RA for All...The Road Show!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who is Jonathan Maberry?

As I have been mentioning everywhere, I will be interviewing Jonathan Maberry on both RA for All blogs on Sunday, but I also realized that some of you may be unfamiliar with him and his work.  Thankfully, letting people know about new authors is what I am paid to do.

Maberry features prominently in the new book, but specifically he has an entire section in Chapter 3 which chronicles the current state of horror I have an entire section on Maberry.  I have posted most of it here.  Please note, it also includes possible readalike options:
Maberry is a busy, award-winning author. He writes traditional horror novels, a best-selling, speculative thrillers series, a zombie young adult series, comics, movie novelizations, and nonfiction about horror, specifically the science and history behind the supernatural. 
However, it is with Ghost Road Blues, the Bram Stoker award-winning first novel in his classic, small town horror Pine Deep Trilogy that Maberry began his march toward horror master status.  Ghost Road Blues tells the story of the residents of Pine Deep, PA, who thirty years ago killed a serial killer known as “The Reaper.”  Since then, the town has seen peace and fame as the Halloween capital of America.  But as the novel opens on the Halloween season, a new supernatural evil lurks on the outskirts of town, waiting to finish what The Reaper began.  
Since Ghost Road Blues, Maberry has established a go-to style that readers can count on and seem to crave.  His books all have chilling situations, menacing atmospheres, relentlessly fast-paced action, humor, and lots of gore. These are not books for the squeamish. Maberry liberally uses visual, aural, and scent inducing adjectives that describe how the monsters, zombies, and humans (both heroes and villains) in his books fight for their lives. 
Maberry also frewurntly makes use of flawed male protagonists. In Maberry’s case most of the heroes come from troubled pasts, pasts in which they have erred and must make things right. These heroes are in the thriller mode, meaning that their hearts are always in the right place despite their troubled pasts. They grapple with supremely evil villains, from supernatural monsters to terrorists.  Maberry leaves no doubt as to who is on the side of justice in his books. 
Maberry’s books are also slightly faster paced than others in the horror genre. The action starts off fast and only increases.  Besides using many fight scenes, Maberry employs multiple points of view, showing us the villain’s plans, allowing readers to stay a step ahead of the hero, which therefore, increases both the pace and the reader’s already heightened sense of dread.   These high stakes, intense cat and mouse games do lead to violent conclusions in which the hero triumphs, but the level of violence is not above and beyond what is typical to either the horror or thriller genre.  
Readers new to Jonathan Maberry should start with his Pine Deep Trilogy which begins with Ghost Road Blues. 
Fans of Maberry may also enjoy Joe Hill, Brian Keene, and Gary Braunbeck since they all write character-centered horror with flawed but good-hearted protagonists.  Also, like Maberry, Keene and Braunbeck create a mythology linking their novels.  The influence of established horror writers like F. Paul Wilson, Richard Matheson, and Graham Masterton is reflected in Maberry’s use of a menacing atmosphere and a speculative threat that is both evil and smart.  The creepy thrillers of David Morrell will also attract Maberry readers who love menacing atmospheres, fast-paced action, and plot twists galore, while the dark, supernatural adventure novels of James Rollins will also draw Maberry readers who like the action based plots, military details, and inclusion of scientific details.
So now you know a little more about the author.   Look for more posts and a review of Dead of Night coming later this week.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Bloom's Desk

The Librarian at Dawn has contributed another review today.

John read Bloom's Desk by Jeffrey Littorno and reviewed it here.

Enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Monster Librarian Blog

I have mentioned The Monster Librarian site before, but today I want to talk about their blog.  Their mission:

MonsterLibrarian.com was created with the following goals:
1) To support Public, Academic, and School Librarians in developing their library horror fiction collection and assist in readers advisory.
2) To help current readers of horror fiction find another good book to read
3) To encourage fans of horror to expand their interests beyond movies and television, and introduce excellent horror fiction.
4) To help teachers and librarians use horror to reach reluctant readers.
5) To help promote small and independent press horror genre publishers in libraries.
On the blog, the Monster Librarian Staff share their thoughts and insights for readers and librarians. They post lists, have a useful and easy to navigate list of resources, but my favorite section of their blog is their "About Reading" section where they also reprint The Genre Readers Bill Of Rights.

