Apr 162015
The Wereling, by David Robbins No month stated, 1983  Leisure Books David Robbins has published many, many novels over the past few decades; he’s probably most known for the ‘80s post-nuke pulp series Endworld, as well as its spin-off series Blade. Yet despite the guy’s prolificity in a genre I love, I’d never read any of his books, and rather than his men's adventure work I decided to start
Mar 302015
Madonna, by Ed Kelleher and Harriette Vidal No month stated, 1985  Leisure Books As should be apparent, the only horror novels I’ll read these days are the super-fat, embossed-cover paperbacks of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Madonna is a title I spotted in a used bookstore a few years ago but have only just now gotten around to reading (my interest in horror fiction occurs in random bursts).
Mar 132015
Friday 13th d1
Kat YaresIn honor of Friday the Thirteenth, I thought I’d turn my post over to Kat Yares, a terrific horror writer. But she’s more than just that, she’s also a screenwriter, indie movie maker and amateur photographer. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous print and online publications. And she’s been a member of the Horror Writers Association since 2001.

Kat did some time in the LA area, but now lives in the gothic groves of Arkansas.

Her fiction is primarily in the horror/thriller genres. But unlike many horror writers, she writes horror not to gross out or startle her readers, but to make them think. Most of her stories are mind games and deal with men and women’s inhumanity.

Kat’s The XIII is a fast paced thriller that will keep you guessing.  If you like Dan Brown's books you're sure to like this one.

Her two novels, Beneath the Tor and The XIII, are both fantasy and thriller and, as several readers have written to her, are bound to send her to Hades after she passes.

Find her at www.katyares.com

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Is there a book you couldn't or wouldn't write - even if a good friend begged you and offered a suitcase full of money?

By Kat Yares

When Paul D. Marks first asked me to do a guest post for Criminal Minds, I had no idea what I was getting into.  As a self-identified horror writer, I wasn’t sure of what topic I could write on that would satisfy the blog readership.  Then, he shot me the above question and I absolutely cringed.  There are a number of genre’s I’d be terrified to even attempt.  But that suitcase full of money made me consider each one.

First thought was Romance.  While I can write sex, romantic interactions are not my strong suit.  Besides, I’ve only read maybe ten modern romance books in my adult life.  I loved them as a teenager, before I found out what the real world was like.  Boy did not meet girl and live happily ever after in the end.  Yet, for a suitcase full of money, I might just try.

Next up was Young Adult.  I’m way too far removed from what a young adult goes through to be able to write something like that realistically.  Honestly the only young adult books I know about are the Twilight series and I don’t think I have to say a lot about that.  Again, that suitcase full of money might tempt me.
Into the Velvet Darkness - Kat Yares- eBook
The third I considered was High Fantasy.  While I did pull it off once in a short story, I’m not sure I’d be capable of doing a hundred thousand word book.  Depending on the friend (and yes, that suitcase full of money), I might try, but he or she better be able to help with the world building.  I totally lack the imagination for magic, dragons, knights in shining armor and the like.

This leads to Science Fiction.  While I love science and love science fiction as a genre to read, I’m not sure I’d be able to write anything believable in that genre.  To do the research needed, I don’t think I have enough years left in me to research enough and write the book.  One more time though, that suitcase might tempt me to try.

I would like to say that to get me to try any of the above genres, that suitcase had better be large and all the bills inside at least hundreds and it better be very hard to close because it is so stuffed full of said bills.
TheXIII_frontcoverSo what did I finally decide on?  Memoirs.  No amount of money would get me to write one, even for a friend.  I know it seems simple, they tell you the story of their life, you write it down and attempt to make it interesting for the future reader.  Thing is, most people’s lives are not interesting enough--they think it is, but it is not.  Also, most folks when relating past events can only remember ‘their’ truth of it.  The real truth may be very, very different.  People, at least those I know, attempt to sugarcoat their pasts, especially if something horrific happened in it.  Which is why so many ‘truths’ may not be truth at all.  Heck, I have a file on my hard drive that I suppose could be considered my biography or memoir.  It has the title of I Was Born Plain White Trash.  Will it ever see the light of day?  In a word, no.  While my life had its problems, they were really no different than what hundreds of others have gone though.  With my ego, if I don’t think my life is worth writing about, I doubt I’d find any of my friends lives that compelling either.  And since a memoir is supposed to be ‘truth’, no amount of money would allow me to write anything other than fictional lies.

