Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Lords Of Salem

   


     The Lords Of Salem - Rob Zombie With B.K, Evenson    4/5


                                                     






     For fans of Rob Zombie’s The Lords OF Salem there’s a lot more to love with the novelization. While some films allow authors to adapt their films into books Zombie has taken a new approach and allowed the book to compliment the film. What that means is that seeing the movie and then reading the book are two different experiences. The book is more detailed than the film and you get another aspect to the story. There are some scenes that are in the book that don’t exist on film. While it’s okay to watch the film and not read the book,  if you’re a fan of the film you’ll want to read the book.


     It widens the history of the witches and you see what happens and why they’re seeking their revenge. The book gives more detail to the characters in a way that the film couldn’t and sometimes because of this the book does drag a bit The book may not even be written by Zombie himself, but B.K. doesn't do a bad job with the outline that Zombie has given him. The problem may just exist in translating Zombie’s ideas into a book that fans want to read. There is a great deal of detail here and I think that this overabundance of detail to make the book an extension of the film makes it hard to keep it a reasonable length. I enjoyed the book, but sometimes wished it were shorter.


     I saw the film first and didn’t even know that a hardback existed and as I sat down to read it I was immersed in the story and it showed that having a novel that bridges the gaps that your film creates is both good and bad. If you’re a fan of horror The Lords is a pretty good novel, but if you hated the filml odds are you’ll hate the book. There’s no way to urge people to this buy this book unless they haven’t seen the film. The one thing that’s missing is the violence that permeates through Zombie’s work. There is a bit of violence here but not as much as I was expecting. The film is a lot more violent than the book and a lot of things that the fillm does the book can’t duplicate.



     Don’t get me wrong. Despite the laggy parts of the book I still enjoyed it. The Lords Of Salem is one of my favorite horror films and in my opinion the best thing he’s ever done. The book has a lot to live up too. I think that’s what the book itself is. A preview of the film. It wants you to see the film and once you do the entire story is presented. It all makes sense and you see just how amazing this film is. As a horror fan there’s a lot that Zombie and Evenson do right. They don’t sell out and go the modern horror route. They stick to classic horror that no one even touches anymore and the undertones of dark horror mix in well with Zombies tale of revenge. We all know what Zombie is capable of but sometimes it just doesn’t translate well written down.

















Monday, April 20, 2015

Edward Lee Goon

     Edward Lee - Goon 5/5
                                                                 


     Edward Lee is the king of Gore. Fans know exactly what they're getting into as soon as they crack open one of his books. Lee takes every single rule of horror and throws it out the window, and with it goes the idea that in order to be successful you have to be politically correct. Lee can and does craft novels that are shocking, and violent, but that's why Lee is so good. Are his books implausible? Sure, but so what. Most fiction that you read is implausible anyway so who cares. Lee is a legend of splatter punk and Goon is a continuation of his legacy. Then you add his co-writer or co-conspirator to the mix and you have a novel that is so over the top there's almost a comedic effect to it.

     Goon is a fast paced book that combines your traditional horror tale and combines it with a pro-wrestler who also happens to be a serial killer. Goon is a walking nightmare that takes hits like no ones business, but throughout the novel you really don't get to see much of him. He's talked about and you know that he's responsible for all of these murders but he's not in the book a whole lot. Of course the plot makes up for that and it wouldn't be an Edward novel without the usual sex and mayhem. Goon has that and for those who are pro-wrestling fans you'll be pleased to see that those aspects are well done and accurate.


