Monday, July 23, 2012

My Favorite Villain

I have been listening to the Anthrax album State of Euphoria non-stop in my car lately. Great record a friend of mine just turned me on to. There's a song titled "Now It's Dark" on the album. I immediately said to myself, "That's a Blue Velvet quote." Sure enough, the song is about the movie, and the chorus quotes Frank Booth, the villain in Blue Velvet, one of the most bizarre film's I've ever seen. This got me thinking about villains.

There are a lot of memorable villains in both cinematic and literary history. Perhaps due to my age and the fact that film was a big part of my life at one time, the most memorable villains are ones I watched on old VHS tapes time and time again.  The greatest of them all is Frank Booth as played by Dennis Hopper in the David Lynch film Blue Velvet.

I could give a brief two sentence synopsis of the film, but that just wouldn't do it justice. If you haven't seen it, then you simply must. I am going to assume that most people reading this are familiar with the film, as it is required viewing for those of us who enjoy dark, edgy themes.  If you haven't seen it yet, I'm sure Netflix has it.

For years I considered Randal Flagg, from the Stephen King novel The Stand,  to be my favorite villain, but with much deliberation I have decided that Frank Booth is the most memorable and greatest villain of them all. He's sadistic, murderous, violent and unpredictable. He's a drug addict, a gangster, a rapist, confused, insane, and frightening. And, on top of all that, he delivers some of the most memorable one-liners, most of them littered with the incessant use of his favorite four-letter expletive. My favorite line: "Don't you fucking look at me." His Heineken rant is classic as well: "Heineken. Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!"

So, I raise a Pabst for Frank Booth, may your celluloid soul rot in Hell, you evil fuck!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Love of the Dead by Craig Saunders

Another great release from Craig Saunders and Evil Jester Press!

With The Love of the Dead Craig Saunders delivers a brilliant blending of horror and mystery that sticks its fangs in and holds on until the mind-bending conclusion.  With deeply human characterization and precise wording, Saunders weaves a tale of life and death, hurt and sadness, all revolving around a bizarre string of murders that only Beth Willis, a medium balancing on the frayed ends of her tumultuous mind, and Detective Coleridge, an overweight, no nonsense policeman, can hope to stop.  But sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be.  Some things transcend good and evil, space and time.

Any one who has read Craig Saunders knows that his words flow like blood from a severed jugular.  The Love of the Dead is no exception.  This book is all horror, though it will entertain any fan of detective mystery stories.  Do yourself a favor and get this book.  Read it, and then find Craig’s other books and read them.

Available for kindle in the US & UK.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some Words on Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

I finished Brian Keene's Dark Hollow the other day, solidifying my fandom. I'd read four of his novels before this one, all of them good with the exception of The Rising (just didn't do it for me), but Dark Hollow is in a class all its own. With a great cast of characters that are are so real you feel you've known them at some point in your life, a protagonist that you may know of from ancient mythology but never read about in such a way, and a driving plot that demands your attention, you get one hell of a great read.

The story is a first person narrative told by up and coming novelist Adam Senft who discovers something strange and unearthly in the woods, plunging him into a world of wonder and worry that is only amplified as several women in town disappear to the tune of eerie piping music. With little help from the police, Adam and his neighbors are forced to investigate and solve the mystery of LeHorn's Hollow themselves.

This story is a prime example of what makes a great novel, as exercised by the wonderful characterization, particularly of our narrator. I found myself pondering my own town and my neighbors, of whom, sadly, I have little affiliation with. I found that I liked Adam and his neighbors. For the period of time that I read this book, I cared about them and wanted the best for them, which made for a very satisfying read. I'm already looking forward to the next Keene novel sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

I'm certainly late to the party on this one considering it was originally published in 2008, but when it comes to reading great novels you're never too late as long as you get on board, and now is just as good a time as any. Dark Hollow is available through Deadite Press. Do yourself a favor and get a copy. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Anatomy of Gone?

I recently made the decision to remove my self published collection of short stories Anatomy of Fear from The reason for this is two-fold.

The initial intent of this project was to promote my forthcoming novel People of the Ethereal Realm, which was supposed to be released this year from Twisted Library Press. Included with the short stories was a three-chapter preview that I hoped would entice readers to buy the book when it came out. Well, due to the recent inactivity at TLP, my contract expired, and PotER is now without a publisher. That was one reason I decided to pull Anatomy of Fear.

The other reason I decided to pull the plug was that, as it turns out, I am no fan of self publishing my material. I knew this going in, but I figured I would give it a shot anyway, more for promotional purposes than anything else. It didn't do all that great. Looking at the sales figures, it did all right during the period that I promoted it, which was only for about two weeks. As soon as I stopped promoting the book, the sales dropped off, which is to be expected. If no one knows a book is out, how the hell are they going to buy it?

For the most part, I'm finished with self publishing. I believe I did it the right way--I had an editor edit the material, and I created a decent cover--but it's just not my cuppa tea. I may do this sort of thing again for the strict purpose of promoting a novel in the future...or maybe not.

That being said, there are a lot of established authors who are self publishing their backlog, and that seems to be working out great for some of them. I'm nowhere near that established an author, but perhaps in the future I will consider that option.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Latest News: Ethereal People & Hell Awaits

It's been a while. Far too long, really. So here I am, back on my blog writing about what I've been working on. In short, I haven't been working on anything aside from the edits for my debut novel Through the In Between, Hell Awaits. Yes, you read it right, my debut novel. For those of you who have been following (yes, you!), What was supposed to be my debut novel, People of the Ethereal Realm, has been cancelled for publication with Twisted Library Press. Why? Well, twelve months passed and the contract became null and void. Simple as that. But really I have no idea why the book wasn't published. Unfortunately, it appears that Twisted Library Press, unless it is resurrected, is no longer publishing books. With little response from the Dr. Pus, no one really knows what happened. He has mentioned that he's dealing with health issues. I wish him the best. He's a kind and generous man who gave me many opportunities early on.

I have some plans in the works for PotER. If everything works out, it will now become my second novel, because Through the In Between, Hell Awaits is steamrolling through Grand Mal Press like a bat out of, er...Hell. The manuscript has been edited, the edits have been reviewed and approved, and the cover art is now under way. It's only a matter of time, and I couldn't be more excited. This book is insane, it's violent, it's horrific, and it will take you to places only visited in nightmares. I will make updates as the release draws near.

I'm currently doing revisions of my 40K word novella Stronger Than Hate. This is easily the most brutal piece of fiction I've penned. I wrote it months ago and haven't looked at it since, so I'm kind of excited to go through it again. The trouble will be finding a publisher for it. The extreme nature of this story kind of narrows the list. That's all right. I accept the challenge.

Until next time...