Gobble Gobble – Florin Nicoara #BookReview

Title: Gobble Gobble: A Tale of Thanksgiving Terror | Author: Florin Nicoara | Publisher: N/A | Pub. Date: Unknown | Pages: 105 | Genre: Animal Horror | Triggers: None | Rating: 1 out of 5 | Source: Self-Purchased


Gobble Gobble: A Tale of Thanksgiving Terror!!!

Gobble Gobble is a hilarious horror-comedy that will turn your thanksgiving delight into one hell of a day of fright. It is a terrible tale unlike any other you have ever been told before. Tread only if you dare because it will twist your mind and lay your soul bare; gobble-gobble!!!

A group of high school seniors embark on a field tip the day before Thanksgiving to visit a humane environmentally-green turkey farm for extra credit, but instead discover a sinister secret government lab where genetic engineering has run a mock and turned the human turkey relationship into a banquet of hilariously frightening insanity. If you thought Halloween was scary, wait until Thanksgiving!!!

Gobble Gobble: A Tale of Thanksgiving Terror Review

Since I recently mentioned Gobble Gobble on our Ten Holiday-Themed Horror Books but hadn’t read it yet I figured what more apropos day to review it on? I figured the worst that could happen was a goofy Animal Genetics Gone Wild sort of book in the vein of Black Sheep. I was so, so wrong.

That story might have been in there…somewhere. But between the weird writing, terrible grammar and bizarre formatting it got lost. Possibly eaten by turkeys. The writing bounces through the tenses like a bouncy ball and sometimes even strays into what reads like a screenplay. Character descriptions are a bit strange in places. Such as a girlfriend and boyfriends being described thus “Josh, Jaime’s boyfriend, who looks like her twin brother, from another mother“. Okey dokey. Since neither are described at all you’ll just have to use your imaginations. Every stereotype imaginable is on full display from the pot-bellied, no-nonsense Sheriff to his trusty, clean-cut Deputy Andy.

It was a hilarious story but probably not in the way they were intending. The grammar, spelling and weird capitalization of random words makes it amusing, at least. The words Apple, Man and others are capitalized for no real reason. The awkward formatting I’m willing to give a pass on as it can be hard to do yourself and costs money to have someone else do but there were very long          spaces between words. The spelling errors go far beyond the (unfortunately) usual they’re/their/there variety. I was very amused when the Professor pulled some files out of his “murse”.

In a way it was enthralling because it was hard to look away. I couldn’t help but read on to see what new and exciting combinations of words they would come up with. Unless you find it for free I would give it a wide berth.

Twilight Zone Tuesday: A Most Unusual Camera

A Most Unusual Camera

Chester Diedrich – Fred Clark
Paula Diedrich – Jean Carson
Woodward – Adam Williams
Pierre the Waiter – Marcel Hillaire
Narrator – Rod Serling


A very snazzily dressed blond is sitting on a couch, reading an article from a newspaper about an antique shop that’s been burglarized. The police surmise that the burglar must have had an accomplice, to which she gives herself a proud *ahem*, and the thieves jimmied the lock, entered and began “to remove items from the shelves”. Well, yes, that is in general how burglaries work. The items listed as being stolen are two vases from the Ming Dynasty (to which Chester replies that they’re more like Garage Sale Dynasty and throws them on the floor), a silver set, a Louis XIV candelabra, a Queen Anne chest and 3 Picasso’s.

Chester points out that the candelabra is a fake, the ‘silver set’ is World War II surplus and the paintings (which are of a horse, a city-scape and one more that I can’t tell what it is) are posters in frames. Sounds like the store is going to make out better from them being ripped off than the thieves made out with. Paula says they forgot to list something and pats an antique camera. Chester says it at least fits with the rest of the haul. An antique camera for nothing that’s worth nothing.

SERLING:
A hotel suite that, in this instance, serves as a den of crime. The aftermath of a rather minor event to be noted in a police blotter, an insurance claim, perhaps a three inch box on page 12 of the evening paper. Small addenda to be added to the list of the loot. A camera. A most unimposing addition to the flotsam and jetsam that it came with. Hardly worth mentioning, really. Because cameras are cameras. some expensive, some purchasable at 5-and-Dime stores. But this camera, this one’s unusual, because in just a moment we’ll watch it inject itself into the destinies of three people. It happens to be a fact that the pictures that it takes can only be developed in The Twilight Zone.

Chester picks up the camera and says ten years ago you could get one for $.39 and he’s got to grab one in a heist.There’s no place to put the film in and it has “crazy foreign writing” on it. I’m no expert but it looks like it says,”Dix a La Proprietaire” “Ten per owner’. He decides to give it a go anywas and tells his honey to go pose by the window. She strikes a pose (they even go through the whole “say cheese” thing) and he takes the picture but nothing seems to happen.

Chester says the whole haul is worth maybe five bucks and they’ll only get a buck or so from a fence. I may not be up on all of the criminal underground workings but since the items they stole were not reported correctly and are worth so little, why would they need a fence at all? I thought those were for items that were risky to move. Chester gripes a bit about her and her “curio shops”. She says he’s the one that fingered it, cased it and did all the planning. Chester says right back that she’s the one who wanted to try a curio shop because they have more “objects d’art” than a hock shop would. And all they have to show for it is 400 pounds of junk. Either he’s exaggerating or they made a lot of back and forth trips. In the middle of Chester’s griping they hear a whirring and a ‘ding’ from the camera. A picture pops out. Chester stares at it for a bit and Paula asks how she looks. He doesn’t answer so she toddles over to him.

She asks what the deal is (although she should be able to see the picture clearly from where she’s standing) She says it turned out nice and clear. He tells her to go look in the mirror. She asks if he has a few buttons loose. He tells her to just go and look. The picture shows her wearing a fur coat which she (quite obviously) does not have on at the moment. Paula wants to know what’s up with that but Chester doesn’t know.

Then he gets an idea! Chester says that it’s a gag camera, like the cardboard cut-outs at carnivals. The pictures inside already have pictures painted on them so when they take a picture it looks like she’s wearing a fur coat. I can’t even begin to explain how dumb that is. First, the coat would have to be painted as realistically as possible, take into account the way the person might be standing and a whole bunch of other technical crap I’m sure it is possible to pre-paint a picture but I highly doubt that you could do it that precisely.

He calls it kind of cute then they decide to clear up the rest of the junk. Starting with the “Queen Anne” trunk. Chester asks if there’s a key with it and she says no, “he’ll have to open it in his own inimitable style” a bit sarcastically. Chester tells her that she has a nasty disposition and Paula responds that “it’s because she’s married to a nickel and dime heister that wouldn’t know a real diamond from a baseball”. Chester says that he’s paying for their $28 dollar a night room out of profits that he’s collected over a lifetime of hustling, much of that she wasn’t even in the picture for. He goes on to say that he needs her like he needs a three-time conviction. As they’re bickering, he’s trying to jimmy the lock open and finally gets it.

Paula snatches out a full-length fur coat and puts it on. She says they’re not taking it to any fence, this belongs to little old Paula. She dances around the room with it a bit, ending up at the window and (surprise, surprise) strikes the same pose as in the picture. Chester is comparing the picture to her. She wants him to cue her in and let her know what the matter is. Apparently she hasn’t connected the picture and the coat yet. Even I’m finding the (extremely) dumb blonde thing offensive at this point. They stare at the picture for a second and then turn to look at the camera.

Now it’s nighttime and Paula is in her tasteful single bed. No sharing bedsies! Chester is sitting at a table studying the camera intently. She tells him to quit staring at it and come back to bed. Chester asks if she wants him to just forget about it. I have to agree. I’d want to know what the heck was going on with it, too. Paula says big deal, it’s a crazy camera that takes pictures of things that aren’t there. Chester says yeah, things that aren’t there…yet. But they do happen. She says it’s just a lousy camera and takes a random picture of the door to their room. There. No lightning. Therefore it’s just a plain old camera. Um, ok. Nothing happened the first time either there, Scully. Chester says he doesn’t want to drop it (probably a good idea since it would break the camera. I know, that was bad). It could have been made by sorcerer’s or witches and be stuffed full of black magic. Actual quote. Now I would probably jump to that conclusion but it’s odd that he does.

