Happy Halloween from the Gold Coast!

Happy Halloween one and all, far and wide! I hope you are having heaps of fun on this spookiest of spooky days!

Between Friday the 13th and Halloween, I have been sharing all kinds of information and inspiration from the world’s best horror writers, plus quotes, and articles and advice for writers. I really hope you have enjoyed these posts as much as I have enjoyed sharing them!

I am also SO excited to share that my brand new short story Grave Bargains is NOW AVAILABLE to download from the Kindle store for just 99c! Click HERE to view on Amazon.

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In the wake of an unforgivable crime against his family, Peter is determined to bury the past and start fresh. His good intentions are challenged by a sinister stranger, who is determined to dig up his sins, and threatens to jeopardise his efforts to make amends.

I would also like to welcome the several NEW members that have joined my blogging community over the past two and a half weeks, and I hope you will continue to join me on my writing journey. I’ve got lots of exciting things planned for November!

Thank-you to EVERYONE for your ongoing support, I wish everyone the best All Hallow’s Eve, stay safe and most of all, HAVE FUN!

 

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Playing Catch-Up: Links

I have been having so much fun posting quotes, links to interesting Halloween-themed articles, and I certainly hope you have all been enjoying the content too!
Due to some personal matters that have kept me away from my computer over the past few days I have fallen behind in my posts, so I thought I’d just combine them into one post!

39 Books That Are Actually Scary

Horror Novels Based On Real Life

5 Witchy AF Books To Read This Fall

16 of the Spookiest Abandoned Places On Earth

15 of the Best Movies Set On Halloween

5 Horror Novels That Are Legit Nightmare Fuel

A Lovecraft Reading Order For Beginners

40 of the Creepiest Book Covers Of All Time

23 Child Horror Movie Actors You Wouldn’t Recognize Today

6 Great Horror Stories by Women You Can Read Right Now

Happy Hitchcock-tober: 10 Books Celebrating The Master Of Suspense

The Earlier Versions of Little Red Riding Hood Were Violent and Grotesque

5 Halloween-Appropriate Books To Read If You Don’t Like Horror

 

And some visuals:

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Three Tips On Experimenting With A New Genre

As an author I classify myself as ‘Genre Agnostic’.

I learned this title at a writer’s group meeting I attended some years ago. Genre agnostic basically means you write in a variety of genres. I myself have written historical fiction, non fiction, creative non-fiction, psychological suspense and am currently working on a series of crime fiction novels.

In 2016 I published The Graveyard Shift, as an individual ebook and as part of The New Neighbors short story collection.ย The Graveyard Shift os based on the true experiences of a medical student who starts to experience unusual events at the old hospital where he works the nightshift. These experiences belonged to a doctor I met years ago, who shared his experiences with me after learning I was a writer.

 

While my short stories are generally dark and disturbing, The Graveyard Shift was my first step into the realm of the supernatural. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the reader on, having them biting their nails while teetering on the edge of their seat. However as I prepared to start creating The Graveyard Shift, I knew from my previous writing studies that there was a definite difference between writing suspense and writing horror. I plan to address these differences in more detail in my next post.

I came up against the same challenge when I started working on my latest short story, Grave Bargains. This time I was delving into the world of black magic and ancient Jewish mysticism. This story was a work-in-progress for several years. The research was tricky as well; while I was quite capable of conjuring up spells in my imagination, a part of me felt I should honour the craft with accuracy. Also, I wanted my story to appear professional and well-researched before readers of this genre, even if the elements were fictionalised to a degree.

So how did I navigate my way through this new genre territory?

Here are three tips.

  1. Do Your Research.Well, of course. But not just a skim through a couple of articles; give the genre the respect it deserves, especially if it is not a genre you normally write in. I learned as much as I could about writing horror and the differences (and similarities) between it and other types of suspense/thriller writing. Also, I cannot tell you how many articles I read on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  2. Keep It Simple (If Just At First)During the writing process of Grave Bargains, I was very tempted to delve deep into my main antagonist’s mysterious past as the latest in a long line of necromantic bedouin mystics from the Judean Desert. However I tried to keep in mind that this was only my second crack at supernatural suspense, and certainly my first try at writing about magic. So I kept it easy for myself and didn’t go too overboard: I told my story, I presented the concept and got the idea across. Maybe later I will follow up Grave Bargains with a sequel exploring the antagonist’s background a little deeper.
  3. Have Fun!
    If you’re a perfectionist like me (what writer doesn’t have a perfectionist streak??) you’re determined to make sure the details of your story are well-researched and credible. However there is a stage when you must draw the line. Some of the answers I sought in my research for Grave Bargains simply weren’t available, especially those surrounding black magic and resurrection spells (I found that the latter is heavily warned against and avoided by even by the most dedicated practitioners). There comes a time when you need to stop researching and just start creating. And if there are some details you haven’t been able to find answers for, make it up! Dedicated readers of the genre will appreciate your efforts. At the end of the day, if you are writing fiction especially, there is a degree of creative licence that you are allowed.I hope that you have found this post insightful and helpful if you are considering taking the leap into a new genre.

    Do YOU have any tips on experimenting with new genres, or about horror writing? Please do leave them in the comments!

 

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Grave Bargains is Available NOW for Pre-Order, For Release On Halloween.
Click HERE to find out more!