Archive for Author Interview

Find Out What Scares Horror Author Michael West

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, books, frightening, Halloween, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, indiana authors, interviews, literature, michael west, october, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Nearly, a year ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael West.  This introduction was when we began assisting with the podcast known as The Star Chamber Show.  It wasn’t until last September that I had the opportunity to meet him at an event known as Imaginarium.  Although we had the pleasure of speaking many times prior, it was here that we began fanboying out over the horror genre.  With his knowledge regarding scares and monstrosities, I am pleased to have horror author, Michael West on my blog.

 Michael

Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, The Wide Game, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the critically-acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home.

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween has always been a special time of year for me.  When I was a child, it was the fun of dressing up and getting free candy, sure, but it was also a time of year where Horror was actually celebrated.  Turn on just about any TV channel and find a scary movie or Halloween-themed show.  Stores are filled with monster masks and other spooky items.  Creepy, ghoulish stuff is everywhere.  I guess it all comes down to the fact that this is the one time of the year that I don’t feel like an outcast.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

I’ve had so many memorable Halloweens.  It’s hard to pick just one.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

We normally put on a Haunted House in my garage and then have a pizza party for all my friends and family who help me pull it off.  Leading up to the big night, I watch Horror films on AMC and my brother usually holds a themed Halloween Party that I really enjoy.

What was your best Halloween costume?

My best costume was probably me Devil costume from 1991.  I carved cloven hooves out of wood and did actual prosthetic make-up.  That one went over really well and I won Best Costume at a few Halloween parties that year.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

There were a few Halloweens when we lived in an apartment and I worked for a movie theater.  I had to work on Halloween night, so my costume was my manager’s uniform. That was my worst for sure.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative holiday to celebrate.  Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

Some see Halloween as a celebration of darkness and Evil with a capital “E.”  I don’t see it that way at all.  I see it as good, ol’ fun.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Usually, I watch Halloween.

What frightens you and why?

Two of my biggest fears are spiders and being eaten alive, which keep popping up in my fiction too.  I don’t know when the fears started or why.  I’ve had them as long as I can remember.  The other major fear I have is that something will happen to someone I love.  If you love someone, you know what that fear is like.  This person is your world, and the thought of losing them, of what the world would be like with them not in it, is just too horrible to even consider.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

John Carpenter’s Halloween.  It is just about the perfect scare machine.  The lighting, the cinematography, the acting, the score.  Oh, that score.  It just isn’t really Halloween until I sit down to watch it.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.  King introduces to us some of the most memorable, likeable, characters, people you really get to know and feel a connection with, and then he puts them through Hell.  I’ve read it a half a dozen times over the years, and the passage where the vampire child is clawing at the window, begging to be let in, still makes my blood run cold.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like both.  Actually, my favorite stories start off as a slow burn and then end with fast paced, action – packed climaxes.

What inspires your more frightening work?

Sometimes it is a news story.  Other times, an idea just hits me when I least expect it.  Some are based on my own fears and the fears of people I know, and still others are inspired by events from my life.  The car accident from The Wide Game, for example, was based on an actual event that happened to me back in 1987.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

I never set out to write a Horror story.  I like to say that everything I write is a love story, except the thing that threatens to drive people apart is not your normal everyday problems, but the supernatural.  All of my stories tend to have some dark slant to them, so yes, I see my work to continue to involve Horror in one fashion or another.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work at my website, http://www.bymichaelwest.com

My publisher’s website, http://www.seventhstarpress.com/  and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

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Vampire Author Linda DeLeon Speaks of Halloween

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, books, Halloween, holidays, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, texas authors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

The concept of life and death can be interpreted and philosophized in many ways.  Horror author Linda DeLeon has always fascinated me due to her outlook on these subjects and it is these subjects she speaks about in regards to Halloween.  Besides being skilled in the literary world, she has also shown amazing talents with her exploration into the realms that some shy away from, such as palm reading and tarot card divination.  It is a pleasure to introduce to you, my readers, Mrs. Linda DeLeon.

