Women in Horror Month 2017

To celebrate this year’s Women in Horror Month, I’m going to sharing some thoughts on my favourite women horror authors, so without further faff…

the-vampire-chronicles-book-coverAnne Rice

I read Interview with a Vampire when I was 17 years old. It made me fall in love with vampires. Before that, I’d worn a cross to protect myself from them (I’m not religious in any way, I’d just watched the film adaptation of Salem’s Lot and thought it was better safe than sorry!). Needless to say that after I r
ead the tale of Louis and Lestat, I took that necklace off.

It is a beautifully written book that seamlessly delves into the characters and makes someone, that could be considered as a monster, into a breathtakingly sorrowful and exciting creature of the night – a bizarre mix. I can not recommend Anne Rice’s books highly enough to those readers out there that haven’t discovered them yet.

 

Shirley Jackson6219656

Gothic horror author of highly disturbing short stories and novels, Shirley Jackson was a pioneer of the genre. Her short story The Lottery
(based on the lottery you wouldn’t want to win!) paved the way for all sorts of books, from Battle Royale to The Hunger Games.

She brought us horror that brandished social commentaries like a razor-sharp weapon, and human monsters that are more real than we would ever want to admit. Always engrossing, stunning prose that drags you into the story and doesn’t let you go, even after you’ve finished reading it. Anyone who doesn’t believe that the horror genre belongs in literary fiction needs to read her work.

51xrqewd0sl-_ac_ul320_sr212320_Nancy A Collins

Back in the 90s my older brother and I played White Wolf’s role play game, Vampire The Masquerade. I so wanted to be part of the Toreador clan; to be a beautiful vampire who only writes emotionally prose dedicated to her many victims…

It was this game brought me to Nancy A Collin’s book Sunglasses After Dark. Sonja Blue is a fantastic (had to stop myself from typing ‘fangtastic!) character that is true to her nature; something that made her feel more real and made the book far more interesting than the other vampire books that you get now. I can’t recommend this author’s work enough and, even better, she also writes amazing comics, Jason vs. Leatherface – how can you beat two slasher killers going head to head – with Michael Myers waiting in the wings to tackle the winner? Just an idea :)

Susan Hill51h6sqpzb8l-_sx309_bo1204203200_

A writer of genuinely terrifying ghost stories and true gothic fiction, this talented lady is most famous for writing, The Woman in Black and has also branched out into crime fiction. I started reading her work for an essay on isolation for my Creative Writing Degree and got hooked. The anthology, The Travelling Bag and Other Stories includes some rather disturbing shorts and is the perfect read for a stormy night when the rain beats your window like an impatient visitor, and the wind’s screams slice across the growing darkness. As England seems to be getting a lot of those kind of nights, I’d highly recommend buying this book! Susan Hill is a must for anyone with stones big enough to read a ghost story late at night.

I hoped you enjoyed this short dedication to my favourite Women in Horror. Perhaps I’ve been remiss in not putting myself in this list? I’ve had over 30 short horror stories included in anthologies with monsters ranging from: vampires, mad men, witches, unicorns (yes, you read that right) Jack the Ripper, dark faeries and much more. If you’d like to read my horror stories, pop along to my Amazon author page and take a look at the macabre selection on offer.

 

 

 

 

A Tourist’s Halloween Guide to Bad Blood

g1510984England has a rich heritage and, especially in London, you’ll find it difficult to spit and not hit something centuries years old – BTW, you might get arrested for that, so do check around before letting rip with the salvia!

London is a busy city where there are too many people and far too many construction sites. Our Tube (Subway) is unnaturally warm, and our roads are naturally congested. But none of this matters in my YA horror novel, Bad Blood. It’s hard to care about temperature and traffic when you’re hip deep in snarling smelly zombies.

Bad Blood is told first person from a vampire’s point of view. Britannia is the very essence of Britain; she has protected it many times in the past, and now finds herself taking on that role again to save survivors of a fast-paced zombie outbreak that hits the UK. The first book happens mainly in London – so let’s take a tour of some Bad Blood hot spots:

The Statue of George IV, Trafalgar Square: erected in 1843, this bronze statue of King George IV astride his faithful steed looks out over the world famous Trafalgar Square. Used as higher ground by Britannia when she is sniffing out un-infected humans to feed on, this statue gives her the space and time she needs to locate her next meal.

