Saturday, September 20, 2014

Terror by Gaslight



Now available!

Terror by Gaslight: edited by John Manning

"Twenty tales of terror, dark fantasy, and macabre humor from authors in Canada and the United States spanning seven decades – 1860 thru 1929. Ten authors from What Scares the Boogeyman? return and are joined by ten new writers: 

Jason Cordova – Michael H. Hanson – Richard Groller – Rie Sheridan Rose 
Brian Bigelow – Larry Atchley, Jr. – Forrest Hedrick 
Shebat Legion – Shirley Meier – Ethan Nahte – Benjamin Bement 
Deborah Koren – John Manning – Austin Sirkin – W. B. Alexander 
Jack W. Finley – Wayne Borean – Robert M. Price and Charles Garofalo 
Bill Snider – Tom Barczak 

Tobias Fox rides into a dusty Texas town to investigate stories of terrible doings in Nightwalker. What he finds is not what he expected. 
Two men face off against an alien terror on the moon’s surface in The Strange and Terrifying Mystery of Luna Colony – a tale of horror in a steampunk setting. 
It is the lunch hour on Fleet Street. Conversations and chance encounters take place amidst the delectable aromas of Mrs. Lovett’s savory meat pies in Cab Ride." 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Saving Grace Devine: A Visit with Catherine Cavendish


The White Lady of Stow Lake

In my new novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.
From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls and young women, who are apparently bound to the shores of the lake where they died. They all appear to be searching for something, or someone -in dire need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.
And not all of them are benign.
One such wraith seems to constitute a deadly reason why I, for one, would think twice before venturing on a walk around Stow Lake in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Her appearances have been frequent and well documented.

Golden Gate Park is landscaped on similar lines to New York’s Central Park. It hosts a museum, Japanese Tea Gardens, the Conservatory of Flowers, Sprekels Park and, of course, Stow Lake. It also houses a number of ghosts – and even an allegedly moving statue. But more of that later. We’re concerned now with “a thin, tall figure in white.” So said Arthur Pigeon, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle of January 6th 1908. Police had pulled him over for speeding and he told the newspaper that it had blocked his way as he drove out of the park, “…it seemed to shine. It had long, fair hair and was barefooted. I did not notice the face. I was too frightened and anxious to get away from the place.”
Of course, the temptation is to say the man was merely trying to avoid getting a speeding ticket. And if his had been the only report, then that could well have been the case. But it wasn’t. Over the hundred plus years since that Chronicle article, many other people have reported seeing precisely the same apparition.
So who is this mysterious ‘white lady’ of Stow Lake?
There are, as always, a number of theories. One of the more compelling is that in the late 1800s, a young woman was out, walking her baby in its pram around the lake. She became tired and sat down on a bench. Presently another lady came to join her and the two struck up a conversation. So engrossed was the young mother that she failed to notice the pram rolling away. Suddenly she realized it had gone. There was no sign of either the pram or the baby. Panic stricken, she searched high and low, asking everyone, “Have you seen my baby?” No one had. For the rest of that day, and into the night, she searched.
Finally, she realized the baby and the pram must have fallen into the lake. She jumped in and was never seen alive again.
Witnesses who report seeing her speak of a woman in a dirty white dress, sometimes soaking wet and, contrary to Arthur Pigeon’s assertion that she had fair hair, the other reports consistently state she has long, dark hair. Sometimes she is also seen on Strawberry Hill – adjacent to the lake. Her face wears an anxious expression and she has been known to approach people walking around the lake at night. She asks, “Have you seen my baby?”

As for the statue I mentioned earlier, this is called ‘Pioneer Woman and Children’. It has a reputation for moving around – and even changing shape. These phenomena always occur at night and seem directly linked to the white lady. Sometimes the statue’s face changes. Other times, it has no legs or head. Motorists have reported electrical issues. Different cars driving near the statue or lake at the same time have stalled simultaneously.
Finally, if you are brave – or foolhardy – enough, try going down to Stow Lake at night and say, “White lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times. It is said she will then manifest herself before you and ask you, “Have you seen my baby?” If you say, “yes”, she will haunt you ever after. But, if you say, “no”, she’ll kill you.
Now there’s no documented evidence of the white lady committing murder. But are you prepared to put her to the test?


Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:

Can the living help the dead…and at what cost?           
When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.
But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.


Now, here’s an excerpt:

My footsteps echoed as I trod the creaky polished floorboards in the empty room. I couldn’t overcome the feeling of being watched. For the second time since I had arrived on Arnsay, goosebumps rose along my arms and the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Don’t be ridiculous, I told myself, your imagination’s got the better of you again.
I shook my head and made for the nearest glass cabinet. Above it, a portrait of the museum’s benefactor—Jonas Devine—gazed out at the world. I studied his face for a minute. His dark hair, flecked with gray, receded at the temples. He had a kind expression, clear brown eyes and a neatly trimmed moustache in the style of the late Victorians. My attention returned to his eyes. The artist had captured an ethereal, faraway look in them as if his subject could see something beyond what had been in the room. He was dressed in a dark suit of the period and one hand rested on his thigh, while the other held a book. I peered closer but couldn’t see any title. Maybe it was a small Bible or perhaps a novel by his favorite writer.
I switched my gaze down to the contents of the cabinet. A pair of wire-rimmed spectacles, gloves, a pen and inkstand, all personal items from the man’s study. I moved on and came across an information board nailed to the wall. It seemed Jonas Devine had bought the house when he brought his new bride Margarita—a former music hall artist—to settle on this remote island. This had followed some unspecified need of hers to leave Edinburgh, where she worked, and where she first met Jonas. A photograph showed a dark-eyed woman dressed in Spanish style, complete with mantilla and fan. I could imagine her dancing Flamenco, flashing brown legs as she laughed and flirted with every man she saw.
Another photo showed a slightly older Margarita with a little boy of around two—her son, Adrian. Her eyes no longer flashed and the Latin flamboyance had given way to a demure dress, well suited to a young Victorian mother. But I read defiance in her expression. I bet she could be a handful, I thought.
I read on. Margarita had died soon after giving birth to her second son, Robert, leaving Jonas with two young boys. In 1897, he had acquired a governess—Agnes Morrison—a widow with a young daughter. They were married soon after. There was one photograph of her, with Jonas’s two sons, but no sign of her daughter. I did learn one thing about her though. Her name was Grace and she took Jonas’s surname on her mother’s marriage. Grace Devine.
An icy breeze chilled me, and I hugged myself. I had the strongest feeling of someone standing right by my shoulder, but I had heard no one come up the stairs. I braced myself, took a deep breath and whirled around, relieved to see I was still alone. But then another sound drifted towards me. A sigh. Again I told myself to stop imagining things and carried on wandering around the rooms.
Jonas Devine had certainly been an avid collector. Stamps, coins, butterflies, all cataloged in meticulous detail and laid out for inspection. I supposed there wasn’t much else to do if you were independently wealthy and lived on a remote Scottish island in the late nineteenth century.
One room was devoted to his collection of stuffed birds and animals, all presented in glass cases, in an approximation of their real habitat. Goodness alone knew where he had displayed all these things when he was alive. I found them hideous and macabre, but then I’ve never been a fan of taxidermy.
Below each case was a chest of shallow drawers. I opened one and found a collection of cameos. Much more my taste, and he had some lovely ones too. Some were carved onto coral, others onto tortoiseshell, some on ebony and some ivory. Some were the traditional profile, but most were far more intricate, and I pulled out drawer after drawer of them, all laid out under glass. The collection must have numbered hundreds, maybe thousands, and as for their value…
In the second chest, one drawer stuck halfway and wouldn’t budge, and I could tell something was wedged inside.
I reached in and poked around until I found the culprit. A material that felt like canvas was firmly stuck there. I pushed at it but it wouldn’t shift, so I wiggled it around and tried to grab hold of it. Eventually it gave and I pulled out something that looked like a rolled up painting.
I unrolled it and revealed a strange picture. The bizarre subject was painted in blue-green hues, and represented either a lake or the sea, from underwater. In the foreground a girl floated. Her eyes were closed and I guessed she was around fourteen or fifteen years old. She was dressed in a white gown, decorated with a pattern of tiny flowers. Her feet were shod in black Victorian, buttoned-up boots and the gown billowed up from her ankles, exposing white stockings. Her hands floated next to her and her light brown hair flowed loose around her. With a pang, I realized the artist hadn’t depicted a living subject. This girl had drowned.
It could almost have been a photograph, and I had the strongest urge to touch the girl and stroke her hair, but my fingers found the unmistakable texture of oil paint.
The goosebumps arose for the third time but I ignored them, riveted by the loving attention to detail in the artist’s tragic subject. Who would paint such a picture? I searched around for a signature but couldn’t find one.
I don’t know how long I stared. The painting troubled, repelled and fascinated me all in one go. Finally, I decided to take it down to Duncan. He could find a more suitable home for it. Then, as I started to roll it up, the girl’s eyes opened. 