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Linda DeLeon was born in Richland Parish, Louisiana. When she was nine years old, she moved to Vicksburg, MS. She now lives in Dallas, TX with her husband, Rene. Her son, Cody, lives in MS and is currently attending Hinds CC and working toward a career in medicine. Mrs. DeLeon works as a nurse in the emergency room. Taking a dare from a co-worker, she began to write. With the encouragement of her fellow nurses, their entertainment became her obsession. With writing, she could combine her love of history and her deep fascination with vampires. Her endeavors resulted in Fall into Darkness and Veil of Time.

In March, 2014, her first short story Deidless was published in the anthology Southern Haunts 2: Devils in the Darkness. Since then, she has contributed to other anthologies that will be released in 2015. Presently, she is working on the first in a series of books to be published by Pro-Se Productions. Her novels will soon be available through Dark Oak Press.

What does Halloween mean to you?

I love Halloween.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  The days get shorter and nights are longer.  There is nothing I love more than a dreary, cloudy day.  The whole atmosphere is filled with mystery.  What horrors lie just beyond that veil of dense fog.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

There are so many.  One of my favorites was when I dressed my son up for his first Halloween.  He was a black cat.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I decorate and watch as many horror movies as I can.  I love Syfy channel’s 31 Days of Halloween.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Most years, I am a vampire, of course.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I’m sure there are many.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative holiday.  Why do you feel there is so much controversy in regards to this night?

People hate, discriminate, and criticize what they fear and/or do not understand.  I say all the time, and throughout history it rings true, that the basis of hate is fear.  This is an issue in which I have strong feelings about.  It is better if I do not pursue this issue further.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

I welcome the ghosts year round.  As for the rest of the, I simply turn the porch light off.

What frightens you and why?

I have one fear – snakes.

What is your favorite scary movie?

I have many.  I love all vampire movies, unless they are cheesy.  I would have to say my two favorites are Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Sleepy Hollow.

What is your favorite horror book?

I found Stephen King’s The Stand under my desk in 8th grade.  I read it and was hooked.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like a lot of blood and action.  I guess my answer would be fast paced.

What inspires your more frightening work?

I tend to get aggravated easily.  My next thought would be ways to kill someone and hide their body.  I know that is not normal, but it’s me.  What can I say?  I have always felt that my life revolves around death.  Maybe that is why I see things differently than the regular person.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Most definitely. I will keep writing as long as I can.

Where can we find your work?

Right now, my books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  I have just joined two new publishers: Pro Se Productions and Dark Oak Press.  When those works are available, I will list it on my website.  www.ldeleonbooks.com

The Goth Librarian Speaks of Halloween

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, frightening, Halloween, holidays, Horror, Horror Authors, interviews, Memphis, Memphis Authors, october, scary, Steampunk, Tenessee with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Years ago, at the event Southern Fried Comic Con in Jackson, MS, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with author Kimberly Richardson.  Upon this panel, she and I discovered we had quite a bit in common.  After purchasing her book Tales from a Goth Librarian, and she purchasing my book Traumatized, it would be nearly a year before we would see each other again.  The next time we bumped into one another was at Midsouth Con in Memphis, TN.  The first thing we did was hug one another and then fan girl/boy out over how shocking each other’s work was.  It wasn’t long after that I began contributing to her Dreams of Steam Series.  Before we learn what Kimberly Richardson AKA The Goth Librarian thinks of Halloween, here is some of her back story.

