Monday 28 March 2022

COMPETITION: Win Superhost on DVD

Superhost  - Released from 4th April

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

From the acclaimed director of Z and Still/Born Brandon Christensen comes his latest horror Superhost. This Shudder Original gets its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International on 4 April 2022 and will also be available on DVD and digital. It’s one hell of a trip we advise you to watch.
Pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled horror ride with travel vloggers Teddy (Osric Chau – The Flash, Supernatural and Claire (Sara Canning – Z, A Series of Unfortunate Events). Like and subscribe to their Superhost channel and share their adventures.

We join the Superhost influencer couple as they embark on their latest video review, and they’re hoping this is the one that can earn them more subscribers. A house in the woods could be the perfect opportunity to create new content and attract new followers. But is there more than meets the eye with Rebecca (Gracie Gillam – Scream Queens, Z Nation) their host with the most…?  

Slowly they begin to realise that something isn’t quite right with Rebecca, and as they start to investigate, they discover more than they bargained for. It’s not just a five-star review she’s after, there’s something far more sinister at play... could it be toast for the Superhosts?

Look out for horror favourite Barbara Crampton in a bloody brilliant cameo in this wickedly fun feature and DON’T FORGET TO LIKE AND SURVIVE.

Pre-Order from Amazon at

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 11-04-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Friday 25 March 2022

Interview with S. L. Yarbrough by David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

I started reading at a very early age and loved scary stories. I was the storyteller for all of the kids, verbally telling the stories I made up. So I decided to write my own ghost story at 6.

How did you get involved in writing about famous movie serial killers?

While in undergrad psychology class, we had to write up a psychological assessment of a fictional character. My assessment was Dean Winchester from Supernatural. I loved doing it. Years later while in graduate school, I was having a conversation with my son, we talked about how Jason was actually a victim. My son suggested I write a book about my views on Horror villains. I chose Psychology as a major because I have always had a fascination with how our brain works and how some people become deviant while others refrain from criminal activities. While revisiting these beloved Horror icons, I found out much more about them. When I look at these characters, I look at the whole picture. I find what may have created the deviance. By using fictional serial killers, I can show my readers how a person can fall into criminal behavior. Maybe even find understanding on why they became a serial killer.

Tell us about your first publisher.

I self-published my novel. I am very particular in how I want to structure my series and it is hard for me to relinquish my creative freedom. I may eventually look for an agent to traditionally publish more of my series.

How would you classify the genre you write?

I write narrative non-fiction. I write my non-fiction in a way that is more conversational instead of dry narration.

Why do you think horror and murder mystery books remain so popular?

Our desire to be scared and the adrenaline rush we receive from reading a horror novel is pleasurable. The element of suspense and surprise at the revelation in a mystery is what I think keeps these two genre popular.

What inspires your stories and topics?

I find inspiration from various sources. Many of my stories come from my dreams and nightmares. Sometimes from watching television, movies, reading books, listening to a song, thinking about what if scenarios.

What do you think the difference between how academics view horror and horror fans is?

Academics tend to view horror as nonessential, crass, childish. They may pick a horror film apart focusing on what is not feasible. Horror fans view horror as entertaining, enjoyable, some films intellectual. Now there can be academics such as myself who enjoy horror but I do have certain horror subgenre’s that I don’t like or watch such as found footage films.

What are your favorite horror books?

Anything by Clive Barker. He is my favorite author. The House of Nodens By Sam Gafford. Cycle of the Werewolf by Steven King.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

The Insidious films, The Howling, Alien, The Thing (1982), Blade, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Other’s, Doctor Sleep, Hellraiser, Nightbreed, Phantasm (I have many more).

Do you think Halloween’s Michael Myers is the greatest fictional serial killer in movies and books?

I wouldn’t say the greatest but one of the most prolific ones.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

The fact that I finally completed and published one of my many manuscripts.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Keep writing! Don’t get discouraged. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to finish as long as you finish. Make sure you edit your work whether you pay someone or use a software. Research publishing options and choose what you feel more comfortable with. Always check the legitimacy of any agent and publisher. There are a lot of publishing scams.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

I like having the option to self-publish with ease and low costs involved. For someone like myself, self-publishing was the right option for me. Unfortunately, it also allows for many people to publish unpolished books of poor quality. Self-published doesn’t equate to non skilled. Many famous author’s are choosing to self-publish now.

What are your current projects?

I am working on book 2 in my Psychology of…series. I have another non-fiction book chronicling my fight with Lupus and the many rare disorders I have due to Lupus. I have 4 fiction books in various stages of completion.

Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work.

I love books! I have always loved reading and would read anything. I have a library in my home with over 1,000 books. Majority of them are Horror, Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Mysteries. I am also a cinephile with an extensive collection of films on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray, and 4k Blu-ray. I used to write as a hobby but while taking classes in college I was encouraged to publish my writing. I received my master's degree in Applied Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I have been married 30 years this July, a mother to 28-year-old twin daughters and a son. I have 4 grandchildren and gaming is a passion of mine, board games and video games. My Psychology of.... series is vast. There will be 19 volumes and special editions. Each volume focuses on different genres and characters. The first three volumes focus on Horror. Volume 1 and 2 are movie editions and volume three is tv edition.