You can find Saving Grace Devine in all usual ebook formats here:

B&N 

and in paperback here:

About the author
Catherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is now available in all digital formats and the print anthology will be published in October. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories.  Her novel, Saving Grace Devine, has just been published by Samhain Publishing.
She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.

When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

You can connect with Cat here:
www.catherinecavendish.com
https://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendishWriter?ref=hl
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4961171.Catherine_Cavendish


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Travelling Man

The Travelling Man
By Matt Drabble 
Genre: Thriller, Horror

Synopsis:
The small desert town of Granton is a typical slow boiling pot of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Every hard working day is much like any other here where little ever changes.
Sheriff Cassie Wheeler runs a tight ship in the tradition of her late father. There is little serious crime to trouble her department, save for the local miners’ occasional rowdiness after payday.
But Granton has its share of secrets hiding behind twitching curtains. Small town folks often have the biggest of ambitions.

Now the long dusty road into town has brought with it a stranger. A man of elegance calling himself Gilbert Grange has arrived. He brings with him a bag full of dreams and a silver tongue of promise. He can give you whatever you desire, all you have to do is sign on the dotted line.
The residents of Granton are about to discover that dreams can come at a terrible price, and you should always be careful what you wish for.


Review:

If you're a fan of Stephen King's Needful Things then you have to get this book. Great character development that grabbed me from the first read, creepy as hell descriptions and a main character I wouldn't hesitate to hang out in a dark alley with. Cassie Wheeler is a kick ass heroine who doesn't take anything lying down. Great story...still reading and can't put it down...I even went and bought Asylum...

5/5



Author Bio
Born in Bath, England in 1974, a self-professed "funny onion", equal parts sport loving jock and comic book geek.
From an early age reading so many works of varied authors, I took the somewhat foolhardy decision to attempt my own novel.
I now have eight novels available, "Asylum - 13 Tales of Terror" “,Gated", "Rapture Falls", "Fangsters" and my latest novels "Abra-Cadaver" & a new horror anthology "After Darkness Falls" Volumes One and Two. I have also just published a sequel to "Gated" called "Gated II: Ravenhill Academy"
“Gated” was a UK Horror Chart #4 best seller.
“Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror” was a Horror/Anthology Chart #1 for over a year and voted #5 on The Horror Novel Reviews Top 10 Books of 2013.
“Abra-Cadaver” recently won an Indie Book of the Day award.
I have recently been signed by Taylor Street Books in San Francisco who will be producing my novel "The Montague Portrait" and I am currently writing "Double Visions"
Visit me at www.mattdrabble.com
Twitter:
MattDrabble01
Facebook: matt.drabble.3 or to sign up for a newsletter: Matt.Drabble.Author



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blood Chimera


“BLOOD CHIMERA” / JENN LYONS

Alpena, MI (August 12, 2014) – World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has 
announced Blood Chimera, the first novel in a new paranormal mystery series by Jenn Lyons, is 
available in trade paperback and ebook today, Tuesday, August 12, 2014.
Some ransoms aren’t meant to be paid. Kidnap and Ransom negotiation used 
to be straightforward. The bad guys kidnap someone, and K&R expert 
Jackson Pastor negotiates their release, skillfully traversing a maze of 
bloodthirsty monsters: criminals, terrorists, police, and especially the FBI. 
But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters. 

