Villainous Monologue

I always seem evil when I tell you my plan

I go on ad nauseum  explaining who I am

To try to expound or maybe to trick

I give details up but never too quick

I lie, I deceive, I do dastardly deeds

Maybe not giving it away is what I most need

But I brag, and I bluster, and sometimes I gloat

For your weakness, and fear just make me emote

Your running offends me and try as I might

I can’t stop getting off on all of your fright

Some call me a malefactor, some call me a cad

You can cry all you want but I’ll always be bad

But outlaw or miscreant no matter the name

You’re always caught up in my winning game

So my monologue is done, run away if you want

I’m just wicked and cruel, and this I will flaunt

Villain I am and of this I am proud

Especially when you’re screams are always so loud

So goodnight little victims, hold onto your heads

Fore I am the scary thing underneath your little beds

Poem 11/10/2018

Dan Klefstad Author Interview (2018)

Radio host, Podcaster, and Author. This amazing man that I have befriended on Twitter is so inspiring. His novel Shepherd and the Professor offers fascinating plot lines and many twists and turns that make it a must read in my book! I am very glad to get to introduce him here to my readers at Chills From the Quill, so lets get to the questions!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do for WNIJ News and NPR?

I’m the morning host for NPR station WNIJ, and the newscaster for two other NPR stations covering the length of Illinois.

How did you get into podcasting?

The president of the Rockford Writers’ Guild, Connie Kuntz, launched the “Guildy Pleasures” podcast one year ago, and Connie invited me to be the first guest. She read my first novel, Shepherd & the Professor, and was reading my more recent stories about humans who work for a vampire named Fiona. So I went into the studio with Connie and her husband Jesse who engineered the podcasts. During these sessions, I used my experience as a radio announcer to deliver the kind of recordings Connie and Jesse were looking for. We did the first five of my Fiona stories, and they got a great reception — I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

Are you a horror lover?

I love to be frightened, I love Gothic atmosphere, and I enjoy stories that play up erotic tensions between monsters and humans. I’ll admit I’m not into splatter or torture. But I’ll never refuse a challenge to write this if I think gore can lead to a truly great story.

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Where did the idea for Fiona come from? And are you a fan of vampire fiction?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires because they work on different levels. As mythical creatures, they transcend human limitations. They’re stronger, sexier, and live forever – who doesn’t dream of this kind of power? But they’re also rich metaphors for things that suck our life force. Your emotionally insecure neighbor is the vampire hidden in plain sight, ambushing you with questions when you return from work, draining whatever energy you have left. The vampire might be your lover, mother or pusher. I guarantee you: somewhere, somehow, a hidden thing is latched to your neck, taking from you and never giving back. When you finally see it, and admit your role in these encounters, I hope you have the strength to put a stake in it.

Favorite or inspiring authors for you?

Anyone who writes vampire fiction owes a debt to John Polidori, Bram Stoker, and Anne Rice. As a horror fan, I also owe much to Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. In college, I was fascinated by Albert Camus and his treatment of the absurd – where humans desperately seeking meaning are confronted by a universe that offers none. There’s a connection to horror in absurdist philosophy that Jean-Paul Sartre brings home with No Exit. The final line of this play is: “Hell is other people.”

 What are some of your favorite books or works of literature?

To the above, I’ll add John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, Let the Right One In.  Lindqvist also wrote the screenplay for the 2008 movie of the same name, but the book contains an entire plot thread involving Eli’s caretaker, Håkan, that’s gripping and absolutely terrifying. Best horror novel I’ve read in many years.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I’m tempted to repeat that one by Sartre but I’d prefer something more hopeful. With your permission, I’d like to quote a character, Daniel, from my story “The Remains of the Daylight”:

“Because if one person thinks you’re good, you are good – right?”

(That line gives me hope)

What would you really like people to know about you?

I’m an optimist. Readers are often surprised to hear me say that.

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What inspires you to write?

