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.

 

Advertisements

HorrorAddicts.net #88, Rick Kitagawa

ha-tag

Horror Addicts Episode# 088

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

————————

rick kitagawa | the jesus cleaver | lost boys

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

| Lost Boys | BayCon Recap | Cliff Nielsen |

| Horrible Disasters | Ghost Golf Giveaway |

| Black Magic | Kbatz: Vincent Price |

| Marie Sumner: Horror | Writer Workshop Winner |

| Events | Dead Mail | Rick Kitagawa |

———————–

Creepiest Places On Earth

http://list25.com/25-creepiest-places-on-earth/

Cliff Nielsen

https://www.facebook.com/cliffnielsenillustration?fref=ts

——————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

m u s i c

http://www.graveconcernsezine.com

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/

Most Wicked 2011

Horror Addicts everywhere have been wondering, ‘Who will be 2011’s Most Wicked?’ The wait is over, put your hands together (or on the keyboard to type ‘congrats’) for our newest Wicked Women Writer Challenge winner…

*

*

*

*

*

*

Laurel Anne Hill!

Laurel was excited when she heard the news, “I feel both honored and amazed.  With all the great WWW podcasts submitted, I never expected my story, Flight of Destiny to win.” She then added, “I have to admit, though, a bit of worry has crept into my mind.  Rhonda Carpenter did such an amazing job organizing this year’s WWW Challenge.  Talk about a difficult act to follow!”

The idea for Flight of Destiny came easy for this steam train fan. “I’ve served on several steampunk panels at science fiction/fantasy conventions.  Some authors of steampunk ignore the laws of physics when they craft their stories.  For over a year, I’ve wanted to see if I could write an engaging short story in that genre and include a few scientific details at the same time.  My WWW assignment presented a perfect opportunity.”

Hill’s steampunk knowledge didn’t cover everything though. “I needed to research the physical characteristics of polonium-210, as well as details about its discovery and purification.” She also did “some fact checking about the operation of steam-powered vessels in the Nineteenth Century was necessary, too.  And spent several hours reading about women’s Victorian-era clothing.”

For this year’s competition, each Wicked was given a poison, a place, and an object to base their story around. Laurel was given: Radio Active Polonium-210, Aircraft Carrier on the Pacific, and Cuban cigars.

“My prior employment involved working with radioactive materials and one previous boss of mine smoked cigars.  My assigned poison and place presented no unusual problems.  But an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean?  I knew little about Naval operations aboard such a vessel.  That part of the assignment generated an internal “oh, no.”  Then the steampunk idea hit me and my racing heart slowed to normal rhythm.”

Curious, I had to ask how her writing and podcasting processes came together. “I tend to mull over ideas in my head before I start writing.  I select a main character, give him or her a problem, and try to climb inside of his or her mind.  Then I write and revise over and over, finally reading the piece out loud for rhythm.  My story goes to my writing group for feedback.  Additional revisions follow.  During this process, I write in time blocks as short as thirty minutes or as long as eight hours. [When I start a podcast] I read the manuscript a couple times to prepare, then set up my computer, microphone and pop-filter (a knee-high nylon stocking stretched over a diamond-shaped metal hanger) inside of my bedroom closet.  After recording the entire selection twice using Audacity, I sound edit the better version.  Sound editing takes me the longest, often several hours.”

One thing is for certain if she can combine radio active materials, aircraft carriers, and cigars to make one killer story; then there is nothing this Wicked Women Writer can’t write! I’m sure next year’s WWW challenge will be just as deadly, if not more so, than this year!

Hill fans, be on the look out for Laurel’s up and coming projects: “My new fantasy/horror short story, “The Vengeance Garden,” is scheduled for publication in December 2011, in the “Spells and Swashbucklers” anthology (Dragon Moon Press).  I’m also working on several other short stories and a steampunk novel.”

