Ginger Nuts of Horror
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
I normally hate these sort of things as you can never cover everything out there, but here is my traditional Halloween reads. These are the books that for me capture the spirit of Halloween, they aren't just any old horror book, they have to have a proper Halloween collection, these are the books that I always return to every October. Read on to find out what books get The Ginger Nuts of Horror Halloween seal of approval.
Please feel free to leave a comment about any of your favourite Halloween reads.
Some of you may have noticed that those two little oiks of horror have been having a "fued" over social media, from trying to out do each other in the comment section of my news item about their upcoming books, to their silly little interview over at my mates Wagging the Fox, right up to their pathetic attempt at being street with a rap battle that ended up being ore like an outtake of the Chuckle Brothers.
Hawkins and Power, or Barry and Paul, as I will refer to you pair from now on (I'll let you two fight it out as to which one is which), do you really think we fell for your silly little game? Do you really think that we didn't notice that this was all a poorly thought out attempt to drum up interest in your book? I may look like an idiot, but I'm at least two grades away from being a total idiot.
QUIT IT OUT NOW!! Stop this nonsense and just get on with it. Otherwise Don Mcleod will send CthElla to show you the errors of your ways.
It seems like every time I turn around, someone in the horror community feels entitled to something, spends his or her time badmouthing other horror authors or reviewers, or is generally being an asshole. Like others, I find myself tiring of the constant drivel that spews out of people’s fingers as they hide behind the anonymity and isolation of their computer screens. Although I could name some of those people, I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of having someone speak their names, especially on a site as well-known as this one. You all know who they are and they don’t deserve the attention.
The times are a changing, or at least that what Bob your uncle said in that song. He was probably not that far wrong, the times are indeed changing with regards to to the relationship between writers, reviewers and the love 'em or hate 'em giant bookseller Amazon.
Amazon have made a number of changes to the way it handles the relationship with reviewers and writers. Some of it is heavy handed, some of it is plain bonkers, but some of it in my opinion is for the best. I'll try and take you through these changes from my point of view and my understanding of the new way in which Amazon will deal with this relationship.
I like to think I’m an easy-going person. In fact, I pride myself on being laid back. Very few things annoy me enough for me to kick off over them. I feel personally offended if someone tells me that they don’t like The Walking Dead. I feel perplexed if anyone turns their nose up at a delicious piece of cheese. I will furrow my brow in utter confusion when someone puts a tea bag on the side and lets it leak everywhere instead of putting it in the bin, especially if the bin is right next to them. I feel a mixture of emotions at all manner of things, but rarely irritation. But with all that said, I take horror seriously and there are just some things that boil my blood enough to make me want to rip someone’s face off.
Although I'm sure most of us working in the horror arena will have heard of most of the small presses listed below (in many cases, you might even have heard of all of them, even been published a few), I think it's worth giving them some extra exposure through the hallowed site that is Ginger Nuts.
In many of these cases, they are tiny outfits run by people who are writers themselves, but their size (or lack thereof) in no way diminishes their quality, or the enthusiasm and professionalism they bring to their releases. In many respects, I find they easily give the bigger publishers a run for their money, from production standards through to calibre of writers and stories.
Small presses are often the starting place for most of us who have a desire to write and be published, and without them, I truly believe most of us would struggle to get our stories an audience. So, for this article, I'm going to list a few presses I feel deserve wider attention because I've read and enjoyed some of their releases, and/or because I know many of the writers, editors and publishers involved.
Conceptual anxieties, pregnant panic and the birth pangs of horror
The second Golden Age of Horror was born premature. For though associated with the 1970s, it began in 1968, with the arrival of two films that would forever change the genre landscape: George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Redefining the zombie as a vehicle for sociopolitical commentary, Romero’s low-budget shocker focused on death, the theme with which all human experience ends and with which the horror genre is most closely associated. Polanski’s film, conversely, explored the other end of the spectrum, dealing with the fears that can surround maternity and birth, where all our lives begin. This was horror at its most (literally) conceptual, and it would beget a preoccupation with panic-stuffed pregnancy that the genre has ever since been unable to get fully out of its system. INFERNAL arrives on DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment in which the unrivalled joy of a newborn baby rapidly descends into fear of the highest order, we take a look at the most gruesome horror films that feature pregnancy, birth and disturbed children.