Wow, that stumped me. I’ve done several interviews, but nobody asked me that before. The most truthful answer I can give is: I don’t know. I simply must.

And lastly can you tell us a little about your work and do you have any writing works set for the future?

I’m gathering all my Fiona the vampire stories that appeared in Dark Dossier Magazine’s Halloween issue (11 of them) and will add nine or ten more. These will be chapters in a book called The Guardian which I hope to finish this summer.

Thanks so much, Jaye, for the opportunity to share my thoughts, inspirations, and stories with you. You’ve been a wonderful host!

I am eternally grateful to Dan for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope we have inspired you to read some of his works! You can find links here for podcasts and readings:

The Caretaker” http://bit.ly/2lx3HyD 

“The Interview” http://bit.ly/2m9HKpX 

“Solstice” http://bit.ly/2D47OJg 

“Wolf at Fiona’s Castle” http://bit.ly/2GCZAKt 

“Hauptsturmführer Fillennius” http://bit.ly/2E6OSNL

You can also find him at Twitter at: https://twitter.com/danklefstad?lang=en

And on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dan.klefstad

And at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Klefstad/e/B01IC5A1XK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trembling With Fear: Year 1 Book Review (2018)

I will honestly say that I am usually not big on short stories because I like to get involved within a story and live there for awhile. But that being said, the book Trembling With Fear: Year 1 really changed my mind on this. Everyone of the stories were beautifully written and thoroughly concise in there execution. I got everything I expect from longer books with just many more stories to enjoy!

The book is an amalgamation of stories from the site the Horror Tree of which Trembling With Fear is a branch of. Horror Tree is a great resource for authors, whether they be established or new innovative and ingenious voices, as an outlet  for their written material. Find more out about Horror Tree here:

https://horrortree.com/

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I have borrowed the next information from the intro to the book Trembling With Fear: Year 1 so that you the reader can get an exact idea of what they do:

Trembling With Fear is a branch of Horror Tree which publishes original fiction every Sunday morning. In it, they have a minimum of one short story and three pieces of flash fiction on a weekly basis. They are not a static publication however, and have recently introduced serials as a new feature and no doubt there will be other developments. Please check the Trembling With Fear Submissions page for details on how to submit.

You can find that page here: https://horrortree.com/submissions/

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And please pick up the book, it is a real slice of horror entertainment. So many diverse voices and ideas that there is something for everyone in it and you will not be disappointed!

It is available here at Amazon on Kindle or in paperback form with a 5 star rating!:

Idiom Madness a Poem (2018)

Into the out of it

Confusion the new norm

Chaos by the sound of it

Disorder my new form

Drowning in the Sea of Tranquility

Hiding on the Dark Side of the Moon

Dropping the hat of gullibility

Judging a book too soon

Burning the midnight oil of anarchy

The devils advocate my new sanity

Bewilderment and disorganization a calamity

Hitting a nail on the head of my vanity

There is a method to my madness

Fell off the rocker years ago

Wouldn’t be caught dead playing with a full deck

Speak of the devil you know.

Poem 10/30/2018

Feast of Samhain a Poem (2018)

The Feast of Samhain is quickly approaching

The harvest is done and winter encroaches

The nights grow longer, the autumnal equinox is leaving

Fore the winter solstice advances and the farmers are done reaping

The boundary between this world and the next soon will be crossed

Sprites, fairies, and even wee ghosties never get lost

Because we leave them an offering of food and of drink

To leave us alone and be quick as a wink

To go back to their side without giving us dread

So we may stay safe in our warm winter beds.

Poem 10/29/2018

Roger Jackson-Author Interview (2018)

Roger Jackson another friend from Twitter was kind enough to let me ask him some questions about his writing. He is a Whovian and a self-proclaimed proud geek and an intelligent and fun one at that! So lets get to the questions!

What do you love about horror?

