Monday, February 28, 2011

Taste the Horror of Addiction: Masters of Horror: Damned if You Don't

Taste the Horror of Addiction: Masters of Horror: Damned if You Don't Anthology.  

This awesome collection features these great horror writers: 

John Shirley              Keith Gouveia           Glaze McRob            
F. Paul Wilson          Lee Pletzers                Nomar Knight
Scott M. Goriscak    K.K.                             Marissa Farrar
Ken Goldman           Harry Louis Mora         Lori R. Lopez
Ryan Willox             Joseph Pinto                 C.D. Bennett
Carole Gill               Carson Buckingham     Armand Rosamilla
                                                                      Scott Nicholson

     Less face facts, most of us, if not all are addicted to something.  Each person has their vice whether it be smoking, alcohol, food, sex...doesn't matter, there's always something we latch on to as if it were a security blanket.  In my case, I'm addicted to two things: coffee and chocolate.  I define addiction as something your mind and body can not do without.  Well, I've survived without many things, but in the end, coffee and chocolate would be almost impossible for me to kick.  

      In the hot new anthology published by Triskaideka Books and edited by the extraordinarily talented, K.K., a spectacular selection of horror masters dazzle us with stories about all sorts of addictions.  Each author entertains and brings to light situations that boggle the mind.  Each week I'll be highlighting a few stories from the collection.  

     I figured what better way to provide my wonderful Knight Chills readers with a sampling of what's coming then to give you a taste of the great John Shirley's Aftertaste

     Some of you may know John Shirley's work from his novels Demon and Crawlers (to name but a few)  He also was the co-screen writer of The Crow.  

Here's a preview of what you'll find in Masters of Horror: Damned if You Don't

The monstrously addictive power of crack cocaine lies in the intensity—and the brevity—of the high. Within a matter of moments, you’re back to normal again (or as close to ‘normal’ as anyone on crack ever gets) and ready for more. It’s also relatively cheap—per dose-- and doesn’t seem to eat your money as fast as it does, so one month you’re paying cash for it, the next month you’re selling your last remaining pair of shoes for it. One of my best friends, when he lived in Tampa, told me a story of how a thin, wasted man desperately asked him at a 7-11 to buy a bloodstained baby’s blanket for five dollars.
For better or for worse, crack seems to have fallen off the national radar or it’s been eclipsed by that other breakfast of champions, crystal meth. Or a prediction has come true…one authority on drugs called the crack epidemic, ‘A self-cleaning oven’, meaning: ‘In a few years there won’t be a crack epidemic, because everyone who keeps using crack will be dead.’
     Or, as imagined by the amazing John Shirley, WORSE than dead…

By John Shirley

8:45 P.M., Saturday Night, West Oakland, California

Dwayne was sick of hearing Uncle Garland talk. The old man would talk about Essy and he would talk about the dope and he would talk about grindin’, about everything but his own goddamn drinking. Sitting in that busted wheelchair at the kitchen table, talking and sipping that Early Times. Talking shit about his angel dreams, too. One more word about the dope. . .
But Dwayne tolerated more than just one more word, because he needed Uncle Garland. He needed a place to stay and some place to run to. So he just sat and listened while he waited for Essy to get up, waited for Essy to get them started again. Essy in the next room, had to crash for awhile, been two hours already. Fuck it. Dwayne could taste rock at the back of his tongue; smell it high in his nostrils. All in the imagination.
The TV was on, with the sound turned off. A rerun of a show with that guy used to be in Taxi. Tony something.
“You listening to me, Dwayne?” Uncle Garland demanded, scratching his bald pate with yellowed fingers. His rheumy eyes looking at Dwayne and not seeing him. Moving with less life than the TV screen. Blind. The old man was blind, but that was easy to forget, somehow.
“Can’t hardly not listen, you talking all the time,” Dwayne said.
“The dope killing this town, it be killing our people,” Garland was saying. “Killing the black man. I’m fixin’ to go the Next World, and I’m glad to be goin’, Praise Jesus, with the devil eating this world like a pie. . .” Didn’t pause to take a breath.
Uncle Garland’s place was an apartment in the Projects, in the shadow of the freeway that collapsed in the ‘89 earthquake. Used to be you heard the freeway booming and rushing all night. Now it was eerie quiet. Or quiet as it ever got in the Projects.
“Tell you some true now,” Uncle Garland said, using the expression that always prefaced a long, long lecture. “These are the end times, that the Lord’s truth. In my angel dreams, they come to me and tell me it’s so. And it’s on the news, about the dead people rising. It’s in the Bible, son, when the dead rise it’s a Sign that the Lord is coming for Judgment —”



© Copyright Triskaideka Books 2011. All rights reserved. 
Triskaideka Books has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Experiencing Mid Novel Writing Blues?