As Paula is trying to talk him out of it the camera pops up it’s picture. It’s a man, entering their door. Paula says that it’s her brother Woodward. He agrees that it’s her cheap, no-good brother. Paula says that can’t be right because Woodward’s in jail for 7 years for breaking and entering. Since he only went in a year ago it’s impossible. She says it’s throwing them a curve. Maybe it’s only somebody that looks like Woodward. Chester says nobody look like Woodward. I’d have to agree. Paula says she’s so scared she’s palpitating. Um, ok. Chester says a little palpitating never hurt anybody. The camera’s obviously wonky. There’s no way Woodward can be there and he isn’t going to be and that’s that.

As soon as Chester is done with his speech the doorknob turns and in walks Woodward. He says he didn’t want to wake them so he jimmied the hotel door open. But you didn’t think walking into their bedroom unannounced might wake them? He and a couple of guys broke out in a laundry truck so he was wondering if he could stay with them for a couple of days. They just keep staring at him in bewilderment. He was thinking that if he was around they wouldn’t fight so much. That’s actually a sweet thought. Chester doesn’t say anything, just hands Woodward the picture. At first Woodward is all jazzed up about science and stuff but then he realizes that they didn’t take his picture when he came in so…how did they get it?

They are all sitting around, staring at the camera and trying to figure out what to do with it. Chester says that if you tried to tell the truth and sell it, they’d laugh at you and put you away. Or burn you at the stake. I’m starting to wonder how old Chester is. People aren’t generally burnt at the stake anymore. Woodward’s idea is to sell tickets. Chester has a moment of nobility. He says they’re three small-time heisters who actually have the chance to do something good, like give the camera to science. They could do something for humanity. Paula wants to know what humanity has ever done for them. He says that’s what he’s talking about. Summed up, they’re greedy bastards and they have the chance to change that. Somehow I don’t think his noble spirit will last very long.

They all have a moment of imagining saying, “Here, world. A gift from Chester Diedrich and his wife (and Woodward, too).” Chester sends Woodward off to watch tv while he and the wife have serious dreams. Woodward decides to turn on the horse races. And he’s sitting so close to the tv he might as well be on top of it. The races catch Chester’s attention aaaand the noble spirit’s gone. wow. that took less time than I thought. Chester is struck with a brilliant idea. His idea is to take a picture of the winning board before it’s announced. Woodward doesn’t get it and it takes Paula a minute or two. To which her brilliant addition is ‘We take a picture and then we look at it!” They take another full minute to lay it out word by word for Woodward then pool their money. They all grab their coats and it’s off to the races.

At the races they get a good seat and take a picture of the board. So far, so good. They find out the winner is Tidy Too (wtf kind of name is that?) and head off to bet. We get some non-tense shots of the race and them cheering (or chanting) for, ugh, Tidy Too.Tidy Too wins, of course, and they get a *ahem* tidy sum of money, $9,600 of it. Call me a cheat but it’s not a bad plan. It is cheating a bit but they’re not knee-capping anyone for it nor threatening anyone nor drugging any horses. They take a few more pictures and get stacks of money. i’m curious since I’ve never really been to a horse race. Did they actually give out stacks of cash, even in 1960? it also seems to me that if they have been doing this on the same day, at the same track and are consistently winning on the long shots, that they would be getting an unpleasant visit from some very unpleasant people.

Back at the hotel they’re busy enjoying their ill-gotten booty (or ill-booten gotty. Sorry, too much M*A*S*H). Paula is all sparkly with a mink stole. Woodward is in a new checked suit, chowing down and Chester is on the phone, special ordering a car. Which costs $11,000. Holy crap. I’d take two, also. There’s a knock on the door whom they assume to be the waiter, which it is. And like idiots they have the money lying everywhere. Gee, wonder what will happen there? As Pierre is picking up the dishes he notices the camera. Then, after speaking a little French he asks them what happens when they use up the ten pictures? They brush it off at first but then ask him to repeat himself. He tells them that “Dix a La Proprietaire” means “10 to an Owner” (thank you 10th grade French Class). Pierre goes on to say that he presumes that means you can only take ten pictures. Very odd. Chester reminds Pierre about the champagne Madame Paula ordered and rushes him out.

In a panic they start to count up the pictures that they’ve taken. They figure out that they have taken eight so they only have two left. These kinds of arbitrary numbers always make me wonder. Whom is considered the owner? Does it count for just one, two or all three? After Chester was done (since he was the one to take the first picture) could he pass it on to Paula? And then from her to Woodward? It bugs me. What do you guys think? Chester thinks Pierre is wrong (unlikely), Paula is more concerned that they only have two pictures left and Woodward votes to sell it. Chester tells Woody to shut up, it’s not even his. Chester says they should use them at the track, Paula votes for saving them for a rainy day (which seems the sensible thing to do) and Woodward again says they should sell it. That seems the dumbest course of action, to me. They all start playing tug of war with the camera (ijits) and accidentally take a picture. Sigh.

Chester is ticked that he wasted a picture and Paula starts palpitating again. Chester says she has phony palpitations and a dumb brother. Woodward says he doesn’t have to take that. Well, since you have contributed absolutely nothing then, yeah, you can either shut up or leave. Fortunately, Woodward is easily placated with a drink. The camera whirrs and the picture pops up. It shows a terrified Paula with her hands up. I thought it was about time they turn on each other (although it has been well set up that Chester doesn’t like Woodward so I can’t fault them there). Chester says that Paula is screaming because someone is trying to do something to her husband. Although, to be fair, she only looks mildly distressed, not screaming in terror. He obviously suspects Woodward of trying to pull something. Chester whips out an itsy bitsy knife (that actually looks familiar, I think I might have one) and starts to advance on Woodward. Paula tells him to stop. Woodward says she’s screaming because someone’s trying to kill her brother. Although through this Paula is not screaming but very mildly begging them to chill out.

They grapple together and end up falling out of the window together. Paula is briefly saddened at the loss of her brother and husband. She says that there’s nothing left for her…except for the piles of money she sits down next to. She packs away her grief as quickly as she starts to pack away the money. As she;s packing up the money she notices the camera. And for some bizarre reason decides to use the last picture to take a picture of their splatted corpses on the sidewalk. Okey dokey. Not my last choice to use it on. She tells them to both rest in piece(s) and gives the camera a smooch.

Pierre strolls in to take away the ‘laundry’ and starts packing the money away in a bag. She threatens to call the cops but Pierre implies that with the two dead gentlemen outside she might get herself in a bind. Oh, please. Unless she has a warrant all she would have to do is bat an eye, produce a few years and she’s be fine. Pierre declares that the money is now up for grabs. Because somehow, in the five minutes that he’s been gone, he’s checked on her, her husband and brother and found out they were all wanted. Well, the husband and brother hardly matter anymore. Realistically she could say that she wanted to go to the police, he brother tried to stop her, he and her husband fought and boom, not guilty.

Pierre is kind enough to tell her that with the mess in the courtyard downstairs Miss Paula might want to get out of there before the police come. He even snatches the little paper bag out of her hand. Damn dude, you could have at least left her that! He decides to be a gentleman and leave her with the last picture. Although, as he looks at it he says there are more than two bodies in the courtyard. Paula runs to look and trips over a lamp cord and takes a header out the window herself. Pierre can’t resist a peek at the bodies and counts them in the picture. He’s stunned that there are four bodies, not just three. He drops the camera and screams off-screen, joining the others on the sidewalk, presumably. Although how, I don’t know. He was several steps from the window so unless, like an idiot, he stumbled backward in shock, he really shouldn’t have. The camera lies on the floor.

SERLING:
Object known as a camera. Vintage uncertain, origin unknown. But, for the greedy, the avaricious, the fleet of foot who can run a four-minute mile so long as they’re chasing a fast buck, it makes believe that it’s an ally, but it isn’t that at all. It’s a beckoning come-on for a quick walk around the block in the Twilight Zone.


