“A New Universe Awaits” by @wmschlichter #spaceopera #scifi #amreading #books

First there was Buck Rogers, then came Ripley. Now, we introduce you to Commander Reynard and the characters of The Silver Dragon Chronicles, a new space saga by William Schlichter, author of the No Room In Hell series. To celebrate the release of Enter the Sandmen, book one of The Silver Dragon Chronicles, we turn our blog over to William Schlichter because…

Enter The Sandmen by William Schlichter

A New Universe Awaits… by William Schlichter

Modern day horror/thriller authors derive inspiration from the masters of the phantasmagoric throughout the literary and film world. When I write stories of the undead, or even explore other supernatural creatures, pointing out a source of inspiration seems easier to define. Night of the Living Dead—the definitive work to which all things undead are measured—is the primary origin for most zombie works. I am no exception.

When it comes to my sci-fi fantasy world, it’s not as easy to pin down an all-inspiring force as it might seem. My earliest childhood memory was watching Star Wars at the drive-in. I did fall asleep before the Death Star exploded. Blasphemy, I know, but I was three-and-a-half years old. Now while my friends wanted to be Han or a Jedi, I had grander ambitions. I knew from witnessing the majestic space epic. I played with the action figures—no one collected them then—but they did not always remain Han and Luke. My imagination flowed into my own galaxy far far away.

My father further spawned my sci-fi interest. He would tell me I should watch this movie or that television show. One I clearly remember was Battle Beyond the Stars. Little did I recognize The Magnificent Seven remake—in space. My parents introduced me to Doctor Who and others, but also to actors like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

Enter The Sandmen by William Schlichter

One aspect of many Eastwood films, especially those where he directed and starred in, was this growth of the surrogate family—people who may not ordinarily belong together and become inseparable, like the character Josey Wales. The same can be seen with Star Trek’s Kirk and Spock. Kirk and Spock became brothers and both joined Star Fleet. I find those themes rewarding, and many of my characters in The Silver Dragon Chronicles have lost family and their entire culture because of warfare. Non-writers might think, “Oh, that’s easy. You don’t have to develop a world for these characters.” But several of the characters try even harder to hold onto their alien culture, which requires more detail to expand on their character. Creating backstories for societies never seen or hardly discussed takes time, but enriches a character and the overall novel universe. The more I write and work with them—even on side stories that may never see the light of print—develops a stronger, more believable character.

Well-rounded and developed characters are what keep us reading as we explore the hero’s journey. I could toss out literary jargon I learned as I earned college degrees, but whether the hanging curtain’s blue because I had some deeper symbolic meaning, or I just thought curtains needed to be labeled a color and I picked blue, is not as important as if I create characters the reader cares about.

All stories boil down to the characters and how they deal with a situation. This is where tropes come into play. How does a character deal with the same situation the reader has seen in multiple books? How do they handle it differently?

In No Room In Hell: The Good, The Bad, and the Undead, I wanted to explore how intelligent people would deal with dead rising during an apocalypse. In The Silver Dragon Chronicles: Enter the Sandmen, Commander Reynard is the trophic Buck Rogers, John Crichton and, to an extent, Ellen Ripley—all of which are characters blown from their natural element and placed in a situation where they are outsiders by time and space. Crichton and Rogers were already pilots and scientists, but what if they weren’t? What if they were just placed in the situation fresh out of high school? Even if receiving training in future technologies, how do they deal when the overwhelming larger universe’s now thrust upon them?

Star Trek eliminates poverty, hunger, money, but would addiction be able to be suppressed? How do people in the future deal with loss—real loss of loved ones? When war is a constant looming threat and human life has little meaning to other more superior alien races, how do intelligent characters deal?

Many characters during the course of the Silver Dragon Chronicles will deal with the question of how far they are willing to go to prevent a war, and if they will do what is just over what is lawful. Rampant prejudice toward humans looms over the crew. War means the destruction of planets and forever on the horizon looms a darker evil no one has a way to combat.

