Free Shit… And A Coffin Hop!

CoffinHop2014As you can no doubt tell by the marvelous picture above (contributed to this year’s hop by the super talented Jolie DuPre), it’s that magical time of year once again, when churchyards yawn and Hell itself breathes contagion into this world… Wait. I think someone else wrote that.

Anyhow, it’s Halloween again and as is my custom, I’m just dying to give one of you lucky souls some very cool, very free shit! But, some of you new followers may be confused. It’s not Christmas, you may be saying to yourself. Is it my birthday? No, chances are it’s not your birthday, (but if it is, how cool is that?!). It is, however, time for the 3rd Annual Coffin Hop.

What is that? You ask yourself.

Well, it’s just about the most awesome thing ever. Every year a great big group of horror writers and artists band together and blog, each giving away one or more prizes during the week leading up to Samhain. With so many horror folks putting on this party, and so many contests to enter, chances are very high that you may just walk away with some very cool shit this year.

Now you’re saying to yourself, Is this shit really that cool?

Only if you like free books and Halloween swag. And if you don’t like that stuff, I’m sure you’re starting to realize you’ve wandered to the wrong blog hop. No worries, just google dwarf hamster porn and you’ll be directed where you want to go. It’s okay. Mistakes happen. We’ll close the door behind you.

Thank God. I thought that freak would never leave! Where was I? Oh yes. As you can see in the picture below, this year’s prize pack includes signed copies of AD NAUSEAM (my collection of extreme horror), GRUESOME FACES, GHASTLY PLACES (a recent collection containing stories by Adrian Ludens, Doug Murano and myself-All South Dakota horror authors) and none other than DEATH BY DRIVE-IN (the official Coffin Hop anthology, put out by the lovely and talented Mr. Axel Howerton). As if such high-brow literary delights were not incentive enough, I will also include some tokens of the holiday that I have selected with my own two, bloody, little hands.

But how do I get this cool, free shit? You cry.

No worries, I’m about to tell you.

Last year I asked you all to share your jack-o-lanterns with me and it was a great time. This year, however, I am in the middle of a move and am feeling a bit pressed for time. That’s right, as you all are having fun visiting the sites and winning the free shit, I will be boxing up my worldly (and otherworldly) possessions (did someone say possession?) and moving them into my very first, owned by me, home! No more renting for this kid! That said, my contest this year is pretty simple. I want you, in just a few sentences, to tell me what you think my new home may be harboring.

Is it haunted by Victorian ghosts? Are there petulant poltergeists in the pantry? Disturbed deities in the den? Banshees in the bedroom (YEAH there is!)? Tell me what I will find as I take up residence at the new place, and be creative. Be scary. Be funny. Knock my socks off! Leave your description in the comments and the one that I like best will take home the gold (and by gold, I mean free shit, of course)!

And that’s all it takes. Put on your thinking caps, wow me with your originality, and make sure to click the picture of the handsome fellow above. He’ll take you back to the list so you can win even more free shit! Enjoy the Hop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*NOTE In order to protect you from a deluge of smarmy spammers or the lunatic ravings of an internet troll whose name might rhyme with Dickolaus Schmaccione, the comments on this site are set to approve only. AND due to the aforementioned move, I will be losing internet very soon. Comments posted may not be viewable until sometime late Monday. Mea Culpa.

 

 

And the Winner Is…

Dempsey's Halloween 2103 009.2And so it ends. Another October gone, the streets quiet once again, the children all scrubbed and glowing from exhaustion and sugar-rush. Across the country, teachers sigh in frustration as students gaze into nothing, their little minds and bodies wore out from the previous night’s adventures and imagining that magic time when the school bell will ring and free them to go home to a candy bag bursting at the seams. And once again, my favorite holiday is fading…

BUT! There is still a little Halloween magic left! I get to give one lucky a soul a box of goodies. Less than a dozen of you entered my contest, which should’ve made it easy, but BOY it sure wasn’t. Who knew you were all such talented bastards?! I am amazed at the level of skill in most of the jack-o-lanterns sent to me. It wasn’t an easy decision at all, the originality and thought that went into each and every one was stunning. You are all rock stars as far as I’m concerned. Of course, there can only be one winner. In the end, I had to go by technical difficulty and even then it was hard.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Brandi Slater of Michigan, for her two jack-o-lanterns pictured below. Though I loved them all, these two really stood out to me, particularly the wolf. The skill it took to carve that moon in the background is amazing. Brandi will receive the prize pack including signed copies of a few of my works, some cool Jack Skellington swag and of course, a signed copy of COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRVE-IN from which the proceeds go to supporting children’s literacy at: Litworld http://www.litworld.org/. The rest of you can still pick up a copy here: http://goo.gl/1FyjiU and do your part to help create a world where all children know the joy of reading. Congrats Brandi and a huge THANK YOU to everyone else who competed. You are all amazing!~C.W.Winner 2Winner1

Do You Carve?

Pumpkins 2013 026Hello Boils and Ghouls! Can you believe it’s already been a year since the last Coffin Hop? Time sure flies when you’re a demon, bent on destroying the world… Erm, I mean, Having fun! This year I’ve decided to keep things short and sweet as I’m sure you have plenty of other sites to hop to. My contest will be pretty easy as well, at least for those who truly celebrate Halloween, the way our ancient alien ancestors intended. And this year, the Hop is all about YOU!

