Celebrating Mary Shelley’s Birth Date, August 30, 1797
“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos …” Mary Shelley
Every year, the most ardent Mary Shelley fans remember this author on August 30. Frankenstein is still one of the most popular and enduring novels since its publication in 1818. We spend time reading her short stories and browsing her biographies, maybe discovering a new fact about her life and writing.
Did you know Frankenstein was inspired by a nightmare? In the preface of the third edition of the novel, Mary says that Frankenstein came to her in a dream. During a sleepless night in her dark room, behind closed shutters “with the moonlight struggling to get through … I saw with shut eyes, but acute mental vision – I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts…
I suppose most people are superstitious about something, but for me, this one is a matter of perspective.
My fictional black cat, Friday, leapt into existence on a Friday the 13th. From that first creepy story, he grew into a creature with a mind of his own — like all cats, really— and a killer sense of justice that springs into action whenever someone is behaving very badly. With a twitch of his tail, magic happens and horrible people get what’s coming to them in the most macabre ways. It’s all very satisfying… but of course, punishing people fictionally is like that.
I so wish Friday was real. There are days when I wish I had someone like that to deliver a dose of poetic justice to someone who particularly deserves it. “This looks like a job for Friday!” has become a catchphrase between my best friends and myself, which comes in quite handy at those times when you can’t express how we feel about someone or a situation as honestly as we might like to.
I don’t really believe in luck, and I certainly don’t think certain days or black cats are bad luck.
I enjoy Friday the 13th because it reminds me that sometimes great things grow out of chance ideas. And, it’s fair to say, it beats most Mondays hands down.
Friday appears in Curious Things and Curious Times by Joanne Van Leerdam. Widely available in all online stores in paperback and ebook.
Of all the scenes written by Shakespeare, this is the most Halloween-worthy. What is more appropriate for All Hallow’s Eve than a haunting, right?
Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ portrays Richard as an evil, conniving, murderous villain who plots and murders his way onto the throne of England. His deeds are ruthless and his victims are many.
In Act 5, Scene 3, the ghosts of all of Richard’s victims haunt him in his tent the night before the battle. Each of them bids him to “despair and die”, which becomes a powerful refrain that haunts him as he sleeps. This kind of regular repetition of a phrase is called epimone (uh-pim-o-nee): it compounds and gives power to an idea by dwelling on it.
Each of the ghosts also visits Richard’s opponent, Richmond, as he sleeps, bidding him to live, conquer and flourish. It is significant that their words to him are not…
Often referred to as the Weird Sisters, the witches of ‘Macbeth’ open the play with a powerfully macabre and horrifying scene. There is a cauldron in the middle of the cavern, around which the witches dance and recite the list of ingredients in the potion they are making.
Just reading the recipe is enough to make one’s skin crawl – and we are nowhere near as superstitious as Shakespeare’s original audiences.
In 1606 when the play is thought to have first been performed, audiences then would have both living memory and current knowledge of witch trials and persecutions, and would have been very wary of anything to do with witches and magic.
Shakespeare knew what we was doing, though. James I had been king of England for a few years, and did not enjoy universal popularity among his English subjects. By portraying the witches and Macbeth as evil, he was…
Last week, as my friends and I were sitting in a shopping centre food court, I watched a young boy carefully picki his nose, eating the booger, and follow it with a chicken nugget. He did this at least three times,
At a table nearby, another young boy watched too, with disbelief and horror written all across his face.
The scene amused me, and I filed a mental note about it. Did the second boy never pick his nose, I wondered, or was he just appalled by the thought of eating it?
As I was driving home, a story came to me.
It seems fitting that it is a macabre story, given that it is October and Halloween will soon be upon us.
However, when I went looking for a copyright free image of a kid with their finger up their nose, I couldn’t find a single one. You would think that with the world-wide resources of the internet at our fingertips, things like that wouldn’t be so hard to find. There were stock images available, but I generally refuse to use those because, like all Indie authors, I’m on a budget and that seems like a luxury to me.
