Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters

Damien Angelica Walters is an author whose work is constantly popping up in all the great magazines all writers dream of appearing in such as Apex, Black Static, Nightmare Magazine and Shimmer. Not only that she's a Bram Stoker Award nominee?! (she was robbed)

Cry Your Way Home is her second short story collection, the first being Sing Me Your Scars and was truly epic, hence why I was just dying to read Cry Your Way Home.

This is a really great  collection of 17 dark tales. Cry Your Way Home focuses more on domestic horror such as relationship breakdowns, death of a loved one and sibling rivalry. Whoever said there was a happily ever after?

Inside are 17 tales of pain and suffering that arises when families breakdown for whatever reason.  There's a really wide mix of stories in here illustrating that Damien Angelica Walters is not a one trick pony. In this collection she delves into folk horror, sci-fi and just downright creepy!

The stories are beautifully written in a way that is haunting and compelling. Damien Angelica Walters draws you in to her dark world with ease. I found them all as equally imaginative, she not only has the skill to write beautiful but horrific stories but also has the vision to pluck out these great tales from the ether. An examples of this skill is The Floating Girls: A Documentary. I thought this was a fantastic story and its the things in her stories she doesn't tell us about that are the darkest parts. Little Girl Blue, Come Cry Your Way Home was another masterpiece.Tooth, Tongue and Claw was another great story that reminds me of the epic Angela Carter. It feels just like a fairy tale and has a great ending. Lastly a shout-out for Deep Within the Marrow, Hidden in My Smile, this tale was so creepy and just shows that Damien Angelica Walters can spin a great horror story from any situation.

About the Author 

Damien Angelica Walters is the author of Cry Your Way HomePaper Tigers, and Sing Me Your Scars, winner of the 2015 This is Horror Award for Short Story Collection of the Year. Her short fiction has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award, reprinted in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year's Best Weird Fiction, and published in various anthologies and magazines, including the Shirley Jackson Award Finalists Autumn Cthulhu and The Madness of Dr. Caligari, World Fantasy Award Finalist Cassilda’s SongNightmare MagazineBlack Static, and Apex Magazine. Until the magazine’s closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede, and she lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescued pit bulls.

Interview with Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews

Hi everyone. I've recently done an interview for Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews  which is a great site for those who love horror. It has book reviews, film reviews and lots of author dropping by for a quick chat.

You can read the full interview here

Friday, 9 February 2018

Interview with Zero Flash

Hey Guys I recently did an interview with Zero Flash Fiction. This is a really cool site you should definitely check out. They run a regular flash fiction competition with epic prizes and magazine which is edited by David J.Wing.

You can read the full interview here

You can read the full interview here

Interview with Calvin Demmer

I've answered a few questions about writing and my upcoming projects over at Literary Dust, the home of epic book reviews from Candice Robinson. You can read the interview in full here.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Unnerving Magazine Issue 5

I've been reading this magazine since it launched in December 2016 and with each issue it has really grown. I bought a years subscription for just $10 and so far it's been a really good investment. Issue 5 is brilliant and features some really great authors.

Unnerving's Issue 5 contains nine stories which are all really varied but united with their dark cores of horror. Its also really cool to see lots of female horror writers featured too.

Stand out stories for me include, Porcelain Skin, this was just so creepy and I loved how the tension was built up throughout the story and the ending was really cool too! I've been reading his stories for a few years and now and they never fail to disappoint. I also really liked Ghoul by John C Foster and The Weight of Her Smile by Jake Marlow.

Glug Glug by Aaron J Housholder

A great tale to start off the magazine, its playful and creepy and leaves you wondering and worrying about what's lurking in your house.

Red Room by Christa Carmen

A young woman wakes up with gruesome photos on her phone after her friends messy alcohol fuelled wedding. No one can explain  or take her concerns seriously and yet they keep coming.I loved this story, thought it was a really dark and unsettling premise and teaches mankind how you're girlfriend always knows best!

Porcelain Skin by Gary Buller

A young woman travels  to the middle of nowhere to visit her long lst wealthy Aunt after hearing she is set to inherit from her. This tale was really creepy and full of suspense I was actually scared on a few occasions!

Ghoul by John C Foster

A young boy fuelled by adolescent urgings and curisoity breaks into a graveyard to find his ultimate prize. This tale was so dark and twisted and held me enthralled from beginning to end. John C Foster is a name I'm going to look out for.

Succubus Blues by Sara Codair

A young woman has to battle between what's right and her desires. This was a cool little tale abiut why you shouldn't follow a lady into the toilets!

The Worst by David Busboom

Sharon really regrets asking her boyfriend the worst thing he's ever done. A story that stays with you  long after you finish reading. Is it still out there?

The Changeling by Stephen S.Power

Left alone by his wife to care for their young child, a young father realises there's something very wrong. This is a really clever retelling of a well known faerie creature who strikes with devastating consequences.

