BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Thoughts and Fears

Last year saw the publication of my first book — my volume on The Mummy for the Devil’s Advocates series. So, I’ve decided to start 2020 by getting stuck into my second non-fiction book; the title I’ve chosen is Thoughts and Fears: Essays on Horror and Culture.

Most of the book will consist of my past blog posts on the horror genre, dusted off and given a new coat of polish where necessary, but I want to give my readers something new on the side. So, I’m aiming for around a quarter to a third of the book — roughly 30,000 words, say — to be all-new material.

Of course, this will necessitate producing roughly 30,000 of all-new material by the end of the year. Here are some ideas I’m currently playing with:

  • An analysis of how Christina Henry derives horror from children’s stories in Alice and Red Queen
  • An exploration of the Creature from the Black Lagoon’s sex life
  • A deep-dive into Dan Simmons’ The Terror and its historical inspirations
  • A deconstruction of the gender-bending serial killer motif in Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, Seed of Chucky et al
  • A celebration of the feminine side of lycanthropy

If any of this sounds like your bag, then perhaps you could consider donating to me via Patreon or Ko-Fi to help cover expenses.

Cats, Cult and Subculture

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When the first trailer for Cats hit, the overriding question people had was “who on Earth is the target audience for this thing?”

And to answer, I’m afraid I must raise a hand. The trailer made me want to see the film; and when I saw the film, I enjoyed it. So, I suppose that makes me the target audience. Pleased to meet you.

This clearly puts me in a minority, as Cats has received a whipping from critics and a bombing at the box office. But there’s been speculation that we may not have seen the last of it – that Cats might follow in the footsteps of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dismissed upon release only to become the centre of a snowballing cult fandom. Personally, I don’t think Cats has bottled the zeitgeist quite the way Rocky Horror did, but could it still end up as a cult classic? That’s a question that got me thinking…

Continue readingCats, Cult and Subculture”

Midnight Widows Offer for 2020

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Here’s an offer that’s going to be running throughout 2020: if you donate to me via Patreon or Ko-Fi this year, no matter how large or small the amount, you’ll get a PDF copy of Midnight Widows Issue 1, the vampire comic I put together with Marcela Hauptvogelova, Rosie Wigg and Delia Mihai.

The story:

When the Count was slain, his brides were freed. Edith, Kateryna and Gabriela were once the brides of Dracula. No longer confined to the castle of their groom, they are free to travel from nineteenth century Transylvania to twenty-first century London.

And now, a new threat has made itself known. Some of Britain’s most notorious serial killers have come back from the dead to resume their murderous careers. Who resurrected them, and why? Only the Midnight Widows stand a chance of finding out…

How I Spent December 2019

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Well, like many other people, I spent the month celebrating the festivities while looking back on what came before. For me, the decade as included a graduation, a transition, my first employment and my first published book — quite a few coming-of-age moments, then.

But I can’t spend too much time in the past. I’ve got work to do, and I’ve already assembled a to-do list for January. Onward ho!

Articles of mine posted elsewhere this month:

 

Article topics for 2020:

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December 2019: A Month in Horror

Well, that’s the last month of the year and the last year of the decade. As the strains of Auld Lang Syne drift through the air, let us see what December brought us in horror culture…


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Some old ghosts came back to visit as the long nights of winter drew in. A couple of classic tales of the supernatural were dusted off for our screens around Christmastime, with Steven Knight penning a miniseries of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (starring Guy Pearce) and the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas strand returning with Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of “Martin’s Close” by M. R. James (starring Peter Capaldi).

I managed to miss both of them — although I did catch Black Christmas in cinemas. This film spurred quite a bit of debate even before it came out — partly because of its irrelevance to the 1974 film of the same name (despite it being ostensibly a remake) and partly because of its feminist themes. It was not especially well-received by critics, scoring only 40% at Rotten Tomatoes.

Continue reading “December 2019: A Month in Horror”