The Gothic Shift: A Review

After a whirlwind month of utterly amazing madness, I am getting myself back on a schedule.

To reinforce that, I’ve done a book review. This one is Gothic horror, a genre that I love, and is aptly named.

I, for one, am pleased to see a shift toward Gothic horror.
I, for one, am pleased to see a shift toward Gothic horror.

You can read the entire review here.

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Women in Horror Month Author Eden Royce – ‘Containment’

I’m today’s feature on Nina D’Arcangela’s blog! Super excited!

Spreading the Writer's Word

Containment
by Eden Royce

EdenRoyce_Containment“Life is different among the dead.”

They are kept in chambers, their energy used to feed the City’s voracious appetite for fuel now that traditional sources are long gone. These grisly fuel cells are kept watch over by Feast, a devil-human hybrid whose recent run-ins with the City leave him questioning its authority.

When he is needed to bring in one of the most dangerous creatures for containment, Feast is faced with a decision that may make him the next power source.

~

“In a world created by Royce, the dead are the renewable energy source. The detached, matter-of-fact way in which Feast, a city employee, tells this story only serves to make the tale that much more unsettling … and heartbreaking.

It’s the exploration of fate and destiny that drives this atmospheric, unforgettable, and haunting story.”

Crystal Connor, author of the Spectrum Trilogy

~

“After…

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60 Black Women in Horror now on Smashwords (Free)

Wow! I am flattered and excited to be a part of this release.

Sumiko Saulson

60 Black Women in Horror February is African American History Month here in the United States. It is also Women in Horror Month (WiHM). In 2013, as an Ambassador for Women in Horror Month. This list of black women who write horror was compiled at the intersection of the two. The booklet also includes interviews with six of the women, two short stories, and an essay.

The eBook includes:

You can pick it up on Smashwords here

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/412513

I am working on a near-cost paperback book. By “near-cost” I mean that I will round it up to the nearest 50 cents. The goal is to have it come in at $4.00 or less. I’m aiming for $3.50. I am going to have omit some of the content from the paperback to keep the cost down, so the paperback will only include the list and the interviews. I’ll post when it is available.

The eBook contains…

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Friday Find: WiHM 2014

I’ve stayed away from having a specific weekly post on my blog. Monday Madness, Terrible Tuesday and such.  (Although, I love my friend Nico Serene’s “WTF Wednesday” posts on Facebook. Always good for an inappropriate snort of laughter.)

But I came across something recently that I must share.  And as it’s Friday, I’m snowed in with a touch of cabin fever, I’m going to call it a Friday Find.  Having named it, I must disclose that I can’t promise to have one weekly but if something catches my eye that I want to share, I’ll try and save it for a Friday post. Try.

Anyway, my aunt moved recently and as a treat for assisting with the move, I was allowed to take any books I wanted from her significant stash. This was one of the titles I snagged (circa 1964):

The cover is a bit worn and torn, but the stories inside are well-preserved.
The cover is a bit worn and torn, but the stories inside are well-preserved.

I love the short story writing form and these stories were amazing. Each tale has at least one line drawing associated with it, a snapshot of a scene from within the story. While each of these stories were powerful in its own way, a standout for me was written by one of my favorite authors of gothic horror: Daphne Du Maurier.

DuMaurier in Cornwall
Du Maurier in Cornwall

The Blue Lenses is set in a hospital after our protagonist wakes up from an operation.  Her eyes are bandaged at first, and after insisting that the covering be removed, she is horrified at who—er, what—she sees.

Maybe you’ve read Du Maurier’s best-loved novel, Rebecca, which has one of the most memorable first lines in literature. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…” Or maybe you’ve seen the movie of the same title.

If you’re a horror fan, you’ve definitely seen the movie adaptation of her novelette done by Alfred Hitchcock, “The Birds”.

