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1992's Dracula: Love Story or Horror?

Posted on October 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the 1992 film of Dracula portrayed by Gary Oldman. As I was browsing images of the movie on Pinterest two thoughts crossed my mind; is the movie truly a horror of the classic or an infused love story? My second question is why in the heck does Dracula look the way he does in true form? Whose idea was that? These two questions may not pose a concern for most but I have been scratching my head over them and have some thoughts as to what could be the possible answers to them. I don’t know about anyone else but I prefer the classic cape wearing, fang showing, I want to suck your blood, I am Vlad the Impaler type of Dracula. The man who looks as he always does and doesn’t hind behind a facade because he’s an oddity.

 

Is it a horror or a love story? At first glance and thought you think it’s the same telling of every other version of Dracula and you would be right. Dracula comes into town, meets Mina and Jonathan, uses his allure over Mina, Jonathan doesn’t know what’s going on and everyone finds out what Dracula is and stops him. (Great quick telling of the story right?) However in the 1992 version I feel it’s more love-inspired and infused and a lot more sexual. Back in the day of the original love stories weren’t taboo but sex was but even then Dracula wasn’t exactly Casanova or Mr. Suave to Mina but in the 1992 version he is and the passion and love within the movie is a lot more different. Why is this? Well there’s three reasons, one obvious and the others may not even realize until now. The first reason is simple; it’s a different telling of a story with that director and producer’s vision on it. Same story but different, themes, moods, feelings, etc.

 

The second reason? It was he nineties. Vampires were already becoming over sexualized and by the time the nineties rolled around everything had a love, sex, passion vibe to it. In this instance it was no different. They took the Dracula classic and turned it into a more love inspired movie because it was the thing to do in the 90's. Reason number three is probably the one you would least suspect but after you hear it you’ll start to ponder it for yourself. In the film, Gary Oldman plays Dracula, he’s odd looking as a vampire(I’ll get into this later) but to keep up appearances he of course portrays a suave well looking gentleman as a human. If you take a closer look though you’ll realize Gary Oldman looks a lot like Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler(coincedence?) but the Vlad connection doesn’t stop there. For those who know the tale of Vlad the Impaler know he was a ruthless and cruel man but there’s more to him than that.

 

Upon his return from war, Vlad found out his wife jumped to her death from their castle Dracula. Vlad was devastated. Bram Stoker didn’t just take the violent, bloodthirsty part from Vlad the Impaler to create Dracula, he also used the sad history of a man who loses the love of his life. In the 1992 film, Dracula in many ways is like Vlad the Impaler who longs to be with Mina because she reminds him so much of his late beloved wife. This is perhaps why to me the movie seems more love-infused than other portrayals because the director did his research and really decided to use the background of Vlad the Impaler and give the film a more deeper meaning and effect. Also because of the bigger lover effect it’s why the film is a lot more sexual than other versions.

 

Finally, why does Dracula look the way he does in the film? Why does he look like the love child of George Washington and Bette Midler? For one, perhaps the director wanted to stay away from the classic cliche and decided to make his Dracula look far, far different from the original usual versions. Perhaps he wanted to make his version look more like the old creature that he truly is or maybe even give him a look that is hideous compared to his other versions he dawns during the film. So there you go, a little analysis on the 1992 film of Dracula and why it could be more of a love film and why Dracula looks the way he does.

Do Demons Have A Gender?

Posted on October 25, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

When we hear the word “demon” we all think of evil, darkness, the devil, Hell and others just to name a few. We know what the definition of a demon is, we know what it personifies and we know they can be classified under as supernatural and paranormal beings. One thing that never gets questioned or brought up is what is the gender of a demon? A demon can enter the body of a male or female but what about the demon itself? Is it a certain gender? Does it have both genders? Does it prefer one over the other? Or do demons simply take on and possess whatever body they want based off the convenience and circumstances? I’ll break this down and give my thoughts and opinions on the matter but one thing should go without saying, is doesn’t matter what gender a demon is, it’s evil and it’s out to cause harm to humans.

What gender are demons? Well while they can inhabit either gender I think a demon itself could be one of two options. They could actually be a male or female demon however when it comes to inhabiting a body I highly doubt demons care which they possess and I’m sure they don’t stereotype. You think a male demon is going to enter the body of a human male simply because that’s how it has to be? Doubtful. The other option is that a demon may have no gender at all and it’s simply an entity that when it surfaces to Earth is simply looking for a vessel aka a body to control and it doesn’t care which gender it takes on. Both these two options seem possible and whether one seems more likely than the other is up for debate but I see it as it could be one or the other and a fifty-fifty split.

One thing is for certain, it truly doesn’t matter which gender a demon is because they are all after one thing; to inflict harm, kill or even possess a human being. We know how they come to be and where they generally come from or so we are lead to believe. This notion however has nothing to do with gender, so why do I bring it up? For the same reason why it doesn’t matter where they come from whether it’s Hell, another dimension, a book, a spell, it doesn’t matter, they are demons and we know their intent. Gender for the third time is no different, it doesn’t make a bit of difference which gender they are but I raise the questions simply out of curiosity. Let’s say demons do have gender’s, are one type more inferior than the other? Irrelevant because? Well you get the idea but just remember that if you’re a sexist male and you encounter a female demon and think it’s not that scary, think again! Do demons have a gender? I’m not sure but I do wonder and ponder the thought.

"Women Don't Write Horror", Challenging the Misconception

Posted on October 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

This latest guest post is from author Sara Jane Townsend and how women are not seen as writers of horror. This is a common theme in the writing and horror industry and it's good to see someone taking the time to speak up about it. Here are Sara's thoughts on how women don't write horror. 


Many years ago, I belonged to an amateur theatre group. One of the ladies there was also a member of a writing group, and she encouraged me to accompany her to a meeting. I was in my early twenties at the time. A couple of things became immediately apparent – the first was evident when I first walked in, and realised I was at least twenty years younger than everyone else in the room.

The next thing took a little while to manifest itself. Initially people were very friendly, welcoming me into the group, but it seemed that most members of the group wrote romance novels and radio plays. And then I was asked that crucial question: “and what do you write?” “Horror,” I replied cheerfully.

Suddenly I understood the meaning of the phrase “deafening silence,” as it descended on the room at that moment. Everyone was staring at me. Eventually someone cleared their throat and said awkwardly, “Oh. We’ve never had one of THOSE before.”

Needless to say, I never went back to that writing group. Since then I have actively sought out other horror writers so that I feel less like a social pariah, but still there have been occasions over the years when people do a double take when I tell them I’m a horror writer. Generally what I get is “but you seem so nice,” with the implication being, clearly, that only weirdos and psychopaths could write horror.

The concept that women don’t write horror seems mystifying to me. After all, it could be argued that the first modern horror novel was “Frankenstein” – which was written by a teenage girl.

