Archive for literature

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Review

Posted in Amazon, author reviews, authors, Book Reviews, books, entertainment, Fiction, Horror, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Readers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 19, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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Although Richard Matheson is a name that I am well aware of, this is the first time I have read one of his books.  For those who may not know who Matheson is, you might be familiar with the movies and shows adapted from his work. Television wise, his literature inspired Twilight Zone episodes and a Masters of Horror episode.  Movie wise, his visions inspired: A Stir of Echoes, Legend of Hell House, and I Am Legend.

When I review short story books, I try to give a briefing of each story if it is an anthology.  But, since this isn’t an anthology, I have selected my top favorite stories.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet opens up with an intro from Stephen King.  In these pages, he praises Matheson, saying Matheson’s work has influenced his own.  In many ways, after experiencing this book, I can see where this is so.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is without a doubt the most famous story in this collection.  If you think this title sounds familiar, that’s because of The Twilight Zone.  For the TV episode, William Shatner played a hysteric passenger trapped while in flight.  In the movie version, John Lithgow reenacted Shatner’s iconic role.  No matter how many times I am exposed to this tale, may it be in print, on TV, or in a movie, this reminds me why I hate to fly.  I consider this story to be a great opening for the collection.  It hits hard and jolts the reader with its character development and creativity.

Dress of White Silk is a story that felt psychological.  At the end, I questioned if what was occurring happened, or if it was the imagination of the antagonist.  Despite circumstance’s reality, the tale focuses on a young girl, living with her grandmother.  The girl, whose mother had died, becomes smitten with a silky, white dress that her mother had worn.  Although her grandmother demands she not touch the dress, the antagonist disobeys.  The result of this reveals dark consequences.

Blood Son is a nerve cringing story about a boy obsessed with vampires.  In this tale, there is a brutal monologue that the boy delivers, which is something that I doubt will ever leave my mind.  Since the writing style in this tale is so direct and bitter, I considered it would be a serial killer origin story.  To my surprise, the twist ending was much more than I anticipated.

Disappearing Act is a disturbing installment and is about a man, who one day finds his life is vanishing before him.  As the story progresses, the undoing of his life continues, until its gut wrenching end.  The writing style of Disappearing Act felt claustrophobic with its prose, which was necessary, as it drew to its main focal point.

Long Distance Call was a segment that made my skin crawl.  I found it interesting that Matheson chose his protagonist to be an elderly woman.  Because of his character choice, I experienced new emotions, as my heart went out to her more.  Such as other stories about harassing phone calls, this one builds intensity over time.  Yet, what sets it apart from other similar stories is its supernatural elements.

Dance of the Dead is a title that might sound familiar to the horror fandom.  If you have watched Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead, then you might already know the plot to this one.  If not, the story regards a double date who goes to a bar.  All is fun and games, until the main attraction for the night comes onto stage.  This story hit me as I felt sorry for the performer, and I felt angry for the people who enjoyed what they were seeing.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a torture porn story, but it is ghastly nonetheless.

The Children of Noah plays on a fear I had as a child.  In this phobia, I would come into a town and discover everyone were either maniacs or creatures.  Like other stories similar in plot, a police officer pulls over an outer towner.  The officer arrests him for speeding and forces him to wait for a judge to hear his plea.  Yet, not everything is what it seems.  After reading this one, give yourself a few hours before you continue forward.  This story’s despairing conclusion haunted me for the next few installments.

The Distributer shows the dark side of humanity.  In this tale, a stranger moves into a new neighborhood.  Within a short time, he throws himself into helping the community.  At this same time, he learns everyone’s weaknesses and he antagonizes those weaknesses.  At the story’s conclusion, I felt enthralled by his creativity.  Yet, I hated him for the satisfaction he received from ruining innocent people.  This is a good example of a character that you hate to love.

The Likeness of Julie might sound familiar to old school horror fans.  Remember the movie Trilogy of Terror staring the late, great Karen Black?  This is the story that inspired one of the three tales in that trilogy.  By breaking the ethics of a student/teacher relationship, a teacher accompanies her student to a movie.  Here, the student decides to drug, molest, then blackmail his teacher with photographs.  However, little does he know he has met his match.

Prey is another story adapted by the movie Trilogy of Terror.  Out of all twenty stories in this book, this one hits just as hard as the first tale.  With Prey, we meet a young woman who lives alone.  It is her boyfriend’s birthday and since history is his passion, she buys him a Zuni fetish doll that is possessed by the spirit of a warrior.  This is a tale of cat and mouse that provides haunting visuals throughout between our protagonist and the doll.  For anyone who hasn’t seen Trilogy of Terror, read this story before watching the movie.

From a scale of 1 to 10, one being the worst and ten being the best, it deserves a 9.  Audio narration was a 6 ½, but that didn’t decrease my entertainment.  Also, for anyone wanting to get their teenagers into horror, this would be a decent starter book.  It isn’t gory, it’s not explicit and it doesn’t have gratuitous sex.