For more information on Laurel Anne Hill check out these websites:

http://www.laurelannehill.com/
http://laurelannehill.com/blog/
http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurel-Anne-Hill/1171607081

13 Questions With M.J. Hahn

Stylist by day and word slinger night, M.J. Hahn is back again! And, it’s almost like he never left “[w]hat with being on GothHaus Season 1 and all. But it’s always fun for him to get a story together for Emz and all [you] Horror Addicts.”

Hahn’s story for HA episode 66: 1970’s is titled Sunset Tunnel. “Naturally,” M.J. stated, “like everything else I write, it’s set in San Francisco. It’s a true story from my 7th grade summer vacation waaaay back in ’78. In a nutshell, it’s about 3 D&D geeks who take dungeon exploring to a whole new level! Seriously — it’s a miracle we all didn’t end up on the backs of milk cartons!”

Now all you Horror Addicts out there are familiar with GothHaus. The show that M.J., Rhonda, Emz, Kirk and everyone else on the GH team work hard to bring to you every episode. Hahn was kind enough to let me in on the inner workings of GothHaus. “Emz was gracious enough to let me take the reigns for GothHaus this season. Wooho! Thanks Emz! After we worked out the general theme of Haunted Reno Casino, I loosely outlined where the season needed to end up. The scripts usually come together pretty easily. 5 pages of snappy dialog later, we record our parts separately a week or so before the show airs. After a fevered exchange of emails and MP3’s, and then a few hours on GarageBand, the show ends up sounding like we’re all hanging out together, even though we’re from all over the map. This season we went international! Welcoming the wondrous Mike Bennett into the GothHaus family.”

Wondering what’s in store for the “gothy, gothy house,” or aching for some sneak peeks? Look no further Addicts… “How about a new love interest for Fang, and then the return of a very pregnant Raven and Darkblood at the end of this season! There are definite plans to continue and expand the world of GothHaus. But you’ll have to talk to Emz about that! She’s officially in charge of season 3! Hahn would also love to take it into animation form if any body’s buying!” *Hint Hint*

Another well known M.J. project is The Bellefaire Podcast, which we talked about in our last 13 Questions interview. Bellefaire was just the first book in the newly named series, The Latchkey Tales. “Book two, The Isis Heart is now finished! All 13 episodes are available now at IsisHeartPodcast.com & iTunes. Book 3: The Tear Catcher, is now outlined, with a few rough chapters. The story picks up a year after Isis Heart with the principal characters, Crowley & Yuki, returning for more supernatural high jinks.”

If podcasts just aren’t for you (which is just silly if you’re a Horror Addicts fan) or you’re wanting a physical copy of Hahn’s work then you’re in luck! “Both The Bellefaire and The Isis Heart print novel versions each have at least 5 additional chapters, which delve into the back-stories of the villains in each tale.” Currently, Hahn is working hard, “formatting them to perfection for kindle and nook.”

As I mentioned earlier, M.J. is continuing his career as a hairstylist. Business has “been okay. I’m getting by. I love all my long-term gals! But everybody’s broke in SF! And it costs a BUTTLOAD of money to live here! So, this year I picked up some commercial work for a certain hair product line (which shall go nameless!) This involves going to LA every so often. Generally, I can last 72 hours before I start to climb the walls and crave the fog!”

What’s in store in the future for M.J.? “Well,” he said, “I’m grateful to still be able to pay the bills! Other than that, definitely completing the Latchkey series. We’ll have to wait and see what the next presidential election holds! If it gets any crazier, I’m moving to Budapest!!”

Be on the look out for future projects from M.J. Hahn. “Once he has GothHaus Season 2 wrapped up, he’s going to release a three part production of E.M. Forster’s: The Machine Stops. This will be featuring the fabulous Mike Bennett. Forster’s only Sci-Fi short story from 1909 eerily predicts a dystopian future where face to face communication is not only out of fashion, it’s practically barbaric! It will make you want to stop using Facebook!”

