Saturday, 13 June 2020

The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales by Christopher Stanley

The man trying to make sense of his life now that his demon has been exorcised. The woman who knows her son has been taken, even as he sits by her side. The scorned professor who's found a missing work from The Planets Suite.

Christopher Stanley's debut flash fiction collection, The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales, boasts an impressive assortment of characters trying to make sense of a world gone horribly wrong. The darkness here is home to vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts--but it's the monsters you've never heard of that should worry you the most.

Over the years I've become familiar with Christopher Stanley's work, I really enjoyed his tale The Forest is Hungry from Demain Publishing and his Suds and Monsters piece from The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories, all of which I loved. Proving himself as a writer to be watched.

Christopher Stanley returns with The Lamppost Huggers, his debut collection of flash fiction featuring 26 tales of bite sized horror. To be honest flash fiction wasn't really something I had time for, but after reading Calvin Demmer's The Sea Was a Fair Master, my mind was changed. Flash fiction done right is amazing!

But flash fiction is something very hard to pull off, you have only a few words to pull in the reader, create at atmosphere of dread and terror before you swoop in for the kill. Time and time again with each tale The Lamppost Huggers achieves all these requirements for excellent flash fiction. 

Each tale featured in here is amazing. I didn't find one that was below par. What really shines out from this collection is the scope of Christopher Stanley's imagination and his ability to draw upon a huge variety of terror; dark magic, strange forces, witches, unexplained phenomenon, ghosts and the darkness inside us all. Christopher Stanley takes our ordinary lives and quickly turns it into the terrifying unknown.

When you have 26 tales of flash fiction all in one collection each one must stand out and earn it place if the collection is to work. When it comes to flash fiction, a lot can go wrong but when it goes right its pure perfection and The Lamppost Huggers is that.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

The Horror Writer: A Study of Craft and Identity in the Horror Genre

The most definitive guide into the trails and tribulations of being a horror writer since Stephen King's On Writing.

We have assembled some of the very best in the business from whom you can learn so much about the craft of horror writing: Bram Stoker Award© winners, bestselling authors, a President of the Horror Writers' Association, and myriad contemporary horror authors of distinction.

The Horror Writer covers how to connect with your market and carve out a sustainable niche in the independent horror genre, how to tackle the writer's ever-lurking nemesis of productivity, writing good horror stories with powerful, effective scenes, realistic, flowing dialogue and relatable characters without resorting to clich├ęd jump scares and well-worn gimmicks. Also covered is the delicate subject of handling rejection with good grace, and how to use those inevitable "not quite the right fit for us at this time" letters as an opportunity to hone your craft.

Plus... perceptive interviews to provide an intimate peek into the psyche of the horror author and the challenges they work through to bring their nefarious ideas to the page.

And, as if that – and so much more – was not enough, we have for your delectation Ramsey Campbell's beautifully insightful analysis of the tales of HP Lovecraft.

Ramsey Campbell, John Palisano, Chad Lutzke, Lisa Morton,
Kenneth W. Cain, Kevin J. Kennedy, Monique Snyman, Scott Nicholson,
Lucy A. Snyder, Richard Thomas, Gene O'Neill, Jess Landry, Luke Walker, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Marie O'Regan, Armand Rosamilia, Kevin Lucia,
Ben Eads, Kelli Owen, Jasper Bark, and Bret McCormick

And interviews with:
Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Graham Jones, David Owain Hughes,
Tim Waggoner, and Mort Castle

When HellBound Books reached out to me with this  horror writing guide I was simply blown away. It looked amazing, just look at the line-up. It's edited by Joe Mynhardt owner of Crystal Lake publishing who consistently publish epic horror. Every writer featured in here is one I've not only heard of but really admire. 

I'm pleased to say my expectations were definitely met, I'd every contribution in here and a lot of subjects were covered. There's loads of great articles covering practical writing advice such Kenneth W.Cain's guide on how to create tension in your writing that will scare the crap out of your readers. I found this article incredibly helpful. There's also great advice on how to cope with rejection from Kelli Owen, how to start networking by Jess Landry.

There's two great articles about the work of H.P.Lovecraft from Ramsey Campbell and Algernon Blackwood by Jasper Barks. These articles are not only a must read for fans but they also show you the methods these two horror legends used to scare so many people.

Also featured are author interviews with the likes of Stephen Graham Jones, David Owain Hughes, Mort Castle, Steve Rasnic Tem and Tim Waggoner. These are really insightful and I was really impressed with Joe Mynhardt's interview skills he clearly is someone with a deep and genuine love for horror.

What I liked about this guide is that its a no-nonsense approach to improving your craft, there's no waffling just really great advice that any writer will find really useful.

Needless to say I read through this guide in about a day and genuinely enjoyed every article. Just like Stephen King's guide On Writing, I will make sure to re-read this over and over again. 

This is a must have for any serious horror writer that wants to take it to the next level. 

Monday, 1 June 2020

You Are Not Alone

I'm absolutely honored to be a part of this brand new charity anthology from Storgy! My Story When Cynthia Arrives will be featured alongside some really great authors. They're so great I'm feeling very nervous to be featured along with them!

To help support these great charities buy a copy from here




With great thanks to contributing authors, artists, and designers,
STORGY Books is proud to present You Are Not AloneAn Anthology of Hope and Isolation.

Working in close partnership with UK charities The Big Issue Foundation (registered charity number 1049077), Centrepoint (292411), Shelter (263710), and The Bristol Methodist Centre (1150295), STORGY Books is publishing an exclusive anthology to help raise funds and provide support for people affected by homelessness following the devastating outbreak of Coronavirus. For far too long the most vulnerable within our communities have suffered in isolation, abandoned and ignored, voiceless.
But we hear our hurting kin; and this is our reply…
You Are Not Alone.

All proceeds from purchases of You Are Not Alone will be equally distributed between our partner charities to  provide ongoing support for people experiencing homelessness during – and after – the Covid-19 crisis.

You Are Not Alone is dedicated to lost loved ones.
You will never be forgotten.