When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his 
kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war 
between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens 
to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought 
to Los Angeles to be a negotiator. His new boss wants to turn him into an 
assassin. With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a clan war, his only 
hope of escape may lie with a secret FBI monster-hunting task-force led by a 
very dangerous, eccentric wizard. Which could be a problem, since Jackson’s a 
monster himself.
Blood Chimera is be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, 
Kobo.com, WorldWeaverPress.com, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram. You 
can also find Blood Chimera on Goodreads.

About the author:

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats and a lot of 
opinions on anything from Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a 
martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, 
anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or 
Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by 
day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not 
writing, she can be found debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre 
at various local coffee shops. 

World Weaver Press is an independently owned publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. 
We believe in great storytelling.
Publication Date: August 12 • Paranormal Mystery
$14.95 trade paperback, 360 pages • $6.99 ebook
ISBN: 978-0692249185
Publicity/Reviews: publicity@worldweaverpress.com
Information:
www.worldweaverpress.com/blood-chimera.htmlWORLD WEAVER PRESS
Blood Chimera / 2
# # # # #

Friday, July 18, 2014

Zomosapiens




Human flesh and blood fill Laura's mouth as her new razor sharp teeth cleanly slice a chuck of flesh from the cadaver's thigh. Blood drips from her ruby red lips as the taste sends an electric erotic shock throughout her body, mind and soul fanning the flames of the hunger within her. She tries to think but the need to feed drives her from one body to the next savoring the taste. As she tries to sate her hunger, her victims become her competitors as they slowly rise and search out humans to fill their needs.

Laura wasn't always a flesh eating monster. Just months ago she was a very successful retired businesswoman but felt that she missed life in her pursuit of success. She decided to undergo a radical new treatment using nanotechnology. The micro machines injected into her body made her young and healthy. Everything was going well for her until a car slammed her through a pane glass window draining her body of blood. The micro machines prime directive is to save their host and they made radical changes to her body to save her.

As Laura and her victims feed their hunger sates leaving them time to think. They see the infection spreading at a rapid rate leaving less and less of the tasty humans to eat. They hatch a plan to control the infection so they can save humanity...for dinner.

While Laura's ragtag group organizes, the micro machine infection spreads leaving in its wake flesh eating zombies, blood drinking vampires and one pissed off werewolf. A clash is coming between these groups in this new world. Will Laura's group survive? Will any of them survive?







Bio:  David "Dave" Moon is a retired Air Force Major, actor and author.  He's from Jacksonville, Florida and Alexander City, Alabama.  He joined the Air Force in 1989 and has traveled the world serving his country.  After his retirement, he became an actor and author.  He's not a big name yet, but he's working on it.  He currently lives in Louisiana with his beautiful wife and two sons.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Zombie Seed


Zombie Seed is a fast paced series that delivers on everything you expect from the genre while throwing in exciting twists that you won’t see coming. These zombies are anything but “slow” which adds extra chaos for those trying to traverse the new post-apocalyptic landscape. 

Prepare yourself for a compelling story filled with action and enough suspense to keep you reading all the way to the end. 


Amazon

Excerpt:

He walked across the warehouse to the far windows lazily pulling his pants up, already having a good idea as to what he would find. He knew it had to be the living because of all of the shooting and the mass exodus of undead.  The thought of actual human flesh sparked a ravenousness inside of him but he knew enough to know that there would be no chance of getting a piece of the meat down there, not with all the other z’s chomping at the bit.

Once at the window he was offered a bird’s eye view of the scene playing out below.
There was a group of breathers on top of a truck shooting at the mass of z’s heading toward them.  Then, out of the corner of his eye he saw Jorge, a fast z, come up behind them and take a bite out of one of the guys, but before he could finish the job, he got his brains blown out by a woman….HIS woman.
He was locked to the spot watching the scene unfold.  It took everything he had not to break a window pane and call down to her but reason kicked in.  Things were different now and she was with several men who were armed.  She herself was armed and he was….he was what?

