Guest Blog: Crescendo of Darkness

I was asked to post a guest blog on May 19 for HorrorAddicts.net. Here it is now (a little late, darn it)! As a writer getting into making audio stories, this is educational! (I will be voicing a nervous teenager for an upcoming anthology by Emerian Rich, one of the editors and story contributors for Crescendo of Darkness.)

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

Please enjoy an excerpt below from Crescendo of Darkness.

“Loved to Death” by Sam Morgan Phillips

Death explores his dream of being a rock star, but can’t avoid his purpose when a young woman forces him to live up to his destiny.

Death sat in his dressing room, getting ready for the show. He went through his vocal exercises and psyched himself up. He looked at the beer fridge and wished he could have a drink, but he knew it wouldn’t have any effect.

The door was locked for a good reason. He had yet to put on his mask and gloves and pull the black cowl up over his head. He looked at himself in the mirror.

His face of rotting flesh stretched over his skull made him look severe and terrifying. A black robe was both his costume and habitual dress. He pulled it closed over an exposed ribcage. He flexed his skeletal hands and wondered if he was doing the right thing.

He wasn’t ashamed of who he was. He was Death. He didn’t hide behind his costume or his on stage persona. In fact, they represented him perfectly. It was just that he couldn’t be exactly who he was. Not for real. He had to hide it behind art. There was no other way to get his message across. No other way to be understood.

And he so desperately wanted to be understood.

He heaved an otherworldly sigh born of supernatural vigour rather than from lungs. It rasped through his teeth, harsh and metallic.

I can do this. I’m not my father. I have my own my way. I’m Death now.

There was a knock at the door and the muffled sound of words spoken—show time. He put on his mask. It was made of hard black plastic. Painted on the front was a stylised version of his face. It captured the form, but not the essence. He knew how terrifying his true face was.

He pulled on his gloves of black leather. He raised the cowl over his head of thin flesh and exposed bone and went out through the door of his dressing room, clicking the heels of his black army boots on the floor.

As he made his way through the dimly lit backstage area, guided by a roadie, he heard the crowd chanting, calling for him.

“Death, Death, Death!” It lifted his spirits.

His band, The Minions of Death, had already taken the stage and their intro track played. It was the sound of many people screaming. He had recorded and mixed it over the years, overlapping the terrified sounds people made when he came for them. To him it was an elegy, dedicated to the dead, and celebrating the purpose of his life. He felt at home as he walked up the steps at the side of the stage.

The lights flashed red and a smoke machine filled the stage with volumes of bilious gas. The smell of sweat and stale beer filled the long hall, a metal club in the city, jam-packed with people. He stepped up to the microphone and the crowd erupted.

“Put your horns in the air!”

They obeyed, hands raised in the universal metal salute. He raised both of his arms in benediction, cutting a Christ-like pose.

“Tremble before me, mere mortals—for I am Death!”

*********************************

To read the rest of this story and thirteen other horror music shorts, check out: 

Crescendo of Darkness

Direct link: https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson/dp/1987708156

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press 

Let music unlock your fear within.

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Guest Blog: Emerian Rich’s book Dusk’s Warriors

My writer friend Emerian Rich asked me to post for her book today. I did a reading at a kid’s birthday party this evening, or I would have posted earlier. But it ain’t midnight yet! Take it away, Emerian! (P.S. I feel for her. I also get the ‘It’s a book not a comic’ thing.)

With all the excitement over comics and their spinoffs like The Walking Dead and Preacher, I’ve recently been asked what comic my vampire series is most like. Well, for now let’s leave the issue with how wrong this is to ask a fiction writer (It’s a book not a comic damnit!) and go on to the pressing question.

Of all the comics I’ve read over the years, I would say it’s most like a hybrid of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Garth Ennis’s Preacher: Gone to Texas, and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire comic-zations.

My vampires start in the real world: San Francisco, England, Rio, Texas, and Alaska. They drink blood, but they aren’t overly gorey. At the end of the first book, they find out about their origin and end up in a world much like ours which they refer to as Heaven.

In this new sequel, they start out in the Heaven as gods who can conjure, create, and affect the lives of people here on Earth. Dusk—the goddess of the time between Day and Night—sends her warriors to Earth to battle the devil, whom they thought was dead for good. They were wrong.

