Category Archives: october

Conversations With Dead Serial Killers

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, HORROR FAMILY!

I just finished Ashley R. Lister’s novel, Conversations With Dead Serial Killers, and I don’t believe I could have read this book at a more relevant time. The internet is rife with controversy over the recent Dahmer series. In the newly released horror movie, Terrifier 2, there’s a dinner table conversation in which the sister scolds her brother for dressing as a real-life murderer for Halloween. Every year at this time, as we embrace the “spooky season” vibe, we also ponder that fine line between tragedy and entertainment. Our Halloween traditions are a balancing act between honoring the dead and celebrating the monsters who hunt and kill them.

In Ashley Lister’s horror novel, Conversations With Dead Serial Killers, this same moral struggle is presented as we follow two con-artist brothers who exploit the deceased for profit. Derek and Clive Turner are not the most likeable guys, but a dastardly duo who’ll keep those pages turning! While Derek feigns psychic abilities and pretends to communicate with the dead, pocketing undeserved money from their surviving loved ones, Clive’s obsession with serial killers escalates to fatal proportions. This book is unique in that we’re not rooting for the main characters to overcome adversity or rise above. We are rooting for their demise. Even as antiheroes go, these siblings are a couple of bad apples who don’t inspire much empathy on the part of the reader. That’s not to say this book isn’t inspiring. It is a thought-provoking concept; the pace was 100% perfect for me, personally, and Lister understands how to use blood and gore without losing the plot to it.

There are a handful of interesting characters who play a lesser role in this depraved downward spiral of a plot, and honestly, they felt pretty real. That tells me they were written well, no matter how small their individual parts. My favorite was Sam (and I imagine a fan favorite as well), a ghost who’s come back from the dead to haunt these assholes and set them straight!

Conversations with Dead Serial Killers is sprinkled with so many fun facts about serial killers that even if you think you know it all, you’ll find a brand new nugget of trivia somewhere in these pages. Most importantly, though, it tries hard to remind us that these murderers and their victims were fact, not fiction. It makes the reader question why we put these scuzzbuckets in the limelight… while simultaneously putting them in the limelight. Seriously… horror fam, true crime fam, what is wrong with us? Lol.

I really enjoyed reading Conversations With Dead Serial Killers. I don’t have a rating system, but since it’s Halloween, I’ll give it 5 out of 5 pumpkins. Please, do check this book out for yourself! And before you go, get to know the author below!

Until next time, stay safe out there, boils and ghouls!

Ashley Lister is a prolific writer of fiction across a broad range of genres. He’s written more than one hundred short stories, articles and academic papers, and is currently working on his 63rd full length novel. Aside from regularly blogging about writing and reading, Ashley also teaches creative writing in the North West of England. He has completed a PhD in creative writing where he looked at the relationship between plot and genre in short fiction. Ashley’s current writing is an exploration of the horror genre which includes his series of novellas exploring his own interpretation of Lovecraft’s Innsmouth, the highly acclaimed Raven & Skull, a study in the horror of working in an office, and Conversations with Dead Serial Killers, a story about society’s obsession with the darkest souls.

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The Dark Poetry of Johnny Ringo

What’s that in the air? It smells like… OCTOBER! What a beautiful month, full of spooky delights. The perfect time for dark poetry. My thanks go out to Johnny Ringo for sharing his works with us. Enjoy!

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Asphyxia is my damnation
That stifles my lungs and chokes my brain,
And while I struggle to think in a vacuum of fear,
No sanctuary can be found.

My arms flail in panic to reach your skin,
To feel the warmth of your flesh,
For the sound of your heart beating to lull me,
But sound and warmth are not luxuries here.

The decomposition of my brain is necessity,
My cells dying, screaming out for respite,
My fingernails clawing at a prison, incorporeal,
Which destroys all of my being in an empty whisper.

Terror grips everything around me.
Release means a prayer of breath I lack.
If time would rewind to release me,
I would not starve in the black.

Asphyxia is my damnation.

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Bring me back from the dead.
Let me rise from the dirt to reclaim my place.
Show me the path to the truth.
Let me don the tattered remains of happiness.
I will rise to bring true chaos.
Mend the wounds that have been wrought.
This is not revenge but justice.
They will know the pain they caused and suffer.
I will fight to the last breath
To destroy the sinners and crush their tyranny;
Then when the task is done,
Guide me back to the grave to sleep again.
I will find peace with my love.
Due to your guidance, justice has been served.

rising

Dripping blood,
Restrained barks of rage,
Ebbing and flowing pulses,
The flames that dance.

The sorrow of children.
Tears of blood flow down
Emerald eyes, breasts of alabaster.
Baptize the child.

Gaping wounds
Tear across a perfect image
Weeping innocence, ignorantly.
Hatred for us.

Your makings,
Tales of insanity aged
Across the lips of all.
Death is yours.

Your skin will bear my mark.
Yours is blood and lies.

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