Posts Tagged ‘horror’

I’m thrilled to share my review of Demons, Devils and Denizens of Hell: Vol 2, and anthology of horror stories compiled by P. Mattern, edited by Ztina Marie and published by HellBound Books.

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/demonsdevilsdenizens2.html

“Another anthology of otherworldy delights, tales of horror, dread and hellish inhabitants, – all lovingly compiled by award-winning author P. Mattern.

Our second journey into the darkest recesses of Satan’s pit has superlative tales of nefarious delight by: Andrew MacKay, Ryan Woods, PC3, Richard Raven, Dante Crossroad, Josh Schlossberg, Brianna M. Fenty, Paul Lubaczewski, Marcus Mattern, R.L. Chambers, Gerri R Grayson, John T. M. Herres, James Nichols, Feind Gottes, P. Mattern & Lynne Ligocki Gauthier, R.L.Chambers, Richard Alan Long, Jaap Boekestein, James H, Longmore, Savannah Morgan, DJ Shaw, Bill Evans, Sergio “ente per ente” Palumbo, Jay Michael Wright II, and the incomparable Stephanie Kelley.”

As a reader of short stories I’m hard to please. I’m looking for substance and depth. I want to know the author has thought long and hard about character, setting and life in general. I’m not interested so much in being shocked or horrified. I’m interested in how the author is pulling it off. I want to be impressed. Also, I want wit. I guess that makes me hard to please. Especially regarding an anthology, a book readers will delve into when the fancy takes them, sampling rather than reading from end to end.

I opened Demons, Devils and Denizens of Hell: Vol 2 not knowing what I was to be treated to, save each story was destined to be either revolting, terrifying or both. What I discovered was a delight. Demons, Devils and Denizens of Hell: Vol 2 brims with cracking reads; the hallmark of the volume, strong writing. From the thoroughly revolting, edge-of-seat horror-crime story ‘Duplicate Counterpart’ by John T.M. Herres, to the mysterious and compelling, and ultimately shocking ‘There Shall Be No Night’ by Josh Schlossberg, and beyond, there is much to savour between the covers of this anthology.

Each story is distinct. James H. Longmore’s ‘My Possession: An Introspective’, a presentation of the state of mind of a sales executive turned writer wrestling with his inner demon called Dave, provides incisive wit and dark hilarity. As does ‘Beauty is the Beast’ by Gerri R. Gray, her protagonist, Vanity de Milo, a macabre twist on the children’s fairy tale the story alludes to.

Quoting from ‘The Huntress’ by Savannah Morgan, gives a taste of the sort of writing to be found in the anthology:

“Guts and entrails fell out like gruesome chunky soft-serve ice cream from a dispenser on the fritz.”

No matter the genre, sentences like that make a reader like me tingle.

Feind Gottes foreshadows his dark tale, ‘Black Lodge’, with some powerful imagery:

“A simple black lodge in a forgotten wood where ghosts feared to haunt but memories were free to crush a man’s soul.”

Like the other stories in this anthology, Gotte’s tale grips to the very last sentence.

The authors of these dark tales have stretched their imaginations, brought to bear their wit and drawn on their many and varied insights into the human condition. Not only that, they’ve applied themselves to the task of writing, and writing well. The result is a must read.

Buy your copy here.

Check out more from HellBound Books here

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“HellBound Books Publishing brings you an outstanding collection of horror, dark, slippery things, and supernatural terror – all from the very best up and coming minds in the genre. We have given each and every one of our authors the opportunity to have their shopping lists read by you, the most wonderful reading public, and have the darkest corners of their creative psyche laid bare for all to see…

In all, 21 stories to chill the soul, tingle the spine and keep you awake in the cold, murky hours of the night…”

Mine is called ‘Ignominy’

About a year ago I signed up for a free online creative writing course as research for running my own. In those ten weeks participants were invited to write the bones of a short story. I came up with plain Jane on a train. Yeah, I guess I was feeling a bit cynical and detached as I was really just being a spy, but I jumped through the hoops and engaged anyway.

 

Then I tinkered with this Jane and her train journey, and the more I did, the darker the story became. The result is ‘Ignominy’, a dark tale about a train journey, describing where Jane has been, who she meets, and what happens as a result.

I ended up loving Jane so much I employed the same style in a novel-length work, which I am hoping will be published next year.

You can order a copy of this anthology, available in all formats, and enjoy all the other dark tales it contains here.

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/shopping2.html

The anthology is also live on the HellBound Books Publishing app!

Enjoy!!!

When author Elizabeth Jane Corbett (The Tides Between) invited me to onto her site for an in-depth interview, I must have answered with my morning coffee on my desk. Her questions stimulated some detailed answers. I am no horror-genre expert, far from it, but I do have some thoughts about the genre and I am happy that through The Cabin Sessions, readers who would not normally go near a horror novel, are taking an interest.

“This is a must read for all who like to be profoundly disturbed by their reading. Or for others, like me, who are simply keen to see the best of what this genre can hold.” – Elizabeth Jane Corbett.

Please go to her site to read the full review and interview. And do please share it around if you like it. Horror gets a bad rap sometimes. I’ve spoken to many many readers who shy from the genre, which is rich with fabulous writing.

http://elizabethjanecorbett.com/2017/11/22/cabin-sessions-interview-dark-fiction-writer-isobel-blackthorn/

Click here to read more about The Cabin Sessions, with audio interviews, reviews and more.