Those are just some deep buried themes throughout the course of the series. On the surface it’s a sword and spaceships adventure with humor, sister issues, planet hopping and more aliens than were in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

About Enter The Sandmen

The universe will never be the same

Thirty years after the Battle of the Twin Suns…

Smuggling weapons to rebel forces seeking to overthrow the Federation proved successful for the Silver Dragon crew. As war encroaches on the known galaxy, the crew’s personal agendas surface. Amye Jones especially seeks to escape her own sultry past, face her drinking abuse and deal with her perfect sister’s taunting.

Directed toward their next secret mission for Admiral Maxtin, the crew discovers there are sinister forces hidden in the universe, seeking to destroy them.

Enter The Sandmen by William Schlichter

Enter the Sandmen by William Schlichter is available now in trade softcover or eBook

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Hope, Harleys and the #Supernatural—by @TomMohan_Author #amreading #books

Who doesn’t love a good tale of the supernatural? Guest blogger and author Tom Mohan talks about:

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Back in the 1995-96 time frame I had a vision of a homeless man standing in the rain staring at a gun in a pawnshop window. I had no idea who this guy was or why he wanted to end his life, but the vision was clear and the idea stuck. I didn’t write much back then, and finished even less. I had thought about writing and knew that someday, when the stars aligned and I had lots of free time, I wanted to write a book. Procrastination and a natural born gift for laziness didn’t help, either.

Fast forward to 2011 when I attended my first writer’s conference—The Ragged Edge. The Ragged Edge was an intimate conference hosted by Ted Dekker and was open to only 100 participants. I left this conference on fire for writing and decided it was time to find out just who this homeless guy with the death wish was.

It turned out the guy’s name was John Burke. Four years ago John’s wife and daughter had disappeared along with some other members of a church youth group and the pastor. Burke had put everything he had into finding his family but they seemed to have vanished from the Earth. This much I knew fairly quickly but there was a lot more to his story that I had to uncover. I have loved reading horror for as long as I can remember and then, while deployed in the U.S. Navy, I discovered epic fantasy. This was in the early 1980s, before fantasy had really taken off. One thing I knew from my love of these genres was that I wanted to make stuff up. I didn’t want to limit myself to the real world but be able to open up any door that came along, the weirder the better. That is one of the reasons I set Eve of Redemption in the year 2032—it is far enough in the future that I can change some current reality without being so far away as to be completely detached from our current world.

Eve Of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Another thing I knew about John Burke was that he needed redemption. His guilt and shame were killing him and he could be no help to anyone until he was able to forgive himself. As authors, I think we often use our characters to work out some of our own issues. There is probably more of me in John Burke than I care to admit. The original character was much more of a mess than the man who shows up in the book. Fortunately I had enough early readers who were not afraid to tell me the guy was quite unlikable in his current state and that I should make him a bit less of a whiny-wretch. I did and I think he is a much better character for it.

When I started writing Eve I knew three things: the beginning, then end, and the scene that ends part one of the book. Everything else grew organically from the writing process, which is, to me, what makes writing so much fun. About 200 pages into the first draft I realized there were still too many things I didn’t know. In order to figure them out I began delving into the life of Sara Burke, John’s missing daughter. Suddenly a whole new story line opened up that not only answered the questions, but also introduced a new world where nothing was as it seemed.

Eve of Redemption contains many of those vital details that keep life interesting, or do when we allow ourselves to step out of real life—strange children, animated corpses, demons, ghosts, Harley Davidsons (missing from my reality, anyway) and a dragon that surprised even me when he showed up.

That’s my writing journey…so far.

About Eve of Redemption

John Burke’s life is filled with despair. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and daughter, he wants nothing more than to end his own misery—until a confrontation with a peculiar little girl alters his life. Burke’s world collides with supernatural chaos, forcing him to face the reality of his past.

Now he must find his family and destroy the ancestral curse. Teaming up with a former policeman and his blind wife, along with a boisterous motorcycle gang, Burke discovers the one thing he thought he lost forever—hope.

