Just past is Halloween. Near is Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and most importantly my birthday.
While my birthday hasn’t been around quite as long as those other holidays, I am old. I can remember when a gloomy night of nothing to watch meant continual channel surfing with ye olde TV knob of less then twenty commercial filled channels. I remember vinyl. Now my music collection for favorite artists spans vinyl, audio cassettes, CDs and digital.
I was born on December 5th, a birthdate shared with Walt Disney and Fritz Lang.
I am not much for celebrating birthdays or any holidays. This year on the evening of December 6th from five until seven, I shall be joining in the authors signing at Washington Street Books on 131 N Washington Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland, as part of the small town’s First Friday event. There will be plenty of shops celebrating, music, and a Christmas parade in honor of the upcoming season.
I’ll have four books with me available to sign and sell, including Certain Shadows I Have Known which is the tale of a hit man who takes assignments of a supernatural order. But are they? Eventually odd things begin to happen and he fears for his life. Or at least his sanity. This book is available online via publisher or at Amazon until month’s end.
It has been said you can’t judge a book by its cover.
That’s the first thing you see. And vital for sales whether the product be a book, movie, or something else. And of course sales are all powerful. Covers can take on the genre of horror, science fiction, mystery, or more.
In my youth before the days of amassing one’s own film collection, I was attracted to used books found at library or yard sales. The colorful covers depicting strange worlds or bizarre creatures were as exciting as the action sometimes featured on them. The creased covers added to the character of the books. The scent of the paper on which the books were printed was intoxicating. Coins could purchase these old writings. Even new books in the early part of the last century. Conventions are a great place to find many types of collectibles including books, new or old.
Next weekend I am appearing with my own books at Amazicon in Essington PA near Philadelphia. The books are for sale at either ten or fifteen dollars each which include an autograph. My books can also be ordered online as stated in previous blogs. The gamut of books include fantasy, suspense, horror, and even humor.
Selecting covers were not the easiest missions. Books which I produced myself called on me to be editor as well as writer. Those offerings http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/wrigler had me call upon artistic friends for photographic aid with covers. I was very pleased to have Linnea Tober as photographer for Summoned Secrets while Rio LaCour and Michelle Murphy acted as models. Plus the later provided costuming. Midnight Writings was simply a collection of macabre stories plus musings on local ghosts and my monstrous extra roles in local low budget films. A photograph by friend Sherry Billings of the moon in the night sky provided a suitably eerie backdrop.
Years ago I produced a book which dealt with the Jack the Ripper slayings, ancient Atlantis, and the end of the world as an ages old sacrifice was attempted to be carried out.
More recently I have produced books via Rowanvale Books in Cardiff, Whales. Are my writing ideas and techniques too big for one country? I toyed with the idea of werewolves and other magical terrors in my novella Certain Shadows I Have Known. The cover hints at the werewolf menace found within, although I didn’t want to give too much away. https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/certain-shadows-i-have-known
Stranger Thoughts is a collection of my stories, poetry, and The Ultimate Guide to Dating While Avoiding Supernatural Menaces. I am on familiar ground with the terror of dating. Currently both of these titles can be found at Amazon. But act quick, tomorrow is not assured. But be assured that I will be at Amazicon. Hope to see you there, and that you’ll enjoy one of my books. To say all might be pushing it.
Good luck book collecting, of whatever type you prefer.
With the approach of November, I am preparing for cool breezes, colorful leaves and a few author appearances.
First, I’ll be toting by books to Bel Air Maryland, where I’ll participate at the Authors and Artists holiday gift event. It is to be held at the Armory on 37 N. Main Street. It will transpire on November 2nd from 10 A.M. until 3 P.M.. That’s plenty of time to find yourself a cool new read and a piece of memorable art.
Starting Friday November 15th, I’ll be attending Amazicon 7 for the weekend. Guests for the stellar yet intimate event include Land of the Lost stars and Ann Robinson of the 1953 film War of the Worlds. I’ve been hoping to meet her for some time. There will be numerous vendors with a wide variety of items for sale. Of course, I will have my books for sale. On Saturday I will be giving a Q and A which we shall call amazing. The event is to be held at the Clarion Hotel at 76 Industrial Highway, Essington PA.
At both events I shall have copies of my newest book, Stranger Thoughts, which includes strange tales, offbeat poetry, and bizarre meditations on dating.
As I write this, tis predawn of Halloween 2019. Ghouls and goblins may be out, but what are they doing?
Due to numerous spooky choices, reading or watching films are good alternatives.
Being a writer of fantasy and horror yarns, this time each year there are certain books I hope to read. I have read Dracula and found it most interesting with the article or diary form with which it presents its narrative. I also enjoyed the dark vision of Stephen King’s end of the world epic, The Stand. He has also authored many chilling short stories I like. I’ve only enjoyably read the short fiction of his fright master peer, Clive Barker.
Just this year I again started a book of Edgar Allan Poe short stories which included The Fall of the House of Usher. Alas, the third attempt was not the charm. I think it is mainly just his elaborately descriptive writing style that distances me from Poe. I am more fascinated by the story of his life then his written works.
Another book of my writings is titled Stranger Thoughts. Its story offerings include the tale of a distraught widower who finds something suspicious Within The Water and there are also meditations on the horror of dating. What could be scarier? This book is from Rowanvale Books. It can be bought via Amazon or direct from publisher. https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/stranger-thoughts
I also have a longer yarn from Rowanvale which is suitable for this season as it mixes horror, fantasy, and adventure. Titled Certain Shadows I Have Known, it tells the story of an unbelieving hit man who tackles paranormal contracts for a ruthless mobster. The hit man figures taking such assignments is just a good way to make an extra buck. Then strange things start to happen. This book currently can be purchased at amazon. https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/certain-shadows-i-have-known
Favorite films for Halloween is a long list. Highlights include 2007’s Rob Zombie directed remake of Halloween starring Malcolm McDowell. This reveals the horrors tht befell a young Michael Myers to lead him on a seemingly supernatural spree of violence. This remake is far more graphic and brutally violent then its original. McDowell reinvents the doctor character of Loomis originally brought to life by British character actor extraordinaire Donald Pleasence. When the doctor’ treatment of the incarcerated Myers proves unsuccessful, Loomis takes a more physical part in the pursuit.
Another favorite for the season is 1951’s black and white Man With A Cloak which appropriately transpires on Halloween. The atmospheric picture has a noir quality as Joseph Cotton attempts to aid innocent Leslie Caron achieve an inheritance that dastardly Barbara Stanwyck has her eyes on. The identity of Cotton’s character remains a mystery till the end.
To return to the master of the macabre’s ideas, 1964’s The Tomb of Ligeia stars Vincent Price and Elizabeth Shepherd. Price plays a grieving widower whose wife haunts him as he enters into his next relationship. And thus with this tale we find ourselves again at Edgar Allan Poe.
Whether you indulge yourself with the printed page or a spooky film, have a ghoulishly good Halloween.