That was really the question.  Back when the shit first hit the fan he had been bitten, that much was as clear as the healed over set of teeth marks on his arm.  After that everything was a blur, he remembered feeding and feeding, slabs of non descript meat and darkness and then he was awake.  
That is the best way he could describe what it was like.  One minute there was nothing other than the desire to feed and then he was himself again.  Well as close to himself as he imagined he would ever get to be.  Those first few days after his “awakening” he fought an internal battle about what he had become and he had stopped eating.  The screams and the terror filled looks in the eyes of the prey were too much for him to bear.  And what of when he found Claire and their child, could he look her in the eyes knowing he was a monster?

But he had paid for that lapse into morality. The first day of not feeding was like nothing, the hunger was there but easily manageable and he didn't note any real changes.  By the fourth day he found that the smell of sweat coming off the hidden, huddled masses of the living was so tantalizing he had to suppress the urge to run full tilt into their mist and eat them all.  
The sixth day is what broke him.  He “came to” and found himself wandering en mass with the other z’s making that low moaning sound they were famous for and he knew that if he didn't eat, he would lose himself again.



About the author:

I'm a poet turned fiction writer who just so happens to also be an avid reader. I've spent a lot of time working with artists of other mediums in the pursuit of finding better ways to express myself and document the human experience. After hosting multiple events for poets, musicians and storytellers, I find that I am most at home with those who are always asking questions.
My desire to observe things in graphic detail plays out in my work as a writer. As an author I find it hard to escape the perspective of being "the reader", the observer. In this way I am able to enjoy the story as it unfolds from my own hands. It also means that I am very conscious of the emotions that I cultivate in my readers. I know how to provide suspense and build relationships that bind you to the characters.
What I really love about stories surrounding the post-apocalypse and specifically zombie tales, is that it gets to the crux of all of our fears. It speaks to our desire to keep anarchy at bay and of how scared we are of the depth of our own depravity.
It is always my main goal to entertain the reader. That being said, if I'm able to impart any new knowledge about yourself or the world around you, then I feel like I have succeeded in providing you with something deeper, which in turn is what we are all seeking.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Legally Undead



Legally Undead Playlist – by Margo Bond Collins
One of the things that I love best about writing about vampires (other than their sheer creepiness!) is all the fabulous mood music that’s available—some of it directly about vampires, and some of it simply nicely sinister.  Also, although Legally Undead is set in New York City, the heroine, Elle (a graduate student turned reluctant vampire hunter), is originally from New Orleans. That’s in part a nod to Anne Rice, of course (and to my own college years spent in the French Quarter), but it has the added benefit of allowing me to include some great New Orleans vampire songs in Elle’s playlist. Sadly, there aren’t as many New York vampire songs—but Elle’s snarky sense of humor shows up in the ones included here, and in the choice of songs like “My Boyfriend’s Back.”  Enjoy the Legally Undead playlist, and be sure to check out the excerpt below!


  



_____________________________________________

Legally Undead, available May 27 from World Weaver Press

A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire draining the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs--not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.


_____________________________________________
Excerpt:

The worst thing about vampires is that they're dead. That whole wanting to suck your blood business runs a close second, but for sheer creepiness, it's the dead bit that gets me every time. They're up and walking around and talking and sucking blood, but they're dead. And then there's the whole terminology problem--how can you kill something that's already dead? It's just wrong.
I was twenty-four the first time I . . . destroyed? dispatched? . . . a vampire. That's when I found out that all the books and movies are wrong. When you stick a wooden stake into their hearts, vampires don't disintegrate into dust. They don't explode. They don't spew blood everywhere. They just look surprised, groan, and collapse into a pile of corpse. But at least they lie still then, like corpses are supposed to.
Since that first kill (I might as well use the word--there really isn’t a better one), I've discovered that only if you're lucky do vampires look surprised before they groan and fall down. If you're unlucky and miss the heart, they look angry. And then they fight.
There are the other usual ways to kill vampires, of course, but these other ways can get a bit complicated. Vampires are notoriously difficult to trick into sunlight. They have an uncanny ability to sense when there's any sunlight within miles of them, and they're awfully good at hiding from it. Holy water doesn't kill them; it just distracts them for a while, and then they get that angry look again. And it takes a pretty big blade to cut off someone's head--even an already dead someone--and carrying a great big knife around New York City, even the Bronx, is a sure way to get arrested. Nope, pointy sticks are the best way to go, all the way around.
My own pointy stick is actually more of a little knife with wood inlay on the blade--the metal makes it slide in easier. I had the knife specially made by an old Italian guy in just about the only ratty part of Westchester, north of the city. I tried to order one off the internet, but it turns out that while it’s easy to find wood-inlay handles, the blades themselves tend to be metal. Fat lot those people know.
But I wasn’t thinking any of this when I pulled the knife out of the body on the ground. I was thinking something more along the lines of “Oh, bloody hell. Not again.”