For more more information on M.J. Hahn be sure to check out these websites:

The Bellefaire Podcast – http://bellefairepodcast.com/

The Bellefaire Podcast on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bellefaire-Podcast/81640676817?ref=nf

The Isis Heart – http://isisheartpodcast.com/

13 Questions with Henry Snider Part 2

Alright Horror Addicts, let’s welcome back HA veteran Henry Snider. This returning Addict has a message for all you readers out there. “It’s fantastic [to be back]. Horror Addicts is a great place for authors to get their work recognized and, hopefully, build a fan base. Besides, with bands I’d otherwise not hear, movie and book news – what’s not to love? Then there’s the fiction in every podcast. Nightmares become flesh straight through my speakers . . . it’s a cornucopia of insanity! And let’s face it folks, I’m all about the crazies. For episode 61 1920’s I’ve been lucky enough to secure the vocal talents of the delightfully devilish Melanie Skipp to read, Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Now, I’ll do my best not to give anything away but this week’s story, Someone to Watch Over Me, is based off of many real life people and places. The story takes place in “McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, hometown of the original flapper and famous silent movie actress, Olive Thomas. [Who] had a long-running battle with alcoholism. It ultimately took its toll in 1920 when in a drunken stupor she drank her husband’s medication for chronic syphilis, not knowing it was to be administered directly and not ingested. When she was found, the poor gal had already expired.”

“The Mound” which is referenced in the story is an actual location, “a portion of which still exists and can be visited. It was excavated in the 1890s, uncovering thirty-three burials as well as stone and bone tools, marine shell beads and pottery. Rev. Mark Gruber, a former professor of anthropology stated that he agrees with the 1896 address by archaeologist Frederick Putnam that estimated as many as 500-1,000 human remains at the site.” And for all you military buffs out there “The Mound was actually scouted by George Washington as a potential location for a fort, as it sits alongside the river and high on a ridge.”

Fans, you can check out Henry’s now up and running website http://henrysnider.com. There you can find information on his past, present, and future projects. The site includes both his writing and photography, though, as of late Henry has had to put a bit of a hold on both. As mentioned in the previous interview with Henry he was in two car wrecks in 2008 and 2009. “I’m still suffering from blinding headaches due to a car wreck that crushed some nerves in my head. However, the docs are severing them again in a few days which means I’ll be a numbskull once again (the humor of which my wife will never let me live down) and hopefully back behind the camera. As for horror based projects, I’m currently working on two. The first is a different view of anatomy and the second is a erotic horror project based on my short story, The Vessel. Both will be on my website once complete.”

Just curious, I had to ask how many publications Snider currently has. He replied with, “Whoof. Unfair question for the moment. Remember, I just actually started writing for publication in 2010 and lost a good portion of that year to the healing process. How about I answer that one this way – since 2010 I have six acceptances, two rejections, a dozen pieces currently under consideration and am two-thirds done with a novel. Not too bad considering the circumstances.” No, not bad at all!

Now if you’re wondering how to get your hands or well eyes on some of those acceptances, let me give you some details. “To date there’s only one work that will be available on e-book and that’s Last Call. It’s part of the Rapid Decomposition anthology due out later this year. All other acceptances to date are for print publication only. However, one of the stories, A Murder of Crows made the cover of the forthcoming Fearology 2: Beware All Animals Great and Small. Olden’s Wood is in the sequel anthology, Fearology 3: Planting the Seeds of Horror.” More information about his publications is available on the Henry Snider website.

Having already asked what frightened Snider in the first interview; I decided to shake things up and find out what actually got him into the Horror genre in the first place. “Can I blame Mommy and Daddy? They took me to see Jaws in the theater when I was five and I’ve never been the same. No? Well then how about I discovered the adrenaline rush that came with being scared out of my wits addictive. Much like people who go crazy for roller coasters. I like to share what makes me keep the light on at bedtime. Let’s see – I know I read Ayn Rand’s Anthem as a kid and I stayed awake nights thinking about not having an identity all my own, but I’d have to say the two front runners are Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Matheson’s Hell House. Both of those are terrifying (the latter of which caused a few questions and my parents to start monitoring my reading a little more closely).”

