Christmas Horror!

The Victorians traditionally read ghost stories at Christmas, hence some of Charles Dickens’ short stories and his most famous work, A Christmas Carol.

As readers of my books probably know, I bounced off that story when I wrote A Christmas Tale, a story about three contemporary young women who hold a seance to try to raise the ghosts from Dickens’ story.

These stories capture the imagination and lend an otherworldly aspect to an otherwise cheerful holiday celebrated with bright lights, good food and rampant consumerism.

Wait, what’s so cheerful about uncontrolled spending? Yes, my friends, we’ve all been duped for years, led into the real horrors of debt and demands from children used to expensive gadgets and the latest toys waiting under the tree on Christmas. What went wrong?

I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m looking forward to this year’s Christmas movie, The Man Who Invented Christmas. As we know, Charles Dickens as much as invented a lot of our current traditions, writing about Christmas in his Victorian setting with a lot of sparkle and magic added, not to mention good will for our fellow humans.

Some readers like to stick to feel good stories at Christmas, yet a lot of us are still attracted to Horror. Why is that? In my Christmas book I try to explore that question in human terms, depicting memories my characters have of Christmas that don’t meet the ideal that the advertising agencies would like us to see.

They explore what matters about the holiday in a world filled with real terrors, yet potential for making the world a better place, even in small ways. I’ve put it on sale this weekend in my own small bid to make the world a better place where books don’t cost an arm and a leg when you’ve already got plenty of things to spend money on. Just 99 cents on Amazon.com or 99p on Amazon UK.

In the spirit of Gremlins, some Christmas stories have to look at the imperfection of the world we live in and acknowledge that things can go wrong. Only then can we really appreciate it when things go right; when the food is good, the presents you wanted are under the tree and nobody in the family ends up in A & E.

That’s what I call a good Christmas!

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This is Halloween!

It occurs to me that my last two posts have been about book sales, so let’s talk about something that everyone cares about, Halloween!

Halloweena1Who doesn’t love Halloween? Scary stories, lots of spooky looking treats and dressing up as… well… anybody or anything you like!

It’s a time to forget about trying to be cool and just put on your unicorn onesie and watch Horror movies with your friends!

HalloweenafoodPull up some extra snacks and tell your own stories and try to scare the bejeezus out of each other. What’s not to love?

HalloweenaBlackCatDid you know that in England, black cats are considered lucky? Yeah that thing about walking across you path. If you’re English, that’s extra special good luck!

So who are your favorite Horror novel authors? Everybody loves Stephen King of course, and his son Joe Hill has written some very original stuff, but there are some newer authors on the ‘up and coming’ list who are really worth reading! Among those are Tim Curran, Graeme Reynolds and Brian Keene. If you haven’t read these guys yet, get them onto your Halloween reading list, quick!

What about female Horror authors? We’ve all heard of Daphne Du Maurier and Shirley Jackson, but who among the newer authors should we be adding to our reading list? This is something I’m looking into so please leave your suggestions in the comments!

Halloweenapumpkins

It seems the jack-o-lantern carving gets more creative every year and Halloween decorations have been having a resurgence. Halloween is becoming more fun than Christmas!

Weekend SaleOh, by the way, Letters To The Damned is on Kindle sale October 28 – 31 for .99 on Amazon US and Amazon UK. If you want a creepy story, this one has been getting 4 – 5 star reviews!

You didn’t think you were going to get away without a plug did you? 😉

Seriously, give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!

Halloweena2Have a wonderful Halloween everyone, and stay safe!

And don’t forget to leave your suggestions for spooky reads!