In memoriam: Norman J. Warren

I’m devastated to hear of filmmaker Norman J. Warren‘s passing, and touched to see social media buzzing with fond memories of, and tributes to, this gentleman of horror.

The late, great Norman J. Warren (photo: Vice.com)

My friendship with Norman began just over a decade ago, when a producer recommended me to him as a potential screenwriter on his new movie project. We met in a hotel bar in London and got along like a haunted house on fire. I was hired to do rewrites on Norman’s script ‘Beyond Terror’, which was both a sequel to ‘Terror’ and a ‘greatest hits’ showcase. I was thrilled to be working with him, as I was a fan of Norman’s cult-occult movie ‘Satan’s Slave’ (aka ‘Evil Heritage’) from my VHS video nasties days.

Our collaboration continued and we met up for coffee-fuelled story meetings and regular chinwags at the National Film Theatre café on the South Bank, and sometimes at Norman’s home in West London, where I got to see his vintage movie posters and memorabilia over mugs of tea. Norman had so many great stories from his decades in the film industry, and I loved hearing about him driving around in an open topped car with ‘Terror’ star Glynis Barber in the passenger seat.

(Glynis Barber in Norman J. Warren’s TERROR)

‘Beyond Terror’ was retitled ‘Delusion’ (we joked that we were deluded if we thought it was going to get made) and Norman eventually took the project to China with producer Yixi Sun, to pitch for financing. Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Following our work on ‘Delusion’, Norman invited me to brainstorm ideas with him for a horror/thriller film called ‘Shadows’ and I worked up a story outline based on our creative discussions with producer Yixi Sun.

Horror can be a notoriously hard sell when trying to attract funding, especially state funding, and so Norman decided to pursue the art house/surreal thriller route. Following on from ‘Shadows’, Norman and Yixi then developed a script called ‘Susu’, which Norman was going to direct in China. When ill health prevented him from directing, Norman moved into a producing role, with Yixi directing. Norman made a fun short too, for the ‘Turn Your Bloody Phone Off’ segment at FrightFest London.

Alongside all this, I was hard at work on my short folk horror film ‘The Stay’, and Norman mentored me throughout the process with his trademark enthusiasm and words of encouragement. You’ll see his name on the thank you credits at the end of the film (I apologised in advance, in case he didn’t like the movie!).

Norman was a lovely friend and collaborator who always had time for others, even when he was unwell. And I have never known someone to be so excited and upbeat when discussing grisly death scenes over lunch! Norman survived polio during his younger years, and I think that maybe gave him some of his appreciation for life’s possibilities. He was a proper gent, and I will miss him.

Listen to Norman discussing his filmmaking roots and influences on Radio 4’s The Film Programme here.

And you can relive Norman J Warren’s greatest hits in this stonking Indicator Blu Ray box set.

“Open for a surprise”

Ta—daaaa!

In a desperate attempt to be relevant in a genre dominated by big-name authors, my horror novel Hearthstone Cottage is on sale for only $0.99/£0.99.

Hurry, offer ends January 24th.

UK: http://flametr.com/2XYcr3O
US: http://flametr.com/3odD93j
AU: http://flametr.com/3o5MU3t
CA: http://flametr.com/394YhEh

0.99 on Kindle

Here are some nice things that nice people have said about my novel (which is decidedly not nice).

Reviews

“Lee creates an atmosphere of unease and foreboding that culminates in explosive violence and terror. Rife with frightening imagery, ghosts, and visceral horror, this tale will please the most ardent of horror fans.” – Booklist

“HEARTHSTONE COTTAGE is a nonstop riveting read and the suspense never slackens. Prepare to lose sleep.” – The Haunted Reading Room

“A story which is worthy of being on the big screen! Full of tension, suspense & good old-fashioned heart-thumping scary bits” – Stardust Book Reviews

“This was a fantastic spooky read! The writer pulls you in and does not let you go until the very last page.” – Secret World of a Book

“Hearthstone Cottage is the first folk horror book I’ve read, and what a great introduction to the subgenre…Every chapter represented a new horror for the protagonist as he delved deeper and deeper into madness. Frazer Lee is fantastic.” – The Bookdad

“Gripping from beginning to end, Lee knows how to spin a horror story that makes your flesh crawl. Filled with suspense and tension you will struggle to look away.” – Bunny’s Pause

“Outstanding writing, intriguing layers, the tension and suspense was edge of your seat stuff, relatable characters that I could see myself getting along with and the twists and turns left me aching for more.  The author certainly has gained a new fan. Thank you, Frazer Lee, for scaring the crap out of me!” – The Coycaterpillar Reads

“This book had me on my toes until I reached the very last line…I really, really, really enjoyed it.” – Nightfall Mysteries

“I was actually scared to go to sleep at one point…part of the book hit me so hard, I actually had to put it down and have a break…a great read if you enjoy being on the edge of your seat, it was very creepy and suspenseful” – Ally’s Book Corner

“A trippy tale of isolation set in the Scottish countryside that really takes the reader off guard.” – Hedwig’s Books

“A fun, creepy read” – Book Reviews by Shalini

“This is a fantastically creepy tale, with a sense of gradually building menace. Gripping, spooky and thoroughly entertaining.” – Lesley Budge, Orlando Books Blog

I did mention it’s only $0.99 until January 24, right?

Hearthstone Cottage — Frazer Lee — you might like it?

ICYMI: Halloween Haunts – “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps…”

In case you missed it, this year’s Halloween Haunts series of blogs from members of the Horror Writers Association was chock full of treats.