Despite Mr. Serling’s condemnation of the camera I can’t help but feel that there have been a few times in my life when I could have used that camera. Perhaps not for money so maybe that’s all he’s condemning. If anyone has noticed the change in quality of the film it was because the studio decided to switch from actual film to another, cheaper type. Much to the displeasure of Rod Serling. I have to agree. Season Two looks a little strange when compared with Season One. It’s more evident in certain episodes. The next episode was to be “The Night of the Meek” but I’m pushing that one back a few weeks until it’s more seasonally appropriate.


So, join us next week on Twilight Zone Tuesday for episode 12 – “Dust” which is a very good one. And will probably be quite long because I have a lot to say on it.

Before Twelve #YouTubeShort

Before Twelve Synopsis: A woman and her family fight for their lives when they meet face to face with the entity responsible for human suffering.

Tagline: Your nights will never be the same

Written & Directed By: Milton Dewar

Starring: Thea McCartan, Christina Shipp

Release Date: 02/2005 | Uploaded Date: 08/22/2016 | Runtime: 24 min. |  Coolthulhus Earned: 3

 

Before Twelve has the distinction of being the first horror short to be reviewed here at Sci-Fi & Scary. I’ve mentioned them before in the trivia sections of This is Horror but this is the first full-on review. It also seems to be an early film for all involved so even grinchy old me will go a little easier on it.

The concept of Before Twelve was pretty interesting. The basic idea is that 666 breaks down into 18 = 18 hours of the day belong to people but the hours between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. belong to the powers of evil. It’s an interesting idea and I could see it being a decent movie hook if expanded properly.

The direction, editing and scoring for Before Twelve are very good. There are no extra scenes to drag it out and each scene is very clear in its purpose. The cinematography, while not stunning, is very capable. And really, there’s only so much you can do with city and house scenes. There’s just not much to work with.

The Entity is kind of your basic hooded figure and the camera has no trouble showing it. However (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) this might be a movie where a little more mystery would have been better. Thea McCartan and Christina Shipp as sisters Diane and Heather are a little awkward together but it works for the short.

There are a few issues with Before Twelve, however. The quality seems as though a low-grade film was used and then coupled with a blue filter for night. I could be wrong but in one scene where it’s supposed to be night, the window behind Heather is lit up like it’s mid-afternoon. So they either have one heck of a security light or aliens are landing.

Unfortunately the character who carries much of the story is Heather. I’m sure Ms. Shipp has improved as an actress (this was her first role) so, again, I’m not going to be too harsh but her performance just wasn’t very convincing. Even while telling her sister of an upsetting experience she has a very flat voice with no real emotion to it. Thea McCartan as the older sister, Diane did quite well for it being her first outing as  well. The worst that I can say is (and this could be something in the sound department) that while her words are clear, there’s this weird clicking noise that sounds exactly like she has a cough drop or candy in her mouth.

All in all, Before Twelve is an enjoyable watch. I have to admit that I’ve seen better but I’ve also seen much, much worse. If you have a spare twenty minutes I suggest giving it a watch.

Where Nightmares Come From #BookReview

Title: Where Nightmares Come From | Edited by: Eugene Johnson and Joe Mynhardt | Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing | Pub. Date: 11/17/2017 | Pages: 366 | ASIN: B0776MT1LY | Genre: Horror, Non-Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Received from Crystal Lake Publishing for review consideration


Where Nightmares Come From

THE ART OF STORYTELLING IN THE HORROR GENRE

Book one in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series, Where Nightmares Come From focuses on the art of storytelling in the Horror genre, taking an idea from conception to reality—whether you prefer short stories, novels, films, or comics.

Featuring in-depth articles and interviews by Joe R. Lansdale (Hap & Leonard series), Clive Barker (Books of Blood), John Connolly (Charlie Parker series), Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King (IT), Christopher Golden (Ararat), Charlaine Harris (Midnight, Texas), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger series), Kevin J. Anderson (Tales of Dune), Craig Engler (Z Nation), and many more.

The full non-fiction anthology lineup includes:
• Introduction by William F. Nolan
• IT’S THE STORY TELLER by Joe R. Lansdale
• A-Z OF HORROR of Clive Barker
• WHY HORROR? by Mark Alan Miller
• PIXELATED SHADOWS by Michael Paul Gonzalez
• LIKE CURSES by Ray Garton
• HOW TO GET YOUR SCARE ON by S.G. Browne
• STORYTELLING TECHNIQUES by Richard Thomas
• HORROR IS A STATE OF MIND by Tim Waggoner
• BRINGING AN IDEA TO LIFE by Mercedes M. Yardley
• THE PROCESS OF A TALE by Ramsey Campbell
• GREAT HORROR IS SOMETHING ALIEN by Michael Bailey
• A HORRIFICALLY HAPPY MEDIUM by Taylor Grant
• INTERVIEW WITH JOHN CONNOLLY by Marie O’Regan
• THE STORY OF A STORY by Mort Castle
• WRITING ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW with Christopher Golden, Kevin J. Anderson, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia
• HOW I SPENT MY CHILDHOOD LOOKING FOR MONSTERS AND FOUND POETRY INSTEAD by Stephanie M. Wytovich
• BITS AND PIECES INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN MABERRY by Eugene Johnson
• THE REEL CREEPS by Lisa Morton
• THE MONSTER SQUAD by Jess Landry
• WHAT SCARES YOU by Marv Wolfman
• PLAYING IN SOMEONE ELSE’S HAUNTED HOUSE by Elizabeth Massie
• CREATING MAGIC FROM A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER: Del Howison interviews Tom Holland, Amber Benson, Fred Dekker, and Kevin Tenney
• Z NATION: HOW SYFY’S HIT SHOW CAME TO LIFE by Craig Engler
• LIFE IMITATING ART IMITATING LIFE: FILM AND ITS INFLUENCE ON REALITY by Jason V Brock
• WHERE NIGHTMARES COME FROM by Paul Moore
• STEPHEN KING AND RICHARD CHIZMAR DISCUSS COLLABORATING by Bev Vincent
• CHARLAINE HARRIS DISCUSSES STORYTELLING by Eugene Johnson
• WHAT NOW? by John Palisano
This collection is perfect for…
• writers of all genres
• authors looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• authors seeking guidance
• struggling authors searching for career advice
• authors interested in improving their craft
• writers interested in comics
• authors looking into screenwriting and films
• horror fans in general
• those looking to better understand the different story formats
• authors planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• artists trying to establish a name brand
• authors looking to get published

Come listen to the legends…

Cover design by Luke Spooner. Edited by Joe Mynhardt & Eugene Johnson.

Brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.


Where Nightmares Come from Review

A lot of writing “how-to” books can be very dry to read so a lot of beginning writers tend to shy away from them. This isn’t a “how-to” collection. Exactly. It’s a how-to, how-not-to, and just general solid advice from a lot of leading names in the field. It also does not confine itself to simply the mechanics of writing. There is a lot of great advice about the different medias available in the horror genre right now. Really, for all of the difficulties beginning writers think they have right now, there is not a better time to try to break into the market.

It may seem hard but self-published books get more attention than they used to. It’s no longer an automatic stamp of “Oh, this is going to be bad”. And it has grown fast. You can publish a book, short story, short videos, movies, almost anything. So what does this have to do with Where Nightmares Come From? Everything.

There are essays on short story writing, ideas, writing movie tie-ins, creepypastas, interviews with authors and so much more. There is some really solid advice that beginning writers (and, yes, some established ones as well) would ignore at their own peril. As I’m sure you guys know, at Sci-Fi and Scary we review a lot of independently published books, stories and a lot of other media. I can’t tell you how many times while reading this I kept thinking “Yes! That’s so right! Why don’t people do that more?”

Such as “The Story of a Story (with a number of digressions)” by Mort Castle. He points out that short stories need a main character. I can’t even begin to say how true that is, whether the main character is a piece of scenery or a monster, a short story needs a focus. I read a lot of short stories and the ones that usually get a low rating from me are ones that just feel…there. Like there’s no point to the story and I’m probably not going to remember it later.

