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Bird Box – It’s already happening…

Bird Box Zombie Walk

All right, so I’m walking from the office at suppertime heading for the mall and I see three people walk past me, staring at a small box in their hands. You see this all the time. It isn’t anything new.

But just for a minute I thought to myself – “Shit, it’s Bird Box. It’s already happening! People are walking around with blindfolds on.”

Bird Box Analogy

I blame it on the cold meds.

 

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

 

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Adventures in Self-Publishing – Book Bundles – Bundle Rabbit

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on Library of Erana:
I can’t believe it’s 18 months since I first started using Bundle Rabbit. How time flies! As you know I love Bundle Rabbit – but what is it? What does it do? Why should…

A QUIET PLACE – a movie review

a quiet place
Okay, so my wife and I watched A QUIET PLACE on Netflix night. The movie had me holding my breath for almost an hour and a half. Creating a situation where the actors weren’t allowed to speak really ratcheted the tension up. In fact, the couple of scenes where the actors DID speak kind of diluted it for me.
Okay, so I don’t want to spoil anything – but let me give you a quick rundown. There’s a family living in a house in the woods. There are monsters that will come and eat you until you’re dead, only they can’t see or smell you, they just track by any sounds that you make. So this family has learned to go barefoot and sneaky and make trails covered with sand because is great for sneaking on. There are other families out there, but everybody is way too busy with trying to be sneaky and quiet and trying to stay alive to be bothered with getting together.
That’s about the size of the whole movie. If you want to know more go watch the freaking thing, in a dark living room and try and keep a lid on your conversation. You’ll enjoy it better that way.
Trust me.
Now, I always like to take a peek over at IMDB.com after I have watched a movie, just to see what other folks have to say in their reviews.
I was a little surprised to see how split the opinions were on this movie. At least half of the reviewers felt the movie was dull and boring and did not make sense.
They kept asking questions like –
“Why didn’t they live by the river, where they could talk all they wanted to?”
Shit, I don’t know, maybe because their house wasn’t actually built BESIDE a river, and they were way too busy trying to stay alive and uneaten to bother building a brand new house.
I mean, have you ever tried to QUIETLY hammer a nail into a two by four?
“Where did the monsters come from?”
Shit, I don’t know, from Mars? From under the ground? Global warming? From out of Donald Trump’s ass? Who the hell cares? They are freaking monsters, doing monstery things like eating people and such. Go and Google “scary freaking monsters that eat you dead if you talk out loud or even get a bad case of repeating farts” if you really feel that you have to know where they came from.
“How can a shotgun kill a monster when the army couldn’t do it?”
Shit, I don’t know. Maybe the original attack happened fast enough to kill a whole bunch of the monsters and even more of the army. Maybe the US government was still shutdown and the army couldn’t get their asses together fast enough to do something about it. I definitely know that the government most likely fell pretty quickly. Most politicians that I have ever met couldn’t stop talking if it were a matter of life and death.
I mean, just stop and picture it. A bunch of those monsters are descending upon the House of Parliament and the Senate stands up and says something stupid like “Can’t we negotiate with you instinct-driven, giant-ear-listening, man-woman-and-raccoon eating monsters?” right before the monsters have themselves a political all-the-hot-air-and meat-you-can-eat buffet.
“Where were they getting their electricity from?”
All right, so I freaking wondered a bit about that myself. I mean, they had computers and security monitors and everything was running fine. I know that it wasn’t a generator, because generators generally make a shit-ton of noise when you run them. I suppose it might have been batteries or maybe they had the Energizer Bunny strapped to an energy-sucking slab in the basement. I mean, shit, everybody has got an energy-sucking slab in their house, don’t they?
I know that I do.
I call it a couch.
But sure, so I wondered about that but I told myself to just turn my brain the hell off for a while and just enjoy the freaking movie. I mean, I didn’t stop and wonder why Lon Chaney turned into a werewolf when the moon came up. I didn’t wonder if lightning bolts could REALLY reanimated stitched-up corpses when old Doc Frankenstein made himself a monster. Hell, I didn’t even stop and wonder why he needed to stitch things together instead of just starting out with a freshly-killed body. Maybe he just wanted to brush up on his cross-stitching.
It is a freaking horror movie.
It isn’t a documentary.
Do you hear David Attenborough or Morgan Freeman saying something along the lines of  “Now the giant freaking triple-jointed man-eating big ear monster came crashing out of the fucking woods and ate all of senators in existence – including the Washington Senators who were by now calling themselves the Minnesota Twins which didn’t fool the big ear monsters one little bit because, come on, you don’t really think that giant man-woman-and-children eating monsters can READ, do you?
Just stop thinking so hard, will you?
Turn off your freaking brain and let it wash over you.
I enjoyed the hell out of A QUIET PLACE.
That’s all I’ll say.
I watch monster movies to get the hell away from reality. If I wanted reality I’d watch the news – which makes even LESS sense than any giant freaking big ear monster movie you care to mention.
Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon

Top 13 Horror Movies of 2018

Hunter Shea has written about a billion horror stories – so the man knows his stuff. Take a look at some his picks for best horror movies in 2018.

