Horror 101: The Way Forward

horror 101

Note: While this book has been published specifically with horror writers in mind, the information is just as pertinent to all writers. The eagle-eyed may also notice a contribution from Yours Truly. 

Horror 101: The Way Forward is a comprehensive overview of the horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.

Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realised that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?

That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:

  • are suffering from writer’s block
  • are starting their writing careers
  • are looking to expand their writing repertoire
  • are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
  • are looking to pay more bills with their art
  • are trying to further their careers
  • are trying to establish a name brand
  • are looking to get published
  • are planning on self-publishing
  • want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
  • are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
  • love the horror genre
  • are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing
Edited by Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley
Cover art by Ben Baldwin
eBook formatting by Robert Swartwood

Final line-up:
Foreword by Mort Castle
Making Contact by Jack Ketchum
What is Horrorby Graham Masterton
Bitten by the Horror Bugby Edward Lee
Reader Beware by Siobhan McKinney
Balancing Art and Commerce by Taylor Grant
From Prose to Scripts by Shane McKenzie
Writing About Films and for Film by Paul Kane
Screamplays! Writing the Horror Film by Lisa Morton
Screenplay Writing: The First Cut Is the Deepest by Dean M. Drinkel
Publishing by Simon Marshall-Jones
Weighing Up Traditional Publishing & eBook Publishing by Robert W. Walker
Glenn Rolfe Toes the Line with Samhain Horror Head Honcho, Don D’Auria by Glenn Rolfe
Bringing the Zombie to Life by Harry Shannon
Audiobooks: Your Words to Their Ears by Chet Williamson
Writing Aloud by Lawrence Santoro
Ghost-writing: You Can’t Write It If You Can’t Hear It by Thomas Smith
Ghost-writing by Blaze McRob
The Horror Writers Association – the Genre’s Essential Ingredientby Rocky Wood
What a Short Story Editor Does by Ellen Datlow
Self-Publishing: Making Your Own Dreams by Iain Rob Wright
Self-Publishing: Thumb on the Button by Kenneth W. Cain
What’s the Matter with Splatter?by Daniel I. Russell
Partners in the Fantastic: The Pros and Cons of Collaborations by Michael McCarty
The Journey of “Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears” by Richard Thomas
Writing Short Fiction by Joan De La Haye
A beginner’s guide to setting up and running a website by Michael Wilson
Poetry and Horror by Blaze McRob
Horror for Kids: Not Child’s Playby Francois Bloemhof
So you want to write comic books… by C.E.L. Welsh
Horror Comics – How to Write Gory Scripts for Gruesome Artists by Jasper Bark
Some Thoughts on my Meandering within the World of Dark and Horror Art by Niall Parkinson
Writing the Series by Armand Rosamilia
Running a Web serial by Tonia Brown
Reviewing by Jim Mcleod
Avoiding What’s Been Done to Death by Ramsey Campbell
The 7 Signs that make Agents and Editors say, “Yes!” by Anonymous
The (extremely) Short Guide to Writing Horror by Tim Waggoner
Growing Ideas by Gary McMahon
Filthy Habits – Writing and Routine by Jasper Bark
A Room of One’s Own – The Lonely Path of a Writer by V.H. Leslie
Do You Need an Agent?by Eric S Brown
Ten Short Story Endings to Avoid by William Meikle
Submitting Your Work Part 2: Read the F*****g Guidelines! by John Kenny
Rejection Letters – How to Write and Respond to Them by Jasper Bark
Editing and Proofreading by Diane Parkin
On Formatting: A Concise Guide to the Most Frequently Encountered issues by Rick Carufel
How to Dismember Your Darlings – Editing Your Own Work by Jasper Bark
From Reader to Writer: Finding Inspirationby Emma Audsley
Writing Exercises by Ben Eads
The Year After Publication… by Rena Mason
Writing Horror: 12 Tips on Making a Career of It by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Five Laws of Arnzen by Michael A. Arnzen
The Cheesy Trunk of Terror by Scott Nicholson
How to be Your Own Agent, Whether You Have One or Not by Joe Mynhardt
Networking at Conventions by Lucy A. Snyder
Pitch to Impress: How to Stand Out from the Convention Crowdby RJ Cavender
You Better (Net)Work by Tim Waggoner
Friendship, Writing, and the Internet by Weston Ochse
Buttoning Up Before Dinner by Gary Fry
How to Fail as an Artist in Ten Easy Steps by John Palisano
Writer’s Block by Mark West
Be the Writer You Want to Be by Steven Savile
Afterword by Joe Mynhardt