I’ve not always been a fan of horror, though. As a child, scary stories gave me nightmares. Then in grade 8, two things happened. First, I came across a book called ‘Different Seasons’ in the school library. This book, as any horror fan knows, consists of four novellas by Stephen King (three of which have been turned into films). I loved the book so much I went looking for more by the same author. The next one I picked up was “Carrie”. As a bullied teenager this one spoke volumes to me, and ever since then the illustrious Mr King has been my inspiration.

The second thing that happened was that my English teacher assigned the class to write a horror story. I always loved getting writing assignments at school – since most of my spare time was taken up by writing stories anyway, this never seemed like a chore to me. But I had never tried writing horror before. I ended up writing a story about ten teenagers who go on a camping trip and accidentally unleash a malevolent presence that possessed them and led them to kill each other horribly. While the story itself wasn’t all that good – I was only thirteen at the time, and had a lot to learn about writing – it triggered in me an appreciation for horror. And there’s been no stopping me since.

In many ways, horror has kept me sane. Throughout my teenage years I was able to exorcize the demons of puberty by writing about them. I wrote a lot of short horror stories in my late teens and early twenties and there are common themes that underline them all. Betrayal, isolation and loneliness are frequent refrains (and if anyone’s interested, the best of these early stories can be found amongst the stories in my collection SOUL SCREAMS).

When I started writing – and reading – horror, I never thought about it in terms of gender. I liked the genre, so I kept on writing it. It never occurred to me that “women don’t write horror”. In the 1990s, when I started submitting short stories, there were a lot of small press magazines around for the horror genre, and the stories within them were fairly evenly spread between male and female writers. At some point in the late 1990s, though, horror fell out of favour. This was bad news for me, as I’d started submitting my first horror novel and was struggling to find places to send it to. Horror seemed to disappear completely from book shops in the UK at that time. You’d find the likes of Stephen King and James Herbert in the ‘bestsellers’ section, and occasionally other horror writers would be shelved in ‘general fiction’, but there was no section specifically for horror.

In some ways, since then we seem to have been going backwards in terms of gender expectations. Toys and clothes for children are very clearly defined as for boys or for girls. I always thought this sends out a very bad message for children, as they learn early on that society wants them to get into a particular box, so that they can be neatly bombarded with the right marketing messages. Boys don’t play with dolls. Girls don’t play with cars. Girls wear clothes adorned with sparkly cute cartoon characters; boys wear t-shirts with superhero logos on.

When I first became aware of gender stereotyping, during my teenage years, it really bothered me that society wanted people to fit into particular boxes. For instance, I decided fairly on I didn’t want to have children. It still amazes me that there’s an assumption that all women have this nurturing maternal instinct. If that’s the case, I must have been absent when it was handed out.

I get particularly cross at Christmas, when we are bombarded by commercials that are full of sexist assumptions – that women want make-up sets and perfume for Christmas, and men want video games and the latest Black & Decker power tool. Anyone that knows me well enough to buy me a Christmas present ought to know I’d rather have a video game than a make-up kit, and I’m allergic to perfume so don’t even go there.

And really, that’s what the whole gender debate is about – marketing. I’m no expert on marketing (if I was I’d be selling a lot more books), but it does seem to be that there are a lot of short cuts taken when it comes to marketing anything, including books. “Men read spy thrillers and horror so let’s assume our audience for this new horror novel is entirely made up of men. Women read romance and ‘chick lit’, so we make the cover of this novel about a single twenty-something perennially looking for love all pink and sparkly”. There are plenty of us with two x-chromosomes who don’t read romance novels. During the wave of urban fantasy that rode in on the back of the success of ‘Buffy’ in the early 2000s I objected to those books that called themselves ‘urban fantasy’ but in reality were just romance novels involving supernatural creatures. I prefer to have my violence untainted by romance.

The problem is, it’s too easy to slap labels on things when you’re aiming for an easy sell. But if you work a bit harder, you’ll find a more appreciative audience. The same goes for horror. It’s very easy to name ten male top-selling horror authors, and wave that list around and say “well, women don’t write horror”.

The fact is, we do. You might have to delve a bit deeper into the genre to uncover the dark and disturbing stuff, but trust me, it’s there. And the more people read, and talk about, women horror writers, the more chance we’ve got of breaking the stereotype.

I’d like to set a challenge to all fans of horror reading this column. In 2018, make it a goal to discover and read at least two horror novels by women you haven’t read before. Challenge that myth that women don’t write horror, because you’ll find that we can give you nightmares just as well as Stephen King can.

Sara Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer, and someone tends to die a horrible death in all of her stories. She was born in Cheshire in 1969, but spent most of the 1980s living in Canada after her family emigrated there. She now lives in Surrey with two cats and her guitarist husband Chris.

She decided she was going to be a published novelist when she was 10 years old and finished her first novel a year later. It took 30 years of submitting, however, to fulfil that dream.

She is author of several horror novels, and a series of mysteries featuring contemporary actress and amateur sleuth Shara Summers.

Learn more about Sara and her writing at her website (http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com)


Master of Cemeteries

Posted on October 23, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I roam the land from the opening gates down to the last stone and rotting tree. I’ve been doing this for long that I’ve lost count of exactly how long it’s been. You’d think this would be the same old routine and boring ass job but not for me. I own my craft, I appreciate every day and I love my job. Some take on this job and they get scared shitless because they think it’ll be “cool” but they don’t know, they don’t have a goddamn clue how to truly take this job seriously. I love this job because I don’t always work at the same place, no I travel and go where I’m needed. Sometimes I do return to places I’ve worked before, sure the land is the same but the work is different. Ghastly and inhuman some would say but righteous and spectacular for me.

I marvel at the opportunity to dig a hole six feet deep and bury a body into the fresh Earth. Sure there’s maggots, worms and other creatures and insects you’ve never even heard of in the ground below but after a while you don’t even notice em there. Sometimes I go lower than six feet I know it’s a bit unorthodox but I feel it’s a sign of appreciation and honor. Some I bury above six feet because I don’t think they were good in life so why should they have it good in death? What’s the big deal about not digging a body six feet and only digging it 2-4? Well let’s just say man’s best friend and mother nature usually show up to make sure they don’t enjoy their eternal slumber.

My first gig was over in Tucson. They had me bury a ruthless outlaw for gunning down eight people simply for looking at him wrong. Talk about talk being cheap. Well I don’t rightfully condone pointless killing but I felt if I didn’t bury this guy six feet that he was gonna rise up and bury my ass so I made sure he was given a proper burial. I’ve buried every sort of person, you name it. Outlaw, clown, lawyer, garbage man, mafioso, zoo keeper, heck even celebrities. Personally I could give two shits as to what their job was when they were alive but I know some people like to know so I throw it in. I used to be a bounty hunter part time but I didn’t see the point really. Bounty hunting became extinct and it got in the way of this job which has many, many parts to it.

I remember the first day I ever worked in New Orleans. They had me over at the St. Louis Cemetery. They told me it would be a bit different than what I may be used to but they had no idea who they were talking to. IF you don’t know, St. Louis is below sea level like most of the city so when there’s a massive storm or flood, the bodies go a washin’. I did my best fisherman and Charon impression and took them bodies out of the water and back into their crypts. Now for as long as I’d been on the job at that point I thought nothing could upset me but the cleanup I did that day would have given a slaughterhouse janitor the nightmares. There were bodies, limps, morbid looking faces and some of the grimiest, slimiest and slippery stench skin you’ve ever seen. Imagine putting Play-Doh under water and then rubbing it with olive oil and dead meat.

