Horror Writers Association Blog

Posts byMichele Brittany - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 64 ]

A Portrait of the Halloween Expert as a Young Woman By Lisa Morton

When my father passed away in 2015, I received an unexpected and lovely inheritance: thousands of color slides, many of which featured me as a baby, a toddler, and a child. One of the reasons this was remarkable was because I really thought there weren’t many photos around of me as a kid. My mom only had a handful, and for some reason – even though I remained close to my dad after my parents split up – I hadn’t realized he had so many photos.

I bought a little device that would allow me to digitize the slides and …

Under the Autumn Stars by Tim Waggoner

Halloween night is one of my first –and best – memories.

I was just shy of eight months old. I was my parents’ first child, and my mom was excited when Halloween came around. She dressed me in a pink bunny costume, and I had no idea why she put me into this strange outfit. Mom put on a light jacket, picked me up, and we headed out.

It was cool, but not cold. The weather was near perfect. I hadn’t been outside at night before, at least not for very long, and I was fascinated with how different the …

Hyaku-monogatari kaidankai or, This Halloween, Why Not Tell a Hundred Scary Stories in the (Growing) Dark? By Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

Japan is a latecomer to the Halloween party.  Since the millennium the holiday has grown in popularity, mostly in Tokyo, utterly influenced by the representations of Halloween at Tokyo Disney and Universal Studios Osaka, and entirely among young adults. Trick or Treating is out of the question (violates far too many cultural taboos), so kids don’t get much opportunity to do anything, and many adults find it foreign and annoying (and messy). But for the young adults of Tokyo, it is an excellent occasion to party and engage in two of Japan’s favorite things: cosplay and street gatherings.  Roppongi used …

Horror and Halloween in Singapore by Christina Sng

When you grow up in a haunted house, you expect to see something supernatural at some point, especially when an aunt claims to have heard chains dragging along the hallway and another family member allegedly saw ghosts.

But my skepticism grew up with me when I saw nothing. Not even a moving shadow. It was terribly disappointing. Then we moved, and I left my childhood home behind, along with the ghosts.

When I was 7, it became clear to me that what was on TV was not reality. Reality felt crisp and real while fantasy was a fantastic ride to …

How to Make a Monster By Janet Joyce Holden

I’ve always thought book-signing events should be cool and awesome, and with that in mind I always bring a few treats to give away. Buttons, flash fiction postcards, gift bags, and the occasional monster. Everyone, it turns out, loves monsters. They make people happy, so here’s how to make one (or a dozen) and if you haven’t done this before, it’s time to assemble a bunch of sharp, stabby objects and scare yourself silly (after all, what would October be without a few scares, eh?).

Gather the following  –

Half a yard of wool felt (body).

A square of craft …

Interview Spotlight: Robert Payne Cabeen

Happy Friday All! Today marks the last interview spotlight as Halloween Haunts welcomes writer, artist and poet Robert Payne Cabeen. At Stokercon this past spring, Robert was the recipient of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Cold Cuts (2017, Omnium Gatherum Media).

Halloween Haunts:  Welcome Robert! You have worn a number of career hats over the years, having become an accomplished artist, poet and writer. Of the three, which came first for you?  

Robert Payne Cabeen:  Thanks for including me in Halloween Haunts, Michele. I’d have to say that art came first. I recall …

Interview Spotlight: Aric Cushing

Welcome to another interview spotlight! Halloween Haunts chats with writer/actor Aric Cushing, who is also a screenwriter. He is the author of the award-winning YA book, Vampire Boy, and with director Logan Thomas, co-wrote (and starred in) the forthcoming film, There’s No Such Thing as Vampires.

Halloween Haunts:  Hello Aric and welcome to Halloween Haunts! You studied at the American Conservatory Theater and the London Court Theater in England and established an acting career on stage, film and television. What led you to get into writing screenplays?

Aric Cushing:  I actually started writing plays and screenplays in college. …

Interview Spotlight: K. A. Opperman

Happy Wednesday! Today Halloween Haunts features an interview spotlight with poet K. A. Opperman who penned The Crimson Tome (2015, Hippocampus Press) and who has a poem in the newly released Black Wings of Cthulhu Volume Six (2018, Titan Books).

Halloween Haunts:  Welcome Kyle! What was your first experience with poetry?

K. A. Opperman: I can’t recall my first ever experience with poetry, but the pivotal moment was when I discovered the poetry of Clark Ashton Smith sometime in my early 20’s. It was the discovery of his work that first awoke in me a deep appreciation for poetry, and …

Halloween Reanimated by Tori Eldridge

When I was a kid, the horror was mild, the giggling loud, and the worry left to a minimum. Gypsies and fairies roamed the neighborhood streets at night in unsupervised hoards, gathering sacks of candy, homemade cookies, and sticky popcorn balls wrapped in cellophane—eaten with glee and nary a thought of razorblades and drugs.

When I had kids of my own, Halloween became a time of bonding: school events, messy projects, family fun. The candy still played an important role but those home-baked treats disappeared. And parents, at least in our town, could be seen hovering at a discreet yet …

Setting, The Other Character by Frazer Lee

Setting is such a vital component of any horror story, to the extent that the place in which the narrative is framed can become a central character.

Take, for example, the eponymous building in Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House, which she describes so chillingly as being “not sane.” Susan Hill’s 1983 ghost story The Woman in Black finds protagonist Arthur Kipps shacked up and shivering in Eel Marsh House, a haunted pile that is accessible only via the ominously named Nine Lives Causeway. In these narratives, the setting becomes an omnipresent, living (or un-dead) force …

68 Years of Halloween by Steve Rasnic Tem

I believe I was seven years old the first time I went trick-or-treating. Before that I wasn’t much aware of the holiday, and I certainly didn’t connect it with anything scary. I remember kids coming to the door in costume and getting candy—not too many because we lived in a very small Appalachian town. I was in my PJs, peeking out of the bedroom I shared with my two younger brothers. But that’s what I did when anyone came to the door—I was a painfully shy kid, and outside school and church I hid from people.

But the summer I …

Interview Spotlight: Eric J. Guignard

Happy Saturday! Continuing the interview spotlight series, today Halloween Haunts chats with writer/editor Eric J. Guignard, whose debut collection, That Which Grows Wild: 16 Tales of Dark Fiction, was published this past July by Cemetery Dance Publications.

Halloween Haunts:  Eric, you have written short stories, collections, novellas as well as working as a technical writer, but you have also edited critically acclaimed anthologies. Can you describe your start as a writer and editor?

Eric J. Guignard:  Hi Michele! Well, I’ve only been pursuing creative writing/editing with the purpose of publishing since about February, 2011, which isn’t that long compared …

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