Norman Prentiss on "Odd Adventures with Your Other Father"

Norman Prentiss on Odd Adventures with Your Other Father

Author Norman Prentiss has taken his decidedly unconventional road trip/horror novel, Odd Adventures with Your Other Father, and brought it to audiences via a new, non-traditional publishing route: the Kindle Scout program. A little over a month after its official publication on May 31, it looks like the book—and Prentiss’s chosen method of publication—can be called a success: early readers responded favorably to the book, and now it’s opening up new audiences for the talented author. Recently, Prentiss took a few moments to speak to Cemetery Dance Online about his recent Odd Adventures.

(Interview conducted by Blu Gilliand)Continue Reading

Norman Prentiss on “Odd Adventures with Your Other Father”

Norman Prentiss on Odd Adventures with Your Other Father

Author Norman Prentiss has taken his decidedly unconventional road trip/horror novel, Odd Adventures with Your Other Father, and brought it to audiences via a new, non-traditional publishing route: the Kindle Scout program. A little over a month after its official publication on May 31, it looks like the book—and Prentiss’s chosen method of publication—can be called a success: early readers responded favorably to the book, and now it’s opening up new audiences for the talented author. Recently, Prentiss took a few moments to speak to Cemetery Dance Online about his recent Odd Adventures.

(Interview conducted by Blu Gilliand)Continue Reading

Review: 'Disappearance at Devil's Rock' by Paul Tremblay

DevilRockDisappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
William Morrow (June 21, 2016)
336 pages; $17.76 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Quiet horror is the hardest kind to get right; but when it is done right, it’s a showcase of the best the genre has to offer. Stripped of gimmicks and gore, quiet horror takes people you’ve come to care about and makes you watch as something terrible slowly creeps in from the edges.

The “something terrible” happens early in Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, Paul Tremblay’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2015 breakout, A Head Full of Ghosts. Elizabeth, a single mom raising two kids, gets the phone call every parent dreads when her son, Tommy, goes missing while fooling around with his friends in some nearby woods. But it’s the mystery surrounding Tommy’s disappearance—lost? abducted? running away? sacrificed?—that is the true “something terrible” here, as Tremblay lays out a number of possibilities, each more troubling than the last.Continue Reading

A Night at The Ryman with Stephen King

A Night at The Ryman with Stephen King

Stephen King’s End of Watch Book Tour
The Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
June 11, 2016
by Blu Gilliand

End_of_Watch_coverAs a born-and-bred Southerner, I knew that Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium was one of those places I was supposed to visit at least once in my life. Built in 1892 by a steamboat captain for the evangelist that led him to salvation, the Ryman Auditorium (originally known as the Union Gospel Tabernacle) soon became more than a church—it became a gathering place/entertainment hall, hosting everything from political rallies to opera to ballet to, beginning in 1943, the Grand Ole Opry. These days, the Ryman plays host to comedians, rock bands, country singers, and, yes, bestselling authors.

When I read that Stephen King would be stopping at The Ryman, a mere four hours from my front door, as part of his End of Watch book tour—and on a Saturday, no less—I knew it was a chance I couldn’t pass up.Continue Reading

Review: 'Freedom of the Mask' by Robert McCammon

freedom_of_the_mask_designFreedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon
Subterranean Press (May 2016)
528 pages; $24.26 hardcover; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

The Matthew Corbett books have historically been hefty affairs—Speaks the Nightbird, the first in the series, clocked in at over 800 pages, and the others have gone 400 or more. The lone exception was the fifth book, 2014’s River of Souls, which was a lean 256 pages. It’s my personal favorite of the series, the perfect mix of Robert McCammon’s incredibly detailed world building and action/thriller pacing.

