Saturday, October 15, 2016

Guest Author: Patrick Lacey



Today’s guest author has published numerous horror short stories, as well as books like Sleep Paralysis: A Collection, A Debt to Be Paid, and now Dream Woods. Here he talks about what inspired him when he first started writing scary stories.


How My Third Grade Self’s Love of Goosebumps
Helped Spawn Dream Woods
by Patrick Lacey, 
author of Dream Woods by Sinister Grin Press

It's no secret that I love me some Goosebumps. At least I don't think it is. I've sang R. L. Stine's praises in many an interview, but I'm not sure those that are aware of my existence as an author (there's at least a few of you out there) know to what extent my childhood obsession shaped my formative years as a writer. I'm not just talking about those bad ass covers that I used to stare at for hours on end (which probably explains why I love death metal artwork so much), or the fact that you could blow through several of the books in a single day (something I did on many occasions instead of hanging out with my friends). I'm talking about the fact that those books with the cool covers and the break-neck pacing made me was to take pen to paper in the first place.

I have a confession. Something a lot of people don't know about. I think it's time to come clean, to shout it to the world, to get this off my chest for once and for all. I wrote a Goosebumps novel. That's right. You heard me. I wrote one and it's called The Curse of the Scorpion. Haven't heard of it? You're not alone. See, I wrote it when I was in third grade, huddled over a Power Rangers notebook, the pages of which I carefully tore out and placed into a Batman Returns Trapper Keeper (dating myself here) so as to create the illusion of professional book binding (it didn't work, but it was awesome just the same). I don't remember how long it was. Thirty, maybe forty, pages. But I do remember the plot: girl buys scorpion from strange pet shop. Said pet shop's owner warns her of a curse with the scorpion, yet willfully allows said scorpion to be purchased. Girl brings scorpion home and spooky things ensue.

Simple, right? That's exactly my point. R. L. Stine does not beat around the proverbial bush. He gets you into the story, gives you just enough information, and sets you on a roller coaster. Now, you could make the argument that young adult writing needs to be like that, but Mr. Stine takes it a step further in my humble opinion. Even his adult novels (See:Superstitious) do not deviate far from this formula. It's because of this simple, stripped back style that I decided to give writing a shot. If it didn't inform the style I've (hopefully) developed, it at least set me in the right direction. Later on, when I started branching out, I was drawn to writers like Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Richard Matheson, and Graham Joyce to name a few. These authors have a similar, bare bones style that pulls you along by the scruff of your neck and if I wasn't devouring Stine's work as a kid, staying indoors instead of pretending to enjoy playing outside, I probably wouldn't be writing this article on the heels of my first novel's release.

Speaking of which, I wouldn't be a writer if I wasn't trying to peddle my books on you. Just give me a moment of your time. I'll be quick. I promise. The first Goosebumps book I remember reading was A Shocker on Shock Street, which, oddly enough, takes place in an amusement park where many of the rides come to life. Again: simple premise to grab you immediately. Now, my novel Dream Woods is a bit more complicated than that. In fact, even the book's timeline gets a bit dicey as the story progress but my point is this: at its core, Dream Woods is a haunted amusement park novel. That's what it is, plain and simple, when you boil things down.
        
Even though I've written plenty since that fever dream of a session back in third grade, Dream Woods would not exist had I not penned my Goosebumps (fan fiction) novel The Curse of the Scorpion. So, keeping with the tradition of Mr. Stine's work, I'll keep this article short and to the point. If you didn't grow up with Goosebumps, it's still not too late to jump on the bandwagon. Heck, they're still putting out new books to this day. Not to mention the major motion picture that was released last year. The Goosebumps franchise is alive and well. Go grab one of the books, whether they're from the original series or one of the many spin-offs, and dive in. You just might like what you read, as simple as it may be. Oh, and one last thing: maybe keep away from haunted amusement parks and cursed scorpions while you're at it.


Follow your screams… 

When Vince Carter takes a shortcut to work he notices a billboard that nearly sends him into an oncoming van. 

The ad is for Dream Woods, New England’s answer to Disney World. It closed decades ago, but now that it’s back in business, Vince is eager to take his whole family, hoping the magic he remembers will save his failing marriage.
His wife, Audra, isn’t so sure. She’s heard the rumors of why the place closed. Murder. Sacrifice. Torture. But those are just urban legends. Surely there’s nothing evil about a family tourist attraction. 

The Carters are about to discover that the park’s employees aren’t concerned with their guests’ enjoyment. They’re interested in something else. Something much more sinister. 

Welcome to Scream Woods!

