Saturday, February 28, 2015

Original Woman in #Horror

Saw this and I thought, of course! What's Women in Horror Month without homage to the original woman of horror? 





Thursday, February 26, 2015

Women in #Horror Month 6 - We Love Horror!

Finishing up with the last post where I asked female horror authors to share their thoughts on what made them horror fans for  WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH


********************

The question is: What horror film or book first grabbed your attention and made you a horror fan, and why?

* See Women in Horror Month post 1 with Stevie Kopas, Suzi M and C.A. Verstraete 

* See  Women in Horror Month post 2 with Karina Fabian, Jaime Johnesee and Claire C. Riley 


* See Women in Horror Month post 3 with A. Carina Barry, Melanie Karsak and Lori R. Lopez

* See Women in Horror post 4 with Sarah Lyons Fleming and Chantal Noordeloos.  

* See Women in Horror post 5 - Jaime Johnesee explains why it's good to be a Horror Hag. 

* See Women in Horror post 6  (today) - with Vickie Johnstone, Pembroke Sinclair and Julianne Snow.


**********

What's interesting is that all three of today's guests were influenced by horror at early ages. 



Vickie Johnstone, author of I Dream of Zombies says a Stephen King book was a big  
influence on her. Maybe because she read it when she was so young.

She recalls, "I was somewhere between nine  and 11 years old. I  was in Junior School and was in the top of my English class. (I'm not sure if I was top or shared as there were other winners too.)  Anyway, the prize was that we were taken by our teacher to the bookshop and could choose a book. I chose Christine by Stephen King. to my teacher's astonishment, but she let me have it."




 Pembroke Sinclair,  author of  The Appeal of Evil and (as Jessica Robinson) of Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies, is a huge horror film fan, so naturally a film made a big impression on her. 


 
She says, "the first horror film that grabbed my attention and made me a horror fan was Aliens. I’m not exactly sure how old I was, pretty sure it was late grade school (5th or 6th grade) or early junior high, but I do remember it was the first TV we owned that had stereo sound.

" I was convinced that a facehugger was in the closet, and it scared the hell out of me. The movie frightened me, but it also intrigued me, and from there my love affair with horror developed. To this day, my goal is to become an Alien Queen."







Julianne Snow, author of  Glimpses of the Undead,  was introduced to horror at a very impressionable age.

 She says, "the first horror film that grabbed my attention was Alien and I watched it when I was three in an ill-advised moment of weakness undertaken by my parents. Admittedly, I didn’t make it through the entire movie, but I do remember much of what I saw that night. I can’t say I enjoyed feeling the fear washing over me, but it obviously had an effect on me."


When I was four, I happened to catch Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead on television and I was enraptured by it. I think it was in that moment, watching the black and white masterpiece, my love for horror and zombies was born.

"It’s a film I still watch and one that still gives me the chills. Not many films can do that—to me at least. I’m not sure I can answer the ‘why’ part of the question—as unique human beings, we like what we like and sometimes, there’s no explaining why that is."


 ***  I want to thank the authors for their contributions. And thanks to all the readers and visitors who stopped by for Women in Horror month - or as it's also come to be known - Horror Hags Month.  
   Hey, nothing wrong with being a HAG (Horror Author Gal!), right?



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Women in #Horror Month 5 - Horror Hags?


I asked female horror authors to share their thoughts on what made them horror fans for  WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH

Today we discuss what being a woman who writes horror means... 


********************

The question is: What horror film or book first grabbed your attention and made you a horror fan, and why?

* See Women in Horror Month post 1 with Stevie Kopas, Suzi M and C.A. Verstraete 

* See  Women in Horror Month post 2 with Karina Fabian, Jaime Johnesee and Claire C. Riley 


* See Women in Horror Month post 3 with A. Carina Barry, Melanie Karsak and Lori R. Lopez

* See Women in Horror post 4 with Sarah Lyons Fleming and Chantal Noordeloos.  