Freedom of the Mask has put some of the weight back on—my advance copy hit 530 pages—but maintains the breathless pace of its predecessor. There’s enough story packed in it for two books, but it’s filler-free, and for good reason: there’s a ticking clock hanging over McCammon’s head now. He’s announced that the series will go nine books and no further, which puts us deep in the overall Corbett story arc at this point. McCammon is very calculated in the way he handles each book’s immediate plot while moving all the pieces toward the series conclusion. Continue Reading

Review: 'Mongrels' by Stephen Graham Jones

Mongrels_cover-678x1024Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
William Morrow (May 2016)
320 pages; $19.39 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

The werewolves of Mongrels roam the South like a pack of feral dogs, surviving on the very instincts and abilities that often work directly against them. They live in ratty trailers, work an endless parade of menial jobs, subsist on road kill and strawberry wine coolers. They sneak into town under assumed names and sneak out under the cover of night when things go bad. And they always go bad.Continue Reading

An Interview with Damien Angelica Walters: Taming the 'Paper Tigers'

An Interview with Damien Angelica Walters:
Taming the Paper Tigers

Dark House Press will release Damien Angelica Walters‘ new novel, Paper Tigers, on February 29. An author’s life is always extra hectic when a new release is close, so we at Cemetery Dance Online were glad to snag a few minutes with Walters to talk about her latest book and her approach to the craft of writing. We invite you to spend some time with Walters today, and check back on February 22 for an exclusive excerpt of Paper Tigers.Continue Reading

Review: 'This Year's Class Picture' by Dan Simmons

This_Years_Class_Picture_by_Dan_SimmonsThis Year’s Class Picture by Dan Simmons
Subterranean Press (March 2016)
54 pages; $20 hardcover; $50 signed, numbered limited edition
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

The limited edition hardcover treatment for a short story might seem like overkill, but some pieces deserve to be highlighted on their own. Such is the case with This Year’s Class Picture, a classic zombie tale by Dan Simmons that first appeared nearly 25 years ago in John Skipp and Craig Spector’s stellar anthology Still Dead: Book of the Dead 2.

Ms. Geiss is dealing with the aftermath of the zombie uprising as best she can – staying vigilant, fortifying her sanctuary, keeping a watchful eye out at all times. She’s also trying to maintain some sense of normalcy, albeit through some rather extreme measures. Ms. Geiss was a fourth grade teacher in another life and another world; a dedicated educator who chose the school she taught in for years as her safe place during the end of the world; a woman who now maintains and attempts to teach a small class of undead children in her former classroom.Continue Reading

Review: 'Hell's Bounty' by Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale

Hells_Bounty_by_Joe_R_Lansdale_and_John_L_LansdaleHell’s Bounty by Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale
Subterranean Press (February 2016)
190 pages; $40 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I don’t know how the Lansdale brothers divvied up the writing duties on Hell’s Bounty, and, truth be told, it doesn’t matter. Storytelling runs deep in the Lansdale family, and Joe and John’s new novel is a seamless powder keg of a collaboration, packed tight with wild, weird western fun.

Something has emerged from an old mine shaft near the town of Falling Rock. Moving about as it does on bat wings, leaving a whiff of sulfur in its wake, chances are it’s nothing good. Typical for Falling Rock, which seems to attract bad things – and bad people. Take Trumbo Quill for example, a man bad enough to shoot another man dead just for accidentally sitting on his hat. Or Smith, a newly-arrived bounty hunter whose explosive confrontation with Quill lands him, literally, in Hell.Continue Reading

Review: 'Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series' by Alyse Wax

Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series by Alyse Wax
Curious-Goods-Behind-the-Scenes-of-Friday-the-13th-The-Series-951x1427BearManor Media (October 2015)
490 pages; $36.95 hardcover/$26.95 paperback/$9.95 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand 

Alyse Wax first encountered Friday the 13th: The Series at the age of nine. It was an episode called “Stick it in Your Ear,” a tale about a haunted hearing aid from the show’s third and final season, and Wax was hooked. Her interest blossomed into an obsession that led to an Internet fan club, a fanzine, and, finally, this book.

Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series is Wax’s massive guide to Paramount’s short-lived attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Friday the 13th film series. Muuch more than just an episode guide, this book is a comprehensive account of the difficulties faced when trying to produce good entertainment under difficult circumstances.Continue Reading

Review: 'Sour Candy' by Kealan Patrick Burke

SourCandySour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke
Published by Author (November 2015)
67 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

We’ve all been there: standing in the aisle of a store, trying to hurry up and get the stuff on your list so you can get done and get out. There’s a hundred other places you’d rather be, and you’re already annoyed because it was hard to find a parking place and you can barely get down the aisle because there’s so many people there, many of whom apparently came for the sole purpose of standing in your way and chit-chatting with the neighbor or friend they happened to run into.

And then, the screaming starts.Continue Reading

Review: 'Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel' by Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith

Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel by Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith
BearManor Media (September 2015)
362 pages; $34.95 hardcover/$23.02 paperback/$9.95 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Jaws2As sequels go, Jaws 2 had one of the hardest acts to follow in cinema history: Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, which stands today as one of the most revered movies of all time, a near-perfect blend of casting, acting and visual storytelling that wears its 40-years-and-counting quite well.

Likewise, Louis A. Pisano and Michael A. Smith’s book, Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, has a big mountain to climb. Spielberg’s classic has spawned a couple of excellent making-of books: The Jaws Log, a bird’s-eye-view recounting of the film’s production from Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb; and Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard, Jim Beller and Matt Taylor’s lushly illustrated, exhaustively researched account of the filming as told by the residents of the small New England island Spielberg and company took over.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Sandman: Overture' by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III

The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman (writer), J.H. Williams III (illustrator), Dave Stewart (colors), Todd Klein (lettering), and Dave McKean (original series covers) 
DC Comics/Vertigo (November 2015)
224 pages; $14.99 hardcover/$14.24 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

OvertureWhen a series reaches the level of fan adoration and critical acclaim that Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman has, there’s always going to be a clamoring for more. Yes, it has been nearly 20 years since the 75th and final issue of the comic series was published by DC, but the work has aged magnificently, standing even now as a testament to what the medium is capable of, and as a standard which is rarely equaled.

Gaiman has demonstrated on more than one occasion that he’s not opposed to revisiting his creation if he’s got a good story to tell. He wrote The Sandman: The Dream Hunters, and a handful of stories for the Endless Nights anthology, and now he’s come back again with a prequel to the original series. The Sandman: Overture was a six issue limited series that began in 2013, and is now collected in its entirety in a beautiful hardcover edition.Continue Reading

Review: 'Dead Ringers' by Christopher Golden

Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden
St. Martin’s Press (November 20150
320 pages, e-book $12.99 , hardcover $17.76
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

DeadRingersChristopher Golden adds another quality horror/thriller to his immense body of work with Dead Ringers, a tale of supernatural dopplegängers tormenting a small group of colleagues and friends.

Some authors lay all their cards on the table at the beginning of the story and let readers watch how everything plays out. In this book, Golden chooses to reveal details to us as he reveals them to his characters, making for a much more immersive and, at times, disorienting experience. This approach, coupled with Golden’s solid character work and relentless pacing, makes Dead Ringers a thoroughly enjoyable read.Continue Reading

An Interview with John Skipp & Andrew Kasch: Telling 'Tales of Halloween'

An Interview with John Skipp & Andrew Kasch:
Telling ‘Tales of Halloween’

TalesHalloween2One Halloween night. Ten interlocking tales. That’s the premise of Tales of Halloween, the new anthology film scheduled for limited theater and nationwide video on demand release on October 16. The movie boasts an impressive lineup of creative talent, including directors Lucky McKee (May, Red) and Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers), and the writer/director combo John Skipp and Andrew Kasch.

Skipp and Kasch were kind enough to take time away from their hectic pre-release schedule to talk about their segment of the film, how it all came together, and what it was like to film a Halloween movie in the middle of the Christmas season.Continue Reading