Its flexibility as a genre. We can have Horror stories so many elements, romance or comedy or social truths and yet the core ideals of the Horror story remain undiluted. It rarely plays well in the other direction. I can have a love story about werewolves and it still works as a Horror story, but throw a lycanthropy grenade into the middle of Verona and Romeo and Juliet’s asses are mine.

Why do you write horror?

All of the above, but I think the most straightforward answer is that my brain is wired to embrace the darkness. I didn’t have any parental or familial influence as a child, which rather wonderfully meant that I was left to my own devices, and I was always drawn to the forbidden, the scary movies and books and comics. They’ve always been the most comfortable and natural way to process the world around me, and in the end that’s what writing is, processing the internal and external worlds through one’s own personal filter.

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Who are some of your influences?

I’ve been influenced more by concepts and events than by individuals, I think. Certainly, the more media I consumed, the more I saw what worked and what didn’t. I remember seeing my first dead body when I was perhaps five or six, a child a little older than me pulled from the mossy waters of a local river, and almost at once making the link between the fear and queasy excitement of the assembled onlookers and my own feelings when I watched a Horror movie. I saw that bridge between the real world and fiction, and I suppose that was a key point in terms of an influence.

Favorite books, authors, and films?

My favorite book would have to be Pet Sematary, if only because it’s so unrelentingly bleak. The pages are soaked in death and futility. I don’t really have a favorite author, though, because everyone brings something to the table. I have a least favorite author, but let’s not go there! Favorite movies? So many! The Devil’s Rejects, most likely, because the ending makes me cry.

Tell us about the art that is your heart-kintsugi?

Well … most people know that Kintsugi is the art of repairing ceramics or pottery with a lacquer dusted with powdered gold. Rather than throwing a broken object away, Kintsugi means to extend its life and make something beautiful out of its scars. A few years back, I was ill and at the same time experienced from someone close to me a level of coldness and cruelty that I didn’t think they were capable of, and as a result there was some emotional breakage. I picked up on the Kintsugi thing because that’s how I am now, proud of the scars I’ve been left with. Everyone should be proud of their scars. They’re symbols of survival. 

What do you prefer British or American horror and why?

I’d have to say British. There’s a weird kind of glamour to a lot of American Horror, whereas the British stuff is often realistically ugly and decaying.  Movies like Death Line or Mum And Dad or even Human Centipede 2 (set in London) have this wonderful texture of griminess and threat that’s often lacking in American stuff.

What are some of your favorite weird things, or what do you like to do that is weird?

Weirdness is subjective, but I love art like Goya’s Witches’ Sabbath, because I like things that subvert expectations or accepted morality. I don’t know if I personally do anything weird, but … if I pass a dead animal in the street, a crushed cat or slaughtered bird, I always take a snapshot on my phone. I have quite the collection, but I think that when the corpse has been removed and the last of the blood dispersed by the rain, it’s important to remember that the animal had lived at all.

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What do you want people to know about you?

Probably that I’m not as scary as these answers make me sound!

Do you have a personal motto or mantra?

“Get Better, Not Bitter.”

I want to thank Roger so much for taking the time to answer my questions and you can read more of his work here:

https://jabe842beyond.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/jabe842/

Broken Doll-Poem (2018)

There was a small broken doll named Jane

She had black hair on her head, like a goth mane

On her back a broken fairy wing

With little bat ears to hear the darkness sing

She had a wee fox nose

To smell a beautiful red rose

The black Victorian dress she wears

Goes so pretty with all that black hair

Her one eye is black, the other just a button

She would love to go out, but she was kept as a shut-in

She had one tiny friend

Whom most would not tend

A little corn snake who she named teddy bear

He wound around her fingers and curled in her hair

Never loved, never mattered

Her tiny heart did shatter

But teddy bear did kiss her

He could never ever resist her

So her little heart did mend

And they were friends to the end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Love Letter For Michael Myers and Halloween

