Archive for Horror Fiction

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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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.