My blog entry was on the subject of Friern Barnet Mental Asylum and its haunting influence on my new novel Greyfriars Reformatory.

Read on, brave souls, for the spooky scoop!

And follow the Halloween Haunts links for an entire October’s worth of tricks & treats.

Greyfriars Reformatory awaits…

ICYMI: Dark Dozen interview at Uncomfortably Dark

In case you missed it… I spill the spooky beans about my new novel Greyfriars Reformatory, discuss the darkest movie I’ve ever watched, reveal what scares me, and chat all things horror over at Uncomfortably Dark.

read on for the interview

(scroll down just below the book review).

My thanks to Candace Nola for hosting & posting! When you’re done reading the interview & review, be sure to check out Candace’s debut novel Breach.

Brunel Writers Series: Halloween Special #GreyfriarsReformatory #RobotsRoguesandRevenants

Join me on Wednesday October 28th from 3-4pm (GMT) for a special live online event presented by Brunel Writers Series in association with Hillingdon Literary Festival.

Creative Writing students from Brunel University London will read flash fiction from their horror/sci-fi-fantasy charity anthology Robots, Rogues & Revenants, and I will read from, and answer your questions about, my latest horror novel Greyfriars Reformatory.

Tickets are free, and you can book yours here.

Look forward to spooking you at the perfect paranormal primer for Halloween!

Beast witches,
Frazer

Book release day: #GreyfriarsReformatory interview & review at #UncomfortablyDark

I spill the spooky beans about my new novel Greyfriars Reformatory and all things horror over at Uncomfortably Darkread on for the interview and a review of the book.

My thanks to Candace Nola for hosting & posting!

When you’re done reading the interview & review, check out Candace’s debut novel Breach.

And don’t forget to enter today’s giveaway – win signed copies of Greyfriars Reformatory!

#TheStayMovie awarded #BestInternationalFilm at #thethinginthebasementhorrorfest

Amazing news!

My folk horror film The Stay has been awarded Best International Film at The Thing in the Basement Horror Fest, USA.

What an honour!

Many thanks to Tyler Darkow & all at the Fest for supporting our work, on behalf of the cast & crew of The Stay 🎃

Signed books & the mystery of the missing PayPal feature

It’s the first day of autumn, and spooky season is well and truly underway.

(I know, it’s Halloween every day for me too!)

I was looking forward to signing copies of my sixth novel Greyfriars Reformatory at a series of live reading events culminating in a mass séance that would see several audience members seeking spiritual/medical help.

After they’d stopped screaming.

But the pandemic put an end to all that fun. (Though having seen Host on Shudder, I do have a few ideas about how to proceed with the mass séance at least…)

Instead, I’m delighted to offer signed copies of my books by mail order
(and I promise to wash my hands thoroughly before inscribing them, and before packaging them for transit. It’s the only way to keep the blood off the pages.)

The details are up on my Store page if you’re looking for the perfect Halloween/Nightmare Before Christmas gift for your bestie, your bad self, or your mortal enemy.

There is a slight fly in the pumpkin spice-scented ointment though.

PayPal always used to feature a “special instructions to merchant” text box at check out, so you could specify (for example)
HEY FRAZER, PLEASE SIGN IT ‘TO FRANK N. STEIN, LOVE YOU OODLES’.

But PayPal apparently did away with this very useful feature — for reasons known only to itself! (And yes, I know you can add a text box to a PayPal button, but there’s no way to get it to work with a WordPress.com site.) Sigh. It was a useful thing and now it’s gone.

So if you do order a book, please DM me on Twitter, Insta, my Facebook Page
(or in the Comments section below)
with any specific dead-ication (see what I did there?) requests and I’ll get my pen ready.

(If I don’t hear from you first, i’ll haunt your email inbox to check before committing ink to paper.)

And PayPal — please reinstate that super useful “additional instructions to merchant” feature, or I cannot guarantee that the Grey Girl won’t get mad and come for you…

As ever, thanks for reading.

Take scare.

And see you on the other side.

Frazer x

Writer/Director Frazer Lee awarded Creepy Tree Film Festival Exemplar Award for #TheStayMovie

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Many thanks to all at #creepytreefilmfestival for this amazing award!

And to the cast, crew and supporters of #TheStayMovie – couldn’t have done it without you – thanks again!

via Writer/Director Frazer Lee awarded Creepy Tree Film Festival Exemplar Award for #TheStayMovie

Out now: Horror Literature From Gothic to Post-Modern – Critical Essays

Way back when, at the Horror Writers Association‘s now-annual event Stokercon, I presented a paper-in-progress on Koji Suzuki‘s seminal J-horror novel Ringu at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference.

After the event, Annradcon organisers Michele Brittany and Nicholas Diak kindly invited me to submit my research as a Chapter for their forthcoming book, which is out now from McFarland with a foreword by former HWA President Lisa Morton and an afterword by Becky Spratford.

Horror Literature From Gothic to Post-Modern – Critical Essays, covers a wealth of topics, from children’s literature to Aboriginal tales, and is a must-read for any horror scholar. My chapter covers Ringu, and its many sequels and adaptations, from a world literary perspective.

As with all academic texts Horror Literature… is pricey it’s true, but there is a Kindle version available for e-readers, which halves the cost.

You can discover other purchasing options at Goodreads.

Congratulations to editors Michele & Nick on birthing this beautiful beast of a book – the first academic textbook from the HWA. And may many more follow!

Oh, and a word of warning from The Ring: “Before you die you see the ring.”

Image result for ringu gifEnjoy!