Tag Archives: horror

Meet the Author… Ken Stark

I’ve yet to read Ken Stark’s books, but I know I will… one day. Their blurbs stir something primal that makes you want to read them, to find out if the protagonists are going to survive or not. I’m pretty sure not all of them will… Meet Ken Stark, author of two zombie novels, a novelette about unspeakable horrors, and his new horror novel Arcadia Falls.

Ken Stark

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Biography

Ken Stark lives in Vancouver, Canada, where he worked in the armoured car industry for far too long before finally committing full-time to his one true passion. Ken’s writing tends toward the dark, yet through it all he remains an optimist, seeing a ray of hope in even the most dire of circumstances.

And yes, he once gave his lunch to a rat, but in his defense, the scruffy little thing looked hungry.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

Ken_Stark_Stage3So many things! But the top two would have to be:

a) Get out and experience everything life has to offer, and

b) It’s perfectly alright to be disappointed, but don’t get discouraged. Good or bad, every experience a writer has adds more color to the palette, and every disappointment brings us one step closer to success.

But younger me probably wouldn’t have listened anyway. He was kind of a know-it-all.

What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?

When the time came to dedicate myself completely to writing, I knew I would love it, but I was surprised at how much I loved it. I expected it to be like satisfying an itch I was never quite able to scratch, but it was more like breathing freely for the first time.

What does your typical writing day look like? How many hours a day do you write?

I actually have nothing like a typical writing day. I might write for 10 minutes or 10 hours, depending on my mood and whatever else I have going on. I punched a clock for so many years that I never want to think of writing as a job. It’s my passion, and passion doesn’t stick to a schedule.

Pen or typewriter or computer?

Ken_Stark_AlphaI would be completely lost without my computer. My brain seems to work at the exact same speed as my ham-fisted typing, so the words have a way of flowing in a very natural rhythm. And of course, a computer makes editing a breeze. It’s hard enough chopping out all of those fine words without having to rely on erasers and White-Out.

Do you write alone or in public?

I’m always alone when I write. I’m sure I could get along just fine in a crowded room, but only if no one was allowed to peek over my shoulder. Tuning out the distractions is one thing, someone reading an unpolished work is another thing else entirely.

What is your favorite genre? Why?

I’ll read just about anything, but when I write, I prefer a good scary tale. Fear is the most fundamental of emotions, after all. Say what you will about love and compassion and caring, it was fear that kept our primitive ancestors alive in a violent world and let us to survive as a species. Whether you shy away from scary things or face them head-on to get that rush of adrenaline, we are all hard-wired to feel fear, and if I can tap into that most primitive of emotions for even an instant, it’s as if I’m kicking up a few million years of genetic memory. That’s a pretty awesome superpower to have.

What is/are your book(s) about? Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

Ken_Stark_Arcadia FallsMy latest release is a break from the zombie apocalypse, setting the horror on a much smaller stage. Arcadia Falls is a town with a secret. People are going missing and no one seems to care, until one young man and his little band of misfits start to look into what evil thing might be preying on their town. I won’t tell you what they discover, but you know it ain’t Care Bears!

Does your book have a lesson? Moral?

It’s not so much a moral as an observation. As dark as my works are, the common threads running through them all are the simple act of hope and that ridiculously powerful force known as friendship. There’s never a time when all hope is lost, and a good friend in your corner can make all the difference in the world.

How did you come up with the idea for Arcadia Falls?

One day, I happened to ask my best friend’s teenaged daughter what kind of books she liked to read. Her response was, “Something scary, with a monster, and some kind of mystery.” From that barest of outlines came Arcadia Falls. It’s being marketed as YA because I kept the language cleaner than my usual, but that’s the only concession I made. And really, I did that more for the parents of younger readers rather the young readers themselves.

What has been the best compliment?

Ken_Stark_JittersI met a man named Chris Roy on the Deadman’s Tome podcast a while back. He is a writer, currently serving a life sentence in prison. He was interested in my books, so I sent him a few and he shared them around the cell block. Much to my amazement, several of those men took the time and effort to write a review by hand, photograph the piece of paper, and have Chris send me the pix. Understand that these are the kinds of guys who won’t hold back what they really think, and not only did they like the books, but they actually went through the trouble to tell me in those handwritten notes. That response simply blew my mind, and those reviews will always be very special to me.