So, do you carve? Are you a painter? Do you do both? How early do you buy your pumpkin? Do you keep it until it rots, or throw it out November 1st? What’s the most important trait for a good pumpkin? These are the things I want to know about you. The information I carve, I mean CRAVE!

At my house, it varies from year to year. Last Halloween we carved, the year before we did both. But this year it was all about the paint. We’d spotted some brilliant white pumpkins at a local farm and fleet store around the end of September and just knew they were for us. Of course, as mild as the weather had been, we also knew there was no way those pumpkins would survive until All Hallow’s Eve. So we waited, we bided our time, our grubby little paws rubbing together in anticipation. And guess what? You’re right, they were all gone by the time we returned. And so we set off to the seventh level of HELL (yeah, Walmart) in search of the next best thing, orange pumpkins and white spray paint. Now my family is pretty diverse. We each have our own criteria for what makes the perfect pumpkin. I am all about the symmetry. My oldest daughter believes it is the roundest pumpkin that makes the grade, and for my son, the smoothest. My middle daughter swears it’s all about SIZE! She always picks the biggest of the bunch, regardless of whether it’s a lopsided, warty monstrosity. Lou doesn’t give a shit what pumpkin he gets, as long as he doesn’t have to come with.

I’ve included photos of this year’s pumpkins. I think they turned out pretty well. They should appease the spirits and keep the demonic forces from entering our home to raise all manners of havoc such as fire, pestilence, and that annoying toe seam on your sock that won’t lay flat.Pumpkins 2013 030

This brings me to the important part, THE CONTEST! It’s simple really. All you have to do is send me a photo of your pumpkin. Paint it, carve it, throw it in the road. It doesn’t have to be this year’s jack-o-lantern. It could be a favorite from years gone by, but be original, be creative. Feel free to include some details about what makes a perfect pumpkin in your eyes. There are only a few minor rules you must adhere to:

*Do not cheat. Only dickfaces cheat! Don’t insult my intelligence by sending me a google image. I know a professional photo from a snapshot.

*Send the photo to C.W.LaSart@hotmail.com NO LATER than Midnight Central Time on October 31st.

*Please include your full name, email address and mailing address in the body of the email. The photo can be an attachment.

*MOST IMPORTANTLY! DO NOT, under any circumstances, include naked pictures of yourself. Seriously. I am getting so sick of all the junk in my inbox! What is it about my writing that makes you sickos think I want to see your tidbits? No really, just don’t.

And that’s it. After I have collected all the photos, I will present them to an impartial Jury made up of myself, two preteen girls, one flirty 8 year old boy, and a bulldog. We will pick our favorite and post it here on November 1st! The winner will receive all the wonderful goodies pictured below, as well as a signed copy of the Coffin Hop Charity Anthology, Death By Drive-In! So what are you waiting for? Get carving and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!~C.W.

Abbigail the Bulldog for Display Purposes Only *NOT INCLUDED!

Abbigail the Bulldog for Display Purposes Only *NOT INCLUDED!

Prize Includes: One signed copy of Ad Nauseam: 13 Tales of Extreme Horror, One signed copy of Bad Dreams New Screams (A limited edition Cemetery Dance Chapbook, only 500 in existence), One signed copy of Coffin Hop:Death By Drive-In (A Charity anthology by the Coffin Hoppers that supports literacy with all proceeds going to Litworld http://www.litworld.org/), One Jack Skellington Notepad, One Jack Skellington Hardbound Calendar/Planner, and a snazzy pair of Jack Skellington socks! Those who don’t win can still pick up the Charity Anthology here: http://goo.gl/1FyjiU Coming soon in E-Format!

Coffin Hop Death By Drive-In

 

 Get Back To The Hop Here: http://coffinhop.com/

 

Coffin Hop Photo

 

I’m Not Offended.

 

 

Robert McCammon and I at WHC 2013

Robert McCammon and I at WHC 2013

I want to tell you a story. Those of you who are familiar with this blog know what comes next, but for my new friends, this is where I begin my rant. Usually I try to stick with topics that scare me. Today however, I want to share something that disappoints me deeply. I would like to preface this by explaining that I am not easily offended. Anyone who has read my writing can vouch for that. I’m also not opposed to nudity in general, nor am I opposed to nudity in horror films. I love horror films. Gratuitous sex is just part of the bargain. I’m not offended by it at all. Far from it. I’m one of the least prudish people you will ever meet. Of course, after today the fans of a certain well-known horror site might disagree on that point, but we’ll get to that. This post might piss some of you off and I’m deeply sorry about that. No, I’m just kidding, if it pisses you off, you’re part of the problem. Let’s start the story, shall we?

Imagine if you will, a facebook timeline. It could be very much like yours (probably is since we are both horror fans) but it isn’t yours. It’s mine. On this timeline are many posts by horror writers, memes by horror sites, and in general, just a plethora of horror related stuff. It’s a lovely timeline. It sees its share of monsters, blood and gore, and even some nudity. Now climb into my head as we are scrolling this timeline. Do you see it? Good! Imagine, if you will, you come across a picture that gives you pause. We are all familiar with the little twin girls from The Shining. Imagine that same hallway, only in place of the young girls, two adult twins have been poorly photoshopped into the foreground. They are both blonde with headbands and they are holding hands. They are also both completely nude with the exception of a pair of bloodstained knee socks. The tiniest of little boxes cover the necessary bits, but there is a link to the “uncensored version” posted directly below.

