Author Archives: lindseygoddard

Interview with author James Dorr

How would you describe your writing style?

Mixed-genre perhaps, or a potpourri? That is, my most recent book Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth is a mosaic novel, or novel-in-stories, with elements of horror, dystopic science fiction, science fantasy, and dark romance blended in together, and in a style I think of as baroque – tending toward lush and literary. However, I’ve also had stories in mystery magazines that are more bare-boned, in some cases perhaps even noir. The idea for me is that the type of story will ideally suggest the style, with The Tears of Isis (to drop another title) as a possible example, a collection that begins with a poem, then a stream-of-consciousness story, and so on, ending with its title story in a fairly no-nonsense, straightforward style.

What draws you to dark fiction?

One of my primary interests is character. In my opinion the best fiction, in any genre, is that which makes its reader think, to think about what it means to be human whether in terms of relating to the world, or building new worlds as in science fiction, or intimately with just one other person, or even within the folds of one’s own mind. This last is where I think horror and dark fiction excel, in putting a character under the greatest personal stress and examining how that character then copes, or even just survives. The vampire has bitten, now what does one do? And does its playing out induce the reader to think how he or she might react as well, perhaps not to a vampire bite as such, but to other, hopefully no longer quite as extreme pressures they might be under in everyday life?

Such an eloquent response, it makes me want to sit down and read some James Dorr tonight. Please tell us about your latest release, Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth.

On a far-future, exhausted Earth a ghoul – an eater of corpses – explores the ruins of one of its greatest cities in hopes of discovering the one thing that made its inhabitants truly human. This is the premise, the quest that leads us through the 16 stand-alone chapters, about half in fact already published in various venues as complete short stories, loosely inspired by a pair of quotations from Edgar Allan Poe, of the most poetic subject being the death of a beautiful woman (which also informs, in its way, my previous book The Tears of Isis) and of the boundaries between life and death being “at best shadowy and vague.” If these statements be true, and in an already dying world, can love be a power to even transcend death?

Looking through your Amazon page, I noticed how much you’ve been getting your fiction out there in different anthologies and magazines. Are there any of these publications that stand out in your mind as a particularly memorable experience, whether it was a lot of fun to participate in, or maybe for charity, or a badass theme?

So many things, and where to start? One story that comes to mind is called “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” one originally written for a horror anthology that turned it down, then was rejected by a succession of other horror markets until I switched gears and sent it to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine where it was accepted – the first that I sold there and, at the time, one of my first wholly professional fiction sales. (It is in addition written in a mannered style, which was taking a chance for me back then, but in a sense prefigured the style later used in Tombs.) Then there’s “Moons of Saturn,” a science fantasy story that’s almost a reverie based on an astronomy book I had on the solar system, which went to Algis Budrys’s magazine Tomorrow, another early (and in my opinion, validating) professional sale. For another, “Avoid Seeing a Mouse,” which went to Max Booth III’s alternate history anthology for Dark Moon Books, Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories, and played a role in bringing about The Tears of Isis. And for a fourth, perhaps “King Rat,” written in part as an allegory on world politics and economics, that first appeared in Gothic.Net and was reprinted in Bleed, a charity anthology for The National Children’s Cancer Society.

James, I also had a story in Bleed. It was a terrific book! But now I want to know more about your 2013 collection, The Tears of Isis. It has received some great reviews. How long did it take you to put this collection together, and what do you think has made it so successful?

In that The Tears of Isis was assembled from stories already written, it didn’t take that long at all. Max Booth III had just started Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and, having recently published me in Zombie Jesus, invited me to submit a collection to his new company. For the contents, I was to have a completely free hand as long as it came in within a certain word range, choosing and arranging the stories myself. As it happened, I’d been playing around in my head with a couple of possible collection ideas, so I emailed back suggesting I get back by about Halloween, which would have been two or three weeks, with a definite yes if I thought it feasible, then get a manuscript together by about Thanksgiving – this would be aiming for a publication date for the next spring or summer, in time to be out before that year’s World Horror Convention.

So the dates worked out. Since the stories were already written (which isn’t quite true, I did write one short one to be combined with an existing poem, while one other story was as yet unpublished) it was more a case of compilation and one thing I learned, the process was both a challenge and fun. By analogy to the sculptors in the book’s opening poem and closing story, in choosing materials from an unformed “basket” of stories from which to form a loose theme (in this case of beauty and death; of the artist conferring on his or her model both immortality, and through its objectification, a kind of destruction) and then fitting and arranging them into it, I had the thrill of watching as until-then-unrelated works formed of themselves a cohesive and artistically satisfying whole.

