Saying Goodbye to 2015

There’s always something quite nice and refreshing about a new year. I always find myself gearing up ready for exciting things. I make goals for myself and put in plot points to reach them. I relish the idea of starting afresh and while 2015 has not been a particularly arduous year, I feel like 2016 is signalling great new things to come.

Already I have had news that a co-written novella by myself and David Owain Hughes has been accepted for publication. I have a novel in with Dark Chapters Press which I hope to hear about come February and already a couple of short stories lined up to be in anthologies.

I have plans to finish writing a series of novels that I’m working on. This year I wrote two which means I’m challenging myself to write five novels next year in that series. I have another idea brewing that could possible be something in the middle grade/YA range which I’m excited about and of course I’ll try and keep up with short story submissions.

In other things I want to challenge myself to read more. Although the latter half of this year has gotten relatively better, I’ve picked up an actual reading challenge and started compiling a list of books that I want to acquire.

And of course there are those usual personal goals in amongst all of that including being more organised and certainly more assertive. That’s always a hard one, isn’t it?

Whether you’re a goal setter or not, I wish you all the most happy of New Years and hope that 2016 brings everything you could want.

 

 

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Blood Moon Rising Event

I bet you’ve all heard of the Blood Moon that’s going to be happening overnight? I know I’ll be up to watch this rare phenomenon that won’t happen again until 2033. But what about Blood Moon Rising the event?

Are you a fan of horror, sci-fi or fantasy? Do you love reading? If so, this event is for you. I’m taking part in a social event hosted on facebook whereby 31 authors will get to talk to you over the course of the month of October to tell you about themselves and their work. It’s a great chance to meet and greet some new authors and find some new reading material. I know I’ll be tuning in every day to see who I can meet!

I’ll be taking part in this wonderful event on 11th October where I’ll have the full day for a Q&A and you will be able to get snippets of my current work in progress. Interested? All you have to do is follow this link: Blood Moon Rising Facebook Event

I hope to see you there so I can connect with you all!

Guest Post: Broken Toy by David Owain Hughes

If you read my last post you’ll see that I mentioned a very talented man that I’ve been co-writing a novella with… well this is the guy! He’s taking time out of his busy schedule to guest post on my blog and talk about why horror works for him.

David Owain Hughes

“Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”

― Bane

Why Horror, David?

Because I was born of it; grew up living in a world full of it, along with fear and sadness…But hey, the poet needs the pain, right?

Let me explain, but I fear I won’t be able to keep it from sounding like a cliché – I’m not typical of writing or talking about sob stories for attention, drama or any other reason…I just feel as though I have to get this out, as much stuff has been going on in my life lately.

Before I go any further, I just want it to be known that I love my parents, and that how my childhood was, doesn’t change that. In fact, it helped instil in me a love for horror and violence.

Maybe ‘love’ is the wrong word. I certainly love it now, as it’s a world I’ve immersed myself in – I get great joy out of it with my writing, as I strive to become a known and loved author.

But back in my childhood, I think to have called it ‘love’ would be wrong of me. I think the world of horror and violence was my safety blanket…Who knows? But it’s a starting point.

So, ‘Why horror?’

It’s a question I’ve been confronted with on many, many occasions. My answer? That I grew up on pirate, ninja and horror films from a very tender age; a tender age of five or maybe younger; I’m pretty sure I was five…I remember watching “The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf”, so five would have been about right.

That film was probably my first horror flick.

I also remember watching and loving “Flesh and Blood”, but that would have come later in the 80s.

So yeah, the whole I grew up on pirate, ninja and horror films from a very tender age is true. I didn’t make it up for shits and giggles!

Hey, I had older brothers, what can I say? I’m sure many of you were in the same boat, right?!

Anyone remember “Gymkata”? I thought that was the best ninja movie ever…Until “American Ninja” came along, that is. What about that pirate movie with Michael Caine? “The Island” – Cor! now that is an oldie, along with “Who Could Kill a Child?”

My heroes were Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger and Michael Meyers as a child, along with the “Garbage Pile Kids”, “Ghoulies”, “Gremlins” and “The Monster Squad”.

Every weekend my parents would go out and leave one of my older brothers to look after me – if it was Richard, then it was sure to be a night filled with blood, guts and carnage; the video shop was our playground…Yeah, I used to pop along with him.

Aye, for a shaggy, blond-headed five-year-old, I was made of pretty stern stuff. I loved the gore and monsters, but my nightmares were horrific, if you listen to my brother talk about those long ago Saturday nights…

‘The bloodier the better,’ Richard has told me I was said, whenever I ask him about my film likes back then.

Richard was also underage at the time, but only by three or four years.

You’re probably wondering where the ‘sob story’ come into all this?

Well, we’ve pretty much discovered where my love for horror has come from, and why I write what I write.

But why was it my ‘safety blanket’ as a small child?

The answer is simple – my parents had a very unhealthy relationship when I was a child. It was filled with drunken rage and violence; the things that went on, were the sort of things a small child should never bare witness to. I’ve never spoken about this before, only to close friends and past/current girlfriends.

I guess it’s not the type of stuff you just throw into conversations?

I’m not going to dwell on this part too much, but I am going to recant a tale that will never leave my memory.

Again, I was still very young at this point – no older than five or six.

My parents returned from a night out, very drunk I may add, and started arguing. I was upstairs asleep when they come home, but their loud shouts and my mother’s screams of pain woke me.

