Sunday, December 17, 2017


CHRISTMAS HORROR MOVIES - Here are some old and new Christmas themed horror movies to consider watching this holiday season.

Tales From the Crypt: And All Through the House (1972)
The crypt keeper narrates an anthology film with 5 segments based on stories from EC Comics.

Black Christmas (1974)
Sorority sisters become murder victims when an unidentified caller makes creepy calls. 

Christmas Evil (1980)
When a toy factory worker discovers the truth about Santa, he embarks on a killing spree.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
A sadistic Santa wields a hatchet and packs a pistol, intent on murdering kids that misbehave.

Santa Claws (1996)
A disturbed murderer, wearing a Santa suit, stalks a scream queen.

Rare Exports (2010)
An 'archeological' dig has just unearthed a malicious spirit, the secret behind Santa Claus.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
An anthology of 4 stories, including Santa Claus and Krampus.

Krampus (2015)
A cloven-footed demon hungers for holiday spirit.

Better Watch Out (2017)
A boy decides to tell his babysitter he loves her since it’s the holidays. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017


THE WRITE PLATFORM – With the diminishing influence of the Big 5, up against almighty Amazon, authors need platforms. Why is that, you might ask? I’m a writer. Do I really need to bother with publicity? Yes. Do both, write material and engage in marketing. Some of these are costly, and some are free, so start somewhere based on your resources. See below for tips and highlights. 

Blog - This is the most important aspect. Write on a regular (weekly or monthly) schedule, since you’re going for repeat visitors, not the one time click. Email - Create a footer signature with all your platform links. Start collecting other’s emails to send out info when new releases come out. Every message you send should share your platform information. Website - Think of it as a landing page to house your platform links. Decide whether to use your real name or penname. Make sure the website address isn’t overly complicated. Newsletter - Add a newsletter signup to your blog. Whatever you do, don’t spam your list. Keep it brief, interesting and valuable in terms of the information presented. Social Media - Be interesting and add value. Your Facebook should link to your Twitter which should link back to your Pinterest and so on.  Giveaways - Consider handing out a freebie to increase exposure or grow your list. Some writers have perfected the first-one-is-free serial. Local events - Go to book signings, writers groups, book stores, interview panels, book readings, conferences, book fairs, etc. Multimedia - Each story should have a book trailer available to spread the message about your work. Familiarize yourself with video, image and sound editing software. Handselling – Ask your local bookstore if they will sell your book? Oftentimes they will accept a few of them and send you a commission. Tell them you’re a local writer! Online - Groups, clubs and associations support writers for free or for a price.  Facebook alone has hundreds of groups dedicated to writer’s support. Branding – Make your selections with uniformity--fonts, cover images, topics and themes--with a critical eye. Style is crucial in a visual medium and your customer should instantly know what you’re all about. Author page - Amazon offers a central place for all of your books and reposting of all your blog posts. Interviews - Once you’ve established credibility as a writer, ask about appearances on podcasts and radio shows. 

A lot of platforms are started and abandoned. What’s the point of that? Now it’s time to get busy with your writing platform.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Marilyn Monroe Obituary LA 1962

From the Archives: Marilyn Monroe Dies; Pills Blamed

Marilyn Monroe, a troubled beauty who failed to find happiness as Hollywood's brightest star, was discovered dead in her Brentwood home of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills Sunday. The blond, 36-year-old actress was nude, lying face down on her bed and clutching a telephone receiver in her hand when a psychiatrist broke into her room at 3:30 a.m.

Marilyn Monroe Screen Test Something's Got To Give 1962

Marilyn Monroe Obituary NYC 1962

Marilyn Monroe Dead, Pills Near

Pending a more positive verdict by Dr. Theodore J. Curphey, the coroner, the Los Angeles police refused to call the death a suicide. They said they had no idea how many pills the actress might have taken, or whether any overdose might have been accidental. Miss Monroe left no notes, according to the police.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


MARILYN MONROE – Gladys Baker worked as a film negative cutter, separated twice by the time Norma Jeane was born. But the child’s biological father was unknown. The child bounced between foster homes, with sporadic visits from her mother, who ended up living in a mental hospital. She endured devastating abuse during these years because nobody wanted her. She began to model for pinups and calendars, rumored to have had numerous affairs. But she also worked with acting coaches and took classes. Her breakout year was 1950, with 5 minutes on screen, in All About Eve. Nude pictures surfaced from early on in her career and her personal struggles worsened as her career progressed. She was late, wouldn’t show up, couldn’t remember her lines, overly depended on her coaches, had stage fright and was crippled by self-doubt. She began using barbiturates, amphetamines and alcohol.  Some of her greatest movie successes of mid-career--Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot--coincided with famous marriages and divorces. In 1961 she went to detox, was hospitalized and suffered lukewarm reviews for The Misfits. She started on what became her last never finished film, entitled Something’s Got to Give, in 1962. After numerous sick days, she sang Happy Birthday to the president, appearing in public in a nearly nude dress. She was fired, sued by the studio and they cancelled the picture. Her housekeeper awoke at 3AM, sensing that something was wrong. Her psychiatrist broke into her bedroom and found her dead. According to the toxicology report, she had empty medication bottles beside her. But overdose was ruled out since the doses were several times over the lethal limit. Her doctor stated she had severe fears, frequent depression, abrupt mood changes and had overdosed several times in the past. Conspiracy theories including murder have contradicted suicide as the cause for decades. Marilyn Monroe’s staying power as an American icon is unparalleled compared to actresses who have come before or after. As a sex symbol, as a troubled soul and as a creative genius.  Only now is it understood that she was her own self creation. A great and multifaceted talent in comedy, song, dance and dramatic acting. Never before, never again… but forever, Marilyn. 