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Thanks, Kat. Great post!

And not to detract from Kat’s post, but I just found yesterday that the results for the 2014 Ellery Queen Readers Award are out.

So I want to congratulate two of our own for making the Top Ten on the list. Art Taylor for his story “The Odds Are Against Us” for coming in at #6...and trailing close behind him at #7 is another of our bloggers: me, for my story “Howling at the Moon.” Both of our stories were in the November 2014 issue. More on this in a couple weeks when the issue with the announcement actually hits the stands.  And thanks to David Dean for turning me onto this. And congratulations to him as well as he has three stories in the Top Ten!
Mar 122015
As Evil Does, by John Tigges No month stated, 1987  Leisure Books John Tigges strikes again with another super-fat ‘80s horror paperback complete with embossed cover. And this one’s much better than the previous one I read, The Immortal. I don’t think you can currently find the plot of As Evil Does mentioned anywhere online, so my friends, let me tell you what it’s about – a dude becomes
Feb 122015
WHAT ROUGH BEAST is a new limited edition chapbook from James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge, with art by Keith Minnion, available from White Noise Press. It combines horror and sword and sorcery with a Western yarn, making for one of the weirder Weird Westerns you'll ever read. And it's top-notch work, as well. The protagonist is Tom Morton, a deputy whose wife is on a stagecoach lost in a
Jan 052015
Fernanda, by Victor B. Miller November, 1976  Pocket Books With a cover and slugline that could come off a lurid men’s detective magazine (“She taunted the twisted rapist to trap and silence him forever!”), Fernanda is a PBO suspense thriller which is narrated by our heroine, New York City private eye Fernanda (no last name given). At 157 pages of big print, Fernanda itself is pretty
Oct 312014
Since today is Halloween, it seems appropriate to write something about the longest-running and many would say the best comic book series about a vampire ever published. I'm referring, of course, to Marvel's THE TOMB OF DRACULA, which ran for 70 issues from 1972 to 1979. Recently I've been reading THE ESSENTIAL TOMB OF DRACULA, VOLUME 1, which reprints in black-and-white the first 25 issues of
Oct 292014
VanderMeer: I’ve read a lot of fiction on the noir/horror side, and it's very difficult for me to find something new in a novel of this type. Yet even the most horrible things you describe also have an element of unexpected beauty to them.
Beukes: The novel was always about the artistic impulse. It was always about the urge to try and create something beautiful, to try and remake the world in a way where things are malleable, where things can reach their potential. As far as [the antagonist is] concerned, he is looking inside people to try and bring something beautiful out in them, and he just does it in a terrible way.
With The Shining Girls, I wanted to write a real serial killer, which is a loathsome, empty, broken human being. There is nothing admirable about them. They are just scumbags. Impotent scumbags. That is what real serial killers are. They are opportunistic, violent men, and they have no insight into why they do what they do, and they are certainly not outwitting detectives while sipping Chianti and sautéing someone's liver. With this particular killer, I was much more interested in thwarted ambition. The creative urge, being possessed by the creative urge and trying to find your audience and not being overlooked. It's kind of a broken masculinity as well. It's a hungriness that the killer is filled with … He doesn't mean for this to happen the way it does, and I feel a lot of sympathy for him. Which is not to say that the acts aren't atrocious and horrific and awful.
Sep 282014

Critically celebrated novelist Scott Spencer—writing as Chase Novak—delivers a Rosemary’s Baby-like novel of gothic horror, set against the backdrop of modern-day Upper East Side Manhattan. You can download the eBook for $2.99 from now until October 6th. Gorge yourself on this chilling tale, and get ready for the sequel, Brood, which lands in bookstores on October 7th.

Google Play | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Sep 122014
I don't remember seeing this horror novel when it came out from Jove in 1989, and Robert Masello's name is only vaguely familiar to me. But BLACK HORIZON turns out to be a pretty entertaining psychological horror yarn. Jack Logan is a musician who plays in the orchestra for a newly opened Broadway show. It's opening night, in fact, when Jack saves the life of an old man who's been hit by a