Mark Alan Miller tries to answer that question that lovers of horror get asked so frequently but are very often unable to answer: “Why Horror”? Whether you read, write, watch or review horror eventually you’re going to get asked that. And Mark Alan Miller does a damn fine job of answering it. The whole time I was reading it all I could think was, “Yes, that’s it exactly!”

There are some contradictory opinions on ideas and the method of writing. Which makes sense because one writer’s process is not going to be another’s. The same with ideas. In “The Process of a Tale” it was very interesting to go through Ramsey Campbell’s writing process for a particular story. It was interesting to see it evolve and change with his changing ideas.

In “A Horrifically Happy Medium” Taylor Grant gives some very good advice on choosing which medium works the best for your particular creative bent. Maybe you want to be a novelist but your stories come out sounding like screenplays. Or, perhaps you want to break into movies but are daunted by the difficult looking process. Why not try short films? I can’t tell you how many great horror shorts that I see on YouTube and some of them have been made into feature length films. You never know. I was hoping for more on writing for video games, though. He says he wrote for some but doesn’t mention which ones. Video games are becoming increasingly more than just a basic shoot-em-up. The best games have great stories to go with them. The perfect ones blend awesome stories with fun (or nerve-wracking) gameplay. Also the place to look for great horror games is not on the big consoles or put out by AAA publishers. It’s in the indies. So some writing tips for that would be very valuable to those starting out in that direction.

It is also far from dry. And, with no disrespect to the other genres, I do find essays, bios etc. by horror authors more fun to read. They generally have a sense of humour that genres like drama and literary writers tend to lack. The item by Stephanie M. Wytovich was very entertaining (not least because I have a feeling our families would get along great) even though her subject was one that I generally take little interest in, poetry. 

This is a great book for writers, editors, and reviewers to read. Yes, reviewers as well because it gave me some different points of view on some things. In fact, if I were to make a humble suggestion it would be to get a few bloggers and reviewers in on it as well. I’m not suggesting us, exactly (ok, I am, I know, I know, ego much?) but in all honesty they are the ones who read the smaller guys. Stephen King doesn’t need another 5 (or 1) star rating to sell his books but that guy just starting out does. Trust me, we have advice to give that isn’t always possible to give within a review. 

Definitely a 5-star recommendation to writers, viewers and readers.

This is Horror, Issue 23: Skybound, Into the Drowning Deep, Patient Zero

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Horror post on Sci-Fi & Scary

This is Horror, Issue 23 is a sampling of Horror News, including book and movie releases, and more. A little bit of everything to make the horror hound in you feel all fuzzy and warm. Or tingle with anticipation. Whatever works for you.

This is Horror’s Weekly Quote

“Horror fiction shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.”

–Clive Barker


Horror Movies

Featured New Indie Release for November 7th, 2017

Five friends on a small airplane mysteriously lose their radio connection on a trip from New York to LA. As they continue their flight, they’re forced to assume that a major disaster happened on the ground. They discover a stowaway, Erik, who urges them not to land at any cost. Before they run out of fuel, they must find out the truth.

Starring: Scarlett Byrne, Gavin Stenhouse, Rick Cosnett

 

Still in Theatres:

Jigsaw

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Medea Halloween

Happy Death Day

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

Horrorific Trivia

Welcome to Part Four of the Supernatural Song Title…thing. If you’re interested you can find Parts One, Two and Three if you just follow the links. Quite honestly? I knew there were quite a few but, dang, Supernatural does love it’s song titles. And, as a free bit of trivia, in the episodes Skin and Faith the music on the episodes aired on Netflix is not the same as the original music. I personally like the Netflix music better. In case you’re wondering, on Skin the fill-in music (during the Shifter’s transformation as Dean) that’s playing is Mary by The Death Riders. The music playing in the episode of Faith should be Don’t Fear the Reaper by The Blue Oyster Cult (whose insignia pops up in the Tulpa episode) but is instead Death in the Valley, also by The Death Riders. I only mention it because it’s freaking hard to find out what music they use. I didn’t even realize that the ‘Faith’ episode was also The Death Riders until I tracked down a CD (finally).

1. Thin Lizzie (The name of an actual band) – (S11, E5)

2. Don’t You Forget About MeSimple Minds (S11, E12)

3. Love HurtsNazareth (S11, E13)

4. Stuck in the Middle with YouStealers Wheel (S12, E12)

5. The British Invasion (Reference to The Beatles)

6. The Memory RemainsMetallica (S12, E18)

7. The FutureLeonard Cohen (I’m a little iffy on this one because it’s kind of a vague title)

8. All Along the WatchtowerJimi Hendrix (S12, E23)

And that is all of them. There could be more but some were a bit generic so I really didn’t count them. Thanks for playing Supernatural Music (now I think of a title!) and take a look-see in this area for next week’s bits and bobs.

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

Horror Books

Featured Horror New ReleaseBook cover for Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant – November 14th, 2017

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

Note: I recently got a copy from Netgalley of this, and am currently reading. While I don’t like it as much as her Feed book, I’m definitely enjoying it so far!

Purchase on Amazon

Also recently released: 

Patient Zero by Terry Tyler (My review isn’t up here yet, but I gave it 4*)

Redneck Vol 1: Deep in the Heart by Danny Coates

Stalks by Sara Bourgeois

Goodreads Horror Giveaways:

Book cover for The Last Colossus

Book cover for Surface Tension

Book cover for Norman the First Slash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Horror on the Web

Dread Central says these movies will be releasing on VOD this week. The site’s not too sure about IT, though. Angelica and Death on Scenic Drive look interesting. And Killer Donuts.

There’s a Stephen King soundtrack collection. It’s Limited Edition so you probably only need to see the price to be terrified. Check it out at Horrornews.net 

They are making The Haunting of Hill House into a series. I’m done. I can think of a million other books that could support a series but I have a sinking feeling that the slim backstory in The Haunting of Hill House was their main inducement. They can do whatever they want. And probably will…

Horror News Radio have been chatting about the movie The Killing of a Sacred Deer today.

I’d like to drop a line here letting you guys know that the Horrors! 365 Scary Stories post is cancelled for tomorrow. I’ll be reviewing the new release Where Nightmares Come From by Crystal Lake Publishing instead. I don’t want to forestall the review but check it out! Next week Horrors! will return as a double-length post. Either way, you guys win!

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares by Bradley Convissar #BookReview

Title: Pandora’s Children – The Complete Nightmares, Book 1 | Author: Bradley Convissar | Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform | Pub. Date: 8/28/2011 | Pages: 258 | ISBN13: 9781466260481 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Rape, child death, suicide, vehicular homicide | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-Purchased


Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares, Book 1

For the first time, the twenty-two stories found in Pandora’s Children books 1-5 and Dark Interludes have been combined into two easy-to-navigate volumes. Each book also contains a bonus story at the end. This collection contains two dozen dark stories, tales where men become monsters, monsters become men, and no one is ever truly safe. You will find ghosts, demons and monsters; evil men, madmen and broken men; a wood-chipper, Santa Claus and yes, a handful of dentists. Each book contains twelve disturbing, provocative tales which will keep you thinking long after you’re done reading.

The Devil’s Toothache
To Don
The Madame Penitent
By the Teeth of His Skin
Just Meat
The Transfer
On the Curb
Swim
Wood Chipper Blues
Pandora’s Children
Higher

Bonus excerpt- The first half of my 25,000 word novella, Dogs of War.


Pandora’s Children: The Collected Nightmares – Book 1 Review

I first came across Bradley Convissar’s works when he was offering them as separate short stories on a free promotion. He lists Stephen King as one of his influences and you can definitely see that but only in the general tone of them. The stories are not derivative at all. They have their own tone and style. With the laundry list of triggers above it seem like he’d be in the more extreme section of horror but they are handled very well. They are horrific but they aren’t gone into with gruesome, in-depth detail that would edge it into torture porn territory.

Like any anthology or collection there are some hit or miss stories in Pandora’s Children. When Bradley Convissar hits those emotional depths though he can really hit them. Hard.