When I went downstairs, scared witless, I’d never seen a scene in real-life like it – nor to this day, in fact. The living room was a complete bombsite – furniture had been smashed and thrown around the place, with broken glass everywhere.

My fear turned to sobs of distress and panic, as you can imagine.

Running into the kitchen, I saw the walls were covered in blood – and I mean covered. They were running red, just like my mother’s face.

A shocking moment, believe you me; this behaviour of theirs continued throughout my childhood, causing me to live in constant fear.

Fear for myself and my mother.

Film and TV were my friends – I found a world in which I belonged.

Maybe I knew no different?

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though, as I was very much loved for by both my parents. Still am. It’s something that will never change, as I love them, too.

We only get one set of parents in our life…

My type of past would be seen as a negative by most who have suffered in such ways, or worse, I’m sure – but I’ve taken it and used it for a gain, and boy is it working, as I strive to reach my goals within my writing.

I wrote this post after I discovered a batch of old photos of myself as a young boy – the images of me playing brought a smile to my face, as I thought back. There were a lot of good times, especially the ones spent with my brother.

I have a son of my own now, and when I look at him sometimes, I think of myself at that age, as he’s spiting image of me at that age. His innocence makes me laugh, as he hates anything scary.

‘Not like your dad,’ I’ve heard my mother tell him…

Bio:

David Owain Hughes is a horror freak! He grew up on ninja, pirate and horror movies from the age of five, which helped rapidly install in him a vivid imagination. When he grows up, he wishes to be a serial killer with a part-time job in women’s lingerie…He’s had several short stories published in various online magazines and anthologies, along with articles, reviews and interviews. He’s written for This Is Horror, Blood Magazine and Horror Geeks Magazine. He’s the author of the popular novel “Walled In” (2014), along with his short story collections “White Walls and Straitjackets” (2015) and “Choice Cuts” (2015). After discovering Richard Laymon, David set out on a path to become the best writer he could, holding a BA and MA in creative writing.

Choice Cuts’ blurb:

Choice Cuts: A collection of one of the finest splatter-fuelled horror the genre holds, an unflinching set of short stories that will stay with you, horrors that set root into the back of your psyche & taunt your sanity to its limits.

Here lies fourteen tales of all that is baneful & bloodthirsty from David Owain Hughes, an author with an unflinching love for all things close-to-the-bone, grim & grotesque. Once you delve into these pages you will come face to face with an unstoppable force of pure gore. Readers of a delicate disposition may want to put this tome back on the shelf, while those of you who feel ready to be dragged along into the minds of the deranged & disturbed, the murderous & malignant who watch & wait…

Packed with fast-paced thrills & many, many spills. You’ll come face to face with what lies beneath the surface of the mundane & ordinary, step foot into the maze of murder, mania & madness…just be sure to come out in one piece, not just another choice cut.

We had the disquieting dioramas of stealth-like shocks & spills of Laymon…now we present you with Hughes’ own approach towards the antagonistic execution in the realms of the fear & mayhem that can strike when you least expect it. If you’re a fan of Laymon & Lee, you’ll devour Choice Cuts.

Choice Cuts

Choice Cuts

Buy link for Amazon: Choice Cuts

Review of Horns by Joe Hill

HornsHorns by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was both recommended and sent to me by a good friend of mine. It’s one of those where unfortunately I had seen the film first so I knew the storyline, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of the novel.

Ig is suspected of raping and killing his girlfriend Merrin after a huge argument in the local diner. While he can’t prove his innocence, he falls into a black hole of despair while hoping that one day her killer will be brought to justice.

When Ig wakes the morning after the night before with horns growing from his head, his first instinct is to panic. He goes to the doctors and as the day goes on it becomes abundantly clear that the horns are more than just protrusions from his skull, they have given him abilities to see what others truly desire and see fragments of their past.

It’s through this that he learns the true identity of the killer and plans to murder him.

Horns is a great read that had me hooked right the way through. The relationship between Ig and Merrin is really well developed and idealised throughout and the reader truly sees what soulmates are in them.

There is an unexpected twist at the end of this that left me shocked, but it was well done. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good horror!

View all my reviews

Emotional Writing

Something hit me this week while I was writing. If you are a fan of my facebook page you might have noticed that I’ve talked about writing something new this week. I’ve been working on it ever since I woke up from a dream and it’s flowed from my pen (and my fingers to my laptop) with so much ease it’s unbelievable. I’ve loved every minute of it so far and want to keep working on it, maybe once I figure out where I want it to go!

The thing is, while I’ve been writing it, I’ve noticed a certain sort of emotional, and perhaps even physical response. I think I noticed it more because I was working on a genre I don’t normally write and so I guess I reflected on the process a lot more.

What it brought to my attention is that (as it’s a romance sort of genre) that I felt my heart racing along with my main character. I was as excited as she was and a little hot when she realised how much she liked the guy. It got me to thinking… do you experience emotions while you’re working through writing a story? It doesn’t necessarily have to be romance but I write a lot of horror and suspense and come to think of it, I get all that too. I tense up and feel my shoulders tighten, my toes curl and I can’t stop typing. I sometimes type so fast just finding my way through an action scene or something that is so tense, I get lost in the moment.

Getting lost in your story must be a good sign because if you’re lost as the writer it means the likelihood of your reader getting lost is high. What do you think? Do you ever get an exaggerated emotion while you’re writing? Do you react the same way as your main character? Let me hear your thoughts!