     If you're a Lee fan it's business as usual which isn't a bad thing. We know that Lee can write a decent book loaded with the usual amounts of sex and gore, but for the uninitiated there's a lot to absorb and take in. It seems as if the book is just pure and total anarchy. Trying to lure new fans to Edward Lee's books is hard, and in the end you need a strong stomach.. Goon is a solid read with a shocking twist at the end. If you haven't read Lee and are just discovering splatterpunk this is a good place to start. Goon is a classic Lee novel that is just unrelenting and brutal.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Whispers Review

     This is my first review here and I figured we'd go over the ratings a little. I thought about this all day and wanted to keep it as simple as possible. No stars, no skulls, or middle fingers. So instead of getting some fancy graphics or some cool as rating system you get numbers. They range from 1-5 If a book gets a 1 it's a shit sandwich and should be avoided at all costs and I think you can figure out the rest of the numbers. People want things fast and easy, kind of like your mom. So here is my first review and if you like it comment, if you hate it comment. If you want people to see it, share it.

     Whispers Vol 1 - Stuart Keane  5/5

                                                 



          Whispers is a short story collection that compiles material from various anthologies that Stuart's been a part of. Even if you've already read these Whispers is still worth a look because it shows a writer who has the ability to write in a variety of genres. These are dark, twisted stories that explore fear and what I love about this collection is just how well it flows together. I knew that these were previously released, and a few I had even read but that didn't matter because one story flowed into the next and I had to see what came next.

     There is a common theme here and that's fear and revenge. Each of these stories explores the dark and forces us to see people in situations that they have no control over. There is a dark element running through each of them and Keane forces us to look, There's no other choice, If you're not a fan of Keane you will be after reading this collection. To steal a line from Catt Dahman; Stuart goes for the throat and never lets go. He devours. That's an accurate description of his writing style.

     This is a writer that knows how to make horror fans happy and for those who haven't read his work this is a good place to start. These aren't long stories and give a decent introduction to a writer who is growing and evolving. Keane knows horror and the only problem I had with this was that it ended. I've been a fan of Stuart's since his debut novella The Customer Is....and with Whispers we see just how good he truly is.

     I would recommend this to fans of Richard Laymon, and early Stephen King. There is a bit of gore and violence, here but it's justified if that makes any sense. He doesn't just go for the gross out because he can, he does it because it's necessary. The violence and gore are a part of the story. Keane knows how to shock you and it makes the stories interesting and you never see it coming.

          Without a doubt I give this a 5, and if I may be so bold I would give this a ten because this is how horror is done. This no bullshit, no weak ass attempt at horror. This is the real deal. You need a helmet and a seat belt when you read Whispers.


  Buy the book here:

 http://www.amazon.com/Whispers-1-Collection-Stuart-Keane-ebook/dp/B00W8KKHJE/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1429300901&sr=1-2&keywords=Whispers+Vol+1


Stuart's Amazon Page

http://www.amazon.com/Stuart-Keane/e/B00JJ9PO18/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1429300824&sr=1-2-ent

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Lost Stuart Keane Interview

   Awhile back I was given an opportunity to interview Stuart Keane. If you have no idea who he is head over to Amazon and check out one of his books. I stumbled onto his book The Customer Is Always... and have been a fan ever since. This guy knows horror and I'm glad that I get to put this out even though it may be a little dated. My thanks to Stuart for giving me the okay to put this up. 


Q. First thanks for agreeing to do this. This shouldn’t be too painful


A. Charlotte is your latest novella. Where did the idea come from? It’s truly terrifying as a parent to see the other side of the invisible friend. Have you received any complaints from parents?
Funnily enough, the idea came from a simple image of a young girl. She was holding a particularly bedraggled doll…and the idea spawned from there. She looked so dejected, lonely and sad. I remember growing up as a kid and being bullied and ignored by kids and teachers in school. My parents, thankfully, were awesome, but I can imagine a kid going through this and thought it would make a great tale. I haven’t received any complaints yet, although one of the ARC readers commented on a part that has since been modified…yeah, it was a little too risqué in one part.


Q. The interesting thing about Charlotte is that it covers so many issues like bullying but you managed to create a novella that truly captures what horror used to be about. How hard was it to create this novella?