My favorites from Pandora’s Children are:

To Don: This story was amazing. War buddies gather to honour their friend but the end half of the story was such a surprise and really caught my attention. An excellent story.

The Madame Penitent: The idea of paying for your past sins by taking on others’ pain isn’t exactly a new idea but it’s done very well here with a great finish.

Just Meat: What happens when a rather callous anatomy student is confronted with the souls of the cadavers she is treating carelessly? A very good story with great emotion to it but not played for cheap heart-string tugging.

Wood Chipper Blues: A dentist is faced with a dilemma. He has evidence of a crime but what if the crime is justified? I love the way the end leaves you hanging a bit, in a good way. It feels very close to what a person would realistically feel in that position.

Pandora’s Children: Matthew Jenkins does terrible things. Things he feels compelled to do and, while he takes pleasure in them at the time, hates himself afterwards. He is offered one chance at redemption. Can he do it? An excellent story where Pandora (yes, that Pandora) tries to make her own atonement for the horrors her curiosity has unleashed on the world.

Higher: A desperate father does the only thing he can think of to cure his son’s addiction. This story hit me hard. It was sweet, sad and very moving. It could be partly the things that were going on around me when I read it that made it hit so hard but I actually cried while reading it. And that is very hard to do.

The other stories in Pandora’s Collection are good but these were the real stand-outs for me. In fact, the only two that I didn’t really care for were The Transfer and On the Curb. On the Curb wasn’t too bad but it just didn’t click with me and The Transfer was…ick. But, again, others might like it more than I did.

Pandora’s Children is a pretty solid collection that I can almost guarantee will have at least one or two stories that people will love. If you like Bradley Convissar’s short fiction most of it can be found in the two Pandora’s Children collections.

Buy Pandora’s Children on Amazon

Twilight Zone Tuesday – The Trouble with Templeton

The Trouble with Templeton

Booth Templeton – Brian Aherne
Laura Templeton – Pippa Scott
Arthur Willis – Sydney Pollack
Marty – Dave Willock
Sid Sperry – King Calder
Freddy – Larry J. Blake
Eddie – David Thursby
Barney Flueger – Charles S. Carlson


We open on what looks like a very nice mansion where a distinguished, older man is getting dressed. Templeton, I presume. While he’s doing up his tie he takes a peek out of the window to watch the two people playing by the pool. A young lady playfully pushes the man into the water and a few other tomfooleries. I was thinking it was his daughter but from the way he’s watching them I’m thinking she’s his wife. As he’s watching a butler enters the room carrying a tray with a glass of water. Apparently the young man is a ‘guest’ at the house. I’m guessing his wife’s guest since Templeton doesn’t even know the guy’s name. Templeton says the guy must be ‘new’, then he asks if “these are new too” gesturing to some medication on the tray.  One every hour, on the hour. That…seems like a lot of medicine.

As Templeton and his butler watch, the Mrs. and her, ahem, ‘guest’, walk off with their arms around each other. Not very discreet, I’m guessing. Templeton says that her discretion was an early fatality and that perhaps she’s hoping that his pills will one day fail or that he’ll forget to take them. And you’re married to her…why? Templeton then adds that perhaps he’s hoping for that, too. Well, this episode is off to a cheery start. The Butler tells Templeton that he shouldn’t say such things. Templeton tells his friend not to be anxious. When a man his age marries a woman her age he gets exactly what he deserves. Again, why are you married to her, then? Templeton tells Marty (the butler) that he’s getting old. Marty tells him that that’s nonsense. Then Templeton gives a speech and a quote  from “all of his plays” (so we know he’s an actor) about being old leading to contentment or some crap like that. Marty is a bit troubled by his boss’ depression so he suggests calling the theatre and telling them that Templeton won’t be able to make it. Templeton thanks Marty for the thought but he’ll go in. He says that he’ll cover up the years with make-up, stand in the right places, hope to say his lines right and when it’s over they’ll say “You were wonderful, Mr. Templeton”. And then do it all again the next day. Bed, sleep, oblivion, they all sound good to him.

Marty tells Mr. Templeton that he shouldn’t talk like that but Templeton tells Marty not to worry. With a small nod at the window, Templeton tells Marty that he doesn’t love her anymore. In fact, he’s not sure he ever did. He can’t recall one single moment when he did. Then maybe you shouldn’t have married her! It doesn’t look like she gives you much companionship and hell, you could hire someone to be your friend for probably less than your wife costs. Templeton says that he hasn’t known much contentment in his life, except for some. “Laura” he sighs and picks up a little music box.

Laura is apparently his first wife. They were only married for eight years. She was eighteen when they were married and twenty-five when she died. It doesn’t say how nor how long it has been. Although, I’ll just make this comment. If you marry someone else still mourning your first to the point that you think them the ultimate perfection then there’s an almost 100% chance that your marriage will not work out. So, for the last time, why bother remarrying? Marty begs Templeton not to do this to himself. Templeton says that the only moments left to him of “indescribable loveliness” were those moments with Laura. Templeton reassures Marty that he’s all right.

SERLING:
Pleased to present for your consideration, Mr. Booth Templeton, serious and successful star of over 30 Broadway plays who is not quite all right today. Yesterday and its memories are what he wants, and yesterday is what he’ll get. Soon his years and his troubles will descend on him in an avalanche. In order not to be crushed, Mr. Booth Templeton will escape from his theatre and his world and make his debut on another stage, in another world called The Twilight Zone.

Mr. Templeton arrives at the Savoy Theatre in a long, fancy car. The play being billed is “The Angry Lovers”. A man rushes out to tell Mr. Templeton that it’s late, it’s after 12:00. He warns Templeton that ‘The Boy Wonder’ won’t be pleased. Templeton wants to know who ‘The Boy Wonder’ is. The man says that his name is Arthur Willis and he’s the new director. Templeton says that he thought Dothmeager is directing. The other man tells Templeton that Dothmeager was fired the night before. The man (i’m guessing some sort of investor?) wants someone younger, with more pep. This doesn’t bode well for Templeton. Especially since it seems he fired him without knowing anything about the business but he “knows what’s good and what’s bad as well as the next guy”. The man says he wanted to drop by that morning to let everyone know that he’s very personally interested in ‘this thing’. Then he asks if Templeton is ok with Art Willis being the director. It hardly seems to matter now since the other director has been fired, seemingly on a whim. Templeton says that he’s heard of Willis but doesn’t know him. Templeton stumbles on the guy’s name and he reminds Templeton that his name is Sid Sperry and that his money is backing the play. So, I’m curious. I don’t know much about how plays work but do backers actually have that much power? Can they fire and hire people willy-nilly? Sperry looks like a smarmy jackass. Templeton apologizes for forgetting his name and says he’s always been bad with names. Sperry accepts his apology but looks displeased and ‘jokes’ that he hopes  Templeton doesn’t forget his lines. Templeton looks a bit offended at that. Sperry opens the door for Templeton with a stupid grin and Templeton gives him a glare as he goes by.

As Templeton is walking in he hears The Wonder Boy giving a very serious speech that he’s going to make sure everyone understands it and he’s going to say it once, and only once: “Don’t talk about Fight Club!” Err, sorry, wrong movie…Anyways, the all-important message is that Michael Franz is producing the play, Mr. Coombs has written it (I guess the writer doesn’t warrant a first name), and they have been hired to act in it. and he has been contracted to direct it. So make no mistake about what they’re doing there and make no mistake about him. Is he planning t storm the beach of Normandy, or something? It’s a freaking play, not D-Day. He goes on to say that he will direct the play his own way at all times and that had better be clear to everyone. So, in other words, he’s an insecure baby that’s worried because he’s “young” he won’t be taken seriously. A secretary in heels and a dress she can barely move in (but she’s wearing glasses and is a brunette so you know she’s serious) comes up to whisper in his ear. Sperry takes this interruption to tell Templeton that he likes Mr. Willis very much, take charge right from the start. I’m more of the opinion that if you have to pee on the hydrant to show you’re the boss then you’re probably not going to be a very good boss. But that’s just me. Sperry remarks that Art will “give us a good play”. Templeton wants to know what he means by us…Mr. Whatever. Templeton apologizes for forgetting Sperry’s name again, it was impolite of him. Sperry says it’s ok but I don’t like the look he’s giving Templeton. Sperry is being more impolite. Templeton is consistently calling Sperry “Mr. Sperry” but Sperry keeps calling him “Templeton” right from the start although they obviously barely know each other.