Where can we find you online?

website,

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author page

iTunes book page(s)

Ken’s books are also on sale at:

Barnes & Noble

Audible

What To Watch? The Limehouse Golem

Ever since I saw The Boat That Rocked/Pirate Radio in 2009, I’ve been a fan of Bill Nighy’s work. Obviously, I like him best in Underworld, but he also plays in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, another two of my favorites. He didn’t disappoint in the movie I’m about to talk about in this post.

The Limehouse Golem

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Bill Nighy plays Inspector John Kildare, the main character who has to solve the murders. Originally, Alan Rickman was given the role of the inspector, but he had to withdraw due to declining health. I would have liked to have seen Rickman in the role as I think his appearance and voice would have suited the role better, but Nighy does a great job as well.

The second main character, Lizzy Cree-charged with murdering her husband, is played by Olivia Cooke. She puts down a very good performance, reminding me a bit of Helena Bonham Carter. Douglas Booth plays Dan Leno, the actor/cross-dresser, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him on the screen. Acting, of course. Daniel Mays was a very convincing constable George Flood, Sam Reid the weird and creepy John Cree, and Maria Valverde the jealous Aveline Ortega.

Plot

Nighy plays Inspector John Kildare, a man appointed to investigate seemingly unsolvable Limehouse Golem murders. These murders, graphically depicted, are so gruesome that people think no human being could have committed them. Lizzy Cree is the wife of John Cree, found dead in his bed. When the maid, Aveline Ortega, hands the police officer a vial with poison she found in the kitchen, Lizzy is taken into custody on the suspicion of murdering her husband. Kildare links the murder of John Cree to the Limehouse Golem murders. Throughout the story, the interrogation of Lizzy by Kildare is interrupted by flashbacks of what has happened to Lizzy in the past. Only at the very end does Kildare figure out who has committed the murders.

What I liked about The Limehouse Golem

It is a wonderfully done period drama, mixing a whodunnit with horror (says who you can’t cross genre in one story?). I loved the women’s hairdos, the clothing, the setting. It was all very convincingly done.

The story starts slow, picking up the pace and keeping you on the edge of your seat as more as more red herrings are thrown into the story. You keep on guessing until the very end when the revelation is made.

It was nice to see some new faces on the screen.

What I didn’t like about The Limehouse Golem

Toward the end it became increasingly clear who had done it. There just wasn’t any evidence yet.

Summary

Overall, I thought it was a most enjoyable story, taking you back to Victorian London (a favorite time of mine). It is a nice way to spend an evening, trying to guess who the perpetrator is and seeing the elimination process develop. Performances are great, enhancing the enjoyment. I recommend this movie to those with a strong stomach due to the graphic depictions of the murders.

What To Watch? Old Boy

Yesterday, I watched the movie Old Boy, a 2013 remake of the 2003 South Korean movie of the same name. It’s classified as neo noir, a term I had never heard of. Now I read up on it, I immediately recognized Sin City as being a neo noir movie. Sin City is about gangsters, however, copying the original 1940s and 1950s crime noir movies, whereas Old Boy is purely based on the blurring lines between right and wrong (and other stuff, but that would mean giving away the plot).

Old Boy

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Cast

The main character in this movie is Josh Brolin. I couldn’t recall a particular movie he was in but remembered his face. I wasn’t surprised when I read he played in No Country for Old Men and Sin City but definitely didn’t recognize him as Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy.  Brolin does a great job portraying a very unlikable character turning good (?). Yet, it was mainly the fact that Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley featured in the movie that made me decide to watch it. Elizabeth Olsen also has an interesting role.

Plot

Brolin plays the extremely unlikable and alcohol-addicted character of Joe Doucett. One day, after being drunk once again, he wakes up in what at first glance looks like a motel room. Soon, Joe finds out that this isn’t a motel room at all, and that he is imprisoned. Not knowing what for and having no contact with another living being at all, he is stuck in this room for twenty years before suddenly being released into the world. Now, Joe is bent on revenge upon those who have kept him a prisoner for so long.

