Suicide Prevention Week – Authors Care


I am indebted to author Louisa Bacio for starting up this initiative. Please visit her blog where you can read her own contribution, have a chance to win prizes and find a complete list of participants. Louisa is here:

Detail of The Death of Socrates. A disciple is...

Detail of The Death of Socrates. A disciple is handing Socrates a goblet of hemlock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suicide is something people don’t like to talk about. Not so long ago it was illegal to attempt to take your own life (go figure!). It was always seen as something to be ashamed of, and if a family member tried it the whole family would be stigmatised – whether the attempt was successful or not.

As a child I remember being told that a relative had hanged himself. It happened either before I was born or when I was too young to remember anything about it, but I was told as if it explained why ‘we’ didn’t bother with a certain branch of the family. My parents were always quick to put people down (no pun intended).

I never attempted suicide and don’t anticipate doing so now, but I thought about it often enough. I won’t bore you with my coming out story again, but as a teenager I had not a clue I was gay. In my environment gays were to be despised for the aberrations they were. I didn’t know any gays, though later I was surprised to find out which of my teachers were gay and that included some of the married ones.

This meant that my formative years were a trial. I never felt as if I belonged. I wanted so much to feel part of the world around me but I just didn’t. And that’s how the thoughts of ending it all started. The pressure to conform was enormous.

I’m a survivor. A fighter. I believe in Man’s ability to live a good and meaningful life without having to do as he is told. Tolerance is the key. We must appreciate our commonalities and be sensitive to our differences. I know that things have changed but I also know that some young people still feel pressured to hide their sexuality and other differences. People commit suicide for many reasons, of course, and if you visit the other bloggers you’ll find many contributions to the discussion. Thanks for listening to mine.

If you’d like to win a signed copy of Diavolino, leave a comment here. I’ll pick a winner when the blog hop closes – last day is September 14th, my birthday ūüėČ

Diavolino Giveaway at Goodreads

Summer is upon us at last and you’ll be thinking of what books to pack in your suitcase. So here’s a little freebie from me – hop over to Goodreads and enter for free, and you might be the lucky winner of a Diavolino paperback. It’s the horror story that has people talking – just check out the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Click the link below…

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Diavolino by Steve Emmett


by Steve Emmett

Giveaway ends August 12, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Best Horror Films For Halloween

Now I’m announcing the winner of my Name Your Top Thee Horror Films.

This was bloody hard because everyone had at least one film that I love. It almost came down to sticking a knife in the computer screen. But the winner is – Allan Krummenacker [he deserves to win just for his name, actually ūüėČ ]. Alan, I have emailed you so send me your address and the book will be on its way with the next carrier bat. Alan’s choice was:

Halloween (1978)

Written and directed by¬†John Carpenter, tells the story of¬†Michael Myers¬†as he stalks and kills teenage babysitters¬†on Halloween. The film begins with six-year-old Michael killing his teenage sister Judith¬†on Halloween 1963. He is subsequently hospitalized at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Fifteen years later, Michael¬†escapes and returns to his hometown where he stalks Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends as they babysit. The film ends with Michael being shot six times by his psychiatrist,¬†Dr. Sam Loomis¬†(Donald Pleasence).



House On Haunted Hill (1959)

Directed by¬†William Castle, written by¬†Robb White¬†and starring another great,¬†Vincent Price¬†as eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren. He and his fourth wife, Annabelle, have invited five people to the house for a “haunted house” party. Whoever stays in the house for one night will earn $10,000 each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers and other terrors.



The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Directed by¬†John Hough¬†and starring¬†Pamela Franklin,¬†Roddy McDowall,¬†Clive Revill, and¬†Gayle Hunnicutt. The screenplay was written by¬†Richard Matheson¬†based on his novel¬†Hell House.¬†Physicist Lionel Barrett is enlisted by eccentric millionaire, Mr. Deutsch, to investigate “survival after death” in the Belasco House, a place¬†originally owned by the notorious Emeric Belasco, a six-foot-five perverted millionaire and supposed murderer, who disappeared soon after a massacre at his home.


Before I give you my own personal treat for the hours of darkness, allow me to put my old architect’s hat on will you? House on Haunted Hill was filmed, the exterior anyway, at¬†The¬†Ennis House in Los Angeles. Designed by the great American architect¬†Frank Lloyd Wright¬†for Charles and Mabel Ennis in 1923, and built in 1924.

When I saw the film I recognised the house immediately because it is in fact the fourth and largest of Wright’s textile block designs, constructed primarily of interlocking pre-cast¬†concrete blocks.

Wright based the design on ancient¬†Mayan¬†temples and along with other buildings by him, the Ennis House is sometimes referred to as an example of the¬†Mayan Revival architecture.The relief ornamentation on its textile blocks, inspired by the symmetrical reliefs of¬†Mayan buildings¬†in¬†Uxmal, is it’s defining feature. But take a look at the place, it’s not spooky at all! Thankfully it is now a designated National Landmark.

Wright’s Early Sketch

Inside The Real Ennis House

Right. I’ve had my number one choice stolen from me already in this competition, so I’ve had to think pretty hard to come up with a suggestion for you. Next year – and won’t that come round all too soon – I’ll choose something quite different, but for the moment this should do the trick. Enjoy – and get the fly spray ready!


Phenomena (1985)

Directed by the master of Italian horror Dario Argento, the film was released in the United States under the title Creepers and heavily edited. Jennifer Connelly stars as a young girl who arrives at an eerie Swiss boarding school where the students are being butchered by a serial killer. With the help of a wheelchair-using entomologist (Donald Pleasence), she discovers she has psychic powers and uses them to pursue the killer. Great music, too!


Halloween Treat (No Tricks)

Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis appeared in fiv...

Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis appeared in five films in the series (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Definition of Halloween (Oxford Dictionaries)

noun:¬†the night of 31 October, the eve of All Saints’ Day, often celebrated by children dressing up in frightening masks and costumes. Halloween is thought to be associated with the Celtic festival Samhain, when ghosts and spirits were believed to be abroad.

We all knew that, didn’t we? Do you know what I do on Halloween? I watch the film of the same name. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it but it remains in my top ten. Maybe it’s the creepy¬†Donald Pleasence¬†– who was always one of my favourite actors – who makes it. I love the music, too. I know. Weird…

So it’s a great excuse to give away some books – some lovely paperbacks of Diavolino which is a great story for Halloween! What’s more I’ll sign them. The first is a Goodreads giveaway, all you have to do is click on the link below and enter. There is one book to win there:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Diavolino by Steve Emmett


by Steve Emmett

Giveaway ends October 31, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The second copy I’m giving away directly to the person who can persuade me that their TOP 3 choice of horror films of all time is the best. In the event more than one person has the same list I’ll put those entrants in a hat and draw one lucky winner. I will do that on Halloween, so you have the rest of the month to get posting your ideas in the comments box below!

What are you waiting for? Don’t hang around, you never know who is watching…