You showed up in our lives in 78′

You were just a small boy up way too late

Your sister was brushing her hair till it gleamed

But your knife was shinier and so was your scheme

You stabbed her and killed her and put on a new mask

Taken away without completing your task

Fore another sister you had who we knew got away

But you finally came back on that one certain day

October 31st, Halloween night you went on a rampage and caused such affright

The residents of Haddonfield soon went running amok

Fleeing away from you without having much luck

You found your sister Laurie, now Strode her last name

And went about on your own killing game

You chased her, and chased her and cornered her you had

But a long came Loomis who shot you so bad

But die you didn’t, you disappeared in the night

Was that the Boogeyman? she asked and Loomis said right

So we welcome you back on this Halloween

Bringing back your sister a true scream queen

You’ve entertained and thrilled us, and caused us to fear

The Boogeyman is real and 2018 the year

 

Poem 10/13/2018

All Hallows Eve Poem (2018)

Fall is in the air and Halloween approaches

The nights come sooner and the mornings darken

But the crisp air and the falling leaves seduce and harken

The arrival of the autumnal equinox

 

Ghosts and Spirits are ready to cheer

For the time when the veil is thinnest

Soon will draw near

Witches ready their potions and dust off their brooms

Knowing the witching hour shortly will loom

Over the full moon in the night sky

Bats and crows fly around soaring so high

The wind blows around whistling so loud

The creatures of the night are forming a crowd

Monsters and ghoulies are ready to scare

Hoping the kiddies will come to their lair

Tricks or treats, which ones will they choose

Devilish misdeeds or just simple boo’s

Ready your pumpkins for the time is near

For All Hallows Eve ere long will be here

 

9/29/18

 

 

Erik Henry Vick: Horror Author Interview (2018)

I had the good fortune to meet Erik on Twitter and he quickly became a favorite of mine with his wit and intellectual comments. After reading his book Demon King I was thoroughly intrigued and had to learn more about him, his wife Supergirl, their rottweiler named after the thunder god and their two crazy cats. Erik has done so many amazing things. Erik has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S.C.S., and a Ph. D. in Artificial Intelligence.  He has worked as a criminal investigator for a state agency, a college professor, a C.T.O. for an international software company, and a video game developer. Whew I am tired just writing all of his accomplishments! So let us find out more about this talented man!

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Why horror/fantasy?

~My fiction has always had a dark streak. When I was young, I heard the adage: “Write what you read.” At the time, I was reading a lot of science fiction, with a smattering of horror, so I thought I should write science fiction—dark scifi, granted, but scifi. I wrote some cyberpunk and tried very hard not to recognize that as much as I love reading scifi, I’m wasn’t that great at writing scifi. Let me put it this way—my “scifi” was frequently compared to Dean Koontz or Stephen King 😊

 

When I returned to writing fiction after being disabled, I first had the idea while re-reading one of my favorite authors, Stephen King—specifically I was reading the Dark Tower series and thought it would be cool to write something with the same depth, with the same “Epic Quest” quality. I had been playing around with an idea in my head about a serial killer that was a wendigo, and the Blood of the Isir series was born. It was so easy to write dark fantasy, and even easier to write straight horror, I was sure I found the right genres. Having said that, I do have plans for a scifi horror novel at some point.

What and who are some of your favorite horror films, books, and authors?

~I love Stephen King, Dan Simmons, Robert R. McCammon, Anne Rice, Ambrose Ibsen, Joe Hill, Walter Jon Williams, and many, many more.

As for films, I seem to be drawn heavily to scifi horror like the Aliens franchise and Pandorum, but I also love original movies like the Babadook, Gerald’s Game, A Quiet Place (I love, love, loved this movie!), The Others, etc. Having said that, I almost never turn down a horror movie.

What I dread in either setting is formulaic, repetitive stuff. You know what I mean… “So-and-so has sold a gerbillion books writing about butterflies, so my next book will be about butterflies. I’ll call it ‘Butterflies on a Train!’” Yech.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work in A.I.?