Art Willis is yelling at the secretary to call “him” at home. Then he tells her, Valencia, to forget it. They were obviously talking about Templeton and Willis sees him now. And his first words are “Some of us are young, some of us are old” (and this is very obviously directed at Templeton, who looks a bit hurt by it) “But neither state precludes any of us, young or old, from ignoring the basic cooperation that will be necessary here.” So, basically, cutting through the pompous all he’s really saying is that he wants teamwork. He goes on to say that there are no ‘significant’ actors in his productions. But there are significant dates. The first day of rehearsal, opening night and closing night. Really? I’m sure the actors didn’t know that! He’s a freaking genius! He goes on to say that when he says 12:00 for rehearsal, he means 12:00, Templeton! Everyone, young and old! I notice he’s not saying experienced and non-experienced, he’s really hammering the young and old thing. And it’s maybe a couple of minutes past twelve. Templeton obviously got there in time for the speech he was only going to say once. He yells at Templeton if he’s ready to work with them. And, he asked a question so he expects an answer, dammit! He keeps yelling at Templeton so Templeton says no, and leaves. Mr. Director is telling (well, yelling at) Templeton to come back. Ugh, he sounds like he’s talking to a kid. I’d leave, too, if I had just showed up and some dick was yelling at me. Sperry yells at him to come back, too.

Templeton bursts out of the door to be greeted by people clapping. He looks as confused as we are. They all crowd around him as he goes to a car that he thinks is his but it zips away. Oops, wrong car. Then he notices a poster on the building advertising a movie called “The Great Seed”. No. Comment. It’s starring Booth Templeton and introducing Laura Templeton. I don’t know if we’re supposed to notice that but you can see it sticking out from under the “1927’s Big Hit!” banner.

An older man calls to him from off-screen and tells him that his wife is waiting for him at Freddy Iaccino’s. Templeton asks what year it is and at first the older gentleman is wondering if Templeton is joking, then tells him that it’s 1927. Templeton says that Laura’s dead, how can she be waiting for him? The other man answers that she’s the best-looking ghost he ever saw then. Templeton looks extremely happy and goes running off to meet her at Freddy’s. The street he walks on looks very familiar. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a standard street-scene set or if cities just look alike like that.

Templeton buzzes at a door to be let into Freddie’s (I’m assuming, what with Prohibition and all) speakeasy. Freddie recognizes him and lets him in. Templeton is amazed to see Freddie alive. Freddie gives the secret knock on another door that opens into the real part of the club. Freddie asks if Templeton wants a steak or chops. Mmm. Steak. He tells Templeton that his wife is having the Kansas City and Templeton goes rushing over to their ‘usual table’ but she’s not there. Freddie points to a table literally right behind Templeton and she’s sitting there with a younger  man. I don’t know how he didn’t see her running up to the table.

Templeton zeroes in on Laura and tells Freddie that he doesn’t want anything to eat. They won’t be staying long. His wife is drinking and laughing it up with the other guy, who’s name is Barney. Barney excuses himself. Templeton tries to hug her but she kind of shrugs him off and says that the steak is great tonight. Really juicy, as she takes a big chomp out of it. Great. Thanks a lot. Now I’m hungry. She tells Templeton that he looks worried then says she told him to take his make-up off before coming in there. He touches his face but, no make-up, he’s just older. Then she waves at someone at another table. He asks if they can go somewhere else, somewhere quieter, he wants to talk with her. She pouts for a second and then says she wants to have a good time. She flags down a waiter  to bring her another tankard of booze. He says again that he wants to talk to her so she says, “Well?” He starts to talk about being there and he doesn’t know how he got there or for how long he’s there but he wants to make good use of the time. She starts to primp in her compact. He says that he wants her all to himself. She tells him not to be dull.

Barney comes back with a beer for Laura and says the new band is swell. Barney tells Templeton that he’d better order and she yells at the waiter to bring him a steak. Then she starts fanning herself with what looks like a sheaf of papers. Then she wants to know why on earth Templeton is wearing an overcoat on a night  that’s too darn hot. He grabs the papers out of her hand and stuffs them in his coat. He says he doesn’t know what happened or why but he’s here with her and she’s alive so he wants to make the most of it. He says that he’s been lonely for so many years with only the memory of her to live on. And he’s missed Barney, too, his best friend. He’s just so thrilled to have them back again. He tries to explain that he doesn’t have make-up on, that he’s actually older and he’s not sure how long he can stay there. They’re looking pretty tenderly at him through the speech but then toast each other and say, “Let’s have a good time, huh?” Barney drops a wink at Laura but it doesn’t seem to be a flirty wink.

He asks Laura why she’s so different. She says it’s the way she is and what did he expect? Barney chimes in with a “What did you expect, old chap?”. Templeton says he doesn’t know. Then he tells Laura she was his love and everywhere they went people knew they were in love. She asks impatiently if he’s finished. He tells her he doesn’t like what she’s become. She covers her mouth for a moment then bursts out laughing. Barney joins in and Templeton yells at them to shut up. He tells Laura to come with him but she says no! He’s a silly old fool of a man. She looks weird for a second then the music starts up. She says, “That’s for me!” and starts jitterbugging like she’s on speed or something. He tries to grab her again and she slaps him and tells him to go back where he came from. They don’t want him there. Then she starts dancing again. Templeton looks around, very confused and hurt. The band’s playing, Laura’s still doing her cracked out jitterbug and he runs off.

As he runs off the people stop clapping and lose their smiles, the lights dim. The camera focuses on Laura and Barney, quietly watching him. Laura steroids forward as the lights dim behind her with one last, longing look at Templeton.

Back on the street Templeton runs back to the theatre. As he runs, he accidentally runs into some fans who recognize him. It seems like they’re asking him to start but he says no, thank you, he can’t. He’s very polite. He sees the same poster from the twenties. When he runs inside the theatre, though, he sees Sperry and Boy Wonder. Upset and confused, he wonders if it really happened. He takes the papers that he took from Laura out of his coat and fans himself with them. As he fans himself he noticed the title. It reads “What to Do If Booth Comes Back”. Inside he sees the same lines that the people were saying. They were acting. All for him. This makes him happy and he figures out that they want him to live the life he’s in right now. Really live it.

Wonder-Schlong sees Templeton and asks him very snottily if he’s in or out? Templeton says he’s most definitely in and Mr. Youngster Director can call him Mr. Templeton. He also tells Sperry that he insists that those not directly involved with the play not attend his rehearsals. Sperry starts to object but Young’un tells Sidney to run along. Templeton asks the Director, Art Willis, if he’s ready for rehearsal. He’s being much nicer, now. Templeton tells him he just had a wonderful experience and he can’t possibly expect Mr. Willis to understand. Maybe he will when he’s older.

SERLING:
Mr. Booth Templeton, who shared with most human beings, the hunger to recapture the past moments, the ones that soften with the years. But, in his case, the characters of his past blocked him out and sent him back to his own time, which is where we find him now. Mr. Booth Templeton, who had a round-trip ticket into The Twilight Zone.


I really do like this one but it is one of the ones better to be watched. The faial expressions are great. I feel so bad for Templeton but that last look Laura gives him is almost heart-breaking. It’s also nice when he gets his ‘zest’ back. Hopefully he ditches his current wife for one he actually likes.


Join us next week for Twilight Zone Tuesday: A Most Unusual Camera (which should be titled three yahoos find a magic camera). So, tune in next week to enjoy some snark!

Indie Zone: Talking with Anthony Avina

Interview with Anthony Avina banner

Anthony Avina Bio: Author Anthony Avina is the fusion of intense and visual-inducing horror, optimism and hopeful enthusiasm. As an indie author who has spent the last seven years creating unique and original horror stories that highlight the fact that both good and evil can reside in anyone or anything, the creative horror writer hopes to craft entertaining tales that take the reader into unimaginable worlds.

