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…

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!

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!

On setting in horror fiction – Halloween Haunts 2018

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Check out my guest blog over at Halloween Haunts 2018, the Horror Writers Association‘s daily dose of tricks and treats.

Yes, every day features a special giveaway and today’s is for a chance to grab a cool and coveted Final Frame Horror Film Contest t-shirt. Read on below the blog post for details.

My blog post is about the importance of setting in my new horror novellas The Lilyth Mirror and The Lucifer Gate, both available now in The Daniel Gates Adventures Vol. 2 from Crossroad Press.

And when you’re done reading, be sure to peruse the other Halloween Haunts blog posts, which offer everything from author interviews and excerpts of new books, to writing advice and horror history – along with more great giveaways each day.

My thanks to the HWA (of which i am proud to be an Active Member) and Halloween Haunts editor Michele Brittany.

Out now: Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase Volume V – the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon!

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Excited to see the release of the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase on Kindle.

HWA Poetry Showcase Volume Five is edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich and co-curated by Jurors Mercedes M. Yardley and Michael Arnzen. It contains provocative and groundbreaking horror poets Donna Lynch, R.D. Lynch, Sara Tantlinger, and many more.

I’m honoured to have my first ever published poem Some Velvet Mourning included in this volume.

I can’t wait to read all the others! And I’m sure you can’t wait, either.

Download a copy here.

Number 1 hot new release on amazon

HWA Poetry Showcase Volume V – the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon!

HWA Poetry Showcase Volume V: Table of Contents

  1. Mother of Monsters by Trisha J. Wooldridge
  2. Attack of the Panic by Timothy P Flynn
  3. A Log Book Discovered on an Alien World by Terrie Leigh Relf
  4. Her Name by Susan Snyder
  5. Creature, Monster by Steve Dillon
  6. My Death by Simone Volponi
  7. Amalgamation by Sara Tantlinger
  8. Alice Escapes the Machinery of the Cosmos By Swallowing the Tongue of Her Unspoken Dream by Saba Syed Razvi
  9. Still Life by Robert Perez
  10. It’s Coming by Rob E. Boley
  11. These Dreams by Randy D. Rubin
  12. So She Burns It All Down by R. J. Joseph
  13. Beginding by Querus Abuttu (Dr. Q)
  14. Psalm by Peter Adam Salomon
  15. Call Me Mary by Naching T. Kassa
  16. Screaming Skulls by Michael H. Hanson
  17. The Ghost of Whitechapel by Marge Simon
  18. Angels of Death by Lori R. Lopez
  19. If I Only by Lisa Lepovetsky
  20. Revenants of the Antipodes by Kyla Lee Ward
  21. He Said by Kerri-Leigh Grady
  22. The Tired Old Life by Kenneth W. Cain
  23. My Garden by Kathryn Ptacek
  24. A Face in the Rain by John Palisano
  25. Safety Labels on Hospice Beds by Joanna Nelius
  26. Saint Mark’s Eve by Janice Leach
  27. Mulch by James Frederick Leach
  28. On the Verge of Sleep, At the Edge of a Shadow by James Ebersole
  29. The Witch Hunt by Jacopo Della Quercia
  30. The Demon at the Foot of Her Bed by G.O. Clark
  31. Some Velvet Mourning by Frazer Lee
  32. Twenty Hours by Elizabeth Massie
  33. The Church Service by Edward Ahern
  34. Charmed by E. F. Schraeder
  35. Dolls by Donna Lynch
  36. Broad Daylight by Denise Dumars
  37. Sins of the Father by David E. Cowen
  38. I Am by Cynthia Pelayo
  39. Savor by Colleen Anderson
  40. Gathered Words by Cindy O’Quinn
  41. The Joy of Sewing by Christina Sng
  42. We Built This City (on Tired Bones) by Chad Stroup
  43. Return to the Prehistoric Garden by Chad Hensley
  44. Blood Work by Carina Bissett
  45. The Temptation of the Moon to Shadow by C.R. Langille
  46. Thirst by Annie Neugebauer
  47. The Dead in Spring By Ann K. Schwader
  48. Moloch Dreams by Angela Yuriko Smith
  49. Libri Haruspicy by Amanda Hard
  50. In This House by Allan Rozinski

The Beauty of Death II Anthology – T.O.C. Revealed

Cover Art by World Fantasy Award Nominee Artist Zelda Devon


The Table of Contents for horror anthology The Beauty of Death 2 – Death by Water has been revealed, including my story ‘To Take The Water Down And Go To Sleep’.

