Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror (Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop in the Fear Blog Tour hosted by Book Me. I have a review and an interview with one of the authors for you guys today. The interview is awesome! Denise was awesome and really took the time to fully answer the questions, plus she is an accountant just like me!

"Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror brings together, for the first time, tales of murder, monsters and madness, by sixty of the world’s best indie horror authors.

Discover what lurks in the water at the end of the garden, learn of the unforgiving loyalty of a loving toy and meet a writer, just itching to finish his latest horror story.

Every author in the Anthology has generously contributed their work for free. All royalties from sales will go directly to the international charities, Barnardo’s and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Fear, with forewords by international bestselling authors, Peter James and Sherri Browning Erwin, is released in Paperback and on Kindle, October 3rd 2012."

I am not one to normally sit down and read a gigantic horror book, because I simply do not like the crazy images I conjure for myself in my head. However, give me a giant book of mini horror stories and I’m good to go. I find anthologies like this one to be lots of fun and I am really glad I was given the opportunity to participate in this blog tour.

This anthology is a two volume set and each and every story is worth your time. They are all chilling and creepy and many have a crazy twist of fate to them. This anthology is great because you can sit down and enjoy a bunch of scary stories back to back or you can pick the book up, read one story, and then come back later to read some more. 

So there is no way I can write about each and every story, so I picked out some of my favorites that I wanted to share with you guys.

First we have What Goes Around by Carmen Jenner (she is awesome, by the way and one of my favorite blogger buddies.) This was the first story I read in the anthology, and even after all of the other stories, I could not forget it. Probably because it had zombies, and we all know that I am weirdly obsessed with zombies. Her zombies were vividly described and those descriptions made me cringe because they were so perfectly gross. I also loved the title and if you read the story you will see that it is an apt title for the twist that occurs.

Next I want to mention Of Events At Lowkirk Cemetery by Michael Cail. I loved the time period this story was set in; gaslight automatically makes anything creepier. This story is like a story within a story. We come into it after the events have occurred and watch the main character describe the events to the police. I thought this was a very interesting way to get the story across. I also enjoyed the mention of strigoi, because Vampire Academy freak that I am, it excited me.

Another favorite of mine was Little Darlings by Ginger Nielsen. This one truly creeped me out and I absolutely loved the twist at the end. There were lots of dolls in this one, and dolls freak me out, so this was a great scary story for me. The story did not go the way I expected at all, and I loved it for that. I love when a story surprises me. I also love that the little girl is not so innocent.

I also really enjoyed The Lost Souls by Laura Huntley. This one was incredibly sad, but still had a creepy feel. This one really made my heart hurt. Despite its short length, I really felt for the character and made a connection with her. This is one of those stories that is not happy, but it is good.

Last but not least, I want to mention Life and Death In A Cemetery by Denise Moncrief. I loved that this story jumped right into the action. It picks up after a woman has been kidnapped and she is digging her own grave. This leaves the reader to imagine how she got there and exactly what happened. I loved that the woman had fight in her and refused to back down. The ending to this one is an awesome twist and I was very happy with the turn of events. I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Denise, so be sure to check that out after the review.

I wish I could mention all of the stories, but then we would be here for days. These stories may have been the ones to stand out to me, but there may be others that stand out to you. Every single story is truly great and worth the read. Horror fans, this one is for you.

Interview with Denise Moncreif: 

First I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. It is a pleasure having you on the blog today. To start, what first sparked your interest in writing?

 I began devouring every book I could get my hands on in high school. I’ve been a prolific reader ever since. All of that reading has fed my imagination. For years my daydreaming made me feel somewhat guilty. I had no problem imagining myself in other places, with other people, doing other things. One day I got the idea of channeling all my daydreaming into a manuscript. That was nine, maybe ten years ago, and since then I’ve been writing practically non-stop with only a few short sabbaticals due to a recalcitrant muse refusing to cooperate and give me a fresh spurt of inspiration.

What were some authors that have had an influence on your work? 
I’m an eclectic reader, so I don’t think any particular author influences my work more than any other. I find that everything I read adds a little something extra to my writing. I might read a mystery, then a historical novel, then a biography, then a romance, then chick lit, then suspense, then something literary or nonfiction. Once in a while, I’ll get stuck on a writer and read everything he or she has written. I started with Agatha Christie, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Margaret Truman, and PD James. Then there was John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Ken Follett, and Robert Ludlum. But usually I’ll read whatever entices me based on the story blurb. Lately I’ve been reading independent and small press writers looking for something different.