Kim

After found as an infant crawling among books in an abandoned library, Kimberly Richardson grew up to become an eccentric woman with a taste for jazz, drinking tea, reading books, speaking rusty French and Japanese, playing her violin and writing stories that cause people to make the strangest faces. Her first book, Tales from a Goth Librarian, was published through Dark Oak Press and named a Finalist in both the USA Book News Awards for Fiction: Short Story for 2009 and the International Book Awards for Fiction: Short Story in 2010. Ms. Richardson is also the author of The Decembrists (Dark Oak Press) and Mabon/Pomegranate (Dark Oak Press), the upcoming books Tales From a Goth Librarian II, The House of Ginkgo and Open A, as well as the editor of Realms of Imagination: An Urban Fantasy Anthology and the award winning Steampunk anthology Dreams of Steam and the award winning sequels Dreams of Steam II: Of Brass and Bolts, Dreams of Steam III: Gadgets and Dreams of Steam IV: Gizmos, and the upcoming Dreams of Steam V, all published through Dark Oak Press. Ms. Richardson is also a contributor to the anthologies BLACK PULP and the upcoming ASIAN PULP, both published through ProSe Press, Garbanzo Literary Journal Volume III, published through Seraphemera Books, and Luna’s Children: Stranger Worlds, a werewolf anthology published through Dark Oak Press. Other short stories and poetry by Ms. Richardson have been published through Sam’s Dot Publishing/Alban Lake Publishing, Midnight Screaming, and FootHills Publishing.  Ms. Richardson is also the Programming Director for Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, a sci-fi convention held in Memphis, Tennessee.

What does Halloween mean to you?

It means a time to say goodbye to the lighter side of Life and to prepare ourselves for the Dark. It is by no means a sad time rather a time of reflection and of magick.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

I don’t really have one; every Halloween has been wonderful!

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I usually just watch a scary movie or pay homage to the dead.  This year, however, I am going to see the Shakespearean play Richard III.  I love that play and this version should be spooky enough!

What was your best Halloween costume?

I dressed up once as a farmer when I was a child, complete with hay stick to chew on!

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad costume.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate.  Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it? Because although there are “spooky” elements associated with the holiday, people think it to mean the Devil and Satanism.  That is simply not the case.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Keep them away? Um, why?

What frightens you and why?

You know what scares me, Alex.  That is my answer!

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

The scariest movie I ever saw was The Orphanage.  Scared me so badly I actually hid behind my coat and cried.  Yes, I really did cry.  Anything dealing with dead children bothers me greatly.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Bag of Bones by Stephen King.  Something about the story touched my soul and wouldn’t let go.  It bothered me to read it but I read the entire thing and, although I’m glad that I did, I will never read it again.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like both, although I tend to write the slow burners.

What inspires your more frightening work?

My imagination and the fact that it has no limits.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Um, is that a trick question? LOL

Purchase works by Kimberly Richardson by visiting the following URL:

http://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Richardson/e/B006VEN2M2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1413606560&sr=1-5

Horror Author Dean Harrison Speaks of Halloween

Posted in Alabama Authors, Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, Dean Harrison, Halloween, holidays, Horror, october, scary, south, southern authors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

In early 2014 at Mobicon in Mobile, Alabama, I had the opportunity of meeting and paneling with horror author Dean Harrison.  When I decided to do my Halloween interviews in regards to the world of arts and literature, Mr. Harrison was one of the top names that came to mind.  Not only is he a great horror author, but his knowledge regarding Halloween and the horror genre is favorable to all who enjoy thrills and chills.

Dean Harrison is a longtime fan of horror fiction. Though he’s spent time out in the “real world” working as a shoe salesman, a security guard, an investigator, a loss prevention detective and a journalist, he’s consistently returned to what he loves doing most – writing horror fiction. His short stories can be found in the horror anthologies:

FEM-FANGS, FELL BEASTS, RELICS & REMAINS, and CHRISTMAS IN HELL. His debut novel is THESE UNQUIET BONES. More is to come.

Dean lives with his family in his hometown of Mobile, AL, a city rich in ghost stories.

 dean

What does Halloween mean to you?

