Posts

Showing posts from 2014

HAUNTED ATTRACTION REVIEW: Castle Blood

Image
Autumn/Halloween is my favorite season and time of the year. Of course, a large reason for this is the fall festivals and haunted attractions that open up for business now. When I was in college, I used to go with friends to every haunted attraction in the area we could possibly get to. Nowadays with pesky things called 'adult responsibilities,' I consider getting to at least two attractions a good Halloween (if I can do three it's a bonus). Those of you who have been following my writing and blogging in recent years have likely seen me mention Castle Blood on more than one occasion as it is on my 'must go to' list during the Halloween season. Last night (Saturday night), some friends and I visited their brand new location, which is none other than a 100-year-old three generation funeral home. Here is my video interview with the owner, Rick (aka Gravely MacCabre) from back in September. Here, we discuss what's in store for the attraction's new home:

Interview with Michael Wade Johnson of Faux Pas Films

Image
My relationship with Faux Pas Films started back in 2012 when I was approached by Michael Wade Johnson to do a cameo in their dark drama,  Cyclical Effect . They also ended up using my song, "Ghost" in the film. The next project of theirs that I was involved with was 2013's Ovulation in which my song, "Ashes to Dust" was used. Since then, they have kept busy and are currently filming their latest project, Candie's Harem . So read on! :) TA: So, what have you all been up to since the last time we talked? MWJ: Films, films, and more films! After finishing "Ovulation", I wrote and directed "Incorporeal" and then a little short called "Attritional" while at the same time helping with tons of other projects like "The Dirty Sanchez". That and raising my soon-to-be 1 year old daughter, Adora, who is my brightest light imaginable. TA: Now, you completed a new film titled "Candie's Harem.&quo

BOOK REVIEW: David C. Smith's DARK MUSE

Image
Another book I recommend for the Halloween season. This is a review I posted on Goodreads and another blogsite about a year ago, but it still holds water. :) I love discovering new authors. It's almost like when you're a kid at Christmas time and you unwrap a present you didn't necessarily know you wanted but are thrilled you received it. I discovered David C. Smith through friend and owner of Rickert and Beagle Books (in Dormont, PA), Chris Rickert. She invited me to a reading of one of his newer books, Dark Muse. Unfortunately, thanks to a dying car at the time, I wasn't able to make it, but I was interested enough in checking the book out. So I later purchased it from her store and began reading it almost immediately only to be left in shock when all was finished. And I will explain why I do mean that as a good thing. Dark Muse begins with your typical "everyman", Jack Mathis. He has a decent job as a book editor, a beautiful fi

Music for the Halloween Season: Clan of Xymox

Image
 So in addition to all the horror/sci-fi/fantasy films out there, what else can help enhance the Halloween season? Music, of course. And one of my favorite albums to listen to at this time of year is the 1985 album from the goth/darkwave/synthpop band, Clan of Xymox (also simply known as Xymox).  There is just something about this album that makes driving through a fall evening with the semi-barren trees and the moon in the night sky with it playing on the car stereo (yes, I'm old-school; vinyl, CDs, etc.) that just really sets a mood. Even driving with it on a cloudy, autumn day sets a real tone for the season. The album has a dark, nostalgic, other-worldly feel to it. My three favorite songs on the album are "7th Time", "Stranger," and "No Human Can Drown." You can pick up the album and listen to samples at Amazon (but if you can locate it at your local indpendent music store, even better!): Clan of Xymox on Amazon Clan of Xymox

Night Terrors Series: Guest Post by William Max Miller

Image
A guest post by my good friend, William Max Miller, telling the story of a night terror he experienced years ago. Enjoy! And dream well... I found myself surrounded by shadows and darkness, laying flat on my back on an altar-like stone slab. A horrible, heavy lethargy paralyzed my limbs and, as I tried desperately to move, I felt that I must have been given a dose of curare. I could hear the loud, pounding sound of my racing heart echo like rhythmic thunder through my drugged body, and a dull roaring filled my ears as I struggled hopelessly to open lead-encased eyelids. My breathing came in gasps as I fought to force air into my frozen lungs. It seemed like I was sinking in quicksand, or that I was slowly suffocating in a choking cloud of lethal cyanide vapors. An overwhelming sense of menace oppressed me, and I realized in horror that a faceless, black robed figure was approaching. The sinister shape, like a figure from beyon

Midnight Syndicate's "Carnival Arcane"