My job isn’t always that messy as I usually just patrol normal ones and do my usual maintenance. I do landscaping of the area, mow the open grass areas and keep the graves looking fresh and up to code. You always know if your at a cemetery that I’ve been to because it’s so clean and peaceful. It’s practically a garden only instead of flowers there’s gravestones so it’s pretty much a garden of the dead if you will. So in some ways I’d like to consider myself a gardener, only I don’t make stuff grow...or do I? In all seriousness I make sure no stone is turned, no grass gets weeds and no grave is unfilled. I don’t just harvest the land of the dead and dig their beds I also chisel their tombstones and layer the bricks and concrete in their crypts. Find me another person who does that and I’ll start digging my own grave. I just did it for fun one day when I got done early once and seeing as my stone was good and the family really enjoyed it I decided to add it to my repertoire.

Once I had to bury a famous pianist so I crafted a giant tombstone that looked like a piano. The family loved it but the people of the cemetery and the townspeople thought it was too much. They learned to appreciate it..after I told them I could make some for them when they died. I haven’t worked there too much since. As I said though I travel a lot going from graveyard to graveyard in hopes to make each one greater than the next one. I should have my own show on HGTV called “Flipping Graveyards” because I mean I’m that good at what I’d do.

I won’t need another job for as long as I live, heck I’ll probably still be doing this when I’m dead if they let me, you know the guy upstairs or the guy down below? I mean I am helping them..at least I think I am. If you need someone to take care of the deceased I’m the one you call. I have a list of titles on my resume; gravedigger, undertaker, mortician, gravestone carver, crypt builder, gardener, landscaper, embalmer, among many others. When you need a person to care for your loved ones I’m your woman, the master of cemeteries.

Ranking Social Media

Posted on October 18, 2017 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Unless we are completely tuned out all of us are on some form of social media. Most people are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but which ranks best? Which form of social media is where you should be? Some people and advice will tell you you need to be everywhere..yes but in a sense. You don’t need to be on every single social media because some sites are simply not for everyone. Below is my list of social media and how I think they rank up to one another, why they are popular and whether or not they are beneficial to you or worth your consideration.

 

1. Facebook

Yes Facebook is hit a bit of a snag recently but don’t let that nonsense and small talk fool you as Facebook is what most people have, what most people use and where they are at. Of course the one thing you’ll need to remember is as an author or blogger that you eed your own Author/Brand Page. Giving people your personal page is a big no no so don’t do that. SO why is Facebook so popular? Well for one most people have one, you can join groups, find readers and bloggers, create events and your brand page is stacked with a ton of things you can do to interact with people. Also Facebook Ads are still the best bet in order to gain an audience or get sales. Facebook may not work for you however even so it’s at the very least a good social media site you need to be on so people know you exist.

 

2. Twitter

Some don’t get Twitter but to me it’s very easy once you get the hang of it and it can be quite interactive once you know your way around. With Twitter you can carve out your small bio to let people know what you are and what you do. You can use hashtags which is the best way to gain a following, show people you know your stuff and it’s a great way to interact with people. You can use many Twitter tools, images and while it’s not the caliber that Facebook is, it can be a great way to get notoriety for you and your brand. Like Facebook, I believe Twitter is a place you need to be. Some find it boring or difficult but it’s something that works better than it looks and if you spend a little time on it each day you’ll find yourself liking it and making the most of it in no time.

 

3. Instagram

All the buzz seems to be on instagram as the place you need to be. I just recently joined instagram but have heard many things about it and have had numerous people tell me to join so I finally did. Instagram is good because it’s an image based site, using images to capture your attention and the best part is unlike a limit on Twitter you can go hashtag crazy on here usually 20-30. The key to instagram is getting likes on what you post and to make sure what you post is quality content and stuff you want people to see. For authors you want to sort of give them an inside look at your daily writing life, behind the scenes stuff or even teasers. Between the popularity, hashtags and content you want to get the right people to see your stuff. Instagram is where it’s at right now, I just joined so I can’t give the best advice but It’s definitely where you should be or at least give a try on.

 

4. Youtube

Youtube could technically be in the Top 2 but I don’t think of it as a true social media site but more as a video sharing and viewing site. If you go by the number of people on there then it falls as 2nd but when it comes to using it as social media well..hence the reason it’s 4th on my list. Youtube is great for making videos, sharing content and getting the most content you can to learn on to expand your brand. Most people have a Youtube account but I imagine not many use it to their advantage or use it from a social media standpoint. For those who do use it as such it can be a great tool as video is one of the hottest things right now so if you can carve out a solid niche on Youtube then your doing pretty well for yourself.

 

5. Pinterest

I know what your thinking, really? Pinterest? Well again this is my personal preference but in all honesty I could put two other sites here and give you the same type of results and you’d have the same reaction. Pinterest is the most underrated out of the five hands down. However Pinterest is also probably the most under utilized and unique social media site of them all. Pinterest allows you to great boards and you place images within those boards. Think of it as Instagram but organized and you can create categories, and you love Instagram don’t you? Pinterest is rather difficult to gain a following but again like Instagram once you get the hang of it, post great quality content and establish your brand and reach your audience you’ll find it is a spot you’ll not only need to be but you’ll have fun and want to be there as well.

Simple and Easy Ways to Improve Your Pinterest

Posted on October 16, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Simple and Easy Ways to Improve Your Pinterest

 

When it comes to social media we all tend to want the same thing, to know how to make the most of it and to cash in so to speak. One social media outlet I’ve come to enjoy is Pinterest. Like many people it took me a while to get the hang of and even more so after I figured out how it worked I still needed to know how to make it work for me. So while I am by no means an expert on Pinterest and how to make the most of it I do have some simple tips on how you can improve your experience on the site.

 

-Pick Your Topics Wisely-

If you’re an author or blogger what are the 3-4 main topics you write about, know a lot about and are passionate about? Start off by making boards for these topics as it will show potential followers who you are and what you’re all about. It shows them you not only enjoy and care about these topics but you have a great deal of knowledge on them as well. Another helpful tip here is if you have a sub-topic that is a bit broad as in too broad to just talk about in one of your main four you can always make a board for that too. I have an Unknown, Unexplained and Conspiracies Board and I found myself posting a lot of UFO stuff in there so rather than keep posting all of them there I created a UFO board, see? Be diverse and expand if needed. After a while between people you follow and stuff you post you’ll find other ideas to make boards for.

 

-Re-Pin YouButt Off!

This is a little unconventional but I haven’t seen it as a bad thing. Go to your homepage and load up by re-pinning any image that fits your boards. Just keep scrolling down and re-pin, re-pin and re-pin. I don’t believe there is a limit but then again you don’t wanna go too nuts. Try pinning ten to twenty images to a board. I personally like to re-pin a ton before bed so that way when I wake up I see how many people liked, re-pinned my stuff or followed me or my boards. Pinerest is more about re-pinning others content than it is about what you bring into the site. You can bring in as many outside images as you want but the site is more based off re-pinning others so make the most of it.