* See Women in Horror post 5 - Jaime Johnesee explains why it's good to be a Horror Hag. 

* See Women in Horror post 6   - with Vickie Johnstone, Pembroke Sinclair and Julianne Snow.


Today, we take a slight topic detour to discuss what Women in Horror Month means. It should mean the celebration of women who write horror. Simple, right? But it also took a different connotation this year.  Here's a good take on it by author Chantal  Noordeloos

Jaime Johneseeauthor of The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie,  shares her view here on being a "Horror Hag."




Why Being a HAG is a Good Thing 
by Jaime Johnesee


I'm so excited to be here. I want to thank Christine for letting me guest post on her blog and you guys for reading the post. I also want to buy you all ice cream sundaes, unfortunately my finances prevent that from happening. Perhaps one day.... At any rate, I decided today to speak about hags.

 Hags are typically depicted as old, ugly women that either bully and browbeat or trick people into situations. Women who write horror were recently referenced as looking like hags by one disenchanted author and many women were offended by this. I instead took up the hag mantle because I like to take a word meant to offend and hurt and give it a different face and feel.


I'm a HAG (Horror Author Gal) and I'm proud of it.

 In times past throughout literature hags were generally harbingers of doom, or they were the reason that men were wrongly led to their death. They were portrayed as evil witches of old that would kill anyone or anything to get what they wanted. When people think hag their mind typically goes to something like Shakespeare'switches in Macbeth. They see hags as old crones with thin wispy white hair, horribly ugly visages, and mean and spiteful hearts.


(Image: Three Witches, Henry Fuseli 1783)
           

            Today people prove every day you don't have to be ugly and hag-like to be evil.

  •  I'd rather be called a hag than a Westboro Baptist. 
  • I'd rather be called a hag than be called a liar. 
  • I'd rather be called a hag than be called an idiot. 
  • I'd rather be called a hag than be told I'm a woman and therefore can't write horror.

 If writing things that will horrify someone is hag-like then, dammit, I'm proud to be a hag and am in good company!

 I guess I am just of the opinion that hag isn't the worst thing in the world to be called. I'd rather be known as a hag than known as someone who can't write. 

Let's face it. If looks were what mattered in the horror genre there'd be a lot of amazing authors that would never have been read. 

Luckily, the reality of the situation is that the way a person looks --and what gender they might be-- have nothing at all to do with their ability to craft a good story. 

Stay strong, believe in yourselves, and write the best damn stories you can no matter what. 



* Comments (in good taste) are welcome. 

* Come back tomorrow for the last of  the authors' views on what made them horror fans.



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#Zombie #Horror Book Teaser Tuesday

Thought I'd join in today in Teaser Tuesday at Should Be Reading.

* See other blog memes at the Book Blog Meme Directory.

What to do: 

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


 How about a teaser from GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie?  (From Chapter 6)

I listened and quickly understood what she meant. A man yelled and then another joined in. Several voices boomed--dangerous voices.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Women in #Horror Month 4 - We Like Horror Because...

I've asked female horror authors to share their thoughts on what made them horror fans for  WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH


********************

The question is: What horror film or book first grabbed your attention and made you a horror fan, and why?

* See Women in Horror Month post 1 with Stevie Kopas, Suzi M and C.A. Verstraete *

* See  Women in Horror Month post 2 with Karina Fabian, Jaime Johnesee and Claire C. Riley, * 

* See Women in Horror Month post 3 with A. Carina Barry, Melanie Karsak and Lori R. Lopez

* See Women in Horror post 4 with Sarah Lyons Fleming and Chantal Noordeloos.  

* See Women in Horror post 5 - Jaime Johnesee explains why it's good to be a Horror Hag. 

* See Women in Horror post 6  - with Vickie Johnstone, Pembroke Sinclair and Julianne Snow.

