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Horror/Scary: January 11, 2012 Issue [#4817]

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 This week: Kidnapped! SoCalScribe Speaks 01.03.12
  Edited by: I like big books #2233315
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Welcome to the Horror Newsletter. It is our goal that Writing.com members of all ages can find useful information and entertaining articles within. If you have specific questions, try visiting "Writing.Com 101 or emailing the editor.

Meet The Horror Full-Time Newsletter Editors

I like big books #2233315 , Kate - Writing & Reading and darkin

*Note* This newsletter has been edited for space and rating considerations. It contains excepts of the full interview. To see the interview in its entirety (and view it without added Amazon links), please visit:
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ASIN: 197380364X
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Letter from the editor

"I have a real problem keeping friends. I'm always running out of space in my freezer." - Jarod Kintz, There Are Two Typos Of People In This World: Those Who Can Edit And Those Who Cant

As a new F/T Horror Newsletter editor, I wanted to develop a series of editorials that would be interesting as well as engaging. I've decided that each month, I will kidnap an author who has chosen to write in the Horror/Scary genre. In order to be released, he or she will have to answer a handful of questions for you, the voracious readers of their fine fiction. The questions will be chosen randomly from a database of questions I've developed that hopefully you will find interesting and thought-provoking.

*Fleurdelis* ~ Kidnapped! SoCalScribe Speaks 01.03.12 ~*Fleurdelis*

This month, my victim is Jeff who not only writes horror (very well), but runs his own dark horror group "The Dark Society [13+] with its own writing challenge, aptly named "Sinister Stories Contest [13+]. I hope you enjoy getting to know him and learning more about his dark side.

*Person* What's something you know you do differently than most people?

I've thought and thought about this question for hours and, the honest truth is that I'm not sure what most people do, so I can't say for sure whether what I do is normal or abnormal. *Laugh* From talking with other writer friends, it seems that I differ from many of them in that I have no desire to revisit stories once I've written them. I know there are writers like J.R.R. Tolkien who practically lived inside their own created worlds, but I'm done with a premise and even a set of characters once I conclude the immediate story. I would love to write an epic series of books, but I'm not sure I have the sustained interest to continue settings and characters beyond the scope of a single screenplay, or novel, or even short story. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum as Tolkien, where I barely even want to rewrite, because I feel like once I've explored an idea and gotten it down on paper, I've exhausted my interest in the story. The vast majority of the stories I have in my port are first drafts that have undergone very little serious and sustained revision. I don't necessarily think that I'm alone in this type of writing, but I think most people have a higher tolerance for revision and revisiting old characters and settings than I do. There's probably a reason all of the "series" in my port have dwindled and died out after only one or two entries. *Rolleyes*

*Person* What scares you?

I always think this is such an interesting question because some people immediately think of corporeal situations, while others think of more ethereal things. I suppose my biggest fear out of all of them is a fear of failure. I grew up with high expectations and, as a result, have a difficult time accepting that I can't do something well. I have a tendency to avoid doing the things I'm not absolutely sure I can do well, because I'm afraid of failing at them. It's held me back at various times in my life, and it's a constant struggle to remind myself that nothing ventured is nothing gained... that a lifetime spent of regret for the things not attempted is a far more frightening thing than a lifetime of failures. I guess that means I'm also afraid of leaving this world before I've truly had a chance to experience everything it has to offer.

In terms of physical fears, I would have to go with being buried alive. Drowning, suffocating, burning to death, being bitten by poisonous reptiles... those are all awful, to be sure. But I'd be hard pressed to think of anything more terrifying than being forced into or waking up in an enclosed space and realizing that no one can hear you calling for help, and even if you could get out of your container, you're still six feet underground.

*Person* What is the last book you read that completely blew you away?

The last nonfiction book I read that blew me away was The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America: ($9.50 from Amazon.Com) by Erik Larson. It's the true account of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and chronicles the lives of two remarkable men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect of the fair who was responsible for some of the grandest (and fastest) building construction ever undertaken... and H. H. Holmes, one of the first documented serial killers who was responsible for constructing a hotel nicknamed the "Murder Castle" in which he killed as many as 200 visitors (mostly young women) who came to Chicago to visit the Fair. It's a completely chilling tale that rivals anything you could find on Criminal Minds... and it's a completely true story from America's past. *Shock*

The last fiction book I read that blew me away was a toss up between Crooked Little Vein: ($14.99 from Amazon.Com) by Warren Ellis and Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel: ($11.77 from Amazon.Com) by Arthur Golden. Warren Ellis is delightfully twisted and it was such a unique book with vibrant characters and unforgettable (and disturbing) scenes. I pride myself on being pretty well versed on depravity (in concept only, of course *Laugh*) and Ellis managed to shock me again and again. And Arthur Golden's account of the life of a geisha is stunning in its vivid description and complex characters. Golden's book blew me away with the elegance of its language and story; Ellis' book blew me away with its sheer, bizarre outrageousness.