Purchase DREAM WOODS at:

Praise for Patrick Lacey
“This collection has it all, showing the world that Lacey can write and do it well. From frightening, eerie, soul-stamping to funny and gross, this book has it all. The man's imagination is incredible. A must read!!!!” – David Bernstein, author of A Mixed Bag of Blood
“It's a rare and joyful thing for me to read a book and realize I'm in the hands of an author who can go absolutely anywhere, who works without a formula and without a net. Such is the case with this stellar debut collection.” – Russell Coy, Amazon Review
“This fast-paced novella has terror on every page and will keep you searching the shadows in your home far more often than needed.” – Russell James, author of Q Island, on A Debt to Be Paid
Patrick Lacey, Biography
Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his Pomeranian, his mustached cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter (@patlacey) or visit his website.


Want to Feature?
If you’d like to feature Patrick Lacey on your blog or site, or review Dream Woods, please give Erin Al-Mehairi, marketing and publicity at Sinister Grin Press, a shout out at hookofabook@hotmail.com




Dream Woods by Patrick Lacey
Sinister Grin Press
Media Kit
Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi
Contact:
hookofabook@hotmail.com
Copy and Paste the below for your ease of use….Thank you!

Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #DreamWoods #ScreamWoods #PeskyBear
Dream Woods, Synopsis
·      Print Length: 135 pages
·      Publisher: Sinister Press
·      Publication Date: October 1, 2016






Friday, October 14, 2016

Photos from Mt. Shasta Retreat

Last month I spent a week in Mt. Shasta, California on a retreat through a company called Sacred Voyages led by Greg Magick Bernstein where we visited several sacred sites and energy vortexes around Mt. Shasta. It's truly a magical place and the retreat was just what I needed to amp up my creativity and get energized for my goals for the coming year. I had the best time hanging out with some fantastic people. I also got some inspiration for my latest novel, which I'm currently writing. Below are some photos from my trip. http://www.sacredvoyages.com/

 View of Mt. Shasta from our retreat house

 We spent a week at a beautiful 
secluded retreat house.

 
My fellow adventurers.

At Bernie Falls
Hiking above the treeline near 
the top of Mt. Shasta.
 
Our final night, we celebrated 
at a campfire cookout.
Me with my good friend and Sacred Voyages 
retreat leader, Greg "Magick" Bernstein
Every where I went there were 
beautiful views of Mt. Shasta.
Eating at Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta City
Exploring Pluto Cave north of Mt. Shasta
One of my favorite things to do is to explore caves 
and Pluto Cave has 4 of them.
I felt a powerful energy coming from the sun that
beamed through this skylight.




Sunday, September 25, 2016

Halloween Short Story: The Jack-O'-Lantern Man


I'm excited to share that my short story "The Jack-O'-Lantern Man" is being published in the Halloween horror anthology DARK HALLOWS II: Tales from the Witching Hour on October 25, 2016. This scary collection includes stories from several incredible authors: Richard Chizmar, Lisa Morton, Sean Patrick Traver, Annie Neugebauer, Ronald Malfi, James Chambers, Stuart Keane, Joshua Rex, JC Braswell, Lori R. Lopez, Malina Roos, A.P Sessler, and J.D. Horn.


Synopsis for "The Jack-O'-Lantern Man":

Every few years, on Halloween night, a legendary bogeyman stalks the rural town of Millcreek. For ten-year-old Corey Wilkes, tonight will be one filled with terror as he fears the killer is creeping through the darkness of his house. Will Corey and his family be the next ones slaughtered?

DARK HALLOWS II is available to order now at Amazon.





Saturday, August 20, 2016

Guest Horror Author: Glenn Rolfe



Black Sheep”
By Glenn Rolfe, Author of Chasing Ghosts

Before I started writing horror, I played (and still do) in punk rock bands. I was always the main songwriter. The transition from crafting two-minute punk songs to writing two-hundred-page horror stories was a challenge, but it didn’t take long to realize the similarities in my selected genres of art. They are the black sheep of the music and literary worlds. The shadowy corners that the misfits, the outcasts, and the strange choose to congregate.

Mainstreamers look down upon us. They wave our works off as riff-raff and as an art form for those with meager intellect. They say that we’re just people that want to be loud, abrasive, offensive, and that we crave the attention we never got in high school. Hey, maybe Donald Drumpf would dig us!  But it is so much more than that, isn’t it? Okay, on some accounts, the Mainstreamers are probably right. I’ve met my share of idiots in punk bands. I’ve played shows with guys who barf nonsense lyrics and can’t tune their instruments. Yeah, nobody liked them in school and it wasn’t because of the music they liked; they were just shitty human beings. But you find plenty of those assholes hiding behind successful careers, dressed in shirts and ties, too.