A. It was pretty difficult in places. I had a moment where I thought I might not even finish within the deadline. The bullying aspect is something I've lived personally, so I found that easy to convey to the page. The biggest issue I had was going for a hint of the supernatural…I prefer realistic horror. At one point, Charlotte was going to remain unseen and Amy was going to be schizophrenic…then I received the cover from Mark Kelly and realised I had a great story with a hell of an ending lined up…and the image helped me shape that. I'm all for old school horror and it's great to see people, like yourself, acknowledging that. I love the thrills and scares that a simple shadow or noise can generate and this was a major factor in Charlotte. Then, there's the spooky kid…everyone has a kid in the family and can relate.


Q. I know that Richard Laymon is one of your influences, but what else inspires you too write?


A. Music is a major factor. Before I started writing properly – I do 2,000 words a day now – I was a huge film and game fan, and still am. I also read a lot too. These mediums have inspired me to write the material I've currently produced. I would say reading and music are the major ones though, so many ideas, characters, titles etc. have come out of those.


Q. When did you realize that you were born to write?


A. I haven't realised this yet. Thank you for indicating that may be the case (chuckles). I think the reaction I get from readers is putting me into that position. The response from people, especially for Charlotte, has been amazing. In February, when I started writing properly, I could never envision being where I am now. It's been a hell of a ride.



Q.  Do you consider yourself a splatterpunk author?



A. Honestly, I would say no. I sometimes write in that genre, but I like to think I'm more of a suspense horror author, if that makes sense. Some have said I have elements of splatterpunk in my stories (my shorts Lake Whisper, The Swansong and Rendezvous in particular) but I prefer to focus on the character interactions and realistic horror. Gore is not as effective if it's slathered all over everything and that’s why I keep it to a minimum in most of my work. I think a good old fashioned scare, born from feral terror, is much more fun than a bit of bloodshed. For example, someone standing in the corner of a dark bedroom watching someone…this idea terrifies me and I think can be the basis for an entire story, and scare a ton of people in the process.



Q. Aside from writing there are a ton of side projects that you have going. Can you tell us what they are and when they’re coming out?


A, Where to start…first of all, I wish to thank everyone involved in the following. This answer could be a long one. First up, Carnage: Extreme Horror. This is an anthology I have constructed myself, including editing and formatting. I handpicked three authors – Kyle M. Scott, Angel Gelique and Jack Rollins - to accompany me on an extreme journey of absolute terror. Readers, if you haven’t read these people yet, seriously, jump on Amazon and dive in. They are the future of horror…you heard it here first. Aside from this…I have several anthologies pending. Cellar Door III: Animals and Hell II: Citizens, as well as Indiana Horror Review 2014, all published by James Ward Kirk. My shorts, From Within, In The Closet, and Wet are featured respectively. Sick as Fuck is due imminently from Roger Archer and Madwriter Press. This features my short, Bon Appetit. I'm working on my second full novel, Boys, and I also have a short story compilation due in May 2015, which features fifteen shorts from myself…maybe more depending on how I get on between now and then. I also have several other anthos which are in their infancy…details will follow on my Facebook page and website. I have included the links below.


Q.  It seems like the indie horror writers are the only ones that are keeping the horror genre alive do you ever find it difficult coming up with new ideas?



A. I don’t actually. Not yet anyway, I find my brain is always working on something. Looking on my PC, I have…seven novels, twenty-two shorts and three collaborations started. I also have a list of titles for potential stories, so I think I might be busy for some time. I think the indie authors have something more to prove. I've met some who are pretty laidback and I've met a few who are passionate and eager to make something of themselves. The latter are the ones to watch…they have a dedication and love for the craft that scares me (in a good way). I'm proud to know several of these too. Horror isn't going anywhere but up, folks.



Q. You’ve only been writing a short time yet you have gotten a lot of positive reviews and it seems as if you’re one of those writers that seems right on the verge of mainstream success. When you wrote The Customer Is Always did you think it would catch on as quickly as it did?


