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This week: Kidnapped! Deadzone Speaks 02.02.19Edited by: Brooke - lurking
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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
billwilcox, Brooke - lurking and Kate - Writing & Reading
This newsletter contains excerpts of the full interview. To see the entire interview or view it without links, please visit: "Invalid Entry"
"Maybe I should have killed 4-500 people, then I would have felt better. Then I'd felt like I really offered society something." -- Today Show Interview (1987) (Charles Manson)
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. - Brooke - lurking
Kidnapped! Deadzone Speaks 02.02.13
What was the first horror book/story you remember reading?
A friend of mine gave me a copy of Stephen King’s 'Salem's Lot: ($8.99 from Amazon.Com) back in the late 80’s and told me to 'just read it’. I’d heard of King, but I didn't really know much about him, and I hadn't been reading any books for awhile. But after reading that I was hooked not only on King, but the whole genre of horror as well.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
WdC has probably been the biggest influence, because I wasn't really writing seriously or as much until I got on here. There was always a spark, but no fire. After my daughter pointed me to WdC and I found out about all of the contests, namely The Daily Slice, I knew this was where I wanted to be. Three of the pieces I've had accepted for publication have been ‘Slice’ entries, and when it was closed in November and December I thought I’d go out of my mind!
What is your writing technique? Do you create an outline, or do you just come up with an idea, start writing, and see where it takes you?
Since joining WdC I've been writing a lot of Flash Fiction. The funny thing is I usually don’t know how the story will end. After I get the first sentence down the story tends to write itself. I know that sounds strange, but that’s what happens.
As for books, I tried writing one a few years ago. I had 250 manuscript pages and then I hit a brick wall and had to tear up the last 100 pages because I wrote myself into a corner.
That’s when I found that you have to have an outline. Now I've started another one called Seed. With any luck I’ll finish it sometime this year.
Without naming names, what are three things that writers do that annoy you?
People who don’t pay attention to detail, especially with grammar and spelling. I try to be a perfectionist in my own writing, and I know I've probably irritated a lot of people on WdC by pointing out all of their typos and other mistakes. I can’t help it though. It’s a major pet peeve of mine.
People who use too much description. Description is good, but when there’s more description than story, it kills me.
People who don’t read and think they can write.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I love similes and metaphors, but for some reason they don’t come easy to me. And I’m still trying to find my ‘voice’. I recently told an author on WdC that I could pick his writing out of anybody’s, and he said that was one of the best compliments he ever received on here.
Tell us about your publication experience in general and especially with Haunted Waters Press in their From the Depths, Fall 2012 Issue (Page 32) (because I think they have an amazing magazine) and what advice do you have for others seeking publication?
At the beginning of 2012 I didn't even know how to submit anything, or where. Then I found out about Duotrope, which lists thousands of markets (they were free until the 1st of the year-now they want $5 a month, but it’s worth it). I soon learned that if you want to get any attention you need to read and follow their guidelines exactly, because rarely are any two of them the same. And keep checking them, because some of them update every month or so.
When Haunted Waters accepted ‘Nothing’, I was shocked; it was a fluke in more ways than one. First of all, I wrote that in about 20 minutes one night. I sent H.W. a short tale of horror and ‘Nothing’ just as an afterthought. A week later they rejected the short story, and I didn't even think about ‘Nothing’. And then the next day they told me they wanted ‘Nothing’! They even published it exactly how I wanted it: word for word, line for line.
Stranger yet, if I’d submitted it at any other time of the year it wouldn't have been accepted, because the Fall issue is their only Haunted theme issue. I thought all of their issues were Haunted themes.
I hope you enjoyed this look into the mind of a fellow author. I encourage you to read the entire interview here : "Invalid Entry" .
Where can your readers stalk you?
Until I get a blog, right here on WdC.
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
Here are some writing challenges to test your skills.
"Invalid Item"  by A Guest Visitor
"Psychological Story Contest" [E] by Masque of Licentia
"The Ultimate Writing Extravaganza" [E] by J. B. Anthony
"Nothing Fancy" [18+] by Iva Lilly Durham
"The Bard's Hall Contest" [13+] by StephB
Published work from our own billwilcox
~~ Kidnapped Author's Freedom Five ~~
All my kidnapped authors must choose five horror stories to be released.
"Is this Phillip Taylor?" a professional voice asked.
"Yes. Who's this?"
"Hello, Mr. Taylor. My name is Steve Baxter. I'm with the Lexington Insurance Company. I understand that you don't have any dental insurance at the moment. Is that correct?"
Dental insurance? He didn't even know if there was such a thing, and if there was, it was covered in his medical insurance at work.
"I don't want any," he said. He started to hang up when the voice said one single word that grabbed his attention.
Andrew was his middle name, which he hated. He never used it, opting instead to just use his middle initial. He looked at the phone for a second, then slowly raised it back to his ear. "How do you know my middle name?" he asked.
Some of Troy’s first memories in life were when his father used to tell him bedtime stories. They were usually just the old traditional Grimm’s fairy tales, but they never seemed to have the traditional ending. Many a night Troy would lie in bed and cringe with fear as Goldilocks was eaten by the three bears, or the big bad wolf ended up with a stomach full of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, or the three little pigs would end up homeless, or worse yet, they wound up in their wolf’s stomach. Troy sometimes wondered if it was the same wolf who was committing these heinous acts, so he asked his dad one time. Mr. Campbell didn’t answer; he simply smiled, shut off the light, and walked out the door.