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Wow! That sounds like a unique collection of stories, for sure. Do you keep a notebook or file of potential story ideas? If so, how many do you think you actually end up using?

The short answer is “no.” My relationship with the muse is not a sunny one; I have to wrestle her for ideas and, if I get one, I usually try to develop it at least a little bit right away. At that point I’m likely to make some notes on a piece of scrap paper or the back of an envelope, but I’ll still try to get to work with it on the computer within a few days. (One exception: in the case of a series of stories – I have one ongoing, for instance, about the original vampires who allegedly came to New Orleans – or a created world, as in Tombs, I may keep a folder with common information, such as maps or naming conventions.)

You write poetry as well. Who are some of your favorite poets, from any era?

To go to possible extremes, I consider Edgar Allan Poe and Allen Ginsberg to be major influences. To them I might add Byron, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Chaucer, the Greek tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (these in translation, of course), any number on up to Kipling (who, after all, even wrote a poem called “The Vampire”).

Where can we find your poetry?

I’ve been lax in marketing poetry lately, though I will have a short poem in the current (Fall 2017) Star*Line. I do have a book of poetry, Vamps (A Retrospective), available from White Cat Publications as well as (although in print only, I think) Alban Lake. Also my early collections Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance and Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret both contain poetry sections. (These latter are technically out of print but can still be found on Amazon, et al.)

Is there any genre you’d like to attempt but haven’t tried yet?

I consider enough of my work to be cross-genre that it’s hard to answer. I’ve never written straight romance or straight westerns (or western romance, for that matter), but if I tried it’s likely that horror elements would sneak in. (Also erotica might be fun, but again. . . .)

What do you do for fun when you’re not writing?

I like watching movies, particularly science fiction and horror, but comedies too and some documentaries. I also lead and play tenor in a Renaissance recorder consort.

Where can we find you on the web?

I recommend that people follow me on my blog at http://jamesdorrwriter.wordpress.com to keep up on my latest doings. Feel free to comment too if the spirit moves. Also I’m on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.dorr.9 and my Amazon Author page (lots of book titles, but most of them are anthologies where I might just have a story or poem) is at http://www.amazon.com/James-Dorr/e/B004XWCVUS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1380306038&sr=1-2-ent

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It had been a time when the world needed legends, those years so long past now. Because there was something else legends could offer, or so the Poet believed. He didn’t know quite what — ghouls were not skilled at imagination. Their world was a concrete one, one of stone and flesh. Struggle and survival. Survival predicated on others’ deaths. Far in the future, when our sun grows ever larger, scorching the earth. When seas become poisonous and men are needed to guard the crypts from the scavengers of the dead. A ghoul-poet will share stories of love and loss, death and resurrection. Tombs is a beautifully written examination of the human condition of life, love, and death, through the prism of a dystopian apocalypse.

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James Dorr’s latest book is a novel-in-stories published in June 2017 by Elder Signs Press, Tombs: A Chronicle of  Latter-Day Times of Earth. Born in Florida, raised in the New York City area, in college in Cambridge Massachusetts, and currently living in the Midwest, Dorr is a short story writer and poet specializing in dark fantasy and horror, with forays into mystery and science fiction. His The Tears of Isis was a 2014 Bram Stoker Award® finalist for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, while other books include Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance, Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, and his all-poetry Vamps (A Retrospective). He has also been a technical writer, an editor on a regional magazine, a full time non-fiction freelancer, and a semi-professional musician, and currently harbors a cat named Triana.

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Half A Dozen Devilish Books

Devils and demons are a staple of horror literature, and I adore them in novels, novellas, and short stories. Funny enough, I feel the opposite about demonic possession in films. There are a thousand-and-one possession movies, and all of them use more or less the same plot, same tricks. But the written word is full of possibilities. It doesn’t suffer the restrictions of film and gives us room to examine the idea of demons from varying viewpoints. The loss of control, the loss of one’s self, is so frightening in a horror book.

Lately, I’ve read a lot of novels based around this very idea – possession, the devil, and ancient evil. I enjoyed each title, though no two were alike. Here are some of them – a list I’m calling Half A Dozen Devilish Books.

 

Come Closer

by: Sara Gran

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I decided to buy this book when someone recommended it in the comments of a Facebook thread. The status asked something like: “What was the last book that genuinely scared you?” I read this book in a day, which is a record for me. I’m normally a slow reader. The story moves along quickly, yet you really get a sense of the narrator’s desperation, her loss of self-control, and her fear. What would you do if you thought you were possessed by a demon? Who could you turn to? Who would listen?

 

A Head Full of Ghosts

by: Paul Tremblay

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Was teenager, Marjorie Barrett, a victim of demonic possession, or was she mentally ill? Years later, her sister looks back on their family’s dark past to unravel a tragic mystery. This book was full of suspense and chills. I absolutely loved it.

 

The Fisherman

by: John Langan

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Some might question my inclusion of The Fisherman here. It’s not about devils, or demons, or Hell. The Fisherman tells the tale an ancient evil capable of possessing humans, and manipulating them through their grief and sadness. Sounds pretty demonic, right? This is a slow-moving, crawl-under-your-skin-and-stay-there sort of book. I had to include it on the list.

 

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal #1)

by: Jonathan L. Howard

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I’ll admit, this book was not exactly my cup of tea. Not every book is going to become a personal favorite. But I see the value of Johannes Cabal for lovers of supernatural fantasy and dark comedy. It’s a lighthearted adventure through Hell and back, and especially if you love a good series, this might be a better match for you than it was for me. It did make me laugh a bit, and I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. There are several more books to follow this one, including: Johannes Cabal the Detective, Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute, The Brothers Cabal, Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day: And Other Tales of the Necromancer, and The Fall of The House of Cabal.

 

Cassie Kills

by: Tim Miller

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I don’t read much extreme horror. And I’m certain that statement is something extreme horror authors hear all the time and get sick of hearing, but hey, as sub-genres go, it’s simply not for everyone. That being said, I picked up a copy of Cassie Kills because I admire the author’s imagination and energy. It was a dark and depraved read, and kept me entertained throughout. I’m told some of the more graphic parts were edited out to meet Amazon’s requirements, but this was graphic enough for me as-is! A sick revenge story and a journey through a world worse than Hell.

 

Needful Things

by: Stephen King

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This is an oldie but a goodie. To be honest, I didn’t read much King in my youth. I didn’t have the patience for his story layers and – let’s face it – the enormous word counts! I’ve been reading him more in my thirties, and so far, this one ranks among my favorites. Store owner, Mr. Gaunt, is everything you could ask for in a Devil. Sly, experienced, charming, mystical, and terrifying. The shop he just opened up in Castle Rock has something for everyone. And I mean everyone. Won’t you step inside?

 

So there you have it. The six most devilish books I’ve read lately. Feel free to comment with your own devilish suggestions.

 

Halloween Treat – The Jester: a short horror film

Happy Halloween!

Yes! It’s almost that special time of year. The pumpkins have all been picked. The fake webs are in the bushes. The candy is atop the fridge. Now, we settle in for some good old fashioned scary movies and wait for the trick or treaters to come.

Speaking of trick or treaters, the villain in this short film does not take lightly to skipping out on Halloween. Tisk, tisk, tisk. You better celebrate, or risk a run-in with The Jester…

 

 

Horror Humor

100 Bloody Acres

I just finished watching 100 Bloody Acres, and I must say… it’s the perfect mix of horror and comedy. Here’s the breakdown:

Reg and Lindsay run a family business and have all the typical sibling scuffles, but younger brother Reg is constantly eager to win his bro’s approval, despite their rocky relationship. The two run an organic fertilizer business and have a shocking idea about how to obtain some special ingredients for their new fertilizer mix. Seeking flesh and bone to process through their meat grinder at no cost out of pocket, Reg makes his rounds in the Morgans Organic company truck, searching for dead meat. He comes across three (live) friends on their way to a music festival and immediately recognizes the fresh opportunity.

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Hitching a ride with Reg due to their broken down vehicle, the trio of friends fall into the clutches of the murderous Morgan brothers and soon find themselves on the path to certain doom, rather than a music festival. But maybe, just maybe, the three of them could escape…. if only one of them wasn’t tripping acid and the other two weren’t fully engulfed in some serious relationship drama!

I found this movie for sale at Family Video and paid a whopping $1.50 for it. I had very little faith in the review on the back given by RogerEbert.com: “The best low-budget horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead!” Yeah right, I thought. But you know what? I really did enjoy the film. So much that I decided to recommend it here on the blog. It didn’t deliver quite as many laughs as Shaun of the Dead, but the back cover also boasts: “A witty, gory blend of Australian humor and horror tropes, the Cairnes Brothers 100 Bloody Acres is a bloody good time,” and with that statement, I fully agree. Great character development, lots of funny moments, tons of suspense. An all-around good movie!

Spotlight on Burning Willow Press

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It’s always exciting to see an indie publisher grow, expand, and achieve new successes. Today I will spotlight just a handful of the titles over at www.burningwillowpressllc.com, not only to let readers in on some great fiction, but also because owners Edd & Kindra are amazing people who work hard to give their authors the best. Dedicated, creative people are what drive Burning Willow Press to meet its full potential. 

If you see a book that interests you, consider picking up a copy. Pretty please??

 

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Hell Gate: Book One, by Josh Matthews

Sixteen-year-old Jason McCreary is living a nightmare within a nightmare. Not only is he trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by demons from Hell, he also shoulders the burden for humanity’s fate as it was his mother who opened the gates in a scientific experiment gone wrong. In a last ditch effort to redeem his family name and erase his guilt, Jason joins a squad whose mission is to travel to Paris and close the Hell Gate. Once there, they discover an environment more frightening than anything they could imagine and demons more terrifying than they had ever encountered before. Time is now against them. Can Jason gain his redemption along with the respect of his peers, or will a new web of lies threaten to rip apart his world and jeopardize his team’s only chance for success?

Buy it on Amazon

 

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Edging, by Michael Schutz

Intenze is the newest designer drug. Take it, and nightmares come alive. “Edging” is a better rush than the Tower of Terror. It’s a fraction of the price of a Six Flags admission. And it’s the most addictive high that the tiny suburb of New London has ever known.

For Rick Carlson, the junkies roaming the streets don’t even scratch the surface of what worries him. He’s trying to win back his cheating wife. He’s trying to protect his residents at Belmont Assistant Living from their own drug-addled grandchildren. And he’s trying to save his twin boy and girl from their mother’s murderous paranoia.

But he can’t save them all.

The fears of all those who edge summon the Thirst—a living miasma that thrives on terror. It is bringing a storm. And time is running out.

Buy it on Amazon

 

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Skin Deep/ Ordinary Monsters, by Frank Martin

What happens when an overbearing family drives a teenage girl into the arms of a mysterious, pale stranger? How can a high school junior explain having strange dreams of a Nazi concentration camp after being bitten by his neighbor’s monstrous dog? And who will win when two iconic creatures of the night clash on a desolate WWI battlefield? Dive into a world of werewolves and vampires with SKIN DEEP and ORDINARY MONSTERS, two standalone stories featured in a dual novella from author Frank Martin. And don’t forget to check out the bonus comic short HORRORS OF WAR found in both ends of this double-sided work of pulp and terror.

Buy it on Amazon

 

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Coma Hell, by Kevin Wimer

(Kevin has a short story with Burning Willow Press and is eager to have a longer work published with them. Here’s a glimpse at his current book, though not published with Burning Willow. He is one of their anthology authors, so I said, “That counts!” Lol.)

Jack Roberts awakens from what he was told would be nothing more than a routine sinus surgery. There is never anything routine with any surgery. Jack never gave that a thought and he should have. Jack might have changed his life and been a better man.

The panic beeping sound of alarms echoed with a flurry of activity around Jack’s hospital bed. The scream of a nurse calling for a doctor. The voice of a doctor yelling we are losing him and for everyone to stand back.

The bright flashing red hot light seared through Jack’s body as the world around him spun out of control. The voice of the doctor now tense with anger as his words echoed through Jack’s head. The only word that Jack could make out was coma.

Jack was now lost in the darkened world that would become his very own private hell.

Buy it on Amazon

 

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A Mighty Rolling Thunder, by Kerry Alan Denney

The end of the world is just the beginning of the terror…

Spring 2024: Two spirit hordes break through from another dimension, and half the world’s population vanishes. The spirits possess the survivors, dividing them into two groups: those who fight to retain their humanity, and marauders who destroy everything in their paths.

Artist Livi DeSilva is fleeing from possessed killers when she meets Conor McLain, a man suffering from amnesia. Outnumbered and outgunned, Livi and Conor team up and fight off homicidal lunatics and ruthless gangs, only to end up cornered by their deadliest foe: billionaire Victor van Danz, a psychopath who commands the new world’s dark forces. Victor craves immortality, and kidnaps Livi. He believes that when he kills Livi in front of her collection of canvases and absorbs her life energy, he will transform into a god.

With only Conor, two amazing dogs, and a band of plucky children to aid her, Livi must harness the power of the spirits inside her and use it to defeat Victor–or die in the clutches of a madman.

“Kerry Alan Denney has created the perfect blend of King’s The Stand and Koontz’s famous dogs. A Mighty Rolling Thunder is a well-written thrill ride of a story you won’t want to miss. A must-read for all post-apocalyptic genre fans!” – Monique Lewis Happy, critically acclaimed Managing/ Acquisitions Editor at Winlock Press

Buy it on Amazon

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Secrets of the Slain, by Lindsey Goddard

Secrets of the Slain A collection of poetry and short stories created to tantalize your senses and wreak havoc on your mind, each tale further challenging your perception of what reality is and what it is not. Be prepared to see inside of the soul of Lindsey Goddard and share in her “Secrets of the Slain”.

Buy in on Amazon

 

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Choice Cuts, by David Owen Hughes

Choice Cuts: A collection of one of the finest splatter-fuelled horror the genre holds, an unflinching set of short stories that will stay with you, horrors that set root into the back of your psyche & taunt your sanity to its limits.

Here lies fourteen tales of all that is baneful & bloodthirsty from David Owain Hughes, an author with an unflinching love for all things close-to-the-bone, grim & grotesque. Once you delve into these pages you will come face to face with an unstoppable force of pure gore. Readers of a delicate disposition may want to put this tome back on the shelf, while those of you who feel ready to be dragged along into the minds of the deranged & disturbed, the murderous & malignant who watch & wait…

Packed with fast-paced thrills & many, many spills. You’ll come face to face with what lies beneath the surface of the mundane & ordinary, step foot into the maze of murder, mania & madness…just be sure to come out in one piece, not just another choice cut.

We had the disquieting dioramas of stealth-like shocks & spills of Laymon…now we present you with Hughes’ own approach towards the antagonistic execution in the realms of the fear & mayhem that can strike when you least expect it. If you’re a fan of Laymon & Lee, you’ll devour Choice Cuts.

Buy it on Amazon

 

Interview with Kenneth W. Cain

Hello again, my wicked readers. The kiddos have gone back to school, so I’m going Back To Scares. 

I was a ghost

who never did post.

I’ll soon be the host

who thrills you most.

Haha. Okay, that was an awful poem. Suffice it to say, I am breathing some much-needed life (and DEATH) back into this blog.

On today’s agenda, an amazing interview with author Kenneth W. Cain:

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What draws you to dark fiction?

I was raised to be a fearful man, which has hindered my enjoyment of life. Somewhere in my teens I started rebelling against that fear, embracing my fears, rationalizing them. It was and still is very much a process. But, I suppose that confrontation sparked my interest in the unknown, as I’ve always had this need to expose the darkness. To shine a light on it in hopes of uncovering the unknown. There’s so much we don’t understand about ourselves, about this world, the deep ocean and darkest forest, space and beyond. It can make one feel very small and insignificant. That’s my draw.

 

Embers, your latest book of short stories, has received some awesome reviews. How many stories are included in the pages of Embers, and what inspired you to put this collection together?

There are 25 stories in Embers. That means it’s chock full of fun, and that’s always what I aim for, to make sure there’s something for everyone. And that’s part of the joy, seeing what stories jive with this person and that, what the takeaway is. For me, it’s a journey, all of this writing business. It’s the same with a collection. It’s all about laying bricks to a path that leads through a horrific garden. Each step has a precise space, that hopefully allows the reader to journey along with me. And if I’m successful in creating this walkway, maybe they see through my eyes, if only for a brief moment. That’s the fun of it.

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You have written both short and long fiction. Does your process differ for each?

Well, I stumbled into this business in 2010 with These Trespasses, which actually began as a blog series believe it or not. At that point, I was far from finding any sort of stride, and I think the story suffered because of it. Same with some of my other earlier work, as I’d been away from this all too long, and had not progressed at all, and needed to rediscover myself. So I suppose it was originally more of a hobby for me then, sorry to say.

At some point more recently, I started falling in love with the written word again. Those who have spoken with me in person or on the phone know of my desire to learn more of the craft. It’s something that excites me, and I think that’s starting to bleed into my writing the correct way (pun intended). So there’s a process to my writing now, that more or less is me getting the story out, no matter how big or small, and refining it over edits for layering and tension and emotion, characterization and all.

To answer your question more specifically, it’s more about the story and less about the process. My characters lead me through, and only they know when their story has been fully told. I give them that control, give into the fiction. That’s actually helped me to a large degree I think, as I’m seeing through their eyes with more clarity these days.

 

Which part of writing is your favorite: outlining a plot, developing characters, crafting a setting, or writing dialogue?

