Posts Tagged ‘horror’

I heard on the news this morning that with the prices of petrol soaring through the roof, more and more people are turning to hitch-hiking.

This sent a shiver down my spine. I mean, has nobody seen C. Thomas Howell‘s movie, ‘The Hitcher’? No? How about the remake with Sean Bean?

If you haven’t, then you should.

I remember back in 1980, I was holidaying with my family in California. My parents, who are supposed to know better, picked up not one, but two hitch-hikers. Together! What was they thinking? They’re parents. They’re supposed to know better. Luckily, these two men were not psychotic serial killers and we lived to tell another day. In fact one looked like David Soul… Maybe that right there should have convinced my dad not to stop and to drive straight past them.

Would you trust this man?

I pass many people, usually always men, thumbing for a lift along the motorways. Do I stop? Never. Do I feel guilty? Yes, of course. Especially if it’s hammering down with rain. But, here’s the thing. I write gore and creepy for a living. My imagination on the scare factor scale is right up there with Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino. Between me first seeing the hitch-hiker, and the hundred yards it takes to reach him, I’ve already played out the scene where he gets in the car, drugs me, and I wake up, hands and feet tied, in the boot. Believe me when I say you really don’t want to know what happens after that!

When you pick up a hitch-hiker, you are putting a lot of trust in your judgement. Contrary to popular belief, not all hikers look like killers. Some actually look like nice, normal, trustworthy fathers and boyfriends.

Just look at Ted Bundy’s high school Yearbook Picture.

A few years back, I lived in Drymen, Scotland. To get there, I had to drive through a remote, barren area where there were no houses and I had no phone signal. One night, I had to stop on this dark, country lane, at a temporary traffic light. I saw no workmen, no ongoing road works. I was surrounded by thick, dense wood, with no cars in front of me, and no cars behind me. I was all alone. My headlights lit up little of the road in front of me but everywhere else was pitch black. What did I do? Started thinking about the movie, Urban Legend.

I just cannot help myself. I am my own worse enemy. Half the time it’s not my surrounding that make me nervous. It’s my own imagination!

We’ve all heard the legend. A driver is made to stop her car. While the car is stationary, an axe murderer climbs onto the back seat. Waits for her to drive off and then WHAM! Slaughter and blood on the wind-shield … I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait and see if my future ended with me being gook on my window, I can tell you.

Nope, I keep my doors locked and my eyes peeled. I’m afraid when it comes to hitch-hikers, there is no way in hell I would ever pick one up. Male or female. Those crazy killers can stay where they belong… on the road and in my rear-view mirror.

Although, I did pass a woman once by a broken down car. I pulled over and asked (through a slightly wound down window) if she needed me to phone someone for her. She thanked me and said someone was already on their way. Phew. Total relief.

So, now it’s over to you guys. Would you ever pick up a hitch-hiker? Have you ever picked up a hitcher? Have you ever hitch-hiked yourself? Do you have good experiences, or bad? Maybe you hitch-hiked and it was the driver who was creepy. Let me know. You know how I love a good story… funny or scary 🙂

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In May, I wrote a post  giving you guys two pictures and asked you to write me a scary short story… and you guys didn’t disappoint.

Last week, you read Nigel Blackwell‘s brilliant story, Eye of Death. This week, we have Ewelina Rymsza with ‘Unreality’.