The Natural History Museum: A beautiful, elaborately designed building established in 1881; filled with knowledge, dioramas and now zombies. Britannia has an epic struggle on her hands here, and not just with the hungry undead hordes that were given free admission!

Madame Tussauds: Originally set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussauds in 1884, there is more blank-eyed scary looking celebrities here than on any red carpet event. But Bad Blood takes you deeper into the bowels of this tourist attraction, delivering you a fast-paced confrontation in the Chambers of Horrors.

Double Decker Red Buses: The Red Double Decker bus is an iconic symbol of London and is used by the vampires and the human survivors to flee the city and also to indulge the vampire’s competitor natures!

Now you know the stops, why not jump onto the Bad Blood bus and let it take you sight-seeing through the zombie ravaged streets of London; the price of admission? Well, Britannia only asks for your blood…

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Interview with Melvin Rivers

havenTell us about your publishing journey…

My publishing journey began eight years ago when I decided to write a collection of short horror stories. My goal was to start a new career and to entertain readers. Day after day I sat behind my keyboard and typed away, hoping the words would someday make it into print. Finally, the book was finished. I went over the pages for spelling errors and typos. Since I didn’t have a big budget, I went the cheap route and found a stock image for the cover. I self-published the book and hoped for the best. Needless to say, the book was slammed by reviewers. Feeling frustrated, I unpublished the book. I decided not to make the same mistakes on the next book. I took a fiction writing course, paid for editors and proofreaders, ran a book cover contest. Once the book was finished, I sought beta readers. Needless to say, my current book is doing much better with reviewers.

What inspired you to write this book? 

Being an avid fan of movies such as the Shinning, the Exorcist, and the Amityville Horror is what inspired me to write “Haven of Evil.” The book has elements of all three movies.

What do you love about writing?

Being able to create a world solely from my imagination.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go to and why?

Rome cira 100 BC – 400 AD. The Roman Empire was one of the greatest civilizations in the world. The government, economic and educational system, was far ahead of its time. I would love to have compared The Roman Empire to current empires.

What question do you want to be asked in an interview, then please include your answer.

Question: What do you want readers to get from your book?

Answer: I want readers to be entertained. I’m not trying to save the world or make social statements (I’ll leave that to politicians and activists). I want them to escape to the world I created and come away satisfied.

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

George Milton, a character from John Steinbeck’s “OF Mice and Men. The dinner would be roast beef and potatoes around a camp fire under a star-filled sky.

If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A vampire. Imagine never aging, living forever, and having superhuman abilities.

In a fire, what 3 things would you rescue?

My dog, cat, and computer.

Who would be your dream cast for your book?

Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Halle Berry.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a collection of short stories. Since my first collection of shorts didn’t come off as plan, I’m giving it another shot. Hopefully this time, it will be a bit more successful.

Where can fans find you online?

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8161918.Melvin_Rivers

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Interview with Laurisa White Reyes

P10 (2)Tell us about your publishing journey…
I started writing books about a decade ago and was fortunate to have my first two middle grade novels, The Rock of Ivanore & The Last Enchanter, published by Tanglewood Press. But I found that I loved reading young adult novels, so I decided to give that a try. The result was, CONTACT, a sci-fi thriller about a girl who can upload people’s psyches with a single touch, an ability that drives her to attempted suicide. The book was originally published by Hallowed Ink Press, but HIP went out of business a year later. I am very lucky that Evernight Teen liked the book and re-published it. They even made it an Editor’s Pick.
What do you love about being an author?
I love the way characters seem to take on a life of their own. When I get about half way through a project, it begins to feel like the story exists outside of me and that I’m just the one writing it all down. It’s the moment when a story and the characters break free, become independent of the creator. It’s kind of magical.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Jo March from Little Women. When I was a young girl, I wanted to be Jo March. Jo is strong-willed, feisty, and a writer. I’d love to pick her brain and just spend a little creative face-to-face time with her. I would probably want to introduce her to sushi, since I don’t think would have ever tried that in the 19th century.