What I liked about Old Boy

The film wasn’t what I expected. Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but it had a twisted (as in surprising and sick) ending which only became clear at the very end. The proper dark neo noir fashion with weird angles set the scene wonderfully and it goes well with the twisted plot. It made you go through the twenty years without being bored.

There’s one fight scene which is awesome, reminding me of the Daredevil Punisher prison fight.

What I didn’t like about Old Boy

(Contains some spoilers)

This movie is not for the faint at heart. I suppose it could be classified under horror, with the torturing and graphic fight scenes and all. I didn’t find it necessary for the plot.

Throughout the movie, you’re wondering why Joe doesn’t act upon his imprisonment. Only once does he try to grab the person giving him his food. Surely, in twenty years, you try to at least establish a bond between the only other person in your life?

During his imprisonment, Joe is shown aerobic exercises on TV and, only after years, he starts to work out. Suddenly, upon his release, he is a fighting machine, killing everyone in his path most efficiently. Really? From watching aerobic exercises?

The wound shown on Copley doesn’t match the injury he received. I’m sure the visual effects guys had a ball, but it’s anatomically incorrect.

The plot twist at the end was a bit far-fetched. I won’t spoil it for you, but I’m sure that once it’s revealed, you, too, will go; ‘really?’

Summary

Old Boy is a strange movie that combines horror, great fight scenes, and a twisted plot. I wanted to show you the preview from YouTube, but it shows you almost the whole storyline. If you intend to watch the movie, I recommend you don’t watch the trailer.

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The Darker Side of Fiction Takeover!

Guess what? Jo Curtis and Rachel Brightley are doing a takeover on my Facebook page (Jacky Dahlhaus – Author) on Monday evening, the 11th of June!

Come and join us for some fun and learn more about this awesome book signing which will be held on Saturday the 6th of October in Peterborough.

There’ll be fun and games, and I will be giving away a FREE all-day ticket to the event. It’s also an opportunity to ask me anything about my writing.

I hope to see you on Monday evening, 8:30pm at my Facebook Page! 😀

Meet The Author… James Dorr

Horror lovers are in luck as I have another horror writer for you to meet this week. Meet James Dorr, past Bram Stoker award nominee and writer of a novel, several collections, and too many short horror stories published in too many anthologies to mention. Apart from writing dark fantasy and horror, he also writes science fiction and mystery. James takes on an active role in the writing community as a member of HWA (Horror Writers Association) and SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Let’s get to know James a bit better.

James Dorr

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Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Florida, raised in the New York City area, in college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and am currently living in the Midwest. I’m a short story writer and poet specializing in dark fantasy and horror, with forays into mystery and science fiction. My The Tears of Isis was a 2013 Bram Stoker Award® finalist for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, while other books include Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance, Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, and my all-poetry Vamps (A Retrospective). As an Active Member of SFWA and HWA, I have more than 500 individual publications. I have also been a technical writer, an editor on a regional magazine, a full-time, non-fiction freelancer, and a semi-professional musician. I currently harbor a Goth cat named Triana. My latest book is a novel-in-stories published in June 2017 by Elder Signs Press, Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-day Times of Earth

How did you become a writer? 

I actually began writing fiction and poetry rather late. In college, for instance, I’d been art editor on several magazines, though occasionally doing some fill-in writing. In graduate school the situation somewhat reversed itself with me doing occasional fill-in illustration until I got a job with a university computing center as a technical writer. It wasn’t until I left that job, though, that I (with an M.A. in Literature), began to seriously try my hand at creative writing. Along with that, I’ve also had an interest in music and currently lead, and play tenor recorder in, a group specializing in Renaissance dance music.   

Who are your favorite authors and how much is your work influenced by them?