Okay, here is where you start rolling your eyes and saying “Come on, C.W.! It’s HORROR. This seriously can’t offend you, can it? You wrote a story about a guy fucking a hole in the ground!” But please stick with me here, I’m not done and I have a point to make. Whether that point is valid or not is completely up to you. Back to the story…

So you see this picture and you realize it is posted by the facebook page of what is known as a respected and highly trafficked horror website. It’s one of your favorites and is generally full of reviews, photos of classic horror movie posters, and all those usual things. You’re surprised, so you click the picture and are directed to the page. You’re still slightly shocked that they would post this. It really has nothing to do with the horror industry and is clearly a blatant excuse to post a rather gratuitous picture of porn. You aren’t outraged, but you’re a little stunned (remember, you’re in my head right now). Then you see the comments on the picture. Now you’re pissed. These misogynistic replies, posted by what can only be politely referred to as basic and crass troglodytes, start to get under your skin. I will share the fine comments posted by these knuckle-draggers later, complete with my own commentary.

But let’s get back to the subject at hand. You may not see my point yet, but I will spell it out for you. The picture was originally shared by a website called Boobs and Blood or some such shit. That’s fine. I’m not offended that they have this picture. It’s clearly not a site for which I am the target audience. Have at it! But it was shared by a site I do follow. It wasn’t on their website, just the facebook page, but that page is representative of this site I once followed and respected. I’m not offended. I’m gravely disappointed. I find it sad that such a respected site, with a broad range and large female fanbase would allow the posting of something so irrelevant to the horror industry. Posters of movies with nudity are relevant. Sure, they are. Gratuitous sex is a staple of the industry. It’s the norm. Full frontal female nudity is not. The most disheartening part of it is that they would willing post something that is potentially offensive to half their fanbase. And if the photo doesn’t bother most women, clearly the commentary that was allowed to follow would make the majority uncomfortable. I know that it is impossible for a site to post things that EVERYONE will enjoy or agree with, but I think a line was crossed here. The picture and ensuing comments gave what was once an enjoyable page for most, a crass frat house atmosphere. Let’s take a peek at some of these comments, shall we?

Eric S. says “Carpet installation. Hahahahaha! Pretty smooth…” Very clever there, Eric. I see what you did with the thinly-veiled reference to the women’s grooming habits. Your mother must be proud.

Michael B. says “One of them actually stole a book of matches and tried to burn off her
pubes, so I… corrected… her….”
Wait, what? What the fuck does that mean? Does anyone else think that sounds rapey?

Lee V. says “best photograph in the world” Clearly Lee’s reading tastes don’t include TIME magazine. I bet he considers the stories in the Penthouse Forum to be fine literary fiction.

There are more along that line, but I think you get the picture. But here’s where the disturbing shit really starts. Enter a couple people who speak negatively about the photo. Let’s look at how their comments are treated:

Jill G. says “What the hell is this? What does this have to do with the Shining? Why
can’t you just have a horror site without parading around naked women? And the
pseudo-pedophilia implied here is more than a little disturbing.”

To which Michael C. responds (Michael is my new favorite. A very special sort of douchebag) “@Jill  Chill out please. It’s a parody on something most horror
fans are familiar with. If not then you almost can’t call yourself a horror
fan. As for the rest of your comment. Those things you mentioned never came to
mind until you spoke of it and I still don’t see it. You have to try real hard
to imagine the pseudo-pedophilia. I think you have serious issues if you think
this image is problematic. And suggest to seek out professional help” 
Um, Nice try. I don’t think so, Michael. You see, I don’t remember the twins from The Shining ever being naked. If you are seeking a true parody of this scene, might I suggest the one featuring Stephen King and Colbert? Now that was funny shit. This is just an excuse to post two naked women.

Nope. Not naked.

Nope. Not naked.

 

Another post speaking out about the picture, Caren says “22,701 Horror fans on this page. How many do you think are women? Glad the guys think this is relevant.”

And the responses. From “The Site In Question” “Probably a lot of women. We have posted things like this before, and have actually gotten good responses from women. If there are men that are doing this sort of stuff, we would post it up there as well. That is just not the norm for the most part. Sorry if it offends you.” Oh, okay. The fact that you would post penises makes this totally cool. My bad. Carry on. But the fact that two women have now commented against it must be about as irrelevant as the picture itself.

The only male response speaking out against the picture, Paul F. says “I have to agree with Caren on this. I don’t really see the relevance of this to horror. It’s simple pornography. You might as well be posting links to Redtube or something. And before anyone gets on their histrionic high horse, no, I’m not gay nor am I a prude, not that that would be relevant to any intelligent debate on the subject. Those that do comment like that, should really question whether they see women as anything more than ‘walking vaginas’. I simply don’t want to open up Facebook, where I connect with a lot of horror authors and horror movie film pages, and see what is basically porn. Which is why I will now unlike the page. Good luck in the future.” Thanks Paul. Nice to see you aren’t all like Michael.