Look, if you are reading this blog, you care about genre fiction, so this Bill of Rights is for you.  Take a look.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bram Stoker Finalists

Hot off the presses. Congrats to all the nominees.  I am especially happy to see many of the authors I championed in the new book showing up here.  Also, remember that this is a great list for collection development at your library.  This is the consensus list of the best of the best in horror from 2011.  You should at least consider carrying these titles if you have horror readers.

So thanks to my membership in the HWA, here is the official press release:


Contact Lisa Morton, HWA Bram Stoker Awards Event Organizer
lisa@lisamorton.com

Horror Writers Association announces
2011 Bram Stoker Award™ Nominees

Each year, the Horror Writers Association presents the Bram Stoker
Awards™ for Superior Achievement in the field of horror writing, named in
honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work Dracula. Since
1987, the approximately 700 members of the HWA have recommended, nominated
and voted on the greatest works of horror and dark fantasy of the previous
calendar year, making the Bram Stoker Awards the most prestigious award in
the field of horror literature. For the first time in 2011, half the
nominees were chosen by juries.

The awards are presented in eleven categories: Novel, First Novel, Young
Adult Novel, Graphic Novel, Long Fiction, Short Fiction, Screenplay,
Fiction Collection, Anthology, Non-fiction, and Poetry Collection. The
organization's Active and Lifetime members will select the winners from
this list of nominees; and the Awards will be presented at a gala banquet
on Saturday evening, March 31, at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake
City, Utah.

This year’s nominees in each category are:

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

A Matrix Of Angels by Christopher Conlon (Creative Guy Publishing)
Cosmic Forces by Greg Lamberson (Medallion Press)
Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi (Medallion Press / Thunderstorm Books)
Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle Books)
Not Fade Away by Gene O’Neill (Bad Moon Books)
The German by Lee Thomas (Lethe Press)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A FIRST NOVEL

Isis Unbound by Allyson Bird (Dark Regions Press)
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs (Night Shade Books)
The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee (Samhain Horror)
The Panama Laugh by Thomas Roche (Night Shade Books)
That Which Should Not Be by Brett J. Talley (JournalStone)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Ghosts of Coronado Bay, A Maya Blair Mystery by J. G. Faherty
(JournalStone)
The Screaming Season by Nancy Holder (Razorbill)
Rotters by Daniel Kraus (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster Books for Young
Readers)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Candlewick / Walker)
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor
Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel (Simon & Schuster / David Fickling Books)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A GRAPHIC NOVEL

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (First Second)
Locke & Key Volume 4 by Joe Hill (IDW Publishing)
Green River Killer by Jeff Jensen (Dark Horse)
Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine by Jonathan Maberry (Marvel)
Baltimore Volume I: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
(Dark Horse)
Neonomicon by Alan Moore (Avatar Press)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN LONG FICTION

7 Brains by Michael Louis Calvillo (Burning Effigy Press)
“Roots and All” by Brian Hodge (A Book of Horrors)
“The Colliers’ Venus (1893)” by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Naked City: New
Tales of Urban Fantasy)
Ursa Major by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
Rusting Chickens by Gene O’Neill (Dark Regions Press)
“The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine” by Peter Straub (Conjunctions: 56)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN SHORT FICTION

“Her Husband’s Hands” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed Magazine,
October 2011)
“Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” by Stephen King (The Atlantic Magazine,
May
2011)
“Graffiti Sonata” by Gene O’Neill (Dark Discoveries #18)
“X is for Xyx” by John Palisano (M is for Monster)
“Home” by George Saunders (The New Yorker Magazine, June 13, 2011)
“All You Can Do Is Breathe” by Kaaron Warren (Blood and Other Cravings)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A SCREENPLAY

True Blood, episode #44: “Spellbound” by Alan Ball (HBO)
The Walking Dead, episode #13: “Pretty Much Dead Already” by Scott M.
Gimple (AMC)
The Walking Dead, episode #9: “Save the Last One” by Scott M. Gimple
(AMC)
Priest by Cory Goodman (Screen Gems)
The Adjustment Bureau by George Nolfi (Universal Pictures)
American Horror Story, episode #12: “Afterbirth” by Jessica Sharzer
(20th Century Fox Television)


SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A FICTION COLLECTION

Voices: Tales of Horror by Lawrence C. Connolly (Fantasist Enterprises)
Red Gloves by Christopher Fowler (PS Publishing)
Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan (Volume One) by
Caitlin R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
Monsters of L.A. by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates (Mysterious
Press)
Multiplex Fandango by Weston Ochse (Dark Regions Press)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN AN ANTHOLOGY (EDITING)

NEHW Presents: Epitaphs edited by Tracy L. Carbone (NEHW)
Ghosts By Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (Harper Voyager)
Blood And Other Cravings edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor Books)
Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow (Dark Horse)
Tattered Souls 2 edited by Frank J. Hutton (Cutting Block Press)
Demons: Encounters with the Devil and his Minions, Fallen
Angels and the Possessed edited by John Skipp (Black Dog and Leventhal)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN NON-FICTION

Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America’s
Fright Night by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne (Pelican Publishing)
Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu edited by Gary
William Crawford, Jim Rockhill and Brian J. Showers (Hippocampus Press)
Starve Better by Nick Mamatas (Apex Publications)
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk (Gallery
Books)
The Gothic Imagination by John C. Tibbetts (Palgrave Macmillan)
Stephen King: A Literary Companion by Rocky Wood (McFarland & Company,
Inc., Publishers)

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A POETRY COLLECTION

How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda Addison (Necon
Ebooks)
At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned & the
Absinthe-Minded by Maria Alexander (Burning Effigy Press)
Surrealities by Bruce Boston (Dark Regions Press)
Shroud of Night by G. O. Clark (Dark Regions Press)
The Mad Hattery by Marge Simon (Elektrik Milk Bath Press)
Unearthly Delights by Marge Simon (Sam's Dot)


###


More information on the Horror Writers Association is at www.horror.org.
More information on the 25th Anniversary presentation of the Bram Stoker
Awards is at http://www.stokers2012.org

Friday, February 17, 2012

Great Women in Horror: Ellen Datlow

Since it is Women in Horror Month, I thought I would point you all to this interview at Grasping For The Wind with Ellen Datlow, the undisputed queen of horror anthology editing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Women in Horror Month

We are smack dab in the middle of Women in Horror Month.

As a woman in horror, I am a big supporter of their mission-- "WiHM expands opportunities for filmmakers, artists, and fans by raising awareness about the changing roles for women through filmmaking, writing, events, and networking."

They have done an excellent job promoting their events, specifically a listing here of the bloggers who are really driving the promotion.

In my new book, Chapter 3, "Horror 101: A Crash Course in Today's Tales of Terror," I have an entire section called, "Ladies of the Night," where I profile the contribution of women in horror. Too often they get left out. I could not profile everyone, but writers like Alexandra Sokoloff, Sarah Langan, Deborah LeBlanc, Sarah Pinborough, and Lisa Morton are key authors in horror, regardless of gender.  If you are not reading their books you are missing out on some great horror.

So support a female horror writer this month, or any month really.  Head on over to the WiHM site for more details.

You can also support this particular woman in horror (me) by pre-ordering my new book here.  I have seen the eGalley, so I know it is just about ready to go to press.  You have until March 1 to use the coupon code at the top of this blog to get $5 too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Horror Awards Season Begins

We are entering the last few weeks leading up to the announcement of the biggest honor in horror writing, The Bram Stoker Awards.  This year they will given out at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, UT on March 31.  The finalists for all categories will be announced on February, but over the weekend the finalists for the Vampire Novel of the Century were announced.

Please go to the HWA'a website to see the full list with annotations.

This year, the Bram Stoker Awards have been reorganized and there will be more categories, including screenplays (TV and movie) and YA.  From the librarian's perspective, finalist lists for any and all awards make for a great collection development tool.  They are also a good tool for helping fans of a genre.  I will write more about how to use the finalist list to help readers after I know who the finalists are.