Oh, so you do want to read this. Then don't try to take your eyes away from this monitor, because...
You can't. You're still reading this. And you will continue to read this until I give you the power to do otherwise.
The printed word can and does have a very strong influence on a reader's mind. It can serve to imprint imperceptible images or commands, as I have just demonstrated. By reading one certain sentence in this text you will have the opportunity to resist these inconspicuous suggestions that I am successfully placing into your subconscious. But until that sentence appears, you will and are still allowing me to have a limited amount of control not only of your brain, but your actions as well.
It was almost seven o’clock and Barbara Taylor’s husband still wasn’t home from work. She wasn’t getting so much worried as she was mad; normally Dennis walked in the door right at six-thirty. She was just starting to punch in his cell number when he stepped in the door with a small plastic bag.
“Where have you been?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, Barb, but I wanted to surprise you so I stopped by the video store and grabbed that movie you’ve been wanting to see.” He reached in the bag and pulled out a DVD. The title of the movie was ‘Loose!’, a mild horror flick about a family terrorized in their own house by an escaped psychopathic killer.
Barbara’s red mood softened, but Dennis could see she still wasn’t as happy as she should have been.
“What?” he asked.
After five long hours of staring at the alarm clock, two glasses of warm milk, and counting more sheep than he cared to remember, Rick Johnson gave up. He climbed out of bed and went into his living room.
“Why?” he asked himself as he sat down in his recliner and turned on the TV. “Why the hell can’t I go to sleep?”
Some man on the tube was selling the sharpest, strongest knives on the planet, guaranteed to never need sharpening. Rick could have them for just twenty-nine dollars and ninety-five cents, provided he called within the next ten minutes.
Rick looked at the clock. It was twenty minutes after three on a Thursday morning. Somehow his foggy brain managed to calculate how long he’d been awake: one hundred and forty hours, twenty minutes.
~~ Editor's Choice - The Trio of Terror ~~
~ Classic Chiller ~
Billy ran to the door at the sound of the bell, anxious to see who arrived first. He opened the door quickly and saw a small child with a sheet over his head, dark, black holes cut into eye holes. At one of the bottom corners, the letter “C” written in permanent marker. Billy remembered last Halloween, this is the same costume Charlie wore. Billy was glad to see Charlie; it had been weeks that Charlie has been in the hospital.
“Charlie! You remembered! Awesome!” Billy went outside with Charlie to sit on the steps in front of the Brownstone where he lived. Before completely shutting the door, Billy leaned in and yelled, “Gonna be on the stoop, waiting for everyone else to show up.”
The reply came quickly from Billy’s mother, “Okay honey! Come get me when they’re here, I’m finishing up your candy bag.”
~ Modern Macabre ~
Locks are used to keep things out, but they are also used to keep things in. The burning question is . . . what lies behind the door?
Keys open such locks, if someone is fortunate, or, as the case may be, unfortunate enough to find them. Someone like little Shyla Stone, on her way home from school, who wasn’t even thinking about doors with locks, or even the keys that opened them, until she saw a glint of gold beneath the undergrowth of a neglected old hedge that wrapped around the infamous Hanson House.
Bitten by the worm of curiosity, she quickly bent down and snatched it up.
~ The Future of Fright ~
A soft breeze whispered in through the open window. It stirred the dust on the sill with a sigh and faded with a rustle in some loose paper. The moon glittered outside, white against the black, cloudy sky and cast a cold light across the carpet marked with silhouettes from bare trees in the yard.
Mark could hear his own breathing as it mixed with the murmur of the wind. He lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to take him. The clock on his side table read 3:00 AM. He sighed with frustration.
Something creaked away on his left. Damn old house. Never shuts up. He tilted his head to look and saw only the dark outline of the closet door. The moonlight shone across the old bronze handle and made a hooked silhouette on the floor.
The handle twitched, just for a moment.
No. Don’t be ridiculous.
He stared at it for a long time, wishing he could fall asleep and forget it. He felt his eyes begin to close.
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I received the following fiendish feedback to my last newsletter [#5455] "The Reality of Fear" and I'm being blackmailed into sharing it with you.
I loved this newsletter and thank you for promoting Crimelibrary. I have read this site for years and found the stories interesting and useful in character study. If you want to know the how, why and wherefore that some people sink to when they kill, this is a great site for reference.
I really enjoyed your newsletter this week. Including all the quotes about the reality of fear and then structuring them as a conversation was a great, unique way to present a newsletter. And you're right, sometimes the stuff that happens in real life is way more disturbing than the things we can come up with on our pages.
In reference to W.D. Wilcox; Anyone who has indepth observations, children are not as innocent as so many people tend to believe. They may be weaker as for strength,and smaller in size, but speaking in terms of higher intelligence, they are something else all together. IMO, some children are actually much scarier than some adults.
In reference to Trevor Prescott: Here, Here I totally agree with that and unfortunately, they-people will still find a way to take you and use you for their own gains (happened and happens to me quite often). My way of resolving this, send a little 'note' directly to the user with an advance message of how that person is and their motives; if they don't stop, write a book about them; I am sure there are more of them if one is using you for all the wrong reasons...Expose them for who and what they are so everyone can take caution of those types of peoples.
Great question. Its funny about horror, sometimes what scares you doesn't bother other people. We all have our own ideas of what is scary.
From: Nixie 🦊
Another gorgeous creation. I have so many avenues to explore. The Crime Library scared me so much, I closed it immediately.
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