 

-Upgrade to a Business Page

If you’re an author ro blogger you should change your account to a business page. With a business page you can use analytics to see whose following you, your most popular images, which topics are being re-pinned the most and which categories are getting the most traffic. This helps you know your audience or at least gives you a general idea of who you’re appealing to. Another cool thing about using a business page is it gives you slideshows. You can put up to 5 slideshows and what it does is it shows your boards at the top of your page. This helps showcase your Top boards to other users and interests them into following you and gives them an idea of what you’re about. A good tip, use the 4 topics your into as I mentioned earlier and make them a part of your slideshow.

 

-Follow How You Wish

Some people follow a ton of people in hopes in getting followed back and others are casual about it and follow a few here and there and do the ole follow back. I personally am casual about who I follow as I don’t want to go nuts especially since Pinterest took away showing when the last time someone was on. So follow people on Pinterest with what makes you most comfortable, either go nuts and follow a ton or be casual about it, the choice is yours. A site that helps you with Pinterest, Traffic Wonker suggests doing a mass following and that you follow 100-150 people a day, this is a good thing to go by if you want followers but again with Pinterest no longer showing you when people have been on last it may mean you follow people but don’t get that follow back. Again the choice is yours and always remember to follow people or boards that appeal to you and are about topics that you have or are interested in seeing.

 

-Make Your Descriptions Pop

It’s been said that boards that have descriptions that are up to 400 characters or a small paragraph long tend to be more noticed then boards that have less or no descriptions at all. The reason for this is people want to know what your board is about and reading the description will help them do that. Also the long descriptions show people you are dedicated to your board and you clearly must know your stuff if you wrote a lot about it. Traffic Wonker again goes into detail about this. Start off by writing long descriptions for your top boards and see how the progress goes. Then start with your mid range popular boards then do your least ones last.

 

-Check Out TrafficWonker

TrafficWonker is a site that helps you improve and gain a bigger following on Pinterest. You start off with a free 30 day trial then you can pay a small fee afterwards if you enjoy it. What you can do it schedule what boards are shown and it shuffles your pins to your followers and to people who may follow you. It also automatically does it doe you so all you have to do is schedule and watch the results. I tried it and I was impressed with it, it’s worth checking out if you want an easy and unique way to improve your Pinterest experience.

So I Watched Carrie (1976) and (2013)

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Zahra Akbar is my latest guest who wrote an article on her watching of one of Stephen King's classic films, Carrie. She watched both versions and gives her thoughts on both of the films. 

So I Watched Carrie (1976) and Carrie (2013)

Margaret: Red. I might have known it would be red.

Carrie: It's pink, Mama.

Carrie: Look what Tommy gave me, Mama. Aren't they beautiful?

Margaret: I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will.

Carrie: Breasts, Mama. They're called breasts, and every woman has them.

Carrie is a quite popular novel by Stephen King and though, it had been on my reading list, I happened to come across its 2013 movie adaptation first. And then, I couldn’t help but watch the 1976 adaptation as well. If you’re into horror, you’ll probably love Carrie. If you’re into high school movies, like Mean Girls, you should give Carrie a chance, though Stephen King’s mean girls receive more than just a lesson.

I haven’t read the book yet, so I’ll be comparing both the movie adaptations with each other. It’s hard to say which version I liked the most, as both have added their own flavor to King’s original plot. For those who haven’t read the book [SPOILER ALERT], it revolves around a teenager protagonist, Carrie White, who lives with her mother. And Mama has issues – serious issues.

Carrie’s mother Margaret White is the most interesting character in the story. Piper Laurie played Margaret in 1976 version, and in 2013, we see none other than the gorgeous Julianne Moore playing the sociopath and religious fanatic mother of poor Carrie. Both these women portrayed the character amazingly – my favorite, however, was Moore. She added so much intensity to the character. Laurie looks kind of innocent for some part of the movie. I love how King has developed this character. She gives you nightmares – she gives you this sense of having an untold story behind her behavior and actions.

In the 2013 movie, Chloe Grace Mortez plays Carrie. I don’t know why, but I got a sense of gloom and darkness from her even from the first scene she appeared in. She’s definitely pretty – prettier than Carrie White is actually supposed to be. And you can’t help but feel bad for her for having to live with a crazy mother, but you also kind of know even more insanity is about to be unleashed. Sissy Spacek from 1976 adaptation looks more of a regular girl. Innocent and victimized, yes, but not completely unhappy. She seemed like a person who excitement and happiness. Though, Carrie is a tragic character – but I got the vibes of tragedy more from Chloe than Sissy Spacek.

Another important character than I feel the need to talk about is the mean girl, Chris Hargensen. I don’t need to think twice here – my favorite version of Chris is Nancy Allen from the 1976 adaptation. Portia Doubleday (from the 2013 movie) is also as mean as it gets as Chris Hargensen, but she looks like just another mean girl from just another high school drama.

As far as the story is concerned, the 2013 version uses technology to torment Carrie, this just makes the whole scenario more sinister, and we’re also reminded of the cyber bullying in real world.

Author: Zahra Akbar

Intro: Zahra Akbar is a blogger and writer from Pakistan. She blogs at dragonjournal.com


Remembering Hitchcock

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

For this latest piece I once again have a guest. Christine Valentor. She wrote a piece on Alfred Hitchcock that I found very interesting. Here's a little more on her and her article on the great Alfred Hitchcock.

Christine Valentor lives in Chicago and is a Horror/ Fantasy writer. Her blog Witchlike can be found at https://witchlike.wordpress.com/ One of her short stories about Jack the Ripper has recently been featured in the anthology A Box Under The Bed, due for Amazon release on Oct. 1. Link: https://www.amazon.com/Box-Under-Bed-anthology-stories-ebook/dp/B075C9D7L1

She love Anne Rice, Daphne Du Maurier, all things creepy, and of course Hitchcock!


If you have ever watched the original Psycho, or The Birds, or Rebecca (preferably alone on a stormy night, with all your doors bolted) you know what it is to experience Alfred Hitchcock at his best. The Master of Suspense, the Sorcerer of Shock, and the King of Comeuppance Hitchcock is by far one of the best film directors of the 20th century.

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone England. His father was a greengrocer, his mother a homemaker. He was the youngest of three children, an average student and a bit of loner.

But yawn. That story is far too mundane! In researching Hitch, I suspected something must have happened in his formative years. Some weird event must have helped create this creative and twisted genius, who would later alarm the world with his disturbing psychological horror.

It turns out a few things did happen.

When he was five years old, Hitchcock's father wanted to punish him for behaving badly. Little Alfred was sent to the local police station with a note asking the officer to ock him up in jail for five minutes. This incident left a lifelong scar on Hitchcock, possibly influencing his frequent themes of harsh punishments, wrongful accusations and sly retributions for evil doers. He had a permanent fear of the police.