It means good times for my inner child. It means dressing up as my favorite monster for a little trick or treat, and a little mischief on a night lit with jack-o-lanterns, plagued with bats, and haunted by ghosts, goblins, and other delightful horrors.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

Honestly, no one Halloween from my childhood sticks out as most memorable. They were all a lot of fun: trick or treating with my three siblings and friends from the old neighborhood, enjoying the brisk night air, the spooky decorations, and the suspense of wondering just who, or what, might jump from the shadows and scream BOO, the goose bumps. And then there’s going home to watch scary movies and snack on candy, while my imagination continues to run wild with every creak and bump I hear in the dark.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

My wife and I go to a friend’s house for a big Halloween bash. There’s a roaring bonfire by a placid river, jack-o-lanterns burning under mossy oaks, food, drinks, music, dancing, and mischief. Plenty of mischief. It’s a blast. And of course, we all wear costumes. That’s a requirement.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Werewolf. I do believe I freaked people out, even unwittingly scared a couple of kids (nieces and nephews included).

What was your worst Halloween costume?

For one Halloween party I dressed in all black and wore a silver skull mask. After a while at the party I got frustrated with the mask, because it’s kind of difficult to eat, drink, and socialize while wearing one. So when anyone asked what I was supposed to be, I said I was Bob Seger.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate. Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

I think it boils down to an ignorance, or misunderstanding, of Halloween’s history, especially among some religious groups. Personally, I don’t believe Halloween bothers God. I come from a Catholic upbringing, and my family celebrates Halloween. I have fond memories of the Halloween bizarre the Catholic school I attended (from preschool to eighth grade) put on every fall. We got to wear our Halloween costumes and play cool games, win cool prizes. I even remembered a haunted house they built in the gym one year. It was a lot of spooky fun. It wasn’t until high school (my introduction to the public school system) that I discovered some churches frowned upon the holiday, but that’s their problem. We Catholics love Halloween.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Keep them away? Hell, I invite them in and offer a drink!

What frightens you and why?

What I see and read in the news, because it’s real. The horror novels I read, the movies I watch, they don’t frighten me because I know they’re fiction. It’s the horror taking place in the world that terrifies me, because it is actually happening. It’s real. Wars, terrorism, diseases, economic turmoil, violent crime, and natural disasters; hearing about it fills me with a dull sinking dread, and the only way to escape it is to choose not to pay attention, but I don’t like to be uniformed.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

Halloween, because it is a true horror classic that never fails to give me chills. And it doesn’t rely on shock and disgust, blood and guts, to terrify. It uses sound, suspense, and atmosphere to raise the hairs and prickle the skin.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

John Farris’s SON OF THE ENDLESS NIGHT, because it is an epic horror read. Think THE EXORCIST but on a much larger scale. I highly recommend it, and Farris’s writing is gripping and brilliant.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like for there to be build up, but I don’t like a story to drag, so I guess I’m somewhere in between. Plus, it depends on my mood.

What inspires your more frightening work?

My nightmares.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

I have projects in the works.

Where can we find your work?

I have short stories published in various horror anthologies, and a novel (THESE UNQUIET BONES) published by Omnium Gatherum. You can find my work here:

http://www.amazon.com/Dean-Harrison/e/B008F18L70/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1412386005&sr=8-2

and here:

http://deanmharrison.wordpress.com/

Artist Phil Good Shares His Halloween Memories and Thoughts on Halloween’s Controversy

Posted in artist interview, discussion, gay artist, Halloween, holidays, Horror, horror art, interviews, october, ozarks with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

In 2013, while signing books in the Ozarks, I met a fantastic artist whose horror inspired equality signs captivated me. Finding his technique unique and fun, he and I struck up a conversation that regarded the horror and Halloween culture. Our conversations had been so favorable, they continue well into the night hours. And now, I hope that you can enjoy some of the same topics we discussed on that cold Ozarks night.

I would like to introduce everyone to my friend Phil Good. He is an artist who describes himself as, “having no origin, and is a regular fagabond, or hobosexual… a real nomad journeying as far and wide, physically, as well as creatively. His works are collected for limited viewing due to the masses’ inability to deal with such splendor… honestly, though, it’s just a thing of constantly creating and zero time to get a website going.”