Tuesday 22 March 2022

Horror Channel celebrates Sci-Fi B-Movies with a second Classic Sci-Fi Weekend in April

It’s back to terrify once more! Horror Channel once again celebrates the Sci-fi B-movie world of strange creatures, alien invaders and weird science with CLASSIC SCI-FI WEEKEND 2, a follow-up TV special to the popular Classic Sci-fi weekend broadcast in April 2020. The fifties are acknowledged as the Golden Age for Sci-fi movies and Horror Channel has picked ten of the most iconic, which will be broadcast on Saturday16th April and Sunday 17th April.

The season includes five channel premieres: the heart-pounding Alien invasion classic IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, pulp-horror favourite TARANTULA, featuring an uncredited Clint Eastwood, subterranean monster thriller THE MOLE PEOPLE, the beastly mutant classic THE DEADLY MANTIS and THE MONOLITH MONSTERS, in which the world is attacked by thirsty giant crystals!

The season also embraces returning favourites such as mutant octopus-rampaging IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, Fred F. Sears’ saucer-invading caper EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS, Sears’ rampaging alien bird yarn THE GIANT CLAW, Nathan Juran’s Ray Harryhausen inspired 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH and drive-in favourite THE BLOB, starring Steve McQueen.

Full film details in transmission order:

Saturday 16 April @ 13:00 – IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953) *Channel Premiere

John Putnam (Richard Carlson), an amateur astronomer, is looking at the skies with his fiancée, schoolteacher Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush), when they see what looks like a huge meteor crash into the desert. As events unfold, various townspeople start to disappear, including Ellen, to be replaced by alien ‘duplicates’ As the townspeople become aware of the danger, the likelihood of bloodshed becomes apparent. Based on a story by Ray Bradbury.

Saturday 16 April @ 14:40 – EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956)

UFOs from a doomed star system invade Earth with plans of world conquest. Surrender is not an option so the human race must fight to the bitter end. Special effects are by Ray Harryhausen.

Saturday 16 April @ 16:20 – TARANTULA (1955) *Channel Premiere

This classic science fiction film featuring screen legend Clint Eastwood, tells the story of a scientist who, while researching the effects of a new synthetic nutrient, releases a giant spider in the American Southwest. Directed by Jack Arnold and starring John Agar, Mara Corday and Leo G. Carroll.

Saturday 16 April @ 17:55 – IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1956)

While on a routine mission, Cmdr. Pete Mathews (Kenneth Tobey) runs into trouble when his submarine is nearly sunk by an unknown creature, which is identified as a giant octopus from the nether reaches of Mindanao Deep. The beast has been awakened by nearby nuclear testing and now, radioactive and monstrously huge, the rampaging leviathan is heading toward the North American Pacific Coast.

Saturday 16 April @ 19:30 - THE GIANT CLAW (1957)

When a strange flying object is spotted, it is believed to be a UFO. However, it turns out to be an extraterrestrial bird made of anti-matter which leaves a trail of death and destruction in its wake.

Sunday 17 April @ 13:00 – THE MOLE PEOPLE (1957) *Channel Premiere

John Bentley (John Agar), leads a Middle Eastern expedition in search of a lost tribe of Sumerians. He and his cohorts follow a tunnel deep below the surface of the earth, eventually coming across a tyrannical tribe of albino Sumerians, who use the semi-human Mole People as slaves. Aware of the danger the scientists pose, the subterranean High Priest wants them eliminated.

Sunday 17 April @ 14:30 – 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957)

A manned space flight from Venus crash lands in the Mediterranean, losing its most precious cargo: reptilian eggs from the planet's surface. Italian zoologist (Frank Puglia), his American granddaughter, Marisa (Joan Taylor), and returned astronaut Calder (William Hopper) must battle to the creature before it destroys everything in its path.

Sunday 17 April @ 16:05 – THE DEADLY MANTIS (1957) *Channel Premiere

When a giant insect attacks several people in a remote Arctic region, Col. Joe Parkham (Craig Stevens) swings into action. Parkham and his associates, Dr. Ned Jackson (William Hopper) and Ned's assistant Margie Blake (Alix Talton), track the predatory mantis as it heads southward to Washington DC.

Sunday 17 April @ 17:40 – THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957) *Channel Premiere

A meteor crashes in the desert, leaving behind huge black chunks. While being analysed in a science lab, the crystalline stones are accidentally drenched with water and begin to grow to gargantuan dimensions. A sudden rainstorm further exacerbates the situation, causing the monoliths to grow to hitherto unimagined heights. Can the world be saved by the saline solution which the scientists are hurriedly developing in the lab?

Sunday 17 April @ 19:15 – THE BLOB (1958)

Two teenagers, Steve (Steve McQueen) and his best girl, Jane (Aneta Corseaut), notice a shooting star fall to earth, destroying an elderly man and growing to a terrifying size. The blob continues to grow, killing many, until the teenagers, with the, initially reluctant aid, of policeman Dave (Earl Rowe) discover a way to stop it.

TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138

Thursday 17 March 2022

Interview with Andrés Montañez by David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

As a kid I always wanted to make movies. It’s a phenomenal medium in which you can play with images, sound, music, editing. Evoke eerie feelings just by blasting light into a silver screen. Many years later I even went to film school and made a bunch of cool short films. However, writing is cheaper to do.

Joke aside. I’ve always been intrigued by stories, especially making them. On elementary school I loved those assignments that were about writing stuff. To create a story. So, besides the spoken word, writing became my very first elaborate tool into storytelling. Just some piece of paper, a pencil and I was ready to go. Then, I’ve got a computer. Using a word processor was amazing. I could write several stories with ease, move paragraphs around, try new stuff, write and rewrite indiscriminately. It was magical. Still is.

Later, when I went to film school and got the chance to write screenplays, I was rediscovering writing. It was different style but also a more vivid. Another kind of magic happened when I was seeing my written words materialize with light, shadows and sound. So, writing has always been by my side, helping me write stories one way or another.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

Contrary to most kids, I was never denied a good dosage of horror, fantasy or science fiction. My earliest movie memories are watching Yoda jump onto the back of Luck Skywalker, and Robert DeNiro disappear in a swirl of newspapers in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. And Friday night was always horror movie night. So, these genres were –and still are– an integral part of myself. On my teenage years I bumped into HP Lovecraft… his stories not the dude himself. One thing led to another, and I’ve got myself playing this phenomenal game of Dungeons and Dragons. An incredible mix of storytelling, gaming and friendship. This became an astronomical gateway to find new sources of fantasy, science fiction and horror. Not just discover (or rediscover) literary authors, like Lovecraft, Tolkien, Philip K Dick and so forth, but many of the actual gamebooks have an immense and elaborate backstory to fire up one’s imagination. The roleplaying game World of Darkness lets you play as a vampire, a werewolf or a mage (among several other fiends) using the current world as setting but with a supernatural layer. So, it was difficult for me not to get involved in these genres. I embraced them fully.

Tell us about your publisher.

Well, this is going to be a bit weird because I’m my own publisher… in disguise. A few years back I formed RavenHaus Studios, an endeavor to be focused on film production and book publishing. So, I’ve started to lineout some projects on those mediums. I published my first anthology one day before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Uruguay, so I changed gears into book publishing first and foremost, or at least for the time being. This change in focus allowed me to shape up production and define processes related to book publishing, using my first book as the perfect guinea pig, handling it in the most professional way I could device. Let’s say I went full Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for this, completely swapping the “writer hat” for the “publisher/producer hat”.

When the time came for publishing the second anthology, it was far easier, from how to budget it, the editing and layout, the marketing campaign, and so forth. For the cover art of both books, I collaborated with Leonardo and Andrés Silva, two magnificent local comic book writers and artists that really understood what I was going for. Setting these opportunities as business collaborations, agreeing on budget, deadlines and contracts, really helps to meet expectations.

Another important thing for me is that I wanted to go with a genre publisher. I could’ve approached some local publishing houses, but I really didn’t want for my book (if picked) to be handled by the same team that does a cooking book or Geometry 101. Not out of disrespect, I’m sure they do a professional job (even more than I do, for sure), but when you work on a genre like horror you add a bit of yourself into it. You’ll ink the pages in blood if needed. You want that extra commitment from a publisher. It’s like in the movies, if the film starts with the “Blumhouse” or “Ghost House” intro, then you know you are for a treat. Given that there were no local horror publishers, I’ve decided to just make one, and hopefully when you see a book from RavenHaus Publishing, you’ll know that it is something special, something macabre awaiting on those pages.

How would you classify the genre you write?

I try not to label myself or my stories, but I do enjoy traversing the waters of horror: from ghost stories to weird cosmic terrors. However, more often than not, I find myself writing about our own monstrosity. To look upon our hubris, our indifference and pettiness through the glass of horror, but also our strengths, hopes and perseverance. It is a fun ride to write about horrors from beyond, but it’s far more interesting –for me– to weave more terrestrial issues into it. Still I’m trying to find –or refine– my own voice as an author, and I always try to write against type. Like moving the ghosts of old to an urban place, like a building’s elevator instead of a castle. Or evoking cosmic horrors right around the neighborhood’s corner, instead of the dark corners of the earth. It’s not just about twists and turns in the story, I try to reframe the classical tropes into something new yet familiar. Something that fellow writers have told me is that many of my stories are not only graphical, but also cinematic. That they feel immersed in the atmosphere and in the action, this may be a byproduct of my background on film and screenwriting.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

These genres allow us to heighten every emotion. The movie Ghost wouldn’t be as powerful as it is without the supernatural elements. Thanks to fantasy we can openly discuss diversity, show that regardless of being an elf, a dwarf or a halfling we all can get along. Science fiction is a perfect way to introspect ourselves, to ponder the question what means to be human. Blade Runner does this feat perfectly on the big screen. This allows our imagination to dwell freely into these stories to give the much-needed cooldown from our daily life, so we don’t go completely mad.