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan is available now in trade softcover or eBook

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Hope, Harleys & the Supernatural—Welcome to Eve of Redemption by @TomMohan_Author #supernatural #amreading #books

Who doesn’t love a good tale of the supernatural? Guest blogger and author Tom Mohan talks about:

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Back in the 1995-96 time frame I had a vision of a homeless man standing in the rain staring at a gun in a pawnshop window. I had no idea who this guy was or why he wanted to end his life, but the vision was clear and the idea stuck. I didn’t write much back then, and finished even less. I had thought about writing and knew that someday, when the stars aligned and I had lots of free time, I wanted to write a book. Procrastination and a natural born gift for laziness didn’t help, either.

Fast forward to 2011 when I attended my first writer’s conference—The Ragged Edge. The Ragged Edge was an intimate conference hosted by Ted Dekker and was open to only 100 participants. I left this conference on fire for writing and decided it was time to find out just who this homeless guy with the death wish was.

It turned out the guy’s name was John Burke. Four years ago John’s wife and daughter had disappeared along with some other members of a church youth group and the pastor. Burke had put everything he had into finding his family but they seemed to have vanished from the Earth. This much I knew fairly quickly but there was a lot more to his story that I had to uncover. I have loved reading horror for as long as I can remember and then, while deployed in the U.S. Navy, I discovered epic fantasy. This was in the early 1980s, before fantasy had really taken off. One thing I knew from my love of these genres was that I wanted to make stuff up. I didn’t want to limit myself to the real world but be able to open up any door that came along, the weirder the better. That is one of the reasons I set Eve of Redemption in the year 2032—it is far enough in the future that I can change some current reality without being so far away as to be completely detached from our current world.

Eve Of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Another thing I knew about John Burke was that he needed redemption. His guilt and shame were killing him and he could be no help to anyone until he was able to forgive himself. As authors, I think we often use our characters to work out some of our own issues. There is probably more of me in John Burke than I care to admit. The original character was much more of a mess than the man who shows up in the book. Fortunately I had enough early readers who were not afraid to tell me the guy was quite unlikable in his current state and that I should make him a bit less of a whiny-wretch. I did and I think he is a much better character for it.

When I started writing Eve I knew three things: the beginning, then end, and the scene that ends part one of the book. Everything else grew organically from the writing process, which is, to me, what makes writing so much fun. About 200 pages into the first draft I realized there were still too many things I didn’t know. In order to figure them out I began delving into the life of Sara Burke, John’s missing daughter. Suddenly a whole new story line opened up that not only answered the questions, but also introduced a new world where nothing was as it seemed.

Eve of Redemption contains many of those vital details that keep life interesting, or do when we allow ourselves to step out of real life—strange children, animated corpses, demons, ghosts, Harley Davidsons (missing from my reality, anyway) and a dragon that surprised even me when he showed up.

That’s my writing journey…so far.

About Eve of Redemption

John Burke’s life is filled with despair. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and daughter, he wants nothing more than to end his own misery—until a confrontation with a peculiar little girl alters his life. Burke’s world collides with supernatural chaos, forcing him to face the reality of his past.

Now he must find his family and destroy the ancestral curse. Teaming up with a former policeman and his blind wife, along with a boisterous motorcycle gang, Burke discovers the one thing he thought he lost forever—hope.

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan is available now in trade softcover or eBook

Read a sample of Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

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Guest Blogger: @ShaneKPONeill on The Essence of Horror

Guest blogger Author Shane KP O’Neill shares his fascination and insights on horror.

The Essence of Horror by Shane KP O'Neill

All my life, no other genre in literature or film has interested me, or held my attention, the way the horror genre has. Of course, we all have our individual tastes. Romance will always be the biggest seller, closely followed by thrillers and crime novels, and now the trending fascination of late with BDSM and the Scottish Highlands. We all like what we like and with no disrespect to those who have a preference for anything from the above-mentioned list, little of it is of interest to me.

None of these will ever give me that fear factor, or shock me, or leave me feeling numb. When all the rigours of the day are behind me or if I am finished writing and just wish to relax, I want to pick up a book and experience that rush from being scared before I close my eyes. As a writer of horror, I endeavour to probe and stimulate the darker recesses of your psyches – the amygdala and hypothalamus – and provide the catalysts to detonate those incendiary devices within your minds that manifest themselves in fear.