One Facebook post later, my cousin came to the rescue. Her young son was only too happy to stick his finger up his nose for the camera, and now he’s my little hero. He loves creepy stories, so I’ve promised to write one for him. I just have to wait for a little more strange inspiration to come my way.
I hope you enjoy The Final Blow.
“How many times do I have to tell you not to pick your nose?”
Sam sighed. All he wanted to do was dislodge those crusty bits that stabbed the inside of his nostrils every time she made him blow into a tissue, and remained there stubbornly regardless of his efforts with the tissue. Those things hurt, and they didn’t let go on their own.The best way to remove them was gently, with his favourite finger, and then flick them into the bin.
She should just be thankful he never wanted to eat it. He didn’t understand how other kids could. Just the other day when they had gone out for lunch he had watched another boy in the restaurant eating his booger off his finger before picking up a chicken nugget and eating that. He shuddered at the thought.
It’s Day 15 of Women in Horror Month 2019 and the horror bus keeps on rolling. Today, I’m excited to welcome back Caroline E Farrell to Unusual Fiction. Caroline is a filmmaker and award winning author of dark fiction.
Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger from Dublin, Ireland. She once blogged a vampire novel online, which becameArkyne, Story of a Vampire. She has also written the award-winning novel, Lady Beth. Caroline is the writer of three short films, ADAM (2013), IN RIBBONS (2015) and FRAMED (2018) which she also directed. She has also written several published shorts stories and award-winning feature screenplays.
horror genre do you write in?
At the moment, I am drawn to psychological horror.
With regard to genre though, I don’t really fit into any specific category, which suits me as I can only write what truly captivates…
S. K. Gregory writes horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. When she isn’t writing, she works as an editor and promoter for indie authors. She resides in Northern Ireland and has been writing since she was a child.
Most of the horror she writes features supernatural creatures such as demons. She recently released a collection of short stories called Chills and Thrills Tales which feature everything from werewolves to ghosts, to killer cannibal demons.
July 4th – The infection begins…
When a town is overrun by zombies, Rachel and her family are caught in the chaos. The virus spreads fast and Rachel is left to defend herself and her little cousin.
Gabe and Adam are two soldiers, tasked with finding the source of the infection and stopping it. But are they already too late?
Rachel joins the soldiers in a bid to survive, but with the army ready to drop a bomb on the town, they must figure out a way to escape before they are killed.
Can it stop the spread of the infection though?
Contains adult content.
A Small Town. An Ancient Evil…
For acting Sheriff, Kayla Thomas, most nights consist of breaking up bar fights and locking up drunks. That is until a local businessman decides to open up the old mine and gets more than he bargained for.
Something evil resides in Silverville and he just let it out…
When the businessman is found murdered, Kayla faces a viral like disease which turns ordinary people into murderers, tapping into their worst fears.
Who can she trust when anyone could be infected?
With the town snowed in, Kayla and her deputies must find the source of the virus before the roads are cleared. If this evil escapes into the world, no one is safe.
Can Kayla defeat the Trickster?
When Crystal crashes into Jax, she is worried that she will go to jail for drunk driving, but she has bigger things to worry about. Jax may seem like a normal teen, but he is hiding a secret. Injured in the crash, his wolf side is unleashed. Crystal is in danger, will she survive the night?
Faith Marlow is a dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror author with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Dark, yet inviting and familiar, Faith seeks to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, she hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.
Being Mrs. Dracula
When Valeria’s hand was given in marriage to the handsome and powerful Count Vlad Dracula, she dreamed of happiness but instead her life was filled with longing for her absent husband, their country ravaged by war. When Vlad at last returned from the battlefield he was a changed man, an alluring and dangerous creature with a thirst for her blood…and for more wives. For over one hundred years, tales of Count Dracula have haunted and seduced the imagination of readers worldwide. Now experience the story of Dracula from a new perspective, as told by the three women who knew him best. Discover their stories, their secrets, and find out what it would be to love and be loved by history’s most powerful vampire in Being Mrs. Dracula. In a marriage that spans centuries, one man shared between three women, love may be eternal but happiness is not guaranteed.
