A Private Conversation with Story: Who’s really in control?

Me: Okay, it's early in the morning and I have coffee. Let's get started. There's this science fiction passage I want to get into today that will lead to the big reveal for the main character. Story: No. Me: What do you mean 'No'. Story: I mean no. Me: Come on, quite playing around. Story: …

Ginger Snaps: Not the Cookie, the Werewolf

I like werewolf movies.  No, let me rephrase that.  I like good werewolf movies.  My favorite is The Wolfman (1941) with Lon Chaney, Jr.  And from a writerly perspective it gives me a tickle to know the writer of that film, Curt Siodmak, made most of the werewolf tropes out of whole cloth.  But they're …

Endings Are Hard, Except When They’re Easy

Writing is hard enough. Everything about is is hard. Except thinking up new ideas. That's actually easy. People who don't write sometimes think the idea phase is difficult. Nope. That's easy. I have way more ideas than I will ever write. The trick is choosing the best idea among them and elaborating on it. Part …

Leaving for Caprock Canyon with a Very Dark Haxan Novel in Mind

Headed to Caprock Canyon this morning. Looking forward to the relaxation and working on some notes for the new novel. Kind of eager to see if this idea will hold up. I think it has promise...but you never know until you actually start mapping out the story and ideas. One thing. The more I think …

Woot! My Sample Story Page on WordPress: “Portraits of Madame Skalla”

Mark here. I have included a new Sample Story Page for my WordPress blog for those who may be interested in that kind of thing. You can click the link below or find the appropriate link on the right side of my blog under "Pages." I mean, you guys know how to do this, right? …

The Visceral Power of Horror: Why it’s so hard to write

Horror is always either on the edge of a horrendous implosion or on the cusp of a golden renaissance.  I think that's about right, given its cyclic nature.  Horror literature itself is a fairly shallow field.  Widespread, but shallow.  It makes half-hearted attempts every ten years or so to break out and become mainstream, but …

Saying “No” in Writing, and Living with the Consequences

Many years ago I watched an interview with Margaret Mitchell on television. She talked about the process she went through when writing Gone With the Wind and she related how she often had to say no to people who wanted her to go out to a restaurant, or concert, or a party. She said it …

House of 1000 Corpses (A Review)

Horror is a visceral medium. When it comes to movies, horror can be very visceral indeed.  I love the old Universal monsters, mainly for personal reasons.  They are my favorite.  When it comes to other horror movies I lean towards surrealism like the excellent Suspiria by Dario Argento. But there are other movies that, after …