Shall I submit one myself, or not?
I was just poking my finger into the giant bag of humbugs I keep in the house at this time of year, when the lovely Catherine Cavendish went and awarded me this awfully bright, shiny, sunny and horribly fairyish award.
I mean, thanks and all that, Cat, very nice of you, but can you see THAT hanging on my wall? No? Didn’t think so. I shall have to do something with it.
Anyway, I don’t even get paid for having that on my site, I have to tell you seven facts that you don’t already know about me. As I’ve done this kind of thing before this will not be easy. Now, let’s see…
- I wanted to be an airline pilot: When I said this at a careers meeting at school the teacher laughed so much he had to sit down. When he recovered he gave me some leaflets on being a teacher, doctor, dentist, nurse… I didn’t become a pilot – nor any of those suggestions either.
- I did, however, have flying lessons. On my very first flight the wind blew a gale just after take off and we had to hurry back to terra firma. I have never forgotten the way that light plane was tossed about by nature.
- I was once run over by a wheelbarrow full of tools. It chased me down a pontoon and went right over the top of me. I almost went into the Solent.
- A girlfriend once told me she might be pregnant – at the top of the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t throw her or myself off, which is just as well as she wasn’t.
- I had my tonsils removed when I was thirty-eight years old. I’m glad I did because I was ill one week out of four, but it hurt like watching X Factor.
- I am convinced that the more drinkable the wine, the thicker the bottle.
- I have successfully completed my training to be a Humanist Funeral Celebrant and am looking forward to getting the formalities out of the way so I can begin using my new skills.
And now I have to nominate four people for this award:
Hmmm, I think I’ve figured out how to improve this…
Originally posted on Anthony Crowley's World:
‘Something mysterious was about to take readers to a new world showcasing the best in modern Horror literature’
The first issue of Massacre magazine was released on December 1st,2013. It is a superb and exciting publication including some of today’s best Authors of Horror and Supernatural fiction. The magazine itself includes a terrifying selection of short stories,Author spotlight interviews and dark verse,including ‘Head of the House’ by Steve Emmett, and ‘The Ripper’ by Anthony Crowley.
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Here’s Rupert again being GRIM
Originally posted on Rupert Smith:
A journalist recently asked me why it’s taken so many years and a dozen or more novels to get round to writing horror. The answer is that I never really needed to do it till now. I had a subject – the strangeness of small towns – and I needed a way of writing about it. I could have done a literary novel with a broad canvas and lots of subtle twists and turns (or at least I could have tried) – but that wouldn’t have captured the sense of threat and alienation that I feel in those places. So I tried a horror story – and that did the job. Of course people in quaint English coastal towns don’t do the disgusting, deadly and illegal things that are depicted in Grim, but I always feel as if they could.
I’ve turned my hand to a few different genres in my time – erotica, chicklit/blockbuster, literary fiction – and one thing I’ve learned is that each genre does a fundamentally different job. Erotica has one obvious purpose: to turn the reader on. Literary fiction engages the mind and the feelings through the exploration of character. Horror should scare – and, most importantly, should make the reader see the potential for strangeness and fear in apparently mundane things. That’s what I needed to do in Grim. I wanted to make people walk down the streets of small towns and think ‘Hmmm, that fat, depressed-looking goth could be a cannibal’ or ‘that sweet little gran in the teashop could be a plaything of Satan’. After spending a lot of time on the north Norfolk coast, where Grim is set, that’s how I started to feel. It’s about being a fish out of water, about feeling like a misfit in an essentially hostile environment.
The horror novels and films that I like are the ones that use fantasy and gore as a way of exploring everyday life and communities. I don’t like horror that is just violent and disgusting for its own sake, and I don’t like total fantasy. It has to be rooted in reality, and it has to acknowledge the essential ridiculousness of the paranormal stuff. That’s why I revere Stephen King, because his subject matter is always communities, not evil clowns/special powers/aliens etc. King no more believes in this stuff than I do, but he uses the genre conventions like a surgeon uses a scalpel.
Are they in love?
Originally posted on Ren Warom's Witterings:
On Tuesday Spawn and I ventured out into the cold darkness of winter, quite appropriately as it happens, to see Thor 2. Now I kinda loathed Thor mark 1. Aside from the infrequent exposure of la Hemsworth’s outrageous bodily fortune I found it thin on the ground. Narrow. Despite the magnificence of Asgard, the delightful gloomy cold of Jotunheim and, of course, la Hiddles unparalleled brilliance as Thor’s snotty half-brother, the part frost giant, possible god of mischief Loki, Thor 1 fundamentally failed to grasp my attention. It bored me. I laughed once, at the cup smashing moment, and the rest of the time I spent squinting at the screen, wondering why on earth it was Brannagh was expecting me to invest in. His attempt at a sweeping epic? Odin’s beard? Gold bullion?
