Category Archives: horror books

Interview with William Gorman, author of Blackwater Val

Blackwater Val is William Gorman’s first novel, but I never would have guessed that while reading. Keeping a steady pace, chock-full of enthralling plot layers and a strong, believable cast, this book reads like the author is a well-seasoned pro. Set in the year 2000, main character Richard Franklin must return to his hometown in Blackwater Valley, Illinois after a hit-and-run accident takes the life of his beloved wife and leaves him to raise their daughter, Katie, all alone. Little Katie, who sees and hears and knows things the rest of us cannot. Little Katie, whose dark curse and innocence left me pondering… If all the abused, mistreated, and murdered humans could speak to us long after death, we might never get a moment of peace. But in this darkness, there is a light, a strength that might hold hope for a small town, sinking into madness in the grips of something very old and very evil. Blackwater Val delivers on every emotional level: depth, compassion, suspense, mystery, fear, revulsion, and action. I highly recommend this book for all lovers of dark fiction.

William Gorman was kind enough to answer some interview questions for me, so without further ado, let’s meet the author. And consider grabbing a copy of Blackwater Val while you’re here: https://www.amazon.com/Blackwater-Val-William-Gorman-ebook/dp/B01ETZ73H4?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

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How long have you been writing?

Since I was in grade school, scribbling out ghost stories and vampire and werewolf stories in my loose-leaf notebook for certain unlucky classmates to read—the teachers loved that. I started getting stories published in the various small press magazines that were around in the ’80s and ’90s, then I put out Ghost Whispers: Tales from Haunted Midway, a collection of weird legends and ghostlore from my Illinois hometown. The local library there approached me shortly after about doing some bus tours and spooky cemetery walks, and they’ve been running ever since. The events all used to be free, but I hear they’re charging people now . . . so someone is making money. Sure isn’t me!

What draws you to dark fiction?

The imagery, I guess. The danger involved. In dark fiction there’s always something lurking just out of the light, something that when done correctly should haunt you long after you’re done reading it. A dark, supernatural side of our own reality. But for me it has to have characters that I care about; there also has to be some kind of justice in the end. The villains have to get their comeuppance, or else it’s too much like real life, where people get away with heinous deeds all the time.

Did you encounter any rough patches while penning your first novel? If so, how did you overcome them?

The ending was difficult. Pulling everything together and tying it up in a way that satisfied me and answered the questions. Mostly plain old procrastination is the hardest thing to overcome—it’s the true enemy. Just working through and actually getting the writing done each day. It’s tough, with all of today’s distractions.

In what ways have you grown as an author since deciding to become one?

I had to grow before I could even write Blackwater Val. I learned that I wasn’t ready to tell this story in my 20s or 30s, when I first tried writing it. I wasn’t mature enough. I hadn’t lived through enough yet to really know what the book was all about. Only later on, after I’d grown and found my own voice as an author, was I able to tell the story I wanted to tell.

What is your greatest achievement?

I’m not sure I have one. Finishing the novel ranks high, getting it published by Crystal Lake and actually getting it out there. Hmm . . . does making it through the ’80s alive count? I don’t know.

Do your personal experiences tend to affect your characters?

Yes, absolutely. The characters are all fictitious, but they are greatly influenced by things that have happened to me. So yes, my experiences affect the way my characters think and speak and how they act in any given situation.

Which authors do you most like to read for personal pleasure?

I’m always reading things by Stephen King, of course. I love going back and rereading his classics. Lovecraft and Bradbury, too. I like the old Sherlock Holmes tales by Conan Doyle. And every summer I make sure to read T.E.D. Klein’s The Ceremonies—I just heard he’s finally going to finish a book he started decades ago, so that should be fun. If it happens!

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently writing the follow-up to Blackwater Val, the sequel to it. It’s called The Rose Glass, and within the pages we get to see how Katie has grown into a young woman. And how much her powers have grown, as well.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me at  http://williamgorman.weebly.com/ for right now. The site has links to my Amazon page and to Crystal Lake Publishing, my blog and other interviews, and I’ll be upgrading and adding to it as times goes on.

You can pick up a copy of the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Blackwater-Val-William-Gorman-ebook/dp/B01ETZ73H4?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

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You CAN judge a book by its cover – a look at the work of Brett Williams

Hiya, horror freaks! Today I’d like to discuss the horrifying works written by friend and colleague Brett Williams. This is an author who is not afraid to “go there”. Though he writes in more than one genre, his horror books tend to gravitate toward the extreme and taboo, in the same vein as Edward Lee.

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I have read three of Brett’s books to date. The first one, From Murky Depths, was a light read with none of the depravity of the latter two, High Octane Damnation and Family Business. I, myself, don’t read much extreme horror. Believe it or not, violence is not really my thing. Lol. Who woulda thought? But despite my sub-genre preferences, I DO recognize a well-written, solid piece of fiction when I see it, and Brett Williams always delivers.

