January 25, 2012

Indie Book Project: Night Gypsy: Journey into Darkness!

New Anthology coming
this September!
A great new anthology is coming up this September! After the fun of summer, when the temperatures get lower and the nights get longer, it's time to cuddle up next to the fireplace with a collection of the greatest horror stories! The Night Gypsy Anthology will feature some of the best new horror writers on the international stage. Be sure to check out the Facebook page and hit the Like-button!

Night Gypsy is a Indie Gypsy anthology, scheduled to publish in September 2012. It will have around 25 stories from US and international writers. In the editors words, it's going to a mesh of the Hitchcock anthologies, Tales of the Unexpected and The Twilight Zone. All the stories have some dark drama going on with a heavy emphasis on the personal journey into darkness.

Indie Gypsy is a small publishing company with a wide variety of movie, music and literature projects in production, but that's just the way they like it! The tastes of the editors are plenty and wide, ranging from literature to cooking, so there will always be something interesting going on. Have a look at what they're all about at www.indiegypsy.com.

Though the anthology will only be released in September (for digital and paperback) a pre-order option from Amazon will available soon. This is a chance to ride in from the ground floor! Keep an eye on this blog for more updates!


January 20, 2012

WTF Movie of the Week: Session 9!

Session 9: could've sucked,
but didn't.
'Tis not often we come across a gem which perfectly suits our current horror needs. I'm always on the look-out for good psychological horror, but often find myself making due with something much more mundane or more fantastic. But every once in a while we walk into another The Others or another Sixth Sense or, as now I can now boldly claim, another Session 9.

For this movie is truly such a gem.

First of all, praise for the writers for making the protagonists a couple of rough 'n tough asbestos removers instead of the easily impressed woman-after-a-miscarriage or something. It lends such a relieving feel of reality to this haunted-house movie. And they make for interesting characters.

So the movie is about a small group of asbestos removers who take a job in an mental hospital. After some juicy stories the guys tell each other during breaks, they slowly start to find out that there acually is more to the place than meets the eye. What follows is a slow descend into madness and for some into death. 

The great thing about Session 9 is that it becomes more and more introspective rather than trying to scare us with cheap effects. The newbie that's scared of his own shadow gets trapped in a dark hallway, the greedy, antisocial SOB finds a hidden loot in a furnace that's just too big for comfort and the ambitious right hand man (David Caruso) keeps some dodgy company when no-one is looking. Then there's the introverted medical school drop-out who finds the session tapes of a doctor interviewing a schizophrenic girl.

The movie is a lot of talk and not much action, so the gore-buffs will not reach their quota, but the suspense is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. David Caruso is wonderful as the dodgy dealer trying to instigate a falling-out between the boss and his collegue who he thinks is unreliable and actually shows he's a good actor (even without the sunglasses). The build-up towards the final scenes and the unfolding of all that has transpired is a joy to watch. All the random scenes and flashbacks we've seen come together like the beads on a string. Suddenly, it all makes horrific sense.

I seriously recommend giving it a try.

January 16, 2012

Indie Book Review: Dark Child by Kristy Leigh Conn!

A good merge of psychological horror
and gore!

So, after a few weeks of Christmas, a Happy New Year, recovering from two bruised ribs (don't ask) and writing a few short stories, I'm back on the blog.

Besides all the aforementioned, I also had the welcome opportunity of reading a new self-published book by writer Kristy Leigh Conn called Dark Child which kept me entertained during the long winter nights. It is set in the Appalachian area of West Virginia, USA and has a wonderful small-town feel to it. One of the protagonists is a veterinarian which quickly became one of my favorites.

The book centers around Billy Baker, a little boy who carries with him the horrible legacy of a demonic cult called the DemonSpawn. His mother Mandy was once a victim of the cult who, with the help of a detective called Frank, escaped and took on a new identity. Although the cult has been disbanded ever since, their presence still looms over Billy as he grows up, becoming ever darker, ever more real, ever more bloodier. And not just in the outside world, but inside Billy as well.

As the book goes on, the atmosphere gets grimier and darker as Billy is sucked into the cult's bloody ways. Especially the last part of the book is not for the faint-hearted and will leave many aghast with terror and sleepless nights. The reason why it works is that the book is primarily told from the viewpoint of other adults who each have their own reasoning about what the boy could or should be. As a reader you'll find yourself agreeing with each one of them as the boy grows up. Especially in the middle part of the book when the boy develops his own character, the line between good and evil becomes horribly blurred. This is all resolved again in the last part when the book spirals towards its inevitable conclusion.

For those of you who like psychological horror will be very intrigued by the first half of the book while the gore-ghouls will get all they can handle in the second half when Conn pulls out all the stops.

Kristy Leigh Conn herself works as a veterinarian and the medical jargon displayed in this book shows, although it never becomes 'showy'. On the contrary, it goes a tremendous way towards explaining the tendencies of good and evil in the human mind (from transferred genes to failing brain waves). Thus, it gives the book a feeling of being grounded in reality, rather than some supernatural explanation which requires a leap of faith on the part of the reader. 

Her writing career started with telling ghost stories around the camp fires, but took a backseat as she developed her career as a veterinarian. After writing prescriptions and hypotheses for twenty years, she once again took a stab at writing horror stories and since then has written dozens of short stories and finished her debut novel Dark Child. She is currently working on her novel about the downfall of man.

Dark Child is available as an e-book through Amazon.
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