Follow the link to see the full Table of Contents, which features Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and many, many admirable authors. I’m honoured to be part of such a wonderful line up of writers and their tales.

The book is edited by Alessandro Manzetti and Jodi Renée Lester and published (in print and digital) in October 2017 by Independent Legions Publishing.

 

An Audience With Guest Author Stuart R. West

13608075_10208533000220126_1487223109_nI’m delighted to welcome guest author Stuart R. West to the blog today.

With superb comic timing, Stuart published his wicked novel Demon With A Comb-Over via Samhain Publishing – just as they announced they were winding down their business. But the killer punchline is all Stuart’s as he has many other exciting books for you to read, with more on the way.

Read on to learn more!

Hi Stuart, thanks for dropping by at my blog today.

SRW: Thanks for having me, Frazer! Freezy, Frazey Leezy! You like your hip-hop name? No?

I’ll stick with Lazer Free, thanks! Now – your novel Demon With a Comb-Over is a wicked blend of horror and humour. What made you settle on this hybrid genre for your book?

SRW: Frazer, it didn’t start that way. Originally, it was gonna be a straight-up horror book. But I thought, “Hey, what if the setting, the weird characters, all of that, lean toward comedy?” Seemed kinda like a no-brainer to me. Of course, some readers have thought it’s not funny. Humor’s subjective. Bring to it what you will.

The horror in the book ranges from subtle atmospheric creeps to full on guts-out (quite literally) visceral mayhem. How did you achieve the balance with this when you were writing?

13649674_10208533003540209_707351052_nSRW: I hope I did achieve it. There’s subtlety, than there’s full-on horror. Personally, I like a mixture of both. But I couldn’t write a trip to Hell without getting all up in everyone’s faces. Actually, there’re two detailed trips to the netherworlds. Readers seem to be mixed: some like the grue, others are all about the comedy. Then there are the ’hatahs. Can’t please everyone.

Charlie is a living, breathing and completely engaging protagonist, I think because he’s flawed and therefore believable. How did you dream him up and were there any real-world influences when developing his character?

SRW: Charlie’s actually me. Duh, Frazer, duh. All the foibles, the mistakes he makes, the pseudo-crimes her performs against humanity? All me. I’m putting it all out there. Don’t judge me!

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I’m guessing that you are no stranger to the world of stand-up comedy. The book shows your deep knowledge of that world to great effect. Care to share any road stories? Any particularly horrific heckles?

SRW: Right you are, my friend! Actually, I only performed stand-up twice. The first time was in college. I made everything up on the go. Thing is I had a built-in audience of about 20 people—my entourage from school—following me. So they laughed. Alcohol helped. The second time? Alcohol didn’t help. I went to an open-mike night at a club, thinking I could wing it again. Didn’t work so well. Crickets didn’t even begin to explain the response. Glad I got out alive.

This is also a wild guess, but a very strong element of Comb-over is the relationship between Charlie and his daughter. Reading it, I felt sure you must not only be a parent, but father to a daughter? If so, was this helpful to you when exploring the horror of Serena being threatened in the way that she is (by a vengeance crazed demon!)?

13624559_10208533015700513_2145899622_nSRW: Very astute, Frazer. Yep, I’m a father. My daughter’s now 24, but I pretty much raised her on my own. Well, that’s not true exactly; my ex was cool enough to give me 50-50 rights. But, yeah, it’s based on truth. I hope my ex never reads this post (she won’t, right?), but a lot of it is based on her – true down to the reliance of therapy, the accusations, the constant aggravation. She even told me once, “I checked over our daughter; I cleared you of abuse.” WHAT? Damn.

Another part of the novel that I enjoyed immensely was the use of the chapter headings based around the ‘rules of comedy’. “Put your fantasies out there. It makes you more relatable,” was one that stood out in particular. Care to expand on that one in the context of your writing?

