Horror Writers Association Blog

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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 …

Zoinks! By David Ghilardi

            Mitts was dressed as the Fonz, but now lolled at me like Droopy Dog.

            I couldn’t figure why. We’d decided Halloween was done for us. We were hungrily stuffing our faces. It wasn’t time to consider anything other than sugary satisfaction. We’d worked hard for our huge bags of swag. Enjoyment was set to last until Thanksgiving, at least. Mitts had decided to be like Ewell Gibbons, chomping into the toffee apple oozing with caramel and nuts.

            There was a pulpy crunch, then my friend turned towards me.

            “Roo rushes id luhg?” He garbled.

            I guffawed out a chunk …

Scary Out There with Dawn Kurtagich

Scary Out There with Dawn Kurtagich

Scary Out There recently interviewed Dawn Kurtagich, author of And the Trees Crept In and The Dead House. In this episode of the podcast, Dawn discusses the importance of horror in the world of children’s and YA literature, shares some of her own fears, and she gives us the scoop on her forthcoming book: Teeth in the Mist Listen to to the episode HERE!

Podcast Music by John Leonard French.

Dawn Kurtagich is an award winning author of creepy, spooky, and psychologically sinister YA, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and …

Ghost-Inspired Fiction by Loren Rhoads

Once I paid for the initial Haunted Mansion Writers Retreat in 2010, I worried what I’d do if the mansion really was haunted. What if things got really bad and I was afraid to sleep? Since I couldn’t drive myself up there, I couldn’t slink out to my car and sleep in it. I’d be trapped for the weekend.

As the retreat drew closer, my new worry became that I’d spent a couple hundred dollars to write for a weekend in a haunted mansion — and nothing would happen. The ghosts would ignore us, or they’d prowl around downstairs while …

Interview Spotlight: Ashley Dioses

Happy Wednesday! Today Halloween Haunts features an interview spotlight with poet Ashley Dioses whose poetry has recently been featured in Weirdbook 41 from Wildside Press and The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy (Issue Six).

Halloween Haunts:  Welcome Ashley! Having started writing during your pre-teen years, what drew you to the poetry format?

Ashley Dioses:  Thank you!  My dad was a poet and wrote a lot of children’s poetry that he read to me and my brother when we were young.  When I read Poe for the first time when I was twelve, I didn’t realize …

When I was a Witch By Paul Dale Anderson

Among the many reasons I became a board-certified hypnotist, hypnosis instructor, and past-life regression therapist, was a life-long fascination with witches.

I’d always suspected that my grandmother had been a witch, my aunt had been a witch, and my wife was a witch. It wasn’t until I experienced past-life regression that I recalled I, too, had once upon a time been a witch.

Writers, like witches, live most of their creative lives in altered states. We walk between multiple worlds. We bend and shape reality with our imaginations. There is nothing we cannot do when we set our minds to …

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