Friday, October 26, 2012

FEAR Blog Tour: Author Guest Post with Laura Brown & Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror, hosted by Book Me! All proceeds from the sales of FEAR are being donated to charity, so please support this very worthy cause if you can! Today we have a guest post from author Laura Brown, whose story, "Candlelight," appears in Volume 2. There's also an awesome giveaway in which you can win a Kindle copy of FEAR and an Amazon voucher!

FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror
By Various Authors
Crooked Cat Publishing
Purchase on Amazon: Volume 1 | Volume 2

Synopsis: 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.

Guest Post with Laura Brown

I have never really considered myself a horror writer, despite the fact that my first publications as a fiction author have been within that genre. I consider myself a fantasy writer, through and through- I like to craft new worlds, and populate them with weird and wonderful characters and creatures.

Now, however, while I do think it is fair to say I am more a fantasy writer than a horror writer, in hindsight it would seem that an element of darkness has always been present in my creative works. Fantasy is a very flexible genre in its own right, but then, so is horror- what frightens one person may not frighten another. In horror, we can come across the supernatural, the mysterious, subtle shadows that flit in the peripheral. We can have it suggested to us, and let our minds run away with the rest. But then we also have the terrifyingly earthly, the blunt, the brutal, the real horror, violence.

Looking back on my childhood now, I do see that really, I wasn’t all fluffy unicorns and rainbows. By no means am I a true horror-buff, but horror certainly does appeal to me, and on reflection of my younger years it all makes sense. I have early memories of watching Beetlejuice. I watched the movie The Monster Squad as a five-year-old, drew pictures of the Terminator, and to this day, one of my favourite films is the dark animated film Watership Down (from which I derive my online-namesake, “Blackavar”). It would seem even back then I was destined to become a Goth! Those films are all drastically different, most of them are not horror, but all have a dark, gothic or spooky element that makes up a huge part of the story.

I started writing horror stories specifically to match the open submission guidelines I was writing for, and I was surprised to find I was adapting quite well to the genre. After all, all I had been writing up until then was fantasy of one strange form or another…but as I look back over those mostly unfinished works (I have a couple of novels in the work, but they are taking a back seat for now), I do realise that actually, I have been implementing horror style all along. In my fantasy worlds, conflict and threats usually come in the form of a strange beast, dark being or wicked force…it wasn’t really much of a step into the realm of horror from there.

What sort of horror do I like to write? The classic ghost story is my favourite; ghosts are oddly timeless, so human and so tragic. While I do like vampires, creatures and the like, ghosts really do get the hairs on the back of my neck raised, and get me looking over my shoulder. I am not a big fan of “torture porn” or slasher horrors- while movies such as The Human Centipede or the ever-continuing Final Destination series are very popular, its movies like The Woman in Black or The Grudge that really send a chill down my spine. Gothic horror is far more likely to get me shaking than just an overdone blood-splatter…I prefer thought-provoking horror, to stomach-churning horror. That isn’t to say I think little of that end of the genre, but I cannot truly enjoy it, not in the same way I enjoy a good ghost story.

Movies are a huge influence to me, but as a consummate bookworm, literature has more than its fair share of inspiration in my writing. Due to my preference for fantasy over horror, I am, admittedly, not a huge horror-reader. However, I grew up with stacks of Stephen King and James Herbert books that belonged to my parents, most editions being older than even myself. I love the smell of old books; the smell of aged pages is extremely comforting and nostalgic to me, yet also seems extremely fitting if the book is a horror. I’ve yet to read them all, but it’s a personal challenge I have set myself. As I’ve mentioned almost constantly, I love fantasy- but the fantasy must have a shadow, some sort of evil lurking in the corners that threatens the beauty of the magical world. I would say that really, horror comes naturally to me as it just seems the most natural way to produce conflict and purpose in a narrative, not necessarily because I want to scare my readers. I’m not sure what exactly that says about me though!

My contribution to the Fear Anthology is called “Candlelight” and was inspired by a dream where my brother had moved into a horrible old house, divided into nasty, cold flats. During the night, the tenants would be plagued by the ghosts of wrathful orphans and their abusive guardians. Dream logic doesn’t always apply well to writing, and so several changes were made, but the resulting story has the same key elements- nasty flat, brother and sister facing creepy phantom-children. Ghosts are beyond human control, are not of our world. They are both deeply tragic to me, yet also disconcerting at best, terrifying at worst. I intend to experiment with other subjects in the horror genre, but I think the classic ghost is one that I identify with best.

I’m sure I’ll continue to write horror- it is, for me, an exploration into yet darker shadows in the creative realm where I like to reside. I feel darkness is essential. Light cannot be appreciated without darkness, so bringing darkness into my work seems only natural.

About Laura Brown

Laura E Brown is a fantasy artist and writer from Hampshire, UK. Although she's been writing since she could hold a pen, she has only recently pursued publication, and has found some success with Crooked Cat Books and Siren's Call Publications. She is also a writer for EGL Magazine, and uses the pen-name "Blackavar". She thinks of herself as a Goth, a bookworm, a geek, a bunny rabbit, and a hopeless daydreamer.

Find Laura at the following places:

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  1. I enjoyed these books very much, aside from Carmen's story, What Goes Around, the trippiest for me was the Salad story.



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