Snider’s goals for 2011 are simple enough:

  • World domination.
  • Hunting licenses for tourist season.
  • Making “Naked Mondays” mandatory.

“Seriously, though, my immediate goals between now and the end of August, 2011, are to finish the 8 stories I’ve committed to (and submit them – no slacking here, folks) and finish my novel. Beyond that, rewrite the novel and have it ready for submission by December 31st.”

Keep an eye out for future projects from Henry. “I’ll toss a few bones out there for coming attractions . . . my novel, Drive-In Feature takes place at, of all places, an abandoned drive in theater whose land is cursed and has a dark history. I’ve had a good time with it, though juggling three concurrent time lines has been a real challenge. As for upcoming shorter works, they include demonic children . . . angels . . . killer birds . . . plants that crave human flesh . . . zombies during the Civil War . . . crazed circus performers . . . flappers gone wild (oh, wait, that one’s in Horror Addicts episode 61) . . . religious fanatics . . . cannibalism . . . gateways to other dimensions . . . and vampiric crack whores – gotta have your perforated-hickey-making vampiric crack whores.”

For more information on Henry Snider be sure to check out these websites:

http://www.henrysnider.com
http://www.facebook.com/henry.snider
http://twitter.com/#nightmarescribe
http://www.csfwg.org
http://myspace.com/nightmarescribe

13 Questions with Steve Merrifield

Well Horror Addicts, here we are at episode 60: 1800’s and we have the honor of having Steve Merrifield as our featured author. Now not only is this Steve’s first time to be on HA, it is also his first time to be interviewed. He mentioned to me that, “It’s flattering that someone has shown an interest in me and my work, but equally it feels a little strange too in the sense that for me the experience of writing and self-publishing on-line is pretty much a one man activity, so there is little discussion about my writing and writing in general barring a couple of emails or Facebook comments that I have engaged with. It’s nice.”

The story written for episode 60 is titled, The Darkwood Mysteries: The Peacock Cabal. “The main character, Emily Darkwood, is a student of medicine and she is intrigued by a mysterious ailment that has killed a young man. She finds out that other young men have died in similar ways and her investigation reveals a conspiracy and a sinister threat…”

The upcoming series, The Darkwood Mysteries has come to life thanks to our very own Emerian and Horror Addicts. Merrifield explained to me the birth of The Darkwood Mysteries. “I hadn’t written anything so short before being given the chance to do a story for season 6. While I initially found it tough to tell a story within the limitations of a short story I realized it was actually a great format for an idea that had been knocking about in my head for a while; a female investigator and adventurer battling the supernatural and the criminal in Victorian London. Emily Darkwood is a young woman putting herself through medical school despite it being a male led profession at that time. Her parents were killed in mysterious circumstances as a child, and one of the items she inherited from her parents estate is an amber stone that has the power to draw it’s user and the forces of darkness together. This causes her to be drawn into lots of different adventures, which she hopes will eventually lead her to find out the circumstances of her parents deaths, and her tales are narrated by her young servant Jack Hobbs.”

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Steve currently has three books out: Harvest, Ivory, and The Pack. “Harvest was his first book. Written to see if [he was] able to commit to a long haul project as [he] used to have a habit of starting projects but not finishing them. [He] ended up with a novel [he] was pleased with and it encouraged [him] to write more. Harvest is about an ancient force of destruction unleashed in a tower block, and a group of very different people who are all thrown together by their experiences with it, and have to come to terms with what is going on which ultimately leaves them the only ones that can challenge the growing danger.”

Merrifield’s short novel Ivory is centered around a young girl with the same name. Who has an unusual appearance (white skin and hair with black eyes) and a mysteriously undeniable allure, and Martin an artist who is drawn to her despite the dangers that surround her. It was influenced by one of my favourite novels; Oscar Wildes The Picture of Dorian Gray, with it’s themes around the corruption of beauty and the dangers it can pose.”