Experiencing Mid Novel Writing Blues?

There's a rumor going around that many writers get to the middle of their novel and suddenly, the empty pages take over.  It's not writer's block, but more like a fear of success or a natural desire to break with routine.  So in the spirit of helping those who've struggled or are struggling with their masterpiece, this post is for you.

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell. 

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes. 

"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now." 

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!" 

"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

I'm really not mean, but some days...

This is what happens when my muse takes over target practice.

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. 

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!" 

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages. 

A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in a second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is--”

“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”

Here's a clue you've just rented an apartment from a notorious crime family.

Before I became a writer, I tried my hand at singing.

Everyone's a Critic!

Most of us ignore the obvious signs throughout childhood that indicate what we'll be in the future.  Here's a glimpse at just one of the many signs that I would be a Horror Writer.

Writing is all about perception.

Okay.  That's enough wandering around for one day.  Time to get back to work and write something entertaining.

If I don't catch you on the dark side, then you can catch me on the lighter side. 

Nomar Knight

© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Mirror Sees You

By Nomar Knight

The Mirror Sees You
By Nomar Knight

They say if you stare at a mirror long enough, your reflection may disappear and otherworldly manifestations may show you either past lives, or provide spiritual guidance. 
            Constance stared at the black mirror for over an hour.  Smoke from the incense coiled up past the mirror.  Two candles at opposite sides remained lit, but out of view.  Religious statues sat on opposite sides, including a pendant of the archangel Michael.  The Triangle of Solomon stood closest to her in the makeshift altar.
            She sighed, “Come on!  This Scrying stuff is hard.”
            Apprehension tied a noose around her throat.  She stretched her neck, doing her best to crack tension away.  It had been a month since her husband, Lyle, died.  She had heard from a woman in her culinary classes that this method was effective and cheaper than seeing a psychic. 
            “Take a deep breath, Connie.” 
            She inhaled and slowly exhaled.  After another twenty minutes, smoke seemed to come out of the mirror.  Triangle shapes floated inside, replacing her reflection.  She struggled to maintain her posture and concentration. 
            Constance whispered, “I need to talk to you, Lyle.  Please come, it’s important.”
            A bat flew around the inside of the mirror.  Its red eyes scowled at her, gnashing sharp teeth.
            “Come on Lyle.  You lazy…”
            A man’s image appeared.  At first, a haze revealed the silhouette of a head, but like a camera’s lens focusing to provide clarity, she stood stunned to see her late husband’s baffled expression.
            “Lyle, you look amazing.”
            “I may have been thirty years older than you, but I was young at heart.”
            Constance snorted, “You died trying to make love to me.”
            “We have mirrors here too.  I saw what you did.”
            Constance slammed a fist on the altar. 
            “Where did you put the insurance policy?”
            He shook his head and glared at her.
            “I swear…”  She bit her lip.  After a few seconds, she grinned.  “Guess who I’m going to pick up tomorrow?”
            “Your precious grandson.  I have a special meal prepared for him.”
            Although she enjoyed taunting her late husband, she fidgeted and tugged at her blouse.  The room’s temperature increased.
            “If anything happens to him…”
            “What?  What can you possibly do to me?  You’re dead and useless.  Some things never change.”
            His eyebrows furrowed.  A glimmer of violet flashed in his gray eyes. 
            “The papers you need are in the attic, inside the antique armoire, taped to the bottom of the top drawer.” 
            “Thank you, Lyle.  You’ll be happy to know that I’ve met someone new.  He’s older than you and thanks to a magic blue pill; he keeps me satisfied all night.”
            “Just remember, we have mirrors on this side too.  I’ll be watching.”
            He vanished behind a cloud of black smoke. 
            She stared at her reflection, beaming.  “You can watch me all you want.”
            She hurried to the top floor of the house and pulled down the stairs which led to the attic.  She flipped a light switch, illuminating the dusty space.  She pulled the drawer, found the insurance policy with her and Lyle’s grandson named as sole beneficiaries and danced. 
            “Three million dollars!  Thank you Lyle, I’ll feed your grandson the same poison I did you.”
            Constance took the stairs with a new zest for life.  In fact, she didn’t concentrate on something as mundane as descending steps.  She tumbled, rolled, and landed with a harsh thud. 
            When she woke, excruciating pain shot up her right leg.  Her knee was shattered.  She checked her pockets and recalled leaving her cell phone on the altar below.  As she negotiated the hall, she glanced at a painting of Lyle.  The eyes followed her every move.  She thought she heard an echo.  It sounded like his voice saying, we have mirrors here too.  I’m watching you.
            She dragged herself, amid a ton of screaming, into her bedroom.  Her affliction for mirrors took on new meaning.  On every wall, a mirror showed her struggling to reach her bed.  She tore a sheet and yelled as she tied it around her knee. 
            Whispers!  A whispering wind bounced off the mirrors.  A white mist showed itself from each reflection. 
            “What’s happening?”
            At first it she thought bees buzzed, creating an eerie echo.  But then the sound became clearer. 
            “I see you.  Killer!  Killer!  Killer!  Killer!”
            “This isn’t real.  It can’t be happening.”
            Lyle’s angry image surrounded her.  On the mirrored ceiling his imaged seemed to peel through and descend upon her. 
            Just when she saw his face inches away from her nose, he vanished. 
            Constance laughed. 
            “I don’t care what you do.  You can’t hurt me.  And do you know why, Lyle?  Because you’re dead!”
            She clutched the policy in her hand and kissed it.  As soon as she looked up again, the mirrors shattered.  A busted knee became the least of her worries.  Shards of broken glass sliced into her body.  A big chunk cut through her throat.  Constance bled to death. 
            Her last thoughts: as long as you have mirrors, you’re never alone.  We can see you.  We know what you’re doing.