I suspect half the problem for me was the eventual reduction of action to the one tiny town in the middle of apparently nowhere with that ridunkulous fight between Thor and the Loki Massive robot suit thing. The other half of my problem, in its entirety, was the focus on whiny, arrogant, snot-nosed little Thor basically doing a Frank Spencer-esque stumble through a modern world he’s clearly ill-equipped to handle without his massive…hammer. Talk about throwing things out of the cot. To be honest I sort of wanted Odin to do something more imaginative with the hammer, something that might involve extensive gastrointestinal surgery to undo. Hmmm, yes, I did not gel with that first outing, although there were characters and moments I enjoyed.
But this ain’t a review of numero uno, nope…I’m here to talk about numero deux. So I best stop wittering on and get to it.
Originally posted on Massacre Magazine:
His entry Burning Questions is the winner of our first flash fiction contest and Matt receives the prize of an Amazon voucher. You will be able to read Matt’s winning story in the first edition of Massacre Magazine, due December 2013. We will also post the story on the website shortly after.
Some of the submissions were so good we decided we’d have to also choose a runner up, and we are pleased to announce Jake Sheridan takes that second place. His story will also appear in Massacre Magazine.
Check this one out
Originally posted on reVamp your writing:
reVamped is a manuscript appraisal and mentoring service primarily aimed at horror writers and those writing paranormal or supernatural fiction, but I do take other genres. However, horror is my first love – I don’t think good horror fiction can be beaten. If you want to know if your scary short story really is scary, I’ll tell you. Do your vampires have bite? I’ll tell you. If they don’t, I’ll tell you why.
My feedback may be somewhat blunter than Dracula’s teeth, but an honest, impartial opinion is vital if we are to improve as writers. I’ll tell it like it is, but I won’t bite too hard. Take a look at what is available on the site, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any queries.
Oh, I agree.
Originally posted on Rupert Smith:
In compiling this list I thought long and hard about my ultimate vampire film. I love vampires, at one time I was quite obsessed with the concept, and yet nearly all the movies in the genre leave me dissatisfied. The silent classics like Murnau’s Nosferatu are overly arty (and don’t get me started on the Herzog remake, which is one of the worst films ever made). The 1931 Bela Lugosi version doesn’t float my boat at all, although I tried really hard to like it. Hammer obviously did some great work in the field, and I have a guilty love of the Twilight movies – but thus far, the only vampire film that I can watch over and over again is Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 production, pompously titled Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It sticks to the novel more than most, that’s for sure – and I love the book unreservedly. It manages to get some of the sex-blood-death stuff that Stoker evoked so well. But the real reason I love this film is because it’s so massively overblown, self-important and melodramatic. The opening scene has blood gushing out of crucifixes. Anthony Hopkins is more than usually dreadful as Van Helsing – parts of his performance make me laugh so much I start crying. Keanu Reeves is famously miscast and wooden as Jonathan Harker, with his ever-changing hair colour. The women fare better: Winona Ryder is uptight and sexy as Mina, and Sadie Frost steals the show as Lucy. Gary Oldman tackles the polymorphous Count with all the gusto of a Victorian actor-manager, hamming up the accent and the gestures for all he’s worth. For all that it’s genuinely exciting and moving, and it’s wonderful to look at. Bram Stoker’s Dracula ranks very high in the quotability stakes as well: for days after watching it, we go round the house saying ‘See me now!’, ‘Lucy harboured secret desires for you’, ‘Take me away from all this death…’ and ‘Are you going to cut off my head and drive a stake through my heart, you bastard?’.
Originally posted on Rupert Smith:
First of all, let me say something about another film: The Exorcist. It’s not on this list, in case you were wondering, because after repeated viewings I still think it’s awful. The narrative is a shambles, the possession quickly becomes dull and I find Fr Damian’s macho struggle tedious in the extreme. The Omen, which is usually overlooked in The Exorcist’s favour, is a very different matter. The central premise is solid, the gradual development of the horror is handled with subtlety and pace, escalating through one set-piece to another, and the sense of evil destroying a family is very satisfying. The parents (Lee Remick and Gregory Peck) are superb, Patrick Troughton and Billie Whitelaw steal every scene they’re in, and the child himself is really scary. I love the fact that some of it’s set in Guildford Cathedral, because I passed it every day on my way to school. I’m particularly fond of the children’s party scene, ruined when the nanny flings herself out of a window (‘It’s all for you, Damian!’). Heads roll, torsos are skewered, and Billie Whitelaw does a lot of biting. I find The Omen much more disturbing now that I’m a father; the climactic scene of Gregory Peck dragging his screaming son on to the altar is now one of the most horrific things I can imagine.