~I spent most of my time trying to make artificial characters into something more than talking heads. My Ph.D. explored building synthetic personalities by basing character drives and emotions on trait-based personality theory (from psychology). I also did some work in Natural Language Understanding and machine learning.

Also can you tell us about some of the video games you helped develop?

~I worked on Madden directly, and as a character AI adviser on many others under the Electronic Arts umbrella. Probably the most fun I had in the game industry was working on a project that never made it into production—an MMO concept set in Frank Herbert’s Dune universe.

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I love the Hank & Jane IRL, would Supergirl like to comment on you and or your work?

~Direct from Supergirl:

Erik is one of those people who is good at everything he tries. This amazes and annoys me in equal parts. At the time he got sick, he was a professor at a private university. We had moved thousands of miles from family a few years prior so he could take the job. It was a difficult time and eventually, even with all the help and support the university provided, he had to stop working. I remember the day I filled the car with the contents of his office. The next few years are a blur to both of us, him due to pain and medication and me due to working and handling the family and house stuff. I do remember that we started to go for drives as a way for Erik to get out of the house and for us to chat.  We have always been the kind of couple who enjoys spending a lot of time together.

At some point Erik began talking about wanting to write a story with a character that had RA. I encouraged (or nagged, potato/potahto) him at every turn because I wanted him to have something of his own again and be more than the RA. I told him we didn’t need to worry if it ever got published or how long it took to write but that the writing was what he needed to do. We set up the office with a recliner and a swing arm for his monitor and keyboard so he would be able to sit long enough to write more than a sentence or two. There were flares that interrupted and the writing went in fits and starts for a while but eventually he had something.

Any interesting stories (that you can tell) from your criminal investigative days?

~I can’t say much from the investigative days, but my experiences drive my writing, to be sure. There are far more horrible things in the world than we give it credit for. One of the scariest moments in my life was an interview with a homeless man when gradually realizing the depth of his paranoia and persecutory delusions, then discovering he was armed with .45 caliber pistol.

My years working on a psychiatric intensive treatment unit also fuel my work—in fact I am developing a concept for a novel or two pulled directly from my time there, and parts of Demon King came from this part of my life, as well (and not just the obvious bits 😊).

What would you like people to know about you?

~I have a so-called invisible disability. It’s not really invisible—it must easy to see based on the glares I sometimes get when Supergirl pumps the gas, holds the door open for me, or cuts my steak in a restaurant. It’s especially not invisible for my family and friends. It has changed me-physically, but it has not conquered me, and it has not changed who I am at the core (a big, dumb, stoic Viking). For more about my pointy-stick collection, please see:

https://erikhenryvick.com/2017/06/11/how-can-you-do-that/

https://erikhenryvick.com/gear/

Even with this stupid disease, I love life. I’m a positive person most of the time, and I try to have fun with whatever I’m doing because that’s the best sharp, pointy, monster-poking stick I can find. I love to laugh, and I love meeting and talking to people.

How do you combat writers block?

~I don’t really suffer from writer’s block. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I shouldn’t write, and most of the time, I’m bright enough not to waste time on those days, I just go relax with a good book or movie. I mostly have the reverse problem. I have far more ideas than I can write in the time my Personal Monster™ allows me. I’m rapidly filling up a digital notebook of ideas, beginnings, endings, characters, etc. Hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out a way to write faster (or develop implant technology that sucks the stories directly from my head while I sleep).

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Any advice for other writers facing their own “personal monsters”?

~Push that monster out of the way and get to work. Find a way to do what you need to do. Experiment, take notes—whatever is necessary. DO NOT LET THE MONSTER WIN.

Do you have a personal mantra?

~If I do, it involves Personal Monsters™ and sharp, pointy sticks. Or maybe something funny.

I want to thank Erik and Supergirl so much for taking the time to answer my questions and give us such a personal look inside this amazing authors mind!

You can learn more about Erik and his books here : https://erikhenryvick.com/

 

 

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