So check back here after the 17th to see what the horror world deems the best from 2011. You may find a future classic on the list.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trends in Horror Series

I was invited to speak on a panel at the Pubic Library Association Conference this March.  The topic is "Trends in Genre Series," and I am happy that horror is going to be included along with Romance, Gentle Reads, and Mystery.

So in preparation, I started making a list of the newest trends in horror series offerings.  Here are the three I am going to concentrate on:

  • Just the fact that series are becoming a staple in horror is a trend on its own.  Horror rarely had long running series before the 21st century.  More often we saw trilogies, a stray sequel here and there, or a newer writer taking a classic and writing a sequel or prequel years later.  But just like all fiction these days, series are becoming the norm.  Readers like entering a world populated with characters the already know they will like.  With so many reading options, series are a way for readers to focus on a group of books they can count on.  Publishers and authors have learned this and they are cranking out the series offerings in every genre.
  • While there are physically more series, some of the best horror writing in general, series or not, is happening in the format of the graphic novel.  This has a bit to do with the fact that horror lends itself nicely to the visual form; you can say a lot with pictures in horror.  However, it is not only the fact that these works are illustrated that makes them better.  I have been finding that the most interesting characters and the richest story lines are coming out in the comic format.  I am not alone in this opinion.  Take for example the most recent Eisner Awards for the entire comics industry and click here to see that Joe Hill won for best overall writer of any comic, for his horror series, Locke and Key.  In my opinion, there really isn't a better horror series, in any format, right now than Locke and Key.
  • A larger trend in all fiction is how some traditional horror elements are creeping into other genres.  Specifically, the supernatural thriller is big these days.  There are now many series that are just past the physical boundary line of traditional horror, and they are gaining popularity and readers all of the time.  These "not quite horror," series are frightening, fast paced, and hitting The New York Times Bestseller List with regularity.  Finally, in a link to the trend above, these "not quite horror" series are also starting to shine in graphic novels.
So as you can see, the current trends in horror series is like on big circle, where each trend appears to be feeding off of the others.  I don't know what the future holds, but for now, it is a great time to be a fan of horror.


Over the next few weeks I will be posting some more of my thoughts and lists that I will be including in the actual talk.  There will be many examples of these trends with a lot more detail.  However,  I only get 15 minutes to speak my piece, so I will cram more info into my handouts which I will be posting here along with the handouts for my co-panelists.

One author, who is figuring to be a major player in the talk (as he also is in the new book) is Jonathan Maberry.  I recently finished his latest book, Dead of Night.  Maberry has also signed up to visit RA for All on his "Shambling Zombie Blog Tour."  So early March will also bring an interview with him and a review of his latest book.

But what about you? If you have a current trend in horror as it pertains to series books, leave a comment and share it with me.  It might make it into my talk.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Introducing New Reviewing Partner

Here at RA for All: Horror, things are picking up steam.  Not only am I now running 2 popular blogs, writing for various outlets, and working 2 regular jobs, but the requests for me to review horror novels and stories are coming in faster than I can keep up.

I want to highlight as much new horror as I can, so I have enlisted the help of my co-worker, John, also known as Librarian at Dawn to help me keep up.

I will let John describes it all himself:
It was over a decade ago that I ceased being just a figure from the clubs, a denizen of the after-hours, and came to work at the library. This is a blog devoted to my daytime, librarian existence. The most improbable half of my delicious double life.
John is a horror fan, and one of Librarian at Dawn's regular features is Monster Mondays.  Occasionally, he will review books that I have passed on to him.  Click here to see all of his Monster Monday posts.  I will also be keeping John's reviews in the Horror Review Index on this blog.

Today I present the first review in our collaboration, a review of A Satan Carol by Alan S. Kessler.

Since John is an RA librarian like me, his reviews not only talk about the work he has read, but they will draw connections to other works.  We are all about helping readers to find their next good read.

If you want me or John to review your horror story or novel, please continue to use the directions posted in the "Review Policy "found in the right gutter.  I will be managing all requests for both blogs.

Also please look for my reviews of Jonathan Maberry's Dead of Night and Brett Talley's That Which Should Not Be, both coming very soon.

Remember, I post once a week about horror on this blog, but you can read my thoughts on Readers' Advisory, in general, every week day at RA for All...the original.