Horror is an extremely malleable genre to work with. From gore to ghosts, psychological to psychic, cosmic, earthly or just plain mundane. The terrors in our daily life can take many forms and cast deadly shadows. More often than not, I find myself intertwining the bad parts of my life (childhood and otherwise) into the stories I write, recontextualizing and digesting the unpleasant memories. It’s a cathartic process to ink them down, and I guess it’s also true when you read them. So, my take is that we are all a bit broken inside, and horror and fantasy stories allow us to see ourselves as these odd beings trying to do better despite the darkness we are often tainted with.

What inspires your stories?

This is a question I do myself all the time! Why do I torture myself writing?! It’s an urge, an addiction. It’s like an itch that I need to desperately scratch. Sometimes I get struck with an image on my mind, a snapshot of an awesome scene, a concept, or even just a gag or a cool title for a story. And is in that moment that I had to write it in order to know what happens. How did the character end up fighting Cthulhu? What if I mash up Carl Sagan’s Contact with Lovecraft’s Color out of space? I need to know what happens, how these things play out, or what series of events lead up to them.

Other times I challenge myself to write certain type of story, like “ok, let’s write something about a creepy cult”. Then I start to research and dig things up on that topic. The internet is a phenomenal rabbit hole to inspire stories (but be warned of conspiracy theorists). You start pulling the string and find out incredible stuff that will throw fireworks on your mind. One time I saw an old picture of a guy on the streets Cairo, late 19th century, selling mummies. So, I researched if that was true. Turns out that not only it was common, but people would buy them, grind them and sniff the mummy dust for invigorating effects. That fact inspired me to write the story “Mummia”, which is on my second book, about a British Lord buying a mummy for Christmas to “spice things up”, ensuring havoc.

What do you think the difference between American horror and horror fiction in Uruguay is?

A lot!

For starters, we do not have a “Halloween culture”, which means horror is not a mainstream theme. In fact, the whole fantastique genre is quite sidelined. Also, there isn’t much folklore to pull from. Uruguay is a young country forged by immigrants from –mostly– Spain, Portugal and Italy. Half the population is crammed into the capital, Montevideo. There is practically no native culture, so our myths, legends and fears are all imported. We, as an audience, are still a bit bland in our tastes regarding horror. For better or for worse, we do not have a “town of Salem” to write about witches, or headless horseman to use as antagonists. No Moth-Man, no Jersey Devil, no Bigfoot. Our landscape doesn’t help us either. Most of the country are green plains, so no Rocky Mountains to place a creepy hotel. All this means that we must get a bit more creative when writing local horror. Not only for the lack of raw materials, but also to entice local readers. One must really pull up the sleeves and research for snippets of history from which to find intriguing hooks and inciting incidents. For example, one of my stories is based on the actual ruins left by the Jesuit missionaries in the 18th century, so I went full “rats on the wall” and slapped some underground horror using those ruins as backdrop.

Something worth noting, is that from the early 70s up to mid 80s a military coup held a ghastly grip on my country for twelve long years. So, people in Uruguay didn’t need to read horror, they were living it. Years later, on the literary landscape, this ensured that most works fall towards biographies, fictionalized dramas, historical recounts of recent events, and so forth. So, mature themes of horror and fantasy are hard finds. Our most referenced horror author is Horacio Quiroga (1878–1937), which at the time was revered as the Edgar Alan Poe of South America. The fact that he is our only reference, someone that was active more than a century ago, is a dreadful indicative that we, contemporary authors, have an immense debt to the readers. A debt that takes both parts, the storytellers and the audience, to pay in full. That being said, in the last decade or so I’ve felt a change in the winds, and hopefully this will allow us to reach stranger tides.

What are your favorite horror books?

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I’m more of a movie guy than a book one. So, I’m more familiar with classic writers and their works, than contemporary ones. I dig most of the stuff by Chambers, Machen, Robert E. Howard and of course Poe and Lovecraft. The Shadow over Innsmouth and The Dunwich Horror, along with At the Mountains of Madness and The Call of Cthulhu, are my favorite stories from the guy from Providence, with a special mention to The Temple, which is the first story I have read by him.

Closer to this time, impossible not to enjoy and admire Stephen King and Clive Barker, both living legends. And a bit from afar, I’m deeply moved by the works of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury and specially Rod Serling, whom many may remember as being the mastermind behind The Twilight Zone.

A bit related to books, I love horror comic books. Among my favorites are Preacher and Hellblazer, especially the Garth Ennis and Jamie Delano take on the con man. Also, worth mentioning Hellboy, The Walking Dead, and lately there has been some great horror stories coming from Joe Hill & DC’s Hill House Comics.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

David, you are making this tough! I have a severe crush with John Carpenter. So, movies like The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness, They Live, The Fog and so on, are the kind of horror movies that I enjoy on loop. Special mention to Prince of Darkness, which I think is my favorite story ever. Also, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, a crazy story with an ending that leaves you hopeless. Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead is a movie that always cheers me up (weirdo alert), with the punk rock, dark humor and crazy-cheese effects. Also, mostly anything Clive Barker puts on the screen is such a sight to be delighted upon.