Well, I’m a panser, so it wouldn’t be outlining. I’ve tried time and time again with no success. As for the rest, I suppose it’s more of a combination of those three. Dialogue is part of the characterization. Also, setting is a bit like a character in that we need to breathe life into it. There’s a look and feel to everything, a sound or sounds, and smells. It’s about hitting the senses to best create a painting of a real life scene with moving parts and feeling. When you hit it, with all the right beats, you know it, and that creation is a beautiful thing.

 

Which part/s do you struggle with?

Well that’s a tough question. I’d say I struggle with it all because I’m never really satisfied. At times, I’ll revisit something I’ve written in the past and rue over my mistakes. And yes, there’s always mistakes. Not necessarily in the sense of grammar or misspelling, but in layering and character flaws and dialogue, voice. Such has been the case as I dive back into my trilogy and revisit my earliest efforts. But that’s also been a rewarding process. This business is all about growth for me, and that in itself is an endless study.

 

Are you involved with any creative projects, aside from writing?

Creative is such a broad word, but yes. Many in fact. I perform much of the formatting and graphic design tasks for The Lovecraft eZine and others upon request. I’ve also been editing quite a bit lately, too. Occasionally, I’ll paint and/or draw. Art was one of my first passions. My reef tanks are also creative in a way, I suppose.

 

If you could sit and talk with any three authors, living or deceased, who would they be?

That’s a tough question, as there are so many whose minds I’d like to pick. Currently, though, I guess that would be Joe Hill, Shirley Jackson, and Richard Matheson.

 

What are your hobbies and interests when you’re not writing?

Well, my family is my biggest interest. I enjoy spending time with them, whatever we’re doing. But there’s also my reef tank and growing corals. Painting, riding my bike, going to the gym, baseball (I coach my son’s teams), the beach. Actually, a good friend enlightened me to see the beauty in anything long ago, and ever since, I tend to take interest in most anything, which isn’t always easy as you could imagine.

 

Are there any genres you’d like to attempt but haven’t tried yet?

I don’t read a lot of science fiction. I used to, so I’m not opposed to it, but I’m not always one who gravitates to what some classify as “hard” science fiction. Again, it’s not that I don’t like it, just that I don’t always prefer it. Maybe (occasionally) something gets lost in all that overly technical jargon and pulls me out of the story, I’m not certain. Whatever the case, I’d like to revisit that shelf (so to say).

 

What can we expect to see from Kenneth W. Cain in the near future?

Right now, I’m rewriting my trilogy. I’m not certain what I’ll do with it afterword, whether I’ll try to find another publisher or self publish the series, but I do need to put in the work. I’m also working on a young adult horror novella and two new novels among other shorter projects, and possibly a new collection. Editing wise, I’m doing some work for a small press right now, but soon (October 1st) I’ll be editing volume 5 of Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From The Lake series. That’s a project I’m really looking forward to.

 

Where can we find you on the web?

Most of my links to connect can be found here: https://kennethwcain.com/contact

 

 

Wow, what a fantastic interview. Thank you so much, Kenneth W. Cain!!!

The Dirty Dozen: 12 Most Memorable Black Horror Movie Characters

I’ve been busy all summer long and never got a chance to post, but it’s Back To School time for the kiddos, and in honor of that, I’m doing a Back To Scares blogging event!

On today’s agenda: The Dirty Dozen: 12 Most Memorable Black Horror Movie Characters

Horror cinema would benefit from more black characters. We don’t see it enough. The following is my list of the most MEMORABLE black horror movie characters. Not all are lead characters (some had very little screen time but stole the show). This isn’t about Best Acted Roles or even Best Characters. These are the most memorable… because there is just something about the character that makes us connect with them, remember them…

Some of you will argue genre:  “Scary Movie is a comedy” and “Seven is a crime thriller.” Look, just sit back and let me entertain you, okay?

There’s an Honorable Mentions section at the bottom. I’ll let you in on a little secret: This is my way of keeping the “Dirty Dozen” theme without actually narrowing it down to 12! So tough! And you know what? There’s actually more in the Honorable Mentions section than on the list! LOL.

So here we go….

1-Brandon Quintin Adams

Fool – People Under The Stairs

When young Fool (Brandon Adams) breaks into the home of his family’s greedy and uncaring landlords, he discovers a disturbing scenario where incestuous adults have mutilated a number of boys and kept them imprisoned under their stairs.

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Peter Washington – Dawn of the Dead

Peter Washington is a member of Philadelphia’s SWAT when the walking dead crisis has reached critical condition. He saves the life of a fellow SWAT member of another squad, and he is offered a ride out of Philly and so joins the party that ends up at the notorious Monroeville Hyper-Mall. And that’s only where the drama begins!