Hunter Shea

Well, well, well, here we are again, nursing our New Year’s hangovers, making plans to go to the gym and opening up that new Dilbert desk calendar (and man, do I miss The Far Side calendars). 2018 had me very nervous, my dear Hellions. For a while there, I didn’t think there would be enough worthy movies to make it to the unholy top 13 list. Last year wasn’t the strongest year for horror movies, but there are some damn fine flicks to enjoy. So, take my paw and let’s travel back in time…

#13 – SATAN’S SLAVES

satans slaves

Talk about a last minute entry! I literally watched this right after I had finalized my list because I heard it was on Shudder. It’s not very often I get to tout an Indonesian horror flick. Not to be confused with Satan’s Slave (1976), this horrific ghost/Satanic cult foray into primo jump…

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INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 (a review)

As some of you folks know, Belinda and I have been watching horror movies all month long. I should have been blogging my thoughts on these movies we’ve watched so far, but a hectic schedule of public appearances in Ocober as well as some big book-selling events in November have left me deeply preoccupied.
 
Last night we finished watching MALEVOLENT which had a really cool idea to begin with – but it was poorly shot and poorly put together. The big wrap-up was poorly lit and badly shot.
 
I realize that I’ve used the word “poorly” three times now, but that just about sums this flick up. There was a good story and they’ve left room for a follow-up film, but all in all MALEVOLENT mostly sucked.
 
The second film we watched, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 made up for all that.
 
First off, we both really loved the first INSIDIOUS. The sequel was somewhat less than inspiring. But this third movie in the series lit my fires and kicked my tires. I was on the edge of my seat for the last three-quarters of the movie.
 
Lin Shaye, the actress who plays the intrepid psychic investigator “Elise Rainier” in all three movies, did one heck of a job convincing me that she was in touch with someone deep and dark and blood-chilling.
 
The actress playing the victim of these hauntings did a solid job as well. The only weak link, Dermot Mulroney as the Dad, was a little low-key for my liking. He kind of phoned it in.
 
I know that there is a fourth movie already available on DVD and I might just have to pick it up next month, after I have refattened our sadly depleted bank account with some fresh new book sales. Or else I will just wait it out to see if turns up on Netflix.
Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon

Horror Stories for the Halloween Season

David Kubicek

moaning-rocks

NOTE: Here again is the list of some of my favorite horror stories for the Halloween season. I’ve made two changes: I’ve added a short section on humorous horror stories, and I’ve added a link to Bob Rodden’s novelette “Sun Tea,” which, after being out of print for years, was published in digital and paperback versions in 2018.

It is almost an impossible task to make a list of good horror stories because there are legions of them, and there are many authors who aren’t on this list and probably should be. But in the interests of keeping the list manageable, I will only note a few of my favorites. The stories are listed in approximately the order in which they were published, ranging from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in 1820 to “Sun Tea” in 1989.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”by Washington Irving 

This is a well-crafted story by…

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How to make money with your short horror stories

I’ve always enjoyed my short horror sales.

Horror Made

How ToThe short answer? Sell ’em.

OK, but where? For how much? And what kind of Stories actually get sold?!

I’ve been wondering all of this as I’ve been whittling away on some of my own so I figured, I’d share what I’ve been learning with you as well.

I’ve broken sites down by their submission guidelines and how much pay they offer. This way, we can use this as a quick reference to find what we’re looking for.

This post has multiple uses in my mind.

  1. Who’s looking for Story submissions
  2. What’s the average pay for a short story
  3. Sources for reading some really incredible work
  4. Learning which types of stories are being bought

Constantly Updated Open Submissions

horrorfictionfactorheaderHorror Factor: horror.fictionfactor.com

This is an incredibly thorough source for Horror Market Listings sorted into multiple categories based on their level of pay. It’s a fantastic place to dig for submission options.

They also have a…

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