Closer to this time and age, The Void, Mama, It Follows, Tigers are not afraid, are new cult classics for me. And kudos to James Wan and Jordan Peele, for bringing such a wide range of outstanding movies. Last, but not least, to the new master Mike Flanagan, which has delighted us with stories on the big and small screen. I was extremely moved with how he managed to adapt The Shining sequel, “Doctor Sleep”, in such a conciliatory way between King’s novel and Kubrick’s adaptation. An immense feat of storytelling, cinema and love.

Other favorites of mine are the Korean and Japanese horror from the early 2000s, like The Ring, The Grudge, Shutter, Pulse and Dark Water. They have a completely different lens on how to portrait horror. The aesthetics alone are shattering. You can see on the screen their spiritual sensitivities coming to life, in a very horrific way. I don’t want to extend too much on this question, but I can’t just not talk about European horror. Films like The Wicker Man, Kill List, The Day of the Beast, Shaun of the Dead and so on, are incredible stories that exalts this fantastic genre.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

Having a couple of books under the belt is a nice accomplishment so far. I was even able to snatch for a few weeks the first place of the best seller horror books on Amazon Mexico and Spain, with both anthologies. So, the books are doing well, lots of good rates and quite a few remarkable reviews. Another nice, even more outstanding, thing is having people asking me for the next book. It’s surreal!

However, I personally consider my greatest accomplishment a compliment I’ve got at a writing workshop. After reading a story I was working on a fellow author said, “it seems written by a woman”. Then she proceeded to explain how she felt represented with the subtext of the story, how the themes were close to her and most women, and especially the way it was presented in a horrific yet respectful way. It meant a lot, because I was able to completely shift my point of view as a storyteller with a truthful optic, and that is a hell of an accomplishment.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Don’t stop writing, but don’t wear yourself doing it either. Take it easy. I’ve found better to write one or two pages a day (or even less), but with a steady rhythm, rather than burning myself trying to write twenty pages in just one sitting and then feeling awful that I couldn’t keep up the next day. Having an idea or a story is a wonderful creative act. When the epiphany hits your mind it’s orgasmic. But then, writing it down, it’s not only boring… but also hard. Like having to carry the story in your belly for months and months, with the only difference being that the thing won’t go away until you write some of it down. However, like with pregnancy, you don’t want to rush the process, so let the story grow, rest, reform and transform. Eventually it will pop up some way or another. The nice thing is, contrary to the biological analogy, we can write as many stories as we want at the same time, and even put them on the freezer if we get tired of it. Or even better, we can go shamelessly cannibalistic and smash a few stories together to form something completely new.

Don’t be afraid of putting a story aside to work on something else, sometimes that’s just what you need in order to clear things up. The infamous “writer’s block” is just your mind saying “Hey, buddy! I want to write something else! Let me! Let me! Let me!”. Another thing that helps, which may seem contradictory to what I’ve said, is to put yourself a –realistic– deadline for finishing a story. Something like “by the next full moon I need to finish this werewolf story”. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t, you’ll need to do a bit of trial and error until you find a sweet spot of how much is too much or too little for a self-imposed deadline. The bottom line is to motivate yourself into writing and finishing, not to feel bad about it.

Another important thing is to find someone to share your work with. Someone who will give you an honest and constructive feedback. I’m astronomically lucky that my wife is such person for me. She will shred the story’s plot holes without any disregard of whom wrote it. So, for me it’s been helpful to know which parts of the story did not click, or weren't clear, or even didn’t make any sense. Sometimes you write something down with a clear picture on your mind of what’s happening, but the idea isn’t quite well translated into paper, that’s when is vital asking someone else to look at it. Or sometimes is easy to fall onto clichés, “why does the character have to go down to the basement in the dark?”, if I do that my wife will ring the “shame! shame! shame!” bell as hard as she can. So, it’s extremely important to have by your side someone with the confidence and honesty to call on you when you are trying to get away with it (miserably).

Something that has helped me a lot was to attend writing workshops. Not only it’s quite an experience and serve as training wheels when you are starting to build your author’s toolbox, but also, you’ll have a safe place to share your work and most importantly meet other writers that will share their stories with you. Being able to openly discuss the writing you and others do is an enlightening experience. I’ve attended the workshops of Mónica Marchesky, an author with decades of experience writing and sharing her knowledge of the craft. She’s been a great mentor, and challenges everyone to write, publish and get back to writing. So, try to find a workshop or group to help you gain confidence. Everyone has a story to tell.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

Well, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I myself am self-published after the fact that I’ve built a company just for that. That been said, it’s a totally cool way to do it. Sure, it’s hard to get the first book out, and most likely you’ll need to invest heavily on marketing and wear many hats. But it’s all the way rewarding if you like the process. I’m a control freak and love the whole lot, from planning to editing to marketing, so I was able to make each step an enjoyable challenge, which actually paid off.

So, my advice to someone thinking going to self-publish is this: have a plan. Put some extra love on the formatting and editing of the eBook and paperback. Do a few print proofs, try the eBook on a few devices. Setup a nice webpage, take cool pictures of your book, account for marketing on your budget. Don’t feel ashamed of sharing it and asking for people to rate it and leave positive comments. If you don’t fight for your book, no one else will. A self-published book will beat, hands down, any non-published book.

What are your current projects?