Sarah Lyons Fleming, author of  the series which starts with Until the End of the World (Until the End of the World, Book 1) (including So Long, Lollipops, Book 1.5 - novella; And After , Book 2; All the Stars in the Sky, Book 3), doesn't remember the exact time she became a horror fan, but she knows why.
 "Maybe it was those true story ghost books they had on offer in every Scholastic book order when I was in elementary school," she says. "You know, the ones that had actual photographs of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall amongst other creepy things. (They’re not in there anymore—the book fair catalogs that come home with my kids are decidedly less frightening.)



"Or it was watching Invasionof the Body Snatchers with my parents. That haunting scream at the end—I still shiver. Plus, the movie had the added benefit of being both post-apocalyptic as well as horror. Or maybe it was reading Pet Sematary at 10 years old. Or my grandmother telling me stories of ghosts she’d encountered.

"Whatever the case, I liked being scared. What I didn’t like, however, was being truly scared.
Books and movies allowed me to be scared at my own pace, by my own choosing. The things that really did live under my bed, the vampires that scaled the bricks of my apartment building at night to peer in my window, and the faceless murderer I just knew lurked by the door to the alley by the mailboxes—those weren’t as fun.

"It could be that the fake scary stuff allowed me to see the fears through and watch characters—some of them, at least—come out on the other side. That way, when the hand of the thing under my bed finally managed to snag my ankle, or the vampires opened that squeaky window wide enough to enter, or the man by the mailboxes climbed those few dark steps, I’d know exactly what to do."

  
Chantal Noordeloos, author of Angel Manor (Lucifer Falls Book 1) and the Coyote: the Outlander series, says that for her, "it wasn’t a book or a film that first seduced me to liking horror, it was a ghost story. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but the trope was a ‘ghost ship’(I think it might have been the title as well), and as a young girl, I found this wonderfully exciting. The story was in a book filled with more innocent fairy tales, and it belonged to my aunt. Each time I would visit, I would ask her to read me the tale of the ghost ship. After that I collected scary fairy tales, myths and ghost stories. I think that’s what got me interested in horror."




 ** As an aside, Women in Horror Month has had its detractors. This year it resulted in a situation where it also became known as Horror Hags Month. Why? Author Jaime Johnesee explains her take on it so be sure to come back Wednesday for that post!





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Women in #Horror Month 3 - Why I Like Horror

I've asked female horror authors to share their thoughts on what made them horror fans for  WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH

The question is: What horror film or book first grabbed your attention and made you a horror fan, and why?

* See Women in Horror Month post 1 with Stevie Kopas, Suzi M and C.A. Verstraete *

* See  Women in Horror Month post 2 with Karina Fabian, Jaime Johnesee and Claire C. Riley, * 

Today - Women in Horror post 3 with A. Carina Barry, Melanie Karsak and Lori R. Lopez

* See Women in Horror post 4 with Sarah Lyons Fleming and Chantal Noordeloos.  

* See Women in Horror post 5 - Jaime Johnesee explains why it's good to be a Horror Hag. 

* See Women in Horror post 6  - with Vickie Johnstone, Pembroke Sinclair and Julianne Snow.



A. Carina Barry is the author of Love at the End of all Things, a "zombie-esque horror-romance" set in the apocalypse which asks, Can Love Survive the End of the World?  Her scariest film memory?

   "I think the earliest horror film I saw was a version of Dracula. The brides eating a baby was pretty shocking to catch when I was a kid. I also remember watching them at late-night slumber parties. Some were scary, some were so bad as to be silly, but it's almost a rite of passage to see if you can keep from being as scared as anyone else by a horror movie when you are young.