James_Dorr_TheTearsOfIsisTwo authors that I often cite are Ray Bradbury (who I approached as a science fiction reader, but stayed for the “dark bits”) and Edgar Allan Poe. Both, for their juxtapositions of both horror and beauty, have influenced me immensely. In fact, my Stoker® nominated collection The Tears of Isis is dedicated to Poe, “who led the way,” and is based in part on a passage in his essay on “The Philosophy of Composition” stating that the “most poetical topic in the world” is the death of a beautiful woman. Well, not everyone dies in the stories in that book, necessarily, but art does walk hand in hand with destruction, led by a poem about Medusa as a sculptress. And then, more death-centric, my novel-in-stories Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth also borrows another theme from Poe, that “[t]he boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague” (cf. “The Premature Burial”), as well as borrowing its very form as a “novel-in-stories” from Bradbury’s masterpiece, in my opinion, The Martian Chronicles. Then for two quick additions, Bertolt Brecht’s theories of “epic theatre,” particularly in terms of artistic distancing, have been an influence on some of my fiction while Allen Ginsberg, especially in his longer works with their cadenced rhythms, have been an inspiration for poetry.

Pen or typewriter or computer?

I almost always compose prose directly on the computer, though I may work out individual scenes or portions with problems with pen on paper. Poetry, on the other hand, is almost always drafted in pen, then rewritten to the computer.

Why do you write horror?

I like to get in characters’ heads, to write about, and figure out, characters under stress (not to mention invent situations to put them there), and for stressful scenarios horror seems the place to go. I’m also interested, though, in myths and legends and people’s beliefs in the inexplicable, where horror, again, provides a place to work these sorts of ideas out. 

Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If yes, why? If not, what do you think would make you successful?

James_Dorr_VanitasjpgYes, in that I’m doing something I enjoy, I’m being published and at least some people are reading it, and I’ve received some honors for doing so.

No, in that I don’t have as many readers as I’d like, publishers are not exactly beating down my door, and at best I’m just earning supplemental income, and not much at that. I’m admittedly not that good a self-publicist, but interviews like this help (and thank you, Jacky!). Also more reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, etc., would be very helpful so, if you should read this and consider buying one of my books and like it, please consider reviewing it too — just a few lines are fine, and any writer is helped by reviews, even if not all are four or five stars.  

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? If yes, why?

As a graduate student, I did a series of humorous science essays for an alternative newspaper under the name “James Bearson.” I was in a Ph.D. program in English at the time (I later got out and accepted an M.A., but that’s a different story) and did so in part to avoid questions like “what does an English major know about science?” as well as from some of my professors like “why are you wasting your time on that stuff instead of studying more for my class?”    

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

My most recent book is a mosaic novel, or “novel-in-stories,” Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth. In it a Ghoul-Poet, an eater of death, contemplates a city in which all have finally died, seeking to find out what it was that made humans human. It is divided into five sections and with an “Entr’acte,” the sections in turn divided in self-contained story-chapters, about half of which also have also been published elsewhere. To quote from the publisher’s blurb: “It had been a time when the world needed legends, those years so long past now. Because there was something else legends could offer, or so the Poet believed. He didn’t know quite what – ghouls were not skilled at imagination. Their world was a concrete one, one of stone and flesh. Struggle and survival. Survival predicated on others’ deaths.

James_Dorr_Tombs“Far in the future, when our sun grows ever larger, scorching the earth. When seas become poisonous and men are needed to guard the crypts from the scavengers of the dead. A ghoul-poet will share stories of love and loss, death and resurrection.”

As such, Tombs is listed by Amazon as both “Horror” and “Dystopic Science Fiction,” to which I might add “Science Fantasy” and “Dark Romance” (but beware: in that last category some stories are tilted toward adult consumption). It is not a “happy” book, I would say, but not an entirely despairing one either. To quote again, this time from Amazon and a review by Heidi Angell: “Yes, despite the uncomfortable and dark future predicted in this future world, key elements, like love, money, and humanity’s ability to carve out some sort of life in even the direst circumstances carries on with a heart-broken tinge of hope and legends.

“I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes to think deep thoughts about what they read. For anyone who has an interest in politics, social issues, climate issues, anthropological studies, biomedical, and for the curious who like to imagine how the world could turn out. For me, this was more realistic an outcome than the Divergent series, Hunger Games, or Maze Runner, though definitely not for the same audience. This is a grown up’s view for grown-ups of what a dystopian world could potentially provide.”

What is your writing style?