My bare feet tapped on the cold cement out of a blinding excitement. Root had found this place, slobbered over with a thick, white fog, but alive with unending riches. My hands pounded on the old bench, and I wished he’d come sooner. After the End, our ancestors emerged from stone walls into a field of desolation. Places like these were less than rumors, more untrue than myths. The monuments here towered and crumbled with their epitaphs weeping over earth-hair.
“Root,” I murmured now heatedly but still quiet, “Root, would you get over here? I’m cold!”
I finally got up and decided he would steal what he found anyway. I was told brothers are supposed to lie and cheat, but I never understood it.
I walked slowly into the earth-hair. I’d never walked in it before, and it felt strange beneath my feet. I could feel some between my toes. It wasn’t hard like the cement I was used to; but it was chilling, too, and numbing even moreso.
“Root.” I had to be quiet. We were stealing artifacts. Root said he saw this place in a dream, and that’s how we could find it. He told me all of the artifacts would be underground, and I agreed to going despite not believing him at first.
“You shouldn’t be here, little girl!”
I heard a voice cut the fog, chiseling away the air like a saw. The music to it was jarring but undaunted. A disfigured darkness formed ahead of me.
“You shouldn’t be here, little girl. You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here.” And on that last word, it became to scream. I saw its knees buckle, and the belt of its body collapse. It kept screaming: “You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t.”
Chills shot into my veins and burst and kept bursting, and I felt compelled to weep but stood my ground to this anonymous shadow. It stopped abruptly and climbed the fog back up. It beckoned me closer then with its four gnarled hands. I shook the fear from its earlier plead and followed deeper into the white, changing sea.
The image became fainter and fainter, and I ran to catch it. My legs sprung in a furious dance while I hurdled over monuments and rocks. The curiosity in my bones grew its own marrow, birthed a life more invincible than mine. No fear any longer. No fear.
The shadow then stopped and vanished. I knelt into the earth-hair, and I began to cry. Where had the shadow gone? Root hadn’t even crossed my mind until then, and I mustered up the strength to wander in search. The fog thickened as if to mock my venture, and I lost myself further in this foreign place.
   You shouldn’t be here kept seeping more deeply into my thoughts, and I again began to feel the fear burdening my gut. You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here.
I called for Root again but walked onto a ribbon of unbroken tar instead. I was used to crushed tar, tar with alien growth between its cracks. This was smooth and paved. And then I saw me.
I saw myself curled into knots; and although I saw only my back, the clothing was mine. The hair was mine. The way she cried was my own. I stumbled back slightly with my eyes almost instantly tearing up.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she screamed in a voice unfamiliar to me. But it was me. It was me. I was sure.
I walked very gently towards her, and her sobbing started more strongly now.
“It’s okay,” I whispered, attempting to console what was a strange kind of ghost it seemed. A whisper of myself. I knelt down a foot beside her to give her room. That’s what I would’ve wanted. But instead, she snapped over to me, and I screamed.
What I knew as plants were growing from our insides, spun branches that hung out of us like desperate, dying trees.
   “You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here.”
And in that moment, we became one: Watching with the same knolls and our stomach swallowed by “trees.” We retched the same and bled the same, and I knew this was not my dream. This was not my dream. I shouldn’t have been here.


Next week, I’ll post another one.

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21st July: From Idea To Story

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 James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
Are you ready for a scary ride?
Let me introduce you to horror screenwriter, Brad Keene. Or better still, watch the following trailer to Brad’s 2008 movie, From Within.
Okay, so how do you feel? Calmed down yet? What’s that? You were too nervous to watch it?
I must just tell you this quick story. The first time I met Brad was at our managers offices in L.A. Brad entered and was asked to take a seat only to find Natalie and I already occupied both of them. Poor Brad had to stand. I nearly offered my chair’s arm….I don’t think I’ve told him that 🙂
So, let’s find out a little more about  the man who is an expert at scaring people.
In 2006, Brad wrote a screenplay with co-writer Chris Skinner, called The Gravedancers’, a story about three friends who, after the death of their friend, drown their sorrows in beer and return to the cemetary…..only to find the following morning the ghost of a child pyromaniac, an axe murdered, and a rapist are terrorising them.
Then, in 2008 Brad wrote From Within , which boasts the talent of Rumer Willis   and Thomas Dekker. Brad also co-produced this movie which revolves around the residents of a small American town who begin to die one-by-one, apparently by suicide…
Then we come to a film we’ve all heard and seen called ‘The Grudge’. Well, in 2009, Brad wrote the third installment, aptly names ‘The Grudge 3′.
But screenwriting isn’t the only talent Brad has. With vetran writer and illustrator Shannon Eric Denton, Brad wrote Fleshdigger , a comic strictly for the older audience and one that premiered to a hail of praise from fans and comic readers alike.
And if that wasn’t enough to prove this writer has what it takes to prove his worth, his debut novel ‘Hat Trick’, is released by ZOVA Books in May 2012 and has a TV series ready for production later this year.
So, what could the man, who admits to being raised watching The Incredible Hulk, make of our ten questions?
 1.  What is your favorite word?  Persistence
2. What is your least favorite word? Resistance
3. What turns you on?   Energy
4. What turns you off?    Fatigue
5. What sound do you love?   Laughter
6. What sound do you hate? Chewing
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Dayum
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Comedian
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Mortician
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?Well, well, well. Look who it is! That wasn’t so bad. What’s with the concerned expresion? Relaz. I’m letting you in. I wouldn’t allow people to loiter at the gates unless entry was imminent. There’s enough anziety on Earth. So, come on in. By the way, I can’t wait to hear your clever stance on religion now. This  shifts the discussion a bit, doesn’t it? Oh. There’s that expression again. Don’t worry. All is forgiven…..and yes, we have a casino. People always ask about a casino as if being in Heaven isn’t enough. I’m not offended. It’s the best casino around. You’ll love it!”
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For more information regarding Brad Keene, please check out his IMDb, Facebook, twitter

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
On 8th October, 1943, in Columbus, Ohio, the first of three Stine siblings was born; Robert Lawrence Stine, known to friends and family as Bob, would go on to become the worlds teenage literary answer to Stephen King.
Bob was nine years old when he unearthed an old typewriter in the attic; a discovery which, unbeknown then, would change his life for ever. Never one to play outside, Bob took the typewriter to his bedroom and began to type the first of many stories and joke books.