He also had a permanent fear of Jesuits.

Hitchcock was raised Roman Catholic and attended Jesuit Grammar School at Saint Ignatius College. Years later, when asked in an interview how he an ostensibly polite gentleman managed to create such malevolent stories, Hitchcock replied: spent three years studying with the Jesuits. They used to terrify me to death with everything they did, and now I'm getting my own back by terrifying other people.

Hitch incorporated dark aspects of religion in his 1953 film I Confess. It starred Montgomery Clift as a Catholic priest who is wrongly accused of murder, but also hears the confession of the true murderer and is sworn to secrecy by his priestly vows.

Hitchcock's first job was as a draftsman for an electric cable company called Henley's. Even then, as a teenager, he was already writing scary tales. Some of these were published in the company's newsletter, The Henley Telegraph. Hitchcock's first piece, Gas, tells the story of a young woman who imagines that she is being assaulted one night in London but the twist at the end reveals it was all just a hallucination in the dentist's chair induced by the anesthetic.

Interestingly, one of the episodes featured on his television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents seems reminiscent of this tale. In the newer version, the woman's hallucination involves a futuristic society in which all men have been eradicated through a medicine originally intended to kill rats. There are no more men in the world! Babies are born through test tubes and they are always females! The woman wakes up from her dream to find that in reality, a famous scientist is currently experimenting with a medicine which will rid the world of rats! The woman takes a shotgun, attempts to kill the scientist and Well, you will just have to watch the episode to find out what happens.

His other early stories also indicate Hitchcockian creepiness and weird sexual overtones. One short story called And There Was No Rainbow (which some folk thought should have been banned) tells of a young man who goes out looking for a brothel, but instead stumbles into the house of a girl who is dating his best friend. Needless to say, psychological trauma ensues. Hitch also wrote a piece called Fedora which reportedly gave a strikingly accurate description of his future wife Alma Reville, although he had not yet met her! Was Alfred a secret psychic?

At the tender age of twenty, Alfred got a job at Paramount Studios as a title card designer for silent films. Within five years he was directing those films. His first commercial success was a thriller called The Lodger about London's notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper.

Around this time Alma Reville became Hitch's assistant director. The two were married on December 2, 1926. Alma became Hitchcock's closest collaborator. He rarely discussed her contributions to his films, although some were credited on screen. Alma was clearly the woman behind the great man but she avoided public attention.

Hitchcock had the unique experience of working in the film industry as it evolved through all its massive changes of the 20th century. In 1929, his production company began experimentation with sound, producing the first Talkies. Hitchcock's contributions included Blackmail, The Man Who Knew Too Much and his highly acclaimed The 39 Steps, which made him a star in the United States.

The 39 Steps established two unique Hitchcockian traditions: the Hitchcock Blonde and The MacGuffin.

The Hitchcock Blonde was the beautiful, ice-cool leading lady who started out picture perfect, but always became the disheveled victim of violent and twisted circumstances.

First personified in The 39 Steps by actress Madeleine Carroll, his other blondes included Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedren, Kim Novak and Janet Leigh. Hitch believed that these flawless, classy women left much to the sexual imagination they were ladylike in public but potential whores in the bedroom. He described this archetype as follows:

I think the most interesting women, sexually, are the English women. I feel that the English women, the Swedes, the northern Germans and Scandinavians are a great deal more exciting than the Latin, the Italian and the French women. Sex should not be advertised. An English girl, looking like a schoolteacher, is apt to get into a cab with you and, to your surprise, she'll probably pull a man's pants open. Without the element of surprise, the scenes become meaningless. There's no possibility to discover sex

The MacGuffin is a plot device an object thrown in for the purpose of intriguing the audience, but which will have little consequence in the overall story.

In a lecture at Columbia University, Hitchcock explained The MacGuffin as follows:

It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, What's that package up there in the baggage rack? And the other answers, Oh, that's a MacGuffin. The first one asks, What's a MacGuffin? Well, the other man says, its an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands. The first man says, But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,and the other one answers, Well then, that's no MacGuffin! So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.

The MacGuffin took on a life of its own in filmmaking. It is the Holy Grail of Arthurian legends. Some modern examples include: the Maltese Falcon in the film of the same name; the meaning of Rosebud in Citizen Kane; the Rabbit's Foot in Mission Impossible III, and the Heart of the Ocean necklace in Titanic.

Hitchcock's recognition and fame continued to grow. In 1939, he received The New York Film Critics Circle Award for his film The Lady Vanishes. Picturegoer Magazine called him Alfred the Great. The New York Times called him the greatest director of screen melodramas in the world, and compared him to other English treasures such as the Magna Carta and the Tower of London.

In 1940 Hitch directed Rebecca, based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. (If you have not read this masterpiece, you must do so immediately!) The film won an Academy Award for best picture, with a best director nomination.

Hitch and horror novelist Daphne Du Maurier formed a natural collaboration. His film The Birds a story of rebellious birds that slowly and creepily take over a California town was also based on a story written by Du Maurier.

A few years ago my local movie theater ran a big screen production of The Birds. Tippi Hedren, an iconic Hitchcock Blonde who stars in the film, came in as a guest speaker. I swear to god she looked EXACTLY the same as she did in the film! Over forty years had passed and the woman had not aged, not one day. You will find pictures of Tippi Hedren on the internet where she looks older, but these (I swear!) are not real. I believe the lady must have a Dorian Gray arrangement The internet pictures are aging as she herself stays young. (Anything would be possible in Hitch's world!)

Hitchcock's career peaked in the 1950's and 60's when he directed gems such as Rear Window, Vertigo, Strangers on a Train, and of course his mega-hit Psycho. This movie was the creepiest creep-fest of all, about a young woman (Janet Leigh) who goes to stay at a hotel run by a taxidermy obsessed man (Tony Perkins) who has a strange relationship with his dead mother!

Hitch's television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents had a ten year run from 1955 to 1965. The fascinating thing about these segments is that, by today's standards, they are very plain. No bells or whistles, no special effects just simple black and white cinematography, flat lighting, and mostly unknown actors yet the brilliant storytelling spoke for itself. Equally entertaining was Hitch's deadpan delivery of introductions. He always began with Good Evening and went on to speak of hauntings, poisonings, burials, demonic possession and the like, all the while never batting an eyelash.

Hitchcock moved to California and became an American citizen in 1955, although still retaining his English citizenship. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1980, a few months before his death. Film critic Roger Ebert considered it something of a snub that the Queen hesitated to give Hitch his knighthood, writing: Other British directors like Sir Carol Reed and Sir Charlie Chaplin were knighted years ago, while Hitchcock one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, was passed over. What took the Queen so long? Perhaps she was a bit spooked by him, or reluctant to invite him to the palace...

On April 29th, 1980, Sir Alfred Hitchcock died of renal failure in his home in Bel Air California. Despite his professed fears of the Jesuits, two priests came in his closing hours, giving a final mass at Hitchcock's home and hearing his last confession.