 

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Jeryline – Demon Knight

Demon Knight is a feature-length film presented by the HBO series Tales from the Crypt, and features scenes with the Crypt Keeper, but what really drives the plot forward is the strong and beautiful character Jeryline, played by Jada Pinkett Smith. A must-see, if you haven’t.

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Detective Lt. William Somerset – Seven

What more do I need to say? Morgan Freeman is amazing in every role he plays, but the sheer intensity of the plot in Seven kicks his acting up another notch. This is such an engrossing film, and – like I said in my intro – you can argue that Seven is a “crime-thriller” all you want. This movie scared the shit out of me. I say horror!

 

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Lance Shroeder – House on Haunted Hill 1999

A millionaire with theatrical tendencies invites a number of people to stay in a vast creepy building that used to be an insane asylum. Lance Shroeder, played by Taye Diggs, is one of the unfortunate crew to accept this invitation. He’s so darn likeable, guys, you just have to root for him the whole time. Gotta love this character.

 

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Maximillian – Vampire in Brooklyn

Maximillian is the only survivor from a race of vampires on a Caribbean Island, and he must find a mate to keep the bloodline from ending. Horror comedy at its finest. Directed by Wes Craven and starring Eddie Murphy, this is definitely a memorable character.

 

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Sara Tidwell – Bag of Bones

I know a lot of people did not enjoy the film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1998 novel Bag of Bones. It was a two-part miniseries, which appeared on regular TV.  Maybe I’m lucky I hadn’t read the book, because I really enjoyed it. Sara Tidwell is a vivacious singer and a lost soul who does not get much screen time, but she stuck in my mind long after the credits rolled. Actress Anika Noni Rose was hauntingly gorgeous in this role.

 

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Candyman

I love Tony Todd, and you’ll see him twice more in the Honorable Mentions. His portrayal of Candyman is horrifying, with a genuinely creepy voice that invades your mind like the sweetest of poisons. For real. You’ll almost want to call upon the Candyman yourself, though you know it’s a bad idea. There’s something so alluring and so revolting at the same time about this character…. malicious to the core but with such a sad backstory.

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Russell Franklin – Deep Blue Sea

On an island research facility, a scientist is harvesting the brain tissue of DNA-altered sharks as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease. When the facility’s backers send executive Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson) to investigate the experiments, a routine procedure goes awry and sharks start attacking the researchers. As you can imagine, Russell snaps and screams, “Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfuckin’ sharks on this motherfuckin’ island!” Oh wait… nevermind, nevermind. That was a different movie… 🙂 snakes

 

 

 

 

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Brenda Meeks – Scary Movie 1, 2, 3, and 4

Brenda Meeks cracks me up. She’s the only character who kept me coming back to the Scary Movie sequels. Watching her fight Samara from The Ring in #3 had me rolling, some of her one-liners in #4 were even funnier, and really… she had me from the start in #1. Brenda Meeks is lively and sweet, and she is anything but “meek” if you light her fuse.

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Chris Washington – Get Out

Chris Washington is a young photographer in an interracial relationship, and when it comes time to meet his girlfriend’s family, he is hesitant. He worries that her parents won’t accept him. He’s in love, so he agrees to the trip anyway, and while staying at his girlfriend’s family home, he discovers things are much worse than he feared. The character of Chris played on the heartstrings of audiences worldwide. We really felt for him.

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Andre – Dawn of the Dead 2004

From the moment we meet Andre, we understand he has a lot to protect. His girlfriend’s belly is swollen, and he’s nervous to protect the child inside. That’s easier said than done in a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and untrustworthy humans, but he is determined. There’s one scene in particular that is unforgettable.

 

Honorable Mentions:

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The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Weirdest and Creepiest Horror Movie Dances

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.” – William W. Purkey

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.” – Shel Silverstein

Dancing. It makes us human. Whether we do it in front of others or bust a move in private when we hear our favorite song,  most of us have enjoyed a little dancing. But in horror movies, dancing takes on a whole new element. It’s either absurdly out-of-place,  insanely cheesy, eerily seductive, or downright creepy.

I offer you my Top Twelve Weirdest and Creepiest Horror Movie Dances. They are all listed here for different reasons… but all of them possess a certain WTF factor. Like seriously…. WTF?

 

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Total Spaz Dance

Okay, we all know this wasn’t the final chapter. But hopefully it was the final chapter in Crispin Glover’s dancing efforts. What is happening here?!?!?!

 

Insidious – Tiptoe Through The Tulips

Hey, even the ghosts of creepy little dead boys like to dance. Don’t hate.