I don’t think I have a single style, but rather try to provide what a story needs. Tombs, for instance, is written in a more literary, almost Baroque style because I thought the overall story wanted a serious, “classic” feel. Tales in The Tears of Isis, however, may vary from stream-of-consciousness, fairy tale, noir, dreamlike, more action-filled, even to light humor (though with a dark side too). 

Does your book have a lesson, a moral of the story?

For Tombs I like to think “love conquers all,” but, boy, does it have trouble doing so! 

What motivated you to become a published author? How did you break into publishing?

James_Dorr_StrangeMisstresses.jpgI first met Joe Morey, then editor/publisher of Dark Regions Press, at a poetry reading at a convention when he asked me if he could reprint a long poem I’d just read. From there we talked about a possible collection, from which Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance came about, mainly short fiction but with a poetry section as well. Several years later I approached him about a second volume resulting in Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret. I would add though that I’d built up a number of single sales in each case, allowing me to choose about 25 stories for each book from which Joe would pick just over half, so I wasn’t exactly unknown. Then a few years after that, with PMMP’s Max Booth III, I’d also already sold him a couple of tales for publications he had worked on, so when he was ready to start his own press he contacted me, in this case offering me pretty much a free hand in editing and story choice (the only constriction that the book had to total more than 60,000 words), from which The Tears of Isis was born.   

Thank you, James, for letting us get to know you better. I’m sure many of us authors are in the same boat regarding getting reviews and sales and feel your frustration. I’m glad you took up this offer for more exposure. I hope many authors will follow your example and head over to the ‘For Authors’ section on my website!

Most of James Dorr’s anthologies as well as The Tears of Isis and Tombs, are available on Amazon.are available on Amazon.

You can follow James via the following social media:

Email: edgarc@rocketmail.com

Website (blog): http://jamesdorrwriter.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/james.dorr.9

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/James-Dorr/e/B004XWCVUS

Just to let you know I wasn’t kidding about the numerous works James has been published in, here’s the list available on Amazon!

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Meet The Author… Jay Raven

Birmingham-based Jay Raven has written multiple horror/fantasy short stories which were published in many anthologies. He is an author with multiple books under his name, not all of them in the horror genre. Jay has been in the writing world for a while, as a journalist at first but now as a full-time novel writer. Let’s get to know Jay a bit better.

Jay Raven

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Tell us a little about yourself…

I have passion for all things horror, especially vampires. As a teenager I’d skip school to sneak into the cinema to watch Peter Cushing staking Christopher Lee.

I’ve been a full-time fiction writer for 25 years, widely published on both sides of the Atlantic, but it was only a few years ago that I began to focus on my dark fantasy output. Most of my stories are set in the past – I jokily label it “harpsichord horror”.

In my free time I do a lot of baking, although I’m not sure the description free time is strictly accurate as that’s when I dream up my best plots.

What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you?

Just before Christmas I was signed up by Junction Publishing to write two Gothic horror/dark fantasy novels. It’s since become a three-book deal.

What is your favorite childhood book, and why?

Alice in Wonderland. Even as a child I loved its creepy, menacing atmosphere, laced with barely controlled mayhem.

How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

I grew up in Glasgow which had more than its fair share of Victorian grave robbers in its past. The cemetery near us had a small building where relatives would stand guard through the night to protect their newly buried loved ones. Learning about that made a huge impact on me.

Jay_Raven_StorybookWhat was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

While still at school I used to write local history pieces for my local newspaper. One was a three-part reconstruction of a notorious murder of a foreman by gangers building the railway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. My articles documented the manhunt to bring the killers to justice and the resulting public executions.

Just after part two appeared I was taking a shortcut home from my girlfriend’s house and I bumped into the school bully in the dark. I thought he was going to beat me up, but instead he was all excited and in awe, demanding to know what happened to the killers in the final installment.

Who is your favorite author? How much is your work influenced by his or her works?

Michael Crichton, author of best-sellers Jurassic Park and WestWorld amongst others. His writing is so tight, pacy and cleverly structured that it leaves you breathless. There isn’t a wasted word, character or scene. He is a master storyteller. I try to make my writing just as fast-paced and lean.

Music or silence?

I write with earphones on, music pumping. It blocks all external distractions and helps inspire me. You could say that my stories are created with their own soundtracks.   