 Contact-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2016-finalcover
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
That’s tough. I’m a bit older than my readers, and many of the actors I love are closer to my age and would naturally be too old for CONTACT. But maybe Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) or Selena Gomez (don’t laugh!) could play Mira. For her love interest, David, Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars) has the right look.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
I recently read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first time, and I was stunned how scary it was. I imagine it was terrifying back in 1897 when it was first published. The best vampires remain true to Stoker’s original vision–suave, sophisticated, but also cruel and violent. They are the epitome of irresistible evil.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
There isn’t a time in history I wouldn’t want to see. I’m kind of an ancient history buff. But I suppose if I chose one era, I’d love to travel back 2100 years to the time of Jesus Christ, see some of those miracles first hand. Then again, I’m not so sure I’d want to face the Romans or live in a time prior to ibuprophen or antibiotics.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
150272918
To write books. To follow my dream. I wanted to become a novelist since I was a kid, but it took until I was forty-two before I actually did it. I wish I’d started pursuing my dream sooner.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’m really not into supernatural creatures. Ask me what super hero I’d want to be, and I’d say Kitty Pryde from the X-Men. I love how she can phase through walls. I’m a total Marvel Universe geek.
Where do you write best?
Anywhere where I am alone, which is no where. I have five children and a house full of people. So I quite literally never get any peace and quiet time, which makes it very difficult to write. I’ve tried going to the library, but you’d be surprised how noisy libraries can be. Normally, I write at my desk in my home office. At least I can close the door.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
The Dogs by Allan Stratton. It’s a middle grade horror novel. It had just enough creep factor and mystery to give a kid chills. Perfect book for reluctant readers. I’m always on the look out for good horror novels for all ages. For adults, I recently read The Troop by Nick Cutter about these boy scouts on a island who get infected with genetically modified worms that make them really, really hungry. Some pretty disgusting things happen. Loved it.
Omnibus_Front (2)
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
My secret dream is to be a horror novelist. CONTACT has some elements of horror, and I just finished writing a horror/sci-fi manuscript set on a distant planet with an invisible creature that rips the characters to shreds. Hoping to get that published in the near future.
Where can fans find you online?
The best way to keep up with me is via my e-newsletter. People can subscribe for free on my website:http://www.laurisawhitereyes.com/ or blog http://laurisareyes.blogspot.com./ I’m also on Facebook  and Twitter.

Traitors’ Gate book tour dates

The prequel to my Battle of the Undead series will be out soon – my publishers, Evernight Teen have arranged a virtual book tour to celebrate the release.

EvernightTeen - Traitors Gate Nicky Peacock

Tour dates:

2/29 Young Adult & Teen Reads
2/29 Darkest Cravings
3/1 Get Cozy
3/2 The Book Pub
3/3 Seeing Stars
3/4 Fantasy Pages
3/5 All Book Finds
3/6 Nics Book Nook
3/7 Nikki Noffsinger 

Book Spotlight: Crimson Sky by Amy Braun

HANDOVER Ebook Crimson Sky 6x9inCrimson Sky by Amy Braun

Synopsis:

They’re always watching. They’re always waiting. They’re always starving…

Ten years ago, the sky shattered and the Hellions emerged. No one was able to keep them from destroying the city of Westraven. Now that the bloodthirsty monsters rule the skies and have forced the few remaining humans underground, Claire Abernathy lives in a nightmare. She survives by using her skills as an engineer for a ruthless tyrant connected to her mother and father’s past failure.

Then Claire’s world is torn apart when her sister Abby is kidnapped by the Hellions, and Claire herself is taken by dangerous sky pirates known as marauders. But Claire will not be intimidated by them while her sister’s life hangs by a thread, and so she strikes a deal with them: If they help rescue Abby, she will fix their ship and give them the chance to take the revenge they desperately seek.

As Claire fights for her sister’s life, she begins to realize that the Hellions are not the only dangers she’ll face. Burdensome secrets and devastating betrayals threaten her at every turn, and if she loses herself to them, it won’t just be her life that is destroyed…

About the Author:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

Amy’s current work includes the full length novels Demon’s Daughter, Dark Divinity, Crimson Sky, and Path of the Horseman, and the novella Needfire. She has short stories in various horror and urban fantasy anthologies such as Call From The Grave, Hotel Hell, Survivalism in The Dead Walk: Volume 2, Dismantle in The Steam Chronicles, Lost Sky in Avast, Ye Airships!, Secret Suicide in That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, Bring Back The Hound in Stomping Grounds, Charlatan Charade in Lost in the Witching Hour, and her award winning short Dark Intentions And Blood in AMOK! Amy can be found online through her frequently updated blog, Literary Braun (literarybraun.blogspot.ca), as well as on Twitter (@amybraunauthor) and Facebook (facebook.com/amybraunauthor).