With three successful series and a string of popular stand-alone novels and novellas, author Anthony Avina is a must watch indie author that is always working on the next great story to share with the world. Anthony Avina’s latest novel “I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered”, is the collective work of the of the Evil Teenager novella series. Featuring the novellas “I Was a Teenage Killer”, “I Was a Teenage Zombie”, and “I Was a Teenage Demon”.

 

“I Was an Evil Teenager” Novella Trilogy Synopsis:

“The story follows the exploits of Lisa Etron, an innocent looking teenage girl that everyone in her small hometown loves. Yet a sinister presence resides behind the mask that is Lisa Etron, and the terror she brings will affect the lives of those closest to her in dark and terrible ways. This is the story of the evolution of evil and whether or not true evil can ever truly die. It’s also the story of hope and overcoming that evil with the love and support of family and friends and how that hope can bring out the strength people never know they truly have. Good versus Evil come to life in this series in new and terrifying ways, and only by reading this completely remastered version of the stories can you find out what makes Lisa Etron a truly evil teenager…”

Contact info:

Website: https://authoranthonyavinablog.wordpress.com/

YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/AvinaVlogs

E-mail: authoranthonyavina@gmail.com

Talking with Anthony Avina

Sci-Fi & Scary: It looks like most of your works are in the Young Adult subgenre. If this is accurate what draws you to it?

Anthony Avina: I have done a lot of work in the past few years in the Young Adult subgenre. My early works were more adult horror themed but I’ve recently gotten into the YA storytelling. I find it fascinating to write in the YA subgenre because I think most people, whether they are adults ir young adults themselves, can relate to these characters. Everyone was a young adult at one point or another. We all had to deal with the pressure of high school, the social hierarchy that normally rules over us and I think it’s interesting to explore how a young adult would deal with something like a teenage killer or some supernatural event. At that age we’re usually discovering who we are and what kind of life we want to lead, and seeing the inner turmoil and struggle of a young adult as they wrestle with the plot of the story and their personal lives makes for gripping storytelling.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Was it difficult to write from the point of view of a teenage girl for your “I Was an Evil Teenager” collection? 

Anthony Avina: The first novella in the book for sure was difficult to get into that mindset. I was 20 years old when i first wrote it, and although I’d only left high school a couple years before, I’ve always had the personality of an older person. The thing that helped me when trying to write from the point of view of a teenage girl was not only did I have a teenage sister to help me with my character development, but I grew up spending a lot of time with my mom and sister, and later had female friends in both middle school and high school that helped me gain a better understanding of that mindset.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Did you have any teenage girls read it and tell you what they thought of how you portrayed one?

Anthony Avina: I did have some great support for this book. I have a younger sister who was in high school during the time I first wrote this, and I had the help of not only my sister but her friends as well to help me get a sense of what kind of social interactions they had with one another and what drove their choices and personalities in those important high school years.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What was the hardest scene to write in the “I Was an Evil Teenager” novellas?

Anthony Avina: That’s a difficult one. There were a lot of scenes that were a struggle for me, but while I don’t want to spoil anything for the readers out there before they’ve gotten a chance to read it, there is a shocking scene in the first novella that will stick with you after you read it. It was so difficult to write because I had to imagine how it would impact one of my main characters in the book and how it would affect their personality going forward in the series. It was an important and driving plot point to be sure, but it was difficult to get into the mind of the character in that scene. It’s towards the end of the first novella, and fans will definitely recognize it.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Which novella in “I Was an Evil Teenager” took you longest to write?

Anthony Avina: Definitely the first one. It took a long time to get into the right mindset and do the research I needed to bring Lisa Etron to life and to imagine how her actions would affect the people who cared and loved her. When someone like that enters your life, their actions can have devastating consequences on how you live your life afterwards.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Was there one in particular that you enjoyed writing the most?

Anthony Avina: While I’ll always have a special place in my heart for “I Was A Teenage Killer”, I actually loved writing “I Was A Teenage Demon”. I enjoyed it because it was the final battle between good and evil, and it allowed me to bring closure to my main characters. I got to explore the growth of my two favorite heroes in the story, Dave and Aly Trent. Seeing their journey and watching them both grow and overcome the events of the previous books was so satisfying to write and felt like I had grown as both a person and a writer as well.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Was there a reason you wanted to do a ‘Remastered’ version of your stories?

Anthony Avina: I wrote this series starting in 2010 and finished in 2012. I was still a fairly young and new writer, and something I’ve always believed is no matter how seasoned a writer you are, there is always room to improve and new things to learn about the craft. After writing, editing and publishing for over seven years now, I’ve learned a lot in the ways of writing and editing, and I knew there were things I could improve in this series to make it better and help make it a more well rounded story.

Sci-Fi & Scary:  You mention in the blurb for the book that it updates the story. Is it changed enough that you would recommend previous readers give it another go?

Anthony Avino: Yes for sure. I changed a big plot point in the first story that differs from the original and is much scarier and much more satisfying for the audience. I also updated some of the character’s relationships within the series and helped establish more depth for the characters themselves, so I would highly recommend previous readers of the series to get this remastered version.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Can you tell us a bit about your YouTube channel and your podcast?

Anthony Avino: My YouTube channel started as a way to communicate to potential readers about my books, but it’s become so much more. I’ve always been a shy person, and something I struggle with daily is social anxiety. While I still struggle with it, my YouTube channel has become a means to express myself and put myself out there for people to see and get to know. I vlog, (or life-cast, where I film my day to day life), I film book reviews and I film writing and publishing based videos. I have a podcast series I call “The Writers Corner” podcast, where I discuss book and writing related topics, from book readings to writing tips and more. It’s allowed me not only to share what I know about the craft, but I’ve been able to learn more as a result of my researching topics and talking with fellow authors on YouTube and online. The podcast was on a hiatus for a while but I am planning to bring it back soon.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Have you always been interested in the horror genre? Who are some of your influences?

Anthony Avino: The horror genre is my favorite genre to write in. I grew up with a passion for the genre. I can remember spending days with my grandparents and sitting in their living room, watching old horror movies or cheesy SyFy movies with my grandfather. He loved horror movies and read Stephen King regularly, which inspired a love for both horror and Stephen King in my mother. She in turn shared that with me and the rest is history. Stephen King is definitely my biggest influence on my writing, as is the late Wes Craven. My mother and my late grandfather are actually my biggest influences in my passion for the horror genre, and without them I might not have gotten the idea or this series.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What project are you currently working on?

Anthony Avino: I am about to start working on my NaNoWriMo project for 2017, which is a sequel to the first drama novel I ever wrote, which was called VOID. After I finish the month long writing project, I’m going to focus on the fourth book in my action/horror series, Nightmare Wars.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What is the best horror movie you’ve seen in the past 5 years? What was the worst?

Anthony Avino: Actually I recently saw Stephen King’s IT in theaters, and I have to say that was such a brilliant film. Not only did I jump several times, but it was incredibly faithful to the original book and it had such an incredible story. A good horror movie isn’t just scary for me, but it’s also full of heart, emotion and great characters, and IT had all of these. I think Pennywise the Clown is going to be an iconic horror movie monster for generations to come.

The worst horror movie I’ve seen in years is a difficult one. Discounting some of the cheesy SyFy movies I’ve seen in the past, I’d have to say The Witch was one of the worst horror movies. It’s not that it was a bad movie overall, I just don’t think it should have been classified as a  horror movie. It was more of a psychological thriller kind of movie, showing the deterioration of this family. I was never scared at any point in the film and while the film was well acted and well shot, the overall story wasn’t really a horror movie to me and the trailer was very misleading.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Final comments?

Anthony Avino: This was actually one of the more creative and well developed interviews I’ve done. Thank you so much for your time and for having me on your blog. It was a pleasure to talk with you and I hope you guys will enjoy my book.


I Was an Evil Teenager

Killer. Zombie. Demon.