Is too much of a cliché if I say I’m working on a novel? Dammit, I’ll just say it. I’m working on a novel. A love letter to the horror movies of the 80s, to John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Cronenberg. A kinky wink to King and Lovecraft. It’s just a funny story, with a bit of body horror and thrills. Also, it’s an opportunity to experiment on a larger canvas, to play and develop more complex characters and situations. To take a shot at world building.

On the shorter canvas, I’m halfway through my third anthology, which unlike my previous two, the stories on this one will float towards a central and specific theme which is the gothic horror of the 19th century. But me being me, do not expect moaning ghosts waving chains.

On the producing side, I’m working to ground a couple of projects for publishing and promoting other authors through RavenHaus Publishing. My goal is to reach to new and diverse voices of horror on the Hispanic landscape, but the damn plague has made these things difficult to nail down. In any case, there’s a lot of work ahead.

Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work.

As you may have already figured it out, I am… a nerd. I’ve been working professionally on technology for 20+ years, playing tabletop roleplaying games for even more, and been a movie buff since year zero (which was 1983, coldest winter of the decade).

I’m fortunate to share my life with a wonderful and brilliant person, which is also a talented artist and avid fantasy and sci-fi reader. Although sometimes I forget how lucky I am. I guess that is from these dangling shadows that some of my horror stories come from. Also, we have the best dogo ever and I’ll battle in deathly combat whoever says otherwise.

Finally, the last few years I’ve been in a position of confidence from which I can really unleash the stories I’ve to tell. For I, myself, do not consider me as a writer, filmmaker or whatever, I see myself first and foremost as a storyteller.

Check out Andrés on Amazon at
Also you can buy "El Guardián del Centinela y otras historias de terror" at
and Estrellas muertas y otros horrores at

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Horror Channel reveals raft of UK TV premieres for April

Rob W King’s gripping dystopian thriller THE HUMANITY BUREAU, starring Nicolas Cage, and Rob Grant’s twisted survival drama, ALIVE, starring Angus MacFadyen, are amongst the raft of Saturday night UK TV premieres on Horror Channel during April. Also in prime-time 9pm slots are the UK TV premieres of Owen Egerton’s supernatural horror MERCY BLACK and Jonathan Zarantonello’s sinister, psychological thriller THE BUTTERFLY ROOM, starring Barbara Steele and Ray Wise.

Plus, Padraig Reynolds’s suspense-filled neo slasher OPEN 24 HOURS, starring Vanessa Grasse, gets its channel premiere.

Full film details in transmission order:

Saturday 2 April @ 21:00 – THE BUTTERFLY ROOM (2012) *UK TV Premiere

Ann, a reclusive and butterfly-obsessed elderly lady (played by Barbara Steele), suffers from bipolar disorder. When she meets Alice, a mysterious but seemingly innocent young girl, she is lured into a twisted world and discovers that Alice has other strange friends.

Saturday 9 April @ 21:00 – ALIVE (2018) *UK TV Premiere

A man and woman awake in an abandoned sanatorium to discover that a sadistic caretaker (played by Angus MacFadyen) holds the keys to their freedom and the horrific answers as to their real identity. Directed by Rob Grant (Harpoon).

Saturday 16th April @ 21:00 – MERCY BLACK (2019) *UK TV Premiere

Fifteen years after a shocking incident, Marina Hess (Daniella Pineda) is coming home. Believing that a supernatural force was behind her dark crime, Marina works to discover the truth behind a dark phantom known as Mercy Black. What she discovers is a very real and very deadly horror that will stop at nothing to claim her and those she loves.

Saturday 23 April @ 22:50 – OPEN 24 HOURS (2018) *Channel Premiere

Mary (Vanessa Grasse) knew her boyfriend James was the Rain Ripper serial killer. But she felt powerless to act until he forced her to watch another victim being slaughtered before her eyes – and then she set him on fire. On parole from prison despite everyone thinking she was guilty by proxy, and on medication to control her paranoid hallucinations, Mary gets a graveyard shift job at the remote Deer gas station. Then the killings begin….

Saturday 30 April @ 21:00 – THE HUMANITY BUREAU (2017) *UK TV Premiere

Set in the year 2030, global warming turns parts of the American Midwest into a desert. In its attempt to take hold of the economic recession, a government agency called The Humanity Bureau exiles members of society deemed unproductive and banishes them to a colony known as New Eden. A caseworker, Noah Kross (Nicolas Cage) investigates a case appealed by a single mother and her son. Knowing the unjust fate of the innocent boy, Kross sets off to save them. But in doing so goes up against the entire Bureau.

TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138

Monday 14 March 2022

COMPETITION: Win The Incarnation on DVD

The Incarnation - Released from 21st March

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Hollywood stalwart Michel Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, The Hateful Eight) stars alongside Taye Diggs (Empire, Chicago) and Jessica Uberuaga (Take Back, Vigilante Diaries) in The Incarnation, a wickedly dark, twisted tale of greed and evil.

This devilish horror based on the legendary demon Mammon from Isaac Walsh in his directorial debut, gets its UK premiere on DVD and digital this March courtesy of 101 Films.