Few books have made me stop and think, “Wow! I would love to write like that!” I loved the suspense in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca and Graham McNamee’s Acceleration. I enjoyed the paranormal element in Anne Rivers Siddons’ The House Next Door, Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, and Karen White’s Tradd Street series. I really liked the interwoven contemporary and historical storylines in Christi Phillips’ The Rossetti Letter and The Devlin Diary. I enjoyed Gregory Maguire’s darker retelling of old fairy tells. The only one I haven’t read is Wicked. I’m not fond of best sellers or trendy series. I haven’t read the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, or Fifty Shades of Gray series. If it’s likely to end up as a blockbuster movie, I probably won’t enjoy the book.

If you were stuck on an island and could only pick one book or series to keep with you forever what would you choose and why?
 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I love the opening line in the book. “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful…” Yet Ms. Mitchell wrote her as irresistible to the opposite sex. Scarlett was a complex character. I strive to write complex and irresistible characters. And also I’d want it with me because the book is sooo long it would keep me reading for a while before I got bored and started my own book by writing with my finger in the sand on the beach or scratching the bark of a palm tree with a sharp stick.

LOVE that answer! What is the best piece of advice concerning writing you have ever gotten? 
I remember well my first rejection. I submitted a series of four stories to a publisher. He very kindly suggested I should continue to hone my skills by perhaps going to a writer’s workshop. It was an excellent piece of advice, because I did as he advised and realized how much I didn’t know about the craft of writing. That was years ago. An author should never believe he or she has learned all there is to know about the art and craft of writing.

I truly enjoyed your story and its twist, so I’m curious, what was the inspiration behind Life and Death In A Cemetery? 
I first wrote Life and Death in a Cemetery to a writing prompt for a contest. The story had to be short and had to be horror or thriller. That meant I had to step up the suspense to a horrifying level. I haven’t written much straight up horror or thriller stories.

That was a few years ago. The story has grown and evolved since then, but I believe my original thought process went something like this:

What’s the most horrible thing I can think of? To be buried alive.
What if I hadn’t been buried alive yet? What if I knew it was going to happen before I was forced into the coffin? Then that would truly be horrifying.
How would I feel? What would I do before I was buried alive? I would either crumble or fight back.
Wouldn’t the best place to bury a dead body be in a cemetery? Of course.
Who would think of looking there for a missing person? The perfect place to hide a dead body.

Thus the basic premise for the story was born. Then I put myself in the heroine’s place and imagined what it would be like to be forced to dig my own grave.

What is your favorite genre to read and which genre do you prefer to write? 
I love suspense and that’s what I write. I bend and blend genres. My stories are usually suspense and _________. My daughter tells me I can’t write anything without including at least one dead body in the story line. Well, I don’t know, maybe that’s true. Aside from traditional suspense plot lines, I find there’s an element of suspense in any conflict, a moment when the breath catches. I strive to portray that one thing in any situation that will affect the heart rate, tug at emotions, or make the reader anxiously turn the page to read what happens next.

What is your typical writing process? 
The premise usually emerges because something in my environment sparks a question. I see something, overhear a conversation, read a news story, or see a movie that captures my imagination. I have a work in process that began because I wondered why a house had been abandoned in the mountains of Arkansas. My current release with Still Moments Publishing evolved because I asked, “What if I woke up in another woman’s body?”

I imagine the opening scene of the story and decide how the story will end. Between the beginning and the ending I am a pantser. I let the plot evolve as it goes along, letting my characters and their developing personalities decide what to say and how to react in any given situation, as long as they get to the end of the story right where I want them to go.

Thanks again for being here today. 
I enjoyed answering your questions. Thanks for having me here.

Denise lives in Louisiana, United States, with one husband, two children, and one very chubby canine. Her family not only endures her writing moods, but also encourages her to indulge her passion. An accountant by day and a writer of romantic suspense by night, she leads a very busy and joyous life. She’s been writing off and on since she was seventeen, and with several stories already published, she has no desire to slow down.

Giveaway Time: 

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  1. Awwww, you made me cry! In a good way, I promise! Thank you so much for your wonderful review and for being a part of the FEAR tour, I wouldn't have done it without you, Darlin'!

    1. I am so glad you liked it! Thanks for inviting me to take part, I really loved reading the stories and then the interview was lots of fun!

  2. Teresa, thank you for having me here today and for being a part of the Fear Blog tour. I enjoyed answering your questions. I have clicked around your site and have enjoyed reading your posts very much. I will certainly add yours to my list of blogs I visit on a regular basis. Thanks again! Denise

    1. Thank you so much for those amazing answers! I love the way the interview turned out!

      You saying you enjoyed my blog pretty much makes my day, so thanks so much for that!

  3. Teresa, thank you for having me here today and for being a part of the Fear Blog tour. I enjoyed answering your questions. I have clicked around your site and have enjoyed reading your posts very much. I will certainly add yours to my list of blogs I visit on a regular basis. Thanks again! Denise


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