So if you like dark urban fantasy with a splash of heaven, hell, and conjurers, you will like Dusk’s Warriors. Are their vampires? Yes! And four different kinds, but there is also a trip into Hell, a look into Heaven, and a race around Earth in this action-packed fiction book. And hey, if you know a good comic artist, send them my way.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shuarette, Lilith’s Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.” ~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Available now at Amazon.com in print and eBook

https://www.amazon.com/Dusks-Warriors-Nights-Knights-Vampire/dp/1544628803

Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

A couple of lady writers at Cons

the-forgotten-rl-kingAt Wizard Con in San Jose, I talked briefly with R.L. King, a local lady writer (check out her webpage). Click the book cover to buy her books! She likes Doctor Who,so I asked her if she would like to see The Doctor regenerate at a woman. I asked because I like the idea: time lords can change gender, and it would add an interesting spin on Doctor Who. R.L. King did not like the idea because she did NOT want The Doctor to be sexualized. The Doctor, in a low-cut blouse? Or a thong … wait, that would be a superheroine. She makes a good point.

At Convolution 2015, I went to a the Women of Marvel panel. Every panelist a woman except for one guy who thought Sue Storm should kick Reed Richards to the curb. It was a fun panel. Sumiko Paulson was there,sumiko-at-san-mateo-fairanother local writer whose books I really ought to start reading (I started one and liked how it started with gods and then got right back down to Earth). She did a short autograph session later, and I asked her why she writes what she writes (stuff that goes bump in the night). She mentioned that there has been trauma in her life, and this is a way to process it. Interesting. I lead kind of a dull life (not that I mind). So she writes the spookier stuff, while I write more superheroine comedy. Maybe this is a reason I see a lot of women writing horror. (Click on her to buy her books!)

P.S. I asked Sumiko if she’d consider writing some superheroine stuff. Not her preference. Oh well, did not hurt to ask.I think the answer to diversity is not for me to write female or black or gay characters (although I am doing or gonna do it anyhow). It is for there to be more female/black/gay writers! I could not stop writing Holly, though. She’d punch her way out of my head if I stopped.

P.P.S. I sent a final draft of a story to Fault Zone, and I will soon send another to Scripting change [edit: I sent it the next day].Then, back to the novel, and also post a couple stories on Kindle. Under (voice change to Darth Vader asking Luke to take Vader’s mask off) MY OWN NAME!

P.P.P.S. A week and a half since my last post. Too long.

Cinequest is over. Last movie bits.

littom-final-poster-web-readyFinal highlights. God, I love Cinequest.

Love In The Time Of Monsters: A delightful throwback to goofy cheap horror flicks of yesteryear, except in this case, the actors and actresses can act and get lotsa laughs. Killer zombies in bigfoot suits! One electrified zombie, funny how nobody thought of that before! A mutated moose! Tough sexy girls! A tuff old hermit! EEEEEVIL slimy squirrels with BIG NASTY MOUTHS! Dastardly ducks! Lots of laughs! This will wash that bitter, hating Paranormal Saw movie crap outta yer skull and replace it with fun, fun, FUN! Check their blog, uncleslavkosfuntimeblog.com, I’ll try to post there also and point here.

Cheatin’: I have followed Bill Plympton’s work for years and years. No dialogue, hand-drawn animation with Bill’s usual crazy surreal bendiness, and a smart story of love and heartbreak and revenge and crazy tech and a happy ending.

Slingshot: A documentary about Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway) and his water purification device called the Slingshot. Inspiring. Heartwarming. Hopeful. Smart. Why can’t America admire scientists as much as athletes?

Blood Punch: Twisted and bloody and supernatural and funny and a hoot and a half! The guy and girl main characters are touching, the other male lead is a psycho who’ll make you laugh as he is killed, killed, killed. A smart, well-structured script that takes you for a looping ride.

Dom Hemingway: Jude Law as a larger than life loser, his own worst enemy, always fun to watch and to root for (no matter how nutzoid he gets) who finally finds what he really wants from life. Funniest and most human slo-mo crash I’ve seen in ages (Michael Bay and Matrix crashes are just noise by comparison).