Do you outline or just write?

Before I begin a book I spend two weeks creating a highly detailed blueprint – every chapter, scene, major hook, key pieces of dialogue all go into it and I end up with a 30-page mini version of the novel, which I just need to flesh out.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I’d bake artisan cakes in the shape of coffins and sell them at Dracula events in Whitby.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym, and if yes, why?

Jay_Raven_MiddleofNowhereI already do. Jay Raven is the name I use for my dark fantasy work. I write humour under my real name. I try to keep both sides completely separate. As Ghostbusters advises: “Top safety tip. Don’t cross the streams!”

What is your writing style?

I concentrate on making the work as visual as possible. I want readers to forget they’re reading and imagine themselves watching a movie. I inhabit the boundary between horror and fantasy. My work relies more on suspense than gore.

Do you try to be original in your storytelling or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to do both – I obey the rules of the genre but mix in loads of new elements to keep things fresh. In Blood Riders, for instance, my vampires have demon horses and can communicate with each telepathically.

Do you have any difficulty writing characters of the opposite sex?

No, I started out writing short stories for women’s magazines. That’s something many people would be surprised about.

Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?

Anton Yoska, the marshal caught up in the jailhouse siege, is an idealised version of me. But where he is brooding, I am just moody. He is noble and high minded, I come across simply as pompous.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Jay_Raven_ToSnareAWitchWitch Hunt – a series of whodunits set in an alternative history (1930s) where a Russian empire warlock is a homicide detective investigating murders that involve supernatural elements.

What writing wisdom would you bestow upon new writers?

Write the kind of books you would want to read, don’t slavishly try to recreate what is currently hot!

How do author friends help you become a better writer?

I kick about ideas with my fellow writers. They see things from a different angle, and are brutally honest  – which is exactly what you need.

What has been the best compliment?

A magazine editor who paid handsomely for my first short story said – “Love this – do you have any more?”

What do your fans mean to you?

Everything. Their support makes it all worthwhile.

Can you give us a bit more about your latest book, Crimson Siege (Blood Riders – Book 1) as it is launched today, the 22nd of May 2018?

 

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When ruthless bounty hunters target one of 19th century Europe’s most feared vampire clans, the last place any lawman wants to be is caught in the middle…


But for Anton Yoska, Lord Marshal of the Imperial lands south of the Carpathian Mountains, fate has trapped him in a supernatural stand-off that can end only in terror, pain and destruction.
A gang of mercenaries led by Anton’s former army comrade Milosh Drubrick have captured vampire aristocrat Stefan Modjeski, wanted for a string of bloody ritualistic murders, and have come to Anton to claim the reward and seek shelter and protection. And as Stefan’s predatory undead kin lay siege to the jailhouse, Anton is faced with an agonising choice – hand over his prisoner and abandon the treacherous hunters to their unspeakable fate, or stand and fight.


What’s more, the vampires have made him an enticing offer if he co-operates – they’ll save his dying wife by turning her into one of their kind. He can join her, and the devoted couple will live forever.
The jailhouse defenders are outnumbered and out of options. It’s a battle that can’t be won, certain slaughter for them all, and Anton can’t trust his scheming allies. But Lord Marshal Yoska isn’t about to surrender.


For he’s an experienced vampire hunter, a dangerous man when cornered, and a single minded warrior who knows there are worse things to fear than death…

Why it is a must-read?

It’s pacy, visceral and packed with twists and turns.

Here’s the trailer for Crimson Siege:

Thank you so much, Jay, for letting us get to know you a little bit better. Besides reading your books, I’d love to try one of your cakes one day!

Jay Raven‘s books and anthologies containing his stories can all be found on Amazon. Why not get your copy of Crimson Siege now!

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You can follow Jay Raven via the following social media:

Email: jay@jayraven.com

Website: www.jayraven.com

Twitter: @JayRavenAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fantasywriterjayraven/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYpfhXi_m6ePYfeHG_MPO7A

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3153810.Jay_Raven

What To Watch? Resident Evil

This weekend we binge watched the first four Resident Evil movies:

  • Resident Evil
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Resident Evil: Extinction
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife

Next weekend, we’re going to watch:

  • Resident Evil: Retribution
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil

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Of the four movies we watched, I liked the first one best as it is the most believable (ahum, well, sort of). It had the typical zombie setting: a group of people in limited surroundings, trying to escape zombies who decimate the group one by one. Apparently, the movie was made after a computer game and is the highest-grossing film series based on a video game (according to Wikipedia). Funnily enough, I can remember the Lara Croft, Tombraider game, but not Resident Evil.