_____________________________________________



About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up DeadFairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming May 27, 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

_____________________________________________

Connect with Margo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Be sure to add Legally Undead to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366353-legally-undead





Friday, March 28, 2014

X: A Collection of Horror







1. How did you get started in horror?

I think it must stem from a combination of my grandfather’s ghost stories from when he was a coal miner, and my sister’s heavy metal record collection. Some of those album covers had brilliant artwork. When I started writing, it was just the genre I gravitated towards.

2. What are your favorite kinds of stories to write and read?

I write what I call ‘dark fiction.’ Sometimes it edges toward sci-fi, other times out-and-out horror. A lot of people comment that most of it contains a healthy dose of sardonic humour. I did write a love story once under a pseudonym but that was just an experiment. I read widely. I have my favourites, of course. I love a good old-fashioned haunted house story. But I also read crime, thrillers, and autobiographies. I like reading about people who achieve great things or triumph against the odds.

3. What would you tell someone just getting started in the horror genre?

Find your own voice! And read everything, in every genre. For a long time I restricted myself to horror, then when I was much older and started reading other things it was like discovering a whole new world. Or even a multitude of new worlds. Stephen King once said that you learn just as much from reading terrible books as you do good ones.

4. Plotter or panster?

I had no idea what a panster was until I just Googled it. Thanks for expanding my knowledge! I guess the smart way of doing things is to be a plotter and plan things out in advance. But I’m more spontaneous than that, so I have to say I’m a panster. Its all well and good having a plan, and I can see why some people prefer to work that way, but I think it stifles you a little. You might have a great idea for a plot twist or a new character, but you’d be reluctant to go with it because it wasn’t in your plan. Storytelling should be more organic.

5. Name three things on your desk right now.

An empty coffee cup, my phone, and a Sun newspaper. I’m one of the few people that still buy newspapers religiously every morning. I read news websites too, but there is nothing quite like opening a newspaper.

6. Do you write to music?

Yes, quite often. I lean towards punk and rock. I like Bouncing Souls, Blink 182, the Ramones, the Clash, that kind of thing. And some classic rock like Dire Straits if I’m feeling more mellow. I can’t write to rap or hip-hop, there are just too many voices, too many words all tumbling over each other.

7. Sushi or cheeseburgers?

Cheeseburgers, every time. I don’t think anybody really likes sushi, they just eat it because they think it’s cool or healthy. Personally I’d rather have 70 years of eating what I want than 80 years of eating so-called healthy food. Food is something that should be enjoyed.

8. What author has had a profound influence on your work?

I wish I had a more original answer to this question. I can make one up, if you want. But the truth is I grew up reading Stephen King, so it has to be him. During my late teens I read his entire back catalogue. My favourites are ‘Salem’s Lot, It, Christine and The Tommyknockers. His work went a little stale in the nineties, but he is back with a vengeance now.

9. In horror today what topics do you think are overdone and what would you like to see more of?

Like everything else, horror follows trends. The success of Twilight saw loads of romantic gothic vampire stories, and at the moment you can’t move for zombies, probably because of the success of the Walking Dead. I don’t think anything is truly original, its all been done before, but there is a difference between unoriginal and overdone.

10. What is the next project on your to do list?

My book X: A Collection of Horror, recently came out. It was compiled from the hundreds of manuscripts I had gathering dust on my hard drive. Most have been published before in different magazines and anthologies, but there are a few originals in there. X2 will follow early next year, and X3 not long after. I’ve also just finished re-writing my first published non-fiction title, Into the Dragon’s Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales. That will hopefully be reissued later in the year.