Struggling young couple Brad (Taye Diggs) and Jess (Jessica Uberuaga) move to LA In search of a better life. When they stumble across the perfect property, they seize it with both hands, and their luck begins to change… but is it too good to be true?

With their fortunes taking a miraculous turn, their thirst for success and riches cannot be quenched… but they soon learn that greed comes at a hefty price.

It becomes increasingly apparent that behind the seemingly luxurious walls lurks something deadly… An ancient evil that will stop at nothing to get what it wants…

And the American dream descends into an unimaginable nightmare.

Pre-Order from Amazon at

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who plays Brad in The Incarnation?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 28-03-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Monday 7 March 2022

Interview with Christopher Parson - Director of A Cloud So High

Ahead of FrightFest’s UK premiere of A CLOUD SO HIGH at the Glasgow Film Festival, director Christopher Parson talks about his encounter with a peeping tom, casting a serial killer and writing demented female characters…

Congratulations on such an accomplished feature film debut. Is this the film you’ve always wanted to make?

Thanks for the compliment! I always saw ‘A Cloud So High’ as a Drive-In movie, to be honest. It's more the film I never knew I always wanted to make!

The film takes us on a dark journey into the pathology of a young man (Paul) developing into a serial killer. What gave you the inspiration for the character?

There were three main incidents. One, many years ago, much like Paul Sarling, I was attacked and mugged by three assailants while walking home after a college class here in Los Angeles. Two, while purchasing batteries at a hardware store two years later, I overheard two older gentlemen discussing how DNA linked the

Sacramento-based “East Area Rapist” to a series of 10 murders in Southern California hundreds of miles away. Naturally I was shocked by the escalation of violence and the change in perpetrator's M.O. and three, two more years after the hardware store incident, a peeping tom watched my then-girlfriend and I as we slept at a Pismo Beach motel, in the wee hours of the morning of course. She screamed, "Someone’s watching us!"

The film is also a penetrating study into a community where our protagonist, who starts off as a peeping tom / ransacker, can hide in plain sight. How much is this a comment on small-town America and your own upbringing?

It's really more of a comment that, as people, we can be too self-involved to realize what's going on around us.

The performances, especially from Aaron Perilo, who plays Paul, are magnificent. In Aaron’s case, how difficult was it to cast, considering the sympathy for him you want the audience to have?

Aaron came to us from our casting director, Cydney McCurdy, who always brought me terrific actors across the board. When Aaron walked in, he looked just like a police sketch of one of the serial killers I had been researching -- which instantly gave me goosebumps. The Paul Sarling role wasn't particularly difficult to cast, as I recall. There were really only two contenders for the role of Paul. The other actor that we liked was terrific, and had this unique James Dean / Brad Pitt quality. The problem is, would you believe a James Dean / Brad Pitt-type would be a ransacker-turned-killer? In the end -- as much as I loved that performer -- I didn't think so. Aaron won the role.
It was great to see John Savage back on the big screen, as Paul’s complex father, which is an equally challenging role. How did you secure his services?

When Cydney read the script, she said Gene Sarling is John Savage and promptly sent the script to John's then-manager. John had five days available and we made it work. What can I say? We got lucky.

The title is very evocative. Can you tell us what it means to you?

To be honest, I had the title before I had a script, and for the longest time I had no idea what it meant! While we were filming the Hemky Madera (as Gabriel Rivera) interview, I asked Hemky to say that "for the whole town, Paul Sarling was just a black cloud". Also, ‘A Cloud So High’ are the last words of a poem that Paul reads -- but it's buried (on purpose) in the sound mix.

How did you enter the film industry?

Well, I had planned to become a film critic after graduating from USC's film school. The problem was that I realized I was more interested in pursuing voice over acting and not writing film criticism. On the other hand, I was always a die-hard film buff who wanted to make a feature. So I used some of my earnings from voiceover to finance the film. I cut and scored the film to keep the costs down.

Do you think your experience as an actor helped you with the film’s journey?

There's no way ‘A Cloud So High’ would exist if I had never acted. Let's put it that way!

Finally, what’s next?

First, a little rest and relaxation. Later, I'd like to do a movie I wrote in quarantine, called ‘Little Miss Bitch Face’. That one's a ‘What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?’ / ‘Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte’ / ‘Grey Gardens’ meets ‘The Big Chill’ -- but with horror overtones and surreal sequences. And, of course, a bleak ending. ‘A Cloud So High’ is a bit of a sausage fest. I wanted to write some demented female characters for a change. Virtually all of the female characters in "LMBF" are over the age of 55. It will be a fun project.

A CLOUD SO HIGH is screening Friday 11h March, 4pm at the GFT, as part of the Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2021 event.

For more information:

John Savage as Gene 'Sackler' Sarling

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Interview with Katherine Ramsland - By David Kempf

Katherine Ramsland is an American non-fiction author and professor of forensic psychology. Ramsland has written 60 books and more than 1,000 articles, mostly in the genres of crime, forensic science, and the supernatural. She is also a professor of forensic psychology and criminal justice at DeSales University.

When did you first become interested in writing?

