Monday, 28 March 2016

The Accusers: A New Novel by Lynn L. Clark

I'm very pleased to announce that my third novel, The Accusers, is now available on Amazon  in paperback and Kindle format. The e-version for Kobo will be published shortly.

I enjoyed writing this story and, as usual, did background research so that I could blend history and fiction, as in my previous two books, The Home Child and Fire Whisperer and Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural.

What's it about? It's the story of three women and a young boy who stand together against an evil that threatens to consume them, their families, and their neighbours. It's also a tale of how unmitigated hatred and the urge for revenge can destroy ordinary lives. I think this is probably the most suspenseful of the books I've written to date.

This is the back cover blurb:

At first glance, Berwick Street is a quiet cul-de-sac: a safe place to raise a family and enjoy retirement. But in the dead of winter when most Berwick Street residents have already headed south to escape the bitter cold, something evil lurks in the coming snowstorm. A group of followers with specially-honed powers of destruction seeks final retribution for events that occurred more than four hundred years ago!

Aided by a teenager with precognitive abilities, an unlikely trio of women--Cassie, an introvert in her twenties; Rebecca, a sixty-five-year-old grandmother; and Mabel, an ailing octogenarian who has outlived her husband and sons--must face the coming onslaught. WHO WILL PREVAIL?

There will be a Goodreads giveaway in April, and the novel will also be available through the Early Reviewers program on LibraryThing.  More about this in my next post.

Monday, 21 March 2016

No Clowning Around

From time to time, I like to re-publish posts that attracted a fairly large audience of readers.The following post was originally published on Behind the Walls of Nightmare in August 2013:

Anyone who has ever read or seen horror depictions of clowns can testify to the power of the clown as a figure of malevolence. To me, the clown has always been an ambivalent figure, more tragic than comic, but not usually downright scary. So I was interested to read an article on the history of the clown figure entitled "The History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary".

The article traces the history of clowns from pagan times to the present day, noting the early clown was primarily a buffoon or mischievous imp. The image of the "tragic" clown is associated with Joseph Grimaldi in England, who was famous as a comic pantomime player on the London stage, known not only for his painted face but also his extreme physical comedy. Sadly, he had a tragic personal life and was also always in excruciating pain from his performances. His memoirs were edited by Charles Dickens, who did much to reinforce the tragedy behind the clown's mask and the image of an individual who would literally destroy himself to get a laugh.

A "sinister" figure behind the clown's face was Jean-Gaspard Debarau, known as Pierrot and famous for his pantomime and his clown's white face with red lips and black eyebrows. In real life, he killed a boy who ridiculed him, but was acquitted of his murder.

Later, in America, there were "hobo" clowns such as Emmett Kelly, who used slapstick humor for comedy but also expressed the underlying tragedy for the common man of the Great Depression (as did Charlie Chaplin, who isn't mentioned specifically in the article).

The article also references the deranged clown doll in Poltergeist (lampooned in The Simpsons' Halloween special); Stephen King's Pennywise in It; and Heath Ledger's depiction of the Joker, as well as various other permutations of the malevolent clown.

And, all clowning aside, these negative images of clowns have obviously been detrimental to the profession because "in the mid-2000s, articles began popping up in newspapers across the country lamenting the decline of attendees at clown conventions or at clowning workshop courses."

Of course, along the way there were some good clowns: think Bozo the Clown, for example. No, this isn't just a name you call someone who cuts you off in traffic: there actually was a beloved Bozo with his own television show, which most of us who grew up in the 60s watched faithfully.

And, as the Ringley Brothers' talent spotter (and former clown) indicates, "good clowns are always in shortage, and it’s good clowns who keep the art alive".

For the full text of this very engaging article, please click here.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Markets and Writing Tips for Horror Writers

If you're an author looking for an audience, there is some very useful information on the Horror Writers Association (HWA) website on the marketing of horror material, as well how to prepare your submission. The HWA recommends markets that pay five cents per word or more.

There are also extensive links to writing tips.

This information is available to all horror writers, not just HWA members.

For market information, please click here.
For writing tips, please click here.