Shades of Igumi Mare by K.P.Kulski

Lari Daniels has 1,834 seconds to get to the Mare and back before her oxygen runs out. What could possibly go wrong? A really nail biting  and tense tale.

The Weight of her Smile by Jake Marlow

A young man wrestles with his demons before he can move on. I really liked this tale, it was really thought provoking and emotionally moving. This is a writer I'd like to see lots of in the future.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Seasons of Insanity by Gill Ainsworth and Frank W.Haubold


Seasons of Insanity is a short story collection featuring twelve tales themed around the four seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. It is co-authored by award winning writers Gill Ainsworth and Frank W.Haubold.

Unlike most horror I am used to reading, this leans more towards psychological horror rather than supernatural so was quite a different read for me. It focuses more on humans coming apart crashing into insanity to the darkest depths and never coming out again. It's not monsters and dark spirits we should be afraid of but ourselves and what our own darkness is capable of.

I liked that each author had their own distinct voice and they work well in this anthology which keeps you in its grip right to the end. There's something in here for everyone.

Stand out tale for me was, Fighting the Flab by Gill Ainsworth. This really resonated with me and was incredibly shocking. I also really enjoyed The End of the Line about an older woman coming to terms with her grief.

The Town on the River was a really creepy tale about being drawn back to your home town after so many years, I loved the tension building up throughout.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Night Terrors: Author Interview with Jocelyn Baxter

To celebrate the launch of Aphotic Realms second issue; Banished I 'm talking to Jocelyn Baxter one of the many uber talented authors featured in this magazine.

Aphotic Realm is the new home for dark and sinister fiction and are really going places. Their first issue, Apparitions  was released in July with really positive reviews and now they're back with their second instalment which features ten stories of people forced to fight for their survival after being betrayed or banished.

Banished is out now from Amazon

1) Hi Jocelyn thanks for joining us, how long have you been writing for?

Since I was a kid I guess. I'm one of those Millennials who read Harry Potter and fell in love with storytelling. But officially I would say since high school. I was lucky enough to have a high school English teacher who is a Canadian author (Leo Brent Robillard). He created a Creative Writing class and I fell immediately in love (taking it three times!). Before I graduated, he encouraged me to take a writing workshop when I went to college. (I wanted to be an interior designer decorator). So instead, I ran off to Montreal and and worked for a few years.

2) Who are your favourite authors?

Stephen King (obviously), Phillip K.Dick, Chuck Palahniuk and Margaret Atwood.

3) What draws you to horror? Can you remember the first horror book or film that you encountered?

I'm drawn to horror for the same reason I think a lot of people are; the fear of the unknown. At 29, I'm still afraid of the dark (and will rush to flip all the lights between me and the bathroom). There's something about growing up in a 100+ year old farm house in rural Ontario that still gives me the heebiejeebies!

As for books/film/TV. "The X Files" was definitely my favourite show when it first started to air. I was like 6 and I thought Dana Scully was the coolest character ever. It was also around this time that I saw "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Neither resulted in nightmares, just wide-eyed fascination. Other shows include "Goosebumps" obviously, "Are You Afraid of the Dark" when I had access to cable. Also, my mom is like the BIGGEST nut for ghost stories. So through her I was exposed to a lot of books/TV shows about it.

4) Have you any upcoming projects?

I do! But it's not horror. It's a post-apocalyptic sci-fi comic book I'm co writing with a friend. The progress has been slow, as he's a new dad. But Issue 1 has been written. It's just revisions now. Other than that, not really. My day job consumes a lot of my creative energy.

5) It says in your bio that you work as a video game writer. That sounds amazing, how did you get into that? Do you feel that computer games influence your writing or it is vice versa?

Through a lot of luck. It's kind of like a unicorn job and I still can't believe I do what I do. It's fucking surreal and awesome and challenging and fun!

I started as a QA tester, and went through the wringer of a harsh development cycle. Then I went to university with a plan to become a game writer. And then, after a lot of hard work, failure, and people taking chances on me, here I am!

As for your question its both. My video game writing puts me through harsh feedback loops. In the last four months alone. I've seen my work jump in quality. It's one of the benefits of having access to seasoned writers reviewing your work daily.

As for influence, as much as any other media I consume. Although games are more useful to my job than my personal writing. But that may have to do with game writing being a different beast from fiction or film. How it's approached and realised is based through the lens of interactivity and player choice. Your pacing, your triggers, the linearity - this is all determined by a 2D/3D space and an audience/camera you do not have full control over.

About the Author

Image result for jocelyn baxter

Jocelyn Baxter is a professional video game writer, copy queen, and self-ascribed keybard. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fiance and two cats, enjoys long walks on digital beaches, cheap wine, and singing in the shower (badly). She's released 5 mobile game titles and is currently working on her first AAA title with an award-winning game studio