My mother saw "The Birds" in the theater. She said that she's never been the same since...
My mother saw “The Birds” in the theater. She said that she’s never been the same since…

When you love an author’s work, it is a treat to come across something of theirs that you haven’t read before. I don’t think Short Story International is in business anymore, but their motto of “Short Stories bring the world into focus” holds true.  At least it does for me.

What are your favorite short stories?

Women in Horror Month Guest post by author Nicky Peacock

Today, I’m featuring a guest post by author Nicky Peacock. Thanks, Nicky for your contribution to the blog and to Women in Horror Recognition Month. 

 

Tapping into fear.

Greetings! I’m author, Nicky Peacock and I’m here today to talk to you about…fear. Yes, fear; that cold creeping sensation that tickles your courage at the most inopportune times. Whether they are rational or completely insane, fears are a massive part of horror and instilling it in characters and readers is crucial for a satisfyingly scary outcome. Wahahaha!

As a writer I play around with a number of genres: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk and dark fantasy, but horror is one of my all-time favourites. When readers curse my name for having to sleep with the lights on, I know I’ve done a good job. Tapping into people’s fears really is the key to a good ol’ scare and I’ve learnt this with first-hand experience.

A few years ago I worked as an actor in a pop-up Halloween attraction. As a writer you’re told to ‘write what you know’ and although I have a long list of my own personal fears (which we’ll come to in a moment) I felt it would help my writing to spend some quality time scaring the crap out of people! And it really did. Dressed up in blood soaked costume, portraying the ghost of murdered little girl, it was almost addictive and definitely devilishly deviant. Everyone had different reactions to my presence. Some recoiled at the sight of me, some kept a safe distance, some screamed and ran, one brave teenager even tried to help me. The whole thing was a real eye opener in terms of horror and fear.

Red Fingers

So, what scares a horror writer? Without going into a massive therapy session, I’m going to give you three of my fears. The first…clowns. Yes, I know it’s silly and probably only stems from the fact I read Stephen King’s IT far too young, but they truly worry me. Only recently, near my home town, a random guy dressed like a clown, created a media buzz; Google ‘Northampton Clown UK’ and you’ll see the photos. Needless to say my friends and family who lived there didn’t see me till he was ‘caught’.  You often find characters like clowns in horror. Mannequins, ventriloquist dummies, jesters, dolls, mimes (okay, being attacked by mime would be more annoying than scary!) But these sorts of characters can illicit fear just by their mere presence and the fact they’re having so much fun whilst committing their gruesome attacks – well, that’s just plain scary.

One of my worst fears, and probably the most ridiculous, is getting lost somewhere. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a very organised and punctual person. The thought of not knowing where I am frightens the bejeezes out of me. This isn’t helped by the fact I have little to no sense of direction. But that ‘lost’ feeling is utilised more often that you think in horror. The whole ‘backwoods cannibals’ scenarios like in Jack Ketchum’s ‘Off Season’ Richard Laymon’s ‘Dark Mountain’ and Bryan Smith’s ‘Depraved’ all rely on main characters wandering off the beaten track and finding themselves somewhere they really shouldn’t be.

Now, I’m going to tell you third one, but it’s a secret okay, so come closer, closer, don’t be shy and promise me you won’t tell anyone – promise? It is zombies. Yes, those grabby undead relentless so-and-sos. But, I hear you cry, they’re just fiction they’re not real….well, currently they are, but if that was to change, if a drug was developed that had hideous side effects, if a nuclear bomb dropped that had unforeseen consequences, if some clever scientist decides to do a Frankenstein, if a virus develops that skips the species border, if aliens decide to have some fun and let out…okay even I think the last one is a bit far-fetched. But hey, there are a number of ways this could happen and after all, zombies are just… us. The dead are already here. Scary huh?

Nicky_Peacock2

BIO: Nicky is an English author living in the UK. You can find her work on Amazon:    http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_7 and her http://nickypeacockauthor.wordpress.com Her short story ‘The Red Fingers’ will be featured in The Grotesquerie anthology published by Mocha Memoirs and edited by Eden Royce.