 

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HELL YEAH

Posted in author reviews, authors, Book Reviews, books, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, horror literature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2015 by Alexander S. Brown

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One of the rules of horror is to hit the audience hard at the beginning of your work, then save the hardest hit for the conclusion. That rule doesn’t apply with horror author Todd Card.

In Hell Cometh, Mr. Card hits us hard with his opening, and beats us to a bloody pulp from middle to end. The novel opens as a period piece, focusing on America when it was known as “The New World”. The reader is introduced to an Indian tribe who discovers a damnable artifact. Upon innocently playing with this artifact, the gates of Hell burst open and the Indian village is ravished by demonic zombies. After the bloodshed, the wrongs are corrected and the tribe is left picking up the pieces.

We jump forward to modern times and meet a great cast of characters. Some of my favorite characters were Christian, Mert, and Dixie. I felt most connected to Christian, because he was portrayed as a normal teenager, who was typecast as satanic because he was different. I also loved Dixie because despite her flaws, especially with her daughter Venus, she protected what was hers. Finally, there is Mert, which I admire, because he is arguably the lowest outcast of the bunch. This character is mentally underdeveloped and is seen by everyone as a “Simpleton”, however, just because he’s slow, doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of being a hero.  For about 100 pages, great character development is given, and I didn’t feel like the author rambled or over described. He built a cast that I really grew to care about and after becoming acquainted with his characters, all Hell breaks loose.

The Hell scene was one of my favorite scenes, as it was so gruesome I wondered if Todd Card was the reincarnation of the Marquis De Sade.  After witnessing the depths of Hell, the underworld vomits out what used to be a human boy.  I felt this child was very symbolic to the Antichrist. However, this symbolism quickly changes as he gains a partner, and the reader is left with two hell spawns, Adam and Little D, who feel more like a satanic Adam and Eve.

Once Adam and Little D ransack the community, the reader is introduced to cannibalism, torture, murder, and survival. Upon Christian, Mert, and Dixie joining together, we discover that there is a way to close the gates of Hell and send all of the evil back from wince it came.  Yet, to accomplish this, innocent blood must be spilled, and the only three innocent people are Mert, Christian, and Venus.

Until the last sentence, I was biting my nails because these characters were among my favorites, and I knew one had to die. Although, I know who was sacrificed, I won’t share that with you, I don’t like giving away spoilers. You should simply stop your debate and buy Hell Cometh now. You’ll like the characters, the action, and the heart pounding conclusion.

Here’s a link to Hell Cometh via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Cometh-Todd-Card-ebook/dp/B0076BLNGG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429063641&sr=1-1&keywords=hell+cometh+by+todd+card

Book Review for the Novelization of Tamera by Jeffrey Reddick and J.D. Matthews

Posted in Book Reviews, books, entertainment, frightening, Horror, j.d. matthews, jeffrey reddick, literature, readers, reading, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

In September 2014 I attended a literary conference (Imaginarium) in Louisville, KY. To my surprise, not only was I granted the opportunity to meet, but interview horror legend Jeffrey Reddick. During our interview, he mentioned an upcoming novel adaptation of his movie Tamera, which he and J.D. Matthews co-authored. Once I learned about this upcoming work, I had to download and read it as soon as possible. To my expectations and excitement, I was not disappointed during one single moment of reading.

Tamera is a thrill ride in regards to a high school girl who is a witch. Within only the first few chapters, we see the lifestyle Tamera suffers, which includes being a victim of high school bullying and suffering from a broken home. At the end of the day, she is left with nothing more than her witchery and the dream that her English teacher, Mr. Natolly, will eventually love her.

The plot thickens when Tamera takes Mr. Natolly’s advice and writes a school newspaper article about their football team using steroids. After the article is made public, a few of Tamera’s elite classmates decide it is time to teach her a lesson. Yet, their plan to humiliate her gets out of hand and results in her accidental death. Once the bullies bury Tamera in an unmarked grave, they find that their nightmares are just beginning.

For the rest of the book, we are spellbound to every word until there is nothing more to read. In comparison to the movie, this is a good companion book. There are a few scenes that are different from the flick and a few scenes where the actions receive a greater description. Such as the film version of this book, the conclusion provides a cliffhanger that has me chomping at the bits for a sequel.

Throughout Tamera, I enjoyed the character development, the dramatic foreshadowing, and pacing. My favorite element is the fact that Tamera is the kind of villain who you hate to love. For the majority of her actions, she can easily be excused due to what she suffered in life, however, there are a few sequences when the reader sees her go too far. She is the ideal gray character that I love reading about as she is neither good nor bad but an embodiment of the two.

I’m not sure what Mr. Reddick and Mr. Matthews have up their sleeves for the sequel, if a sequel is planned, but I hope to see Tamera return with a bloody vengeance.