As newlywed couple Sophia and Nathan move into their new home together Sophia delivers the news that she’s pregnant. Nathan digests the news, proposes to her and they get married, hoping to live happily ever after... The couple welcome their first child into the world shortly after getting married, but their joy quickly turns to panic when the young girl starts acting strangely. The unrivalled joy of a newborn baby rapidly descends into fear of the highest order when unexplainable things start happening around the house. Fearing their daughter could be possessed, the parents call in a priest to perform an exorcism, but when that goes horribly wrong, the parents start to wonder if they will ever be able to rid their daughter of the evil power lurking within her...
To coincide with the release of his latest novel The Crimson Corset Alistair Cross has compiled his top five reasons why we can't get enough of vampires. What are your favourite reasons for your vampire cravings, leave a comment in the comment section for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Welcome to Crimson Cove
Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.
When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.
Darkness at the Edge of Town
Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.
Purchase a copy here
The Beauty of Being Dead
After decades at the drive-in and centuries spent on the bestseller lists, it’s pretty amazing that vampires haven’t gone the way of floppy disks, Windows 95, and the Spice Girls. But somehow, these fanged fiends have retained their popularity. In fact, not only have they tapped the commercial vein of each generation, they’ve managed to turn even more beautiful, more powerful, and arguably, more fascinating than their pale-faced predecessors.
A little while ago, fellow Gingernutter Paul M. Feeney and I got into a conversation about the role and function of critical readers in the writing process. And in the course of the conversation, some interesting differences of emphasis emerged. So in the interests of both exploring the concept in more detail, and also canvassing opinion from others, we thought it might be useful to have the conversation in a more longform setting.
Okay, before I get to the 'meat' of this article (and at the moment, I have no idea how long it's going to run), I'll take a few sentences to explain why I'm writing it.
Basically, I have had a very stormy relationship with online interaction, Facebook in particular. I am currently going through counselling for anxiety (and it seems to be working, though my full-time employer is hampering my attempts to return to work, thereby increasing my anxiety - hey-ho), but I've always had the kind of personality that just can't let things go, that gets personally affected by stuff I read or things that seem to be attacks or judgements on me. Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm not the kind of person to spread bullshit, or hate, or lies, yet some people have wantonly misinterpreted me, or made assumptions that paint me as some kind of 'bad guy'. And yes, it hurts; but most of all, it dismays me because I've always prided myself on being able to discuss things rationally, without too much emotive or hysterical reaction. I've also always maintained a policy whereby I'd rather someone came to me if they had a problem, as opposed to blocking and then spreading bullshit in an attempt to somehow blacken my name. But perhaps I expect too much of people. Anyway, I digress. It came to my attention recently that certain individuals, who have fallen out with other certain individuals, had taken to snidey little attacks against this site, and Jim McLeod, a good friend of mine. One such witticism is apparently referring to us as The Ginger C*nts Of Horror. Yes, I know - all very hilarious, all very mature. I won't lie, this kind of behaviour infuriates me and I will defend my friends when I feel they're being unjustly maligned. Yet I still believe a lot of it comes from misunderstandings, misinterpretations and a lack of communication. And that, really, is at the heart of this. I want to impart a few things that I feel will be good advice, especially to those who are new to writing and the horror community. It's not a definitive list, I'm not perfect or the keeper of all that is right, but I've been in this game for a few years now, and I've learned a lot, sometimes from my own mistakes. Some of it's to do with writing itself, and some of it's to do with personal conduct because, at the end of the day, regardless of what you might think, you are in a public space and you are in a professional environment.
So, let us begin...