Horror Writers Association Blog

Posts byMichele Brittany - 3/6 - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 64 ]

National Dark Poetry Day by Peter Adam Salomon

One of the oldest surviving works of literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh. It dates back to the 18th Century BCE. For those unfamiliar with the story, here’s a short recap:

Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, is friends with Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods as Gilgamesh’s peer to distract him from oppressing the people of Uruk. Together, they journey to the Cedar Mountain to defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian. Later they kill the Bull of Heaven, which the goddess Ishtar sends to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. As a punishment for these actions, the gods sentence …

Publisher Tips from Kate at Omnium Gatherum by Kate Jonez

Happy Octoberween—the holiday for people who celebrate all month long! For many years now, I’ve been working with new authors as chief editor at the Bram Stoker Award ® winning small press Omnium Gatherum. I also critique, edit and ghostwrite fiction and non-fiction for clients with a wide variety of experience levels. I suspect this is the reason that I get asked fairly often if I have any advice for new authors. In honor of the season, I’ll be doling out this advice like tasty, tasty Halloween candy.

In the journey to becoming an author there are many possible …

Interview Spotlight: Sean Patrick Traver

Happy Friday everyone! Today, Halloween Haunts catches up with horror writer Sean Patrick Traver, author of The Temple Tree & Towerseries and the recent novella, Wraith Ladies Who Lunch. Both are in print and available at Amazon.

Halloween Haunts:  As a life-long resident of Los Angeles, Sean you often set your stories, such as your recent Wraith Ladies Who Lunchand Red Witch: The Tales of Ingrid Redstone(The Temple Tree & Towerseries), in LA. Can you discuss why it is important to write what you know?

Sean Patrick Traver: Well, I figure it gives me …

Halloween – Haunted Places of New Zealand by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray

In our Underworld Gothic blogpost last year, we pointed out that Halloween isn’t really a thing down under in New Zealand. It’s true: hardly anyone goes trick-or-treating, you don’t see plastic skeletons propped up in our front yards, and, in fact, most households don’t even buy candyin preparation for the holiday. In that post, we summarised our thoughts on why Halloween is such a non-event here, including the observation that ghosts and the supernatural are an everyday thing in Aotearoa. In fact, when it comes to ghosts, New Zealanders are spoiled for choice. So, instead of making excuses about …

Wings of the Seraph by Jeffrey LeBlanc

The most magical time of year—Halloween! Bring on the costumes, candy, and the monsters.

Let’s focus on the creeping villain, the slimily misunderstood, the tortured, and the turned. Monsters of all types hover, slither and ooze from above and below. Is it the mausoleum darkness of the year or the pervading chill of dread and death they bring?

Maybe it’s a little of both.

I kick off Halloween on the Horror Writer’s blog with a poem to set the mood for this ghastly occasion. I hope you and our fellow ghouls enjoy.

Check out the excerpt from the full horror …

How to throw a Halloween Soiree by Heddy Johannesen

First create spooky invitations for all of your friends, whether furry, human or undead. Or jazz a Facebook party event page and invite them there. Plan it ahead of time. Then enter your kitchen, summon your inner kitchen witch and throw open your cupboards. After a good scrub clean, evaluate what ingredients you have. Then brew some good munchies for your party ahead of time.

Then dig up your best Halloween decorations from last year. Or if you are like me and other weird people, you left your decorations up all year from the last creepy shindig. A black spidery …

Halloween Haunts 2018 – Welcome!

It was three years ago that I was editing my second academic anthology, which was on space horror films. As an academic-focused writer/editor, not a fiction writer, the Horror Writers Association was not on my list of organizations that I was considering to join. However, as an independent scholar without a higher institution to call home, I was seeking a community of like-minded individuals. Since I qualified for HWA’s academic member status, I paid my dues and made my home with the Los Angeles Chapter.

In the first months, I felt like a duck among the swans of fiction writers, …

“Why Do We Love Halloween?” By JG Faherty

As a horror writer, it’s kind of expected of me that I’ll be enamored of the Halloween season. And it’s no secret that I am! But I loved Halloween long before I became a writer. Even as a little kid I looked forward to Halloween as much as I did Christmas.

The question is, why?

For a child, the reasons are pretty easy to figure out. Lots of candy. Lots and lots of candy! The chance to dress up in a costume and run around the neighborhood relatively unsupervised (at least back in my day). Halloween was the only cool …

“How We Made a Monster (and scared the bejeebers out of an entire high school)!” By Lloyd F. Ritchey

We watched with glee as a man scooped up a little girl and bolted for the door. The kid was kicking and screaming with fright. “Ah,” I thought. “Another successful show!”

I was a high school junior, and my esteemed institution was holding a Halloween-themed open house. The classrooms were crammed with the usual flaccid haunted house stuff: “Come inside kiddies, feel the witch’s guts.” (Bowl of cold spaghetti). Her eyeballs—hard-boiled eggs. Yawn.

My friends, Warren and Pete, and I had presented the school fathers with a proposal: we would produce Halloween shows a-la Frankenstein that would run about five …

“Underworld Gothic” By Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray

Lee Murray: We’ll probably shock our American colleagues by saying Halloween isn’t really a thing down here in New Zealand. No neighbourhoods of kids out Trick or Treating. No pumpkins on the doorstep. For HWA members this is akin to blasphemy. Do you think they’ll revoke our memberships?

Dan Rabarts: Well, we’re here to shock a little, aren’t we? In New Zealand we’re starting to see a bit of Trick or Treating on Halloween, but for whatever reason, it’s never really caught on. Halloween in the Southern Hemisphere comes about in late spring, so it’s not dark or cold when …

“A Halloween Ritual” By Naching T. Kassa

Halloween is a magical time for children. October chill fills the air, frost glittered pumpkins wait in the patch, and disguised friends roam the streets. Halloween traditions increase the enchantment. In my family, one ritual stood out above all others. This was the Halloween ghost story.

The tale was always told before bedtime, when shadows had extinguished the light of day. My mother, the storyteller, made sure we were snug in our beds before adopting a suitably spooky tone. Sometimes, the story was lighthearted with a silly twist at the end. Other times, the story was more frightening, much like …

“The 1970s, The Goatman, and Me” By Sheri White

The 70s were a scary time to be a kid. It was an era of urban legends, UFO sightings, Bigfoot, and demon possessions.

In my town, our urban legend was the Goatman. Half-man, half-goat (obviously), he lived in a derelict shack in the woods behind my elementary school. According to those who had “seen” this creature (usually older kids), it had the head and chest of a man and the body and four legs of a goat. And he would kill you if he caught you.

How he was supposed to accomplish this, and why he wanted to were never …

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