Best of luck with your submissions!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Bram Stoker Award® Nominees

The Horror Writers Association has released a list of nominees for this year’s Bram Stoker Awards® to highlight the best of horror fiction for 2015. The nominees are as follows:

Superior Achievement in a Novel
  • Clive Barker – The Scarlet Gospels (St. Martin’s Press)
  • Michaelbrent Collings – The Deep (self-published)
  • JG Faherty – The Cure (Samhain Publishing)
  • Patrick Freivald – Black Tide (JournalStone Publishing)
  • Paul Tremblay – A Head Full of Ghosts (William Morrow)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Courtney Alameda – Shutter (Feiwel & Friends)
  • Nicole Cushing – Mr. Suicide (Word Horde)
  • Brian Kirk – We Are Monsters (Samhain Publishing)
  • John McIlveen – Hannahwhere (Crossroad Press)
  • John Claude Smith – Riding the Centipede (Omnium Gatherum)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • Jennifer Brozek – Never Let Me Sleep (Permuted Press)
  • Michaelbrent Collings – The Ridealong (self-published)
  • John Dixon – Devil’s Pocket (Simon & Schuster)
  • Tonya Hurley – Hallowed (Simon & Schuster)
  • Maureen Johnson – The Shadow Cabinet (Penguin)
  • Ian Welke – End Times at Ridgemont High (Omnium Gatherum)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
  • Cullen Bunn – Harrow County, Vol. 1: Countless Haints (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Victor Gischler – Hellbound (Dark Horse Books)
  • Robert Kirkman – Outcast, Vol. 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder – Wytches, Vol. 1 (Image Comics)
  • Sam Weller, Mort Castle, Chris Ryall, & Carlos Guzman (editors) – Shadow Show: Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (IDW Publishing)
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
  • Gary A. Braunbeck – "Paper Cuts" (Seize the Night) (Gallery Books)
  • Lisa Mannetti – "The Box Jumper" (Smart Rhino Publications)
  • Norman Partridge – "Special Collections" (The Library of the Dead) (Written Backwards)
  • Mercedes M. Yardley – "Little Dead Red" (Grimm Mistresses) (Ragnarok Publications)
  • Scott Edelman – "Becoming Invisible, Becoming Seen" (Dark Discoveries #30)
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • Kate Jonez – All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck (Black Static #47)
  • Gene O’Neill – The Algernon Effect (White Noise Press)
  • John Palisano – Happy Joe’s Rest Stop (18 Wheels of Horror) (Big Time Books)
  • Damien Angelica Walters – Sing Me Your Scars (Sing Me Your Scars) (Apex Publications)
  • Alyssa Wong – Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers (Nightmare Magazine #37)
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • Guillermo del Toro & Matthew Robbins – Crimson Peak (Legendary Pictures)
  • John Logan – Penny Dreadful: And Hell Itself My Only Foe (Showtime)
  • John Logan – Penny Dreadful: Nightcomers (Showtime)
  • David Robert Mitchell – It Follows (Northern Lights Films)
  • Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement – What We Do in the Shadows (Unison Films)
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Michael Bailey – The Library of the Dead (Written Backwards)
  • Ellen Datlow – The Doll Collection: Seventeen Brand-New Tales of Dolls (Tor Books)
  • Christopher Golden – Seize the Night (Gallery Books)
  • Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles – nEvermore! (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
  • Jonathan Maberry – The X-Files: Trust No One (IDW Publishing)
  • Joseph Nassise and Del Howison – Midian Unmade (Tor Books)
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
  • Gary A. Braunbeck – Halfway Down the Stairs (JournalStone Publishing)
  • Nicole Cushing – The Mirrors (Cycatrix Press)
  • Taylor Grant – The Dark at the End of the Tunnel (Cemetery Dance Publications)
  • Gene O’Neill – The Hitchhiking Effect (Dark Renaissance Books)
  • Lucy A. Snyder – While the Black Stars Burn (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
  • Justin Everett and Jeffrey H. Shanks (ed.) – The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales: The Evolution of Modern Fantasy and Horror (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)
  • Stephen Jones – The Art of Horror (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books)
  • Michael Knost – Author’s Guide to Marketing with Teeth (Seventh Star Press)
  • Joe Mynhardt & Emma Audsley (editors) – Horror 201: The Silver Scream (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Danel Olson – Studies in the Horror Film: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (Centipede Press)
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Bruce Boston – Resonance Dark and Light (Eldritch Press)
  • Alessandro Manzetti – Eden Underground (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Ann Schwader – Dark Energies (P’rea Press)
  • Marge Simon – Naughty Ladies (Eldritch Press)
  • Stephanie M. Wytovich – An Exorcism of Angels (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
The awards will be handed out during the inaugural StokerCon™ in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 14, 2016. In addition, life-time achievement awards will be presented to George A. Romero and Alan Moore. For more information, please visit the Horror Writers Association website.

Congratulations to all of the nominees!