 

Freddy’s Revenge – Jesse Cleans His Room

Jesse just moved into a new house and his parents are nagging him to get his room straightened up. So he vents his frustration in this awesome and very uncomfortable dance! Hahaha.

 

Dead & Breakfast –  Zombie Line Dance

I don’t even… uhhh…. I don’t even know what to say about this one. I’m so confused. Lol.

 

Carrie – Spinning

I have to mention the dance from the original Carrie because I refuse to believe I’m the only person in the world who can’t watch this scene without getting queasy. I mean… the spinning. The spinning is too much. *gag*

 

Sleepwalkers – Getting The Job Done

Sticking with Stephen King, here’s a great scene from Sleepwalkers. Man, oh man, I wish I could have this much fun at work.

 

Night of the Demons – There’s Something Different About Angela

Is it just me, or does this chick make demonic possession look HAWT?

 

Evil Dead 2 – Dance of the Headless Lover

Poor Ash. The dead just never seem to stay dead for him.

 

Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – Groovy Janitor

Sadly, I couldn’t find a high-quality clip of Blake Anderson (from Comedy Central’s Workaholics) dancing his way toward doom in Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. But at least someone out there has uploaded something because, man, it’s so darn funny.

 

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning – Everyone’s A Critic

Hey, Jason, Violet’s dancing wasn’t that bad. It was actually sorta cute. You didn’t have to KILL her!! Sheesh!

 

Troll 2 – Holly Gets Down

Troll 2 was released in 1990, which meant the 80s were over. But as you can see from this clip, the 80s were still very much alive. And you have to admit, she’s got some pretty good moves.

 

Return of the Living Dead – Trash’s Strip Tease

Again, I apologize for the quality. It’s hard to find this video, I guess because of the adult content. But I could never leave out the nude graveyard dance from Return of the Living Dead.

 

So there you have it. My Top Twelve.

Horror is full of strange and wonderful dancing, so feel free to comment with your favorites. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

WIHM Interview – Kelly Evans

It’s been a great Women in Horror Month, and there’s still time for one more interview. Let’s get to know author Kelly Evans.

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How long have you been writing?

Since I was a kid. Especially horror. I wrote a series of short horror stories in high school last period English class, left them in my friend’s locker and she’d read them to her morning physics class the next day. I had a bit of a following apparently.

What draws you to horror?

I love being scared. Everyone does, don’t they? But I love figuring out what, exactly, will scare people. And then finding the words to express that horror.

Do you write any other genres?

I also write historical fiction. I’m currently working on a 3 book series about the queens of Anglo Saxon England, the first of which came out last year. I’m also shortly releasing a historical horror novel, set during the Black Death.

Is there a genre you’d like to attempt but haven’t?

I enjoy humour, but I’m not sure I could write an entire novel. I DO write satirical historical articles though.

Do you think women horror authors have a hard time getting acknowledged?

Yes, absolutely. Horror, especially the more graphic stuff, has always been aggressive and fearful, something associated with men. But women can be aggressive, believe me. We can also go softly softly, creeping into your subconscious and scaring the pants off you before you know we’re even there.

What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever written and why?

I had to write a novel for a master’s in writing I was doing. *I* enjoyed the story but my tutor hated it, just didn’t understand what I was trying to do. THAT was tough; I lost interest in the book and never finished it.

Who are some amazing female authors (from any genre, any style, any time-period)?

I’m a big fan of medieval female authors, it’s nice to get the perspective of a group of people who have often been swept aside in favour of their male counterparts. Julian of Norwich, Margery Kemp, the Paston Letters, Hildegarde of Bingen, all worth taking a peek at.

Besides writing, what brings a smile to your face?

Clever humour. My cats. And, mainly, my husband!

Did you have a favorite book as a child?

I adored The Cat in the Mirror by Mary Stolz, about ancient Egypt. Also No Flying in the House by Betty Brock, and of course A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. All made a huge impression on me.

Here’s a tough one: What’s your favorite color?

Forest green.

What are you working on now, and where do you see yourself in the future?

I’m getting my historic horror ready for release, then continue with the second in my Anglo Saxon women series. I also write satirical medieval articles for my website each month, which are a LOT of fun. I’m retiring soon and will be writing full time, historical fiction and some more horror!

Where can we find you on the web?

website: http://www.kellyaevans.com

Twitter: @Chaucerbabe

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kellyevansauthor/

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Thanks for your support this WiHM!

Remember, there are always female horror writers out there hungry for more readers, all twelve months of the year!

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