School did not see Bob as a great student. He hated math, he hated gym (the only sport he was ever good at was ping pong!), and he hated studying. Instead, he spent most of his time writing stories and joke magazines. 

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1965, Bob headed to New York City to become a writer. He wrote dozens of joke books and humor books for kids, and created Bananas, a zany humor magazine. If you look for that work now, you’ll have to look under the name, Jovial Bob Stine.

In 1962, Bob married Jane Waldhorn. Jane became an editor and writer, and together they worked on several children’s books. Later, Jane and her partner formed their own publishing company, Parachute Press, and helped create all of husband’s most popular book series.

In 1986, Bob became R.L.Stine and turned scary!

He wrote his first teen horror novel, Blind Date, which became an instant best-seller. Many scary novels followed, including Beach House, Hit And Run, The Babysitter, and The Girlfriend.

In 1989,  Fear Street, the best-selling, young adult series in history was created. Fear Street boasts approximately100  books about teens facing all kinds of terror.

Then, in 1992, the Goosebumps  series hit the bookshelves and instantly became a hit around the world. To date, it’s been translated into 32 different languages and made R.L. Stine a worldwide publishing celebrity. To follow this success, The Goosebumps TV show was created and became America’s number-one kids’ show three years in a row. The episodes are still shown at Halloween time and many of the shows are now on DVD.

Other R.L. Stine book creations include: Ghosts of Fear Street, Give Yourself Goosebumps, The Nightmare Room (also a TV series), Mostly Ghostly, and Beware!, a collection of all his favorite stories, poems, comics and illustrations. Rotten School was a series of funny books about the rottenest school on earth. He has also published two creepy short story collections– The Nightmare Hour and The Haunting Hour. Also, two teen vampire novels– Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Girls II: The Taste of Night.

R.L.’s books are read all over the world. So far, he has sold over 350 million books, making him one of the best-selling children’s authors in history.

These days, R.L. is busier than ever. He’s working on many books, including the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. R.L. lives in New York City with his wife Jane and his dog Minnie. His son Matthew is a composer, musician, and sound designer. 

So, did we scare Bob with these questions?……of course not! This is a man who happily announces: “My job is to give kids the CREEPS!”

1.  What is your favorite word?  Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts)
2. What is your least favorite word? decrepit
3. What turns you on?   Bomboloni
4. What turns you off?   Worms in my salad
5. What sound do you love?   MMmmmmmmmm
6. What sound do you hate? Ackackackackack
7. What is your favorite curse word?   None. They’re all fine with me.
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Ballerina
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Deodorant company armpit tester
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   “Guess what – no more deadlines.”
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If you need other info about R.L. Stine, check out his autobiography– It Came From Ohio— published by Scholastic.

If you would like to see R.L. Stine, he will be signing books on March 10th, 2012, at Tuscon Festival of Books.

For more information regarding R.L. Stine, please check out his Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.

J. Carson Black photo

Margaret Falk (you can call her Maggy), was born and raised in the El Fuerte area of Tucson, Arizona, and wrote her first book when she was just a child. ‘The Easter Egg’, both written and illustrated by Maggie, was scrawled in crayon on the back of her teacher father’s test papers.
But writing wasn’t the first profession Maggie embarked on. Being somewhat of a decent singer, the opera beckoned. Luckily for her ever growing fan base, she returned to writing.
Growing up in Tucson meant lots of farms and ranches. Among those was a little desert cemetery which haunted Maggies dreams. Maybe this is why her love for horror was so great. A huge fan of Stephen King, The Shining was the inspiration behind her starting to write horror herself.
In 1990, Maggie sold her first book to Kensington Publishing Corp. Being a huge Stephen King fan, and inspired by the novel The Shining’, it’s no surprise Darkscope was a ghost story set in the historic mining town of Bisbee, Arizona. 
But, even though Maggie went on to publish a further six books with New York publishers Kensington and Dorchester, payments were poor; amounting to no more than $3,500 per book. 
In 2002, Maggie wrote her first crime thriller. Darkness on The Edge Of Town was the first of three Laura Cardinal books. She contacted a previous editor, who’d moved to New American Library, and who loved the book. Maggie signed a two book deal, changed her name, and received a deal worth eightneen times more than the her last $3,500. J.Carson Black was born.
When Maggie wrote The Shop, her agent, Debora Schneider shopped it to every publisher available. Two and a half years later and each one had declined.
In 2010, Maggie decided enough was enough and with the blessing of her agent, decided to self publish. Darkness On The Edge Of Town was listed in June – and sold only one book. The following month, two books were purchased. It took eight months to hit sales of 100; with 137 in February 2011.
Then things began to change. In March sales hit 1,280, and in April, she sold a staggering 10,000 books. If this wasn’t enough to make her scream with joy, in May sales hit more than 70,000 books. She was selling at a rate of 2,000 books a day.
Now Amazon’s mystery and thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer,  has signed J. Carson Black to their growing team of authors.
To date (November 2011), J. Carson Black has sold over 300,000+ copies.
The Shop is due to be re-released by Thomas & Mercer December 22nd.
Hmmm, after this rise to fame, what would Maggie make of our ten questions?
1.  What is your favorite word?  Glissando
2. What is your least favorite word?   Patriot
3. What turns you on?   Writing
4. What turns you off?   Writing
5. What sound do you love?   “They’re Off”
6. What sound do you hate?   Screaming
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Fuckhead
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   “Conditioner”
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Cottonpicking
9a. Most! – Writing
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   Family