Needless to say, all three are highly, highly recommended.

*Person* Do you own an eReader? If so, which one?

I own a Kindle   and I'm desperately in love with it. As an avid reader, I would often be forced to take six, eight, sometimes even a dozen different books with me whenever I went on a trip... and that was very heavy and inconvenient when it came to packing. With my Kindle (I have the 3G which is now one generation old, but it works just fine for me), even with a leather cover that has a built-in light, it's no heavier or bulkier than a thin trade paperback and I can take literally hundreds of books with me. Combine that with the fact that most Kindle books (even new releases) are $12.99 or less and they offer daily book deals as low as $0.99 (not to mention all the free classics), and it's more content than I could read in a lifetime. Physical books will always have a special place in my heart... there's nothing quite like turning the pages as you go, or hunting through a used book store for a long sought-after volume (I finally found a copy of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics): ($9.69 from Amazon.Com) - (discussed in the full interview) - in an amazing used bookstore in Seattle over the holidays)... but the portability of eReaders is unparalleled for convenience when it comes to travel and all those times actual books are impractical. *Smile*

*Person* In my experience with horror fans, there's always a story about what first hooked them on the horror genre, what's yours?

I stumbled across the horror genre a little late in life. When I was younger, my mother read a few Stephen King books like The Talisman: ($2.48 from Amazon.Com) and Thinner: ($22.85 from Amazon.Com) and they scared her so badly that she refused to read King (or let me read him) until I was out of the house, or at least old enough to take myself to the library and check out my own books. *Laugh* Ironically, the first horror books that I remember reading were both Stephen King. I read his novella The Body (Penguin Readers: Level 5): ($5.18 from Amazon.Com), followed closely by The Dead Zone: ($1.43 from Amazon.Com), which is the one that really stuck with me.

But I suppose if you want to trace my love of the horror genre all the way back, we'd have to look and movies and television long before I got into horror literature. I remember "The X-Files" scaring the heck out of me as a kid, and yet I found it strangely fascinating. Especially earlier on, they had some really twisted, creepy episodes that - to this day - remain as some of the times I can remember being most afraid to turn out the lights, or wander outside the house at night. *Smile*

Hope you enjoyed this look into the mind of a fellow author. If you would like to share your thoughts, please send me a note using the box at the bottom of this newsletter.

Write and Review on! ~ Brooke

[Related Links] *Thumbsup*

*BurstBL* "The Dark Society"   [13+] by Jeff
*BurstBL* "Sinister Stories Contest"   [13+] by Jeff

*Info* "Invalid Item"   [] by A Guest Visitor
*Info* "Invalid Item"   [] by A Guest Visitor
*Info* "Invalid Item"   [] by A Guest Visitor
*Info* "Invalid Item"   [] by A Guest Visitor
*Info* "Invalid Item"   [] by A Guest Visitor

ASIN: 1582974209
Amazon's Price: $ 17.99

Editor's Picks

Jeff on writing horror:
Horror is a tricky genre to pull off, because there's such a diversity in people's tastes, and that influences "how scary" horror is. Drama is pretty straightforward... if it works it works, and most people have similar sensibilities when it comes to what's sad, heart-wrenching, uplifting, etc. Comedy - to a lesser extent - is the same way. While personal tastes in humor vary, funny is funny, and most of us can appreciate humor even if it's not our particular cup of tea. But horror is such a more visceral genre that preys on our deepest fears... and those fears aren't the same - sometimes not even close to the same - for every person. The tough thing about horror is that you never know who's going to be really affected by your work, and who's going to think it's cheesy or lame. Add to that the expectations of a publisher or a production company who are often trying to guess what the market is looking for and you've got a very tricky situation where you have to achieve a balancing act among all the expectations from all these different sources, who all still expect to be frightened.

~*Ax*~ Kidnapped Author's Freedom Five ~*Ax*~
All my kidnapped authors must choose five horror stories to be released.

~*Bird* ~

Penance  [18+]
The price is paid for human arrogance.
by Jeff

If Clint had one talent, it was detecting a woman's desperation. And Laura had all the telltale signs - the trying-too-hard outfit, the way she sized up all the guys in the bar, and the hint of sadness and loneliness behind her eyes. Everything about her called out to Clint's inner scumbag... and he eagerly approached her, more than willing to take advantage before she came to her senses.

~*Bird* ~

 True Nature  [13+]
We're all something else on the inside.
by Jeff

On Tuesdays, they make me see a head doctor. She's supposed to make me feel better, help me come to terms with what I've done... but I know she doesn't want to be there any more than I do. We both know that I won't change, although our reasons for believing that are probably very different.