I have been this way all my life, though indulging my penchant for such things was not so easy for me when I was young, my hurdle being a strict and overzealous mother. Of course, I found my opportunity every Friday night when babysitting my younger sisters, and usually enjoyed a serving or two of the Hammer horror films.

Those images of the blood-red eyes of Christopher Lee’s Dracula and of all the terrible things Vincent Price’s Dr Phibes did to his hapless victims have never left me. I was quite an innocent pre-adolescent, and these movies often scared the hell out of me, but come the following Friday I would turn off the light and sit there in the dark, waiting to be scared senseless again, every shadow cast on the walls by the images on the TV screen making me more and more nervous. In particular I remember, at age 13, receiving permission from my father to stay up and watch Salem’s Lot, Stephen King’s classic vampire offering. The scene where Danny Glick’s mother awakened in the morgue as a vampire, her hand emerging from under the sheet while Ben Mears frantically built his makeshift crucifix and recited the Lord’s Prayer was one of the defining moments in horror cinema, though Danny Glick himself scratching at Mark Petrie’s bedroom window stayed with me much longer. Nothing has terrified me as much before or since, and I admit I had frequent nightmares for the next decade. Raised a staunch Catholic, I always had a problem with scenes of demonic possession, but still I watched. It was this I craved and, no matter how scared, I had to have more. Clearly the release of glutamate in my brain had become my drug of choice.

Through my teens I began to devour dozens of novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Shaun Hutson, James Herbert, and Robert McCammon. Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s a steady stream of horror flicks came along to complement the literary horror boom, some of these adapted by from the books of the men listed above.

I found these tiresome after a time. The production teams on these movies became more and more visceral in their attempts to bring shock value. As with most successful formulae that are re-hashed time and time again, they became much of a muchness. The horror was blunt and in your face, but it was not scary. Instead of having nightmares and remembering scenes from these movies when I was alone, or walking some dark country lane, I found myself getting bored and forgetting the majority of what I had seen. The genre had taken on a much more visual aspect and, to me, it was digressing from its principles and from the foundations laid down by the greats of literary and cinematic horror.

At this point, as I immersed myself in my writing, I tried to evaluate the true essence of horror. Over the years I have asked many of my friends what they deem horror to be, and acquired a variety of different answers, though none matched my own idea of how horror should be defined.

We see horror around us every day. The news on the TV and in the papers is full of it, and it is truly terrible. But it has little effect on us. We can turn the TV off or switch the channel, or discard the newspaper and pick up a romance novel and read that instead. It is something we can tolerate if it is happening to someone else. We know it is there, but as long as it does not affect us directly, or those we love, we do not dwell on it so much.

Horror, though, can take on many forms. It does not necessarily have to be the devastation of a terrorist bomb, or some unbalanced individual going on a killing spree. Horror can exist for an infant experiencing that first shock of pain from a burn, or from getting their fingers jammed in a door. It can exist for an adolescent suffering physical or mental intimidation from their peers. Horror can manifest itself for that teenager suffering that first rejection from a love interest of theirs. For sure, we remember these things and they all serve to have an impact on our future lives.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are those of us that like to take risks or live on the edge, in need of that glutamate fix. They want a glimpse of what could happen if they pick up that stranger in their car, or if they meet that mysterious but alluring person they spoke to online, or if they purchase that gun, or drive too fast, perhaps follow that impulse to travel alone to some exotic location, or involve themselves with that occultist group, jump out of that aeroplane, or take that tablet someone is selling in a nightclub. I have faced a few near-death situations in my life and in those instances where my every sense was aroused, I never felt more alive.