But wait! Here comes that wily Michael again @Paul How is this porn? Go look up what the definition of porn is and then come back and explain it to me. The image here is censored. While it might be slightly erotic it sure is no porn. @Caren  Your comment suggest that all women would have problems with this assuming you represent all women. I know a lot of healty and law abiding women who don’t object to this kind of imagery. And sorry to say but if people make more fuzz about seeing a little nudity as opposed to limbs being chopped off then I am kinda worried. Don’t we all come to this world naked? Honestly people chill out.Yeah! How dare you point out the irelevance of this picture! It’s naked women for Christ’s sakes! We NEVER get to see that. Bite me, Michael. And they linked the uncensored version. They only posted the censored version out of the desire to keep their facebook page, not any nod to modesty or taste.

But, apparently she does speak for some other women. Sumiko S. Says “Your comment suggests that you speak for all women vicariously, Michael
– because you know some women that it doesn’t bother. The fact that it doesn’t
bother some women does not mean that the women and men are bothered by it
should be silenced. People are entitled to have opinions, even ones you may not
personally agree with.

I think you should chill out.”

Okay, enough of that. At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “Come on, C.W. It’s not that big of a deal.” Some of you women may even be thinking the usual things. Men are pigs. Guys will be guys. No. That’s a cop out and you know it. I mean really? You men should be offended by that (though most aren’t because it lets them get by with bad behavior). Seriously, it’s not like you’re intelligent people who can control your actions and words, right? (note, heavy sarcasm intended by author) Women are forced to be okay with this sort of thing all the time, but let me tell you something, just because they remain quiet does not mean they aren’t uncomfortable. The unfortunate side effect of Women’s Lib is that a percentage of women, in hopes of not being lumped in with the more militant feminists, strive to embrace this behavior. They bury their discomfort in hopes of being “cool” or not being “that gal”. Well guess what? I’m okay with being that gal. I don’t give a shit. I’m not a prude. I’m not easily offended. But I’m sad to see this site resorting to this behavior. Right now is a hot time for the Sci-Fi/Horror industry in regards to the treatment of women. I am generally the FIRST to defend the industry amidst many allegations of sexual harassment at cons, disadvantages toward female authors and all the other horseshit that women deal with on a regular basis. I am not a card carrying feminist. You may think it’s wrong to call out all those men and their posts, but don’t worry. Sexist primates like that probably aren’t reading this fucking blog anyway.

But, in the end, it’s their page. They have the right to post what they want. Even if it is completely irrelevant to the industry and potentially offensive to the women on their page. As a former fan, I have a right to react. Their choice has put them in this blog. You know how we writers are. Originally I had intended to leave the site unnamed. But then I read their lame excuses and apologies which acknowledge the picture, but take absolutely no responsibility for posting it.

“We all love watching death, blood and gore…. Don’t let a couple of naked people get to you!!” It’s not the naked people, it’s the absolutely gratuitous reason for the picture on a site dedicated to horror.

“We share a lot of things on this Facebook page. One: its not our website, Two: if you don’t like it, don’t see a point to it, or are really offended by it, tell the blog it came from. Funny thing is we have had more bad comments and people mad about a twilight post than this. Again, we just share things sometimes. Could be a cool t-shirt, hello kitty chainsaw, trailers, or naked people. It’s a big world out there folks…” Yep. A big old world. Full of people. Some are writers. Welcome to my blog.

No, they’re right. It’s not their website. Just their facebook page, which all decent authors know is a huge representative of who we are as a brand. I won’t name the site. No, that would be wrong. But I will include a link to their page. ;) I would like to know what you think. A decent dialogue goes a long way toward resolving issues. Much farther than asking people to chill out, and expecting them to bite their tongue when they see something they don’t like. Maybe it’s an overreaction. After all, it could just be that time of the month. Right guys?

Author’s Note:

Upon some reflection, I have decided to delete the link. Though my opinion on the actions of said Horror Site have not changed, it is not my intention to cause a witch hunt. However, the picture of me flipping them the bird still stands. Thank you~C.W. LaSart

A little "gratuitous" photo of my own.

A little “gratuitous” photo of my own.

 

 

Let’s Celebrate!

Hey! It’s my birthday next week and to celebrate, I’m giving away a FREE copy of Ad Nauseam on Goodreads. Just follow the link to enter. http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/42910-ad-nauseam

Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot Announced!

Hello my friends! Today I have the great honor of announcing that the preliminary ballot has been released for the 2012 Bram Stoker Awards®, and Ad Nauseam: 13 Tales of Extreme Horror is included. Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers who made the list. I am humbled to be considered in such fine company!

* NOTE: This is only the preliminary ballot and works included are not to be considered NOMINATED.*

 

2012 PRELIMINARY BRAM STOKER AWARDS® BALLOT

NOTE: For those appearing on this ballot – your work is NOT a “nominee” at this point (that only occurs if you appear on the Final Ballot).