While The Pack “was quite a different book for [Steve], although it is essentially a ‘when animals attack’ storyline with dogs going wild in London, [he has] written it as a crime novel. It’s the first of a series of stories [in which he plans to use the same main character], although each can be read as a stand alone story.”

**Horror Addicts Exclusive**

Steve was kind enough to create a HA special, a coupon for Horror Addicts readers to get his e-book The Pack for 99 cents instead of $4.99 at smashwords.com! Just enter the information below:

Promotional Price: $0.99 Coupon Code: WW44Q Expires: June 30, 2011

**Horror Addicts Exclusive**

Curious, I asked what inspires his work. “The three that are completed and those I desperately want to get out of my head and onto my pc are all very different, and have their sources in different places. Harvest was inspired by tower blocks local to me as I have often found myself thinking that although they are much maligned in the UK, the way they are built could make them very secure desirable places – raised off the ground with a view, but if there is danger in the building it could be a very scary place as the environment itself traps you. Ivory was inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray as I mentioned earlier, and The Pack was inspired by ‘when animals attack’ stories that I have enjoyed like The Rats, The Slugs, The Birds, except I went for animals I have always been uneasy around – dogs. The Room that I am working on now came about because I wanted to write a haunted house story with a different spin and I wanted to make our every day surroundings scary – opening doors is going to be a frightening thing to do for my characters in my next book.”

Currently, all of Merrifield’s books are only available as ebooks. “Harvest and Ivory are available for free and can be downloaded in lots of places, but mainly through manybooks.net and smashwords.com. The Pack is the only commercial release at the moment and can be bought through smashwords and they also distribute to most of the big online retailers including iBooks.”

Steve isn’t out for fame or anything like that, he would rather be successful which for him means writing stories that people enjoy. While still earning some money from it so that writing could be a job and not just a hobby. Though he may love writing, being an author can be challenging. According to Steve, the hardest part about writing is…. “Finding the time! I moan about it so much, but having a full time job doesn’t leave me much time to write let alone all the added work of being self-published and self-promoting. I have no shortage of ideas, just not enough time to get them out of my head!”

Still, he loves horror which is “kind of an odd [choice] because [he is] a goody two shoes that doesn’t like getting scared by much – [Merrifield likes] an easy life, [he’s] not a big risk taker and hates roller coasters – so horror is [his] way of getting an adrenaline rush and being taken out of my comfort zone in a controlled way! [He] grew up on Hammer Horror and Doctor Who which had lots of Gothic horror style stories. Both series might have been low budget and considered a little cheesy now, but [Steve thins] it was sometimes the need for [him] as the viewer to fill in the blanks in the plots or to cover the poor effects with imagination that got [him] thinking about [his] own story lines. It’s the escapism side of it most of all though.”

Frequenters of Steve’s website will recognize the names of his up and coming books: The Room, Mable’s Grave, Projections, Wychaven, Nocebo. Keep an eye out for the release of these projects and many more! “This list of future titles is on my site in the hope that people will see me as someone to keep an eye on; knowing that there will be one or two titles coming out every year for a couple of years. I am champing at the bit to write The Room as it’s going to be set partly in my home town, and I can’t wait to get back into writing for DI Carter in Projections and Nocebo, as they connect with The Pack to make a loose trilogy. I will be very proud to have my own trilogy. The Darkwood Mysteries have really caught my imagination and I already have about twenty ideas and I have written and completed four already. I have plans for an initial run of fifteen and am going to release them in batches of three as audio readings through my site. The episodes will only be available for short periods and when they have run their course I will release them as an ebook and I might have a go at doing some art to go with each story for the book.”

For more information on Steve Merrifield or his work, check out these sites:

http://stevemerrifield.blogspot.com/

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/viralebooks

http://www.manybooks.net/authors/merrifields.html