Gone but not forgotten, we will never ditch the Hitch! He shall always be alive in legacy, legend and the ominous voice that bids us "Good evening", yet warns to lock the doors and be afraid. Be very afraid.

Guest Post- Why is Horror Popular Now?

Posted on September 4, 2017 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

One thing I decided it was time to start doing is featuring guests here on my blog. Since I write horror and it is an interest and topic I have knowledge in the guests you see on here will be contributing horror pieces. My first guest to my blog is Loretta H. Campbell. Loretta is a freelance writer an English/ESL teacher from New York. With an interest in horror she wrote this piece on why is horror so popular in today's society. Her most recent short story Doughnuts can be found on Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine an online zine.

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us! Scottish prayer

Why are we as Americans so obsessed with the things that go bump in the night such as the boogeyman? Do we really want to be delivered? Do we want to be delivered now?

The quick answer to all three questions is yes if we go by the figures given in the online zine The Numbers: Where Data and The Movie Business Meet. Horror films grossed approximately $500 million dollars in 2016. In the same source, the 2017 gross profits for horror are slightly higher already. We might assume that the revenue will double in the next six months compared to last year. It seems that we really want things to go bump in the night. The question is why?

First, we need a working definition of what we like being afraid of.. horror. The noun is an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror according to dictionary.com.

None of this sounds enjoyable. Yet, in his article Psychology of Fear: Why do we love watching horror movies? published in the online zine ZNews, Ritu Singh says it is. Singh makes nine points about the attraction of horror. Three of them in particular can be seen in any audience at any gore fest in this country.

The first is the Adrenaline rush: When we watch scary movies, we can face our fears, but since we know that it's just a movie we don't have to face anything in reality. For the time being, it tickles certain fight or flight responses.

In other words, we get a high when our endorphin’s go into overdrive while we are watching a horror movie. The euphoria happens when the horror is close enough to see, but it can’t hurt you. It’s a combination of voyeurism and vicariousness. Think of bungie jumping. A long, strong rope keeps us from any real harm even as we sail off a high bridge.

The mega buzz gives us the pleasure without the pain. The operative word here is pleasure. It’s the coping mechanism especially during stressful times.

That is another reason horror is popular, stress reduction. During national crises, Americans flock to horror movies. In the 1950s, arguably a heyday for horror flicks, many of the films Hollywood produced became classics of the genre, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956),

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRVfGMjdGh8,

The Thing from Another World (1951), The Fly (1958).

At the time, the nation was stricken with an epidemic of terror. The reason for it was one man as Shaila K. Dewan outlines in her (2000) New York Times article Do Horror Films Filter the Horror of History?

The idea that horror films reflect, or even caricature, society's collective anxieties is nothing new. Invasion of the Body Snatchers'' is frequently read as a critique of McCarthy-era pod people.

Senator Joseph McCarthy introduced a home-grown trauma that afflicted the entire country and cut across all barriers of class, race, gender, education level, and politics. Using his House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), as a bullwhip, McCarthy accused hundreds of Americans of being Russian spies. Because of his basically false accusations, thousands of people lost their jobs, their families, even their lives.

In the film, aliens from outer space take over the minds and bodies of earthlings/white American humans in an attempt to annihilate the human race. Because the aliens have replicated their earthling hosts, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between the aliens and the humans. The earthlings who succumb lose everything. They die in droves.

The film was a box office marvel, grossing $1 million dollars in a month, according to wikipedia. Debate continues about whether the film is denouncing McCarthy’s despotism or the threat of invasion by our nemesis Russia.

Michael Dodd of The Missing Slate has said the movie may be the clearest window into the American psyche that horror cinema has ever provided.

That is a statement as terrifying as any American movie yet made. It also begs another question. Why do we have a dual nature when it comes to horror movies? The answer may be that while they are deeply disturbing, they are modern-day allegory. The monsters represent various aspects of our lives, our world. Unlike our real lives, the monsters are always defeated or at least contained. That victory produces something else that horror supplies hope. We feel that things will turn out right, and that is cathartic.

Should we assume that whenever, we as a nation, feel threatened we’ll turn to horror as one means of release? Maybe. I would argue that there is a parallel in the rhetoric espoused by our current president Donald S. Trump and Senator Joseph McCarthy. Both seek to destroy the other in our society. That is persons who don’t fit the mold of the heterosexual, white American male. Both have built political careers on innuendo. Both build platforms on xenophobia.

We are living in a time when, once again, our nation’s relationship to Russia is frightening. For the first time in our history, we as a people, question Russian involvement with our presidential election and our government.

There is also a kind of parallel in the kinds of horror movies that grossed big in the 1950s and now.

The movie The Purge Election Year (2016) seems to be the perfect film for a nation in which mass violence is being encouraged by the national leader.

Get Out (2017) is a movie that starts off as a film about a progressive family and reveals a kind of pathological bigotry inside an entire community. Perhaps the community is a symbol for our society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVIqOhPqf4w

From its inception, America has represented itself as the land of the free and the home of equality. Everything looks fine until you live here. The need to pull back the curtain that too many of us like to ignore is another reason horror is so popular now. It is an ugly vehicle for an ugly truth.

Horror now, and maybe always, is a direct line to our innermost fears, the ones that we want to expel from our lives. It is one way we can collectively look at the ghoulies and ghosties and say boo right in their faces.


Making Use of Twitter Lists

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Twitter is probably the second biggest social media site behind Facebook. Either you love it or hate it, it either works for you or it doesn’t. Twitter is big on hashtags and hashtags help your tweets be seen and they help you interact with your fellow Twitter members and followers. However amongst the hashtags and the rest of twitters many helpful tools is one in particular that I know not many people take advantage of..Twitter Lists. Many times you’ll find people place you on lists, some that you totally get why because you write about that list topic while other and most times your placed on a list and have no clue why. Ignore this, ignore all this.

 

What are Twitter Lists? A twitter list is a list you can become a member of, subscribe to or create as a way to place followers in a certain niche or topic. Say your like me and you write horror and you want to have all your important horror followers in one spot where you can find them. Well you simply crate a list and then go to their profiles and add them to that list. A list is a great way to organize and follow people without actually following them. They are good for both public and private. Public lists are viewable to everyone including the people you place in them and private lists are only seen by you, meaning you have your own private lists for your own benefit.

 

Are Twitter Lists Important? Absolutely! I don’t always turn to my lists daily but the simple fact that I have them and they are there is enough. It helps me for when I do need to use them and I have an easy way to get a hold of someone or see someone’s tweets I otherwise wouldn’t see because twitter doesn’t show you everyone’s tweets. This brings me to another reason why it’s a good idea to make lists. Aside from your own organization there’s some people who you follow whose tweets you may want to see more then others. Twitter Lists help you do this. You simply place these followers who are priority to you in a list and boom, you can see their tweets at anytime you wish. Lists help you organize people into categories, help you easily keep track of certain peoples tweets and it’s a good way to create a little order.