NOVEL
Bodner, Hal – The Trouble with Hairy
Clines, Peter – 14
Ethridge, Benjamin Kane – Bottled Abyss
Everson, John – NightWhere
Faherty, JG – Cemetery Club
Jordan, Lee F. – Coronation
Kiernan, Caitlin R. – The Drowning Girl
Little, Bentley – The Haunted
McKinney, Joe – Inheritance

FIRST NOVEL
Boccacino, Michael – Charlotte Markham and the House of Darklings
Coates, Deborah – Wide Open
Day, Charles – The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief
Dudar, Peter – A Requiem for Dead Flies
Gropp, Richard – Bad Glass
Hatchell, Dane – Resurrection X: Zombie Evolution
Holm, Chris – Dead Harvest
Jones, K. Trap – The Sinner
Soares, L.L. – Life Rage
Sterbakov, Hugh – City Under the Moon

YA NOVEL
Bickle, Laura – The Hallowed Ones
Bray, Libba – The Diviners
Burt, Steve – FreeK Show
Collings, Michaelbrent – Hooked: A True Faerie Tale
Lyga, Barry – I Hunt Killers
Maberry, Jonathan – Flesh & Bone
McCarty, Michael – I Kissed A Ghoul
Stiefvater, Maggie – The Raven Boys
Strand, Jeff – A Bad Day for Voodoo
Waters, Daniel – Break My Heart 1,000 Times
Wilson, Connie Corcoran – The Color of Evil

LONG FICTION
Burke, Kealan Patrick – Thirty Miles South of Dry County
Faherty, JG – The Cold Spot
Giglio, Peter – Sunfall Manor
Ketchum, Jack, and Lucky McGee – I’m Not Sam
Malfi, Ronald – The Mourning House
McKinney, Joe, and Michael McCarty – Lost Girl of the Lake
Miskowski, S.P. – Delphine Dodd
O’Neill, Gene – The Blue Heron
Prentiss, Norman – The Fleshless Man
Thompson, Lee – When We Join Jesus in Hell

SHORT FICTION
Bailey, Michael – Bootstrap
Boston, Bruce – Surrounded by the Mutant Rain Forest
Breaux, Kevin James – The Journal of USS Indianapolis Survivor: Stefanos
“Stevie” Georgiou
Cushing, Nicole – A Catechism for Aspiring Amnesiacs
Lake, Jay – The Cancer Catechism
McKinney, Joe – Bury My Heart at Marvin Gardens
Ochse, Weston – Righteous
Palisano, John – Available Light
Snyder, Lucy – Magdala Amygdala

SCREENPLAY
Hill, Susan, and Goldman, Jane – The Woman in Black
Kim, San Kyu – The Walking Dead, “Killer Within”
Minear, Tim – American Horror Story: Asylum, “Dark Cousin”
Olynyk, Signe – Below Zero
Ross, Gary, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray – The Hunger Games
Sanchez, Eduardo, and Jaime Nash – Lovely Molly
Whedon, Joss, and Drew Goddard – The Cabin in the Woods

ANTHOLOGY
Beebe, Eric – Fear the Abyss
Castle, Mort, and Sam Weller – Shadow Show
Gallows Press – Tales from the Yellow Rose Diner and Fill Station
Guignard, Eric J. – Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations
Miller, Eric – Hell Comes to Hollywood
Salter, Richard – World’s Collider
Scalisi, Patrick – The Ghost Is the Machine
Scioneaux, Mark C., R.J. Cavender, and Robert S. Wilson – Horror for Good: A
Charitable Anthology
Swanson, Stan – Slices of Flesh

FICTION COLLECTION
Cain, Kenneth W. – These Old Tales: The Complete Collection
Carroll, Jonathan – Woman Who Married a Cloud: Collected Stories
Castle, Mort – New Moon on the Water
De Winter, Corrine – Valentines for the Dead
Hand, Elizabeth – Errantry: Strange Stories
Hirshberg, Glen – The Janus Tree
Lane, Joel – Where Furnaces Burn
LaSart, C.W. – Ad Nauseam
Oates, Joyce Carol – Black Dahlia and White Roses
Onspaugh, Mark – Christmas Ghost Stories
Yardley, Mercedes M. – Beautiful Sorrows

NON-FICTION
Aisenberg, Joe – Carrie: Studies in the Horror Film
Amazing Kreskin, The, and Michael McCarty – Conversations with Kreskin
Collings, Michael – Writing Darkness
Klinger, Les – The Annotated Sandman, Volume 1
Matthews, Araminta Star, Rachel Lee, and Stan Swanson – Write of the Living Dead
Morton, Lisa – Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween
Paffenroth, Kim, and John W. Morehead – The Undead and Theology
Perry, Dennis R., and Carl H. Sederholm – Adapting Poe: Re-Imaginings in Popular Culture
Phillips, Kendall R. – Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film

POETRY
Addison, Linda, and Stephen M. Wilson – Dark Duet
Boston, Bruce, and Gary William Crawford – Notes from the Shadow City
Collings, Michael – A Verse to Horrors
Dietrich, Bryan D. – The Monstrance
Ong Muslim, Kristina – Grim Series
Simon, Marge, and Sandy DeLuca – Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls
Turzillo, Mary A. – Lovers & Killers

——————

The following will not appear on the Preliminary Ballot. As there are only
five works, these will proceed directly to the Final Ballot.

GRAPHIC NOVEL
Bunn, Cullen – The Sixth Gun Volume 3: Bound
Moore, Terry – Rachel Rising Vol. 1: The Shadow of Death
Thornton, Ravi – The Tale of Brin and Bent and Minno Marylebone
Wacks, Peter J., and Guy Anthony De Marco – Behind These Eyes
Wood, Rocky, and Lisa Morton – Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times

A Brief Reflection.