~*Bird* ~

 WLTM IRL  [18+]
A vampire uses online dating to find his victims.
by Jeff

While the prospects of keeping in touch with others of his kind held mild interest for him, the real fascination was with these so-called "social networking" sites. Users sign up and create profiles to share with other users. Some sites were people looking to reconnect with old friends; others were for those seeking people with similar sexual proclivities.

One really could find anything on the internet.

~*Bird* ~

 Evermore  [18+]
Be careful what you wish for... expansion of my FF story "Eternity".
by Jeff

I closed the journal, taking a moment to run my fingers across the worn, faded leather cover. For much of my life, this journal had been my only friend; my silent partner and the only one that understood the depth of my conviction to this cause. Friends, family, guides and investors had come and gone... but my journal was the one thing I could count on... the one thing that had always been there for me.

~*Bird* ~

The River  [13+]
A modern-day adaptation of a Greek myth.
by Jeff

It was getting late and they were both tired. They debated whether or not they should get a hotel room for the night, but ultimately decided they should just push through until they got home. Kate smiled as thoughts of her own bed entered her mind.

Danny looked over at his wife.

"No falling asleep," he yawned. "You know the rule. If I can't sleep, you can't sleep."

~*Bird* ~

Jeff on graphic vs. implied horror writing:
I think there's certainly a place for graphic horror. Blood and viscera can be entertaining, especially when you're talking about - as strange as it sounds - the lighter side of horror. It's so easy for gore to go over the top and become silly, and you can really get stuck in a never-ending cycle of trying to "top" the accomplishments of the last person who set the standards for how disgusting it can be. For my money though, implied horror and suspense will always be more effective at creating the emotion of terror in an audience. For me, it all goes back to fear of the unknown. What you can't see or hear will always be more horrifying for an audience, because our imagination knows no limits. *Wink*

~*Film*~ Editor's Choice - The Trio of Terror ~*Film*~

~*Ax* Classic Chiller *Ax*~

 Invalid Item  []

by A Guest Visitor

The dry grass and leaves popped and crunched beneath their shoes like the hoards of seasonal crickets they sometimes stomped into goo on the street. The wind, a mild breeze seconds earlier, suddenly gusted, chilling the boys to the bone.

Hearts pounding, blood throbbing in their ears the boys went up on the porch. Tim rapped on the solid wood door. Waited. Bobby tugged the back of Tim's costume. "Come on. There's nobody home."

Tim leaned forward and pressed his ear against the door. "Guess you're right. I don't hear . . ."

~*Ax* Modern Macabre *Ax*~

 Invalid Item  []

by A Guest Visitor

The good thing about a starless night is that reality can easily be distorted. Once the police flashed their huge lights, something as simple as a power outage, would leave the crowd momentarily blind. Again I tried to stall Dexter by breaking his concentration.

"Look at me, Dexter. Look at my eyes." I snapped my fingers to get his attention.

"No. I'll show him. I'll show them all."

~*Ax* The Future of Fright *Ax*~

 "Fountain of youth" contest 1st place  [18+]
"Scare me" contest *Prompt: Tell me about Old Man So and So."
by LuisPadilla

I wanted so badly to ascend my stairs and give Mr. Marshall a piece of my sleep deprived mind.
Sleep has been so rare to come by. Forty hours at Sea bolt's Irish pub, and Twenty-Two at the Braintree Hess, will sort of take up most of your time.
But I Kevin Lobs, worked and wearied, at the tender age of twenty, just revived the best news ever.

~*Bird* ~

Jeff on combining genres:
I'm a big fan of genre crossovers where you combine the elements of two or more different genres and create an amalgamation of the best elements of each. When it comes to horror, I love when it's paired with the sheer imagination of science fiction, the mythology of fantasy, or the sensuality of erotica. My least favorite horror genre crossover is probably the horror/comedy. It's just too jarring of a juxtaposition. With horrotica, both genres rely on elevated emotions... with horror/comedy, I feel like the emotional aspect of horror is often at odds with the intellectual aspect of comedy, and it's very rare that these two disparate elements come together successfully.

~*Ax* Bonus Selection *Ax*~

Killer Genre Combination: Steampunk and Horror

The Clock Tower  [13+]
A boy is snatched away and taken to the tower.
by Kotaro

Sanger trod up the solid oak stairs of the clock tower. The smell of machine oil and the whirl and clank of shifting gears overwhelmed his senses so that he was hardly aware of the twilight gloom surrounding him. The sack was over his shoulders. As he climbed higher the weight grew as if the task he had been ordered to do were maliciously being made more onerous. He took it as a challenge to his faith and his pace did not slacken. Each time the heavy shoe of his club foot landed on an oaken plank, it were as if he were adding to the beat of the mechanism- the pinions, worms, snails, arbors; pawls and ratchets, cams and cam followers; cables, levers, and pivots, and finally, if one listened keenly, there was the swish and swash of receding and advancing air as the massive pendulum swung.

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