-          849 words

© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved. 
A Knight Chills flash fiction.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deaths Recompense by Jezri

Deaths Recompense by Jezri

Alas, my good friend and talented horror writer, Jezri, visits Knight Chills and leaves some disturbing images for us.

Deaths Recompense
By Jezri

The walls shivered, breathing with life,
Long dead limbs trembling as they stirred,
Scraping partitions that confined,
Two lovers unjustly interned.

Over the year their anger had grown,
Bones decaying, seething with hate,
Whilst bugs feasted on rotting remains,
They silently waited their time to sate,

Their fury penetrated their confines,
Creating a fissure to escape their grave,
They pushed against the crumbling wall,
Hungry for the vengeance that they craved.

A horde of bugs spilled out before them,
Announcing their arrival from hell,
As horrified, their assassin watched,
Knowing retribution had rung its bell.

She raged as her husband stumbled forth,
His arms reaching for where he would find
Her treacherous heart, unmoving and cold
His mistress following close behind.

Empty eye sockets teaming with worms,
Maggots feasting on flesh and bone,
She screamed as they advanced,
Demanding her life death must atone. 

 Feel free to visit her blog Jezri's Nightmares. You'll soon see that Jezri rocks!

© Copyright Jezri 2011. All rights reserved. 
Jezri has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Dance Begins by Alex Knight

The Dance Begins by Alex Knight

The Dance Begins
by Alex Knight

You softly beckon
Opening patio doors
I step out into the moonlight
Barefoot, I make my way
Pebbles and larger stones
Make their marks on my feet
The way your love made its
Mark on my heart
At water's edge my robe is shed
I arch my back stretch out my arms
Spinning slowly
I luxuriate in the warm zephyr
That caresses my body
The way your words caressed my mind
I know you're out there
Watching - waiting
Tilting my chin I purse my lips
Issuing an invitation that remains
Night after night
I follow my heart
To the water's edge
Perhaps tomorrow
I will continue my walk
And we will dance once more
Under the waves

A special thanks to our featured author, Alex Knight, for her lovely contribution to Knight Chills. 

© Copyright Alex Knight 2011. All rights reserved. 
Alex Knight has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Apocalyptic Journey by Nomar Knight

Apocalyptic Journey by Nomar Knight

Apocalyptic Journey
By Nomar Knight

It's the end of the world
I say to all who pass by
Some ignore me
Others cast dirty looks
But most can't hear my words

It's the end of the world
Corruption breeds discontent
Thrones of greed alienate the masses
A wave of uprisings topple regimes
Mass hunger is no longer tolerated

It's the end of the world
When the earth groans and shakes
Mother nature objects to neglect
Abuse and murder an epidemic
Clergy and politicians slime crime

It's the end of the world
Families break and hate
Food's wasted then tainted
Fornication breathes without prejudice
People killed for who they are

It's the end of the world
When all hope is lost
Communication dies asunder
Common sense loses to nonsense
Education loses its mind

It's the end of the world
If we can't care for our planet
And find common ground
Stop war and love one another
We'll all be doomed

For One Stop Poetry week 34

© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved. 
A Knight Chills poem.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Than Luck: An interview with Author Alex Knight

Author- Alex Knight

Please welcome the talented and versatile Alex Knight. 