Image
As I stated in a previous review: I love carnivals.  I love amusement parks.  I love stories and movies that involve them.  It's one of those things that you can't quite place, but they all seem to have a sense of nostalgia and mystery about them.  I also love Midnight Syndicate and have been a longtime fan.  Yes, I was the "goth kid" who sat up til all hours of the night reading the likes of Bram Stoker, Stephen King, and Anne Rice as Midnight Syndicate played in the background.  So you can only imagine my excitement when I met Ed Douglas at the Indie Gathering Film Festival a couple years ago where we were both guests. I also witnessed him being inducted into the Independent Filmmaker's Hall of Fame at the Horror Hotel Film Festival and Convention in 2012.  It was also there I ended up snagging a copy of "Carnival Arcane."  Midnight Syndicate doing an album of dark, creepy, carnival music?  Hell yeah, I was there. First a little back

REVIEW SUNDAY: Sara Brooke's THE MAD MONKEY KING

Image
The fair is typically full of fun, exciting rides. But you've never ridden anything like this. It sits in silence and waits - its red eyes glowing in the darkness. It waits to offer riders the chance for redemption or a fate worse than death. The Mad Monkey King is ready to take Gary Moore on a journey. He doesn't realize that he's about to enter a realm that defies everything that's real and logical. Because once he enters the darkness, he may never find his way out. The Mad Monkey King is a short story filled with horror, suspense and adventure. I love carnivals and amusement parks, especially old ones that have a history (I pretty much love anything old with a history). I love stories and films based around them, from Tod Browning's 1932 film, Freaks to the 1962 film Carnival of Souls to 1981's Fun House to 2006's Dark Ride , there is something about setting a dark fiction story at a carnival. Even one of my favorite music acts, Midnight Syndic

The History of Women in Comics

An interesting look at women in comic strips and books (the artists as well as the characters) throughout history. The first known female cartoonist in America was producing and selling in her work during the turn of the 20th century. I thought this might be interesting since a good portion of Descent takes place during the 1930s, right on the cusp of the Roaring 20s and the Depression, and this article covers a nice portion of that era. Women in Comics: The Platinum and the Golden Ages If you would like to join our community and receive content exclusive to email, join our little tribe and  Subscribe to my Messages from the Labyrinth Mailing List. . We promise to never share your info or spam you. Ever. You can also  subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new vlogging updates. ****** My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is p

REVIEW SUNDAY: Kimberly Bennett's TWISTED DELIGHTS: A THRILLING SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY

Image
Twisted Delights: A Thrilling Short Story Anthology is a strange collection of ten short stories which include a homicidal hairdresser, a doomed werewolf love tale & an unforgettable meeting with the devil. I met Kimberly Bennett at a couple events held at local bookstores and finally got a chance to pick up two of her books (both anthologies), putting both on my Summer Reading List. Recently, I finished Twisted Delights. It's a pretty short read at only 102 pages long and - as the description says - includes ten short stories. The premises for all the stories are very interesting and solid, and my two favorites, Aisling and Medusa Virus involve two well-known beings from mythology and are complete enough, yet leave things open for the reader. Not all the stories end happily, and you know what? I like it that way. Because sometimes in life, you don't always get what you want and events are seldom tied up neatly in packages. Though in a couple of the stories, I w

Accuracy in Historical Fiction: Is 100% Possible?

Hey all, Sorry for the delays in posts over the passed couple weeks. Things got crazy with filming and trying to finally release Descent. Since it's getting close to when Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) will be ready for release, I wanted to do a post on the historical fiction genre. While The Birthrite Series isn't exactly Historical Fiction as the genre is defined, there is much of it that does take place throughout some major events in history, like Roma Slavery the Great Depression. Before I begin, here are some cool and informative links on the subject from the points of view of other writers/authors. Both of which stress authenticity over accuracy. Stretching the Facts to Historical Fiction How to Write Historical Fiction: 7 Tips on Accuracy and Authenticity  So, as I stated in posts before, The Birthrite Series took me nearly four years to compile. After a lot of research and experimenting with different characters and scenarios, the story went from only be

Interview with Author, Selah Janel

Image
I had the awesome privilege of getting to interview Selah Janel as she promotes her newest work, Olde School. It's also cool when you read someone's interview answers and realize how alike you are! Read on and check out her really unique stories (yeah, I realize that "unique" tends to get overused, but it is very fitting to Ms. Janel and her works) :D BIO & INTERVIEW Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. The many people around her that supported her love of reading and curiosity probably made it worse. Her e-books The Other Man, Holly and Ivy, and Mooner are published through Mocha Memoirs Press. Lost in the Shadows, a collection of short stories celebrating the edges of ideas and the spaces between genres was co-written with S.H. Roddey. Her work has also been included in The MacGuffin, The Realm Beyond,