What am I getting at with this preamble? Well, as you can imagine, writing extreme horror containing graphic and sexual content always brings in bad reviews, and I guess I’m tired of seeing it. I’m tired of reading reviews claiming a book is garbage just because the reader picked out the wrong type of book for him or herself. There should be no surprise that Brett’s book Family Business contains rape. The cover image is a mostly naked woman behind bars! Did the reader think this sexualized woman behind bars was starring in a romance role? Doubtful. The truth is, the entire novel is oddly compelling from start to finish whether you want to keep reading or not, and the reader who posted the bad review that inspired this blog was probably just disappointed in himself for staying glued to the whole thing! What a sicko! Hahaha. I joke, I joke.

Anyway, I’m here to shout from a mountain top (or from my couch) that you absolutely CAN – in fact SHOULD – judge a book by its cover before you dig in. If there’s a lot of sexuality and blood, or if it’s named “Lucifer’s Whore” for instance, and you still decide to open up those pages and start reading, you just forfeited your right to leave a terrible review based on graphic content, in this blogger’s opinion.

So… there’s my two cents. Seems obvious. I don’t buy a thong swimsuit and complain it shows too much butt cheek. Use your brains, folks. Buy the books you’re likely to enjoy. In fact, here are some covers for books written by Brett Williams. Please, JUDGE THEM accordingly and then decide… do you want to know what’s inside? (I bet you do NOW. Lol.) 🙂

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To find out more about this author, please visit: http://brettwilliamsfiction.com

“Damaged Goods” nominated for best horror short story in the P & E Polls

Hi, all. Can I ask a wee favor? My short story “Damaged Goods” (which appeared in Issue 1 of Girls Rock Horror Harder e-zine) has been nominated for “Best horror story published in 2015” over at the Preditors and Editors poll. If you have read the story, or if you are a fan of my writing, please stop by and cast a vote for me!

HERE’S THE LINK: http://critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryh.shtml

Girls Rock Horror Harder author Sheri Williams has also been nominated for her story “The Piano” which appeared in Issue 2! Seeing either of these stories make it into the Top 5 would be amazing.

Here’s a little background on the e-zine. It features an all female line-up of kick ass horror writers, and it’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and e-book retailers. I have appeared in 3 different issues, but the story nominated in the Preditors and Editors polls – Damaged Goods – appeared in Issue 1. (That’s me on the cover right behind the word “girls”.)

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So, please, show your support by casting a vote. It would be much appreciated! http://critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryh.shtml

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VOTE NOW at http://critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryh.shtml!!!!!!

DAY NINE of The Dirty Dozen, 12 Days of X-mas: The Naughty List – X Rated Horror Fiction

Wow. I went MIA for a while there, huh? Sorry. I got distracted by life. Okay, okay, maybe I SUCK at running a blog, but I love horror and I love you guys, so let’s get back on track with the ninth day of X-mas, and maybe we can finish this horror celebration before the twelve drummers quit their drumming.

Today we explore some authors/ books who made Santa’s naughty list with their X-rated fiction. Fans of Richard Laymon, Poppy Z. Brite, and bizarro fiction might find something new here, but I warn you, these books are not for the easily offended. Remember, that’s why they’re on the naughty list…

dark-autumn

A Dark Autumn by Kristopher Rufty kept me in a perpetual state of WTF during the pivotal scene, which I will NOT spoil. Suffice it to say, this author thinks outside the box and brings something to the horror genre we don’t often see. The story is utterly gripping.

http://www.amazon.com/A-Dark-Autumn-Kristopher-Rufty-ebook/dp/B00AMIIHU0

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The Rejected For Content series contains all the stories deemed too bloody, too perverse, too offensive for the mainstream reader. Described as “The most hard-core, profane, gory, explicit short stories available. Each carries a message and some of those messages are unpleasant and terrifying. RFC is a collection of stories that other presses refused because of their shocking content, but each is a solid, well written piece that deserves a home. Demons, evil people, sea monsters, the unknown: there is something here to offend the most hardened reader.”

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rejected+for+content

Now, here are three titles by author Tim Miller, who made the naughty list, big time!