SRW: Fantasies? No, that’s up to everyone else. It does seem like a lotta stand-up comedians dwell on fantasies. I believe part of the secret of comedy is making yourself relatable, saying crap everyone wants to, but doesn’t have the guts to. But the chapter headings I kinda made up. Sorry. My research assistant, “Ms. Google,” helped me with the rest.13643771_10208533016740539_1147014760_n

Those chapter headings really help support the structure of the story and the thematic content of each part, and the whole. Did you work to an outline based around those headings? Or did you go with the flow and discover this later?

SRW: I’m sorry to say the headings kinda came as an after-thought. No way, Frazer, am I that smart. Just seemed right as I plowed along.

Following on from the ‘Rules of Stand-up’, what do you believe to be the core rules of writing Horror?

SRW: Make your characters human, relatable. Then toss ‘em into hellish visions. Without characters people can empathize with, a tale would be like a tossed-off nightmare, barely remembered.

13644257_10208533022500683_74075230_nAside from a liberal sprinkling of salt around your bed each night (readers – check out Stuart’s novel for more about this!) what’s next for Stuart R. West?

SRW: Glad you asked, Frazer! I have an upcoming darkly comical novel from Grinning Skull Press called Dread & Breakfast. I’m working on the third and final book in my darkly humorous (I’m detecting a theme here) serial killer thriller series, Killers Incorporated. There’s a sequel on the way to my comedic mystery series, Bad Day in a Banana Hammock, about a vapid male stripper who keeps turning up dead bodies. The prequel to Demon with a Comb-Over, The Book of Kobal (a very dark, immoral, irreverent tale), is hunting for a new home since the original publisher, Samhain, is pretty much dead to horror. Hey! I have a children’s picture book coming out (dunno when) from Guardian Angel Press. I’d like to write a Lovecraftian/Cronenbergian horror tale about a genetic dairy farmer but it’s kinda a hard sell. Finally, up next will be a nostalgic ’60s set, Midwestern ghost tale.

Sounds like a great, diverse line-up! Thanks again for dropping by Mr. West!

SRW: Thanks for putting up with me, Frazer.13624723_10208533022940694_547791730_n

Demon with a Comb-Over available at Amazon.

Stuart R. West Amazon Page.

Blog: Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley

Stuart R. West Facebook

Twitter: @StuartRWest

 

Announcing the UK Chapter of the Horror Writers Association

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Ah, the United Kingdom. Birthplace to all manner of horrors and their creators (and I’m not just talking about the current Government).

With its rich history of ghost stories and gothic nightmares, wouldn’t it be great if the UK had its own chapter of the Horror Writers Association I hear you ask? Well, behind the scenes, we writers have been discussing that very possibility. And, thanks to co-chairs Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, HWA UK has now launched.

This is exciting news for the genre, its fans, and practitioners. Together, we can celebrate all things horror and help to promote the work of UK horror scribes, at home and beyond our shores.

Check out the official website http://hwauk.org where you can find a list of current members, details on joining the organisation, along with information about Stokercon and the Bram Stoker Awards®.

Cthulhu Brittania!

HWA-LOGO-copy

 

New book, new title!

Samhain HorrorMy new novel THE SKINTAKERS is no more!

Instead, THE SKINTAKER will be released on April 7th, 2015.

So why the title change?

Well, I can’t actually go into specifics because *spoilers* but…

The decision came after a suggestion from my editor extraordinaire, Don D’Auria at Samhain Horror. (We’re hard at work on final edits for the novel.) The plural ‘Skintakers’ did make sense (but could have been distracting to the reader) whereas ‘The Skintaker’ singular makes much more sense (and is not distracting to the reader).

Titles are so important, perhaps the most important words you’ll write as a novelist. So I’m very happy with the change (especially as it leads directly to the title of the third book in the trilogy that started with The Lamplighters). And this, dear f(r)iends is just one of the many reasons why every writer needs an editor as awesome as Don, and a publisher as awesome as Samhain.

I hope you’ll join us for a trip into hot hell next April.

The Skintaker has some secrets he’d like to share with you…

Cheers,
Frazer