The real trick is when we pull it off, right? When you hear a punk song or read a horror novel that packs a punch on all levels. When the guitars bite, the drums send you into air-drum heaven, and the words….my God, the words strike a chord in your heart and mind. When the characters make you feel like they really exist, that it is you or one of your friends, and when that happens, you’re in deep, and you’re in all the way. One such band that is fully capable of achieving this holy union is Bad Religion. Hey, singer Greg Graffin earned a Ph.D from Cornell University. Take a song like “American Jesus”:

“I feel sorry for the earth's population
'Cause so few live in the U.S.A.
At least the foreigners can copy our morality
They can visit but they cannot stay
Only precious few can garner the prosperity
It makes us walk with renewed confidence
We've got a place to go when we die
And the architect resides right here”

Oh, I bet Drumpgf would eat this up and use it as his theme song like Reagan did with Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”…dope.  “American Jesus” is one of about a billion songs by Bad Religion that will blow your mind. Pick up almost any of their records and thank me later.

I could go on and on about horror novels that would shut the masses up if they’d actually give them a chance (Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones, Midnight Rain by James Newman, Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland etc.), but I’ll focus on my latest release instead. I know, so selfish, but I am on a promotional tour, so what do you expect?  

My latest piece is a novella called, Chasing Ghosts. It’s my first release with the fine horror folk at Sinister Grin Press (home to many greats including Jonathan Janz, Jeff Strand, Kristopher Rufty, and more). This was the fastest I’ve ever written a first draft. The story came pouring out in an avalanche of fright! Even though it is a novella (just over 100 pages), I managed to bring in quite the cast of characters. Some are my best friends. I played in a punk band called, The New 45. Ian and Connor were two of the guys in that band, and yeah, one of the other characters is supposed to represent me. It was a lot of fun to imagine what it might have been like if we ever did get an offer to play a cabin out in the woods, surrounded by a psycho family of woods-people.

The original title for the novella was The Last Show…you can see where my mind was going. I was going to keep it set on these three and the horror that would surely ensue, but like all stories, the magic took over and brought us into many different places. And I’m glad it did. It’s part of why we do this as writers. Those other wrinkles, and characters, when the town starts to come to life, when the community comes alive, all on its own. It’s when something that starts off as a dirty punk rock/horror idea finds a heartbeat and demands your attention. Anyways, I don’t want to give it all away. I want you to find out for yourself.

Chasing Ghosts is my owed to the Leisure Books Horror Club. I hope you have as much fun running through my woods as I did venturing into Laymon’s The Woods Are Dark.

Cheers!

Synopsis for Chasing Ghosts 

The Cobbs were ignorant woods-people that died off and left nothing to fear. Locals in Naples, Maine think they know this story. But they are wrong? 
Luke Howard and his mom move to Naples and Luke’s eager to make new friends. When Jason and Davey invite him out to the abandoned Cobb place for a game they call “chasing ghosts,” he’s ready and willing. However, the boys will come to discover that some vacant houses are better left to die alone.
Meanwhile, a punk band set to play in a rented cabin out of town feel eyes upon them. Somebody’s watching, but not their usual audience. When their lead singer strays too far from the group and disappears, his band mates set out in the darkness to find him.
Police Chief Walt Henderson is about to discover that there’s more going on out in the woods of his town than he ever imagined.
Chasing ghosts is more than just some children’s game.
Available for purchase through:

Also available in paperback!

Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Hunter Shea, Brian Moreland and many others. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness
He is the author the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, Things We Fear, and the forthcoming, Chasing Ghosts; the short fiction collection, Slush; and the novels, The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain.
His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, was released in March 2016. 
Praise for Glenn Rolfe
Things We Fear is a compulsively readable tale of obsession and dark suspense, with one of the creepiest villains I’ve encountered in recent years.” — Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh
“Glenn Rolfe’s new thriller is addictive. A quick, compelling read. Rolfe creates tension with a minimal amount of words. His characters are so well-drawn they come alive (before they die).” — Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage

“Fast paced and tense, with one of the most interesting monsters I’ve read about in recent times.” — Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to Be Paid

“Glenn Rolfe is quickly establishing a name for himself as one of a number of excellent new writers to ensure the horror genre is kept alive and well.” — Catherine Cavendish, author of Dark Avenging Angel
“There is a definite old school feel about this novella (Things We Fear). It isn’t an over the top gore fest. Instead, what we have is a tense, psychological thriller that builds steadily towards a fitting climax.” -Adrian Shotbolt, at Ginger Nuts of Horror