Sunday, November 19, 2017


HORROR FICTION – There are 2 main horror fiction sub genres, with further delineations and specificity. Classic slasher, serial killer and gore--undiluted by any paranormal or fantasy element--features a psychopath/s on a murderous killing spree. These always take place in a conventional world but flexibility happens at times with alternate timelines/ histories. Supernatural horror covers everything else: a creature, supernatural entity, monster, ghost, etc. These stories take place in a conventional world with the monster inserted. Or in an imagined world built from pure fantasy. Either variety (slasher or supernatural) can be told from the point of view of the killer/ monster, the victim or both. Obviously, some stories blend both elements. As part of speculative fiction (supernatural, fantasy, superhero, science fiction, horror, etc.), supernatural horror features worlds with fantasy or futuristic elements. Classic slasher is closely related to crime and thrillers, but the focus is on the act of terror itself, not the crime and investigation elements.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 1818
A scientist develops a technique to impart life into a non-living humanoid, pieced together from collected parts.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 1890
A hedonist wishes his image would age instead of himself. He experiments with every vice, influenced by a morally poisonous French novel. 

Dracula by Bram Stoker 1897
When a solicitor visits a Transylvanian castle, he soon realizes he’s the Count’s prisoner.

The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft 1928
A writer working on a manuscript discovers a cult that worships the Great Old Ones and awaits the return of a monstrous being.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 1959
A paranormal investigator rents Hill House for a summer, inviting guests who have had past paranormal encounters.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty 1971
Two priests attempt to exorcise a demon from the 12 year old daughter of a famous actress.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice 1976
A vampire tells a reporter about an encounter, whereby another vampire turned him into his immortal companion.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King 1983
When a doctor and his family moves into a new house, his elderly neighbor warns him about the highway that runs past them.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis 1991
An investment banker narrates his midnight murders in Manhattan during the late 80s. 

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill 2007
An aging collector of the macabre gets more than he bargained for when he buys a heart-shaped box. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017


TELL-TALE HEART – The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe is chockfull of mystery, horror, prose and poetry. The Tell-Tale Heart (Poe’s best work) describes the obsessive thoughts of a maniacal paranoid violent criminal in the florid effusive language of the day. In The Black Cat, the narrator imagines a slight by his favorite pet cat and is overcome with perverseness, rage and violence; when he’s under the influence of alcohol. All of Poe’s works are in the public domain; available across the internet, he is the father of American fiction.

Click on the links for related posts on my blog.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


S31 Ep8: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive

Best known for his Gothic horror tales and narrative poem "The Raven," Poe's stories are the basis of countless films and TV episodes, and have inspired even more, as has his name and image. Determined to re-invent American literature, Poe was an influential - and brutally honest - literary critic and magazine editor, who also invented the detective protagonist with his character C.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


EDGAR ALLAN POE - Eliza Arnold, an angelic 18 year old widow, married David Poe, Jr. in 1806. She’d been a traveling stage actress since 8 years old, dubbed The Nightingale for her sweet voice. When David saw her perform, he decided to join her traveling troupe. Their first child was born in 9 months and their second, Edgar, was born in 1809. Times were tough for the young family, who relocated to New York City that same summer. David wasn’t doing well, partly because he was an angry drunk with stage fright. But also, because Eliza’s performances were lauded while his own were harshly criticized. He couldn’t handle the criticism, abandoning both the stage and his young family, 6 weeks later. Pregnant Eliza had a third child after he left. When she died in 1811, the children were split up amongst relatives. Edgar Poe was taken in by John Allan but remained forever marked by his mother’s death. In fact the deaths of women--his mother, adopted mother and wives--are recurrent themes in his important stories. His first recognized short story came in 1833, when he won a $50 prize for MS. Found in a Bottle. This success led to editorial work in early periodicals, writing short stories and publishing reviews. He took his literature reviews very seriously, which were usually scathing, earning him more than one enemy. He worked all day and then wrote fiction late into the night, always unstable since he couldn’t keep a job for long. Poe wrote in a range of genres to reach the widest possible audience. His C. Auguste Dupin tales spawned the detective genre including The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. He sold The Raven to The American Review for $9 in February 1845 under the pseudonym Quarles. Poe was found delirious in 1849 and taken to the hospital, where he died soon thereafter under circumstances that are mysterious to this day. He was buried after a 3 minute funeral attended by 7 people in a cheap coffin without a nameplate, cloth lining, or head cushion. Poe’s rival Rufus Wilmot Griswold wrote an obituary describing him as a mad, drunken, womanizing opium addict who based his darkest tales on personal experience. Today Poe remains best known for his most popular tales of gothic horror, which are relatively few in his larger body of work. 

1. The Cask of Amontillado
2. The Black Cat
3. The Tell-tale Heart
4. The Masque of the Red Death
5. The Fall of the House of Usher
6. The Pit and the Pendulum
7. The Premature Burial
8. Ligeia
9. Bernice 
10. William Wilson 
11. The Oval Portrait
12. Hop Frog