A. No. That's the simple answer (chuckles). The Customer was written in a short period, to bridge the gap between my full novel, All or Nothing (which you reviewed recently) being edited and published in the traditional way (something I've dreamt of for many years). Funnily enough, Charlotte was the same, since my publishers, J Ellington Ashton Press, are very intricate with their process. All or Nothing should be on shelves soon. It took a while for Customer to catch on, and there were some critics, but the overwhelming response as a whole – which has brought me a fan base and some amazing followers – was very welcome. If mainstream success is verging towards me, that’s news to me. I'm just glad to be writing stories that people enjoy.


Q. A lot of that was really kind of word of mouth promotion wasn’t it?


A.I think so. Social media is a key tool (I hated Twitter before I started writing, now – it's essential) and word of mouth is a great advantage. However, promotion is what you make it. If you put effort in, it reaps rewards. I've done promotions (freebies), interviews, radio shows, multiple posts on Facebook and Goodreads and generally just promoted to the heavens. However, and I think this is the key thing, I've spoken to my readers. I like to be connected to the people who read me, it's personal, and I always loved to hear their thoughts. I keep myself active on social media and, it's paid off.


Q. What advice would you give to new writers?



A. Two key things. One: Write every day. I write 2,000 words a day. I started off on 200, which I thought was a challenge at first. However, I now knock out 2,000 in a couple of hours. Every day. If you keep writing, you'll become more productive. People tell me I'm prolific, and I shrug it off. Then, I realise that, since February, I've written fifteen short stories, a novel, and two novellas. In nine months. Having discipline is key as an author and something I would urge any new writers to obtain as quickly as possible.


A. Second: Create a brand. Get noticed. This is easy now, with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest (hint, get ALL of these and pimp the pages to high heaven, on Goodreads – create an author group). If need be, create a website. This gives the fans something to come back to. Put a blog on it, keep active, and link it to your other sites. Also, make your books stand out. Get a great cover artist, hire an editor and a proofer (keep them separate) and create yourself. For example, it's a simple thing, but my books all have the same font for my author name on them. Something as simple as this will create you in no time and make people remember you. Stephen King does it…and it works. Also talk to other authors if you get stuck or need advice. I do this now because it helped me so much when I started out. Feel free to message me on Facebook anytime…


Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/stuartkeanewriter


Website – www.stuartkeane.com


Twitter – www.twitter.com/SKeane_Author


Also be sure to check out Stuart's Amazon page for all of his releases


http://www.amazon.com/Stuart-Keane/e/B00JJ9PO18/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1429097394&sr=8-2-ent






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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Here Is The Goal

     As an author myself I wanted a place to share my favorite books and even do some interviews. I wanted to do something that would allow me share a variety of different genres and welcome fans of horror, bizarro, and even splatterpunk. I read a lot of weird stuff and I know that there are people out there who are just like me. I have another blog but wanted to create one that I can use strictly for books and shit. A little corner where I can vent and promote books that I like and I think others would enjoy as well. If I like an author or a publisher people should know about them. I want this to be a spot where you can discover something and have not feel as if you're going to be hit with a million promotions. You know what I'm talking about.

     I do have a couple of interviews that I conducted that were supposed to be released somewhere else but they were never used so I think that would be a good place to start. Also I can use this to promote some really cool books, and stuff that I have been blessed to be involved in. Not only am I an author but I'm a fan of the horror genre. Some people have said that it's dead, but it's far from dead. In this blog you will see that there are quite a few writers who are proving again and again that it's alive and well. There are writers who are keeping the splatterpunk genre going and God bless these sick, twisted individuals. If this works awesome, but if no one sees this blog and it crashes and burns well, at least I tried.

      Why the name Slap Happy Fun Time? I liked it. It just sounded funny to me so I used it. Other than that there really isn't much to say about the name other than it sounds a bit painful. So until my next blog cheers and always remember the light at the end of the tunnel is probably a train.