To try and understand or define the true essence of horror, we also must understand fear. The master of the literary horror novel, Stephen King, defines horror as a rehearsal for death. In a way it is, a way to train our minds for that inevitability, because it comes to us all irrespective of who we are. No one is immune to it. Abigail Marsh, a Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, correctly defines fear as seeing or hearing something that makes us anticipate harm. I feel if we are to identify the true essence of horror, then we must understand both these aspects and their relation to each other, for one cannot exist without the other. I always defined fear as the worry of dying in a horrible way or of some terrible harm or suffering coming to us or to someone we love and care about. If this is a correct means of defining fear, then horror must be the physical manifestation of that. So when I have asked numerous friends over the years to tell me what they believe the essence of horror to be, I was hoping someone would define horror as “fear for one’s life.”

The vampire or werewolf does not encapsulate horror – they are ingredients of it. The horror lies in the thought of what they could do to us should we encounter them. They might cause us great suffering, they might kill us, or even turn us into a beast or monster the same as they.

As I grow older I realise horror has to be more psychological as opposed to physical or visual. Fear for one’s life. The real horrors we experience in life are those that leave the mental scars. Physical scars heal with time, whereas the psychological variety are less likely to.

With this in mind, I saw horror in a different light. A vampire ripping out its victim’s throat does not scare me. Ed Harris’s portrayal of Blair Sullivan in the movie Just Cause; that scared me. The image of Joe Pesci’s character watching his brother beaten senseless and then buried alive before enduring the same in the movie Casino, had the same effect. Shaun Dooley’s character in the movie Eden Lake, where he played the father of the psychotic teenager, Brett; he also scared me.

Through this newer perspective, I began to rely more on literary horror than the visual variety to get that glutamate fix. The beauty of the novel, and of being a writer, is that the writer has a unique and very individual relationship with each different reader. The images the writer conjures the reader re-creates in his/her own mind. Here is where the psychological aspect of horror becomes more apparent. To understand horror, one must jump into the heart and mind of the character and know what it is they are enduring; the fear for their life, and finding a way to somehow survive their impending death.

With fantasy we can stretch the boundaries and limits imposed on us by our physical form. We can use our imaginations to stretch the possibilities. But even in the realms of fantasy we are left to wonder that maybe, just maybe, this could happen to one of us. That is the essence of the horror movie, or novel, and of what horror really is.

Where every cloud has a silver lining, so too can you find the beauty in horror, once you grasp the essence of it and you know where to look.

Copyright © 2016 Shane KP O’Neill

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The Lamb of God by Shane KP O'Neill

Available in eBook and trade soft cover on Amazon. Click HERE to purchase.

Return to Glebe Point by Patricia Paris: Guest Blog & Release Party 7-13-15 Thru 7-18-15

Today we hand over our blog to BHC Author Patricia Paris—writer of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her fifth novel, Return to Glebe Point, releases Friday, July 17th. To celebrate, Patricia is hosting a fabulous week-long party leading up to release day, and she has some awesome prizes up for grabs. Promotion details are below.

For now, however, sit back…dip your toes in the sand…and listen to the gentle lapping waters of the Chesapeake Bay… Welcome to Glebe Point!

Enter the Romantic World of the Glebe Point Series—By Patricia Paris

I’m so excited to announce that Return to Glebe Point releases July 17th. This is the third book in the Glebe Point series of stand-alone, contemporary romances that focus on the close-knit Morrison family. This Time Forever and Letters to Gabriella, the first two books in the series, tell the story of twin brothers Blake and Justin Morrison as they traverse the wonderful but sometimes rocky road to love. Return to Glebe Point is the story of their cousin, Charlene, who has returned to Glebe Point after being away for five years, with the hope she can rebuild her shattered life.

I write long books. That explains in part why I only publish one or two a year. I admire authors who put out three, four, even five or more in that same time and often wish I could too, but it’s just not the way I write. Part of it may also be that I worry about sending my characters out into the world unprepared. I rewrite and rewrite, changing their words, their clothes, the way they duck their head or hike their chin, rethink their motives. I hover over them like a mother hen protecting her chicks, holding on until they’re basically begging me to trust in them and set them free.