Available from Amazon, or direct from Crystal Lake Publishing.

I forgot it was Easter …

… and I forgot it was a 4-day week last week, the second of 2 on the trot. We have a 5-day week this week, then it’s back to a 4-day week next week again, only my week will be a 2-day week.

So I promised more pictures by Wednesday, thinking it was Monday when I posted. But it was Tuesday and the rest of the week just ran away with me.

We spent a few hours in the garden and pitched a tent to see how weather-tight it was.

tent As it turned out, it wasn’t very weather-tight at all. So I took it down this morning, after doing the “dog-poo-patrol” (sorry …), and before hanging out some washing, and shoved most of it in the dustbin.

I’ve kept the tent pegs – you can never have too many tent pegs … Because we bought a new one at the weekend, another we can just chuck in the boot of the car when we feel like it and shoot off for a couple of nights.

My kind of camping. 🙂

We need to get that one pitched too so we know how to pitch it in case it’s dark when we get to wherever we’re going. But in the future we may get a bigger tent, possibly a trailer tent.

We’re hoping to go away this coming weekend, but I now have a tenant for the other house. Actually, I had 2 people fighting over it in the end, but I decided to go with someone I know because her mum lives next door (other side to Perve). And she’ll give me time to sort out the paperwork.

So we have a lot of packing to do and a removal man to arrange. By Saturday … Hopefully we can still be away by Saturday teatime.

I still have a lot of work to do – a very lot. Here’s a taster (list alert!):

  • electronic edits on non-fiction #1
  • author revisions on historical fiction
  • write weekly walks report
  • submit weekly walks report to 6 x local newspapers
  • manual edits on non-fiction #2
  • author & proofreader revisions on non-fiction #3
  • electronic edits on non-fiction #2
  • formal book proposal to write for (my own) non-fiction books 1, 2 and 3
  • sample chapter to write for (my own) non-fiction book 3
  • book optician appointment
  • attend optician appointment
  • house to empty
  • house to clean
  • tent to pitch/take down

And I only have 4 days … or 3½ now … so here are more of last week’s pictures:

Lambs. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Lambs. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
This is how overgrown the canal is. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
This is how overgrown the canal is. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Lord Rufus. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Lord Rufus. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The restored lock. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The restored lock. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The swing bridge. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The swing bridge. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Diane and Ian. (Picture: Diane Parkin - self portrait)
Diane and Ian. (Picture: Diane Parkin – self portrait)


Fantastic bank holiday weekend

Friday was Good Friday and off we tootled to the Pocklington Canal in Bielby for a nice walk. The weather was kind to us, it was an easy walk to help break in my new walking boots, and I’ve shared some of the photographs at the bottom of today’s post.

On Saturday we were supposed to be doing the garden – cutting the grass, raking the leaves, creating a couple of borders, etc – but we went for a drive instead and stumbled upon Wentworth Lakes in Greasbrough, Rotherham. This is a private fishery belonging to the old Wentworth/Fitzwilliam estate, but it also makes for pleasant walking and joins the Trans Pennine Trail. We didn’t take any pictures because we needed to be back, but we will go again, probably for a longer walk as the poet doubts he’ll buy a fishing pass there.

