground sex clubs with Rae to keep her happy. Then one day they receive an invitation to a gothic sex club called NightWhere.

After a couple of visits to the club, Rae becomes obsessed with NightWhere and disappears. The location of the club changes nightly and Mark is in a race against time to save his wife. Rae is going through changes and finds she loves the lifestyle that NightWhere offers. She may not want to be saved but Mark loves Rae and will go through hell to get her back.

Nightwhere is by far the most disturbing book that I’ve ever read. I’ve read some hardcore bloody horror novels from the likes of Richard Laymon and Ed Lee but these authors didn’t make me cringe like John Everson did. There were two times while reading NightWhere that I had to stop  because I couldn’t handle the subject matter. There are some torture scenes in this book that were so over the top that they bordered on ridiculous and left me wondering if there are people out there who are similar to the characters in the story.

You have to have a strong stomach to get through Nightwhere, what kept me reading was I wanted to see what was going to happen to Mark.  Mark has to go through unimaginable amounts of humiliation and pain to save Rae. He takes his marriage vows seriously and is willing to do anything for Rae and that is why I love the character so much. I also liked how Mark keeps getting chances to walk away from trying to save her but he won’t stop because he is committed to her.

Another interesting point in NightWhere is how much all the characters are willing to suffer to get what they want. Everyone in this book gets tortured but they come back for more because they are looking for something and their instinct is to survive until they find it. Mark does several things he thought he would never do, to get his wife back. Also a character named Selena risks her life and throws away the life she has to save Mark. In addition to that, you see a lot of the patrons of NightWhere literally go through hell just to advance into the different levels of suffering and excitement that NightWhere has to offer. Everyone has different reasons to carry on and nothing will keep them from their goal.

This book tries hard to shock you but there is also a love story and it makes a point of how far one would and should go for the one  they love. It also makes a point about staying loyal to someone even if that person isn’t loyal to you. Another thing that makes this book good is the description of NightWhere. John Everson  put a lot of thought into this world of torture and really brought it to life. NightWhere is not for the faint of heart but if you love to be shocked you will love this book.

1990’s books

The first book I want to talk about is by one of my favorite authors, Tamara Thorne. I was first introduced to Tamara through an interview on horrorworld.org. In the interview, Tamara mentioned that for easter she was planning on painting some mice to look like Easter eggs,  so her cats could enjoy the holiday also. I liked her sense of humor and ran out and bought her book Moonfall. Moonfall was written in 1996  and is centered around Sara Hawthorne and John Lawson.

Sara Hawthorne has been away from the small town of Moonfall for a long time. She was a student at Saint Gertrude’s school for girls but left town after the suicide of her best friend. She has now returned to teach at St. Gertrude’s or St Gruesome’s as the townspeople call it; but not all is well in Moonfall. There have been quite a few unusual deaths and suicides lately and some of the bodies are being found on the grounds of  the school.

Certainly the priests and nuns at the school couldn’t be involved in the murders, or could they?  The local sheriff: John Hawthorne is investigating the murders and he has experienced some tragedy at St. Gertrude’s himself. On Halloween night as a child, 24 years ago John and his friends made an after hours trip to the school to spy on the girls. No one knows for sure what happened that night, but one of the boys was found dead at the bottom of witch falls and the rest were scarred for life.  This school may not be what everyone thinks it is, and those gargoyles around the school might not be stone after all.

Its been a long time since I’ve read Moonfall but I remember thinking  it was a little like Dario Argento’s Susperia with a few laughs and some good sex scenes thrown in just to mix it up a bit. The book also has a couple of good love stories going on and I remember liking how the witch’s masses were depicted in the book. The story deals a lot with the occult and it was interesting to see how the school mixed pagan and christian beliefs without either one overpowering the other.

The next book is by another one of my favorite authors, Richard Laymon. This one is called In The Dark and was released in 1994. Jane Kerry, the city of Donnerville’s librarian lives an average uninteresting life but that all changes when she finds an envelope containing $50 dollars and instructions saying “look homeward, angel,” signed MOG, Master of Games. Soon MOG starts to give Jane tasks to complete and keeps giving her more and more money. The tasks keep getting more crazy and more dangerous and now Jane is forever changed and obsessed with the game. Will she survive or will she fall victim to Mog’s games?

Once again I read this book years ago, but I remember enjoying watching the character of Jane change through out the book from a  normal person to a tough as nails woman who will do whatever it takes to complete Mog’s tasks and get more money. I also loved how the excitement in the books builds, you never know if Mog’s games will be dangerous or just simple and easy to give Jane a false sense of security. For instance one night Jane just has to spend an evening eating dinner with a stranger while the next night she has to find a treasure in a house where a serial killer is torturing his victims.