 

Should I Follow Lists or Create Them? Both. You want to follow lists that are beneficial to you and about topics you actually care about. You also of course as stated above want to create lists for your own benefit as well. I myself have more created lists than I’m following. This isn’t because I am trying to make things easier for myself and another way to do so is by following lists that don’t have a ton of people. With your own lists you can put and keep track of your followers easy but with lists you follow you can’t which is why you should keep the lists you follow and create at a minimum.

 

What’s A Unique Way I can Utilize a Twitter List?

Well besides the reasons I mentioned above there’s a few reasons you should create lists that are unique and helpful to you. Say you have a weekly Twitter Chat that you run well you can place those chat members into a list to keep track of them or even to send a reminder to them about the chat. Say you juat a bunch of publishing companies or editors that follow you that you want to look into and possibly work with, create a list for them. I myself recently had a stream of horror people(fans of horror, fellow writers, horror podcasts, movie producers) follow me on here. Seeing that they all share horror in common and they could prove useful and beneficial to me I decided to create a list for them so now they are all in one spot and I can see what they tweet and have easy access to contact them if need be. There are lots of ways you can utilize lists and these are just a few. So before you ask yourself are lists for you, just take into consideration all I’ve said here and determine how you want to use them not if they are for you because they likely are..or at least they should be.

The $20 Guarantee

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I recently took part in a weekly twitter chat like I do every week. Someone asked a question about Facebook which is one of the few social media outlets I simply don’t put my time into( one reason is because it is a bit intimidating). They said should they be on there and how can they make their posts show up more because as you may know when you make a post on your Facebook Author Page not all of your followers see it. One thing to do is to post images as images are more likely to be seen over simple texts but another thing people will tell you and what got suggested to the person in the group who asked was to boost their posts by spending money. The host said they spent $20 on a boost of their post and saw a dramatic increase in likes and views for that post as well as in huge increase in the thousands of visitors to their site. This sounds amazing to me but..one, I’m not big on spending money to promote, I’m not big on giving Facebook my money and third I feel paying to boost a post is the last reason I’d cough up money to Facebook. Does it work though? Clearly it can but I feel it would have to be the right post and you have to have things already set in motion as well as a solid following to really get results from that paid post. This brings me to something I’m calling the $20 guarantee which is what I’d like to see but of course nothing is guaranteed.


1. Every Follower and others see my post- The one thing paying to boost a post will do is get you more views of that post. What it does is tell Facebook to ignore their algorithm and boost the post so every follower of the person sees it as well as any other person as well. While you can’t be guaranteed a specific number of how many likes and views you’ll get you can be rest assured that your post will definitely be seen by hundreds upon hundreds of people by paying to boost it.


2. Visitors to Website- If the post comes from your website or contains a link to it then naturally you want people to go there. The problem is however that people are more of an all read no click type lately. Meaning they’ll read what you have to say but they aren’t likely to click. Of course people will tell you that if the content is good enough then the people will click. True, but you want them to then do something when they get to your page which doesn’t always happen. What I’m saying here is there’s a lot of steps you have to take in making sure people go to your website but it’s not exactly a guarantee which is inevitable but unfortunate as it’s one thing you hope you could put out, have people see it and make that next action. It requires more work and the problem is you don’t even know if that hard work will pay off because if it doesn’t you slowly start eating that $20 and there’s no guarantee.

 

3. Viewer/Follower Takes Full Action- As I stated above there’s no way of knowing or making a person take full action. You have to put out solid enough of work to where you feel so confident that your not worried about if people don’t see it..It’s not that I don’t believe in my work or don’t want to take the steps to make things happen I’m just afraid it’s not as realistic and that not having the right amount of followers and Facebook the entity in itself stands in the way. Obviously you can’t be guaranteed of how things will go you can only do your best and take a chance. You have to do the work and put things in motion for people to take full action.


What am I saying? I’m saying I’m not about to put down $20 on a Facebook post unless I know I can get these three things out of it for sure. I don’t like spending money on promoting and if I do I want to know for a fact or at least be assured that what I’m investing in will pay off. I feel while Facebook is absolutely necessary it’s also intimidating and putting money toward it when you haven’t established yourself on it could prove dire. I’d rather have an idea that I will get a good amount back out of my $20 rather than feel like I’m eating it, because after all that is $20 and it could go toward a lot more other things guaranteed.

Similarities Between Weird West & Steampunk

Posted on July 4, 2017 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Weird West is a literary subgenre that combines elements of the Western with another literary genre, usually horror, occult, fantasy or science fiction.

 

Steampunk, a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

"if you like steampunk, this is a great book for you"

a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.

"the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist"

 

Now that we have the definitions of each genre the big question is this, are weird west and steampunk similar and if so just how similar are they? Yes they do have similarities and we will go over them and see just how alike and even how unalike they are.

 

-They are both lesser known underrated sub-genres

-Both can be considered to be a form of a sub-genre of Fantasy

-They both are weird, odd and unique in their own right and share a specific quality to them

-They take place during a certain time period

-They both introduce and contain the use of magical technology such as weaponry, forms of transportation and machinery

-Both tend to be associated with and combine Historical Fiction either using real people or places

-At times both create various situations involving the use of time travel

-Both tend to at times be set in their own utopia or interesting world

 

So in many ways Weird West and Steampunk are similar and sometimes tend to draw in the same audience. They are both unique genres that really capture the essence of creativity, magic and technology. They, like other small sub-genres tend to go unnoticed or underrated however over the last few years the popularity in each of them.

 

Here are some popular authors of each genre:

 

Weird West-

-Mike Resnick

-Joe R. Landsdale

-Jonathan Maberry

-Tim Curran

-Eric S. Brown

-Steampunk

 

-Michael Coorlim

-Scott Westerfield

-Gail Carriger

-Cassandra Clare

Paul Di Filippo

 

Have Zombies Saturated the Market?

Posted on July 4, 2017 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Zombies, Zombies and Zombies. Everywhere you look there they are. It seems like no matter where you look there’s a new book, show or movie coming out with them. It can easily be said that zombies are hot and they are the thing right now..but is that a good thing? Yes zombies are popular, some of us can’t get enough and the market for cashing in on zombies is a smart idea..but isn’t it enough? In some ways zombies have completely saturated the horror market. They are still entertaining but it seems a solid storyline involving them can no longer be zone. They’ve become a cliche and to me it just seems that there’s not much that can be done with zombies that hasn’t already been done. It can however also be said that like most things this is just a phase and soon it will die down so why it’s hot and the genre to be in perhaps an author should consider getting in on the zombie craze.

 

The Walking Dead has become a worldwide phenomenon. People are watching it, recording it or when they aren’t watching it they are talking about it. Want to tell someone about something that happened in the latest episode they haven’t seen yet? Nope, no spoilers your going to have to wait till they see it. The Walking Dead is probably the biggest zombie hit to come around in a long time. It’s got drama, action, gore, suspense and of course plenty of zombies. It has everything a good horror fan can enjoy. So because a show like the Walking Dead is big what do you suppose other people want to do? They want in too. They see the popularity of the show and think well if they can make zombies popular then maybe people will love their book or show about zombies too. We see this constantly but the problem is like all things they are seen everywhere and an idea too overdone saturates the market. It becomes a bit dull, we grow tired of seeing it and most of all while some maybe be able to capitalize on it while it’s hot like most things it won’t last even if it’s quality content. A good horror fan or fan of anything however never grows tired of something so maybe it’s not so much a bad idea for an overdone idea but then again maybe it is.