Saturday night the poet had a gig over in Doncaster, and he needed to get off early to help set up. I drove over a couple of hours later (we don’t like to leave the animals for hours and hours on their own), and we had a very nice evening. The band, Monkey Dust, played well, the sound was good, the crowd were friendly.

We didn’t go out anywhere on Sunday because there was another afternoon gig over at one of the best venues I’ve ever been to – Upton Rugby Club (ARLFC) near Pontefract. It wasn’t due to start until 4pm but the band needed to be there by 2pm, so it cut the day in half a bit. They’re a fantastic crowd at that club, though, and we all really enjoyed it. Even the gig buddy and her hubby joined us, who had planned to leave after the first set but stayed until the end anyway.

Back home for a swift tea, shower and change, and then it was off to see my old friends Infinity, who were down from the North East, play in Barnsley. We’d missed the first song or two, but the rest of the first set was great. So we were really surprised to learn that the lead singer had fallen swiftly very poorly and had spent the whole of the interval with his head in a bucket. Ian (the poet) had been drinking since 2pm and was quite tired after two gigs of his own, so when the guitarist said they might need him, we both thought he was joking … but he wasn’t.

They had 3 choices: pull the rest of the gig; muddle through between them without a lead singer; or jam with their friend, a fellow “chanter”, from the audience. They did a couple on their own and then chose the latter. And while the poet was very nervous (he hardly knows any of their songs), he got up and joined them anyway, and they managed to do more than an hour for the second set.

The club gave them a great reception, Barnsley East Dene is such a lovely club anyway, and we tootled back to West Yorkshire while the band tried to head back to the North – but I understand there was a nasty accident, a head-on collision, on the motorway, and they were stuck in the van, and with a very sick singer, for many hours more. They had a rubbish night, but hopefully we eased things a little for them, and we hope Trevor feels better very soon (he was still feeling quite rough yesterday, apparently, poor thing).

On Monday we were both very tired and we decided on a shorter walk. We went to Sprotbrough in Doncaster for lunch, and then walked around Sprotbrough Flash. When we got back to the car park, we had an ice cream each. Again, we don’t have pictures this time, but we do intend to go back.

So that was our weekend – and this is already more than 850 words. So time for me to crack on with some work while you enjoy some pictures (more later in the week):

The start of our walk. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The start of our walk. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The Pocklingon Canal. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
The Pocklingon Canal. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Mute swan on nest. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Mute swan on nest. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Bridge over the Pocklington Canal. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Bridge over the Pocklington Canal. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Diane sitting on restored lock. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Diane sitting on restored lock. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Ian looking thoughtful. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Ian looking thoughtful. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

More on Wednesday.

Poll time

Indulge me, this is for a new idea …

Say, for argument’s sake, that your main character, an author, finds out that someone s/he was good to has not only been slagging him/her and his/hers off for the previous year or more but they’ve also been spreading a pack of lies.

Then s/he finds out that while this person has also been riding his/her high horse, passing judgment and gaining everyone’s sympathy that, actually, they’ve been doing some despicable and unforgivable things of their own, including some things that your character (and probably your reader) would never do, some things that are a total betrayal of trust, and other things that would shock they’re so disgusting.

Your protagonist has so far kept this information to him/herself and is wondering what, if anything, to do with it.

What would you do? I’ve even provided a space for replies. 🙂

Thank you for your time.

The current WIP …

current wipForgive me if I seem a little … absent just now. I’ve been a tad busy and still it continues – thankfully.

The picture on the left shows the current WIP. The bottle of Tipp-Ex is for perspective.

There are 6 different books here. Three are for editing; three are author or proofreader revisions. On top of this I also have 2 more books in an online format. Both are author revisions.

That’s 8 books. Eight, full-length books. And lovely-already-boss has more to send.

I’m not complaining, I’m really not. And definitely, the more the merrier. Bring it on. I just wanted people to see why I might be a little … missing.

I love my job. 😀