Sunday, 29 June 2014

Horror News.

Well it's been a long lonely time since I've been here. I've been riding a locomotive coupled with carriages of a busy life and actually being productive. So much so that I've had a good flow of publications in the past couple of months.

First to report on is a short story called 'The Television Made Me Do It' published in Dark Eclipse volume 34. The monthly e-mag from Dark Moon Books. With so many news stories pointing fingers at television and video games to conveniently explain away violence I wondered what if it was real. What if televisions did start telling people to go out an kill? I had so much fun writing the story, which in turn raised many questions, that I may revisit the theme in a longer format later on.

Next up I had the lovely surprise at being announced as the winner of the Summer Flash contest from Massacre Magazine. My story 'Black is the Brightest Colour' took top spot. As well as a monetary prize the story is also printed as the first feature in the print and e-mag of Massacre Magazine Issue #3. You can also read my winning story online here- Black is the Brightest Colour.

The next piece of news is difficult to report on at the moment as I don't have a release date. But it's a big one. My first single author published work will be available soon. It's a chapbook from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing's One Night Stand series. It's called The Brittle Birds. It's a story that mixes many forms of folklore and myth from the Huxwhukw cannibal birds of native Canada to Norse trolls, right through to western superstitions and ghosts. It's essentially the story of the last day of a man that lived a life plagued with monsters both internally and externally.

I'll post updates and buying links when I'm given a release date by the publisher. As always keep up with my horror fiction reviews at The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog here- Anthony Cowin Horror Reviews.

Until next time, take care and keep scared.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Writing on the Brain.

I'm always intrigued about psychology behind the practice and communication of writing. How does our brain process the written word? How do we translate that into thoughts and ideas? Here's a smart infographic that goes a small way toward answering some of those questions.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

Alison Littlewood has taken a risk in using a type of fractured tandem structure for her haunted house story. Supernatural tales are usually best left to a straightforward narrative that drives the reader along. But this isn’t a normal ghost story. This is a story of how ghosts are created and more importantly how they change the living world around them. The author took a risk and it paid off in spades.

The novel starts in present day. Nothing too unfamiliar here. A large country place called Mire House left in a will to Emma, a protagonist battling her own internal ghosts, a mystery surround the house and Charlie an uninvited relative from her childhood. While this territory may be familiar what follows is anything but.

The present is used like a framing device for two strands set in the past. The writing in the first part is haunting and beautifully written. It’s the kind of opening to a book that power companies love, as it’ll keep bedroom lights on all night across the country. Spectral visions, mysterious relatives showing up unannounced and terrifying events build to a horrifying crescendo. Then we’re swiftly transported back to the 1970s and meet a group of young boys daring each other to enter Mire House.

This is where we follow the path of the dark woman who haunts the house and the adjoining cemetery. Alison Littlewood never allows you enjoy the exploits of these young scamps for too long without reminding you of the ghosts that lurk and the dangers they pose.

Read the full review here- The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Whitstable by Stephen Volk

This understanding and the empathy it evokes in Cushing is the catalyst for the dark thriller that follows. Volk places enough doubt in the reader’s mind to empathise with Cushing while worrying he may be making a huge and damaging mistake. This tension suffuses each page with a nervous energy in the first half of the book.

This spiraling of uncertainty locked together with threats and lies had me turning the pages with real enthusiasm and anticipation

Friday, 3 January 2014

Children of the Night

Here's a short and spooky horror theme I composed. It's not for anything in particular but to experiment with atmospheric horror music. Imagine a camera swooping over dark farmlands as the music plays. Car headlights dip and shine through twisting country roads in the distance. As the camera pulls up on a large house with dark windows the car also pulls into the driveway. As the headlights are switched off and the family step from the car we see a swing and a roundabout moving with no children nearby.

These are the Children of the Night.

Paws: The Revenge.