My favorite scene in the book  managed to make me shudder and laugh at the same time. I don’t want to give it all away but at one point Jane is being chased by a female cannibal with only one leg, holding a knife and a fork  and screaming “I’ve got the hungeries.” Richard Laymon’s books are usually very hard core and definitely not for everyone.

One thing that every Richard Laymon book that I’ve read has, is a rape scene. I’ve also seen where some people have said that Laymon hates woman because there is so much violence against women in his books. I have to disagree with the people saying that Laymon is a sexist, because if you pay attention to his stories you will see that the female characters in his books are smarter, stronger, more compassionate, more resourceful and all around better characters then the men. Also the men who commit the violence against women always end up suffering much more then the women do. I also have not read a Laymon book where the main hero wasn’t a woman.

Last but not least I want to mention Midnight Blue: The Sonja Blue Collection by Nancy Collins which was released in 1995. This book is a compilation of three novels(Sunglasses After Dark, In The Blood and Paint It Black) that follow the adventures of the living vampire Sonja Blue. 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 she survived, sort of. She becomes a vampire but she never died, making her a living vampire. Now her goal is to find the vampire that changed her, kill him and get her life back.

In Sonja’s world she not only has to deal with other vampires but she also has to battle ogres, demons and religious zealots. The thing that sets Sonja apart from every other vampire character that I’ve read about, is that she is not conflicted about who she is. She is an anti-hero, she is out to kill vampires she also hurts innocent humans in the process but doesn’t feel guilty about it.

In this book Sonja has opportunities to be happy and falls in love but because she is obsessed with revenge she doesn’t get what she truly wants. The only thing I didn’t like about Sonja Blue was how it ended, but if you want to read a fun, blood soaked vampire book then check out Midnight Blue.

Slasher Horror Books

While looking for slasher horror novels I found a book right away that really shocked me. It was Friday the 13th Church of the Divine Psychopath by Scott Phillips. The reason this book shocked me is because it’s actually a novel based on Jason from the Friday the 13th movies. I’m not a fan of the Friday the 13th films and I wouldn’t think that Jason would be a good subject to base a novel on, but this book looks pretty good.

This is actually the first book in a series based on Friday the 13th’s Jason. The story is about a religious cult who goes to Camp Crystal Lake so they can revive Jason. They think he will become an angel and do gods work. Needless to say things go badly, Jason starts killing everyone and a secret government agency comes in to take down Jason and the cult.

There is also a series of novels based on A Nightmare on Elm Street. The first book in the series is called Suffer the Children by David Bishop. Six teenagers have volunteered to be in a sleep study where they will test a new anti-insomnia drug, little do they know that by taking the drug they have now become the plaything of Freddy Kruger.

Another book I found was They Never Die Quietly by D.M. Annechino. Detective Sami Rizzo is in charge of a task force investigating serial killings in San Diego. The killer on the loose believes that god has given him absolute authority to purify his unholy victims. Sami finds the serial killer but is captured and must outsmart the killer to escape.

Staying with the theme of serial killers is I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. This book kind of has the same story as Showtime’s Dexter. The lead character is a high school student named John who happens to be a sociopath and is obsessed with serial killers and dead bodies. John follows a set of rules that keeps him from giving in to his dark side. He also helps out in the local mortuary where his mother and aunt work. One day while inspecting bodies that have been slashed open in the exact same way, John realizes that his town has a serial killer and decides to track him down so he can study him.

One of my favorite novels that fits in the slasher genre is The Island by Richard Laymon. The story is told from the diary of a teenager named Rupert. He had taken a yacht trip with his girlfriend’s family to a deserted island for a picnic. While enjoying the picnic they see their yacht explode and are stranded. To make things worse they soon find out that they are not alone on the island. Two members of their group get their throats slashed and the rest of the castaways have to find the killer and escape the island.

I’m a big fan of Laymon. This book is filled with several plot twists and non stop action. If you are willing to suspend your disbelief, overlook some ridiculous scenes, and you don’t offend easily, this is a good read. The only part I didn’t like was the ending, which was meant to be shocking but only seemed to make me mad. I don’t want to give it away, you’ll have to buy the book.

There are two other books that I wanted to mention, I didn’t have to much to say about these because I couldn’t find much of a description on either one but they did fit the genre so I thought they were worth bringing up. The first book is Endurance by Jack Kilborn which follows a killer who is hunting down and killing female athletes.

The second book is The Killing Kind by Bryan Smith which is about a group of college kids partying at a beach house. Little do they know that their party is about to be crashed by a pair of homicidal maniacs.

Know of any other slasher books? Please let us know.