The first novel in a brand new series, CRIMSON SKY, the first 238 page novel of the DARK SKY books, marks the beginning of new characters as they forge their way through a shattered world, struggling to erase the perceptions left behind by their families, and relying on unlikely allies to survive horrors that have become commonplace…

Buy through Amazon.co.uk

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Cover Reveal – Traitors’ Gate – Battle of the Undead – Prequel

Due out very soon through Evernight Teen, the prequel to Bad Blood and Bad Timing – Traitors’ Gate. A historical urban fantasy that takes you back to where it all began…

traitorsgate

Out now – Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales

61oh11chGOLOut today is the Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales which includes my short story Madame X.

Jack the Ripper as he has never been seen before . . .

Countless theories have been put forward by Ripperologists as to the identity of the notorious Victorian serial killer, but in the absence of proof how can we hope ever to unearth his real identity? How many more plausible new theories based on the known facts can the experts hope to come up with?

In this wonderful collection of newly-commissioned stories, Jakubowski has compiled an extraordinary array of fresh explorations into the identity and activities of Jack the Ripper – this time unabashedly fictional, unrestrained by the facts of the case. Contributors include Vanessa de Sade, Sarah Morrison, Betsy van Die, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and Sally Spedding

Cumulatively, they propose numerous possible identities, some already suggested by historians, others more speculative, including some famous names from history and fiction – even Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are on the case!

Available: hard copy, Kindle and audio book – so pop along to Amazon or your local book shop for your copy.

Interview with Eden Royce

Eden _b_W_ SmallTell us a bit about what you write and where you’ve been published…

I write mainly dark fantasy and horror, although I’ve published a romance novella or three. I’ve had stories published with Dark Oak Press, Sirens Call Publications, Blood Bound Books and a few other presses that are now defunct.  My most recent release, a short story collection called Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror and my novella “Containment” I self-published.

You can also find my work on Hellnotes.com where I review horror books and on GraveyardShiftSisters.com where I interview a female horror writer of color and review her latest work.

If you could elect any literary character as Prime Minister/ President – who would it be and why?

Jonathan Howard’s Johannes Cabal from the series of novels of the same name. Cabal’s intelligent, resourceful, and if he needs advice from someone who’s dead, he’s a necromancer.

Which TV series do you wish you’d come up with?

Most of the ones I can think of quickly are fantastic but short lived: Firefly, American Gothic, Brimstone. For longevity’s sake, I wish I’d come up with The Golden Girls. Great cast, memorable theme song, laughter, tears, and still in syndication.

If you were the author of your own life, what would be the next scene be?Spooklights_Small

I’d have to add some paranormal or fantasy elements.  Such as I find out I’m half djinn and need to master my new found powers or my emotions begin to affect the time-space continuum. Or I’d write myself a Dungeons and Dragons style quest to go on with four or five of my closest gaming friends. I really am such a geek.

What’s the best thing you’ve done so far this year and why?

My honeymoon.  No details on why. J

Zombies, meteors, nuclear war…How do you think the world is going to end?

Frightening as it is to say, I think we humans are going to be the cause of the end of the world. Some disastrous event will occur: maybe a food shortage in a first world country and in an attempt to save humanity, we’ll end up killing the entire human race.  Man, I hope I’m not Nostradamus.

That, or the movie Idiocracy will come true.

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

The last book I read was Marrow by Tarryn Fisher. The friend of another author I know on Facebook recommended it. I read the synopsis and thought it looked like a good read, so I purchased the Kindle copy.  It was an amazing novel. The book took me so subtly through the twists and turns of the main character’s life and I was mad when it was time for me to go to bed each night and put it dowContainment_ADn. Margo was such a well thought out protagonist, one who’d gone through so much that I rooted for her to have a happy ending. I won’t say whether or not she does, because you need to read it. I was still thinking about Marrow days after I’d finished it.

Who’s your hero and why?

My grandmother.  She was tough and smart and never let anything get the best of her, even in a world that didn’t see her as the force of nature that she was. She’d give you the short off her back or a good talking to, depending on what you needed. She inspires a lot of my work.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to write a screenplay for the 7 Magpies horror film anthology. It’s the first of its kind: a horror film anthology written and directed by black women.  I’m nervous and excited, not necessarily in that order. I’d like for this project to get the recognition it deserves and I hope my part in it does the film justice.