2012 is just about over, and 2013 is knocking on the door. What this new year will bring is anyone’s guess. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2012 and what it has meant to me. This year has been one of the best of my life. It brought me the publication of my first collection, many story sales, my first horror convention and new friends in the publishing industry. It has been a banner year for me as a writer and I hope to see even more progress in 2013. I could go on and give you a list of all the accomplishments and joys I have felt, but they seem trivial at the moment. You see, despite the many wonderful things that 2012 has blessed me with, it ends on an extremely sorrowful note for myself and my family. We lost someone very precious on December 20th. My beloved Aunt Susie left us much too soon and the void in the family is not one that will soon be filled. If ever.

I want to take this moment to thank you all for being a part of my journey, my life, and my family. I pray that 2013 will bring you all many good tidings, but mostly I pray it will bring love, friendship and healing to all of us in need. Be good to one another. We aren’t promised tomorrow, so my resolution is to never take one bit of it for granted. Much love and Happy New Year~C.W. LaSart

The Next Big Thing!

Hello my friends! We’re going to something a bit different today. I have been tagged by the very talented Benjamin Kane Ethridge in a fun little game called The Next Big Thing where I am challenged to answer a few questions about what I’m working on before directing you to other writers who will do the same. You can still read Ben’s answers at http://benjikane.livejournal.com/, and at the end I will direct you to next week’s blog. Okay then, that’s easy enough. Without further adieu, on to my questions!

What is the working title of your next book?  My first novel, which I am currently hard at work on, is called Calliope.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  That’s a little bit harder. This is one of many ideas that have been rattling around my head for years. I can’t really remember the origin. It’s been there for so long that I almost feel it’s been up there forever! :)

What genre does your book fall under?  Definitely horror. Maybe even a bit towards extreme horror.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?  Another hard one. I can certainly tell you who wouldn’t star in it. Kristin Stewart. I don’t watch nearly enough movies anymore, so I am out of touch with actresses. Maybe the gal from the remake of Fright Night for the female lead. I liked her.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Ancient evil overtakes a small town.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Neither. It will definitely be released by a small press. I’ve had a few inquire about seeing it when it’s finished and plan to go with one of those. Provided they like it of course.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?  I hand wrote it in about four months. The book itself is done, other than editing, but I am immersed in the painful process of trying to decipher my own handwriting and type it up. Not an easy task. I write fast and in sloppy cursive. Even I don’t know what I’m saying half the time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Hmmmm. I’m not sure on that one. It has an 80’s pulp feel to it and a carnival theme. I suppose there’s a few golden oldies on my shelf that it may compare to, but none of the top of my head. Though the monsters aren’t werewolves, one could say there is a resemblance to the beasts.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  I have made no secret of the fact that I miss the old pulp feel of horror, back before the genre started to take itself too seriously. I suppose that is what really inspired me to write this book. I grew up on the fun of splatterpunk and I wanted to pay homage to my roots. I wanted to write something that would’ve fit in well with the genre during my early years when I feel in love with horror. I hope I have succeeded.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?  Did I mention it’s got a carnival theme? There have been many books written about evil carnivals that descend upon unsuspecting towns, but I chose to take this familiar trope and give it a little shake. What if the town itself was evil, and the carnies the heroes? You’ll just have to read it to find out :)

Well, that’s it. Now I’m supposed to tag 3-5 other writers and send you on your way. Of course, I’ve never been one for the rules, so I think I will just tag one. Okay, you got me, I came into the game late and could only find one other person who wanted to play! But he’s well worth the visit! I give you, Dan Dillard! Check out his blog while you wait and next Wednesday you can read his answers to the same questions. http://www.demonauthor.com/ Happy reading my friends. Until next time~C.W. LaSart

And The Winner Is…

Halloween has come and gone again. 364 more days until we get to do it again. It’s a bittersweet thing for me, I’m sad to see it go, but it means I get to announce the winner of my Coffin Hop drawing! Before I do though, I want to send out a heartfelt thanks to all of you who stopped by. You are the reason we do this hop and you are all rockstars in my book! Okay, without further adieu… The winner of the 2012 Coffin Hop Prize pack is… Robin Rodwell! Congratulations Robin and I hope to see the rest of you next year!~C.W. LaSart

It’s Coffin Hop Time Again! Who Wants Some Free Shit?

Those of you who are familiar with my blog are used to my snarky and hopefully amusing posts, but I think I will take a break from that for this most hallowed of holidays. No worries, there’s sure to be plenty of sarcasm in the future, but how about we make this easy today. Let’s just give some free shit away, shall we? I thought you might like that. All I ask you to do is sign up for the blog and leave a comment below telling me you did it. Yep, that’s it. For those who are already following the blog, just leave a comment stating as such. When the week is over and the ghastly ghouls are walking the streets in search of candy, I will chose one lucky winner out of a hat (high tech as always) to receive my lovely Coffin Hop Grand Prize including: A signed copy of my premiere collection Ad Nauseam, a signed copy of a limited edition chapbook (ONLY 500 IN EXISTENCE) published by none other than Cemetery Dance, one copy of the Exclusive Coffin Hop Teaser for next year’s much anticipated Death By Drive-In anthology in the e-format of your choice, one sweetly spooky Halloween sock monkey, a collection of classic horror movies, and many more spectacular goodies! For the rest of you who don’t win, as There Can Only Be One, here’s a special treat, something I very rarely do… A free short story. I’m adamantly against posting free stories on blogs but what can I say, I guess I just got caught up in the spirit of my favorite holiday! So without further adieu, here for your reading entertainment, I give you RETIRED GODS. I hope you enjoy it. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and comment for a chance to win all the goodies. HAPPY HALLOWEEN MY FRIENDS.