Although I hand-wrote a 1,000-page novel when I was 15, I didn’t realize I wanted to write professionally until after I achieved my Ph.D. And even then, it didn’t become a consuming interest until I was in my 30s. I started with academic books, then wrote Anne Rice’s biography, then just kept going into all kinds of subject areas, including some vampire novels. For a while, I wrote horror fiction, but my primary interest over the past two decades has been forensics and crime.

How did you get involved in writing about famous serial killers?

When I was a kid, a serial killer was murdering young women in my area. I remained curious about it, so during the late 1990s when someone posted a website, The Crime Library, for true crime narratives, I offered to write about him. Then I wrote another story for them about another killer. Then Court TV bought the website. I got all the work I could handle, most of it about serial murder cases. I didn’t aim to become an expert, but that’s what happened. I then launched into writing books about extreme offenders and crime stories.

Tell us about your first publisher.

My first publisher was an academic press, as I turned my dissertation, Engaging the Immediate, into a book. My first commercial publisher was NewAmerican Library, for the Rice biography. That editor later became my literary agent. I’ve had quite a few different publishers over the years, with 69 books published, and more coming. Each publication is an event, though. I love to see the finished book. And I love to always be starting a new one. Some are only in e-book form, which saves me some space.

How would you classify the genre you write?

I write in many genres. Academic nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, true crime, biography, travel, self-help, fiction, etc. Most of it these days is about some kind of crime. My latest fiction series involves a forensic psychologist who manages a PI agency and takes on difficult cases, including those with paranormal overtones. Like I do. I enjoy writing biographies as well, or anything that helps to learn about new places or people. I’ve written a lot of books about forensics and investigation as well.

Why do you think horror and murder mystery books remain so popular?

People love the intrigue of puzzles and the titillation of dark motivations and potential danger from unknown forces. It raises the emotional level while not really putting them in danger. And with crime, readers want to know how offenders became criminals and why they did what they did, especially if it’s extreme or exotic. I teach courses on extreme offenders and there’s no end to fascinating cases. It’s an expansion of who we are as humans, because they’re doing something that seems beyond human limits. Horror is similar, although perhaps not intriguing in the same way. But the frame of safety that allows us to explore and experience danger or the unknown has eternal appeal.

What inspires your stories and topics?

Generally I see intriguing cases. My fiction almost always incorporates actual events or cases. Or I’m intrigued by an offender who’s an outlier, who’s different in some way. It makes me want to explore. My driving motivation as a writer is to learn something new. I’ve never had a block. I’ve been writing for almost 40 years but I’ve always found something interesting to pursue.

What are your favorite horror books?

It’s been so long I can’t really think of one, aside from Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. It might have been the first time I ended a book with the sense that the act of reading it had made me a target of whatever was out there. It was now aware of me. But I was pretty young at the time. Having immersed so much in crime, it’s difficult to find something that would really scare me, or even give me that shiver of horror. I see so much real stuff that’s horrifying.

Do you think Hannibal Lecter is the greatest fictional serial killer in movies and books?

No. He’s absurd, psychologically. The problem with knowing how the psychology of serial murder works is that when fiction writers make stuff up that doesn’t work, it has little impact for me. And he got increasingly more absurd with more novels written. I think Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men is far more realistic and disturbing. He’s unrelenting and unconcerned about anyone’s situation.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

The five years I spent in intimate conversations with BTK serial killer Dennis Rader to write his autobiography, Confession of a Serial Killer. I didn’t expect it to take so long, but the work did make a contribution to the field of forensic psychology. I was also pleased with the limited-series documentary made from it.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

The most important thing a writer can do is find a support person or group – someone who isn’t your mother. I don’t mean a critique group. I mean people who will keep assuring you, “It will happen,” “Your stuff is good,” “Don’t let a rejection get to you.” I have a couple of friends who’ve been cheerleaders and readers for years. They’ve seen me through lots of disappointments, helped me celebrate successes, and helped me keep my vision alive.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

There are pros and cons. It’s great to have more opportunities to have publications get out there that might not work for mainstream publishers, but too many people aren’t careful about it, or don’t care about a quality product, so the marketplace is glutted with substandard manuscripts. That’s the negative part.

What are your current projects?

As mentioned above, I’m writing a 3-book fiction series about a forensic psychologist who runs a PI agency and takes on difficult cases, especially those involving missing kids. I’m also launching into another book with a serial offender whose name I can’t yet reveal. I don’t think this one will take 5 years, but it will make a similar contribution as the one I wrote with Rader.

Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work.

I teach forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where I’m also an Assistant Provost. I’ve appeared as an expert in criminal psychology on more than 200 crime documentaries and magazine shows, am an executive producer of a show Murder House Flip, and have consulted for CSI, Bones, and The Alienist. I’ve published more than 1,500 articles and 69 books, including The Forensic Science of CSI, The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds, How to Catch a Killer, The Psychology of Death Investigations, and Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer. I was co-executive producer for the Wolf Entertainment/A&E four-part documentary based on the years I spent talking with Rader. I consult on death investigations, pen a regular blog for Psychology Today, and am currently writing a fiction series based on a female forensic psychologist who manages a private investigation agency.

Check out Katherine Ramsland on Amazon at

Further Links