"Oddly enough, I don't usually think of myself as a horror-fan, yet I have a lot of Stephen King. I've read Clive Barker, and dearly loved "Something Wicked This Way Comes" when it came out.  I know I took time to ask about the genre and read up on books recommended to me. Yet sometimes I forget how much of my shelf is dominated by them. I enjoy a lot of fantasy and the dark, gritty urban fantasy seemed to be a lovely merging of the two and that's been grabbing my attention a lot more of late. Yet, once I began writing, I finally saw how all those wonderful hours in the horror genre came out. It shows up as horror stories, chilling tales, and finally, some very dark, scary scenes in my other (supposedly) non-horror books. I like to say, 'I started in horror and it bleeds into everything.' It's amusing and true. 

"Much like Stephen King's "Dragon's Eye", I can write other things, but eventually that horror streak will pop out. It's something I discovered over time, and you know what? I'm really good with that. I love making people fear for the health and well-being of my characters regardless of genre. I want you to bite your nails, pull the blanket tight, and stay up way too late. That was the funnest part of reading horror in the first place!"





  Melanie Karsak, author of The Harvesting series, (The Harvesting, Midway and coming soon, The Shadow Aspect, Book 2), says, "I’ve always loved spooky tales. I remember checking out my first joke book from the library when I was in elementary school: it was about ghosts and mediums. My favorite kid’s story was Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery - the tale of the vampire rabbit. Even before my dad started ignoring PG-13 ratings, I would lay in bed, my heart pounding, while my dad watched Tales from the Dark Side. The theme music made my skin crawl. 

"It wasn’t long after, however, that I started my steady diet of horror and Sci Fi movies. We watched all things scary: The Crypt Keeper, Alien, Mad Max, Night of the Living Dead, Night of the Comet, The Omega Man, and so on. My father and I consumed all things speculative fiction. I can’t say that there was any one horror movie that really grabbed me, but I loved all things scary. I loved the feeling of terror and the new, dark worlds the authors created."





Lori R. Lopez is the author of assorted horror and illustrated books, including her latest, Odds And Ends: A Dark Collection, what she calls "an assortment of the weird and wonderfully grim."

Movies also made a big impression on her, she recalls: " I remember seeing the Hammer  
Frankenstein films (six film British series with Peter Cushing) when I was pretty small, and they made a very lasting impression. There were other scary films around then that fascinated me too, but none as much as those. When I read the Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley around age 10, I wept for joy as much as for sorrow. It was a beautiful story, and I felt a profound connection with it. (* Read the free e-text of Frankenstein at Gutenberg.org)

"Of course, before I could read I was bugging everyone older to read the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are to me. It had monsters, so I relate it with horror because I loved that it did. I wanted to sail off to that island. When I learned to read, I continued to check it out from the library. It was my first favorite book. I recall my mother being a bit concerned about me loving monsters so much. Once I pestered her in a store to buy me the magazine FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND because it had Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster on the cover. I was drawn to odd tales with tragic figures similar to FRANKENSTEIN, such as Victor Hugo’s THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. I myself often create weird forlorn protagonists, and I mention FRANKENSTEIN in some of my works. It truly stayed with me."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Neeta & Ted: Shambling in a Winter Wonderland


Valentine's Day has come and gone, but romance is still in the air. I've got a serial story running in Liberty Island Magazine, "Shambling in a Winter Wonderland." Zombie exterminators, Neeta Lyffe & Ted Hacker, are on vacation - or are they? It was supposed to be a fun week of learning to ski and planning their wedding, but the undead have other plans. You can follow the story on Liberty Island. The reading is free, but if you like it, please tip the author. That's the only way I get paid. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share this excerpt with you. It shows a little of how Neeta's and Ted's different personalities complement each other. Neeta sometimes wonders how she fell for such a clown, but as her best friend has noted, she needs laughter in her life. Do you have a soulmate? How does he or she complement your personality?

"Zombies? On skis?" Ted's squeal came loud and clear over her helmet as they followed the sheriff on snowmobiles up to the accident scene. "If it weren't so dangerous, it'd be core awesome!"
"Apparently, there was some kind of shrine set up with skis and snowboards. This won't be easy. They were already fearless and skilled. Now they're mindless, fearless and skilled - and the only thing they have connection to the area is that ski contest.” Neeta spoke through chattering teeth. “Are you sure you want to marry me? I'm cursed."

