Posts Tagged ‘horror’

January 14, 2008



Only four months and counting…


BAD MOON RISING, the final book of the Pine Deep Trilogy (which began with 2006’s GHOST ROAD BLUES and continued with 2007’s DEAD MAN’S SONG) will be released everywhere on May 8. 


I’m getting pretty excited about the release of BAD MOON RISING, and for a number of reasons.  First, the book has one hell of a lot of action in it.  The growing threat discussed in the first two books explodes in the third and the second half of that book is basically one big, rolling battle between the dwindling forces of good and the swelling forces of evil.  The dead rise to attack the world of the living with a Red Wave of murder.  I had sooooo much fun writing that book.


The book also has a fun twist in that I’ve written a lot of real-world people into the book.  I tapped a number of good folks in the horror industry and asked if I could write them into the story.  Since the book deals with a massive Halloween celebration (during which very bad things happen) I wanted to have some fun with blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.  So… I contacted a bunch of friends in the horror biz and asked if I could write them into the book.  They all agreed, so in BAD MOON RISING you can expect to meet TOM SAVINI (make-effects wizard), STEPHEN SUSCO (screenwriter for the Grudge flicks), JAMES GUNN (screenwriter of the new Dawn of the Dead), BRINKE STEVENS (scream queen), DEBBIE ROCHON (scream queen), KEN FOREE (star of the original Dawn of the Dead), JIM O’REAR (stuntman and haunted attraction consultant), and JOE BOB BRIGGS (drive-in movie critic and actor).  Also making a brief appearance is MEM SHANNON (one of my all-time favorite Bluesmen!).


And these folks aren’t just doing walk-ons.  They actually get into the action.  Question is…will they make it out of Pine Deep alive?


This is going to be fun!


Jonathan Maberry



Don’t Be Scared…it’s Just Horror

November 26, 2007

I’m gonna rant a little here.

The horror industry –especially where books are concerned—have gotten a bum rap.  You tell most folks that you write horror and they look at you like you just said that you eat puppies. 

People think that all horror is torture porn, slasher stuff, and buckets o’gore.  Admittedly those elements may play into some horror, but that doesn’t define the genre.  In fact, defining the genre is difficult to do when you consider that The Turn of the Screw (Henry James), The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson), The Exorcist (William Peter Blatty), and Rosemary’s Baby (Ira Levin) are no less ‘horror’ novels than Off Season (Jack Ketchum), ‘Salem’s Lot (Stephen King), Headstone City (Tom Piccirilli), Monster Island (David Wellington) or The Rising (Brian Keene).

It’s often been discussed that ‘horror’ as a genre label doesn’t quite cover it.  Not all horror fiction is horrifying (The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold won the 2002 First Novel Bram Stoker Award).  Not all horror fiction involves the supernatural (Silence of the Lambs won the 1989 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel).

 It’s been suggested a few times that ‘suspense’ would be a better word, or perhaps ‘thriller’; though those labels are mainly used by sub-genres of the mystery/crime fiction or action fiction markets.

I see ‘horror’ as suspenseful storytelling that may (or may not) include elements of mystery, suspense, supernatural, gore, violence, humor, passion, romance, science fiction or fantasy.  And about fifty other genre elements.  Horror can be edgy and raw and it can be elegant and sophisticated.  Horror can be visceral or it can be entirely psychological.  Horror can be shocking or it can be a slow burn.  Horror can be grim or it can be funny.  Horror can be niche market and it can be mainstream.

What defines horror most is good storytelling.  If you haven’t read horror before, or haven’t given it a chance, be fair (and treat yourself).  Start with one of the anthologies, like Stephen Jones’ Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol. 18 or The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: 20th Annual Collection (Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror) edited by Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, and Ellen Datlow.  Start with the short fiction –which will allow you to sample the writing of a lot of different horror writers (and some of the name’s may be surprisingly familiar to you!).

Then, when you find a short story that grabs you, that speaks to you…go out and find one of their novels.  Take a chance.  Horror may not be what you think…but once you experience it…it will be what you think about.

And check out this link:  

See you tomorrow.


The Legend behind I am Legend

November 21, 2007

In 7th grade (1973) I was moved out of the regular English class and essentially given to the school librarian.  It wasn’t a punishment…I was just a book nut at thirteen and I was in a school where most of the other kids (and a lot of the teachers, as far as I could tell) thought books and reading were about as much fun as being nibbled on by rats.  Or maybe the librarian needed an Igor.  Hard to say. 

She turned out to be the secretary for a couple of groups of professional writers, and once I got permission from my parents to accompany her, she dragged me along to their monthly get-togethers.  They definitely needed an Igor, and so once a month for the next few years I made coffee, fetched beers, and hustled chips and dip for guys like Sprague De Camp, Lin Carter, John Jakes, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and a bunch of others.

And though all of those writers were (and in some cases still are) literary powerhouses, two of them took some time to sit me down and tell me about how stories are created and crafted.  And each of them gave me signed copies of their books.  I’m delighted that both of them are still alive and well today: Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury. I was incredibly fortunate in that as a young teenager I got to meet them, and both of these great writers took some time to talk with me about writing, about imagination, and about thinking outside the box.  I’m not joking when I say that it was life-changing.

Bradbury gave me a signed copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes.  The one he gave me is put away, but I read a copy of that book every year on Halloween. 

Matheson rocked my world when he gave me a copy of I Am Legend when I was fourteen.  He told me to read that one and The Shrinking Man.  These books were my introduction to allegory, social commentary, and the subtle underpinnings that make genre fiction so much more than most people give it credit for.  I Am Legend, though a very short novel, opened my mind up and truly showed me what thinking outside the box meant.

I wonder if the new Will Smith film interpretation will do it justice?

To catch the I Am Legend trailer, click here: