Book Review: 21st Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Synopsis:

A collection of short stories.

Imogene is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She’s also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945….

Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn’t easy to make friends when you’re the only inflatable boy in town….

Francis is unhappy. Francis was human once, but that was then. Now he’s an eight-foot-tall locust and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing….

John Finney is locked in a basement that’s stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead….

The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past…

My Review:

I love a good anthology, although one compiled by a single author usually defeats the purpose for me; I read anthologies to discover new authors to add to my ever growing reading list. However, I was recommended Joe Hill’s 21st Century Ghosts by a friend and thought the collection sounded interesting…and it was.

The stories are varied and creepy, covering a myriad of horror tropes. Some were scary, some were gross, and some were surprisingly poignant and heartbreaking; I particularly enjoyed ‘Pop Art’.

I must admit that as a horror writer myself I approached Joe Hill with a dubious sense of dread. As King of Horror Stephen King’s son, you’d be forgiven for thinking he has simply waltzed into a major publishing contract as a legacy author, something that could leave an old penny taste in the mouth of other writers that have struggled and fought for their place in the literary world. But I was pleasantly surprised. He’s talented and tells each story with expertise and flair; he deserves the hype (something that happens less and less these days)

The front cover is eye catching and has an expensive look to it, which is good as the cover is something that can go horribly wrong in this genre giving amazing books a cheap impression. Although, I’d expect nothing less from a major publisher such as Harper Collins.

Overall I’d give 21st Century Ghosts 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re already looking for a Halloween, read (I know I am, Halloween comes just once a year and preparation is key to wringing out every drop of wonderful creepiness) then look no further.

Find 21st Century Ghosts on GoodReads…

Interview with Angela Campbell

Angela CampbellTell us about your publishing journey…

Well, there were these little fairies living in my back yard who promised me one wish and … No, seriously. I’ve always loved to write, even as far back as elementary school, and when it came to choosing a career later in life, I selected journalism because I thought it meant a steady paycheck as a writer. As much as I came to love reporting the news, I never got my love of writing fiction out of my system. I wrote a couple of books that never got published because, in all honesty, they were stinkers. In 2011, I finally published my first I’m-proud-of-this book through Carina Press. I kept writing, and earlier this year, Harper Impulse contracted me for a three-book series. On the Scent and Something Wicked are the first two books in that series. It’s not easy to get published, but if you love what you’re doing enough to keep at it, that persistence and determination can pay off.

What do you love about being an author?

I simply enjoy being a storyteller. It’s fun to create stories that allow you and others to escape the mundane, the hectic, or the chaos of real life. Not everyone is going to love your story, but when it finds its way to people who do, it’s a feeling I can only describe as fulfilling. And awesome.

What part do you dislike about being an author?cover(1)

Nothing. Even though I sometimes find the marketing side of being an author a bit tedious, I wouldn’t say anything negative about it. There are so many writers who would love the opportunity to be in my shoes. I cannot allow myself to complain about anything.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t give up. In life. In publishing. In anything. Persistence eventually pays off.

If you could have dinner with a literary character – who would it be and what would you eat?

I would love to grab a cheeseburger with Lois Lane. We could chat about the changing face of journalism, Clark and Superman–and how awesome it is that she gets to work alongside them both as an equal.

Zombies are everywhere! What do you do first?

Find Daryl Dixon and Michonne and hide between them!

coverWhat was the last book you read and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was Pooka in My Pantry (Book 2 of the Monster Haven series) by RL Naquin. It was so much fun! I enjoy books that combine humor with fantasy or the paranormal, and this series is just…it’s very entertaining. I love it!

What’s the one question you’d dread on an interview?

Tell me about yourself. I never know what to say that won’t make me seem like a total idiot.

You have a time machine, which era do you go back to and why?

I’d go back to 1968 so I could be in the audience of Elvis’s Comeback Special. And so I could track down my parents and see what they were like before I was born. Maybe play a few pranks on them. You never know…

If you were to cast your book, who would play the leads?

I would absolutely cast Ian Somerhalder to play Dylan, and either Kristen Bell or Laura Vandervoort to play Alexandra. I’m a big Veronica Mars fan, so I think Kristen would hit the humorous and the badass aspects of Alexandra’s personality, but I also think it would be interesting to see Laura play a character like her. Physically, Laura was Alexandra’s model.

You free a Genie from a lamp, after wishing away all those zombies from the previous question, you have 2 wishes left, what are they?

That there would never be another homeless animal in the world, and that I could have Henry Cavill. Er, I mean, world peace.

What’s your favourite TV show, and why?

Just one? Geez, you’re tough! It’s a toss up between Supernatural and Castle. And many others, but I’ll narrow it to just those two. That’s the best I can do. Supernatural—because I love the characters and the journey they’ve taken me on with two hot guys leading the way. Castle—because Castle and I could seriously have fun hanging out together. He’s full of crazy, awesome ideas like I am. I can’t wait to see theories he’ll come up with next!

Where can fans find you online?

They can find me on twitter @angelacampbel or learn more about me at my website www.angelacampbellonline.com. Thank you so much for allowing me to visit on your blog!