I often get notes from fans telling me they loved the characters in one of my books, how real they felt, or how they didn’t want the story to end because it meant saying goodbye. I love when this happens. Touching someone with my stories, hearing I’ve entertained them for a few hours through my words, and knowing I delivered that happily ever after they were looking for is enormously gratifying. Hopefully it also means the wait was worth it.

So why do so many readers fall in love with Glebe Point and the characters in this series? I could give you my take, but instead, I’d like to introduce you to Mary O’Meara. She knows more about Glebe Point and its inhabitants than almost anyone; after all, she’s one of them. Mary owns the inn and the little cottage where Delaney, Justin, and Charlie each stay in their separate stories. She’s a matchmaker with a heart of gold and a plate of cookies always on hand in case someone happens to stop by. She also has a particular soft spot for the Morrison’s, but I can’t blame her, so do I.

~~~

“WHAT makes Glebe Point so special, you ask? Oh dear, where are my manners! Come into the kitchen and sit with me. I just made some crunchy jumbles, and they’re still warm. That’s right, take a couple of them, and relax. I do enjoy having company.

“I guess that’s why I love our little town, everyone knows everyone, and someone’s always stopping by for a visit. You already know I have my favorites. Blake and Justin are like sons to me. I worried about them what with their recent struggles, but they each landed in a good place. Bless their hearts, and bless Delaney and Gabriella for putting up with their shenanigans. I helped bring them all together you know, but that’s another story.

“Now our Charlie’s come home. We’re all so happy she’s back, but worried too, because she’s not acting like the old Charlie. That’s why it’s good she’s here, we won’t let one of our own struggle through something alone, even if they say nothing’s wrong and they don’t need help, which is exactly what Charlie’s been telling everyone.

“If you ask me, and well, I guess you did, I think our girl needs someone in her life who will stand beside her and appreciate what a special woman she is. She told me last week she didn’t want or need a man in her life. Well that’s just poppycock! Everyone needs love. Everyone needs someone, and I’ve got the ideal person in mind. Cooper Barone. He and Charlie are perfect for one another…if only they weren’t both being so stubborn about seeing it.

“Oh, I just heard the reception bell ring. I have new guests arriving today and that’s probably them. Why don’t you take a trip around Glebe Point on your own? You can drop into Mosey’s Diner for lunch. You’re likely to run into some of the Morrison’s there. I think you’d enjoy spending a little time with them.”

~~~

If you haven’t read This Time Forever or Letters to Gabriella, check out a sample on Amazon. Return to Glebe Point will release July 17th, and is available now for pre-order by clicking HERE.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve read my other books, thank you. I appreciate your support and hope my stories have brought some enjoyment into your life. If they have, I would love to hear from you. You can send me a note on my Facebook page, or email me at pparisusa@msn.com with the subject line: A Reader’s Feedback

 

About the Glebe Point Promotion

Dates Of Promotion: Monday 7/13 –  Friday 7/17

Prizes Available:

Monday 7/13: A $10.00 Amazon Gift Card (2 Winners)

Tuesday 7/14: A Handcrafted Bookmark (4 Winners)

Wednesday 7/15: A Handcrafted Bookmark (4 Winners)

Thursday 7/16: Signed Copies of This Time Forever & Letters To Gabriella (2 Winners)

Friday 7/17: Signed Copies Of All Three Glebe Point Series Books (1 Winner)

How To Enter & Win:

LIKE, COMMENT, or SHARE that day’s promotional ad (a new one for each day) on either my personal Facebook page or my author Facebook page to enter to win the prize for that day. You gain one entry for each activity. So if you like, comment, and share you earn three entries for that day’s prize. The winners from each day will be announced the following day through 7/18.

As a bonus: LIKE, COMMENT, or SHARE this blog to earn 3 bonus entries for each contest. That’s a total of 6 entries!

The Prizes:

Handcrafted Bookmarks for the Glebe Point series by BHC author Patricia Paris

Handcrafted Bookmarks

The Novels of the Glebe Point series by BHC author Patricia Paris

Autographed Print Copies of the Glebe Point Books

To Purchase any of these titles, click the below link:

This Time Forever          Letters To Gabriella          Return To Glebe Point

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Guest Blog Post—Why Horror? By Natalie Gibson

We are excited to welcome Author Natalie Gibson to our blog today. Week two of our celebrate #INDIEpendence event focuses on horror and science fiction. Settle back, get comfy and read on about why Natalie Gibson enjoys horror…be sure to join her at our Facebook event for a live author chat and enter our giveaways this month. Details at bottom of post.