Characters and plot

The film starts when the AI Red Queen seals off the Hive, the underground HQ of the Umbrella Corporation, when the deadly T-virus is released, and kills every living being inside with a nerve gas. The virus, unfortunately, awakens the victims again as undead, flesh-eating zombies. A group of unaffected humans (Alice, a few corporate commandos, and an activist, try to shut down the Red Queen (at the moment I must suffer a temporary memory loss as I can’t, for the life of me, remember why) and escape the facility before it is completely in lockdown. They have to race against time and fight the Red Queen and the zombies on their journey.

The most notable characters are Alice (played by Milla Jovovich, also known as Leeloo from The Fifth Element) who is the main character and who suffers from memory loss. Only bit by bit does she remember that she was a security officer for the Umbrella Corporation who passed on secret information, so a group of activists could steal the T-virus and stop the Corporation’s global influence. She appears to be a mean fighting machine, surprising herself with her abilities as her memory returns.

Another known actress is Michelle Rodriguez (know for her roles in Avatar and The Fast & Furious), who plays Rain Ocampo, one of the commandos. I find her a pleasing actress to watch as she always portrays a strong woman, but that’s also my complaint; she always plays the good-hearted warrior. I hope to see her in another type of role one day.

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Another known face is that of James Purefoy, who plays Spence Parks. He is the person who was hired to steal the virus and antidote and to start the outbreak to shut down the Hive. He was recently seen as Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon (albeit looking a bit older).

What I liked about Resident Evil

Compared to the next three movies in the franchise, I liked this one best as I think it has the best character development and surprises. People appear linked to each other in ways that were not known in the beginning, alliances change, deaths are realistic (as much as they can get), and surprises believable. I really got into this movie.

The cg is, for that time, is okay. I liked how they wrapped the dogs in meat to give them the zombie look (this is something I found out afterward). They must have been very well trained dogs since they didn’t eat their own costumes 🙂 .

I loved that scene in the ‘corridor of light.’ Don’t tell me you didn’t 🙂 .

That scene in the corridor of light
That scene in the corridor of light

What I didn’t like about Resident Evil

Shock effects of something suddenly jumping onto the screen freak me out, but that goes with most horror movies, and I’m just a wimp. To be honest, there isn’t much that I didn’t like. Maybe that one shower scene, where Milla tries with all her might to keep her breasts covered and then puts on something while revealing herself. I can remember thinking, ‘why did she bother?’ Then again, those days were different from today and nudity wasn’t expected.

I also never got that dress-thingy. Didn’t they have enough material to finish it? 🙂

The ending was unsatisfying for me, but I have to admit it was a good set-up for the next movie.

Summary

If you’re going to watch the Resident Evil movies, make the most of the first one as it’s the best. The rest are all spin-offs with little story or character building. I’ll let you know what I think about the last two movies.

Resident Evil is available on Amazon.

Killing A Vampire is ON SALE!

For three days only, Killing A Vampire is for sale on Amazon for $0.99! Grab your copy before the price goes up!

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It’s REALLY official now!

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Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I had to brag some more. Above is the logo awarded to the winners. So proud of myself 🙂

And the winner is…

ME! Plus forty-nine others, of course…

You may remember my post regarding me being shortlisted for Twisted50 Vol.2. Well, today they finally announced the fifty winners whose stories will be entered in the Twisted50 Volume 2 anthology. It was a long wait, but it was worth it :). Check out all the winners here.

My winning story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and is not for the faint at heart. It’s about a girl who stands trial for gruesome murders committed. You’ll have to buy the book to read the whole story, and, man, are there some twisted stories in there! At the moment they’re voting on the book cover, but I’ll let you know the link to the book as soon as I’ve got it.

Now, I’m off to dance around the house!

#Twisted50