A “like”-able Facebook page *is* underway.”

Currently, you can contact Phil Good by the following URL:

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

Phil Good

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween has always been a huge inspiration, a world all its own. I’ve always been into the spooky, yet I’ve never had a sense of community, so it really felt like MY own little world… and I was VERY okay with that. Since then, especially with social media, it’s been refreshing connecting with other like-minded sorts… making up for lost time, I’m sure.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

The most memorable would have to’ve been when I was 20. I had no time and had next-to-no money, donned a crappy batman cape and cowl, wore my pajamas, and went with my friend Darin, who’d dressed as a nun. It was ridiculous, not at ALL spooky, but definitely the most memorable. My most IDEAL Halloween has yet to be realized.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

Depends on who’s around, though I make sure I spin the hits, the personal favorites (movie-wise). I try to hit a haunted house, but it’s generally kept pretty simple.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Shaye St. John, hands-down (or, mannequin-hands-down). I was in LA, walked the streets with friends to West Hollywood and I had complete strangers come up to me, recognizing the character. Because I can sound like I’ve sucked in a bunch of helium, they thought I *WAS* Shaye. Look her up – she’s a DELIGHT of the most bizarre sort!

What was your worst Halloween costume?

Definitely, without a doubt, “Batboy”.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate. Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

Because it’s not about The Ever-Grumpy, but Loving, Sky Daddy. To many, it’s about the other guy. I’ve since given up any subscription to all that crazy, as I have enough on my own. Remove the obvious, religious element, and you’re left with simple people believing that violence in the world comes from SOMEWHERE, and people are quick to believe it’s from media (comics, movies, games). That makes sense, because that crap is EVERYWHERE… however, it starts in the home, with the parenting, and what the kids are taught. I’m not a dad, but I’ve manned for YEARS, and anytime I have an opportunity to do so, I try to teach kids to NOT be afraid of things like the dark, or monsters. Fear is a tool too often used by terrible people, and Halloween is a time to, in a way, embrace or even BECOME what scares you. Once you have power over your fear, it cannot control you… sounds trite, but VERY true.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Please. I welcome them to all of my slobbery make-out parties. I offer them the elderly as party favors, though.

What frightens you and why?

The words “syrup” and “coco”. They’re just dreadful. I avoid pancakes and crappy chocolate powder mixes just so I don’t have anxiety attacks upon reading those loathsome words. I – – no. I’m done. Moving on.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was 5 years old when I saw it (don’t ask me how I’d managed it), but I pretty much fell in love with Johnny Depp and Heather Langenkamp; both for different reasons. The story itself was just so unbelievably dark, and the way Krueger functioned and understood the fears of his victims… it was all scary. SO scary in concept, alone. BTDubz, Never Sleep Again is a BRILLIANT documentary about the ENTIRE series if you’ve never seen it.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and its two follow-ups. The stories were just GREAT, and the art only made it better… I appreciate reading, but enjoy art to drive a story further. In a lotta cases, that’s spoon-feeding the brain, but I just have a higher appreciation for visual art.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

Totally different beasts, and I appreciate both. However, slow-burns provide the time necessary to get to know a character as they make their way through, hopefully, a good mystery. The horror is the consequence of NOT figuring out the mystery. I am sooner taken by House of the Devil, Repulsion, or the Americanised The Ring because there’s a real sense of dread throughout those films, whereas movies like Friday the 13th are ALL about body count… but those allow some pretty great creativity to happen, and I love that, also.

What inspires your more frightening work?

My nightmares… or, y’know… a stray thought.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Yes. Big yes.

Author Guest H. David Blalock Reflects on Halloween

Posted in author interviews, Fiction, H.David Blalock, Halloween, Horror, Horror Anthology, Horror Book, Horror Books, Independent Horror, interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

At last, October is here. Although I plan to contribute more reviews on Halloween themed entertainment, I thought it would be fun to invite a few authors and artists throughout October to share their views and memories of Halloween.