A soul is a heavy burden to bear. There’s a gala celebrating the city and many notable celebrities are attending, including a rock star, a socialite, a baseball player, and an entertainment reporter. Each of them is notable in their own right, and each one holding a secret. When they all get stuck in an elevator together after the gala is over, they think that that is the worst thing that could happen to them…until the doors finally open. The world as they knew it has gone, now they have poppies attached to their chests and are facing down soulless friends, family, and strangers, including a crotchety old woman and a former drag queen. It’s a battle for the ultimate prize: their souls and the souls of everyone else on Earth. Can they save the world, or will these disparate individuals kill each other first?
Another Beautiful Nightmare: Women of Horror Anthology (Book 2)
Witches brew and demons howl Vampires lurk and zombies scowl Full moon rising over shadow and sin Thick fog and whispers on the wind Welcome to our Beautiful Nightmare…again.
WordyNerdBird’s note: Another Beautiful Nightmare is a new release anthology by excellent authors, some of whom are featured on this blog this month. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first anthology and some individual works by the authors included in this new collection, so I’m very keen to read this book!
Today’s featured author is Lily Lamb, who also writes as A. Drew.
Lily is a Turkish-Australian multi-genre Indie author. She works as a nurse by day where she feeds her soul by caring for others. At night she tends to her imaginative alter-ego by writing tales involving love, passion, mystery, and horror.
Lily’s stories like “The Awakening” oozes hope and empathy for the future of humanity. Carefully crafted with raw realism surrounding family trauma and dynamics whilst incorporating the draw of supernatural events, giving rise to a unique horror. The story is sensitively sprinkled with elements of horror, tempered with the tenderness and longing of a youth’s search for his own identity. Like all great stories, there is a twist in it, concealed from the reader until the very end. An engaging read, touching upon social issues in a modern world.
The Dowling House (Dark Terror Series 1)
Since 1954, the Dowling House remained unoccupied until George and Melissa purchased it, hoping to renovate it for a profit. Their dream for a new lucrative business encounters a few challenges, but they can be easily overcome….or can they? Join George and Melissa on their amazing journey into the supernatural, but be warned, it is very engaging and you might not get out alive.
The Awakening: Prequel to Dowling House (Dark Terror Book 2)
A near-fatal incident stirs an awakening of an adolescent’s ability to connect with entities from the deep and dark hidden world, that which is beyond our natural awareness. A world of lost souls, both good and bad, all trying to reach out to the boy now that they are aware of his surreal capability. Coming to terms with his psychic ability that he neither asked for nor knew how to wield, he is unwittingly drawn into solving a grisly mystery from beyond the grave. This will become the greatest test of his faith in himself. Will he survive? #Supernatural #Thiriller #Horror
Born Into Chaos
Many centuries ago, he was born into a chaotic world and was shunned by Gods and Mortals. Shunned by the gods and the humans because of his lineage. He lived in isolation and filled with shame. As his resentment grew he no longer cared for anyone but lived by his own rules.
One night, a feeling of wonderment reached every cell of his being. He didn’t understand his elation, until he sensed the gentle beat which beckoned him…giving him the will to wake up from a deep sleep. He sensed it was his last chance at redemption. It would lead to a deceptive fight for his sanity and future. Living has never been more deadly and costly… or fulfilling.
Born Into Chaos is a dark fantasy story, sprinkled with horror.
WordyNerdBird’s note: I’ve read all of Lily’s books, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Her story lines are original, her characters are relatable and realistic, and each of the books provides a great horror/dark read. They come highly recommended!