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I enjoy writing about murder and horror. Born in Toronto, I have lived in a number of cities in Canada and the United States. Currently, I live in a small city outside of Toronto with my partner. I love to travel and if I'm not reading I'm writing. Oh yes, I hate research. I love reading about all sorts of things - for entertainment purposes. If I have to memorize dates and details - it becomes work.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is my 2010 NaNoWriMo 'winner', which is yet unnamed. It is the back story of my character, bodyguard Anya Orlova (The Bodyguard, The Mermaid and Dolphin) and her continuing adventures.

How did you get started as a writer? 

I started out by taking an online writing class, winning a writing contest and getting published in the local paper before the class was over. It encouraged me to continue writing humorous essays for newspapers. I was able to earn several bylines while working on what I really wanted to do, which was write fiction.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I start the day on the computer, then head out for my day job, which is accounting. While I'm crunching numbers I'm thinking of the latest works in progress, writing dialogue in my head, etc. When I get back home it's time for dinner and another couple of hours on the computer - writing, catching up with friends and other writers on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

What do you like most about reading and writing?

I enjoy the escapism reading provides, there's nothing like curling up with a good book. When I write, I can say and do all the things I would never do in real life - especially since more often than not I write about murder.

Which author influenced you the most?

It would be impossible to say one writer influenced me more than another. There are a number of writers who inspired me for many different reasons. The short list would be topped by Edgar Allan Poe, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, John D. MacDonald & Agatha Christie.

Tell us 3 interesting things about you.
I have to admit that this question stumped me and I asked my partner to help me out. He immediately came up with a half dozen things. I told him there was no way I was admitting to any of that much less putting it in writing. On a serious note I think interest, like art, is subjective. Would your readers find it interesting that I'm into archaeology, that I'm a silversmith or that I used to teach ballroom dance? Probably not. They might be interested in knowing that I do believe in paranormal experiences having had a number of them myself. I once saw a person days after he died, only at the time I didn't know he was dead. When I read about his death I was shocked, thinking how I had just seen him - then I discovered the newspaper was already several days old. If I have the same or similar dream two or three times, I know it's a warning to be taken seriously. A couple of dreams have literally saved me from physical danger and possible death. Fortunately, I haven't had any lately. Also, I have had several psychic readings (Tarot, palm & tea leaves) that were so accurate it was eerie. I'm still waiting for the last prophecy to come true, lol.

Would you say you write specifically for one genre and if not, what’s your favorite genre to write?

I try not to think of genres when I write because the lines tend to blur for me. A story might appear to fit one genre when I begin but as it unfolds it can often end up being something totally different. While I usually write about crime and murder, I also cross over into horror, paranormal and chick lit. I would really like to write more horror novels, but find it difficult because more and more I'm finding things scare me less and less. I can generally write enough horror to fit the short story category, but can't stretch it out to a full blown novel.

Best and worst part of being a writer?

The worst part is that it doesn't (yet) pay the bills. However, like most writers I write for the love of writing. The best part is that I love the creative process and watching where the characters take me as their stories unfold.

Advice to writers?

Write - I can't stress this enough - thinking about it isn't doing it. And never listen to your inner critic or the advice of family and friends (unless they happen to be famous authors.) Never stop to edit as you go, otherwise you will never finish the project. When you finish a project put it aside for a while - let it rest. Then go back and read it again, out loud. If you stumble over the words so will your readers. Mark those passages with a high lighter and keep going. Once you're finished you can start the editing process. But be careful, self-editing can become a perpetual task. You will always find something you think you can improve upon. Any author who thinks he's nailed it and could never improve upon his work is only kidding himself, but you have to know when to stop.

Interesting story about writing.
I can create a story around a word heard randomly, and usually that word will figure into the title somewhere. Also, whenever I start a larger project, if I don't already have a title in mind, I usually come up with one after the first few pages. At the very least I have a working title until something else comes to mind. This time around I'm drawing a blank. I keep referring to the story as the Bodyguard WIP and I really need a title before I send it off into the world. I think I need to have a 'name the ebook' contest.

Thank you Alex Knight for a wonderful interview.  
You can catch more of Alex in her website here

Click on the What Luck Cover to order the outstanding book. You won't be disappointed. 


© Copyright Alex Knight 2011. All rights reserved. 
Alex Knight has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.
© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved. 
A Knight Chills author interview.