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For information regarding J. Carson Black books and please visit her Website: http://jcarsonblack.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/jcarsonblack
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JCarsonBlack.authorpage

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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Being as it was Halloween ‘an all, I had planned to write a blog last week about the creepy village I live in, but I changed my mind when I watched Halloween Resurrection on Saturday night. Now it is no secret that Michael Myers rates number 2 on my list of things I fear the most, right after spiders, which I find totally alien (there is absolutely no justification why they need eight horrible, hairy legs). Anyway, I snuggled under my duvet and, with hubby snoring next to me, I watched the whole movie. Anyone who has seen ‘Resurrection’ will no doubt agree with me when I say it doesn’t hold a torch to the original Halloween film. In fact I have no idea what number in the franchise this one is and, to be honest, I don’t care enough to spend the two minutes needed to Google it, but my god, does Michael Myers scare the crap out of me.

 A little piece of information you should know about me before I continue. Not much will frighten me. If I hear a noise during the night, I will go and investigate. Yeah sure, I thought I was going to have a heart attack while I walked alone (walked you hear, and I rebuke all rumours that say I nervously edged my screaming self round) the House of Horrors in LA’s Universal Studios, but the adrenaline rush was amazing!

Well, after the film finished I wanted to go to the loo (that means ‘toilet’ to my American friends) and, as always after I watch Michael Myers for 90 minutes, I was scared to leave my bedroom.

This got me thinking. What was it about his character that scared me so much? I’ve watched all kinds of horror films and none of them have this effect on me, Vacancy, Wrong Turn, Friday 13th, The Crazies, and Tremors. Ok, I am kidding with the last one, although will admit to loving it. I thought it could be because there are many Michael Myers out there for real. No? How many stories do we read in newspapers of people being butchered in their own homes or knife wielding maniacs dragging women off to their death? Way too many to mention on my small and mere blog, I can tell you. Then I watched another film called ‘The Strangers’. For the entire film my heart beat so hard against my chest I actually questioned whether this is what it felt like before someone died of fright – I kid you not! But why had this film also scared me to such a point that I would think this?

I’ve pondered over this for a while now and this is what I’ve finally come up with. In both Halloween and The Strangers, all the killers are wearing masks. You cannot see their faces, only the blacks of their eyes. These masks stop me from seeing any emotion shown on their faces, hence I have absolutely no idea what they are thinking or planning to do next. This to me is utterly frightening.

My husband cannot watch paranormal/ghost films, heck he struggles to get through an episode of Supernatural, and yet these films do not scare me. Why is that? Why does one film scare me and another scare someone else?

So, as an experiment, I want to know who or what scares you and more specifically, why.

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Everyone loves a good scare, right? No? Well, then there’s something wrong with you 🙂

Some of Horror writer, Stephen King’s, best ever quotes.

“When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why god? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, There’s just something about you that pisses me off.” — (Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay)

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” (Shawshank Redemption)

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”

“I have the heart of a small boy…and I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman’s got to hold on to.” (Dolores Claiborne)

“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger. (from the introduction)” (Skeleton Crew)

“Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that [Harry Potter author] Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and [Twilight author] Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

“Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you’ll take my book when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of the binding.”

“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” (Night Shift)

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” (On Writing)

“I think that we’re all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better after all.”

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” (On Writing)

“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud. “

“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.”

“Running a close second [as a writing lesson] was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

“…you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” (On Writing)

“You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.”

“Schizoid behavior is a pretty common thing in children. It’s accepted, because all we adults have this unspoken agreement that children are lunatics.”

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” (On Writing)

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” (On Writing)

“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”

“”Nobody likes a clown at midnight””

“Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters.” (The Shining)

Do you have any others that you like? Then add them to the comments!

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