 

RETIRED GODS

 

 

           

The old gods were bored. They gathered in the soft sunlight that filtered through the frosted glass windows of the common room in Windy Brooks Rest Home, as they did every day. Some played cards and some watched television, while others stared off into space, lost in their own minds with little hope of return. Like any group of seniors, they spoke of the old days, reminisced about a time when the world was much younger and simpler. This was where they chose to pass the time while they waited. Endless days of waiting; for lunch, then dinner, to watch their shows, to take their meds. Mostly, they waited to die.

Zeus sat at a square table in the corner, his gnarled fingers laboring as he slowly shuffled a deck of cards. Palsy was starting to get the better of him, but as long as he could manage, there would be a game. Hera sat to his left, still beautiful to him after all these years. She smiled and nodded, occasionally reaching out to pat his hand when he spoke, showing her affection. He paid her demeanor little heed, aware that she nodded not out of agreement with anything he said, but because of dementia. Hera was forever trapped in a time before mighty Olympus had fallen, destruction brought about by the Heaven that was a promise made by the Nazarene. Sometimes Zeus envied his wife.

Poseidon sat directly to Zeus’ right, a chair pulled away from the table to accommodate his wheelchair. He sat slumped and mostly lifeless, except for his eyes. Though he had ceased speaking months before, Poseidon still watched the game, his faded blue eyes tracking their hands as the hours passed. Zeus finished his painful shuffle and laid the deck carefully on the table.

“Cut the cards, Hades.”

Hades sat directly across from Zeus, his gaze never leaving the arthritic hands as they worked the cards. He still doesn’t trust me. Zeus was amused. After all these years, he still expects me to cheat him.  Hades cut the cards and the game began.

Young nurses in bright scrubs adorned with cartoon characters drifted in and out of the room, silently performing their tasks with bland expressions. Windy Brooks was not a rest home strictly for the gods, and they paid no more attention to the conversations of this particular group than any other. The young have a way of tuning out the old, dismissing all their conversation as ramblings of senility. Still, they were cared for competently.

Hades stopped arranging his hand and cocked his head to the side, his bulbous nose turned up to sniff the air.

“Do you smell that?”

“I believe Poseidon has shit himself again.” Zeus replied dryly.

“Not that.” Hades waved a hand dismissively. “The other smell. How can you not smell it? It’s death! I smell death! The old man in Room 207 has died.”

Zeus shrugged.

“What a bastard he was during his life. He was a thief and a cheat. How I long to collect that soul and drag it across the River Styx to serve me in the underworld!” Hades eyes were bright with wistful excitement. Deaths around the rest home were frequent, sometimes several a week, and they never failed to send Hades into a fit of longing. The knowledge that he no longer ruled the Underworld was painful.

With a triumphant cry, Aphrodite rushed the table, flinging her gown wide and gyrating like an ancient showgirl. Only Hermes took notice, reaching a gnarled hand over to squeeze her pendulous breast, earning a rebuke from Zeus.

“Hermes! Leave your sister alone. Incest has been out of fashion for centuries now.” Chided, but not ashamed, Hermes slunk off to the couch where he pouted in front of the television set. Aphrodite continued to bounce and flop her deflated boobs at the card players for a moment, and then she ran off, cackling like the toothless hag that she was. An orderly disappeared down the hall in pursuit, his gentle voice fading as he coaxed her into abandoning her naked revelry.

Zeus sighed and returned his attention to his cards. Sometimes he wondered if he and Hades were the only ones with any of their faculties. He laid a card and waited for his brother to counter. The daylight was fading and soon it would be dinnertime. He hoped they would have Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes tonight. It was his favorite.

Dionysus raised his frail voice in argument with one of the staff. She was trying to walk away, but he gripped her elbow. This altercation was another daily occurrence, one of the ways they passed the time at Windy Brooks. Dionysus wanted a bottle of wine. Dionysus always wanted wine.

“Just get me my wine!” He insisted, his face flushed with anger.

The nurse shook her head and pried at his fingers. “The doctors’ orders state that you may have one glass of wine every evening, and not until after dinner.”

“Don’t you know who I am?” The old man whined, clearly near tears.

“Of course I know who you are, Mr. Jones.” She turned on her heal and swiftly left the common room. This same scene took place every night. You could almost set your watch by it. Giving up on his wine, Dionysus turned his attention toward Zeus for yet another predictable conversation.

“Hey, Zeus!”

“Yes, Dionysus.” Zeus replied calmly.

“Why don’t we go find the Old Norse Gods? Or the Egyptians? That Ra was one powerful guy. Maybe if we all banded together, we could pool what’s left of our powers…” he trailed off as Zeus shook his head sadly.

“They’re gone, Dion. All gone.” Zeus reigned in his frustration with sheer will and not a small amount of pity. “I have told you many times. They are all dead now. There is no help for us anymore.”