 

Have Zombies saturated the horror market? I say yes. They’ve put a bit of a damper on how much of a certain topic and how much we can tolerate it. If we can accept this zombie craze and let it be then perhaps there’s nothing to worry about but if it becomes even more crazy and out of control then perhaps something will need to be done but I’m guessing it will likely stop. The bigger question is why is it that zombies are so hot right now? Why is the Walking Dead so huge right now? Well some of us have become a bit too into the whole zombie apocalypse becoming a real thing. Since that will likely not happen anytime soon or never people have decided to do the next best thing, get lost in the fictional world of zombies. They have looked into and eat up all the written zombie fiction they can and watch all the zombie movies and shows they can so they can dream about what they might one day wish they could do during a real zombie apocalypse. Is that so wrong? No and it’s only a theory but it’s a good one at that. People who wish for such an odd idea do the next best thing and because of it zombies have become big and those who write and produce them are hitting it big right now. Zombies maybe saturating the market but right now they are having the last laugh.

Horror: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Posted on July 4, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

When it comes to horror whether reading or watching we tend to love all of it. We can't get enough and we find ourselves looking for and wanting more. to get as scared or as grossed out as possible.

 

But as writers it may be a bit different. You can read and watch it but can you create it? When it comes to writing horror where do you draw the line? Do you even have a line? Is there a certain topic or idea in horror that you simply won't go near? I know there are many controversial topics or simply just thing we don't feel comfortable in writing. Personally I haven't really drawn a line as to how dark and disturbing I'd go when writing horror but only because I'm comfortable in writing where I'm at. However despite not having drawn a line that isn’t to say I don’t have one because like everyone I do. Before I tell you where I draw the line let’s first explain why we all have a stop point when it comes to horror. First note that not everyone does, some can read or write it with no issue or stopping point whatsoever. These are what we call true no filter horror fans and god bless them for being so. Why do some of us draw the line and stop at a certain point when it comes to horror? It’s simple, we feel. We have emotions and we are human and sometimes we can only take so much. I will explain where I and where most likely draw the line when it comes to the horror genre.

 

Extreme violence can sometimes be too much and just too overwhelming for some of us and rightfully so. It’s not everyday that we see such intense scenes and situations and not everyone has the stomach for it. Violence in itself is unnecessary so when we see an abundant amount of it in extreme doses we tend to try and look away and not be any part of it. While I will write about extreme horror it depends on the nature to which I will read and write. Rape is a topic that most tend to stay far far away from when it comes to writing and I myself am the same way. It’s just one of those topics where even if you write it to the best of your ability there will be someone to be critical of it and again rightfully so. This is why I and most like me tend to stay away from it. Is there a place for it in literature? Eh, that remains to be seen. The killing of children and animals is another topic that’s just too much. I feel like you have to be a really dark person but also someone who can truly write if your going to take on this or any of the other topics. No one likes to hear about dead children or animals being slaughtered so it doesn’t need to be said that if people don’t like reading about it then it’s just as hard to write it as well. I could list a few more but I think you get the idea.

 

So where do you pump the breaks when it comes to horror? Is it one of the topics I listed in the previous paragraph? Perhaps you have another? Either way it’s not wrong and doesn’t make you weak or strict it makes you human. There’s just certain topics we can only take so much of or topics we simply can’t take hearing or reading about at all. The idea is to stay with what we know we can take, know our limits and be comfortable reading what we enjoy. It’s also worth noting that those who so have the stomachs for it and can write it or a lot more prone to enjoying horror then we are. This doesn’t make us weak and doesn’t make them weird it’s just that we are all different and have different views and can write in a certain way.

Exclusive to Amazon or Others?

Posted on July 4, 2017 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s the question you ask yourself and have to make a decision on after you’ve finished your latest work. Where do I want to publish my novel? If you’re an indie author your have a few choices but then it comes down your e-book. Amazon seems like the no-brainer and logical choice but does it have to be? Sure it’s the practical choice but nothing says an author has to be exclusive to just Amazon. As you may already know when your choose Amazon for your e-book rights through KDP Select you can only have your book there any nowhere else. Why is this? Besides the obvious reason that Amazon wants you all to themselves, Amazon wants to be the only place you get your sales and it’s only fitting seeing as their quite popular. By going with Amazon the decision becomes a simple one as there’s no fighting over where to go or what to pick. Your giving Amazon your rights and your not even thinking about other places to distribute your book. Amazon should be your #1 source of getting sales but does it truly have to be? What about the other places in which you can place the rights of your book? The “other” places aren’t so bad in fact they should be given some considerable thought before you decide to just hand over your e-book rights to Amazon.

One reason you may want to consider other places for the rights to your e-book is your book will be in many places not just Amazon and placs that Amazon does not give you. Sure with Amazon your also given the ole Barnes & Noble deal as well but only after a certain amount of time and even then, we all want our paperbacks in B&N stores not just online on their sites. By choosing other sites to market your e-book your letting your book go to places you can’t get anywhere else. Places like Kobo, Google Play, Apple, etc. You can get your books on many sites by going with places such as Draft2Digital or Smashwords. By choosing these places they distribute your book to all the other sites plus many more above.

With so many places to have your book the big question is why would anyone choose just Amazon? Well let me answer this in two ways. Would you fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses? I know it’s such a cliche but look at it like this: Amazon is the giant sized duck and the other places are the 100 duck sized horses. Some may see that Amazon(the horse sized duck) as the obvious choice whereas other may see other sites(the 100 duck sized horses) as the clear choice, it really depends on the person. The other analogy I’ll use is quality over quantity..in a sense. Let’s say Amazon is the Quality, their well known, it’s a quick and easy process and you know your book is in good hands. On the other end however you have quantity, your book gets distributed to several different sites spreading the wealth that is your book to more sites and can be seen by a lot more people. So which should you choose? Again that is your decision and it depends on the person.

I won’t make the decision for you as its only one you can make for yourself but I’ll give you my personal idea and perhaps you’ll consider it. If you have more than one book or book series perhaps you should test both waters. Have one of your books series exclusive to Amazon and then make another sole book of yours through other channels. Test them out and see how they do and if one is doing better than the other then maybe it’ll make you decide to bring all your books to one channel. It seems like an easy thing to do but then again not everyone is about variety and everyone has different opinions and ideas. I have five books and four of them are exclusive to Amazon and only one is not. The book that’s not exclusive to Amazon I haven’t seen a single sale from any other channel however in my own defense I haven’t really pushed the envelope and tried to market to those channels either. Perhaps the time is now. So is Amazon the place to be? Should you be on several other channels? Decide for yourself but remember no matter what road you go down and what option you choose, it’s not wrong but right for you.


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