Tag Archive | cemetery dance

Disturbing the Peace of Mind – Guest Post by JG Faherty

Like my wife, I’m sure you Hellions need a break from me from time to time. Put your hands together and give a warm welcome for author JG Faherty and by all means, pick up a copy of his latest book, Houses of the Unholy.


I thought long and hard about what to write for my guest post. And I decided rather than talk about what scares me, or why I wrote a certain book, or why does everyone love zombies (or vampires, or clown-faced killers), I would write about what I hope for from the things I write. Most horror writers will say they want to scare their readers, or entertain them, or perhaps maybe even make them think about this social or political issue. And that’s all true to a degree.

But for me, there’s something else.

What I like to write are stories that make you uncomfortable.

There are a lot of ways to do that. You can hit readers over the head with buckets of gore and you can sneak up behind them and give them a jump scare. Keep them at the edge of their seat with non-stop action or be so subtle they don’t even know they’re scared until later that night while they’re lying in bed with the lights off and still thinking about that certain scene in the story.

A lot of horror writers tend to stay within a specific sub-genre. Zombies. Splatter. Extreme. Weird. Vampires. Werewolves. Kaiju. Ghosts. Torture Porn. Suspense. You name it, there’s someone specializing in it. And that’s great. All of us have different tastes, and that shapes what we like to read and what writers like to write.

I’m a little different. I guess you could call me a throwback. I’ve never stayed within the lines of a certain sub-genre, or even a genre at all, unless you consider the broad descriptor of dark fiction. I primarily write horror, but sometimes it drifts into the areas of weird fiction, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. I’ve written about supernatural creatures, haunted houses, serial killers, and zombies.

As a child, I discovered horror by reading Poe, Shelley, and Stoker. But I also devoured The Hardy Boys, Jules Verne, HG Wells, and Ray Bradbury. I watched all the classic Universal monster movies but I also never missed the reruns of the sci-fi classics from the 1950s: Them!, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, The Blob. As I got a little older, I learned many of the movies were made from books, so I read the books, too. In my teens, I discovered gore. Faces of Death, I Spit on Your Grave, Motel Hell, Evil Dead, and so many others. In college, I read every horror novel and short story anthology to hit the bookstores, from King and Koontz and Straub to Garton, Skipp, Spector, and McCammon. I went back and ‘discovered’ the authors I’d missed as a kid. Manly Wade Wellman, Karl Edward Wagner. And I also still read sci fi (Alan Dean Foster, James Bliss, Heinlein, etc.).

Over time, as a reader, I came to know what I liked and what I didn’t. When I got to my thirties, I no longer cared for splatter or torture porn. I preferred books that had complex plots, that ratcheted up the suspense chapter after chapter, that sent shivers up your spine because you didn’t know what was going to happen next.

And, when I started writing, I stayed true to that form.

It’s easy to go for the gross out, for the quick disembowelment, the body tossed in the wood chipper. Something like that might make you flinch, or gag. But for me, that kind of scene never stayed with you, and often it ended up more silly than scary.

I wanted to write things that make people keep the lights on at night, not laugh about how someone’s intestines got used to hang their mother.

So I’ve always stuck to the plan that I have no plan. If the story in my head calls for no blood, then there’s no blood. If it calls for buckets, then there are buckets. As long as it’s necessary for the plot. I veer away from the gratuitous, the unnecessary. When it comes to gore, a little can go a long way. I won’t skip on the zombie eating its victim’s organs, I just won’t spend 3 pages describing it. A few sentences ought to suffice, and then let the readers’ imaginations do the rest.

With all that in mind, when it came time to do my latest collection of short stories, Houses of the Unholy, I wanted it to run the gamut from violent to comic, from supernatural to all-too-real, and from straight horror to those places in between genres.

Most of my stories do tend to be ‘classic’ horror; there’s something supernatural, somewhere. It might be the major point of the story or a subplot, but it’s there. Beyond that, I like to think there’s something for everyone here, whatever you happen to enjoy.

I hope that, like the younger me, you’ll read broadly, and maybe discover something new. Something that sends a shiver up your spine and keeps you awake at night.

Something that disturbs your peace of mind.

Houses

 

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A life-long resident of New York’s haunted Hudson Valley, JG Faherty has been a finalist for both the Bram Stoker Award® (The Cure, Ghosts of Coronado Bay) and ITW Thriller Award (The Burning Time), and he is the author of 6 novels, 9 novellas, and more than 60 short stories. His latest collection, Houses of the Unholy, is available now, and it includes a new novella, December Soul. His next novel, Hellrider, comes out in August of 2019. He grew up enthralled with the horror movies and books of the 1950s, 60, 70s, and 80s, which explains a lot. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/jgfaherty, http://www.facebook.com/jgfaherty, http://www.jgfaherty.com, and http://jgfaherty-blog.blogspot.com/

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Why Do We Love Slashers?

If you’re a horror fan, odds are you love slasher flicks. Who is your all time favorite slasher villain? I’m partial to big ol lumbering Jason.

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But have you ever stopped to ask yourself WHY you love watching some maniac chase and mutilate scores of people? Before you run out to make an appointment with a therapist to find out why you’re so twisted, check out my latest VIDEO VISIONS column over at Cemetery Dance Online. In what will be a year of exploring slasher movies, I start by pondering our bizarre fascination with slashers. The answer is simpler than you think. Although it may make you question some life choices. And if you have a particular slasher or movie topic you’d like me to explore in a future column, let me know. Great and demented minds do think alike.

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Book News – CREATURE Has Arrived!

Break out the champagne (or at least a higher end beer) because the new line of Flame Tree Press horror is here to fuel your nightmares! My debut novel with them, CREATURE, is available today in what we call a four-bagger – hardcover, trade paperback, ebook and audiobook.

Creature cover

A heart-wrenching story with massive amounts of carnage. Dare I say there is something for everyone.” Cemetery Dance

ABOUT THE BOOK – 

The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.

But they are not alone. SomHere’s a little inside scoop on the book:

  • It’s semi-autobiographical. Kate and Andrew are large parts of my me and my wife. She does have a series of debilitating auto-immune diseases that have made our life, let’s just say interesting.
  • I did take most of a summer off from work to take her to Maine to recover and live in our favorite place. It was just after I had watched my father pass away in front of me and we weren’t sure if my wife was going to follow in his footsteps.
  • This was the toughest book I’ve ever had to write, even though going in I thought it would be easy since I knew the source material so well.
  • My wife had a mutt named Buttons when she was growing up. He was hit by a car when she was 12 and she still misses him. This was my way of bringing him back without going to the old Pet Sematary.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about CREATURE :

Creature is quite simply brilliant! It put me through the wringer, the final third of the book ramps things up to unbearable levels of emotional (and horrific) tension. It’s not very often I finish a horror novel with tears in my eyes.” Kendall Reviews

CREATURE! It. Knocked. My. Socks. Off.” Char’s Horror Corner

Creature by Hunter Shea is a fantastically creepy read that kept me awake far into the night.” Port Jericho

ABOUT THE BOOK

The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.

But they are not alone.

Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead. Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.


You can pick up a copy of Creature in your favorite format by clicking here! 

Once you read it, let me know what you think! And don’t forget to grab copies of the other great releases by Flame Tree Press by the incredible lineup of authors – Tim Waggoner, Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Jonathan Janz, J.D. Moyer!

VIDEO VISIONS – A Look Back At The 80s Horror Scene

As a devout reader of Cemetery Dance Magazine since the early 90s, I still can’t believe I now have a monthly column on their online mag. VIDEO VISIONS is a look back at what it was like growing up a horror hound in the 80s, the golden age of horror.

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I start things off with a little tale of the first movie my father rented when he bought the family’s original gangsta VCR – VIDEODROME. Little did he know how much it would change the lives of both his children in profoundly different ways.I hope you take the trip back in time with me each month. Hopefully it brings a smile to your face and a shiver down your spine.

So, what was the first horror movie you ever watched on your VCR?

Big Anthology News : Kicking The Bucket List

I’m pretty damn good with secrets, but this particular one was killing me. Cemetery Dance Publications just announced the lineup for their newest anthology : Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. My story, Cry, will be surrounded by the work some utterly fantastic writers I admire like Norman Prentiss, Rio Youers and Brian James Freeman, just to name a few. Click on the cover image (makes me think of Sinbad movies) to learn more.

You see, for me, this is no small feat. This is one of the things I had put on my bucket list back when I got the crazy idea that I wanted to become a writer. “Buy a pipe and smoking jacket” was the first goal I put on that list, but I’ve since opted for cigars and motorcycle jackets. I’ve been an enormous fan of Cemetery Dance Magazine for about twenty years now. When people ask me what it is, I tell them, “It’s only the New York Times of horror.” I mean, duh!

If you want a Who’s Who of horror, all you need to do is visit the Cemetery Dance website and you’re in the thick of things. I was just asked by another uber talented writer how I landed a spot in the antho. The key is, it came when I wasn’t looking for it. I was at the Horrorfind convention last September and started talking to a writer who informed me at one point that he was on the Cemetery Dance staff.

He asked, “Have you ever submitted to them before?”

“I sure have, and I have a folder of rejection slips to show for it,” I replied with a sense of pride. Rejection slips are like war wounds to a writer.

“Even though they’re closed to submissions, I’d be happy to take a look at your stuff .If I think it’s right, I’ll show it to the editors.”

So, a few weeks after I got home, I wrote a story and sent it off to my new friend, hoping it would at least get consideration for the magazine. I doubted it would make it, and kept my hope stick mega-limbo-low.

A couple of months later, I get the acceptance email, only it’s going to be in one of their amazingly produced anthologies! Score! The hardest part was keeping it on the DL until they had the final lineup in place. Well, I can finally open my big fat mouth about it.

Publish a story with Cemetery Dance : check.

And I get to check it off because I went to a conference, talked to as many people as I could, and happened to meet one of the nicest guys in the biz who just happened to be connected to the Vatican of horror. (On a side note, going to at least one conference a year is a must and a hell of a lot of fun) That and I had to bust my ass to write the best, tightest story I could dream up.

Now I’m reconsidering tossing the pipe idea out. Hmmm…..

Check out the book that made this possible, Forest of Shadows! You always need that first domino to fall.

Another Mag, Another Curtain Call

This is bittersweet news. My story, Bottom of the Ninth, will be published in the next issue of Ethereal Tales at the end of the month. The sad part is, this will be the final issue. Keeping a magazine running is harder than you can imagine, and I thank Teresa Ford for allowing me to grace her magazine’s pages with a couple of my stories over the years. Finding quality horror magazines is becoming as difficult as the hunt for Bigfoot. Cemetery Dance is still the king of the prom, but lately the chasm between issues has been growing larger and larger (though I was recently assured by a staff member there that things will be picking up soon). I gues this is all part of the changing times in publishing. Anthologies are now the best place to get your horror shorts fix. But man, there’s something about magazines that I love, and miss.

Speaking of Cemetery Dance, they just announced the publication of Four Legs in the Morning, the newest book by Norman Prentiss. If you’re not reading his work, you’re depriving yourself.

So, back to Ethereal Tales, check it out and lay down a couple of pounds for a copy that will be full to bursting with new stories and great artwork.

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