Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Welcomes The Silence

It's been a while coming, but The Silence is almost ready for publication. After a big burst of writing in the summer months,  I am now towards the end of the editing stage. Big thanks go to the guys I've swapped / am swapping manuscripts with - the very talented duo of Sarah Emma (X Always Wins) and Paul Bisson (Marigold Dark) and my 'constant reader' Heather who read large chunks of the novel, however clunky, as it was being written.

The Silence is a Young Adult (YA) novel and will be released in two short books (novellas). This however, will not be your average YA fiction, with boundaries pushed to the limit as Nick Guest, aided by the mysterious Carrie Jones, discover dark things in the Jersey woods whilst dealing with the suicide of a rather bonkers Sophie Pemberton.

For an initial trial period, the first book will be available for free with the second as a paid download, or will be discounted if both bought together, depending if these option are easy enough to set up?

Whilst this novel will be seeking out agents and publishers I'll be investigating CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing in order to have this available online as soon as possible.

Please add this to your Christmas wish list if so inclined.


For those of you who really know me, you will be aware that this is one of my favourite times of the year. Via this link you will find a short story dedicated to one specific Halloween night in 1980 and is based on a couple of real-life experiences (I'll let you try and figure out which) - Jack O Lantern appears half way down this page and was originally released last Halloween.

Unfortunately long gone are the days of dressing up and trick or treating - this really was my favourite night of the year and was a chance to 'not have to be me' and take on the role of one of my childhood poster-boy's.

So for something a little 'dark' hearted, here are my ideal day of movies (whilst the cookies are baking in the oven, the pumpkins are lit on the windowsills and the warm blood drips from the meat hooks):

9am - The Wolf Man (1939) - in my opinion, this just edges out:
10.15am - Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - as the best of the Universal Classics.
11.30am - The Freaks (1932) - a nice little love story before lunch.
12.30pm - A couple of episodes of the Simpson's Tree House of Terror (1989 onwards) - classics.
1.30pm - The Woman in Black (1989) - the original TV movie is creepy as hell and sticks forever in your mind - although it's the theatre production which is truly harrowing.
3.00pm - The Lost Boys (1987) - a bit of light-hearted vampire fun.
4.30pm - An episode of The Munsters (1964-1966) - brilliant gothic fun.
5pm - The Carnival of Souls (1962) - 76 mins of Twilight Zone 'another dimension' style entertainment.
6.30pm - An American Werewolf in London (1981) - quite simply, the best Werewolf movie of all time - 'beware the moon lads'.
8.30pm - The Blair Witch Project (1999) - probably the scariest movie of all time. Don't believe me? Try watching it in a pitch-black room, on your own, with no distractions (the popcorn munching moviegoers in the cinema wrecked this first experience for me).
10pm - Halloween (1978) - the original and best slasher movie of all time.
Midnight - The Shining (1980) - even despite missing vital elements of the book, and as much as I would like to be original, I can't - this is the best horror movie of all time.

Finally, a brief list compiled from nostalgia, fear and a genuine love of the genre. Some of which have stood the test of time, others certainly haven't but all are worth a second viewing if it's been a while since you've seen them and if it's your first experience, then you're in for a treat (or trick). Controversially, not all of the original versions I would consider the better movie...

Welcome to my own personal nightmare:

Dog Soldiers - British flick with those on a military exercise up against a different kind of enemy.
The Howling - spiritual retreats have always been creepy.
The Company of Wolves - superbly spooky fairy tale.

Let the Right One In - the most beautiful vampire movie ever made.
Near Dark - vampire road movie.
Zoltan Hound of Dracula - yes, really! Dracula's dog! He and his pals are seriously hardcore.

Japanese / Japanese Inspired
The Ring/Ringu - the US remake is much much scarier in my opinion. It's all about the horses...
Audition - cheese anyone?
Dark Water - the original and one of the bleakest films I've ever seen.

A Nightmare on Elm Street - the original is the best by a mile - scary too at a time when Freddy didn't do comedy.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - sitting down to dinner with the family will never be the same again - brilliant.
Friday the 13th - for one of the best 'jump out of your seat' moments in cinema history.
May - all the hallmarks of a Japanese horror movie, but it's not.

When the Wind Blows - a cartoon and shown to us at school as a double bill with:
Threads - seriously, WTF?!?!
Prophecy - scared me to hell as a kid - chemical waste mutants.

The Exorcist/Exorcist 3 - outstanding original, poor first sequel, brilliant third.
Carrie - such a sad story too - thank you Tabitha King for plucking this one out of the wastepaper basket!
The Wicker Man - the bizarre and deeply chilling original which inspired sketches by The Two Ronnies and League of Gentlemen amongst others.
Hellraiser 2 - a serious gore fest.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - Bette Davis has always been freaky looking - her and Joan Crawford are superb as bitching sisters.
The Amityville Horror/2 - the original is still a very scary film, but if you haven't seen number 2 - the possession - this is the prequel to what happened in the house prior to the Lutz's moving in.
Dolls - always hated them, this movie does nothing to ease this.
Watcher in the Woods - another Better Davis movie, seen onboard a TriStar bound for Canada - one screen per 50 people!
The Omen - probably only on here as I've not been able to bring myself to watch Rosemary's Baby.
Superstition - rereleased as The Witch as originally banned, before reverting to its original title
Demon Seed - house arrest never felt so wrong.

The Evil Dead 1,2 and remake - The first two are cult classics, number 3 is fun but for real horror, the remake is a brilliant surprise
REC - Spanish original is the best, but all versions are worth a watch.
The Fog - another John Carpenter classic.
Dawn of the Dead - the remake, purely for the first 10 minutes!
The Ghoul (along with The Curse of the Demon) - my very first horror movies and on the Hammer House of Horror Double Bill shown every Saturday on BBC2 in the 80s.
Zombie Flesh Eaters - they swim and fight with sharks, but this is all about the eyeball meets splinter scene - trying to find an uncut version in the 80s was near on impossible.

Should be banned
Martyrs - borderline unwatchable, for 99 mins I hated Sarah and Karl for the recommendation
Watership Down - it's only a cartoon, it's only a cartoon - the screams you may hear along Green Road as darkness falls could well be that of my seven-year-old petrified self - possibly the most traumatic film I've ever seen.