Even with all the layers she could pile on under her HazMat suit and her ski mask making her helmet uncomfortably tight, the cold air cut through her. Ahead, Sheriff Buttuns swerved to avoid a root that arched out of the snow, and she followed. She heard a thump, and guessed that Ted chose to jump the branch instead.
"Nah. You're interesting. I love that. Come on. If it weren't for your so-called curse, we wouldn't be snowmobiling in restricted territory right now. How fuze is that? Just go with it. 'Embrace the suck,' as Gordon used to say."
Gordon had been a Marine. He’d been discharged for too much enthusiasm. "I'm not a Marine."
"Your mom was. Doesn't any of that rub off?"
"Shrapnel shredded her arm. She was medically discharged before I was born."
"You need to get into the spirit of this. Sing with me: Oh, the zombies outside are frightful/but the napalm's so delightful…"
"You're insane! I'm marrying a crazy man." But she couldn't keep the smile out of her voice. He did make the job fun.
"As long as you love me so…"

Monday, February 16, 2015

#Zombie Fiction from Karina Fabian

Glad fellow blogger Karina Fabian made Monday's post easy!

If you haven't read it, her zombie serial story, “Shambling In a Winter Wonderland,” is up at Liberty Island Magazine. 




See episode one, "Slay Bells."  Episode Two: Who's Happy Tonight

She also has a short story up - "Josie's Last Straw."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! 


How about giving me your heart? 

** 

 Enjoy some Valentine Reading. - B&N - Amazon.com - website 

 I call this my "zombie light" story. haa! One of the first zombie stories I wrote. 


Friday, February 13, 2015

What Will Science Do Next?

Last week, my mom sent me a link to an interesting article. It’s called Is it OK to make babies from 3 parents' DNA?  In a nutshell, it talks about how the UK is debating on whether or not to approve cytoplasmic transfer. Explaining this briefly, cytoplasmic transfer is the method of transferring mitochondria from a donor egg into the egg of a woman who is unable to conceive.

I talk about this topic in my book, Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies. It is a controversial topic because no one knows exactly what kind of effect it will have on the offspring. Female children born from this method have three different sets of DNA: one from the mother, one from the father, and one from the donor. And there’s questions on whether or not it will be passed down to the next generation and beyond and what types of effects it will have.


What I find interesting about this debate is the fact that the UK has some of the strictest regulations on GMOs (foods that have been genetically modified). It boggles my mind to think that they would allow humans to be modified.  What kinds of labels will they require for them?  I’m interested to see how this turns out.

What this debate does is raises a lot of questions about ethics and science. Just because science is capable of doing something, does that really mean it should. And that is exactly the question horror films try to tackle.

Science is often portrayed poorly in horror films. Scientists are often portrayed as mad, obsessed with fame and fortune, and uncaring about the well-being of others. More often than not, something going wrong in science leads to the creation of monsters. In the case of Undead Obsessed, I look at how it leads to the creation of zombies.

I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about this process. There will be people on both sides of the fence. There will be those who oppose it, and those who will be for it. In reality, only time will tell what kind of consequences it will have for humanity. We can only hope it won’t lead to our downfall or the dead rising from the grave.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#Zombie #Horror #Mystery Book News


An assortment of things for this week's  Zombie-Horror-Mystery Book News! 



 Coming Soon! Jaime Johnesee's famously fun series featuring Bob the Zombie (like The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie) has a new adventure! 

In BOB MEETS SAM,  Bob joins forces with the charming werepanther Sam.
FBI intrigue set in the supernatural world, with this first official crossover of her 'Bob the Zombies' and the 'Shifters' series. (And once again, super cool cover art by Jeffrey Kosh Graphics.)



Releasing tomorrow, "lucky" Friday, Feb. 13! Fellow author Courtney Mroch has a new paranormal book coming out!  (And cool cover!)