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Jeffrey Reddick is a screenwriter best known for creating the Final Destination film franchise. He grew up in Kentucky and attended Berea College, where he studied theatre. Aside from writing, Jeffrey is also an actor, producer and director. Tamara is his first novel.

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J.D. Matthews is a screenwriter, television writer, and novelist who grew up in Los Angeles. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Psychology. Tamara is J.D.’s third novel.

Paranormal Investigator, Horror Author, and Spiritualist Kalila Smith Speaks of Halloween

Posted in author interviews, books, ghosts, Halloween, Horror, Horror Book, interviews, kalilah smith, literature, louisiana author, new orleans, new orleans author, october, paranormal, reading with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Kalila Smith has been a name imbedded in my head since I experienced the New Orleans Ghost Tours.  The first book of hers I ever bought was New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, and Vampires and I was hooked since.  For years, I had wanted to meet her and when I opened the guidelines for Southern Haunts: Spirits that Walk Among Us, I was beyond thrilled to work with her.  The first time I met her face to face was at a convention and we just happened to bump into one another.  We had that pause moment, where we looked at one another like we had known each other for a lifetime.  Then after a huge hug, we immediately clicked, and I have her to thank for my level of spirituality that I now have.  It is my greatest pleasure to interview a woman that I highly respect and that I feel is perfect to feature on my blog during the week of Halloween!

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Kalila was born and raised in New Orleans. She personally researched and wrote the material featured on Haunted History Tours of New Orleans’ Ghost, Vampire and Spellbound tours. She is the author of New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, & Vampires, and Tales from the French Quarter, and Miami’s Dark Tales.  Her newest book is Afterlife Mysteries Revealed.

Her work as an intuitive psychic has been recognized for over 2 decades worldwide.

She has been featured on and worked behind the scenes on  television productions including Travel Daily, Places of Mystery, Secret New Orleans, Unsolved Mysteries, FEAR!, MTV’s On The Road, Blind Date, Hidden New Orleans, Urban Legends, America’s Most Haunted Places, In Search of…, and Supernatural Destinations. She appeared in the motion picture, “The St. Francisville Experience.” She wrote and directed “Journey Into Darkness… The Trilogy”, a video documentary, featured in segment in television broadcast in the US & UK.  And worked on and appeared in the documentary for Sony’s Playstation II game, Ghosthunter. She conducted all of the paranormal investigations for the local television show, “Haunted New Orleans.” She was a producer in the PBS documentary “Southern Haunts” New Orleans episode produced by Sky Dive Films.

Several of her true crime stories were featured in articles in Examiner.com and the National Crime and Punishment Museum Blog page.

Check out her short story “The Bequest” in Southern Haunts; Spirits That Walk Among Us.   Another short story, “The Devil’s Doorway” will be featured in the second Southern Haunts Anthology, and “Bayou Loup,” a werewolf story featured in “Luna’s Children,” a werewolf anthology.

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween is when the veil between our world and the spirit world is the thinnest.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

My most memorable Halloweens are the ones I shared with my kids when they were little.

What was your best Halloween costume? 

I was so busy one year, I just didn’t costume. I didn’t have time, I was worn out but then felt bad that I didn’t take part in the festivities.   When I got to work, I ran to Walgreens’ and picked up some cheap Halloween makeup and put white on my face and dark under my eyes and called myself a zombie!  I did my tours that night and everyone loved it!

What was your worst Halloween costume? 

A couple of years ago I did Medusa with plastic snakes and a wig.  The snakes were painted with a paint that caused my sinuses to close up and the bobby pins were stabbing me in the head.  It turned into the worst headache of my life.  Never again!

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I work and I have worked on Halloween doing ghost tours, séances and readings for 19 years now.

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

Hollywood is usually to blame for giving a bad name to anything mysterious turning into something dark and evil.

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

Well, we do séances and of course say prayers and sing to raise the vibration to keep lower vibrational spirits away.

What frightens you and why? 

New Orleans’ cockroaches.  Why? They fly.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why? 

One of my favorites that scared me beyond words was the Jeepers Creepers. Being stranded on a deserted country road with a monster after you, is pretty creepy. But I’m a classic horror buff. I like old school horror and anything Stephen King!

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Cujo by Stephen King because as I read it, it was as if I was there.   During the car scene I actually felt very trapped and claustrophobic.   He really made that character come to life and it’s so frightening because it could actually happen.  What can be scarier?

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

Both!  Just scare me!

What inspires your more frightening work? 

Legends I heard growing up in the bayous of South Louisiana.   I grew up hearing some really scary stories about ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other monsters.

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

Absolutely! In fact, I’m sitting on a couple of short stories waiting for the right anthology to come along.

Where can we find your work?

www.kalilasmith.com    http://http://darkoakpress.com

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.

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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.

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

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.

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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/