Horror’s legacy is as old as humanity. We can trace the telling of monster and ghost stories back to ancient times. Almost every culture has their own tales of vampires, shapeshifters and even zombies starting before the written word. From pre-history to the Grimm fairytales to Paranormal Activity 3, horror has always been a part of the human experience. What is it about horror that we find so fascinating? There are many opinions on this. Is it possible that partaking of a little horror in life is good for us? I say yes, this vast and varied genre can be beneficial.

In my house, we are all about Hallowe’en. We have more scary decorations than we do red and green ones. So when my daughter began to show her love of all things spooky, it seemed natural. Other people thought we were crazy to make our own Styrofoam gravestones for display. “It’s so morbid,” the neighbors said. When Gwendolyn came out dressed for school in March in her favorite skeleton T-shirt, I didn’t say a word. She likes Goosebumps, Ruby Gloom, Mona the Vampire, and Kendra Kandlestar (more fantasy than horror but she likes it because of the creatures). Her first real drawing was of a Frankenstein monster who was covered in green stitches. Monsters are her favorite, while I am partial to vampires and my husband prefers zombies.

I think all of this is very healthy. There are life lessons to be learned from horror. My daughter knows that to kill a zombie you cut off the head and that vampires drink blood. Useless information for the real world, yes, but not everything learned from horror is. Examples: You never invite a stranger into your home. Going to a secluded area isn’t always the best plan. Not telling your parents where you’re going when you’re staying out late can be dangerous.

Horror stories allow us to explore fear and death from a slightly separated space. We will die; all are doomed. When we read or watch a fictional depiction of that, we face our greatest fear. We are free to explore feeling without consequence. It’s a safe way to experience being scared. People have a need for stimulation and excitement, but we don’t want it at the risk of actual personal peril. We know that when we are done, we won’t be missing any limbs or have a stake through the heart. It’s reassuring because it’s fiction. Monsters are in the books, not real life. Once we are finished reading or watching, we can simply put up that entertainment and, subsequently, the fear too.

After I answer the inevitable question, “why horror?” the next is always, “but you’re a woman!”  I think Bela Lugosi said it best:  “It is women who bear the race in bloody agony. Suffering is a kind of horror. Blood is a kind of horror. Women are born with horror in their very bloodstream. It is a biological thing.”

Join Author Natalie Gibson For A Live Author Chat

Where:  At our Facebook Event. Click HERE to go to the event.

When:  Monday July 8th from 7-9 p.m. EST.

Win: eBook prizes and more

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Be Sure To Enter This Week’s Genre Giveaway And Our Grand Prize Giveaway

You can enter at our website by clicking HERE

The Bipolar Workshop By Terri Callsen

Today we are excited to have Terri Callsen as a special guest on our blog today. She’s written a book entitled  The Bipolar Workshop

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Terri Callsens’ life was an emotional roller coast until she started going to counselling and  reading self help books that she collected from “Share Sheds”. After 4 years of medication side effect problems and re-cooperation she completed a book that tells you what the chemically imbalanced are like, helping to explain how repeated exposure rage builds and most importantly how she became better by taking you on her journey through a fictional story about four people living happily ever after because there can be such a thing.

“If you’re going to buy any book about Bipolar Disorder this is the one to buy! No doctored talk just straight talk from someone who has it.”

LEARN MORE BY CLICKING HERE!

To Purchase The Bipolar Workshop:

Direct Access to The Bipolar Workshop in Paperback

The Bipolar Workshop in Paperback on Amazon.com

The Bipolar Workshop in ebook format

Connect With Terri:

Terri’s Facebook Author Page

Facebook Bipolar Workshop Page

Twitter

Terri Callsen Website/Blog