BUY The Cabin Sessions here, if the fancy takes you.

I’m super excited and just a little bit spooked to be reading from my dark psychological thriller, The Cabin Sessions on The Panic Room Radio Show, hosted by horror/bizarro author and blog radio personality James H Longmore and Dark Poet Princess Xtina Marie.

new release! The Cabin Sessions – for those who like their horror dark and psychological.

 

The question for me is, which segment? Well here’s the weird bit. I recall a section I really like, bring up my Mobi file on my Tablet, scroll along at random…and somehow manage to land on the exact page.

 

Tune in tomorrow, Friday 3rd November from 1.30pm .  http://www.panicroomradio.com/   

If you’d like to hear me, here are more dates for the diary…

I didn’t plan to write a horror novel. Not at first. Although the elements were there from the start.

The genesis of The Cabin Sessions began in 2012, during a period of my life in which I attended an open mic every Wednesday night without fail. The open mic was held in a log cabin up in the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne, Australia. I was living with the host, Scottish troubadour and gifted songwriter, Alex Legg. Every Wednesday, I would help him carry in the gear. I drank the rider. At the end of the night, making sure I didn’t stagger, I would help pack up.

That year, I was writing short stories in between being Alex’s groupie. I had yet to write my first novel, probably because I was having too much fun going to his gigs. I knew all his songs inside out and loved every single one of them. Naturally.

One night, on the way back down the mountain to our home, I had the idea that an open mic would make a good setting for a novel. Alex enthused straight away. The next day we sat in a cafe in Sassafras and cooked up the story. This is where we sat.

Together we came up with a bunch of characters, including his doppelgänger, Benny Muir, who appears in my short story, ‘All Because of You’, named after one of his songs.

 

Alex supplied me with tips and quips and odd insights that could only come from an open mic host. With a notebook full of jottings, I figured out a plot and set to work.

Three chapters of composing later and our relationship came to an abrupt end. My creative spark for the story was gone and I shelved the project.

Two years went by and my life changed dramatically. I moved interstate. I wrote like fury and as 2014 neared its end, I had my first novel on submission, another serialised on my blog, and my third in the making.

That December, I received news that Alex had passed away. It was a huge shock for everyone. He was loved and appreciated by so many. He nurtured many a talent and was hugely supportive of local musicians. A foundation has been formed to keep his legacy alive. The Alex Legg Memorial Foundation

Taken in Belgrave by Kylie Horner.

It was early 2015 and I felt compelled to preserve his memory. I toyed with writing a memoir of those two beautiful years we shared, a memoir I had conceived when we were still together, one filled with anecdotes from all his friends past and present, but I soon decided the emotion involved would be too intense.

In the process of reminiscing those precious years I had with Alex, I re-read my old notes and chapters of  The Cabin Sessions. For me, it was like gazing at old photos. I couldn’t listen to his music. It made me well up too much. So I buried myself in our ideas.

Then, something astonishing happened. I realised Alex’s passing had liberated my story. I made a critical creative decision, and it was as though I had Alex’s permission to do it. I won’t say what it is. After that, things moved fast. In days I was hacking into those early chapters, revising the characters and tightening the plot. There were times I felt Alex was right there with me, urging me on.

The setting for The Cabin Sessions is a version of Warburton, in the Yarra Valley east of Melbourne. It was there, in a cafe that we first met. Our meeting was powerful. Alex even wrote a song about it.

The Cabin Sessions is my way of paying respects to Alex Legg and the two transformative years I spent with him. Even if my offering is grotesque, absurd, hard-hitting, at times deeply confronting and there is not a skerrick of romance to be found. I honestly believe Alex would not have had it any other way.

I am hugely grateful to HellBound Books for believing in this story. HellBound are based in Texas, USA. That feels fitting somehow.

A book launch of The Cabin Sessions is scheduled for December at Leggacy Sessions, the open mic run by the Alex Legg Memorial Foundation every  Wednesday night at Oscar’s Alehouse, Belgrave.

Go here to find out more about The Cabin Sessions

The Cabin Sessions is now available from Amazon.

I am delighted to announce that my debut dark fiction novel is available for preorder. Just click on the link.

http://hellboundbookspublishing.com/cabinsessions.html

This book is special to me. I wrote it at the same time as A Perfect Square. I see the novels as twins. Both contain dark themes. Both aim to disturb.

With The Cabin Sessions I set out to explore themes of domestic violence and child abuse, by exploring what might happen to people who live in absolute denial, or immobilising fear. At first I didn’t know if I could produce a character twisted enough for my purposes. Then along came Eva Stone. I wrote a piece about her for Bloody Good Horror Books.  http://bloodygoodhorrorbooks.com/?p=112

Writing horror is weird. I enjoy it because I get to unleash my depths. As for all the horror readers out there… #TheCabinSessions   Are you ready to be entertained???

 

Welcome to The Cabin Sessions. Are you ready to be entertained?

 

I’m delighted to reveal the cover of my latest book release. The Cabin Sessions is a dark psychological thriller/horror novel coming out in October.

Big thanks to HellBound Books!

Enter the remote and tight knit town of Burton, once a stronghold of the exclusive Kinsfolk cult.  Meet the tormented and strange Eva Stone…

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