In The Ghost of Laurie Floyd, Megan believes Andrew Kirkpatrick and Matthew Horne may know. Both are attorneys at the firm who have an interest in more than just Megan’s work product. She finds herself drawn to Andrew and repulsed by Matthew, but can she trust her instincts? She joined the firm to work, not to solve a murder or fall in love. Both seem to be happening anyway. If she’s not careful, her job and her heart won’t be the only things she stands to lose. The book was an Amazon Breakthrough Award quarter-finalist.

  In the mystery area, BIG Congrats go to fellow Intrigue authors, Jeff Markowitz, author of Death and White Diamonds  and Annie Alexander, author of Retributionwho won Lovey Awards at the recent Love is Murder mystery conference!!  

 

 If you recall, my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie won for best Paranormal-Sci Fi last year. The award is for recently published books in the award year.  


Anthology (and Zombie) News: 

The Baby Shoes Anthology, featuring flash fiction stories by 100 authors, has funded its Kickstarter! It'll be a great assortment, including a yes, different kind of zombie story by me. Stay tuned for details!


GIRL Z Story News: 

**I have some news, too! Yay!  I'm finishing up a new GIRL Z short story, with some zombies and a mystery. This time, Becca and her cousin are tracking down some lost dogs when Becca's new puppy runs off and goes missing. 

And.... a GIRL Z prequel short story is in the works! This time I'll be sharing about Spence - the cousin who accidentally infected Becca with the Z virus... It's almost done!  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Women in #Horror Month 2- What Made Me Write Horror

I'm asking  some female authors to share what made them horror fans for WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH. I'll run the posts as I get answers.

The question is: What horror film or book first grabbed your attention and made you a horror fan, and why?

* See Women in Horror Month post 1 with Stevie Kopas, Suzi M and C.A. Verstraete 

(Today) * See Women in Horror post 2 with Karina Fabian,  Claire C. Riley and Jaime Johnesee

* See Women in Horror post 3 with A. Carina Barry, Melanie Karsak and Lori R. Lopez

* See Women in Horror post 4 with Sarah Lyons Fleming and Chantal Noordeloos.  

* See Women in Horror post 5 - Jaime Johnesee explains why it's good to be a Horror Hag. 


* See Women in Horror post 6  - with Vickie Johnstone, Pembroke Sinclair and Julianne Snow.

karina fabian


Karina Fabian, author of the humorous Neeta Lyffe zombie exterminator series including, Neeta Lyffe II, I Left My Brains in San Francisco, has a confession (which explains why she likes to write with a humorous twist): 
  
  
 "
I'm not a horror fan, although when my sister and I were little, we used to get to stay up Friday nights and watch Shock Theater. Fu Man Chu was my fave then. Growing up, I watched some other horror films, but got tired of them around the time slasher movies became popular. I'm not sure what changed my tastes. ALIEN is about as close to horror as I can get now. I like comedy and parody, and enjoy when that's tied to horror. I think the first film that introduced me to the genre was Young Frankenstein."



claire c riley



Claire C. Riley, author of the Odium series, including Odium II: The Dead Saga says, “The 'very' first horror film that grabbed my attention was 'The Little Shop of Horrors' - Feed me Seymore! I learnt that it was perfectly acceptable to blend both horror and humour.

"After that it was George Romero's Night of The Living Dead and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Both of those films have kept me in love with old school horror ever since, and are what I try to incorporate into my own work."





jaime johnesee


Jaime Johneseeauthor of the fun Bob the Zombie series, including her latest compilation, The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie, is proof that the things we read and see do stay with us. Grab 'em early, so the saying goes! 

  
 
She says, "the horror film that grabbed my attention was Poltergeist and the book that set me firmly in love with horror was Watchers by Dean Koontz. I was eight."


More to come!

Your Turn: Share - what turned you into a horror fan?