Psychoville (Tim Miller)

Snuff films, human sacrifices, and horny mutant redneck women.

http://www.amazon.com/Psychoville-Tim-Miller-ebook/dp/B016R1D4QM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450645626&sr=8-1&keywords=psychoville+tim+miller

 

fertile-fields

X-rated creepy religious cult!

http://www.amazon.com/Psychoville-Tim-Miller-ebook/dp/B016R1D4QM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450645626&sr=8-1&keywords=psychoville+tim+miller

 

dollhouse-final-tim-miller

A grown man who likes to play with dolls… only these dolls are real girls.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015R01ZZG?ref_=pd_sim_351_1&dpID=51zWjVZaOoL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR106%2C160_&refRID=1X72GEA8Y568RCN3WTPY&pldnSite=1

 

Moving along with the wickedness…

 

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Candy, Blood, and Sex written by Hydra M. Star and illustrated by David Lipscomb pushes the boundaries of X-rated fiction by breathing new life into an old fairy tale in a very disturbing way.

http://hydramstar.com/Books_and_Magazines.html

And…

Last but not least, I couldn’t pick just one title from these guys. STRANGEHOUSE BOOKS, founded by the wonderfully weird Kevin Strange has tons of bizarro and strange horror goodies to satisfy the most X-rated pallet.

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http://www.strangehousebooks.com/catalog/

 

See you tomorrow for the Dirty Dozen tenth day of X-mas. I promise I won’t disappear again until we see Day 12! 🙂

 

The Power Of A Short Story

Short fiction can be a powerful thing–an incredible thing. In fact, I have a confession: My name is Lindsey, and I’m addicted to short stories!! Horror anthologies and story collections fit my lifestyle to a tee (the lifestyle of a mommy who’s lucky to experience ten solid minutes of peace). If I can be transported to another place and experience the beginning, middle, and end of a tale in one sitting, what beats that?

Even for the light reader, or those who don’t read at all, you might be surprised how many episodes of Tales From The Crypt, Masters Of Horror, and Twilight Zone started out as short stories. Or how about Creepshow… Fear Itself… Tales From The Darkside… I could go on and on.

I’ve had this blog since March, and it suddenly dawned on me…. I need to make a list of short stories that have stuck with me long after reading. Maybe I’ll get some of you non-readers out there to pick up a book. What a lot of folks don’t realize is that you don’t have to invest two weeks in a novel to enjoy the written word. Short scares pack major punch.

Some of the stories below can be found in more than one publication. I’ve simply referenced the book where *I* encountered each story. Let us begin…

FOET by F. Paul Wilson (book: Aftershock & Others: 19 Oddities)

aftershock

This collection is full of great stories, but the story that stands out most in my mind is entitled “Foet”. It deals with the issue of abortion, and what makes it such an effective and well-executed tale is that no matter what your stance is–pro-life or pro-choice–you’re going to feel an unsettling stir of emotion. Completely enthralling.

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NEED

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WHEN IT IS DECIDED THAT THE WAR IS OVER by Gary Braunbeck (book: Rose Of Sharon)

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There were two stories in this Gary Braunbeck collection that affected me deeply. “Need” is the story of a struggling mother whose harrowing decision for her children will leave you speechless.

“When It Is Decided That The War Is Over” shows the author’s ability to capture the tragedy of war like no other. I own another book from ’96 with a Braunbeck story that blew me away. It starred character James Ryan, president of the United States, who struggles with the hopelessness of war. “When It Is Decided That The War Is Over” revisits this character but with a new narrator, an end of the world account that will send a chill straight to your core, believe me.

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SEX, DEATH, AND STARSHINE by Clive Barker (Books Of Blood Volume One)

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This story has Broadway flair, a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes drama of live theater actors, as well as the drama of…well… the undead. 🙂

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CALL FIRST by Ramsey Campbell (book: Alone With The Horrors)

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In Ramsey Campbell’s “Call First”, library worker, Ned, lets curiosity get the best of him. There is an older gentlemen who visits the library daily. This man always asks to use the phone before leaving, and he always delivers the same emotionless message into the receiver before hanging up: “I’m coming home now.” Ned is beyond curious about the mysterious daily phone call and decides to find out more about the man… but soon regrets it.

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SPARKS FLY UPWARD by Lisa Morton (book: The Living Dead)

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Sparks Fly Upward by Lisa Morton is one of those horror stories that makes you ponder some pretty heavy issues. The subject matter is controversial, but the story will knock your socks off.

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THE THINGS THEY LEFT BEHIND by Stephen King (book: Just After Sunset)

JustAfterSunset

Strange things are happening to Scott Staley almost a year after 9/11. Scott is unable to get rid of his survivor’s guilt, and things belonging to his deceased colleagues start appearing in his apartment. He tries throwing them away, yet they reappear. What can he do to cope with the deaths of his friends and co-workers on 9/11 that still haunt him a year after the tragedy?

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LOVER, COME BACK TO ME by Tim Waggoner (book: Tales From The Lake Vol. One)

Tales from the Lake Vol. 1

The opening story in Tales From The Lake Volume One scared me for the simple reason that water creeps me out… BIG TIME! Not bath water, pool water, or drinking water, of course, but those murky natural bodies of water where the depths are unknown and anything could be swimming beneath you. Tim Waggoner nailed my fear in this one. I had to take a deep breath after reading.

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So there you have it. Just a FEW short story suggestions from this fiction lover to all of you horror fans. Now… get reading!!

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