Evil comes in many forms, and Lisa Etron embodies them all in I Was An Evil Teenager, the three novella series that explores evil and the ways in which it appears. Author Anthony Avina brings a unique look at the work of Lisa Etron, a seemingly normal teenage girl who harbors a dark secret that threatens to tear apart not only those closest to her, but an entire town as well.

Lisa Etron is the girl next door. Lisa Etron is the most beautiful and popular girl in her school. Lisa Etron is the girl of Dave Trent’s dreams. Lisa Etron is a demented killer, hellbent on chaos and murder, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those two goals. While a seasoned detective works to solve the mystery of a series of brutal murders, Lisa plans a deadly killing spree that threatens to destroy those who have made the mistake of loving her.

This remastered edition of the book updates the story and brings a deep dive into the battle between good and evil. Showing the lengths in which evil is willing to go to to tear people down, and the way in which people use hope and love to overcome that evil, this novel features the combined novellas of I Was A Teenage Killer, I Was A Teenage Zombie and I Was A Teenage Demon.

A twisted horror saga like no other, this series follows one group of people who must survive the twisted mind of a killer who refuses to go away and let them live happy lives. In this one of a kind novel, discover whether or not evil ever truly dies…

Buy Link: Amazon

 

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour #MovieReview

 Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour Synopsis: The heroine, 17-year-old Sarah Landon, is in over her head. Staying far away from home with her late friends grandmother, she realizes shes sleeping in a haunted guest house and that shes just uncovered a small town’s dark secret. Complicating things are a local psychic, an evil spirit and two brothers who may hold the key to an ever-growing mystery.

Tagline: Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.

Starring: Rissa Walters, Brian Comrie, Dan Comrie

Release Date: 10/19/2007 | Rated: PG | Runtime: 1h 21 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 3

 

 

 

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour Review

I’ll lay out the plot of Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour (quite the title, huh?) real quick since none of the synopses I’ve found make it very clear. Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers as most of what I’m going to say is shown in the first ten minutes or so:

Sarah Landon has recently lost her best friend in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. When she’s invited to spend the weekend with her friend’s grandmother, she goes. On the way into town her car breaks down mysteriously so she ends up staying a little longer than planned. The mechanic has his assistant give her a ride to the grandmother’s house but before she goes the mechanic tells her all about Matt’s family. Apparently Matt and David’s mother got in a car accident with her nephew, Johnny, town sports star and all around great guy. His dad was not so nice of a guy. He was always bragging about his son and when the crash happened he blamed his sister for Johnny’s death and threatened to kill her son when David reaches the age his son was when the crash happened, 21. He was found dead, the day of his son’s funeral. Afterwards his ghost torments Matt and David’s mother, driving her insane. Their father, being the charming man he is, left his sons with an almost catatonic mother. David withdraws into himself, searching for a way to evade the curse. So that’s the story Sarah jumps into.

The writing could be a bit better. A lot of the exposition is clunky and I honestly thought that it was partly adapted from a book. It was supposed to be the start of a series and I think if they had kept it as a video release it would have fared better. I’m a little disappointed it didn’t, to be honest. However, the exposition cuts down on some of the moments that may be more intense for younger viewers. The acting is a bit awkward at times and you can definitely tell that the actors are not pros. I can hear you now…why give the movie a three? Because it’s a cute, engaging story that is actually pretty coherent and follows its own logic well. The movie moves a bit slowly in the beginning due to all of the flashbacks and exposition but after that it moves at a fairly even pace. I think most of the low ratings come from adults viewing it with adult eyes. Most of the kids that have watched it (that I know of) have enjoyed it.

The cinematography in Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour isn’t stunning but, again, it’s adequate. It’s not grainy, jerky or choppily edited. In fact, the editing is actually pretty good. There are no unnecessary scenes and they go together in a coherent, well-progressed manner. The few effects seemed to be mostly practical. Not surprising for a lower budget movie. They stick to what is easily done but it’s also realistic within the frame of the movie. The ghostly effects are probably CGI (or a reasonable facsimile) but they didn’t get too ambitious and make it look goofy.

The character of Sarah Landon is played to what I believe is the best of Rissa Walterrs’ ability (and it was refreshing to see a girl who is pretty but not unrealistically so). The characters of the brothers are played by actual brothers and they bring what they have to the table too. They may not be pros but they give it their best and that counts for something. The story, despite the grim sounding outline above, is perfectly suitable for younger kids. I would put the age range between 7 or 8 – 13. To be honest, I still watch it from time to time, myself. I first watched it with my son when he was around 10 and he loved it. It had just the right amount of spookiness and creepiness for a younger audience. There might be one minor swear (I believe it’s damn or hell). The romance angle (and you will rarely hear me say this) was cute and pretty believable. It wasn’t insta-love or insta-lust, it was a date. There was no sucking of faces or pawing which will especially make it suitable for younger viewers.

So if you want a spooky story and don’t mind acting ability that is more serviceable than outstanding, Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour is a great choice for those young ones that are in the in-betweens. 

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #44

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

11/04/2017 – 11/10/2017

 

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.

 

Fall has fallen (all over the yard) and it’s officially cold enough to start being invaded by by all of the four-legged furballs who are trying to take over the bed. It’s a stalemate at the moment. They seem to have a hatred of books as that seems to be their preferred layabout spot. I shall prevail!

 

 


Summer RetreatKevin Shadle

Synopsis:
The Copse family has a lot to do before their summer retreat. They have to bring in the harvest, mulch it into the ground and avoid the inquisitive neighbors. It’s tough being a were-tree.

Review:
Enjoyable with a bit of a different spin on the ‘were’ creatures.


Swamp FlowersDavid C. Woomer

Synopsis:
On their honeymoon Lynette and her new husband made the mistake of going out into the Great Dismal swamp. Lynette never returned. Every year her husband takes a skiff into the swamp for their anniversary ritual.

Review:
A beautiful and sad story. I’m a sucker for ghostly anniversaries.


Sympathy for Mad ScientistsJohn Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
A series of letters from baron Frankenstein to Dr. Schmidt on attending the Hamelberg Conference for scientists. Between a punctured assistant and tending to the boiling oil ones needs as defense against ignorant peasants a mad scientists has a lot on his hands.

Review:
I’ve always liked epistolary stories. This one is hilarious and I love the asides about annoying peasants and Igor’s puncturing.


Sympathy for MummiesJohn Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
On an Egyptian dig they are uncovering the tomb of an ancient bureaucrat. So what would a bureaucrat curse someone with? Paperwork, lots and lots of paperwork.

Review:
Another funny one by Mr. Betancourt. There are a few of them in a row by hi.


Sympathy for Psychos John Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
Crane has been hiding in the cemetery, ever since the spiders first attacked. They are sneaky, though. They look like humans but Crane knows better. He knows the spiders are just using them.

Review:
A very good story. Crane’s character is at once horrifying and sympathetic.


Sympathy for Vampires John Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
Shelly has had it with her neighbor. He hovers outside of her window at night, waiting to be invited in for a bite. His wife declares he’s just going through a phase but Shelly is getting irritated. Finally, she strikes on the perfect way to get him to leave her alone. It seems wannabe vampires don’t see the romance of scrubbing the shower.

Review:
Another funny one. Especially Shelly’s idea of getting rid of him. There’s nothing worse than a man going through a mid-vamp crisis.


Sympathy for Wolves John Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
A man stands at his window, his pack calling for him to join them. But he’s a man now and it’s so cold out. He’s not heartless though. As the pack files into his house they all share a common ground, briefly.

Review:
A nice story and the ending made me happy because I thought it would have been really mean not to let his pack in to spend the night.


Favourite of the Week:
Well, um, there’s a lot of John Gregory Betancourt isn’t there? While his titles aren’t exactly creative his stories were certainly varied, thank goodness. He shows a talent for switching between laughter and heartbreak with ease. That being said my favorite for this week was Swamp Flowers by David C. Woomer. It’s heartbreaking but beautiful as well. As for Mr. Betancourt’s entries I loved Sympathy for Mad Scientists and Sympathy for Wolves the best.


Join us again next week for another round of horror stories to make you laugh and cry.