Website: http://edenroyce.com/

Blog: http://darkgeisha.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/EdenRoyce

https://www.facebook.com/eden.royce

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eden-Royce-The-Dark-Geisha/175439055801467

Interview with Greg F. Gifune

GFG_photo-CTell us about your publishing journey…

Professionally, I’ve been working in the business as a writer and editor for about fifteen years now, around twelve full-time. I’m originally a product of what was called the zine scene back in the day, which was a sort of smaller, independent group of really cool cutting edge print magazines that featured artists and writers and various forms and genres of fiction, among other things. In those days a lot of people came up that way, most of the name writers in the genre now came up through the zine culture, and it was really a great training and proving ground, kind of like a minor league system where you got your game together before being called up to the majors. From there I moved to larger venues for my work, and had short stories published. I wanted to master short stories as best I could before even attempting a serious novel. So I worked hard on my short fiction, and after several years of rejection and learning and honing my skills, I was eventually published and the floodgates opened from there. I ended up having more than 100 short stories published, all over the world, first in the zines and then in larger magazines and anthologies, and from there I felt I was ready to write a novel and started working on novels and novellas. Evchildren_of_chaosentually I was lucky enough to sell some of them. One of my earliest breaks came from Delirium Books, which was owned and operated by Shane Staley, back in the day. I also sold some things to a few other smaller publishers as well. That opened the doors to me and got me noticed by others. HERETICS, my first short story collection that included the novella HERETICS as the anchor, really got me noticed, it got great reviews and allowed me to follow it up with my novel THE BLEEDING SEASON, and that ended up really putting me on the map (and continues to be a good seller all these later and is considered by many to be a modern classic in the genre). Without those early days with Delirium and others, but primarily Delirium and the support and belief people like Shane had in me, I’d likely not be where I am now. From there I was noticed by a lot of other publishers, and in the years since have been published by pretty much everybody, though I’ve always continued my relationship with Shane in the business. It’s been a long journey and it’s required a lot of hard work for many years, lots of sacrifice on my part and my wife’s part, and plenty of dedication and perseverance. But it’s paid off in the long run. Hopefully there’s still quite a ways to go and I’m nowhere near the end of that journey. We’ll see what the future brings.

house_of_rainWhat do you love about being an author?

I like having the ability to, through my art, express and cleanse myself. I love being able to reach other people through my work. That’s probably the best part for me, being able to touch other people, to move them in some meaningful way. I remember I once got an incredible fan letter from a guy, a troubled Vietnam vet that had been through hell. He wrote me this wonderful letter about how one of my books and one of the characters in particular had really moved him and helped him deal with some of his own personal issues. When, as an author, you learn that something so profound can happen through your work, it helps you to appreciate and understand that there’s a lot of power, potentially, in what we do, and that’s when it’s at its best when you can really move somebody and affect someone in such a positive way. For me, that’s the best part.

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

Miss Jean Brodie. Not sure what we’d eat, but I’m sure it’d be interesting, whatever it was.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I have so many books out there it would depend on which one(s) you’re asking about, but I don’t really have an answer for you. I don’t work in film, at least not at this point, so I’d leave those kinds of things to those who do. I have had some interest of late from Hollywood and some independent film producers, so we’ll see.BleedingSeason_cover

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?

By default, I suppose I am. I know what I write can be frightening, and that’s fine, at times it is intended to be, but I really don’t consider myself or define myself as a ‘horror writer’ per se, just a writer. What I write is dark and hopefully provocative and thought-provoking while also being entertaining. Rather than looking to scare people, I set out to make them think, to hopefully move them in some way and to connect with readers on a very human but primal level. If that includes frightening them as part of the process, so be it, but scaring people isn’t at the top of my list. As for what scares me, I’m really not the type of person that scares easily, but I am afraid of spiders, as my wife will attest. I’m the guy that leaves the room and calls her to handle it if there’s one nearby. Beyond that, the unknown both fascinates and frightens me.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

Probably the Old American West, because that era has always interested and fascinated me.

rogueWhat life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Stay away from the brown acid.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

What do you mean “if”?

Where do you write best?

In my office. At my desk.

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

The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham, and like everything else he does, it was brilliant.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I don’t consider myself a genre writer or confined by any one genre, so I’d likely do the same thing I’m doing now, which is primarily just write dark fiction and let it fall into whatever category people want to place it.

Where can fans find you online?

Facebook and Twitter are probably the easiest places. I also have an official website  www.gregfgifune.com but at present it’s being revamped.