Follow me on Twitter @CMSaunders01

Or visit my website to say hello!

http://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/



Blurb:

This is what happens when you ‘wake up’ inside a dream, when the urban myth you heard turns out to be so much more, and when that hottie you pick up in a bar springs a terrible surprise. But what do you do when your wife gives birth to something not entirely human? When your past discretions come back to haunt you? Or when a serial killer moves in next door?

The first collection of horror and dark fiction from the critically acclaimed writer C.M. Saunders, including three previously unpublished stories, plus an introduction and extensive notes. Also features exclusive artwork by Greg Chapman.

WARNING: Adult Material.

Table of Contents: Introduction: That's Entertainment, A Thin Disguise, A Hell of my Own Creation, Monkey Man, The Awful Truth, Mr. C, Fame / Infamy: A Deconstruction, Another False Dawn, The Night Everything Changed, The Devil & Jim Rosenthal, Club Culture, Afterword


Bio:

Christian Saunders, who writes dark fiction as C.M. Saunders, began writing in 1997, his early fiction appearing in several small-press titles and anthologies. Following the publication of his first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales (2003), he worked extensively in the freelance market, contributing both fiction and non-fiction to over 40 international publications. His novellas Dead of Night and Apartment 14F: An Oriental Ghost Story are available on Damnation Books, while Devil's Island, is out on Rainstorm Press. Most recently his work has appeared in Morpheus Tales, Gore magazine,Wicked Industries and Siren's Call. He works as a sports writer and blogs for the Huff Post UK. His most recent work is From the Ashes – The REAL Story of Cardiff City Football Club.

Amazon.com link:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Apocalypticon Super Book Blast



Apocalypticon
by Clayton Smith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Three years have passed since the Jamaicans caused the apocalypse, and things in post-Armageddon Chicago have settled into a new kind of normal. Unfortunately, that "normal" includes collapsing skyscrapers, bands of bloodthirsty maniacs, and a dwindling cache of survival supplies. After watching his family, friends, and most of the non-sadistic elements of society crumble around him, Patrick decides it's time to cross one last item off his bucket list.

He’s going to Disney World.

This hilarious, heartfelt, gut-wrenching odyssey through post-apocalyptic America is a pilgrimage peppered with peril, as fellow survivors Patrick and Ben encounter a slew of odd characters, from zombie politicians and deranged survivalists to a milky-eyed oracle who doesn't have a lot of good news. Plus, it looks like Patrick may be hiding the real reason for their mission to the Magic Kingdom...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Excerpt Three:

They stood on the trestles and waved as the train pulled slowly away. Horace blew the whistle in two short bursts and saluted from the engine. When the train had cleared the highway, Ben turned to Patrick and said, “Please tell me you remembered to pack an elevator.”

“Yeah, I did pack it, originally, but then there wasn’t any room for my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, so I took it out. But fear not, young traveler, for I have the next best thing. Rope!” He pulled the nylon rope from his bag triumphantly and let it uncoil over the side of the bridge. It dangled just over the edge of the tracks.

"Brilliant. You brought a really useful three-foot rope."

“Well, I’m going to find a use for it somewhere,” Patrick said, hurriedly stuffing it back into the bag. “You just wait.”

“You think we could jump it?”

“Sure. It’s only twenty feet or so.”

“Are you being sarcastic right now, or serious? I can never tell.”

“This time, I’m being serious, mostly. Twenty feet isn’t that many feet. It’ll probably hurt like hell, but we’ll live. Probably.”

“Words every man wants to hear in a world without doctors,” Ben muttered.

“There are doctors somewhere,” Patrick reminded him. “They’re just not you or me.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Clayton Smith is a sometimes-writer, sometimes-napper based in Chicago, where he uses neither his bachelor’s in journalism nor his master’s in arts management. He is often calamitous, and good at bacon. He lives with his impressively tolerant wife.

Clayton’s previous works include Pants on Fire: A Collection of Lies and the comedic play Death and McCootie, which debuted at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.

Links:

www.StateOfClayton.com

www.twitter.com/Claytonsaurus

www.facebook.com/Claytonsaurus

www.amazon.com/author/claytonsmith

Clayton will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Comment and follow the tour for more chances to win!