Our first featured guest is a prolific author known by his fans as H. David Blalock. His writing talents are superb examples of diversity within the literary world. Some of his horror stories can be found in the anthologies Southern Haunts: Spirits that Walk Among Us and Southern Haunts 2: Devils in the Darkness. Look for his name again in the upcoming Southern Haunts 3: Magic in the Moonlight. Even though these are only a few titles, be sure to check out his series The Angel Killer Triad, now available where books are sold.

Before we jump into our interview, here is a little back story on Mr. Blalock:

david

Born in San Antonio, Texas, David spent the majority of his formative years in Jacksonville, Florida. At the age of 16, his family moved to the Panama Canal Zone where David finished school and entered employment with the Department of Defense as a Powerhouse Electrician. Hiring into the FAA, he returned with his wife and two daughters to the States and settled briefly in Gulfport, MS. He later moved to Memphis, TN, as an Air Traffic Controller for the Memphis ARTCC where he remained until retirement.

David’s writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines, webzines, and writer’s sites. For more information on David, his work and appearances, visit his website: www.thranKeep.com .

What does Halloween mean to you?

Not nearly as much today as it did when I was young. Nowadays I don’t see as much meaning in it as I did when trick or treating was my main goal. Today, it’s just another holiday.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

We used to have some remarkable Halloween parties. At one in particular, I remember a bonfire that precipitated a particular set of events, including: a significant amount of liquor, several attendees, a can of gasoline, a large blue flash, melted boot soles, and the first and only time I have ever seen a human being jump straight up in the air and then be displaced several feet before hitting the ground, running at full speed.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I usually spend it quietly, sometimes with friends and family. I live in an area where there are few kids and we seldom have visitors, so I enjoy the quiet time.

What was your best Halloween costume?

When I was a boy I probably had a couple but I can’t remember. I’ve slept since then.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I would have to say the one I wore a few years ago, during one of our Halloween parties: the Kingpin from the Spiderman comics. Don’t ask.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate. Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

Because it has a religious background to it. The real name of the holiday is “All Hallow’s Eve” and it is actually supposed to be the first of the days that is reserved for praying for the dead. The others are All Saints Day (Nov 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov 2). By associating the sacred days with pagan symbols, ghosts, ghouls, etc. those who object are scandalized.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

I find that a good single-malt whiskey does wonders.

What frightens you and why?

I find today’s splatterpunk and gore off-putting, not because it’s repulsive but because it has nothing to do with real fear. To me the fear of death is humanity’s common understanding of its mortality. What really frightens me is not what I know is inevitable but what I don’t know: the unknown. Will it kill me or will it do something that might make me wish I were dead? Worse, will it do something that will affect me beyond that veil?

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

The Robert Wise film The Haunting (1963), co-written by Shirley Jackson and Nelson Gidding. It was based on The Haunting of Hill House and did a fantastic job conveying the atmosphere and emotion from the novel while maintaining an understated quality that made the fear that much more exaggerated to me.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

I really can’t nail that one down. I have many favorite horror authors. Lovecraft, Maachen, Bierce, Dunsany, Chambers, Campbell… I could go on and on.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

The slow burners are my favorites. They build atmosphere and let you become part of the story before digging in with their claws.

What inspires your more frightening work?

I like to think I’ve continued the ideas and concepts put forward by the masters of the first half of the 20th century. Psychological horror to me is much more effective than just the shock value of today.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Yes. I look forward to writing more and editing more in the next few years than I have done in the past.

Where can we find your work?

I have work available from several different publishers. Most of my work is available from Amazon (a list of currently available titles is at http://www.amazon.com/H.-David-Blalock/e/B00JPGRLAM/) and all online booksellers as well as the publisher websites. My website (www.thrankeep.com) has links to work at webzines.