Dionysus looked deflated for a moment, then his face brightened and he held up one crooked finger triumphantly, his mouth opened to speak.

“No Dion,” Zeus cut him off, “The Hindu Gods won’t help us. They are still very powerful, but we have tried contacting them. They don’t wish to trifle with relics such as us. I suppose that they too will weaken as time goes by and they become forgotten. It’s the way of the world, my son.”

Zeus patted Dionysus on the back, but he just stared out the window, his lined face stricken with misery. This also happened every evening.

The glorious days of Olympus were long gone, but the gods hadn’t gone quietly into submission. They had been vain and powerful at first, enjoying centuries of play on Earth and in the Heavens, watching and meddling in the existence of mortals at will, often ruining lives for little more than sport. So feared were they that their powers fed on the emotions of their subjects, both adoration and terror, growing stronger every time a mortal turned his gaze to Olympus in prayer. It was a good time for the old gods, and they had foolishly believed it would be such until the end of time. Many wars were fought to preserve their territory and way of life, battles often sparked by jealousy and vanity. In the end, they were defeated by something that had never occurred to them. Love.

A Jewish man from Nazareth quietly walked the lands, encouraging all the people of the Earth, both before and after his death, to abandon their old gods and embrace his own. His message was powerful. He promised love and redemption, something that people desperately wanted after dealing for so long with the fickle gods of old. Their subjects responded, pulled by the power of a compassionate God, never petty or spiteful like the ones they worshipped. No matter how hard Zeus and the others tried, however much they spread punishments to the mortals under their rule, the people slowly slipped away from them.

Other gods met their destruction by Muhammad’s message, and some were simply pushed aside in favor of science. Men would continue to kill in the name of a God, but not their names. Not anymore. They became stories, myths, and their strength slowly dwindled over the centuries, rendering them little more than mortals. With their powers went immortality and they eventually aged, becoming the shells of gods that now sat in the common room of the home, playing cards and losing their minds. The only magic they had left came from scores of middle school students who studied them briefly in class and for a moment found them cool. This was no life for a former deity.

“Zeus?” Hades soft voice intruded on his reverie, bringing him back to the present. He found his mind wandering more often lately and it scared him more than he cared to admit. Zeus could handle the infirmities of the flesh that plagued him daily, but was terrified of losing his mind. Whatever else awaited him, he wanted to meet it with his wit and intelligence intact. “ZEUS!”

Hades pointed to the right where Poseidon slumped, his head back and eyes unblinking, jaw slack. He had quit breathing again and the rest of the gods formed a semicircle of concern around their fallen comrade. All eyes fell to Zeus, pleading silently for him to fix the situation. He closed his own eyes for a moment and dug deep in his being, harnessing whatever pool of strength and power he still possessed, before he laid his hand gently on Poseidon’s unmoving chest. With a grunt of exertion, Zeus felt the hairs on his arm crackle as a subdued bolt of blue lightning passed through his hand and into the heart below it. Poseidon’s body bucked lightly and everyone gasped, watching in wide-eyed anticipation of whether or not it would work this time.

After several agonizing seconds, during which Zeus was sure he had failed to revive his brother, Poseidon drew a harsh breath and coughed, his eyes bleary and unfocused. As the fit passed, he looked around at the concerned faces that hovered around him. With a scowl, his eyes darted to Zeus, and to everyone’s amusement, his shaky hand raised and shot Zeus the world’s most pathetic bird. Zeus smiled and shuffled the cards, happy Poseidon had come back from the brink, but not certain that he would have it in him next time.

The mood in the room inevitably turned from amused to somber, as the gods considered the enormity of what would have happened if Zeus had failed. Soon the questions began.

“What’s going to happen to us?”

“Where will we go when we die?”

“What do we do?”

Questions barraged Zeus from every side. Only silently nodding Hera and the mute Poseidon refused to join in the verbal assault. They had relied on Zeus for the entirety of their long existence and still looked to him for answers to questions that both confused and terrified them. Answers he did not have. Frustrated by his impotence in the matter, Zeus threw up his hands, scattering cards about the table. His thunderous scowl, a part of his former glory, caused them all to cringe away, fearful of the mighty lightning bolt he no longer possessed. “I DON’T KNOW!”

Zeus’s shout earned him a reproachful look from a passing nurse, as he painfully gathered his deck of cards together. The other gods huddled in the corner, causing Zeus to regret his outburst. He didn’t mean to scare them, but DAMNIT! He didn’t know everything. His days of omnipotence were long gone, and he knew no better than the rest of them what fate awaited the gods on the other side of death. How could any man know such a thing? All men went to their deaths, unknowing and alone. It was the fear of all the elderly, so close to their time but unsure of the outcome. Zeus was no longer a god, just an old man, fearfully waiting for his end.

Zeus laid the deck in the middle of the table. They had time for just one more game before dinner. “Cut the cards, Hades.”

Hades cut the cards and the game began.

 

Now Back to the Hop With You!!! http://coffinhop.wordpress.com/ 

And if you’re really enjoying the Hop and want to help support the 2013 release of Death By Drive-In, featuring 22 of our very own Coffin Hoppers, visit http://www.cafepress.com/coffinhop for some cool swag with all proceeds going directly to the release of that charity anthology!

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